What Does a Professional Interior Designer Do?

Certainly, your home means a lot to you. It’s your haven, it’s where you recharge from your hectic and busy live. This is why interior design is so important to quality of life. But if you haven’t worked with an experienced professional designer, it may be hard to understand what they bring to the table.

Unclear Expectations

Potential clients often come in with vague ideas from HGTV about what a designer can do for their home. They envision a gorgeous end product, but have no idea how to get there. They also don’t know what challenges they can expect to encounter along the way. People just know they need help in moving forward with their projects—whether it’s to add a wine cellar, evaluate a major kitchen remodel, or completely reorient their home with new furnishings. They’re often relieved to learn the many ways a professional designer is there to serve their spoken and unspoken needs. Clients are pleasantly surprised because their designer totally “has their back”.

Professional Interior Designers Do So Much More

Past clients know that hiring an Interior Designer is about so much more than the pleasing end product. Your designer is your personal representative to the contractor and architect, the manufacturer and vendor. So, it’s also about the entire process–an interior designer can save your sanity and keep you calm.

The American Society of Interior Designers has written up a partial “shopping list” of services that gives you an idea of the range of what designers do daily:

  • Lifestyle appraisal
  • Identification of design priorities
  • Interpretation of your vision within your budget
  • Style guidance and fashion forecasting
  • Spousal negotiation (no small thing)
  • Spatial planning and “flow” for your specific needs
  • Product knowledge, especially new directions
  • Advice on what is Timeless vs. Trendy
  • Budget management and financial considerations
  • Sourcing and purchasing experience
  • Product performance knowledge
  • Value comparisons—the education part
  • Recommendations of suppliers and vendors
  • Troubleshooting experience
  • Contractor communication (aka translation)
  • Color concept and materials selection
  • Furniture, fabric and pattern selection
  • Ability to identify a quality investment
  • Knowledge of antiques and art
  • Shipping and delivery coordination
  • Installation supervision and follow up
  • Save you time by ensuring fast project completion

An interior design project can be a delightful collaborative adventure, and the professional interior designer is the guide who makes the process a success. Above all, they show up for you in the details of decision making and managing processes. There is so much more that professional interior designers do besides design.

Comparison: Wood Choices for Your Remodel

When you’re planning a remodel in your home, it becomes time to make a lot of choices about materials.

Within a few days or weeks, you may have to decide on flooring, counters, tile, sinks, paint finishes. It can be overwhelming. And one thing that makes it even harder is when you’re asked to choose between versions of something and you don’t know what the differences are.

Wood is one of the materials that almost always comes up. And there are three basic options that may be offered for floors, counters, cabinets and even table tops. Your wood choices include Solid wood, Wood Veneer, and Manufactured Hardwood.

Solid Wood

  • Expands and shrinks with humidity changes
  • Highly variable appearance and texture, which may be a pro or a con to you, depending on intended use. The appearance of grain changes and knots may be just what you’re looking for
  • Not as uniform as other options
  • Allows you to choose from unlimited stain and finish options
  • Usually the highest price option
  • A timelessly classic option
  • Can require stripping and refinishing periodically

Wood Veneer

  • This as actually solid wood, but just at the surface. It doesn’t have structural integrity like solid wood, so there will be particle board or other materials behind it
  • Veneers come in a range of qualities, like everything else. Some veneers are top-of-the-line.
  • Some of the most spectacular wood grains are chosen for veneers, so when you’re looking for a large quantity of exotic wood grain, this is a good choice.
  • High quality veneer is durable and long lasting

Manufactured Hardwood

  • Also known as Engineered Hardwood, this is strategically build to outperform plain wood by doing a better job in certain situations.
  • Is made of several layers, always with wood as the top and bottom layers. It can actually be a combination of veneer outer layer and solid wood core
  • The inner layers may be plywood, high-density fiberboard or occasionally hardwood.
  • Costs less that solid hardwood and handles moisture better

How to Decide Between Wood Choices

Of course, aesthetics will be something you consider when choosing materials for your remodeling project. Other factors should include how often the wood will be exposed to moisture, humidity changes, abrasion, and how much you’re willing to put into care and maintenance.

