Happy New Year from Mary Etta Designs! I can’t believe that it is 2018. Seems like we were just talking Y2K. And now we are nearing the end of the second decade of this century. This note is to give you an update on reaching Consumer Support for Hunter Douglas. But first, I’d like to share a bit of news about Mary Etta Designs.
Many of you have been faithful clients of Mary Etta Designs over the years. And I would like to personally thank you for using us as your interior decorating company. Last year, Mary Etta Designs expanded quite a bit more from specializing in just custom window treatments into including more interior design consultation services. One new thing is Mary Etta is now a certified True Color Expert, trained in the specialty of undertones in color selections you use for your homes and offices.
Why is this important? Let’s look at one task of choosing a countertop. Should you choose a Carrara marble countertop in your kitchen, the undertones of the marble’s color will be a blue-gray.
Knowing that informs your choices in paint, flooring and many other choices you make in finishes. Granite countertops, on the other hand, takes color from the many different minerals that give each lode contains. Shopping for granite countertops, the range of colors and veining makes the task of matching the right shade and stone appearance to your design scheme not only fun, but very important.
Recently, Mary Etta Designs has rebranded as “Your Southern Gal in The SoCal.” I tell you why I chose this tagline and all of the services that I now offer to you on the attached information sheet on my company. Give me a call for interior decorating consultations and ask about my existing customers discount that is good until February 1, 2018.
Finally, I want to make sure that those of you who have purchased Hunter Douglas products from me through Costco will want to jot down the revised customer service number. I have gotten a few calls from those wanting to contact Hunter Douglas for parts and repairs. The new contact info for Consumer Support at Hunter Douglas is 1-800-789-0331. You can reach us for all your decorating and window treatments at our office number 714.340.3214.
How Hard Can It Be To Buy Draperies?
Anyone who has bought draperies knows that it is not as easy as it seems at first glance. How long and how wide is just the start of all of the things you need to consider when buying drapes for windows in your home. But admit it. How many of us have been disappointed at the outcome of drapes that we have bought at the store? There are a few things that you need to consider. Ask yourself, what are you trying to accomplish with draperies at your windows? Fabric at the window can really soften a room’s look from all of the hard surfaces. They can help to muffle sounds that echo from same such surfaces. Draperies that close completely can help darken a room and add to privacy. But how hard is it? Here are a few things you may not even know, or did know but forgot, about buying panels of draperies.
Fabric at the window can really soften a room’s look from all of the hard angles and surfaces. Valances need enough projection to allow for the draperies hardware under it. Typically add three inches of projection for each layer of window treatment. So if you have sheers underneath, they would be at a three inch projection. Then the drapes would be at six inches and the valance at nine inches.
Draperies, like carpeting in a room, help to muffle sounds that echo from outside and hard surfaces. If you like patterned fabrics, it helps to unify a design theme like the circle motif here.
Draperies that close completely can help darken a room and add to privacy. Sheers are great for diffusing the light during the day. For a better night’s sleep, use room darkening lining on over draperies.
Draperies are great for privacy. Ideally, If you will open and close draperies, they should be on a traversing rod or rings for easy open and close.
Puddled draperies lend elegance to a room. If you opt for puddled draperies to be hung at French doors or sliding doors, while elegant, they will need to be re-styled with each use. Better to have drapes just kiss the floor in this instance.
Layers are important for achieving a finished custom look. Obtaining a custom look takes planning and custom workmanship. For a custom look in window coverings, contact Mary Etta Designs for your custom window treatments including draperies. Southern California residents – email@example.com
I was approached recently by VoyageLA, a web-based magazine to have an article written about my interior decorating company. Technically, Orange County is not a part of Los Angeles. But honestly, we are so close (35 to 45 miles depending upon exact locations) that it is the best way for me to tell friends and family back east about where we’re located.
