Happenings: Concerts

THE ANDREW BRADY MUSIC CENTER

An Evening with Jackson Browne
June 24
Jackson Browne has written and performed some of the most literate and moving songs in popular music and has defined a genre of songwriting charged with honesty, emotion and personal politics. He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2004 and the Songwriter’s Hall of Fame in 2007.

Maren Morris: Humble Quest Tour
June 25
Humble Quest is Maren’s most genuine collection of songs, tracing her journey to embrace the imperfections in her life through snapshots of her rises and falls, overshares, lullabies, wine-soaked conversations with one old friend and a final goodbye to another one.

Mt. Joy
June 29
Mt. Joy channels bright, bold, and brilliant energy in their music. The Philadelphia quintet—Matt Quinn [vocals, guitar], Sam Cooper [guitar], Sotiris Eliopoulos [drums], Jackie Miclau [keys, piano], and Michael Byrnes [bass]—have steadily evolved since forming back in 2016.

Big Time Rush: Forever Tour
July 6
Big Time Rush became an overnight sensation in November 2009 when the scripted TV show of the same name launched on Nickelodeon. The show focused on the Hollywood adventures of four hockey players from Minnesota after they were selected to form a boy band. The show a huge success and later, Carlos, Kendall, James, and Logan came to life as a band off the screen releasing three full length albums and performing across the globe.

5 Seconds of Summer: Take My Hand World Tour
July 18
The Take My Hand World Tour (previously known as the No Shame Tour) is the ongoing headlining concert tour by 5 Seconds of Summer in support of their fourth album CALM and their upcoming fifth album 5SOS5.


RIVERBEND

The Doobie Brothers 50th Anniversary Tour
July 7
Selling nearly 50 million albums worldwide, The Doobie Brothers have had five Top 10 singles, 16 Top 40 hits, 3 multi-platinum albums, 7 platinum albums, 14 gold albums and own a rare diamond record for their 1976 album, Best of the Doobies. The Doobie Brothers’ collection of timeless hits will once again be played by the artists who wrote them, providing fans the rare opportunity to see these Rock and Roll legends performing their full catalog of songs on stage.

Santana + Earth, Wind & Fire: Miraculous Supernatural Tour
July 9
Santana, and his band (which also features Santana’s wife, Cindy Blackman Santana) will highlight songs from both his Supernaturaland Woodstock eras, as well as newer tracks from his 2019 full-length album Africa Speaks and some incredible surprisesEarth, Wind & Fire is one of music’s most celebrated musical forces in history with an iconic music catalogue that has been the soundtrack of millions of lives around the world.

Rod Stewart
July 12
Sir Rod’s 2022 summer tour announcement follows on the heels of his triumphant and record-breaking 50th year as a solo artist (2019) and promises an unprecedented night of iconic hit songs.

Tedeschi Trucks Band – Wheels of Soul 2022
July 13
One of contemporary music’s most respected bands, Tedeschi Trucks Band is unrivaled in their blend of American soul, blues, country and rock. Now celebrating 12 years together, they hold a reputation for exceptional songwriting, commanding can’t miss performances and a catalog of critically praised albums. heels of hi

The Cult
July 14
The Cult is bringing the We Own The Night Tour with special guests Black Rebel Motorcycle Club and Zola Jesus to PNC Pavilion.

TAFT THEATRE

Bruce Hornsby & The Noisemakers
June 24
Bruce Hornsby has built one of the most diverse, collaborative and adventurous careers in contemporary music. Drawing from a vast wellspring of American musical traditions, from pop, jazz, bluegrass, and ’60s soul, the singer/pianist/composer/bandleader has created a large and accomplished body of work and employs a vast array of stylistic approaches. From the start, Hornsby has maintained the integrity, virtuosity and artistic curiosity that have been hallmarks of his work.

Big Bad VooDoo Daddy
June 30
Big Bad Voodoo Daddy’s efforts to promote and revitalize swing music have taken shape as much more than a simple tribute. Taking inspiration from the creators of this uniquely American art form, the band’s original horn-infused music and legendary high energy show introduces the genre to a new and younger generation while remaining cognizant and respectful of the music’s rich legacy.

