Creating Interiors That Reflect Your Lifestyle, Your Passions, and Your Personal Taste

Tips for Creating a Feminine and Functional Home Office

June 24th, 2014

I recently completed a beautifully feminine and highly functional home office for one of my clients. She had asked me to help her to get organized and to create an office that would include all of her computer equipment and filing space, but also be a place where she could relax in a feminine atmosphere.  When I asked her how she liked her new home office she said, “You were able to create an office space that completely fits my personal style. You got me!”

Minor Home Office 4549B


'Before' shot of home office


In order to make this office more functional and feminine we started by adding recessed can overhead lighting on a dimmer switch and a new ceiling fan. The room was painted a soft robin’s egg blue which really added a soothing feeling. We replaced the desk with a new desk and return that included a keyboard tray, and drawers for storage and filing. We also added two filing cabinets that matched the height of the new desk and return. A pleated valance in a fabric that complements the wall color adds softness to the space. The desk is now oriented towards the door so that the client is able to see someone entering the room.

Minor Home Office 4483-B-HDR

We added a comfortable chair and ottoman so that our client could sit in her office and relax with her iPad or do some reading. A unique floor lamp provides great lighting and a small side table will hold a book and a refreshing drink. A bookcase matches the desk and files and holds books, family photos, and other treasures.

Minor Home Office 4501-B-HDR

A comfortable, feminine desk chair allows access to her computers, printer, file drawers, and desk area. The desk chair has a beautiful scalloped wood frame in a contrasting finish to the desk. A soft blue and white fabric complements the room color and adds to the feminine feeling at the desk. The stylized floral painting is soft and graceful. Functionally the space works very well with adequate space for the computer equipment, and lots of open desktop area.

Minor Home Office 4528-B-HDR

The graceful etagere displays some of the client’s awards. The decorative mirrors reflect light into the room, and the bronze finish on the mirrors complements the etagere. These pieces add softness and femininity to this home office.

Minor Office 4438-B-HDR

A decorative bulletin board helps keep the client organized. Adequate filing space ensures that paperwork will stay organized. A desk lamp with a marbleized glass shade provides task lighting while overhead recessed lights provide excellent ambient lighting. 

Here are some tips for creating your own feminine, functional office -

  • Make a list of everything that you will need – desk, files, desk chair, bookshelf, lighting, etc.
  • Draw out the room to scale and add furniture pieces.
  • Figure out how best to light the ro0m – with recessed can lights (best) or a combination of floor and table lamps.
  • Select a paint color that will be soothing, yet energizing.
  • Look for furniture pieces that will fit in the space.
  • Look for a desk chair that is comfortable, functional, and feminine.
  • Decide on a window treatment that will filter light and be a decorative addition to the room.
  • Add artwork, wall decor, and accessories to add your personality and femininity to the room.
  • Hide computer cables where possible with wire management or strategically placed plants and furniture.
  • If there is room, think about adding a comfortable chair and ottoman to have an alternate place to sit.

Enjoy your new feminine and functional home office. You’ll be sure to keep organized and be more productive in a space that meets all of your needs. If you live in southern California and would like some help designing a home office or any other area of your home, please let me know.

I’d love to hear your comments and experiences in designing a feminine and functional home office for yourself.

Until next time,



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Four Tips to Create a Coastal Design Style in Your Home

May 23rd, 2014

Coastal Design – A Relaxed Style Combining Crisp Whites, Marine Blues, Nautical Accents, and Tailored Furnishings

You don’t have to live by the sea to have a coastal look in your home. Having grown up on the east coast by the water I’ve always loved the casual feel of coastal decor. There’s a certain relaxed feeling and a definite connection with the outdoors in coastal design. I’ve been fascinated by the natural beauty and uniqueness of seashells and coral since I was a kid, and they add a beautiful touch to a home with a coastal look. Coastal design has become more and more popular in recent years. Classic coastal style is sophisticated with crisp linens, blues, neutrals, whites, and bold stripes. Beautiful accessories are used such as shells, coral, maritime instruments and coastal art.  The key is to keep it simple and not let it get too busy.

