Local Interior Design Inspiration: Alicia Cummings

A great piece of art can pull a room together. Much of the art displayed in the Hoffman & Albers interior design showroom was created by local artist Alicia Cummings. We sat down and discussed her story and how she got involved with Hoffman & Albers.

Tell us a little bit about your background.

“I have had a love for various art forms for as long as I can remember- from loving to color and draw as a kid to having fun putting colorful outfits together. My real love for exploring my own art came in high school. I had a phenomenal high school art teacher that helped shape my abilities and paved the road for my career choice. Creativity also runs in my blood. Both of my parents are musicians and I have always been influenced by their talents.”

What are your favorite mediums to work with?

“Painting has become my favorite medium of choice, but my stronger roots in drawing still serve purpose. Both go hand in hand really – I am still learning how to paint!”

What’s your thought process like?

“My process in creating work is always organic. Often themes or symbolism come out subconsciously. Landscapes are a recurring interest of mine. I love creating serenity and often play with light and reflections in various ways.”

Do you do any custom work?

“I have created custom work for multiple clients. It’s fun to challenge myself with new projects and ideas. As an interior design lover myself, it brings even more joy to create a custom piece for a specific space. If I can get enough feedback on what colors they want to pull or what fabric choices, textures, etc. are coming into play, it makes the process seamless. “

How did you get connected with Hoffman & Albers?

“I have always been in love with this store. I love the eclectic mix and unusual finds. As a customer myself, one of the designers (Nancy) came out to my home years ago when I bought a piece of furniture there. She commented on one of my paintings hanging in our foyer and encouraged me to contact Ann to share my portfolio. The rest is history. I have been so blessed to sell my work in this exquisite store. I am eternally grateful to Ann for giving me this opportunity to share a piece of me. This is really a dream come true.”

See more of Alicia’s work in the Hoffman & Albers showroom, located at 9405 Kenwood Road in Blue Ash, Ohio.

What FRIENDS Taught Us About Home Interior Design

Friends Interior Design trends

The characters of FRIENDS taught us so many life lessons about love and friendship, but they also taught us a few things about home interiors…

The One with the Apothecary Table

Ever enter a room and feel you just stepped into a furniture catalog? Phoebe understands, and she hated the mass-produced furniture market, claiming everyone ends up with the same stuff (we’re looking at you, Ross & Rachel). Luckily, almost everything at Hoffman & Albers is fully customizable!

Each room should have a basic design theme or color scheme to guide you, but don’t overdo it. Pieces should flow together, but not everything has to match perfectly. Like Phoebe’s fashion style, having some mismatching elements and eclectic furniture adds personality and depth to a room.

 The One in Barbados, Part 1

“You don’t own a TV? What’s all your furniture pointed at?” Seems silly, but Joey actually had a point here! Every room needs a focal point. It doesn’t necessarily have to be a TV, but maybe a piece of artwork, a fireplace, a table, a window.

The goal is to create an intimate space with a clear purpose. Your furniture should fill the space but allow for movement – think in clusters. Furniture that’s just pushed up against the wall may create a nice open space but probably feels boxy and limits conversation.

The One with the Secret Closet

Monica showed us even the most organized people struggle with finding a place for everything. But instead of creating a mountain of clutter in a secret closet, find little ways to create more storage. Every little bit counts!

Replace your living room coffee table with vintage trunk. Store blankets, movies, game controllers, etc. Do a lot of crafting? Use a wine rack to organize markers and a paper towel roll to keep track of your ribbons. Hanging shoe organizers are extremely versatile for more than just shoes. You can stuff anything from hats/gloves/scarves in the pockets to cleaning supplies or spray paints.

The Purple Wall

Monica & Rachel’s purple wall is a great lesson in choosing your furniture first! When designing a room, most people want to get everything freshly painted before worrying about furniture to move around or avoid getting dirty. It makes sense! But doing it this way severely limits your selection of furniture and accessories!

Picture yourself walking into a home improvement shop and the many paint swatches that line the walls. There’s so much more variation in paint than in furniture options.

