Design 101

Design 101: Throw Pillow Basics

Hello everyone- Elizabeth again. In case you missed my little introduction the other day, I’m the Junior Design Assistant here at KMID. I started out as the trusty intern and now, after being here over a year, I’ve learned more than I can put into words {or a blog post}. Since I recently graduated college, I don’t have as much traditional training as the other talented ladies on the KMID team.  I live and breathe design but every once in a while, someone will mention something that I don’t know as much about.  The difference in pleating styles of drapes?  And what’s the deal with the latex backing on some high end rugs? And don’t even get me started on picking grout colors…

So who better to get down and dirty with some design facts than me!  First item of business: pillows.

Throw pillows, to the untrained eye, may seem like something that doesn’t require a great deal of thought.  But when used correctly, they can make a dramatic difference in adding some serious design goodness to a space!  They provide a pop of color and texture when thrown on a couch or chair and can really add that extra oomph to any room. You may have noticed various differences in pillow styles before, but not really understood all of the options when buying or getting them custom made. I’m here to inform you that there really are endless possibilities when it comes to throw pillows. Honestly it can be quite overwhelming…which is why you hire people like us to make these decisions!  Here’s a little break down of the basics…


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This is the simplest and often most popular pillow style. It is formed from two pieces of fabric that meet in a sharp edge, tapering to a sharp corner. You can enclose knife-edge pillows with a zipper that matches your fabric choice, or with an envelope back.


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Box edge pillows have a top, bottom and are either cylindrical or have four sides. Rather than two pieces of fabric that meet at an edge, they have a long edge that creates a pillow with depth and dimension. Despite the name, box pillows can be square, rectangular, round, etc. You can always add piping to add more structure or a pop of color.  You can see an example of a box-edged pillow on the chaise lounge below.


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A bolster pillow is long and cylindrical-shaped.  It’s essentially a piece of fabric filled to be a tubular shape, with two circular end pieces on either side.  Bolster pillows are either firm, placed behind the lower back to provide support, or used decoratively to add a finishing touch to your furniture.



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A self-welt pillow has a cord going around the edge. The cording can be done in the same fabric as the pillow, or in a contrasting color/texture.


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Flange pillows have usually an inch or two of fabric that extends out from the edge of the pillow. This extra fabric gives the pillow a fluttery, decorative edge.  Flanges on flanges below!


That’s it folks! I hope this little run-down helps you understand the vast world of pillows. What I love about this “Design 101” segment is that I get to learn a lot from each post as well. One thing is for sure- pillows are a design element that’s meant to be fun and a show off your personality…so get creative!

Design is everywhere. Be Inspired.

Design Education :: Design Styles

KMID_Design Education_ Boston Interior Design

I’m a self taught designer. I didn’t go to school for interior design and I didn’t work under another designer to learn the ropes. I jumped in the deep end with no swimmies and figured it out from the start. I’ve been blessed time and time again to work with amazing professionals that have taught me everything I know and I’ve had clients who happen to like my personal taste and what I am able to put together for them. My business has grown and my team has grown and 2015 will be all about enjoying that.

For starters I’m going back to my roots. I take pride in educating my clients about the design process as we go through each stage. I tell them everything I’ve learned and give them my best recommendations as to how to make the most of their spaces {and their budgets}. Understanding the terminology can be a game changer when you’re talking to design professionals. I realized that many people that aren’t surrounded by these things on a daily basis may not know a lot of the lingo. So that is  what this new blog series will be all about….Design Definitions… {ok, ok. Kinda dorky but I love this stuff!}

I draw inspiration from countless places. I never know when inspiration might hit and as I evolve my design sense evolves as well. As I learn more about the history of design I’m more and more inspired by timeless lines and styles. The good news is that there is so much to draw from that the combinations are endless. …and combining styles in new and unique ways is one of my FAVORITE things to do!!

So here is a little overview of the styles that have inspired my personal interior design aesthetic so far…

Victorian {1837-1901}

As I’m sure you can imagine, the stylings of this era were all very ornate. Carvings, curves and embellishments seemed to be the driving forces in Victorian design in the late 1800s and early 1900s. The women were fancy and so were their homes. Some women often displayed pieces depicting  Middle Eastern and Asian influences of design to speak to their travels. Described as a romantic and eclectic revival of historic styles, “Victorian” stems from the reign of Queen Victoria.

