Five Reasons Your Home Needs A Redesign

You love your home, but something just doesn’t feel right. You can’t quite put your finger on it, but you feel dissatisfied with the way your home looks. A part of you wants to rush out to the Home Depot, buy a bucket of paint (any color will do), and splash it on the walls just for something new.

You, my friend, are in serious need of a home interior redesign. This sudden itch for something new can have a variety of causes. Here are the most common reasons homeowners need a redesign:

Lack of Flow and Purpose

If you have never felt the design muse gift you with inspiration, you are not alone. Many homeowners decorate their home without a grand design vision or a cohesive style. They decorate haphazardly, like putting your favorite shirt, jeans, and shoes – without considering whether any single piece matches the other.

This approach will almost always lead to a style that lacks flow and purpose. Don’t feel bad if your house lacks flow. Most new homeowners struggle with this issue. If you need help defining your personal style, or simply don’t have the time or inclination, consider hiring a professional interior designer.

Boring Design  / Old Design

It’s easy to simply get bored with the way your home looks, especially if you haven’t changed anything in years. I suggest redesigning a room with timeless elements that won’t go out of style. Simple is better. When you start to feel bored with the way your room looks, change out the accessories, like faucets on the sinks, knobs on the cabinet, or artwork on the wall. These items usually don’t cost a lot, but they can quickly give your room a whole new look!

Changes [...]

What Does An Interior Designer Do?

If you’re hesitant about hiring an interior designer, it may be because you’re not sure what we even do. You know what you want your home to look like, so can’t you do everything a designer can do? Believe it or not, there’s a lot that goes into creating a new look for your home. Interior designers wear a lot of hats, and artistic creation is just the beginning!

The Art

When you hear the term “Interior Designer,” what immediately comes to mind? If you’re like many people, you picture a designer choosing and arranging furniture, sorting through paint and fabric swatches, and strolling through your home dreaming up possibilities. This picture is a very good start. A designer’s first job is to help you and your family come up with a concept for making your home beautiful, functional, and unique. We spend time in your home taking measurements and understanding the way you live and move in your space. We also scour the world for the newest and best furniture, art, fabric, paint, flooring, and anything else that goes into a great design. But all this is just the beginning!

The Science

After working with you to develop a concept, a designer’s real work begins. It’s all very well and good to point you in the direction of a great sofa or the perfect lighting fixture, but we don’t stop there. We actually make sure it will work for you and in your home. Creating detailed and accurate renderings are crucial for making sure each space has everything you need without feeling overwhelming or crowded. Full color visuals also help make sure you know exactly what you’re getting before even one tile or of paint can crosses [...]

How to Create an Environment That Inspires

Is it possible to feel boundless joy and unfettered hope while sitting in a tiny, cramped cubicle shoved in the corner of a dreary, windowless room?

Sure, but it’s not easy.

That’s because our environments have a huge impact on our psychological well-being. It would be hard not to feel depressed and uninspired in that tiny cubicle. We don’t have a lot of control over what our work environment looks like (unless you happen to own the business), the bus station, or any number of places we must visit during the day, but we do have control over our homes.

So why not decide to purposefully create a space that inspires you? Every room in your home has its own purpose, and you can make design choices that create the emotional environment you want to forward that purpose. Your home office is a place that needs to support focus, motivation, and creativity. Your kitchen needs to be warm, loving, and highly functional. The living room needs to be a place where you can truly relax and where your family and friends will feel comfortable gathering together.

I am currently in the process of redesigning the headquarters of Eldorado Stone, a company that provides a wide variety of luxury stone finishes here in North County, San Diego. Eldorado Stone wanted a unique look that stayed true to their vision of a timeless, elegant, and beautiful product. My goal is to deliver an open and expansive industrial design that incorporates the company’s amazing stone showcases. To do this, I have utilized a mix of reclaimed materials to add a feeling of age and weight along with industrial punk fixtures. The result is a warehouse look that combines a feeling of [...]

Gorgeous and Eco-Friendly – Why You Should Consider Reclaimed Wood for Your Home

A lot of wood from the United States is now grown in sustainable commercial forests, but there is also tons of beautiful wood that ends up in our landfills every day. There’s no need for all this lovely and completely functional material to go to waste! Reclaimed wood is a hot new commodity in the interior designer circles, and you should consider it for your home too!

