5 Ways To Bring Great Design Into A Small Space

Five Ways To Bring Great Design Into A Small Space

How do you bring great design into a space where you don’t have a lot of room to work with? Maybe you won’t have an opportunity to bring in furnishings and add elements to create a finished look.

I recently had this challenge with a small room that my clients wanted to turn into a closet space. The room was attached to the adjoining bedroom and bathroom that was also renovated; we wanted to bring some complementary design elements to the rest of the space.

 My clients wanted closed cabinetry for clothing storage in this room. I designed this built-in cabinetry with storage clothing items in closed cabinets and open storage for folded items and shoes.

broken floor tile

In this room, an existing window was very close to the room’s corner, which prevented us from going all the way to the wall with the cabinetry, and the window was needed to bring light into the room. My client mentioned needing a bench, so my cabinet maker and I incorporated a low bench into our cabinetry to create a beautiful design element out of an area that could have been problematic. 

The small bench also has storage with a lifting top. We made a custom cushion for the bench with coordinating custom pillows using complementary fabrics. Then I designed the beautiful motorized roman shade for the window. I designed a 2-inch edge that trimmed the entire shade in a complementary fabric, making this roman shade even more luxurious. Motorization is an excellent feature as it ties into the window treatments in the adjoining bathroom to work from the same remote control. This is a room where the roman shades will most likely be opened and closed daily; This was a great feature to add to this custom window treatment.

My cabinet maker added a beautiful custom-designed leg on our cabinetry pieces that make the cabinetry look like furniture. This detail looks beautiful with the curved patterns of our fabric. 

Add rich color.

These small details added so much luxury to this room without adding things like area rugs and furniture, Which we didn’t have room for in this area. Here are five ways to add great design into a small space.


Small details make a difference. Adding unique hardware or detailed features like the details on our custom cabinetry to the elements you have in the space makes a big difference and the overall look.


To the luxurious fabrics and materials. It allows you to use more luxurious items in a small space because you don’t need as much of them. For instance, a beautiful marble floor to a large room might be very pricey, but in a small powder room, it will create a beautiful luxurious look and create a beautiful oasis in your small space.


Scale things appropriately for the room. If you’re finishing a small sitting room, scale those furniture pieces wisely so they don’t take up your entire room. A few strategic pieces of furniture that are scaled appropriately will make the room still feel spacious.


Add custom details. Mixing the fabrics in the closet space that I discussed above allowed me to use several different materials, adding interest and texture to the room. Since I had all of my fabric work customized, it allowed me to choose patterns in the exact scale and fabrics that I wanted. Again, a small space with a few custom pillows was a big design element in this room, so anything that you customize gets noticed in a small space.


Be creative. The challenge of a small space will provide an opportunity for some great creative ideas. As a designer, I love challenging spaces, and they provide me with the ability to come up with some great design ideas.

Until Next Time,

From The Blog

Country Estate Project- Kitchen/Family Room and Video Tour

Country Estate Project - Kitchen/Family Room and Video Tour

A few weeks ago, I showed you the transformation of the master suite. This week, I am excited to share a video tour of my finished country estate project. I would like to tell you about the transformation we did in this lovely home’s kitchen/family room area. 

Recently the home’s new owners contacted me to design an extensive transformation of the space. Dated cabinetry and materials, old appliances, and an inferior layout frustrated the new homeowners, who were very excited to see what I had planned for the space. 

This stately home is an older 1700s era colonial. In the 1980s, a large contemporary addition had been added to the back of this home, keeping the large old original fireplace but adding a multitude of contemporary features that were not fitting to the home.

The awkward kitchen layout did not allow for any flow into the kitchen but created a strange barrier you continuously had to walk around to get in and out of the confined small feeling kitchen. The two stairways added in the previous addition, a pink and brass spiral stairway, and a strange drop-down set of stairs into the family room created more strange barriers in this home.

Add rich color.

