I just LOVE my house. Thanks to you! We keep adding pieces and working on rooms, and it is very gratifying to see it all come together. I tell everyone I know how amazing it was to work with you. –Alexis

Your design package

“Your design package arrived today for my game room re-design. OMG! I LOVE what you have designed and suggested for balance of Furniture, fixtures and paint, and so does my wife.Your services, talents and skills are amazing compared to what I am use to. Thank you for taking the time and interest to leave us with a design that I have been looking for your years for that space.”

Shopping (Need I Say More?)

Last week, I spend an entire Saturday afternoon at some of my favorite retail stores.  You know the ones we all love (Crate and Barrel, West Elm and Pottery Barn).

Here are photos of some of my favorite finds:

Crate & Barrel

Pottery Barn Mercury Glass - Love

Crate & Barrel Color

Crate & Barrel Art

Crate & Barrel - For My Office!

West Elm - Love the Bedding

West Elm - Another beautiful bed

Crate & Barrel - More Color

Crate & Barrel - Blake Armoire (My go to tv cabinet)

Crate & Barrel

West Elm Leather Chair

Pottery Barn - 4th of July Perhaps

Crate & Barrel Ottoman - Reminds me of rag rugs but made out of silk.

Pottery Barn Pillow

Pottery Barn Summer

Crate & Barrel

Just for fun!












Saving Money in your First Home

Guest Blogger: Chris Balme

So you have finally taken the plunge, got yourself a mortgage and bought your first home. After years of renting or co-habiting with parents, there is an initial sense of liberty as you are no longer living under somebody else’s roof. Now you are merely controlled and influenced by the myriad of different responsibilities that you face: mortgage repayments, repairs and bills amongst a million others. Here are a few tips to reducing those outgoings as much as possible.

Save Water

Sometimes it can be bewildering when looking at the water bill, trying to figure out how something naturally occurring can cost such a lot of money. Unfortunately it is one of life’s necessities and usage cannot easily be cut without significantly impacting upon life. One change that can be made to the way that the household uses water is to keep drainpipes clean at all times and attach a storage drum to the bottom. This will collect water that can be used for a number of jobs inside and outside the home.

This water could be used to water plants and grass during dry times of the year and water indoor plants. Whilst this water cannot be drank, it can be used to wash the family car.

Invest in an Energy Performance Certificate

Understanding your home is paramount and central to success in terms of reducing the costs incurred. Without understanding how your home uses energy, there will be no way of knowing how to curb it. An Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) demonstrates which parts of the home are using the most
energy and how this can be reduced. An experienced surveyor is able to use this
EPC to recommend changes to the home that will incur significant and wholly
welcome savings.

Measure Long-Term Savings over Short-Term Costs

Unless you are due for a significant raise in wage or have a financial windfall in your near future, then long-term savings may be important to consider. If your monthly incomings and outgoings stay the same then it may be difficult to start saving any real money. Installations such as low energy bulbs throughout the home may incur significant initial costs but their long-term savings often more than make up for the original outlay.

LED bulbs in particular are useful for the frugal household as they waste a lot
less energy than traditional halogen bulbs. This means that they will sap a lot
less energy and subsequently cost you less money. Furthermore, LED bulbs are
particularly noted for their long-life reducing the frequency with which they
need to be replaced, leading to lower costs again.



Decorating the Holiday Home

Guest Blogger: Chris Balme

It is often the culmination of hard work, perseverance and dreams coming true; the holiday home represents an opportunity to relax and expand the family’s leisure time. The holiday seldom comes cheap, whether you are investing at overseas or closer to home, and can represent a significant chunk of savings. So the necessity to then furnish the home in a cost effective manner is often prevalent. Fortunately, style does not have to be compromised when costs are cut, here are a few steps to decorating the family home.

Understand your Surroundings

In terms of both aesthetics and practicality, it is important to fully understand the area in which your holiday home is situated, especially when positioned in a culture significantly different from your first home. A home that is decorated with Black Forest style adornments in a fishing village in Sicily may be considered something of an eyesore and immediately alienate you from neighbors. Finding a balance between representing your personality and your new surroundings is important. This can be achieved by aiming for a 75/25 split in favor of local style furnishings against your own personal tastes. Intersperse large local fixtures with small personal ornaments.

