Style, Quality and Value for your Home and Garden

Sunday, March 28, 2010


The term corbel was first used in the 15th century as an architectural support dating back as far as the Neolithic era.  Corbels are common on old buildings generally carved and very fancy made of stone or wood support between the exterior wall and the roof.  Although corbels are more prevalent through-out Europe you will also find them in all our great cities right here in the US.  Today corbels are more commonly used in the interior of the home.  From traditional to modern, corbels are used as brackets for fireplace mantels and in kitchens for counter top support and for accenting vent hoods. The most common is the acanthus, it has a large leaf design and comes in various sizes allowing for many uses.  Many styles can be found through most corbel distributers. Also try antique shops or an architectural finds yard; such places can have some real treasures that offer more interesting choices. This is a great way to personalize your home without a huge investment and what a difference it will make!

Tile Designs

     When selecting tile styles and colors I generally recommend simple and neutral patterns in my presentation. The thought behind this is that you want beautiful tile that you will have for a longer period of time and not something trendy that you like today but not next season.   After all its not like a throw pillow that you could put away in your closet when you are tired of looking at it.  However, when you do find a pattern or custom design a tile such as this beautiful design it will have ever lasting beauty and becomes not only a tile but a work of art with a whole other story!

Friday, March 19, 2010

Cleaning Crystal Chandeliers

I love chandeliers and use them everywhere, often recommending that they also be added over beds, tubs and even closets. While chandeliers can look beautiful everywhere, they are not always easy to clean. Here are some tips:  1) Remove anything under the chandelier and place a layer of towels under the chandelier. 2) Turn off the power at the wall and put a tape over it as a precaution so someone doesn't turn it on by mistake. 3) You want to avoid getting any cleaner in the sockets so tighten the bulbs and cover each light with a plastic sandwich bag and tie with a twist tie or use rubber band. 4) Mix one part ammonia to three parts water and add to a spray bottle. 5) Spray each crystal carefully avoiding wires and other electrical components. 6) Allow the crystals to drip dry on the towels below. 7) Remove the plastic bags from the lights once the crystals have dried and polish them and the rest of the fixture with a clean soft cloth. 8) Allow the entire fixture to dry before turning the power back on.
By following these simple steps you will be surrounded by sparkling ambiatic lighting!

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Cover Model

I have always loved this sculpture and have tried to get it noticed for quite some time.  It is a beautiful wrought iron sculpture that can be used in many design settings.
This sculpture never really caught on; however, it has been getting attention recently and has made the cover of a Texas upscale design magazine.  It has always been available through our store at a fantastic value.
What a Super Model!

"How do you like me now?"

Manipulating Finishes

As an interior designer I am always in need of accessories that are the right size, shape and style.  We have time constricts and budgets to follow.  When I find the perfect accessory, candelabra or light fixture, they  are not always the finish that I would like them to be.  In these cases I must do some finish manipulation.  If the items are wrought iron, it is a bit easier.
Here are some tips: Go to your local hardware or paint store and get some spray paint closest to the finish you desire, then just spray it.  If you want more movement with your finish then sponge or rag a darker paint over your base paint.  This is a bit more involved and is an added step, but it is worth it.  You can also enhance special details on your piece by adding gold or silver leafing.  You can get further assistance from the guys at the paint stores and they have all the supplies that you will need.  Soon you will be a pro!  Be brave, start small and before long you will get the hang of it and move on to bigger projects.  This is a great way to recycle items around your home you thought you were tired of so go ahead get started and have fun!

Candelabra Drama

Candelabras bring a dramatic finishing touch to any room!  They can be used in dining rooms for quiet dinner parties with friends or next to a fireplace for fire-side reading.  They are also great in bedrooms for dim romantic lighting or while soaking in a tub in your bathroom.  Use candelabras in your patio while entertaining and remember candelabras can also be used for functions such as weddings and formal gatherings.  Surround yourself with tall floor candelabras, use smaller ones on the dining table or on a buffet.  Don't forget to consider using scented candles to bring a wonderful aroma to any room!  It's all about the ambience!