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SWAT Design Team http://www.swatdesignteam.com Wed, 20 Aug 2014 00:40:44 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.0.1 Back to School Organization http://www.swatdesignteam.com/back-to-school-organization/ http://www.swatdesignteam.com/back-to-school-organization/#comments Tue, 19 Aug 2014 22:03:52 +0000 http://www.swatdesignteam.com/?p=1083 Read More »

If you’re a parent of school aged children you know how insane back to school can be. The very thought of the endless stream of papers, cherished art work, dirty sporting equipment and school supplies randomly placed throughout our homes (add a few hungry and tired kids into the mix) can make even the most organized parent feel helpless and anxious. Sure, all of us wish we could have spacious homes with more than enough storage for each child and that these dream spaces came equipped with designated hooks and cubbies for each child, sport, hobby…etc. but the truth is most of us don’t. But can we? The trick isn’t having enough space. It’s utilizing the space we do have, the most efficient way, while maintaing a home that still looks stylish.

Sigh. Piece of cake, right? YES!

1206O3-09Fortunately there are a whole plethora of home stores designing furniture for the everyday home owner that will keep you home organized and looking good. The selection is endless, the problem is deciding what you need….

Well, what every parent needs is to eliminate the morning chaos or at least most of it. Most parents would be ecstatic if all they needed to do was make sure their kids were fed, dressed, teeth and hair brushed and at school on time. However, most of us are derailed by the missing tennis shoe or permission slip that has to be turned in that day! This is where simple, organizational systems and a few key furniture pieces can make your life (and your child’s) much easier.


Create a space that is specifically for your kids. Give them space in your mudroom or closet to hang their backpacks and jackets. A cubby to put their 1206O2-09sports or music equipment and bins to house smaller items. Designate an area to take off shoes as soon as you enter your home. Make sure there is a place for all of their things. This way they feel responsible and know where they can find the things they need.



Create a space, for each child, that is quiet and without distraction where they can complete their homework. Have the space neatly organized but with a few personal touches, picked out by your child, so they feel like the space is truly theirs. Hang a bulletin board above their desk where you can display their calendars to help keep them on schedule.


Perhaps the biggest source of frustration is the endless stream of school paperwork and cherished art work. Nothing creates chaos like a missing permission slip when you’re already late for school. Today many stores sell stylish bins and baskets to help keep your school paperwork and cherished art work neatly organized and looking good.


Of course, if you are still struggling with the back to school organization call The SWAT Design Team for Decorating Den Interiors at their studio office, 636-244-1623, and one of our very talented decorators will help you with all of your organizational dilemmas

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Ask a Decorator: Flooring Question http://www.swatdesignteam.com/ask-a-decorator-flooring-question/ http://www.swatdesignteam.com/ask-a-decorator-flooring-question/#comments Fri, 25 Jul 2014 14:18:40 +0000 http://www.swatdesignteam.com/?p=1073 Read More »

A homeowner asked Decorating Den:

“In a small house where the bathroom is connected to the kitchen, should the kitchen and bathroom flooring match, or is it feasible to have two different types of flooring for each room?”

Angela Rowe from Decorating Den Carbondale IL had some advice:

Whenever possible, I recommend having the least number of flooring surfaces as possible within one site line. This is especially true in small spaces as you can see the change in flooring from one room to the next. However, in older remodeled homes, this isn’t always possible due to varying under laments and old layers of flooring. If the bathroom door will stay closed the majority of the time it isn’t as great a concern. I would still recommend the same flooring unless there is a good reason the same flooring cannot serve both the kitchen and the bath.

Need professional decorating help?  Contact Decorating Den today.

Our product line is huge, and includes:

  • Curtains and window treatments
  • Blinds and shades
  • Custom upholstery
  • Furniture selection and arrangement
  • Accessories and lighting
  • Custom bedding
  • Area rugs and floor and wall coverings
  • Paint color consultations

Schedule your free in-home consultation at 636-244-1623.