Reclaimed wood can give your home tons of personality. Every beam has its own unique character, with distress marks, edges, and coloring that can’t be mass produced. Instead, your reclaimed wood will make your home one-of-a-kind.

Reclaimed wood can be used in all sorts of different fashions in your home. If you’ve always dreamed of wooden floors, then consider reclaimed wood. You can also give your home a rustic feel by adding wood beams to your ceiling. You can even make counters, a dining room table, or shelves out of reclaimed wood. Heck, why not use the leftover scraps to make some cool picture frames?

Wood always adds a lot of warmth to a home. It seems to attract sunlight and give you a touch of the beautiful outdoors even when you are sitting on your couch in air conditioned bliss. Reclaimed wood also gives your home a comfy, lived-in feel where it’s okay to touch the walls and flop into an easy chair to read an old book.

When you choose reclaimed wood, you are saving a perfectly good resource and giving it a second life. Instead of taking new trees from the ground, you can re-use what’s already available with just as good results. The difference in each piece of wood creates its own splendor [...]

By |August 18th, 2015|Accessories|0 Comments|
  • Remodeled bathroom by Beth Bynon
    Permalink Interior designers and general contractors must work together to create a beautiful home remodel.Gallery

    The Role of Interior Designers and General Contractors in Your Home Remodel

The Role of Interior Designers and General Contractors in Your Home Remodel

Caleb and Rita Summers have both recently retired, and Rita is itching to remodel and redesign their small, outdated kitchen. She dreams of having her large family over for weekly dinners and inviting friends over for the book club she just started. She knows that she will have to hire both an interior designer and a general contractor, but this is her first major remodel. The Summers have no idea what is in the purview of the general contractor and what the interior designer handles. Should they hire a contractor first to do all the heavy lifting and then the interior designer to add a coat of paint and curtains?

The Summers are not alone! A homeowner’s first remodel can be confusing, especially when it comes to hiring both an interior designer and a general contractor. In this article, I’ll explain what each professional does and how they work together to transform your home!

General Contractor vs. Interior Designer

There is some overlap between the capabilities of a general contractor and an interior designer, but generally, a general contractor builds and an interior designer designs. Typically, you will bring on an interior designer first, because he or she will help you lay out your new room and determine all the different finishes to use.

For example, an interior designer like myself will help Rita and Caleb determine if they want to knock down a wall to open up their kitchen, add in recessed lighting, install an island in the kitchen for more food prep space, and add in large bay windows to enhance the view. The interior designer may also help the couple choose new flooring, new cabinets, new countertops, and, yes, new paint colors.

Once the overall design [...]

  • Room remodel
    Permalink Finding a quality contractor can be hard! Credit: Brock Builders, FlickrGallery

    Working With Contractors – Smart Homeowners Need to Ask These Five Questions

Working With Contractors – Smart Homeowners Need to Ask These Five Questions

Interior design often goes hand-in-hand with home remodeling. Homeowners who are already investing in a new interior design will often take the plunge and go for the total transformation that requires some remodeling. Many of the clients I work with have never done a major remodel of their home before. The process of finding an honest, high-quality, and reasonably priced contractor can be difficult and/or confusing. That is why I always suggest that my clients reach out to several remodeling contractors and ask each one these important five questions:

When will you be available to start?

Many contractors cannot start on a project right away. In fact, it’s not unusual for smaller firms to be backed up for months. It is not necessarily a bad thing if a remodeler has a long wait time. It means they are popular! However, if you have a specific timeline in mind, you may need to reach out to larger firms that employ several crews.


How long will my project take?

Don’t expect an exact end date for your project before all the details are finalized. However, your remodeler should be able to give you an approximate timeframe for the project after doing a home review and getting a sense of the scope of your project. Smaller remodeling companies will likely take longer to complete the project. Beware if a company gives you a suspiciously short timeline. They may be trying to win the project by creating unrealistic expectations.


Can you help me understand all the details of your quote?

Trying to compare price quotes between contractors can be hopelessly confusing. The quotes from some companies can fit on a napkin, while other companies practically hand you a thesis paper. Make sure you understand [...]

