The Summer Snow

The Summer Snow

I’m sitting outside this evening writing this blog. The land around me is green and alive, and I feel as though I’ve hit the visual jackpot from the Midwest’s weather slot machine. The same one that had me depositing begrudgingly … Continue reading

Vintage Bliss 2015

This gallery contains 17 photos.

Over the past 20 years of salvage searching, I’ve seen some amazing vintage and reclaimed resources. Some last longer than others, but no matter their staying power I’m always grateful for having found them. These creative crusaders have not only helped feed … Continue reading

Building the Bedroom

More and more we’re being asked to design the perfect Master Bedroom for our clients. With so many different ideas as to what comprises “the perfect” bedroom, I thought I would share a few key design strategies I use to build personal bedroom interiors for my clients.

1.)    I love to start with incredible bedding. My go-to references for bedding are and Bedding sets the tone for everything from the color scheme, to the overall theme of the space. Chances are, if you don’t like you’re bedding, or if it just doesn’t work anymore…nothing else you do to the room will even matter. That being said…choose wisely. The strength of the color and pattern of your bedding will absolutely define the interior. So, if you’re looking to design the ultimate oasis…go find your visual beach…even if it’s lined with plaid.


bedroom62.)    Consider ALL of the ways you might use the room when selecting furniture. More and more, we’re seeing bedrooms turn into mini suites. Consider everything from your storage needs…to comfortable seating designed to decompress your body and soul. And remember, furniture is really just stylish storage…so try to introduce elements that are different from your main living space. Take a risk in the bedroom…those usually payoff.

3.)    View your bedroom lighting and lamps as functional art and accessories. Listen, no surprise here. Forgettable lighting makes a bedroom just that. So, ditch the safe hotel lighting, and let’s look for elements that support your design theme, excite the eye and inspire you to get away. is a can’t miss resource!


4.)    Dynamic drapery and additional fabric elements DO make a difference. Again, beyond function, look to take your design to the next level with additional accent fabrics that actually make the room feel finished. Too often, I see bedrooms where the drapery or fabric elements DO NOT enhance the interior at all, and are just a step above hanging a bed sheet in the window. And by the way. . . the “swag” treatments over the windows scream  – ”I have no imagination!”


5.)    Look for the “it” visual moment in the bedroom. Typically, this is the wall above the headboard…so this area really needs your complete design attention. Think big. Think statement. Think great headboard. Don’t have the funds for a killer headboard? Not to worry, try accenting that space with paint, wallpaper or even personal photography. Treating this area with a special kind of decorating dignity can make or break the overall design of the bedroom.

DCBedroom2alt copyJust few thoughts today. For more on this topic, including our thoughts on “media in the bedroom”, “to footboard or not to footboard”, and the ever popular “how many pillows is too many pillows”…check out the link below to The Design Coach Radio Program: Building the Bedroom.

The Stage for Your Design: Hardwood Flooring

Okay, giving it to you straight here kids with another set of quick thoughts from The Design Coach.

Here goes! Your floor is…well…is way more than a floor. In my world, it’s the Alpha & Omega of the design. If not treated with the reverence it deserves…it will sabotage any interior, large or small. Last week I had the opportunity to have Todd Krause, from Lake Geneva’s very own Timeless Flooring, at the radio studio to chat all things hardwood. Below are some take-aways from our visit.

1.)    Think of your hardwood flooring as the visual glue that pulls the entire home together, setting the stage for your overall design vision. Hands down…the feel of the room starts and ends with the floor. If the floor has a dated look…so will the overall design. And remember, if your design vision fights with the floor, the floor will win.

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2.)    To maximize your budget, get artistic with your installation while using more cost effective wood species. Visualization is the key here, even a quick hand sketch can give your professional installer the creative direction needed to make even a simple wood species like oak, pine or maple look and feel more elegant.

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3.)    Think beyond brown. Investigate the use of die stains to create sophisticated, layered finishes that add a level of design interest a simple penetrating stain just cannot achieve.

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4.)    Don’t fear the refinishing process. Go for it! Yes, there’s dust. Get over it. The dust will dissipate…I promise…but great design lasts forever. Plus, today’s dustless floor refinishing systems can help you minimize the mess.

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5.)    When looking to hire a wood flooring professional, experience matters. It’s easy to bail to the cheapest professional…after all…it’s just wood right? WRONG. This is a design element with so many opportunities, but just as many pitfalls. Look for experience with many different applications and designs…and get referrals and photos.

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For more information on Timeless Flooring, visit  To hear The Design Coach Radio Program featuring this topic…click below.

The Kitchen Makeover

Kitchen remodeling can be a tricky balance of value & style. With so many options, and so many elements to design…a simple kitchen can quickly become a culinary cathedral. Here are a few tips from The Design Coach on the best ways to maximize your kitchen makeover, regardless of your budget. 

1.)    Realize that a custom look does not always mean paying a custom price. When replacing your Kitchen cabinetry, try to stay within the standard box construction, drawer and door sizes offered by the manufacturer. In addition, upgrading to a custom finish package will give your cabinetry a higher-end appearance. Designer Resource:

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2.) Think of your lighting as the ultimate accessory. Believe it or not, there is life beyond the pendant light. Choose fixtures that give you both ambient and directional lighting at the same time – you don’t have to sacrifice style to get a good look at what you’re preparing at the island. Be brave in your lighting design! Designer Resource:

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3.)    Embrace the backsplash! Installing a dynamic accent tile between the cabinetry and countertop is one of the best ways to achieve a magazine quality look in your Kitchen. Subtle or dramatic, try to select a tile that gives a triple visual threat…texture, pattern and color. Designer Resource:

4.)    Coordinate your horizontal surfaces. Look to visually connect two of the most important and prevalent canvas’ in your Kitchen. Coordinating your countertops and flooring will act as a “style anchor” and will set the stage for all of the elements to sing out loud. Designer Resource:

5.)    Window treatments and fabrics are essential. The right fabric package, in both upholstered elements and window treatments, adds much needed softness to the cleaner lines typically found in most Kitchens.  Designer Resource:

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For more information on Kitchen Design, check out Philip’s interview the Peggy Helgeson of Geneva Cabinet Company on the link below.