Tag Archives: Bathroom luxuries

9 Unusual Sources of Design Inspiration

fashion inspired nautical design

Breakfast at Tiffany’s. The Amazon Rainforest. Guitars.

Have you ever been inexplicably inspired by something unusual?

When we’re looking for interior design inspiration, most of us look to Pinterest, home design blogs, or maybe even a Home & Garden magazine. Inspiration comes in many forms though. Today, I’ll show you 9 unusual places that might just unlock your inner design genius.

1. Your Favorite TV Show

Did you ever wish you could live in Monica’s apartment from Friends? The Dunphy house from Modern Family? Or even Downton Abbey itself?

downton abbey interior design

Image: homestilo

One great thing about TV shows is that they usually offer you the opportunity to look at a room from many different angles and really get a sense for the whole space. That makes it easier to closely examine the design and figure out which elements are inspiring you. If you were looking for an excuse to rewatch a few episodes of your favorite show, this is it!

2. Fashion

People often look to the fashion world for inspiration for their homes, usually by copying colors and fabrics. Sometimes that works, but the colors and textures that work well on clothing don’t always have the same effect in your kitchen.

My favorite way to draw inspiration from fashion is this:

  1. Pay attention to what you like and don’t like when it comes to personal style.
  2. Think about the “feeling” or overall aesthetic that appeals to you.
  3. Try to translate that feeling (rather than a bunch of specific elements) into your interior design plan.

Here’s an example.

fashion inspired nautical design

Photo: Třebíz

This photo clearly has a nautical theme, but it’s not just their clothing that gives that impression. It’s the backdrop, the way the photo was edited, and the way the models are standing. It feels fresh, cool, and light. You can bring the same feeling to your interior design plan without copying the exact elements from the photo.

3. Your Interests

It just makes sense to surround yourself with things you like. Are you a crazy sports fan? An avid reader? Don’t fight it!

Here are a few examples of people who used their interests as design inspiration:


living space trail blazers fans

Photo: Lincoln Barbour




4. Home Staging Companies

Good home stagers are great interior designers, but staged homes have a reputation for looking “empty.” With not much furniture or decoration, they sometimes end up looking pretty minimal. Home stagers don’t want to overwhelm prospective buyers with too much stuff; they want to create a space where people can start envisioning their own design preferences and lifestyle. Is that the same thing you’re trying to do now? Think about it: If you’re feeling stuck, a minimally decorated space may be just the inspiration you need!

Some home stagers have figured out a way to create this effect without leaving rooms completely devoid of personality. Here are a few who I think do it well:

5. Movies, Photos, and Paintings from the Past

Johan Zacharias Blackstadius Interiör salong med läsande

Johan Zacharias Blackstadius, Interiör, salong med läsande flicka, 1850

Are you a bit of an old soul? Do you love watching classic old movies? Old paintings, movies, and photos are full of design gems.

I love the openness in the room above and the way those big windows let in the light. That’s an oil painting by Swedish artist Johan Zacharias Blackstadius in 1850!

breakfast at tiffany's

Audrey Hepburn in Breakfast at Tiffany’s

The movies Breakfast at Tiffany’s and North by Northwest are also known for their great interior sets.

A little digging on the Internet will uncover some great old interior design photos. Here are some places to start:

6. Your Friends’ Houses

If you have a friend or family member whose home you love, think about what it is you like about the space. What is resonating with you? How can you apply some of the same ideas to your own space?

Ask your friend about it too. What went into the design/remodel? Which elements came first in the process? Who did they go to for advice?

At the end of the day, your home is yours. It should reflect your lifestyle and design preferences, but it never hurts to get some sage advice from someone with great style!

7. Overseas

I recently wrote about design trends from around the world. Getting inspiration from another culture is a great way to add a new flavor to your space. It’s fun to bring in a little piece of another culture you love (or maybe a piece of your family’s heritage).

Check out these two examples:


This mid-century modern kitchen is in Copenhagen, Denmark. Mid-century modern design harks back to the clean, simple, nature-inspired designs that were popular from the 1930s to mid-1960s.


This Moscow kitchen is extremely traditional (yet very cozy) with warm inviting colors. It also incorporates several industrial elements, such as the light over the table and the metal over the stove.