Of course, I was and still am flattered to be featured. VoyageLA is how Voyage Media got its start. With over a million page views about all things happening in Los Angeles, they spread their wings by using the same approach to publish info on other city centers. What made me say yes was how their approach to sharing info about the greater L.A. area read like a comfortable conversation.
That approach spoke to how I function at Mary Etta Designs. Mary Etta Designs is all about hospitality if you haven’t noticed. As your Southern Gal in the SoCal, the pineapple a sign of welcome and seen repeatedly in the southern states, is central to our logo. In case you missed our logo introduction earlier this year, I wrote about it here.
With permission from VoyageLA, I am reprinting our featured article in its entirety because it gives you a look at who I am and why I love being the owner of Mary Etta Designs Interiors. Enjoy!
Today we’d like to introduce you to Mary Etta McCurdy.
Mary Etta, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
Born in Georgia, raised in Cleveland Ohio, I now call Southern California my home. Living in Orange County with my husband, Al and our dog, Cocoa, I love the design aesthetic of places like Atlanta, New Orleans, Savannah and other southern cities. Just call me your “Southern Gal in the SoCal.”
I had a very large home that needed to be decorated and my friends and family loved my taste. I started helping my neighbors in Cincinnati, Ohio’s West Chester suburb decorate their homes back in 2000. I was so busy that I thought, “I need to start charging.” The one area that I noticed was most challenging for them was creating window treatments. So for many years, I concentrated on that. In the area’s colder climate, where you are inside for 9 months out of the year, window treatments are a focal point many times.
In 2003 we relocated to Orange County, CA and in a couple of years, I was up and designing again. But the recession and the end of a decade has moved me to shift my focus back to interior decorating and added color consultations as a secondary focus.
We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
My struggle was trying to fit into the California pared down design vibe that I thought was the only way I would succeed. I participated in trade shows, networked as the newbie in town. And I thought I would move my business in that direction. It was not working for me trying to fit my brand into a direction that my heart was not feeling. And then the recession plus internet shopping slowed me down. In fact, I worked for other companies for a few years.
But the clients that I serve are like me in many cases. They are either transplants from back east or baby boomers. We like our stuff! So I finally rebranded and am moving forward with a new look which includes the pineapple as a nod to southern hospitality.
So let’s switch gears a bit and go into the Mary Etta Designs story. Tell us more about the business.
My mission at Mary Etta Designs is to give your home a look and feel that is warm and welcoming. I feel very strongly that our homes are meant to rise up and welcome us.
And why not welcome everyone that we invite into our personal spaces? I love the approach to decorating often found in southern homes. Look at the great way that homes in the south use layers of textures, fabrics and color that are not too stuffy.
But you will find a feeling of casual elegance. I believe that living well is within everyone’s reach. Everyone has a budget that they need to stick to no matter the income level. My job is to help you live in casual elegance within your budget.
I use a timeless and classic approach to design. This approach allows my clients to have a newly decorated home that will not feel dated as trends come and go. Known as the window treatments experts among my peers, I am the only interior decorator in Orange County, CA that is known as Your Southern Gal in The SoCal.
Has luck played a meaningful role in your life and business?
Bad Luck = 1) a move from Ohio to a new state only 3 years after I started the firm.
2) Finally up and running in 2005 and right around the corner was the recession.
Good Luck = 1) Facebook Groups! Thank goodness that there are communities of interior decorators and designers to help keep our morale going, share info and continue to educate our clients that even though they have access to items on the internet, there is still a need for help from a professional. 2) As I geared back up to being a solo-preneur, I am now an empty nester. I have so much more time to focus on the business.
