Posted by & filed under Color, Interior Design, Project Tips, Trends.

Spring is one of my favorite seasons! The bright colors, sweet smells, and warmer temps put me in a relaxing, happy mindset. As an interior designer, I enjoy embracing the freshness of spring in my home. From colorful accents to spring-inspired wall colors, fashioning a home with fresh spring-like appointments gives me a feeling of joy and relaxation.

Are you wanting to bring the freshness of spring into your home? Here are three of my favorite interior design tips for bringing the beauty of spring indoors.


Shades of jade green and gorgeous matte black colors instantly transform your pottery for items like potted plants, vases and even trays.


Lavish, luxurious jewel tone pillows are making a splash against interesting patterns like knit yarns and other unique fabrics. This combination of textures and a varietal of colors prove to be a welcome refresh this spring.


After a long winter, your walls are looking for a fresh breath of air. Get inspired with bright, springtime colors such as a soft purple. To bring it all together, lighten up your window treatments, bring in some seasonal accessories and welcome the feeling of spring.

Posted by & filed under Bathroom Design, Checklists, Interior Design, Kitchens, Project Tips.

If you are interested in putting some money towards a home remodeling project, it’s important to keep a few things in mind. Not all renovations are worth the cost in the long run. Sure, a new master suite with bright floral wall paper might be your dream come true, but will another buyer think it’s as wonderful as you do? Everything from the value of your house and the homes around it, the market where you live, how long you’ve lived in the home and the room you choose to remodel can make a huge difference on your return on investment.

Here are our top 3 tips on getting a higher return on investment to consider when choosing your home remodeling project:


Choose rooms with the best ROI at the time of resale

It’s a proven fact that kitchens and bathrooms have the highest remodeling ROI. These are the areas of the home where people spend the most time. Not only that, but they are also the most expensive areas of the home in terms of construction. You can tell almost immediately the quality of a home is depending on the design and products in the kitchen and bathroom. Spending your money in these areas of the home almost always pay off if it is done tastefully.

Curious about the cost of a high-end, luxury bathroom remodel? Learn more about it here.

If you’re not interested in the kitchen or bathroom, the next best bets are the family room and master suite. These usually cost less to remodel, but have a much lower ROI if the kitchen and bathrooms are not up to par.

Appeal to the future homebuyer

Your vision for a brightly colored kitchen or themed bathroom might be creative, but will it appeal to the next homebuyer? When considering home remodeling projects, make sure the design is not just to your tastes. Choose timeless neutral colors and styles that keep in harmony with the architecture. For example, craftsman style architecture should craftsman style cabinetry. Selecting transitional components that appeal to a wider audience will ensure a higher ROI when selling.

Limit your investment

According to Angie’s List & HGTV, you should limit your investment to no more than 20% of the home’s value. The higher you go above 20%, the less ROI you will receive. In addition, the longer you stay in a home increases the ROI of the remodel project. For example, living in your home 5-7 years will produce an 85% return on a kitchen project that is done well and an 80% return on a major bathroom update that is done well. On the other hand, living in your home 3-5 years may result in a lower return.

kitchen remodelIt’s hard to keep in mind a future buyer when you’re designing your dream home, especially if you have no immediate plans to move. Keeping these three tips in mind while adding your own flare can be done in a timeless, tasteful way that will produce increased return on investment in the long run. Your interior designer will help you determine the best projects, rooms, products, colors, styles and components to give you the best ROI down the road.

Ready to get going on your kitchen remodel? See how long you can expect a kitchen remodel project to take.

Posted by & filed under Bathroom Design, Interior Design, Kitchens, Project Tips.

What are the best types of flooring for luxury home remodels?

Not all types of flooring are equal. If you have a luxury home, only particular types of flooring should be considered when planning a remodel. Here are my top picks:

Wood Plank

Wood plank is a beautiful option for flooring in a luxury home. Depending on the particular style of the home, all colors of wood look luxurious. The flooring direction should run perpendicular to floor joists and narrow or wide planks will work.


Tile Flooring

Tile is another great option for luxury home flooring. I always suggest natural stone or porcelain tile. NEVER use ceramic tile,because it chips easily. Using larger tile sizes will have fewer grout joints and this opens up the space and makes it look less busy. It’s also less labor. I recommend these sizes: square size: 16”, 18”, 24” or rectangle size: 6” x 24”, 6” x 36”.

spa like master bathroom


Posted by & filed under Interior Design, Trends.

Graham and Brown Wallpaper Product Review by Maura Braun written by Irina Scalabrino of Graham and Brown

Another year welcomes another wave of wallpaper trends to transform your home interior. In 2018, the once taboo alternative to paint returns in a big way. Ultra-chic prints, dimensional fabrics and new materials mimic contemporary art to highlight your personal style in dramatic ways without breaking the bank. The crowd-pleasers set to steal the spotlight for the seasons ahead include geometric patterns, botanical prints and metallic finishes. 

