Kitchen Design: Triangle or Zone

Kitchen Design

Nowadays the kitchen is the hub of newly designed or redesigned homes. With the open floor plans prevalent in contemporary home design the kitchen incorporates more than just preparing and storing food. There is sometimes a desk area, coffee bars, or a homework station.

Working in the kitchen should be efficient regardless if you have an older home or new.  The old standard for setting up the kitchen workspace is the kitchen triangle, imaginary lines connecting the refrigerator, stove, and sink. The idea of the triangle started in 1929 with the time and motion studies of Lillian Moller Gilbreth, a psychologist and industrial engineer. You can read an article about her work designing the modern kitchen here.

The Triangle

The kitchen triangle is efficient for preparing, cooking, and cleaning-up in the kitchen. A few guidelines for the kitchen triangle that keeps the workspace efficient are:

  • The sides of the triangle should be less than 4 feet but never more than 9 feet
  • When you add all three sides of the triangle it should be between 13 and 26 feet.
  • There should be no traffic flow through the triangle.
  • Obstacles, like cabinets, should not intersect the triangle by more than 12 inches.

kitchen triangle

It should be a smooth flow from the refrigerator, to the prep area, to the stove, and finally to sink for clean up.

Work Zones

While the kitchen triangle is still an efficient and well-planned way to layout a kitchen, the idea of work zones expands on this idea and incorporates more than just cooking breakfast, lunch, and dinner. The work zone design for the kitchen is customizable for the way you use your kitchen.

There are three common zones that will be in all kitchens. The prep zone, which is counter space for food preparation. The cook zone, where your stove, oven, and other cooking appliances reside plus all the pots and pans used for cooking. And the clean zone, where you have you sink and dishwasher.

kitchen zone

Aside from the three main zones, another zone that is probably going to be used in most kitchen is a food storage zone. This zone would include the refrigeration, pantry, and any cabinets used for food storage. To customize and make your kitchen fit your lifestyle and use you might add a baking zone, a coffee zone, a household command zone. A zone for what ever need and use you have for your kitchen. The idea of zoning is to keep all the items and appliances you use for any given activity grouped in a specific location to make it efficient and easy to use.

Best Use for Your Home

Whether to use the triangle or zoning in the kitchen is up to you and your kitchen designer to decide what works best for your lifestyle. I think a combination would give you the benefits of both and make for an efficient and user-friendly kitchen. Regardless your kitchen should flow from refrigerator, prep zone, cooking zone, to clean zone. The end result should be an efficient, usable, and beautiful kitchen.

Designingly Yours,

Get a free end table styling guide. It has an end table decorating styles along with the links to items used. Easy, breezy decorating done for you.

New design package, an outdoor room, patio, or other seasonal use space. The design includes the Styleboard, renderings, and floor plan like my other packages, but will focus on the outdoor spaces. Check it out here.








End Table Styling

Decorating End Tables, Simply

Decorating the flat surfaces in the home seems to be one of the common stumbling blocks when decorating. How do I decorate my – end table, coffee table, bookshelf-  is a frequent question from my clients. There is any number of pictures on Pinterest where you can find inspiration for decorating your end table. Here is a free guide to get you started.

Simple end table styling with just a lamp and a couple of decorative objects, like a vase with greenery and an owl figurine.

Less is More.

My philosophy when decorating tabletops, or pretty much anything, is less is more. I like things to look simple, elegant, and uncluttered. Most end tables are not large. You may have 24 square inches for the top more likely less, so having a lot of decorative pieces plus a lamp make for a cluttered look. And if you want to set a drink down, forget it. Stick to 3 to 5 objects, depending on the size of objects and table, including the lamp. You can use books to elevate and add more provenance to a smaller object.

End table inspiration

Vary heights.

The lamp will probably be the tallest object on your end table, which is as it should be. The other objects should create a visual stair step from tallest to shortest.  For example, the lamp tallest, a houseplant on a stack of books next tallest, and the smallest an elegant table clock.

End table decor


Remember, keep it simple, sweetheart. A lamp, a houseplant, and a decorative object are all you need to decorate an end table. Keep it to 3 to 5 things on the table, including the lamp and decorating will be less of a headache. It doesn’t have to have a lot of things on it to look finished and decorated.

Designingly Yours,

Don’t forget to get the free styling guide. It has a few simple end table decorating styles along with the links to items used. Easy, breezy decorating done for you.

New design package, an outdoor room, patio, or other seasonal use space. The design includes the Styleboard, renderings, and floor plan like my other packages, but will focus on the outdoor spaces. Check it out here.


Creating a Simple Outdoor Living Space

5 Things You Need to Create a Simple Outdoor Space

Outdoor Living Space Essentials

Warm sunny days and cool starry nights of Summer. Who doesn’t like to sit outdoors and soak up a little nature or entertain on the weekends with a barbecue when there is nice Spring or Summer weather. Bring the indoors out by creating an outdoor living space. It doesn’t have to  be an elaborate affair. If all you have is tiny balcony you can create a lovely space to use when the weather is nice.