How to spot this style:

A Victorian style home is one that has extra carvings and details on the exterior. The roof lines may have something more interesting going on as well. There is shape and ornate character to this kind of home. Victorian furniture can be recognized in a similar way. These tend to be the “grandma chairs” that need a facelift. We did that here with this sofa I found in Brimfield. By upholstering this ornate piece in a solid fabric and placing it next to other modern elements we’ve created an eclectic living room for a young family. 21st century Victorian if you will…

Kate Maloney Interior Design Portfolio - Modern Farmhouse

A Victorian style piece is a great way to add character to any room. You can purchase mirrors from this era for a mere $49,500 on 1stdibs


Or you can “get the look” like I did with this Anthropologie Mirror…now in Elle’s bathroom

KMID_Design Education_ Anthropologie Mirror_ Boston Interior Design

Arts and Crafts {1880-1910}

The Arts and Crafts movement started on the heels of the Victorian style. This movement came at a time when many believed in the integrity of good craftsmanship and the artists that produce that work. Led by socialist, writer and artist William Morris, the Arts and Crafts {or Mission Style} depicted a cleaner line. Simpler and cleaner shapes that focused on the hand made quality of the work and the higher quality of materials and design.

How to spot this style:

The simplicity of the Arts and Crafts style is what sets it apart in my opinion. Now we’re seeing simple cabinet door styles becoming more popular because of their clean lines. The beauty of the Arts and Crafts style {in my opinion} is the ability to pair the clean woodwork with the amazing textiles and patterns that emerged during this time. Wallpaper was prominent in this era and has started to make a comeback in recent years.

I started my career as an administrative assistant with Charles R. Myer & Partners. Charlie and his team were {and continue to be} my “teachers”. Charlie’s affection for the Arts and Crafts style is contagious and could be why I have such a soft spot in my heart for this style. There is just something about it that makes it feel like home to me.

Here is a desk we designed {with Walker Creek Furniture in Essex, MA} that fits perfectly in our client’s kitchen. She likes to call this “command central” which I love. The fabric on the chair is a William Morris print which adds a little character to the clean lines of the desk and file cabinet.

KMID_Wakefield Family Home_Boston Interior Design

Art Nouveau {1890s}

Ok, this one is where things start to get interesting to me. Hailing from in Belgium and France, this movement pulled influence from cultures outside it’s origin, like the Japanese attention to nature. Influenced by geometric shapes and free forming lines imitating organic elements like plants, trees, flowers, etc. It is said that according to the philosophy of this style “Art should be a way of life”…well doesn’t that sound grand!

How to spot this design style:

Art Nouveau and Arts & Crafts seem to have many similarities to me but somehow the styling of this movement has a slightly more feminine hand to it. It’s as if a shift was happening in design here.

This Iconic Tiffany Lamp is a perfect example of this style…

KMID_Design Education_ Boston Interior Design

This is an image of a Brookline Townhouse we completed. You see so many styles in this image and yet the stained glass still takes center stage with it’s nod to such classic time…


I’ve been drawn to this style lately. It’s so inspiring to think of life during this time. I recently purchased an art piece like this one that fits at the top of my stairs at Prescott like she belongs there.  Prescott_KMID_Boston Interior Design

Art Deco {1920s}

This design style originated in France after World War 1 and in the period of the Roaring Twenties. This was during a period strong in industrial growth and one of the most notable structures of this time is The Chrysler Building.

The_Chrysler_Building_ KMID_Boston Interior Design

How to spot this design style:

Art Deco is similar to Art Nouveau in that it features geometric shapes but Art Deco seems to take it one step farther. The repetition of angles and patterning feel distinctly Art Deco.

Florence Broadhurst is one of my favorite designers from this era. It’s amazing how her designs have stood the test of time. She was an artist through and through and seemed to just ooze with class & creativity. Kate Spade did a campaign which featured Florence Broadhurst’s patters a few years back {I may have bought bags for my entire office I was so excited}! Two strong women collaborating 30+ years after Florence left us. I’m absolutely so inspired by the relevance of it all!

florence broadhurst_kate spade

Image credit

Mid Century Modern {1930-1960}

It’s almost as if the world started getting a little flowery and swirly and designers wanted to take it back to smart, angular shapes to quiet the fluff. The Mid Century Modern style takes influence from both the Arts & Crafts movement as well as Art Deco. I love to see this evolution as you watch the 20th century progress. So many people expressing themselves creatively and leaving their marks behind. Inspiring stuff!

KMID_ Boston Interior Design PRK Chair on First Dibs

Mid Century Modern future is found in a lot of the work I do because it’s a wonderful “connector” style. It offers unique lines to the space {which I love} while linking the traditional architecture elements we see in New England homes with the more modern patterns and colors that so many clients are seeking. It helps me give authenticity to the room like the piece somehow belongs there and all the other elements are just floating around it.

