Random interior design related thoughts that don’t fall into any other category.

Lugbill Designs Founder Named One of the 10 Best Chicago Interior Designers

Lugbill Designs founder and lead designer, Erica Lugbill, was recently recognized as a top 10 interior designer in Chicago. Decorilla, an interior design blog, hand-selected ten of the top interior designers from the town considered to be the global architecture capital for its bold structural design, many museums and art installations. Deservingly, one of them is the brain behind the high-end interior design firm, Lugbill Designs.

Here’s what Decorilla has got to say about Erica, founder and creative director of Lugbill Designs:
“As founder of Lugbill Designs, Erica Lugbill has been a strong name in Chicago’s design community since her start in 2010. She capitalized on specializing her service in both décor and full renovations. She strives to make communication the heart of the project making the end result a completely customized space that embodies the client’s personality and lifestyle.”

“With a network of independent construction companies and various vendors, Lugbill Designs provides competitive pricing and easy billing which results in a very low stress design process. Lugbill Designs also offers complimentary in-home consultations. They have consulted for many well-known TV networks such as DIY, HGTV, and Bravo.”

What Decorilla loves about Erica? The blog says it’s “her keen eye to see what the design industry in Chicago was missing and capitalize on providing the absolute best possible service for her clients.”
This is not the first time Erica is recognized for her exquisite work. In 2016, she was listed as one of the 20 best Chicago-based interior designers by freshome.com website. The blog expressed confidence that the shortlisted professionals can turn your home into a work of art or a cozy getaway.

To know more about Erica Lugbill, log-on to her website: www.lugbilldesigns.com.

How to Decorate a Kitchen Using Earth Tones

Here’s a how-to video by Erica Lugbill, the owner of Lugbill Designs, that discusses ways to decorate a kitchen using earth tones.

Nothing beats the combination of rich warm woods with earth tone colors. You can’t go wrong with this combination because it is warm and inviting.

When decorating your kitchen, the key is to aim for a perfect contrast. Start with your cabinetry samples and match them with the earth tone paint color that you like.

Another way to decorate your kitchen with earth tone is with the backsplash tile and earth stone counter top. If you have a window in your kitchen, you can also match the earth tone theme with the wooden shade.

Using earth tones for a kitchen’s interior design can bring impressive results, especially with the help of a professional. Check out this video for further instructions in decorating a kitchen using earth tones: http://www.lugbilldesigns.com/videos/kitchen-earth-tones.html

Need help with your home’s interior design, find useful tips and update from our interior design blog.

How to Keep Rugs From Slipping on Wood Floors

How to Keep Rugs From Slipping on Wood Floors

In this video Erica Lugbill, owner of Lugbill Designs, a Chicago-based residential remodelling and interior design firm, gives tips on how to keep rugs from slipping on the floor.

Some rugs come with a rubber non-skid backing on that keep them in place, but others don’t. This means having a difficult time to keep them from slipping  on the floor.

But while it seems like a problem, there are actually several options that you can try to keep rugs from slipping.

Add a layer underneath your rug

What Erica Lugbill personally uses is a felt rug pad with rubber backing to layer underneath your rug. It is nice, thick and plush option. Not only can it keep your rugs in place, it also adds luxury to the height of the rug, so it is softer when you step on it.

Use a carpet tape

Another option is to use a carpet tape, but you have to be careful when using it. It is only advisable to use if your wooden floor has a very strong finish or if you have a laminate flooring. Simply put a double sided carpet tape on the floor, peel off the top and securely put down your rug.

Rugs that don’t stay in place are safety hazards. Much more, they can ruin the orderliness in your home and prevent you from achieving a flaw-free interior. However with several techniques to try, you can easily keep rugs from slipping on the floor just fine.

Video: http://www.lugbilldesigns.com/videos/slipping-wood-floors.html

Learn cool interior design hacks that you’d want to know by visiting our blog.

How to Choose an Accent Color for Interior Painting

VideoScrape 1 (edit) - How to choose an accent color for interior painting

In this video Erica Lugbill, owner of Lugbill Designs, a high end residential remodelling and interior design firm at Chicago, covers how to choose an accent paint color when painting your space.

The first thing to evaluate is the size of the the room. Small rooms won’t work well with accent wall. Erica advised: “Painting an accent wall can kind of chop up the space and make the room smaller.”

If the space is large enough, then, look for the undertone. For instance, Erica presented paint colors with grey undertone. Check your paint deck and pair it with colors with the same undertone. And if your wall has a brown undertone, look for the warmer spectrum that has the same brown undertone.

