Thursday, December 15, 2011

5 Things To Do 10 Minutes Before You Go To Bed - from Apartment Therapy

Ever wake up in the middle of the night wondering if you put the laundry in the dryer worried you won't have anything to wear to work in the morning? How about laying in bed for a solid hour going through a mental checklist of things you probably should have done but are now to far sunk into bed to get up and do? Apartment Therapy comes out with a lot of useful information but I really loved this article and thought I'd share. Here are 5 things to do 10 minutes before going to bed. Hopefully these will work for you!

1. Do The Dishes - It's a proven fact that we're more likely to eat at home and make dinner ourselves if the area in which food preparation happens is clean. It's easy to cook dinner and leave cleanup for later, but making sure the dishes are done before the morning routine starts makes for a healthier day. Breakfast is a snap, dinner is easy and best of all the dishes are easy to do. Doing them each night eliminates those little bits of crusty stuck on food that can take extra time to scrape off later.

2. Pick Up Outerwear - It's easy to come home, take off your jacket, your shoes, your hat and get comfy! After all, that's what a home is for! But if your home is anything like ours, more than a days worth of shoes on the floor can be a disaster. Literally. Making sure that stray bits of clothing and shoes have been returned to their closets and baskets makes other chores on our list easier throughout the week. No one wants to clean their space before they can clean their space. Knowing you have a few minutes to spare to vacuum is easy when you don't have to tidy before hand!

3. Replace Entertainment - Most often our days are filled with busy stressful things and after our projects, homework or activites are done, there's nothing more we want than to sink into our couch with a snack and a great dvd or video game. The downfall to such habits usually necessitates a little clutter out in the open. Game boxes, dvd cases, controllers, remotes... they can seem simple and harmless, but keeping it in check each night means our main living spaces are ready to go for the next nights fun. Plus it keeps things at bay in case impromptu guests come over.

4. Tie Off Trash - Each morning before we leave the house we take the trash out. It's a great way to keep our space clean and to prevent having to drag more than 1 bag outside at a time. Because if more than 1 bag goes out at a time, that means there was a bag sitting and waiting in your home. And although it's easy to do (we've been there too), the thought of a bag of trash just hanging out is kind of... gross. By tying it off each night, it's ready to grab as we walk out the door to walk the dogs. We don't have any fuss, mess or frustration. We also have smaller bags than most, so if this isn't applicable to you, then adjust it as it works with your home.

5. Make A List - It seems silly, but there's nothing more annoying that having been out all day, only to return to discover you forgot to pick up something important. Shampoo, toilet paper, copies that needed to be made, whatever the case may be, a simple list of things that need to be picked up or done the next day can be quite freeing. We put the list in our pocket on the way out the door and it helps us keep track of the things on our agenda.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Pantone Color of the Year 2012

And the 2012 Pantone Color of the Year? Drumroll plase...
Tangerine Tango!

Monday, November 21, 2011

Announcing the Schumacher App!

Schumacher introduces an essential digital resource for discerning interior design professionals and registered To The Trade users. Schumacher for iPhone gives our customers and their clients instant access to the latest offerings, product information, stock, and order status updates. Additionally, this new app allows designers to place memo and product orders; create project lists and tag favorite products; search for nearby showrooms using GPS; view pinch and zoom high resolution photographs; review product details; and learn about new trends, events, and offerings.
Available exclusively on iTunes.

Friday, November 11, 2011

With the temperatures and leaves beginning to fall and with
Thanksgiving right around the corner, consider warming up your home with
autumn-toned pillows or table runners. Create a warm feeling by using fabrics rich
in color with orange, red, gold or olive hues. Here are some favorites
available directly from

The use of burnt orange and green adds a great color pop to any room or space.
Waldemere Geranium by Robert Allen

Eggplant and Olive make a non-traditional pairing that works well for fall and winter.
Candy Stripe Eggplant by Kasmir

Velvet flocking adds an interesting textural element and the dark velvet really pops against the lighter silk background.
Isadora Velvet Olive by Robert Allen

Houndstooth checks and woven fabrics are also a great way to make a home seem cozy.
Square Pegs Beige by Robert Allen

Nothing says Fall like a good old fashioned wool and cashmere Tartan Plaid.
McDonnell Tartan Cranberry by Ralph Lauren.