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Living the Dream http://www.swatdesignteam.com/living-the-dream/ http://www.swatdesignteam.com/living-the-dream/#comments Thu, 17 Jul 2014 19:01:28 +0000 http://www.swatdesignteam.com/?p=1065 Read More »

Sowatsky= Dream Room 2013-3455

Ten years ago designer Heidi Sowatsky started her interior design business on the premise that interior design can be a fun, collaborative, stress-free process between the designer and the client. Interior design had always been one of Heidi’s passions, but the dream didn’t turn into a business until after twenty-two years working in financial services. What made it possible to change careers so dramatically was the support and training provided by the Decorating Den Interiors franchise organization. “Buying a franchise was the easiest and quickest way for me to start living my dream,” Heidi said. “Everyone in the Decorating Den corporate office and in the region was very supportive and gave me all the help I needed to get started.”

For over forty years, Decorating Den Interiors has been bringing beauty, fulfillment, satisfaction and opportunity into the lives of countless families. They attract talented individuals, like Heidi, and transform them into great decorators with the practical skills, knowledge, and tools that aren’t taught in design schools or learned by working in retail stores.

“I believe I can be the link between my clients and amazing beautiful design that really represent their personalities,” Heidi said. “Having a background in finance has provided me with a great respect for my clients’ budgets and I truly believe I can work within the parameters my clients set for me. It also helps me marry the practical side of design with a beautiful outcome.” Since starting her career in interior design in 2004, that philosophy has worked well for Heidi and she has developed a strong customer base in the area.

The St. Louis area is now poised for growth with tremendous opportunities for other Decorating Den Interior franchises. A Decorating Den franchise is surprisingly within reach. Many who thought they could never own an interior design business are happy to discover that for about what they would pay for a good car, they can own a great family business and start living their dream.

For more information on starting YOUR career in the interior design business please call our studio office at 636-244-1623 or check out our virtual brochure: Decorating Den Interiors Virtual Brochure

Like us on Facebook at SWAT Design Team for Decorating Den

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2014 Dream Room Winners http://www.swatdesignteam.com/2014-dream-room-winners/ http://www.swatdesignteam.com/2014-dream-room-winners/#comments Wed, 28 May 2014 19:35:58 +0000 http://www.swatdesignteam.com/?p=1059 Read More »


NEWS from Decorating Den Interiors
Contact: Ross Feltz, public relations counsel,
cell: 814-323.8526; rfeltz@decoratingden.com
Local Contact: Heidi Sowatsky, 636-244-1623,
May 28, 2014

St. Charles decorator featured in online international design showcase

Easton, Md.—- Designs and furnishings by Heidi Sowatsky, owner of the Decorating Den Interiors of St. Charles, MO (www.swatdesignteam.com), are featured in an online international interior design showcase displaying the top three makeovers in 12 room categories as judged by an esteemed panel of home furnishings journalists from throughout the U.S. and Canada. The website is www.decoratingden.com/dream-room-showcase .

First Place Dream Room Bathroom 2014

First Place Winner Dream Room Bathroom 2014

Sowatsky won FIRST place in the Bathroom category, THIRD place in Home Office and HONORABLE MENTION in the Children’s Room category.

“It is an honor to have my work singled out by these distinguished journalists,” said Sowatsky. “As North America’s largest interior design and home furnishings franchise company, we have many highly talented designers whose work was entered.”

“The makeovers showcased were done within real budgets for real homeowners, not staged,” she added. “As the best of more than 250 entries, these room designs can provide inspiring ideas for making one’s home more beautiful and inviting.”

Third Place Dream Room Office 2014

Third Place Winner Dream Room Home Office Winner 2014


The showcase categories are: Living rooms, family rooms, dining rooms, bedrooms, kitchens, children’s rooms, bathrooms, home offices, window treatments, outdoor spaces, commercial spaces, and miscellaneous.

This was Decorating Den Interiors 30th International Dream Room Contest.

“Decorating Den Interiors was founded in 1969 and we represent more than 85 home furnishings suppliers offering furniture, case goods, accessories, lighting, floor and wall coverings, draperies and other hard and soft window treatments” explained Sowatsky. “We take samples directly to the client’s home or office, provide complimentary design consultations, and personally see projects through to completion.

