How do you define a luxurious home?
You likely picture it as large and filled with expensive materials, furniture, art and accessories.
In reality, it’s none of these things. A large home can have a cold feel to it and be overwhelming.
An ostentatiously-furnished home can feel off-putting and like you can’t touch anything.
A truly luxurious home is comprised of elements that anyone can have regardless of size and cost.
These elements as described by MOCHACASA.COM are:

Scandinavian design living room

A feeling of spaciousness

This isn’t the same as a having a large house. Rather, it is a home where you feel you have room to breathe and move. An absence of clutter and good storage helps. As does not trying to cram too much furniture into a room. It’s about working with the scale of the room.

white and grey living room


A light filled interior instantly feels good when you walk into it. And this is in part linked to the last point: it gives a room a more spacious appearance. And if you don’t have large windows, substitute with some clever lighting. But balance is the key. It shouldn’t look too bright and stark either.

freestanding bath and stone walls


Light and dark. Hard and soft. Rough and smooth. Natural and man-made. Ancient and modern. Contrast adds interest that arouses our senses. Think of the way light plays on a room when it filters in through a window blind. Or rich warm wood set against cool glass and steel. An all white room may feel cold if it is all one shade and similar materials. But add subtle shades, different textured fabrics. And the mood of the room is altogether different.

modern classic white living room

Dining room with colourful rug


Closely related to contrast is balance. A riot of different colours and patterns in a space can be headache inducing. Over-using metallic home accessories and furnishings can look garish. But place a colourful patterned rug in the centre of a neutral room and it can entirely transform the interior. Introduce some subtle metallic accents, and it adds a touch of luxe.

Dining table with ornate mirror

Dining table with plants and flowers


Get inspired by nature and bring the outside in. Adding natural elements into your home will bring it to life. Think of how a plant can add vibrancy to an empty corner of a room.

Luxurious bedroom with natural elements


Our sense of smell has a powerful impact. An aroma can effect or enhance our mood. And evoke memories that take us back to a different time and place. But alternately, they can also be an instant turn-off. Walk into a room with a stale, unpleasant odour and it might cloud your perception of the space. Even if the decor is otherwise lovely.

Enter a luxurious hotel and probably one of the first things you’ll become aware of is a beautiful fragrance in the air. And its easy to replicate the effect in your own home with a scented candle or diffuser. Once again it’s all about balance. You’re aiming for a subtle, rather than overwhelming, fragrance.

And perhaps subtlety is what links all these elements together.  A luxurious home isn’t one that screams “look at me!” – because it doesn’t have to.

You just know.

What do you think makes a home feel luxurious? What would you add to the list?

Mindful Interior Design, Home decor ideas, Luxury
Until next time…
Blessings from my home to yours,
Dedicated to helping you create spaces that foster happiness and well-being
Saturated blues have been a trending color choice for a while now.
However, if you think of navy blue, you won’t think it’s trending; indeed, it’s a classic and always popular. In fact, the color blue is the most popular color around the world and by all cultures.
There are many reasons why you might consider saturated blues as a color choice—particularly if you’ve been in the “light and airy” camp for a long time. Why you ask? Here are some reasons:
  • Saturated blues offer richness, warmth, and depth in a room.
  • They’re serene and peaceful creating a soothing environment.
  • Deep blues offer a feeling of warmth in winter and coolness in the summer.
  • In a small space, they impart a womb-like feeling which is comforting.
  • Saturated blues are tranquil colors and maintain a dark richness of tone without becoming overpowering like black might.
  • They pair beautifully with warm-colored wood and warm metals like gold and brass.
  • They’re an excellent companion to neutrals such as gray, white, and marble.
Take a look at these photos and see how saturated blues have been used in various rooms. Also listed are the paint companies and their color names that have used in each space.
Transitional Living Room by Dineen Architecture + Design

What makes this especially fresh-looking is all of the white that’s partnered with the rich shade of blue.

Transitional Home Office by Custom Design & Construction

The deep blue is used only as an accent wall. Again, there’s a lot of white present. Plus the mirror and the light fixture reflect light that is bounced around the room.