Here are four ways to create this look in your home whether or not you live near the water -

1. Select Furnishings That are Relaxed and Comfortable.

Large overstuffed chairs in wide stripes are inviting and casual. Natural materials are also commonly used like the wicker chair in the photo below. Distressed tables add to the relaxed feel of this style.

Living room in coastal style


2. Include Natural and Organic Materials to Create a Relaxed but Stylish Design.

As seen in the photo above distressed hardwood floors and sisal area rugs are great additions to help to create a coastal style. Flowing draperies and Roman shades in natural linen add to the casual feeling. The distressed wood ceiling is also a great touch.

3. Choose Colors in Shades of Red, Blue, and White.

Neutral walls  and upholstery in some shade of white serve as a backdrop for bursts of color as seen in the photo below. Add throw pillows in various shades of blue and red.  Colors can range from navy to aqua and red to coral. Yellow if often used as a complement to navy.

Coastal design living room


4. Accessorize with Shells, Coral, Maritime Instruments, and Coastal Art but Don’t Overdo.

Select beautiful shells, coral, driftwood, and colored glass to add to your decor, but select carefully and don’t let it get cluttered. The shelves in the photo below create a beautiful coastal vignette.

Coastal accessories


Please take a look at my new Coastal Design board on Pinterest. All of the pieces are available on our shopping site – Innovations Designer Home Decor and Accent Furniture.  I’ll be adding more items in the coming weeks. As one of our subscribers please enter SPRING SAVINGS in the coupon code area for a 20% discount on your order.

Until next time,



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Warmer Metals are In Again – And I Say Mix Them Up!

April 23rd, 2014

Metals are Used Throughout the Home

After many years of seeing mainly cooler metals like silver, stainless steel, platinum, and nickel, I was pleased to see many warmer metals like gold, brass, copper, and bronze at the Las Vegas Home Furnishings Market recently. Metals are an important element when designing a home.  They’re used in almost every room.  In the kitchen cabinet knobs and pulls add personality. Faucets and appliances also make a style statement.  In bathrooms the plumbing and lighting fixtures add to the style of the space. In other areas of the home metals are used in tables, chairs, picture frames, lamps, and lighting fixtures.

warm metal finishes

In the photo above are some of the home accessory pieces in warmer finishes that I recently saw at the Las Vegas Home Furnishings Market. I personally love the warmth that these newer finishes exude.

It’s Okay to Mix and Match Metal Finishes

Don’t be afraid to mix metal finishes in your home. You don’t need to have every single finish match! However, it’s a good idea to use cool and warm metal finishes at least a couple of times in a room. For example in your kitchen you could have bronze lighting fixtures and plumbing fixtures with stainless steel appliances and brushed nickel hardware.  You can tie together the different metal finishes through your paint color, tile, and countertop materials.

Kitchen with mixed metals

When I designed the kitchen in the photo above we used oil rubbed brass plumbing fixtures and decorative hardware.  The appliances are stainless steel and the bar stools are in a platinum finish. The glass tile on the backsplash and the Caesarstone on the countertops are in taupey tones that work with warm and cool finishes. The end result is a warm and inviting kitchen that’s a pleasure to work in.

Everything Doesn’t Need to Match

Whenever designing an interior you want to be sure that things aren’t too “matchy matchy”.  You want your home to look like you lovingly collected each and every piece over a period of many years, rather than looking like you went to a store and bought a whole room of matching furniture.

Brand New Home Accessories Available on Our Online Shopping Boutique

Here are some of my favorite new accessory pieces in the warmer finishes that are now available on our Innovations Designer Home Decor online shopping boutique. Just click on the photos to see more information.  You’ll be able to zoom in and see all of the intricate detail.

Art print with antiqued gold frame

I love this soft and inviting watercolor landscape print.  The antiqued gold frame complements the golden leaves in the print.

