Design Trend: Dipped-Painted Furniture

For those who are unsure about painting an entire piece of furniture, or don't want to fully commit to it, the "dipped-painted" look is ideal.  And it's made a surge in the design world in recent years.  What do you think of this trend?

design trends
Original source unknown

It certainly adds a little pizzazz to otherwise plain furniture...

Dot and Bo design trends

This table from Dot & Bo looks more interesting with the "reverse" dipped effect.  The tabletop is actually painted while the legs are kept in the original walnut.  If your furniture piece has solid wood legs, but perhaps a veneer top, this is a great option.  I always hesitate to paint real wood.

dipped furniture

Ikea furniture seems to be a popular candidate for DIY projects.  The furniture comes at a budget-friendly price point, and the clean Scandinavian lines make it ideal to customize.

The dipped-painted trend has stayed the course for a few years.  I think it's worth the try if you want to update the look of something you already own.  It doesn't require a big investment in time or money, and it's a great DIY project for the novice DIY-er.  Plus, it's easy enough to "undo" if you change your mind.  Design Tip:  If you have an antique or heirloom-quality piece of furniture in need of sprucing up, I wouldn't recommend this technique.  I think you're best off getting it refurbished and bringing it back to its original glory.

design trends

Of course, the dipped-paint trend is not limited to furniture.  It's a fun look for home accessories too!

3 Low-Cost Decorating Tips

Several months ago, I wrote about ways to decorate with very little or no money at all.  Today, I'm sharing a few more budget-friendly or no-cost tips for decorating.


budget decorating tips

Have kids?  Encourage their creativity by prominently displaying their artwork.  Our young artists deserve more than just having their art on the refrigerator door!  Their drawings and paintings will inject instant color and pattern into any space.

budget decorating tips

I especially love the free-flowing creations that kids make.  The more abstract, the better!

budget decorating tips
My kids' artwork serve as the primary decorative accessories in their room.

Flexible display solutions are great for changing up artwork.  Shelving and cable wires are easy and effective solutions to display rotating art.

Here are some other display ideas...

budget decorating tips
My Eco Girl

Giant laundry clips!  They are a piece of art in itself.

low cost budget decorating tips

Re-purpose wood hangars with the built-in clips.  Clever!


low cost budget decorating tips

Customize the look of your existing draperies or add some interest to plain fabric by adding ribbon!  The best part about embellishing with ribbon is that you don't even need to sew it on.  Perfect for a non-sewer like me.  Fabric adhesive or iron-on tape will work great.


low cost budget decorating tips

Group like-colored items together to create an eye-catching display.

low cost budget decorating tips

Design Tip:  Do you have several random items lying around, like candlesticks, vases, plates, etc.?  If they aren't color-consistent, use spray paint to unify them, then group them together to create a cohesive display!

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Family Room Reno Progress: The Walls

I love walls with architectural details, like chair rails, board and batten, wainscoting, etc.  But faux-paneled walls, which were popular decades ago, do not work for me.  They scream time warp and look pretty flimsy up close (at least in our case).  Point in case, the faux paneling that was in our family room when we moved in...


At first, I thought we could possibly paint over the panels.  But after living in the house for a year 1/2, I noticed more and more the shoddy shape they were in.  They were separating in a few areas.

When planning our family room renovation, we knew we wanted to beef up the insulation, add lighting (there was none), and install new electrical outlets.  Since this would require opening up the walls, we decided to permanently address the faux paneling and replace it with drywall.  The walls throughout our house are a combination of plaster and drywall.


Shown above are progress shots of the room from two angles - looking into the room from the adjacent dining area (top portion), and from inside the room looking out towards the dining room (bottom half).  As you can see, we also removed the low beams that were running across the room.  They were not structural, nor attached to the center structural beam that is running the span of the room.

The room looks dramatically different with the removal of both the faux paneling and faux beams, don't you think?!  It looks and feels less heavy.  The room receives lots of natural light (one wall is essentially made up of sliding doors), but the old paneled walls were weighing the room down.  

Electrical was added for a ceiling light fixture.  Now I need to figure out how to camouflage it without painting the ceiling...

Next up for the walls will be bolting them down into the studs, then taped, mudded, and painted.  (We hired someone other than our contractor for this job.  Progress is slower (since it's one person), but he is SO meticulous.  He leaves the job site super clean too!)