Beach Style Bedroom by Landing Design

Lots of white again and note the warm,light-colored flooring.

Transitional Bedroom by Lindsay Pennington Inc.

You just know you’d enjoy sweet dreams in this bedroom. You’d feel like you’re getting a big hug. Notice that white is used on the bedding, wallpaper and window coverings. Also, the mirrored side tables reflect light.

Traditional Kitchen by Meriwether Inc

Devine Macaw is used on the cabinetry and millwork in this kitchen. Along with the white and warm honey wide-planked flooring, you would not quickly tire of this combination.

Beach Style Bedroom by Dianne Davant and Associates

Tell me you wouldn’t love to spend time in this living room. The deep blue walls, along with the crisp white furnishings and rug, only enhance the view of the sea outside the window.

Contemporary Bedroom by Noz Design

Crisp and clean perfectly define this bedroom. This is a favorite saturated blue because even though  a dark color, it still has a lightness to it which is accentuated by the white bedding and window coverings.

Transitional Bedroom by Martha O'Hara Interiors

It looks cold outside this bedroom window, but warm and cozy inside. Once again, the white that is used keeps the deep blue walls from feeling too dark.

Transitional Bathroom by Guggenheim Architecture + Design Studio

If you’re considering trying any of these saturated blues, test it first on a large swath of wall. You need to see it in the space it will be used and in all light, both natural and artificial.

As always, it’s only the perfect color if you love it!
Until next time…
Blessings from my home to yours,
Dedicated to helping you create spaces that foster happiness and well-being
Photos via HOUZZ
Eclectic Living Room by Amber Interiors

It’s not the fabulous furniture you’ve chosen and no, it’s not the perfect color you’ve painted your walls.

While important, the real secret to achieving warmth and coziness in your home is texture.
It’s the subtle interplay of tactile surfaces that gives a room vitality.
Texture is about balancing fuzzy and sleek, patterned and plain, shiny and matte, dark and light in furnishings, textiles and finishes.
I challenge you to sit on a sofa that has a sheepskin or faux fur throw draped over it and not run your hands through it. It begs to be touched and it’s comforting when you do it.
Textures are the visual “feel” of a room and without them the comfort a space should give you is missing. It’s one dimensional—even if you’re not consciously aware of it.
This week’s article shows 9 ways to successfully use texture in your home.
Transitional Bedroom by Lisa Burdus Interior Design

Pillows, throws, a coverlet all in different textures makes this bed oh so inviting.

Beach Style Bathroom by Westcott Construction Ltd

A brick wall in an unexpected place like this bathroom gives depth and interest to the space.

Farmhouse Family Room by SALA Architects

In this living room, reclaimed wood boards turn a blank wall into a textured statement.

Transitional Living Room by Thomas Towne Reavey, Inc.

In this photo, a second rug has been added on top of a neutral-colored one for more color and texture.

Note: If there are small children or elderly in your home, consider carefully as layered rugs pose a tripping hazard. Instead, use it as a wall hanging.
Midcentury Living Room by Jessica Helgerson Interior Design

Portuguese eel traps have been hung on this fireplace wall. The dark color of the traps contrasts beautifully against the white brick.

Rustic Dining Room by Jute Interior Design

For smaller items like these baskets, hang them as a wall collection. They’re complemented by the hanging, textural light pendant.

Transitional Bedroom by Alexander Pollock Interiors

Always luxurious whether matte or shiny, wallpaper is an elegant way to bring texture into a room.

Transitional Living Room by Nanette Wong

This sofa begs you to curl up on it. The dense softness will have you petting it for sure. With a large piece like this, go more hard-edged with other pieces of furniture in the room for contrast.

Note: Velvet might not be the best fabric choice if you have a cat. It can become irresistible for its little claws. Life style is always something to be mindful of as it determines your design choices.
Contemporary Living Room by Steele Street Studios

In this photo, fireplace logs are displayed as sculpture. You get texture plus something practical.