One of the things that I wanted to improve in this kitchen space is the flow from one room to the other it’s a vast space that’s open to a living area. I wanted to open things up to give them more seating, more entertaining area, and I wanted to open up the kitchen floor so that you didn’t have to walk around the peninsula to get into the kitchen space like the former kitchen.

I came up with a design that incorporated two large custom islands. Designing beautiful custom cabinetry allowed us to develop exactly the right sized islands with the room’s proper configuration. Creating needed storage, more entertainment areas, and countertop space drastically improved the space’s design proportionally and visually.

The stairways were both changed. The homeowners immediately removed the spiral stairs before the design. We updated the look of that oak stairway with gleaming white paint to tie in the architecture to the rest of the design project. The awkward set of stairs and existing cabinetry in the living space were all removed, re-configured, and re-built. Now you can walk right out of the kitchen area into the family room. All new custom cabinetry in the living area allowed us to create a larger walkway around the stairway, which was necessary for this family. It also allowed us it clearly define the family room area and display their beautiful collections.

This kitchen and family room did come with the most beautiful view of the surrounding fields and woodland areas, so I developed a color scheme that took advantage of nature’s artwork. My homeowner’s love of traditional design elements inspired me to create this space, which ties in perfectly to the original older, more traditional style architecture.

However, we also added state of the art Decor appliances, complete with interactive cooking technology, quartz countertops, gleaming hardware, classic fixtures, and custom furnishings. I hope you will take a few minutes to tour the space with me in the video.

Until next time,

From The Blog

Country Estate – Master Suite – Part 2 -The Master Bedroom

Country Estate Master Suite - The Master Bedroom

As promised, I am sharing the Master Bedroom renovation of my country estate project. Last week you saw the master bath transformation; this is the bedroom adjacent to that bathroom.

After many years of working with clients, I can tell you that many times the master bedroom is one of the last rooms that homeowners renovate. It’s easy to put this room last on your list of priorities as it is a room the guests do not see.

However, it is a room where you spend the bulk of your time. A place in which you start and end each day and complete daily tasks. Why not make this room a retreat that welcomes you after a long day? Compared to renovating a kitchen or bath, a bedroom renovation is usually a more straightforward process.

broken floor tile

In a room where you start and end each day, it’s essential to consider your needs with any bedroom design. The need for comfort, storage, consideration of morning routines, and patterns must be met and create something visually pleasing.

For this project, since we were renovating the adjacent bath, my homeowners decided to renovate the master bedroom. The bedroom, which was an original part of this historic home, was well-shaped and didn’t have the strangely angled walls seen is some of the formerly renovated additions to this home. So, existing walls and space remained intact.

This master bedroom overlooks the beautiful field of this country estate. With its large windows and breathtaking views, I knew this design would have to reflect on the client’s tastes and honor the historical architecture, but it also had to reflect and not compete with the views, just like the bathroom design. 


Add rich color.

In this room, a warm color palette of nature-inspired greens and warm greys transformed this formerly uninspiring space into a relaxing retreat. The grey tones tie into the adjacent bathroom design. Trim and architectural features added where needed, and of course, everything received a quality paint job. New lighting fixtures are like adding the perfect jewelry to this room in a polish silver finish, also adding task lighting where needed.

The new furniture was correctly scaled to this space, provides needed storage, and adds texture with the painted finishes. The existing closets in this older home provide seasonal storage. The newly designed master closet exists just off the new master bath and custom window treatments designed to frame the windows and complement the view while providing privacy and lighting control. The new bed is at a height where the view can be enjoyed before even getting out of bed.
Luxury custom fabric work and bedding in this room provide added comfort as well as visual textures in this room. New carpeting ties into our color scheme and provides comfort when stepping out of bed on a cool Autumn day. Gleaming mirrors created additional symmetry over the new dressers, and accessories added a bit of elegance to this luxurious new master bedroom.


