Thursday, March 29, 2012


Hope is a beautiful word.
                   If I was blessed with another daughter I would call her Hope.
She helps us get through the day.
              She makes us believe that anything can happen.
                               Hope saves lives
                           Because you can never know what tomorrow will bring.

Source: via Dionne on Pinterest

She makes you believe that you can do anything, whether it is a big life changing event or smaller challenges that will make you do the happy dance all around your living room, like transform the spare room into the most beautiful bedroom. A room of rest and reflection, a place to just BE, to live in the moment.


Source: via Dionne on Pinterest

Jeremiah 29:11 For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.

Whats your special word?

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

7 Spring Colors For Your Kitchen


Whether you are designing a new kitchen or renovating an existing one, the color of the walls is an important element which will have a big effect on the overall design.

Here are some things to keep in mind when choosing your colors.
 ~ Is the kitchen open plan to the rest of the home?
 ~ Does the kitchen get plenty or no natural light?
 ~ Is painting the existing cabinets an option?
 ~ Do not ignore the color of the cabinets, floors and back splashes, it all needs to work together!
 ~ Do you have to work around existing soft furnishings?

Below are some of my favorite spring colors and paint chips. I have included some great links from Benjamin Moore and Sherwin-Williams at the end of the post to help you along the way!

Designed by Architect Gil Schafer & color consultant Eve Ashcraft
This fresh and inviting kitchen is mostly white, the apple green interiors sets off the white china beautifully. The green color is carried through onto the bench seat cushions in the dining area.

Benjamin Moore White Ice

Benjamin Moore Apple Green

Designed by Lindsey Coral Harper

Nothing says Spring like yellow!
The walls are Benjamin Moore's Inner Glow. The table is a tangy citric lemon which if too bright for your tastes could also look nice in gray or white.
Benjamin Moore Inner Glow
Benjamin Moore Gray Owl as an alternative color for the table.

Jamie Gottschall's Pennsylvania Kitchen
Benjamin Moore Chocolate Candy Brown
Try Benjamin Moore Classic Brown for a deeper color

What do you think of this "Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory" inspired kitchen? The wall color ties in nicely with the checkered brown & white floor and with the accessories above the mantle.

Give your existing cabinets a new lease of life. Benjamin Moore's Dove White was used in this kitchen, and the walls are grass-green (source unknown).

Benjamin Moore Dove White

Benjamin Moore Pear Green

Here is another green wall color although much paler by comparison. I find greens and blues to be very usable colors for the kitchen. Both these colors go equally well with dark and light wood alike.
Sherwin Williams Gleeful

I love the way they extended the blue paint to the ceiling, it gives an airy feeling making this galley kitchen feel bigger.
Benjamin Moore Antiguan Skies
Benjamin Moore Clear Skies

Designed by Kathy Smith

Neutrals reign in this traditional kitchen. The cabinets and the walls are Farrow & Ball's Biscuit and the ceiling cornice and ceiling are painted Lime White also by Farrow & Ball.

Farrow & Ball Lime White
For an alternative to Farrow & Ball maybe try French Toast by BM , image via

When choosing paint, buy sample pots first and paint large squares in different parts of the room and study them at different times of the day in natural light and artificial light. It may be a good time to see what type of bulbs you are using, some give off a yellow light which will change the color of the walls substantially.

Benjamin Moore and other paint manufacturers have some online tools to get you started like the Personal Color Viewer (R) CLICK HERE!

See GREAT COLOR TIPS HERE from Sherwin-Williams on how to choose Interior Paint Colors.

Choosing colors is no easy feat and I would always recommend hiring a color consultant or interior designer to help you avoid costly mistakes.


Sunday, March 11, 2012

Brass ~ Accessories for your home.

Brass is back in a big way, bold bright and beautiful!

Brass is the generic term for a range of copper-zinc alloys with differing combinations of properties, including strength, machinability, ductility, wear-resistance, hardness, colour, antimicrobial, electrical and thermal conductivity, and corrosion-resistance.
Brasses have a range of attractive colours ranging from red to yellow to gold to silver. With the addition of 1% manganese, brass will weather to a chocolate brown colour. Nickel silvers will polish to a brilliant silver colour. Brasses are easy to shape, and with all these colours available it is not surprising that architects and designers have used brasses to enhance the appearance of new and refurbished buildings, both inside and out.
The brass industry throughout the world is well organised and equipped to recycle products at the end of their long lives and process scrap (swarf and offcuts). Making brass from new copper and zinc would be uneconomical and wasteful of raw materials so, since new brass articles are made from recycled scrap, brass is said to be sustainable. In the UK brass manufacturers use almost 100% brass scrap.

To die for! H. Theophile’s elegant Hand-Peened brass doorknobs and drawer pulls were influenced by antique designs.

The Jackson wood holder, a midcentury design by Wm. H. Jackson Co., exudes postwar glamour in brass and black-painted steel. Photo Geoffrey Sokol. Source Elle Decor

Handcrafted in brass and inset with malachite, Ceylon et Cie’s wine-bottle holder has the appeal of fine jewelry. Source Elle Decor
Brass bath fixtures by Rohl
Visual Comfort Gold Ring Sconce, Horchow
Source, Elle Decor

Brass bookends ~ Etsy

Brass Bath from Claw Foot Tubs.