8. The Wild

It turns out Mother Nature can inspire some pretty amazing designs. If you’re an adventure seeker who loves the outdoors, bring the outside in! The colors, textures, and artwork you choose can help create the feeling of being in the wild.

For example, the Pacific Northwest offers some pretty spectacular inspiration…


Or you can get a little more exotic and create a Safari-inspired room (and make yourself feel like you’re actually in a tent!)…


Or you could pay homage to the Amazon Rainforest with cool greens and relaxing indoor plants…


Master Vanity rainforest green marble countertops

Master Vanity with Rainforest Green Marble Countertops, Photo by Shelley Sims/Thrive DesignSearch eclectic bathroom design ideas

9. The Mall

Believe it or not, your local shopping mall might just give you that creative spark you’ve been waiting for. Have a look at furniture stores, kiosks, and more. Anthropologie always has great displays:

Design Inspiration Can Come from Anywhere

Memories, dreams, restaurants, your favorite childhood spots: all these things can be sources of inspiration for your home. Don’t be afraid to think outside the box.

If you need help incorporating any of these ideas into your design — or you’re struggling to get inspired — Mosaik Design & Remodeling can help. Give me a call at (503) 726-2222 or contact us online to get started.

10 Interior Design Trends That Will Stand the Test of Time

indoor plants

If you’ve ever flipped through a design magazine from the 1970s, you know how dated certain design trends can become.

We may not love them now, but shag carpet and mustard yellow walls were once the hottest trends. Will the same thing happen to today’s trends? Is there a way to know what has staying power? Can you design a room that looks great now, tomorrow, and in 20 years?

I’ll answer those questions and more in this post. We’ll look at the top 10 design trends that will stand the test of time, but first, let’s go over three important characteristics of any truly timeless design.

Characteristics of Timeless Spaces

1956 home wallpaper 1956 living room

Photos: Bill Bradford, Bill Bradford

Both these living rooms were featured in Better Homes & Gardens in 1956. You’d probably guess they were both designed in the 50s, but one feels much more pleasant and liveable today than the other.

Let’s see why that is…

Timeless designs aren’t based on passing fads. Design trends that truly stand the test of time are simple, functional, and in balance with their environment.


Think quality, not quantity. You’ll notice that the most timeless designs from past decades aren’t cluttered or over the top. They’re simple and straightforward with just one or two main focal points in the room.


A timeless home is one that someone could live comfortably in now, 50 years ago, or 50 years in the future. Of course, function can change over time (imagine living without a microwave!) but you want a home that’s mean to actually be lived in, no matter what decade you’re in.

Balanced with the Environment

In a timeless design, everything is in proportion. For example, a giant, puffy sofa in a tiny room just doesn’t look balanced. Similarly, ultra-modern Scandinavian furniture may not feel right in an old-fashioned Victorian style home.

Think about fashion: Oversized or tight fitting clothing may be in style for a few years, but clothing that fits right and feels comfortable always looks good.

10 Design Trends that Stand the Test of Time

Now that you know how to go about designing spaces that stand the test of time, let’s look at a few of the building blocks you can use to put it all together.

Keep in mind: There are endless ways to create a timeless design, but if you’re not sure where to start, these 10 ideas will help.

1. A Classic Color Scheme

mediterranean timeless home

The safest way to ensure your colors won’t look dated in a few years is to choose neutrals like beige, off-whites, and grays. Those colors have been in style for hundreds of years and they most likely will be for hundreds more!

Timeless doesn’t have to mean boring, though. Why not throw in an accent color or two? Navy blue and dark green are two timeless colors that look great with neutrals. Or you may want to get creative and throw in a brighter color. When incorporated tastefully, even the boldest colors can be timeless.

2. A Single Focal Point

mid-century modern kitchen focal point

Those three timeless characteristics (simple, functional, and balanced) can be hard to achieve in practice. An inside designer secret is to choose a single focal point for the room (or two if it’s a bigger room).

A focal point can be almost anything, including:

  • A piece of furniture
  • An architectural detail
  • A beautiful view
  • A favorite piece of art

It may also depend on the room. In the living room the focal point might be a fireplace, a coffee table centerpiece, or patterned throw pillows. In the kitchen it might be a bold backsplash or a colorful appliance.