You have chosen the perfect space for your outdoor room. You have the balcony prepped and painted; the backyard patio installed; the deck freshly scrubbed and sealed. Now how to you decorate your outdoor space?


For any outdoor room, you are going to need something to block the sun. On a porch, the roof and maybe an outdoor shade will help make the space more comfortable by  reducing glare and heat from the sun. Other options for shade are umbrellas, curtains, awnings, or a sun sail.


Whether you have room for a conversation set or just a chair, seating is essential for an outdoor space. In a larger space group chair and sofas together to create a conversation area. Be sure to add cushions to make the seating soft and comfortable.  Add a few side tables around the area for you and guests to set drinks on .


Adding lanterns, a fire pit, or even candles will give you a warm, gentle light for use in your outdoor space at night. A fire pit, either built-in or free-standing will also provide warmth on chilly nights, plus you can roast marshmallows over the flames. It’s not Summer without s’mores. Using a few citronella candles in your outdoor space gives the added benefit of repelling mosquitoes, the bane of any outdoor Summer activity.


Decor is where you can imbue your space with color and personality. Add colorful throw pillows to create a comfy space. Use colorful and fun shaped planters and lanterns. Of course, use plants and flowers in your outdoor room, these can bring color and soften hard lines of decks and patios. Decorate just as you would a room in your house, just make sure anything you put outdoors is weather and waterproof.

The fifth and probably most important thing you need is a nice day to enjoy the outdoor oasis you have created. Have fun and be creative when decorating and designing your outdoor spaces.

Designingly Yours,


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Make your home a reflection of you, book a room design with me today.

For decorating questions and dilemmas post a comment or email me at




8 Tips to Designing Your Perfect Home Office

Designing a Home Office

You go to sit down to pay some bills, write a grocery list or do a little work from home… on the sofa or at the dining room table. Everyone needs a home office, whether that be a whole room or a small dedicated space in your home. A dedicated workspace makes the chore of running a household, working from home or any work easier and not such a dreaded task. Now in your mind picture your perfect workspace- an organized desk, a comfortable chair, everything you need to get the job done in one contained area, and even a few inspirational photos, artwork, or tchotchkes to liven up the area. So how do you create a home office?


Where do you want to put your office? Spare room, guest room so it does double duty or a small nook carved out of somewhere in your home? Under the stairs, by the from door or in the kitchen? Wherever you can create space for a desk, a chair, and some storage.


Now that you have the space picked out for you home office you need to assess you needs. Do you just need a home command center then a desk , chair, and file cabinet may be all you need? If you need a more traditional home office, aside from the desk, chair, and file cabinet you may need a printer, shelving, and more.


Invest in a good quality chair. Something that is comfortable yet stylish. Why should doing work be a pain in the neck or rather the back? Any comfortable upholstered chair that fits under the desk will look and work beautifully.

Storage and Organization

Regardless of the size of your office space, storage is a necessity. There are papers, pens, and the other miscellaneous items that are needed on a desk and in an office. There are literally thousands of pins on Pinterest that deal with office storage/organization and more specifically with paper storage. We all have social security cards, birth certificates, tax forms, and all the necessary documents that go along with adulthood. Make the most of the space by using the walls as well as floor space for storage. Get file folders, magazine holders, letter trays, cups for pen and pencils, etc. A place for everything and everything in its place. A well-organized office will be a pleasure to work in, a cluttered office is conducive to being productive.


Since an office is a workspace task lighting is essential. If you are just carving out a space in another room for a desk a desk lamp is probably all you will need. If you office is going to be in a separate room in addition to the task lighting you will need ambient lighting and accent lighting. For ambient lighting, general overall lighting, a ceiling mounted fixture  will do well for this. For accent lighting, think wall sconces, bookcase lighting, or display lighting.


Color, my favorite thing to choose in a room but dreaded by many. The color in your office should be something that inspires and motivates so you will actually want to be in and use your office. The color should not be too distracting and vibrant, as you want to focus on tasks at hand.


Personalize your office space so it feels homey and entices you to want to use it. Add inspirational art, family photos, favorite mementos, anything that inspires you. Decorate as you would any room in your home. This is not a space from cubicle world, so add your own personality to your office.

Comfy Corner

Adding a cozy reading or thinking space probably won’t apply to anyone carving out a space in another room for a workspace. For those with a dedicated office, no matter the size, a cozy chair and footstool is doable. Having a place to relax, read or just step away from work for a few  minutes is a nice addition to your home office.

Sign-up here to get a free home office checklist

Designingly Yours,


Make your home a reflection of you, book a room design with me today.

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Master the Art of Pattern Mixing with these 3 Tips

Mixing Patterns: 3 tips to mix like the pros

Mixing patterns can be a scary thing, you can end up with a mix that just doesn’t work or looks like you bought the first three patterns and colors you came across. These 3 simple tips to help you mix patterns will have you feeling confident in using mixed patterns in your home.