If you start with your furniture, you can pick the piece you like best without being limited by a specific, predetermined color scheme. Once you found what you want, you can take home multiple paint swatches in a seemingly infinite variety of shades to see how well the colors work together.

Bonus Tip: Even a small variation in light can make a big difference. Test your paint colors on a small section of the wall and monitor them as the light changes throughout the day. What looks great in the soft morning light could look harsh and unflattering in the bright afternoon sun.

Interior designers at Hoffman & Albers can help you conquer all of your interior design decisions. When you finish binge-watching FRIENDS, come visit our showroom located at 9405 Kenwood Road in Blue Ash.

Planning Your Outdoor Living Space Design

Spring is just around the corner which means it’s time to start thinking about the great outdoors! Does your outdoor living space need an upgrade? Here are some design tips to keep in mind when planning your outdoor decorations.

Inside Out

Treat your outdoor space as an extension of your living room. Your interior design should flow seamlessly into your outdoor decorating. Use a similar color scheme, and pull similar textures and patterns to create cohesion between the inside and out.

Hide Away

If you’re concerned about privacy, fences or tall plants are an easy fix to create separation. Even just creating a covered seating area with an awning or umbrella forms a more intimate atmosphere.

Here Comes the Sun

Pay close attention to the movement of the sun across your space. Strategically place your patio furniture, umbrellas, and awnings accordingly, so you and your guests are comfortably shaded.

Dancing in the Dark

Don’t forget to consider your lighting once the sun has set. Strung lights create nice ambiance, and there are now solar powered outdoor light fixtures for an energy-efficient touch.

Singing in the Rain

Consider weather resistance, but also practicality when selecting your patio furniture sets. Materials like wicker are great to withstand all kinds of weather, but test out the pieces before buying them. They may be super durable and low-maintenance, but if they aren’t comfortable, you’ll never use it. Try to find the balance.

Things Are Looking Up

Finally, everyone loves a room with a view and your outdoor space should be no exception. Does your landscape complement the living space?

Outdoor decorating can seem daunting, but it doesn’t have to be! Visit our showroom’s garden department and speak with one of our designers who can help you plan the perfect outdoor sanctuary. 9405 Kenwood Road, Cincinnati, Ohio. 513.793.9100

Home Interior Design with the Pantone Colors of the Year

For the first time ever, Pantone has introduced two colors to work together as the Color of the Year in 2016. They are Rose Quartz and Serenity.

Pantone 2016 colors of the year

The selection of these colors reflect what’s happening in our culture – growing acceptance of gender fluidity and an emphasis mindfulness in everyday life. Pantone said of the color choices,

“In many parts of the world we are experiencing a gender blur as it relates to fashion, which has in turn impacted color trends throughout all other areas of design. This more unilateral approach to color is coinciding with societal movements toward gender equality and fluidity.”1

Though they are the traditional binary colors to represent gender, choosing these two to work together represents how they complement each other and allows movement between the two.

But the colors also represent a mood and attitude. The harmony warm and cool tones represent balance between bodily wellness and spiritual peace. This is a state of awareness, both mentally and physically – a focus on the present, an awakening to current experience, thoughts and feelings without judgment.

Whether you want to reinforce Pantone’s message on gender, or just want to bring peace and tranquility into your home, here are five interior design tips for using these colors without the space looking like a nursery:

Home Accessories & Accent Walls

The soft hue of Rose Quartz allows it to be easily incorporated into a room with a neutral color scheme. Painting only one wall is an easy fix to add a subtle hint of color. Then add Serenity with small touches like pillows, a sofa throw blanket, or table lamp.

Unique Living Room Furniture

A pink sofa or blue chair could be powerful and overwhelming, but the pastel tones of Rose Quartz and Serenity provide understated color for a more eclectic living room look. If organization brings you peace, try a pale pink or blue ottoman that opens up for hidden storage.

Kitchen Backsplash and Barstools

If you have a neutral kitchen interior, whether you’re just applying a fresh coat of paint or fully tiling behind your counters, a backsplash is a fairly easy place to add a pop of color. Paint barstools whichever color you didn’t use to discreetly complement the backsplash.

