Glass Houses

Interior fireplace

If you follow my blog you are aware I love glass houses, this one truly gives you the
experience of bringing the outside indoors. The Fireorb fireplace frees up floor space, and the spindly tables, chairs, and even kitchen counters help the home feel uncluttered.

Santa Monica custom home winner dining room

The dining room opens onto the semi-walled entrance area. The open floor plan and careful window placement eliminate the need for air-conditioning.

Modern prefab home

The result of a design/build class taught by Jennifer Siegal and Michael P. Johnson, it’s a dynamic, livable house that honors Frank Lloyd Wright’s legacy while tackling important design issues of today, from innovative prefabrication to sustainable systems like solar panels and rainwater and gray-water collection.

Landscape and architecture home design

Sustainable features and native plants up the ante on a seamless integration of indoors and out.

Green roof garden

A grassy roof helps keep the kitchen from heating up in warm months.

Sliding doors let evaporation from the swimming pool cool the house.

Urban living apartment building

The use of a structural steel frame allowed for more flexible floor plans: Someday, for instance, units A and C could be combined to make an apartment large enough to house a home office, an aging parent, or a growing family.

Seattle rooftop home roof and view

The roof's deep overhang keeps the rooms cool even though the walls are glass.

Eco-friendly home design

Geothermal systems that heat and cool the house, and solar panels providing power, let this house sit relatively lightly on a dramatic landscape.

Custom-built glass home

This largely glass house slices across the steeply sloping site, taking advantage of the mature trees, which help preserve some privacy.

Montecito custom home

As wildfires often ravage this part of the Santa Barbara coast, the architects chose fire-resistant materials (steel, concrete) for the construction.

Dining Room Ideas

beasley orange white dining room

Energizing Palette

Designer Troy Beasley adds vibrant pops of red, orange and blue to this streamlined, contemporary dining room. Neutral gray walls allow the colorful accents to shine.

charming eco friendly dining

Happy Hues

A vibrant yellow and blue color scheme gives this small dining room a sunny and almost tropical aspect. Design by Lori Dennis.

eclectic dining table

A Taste for the Exotic

Designer Angelo Surmelis brings Indian flair to this space with the addition of intricately carved and painted wood panels. He adds interest to the tabletop by layering plates, napkins and chargers in varying colors and patterns.

Designer Troy Beasley opts for a pair of oversized, modern pendants to illuminate this lofty dining room filled with soft grays, warm tans and a fresh pop of pear green.

dining room with family photo wall and sconces

Warm and Family Friendly

Designer Angelo Surmelis creates a warm and inviting space for entertaining with a soft yellow paint color on both the walls and ceiling. Enlarged black-and-white family photos add graphic punch while a dark-stained table and upholstered chairs create an elegant and comfortable place to linger over a home-cooked meal.

dining room modern fixture

Tonal Stripes

Designer Genevieve Gorder creates a bright backdrop with a creamy tone-on-tone paint treatment. A modern, oversized drum pendant and traditional table and chairs painted charcoal gray give this dining room a modern twist.

Colorful Contemporary Kitchens

modern kitchen utilizes reflective stainless steel

Even the slightest touch of color can make a bold statement. Dark wood cabinetry is toned down by the pale-green glass backsplash and the white granite countertops. Lavender chairs and a flowing violet flower arrangement deliver a lively touch of color to this modern kitchen. Design by Daniel Bodenmiller.

Kelly eclectic blue kitchen

A unique peacock feather painted on the ceiling sets the color scheme for this transitional kitchen. The pretty blues of the mural are reflected in the soft wall color and seating, and bursts of orange are found scattered throughout the space. All of the colors are effectively pulled together in the tiled floor and artwork. Design by Ken Kelly.

colorful contemporary carefree kitchen

This kitchen reflects the owner's love for artistic expression. Custom cabinetry made from hand-painted exotic woods creates a creative palette for the space. Stainless steel appliances and hardware work to give the kitchen its contemporary feel. Design by Lou Ann Bauer.

custom enameled cabinetry is unique kitchen design

This kitchen's unique use of color against the taupe cabinetry and pale accessories is both unexpected and elegant. Fresh green walls extend to the ceiling and to the upholstery of the barstools. Green is also reflected in the island's centerpiece. Design by Shelly Riehl David.