 

Happenings: Theater

ARONOFF CENTER

Hairspray
June 28 – July 3
HAIRSPRAY, Broadway’s Tony Award-winning musical comedy phenomenon that inspired the blockbuster film and live television event, is back on tour. Join 16-year-old Tracy Turnblad in 1960s’ Baltimore as she sets out to dance her way onto TV’s most popular show. Can a girl with big dreams (and even bigger hair) change the world?

This all-new touring production will reunite Broadway’s award-winning creative team led by director Jack O’Brien and choreographer Jerry Mitchell to bring HAIRSPRAY to a new generation of theater audiences. Don’t miss this “exhilaratingly funny and warm-hearted musical comedy” (The New Yorker).

 


ENSEMBLE THEATRE CINCINNATI

Tiny Beautiful Things
May 28 – June 25
When life is bitter, turn to Sugar. Based on the acclaimed book by Cheryl Strayed (author of the best-selling Wild), this is a funny and deeply touching exploration of resilience following the then-struggling writer as she took over the unpaid, anonymous position of an advice columnist named Sugar.


MUSIC HALL

La Boheme
June 18 – June 25
Get swept away by one of the most famous love stories ever sung. In his cold apartment on Christmas Eve, the penniless poet Rodolfo prepares to celebrate the holiday with friends on the city’s bustling streets. But with a quiet knock on the door, he meets Mimì, whose single candle has gone out. While searching for a match in the dark, hands touch, sparks fly, and lives change forever. La Bohème has captivated generations of audiences with its unforgettable music and its sweetly sentimental tale of young, bohemian lovers in Paris.

The Pirates of Penzance
July 7 – July 10
Set sail on a perfectly preposterous adventure, complete with dutiful daughters, cowering constables, and softhearted swashbucklers. Frederic, an orphan apprenticed to a lively band of pirates, will soon celebrate his 21st birthday, when he’ll be free to pursue a life—and love—all his own. The charming Mabel catches his eye, and she’s supremely smitten in return. But the crafty Pirate King finds a loophole in Frederic’s contract, setting the young lovers’ future upon stormy seas. Will Frederic and Mabel steer their way to a happily-ever-after? With vibrant sets and costumes, memorable tunes, and rapid-fire laughs, The Pirates of Penzance is a modern, major spectacle, perfect for the entire family.

Happenings: Theater

ARONOFF CENTER

To Kill A Mockingbird
May 31 – June 12

All rise for Academy Award-winner Aaron Sorkin’s adaptation of Harper Lee’s Pulitzer Prize-winning masterwork. Majestic and incandescent, it’s filled with breath and nuance, and soul.” With direction by Tony Award-winner Bartlett Sher, TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD — “the greatest novel of all time” (Chicago Tribune) — has quickly become “one of the greatest plays in history” (NPR).

SOUL
June 3 – 4

June is Black Music Month and there’s no better way to celebrate than seeing the dancers of Revolution Dance Theatre alongside some of the best live musical talent in Cincinnati. From Gospel to hip hop, R&B to jazz – this concert honors the extraordinary soundtrack black music has been throughout our lives.

Falsettos
June 10 – 18

A seamless pairing of March of the Falsettos and Falsettoland, two acclaimed Off-Broadway musicals written nearly a decade apart, Falsettos is the tale of family, relationships, bar mitzvahs, baseball, and AIDS.


CINCINNATI BALLET

Bold Moves Festival
May 12 – 22

The immersive dance experience will feature six rotating mainstage productions accompanied by a variety of activities and interactive events that will please discerning balletomanes and families alike. Bold Moves Festival will feature Ohad Naharin’s seminal work, Minus 16, along with a world premiere, Our Story, from Company soloist David Morse.

Dance Theatre of Harlem
May 17 – 18

Forward-thinking repertoire of treasured classics, neoclassical works by George Balanchine and resident choreographer Robert Garland, and innovative contemporary works that use the language of ballet to celebrate Black culture. In addition to performance, DTH activities carry a message of empowerment through the arts by engaging the community through educational activities for audiences and youth.


