Designing the Perfect Guest Retreat

Your guest bedroom should be as inviting and comfortable as the other bedrooms in your home! There are so many details that you can add to ensure that your guests have a wonderful stay, such as plush furniture, boutique bedding and luxurious small touches.

Everything from wallpaper, draperies, and other soft details will make the room feel cozy and warm. 


It's in the small things when it comes to creating an environment your guests are sure to remember. These include placing a table lamp next to the bed with a glass for water. Fresh flowers are always a nice touch. Give your guest some fun reads about things that are local (local books and magazines are always a hit).  Always provide your guest with extra blankets. Many people sleep cooler than others and oftentimes guests will not want to as you for another blanket. Give them the option to cozy if if needed.


Having a side chair or a place to put their luggage is key. Guests shouldn't have to live out of their suitcase while on the floor. Make it easy for them to access their belongings. Providing your guests with a mirror is an added bonus. Since sometimes you may have a full house, it is key to have a place for them to get ready without having to go to the bathroom area.

I like to place a bottle of local wine and some snacks in my guest bedroom when I have visitors. It gives a nice touch and provides your guests with something to nosh on in the later hours. 



Workout Room Meets Craft Room

One of the biggest transformations in the home was the creation of two separate rooms that was once a large laundry and storage room.  My clients wanted a separate workout room and a craft room large enough for additional storage and my clients stain glass supplies. The custom cabinets are by Organized Spaces and both new rooms are used daily and add a lot of valve to the home.  The wall color is Greystone and the ceiling is Champagne on Ice.


Fresh Color Palettes for Spring!

Fresh Color Palettes for Spring

There are no more vibrant, saturated colors than the ones created in nature. With the amazing paint technology today, you can replicate the color of an old growth oak tree’s moss in your backyard. You can bring in the vibrance of those daffodils you planted in the spring. You can well, pretty much paint your home in any of the  colors you see everyday. This brought us to thinking, what are our favorite natural color palettes?

Fresh Color Palettes- Bringing the Outdoors In

1.Spring is in the Air. This gorgeous, feminine palette is so calming and rich. It would work beautifully in a sunroom overlooking a garden, a little girl’s bedroom, or even a dining or living room. When you put soft color palettes into your space, you create harmony that reduces stress from the every day. And, this color palette is Pantone’s pick for 2016! Authentic Home’s Playful Palette has the perfect selection to achieve this look!

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2. Organic Bliss.  Keeping a clean, bright and nature-inspired palette will truly give your space a freshness like no other palette. This beautiful neutral palette works beautifully in large, airy spaces as it allows the architecture to stand out. Typically seen in the Northwest, a paint palette like this works best in cloudier climates as its warmth balances out the wet dreary weather. You may find Authentic Home’s Fresh Palette perfect if you’re going for this look!


3. Southbeach Charm. This bold, bright, and cheery palette is perfect for smaller spaces, preferably in brighter, warmer climates. These cheerful citrus tones stand out in sunlight while blending in with organic colors found in outdoor surroundings. We love this palette for a powder room or a dining nook-reminiscent of sunny spring mornings.


4.  Zen Garden. The perfect combination of cool tones meet warm. Soft and airy, this palette brings forth a sense of calmness into your space. The gorgeous lavender and green tones would work beautifully as an accent color- an arm chair or throw pillows would really “pop” against the remaining colors in the palette.  The more neutral colors are perfect for wall paint and larger accessories such as furniture. See Authentic Home’s Elegant Palette if this is the look you desire.


5. Bright and Cheery. So rich and delightful, this palette is perfect for someone looking to bring a little cheer into their home. These tertiary colors are close friends on the color wheel and can be applied to any space, working beautifully in harmony. If you are seeking a bright, saturated palette like this one, we recommend allowing the brightest colors to “pop” as accessories, and setting the more neutral colors to stand as a backdrop. If you like bright and cheery, you will love Authentic Home’s Playful Palette.


Love color, but can’t decide? Contact Kathy Banak for a consultation!


Easy Ways to Knock Years off Your Kitchen

A kitchen remodel can be a lot of fun. It can be satisfying to witness such an evident transformation, and you’re sure to get plenty of use and pleasure out of it.

The following suggestions will help you make the most out of the project.


The number-one rule for a successful and stress-free kitchen remodel is to include a cushion in your budget. You never know what you’ll encounter during demolition or what will surface as either a challenge or an unforeseen opportunity during the process.

“Homes constructed in the 1970s and earlier can contain lead or asbestos. Testing and removal can cost thousands. A home built 50 or more years ago could require electrical upgrades in the kitchen to support new appliances and lighting,” 


You’ll certainly want to order custom kitchen cabinets from a reputable company that knows what it’s doing, but you don’t necessarily require a professional to install them. An easy way to really make your kitchen “pop” is to add a splash of color to your lower cabinets or island.


