5 Ways To Decorate Your Mantel Like An Interior Designer

The mantel can be tricky to design and decorate well. Like anything, you may have picked out the perfect accessories, but pulling it all together can be challenging. Back in 2013, we wrote a post outlining how to decorate your mantel for the fall, but this time we are going to be speaking in a more general sense on how you can make the most of your mantel.

The Key To Stylizing Your Mantel

wall sconces by your fireplace, the best ways to decorate your mantel, decorating a fireplace mantel

Garrison Hullinger Interior Design, photography by Blackstone Edge

This image was what started off the previously mentioned mantel blog post. It is a great guide that you can follow to have your mantel look great, but remember that it is only one model of how you can decorate it. There are a lot of different ways you can set up a fireplace mantel and still have it look great! With this particular layout, we see a balance of one taller, central piece, with smaller accessories around it, of varying heights, to form a sort of triangle silhouette of art.

Do Not Be Symmetrical

stone fireplace and mantel decoration ideas,

Garrison Hullinger Interior Design, photography by Blackstone Edge

This rule is not universal. Maybe you’re going for something very symmetrical and clean. However, in most cases, being perfectly symmetrical does not look natural. You want to make something visually interesting above your fireplace, which may involve different accessories on each side of a centerpiece, or maybe even a main piece that is slightly off-center.

Do Not Overcrowd Your Mantel

cozy living room design, furniture and decor ideas for a cozy living, custom built in bookcases around a fireplace

Garrison Hullinger Interior Design, photography by Blackstone Edge

There is such a thing as too much of a good thing, and this can include all the nick-nacks that you want to display on your mantel. Keep it relatively simple and clean, and try to make a statement with your elegance and simplicity, rather than a lot of big pieces crowded together. In this case, we have chosen to simply display artwork. Another option for this mantel would be to place a TV over the fireplace, because the bookshelves are adorned with other beautiful and personalized home decor.

Try Keeping it Simple

creative ways to decorate your fireplace mantel, decorating mantels on a budget, great decorating mantel ideas

Garrison Hullinger Interior Design, photography by Blackstone Edge

On that note, why not just go for simplicity? Try only using a few small accessories to accent your mantel, but let your fireplace and maybe some nice wall art do the talking. Taking a minimalist approach can help make your space look streamlined and less cluttered.

Put Your Personality into Your Mantel

rustic mantel decor, cabin mantel design ideas

Garrison Hullinger Interior Design

The fireplace is going to draw a lot of eyes, meaning that whatever you have adorning your mantel is going to be making a big impression on guests. Be honest and open and add a flair of your personality to this space. This can be done with a family portrait, a photo you took, a family heirloom, or something else unique, like a salt lamp or a handmade bowl.

Decorating a fireplace mantel isn’t always easy, but once you get it right you will love the room even more! The mantel is a focal point that draws a lot of eyes, so make sure you put your best on display! I hope you find these tips helpful in making your fireplace pop!

This year we’re nominated for a JDR Annual Industry Blogger award under the category of Interior Design! Don’t forget to vote for us!

The New American Home 2015: The Latest Technology & Interior Design Trends

Recently, Garrison Hullinger Interior Designers headed to Las Vegas to attend to KBIS, International Builders’ Show, and Vegas Market. While attending the show, our designers headed to the outskirts of Vegas and landed in Henderson, Nevada to see the New American Home in person. Since our designers discovered so many great inspiring nuggets of information from the home, I knew that I had to get a sense of how amazing this home was by digital stalking. I have compiled all of the fun details and it’s all below – just for you!

Story from Builder.

All Of The Details Of A Home With All Of The Latest Technologies & Products

Before breaking ground, the team of pros working to design and construct this year’s New American Home gave themselves a challenge: Instead of creating a one-off custom showpiece, they wanted to explore how much of the technology, sustainability, and design trends that the show home is known for they could pack into a production-style dwelling.