Don't forget to check out all of Interior Mall's fabrics for more cozy inspiration. And for holiday ideas don't forget Interior Mall's large selection of gift items.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Tropical Inspirations

I recently went to the Bahama's for a much needed vacation and found myself in a completely other world. The use of color there is absolutely extraordinary! At one point during my trip, my family and I started calling out random colors and timing ourselves on how long it took us to find a building of that color. I don't think I could have found a white, beige or other neutral colored building if I had tried. Everything there is coated in beautiful colors of pink, purple, orange and yellow hues.

This of course, made me think... why is everything so blah here? Maybe an Alaskan winter wouldn't be so bland if all the building were painted bright orange. Perhaps, a Texas heat would be more bearable if the buildings there were painted a cool blue. Why are we so afraid of color?

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Patterns: Suzani

As we receive more and more fabric books and samples from various manufacturers we have noticed they all have 1 major pattern in common in at least 1 book and that's suzani inspired patterns. Many of us have seen suzani more and more in interior decorating and even fashion but most don't know what exactly it is or where it came from. Suzani comes from the Persian word for "needle" and the word refers to embroidered hangings or fabric coverings. (Like the image)
However, for most suzani lovers and collectors, the word has a more specific meaning. Suzani is synonymous with the finest old embroideries of Uzbekistan, in Central Asia. In recent years, we have witnessed a remarkable revival of this old traditional art form.

The birthplace of suzanis is in what is now Uzbekistan, the area along the Silk Roads that interconnected the cultures of Europe, Turkey and China with the Muslim world. With the establishment of the Silk Road, the Suzani art flourished. In the 19th century, Uzbek women produced excellent embroidered hangings, table covers, bed covers, wrapping cloths, and prayer mats for their households and their daughters' dowries.  In the 20th century, Communist rulers in Uzbekistan forbade hand crafts, including Suzani. With the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991, Uzbek artisans have begun the long process of reviving their centuries old craft traditions and techniques.

Because hand-made, traditional Suzani can be quite expensive many fabric manufacturers have begun to make it easier to get the suzani look but without the costs by printing and mass producing suzani inspired fabrics like the fabrics below.   

Feel free to stop by check out all the other suzani inspired fabrics that Interior Mall has to offer.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Get Organized for the School Year

Back to school time has come for many of us and is quickly approaching for the rest. Even if school has already started there's still time to get your house organized and ready for the new school year. Life Made Better has a few quick and easy tips for getting an "A" on your organization this year.

Put your walls to work by organizing papers in wall-mount filing racks outfitted with folders.

Office Organization
Optimize efficiency by installing a corkboard, a dry-erase board, and a magnetic calendar above the work surface.

Office Supplies
Insert a divided tray or drawer organizer into a desk drawer to sort fasteners and other office supplies. You'll need to choose an organizer that has a bottom (as opposed to the type of bottomless drawer divider used for socks) to keep small items from slipping underneath.

Clips and Fasteners
Tiny little tools benefit from tiny little vessels to keep them organized. Transform colorful plastic ice-cube trays into divided storage containers for paper clips, push pins, and more.

Art Supplies
Use short mailing tubes or potato-chip cans to keep paintbrushes, pencils, and other art supplies organized. Cover the mailing tubes with decorative paper to fit your decor. Stack them and attach them to one another with crafts glue or double-sided tape to keep them stable.

Eliminate the need to run through the house looking for batteries ever again. Use a plastic tackle box with multiple sizes of openings to hold your batteries, grouped by size.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

A Match Made in Tropical Heaven!

