Thursday, September 8, 2011

Scottsdale and Phoenix, Arizona Interior Designer Loves Fresh Stencil Designs For Your Home

Stencil designs are still the way to go in this Scottsdale interior designer's eye. Wallpapers have made a come back in a big way and I love some of the high end wall coverings because of their elegance. However for a truly custom look in a room stencils offer a lot of bang for the buck! You can even use a stencil over a textured grass cloth for an amazing look.

A few seasons ago on HGTV's Design Star competition I fell in love with a custom printed grass cloth that one of the designers used in a celebrity home makeover. I am sure that I could achieve the same look for a more budget application by stenciling over a moderately price grass cloth and get the exact color and look desired. Here's a picture of Design Star photo with the custom grass cloth application.

Here's the beautiful custom wallpaper used by Design Star contestant Lonnie Paul.
Here's the beautiful custom wallpaper used by Design Star contestant Lonnie Paul.
While this a beautiful look, the word custom usually means pricey in design speak. Using the stencil in the next photo, an experienced stenciler could create a similiar feel by stacking the Ornamental Cartouche stencil by Royal Design Studios and spacing the repeates appropriately.

Here's a great alternative to printed grass cloths by applying this Royal Design Studios Ornamental Cartouche Stencil over plain grass cloth.
Here's a great alternative to printed grass cloths by applying this Royal Design Studios Ornamental Cartouche Stencil over plain grass cloth.
There are so many fresh look out in stencil designs that I would like to share and hopefully get your design juices flowing. This Oriental Brushstrokes stencil also by Royal Design Studios makes for a fun and elegant random stencil application.

These random stencil elements Oriental Brushstrokes by Royal Design Studios make an elegant and understated statement on your walls.
These random stencil elements Oriental Brushstrokes by Royal Design Studios make an elegant and understated statement on your walls.
The Cherry Blossom stencil, also by Royal Design Studios, is another stencil that can be used randomly on your walls with a lot of personality!

This random stencil called Cherry Blossoms by Royal Design Studios is full of personality!
This random stencil called Cherry Blossoms by Royal Design Studios is full of personality!
For a great all over repeat stencil, how about the Allover Indian Floral by Royal Design Studios!

I love the look of this stencil and the color combos that could be created range from subdued to wild!
I love the look of this stencil and the color combos that could be created range from subdued to wild!
So many people live in homes with dated cabinetry that they can't afford to replace. With this Zebra stencil from Royal Design Studios paint your cabinets and then stencil on this fun design. You may even fall in love with your dated cabinetry after all!

This zebra stencil makes for fresh and fun cabinetry with this unexpected aqua color scheme!
This zebra stencil makes for fresh and fun cabinetry with this unexpected aqua color scheme!
Cole and Sons makes a well known designer wallpaper designed with a birch forest motif. Create your own version in your own custom color scheme with the Birch Forest stencil from Cutting Edge Stencils.

This birch forest stencil by Cutting Edge Stencils is great for walls, furniture or whatever use you can imagine!
This birch forest stencil by Cutting Edge Stencils is great for walls, furniture or whatever use you can imagine!
I also think the Splash stencil kit can be a fun addition for a bathroom, kitchen or bedroom. This fun floral design by Cutting Edge Stencils is a can't miss!

I think this fun Splash stencil kit by Cutting Edge Stencils offers a lot of fun possibilities!
I think this fun Splash stencil kit by Cutting Edge Stencils offers a lot of fun possibilities!
Any one who knows me well knows that I am a sucker for paisley! The new Vintage Paisley stencil from Cutting Edge Stencils is so my style! Here is the Vintage Paisley stencil done in a more subdued color scheme.

This subdued paisley color scheme works for either an adult bedroom or a teen room too!
This subdued paisley color scheme works for either an adult bedroom or a teen room too!
This stencil is very versitile! Take a look at the same paisley done up in brights and perfect for a tween or teen room!

This tween or teen bright color scheme is a fun and fabulous way to use this stencil!
This tween or teen bright color scheme is a fun and fabulous way to use this stencil!
I will always love stencils! One word of caution though. There is a huge difference in what an amateur stencil artist and an experienced professional stencil artist can accomplish. Experience  and practice, practice, practice makes for pleasing results with stencils. Be prepared to practice on scrap wood or cardboard until you can really get the hang of it. I have seen so many bad stencil jobs and it isn't always as easy as it looks in photos so be willing to practice before turning your brush and stencil to the wall. If you live where textured wall abound, there's an extra learning curve and the pouncing method usually works best.