Ambrosia Copper Tray

This copper leaf tray would make a great addition to an ottoman as a place to set drinks.  I love the warm copper patina finish.

Scalloped console table with marble top and gold leaf finish

The gold leaf finish adds warmth to this white marble topped side table with scalloped edges and graceful curved iron legs.

Please visit our Innovations Designer Home Decor Online Shopping Boutique to see more of our beautiful home accessories and accent furniture pieces.  I’ve personally selected each and every one. For our readers just enter SPRING SAVINGS in the coupon code area to receive a 20% savings on your order.  Hope you find something special for your home.

Until next time,


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More Luscious Interior Color Trends for Spring 2014

February 28th, 2014

Savory Spices, Cool Cobalt, Sunny Saffron, Peacock Plume, Captivating Coral, and Rich Russet. These are the names given to new color trends forecasted recently by Roberta Hayes, senior merchandising colorist for Valdese Weavers. With 20+ years in the decorative fabrics and home furnishings industry, Roberta is a leader in color development and trend analysis for the home fabrics brand. Her forecast correlates with the colors I recently saw at the Las Vegas Home Furnishings Market, but I love her description of the different color families. I’ve included photos of some of my client projects in these color schemes. Some were done recently and some a while ago. So you can see that colors come into vogue and go out all the time. The important thing to remember is to select colors that make you feel happy and well. Here are the color schemes as reported by Roberta Hayes -

Savory Spices

Savory Spices marry the warmth of cinnamon, paprika, and nutmeg with soft greys and rich expresso browns to create color stories that are robust, but not overstated. Combinations of subtle golds and neutral clay hues create interiors that are rustic yet sophisticated.

Eclectic interior with Tropical and Asian Elements

Cool Cobalt

Cool cobalt pairs rich gem tones of cerulean, indigo, and navy with turquoise and aquamarine to create fashion statements evoking the freshness and carefree feeling of the tropics. When offset with complementary shades of salmon, pumpkin, orange, and spicy reds, Cool Cobalt color stories bring to mind classic European sophistication.

Living room with cool cobalt

Sunny Saffron

Sunny Saffron is all about the marriage of golden yellows and sandy neutrals with cool platinum greys, for looks that are engaging and elegant. Sunny Saffron is made more exquisite when combined with pops of teal and poppy red which round out the color story.

Dining room with sunny saffron

Peacock Plume

Peacock Plume brings together a showy range of bold blues from turquoise to sapphire with the twinkle of kiwi and lime greens. The addition of jewel-tone accents such as ruby red and vibrant violet creates color schemes with all the magic and majesty of a peacock’s plumage.

Living room with peacock plume

Captivating Coral

Warm sun-kissed shades of peach, apricot, and coral dance with fuchsias and pinks to create color combinations that are radiantly sunny and runway-inspired. Accenting shades of Aztec gold, expresso brown, and navy provide grounding for this bright color story.

iving room with captivating coral

Rich Russet

Stirring the imagination like the echoes of lost civilizations, Rich Russet and garnet reds shine in this palette. Neutral flax and camel ground with accents of burnished gold, and bold, deep teals combine to create a look of old world luxury.

Dining room with rich russet

I have to admit that these colors that are so popular now are the ones that I’ve always loved and been drawn to again and again. They are the colors of nature – the shades of a colorful sunset and the warmth of the sand and the sea. The colors of seashells and stones – warm and rich and luscious.

Please let me know which colors you’re drawn to. Those are the colors you should surround yourself with in your home. If in doubt of which colors you’re drawn to, just open your closet. You’ll most likely find a predominance of certain hues. These are probably the colors you should be using in your home. Just adding a throw or some pillows in these colors can make a huge difference in the way your home feels.

