Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Giving Thanks and Giving Back

When we buy items for our home, clothes, etc., do we think about the hands that made it? Do we think about the men, women and children working long, hard hours just to survive? This time of year when we have so much to be grateful for, let’s think about supporting companies that GIVE BACK to the people who make their products. Here are a few of my favorite. If you have any you’d like to share, please do!! Here are a few of my favorite companies that give back. {click on company name or pic for links}.


Dovetail Furniture:
I have a special place in my heart for Dovetail. Not only do they make the most beautiful furnishings and accessories, but they also give back in every country the manufacture in. When visiting the Dovetail showroom at the Las Vegas market a few years ago, I found myself talking to one of the owners, Charlie Shaw. We talked about our travels to India and I told him I had done some volunteer work there with Rising Star Outreach. He took the information down and soon after began sponsoring children through RSO.
Target: Charity given, a little closer to home. Target gives an estimated $3 million dollars a week to the communities they are in. Which adds up to roughly $150 million per year! They donate food to charities, books to schools and their team members volunteered 250,000 hours to United Way projects in their communities in 2014. What an amazing company! *Do you have a REDcard? If so, log on and register your child’s school so they can get 1% of all your REDcard purchases donated to their school. {click here if you missed my Target coffee table post}

Thank you to the companies that give back! This post is NOT sponsored by any of the above companies.

Monday, November 24, 2014

How To: Floral Arrangement

Who doesn’t love a beautiful flower arrangement to help chase away the winter grays? 
To make your arrangement, select flowers that make you happy and that will brighten your space. Find a vase that will enhance your arrangement and gather up these supplies.
Step 1: I always make my arrangement in my hand first. That way I can make sure that it’s just the way I want it before I begin. Then I’ll snap a picture, so I can reference it as I go.
Step 2: Cut the green florist foam to fit your vase and hot glue it to the bottom. I use wire cutters to cut the stems. The larger flowers tend to have a ton of wires, so I recommend turning the stem while you cut the stem instead of just trying to cut through in one squeeze. (I hope that makes sense). I usually hot glue my stems in the foam, but it isn’t necessary, especially if you think you’ll be making adjustments along the way.
 Step 3: About half way through, I stop, step back and make sure I’m on the right path.
Finished! Front of arrangement.
Vases are from Alice Lane, Flowers are a mix from Tai Pan Trading and Hobby Lobby.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Mission: Find a Stylish, Affordable Coffee Table

Some clients are in the stage of life where they can afford to invest in a nice piece of furniture. Others  want a nice looking piece that doesn’t break the bank and that if their children draw on it with a sharpie, they don’t have to take out a loan to replace it.  I’m currently working working on a project that requires the latter. 
Mission: Find a coffee table that looks nice and doesn’t break the bank. 
I think Target has done a really good job of working with designers and manufacturers to make affordable, stylish products accessible to everyone. 
***Target is currently offering 20% off when you spend $125 on home decor & furniture items plus FREE shipping. It expires at midnight on 11/22/14, so get shopping! You can visit Target for the fine print.
{Coffee Table links below}
{This post was not sponsored by Target, I’m just passing on some good finds.}

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Get your PLAID on

Snow is falling (somewhere), Christmas is just 42 days away and that means it’s time for two things, plaid and gift giving.  I am obsessed with plaid in general, but especially with these amazing pieces from C Wonder. Doesn’t this collection just transport you to a cute little cabin in the snowy mountains, fire crackling with hot cocoa in hand? sigh.
Maybe you’re like me and you’ve been VERY good this year! In that case you might need to reward yourself because let’s be honest, sometimes Santa forgets.
{click here to shop it}

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Homes for Our Troops

Happy Veteran’s Day! Today is a day we celebrate those who have sacrificed so much for the safety of our nation and others around the world. I thought it would be appropriate today, to highlight an organization who is helping those who have done so much for us.
Homes for Our Troops, Inc. is a non-profit organization that helps builds mortgage-free homes for the most severely injured Veterans from Iraq and Afghanistan. The homes give these Veterans independence and enables them to focus on their families and recovery and not the burden of a mortgage. Many of these Veterans have are multiple amputees, para and quadriplegic and their homes need to be redesigned to fit their new needs.
Today would be a great day to say, “Thank you,” to a vet and if you can, give a donation to a worthy cause who helps our amazing Veterans. 