Until next time,

From The Blog

A Peek Behind The Scenes

A Peek Behind The Scenes

Today I thought I would take you behind the scenes of one of our current projects. Although this project has just completed, I am giving you a sneak peek behind the scenes before furniture comes into the space and before our final photo session.
Most of our renovation projects involve a complete re-configuring of the space, removing walls, and incorporating much needed square footage to the areas of the home that we are renovating. However, sometimes a room can be totally re-designed and renovated within the current room’s configuration.
Add rich color.
This specific project is a complete kitchen renovation replacing all flooring, finishes, kitchen cabinetry, and all of the fixtures and details that put together a kitchen space.My client’s desire was to completely renovate their dated kitchen, however adjacent to the kitchen space was an open concept living room that really needed to feel connected to the adjoining kitchen. We planned on doing this with color and with extending new wood flooring through the living room.

These lovely homeowners were also particularly anxious to hear my design ideas for their living room fireplace.This existing brick fireplace really was not scaled properly for the space which really called for a larger, symmetrically centered fireplace. Here I designed something much more angular and modern to fit the room. The material choice was key as it needed to tie the fireplace into this traditionally styled home and reflect the homeowner’s love of old European stonework. All of these elements would work together to complete the look.

I recommended the selection of this beautiful oversized porcelain tile. Its’s matte finish and slightly textured appearance gave the homeowner’s the aged look that they loved. Its blue-gray coloration allowed me to tie it in perfectly with the kitchen design featuring some rich blue cabinetry. The tiles layout also was planned to visually enhance the size of the fireplace. Now the fireplace really anchors the entire space and has become a strong focal point that the space needed.

I can’t wait to show you more of this beautiful space!

Until next time,


From The Blog

A Peek Inside My Holiday House Project

A Peek Inside My Holiday House Project

Every year the Concord Museum in Concord, Massachusetts holds it’s holiday house tour event. Several house are chosen to be on the tour and interior designers are asked to participate by decorating one of the the homes for the event. This year I was honored to be invited to design one of these beautiful homes on the tour.

Have you ever heard the phrase “Visions of sugarplums dancing in your head”? Well, that’s kind of what it’s like when you’re decorating a holiday house.

A Peek Inside My Holiday House Project

The Creative Spark.

You have free reign as a designer to put your stamp on a beautiful home. The designer selects, provides and installs all decorations and you have a very small time window in which to do it. You must work swiftly and very creatively to reach the finish line under these circumstances, allowing for any creative pivots along the way.

The incredible home that I chose for the tour, yes sometimes you can choose from the participating houses, already had beautiful architecture as it is one on Concord’s best examples of pedimented, colonnaded classic Greek revival style homes. It was recently renovated and it’s larger sized rooms allowed for the perfect environment to greet holiday house tour guests.

The next step was to meet the homeowner as all of the homes on the tour are private residences.

The beginning.

The homeowner was a beautiful woman who’s smile lit up her home even before I added a single Christmas light. She graciously allowed me to use her beautiful home as my blank palette giving me free rein to create a Christmas Wonderland for the holiday house tour. This lovely homeowner also welcomed me into her home with coffee and breakfast on those 6 AM tree decorating sessions needed to make up for the schedule changes since 2 or the 3 days planned to decorate became days a major snowstorm.

At least the snow was fluffy and white, which worked perfectly with the decor!

The homeowner also allowed me to incorporate some of her beautiful things into the Decor design and volunteered to be an extra set of hands as my assistant throughout the process.

The entry hall provided a beautiful staircase and a gorgeous full-length mirror which I adorned with sparkling white magnolias and gold ornaments. A large vase at the end of the curves entryway directed tour attendees through the living room. The living room was decorated with a rich mix of jewel tones. The glistening of mercury glass and gold antique Christmas trees greet you as a series of festooned garlands hang cheerfully throughout the space. We also get a great view of the dining room where the table is set for Christmas dinner in green velvet and metallic gold. I used a multitude of complementary greens, a harlequin patterned plate and deep rich red accents complement the adjoining living space.