Furthermore, certain textures and materials are unsuitable for different climates. Certain plastics and polymers are ill-suited to warm weather and may morph when subjected to such climates over an extended period of time.

Consider your Activities

When on holiday, most people are less inclined to sit for hours in front of the television that they are at home due to the extra activities that are available to them. As such, a high quality sofa is of less importance than at home, meaning money can be saved here and spent elsewhere in the home. A the other end of the scale, if the holiday home is based in warmer climes then patio furniture may see a lot more action than at home so it may be prudent to invest more money into such fixtures.

Adapt to the Space

In many cases, the holiday home will be smaller than the original home, so storage may become an issue. Smaller box bedrooms may not be able to house its’ own wardrobes so alternatives need to be sought. An ottoman bed can work as an effective storage advice without using up excessive space. Fittings that double up in purpose at twice as effective and desirable in smaller properties.

Large cumbersome wooden wardrobes may look attractive but are often inefficient in terms of space saving, making a high gloss wardrobe more desirable for many holiday home owners. Furthermore, high gloss exteriors are incredibly easy to maintain and clean, which is ideal for fixtures that may be sat unused for hours on end.

The most important thing to remember is to not create a version of your home away from home, you’re on holiday after all!



My Story

When I first contemplated the idea of online interior design, it was simply to supplement my “in house” design work and allow me more time at home with my son.   At the time, the concept was brand new and nobody else appeared to be offering this type of interior design.

Was I crazy?  Would anyone trust that I was actually a well trained designer?

Here I am, five plus years later, with one of the leading online interior design services!  There are also countless other online design services now available.  I welcome the expanded playing field and believe that there is enough work for all.  I also believe that the field will sift out over time, and some of us will remain at the top of the pack.

I spent many years working as a designer before venturing out of my own and then into the online world.  After design school, I started as an assistant to an established and older designer; we designed Bed and Breakfasts up and down the California Coastline.  After getting my feet wet, I nerved it up and
interviewed for one of the most prestigious design firms in San Francisco.  Wearing my DKNY black suit that I could not afford (but knew I needed to land the job), I walked in and sold my potential and myself.  I got the job!

The days of working at this firm were long and grueling but I learned more than I knew I needed to know.  I learned about antiques and classic design.  I learned trade sources.  I learn etiquette with clients.  I learned smaller lessons and side notes such as “to drape is a noun – never call draperies drapes”.  These little words are forever etched in my mind.

After leaving San Francisco and the birth of my son, I collaborated with an established designer.  We worked together side by side for years, and I will always remember the lessons she taught me as well.  However, after years of designing with another set of eyes and many other opinions, I knew I needed to spread my wings and work on my own.

Long story short, I made my own path and started my own in house interior design business.   I loved my clients and loved my work but once I became I mom (a single mom actually – which comes with several additional challenges) I knew I needed more time at home.  Thus – Interior Design Service Online was

Months and months writing the website text, developing the concept, and working with a web-designer and I eventually had a website.  The day the website went live I was so proud and excited yet had very few expectations that anyone would find me or take my services seriously.  A few weeks later, I sold my first room design package!

Since that first sale, the business has grown and developed in ways I never could
imagine.  I have added numerous new services and discovered that online interior design is not a one size fits all business.  My clients have unique needs
and desires, and my commitment is to tailor my services to meet theirneeds.  I have designed homes around the world from Aruba to UAE to Switzerland
and Australia.

The most surprising thing I have discovered is that I am building a base of long-term clients.  For some silly reason, I envisioned that working online would be a one-time occurrence for a homeowner, and then we would bedone.  Instead, the reality is that I might start with one room (or several rooms) and then months later hear back from the same client to design a baby nursery or even help with a vacation home.

This repeat business lets me know I am doing something right!

