Getting Your Home Ready for the Holidays

It’s September and not even officially Fall yet; the perfect time to start thinking about the holidays! All of your guests will soon be enjoying your home with you. If you’re planning on a larger project – such as painting, adding wallpaper, ordering custom drapes or custom furniture – these few extra months may be the perfect amount of time to get everything completed.


Take a step back and view your home through the eyes of a guest – is there space to easily get around the main rooms? Is there seating available for the number of guests that may be visiting? Are there any dark corners that need brightening? Try taking photos of your rooms to look at them in a different way, then compare them to some favorite photos of rooms you love in a magazine.


Bringing color to your space with a few key accessories can make a big difference. The red lamp, red rug and fresh plants in this room help move they eye around the space.


Adding additional lighting and mirrors can brighten any room and make it feel warm and inviting. The wall sconces, lamps and chandelier in this dining room all work together to keep everything lit.

Guest bedrooms sometimes get neglected – by adding new drapes and clearing off a few shelves you can make your guest’s stay more pleasant.

We would love to help you get your home projects completed before the holidays. Please give us a call at 913-268-9595

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Drapery Options For Your Home

When considering what drapery option is right for your home, you must first think about privacy, light control and appearance. Knowing how much light you want to let into the room and having an idea of your overall design for the space will make drapery decisions a breeze.


Roman Shades were used in this room, they give privacy but also let in a lot of light. They can be raised or lowered depending on how much light is desired. Roman shades can be custom made in any fabric you choose.


Blinds were the best choice for this home office.


Traditional drapes with a matching wooden rod match the classic look of this hearth room.


Sheer roller shades let in lots of light and most of the view.


Roman shades fit nicely into this window well and the fabric helps to soften the space.


The height of these drapes helps to visually lower the height of the ceiling and create a more intimate hearth room.


Drapes are another way to add pattern and color to the room, don’t forget to have fun with your design!


When drapes and rods aren’t enough – add some bling!

We would love to help you with and drapery or window covering project. Please give us a call at 913-268-9595

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Granite is not the only option for high-quality countertops anymore, there are so many beautiful, durable surfaces to choose from. We visited SCI Surface Center in Shawnee, KS to choose some of our favorite countertops. (


The countertop samplings by Ripple Glass of Kansas City are a fun local find.  ( They offer several bright and colorful options with great depth and shine. All of their countertops are made with the glass you recycle in their bins around town. Our waste is being turned into a new dynamic option for your kitchen surfacing.


The most popular man-made countertops are Corian and Silestone. Both boast an ease of use that is hard for Granite to compete with. They offer you a harder surface that is more likely to resist stains. Silestone contains a higher percentage of minerals than Corian, but for the cost, Corian is a great buy that will provide you with a solid, hassle-free surface.

Natural Quartz surfaces provide an easy-to-clean countertop that will require no regular upkeep as Granite usually does. Containing less porous minerals than granite, quartz is an option that is increasing in value for its longevity and rival beauty to that of granite.

But let’s face it, if you want to view outstanding depth with an almost 3-D quality, a top-of-the-line granite is hard to beat. Some of the slabs of granite we viewed were like looking at photos of outer-space on a piece of rock! Simply amazing! You may want to buy the slab and lean it up against your living room wall as a piece of artwork!


We had fun seeing all of the options available in countertops and challenge you to explore them yourself if you’re in the market for a kitchen or bath makeover. We are always excited to join people in their pursuit of creating a space that delights them. Please call us if you’re interested in starting a project today! 913-268-9595





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Cedar Creek Living Room Remodel

Adding glamour and solving design problems is what we do best. One of our recently completed living rooms had both in spades. Like many of our fabulous clients, we had worked with this family on a few other projects in their home. With the basement, kitchen and hearth room complete, they were ready to have us tackle their living room.

Living rooms are important, because they set the tone for your entire house. It sounds intimidating, right? Which is ironic, because at their best, living rooms should be comfortable and inviting, not closed off or too formal.

The original design posed a few challenges. Although the space was large, the room was light on furniture and not utilizing the space to its best advantage. With a large armoire opposite the fireplace and a formal furniture arrangement, the room felt small and awkward. We knew providing a new layout would breathe new life into the space. In addition to a little rearranging, there were a few other challenges we knew we needed to tackle.



  • Resolve the awkward floor plan.
  • Freshen up the tired looking fireplace.
  • Lighten and brighten the space.
  • Soften the back wall to draw the eye to the back of the room.
  • Highlight the floor to ceiling windows.
  • Address the empty walls.
  • Create a design that complemented the rest of the house’s new finishes, while still maintaining a unique look.

As part of our design process, we develop a number of creative solutions to each of the challenges we face. We bounce them off our team before choosing the ones that best meets our client’s specific goals. In instances where our clients don’t have goals outlined, we work with them to learn what they are trying to achieve with the space and how they intend to use it on a daily basis. We then develop a design plan solving each. Read more »

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Small House, Big Look For The Living Room

Ever get stuck with what to do with a plain white room?  What about a living or family room?  This special home in Kansas City’s Roeland Park area needed some attention to just that…a blank slate. The homeowners were short on ideas.  They wanted a comfy space with great seating, but were bored with local shopping.  Tran and Thomas was excited to help give the space the fun, new look they were wanting.


