Interior Design| How to create a welcoming guest space at home 1

Seems like yesterday (2012) when we originally posted this blog on Home Hospitality makeover – how to create an at home hotel experience guest room.

Since we are in the height of the travel season, we thought it would be nice to re-share our thoughts on creating the perfect guest space for your visitors, as well as some great preparing for and hosting house guest tips from Houzz .

You too can create a welcoming hotel like atmosphere for your house guests just by adding a few hospitality touches to the space.  Here are a few tips you can borrow from reputable hotels that will help make your home more welcoming and comfortable for your guests.

There is just something about a freshly made bed of crisp white linens and billowy soft pillows that screams luxury.  When choosing bed linens for your guest space, a higher thread count doesn’t always matter.  I good rule of thumb to follow is to select sheets of a minimum 400 thread count out of Egyptian cotton or Pima cotton. These are affordable, soft and very luxurious to the touch.

Comfortable bed pillows will make or break a restful night’s sleep and your guests may be most comfortable with a medium firm pillow, but it’s always nice to give your guests options.  Place a few pillows of different firmness with varying fillers on the bed to let your guests decide which one is right for them.

Keep in mind that travel restrictions and luggage limitations makes it difficult for travelers to pack all the comforts of home, so consider providing the convenience of a bathrobe and slippers for your guest’s use while visiting.

To complete your home hospitality make-over, add a couple finishing touches to the space such as a local event magazine, water, and fresh towels for your guest’s comfort and enjoyment while visiting.

Want to create the perfect guest experience but don’t know where to start?  Just let us know we would love to help!

Have a safe and happy Labor Day!

Corinne Gail

*We do not receive compensation for products or services mentioned in this article.


Interior Design | Warm Up Your Home with Fall Decor 1

Nothing says cozy evenings by the fire more than the cool crisp air of Autumn. . .Here are some quick ideas to help warm up your home this Fall.

Fall Foliage in the Northwest

Fall Foliage in the Northwest-Photo courtesy of Corinne Gail Interior Design

Start by adding a Fall themed toss pillow to your favorite chair.  Accent pillows are an easy and inexpensive addition to any home decor.

Available through Pottery Barn

Available at Pottery Barn

Cozy blanket throws placed over the arm of a sofa, create an instant warmth to any space.

Cable Knit Throw from Pottery Barn

Available at Pottery Barn

Don’t forget to add a touch of ambiance from the warm glow of candle light.

RobertCaponetto_Styling Buffy Hargett

Robert Caponetto / Styling Buffy Hargett

Create a warm and inviting table for your dinner guests with a Fall themed tablescape design!

Send us your photos of Fall decor, we would love to see them!  Contact us with your design questions or inquiries about Healthy Living by Design . . .

InJoy the bounty of the season!

Corinne Gail

*We do not receive compensation for products or services mentioned in this article.

Sustainable Healthy Design |Don’t just replace it…Revive it! 2

Let me be the first to admit that sitting at my keyboard over the last few years has not proved to benefit my public speaking skills!  I’m always amazed at the amount of perspiration one body can produce in the short span of 10 minutes!  In any case, this week I had the pleasure of speaking to a group of local business owners about Healthy Living by Design and the art of Repurposing, Reinventing and Reusing furnishings from around the home, a subject near and dear to my heart as a certified furnishings expert.  Here we go!

I don’t intend to drone over statistics and bore you with industry jargon, but I do want to share these facts I feel every consumer should know about common products used to manufacture furnishings.  Ready?

  1. The furnishing’s world is the #3 user of wood behind buildings and paper.
  2. VOCs (Volatile Organic Compounds-gases) are released into the air you breathe from adhesives and finishes…including formaldehyde.
  3. Adhesives are used in pressed & composite wood products; veneers, plywood, particle board, fiberboard, and MDF.
  4. VOCs from paints and finishes; varnish, lacquer, shellac, fabric sealers and backings.
  5. VOCs may have short and long-term adverse health effects on you and your children.  Asthma affects 15-20+ million people, many are children.
  6. VOC concentrations are consistently higher indoors – up to 10x higher.
  7. VOC concentrations can offgas (releasing of gasses) up to 1 year after use or application.
  8. Textiles require 10-100% of their fabric weight in chemicals to produce.
  9. These chemicals include pesticides, herbicides, and dyes.
  10. Asia rivers are the most polluted in the world.

