INTERIOR DESIGN | Bring on the Red, White & Blue  Independence Day or Fourth of July is this week.  I always associate it with red, white and blue so why not look at new ways to use this color combination in Interior Design? Via

 tobifailrey.com_-_red_white_&_blue-resized-6002.  This color scheme doesn’t always have to be patriotic in theme.  This room has a nice crisp clean look just by using the colors appropriately.  Via

museinteriors_-_houzz-resized-6003.  Bedrooms can look great in red, white & blue too – with no trace of a flag in site!  Via

inthralld.com_-_r_w_&_b-resized-6004.  This bedroom boasts bold blue walls and the red chair with the touch of red on the pillows is just the perfect accent.  Via


 5.  White walls make the living room feel expansive and airy but the pops of blue and red give it life.  Via

lushhome.com_-_r_w_&_b-resized-6006.  Traditional rooms can use red, white and blue themes as well.  Here the rug colors set the tone and the bold red wall adds impact.  Via,_w_&_b-resized-6007.  Navy walls, a generous amount of white cabinets and small touches of red make this room very sophisticated but still carries out the red, white and blue color scheme.  Via

As we celebrate our independence this year, let us give thanks for our families, friends and all we have.  Share your joy and prosperity with others!

By | July 2nd, 2014|Interior Design|0 Comments

INTERIOR DESIGN – Architectural & Interior Design Definitions “S” cont. 4

interior_design_mug-resized-600Every profession has it’s own language and Interior Design, Architecture and Construction are no different.

Each week I will be giving you definitions for words beginning with different letters of the alphabet and will continue through the alphabet until we are done with all the letters.

Here are the final words beginning with “S”



In interior design striae refers to close parallel lines repeated thorughout the item.  It is a term used in faux finishing and also as a descriptive word in fabric and texture. You could think of it as small close stripes which create a straight pattern like wood grain or woven fabric.

 Strike Plate


The strike plate of a door is the opposite side from the hinge.  It is the metal plate where the latch hits the “strike” before it engages.



 Stringers are found in a lot of places.  On stairs they are the zig zag cut out piece that holds the risers and treads and holds the stair together.  On furniture they are the stringers or stretchers which hold the legs of a chair together for structural support.



A substrate goes beneath something in preparation for the final decorative surface.  The word actually mean “beneath” and “layer”.  Substrates are critical in getting a smooth final coating on surfaces and any imperfections in them will telescope through the finished material so it is important they are in good condition and properly installed.



A swatch of fabric, paint, wood finish, etc.  is a small sample of of the actual product.  Designers order “memo” samples (swatches) when ordering fabric to be sure the actual bolt being used has the proper coloring and texture desired.  These swatches can also serve as pieces of the finished room that can be saved and used to match up future items in the room.

By | June 23rd, 2014|Interior Design|0 Comments

INTERIOR DESIGN: Happy, Happy Easter!

Easter is back and I have some fun ideas for you.  This year you are allowed to play with your food!








All photos sources unknown. Use these for ideas.

Hope your Easter is filled with joy and good things to eat!

By | April 18th, 2014|Interior Design|0 Comments

INTERIOR DESIGN | Five Ways to Personalize Your Home

Five Ways To Personalize Your Home

After a new home purchase, it can feel tricky to make the brand new space feel as homey as your last place. While the entire home is a blank canvas ready to be filled with personality, it can be an overwhelming task to undertake.


 Image Source:

Personalizing a home is all in the details; it is the little things that can dramatically transform the home from cold and impersonal to warm and charming.

1. Textures And Patterns

One way to completely transform the character of a new house is in mixing and matching different patterns and textures. Whether it is mixing a striped throw pillow with patterned curtains or mixing sleek metal spiral staircases with warm wooden furniture, the different concepts put together turn out unique to the homeowner as an individual. So the home can begin to take shape.

2. Walls

Often times white walls feel too formal or office-like. Adding a new coat of paint that reflects personal taste will bring life to an otherwise plain space. Just as when mixing textures and patterns, do not be afraid to mix paint colors by making one wall an accent wall while the rest of the walls match.

