Thursday, December 2, 2010


December 3, 2010 Time has been flying by as is evident that I haven't posted here since October...My exciting news is that I've been guest blogging for Natural Home magazine. If you didn't get a chance to read them, here are the three that have been posted so far:

Natural, Organic Fabric:

Repurpose a Blank Wall with Eco-Friendly Paint:

Naturally Scent Your Home:

CANDLES for the holidays; brighten your home by adding the warm glow of beautiful candles~ perfect for when you're entertaining company or great for just some quiet alone time; create a mood of warmth and comfort. Some nice sites to check out for eco-friendly ones are:

If you're celebrating Hanukah, here is a company that offers Hanukah candles for sale. They also have candles for meditation altars or shabbat observances; all are 100% natural beeswax with cotton wicks and contain no lead or heavy metals. Read more about them at

~Have a beautiful, celebratory holiday with those you cherish. Please check back for a new blog in 2011.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

ENERGIZE Your Home While Saving Energy!

above wall photos were painted with Sherwin Williams' no-VOC Harmony paint and low-VOC Modern Masters metallic paint applied over it. A border was created with a painted frame.

ENERGIZE your home by infusing a warm color palette using oranges, golds, yellows and fuchsia. When I need to feel energized or creative, these hues make me feel alive, motivated and inspired! As our temperatures are dropping and we're approaching winter, it's nice to add these tones to make us feel positive and relaxed, yet at the same time, it sparks fire to our souls. A combination of color and the following tips on energy savings should help with mood altering states of mind. (If these don't work or simply aren't applicable to you, you can purchase the mood altering "full spectrum " light bulbs manufactured by Blues Buster. (
TIPS on receiving your energy tax credits by December, 2010:

If you're interested in qualifying for energy tax credits, you better start planning now as the deadline is the end of this year. There are different products that you can purchase but they must also be installed by year's end as well. Consumers can receive a tax credit for 30% of the cost, up to $ 1,500.00. Read on...
Some products are: Levolor's Accordia cellular shades with Energy Shield. This product has a built-in feature that adds an additional insulation factor to the product. Pella has windows that meet this credit criteria. The links to their sites are:
And, go to Energy Star to see a listing of products at Another site for information is to learn more about other energy improvement tax credits.

Green tip: (FYGI) For the holidays, cut some branches from outdoors and spray paint them with Modern Masters metallic paint to add to your table decor.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Fall and Color!

ikat print fabrics

It's hard to say farewell to summer, but the kids are back in school, fall is in the air and I'm excited that I now have time to write my September blog.

ON COLOR: According to Leatrice Eiseman, Pantone Color Institute's Executive Director, we won't be seeing a huge shift in color trends from 2010 to 2011 due to consumers still being uncertain with our economy. Consumers are combining color a little bit differently. With neutrals still being center stage, at least for main elements such as carpeting or a sofa, the exciting news is that metallics are still hot, hot, hot. The key to using metallics is to pay attention to their temperature correctly. For example, It's great to use gold and silver, but one should predominate over the other. Silver is cool and gold is hot. If they are equal, the space becomes too overstimulating. By infusing metallics into an otherwise neutral space, it creates visual interest and depth.

My Thoughts on color: (If you didn't already know) Please don't be colorphobic! Color is everything! If you're unsure, I can help. You can still use neutrals as a base or background, while accessorizing with color. Not only can you accentuate the neutrals with color, but large scale prints are also very hot right now. A few scattered patterned pillows on a sofa or a new bold drapery treatment can be very dramatic. You can change these things seasonally or simply whenever you tire of them.

ikat prints: what are they?? It is the method of weaving a fabric that uses a resist dyeing method process similar to tie-dye. The dye is applied prior to the threads being woven to create the final design. The word itself literally means tied, bound or knotted. See the photos above to see how these beautiful unique fabrics can create excitement to a room.

