Monday, August 30, 2010

The World's Loveliest Libraries

Today I was honored to discover that Imago Dei wrote their August 30th blog on me - called Classicism Redefined! I do love Classicism and thought they did an incredible job and if you would like to look at what a great job they did, please visit . When I went to look at their write up about me, I saw a blog they had written a few days ago, that also impressed me - which they call The World's Libraries as Art, showing several libraries around the world that are magnificent works of art in and of themselves. Look at the Library of Congress in Washington, DC, which opened to the public in 1897, and which represents in its interior design the works of almost 50 American artists. Especially beautiful is The Great Hall of the Thomas Jefferson Building which offers a perfect example of the incredible workmanship done creating "an unparalleled national achievement” and the “largest, costliest and safest” library in the world. How majestic it is , yet it is the perfect place to sit, read a book and relax! I have never been to the Thomas Jefferson Building in the Library of Congress before, but I am going to Washington DC to teach my Go Green, 7 Steps to Successful Marketing and Aging in Style .8 CEU and I am surely going to try and see it in person. Here is a photo of the Thomas Jefferson Building in the Library of Congress. Isn't it lovely! That is Classicism at its best!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Do's and Dont's of Renovating a Master Bathroom

I called an acquaintance of mine this morning and she told me that she was renovating her Master Bathroom and had hired another contractor ( not me) to help her with this project as she thought of me as purely an Interior Designer rather than an InteriorDesigner/ Remodeler who teaches about Universal Design and Green Design nationwide. As I spoke with her, I discovered that neither she nor her contractor had done their homework about this bathroom renovation and were going to make several major Faux - pas that could prove very dangerous later on.
Here are some things to remember to do to insure that your bathroom will not only look pretty - but function for you.
1. Always use a non-slip tile since otherwise, if a few drops of water from the tub or shower get on the tile, you can slip and fall and get badly hurt! And since there is no tile designated "non-slip" for some reason - always either purchase a tile with texture ( with raised sections that you can feel) as the texture causes resistance and reduces slippage, or purchase a small 1" by 1" or 2" by 2" or 1" by 2" tile where you use a lot of grout and the grout will serve to create a less slippery floor surface.
2.Reinforce your walls around the toilet, shower and tub areas with 2" by 12" plywood that should be placed in between the studs prior to re-tiling the walls, so that you can install grab bars wherever you need to later if you should ever need them. If you do not reinforce your walls and ever do need grab bars, you may have to remove your beautiful tilework if your studs are not in the exact location where you want the grab bars to be placed. And if you install grab bars without first reinforcing the walls - and someone actually leans heavily on those grab bars, the grab bar and even possibly the wall will come falling down - and potentially hurt the person who happened to lean on it.
The photo above is of my Master Bathroom - where I used non-slip tiles and reinforced the walls so it is both beautiful and safe! If you have any questions or comments, please phone me at 713 464-0055 or email me at

Tuesday, August 17, 2010


Here is a podcast of the KPRC 950 AM radio show that I co hosted with Mike Landry - discussing Design Faux pas made by people who think they know how to design an home as well as a licensed Interior Designer!
Please feel free to listen to it, and comment on its content!

Design Faux- Pas

I was asked my Mike Landry, the radio show host of Purchase Like Pros KPRC 950 AM to be on this show last Saturday, August 14th from 2 PM -3 PM. What did we discuss? Design Faux- Pas - all the things people do wrong when they decide that they can design their home by themselves. When anyone wants to add a shelf to their home, they very carefully measure the space where they wish to install the shelf, before purchasing the $20 shelf. Yet people will go out to a store and on impulse, purchase an entire bedroom suite, or an entire room full of furniture without ever measuring their space and only call me when it doesn't fit. At that point, there is little that I can do about that mistake, I can't stretch their room and I can't shrink their furniture! We have to purchase all new furniture which is both expensive and wasteful! Better to call in a good designer FIRST, and not make that mistake! I have a story for you. I had a client who wanted to purchase a sofa for a small study. I found her a sofa that fit and gave her the dimensions, saying that the sofa shouldn't be any bigger than 76". She called me a few days after I gave her the tear sheet with the sofa photo and dimensions, and said that she had found a similar sofa on the internet and she wanted to purchase that sofa instead, because it was available quicker than mine was and because it was a bit less expensive. I asked her how big the sofa that she had found was, and she said it was "A little bit bigger" than mine. I asked her "How much bigger" and she said that she didn't know, but she thought it would be "OK". When the sofa arrived, the "little bigger" difference in size meant that my sofa would have fit on the wall in her room, while hers did not and stuck out about 8" into the doorway preventing egress into and out of the room. She was mortified and had no choice but to get rid of that sofa - ultimately paying for both it AND the sofa that I had given her the tear sheet for. She learned a lesson, and promised not to purchase something on her own and especially without measuring, again! How many of you have purchased something without measuring and regretted it?