Avram Rusu modern kitchen orange

A gorgeous burnt orange adds warmth to this modern kitchen. With crisp stainless steel countertops and white lacquered cabinetry, walnut floors, orange seating and a focal point wall of natural stone balance the modern, sleek look of the kitchen. Design by Andreea Avram Rusu.

dining room blends modern with southwestern flair

A neutral wall color is the backdrop for this transitional kitchen designed with a Southwestern flair. A mix of light and dark wood tones combines well with subtle green dining chairs. Bright orange flower arrangements and a yellow fruit arrangement lend a sunny splash of color. Design by Amy Bubier.

colorful kitchen design is family friendly

This contemporary kitchen gets its burst of color from the unique cabinetry, tileworks and furnishings. Light wood paired with deep-blue cabinet details and barstools provides a bold contrast. Mixed with the other colors, the overall effect is eye-opening and aesthetically pleasing. Design by Lou Ann Bauer.

Pillow Talk

05 Several pillows on couch

Natural Palette

Green, yellow and brown decorative pillows brighten up a solid tan couch with a natural — but lively — color palette.

Rainbow Hues

This white living room gets its burst of color with an array of vibrant decorative pillows on the window seat and couch.

pillows Colonnade

Vibrant Solids

Solid throw pillows, like these from Company C, can add simple color to a bed or sofa.

living area and open kitchen after

Chic Pink

Small hot pink accent pillows can add a playful touch of color against white pillows and taupe walls.

Clarke asian chair

Classic Red

Designer Elizabeth P. Clarke uses a crisp red pillow against a cream chair for a splash of color.

Hammerschmidt transitional living room white couch

Mellow Yellow

Yellow accent pillows to pop against the crisp white sofa and to complement the pale yellow walls.

contemporary combination living area

Touch of Pumpkin

Pumpkin-colored pillows add a lively visual to the neutral-toned space.

Designer's Notes


Designer's Notes

The open plan allows for the large sectional facing the fireplace to address both the living and dining areas. The stone fireplace surround is mirrored in a venetian plaster finish on the opposite wall, while the wool and silk rug in the same range of colors ties the room together. I love this fresh feel of this room, clean and uncluttered.


The Living room was opened up to the areas around it. The small individual windows that were there before were combined into a large picture window overlooking the creek below. The concrete trough with the white pebbles in the foreground is an ethanol fireplace that brings drama in the evening.
I would add a few plants in the rock planter for a warmer feel.


I again feel plants in the rock planter would add a warmer touch.
The architect took this builder-grade chopped up home and transformed it to an open plan, where light is shared throughout and space flows uninterrupted from room to room. The stair at the entry foyer was demolished and an open tread stair took its place, allowing for the daylight to filter in from all directions. Love the openess!!

Fall Displays

Autumn Glory

Bring fall indoors. Golden gingko leaves in a large sculptural vase create a dramatic focal point while an assortment of pears, ready bottle of wine and bowl of nuts are reminders of the harvest. Design by Rate My Space user Patrick.

Organic Elegance

A linen tablecloth and napkins, tied with humble garden string, pair beautifully with weathered terra cotta urns topped with moss and diminutive ghost pumpkins. A single artichoke at each place setting is a charming additon. Design by Rate My Space user Tetbury.

Bring the Outdoors In

A tall vase filled with scarlet-hued maple branches creates a show-stopping fall arrangement in this NYC living room. Hints of burnished gold in the leather occasional chair, lamp and pillow warm up this cozy corner. Design by Rate My User Patrick.


Rustic Tableau

An oversize primitive tray adds a textural backdrop to this collection of natural elements and European finds in Rate My Space user Tetbury's breakfast room. The jugs are Hungarian antiques while the buffet and basket are French and date to the 19th Century. A single large sunflower head is a beautiful addition and adds a sculptural, organic touch.

Sleek, Simple and Stylish

Rate My Space user nyclq describes this table setting as, "less is more." Certainly, the look is minimal but it's far from sparse. By limiting the color palette to shades of brown and white, she creates a table that is warm, polished and oh so chic.

