Category Archives: Resources

Guest Blogger Series: “Process of Cutting Mirror” By Carolina Glass & Mirror

Every morning 9 times out of 10 we look into a mirror or open the shower glass door, but do we really know how these pieces are actually made and installed?

Mike and Mark at Carolina Glass & Mirror in Garner, North Carolina recently showed me the process of cutting mirror. These guys have this process down to a science.  Before the advancement of technology this process of cutting and fabricating a mirror use to take well over an hour, now it only takes roughly 15 minutes.

Carolina Glass & Mirror Garner NC & Design Lines Ltd (3)

The mirror arrives on a truck and is stored in what is called a stoce rack, back in the day mirrors use to be stored in wood crates. Now the mirror industry is striving to be more environmentally friendly. From this stoce rack, workers are able to access the mirror easier with a cup and vacuum system. With this system one worker can easily navigate the mirror so it lays correctly on the CNC Cutting Table.


From there, the mirror is suspended on the CNC Cutting table by air which comes from these tiny holes within the table.

Carolina Glass & Mirror & Design Lines (7)


Once the mirror is on this table, it is ready to be scored, which is guided by a laser. A computer software program helps the workers determine the precise measurements and then the laser is ready to cut.



If there are several orders in production, the software program determines how each order can be utilized with the least amount of mirror wasted.


Carolina Glass & Mirror & Design Lines (5)


Once the computer configures the measurements and mirror is scored, we then go to what is called the “break out stage.” This is where Mark, cuts the excess away from each mirror.


Carolina Glass & Mirror Garner NC & Design Lines Ltd (2)

Labels are put on each mirror and then they are ready for fabrication.

Depending on what the customer has specified a mirror can go to polishing or beveling machine and then to the hole drill machine.

If the client wants a plain mirror with no detailing, it heads straight to the polishing machine. If the client wants a bevel around the border of the mirror, it then heads to the beveling machine.


Carolina Glass & Mirror Garner NC & Design Lines Ltd

Within the beveling machine there are 4 diamond spindles and as the mirror passes each spindle, a layer is taken off the mirror. The end result is a beautiful frame around the entire mirror.

If the client has sconces going up then the mirror needs to accommodate the holes needed for the sconces. The “Hole Drilling” machine cuts a hole, in less than a minute using a diamond bit which comes up from the bottom and down from the top.



After the beveling and/or the drilling the mirror must go through the washing machine. This is the final stage of the process and one of the most important ones because if there are any imperfections, the light will shine through. You definitely do not want any imperfections!


Carolina Glass & Mirror & Design Lines (8)


Once this step is done, the mirror is wrapped up, labeled, and loaded onto a truck where it is taken to the job site.

We value the business partnership with Carolina Glass & Mirror and thoroughly enjoy working with them. They are a great team. Some of the more notable commercial projects Carolina Glass & Mirror has worked with are Marbles Kids Museum, The Umstead Hotel & Spa, The RBC Plaza, The Quorum Center,  and Mez Restaurant in RTP.

Our Top 7 Trends from Furniture Market

We had a fabulous trip to High Point last week for Furniture Market, and we’re excited to share our favorite trends!  Below, our team gathers for a picture inside the Hickory Chair showroom.

Design Lines High Point Furniture Market Fall 2010 (5)

 Judy catches up with one of her close friends, Diane Gote from New Jersey, while (above) Hilaire poses for a picture with our dear friends, Nancy Gales and Nancy Bolen.

Design Lines High Point Furniture Market 2010 (2)

Our first stop on our High Point visit was Verellen, an eco-friendly company with a European flare. The light fixtures quickly grabbed our attention and the upholstery fabricated in shades of creams, charcoals, and browns.  This is where we noted our first trend for Fall 2010:

Trend #1. Organic Industrial

Design Lines High Point Furniture Market Fall 2010

Lauren and Judy enjoy the comfort of new pieces (above), while colorful cords accent the streamlined floor lamp below. What a unique idea!

Design Lines High Point Furniture Market Fall 2010 (3)

Trend # 2: Unique Furniture Shapes

As the morning continued, we headed to Modern History and Somerset Bay where we saw similar neutrals with a splash of color.  We love the cream cabinet with a jelly bean green splash on the interior! 

 Design Lines High Point Furniture Market Fall 2010 (4)

Trend # 3: Applied Details

Fashion and interior design always influence each other, and I believe that’s what we’re seeing here.  Stop in J Crew or Banana Republic, and you will find appliques and embroidered details on their outfits.  We spotted similar concepts on drapery panels and even lamp shades!

Design Lines High Point Furniture Market Fall 2010 (6)

Trend # 4: Mature Graphics

Graphic patterns have been apart of a fabric trend we’ve seen over the last few years.  But this market, they found their way on a different color palette that seemed more thoughtful and mature.