Whew!  OK, we made it through the facts list!  Now that you have the bare bones knowledge of products of the furnishing’s world, let’s move on to a more pleasant topic…what you can do to ensure Healthy Living by Design in your home and office.

Are there alternatives for healthier choices on the market today?  YES, YES and YES!  Alternative products are more readily available today than ever, and cost about the same as any quality furniture item.  If you are in the market for a new sofa, chair, table, etc., ask your sales rep questions and be sure to check that the item is manufactured using certified wood products, certified organic fabrics, emits low to zero VOCs, and if possible, manufactured locally.  Contact us if you would like more information about healthier choices for your home, we would love to help!

Another 100% viable alternative for Healthy Living by Design is to repurpose, reinvent, and reuse the items that you already own.  Do you have a furniture piece that you just don’t know what to do with, but hate to toss it out?  I do, I do!  Then I encourage you to explore ways of redesigning its purpose to fit your lifestyle.  Below is just one example of what you can do.

Photo courtesy of Corinne Gail Interior Design

Photo courtesy of Corinne Gail Interior Design

Old dresser you don’t use?  Check out this artistic recreation!

Photo courtesy of Corinne Gail Interior Design.

Photo courtesy of Corinne Gail Interior Design.

Repurposing this unused dresser to a (have to admit) well used Wine Bar, was the perfect fit to our newly created wine lounge. . .formerly known as our very underused formal living room!  The process was fairly straight forward; sand, sand, and more sanding to prep for restaining and painting using zero VOC products.  Adding a few artistic touches such as grape cluster knobs, iron scroll work from a discarded CD tower, and accent paint, and Voila!

Don’t replace it…Revive it!  You too can create one of a kind healthier furniture pieces for our home!  Contact us if you would like more information about alternative Healthy Living by Design products available in your area.

What’s your Design Dilemma?  Send us an email, we would love to help!

Reinvent your space!

Corinne Gail

*We do not receive compensation for products or services mentioned in this article.

Interior Design | Summer time blues… Reply


Photo courtesy of Corinne Gail Interior Design

Is it the end of Summer or the beginning of Fall?  I don’t like the way either sounds, but if I have to choose, I choose it’s the beginning of Fall…

Fall is a beautiful time of year with its crisp morning air and my favorite palette of warm autumn colors back-dropped by vibrant blue skies.  I just love, love, love the comfy cozy atmosphere these colors create inside the home.

Fall decor is a wonderful addition to your home from September through November that can be easily transformed into a spooky scene for Halloween, or a bountiful Thanksgiving feast.

Email us your photos of Fall decor, we would love to see them!

Let your imagination be your guide and have a safe and fun Labor Day!

Corinne Gail

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Interior Design | Wallcoverings by Casart 1

It’s my pleasure to write a guest post for Corinne today, but just how did that come about?

I happened to see one of Corinne’s posts- Design Dilemma/Ceiling 101, and emailed her that Casart could be an answer to practically every dilemma illustrated.  In fact, we think of the ceiling as the fifth wall!  Here’s a customized world map installed on a ceiling.


In fact, all of our products are offered in both Regular and Casart Light  our repositionable material specifically for the ceiling (and also walls). This lets anyone be the creative genius for decorating that often overlooked space — except when looking up.

Corinne said she’d like to know more about the product and thought her readers would too, and asked if I’d like to do a guest post so here I am.

Casart® (pronounced “Kaz-art”), meaning “art for your home”, offers the look of traditional decorative finishes and modern wallcovering designs on a self-adhesive vinyl canvas that can be easily repositioned, removed and reused.  Vinyl is a practical, eco-friendly, sustainable by-product of salt and depending on where you live, it can often be recycled.  Because it is so durable and can be reused, unlike traditional wallpaper, no paper is used or extra glue/ materials are needed to apply and reapply.

