Hotel Room – Yea or Nay?

This is a unique hotel room that is attractive yet could be more welcoming.

We love the natural wood and other textural elements, such as the painted brick wall. We also love the shag green area rug, which adds an eye-catching focus point (it also reminds us a bit of grass!). However, this contemporary-styled room is lacking in several ways.  The first addition we would make is to add a few accessories. Not many accessories are needed for the space, but a large piece of artwork hanging over the sofa would dramatically enhance the look here.

A piece of dimensional art would be perfect on top of the kitchen cabinets. As it stands now, the barren space sticks out like a sore thumb. The room completely lacks greenery as well. Draping plants or flowering pots of greenery (even silk would do here) would aid greatly in breaking up the large empty space.  Greenery adds life.

Everything within this room is a solid color. The tasteful addition of patterned accessories here would add dimension to the space. Changing out the light green accent pillows on the sofa to a patterned print would instantly add interest. Even though we love the shag rug, replacing it with a patterned rug could add life to this room. Life which it so desperately needed in the room.

This room feels stark because there is no art, greenery or accessories in sight. Adding these items helps individuals to feel comfortable relaxed. As with any space, the room has to feel complete as well as functional. Since there is a lack of art, accessories and pattern, the room feels cold. All this room needs is a couple finishing touches and any guests will be able to relax and enjoy themselves!

Are Cabinets Necessary in a Bathroom Vanity?

Question: Is it absolutely necessary for a bathroom vanity to be made up of base cabinets?

Answer: The short answer is no. The long answer is that there are many different things to think about, if planning to do this. Find out what aspects to plan, if deciding to create this design.

The first thing to consider is that, generally speaking, the bathroom vanity is made up of base cabinets that provide most of the storage. If the bathroom includes a linen closet or cabinets in another location, some storage can probably be given up under the bathroom sink.

The lack of a base cabinet vanity in this photo shows that other arrangements can been made. The towel rack has been installed directly onto the counter. Typically a base cabinet vanity hides the plumbing of a sink. In this case special care for installing and concealing the pipes must be made. 

If you decide to create a vanity without cabinets, you could consider adding wall shelves near the vanity. Extra storage has to be made available in this space. Toilet paper and fresh towels need a sensible place to live within this room. If you prefer to have these items concealed, perhaps you can find a place to fit in upper cabinets into the space. Upper cabinets could be added on top of the vanity in between two sinks. Their depth should not exceed twelve inches, as to keep the focal point balanced and not look top heavy.

Another option with a lack of cabinetry is the use of accessories that have storage capabilities. A basket full of towels, a stylish trunk for less attractive items, or a free-standing shelf for stylishly placed necessities (think cotton balls or soaps) are all wonderful additions to a simply styled bath.  You may never even miss those under sink cabinets!    

This particular design style is interesting and unexpected. Make sure careful planning goes into finding an alternate storage solution if you decide to give up the base cabinets in your bathroom vanity. 

Accent Walls

Accent walls can really make a statement! For spaces that need a pleasant punch, an accent wall can be all that you need. Find out what works in this room and how to implement an accent wall in your own home!

The paint color must first work with everything in the room. A contrast between the furniture, floors and wall color is important in order to avoid a washed out room. If you want to make a large impact with an accent wall, select an exciting and bright paint color. The room above works well because the bright berry color pops against the more subdued gray upholstery and the warm color of the floor stain.

White cabinets add a crisp contrast to the wall, as well as helping to tie in the white on the remaining walls. Modern and clean lines of the architecture is mirrored in the cabinetry and furniture. This space has balance and excitement.

Skylights let in plenty of natural light that highlights the bright berry color. If light was lacking in this space, it would feel dark and small. Light is always an important element in any space, especially where dramatic colors are involved. The true color can be seen best in natural light. Artificial light can skew the color. When considering an accent wall, take inventory of the natural light in the space.

The finish of the paint should be chosen with careful consideration. Try to use a matte finish on your accent wall. A matte finish works best for bright or dramatic colors. Bright colors tend to enhance flaws on the walls, but using a matte finish will help in masking these small flaws.  

When in doubt, paint a small portion of the wall.  This will help you evaluate how your color is affected by the light in the space and how it works with the rest of the room.  If the color doesn’t work the first time, it is a simple task to repaint the small section, rather than the entire wall!  

Don’t hesitate to ask if you have questions about an accent wall in your home!

