Looking in your local chain stores for furnishings?
Debbie Wiener shares her picks and pans from four national furniture stores.
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Designing Solutions' Deborah Wiener was quoted in the February 2005 Issue of Washingtonian focusing on Bargains!
"Home Sweet Deals ‹ Are they any real bargains in home furnishings?"
by Sherri Dalphonse
"For family-friendly sofas, home-theatre seating, ottomans, and chairs, you cannot beat
American Leather (AmericanLeather.com)," says interior designer Deborah Wiener of
Designing Solutions in Silver Spring. "Is it cheap? No. It is a great value.
The quality, styling and fabric - leather and ultrasuede - are unbeatable at this price.
You usually receive your purchase in a month. For clients on a shoestring,
I use the auFurniture line."
Wiener shops the Web. For contemporary occasional tables and decorative accents,
she likes West Elm (Westelm.com). For pillows, accessories, and other pieces,
she recommends Room & Board (roomandboard.com): "Room & Board lets you make
your own kitchen table - you choose from an assortment of bases and tops."
Put your money into things you sit and stand on," Wiener says. "Occasional
tables from Ikea hold up as well as any other. And nothing makes modest
furnishings more impressive than good lighting. Posters from the Phillips
Collection of MoMA in simple glass clip frames from Target, look even better
with a wall-mounted picture light.
"Room to Grow," written by Sara Wildberger is part of Washingtonian's
special section on "Creating Great Kids Rooms."
A Place to Work and Play
As a child starts getting homework, says Deborah Wiener of Designing
Solutions in Silver Spring, a workstation with shelving, desk space, and
drawers is a good investment. Armoires and entertainment centers, which now
come as part of children's bedroom groupings, accommodate computers, CDs,
and video-game setups and can be used later in other rooms.
Tweens and Teens: Having a Say
Boys care about their rooms, too. Adam McDonald, 15, had literally grown out
of his old room and bunk beds, so the family moved him down the hall into a
guest room in their Potomac home. Besides a platform bed with storage from
Hardwood Artisans and a big desk and entertainment armoire from Scan,
decorator Deborah Wiener created a remote-control system for the lighting
and blinds. Adam's impression? "Awesome." Adam's mother, Marion, okayed the
armoire because it would be useful even after Adam leaves for college.
"Just by changing the comforter, the room can get lots of different looks,"
Marion McDonald says. "Take the trophies off, and it won't scream 'kid's
It wasn't all smooth: Adam wanted a plush, more expensive carpet. "I lie
down on the floor a lot, and I have a cat and I like to play with her on the
floor," he says.
"I agreed after he promised-promised-he would make sure he didn't track in
any dirt," Marion says.
Adam shrugged off color choices, so Wiener and Marion came up with taupes
and blues for a tailored look and painted one wall deep blue. "He's never
heard of an accent wall," Marion says. "He thought it looked 'weird' at
Designing Solutions' Deborah Wiener was quoted in the March 2004 Issue of Washingtonian focusing on Great Home Design
“Finding the Right Fabric—Choosing Upholstery for a Sofa Using Only Tiny Swatches of Fabric Can Be Hard: Here’s Some Help.”
… size matters. Bold prints require a large field to be appreciated. Order a yard to see if you like how the pattern repeats, suggests Deborah Wiener of Designing Solutions in Silver Spring.
“Let There Be Light—How to Brighten Your Home, and Where to Find Good Lamps, Lighting, and Installers”
…When many of us think of lighting, we picture a nice lamp. But interior designers such as Deborah Wiener of Designing Solutions in Silver Spring start at the ceiling. The goal of good lighting is not to see the lights but to see the room, and that usually means recessed ceiling lights, which provide better light overall. Next come ceiling or wall-mounted lights that spotlight art objects or architectural details. That’s followed by movable task lighting—namely, lamps.
...Quick fixes... Deborah Wiener’s solution is to use monopoints, the light without the track, installed directly into the ceiling. “If you do nothing else, replace your bulbs,” she says. Wiener and other designers like full-spectrum bulbs, a type of lighting that’s closest to daylight and that shows off colors more accurately.
Designing Solutions’ Deborah Wiener was quoted in “Ten Tips for Buying a Great Rug”
..…Consider soccer cleats. Kids and expensive carpeting don't mix, so family-oriented designers like Deborah Wiener of Designing Solutions in Silver Spring suggest a wool carpet with 20 percent nylon for busy areas like family rooms and stairs. A nylon blend is sturdy and cheaper—just make sure a stain treatment is applied to the fibers at the factory.
Installation is important. With wall-to-wall carpet, find a reputable installer. "You can buy from a beautiful showroom and if they don't cut it right, you can have a wrinkle or a gap. It's also important where they put the seam," says Wiener. If you have a limited budget, Wiener suggests buying a lesser-grade carpet and a more expensive pad. "The padding is going to make the difference in how it feels." …..
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