The smell of pine and peppermint draws you into the kitchen where the decor is all about icy pastels. I used homemade custom candy canes and old fashioned candy from Priscilla’s Candy Shop (Located in Concord and Gardner, MA) give this kitchen the feel of a dreamy sugar-coated Christmas. I am so grateful that Priscilla’s was happy to help me by providing candy in the colors I needed for the space. (how lucky am I that I have a client that owns a candy shop?)

The tree was adorned with color and organic elements giving it a fresh but nostalgic feel. The table is set and awaiting a Christmas breakfast and the island allows the perfect place to display a pastel gingerbread house.

Fresh pine wreaths align the far wall, green ribbon sparkles when the morning sun shines through it. This parade of wreaths leads your eye to the back family room. The beautiful blush pink is complemented by changing glass trees and blush pink ornaments. White snow adorns the family room tree for a fresh peaceful space.

People usually think that doing Christmas decorating professionally must be “fun”, although it has its jolly moments, in reality, it’s more like a tactical Defcon mission. In my 20+ years of experience, this must be approached with the precision of a sharpshooter, the stamina of a marathon runner, the shopping strategies of a black Friday shopper, and the ability to visualize and create numerous things at once while being highly productive at the tasks following those creative ideas.

You must also have a great ability to improvise, hang from frozen ladders in the cold, tie perfect bows quickly and efficiently in mid-air, and with a great amount of patience. In the end, it is something that I have a passion for doing.

This year’s Holiday House project was enjoyed by approximately 1,000 guests and I really enjoyed meeting all of them.

In year’s past, I have completed large commercial Christmas decorating projects including one which put me in Boston’s government center decorating Santa’s house through the night, in the rain and high winds for an upcoming event.  In recent years, I focus on only a few select Residential Christmas decorating projects per year, as the time window is small. Usually, this service is reserved for former design clients. We do book these projects in the early fall for the upcoming holiday season.

I hope you enjoy a peek into my holiday house project!

Until next time,

From The Blog

I’m Dreaming Of A White Kitchen

I'm Dreaming Of A White Kitchen

The holidays are upon us and soon we will be preparing for a season of entertaining as we welcome our family and friends into our homes. A season for baking, cooking, decorating as well as entertaining, no other room in the home is called upon to meet the needs of the holiday season as much as the kitchen.

For one of my recent clients, their dreams of a light bright fully functioning kitchen space where they can gather with family and friends this holiday season have come true when we recently designed and completely renovated their kitchen.

10 Ways To Cozy Up Your Home For Fall

Mix it up.

Like many clients, these clients called me when they started considering a new design for their kitchen. Their older appliances started to fail which made sizing and matching difficult, so considering their desire for a fully functioning space with an improved layout and upgraded appliances, this was indeed a great time to design and renovate the entire space.

Upon my first visit with these lovely clients, I knew that I could make major improvements in the layout and function of their kitchen as well as the look and feel of the space. So we discussed their needs and desires and I went to work designing their new kitchen.

One of the biggest changes in the design of the space was the location of the refrigerator and range. The new Thermador range is now a focal point in the new kitchen, with plenty of workspace and storage on either side. The new integrated refrigerator melds in perfectly in its new location. Our expanded sized new island houses a speed oven, plenty of storage, seating and an enormous amount of uninterrupted counter space.

Add rich color.

Recycle what you have.

CLICK and scroll through some BEFORE and AFTER Photos!

We eliminated the soffits using cabinetry that now goes right to the ceiling and is fully customized to our client’s storage needs.
Our beautiful granite countertops inspired the soft dreamlike color scheme using whites, grey and soft cool greens. Even our porcelain tile floor met with the approval of our homeowner’s dog Molly, who soon became a vital member of our construction crew with her stash of tools.

The homeowner’s original table and chairs were reupholstered with fabric that coordinates with the new custom window treatments in the new design. The warm wood tones echoed the wood tones from the adjacent rooms, joining this newly designed space seamlessly to the rest of the home’s warm wood flooring. The result is a soft dreamy white kitchen that I know my clients will enjoy for many years to come.​

Until Next Time,


From The Blog

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