Saturday, March 16, 2013

The luck of the Irish to ya!

I couldn't miss an opportunity to share a bit-o-green with you on this St. Paddy's day.
And may you too, find gold at the end of the rainbow!  Enjoy your day!

Hunted Interiors

Sadie and Stella blog

Charlotte Moss

Braeborne Farms

Home Interior Designs

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Take the Stairs!

Last week we worked with a client who was moving into a new house.  We spent the day placing furniture and hanging pictures and making it feel like a home for her.  There was one area that just needed some attention....the stairwell.   We found a set of matching prints and installed them going up the wall.  What a difference it made.....and it got me to thinking....How often do we ignore this area of the home?

Some homes have stairwells and landings that are spacious and almost room like, while others are just wall space to get from one floor to the other.  Any space can be enhanced with good design, so I've compiled a group of images that should inspire you.

In a new build or a major remodel, the landing area is a great place to add functionality and extra living space.  

What a great place to tuck in a little office spot, 

or linen storage for the upstairs bedrooms, 

 or a library that opens up to a second floor balcony!

I know you've thought that the landing would be a great place for a window seat, and it is!

But did you consider that it might be a good place for the laundry facilities?
That was a new one for me!

Bookcases are a natural for the narrow space between walls, and they create a real warmth that only books can bring.

Putting a desk area under the stairs is a great use of space too!

For those of you with a double staircase, isn't this a fine thing to put inbetween?
What a beautiful focal point that would make from down below!

 I love the look of these enclosed bookcases.  What beautiful, classically designed doors are these, showcasing collectibles as well as books.

But even if  you don't have a generous landing like these images above, you can do a lot to enhance the walk upstairs.

I think this stone inset is a fabulous way to bring character to an otherwise boring space, and it utilizes the space that's already there, so minimal construction would be needed to make a huge difference. 

Mirrors are a favorite way to add volume and light to a narrow and often dark stairwell.

This type of built in would not require a major expense or effort to create.

And don't forget that pictures add interest and color too.  Gallery walls are a great way to display beautiful art or family pictures.

And if you just have to have some extra storage, ( or a place to play hide and seek!) you might try this!

Think creatively about your stairwell and landing, and it could be the space in your home that you love the most!  

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Want a new kitchen? 5 Trends in Kitchen Design

Spring seems to be the favored time for kitchen remodels around here.  

Designing kitchens is my favorite thing to do, and I get giddy when a new project rolls in.   One of the things that I have learned is that the enthusiasm with which we begin a project tends to wane as the realities of construction begin to set in.  So we spend a good amount of time with our clients in the beginning managing their expectations and helping them prepare for the craziness that is to come!

In our preconstruction meeting I give the homeowners a packet that I title "How to Survive a Remodel".... there's a link on my sidebar.  Feel free to grab a copy for yourself.

Trends in kitchen design are always evolving, but here are a few things I'm noticing in new kitchens today.  

White kitchens are still the preferred cabinet color, and it's no wonder because they create a clean and fresh look that feels so good!  But a trend that I'm liking a lot is two-toned cabinets.  Usually the darker color is on the base cabinets and a lighter color on the uppers.  The dark bases ground a space nicely and are easier to keep clean too.

Northeast Cabinets


Appliances are more seamlessly integrated into the overall kitchen design than ever before, and furniture design is being incorporated into the cabinet styling.  

Coffee bars are gaining popularity....and I know why!!


A bit more engineering is involved here, but how great would it be to be able to use that backsplash space?

DCD Cabinets

New armoire?  No, that's just the fridge....

Heather Moe, ID

Open sez me?

Tim Krieble,ID


Eco-friendly is the buzz word these days, and countertops and backsplashes are favorite places to recycle. 

Recycled glass is durable and beautiful.


For the chef's kitchen, stainless steel is a great choice.

Studio William Hefner

Concrete can be shaped and colored to any taste.

Hugh Jefferson Randolph.ID

Remodels often allow for more windows, and homeowners are opting for including them in their kitchens.  You lose some upper cabinets, but the light and the open feel can often make up for the lost storage. 

Colleen Duffey, ID

Renea Abbot, ID

There has been an ongoing trend for a more "social" kitchen, and an open concept is almost a standard feature in new home construction.  

Deulonder Arquitectura Domestica

Western Interiors

Stats tell us that an average kitchen remodel will give homeowners a return on investment of 60-75%, so updating your kitchen is almost always a great idea.

A kitchen facelift can be a good DIY project, but if you're contemplating a more extensive remodel, having a professional help you with the design and layout can save time and money in the long run.  Never underestimate the value of experience !

Monday, March 4, 2013

Hello Peeps!

When I started this blog, I wanted to be the best blogger ever!  But I soon realized that it was difficult to give the best service to my design clients and be "the best blogger ever"!  I kept pushing for over a year, blogging almost every day, but then life and work changes forced me to make some difficult, organize my life, or blog.  Obviously, the blog came in dead last on my priority list.

But....I've spent the last year moving my business and reorganizing almost every facet of my life, and I've renewed my commitment to Divine Distractions!

I'll not be posting every day like before.....That's insane unless it's your primary work....but I do hope to get a couple of posts out weekly for your design inspiration.  I've also begun a newsletter that will go out monthly.  (Be sure to sign up in the sidebar to receive it)  You can always find postings of great photos everyday on my Facebook page as well.  (Come follow me!).  You'll be seeing a lot of me out in cyberspace, so let's keep in touch.  I hope you'll enjoy my posts and leave comments so we can get a great design dialogue going.  

I appreciate you!!