3. Your Favorite Art

wall art home

A piece of art can really help set the tone of a room. Contemporary art can bring an old-fashioned room into the 21st Century. A classic painting or sculpture can add some old world class to a more modern design, like in the room above.

Art is easy to change out. Even if your furniture or paint colors get a little outdated, you can always update your art!

Plus, there’s nothing more timeless than a beautiful piece that you know you’ll continue to love for years to come.

4. Indoor Plants

indoor plants

People don’t always think about plants, but they are one of the most timeless elements you can add to a room. Plants are refreshing, uplifting, and can even purify the air!

Plus, some plants are surprisingly resilient and don’t require much maintenance. Check out this list of house plants that won’t die on you from Today.com.

5. Good Lighting

good lighting living room

Good lighting is always in style. I love the effect of natural light, so I take advantage of windows and skylights whenever I can.

That’s not an option for every room, though. Luckily, light colored walls and ceilings help too, and the right ceiling light can make all the difference.

Tip: Paint your ceiling the same color or a 50% lighter version of your wall color. This eliminates the harsh line from wall color to white and give a feeling of height and expansiveness to any room.

6. Marble

marble kitchen countertops

Trying to choose a kitchen countertop or bathroom tile that won’t go out of style?

Marble is always classic. Elegant, smooth, and cool to the touch, marble is a natural stone that’s lifted from the Earth in whole slabs. It’s a natural and authentic material that’s always both traditional and stylish.

7. Crown Molding

crown molding timeless home

Crown molding is usually applied along the corner where walls and ceiling meet. If it fits your home’s style, it’s a great way to add character and smooth the transition from wall to ceiling.

Crown molding is a common feature in traditional homes. You’ll find it in almost any Victorian-style home, but designers and architects have been using crown molding since the time of the ancient Greeks and Romans. It hasn’t lost its popularity since.

8. Soaking Tubs

soaking tub

There’s nothing more timeless than a luxurious, relaxing bath at the end of the day. Soaking tubs have been around forever and they’re still available today in a variety of sizes and styles.

Maybe you’ll get yourself a traditional freestanding claw-foot tub, or maybe you’ll opt for a big spa bathtub that’s built into the wall.

9. Natural Materials

natural hardwood floors stone

We’ve already talked about marble, but there are plenty of other natural materials that can help your home feel timeless and authentic.

A few examples are:

  • Hardwood floors
  • Natural fibers like cotton for window curtains, cushions, and more
  • A stone fireplace
  • Brick walls or backsplash material

10. Vintage Meets Contemporary

vintage furniture

Fads come and go, which is why committing wholeheartedly to one trend may not be your best bet. Incorporating a mix of vintage and contemporary pieces is a great way to add some variety and keep from looking dated.

Just remember to keep everything in balance with the environment and you’re sure to end up with a beautiful, textured, and dynamic space.

Putting it All Together

Let’s look at another example. This photo is from a home design magazine in the 70s (which is why the photo quality isn’t as good).

timeless 70s home
Photo: army.arch *Adam*

The room is simple, functional, and well balanced with its environment. Even though it’s over 40 years old, it incorporates nearly every every element we’ve talked about in this post.

  • A simple, neutral color scheme
  • A focal point (the view out the big glass doors)
  • Indoor plants
  • Great natural lighting
  • Natural materials, like wood and brick
  • A combination of old fashioned brick and “contemporary” 70s furniture

This space still looks like fresh, beautiful, and livable, because the designer stuck to classic trends and avoided many of the passing fads we all associate with the 70s.

My Final Piece of Advice

Remember to have fun with your home’s design. The most important piece of advice I can give you is this: The design that will truly stand the test of time is the one that fits your lifestyle and that you’ll still be happy with 10 or even 20 years down the road.

Is there a color or a piece of furniture you just love, even though it’s not the least bit timeless? I can help you figure out how to incorporate it into your home in a way that won’t look dated later.


