How to pick paint

Looking to change out your wall colors and don’t know where to start? When we go on a color consult with a client, the first step is always getting to know the space. It is important to determine if you are just selecting wall color or if the room is getting a makeover. If color is not the only change, picking paint first may be putting the cart before the horse. When choosing colors, it is important to know all the elements in the room: fabric colors, wood tones, lighting, etc.

SO, stop if you are looking to drop other pieces in your space before you roll on a color that doesn’t work.

The next step is to decide on a color. Take your color option(s) around the room. Hold your color up on a sunny wall and look at it with the rest of the finishes. Now move it to a shaded wall and do the same thing. Making sure the color looks good with all the light in the space is key.

Extra Tip: Those small swatches give a very limited visual representation. Try grabbing a poster board and painting a large swatch for a better idea of how that color will look once it’s all over your walls!


The final step is to determine the sheen of the paint. There are lots of guides out there so we will keep this part short and sweet.

Paint Chart

Extra Tip: Egg-Shell is between Flat and Satin which makes it less shiny than satin but still more cleanable than flat.  

Still having trouble choosing a palette? We offer color consultation services and love the opportunity to give fresh life to a space with a new paint scheme. Thinking of painting but stopping because new paint isn’t the only item on your interior design agenda? We would love to help you create a beautiful new space whether you want to keep some old pieces or start afresh.

Call us at 301-360-0680 to set up a consultation, our Design Team is always excited to help.

We love CR Laine’s versatile, beautifully crafted, American-made furniture. Their extensive selection of fabrics and leathers allow for a multitude of styles that work in any home. Take 40% off CR Laine until October 7th at Dream House. Our team of designers can help choose the best look for your home!

Marcoux Long Sofa
Retail: $4758
Sale Price: $2855

Vallone Chair
Retail: $1971
Sale Price: $1183

Wyatt Leather Recliner
Retail: $5040
Sale Price: $3024

Sully Swivel Ottoman
Retail: $1203
Sale Price: $ 722


Austin Sofa 
Retail: $3963
 Sale Price: $2378

Remy Leather Chair 
Retail: $3255
Sale Price: $1953

Barrett Sofa
Retail: $4578
Sale Price: $2747

Thayer Leather Chair

Thayer Leather Chair
Retail: $3000
Sale Price: $1800

Trevor Ottoman
Retail: $960
Sale Price: $576

Inspiration 1

As summer winds down, my thoughts turn to all the inspiration each of us has gathered from our summer travels, whether they were near or far. I know you all took some pictures on your phone!! I was lucky enough to travel with great friends to Quebec City this summer. That quaint city sandwiched my love of design, architecture, flowers, and fantastic food perfectly. The use of ordinary objects to create impact and delight to the eye in outdoor spaces was so thoughtful and creative. I had to wonder if French Canadians did the summer thing even better than the winter.

This window dressing outside an art gallery was made with paint cans, brushes, a few sticks, and a little green and it was GENIUS!

Inspiration 1


So why not hang umbrellas upside down from a tree for a little instant outdoor fun or suspend them from an indoor space and for a special occasion?


Inspiration 2


The old walled part of Quebec City is very traditional architecturally but give someone a bucket of paint, and a little confidence to go bold, and the result stops everyone in their tracks.

Inspire 3

Here at Dream House, we try every day to spark your creativity and encourage you to build an interior space that is unique, comfortable, but never boring. So, go ahead, be inspired by your past and future travels or by the beautiful outdoors that surrounds us every day. Just turn it upside down, paint it, reimagine its purpose -express yourself!! It will make you smile😊!



“What is the difference between a Comfort Sleeper and the average sofa bed?” @theperennialstyle

We’ve been selling American Leather’s Comfort Sleeper Sofas for years because we love them and our customers have told us over and over that they do too! Not everyone knows what makes them stand out, so in anticipation of our big Comfort Sleeper sale, we found a fabulous explanation and had to share.

