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design tips


Design Trend | Black and Gold

If this black and gold kitchen doesn't make your jaw drop like it does ours, this trend just might not be for you. But, here at Whitestone Design Group, this Design Trend has snagged our attention and we don't foresee this trend going anywhere soon. Black and Gold will be huge in 2018.

Kitchen Designed by Fox Group Construction 

Kitchen Designed by Fox Group Construction 

The black and gold design trend is a versatile color combinations that lends itself to a lot of different design styles and is capable of making your home look and feel exclusive. Black and gold is generally identified as a luxurious color combination, and its certainly setting the bar when it comes to interior decor at the moment. With the presence of black and gold in your space, your home will most definitely gain a unique look that is sure to distinguish it from others. The two colors together are perfect for creating wonderful sense of an elevated interior.

Below, we will highlight to you some of the reasons why the combination of the two colors is taking over and making waves in the Design Industry as one of the hottest trends for 2018. 


If you ask interior designer about what it is that black and gold colors bring to their work, the answer would be: Fabulousness!  The two colors combined together to bring a touch of elegance to a space. The colors can be used together exclusively or in addition to other colors when decorating a room to give it a vintage style vibe and can be utilized with furniture and accessories to exude that "Art Deco" feel seamlessly.  Farmhouse, you got it!  Modern, black and gold can be added with ease.  It's that perfect color duo that works with all design styles and rarely disappoints. 

Who doesn’t love a little bit of luxury? Everyone wants to have the feeling that they can buy whatever, whenever. Using a color combination that has been frequently found in palaces and high-income homes is a no brainer when attempting to achieve that "life of luxury" look you might just be going for.  Add a little... Add a lot!  How far are you willing to push your style?! 

As seen in Designed by Carlene and Michael 

As seen in Designed by Carlene and Michael 

Home Appliances and Utilities

Using the colors black and gold to decorate the powder room or a master bath, for example, makes it look entirely different from 2017 dominate design trend of an all-white lavatory. Some of our favorite examples of how impactful the color trend is has been in kitchens and, of course, bathrooms. Who knew bathrooms could be so exciting?!  There really are no limits to the use of these colors.

Furniture and Accessories

If you have taken a good look at the homes that make people stop and stare lately, we're noticing that it's the furniture and decor that really makes it stand out. Especially in neighborhoods where the homes are starting to use the same floor plans and construction materials. Using the two colors – black and gold – in a combination seems to bring out the value and quality of the furniture.  The two colors are timeless and definitely make one heck of a DIY project.  The same thing goes for accessories.  Gold accessories have been nudging their way in for awhile, but the combination is fresh and new.  In our opinion, every room looks better with a bit of black.

What are your thoughts?  Is this trend for you?  Could you make the black and gold design trend work in your home, even if just in a small way?   Share your projects with us!  We'd love to see them and share how our readers are making moves in the 2018 Design Trend that we are crushing on! 

Happy Designing! 

Whitestone Design Group Team 





At some point in the middle of cooking your family dinner, you may decide that you hate your kitchen.  Perhaps nothing seems right in your dining room anymore?  Or maybe it's your formal sitting area that has your mind churning.  Hell, perhaps you should embark on total renovation your entire house!  I mean, what is the worst that can happen? Nothing can surprise you at his point. Right? 

Well, before you go swinging the sledgehammer, there are some unexpected things which may occur during a renovation.  While a renovation can do your home a lot of good, going through the process of remodeling might not be awesome every step of the way.  We would like to provide you with a little insight to a few things that might make you a little uncomfortable here and there, while giving you the confidence that you can do it! 

1. Your regular day-to-day life will be disrupted

While the construction team may not be around all the time, keep in mind that renovating the house is a 24-hour contract. You would have to deal with the noise of saws and hammers by day and by night suffer in the hands of saw-dust and bear the emptiness of the house.

The disruption to your life might not be limited to the areas with all the appliances. Planning on renovating the master bath? You’ll have to find somewhere else to sleep.

2. It could get messy

If you are an extremely neat person, this might be your worst nightmare yet. The dust, coupled with the disorderliness of everything could consistently strike a nerve. Your contractor might be extremely careful, but you should know that covering your floors won’t be enough to keep the place clean. The extremely small particles would become air-borne and get attached to everything in the house.

Storing clothes in a sealed plastic bag far away from the site is extremely helpful. You also need to be prepared to clean every area of your house after the construction.  We generally recommend figuring a professional cleaning service into your overall budget. It's well worth the cost! 

3.  Prepare to be stressed out

You might not be doing any heavy lifting of your own, but there's a strong possibility you will be exhausted mentally and physically. You will be worried about deadlines, cost of the renovation. And remember this: while your contractor might do all the work, you are still in charge of making all the decisions if you aren't working with a professional designer or architect - from something as imperative as the type of flooring to a seemingly mundane one as the color of the paint.  

4. Its cost might surpass your expectations

You surely will have a price estimate before the work begins, and a reputable contractor would try stick as close as possible to the estimate. But you should be prepared for the worst when budgeting for a renovation project.  Beware of being infatuated with several features which were not part of the initial plan.  

Or you might even decide to change your mind when something is finished, and you don’t fancy it like you thought you would. Then you go ahead and “spend more” to get another one done. To prevent being overwhelmed financially, a backup amount should be available beyond the estimate. Or extremely cautious planning should be done.  Here at Whitestone Design Group, we factor in a 15-20% contingency cost depending on the scope of the project.  So, if you're going it alone, try to keep that number in mind. 

WSDG - BLOG | What to expect during a renovation

Renovating your home is something we urge you to be fully prepared for.  While it may seem like a tedious process, you feel it’s worth when you see the project come together. It’s like seeing a painting which only existed in your mind finally come to life!  You’re creating a life you love just for you when you renovate.  Here at Whitestone Design Group, we say “You can do it!” with full conviction, and we are here to help if you have questions. 

