The Art of Transitional Design

Our newest eBook entitled The Art of Transitional Design has been published and is available as a FREE download on our RESOURCES page here on the site.  If you are looking for fresh ideas for creating that calm, casual and elegant space to call home, please enjoy.  And share with your family and friends if you like what you see.

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5 Tips For Mattress Shopping

A Mattress Shopping Guide from our friends at Custom Comfort Mattress

Family and many mattresses

1)  Buy Double Sided. Your mattress will last longer and provide the support you need. Remember to flip and turn it regularly!

2)  Look for Honesty. Ask the company to show you what materials are used in their products. Seeing is believing. Also, if the sales representative seems a little too pushy, he/she may be working on a commission and not necessarily in your best interest.

3)  Seek Quality Materials. If you are spending more than $1,000 for a queen set (mattress and box spring) the bed should be double sided. Ask what the foam is made from and how many layers are used in the mattress. More layers of foam increase the potential for the mattress to “hammock”. This is not good for your back.

4)  Take Your Time. When shopping for a mattress, wear something comfortable. You’ll want to lie down on the beds and in your different sleep positions. The sales staff should be willing to give you 15-30 minutes on each bed to help you decide if it is a good fit for you. Remember, you spend about 1/3 of your life in bed. It is an important choice so dedicate some time to the process.

5)  Shop By Feel, Not The Deal. Choosing the right fit and not because of it’s reduced price is the way to make the correct selection. You might think you are saving money but in the end, if it does not last or is not the right fit, you could be purchasing another mattress before you need to.

Your mattress can improve your sleep quality, your energy level and your overall health. Be sure to make the right choice! For store locations for Custom Comfort Mattress, please visit


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5 Easy Steps to Making Your Bedroom Sanctuary

An article from James Menta, Editor of

Interior Design by Talianko Design Group, LLC

Having Trouble Sleeping?  Here are 5 Easy Steps to making your bedroom sanctuary.

Your bedroom is the one room of your house that’s supposed to mean rejuvenation and relaxation. I t separates you from daily hassles and offers a respite from everything the outer world throws at you during the day. The key to serenity is simplicity. Your sumptuous oasis of tranquility is just a few simple steps away. Let me guide you through them.

Ask yourself if your bedroom is your happy place. If the answer is no, then we have some work to do. We’ll turn it into a tranquil getaway you’ve always dreamed of and make all that piled up stress just disappear.

Why is a good night’s sleep important?

It’s not just about sleep, it’s about quality sleep.

If your bedroom truly is a place of peace and isolation from the world, it will grant you incredible gifts such as improved stamina and memory, stress reduction, decreased cravings, longevity and reduced inflammation.

Other side of the spectrum has nothing good to offer. Deprivation of good night’s sleep will award you with weight gain, depression, irritability, high blood pressure and cholesterol. It will deprive you of your optimal self, and that’s a pretty high price to pay considering how easy it is to avoid it all together.

So, if you’re into being all you can be, just continue reading, and I’ll give you some essential tips on how to turn your inadequate bedroom into a true personal dreamland.

1) Choose the right color scheme.


The color of your bedroom is one of the bare essentials. It will dictate what kind of mood the room stirs up inside you.

Let me give you a quick example. If you decide to go for red, it will be a place that feels hot and fiery. It communicates the feeling of intensity, not a good choice for a room that’s supposed to be your oasis. You’ll get enough of that at work.

You should go for the colors that have a soothing quality to them. Anything that will awaken a feeling that you’re surrounded by the tranquil, unbroken bodies of water is a good place to start, for example. So, colors of the ocean or lakes will provide you with that much needed feeling of you simply floating in the vast, peaceful infinity of blue. Unexposed to stress, work or any other mundane necessary evils, just drifting on the endless waves of your new bedroom walls. This color pallet can also be applied to your bedding. It will yield similar effects, so I’ll leave the final choice to be made by the cravings of your inner self.

On the other hand, shades of browns or tans will fill your sanctuary with warmth and comfort. And being a very warm color, it matches perfectly with the cooler, more mystifying shades. White is also a superb choice. It’s very soft, and it will add intervals of pure relaxation to your life. Granted, it’s not for everyone. Thus, the shades of gray will provide similar serenity setting.

Important and most overlooked thing in your bedroom is the ceiling. You should make it into a focal point by giving it a lighter shade, so it stands out and contrasts the walls.

2) Its majesty, your bed!

Tented bed or a canopy will cradle you in the sensation of utter privacy and luxury. They’ll add to the overall mystical theme and awaken that luxurious 1001 night’s spark in your bedroom. Upholstered headboard will conjure up an unprecedented delight out of some light reading before sleep.

Adding a plethora of functional, luscious pillows to your bed will only intensify the feeling of comfort and make you feel like an all-powerful sultan along the way.

Indulgent mood in the peaceful retreat that is your bedroom is best achieved with some fabulous linens. Bestow upon it the appropriate attire by dressing it in flannel over the winter and cotton during the summer. Higher thread counts will elevate you to the higher planes of comfort. Busy patterns are an unnecessary distraction and put a strain on your eyes, which should be lost in the infinity of your perfect wall colors. Solid is the ultimate solution here, just steer clear of bright colors. Pale blue, light green, beige or white are all but perfect for what we’re trying to accomplish here.

3) Placement of your furniture is key.