Dinnerware or Fine China

If you’re afraid of a huge commitment, replacing standard white dishes with colored ones is a small change that makes a big difference. It’s a minimal investment that can completely change the personality of your kitchen. Plus, the pale nature of Rose Quartz and Serenity allows them to pair well with both silver and gold flatware.

For more help styling your home with the Pantone Colors of the Year, visit our store to speak to one of our Interior Designers at no cost.

Furniture Fusion

As we always say, life is too short to be boring.

In our latest video with Ann, she discusses how to work exciting furniture pieces into your home’s design. In her design, Ann starts with a zebra cocktail ottoman and builds a room around it. Working in neutral pieces, such as the black sofa and chair, she added texture and pops of color with the raspberry leather chair and throw blanket.

Working with similar design at your own home, look at pieces you may be ready to donate, like an older chest. You can turn that into a brand new piece by painting a fresh new color and adding on some new hardware.

For inspiration, watch the full video below:

 

Create a Calming Room

Our very own Ann Hoffman discusses interior design tips with Housetrends Magazine and how to create a calming, zen like room in your home.

To start, consider a more natural color palette for your room. The organic feeling can transport you to the outdoors. Also consider mixing in old and new items. In this room, Ann adds in new items with a scrubbed finish to fit in with the older elements of the design. With the organic look, avoid having shiny pieces in your design. You want to keep the design natural feeling.

Watch the full video below for more tips on creating a calming interior design:

Adding Accessories and Art to Your Home Interior Design

In our latest video share, Ann Hoffman demonstrates how to work accessories and artwork into your home interior design.

To begin, pick a main focal point and build the color scheme around it. In our video, Ann uses a peacock colored sofa to build inspiration for the entire design.

Once you have a color palette, use accessories that tie everything together. Not every item should be the same color, but use the same tones. If you have a colorful piece of furniture, try to incorporate other neutral pieces to make the color pop.

Watch the full video below to see how Ann completed the design in our Cincinnati showroom loacted at 9405 Kenwood Road.

 

Q and A with Ann Hoffman

Hoffman & Albers Interiors has been providing a one of a kind interior design experience to the greater Cincinnati area for over 21 years. Providing their clients with professional au courant interior design expertise and a variety of distinct and stylish products to choose from, Hoffman & Albers is the go to establishment for those who desire to impress their friends and family with their sense of taste and elegance.

Ann Hoffman

We recently sat down with Ann Hoffman, interior designer and original founder of Hoffman & Albers to find out how she got her start and what makes her business so successful.

Q:Why did you start Hoffman & Albers Interiors?

A: My former partner and I started Hoffman & Albers because we wanted to provide a wonderful selection of beautiful and unique furniture, art, and accessories combined with unsurpassed interior design service to Greater Cincinnati.  We felt that this didn’t exist in Cincinnati and clients had to travel out of the city to meet their needs.

Q:What were some of your biggest challenges when starting Hoffman & Albers Interiors?

A: One of the biggest challenges was getting the manufacturers to believe in 2 women in a very male dominated industry.  The idea of having a 9,000 sq ft. showroom that emphasized interior design services was not the norm 21 years ago.

We developed a business plan and had to sell the idea to several banks and finally got the approval.  Finding a great location was more challenging to find a convenient and accessible building that could show off our great idea!  We were able to convert a 1st and 2nd floor building and had a stairway built to connect both floors and ended up with a wonderful spot.  After frustration with lack of parking, we were thrilled to find that our current showroom was available and moved here 9 years ago.

Q:Hoffman & Albers has been in business for over 21 years, what are some of the challenges you have faced during that time?

A: The design industry has gone through changes like any other industry.  The internet access poses its own challenges, but fortunately our superb customer service and having a showroom that samples furniture, art, accessories, rugs, etc that you can actually see and touch is a tremendous asset that can only be experienced with brick and mortar stores.

One of the biggest constants is that most people still enjoy owning beautiful things and love spending time and money on their home.

Q:If you had to point to one thing that has been the key to your success what would that be?

A: I’ve been very fortunate to have a very loyal and talented staff that has largely contributed to our success.