Clean and Green Tips for Eco-Friendly Decluttering By Alice Robertson

Maintaining a healthy sense of well-being depends on a number of factors. Managing stress and feeling in control of one’s life are among the most important because how you live has a lot to do with it. A cluttered, disorganized living environment makes it difficult to feel content and on top of things. Keeping your home orderly and decluttered is an ongoing commitment and a state of mind, much like determining to live in an environmentally responsible manner. Fortunately, with a little mindful attention to detail, you can maintain a clean indoor environment and contribute to a healthy and sustainable natural living environment.

Recycle the Big Stuff

Most people know you can recycle paper, plastic, and metals, but are you also aware that electronics and bedding materials can also be recycled? That’s good news if you have a closet or drawer bulging with electronics you were sure would come in handy. Take a look at them now and think again. How many of these items will you really use again? Surely not that flip phone from 1999 or the power cords and adapters from a smartphone you had three generations ago. Plop it all into a box or bag and head to the nearest electronics recycling facility.

Old Clothing

Few things create clutter quite like accumulated clothing. You might be shocked at how much clothing you’ve held onto through the years. Accept that you just won’t fit into those slacks from high school anymore and start looking for other lost causes that can go. Donating them to charity or taking it all to a consignment store will free up room in your closet and prevent a whole lot of textile -- a leading cause of landfill overflow -- from contributing to environmental waste. 

Plastic Bags

Have you ever opened a kitchen cabinet and gotten a face full of plastic grocery bags? Plastic is a major source of pollution and presents a deadly threat to many forms of wildlife. Plastic bags release toxins into the environment as they degrade and animals eat the remains. Try substituting a reusable environmentally friendly cloth grocery bag for all that plastic instead. 

CDs, DVDs, and Books

If you have a large pile of old CDs, DVDs, and books, consider donating them to charity or selling them on eBay. Libraries, schools, and community centers are usually happy to take such donated items. CDs and DVDs produce carbon dioxide and contribute to global warming. CDs are made of a material that can’t be recycled, which contributes to landfill waste. Consider downloading music to a handheld device and joining one of the many movie streaming services, such as Netflix or Amazon Prime. If you have lots of photos, reduce clutter by scanning, digitizing, and storing them in the cloud.

Take a Stand Against Junk Mail

We all get tons of junk mail every year, usually on an unwanted basis. Much of it goes unread and simply piles up, contributing to clutter, or goes into the trash or recycling bin. Wherever it ends up, junk mail constitutes a tremendous waste of paper. Register for the mail preference service, which removes your name and address from mailing lists.

Dispose of Carefully

If you’ll be disposing of environmentally harmful substances like old medications, paint, and personal care products, be aware that many bodies of water in the U.S. have become polluted because people simply pour them down the drain. Check out this guide to learn about responsible disposal of common household substances and chemicals, including oil, grease, and solvents.

Clean Green

Be careful about the kind of cleaning products you use. Many commercial sprays and fluids contain environmentally damaging chemicals that aren’t healthy for your indoor environment either. Look for alternatives that use natural ingredients, or try cleaning with eco-friendly substances like baking soda or vinegar. To help you maintain your healthy home after properly scrubbing it down, consider a highquality vacuum with a high efficiency or HEPA air filter. These filters will help eliminate allergens and dust particles lingering in your home.

The next time you’re cleaning and decluttering, bear in mind all the ways you can create a clean, orderly home without damaging the environment. Try adopting a minimalist attitude to your belongings and an eco-friendly approach to cleaning.

Metallic Finishes To Your Modern Kitchen By Wendy Dessler

Major interior designers expect to see the trends of the “modern-meets-classic” kitchen themes to continue well into the next year. While the white motifs will still dominate, expect dryer colors such as grays, soft blues, greens and pastel yellows to become the trend in accent colors. Professionals agree the real excitement is the dominant role metals will play in chic kitchen decor.

Kitchens have always had a “hint” of metal, with stainless steel, pots and pans and traditional faucets. In recent months, subtle metals have stepped into the arena. But the modern kitchen of today is exploding with a mixture of metals in everything from copper and brass accent pieces to brushed nickel kitchen faucets.

There is no better place to express yourself and your love for the bold and beautiful than the kitchen, and no more versatile material to incorporate (at so many levels) than metal. Mixing the metals creates a one of a kind look, that expresses the personality of the designer and the homeowner. For example, a stainless steel backsplash, antiqued bronzed pulls, with bright copper hangings all in one space is a striking visual effect.

Brass overhead lights give the smart workstations of today, a feel of yesterday. Copper has moved back into the mainstream of kitchen decor as people are leaning more toward vintage, farmhouse, rustic, and industrial revivals. Copper cooking ranges are a popular choice for the modern yet vintage look.

Polished copper worktops, countertops, and islands with an epoxy resin finishes which ensures easy cleaning has made its way into the limelight. They are more eco-friendly than synthetic alternatives and surprisingly easy to clean and the beautiful copper glow is easily restored.

Some people opt for the unsealed copper finish that oxidizes with time for a timeless look. These work well with darker woods. Strategically placed sheets of copper is an exquisite way to bring the wow factor to the white, contemporary kitchen.

