proudly introduces Bianca, our lead designer muse (Or creative goddess)! Our Bianca stands tall and graceful as she greets shoppers entering the BSEID virtual showroom. Adorned in the finest of couture upholstery fabrics, her sparkling crystal earrings are borrowed from an antique chandelier and she clutches a Pucci inspired bag made from a vintage scarf. Bianca’s “do it yourself� design attitude recognizes that we all need HELP sooo… here she is at your beckon call! Ask her anything with pictures or not, she will gladly respond with thought provoking design ideas and will plant seeds for your DIY projects. There is NO cost involved, it’s totally FREE!

Dear Bianca,

I have lighted niches around my fireplace in my family room. They are nice but and odd shape. They are only 12" deep but 3-4' high. The conundrum is with the depth issue you cannot layer items with visual interest. Considering the height you need something substantial in scale or it is "lost". It is an odd configuration but I want to make the most of the space. I look forward to your response.


No love for Niches

Dear "No Love for Niches",

That is a lot of "Niches"!!!! Definitely a dilemma! You look like a traditional girl but with such large cutouts for wall tends to take it in a contemporary direction. I can not tell from your picture if it is brown wood or brown paint on the fireplace wall but I am going with wood.

The biggest issue about your niches is that not only are there alot of them, they are very large and appear to go all the way to the ceiling. I also think that with the contrasting dark wood around the light niches, it makes them appear very bold. YIKES! soooooo...lets first talk about making the niches a little more subtle. I would suggest doing a little more subtle color of paint on the back wall so they do not jump out so strongly. Perhaps a soft taupe or camel, the color of your rug would feel a little more understated. (Take a look at Ben Moore Stone House 1039)

Another option could be to put a natural colored grass cloth on the back wall of the niches. This texture will off-set the strength of the dark brown wood and add some textural interest without business. 'Less is definitely more" in this case.

Take advantage of the back wall of each niche by hanging art work or mirrors. This way you get more vertical height without filling each niche with "things" that need to be very shallow but tall.

Keep them similar in nature, like only maps, botanicals or birds but not in every niche. Example, if there are 6 niches hang art in 3 niches, two on the left side of the fireplace and one on the right side...always use an "odd" number.

You may also like the look of mirrors in the niches hung in the same fashion as the art. They add life to the the wall with their reflective quality.....don't forget not an even amount...ODD!

Finally, fill the remaining 3 niches with a single object or artifact that is the same in color. It will have to be tall enough to fill the space half way in size of the niche. Save your money to purchase one item for each niche.

I am sure you find that this will unify your look, give you drama without distraction and you will look like a "rock star" in your own living room.

Have a Blue Sky Day!

Happy Designing!


Dear Bianca,

I have an open foyer and staircase with high ceilings. Need help on what to hang on the wall in the large open space.

Hi Staircase Queen,

I love two-story staircases....they can be so dreamy but they also can create a nightmare if you just can't find the perfect finishing touches. It appears as if your home has a traditional flavor, so I will make my suggestions with that in mind. Staircase walls can be the perfect place to gather and display "like" things. Black and white photos of your family with simple silver or black frames can be a wonderful way to display a gallery. Vary the sizes of the pictures(no smaller than 8 x 10) and hang them tightly together. This way your wall art looks unified and not busy.

You also can add some inspiration by including a phase board by Sugarboo. A personal touch that breaks up the photos and offers some sharp contrast.

Considered painting the picture wall a contrasting color. It will make your pictures "pop"!

You don't want to do about maps??! Maps are cool and interesting and they can create a "history" of you and yours!

Sometimes "less is more" and the simplicity of a beautiful stripe wallcovering with dramatic wall sconces is perfect.

Hope this guides you where you need to go....
Have a "Blue Sky" day and stop back and see us...let us know how it went!


Dear Bianca,

I'm updating an old small bathroom that has yellow tile and tub. What are some inexpensive ways to update with taking out the tile & tub?

Dear Mello Yellow,

So you have a yellow bathroom? ... fear not! Consider yourself head of a retro trend! If you are not ready to rip out your 1950's tub and tile then here are some suggestions for turning your lame lavatory into a beautiful bath retreat.

Don't fight the color and rather embrace it! Whether it's yellow, mint or blush, start a collection of accessories that relate to that hue. Artwork with yellow accents, a collection of yellow tinted glass bottles, or a throw rug with yellow embroidery can all do the trick.

Speaking of throw rugs, consider stashing away the cotton washable mats for shower use only and toss down a fun 'living room' rug across the floor. You are creating a more welcoming space with traditional elements that aren't necessarily found in the bathroom but throughout the living spaces of your home. Doing this, will result in an interesting environment.

Further layer interest with bringing in other 'home" elements into the space. A small accent table to accompany the basin, a wooden wall shelf, or a decorative vanity chair can all be great ways to add texture.