Honorable Mention Children's Dream Room 2014

Honorable Mention Children’s Dream Room 2014

Get inspired and check out Heidi’s and other award winning designers’ fabulous designs here: www.decoratingden.com/dream-room-showcase


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Colors of Spring!!! http://www.swatdesignteam.com/colors-of-spring/ http://www.swatdesignteam.com/colors-of-spring/#comments Thu, 20 Mar 2014 12:00:08 +0000 http://www.swatdesignteam.com/?p=1039 Read More »

Patio space


The day we have all been waiting for is finally here! March 20, 2014 marks the first day of spring!!!  After the long, cold, snowy and all around terrible winter, the very word “spring” brings with it simultaneous feelings of excitement and overall relief. 

These very feelings are reflected in the Pantone color palate for the 2014 spring season.  With colors ranging from cheery and bright freesia to calm and serene placid blue the decorating options for spring are endless and The SWAT Design Team for Decorating Den Interiors can’t wait to help you incorporate them into your home. 

Let nature be your inspiration.  As the grass turns from dull, dried up brown to lush green and the daffodils begin to bloom think about how you can incorporate these pops of color into your home.  You don’t have to change your entire house to have a big effect.  New pillows, an area rug or perhaps a few well placed accessories could be all you need to brighten up your space.

So, it’s time pull back the shades, open up the windows and let the sunlight and warm fresh air breathe new life into your home.

Whether it’s with bright new pillows or a calming new color palate for your bedroom we’d love to show you how to bring a little “spring” into your home.  For more ideas from decorator, Heidi Sowatsky, click on this link and check out this video from KMOV-TV show Great Day St. Louis.

Sowatsky= Dream Room 2013-3015-2 watermarked         Sowatsky= Dream Room 2013-3099 Watermarked      

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Decorating in Phases http://www.swatdesignteam.com/decorating-in-phases/ http://www.swatdesignteam.com/decorating-in-phases/#comments Wed, 15 Jan 2014 18:01:41 +0000 http://www.swatdesignteam.com/?p=984 Read More »

Do I have to redecorate the whole room at once?

Having a plan before you get started can be a big help. It is like a road map that will get you back on track even if you have to stop along the way.

The pictures below show the same room in different stages of completion. We started with an empty room, added the basic furnishings, and then later added window treatments and accessories.

Wall color can make a big difference in the room. Although it might be the first thing we do in a room makeover, paint color is usually the last thing we select for the room. That is because there are hundreds of colors and shades of the same color, but ONE will be just the right color.

We start with an inspiration piece. It can be a fabric (such as the bird print fabric below), a piece of art, or an area rug. From that inspiration piece, all of the other colors and finishes in the room can be selected.

Call the SWAT Design Team and let us help you come up with a plan that fits your timeline, your lifestyle, and your budget.


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Fall Fashion Advice for Home Decorating http://www.swatdesignteam.com/fall-fashion-advice-for-home-decorating/ http://www.swatdesignteam.com/fall-fashion-advice-for-home-decorating/#comments Thu, 03 Oct 2013 16:58:38 +0000 http://www.swatdesignteam.com/?p=902 Read More »

Fall’s Fashion Advice Applies to Home Decorating:
Don’t be Matchy-Matchy

By: Heidi Sowatsky

One of the tips I often give during interior decorating seminars is: Take a look in your closet! What colors do you see in your wardrobe that you particularly enjoy?  Pastels? Dark jewel tones? Neutrals? Bright, lively shades?  Doesn’t it stand to reason that the very colors you’re attracted to in your wardrobe might just be the perfect shades to consider in re-coloring a room?

When you look in that closet though, don’t you often see outfits that match?  Well this fall’s New York Fashion Week offered a different approach. One word that was heard frequently was “juxtaposition.”  That means: Not so “matchy-matchy.”

“There’s more freedom now to express yourself through clothes than there was 20 years ago, 50 years ago,” said one designer. (I wonder if that includes the disco-era?  Maybe that was too much expression then.)