ENSEMBLE THEATRE CINCINNATI

Tiny Beautiful Things
May 28 – June 25

When life is bitter, turn to Sugar. Based on the acclaimed book by Cheryl Strayed (author of the best-selling Wild), this is a funny and deeply touching exploration of resilience following the then-struggling writer as she took over the unpaid, anonymous position of an advice columnist named Sugar.


PLAYHOUSE IN THE PARK

 

School Girls; or, The African Mean Girls Play
April 30 – May 22

Fearlessly funny. This biting comedy explores the universal challenges of teenage girlhood and all the drama that comes with it.

How the Pandemic Changed the Real Estate Market in 2020

And What’s on the Horizon for 2021?

Shoppers line up, socially distanced, in front of a Costco in the early days of the pandemic.

It’s been just a little over a year since the United States was blindsided by the coronavirus pandemic. The stock market crashed. Everything appeared to come to a grinding halt. Social distancing, mask-wearing, and stay-a-home orders quickly became the new norm. Then the unexpected happened. Suddenly, buyers appeared en masse, eager to find themselves in a new home. Many were first time home buyers, millennials who had previously been reluctant to enter the real estate market. Spurred on by unbelievably low mortgage interest rates and a strong urge to leave communal living spaces behind (whether it be an apartment with roommates or a parent’s home with additional family members), they took the real estate market by storm.

The pandemic also changed the way we think of home and how we use our homes. At the start of the pandemic, the amount of time we spent at home increased drastically. Almost overnight our homes became classrooms, offices, gyms, cafes, restaurants, and entertainment venues. We relied on our homes to support far more activities than ever before. Of course, not every home was well suited for its new role. Many homeowners discovered their properties lacked the space and functionality to meet these covid-era demands and found themselves desperate to find a property that was more accommodating.

Even now that it appears we are entering a pandemic recovery phase, home owners aren’t willing to totally give up this new lifestyle. Lots of organizations have encouraged their employees to continue working remotely for an indefinite period of time, or even permanently. Many people have realized they can get adequate workouts in their basements or a spare bedroom. Some have discovered the joy of cooking and are eating out much less, but spending more time in the kitchen with other family members. All of these behaviors help save money, thereby affording a larger budget for a new home. That’s a good thing considering the U.S. median home price increased 12.8 % in 2020, hitting an all-time high of $266,250, according to ATTOM Data Solutions.

So what can we expect for the rest of 2021?

Mortgage rates are expected to remain low for the rest of the year

Yes, interest rates have ticked up slightly since the beginning of the pandemic in March 2020, but still remain incredibly low, even compared to recent years. According to Rocket Mortgage, in 2016, rates began rising after the presidential election. By the end of 2018/beginning of 2019, they had reached their peak around 4.65% for a 30-year FRM. The average rate for a 30-year FRM in March, 2021 was 3.32%.

Extremely competitive market conditions will continue for buyers

The news of historic-low inventory has been received and has many homeowners who might be thinking of selling their homes worried about where they will go if they sell their current home. Most sellers who are entering the market now are doing so because they have to; they are relocating to another area or combining households. Some are selling because they feel they need to make a major change in their housing. Homeowners seeking less change are choosing to stay put for now.

When will it change?

Spring and early summer could yield slightly more inventory. Some buyers, frustrated after months of losing out, may walk away for a while. This will certainly help alleviate some of the pressure, but just how much remains to be seen. The housing market is well known for its unpredictable nature. That’s one of the best reasons to have a knowledgeable, experienced real estate professional represent you and your interests. Our agents have weathered the storm and found new ways to serve their clients. By adapting to change, setting higher standards, and looking beyond the needs of today, we continue to work tirelessly to uphold your valued trust and make you feel at home.

Residential Real Estate Roundtable

To watch a recording of this live event, click on the video play button above or click here.