Don’t forget the details. While the backsplashes, hanging hoods, and beautiful countertops are eye-drawing focal points, finer details make a huge impact. Adding nickel or chrome pulls on your cabinets, add a cool metallic glint. Display some copper or stainless steel cookware on lower shelves to help equalize a room and bring the look together.

Lighting is critical in any room. Industrial lighting is beautiful in the rustic kitchen. Hanging lamps with brushed metal shades in any variety of metal finishes is perfect. All your metal finishes need not match. A mixture is what

gives your kitchen the ultra modern look of yesteryear. Do not rush to do away with the less shiny metals and brushed nickel finishes, just incorporate them. Who knows what the trends of tomorrow will be? Express yourself. If you love it - use it.

Use simple metal accessories to make the most of even small kitchen areas. Think metal framed chairs and stools. If your kitchen is an open floor plan, use metal to merge the look of the kitchen with the living space, quietly. You can use wood in kind to incorporate the look of the chic kitchen with the decor of the living space or den.

Traditional kitchen designs will always be popular, but today’s homeowner will opt for more strategically placed and understated items and less “frills”.

Fresh Photo Walls

A large grouping is one of our favorite ways to display family or travel  photos.  Perfect locations for this format include a feature wall in a contained area of your home, within a stairwell, on a long hallway, or encompassing one large wall that is unobstructed by windows or doors. 

The beauty of black and white or sepia  photos is that they "erase"  time.  It is difficult to determine the age of photos taken in the last several decades once color variations are removed.  Many applications on smart phones can render a black and white photo from a current shot.  Older photos can be scanned and digitally altered to black and white in various photo programs or by a professional. 

Framing the photos in a consistent fashion will give you the clean, fresh look you want.  Whether your frames are black, white, chrome, silver, platinum or gold just be sure they are all similar.  This allows the eye to rest on the presentation of the photo, not the framing. 

Displaying photos in this way can be done with identical sized frames or a great variety of frames carefully laid out for a balanced effect. This is the perfect way to personalize your home in a dramatic yet understated way. You will love the result!

Need help with your photo wall?  No problem! Give us a call or drop us a line. It would be our pleasure to help you tell your story on a photo wall. 


A key ingredient to really great design is lighting, lighting, lighting. Next to great architecture, it can really transform a room.  Since each room in your home has a unique function, so too should the lighting.  Lighting makes a style statement by letting your personal style shine through while serving an important functional role. Every room needs multiple sources of light depending on the amount of natural light the room receives.  Here are five lighting trends that will help you raise the lighting quotient in your home. 

1. LED lighting has become a great  source of attractive lighting with  energy saving components  with an ever growing line of  designs.  Early on these were not the most enticing options but the technology has improved and they are now a viable product. 

2. Vintage lighting with an industrial flair can be seen now in restaurants around town.  This new trend has really caught on with use of Edison bulbs and mixed metals and strapping. Slightly more masculine in feel but they really add interest to a room. 

3. Glamorous  lighting can now be found in every room of the house.  Fancier lighting with beading, bling, and crystals are in secondary entrances, kitchens and powder rooms not just the foyer or dining room these days. 

4. Geometric lighting with sharp lines and clean edges is a real lighting trend making headway in traditional and modern decors. 

5. Metallic finishes are getting more varied.  Copper lighting, brushed nickel, aged bronze, iron, polished nickel and polished chrome are still strong as well. 

Bringing the Indoors Out

Our earth is bursting forth with lush grass, foliage and blossoming flowers all around us.   This is the perfect time of year to look outward and expand your living space into the backyard.  


Some key elements that help achieve a well executed and stylish outdoor living space include:

- A pit group with a clear approach, preferably anchored by an outdoor rug (we have lots!)

- An outdoor eating area with a chandelier and candles 

- An outdoor grill, kitchen or fire pit

- Architectural elements either in the garden or on the surrounding walls

- Exterior grade artwork and mirrors

- Outdoor curtains for added privacy and ambiance

- Fountains, water features, swings and hammocks all add personality and beckon us outside to relax in the lovely summer weather

A comfortable pit group, fireplace and elegant chandelier with a mix of architectural materials. 

A cozy grouping with ample lighting and clever space expanding mirrors 


Symmetrical hardscaping and classic use of architectural details create a stunning exterior 

 Call us today to help maximize your exterior living area!

Spring 2015 Trends at Market

High Point is the mecca of international décor, an incubator of creativity, and an overwhelmingly  enjoyable journey for interior designers! We are like children waiting for Christmas when it comes to our twice a year market pilgrimages.   Imagine over 130 buildings in a quaint southern town  loaded with the most gorgeous furniture and accessories the world has to offer. Here are the top 6 trends we spotted this market: 

1. Sculpted Cabinet Fronts by Embella Home

2. Metallic Finishes by Bernhardt

3. Sleek Yet Practical Design by John Richard

4. Highlighted Wood Grain and Marquetry by Hickory White

5. Upholstered Chairs with Cut Outs by Chaddock

6. Blush Pink