Back to the subject: Home decorating.  If fashion designer Kenneth Cole can embrace prints, stripes, dressy and casual, all in one outfit,  then why not do the same in your home?

Isn’t it all about personality?  Much like you don’t want to see the same dress you are wearing at a party, you don’t want your home to look just like some other one. You want it to reflect your lifestyle, your taste, your personality. Your decorating should tell a story about you and your family, the area in which you live, your culture, your talents your loves. It should look different from a picture in a magazine.

That means having the freedom to mix and match, or not match at all. Yes, you do want something that holds it all together. It could be a theme, a color, a style, an emphasis. Emphasis is truly adding the excitement factor to the creation of a new room. The basic idea behind emphasis in decorating is that every room should have a focal point, or a center of interest that immediately attracts the attention of anyone entering the room.

Perhaps, though, it’s time to change a room’s focal point by juxtaposing a new element into the design. Just as you feel special entering an event in a new outfit, you can make it an event to enter your favorite room with a new focal point.

Another aspect of not being “matchy-matchy” in your home is the notion that good decorating must be limited to only one interior style. That idea has been discarded. Just because you like country i

n one room doesn’t mean you can’t have a different theme in other rooms.

It’s not unusual these days to see several different compatible styles within the same household. For example, some of the most excitable home interiors might include a formal Queen Anne living room and dining room, a contemporary kitchen, a country family room and a romantic Victorian master bedroom. How’s that for not being “matchy-matchy”?

As you hit the stores looking for the new fall and winter fashions, think about this: A new outfit is enjoyed periodically. A new look for a room is enjoyed every day. Don’t be afraid to mix it up.


Stripes, a print and a different print make a statement Entering this room is special every day. How can you not smile at the mix of patterns? A bold mixture of patterns—definitely not matchy-matchy This room embraces prints, stripes, and casual like some collections showed at New York Fashion Week



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Thoughts on Outdoor Decorating http://www.swatdesignteam.com/thoughts-on-outdoor-decorating/ http://www.swatdesignteam.com/thoughts-on-outdoor-decorating/#comments Wed, 11 Sep 2013 16:17:00 +0000 http://www.swatdesignteam.com/?p=899 Read More »

patio space

Your outdoor space should accommodate all your needs throughout the year. Do you
entertain outdoors? Make sure that there will be enough seating for your larger parties.
Do you spend time outdoors in the evenings and at night? Make sure that you have
adequate lighting and bug control included in your plan. Is the outdoor grill seasonal for
you or all year round? Where you place the grill and whether it has a protective roof will
make a difference depending on how you use it. Do you plan to have your family meals
outdoors often? If so make sure that your dining area comfortably accommodates your
family and then some.

Outdoor furniture has greatly evolved from the folding, vinyl strap versions of the past, to
beautiful pieces made of teak, steel, rattan, and wicker. Many pieces look just like indoor
furniture but are constructed and designed to stand up to the North Eastern outdoor

Fabrics are being manufactured to resist fading from ultraviolet rays, to resist mildewing
from damp conditions and to resist odor absorption. These types of fabrics are a must for
any upholstery or drapery that will be used outdoors or in a screened-in location.
Lighting is also a very important aspect in creating an inviting outdoor space. Be sure
you incorporate various types of lighting in your outdoor space just as you would in your
indoor spaces. Landscape lighting, overhead lighting, ceiling fans or decorative side
lighting are good ideas. Torches or tiki lighting can also be a charming and functional
element to your lighting plan. Developing a creative lighting plan can help you create a
space with increased ambiance and functionality.

Remember to create a space that is perfect for you and your needs. This is a space where
memories will be made so consider it an important investment. I like to call an
investment like this an emotional anchor: a space where your family gathers, shares and remembers forever.

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Leather Furnishings http://www.swatdesignteam.com/leather-furnishings/ http://www.swatdesignteam.com/leather-furnishings/#comments Fri, 23 Aug 2013 17:00:05 +0000 http://www.swatdesignteam.com/?p=893 Read More »

Interested in Adding Leather Furnishings?

