Transform Your Bedroom with Color


Transform Your Bedroom with Color

How do you figure out which colors work well together? Color is a fantastic fun way to transform a space at minimal cost. There are many different colors that can play with our emotions and create. Color gives visual vibrations, the stronger the color, the more vibration it has, and the more energy it exudes. Contrasting colors are those at the opposite side of the color wheel.

Having trouble sleeping? 

Is your bedroom filled with stimulating, activating colors that prevent sleep? When we use a color such as red, we may perceive it as danger, it has a higher energy level and is stimulating. We see red for stop signs and alarms. Red demands our attention so if we have it in our bedrooms (a place that should be serene for sleep) we may become or remain alarmed or alert. Yellow can be very uplifting, think about how we feel when the sun comes out.  Yellow is also associated with fear and being alert, therefore yellow can be tough to gain calming sleep in the bedroom.

If we use more calming colors, such as a blue-gray or a blue-green, they contrast and transform a bedroom to feel calmer as well as being more therapeutic. Calming colors are associated with water and nature. Lighter shades of blues and greens, create a calming and natural ambience. Using stronger colors can create more energy within the space, but if we use the colors that are toned down (pure colors that are mixed with grey to create a tone), we can feel more relaxed and tranquil.  

Warm and loud colors create a higher vibrancy, while cool and calm colors create a lower vibrancy. When painting your bedroom, or any area in your home, think about the energy levels that you are wanting within that space, and find the perfect color to match that!


Hiring a Licensed Contractor


I recently encountered someone who wanted to do a remodel, but realized it costs more money than they thought. My suggestion at this point, is, to either (a) save up another year or so to get it done the right and best way, (b) do what absolutely needs to be done (if there's a leak or something that needs to be fixed immediately), or (c) lower the scope of work. Sometimes, we get impatient and want what we want now. This person decided to let me know they will be going the unlicensed contractor route to save money and get everything done faster. 

I had to respectfully decline the full work at this point. I agreed to help with the material selections, but will be unable to fulfill the project management side. Why? A few reasons. The major reason is it is a huge, I mean HUGE liability for the homeowner. The second reason is the quality is not guaranteed, and no one but the homeowner is responsible for that. The third is, if I allow the unlicensed activity under my supervision, I will be the liable one. 

There is a reason why licensed, bonded, and insured contractors are way more expensive than unlicensed contractors. Here are the reasons:

Hiring a Licensed Contractor Reason #1:


One of the first things to look for is a licensed contractor. A contractor who gets their license proves that they have met certain industry standards in the home owner’s area. If the work does not meet up to code regulations, and the home owner is caught by the city, the home owner is responsible for all costs. If this happens, an unlicensed contractor is completely off the hook. You, as the home owner get to deal with the city, pay extra fines, and figure out how to fix the issue. If you hired a licensed professional, you would call them up, give them the information, and it is their obligation to fix their mistake. If you are in California, you can look up the contractor to see if they are licensed at the Contractor's State License Board

Hiring a Licensed Contractor Reason #2:

When hiring a licensed contractor, they will most likely have bonds attached to them. This is important because bonding is a guarantee that if the contractor does not perform the contracted work, the bond will cover the loss. This means you as the home owner will not be at a full loss financially.

Hiring a Licensed Contractor Reason #3:

Insurance is the third reason to invest in hiring a professional contractor. Contractors hold liability and workers compensation insurance. Liability insurance protects the home owner in the event the contractor damages the home–for example- they forgot to turn the water off before uninstalling a toilet, and we all know what happens there, destroying the flooring, sub-flooring and other materials. Homeowners insurance most likely does not cover this unless the home owner has in-home employee coverage. 

Workers compensation protects the home owner in the event an employee gets hurt on the job on the home owner’s property. Homeowners insurance could potentially cover it after the home owner pays their deductible, but, that depends on how bad the injury is. Then, the claim can result in an increase in the home owner’s rate which could make it more difficult to get insured in the future. 