Project Details

Location Henderson, Nev.
Size 5,891 square feet (including casita); bedrooms: 4; bathrooms: 4; powder rooms: 2
Builder Blue Heron Construction, Las Vegas
Architect Blue Heron Architecture, Las Vegas
Interior Designer Blue Heron Interiors, Las Vegas
Landscape Designer Sage Design Studios, Las Vegas
Green Building Consultant/Verifier Two Trails, Sarasota, Fla.
Technology Integrator Eagle Sentry, Las Vegas
Producer NAHB, Washington, D.C.
Task Force Chairman C.W. Edwards, Marietta, Ga.
Media Partner BUILDER, Washington

Although it exudes the luxuriousness of a custom dwelling, the desert contemporary—which will be open for tours during the 2015 International Builders’ Show in Las Vegas—was designed for buyers across a range of price points. In fact, once the show is over, it will serve as the model for a collection of 36 production homes in the Sky Terrace community that design/build firm Blue Heron calls “pre-designed custom.” These houses, with price tags from $750,000, allow customers to choose from select floor plans and finish options. Although Blue Heron also is known for its custom projects—it has built two other New American Homes—founder/owner Tyler Jones wanted to show off what can be done on a practical scale this year.

“The whole idea was to make sure the architects and builders who see this home realize you don’t have to have a $5 million custom home to utilize all the latest and greatest methods and innovative design concepts,” he says. “All of that stuff can fit together into a predesigned package, making it a lot more economically viable and attainable, and more efficient to design and build.”

The project team started with a relatively compact floor plan compared with other iterations of the 32-year-old show home program, sponsored by the NAHB and BUILDER. At just under 5,900 square feet, the home is efficiently laid out to encompass a spacious living area, four bedrooms (including a separate guest casita), and plenty of flashy entertaining spaces. The Blue Heron design team focused on integrating rather than segregating spaces, Jones says. For example, the kitchen, breakfast nook, dining area, and great room share one open space that also connects to the backyard pool area and central courtyard.

The second-level wine bar and rooftop sky loft are sited to perfectly capture breathtaking views of the Las Vegas strip and nearby mountains. “We spend as much time designing the outside living spaces as we do the interiors,” says Jones. “We know that people love it and respond to it.”

Inside, Blue Heron interior design consultant Miquel Hutton used off-the-shelf products and materials in innovative ways to provide extra pizzazz without breaking the bank. For example, wood-look floor and wall tiles provide a warm, organic feel; inexpensive backlighting adds sophistication to the bar’s stone countertops; and a luxurious freestanding tub in the master bathroom is filled by a faucet in the ceiling. “Just because this is a production-style community doesn’t mean we can’t apply some amazing materials and really craft an individual design for each one of our clients,” Hutton says.

In addition, the 2015 model will be the first in the New American Home lineup to achieve net zero electrical usage, thanks to a superior insulation package, passive solar design, LED light fixtures, Energy Star appliances, and an 15 kW photovoltaic array. Planners anticipate it will achieve the highest levels of certification from the National Green Building Standard and LEED for Homes programs.

Show attendees undoubtedly will end the tour wondering how Blue Heron crammed so many amenities into a home that’s replicable and economically accessible to middle-class buyers. Jones says it wouldn’t have been possible without the integrated design/build collaboration that is at the heart of each of the firm’s projects. With architectural, interior design, and construction professionals in one office, the team was able to leverage the expertise of each specialty from day one.

“The only way you’re going to include new technology and complicated concepts that require outside-the-box thinking is massive and very, very tightly scripted coordination,” he says.

 If you are looking to build your very own custom home, contact us and we’ll be happy to learn more about your project!

Easy Home Fixes That Will Make You Love Your Home Even More!

Whether it’s a house, a job, or an outfit, the novelty of things can wear out and you may grow tired of something that you once loved. Well, with your home there is no need to stop loving what you have, because we are giving you some easy home fixes that will make you feel that swoon you once felt!

Add a Fresh Coat of Paint To Your Walls

painting walls, fresh coat of paint, bold color ideas

Garrison Hullinger Interior Design, photography by Blackstone Edge

The most apparent way to liven up your home is to simply add a fresh coat of paint! Whether the current paint is looking dingy or outdated, or you’re just bored with it, a new paint color can’t hurt! And don’t settle for just re-painting the same color that was there, try something new! If you were thinking about branching out into a whole new color, try something bold like we suggested in last week’s post. A brand new color is sure to make a tired room exciting again!

Let In The Natural Light, Especially In The Pacific Northwest

Unless it’s a home theater, there is nothing fun about a dark room! A room that lets in natural sunlight will seem that much more vibrant and livable. Colors will sparkle and pieces will be accented wherever the sun falls. Light can also make the room seem larger, and even if there is no window open, the air somehow seems fresh and full of life!