 As soon as possible, place pictures and decor items on the walls. Even if the pictures end up being moved later, having homey pictures and fun, whimsical items on the walls makes the house feel like a home instead of a temporary place to stay.

straie-resized-600image source Timeline Photos

 3. Paint

Paint is not only useful for walls; it is an incredible practical way to spruce up a kitchen, a floor, or old furniture.

 Although not traditional, painting kitchen cabinets in a fun jeweled tone or incorporating shabby chic old furniture pieces by sanding them down and painting them can both be fantastic ways to incorporate a vintage trend while nesting in a new space. Paint is an inexpensive and a quick means to add extra charm into any area.

 4. Thrift Shop

Thrift shopping or flea market picking can do more than find an incredible deal. Many of these stores harbor amazing treasures that need just a little elbow grease to restore them to their former glory.

 From unique tables and chairs to quirky decor items, there are plenty of big-ticket items for inexpensive prices hidden underneath the junk. With a little bit of patience and digging, a homeowner can easily find one-of-a-kind items that will bring an allure into their home.

artful_display-resized-600image source unknown

 5. Make A Scene

Do not be afraid to kick the decor up a notch by being untraditional about it. Balance the decor by placing personal family photos next to some cast-iron candlesticks. Or place a signed baseball next to antique books. Mix homemade with store bought, inexpensive with pricey.

 Unique decor is all about visual interest. While traditional decor is classic, adding small surprises in the decorated areas truly pulls out individual character which is ultimately what defines a house as homey.

 When decorating a home, have fun with the style and don’t be afraid to veer off from the normal in order to create a space that truly reflects your own personality.

 Jessica Socheski is a writer and design enthusiast. Currently, she is infatuated with open concept ideas, and you can find her on Google+.

By | April 14th, 2014|Interior Design|0 Comments

INTERIOR DESIGN | Happy Saint Patrick’s Day 2014

Spring is here in full force in California and that means St. Patrick’s Day and the wearing of the green!

2013-02-27_1417-resized-600I recently had my DNA tested and found out that I am 36% Irish.  From my house to yours –Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

2012-03-09_1231-resized-6001.  Decorating for holidays can be lots of fun and that includes St. Patrick’s Day.  May the luck of the Irish be with you and may you find your pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.

corned_beef_and_cabbage-resized-6002.  Corned beef and cabbage is a traditional way to celebrate in our house, as in many houses around the world.  I serve it with mustard (Dijon or coarse ground) and Guiness stout.  The whole family really looks forward to it each year.

It is best boiled or cooked in a slow cooker.  Just follow the directions on the package or use  one of the many recipes online.

Here’s a recipie:


3.  Here is my favorite way to use the leftovers – A Reuben Sandwich! Here is a recipie:

Have a wonderful time celebrating our Irish heritage and stay safe my friends.

By | March 16th, 2014|Interior Design|0 Comments

INTERIOR DESIGN | Designing with Irish Green


Want to use green in your home decorating? Green has long been associated with Ireland and if you have ever visited there you would understand why.  The lush green hills are beautiful and enchanting! via


1.  The easiest way to use a strong green in your decorating scheme is to use it on the walls as paint.  It’s bold and dramatic but easily changed if your tire of it. Via


2.  If this is your absolute favorite color, go for it in more permanent ways like carpeting.  It works beautifully with a black and white color scheme.  Via


3.  Or you could perk up a quiet white kitchen by painting some of the cabinets bright green.  Did you notice in these first few pictures that by pairing the green with a lot of white it has a very fresh and clean look? photo source unknown

green_kitchen-resized-6004.  On the other hand, if you just can’t get enough of this color, go for it in the entire kitchen with high gloss cabinets.  They are contemporary and sexy but be sure you are comfortable with this strong of a statement as these cabinets are a costly part of the kitchen and not easily changed.  via

green_4-resized-6005.  If you need to tone the green down a bit, use it in fabric for the upholstery and window coverings.  The use of a lot of neutral beiges or straw colors softens the intensity of the green so it’s not so dramatic and more romantic.  Photo source unknown


6.  A large scale trellis pattern in bold green and white evokes a garden feeling that’s airy and inviting.  It is more airy than a solid green fabric would have been and compliments the outdoor space or sunroom’s natural greenery and flowers.  Photo source unknown

Go for the Green!