What makes Casart different from the other “peel-and-stick” products?

For starters, Casart is very durable and our Casart Regular material is graded for both residential and commercial use.  It is 52” wide.  It is available in more than one weight and texture.  Any design can be customized.  Casart can be removed without leaving any residue behind.  It can be re-rolled onto its backing sheet when removing and also reused.  It can be applied to most any smooth surface such as glass, Lucite, metal, and wood and not just walls!  It is ideal for homeowners who like to decorate seasonally, for students to personalize their dorm space, and for renters who may not be able to alter their walls.  But if you love it, you don’t have to take it down!  Just be aware that not all repositionable wallcoverings are the same as you will see in this video.

It’s said that one picture is worth a thousand words, so I’m going to let the pictures speak for Casart’ versatility.

An over-all floral like Flower Power adds an unexpected pop to a nursery or a girl’s room.


 What if you’re a guy and don’t want a floral theme? Just one individual or combined stripes and patterns can be perfect for any man cave space and add pizazz without breaking the bank!


Wouldn’t this faux padded headboard change a dorm room from drab to decorated?


Or add a piece of Casart like this blue Faux Linen right over the glass on a picture frame for a one-of-a-kind headboard.


Casart can go right over Casart as illustrated with the Artichoke from the Botanicals placed over the Faux Padded  Harlequin.


Tired of looking at those scuffed stair risers?  Look at the difference the Cabo Blue and Cream Faux tile makes in these stairs.

Casart_Faux-Tile-Stair-Risers_wmWant a conversation piece?  Tell a story with Woodland Stream on your stair risers.

interior stair

You don’t have to cover an entire room.  An accent wall can make a big statement.

3D render modern interior of dining-room

There are many more designs on our website where you’ll also find additional illustrations in our gallery.

Thank you Corinne for this opportunity to share my enthusiasm for Casart’s features with you and your readers. We look forward to seeing all the creative decorating ideas they can think of with Casart. The possibilities are endless. If anyone has any questions, please contact us and we’ll be happy to help you.

Lorre Lei Jackson

Thank you Lorre Lei for sharing your product knowledge with us today!

Corinne Gail

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Interior Design | Is Your Paint Color Behaving Badly? Reply

Selecting the perfect paint color for your space can be frustrating, but you should know that there are two common reasons why the color in the can applied to the wall does not resemble the paint chip from the store…paint behaving badly.  Don’t punish yourself by spending hours and hours of your time running back to the store collecting stacks of paint samples to try and figure out why your paint colors are not working!  Understanding why paint may be behaving badly is key to selecting the perfect paint color the first time.

What you need to understand

First, keep in mind that the amount of natural lighting and types of lighting in the space; fluorescent, incandescent, LED, etc., greatly affect the way colors appear in your space.  Second, colors are affected by other colors.  I like to call this phenomenon color bounce.  Simply put, color bounce happens when other colors from lighting, wall-to-wall carpeting, furniture, ceiling, flooring surfaces, cabinetry, etc., reflect and mix per se onto your paint colors.

Four things you can can do

1. Every DIY’er should own a paint color fan deck.  Take a trip to your local paint dealer and arm yourself with a paint color fan deck.  Tip:  Sherwin Williams offers free fan decks.  Using a fan deck to select your paint colors while inside your space is more accurate than pulling samples at the store.  Remember, color is affected by light and store lighting is typically industrial fluorescent, so unless your space is illuminated by fluorescent lighting as well, the paint sample will look different under the lighting at home.

Sherwin Williams Fan Deck

Sherwin Williams Fan Deck

2. Using your fan deck, isolate the hues within your space.  I like to use natural lighting to locate my 4 favorite hues.  You should be using your color inspirations and custom color palettes that we talked about last week to help make your hue selections.  Click on the link if you missed our last blog about Color InspirationsTip:  If your overall space feels too dark, select a lighter color value, and if the space is too bright, select a darker color value.