The trick is to not have loud or too wild of a color. “You want something that will work well with the main wall color within your space.”

The accent color that you will choose can make or break your interior design. Take it from the expert so you can make use of the colors that can bring tremendous improvements in your space.

Want more useful interior design tips and tricks from the expert? Stay up-to-date by visiting our blog.

How to Hang Curtains & Liners

In this video, Erica Lugbill, the owner of Lugbill Designs, a high-end residential remodelling and interior design firm in Chicago, explains how to install drapery panels and liners.

Some curtains are already lined. However others need separate liners and have to be installed on a double rod set. For pinch pleated curtains, place the drapery pins on each end and on each pleat. Make sure it won’t hook through the curtain so the metal pins are not showing.

Make sure you have the same number of rings on the rod as with the drapery pins. Lastly, hook the pins on the rings. You can adjust the height of the panel by moving the pins up or down.



Interior Design Ideas for Small Spaces

Interior Design Ideas for Small Spaces


Interior design for small spaces can be challenging. In this article, Lugbill Designs give you 5 easy interior design tips for small spaces that do not compromise comfort, function and design.

1. Maximize Vertical Space

Tall shelves are a good space saver but wall-mounted storage solutions are a good way to go as well. Mount on the wall anything that eats a lot of floor space.


Vertical Space

Wall mounted wine rack


2. Trick Your Eyes with Big Mirrors

A large mirror magnifies the space, giving an illusion of expansive room.

You can also:

  • Place a Mirror behind a light source such as a lamp (source)
  • Place a mirror right next to or opposite a window to give an illusion of more windows. (source)

Big Mirrors

3. Use Furniture Smartly

You don’t always have to choose small-scale pieces as your primary space-saving choice. There are full-size furniture that can work well with small rooms. As a general rule, choose one that is mobile, modular or multipurpose.

Mobile. Choose easy to move furniture in case you need to repurpose them.

Modular. These types of furniture are fantastic space saver as they are easy to install, dismantle and use in many different ways.

Multipurpose. Opt for multipurpose furniture such as sofa bed, underbed storage, staircase drawers etc.

Use Furniture Safely

4. Tear Down Walls and Demarcation

Instead of concrete walls, use screens or divider shelf and replace solid doors with glass doors. You can also divide spaces by subtly creating zones using curtain, various paint colors for walls or floor, and smartly arranged table and chair.

Tear Down Walls

5. Make Use of Lines and Colors

The rhythm produced by lines and the depth produced by colors are effective hacks to create an illusion of large space.

Using Line Patterns

  • Vertical line pattern adds height to a room.
  • Horizontal ones can make the space look spacious and wider.
  • Horizontal lines used as wallpapers are fantastic for small spaces with high ceiling.

Light vs. Dark Colors

  • Generally, light colors add a feeling of space  to a room.
  • It is rarely a choice to paint the ceiling with dark or deep colors as dark paint closes in the space.
  • Light painted walls contrasted with dark furnished floor can make a room feel bigger.

Make use of Lines and Colors

Have you tried any of the tips mentioned above? Share your experience below.
For more interior design tips and hacks, follow our blog or watch our how-to videos

30 Best Websites For Interior Design Inspiration

30 Websites for Interior Design

It used to be a lot more difficult to get home design inspiration.  20 years ago, inspirations had to come from magazines, furniture shops, homeware stores, and catalogs. In this digital era though, all you have to do is turn on your computer and have access the internet.  Here are 30 of our go-to websites for inspiration.


Top 30 Interior Design Blogs



  1. Houzz

If you are looking for plenty of ideas and inspirations for your home, Houzz is the best interior design website to visit. It offers images of the most coveted interior designs, that will make you want to transform your home into a similar one. They also provide local professionals that you can contact, online furniture store, and forum where you can find practical advice for your home.

Remodelista2. Remodelista

If you want a world-class inspiration for your interior design needs, you might want to check out Remodelista’s interior design website. It features numerous styling ideas for every spaces, along with its shops, and plenty of advises and decorating hacks too.

Sania Pell3. Sania Pell

The owner of this interior design website, Sania Pell, has a degree of textile design, and worked as a stylist and creative consultant for Elle Deco, The Conran Shop, and Marks & Spencer. This blog consists of invaluable tips and advice that offers more than what is available online. Moreover, the website also includes her portfolios, shop, and a compilation of her exquisite projects.