Design Lines High Point Furniture Market Fall 2010 (7)

Trend # 5: Cream Finishes

Along with the organic neutrals, we saw warm and bright cream finishes that soften the pieces they are applied to.  We loved Suzanne Kesler new collection for Hickory Chair with it’s French inspirations. 

Design Lines High Point Furniture Market Fall 2010 (8)

Every time we tour the Hickory Chair Showroom, we run into some of the industry’s renown interior designers, Suzanne Kesler (left) and Alexa Hampton, who was promoting her most recent book The Language of Interior Design (right).

Design Lines High Point Furniture Market Fall 2010 (9)

Trend # 6: Linen, Linen Everywhere 

In nearly every showroom, linen was featured on furniture and pillows.  Five to ten years ago, chenilles were much more popular as upholstery fabrics, but the clean and fresh look of linen has now taken its place.

Design Lines High Point Furniture Market Fall 2010 (10)

Design Lines High Point Furniture Market Fall 2010 (11)

Above, Brittany and Judy in the Century Furniture Showroom at the end of the day.

Trend # 7: All Shades of Grays

As far as neutrals go, the taupe tans of the 90’s have been replaced with their fresh warm gray relatives. 

Design Lines High Point Furniture Market 2010 (12)

Gray can be pared with rustic finishes and textures or with high gloss metals for either an industrial or polished look.

Design Lines High Point Furniture Market Fall 2010 (15)

Natural Curiosities always has wonderful art and accessories to complete rooms.  We were particularly struck by the moody horse pieces below.

Design Lines High Point Furniture Market Fall 2010 (13)

Regina Andrew and Barbara Cosgrove shared their unique lamp and accessories.  We love the varied of shapes in the mirrored frames above! 

Design Lines High Point Furniture Market Fall 2010 (14)

We ended our day in the Centuryshowroom.  Above, Hilaire tests a leather chair.  Judy loved the unique lines of the McCrae casegoods in the Lee Industries showroom.  Also in Lee, we loved the punches of color, including purple!

Design Lines High Point Furniture Market Fall 2010 (16)


Guest Blogger Series: An Interview with the Talented Steve Staresina

I am privilege to bring to you an interview with Steve Staresina, a dear friend to the Design Lines team and also a phenomenal artist right here within the Raleigh area. Take it away Steve.

DLL: When did you first meet Judy/Design Lines?

Steve: I began working with Judy about ten years ago. She brought me on for my artisan plaster work and distressing and wood staining finishes. Our first project together was a parade home that turned out beautifully. Judy and every one of the Design Lines designers are tremendously gifted and great to work with. Every time I am called to be a part of the team I know that it will be a great experience with the highest quality of design.

Steve Staresina Plaster Painting with Copper

(Steve shown above with a commissioned piece for our client’s home above her mantel.)

 DLL: How did you develop your craft?

Steve:My artist and artisan profession grew out of my art and design studies at Kent State University. I have always had a passion for ancient and modern forms of art and visual communication. I came to Raleigh after college to find a growing, vibrant area with Cary, Chapel Hill and Durham all having their own distinct flavors of design. I have enjoyed being able to work in and flow through each area, meeting different people and making friends along the way. At the time my interest was painting on canvas. I painted more realist subjects, but I had an interest in modern design. I studied endless books on plastering, wood finishing, wood graining and other artisan and paint finishes. This has enabled me to work in Raleigh in my artisan field going on twenty years!

Steve Staresina Silver Leaf Tray Ceiling

(Above left, Steve used a faux leafing technique to mimic the look of a ultra expensive wallpaper and on the right matched the ceiling to the chartreuse fabric that lines the bookcase.)

DLL: What is so unique is that you not only do paintings, but distressing, antiquing finishing, and architectural motifs. What is the reasoning behind being so diverse in your artistic talent?

Steve:The progression of experimentation, invention and creativity has always been my focus. I want to bring a distinct and fresh approach to a design firm like Design Lines. I am currently working on recycled wood and artistic panels for walls and ceilings that can be illuminated with backlighting. These are not found typically in homes, but elements of these ideas can be used to create mood through lighting; it’s a real meld of my artistic approach to design.

DLL: For people who are not educated in fresco painting, briefly describe the technique?

Steve: My modernist fresco paintings are all natural marble and limestone plaster. I am currently working on a series entitled “Landscapes of Serene.” In the paintings there is an abundance of texture, layering and carving. A tranquility emerges from the use of ever slightly subdued colors. Judy has a wonderful client who commissioned me to paint the first of the series (which is shown above.) Over the beautiful limestone hearth, it conveys a  warm compliment to Judy’s overall interior design in the living room.

Stark Carpet Introduces Stark Paint

Stark Paint Color Walls

Today Stark Carpet’s Tim Cohen  from the Charlotte Showroom, presented the latest products from Stark at a lunch and learn. Thanks Tim for the lunch! Our favorite new product was Stark’s new paint collection. The palette is full of luscious colors fit for any area of the house!


