Diva Design Diary

By Holly Peterson

Diva Design Diary is about bringing the latest interior design trends and tips to our existing clients, as well as future clients...enjoy!

Would You Use Black Toilet Paper?

By Holly Peterson

The concept of "designer toilet paper" is kind of akin to a Swarovski-encrusted nose hair trimmer; you just can't make nasal weed-wacking look glamorous. So, I would never venture to kid myself by buying Black Toilet Paper ($12). But, I do think if you were going to go all out hosting a Halloween party it would be a cool touch. Or maybe even an "Over the Hill" celebration?

Would You Use Black Toilet Paper?

Leave your comments and feedback...

Small Kitchen Remodel...Final Completion!

By Holly Peterson

The final install of the 6"x6" travertine tile layed on a diagonal with 2"x2" granite insets, and the installation of the new fixtures has been completed! This kitchen went from being "livable", but somewhat cold, to feeling very warm and inviting. Another perk about upgrading to slab countertops from tile...no grout, which makes cleanup less of a hassle.

Are you interested in learning what changes you can make to upgrade your home?
Visit: www.designdivastudio.com

Small Kitchen Remodel...Step Four

By Holly Peterson

Step Four: As you can see...the backsplash and all faucet fixtures still need to be installed.

Just a few more days and this kitchen will have a whole new look, not to mention, a really happy client!

What you can be expecting next:

  • An AMAZING travertine backsplash
  • Installed fixtures

Final completion...coming soon!

Small Kitchen Remodel...Step Three

By Holly Peterson

Step Three: After waiting about a week and a half now... The guys have now arrived to demo the existing kitchen countertop and backsplash.

The demo has taken place, and now, on the same day, the new slab countertops will be installed.

The demo (obviously) is a VERY messy job, so you'll want to make sure that you stay out this as much as possible while the work is taking place.

The completion is not done yet...they will need a few more days to actually get your kitchen fully functioning again.

Read on...

Small Kitchen Remodel...Step Two

By Holly Peterson

Step Two: Go with your designer to the slab yard to select your countertop material (or trust your designer to make the call). You'll want to do this as soon as possible, so that you can ensure that your small kitchen remodel is complete sooner than later.

With this client, he has decided to go with the natural movement of granite (as you can see to the right). This slab has been tagged, so that the fabricating contractor knows exactly which slab to allocate for the job. While were here at the slab yard, we also finalized the design of what material and layout we would be using for the backsplash.
***Now that the countertops have been templated and the slabs have been tagged, it's just about another week and 1/2 until you'll be enjoying your new kitchen!
Read on...

Small Kitchen Remodel...Step One

By Holly Peterson

Have you wondered what exactly is involved when you'd like to make upgrades to your kitchen, such as updating your countertops, backsplash, and fixtures? Well, it's your lucky day...
I'm going to let you in on the step-by-step process, so you know what to expect with your next kitchen upgrade!

To the right, you'll see a BEFORE picture of one client's kitchen...

Mission: To demo the existing tile countertops, and install new natural stone countertops and backsplash, along with new fixtures.

Step One: Call Design Diva Interiors to schedule an appointment for an initial bid with their granite and tile contractor. The contractor will then come out to give you an accurate bid, based on the scope of services involved with your specific kitchen. At this point, you (the client), will then make the decision to move forward with the bid. From here, the contractor will take a small deposit from you, and schedule the template appointment. Most likely, the template appointment will be scheduled immediately (next day). The contractors then have what they need to complete the fabrication of your slab, so that it fits perfectly in your kitchen.

Read on for Step Two...

Super COOL stuff...

By Holly Peterson

So, I was cruising around on the internet, doing what I do, and I found this FUN stuff...

Your home could be in Architectural Digest...

By Holly Peterson

Are you or someone you know considering making changes to the interior of your home? Whether your project involves new construction, remodel, or interior cosmetic changes...this may be an AMAZING opportunity that you'd be interested in...

Being a subscriber to Architectural Digest, I am constantly skimming through their monthly magazine articles for anything and everything that catches my eye. As I was reading the November 2008 issue, I found this...