The Cincinnati housing market was hot before Covid-19 hit. After a brief slow down last spring caused by the pandemic and lock downs, 2020 ended up being a record year for home sales. That momentum has carried into 2021 and inventory has continued to decline.

On April 8, a panel of residential real estate experts, including our own Lee Robinson, sat down with Tom Demeropolis, Senior staff reporter at the Cincinnati Business Courier to discuss today’s most important issues surrounded our local market.

Diminished inventory, historic low interest rates, how to buy and sell a home in this market, and how the pandemic has impacted the housing market are included in this highly informative seminar. The experts also examined where the local housing market is headed into what is typically the busy spring and summer season and shared tips for buyers and sellers to help them navigate the competitive waters.

CLICK HERE TO WATCH THE RECORDING

Industry Leaders
REALTOR
Lee Robinson, Broker/Owner, Robinson Sotheby’s International Realty

BUILDER
Brad Olinger, President, Sterling Homes

LENDER
Ryan Kiefer, Market Manager, Prime Lending

Nine Hauntingly Unique Airbnbs for a Magical Halloween Getaway

Amherst, Ohio

The Magical Barn and Bock’s Jukejoint is rustic, funky, and absolutely enchanting. Reminiscent of the old juke joints found throughout the Mississippi delta, with a dash of Voodoo and a heaping cup of the blues, this carefully crafted and decorated barn will leave you bedazzled.

 

Knoxville, Tennessee

Stay at Williamswood Castle and step back in time to medieval Scotland, complete with secret passage, towers, swords, armor, a moving bookcase. Guests at the spacious 4,500 sq. ft. castle enjoy views of Tennessee River from the multi-level balcony. Knoxville’s most unique estate – your very own castle – is only ten minutes from downtown.

 

Devils Tower, Wyoming

Fans of Close Encounters of the Third Kind will immediately recognize the iconic Devils Tower, the famous Wyoming landmark and natural rock formation that played an instrumental role in the movie. Located right at the base of Devils Tower, this cozy cabin offers the closest lodging to the park.

 

Los Angeles, California

The former home of Harry Houdini, a historic 5-acre hillside property, you can experience the magic of centenary trees, romantic gardens, and hidden passageways. Built in the Edwardian tradition in the early 1900s, the Houdini Estate still has a deep-water tank where Houdini reportedly practiced his underwater escapes.

Gettysburg, Pennsylvania

The David Stewart Farm is located in historic Gettysburg, PA. The farmhouse and barn were used as a civil war field hospital immediately after the Battle of Gettysburg. The host believes the space is haunted by the original home owner and confederate soldier, Henry Gaugher.

 

Orlando, Florida

More fun house than haunted house, this Airbnb was inspired by Harry Potter’s castle. Just 10 miles to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter and 6 miles to Disney World, this magical home offers all the modern conveniences for a perfect Harry Potter themed vacation. Kids of all ages will especially enjoy the dining hall, game room, and private swimming pool.

 

Savannah, Georgia

Laura’s Cottage is a charming 18th century cottage said to be haunted by the ghost of a midwife. Guests occasionally find one dime, one nickel, and two pennies in the cottage – the price midwives charged for their services in the 18th century. It’s located is in the heart of the Landmark Historic District and is featured in many of the ghost tours around Savannah.

 

New Orleans, Louisiana

The Haunted Bedroom at The Parks-Bowman Mansion, located in New Orleans’ Garden District, is well-known among ghost enthusiasts and has been voted among the “Top Ten Haunted Airbnb Locations” by Buzzfeed. Those who dare to stay here report being awakened from their slumber by the ghost of a girl wearing a yellow dress.

 

Saint Paul, Minnesota

The Master Chamber is the spacious guest suite in The Manor – a home that was built in 1883 and remained in the same family for several generations. Once voted the most mysterious house in Saint Paul by the Pioneer Press, the manor’s charming, but curious, furnishings and décor evoke a gothic fairy tale.

Magic of Murals: Great Art on a Grand Scape

This is one of Cincinnati’s most original murals! It is a tongue-in-cheek play on the name of this neighborhood. What could be campier than Washington in full colonial regalia inspired by the nearby theatrical costume shop?

