Monthly Archives: November 2014

2013 Contemporary Kitchen Design by Alia Meyer

Senior Designer 

Alia Meyer earned her degree in Fine Arts from UC Santa Cruz. Daughter of Jessica Hall, her invaluable experiences growing up in a creative environment, coupled with her education, have given

Ms. Meyer the artistic eye necessary for her success. Specializing in residential design, material sourcing, lighting design, and custom furniture design and execution, her exquisite taste in all areas of expertise have earned her an appearance on HGTVs Sensible Chic, and frequent mention in The Marin Independent Journals Style column.

2013 Contemporary Kitchen Design by Alia Meyer

The project embodies the exuberance of a Brazilian born woman, who embraces color with all of its glory. The dynamic kitchen, featured in Angeleno magazine and California Home and Design, has painted blue cabinets, Azul Macubas extra granite and state of the art appliances. In addition, the ceiling features the Leucos semi recessed lighting, which turns normal recessed lighting into something more dynamic and wonderful. The pendants in this kitchen use the beauty of semi precious quartz to add glitter and create a division from the kitchen into the bold yellow dining room.

The project embodies the exuberance of a Brazilian born woman, who embraces color with all of its glory. The dynamic kitchen, featured in Angeleno magazine and California Home and Design, has painted blue cabinets, Azul Macubas extra granite and state of the art appliances. In addition, the ceiling features the Leucos semi-recessed lighting, which turns normal recessed lighting into something more dynamic and wonderful. The pendants in this kitchen use the beauty of semi precious quartz to add glitter and create a division from the kitchen into the bold yellow dining room.

The pendants in this kitchen use the beauty of semi-precious quartz to add glitter and create a division from the kitchen into the bold yellow dining room.

How to Make a Chevron Pumpkin Topiary : Halloween 2012 Ideas

This Halloween, light up your porch with a zigzag-patterned jack-o’-lantern.


We painted and carved chevrons patterns onto three pumpkins, inserted tea-lights then stacked the pumpkins together to create a retro-style topiary. Moss-covered stones were laid around the base of the topiary to give it a little earthy yet eerie feel.

Tools and Materials

serrated knife
jigsaw (optional)
3 carving pumpkins (we used faux pumpkins by Funkin)
painter’s tarp
6 to 9 battery-operated tea lights
4 colors of craft paint (we used green, blue, black, white)
small artist paintbrush
dry-erase marker

Clean Out the Pumpkins

Cut a hole in the bottom of each pumpkin and clean out the innards.

Dry-Fit the Stack and Create Pattern

Place the pumpkins on top of each other. Use a dry-erase marker (washable marker) to draw a chevron pattern across the middle of each pumpkin a little more than halfway around the pumpkin. Do not draw your pattern all the way around whole thing. Disassemble the stack and mark which is the top, middle and bottom.

Carve Part of the Pattern

Use a serrated knife or jigsaw to cut the patterns. If using a jigsaw, drill a hole first, then insert the jigsaw blade before turning it on. On each pattern, leave two stabilizers to help handle the weight of the other pumpkins (so it doesn’t fold down on itself).

Paint the Rest of the Pattern

Paint two zigzag patterns above and two below the cut-out pattern, using four different paint colors. Repeat on the other two pumpkins. We put each color in the same exact location on each pumpkin. Let the paint dry completely.

Easy Window Treatments Update 2014 Ideas

Clever Ways to Personalize Window Treatments :  Ready made curtains, blinds, shades, and tablecloths are just the starting point for these stylish window treatments.

Get inspired by this 2014 Window Treatments update Ideas from BHG . I hope that you will like and find it useful for you … Enjoy it !!