Monday, November 10, 2014


If you missed Part I, click {here}.
You’ve found your home and signed the contract. Now it’s time for the fun stuff, marble, tile, faucets, paint, etc. But wait...there are some other decisions that will need to come first that might not be quite as fun, but are very necessary. These are your STRUCTURAL options. That means anything that will affect your underground utilities (i.e. gas, water, electric) or framing. That way when they pour your foundation they have already placed the proper lines to their desired location.

Your builder should sit down with you and walk you through the selections, but ask for a copy of selections ahead of time, so you’re prepared when you meet to make the final decisions.
Here are some examples of the decisions that builders will need to know before they pour the foundation.

1. Do you want any floor outlets? Many people will put them in the family room/living room, so that a table lamp next to the sofa doesn’t have to be plugged into the wall via an extension cord. In the photo below there is probably an outlet placed under the sofa where the cords are easily hidden.

2. Gas or Electric stovetop?

3. Gas or Electric dryer?
4. Do you want a fireplace, if that’s an option? If yes, do you want a gas or wood burning {below}?
5. Would you like to add any soffits or tray ceilings {below} in your home?

6. Do you want to add any windows or make changes to any existing windows, size, etc?
7. Will they allow you to make any changes to the floor plan? For example, we turned an unnecessary back hallway into an extra closet.
8. Do you want to add a sink to the laundry room?
25 dreamy laundry rooms, cleaning tips, home decor, laundry rooms
These are some of the decisions you need to be prepared to tell your builder pretty early on in the building phase.
Part III of the Building 101 phase will be when we get to the fun stuff!

Thursday, November 6, 2014

How to choose coordinating fabrics like the pros

Often times we may find ourselves in love with a particular fabric, but when it comes time to select the other fabrics for the room, we’re stumped. Sometimes designer fabric companies will help out, by attaching coordinating fabrics to the larger samples. My favorite fabric line of all time is Designer’s Guild. Their use of color, scale and whimsy is unmatched (in my humble opinion).
Let me show you some examples from their showroom, of how to find the perfect coordinating fabrics. Notice in each grouping, the use of different textures. Silk, velvet, cotton, linen, chenille, etc. are all mixed together to give the room depth and texture. 
I’m sorry I don’t have “Feelevision,” so you could feel these fabrics for yourself. 

 I love how in the next two examples, although the main fabric is flowery and feminine, they have brought in stripes and plaids to make it less so.

You don’t always have to go with the obvious coordinating colors. In the example below, instead of choosing green or pink, they chose to highlight the vibrant blue.
Unlike the example above, here’s an example of using the predominant color for your coordinating fabrics. Equally as beautiful.
When you’re out searching for your own fabric, play around with different color combinations and textures. It will make your room more lively and interesting. 

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Artist: Janet Hill

Today I wanted to feature one of my {new} favorite artists, Janet Hill. I recently came across her work and now I’m totally smitten. There is something for everyone. Here are a few of my favorites. You can see all her prints in her etsy shop. I think they would make amazing Christmas gifts!

For the dog lover:
Miss Moon Was A Dog Governess.  Lesson Twenty:  Celebrate Your Accomplishments With Family And Good Friends.  Art Print.
For the ballerina:
Enchanted Dancer:  Moulting Season Often Posed A Challenge For The Swan Queen.  Art Print
For the baker:
Still Life- A Small Slice- Art Print

For my daughters’ obsession with pirates:
Pirate Peyton Visits The Southern Shore Of New Zealand- Open Edition Print
For the gardener:
Still Life- A Wild Bunch- Art Print

For the whimsical (I call this “Vegas meets Gone with the Wind”):
Shaded Stars, The Home For Retired Showgirls. Art Print
And last, but certainly not least, for the Christmas lover:
The Peppermint Family Christmas.  Art Print
Happy Shopping. Christmas is only 50 days away!