Any design professional (that would be me) or non-professional is invited to show their design work to editor-in-chief Paige Rense and Architectural Digest's senior editorial staff.

Here's what they're looking for:
  • No more than two completed residential projects
  • Photographs only (up to 8" x 10"; no disks or transparencies)
  • Photographs of each of the major rooms in the house (a maximum of two shots per room)
  • Materials that can be left behind-they will not be returned
  • Homes that are not currently for sale
  • Homes that have not been published before
  • Homes not under consideration at any other publication

Here's what to expect:

  • The event takes place at the Pacific Design Center in Los Angeles on March 25, 2009
  • Specific details to be announced at a later date...

Again, if you or someone you know is looking to get going on an interior design project, encourage them to move forward soon... The cut-off date to have the pictures of the project (there can be no more than two projects) is March 25, 2009.

In the meantime... Check out the selected designs from previous Open Auditions

What an exciting thing to say, "My home was featured in Architectural Digest"!
Let's make it happen!


By Holly Peterson

Have you been considering going to solar power as the main source of energy for your home?

Here are a few pointers on helping you not only achieve using solar energy, but could keep you off-grid completely!

Many houses employ bits and pieces of green design and technology in an effort to create a more sustainable living space, but whether due to constraints of building codes, finances, or simply personal aesthetic preferences, most sustainable homes still connect to the municipal grid for at least some of their power and water.
It is generally more challenging to retro-fit an existing building to remove it from grid-dependence than it is to build an off-grid house from the ground up. Discover what's possible when you design sustainable features that work together to create a system for domestic self-reliance.

Solar Panels
The first step toward detaching a home from the world of utilities providers is installing solar panels. This allows you to use the power of the sun to run a water pump, phone, two laptop computers, and assorted 12-volt lights, as well as to recharge batteries and cell phones. However, the panels aren't enough to run power tools or a refrigerator, so the next step would be to expand the photovoltaic array soon.

Because home owners will not want to max out the electricity generated by their solar panels using something as inefficient as air-conditioning, you'll want to build the house to accommodate local winds. An angled roof and windows on all sides mean that the house will bring cool breezes through one end and out the other.

Wood-Burning Stove / Hot Rocks
Cooling isn't the only thing that can be done without power. keeping the house warm is important, and a well-placed wood-burning stove goes the distance for circulating heat throughout the structure. Another neat thing to do to do to keep yourself warm would be to heat rocks near the stove to place in your bed before going to sleep on cold nights.

Graywater Filtration System
Filter all water that has been used in your kitchen sink. First, route the graywater through a sand-filled barrel, which filters out large particulates, then draining the water into partly artificial wetlands, if you are not closely located to a bay of water. This way, you are careful to return water only after it has been filtered and naturally cleaned.

Composting Toilet
Another key step toward sustainability is to kick the flushing habit. A Sun-Mar Excel N.E. composting toilet ensures that even the owners' waste can decompose harmlessly before returning to the world outside. It's not a piece of art by any means, but it gets s%@# done!
For information on composting toilets, please visit: http://ericsonsolar.com/SunMar.htm

Happy off-grid living!!!

Mark your calendar... Domino Magazine Event

By Holly Peterson

It's that time of year again...

Domino Magazine is putting on their ANNUAL Bazaar
(and here's the COOL part...it's open to the public)

I thought I'd share this information with you so you can see all the fabulous finds for your home and life, first hand!

Friday, October 17
12:00PM -6:00PM

Saturday, October 18
12:00PM -6:00PM

Sunday, October 19
12:00PM -6:00PM

H.D. Buttercup / Los Angeles
8707 Washington Blvd.
Culver City, CA

Tickets are $20 (online or at the door)
Purchase your tickets online @ https://www.evolutioneventsonline.com/domino/

If you don't know who Domino Magazine is, check them out on the web @ http://www.dominomag.com/

Unfortunately, I will not be attending the event this year. That being said, I'd LOVE to hear how the event went, if you go... send me your feedback!