Adding a Modern Flare to a Rustic Space

Rustic design styles are very popular and not just because there are so many mountainous towns and city all across the U.S. As more people visit these areas, the design style has spread across the country. Rustic looks are incorporated in country settings and even in the desert. This design style does not have to be traditional in nature, although that is a common combination. It can be modern and still incorporate natural elements that make the style feel closer to nature.

This room is successfully decorated in a modern, rustic style. The room has all the qualities of a rustic space. Floor to ceiling windows show off the beautiful view, which naturally pulls green in from the outdoor landscape.

Despite the large size of the room, it still feels warm and inviting. The horizontal layout of the wall decor brings the eye downward, making the space feel intimate, as opposed to vast. Vertical stonework adds the traditional rustic element of stone but the instillation is completely modern. The vertical element paired with the horizontal woodwork and fireplace creates a nice cohesion between all of the elements together.

Furnishings and accents are modern. The low sofa and loveseat is covered in a modern leather and does not conflict with the view. It is subtle yet spacious and offers seating for many. The large upholstered accent pillows are proportional with the sofas and the size of the room. They add a layer of warmth and comfort that a rustic space requires. The coffee table is made from natural stone, yet implements modern lines in the design. The iron also adds another natural element to the modern piece that works perfectly in any rustic setting.

The geometric accent table, next to the lounge chair, brings a modern feel to the space as well as another interesting set of lines that breaks up the strong horizontal and vertical lines on the main wall.

This rustic-modern living room works because the rustic and modern elements balance one another and do not conflict. The theme of the space is successful because the furnishings are made up of modern lines, paired with natural materials.

Curating Your Space—Part 2

Welcome to part 2 of Curating Your Space! First, read Part 1 for our thoughts about Art Selections, Furniture and Textiles. Today we’ll talk about Lighting, Accessories, Finishes and Flooring.

If you think of your home as a carefully curated space, not solely for the purpose of being appealing to other people, but for the purpose of offering you rest and peace, this will help guide you as you decorate. Whether decorating is a one-time project for you, or an ongoing hobby, carefully choose the furniture, finishes, art, and items that fill your rooms, based on what is meaningful to you.



Don’t forget that lighting plays a big role in the atmosphere of your space. A room lit only from above has a different feeling than one lit with a few lamps in various parts of the room.

TIP: Instead of buying new lamps, think about repurposing the ones you already own in different rooms. Play with different locations and test out how the light feels in the room in different arrangements.



Accessories can be the most fun and dynamic part of decorating. Change up the arrangement of things as often as you want, add new items here and there as you find them. Pile on, or go minimal! Your selection of accessories is one of the easiest and most flexible ways to express your unique style.

TIP: Look online for styles of vignette arrangements you like to maximize the aesthetic appeal of your décor.


Finishes & Floors:

Just the opposite of accessories, the floors and hard finishes in your home are not changed often, so decision making can be harder here. Sometimes visiting a wide variety of places that inspire you, and looking at their finishes, can help direct your choice. They carefully curate their spaces so their locations look as appealing as possible—just as you want your home—appealing to you and your family for the purpose of rest and retreat.

TIP: Work with a designer if you’re not confident about the style you want, and they can help you find something you’ll like for years to come.

Curating Your Space- Part 1


Just as a museum or gallery curator carefully selects every sculpture displayed and canvas hung on their walls, so you too, are the curator of your home. A curator’s selections, in large part, determine the success of their business. The way your home looks isn’t connected to business success, yet a well curated living space can uniquely express who you are and provide sanctuary from the world. This takes some conscious effort and thought to achieve good results.

As you make selections for your home, think about not only the initial appeal to your senses, but also what speaks to you about your passions, desires and unique personality. You’ll find when you think deeply about what goes into your home, your personality will be reflected in your design and you’ll find more rest in your space.

In this two-part post, we’ll first talk about selecting art for your walls, furniture and textiles. Next time, we’ll discuss lighting, decorations, flooring and finishes.


Art selection may be one of the most subjective and personal parts of any items you purchase. Since the selections are endless and tastes vary so much, be sure to choose works that you really like, not just what’s popular for the moment. A large painting you love, can be something you keep for decades. Where furniture, rugs and accessories might come and go, good art is enduring.

TIP: Look for one big statement piece and then create a gallery wall with more affordable prints from artists you like, going with smaller sizes and less expensive frames. These you can change out more frequently as you find new art you like.