Did you know that over half the furniture sold worldwide today is covered in leather? Leather
furnishings are considered by many to be romantic, extravagant, sophisticated, long lasting, and
very comfortable. All these wonderful reasons make leather-upholstered items a perfect choice
for many of today’s consumers.

Leather for home furnishings products comes from around the world. A majority of hides are
produced in Europe – particularly Italy – and South America. Leather is not limited to sofa and
chair coverings, but can also be incorporated into design accessories such as leather framed
mirrors, picture frames, lamps, lampshades, area rugs and even window treatments!

Before leather covering can be utilized as upholstery for home furnishings and accessories, hides
are subjected to a judging and dyeing process. Once leather hides arrive at a tannery for
processing, they are hand-sorted based on quality.

The hides with the fewest imperfections are cut into layers. The top layer, called “top” or “full”
grain, is the highest quality layer, and is also the layer of the hide that lies closest to the animal.
The second and third layers are called “splits” and can also be used for covering furniture. This
is often the grade of leather used in promotional furniture. Once the hides are sorted and cut into
layers, the leather is colored by using one of three dyeing methods.

The highest quality layers of leather are colored using a translucent, pure aniline dye. This dye
process renders beautiful color variations in the leather. Since this process is used on unfinished,
top-quality leather, the finished product usually has a softer feel. Another coloring process, also
used on top-grain hides, is a surface finish application, called semi-aniline. This method
produces a uniform color look. A third coloring procedure, called pigmented, coats the leather
surface uniformly with an opaque color. This durable process covers most imperfections in the
leather, and is very commonly used.

Since the purchase of leather furniture for your home can be a long lasting investment, it’s
important that you make a wise decision about what type of leather furniture will work best for
you, and ultimately give you the look and feel that you desire. Be sure to work with investment
knowledgeable professional when making an investment in leather furniture for your home

leather ]]>
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Light Up Your Life With Lighting! http://www.swatdesignteam.com/light-up-your-life-with-lighting/ http://www.swatdesignteam.com/light-up-your-life-with-lighting/#comments Wed, 14 Aug 2013 17:04:25 +0000 http://www.swatdesignteam.com/?p=879 Read More »

In addition to knowing which colors are the most flattering to you, it’s also important to take into consideration how natural and artificial light will affect your desired color scheme. First consider how much natural light enters the room, and for how long a period during the day.

In sunny rooms with a southern exposure, cool colors will be more pleasing than warm ones; hot yellows and reds will produce an unpleasant glare during a large part of the day. These colors are more effectively used in rooms that face north and need the warming effect of sunny colors. Darkening the room by covering the windows doesn’t help- it just makes all the colors in your room look dark and gloomy. The window treatment you use will definitely affect the amount and quality of natural light in your room, and therefore your color scheme.

Artificial light can affect colors even more dramatically. Generally, standard incandescent bulbs give off a yellowish light. Standard fluorescent lights create a cold and harsher light. However, many different tints of bulbs are available in both types of lights. Using the right tint in the bulbs you select will definitely help you control the way your colors look in artificial light.

Red light makes pink or red hued walls look grey; blue tinted light makes them look purple; yellow light makes them look red-orange.

Blue light makes blue-tinted walls look grey; red light makes them look purple; yellow light gives them a greenish cast.

Yellow light makes yellow walls look grey; red light makes them look orange; blue toned light makes them look unpleasantly greenish

Red light makes green walls look grey; yellow light makes them look bluish green; blue light makes them look yellowish green.

As you can see, the effect of different colors is not always predictable, but throwing a light of one color on a wall of the same color will always tend to neutralize that color and ultimately make the wall look dull and grey. Definitely not a pretty picture!

So, once you select your color scheme, be sure to carry through with a lighting plan that will enhance and compliment the effect you have in mind.

Lighting-Deisng Lighting-RedWalls-Decorating Lighting-Interior Lime green apartment living room Nancyblueandgreenkidsroom_thumb.jpg


Another relating article, written by The Decorologist,  can be found here.

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