Organic Cotton... Why all the hype?

By Holly Peterson

Organic Cotton
The Cotton Club

It may be the fabric of our lives, but conventionally grown cotton takes a major toll on the earth and human health. What’s the problem? Read on for the quick and dirty lowdown, the skinny on organic cotton, and a good guy move from big, bad Wal-Mart.

What’s wrong with cotton?
Hmmm, where do we start? For one, it takes about 1/3 of a pound of pesticides and chemical fertilizers to create just one T-shirt. The crop accounts for about 25 percent of global insecticide consumption—which is often applied via aerial spraying, causing lethal health problems in farm workers and neighboring communities.

Why go organic?
Unlike its competitor, organic cotton skips the laundry list of harmful practices. Organic cotton farmers, just like their food-growing counterparts, forego chemicals and instead rely on compost fertilizer, crop rotation, and natural predators (plain old bugs) to produce each bale.

Where do you find it?
The good news? Almost everywhere. The Organic Trade Association reports that global production of organic cotton spiked by 53 percent in 2007, and the sustainable material can be found in clothes, housewares, feminine products, diapers, and more. A healthy mix of upstart
companies (Plover Bedding, Good Society Denim) and major chains (Wal-Mart, Target, West Elm, American Apparel) are offering organic cotton products.

What’s the catch?
When it comes to third-party certification, the cotton industry falls prey to the same Catch 22 as wine and food: Standards must be stringent, but the amount of hoop jumping (and three-year grace period) required makes it difficult for small farmers who want to go organic (or already have) to get certified. To its credit, Wal-Mart has invested in “transitional cotton” by paying premium prices for non-certified cotton from farmers in the process of converting to organic.

What can you do?
Vote with your dollar by choosing organic cotton over conventional whenever you can. If the clean, green stuff isn’t an option, ask retailers when they’ll be carrying organic. And, while you’ve got their ear, take the next step: ask for organic products that aren’t treated with chemical dyes.

By making these simple changes, we're on the road to living cleaner and healthier lives...
Who wouldn't want that?

Sources: The Sustainable Cotton Project, Reuters, Organic Exchange, Organic Trade Association

small change, BIG $avings...

By Holly Peterson

"What is the most effective change my clients, and homeowners everywhere, can do to save on energy?", was a question that I recently asked Aaron Kessel @ All Current Electric (my go-to electrician for many jobs, small and large).

The answer to my question: L.E.D. Retro fit kits
L.E.D is short for light-emitting diode, an electronic semiconductor device that emits light when an electric current passes through it.

Why choose L.E.D retro fit kits???
Here are just a few reasons why I would look into it, you may also want to:

  • They're long lasting...designed to last for 50,000+ hours (based on being run for an average of 6 hours per day, that equals 22.8 years).
  • They're SUPER energy efficient...using 85% less energy than incandescent lighting and 50% less energy than compact fluorescents.
  • They have less heat output and are comfortable to the touch, reducing the burden of needing to use costly air conditioning systems.
  • They're GREEN (environmentally friendly) too...unlike incandescent and compact fluorescents, LED retro fit kits contain no lead or mercury, and their housing is made from 100% recycled aluminum.
  • Lastly, they're easy on the eyes! LED retro fit kits are designed to blend seamlessly with any existing 4" or 6" recessed can, offering options of warm light that softly washes walls, or cool light that sufficiently illuminates work surfaces.

This is just one of many easy steps we can take to make a difference on our pocket book, as well as the environment!

If you're interested in improving your energy efficiency through LED lighting, please contact me at: info@designdivaintd.com.

Hi, and welcome...

By Holly Peterson

Welcome to Diva Design Diary!

Being that I am constantly staying up-to-date on what's happening in the interior design industry, I figured, why not fill my clients/future clients in too?... And what better way to do it, than through my online diary.

I am excited to share my latest projects with you, along with an update on the latest design trends, tips, and other useful information...

In the meantime, I would LOVE to hear your thoughts... info@designdivaintd.com