In a recent issue of RESIDE, Sotheby’s International Realty’s publication, an article titled The Magic of Murals explains that murals date back to 30,000 B.C., when paintings on the inside of caves were discovered in southern France during the Paleolithic period. Since those early prehistoric days, artists have been using large public spaces to express themselves quite famously. Leonardo da Vinci’s The Last Supper, Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel ceiling, and Diego Rivera’s Detroit Industry are considered to be masterpieces.

In partnership with the Contemporary Arts Center (CAC), ArtWorks brought internationally renowned contemporary artist, Saya Woolfalk, to Cincinnati, to create a new mural alongside her 2019 exhibition at the CAC and is located at 1005 Walnut St. Downtown.

Cincinnati is very fortunate to have its own impressive collection of awe-inspiring, original murals on display throughout Greater Cincinnati. The nonprofit arts organization, ArtWorks, is largely to thank for this. Since 1996 they have strived to transform people and places through investments in creativity. ArtWorks provides youth, ages 14-21 with the majority from underserved households, with competitive 21st century career readiness skills through mentorships with professional artists. Together they have completed more than 12,500 public and private art projects that include 190 permanent outdoor murals.

Jubilant Rhythms of Roselawn
Fiona and Bibi at the Cincinnati Zoo located at 910 Race Street, Downtown/OTR

To see them in person, ArtWorks offers several tour options, including self-guided and guided tours that are both educational and entertaining. ArtWorks tour guides are a mix of their volunteers, Youth Apprentice mural painters, and staff members are will provide fun, engaging behind-the-scenes info on how these spectacular murals came to be. Unfortunately, bus tours have been suspended due to COVID-19.

We’re Pleased to Introduce Jenna Salstrom

Robinson Sotheby’s International Realty is pleased to introduce Jenna Salstrom to our team of highly skilled Realtors®. Jenna brings with her an impressive level of enthusiasm, professionalism, and experience. She’s an experienced Realtor®, a member of the Ohio Board of Realtors President’s Sales Club in 2019, and has already surpassed the numbers required to earn the same distinction in 2020 since joining our firm in January.

According to Cynthia Jansen, our Sales Manager, “In the short time Jenna has been with our company, she has proven herself to be extremely knowledgeable, business savvy and with a personal drive for success. Jenna always takes the initiative and has quickly learned to use our suite of advanced marketing tools and technology to the best advantage. She embodies the agent culture at Robinson Sotheby’s International Realty of providing extraordinary service to her clients.”

An Ohio native, Jenna demonstrated her entrepreneurial spirit at an early age. At sixteen she worked as a first round golf caddy at a local country club. Early morning networking with club members led to her managing a childcare service in the evenings. Jenna’s passion for networking and her strong work ethic are evident in her real estate business structure. She still enjoys “talking golf” with her clients!

Building on that early foundation, Jenna has continued to develop an enviable skill set over the years that enable her to provide the best possible outcome for her clients. They applaud her for her strong negotiation skills and for being an excellent listener and clear communicator with an uncanny ability to anticipate the needs of her clients. Self-motivated and always striving to be the best in her field, Jenna regularly engages in opportunities to further her education.

Jenna is a graduate of Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, where she majored in Speech Communication – Public Relations with a minor in Marketing. She was a member of the Kappa Kappa Gamma sorority. She studied abroad in Florence, Italy and has lived in Chicago, IL and San Francisco, CA. Those experiences have given Jenna an appreciation for the unique architectural and physical beauty of Cincinnati’s many appealing neighborhoods. A true advocate for Cincinnati, she’s quick to recognize and happy to explain the many advantages of living here.

She feels blessed to have found a career where she can honor Cincinnati’s heritage by helping create a sense of community for others in the city she loves. Accompanying her clients on their journey from one chapter of their lives to the next is a privilege and one of the most satisfying aspects of her job. Jenna has great respect for the role she plays in her clients’ lives helping them make lasting memories for generations to come.

