My Worldwide Inspiration

In the last four months, my travels have taken me to Italy, Spain and China. From the beautiful architecture of Italy to the colorful lights of China, I’ve experienced design at its best. The diverse styles of each country offer boundless design inspiration. 

Back in California, I attended Dwell on Design in LA; the PCBC trade show in downtown San Diego; and local design events at ProSource, Cosentino, and Outrageous Rugs. The products I saw and the knowledge I gained allow me to offer creative options for your projects.

Happy reading…and happy designing!

Diane Swenson

Thinking About a Kitchen Remodel?

Kitchen remodels recently have been my top design projects. In addition to ensuring the heart of your home functions well and is aesthetically pleasing, kitchen renovations are a good investment. According to an article in U.S News & World Report, a minor kitchen remodel is one of the top 5 renovations that bring the greatest percentage return on investment (82.7%). And, here’s another top 5—kitchen design tips:

  1. Design Layout. The importance of utilizing the space to its fullest capacity is paramount, you’re not limited to the size of your existing kitchen; expanding the space into another room or opening a wall should be considered. The best placement of appliances, work areas and seating are important to a good design. This is also the time to decide if you prefer gas rather than electric for your cooktop.
  1. Cabinets. Consider the best quality cabinets for your budget. There are many space-saving options that allow for maximum organization. The cabinets’ style, wood type, and color should complement other areas of your home, and the finishing hardware is the crown jewel, offering a chance to be bold, quirky, modern or traditional, depending on your taste.
  1. Countertops & Tile. There are many alternatives to granite, such as quartz, soapstone and concrete. Tiles for the backsplash and floor should complement the countertop and cabinet colors. Contrasting materials make for the most balanced designs.
  1. Appliances. Choose the best appliances and fixtures for your lifestyle. Consider the finish color, maintenance requirements and ease of use. There are many “smart” options that can simplify your life.   
  1. Lighting. This is as important as the design layout. Position lights for tasks, such as under the cabinets and over the sink and island. Decorative style pendants and chandeliers give a customized finishing touch to your kitchen.
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