Choose a least 3 patterns

The magical number 3 in decorating, don’t know why, but it just makes things look good. It is probably based on the golden ratio. Actually, any odd number will work, but 3 patterns will seem less intimidating to start with. When you get comfortable with mixing patterns you can use five or more.

Mix of 3 patterns in zebra, geometric, and floral


Keep to single color

Keeping to a single color is one of the easiest ways to mix patterns. If the patterns are all make use of the same color the mix will look well together. For example: if you are using blue, make sure that all the patterns have blue in them. The eye will see the color first and everything will look coordinated.

Pattern mixing: Leopard. houndstooth, and baroque.

Scale of pattern

For your first and boldest pattern choose a larger scale of pattern than the other two. Secondary patterns should be smaller in scale.The large pattern will draw the eye, while the secondary patterns will compliment but not overwhlem. All the same scale will make the mixing too busy.

Mixing patterns by scale

Happy Decorating!

If you need help with mixing patterns I would be more than happy to help. Post a comment or email me at

Make your home a reflection of you, book a room design with me today.


Working with an Interior Designer Online

What you need to know to work with a designer online

You probably have seen or heard of getting a room designed online by a designer. Everything is virtual today and interior design is no different. It is more affordable and has the potential to reach people who otherwise wouldn’t hire a designer. To get the most out of your experience in working with a designer online and receiving a fabulous design that you love, communication is essential. I should say good communication is essential in virtual or in home design and in life really.

Email photo

To get the room design you want, there are two different communication areas that make it happen: visual and written. While it is easier to talk directly with a design client, that is not always possible and email is then the choice for communication. The designer needs precise information to design the perfect space for you. They need to know exactly what you want and do not want. If I send you an idea be specific in what you like and don’t like about it. Do not be afraid to be blunt and honest. My feelings will not be hurt and I won’t think you rude. I am designing a room for you. After my work is done, you have to live with the design, so it is best to be upfront about all like and dislikes. At the end of the project I want you to love the space and enjoy it, then I will have done my job properly. Even if it looks like a beautiful room found in Architectural Digest, if you are not happy with it I have failed. Great design doesn’t just look pretty, it is livable and functional.

Interior design is a visual field, so have pictures, colors, etc. that you like. Cut out magazine pictures, make a Pinterest board, start an Ideabook on Houzz. It may not be something you want in the room, but if you are drawn to it put it in your design file. Make notes about what you like about the room or item, the color, the shape, whatever.This helps me put together a dream room for you and make it a reality. Telling a designer you want a cozy, cabin retreat doesn’t work. My idea of what that means may be totally different from yours, so give me visuals of what that looks like for you.

When hiring an interior designer or decorator it is important to remember that they are there to help you achieve a look that is ultimately you. Be detailed and decisive about what you like and do not like. A designer is not a mind reader so be prepared to give them visuals of things you like. This is immensely helpful as decorating is a very visual profession, obviously. A designer can guide you to make a good decision about your home, but cannot make the choice for you. Listen to their advice as you hired them exactly for that, their schooling, training, and experience.

Have direct, honest, and open communication with your designer and your room will be all you dreamed.

Designingly Yours,


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 For decorating questions or dilemmas post a comment or email me at



The Best Apps for Measuring Room Dimensions

measuring tape

Do they measure up?

So, yesterday I went on a search for an easy to use, no tape measure needed, app that would measure a room. Room measurements are vitally important when designing a room. I wanted something I could install and with minimal fuss measure my room. I wanted something I could recommend to my virtual clients when they measure their rooms. So following are my results. My phone is an Android and I tried to use apps that scored, at least, a 4-star at the Google Play Store. Oh, I wanted it to be a free app.

I started off by doing an internet search for room measuring apps. I found a few results and went on to the Play Store and searched for the ones I found.

  1. MagicPlan by Sensopida, Inc.- 4.2 stars. This is a great app if you already have a tape measure.  Has video instructions on how to calibrate and is pretty accurate. But it did not meet my requirement for no tape measure needed.
  2. STANLEY Floor Plan by Sensopia, Inc.- 4.2 stars. This is exactly like the MagicPlan app just has the Stanley logo on it. Again needed a tape measure.
  3. Ruler by GRYMALA- This you were supposed to calibrate with any of few objects (debit card long or short side, ruler, and a few others). It did not work for me and there were no instructions or help. It got 4.1 stars but was not user-friendly at all.

Did a little more searching online and found one I thought would be the one, RoomScan by Locometric. Watched a Youtube video and it was exactly what I was looking for. Then, disappointment. It is only available for iPhone or iPad. You tap the wall with you phone to start and tape each wall around the room to draw a floor plan that is labeled with the dimensions. Seems super simple to use and would be a great app for myself and clients, if you don’t have an Android.

So I will keep either the MagicPlan or Stanley app on my phone as I did calibrate and it is nice to have in a pinch and hope they get the RoomScan app for Android. Take away from this and what I will recommend to my clients is get a tape measure. They have them in many price ranges and sizes.

Happy Decorating!

For questions and dilemmas post a comment or email me at

Make your home a reflection of you, book a room design with me today.