Aside from working hard for her clients to achieve their goals, Jenna can be found spending time with her 2 children, connecting with friends, and involved in fitness endeavors. She has even run in the Chicago Marathon. Her eye for art and design and appreciation of nature often lead her to creative pursuits and the great outdoors.

Sip Sip Hooray | Five Home Bars for Sipping in Style

Perfect parties and effortless private nightcaps are easy thanks to these distinctive home cocktail bars, in coveted locales from West Coast to East.

Modern Georgian Masterpiece

Greenwich, Connecticut | Steve ArchinoSotheby’s International Realty – Greenwich Brokerage

Combining classic architecture, dazzling contemporary style, and state-of-the-art smart home technology, this impressive stone-and-clapboard manor on 2.08 acres is a modern marvel. Majestic and lofty, its generous spaces—such as a dramatic living room with soaring coffered ceilings and a dining area with an eye-catching glass-enclosed bar crafted from copper, wood, and stone—are filled with natural light and encourage sophisticated entertaining. Throughout, top-tier whole-house systems can be controlled with the touch of a button.

Unique Hollywoodland Haven

Los Angeles, California | Eric McCollumSotheby’s International Realty – Los Feliz Brokerage

With a rugged stone façade and historic walls, this dramatic five-bedroom home recalls an Old World castle. Enjoying sweeping unobstructed views from its perch on a promontory, it is accompanied by a refreshing infinity-edge pool and a pool house with a roof deck. The 6,359 square foot floor plan affords space for an art studio, gym, or in-law suite; a chef’s kitchen; living and dining rooms opening to terraces; a den; a wine room; and a theater with a stylish, well-appointed bar.

Traditional Elegance in Greenwich

Greenwich, Connecticut | Joseph BarbieriSotheby’s International Realty – Greenwich Brokerage

Secluded on 2.59 acres, this stately 13,661-square-foot Greenwich manor features such enviable spaces as formal living and dining rooms, a light-flooded sunroom, a mahogany-paneled library, a billiards room, a theater, a gym and sauna, a generous wine cellar, a chef’s kitchen, a family room, and a traditionally inspired “pub” with a full wood-clad bar. The grounds offer a pool and spa, south-facing terraces with a fountain, a tennis court, and a one-bedroom guesthouse.

Chic Hamptons Getaway

Water Mill, New York | Beate V. MooreSotheby’s International Realty – Bridgehampton Brokerage

On 1.5 acres overlooking a 34-acre reserve, this pristine, light-filled getaway offers 8,600 square feet of sophisticated living spaces. Highlights include formal living and dining rooms, a library, a wine room, an impeccably appointed eat-in kitchen, a screened dining porch, a billiards room, a theater, a fitness room, and seven bedrooms. The peaceful den includes a chic bar with seating for three. A heated gunite pool, multiple terraces, and a 1,400-square-foot poolside guesthouse complete this enviable estate

 

Classical Inspiration in Pacific Palisades

Pacific Palisades, California | Barbara BoyleSotheby’s International Realty – Pacific Palisades Brokerage

This new five-bedroom home in the exclusive Riviera neighborhood of Pacific Palisades is filled with classical style and encourages festive entertaining at every turn. In addition to a formal dining room, a theater, an exceptionally spacious chef’s kitchen, a welcoming family room, and a lush private backyard with a pool, it features a handsome traditional bar that adjoins the formal living room and a recreation and billiards room with a chic modern bar.

This content was curated by Sotheby’s International Realty’s Extraordinary Living Blog under the title Sip Sip Hooray | Five Home Bars for Sipping in Style

Reading the Room | How Valerie Stafford of Rumor Designs Brings Her Interiors to Life

Home at Alpine Mountain Ranch & Club, photo courtesy of Rumor Designs 

A piece of art. A color palette. A potted succulent. For Valerie Stafford, the smallest detail can be the thread that weaves together her whole vision and concept for a room.

“That’s the best part,” she says. “Starting a design is so much fun, and then following the path as it winds is the second best part.”