After purchasing a Sleeper, The Perennial Style blogger Ellen raves, “What I loved the most about the Comfort Sleeper is how it comes in so many different colors and fabrics. I could also choose between a couch or any-shaped sectional, plus I could choose three different size bed options – Queen, Queen Plus, and King! [At Dream House, you can choose Cot through King plus many additional features.] Based on the size of my living room, I chose the Perry shape in a size Queen Plus in the Sunbrella fabric. The reason I loved the Sunbrella fabric so much was due to the durability, as well as the luxurious texture and color!” To read the rest of Ellen’s post go here»

We are excited to offer 10% off any American Leather Sleeper from August 30th through September 16th at Dream House! 

Ellen @theperennialstyle creates a comfortable and inviting space for her guests.

In need of some creative inspiration?

We’ll let you in on one of our newest obsessions – the @Firmdale_Hotels Instagram account. Run by Interior Designer, Kit Kemp, her page showcases the luxury hotel company’s unique style and their love affair with mixing fabulous wallpaper and upholstery patterns. The hotel company, which is run by Kemp and her husband, is currently only in New York and London but their influence on the design world is expansive. Kit has partnered with several other designers and brands in the industry including Anthropologie and, most recently, one of our favorite textile resources Kravet Inc.

The bold patterns, colors, and textures she uses push beyond some of the more typical design trends seen on TV or in magazines. This proves the ingenuity of each of her spaces and gives us the creative tickle to push for better design ideas and creative custom applications. There is no limit to how you can outfit a piece of furniture with custom applications and fabulous designer lines like Kit’s. Give her a follow and be inspired with us.

For other upholstery designer collaborations we love from Kravet check out:

Linherr Hollingsworth  | Nate Berkus  |  Kelly Wearstler

Kit Kemp and Andrew Martin for Kravet Inc.

As an Interior Designer, selecting the perfect furniture for its function and pairing it with gorgeous fabrics is second nature. Yet somehow, when it comes to picking our own pieces, it feels like an impossible and indecisive burden.

I am pregnant with my first child, and as I began the hunt to find the perfect nursery chair, the struggle was real (see opening statement). Luckily, I was told by the wise women around me that the nursery chair is where I will spend a lot of time (the wisdom that was much needed, as I was about to forgo a chair that rocked). With one requirement in mind (and two amazing furniture lines to choose from) my journey began.

Narrowing down the options based on style brought two options to the forefront. The Cumulus Air Chair and the Herringer Swivel Glider. These two chairs are quite different in terms of “look” but both provide the necessary features – they swivel, rock, and are very comfortable. Both chairs also transition out of the nursery which was an important personal factor. While deciding between the two, the fabric choices became clearer – in order for the chair to match the decor it was going to have to be neutral. This allows the room to easily evolve as our family grows, and the space is rather small so a neutral chair takes up less visual space.

Eventually, the Herringer won out over the Cumulus for the sole reason that the Herringer sits higher. Many ups and downs would make a higher chair a better choice for this tall mama-to-be. I outfitted the chair in a light gray Sunbrella fabric – perfect for any mess a baby can make – and trimmed it with a bright white (also Sunbrella). Instead of an ottoman, a poof was a more practical option for us; it is more mobile and still provides the desired support when needed. A whimsical patterned fawn print on the poof and a lumbar pillow helps break up the solid chair and make it playful — it is a child’s room after all!

After much deliberation and help from the two other talented women here at Dream House, I can happily say that I am thrilled with the final product. Now we are just eagerly awaiting the arrival of our baby boy who is due at the end of the month! I can’t wait for you all to meet the newest edition to the Dream House family!

We know it’s a process to find the right piece and perfect fabric, and we love helping. Whether you’re a new parent-to-be looking for the perfect chair, or you have other furniture needs, let us be your resource. At Dream House, we listen to your ideas and needs, and we work until we surpass your goals.


