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!


By Holly Peterson

Where will you be on February 1st?

Unless you don't watch TV, read magazines or converse with human beings on a regular basis... You're probably aware that one of the biggest sporting events of the entire year is going down this Sunday. I'm talking about the Super Bowl, of course, and even though our Chargers aren't competing for title of World Champions, it's still a seriously good excuse to go forth and down a few beers...

Wherever you go, whatever you do... HAVE FUN and BE SAFE!

Go Steelers and Cardinals!!!

Bulb-Free Lighting

By Holly Peterson

Saazs' Planilum Light Pieces

Who needs lampshades and light bulbs when you've got four layers of glass and a light-emitting gas called Planilum? At least that's the thinking behind Saazs' new lighting system. The fixture is designed so that light is disseminated across the entire surface (as opposed to emanating from one central source like the light bulb in a lamp). The result is a softer and relatively cooler light that is eye friendly and touchable enough for the fixtures that house them to multitask as tables, shelves, or walls. Having been in development for six years, the pieces are a tad pricey. However, each one will also last you approximately 20 years, or 50,000 hours, so at least you’ll save some loot on light bulbs? Can't say that isn't a bright idea.

Check them out at

Expo Design Center CLOSING THEIR DOORS!!!

By Holly Peterson

Did you hear? Expo Design Center is Closing Their Doors

UPDATE: Home Depot To Close Expo, Cut Thousands Of Jobs

CHICAGO (Dow Jones) -- In another sign of the worsening economic downturn, Home Depot Inc. said Monday that it is throwing in the sponge on its Expo design and décor business, closing stores and laying off thousands of employees.

Before the opening bell, Home Depot (HD) said that Expo has "not performed well financially and is not expected to anytime soon. Even during the recent housing boom, it was not a strong business."

The business "weakened significantly as the demand for big-ticket design and decor projects has declined in the current economic environment."

Over the next two months, the company will close 34 Expo Design Center stores, five YardBIRDS stores, two Design Center stores and a bath remodeling business known as HD Bath, with seven locations. All told, that will result in the loss of about 5,000 jobs.

"Streamlining" some support functions will cost another 2,000 positions for a total of about 2% of the company's workforce.

As result, Home Depot said it sees a total pre-tax charge of about $532 million, of which about $390 million will be recognized in the fourth quarter and the remaining $142 million will be recognized in 2009 and beyond.

Still, Home Depot affirmed an earlier forecast of a decline of 8% in sales and a 24% drop in earnings per share from continuing operations in 2008.

Shares of Home Depot rose 5.2% to $22.85 in midday trading.

The President Goes Green

By Holly Peterson

President Obama Spreads the Green Around

Here’s a fun story about our new commander-in-chief that comes by way of Benjamin Moore. Perhaps you’ve already seen this photo from January 19 floating around the internet or on TV, but did you know that the paint that the President is using in that photo is no-VOC Aura by Benjamin Moore?

Obama helped other volunteers roll on Laguna Blue 2059-30 and Yosemite Blue 2059-40 that were provided by Frager’s Hardware, a Benjamin Moore retailer near Capitol Hill. The photo was sent globally on newswires, and the painting session also was featured on television news broadcasts coast-to-coast.

Kinda neat, right? The paint might be blue, but the project is totally green, a nice, sustainable start for our new Prez.

Need help with your paint selections? We work with Benjamin Moore and we're happy to help!

Contact Design Diva Interiors to set up a paint consultation.


By Holly Peterson

Suitable for saunas and showers, Showercork mosaic tiles offer the same benefits as regular cork flooring products, such as cushion, resilience and durability. Made form post-industrial wine cork material, the 1/4-inch-thick tiles are attached to a special paper backing that enables easy adhesion to the the sub-floor.

Designer Tip: Even use cork flooring for your ceilings and walls... There are no limitations!

For more information, please contact Design Diva Interiors to view samples of available options.

First Biofuel Flight

By Holly Peterson

First Biofuel Flight

Airlines have been testing alternative fuels for a while. But Continental Airlines has just stepped it up with a demonstration flight of a two-engine plane that operated with one engine running entirely off of algae. Bacteria are found in yogurts and medicines – why not planes? The big sells with algae are that it: is fast growing (we're talking regeneration in hours), actually consumes carbon dioxide, and doesn't disturb food production or contribute to deforestation (like corn). We know it’s all about the bottom line for airlines at the end of the day. But if this green stuff can really help reduce the airline industry's carbon dioxide emissions, then go green grow.

Read more at discovery.com

Who would've thought....