Until next time,


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Interior Design Color Trends for Spring 2014

February 12th, 2014

I just got back from the Las Vegas Home Furnishings Market recently.  It was great to see all of the new styles and colors. I saw lots of orange – in shades ranging from orange sherbet to burnt orange and everything in between. Blue-greens were also very popular – everything from aqua to deep teal. These are my favorite colors, and they continue to remain popular. I first wrote about these colors coming back two years ago. Well, they are just as popular as ever. Not that you have to use these colors, because I saw lots of reds, hot pinks, blues, yellows, greens, and purples. And of course neutrals – every shade of beige and tan, and more greyed down neutrals, especially in woods. Here’s a sampling of what I saw.

Interior Design Color Trends Spring 2014

These stunning blue green glass lighting fixtures and art glass really caught my eye.

Interior Design Color Trends Spring 2014

These are some of the beautiful shades of orange that I saw everywhere.

Even More Interior Design Color Trends for Spring 2014

This showroom featured red furniture with black, red, and white accessories.  Look to see more of these colors in 2014.

This is just a small sampling of the exciting new trends for interiors and the beautiful and unique furnishings and accessories that I saw in Las Vegas.  Much more to come . . .

If you’d like some help transforming an area of your home, just call or email me.  I’d love to help you.

You can see photos of more of my work in the portfolio section of my website.

Until next time,


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Global and Ethnic Design Trends from 2014 Winter Home Furnishings Market

January 31st, 2014

Global and ethnic design is more popular than ever judging from the new home furnishings I recently saw at the 2014 Winter Home Furnishings Market in Las Vegas. We truly live in a global world with furniture and accessories available from just about anywhere. It was exciting to see the beautiful colors, designs, and materials represented by many different countries including India, Pakistan, Morocco, Tibet, China, the Philippines, Indonesia, and many others. Each of these countries contributes a beautiful style of design and coloring.  When used together, these furniture and accessory pieces blend to create a striking and rich global and ethnic interior design.

Ethnic and global interior design

The photo above was taken in one of my favorite showrooms for area rugs and accessories at the Las Vegas Market. Notice the beautiful ethnic patterns on the area rugs, bench, pillows, and “pouffs”.  Pouffs are soft, squishy cubes that can be used as ottomans or extra seating.  They are becoming very popular.  Notice also the rich colors. Purples are becoming very popular since Pantone named “Radiant Orchid” the 2014 color of the year. I also saw all shades of greens, teals, reds, oranges, and golds as seen in the photo above.

Notice also the lamps with their rustic shapes and natural materials. All types of natural materials were seen throughout the furniture market.

Natural materials in home accessories

I took the photo above in one of my favorite showrooms for home accessories and accent furniture. Notice the beautiful carvings on the reclaimed wood console and the interesting rough hewn woods on the mirror frames. The iron on the chandeliers and other accessories is a natural rust iron finish.

Much of the design I saw had organic shapes, natural colors, and natural materials. If you like this look but enjoy other more contemporary pieces, these ethnic pieces can be used along with more contemporary furniture for an eclectic design, which is one of my favorite styles.

If you need some help with the interior design of your home and are in the greater Los Angeles area, please drop me a line. If you would like to add some unique and beautiful home accessories or accent furniture pieces to your home, please visit our online shopping boutique to see all of the wonderful pieces that I’ve personally selected.

More to come about my exciting discoveries at the Las Vegas World Home Furnishings Market.

Until next time,


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A Warm & Wonderful Family Room – Including ‘Before’ & ‘After’ Photos

January 20th, 2014

This greater Los Angeles interior designer recently completed a kitchen & family room remodel and update for a client. The family consists of a single mom and three kids – 5-year-old twins and a 7-year-old. I featured their kitchen in my last blog post. The family room had one of those alcoves that was included in many family rooms to house the old style deep TV’s that everyone used to have. My client wanted an attractive and functional entertainment center for the TV and to display decorative accessories. The fireplace was uninspired. She wanted a new stone facade and a beautiful mantel. She liked the pine bough wall sculpture over the mantel, so we kept that and replaced everything else. She needed more seating for her family and a place where everyone could kick back and put their feet up.

