See our Products Featured on “Home Free” on FOX!

Tune in every Wednesday at 9/10 pm ET/PT on FOX to see our window coverings used in the final redesigns of HOME FREE. This new design competition series is full of exciting twists and never-before-seen surprises. If you’re looking for beautiful designs, heartfelt stories, and deserving families, this is the perfect show for you.

We’re excited to be a part of this show and the difference it is making in the contestants’ lives. Watch it with us every week!

Take a look at some of these before and afters from the very first episode.

Home Free first episode before house front view

Home Free first episode before house porch view

Home Free first episode before  pink kitchen

Home Free first episode after front house view

Home Free first episode after house and patio view

Home Free first episode after kitchen view

Home Free first episode after kitchen - livingroom view

Home Free first episode after livingroom faux wood blinds view

What do you think of the final design from the first episode?

Focal Points – Taking Your Style to a Whole New Level

Take your style to the next level.

I walked through the Houston Airport craving something to satisfy my travel hunger. Despite my diligence and growling stomach, I was suddenly distracted by this exciting “wood divider” between two rows of chairs in an open lounge. Wood branches twisted in all different directions that ascended to the ceiling. I was in awe. I thought, What a great piece! I could see this in my home, my entertaining space, or in my master bedroom. I was mesmerized by it. As I walked slowly around it, I gazed in appreciation, unaware of the people sitting in the lounge and probably wondering what in the world I was doing. I let out a small awkward laugh, snapped a photo with my phone and moved on.

Take time to notice the interesting things.

Now, I realize that designers can obsess over things that many others don’t even notice. I have spent many paused moments admiring a ceiling application, a texture on a wall, a pattern on a rug, and even synchronized lighting. The very thing that I am drawn to, however, is one of the elements that my clients hire me to create in their spaces. It’s the statement piece. It’s a focal point. These are items that are eye stoppers. It’s that piece when you walk into a space and it demands your attention. It’s that piece that many times inspires my entire design for a room. Not all focal points are created equal though. They can’t compete with other items in the room. They coordinate with the all other items in a space, yet still stand alone. They’re the diamond necklace that completes a fabulous outfit.

A focal point is anything that grabs your attention in a good way

Focal Points can be an exotic rug, an accent chair with a bold pattern, a side table with ornate legs, a piece of artwork, an oversized bright vase, a centerpiece on your table, or anything that grabs your attention in a good way. Key words here: GOOD WAY. An eye sore is not a focal point. Those items officially become distractions. I’m laughing here… because I think we all know what those are! While I realize this is subjective and beauty is in the eye of the beholder, make sure your statement pieces consider today’s design trends or serve as cohesive elements in your overall style. For example, if you have a very modern space with clean lines and bold patterns, adding an oversized, traditional oil painting with an ornate gold frame will not serve as a focal point. Just because something grabs your attention, doesn’t mean it’s a statement piece. Dining rooms are spaces we don’t use on a daily basis, so consider a fun, oversized seasonal centerpiece that is eye catching. Perhaps you won’t be sitting at that table each day, but as you pass by it, why not add a statement piece to put a smile on your face?

Focal Points can be fun and whimsical

Focal Points can be fun and whimsical too. They can transform a stale and lifeless space to a fun and lively one! They also enhance the theme, textures, and colors in your space. You can surely have more than one focal point as well but it should still be a part of the overall style. When all of the elements in a space are considered and merge together, they create harmony and consistency. Here is my checklist of the items I review when designing a space:

– Wall color (since this is the largest surface space in a room, consider a color that is timeless.)
– Furniture (while all pieces don’t need to match, they should coordinate.)
– Textures (can be on a wall, in fabrics, drapery & window coverings, a rug, flooring, etc.)
– Flooring (usually the second largest surface area, it should be something that
– Theme (if there is one)
– Color palette (can be the accent color or colored carried throughout the space in various items.)
– Statement piece / focal point (the eye stopper, the item that grabs your attention.)
– Accessories and décor (artwork, tabletop items, wall art, candles, etc.)
– Lighting (it’s the frosting on the cake. No matter how great a space, it must be lit properly to
enhance the mood you wish to create.)