We wanted to get an Interior Designer’s professional opinion of several of Graham and Brown’s collections, so we paired up with Maura Braun of Maura Braun Interior Design, Inc. to review our wall papers. Read on to see what her favorites for 2018 are highlighted in red below.

Symmetrical Shapes. Simple Design.  

Back in a big way, geometric patterns with fresh, symmetrical shapes and simple, clean lines introduce order and dimension into your home. Bold enough to draw the eye, yet rigid enough to put the mind at ease, the unique style achieves the delicate balance of creating visual interest without overwhelming the design.

Incorporate geometric wallpaper in endless ways to fit any and every style. The versatile and timeless appeal works wonders throughout the home from a small yet bold statement wall to an entire bedroom floor-to-ceiling. Consider the ever-popular removable geometric wallpaper trend to switch and swap as the seasons change.

Geometric wallpaper trends bring life into a light and breezy kitchen, soft and subtle home office or beautifully polished and cohesive bedroom. Cozy up a small bathroom, define a space, such as a hallway, or add an unexpected twist to a ceiling. Go for chic and sophisticated with just the right amount of visual intrigue.

Pay attention to size and select a pattern scaled to the room. Let the room guide the color. Experiment with a full range of choices from subtle and sophisticated neutrals, such as black or gray, to lively and bold hues, like red and orange. The geometric style perfectly suits the modern trend for minimalist, abstract interior design.

Maura Braun: “In the Geometric wallpaper collection, I love the Zen Charcoal wallpaper that is inspired by the intricate trellises of an Oriental Shoji screen; while combining my love of copper metallic to create the interlocking pattern on a black fibrous paper, this paper has a very sophisticated presence that provides an elegant background to the furniture grouping. I can see using this product in either a den or a living room.”

Big Floral Patterns. Endless Styles.

Back and strongly in vogue, big floral patterns create special atmospheres. Give character to any living space with a variety of classic and contemporary interior styles from large scale prints to old school vintage inspired botanicals. Find the perfect pattern whether you fancy powerful, delicate, exuberant or subtle wallpaper trends.

Graham & Brown leverages modern digital printing technology to offer endless designs. Decorate your home with innovative floral patterns from oversized and whimsical prints to textured three-dimensional fabric, all bursting with richer and brighter colors. Browse our large selection of floral wallpaper options from delicate blossoms to roses in a wide range of colors from soft pinks to elegant metallics.

Maura Braun: “The Stone Rose wallpaper in the floral wallpaper collection is just amazing. It appears to have a 3 dimensional flower that pops right off of the walls! The way that the image has been produced, gives the flower a life-like shadowing. This wallpaper is a real conversation piece for any foyer or powder room.”

The Boheme Blossom Collection

Discover a winning mix of c olor and technique in every print from Graham & Brown’s Boheme wallpaper collection. Hand paintedwatercolor florals marry infusions of color from soft blush and peach tones layered with khaki and gray detailing to monochrome styling for a more eclectic appearance. Explore stunning and classic designs inspired by Graham and Brown’s archival pieces, finished beautifully with mica for a luxurious shimmer.

Maura Braun: “The Boheme collection of wallpapers have a gorgeous shimmer with the mica finish, which provides great choices for any high impact area such as an entry foyer or a lobby, where you want to make a great impression.”

“The Boheme Mono wallpaper is a watercolor floral with layers of soft grey to provide a monochromatic design with mica as the shimmering touch. This is truly a work of art!”

Bold, Bright and Beautiful Metallics

Get the luxe feel of a slight shine for a low price. More durable than the average wallpaper, metallic print stays beautiful longer. Discover sleek, elegant and stately wallpaper trends ideal for formal spaces, such as dining rooms and foyers, yet flexible enough to work in just about any space.

The bold nature of metallic wallpaper means less is sometimes more. For spacious rooms, cover just one wall as the focal point. Light metallic wallpaper, which reflects light evenly around the room, makes smaller rooms feel bigger and more open. Experiment with a wall-to-wall design in bathrooms and other small spaces.

The ever-popular gold and silver colors add an extra touch of luxury. For a more modern twist, introduce warmer colors, such as bronze, copper and rose gold. Stick with something subtle — such as an accent wall — to pull off the colored metallic wallpaper trend.

The eye-catching appeal of metallic print means certain patterns can overpower the design. Tone it down with spots, stripes and floral patterns. Experiment with extravagant patterns only in rooms with clean lines and simple, plain colors. Dress up a feature wall with glitter metallic for ultimate glamour. 

