Like most websites, ever since we launched our Center Stage Interior Designs (CSID) website way back in 2001 we’ve tracked the statistics to see who our readers are, where they’re located and what they read. Recently we’ve had a few people ask who reads our site – so we thought that we would share some of our statistics from 2020 with all of you.
In 2020 we had readers from 58 different Countries around the world - with 89% or our readers coming from the United States and with the largest concentrations outside the US being in the following 10 Countries:
In the United States we have readers from all 50 States - with the largest concentrations being in the following 10 States:
Since our interior design services are located in Sudbury Massachusetts, our readers in the Boston metro area are of acute interest to us. These readers constitute 17% of all our readers – but actually account for 37% or our website’s page views – looking at more pages and staying on the pages longer. They are primarily located in Sudbury, Boston, Concord, Acton, Concordia, Maynard, Wellesley, Dedham, Newton and Waltham; which is great for us since all of these towns are close enough for us to actually be able to visit to help convert these readers into happy clients.
The 25 pages and blog posts that have people read the most over the past year are:
The majority of our users look at our site between the hours of 9:00 AM and 12:00 AM (midnight).
Most of our readers find us either by searching on Google (69%) or by previously having been to our website and coming directly to us (14%). A much smaller percentage (9%) find our website through Pinterest photos that our readers post in their online accounts.
The majority of our users view our website from their desktop computer (49%) or their mobile device (46%) using either Safari (44%) or Chrome (39%) browsers.
Hopefully this data shows you that you’re in good company as you view our Interior Design portfolio photos, or read through our Interior Decorating blog posts. Our wish is that they give you some information that will inspire your design vision and interior decorating activities. Wherever you’re from, we’re glad that you stopped by to look over our CSID website!
If you're located in the Boston Metro area - give us a call!
For the last half of 2020 my workroom has been buzzing with lots of activity since so many people have turned their focus to updating their homes this year. I'm very lucky to have so many new and repeat clients that want to work with me to transform their decorating visions into finished rooms. Here are some photos from a few of the projects that I have recently completed.
While you’re looking at the photos if you see anything that strikes your fancy, and you want to start a new project of your own, give me a call. I would love to work with you too! (click on any photo to start the slideshow):
So it’s that time of year again – time for “Small Business Saturday” - a day that’s been dedicated to supporting small businesses across the country since its inception in 2010.
But this year things are a little different given the stress that’s been put on small businesses during 2020 due to all the restrictions levied to combat Covid-19. Today supporting small business is more important than ever since many of them are teetering on the brink of failure.
Center Stage Interior Designs started in Sudbury 19 years ago, and during those years we've developed wonderful relationships with the other local business owners in the Interior Design and Home Décor industry; relationships that benefit all my clients since it allows them to use CSID as a “one stop shop” for all their design needs.
Some of my favorite Sudbury small businesses are:
In addition to my favorites, here in Sudbury there are lots of other great options to “Shop Small” at our local businesses. The best way to locate them is to look at the Sudbury Chamber of Commerce’s list of members.
So just remember, today, and every day, before you look elsewhere - you should really Shop Sudbury – especially if you want these businesses to be there in the future!
And, of course, if you need any decorating help give me a call at 978-440-7264 so that we can make your home cozy, festive and fun for the Winter ahead.
These days are a little crazy for all of us - especially since most of us are spending more time working from home while simultaneously juggling having our kids learning at home. What an adventure!
Since this is our reality I thought that I would share a few tips on how you can set up your home environment to maximize your work/learning efficiency while minimizing the stress that comes from having so many competing priorities in your house.
Lately I've been busy shopping for new furniture for several of my clients. Consequently I have been to many of the furniture showrooms and specialty stores in the Boston area, and during my travels I've run across several clever furniture ideas that I thought I would share.
1. Furniture that fits our digital world and our need for electrical power. Does the following scenario sound familiar? You haven’t updated your family room furniture in years, and there’s no way to power your electronic devices when sitting on the sofa or relaxing in your chair, short of unsightly extension cords.
If this strikes a nerve, you might want to take a look at some new low-cost end tables, like the one shown below that has a handy (and hidden) electrical port at the back. I found this end table at LazyBoy furniture when I was searching for a “power” footrest sofa for some elderly clients. This is a simple solution for your family room to keep everyone happy and well-charged. If you look around these clever “powered” tables are everywhere these days.
2. Nesting Coffee Tables. Although this isn’t a new concept, there are now many options for space-efficient and versatile coffee tables, like the round nested tables shown below, on the market. Some even come with marble or stone tops that add lots of versatility - the children can play and do writing projects, and your friends can safely set down a cup of coffee or drink. Yes, after Covid, we will eventually have guests in our homes again! Plus, introducing a stone top provides interest and dimension to your family room in addition to beautiful functionality.