Design Squish4. Design Squish

This interior design website features photographs of eco-friendly interior art and design with a touch of retro style. Its minimalist and tranquil vibe will make you inspired to add something extraordinary in the aesthetics of your living space.

Bloesem Design5. Bloesem Design

Bloesem is a design studio founded by the Dutch graphic designer Irene Hoofs. This classy interior design website consists a mix of home-goals, handpicked home items, and curated image galleries.

Decor86. Decor8

Founded by a journalist, interior author and stylist Holly Becker, Decor8 is an interior design website that contains musings of the author such as inspiring interior ideas, DIY crafts, fresh finds on the interior market, and solutions for your home decorating needs.
Home Shopping Spy7. Home Shopping Spy

Owned by the editor of Ideal Home magazine, this interior design website provides shopping inspiration for anyone who needs stylish decorations to stuff their home. Home Shopping Spy also includes the latest trends in interior design, inspiration from the experts, and simple solutions to keep you a pleasant home.

Fine Little Day8. Fine Little Day

Fine Little Day is a Scandinavian interior blog that expresses their passion for handicrafts. Staying out of the modern approach for designing, this prefers rustic style, infused with vintage touches and cozy feeling.

Abigail Ahern9. Abigail Ahern

If you are looking for a blog containing the newest and sophisticated interiors, Abigail Ahern’s interior design website is surely worth a follow. Ahern is an interior style expert based from London, specializing in reinventing spaces and making your home look as exquisite as possible. Her blog chiefly contains before and after images, how-tos, and sourcebook.

Design*Sponge10. Design*Sponge

Design Sponge is a great source for those who want a touch of stylish contemporary living and Stateside homes. Moreover, there are also DIY, lifestyle, food and travel entries in the website.

Interior Stores

Atelier11. Atelier

Atelier’s interior design website provides inspirations suitable for homeowners who have the love for eclectic style immersed with global and cultural inspiration. Atelier includes their services, projects, and a wide selection of images for your home inspiration.

Rockett St George12. Rockett St George

Originated from UK, this interior design website is an emporium of Jane Rockett and Lucy St George’s cool crafts. It offers home accessories to wallpapers and furniture. It is a homeware website full of quirky and artistic interior finds. The website also features a look book, where you can grab some ideas for your own desire.Dwell Studio13. Dwell Studio

This is a web shop where the most coveted mid-century interior items are found. Their products are suitable for those who prefer high-end interiors. The site also have a section where users can organize their ideas, thoughts, and decorating advice to share with friends and family.

St Jude’s Fabric14. St Jude’s Fabric

The founder of the interior web shop, Angie Lewin offers premium fabrics and elegant printed items such as wallpaper and upholsteries. Also, this website features the artistic pieces of other young flourishing designers she is working with.

The Kellogg Collection15. The Kellogg Collection

This web shop features fresh looking interiors for those who enjoy the classic and homely feel. Aside from showcasing their shabby chic furniture,  The Kellogg Collection also offers lookbooks and tips for those who are in need of a simple yet elegant home inspiration.

Interior Bargain Hunters

Ikea16. Ikea Hackers

This is the best site to share creative ideas on how to modify and re purpose items found on Ikea. If you feel like you have an ability with tinkering and tweaking things into an innovative one, this site could be your main source of hacks and ideas for your home improvement.

Etsy17. Etsy

Etsy is a global online market having over 18 million customized products. It is a marketplace for artsy people to sell their crafts. You can find good items on Etsy, considering that these goodies are crafted with love and spilled with vintage touch and creativity.

Specialists Sites

Designer Pages Media18. Designer Pages Media

This website is suitable for interior designers that are looking for great products along with its manufacturers. It also provides a wide array of articles about interesting ideas for interior designing.

Little Big Bell19. Little Big Bell

Mentioning its achievement, Little Big Bell is a prestigious interiors, design, and lifestyle blog based in London which is founded by Geraldine Tan. Here, you can find professional tips, guides, and inspirations for a much stylish way of dealing with your interiors.

Lauren Liess Interiors20. Lauren Liess Interiors

Lauren Liess is an interior boutique and design studio based in Washington, DC. There are numerous articles in this blog where you can get ideas for a luxurious interior design inspiration. You can also check their portfolio for a dash of additional ingenuity.

Home Design Finds21. Home Design Finds

Home Design Finds is a web magazine that features the best architecture, furniture, interior design, lighting, and more that their team could find around the globe.

