Design Inspiration Boards

I am fortunate to be working on some fun guest room design projects for a well-traveled client.  Her idea for the guest room design in her spacious home is to have each of the (4) guest spaces reflect a favorite and/or meaningful place she has spent time.  To help define the look and feel for the rooms, S Interior Design is creating mood boards to help her visualize the end result.

Here are 2 of those boards.

Tuscan Bedroom-Mood Board

Parisian Art Deco Bedroom-Mood Board



Fun With Ceiling Fans

Fun With Ceiling Fans

Here in AZ ceiling fans are mandatory. They need not be boring just because they are functional. Every design can be represented; from the most basic white to multi-level Tuscan and as seen here, sleek and contemporary too.

Start the New Year ‘Green’

As many of you are aware, the Pantone Color of the Year is Emerald Green. Besides incorporating Emerald Green into your decor, you can get ‘Green’ into your home in another way.  Bring Eco-Friendly materials into your world.  The guest post below gives some easy ideas about how to do that.

Quick and Easy Eco-Friendly Additions to Your Home

If you are looking for great ways to add eco-friendly things to your home, there are many options that you can choose from.  No matter if you want to add to your kitchen, dining room, patio or bathroom, one of the most effective ways to stay true to environmentally friendly methods is to install new flooring and energy-efficient appliances to your home.


Bamboo flooring is the best alternative to use when replacing any type of wooden or carpeted floor covering.  Comparatively, bamboo is more renewable than hardwoods from other sources. It takes a tree up to fifty years to grow large enough to produce enough wood to make flooring, while it takes bamboo a maximum of five years to grow to full height. Bamboo flooring is also a lot easier to make than regular wooden flooring – the manufacturing process does not require any chemical treatments to make it long-lasting and durable. Bamboo does not need to be actively replanted like trees because of its rapid rate of spreading and growth.

To go along with your new bamboo flooring, you will need some energy-efficient appliances. You can get refrigerators, washers, dryers, dishwashers, toilets, and even water heaters that can save your household and the environment by using less electricity and creating less waste. Your new appliances can come in many sizes, shapes, and levels of environmentally friendliness, and are usually eligible for a tax exemption during the year that you purchased them.  Compare energy guides to see which machine operates most efficiently!  These appliances save water and use far less energy than older, power hungry machines.  The best part is, they’ll save money in the long run!



You can also change your cleaning habits in your home both for clothes and floors by switching to “green” cleaning products and detergents. Your bamboo flooring will stay clean simply by using water and eco-friendly cleansers once or twice a week. The durability of the bamboo will prove to be a great reason to redo your entire house with this type of flooring. It won’t scuff or mark as easily as other wooden floors and will not stain nearly as easily when kept finished and clean.


Your floors will stay shiny and strong with a little love and cleaning. Bamboo will be a great resource to use in the future instead of regular wood because it doesn’t take as long to replenish as trees do. The process that companies use to grow bamboo is not as harsh on the environment as the process of growing trees and harvesting lumber. Bamboo does not require the chemicals and pesticides that many of the larger hardwood trees require.

You can take a few steps to use more eco-friendly materials in your home, and replacing your appliances, cleaning supplies, and flooring are just a few things that you can do to change the overall appearance and eliminate waste in your home. Taking a few small steps to save the environment while enhancing your living space can help to make a difference in the world around you.

Erin Devine is a freelance writer and editor for Floor & Décor Outlets, a factory direct flooring store. In her free time, she maintains her own blog about all things home renovation and interior design, DIY Home & Floor.

101 Designer Secrets — #60, #65 and #70-71

The May issue of House Beautiful magazine has a 4 page spread of 101 Designer Secrets.  We read them and decided to share along with some commentary.  Not all 101 will be shared, but you can click on the link above to HB, or subscribe to their hard copy magazine to read them all if you wish to.

These ‘secrets’ or tips, as I prefer to label them are related to the most important and often overlooked design element—LIGHTING–

#60: Lighting is everything.  It creates drama, and intrigue in a room. The easiest way to accomplish this is with  a dimmer switch.  I always use dimmers even in the powder room-Martyn Lawrence Bullard

Absolutely agree with Mr. Bullard on this one.  You can easily add dimmers to your existing lights!