For more frequent progress updates, follow me over on Instagram!

Rustic Modern Family Room Design

Rustic comfort mixed with modern lines was the goal of my latest design.  This room design would work well for any family.  The seating selections are relaxed and casual, yet have modern clean lines.  Although the sofa is upholstered in a cream fabric, it is slipcovered for easy cleaning.  The clean lines of the furnishings also help keep the room from feeling cluttered.  The eclectic mix of tables (ranging from the warm wood coffee table to the faux shagreen nesting side tables) have varying textures, which provides lots of depth and interest.  Nothing in the room design is too precious, which bodes perfectly for family living!

Interested in a room design?  Contact me for assistance at any time.  I can work with you no matter where you live through my e-design services.


Hello Shutters

It took three months since we ordered them, but our shutters were finally installed... about two weeks ago!  We waited over a year to cover up the windows, so what's another few months of waiting?!  Our windows have finally graduated from temporary shades (well at least some of them).

Back in October, we ordered custom shutters for all the windows that face out towards the front of the house.  I wanted consistency in how the windows looked from the front exterior, especially since our one-story home has larger-scaled front windows.  That meant, shutters would be installed in the home office, guest bathroom, and boys' bedroom.  While we were at it, we also decided to have shutters installed on the window of the newly remodeled main bathroom.

The finishing decorative touches are next...

This is actually our second experience with shutters.  We had shutters installed in 2005 throughout our last home, and loved them.


But let me tell you, the structural design of our new shutters are at another level.  The "stick" that would normally maneuver the shutters closed or open are built-in to the design of these shutters.  The mechanism is hidden in the casing and completely concealed.

No "stick" running down the middle of the shutters.

The shutters also have a hidden "split" mechanism that enables us to close or open just the top or bottom halves as necessary.  This is a great feature when you want privacy from the outside, but still want to let light in.

They swing open easily too...

For those of you who are considering shutters, I say go for it!  It may not be the most innovative window covering solution, but it stands the test of time and is worth the investment.  It also seems to be a marketing tool for home resale.  You can always add softness, dimension, and texture with drapery panels to create a beautiful layered window treatment!  I plan to do so in our home office.

Original source unknown

If you happen to be in the market for shutters, and live near the LA area, this company was great to work with.  We ordered doors at the same time for better pricing. (This is not sponsored.)

Concealing the laundry

Remember the new laundry area... aka, the neglected space that is all "plumbed out" but still isn't being used... because we have yet to purchase a new stackable washer/dryer...?!  Well, that hasn't changed, but it did get a little bit of our attention recently.

Up until last month, the new laundry area was fully exposed and without doors.  We finally addressed the "exposure" issue by installing new bi-fold doors! 

The bi-folds were ordered with the new bathroom doors, and have the same profile for consistency.  Although I did consider other options, bi-fold doors best suited the narrow hallway in which the laundry is located.  This way, we could easily open the doors (and leave them open) without having it impede traffic flow.

Next up for this space is installing shelving, and adding some simple decorating touches to liven it up a bit!

And the winner is...

Happy Monday, especially for those who have the MLK holiday off!  Just popping in quickly today to announce the winners of my first online room design giveaway.  Yes, there is more than one winner!  Congratulations to..

Megan Salazar
Cattaliya Snider

Please e-mail me at your convenience so we can get started on your e-design plan. :)

Thank you to everyone who participated and supported CAD INTERIORS through the various social media outlets and on the blog.  Stay connected for future design giveaways and special offers!

Family Room: The Renovation Plans & Before Photos

It wouldn't be "normal" around here if we didn't kick off 2015 with a home renovation project!

We are finally officially underway with our family room renovation - like two weeks in process!  Demolition is done, and the room is slowly getting put back together.  Electrical just finished, and the prep work for the new insulation and drywall is completed.

This room was an addition to the home's original 1955 structure.  I believe it was done in the late 60's/70's by the original/previous owner.  It has a lot of potential packed in its 400 square feet of living space.  That being said, every surface in the room needs TLC.  We plan to bring it into the 21st century while maintaining as much of its architectural features.