A focal point should be interesting

What I love about focal points is the freedom of expression they provide. Focal points are those elements in a space where you can really spread your wings! They have personality; they say something without uttering a word. For example, I had a homeowner when I worked on HGTV’s “My First Place” who was a professional race car driver. So, I created a theme in his living room that was an extension of his love for cars. I printed out large canvases of his favorite vehicles, moments, and scenes that were all about racing. On the room’s largest wall, I found an oversized metal sculpture of a car. This was my statement piece. I even created window treatment rods that looked like exhaust pipes on a car! It was such a fun space and most importantly, he loved it! It was an extension of him. The entire design was centered around that metal sculpture, which was the first item I found to inspire his space. So have fun with these focal points! I can promise you if find that statement piece and let is serve as the inspiration for your entire room, you’re going to be happy you did.

An area rug is a great focal point

Window Coverings can also serve as great focal points. Don’t think of window coverings as merely functional. They are a key ingredient in any space! If you want to create a focal point in your window coverings, select a style that either has a bold color or vibrant pattern. Here are two of my top picks from the @Home Collection by Carriann Johnson:

Window coverings are a perfect focal point

Express yourself with window coverings

Follow these tips when creating focal points in your home and your spaces will have that statement you crave!

Happy Decorating!

Carriann Johnson

Take the Ugly Out of Your Home!

Take the ugly out of your home!

Carriann Johnson brings in the New Year!

January 2015 is here!! Woohoo! How excited are you for this New Year? It’s that month that brings a sense of rejuvenation. Dust off the old, invent the new and add some zazzle to your life in only a way that you know how! While September has me craving freshly sharpened pencils, January begs for that freshly sharpened eye….for me anyway. And as I tuck away the Christmas décor and get a jump start on cleaning and organizing, I get anxious to share some valuable tips with you. Tips that help you “take the ugly out of your home!” We all want harmonious spaces that we enjoy. After all, when’s the last time someone told you “I love when my home looks ugly?” So as you start this New Year with vigor and anticipation, consider some of my tips to help you beautify your home.

Remove the Eye Sores

Now this is an ugly kitchen!

Look around your room and ask yourself these questions: Would I purchase this today in a store? Do I absolutely love this item? Is this piece I like to sit on? Do I love the wall color? What would encourage me to come into this room more and enjoy it? The answers to these questions will help you identify your eye sores. Look for items that are dusty and old, brass fixtures and finishes, dated styles, harsh patterns or dated colors, items too small to fill a wall or items too large on a small one. Styles that clash with one another, aged wallpaper, broken items you can’t repair, or fixtures that have been there way too long are all dating your spaces and creating eye sores. Consider stopping by your local bookstore to gain some inspiration in the Design Magazines section or look online at your favorite stores and see what styles and trends they are featuring. Then mirror your space after the current ones you like.

Accept the Design Trends

Embrace that its time to update the decor!

I understand holding on to a style you love. But no matter how passionate you are about lace doilies, mauve wallpaper or brass fixtures, accept that they are out of style and no longer fashionable! If you desire a space that has the latest colors and styles, then you must evolve with the times. There’s no way around it. If you want a current and fashionable look, letting go of the past is essential. And here’s the good news…today’s trends are flexible and cater to all different tastes. I’ve also noticed that when it comes to current designs and colors, that as long as you follow the general blueprint for them, you can add your own personality to them and still have current design trends in your home.

Make a Date With Yourself

Schedule time with yourself

You wouldn’t start making a recipe without checking for all the ingredients, right? The same rule applies to designing a space. Putting together a great space can take time, organizing, patience, and proper scheduling. Start your project first by making a checklist of all the items you need for your space. Create a budget list as well so you are well aware of what you are going to spend on this project. Then, schedule dates on your calendar when you are going to execute your design. Schedule shopping dates, painting dates, renovation needs, assembly dates, etc.. If you do this, you eliminate any unnecessary stress. You also set realistic expectations. I have witnessed many homeowners stress themselves out by trying to accomplish their projects in unrealistic time frames with unrealistic budgets. Plan ahead of time (including people that may need to help you), and you will actually enjoy the project, the process, and the end result!

