Kitchen Lighting Fixtures for Your Ceiling, Island, Table and Counters

Kitchen Lighting Fixtures for Your Ceiling, Island, Table and Counters

Layering isn’t just for your wardrobe. When it comes to choosing kitchen lighting fixtures, you must also think in layers. Lightbulb moment! You don’t have to get all matchy-matchy with your kitchen lighting -- even the metal finishes can be different. But you do have to coordinate styles. Let’s put it this way: The different light fixtures in your kitchen don’t need to be twins, but they should be sisters. We’re breaking down all the layers that go into creating kitchen lighting to make the space really feel like the hub of the home.

Lightbulb moment! You don’t have to get all matchy-matchy with your kitchen lighting -- even the metal finishes can be different. But you do have to coordinate styles. Let’s put it this way: The different light fixtures in your kitchen don’t need to be twins, but they should be sisters. We’re breaking down all the layers that go into creating kitchen lighting to make the space really feel like the hub of the home.From task lighting to functional and mood lighting, the kitchen enjoys a diverse set of fixtures because it is the hub of the home. We don’t just cook and eat there, we also entertain, pay bills, finish homework, play board games and more. Each area around the kitchen -- the ceiling, over the sink, under the cabinets -- needs a lighting solution. That means each layer of lighting provides a specific function.

From task lighting to functional and mood lighting, the kitchen enjoys a diverse set of fixtures because it is the hub of the home. We don’t just cook and eat there, we also entertain, pay bills, finish homework, play board games and more. Each area around the kitchen — the ceiling, over the sink, under the cabinets — needs a lighting solution. That means each layer of lighting provides a specific function.

Figuring out the right kitchen lighting isn’t about running to Home Depot and buying the exact same style of lights for the entire space. It’s about coordinating style in the kitchen and adjacent rooms, especially if you have an open-concept layout in your home.

Let’s dive into how to make your kitchen lighting functional and decorative without getting all matchy-matchy.

Different lighting solutions for your ceiling, island, table and countertops

If you thought onions had a lot of layers, just think about the kitchen when you break everything down. It’s a space for pretty much every task in the home, and you need the lighting to match.

For cooking, that means light and bright fixtures overhead, such as recessed can lights. This is the first layer you should look at when you start designing a space.

Tips for working with an interior designer | avoid disaster | ML Interiors Group | Dallas Interior Design

Next up, under-the-counter lighting for all that prepwork. You want to be able to see what you’re doing — and avoid cutting off a finger in the process.

Finally, there’s island lighting, which we typically consider to be more decorative but it’s also functional, allowing you to sit at the island to eat, pay your bills or help your kids with their homework.

And if you’re putting a light over your kitchen sink, the most important thing is to make sure you’re not obscuring the view, either of your guests or out the window.

We highly recommend putting each of these on their own switch and making all the switches dimmable. That will allow you to play with all three light sources whether you want to create a mood while entertaining or simply dim the lights while you eat your dinner.

Your kitchen light fixtures should coordinate, not match

When you’re picking out those decorative lights for your island, they must coordinate with any other lighting in eyesight, such as your eat-in breakfast area, adjacent dining room or even front entryway, depending on the layout of your home.

That doesn’t mean you should run out and buy five of the same pendant lights for all the spaces, or even buy the chandelier that is an exact match of your pendant fixture. It also doesn’t mean you need to match metals — shocker!

However, it does mean you need to choose similar styles. Let’s put it this way: They don’t need to be sisters, but they should be cousins. This is where hiring a designer can really help. We can coordinate lighting in your kitchen and other rooms while still keeping it interesting.

A well organized kitchen design | Tips | Dallas interior design

As with the rest of your home, it’s important to stick with a similar style and decor so that each room flows seamlessly into the next. You don’t want to combine an ultra contemporary kitchen with a super rustic living room with a mid-century modern office. Every space in your home should coordinate to tell the same story.

All those final touches

Whether you’re looking to spice things up in the kitchen or keep things simple, there are some finishes touches to consider.

Let’s start with other additional lighting in the room. If you have glass door cabinets, you might want to add lighting inside the cabinets, though not necessarily all of them, for a decorative touch. You can also add lighting at the base of the lower cabinets on the toe kick, which provides both design and function — aka seeing where you’re walking.

