Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Cozy Up: Blue Ridge Mountain Retreat

I have truly enjoyed being able to call North Carolina throughout the years and especially love memories in the Blue Ridge Mountains!  And what is cozier than a weekend trip to a rustic retreat complete with that idyllic fireplace.  I was flipping through House Beautiful and came across this mountain retreat designed by Stanley Dixon in Cashiers west of Asheville, North Carolina.  So as the weather continues to cool, imagine spending a weekend in this space!

I love the rich, refined, rustic and of course, cozy feel of this home.  I can certainly imagine a getaway there!  I hope you enjoy your weekend and get inspired to retreat yourself soon to the mountains.

Have a great day,

Saturday, August 27, 2016

Diary of a Kiawah Cottage Remodel and Introducing Hillary

Diary of a Kiawah Cottage Remodel

Kiawah, SC a sea island located near Charleston, SC. My husband and I have a cottage in the historic district of Kiawah.  In Kiawah you either have historic cottages or  new homes. This house came into our lives very unexpectedly through a friend of my husbands nine years ago.  It is a very comfortable house and in a perfect location on West beach. We have loved and enjoyed it to the max, but it is in need of being updated.  After much planning we have finally embarked on the challenge of our remodel. I invite you to follow the progress of the remodel over the course of the next few months.

Let me begin the story by giving you some background on the house. Built in 1976, it is an original Kuwaity house. A style typical of the first homes on the island. Ours follows the trend of the location with ranch style homes, usually three bedrooms, a large living space and a screen porch with a deck. 

A home remodel on every job begins with lots of planning.  Our planning began two years ago with big dreams of a complete remodel to enlarge the house in order to accommodate our large family. Our initial plans included adding a garage with a bedroom and bathroom above it, expanding the kitchen, redoing the bathrooms etc.

Reality set in after the bids went out and the contractors came back with pricing. Needless to say after two years we have scaled back the plans and we are now doing a face lift on the house as opposed to a complete remodel.

The packing is done and the demo has begun. Stay tuned!

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Cool Designs for a Hot Summer

Rosa Plaza Dest, Associate ASID, IDS Professional

Cool Designs for a Scorching Hot Summer!
With temperatures over 100 degrees in many areas of the country, many homeowners are moving inside to enjoy cool air conditioning during the day, and they are waiting to host casual dinner parties Al Fresco once the sun has set.
If you enjoy backyard barbecues, this is a great time of year to do a minor renovation on your kitchen and family room to get ready for the holiday season. I know it sounds crazy to talk about the holidays, but we're half way through the year, and it is almost time to get the kids ready for school. Before you know it, you'll be planning your holiday parties and buying gifts.
There is still plenty of time through early fall to cook outdoors and enjoy the adventure of revamping your kitchen's function or aesthetics, so if you're considering a minor refresh, or major overhaul, here are some great cabinet styles you might consider:
Traditional (
Transitional. (
Contemporary. (
This year, we are seeing clean lines and minimal details in kitchens. The real key is to design the kitchen for easy maintenance and timeless design. Here are the "Before" and "After" photos from one of my recent projects.

As you see, we changed the countertop, backsplash, cabinet color and added a new island, appliances, and light fixture. Even though this was not a full-scale remodel, we were able to achieve our client's goal of updating the look of his kitchen by making simple material and aesthetic changes.

My favorite features include the black walnut table that became the island, and the contemporary light fixture that adds an industrial feel. Which are your favorite features? By the way, that's a great question to ask your spouse or friends to get your design projects in motion.

Whether you are planning a simple update or a full-scale remodel, engaging the services of a design professional will ensure that your results are spectacular and that your investment is carefully considered. If you are interested in a design consultation, contact Rosa at
P.S. If you love the idea of being your own designer and need advice from a professional to avoid making costly mistakes, I can review your selections and help you create a design solution that incorporates your vision!

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Are You Contemporary?

Sleek clean lines, high sheen, natural finishes, dramatic or colorful finishes, and flat cabinetry are just a few signs you're loving a contemporary kitchen.  To nail this minimalist look your selections are key!  We especially love seeing this look in smaller spaces, as it serves as a highly functional look to maximize your space.  If you’re ready to take the plunge and update your own traditional look, here are a few good places to begin considering the transition.