By Holly Peterson

Showers Bring Flowers
Shorter showers, low-flow pumps…no feasible mean of saving water is left unexplored these days. So why not think of a way to recycle the water you collect on your umbrella? Introducing the mighty Umbrella Pot, a contraption that at once eliminates the pesky task of emptying umbrella-stand water and relieves us of plant-watering duties. Rainwater from umbrellas collects at the bottom of the main cavity and funnels into the potted plant via tiny holes. Clever! We just recommend choosing a plant that is suitable to your annual precipitation index. If you live in the desert, stick with a cactus plant.
Even if you're not saving a significant amount of water, it's still a cute and clever way to store your umbrella!
Check it out at kyouei-ltd.co.jp

The Obama Rules

By Holly Peterson

As a subscriber to Women's Health Magazine, I always am looking for different stories to share with you. Being that Obama is now our new President, I thought this was both fitting and very insightful...
The Obama Rules
Make these seven lessons from the president-elect part of your life story, too.
Written By: Peter Moore

Barack Obama is about to be tested as never before. But things haven't exactly been easy for him up to now. If George W. Bush was born on third base, Obama was a charter member of the knothole gang: on the outside looking in. His father abandoned the family when Barack was 2, and he and his mother left for Indonesia four years later. At age 10, he moved to Hawaii to live with his grandparents, who sometimes relied on food stamps. And yet that bumpy road delivered him to the presidency of the Harvard Law Review, to the side of a first-lady-in-waiting who is already being compared to Jackie Kennedy, and into a family portrait that includes two of the brightest-eyed little girls ever to cross the public stage. Oh yeah, and it allowed a guy with the middle name Hussein to take over for a president who was obsessed with ridding the earth of Saddam. What does Barack Obama know that the rest of us don't? WH contributing editor Peter Moore met with him last August on his campaign plane to find out. Read on for Obama's flight plan.

Lesson 1: Be there for your family, even if you're not around.
I joined the campaign on August 4, which also happened to be Obama's birthday. But Michelle and their daughters, Malia and Sasha, were nowhere to be seen."The birthday celebration was yesterday," he said. "We get everything in, just not always on schedule. I sat on a lounge chair in a friend's backyard, watching my girls and Michelle dance. It was as nice a moment as I've had in a long time. I don't miss the important things. I haven't missed a dance recital. I haven't missed a parent-teacher conference. But there are some things I do miss. Those are trade-offs you make."I'd like to say that quality time replaces quantity, but sometimes it doesn't. A lot of the best moments of family life happen spontaneously. If you have less time to devote to them, there are fewer of those. What I've been able to do is create a zone of normalcy for my kids. Michelle's been wonderful about that. I have been able to transmit to them my absolute interest in them and my absolute love for them."

Lesson 2: Make the future your focus
An unavoidable sacrifice: the way a child's life changes under the glare of campaign lights. Obama noted that his daughters were young--5 and 8--when he had to explain the upheaval that was about to shake their family. The girls' first order of business: their now-famous request for a First Dog. "They did also ask about what they called 'secret people,' which were the Secret Service folks: 'Are we going to have to have those people with sunglasses and earpieces following us around all the time?' And I told them, well, not right away. They've adjusted wonderfully."

Lesson 3: Learn from your father, even if he wasn't a good one.
Citing the complex relationship between Bush I and Bush II, I asked the then-senator if his absent father would have an impact on an Obama presidency. "I would like to think that most of the issues related to my father have been resolved," he replied. "That's part of what writing Dreams from My Father was about: understanding him, his own personal tragedy. He wasn't a presence in my life; he was an idea that I had to wrestle with for a long time."Somebody once said that every man is either trying to live up to his dad's expectations or make up for his dad's mistakes. And I'm sure I was doing a little bit of both. But somewhere in my late twenties or early thirties, I sort of figured out what his absence had meant. It's part of what I think has made me a pretty good dad. There's no doubt that it has contributed to my drive. I might not be here had it not been for that absent father prodding me early in life."

Lesson 4: Organize distractions right out of your life.
Clearly, Obama knows how to manage groups. By the time your outfit has its own plane, it had better have a solid pilot."I'm part of an organization," he said, speaking of his campaign team, "and one of the things I really try to push is to make sure that everybody is focused on the two or three things that are really going to make a difference. I ask them to design my schedule in a way that focuses on being active instead of reactive. "The most difficult thing is to carve out time to think, which is probably the most important time for somebody who's trying to shift an organization, or in this case, the country, as opposed to doing the same things that have been done before. And I find that that time slips away." His solution: delegate. "I don't spend a lot of time returning calls or e-mails. If somebody needs something, usually somebody else can handle it. Eliminating TV has been helpful." But, he confesses, "I'm still a sucker for SportsCenter."