Make The Decision for Change

Create storage so everything has  place to go

You know what space in your home where you walk in the room and you silently sigh at it but don’t know why? It’s your least favorite room in the house. And there’s something about this space that nearly makes your blood boil or has you reaching for that itch to scratch. Perhaps it’s that room that you’ve needed to re-organize, clean, paint, decorate, or add window coverings. Well, here’s a little secret…’s going to continue to be an eye sore until you make the decision to change it. After all, everything in our lives is attitude, right? I’ve always designed my spaces with a golden rule: “I will LOVE every inch of every room in my spaces if I approach them that way.” Even a laundry room or walk-in pantry can be a fun space if you adopt the right mindset towards it. I once had a friend who was at my home walk past my laundry room and said, “Your laundry room looks nicer than my master bedroom!” What a compliment, right? I wanted to enjoy the room so I made the decision that I would design the space in a way that I would love going in that room and not dread it. And guess what?…. I did. I painted the walls a grayish-brown color, installed some really nice cabinets, added a chandelier (instead of the fluorescent overhead one) and hung some nice photography prints on the wall.

Get Your Shades On!

Window shades can make a statement

Choose the right window treatment for your room

The ingredients that make a space successful are the proper balance of color palette, style and/or theme, furniture, rugs (if needed), accessories, lighting, textures and window coverings. When I see people skip the window coverings, I am easily able to define what is missing in their space. Especially if the space feels sterile or lacks that cozy factor. Window Coverings not only help you direct light, provide privacy, and insulate but they also add design features that will enhance your space. It’s one more area of your room where you can showcase your colors, textures, theme, and style. Have a look at these at these spaces above. Imagine the space without any window shades. Without window coverings, the space feels incomplete! Add window coverings to your spaces and you will see a drastic difference.

Follow these tips when taking the ugly out of your home and you’re sure to fall in love with your home all over again!

Happy Decorating!

Carriann Johnson

The Cozy Home by Carriann Johnson

The Cozy Home

We all want it. Here’s how you get it…

Happy December, everyone! Can you even believe that I’m saying that? I can’t either. It feels like yesterday that I was telling myself, “Christmas is only 4 months away!” Ahhh! And here we are. As temperatures plummet, it’s only natural to start craving comfort foods like chili, meatloaf, and hot cocoa. The electric blankets are making their way from the hall closet to our beds. Those warm sweaters and extra thick clothing items are pushed to the front of our closets as our calendars inch closer and closer to “First day of Winter”. The reality of the season is upon us. (Sniffle).

While many of us anxiously wait all year for the soothing temperatures of Summer, most of us live in climates where temperatures drop and seasons change. So if you can’t afford to move to the Canary Islands where temperatures year round are 64 – 77 degrees, then why not embrace each season by looking at the positive? After all, attitude is everything, right? Part of that attitude is acclimating to the changes that need to take place in our homes. While it may be chilly outside, consider some of my design tips to cozy up your home this winter!

Add A Wall Mounted Electric Fireplace

Add a wall mount fire place

I was sitting in the lobby of a local business and saw one of these mounted on the wall. As I walked over it to it, I discovered that it actually was radiating heat from it! “How awesome is that?” I thought. Imagine the possibilities in your home? How about that room that never seems to get warm enough? That space that doesn’t allow for a fireplace but you’ve always wanted one? In your dining room where you know you’ll be entertaining guests anyway? After a few minutes on the internet, I discovered all different shapes, sizes, colors, and price ranges on these. Perhaps there’s one that meets your needs?

A Basket of Slippers

A basket of slippers by the front door

Place a basket of slippers near the front door to encourage guests (and yourself!) to keep their feet warm. Cold feet and hands are to be expected in the winter months….but they don’t have to be inside your home. Find a large, fun basket that coordinates with your décor and fill it with 6-8 pairs of slippers. Make them different colors and sizes to accommodate everyone. I can promise you that you will love this idea, especially when you notice your basket is empty and smiles are all over your home!