Speaking of nature, plants and indoor trees add texture, color, and are health-giving as well.
Scandinavian Dining Room by Callwey

Looking at this dining room, imagine the plain wood chairs without the sheepskin. The room would have a hard look without their comfort and pillow-soft texture inviting you to take a seat and stay awhile.

Midcentury Kitchen by Studio Schicketanz
In a kitchen with its many smooth surfaces, the backsplash can be the perfect way to add a three-dimensional and textured surface. Also think of a basket filled with fruit and plants as additional ways to add texture in a kitchen space.
There you have it. Just a few ways to add comfort, warmth and richness to all of your rooms. You’ll love your home even more.
Until next time…
Blessings from my home to yours,
Dedicated to helping you create spaces that foster happiness and well-being
Photos via HOUZZ
Do you suffer from allergies?
If so, and millions of us do, you don’t need the calendar to tell you spring has arrived.
Runny eyes and nose, headaches, hive-like itchy rashes, even asthma are the painful and annoying symptoms that occur during this most beautiful time of year.
Fortunately, we have medications that offer relief. It also helps to know what things you allergically react to so they can be avoided.
But sometimes we’re simply surprised. This week’s article highlights 9 plants that can set off an allergic reaction you might not have been aware of.
The good news is you don’t have to give up your garden and being surrounded by the beauty and balm to the spirit that flowers give us—surely one of nature’s gifts.
Just avoid those plants that are known to be common irritants.
Here they are:
    A beautiful plant that is often seen in flower arrangements. However, their pollen can be a major irritant for hay fever.
Contemporary Patio by Design for Conscious Living®
     Popular in tropical-like gardens, all parts of this plant are toxic.
Contemporary Landscape by Randy Thueme Design Inc. - Landscape Architecture
     Because chamomile is related to ragweed, the pollen is an allergen and the leaves and flowers can also be irritants.
Tropical Landscape by Maria Hickey & Associates Landscapes
     Who knew the simple and beloved daisy could create allergy symptoms? Unfortunately, it, too, is related to ragweed. You could react to the pollen, leaves, flowers, and extracts derived from it.
Traditional Landscape by Laara Copley-Smith Garden & Landscape Design
     The scent is divine, but beware of a sneezing fit due to its pollen
Contemporary Landscape by Jay Sifford Garden Design
     Often used as ground cover, the pollen can be an irritant, but the plant itself can cause hay fever and skin issues.
by Soils Alive
     Most of us think this is the main cause of allergies and we’d be right. It’s also so hearty that it grows almost everywhere in the U.S. Wouldn’t you know it?
Traditional Landscape by Missouri Botanical Garden
     Although this is more of a summer plant, this always cheery and happy-looking flower’s pollen and seeds can cause problems. It’s a cousin of chamomile. Look for pollenless or hypoallergenic sunflowers.
Mediterranean Porch by Arcadia Studio
     Who doesn’t love this beauty that drapes itself over patios or climbing up a trellis? Unfortunately, the pollen can trigger hay fever and even touching it can cause skin reactions.
There are so many beautiful and sweet-smelling plants that can serve as substitutes for the offenders just mentioned. Some examples would be: clematis, daylillies, goldenrod, rosemary, sweet peas, phlox, English lavender, woolly thyme, hibiscus, and chenille plant to name but a few.
Here’s to a happy spring full of flowers without dreaded allergies!
Until next time…
Blessings from my home to yours,
Dedicated to helping you create spaces that foster happiness and well-being
Photos via HOUZZ
This week’s article was written by Graeme Wilson, UK contributor. He talks about a surface not usually seen in the kitchen—mirror.
Though unusual, mirror has many benefits such as bouncing light around the room which visually enlarges the space and adds a sense of depth. It certainly gives a touch of glamour. It can also hide features such as structural pillars which you may not want to see.
Depending on the type of glass used, it works beautifully in both traditional and contemporary designed kitchens.
And in spite of what you may fear, mirror is not difficult to keep clean—even behind the cook stove.
Take a look at the photos and descriptions. They show imaginative ways that you could add mirror to your own kitchen.
Incorporating a carefully chosen mirror into your kitchen injects a touch of glamour and brings other benefits. The reflective surface bounces light back across a room, boosting brightness and adding a sense of depth. It’s also a simple but highly effective way to make your space look bigger. Depending on what type of mirror you go for, it can be a relatively inexpensive way to improve your cooking space. Browse these imaginative ways to add mirrored glass to your kitchen.
Until next time…
Blessings from my home to yours,
Dedicated to helping YOU live your rooms—not the other way around
Over the years, I’ve helped many moms refresh their homes when the last child leaves the nest to start the next chapter in their lives.
After a period of mourning with the realization that an important chapter of their lives is over, they want to re-do the home in some way now that it’s a child-free zone once again.
Something wonderful happens with fresh starts. There’s excitement that comes with realizing new possibilities and no where is this more evident than the design of your home.
You’ve reached a new stage in your life—a place you’ve not been before. Your home needs to fit where you are now in your life and support your new goals.
Here are 9 ways that can help you with this transition and give both you and your home a fresh new start.
organized closetorganized closet
It’s amazing how much clutter accumulates over the years, especially in areas like closets, drawers, the attic, basement and garage. You’ll have saved many things of the kids that really don’t need to be kept. You’ll probably find things of the children that they no longer will use or need as well. Now’s a good time to go through it all and discard.Be ruthless. You’ll feel giddy with joy and a wonderful sense of accomplishment when you’re through.
He/she may be off to college but they;ll have breaks when they want to come home and have their room waiting for them. Change enough so you can use the space for your own needs, but leave enough so your child still feels welcome. Once they’ve graduated, all bets are off and that room becomes a space to do with as you please.
A useful piece of furniture while the kids were growing up. Now, however, might be the perfect time to replace it with smaller, cozier pieces. Consider a sofa and love seat, 2 smaller sofas, or a sofa and comfortable chairs.


