by Kris Kolar

Quality furnishings, fine fabrics, stunning accents, coordinating flooring, and background details: These design elements are what come together to make a house a home. Since 1915, Robb & Stucky has been providing Southwest Florida with these essentials to create a lifestyle to call our own.

Today, when home is a respite from our busy lives and budgets are tight, it is even more important to surround yourself with quality items that reflect your personality and spark desired emotions. That is the essence of design—an expression of personal style.

There are four tips for creating a haven at home that reflects your style, even if you’re on a limited budget. Understand why quality matters. Find inspiration from friends, lifestyle publications, and showrooms. Educate yourself about design styles and the latest trends. And consult a design expert to set a master design plan. This is the formula for design success.

When purchasing furniture, style and quality are two important factors, especially when working with a limited budget. When something is poorly made, you tend to think of it as disposable. In the back of your mind, you think you will ultimately replace it (not the best use of your design dollar).

Whether you are looking for a single piece or a complete room, a design expert can help you create a design plan to reflect your personal style. Creating a master plan before making purchases can save you time and money and ensure that your home suits your lifestyle and reflects your personal tastes. The master plan is an important foundation on which to base your interior decor and a basis to build upon in the future. It will also keep you on track by setting a wish list of items you want to purchase for you home and spelling out what sizes you need to fit your space, which prevents you from purchasing unnecessary pieces.

Robb & Stucky offers the community three great design resources. Our showrooms present customers with inspiring lifestyle vignettes, helping them to envision their home’s potential. Design consultations allow customers to evaluate their design needs with a member of the Robb & Stucky team. And our complimentary design seminars share trends and techniques that customers can incorporate into their own homes.

You can learn more about our free seminars in this issue of Times of the Islands, RSW Living, and Bonita Living, which focuses on the world of design. Stories cover everything from a Fort Myers dress designer to a Lee County organization that provides free home repair services. They spotlight an up-and-coming Miami arts district, examples of the Sarasota School of Architecture, and even a local model home whose interior was decorated by a Robb & Stucky designer.

Good design is always important, even when you’re working on a budget. When you want to surround yourself with comfort and create a haven within your home, don’t sacrifice the fundamentals of design. A home that is a reflection of its owner—not just this economic period of time—offers true value for your design dollar.