Design Cues from Nature

Today is Earth Day.  I thought it relevant to talk about how nature can provide fabulous direction for Interior Design. 

earth dayEarly this morning I dug up some beets from my raised garden bed.  I took the time to really look at the marvel that had been produced from a tiny seed.  The color of the beets are very on trend right now.
They are the color of Marsala–Pantone’s 2015 Color of the Year.

marsala color of the yearBeets

And nature shows us what other colors work beautifully with Marsala–a rich organic green is the perfect complimentary color.  After all, red and green are compliments on the color wheel and the two tones of those colors are the same saturation level.

Beyond the color of the beets, their stems, and leaves, I also took the time to examine the contours and shapes of the beet and it’s stems and leaves.

I have often said the easiest way to check it color combinations will work well together is to look to nature.  Flowers, trees, shrubs all seem to magically grow and bloom in just the right colors.

flowers 2 flowers 3flowering tree



The Rule of 3- By Fresh Home

Great article about the pleasing use of  ‘3′ items, colors, fabrics etc. when decorating and designing.

The rule of three is a guideline that can be bent. Essentially, it was put into place so that people understand that a odd-number of items is more interesting than an even-number of items.  So, yes, you can arrange 5 items or 9 items into a grouping and still achieve the same visual interest.

Rule of 3modern-bathroomThen again there are people who absolutely love a symmetrical design layout  and 2, 4, 6 will work better for their eye.

Too Hot For Outside Fun This Weekend? Transform Your Kitchen

Below is a guest post on relatively simple, low cost things you can do to transform the look and feel of your kitchen quickly.
Here in Phoenix the temps are so high that staying in an inside air conditioned space and doing fun house and design projects over a weekend sound like a great idea.  I just sourced some whimsical hardware for a client that definitely will change the feeling in her kitchen–


A Kitchen Update in a Weekend

Tired of looking at your drab kitchen but don’t have the time or money to invest in a complete makeover? Don’t fret. With a little imagination and some elbow grease you can spruce up your culinary digs in a weekend. The best thing about these projects is that you can do them one at a time and not have to deal with the mess and hassle of a complete remodel.
So what are you waiting for? Dig out your paint brush and screw driver (and maybe a hammer) and put on your weekend warrior face. Here are a few projects that won’t break the bank and will leave you beaming with a feeling of accomplishment.

Install new lighting
A new light fixture can literally brighten up your kitchen. Pick a fixture that appeals to your kitchen décor but also provides adequate light to work under. Wish you had a number of lights overhead? Choose from a variety of track lighting options that replace your old fixture yet don’t require additional wiring or holes in your ceiling. They look great and instantly update an older kitchen.

Change cabinet hardware
Sometimes it’s the small details that make all the difference. Replacing outdated cabinet hardware with a modern design won’t go unnoticed. This is one of the easiest updates you can do yourself. If you don’t want to drill new holes in your cabinets and drawers, simply take one of your current hardware pulls with you to the store and match it up against the selection there.

Paint the walls
Brighten up your kitchen with fresh coat of paint on the walls and/or ceiling. If you’re feeling bold go for a bright color. A splash of color on the walls will transform the whole feel of the room. Remember, ceilings don’t have to be white (or one of the millions of off-white). And if that’s not enough, consider painting the cabinets as well (or instead). It’s remarkable what a fresh coat of paint can accomplish and with some sandpaper and elbow grease—and paint, naturally—you can turn dreary or boring into a high-class fashion statement.

Replace the floor

Depending on how much kitchen floor space you have, this project may be a little more involved, but it can easily be worth the addition effort. The floor can often go unnoticed and many kitchen floors are notorious for being drab and outdated. Rip out the old and put down something new and fresh. Consider hardwoods, stone, and eco-friendly bamboo. If you already have a hardwood floor, then it’s even easier! Give it a nice sanding and a new finish.

Update the faucet

It may be time to replace the workhorse of your kitchen, the faucet. An updated faucet will not only be more versatile than your old one but it will make a fashion statement as well. These days the selection is simply astonishing with everything from hands-free operation to faucets designed to accommodate the largest of pots.



About the author: Jonathon Ensor stays on top of the latest home design trends as a writer for Empire Today. He loves to get unique furniture and decorations from thrift stores and garage sales.



10 Unexpected Storage Spots

At the start of every new year, I decide it is time to ORGANIZE.  The tricky part is finding enough places and spaces to store everything.  The guest post below shares some great ideas about unexpected areas in your home to find ‘extra’ storage.  Enjoy and get organized in 2014.

