By Kalen Mehlman
Owner of Kalen’s Place Interior Design

Q. What should I look for when hiring an interior designer?
A. “Initial Consultations” with an interior designer or two is a key element in determining which designer is right for the scope, style, and size of your project. Finding someone that quickly understands your home’s aesthetic, honors the budget you’re working within, and is competent in how to create or add to what you currently have is essential. That person should be intuitive to your style, needs/wants, and direction. As the client, you should feel comfortable communicating what you’re wanting to do within your home and have full confidence this professional is willing and capable to move forward in that direction.
Q. How can I make updates to my home without doing a complete design overhaul?
A. Many times, people feel that in order to “update” their home, they need to start from scratch. Rest assured…this is not the case! There are simple ways to incorporate fresh, trendy design elements without spending a fortune while still keeping with the aesthetic of the home and reusing or respacing well-loved pieces. As an interior designer, I’ve worked with numerous clients wanting to update areas of their homes in phases. This allows us to focus on one space in the home, create a plan/budget, and move forward with that specific area. Then on to the next… I have been lucky enough to work with many of my clients for years, simply updating when time and budget permit.
Q. How can I get the greatest impact with my budget?
A. As an interior designer, my goal is to be as resourceful for my clients as possible. Finding unique places to shop that offer quality and interesting pieces for those on a budget is one of my priorities.

There are many local shops such as Home Goods, Cost Plus World Market, Target, Ikea, home boutiques and vintage stores that offer an extraordinary scope of trendy, budget-friendly, and interesting items. You can also find a wealth of online design sources such as Wayfair, Joss & Main, Amazon, Lulu & Georgia and Dot & Bo. Currently “home design” is in the market forefront which means that these businesses primary focus is on providing the trendiest and most updated home fashions out there.
Q. What are simple ways to update on a budget?
A. When it comes to simple home updates I often recommend finding new rugs, various textured/patterned pillows, fresh paint colors, or reupholstering chairs and/or sofas. Creating a gallery wall by simply printing either favorite family photos or downloading interesting images is also a unique and budget-friendly way to add visual interest to your home. Change out your lighting with a new table lamp or two…or even a new, funky chandelier. Stop off at a vintage store and see what they currently have displayed. Plants (real or fake) are one of the most popular design trends currently. Most local and online shops are regularly offering seasonal or holiday discounts, free shipping, and offers for adding yourself to an email list. Keep your eyes open for those opportunities.