If you have an open concept kitchen, we often recommend glass pendants for lighting above the island. These are slightly or fully see-through and make a huge difference by making the room feel larger and avoiding blocking your view.

Tips to organize your kitchen | kitchen design | Dallas Designer | ML Interiors Group

Another fun thing to add is sconce lighting. These make great accents lights, especially over the sink or even over a prep area where you don’t have overhead cabinets.

If you’re lucky enough to have a double island kitchen, avoid the temptation to put pendants over both islands. It will look like you’re walking into a lighting store and make the space far too busy. Pick one island and stick with it.

The kitchen is a great place to make big, bold statements when it comes to lighting: Just make sure you’re not sacrificing design for function. If lighting is going to block the view, make the room feel smaller or simply feel out of place, then it’s not worth it.

One thing that is worth it? Hiring a designer to make this complex task of coordinating but not matching while also combining function with design a whole lot easier.

Kitchen Lighting Fixtures for Your Ceiling, Island, Table and Counters

Kitchen Lighting Fixtures for Your Ceiling, Island, Table and Counters

Layering isn’t just for your wardrobe. When it comes to choosing kitchen lighting fixtures, you must also think in layers. Lightbulb moment! You don’t have to get all matchy-matchy with your kitchen lighting -- even the metal finishes can be different. But you do have to coordinate styles. Let’s put it this way: The different light fixtures in your kitchen don’t need to be twins, but they should be sisters. We’re breaking down all the layers that go into creating kitchen lighting to make the space really feel like the hub of the home.

Lightbulb moment! You don’t have to get all matchy-matchy with your kitchen lighting -- even the metal finishes can be different. But you do have to coordinate styles. Let’s put it this way: The different light fixtures in your kitchen don’t need to be twins, but they should be sisters. We’re breaking down all the layers that go into creating kitchen lighting to make the space really feel like the hub of the home.From task lighting to functional and mood lighting, the kitchen enjoys a diverse set of fixtures because it is the hub of the home. We don’t just cook and eat there, we also entertain, pay bills, finish homework, play board games and more. Each area around the kitchen -- the ceiling, over the sink, under the cabinets -- needs a lighting solution. That means each layer of lighting provides a specific function.

From task lighting to functional and mood lighting, the kitchen enjoys a diverse set of fixtures because it is the hub of the home. We don’t just cook and eat there, we also entertain, pay bills, finish homework, play board games and more. Each area around the kitchen — the ceiling, over the sink, under the cabinets — needs a lighting solution. That means each layer of lighting provides a specific function.

Figuring out the right kitchen lighting isn’t about running to Home Depot and buying the exact same style of lights for the entire space. It’s about coordinating style in the kitchen and adjacent rooms, especially if you have an open-concept layout in your home.

Let’s dive into how to make your kitchen lighting functional and decorative without getting all matchy-matchy.

Different lighting solutions for your ceiling, island, table and countertops

If you thought onions had a lot of layers, just think about the kitchen when you break everything down. It’s a space for pretty much every task in the home, and you need the lighting to match.

For cooking, that means light and bright fixtures overhead, such as recessed can lights. This is the first layer you should look at when you start designing a space.

Tips for working with an interior designer | avoid disaster | ML Interiors Group | Dallas Interior Design

Next up, under-the-counter lighting for all that prepwork. You want to be able to see what you’re doing — and avoid cutting off a finger in the process.

Finally, there’s island lighting, which we typically consider to be more decorative but it’s also functional, allowing you to sit at the island to eat, pay your bills or help your kids with their homework.

And if you’re putting a light over your kitchen sink, the most important thing is to make sure you’re not obscuring the view, either of your guests or out the window.

We highly recommend putting each of these on their own switch and making all the switches dimmable. That will allow you to play with all three light sources whether you want to create a mood while entertaining or simply dim the lights while you eat your dinner.

Your kitchen light fixtures should coordinate, not match

When you’re picking out those decorative lights for your island, they must coordinate with any other lighting in eyesight, such as your eat-in breakfast area, adjacent dining room or even front entryway, depending on the layout of your home.

