Tracey Stephens Interior Design
February 2010
Sunny Kitchen
Mindful Living
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Welcome to the first edition of my e-newsletter!  I hope you will find inspiration and useful information.  I encourage your comments and questions. 

Thanks for reading!
Sunny kitchen in Morristown, NJ
project of the month

Custom cabinets and a farmhouse sink
This kitchen features locally built painted & glazed cabinets, maple countertops, farmhouse sink, pressed stainless steel backsplash and LOTS of light thanks to additional windows and a French door.

See before and after photos and learn more about the project on my website, >>
Mindful Living & Green Design --
Talkin Trash

Food preparation and cleanup creates trash -- food scraps, cans, glass jars, plastic bottles, cardboard, etc. When your trash is taken away, do you know where "away" is?  

My town of Montclair, NJ sends trash to an incinerator in the low income, largely minority Ironbound section of Newark.  Every day, 300 to 400 diesel-fueled garbage trucks rumble through the neighborhood, carting trash from New York City (half of the total amount), 22 towns in Essex County and 11 surrounding trash-transfer stations.  Community groups object to lead, dioxin and other pollutants being spewed into the air from the 2,800 tons of trash burned per day (a bit more than 1 million tons/year), although the Dept of Environmental Protection says that the new owners who took over in 2005 are doing a better job than the previous ones.

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle and Compost - do your part!
Never put into the trash: batteries, electronics, oil paint cans, fluorescent light bulbs, pesticides.  Save these for your area's Hazardous Waste collection day.  The town of Montclair offers Saturday drop off for electronics and metal at the North Fullerton facility.

Reduce as much as possible the amount of packaged food you buy - loose vegetables instead of shrink wrapped, fresh food instead of boxed, Britta water in a reusable stainless water bottle instead of plastic bottles.
Read here about one NYC family who tried to reduce their carbon footprint:

Reusable shopping bags are the way to go!  Keep them in the trunk of your car.  If you forget to take them into the store with you,  load your purchases in the shopping cart and bag them when you get to your car.

Recycle all cans, plastic, glass and paper.  Towns pay for trash removal and earn money with recycling.  Most grocery stores now collect your plastic shopping bags.  Plastic releases toxins when burned.

Compost your food scraps (no meat or dairy). Set up a bin in your backyard and fill it with food scraps, leaves and grass clippings that have not been contaminated by pesticides.  Add some water, turn occasionally and use your compost to help your garden grow!  Get tips from Montclair's Compost Guru, Gray Russell at (973) 509-5721. For more info on Montclair's home composting program check out

If you can't compost it, use your garbage disposal.


skull clock

I love the exuberance and wit of this clock!  Stefan Strumbel, a street artist from the the Black Forest region in southwestern Germany, takes the traditional form of the cuckoo clock and twists it.  He "captures the spirit of the new Germany... that is aware of its past, but ready to take new, lighthearted and colorful paths - a Germany that can accept its clich├ęs with the wink of an eye."  New York Times 2/4/10

Featured in many national publications, Tracey's award winning kitchen and bath design showcases her innovative design sensibility and her exceptional and confident use of color.  Also offered - whole house design services including paint color consultations and furnishings.

If you are ready to renovate your kitchen, or know someone who is, contact me at 973-744-8947 or!.

Tracey Stephens,
Tracey Stephens Interior Design Inc