Green product idea: On the topic of bold patterns and color, One Thread At A Time is a fair trade company that employs female artisans worldwide. These women may be impoverished or have been battered, and by hiring them to produce these beautiful pillows, it enables them to improve the quality of their lives. Contact me for more info, or you can go to their website:

~ Please check back next month for our next blog.

Friday, July 2, 2010

July; Enjoying the freedom of being an independent designer!

Notes from neocon: One of the world's largest trade fairs... Exciting things are happening in the design world. TMC Furniture's innovative "ImPrinted" allows chairs, tables or paneled surfaces to be embellished with text, photography or graphics using digital imaging as shown below. The beautiful photography above is done by famous nature artist Henry Domke. He is now photographing nature and in collaboration with MDC Wallcoverings, is showcasing his fine art using digital imaging technology onto backlit panels and murals. They are simply stunning!

On a fun note: Designtex has come up with a new product called "writeUp h2o", an environmentally preferable dry erase paint. It's a clear, non-toxic product that can be easily applied to any properly prepared painted surface and dries completely clear. What a great idea for an office, children's playroom or conference room.

Still going strong are pearlized and metallic wallpapers. They add so much to a room. You can use these to add drama to a powder room, dining room accent wall or install it in a niche built into the wall. Add MR16 lamps to spotlight a sculpture on a pedestal; what a dynamic accent!

Drab, nondescript rooms are out; exciting, eclectic spaces are so in! In this ever increasing global world that we live in, different cultures, styles and periods can be combined to make an overall aesthetically beautiful space.

Green tip: To kill off weeds on your lawn or garden, add salt to boiling water and spray it on! It's healthier for people, animals and the earth!

~ please check back next month for a new post!

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Spring !! Have you edited your home lately??

Welcome to the new faces on my blog and Facebook page. I'm so glad that you found us! Last month, I offered a complimentary color consultation to whomever referred the most followers to my blog or Facebook page. I'm not sure who actually recruited the newcomers or if they just found us on their own, but thank you all! Please read on to learn about editing the space in which you live...

May is my favorite month. Not only because it's my birth month, but because it's a time for spring cleaning while the scent of the outdoors fills the air inside. It's definitely the time for home editing. When you hear the word edit, you probably think of images of books, newspapers or other reading materials. I call it decluttering. Take a closer look at details and treasures that you love, while eliminating items that are visually distracting. Display part of a collection, or cut fresh flowers and place them around your home in important areas, highlighting them for all to see. So basically, editing in this context means taking a magnifying glass to the areas that surround you to focus on simple details rather than placing various insignificant items in your space.

I'd like to share with you a fabulous company and new source of mine, Fireclay Tile. They're the leading ceramic tile company using recycled materials and their products are lead-free. I absolutely LOVE their "Vitrail" tile in color Green Tea. I'm thinking of using this tile in my powder room or kitchen. Check them out at : Their impressive list of clients includes Whole Foods.



Combine 1/4 cup salt, 1/4 cup borax, and 1/4 cup vinegar. Rub paste into carpet, leave for a few hours, then vacuum area.

~ Please check back next month to hear about all of the latest products after I've attended NEOCON in Chicago, one of the world's largest interior design markets.

Monday, April 5, 2010


HAPPY EARTH DAY!! April 22 is Earth Day and it's springtime! Hopefully, the weather will continue to improve in Chicagoland. I just returned from a wonderful trip to Phoenix and Scottsdale, where the colors used in interior furnishings seemed to mirror the beauty of all of the earth tones in the environment. These hues included a warm slate blue, rich milk chocolate brown along with sand tones, including very pale yellows and golds. Glass tiles mixed with ceramics, slates and stone could be seen everywhere. Very zen and spa -like. What an awesome blend! It was as though the interiors were the backdrop of all of the amazing colored foliage and florals outdoors.

David Bromstad, of HG TV and I at the eco
paint store in Chicago, Colori. He introduced his no VOC
color line for Mythic Paint company.
He is full of energy and so inspiring! For those who are Facebook fans, you've already seen this photo. If you're not a Facebook fan, please check out my fan page at Stephanie Nickolson Design.