Orion Vintage Mirror from Inside Avenue

Brass pendant from Urban Outfitters

French Tea Cart from 1st Dibbs

However you feel about brass you cannot deny that it evokes a feeling of grandeur and grace. And not only is it fab it is 100% recycled, hows that for being green!
I am dying to include some of these items in my next project, I will be sure to share them with you.


[Excerpt taken from ~ An Intoduction to Brass ~]

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Design Dilemma ~ Your questions featured!

In the spirit of  SPRING and because I LOVE you guys! Next month we will be featuring YOUR own Design Dilemmas! 

All you need to do is Like our Facebook Page HERE! and send a message with your question including a picture (helpful but not necessary) by March 30th!

Thinking of painting your bathroom or kitchen and not sure what color? replacing your window dressings or  your carpets? DD will answer your questions and provide images and ideas to help you with your Design Dilemma!
You may choose to have your name published or remain anonymous the choice is up to you!

If you are on Twitter follow #DesignDilemma for updates! 

I am really looking forward to receiving your questions!

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Upper East Side Kitchen Renovation

A happy client is the best reward.

I recently received these snapshots of a project I completed in Manhattan.

The renovation was extensive and walls came down and rooms had to be re invented. What you are seeing is the result of a long process including the expansion of the kitchen, restructuring of the existing fireplace, new ceilings, complete new lighting layouts, restoring the wood floors, the whole nine yards!

The result, a spacious calm and bright custom designed eat-in kitchen, planned with meticulous detail.

The client kindly sent a letter which was so nice that I 'Happy Danced' all around my living room :) I have included excerpts below, I just couldn't help myself!!

Directional lighting over the new fireplace and charcoal grey feature wall. Glass china cabinets are flanked by solid door dressers for additional storage and as a visual separation from the working kitchen area. Marble back splash and walnut counter top creates a warmer feel for dining.

Choice of uplighting  and under counter lights means the kitchen lights can be turned off whilst dining.

Plenty of space for preparing meals.

Fantastic Sub Zero combination which includes tons of refrigeration, wine fridge and freezer drawers. An easy access lower drawer is dedicated to childrens juices, yogurts and snacks.

Walnut contrasts and marble complements the gorgeous hand painted cabinets.

Stainless Steel dishwasher and appliance garage is flanked by a full height pull out pantry.

Discreet custom colored glass back splash was manufactured in one single piece. Space is allocated to cooking books and trays. Full size pull out trash bin is concealed behind a custom door.

There is a place for everything in this kitchen: Pot and pans, spices, cutlery and utensils are put away out of sight. Small appliances, cleaning products and recycling also have a spot in order to keep the counters clear and tidy.

I am so thankful to work for such nice and generous clients, their kindness knows no bounds. This client went a step further and took the time out of her busy day to write a letter that makes all the hard work worth while. I would like to share some of it with you.

"Dionne Trifiro was our kitchen designer and I am writing to tell you how much I enjoyed working with her. 
I had been attempting to redo my kitchen for about a year. My satisfaction level with other kitchen designers was quite low and I was beginning to reconsider going forward with the project.  I visited the showroom one afternoon and was introduced to Dionne.  Prior to creating any designs, Dionne met with me a number of times to understand our space, our needs, and our style.  

When she presented the first design sketches, I was amazed at how she had incorporated everything we wanted into three beautiful alternatives.  I have worked with other designers who have taken 5, 10, 20 times to get the design right.  Dionne got it on the first try. 
As we moved through the process Dionne showed immense patience with me, answered all of my questions, provided a number of alternatives and gave her opinion when I needed it.  She made herself available to me at all hours.  

During the construction process, I would write emails to the team and Dionne would always be the first one to answer me back.  At one particularly frustrating point in the construction process, my husband and I were having a hard time choosing our floor stain color.  Dionne answered my call while she was on vacation, suggested a few color alternatives, asked me to send her pictures of each stain sample after they had dried on the floor, and then guided us toward the color we ultimately picked. 
Throughout the process, I felt that I was dealing with a friend that I could trust instead of with just another vendor.  

In my humble opinion, Dionne is remarkably talented, has an amazing eye for color and design, and is fun and easy to work with.  We love our kitchen and it wouldn’t have been this way without Dionne's help.   


Wouldn't this be enough to brighten your day? For me, I've learned an important lesson and I will definitely be remembering to write my thank you notes.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Using Pinterest for Friendly Interactions

To be really honest I joined Pinterest because my friends were all raving about it, I guess you could call it peer pressure?

Then I learned that you can rapidly increase traffic to your blog/website through Pinning so I got a little excited, but still, I wasn't 'feeling it'.

I wanted it to be more interactive, a little like Facebook without all the personal drama and a little like Twitter #chats without the neck breaking speed.

Working from home really isolates the soul and not having colleagues to bounce ideas off makes it hard to remain inspired! So when I was offered a renovation project for a friend I was so excited but had no one to do the 'happy dance' with, then it came to me...

I would create an 'Inspiration Board' on Pinterest and invite like minded friends to contribute. Using the comments box below the image for open discussions to discuss their thoughts behind the image.
Right now I have two contributers, Betty Anne from and Charmaine a designer for her family owned company, ShoreBet Contractors.

My invitation is open to join Philadelphia Brownstone Inspiration Board on Pinterest, just put your pinterest name in the comment box below and I will add you in! SEE OUR BOARD HERE!

I would love to see you there!

Happy Pinning

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