October 16th, 2008

Home Staging!! Staging to Sell, Staging to Live! – An exclusive interview with Sandra Holmes of Home Staging Concepts

Sandra Holmes of Home Staging Concepts.

If you are just joining us, lately we have been contacting people in interior design and related industry and asking them some fun and exciting questions about their work.

Today I have the pleasure of introducing you to one of them, Sandra Holmes a master home staging professional in South Florida. Sandra is the driving force behind Home Staging Concepts and has been featured in an interview on the series MoneyTalks. She is passionate about interior redesign as a marketing tool. We asked Sandra a bit about her work, her favorite designs, and style. Here’s what she had to say:

TJ: How did you get started in interior design?

Sandra: I became an Accredited Staging Professional and then I also received my Master Accredited Staging Professional Designation.

Master Accredited Staging Professional

TJ: What has been your favorite design job so far?

Sandra: All of our work is amazing as it depends on the type of house/condo and the style. My favorite so far has to be one I did at the Diplomat Residences.

TJ: What project has given you the most satisfaction?

Sandra: My satisfaction with the staging business is when I get a phone call from the realtor or home seller that tells me they received an offer on their property and they know it is because it was staged.

TJ: What are your favorite design jobs?

Sandra: Where the house is already cleaned, painted with the right colors, and upgrades are in place.

TJ: How would you describe your style?

Sandra: Simple-yet stated. People say WOW when they walk in. We do everything from contemporary to traditional.

TJ: When you were a child did you want to become a designer?

Sandra: I have always decorated my room as a child and even the house I was raised in. I didn’t know then that this would be my passion.

TJ: What is, in your opinion, the biggest design mistake today?

Sandra: Sometimes, I feel it is too much stuff.

TJ: What is the best part of being an interior designer in south Florida?

Sandra: Meeting all of the fantastic people.

TJ: What do you think will be the next hot trend in (South Florida) interior design?

Sandra: Home Staging!! Staging to Sell, Staging to Live!

Don’t you love people who are passionate about their work? As a testament to the value Sandra delivers, here is what one of her clients had to say:

“Sandra, you do make miracles happen. We had two villas that were both on the market for one year. After we found out about you and hired you to stage our properties they both sold within 30 days. Great work!” – Dawn and John Bullis

When I saw that I just had to add it (I hope Sandra doesn’t mind).

Thank you Sandra for the interview!

Well, I hope you enjoyed today’s interview, dear readers.

Have a Superior Optimum day!


P.S. Here are a few pictures of Sandra’s work –

home staging

home staging photo

home staging dining room
(see more at http://homestagingconcepts.net/)

October 1st, 2008

Designs we admire – Shinzi Katoh (Cool Designs From Japan)

I lived for three years in Japan while studying at a university there. It was a very fun three years and I was able to see some very interesting, and by western standards unconventional, designs.

In particular, there is one Japanese designer that I (and the rest of the SOS team) have really come to admire: Shinzi Katoh.

SHinzi katoh cups

cups by Japanese designer shinzi katoh

Often it is difficult to buy Japanese items here in the US, but these are available online –> Shinzi-Katoh mugs

While we are on the topic,
I also happened upon a good book about Japanese design. It’s called Japanese Style by design enthusiast Sarah Lonsdale.

<-- click picture for more book info

September 12th, 2008

“I tell my clients I can make their home into a palace — their favorite place to be.” – an exclusive interview with interior designer Renee Finberg

Interior Designer in Boca Raton

As the second interviewee in our “Interviews with Interior Designers” series we are here with Renee Finberg of Renee Finberg Interiors of Boca Raton.

She is a top notch Interior Designer with, among other things, a love of European design and “a passion for chandeliers, functional draperies and antique clocks.”

We asked Renee some questions about her career in interior design and her opinions on interior design in general. Here’s what she had to say:

TJ: How did you get started in interior design?