After putting off renovations, now is the time to remodel your bathroom or kitchen. You’ve wanted to for years, but kept postponing it until the children were gone. No better time like the present to have that spa bathroom or a kitchen a chef would love to cook in.
You may not need a remodel. It may be that re-covering your sofa, changing out your bed linens, adding new accessories, or changing your paint colors is all you need for a design/decor face lift.
Your child’s bedroom can also be used as a guest room when it would otherwise stay vacant. Another idea is to replace the bed with a sleeper sofa and create a home office.
You’ve wanted your very own personal library forever, or a special room to enjoy your hobbies. A perfect way to miss your child a little less is to give this space new life with a new purpose.
You’ve always wanted a light-colored carpet and white furniture. You would never have indulged this desire while the children were growing up, but now you can. You’re free to decorate your home without restraints. Go for it. You’ve surely earned it!
If you or someone you know is facing the empty nest syndrome and would like help giving your home a free-at-last renewal, please email me at me@ I’d love to help you.
Until next time…
Blessings from my home to yours,
Dedicated to helping YOU live your rooms—not the other way around
Photos via ELLE decor
Sometimes it just is what it is.
Your room’s foot print is smaller than you’d like and remodeling the the space isn’t in the cards.
Fortunately, there are interior design tricks that can visually allow a space to appear larger than it really is.
Here are a few suggestions that will make you feel your small space has never looked bigger.
The shape of most small rooms is square. Add furniture and rugs that are curvy or irregularly shaped as the area rug in this photo is.


A light-colored rug will always visually enlarge a space. If the floors are stained dark or even if there’s an existing dark carpet, a bound carpet remnant in a light color will give the feeling of a larger room.
Add curtains. They’re dramatic and give a lush feel. Hang curtains outside of the window frame and even cover bare walls. Hang them from floor to ceiling and make sure you have enough fabric to avoid a skimpy look. Note, too, the large mirrors in this space that can instantly double the visual size of the room.


No, a large sectional won’t work well in a small space, but consider scale. A tiny little couch will actually close a room in and appear smaller. Look for a moderately sized one.
Lucite furniture like the desk in this photo seem to disappear and open up a space. It appears to float and that visually creates a feeling of more room.