Making New Friends And Learning New Business Trends At The BOLD Summit

Recently I had the opportunity to visit the beautiful Wynn casino and hotel in Las Vegas to take part in the premiere design summit of the year. The Business of Luxury Design (BOLD) Summit always attracts luminaries in the field and gives its participants unique insights into the latest and greatest trends in the luxury and high-end design market.

I was thrilled to rub elbows with the likes of Richard Landry, Mario Buatta, Clodagh, Vicente Wolf, and so many other talented people while we discussed where the design industry is going and how to give our clients jaw-dropping design results.

Over the two-day summit, I was able to attend a wide array of educational sessions, where some of the field’s top practitioners opened up about their own businesses and design techniques. These presenters included Ann Shriver Sargent, CEO of PORTE-COCHERE, Chris Ramey, president of Affluent Insights, Mike Peterson, publisher of Luxe Magazine, and many others.

I returned from the conference with my head brimming with ideas on how to serve my customers even better. The BOLD Summit really helped me clarify my vision of Lifestyle Design. Each of these amazing designers has earned great renowned for helping translate their client’s dreams, wishes, needs, and personality into astounding designs. I aim to do the same.

I hope that when the time comes to work with a professional interior designer for your luxury home in San Diego or Orange County that you will look for a designer who seeks out bold, new ideas, all the while instilling a timeless feel for your home.

  • Beth Bynon and Thomas Lavin
    Permalink It was a joy to meet Thomas Lavin.Gallery

    Diving Into The Latest And Greatest Interior Design Fashion Trends At The Fall Market!

Diving Into The Latest And Greatest Interior Design Fashion Trends At The Fall Market!

During Fall Fashion Week, the world’s top designers and fashion journalists flock to the runways of New York, London, Milan, and Paris to get a glimpse of the new trends that will be showing up in the most exclusive boutiques in the coming year. In the world of interior design, we have our own version of the runway where vendors show off their latest and greatest wares and we designers get to see what will be hot next year.

One of my favorite events to attend is the Fall Market at the Laguna Design Center in Laguna Niguel, California. The show just wrapped up, and I was glad to be a part of it. More than 100 vendors laid out over 2,000 product lines in huge showrooms. It was like letting children run free in a candy shop! I got to look at the newest furniture collections, tiles, cabinets, countertops, lighting, and so much more.

Just one of the attending vendors was the charming Thomas Lavin, a style maker with an eye for beautiful design which has resulted in more than 100+ lines of furniture, fabrics, lighting, rugs and accessories! Other great collections shown were from Baker, Ebanista, Hokanson Carpet, Panache Designs, Michael Taylor Designs, Maharam, and so many more. The event also included a rousing keynote presentation by Doug Meyer, on “The Appropriateness on Design”.

We were also treated to an exceptional demonstration by John Kiryanoff, director of corporate finishing for Baker. John performed a variety of techniques from grains of rice to simple cardboard to create stunning finishes which Baker is known for.

Going to an event like this always fires up my creative spirit. I am inspired by all the new designs, but also by [...]

Letting My Creativity Loose In West Hollywood

There are certain corners of the country where creativity, vibrancy, and energy seem to gather together and infuse the local population…or perhaps people with these attributes feel drawn to these areas and bring their magic with them. Either way, West Hollywood is one of those places where brilliant design, bright ideas, and glowing personalities all congregate.

I consider myself to be very much an artist, even though my tools are fabric, flooring, and home finishes instead of paint, pastels, or clay. I think every artist needs to get out of his or her own head every once in a while, and go out exploring. I had the opportunity to do just that a few weeks ago.

Coming out of the BOLD Summit, I felt like a fire was lit underneath me. (Read about my adventures at the BOLD Summit.) I wanted to keep that flame burning, so I contacted one of the amazing personalities I met at the summit, Ernie Roth, and asked if I could have a “meeting of the minds” with him.

Ernie was gracious enough to agree, and so I soon found myself traveling up to West Hollywood to meet the famed interior designer and architect. To say that Ernie Roth is kind of a big deal in the design world is the understatement of the century. Ernie is the head honcho over at the Roth Design Group where he has spent the last few decades designing restaurants, apartment buildings, showrooms, and more. Oh, and he’s also served as the production designer on over a thousand national and international commercials.

