Pillow Talk for Your Sofa

Bright, Bold, and Beautiful, let’s talk pillows for your sofa.
Bright, Bold, and Beautiful ~custom pillows make a vibrant personalized statement in any space. So, let’s talk pillows for your sofa.   
As I consulted with a client this week about how to customize her living room, our design conversation turned to pillows. She had purchased pillows in several shapes and styles from big box stores that were ok but did not offer the “pizazz” she wanted. My client was surprised to learn that she could design customized pillows of her very own by selecting the fill material, pillow sizes, fabric, colors, patterns, and trims she desired. You may have also wondered how this works. Well, let me explain.
Filling the Perfect Pillow: A soft, full pillow is a happy pillow. Most sofas come with matching pillows, usually 18″ x 18″, filled with a cheap poly-fill that gets stiff and boring after about a week. You can create soft and fluffy pillows that fit your lifestyle by customizing the fill. Adding a combination of down and feathers to the filling will make your pillows softer and more relaxed. Quality pillow inserts such as these offer a variety of firmness based on the ratio of down to feathers.

A ratio of 25% goose down to 75% goose feather will give you a softer, more luxurious pillow. While a 10% down to 90% feather fill will provide a comfy cushion that is still soft enough to “karate chop.”

However, if you have allergies, softer poly-fill choices will also give you a softer look and feel. These high-quality 100% polyester cluster fill inserts also have the look and feel of being down, full, and fluffy.  

Find Your Pillow Pizazz!  

Size and Shape Pillow size and shape both extend the comfort and style of your furniture. For example, I prefer using a sofa pillow at least 24″ x 24″, no smaller than 20″ x 20″, to create a luxurious feel. All pillow sizes are the measurements taken from the pillow casing before stuffing. Pillow sizes will vary after filling, so insert at least one size larger for an extra-full look. I often like to add a rectangular pillow to the middle of the sofa and accent chairs to add character and comfort. You will also be spotting round disk-shaped pillows making a come-back.
This rich sequined fabric makes a bold style statement on a solid-colored sofa or chair.

Combine different fabrics to add interest and texture to pillows. Trims and cording are always a good idea.

Embellishments and Passementeries is a word that refers to decorative trimmings.  Added to your pillows, create a more ornamental pillow for a formal design
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Monograms are one of my favorite ways to add texture. Monograms can be fancy, formal, or casual, allowing you to brand your rooms with style. The monogram can be either your first and last name initial or a passementerie design stitched on the fabric. Tone-on-tone monograms are subtle and elegant. Mixing patterns using the same colorway will unite the pillows for added interest and balance.

I like pulling in colors from the sofa to create pillows, but it is unnecessary. Think about what color you want to bring into the room. Inspiration comes from everywhere, but nature is one of my best inspirations. Look around as you drive, walk, or shop for things that make you stop and take a second look.

Magazines are another great source of inspiration for those pillows you are creating. Find five to ten designer magazines, look at the pillows on the sofas in the magazines, and tear out pages that speak to you. It may only be one element or object in the photo but tear it out and start your personal style folio. Using a few of these tips will help train your eye to make you stop and consider why you like a specific look, style, or color. Lay out these photos and see what they have in common and how they are different, and then figure out the color and design you want to bring into your home.
Fabrics galore await as you begin designing your perfect pillow. The texture of the pillow fabrics you choose is crucial in creating comfort and style. Mixing textures is a fabulous way to give a room a laid-back, effortless feel. Just using two different fabrics can add texture and interest to your pillows. Consider the same fabrics in different colors or reverse some materials for a unique style. Be bold! Create texture by choosing some of the new sequined fabrics in various colors.

I hope these tips help you, but if you need help, call me at 870-847-0286. My showroom at 717 Ash Flat Drive, Ash Flat, AR, is open only by appointment, but it houses thousands of fabrics just waiting to become the pillow of your dreams.

