taking down walls – open plan living

what you need to consider before we take down any walls.  our design concept’s foundation is based the client’s envisioned use of their home. we assess the home’s division of public and private spaces. in recent years, builders have shifted the public space to floor plans that provide “great room” living which combines the kitchen, family and an informal eating area in some cases the formal dining room is kept while the formal living room has been eliminated. the private spaces are still compartmentalized into separate smaller rooms.

Herbeck007we have found it quite common to design open plan spaces for our remodeling projects and it is unusual for clients to require the opposite. when considering the positives of an open plan – expansive, airy spaces flooded with natural light; increased connection to the outdoors; communal use for all who dwell in the home, one must also consider the negatives – lack of privacy; lack of walls for storage or display; cooking smells and the integration of activities which may occur at the time same – cooking, reading, homework, playing games and television viewing.


remodeling is a collaborative effort between the client, the contractor and ourselves. we look at each floor plan and begin with our analysis of the home’s orientation to the harsh arizona sun and the impact and degree of natural light. from there the client’s needs as to how they want to use their home will lead us to the best concept based on the client’s lifestyle. we inspire the client to explore multi-use for rooms that would ordinarily be single purpose…dining rooms do not always have to be dining rooms, the same for separate living rooms. we will discuss that topic in future posts.

if you have questions or comments, please write to terry at terry@harrisonherbeck.com.

why hire a designer

you want to change your interior. what’s so hard about picking some paint, some tile and maybe a new light fixture? it should be simple, yet it isn’t. you look at pictures and think you know what you want. you want to be sure that the materials selected perform as expected and you want to stay on budget.

hiring a professional will ensure you don’t make costly mistakes. together you will develop a design concept that is tailored to your vision and budget.


before and after

a great designer will inspire you to move outside your comfort zone, look at your environment and utilization of your home’s interior space differently. at the end of the process your new space will enhance your life in ways you never imagined.

interior color palette

you are at the paint store looking at the hundreds of options for painting your interiors. you are tired of those brown walls…white walls…gray walls….yellow walls…blue walls….why does your neighbor’s home look so much better? you leave more confused than ever. how do you pick the perfect color?

begin by analyzing the natural light. what is the home’s orientation to the sun? does your flooring absorb the light…reflect the light? do you want your furniture to contrast or blend with the walls? you can manipulate your space and cause furnishings and art work to recede or advance depending upon the background colors.

a designer trick is to use a monochromatic color palette by beginning with one color and then lightening or darkening that particular shade. if you have a favorite art piece, pick a bold color from it and use that color in solid pops of color for pillows, drapery, area rugs, throws and accessories.

shades of white and off-white is the emerging trend for 2016. don’t think of hospital white, the whites from sherwin williams, benjamin moore, glidden and dunn edwards are creamy without being sterile. paired with warm or cool tones you will find you can make a visually interesting, warm and welcoming space.

mixing old with new

modern and soft contemporary interiors are here to stay, however, the best way to keep your design from being too sterile is to mix texture and patina into the clean, crisp lines of a modern interior. Modern dining chairs mix beautifully with an old farm table;


a modern square-arm chaise sitting upon a ikat patterned rug; paint grandma’s Chippendale chair cobalt blue or Chinese red. Have less of a thematic interior and instead build layers of eclectic combinations of architecture and design. Give yourself the freedom to mix 18th century design into the 21th century in unexpected ways. Make sure your home reflects your individual interests and bring a variety of styles together in a personal, non-formulaic mix, with an emphasis on quality and detail.