Big deal, this guy.

Ernie and I met at the lovely Fred Segal Mauro Café in the heart of Hollywood, which is known for attracting A-list [...]

Ten Great Ideas For Focal Points In Your Living Room

If you’ve ever stepped into a cluttered room and weren’t sure where to look or how to take it all in, then it’s likely that the room did not contain a strong focal point. A focal point is that special something that draws your eye like a magnet. As you redesign your living room – a place where friends and family will gather often – begin thinking about what part of the room or what special possession you want to highlight and turn into the focal point of your room. Here are ten great ideas for a focal point in your living room:

1.       The Fireplace

The fireplace is a natural focal point in a living room, especially when flames are crackling and dancing. Help make your fireplace the focal point of your room by adding decorations on the mantel or even putting something unexpected in the fireplace, like candles, if you don’t plan on building a fire any time soon.

2.       A painting

If you are an art lover, then show off your favorite print or painting by putting it on the wall in the living room. To turn your painting into the focal point of your room, consider putting it over the mantel if you have a fireplace or otherwise putting it high above the ground so that it brings the eye up. Don’t distract with other paintings or decorations on the same wall. Also, make sure you choose a painting that has enough heft and size to really hold its own. A decorative frame and accent lighting can help highlight this focal point.

3.       A mirror

An ornately framed mirror adds beauty and polish to your room and also makes it look bigger. To add an interesting [...]

A Short and Sweet Guide to Choosing the Right Light for Your Home

When it comes time to build a new home or remodel your existing home, it’s easy to forget just how important lighting is to the overall effect of each room. You may spend hours choosing between ten different shades of eggshell paint or flipping through dozens of cabinetry catalogues, but the colors of your walls and the warm accents of your cabinets could be lost in the shadows if you don’t choose the right light.

Great lighting sets the mood of a room, sculpting the shadows, and guiding the eye exactly where you want it to go. Lighting also improves the functionality of the room, for example, making it easy and enjoyable to read books in the library or relax in the living room.

With so much power to help or harm your overall design scheme, lighting needs to be considered carefully. Here are some expert interior design tips when choosing the right light for your home.

Determine the Room’s Function                                                                                                            

A room’s lighting should serve the purpose of the room. You probably don’t want bright flood lights in your bedroom, but you do want brighter lights in the kitchen where you will be chopping vegetables, measuring cups of sugar, and mixing up a batch of your famous brownies. The first step in choosing your lighting is to determine the function of each room. Will you be watching a lot of television in the living room, working on crafts in the upstairs office, relaxing in a warm bubble bath in the bathroom? Choose lighting that can support these activities. For example, you’ll want to make sure the lighting in the living room don’t reflect or wash out the television. You may also want to add task lighting [...]

Five Tips To Choosing The Right Finishes In Your Remodeled Home

As an interior designer, one of my favorite parts of the design process is sitting down with a client and helping them pick out the different finishes for their kitchen, bath, or full home remodel. Sometimes it can be like letting a kid loose into a candy store. In other instance, a client may feel a little stressed. If you’ve ever walked through a Home Depot and looked at a seemingly endless row of door knobs, you can understand how making a decision on all the different finishes of a room or a home can feel overwhelming. During a remodel, a homeowner may have to choose dozens of different finishes, including doors, molding, flooring, lighting, cabinets, countertops, appliance…and even doorknobs. The homeowner has thousands of different options to choose from in every category.

So, how can you be the happy kid in a candy store and make the right finishing decisions? Here are five tips to help you pick the perfect home remodel finishes:

1.       Start With A Plan

Your finishes don’t just exist in a void. In a well-designed home, every finish contributes to a larger design scheme. When I work with clients, the very first thing I do is get to know them, so I can get a sense of their own unique style. Am I working with a power couple that wants a sleek and simple home or a retired couple that wants something warm, welcoming, and more traditional? I call this my Lifestyle Design approach. When I “get” my clients, I can propose a plan for the home that will naturally eliminate a lot of finish choices that don’t fit who my clients are.

2.       Figure Out What You Love

The easiest way to get [...]