That doesn’t mean you should run out and buy five of the same pendant lights for all the spaces, or even buy the chandelier that is an exact match of your pendant fixture. It also doesn’t mean you need to match metals — shocker!

However, it does mean you need to choose similar styles. Let’s put it this way: They don’t need to be sisters, but they should be cousins. This is where hiring a designer can really help. We can coordinate lighting in your kitchen and other rooms while still keeping it interesting.

A well organized kitchen design | Tips | Dallas interior design

As with the rest of your home, it’s important to stick with a similar style and decor so that each room flows seamlessly into the next. You don’t want to combine an ultra contemporary kitchen with a super rustic living room with a mid-century modern office. Every space in your home should coordinate to tell the same story.

All those final touches

Whether you’re looking to spice things up in the kitchen or keep things simple, there are some finishes touches to consider.

Let’s start with other additional lighting in the room. If you have glass door cabinets, you might want to add lighting inside the cabinets, though not necessarily all of them, for a decorative touch. You can also add lighting at the base of the lower cabinets on the toe kick, which provides both design and function — aka seeing where you’re walking.

If you have an open concept kitchen, we often recommend glass pendants for lighting above the island. These are slightly or fully see-through and make a huge difference by making the room feel larger and avoiding blocking your view.

Tips to organize your kitchen | kitchen design | Dallas Designer | ML Interiors Group

Another fun thing to add is sconce lighting. These make great accents lights, especially over the sink or even over a prep area where you don’t have overhead cabinets.

If you’re lucky enough to have a double island kitchen, avoid the temptation to put pendants over both islands. It will look like you’re walking into a lighting store and make the space far too busy. Pick one island and stick with it.

The kitchen is a great place to make big, bold statements when it comes to lighting: Just make sure you’re not sacrificing design for function. If lighting is going to block the view, make the room feel smaller or simply feel out of place, then it’s not worth it.

One thing that is worth it? Hiring a designer to make this complex task of coordinating but not matching while also combining function with design a whole lot easier.

Bookshelves, Banquettes & Benches: Maximize Your Space with Built-ins

Maximize Your Space with Built-ins

Built-ins. Whether they’re bookshelves for additional storage or banquettes providing cozy kitchen seating, everyone loves the way they perfectly fit your room and style.

Thought all built-ins were the same? Think again. Whether you need a storage solution for your media room, more display space in your office or additional seating in your kitchen, built-ins can elevate a space from barely functional to fantastic, with a little design help of course.

Built-ins. Whether they’re bookshelves for additional storage or banquettes providing cozy kitchen seating, everyone loves the way they perfectly fit your room and style.How can you make built-in bookshelves and seating work for your home? It’s possible to get classic built-ins that are both gorgeous and versatile, but you have to put some thought -- and design! -- into it.

But how can you make built-in bookshelves and seating work for your home? It’s possible to get classic built-ins that are both gorgeous and versatile, but you have to put some thought — and design! — into it.

That’s why hiring a designer can be key — we can help you find that perfect stylish and fun design that will fit your space. And we can steer you clear of those times when you actually don’t need a built-in to complete your space (yes, it’s happened).

Game Room & Kids room decor with built-in entertainment center | Michelle Lynne Interiors Group | Dallas Interior Design
Remember, whatever custom solution you need built in to your space, it’s going to be there for, well, awhile and then some. So before you start building, find out what the problem is with the space. And for your own sanity, measure three times: There’s not exactly a lot of wiggle room — literally — to be off by a few tenths of an inch.

And no matter where your built-in is going, remember to think about electrical access. If your built-in is going to block outlets or light switches, you’re going to need to reroute those wires to make them functional. And if you’re designing a built-in entertainment center, then you absolutely need to think about how all those plugs and cords are going to work into the design!

Let’s breakdown all that built-ins have to offer and what you need to consider before getting one designed for your home.

How will built-in bookshelves help you improve the space?

The worst thing is installing glorious new built-ins only to realize they don’t fit your style or needs, at all. That happened with one of our clients in their office. A contractor installed lovely traditional shaker style built-in cabinets with a mix of closed storage and shelves, all painted white.The problem: The built-ins didn’t fit the client’s needs OR style preferences.