Carefully selecting your materials can create just the mood you’re looking for.  Metal, concrete, glass, and wood veneer are just a few finishes that look fantastic in contemporary kitchens.  All are highly customizable to represent your tastes and lifestyle.  Selecting finishes with texture and movement can help warm up the more minimalist contemporary look.

This is your place to shine, pun totally intended!  Creating a total look can be achieved through carefully selected lighting fixtures.  Layering your lighting gives you both function and a noteworthy aesthetic that really enhances your space and keeps it from appearing cold.  Adding recessed cans for overall illumination and under cabinet LED strip lights to provide task lighting will help you achieve a thoughtful, layered look.  The minimal nature of a contemporary kitchen is an excellent opportunity to choose an oversized pendant or drum fixture and really make a statement.

Your finish selections here are are crucial to pulling off the look!  Sleek natural finishes and high sheen lacquers accented with frosted glass can help you create that contemporary feel.  There is also so much choice in color.  Think a daring chartreuse or bold cobalt!  And of course your hardware is another excellent way to personalize your kitchen with a variety of finishes in clean, sleek silhouettes.

Here in Charlotte we still love our decorative trim and faux finishes but there is a growing demand for contemporary kitchens, moving with the national and international design trends.  It’s exciting to really get to understand my clients’ and tastes and lifestyles and I always look forward to each unique project and their final unveiling.  Where do you land on contemporary kitchens?  We love to hear about your style!

Have a great day,

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Summer Relaxation

Imagine a relaxing Saturday lounging outdoors on a beautiful deck with your friends and family, and the cool breeze compliments the sun perfectly. Well, following last weeks blog about creating your own personal home bar, we thought we would give you a fun summer cocktail that would be perfect to try out for this scenario! The recipe will serve you and three of your friends and only take five minutes to prepare. Hope you enjoy making this refreshing cocktail out of your new bar!

The Garden Kitchen Sink Gimlet

Serves 4 Cocktails and ONLY take 5 minutes

2 cups mint leaves
12 cup blackberries, plus more for garnish
2 cucumbers, sliced into thin rounds
8 oz. gin
7 oz. fresh lime juice
2 oz. creme de cassis


Muddle mint, blackberries, and cucumbers in a cocktail shaker; add gin, lime juice, cassis, and ice and shake vigorously. Strain into a highball glass filled with ice and garnish with blackberries and mint.

Have a great day! 

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Bring the Entertainment to You!

       It is time to explore the fun, entertaining space that can be created with a home bar.  One of my own favorite outcomes of an at home bar is creating your home as the Friday night destination spot for your friends and family! Plus you can stock all the items you’ll actually use. One of the most important things to keep in mind as you envision this space is to have fun with it, it’s a bar after all! Here are some quick tips to imagine this space in your home:

So yes, you’ll be entertaining, but imagine just how you would like that to be in your home and the amenities that you require to enhance your lifestyle.  If you’d also like to have a space to prepare coffee and espresso beverages with a dedicated coffee bar or to blend a your favorite beverage with a blender, do it!  Pinpointing functionality is the key to creating a space that will enhance your lifestyle, and hey, our motto is ‘Design to suit your lifestyle’ for a reason!

Storage Area
Whether you are creating your home bar with a bar cart, credenza, or dedicated built-in cabinetry, be sure to give yourself enough storage for all utensils and small appliances you may require.  This allows you to focus on creating a stylized focal point out of the items you would like to display, whether it’s bottle collection, stylized glasses, or other decorative items.

Details, Details, Details This cannot be stressed enough, creating a polished look from head to toe comes from attention to detail and the touches that create intention and harmony. Texture, pattern, and color are just a jump off points, but imagining the mood or theme you would like your space to have can help you consider just how those details will complement your space!

Don’t Forget Your Lighting!
From illuminating your display or having just the right angle to enhance a metallic or textured backsplash, your total look comes together with your lighting!  It creates interest, enhances your aesthetic, and can further convey your style and theme for the space.

And here is a transitional Butler's Pantry that I just loved bringing to life!

Don't be afraid to get creative with your home and make it the center of attention for entertaining!