(Picture from

The preppy prints of Lilly Pulitzer have been racing out of the closet and into the home. First, bedding and bath goods last year, then a line of furniture earlier this year, and now the Lilly Pulitzer for Lee Jofa collection of interior fabrics and trimmings. Expect the brand’s signature prints—and some new patterns, too—in Pulitzer’s classic pink and green combinations, and other bright and clean colors. Available in cotton, linen, silk, chintz, and jacquard, the line carries 15 prints.
(Source: Elle Decor)

Let me just say... this excites me! Aside from the fact that I've already downed my first cup of coffeee, I have been running around like a mad woman telling everyone in the office of the expected arrival of the Lilly Pulitzer fabrics at Lee Jofa this month. After visiting the Dallas store for years I fell in love with Lilly's bright colors and perfect pattern combinations. I am so excited to see this same thing available in the home decor industry now!

Keep an eye out on for all these fabulous new fabrics (I know I will be)!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Drapery Hardware Terms Made Easy

A solid piece of material used to mount or attach curtain rods to the wall, molding, window trim, or ceiling.

Center Bracket
A single or double bracket made to mount over the top of a window to support additional weight in the center of the rod.
The distance from the mounting surface to the back of the curtain rod. Important consideration if an under treatment is to be used.

The length of a straight line that runs through the center of a circle, cutting it into two symmetrical halves. Commonly used to describe the size of a pole or finial.
A decorative element attached to one or both ends of a rod that also prevents rings and panels from sliding off the end of the rod.

Pin-on Hook (Drapery Pin)
A metal pin designed to slide into draperies, and then to attach (hook) to a ring or slide.

Distance from wall to the front of the rod.

The drapery fabric that covers the area from the end of the curtain back to the wall. In shirr-on curtains, the fabric is eased around the corner of the curtain rod. In pin-on draperies, an additional pin is used at the outside top corners of the drapery and hooked into the rod bracket hole.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Home Bar Essentials

If you love to entertain we have some of the coolest bar and glassware essentials. Stock your bar with these 5 chic and functional home bar accessories available at

A durable and elegant wine chiller bucket is a must have! This double-wall insulated bucket is made of brushed stainless steel and is perfect for gifts or for your own house party.

This black-finished wooden wine tool box is a lovely way to store your wine tools. The box is lined with foam velvet and its contents include two wine bottle stoppers, a stainless steel drip ring, a retractable multi-tooled wine opener, and a thermometer which keeps your wine at a perfect temperature.

Personalize your experience with monogram shot glass embellished with your initial and a silver medallion. This set of 4 shot glasses will have you toasting in style.

A wine bottle carrier is a necessity! This faux leather carrier holds a standard size bottle of wine and collapses for easy storage when not in use. Wine carriers make great housewarming or wedding gifts and while you're at it, buy one for yourself so that you can take the party on the road.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Couch Conundrum

I've done many a posts about choosing the right furniture and and how important furniture placement is but I still find myself scouring the Internet for "how tos" and "don't dos" for picking out sofas. The sofa you choose is often times the centerpiece of your room. It determines layout, color scheme, scale and so much more. A good sofa can last years but one bad shape or color decision can make a living room go down hill fast.

I bought a sofa 5-6 years ago and at that time we were fitting it into a 650 sq. ft. apartment. I wanted high fashion and didn't care about practicality or seating area. We now own our own home and after coming home day after day to an increasingly lower sofa, I'm forced to give up the couch of my dreams for something that seats all the boys during football season and can withstand both a dog and a husband.

Call me a decor snob but I hate the idea that if I want stain resistant and a seriously durable construction that I will have to give up "pretty". Why can't I have both? And this disturbing thought just leads into more disturbing thoughts of "What if it's too big for my narrow living room?", "What if it's the wrong color?", "Should I go with 2 couches and opt out of the love seat for maximum seating?", "Does a sectional provide more seating than a couch and love seat combo?".

So in my panic, I've done some research. It seems there are 5 main things to think about when purchasing a new sofa:
1. Size
2. Color
3. Shape
4. Material
5. Placement

Many websites suggest drawing a picture of your room. You can even find online room planners like the La-Z-Boy Room Planner (which I found super easy to use and extremely helpful). Aside from moving around large pieces of furniture for days, this gives you as close an estimate of how the furniture will look and fit in the space you have to work with. This will help in both choosing the size of the couch as well as the placement of the couch.