In the end wood, hardwood and engineered hardwood can look identical—just with natural variation and interest in the knots and  grains. The big difference is that in engineered, there is a ¼ (more or less) thick layer of wood that runs in one grain direction on top of the base plywood that runs at the opposite grain which makes the engineered wood more stable, but you cannot sand it more than about three times.  Solid hardwood can theoretically be sanded more times, but the current practice of nailing the solid wood about ¼” down, you can’t sand below that nailed layer either, so it’s about the same as engineered.

These days, I think that engineered is usually the way to go. You don’t have the same potential for warpage over the years. If you need help deciding what’s best for your home, the help of a professional interior designer can ensure you make a wise choice.


How to Make a Truly Luxurious Bed

Your bed is your “spot”. Your home is your safe place, and your bed in your safe place within that. Who wouldn’t want their bed to phenomenally welcoming?

What Makes a Luxury Bed

When a person decides to make their bed into a gorgeous, luxurious oasis, where do they start? Most people’s minds turn immediately to pillows- lots of pillows. But that’s not the right start. Take a moment to think about it: what is the purpose of a sumptuous, indulgent bed?

It’s not just to look at. It’s to sleep in, even more so. For maximum comfort, you need to consider touch. Here are some tips for creating maximum comfort:

  • Go for 600 thread count sheets for that silky touch
  • Long-staple cotton is what you want. This means the fibres used to create the thread are longer and smoother. The touchable difference is notable
  • Your arms should touch nothing in a different texture than your body, to minimize tactile input- so match your duvet cover texture to your sheets
  • If your mattress could be more comfortable, you can add a mattress pad to fine-tune the feel
  • A lightweight down or synthetic comforter is ideal for weightless warmth
  • If you prefer a weighted or heavy blanket, pick the most breathable one you can

The Basic Components of Your Ideal Bed

If you don’t love your bed frame or mattress, this might be the right time to replace them with ones you love. If you are sticking with the foundations of your bed (frame, mattress), then here’s what else you’ll want:

Standard Pillowcases, Flat and Fitted Sheets

Italian bedding is known to be well made, and Egyptian cotton is always top quality. Keep in mind the guidelines: 600 thread count and long-staple fiber cotton. Long staple Egyptian cotton is the fiber used in Italian, Swiss, and fine French linens. Many American luxury lines are using it as well. You’ll be using these sheets for a while, so don’t hesitate to buy the best. This is the texture you’ll feel the most falling asleep and waking up.

Eurosham Pillows

Have at least as many euroshams as sleepers, and pillows to fill them. These are the pillows you’ll prop yourself up with to read, so choose pillows with the right firmness for leaning into. On a queen bed, I might have two Euro shams, but I use three to go all the way across a King bed.

Standard Pillows

One or two standard sized pillows per sleeper, only as many are used in a night’s sleep. There is nothing luxurious about having to throw your pillows on the floor to fit in the bed.

Choose your sleeping pillows by the comfort they afford you. Some people love buckwheat, some love goose down, some love a slippery synthetic fiber. Don’t be afraid to get different pillows for different sleepers. Once in the pillow case, they’ll look similar enough, or if the sleeping pillows look quite different, you can put the euroshams on top of them when making the bed.

Sleeping pillows should always be covered with a pillow protector under the pillowcase.

Your Warmth Layer

A light, fluffy comforter, family quilt, or weighted breathable blanket is for keeping you warm and cozy, and also affects the look of your bed. You can often see how lofty a comforter is by looking at the bed, so keep this in mind when choosing. If the blanket you choose doesn’t have the fluffy look you want, there are still ways to create a cozy look.

Washable Duvet Cover

A washable duvet cover fits over your warm comforter or blanket, keeping it clean, allowing you to match your sheet texture, and giving that airy, lofted look to your bed. The fabric quality you choose for this matters just as much as your sheets. If your silky fabric looks more smooth than you like, choose a quilted, ruched, or pleated cover.