I did have a client ask me to do a “Man Cave” for him. It was a little tricky to keep the cool factor and not let the room go down a very bad road. Mid Century Modern styling was the perfect direction and I couldn’t be happier with the way this room came together. Probably two of the coolest chairs I’ve ever placed…

How to spot this design style:

Curved back wing chairs…enough said… KMID_ColorfulHome-BostonInteriorDesign

Eclectic {PRESENT}

Potential clients always ask me how I would describe my own personal design style. “Eclectic” is an easy answer but I haven’t been able to find a better word to describe it. {Actually my friend Heidi calls it “Bohemian Preppy” which I also love.} Eclecticism in design is the art of combinding a variety of different styles, no one combination specifically.  This style reads the most organic to me as I appreciate different forms of art from multiple periods, as you can see from my rant above.  As a designer I believe good design is authentic and should be a collection of items gathered overtime and mixed with new modern pieces you come to love.  This is why Mike’s grandmother’s painting and my grandmother’s lamp work so perfectly in my dining room at Prescott with our brand new linen drum shade and leather strap chandelier.  It makes sense because it’s Eclectic design – and because we love it.

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How to spot this design style: 

You can pretty much check out all the work on my website. Ha!

This is one in particular that I love…check out this 1900’s Colonial home with Traditional maple hardwood floors, modern Visual Comfort light fixture and vintage hardware.

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KMID_EclecticHome_Boston Interior Design Whew!! I’m impressed you stayed with me there. This started out as a post idea and developed into a research project. Kelley and I have been working on this off and on for a month or so. We write it…we tweak it…we find a new image to feature. It could go on and on and on. I hope you enjoyed it as much as we enjoyed putting it together. I promise all my “definition” posts won’t be quite so lengthy!

Design is Everywhere {clearly}! Be inspired!

One Kings Lane :: Chair Crush Series

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One Kings Lane has become a favorite source of mine when hunting the internet for something new and fresh. They do all the digging and sourcing for you and only share the products that align with the OKL brand….which often aligns with the KMID brand so it’s a win win for us. The lines they recommend are among the best and so is their reputation so it takes the guesswork out of trying a new brand…and makes my job that much easier {wink}.

One Kings Lane reached out to me last week to participate in their Chair Crush Series. When OKL expressed they were reaching out to their favorite bloggers to participate in the series I was honored to write a piece for them. While I have had several chair crushes over the years here are a few I have simply been swooning over lately from the “accent chairs” collection on One Kings Lane.


Characteristics:  A club chair is large in scale and is described as a “comfy arm chair”.  It originated in the Art Deco period in France and is usually found in leather.  Today it can be found in almost any kind of fabric and is known as the perfect lounge chair.
I placed four of them surrounding a round wooden coffee table in our Martha’s Vineyard project this past summer.  It’s shown here as a vino table because wine is obviously the next best thing after coffee to lounge with…and the view doesn’t hurt here…especially at sunset…just sayin! Kate Maloney Interior Design Portfolio - Martha's Vineyard

My Club Chair Crush

I love the lines of this piece. Club chairs can quickly get clunky and over scaled but this little gem is just the right proportion.

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The Britta Club Chair, Light Green
by One Kings Lane


Characteristics:  A Wing Back Chair is a taller Club Chair with “wings”.  The wings on the back of the chair were originally placed to keep a draft from the fireplace from hitting the back of the person sitting in the chair.  I love the lines of this chair and while the strategy of the placement of the chairs below was not to protect from draft, I can still take credit right?!

Kate Maloney Interior Design Portfolio - New Hampshire


My Wingback Chair Crush

Wing chairs are classic. They are so often oversized or overstuffed and it literally makes me sad. A wing chair should be clean and simple in my opinion. It just is what it is. Let the graceful lines speak for themselves.



Addison Wingback Chair
by One Kings Lane


Characteristics:  This is the best kind of chair – the chair with no rules! An accent chair can be whatever you want it to be. This chair could be placed solo in the corner of a room for a reading nook or paired as a conversation area.  The “Accent Chair” below is actually a vintage camel saddle I found at Brimfield.  Like I said, an accent chair can literally be anything!

KMID_StichOnTwo_Boston Interior Design

My Accent Chair Crush

It’s hard to just pick one I am crushing on so here are three!  An accent chair just needs to have something interesting to it…pattern, shape or a combination of both. It’s what can give a room a little twist, a little personality and a little fun. I’m notorious for putting a quirky chair in the corner and I love it!  All of the below chairs were selected from the “accent chairs” collection on One Kings Lane.


    Miller Spindle                                           Madrid Chair                              Greek Peak Lounge
One Kings Lane                                      One Kings Lane                                  One Kings Lane
$2,715.00                                               $1,460.00                                               $2,190.00

Tips :: How To Hang Art

Whenever I hit a “design block” I always turn to Pinterest for a little inspiration. The randomness of the images seem to help me get out of my own head and take a step back. While there are countless images that are beautiful to look at, there are just as many that can be extremely useful.

