Author Archives: The Kuotes

About The Kuotes

The Kuotes is a blog written by Kathy Kuo Home purposefully created for interior designers and design-savvy individuals. We strive to solve the challenges and answer the design questions that face your day to day business so you can save time and money and get back to what you love: design! Our blog includes helpful how-to's, exclusive designer interviews, and our thoughts on the latest trends.

5 (Affordable) Ways to Make Your Home Look Expensive

1. It’s Okay to Splurge (Once!)

Our first tip may seem counterintuitive—splurge a little. But here’s the deal: You don’t need to replace every item in your home to give it that luxe feeling you love. You just need to make a statement with a focal point your friends and guests will remember. Whether you choose a big and bold art piece or invest in a statement chandelier, the goal is simply to get people talking.

2. Ground Your Look with A Rug

It may go unnoticed, but the rug is the addition that truly makes a room look lush and luxe. Rugs add warmth, texture, and color to your space and make your home look complete. We love a soft and cozy sheepskin for next to the bed or over your favorite armchair. Or, cover the room in a hand-knotted Tibetan wool rug to really elevate your style with plush mulberry silk. Typically, the larger the rug, the more of your furniture you are able to include on it, so the more custom and luxurious it will look. And if you shop rugs at KKH, you’ll be sure to find some affordable options as well. For extra help on sizing, feel free to read our rug guide.

3. Upgrade your Hardware

One easy way to totally transform your home is to change out your hardware. It’s an affordable way to upgrade your kitchen space without the cost of renovation or new cabinetry. We love the cabinet pulls and knobs you can find at big box retailers like Anthropologie, or head to a local flea market for some unique finds! You can also give big box retailers like IKEA an upgrade by tricking out the front panels, handles, legs, and sides of cabinets. If you’re not the DIY type, there’s a company we love called Superfront that will do it for you in a variety of colors and finishes!

4. Add a Touch of Texture

Take your room to the next level by adding narrow strips of molding to plain white walls for a sophisticated paneled look (or fake it with paint for faux paneling). You can also add texture by adding wall coverings that create a moody atmosphere. Explore our collection of very affordable removable wallpapers that are made to look like wood, brick, stone, and other textures.

5. Stay Classic

One of the best ways to ensure your home is always chic and timeless is to spend money on high-quality furniture and decor that never go out of style: the Chesterfield sofathe statement mirrora leather armchair, etc. The trick is to bring something new to these classic pieces, like an acrylic base or a stylish fabric, that’ll give your home modern appeal. Our Modern Classic collection is an assortment we selected just for this purpose!

All images via Kathy Kuo Home

For more from The Kuotes: 10 Hostess Gifts Perfect for Fall Gatherings | 10 Interior Design Words You Should Know

10 Interior Design Words You Should Know

In the world of interior design, there are a plethora of words and terms that can sometimes be tricky to pronounce with really specific definitions. These ten words are just a few of our picks that you must know if you’re going to demonstrate your design expertise to clients and (let’s be honest) other designers. Study up!

Photo from Kathy Kuo Home

1. Pied-à-Terre: It’s French for “apartment,” so it’s typically used when describing a small apartment space with a French design style that is located in a big city away from the individual’s primary residence. Check out the look with our Apartment in Paris lookbook.

How to pronounce it: Pea-YED-ah-tear.

Photo from Kathy Kuo Home

2. Étagère: An étagère is a French set of hanging or standing open shelves for the display of objects or ornaments. It was very popular in the nineteenth century, and it continues to look stately from French to traditional to regency looks. Our Worthington and Chamberlain are some of our favorite examples.

How to pronounce it: Ay-tah-jair

Photo from Kathy Kuo Home

3. Armoire: An armoire is a large moveable cabinet or wardrobe with doors (it’s the moveable qualifier that defines it). It is most often used to store clothing, linens, or entertainment equipment. Our Oriana armoire is perfect for the bedroom, or check out our Dorie armoire for a more masculine look.

How to pronounce it: Arm-WAAR


Photo from Kathy Kuo Home

4. Chaise Longue: In French, it literally translates to “long chair.” Typically, a chaise is a reclining chair with a lengthened seat that forms a leg rest. We’re obsessed with the silhouette and color of our Nia chaise above. It’s also very frequently misspelled and mispronounced.

How to pronounce it: Shez Long

NOT: Chayze Lounge

Note: The common American spelling and pronunciation is “lounge.”

Photo from Kathy Kuo Home

5. Kilim: a flat-woven fabric made in Turkey, Kurdistan, and neighboring areas, typically made with bold colors and patterns. Kilim pillows or rugs make for great accessorial details in a global look.

How to pronounce it: KEY-lim

NOT: Key-LEEM or Kill-im

Photo from Kathy Kuo Home 

6. Ikat: a fabric made using an Indonesian decorative technique in which warp or weft threads, or both, are tie-dyed before weaving. The result is a fun pattern for pillows or even benches or lamps.

How to pronounce it: EE-cot

NOT: EE-cat

Photo from Kathy Kuo Home

7. Settee: a long upholstered seat for more than one person, typically with a back and arms.

How to pronounce it: Set-TEA


Photo from Copper Elegance

8. Finial: the ornament at the top, end or corner of an object, most notably a roof, curtain rod or lampshade.

How to pronounce it: Fin-E-al

Photo from Kathy Kuo Home 

9. Objet: It’s French for “object.” But in the interior design world, it’s used to describe an object of artistic worth or curiosity, especially a small object. Explore our collection of objets d’art at KKH!