If the legs of your bed frame aren’t worth looking at, a tailored bedskirt solves your problem. Never leave boring or ugly legs exposed under your otherwise luxurious bed. 90% amazing is too close to quit!

Accent Pillow?

This list is on the basic components of your ideal bed, so guess what? An accent pillow doesn’t belong on this list. Unless it’s really important to you. Accent pillows on couches and chairs make themselves handy for positioning and comfort, but in a bed they aren’t needed for anything. I do like a single long kidney pillow or roll on a bed—it can tie other fabrics in, but I like it as a lower back support when I’m sitting up in bed.

Other Luxurious Bed Considerations


What color you bed is won’t effect how it feels to lie in it, to your skin. But it might affect how it feels, emotionally.

  • White is always a wise choice, because it feels “clean” to the mind. Not just simple and easy, but also literally cleanly.
  • For maximum luxury, you can choose gold or silver.
  • Don’t choose lots of different colors to use together, it can drain all the relaxing feelings right out of your bed. Go monochromatic or close to it.


An opulent bed invariably has a headboard. Selecting a headboard is a bit outside the scope of this article, but if you already have one you like, keep it clean and show it off. If you dislike what you have, you can drape a luxurious fur or beautiful throw blanket over it and prop up your pillows against it until you find the right headboard for your room.

Throw Blankets

A throw blanket at the foot of your bed isn’t necessary, but some people find them handy. Throw blankets can also be used to soften the look of a bed, or tie it in to the rest of the room visually. Choose your throw blanket carefully, if it doesn’t look cohesive with the rest of the bedding, it can make your bed look smaller.

Creating the bed of your dreams is easiest when you know what you’re looking for. It can take some time to locate all the ingredients for your sleepy haven. Enlisting the help of an interior designer can be priceless for finding the right quality of materials, many of which can be hard to find for the general public.

How to Place an Area Rug

People like rugs. They add color, texture, and personality to a room. They protect flooring, both hard floors and carpets, and they help identify areas of a space. The seating area, the food preparation area, the walkway, etc. But putting a beautiful rug in your home is not as intuitive as you may think. Many people end up with rugs in odd places, that make little sense, seem a bit off, or even trip their guests.

Luckily, rug placement confusion is preventable! Here are some tips to keep in mind that can help you make your home more beautiful, more welcoming, and more functional.

Don’t Find a Place for That Rug, Seek a Rug for That Place.

This detail will change your experience. If you decide where an area rug is needed, what size and shape it should be, and what color or texture you’re going for, you’ll have a much better time than if you come home with a new rug and look for a place to put it.

You’ll pick out a totally different textile when you know that you want to create soft cushioning underfoot than when you know your goal is to simply add color. Start with a plan, and find the rug that meets your goals.

How Big Should Your Area Rug Be?

The key is the rug must completely cover the areas where people often walk and where their feet usually are when they sit. And the edges of the rug should be out of these areas as much as possible.

Seating Areas

Well, there’s more than one way to do this. For maximum coziness, the rug should have all feet to all furnishings on it, or if you’re using the rug to “zone” or create a space in an open floor plan. No table legs or chair feet should have trouble fitting. Whether going for cozy, or zoning, the goal with all the furnishings on the rug is to create an intimate or contained feeling.

For more of an “open air” sort of feeling, just put the front legs of all seating on the rug, and leave the rear legs on the main flooring. This also makes the seating area more approachable, and people will actually feel less like they’re interrupting others or entering a new space when they approach this.

Sometimes when the room is very small a large area rug would be overwhelming. You can experiment with rugs that fit partially under the table, and only the front legs of any seats. Round rugs can be good for this use: they can provide padding and floor protection where people sit, but not take up much visual space.

When you’re working with two chairs or two couches, you need to give mind to symmetry. This isn’t as important with three, or with one of each. Don’t put one couch more or less on the rug than the other. This never ends up feeling comfortable.