Not only did they not want a white traditional look, they also actually didn’t need storage in the office. To top it all off, they were placed in a corner of the room that made the office feel even more boxed in.

Essentially the client wanted a space in his office to display his collectibles and other cool stuff. Once we figured out he didn’t want a place to store things out of sight, we ripped out the brand new built-ins and created wood floating shelves with a nice dark stain that matched the desk and rest of the room.

Sophisticated and masculine home office design features open floating built-in shelves | Dallas based interior design firm, ML Interiors Group.| Includes mid century style desk, hide rug, and custom built in shelving.

And we actually found another use for part of the built-in bookcases for another space in the home. We repurposed the bottom half to use as storage where the clients actually needed storage — the media room. We also painted the existing built-in cabinets, to erase the white traditional look, and added a wood countertop to keep with the style of the (now-redesigned) home.

Built-in bookshelves: Not just for display and storage

Thought built-in bookshelves were relegated just to your media room or office? Think again.

Sometimes you need to think a little bit outside the box. Remember what we were talking about with determining what you need in a space? That can flow into any room in the house, including your bedroom or living room, and I’m not just talking about media storage.

One of our clients had two puny-looking white built-in bookshelves next to their large stone fireplace, which has a mounted TV. They didn’t match the style of the home, you couldn’t reach the top shelves and the glass shelves and mirrored just made the pieces feel even more dated. To be blunt: It just didn’t look right.

These clients weren’t searching for much storage or display in their living room — they needed more seating. They held large gatherings with friends and family and wanted to make sure there was room for everyone. So we took out those shelving units and created built-in benches and used old barn wood as a backdrop to give it a rustic feel that fit with the style of the home.

While you can’t see the TV from the benches, you can see the entire living room, allowing for tons of space when hosting parties, just sitting around and talking with all their friends, or simply cozying up to the fireplace to read a good book.

Built-in nightstands for additional storage

Another client had an awkward bedroom situation — of the architectural type.

Master bedroom includes custom built-in nightstands to maximize storage | ML Interiors Group | Dallas Interior Designer

The fireplace in the living room created a large bump out in the wall in the master bedroom with two equally as large and deep large openings on either side. The space with the bump out perfectly fit a king bed, but the two large openings made it difficult to find nightstands that fit the space well. They all ended up looking too small or too shallow and would have wasted space.

Enter built-in nightstands: We created custom pieces with bold hardware that perfectly fit each opening and matched the style of the rest of the room — and home.

Adding a banquette in the kitchen

Built-in banquettes are a great solution for adding seating — and potentially storage — to your kitchen. And they let you talk more easily around a table than at a bartop, where you have to look one way or the other while talking with multiple friends or family who have come over.

When we build banquettes, we often use a similar set-up: a large table, with the banquette taking up about half the space, followed by two or more chairs rounding out the seating on the other side. This also allows you to easily bring up other chairs from the dining room or kitchen if you need even more seating.

Built-in banquettes are a great solution for adding seating -- and potentially storage -- to your kitchen. And they let you talk more easily around a table than at a bartop, where you have to look one way or the other while talking with multiple friends or family who have come over. When we build banquettes, we often use a similar set-up: a large table, with the banquette taking up about half the space, followed by two or more chairs rounding out the seating on the other side. | ML Interiors Group, Dallas, TX

If you’re worried about all those red wine and spaghetti stains on your brand new built-in, there’s a solution for that, too: performance fabrics. These are stain-resistant fabrics made from a special thread that’s dyed all the way through instead of just the top layer.

And if you’re building a banquette against a wall, make sure it is professionally constructed and installed, especially if you’re placing it against a wall, where it needs to be anchored.

Looking to skip anchoring to the wall? Consider adding a banquette to the other side of a kitchen island. Plus, bonus! This gives you extra storage and counterspace as well as more seating.

When you shouldn’t add a built-in

As much as we love them, a built-in bookcase or banquette isn’t always a great idea.

For starters, if you think you might change the space in the future to a different function — don’t add built-ins. So if you’re thinking of turning that office into a dining room in the future, then you might want to pass on the built-in for a more easily movable furniture.