The Murphy bed is a tried and true way to have more room. They’ve come a long way in looks and comfort from what they were back in the day.
Lighting is another way to create a feeling of space. Have many sources of light in a room. There’s also no better way to giving a room a warm and welcoming feel.
Because space is limited, make sure the room is designed to suit your needs. You may need a desk, for instance, but not a dining table. It’s your home and you get to choose whatever enriches your life more.
Instead of lots of closed cabinets, floating shelves are another option that will immediately open up your space visually. 
These are just a few design ideas that can visually enlarge a small room.
If you have a small space challenge and need help, send me an email at and we can talk about solutions.
Until next time…
Blessings from my home to yours,
Dedicated to helping YOU live your rooms—not the other way around
Images courtesy welldesigntips
We’ve all done it…
Look at a large blank wall and wonder how we want to fill that space.
We know artwork always works, but just maybe you’d like to do something different this time—decorate that wall in a more unusual way.
Here are 11 examples of adding design zest to a large wall in your home.
wall art
Add a 3-dimensional effect with sculptural pieces. No obvious pattern; the sculptures seem to be placed as if by magic.
Note: Use an odd number of sculptures and lay your pattern out first on the floor until you find a design that’s pleasing to your eye.


It could be a wall hanging that you found in your travels that you tucked into a drawer and forgot about. Bring it out, hang it and be reminded of a wonderful memory everyday.


A blank wall is the perfect place for books and collected treasures. More than just a book case, the combination makes a pleasing display.
There are so many treasures from around the world that make fabulous wall hangings. It could be a beautiful rug, any number of tapestries, or something like a ceremonial robe. They come with a story that’s fun to share and add beauty and interest.
In this photo, plaster paneling was custom designed to create a 3-dimensional effect. Nothing else is needed to make this an architectural feature wall. 


It doesn’t have to be complicated. Just a simple ladder placed next to a painting completes this wall decor.


A wall of mirror can be dramatic when it reflects other things of beauty in a room. Also note the artwork that’s placed directly onto the mirror. Hanging it from fishing line, the painting appears to float.
Gather your collection of like items and place them all together so they show as one. It’s so much more effective that scattered about and makes a statement for sure.
What makes this example different is the addition of unusual light fixtures that flank each side of the artwork; filling the space in a simple, yet dramatic way.


Needless to say, one large photo is all you need to make a very dramatic impression on a blank wall.


This iconic wallpaper pattern originally from the Beverly Hills Hotel is enough of a statement all by itself.
Until next time…
Blessings from my home to yours,
Dedicated to helping YOU live your rooms—not the other way around
Images via Elle Decor


Have you ever walked into a space and wondered why you felt so immediately uncomfortable? Something just felt off.

I bet the opposite has happened, too. You entered a room and instantly felt at home.

Our environment profoundly affects us, whether we are consciously aware of the reasons why or why not. It definitely makes the difference between feeling happy at home or not so much.

This week’s article talks about this very subject—how interior design affects us on a subconscious level. It was written by Nina Wells from the UK.



When we think of interior design some of the first things we might think about is the colour on the walls and the furniture in a space. We also think about lighting and how arranging everything can make a huge difference in function and traffic flow. What might not be immediately apparent is the ways in which your home may be a clue to your personality likes and dislikes, and how these design features may be having an impact on our subconscious. Think about the last time you went to a home of a new acquaintance or client. You might not be aware, but the surroundings of the space probably led you to make immediate assumptions about them, whether positive or negative. If the space was filled with very bland, neutral colours and many hard surfaces (quartz, tile, ceramic, glass) then you might have got the impression that the person living in that space was cold and not very welcoming. Colour probably has the single biggest impact on how we feel in a room. Different paint colours can serve to stimulate appetite, make us calmer, or even help us to wake up in the morning.

Red; this colour can warm up a space and add drama. It symbolizes both power and passion.


Yellow; the most obvious colour for a happy, creative space. If you have a room with lots of natural light, a pale yellow will make a space in which you’ll return time and again for a mood boost.

Orange; used in a large amount, orange can be a bit overwhelming, but as an accent or feature wall, this colour can deliver big on positive energy.