Halls, Walkways, and “Runner” Rugs

People often use “runner” rugs or long, thin rugs in hallways and places where foot traffic passes in a predictable straight line often. This is a great plan, for your body and for your floors.

Kitchen & Dining

The place in front of the kitchen sink is a bit fluid- in same cases a runner next to the counter makes perfect sense. Sometimes it makes the room seem smaller, or an edge cuts through where people walk other common paths, and you’d do better with a larger rectangle rug.

Dining room rugs must extend fully under all dining room chairs, and stay under all the legs when they’re pulled away from the table. All 4 feet of a dining chair must stay on the rug. You need about 2-2.5 feet behind each chair when it’s pushed in, so the rug has to be about 5 ft wider than the table.  And make sure that the path people walk behind chairs isn’t interrupted by a rug edge, for safety’s sake.


Even though you never walk under your bed, it is much better to put a big rug under the bed that leaves a “U” shaped rug area where you walk than to lay two or three runners next to your bed. Or you can put two rectangular or round rugs where your feet hit the ground in the morning. There may be other areas in your bedroom you’d like an area rug- perhaps to designate your dressing area with a chair and a mirror, or at your make-up bench and mirror. Don’t go too small with rugs in these areas, let them be large enough to define the space- within the rug is the dressing area, outside of the rug is not.

Hopefully this short guide gives you a solid understanding of how to make rug placement decisions. If you need expert help making decor decisions, or finding just the right piece to compliment your home, don’t hesitate to contact Robineve Interiors.

How to Preserve Interior Design in Your Home

If you’ve worked with a quality interior designer, you probably found that your home was breathtakingly true to your wants and needs when the adventure was done. As the sun set on your remodeling project or home styling, you were left with just the right features, the ambiance you’ve always wanted, and that homey feeling only felt in sweet dreamings before.

Six months or six years later, it may not feel quite as much like your fantasy home. Why? It can be expected that living in a home slowly changes it, items are added or subtracted from the room, houseplants mature and spread, bulbs go out and are replaced. But if you set the right habits, you can keep your home design alive and fresh, instead of letting it deteriorate or morph into something else.


Keep it Clutter-Free

There are many strategies for keeping your counters and surfaces from accumulating clutter. Chances are that all the odds-n-ends that end up in the chair by the door or on the table actually have places they belong. Put them there. If it’s too much of a hassle to put your daily stuff (like mail, your jacket, or your bag) where they go, change where they go. In finding a proper and convenient place for things, your designer has probably already set you up for success. If you’re not sure, ask them for advice that allows you to control accumulation of stuff, without damaging the aesthetic of your home.


Return to Home

No, I don’t mean for YOU to return to home. Return your furnishings and belongings to where they’re intended to be after any “shake-up” to your layout. You can think of it like “resetting” your home after moving furniture, having guests, or hosting special occasions. It makes sense to add folding chairs or move things around while there are extra people in your house. It does not make sense to leave things in these new places. Don’t forget a stack of folding chairs in the corner for a month. The same goes for changes to your wall art make to accommodate holiday decor or any other departure from the design you planned and executed so well with your designer.


Remember Why

When making changes, be mindful of your original intentions. If your vision for your dining space was calm and centered, maybe you should not add an angry shark sculpture ? If your music room is intended to celebrate music and family, it’s not the place for your model car collection. Unless they are musical model cars or you build them as a family! Even that is a bit questionable.

The idea here is to not place things anywhere because they exist and there is space. Look at the rooms in your home and how you want to feel in each room. What is each room for and what you think of while there? You will have already looked at all this with your interior designer, so you should have a good idea what the purpose of each room is. Make sure any changes to the room are not changes to the purpose, unless your values have changed and you don’t want the same kind of space you used to.


Be Mindful of Details

Now consider not why things are in a room, but how things are presented in a room. Specifically colors and textures. It may make perfect sense to have a bench in the room. It does not make equal sense to have a soft upholstered, embroidered bench or a wrought iron and wood bench. They do the same thing, but not at all in the same way.

