The Vignette–Every Successful Design Should Master This!

Great share from HOUZZ about design vignettes.  About 15 years ago I tried explaining ‘The Vignette’ to my husband who insisted it was a description being used incorrectly.  For those of us in the professional design industry, it is a very commonly used phrase–read the article below and try your hand at creating new vignetttes in your home!



Unique Chairs For Dining

When you are looking for new dining tables/kitchen tables, the chairs you choose to go with your table can really define the style of the space.  S Interior Design likes to coordinate the chairs with the table versus purchasing sets.  This way, the dining furniture is unique to your home.    If you have the need for 4 chairs around your table, think about using 2 of each style.  At a long table with chairs at either end, use distinct chairs for the end seating versus the chairs surrounding the table.  One of the keys to making it look coordinated is paying attention to scale–make sure the seat heights are comparable.




metal-industrial-cafe-dining-chair-bac-ccna-tres-amigos-31 hardwood-and-iron-rustic-dining-chair-tres-amigos-31

A Guide to the Latest Interior Design Trends for Flooring in Your Home

When we were approached to host this guest blog, about one of our favorite topics, flooring, we jumped at the idea. Choosing the proper flooring from a functional and aesthetic point of view (always consider both!) is one of the most important items when re-modeling or simply re-decorating. Selecting the perfect hard or soft flooring helps to bring a room together and to unify the overall design. Sometimes for us, it all starts with the flooring and we design-out from there.

The three biggest current trends in the flooring industry are reviewed in this post and there is a suggestion that we are entering a new and hopefully more positive atmosphere with regard to consumer attitudes and desires.

Sustainable flooring is now a particularly important issue to a lot of people, and as a result, manufacturers are focusing on eco-friendly ranges and consumers are now certainly taking the environment in to consideration with their purchase, and thereby making a statement at the same time as acquiring a beautiful floor covering.

There maybe a few signs that the end of the recession may be in sight, in any case, consumers are looking to make plans to improve their surroundings and maintain or even raise the value and desirability of their homes. This is prompting a welcome increase again in new homes being built and a rise in home renovations, both requiring new flooring and pushing demand higher.

It seems to be a more widely held belief that products such as solid wood floors and high quality carpets will add to the value of your home and these choices are now seen as an investment rather than just a purchase.

With brighter news for the economy and the environment there is no surprise that the flooring style of the moment is all about bright colors.

Although interior design trends have mainly focused on neutral shades in recent years the mood and purpose for home improvements has changed and fewer people are now decorating with the intention to sell and are now more likely to want to put their own personal touches to a home.

Selecting flooring in your home is significant because the color, texture and pattern of the floor will set the mood for the rest of the room’s design. Many designers call their designing model the “floor-up” model for this very reason. When selecting a color, texture and pattern for your floor, consider the overall design you wish to pursue in a room, and select flooring that will compliment the walls, trim work and furniture.

If you are a person who changes furnishings often, you are best advised to select a neutral floor, which will easily work into any decor. This will protect you from purchasing a new floor to fit in with your design change. Ideally, a floor like hardwood could be purchased to accent the room’s trim. These floors typically look good with any furnishings. Select a hardwood that is a shade lighter, or a shade darker than the wooden trim in the room to give the room depth, and create distinction between trim and the floor. Generally, dark woods with a high sheen are considered appropriate for formal rooms, like a dining room, while lighter woods with a more natural finish are preferred in rooms with a rustic decor, or a less formal purpose, like the living room.

In an area where there is heavy traffic, or where there is a risk of water damage, avoid both wood and carpet. Instead select a tile, laminate, or vinyl flooring that will both hold up well to use and clean easily. In a bathroom, take the time to look at the permanent fixtures. If they are bright white, the floor is an opportunity to include a splash of color. If the existing fixtures contain color, a more neutral flooring is appropriate and will prevent clashing.

In an area like the kitchen, there are a lot of other design elements to consider when selecting a floor. Most importantly, the counter tops and cabinet fronts should be considered. Also, if the kitchen has canister sets, family heirloom kitchen elements or other existing decor, the colors already present in the room should be considered. Select flooring that can be worked into the room in other ways. If you are laying large tile, find one that is similar too or complements a small tile that can be used as a backsplash. If you are laying laminate, take a sample of your countertops and look for a laminate flooring that closely coordinates in terms of texture and color.

No matter what furniture and decor is in the room, remember that the floor takes up one-sixth of the visual space, more than any other uninterrupted space, with the exception of the ceiling. Select a flooring that ties all the furniture, decor and natural elements of a room together. Try to find flooring that contains the same color palate as the walls, the room trim, or the furniture. Avoid colors that are too bold, especially in small spaces where they will become overwhelming. Consider the room’s natural or artificial light source, and consider how that will affect the appearance of the flooring after it is installed. Finally, take home samples of the flooring and see how it looks in the room before purchasing enough to do the whole space.