If you want truly professional results hire a professional. While it isn't any more affordable than wallpaper, stenciling allows you to customize the color scheme and when you are ready for a change there is no wallpaper to be removed.
In the Phoenix and Scottsdale area the professionals at Gold Standard Finishes LLC can help to get you the look you desire with faux finishing or stencils.
If you need interior design advice in the Phoenix and Scottsdale, Arizona area, call Susie Goldstein Interiors LLC for beautiful design and professional results! 480-775-1500

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Scottsdale Interior Designer Weekend Get Away

Recently my husband, Michael, and I felt the need for a weekend get away. I did some research and some smart shopping and got us a great deal on a weekend stay at the Riviera Spa and Resort in Palm Springs, California which is only a four hour drive from our Scottsdale, Arizona home.

Riviera Resort and Spa in Palm Springs California at Night!
Here's a night time photo of our Palm Springs hotel at night!
The resort turned out to be a big party hotel so next time we will probably try a more low-key place to stay. While the resort wasn't our style in the long run, the beds were sooooo comfortable and the hotel and rooms are decorated in a hip retro vibe. These rooms, though beautifully designed, were starting to show some wear and tear on the furniture.

Riviera Resort and Spa Lounge Photo!
Here's a picture of the resort lounge.
The night time pool picture looks cool and serene, but that's definitely not the way it looks during the day- total party pool!

Riviera Resort and Spa Main Pool at Night!
Here's a look at this fabulous pool when the party isn't going on!
The suites are fabulous but we just had a regular room near the pool. It wasn't a big room, but the space was well used. As a Scottsdale interior designer I just couldn't help taking room photos before our room got too messy.

Riviera Resort and Spa hotel Room Showing the Bed
Here's the sooo comfy and hip bed set up!
Here's another view of the room.

Riviera Resort and Spa Hotel Room Bar Photo
Here's the in room bar and lounge chair!
Here's the view of the fun art work that really livened the space.

Riviera Resort and Spa Hotel Room Art Photo
I loved this Marilyn Monroe art which helped with the retro vibe in the rooms!
Here's a view of the desk with a flat screen television overhead. I love the chair and the resort had a pretty good selection of television channels too.

Riviera Resort and Spa Hotel Room Desk Photo
Here's the desk with a really funky and fun desk chair!
Fun rooms! If you are a real party guy or girl you will love this resort. I'm glad I stayed and I loved the Palm Springs area. We will definitely go back, but I am not so sure I would stay here again. My 21 year old daughter and her friends would love it though! There are some great shops in the area and the Desert Hill Outlet Mall is nearby. Check out the Palm Desert and Rancho Mirage area too. We had dinner at Sullivan's Steakhouse in the El Paseo district in Palm Desert. It was a wonderful meal and I look forward to eating here again!

Susie and Michael at Sullivan's Steakhouse in Palm Desert, CA
Here we are at Sullivan's after a great meal. You must try the Bananas Foster Bread Pudding. Yum!
We will be returning to the Palm Springs and Palm Desert again! We had a fabulous time and stopped at the Sherman's Deli and Bakery for some great Kosher style deli food. We indulged in desserts again. I had the yummy lemon cake and my hubby had the chocolate creme cake. Both were to die for and a great way to end the weekend as we headed back to Scottsdale and work!
If you have ever wanted a bedroom with a resort feel to it, I can create a vacation sanctuary for your every day life.
Call Susie Goldstein Interiors at 480-775-1500 to set up an appointment to create your bedroom get away! 

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Buffet Makeover

Quite a while ago I wrote about my old Mexican buffet that I wanted to redo. I had bought the buffet years ago when my children were young. I loved the Mexican style furniture back then that is so readily available in the southwest. I loved it because with two young children and a big black Labrador, there was nothing that any of them could do to the Mexican furniture that didn't just add to the rustic character of it. Here's a before picture of the buffet I am talking about.
I had been wanting a new buffet for such a long time because my tastes are more grown up and so different now. Being an interior designer, as time has gone by I've learned my style and my decor preferences in a way I just wasn't in tune with when my children were young. I am more true to myself when decorating now. For years I was too afraid to really decorate in my true taste for fear that it would be too feminine for my husband. Over the years he learned to trust me to not make our home too feminine. This was especially true in our major bath and bedroom remodel,  Our home has feminine touches, but I make sure to keep a nice balance so he feels comfortable in our home too. I also keep my dear, sweet husband in the loop regarding any changes I am looking to make to our home and give him say in the decisions making.