XOXO, Lori

7 Design Mistakes that Cheapen Your Home!

Measure… Measure!
The first thing is to measure your space carefully. The scale of your home is essential when deciding on furniture and furniture layout. Don’t forget the door openings as well! As been said, measure twice and buy once.
It is buying furniture that does not fit the space, especially oversize furniture. Measuring your room to ensure the piece you purchase will save you time and money. Oversized furniture in a small room can make a room feel cramped and cluttered. Always keep in mind the flow of your room and how it functions daily with your family and lifestyle. The same goes for small furniture in a large room. The room’s scale is essential to determine the space’s furniture size, wise investments in the correct scale of furniture will create a cozy, comfortable, and inviting home.
Incorrectly hanging artwork or mirrors too high on the wall. Mirrors should reflect something beautiful or exciting. If you have small pictures, place them together to create an interesting gallery wall. Large walls require large art. Nothing screams cheap like a small piece of art on a tall, big wall.
Slamming all your furniture against the wall. Give your room more depth, and wall space should be used for seating, artwork, and bookshelves, with the furniture placed a few inches away from the wall. Additionally, it can help create an inviting atmosphere. Floating your sofa with a correct-size rug and chairs for an accessible conversation area.
Rushing through room decoration. Take your time when decorating a room; planning helps keep a consistent flow throughout the house. Plan to add the things you love that can tell a story. A well-designed home should tell a story about you.
Lighting is another place where you can cheapen your home: lamps that are too small or the placement. Scale is significant here as well. I prefer taller lamps; small lamps can work on bookshelves or under cabinets but not by the sofa or bed.
Rug size in a room. The furniture should sit on the rug to cozy the conversation area. Under a table, the chair should always be on the rug when seated. Purchasing a too-small rug is a waste of money—measuring your room and furniture and keeping everything in scale. Rugs that all match can leave the house looking boring. Coordinating the colorway and using different patterns keeps your home attractive.
Pillow investment. Choosing the correct size pillow for your sofa and chairs will welcome your guest to sit awhile. Changing out your pillows for the seasons will make you enjoy each season without breaking the bank. 18 x 18″ pillows would be the smallest for a sofa; I prefer 20 x 20 down-filled to create a karate chop effect. A few changes in the above mistakes can make your home cozy, comfortable and inviting. If you’re a busy homeowner that loves a beautiful but doesn’t have the time to make it everything you wished it could be? I feel you’re overwhelmed; I have helped 1000’s of busy homeowners like yourself create homes; they love entertaining family and friends, but more importantly, they love coming home to a house that soothes their soul after a long work day. Give me a call today to schedule your home updates.



Take A Seat!

Take a seat, take any seat but don’t settle for any plain old chair.
While attending the High Point Market in North Carolina, the mecca for the furniture industry, I found legions of chairs with bright, bold print fabrics. I was like a kid in a candy store, snapping photos left and right. All the beautiful fabrics on these chairs were inspirational to this designer.
These two swivel chairs covered in this fabulous deep rich print would look wonderful in any room. This is a perfect example of up and coming trend colors. @wesleyhall Photo: Lori Carpenter
Chinoiserie fabrics as well as wallpaper were prevalent through out the market. Chinoiserie reflects Chinese motifs derives from the French. The English and Italian designers sought to imitate the fanciful, decorative style of the Chinese arts. You can see the design matches the European taste rather than respecting the Chinese originals. To learn more about Chinoiserie check out Dragons & Pagodas: A celebration Chinoiserie by Aldo’s Bertram. @wesleyhall
Modern designs by Nathan Anthony has the best designs and the quality is second to none. I love the yellow chair especially the legs. The dining chair with the rounded back was unbelievably comfortable.
Natural materials will always be in vogue. It goes well with the Chinoiserie design style. But, coordinates well with many design styles.
My first impression of the chair in the TOV showroom was WOW someone the needs to entertain the cat would love this chair. And you know the cat would love it. Stunning!
My personal favorite find was the dining chairs that swivel and roll. The fabric in dusty apricot gives a nod to colors of the year 2023. Benjamin Moore 2008-30 Raspberry Blush and Sherwin 
Williams 9081 Redend Point. Both a nice earth tone color.
I was crushing on all of these chairs for many reasons. Style, design and their unique functions were the main reasons I fell in love. Fabrics can be reproduce on your furniture. I have a wonderful upholster and 1000’s of fabrics that can transform your existing chairs to beautiful seating in your home. Give me a call today to get you taking the perfect seat.