- Website: www.maryettainteriors.com and http://maryettadesignsinteriors.com
- Phone: 714.340.3214
- Email: Info@maryettadesigns.com
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/maryettadesigns/
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/MaryEttaDesignsWindowCoverings/
- Twitter: https://twitter.com/MaryEttaMc
- Yelp: https://www.yelp.com/biz/mary-etta-designs-yorba-linda
- Other: https://www.houzz.com/pro/maryettadesigns/__public
Color is back in interior design in a big way. Color undertones are everything when pulling off a color combination that is fun and polished. As a True Color Expert I am certified to see the difference in color undertones. It’s important when choosing paint colors, upholstery, cabinets or any element in your home. An undertone is the color underlying a color. What does that mean? Keep in mind that all colors start from the three primary colors of red, blue and yellow. The rainbow of colors are from combining different colors in different proportions. And that’s why there is always a color hiding beneath. The knockout living room in the home of Ali Wentworth and George Stephanopoulis (shown above), the walls have undertones of green-gray. In the beautiful bathroom pictured below, the cabinetry and wall color have a violet-gray undertone.
And contrary to the way that most people want to approach painting the inside of their home, paint is the last color you should pick. Start with your hard surfaces like counters, cabinets, flooring. Next, choose your upholstery, rugs, drape, and the like. And finally, you get to decide what colors go on the wall. Your paint color will cue off of the color and undertones of all these choices. Otherwise, you will be basing all of the other large purchasing decisions on the color and undertones of a paint color. That makes shopping for the bigger investment pieces a lot trickier.
light or dark color
When comparing colors to see if they work together, decide which color is in charge. The one that is darker will stand out more and usually rule the design. And darker does not mean a dark color, it just means that the darker of the two or three colors used in the room. The one with the most “mass” will draw the eye to it and make us pay attention. If the color undertone is a darker value of green for example, even if the two colors being compared are considered light green to the eye, one of them will appear darker.
cool or warm
If You have a Tuscan themed kitchen, you have warm color undertones in your cabinetry, flooring and counters. So, today is not the day to introduce a blue gray paint color to the mix. Are you changing out the warm woods of the cabinets or warm and muted tones of your floors and countertop to brighter colors? Great. Then grays and true whites will work well in your room. But if that is not the case, stick with warm color undertones. Your whites should be in the warmer cream colors and off whites.
clean or dirty
The current of trend using bright and fresh colors is a nod to the fresh and clean Parisian look. Knowing how to make this work is a matter of not mixing clean and dirty colors. Take a look at the picture labeled “clean” above. Those colors are bright, clean and not considered dirty, or muted.
The bright white backdrop of the walls and table make an excellent canvas for the clean, bright jewel colors in this room designed by southern California’s Jessica McClendon. The current gray trend makes an excellent backdrop to clean fresh colors.
help when you need it most
Do you need help getting started? Then our Design Consultations will get you going in the right direction. As a certified trained Marie Killiam True Color Expert, Mary Etta Designs uses larger paint samples to specifiy paint colors for the interior or exterior of you homes. This gives a truer read of what your colors will look like. And, we are there when you need help selecting furniture, fabrics, draperies, or finishes for any room.
Save Money: Hire An Interior Designer – Mary Etta Designs. Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For those of us who believe that our homes are our sanctuary, it matters a lot what home looks like. Home is where you go when work day is done. Home is where you can hide out from all the noise, the crazy and the busy parts of life. Home is a place of celebration. So, for us, home wears better clothes than we do at times.
It is for you that I write this blog post. Stop throwing your money away. What do I mean? Are you shocked at the amount that a sofa costs? Well, don’t be surprised when you are buying a new one every 5 years from a store like (fictitious) Breathing Places. If you plan on sitting on said sofa on a regular basis, you will need to replace it on a regular basis.
What we, as design professionals do, is help you find the right size, style and fabric in your upholstery piece that fits within your budget and function. One that is going to last long enough to get reupholstered maybe when you want it to have a different color.
Ok, maybe it’s not to the extreme of pulling two chairs together like the lady in the picture above. But you might be fighting over who gets to stretch out to watch TV and who has to make it work wherever they sit. Let’s say you need to make that purchase. It’s the weekend. After a long work week, weekend activities, and errands, the last thing you want is to hunt for the right sized sofa, pick out a durable and attractive fabric and still wonder if it will go with all of the other pieces in your home.