By | March 10th, 2014|Colors, Interior Design|0 Comments

INTERIOR DESIGN | Glass Tile vs. Ceramic Tile in Bathrooms

Fireclay Tile Blog

Tile vs Glass in the Bathroom:  Which is Best For You?

Our Glass Tile shown in Forget Me NotIcicleDusty OlivePlankton, and Island Flower

There are endless decisions to be made when remodeling a bathroom, and we know that a good chunk of those decisions you are trying to finalize have to do with tile.  There are so many different products  out there, not to mention the vast amount of colors, patterns, and designs available, it can be difficult to figure out exactly which type of bathroom tile is going to work best for your needs.  Thats why we decided to make your life a little easier by covering the pros and cons of using our top bathroom contenders,  ceramic tile and glass tile.

So let’s start with Glass

Pros of using glass tile in the bathroom: 

  1. Glass tile is beautiful and offers your bathroom a unique visual appeal, and with an enormous selection of colors and mosaics to choose from, your design options are literally limitless.
  2. Glass reflects light, making your space apear brighter and oftentimes, larger.
  3. One of our favorite features is that glass tile is relatively low maintenance, all you need to keep it clean is window cleaner and a cloth.  Because of its low maintenance factor, we suggest using glass tile in the shower area where you will experience soap build up that needs to be cleaned regularly.
  4. Glass tile is translucent, therefore, unlike any other surface material, that beautiful color you picked out will show all the way through the tile, providing an additional sense of depth and dimmension.
  5. Fireclay Glass tile is also made from 100% recycled Window and Solar glass in San Jose, CA.


Our 1×4 Glass Tile shown in Juniper

Cons of using glass tile in the bathroom:

  1. One of the biggest challenges with glass tile is the level of difficulty during installation.  Installing glass tile is not easy, and will almost always require a professional tile installer.
  2. Glass tile starts at $28/sf, where ceramic Tile starts at $14/sf, if you’re on a tight budget, you may want to consider using glass as accent, rather than covering large surface areas.  Using glass as an accent will also help colorful mosaic blends from overwhelming the room.
  3. Although glass is easy to clean, its reflective surface highlights imperfections.  This means all those little finger prints will be more apparent, so if you’re not one to clean your tile frequently, glass may not be for you.
  4. Glass’s slippery smooth surface may not be appropriate for all floor applications.  If you really want to use glass on your floor, use a matte finish tile in a s smaller size for more traction, and try adding a non-slip sealant for increased slip resistance.


Our 3×6 Tile shown in Shell

Next up, Tile

Pros of using tile in the bathroom:

  1. Price is one of the biggest pros when it comes to ceramic tile.  Ceramic tile is more affordable, starting at only $14/sf, making it a great choice for larger surface areas such as the floor, ceiling, and a walls.
  2. Ceramic tile is DIY friendly!  We always recommend using a professional tile installer for the best possible result, but if you’re up to the challenge, ceramic tile can be installed without professional help.  Just make sure you are prepared.
  3. Ceramic tile is a very durable choice for your bathroom.  It will stand the test of time against daily wear and tear, and with the right grout and the right cleaning supples it will be fairly low maintenance.
  4. There are hundreds of tile colors to choose from, each one offering unique texture, finish and color variation.  To match these beautiful colors, there is a large selection of tile patterns and shapes to choose from, adding more visual interest to your design.
  5. Ceramic tile has many trim options which allows you to add the perfect finishing details. Bullnose pieces create the perfect clean edge to a shower surround and quarter rounds help finish edge details such as an inset shelf or a shower pan.
  6. Fireclay ceramic Tile is made in Aroma’s, CA with extensive color options made on our 70% recycled clay body.


A bathroom floor shown in our ceramic tile color, Basil

Cons of using tile in the bathroom:

  1. Ceramic tile can be very cold underfoot, especially during the cooler months.  Adding a rug to your tiled bathroom floor will work wonders and if you have a few extra bucks, consider installing a radient heated floor mat such as Nuheat.
  2. Not everyone will feel comfortable installing tile on their own, therefore a professional installer will sometimes be needed.  Hiring a professional will increase the overall price of your project.
  3. Cermic tile is handmade which means slight irregularities should be expected, this adds character and an artisanal feel but generally means it’s best to hire a pro to handle an intricate bathroom installation.