As I have looked to replaced our buffet I realized that I was not willing to pay the high price of new, high quality furniture. I even get a really nice "To the Trades" with most manufacturers. My current buffet is a really large and holds so much. I rather save my money and spend it on things for my home that I can make, so the makeover was smart, sensible and done completely to my taste. Are you ready to see the after???
I knew that one of the most important ways I could completely change the look was to add legs to the buffet. I wanted to get the piece off the floor. I went to a local shop that sells to upholsterers and designers that has a nice selection of furniture legs and found the perfect one. Not too tall and not to short with a graceful style too.
It's hard to tell from the full buffet picture some of the ways I made this makeover special. I stenciled the top of the buffet in a robin's egg blue and a color called laguna blue that has a teal tone to it. I put a robin's egg blue border around the top too.
The drawer fronts were really rustic before the redo. They required a lot of filler and sanding to smooth them out. Here's a look at what the drawers and doors used to look like.
Here's what the drawers and doors look like now that I have made them pretty.
I added some stencils to the side of the buffet as well. This buffet sits in our living room/dining room combo and the sides are very visible in the room so it was important that I make the sides pretty too.
So this is my buffet redo. I think it looks pretty good, especially against the newly painted wall. We painted the walls Sherwin Williams Copen Blue and I love the soft blue color. I have always loved painting furniture and used to paint children's furniture as a business for a while. If you want to check out some of my other painted furniture, take a look at my interior design web site Susie Goldstein Interiors LLC

Coffee Table Makeover

Today I wanted to share a recent makeover. I purchased this coffee table that had been in the Bellagio Casino in Las Vegas. It was so inexpensive for the substantial furniture piece that it is.
 It is a really heavy piece of furniture. It's hard to tell from the picture, but it was pretty beat up. Hotel furniture suffers a lot of abuse from hotel guests! I had some gouges filled and then painted it Sherwin Williams Creamy. It looked pretty, but plain so I stencilled the top in teal and painted the edges to match.

I was happy with how it turned out for the most part, but it wasn't quite finished. After living with it a while, I decided to mix some of the SW Creamy with some glaze and rubbed it over the top. It was just what was needed to make me happy. The paint and glaze toned down the brightness of the teal and softened it in a lovely way. Here's the after of my wonderful makeover.
Here is a closeup of the stenciled top.
I am happy with how it turned out and I am so glad that it is finally done. This formerly beat up Las Vegas beauty is looking beautiful once again. My living room is really looking so good these days and that makes me so happy.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Bargain Chairs Made Over

I bought a couple of $29.00 Queen Anne arm chairs last year to redo and use in my home office. I also about that time I bought a disgusting looking wingback chair at a garage sale for $10.00 to use as my desk chair. The wingback had to be rebuilt completely because it sat way too low for this short lady to use as a desk chair. I finally had these three chairs redone and I wanted to share the finished chairs. I like them so much that I may use them as the end arm chairs in my dining room.
Here is the before shot of these sad and tired chairs.
Here's a picture of the chairs made over. I love the clean, fresh, and classic look of the redone beauties. In this picture are also two sets of bargain draperies I designed and had made. The lamp in the picture is one of two $5.00 lamps that I bought that is the perfect match. 

Here is a closeup of the arm chair. I threw a couple of my bargain throw pillows on the chairs just for the picture. I think the pillows look kind of good, don't you think?

Just in case you are interested, I'll include a picture of my drapes and $5.00 lamps. I'll post at length about the drapes in another post.
Aren't those lamps the perfect color? I just love the color. I have some inexpensive drum shades on them now, but since I paid so little for the lamps I may splurge and have a custom shade made that will be just perfect. So what do you think of my formerly sad chairs now? I love them! So next time you see a chair that you think is beyond repair, instead of just walking by think of the possibilities instead.

Check out these link parties:
Decor Chick
Creative Jewish Mom
I Heart Nap Time
Under the Table and Dreaming
Tatertots and Jello
A Vision to Remember
The Girl Creative
Between Naps on the Porch
It's So Very Cheri
The DIY Showoff
Southern Hospitality
Support Blog for Moms of Boys
The House in the Roses

Friday, April 8, 2011

Scottsdale and Phoenix, Arizona Aging in Place Interior Design for the Elderly

You never know when an opportunity will present itself. A few days ago I met a woman who owns a in home personal care for the disabled and elderly. I had a chance to talk about how the right interior design can lengthen the time that a disabled or elderly person can remain in their home and even sometimes eliminate the need for the homeowner to go into institutionalized care. She has asked me to speak to a group of over 300 people about how interior design can improve our lives in our later years.

I think that it is always preferable to help a homeowner to remain in their home as long as possible. If  a homeowner knows they have no plans to move, updating and remodeling offers the perfect time to begin the changes towards creating longevity in the home. One never can predict the future, so a homeowner doesn't need to wait until they are up in years to add some of the structural changes. Enlarging doorways to a 36" to fit a wheelchair is a very smart idea when remodeling. When redoing bathrooms, adding reinforcement in the walls so that grab bars can be added later is easy and inexpensive.

