Kitchen Design: Task Lighting for All Spaces

Under Cabinet Lighting

Under Cabinet Lighting

Did you know that proper lighting can make or break the look and feel of a space? Task lighting doesn’t simply refer to a desk or work surface. Kitchens, craft areas, closets and other areas benefit from the proper task lighting. It is wonderful how the lighting industry continues to innovate, offering low watt lights that save on energy and reduce heat.

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Choosing the perfect gray for your decor


4 grays


If you are like most homeowners, you read the memo that gray is the hottest color to use in your home decor.  That is, if you want your home to look modern and unmistakeably contemporary. Now that the easy part is over, the real challenge comes into play, how to select that perfect gray for your home. If I could bottle up this secret, I tell you, I would make a fortune.

The key to finding that perfect gray that works for you, is by visually looking at what you want in the space where you are putting the color. Are you looking for a cool color?  Are you looking for a warm color? Will this color be used as an accent color or will this gray color be used on all of the walls? Believe it or not, this makes a big difference. Do you want a gray with a beige undertone, blue undertone, green undertone, purple undertone?  All of these decisions will need to be made before you settle on your perfect gray color. [Read more...]

Top Renovation Challenges

Houzz Renovation Challenges

Photo credit: Renovation Challenges


Top Renovation Challenges by US Home Owners in Houzz 2014 Survey - Transforming the American Home

If you are lamenting over the perplexities and challenges of remodeling your home, you are not alone.  Millions of homeowners around the country are literally in the same dilemma. Do I stay in my home? Do I remodel my home or do I sell my home?  It can get pretty daunting and frustrating when making a decision.  One of the glaring issues is the budget.

While funding a building or remodeling project/ staying on budget was among the top three challenges last year for U.S.
homeowners, with 27 percent citing it as challenge, just 19 percent said funding the project or staying on budget was a
challenge this year.

That drop isn’t due to any easing of financing options, as eight in ten homeowners paid for their project in cash . The Millennial generation was more likely to borrow from friends and family to pay for their recent project compared to other age groups (four percent versus one percent, respectively), and are more likely to have used a credit card (30 percent ) to finance their last remodeling or building project than other age groups (21 percent).

The mix of those staying on budget versus those who did not is consistent with last year ’s study. Homeowners are nearly
as likely to stick to their budgets (34 percent) as they are to go over budget.

But as in the past, very few (five percent ) came in under budget. One in five homeowners (20 percent) did not have a budget at the start of their project. Homeowners in the Northeast were again most likely to go over budget (41 percent) followed by those in the West (39 percent). Homeowners in the South were most likely to stick to their budget (35 percent).

Finding the right products was a top challenge for homeowners of all ages across the country (39 percent), followed by defining my style (28 percent), making decisions with my spouse or partner (25percent), educating myself (22 percent), and
staying on schedule (20 percent).

Funding the project or staying on budget took sixth place on the list of challenges (19 percent) . Finding the right products (45 percent), defining their style (43 percent), making decisions with their spouse or partner (34 percent) and funding the project (30 percent), was more challenging.

Essentials for Designing a Functional and Chic Built-in Wardrobe Closet

Custom-Closet with Island
Do you have this spare space in your house that’s just begging to be utilized?

Transform it into a custom designed, functional and stylish built-in wardrobe closet! Get your planning and styling off to a good start by keeping the following essentials in mind.


Consider your needs

• Prior to finalizing the design you have in mind, you need to take into account two very vital elements: your storage needs and the pieces you will be storing. Other considerations should include the ‘long hang’ versus the ‘short hang’ ratio.

• If you want to incorporate designated spaces for your bags, footwear, suitcases and sports gear in your design, it is advisable to have it noted down so you can factor it in your final layout.

Make room for ventilation

• If you will be utilizing a converted space, it is advisable to take advantage of natural ventilation. However, keep in mind that letting too much sunlight in can also be counterproductive as it can degrade fabric and fade colors.

• If there’s no window, at the very least, make it a point to ensure there is good air circulation. You can look into installing cooling vents to ensure odor and moisture are regulated. Setting up exhaust fans like the ones commonly used in bathrooms will also work wonders.

Prioritize proper lighting

• Closets making use of natural light is oftentimes rare. However, proper lighting is very important if you wouldn’t want choosing your outfit to turn into a guessing game of sorts.

• If making use of natural light is not feasible, recessed and surface-mounted lighting fixtures are handy options you can look into. Exposed light bulbs on the other hand are considered a no-no. Other lighting alternatives available at your disposal include incandescent, fluorescent and LED bulbs. [Read more...]

Pro Tips on Buying Kitchen Appliances

samsung refrigerator - kitchen appliances

Your kitchen appliance purchase will be major investment, both in out of pocket expense and with your time. Buying kitchen appliances can be a challenging task because you have s many options to consider, from energy saving, to designer models, to low cost models. This can sometimes be overwhelming.

It is important to realize that in a kitchen remodel, the selection of kitchen appliances is a very critical step in making your new kitchen look and feel fabulous. It is not just purchasing the latest and greatest new product, but rather, knowing what will work best for you and your family in your space.