Today I stumbled on this info-gram pinned by blogger and friend of mine, Style Carrot. The image depicts “How To Hang Art” and displays several options for above a sofa. Stuff like this just gets my wheels turning…

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While I am a firm believer there is no right or wrong way to hang art, I do have a few tricks that can help you minimize the number of mistake holes you may nail into your walls.

Start by measuring the space now which you would like to display the art. Then mark this space out on a nice open floor space and start to lay down the art.

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Arrange {and rearrange} the art within the measured dimensions on the floor to determine how you would like the art laid out. This is a great way to try a few different arrangements before banging any nails.

A few things to remember as you’re laying out your gallery wall…

1.) Frame Style :: Sticking with the same COLOR frame will help to unify the wall. They don’t have to be the same size OR the same style…all the same color will do it.

2.) Spacing :: I like to eyeball my spacing. {I know that probably doesn’t help you much.} The point is that the spacing doesn’t have to all be EXACTLY the same. Just be sure each piece has a little breathing room around it {1″ minimum}.

3.) Content :: Here we stuck with a black and white theme. We used everything from photographs to quotes to line drawings. The content can be a great way to add visual interest. If you have a number of photographs to hang then think about intermixing a quote or drawing or a map or something else besides just the photographs. This will help the wall feel more personal and give it a “collected” vibe.

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…and Voila!

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Some of these frames belonged to the client and we filled in the gaps with these frames from West Elm. The art is a collection of photography and mementos from our very style savvy client.  I always prefer using various pieces from a client’s personal collection rather than selecting it myself because it’s more authentic.  This is also a great way to display your children’s art work {verses scotch taping it to the fridge}.

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Gallery walls are not just for hallways and stairways. Powder Rooms are a great place to have some fun with them as well. You can be a little more playful with the content and it can create a great conversation piece for your guests.

Design Is Everywhere. Be Inspired.

Prescott Update :: Painting the town!

Selecting paint colors seems to be one thing that scares 99% of my clients. It’s so strange to me…it’s just paint! If you hate it, you repaint it! When selecting colors for an entire house the job may seem daunting but here are a few tips to help you make the right selection every time…and narrow down the nail bitters…

Tip #1 :: Trim

The trim color should be the same throughout the entire house. Done.

At Prescott we chose Benjamin Moore’s “Linen White”. Love it.


Other tried and true trim colors by Benjamin Moore include “White Dove” {clean and crisp} or “Navajo White” {creamy and warm}.

Tip #2 :: House Neutral

There should be one “old reliable” color that works throughout the space. This color will show up in all your hallways and probably in a room or two. If you can see one room from another room then you should be sure the colors work together. The house neutral can help to bridge the gap here.

At Prescott we chose Benjamin Moore’s “Elmira White”. It’s a beauty!


One other note here…painters are going to charge you more if you choose a bunch of colors so pick and choose your spots wisely and save yourself a penny.

Tip #3 :: Bathrooms

I consider bathrooms to be their own rooms. They are almost like their very own island. There is a door that can be closed and when you walk into these rooms they can feel all their own. If you want to take a risk with a color, a bathroom is a safe place to do that.

At Prescott we’re playing with color on the trim instead of the walls. The walls will be“Elmira White” but the trim {window, baseboard and door trim} will be “Mill Springs Blue”…ya know…just because…

This is an image I’ve had in my Pinterest collection for quite some time and gives you a good idea of the look we’re going for. I think the color will be so fun with the mini yellow hex tiles we just had installed in here…

Image by Apartment Therapy

Tip #4 :: Paint Finish

Trim = Semi-gloss {We’re taking it one step further with a High Gloss at Prescott}

Walls = Eggshell or Satin {We went with Eggshell}

Ceilings = Flat

Boring tip but you have no idea how many people ask me this

Tip #5 :: Go for it!

If I’ve said it once, I’ve said it a million times. It’s only paint!

I mean…why not paint your dining room mauve…

Yes. I did. “Deep Mauve” in fact.

The rest of the colors you’re going to have to see in person…or in the “after” shots. I’m so excited to see these spaces finished and our art on the walls. I’m working with my local framer to get some special pieces framed as we speak! So exciting!

Remember this beauty from High Point? If not, you really have to start following me@kmidesign on Instagram {wink}. How pretty will she look on the mauve walls?! I can hardly wait!


My wallpaper installer will also be at the house in the coming weeks {as soon as the woodwork and ceilings are finished in these rooms}. These details are really the ones I’ve been waiting for. I’m wallpapering three locations at Prescott. The Powder Room, the Kitchen and the Stair Hall ceiling from the entry to the 2nd floor landing. I honestly might start skipping when I see these in place!


Sanderson || Clarence House || Harlequin

Have a great week everyone!