Homeowner’s Insurance could also potentially be voided if a claim happens and the insurance company knows that the claim was from an unlicensed, uninsured, and un-bonded contractor.

This is the reason licensed contractors will have to charge more. They cover these liability costs to protect themselves, their employees, and the home owner. Cutting these costs have the potentiality of the home owner to get sued, lose their homeowner’s insurance with the risk of being too high of a liability to get homeowner's insurance again, and have low quality work done.

We help all of our clients through the selection of the right contractor. Feel free to ask us questions about the route needed to go to select the right contractor for you! Our email is: or call us at 925-596-1260




Contemporary or Modern Interior Design?

Do You like Contemporary Interior Design or Modern Interior Design?

I have gotten quite a few questions from clients who are confused about the difference between contemporary and modern interior design. A lot of people think they are the same, but really, they are actually quite different. One of them is a term for what the style is in the current moment. The other is an actual style from a time period just like Traditional or Mediterranean. So, what is the difference?!

Modern Interior Design

mid-century modern.jpg

Modern interior design is a timeless style that started in the 1920s. Modern is the actual style from a time period. It is clean and simple with a lot of linear lines. Form follows function was the main concern for modern design. It includes natural resources such as wood, as well as industrial produced materials. This design uses geometric shapes, and asymmetry. Flooring used was hard floors (usually wood) with rugs instead of carpeting. Wall coverings were usually neutral such as white or gray paint with pops of color in the furniture and accessories. The materials were sleek and smooth.

If you look up mid-century modern furniture, you will see what true modernism is. Today, we use modern to speak of terms in the now, however, modern is an actual style that has occurred, and we still see that in today's design.

In everyone's defense, we have brought back elements of modernism into today's style which is Contemporary interior design.

Contemporary Interior Design


Contemporary interior design is always changing. What was contemporary last year does not mean it is contemporary today. Contemporary means: existing, occurring, or living at the same time; belonging to the same time. It is whatever the style is during this moment. The design can include whatever is in style right now, and can use styles that are from a different era to be incorporated into it.

This creates a more eclectic style. It often incorporates the modern interior design style into a contemporary interior design. A common contemporary design style is modern design incorporated with curves and a softness to balance out the linear modern design. Currently, a contemporary design would have an open space plan with nature incorporated in it (It is kind of a mixture of rustic and modern). Different shapes instead of geometric and linear are also used in today's design. Different materials on the walls or different colors are used instead of a complete neutral palette. 

How To Hire For Your Home Remodel

I just recently moved, and hired movers to help with it. We searched and searched for the perfect moving company, and this one seemed great! It was lower in price than others (we, like most people, are on a budget). They come in, they review the contract, we sign, they pack the truck, and voila! We are on our way to our awesome new location and home! Super exciting, right?! But wait... they loaded everything up and gave us the bill... It ended up being over double the price of what other companies were saying because this company hid charges and didn't slam us with them until my stuff was on their truck! Well, now what? Unload it ourselves, and hope to get a different company in at that exact moment? Nope... we get to pay that extra, because we wanted to get the cheapest price possible.

Guess what!! The same thing can and does happen in this industry too! We shop and shop and bid and bid, look for as cheap as possible because, well... I know I can get my designer high end kitchen for less than the $100,000 price these contractors and designers keep saying I will have to budget for!

Here are some tips and realities about this industry so you can get the quality that you need. Not the cheapest or possibly ending up being more than what you would have paid for with the quality contractors and designers.

How To Hire For Your Home Remodel Tip #1:


I know, I know... you are on a budget and you want your brand new kitchen or bathroom NOW!! Patience will definitely serve you better in the long run. There is a huge difference between cheap and inexpensive, especially in a home remodel. If you do the research properly, and you find out you don't have the funds for what you want, either wait another year to save more, or work with your designer, if you have one, to lower the scope of work and get closer to the number you can realistically spend.

Make sure you get a bid that is itemized. This means that the contractor took the time to spill out everything that will be needed in the project. These are usually allowances, based off of past experiences with similar projects. When you get a contractor that does this, and has realistic numbers as an average, you will get a pretty close idea of what your home remodel will cost.