Here are few professional tips to help guide your through the kitchen appliance buying process. If you are prepared before you start the process, you will be more confident with your kitchen appliance buying decisions.

  • Research and read reviews on products before you go shopping. You want to look at their likes and dislikes of the products.
  • Make a list of your priority features in products.  Are you looking for “energy efficient or “lifetime warranty”, it is important to bring this list when you go shopping so that you can compare which retailer is offering the best price with most of your appliance feature requirements.

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Before and After – Pompano Beach Condo Remodel

Pompano Beach - Kitchen


Check out this new before and after Pompano Beach Condo Remodel video from Donco Designs….

Fun and entertaining background music…

I hope you enjoy the video.

Find Your Room’s Color Personality – use color to dramatically change a room

three dramatic color palette

photo credit Lowes

We have all heard that  a gallon of paint can change the look and feel of a room.  Did you know that it can change the room’s personality, also?  You must be wondering what personality are we talking about the homeowner or the room.  Since every room has it’s own unique style and feel, it also stands to reason that a room also has it’s very own personality.

I work with clients all the time in trying to choose a paint color for a room or entire home. It can be a daunting task.  The first question to answer is what message are you trying to convey with this room?

There are a host of Paint choices to choose from: Benjamin Moore, Sherwin Williams, Martha Stewart, Behr, Valspar and a host of other well known brands.

Recently I came across an article on that brilliantly showcased three distinctly different looks for one room.  This was achieved by a room visualizer and some very creative people.  How do you decide what paint to use on your walls to really make them pop?  Take a look at the three distinctly designed rooms , that happen to be the same room. [Read more...]

What to Consider When Buying Hardwood Flooring

Hardwood Floor

Photo credit: The Garrison Collection – Time Inspired

There are a lot of reasons to buy hardwood flooring: it’s easy to take care of, it looks nice, and it can increase the value in your home. Hardwood floors are better for people with allergies than carpet. So, if you are convinced that installing hardwood floors is right for you, here are some guidelines to help you choose the right kind.

Your Style

Think about your design style when choosing hardwood flooring. Are you contemporary or more traditional in your design? Some woods like maple lend themselves to a contemporary design while oak is seen as more traditional. Part of your style is dependent on your home. Look at how much lighting you have and the other hardwood in your home. Don’t forget the wall colors as well. Each of these is important when choosing a type and color of hardwood.

If you have a bright, airy room with a lot of natural light coming in, you can go with dark hardwood on the floor and it will balance the area and space out. The same concept holds true in the kitchen. White kitchen cabinets can make a nice contrast with rich dark floors, on another hand, a deep colored kitchen cabinet may look more attractive with a with a lighter hardwood floor. [Read more...]

Inspiring closet renovations – Before and After closet makeovers

photo credit: Architecture Digest - - Lisa Adams of LA Closet Design

photo credit: Architecture Digest – – Lisa Adams of LA Closet Design

Organizing a closet can be a blessing and a curse… The blessing is that it helps you get organized.  The curse is that you have to go decide what to keep and how to get it organized. This can be a daunting task, that is why it should be left to the those that re strong and the help of a professional closet designer and organizer.

If you have a budget and a real commitment to getting organized, you should hire a professional closet design firm. Here are several great before and after photos below showing you the wonders of this.

If you are a DIY – Don’t fret, you can still create a beautiful closet makeover with a lot of time and effort.  Take a look at one of the featured photos below by a homeowner. One word of caution, if you are a procrastinator and time is not on your side, just hire  a closet design professional that will work within your budget, you will be glad that you did in the end with the finished results.

Here are few tips you may want to consider before embarking on your closet makeover renovation project are:

  • Start with a plan
  • Draw a sketch of your closet
  • Take Inventory of ALL of your items
  • Make a list of what to keep
  • Make a list of what to get rid of
  • Start the project in sections – this will keep you from getting overwhelmed
  • Have a firm date on finishing the inventory process
  • Start looking at different shelving options for the closet materials
  • Create a reward system for your success on your closet organization

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A Look Inside Sammy Sosa’s $7.6 M South Florida Mansion

sammy-sosa-down-to-pool - Photo credit: yahoo homes

sammy-sosa-down-to-pool – Photo credit: yahoo homes

First of all Happy Birthday Sammy Sosa!!  I always admired you while you were playing baseball. I am glad to see that things have calmed down in your life. Congratulations on the great birthday gift this year, your new  $7.6 Million mansion in North Miami Beach. The views from your new Ocean front home are spectacular and breathtaking.  If you need help decorating or making any changes, we are available at your service, come rain or shine…. back to the matter at hand, our blog post highlighting the special features of Sammy Sosa’s new Miami Mansion.

First, I must confess that I was taken aback when i first saw the pictures.  The views were outstanding, but the inside was just nice. I just expected so much more, but after taking a second look, I realized that since the house was decorated yet by an Interior Designer, it was just a nice mansion with a gorgeous view.

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