If you’ve intentionally created a soft, warm place, slowly adding in cool, sharp objects and images will erode your intended ambiance. You’ll end up with a mish-mash of soothing and exciting, calming and motivating details. This particular aspect of design is very specialized, a mix of psychology and art. Most people can tell when something is wrong, but not be able to pinpoint it like an interior designer can. If needed, send pictures to your designer and ask for help before making any changes.


To preserve the feel and function of your home, consult with a professional before big decisions. At Robineve Interiors we pride ourselves on setting up clients for success and keeping supportive relationships. For help with your remodeling, downsizing, or other interior needs, contact us today.

Making Your Home Multigenerational


Making your household multigenerational is fairly straightforward: have multiple generations live together in the home. Sometimes younger homeowners invite their parents or in-laws move in. Sometimes older homeowners want to age in place and have their kids and grandkids move in with them. About 50 million Americans currently live in multigenerational households.

But multiple generations often live in a home that isn’t ready for multigenerational living. Every day having to work around the problems and challenges of a home that works against the family instead of with them. Having a home that doesn’t facilitate multigenerational life doesn’t mean that you have to either deal with it or move. You can make changes that create greater harmony for the whole family.

Creating the Right Space for Multigenerational Living

The key to making a space multigenerational is Universal Design. This is design that is meant to be useful for as close to everyone as possible. Most homes are designed for able-bodied adults only, making them inconvenient or even hazardous to children and those with mobility challenges.


Top Projects to Make a Home Welcoming to the Whole Family:


multigenerational design, accessible living,
The shower, beyond the glass partitian, can be entered and exited freely.

Curbless Showers

Many showers in our homes are either mounted over a bathtub, or have a lip or edge you must step over to get into the shower area. That’s not the only way to have a shower, though. By installing a curbless shower, you make it easier for a person with a low step or using a wheelchair or walker to enter and leave the washing area. The whole bathroom won’t get wet, and shower users will be safer and more independent. Just one curbless shower in the home, preferably attached to the bedroom of the person who uses it, can make a huge difference.


Wider Passageways

The standard with doorways and halls in most homes can accommodate a wheelchair or walker, as long as nothing else is placed in the way and the person passing through is alone and a skilled driver. No deep pictures on the walls, no umbrella stand.

Widening, or building wide, passageways creates an easier to navigate home for everyone, not just older users and those with small children.


The First Floor Should Meet All of a Person’s Needs

Some members of the family may find stairs to be more than they can handle some days. Some people aren’t equipped to scale stairways at all. Parents of young children can find climbing stairs with kids on hips more than they want to do. The second floor and above are great places for additional bedrooms and social spaces, but the first floor of a home should meet the basic needs of life: kitchen, restroom, an accessible bedroom, and some social space.


Independent Temperature Controls

There are many reasons that different family members may feel most comfortable at different temperatures. One way to increase household harmony is to let each person spend their time in a climate that feels right for them. You just set upper and lower limits and then everyone can adjust within that range as they wish.


Being Aware of Height

At least one restroom and the kitchen should have lower counter heights. Children and people with wheelchairs can use this level, as well as standing adults. Having this lower counter area ready before kids grow into it or parents start using a chair can make independent life easier on both groups.


multigenerational living, design, interior design, remodeling
Door handles like these allow any user to open a door more easily.

Installing Easy to Use Hardware

You can switch door hardware for handles that you rotate with a hand around a flat handle. They’re much easier to use than doorknobs! You can also fit sinks with knobs that are easier to use, and give cabinets more ergonomic handles too. The ways our hands interact with handles, knobs, and other hardware don’t affect the healthy and young as much as other people. Putting in hardware that is ergonomically fitting and allows users to operate them with the larger muscles of the arm instead of the small muscles of the hands is a big step towards making daily activities more enjoyable for older generations.