Hue = Color
Value = Lightness or darkness of a color

3. ALWAYS, always, always, test the paint color in multiple areas within your space and observe it over the next few days during all types of lighting.  Your paint dealer will have trial sample paints you can purchase, while some paint dealers offer actual painted paper samples in a variety of sizes that you can tape to the wall.

4. Work with your paint professional to make value adjustments to your selections and be sure to ask which type of paint and finish; gloss, semi-gloss, eggshell, flat, etc., will be best for your lifestyle and space.  I highly recommend paints classified as LOW VOC or ZERO VOC for all interior applications, your body will thank me.  Tip: Use the ‘globe’ symbols below to help select low level VOC products.

Graphic courtesy of Dulux.

Graphic courtesy of Dulux

Choosing the perfect paint color for your space doesn’t have to be a frustrating experience.  By understanding color behavior and applying a couple tricks of the trade, you too can control color behaving badly.

If you have a specific question on color or paint selections, we would love to hear from you.  Just Email us your questions and you could be featured in one of our upcoming blogs!  For more information about our services, visit our website.

Go color something!

Corinne Gail

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Interior Design | Paint Color Inspirations Reply

Wow, I feel so guilty missing my blog post on the 4th of July!  Did you miss me!?  I took some well needed time away and ate lots of yummy food, spent fun times with family and friends and enjoyed the bombs bursting in air, but the party’s over and it’s back to work!

It’s not always a simple task finding an interesting topic to blog each week, but while commenting on design dilemma questions for Houzz, I noticed that the most popular questions are those asking for help choosing the perfect paint color for their spaces.  So, I figured let’s start a mini-blogging series all about color and paint…

When designing a space I begin by identifying my color inspiration.  Inspirations can be found in an accessory, a photo from your favorite vaca, a special fabric, food, etc., etc.  I like to keep in mind that my color palette helps to guide my final design decisions throughout the entire project.  For some great ideas on where to find color inspirations, check out

Photo courtesy of

Photo courtesy of

Photo courtesy of Design-Seeds

Photo courtesy of Design-Seeds

Photo courtesy of Design-Seeds

Photo courtesy of Design-Seeds

Here’s a fun tool to help you identify and create your custom color palettes just like a pro.  Click on by Sherwin Williams, it’s a fantastic tool and really easy to use.  All you need is a photo of your inspiration and a few minutes…they do the rest!  Here are a couple palettes I created from photos taken from my journeys.

Flowers by the seashore...Corinne Gail Interior Design

Flowers by the seashore…photo courtesy of Corinne Gail Interior Design

If you are not happy with any of the initial colors, you can change them up with a simple click of the mouse.  Also, visit your paint specialist who can help make simple color adjustments for just the right palette.

Photo courtesy of Corinne Gail Interior Design

Photo courtesy of Corinne Gail Interior Design

Once you have created your custom color palette, select your favorite 3 harmonizing colors; 1 main wall color, 1 ceiling color, and 1 accent color.  Choosing 3 colors will get you started, but feel free to add more if you want to paint trims, millwork or work with an additional accent color.

Remember, the sky is the limit when it comes to finding color inspirations, and even that could be a beautiful inspiration!

What inspires you?  Email us your design inspirations and “Lets Chip It” samples, we would love to see them.  Next week we will talk about why your paint is behaving badly …

Happy chipping!

Corinne Gail

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Interior Design | Ceiling Design 101 Reply

Do you have white or nondescript ceilings in your home?  Ceilings are the most neglected design canvases I find in most residential homes.  Today I want everyone to look up and have an “a-ha moment” about what you can do to liven up your rooms with a simple ceiling treatment!

When redesigning or decorating your space, never forget to add interest to the ceiling.  Painting a motif, adding an accent color, or simply attaching an architectural detail to your ceiling will change the entire look of the space.

Here are a few examples of creative ideas to add interest and décor to your home.


Photo courtesy of

What a fresh idea and great way to incorporate a very stylish design trend we are seeing for 2013-2014 Design Trends


Striped ceilings are bold and beautiful.


Photo courtesy of Houzz

Loving the ceiling motif applied to this space.