About Suzanne Lasky, Allied ASID
Suzanne Lasky, Allied ASID, is the owner and founder of S Interior Design, the exclusive provider of Pawprint Design Services™. Suzanne works with her clients to develop a winning combination of design elements that result in warm, comfortable and functional spaces that reflect each client’s personal style. Suzanne and her team specialize in residential, contract and hospitality interior design, from simple color selections, to office build outs, to restaurant, spa and hotel designs. Suzanne shares her years of expertise through the power of social media. You can follow her on Facebook, Twitter, and at this blog. To speak to Suzanne about your interior design needs, please call 480-220-4659 or visit her website at

Dining Room Decor

Below is shown a guest post about the design elements that compose a dining room.  S Interior Design has added commentary which is shown in red font type.  We also took the liberty of adding some photos.  Enjoy!

5 Accent Pieces that can Change your Dining Room





Putting a dining room together is one of the most important steps when completing the layout of your home. After all, this is one of the most important rooms in your home! You will have romantic candlelit dinners and festive family get-togethers, tasty meals and perhaps even family game night all around your dining room table.  Even though we are just through the holiday season of entertaining, having a functional and beautiful dining room is always important.

Choosing just the right furniture in your price point is feasible and can actually be a really fun experience. One of the main goals is to make sure the dining room area matches the rest of the home’s flow of decor. It doesn’t mean that the colors and exact feel need to simply be duplicated, however you don’t want to create a room that feels completely out-of-place from the rest of your décor. This is accomplished by the used of repeating design elements such as wall colors, and furniture styles–just remember–sets are predictable, break up the set!

Dining room accents can come in many different ways. You can have a table, chairs, picture frames or elegant rugs just to mention a few of the accents that will decor you dining room just the way you’ve always wanted. Of course you can’t forget the lighting! Perhaps something soft and romantic like mid century modern lighting is your style. As you can see there are many ways to improve your space but let’s stick with 5 simple ways to take your dining room from blah to brilliant.  Lighting is a crucial design element here as in all rooms, you definitely want your dining room lighting to be on a dimmer switch to support the mood of the occasion.  Also you need to make sure the lighting is of the proper size and scale for the room and the design aesthetic you are seeking.

1. Dining Room Table

The main accent piece that will bring your dining room together is the dining room table. A dining room table accent that has a high quality wood with a luxurious style will certainly help to tie the room together with great results. Don’t forget about a round table as an option.  Round tables encourage intimacy among diners.

2. Decorative Chairs

Decorative chairs to complement your dining room table are another great accent that will change your dining room just the way you want. Although most of the time the chairs will come together with the table as a set, choosing your chairs individually can also be an option. Two of the main aspects to consider when investing on chairs for you dining room are comfort and style. At the very least, choose different chairs for the head of the table when working with a rectangular shaped table.  You can vary the upholstery or the entire chair style.

3. Wall Art

Another accent that can complement your dining room beautifully is wall art. Wall art pictures can really enhance your dining room with a unique style and fashion. You can be certain that with just the right kind of art, you will surely complete your dining room to perfection.

4. Rugs

Luxurious rugs make for also great accents for your dining room. Tying the room together is easily done with an elegant rug. Many of the rugs that are sold nowadays can easily go for a great affordable price. Shopping around will easily help you find the rug that will work perfectly as an accent for your dining room. Make sure the rug is large enough so when diners push the chair back from the table the chair is still on the area rug.

Mirror Mirror on the Wall

Ask an interior designer about how to best use mirrors in your room designs and you are sure to get a lot of different responses.  S Interior Design always tries to use mirrors when they can reflect a beautiful accessory or piece of artwork.  Below is a guest blog post on the subject of mirrors and how you can use them to your best advantage in your home.  I am certain you will get some great ideas and perhaps be inspired to re-hang your existing mirrors in different places or purchase a new mirror.

If you are looking to give your room a quick facelift without spending a zillion dollars on the same, then I have solution for you. Placing decorative mirrors will add a new dimension and result in more light for your room. When placed appropriately, the mirror can give the room a whole new look.

Adding mirrors to rooms that are small or look congested will make it look roomier and brighter. The trick is to place the mirrors on the wall opposite the window so that the natural light from the outside is reflected inside. The reflection of the room in the mirror causes an illusion of a larger and spacious room.  Also, if your rooms have no windows placing a turned on lamp in front of the mirror will diffuse the light across the room and make it look brighter.

Full-length mirrors with frames when placed against the wall in a room can work as an art piece and be the focal point of the room.  A mirror placed in front of your favorite painting will emphasize it more and make the colors in the painting more vivid.

Finally, a mirror in a narrow passageway makes it look broader. I have added a white antique mirror at the eye level in my passageway – it not only makes the passageway look broader, but also lets me get a quick look at myself before I leave for work. 

 The best part is that there are so many shapes and sizes to choose from. You can have one or more mirrors on the same wall, but make sure the size of the mirrors are proportional both to each other and to the wall.