How to pronounce it: Ob-jay

Photo from Paint and Pattern

10. Faux Bois and Boiserie: If you know that the word “bois” means “wood” in French, you might be able to further guess at these final two vocab words. Faux bois is a visual technique where an item is printed or painted to look like it's wood or has wood grain detailing—aka, fake wood. Boiserie is the carved wood panels that were common in 18th century France. Today, they are less ornate but still used, especially on doors and entrances.

How to pronounce it: Foh-Bwah and Bwah-Zer-E

For more interior design guides: Why Grey Is the New White | Eat-In Kitchens: Lounging With Banquettes

10 Hostess Gifts Perfect for Fall Gatherings

1 – A Warm and Cozy Throw
Everyone likes to snuggle up as the weather gets colder…and who doesn’t need an extra throw for the sofa or bedroom? It’s a great finishing piece to any room.

Aspen Grey Skit Chalet Woven Cotton Throw Blanket

2 – A Picture Frame They’ll Remember
Make the moments last by gifting an extra-special frame they’ll want to put on display. Beautiful quartz studs ascend from the top of the frame to give a stylish and contemporary feel.

Lance Global Bazaar White Quartz Brass Horizontal Photo Frame

3 – Statement Bookends for the Reader
Bookends are a fun gift for anybody, but they’re especially great for friends who love to read and can show off their collection in style.

Sidon Global Bazaar Tan Black Natural Horn Nickel Bookends

4 – The Cutest Jewelry Box on the Market
Everyone likes chic storage for their jewelry, and our signature “fox box” is a Kuotes favorite. It’s not only handy, but it looks charming on any shelf or coffee table.

Reynard Hollywood Regency Antique Silver Fox Sculpted Box

5 – A Drop Dead Gorgeous Cheese Plate
Hosts and hostesses love to put out hors d'oeuvres like cheese and crackers, so they’ll be ecstatic to receive a nice, presentational cheese board, crafted from marble and natural buffalo horn.

Arasta Global Bazaar White Marble Horn Handle Cheese Board

6 – A Coaster Set That’s NOT Boring
Hostesses will love you for helping them avoid water rings, especially when they see how beautiful coasters can be when made of a textured shagreen.

Elora Hollywood Regency Light Grey Shagreen Wood Coasters

7 – A Luxe Bar Tool Set
A party isn’t complete without a signature cocktail. For a friend who loves mixology, a sleek and gorgeous bar tool set will surely impress.

Isaac Hollywood Regency Black Leather Bar Tools Set with Case

8 – The Perfect Fall Dishes
Whether used for décor or to serve little snacks, these fun fall dishes are perfect for friends who like to get festive.

Esther Large Brass Foliage Decorative Dishes- Set of 10

9 – A Gift to Stand the Test of Time
Get your hostess a gift they’ll remember…and a gift they’ll be able to use all the time, like a beautifully constructed clock that sits perfectly on a console or shelf.

Modern Regency Crystal Facet Brass Clock

10 – A Chic Pillow Ready for the Season
Hosting can be stressful. Give a little comfort (and style) with a plump and textured pillow.

Devi Global Tibetan Textured Wool Birch Pillow- 16 x 16

For more fall posts: Add Nature To Your Fall Decor | 10 Inspiring Fall Tablescapes

Five Tips on How to Decorate with Wallpaper

Whether it’s a classic chinoiserie repeat or a bold, abstract pattern, wallpaper has been making a major comeback in interiors. But with so many options out there, choosing the wall covering that’ll work for you can be quite the obstacle. Here are our top tips from designer Kathy Kuo to help you do wallpaper the right way.

#1 Know the Purpose of the Space

Understanding your space is the most important aspect of selecting wallpaper. What is your room going to be used for? Bedrooms typically call for minimal, serene patterns and quiet shades, whereas wallpapering a living room, kitchen, or other entertainment space should embrace color and bold patterns to foster a lively energy. Also consider the scale of your space. Long vertical patterns can accentuate high ceilings. Smaller, more intricate patterns perform well when a space has lots of windows, doors, and wall art. Be sure to choose a wall covering with all of the details in mind.

#2 Use Pattern like a Professional

Patterns can be pretty, but they can also alter the way we perceive a space. When choosing which wallpaper to go with, keep in mind how you can use pattern to benefit your design. For example, horizontal patterns widen a room while vertical patterns make the ceiling appear higher than it really is. And bold, geometric patterns give off a modern, contemporary vibe while rooms while elegant damasks and stripes may make a room appear more reserved and traditional.

#3 Change It Up

Sometimes we like to change our minds. As designers, we totally understand the desire to redecorate and shake things up with the seasons. If this describes you, invest in temporary, removable wallpaper that comes off the walls easily while remaining durable and free of peeling.

#4 Test Out Different Textures

Some of our favorite wallcoverings this year have been papers with actual tactile surfaces, such as grass cloth, burlap, foil, vinyl, or sisal. Textured wallpaper offers a variety of design solutions—reflective papers can light up a room just like a mirror, and handcrafted tactile papers have a three-dimensional quality that enhance the layered, textured look of a space.

#5 Don’t Run Out of Paper 

One of the most frustrating situations while wallpapering is to run short. Make sure you measure out the amount of wallpaper you need by multiplying the combined width of the walls by the height of the room—this is the total square footage of wall space you need to cover with wallpaper. The final step is to divide by the pattern repeat. If the pattern repeat is 18" or less, then divide the square footage by 23, if pattern repeat is 19" to 25" then divide the square footage by 20. We always suggest buying an extra roll just in case!

For more home decorating ideas: 6 Unconventional Storage Ideas for Kitchens | Decorate Your Home With Found Objects