Most Frequently Asked Design-Related Questions

Posted by Megan Keisling on Jul 29, 2014 9:00:00 AM


Over the years from working with many clients and many different projects, we tend to get many of the same questions. Clients tend to have common questions related to design selections they need to make or how to arrange, style, or choose various furnishings.


We have compiled a list of all the most frequently asked questions in case you, too, might be asking the same thing in the near future.


Are there granite slabs available that are not speckled or have lots of movement/variation?

The answer is yes. While quite a few granite slabs have that speckled look or have a busy pattern, that's not the case for all. The names will vary among suppliers but Absolute Black with a honed finish, Mont Blanc, Sea Pearl and White Macabus are just a few slab options that offer a more solid or 'swirl like' design.


Is marble a good countertop material to use in a kitchen?

Marble is a great material to use for most rooms but isn't the most ideal for kitchens and bathrooms. As we mentioned in our countertop materials 101 post, marble is porous and can stain, scratch and etch if exposed to acidic materials, although it will etch less if honed. Spills need to be cleaned up quickly. Because of that, using it in your kitchen might not be the most ideal choice. Granite or engineered stone are good alternatives for this space.

Should I stain or paint the trim/moldings?

Deciding whether to paint or stain is really a personal preference. Both treatments can look beautiful. Stain-grade wood is more expensive than paint-grade and the expense should be considered before deciding which treatment to use. In most of our design projects, we typically paint the trim and moldings.


What paint finish should I use for my walls?

While most people think there's only flat and high-gloss paint, there are actually several wall paint finish options, each with unique qualities and benefits. We prefer eggshell because it doesn't have a very high sheen but is very cleanable and has a fresh look. Be on the lookout for an entire post dedicated to paint finishes to help you make the right selections for each room in your home!

Can you mix wood finishes?

The answer is yes. Mixing wood finishes in your home is completely fine. However, we recommend limiting your wood tones to two or three complementary tones to begin with. Adding more is still an option, but typically it's best to limit it to a few. Mixing wood tones and finishes can add a lot of texture to a space and make it more interesting so don't be afraid to mix it up a bit.


How do I know how big of a light fixture is appropriate for a room?

There is a general formula to follow when trying to determine the appropriate fixture size. Take the length of the room and add the width {both in feet} and that gets the diameter needed for the fixture in inches. From there you can plus or minus four inches for a little wiggle room. This can vary depending on the type of room and floor plan, but it's a great place to start.

How high should I hang my artwork?

How high you hang your wall decor will depend greatly on ceiling height, size of the piece, and the like.  But, there is a handy formula that we tend to go by. Start by dividing your artwork into thirds. The line dividing the bottom and middle third should be hung at about eye level. This typically ensures you aren't hanging your artwork too high or too low.


Can you place furniture half on and half off a rug?

The answer is yes, absolutely. You can either place part of your furniture on a rug with the rest hanging off, all the furniture on, or all the furniture off. Having furniture cover part of the rug will prevent tripping on the rug edge, but all the above options are suitable. The size and shape of the room and the type of furnishings you have will dictate what will work best.

If you've ever wondered or asked these same questions, hopefully this helps give you some guidance in order to make some of those tough design decisions.

For more in-depth information regarding some of these topics, be sure to check out some of our previous posts regarding space planning, paint colors, and countertop materials as well as selecting rugs, artwork, and lighting

Have a question that hasn't been answered? Shoot us an email at so we can look to answer in a future post. 

Photos by: Rachael Boling

Topics: interior design

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