What’s Your Dream Bathroom?

I’m working on some exciting bathroom remodels;
some are minor updates and some are total guts.
As we know the world has changed in the past two years.
Homeowners are realizing the importance that their bathrooms need to be personalized to their individual needs.
Would you be willing to share what you would want most in your bathroom?
Your perspective will help me share some behind the scenes of a bathroom remodel. The problems and how to best solve the issue.
Share with me your dream bathroom.

When Life Gives You Lemons, Decorate With Them!

Have you bought flowers at the store and got a little packet of plant food to keep your flowers blooming longer. Did you know you can make that for your fresh-cut flowers?
You will need the following:
2-tablespoons of lemon juice
1-tablespoon of sugar
1/4 teaspoon of bleach
and fill the container with distilled water.
The above recipe will help your fresh-cut flowers out of your yard or garden last longer.
If you want to use the slices to decorate the vase, use two vases, one larger than the other.
Place the lemons, limes, or oranges between the two vases, which will make a beautiful fresh flower arrangement for your home.

Before and After-Primary Bathroom Renovation

Like all couples' bathroom renovation, each one has different requests they most desire. This bathroom was no other. Each had additional requirements. The wife wanted a low threshold shower, the husband desired heated floors, and both loved the color blue.
The bedroom and bath had been a new addition a few years earlier, but the budget was tight, and the homeowner felt they had to settle for lesser expensive finishes in the bath. They are now empty-nesters and want a luxurious bath as they age. The bathroom configuration worked great for this couple; therefore, expensive plumbing changes were unnecessary. I was leaving room for all things pretty.
We replacing the existing tub shower with a tile shower, seating, and low threshold for easy entering and exiting the shower. The white tile is a crayon-shaped ceramic tile running horizontal, and the shower niche is a smaller navy blue crayon tile running vertically to add visual interest.

As we mature, lighting is essential to a primary bath. This bathroom needed extra attention. One easy way to help with this issue is to add a mirror from the ceiling to the top of the vanity and then add wall sconce lighting to reflect off the mirror giving extra light. Additional LED can light was positioned over the two sink vanities and the shower. The bathroom also had a flush mount ceiling light that I changed to a chandelier.

The faucets, hardware, and beautifully designed grab bars are in a champagne gold finish. The bath had a closet that got an update as well; we designed a cabinet with pull-out drawers in a natural white oak finish. The open shelving over the toilet nods to the same natural white oak finish closet. The client chose SW 9179 Anchors Aweigh for the new two-sink vanity, a deep navy blue with Cambria countertop in Portrush.

Porcelain arabesque tile covered the heated floor in shades of white, blue, and deep brown. This rich flooring pulled these beautiful bathroom colors together for a luxury finish. This couple will enjoy this timeless-designed bathroom for years to come.



How To Plan A Perfect Girls Night In!

How to create the perfect girls night in.

Tips for your perfect little soiree for date nite, family and friends or just for you!

This past week, I was one of about 50 designers in the US and Canada chosen by Designhounds AT HOME and Signature Kitchen Suites to participate in a chef-inspired appetizer paired with the perfect wine from Gentleman’s Farmer for summer date night via Zoom. My husband was not interested, but my daughters were in town for the upcoming Memorial Day weekend, so they set in on this sampling zoom soiree and enjoyed it immensely and now want Signature Kitchen Suite luxury appliances for their homes. Each designer was given all the fresh and organic ingredients from Napa Valley, wine from Napa, and tips for food styling from a professional food photographer and stylist. I want to share some of their information for you to have an inspiring evening in the home.

The first thing is to get all your ingredients ready in bowls first; Chef Nick taught us that at the beginning because everything is cooked quickly over high heat. After making up each recipe, put them in plastic containers in the refrigerator for later use.

After all the appetizers have been prepared and stored, look around your house for small dishes and linens with contrasting colors like white, black, or navy. Small trays, small serving knives and spoons, and of course, glass wine glasses are an acceptable way to make this extra special. Using beautiful dishes makes you look like the hostess with the most!

