Tuesday, July 8, 2014


Designer 411: Wayfair

Traditional kitchen found at the beach!

I don't know about you, but I LOVE Wayfair.com! They literally sell everything design and home-related!  I am a member of their design/trade program and they are so awesome to work with. They are a company that says, "Of course we can!" and always take care of things if there is an issue.  My rep, Matthew Lamberson, rocks and even when things are not on the website, he finds them- and puts them on for me to buy:)  SOOOOO, you can see how excited I was to be interviewed for their Designer 411: Kitchen Renovation article!  You can click the link above to go to their site or you can read the article below.

Almost forgot!  If you want to see more images of kitchens I have designed, please visit my website www.KathleenDiPaoloDesigns.com/kitchens/.  You will notice my website has had a bit of a facelift.  I wish I could get one, too:-)  Haha!

Designer 411: Kitchen Renovation Kathleen DiPaolo is a new breed of designer, one who creates interior and exterior spaces that are also innovative property solutions—delivering both luxe living and added value to her clients’ homes. Thanks to her timeless, tasteful design aesthetic, her MBA from the USC Marshall School of Business, and a California real estate brokers license, Kathleen has become a sought-after design professional for discerning clients on the West coast. Kathleen has designed more than 300 homes, and her work has been featured in Coastal Living, Better Homes and Gardens, HGTV, and other influential publications. Kathleen resides in Newport Beach, Calif. Design: Kathleen DiPaolo Designs Before beginning a kitchen renovation there are so many questions: What kind of storage do I need? Which countertop material will best hold up to spills? What kind of lighting is ideal? Kathleen DiPaolo, of Kathleen DiPaolo Designs, is a kitchen reno expert and was kind enough to share her insights, tips, and tricks with us. Keep reading to get the answers to all of these questions and more!

1.  Which counter top material is low maintenance, but still looks great?

Quartzite! I love it! It's a natural material and can be used for kitchens, bars, and islands. It is heat resistant and doesn't scratch or etch. I always put a heavy-duty sealer on everything, but quartzite has become my go-to when staining and scratching is a concern as it often is in the kitchen.

2.  What is the "work triangle" and why is it so important?

The work triangle describes the optimal relationship in a kitchen among food storage (the fridge), cooking (the range) and food preparation (the sink). If you draw an imaginary line from each of these areas in your kitchen, you have a triangle. You want each element close, but not too close. This configuration maximizes the efficiency of the cook in the kitchen.

3.  What kind of lighting is best in the kitchen and where should it be placed?

Task lighting over the kitchen sink is fun. I like to use pendants over the sink or even swing arm lights. A swing arm light gives dimension in the space and adds a bit of the unexpected. Also, in lieu of recessed lights, use a flush mount light. There are some new gorgeous flush mount fixtures that add flair to a space.

4.  When is it a good idea to use open shelving or glass front cabinets?

I use open shelves and glass front cabinets for pretty, but functional things. I don't mean display objects. Pretty to me means a grouping of clear glasses, a stack of white plates, or white coffee cups. They are items you need to get to all of the time, but they add character to a kitchen, even when they're slightly askew.

5.  ​What are some creative storage solutions for a small kitchen?

I am obsessed with drawer-style pull out shelves. They allow one to store things in the back of a cabinet and still be able to reach them. You really double your accessible space when adding a pull out. Dividers help keep things organized and when they are organized, you can pack more in the space.

6.  What are the biggest trends you see right now in kitchen design?

Anything that makes a space unique and customized is in. No one wants a kitchen that looks like you picked it up at a box store. Painted cabinets are big—especially white, which is timeless. Painting your lower cabinets or your island a different color is also a hot trend. Along those lines, colored ranges are also trendy. Adding a matte black range in with your existing appliances updates your space. Using handmade backsplash tiles and warm metals like brass, for your hardware or lighting makes the space uniquely yours.

See more from Kathleen DiPaolo Designs in our Shop the Look gallery. Design: Kathleen DiPaolo Designs

So, go over to view the article Designer 411 and please leave a comment on their site!

Hope you all had a GREAT 4th of July!!


Thursday, April 24, 2014


Thanks and Moroccan Tile Inspiration

First, I would like to thank the fabulous Tobi Fairley for featuring me on her  blog today!  What a thrill.  Tobi is a fabulous designer, business coach, mentor and a friend!  If you have ever thought about taking one of her courses, don't think any more. Just Do It!!  I really can't plug her enough.  She has helped me in so many ways!

In Tobi's blog she mentions that I just got back from an inspiration/shopping trip-- TO MOROCCO!!  

It was as fabulous as I had always dreamed it would be.  I would go back tomorrow:)  Back to Tobi's blog...On the blog, two kitchens I designed feature Moroccan Tile!  I love the Moroccan tile and the timing couldn't have been better on her post!  

I love that each tile is hand made and that every color is a little different.  When used in a kitchen or bathroom you get such a beautiful texture and a subtle shine.  The colors in the tile I used below pull together the grays, the veining in the Arabescato Marble, the Zinc hood and stainless metal.

Here I used the tile to surround a pizza oven.  Again, it is a magical "combiner" tile that brings everything together.

While in Morocco, I watched the artisans create the mosaics from the hand made tile.  Talk about a labor of love!  They sit their hours and hours tapping on the tiles.  I would break one in a minute!  Above, I used a very calming ceramic tile in the kitchens, but there are many other types as you will see below.