Create Storage and Declutter

Do you have clutter everywhere? That happens more often than anyone likes to admit, but there are easy ways to get around the mess. Creating useful storage for any papers or nick-nacks that stack up is extremely useful. Buy or make some drawers or shelves for your belongings and then go through all of the junk piles and sort them. And even if you don’t get a chance to sort everything right now, just putting clutter away somewhere out of sight will make any desk or other messy area look a million times better!

Designate a “Landing Strip” for Clutter

A landing strip is the modern day equivalent of a mud room, something that is not so common in a suburban or apartment setting these days. Apartment Therapy has a fantastic video on the landing strip, in which they suggest a doormat for your shoes, a hook for your coat, a wastebasket for any trash or junk mail you may have, a mirror to make sure you look all right (without having to run to the closest bathroom mirror one last time), and most importantly, a side table. This one is essential, for dropping down phone, keys, papers, mail, or anything else that would otherwise end up right on the kitchen counter! Having a designated place for everything when you get home goes a long way toward home organization!

Update Home Hardware and Accessories

This is a super easy one! The subtle details of your home can be changed out and updated with little effort or cost. Doorknobs, drawer pulls, faucets, and even light fixtures can be updated with ease and bring a new look to your home in a lot of small ways! It’s definitely not a new piece of furniture or a new paint color, but it will be a breath of fresh air that you may not always consciously notice!

Revitalize the Entrance to Your Home

The front door is the first impression guests have of your home, and probably your first impression every time you come back from going out! There are a lot of different things you can do here to update your exterior look. Try putting a fresh coat of paint on the door itself, perhaps something eye-catching, but that still goes with the color and style of your house. You can also update the look of your house numbers, or add a new lighting fixture. If the season allows, putting out some fresh and vibrant potted plants and a nice welcome mat will also make your front entrance shine. And don’t forget to keep that front porch swept!

We hope that your 2015 is going smoothly so far. If your resolutions haven’t panned out so well here is another chance to get back into good habits! Have fun implementing some of these easy tips that will make you love your house all over again! If you want more interior design tips & tricks, check this blog out.

Best Portland Interior Designer: Garrison Hullinger Interior Design

Garrison Hullinger Interior Design (GHID) is not just your average design firm. Where do I begin to explain how absolutely wonderful our team, our culture and our work is? Well, I better start somewhere, right? If you are looking for the best interior design firm, or the most creative design team to work on your home, here is the secret formula to make your home be better than you could have ever imagined.

The Culture At GHID Is Incredible

portland designers, behind the scenes with design firm, best designers on the west coast

Garrison Hullinger Interior Design, moments from 2014

I have heard – keep in mind this is the only design firm I have worked at – that other firms are not like our firm,  and I believe it. There are times where we are all heads down, working hard on tight deadlines, but then there are times that we are running around in between client meetings joking with each other as we hurry to the next meeting. At the end of the day, we are a true team. If one person feels like they need extra support, our team will race to their side to assist them through design dilemmas, tight deadlines, picking up samples or racing to the printers for a big meeting. We treat each other as a family and that truly is reflected in our top notch work. We also have a work hard, play hard mentality at the firm, which can be seen on our Facebook page!

The Talent Is Off Of The Charts Here


An inside look at a kitchen rendering from GHID

Garrison is an amazing boss, mentor and friend. He knows each of his employees well and cares deeply for each one of them. Garrison is also very loyal to his clients, and therefore has done an incredible job of recruiting and hiring some of the most talented designers, architects, and support staff. Garrison’s and GHID’s mission is to create sophisticated comfort for real life, and no matter how big this company grows, that will always be the designers’ motivation. Although he may not be the one sourcing materials, he has his hands in every project and any client that hires our firm can and should be confident that your home project will exceed your expectations.

Interior Designers And Designers’ Processes

interior design presentations, what it takes to create a successful client presentation

Garrison Hullinger Interior Design, photography by Blackstone Edge

When hiring a specialist, like an interior designer, it is common not to know what to expect. Nowadays, you can do your research via the internet and the more company transparency, the easier it is to see previous client experiences, previous work, etc. GHID’s process is very unique. Once you meet with Garrison and dive into what your expectations are, how you plan to use each space + various other elements, Garrison hand picks your design team. When you come into our office for meetings, you are greeted with a beverage, snacks and during your meetings will be very confident with our team designing and executing your projects.