When you go for someone that doesn't do this, and has a very low budget, they will get you under contract, and then start the demo process. All of a sudden, you are stuck with them, and you get hit with a ton of change orders that is not made by you! By the end of the project, you spend more than what the other guys were saying. Sometimes it's even worse quality.

I am not saying that every lower priced contractor does this, some are just lower in cost for reasons such as lower overhead, or maybe they have a great relationship with material vendors, etc. But, a designer can guide you to get the proper information and research on each contractor to make sure they are truly giving you what they say they will.

How To Hire For Your Home Remodel Tip #2:


I am not saying that just to gain clients for myself and my fellow designers out there. We understand what should be and shouldn't be in a budget when you are going through the bids. Sit down with your designer with the bids and compare them all. What is realistic? What is not? What are they charging extra on, and why? Designer's can also help you make the important decisions and be there for you during the whole process, which eliminates possible mistakes (eliminating mistakes will save you time and money!).

Designer's also know how to get that same look for possibly a better price. It might be a different vendor, or a trade discount that we exclusively get. A lot of products we get can be purchased at wholesale. Even if a designer charges a fee on top of the wholesale price, it will still be less expensive than retail.

We understand how business's are ran. So we can help explain why the contractor is charging what they are. Are they charging a mark up on materials? Are they only charging a percentage for labor, overhead, and profit? As a business stand point, many contractor's have employees (remember, they are helping the economy by hiring amazing people!!!) This means they have to pay worker's comp, taxes on employees (employee's pay taxes and your employer pays taxes on you. Crazy, right?!), rent, utilities, and office staff.

How To Hire For Your Home Remodel Tip #3:


Remodels are a serious investment. Either research yourself what your budget realistically should be, or hire the right designer who will help you decide the proper budget for your home remodel. When the designer understands the uses and needs of the home, such as how long you plan on being there, who is living there, and how you use the space, we can let you know what the realistic budget should be. Real Estate is huge on this, such as what is the value of the houses in your neighborhood versus your house's current value? Research that to make sure your house after the remodel won't be on market for way over what the other homes would be. It needs to always stay comparable with the neighborhood.


If you are getting multiple bids from contractors, make sure that you research about each one of them. Are they licensed, bonded, and insured? Is their license truly attached to their name? Do you want to talk to some references from them? What do they say? What is the general gut feeling you get from them?

So, whether you need a contractor, designer, architect, structural engineer, or a few of them, or just one of them for your home remodel, make sure that they are all going to provide you the best quality service for your project, at a realistic price that is right for you!

DIY Kitchen Remodel


The thought of a kitchen remodel can be overbearing and scary, but exciting at the same time. Your current kitchen is aggravating you because it's too small, it's from the '70's, or for whatever reason, it just isn't you. You thought about it, and you just don't know if you can afford to hire the help you need to design your perfect kitchen, especially if you are keeping the same floor plan. Here are some DIY kitchen remodel steps for you:

DIY Kitchen Remodel Step #1

Do a lot of research to get ideas of what style you would like your kitchen and home to be. Is it modern? Is it contemporary? Is it Mediterranean? Maybe you like a more eclectic idea of rustic mixed with modern. Use Houzz and/or Pinterest to get an idea of what style you think you are.

Most cities want you to permit any changes you will be doing, even if it is just a cosmetic upgrade. This is because, some times, the electrical and plumbing can be so old, that for your safety, it needs to be updated properly. If you don't know how to create these documents for the city, hire a designer or other professional to take care of this step for you.

This is also a great time to decide if you will be doing the labor yourself, or if you will be hiring a contractor to do this for you.

DIY Kitchen Remodel Step #2

Start researching materials! Research, research, research! What materials are the best quality, or the best look for your style? What colors do you want to use? What order do you find things?

What I do, is come up with the whole design at once, that way everything will definitely go together. This means that it's a fun puzzle! Did you find the perfect backsplash? Now, let's work around that perfect backsplash for the cabinet colors, counter top, fixture material, cabinet hardware, paint colors, and flooring.