Safety Details

This includes rounded corners on tables and counters. No unframed glass table tops (which can be invisible at times), and removal of any other tripping or collision hazard. Where there are children this can include cabinet and drawer locks, and keeping electrical outlets covered or using outlet plugs. The best time to eliminate dangers is before an accident happens.


Universal and Multigenerational design are more complex and nuanced than this article can fully address. Hopefully the basics of making a home comfortable for different generations can get you think. For help making your home multigenerational, contact Robineve Interiors today.


Creating a Focal Point in Your Home

Every home has walls, floors, ceilings, furniture. But not every home has been put together in a way that there are focal points in the spaces. Mastering creating a focal point can bring your home from “this is pleasant” to a sincere “Wow!”.

Whatever focal point you choose, it becomes the star of the room. People’s eyes will gravitate to it. The room will feel more connected and purposeful, and inevitably more beautiful.

What Should Your Focus Be?

You can select something already present to use as a focal point, or supply your own. A highlight waiting to be discovered might be a vaulted ceiling, a fireplace, unique window, another architectural feature, or a stunning view.

In the absence of already-present things to focus on, or if you have something you like even more, you can bring your own focal point. This could be a painting, a sculpture or other art, a musical instrument, statement furniture, or an accent wall. It’s really up to you, as long as the object you choose is worth looking at!

There can only be one focal point in a space, so choose wisely. And remember that however else you direct attention to it, you must always consider lighting. The most beautiful object in the world is unremarkable when nestled in shadows.

A few ways to create something as a focal point are:

creating a focal point with color

Focus Using Isolation

Your focal point piece of art may be the only piece in the whole room, or on it’s own wall. The window you want to bring attention to may have no window coverings and nothing blocking the view, but be fully exposed. The vase you’re highlighting may be the only thing on a large table. There are many ways to isolate your focal point, and it’s all going to depend on what the focus is and how it fits in the room.

Use Scale to Your Advantage

If your item is on the larger side, you can use smaller objects around it to increase its perceived size. Slightly smaller chairs and table tops, or perhaps drastically smaller framed photos. If you have control over the size of your focal point, like choosing between a grand piano and a baby grand, go big if there’s room for it.

You can also bring attention to something very small by isolating it and surrounding it with large items, like a tiny painting in a large matted frame. This is much harder to make pleasing, and should only be attempted for truly compelling tiny focuses.

Color to Boost a Focal Point

Your central focus will look extra striking and majestic if you use color to direct eyes to it. You can create an environment where your focus is the only thing in the room of its color, even with nothing of similar colors to be found near. If you have a bright red painting, consider banishing all other warm colors from the room, or limiting them to things no larger than an apple.

Or you can choose a color from the object and use that like you would use a neutral color, on large or small objects. The color you pull from the object can be an exact match, or a tint or shade of the same hue.

For help creating the dramatically beautiful home you deserve, contact Robineve Interiors today.

Save Time and Money Planning Your Remodeling Project

When and how to use an interior designer is something that isn’t common knowledge. Many people think that you call in a designer at the end of a project for finishing touches- deciding where to put a mirror and what colors to paint walls.

You can benefit from a designer during the last phase of a project. But you’ve missed the greatest opportunity to benefit from a designer’s knowledge and skills. Designers don’t simply decorate a space to make it appealing. They also design spaces- plan them- engineer elements to work together so that ergonomics are safe, spaces are accessible, and elements are optimally functional. And to do all of this they bring immense knowledge and resources.

Designers Keep Costs Under Control

An interior designer knows what costs to expect for materials and labor, knows what things are worth, and where to get the best value, and the highest alignment between your goals, budget, and results. A designer’s goals are to keep you in your budget, get you the most design for the buck, save you time and open your eyes to solutions you may have never seen.

An experienced interior designer can also see a space in-process and envision the final product far better than most of us. Almost like they can see how things will look before they’re done. This allows them to head off potential problems that you wouldn’t have anticipated, saving you time and money. A change made early on cost far less than one made later in the process.