Lesson 5: Use workout time to focus your mind.
In the epilogue to The Audacity of Hope, Obama recounts how, after a long day in the Senate, he would jog to the Lincoln Memorial, where he'd pull a patriotic Rocky on the steps. Now those head-clearing runs are over: "One of the things about this job is the loss of anonymity. I can't run outside anymore. Looks like I've got to find other ways to exercise."Along with impromptu hoops games, Obama follows a six-day workout schedule that alternates cardio and weight training. But fitness is just the side benefit: "My blood pressure is pretty low, and I tend to be a healthy eater. So I probably could get away with cutting back a little bit. The main reason I work out is just to clear my head and relieve stress. It's a great way to stay focused."

Lesson 6: Quit smoking (as often as you need to).
For all of Obama's fitness, he's carried around the ultimate health taboo--smoking--for most of his adult life. And he inhaled, alright. Then came word that he'd quit smoking."There wasn't some dramatic moment," he said. "Michelle had been putting pressure on me for a while. I was never really a heavy smoker--probably at my peak I was smoking seven or eight a day. More typical was three. So it wasn't a huge challenge. There have been a couple of times during the campaign when I fell off the wagon and bummed one, and I had to kick it again."He does have advice for people wrestling with the dependency. "Eliminate certain key connections--that first cigarette in the morning, or after a meal, or with a drink. Eliminating those triggers should help."

Lesson 7: If you want to avoid disappointing others, don't disappoint yourself.
No surprise here. It's something Obama has thought about a lot: "I always try to make sure that my expectations are higher than those of the people around me," he says. "The American people are having a tough time. And I never want people to feel as if I've overpromised to them. I try to explain in a real, honest way how difficult some of the changes will be. But I never want the effect to be that I'm not working as hard as I can on their behalf, that I'm not continually trying to improve. I'm actually glad for the high expectations. One of the interesting things about a campaign is that it really does push you to the limit and then some. And it turns out that you have more in your reservoir than you expected."

Designer Tequila Bottles

By Holly Peterson

This is a MUST HAVE limited-edition, serially-numbered Essential Artists bottle of 1800 Tequila featuring the art of Glen Barr. In all, nine artists were commissioned to tag up their own bottle, of which—natch—1,800 each were made and individually numbered with their design emblazoned directly on the glass. In all, nine artists were commissioned to tag up their own bottle, of which—1,800 each were made and individually numbered with their design emblazoned directly on the glass.

Of course, the thing’s so beautiful that I could never bring myself to open it. Thanks a lot!

Design your own bottle and get it made here.

Anthropologie HOME

By Holly Peterson

I am a HUGE fan of Anthropologie's clothing, however, I am an even bigger fan of their wonderful home goods...

Above, a glimpse of their fun dishware.

And, their fabulous and unique furnishings.

For more eclectic and one-of-a-kind treasures for your home, visit:

Have Solar Energy Wherever You Go!

By Holly Peterson

Brunton SolarRoll Charger

Some people opt out of extended outdoor trips because they can't part with their precious electronics. This one is perfect for all such hopelessly plugged-in folk. The Brunton SolarRoll is a light, compact charger that outputs up to 14 watts of energy. Save the cellphones for those wimpy handheld solar chargers. We’re charging up big boys like camcorders, computers, and even car batteries here. That's right. With this, you can now pretty much charge anything you can carry, wherever you are. May being on an expedition never keep you from catching a game or checking your email ever again.

For more information go to brunton.com

Get Dwell Gear

By Holly Peterson

I love Dwell Magazine, any event they put on, and I am loving their fun merchandise offered at their website...

From t-shirts to onesies to notebooks and messenger bags, Dwell Gear is the perfect complement to any modern home. This 100% official, Dwell branded merchandise is perfect for gift giving and gift getting, so, drop by the Dwell.com online store and check out their latest styles, colors, and designs.

Hardware Couldn't Get More Beautiful!

By Holly Peterson

OMG! I'm absolutely so amazed by this hardware company!!!
Here are just some of their beautiful treasures...

Architectural Design Group

Heirloom Treasures

Wine Theme Designs

Neptune Designs

See more online at Schaub & Company


By Holly Peterson

I'm not sure why? But there's something about LUCITE that I am really loving these days... Could it be it's super clean look, or the way it leaves little to the imagination with it's see-through characteristics? Whatever it is, I'm not the only one.