I found it really helpful to bring along a paint chip as well as curtain fabrics and accent pillows when I was shopping. Colors that "look" perfect quickly become totally wrong when put up against paint and other fabrics. Even this sometimes doesn't cut it. Ask the furniture store if they have fabric samples or if you can take a cushion home. The lighting in the store is probably quite different than what you have in your own home.

As far as picking a shape for your sofa think about what other shapes you already have in your room. If everything is rectangular or square a round sofa might look out of place.
When it comes to material I already knew what I wanted when I walked into the store. I was ASTOUNDED at the amount of fabric choices available now-a-days. Let the store clerk know what you need (i.e. I need something durable, stain repellent and easy to clean). This will narrow your search down fast. Don't be swayed by the hot new thing. If you want something durable don't pick a silk couch, likewise, if you want something just for show you don't necessarily need a micro suede.

Finally, I recommend sitting! Kick your feet up (without your shoes preferably) and even stretch out. Every Sunday afternoon my husband and I stretch out to take a nap. I don't want a couch my 6'2'' husband is uncomfortable on. If the stores didn't want you to try it out they'd wrap everything up in plastic and hang them from the ceilings. I can't tell you how many times a sofa looked soooo good but felt waaaay wrong.

I hope that someone, somewhere in the wide wide world of Internet can find this helpful. I know how stressful furniture buying can be (need I remind you of my never-ending string of obsessive thoughts) but I know what I want and I know when I see it and sit on it that it will be coming home with me. I invite anyone who is looking or has recently bought a sofa to post any helpful hints below!

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Custom Slipcovers

If you upholster a piece of furniture in warmer months, you’re bound to feel attracted to lightweight cotton and linen in sunny colors and patterns. When winter hits, the choices feel all wrong and you find yourself craving rich velvet, chenille and suede in warmer, darker hues.

Just as we change out accessories to mark the changing seasons, why not create custom slipcovers to change the look and feel of your furniture? Any upholsterer can create a custom slipcover for a fraction of the cost of getting the piece reupholstered, and suddenly your furniture is transformed.

Always wanted a suede sofa but worried it will feel too heavy in the summer? Display your cotton silk striped settee through the summer, and then easily fit a suede slipcover over it in the winter and it becomes a cozy sofa. Same goes the other way. Love your velvet sofa but crave the look of linen? Try a custom slipcover.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Decorating with Red, White & Blue

With the 4th of July only a week away, every store in the United States has been packed full of those infamous red, white and blue hues. It seems like for the next week everything is red, white and blue from food, to fashion and even home decor. So this got me wondering. Can red, white and blue find its way into my everyday life or is this strictly a seasonal color palette? Here's what I've come up with (actually here's what Google came up with).

This blue and white dining room (courtesy of Elle Decor) is okay. The red coral chandelier though, takes this room from okay to OMG. The bold pops of red on this subtle blue and white back drop add a "wow" factor that I just don't know that you could get with any other combination.
This modern living room doesn't scream "HAPPY 4TH OF JULY" to me but it does say "I'm sophisticated, modern and a little unexpected." Again, just a few subtle hints of red really pop against quieter colors.
I love this room because of how many different colors it incorporates. This isn't just a red, white and blue room. There are so many different shades of red and blue and even more amazing to me is that none of them clash or compete. They all work together to create a palette that really flows together, subtly drawing your eye from one shade to another.
This last bedroom is a little more "Americana" but still yet, the classic oak wood and timeless madras plaid work so well with neutral colored walls and a pop of red on the night stand.
So I think I may be putting some of those red, white and blue decorations to use more than just once a year. Granted, it's not a color palette for everyone but it's surprisingly more versatile than even I would have ever thought.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

From Jewelry to Home Accents

We are always looking for new and unique ways to decorate the home, especially on a budget. What better way to do that and reuse old, unused items then to use jewelry as home accents. 

Have a beautiful brooch passed down to you but it's just not your taste? Don't keep it locked up in a jewelry box. Use it to create a piece of wall art like the butterfly brooches to the right. To create these pieces paint a gesso-finish artist's canvas with water-thinned dark umber paint and then rub it off. Use a graphite pencil to draw lines depicting the wingspans. Simple, easy and the end result is gorgeous!

