Go Ahead and Keep Digging a Bigger Hole


images 2.jpeg

Did you buy that “cheaper” sofa, that just isn’t right or is falling apart?  The one you are now trying to “fix” with throw pillows.  The one that requires you to have the condescending warranty guy on speed dial to keep patching it back together?  Sorry to be so harsh…but we have to get your attention.  We hate to see this happen and it does, over and over again.

Continue reading

Tiny House – Terrible or Terrific?



“In 1931, Airstream began with Wally Byam’s dream: to build a travel trailer that would move like a stream of air, be light enough to be towed by a car, and create first-class accommodations anywhere.

Every inch of an Airstream has a function. Airstream is the most thoroughly tested brand in trailer history.  Its engineering is the culmination of over 80 years of experience plus millions of miles on roads throughout the world.

With Airstream, there is no planned obsolescence. Airstreams of the Thirties are still on the road today, sturdy and modern as ever. They are intended as a lifetime investment in happiness.”-Airsteam Website


To many of you in the under 50 group, you probably don’t even know what an Airstream is.  To those of us over 50, we remember this was the dream of most of our Dad’s.  If he could have pulled his Airstream with a beautiful Buick all the better.  Reality was more like a Starcraft pulled by a pick up but that would not make a good post so we will stay with the silver bullet above.

Continue reading

Butter Up



How do I choose the right shade of white?

Designers have always had a love affair with the colors of  “white”.  Colors so soft they almost melt on the walls.  Colors that look like they feel like velvet and like we could dip our fingers straight thru them.  The creamier the better.  Colors that stay true day or night.

But man…finding just the right white is a bear isn’t it?  We have to laugh when we read about the “signature white” of any certain designer and clients want to use “only” that color. Or when a paint manufacturer calls a paint “Decorator White” and then sells it to everyone without a clue what their home looks like.  Really?  And if you do venture past the recommendation of the paint guy…how many little swatches of “white” are there at any given paint store?  If it was easy to pick the very best, perfect white for your home you’d never need us!

Continue reading

Tiny Treasures



Do you sometimes wonder, or dare to dream, what it might be like to live in a smaller home?  We are not talking about one of the tiny homes that HGTV all of sudden is convincing people they need to pull around from one friends yard to another. Not a teeny, tiny home that requires you to crunch down to the size of a flattened mouse to get to the loft bed.  Or one that means a trip to the laundromat each week.

No, we are talking about homes so efficient and design oriented that we forget they are only 700-900 sq feet. Homes enticing enough that we are itching to give them a chance to make a difference in our lives.

Homes with….

  • Architectural Interest
  • Creative Decor
  • Efficient Uses of Space
  • Specific Storage
  • Fewer Finer Furnishings
  • Space for  Art and Collections
  • Wardrobes that Work
  • Easy Maintenance
  • In Diverse Engaging Neighborhoods





Continue reading

I’ll have a Lime with Mine

Ugh! They do this to us every year and it’s really a bit of a pain to most designers.  We are talking about Pantone’s Color of the Year.


Pantone says these annual colors are “A symbolic color selection; a color snapshot of what we see taking place in our culture that serves as an expression of a mood and an attitude.” 

We respond that yes, once this almighty entity  (and who authorized this?) makes the announcement the culture does go wild and starts using “the color” with abandon. Let’s take a look at what happens in our world.

Continue reading

Love It- After a Few Bucks

This time it really is a Before and After for only a few bucks!  Certainly in comparison to the national average cost of even a minor kitchen update.  As kitchen renovations go…this one looks like it was not too disruptive as well.

This is a kitchen of caterer (yes you read that right) in Southern California.  The article was in Houzz. The “after” photo caught my attention first.  Let’s take a look….we can’t see it all but enough for the chef in me to be inspired and the designer in me to applaud this accomplishment.


Screen Shot 2017-02-22 at 6.40.56 AM copy.png

This kitchen offers really good function for a cook.  Counter space on each side of the range.  Sink close enough to range to make corner usable.  Daylight.  Almost everything you need is in reach, accessible while looking so Julia Childish.  The range…oh my this is a chefs dream!  Specially with an exhaust hood that looks like it could suck the hair off your head so fish smell should be no problem.  On top of all this,  I bet many gather in to have a glass of wine and chat with the cook.  Pretty nice right?

Hold On

Before I show you the before photo let me point out a few things that many of you may think are not good to have in your dream kitchen.  (Bet  at first you didn’t even notice them and are scrolling back up to take another look at the photo.)

  • There is a circa 1950 scalloped valance.
  • Looks like a similar vintage wall mounted sink faucet.
  • Hinges on the cabinet doors.  Painted hinges at that.
  • 2×4 built base for the peninsula right of the range.
  • Mix matched counter tops.
  • Old, painted cabinets.  Doors and drawers are probably stuck. If they close at all.
  • No protective material as a splash at the range.
  • Skinny little Lowe’s track light over the sink.
  • Blender on counter top.
  • I’d estimate its between 100-200 sq feet at the max.

If you had not seen the after photo, and I gave you the above list as the items we would keep in your kitchen renovation, would you be excited about a kitchen update?  Probably not.  Perhaps a look at the before photo will give you even more appreciation of updating without gutting a space.


Screen Shot 2017-02-22 at 6.39.45 AM copy.png

Bon Appetite

Thank you for the few minutes a day you choose to check in with us!

Enjoying Us…Pass us On?


Leave It


This home is currently for sale and was on a online site recently.  That’s all the photo credit we want to give because we remain true to the philosophy that everyone’s one home is perfect for them. However, this  entry does not work for either of us in its current state.



As a designer I see so much potential in this entry/foyer. The staircase is absolutely stunning. The red wall color that was popular 20 years ago needs to be updated. The furniture and accessories look out of place and are a distraction. -Kristen


FullSizeRender 10.36.24 PM (1).jpg



I often take the color out of a photo to be able to be more objective of the structure of a room.  Even without the red wall color,  this is a good example of a decor that is out of sync with the architecture.  Today’s buyers would appreciate exposing more of the wood flooring and having fun with stair treads.  We’d suggest  a wall color that works as a background to the stair structure.  We’d use larger, but less, furniture and add some natural elements.  So, yes, I agree this is a Leave It in it’s current state.  Let’s look at some staircases and entries that would make our Love It category right now and forever.– Laurel 

If you must have a grand, double staircase….a black and white color pallet with greenery is timeless.


Megan Morris

Or if you only have “one”  grand staircase…same theory can apply.



Finally, if you are one of the other 99.99%…make the most of your workhorse.


New Canaan House Tour




Thisisthefirst Home

Contact us thru http://www.laurelbledsoedesign.com

We can’t wait to hear from you!

Love It



What we love about this kitchen……

  • No subway tile splash. While subway tiles are good for many designs, it is refreshing to see a classic alternative. Here the counter top material continues for a full splash.
  • Subtle painted base cabinets. This could be done in an all white cabinet existing kitchen.
  • Wall paint is same color as the upper cabinets. Yes, but you say it’s so “white”! When other elements of a design compliment each other, the walls need only provide the background.
  • Having cutting boards ready to use while adding a warm decor feature.
  • The Hide rug peeking into the design! Talk about a forgiving rug in a fantastic location.

    Gentle Advice: Blending subtle colors, textures and finishes can be tricky. So many factors come into play. This is another good time to seek the advice of the right designer. One who will look at your inspirational photo and help you choose selections that will give you the outcome you envision.

    Contact us thru http://www.laurelbledsoedesign.com

    We can’t wait to hear from you!