Soften all those hard surfaces

Soften the hard surfaces to make the room feel cozy

Our senses are a portal to our moods. Ever notice how everyone starts to feel better as we approach the dinner table for a meal? Or how we immediately feel like taking a nap when we snuggle up on a cozy chair or sofa? Or how happy we may feel when we hear one of our favorite songs as we enter a restaurant or a clothing store? The smell of apple pie or cinnamon can calm our soul. Upon discovering a faux fur pillow or blanket, we may find ourselves protecting it like a newborn! Our surroundings can surely alter our moods. Successful interior design occurs when the human element is considered. Spaces can have the illusion they are colder than they actually are when they don’t invite us into them. Here is my list of items to add to hard surface spaces that immediately add the cozy factor:

* Add a wool or heavy cashmere blanket and/or pillows to a leather sofa.

* Add a rug under seating areas, even if the floor is carpeted. (Rugs also help define a space, so it’s a double win!) Add rugs to hard surfaces like tile and wood floors. Especially under dining tables and kitchen tables. Feeling something soft under your feet while you eat encourages you to slow down, enjoy your meal, and the moment.

* Add florals, silks, or artificial greens to tabletop areas. A space that has a lot of hard surfaces will also have a lot of noise reflection. If you can hear an echo in your space, chances are it needs some ‘warming up’ with the right décor items. Adding florals is the fail-proof cure. Notice how this foyer looks in this home. The floral on the hall table, the rug, and the pillows and throw on the bench all invite you into this warm and cozy space.

Area rugs create warmth


Illuminate the room

I can’t say enough great things about candles. Not only do they add color to our spaces ,but (when lit) they add ambiance. They let off heat. They change the entire mood of a space! Coordinate with your seasonal décor and don’t forget….to use them!! Light them. All of them!!

Window Coverings For Warmth

Window Coverings For Warmth

You wouldn’t bake a birthday cake and not add frosting to it, right? The same idea applies to great spaces. They are by far one of the most overlooked areas of your home that add function, style, color, warmth, design, and help insulate. I’ve always loved standard window panels to complement windows. Choose a panel that is a part of your color palette within the space. You’ll be happy you did!

Warm Colored Shades

Warm pallets bring the cozy to the room

Choose a color palette that coordinates with the colors in your space. A warm color will always soften the look in your room and create warmth. And if you select just the right color, you will have a timeless look that lasts for years to come.

Contrast or compliment the window shade colors

Follow these tips when making your home cozy this Season and it will have you feeling warm all the way to Spring!

Happy Decorating!

Carriann Johnson

Designing for the Holidays

Designing for the holidays

Can you feel that new vibe in the air? Decorations and colors of all kinds for every holiday are creeping their way into retailers. One store has up Christmas trees, the other already has lit up pumpkins on clearance and now fashion retailers are starting to promote Spring fashion! It’s a crazy time that can frantically drive someone right to Pinterest just to obtain some visuals on this madness. Even as an Interior Designer, I can spiral into a panicked dance like that of a squirrel trying to cross the road (and then changes his mind to dash back to the ditch). This is that time of year where we start thinking about all of the holidays that are fast approaching. And it seems that once Halloween is upon us, the ball starts rolling and our homes become the stage for gatherings, festivities, hosted parties, and tons of hungry mouths. From our dinner tables to our fireplaces, our homes become the backdrop for 4 wonderfully fun holidays – Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Years. And if you’re like me, you like your home to keep you, your family, your friends, and your guests in the holiday spirit! With all the craziness and hectic schedules of our lives, sometimes the simple things like sipping a hot apple cider on a Sunday afternoon, smelling the aroma of a nutmeg candle on November 21st, or hearing a crackling fireplace in the middle of December can sooth our soul like nothing else. But before you daydream of those blissful moments, let’s plan. The stage is our home and I’m happy to navigate you through the process of Decorating your Home For the Holidays! (This is a good time to set the mood by playing your favorite music in the background while you read the rest of this article. 🙂 )