You’ve lost precious time, brain cells, rest you thought you would get in on your weekend off. And quite honestly, you’ve probably spent more money on a lesser quality product than you would with an interior designer. Our job as design professionals is to present you with the right proportioned pieces that coordinate with your style and will function for the purpose that you say that you want. You may as well save money: hire an interior designer.
weigh the tradeoff
When people learn that I decorate for a living, their eyes light up and they smile. And they say, “how fun!” I love what I do. But it is a job, a service that I provide for people who treasure their personal spaces. People trust that I will do the research for them. They trust me with finding a quality product that fits the bill to the best that their budget will allow. It is serious enough work when people trust that their hard-earned dollars will be spent and that the final effect is what we together determine that it will be. It is hard work. I gladly to my job so that you can do yours and not worry about the details until it is time for decisions to be made.
I save you time, angst over what works best, and where to find the pieces for the room you want to decorate. As a specialist in window treatments and interior decorating, I attend the same market shows on the west coast as well as High Point Market in North Carolina. This is where new pieces are being introduced to all buyers in the design world. I am right there with reps from furniture stores and other interior designers. It is my job to advise you on how far into the trend a color or metal finish is when you are ready to buy. It is my job to make sure that your home doesn’t look outdated as soon as you buy it. These are not everyday purchases so that is important to you.
save money: hire an interior designer
At Mary Etta Designs, we have a variety of ways that you can take advantage of our services. Do you need help getting started? Then our Design Consultations will get you going in the right direction. We recently introduced our new, online design consultation services so that we can help our clients who live anywhere in the country. As a certified trained Marie Killiam True Color Expert, Mary Etta specifies paint colors for the interior or exterior of you homes(on line or in person in the Orange County, California). And, if you need help selecting furniture, fabrics, draperies, or finishes for any room, that is an area in which we excel.
So Save Money: Hire An Interior Designer – Mary Etta Designs. Contact us at email@example.com. Or schedule a consultation on our online booking system here.
Southern Gal in SoCal
How do you like Mary Etta Designs’ new look? We have a new website and a new logo. Make sure you scoot on over to our re-vamped website. I can’t wait for you to see what new things we offer to you all. There’s a new service offering that allow you to get help from me no matter where you are in the world. We have joined the world of virtual design, or e-design, as it is more commonly know.
So what is the deal with the Pineapple? I’m so glad that you asked. I will explain in a moment. But first, many of you know that our family relocated here from Cincinnati, Ohio in 2003. Ohio is a Midwestern state in America. It’s northern border is mostly Lake Erie. Kentucky, West Virginia, and an itty bitty part of Indiana make up Ohio’s southern borders. That’s a lot of southern influence. In fact, when you land into what used to be called the Cincinnati Airport, you are not greeted as arriving at the Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport. The nearest city is actually Covington, Ky.
Cincinnati, is across the Ohio River, is sometimes referred to by locals as “up south”. The ‘Nati is loaded with southern charm. You will hear “yes sir” and “yes m’am” more often than not. And the very polite, “please?’ is not a request for a favor. It is a request for you to repeat yourself. And Cincinnati is where Mary Etta Designs was founded. And my aesthetic lends itself to the layered, (updated) traditional look of southern stylings. I wrote about my obsession with southern interior styling in this recent blog post.
Wrap around porches, all things monogramed, florals, all lend themselves to the southern aesthetic. The one constant among southern living is hospitality. If extended to you, friend or neighbor, it is genuine. So much so that the pineapple, a decorative symbol for hospitality, will very often be on display on a door, gate, or somewhere in the home. I decided that’s what Mary Etta Designs does for you, our clients. We create homes that welcome you and all who enter.