Interior Designers can often use ready-made or easily sourced materials that are in common use, but create a custom-looking, unique space with personality way beyond the cookie-cutter look they’re often used in. This in itself can create a large savings during a remodeling project.

They See The Whole Picture

When left to make all our own remodeling decisions, we often consider price, how things look, and maybe whether measurements fit in the space. One valuable contribution of an interior designer, especially one with Universal Design focus like Robineve Cole, is focus on usability. How things work, how human bodies interact with them, and what the space will be like in use will never be overlooked.

Many unfortunate homeowners have found that once their project is done it works well but looks bad, or looks great but doesn’t work so well at all. A good contractor helps, while most contractors will execute whatever vision you provide them with, few are design experts. The specific design knowledge helps harmonize form and function.

remodeling project, interior designer, kitchen design, bath remodel

A Designer’s Resources Extend Far

With the many resources of a designer, there are ways to achieve your goals that you wouldn’t have otherwise realized. Custom options, semi-custom options, or little-known products, techniques, or suppliers. Designers have access to a wealth of materials that extends far beyond what many contractors usually work with.

One of the greatest resources of an interior designer is their mind. The way they understand the space and see options. They’ll arrive at suggestions that you’d never have come up with on your own. Maybe soothing, energy-efficient lighting or hidden storage solutions to create a better final outcome? Often a designer will solve problems you didn’t even know you had because you’ve grown accustomed to the burden.
Choosing the best layout and materials to provide the functionality and appearance you’re looking for.

Let Your Interior Designer Create a Smoother Experience

The guidance and supervision of an interior designer means an experienced expert is overseeing your remodel process. Each individual upgrade, installation, or replacement is part of the larger budget, larger timeline, larger result. Your interior designer will ensure all the parts fit together properly or action is taken if they don’t.

Interior Designers will have relationships with the best contractors, subcontractors and vendors in the business. In this way, they serve as a hub for all the professionals involved to coordinate efforts and communicate. This also means you’ll be connected to reliable contractors. If something goes awry, your designer can probably find the person, materials, or equipment needed quickly and easily.

Get guidance for your upcoming remodeling project. Contact Robineve Interiors today to see if the help of an interior designer is what you need.

How to Choose Kitchen Cabinets

Cabinets are the skeleton of a kitchen. Appliances and other features are worked into the cabinetry, which is the basis of the room. Counters sit on top of cabinets. Microwaves, dishwashers, and other tools of life are worked into the flow of cabinetry. Cabinets are so important because they are the storage, which kitchens thrive on. You must store food, cooking tools, cleaning supplies, and so much more. Cabinets make this work for you gracefully and beautifully.

2 different kitchen cabinet styles, choosing kitchen cabinetry
On the left we have Boxed Framed Overlay Shaker style — probably the most popular style right now. On the right is Frameless Overlay — with a sort of transitional look.

They also absorb the bulk of a budget during a kitchen remodel. Cabinets are not replaced frequently, and your choices will be with you a long time. This is why it’s so important to think through your choices, why you’re choosing them, and what you need your cabinets to do for you and anyone else in the home.

Doing a Refresh

Occasionally during a kitchen remodel people find that their cabinetry is arranged just how they want it, is sturdy and in good shape. When all that needs to change is how your cabinets look, you can do a refresh on them. This is either refinishing or replacing doors and drawer fronts and installing new hardware to create the welcoming kitchen look you desire.

Whole New Cabinets

When your cabinetry is either the wrong dimensions, in the wrong place, aging, or built in a way that doesn’t serve you well, new cabinets are the only way to go. When choosing new cabinets you have your choice of custom, semi-custom and stock cabinetry.

Stock cabinetry can be a perfect answer in many kitchens, but not all of them. Working with a good interior designer can help you decide. A talented designer can often find a stock option that fits your needs. There are, of course, occasions that the available stock cabinets just aren’t what you need. Then semi-custom and custom options became important, and having a talented designer that understands your needs becomes even more important.

