Interior Designer

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 [...]

  • 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Caleb and Rita Summers have both recently retired, and Rita is itching to remodel and redesign their small, outdated kitchen.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 [...]

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 [...]

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 [...]

Interior Design For The Eco-Friendly Home

We are each members of the global community, and our actions have a cumulative effect on our planet. Many Californians strongly feel that they have a responsibility to conserve resources and protect the environment for future generations. I love this attitude and believe that conservation and abundance are not mutually exclusive. With the right choices, you can invite beauty and comfort into your home and your life in an environmentally friendly way. Many clients and close friends ask me for eco-conscious interior design tips.

Luckily, it’s easier than ever to be a good steward of the planet while also embracing luxury and beauty in your home. Here are the three most powerful tools I use when I design green: Use Sustainable Materials Certain building materials require a lot of energy to harvest, grow back slowly or not at all, and don’t break down well after use. Eco-conscious homeowners want to avoid these types of building materials and instead use materials in their homes that are easy to harvest, grow back quickly, and break down easily after use.

One of the most popular ways to use sustainable materials is for the flooring in your home. Wood is a popular sustainable choice, because new trees can always be planted to grow in place of the old. Additionally, the carbon that trees absorb as they grow stays in the wood when it is used as flooring. Wood can also easily be reused at the end of its lifecycle.

Two other very popular sustainable flooring choices are bamboo flooring and cork flooring. Bamboo grows extremely fast and is naturally water-resistant and durable. If you do choose bamboo flooring, make sure it uses natural base adhesives instead of formaldehyde. Cork is made by [...]

Color Your House Gorgeous – How The Colors Of Your Walls Affect The Mood Of Your Room

We all intuitively understand the power of colors to affect mood. That’s why we use words like “soothing” and “calm” to describe soft purples and cool blues and words like “hot” and “energetic” to describe bright yellows and vibrant reds.
The colors you choose for the walls in each room of your home will, in a large way, influence the mood of the room and guide the rest of the design. Wall color is a big decision to make, so let’s review the different affects certain colors convey:
Red is a very bold and powerful color. It is aggressive, stimulating, and even a little erotic depending on the shade. There is a reason that red is used in stop signs and stop lights. It is highly visible and naturally draws the eye. Due to its strength and intensity, red is best used as an accent color. You might consider placing one piece of red furniture in the room to make a statement or painting an accent wall red if you want a bold and energetic mood in that space.
White is the color of purity. White walls can feel either calming or blank depending on what else is in the room. Sometimes, white walls look unfinished, like a blank canvas waiting for some colors. They may also be difficult to maintain if you have small children or pets in the house. However, white walls may be a good choice is you want to focus attention on other areas of the room. If you hang expressive artwork or fill the room with beautiful furniture, white walls won’t compete for attention and will naturally guide eyes to the more colorful pieces.
Many homeowners choose [...]

Is Your Family About To Expand? How To Update Your Interior Design For Baby!

If your refrigerator is decorated in sonograms of a growing kidney-shaped blur, then congratulations! Your life is about to change in a big, magical, and messy way. There’s a lot to prepare for when you’re expecting, but don’t forget to take a long look at your home and consider if an interior design update is in order. Just as your lives will be changing with the entrance of Baby, your home will need to change as well. Better tackle the project now when you have adequate sleep and energy than on the fly during the busy years down the road. Here are a few interior design changes to consider before Baby arrives: Simplify Your Home

A newborn demands a lot of attention and care, and as soon as the little tyke begins crawling, the real fun begins. During those first few years, you will probably lose many hours that you previously devoted to sleep, hobbies, and keeping your home in perfect order. If you have a high-maintenance interior design, now is the time to simplify. Consider getting rid of extra décor items that have to be regularly arranged or any items that need a lot of cleaning and nurturing. You want an interior design that will virtually “self-operate” so you can focus on more important things. That might mean investing in darker colored carpet or furniture that can hide a little dust and dirt until you have time to pull out the vacuum. Also, accept the fact that…Stains Are Going to Happen

Juice cups will fall. Dirty hands will grab the couch. Bodily functions may not always be caught by diapers. Finicky fabrics will not survive long with a baby in the house. Consider a durable, [...]

Want To Know The Secret Of Great Interior Design?

Personalizing Interior Design For You! Most women (and a lot of guys, too!) have spent ample time flipping through the pages of home and lifestyle magazines or perusing Pinterest for home interior photo spreads. There’s just something captivating about looking at luxurious home interiors. These interiors are often gorgeous, and yet, I bet deep in your soul you felt that something was missing. The photo spreads are almost too perfect. Despite all the high-end furniture, luscious colors, and well-balanced fabrics, the place looks a little empty..

That’s because most homes decorated for a magazine don’t have that special touch of personality. They don’t have You. The biggest secret to great interior design is to add the owner’s unique personality into the mix. This is the foundation of my Lifestyle+Design process. I don’t just design for beauty or to fit some preconceived mold of what the perfect home is supposed to look like. I design for the lifestyle and personality of each and every client.

I think a great home design needs to include something quirky that the owners picked up on an overseas vacation, a family heirloom filled with memories, a quirky piece dug up from an antique shop, and other items that convey the sense that a living, breathing person occupies the home.

I encourage my clients to be just a little bit daring and put something in their home that truly expresses who they are – something their mother would never put in her home. These items give the home its own unique spirit and make it a safe and welcoming place to the homeowners. So, while I encourage you to keep flipping through magazines and browsing online to scoop up lots of great ideas, I hope you’ll [...]