Before she became Partner and a Lead Designer at Rumor Designs, Stafford followed a winding path of her own: from the modern, forward-thinking schools of art and business at the University of California, Santa Barbara, to the more traditional training ground of Florence, Italy, where she completed a Master’s in Interior Design. These two schools of thought helped Stafford cultivate her own timeless aesthetic: her rooms blend contemporary design with an appreciation for the artisanship of the past. Her practice is focused on the quality of the materials in a space, from surface finishes and wall colors to lighting and fabrics.

Here’s how this bold designer approaches a room and achieves the perfect balance of modern luxury.

1. Start With a Sense of Purpose

Yampa Street Loft, photo courtesy of Rumor Designs 

The thematic vision for a room might come from a single detail—but regardless of décor, it’s important to remember what exactly a space needs to achieve. “Each room should have a primary purpose,” explains Stafford, “and the furniture and lighting should support those functions.”

And while a room has a functional purpose, its visual style also plays an active role in shaping how the space feels for you and your visitors. “Our surroundings, whether we are aware of it or not, set the tone or mood for our experiences,” explains Stafford. “So at work or in the home, a beautifully designed space can create purpose, inspiration, energy, or peace.”

2. Look High and Low

The Anglers retreat, photo courtesy of Rumor Designs

One thing Stafford points out is that a room doesn’t necessarily have to have four walls in order to be a unique and functional space. When faced with an open-concept space, she finds alternative ways to create distinctions without any need for conventional barriers.

“Some spaces can be redefined, regardless of the architecture, using area rugs or ceiling treatments that reinvent the space,” says Stafford. “Especially in a wide open floor plan, it can get confusing where one area ends and another begins. Cues from below your feet (such as changes in flooring), or above your head (such as changes in ceiling heights or lighting groups) can help.”

Stafford notes that homeowners tend to underestimate the significance of lighting. There are three types she considers whenever she designs a room: task, for lighting up specific spaces for specific activities; ambient, for illuminating the room as a whole; and decorative, in which the light fixture itself is a unique, aesthetically-compelling unit worthy of display.

“One of the most common requests during a remodel is to add more light,” she notes. “You can never have too much, and you can always dim if needed.”

3. Take Care of the In-Between Spaces

House at Wildhorse Meadows, photo courtesy of Rumor Designs 

Whether it’s demarcated by walls or not, Stafford focuses on conscientious space planning when organizing a room, arranging furniture pieces that create a sense of cohesiveness and individual character. The self-contained look is important for setting a room apart from its neighboring spaces, and Stafford advises homeowners to invest in custom fixtures if they have glaring gaps they can’t seem to fill.

“Each room should feel inviting in some way, either in how the furniture is positioned, or the way the lighting is arranged,” she says. “Colors and textures play a huge role in this department as well.”

4. Pay Attention to Entrances

Homestead at Wildhorse Meadows, photo courtesy of Rumor Designs 

On the topic of inviting spaces, Stafford emphasizes the importance of first impressions. Homeowners should take time to think through the experience of coming into a space—or of coming into the home.

“An entryway helps get your entertaining off on the right foot and makes your guests feel welcomed,” she says. “Whether it is as simple as a small table and a mirror to check yourself on the way out, or as grand as a water feature and chandeliers, you can’t go wrong keeping the design elevated in this area.”

5. Don’t Let Setbacks Set You Back

Steamboat Pines, photo courtesy of Rumor Designs 

If there’s one thing Stafford wants you to know, it’s that homeowners need to be problem solvers and should never get deflated when the unexpected happens. “I have rarely seen a project where every element goes as planned. Building a home is a creative endeavor, and there are always things that pop up, no matter how much planning you do. If you anticipate this, you can embrace it and find the opportunities in the hurdles.”

At the end of the day, creative design is the work of many, not just one. “There are a thousand and one details and it takes a village,” says Stafford of the design process. “Hire a designer you connect with, a builder who is good with both communication and numbers, and an architect who inspires you.” With the right team in place and the patience to wait out complications, every home project can become a realized work of art.

For more design inspiration, see how the Lead Designer at Christopher Peacock London brings a room together, and browse luxury homes for your next project.