Use paint and color to enhance your home and your mood Monday, Feb 21 2011 

The number one question that I get asked as a designer is “will you help me pick out my paint colors?”

For some reason most people are afraid to choose paint colors for their home. They seem to think that they don’t know how to do it but in my experience I have found that to be false. Most people have a distinct idea of what they like but are uncomfortable making the choice, especially if they tend to appreciate bolder colors. I typically just reassure them about their choice. I rarely actually choose the color for them.

Which leads me to the topic of color psychology. I personally believe that people tend to gravitate toward particular colors or color families based upon their overall personality and place in life.

A few basic color psychology studies show (in general) that people who are fast paced and very active gravitate toward red and yellow color palettes while people who are very social and family oriented lean toward orange color palettes. Blues, greens and purples tend to appeal to people who are looking to create a serene and calming environment.

If you are having difficulty figuring out what appeals to you check out the Sherwin Williams color visualizer where you can even upload photos of the room you are planning to paint and try different palettes before you even hit the paint store. Very cool indeed!

And don’t forget – paint is a stylish and inexpensive way to also add some graphic impact to your home.

Check out these cool rooms where painting simple stripes really added to the overall impact of the room.


New Website! Wednesday, Jan 26 2011 

I have a new website just follow this link to check it out!



Small Space But Big Design Thursday, Oct 14 2010 

courtesy of Sunset Magazine

People are beginning to downsize their living spaces for a variety of reasons these days. Some people are looking for a less expensive space while others have children leaving the nest, whatever the reason, there is no need to compromise on style.

Here are a few tricks of the trade that will make the most out of a tight situation:

Add large windows or glass doors

Allow the outdoors to visually become part of the space. By enlarging the window size in the room or adding glass doors you will add light and enhance the sight lines of the room. The larger the view, the larger your room will feel.

This room could feel boxy but with addition of this amazing architectural window this room opens up to a cozy and dramatic space!

Photo by Thomas J Storey

Consider Pocket or Wall Sliding Doors

A typical door swing can eat up about 10 square feet of living space!  Modern pocket doors are not anything like those we saw years ago. (You know what I’m talking about if you ever had someone walk in on you in the powder room!) They are now as stylish as they are functional. They often can even become a beautiful design focal point. Which leads me to my next trick…

Johnson Hardware Pocket Door

Add Interesting Design Elements

Adding unique little touches here and there help draw the eye to those areas and creates a feeling of cozy comfort instead of claustrophobia. The key is to keep it relatively simple so you don’t overwhelm the space.

Photo by Thomas J Storey

Organize & Hide

The easiest way to keep a small space from feeling claustrophobic and crowded is to keep it very clean. Invest in furniture that also doubles as storage. Create a hideaway for your kitchen appliances and organize and file  all your bills and magazines.

These are some very clever and beautiful appliance garages!

Courtesy of

Courtesy of

2010 Wallpaper Trend Alert!! Friday, Aug 27 2010 

Could it Be? Wallpaper is Back in Style?

It all depends on where you live and how brave you are. I live in the Southwest and wallpaper hasn’t really made a major return nor has it ever been particularly popular like it has been on the East Coast or in the Mid-West. However, after seeing some of the new styles and materials that make up “wallpaper” of 2010 I just may get over my fear and image of my old Grandma’s floral bathroom and get on this trend train.

Check out this amazing 2010 version of “wallpaper” from Trend Wallpaper

Ok so it’s exactly “paper” it’s a gorgeous mosaic tile but how can you not love this trend?

Check out tomorrow’s post for this mosaic tile “wallpaper” look for less!

Environmentally Friendly Kitchens Saturday, May 8 2010 

Green Features

Cork flooring photo courtesy of Expanko

In a recent National Association of Home Builders survey 75% of its respondents said that they would pay more for sustainable features provided that there was a tangible return on investment in the form of energy and water savings. Combine that with the available tax credits for choosing energy efficient building materials and appliances and this is a trend that has some staying power. There are also many new and readily available recyclable and reclaimed materials to choose from compared to the past.

Kirei natural tile - Sumatra collection

It’s now very easy to find renewable materials like bamboo cabinets and flooring and recycled glass mosaics for your backsplash. The sky is the limit when it comes to choosing energy-efficient appliances and environmentally friendly building resources for today’s modern kitchen.

Vetrazzo kitchen designed by Susan Wiggs

Gorgeous natural tile from Kireri

Kitchen Lighting Trends for 2010 Thursday, Apr 8 2010 

Love the fun chandeliers!

Decorative light fixtures will always be popular because they help convey the look of the room whether the look is contemporary or farm-house chic. However, the latest decorative lighting trends also tend to alleviate the dreaded “swiss cheese” effect that overused recessed can lighting created when that was such a popular trend in kitchens. Task lighting is also becoming more popular and can be seen in the form of under cabinet lighting, pendant lighting over kitchen islands and sinks. These lights actually serve a utilitarian purpose as well as a decorative purpose. Task lighting is a great layer to your overall lighting scheme because it can be used independently thus saving electricity and money as well as it can serve as a nightlight when the kitchen is not in use.

Fabulous Backsplashes and the Dreaded Outlet Issue Tuesday, Apr 6 2010 

Smaller kitchens require fabulous details such as backsplashes made from recycled glass and natural materials. However, who wants to destroy the look of their expensive new fabulous backsplash with ugly outlets so the latest trend is toward plugs that are concealed such as pop up plugs that sit flush on the countertop when not in use (often used in kitchen islands) and plug molding that is hidden at the base of the upper cabinets. Both are great fixes for dealing with the dreaded issue of where to place the kitchen outlets.

Hidden outlets under the cabinet

Great design and no ugly outlets because they are cleverly hidden!

Color Trends For the 2010 Kitchen Tuesday, Apr 6 2010 

Ann Sacks Tile Backsplash
Ann Sacks Tile Backsplash

Blue is the new green. The color blue is associated with clean air and clean water. The trend is to bring calm and comfort into the home and the color blue exudes a calming and serene feeling to the environment. Turquoise is a very popular color that is a blend of both blue and green that I have spotted in kitchens, living and dining rooms all over the country. Other popular color trends for 2010 include palettes of complex neutrals in grays and cool browns and pumpkin tones.  Cabinetry trends continue where they left off in 2009 with the darker tones being most popular followed by the exact opposite, white.

Courtesy Domino Magazine

Serious Kitchen Style on a Budget – Another 2010 Trend! Monday, Mar 15 2010 

Jeffrey Court Tile

Just because it’s small and budget friendly doesn’t mean it lacks style. The trend is to choose one element such as a dynamic backsplash to give your kitchen a wow factor. Exposed stemware holders, plate racks, and glass cabinet doors can also provide style without breaking the bank.

Beautiful Backsplash Details

Glass cabinets add "Wow"

Nice detail and functional!

More 2010 Kichen Trends Sunday, Mar 14 2010 

Universal Design     

Universal appliances are gaining popularity not simply for the baby boomer generation but they are appealing to all generations. Who likes getting on a chair or even their tippy toes to clean out the microwave oven that sits atop the range? Varying heights of work surfaces and storage options that fall between 15 and 48” off the ground are gaining popularity. Drawer appliances such as dishwashers, refrigerators, microwaves are also becoming increasingly popular.     

Dishwasher drawer - No more bending!

Refrigerator drawers from Sub-Zero

Microwave & warming drawer conveniently placed  

There are even cabinet and appliance lifts so that one person can push a button and the upper cabinet with the glasses will come down to their height and then can be returned to its typical position on the wall – very cool indeed! To see it in action visit Universal Design Products

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