And secondly, just because you plan to use the space for the same need for years to come doesn’t mean that a built-in is the ideal solution. If you’re looking for more storage in a kitchen that already has ample cabinet space, extending a countertop to create a dry bar could look out of place.

One of our clients faced exactly this dilemma. They came to us with the idea of expanding their countertop and lower cabinets into a large, empty space along the wall. Instead, we recommended a wooden sideboard that leaves a little room on either side, breaking up the space slightly and relieving the issues of trying to match cabinets and countertops built years ago.

Want more great design tips? Don’t forget to sign up for our email list.

Bookshelves, Banquettes & Benches: Maximize Your Space with Built-ins

Maximize Your Space with Built-ins

Built-ins. Whether they’re bookshelves for additional storage or banquettes providing cozy kitchen seating, everyone loves the way they perfectly fit your room and style.

Thought all built-ins were the same? Think again. Whether you need a storage solution for your media room, more display space in your office or additional seating in your kitchen, built-ins can elevate a space from barely functional to fantastic, with a little design help of course.

Built-ins. Whether they’re bookshelves for additional storage or banquettes providing cozy kitchen seating, everyone loves the way they perfectly fit your room and style.How can you make built-in bookshelves and seating work for your home? It’s possible to get classic built-ins that are both gorgeous and versatile, but you have to put some thought -- and design! -- into it.

But how can you make built-in bookshelves and seating work for your home? It’s possible to get classic built-ins that are both gorgeous and versatile, but you have to put some thought — and design! — into it.

That’s why hiring a designer can be key — we can help you find that perfect stylish and fun design that will fit your space. And we can steer you clear of those times when you actually don’t need a built-in to complete your space (yes, it’s happened).

Game Room & Kids room decor with built-in entertainment center | Michelle Lynne Interiors Group | Dallas Interior Design
Remember, whatever custom solution you need built in to your space, it’s going to be there for, well, awhile and then some. So before you start building, find out what the problem is with the space. And for your own sanity, measure three times: There’s not exactly a lot of wiggle room — literally — to be off by a few tenths of an inch.

And no matter where your built-in is going, remember to think about electrical access. If your built-in is going to block outlets or light switches, you’re going to need to reroute those wires to make them functional. And if you’re designing a built-in entertainment center, then you absolutely need to think about how all those plugs and cords are going to work into the design!

Let’s breakdown all that built-ins have to offer and what you need to consider before getting one designed for your home.

How will built-in bookshelves help you improve the space?

The worst thing is installing glorious new built-ins only to realize they don’t fit your style or needs, at all. That happened with one of our clients in their office. A contractor installed lovely traditional shaker style built-in cabinets with a mix of closed storage and shelves, all painted white.The problem: The built-ins didn’t fit the client’s needs OR style preferences.

Not only did they not want a white traditional look, they also actually didn’t need storage in the office. To top it all off, they were placed in a corner of the room that made the office feel even more boxed in.

Essentially the client wanted a space in his office to display his collectibles and other cool stuff. Once we figured out he didn’t want a place to store things out of sight, we ripped out the brand new built-ins and created wood floating shelves with a nice dark stain that matched the desk and rest of the room.

Sophisticated and masculine home office design features open floating built-in shelves | Dallas based interior design firm, ML Interiors Group.| Includes mid century style desk, hide rug, and custom built in shelving.

And we actually found another use for part of the built-in bookcases for another space in the home. We repurposed the bottom half to use as storage where the clients actually needed storage — the media room. We also painted the existing built-in cabinets, to erase the white traditional look, and added a wood countertop to keep with the style of the (now-redesigned) home.

Built-in bookshelves: Not just for display and storage

Thought built-in bookshelves were relegated just to your media room or office? Think again.

Sometimes you need to think a little bit outside the box. Remember what we were talking about with determining what you need in a space? That can flow into any room in the house, including your bedroom or living room, and I’m not just talking about media storage.

One of our clients had two puny-looking white built-in bookshelves next to their large stone fireplace, which has a mounted TV. They didn’t match the style of the home, you couldn’t reach the top shelves and the glass shelves and mirrored just made the pieces feel even more dated. To be blunt: It just didn’t look right.