Have a great day,

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Trending report from High Point

Since it's only early July,  I don't think it's too late to share what was trending in High Point this past spring.

Navy Blue

Navy Blue was definitely the hottest and most consistent color seen throughout. Considered a neutral  navy blue pairs beautifully with so many colors such as crisp whites, greens, orange and so many more.

Bill Sorrell, the style director at Thibaut created this beautiful display from their Bridgehampton collection of wall papers.  Just stunning!

From the Bridgehampton Collection, Thibaut

Each flower is uniquely created using different papers in the navy color ways. I was amazed at the intricacy of the pistils  

Dramatic and Elegant Anna French wall coverings and fabrics from Thibaut


Geodes, a stone which has a cavity and is lined with crystals. Used primarily in light fixtures as well as accessories. The light fixtures below are craftily created by 


Geometrics were abundant throughout High Point from lighting to furniture to accessories it was everywhere.

Deep Seating and Customization

This is exactly what I needed at the end of two days in High Point, a very comfortable deep sofa. I could have stayed there the rest of the afternoon. Because we all seem to be working from home more often than not, furniture is being built for multiple purposes. Deep seating to accommodate laptops, wider arm, extra pillows, the list goes on.   This sofa in particular from  Four Hands is framed in solid wood with wider arm rest for drinks or i-phones.

Its called customization for your needs.  I love it! It's no longer one size fits all, it's all about the client.

Visit us on Pinterest to see so much more.

Thursday, July 7, 2016

Challenged by Make-A-Wish

Challenged by an adventure,  Rich (my husband) & I made a commitment to Make a Wish . Our commitment began as a personal challenge to an adventure, a 28.3 mile hike in the foothills of the Appalachian mountains. After several months of training and lots of miles under our belts, t's hard to believe that it has been a month since our hike.  Our hike, a mental, emotional a physical experience we will always treasure with a reminder that no matter how hard you train, there will always be a surprise.

It's Showtime!

With much anticipation, the big weekend finally arrived. Our weekend began with a pep rally and a group dinner, a reminder to our group of 120 hikers as to WHY we were all there. Our special reminder came in the form of Henry, his story and HIS wish. At that moment we decided to dedicate our hike to Henry and his family.

Saturday, May 21st 2016
Our day began with a meeting in the hotel lobby ready for our 4 am departure to our destination. With head lights in place, sleepy yet anxious  we began out trek. Hiking at a steady pace with our group of six and our much younger cohorts, we watched every step around the slippery rocks and crossed each creek carefully as we maintained a brisk pace in the dark.

 We reached our 10.7 mile check point as the sun started peeking through the trees. After several hours of hiking and eating as we hiked, we realized our next check point was at 22 miles. Realizing this would be the toughest part of our hike we pushed through. 

An absolutely beautiful hike

The last 6 plus miles of the walk were the most demanding both physically and emotionally. Physically from the standpoint that Rosa's left knee was hurting with every step, emotionally because the end was near but it was taking twice as long due to her injury.

Those feelings all vanished as we heard the clapping and cheering from the volunteers and staff of Make a Wish at the finish line. After the celebratory pictures and high fives an ice cold beer awaited us.

Our journey this day is complete, but Make a Wish journey of granting wishes to children with life altering conditions continues thanks to your donations.

Rosa and Rich


Tuesday, June 28, 2016

The Smart Home Reality

For our final post in honor of the men we love this June we thought it would be interesting to discuss the different forms of technology we rely on. Their presence is in almost every room, creating a centralized unit that broadcasts TV and music to every room in your house. With the smart technology it eliminates that clunky box that takes up space. The same system can even broadcast for outdoor entertainment! Creating an ideal sound system is the tip of the iceberg, you can create a complete Smart Home controlling your home security system, interior and exterior lighting, and your heating and cooling system.

With so many options to take advantage of, it can be difficult to navigate but that's where we come in! Creating a functional, convenient system to suit your lifestyle with a polished aesthetic will give you more time to spend on things you love, making your home the entertainment destination. Here are a few media rooms we love to get you inspired!

Via BuzzFeed


Have you ever considered a Smart Home?  Has yours system enhanced you life?  We would love to hear your experiences!

Have a great day,