You might not need to replace your kitchen cabinets as part of the remodel. Simply repainting them and swapping out old cabinet hardware for trendy, modern options can give your kitchen an immediate facelift. This is a great option if you’re on a tight budget.


If you want to make a design statement, a fresh back splash can do wonders. The problem is that installation can be time-intensive and expensive … especially if you pay someone else to do it.

Fortunately, there is a better way. They might sound strange, but peel-and-stick back splashes are an excellent way to spruce up your kitchen during a remodel. Not only are they easy to install, but they’re inexpensive.

Blues without the Blues

Well, it’s that time of year already again! The sun is about to go into hibernation (at least in the Pacific Northwest, that is)! But, there are ways you can make your interior still feel luxurious even in the darker months with an unassuming color- blue. Here are ways in which you can implement blues into your interiors without feeling blue.

Interior designers love working with colors that are trendy in order to create unique and stylish spaces that are beautiful. One of the most popular colors that designers are using right now is blue, so incorporating various shades of this hue into your home will bring a current vibe into it and psychologically impact qualities that are associated with blue. If you want to create a soothing environment that will stimulate your mind and improve your ability to think clearly, blue has been scientifically proven to put your mind at ease.

Mix and Match Blue Hues

Blue can be wither an intense color, or somewhat neutral when used throughout various spaces, so it is important to consider the size of your space before choosing blue as the main color. Mixing varying shades of blue is a gorgeous way to not only break up the monotony of a using one hue of blue, but also creates a more calming space. You can also use several patterns in your blue furniture, accents, and wallpaper so that you can provide enough contrast within a room while still keeping the blue color the focal point.

Use Dark Blue with Caution

Darker shades of blue are certainly rich and sophisticated, but they need to be used correctly. Too much dark blue in a room can make it feel colder and smaller than it actually is. Gold, yellow, and other bright hues pair perfectly with darker blues, so add these too offset the cool tone with furniture, accessories, window treatments, lighting. This is how you can truly bring out a darker blue hue in a classic way.

Also, if you are going to have darker blue walls, you may want to contrast them with light furniture or accessories. In the same way, if you have a lot of blue furniture in a room, try to add accessories that are paler or cream colored to break the darkness up while still maintaining the calming vibe.

If you would like to go in a different direction, you can also use dark brown wood to ground blue colors throughout a space. Just think of the color wheel- the opposite of blue is orange (it’s complement).

4 Beautiful Foyers

Your foyer is the first room in your home that makes an impression to guests that visit. It's the best way to express your style, sophistication, and welcome your guests into your space. Many people forget to put thought into their foyer design, but studies have shown that a good first impression sets the tone for your guests right off the bat. On that note, here are some gorgeous foyer designs to get inspired by!

All White Interiors: Clean & Timeless


Well, it's been a long winter-- but we are on the cusp of Spring, I just feel it! It's that time of year when you want to freshen up your space- making it brighter, airier, and uncluttered. Which is why I thought it would be fun to share some gorgeous white interiors to inspire you!


This beautiful neutral color palette features white in a classic, timeless manner. In the 90's, we were so afraid of white walls, but rest assured-- you can have a gorgeous space with a mostly white color palette that is as sophisticated as it gets!

Implementing metallics and fresh plants is an easy way to pull together a white color palette. There is something so fresh and inviting when designing with this scheme. Another beautiful perk of a neutral color palette, is that is emphasizes the beautiful details of your home's architecture.



All white color palettes work in both traditional design as well as modern, contemporary design. There is something so clean about a white palette- a look that has never and will never go out of style!

If you have a smaller space, a white color palette will make your space look larger. White reflects light, which gives your space an open, bright, airy feel. 


Ultra Violet: 2018 Pantone Color of the Year

Rich and pensive, Ultra Violet is reminiscent of existential energy, the mystery of what the future holds, and the new discoveries of the past and present. It reminds us of the night sky, dark but endless, full of mystery.


Why Pantone Chose this Color

With everything happening in our world at the present moment, Pantone color researchers thought it necessary to remind ourselves of our sheer presence on earth and the vast endlessness of our atmosphere. Ultra Violet is cosmic, rich, and timeless.

Our Favorite Ultra Voilet Uses in Interior Design


1. Using rich purples make a bold statement as an accent. This gorgeous bedding truly brings forth a timeless, rich look to this elegant bedroom. Rich purples tend to pop when placed in an otherwise neutral color scheme. 


2. Even the tiniest purple accents in a space can make a very bold statement. This otherwise very white bathroom stands out with just the pop of color of its hand towel. 