Another idea for that vintage pin is a pretty curtain tieback. Wrap sheer ribbon around the curtain panel and tie, leaving tails about a foot long. Pin the flower brooch at the knot. Brooches like this one are easy to find.

Have some necklaces lying around? Why not use them as wall art? Wrap a picture frames cardboard insert in paper or quilting fabric and suspend a pendent over it. Or spruce up that plain vase by restringing faux pearls on light-gauge wire and wind around the neck. Thread glass beads onto fishing line to make a sparkly "necklace" for another vase.

Have a set of earrings that are no longer a set? Decorate a paper lampshade by punching holes evenly around the bottom edge. Insert earring posts through the holes and secure with earring backs, or use clip-on earrings. 
This also works great for adding a unique fringe to a table runner. Make sure the runner is fabric so the earrings can pierce freely.
You can also dress up an old picture frame by attaching old earrings or brooches to create a gorgeous vintage frame that would please anyone to receive.

If bracelets are your weakness and you just have far too many slip them over votives for an eclectic look. Be sure to only use votive candles that are in glass holders.
Bracelets also make fantastic napkin rings. Take ordinary metal napkins rings and morph them into gem-encrusted beauties when you thread beads and crystals onto craft wire and wrap it securely around the rings. Thread more beads onto wire to make a coordinating set of wineglass charms.

Dig through that jewelry box and spend some time making some gorgeous and unique accents your home. It'll be fun and you'll love the end result!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Tropical Fabrics and Alfred Shaheen

Before there was Tommy Bahama there was Alfred Shaheen. Best known in Hawaii where he got his start Shaheen has been in the textile industry since post-WWII. After a stint in the Army Air Corps, Shaheen returned to his family in Oahu to begin working in the family business. With a dream to expand the family business into making men's aloha shirts and women's apparel, Alfred started his own company with four seamstresses trained by his mother. 

In the beginning like many Hawaiian manufacturers, Shaheen was receiving his textiles in from the mainland - a costly venture. Realizing just how much it was costing him he decided to start his own textile printing company - Surf 'n Sand Hand Prints. By 1950, Shaheen had engineered and built his own machinery to print, dye and finish fabrics. By 1952, he was printing more than 60,000 yards of fabric per month.

Despite Shaheen's worldwide distribution he still maintained the manufacturing facility in Oahu. He continued his business for over 40 years until the company closed its doors in 1988 when he retired. Today, his Hawaiian shirts, dresses and sarongs are some of the most prized and beloved vintage Hawaiian pieces one can get.

While the clothing is no longer being manufactured, Shaheen's fabric designs are, by company's such as Duralee/Suburban Home Fabrics. Partnering with Duralee to launch the Alfred Shaheen Surf 'n Sand Indoor/Outdoor collection in July 2010 they have since continued their partnership and released a line of indoor fabrics called Big Sur Designs, Copacabana Designs and Abbey Road Designs.

While you can no longer go into a store and by a freshly made dress, shirt or sarong by Shaheen at least you can by fabrics inspired by the man himself to bring a touch of Hawaii and Shaheen into your home.

Friday, April 15, 2011


Did you know... Interior Mall actually has around 17 sister sites to help you find the exact product you are looking for? Here's a list of some of our favorites to get you to the specific item you're looking for.

Boys, Girls, babies, teens and toddlers. Everything you need for decorating
children's rooms.
The hottest fabrics available for under $15 per yard.
Nothing but faux fur fabrics for throws, costumes, rugs and wallcoverings.
Faux Wood Blinds for your home and office.
* The brand you know and trust. Ceiling Fans, Bathroom Fans, Vanity Lighting, Air Purifiers, Humidifiers, Remotes and more. Free Shipping everyday!
The hottest trend in window coverings today, the Roller Solar Shade store has
hundreds of fabrics, styles and options to choose from.
A vast array of Tiffany Lamps including chandeliers, floor lamps, table lamps and more and as always FREE SHIPPING!
Save big on over 400 available sizes. Find the size you need quickly with our easy to read size charts. Custom sizes also available.
Real Wood Blinds in dozens of custom colors and sizes.