For Interior-Shopaholics

Pieces22. Pieces

This boutique based in Atlanta offers unique interior finds that are perfect for modern and elegant interior style. Their easy-to-shop site will allow you to have an easy access across all of their products.

H&M23. H&M Home

The fashion retailer also sells home interior products online. They offer a wide array of affordable pieces for all your interior decorating needs.

Rowen and Wren24. Rowen and Wren

Rowen & Wren is a web shop features textiles, ceramics, outdoor accents, and furniture which are all about refined and classic living. Scouring through this blog is worth of a daydream.

Zara Home25. Zara Home

Zara Home is another fashion shop that also sells trendy homeware online. They offer these chic yet affordable products included in their lookbooks.

Schoolhouse Electric26. Schoolhouse Electric

If you are a fan of colors and funky retro look, Schoolhouse Electric is a great source for affordable homeware, accents, and more. Check their inspirations tab for more tips and ideas. You can also find a compilation of insta-worthy photos there!

Vintage Touch


Skinflint Design27. Skinflint Design

If you’re so much into vintage lighting for your home, Skinflint Design is the perfect interior design website for you to visit. Moreover, you can check their blogs for guide and tips in lighting and buying homeware. Also, you can refer to their compilation of projects and consultancy services in case you are curious enough about their ideas and works.

One King’s Lane28. One King’s Lane

One King’s Lane is an interior web shop that will satisfy your antique addiction with the wide range of shabby chic and classic homeware options. What’s more is that they offer these finds for a great value.

Vintage Finds29. Vintage Finds

In this interior design website, you’ll find tons of tips, guides, and inspirations on how to restore and reinvent your home space. They also have a boutique that offers distinctive antique,  painted and distressed furniture, vintage pieces, and home furnishings all at an affordable price.

National Trust Treasure Hunt30. National Trust Treasure Hunt

This interior design website would be the one-stop blog for enthusiasts of history and restoration. National Trust Treasure hunt features the homes owned by the National Trust, along with its furnitures and the story behind them, and the process of restoring and preserving them. The richness of the culture and the old times is sure to hype the antique lovers.

Got any thoughts about our list of the best websites for your interior inspiration? Let us know by leaving a comment below!

[PART 3] Guide To Getting Permits In Chicago: Residential Remodeling

Remodeling Permit
In part two of this article series “Guide to Getting Permits in Chicago”, we talked about why you may need to pull a permit for a residential remodel.  In this article, you will learn more about the necessary paperwork you have to prepare, how each process of securing a permit works, the cost of building permit fee, and the penalties for failure to obtain one or having an expired permit.

Step by Step Process: How To Get a Building Permit

After identifying what type of permit you need, you’re ready to go through to ordeal of obtaining it. Here are some of the options:

Easy Permit Process Program

How it works:

  • Fill out the application form. You can then submit this together with additional documentation (requires PIN no.) in one of the City Hall offices.
  • Be sure that the owner of the house duly signed the Easy Permit application form.
  • Also provide a copy of contract signed by the owner and the contractor together with a signed letter of intent for general contractors and/or plumbing contractors, as it may be applicable.
  • In this process, no appointment is required and and usually you may get the permit the same day you applied
  • A detailed flowchart containing the instructions for every step of the process is found here.

Standard Plan Review

How it works:

  • The application is submitted through E-Plan.
  • Only the architects, structural engineers and expediters are allowed to apply for a Standard Plan Review.
  • A detailed flowchart of the instructions to take when applying for plan review is found here.

Homeowners Assistance Program

This program is for owner-occupants of single-family homes who will personally apply for a building permit that requires plan and drawings (not subject to Easy Permit Process Program).

The permit registration may be done by your contractor but a representative of the City may still want to speak to you about your project. Make sure to always follow up with them and ensure that they actually got it before starting any construction process. Oftentimes, it is best if you arrange for your designer or contractor to pull permits, as they better understand the city’s timeline for approval and the requirements for the permit process and which project really needs a permit.

Residential Remodeling Permit Requirements

Here are the list of general and specific requirements you (depending on the scope of your home improvement project) need to accomplish for a successful application of Residential Remodeling Permit:

Easy Permit Process Program

Here is the required information that may be applicable for your residential remodelling project:

  • EPP Application including
  • Cook County PIN #
  • Electrical Application
  • Signed contract between owner & contractor
  • Original Letters of Intent from contractors
  • Proof of building ownership
  • Certificate of Responsibility for owner occupied residential bldgs.
  • Certificate of primary residence for owner occupied residential buildings
  • Photographs of areas of work
  • Plat of survey
  • List of required contractors
  • Notarized letters from owner and contractors for contractor changes
Note: *Also see this list on the flowchart, link provided above.