These clients weren’t searching for much storage or display in their living room — they needed more seating. They held large gatherings with friends and family and wanted to make sure there was room for everyone. So we took out those shelving units and created built-in benches and used old barn wood as a backdrop to give it a rustic feel that fit with the style of the home.

While you can’t see the TV from the benches, you can see the entire living room, allowing for tons of space when hosting parties, just sitting around and talking with all their friends, or simply cozying up to the fireplace to read a good book.

Built-in nightstands for additional storage

Another client had an awkward bedroom situation — of the architectural type.

Master bedroom includes custom built-in nightstands to maximize storage | ML Interiors Group | Dallas Interior Designer

The fireplace in the living room created a large bump out in the wall in the master bedroom with two equally as large and deep large openings on either side. The space with the bump out perfectly fit a king bed, but the two large openings made it difficult to find nightstands that fit the space well. They all ended up looking too small or too shallow and would have wasted space.

Enter built-in nightstands: We created custom pieces with bold hardware that perfectly fit each opening and matched the style of the rest of the room — and home.

Adding a banquette in the kitchen

Built-in banquettes are a great solution for adding seating — and potentially storage — to your kitchen. And they let you talk more easily around a table than at a bartop, where you have to look one way or the other while talking with multiple friends or family who have come over.

When we build banquettes, we often use a similar set-up: a large table, with the banquette taking up about half the space, followed by two or more chairs rounding out the seating on the other side. This also allows you to easily bring up other chairs from the dining room or kitchen if you need even more seating.

Built-in banquettes are a great solution for adding seating -- and potentially storage -- to your kitchen. And they let you talk more easily around a table than at a bartop, where you have to look one way or the other while talking with multiple friends or family who have come over. When we build banquettes, we often use a similar set-up: a large table, with the banquette taking up about half the space, followed by two or more chairs rounding out the seating on the other side. | ML Interiors Group, Dallas, TX

If you’re worried about all those red wine and spaghetti stains on your brand new built-in, there’s a solution for that, too: performance fabrics. These are stain-resistant fabrics made from a special thread that’s dyed all the way through instead of just the top layer.

And if you’re building a banquette against a wall, make sure it is professionally constructed and installed, especially if you’re placing it against a wall, where it needs to be anchored.

Looking to skip anchoring to the wall? Consider adding a banquette to the other side of a kitchen island. Plus, bonus! This gives you extra storage and counterspace as well as more seating.

When you shouldn’t add a built-in

As much as we love them, a built-in bookcase or banquette isn’t always a great idea.

For starters, if you think you might change the space in the future to a different function — don’t add built-ins. So if you’re thinking of turning that office into a dining room in the future, then you might want to pass on the built-in for a more easily movable furniture.

And secondly, just because you plan to use the space for the same need for years to come doesn’t mean that a built-in is the ideal solution. If you’re looking for more storage in a kitchen that already has ample cabinet space, extending a countertop to create a dry bar could look out of place.

One of our clients faced exactly this dilemma. They came to us with the idea of expanding their countertop and lower cabinets into a large, empty space along the wall. Instead, we recommended a wooden sideboard that leaves a little room on either side, breaking up the space slightly and relieving the issues of trying to match cabinets and countertops built years ago.

Want more great design tips? Don’t forget to sign up for our email list.

How to Stress Proof Your Home By Design

How to stress proof your home is a big promise, isn’t it? But it is something I believe is imperative for all of our well being. In these fast paced, overstimulating times, we all need a place we can go to unwind and decompress. And for most of us, that place is our home. Our tag line at ML Interiors Group is that we make homes happier and more efficient by design. We do this through a variety of ways, here are just a few:
Calming Colors

By utilizing colors that calm, rather than stimulate you, you will automatically provide a foundation for stress proofing your home. Many of our recent clients agree with our approach to creating a very neutral “base” color palette and layering in soothing tones. This holds true in any room of the house, from the kitchen to the bedroom design.

Calming colors create a soothing workspace for this busy kitchen | Dallas interior designer | ML Interiors Group | Kitchen design

Even the busiest of households and largest meal prep would be less stressful in this kitchen of soothing colors and textures.