Step 1 – “The Swap”

Swap items already in your spaces with seasonal items

It’s easy to incorporate new seasonal décor, but how do you avoid that cluttered look? Swap out items already in your spaces with seasonal items. Don’t just add items without subtracting others. For example, if you are decorating for Thanksgiving, swap out your current candles or centerpiece with one that is filled with Fall colors. Change out plain white candles with deep red ones or butterscotch colored candles. Swap out your everyday sofa pillows with seasonal pillows. Exchange your standard white lamp shade with a red one at Christmas, and so on. Think of ways to incorporate your theme and colors of the season and swap them out with fun, festive items!

Step 2 – “Complement and Coordinate”

Complement and Coordinate the existing decor

I’ve seen far too many people make the mistake of incorporating Holiday décor into their existing styles and not take their existing space into consideration. They love their holiday décor and they love their everyday décor but they don’t like when the two come together. Here’s how you avoid this common mistake…. Choose seasonal and Holiday décor that complements or coordinates with your existing colors and styles. For example, if you have a modern living room that has dark blues, browns, and ivories in your color palette, don’t add the traditional red and green Christmas decorations. Consider adding all silver décor, gold décor, or even blue décor. It’s out there, trust me. Christmas colors are no longer just red and green and Thanksgiving colors are not just orange and red. While shopping, I’ve seen fun things like purple pumpkins, lime green pilgrim statues, and even a solid orange Santa Claus! Take some time, shop wisely, and you will find just what your space needs to compliment your existing style.

Step 3 – “Quality Over Quantity”

Choose Quality Over Quantity

Our homes can start looking more like we are having an indoor garage sale than celebrating the current holiday. Your home will look like your hired a Designer when you keep things simple and choose your holiday décor wisely. I’d rather see a huge holiday wreath over your mantle filled with quality gourds, tasteful colors, and a unique flare to it (and that’s ALL), than a living room that’s filled with 25-20 small items crammed on to every end table, coffee table, and hanging from the ceiling with colored string. This is a time where less is more. Invest in a great holiday accent item that makes a statement. Thick outdoor garland with ample amounts of lights on it streaming around your front doorway with a natural pine wreath will look far nicer than a front porch that has so many plastic blown up holiday creatures you can barely stand on the porch with them. Save the front lawn for that, it has more room!

Step 4 – “Don’t Forget Those Shades!”

I’m not talking sunglasses here. Take a moment and pause…and think of that busted cord, the discolored shade, the blind that no longer works, the window covering that you despise but have been putting off its replacement…what about that window covering that doesn’t block that nasty winter draft? You know who you are and yes, I’m talking to you! Hasn’t it been long enough? It’s time to take some action. I’ve already done some of the work for you. When that time comes that you’re sitting in your living room celebrating the holidays, you’ll thank me as you gaze upon your windows and can’t take your eyes off the gift that you purchased for your home…WINDOW COVERINGS! Here are some of my recommendations for great windows shades for this time of year. Not only do they provide an insulating component and help with those nasty drafts, but they look fabulous!

Wood Alloy Shades.

Don't Forget Those Shades

Not only do wood alloy shades add richness and elegance to your space, but the fit just about any style! These are great for a variety of styles such as Traditional, Coastal themes, Modern, and even Cottage Style. The thickness of each wood slat provides the perfect barrier for any drafts. The S-Curve option adds a new dimension and an elegant look to the blind. The no-holes privacy option is also available on these wood alternative blinds.

Designer Screens.

Designer screens make a difference

These stylish window shades will compliment any space! I promise you won’t regret selecting these in your home. These shades gently filter sun light providing UV protection and minimizing glare while maintaining your view outside. They also allow the beauty of all Seasons to be seen, even when they are lowered. These are perfect for styles such as Coastal, Modern, and transitional. Ideal for living rooms, theater rooms, bathrooms, and bedrooms.

Follow these tips when getting your home ready for this Holiday season and you’re sure to be all smiles!

Happy Decorating!

Carriann Johnson