We've made it easy to find a specific product whether it be on or one of our sister sites. And no matter which site you choose to shop you will always get the friendly and helpful customer service you've come to know and love from Interior Mall.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Kitchen Stool Conundrum

Purchasing kitchen stools can seem like a daunting task. There are many things to consider about the height, material, construction and cost of a stool. Some of the most frequent questions we at Interior Mall get are; "What height do my kitchen stools need to be?", "Should my stools match my kitchen chairs?", "Are upholstered stools better than plain acrylic or wood stools?", "Should my kitchen stools have a back or is backless better?" And the ever popular, "How much should I spend on my kitchen stools?" So we decided to help you sort out all the facts and figures to make purchasing new kitchen stools as simple and painless as possible.

Construction: Acrylic, Metal, Plastic or Wood
The type of construction you choose is dependant upon a couple of things. First, what type of look are you going for in your kitchen? Acrylic and Plastic stools offer a contemporary look and feel to your kitchen and are usually great space savers. Wood stools typically provide a more traditional, rustic feel and are a great long term option because of the sturdiness of the material. Metal is a wonderful in between option that can provide both a contemporary or traditional feel depending upon the style and is usually the most affordable option.

Design: Back, Partial Back and No Back
Backing options are an important choice to make when choosing a kitchen stool. Things to consider here are, who will be sitting in these chairs, how often and for how long. Another important thing to consider is how much room you have. If you have plenty of room and plan on using your stools often and for longer increments, a full back stool is probably the best option. This will provide comfort and back support for you and your guests. Many people aren't blessed with giant kitchens though and often need to maximize seating in a minimized space. A Partial Back stool still provides some back support but doesn't take up space like a Full Back stool and has a more modern appeal, while a No Back stool tucks nicely up under bars and islands and can usually be placed closer together to maximize your space.

Dimensions: What height kitchen stool is best for you?
The standard industry rule is to allow 10-13 inches from the bar stool seat to the bottom of the bar, pub or island it will be sitting at. Make sure to allow extra room if the stool you choose has arms as well. You will want to make sure that the arms of the stool fit nicely underneath your table for storing when not in use. Refer to the table below for a quick reference guide on matching your table height with your stool.

How much you want to spend on your kitchen stools is entirely up to you. Kitchen stools can range in price from $50 - $500. A higher price tag doesn't always mean better quality but as is the case with anything else, be wary of deals that seem too good to be true. Things that are worth spending a little more on are non-marking feet, fully assembled, adjustable leg and seat options and high abrasion ratings and stain repellent finishes on fabrics.

Kitchen stools provide a functional place for you, your family and your guests to sit and enjoy meals, catch up over cocktails or even finish up on homework. With a wide array of styles, finishes, constructions and heights to choose from the options are limitless for finding that perfect kitchen stool to complete the look of your kitchen or dining area. As always, check out for all your kitchen needs.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Design 2011: Black Casework, Doors and Cabinetry

We all know that black is one of the most sophisticated of colors, but for light-starved people, it's often written off as too dark for airy interiors. Last year we embraced "almost black" walls, but for 2011 I believe we will flip flop to adore black crown molding, baseboards, shutters, stair treads, railings, bookcases, doors and cabinetry.

So, how do you get chic appeal without the gloom factor? For the most lustery sheen, use a high-gloss oil paint and apply it with a sponge roller for a smooth finish. Latex is fine for lower sheens, but even coating it with glossy polyurethane will not achieve the same luscious look as oil paint. Remember, high-gloss or low-sheen, paired with white walls, black casework is a perfect example of a timeless classic for the home.

Tip: Keep bookcase backs open to the wall so the room color shows through. Otherwise, paint or line the back of the bookcase with fabric to create some contrast.

Tip: If you leave your exterior door open most of the time you're home, it's nice to have an outside door color that complements your interior as well as your exterior entrance.

Tip: Black doors really sing when there is a wall of them creating repetition. And remember, door colors do not have to match the trim.

Thanks to Houzz Newsletter for these great ideas!