So the pineapple is the symbol of Mary Etta Designs’ new look. It fits with our new identity perfectly. Our mission is to help to make your home elegant, yet comfortable and inviting for you and any guests you wish to entertain. I believe that you can live elegantly and comfortably, right here in Southern California. Your home deserves a fresh new look. Contact Mary Etta Designs to get started. firstname.lastname@example.org. Your Southern Gal in The SoCal
This room is so beautiful that I had to include it. As the title promises, we’ll l cover 3 ways to hang draperies on angled windows. In the picture above I love the way the interior designer followed the angle of the ceiling. And I especially love how the window treatment is “outside of the box,” giving the room a designer touch.
Follow The Angle
Hanging draperies as high as possible looks best and it is especially true with angled windows. One rule of thumb is to have all drapery panels in a room at the same height. It is generally more pleasing. If an angled window is also on an angled wall, I like to follow that line like interior designer Jennifer Scully did here. Of course, that is breaking the rule above. But by using the same fabric, Jennifer makes it work beautifully here.
This soft treatment hits the right mood in a teen room. Easily changed out in the future, sheers are great when you follow the lines of an angled window. They don’t look too heavy in what is already an awkward window.
Think Outside of The Box
Of the 3 ways to cover angled windows, this is by far the most popular. Working with a square window is a lot easier than trying to get fabric to drape on an angle. But that doesn’t mean that those window treatments have to be boring. Look at how elegant these treatments look.
I love the way this tight area around the fireplace becomes a cozy space with the right decor. The draperies play a large part. This one of the 3 ways to cover angled windows is dictated by the lack of space on the side of the angled windows. And safety is a large factor with a fireplace. Keep fabrics at least ten inches away from the hearth.
Hang on Medallions
Medallions for hardware instead of drapery rod is a smartest way of the 3 ways to cover angled windows. Make sure that the drape is long enough to reach the desired length, but not too long, You don’t want excess fabric puddling on the floor. Custom is a good idea with this drapery treatment.
Whether you use medallions above or below the angled windows, you will get a designer look if done properly.
Angled Windows Got You Stumped?
Do you have a room that could use help with window treatments on an angled window? Draperies are our specialty. If you live in the Orange County, California area, schedule a consultation with Mary Etta Designs. Call 714 340-3214. We love to help.
How’d you like a free decorating consultation? Yes F-R-E-E. Pretty blooming May flowers are Mother Nature’s sweet reward after April showers. Mary Etta Designs wants reward you with a 30-minute free decorating consultation. All that you need to do is book an available time slot in May. All consultations are available by phone or in person. On location free decorating consultations are for those of you living in the immediate Orange County, California area. I want to gift you the start of something beautiful during the month of May. This would make a beautiful Mother’s Day Gift for that special Mom in your life.
Email Mary Etta Designs at email@example.com or call our office at 714-340-3214 and schedule your 30-minute FREE decorating consultation while slots for these appointments are still available.
This season, all you need are 5 Quick Decorating Updates to make your home feel brand new to you!
Ok, ok, that is pretty drastic. But it does happen. There is no better reason to update your home with things you already own than moving. In November, we moved to a smaller home. It was a great decision. But ooo wee, we had to get rid of a lot of our stuff. I was really excited to update my colors, furnishings and fabric. It’s no secret that my love of timeless southern styling in home decor is still alive and kicking. But a home refresh was way overdue.
2. Combine Room Furnishings
Our new home is smaller in square footage and in number of rooms. There isn’t a formal living room but there is a formal dining room. Like most of you, we only use both of these two rooms just a few times a year. We liked the idea of making the dining room into a living room since it is right off the entry. And, it’s a great place for our piano. The dining room table and most of the chairs are in storage for now. This easily made tip #2 of my 5 Quick Decorating Updates.