Thanks to The Snug

creative ways to hang bathroom towels

creative ways to hang bathroom towels

Do you love DIY home decor projects as much as I do? The Snug is a great resource for DIY projects from all over the Internet, from creating a bedroom mural to DIY coffee-making contraptions.

This month, The Snug is featuring my article about creative ways to hang bathroom towels!

In my article, I show you my favorite unique towel-hanging methods and I even give some advice for dealing with small or weirdly shaped small bathrooms.

Head over to The Snug and read the whole article! And let me know what you think!

8 Pinterest DIY Projects That Actually Work

couch cushions linen spray

Pinterest is full of home decor do-it-yourself projects. Sometimes, though, when you actually try one yourself, the end result looks nothing like the picture.

That’s why I put together this list of doable Pinterest DIY projects that provide detailed, step-by-step instructions you can follow. I’ll also include a list of the materials you need for each with links to hard-to-find items. If you’ve got the holiday decorating bug, or just want a fun gift idea, I’ll share a couple of those too!

Let’s start with something simple for the bathroom.

Mason Jar Bathroom Organizer

See it on Pinterest.

Difficulty: Intermediate

You’ll need:

If you’ve spent any time browsing the home decor section of Pinterest, you’re probably no stranger to mason jars. They’re not just for food storage anymore. This farmhouse chic organizer is a handy way to store all those bathroom knick knacks you can never find a good place for.

Do you have Q-tips, cotton balls, or makeup products stuffed in a drawer or cabinet somewhere? This is a clever alternative.

There’s some drilling involved, but the tutorial from DIY Playbook is easy to follow.

Wine Cork Board

See it on Pinterest.

wine cork board

Photo: Andrew Smith on Flickr

Difficulty: Beginner/Intermediate

You’ll need:

  • 170 corks (or more)
  • 12″ x 12″ shadow box
  • Super glue or other quick-dry, heavy duty glue

If you buy wine regularly, all you have to do is start saving the corks, and you’ll be on your way to your own unique cork board. Ask your friends to save their corks, too! And if you’re in the Portland area, stop by Scrap, a great place to find affordable materials for DIY projects, including corks!

According to Pinterest users, it works just as well whether you glue the ends of the corks to the box (as the A Beautiful Mess blog suggests) or glue them down longways like the picture above shows.

Once you’re done, you can use it just like any other bulletin board by tacking up pictures, reminders, or shopping lists!

Make Your Own Linen Spray

See it on Pinterest.

couch cushions linen spray

Difficulty: Beginner

You’ll need:

  • 30 drops essential oil
  • 1.5 cups Distilled water
  • 3 oz. Vodka
  • Spray bottle
  • Funnel

You can use linen spray to freshen up bed linens, soft furnishings, and clothing between cleanings. You can even spray it on fabrics while ironing to for a fresh, calming scent. It works as an air freshener too.

A bottle of linen spray can cost anywhere from $5 to $50– or more! But it’s usually less expensive (and more fun) to make your own. You can even create your own combination of essential oils to make your own scent.

This tutorial from Apartment Therapy has been a huge Pinterest success.

Travel-Themed Gallery Wall

See it on Pinterest.

A photo posted by Kelly Rowe (@livelaughrowe) on

Difficulty: Intermediate

You’ll need:

You don’t really need all those materials to make a travel-themed gallery wall. This project is pretty open ended — you can make it however you like! You only need those exact supplies if you want to make the same DIY Instagram photo frame that the blogger, Kelly Rowe, did. She shows you how to do it in this post.

If you have a lot of photos, this is a great way to showcase your favorites someplace you’ll see  every day. It’s a creative way to remind yourself of your favorite, trips, memories, or family moments.

Rustic Bathroom Storage Ladder

See it on Pinterest.

A photo posted by Jenna Sue (@jennasuedesign) on

Difficulty: Intermediate

You’ll need:

  • 2 long boards & 2 short (length will depend on your toilet and bathroom dimensions)
  • Sander or sandpaper
  • Wood glue
  • Drill & screws

The rustic look really lends itself to DIY projects!

This one is really convenient for hanging towels and washcloths. If you add a metal basket, like the blogger did, you can also store toilet paper, tissues, hand lotion, and other bathroom supplies.