I love his color name selections. They range from (kids's room collection) " green eggs" and "yellow brick road" to (kitchen and bath collection) "Pearadise" and "Black Eyed Pea"
The colors are so rich, and of course I love that they are non-toxic and don't have that I can't stand being in this room smell.

On the subject of non-toxic and healthier for you ideas, you may have heard of the innovative Microban technology. Many interior products are partnering with Microban by incorporating it into their products. Silestone, a solid surfacing countertop material and the largest producer of natural quartz, was one of the first companies on board. Now, Dal Tile has infused some ceramic tiles with it, touting its "Outstand Technology", DAP Kwik Seal Plus is a basement paint that seals out moisture by applying it to the floor, and even a solar shade is on the market with Microban built into the window treatment. The product protection is engineered to fight the growth of damaging microbes such as bacteria and mold. I believe you'll be seeing more and more products being introduced with this protection.

Have a healthy April! Please do something good for the environment...

~ Check back next month for a new blog posting. (oops, I did skip March) And, feel free to comment about what you like, don't like and want my next topic to be.

Thursday, February 11, 2010


CONGRATULATIONS to our free interior design consultation winners David and Kate Kreiman of Glenview, IL ! By becoming a fan of our business on Facebook or following our blog, they were automatically entered to win.

With less of a focus on homeowners selling their homes and moving, we are seeing a trend in home renovations, changing existing things around and staying at home these days. On this snow-filled February day, whether you reside in Chicago or a warmer climate, here are some predictions for design in 2010:

COLOR: TURQUOISE! Not just limited to Southwestern in style, turquoise is hot now. Actually, it's quite versatile in it's use. It can be paired with browns and oranges for a rustic Southwestern tone or with blacks, tans or grays to create a classic, contemporary style. Mix it in a bathroom or kitchen by using stunning glass tile blends for an oceanlike, zen ambiance. When mixed with green hues and wood tones, this exudes an earthy, natural vibe.

MIX interior furnishings up. If your style is traditional, add an unexpected bold splash of color by simply adding new pillows in an Ikat or large geometric print. This adds an element of surprise.

BRING the natural light from the outdoors in. To achieve this, you can add skylights or order new window treatments (my favorite is natural woven woods) with the top down option. With this option, you can have it open from the top down, allowing light to filter into room yet retaining privacy from the bottom.

And now FYGI: (For your green information) Let's support the following companies who are among the top 20 leaders for their efforts in lowering their carbon footprints:

~ Aveda

~ Benjamin Moore

~ Whole Foods

~ Timberland

~ Method

~ Fairmont Hotels & Resorts

~ Clif Bar

~~ Please check back next month for our March blog

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Happy New Year!! ...2010...
Welcome back to my blog. I guess the end of 2009 got really busy and I didn't post for awhile.

For the month of January, I'm going to have a special drawing for all of my blog followers and Facebook fans. The winner will receive a FREE (2) hour design consultation for your home or business. For all Illinois residents, I will travel to your location. For those who are outside of Illinois, we can communicate via e-mail and internet. (The winning follower/fan may transfer the consultation to someone else if design services are not needed, or if they feel someone else would benefit from it.) Drawing will take place February 3, 2010 and the winner will be contacted via e-mail. For every referral received, the winner will gain another entry into the drawing.

GREEN TIP: Don't know what to do with your leftover gift wrappings? shred them! You can then use it for packing material or for other packages that you send out.

And, on the subject of green...You've heard the term VOC's but not sure what exactly they are? They are toxic byproducts released from synthetic materials and chemicals such as flame retardants and include the following: toluene, benzene, formaldehyde, ethyl benzene, styrene and acetone. These VOC's are released steadily into the air that you breathe. Manufacturers are coming up with new ways to eliminate these contaminants by making products organic and non-synthetic. My design firm offers these such products. Please inquire about them!

~ Wishing you all the best in 2010! Please check back soon for my next blog.