This is what the room looked like when we closed escrow.  Sorry for the dark photo, but I snapped this photo before I knew I would be blogging. :)

It's a good size and has some nice features, like the high wood beam ceilings and floor-to-ceiling wood-burning fireplace.  The room also receives a ton of natural light.  The drawn vertical blinds are actually concealing two sets of sliding doors that open to the outdoor courtyard and backyard, which makes the space ideal for indoor/outdoor living and entertaining.

Aside from the shabby carpet, which will be replaced with new flooring, the largest eyesore in the room is the faux paneling.  It is now gone!  Yay!  The room just looks and feels less "heavy" without it.

Here is another angle of the room at the close of escrow, but looking out towards the adjacent dining and kitchen spaces.  Before we moved in, we actually demo'd the kitchen pantry and peninsula area to open up the space even more.  We plan to renovate the entire kitchen as well.

The family room has a slight "drop down" elevation, which I actually don't mind.  The ceilings in the room are already vaulted, and the drop down elevation accentuates the height.  We are also able to break up the flooring from the rest of the house without it looking disjointed.  Another neat feature in the room is the dutch door.  It needs a good cleaning and paint job (and maybe a new door jamb), but it's a keeper.

Here is what we hope to accomplish in this room:

  • Remove faux paneling & replace with drywall
  • Replace old carpet with new flooring
  • Install new baseboards and trim throughout
  • Install new fireplace mantel
  • Address insulation
  • Address lighting and electrical needs
  • Address ceiling and beams
  • Update dutch door & door jamb
  • Paint throughout
  • Install built-ins around fireplace (eventually)
  • Replace sliding doors (eventually)
  • Install new window treatments
  • Furnish and decorate!

Be sure to check back here for progress updates.  You can also follow me on Instagram for progress photos.


Thank you to those who have already submitted entries by following me on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and here on the blog.  The giveaway closes at midnight today, January 16, 2015, so hurry and enter if you haven't already done so!  I will be announcing the winner on Monday.  Have a great weekend!

Living Room Mood Board & E-Design Giveaway Reminder!

If you could redo your living space, how would you like it to feel, look, and function?  Lately, I've had a thing for mid-century meets rustic design.  This is a general departure from the classic, transitional style that I used to lean towards - although I still love that aesthetic.  Oh, and I love modern farmhouse, modern vintage, and coastal style too!  You could say I have eclectic taste.  No wonder it's difficult for me to make design decisions when it comes to our own house?!  But one thing remains consistent:  I love texture, color, and pattern.  I believe that these elements help a room come to life and prevent it from feeling "flat".  The mood board above exemplifies this.  It has a mid-century modern vibe that is warmed by textural elements, fun colors, and interesting patterns.

Would you like assistance in having a room designed, but don't know how to get started?  Now is your chance to enter for a FREE online room design giveaway!

The deadline to enter for a chance to win this giveaway is tomorrow, January 16, 2015.  There are no purchases necessary.  Click here for details on how to enter.  I will create a customized room e-design plan for you (complete with product sources and a full description of the design), and you can execute the design plan as your time and budget permits!

If you already subscribe to this blog, or follow me on social media, feel free to enter too.  Just let me know in the comments below.  Thanks and good luck!

Hardwood or Wood Tile

I have always been partial to hardwood floors.  Generally speaking, it would be my flooring of choice throughout the house if budget wasn't an issue.  It's a good choice for allergy sufferers, and it is also practical and durable in high traffic areas.  Same can be said for tile though, right?!  But what do house hunters always seem to look for and attribute more value to?  Hardwood seems to be the clear-cut winner in that battle.

Lately, my husband and I have been having debates between hardwood and tile - wood tile to be specific.  With our family room renovation underway (more on that in a separate post), we will be replacing the worn carpet with new flooring.  Although we both prefer hardwood over any other flooring option, we have a renovation (product and labor) budget to consider - not just for this room, but for the entire house.  If we had an infinite budget, I would not even be considering wood tile in the room.  Solid hardwood all the way! :)

Love this distressed wide-plank solid hardwood floor.

I thought of wood tile as a compromise.  We can still visually achieve the warmth and texture of wood, but at a more affordable price point (like 50-70% less than the hardwoods I like).  But would tile be too cold and "hard" underfoot?  Probably.  Radiant floor heating isn't practical for us, nor necessary since we live in Southern California.  We may as well get hardwood floors if we're going to pay for radiant heating.