You can find more detailed instructions in this post from the Jenna Sue Design blog. (It’s the first of the 3 projects she walks you through.)

Lemon Candles

See it on Pinterest.

A photo posted by mimiloush (@mimiloush) on

Difficulty: Beginner

You’ll need:

(Makes 24 candles)

  • 1 dozen lemons
  • Knife
  • Melon baller
  • Candy thermometer
  • 1/2 teaspoon lemon oil
  • Wicks
  • Wick holder
  • 1 pound beeswax
  • Small paintbrush

Want to add a pop of color and warm up a dark room this winter? Lemon candles are bright and easy to make from hollowed-out lemon skins and beeswax. Pinners say they actually smell like lemons!

This article from Martha Stewart shows you how to make them in 5 steps. These make great little holiday gifts too.

Speaking of the holidays, keep reading for a couple more seasonal ideas.

Holiday Decor: Glittery Branch

See it on Pinterest.

glittery branch holiday decorations diy

Photo: Momtastic blog

Difficulty: Beginner

You’ll need:

Sparkly branches are a great addition to regular holiday decorations like lights, candles, and holly. They’re great around a door frame or in the corners of the living room. Hosting a holiday party this year? Put them on the porch to welcome guests as they walk inside.

The bloggers at Momtastic put together a nice, detailed tutorial you can use to create your own.

DIY Gift: Hot Cocoa Kit

See it on Pinterest.

hot cocoa kit

Photo: Kirtsy blog

Difficulty: Beginner

You’ll need:

Almost everyone likes hot cocoa. These homemade kits are delicious gifts or stocking stuffers, and you can save yourself a lot of time on gift shopping by making a bunch of them at once.

The Kirtsy blog has a quick rundown on how to put these together. The great thing about this gift is you can make it however you want. Know someone who likes cinnamon in their cocoa? Include some!

Ready to DIY?

Are you planning to try any of these Pinterest DIY projects? Do you have a favorite home decor or holiday-themed project I missed? Let me know in the comments!

And if you want to see all these ideas (and more) in one place, follow my DIY Home Decor Projects board on Pinterest!

Luxurious Bathroom Remodeling

A complete and well thought out space with beautiful architectural details and scale, lovely texture just outside the window and simple but elegant decoration. Everything from the choice  of fabric on the windows to the chandelier and tub, speak to elegance, refinement and sophistication.


As we retreat indoors this winter, more and more people are looking to their indoor spaces for comfort, warmth and a place to simply “be”.  The question of “What is a luxury bath?” is described perfectly in this Waterworks blog “The Perfect Bath”.

“Luxury is never about how much money is spent. It is about the wise and comfortable use of proportion and scale, meticulous installation, well-articulated architectural details, functionality and the accessories used to personalize the bath. And, it doesn’t matter if the space is large or small. The important factors are: clean and classic lines, quality materials, artisanal craftsmanship, elegant and nuanced surfaces, and outstanding functionality”.

Some of us think of our bathrooms as a place to shower and get ready for the day, others as on oasis:  a place to relax, unwind by soaking in a jetted tub or taking a steam shower.  With a variety of luxury bathroom products on the market, it can be difficult to pick just one for your bathroom remodel.  Here are my top 3:

  1. Shower System:  Whether it is a steam shower, large rain shower head, dual shower heads, hand held showers or body sprays, these are a must with the increasing popularity of large showers.
  2. Tub:  Not all of us want them, but for those of you that do, there are amazing tubs available with chromatherapy, aromatherapy, thermotherapy and hydro-thermal massage. Also popular are architectural freestanding tubs that add a design element like no other.
  3. Heated Floors:  Bring a bit of the spa home with you.  There is nothing like a heated floor especially in the damp Pacific Northwest.  We recommend Nu-Heat and Warm Wire to our clients.  These can just be installed in front of a vanity or shower so you can still experience heated floors without breaking the bank.

When designing and remodeling your bathroom it is important that you keep you personal style and needs in mind, since it is the most private space in your home.  You want it to be a space that is not only comfortable, but functional.  As a bathroom designer, I can help with all of your design needs to create your dream bathroom that will be classic and durable.  Contact Mosaik Design & Remodeling for a bathroom remodeling  appointment today.