Want to see more bathroom inspiration?  Check out our Gallery!

Hand crafted and timeless inspiration from Fireclay Tile.


By | March 7th, 2014|Interior Design|0 Comments

INTERIOR DESIGN | How to Choose Bathroom Tile Colors

                          How to Choose Bathroom Tile Colors


Photo Via

Classic white is a favourite when it comes to bathrooms. However, bathrooms – much like any part of the house – can serve as a blank canvass. There is a whole world of colors out there and if you are out to awe and inspire with an impressive bathroom then you should not miss this rainbow of opportunities.

Understanding Color

Often taken for granted, color has much to offer other than serving as eye candy. Wildlife photographer Moose Peterson stated that color plays a significant part in conveying messages. We see this at work all the time: from product branding to photos to websites. We tend to associate messages and emotions with colors and as such, even black, white, or grayscale can hold much meaning.


What holds true for images and advertising certainly holds true for interior design. Color is a powerful tool. Those skilled in the language of color can wield it to express mood and establish an atmosphere. Fortunately, it is not rocket science and basic knowledge is what’s needed to get you exploring colors. Before heading on to our bathroom tips, learn about the fundamentals, Padawan.

Meaning attached to colors is relative, what may be considered a mourning color in one culture may be different from another. To not complicate matters, let us take a universally accepted approach. Essentially, colors can be divided into the following three categories:


Cool Tones.As the name suggests, colors under this category have a soothing effect. It is quiet and relaxing, making it a favourite for intimate spaces. This palette also recedes, an important tip to remember if you are working with a small room that you want to appear larger. Colors under this type include blue, green, and purple.

border thru the glass-resized-600

Warm Tones. Think about fire and you’ll get a very clear representation of warm colors. In complete contrast to cool colors, this set is all about energy and are particularly perfect for areas with a great deal of socialization going on. Designers go for warmer tones in making larger rooms cozier. Warm colors are red, yellow, and orange.


Neutral Tones. Black, white, grey, brown, and beige are considered neutral tones. These colors help to accent or provide a break from solid warm and cool tones. While they can be used on their own, a room done in predominantly white or beige can be dull.

Choosing Bathroom Tiles

With basic color psychology in mind, selecting an appropriate scheme for the bathroom should be easy. The following tips should further improve your search.

Decide on the mood. This is almost a no-brainer. Since bathrooms are places to relax and to conduct your private business, cool tones are the clear choice. However, some adventurous folks out there might prefer their bathrooms in yellow or pink. There’s no harm in experimenting with warm, social colors only remember to counterbalance it with cool tones and neutrals.

Consider the size of the bathroom.As you have found out, colors can trick the brain. Compared to other rooms, the bathroom is usually small. To create an illusion of space, choose cool tones. Darker colors are possible but use them as accents instead.

Keep a color chart at hand. Too much of any color can be unfavourable. Learn to mix and match. A color chart will help you identify complementing colors and construct a lovely palette.

Tile type. Tile type also dictates color. Porcelain and ceramic tiles are available in a wide selection of colors whereas other materials such as stone and glass are limited.


Use accents or create a focal point. Adding visual interest in the form of accents or a vanity backsplash is a neat way to offset the dominance of a specific color. Glass tiles are fantastic for creating such undertaking.

Grout is also important.Mostly overlooked but grout helps in bringing the entire bathroom together. Choosing grout with a different color from the tiles can create a lovely pattern while sticking to a similar color produces a solid, unified look.

In case you are stuck with a color that does not please you, accessorize. Textures and patterns can subdue any overpowering color.

Finally, here’s a suggestion. 2014’s color is Dazzling Blue, a rich shade of blue that is calming and yet pulsating with energy. Try pairing it with white and glass tiles for that crisp and clean effect.

There you have it, don’t limit yourself to a sort of cruel science experiment and color your bathroom white. There are exciting color matches out there and it is waiting to be tapped.


Roberta Madison always seeks what is simple and beautiful. She writes for Glass Tile Store, which provides high-quality subway tiles, exotic tiles, glass tiles, among others. Follow Roberta on her Google + page.