Our finished Show House room.

Recently, Dream House participated in the first ever Designer Show House in Frederick, Maryland. The proceeds of the house tours went to the Weinberg Center for the Performing Arts. We were so honored to be included in this design challenge, and it was a great experience.

I’d like to say that something like this comes together easily and with little effort (like one of those HGTV reality shows) but it is the opposite. While being asked to design a room in one of these homes is a real honor and so exciting, even as designers, we still find the challenge daunting.

The first order of business was to tour the house and decide which two rooms we wanted to “bid” on. After much debate (we loved the whole house), we selected two rooms we thought would be fun to design and we had the right products to make them look amazing! To bid on the rooms, each designer (there were several chosen from the area) had to write a paragraph explaining their vision for the rooms. We worked hard to convey a beautiful and exciting design. From our elaborate description, we were chosen to design the Loft. We were so excited! The Loft has great angles, a brick wall, and the floors were unfinished. We wondered: what color will they choose to make the floors throughout the house?


Our Show House room, the Loft.

The next step was to create a floor plan, pick furniture, fabrics, rugs, and accessories for the Loft and order them! I can say with honesty that we went back and forth, took stuff out, put it back, chose something else, and contemplated many ideas before finally deciding on the final design. When we finally saw the floor color applied, we were relieved that it looked great with the fabrics we chose. Yeah!

We selected paint colors and visited the space several times to decide on just the right shade. We were responsible for painting the walls, so the painter had to be scheduled. Renovations were underway throughout the house during this time, so we had to wait until some of the work was complete before we could paint.

With the opening day quickly approaching, we scheduled our furniture delivery. This was a challenge, as we were on the third floor! There were many projects still being worked on inside and outside of the home. A sense of excitement was everywhere! Designers were putting up molding, wallpapering, painting, and bringing in furniture. Workers were landscaping, painting, and even tiling the kitchen and bathrooms! Vanities and some plumbing still needed to be installed. Would everything be done in time?

Our Show House room in progress.

We started to carry in the lamps and accessories. We brought everything we thought would look great in the space. We moved things around, contemplated, and brought more items throughout the course of several days until we felt the Loft was perfect. Going up and down those stairs was definitely a workout. Maybe the ground floor next year, ladies?

On the day of the opening, we visited our room one more time to fluff pillows, straighten rugs, and make sure everything was ready. The house was buzzing with activity from last minute repairs, paint touch ups, garden set up, and cleaning.

When we arrived at the Opening Gala, we felt relieved that the house was completed on time and proud of our work. The whole home looked amazing. Working with everyone involved in the Show House was fun, and it was nice to meet all of the designers in person.

As I reflect on the experience, I can say it was a challenge, but it was rewarding, and I am proud that we had a part in bringing the community together for a great cause. I sincerely hope this is only the beginning and that the Frederick Designer Show House happens every year!


On Our Way to the Designer Show House Opening Gala.


You may have noticed we started a blog. It’s not something any of us imagined we would create: we are not professional writers, and we tend to gravitate toward expressing ourselves visually, not with words. We want to offer more to our fans, followers, and friends. Inspired by our client’s visions and conversations over the years, we want to extend our relationship beyond what you see in the store or on Facebook by offering more through the content we write. Let us be your ally, a sanctuary in a sea of design decisions. Let our blog shine a light on areas you want to know more about — our style, top trends, how-tos, DIYs, fixes, inspirations — you name it!

So, please tell us what you want to know. What are your biggest design challenges, and where do you get stuck? Post a picture of your space and questions to Facebook and/or Instagram with the hashtag #helpmeDreamHouse — your space may be featured! If you prefer, feel free to email us your image and/or design questions. We will aim to answer as many as we can in ongoing posts. Help us get the word out —we can’t wait to help with design questions and learn what you want to hear about on our blog. Thank you!

