On the wire… cable railing!

Cable railing began as a solution for exterior deck and stair systems in situations where an uninterrupted view of the landscape was important.   Rather than looking between balusters to see the lake, forest or the backyard, the cables all but disappear. Today we see this system being adapted for interior stair systems.  The overall look […]

Black painted exterior doors… why you shouldn’t.

Most interior designers I know, self included, have a love-hate relationship with trends.  Mainly because trends don’t always apply to the design concept or work within the constraints of our client’s home, site or budget.  We hate to say, “no, that won’t work,” but frankly, sometimes it doesn’t. Black exterior doors are not for every […]

5 things I love about this space!

In a previous blog we talked about the elements and principles of good design.  This morning, while flipping through photos we’ve taken of finished projects, I stopped on this image.  It’s a beautiful space and a gorgeous photo. Like all good design, if we spend just a few minutes thinking about those basic elements and […]

Columns 101: Doric, Ionic, Corinthian or… tapered?

Even a ten minute run-through of architectural history would include a study of the ancient column orders (or styles).  What’s the big deal about columns, you ask?  They are one of the few, enduring architectural elements utilized in every historical period across the globe since they were established in ancient Greece! There is, quite literally, […]

Hardware; the first and the finishing touch!

If you had to guess, what hardware finish would you guess is the most popular? Satin nickel? Brass? While satin and aged brass finishes are making a slow but steady comeback, our three, most-popular-ordered-every-day-of-the-week finishes are:  oil rubbed bronze, satin nickel and satin brass; in that order.  And you thought I was kidding about brass! […]

The 3 keys to living through a remodeling project: this is happening now.

1. Consider all other options. I type that only partially in jest. While it can be very cost effective to stay in your home during a remodeling project, there are significant trade-offs which might persuade you to re-evaluate you and your family’s happiness vs. monetary savings. The stress of having things un-done and out of […]

Color of the Year – a follow-up!

Last week’s blog included a drum-roll presentation of our #1 most requested color; Custom!  Despite sticking to the facts, many of you didn’t like the answer.  “Custom isn’t a color!” To satisfy our readers, we tabulated the numbers again but this time limited them to the paint and stain categories we offer within our color […]

Lighten UP!

In the Midwest, we are nuts about daylight; literally.  Without it we establish something un-affectionately referred to as “cabin fever.”  Talking to ourselves, becoming short with each other, sleeping for 14 hours because it’s dark at 5pm…these are the maladies of winter; some would say, “a gentle form of torture.”  In just a few weeks, […]

Remember that time we were at Grandma’s?

The holidays are approaching and throughout the United States, uncles will be cracking corny jokes and mothers will be crowding the kitchen.  Families will gather, friends will congregate and inevitably, memories will be recounted over a glass of wine or at the dinner table.  We have a fancy word for this sentimentality for the past; […]

New front door? It’s not too late… yet!

If your Fall To Do List, included replacing the front door, it’s not too late… yet!  Mine will be replaced in the upcoming weeks and I’m looking forward to an updated and fully-functioning front door.  One that doesn’t drag on our tile floor and will keep us cozy, and heat efficient, all winter long. To […]

Tips from a designer: Space Planning

It seems we are often worried about not having enough.  Not enough time and not enough money and never enough space, “could you give me another closet?”  Architect and author Sarah Susanka calls it, “the fear of too smallness.”  Prior to the recession this concept was evident everywhere.  “Why add 10’ when we could add […]

To paint oak or NOT to paint oak… that is the question answered today.

Painted cabinets and millwork is not a new trend.  It gained popularity during the recession because of its very attractive price point.  Plus, there are few things more enjoyable than a clean, bright, spanking-new kitchen in the whitest of whites!  And while trends do come and go, paint is sticking around…at least a little while […]

Manual? What manual, watch my video!

You’ve likely observed that the best way to teach any person born after let’s say…1980, is to set them in front of an instructional video.  Forget about 35-page instruction manuals; watch from your smart phone or your laptop or your iPad and you won’t have to try to figure out what that universal stick person […]

}