Deciding on style

You’ll have to consider what construction type and door style you prefer.

Inset framed Mission style or Arts & Crafts style. This is very popular with Berkeley and Oakland Hills architecture.
Inset framed Mission style or Arts & Crafts style. This is very popular with Berkeley and Oakland Hills architecture.

Framed Cabinets have a front frame around them, creating a lip at the front edge of the cabinet opening. The door attaches to the frame, which itself attaches to the cabinet’s walls or edges. These are most popular in traditional kitchens. Traditional-overlay doors cover some of the frame on framed cabinets, full-overlay doors cover the entire cabinet frame and inset doors sit inside the cabinet frame.

Full overlay Frameless Euro style kitchen cabinets
These are Full overlay Frameless Euro style cabinets, which give a very clean look.

Frameless Cabinets, or European-style cabinets, have no front frame. The door attaches directly to the side of the cabinet. Frameless cabinets are common in contemporary kitchens. Without the front frame there is more open access to the cabinet interior. When installing frameless cabinets, you can have full-overlay doors or inset doors.

Make it Functional

Pull-out lipped shelves for pots and pans, oversized drawers for baking sheets and designated cabinets for pull-out trash and recycling are some ways you can make your space highly functional. Accessories like lazy Susans, built-in spice racks, drawer organizers and other extras make the kitchen easy to use and forgiving on your body.

Base cabinets are the most important functionally, while hanging wall cabinets are often the sacrifice for aesthetic features like windows and dramatic backsplashes. Although you may find base cabinets without hanging cabinets above, it’s very rare to find hanging cabinets over an empty space. Hanging cabinets can be more important in a house where someone is tall or finds bending over more difficult.

More and more lower cabinets are using drawers, because they make storage more accessible. Ergonomically, drawers bring contents out to you rather than you having to bend over and dig to find your wok or strainer.


Hardware is the finishing touch. Pulls, handles, and knobs give the drawers and cabinets the personality and feel you want in your kitchen. They come in a variety of materials, shapes, sizes, and looks. This is a chance to express yourself.

2018 NARI Bay Area Remodeling Awards

On April 11th 2018 at EQ3 in San Francisco CA, Robineve Cole was proud to receive a 2017 NARI Bay Area Remodeling Award. This honor is  fondly known as a “Remmie Award”.

NARI is the National Association of the Remodeling Industry, and they sponsor the awards. Local awards are the Remmies (a remodeling award). NARI National is in all 50 states, and offers regional awards as well as a national CotY (Contractor of the Year) award.

Achievement Awards recognize outstanding achievements by an individual, company, or NARI chapter because of their work to promote or enhance professional remodeling.


Previous NARI Awards

Robineve has previously won Remmie awards from NARI in 2014, 2016, and 2017  for projects done in Livermore and Piedmont.

he won the 2104 Contractor of the Year Award in the interstate Southwest Region. More impressively, she then won the CotY, or Contractor of the Year Award, from NARI National. She received the National award in New Orleans.

This year Robineve won a Remmie for the Best interior remodeling from East and North Bay and San Francisco, priced from 75-150K.

remodeling award presentation event
John Cole of JC Architecture, Robineve Cole, and Gary Collins of Windows and Beyond. This team worked together on this year’s CotY project.

As an Interior Designer, Robineve is often involved in remodeling projects. She makes an impression in the remodeling community as a source for high quality and highly functional design. Robineve brings professionalism that fosters great working relationships.

NARI Bay Area Remodeling Award presentation
Chris Cook of Cooke Kitchen and Bath with Robineve Cole, at NARI East Bay

Here at Robineve Interiors, we delight in receiving awards. We’re so proud of the work that has gone into earning it. As Robineve continues to use her artful eye and design skill, maybe the future will hold more recognition. We certainly hope so.

If you’re planning a remodel or not sure about what to do next with your home, contact Robineve Interiors for expert help.


Photos credits to Alexandra Malek for Drew Altizer Photography.