Maura Braun: “This metallic wallpaper collection is probably my favorite with the metallic colors blended in. Metallics add another dimension to the wallpaper by having a light and a dark reflectance, depending on what angle you’re viewing the paper from. From one angle the metallic color is light and bright and from another the same metallic color appears to be dark with a deeper color.” 

“So the wallpaper is constantly changing; providing almost a living experience to the viewer. Metallics also enhance the room to add much more interest to the overall interior furnishings. The Moonstone in chocolate and copper, along with Tranquil Copper are my favorites in this collection.”

Posted by & filed under Interior Design, Kitchens.

It’s no secret that the kitchen is the most used room in many homes. When considering a kitchen remodel, one of the most kitchen remodelcommon questions my clients have is how long the remodel will take.

As an Interior Designer with a family of my own, I understand that the loss of a usable kitchen can add stress to my clients. My team and I do our best to accommodate for client needs in regards to timeline and temporary kitchen setups. While it’s an inconvenience for the kitchen to be out of commission for any length of time, the end result is always worth the wait!

Here is a common kitchen remodel timeline:

  • Planning: 3 months depending on the scope of the project designing, drawing, bidding and planning of timeline
  • Ordering: product lead times range from 2 – 16 weeks
  • *Initial field measures for cabinetry taken: 1 day; to speed up lead time
  • Temporary Kitchen setup: 1 day
  • Demolition: 1 week to remove and haul away the debris
  • *Final field measures for cabinetry taken: 1 day – lead time is 4 days – 8 weeks
  • Rough-In: 1-2 weeks relocating or installing new plumbing pipes, electrical wires, gas line, hvac duct work, drywall follows with *field measures
  • Painting: 1-3 days
  • Flooring: 2-4 days
  • Cabinets installed: 2-3 days
  • Countertops measured: 1 day and will install within 2 weeks – all plumbing templates and specifications need to be available for this meeting
  • Appliances installed: 1-2 days
  • Lighting installed: 1-2 days
  • Countertops installed & Final Plumbing follows: 2-4 days
  • Backsplash installed: 1-2 days
  • Finish carpentry: 1-2 days

Average kitchen remodel time is 6.5 – 11 months

Obviously this timeline is not one-size-meets-all. Every client has different needs and desires for the design of their remodeled kitchen. There are so many factors that can decrease or increase this timeline that it’s always best to speak to a professional Interior Designer before assuming the length of a remodel.

If you have questions about your potential remodel, feel free to reach out! I’d love to help your interior lifestyle dreams come true…in the time best fit for you and your family.

Family Room Interior Design

Posted by & filed under Color, Interior Design, Living Rooms, Trends.

2018 is upon us and with it come some great new living room trends. Living rooms, otherwise known as great rooms or family rooms, are where everyone spends most of their time together. Besides the kitchen, they are considered gathering spaces where memories are made. Whatever your style, here are the latest living room trends tailored for different designs and lifestyles.

Jewel Tone Colors

The first living room trend gaining popularity is designing with jewel tone colors. Jewel tone colors provide a very vibrant and colorful palette. The room in the image below has a very happy and playful quality with the jewel tone fabrics, accessories and rug. The rich and opulent colors reflected in the image of the precious and semiprecious stones found in jewelry, hence the name.

jewel tone colors living room trends 2018

Natural Elements

The next trend consists of natural elements used to create a down to earth grounded-ness that is practical and durable for family life. Natural elements are great for a residential interior as they help to promote relaxation.

Think of how relaxing a walk in the woods can feel, well having a coffee table made out of a tree is the next best thing to create that feeling of comfort and relaxation. Including plants and the natural outdoors into the interior view also provides a sense of open and airiness that is good for a calm mind.

Family Room Interior Design   

photo courtesies of Maura Braun Interior Design, Inc


In keeping with natural elements, copper will be a big part of many interiors in 2018 for it’s earth-bound qualities. Not to mention, when heated by the metal fabricator, copper turns many gorgeous colors that then become artwork within the copper.

photo courtesy of MICHEL ARNAUD

I love copper and even created these 2 copper artworks for my home. One is woven strips of copper and the other is copper sheet goods; both of which I heated over the stove to obtain the incredible colors shown here.

photo courtesies of Maura Braun Interior Design, Inc

Black and White

One more trend in living rooms is using a black and white palette for the interior design. Black has always been a great color to use in the design scheme as it pairs well with most colors. When combined with white, black’s powerful presence is balanced out by it’s polar opposite in the absence of color, with white.

black and white colors living room trends 2018


Orb Sculptural Lighting Pieces

The last living room trend of 2018 that I am seeing is with lighting pieces. Lighting is making a statement through sculptural pieces in orb shapes as shown in this ad by West Elm.

orb lighting living room trends 2018

photo courtesy of West Elm

Posted by & filed under Checklists, Interior Design, Kitchens, Project Tips.

How do you select cabinets for a luxury home?