—Cassandra, Wendy, Mary

decorated patio photo by Carrie D. Mader

Photo by Carrie D. Mader

Serenity. Tranquility. Peace. All of these words come to mind when picturing the perfect outdoor oasis, and who doesn’t want a space like that? For some, the backyard can be easily overlooked (and we know for others, it is considered one of the best features of your home). No matter what kind of outdoor space you have – find the beauty to behold, appreciate, and accent. The image above is a wonderful display of how to accessorize in a way that incorporates peaceful, natural items while adding comfort. These are all components for a true “oasis”. From the dainty string lights that line the ceiling and other lighting accents to the use of upholstery to soften the hard surfaces and add color, inputting the right accessories truly made all the difference.

You may be experiencing some back yard envy, and who wouldn’t with such a pretty setting that beckons one to sit and relax. You may be wondering: what can I do to create and enhance my own outdoor oasis? We have a few tips to help you transform your space and add that perfect charming touch.


Consider an outdoor rug. Add a pop of color on the floor, something that can drain well and resist fading. Rugs not only bring color or pattern, they also ground seating arrangements and break up the surface area. Our plastic rugs are made of recycled water bottles so they are sustainable and will not retain any water. A common concern when putting colorful rugs in direct sunlight is fading, but these rugs hold up to the blazing rays staying fade resistant and bright for years to come.

How about solar lanterns? Enjoy their color, pattern, texture, or ambiance during the day and as day gives way to night, watch as they radiate a soft glow for several hours of enjoyment. Their heavy duty material won’t fade and stands up to rain and wind which means that they do great not only in the covered space shown above, but you can keep them out in the elements, tied to tree limbs, hanging from posts, or off deck railings. This is a big must-have for us at Dream House.

Mix it up with funky outdoor pillows. Pillows are a go-to for accessorizing inside the home but they are also an important part of an outdoor space. It’s not just accent pillows that help create an outdoor oasis, furniture with cushions (especially on metal furniture) are essential for creating that softer, inviting look. Reupholstering old seat cushions in a neutral or fun print is an easy way to revive a tired looking seating area. Our wonderful upholstery lines have extensive collections of Sunbrella fabric to choose from including solids, textures, and prints big and small.

Galvanized beer tub

Add that galvanized decor! A great go-to for outdoors is galvanized metal. The plethora of options available makes adding a planter, tray, cake plate, drink trough, or wall art easy and fun. The earthy look and feel of galvanized metal pieces help to bring variety to typical textures and materials seen outdoors. Don’t forget there’s no shame in your game if you add faux succulents or florals to a galvanized planter (or any planter, really). It will look good and is low maintenance.

These touches are sure ways to make your space stand out. Have questions or need more help? We have beautiful outdoor furniture options and love working with our customers. Everyone deserves a Dream House.

Dream House Show House Mood Board

Dream House Show House Mood Board

We are so honored and excited to be participating in the Frederick Designers™ Show House with many talented Frederick designers. It’s a great opportunity for our design team to have fun and create a space from scratch. We first toured the home in February while it was in the midst of updates and upgrades.

Dream House Show House

Once narrow doorways were being opened and arched, the kitchen remodeled, and the third floor loft transformed into a useable space. We immediately fell in love with the charm, character, and potential of the home. Once we were awarded a room, we started looking for inspiration for our space in numerous places. Our recent trip to High Point Market inspired many ideas, and we bought really great pieces for our room. We have spent hours pouring our love and attention into the Show House space! We are so excited to finalize our design and move on to the installation!

If you haven’t heard about the event yet, follow the Frederick Show House page on Facebook for more information. You can stay up-to-date on the progress and catch glimpses of what other designers are creating in their spaces. If you are interested in attending, tours will only last for two weeks. It all starts with a kick off VIP party on June 12th. Tours begin Thursday, June 13th and go through the 23rd. Tickets are available here and will benefit the Weinberg Center of the Arts. We hope to see you there!



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