Blue; you’ll often see blue in kitchens or bathrooms and that’s because blue gives the perception of freshness and is a calming colour. In a bathroom this colour can help create a spa like surrounding without being stark, which sometimes happens when homeowners resort to too much white.


Green; a colour that can help stabilize mood, the right green can soothe.

Gray; this colour has had a surge in popularity for use all over the home, and it’s likely that we sense the need for a space of relaxation that this colour achieves.

Purple; another colour that is great as a feature wall but hard to take as a main colour in a room, purple gives the sense of luxury and sophistication.


Black; this is a very bold colour, and like red is a great symbol for power when used in a space, although black may come off as a little more aggressive.

Since most people pick a variety of colours for their homes, it’s easy enough to create different moods in different spaces. It’s amazing how many people paint a room in a soft shade of yellow only to find their family gathered in this space more than any other in the home. Without realizing it, they’ve gravitated to a room that is ideal for feeling good and getting those creative juices flowing.


Besides colour, another primary reason that you may feel the way you do in certain spaces is the clutter or starkness in your home. In a home that contains a raft of clutter from ceiling to floor, you may not realize that you harbour anxiety or a low mood, even to the degree of leading to a feeling of helplessness. Good organization within your home can help to relieve this problem and allow for a more clutter free environment in which you can take your ease. On the opposite end of the spectrum, you may also feel that a space devoid of personal belongings isn’t inviting or welcoming. Generally a home that is fairly tidy and neat gives most people a sense of calm, and allows them to move about the space without any feeling of angst. Placing a few key and meaningful possessions around the home will help you to feel that the space is truly yours; a reflection of your personality or the personality of family members. Framing and displaying funny family photos may lead you to enjoy a space even more, sparking good memories and sending a message to visitors that you don’t take yourself too seriously.


The furniture in your home also sends a lot of messages about who you are and what is important to you. A large comfortable couch, for example, might subconsciously invite family members (especially in regards to children) to snuggle while they watch a movie, while a stiff love seat might make family members feel that the space is more conducive to adult visitors for conversation.

This article is written by Nina Wells. Nina is a guest author from Vidalux and is a respected and expert voice in a plethora of health related subjects with over 10 years of writing under her belt.

Until next time…

Blessings from my home to yours,

Dedicated to helping YOU live your rooms—not the other way around

In honor of complete transparency, you won’t find this week’s article talking about interior design at all.
Instead, I’m sending you quips that ask the simple question “why?” on mundane things you may have wondered about, too. They were sent to me from a friend by a clever anonymous author.
I promise they’ll make you smile and even laugh—sometimes, on some days, that is the best thing of all.

Why do supermarkets make the sick walk all the way to the back of the store to get their prescriptions 
while healthy people can buy cigarettes at the front?


Why do people order double cheeseburgers, large fries, and a diet coke?

Why do banks leave vault doors open and then chain the pens to the counters?
Why do we leave cars worth thousands of dollars in our driveways and put our useless junk in the garage?

Why the sun lightens our hair, but darkens our skin?

Why can’t women put on mascara with their mouth closed? 

Why don’t you ever see the headline ‘Psychic Wins Lottery’? 

Why is ‘abbreviated’ such a long word?

Why is it that doctors and attorneys call what they do ‘practice’? 

 Why is lemon juice made with artificial flavoring, and dish washing liquid made with real lemons? 

  Why is the man who invests all your money called a broker?
Why isn’t there mouse-flavored cat food?

Why didn’t Noah swat those two mosquitoes?

Why do they sterilize the needle for lethal injections?

You know that indestructible black box that is used on airplanes?  Why don’t they make the whole plane
out of that stuff??

 Why don’t sheep shrink when it rains? 

 Why are they called apartments when they are all stuck together?   
If flying is so safe, why do they call the airport the terminal? 

Now that you’ve smiled at least once, it’s your turn to spread the stupidity and send this to someone you want to bring a smile to (maybe even a chuckle)… in other words, send it to everyone.  We all need to smile every once in a while. OH you didn’t smile – well how about this one: 

Have a happy day.
Until next time…
Blessings from my home to yours,
Dedicated to helping you live your rooms—not the other way around
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