#65: To create flattering light, have your lampshades lined in soft pink or use GE soft pink 100-watt bulbs-David Scott

Definitely a good idea to use in entertaining spaces and dining rooms

#70: We locate light switches about 36″ above the floor.  That way they stay out of the way of the art on your walls.  We put switches about 1 1/2″ to 2″ off the right side of door casing for the same reason-Gil Schafer

#71: Install an outlet 28″ high behind a console tables.  This allows you to add lamps with out an unsightly tangle of cords-Ashley Whittaker

When you are doing a new build or remodel, this is excellent advice !

101 Designer Secrets — #19, #21 and #22

101 Designer Secrets–#19, #20 and #22

The May issue of House Beautiful magazine has a 4 page spread of 101 Designer Secrets.  We read them and decided to share along with some commentary.  Not all 101 will be shared, but you can click on the link above to HB, or subscribe to their hard copy magazine to read them all if you wish to.  Here are some related to bathroom design.

#19: Never use a sconce over a mirror in the bathroom–it will cast unflattering shadows across the face.  Sconces that flank the mirror will give  a more realistic and flattering light-Ron Southern


Yes, yes, yes.  I am endlessly trying to eradicate the world of light bars or recessed lights in bathrooms over mirrors for this reason.  While that is true, there are instances where the architecture will not allow for sconces to be placed flanking a mirror.  Here is one example of what S Interior Design did to work around that issue.  The light is a flexible track mounted to the electrical box above the mirror and curved to flank the mirror.

#21: I recommend a height of 36″ for a bathroom vanity instead of the standard 30″.  It’s much more ergonomic and comfortable all around – Jason Bell


This is absolutely the  truth unless of course you are 5’0″ tall.   We always use a 36″ high vanity unless height of the user dictates other wise.  In shared bathrooms with one partner being extra tall, we have even installed 42″ high vanities.

# 22:  Instead of a towel bar, mount 5 robe hooks 68″ high for towels and robes-Robert Stilin


 We very often recommend using hooks instead of towel bars.  Sometimes the functional needs and space dictate that a combination of the two be used.  How annoying is it to have to reach far out of the shower to reach a towel bar mounted 2-3 feet away?  Absolutely add the hooks!  Hooks mounted in a bathroom at child friendly heights are also a good idea to keep towels off the floor in bathrooms kids will be using.

101 Designer Secrets–#4 and #5

The May issue of House Beautiful magazine has a 4 page spread of 101 Designer Secrets.  We read them and decided to share along with some commentary.  Not all 101 will be shared, but you can click on the link above to HB, or subscribe to their hard copy magazine to read them all if you wish to.

SECRET #4:  

The hang up–where to hang my artwork?  I’ve found that 63″ on center above the floor is a perfect viewing height for most pieces-Hunter Kaiser

Commentary by S Interior Design

It is definitely one of the most common faux pas —hanging the artwork too high on a wall.  If the person doing the hanging is 6′-3″ their perspective is different from someone who is 5′-5″.  This is a good rule of thumb to begin with, 63″ above the floor.  Variables to consider include whether the art is above a piece of furniture and the height of that furniture.

When the art is not being hung above a piece of furniture, the guideline changes.  I like to ‘own the wall visually’ if that is the only element being placed.  Then lower placement and stacked art work higher on the wall often makes more sense.

This artwork is 78"x78" and the ceiling is 12'-0" high


When you are hanging a series of pictures together, keep the gap between them 2 to 2 1/2″ to really utilized the wall space, and keep a minimum of 9″ between the art and the tops of sofas and chairs-Milly De Cabrol

Commentary by S Interior Design-

Agree and then a small disagree.  Yes to the gap between pieces of art being hung together, but we generally keep the space between the art and tops of sofas and chairs to 7″.  Again, style of the furniture, height of the ceiling and the composition of the art being hung are variables to be considered.



There are good rules of thumb but all situations should be evaluated as unique to determine the best way to hang and display your artwork.