3. Expandable Bench. I came across this clever bench at my local Jordan’s Furniture in Natick, MA, and thought that the idea was just ingenious. They show it at the base of a bed, but I can also envision it in a mudroom or entryway, neatly compacted down like in the last photo. The wood top would be perfect for you and your children to take off winter boots after playing in the snow. Then, when you have company and need to expand your dining room seating to accommodate more people, you can expand this bench to seat at 3 or 4 people. And look at the price Jordan’s is charging, amazingly low for such a versatile bench.
4. Space-saving console table with stools for back of the sofa. A year ago I blogged about the clever “Gathering Island” concept: “Furniture for Gathering in the Family Room”. Below is a photo of a similar concept, that I recently found at Jordan’s, where a flip top panel at the front is a terrific additional feature. You can put this piece behind a sofa that might be floating in the room, and then be able to work on your laptop while sitting higher than your family members who have scored the comfy sofa seats. Convertible furniture is really nothing new, of course, and college students and city-dwellers face this kind of challenge all the time when trying to determine how to live in an ultra-small space. For homeowners, however, we seldom think or look for adding space saving ideas to enhance our existing spaces. Additionally, if we are lucky enough to live in a moderate or large size house, we might not even contemplate googling “space-saving” furniture. (But then that’s what you hire me for - helping you envision the possibilities.)
5. Having it all in a coffee table. Upholstered ottomans in front of a sofa are very popular nowadays. Really, who doesn’t want to put their feet up at the end of a day? But relying on a tray set upon the coffee table to hold drinks and snacks seems like an unstable proposition for everyday use. Here are two coffee tables which combine the ottoman idea with the hard-surface idea. The first is from LazyBoy, with a pull-out table top, and I spotted the second, with a hard shelf, at Boston Interiors.
6. Another versatile coffee table. By now, you can tell I’ve been shopping for coffee tables, right? Here’s a coffee table I found at LazyBoy which beautifully combines the need for drawer storage of TV remotes and such, but still has a glass top for functionality and durability. It doesn’t dominate, but is a happy “supporting player” in a family room.
7. Storage ottoman that converts to a chair. This is a clever piece that I thought would be perfect in a family room or basement play room; found at Jordan’s. I can envision storing throws (or Legos and action figures or dolls) in the piece which would be easy to move around a basement.
I hope that seeing some of these clever furniture ideas energizes you to examine your own spaces, particularly your family room. Let’s face it – we are all spending lots of time at home as we get through the Covid morass, and this is the time to at least identify where you could be more comfortable and productive in your home.
You might not know it, but the furniture industry is booming during Covid - all the manufacturers are working, and interior designers (such as myself) are happy to help you make your home more comfortable and aesthetically pleasing while we ride this all out.
So call me, and let’s do a virtual walk through of your home, or a socially-distanced in-person visit.
In years past "feature walls" were a significant decorating topic - but then the idea seemed to become stale and fall out of favor. But guess what - with a host of new ideas - they're back.
After lots of back and forth discussion Massachusetts has finally decided to have a “Tax Free Weekend” on 29 and 30 August 2020. That means that this week is a great time to finalize some of those big decorating, window covering, carpeting and accessory purchases that you’ve been thinking about – but just haven’t gotten around to making.
Since there’s always a lot of confusion about the rules for the MA Tax Free Weekend here are the main points:
If you want more details straight from the Government here’s a link to their Sales Tax Holiday website’s FAQs:
So, take a look and then give me a call if you want to make some of those decorating purchases that we’ve previously discussed, or some that you just thought of. As long as the purchase is made on either the 29th or 30th there’s no sales tax – even if the product isn’t delivered or installed until a later date.
So get cracking! You’ll save at least 6.25% on your purchases – and to further entice shoppers many stores are even running other sales in conjunction with the Tax Free Weekend. I’m looking forward to hearing from you soon.
I just returned from 17 days touring the Midwest, and one of the most pleasant surprises was seeing so many farms in Wisconsin, Iowa, Indiana, Illinois, Arkansas and West Virginia with custom "Quilt Blocks" on their farms as their signature brand. Here are a few photos of some the barn Quilt Blocks that we saw during our trip (click on any photo to start the slideshow):
Although barn quilt blocks have been around for many years, there's been a spike in popularity in the past 20 years. "From humble beginnings in Adams County, Ohio, the idea has spread to 49 States with more than 9,000 barn quilts organized into more than 120 Barn Quilt Trails - and surely thousands more that are not mapped." - Suzi Parron, author of the books "Barn Quilts and the American Quilt trail Movement" and "Following the Barn Quilt Trail”.