Did you notice in the picture above that the two chairs from the family room above are now in the living room? Maybe not, because they got a jolt of the color red. I love red and the move gave me a great excuse to play with this passionate ruby red fabric and with texture. The tone-on-tone rose pattern lends a touch of femininity without shouting floral pattern. Works wonders with the black baby grand. This is one of my favorite decorating tricks. You might remember the bar stools we updated with new upholstery last year. Combining the two rooms was a fun challenge. Thankfully the sofa (next to visit the re-upholstery doctor) is curved and was a little more forgiving of the tighter floor plan. Quality furniture pieces will last for years. Reupholsterd pieces that you love will update your home’s vibe.
Accessories are the sprinkles on top of my decorating sundae. Good design is timeless, functional and personal. I like to use books as one of my many accessories. They are very personal and let you re-live memories. Oh I don’t know. Maybe you can relive that time you attended an event and were fortunate to have the author who gave a talk autograph it for you. If you have a chance to pick up Ken Fulk’s Magical World book, you will delight in the imagery and fun of his design and events firm. Every design is a full on event!
5. Create Moments
One easy and quick update you can make is to carve out little spaces within your home where you can escape, if only mentally. Do you need a place to read, meditate, craft? Even when space is at a premium, there is a corner that can be found to “get away” in your moments that are special to you in your home.
Do you have ways that you like to update your home this time of year? Leave a comment and share with us your 5 quick decorating updates. I would love to hear about them. If you need help in updating your decor, contact Mary Etta Designs at firstname.lastname@example.org.
It’s confession time. Well, actually, to myself. Southern interiors are my obsession. When I say obsession, I mean like if my husband would agree, I would pack up and move to Atlanta or Charlotte, or Louisiana. Well, maybe not the bayou. Love their design, but I’m more of a southeastern girl. But I am totally obsessed with all things southern when it comes to interior design. Why? The homes in the southern regions of our country make me feel like I could walk right in and “set a spell.”
Just take a look at that antique chest in the picture above for starters. There is always a collected piece of furniture or two or three in every room. What I love about antique pieces is that they don’t always get stripped and refurbished to perfection. Southern interiors are collected over time or at least made to look that way. You get the hint that there is some heritage there. My husband’s great aunt would say, “Child this stuff is so old.” And I would just drool over the beautiful fine woods . The craftsmanship showed pride. Not typical of furniture you would get at a chain store or at the mall.
Every southern home that I’ve admired always has that guest room where the bed is perfectly made like this one shown in this picture from Leontine Linens designer fabric collection. The interior is always layered with colorful, yet tasteful, linens. Monograms and border details on the linen are usually what makes me feel like the host or hostess went to a lot of trouble just for me. And have you ever noticed that the dining room table is always set with a beautiful place setting? All. The. Time?
This foyer designed by Melissa Miles Rufty is a surprise in tradition all rolled into one. The antique chest and major art pieces on the gallery wall fulfill the expectations of a classic and traditional look. But the print on the corner banquette is an oversized fretwork pattern updates the look. And the of-the-moment lucite table is begging for you to “set a spell” and enjoy a mint julep.
Yes, wallpaper is back in a big way. Let’s be honest. We who love all things southern never really gave up on it. Tastefully done in a jewel of a room here and a powder room there, wallpaper is the perfect way to give character to an otherwise utilitarian space.
This bathroom by Dering Hall shows a beautiful damask wallpaper. The oversized scale in the pattern kicks a traditional look right into today’s fresh new style.
There is, more often than not, a wall of pictures showing cousins, uncles and aunts, grandmas and grandpas alongside various stages of the immediate family. Yep, it’s a bit folksy. It’s also nice to not forget your roots and all the people who make up your family tree. As you can see by the picture below, I absolutely love that.
If you are local to Orange County, California and are obsessed with Southern Interiors as much as I am, let’s talk. We would love to help you bring a touch of southern charm to your southern Cali home. Call Mary Etta Designs at 714 340-3214 or go here and contact us by email.