First Impressions – 2021

Make the Perfect First Impression

A Collection of the Best Styles, Colors, and Accents


Photos 2-4 by Creative Revolver

Kimberly Varner Interior Design key design elements to make a good first impression

1/ Accent with Tile

While a small space, powder rooms can also be a small investment with a big impact. Incorporating tile accents can make a normally ordinary room feel warm and welcoming. Updating fixtures, lighting, and mirrors are also easy places to add stunning touches. Complete the room with soft towels and guest amenities.

2/ Layer Lighting

The use of lighting plays such an important role in how your eye perceives a space. A home needs many sources of lighting in layers. When guests are coming over, you can set the tone by the types of lighting you use. Set the mood using dimmable pendant or fixture lights, or accent a room using lamps.

3/ Add Some Flair To Your Walls

Curate artwork that speaks to you. Scale and size are important, but subject matter is individual to each client’s taste and eye. The use of mirrors can also help to visually create a more open space. Placing them in the right spots can make smaller rooms look larger and darker rooms brighter.

4/ Impress upon Entry

The design of your home begins as you enter. Never have an entryway cluttered – always allow space for hidden or highlighted storage. No matter how big or small the area is, seek to create a welcoming space that will give a glimpse of how the rest of the home design will look.

Kimberly Varner Headshot

Kimberly Varner, ASID, NCIDQ

Kimberly Varner Interior Design


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Furniture and decor from Fowler Brothers Co


1/ Incorporate a Statement Piece

The Asheville clock by Stickley is an absolute icon, just like many of the other products that have been in the line since 1900. A grandfather clock always draws the eye and creates height in any space, which enhances the overall feel of the room. 

2/ Choose Unique Lighting Pieces

A unique piece of lighting always sets a room off and provides mood. The Gabby Evie floor lamp is great because it takes a modern approach to traditional. It adds sculptural feel with its minimalistic clean lines and will accent a corner or replace the need for an end table.

3/ Pick Permanent Florals 

Permanent floral arrangements are a wonderful addition to any space. A phalaenopsis white orchid in a unique container is a beautiful choice! The Bamboo Orchid Garden by John Richard is always a favorite because of its height, volume, and whimsy. It also provides the comfort of fresh flowers without the maintenance.

4/ Anchor the Living Room with a Great Sofa

Every great living room deserves a wonderful sofa like the Boden Sofa by Rowe. This is a classic design that is very inviting with its bench cushion. As opposed to a three-cushion sofa, bench cushions feel like you can seat more people as the space is not divided.

Carter Fowler Headshot

Carter Fowler

Fowler Brothers Co.


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furniture recommended by Miles & Kirk to make the best first impression


1/ Modest Menus

From tomatoes pulled straight from the garden to Grandma’s chicken and rice, good first impressions can be as simple as inviting someone to enjoy your favorite Southern comfort foods. It is, after all, “The Gift of Southern Cooking.” Here are a few of our favorite cookbooks for unassuming and heartwarming dinners for friends and family.

2/ Mix Styles 

Be fearless when choosing your art pieces. Notable designer Bunny Williams said, “I find that mixing exciting contemporary art with antiques and modern furniture creates a room that will stand the test of time.” This incredible large-scale piece from local artist Brook Soss plays a role in doing just that.

3/ Soothe the Soul with a Well-Lit Room 

Your home is your refuge and shows your welcoming spirit to others. Consistent, dimmable light helps make a warm and wonderful impression. We love the nod to the 1930s stylings of Alberto Giacometti in this floor lamp as it lends history to your space.

4/ Welcome Guests with Comfortable Seating

Stay a while! Comfortable seating encourages guests to stay and enjoy themselves. Check seat depth on chairs and sofas for a respectable perch, and always have an easy place to rest a cocktail. 

Ryan Kirk Kopet and Christie Miles Denton

Ryan Kirk Kopet & Christie Miles Denton

Miles and Kirk Design LLC


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Michelle Workman Interiors key furniture for a good first impression


1/ Personalize Design with Custom Fabric 

Homeowners are looking to interior designers to execute personalized looks based on their own aesthetic values. Choosing custom fabrics is a fantastic way to achieve this goal while adding depth and authenticity to the design. This personalized approach results in one-of-a-kind interiors that uniquely paint a portrait of the homeowners.

2/ Refinish Vintage Pieces

Supply chain issues have stalled factory output across our industry.  The demand has sent the vintage goods market into an upswing. Designers are purchasing vintage pieces and customizing them for clients by having them refinished to accommodate and complement the overall design. 

3/ Match Appliances with the Cabinetry

Whether panel-ready or custom-painted, appliances are becoming statements of design, rather than just a matter of utility in stainless steel. Many appliances now have unique choices for knobs and bezels in addition to customized colors, which can further enhance a dazzling kitchen design. 

4/ Wallpaper, Wallpaper, Wallpaper

Whether used as a subtle statement of pattern or a bold use of color, wallpapers can have a great effect in every room of the home. The hottest design trend right now is the layering of patterns, textures, and colors, and wallpaper allows for the perfect background to achieve this. 

Michelle Workman headshot

Michelle Workman

Michelle Workman Interiors


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furniture from Mango's to make a good first impression


1/ Add Some Character with Art 

Art is a very important part of the room, allowing you to add some character and personality. Use pieces that reflect your style. If contemporary edge is what you love, try a sleek piece like this bird sketch. The lacquered white wood shadow-box-style molding gives a clean yet casual feel to the room. 

2/ Create Space with Narrow Furniture  

Finding a narrow piece of furniture for that wall that just needs something is an art form. A narrow console like this is a great option, as it offers some storage but is only 12 inches deep – ensuring your room keeps an open feel and is not too crowded with furniture.

3/ Add Extra Dimension with Lighting

Lighting helps set the mood and offers an opportunity to introduce new elements, like glass, into the room. There are many ways to accomplish this with overhead lighting and lamps. Using lighting can be a way to accessorize and add dimension into an otherwise lackluster space.

4/ Get the Right Sofa for Your Room

This can be a hard task trying to get the right size, fabric, and style. This sofa has many different options to choose from, including different pieces with varying fabrics, arms, backs, welts, and seating depths. When making a sofa selection, be thoughtful of scale, color, and what fabrics resonate best with your style.

Kristy Steele headshot

Kristy Steele

Mango’s Décor & Co


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