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Cincy Chic: Why did you start your own business PC Design LLC?

Paige Castellini: After working as a designer for more than 10 years, I wanted to reach new demographics and give people an affordable option for interior design. My hourly fees start as low as $25 for simple advice and ideas. People can definitely justify spending that versus spending $100 for one hour and not getting much “bang” for their buck.


Cincy Chic: We love the concept of your “Virtual Design.” How does it work?

Castellini: I think the best way to tell you about this process is to give you an example:


Let’s say you’re looking to re-do your living room but have no idea where to start and are just tired of what’s there. You will e-mail me some photos of the room from different views, such as from a corner or outside a door into the room. Then, send a description of what you’re looking to do and the budget you’re working with. It doesn’t have to be a lot, but enough to give us an idea. We’ll reply to your e-mail and then go through and put some ideas together for a “Starting Plan.” At that point, I will contact you, discuss the fee and decide if you want to implement the design or if you would like us to do it for you.



It’s very simple, commitment free and “virtually” inexpensive. You decide what you want to do, in the time frame you want to do it in. No pressure!


Cincy Chic: What’s the biggest home dècor mistake you see people keep repeating?

Castellini: People are very afraid of using different colors, limiting themselves to what they call “neutral” shades such as white, cream, beige, taupe and off-white. There are so many color choices available and ways to include color in into your plan, it’s just a matter of finding the right one’s that work together in your home.


Cincy Chic: What’s the most important advice you can give those overwhelmed with home decorating?

Castellini: It’s always best to consult a professional to take your ideas and put them all together into a coordinated plan. It will save you time and costly mistakes in the long run.


If you don’t know where to start, my clients find this very helpful: go through home magazines, pull out some pages that catch your eye or see yourself comfortable in. Lay the pages out in front of you and circle what appeals to you most. Show them to your designer, if they are qualified, they will be able to tell a lot about what you are trying to achieve just form the selections you have made.0208GIBBERMAN.gif


Cincy Chic: What’s the most fun/interesting project you’ve worked on locally?

Castellini: A nail spa in Kenwood. Not only was I the designer, but also the general contractor. It was the first commercial project of this caliber for me. I did a lot of research on codes and state requirements. We took a storefront, that was previously being leased by a printing company and didn’t have the proper water flow for a salon. We renovated the entire space, including bringing new water lines in from outside to make it “salon compatible” It was challenging and an incredible learning experience and the clients were very happy with the final outcome.


Cincy Chic: How do you define your sense of style/dècor? How is your house decorated?

Castellini: I love soft modern looks. The dark wood finishes, like ebony and walnut are very sharp, especially when mixed with lighter upholstered pieces. In my home, I have taken that idea and mixed in some 1920s antiques to create a very comfortable, modern environment. I typically keep my upholstered pieces solid in color, and bring patterns in with the window treatments and area rugs. Since I am also an artist, I take a lot of time coordinating the right pieces of art with their surroundings.



Cincy Chic: Where do you get your decor inspiration from? Any local spaces that you’re in love with?

Castellini: My inspiration comes from looking a tons of “home” magazines, reading trade articles and looking online at manufacturer sites to see what is available. I also like to get out and shop around, see what stores are displaying and see what customers are buying. I absolutely love the dècor of the Cheese Cake Factory in Kenwood. They have created a wonderful ambiance with soft, inviting colors mixed with metallic finishes. The lighting is also impeccably done and the fixtures are beautiful. The food is also really good!


Cincy Chic: Any exciting projects you want to share with everyone??

Castellini: Right now, I’m getting a lot of calls from people wanting to spruce up their home for entertaining friends and family through the holidays.


Cincy Chic: What’s your favorite thing about Cincinnati?

Castellini: I love that Cincinnati isn’t flat. I love the hills and the neighborhoods situated in the hills. You don’t just drive down one road straight through the city. They are winding, tree lined, and tons of old architecture with lots of character. But my favorite spot is in Kentucky, on 75, at the cut in the hill going North, just as you come around that last curve and the view of Cincinnati comes into site. I love it!


If you have a recommendation of a fabulous, noteworthy and chic person for our Chic Spotlight, we want to know! Send us an e-mail and we’ll consider your recommendation.


Photo: Courtesy of
PC Design LLC

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With the increasing red tape of mortgage lending, some are finding it’s better to invest in their current home to meet their evolving needs rather than the big expenditure of moving. Unfortunately, not everyone knows how to spend wisely when updating their home.


There are many options out there to choose from in giving your home a fresh "new" look. Go shopping throughout your home and consider using items in new ways or reclaiming items in your attic that your Grandmother may have given you.


Imagine what some spray paint can do to an old wood side table. Need a dresser in the bedroom? Consider a flea market and look online for ideas of ways to "revamp" the look. If you have items that have no possibility in your home, consider a neighborhood swap. There are many ways to save and below are a few to get you started.


Paint makes a huge impact on a room. If you are a do-it-yourselfer, then this conversion will only cost you about $40 to give your room a new look. Go for something different. Choose a color that is used somewhere in the room. Take the color from a background071210FASHION2.jpg hue in your sofa, a stripe that’s in your window treatments, pull a tint from your area rug or maybe an accessory that you love or a painting on the wall. Today, any color can be matched at your favorite paint store.


Window Treatments
Custom window treatments can be expensive; but you can find great panels at your local Bed, Bath and Beyond, Target, Ikea, Wal-Mart and more. Panels are easy to change out. Use something light and airy in the spring and summer and go towards a heavier weight panel in the fall and winter months.


Window treatments make a huge impact on a room and "frame" your window as a picture does inside a frame. Depending on how many windows you have, you can dress your windows for under $150.


Throw Pillows
Throw pillows are the easiest thing to do to dress up or change the look of your sofa, without having to replace it. With the same thought of window treatments, you can change pillows throughout the seasons. Homegoods, T.J. Maxx, and Ikea are places that will give you alternatives at a very low price. If you have lots of pillows on your sofa, consider using pillow covers to change the main pillows or take a minor color in your sofa and use that as a base when shopping for new ones. You will spend very little on this, about $10-$20/pillow.


Lamps are an important part of any room. It creates a mood. If you already have lights in the ceiling,
1209KROMBHOLZ.gifconsider adding a floor lamp in the corner for softer overhead light. Choose mismatched or pairs of lamps for either side of your sofa or for bedside lighting. Target, Ikea and Homegoods all offer a large selection to choose from. Another option, if you don’t want to replace your lamps, is to find new shades. If you have a pleated barrel shade, go for a smooth bell shade in a color instead. These all make big impacts on the look of a room.


If you are looking to change your sofa, but it isn’t quite in the budget at the moment, consider a slipcover. There are so many new and exciting options now that you could have a virtually "new" looking sofa for under $150. They have options to fit any kind of sofa and chair today. This works for both your living room and your dining room. If you have chairs in your dining room that you don’t like the look of, think of a Parsons slipcover and give yourself a sleek, skirted look. While Wal-Mart and Target have a few to choose from, check out for many more options.



Photo courtesy of Paige Castellini