Traditional Elegance

Rate My Space user GritsandGlamour sets the stage for a sophisticated supper with rich colors, vintage plates and a chic centerpiece featuring fresh fruit, creamy white roses and fall-color mums.

Designer Notes

Designer's Notes

This kitchen contains many green elements: Aura Benjamin Moore paint, CaesarStone counters, Energy Star-rated appliances and reclaimed floors. A wall is removed separating the kitchen from the living dining area. This new open floor plan makes the area appear bigger and floods the space with natural light and good cross ventilation.

By installing brick facade to the large wall, the ordinary track home takes on an urban loft like feel. Using Low-E windows is a green way to avoid high energy costs for heating and cooling and prevents fading of your furniture.


Custom floor-to ceiling resin sliding doors with red metal strips ingrained in the resinprovide ample space for the closet. The red woven area rug and the strips in the sliding doors match the burnt orange wall in the stair hall beyond.


The state of the art kitchen for this gourmet cook owner features Poliform cabinetry throughout, stainless steel appliances and a back-painted glass backsplash that reflects the mood of the owner in the changeable LED light that shines on it.


The dark wenge backdrop to the bed incorporates a cove with a hidden LED lightstrip that can be adjusted according to mood. The simple bed is nestled between 2 floating nightstands. A red woven area rug over the natural wide-plank flooring defines the sleeping area.


The stone mass of the fireplace against the burnt orange wall, the dark wenge cabinetry against the natural wide plank floors and the simplicity of every move make for a powerful focal point in this Washington, DC apartment. The boulders are actually soft poufs for extra sitting.

Looking back from the living room towards the Game room, the striped backs of the lounge chairs themselves become a design feature. Light floods the space from all directions. On winter nights the fireplace becomes the gathering place for drinks and conversation.

Entertaining/Orange-Scented Mulled Wine

Orange-Scented Mulled Wine

Warm coriander and pungent cardamom―instead of the usual cinnamon―give this traditional spiced wine an earthy floral twist.
–Inspired by Megan Nordtvedt, Seattle


1 large orange
Seeds from 8 cardamom pods
1 tablespoon coriander seeds
3 tablespoons chopped crystallized ginger
8 to 9 tbsp. sugar, divided
2 bottles (750 ml. each) dry red wine
1/4 cup orange-flavored liqueur (optional)
Thin orange slices (optional)


1. With a vegetable peeler, pare 8 thin strips zest (4 in. by 1/2 in.) from orange. Juice orange and reserve juice.

2. Wrap cardamom and coriander seeds and ginger in a piece of cheesecloth and tie with kitchen twine.

3. In a nonreactive saucepan, crush orange zest and 7 tbsp. sugar with a wooden spoon to release oils from zest. Add reserved orange juice, wine, and spice packet. Cover and bring to a simmer over high heat, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and let stand covered, 30 minutes. Discard spice packet and orange zest.

4. To serve, heat wine, covered, over medium heat just until steaming. If you like, stir in liqueur and more sugar to taste. Ladle into heatproof glasses. Garnish with thin orange slices if you like.

This is a new segment for SID, I will feature an Entertainment section periodically to include appetisers, entres', and more.

We all love and enjoy food, we entertain in our homes to show off the ambiance to kick off football, and other sports. Pick a drink, or appetiser and create a theme party, i.e. with this drink I would add specialty cheeses/grapes and a country to celebrate such as Italy.

 I hope you enjoy watching for all of the new posts and recipes. Find Wine Glasses and Decanters at my store.


Colorful Rooms/Part 2 of 2

jak1975 black pink green girls bedroom

This wall treatment  is clearly a labor of love. Painting stripes in several shades of pink and green and mixing them with black and white furniture and bedding is a beautiful combination that is all girl. We especially love the green leaves that extend color out into the room in an unexpected way.

DianaMync yellow white living room

Feel the sunshine in your home even when the weather is dreary. Just start with a neutral palette and bring in sunny warm colors as accents. Design by  DianaMync.

It's hard to believe this family room is located in a basement. A mix of patterned and solid carpet tiles adds warmth underfoot and creates a cozy color palette.

rfarrelldesign orange dining room

Orange can be a wonderful choice in a dining room. Chose a warm shade and pair it with rich wood and crisp white. The pop of blue from the artwork compliments the orange perfectly.