Family Room 'Before'


Remodeled Family Room


The newly remodeled family room is warm and wonderful. A new larger sectional with down blend cushions is comfy and provides lots of seating. A chair & a half allows mom and another child to cuddle up, or is large enough for two or three kids. The ottoman is accessible to all. A giraffe patterned area rug adds a bit of whimsy and creates a cozy feeling. The original artwork over the sectional ties in all of the rich greens, browns, and golds used in the room.  Although there are great LED recessed lights for ambient lighting, I added two unique table lamps for extra lighting and a little drama.

Remodeled fireplace and entertainment center


I designed the entertainment center so that it looks like a piece of furniture, rather than a hole in the wall. Lighted glass shelves display beautiful decorative pieces while a cabinet with a glass door and drawers creates a very functional entertainment center. The fireplace wall is covered in rustic stacked stone in beautiful shades of green, rust, and gold. The new mantel is stained to match the entertainment center. It and the stone facade cover the entire wall. New glass fireplace doors blend beautifully with the stone. The client’s pine bough sculpture looks perfect above the new mantel. New draperies in a soft tone-on-tone green fabric with a bronze decorative rod and rings add softness. Stacking decorative trays on the ottoman create a functional place for TV snacks.

My client and her children are greatly enjoying their new family room and kitchen. It’s so rewarding to create such a warm, inviting, and functional environment for this great family.

To see more of my residential designs please visit the Residences album in the portfolio section of our website.

Until next time,


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A Newly Designed Kitchen for the Holidays

December 16th, 2013

I recently completed a kitchen remodel and family room update for a client.  The family consists of a single mom and three kids – 5-year-old twins and a 7-year-old.  Although her existing kitchen was large and had lots of cabinets, it was not a very functional space.  She wanted more refrigerator and freezer space so that she could eliminate the extra refrigerator in her garage.  She also wanted a large island with seating for five so that the family and their nanny could have meals together and also a place for the kids to do homework and projects.

Kitchen Remodel - Before


Dream kitchen


The newly remodeled kitchen is not only a beautiful place to gather but also extremely functional. The six-foot wide Sub Zero integrated refrigerator and freezer visible on the wall behind the island blend seamlessly into the cabinetry. The new island provides lots of seating and preparation space. A Caesarstone countertop looks beautiful and requires no sealing and minimal maintenance. Marbled glass pendant lights cast a beautiful glow on the island while LED recessed lights and under cabinet lights create necessary ambient and task lighting. The wall cabinets are finished in a rich mocha stain while the island is a painted wasabi green with light distressing. Bringing the cabinets up to the ceiling allowed the addition of lighted cabinets with glass doors for display of  the client’s glassware.

Remodeled kitchen & family room

In the island I included a single bowl farmhouse sink that complements the glass tile in the backsplash. A microwave/convection oven adds the convenience of a microwave with the added luxury of an extra convection oven. Self-closing drawers were used on all of the lower cabinets to create better storage.  An induction cooktop is safe for kids because the burners don’t get hot to the touch.  A secretary/desk that matches the island cabinetry creates a convenient workspace for my client.  When closed it becomes a stylish piece of furniture.

My client and her children are greatly enjoying their new kitchen. Baking Christmas cookies and gathering in the kitchen will be extra special this holiday season. Beyond the kitchen you can see the newly designed family room. More on that in my next post!

Until next time,


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Pantone Announces Color of the Year for 2014 – Radiant Orchid

December 5th, 2013

Radiant Orchid – A Color to Inspire Confidence and Creativity

Pantone has just announced its 2014 Color of the Year – Radiant Orchid, a complex shade of purple with fucshia and pink undertones. According to Leatrice Eiseman, executive director of Pantone, ”Radiant Orchid inspires confidence and emanates great joy, love and health. It is a captivating purple, one that draws you in with its beguiling charm.” Purple has long been seen as a magical color and a color that inspires creativity and innovation. Look for radiant orchid in fashion and home decor throughout the coming year. Use it to add a burst of color to your wardrobe and to your home.