Why Hire This Portland-Based Interior Design Firm?

expansive kitchen designs, large kitchen island designs, white kitchen cabinetry

Garrison Hullinger Interior Design, photography by Blackstone Edge

If you want to know that your project is in the hands of true experts that want the best for you and your budget, then we are your dream team. We update our clients on a monthly basis on project status and how we are utilizing budgets. We are very detail-oriented project managers that act as a liaison between all key players that partake in your project. Check out our portfolio, Houzz page, and call us up to learn more about how we can assist in your project.

How To Add Color To Your Home – The Key to Using Bold Colors In Your Interior Design

It’s easy enough to resign yourself to using a neutral white, beige, or grey color palette for your wall colors, but some people just need a little more spice in their life! Using bold colors for your home decor, whether they be pastels, jewel tones, or dark hues can be risky business. If you do it the right way and with enough intention, bold colors can really look great and set your home apart from everyone else’s! Read on for some of our top tips and tricks for incorporating bold, saturated colors into your home!

Balance Bold Color with Neutral Color

fireplace exp

If you’re not into painting an entire room one color, try using a “60-30-10″ rule. Encompassing walls, ceilings, and furniture, this rule states that 60% of your room should be in one color family (likely a neutral tone), 30% should be in another color family, and 10% should be highlights of your bold color of choice! This allows your color to pop out without being over the top. Instead of blinding you upon entering the room, your color will stand out in specified areas.

how to use the right balance of color in your home, best tips and tricks for using colorful home decor

Garrison Hullinger Interior Design, photography by Blackstone Edge

Balancing out your bold color can be done in a variety of ways. If your walls are sporting your color, then try painting the ceiling neutral, or putting down a neutral rug underneath. Or, follow the example of the above photo and bring in bold color through smaller accessories, rather than an entire wall.

Keep a Consistent Theme Throughout Your Home

choosing a consistent color palette in your home, how to select the right colors for your home interiors

Garrison Hullinger Interior Design, photography by Blackstone Edge

If you paint one room (yes, I will be dramatic in my example) pastel pink, another room bright green, and another room dark red, then your house is not going to flow very well. It is best to pick a single color palette, or even a single style such as all pastels to paint your interiors – just  colors to maintain consistency throughout. This will make your home feel more cohesive, regardless of the color you’ve chosen.

You certainly do not have to paint every wall the same exact color, but colors that look good together will be fantastic! Just imagine looking through a doorway and seeing the colors of the next room as well as the room you’re in. You’re going to want those two colors to complement each other well, not look unplanned and erratic.

Start Small And Go Bold There

using bright colors in your powder bathroom, where to start trying to incorporate bold colors into your home

Garrison Hullinger Interior Design, photography by Blackstone Edge

If you’re afraid of making a room too bold, then start out with a smaller room, like a guest bathroom. Try out your color ideas here before taking them into the living room or bedroom where they will be more noticeable. If you don’t like the end product, it will be easy enough to paint over it. Additionally, it will be a lot easier, less expensive, and less time consuming if you start with a smaller room. And if you do like your chosen color, you can feel free to paint more rooms in your house (but don’t forget to stay cohesive!).

Frame Your Bold Colors


using crisp white colors and saturated hues in your home, how to pick the right color for your home

Garrison Hullinger Interior Design, photography by Blackstone Edge

To keep multiple colors separate and attempting to frame and highlight your chosen color, make sure your trim stands out against it. Usually this means painting trim a crisp white. Not only will white trim bring out the color but it will also refresh your eyes as they travel to the next room. If the next room in your house has a different color, it may look odd to have those two colors “touching” in your vision, and a white divider in between can refresh your palette. As mentioned above, this process is much easier if your colors between rooms are cohesive and complement each other well!

Using bright or bold colors may seem like a challenge too daunting to take on, but you should not be scared to break out of your comfort zone and try something new! As you have seen in this blog today, being bold with colors can result in a beautiful and welcoming home. Adding a bold color somewhere could be just what  you need to rekindle your love for your home. Let us know if you use a bold color in your home, and how you’ve implemented it!