10 (truly) unexpected storage spots

 Whether you are looking to decrease the clutter in your home, or simply find space for your essential items in a small apartment, unique and unexpected storage spots can be hard to spot. Fortunately, when you take a few moments to analyze what you have available to you, you may find some amazing storage ideas are sitting waiting to be used! Check out these ten unexpected storage spots below to help inspire your creativity!

Behind Cabinet Doors

While you may think of hiding a paper towel roll behind a cabinet door, you have probably never thought of including your entire spice rack, lid holders and more behind them! You have an abundance of cabinet doors in your kitchen, so get some shelves, hooks, and screws ready and start hanging up everything that can be hung behind the shelves! For more tips on how to improve the efficiency of a utility closet by adding shallow compartments to the back of the door click here.


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Behind Regular doors

Many people have taken to storing their present wrapping items on the insides of doors as well as cleaning products, shoes, and more. Take advantage of all that hidden vertical hanging space and use it to the max!

Room Dividers

If you are looking to separate a space with a divider, choose a double sided shelf instead. If you can’t afford one, try linking two shelves together, or stacking wooden crates together facing opposite sides for a unique way to create shelving space!


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Garage ceiling

Garage ceilings are perfect for totes, bike racks, and all of those seasonal items that have to be stored most of the year.


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On Top of washer/dryer

Provided you don’t have a top load washer, you can grab a wooden board, lay it on top, and add additional shelves above for some great storage space for all your cleaning and washing products!

Stairwell bookshelves

Have a staircase in your house? Check with a contractor to see how to fit in some slide out bookshelves into the side of the stairs! The space can be used for coats or seasonal storage as well!

Under the stairs

If you can’t fit shelves into the side of stairs, why not under each step? You have a good five or so inches which can be hollowed out and used as a storage space! Place books under each for a crafty book case and a beautiful finish to any stairwell!

Kitchen Island

A kitchen island may have some cabinets on the one side, but why waste all that potential storage on the other? Use some creativity and add in some shelves for all of your cookbooks and more!

Next to fridge

There are always those annoying two or three inch gaps between your fridge and the wall. Unfortunately for people who deal with smaller kitchens, that space may be the bane of their existence. Now, however, you can utilize some thin dresser shelves, turn them vertically, and create a mini slide out pantry right next to your fridge!


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Storage unit

Renting a storage unit is always an option for those dealing with tight spaces. Yes it’s not an “unexpected” storage space inside a home, but many overestimate how much a storage unit costs. At just a small monthly fee, a massive space can be rented out allowing for the safe and secure storage of valuables, seasonal items, and even excess furniture!

Trays–Design Interest and Organization

We love trays!  They are fabulous in kitchens, bathrooms, bedrooms, offices and in living and family rooms.  They add color, texture and provide a great way to organize your loose items, group decorative items and protect surfaces.

Options are almost endless.  From mirrored to painted to textures and metals.  Prices range from a few dollars to several hundreds of dollars.  Suffice it to say, there is a tray option for every space, every style and every budget.


A Design Intern’s Experience

I asked my design intern to write a blog post about her experience thus far… no, I did not bribe her to write these positive words!

My experience as an intern with Suzanne Lasky of S Interior Design has been an exciting and rewarding one. To see firsthand what happens in the design world and to work with someone with exceptional design skills such as Suzanne’s is a generous gift.

In my search for an internship it became apparent that an internship with some meant straightening the showroom and weeding out discontinued products. It was called an internship, but I would not be meeting actual clients or seeing how design work was done.

Not the case with Suzanne. From day one, nothing was off limits. She shared with me everything from the business side to the design side and everything in between including her clients, a true sign of Suzanne’s confidence in her work and her client’s loyalty. She welcomed questions, encouraged involvement, and shared tips, vendors and trade secrets, all with her endearing down-to-earth style. She gave me her time, wisdom, guidance and patience. Wow, Someone in the same field who actually wants to see you succeed and help you get there! It’s called giving in a big way.

It has been a great experience to see what goes into running an interior design business. The hours planning, programming, researching, interviewing, designing, phoning, scheduling, troubleshooting and running, running, running, not to mention the time and attention given to the tiniest detail, is worth the end result – the thrill and joy seen time and again expressed by the client!

What a great hands-on learning experience! I am so appreciative to be working with a talented designer and so lucky to have met a friend along the way. Thank you, Suzanne.

Jeanine Lyles