Tracey Stephens Interior Design
June 2010
Mexican tile kitchen
Quick Links
Join Our Mailing List
We have a winner!

Thanks so much to all of you who responded to my request for help in describing the dining room featured in last month's newsletter.  You sent so many good suggestions.   Karen Nielsen-Fried described it best as "warm, welcoming & worldly".  Just the look and feel I was going for!  Turns out Karen's good with words too.  (She just happens to be one of the artists represented in that project.)  To see the dining room again, click here.  I'll keep you posted about where we go for lunch.  One thing I know, we'll be keeping it local.

Colorful Mexican tile kitchen
project of the month

skull clock

Walls were removed from the dining room, kitchen and eating nook to create a bright and open cooking and dining space in this Bloomfield, NJ kitchen.  To see before shots and more of this kitchen, click here.

Inspiration - Something You Love  

I often suggest to my clients to begin the design process by starting with something they love.  A painting, a rug, a color.  A room has so much more heart when it is based on something with personal meaning, history or passionate connection.  In this month's kitchen, 4 hand painted Mexican tiles inspired the color palette. The couple had purchased them while in San Diego for a friend's wedding, saving them for their future first home.  Great story, right?

skull clock
Mindful Living & Green Design --
Breaking the paper towel & napkin habit.  Just say no!  

Almost 80 years after the invention of the paper towel, paper accounts for one third of all municipal landfill waste, approximately 3,000 tons of waste each day, and the number of trees used in the paper industry is nothing short of staggering.  Not to mention the emissions and energy used to manufacture new paper.

So what can you do?  Every time you reach for single use, disposable paper, ask yourself "Is there a re-usable product I could use instead?"
  • Put the paper towels away so that you are less likely to grab one.
  • Dry with a cloth towel.  Keep one for hands and one for dishes.
  • Wipe the counter with a sponge, cloth rag or a reusable handiwipe.
  • Use cloth napkins at meals. Get a set of individually unique napkin rings so that each member of the family can reuse their napkin before washing.
  • When you MUST use a paper towel for nasty cleanups, choose one that is 100 percent recycled paper with a minimum of 90 percent post-consumer materials, unbleached Totally Chlorine Free (TCF), without added pigments, inks or dyes (say goodbye to those printed designs).  There are several brands available, so you have choices.
  • Avoid paper towels and napkins made with virgin fiber (doesn't it seem wasteful to use a tree for a single-use throw away item?) and chlorine bleach (toxic and carcinogenic).  And did you know that the "quicker picker upper" uses chemicals to make the paper towels so hardy?
Breaking a habit takes awareness and action.  You can do it!

Excerpted and based on "Greenest Paper Towels and Napkins" posted by Melissa Breyeron on Care 2 Make a Difference.
Read more here.

My award winning kitchen and bath design has been featured in many national publications, showcasing my innovative design sensibility and exceptional and confident use of color.  I also offer whole house design services including paint color consultations and furnishings.

If you have something you love for your home but don't know what to do with it, contact me at 973-744-8947 or, and please use the link below to forward this newsletter to your whole wide world!

Tracey Stephens,
Tracey Stephens Interior Design Inc