HomePortfolio Blogs
Thursday, September 13th, 2012

Enter Our Sweepstakes for Moen’s Weymouth Collection

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Win a Moen Sweepstakes | HomePortfolio.com

Gearing up for a bathroom redo? Enter to win luxurious fixtures from Moen’s “Weymouth” collection–worth $1,000–on HomePortfolio.

Moen’s products live up to their memorable slogan, “Buy it for looks. Buy it for life.” They are equally attractive and hardworking. This distinctive line features sophisticated decorative touches like porcelain inlays and also meet with WaterSense criteria to conserve water without sacrificing performance. Some lucky winner is going to have a stunning bathroom. (Hope it’s you!)

Enter by October 14th, 2012.

Click here to view contest rules.

Monday, September 10th, 2012

Bold Color

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Bold color is today’s big trend story, on the web and in print. Check out Martha Stewart Living’s September “Bold Color” issue. Inside you’ll find a1930s house made over by Los Angeles-based architect and designer Barbara Bestor, the mastermind behind Trina Turk’s retail spaces and show rooms. For MSL, Bestor whipped up a jolting palette of cobalt, yellows and orange that’s surprisingly sophisticated. But despite being an expert at color choices, Bestor, like the rest of us, tried out a bunch of hues before she settled on the perfect colors.

“You have to be flexible, open to changing the course with color, “ she tells the magazine. “You may not get it right the first time.”

Martha Stewart Living




















If you’re color-shy when it comes to interiors, why not try a shot of something intense on the outside of your house? Victoria Smith of Sfgirlbybay recently painted her San Francisco rental with the help of Sherwin Williams. She went with a somber gray for the house and originally planned on a poppy red door, but eventually opted for a peppy yellow door instead.

For those of us not ready to make such a big color commitment, there’s always the option to play with color in the form of accessories. A pink pillow or an emerald lamp base can transform a room and give it a fresh kick, and there’s minimal risk involved.

Here are some great places to find color inspiration:

Absolutely Beautiful Things blog. Anna Spiro mixes color with abandon for her clients’ homes and at her Brisbane, Australia store Black & Spiro.

Black & Spiro window display

Michelle Armas on Big Cartel. Michelle Armas’ paintings are a wonderful way to jump start color choices. Just looking at her catalogue will have you dreaming up new color combos for your home in no time. Better yet, just snap up one of her fabulous paintings, hang it in your neutral living room and watch it transform your space from blah to fab. (Design secret: Michelle Armas will also work with you on commissioned pieces using your favorite colors.)

Painting by Michelle Armas

Anthropologie on Home Portfolio. From rugs, to curtains to sofas, this bohemian-chic retailer has made colorful textiles its trademark.


Home Portfolio’s color advice page also has tons of useful tips and ideas organized by hue.


Tuesday, August 28th, 2012

Semihandmade Kitchen Cabinet Doors

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If you crave the look of a custom kitchen but want to use Ikea cabinets, you’re in luck. Semihandmade builds sleek and chic cabinet fronts just for Ikea cabinets.

Based in in the Southern California city of Duarte, the company makes doors, panels and drawer faces measured and drilled to fit any IKEA kitchen, new or old. Semihandmade’s door fronts range from unfinished DYI to gorgeous beautifully finished hardwood veneer made of walnut, mahogany, fir, oak walnut teak, and bamboo. Send them your kitchen plans and they’ll send you samples and an estimate.


Thursday, August 23rd, 2012

Affordable, Beautiful Bathroom Art

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Lifestyle blogger extraordinaire Joanna Goddard of Cup of Joe recently took her bathroom from blah to fab with the help of decorator Jenny Komenda of Little Green Notebook.


A stunning shade of blue gives Joanna’s bathroom a fresh, nautical feel. But it’s the beachy-keen art that really pulls it all together. The focal point of this makeover is an evocative photo of surfers by Ian Baguskas from 20×200.

By Ian Baguskas via 20×200.


Bathrooms are the ideal location for affordable art. And what better way to freshen up a bathroom than with a cool, summery print.

By Helena Wurzel via 20×200


By Samantha French via Etsy

By Ryan Kapp via Beholder-Art

By Leah Giberson via Etsy




Tuesday, December 6th, 2011

5 Must Haves for a Sustainable Kitchen Remodel

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Ah, the holidays…  Delicious cookies baking in the oven.  Spiced cider simmering on the stovetop.  Relatives and friends jostling their way through your sad, frumpy old kitchen another year in a row…  Sigh.

Yes, we’ve all been there.  Kitchens get a lot of wear and tear, and they are one of the first areas of a house to feel dated.  Remodeling the kitchen is usually the #1 priority with my new clients, and it is also one of the best places to make an impact with sustainable design.  If a kitchen remodel is on your todo list for the New Year, check out this list of stylish and sustainable “must haves”.

Zephyr Milano

1.  A good range hood – Perhaps no element of a kitchen remodel is more misunderstood and neglected than the range hood.  Oh sure, you plan to have one, but will you ever use it -at least before the smoke detector goes off?   Well you should, because even when your house isn’t filling up with smoke, it IS filling up with noxious fumes every time you cook, especially if you have a gas range.

“But those fans are always so noisy!” you protest.  “I can’t even hear myself think.”   Well, the great thing is that there are now range hoods on the market that clear the air very well, but are so quiet, you might forget they are on in the first place!    The Next Generation Europa line from Zephyr uses new technology that gives you an extremely quiet fan, as well as having other great sustainable features – such as warm white LED lighting!


Vetrazzo's Bistro Green

2. Composite countertops – Granite is so last decade!   Composite countertops are where it’s at now.  Available in an amazing array of colors and textures, these environmentally friendly surfaces are not only beautiful, but they are usually more durable than natural stone too.  Unlike the more porous nature of granite, most composite countertops on the market have very smooth surfaces which don’t require sealing, and are also less prone to staining and bacterial buildup.  Some of my favorites include the fun recycled glass countertops of Vetrazzo, and the composite stone of Caesarstone.

Aga Energy Star Refrigerator

3. Energy Star appliances – The “star” program of energy efficiency in the appliance world, this successful government program is the source for all those big yellow stickers you see when you salivate over that big stainless steel, french door refrigerator at your local home renovation mart.   Purchase washers, dryers, microwaves, refrigerators, or dishwashers that are Energy Star rated, and you’ll start saving money as soon as you plug them in.

Bazzeo's Gaia Cabinets

4. Cabinets w/ no-added formaldehyde (NAF) – Cabinets are THE big budget item in any kitchen remodel, so spending even a little more to ensure the wood doesn’t have any added urea formaldehyde may seem like overkill, but believe me, it’s worth it.  Classified as a known carcinogen by the State of California, urea formaldehyde is also an airborne irritant as it off gasses into your home, especially for those with asthma and other respiratory issues.

Luckily, as demand has increased for NAF cabinetry, cost has decreased, so beautiful options such as those from Bazzeo or Snaidero are easier to budget for.


Wicanders Cork Floor via Country Living

5. Earth AND back friendly flooring – I’m a big proponent of using cork or linoleum flooring in kitchen for two good reasons.  One, they are both made of natural, biodegradable materials, and that is always a good thing.  Second, they are both resilient (especially cork!), which puts a lot less stress or your back and legs as you hustle around making your bonanza of a holiday dinner!  Plus, if Aunt Alice gets a little too tipsy and drops her glass of champagne, it is much less likely to shatter into a million pieces.  Whew!

Enjoy your holidays and may a sparkly, sustainable new kitchen be yours in the New Year!

~ Rachel