Fitting the scale of your room is the single purpose in your furniture’s existence. Tall bed is an excellent choice for rooms with high ceiling. Not so much for the low-ceiling ones. You are, of course, aware of the point I’m trying to make here. The furniture should feel natural, almost as if you weren’t the one that put it there. If it transfers the feeling of being out of place, it will harm the overall esthetic perfection of your room.

Bedside tables need to have a perfect height for you to reach without fumbling. That’s how putting away a book or a glass just before you fall asleep will amount to no effort at all. A pair of lamps goes a long way too.

Overcrowding is one caveat that merits our attention. Your furniture pieces require an adequate amount of spacing between them in order to create that beautiful and functional harmony we all desire. If your bedroom is rather small, a large mirror will open it up and provide you with optical vistas of a much larger space.

4) Let there be light!

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Lighting commands the mood of your surroundings.

Recessed light, paired up with a dimmer will control the overall mood. A table light will evoke a pleasing atmosphere, and two pin lights on the opposite sides of the bed will allow for some separate actions such as reading and sleeping.

Shades, shutters or draperies are a must. They will darken the room and cancel the outside light. They will bring you that coveted sense of isolation from the outside world that’s needed for a true respite of any nature.

5) Keep the space simple and organized.


Bedroom 1


Bedroom is a sacred space, away from time and space as far as you’re concerned. Filling it up with dusty trinkets defeats its purpose. All technological intrusions should also be banned.

Make smart sleep-related choices and you will be handsomely rewarded.

And we just made a cocoon of comfort for you. Enjoy it, treat it as it deserves, and it will yield fruits beyond the wildest of fancy.



James Menta is the editor of where he reviews the best air mattresses on the market and writes about all things sleep.




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9 Mistakes People Make When Hiring a Designer

(An excerpt from the Californian Council of Interior Design Certification.)

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There is a definite distinction between a trained professional interior designer and someone with a knack for decorating. Here are some mistakes that people make when looking for an interior designer.

1) Not Taking A Business Approach in Your Decision

Make sure you know with whom you are doing business. Research several interior designers before hiring someone. Get a list of “Certified Interior Designers” in your area by visiting

2) Not Being Clear About Your Expectations

Know what you would like to accomplish ahead of time. Try to establish an investment amount that you are comfortable spending.

3) Not Checking Their Qualifications

Ask them if they are a CID. This stands for Certified Interior Designer and is the only title recognized under California state law. Ask how long they’ve been practicing. Do they have an interior designer education? What interior design related examinations have they taken and passed?

4) Not Checking Their Work

Call for references. Look at their recent work. Ask how long their similar projects might have taken and why? Ask if their projects come in on budget.

5) Not Asking for a Proper Agreement or Contract

Ask them to prepare a letter of agreement. If you have an attorney, run it by them. It is always better to understand ahead of time what you are agreeing to. Make sure the agreement spells out the scope of work and a payment schedule is included. Ask about their insurance coverage for anything you plan to purchase from them. And make sure there is a dispute resolution clause as well.

6) Not Establishing a Budget

There is nothing worse than getting started on a remodeling project and running out of money part way through. Ask for a preliminary budget to be created before you begin. It is better not to be surprised where your money is concerned!

7) Being Unprepared for the Unexpected

When beginning a new project, understand that sometimes things will not go the way everyone expects. Items may take longer than expected to arrive, or simply be unavailable. Be prepared to compromise to keep things moving along. Know that the unexpected may cost more and take longer due to unavoidable circumstances. Be prepared to spend as much as 10-20% more than you originally plan on just in case. Listen to you design professional who has experience and can guide you through the process.

8) Being Unaware of The Trauma of Remodeling

Expect things to get stressful and also dusty! If you need to move out temporarily, make plans ahead of time to do so. Some people set up makeshift kitchens or home offices in other parts of the home to avoid the trauma.

9) Not Listening to The Professional

You hired your designer so listen to them. Don’t let other family members or friends give you advice. It will confuse the issue and may end up undermining your designer’s work.

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Fifty Shades of White

Some designers will agree that white is a color too! There are many, many shades of white. Benjamin Moore offers 140 shades. Sherwin Williams has another 104 and Dunn Edwards, 100 for instance.

So how do you choose the right white for your room? In design we use a term called Color Temperature. It is measured in units called Kelvin. A higher temperature light produces blue (cool) color. Fluorescent tubes for instance, give off a blue light with a Kelvin rating of around 5,000. Incandescent lamps produce a yellow light (warm) and are usually around 2,500-3,000 Kelvin. Sunlight on the other hand, has a temperature of 5,780 Kelvin. Here is a chart of these ratings.

Color Temp Chart

While black is the absence of all light, white is actually a blending of all of the colors in the spectrum! How do you find the best whites for your room? Keep in mind the sources of light your room will contain. Every wall color, fabric, rug and accessory you select will be affected by these sources. You’ll want to test the items you plan to use under the correct conditions so bring them home, turn on the table lamps or open the curtains to get a sense of what happens to them in your future setting.

Here are the best sellers from Benjamin Moore. Of course, my favorite is OC-45 Swiss Coffee. These too should be tested before you commit to them. Please see our article in our blog on How to Sample Paint Color for more detailed information.

BM Best Whites

                Fresh, simple and Casually Elegant!

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Please see our article in our blog on “How to Sample Paint Color” for more detailed information.  Just use our search bar to find what you need!

And, just for fun….

Have you heard about the new iOS App from Benjamin Moore called Bendoku? It’s really fun and a good way to develop your eye for color. Give it a try!


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