As detailed in a John Deere Homestead article (https://www.johndeerehomestead.com/2016/09/04/barn-quilt-craze/), the Barn Quilt Block idea dates back to Maxine and Donna Sue Groves of Manchester, Ohio. “In 1989, my mother and I moved to a small farm that had an old - and very plain looking - tobacco barn,” says Donna Sue. “Mother was an avid quilter so I promised her I would brighten up the barn by adding a quilt square. Friends and neighbors chided me into actually following through and I had a Snail’s Trail quilt square painted and hung in 2001, but in the process a group of us decided to paint a bunch of them in hopes of developing a tourist attraction. We put quilt squares on twenty barns (the number of squares in a typical bed spread) and the idea took off like wildfire.”
Barn quilts are generally chosen from a family's own colorful quilt pattern that has been passed down through the years. Then the family's quilt pattern is turned into public art on their own barn or other building, and it becomes part of a quilt trail.
If you want to read more about this interesting phenomenon, here are some links to browse through:
Back in April I wrote a blog post about “Making COVID-19 Masks for My Family and Friends”. Well, quite a bit of time has passed since then and I thought that I would give everyone a quick update on my latest mask activity since I know that some of you used my information to make masks of your own.
The good news is that the final version of the masks that I settled on back in April (version 2.0) worked out really well for all my family, friends and clients. In fact, this design held up so well that the only significant change that I’ve made over the past two months was to remove the internal pocket for adding an additional filter. Everyone thought that they would use a pocket like this to insert additional filtering layers inside the mask if needed – but in practice people found that they did not actually add any additional filters.
Based on that input I’ve continued to make bunches and bunches of masks over the past two months for family, friends, acquaintances from church and for clients that requested them. The version 2.0 mask design has held up really well, and the wearers really like the tight custom fit and the piece of floral wire I added at the nose (top of the mask) so the mask could fit tighter on the face and not fog the wearer’s glasses.
So, for my Version 3.0 masks I’ve removed the internal pocket and focused on refining my pattern and process to make masks that come in a variety of sizes so that they can more tightly fit a wide range of face sizes. I’ve also increased my mask fabric inventory so that I can make masks to fit all sorts of different styles. Here’s a picture of some of the version 3.0 masks that I most recently made.
Like I’ve previously mentioned, I’m not selling these masks, just providing them locally to my family and friends (and clients that request them) as a small token of community service. Hopefully you are all in good health and good spirits as Summer gets into full swing and we get the COVID-19 mess behind us.
It’s Summer – Hooray!! At my house that comes with having morning coffee on my back deck and listening to all the sounds of Nature; woodpeckers, cicadas, scampering chipmunks, and last week, even a deer, bunny, snake and woodchuck roaming through our wooded backyard. A veritable “Wild Kingdom” in the suburbs.
One thing that I like to do while I’m drinking my coffee is catch-up on all of the latest blog posts from other designers. I always enjoy, and benefit from, my colleagues techniques, insights, advice and wisdom. Since I’m on my back porch I read their postings from my iPhone – probably like most of you these days.
This morning while browsing I looked at my own website and noticed that on the iPhone it’s not readily apparent that I’ve published 97 posts over the past 3 years. So I thought that I would use today’s post to highlight that and to show you how to search all of my blog posts from your phone.
Once you are on the Center Stage Interior Designs website, if you click on the menu in the upper right hand corner (commonly referred to as a “hamburger menu” because of the three parallel lines) and select “Blog” you will be taken to a page with my 10 latest blog posts. If you want to see a blog post that was published before these last 10 posts, simply click on the “<<Previous” icon (located underneath the last post on the left-hand side). This will take you to a page with the previous 10 posts. You can then navigate backward or forward in time by clicking on either the “<<Previous” icon or the “Forward>>” icon.
Hopefully these hints will make it easier for you to find what you’re looking for on my website – since with 97 posts there’s a lot of to look at. The Category, Archive and Search functions all exist on the desktop version of my website too – but since the screen is so much larger these functions are pretty obvious – so I won’t discuss them here.
As always, it you have any questions or comments, please feel free to drop me a line through my “Contact Us” page or by calling me at 978-440-7264. Until next time, I hope that your Summer is off to a great start.
Barbara Phillips, interior designer and owner of Center Stage Interior Designs, has delivered impeccable window treatments and design services to both residential and commercial clients in Massachusetts since 2001.