Homeowner’s Assistance Program

As this kind of application may include plans and drawings, it has a long list of requirements

General Requirements:

  • Building Permit Application
  • Plans
  • Project address printed on each sheet
  • Excavation certificate (for projects that include new or reworked foundations)
  • Plat of Survey
  • Certification of Primary Residence (certifies that the
  • Notarized Certification of Responsibility (only when The homeowner intends to act as the general contractor/subcontractor)
  • Aldermanic Acknowledgement Letter
  • Photographs of proposed area of work

Zoning Items Required:

  • Driveway Application (only if the project include alteration or addition of new driveway)
  • Zoning Approval for projects with drawings and plans

Energy Conservation Code Items Required

  • Energy Conservation Code Worksheet

Landmarks Commission Items Required

  • Landmarks Review (If the house is a landmark or is located in a landmark district

Architectural Items Required

  • Site Plan
  • Architectural Floor Plans
  • Wall Sections (provide a full wall section showing the elevation of all floor levels and the foundation wall for alteration and additions)
  • Building Elevations
  • Code Notes
  • Light and Vent Schedule

Structural Items Required

  • Porches (for porch plan)

Plumbing Items Required

  • Plumbing Fixtures (Plumbing fixtures on floor plans)
  • Plumbing Riser Diagrams
  • Plumbing Fixture Schedule (Specific details of all new fixtures)

Ventilation Items Required

  • Complete HVAC Plans
  • Ventilation Equipment Schedule

Electrical Items Required

  • Electrical Permit Application
  • Electrical Plans

For further information about the requirements , you can refer to this checklist. Always remember that if all of this is overwhelming, you can hire a contractor or an expeditor to do this for you.

Calculate The Cost of A Permit

The cost of securing a building permit from the Chicago City government is dependent on the type of construction project, the type of building and occupancy of the house, and the scope of project.

As of December 11, 2016, the building permit fees were increased. For ease of checking how much the permit fee may cost, a cost of permit calculator is available in City of Chicago website.

Important note:

To avoid penalties, start your construction within six months after the issuance of permit. If the construction did not start within the period, you should apply for a reinstatement of permit to carry on the construction. Note that this application is subject to approval by a City Hall Building Department supervisor.

Here are the details on the applicable fees:

  • After 6 months up to 12 months, 25% of the original fee is charged to extend the permit.
  • After 12 months and less than 3 years, 50% of the original fee is charged to extend the permit.
  • After 3 years and less than 5 years, 75% of the original fee is charged to extend the permit.
  • After 5 years, 100% of the original fee is charged to extend the permit.


What Happens if You Fail to Get a Residential Remodeling Permit

Failing to get a residential remodeling permit might subject you to certain circumstances such as:

  • The City issuing a stop work order on your project;
  • If there is a loan to finance the project, lender may decide to end the contract
  • A prospective buyer, who has the right to ask about the obtained permits, backing out of a deal

While we made this guide to assist in the permit process, please realize that you should always review the updated requirements, as these can change frequently. You can check for updates from the Chicago City hall website.

My House Hunters Renovation Experience

Erica Lugbill | My House Hunters Renovation Experience

After years of working off camera for HGTV, I finally had the opportunity to be on camera, as the designer for an episode of HGTV’s House Hunters Renovation (season 7 episode 6). Read more

What Other Finishes Go With Chrome?

What Other Finishes Go With Chrome?

The metallic element Chromium, or Chrome, is a metal that is often used in interior design.  It can be used in a variety of ways, including cabinet hardware, tile patterns, and furniture and décor.

Erica Lugbill, lead interior designer of Lugbill Designs shares her thoughts on finishes that go with chrome in the below video:


What Other Finishes Go With Chrome? — powered by ehow


Here are examples of a Silver and Nickel Finishes:

Examples of a Silver and Nickel Finishes

Seal Gray Metallic Clearcoat

Dark Pewter Finish

A dark pewter finish can also be used with chrome

In nearly all cases, mixing gold and bronze with chrome won’t work.  It simply clashes too much.
Find this interesting? Check out more of Erica Lugbill’s work at Lugbilldesigns.com

@ 2019 Lugbill Designs   Downtown 211 W Wacker Dr, Suite 300, Chicago, IL 60606   North Side 7005 North Glenwood Avenue, Chicago, IL 60626-2812    (773) 572-9049