3. Ultra Voilet in Commercial Design. There's no doubt the guests who visit this elegant restaurant will never forget the gorgeous, sophisticated upholstery on the dining chairs. What a statement!

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Ultra Violet in Fashion


Reminiscent of the Victorian Era followed by the 1920's rich purples always manage to make a fashion comeback. We are seeing this beautiful hue in every aspect of the runway, from hair color to couture. The beauty of this otherwise considered feminine color is that it truly works for both genders and truly makes a haute statement!

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ELLE Decor: What's Trending for Fall 2017

What we're seeing a lot of for fall design trends consists of organic decor, eclectic old timey products, and vibrant color schemes. 2016's gray palettes are starting to fade away (no pun intended) as more saturated colors are being seen on the forefront.  According to ELLE Decor, warmer color palettes are becoming very popular.

Beautiful bright green and blue color schemes are making their comeback, and we're seeing boldly painted furnishings, wall colors and decor that really make a statement coming to fruition on the design front. One timeless way into which you can implement a timeless look is through collecting old novels and stacking them under your favorite decor pieces to create height and weight.

A fun way to jump into fall trends is by implementing old fashioned pieces into your space. We love scouring antique stores and rummage sales to find the perfect piece for a focal point. This old wall sconce is a gorgeous piece that would look beautiful in any room in the home. 

Warmer colored metallic pieces are all the rage in the design world this year. Bronzes, brass and golds are being seen in both designer commercial and residential spaces. You can implement this look through the use of throw pillows, accessories, and lighting. 

Bookshelves that Tell A Story

We've all seen basic bookcases adorning the common interior, but lately we have been seeing gorgeous implementations of this storage in ways never seen before. From integrations under staircases, to glass shelving, here are some of our absolute favorite bookshelves worth being inspired by!

Why Handmade Designs Are the Bee's Knees

There's nothing quite like having company over and receiving compliments on a unique decor item you have in your home. Owning a piece of handmade craftsmanship is like owning someone's true passion and skill. Being the only one in the world with their unique design has its specialness, too. 

It's all the rage at Highpoint this year to own live edge tables and other furnishings reminiscent of their prior organic state, and we can see why. These beautiful unique pieces are not only a conversation piece, they are elegant, timeless, and well, natural.  Finding a local artisan who can design these beautiful products isn't always easy; you can however, find unique pieces that aren't custom made for your space all over online. Gotta thank technology!

There are unique pieces like the ones pictured above that are both elegant and timeless and won't break the bank . You can find crafts like these at your local art fairs and farmers markets. Etsy is a great place to find unique artisan pieces as well.

Living in the Pacific Northwest allows us to find pieces of artisan work reminiscent of our natural surroundings. Driftwood frames like the one pictured above are a beautiful beachy way to bring the outdoors in.

Having a unique piece of handmade craftsmanship is not only a special way to add a focal point to your space, it helps support your local craftsmen as well!

Simple, Elegant Flower Arrangements

There is something about having fresh flowers within our space that makes us feel happy. Psychological studies have shown that having bright foliage within your space reduces stress and brings forth a sense of peace in our minds. Here are some simple flower arrangements that you can create for your space!

Color Trends of 2017- What's Haute

Vibrant blues and warm colors are what's trending in the design world, according to ELLE Decor and we can see why. The more saturated a paint color is with white trim or details, the more it seems to pop and the more intense of a focal point it creates.

As you can see in the above interior, a vibrant complementary color scheme really makes a statement that is both elegant, sophisticated and timeless.  We're seeing brass and gold as accessories make their return to the design front, and they pair beautifully with the color schemes that are trending.

Warmer color palettes consisting of reds, browns and oranges are making their comeback as well. While the common gray interior is still very popular, we are seeing the design world take a turn into warmer schematics and colors.


Vibrant blues and greens reminiscent of color palettes in the 1930s are debuting on the design front. Peacock color schemes are trending and make a gorgeous statement in all types of interiors. 

We've Got the Blues! Our Favorite Blue Interiors

Is it accurate to say that you are searching for another design for your home, and you truly adore the blue color? Fortunately we live in a world with endless options, but here are our favorites! You can integrate Blues into any interior, but the use of blue paint is another story!

If your desire is to have your living room to feel welcoming and full of life, then a highly saturated, vibrant blue would be a great choice for you. It will bring a sense of calmness to your space, while being intense enough to be a conversation piece.

If blue is your absolute favorite, you should go all out.  This type of blue cabinetry gives off a happy, light-hearted vibe. We are seeing a lot of split colored cabinetry in design now- a key piece of advice: keep the darker color on the bottom. This will make your kitchen feel larger!

Here’s another cutting edge kitchen- this one featuring all blue cabinetry.  The use of a warm wood like shown, balances the coolness of the blue, giving this kitchen a welcoming, warm vibe.