ZigZag_Beverly of MiZen Design

Photo courtesy of Beverly of MiZen Design

This chevron pattern on the ceiling can be accomplished by first painting the entire ceiling in flat paint, then taping out the chevron pattern and painting between the lines with a water based glaze.  Tada!


Photo courtesy of Houzz

Architectural details such as coffered ceilings are popular in entryways and dining areas…notice the accent color inside the coffer?  What a nice touch to bring interest to the ceiling, and it’s simple and easy to do.

Have a ceiling design dilemma?  Email us your photos, we are glad to help!

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Kitchens and Baths | Banquette Built-In Reply

Do you have a “unique” nook in your kitchen or perhaps your dining room that is a bit tighter than you would like? Fill those unique spaces with a space saving banquette.  Built in dining allows you to utilize every inch of your limited space.

Bay Window Banquette

Bay Window Banquette 2

Bay windows are a wonderful place to create a custom dining area. Incorporating the banquette dining area into the bay window maximizes your seating potential and keeps a cluttered kitchen free of roaming chairs.

Banquette Storage

Don’t forget that a custom banquette is the perfect place to integrate storage. Every inch of storage space you can create within your home is a bonus. The exposed end of this banquette provides practical storage solutions that are easy to access at any time.

Dining Room Banquette

When your dining room is a bit too tight for comfort, or perhaps you have an awkward passageway or door that doesn’t allow you to fully enjoy your dining room, building in a banquette seating area gives you maximum seating as well as plenty of space to move about.

Island Banquette Seating

A banquette is a wonderful way to turn a tight unorganized space into a functional and creative eating area. Don’t forget to have fun and to be creative when it comes to finding unique storage solutions and a vibrate color combo to brighten up these small spaces.

Pop of color Banquette

Banquete Elle Decor

If you are having trouble finding the perfect layout that will allow you to maximize your space, remember we are here to help, email us your questions and images of your tricky spaces.

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Interior Design | Non-existent Entryway 2

entry example

Photo courtesy of Houzz

Last week we were inspired by beautiful entryways presented by Arcadian Home, and this week we thought we would explore homes and apartments with non-existent entryways, that is, entries that open abruptly into the main living space leaving you no place to hang coats and jackets, store and remove shoes, or a place to stow your soggy umbrella.

Entryways not only need to be inviting and guest friendly, they need to be functional as well.

Creative solutions you can do. . .

Entryways do not have to be defined by solid walls.  Here open shelving units work beautifully to delineate both spaces while providing a functional and convenient home for your keys, outgoing mail, or cellphone.  Keeping items in the same place will help eliminate, “Honey, have you seen my wallet!?”

entry solution 2_apartment therapy_dividerbyfilifjonkan_flickr-2_rect540

Photo courtesy of Apartment Therapy

Photo courtesy of Apartment therapy.

Photo courtesy of Apartment therapy.

We love the use of this folding screen that separates the spaces, and especially the addition of an entry table, umbrella holder and fresh flowers to create a welcoming experience for your guests.

Photo courtesy of Houzz

Photo courtesy of Houzz

Consider a custom designed entryway. . .

Your professional designer will work with you to create the perfect architectural details for your custom entryway.  For more information about our interior architecture and design services, please visit our website.

Photo courtesy of Sullivan Conard Architects

Photo courtesy of Sullivan Conard Architects

houzz_entry home-design

Photo courtesy of Houzz

Adding a multifunctional built-in storage center can be a great solution for creating division between other areas within your home, such as this outdoor entry and open home office space.

Form follows function . . .

If your home is like most homes, your entryway is a dropping ground for clutter, and the key to a great entryway is finding functional and beautiful furniture pieces that help define your space and keep it organized.



Photo courtesy of The Suburban Urbanist

Photo courtesy of The Suburban Urbanist

Creating a welcoming entryway where one does not exist, does not have to be expensive or complicated. For more ideas on how to transform your non-existent entryway into a unique space within your home, email us your entryway photos and a brief description of your design dilemma, we would love to help!