Radiant Orchid 2014 Color of the Year

Radiant Orchid in Home Interiors

Living Room Radiant Orchid

Above is a project I completed for a client several years ago. The client loved purple and I incorporated it into the artwork, pillows, upholstery and area rug in this striking living room. We should be seeing shades of purple, orchid, fucshia and pink turning up in fabrics and home accessories throughout 2014.

Use radiant orchid with olive and deeper hunter greens as well as turquoise, teal and light yellows. Its vibrance will also enliven neutrals such as gray, beige and taupe, serving to energize without overpowering.

Family room radiant orchid

Above is another client project I completed several years ago.  I incorporated shades of purple with fucshia undertones into the throw pillows and the upholstery.

Select Colors that Make You Feel Good

I’m looking forward to incorporating radiant orchid into designs for my interior design clients in the coming year. However, remember that what is most important is to select colors with which you feel comfortable. If a color speaks to you, calms you or energizes you, makes you feel at ease and happy, then it’s probably a color that you should incorporate into your home.  If you’re not sure yet about Radiant Orchid, start by adding some live orchids to your home and see how they make you feel. Please comment and let me know what you think about this new Color of the Year.

Until next time,


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Special Photo Frame Sets – A Great Holiday Gift Idea

November 11th, 2013

Personalize Your Home with Photos

One of the best ways to personalize your home is to display photos of family and friends. Having photographs of the special people in your life throughout your home will not only create a warm and inviting feeling, but you’ll also feel good each time you look at them. There are many ways to display photos in your home.  It all starts with some great photos and some very nice picture frames. I love using easel back frames so that I can display photos on tables, bookshelves, etageres, dressers, and buffets. Your photos tell a story about your life.  I have photos in every room of my home.  As I move from room to room throughout the day each smiling face on a photo makes me smile.  Photos from vacations can take you back to that wonderful time even for just a few seconds.

Frames for Every Taste

Choosing the right frames will give your photos a special feeling. It’s nice to do groupings of photos either on the wall or on a table or shelf. Selecting unique and unusual picture frames allows you to make your photos really stand out.

Picture frames capiz shell

I love these capiz shell picture frames. They come in standard sizes of 4 x 6, 5 x 7, and 8 x 10, so they’re very easy to use, and they have easel backs so they can be displayed just about anywhere. Here they’re filled with some favorite pets. They’d be just as beautiful filled with pictures of your kids, grandkids, or favorite people.

Faux leather picture frames

These handsome frames are a little larger but still hold standard sized pictures.  Their woven, faux leather straps finished with a weathered, dark coffee stain and a light tan glaze give them a more masculine feeling.  They would be perfect filled with vacation photos as shown.

Beautiful picture frames

Sometimes you don’t want all of your picture frames to look the same.  At times it’s nice to have some variety. These frames are heavily distressed in rich hues of antiqued silver, copper and sage green. Their warmth will add richness to your home while displaying your favorite photos.  They come with convenient easel backs and accept standard photo sizes.

Also a Great Gift Idea

Picture frames are not only a wonderful way to add personality to your home, but they also make wonderful gifts especially at this holiday time. When you don’t know what to get someone as a gift think about a framed photo. It’s personal and special and something that will be displayed and cherished for many years. You can even split the sets to create individual gifts of one frame each filled with a favorite photo of family or friends. All of these photo frames are available on our Innovations Designer Home Decor Online Shopping Boutique. Please take a look. Whether you find something special for your home or for a holiday gift, adding photos to a home is one of the best ways to create a warm and intimate feeling.

Special Savings for our Readers

As a valued reader of my blog please enjoy a 20% savings on any picture frame order between now and November 30.  Just enter PICTURE FRAMES in the coupon code area upon checkout. Hope you find something special for your home. I’d love to see how you display picture frames in your home. Please send me photos and I’ll post them on our Facebook page.

Until next time,


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