Add Texture with Burlap 
Add texture to a living room by adding a burlap valance to window treatments. The oat-color burlap also grounds a bold patterned curtain panel.
How to Make It: Sew or use fabric glue to attach decorative trim to the raw edge of the burlap. Use curtain clips to hang burlap valance and curtain panels.
Use Sheers to Lighten Up 
Dark color curtains are great for privacy, but they can also darken a room. Add style and light at the same time by adding a band of sheer fabric across the top of plain panels.
How to Make It: Cut across the panel about 1 inch below the top edge. Sew a sheer piece to the 1 inch strip and then reattach the original panel to the bottom of the sheer (shorten the panel as needed to fit your window before sewing the raw edge to the sheer fabric). Use fusible web or fabric glue to apply decorative ribbon over the seams. Tack sheer ribbons to the back of the 1-inch strip and then tie them loosely over the rod.
Add Pretty Details 
Add fun flair to a plain window shade with a pretty rosette.
How to Make It: Cut a 4 1/2×48-inch strip of patterned fabric that matches your bedroom decor. Press the strip in half lengthwise, wrong sides facing, and coil the strip into a rosette shape. Hand stitch the rosette to a circle of interfacing. Top-stitch through the center of the rosette and trim away excess interfacing. Pin rosette to the curtain.
Add Elegance with Stripes 
Dress up plain curtain panels by adding elegant stripes. Light blue linen curtain panels add color and texture to a plain cream color window treatment.
How to Make It: Cut 8 inch wide strips from ready-made linen curtain panels for each curtain. Create frayed edges by carefully pulling threads from the fabric along the sides and bottom. Place the 8 inch strips over the top of the plain panels. Stitch along the base of the rod pocket and lightly tack the tops of the rod pockets together.
Add Grommets 
Give pretty panels a modern touch with grommets.
How to Make It: Buy grommets (sold in sets of 10) and follow the instructions on the package. To install, cut a small hole in the fabric, insert both pieces of the grommet, and use the tool that comes in the kit to press them together.
Top It Off 
Punch up plain panels with a valance made of decorative napkins.
How to Make It: Cut square napkins diagonally to create triangles. Fold the cut ends under and stitch them to the panel’s top edge. Cut more napkins into strips and gather into a ruffle, which you can stitch along the bottom of the panel and the tieback.
Modern Take on Lace 
Update your favorite lace panels by inserting a horizontal band of patterned fabric. This block of fabric adds a modern edge and also gives privacy.
How to Make It: Cut across the panel about 6 inches below the top edge. Sew the patterned fabric piece to the top panel and then attach the original lace panel to the bottom of the fabric piece (shorten the panel as needed to fit your window before sewing the raw edge to the fabric). Use fusible web or fabric glue to apply decorative ribbon over the seams.
Tied with a Bow 
Give plain draperies a sweet makeover with pretty ribbon bows and coordinating stripes.
How to Make It: Create simple two-toned bows from coordinating ribbons. Attach bows to each pleat at the top of the panel. Use fusible web or fabric glue to apply decorative ribbon to the bottom of each panel.
Add a Border 
Dress up plain curtain panels with decorative fringe found at a crafts store. Choose trim in the same color as the panel for subtle drama.
How to Make It: Measure the width of the curtain panel and cut six sections of fringe in the measured width plus one inch. (The extra 1 inch allows for 1/2 inch of trim on each side to tack behind the panel to hide the raw edge.) Starting at the bottom of the panel, measure one inch from the hem and stitch on a row of trim. Continue with the next two rows. Stitch fringe onto panel leaving one inch between the top and bottom of each row.
Paint On Style 
Add artistic flair to a plain curtain panel with stencils and fabric paint.
How to Make It: Lay the curtain panel flat on top of several sheets of scrap paper as a blotter under the area being stenciled. Cover the back of a stencil with spray adhesive and then press it on the panel. Using fabric paint and a stencil brush, cover the design with a pouncing motion. Remove the stencil. When the paint is dry, repeat the process to create the desired pattern.
Pretty Painted-On Flowers 
Add a fresh theme to a plain curtain panel with a floral design stencil.
How to Make It: Lay the panel flat on top of scrap paper. Cover the back of a stencil with spray adhesive and then press it on the panel. Using fabric paint and a stencil brush, apply paint directly onto the curtain with a pouncing motion. Remove the stencil. When dry, repeat the process as desired.
Add Style to a Roman Shade 
Add style to a window with multiple treatments. A Roman shade and curtain panels work well together. Customize a plain Roman shade with a stenciled design in a color that coordinates with the curtain panels.
How to Make It: Lay the panel flat on top of scrap paper. Cover the back of a stencil with spray adhesive and then press it on the panel. Using fabric paint and a stencil brush, apply paint directly onto the curtain with a pouncing motion. Remove the stencil. When the paint is dry, repeat the process as desired. Hang Roman shade and curtain panels.
Rethink Cloth Napkins 
Turn patterned cloth napkins into cafe curtains by joining their edges with jean rivets and grommets. You get a pretty window treatment with no sewing.
How to Make It: Purchase a rivet and grommet kit from a fabric store. Join the edges of two napkins together with jeans rivets spaced every 2 inches. To install, cut a small hole in the fabric, insert both pieces of the rivet or grommet, and use the tool that comes in the kit to press them together. Repeat until all napkins are attached and the panel is wide enough to cover your window. Add the large grommets along the tops of the panels and thread onto a curtain rod.
Pillowcase Turned Shade 
Create a colorful window treatment from pillowcase and ribbon. 
How to Make It: To make a shade from a pillowcase, remove the seams and press flat. Cut the case to size and fuse the hems. Fuse ribbon down the center of the shade. Look for fusible products that are washable.

