My Latest Posts

Posted on: October 21st, 2014 by Darla | 2 Comments

Renovating is a huge challenge for many, because it is so hard to “see” the finished result before you start. In this bathroom renovation, which I was thrilled to be a design consultant on, you’ll love the huge transformation of this 30-year old bathroom into something completely modern and beautiful.

Here’s the bathroom before:

Bathroom before (8)

Bathroom before (5) Bathroom before (2)


Bathroom before (3)

The homeowner wanted a completely different, updated look with a spa feel and the ease of a walk in shower. Since this was the only full bathroom in the home, she thought long and hard about whether it was wise to remove the only bathtub in the house. But in the end, she desided to make the changes for her and not some future potential buyer, and I love her for that.

I believe you should live in your home the way you want to live in it. Design for you.

She spotted this display in a local tile shop, and all other design choices stemmed from this design inspiration:

blue glass tile shower for spa bath renovation

And here’s the fabulous bathroom after, starting with the new taller vanity with granite top:

wood vanity with granite top in bathroom renovationWe decided to eighty-six the frumpy medicine cabinet, especially since she gained a ton of new drawer storage in the vanity. But we kept the niche, accenting it with the Versailles pattern tile that is on the shower floor.

medicine cabinet turned display niche in spa bathroom

Spa Bathroom After (2) The beautiful new shower stall is literally highlighted with a new SolaTube light, which is a circular skylight that allows light to travel through the attic into this interior room. The light you see in the picture is sunlight. She tells me during the night, the moonlight is also very bright from this SolaTube.

It also has a built-in shower seat, which no full shower should be without.

The plan is to eventually finish this shower enclosure with glass doors.

Spa Bathroom After (4) You’ve already seen this side of the shower, and where we added the guest towels as decor and sneaky storage.

Spa Bathroom After (5)

Along with the 3 hooks inside the shower and the niche that holds soap and shampoo, there are three hooks outside the shower that hold the fluffy, quick drying microfiber towels that pair perfectly with the blue glass tile and the rest of the color scheme.

By the way, do you know how incredibly hard it is to photograph a bathroom without getting yourself in the picture?

towels in the new spa bathroom

The closet in the background is one that you’ve already seen. Nothing behind closed doors here but more bathroom closet organization to add to the spa feel!

This bathroom renovation took several weeks, like all renovations do. There was dust everywhere, and the half-bath downstairs worked mighty hard while this bathroom was out of commission. But now that it’s all over, it’s amazing!

What do you think of this spa bathroom renovation?

Spa bathroom renovation


Posted on: October 18th, 2014 by Darla | 1 Comment


I live in my family home that’s been in my family for generations. The things from the past are crowding me out. I’d be happy to pare down and get rid of many things, if I weren’t afraid that one or two of those trinkets might actually be worth something. I wonder if there might be value in that clutter. What should I do?


You are doing the right thing by asking the question and doing your research. Click Here to find out the 4 things you should consider to get the value out of your clutter and bring more peace to your life.

This article was first published at

Posted on: October 16th, 2014 by Darla | No Comments

Putting things back together after a renovation can often be tough. After so much energy and decision making on the renovation work itself, restocking the closet can just be one more chore. I recently had a chance to help a client put her space back together, and I thought you’d just love to see how it looks.

These bins help to keep everything accessible and easy to find. The 1″ labels make categories easy to see.

organized bathroom linen closet

From top to bottom, every inch is used. Plastic packaging is used to keep blankets together. The colorful stacks on the left are sheet sets folded into their own pillowcase (click to see how).

extra bed linens organized in  bathroom linen closet

organized towels in bathroom linen closet

The towels are neatly folded in this organized linen closet.

organized towels in bathroom linen closet

It really does make a difference how you fold.

You might not think this is a lot of towels, and that’s because these are just the towels for daily use. The guest towels are organized and on display as part of the decor.

towels in basket

Common bathroom items like cotton balls and soaps are stored here, as well as things you might need only once in a while, like jewelry cleaner. The bins not only make it easy to find things, but are a good way to tell if you have “enough” of something. Do you really need a whole bin or more of deodorant?

medical supplies in an organized bathroom closetEven cleaning supplies and extra paper goods are pared down and neatly organized here on the floor.

organized bathroom linen closet

No more fumbling for the bandages or wondering if you have enough cold remedy. Everything is marked and stored neatly here. Yes, this is the one and only linen closet in the home, and it’s admittedly small, but by using every inch, it is more than sufficient.


Can you take any ideas from this organized bathroom closet to try in yours?


Posted on: October 14th, 2014 by Darla | No Comments

This fall has been unusual in a way that you almost might not have noticed…we have not had hurricanes every other week. Yeah! But getting ready for storms when one isn’t bearing down on you gives you peace of mind, and ensures that you have needed supplies on hand. A while back I told you all about my love affair with my little Ryobi generator, which is part of my overall storm-readiness plan for our family. Well, I don’t have to tell you how crappy last winter was for just about everyone. My family was spared major damage, but some neighbors were out of power for more than four days.

Down the road, things were pretty bad. Sure, the cat and her people were able to cozy up to their gas fireplace to keep warm while the power was out.

staying warm during a power outage

But the fish did not fare so well. After a couple of days with no oxygen pumping and no heat, things were looking pretty grim. See this orange guy on the far right? Fish are not supposed to be pointing north like that.

fish tanks without power

When I saw this, we hauled out our little generator pronto and fired her up for the guppies. My neighbor strung extension cords into the house to power 4 large fish tanks, while simultaneously recharging their extra car battery. She ran for a day or two, powered by just a gallon of gas at a time.

Not a fish life was lost from that point throughout the rest of the storm.

ryobi generator powers fish tanks

I’m glad this little girl got a workout last winter, and I’m glad she was there for her fishy neighbors. Some people suffered much bigger problems last winter, and I don’t mean to make light of the damage that anyone sustained. But I think there is no better ending to the story than…”and they all lived happily ever after.”

Now you know how this works, folks. Everyone go buy yourself a sweet little generator like this, and that will ensure that we don’t need them! Here’s to the rest of the fall being storm-free and a mild winter!