Other than the signature color - in your case yellow - neutralize the palette. For a traditional look, consider the wall color a deep grey or soothing cream. Clean and simple white towels always feel fresh.

Finally, bring in some 'modern' touches to balance the "throw-back" feel. Modern as in 'current', not contemporary. For example, hang your shower curtains higher than typical. Hang two curtains, splitting them down the center, framing the bath opening like drapery panels. Use rattan baskets to store extra towels. Bring in live plants or flowers. And don't forget your favorite scented candle!

Follow these tips and flip your blast-from-the-past bathroom into a lemon dream!


Dear Bianca,

Decorating a beach house at the NJ Shore. We like your large rectangle rope mirror to go above an entrybench that is 47 inches long. Do you think this mirror is too large to go over that piece or will it really make it pop?

Thanks very much.

Hi Jay,

A large mirror in the foyer is almost never a mistake. Foyers are usually smaller areas in a home, especially in a beach house. Mirrors can make the space feel more open and even taller if it is exceptionally large. I only caution you to mount the base of the mirror close to the top of the bench. By doing this, the mirror will feel "married" to the bench and create a welcoming and dramatic vignette.
Happy designing and have a Blue Sky day!


Dear Bianca,

I was given an old traditional black desk that was my grandmothers. She loved this desk and wanted me to have it when I got my own home but it just isn’t my style. I have moved it all over my house but alias I don’t know what to do. I have contemporary furniture with grey offices walls (Benjamin Moore). I need a desk but if I don’t use it there, do you have any other ideas? Please see attached picture of the desk.

I am clueless in Houston

Dear “I am clueless in Houston�

Those old desk can be very sturdy and functional but they don’t have to be boring! Typically they have brass hardware that is pitted and dated. Hardware can be cleaned in one part vinegar to three parts water. Bring to a boil and drop in the hardware and within minutes the liquid will turn dark meaning the hardware now easily be wiped off to expose a beautiful shine.

If your taste lends itself to the more contemporary nature, you might think about giving your desk a fun coat of paint. With the flannel gray walls in the office, a watery turquoise like Benjamin Moore in a high gloss finish would transform that desk from boring to a “wake up call�! Paint the hardware turquoise as well as add a sleek chair and your desk will take on a new Mod life.

In case you don’t want to be use your desk in your office, Place a mirror on the wall or a tri-fold
One on top and use it as a vanity. Perhaps your need a rehap and if so, this little desk could be striking sink cabinet. Top with marble and drop in the sink and fixtures……paint the desk bright white. what a clean crisp look !

Keep in touch, let us know how it works. Happy Repurposing!
Have a Blue Sky day



I have been battling the dilemma of what to hang on the walls up my staircase that is NOT family photos!!!! Of course, it's a curved wall. I want something fun and fabulous...Any thoughts????

Curved & Confused

Dear Curved and Confused,

Staircases provide us with some exciting design opportunities as well as dilemmas. It is very easy for a staircase to look too busy when designing something for the back wall. There are typically numerous angles and architectural patterns which create interest but may be a distraction for anything else. Your railing has a lot of radius movement with your patterned carpet runner so wall art with a lot of detail would be too much! I agree with you no family photos but I am loving how you are incorporating some contemporary items with your more traditional pieces, like your brass Global Views sconce with your carved buffet.

Groupings of like items can create a collections that offers just the right touch of drama (drama in a good way) Items cannot be too wide so they may hang properly and not have an awkward balance on a curved surface. Why don't you try these fabulous ceramic flowers whose rich crème tone and modern flair.

I would try a collection of eight, one large (37"), three medium (27") and four small (19"). There is some depth to these especially the larger one so be careful to place the larger flower above a person's height. Randomly placing, these as if they are scattered on the wall (as if you found them in a field) is best so it does not look too planned. Place the largest mid-way and then one medium and two small floating to the right up the wall and two medium and two small to the left. Follow the lines of the railing but don't line them up like birds on a fence. Place some higher than others and some tighter together than others. I suggest you cut their sizes out of paper creating a template and tape them to the wall. This way you can move them around and experiment with their placement.

Purchasing items for this wall will not be an inexpensive venture. The space is large and needs something FAB! consider buying a few at a time if the budget is restrictive and add as you can afford. Be sure not to deviate too much if you decide to not make all things the same. It could go from fabulous to funky (and not in a good way).

Another option, you could use a series of small and medium sized mirrors in similar toned frames. I would keep the frames in a blond, washed or driftwood coloration. Follow the same placement inspiration as the "flowers" above but just use mirrors. Take a peak below for some BSEID suggestions ... mix with finds at from your local thrift stores and your good to go!

Please send us pictures of your finished product...we get all excited about your creations and would love to share! Happy Designing...we can't wait to hear from you....have a Blue Sky Day!


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