So what do you do with Grandma’s china?!

So what do you do with Grandma’s dishes?  They are not selling for much on eBay or in consignment stores. You can think of creative ways to use them!  We combined the new rabbit dishes with Limoge dishes from the early 1900s for our holiday table.  There were only four rabbit plates but it is more interesting to do every other setting combined with the vintage pattern.  Combine all of your favorites for the table top and then edit if you get carried away.  Repetition of a specific color can pull together the table or room. Your table will be unique and one of a kind… and Grandma would be so happy!

What is Wrong With This Room?

What is the problem with this room? Often an interior designer is asked this question. Luckily they know the principles and elements of design and can figure it out!  In this case, the bathroom ceiling was too high. The remodeler framed in a lower ceiling to correct the proportions and the room was immediately more comfortable.

Selling Your Luxury Home?

Want to sell your luxury home? The Wall Street Journal’s Mansion section suggested the following for items for the best resale. (Friday, January 4, 2019)

  • Light filled, bright, southern exposure with retractable glass doors and windows
  • Ceilings at 10’ – vaulted or cathedral
  • A butler’s pantry with extra dishwashers, extra wine fridge and ice maker
  • Quartzite countertops (a natural stone that is harder than granite, available in lighter colors and resists stain better than marble)
  • A guest house for an office, guests, parties or a studio
  • Hardwood floors
  • A neutral uncluttered interior
  • Steam shower built for two
  • A free-standing tub
  • Dual toilets with one a high tech toilet like the Toto Neorest (dual flush with heated seat, multiple wash modes and an automatic air purifying system)
  • Smart home systems for lighting control, music systems, thermostats and security including cameras
  • Four garages with electric charging capability. Three garages are a must.
  • Generators for emergency use


This was compiled by input from various realtors in various parts of the U.S.

Buying and then getting into unknown costs for remodeling is not an option most buyers are interested in. So you may want to consider some remodeling to increase the appeal of your home and its value. It is better to get professional input from a well-known and respected designer than to have a home languishing on the market.

What’s Hot in Design Today?

Certainly a clean look.
• Monochromatic bedding with a blanket folded at the bottom of the bed is the most popular look.
• Wood floors in baths wi th natural stone accents.
• Performance fabrics in light colors.
• Lighting to coordinate with the style of your home whether industrial, contemporary or more traditional styles.
• The Pantone’s Color of the Year – Living Coral – adds a warm accent.

A recent article stated that lacquer paints, wire chairs and macrame are out but they were never in with my clients so they don’t have to dump them now!

Faux wall finishes are out.

Subway tile? It has been everywhere for so long that any creative designer would not go there as it’s too boring. Let’s design something fresh and new just for your kitchen or bath!

Art – go big or go home! There is so much inexpensive art available. It is also possible to print something personal and have it framed. Or you can purchase a stretched canvas and paint it a solid color or add a few details. Voila! A new look.

Happy Valentine’s Day

Have you spent a lot of time making great bites for your friends only to find they don’t eat much? Maybe they would prefer jewels! A few very easy and fast nibbles with a valentine jewel can make a luncheon for close friends a festive and give them an unexpected surprise. Serve a one pot dish for more substantial fare and a heart shaped dessert – voila! a success!

I’ve saved some ideas on my Brunch Pinterest board. Take a look! 

Draw People Together with a Fireplace

The most inviting draw for your home during cooler weather?  A fireplace!  Kitchens are natural gathering spots with the hostess and food, however, a fireplace is a natural draw.  With comfortable seating for family and friends, you can create a welcoming and relaxing area for memorable moments.  Many options are now available to make this easier.  It is hard to top a real fire but there are pollution restrictions and messy clean ups.  Gas logs have long been an option and they have become very real looking.  The popular lineal fires are an entirely different and very popular look.  Napoleon Fireplaces’ lineal fires have options that may be utilized in  remodeling or specified in new builds because they can take less than 6” to being part of a build out that looks deeper.  Venting options make it versatile enough to start with design placement and then figure out where the heat will vent.  Explore the cozy options on my Pinterest board – Fireplaces!

What To Do With Those Old Railroad Tie Steps

What to do with those old rotted railroad tie steps?  Here is a great option that I completed with the help of Felix, my trustworthy tile installer. You frame the steps, pour concrete and add the pavers!  Voila!  A new look replacing a dirt pile and concrete blocks!

Home maintenance is time consuming. It helps to know a good handyperson or several different ones depending on the job.  My clients routinely have painters, floor finishers, etc. for a continually well maintained home.  Make a list, set a date and go for it!

Home Gym

Thinking of New Year’s resolutions?  A home gym may be at the top of the list!  Maybe a designated room, a specific area or a scattering of temptations throughout your home.  An iPad for your elliptical can entice you to enjoy a program while exercising.  Other options are easy to use weights, a Simply Board or a foam roller by the television.  AND there is a new Mirror!  It is an interactive fitness coach allowing users to stream live workouts and get feedback from trainers! Check this out!  If you need to add a mirror for full length inspection anyway, you might want to consider this Mirror which allows streaming as well. A home gym can become an easier option than going to the gym!

Holiday Tables

Are you planning a holiday table for a special dinner? Whether a gourmet feast or a pot luck, setting the mood for the gathering can be achieved with a table that says “I’m excited you are here!” From table linens, china, centerpieces, even chairs, the key is color! Repetition of color is what you notice first! It gives the setting continuity. Not enough dinner plates from your china pattern? Every other place setting can be from two different sets or every other one can be a totally unique plate. Once you have used coordinating dishes for a unique look, matched dishes will look boring! The challenge is using variety while maintaining the color theme. The personal details on the table can lead through family history, travels or collections. Adding a garland of fresh greens is aromatic. Candlelight is flattering. If children are coming, provide a craft activity and extend the table to include them! Have appetizers ready before guests arrive and a use a simple menu to enable the hostess to enjoy the guests. Many dishes are fine at room temperature. Here’s to a happy holiday season! #Champagneforall #HolidayDining