Cabinet Finish

The first step in selecting cabinets is for a luxury home is to decide between stained or painted finish. Depending on the style of the home, either one could work beautifully. Your Interior Designer will be able to give you suggestions based on your particular home.

Cabinet Style

Once a finish is chosen, it’s now time to start researching cabinet styles. The style can be contemporary, transitional, or traditional. Check out Houzz or Pinterest and save photos you like, then show them to your Interior Designer.


Cabinet Measurements

After choosing between stain or paint and the specific cabinet style, your Interior Designer will want to start taking measurements of your space, (include windows, doors & doorways).

Kitchen Design

The last thing to consider when selecting cabinets is to research kitchen design for cooking and storage ideas. Again, Houzz and Pinterest have great ideas on this, but your Interior Designer should definitely be consulted because they are experts in this are. A few things to consider are:

  • display and open shelving
  • spice and knife drawers
  • small appliance garage
  • garbage and recycle bin
  • refrigerated drawers



Posted by & filed under Bathroom Design, Interior Design, MBID Luxury Guide, Project Update.

As a high-end luxury Interior Designer, I get asked all the time how much a luxury bathroom would cost to remodel. Every project is wildly different depending on the client’s wants and needs, but here is a summary of cost from a recent bathroom remodel project I completed.


Floor Tile$6,612
Walls Faux Finished$1,500
Closet Walls Paint$300
Ceiling Painted$500
Trim & Doors Painted$450
Custom Cabinetry – Double Vanity, Makeup Vanity, Charging Station$4,250
Granite Countertops$1,950
Medicine Cabinets$1,835
Ceiling Can Lighting$397
 Bath Ceiling Vent/Light$253
 Closet Light$79
 Electrical Labor$815
 Plumbing Products – 2 Sinks & Faucets, Toilet, Shower Fixtures$5,120
Shower Enclosure$2,430
Towel Bars/TP$1,052
 Counter Accessories$350
 Bath Towels$275
 Chair w/Seat Cushions and Fabric for Cushions$690
 High End Price Point Bathroom/Shower Room/Walk In ClosetTotal $41,136


decorating tablescape

Posted by & filed under Checklists, Interior Design, Project Tips.

Before you start working with an Interior Designer, there are some very important questions to ask yourself. While the designer is there to make your dreams come true, they cannot read your mind. Like any relationship, open and clear communication is crucial for a successful result.

Through my 20+ years of experience as an Interior Designer, I’ve discovered three key questions to ask every client before starting a project. Asking these questions at the start of a home design project has helped me make my client’s dreams a reality.

What is your budget?

The first question I ask clients is their budget. Communication with the financial decision makers from the beginning is crucial. A sofa can cost anywhere from $700 to $17,000+. If a client has a budget of $20,000 and they want a $5,000 sofa, that takes 1/4 of the budget. Once we know the amount that you’re willing to invest in your project, we can then help you plan for all of the project goals while helping to prevent costly mistakes from occurring.

What is the finished room to look like?

This is where my clients get to dream! I ask them what they want their home to say about them – calm, happy, inviting, casual, elegant? I encourage them to use, Pinterest, magazines and photos they have taken of inspirational interiors to help get started. Once I have these images from the client, we can then begin the selection process for creating their dream space.


decorating tablescape

Is there an event or deadline you’re trying to meet?

Most clients have an expectation in their minds of how long a project will take or a goal of when they want it to be complete. It helps to know their expectations up front, provide them with a detailed timeline and agree together on deadlines.

For an interior design project, the planning phase can take up to 3 months and for a remodel project, the planning phase can take up to 6 months. Furnishings may take anywhere from 2-12 weeks and the construction portion of the remodel project can last 3-12 months, depending on the scope of the project.

Be sure to signup for our newsletter to learn more about our project design process.

spa master bathroom

Posted by & filed under Bathroom Design, Interior Design.

Wouldn’t you love coming home after a long day, walking into your master bathroom and immediately feeling peaceful and relaxed?

While you may not have the funds for a complete renovation, you’d be surprised at what you can accomplish with a few small projects. Many of our clients want a spa-like Master bathroom. Here are the design elements we use to create a luxurious space:

  • Earth tonesspa like master bathroom
  • Double vanity sinks
  • Towel & supply storage
  • Freestanding air tub with hand shower
  • Recessed medicine cabinets
  • Compartmentalized vanity drawers
  • Heated floors
  • Body sprays and hand shower
  • Towel heater
  • Decorative vent-fan-light

Want to see a Master Bathroom renovation project using these design elements? Take a peak at these before and after photos of a recent remodel. The design phase took approximately two months and demolition to completion about three months.

Looking for more design tips for your master bathroom? Check out my 5 simple design tips.

When you’re ready to have a Spa-like Master Bathroom, be sure to contact us so that we can help you reach this goal.