Stark Paint Ad

Recent buzz about the paint has been in Elle Decor, New York Times and Home & Garden Magazine.

David Oliver Elle Decor

“Colorist David Oliver, designer, author and renowned colors specialist, brings an artistic, aesthetic expertise to designers through his knowledge of historic colors and their application to modern interiors.” Another plus?  The paint is non-toxic with no VOC’s. This paint is perfect for homes with children and pets.

Design Line’s favorites include “Squid Ink,” “Fog,” “Deep Water Garden,” “Foundation,” “Elizabethan Red,” and “Diva.”   

Stark Paint Cans

Images: Stark Facebook Page & Stark Paint

Leather Sure Has Come A Long Way…….

Edelman Leather

Recently Molly and I had the opportunity to sit down with the Edelman Leatherrepresentative, Chris McGough, to see new Edelman Leather.  WOW, I we saw leather in a whole new way.  Not only did we see amazing new colors, styles, and applications, we saw leather that is powered by Crypton, which means, total FREEDOM! 

Edelman Leather Care products powered by Crypton apply the latest technology to cleaning and restoring; they contain no harsh chemicals, no bleach, no solvents; no VOC’s are released.  Food spills, liquids, some inks, red wine, and coffee can be removed easily.  The luxury of the leather is no sacrificed and is more practical.  It can be applied to all of the leathers listed here: All Grain, Baby Alligator, Cashmere Calf, Dream Cow, Jumbo Crocodile, Lusterleather, Magnifico, Metallic Dream Cow, Modern Metallics, Napoli, Parchment Cowhide, Royal Hide, Scotch Grain, Shagreen, and Smoked Metallic.  So next time you want to use leather but are afraid of the kids artwork ending up on it, or the bottle of red wine all over it, think again.  There is an option. 

We also got to see some full hides up close and do the whole touch and feel test.  What an amazing difference.  Here are some pictures of the pieces we looked at:

Croc Leather








Another amazing feature that Edelman Leather does is BOOKBINDING LEATHER FOR UPHOLSTERY.


 Imagine, anyone can sit in an upholstered chair and feel intellectual because they are sitting in Bookbinding leather.  The story unfolds.

The concept is unique. A special dyed vegetable crust, a shade slightly lighter than the finished color, and, brings the grain to a dramatic peak. Onto this is our special glazing powder which enables us to polish the grain and the dyed color altogether. But know that these are crushed, crushed, crushed hides of ultra quality.
The colors are all new.  KEEP YOUR MIND AN OPEN BOOK!

We hoped you enjoyed the update on leathers!


Molly and Ashley


Travertine Used A Little Different

We use travertine everyday in our industry but when I saw this story I had to share.

These pools are made of travertine a type of limestone deposited by evaporating water from the hot springs.

People have been coming to soak in these hot springs since at least 200 BC.

Archaeologist uncovered ancient ruins here, including baths, a gymnasium, and a Byzantine Church.

You want to know where you can find these amazing pools……. Denizli, Turkey. They are in a location called Hierapolis-Pamukkale, Turkey. The name of this place means “Cotton Castle” in Turkish.
I wish we could find something like this in the United States. What an amazing find!

Need to Update Your Kitchen? Try a New Countertop!

Itching for a new look in your kitchen but don’t want to replace your cabinets? A new granite or marble countertop is the perfect solution! Read below for a few insider tips on making your installation a success.

1. When selecting an edge profile, consider not only the appearance of the edge, but the function as well. Will it feel comfortable to your arms as you are leaning on the countertop at the bar? Does it have a sharp edge that might be more prone to chipping if hit by a pot? Will it’s shape cause spills to “wrap” around the edge of the countertop and back towards the cabinets?

2. Make sure you are present when the fabricator comes to template your cabinets. This is when they take exact measurements and/or make a template that will be used to create the shape of your countertop. Inevitably, a question will arise as to how to address a particular area, and you will want to be a part of that discussion. Don’t be afraid to ask questions!

3. Ask to be a part of the layout process after the templates are made. This is when the fabricator physically “lays out” the templates on your slabs to determine where the stone will be cut. Being a part of this process will allow you to put that beautiful vein directly in the middle of the island or to avoid the dark spot in the slab that you dislike. Not only is this part important, it is also lots of fun . . . like putting a big puzzle together!

4. Request that all faucet holes be drilled on-site. This will ensure that the faucet is placed exactly where you want it and will help you avoid any costly mistakes.

The images above were taken as I helped lay out the templates for a client’s new countertop at Absolute Stone in Cary. Visit them at to browse their showcase gallery and peruse their stone selections.

Have a question about installing a new countertop? Ask Stephanie by clicking the title to this blog and posting a comment in the “Comment” section at the bottom of the page.