Universal design for the disabled has come a long way and there are so many stylish options for bathroom fixtures and finishes. You could use these fixtures and end up with a beautiful space that doesn't scream disabled. See the photo below to see an example of how good planning and beautiful fixtures can go hand in hand.

Picture of Beautiful Universal Design for the Bath.
Universal bath design can be beautiful.
There are many other everyday decisions that affect the ability to stay in the home. Hardwoods or other similar finishes are easier on walker and wheelchair use. If a person is dealing with poor eye sight, it would be beneficial to have many high contrast finishes and fabrics to help someone with poor eye sight distinguish between spaces in their home more easily. See the photo below for a wonderful example of high contrast universal design in the bedroom.

Picture of a bedroom that uses universal design principles.
The bedroom proves universal design can be both functional and beautiful!
If you wish to learn more about aging in place and how beautiful design decisions can help you or your family member, call Susie Goldstein Interiors LLC at (480) 775-1500.  Scottsdale and Phoenix aging in place information is only one call away. I am also a speaker and can talk to groups about this very important topic.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

The Layman's Guide to Wall Striping (and So Much More)

Hi Everyone! I've been very busy lately working like crazy. I've made a post to my other blog Gold Standard Finishes LLC on striped looks for a home that I thought you might enjoy. Here's one of my favorite photos from this post.

I just love this beautiful kitchen with this drop dead gorgeous striping. This photo features the work of Tobi Fairley who is one of my favorite interior designers. Since my paint company does decorative finishes in addition to regular house painting, be sure to either follow my blog on or like us on Facebook to learn about our new painting posts!

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Commercial Office Design

I was so thrilled to be asked to decorate my friend Tom's office. Tom is a great guy and my insurance broker too. His office is a nice space, but it definitely needed a woman's touch. I'm not completely done with the space yet, but in just a short time with a very modest amount of money I was able to warm up the lobby and give it some personality.

Here's a few befores of this very plain space. I loved the slate reception counters. I wanted to work off of the soft greens in the slate and the soft greens and golds in the waiting room chairs. One thing is for sure though, the brown wall had to go. It darkened the space and was depressing to look at.

So the brown walls were painted by our painting company, Gold Standard Finishes LLC. Art work and furniture was added too. I even added a little character to the plain jane handicapped accessible bathroom. A cabinet for bathroom necessities, a few pieces of art, and a seashell potpourri to add a scent.

I wish the color on the reception wall came across in the photo as it is in real life. It is a soft sage green color by Glidden called Courtyard Stone. Next on my list for Tom's lobby is a custom sign with their logo for the reception wall. I will probably need to buy one more piece of art for the area to the left of the reception desk. The nice thing about these changes is the fact the except for repainting the brown walls, everything purchased can be taken with them to a new location if they should choose not to renew their suite lease when it is up.

I will work on creating more personal spaces for the agents private offices too, but for now I am pleased with the progress made on a budget. Hey, if you live in Arizona consider contacting H Group Insurance. They have personally save me soooo much money on my home and auto insurance! 

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Great and Green- The New Trend Towards Online Interior Decor Magazines

I love my interior design magazines. It is a thrill when I go through the mail and see what new magazine (or catalogs-love them too) has arrived for me to look through and absorb. Only one problem, as a recycler I always feel guilty that my magazines are adding to the environmental issues that many of us are concerned about. I read a magazine a few times, maybe tear out an article or two to save, and then add it to our recycling bin. That is the reason this trend towards online design magazines appeal to me.

While every design magazine offers an online presence along with many cool online extras, Nesting Newbies is the first completely online interior design magazine that I am aware of. It made its debut in 2009 and has published four issues to date. Nesting Newbies makes downloading easy so you can download just a few pages of choice or the whole issue for saving or printing.

In October 2009 Lonny Magazine published their first magazine. Lonny Magazine has some gorgeous pictures and  great articles and is published bi-monthly. Downloading is not an option, but you can save links and save pages as jpgs to print later. I was a bit disappointed to read on their website that they are going to start printing paper copies of issues soon including back issues.

The latest addition is High Gloss. This lifestyle magazine is publishing February 1, 2011 and will feature articles on interior design, entertaining, fashion and travel. Founder and Editor in Chief is Paloma Contreras, creator of the style blog La Dolce Vita. I'm really looking forward to this magazine  because it appears to have a talented team behind it.
The best part? So far these online magazine are free! You gotta love that. Are there any good online magazines I should know about? Comment and let me know.