Expert Tips to Control the Chaos in your Home

Kick off the new year with a new spin on organization. We rounded up our favorite clutter cutting tricks and storage ideas just for you. from BHG

I hope you find these tips useful and inspiring to you …… Enjoy it !!

Target Your Efforts 

Problem : Your organization efforts don’t seem to yield results. 
Solution :  Avoid zigzag organizing. Scattering your efforts over multiple rooms prevents you from seeing progress. For visible, dramatic results, work one room at a time, one section at a time, completing each area before you move on to the next. 

Clean Out 

Problem : Generous gifting at holidays and birthdays overwhelms already stretched storage. 
Solution : Go through toys with your child before birthdays and holidays. Have a donation station always available for kids to put toys when they have decided they are tired of them. 


Clean Out Schedule 

Problem : An overflowing refrigerator. 
Solution : Use trash day as a reminder that it’s time to clean out the refrigerator. You’ll make room for new stuff to come in and get rid of any spoiled food before it gets smelly or messy.


Overwhelmed No More 

Problem : There’s just too much to tackle. 
Solution : Come up with a plan and timeline for taking it one step at a time. Examine the room you want to organize and visually break it into small areas that you can tackle in increments. Set achievable deadlines to give yourself a goal to work toward. Make a list of what stays and what could go to reduce clutter. Focus on the reason you need to reorganize, such as creating a clutter-free area for family gatherings or cleaning out a guest room so there’s space for visitors. Prioritize your tasks, starting in an area where you can quickly see progress. Schedule time to work on a project when you’re most energetic and least likely to be distracted. Set a timer and quit when the timer rings.


Do Your Best 

Problem : “If I can’t do it right, I won’t do it at all.” 
Solution : Get started, do the best you can in the time you have, and accept that everything may not be perfect. Come up with an organizational plan that works for now, knowing that you can tweak the plan later. The important thing is getting started. Begin with a small, manageable project, such as a sock drawer. Every morning when you find a pair of matched socks, you’ll be inspired to tackle organizing additional drawers and other spaces. Experiencing the benefits of organization breeds motivation. Choose progress, not perfection. Repeat to yourself that almost perfect is good enough, and keep moving forward. Don’t get bogged down in details that don’t really matter.


Eliminate Procrastination 

Problem : I don’t have the time or energy today, so I’ll handle it later. 
Solution : Make yourself accountable by setting deadlines, and reward yourself when you achieve your goals. Find a motivation partner. Set a day and time each week to talk about what you want to get done and how you plan to do it. Being accountable to someone else is a powerful motivator. Reward and/or discipline yourself depending on what motivates you most. You might reward yourself by eating out at a favorite restaurant or getting a spa treatment. Or you might give yourself a reality check by getting up early for a few days to achieve your goal. Throw a party. Do you shift into organizational overdrive when company’s coming? Schedule more at home happenings. When you know people are coming over, you’re more likely to straighten up.


Get a Move On 

Problem : You waste precious time every morning running around the house looking for the items you need for the day. 
Solution : Use a “transfer basket” to gather everything that needs to go out the door the next day library books, bills to mail, schoolwork, etc. Haul the basket to your car every morning and bring it back into the house when errands are done.