Monday, November 3, 2014


I have to admit that I was a little slow to embrace the gold movement. Growing up in the 80’s, there was a lot of ginormous shoulder pads, neon and gold. Gold reminds me of Dynasty, heavily ornate plumbing fixtures and tacky chandeliers. 
However, today’s gold products have clean lines and feel light, not heavy. Gold is a neutral and can go with just about any color from blush to black. 
If you want to try incorporating gold into your home, but your not sure how, start with a few fun accessories. Throw pillows and a sunburst mirror may be all you need to give your room a little sparkle and life. 
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Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Before & After

I wanted to share with you the before and after photos of a restaurant I worked on in Las Vegas. The new owners had leased a space that was previously a middle eastern restaurant. It was very dark and dreary inside. The new owners wanted the space to feel light and fresh for their bistro.
The dining area before:

The dining are after:

The bar area before: 

The bar area after:

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Building 101, Part I

Many of us will one day have the amazing opportunity (and sometimes headache) of building our own homes. For some it may be a custom home, for others it will be designed and built by a homebuilder, sometimes called a “cookie cutter home,” because the homes are repeated throughout the development.  I am currently in the process of building a cookie cutter home and I couldn’t be more excited. It may not be a custom home, but by choosing to invest more in some design options and saving on others, you can make it custom for you (and stay in budget)!
Whether you’re building a custom home or making selections for your cookie cutter home, the building process is the same. I hope that in this Building 101 series, that I can help you on your journey to making your home perfectly you. Before we start with the building process, let’s start from the beginning.

Before you look into building a home, you should always know what you want your final number to be. Never buy a home that is outside your budget. It will only lead to stress and the possibility of you loosing the house. Once you know that number it’s time to go shopping.

No two homebuilders are alike. Some may offer their home at a lower price, but they require a lot of “upgrades” to make their home livable. Some homebuilders may charge more for their base price, but their standard options are of a higher quality, thus requiring fewer upgrades.

Many homebuilders will often offer incentives to entice you. If they don’t tell you about them, ask! Some incentives can save you thousands of dollars.

Always price out a home per square foot. For example, if a 2,900 sq/ft home is for sale for $350,000, you are paying $120 per sq/ft. Do some research (Zillow is helpful for this), in seeing what homes in your zip code are selling for. That way you will be able to compare if you are getting a good deal or not.

Homebuilders want you to buy their homes. Period. In order to do that they will often present their model homes with the nicest finishes and priciest upgrades. Once you’ve seen the models, ask the sales person if you can see an inventory home that has mostly standard finishes. It’s usually a stark contrast. Some builders will put $10,000 - $100,000’s of upgrades into their model homes.

Case and point. Here is the model home of the home we’re building. I will tell you what are upgrades in just this small area of the home.
Tile: $24,000 upgrade for the downstairs
Cabinet stain: $1,900 upgrade
Under and over cabinet lighting: $600 upgrade
Two tone paint: $2,400 upgrade
Built-in desk: upgrade (far left)
Stained handrail going upstairs: $1000 upgrade (far left)

As you can see, it adds up fast. However, this kitchen (unlike most builders), comes standard with staggered cabinets, double oven, pullout drawers in all lower cabinets and self closing drawers.
*If you’re unsure what is standard vs upgrade in a model, be sure to ask!

You have homework too! You need to find both a good general contractor and architect. Ask for references and call them! Ask your general contractor (GC) how many other jobs he's currently working on. If the number is high, your house will take much longer because he will have to divide his time and attention amongst all those homes.
Feel free to ask the GC if you can visit one of his job sites. Is the job site well maintained and relatively clean? Are there workers there, working? Have him discuss the process with you and don’t forget to ask questions.
{A custom home I worked on from the ground up in St. George, UT}

Stay tuned for our next phase of Building 101.

Saturday, October 25, 2014


This is me with my adorable girls. First and foremost I am and mother and wife. Second, I am an interior design. I took a little break from the business I founded in 2008, to raise my girls and move around the country where ever my husband’s job took us, Las Vegas, New Jersey, Portland and now we call the Phoenix area home. I’m excited to be getting back into design and I look forward to sharing my projects, insights and hopefully some inspiring ideas with you.