I can list so many reasons why I love hardwood.  Not only is it durable, warm, textural, and beautiful, it also has longevity and popularity across the board - which is good for all resale, whether you're considering to sell or not.  However, the one quality that I feel that tile has the upper hand in is with maintenance.

Wood tile floors. Image via Houzz.

Tile requires minimal maintenance.  Just give it a quick sweep or vacuum, and some mopping. Scratches or dents isn't a big concern too.  Wood requires frequent sweeping, and constant diligence with keeping it scratch or dent-free.  I speak from experience, as we had hardwood in our previous homes, and also have hardwood in parts of this house.  We don't wear shoes in the house, but scratches are inevitable.  It doesn't matter if the wood is distressed...

Hardwood floors. Image via Houzz.

Aside from solid hardwood or engineered wood (which we are also considering), some have also mentioned laminate wood flooring.  While also a practical and durable option, laminate isn't on our radar.  Don't get me wrong, as I would totally recommend quality laminate floors.  My parents' house has a mix of real hardwood and laminate, and I've also seen nice laminate floors installed in many homes.  We just narrowed down our options to hardwood or wood tile.

Dining Room Mood Board

Dining areas are great spaces to have some fun with design.  Nowadays, since so many of us have our meals in an eat-in kitchen rather than the actual dining room, I created a space that looks to serve multiple purposes.

Adding a mix of seating options, including the upholstered settee/loveseat, makes it a comfortable and flexible space that can function in multiple ways - like a casual reading/work area, place to play cards or board games, etc.  It's a cozy dining nook and more!

Although the furnishings in the room were kept neutral, pattern, texture, and color were introduced through the accessories and finishing touches.  The textile fabric provides the jumping off point for accent colors.  The fabric is also quite playful and bold, which gives the room an unexpected element.

Are you interested in a room design?

Great news!  I'm currently doing a design giveaway.  It's your chance to win a FREE online room design.  Giveaway closes on January 16, 2015.  Feel free to contact me if you have any questions.

Online Room Design Giveaway

A new year often brings new resolutions and goals, including perhaps, sprucing up some rooms in your home?!  To help you get started, I am offering an...

I will create an online design board for any one (1) room of your choice, and provide you with a complete product source list and written details for how to implement the design.

Sample design boards:

Go here to see additional design boards.

How to enter:

1) Become a follower of this blog and leave a comment below,


2) Follow me on social media, and leave a comment to let me know you did so.  Each social media "follow" will get you an additional entry!

Spread the word!

Please leave your e-mail address so that I have a way to contact you if you win.  Giveaway closes on January 16, 2015.  Thank you for your support!

We finally have bathroom doors!

I recently shared our home renovation goals for 2015.  Over the next few weeks, I will also be recapping (and revealing) certain renovation projects that we tackled in 2014.  A few projects, like the front exterior and new laundry space, are lingering into the current year.  But other projects, like the main bathroom remodel, are essentially done!

Aside from the big renovations, we also made other improvements to the home, including new bathroom doors!

We have NOT had any interior doors since we moved in (2013)!  We ripped out all the old, dingy interior doors during the initial renovation knowing that we would eventually upgrade the doors.  The temporary curtain panels we hung as bathroom "doors" have finally been replaced with solid core doors.  We actually ordered the doors back in October, but they were not installed until Christmas week!

Bathroom door in the newly remodeled main bathroom.

Door to the guest bathroom. My hubby also installed new molding around most of our doorways.

These doors are solid core, meaning they are not hollow.  We chose the "Madison" style for the clean lines and simple look.  The paint is "baked on", so the doors are less susceptible to scratches and scuffs - which is great for high traffic areas or when you have young children running around.

I selected an aged bronze finish for the door hinges and hardware for no reason other than I prefer the look!

Several years ago, I overheard someone vent their frustration with door knobs given their arthritis.  It apparently stuck with me because I didn't think twice about choosing levers.  Saved me from doing the "knob versus lever" debate...

I also went with a "turn lock" privacy lever rather than a push button.  I wanted to be able to unlock the door from the outside... unlikely, but you never know with kids!