Natural Light

Sunshine is a natural mood enhancer. You’ve heard of “Seasonal Affective Disorder“, right? This is a type of depressing that is linked to the seasons – especially the times of year that has a lack of sunshine. So imagine creating a home that allows for the opposite and invites the natural light inside. This is a great recipe for how to stress proof your home. Instead of adding heavy, layered window treatments, simply add light filtering options. And if you need privacy, add the retractable shades for use as needed.

Light and bright areas automatically increase feelings of happiness and will stress proof your space.

A light and bright sitting area adds a stress free retreat to your home.

Fabrics and Textures

Imagine your favorite jacket or sweater. Or even your favorite slippers – or pajamas. How do any of those selections make you feel? The weight is juuuust right, the softness is welcoming and cozy and you automatically feel less stressed. This can be applied to your home through upholstery selections, pillow fabrics, throw blankets, area rugs, window treatment materials, linen selections, various tiles and even organic accents.

Layers of texture can aid in stress proofing your home | Dallas interior designer, ML Interiors Group

Cozy throws and cushy pillows beside welcoming, textural seating next to the fireplace…talk about stress proofing your home.

Concealing Clutter

Y’all. I cannot be the only one who feels an increase in my blood pressure when I’m surrounded by a chaotic mess. And when I say you should conceal clutter, I don’t actually mean you should just keep the clutter behind closed doors. I mean you should Marie Kondo that stuff and THEN put it away. But if you don’t have time to edit through to pure joy, then edit it enough to fit into an organized space you can retrieve it from as needed. Entry chests, built in shelves, storage baskets and the like are a great place to create a stress proof plan for your clutter home.

Custom built in cabinets and dog house hides extra clutter | Master bedroom design | Dallas Interior Designer, Michelle Lynne | ML Interiors Group

Built in drawers and dog houses create order amongst chaos in this master bedroom.

House Plants

My mom always had house plants when we were growing up. I never understood WHY but as I’ve created homes for myself, they were just a natural addition based on the familiarity. And then with time, I recognized the calming effect they bring with them. LIVING plants have their own energy, which is very calming and stress reducing. Sounds woo woo, I know. But try putting a real plant in one room and a faux plant in another and see how it FEELS.

A live plant is always a good idea | Project Mockingbird Lane | Dallas interior design | ML Interiors Group | Highland Park, Texas

This living, breathing tree brings LIFE to the room.

So there ya have it. A few of our tried and true design practices to stress proof your home. Do you employ any (or all) of these details in your home? Anything you’d suggest? I’d love to hear!

Are you ready to discuss your own interior design or renovation project? Let’s schedule a time to “interview us”!  We have years of experience creating happier and more efficient homes and begin our process with a (free) in studio Meet & Greet. Contact the team at ML Interiors Group today at 972-248-4733 or via the website contact form. We offer interior design services in all of DFW and beyond.

How to Stress Proof Your Home By Design

How to stress proof your home is a big promise, isn’t it? But it is something I believe is imperative for all of our well being. In these fast paced, overstimulating times, we all need a place we can go to unwind and decompress. And for most of us, that place is our home. Our tag line at ML Interiors Group is that we make homes happier and more efficient by design. We do this through a variety of ways, here are just a few:
Calming Colors

By utilizing colors that calm, rather than stimulate you, you will automatically provide a foundation for stress proofing your home. Many of our recent clients agree with our approach to creating a very neutral “base” color palette and layering in soothing tones. This holds true in any room of the house, from the kitchen to the bedroom design.

Calming colors create a soothing workspace for this busy kitchen | Dallas interior designer | ML Interiors Group | Kitchen design

Even the busiest of households and largest meal prep would be less stressful in this kitchen of soothing colors and textures.

Natural Light

Sunshine is a natural mood enhancer. You’ve heard of “Seasonal Affective Disorder“, right? This is a type of depressing that is linked to the seasons – especially the times of year that has a lack of sunshine. So imagine creating a home that allows for the opposite and invites the natural light inside. This is a great recipe for how to stress proof your home. Instead of adding heavy, layered window treatments, simply add light filtering options. And if you need privacy, add the retractable shades for use as needed.