The artisan was making mosaics for a table.  I LOVE the turquoise one, below!!  

Below, are some unglazed ceramic tiles.  The neutrals are just beautiful.  I think the subway on the top photo is an unglazed terra cotta tile.

In Fez, Morocco, I saw a home they were refurbishing.  Below, were some handmade brick tiles.  They actually use limestone dust to make the mortar.  It looks so smooth!  The mortar is built to last for centuries.
I really want to use this in a new home that I am currently designing.  Wouldn't it look gorgeous behind some floating wood shelves?  
The ceramic, glazed tiles used in a single color look gorgeous.  The pattern is a "fish scale" and it indeed shimmers.  I don't know if you can tell, but this is a fountain.  So pretty and effervescent! 

Here are a selection of simple ceramic patterns.  The first was found in a courtyard and used on the floor.  I have never seen this pinwheel shape.

This floor is centuries old.  I am obsessed with this zig zag!

 And this zig zag!
This is sooooo old and gorgeous.  I just kept thinking about the thousands of people walking over the tile.  Imagine what they were thinking about...

This tile is literally from Roman times.
You have to love the vibrant, intricate patterns!  They are often focal points in rooms.  It is called zellige. In Arabic it is الزليج . This type of tile was developed during the Hispano-Moresque period when there was huge Spanish and Arabic influence.  The tile itself is a terra cotta tile covered in enamel and set into plaster.  Think of the artisan chipping away at the tile above!! 
 This has a fountain spout in the middle.  See it?
More fountain intricacy.  This fountain was at an enormous mosque, the Hassan II Mosque in Casablanca.  The artisans who worked on the mosque were incredible!
 More details from the Hassan II Mosque.

 These colors are fun!  I never would have put them together.  

 Ooh, my model/daughter Posy!  I forced her asked her to pose in front of the column.  Love!  Nothing like a girl trip to Morocco!!

Although technically not tile, this artistry is made to look like tile.  You can find it all over- on ceilings and walls.  It is a plaster that when damp you can carve into.  When it dries it is hard and can be painted.  

This was very unique.  The tile work was a mixture of marble and rocks placed to look like traditional tile.

 This is another mixture of the plaster and the ceramic tile.


OK, this was one of my favorites!  The drain!! Why don't we have pretty, hand chiseled marble drains like this:-)  I just love how they mixed the ceramic and the marble.

 A beautiful fountain close up.
 Again, a wonderful mixture of different patterns and materials.  
 This has Arabic writing in the tile work.  It is quite beautiful!
 More courtyard tile envy!!

I will leave off with this photo of me and my pal in Marrakech.  I can never say no to an adventure that promises to nourish me creatively!  

Thanks for coming on my trip!!



Thursday, January 30, 2014


Inspiration- Thai Market

OK, I know, I haven't been here in a while!  I have been so busy setting myself up for an amazing year.  2013 was awesome, but 2014 is going to ROCK!  I have so many fun projects I am working on with amazing clients.  I hit gold with my clients:)  I also have some new products I am working on.  I can't wait to share.  

I have felt inspiration bubbling up and it is found everywhere.  Those of you who have followed me know that I am a travel-aholic! If I have a minute, I am out of the country exploring!  One of my favorite things to do is to go to open markets.  Something about markets just inspires me.  It is the different food and produce, the different languages spoken, the different presentations.  I just found some photos from a trip 3 years ago I took with my sister to Thailand.  I want to share some wonderful images from that trip.  Am I a photographer?  NO!  But, even with my skill level, the photos made me giddy again.

This big bundle of yumminess is Rambutan.  The colors are stunning.  The juxtaposition of reds and greens make the spiky fruit come alive. 

We were there when the Durian fruit took over the markets.  It is literally the MOST disgusting fruit I have ever eaten!  I could not get the smell out of my nostrils.  I knew it was supposed to be gross, but when in Thailand...The texture of the skin is just so wonderful.
The purples of the aubergines and next to the lime greens are gorgeous.  What a fun color palette to use in a bedroom!

I was inspired by these shapes.  The long squiggly vegetables, next to the balls and the large ovals.  So amazing.

These eggs are just so cool!  They are a salmon color that is soft and rich at the same time.

I can't resist looking at these catfish.  It is a love/hate thing!
Had to throw this in.  I mean really?!  Chicken feet!  The texture was very cool out of the corner of my eye and then, BAM!  They are feet.  Who eats these?  OK, I am a vegetarian so I am passing. 

More yumminess!

Why are these veggies so much more vibrant than ours in the states?

This is a fall color party for me.

I think these are shrimp.  I love the sign just shoved in with the tails!

Nothing cooler than these mounds of spicy pastes.  Just throw a little into the dish- and scream!
You can also add a handful of these peppers and really lose your taste buds:)
These pod- bean things are just gorgeous.  They are so big they just stand up on the street!  I love the color.  
I know this has nothing to do with the market, but I love me some ELEPHANTS!!  Had to share these babies!

I hope you feel inspired to go to your local outdoor market and look for beautiful color combinations, textures and shapes.  Bring them into your home!  If you are a little nervous to dive into it, you can always bring some gorgeous texture onto your dining table.

Have a great week- OK, it is almost Friday.  Whoooooo Hoooo!