Designing Montclair Homes with  
   Functionality & Personality

Noel Gatts Shares Interior Design Tips Before Her Designer Appliances Panel

Noel Gatts, principal of the interior design firm Beam & Bloom, says, “Never rush into designing a room. Take your time. You’ll get the most out of a designer when you define how you want to use your space.”

Noel Gatts of Beam&Bloom Interiors

On September 15, 2018, from Noon to 2pm, Noel Gatts will speak on a panel with Organizer Laura Bostrom of Everyday Order, In-home Stager Adam Cottrell of the Amy Owens team, Contractor Darren Rogers of Wyanoke Builders, and moderator Amy Owens of Keller Williams Realty, in the Designer Appliances Home & Hearth Series, as part of the Upper Montclair Business Association Sidewalk Sale. The subject of this free panel is Designing and Creating the Home of Your Dreams, and we’re grateful to Amy Owens for helping us put it together.  Designer Appliances hosts this series with local design, culinary and building experts because what differentiates our hometown store from a national chain is our commitment to the community, as well as to educating and supporting our customers through the home remodeling process.

Local Interior Designer Noel Gatts has developed a reputation for combining E-Design with the personal touch of in-home styling.  This cost-effective model empowers her clients to make their design budgets stretch further. She calls her esthetic “simple and eclectic” and says, “I adapt my style to reflect the personality of each client.” Noel gives a sneak peek at some of the best design advice she’ll share at the Sidewalk Sale panel.

What problems are your Montclair customers trying to solve and how do you solve them?


Many of my clients are busy parents who are overwhelmed by their children’s stuff! I tell my clients that no matter how small their homes are, they have to create a primarily “adult” space in the house, a peaceful space they consider their own. Of course, your kids are still going to spend time in the area you spend time in, so you should find a place to hide away no more than two bins of their things. For example, a container of blocks or Magnatiles that can slip out of site. But the adult room should not be the place kids get messy and creative. My rule of thumb is it should never take more than an hour to pick up your home.

So where should the kids get messy and creative?


So many homes in Montclair have sunrooms that are set aside from the flow of the entrance and kitchen. This is one place I like to set up a playroom where kids can go wild. A playroom should invite a child to be imaginative, so I want to add pieces that set the stage, like a small tent. For older kids, the most apparent play space in the basement. Ideally, the storage should be built-in.

What about spaces for teenagers?


Teenagers’ rooms are their sanctuaries and expressions of who they want to be. You have to let them have agency in the process. There is so much anxiety and stress in their lives. The spaces should be calming, in terms of color, lighting, and personalized touches.

What are your favorite design tips for kitchens?


The kitchen is a workspace, so really pay attention to the flow of the space. Walk around the area and think of how you move in the kitchen. There is a concept called the “triangle workspace” with appliances. The stove, fridge, and sink should be in a triangle to make it easier to work. Take note of the way the door of your refrigerator will open, and whether it will be in the way; sometimes a two-door fridge can make it easier to move through space.


I also love open-shelving or glass cabinets that make your simple, everyday objects a focal point of the room. No matter how small the kitchen, try to have seating, even if it is as simple as a bench.


I’m getting requests for kitchens with compact wine bars with special mini-fridges built in, spaces that can also double as coffee bars. Another trend is black and white appliances, that is “black ice” or “white ice” finishes that look glossy, an interesting move away from the stainless steel industrial look.  Wallpaper is huge right now, and it’s a low-risk way to be whimsical. One fun wall of wallpaper often works well in kitchens.

What should you splurge on and where should you try to save money?


Splurge on what you love to spend time on. For example, if you are a cook, splurge on the stove, especially in an open-concept home where you can see the appliances from everywhere. Spend money on structural changes that increase the value of the house: built-ins, mantles, moldings. Save money on accents like rugs and pillows, and on furniture.

For more home design advice from Noel, stop into the free panel at Designer Appliances on September 15, Noon to 2pm, at 208 Bellevue Avenue, in Montclair, during the Sidewalk Sale. No reservations are necessary, but seats tend to fill, so we advise you to arrive 10 minutes early.