“BEFORE”  (above)  This living space needed some major help and fresh ideas


This Kansas City home has a fresh, new look.

“AFTER” (above)

IMG_1087“BEFORE”  (above)  Nothing to crow about

"AFTER"  This new living room's interior design is perfect for the homeowners!

“AFTER” This new living room’s interior design is perfect for the homeowners!


Warming up the wall colors was a sure-fire way to get the space to feel more cozy.  Every living room needs a comfortable sofa, but the size has to be right.  This sofa’s texture and fill (the core of the cushion construction) is as perfect as it’s softness.  With hot reds, fun art, interesting pieces, adequate lighting and a new furniture layout, it is easy to see why these clients were so happy with the final product.

For more interior design projects by Tran and Thomas Design Studio, please see our portfolio.


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Back in Brass

With our crystal balls firmly in focus, we’ve been saying, “brass is back” for years. It has been slowly sneaking onto designer showroom floors one chair leg at a time. But now, we’re seeing it everywhere.


The new go-to metal, brass has successfully unseated nickel, silver and bronze. As opulent design reigns supreme, brass is a natural complement to this exciting trend. Tables, chairs, light fixtures and mirrors are all gilded.


If you don’t consider yourself a fan of brass, you may be remembering it from years past. Gone are the dainty pieces we’ve seen before. In its new form, brass is rich and solid looking – not fussy at all. With its updated finish, it can add glamour and shine to any room.


If you’re not ready to make the switch, consider trying out the trend with small accents. Trays, candlesticks or small bowls are a great place to start. But, consider yourself warned. These small touches of glamour can be contagious. You may find yourself wearing red lipstick on Mondays and calling everyone “Darling.” (It sounds kind of great, doesn’t it?)


After years of the same metals, isn’t wonderful to have this old favorite back in style?

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A Few of Our Favorite Things


Each year at market, we get a first look at pieces for the season ahead. We love seeing reinvented classics and completely new ideas. After a few days of walking the floor, we get a clear idea of which trends are emerging for the new season and begin imagining how they’d look in our clients’ homes.


If this season had a motto, it would be “more is more.” Opulence reigned, as beautifully decadent pieces took center stage. The lines of furniture pieces stayed relatively clean, but shine and texture created a dressed up look.


If you’re looking for new ways to make your home feel special, consider some of our favorite finds from market:

  • Bone, jade and mother of pearl inlaid pieces
  • Marble
  • Patterned mirrors
  • Gold and brass
  • Fur and leathers
  • Tufted sofas in rich fabrics
  • Ornate hardware
  • Extravagant wall coverings


While this season’s pieces made a statement, we can’t say what we saw was much of surprise. Ornate items have been slowly making their way into designer showrooms for several years. The biggest change is that they are everywhere now. And, we couldn’t be happier.


Keeping up with trends helps keep spaces from feeling stale, but being a slave to them can make you feel like a stranger in your home. Strike the right balance for your aesthetic. With attention grabbing pieces like this, you can either layer on the luxe extras or choose a few key pieces to add interest to your room. Adding ornate hardware to a favorite piece is one easy way to introduce this trend into your home.


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Resolve to Live More Beautifully


You might think resolutions were made to be broken, but having a functional and beautiful space can help keep you on track long after January 1st. A gorgeous kitchen might inspire you to eat more meals in. Well-designed storage solutions help keep homes clean and organized, while comfortable bedding makes getting beauty sleep simple.


A few weeks ago, we were asked by The Kansas City Star to offer tips on how interior design can positively impact your New Year’s resolutions. Needless to say, we had a lot of ideas. In the article, we give specifics on how to create spaces that will have you:

  • Spending more time with family and friends and
  • Learning something new

It sounds fun, right? Read our tips here:

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Take Your Velvet from Shabby to Chic


Velvet adds a bit of luxury to any room. It has the unique ability to absorb light making spaces feel sumptuous and rich. Although we like to use velvet, it can become crushed or matted over time. This can happen when it has been pressed down repeatedly. Over the years, we’ve developed a few techniques to keep your velvet looking luxe. Follow these easy steps to bring your velvet back to life.


Before you begin, test our technique on your fabric. You can use the underside of a skirt, the bottom of cushions or the back of a sofa. Please be aware these solutions may NOT work on all velvets.

First, try steaming the fabric. Afterwards, use a fine tooth comb to brush the nap or pile of the fabric. If steaming doesn’t work, you can use a fine mist spray bottle to apply a small amount of water to the fabric. Then, take a comb or even your hand to wipe the fabric, lifting the fibers up as you go. This will give them the opportunity to return to their original position.


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One Easy Way to Warm Up Your Home

This Sunday, we were featured in the House + Home section of the Kansas City Star, discussing a fabulous home accessory – throws! We love adding one to the end of a bed, over the back of a couch or piled into a basket.


Throws are a great way to add interest to a room, while being the perfect ingredient to movie night. Adding throws to a space can provide texture, color, pattern and softness, making your home feel like a cozy retreat. Over the next few months, you’ll find them at a number of stores. Think of picking one up for a great gift or have one custom made into the perfect size. You can even add extra lining for warmth.


However, we will issue a word of warning. Pay attention to the trim. It can really tickle.

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