Love This Lamp

The changing season and warmer weather prompted me to search for some fresh new ideas; so this past week, I spent much of my extra time searching the web for new design sources.

I stumbled into Stray Dog Designs.  The above table lamp is one of their designs, and I adore it!  The best news is that the “Sarah Lamp” as well as countless other furnishings they offer are available in numerous other colors.


This lamp is happy and fun and is just the type of fresh idea I was hoping to find.

Taking Care of Your Wooden Flooring – The Dos and Don’ts

Written by: Michael Field, Real Oak Floors

A good solid wooden floor can be the main feature to many people’s homes, whether it is a chic modern look or an old school solid wood feel. The one thing that remains constant is the care and love that is required to ensure that you’re not left ruing an expensive bill because you didn’t take care of them properly.

interior design services

Wood Floor Maintenance

The overall maintenance to your wood floor would be the daily cleaning routine that you offer. Abrasive particles such as gravel and dirt can gather up quickly and can have a real effect on the appearance of your shiny surface. It is important to regularly brush and hoover up your floor to remove any particles that can cause scratches and scuffs otherwise you may find yourself looking at more expensive repair solutions.

To protect your flooring further you can take a look at using pads and mats under any furniture that sits on top of your floor, even by just including a door mat and using runners on the entrances to door you can eliminate a substantial amount from entering the room. Other ideas that can be used, especially when it comes to moving furniture around is to put socks on the ends of the legs to avoid damaging the floor when mobile.

It is advised that when it comes to giving your floor a polish that only highly recommended products are used. It is a common theory that acid like products such as Vinegar can help protect the floor, however this can only cause more issues and actually make the floor look dull. As a recommendation products such as those offered by Woca Maintenance Oil are a great option as they contain ingredients suitable for a range of different floor types.

Squeaky floorboards are also another common occurrence, or annoyance, to those who have wooden floors. When it comes to identifying and repairing the issue there are a number of solutions that can be taken. The problem may not actually be with your Floorboards at all, and more often or not it could be the sub floor beneath. To combat the issue, you can attach the floorboards to the subfloor using screws that breakaway when reaching a certain depth, these can be attached carefully so that they are not visible to the eye and significantly reduce the squeak.

Real Oak Floors are leading suppliers of Solid Wood Flooring and stock a whole range in different sizes, colours and styles. They offer expert advice when it comes to maintaining your floor with a great selection of products to choose from.

Shine a Light on It

Interior lighting is often one of the most overlooked elements in interior design.  I have worked with clients who spend thousands of dollars on a room only to neglect one of the most important elements in a room.  What is the big hoopla with lighting?

online interior design services

  1. The first reason to focus on your interior lighting is that everything, yes, everything looks better.  Your new paint color, the beautiful sofa, the smallest accessory, and even you will look better with a little illumination.  Tell me, who doesn’t want to look their best?  And why wouldn’t you want your home to look its best?  There is simply no good reason to update a room in your home and then not shine light on it.


  1. Lighting to a room is like jewelry to an outfit.  Mariano Fortuny  would have never sent a dress down the runaway without accessorizing the outfit.  You wouldn’t leave the house without at least a of pair of earrings on, right?  Same with lighting!  Chandeliers, table lamps and floor lamps such as Fortuny floor lamps are the “bling” in a room.  They give the room sparkle and that added bit of shine (not to mention light) that is oh so necessary!


  1. Mood and atmosphere are the next reason that lighting is your friend.  In a room such as a Dining Room, a well-chosen chandelier can shine down on the table to highlight a special meal.  In a bedroom, cozy lamps add warmth and possibly even a little romance.  Who knew a bedside lamp from Fortuny Lighting could do all that?  The ability to set the mood and tone of a room is why lighting matters.


  1. The final reason, while not as exciting as the others, is probably the most important.  From a functional standpoint, a well-lit room improves the functionality of those in the space.  One of my favorite sayings in the design world is “function over form”.  A well lit Kitchen or office makes daily chores much smoother and easier.


As you see, lighting does matter! Please remember when designing your own spaces, not to forget to this important element of design.