Color can be a hard area of design to conquer. If you have a piece of artwork that is going in the space, use the colors in that to link everything together. If you are using a colorful backsplash, use another color or 2 from that for the rest of the space. If you are doing a monochromatic color scheme, use a light pop of color as an accent somewhere.

DIY Kitchen Remodel Step #3


You now have your plans, ideas for materials, and a color scheme. Next step?! Where do you get the materials? This is where you get to do even more research! Take field trips to different show rooms that sell to the general public. I suggest to make a specification book of some kind that doubles as a checklist to make sure you get everything you need for your new kitchen, and figure out what you will be buying and where to get it. Here is an example of a list of items you may need:

  • lighting
    • under cabinet
    • accent
    • recessed
  • flooring
  • cabinets
    • style of cabinets
    • cabinet material
    • paint or stain
    • soft close, hard close
    • organization techniques
  • countertops
  • cabinet hardware
  • appliances
  • paint
  • backsplash
  • molding
  • sink
  • faucet
  • etc.

DIY Kitchen Remodel Step #4


You have all the materials selected! If you decided to do the labor yourself, then you should be all ready to start that! If you hired a contractor, well, now that you are organized, have everything selected and picked out, the contractor can get straight to work and help you create the kitchen you have been wanting!

There you have it! You are now ready to start your DIY kitchen remodel! This is an exciting process, and the end result will keep you happy for years to come!

Thanksgiving Table Settings


The holidays are officially here! Now what?! We have Thanksgiving, Friendsgiving, and the office potluck. I can't wait!! It's time to stuff our faces, remember how wonderful our lives, family, and friends are, and enjoy this weather! However, what if the in-laws are coming? Or what if you want to do a beautiful traditional sit down dinner? Today, we are all super busy, and who has time to think of a design, go shopping, and put it all together to look professional, classy, and use-able?

I absolutely LOVE table settings. For me, it's a fast and simple way to really showcase whatever holiday you are celebrating. Here are some tips, ideas, and places to shop to get your Thanksgiving table looking professionally designed!



Thanksgiving Table Setting Tip and idea #1

You don't have to spend $1000 to design your table. Look through your dining sets, glasses, and flatware. You can easily incorporate what you already have and add holiday accessories to spruce it up. This might help if you want to go with the less is more design idea.

Thanksgiving Table Setting Tip and idea #2

Decor can be tricky. You have a couple of options.

  • First is to keep it clean and simple by sticking with a couple of colors, or keep with a simple theme. Since it's Thanksgiving, you can do pumpkins, leaves, cornucopias, turkeys, and rustic items to incorporate the fall season. You can also go a bit more abstract, and just use the fall colors.
  • Another option is to utilize what you already have. Do you normally decorate the house for Thanksgiving? Do you have items that are small enough to put on the table? Play around with what you have and see what could be used.
  • Stick with a particular theme and go with that. Too much going on, and multiple themes can seem chaotic and during the holidays, I like to convey a warmth and calmness to the home.

Thanksgiving Table Setting Tip and idea #3

Rent the table setting. There are many party and wedding rental places where you can rent a full table setting. They have everything: table cloths, runners, napkins, anything you need for a whole traditional table setting. This is a way to get the look you want without having to fully purchase the items, thus keeping things you might not necessarily want to keep long term.



If you are needing a few items, or ready to just create a whole new look, there are some great places in a budget that you can go to. My favorite places are Michael's, Ross, Marshall's, Home Goods, Pier 1, and Cost Plus. I have done complete settings using these places, including the decor and entire place settings (chargers, place mat, dinner plate, salad plate, soup bowl, napkins, napkin rings, wine glass, water glass, and flatware).

Check out my Pinterest Thanksgiving Table Setting Board for some ideas. I also include this in my services, so if you need help, feel free to contact me for a consultation of what you already have, incorporate what you have with new items, or create a whole new Thanksgiving table setting!