By | March 4th, 2014|Interior Design|0 Comments

INTERIOR DESIGN |Great Storage Ideas for Kid’s Rooms

Kid’s rooms seem to be Clutter Central so here are some great tips on how to get these rooms under control.

lego_walls-resized-6001.  It’s all about Legos these days and here is a very clever way to deal with them.  Build with  them on the wall!  You still need boxes for the various pieces and I suggest color coordinated boxes or clear boxes so the kids can find the pieces they need easily. Photo source unknown

prosatrecosecacarecos.blogspot.com_-_toy_storage_3-resized-6002.  Magnetic strips to hold all the little cars is very clever and makes them easy to find and easy to put away!  via

prosatrecosecacarecos.blogspot.com_-_toy_storage_2-resized-6003.  Clear plastic shoe holders are perfect for storing all the little men and super heroes the kids must have.  Again, this is easy for them to see what they have and easy to put them away.  via

2012-08-13_1219-resized-6004.  Don’t forget about dress up clothes storage. All my kids loved to play dress up and put on plays for us but there had to be a place to store all those fabulous costumes.  Trunks are perfect or you could use large woven baskets with lids.  via


5.  This rolling lockable storage cabinet holds a lot of toys and art supplies but folds up and tucks away when not in use. See how easy it is to see what is inside those plastic bins?  The good part is they are out of site when not in use! via

6.  If you are lucky enough to have a small area you can section off as an art project and work area, this wall of cubbies is a perfect place to store all your works in progress and supplies. It can be adapted to whatever you or your child’s needs are and could even store their toys and games. via

2_bunks_over_desk-resized-6007.  This minimal bedroom has two beds, a desk and lots of built in cupboards and shelving all on one wall!  This is a great solution for tiny bedrooms with a need for floor space. Photo source unknown


8.  Last but not least, don’t overlook the floor space under the bed.  Simple drawers on rollers can provide a lot of storage.  These look like they are made from ready cut pine boards and would be easy to make to your own size requirements or you could buy some pre-made drawers and add casters to the bottoms.  via

By | February 28th, 2014|Interior Design|0 Comments

INTERIOR DESIGN | Make Room for the Kids

Have you noticed that kids need LOTS of room for their things and they take over the whole house?  Storage solutions can help keep the clutter under control

bikes-resized-6001.  Start in the garage to make room for all their bikes and sports equipment.  Hanging them for ease of access and storage also takes up less floor space. via

wittconstruction-resized-6002.  The next step is a mudroom with divided cubbies for each family member to store their things.  Having a seat is a great bonus for putting on shoes, boots, etc. and hooks and cubbies are essential.  You could include a charging station for each cubby too so electronics can be charged without cluttering up the kitchen or bedroom. Via

school_lockers_2-resized-6003.  If you don’t have a back entrance for a mudroom you could find some old school lockers and install them in a corner of the family room or game room.  They haver personality and charm as well as being practical. Photo source unknown

homedit-resized-6004.  Although this picture shows drawers under the stairs used for dog  food and leashes, it would be a perfect place to quickly store the kids clutter from nearby rooms. via

playroom_under_stairs-resized-6005.  Here is another clever usage of that under stairs area.  Make it a playroom with a curtain.  Kids love little confined spaces and enjoy having their own little spaces.  Later it can be converted to a closet or built-ins. Via

attic_playroom-resized-6006.  Speaking of having a space of their own – a converted attic is perfect for all their activities, easily organized and out of site.  This room addresses it all with a play table for art projects, a place to watch their own TV and play video games and lots of storage built in along the side walls.  The low ceiling creates an intimate room that’s all theirs!  Photo source unknown  Here is another play room oall for the kids.  The chalkboard wall makes good use of the space and baskets are easy to use for loose toys.  The baskets look nicer when they are obscure but clear plastic ones make it easier for the kids to find the toys they are looking for.  The roadway rug also does double duty as a racetrack and rug.  Via

My next blog will feature some clever storage ideas inside the children’s rooms to help keep the chaos to a minimum!  Stay tuned.

By | February 24th, 2014|Interior Design|0 Comments