Light and bright areas automatically increase feelings of happiness and will stress proof your space.

A light and bright sitting area adds a stress free retreat to your home.

Fabrics and Textures

Imagine your favorite jacket or sweater. Or even your favorite slippers – or pajamas. How do any of those selections make you feel? The weight is juuuust right, the softness is welcoming and cozy and you automatically feel less stressed. This can be applied to your home through upholstery selections, pillow fabrics, throw blankets, area rugs, window treatment materials, linen selections, various tiles and even organic accents.

Layers of texture can aid in stress proofing your home | Dallas interior designer, ML Interiors Group

Cozy throws and cushy pillows beside welcoming, textural seating next to the fireplace…talk about stress proofing your home.

Concealing Clutter

Y’all. I cannot be the only one who feels an increase in my blood pressure when I’m surrounded by a chaotic mess. And when I say you should conceal clutter, I don’t actually mean you should just keep the clutter behind closed doors. I mean you should Marie Kondo that stuff and THEN put it away. But if you don’t have time to edit through to pure joy, then edit it enough to fit into an organized space you can retrieve it from as needed. Entry chests, built in shelves, storage baskets and the like are a great place to create a stress proof plan for your clutter home.

Custom built in cabinets and dog house hides extra clutter | Master bedroom design | Dallas Interior Designer, Michelle Lynne | ML Interiors Group

Built in drawers and dog houses create order amongst chaos in this master bedroom.

House Plants

My mom always had house plants when we were growing up. I never understood WHY but as I’ve created homes for myself, they were just a natural addition based on the familiarity. And then with time, I recognized the calming effect they bring with them. LIVING plants have their own energy, which is very calming and stress reducing. Sounds woo woo, I know. But try putting a real plant in one room and a faux plant in another and see how it FEELS.

A live plant is always a good idea | Project Mockingbird Lane | Dallas interior design | ML Interiors Group | Highland Park, Texas

This living, breathing tree brings LIFE to the room.

So there ya have it. A few of our tried and true design practices to stress proof your home. Do you employ any (or all) of these details in your home? Anything you’d suggest? I’d love to hear!

Are you ready to discuss your own interior design or renovation project? Let’s schedule a time to “interview us”!  We have years of experience creating happier and more efficient homes and begin our process with a (free) in studio Meet & Greet. Contact the team at ML Interiors Group today at 972-248-4733 or via the website contact form. We offer interior design services in all of DFW and beyond.

Setting Goals In the New Year Is a Bad Idea

What?! I’ll bet you’ve been seeing all sorts of goal setting and New Year’s resolutions all over social media for the past couple of weeks. What am I, crazy?!  To say that setting goals in the new year is a bad idea. Yep. And the rest of the year too.

Why goal setting in the new year is a bad idea | ML Interiors Group | Dallas Texas

 

Why? Because when you set goals, you limit yourself. You box yourself into that definition – what if you could have achieved MORE? Become an even better version of yourself? You’re also working in a state of under-achievement every step of the way until you hit that goal.

And if you’re setting lofty goals, there is also the chance you may not achieve them for whatever reason. Maybe you injure yourself and don’t finish the marathon you actually showed up to and ran the first 20 miles of. Or maybe you just stop going to the gym because you’re not seeing the results fast enough.

In any case, setting goals is a short term strategy. What we really want when we create our New Year’s resolutions (aka goals), is long lasting change. In order to do that, you need to create new habits and processes.

By not setting specific expectations, you’re always in a state of satisfaction, which in turn builds your confidence and fuels your productivity. Read that again. (Kinda “woo woo” but it’s true.) I spent quite a bit of time pondering this after writing this blog post at about this time last year.

So rather than goals, create intentions. Who do you want to be? What do you want to do? And then back into them with daily activity.

Instead of the popular goal of “I want to lose weight”, set the intention of “I live a healthy lifestyle” and then schedule the habit or process of daily exercise or movement – and weekly meal preparation.

Instead of the resolution of “I want to read more” or “I want to read X number of books this year”, set the intention of “I am a reader” and create time each day to read 20 pages.

By creating daily habits, accomplishing goals is a side effect. And THIS creates real and lasting change.