Even if you have big money to spend, furniture can be a challenge. Finding furniture that you like, that’s comfortable and durable can take a while. If you’re looking at vintage shops, scouring Craigslist and thrift stores to keep the budget low, sometimes you can find pieces that have that perfect mix of style, personality and quality. High on personality, low on price—win win!

TIP: Even if your style is very clearly defined, add a little something that breaks your style mold to add an extra element of interest. For example: if you love sleek modern, add a side table that’s ornately antique, or if your style is rustic vintage, add a small piece or two with a high glamour to break up the rustic textures throughout your home.


The fabrics we include in our home offer us not only the pleasure of visual experience but tactile as well. Keep this in mind when choosing throw pillows, bedding, throw blankets and rugs. Part of enjoying the comfort of your home is enjoying snuggling in soft blankets, resting on pillows that aren’t just pretty.

TIP: Make textiles throughout your home represent a variety of pattern, color, texture and size. The variety will add interest and personality to your space! You can even do this within a monochromatic color scheme.

 “Allow yourself the patience to know it will all come together in time and enjoy the process! For me home décor is not a goal, but a continually evolving and kinetic art project.” –Amy Butler, designer

As you look at your home as a series of blank canvases, a gallery of who you are, be thoughtful, educated and brave as you make your home into a place of rest and enjoyment for you and your loved ones. Embrace your inner artistry, have fun and take charge as you curate your space.

Why Walk in Pantries Work

Having a walk in pantry instantly makes your life more organized and easier, if they are kept tidy and clean. Find out how to make the perfect pantry and how to use it more efficiently.

Often there is a closet near a kitchen used to store brooms and mops. It makes perfect sense to turn it into a pantry. If you want a walk-in pantry but lack the closet, you may want to have one built. It will be worth the effort and may add resale value to your home.

Install shelving, racks, and organizational products that are right for your needs. All pantries need ample shelving. Make sure to add as much shelving as you can comfortably fit into the space. This will help you neatly organize food and dry goods. The pantry is also a great place to store extra dishware and kitchen equipment.

Paint the interior a fun color. A nice earth tone green is the perfect paint color for this space. Simply leaving the walls white can brighten the area, but it tends to make the space feel utilitarian. Painting it a fun color will make you want to keep it neat and organized. The paint color can also inspire you to whip up healthy meals. Green seems to inspire one to cook healthier meals that include delicious veggies.

Don’t forget to utilize the space on the back of the door. This is a perfect place to install shallow shelving where all types of spices can be kept. It is best not to hang items on the back of the door, for the simple fact that they will be knocked around as the door is opened and closed.

In order to know what types of storage organizers to install, first write down exactly what you plan on keeping in the pantry. Make a quick sketch and plan out what items you need to store. This will get the ball rolling so you can research the type of organizers will be best for your needs.

Good luck with your new space!  It is sure to add quite a bit of enjoyment to your kitchen.

Easy Tips for the Home


Attempting to arrange your home using some of the principles of feng-shui can seem challenging and at times counter intuitive. Here are several easy tips to make the spaces in your home more balanced.

In the living room the goal is to create a comfortable, nurturing environment that promotes relaxation. This space should also be an intimate spot for family to spend time together. Place the sofa right against a wall. Place other seating elements, such as lounge chairs and love seats by windows. The paint choices should be neutral with pops of color achieved by using accents and accessories. Make sure the clutter is kept to a minimum, by housing storage that hides toys and other items, when not being used. There should be life within the room.  Keep a live plant as well as cut flower arrangements. The space should also be light and bright. Use mirrors on the wall to reflect the light and help make the area feel more open.

The kitchen is a very important room to the home. This space should promote nourishment and happiness. Keep the counter tops free of clutter. Make sure there is plenty of storage to mask kitchen equipment and other items that can clutter the space. The paint color should remain neutral, paired with warm accent colors. A warm yellow is a great accent to help promote cheer and warmth. This space should be well lit to promote energy and positivity. Use several different types of lighting to keep the space bright.

Bedrooms should be a place to rest and find peace. Keep computers and TVs out of this room. Make sure the bed is not placed across or adjacent to a door. Two night stands or bed side tables should be placed on either side of the bed to anchor it and provide balance. Do not use the space under the bed for storage. This blocks energy flow; therefore it should be free of obstruction. Paint colors need to be calming. A subtle mint green or lilac purple color is perfect for accent walls or accent colors. Paint the walls a warm color, like dark tan to create a warm and restful space.