Renee: I was raised in the industry. My mother was a Decorator in Miami Beach.
We always had a very special home that was beautiful to live in.
I am all about aesthetics; certain environments affect us deeply on many levels.
I know how living among beautiful things that relate to you as an individual can help you to feel special, calm, enriched or whatever atmosphere you are looking to achieve in your personal space.
Whatever mood a client is looking to achieve in a room can be created by a talented & sensitive Designer.
If attention to tiny details is paid to a home, it just might change the everyday life of the client.

‘The Design’ & Ambiance of a space is in the Details.

TJ: What are your favorite design jobs?

Renee: The second and third time that I am hired by the same client.
Because at that point we both know each other very well, and the mutual trust is the most fertile ground for exceptional Design.

TJ: What is, in your opinion, the biggest design mistake today?

Renee: Undressed windows, whether it is a contemporary or traditional home.

Bonus Question:

(This is from my correspondence with Renee after the initial interview. I thought it was such a great expression of the kind of designer she is that I included it. I hope she does not mind)

TJ: I love your answer to the first question. I’ve never thought about the affect of design on a client as an individual quite that way before; that, if I understand you right, it could really change their everyday life (through changing their mood) in a positive way.

I guess that makes the job that much more rewarding, since you are having a positive effect on lives.

Renee: Yes, TJ, it does affect the homeowner in a positive way. Just think about how clients are affected when they hate something that has been done by designer. I know you have heard & seen all the negative feelings and words.
Why wouldn’t they be affected positively when they love to be home because of something you have created for them based on your meetings with them and your insights into the individual? Right ?

I think that is the kind of genuine care that everyone should want in an interior designer.

By the way, since first contacting Renee for an interview she has started blogging too! You can visit her blog at: http://reneefinberg.blogspot.com/
Be sure to visit and leave her a comment. You are sure to learn even more interesting things about Renee like, for instance, that she is a skilled equestrian.

Well, I hope all of you have enjoyed today’s designer. And thank you, Renee, for the interview!

Have Superior Optimum day!


p.s. Here are a few beautiful pictures of her work.

A living room designed by Renee Finberg -featured in Palm Beach Illustrated

(A living room featured in Palm Beach Illustrated)

A Boca Raton bedroom designed by interior designer Renee Finberg

(A bedroom featured in Boca Raton Magazine)

A private elevator foyer

(A private elevator foyer)

August 12th, 2008

Southern Living to Blogging – our exclusive interview with interior designer Susan Jamieson (Part II)

If you missed Part I of our interview with talented Interior Designer Susan Jamieson of Bridget Beari Designs be sure to click here and check it out!

Today we are back with Susan for another round of interesting Q &A.

TJ: What has been your favorite design job so far?

Susan: My favorite design project was a project in the Virginia mountains. This was a second home for my clients. I was allowed to design the house from the furniture to the silverware in the drawers. The project will be featured in the October edition of Southern Living. The home will be used for the cover shot as well as 5 interior pages.

TJ: WOW. That’s pretty impressive! Do you read many design magazines & blogs? Which ones?

Susan: Sure – I read them all! I even read blogs. Traditional Home, Domino, Southern Accents etc. Modern and traditional – I can get ideas and inspiration from anywhere but the best source of inspiration is by traveling and seeing new things.

Tj: You’ve even done some blogging of your own, right? How did you get into blogging about interior design?

Susan: I started blogging to write down all my thoughts on my work and the work of others. Clients and others really responded to it. They like to see all the work I have done. They are also interested in the process so we are adding video of projects. All the writing has inspired me to write and book. I am only about half way through but I enjoy putting my thoughts down on paper. It is very therapeutic. The design life can be very hectic. Keeping all the subcontractors on schedule is a bear!

Well that was fun! Thanks again Susan. We are looking forward to the video blogging and to your book!

And thank you all for reading.
Have a superior optimum day,

August 8th, 2008

Long Time No Post

It’s been a little while since I last posted. I should have mentioned beforehand that I’d be away.

Of course George has been here working hard (no rest for the weary).

I was up visiting my relatives in West Virginia. This song pretty much sums up my little vacation.

I still have the second half of Susan Jamieson’s Interview to post. Its really good. So stay tuned!

July 18th, 2008

Where drapes come from…


There comes a point in every child’s life where they start asking tough questions like: ‘Why is the sky blue?’ and ‘Mommy, where do babies come from?’