 So what are you waiting for? Let your creative juices flow and add some mirrors to your room and give it a new look without breaking the bank!


Renuka is an editor and writer for a shopping blog called Pocket Change which is a part of’s shopping network and has categories where they write about everything from interior design to men’s and women’s fashion.




Optimizing Natural Light In Your Home

When I got asked if I would enjoy a guest blog post on the subject of Natural Light I immediately said YES!  I am a firm believer in the power of light and how it impacts how a room looks and feels, and often say to my clients that we need to leverage natural lighting in our design work together.  Of course living and working in perpetually sunny Arizona brings great options to work with natural light.  So assess your home and see where you can install a Solar Tube or get rid of heavy window coverings and let in some of nature’s bounty—LIGHT.

Guest post below:

The effects of natural lighting on a room can be very subtle, but that doesn’t detract from its importance. Ideally whenever you design a room you need to consider what light it will get from the outside and how best to utilize it. There is a large number of factors you will need to think about when planning the lighting for a room, too many for this article to cover. But hopefully it will give you an overview of how to make the most of natural lighting for your home.

The first and most important factor is the direction from which the light is coming from. Whilst I’m writing in the northern hemisphere, if you live in the southern hemisphere you can swap north and south around.

  • North: Because north facing rooms never receive direct sunlight the light often has a cold flattening quality. For this reason artists often prefer north facing studios as they allow you to see the true colour of your paints.
  • East: East facing rooms get direct light in the morning as the sun rises but far less light in the evening.
  • South: South facing rooms get the benefits of direct sunlight on them for most of the day making them warmer and better lit than others.
  • West: West facing rooms will be dark in the morning but brighten up as the sun moves to the west. They will often get the most heat as not only does the early afternoon sun tends to be the warmest but the setting sun will often shine directly into them.

Natural History Museum by Stephen Boisvert (used under CC licence)

This picture gives a nice illustration of how much stronger light from the southern window is. (South on the left)

You should take the factors above into consideration when considering the purpose of a room. For example east and north facing rooms will tend to be colder and darker than south and west facing rooms. This means that you will need use artificial lighting not only to brighten the room and to counter the flat effect the reflected sunlight often gives. For south and west facing rooms then window treatments such as blinds or curtains will help you to control how much light gets in and reduce glare.

South Facing Bedroom by Tom Parnell (used under CC Licence)

Functional rooms like kitchens and studies will benefit from large windows so as to let in as much light as possible. Often you can increase the drop of a window without affecting the structural integrity of a wall. Though if you want to replace the wall with say French doors then you will need to get a builder in. In rooms where you want to relax small and medium sized windows tend to give you a more relaxing atmosphere and privacy.

Natural light can have surprising effects on the colours that you paint your walls. For example you might well find that bright colours used in a south facing room are overwhelming, while pastels in a north facing room can appear washed out. In general though you can use paints to either counter or enhance the effects of the natural light. For example if your north facing room is too cold and dark then bright colours will help to liven it up.

East and west facing rooms need the most thought as the amount of light in these rooms will change dramatically through the day. In general you will to design east facing rooms for morning use and west facing for the afternoon. Therefore I prefer bright colours in eastern rooms to help you wake up and warm or darker colours in the west to help you relax.

Author Bio: Daniel is a UK blogger and copywriter with an interest in interior design. He is writing on behalf of Wooden Blinds Direct a specialist online supplier of wooden venetian blinds.

Thanksgiving Table Decor

Yes, it is now behind us but the memories and the leftovers remain. My mother always wants to take a picture of the table before the meal. I never understood why, and admittedly  gave her some grief about it over the years.
Well, ” Mirror Mirror on the wall, I have become my mother after all!”

Here is a picture of the Lasky household Thanksgiving table before the meal. My mother who was not with us in AZ  this Thanksgiving holiday, would be proud.

Thanksgiving Table Design

Interior Design A-Z: ‘D’ is For Dining Rooms

Hello and welcome to the letter of the day – ‘D’  (Sesame Street anyone??)

‘D’ is for dining rooms is the post for today. When was the last time you used your dining room?  Do you even have a room in your home dedicated as a dining room?  Well take a look at some of these dining rooms and you may want to redecorate the one you have, or design one if you don’t have one already.

If you are designing one, or re-designing one, make sure functional needs are considered first.  How many people do you want to be able to seat comfortably at the table?  What size and shape table should you be using for the room? Don’t forget the proper lighting….chandelier, pendants, combination of recessed lighting with a chandelier?  Do you need a serving space such as a buffet or console table?

M Johnson Dining Room - Designed by S Interior Design

This room was a unused living room space before the homeowner who entertains frequently decided to turn it into a dining room.

One of my favorite dining room seating solutions the curved banquette that works great with round dining tables

These images were taken from another design blog which is credited here.  Great page, take a look.