Bringing New Life to Home Improvement!
During these current times spending time in our home has become more than just a hobby. DIY is back in style for a second time around and what way to spend it than to bring life back into your home. Janice Burke and eye4design have their eyes on your next project; from refurbishing furniture to “on a budget” improvements – these girls have you covered.
What is eye4design? What services does the company provide? What is your pricing like?
eye4design is an interior decorating company which has been in business for 17 years. It’s now a two woman show having taken on an assistant – Carla. Our services include consultation, designing, custom building, sourcing, the purchasing of product, painting, installation, project managing and much more. We charge by the hour which allows the client to use our knowledge as much or as little as they wish.
What’s your favorite part about working with existing pieces?
I like to use what our clients already have and add or take away where necessary. Quite often it is a case of repositioning furniture or pairing pieces pulled from other rooms in the house. Also rehanging art. We have become known for art hanging in recent years.
Any top tips you can provide for the DIY’ers at home?
Whilst doing it yourself at home can be a fun project, if you want the end product to look really good, let a professional help guide you. Since I started my company, I have met so many amazing tradesmen and women that I do say that you get what you pay for. If you want something done properly use the skills of a tradesperson. However, if you really want to have a go yourself, having the right tools for the job is a must.
Where do you recommend people go searching for inspiration when it comes to making changes?
Back in the day when we were able to travel to different places in the world, I would find inspiration from just about everything I was surrounded by. As we are now more in close contact with our WiFi, Pinterest always has great inspirations and you can follow eye4design on Facebook and Instagram to see what we are up to.
What are some common mistakes someone might make when trying to refurbish their furniture?
I would say using the wrong materials and not understanding what your furniture is made of. Some inexpensive pieces are made of materials not much sturdier than thick cardboard! In any case I would suggest solid wood pieces that are made well.
Do you have a predefined design style or are you able to design based on an individual clients’ aesthetic aspirations?
I design based on individual clients by listening to them and getting to understand what they are looking for. It’s their home and they need to love what they choose and not necessarily what I choose, although if I have a strong opinion on something, I will let that be known. I do encourage my clients to be honest with me and speak up if the direction I am heading is not what they want.
How does your interior design process work?
During the consultation I like to look how my clients live in order to understand what they are trying to achieve within their space. From there we make a plan to move forward. No two projects are ever the same which is why it is impossible to ‘quote’ for a job. Some clients readily admit they don’t have a single decorative bone in their body and need me to make all the decisions, and others have the pieces but don’t know how to pull it all together and that’s where I help.
What type of pieces should people save that could be transformed, before throwing them out?
Couches and chairs are built to last; and if not too old have strong bones to withstand rejuvenation. Invariably it is just as expensive or more so, to upholster a piece of furniture. However, the benefits are that you can choose your own fabric, texture or colour, which may enhance your room significantly. A well-made couch can return the favor by giving you another 15 years of comfort. The same goes for occasional furniture pieces that are made well, such as dressers, small tables, lamps and interestingly shaped chairs. It’s amazing what you can find at the dump!
Do you provide you services for individuals living in a rented property? And if so, what can you do to refresh their spaces without violating the terms of the lease?
Yes, I do! I encourage renters to invest, somewhat, into their space. I feel it is important to be happy in your home, I mean after all our homes should be our sanctuaries, especially in today’s climate. If a renter is not allowed to break away from the standard white walls, rooms can be brightened with colourful curtains, textured blinds, rugs, throw pillows and art, all of which can be taken with you if you end up moving.
What are some of the things that an individual should splurge on? And what are the ones they should save on?
Hmmmm, comfortable seating is a must, and I urge clients to sit on a new couch or chair or dining chair before committing to it. Neither items have to be expensive but comfort is key. If you insist on ordering from a website, be sure you read the specs on the furniture and understand what they are telling you. Look at the depth and height of the seat and what the seat material is made up of. As far as splurging… high on my list are feather throw pillows and art that speaks to you. Art should be a collection of pieces that move you for any reason at all. Money can be saved on the soft furnishings such as area rugs, curtains or blinds and throw pillows.
What is the first thing someone should think about before redesigning a home?
Budget, budget, budget. If working with an architect, understanding door and window placements and how your furniture will fit is essential. A common mistake is to buy the wrong size furniture for the space.
What are the essential tools one needs to refurbish their furniture?
Imagination, paint striper, sandpaper, paint and paint brushes. The shows on the TV make it look easy, but it isn’t as easy as it looks. Using a good paint stripper and primer can make all the difference. Doing some research on the products available in local paint shop and asking the experts could point you in the right direction.