Good Looks 

Problem : No matter how hard you try, you just can’t get rid of clutter around your house. 
Solution : You can’t hide all clutter, but you can contain it. Look at where it collects and set up attractive ways to deal with it. Place a large bowl on the kitchen counter to collect keys. Leave a big basket by the door for shoes. Check discount stores and office supply houses for patterned folders for storing bills or wicker, fabric, and leather boxes to match your decor.


Book It 

Problem : You need wall storage but don’t know where to start. 
Solution : Create an instant room divider by placing bookshelves back to back as storage for collections, dishes, and, of course, books.


Hide and Seek 

Problem : You have furniture, but you don’t know how to optimize its storage capacity. 
Solution : When you shop for furniture, look for pieces with built in storage, preferably with doors. A nightstand can conceal bed and bath supplies. A dining room console table can stow holiday dishes or seldom used china.


Make Your Mark 

Problem : Little people equal big messes. 
Solution : Drawers and bins make it easy for kids to put away musical instruments, art supplies, and toys. Baskets and jars for socks, hats, and coins keep the closet tidy. Label everything to help kids stay organized.

New 2014 Cozy Fireplaces To Warm Up Your Living Room

A fireplace is the focal point of any living room. Whether you prefer a stone surround or something more modern, these fireplaces prove that a striking design is all it takes to become center stage in these stylish spaces.


Designer Sarah Richardson created a living room that’s just as warm as her fireplace by integrating splashes of burnt orange, apricot, garnet and other rich colors among a neutral color palette. The fireplace and surround made of white-washed stone and timeworn materials are meant to stand out among Sarah’s rich color scheme, thanks to an extra-large vintage crest mounted above the mantel. The wood-burning fireplace adds to the rustic, at home feel of the farmhouse that makes the living room feel so welcoming.


The Neofocus from Euroflues is a single-unit steel fireplace that comes in a wood-burning version or as a remote-controlled gas unit. Both are set in the wall and make linear rectangular statements. The gas version is fit with ceramic pebbles of various sizes or ceramic logs. It is installed with protective masonry around the firebox and upper and lower air vents. Image courtesy of Euroflues


It is as sleek and slim as a flat screen television with a linear, boldly contemporary presence. It has been described as “a fireplace with a sculptural presence, without a hint of pretension.” The fireplace is thermal efficient, and its flame sits behind a heat resistant glass door that allows a complete view of what’s inside. Image courtesy of Euroflues


This fireplace from Spark Modern Fires combines a thoroughly utilitarian idea with contemporary artistic grace. The slim, eye level gas fireplace hangs on the wall and is made of brushed stainless steel with a single ceramic glass panel. It is clean, easily maintained and a breeze to install. Image courtesy of Spark Modern Fires


In an cold-weather environment like Stowe, Vt., designer Linda Woodrum knew the fireplace would be used quite often, so she undoubtedly made it the centerpiece of the gathering room in HGTV Dream Home 2011. This energy efficient gas fireplace offers the convenience of a preset thermostat with its sleek stainless steel design. To complement the maple flooring and pull in a taste of the outdoors, Linda added birch panels to the fireplace chase and a three-dimensional, steel wall sculpture with midcentury designs in mind.


Gas-fed hearths are easy, clean and versatile. The three-foot, vent-free fireplace by Spark Modern Fires is creatively built into the living room bookcase. The unit shares a metal front with a television, creating a cozy, multiuse living space. It can be fitted with a stainless steel interior to add reflectiveness.


The beauty of this fireplace is its freedom. It easily mounts on the floor, sitting on a base of masonry or black steel, and it can be installed in almost any room. The gas flame is visible from every direction, set behind a band of glass panels that slide around the fireplace’s metal trunk. The designer drew inspiration from the open space and clean lines of Japanese interiors.


Fireplaces provide far more than heat and a cozy place to curl up. They can fulfill architectural roles and become artistic accouterments. This fireplace serves as a sophisticated room divider, and it demands attention. The gas-fed flames rise out of a bed of shiny river rock set on a four foot long firescape. It is mounted below an upside down chimney in this home’s living room.


Designer Brian Patrick Flynn certainly knows how to make a natural stone surround stand out in a beautiful way he used patterned fabric against the back wall as a stunning accent to the aubergine mantelpiece. Among a sea of modern furnishings and purple accents, the rustic stone fireplace seems so natural and at ease.