Some of My Favourite Things (in kitchen storage, that is!)

I love kitchens! They are an essential part of every house. For families, the kitchen is the central gathering space, it is the homework or craft room or even at times, it is “party central”. Of course, the most important role of the kitchen is preparing, cooking and serving meals. If your kitchen is not appealing and functional, it makes meals more of a chore. Tasks are simpler (and more enjoyable) with easy access to kitchen appliances, adequate space in front of appliances, sufficient work areas and appropriate transitions from one area to another (preparing, cooking, cleaning and storing).


Along with these aspects of a good working kitchen comes ample storage; one of the most sought after “wants” expressed by my clients! There never seems to be enough functional storage space.  When renovating a kitchen, there are a few easy ways to get more storage space out of your kitchen without necessarily knocking down walls.


corner pantry

It is hard to find items in a corner pantry - Google Images


My first suggestion is to always bring up the height of your cabinets. Items that you do not use as often, such as serving dishes and china will go on the upper shelves.

Secondly, you need to get rid of that corner pantry! It is such a poor use of space for the amount of area it takes up. In any house I enter, no matter how neat and organized the homeowners are, the corner pantry invariably looks like the one at the left when it is opened up. And this is one of the neater ones I have seen! Now just try finding the cocoa powder for those brownies…




Pull-out pantry drawers make items easy to see and find.


Also, I suggest utilizing pull-out pantry drawers to easily find and access items in the back of a cabinet. A large heavy duty pull-out drawer can also be great for storing all those small appliances that usually take up valuable counter space.



The arm stretch minimized by using a ‘magic corner’ - Columbia Cabinets





Lower ‘magic corner’ cabinets are terrific as well.  They give you access to otherwise useless storage in the hidden corner of cabinets.






A large heavy duty pull-out drawer holds small appliances.


There are so many more options for maximizing your storage that I could go on for pages! Take advantage of your designer (me, I hope) to help you find all the best ways to make storage work for you in your kitchen.

Happy cooks make happy meals!




Article By
Lara Hontzias, BID

Principal Interior Designer


Lara Hontzias

Area Carpets 101

Very often as designers, decorators, etc we are asked about area carpets and how best to use them in a space.  I've attached a Houzz article that gives excellent rules - how to use them and how to break them -  when using an area carpet.  In addition, the Calgary Design Group is pleased to announce that our designers now carry the Suriya line of area carpets and accessories for all of our clients. Surya is a vertically-integrated manufacturer of area rugs and home accessories.

For over 35 years the name Surya has been synonymous with high quality, innovation and luxury. Surya designers and weavers masterfully create some of the most versatile products to bring out the best in every room. Encompassing an expert understanding of the latest trends in fashion and interior design, each Surya product is a perfect combination of color, pattern and texture to accommodate the widest range of tastes.  Please contact any of the members of our group to get information on samples, pricing and styling for your home.  We look forward to hearing from you!

General contractors, home builders, and more ∨From kitchens to the living room, window treatments add a finishing touch to any room in the house.
Search for a fun bar stool, clock, sectional sofa and storage chest to spice up your basement.

Stop Being so Matchy-Matchy in 2013!

We have just returned from the IDS in Toronto, Jan 25-Jan27th. One of my favorite upcoming trends is that you don’t have to worry so much about having everything matchy-matchy.. allow yourself some freedom and challenge yourself to new ideas!

STOP Being so Matchy

The trend is to clash your fabrics and stimulate the senses! Evoke conversation with all who enter your room.
Patterns will also become more inspired by Folklore African, Bulgarian, Mexican.... animals, culture and crafts will all come in to play. Look for that amazing pillow with all the color and pattern that makes you smile. Match it with a vase or a plant that has similar colors and move that color around the room! To really take your room to the next level, combine that color with other colors that compliment, and really enjoy your new space that is sure to inspire and inject new energy into your home!

An article by,

Lisa Danielewicz
Lush Interiors Inc
Rooms that live
Mobile: 403-589-6574




Eco Furniture Solutions

Many clients are very interested today in making their homes more environmentally friendly.  This can include anything from the way the architecture of the house is created to take advantage of natural heat, light and airflow, through to ensuring that building products and materials contain non-hazardous substances and are sourced as close to locally as possible.

When it comes to the interiors of the home, there are many eco conscious options available for flooring, walls, and ceiling treatments and materials.

However, one element of a homes interior which seems to be more elusive to track down are eco friendly options for furnishings and fabrics.  Yet there are a lot of solutions out there which are available for both reasonable and high-end budgets and which span a wide range of styles from traditional, transitional, rustic and contemporary.

Check out the following images to see just how wide the range of options is, proving that there are suitable solutions for every style and budget.

Reclaimed Wood Breakfast Table: $800


Tinge Interiors Stylish Summer Solutions for your Cabin or Cottage

The mid-August dog days of summer are upon us, and if we are lucky enough, some of our time might be spent at a place other than our primary residence. What I always loved about heading to the cottage was wildly anticipating the lake’s horizon after what seemed like an endless drive. There is no better feeling than after having arrived, putting your cares away and just enjoying the agenda-free day however we pleased.  What also added exponentially to that experience was how I felt inside the cottage, enjoying the legion of company at night in a comfortable and functional space. I can officially say that’s where I not only became fascinated with scrabble, but also interior design.  I was always mesmerized by the dining table’s multi-coloured circle-patterned protective plastic cover while waiting for my turn to play. The vintage racing car wallpaper in my brother’s room, the antique sink in mine, and the glossy painted floors are just a few of my fondest cottage décor memories.

 Here are 10 decorating tips to make your retreat from the city as effortless as it is stylish. (more…)

The Best Part About Summer

Summertime….it is such a wonderful time for holidays, outdoor parties, bar-b-ques and just enjoying our “outdoor livingrooms”!!! How we Calgarians love to enjoy our yards, patios and gardens with pots filled with glorious bursts of colourful flowers and dressing up our patios and decks with furniture, area carpets, canapy shelters with chandeliers and even torchs to light the night (and keep away the mosquitos)….These are the dreams of summertime which, unfortunately, passes all too quickly!!

This lands us smack in the middle of autumn and hopefully a lovely Indian summer when all of a sudden we are once again inside our homes preparing for Thanksgiving and Christmas and inside décor projects! NOW is the time to start planning for these !! (more…)

Getting ready to sell your home…decor ideas

1.    Disassociate Yourself With Your Home.

  • Say to yourself, "This is not my home; it is a house -- a product to be sold much like a box of cereal on the grocery store shelf.
  • Make the mental decision to "let go" of your emotions and focus on the fact that soon this house will no longer be yours.
  • Picture yourself handing over the keys and envelopes containing appliance warranties to the new owners!
  • Say goodbye to every room.
  • Don't look backwards -- look toward the future. (more…)