Placing the appetizers on small plates gives it visual interest, as you can see in the photo. The stylist Susan Brinson explains to swirl the dips leaving indentions. If you notice food photos, they all have a textural design to feed the eyes first and makes the food look heroic.

When serving appetizers, choose light wines like Rose, Pinot Grigio, and Chardonnay makes the perfect paring and something most people enjoy with appetizers.

In the above photo the floral arrangement is flowers and weeds from my yard. Remember my last blog post about bouquets for your home. Having various plants to clip from makes easy DIY bouquet for any events or just for a weekly arrangement.

Enjoy yourself as well as your guests, whether family or friends. Now you have all it takes to make the perfect girl’s night in!

Happy entertaining,


P.S. Attached recipes below.


DIY Bouquets For Your Home

Perfect flowers for your DIY bouquets.

Easy to grow, low maintenance flowers, shrubs and trees.

Greenery used in the photo shoot for a new kitchen remodel were from my yard.

March is a month that can be beautiful and warm one day and cold breezy the next here in Arkansas. We always say, “if you don’t like the weather today, tomorrow will be different.” A few weeks ago it was -6 degrees. Currently the weather is warmer and things are beginning to green-up and early spring flowers are making appearance. Times like this makes you ambitious to plant, but it’s still to early for most plants.

I do not claim to be a green thumb gardener, I’m a fair weather gardener. I love to plant when it’s cool and have been know to go a little overboard. I don’t sweat well. So, in dog days of August I’m sweating tryin to get everything watered. That being said, I plant mainly low maintenance for flowers and shrubs for bouquets for my home.

I have made list of plants that work great for fresh bouquets for your home. Have a nice variety for all the seasons is my goal.

I currently have boxwoods, variegated shrubs, curly willow (personal favorite), having several of these very easy to grow trees comes in handy for filler in any arrangement. Various ornamental grasses, peonies, lilac, zinnia, forsythia, hydrangeas, roses, and especially herbs. Another great tree for their branches is Birch trees. Most of these are two-three season bouquets.

This year I plan to add the following:
Southern Magnolia (Christmas arrangements)
Various Pine Trees (Christmas arrangements)
Dogwood Trees (Spring)
Lemon and lime trees in pots (beautiful bowls of fruit)
Bittersweet Vines (Fall)

Pumpkins and Gourds, I have grown these in the past for my decor. I love watching them grow and take on various shapes. Easy to grow, very little maintenance.

I’m getting excited for Spring and the new buds and green grass. It all makes your soul sing.

Your too can start now planning for easy DIY bouquets for your home.

Happy Spring,


Roses are an all time favorite!


February Newsletter

Beautiful Spaces.

Comfortable and Inviting

Designed by Lori Carpenter

Kitchen Renovations.

Here’s a few things to keep in mind before you began a kitchen remodel.

A. What is the outcome you want to receive from this renovation?

B. What are your must haves? Double ovens, pot filler for your stove/cooktop, farmhouse sink, microwave drawers?

C. Appliances and their placements.

D. How do you working in your kitchen? And how many others will be working at the same time?

E. Make sure your have a good kitchen triangle for less steps when cooking from refrigerator, stove and sink.

Are you a busy homeowner that loves a beautiful home, but don’t have the time or know how to begin a renovation? Let me with my 25 years of interior design experience helping 1000’s of busy homeowners like yourself whether it’s their primary or secondary home create a beautiful comfortable space they love entertaining family and friends.


Special Invitation!

Special Invitation:

Every Tuesday at noon, I go Live on Facebook discussing Interior Design Dilemmas. I would love to have you join me, comment, like, share, and send me emoji.

Working on getting a new website and rebranded to Lori Carpenter Designs (feels like a snail pace) hopefully soon?

Are you looking at your tired, outdated home? Are you in a design dilemma? I will offer my expert advice to help you save time, stress, and feel better in your home.

This week I’ll be talking about fabrics and how they can enhance your home. Join the fun each Tuesday at noon.

I also offer in-home or virtual design consultations.

Up to 90 minutes to cover any specific pain points you have in your home: furniture layouts, new rugs, furniture, or window coverings. You may need help with paint colors, tile selections, countertops, a total remodel or new build—$ 250. for the initial consultation, Additional hours at $100 per hour.