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

I just visited Susan Foxes blog "Love Where You Live" and thought it was wonderful. Susan's latest "Her Personal Space" featured Kelly of the Polished Pebble blog's ranch in Ojai, California just south of Santa Barbara! I can see why Kelly goes to her Ojai ranch to unwind and relax! It is so charming, picturesque and inviting! The juxtaposition of green and white throughout looks so fresh and lovely! I adore her white picket fence and her simple yet elegant alfresco table setting with white wicker chairs and white wicker baskets filled with herbs surrounded by all the greenery of her backyard! I would love to cuddle up in the white slip-covered chair on her porch, sip a cup of tea placed on the Antique ( ?) green table and smell the white roses sitting in the old blue bucket... I could spend an entire afternoon reading a book with my head resting on the pink and white striped pillow! In fact, I could stay there forever! Thanks Susan for sharing this with us! Go visit her blog and see for yourself!
beverly vosko

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Living by the Lake

I was reading the La Dolce Vita Blog and I agree with Paloma Contreras that Laura Trevey's blog Bright, Bold and Beautiful has the ideal name and I too love many of the things that they both love- I love eating outside! I love all things nautical, and living by the water. We live in Houston TX but keep a 40" Hunter sailboat at Lakewood Yacht Club in Seabrook Texas and spend most weekends on it. Many of my clients and many of the homes that I have designed/remodeled have been in that area by the water and living by the water makes such a difference. Just looking out the window at the water is soothing & relaxing. And using blues, greens, grey-blues and colors that are reminiscent of the water help bring the outside in. Before I remodeled this Seabrook kitchen, it had a tiny window over the sink on the wall facing the water, and you couldn't even see outside. So we ripped out the existing cabinets, installed a huge picture window on that exterior wall and placed a table and chairs right in front of it to my clients can sit at the table and enjoy the view. We then reorganized the kitchen cabinet layout to have the cabinets on either side of the window - and not on the exterior window wall - which we reserved for viewing outside! What a difference that made!
The kitchen in the photo has soft colors, which my client liked. But I teach Interior Designers for Continuing Education nationally and I love to teach in Florida! I was just teaching in Estero, DCOTA and Boca Raton two weeks ago in mid July, and I love the colors shown in both the Miromar Design Center and DCOTA. They love bright colors in FLorida- bright turquoise, bright orange... and these colors seem to go with being near or on the water - they are happy colors and being on the water is happy! Don't you agree?


Monday, August 2, 2010

I agree totally with Material Girls "Reinvented chairs"... I also adore chairs: big chairs, small chairs, tall chairs, in fact.. all chairs. I love the book "Chairs" by Judith Miller..When I was a little girl, I used to walk up and down Madison Avenue in NYC and gaze into the windows of all the Antique shops, drooling over the magnificent Antiques - especially the sets of English Period Chippendale Dining Room Chairs that I saw inside. As life would have it, I moved to London, studied at Sotheby's London, became an Interior Designer who specialized in Antiques, and was lucky enough to find and purchase a harlequin set of 11 1760's English Chippendale chairs, which I still own and cherish. Did you know that most chairs made today are adaptations of Period Antique Chairs? Period Chairs. be they English, French or American, gave us the great designs that inspired many of the chairs made today - we just pared them down and gave them cleaner lines...But I totally agree - that "old style" fabrics make even the most beautiful chairs look dated.. while putting a "new" trendy fabric on them, gives them new life and makes all the difference!

Tune in to Houston KPRC 950 AM radio show Purchase Like Pros on August 14th from 2 PM -3 PM

Today I spoke to Mike Landry the host of Houston KPRC 950 AM radio show Purchase Like Pros at length and we discussed the show be to aired on August 14th from 2 PM -3 PM. We decided that the show will be about remodeling vs Tromp L'Oeil - which literally means "to fool the eye" Design. The topic in question is "Why spend all the money remodeling a home, if you can actually achieve the same results simply with good Design... And can you really achieve the same results." It is true that lighter colors and smaller furniture and less furniture make a room look bigger. So if you have a small dark room filled with lots of furniture, you can create a totally new, larger, better "look" by painting the room a light color and taking out some of the furniture! But it is not that easy! The best way to achieve that great "Look" is to hire a professional licensed Interior Designer who is trained to take your ideas and make them work. A good licensed Interior Designer knows exactly where to go to get the most up to date and most beautiful products for the best prices - be it the latest, most unique and highest quality furniture, accessories, paint, appliances, plumbing fixtures, electrical fixtures, the countertops, wall tiles and floor coverings, or the most stylish cabinetry and coordinate it all so that it all blends into one lovely harmonious whole. What do you think?I would love all of you to join us and listen to it, and even to call in a question for me, if you have any Design vs Remodeling questions or any opinions on that subject. The number to call in for the show is 713 212 5909.