Grand Designs

You’ve walked into a perfectly designed room — the space is smartly functional, the colors are complementary, the furniture is sophisticated. Expertly designed interiors never fail to impress. But how is it done? Local experts weigh in on creating beautiful rooms in your home.

Your bedroom should be a place of relaxation and escape. “The trend is definitely clean lines. Even the traditional looks have streamlined and become much less cluttered and overdone.” The details are still there but they are simple and not as ornate.


View paint samples in the environment they are going to be used in. Hold the chips in a variety of places throughout the room. Try it on all four walls — the window walls will read darker than a wall the sunlight shines in on because of the shadows. “I find that the clients who push a bit past their comfort zone are usually happiest with the results.”


If you don’t know an item to be useful or beautiful — get rid of it. Too often we hold onto items that were gifts or we spent a significant amount of money on even though it is not to your current taste. If you start the room around something you are ambivalent about you will feel the same way about the finished room. If you surround yourself with things you love — you will love your room. “I think the feeling of the room is its most important feature. This cannot be achieved with just one item but is in the culmination of proper scale, the juxtaposition of different materials, and something unexpected that give a soul to the room.”


Be patient, prepared and positive. Patient, because no matter how prepared you are not every step of the process is going to have the exact outcome you originally imagined, sometime a more positive result could be the outcome. Contrary to what they say on TV, you cannot completely remodel a room in two days.

Island Paint and Decorating

(321) 452-8981

Smart, Polished and Graceful

It has been said that the kitchen is the heart of the home — no longer just a space for prepping and cooking meals but the center of family activity and even a spot for informal dining.


Small appliances are a common problem. “I usually design an appliance garage that houses all these items with closed doors. I include electrical here so that the pieces roll out and back into place to be tidy later.” Also consider placing large drawers on the lower cabinets. They allow for stacking pots and you can always see everything. If you have the ceiling room, make the cabinets different heights. Do not skimp on the crown at the top of cabinets though.


Nicole’s rule is dark cabinets-light countertops/light cabinets-darker countertops. But be careful that the countertops are not too dark, as they will show all dust and debris.The backsplash is your main space to really be creative with decorative tile, deco’s and medallions underneath the hood of the cook top. The use of colorful or iridescent tiles or even a blend of all natural tiles will give you an interesting focal point in the kitchen.


Decorative tiles are the feature that you have the most room to add your own style. Select these carefully and do not be afraid to use two to five different tiles, stacked or as accents. The lighting is also a decorative feature that really stands out. Adding mosaics and outlining borders on the floor can also add interest. The cabinet pulls are a great place to add some style. They are the jewelry for your kitchen. Select them carefully and budget enough to get a little larger scale pulls.

Kristmann Design Group 

Nicole Kristmann has worked nationally and internationally for 19 years. She believes in setting an architectural background and then layering fabrics, furnishings and art.

Nicole encourages home owners to use a designer as they know the latest resources
and can actually save you money by reviewing your plans and knowing the most important areas to allocate your budget, so it will really shine.

She has extensive resources for architectural salvaging from all over the world and loves taking pieces of the past, old mantels, doors, gates and implementing them into the structure. In the modern setting she is up to date on the latest materials, be it refined teak and exotic woods, to mirrored faux painted backsplashes and glass tiles. She is frequently quoted as saying, “I have no set style. I just take the client’s style and put it to good form, with additional creativity.”

(321) 951-1522


from Barefoot to Black Tie

Are you converting the guest bedroom into a new home office? Decorating the workspace at your new job? Make the most of this important personal space by addressing both functionality and style.


Start by considering how the office will be used and who it may need to accommodate. What are its strong points? Determine any features you want to play up or down. Do you need a space for recurring projects or small meetings? Be specific with wants and needs, then make a simple floor plan with measurements for reference as you shop. But first things first: Remove everything that isn’t functional or part of your developing plan. Banish clutter; your office isn’t a storage room, so the exercise bike will probably need a new home. Then freshen the walls with soothing paint colors to ward off stress and create a brand new feel.


Use furniture that’s appropriate in scale and position the larger pieces first. Vertical space can help you gain real estate and create a built-in look, as in using a desk between two bookcases. If you’re assigned an office that is already furnished, consider whether the pieces fit comfortably. Is there a good balance between work space and storage for files, books and necessary supplies?


Select a theme with meaningful connections, being careful not to overburden the scene with too much of a good thing. Is anything needed to tie it all together? Include family photos and personal items that inspire and rejuvenate. Finally, include a live plant for added energy in your productive and pleasant new office!

A fourth generation Floridian, Michael Gainey has inspired homeowners for nearly three decades with his distinctive look of casual elegance. He strives to create spaces that are not only beautiful, but a comfortable and functional reflection of owners’ travels, interests and lifestyle.

Michael is quick to dispel the myth that designers “take over” for services that are financially out of reach. For those on a tighter budget, projects can be accomplished in multiple phases, with items ordered online from design sites perused by the “unleashed” client. The prolific designer prefers to work in a manner that showcases personality while adhering to the amount of help desired. The surprisingly transformational “Fluff & Buff” utilizes existing furnishings and decor and is particularly easy on the budget. Seasonal residents often prefer a complete concierge package, entrusting all design aspects to Gainey and bringing only their toothbrush after their home is complete.

Michael’s work has been published several times in Florida Design magazine and has graced the cover of Elle Decor, the iconic home fashion publication. Gainey, who holds a certificate in decorative arts from the New York School of Design, has been Association Director for Brevard and Indian River County chapters of the American Society of Interior Designers. He maintains a retail studio-boutique of designer jewelry and vintage items at 218 Brevard Avenue, Suite #254 in Historic Cocoa Village. 

(321) 501-7203