Happy Designing,

Whitestone Design Group Team 







As a professional Interior Designer, when I start a project with a new client that already has a furnished home, I almost inevitably get asked, "What should I do with all my old stuff?"  I often give a long sigh because I personally know how overwhelming it can be to have a room full of furniture that you no longer need, but feel your heart break thinking of just setting it out at the end of your driveway with a "FREE" sign on top of it.  I mean, even if it was starter furniture or pieces that worked great in your old home that just don't fit into your new space its nice to get something for your past life furniture and decor! Now, if its a beer stained, cat scratched, POS you've had since your fraternity days, the street corner will do just fine. 

As I've been digging through each room, storage space, and you know... Those nooks and crannies that things just seem to pile up in, I realize that same position my clients are always in. Therefore, I get to do exactly what I advise my clients to do... Craigslist that shizz.  And yep, it is, in fact a daunting task.  I know that in order to get it done successfully and profitably, you do have to be committed to doing it right.  So, I thought this would be an excellent time to share some of my best tips with you! 


1. Take EXCELLENT photos. Seems lame, right?  You're getting rid of it!  It's possibly even hanging out in your garage or storage shed, but dusting that bad boy off and putting it in some good lighting will pay off in the end.  I like the make sure the items look "staged."  Think of a home being staged in order to get top dollar.  Your furniture or decor items will do best if you treat them the same way. 

2. Give great detail. Don't hesitate to be wordy.  You can mention where and when you bought it, but avoid mentioning what you paid for it.  I find that it often backfires, so I avoid it all together.  I always think its a great idea to let people know why you're selling it too. All to often, people assume that items are broken, damaged, or undesirable if you're selling it.  My coffee table looks like a death trap for my new tiny human, so I put that simple detail in my posting so that people can relate and assume that if I didn't have a little one running around, I'd be happy to keep it! 

3. Be HONEST.  Don't get yourself into trouble by saying that your item is in great condition thinking you'll get more bang for your buck.  You'll probably have to deal with a lot more potential buyers and wind up being disappointed with zero cash in hand.  People should wind up knowing exactly what they'll be getting when they arrive so that the price is already finalized before they arrive.  No surprises please! 

4. Keywords! Keywords! Keywords!  Think of the words that your potential buyer is going to be looking for.  Vintage. Retro. Mid Century. Rustic. Tufted. Drexel. West Elm. DWR.  Think about what makes the piece noteworthy and throw it in BOTH your title and body of your listing.  You can search for keywords on Google pertaining to your particular item if you're creativity just isn't working on that particular day.  

5. Create a "Garage Sale" feel in your posting.  I like to list the other items that I'm selling in each individual posting!  Why not, right?  If someone is in the market for an end table and coffee table and they see that I do have both in the same posting, I may have just sold two pieces much easier than all the items individually.   After I do my write up on the item that I'm listing, I'll but a note at the bottom that says something like this, "Also selling, matching vintage nightstand, two West Elm Ottomans, Brass Schoolhouse Electric Lamp, and a glass top contemporary coffee table."  People can search you as the seller and then see all the items that you're selling.  

6. Price Fairly. Yes, people are going to try to negotiate with  you, but that doesn't mean you should start your price so high that you don't get a single hit.  Take a quick peek at what others are selling similar items at and price accordingly.  If you feel your item should sell at a higher dollar mark, just be sure to share why its priced higher.  

7. Delivery.  Obviously, if you're willing to deliver, it helps A LOT.  But, to be honest, I don't do that anymore as my vehicle size has shrunk! 

8. Posting Time.  My most successful time to post is on Friday evenings.  When people are willing to run around on the weekend to look at items or pick them up, they are generally the most available on the weekends.  So, Friday when people are getting home from work or Saturday mornings when they might be feeling fresh is the time to make your move.  

9. Be Clear.  If YOU'RE only available on the weekends, say so.  If you only want cash, share that info.  It often helps to weed out scammers anyway.  Let your potential buyers know what your expectations are for having the item(s) off your hands.  If you don't feel like dealing with a bunch of emails, you can be straight forward and let people know that only serious calls welcomed.  

10. Lastly and most important. BE SAFE.  I only allow people to come pick up large items from me when my husband is home.  Even if I'm meeting someone on neutral ground (very public place), I bring someone with me.  Call me paranoid, but better safe than sorry.  

Now that I've gathered up quite a few of the items I'm looking to sell, I'll be making a big Craigslist Ad this weekend.  Here is an example of what one of my post will look like. 


  •  faux velvet chairs
  • armless
  • tufted
  • brown fabric
  • dark brown legs
  • 28" wide x 28" deep x 30" tall 
  • $100

I bought these two chairs about 5 years ago from Target when I was living in a smaller apartment.  I've loved them and they have moved with me between 4 homes now!  I have decided that it is now time for me to get a pair of chairs that have arms since the scale will suit my current living room more appropriately.  They are a really nice dark, chocolate brown and the fabric is super soft to the touch.  I have two dogs now, but they have spent a lot of time without pets or children and therefore are in great condition! I've always paired them with a mid-century sofa, but they also have a classic feel too. I'm only selling them as a set and am only willing to take cash.  Their replacements will be here within two weeks, so I'm looking to have them gone before hand.  

I am also selling 2 nightstands, 2 gourd lamps, 1 gold lamp, 2 coffee tables (1 contemporary and 1 rustic), 2 large area rugs and a baby changing tray. 

Keywords - pair, tufted, mid-century, armless, small-scale, apartment furniture

Hope you find some of these tips helpful! To read more about my Mission to Minimalism, click here.

Happy Designing!