Giving a client a tour of SoCo's OC Mix in Costa Mesa, CA for an upcoming project.

"Why is interior design so expensive?" ..she asked.

First of all, design is a way of thinking.  It requires planning and that takes time, research,

vision, leg work plus the cost of products, labor, logistics and much more.  For all those reasons,

the cost slowly adds up.  Depending on which designer you choose to work with, they may charge a

flat fee, hourly fee or commission on the total cost of the project.  Personally, I prefer to charge a flat fee for

the planning phase and hourly for consultation.  Sometimes I encourage clients to help out with placing

orders or execution to keep their cost down.  I also love finding cost effective products without compromising

quality to complete the vision.  Additionally, incorporating what you already have is a great way to save!  

Feel free to contact me and we can meet up over coffee to understand your needs and budget.  

Remember, you can always start with consultation only and then see how much help you'll need

before committing to the whole design process.


Design Tip:

Letting natural light pour into a space increases human productivity!


Image: Houzz


A family trip to The Flower Fields in Carlsbad, CA!  

It's a must see spring treat open once a year during the season.



May 7th is our very first event designed for all teens to be a step ahead in life!  

We'll be hanging out with the pros to get inspired and learn about real life challenges.  

It's a free event and will be held once a month excluding summer and winter breaks.  

Some of the other topics will include Emotional & Social Intelligence,

Family & Relationships, College Prep, Health, Depression, etc.  

Please e-mail me at for questions.

* Students IDs Required *


Taro Chips and Mango Salsa!

I recently discovered what taro was and was surprised to find out the amazing benefits of it...

It's high in fiber, potassium, magnesium, iron, zinc, phosphorous, copper, folate, and

vitamin A, C, E, and B6!!


Image: iPhone 



What is Confidence?

Building confidence at a young age helps form our personalities for the future.  Without confidence

or low self-esteem people generally see the world as a hostile place and themselves as its victim.  

As a result, they feel reluctant to express and assert themselves, miss out on experiences and

opportunities, and feel helpless about changing things.  Low self-esteem can be deeply rooted,

with origins in traumatic childhood experiences, says Psychology Today.  To me personally,

the best way to build confidence is to work inside out.  Start with taking good care of your health.  

Second, focus on your strengths and believe in yourself.  Third, travel to new places and meet new 

people - learn from them - you met them for a reason!  Fourth, do not compare yourself to others.

You should only compare yourself to the person you were yesterday.  

Lastly, treat others right and always do the right thing!  



Chanel finds a creative way to spread some spring love!

How do you connect with your clients?

Image: Pinterest

From the Dali Lama to Jeff Lewis, I've had the opportunity to meet and learn from

the world renowned and highly influential people in recent years!  Their inspirational

stories have helped me grow as a person and look at life in a more defined way.  

The one thing they all have in common for sure is the fact that they love 

what they do and do what they love without damaging others!


My tiny feet over these beautiful mosaic tiles at

Ann Sacks at the Laguna Design Center!

Image: iPhone


...or what you hear about a guy!

Have you ever been caught in the middle of rumors spread about you and you had no idea

why someone would do that.. especially if they seemed to really like you before?  Well, this quote

explains exactly why.  Unfortunately, sometimes we are not able to have full control over our

emotions such as jealousy.  According to Psychology Today, jealousy is a complex emotion that

encompasses feelings ranging from fear of abandonment to rage and humiliation.  It strikes both

men and women and is most typically aroused when a person perceives a threat to a

valued relationship from a third party.


Beautiful details by Monique Lhuillier Spring 2017


Emotional Responsibility

This is the most important ingredient of a healthy relationship.

When people do not take responsibility for their own feelings, they tend to try making their partner

responsible for their own happiness, emotional safety and self-worth. As adults, happiness,

emotional safety and self-worth come from how we treat ourselves and others,

rather than from how others treat us. 


Kindness, Acceptance, Compassion and Empathy

Relationships thrive when both partners are kind, accepting, compassionate and empathetic.

This occurs naturally once you have learned to be kind, accepting and compassionate toward yourself,

but it becomes a huge challenge when you are abandoning yourself. Again, the ability to be kind with

others is directly related to learning to be kind with oneself.


Warmth, Affection, Connection, Laughter and Fun

When people take loving care of themselves and take responsibility for

making themselves happy, they generally want to share their happiness with loved ones.

When you learn to stay connected with yourself, you likely want to share your connection with loved ones.

Warmth, affection, connection, laughter and fun flow easily when both partners have learned

how to take responsibility for their own happiness.


Enjoy Time Together and Time Apart

In healthy relationships, partners thoroughly enjoy being together,

but their well-being is not dependent on being with each other. Emotional dependency is the opposite

of emotional responsibility. While some people enjoy being together all the time, some partners

also enjoy being with their own friends or pursuing separate interests, and in a healthy relationship,

they are supported in doing this by their partner.


Learning Through Conflict

Healthy relationships have a system for learning from their conflicts and resolving

their conflicts in ways that work for each partner. Healthy partners are able to listen attentively to each

other’s points of view and do not get stuck in having to be right or having to win.

A healthy relationship is an evolving relationship — i.e., each partner is learning and growing

through the relationship, and often through the conflicts. Conflict can provide fertile ground for learning

when each partner’s intent is to learn, rather than to control or avoid being controlled.  

The basis of a healthy relationship is when each partner maintains an open intent to learn about

loving themselves and each other, rather than being intent on protecting/avoiding/controlling.

It is the intent to learn about love that leads to being able to take personal

responsibility for your own feelings.


Trust That You Support Each Other’s Highest Good — Joy for Each Other’s Joy

In healthy relationships, partners trust each other to not deliberately hurt each other.

They support each other in what brings each person joy, and they feel joy in witnessing each other’s joy.

Healthy partners, instead of being threatened by each other’s success or joy, are delighted by it.


Spark — Physical, Emotional and Intellectual

There is a spark that exists in healthy relationships that is not easy to define,

but most people know what I mean by this. You enjoy being physically next to each other.

You enjoy talking with your partner, playing with your partner, and sharing your feelings with your partner.

You enjoy making love with each other. A spark is not a superficial thing — it is not

based on looks or status.  Rather, it’s about the deeper loving energy that exists

between two people.

Read the full article at Huffington Post:


Image: Pinterest 


Remodeling your kitchen is a great way to add resale value to your house and  

it's absolutely worth hiring a designer to help you make the right decisions.  I've come across clients that

spent thousands of dollars into materials and construction only to find out that the final result did

not reflect their original vision.  Please feel free to send me a message at for

consultation or design assistance and save time, energy, and money!

Image: Pinterest


Pantone's Color of the Year 2017 is Greenery!  

I'm in LOVE with this picture.  It so beautifully interprets my vision of thinking big 

and letting go of those barriers in our minds that stop us from making the

most of our short life.  Outlive!


Image: Dwell

 Frozen Methane Bubbles in Abraham Lake, Canada


Image: Instagram


Tustin Police along with sponsors like Tustin Kiwanis collaborate every year to

throw an amazing Christmas party called Santa Cop for the homeless kids and their families

and I absolutely love volunteering at the event as a Kiwanian!  It makes me realize how our small

act of kindness can make a huge difference in a child's life which they'll

remember forever, be inspired by, and hopefully do the same for others as they

grow older wherever they are in the world.


Images: My iPhone

The way we think is the way we live.
The way we live determines the quality of our life.  As they say‚Ķ start at home.
Start early!

-Mariam E.