Well, just like babies, drapes come from somewhere too.

So today, for all of you inquisitive little tykes, I’ll answer once and for all the question “Where do drapes come from?”

one of SOS boca\'s drapery and fabric tables

An ode to the drapery table:

crafted in canvas and wood

on you fine drapes are made

we hope that they will be good

so we all get paid 😛


drapery table with extension

(We’ve added neat extensions to our tables to ease the work on extra long drapes)

SOS boca owner, George, working with a striped fabric for a drapery

“Dr. Rios” delivering a bouncing baby drape.

Well, I had fun with this post 🙂

Have a Superior Optimum day!


July 9th, 2008

How she got started – an exclusive interview with interior designer Susan Jamieson

Interior designer Susan Jamieson ASID

Like I mentioned before, we are contacting interior designers and asking them fun and exciting questions about their work.

And Susan Jamieson of Bridget Beari Designs has done us the honor of being our first interviewee! Susan is a top notch designer who has been featured in a number of publications and keeps her own weekly blog about interior design.

We asked Susan about her work, her favorite designs, and her blogging (just to name a few); and she gave us some GREAT answers. I’ll be posting the interview in highlighted parts (because it’s just too good to post all at once), beginning at the beginning…

TJ: When you were a child did you want to become a designer?

Susan: As a child, I use to cut out pages of magazines and catalogs and create notebooks of different rooms. I would rearrange my room at least once a month. It is funny how your interests start so early in life.

TJ: So how did you get started in interior design?

Susan: I went to college with dreams of being a stock broker but the economic classes were uninspiring. My parents moved into an historic home and began the renovation process by hiring an architect and an interior designer. My mother would have me come to the meetings. The designer and I hit it off and she allowed me to accompany her to the D.C. Design Center. My interest grew and I knew this was the career for me.

TJ: What is the best part of being an interior designer?

Susan: the best part about being a interior designer is the ability to make the home come alive through fabrics, colors and furniture. The creative process is what turns me on!

Thanks Susan!

That’s all for this post. We’ll be hearing more from her about her video blogging and her upcoming feature in Southern Living in the next post, so stay tuned.

Until then, here are some beautiful pictures of her work.

Have Superior Optimum day!


UPDATE: To read the rest of the interview (Part II) click here

bedroom by interior designer Susan Jamieson of Bridget Beari Designs

another bedroom by interior designer Susan Jamieson

Drapery by interior designer Susan Jamieson of Bridget Beari Designs

living room  by interior designer Susan Jamieson

living space by interior designer Susan Jamieson

Another living room  by interior designer Susan Jamieson of Bridget Beari Designs

July 7th, 2008

Now Interviewing…

Interview mic

We are excited to bring you a new on-going series on the SOS blog.

Interviews With Designers!!

We are contacting interior designers and asking them fun and exciting questions about their work!

Some of the designers are local to South Florida (including Boca Raton), others are not. All have a flare and passion for interior design.

With all the unique concepts and interesting points of view it will bring, we hope that everyone will enjoy this new part of our blog.

Our first interview is just a few days away so stay tuned!
Until then…
Have a Superior Optimum day!

Update: We have several interviews posted now! Yay! Click here to read them.

Also, if you are in the industry and would like to be interviewed…

feel free to email me at tj [at] sos-boca [dot] com !

July 3rd, 2008

Interior Design on Youtube

I’ve been doing some research/goofing-off today 🙂

Not the whole day of course (we’re way too busy for that), just a few youtube videos.

If you have never tried it, look on youtube for “interior design” or whatever creative search term comes to mind.

Youtube has a plethora of interior design videos

So, for instance if you’ve ever wondered what it’s like to be an interior design student in Australia… they have a video for that too 🙂


Have a Superior Optimum day!

June 27th, 2008

The new SOS mascot

George\'s puppy
Isn’t it adorable!

George bought a little puppy. It’s not at the workroom of course, but we got to see the pictures today. Cute little thing.

All it needs is a cape and it can be our “SOS-to-the-rescue!” dog 🙂