Our friends at House Beautiful are LOVING it too!
Check out these amazing lucite pieces at HouseBeautiful.com

Energy Efficient Fitness

By Holly Peterson

What's next?
Green Fitness, that's what!

You know what they say…no pain, no gain. And in this case, sweat and tears gain you more than just muscle.

There are only a few gyms in the world that have caught on and who are running on a combination of solar and human energy. So actually, it's no pain, no gym. These Human Dynamo Bikes retrofitted with motors turn captured energy into electricity that is then used to power the gym's energy-efficient equipment (such as treadmills that use 30% less energy), lights, LCD televisions, and stereos. How you might ask? An "off grid" system would charge batteries to power an inverter to make 120 volts AC. Which is how the gym could connect its entertainment system, TV's and lights to this module. A "grid tie" system would be wired directly to the electrical panel.

Maybe you like sweating it out in darkness and silence. But to the rest of us, helping keep the lights on is pretty good incentive to keep pedaling.

To learn more go to: www.humandynamo.net

Cleanse Your Closet

By Holly Peterson

I am obsessed with cleaning out my closet, almost too much. But, for those of you who NEVER clean out your closet and who are looking forward to a fresh start to bring in 2009, here are some super helpful tips...

Julie Morgenstern, the guru of putting lives in order, reveals her tips and tricks for getting your closet — and therefore your life — in order.

Read more @ House Beautiful

The Grass Phone

By Holly Peterson

Korea is a known hub for high-tech design, and it's increasingly a hotspot for innovation among young designers learning their trade in a gadget-loving place. Most tech innovators plan in a touch of near-term obsolescence in order to make sure consumers keep buying, and some now add the ability to disassemble a product in order to make it more ecologically sound, but designer Je-Hyun Kim took it further and made a phone that will biodegrade completely. The Natural Year Phone has a grass casing that disintegrates over time, leaving recyclable hardware that can be used in a new phone in the future.
Naturally this begs the questions: What do you do if you are chatting in a rainstorm? What if you spill your coffee near your phone? And of course, is this short-lived green gadget priced according to its lifespan?
Nevertheless it's a thought-provoking idea and a very literal interpretation of a "green gadget."

If you ask me, this is taking "green" a little too far.

Ecofont: A Green Typface

By Holly Peterson

Whether it's the perfect pair of socks or a crisp, clean line of type, I'm a stickler for quality. So I was understandably skeptical of Ecofont, a Dutch-designed font that conserves ink because it has holes in it. Would it make our text look like it's met a firing squad? And, would a few holes at point 12 font really save us 20 percent in ink output? To our surprise, test prints resulted in highly respectable jet black letters and undetectable holes. Add the fact that the new typeface means fewer trips to Staples (and, thus, empty cartridges in the landfills), and we just might bid farewell to our friend Mr. Helvetica forever.

Download for free at ecofont.eu

MUST HAVE Kitchen Gadgets

By Holly Peterson

I'm a sucker for neat kitchen gadgets, which makes absolutely no sense, being that I am entirely lacking as a "Domestic Goddess", but I thought I'd share...

Index Chopping Boards / $85.00
These four color-coded polypropylene chopping boards are designed to avoid cross-contamination of various food types: red/raw meat, white/cooked foods, blue/fish, green/vegetables. The boards are stored in an ABS plastic horizontal filing unit with a non-slip rubber bottom. Boards are dishwasher safe.

Despite it's somewhat odd shape, this is SUPER practical! I just might have to get myself a set ;)

Banana Bunker / $10.00 Set of 2
Protect delicate fruit from bruising by transporting it in the cleverly designed Banana Bunker. Dishwasher safe.

Get yours at momastore.org

Recycle Your Christmas Lights

By Holly Peterson

What to do with those Christmas lights that you are so dreading to put away again, until Christmas rolls around next year...

You’re on your own with the leftover eggnog and fruitcake. But how about a bright idea for dealing with those Christmas lights? This year, recycle them with Christmas Light Source. The Fort Worth-based lighting supplier will recycle the copper, glass, and plastic in any light you send their way. Just as you can get cash for bringing cans to the supermarket, Christmas Light Source will get a small amount for each strand recycled. All that money will then be used to buy children’s books for Marines Toys for Tots. That way, your Christmas lights can continue to bring joy long after they are done decking your halls.

As an extra incentive, recyclers get 10 percent off their next purchase. For more information, go to christmas-light-source.com

Happy New Year: 2009

By Holly Peterson

It takes up to 30 days to form a habit...
Wishing you a happy, healthy, & successful New Year!!!

Positive thoughts,
Design Diva