This charming restroom is by all accounts intended for a person of sophistication. The clawfoot tub, with its blue color and white legs recreates something reminiscent of the past with a hint of bohemian charm.

Navy blue is as classic as it gets. This rich, sophisticated color will bring a sense of intrigue while evoking a sense of peace and richness. The use of a high gloss paint creates a reflective surface that also makes the room appear larger.

If you are looking to add a blue hue to your space, always consider your environment. Rooms in climates that don’t receive a lot of sunlight can look depressed and unwelcoming if there is too much blue. Stick with blue colors that aren’t too warm, however; these can be over-stimulating and create a sense of anxiety.

It's in the Little Things: Tiny Houses!

The tiny house movement has taken the world by storm in the past couple of years, and there’s a reason for it. The architects and builders of the modern day tiny house have figured out ways in which to implement all of the bells and whistles of today’s designs while maintaining the charm and efficiency of living small. We have done our research, and here are our favorite tiny houses– both old and new.

It’s in the Little Things: Our Favorite Tiny Houses

1. This gorgeous Southern style tiny house was designed and built by Palm Harbor Homes. Since the beginning of the recent tiny house movement, builders have taken the simple streamlined “boxes,” and turned them into elegant, charming floor plans with upscale and quality features.

2. Who says you can’t have a gorgeous tudor home in a beautiful garden setting? This home has all of the bells and whistles, while maintaining the classic look and feel of a tudor style home. This would make the perfect back yard stay-cation or mother-in-law casita.

3. You are never too old to have a tree house. This beautiful home features an open floor plan, bright and airy color scheme and a beautiful park like setting. The lower patio area is perfect for barbecues, reading a book, and enjoying the fresh air of the outdoors. The interior features a small kitchenette, a living room and a lofted bedroom.

4. Contemporary chic describes this one. This house has the perfect combination of functionality and fun. The main living areas and master bedroom breath in plenty of light with this open space concept. Each and every room and closet is efficient enough to allow for an open, airy, spacious feel.

Floral Wallpaper

Wallpaper has gotten a bad wrap in the past with especially floral wallpaper in kitchens & bathrooms growing up but these days you can find some really great floral patterns.

A great spaces to use wallpaper in are smaller rooms: bedrooms, entryways and powder rooms.

Wallpaper on one wall of a bedroom is a great statement without feeling to overwhelming.


Floral wallpaper can tie together the colors of the room much like a rug does on the floor.

In these hallway spaces, the blue floral walls create interest in a space that might be just a walkthrough and typically overlooked.

There a literally thousands of floral wallpaper designs you can choose from which is great but can also be overwhelming.  If you’re in the market for wallpapering and need help deciding, email Kathy for help and set up a consultation today!

Trend: Open Glass Shower


Showers in the past used to be comprised of just a shower head inside of an existing bath tub enclosure and that was it. Today, showers have come a long way, and they are separated from the bathtub to give more space, versatility and visual aesthetics for your bathroom.


Open showers are becoming more popular in bathrooms that need to be accessible for all and they open up a small space to appear larger.
The no barrier appeal of open showers opens up your bathroom and can give visual views of expansive vistas and views outside of a window beyond. This modern touch gives the feel of a luxury spa or high end hotel that home owners enjoy.

Are you ready for a an updated bathroom? Call Kathy at Authentic Home to set up  your appointment today!

2016 Design Trends!


As our lives become fast paced with hectic schedules, at the end of the day, we would like to relax at home in a serene and calming atmosphere akin to a sanctuary. In the year 2016, interior design experts have concluded that interior design trends are likely to be characterized by warm room colors, stylish house fixtures and furniture and use of texture here and there.

Some of the 2016 current trends in Interior Design include the following:

 Heated house entry floors
Bathrooms are the first thing that comes to mind when heated floors is the subject. By applying this technology onto the floor of entryways, it becomes even more suitable especially during the winter where an inviting warm indoors will provide a solace away from the freezing outdoors.


Marble touches
Marble has become one of the most popular materials that are used in interior design. Marble is increasingly being used to add some luxurious feel on household’s objects like candleholders, planters, coasters and clocks.


Stylish bathroom mirrors
Bathroom mirrors need not to be in that traditional and ever boring rectangular shape. Different shapes and styles have been adopted to transform these pieces into design statements that can add some oomph to an often overlooked space like the bathroom.


 Kitchens mixed materials
Our beloved kitchens are also moving away from the often traditional polished look to a more eclectic vibe. Instead of using one or two materials, homeowners are incorporating different design styles to create more personalized spaces in the kitchen.


Warm metals
Brass, copper and gold have continued to dominate inside kitchens and bathrooms. Such metals when paired with natural and raw materials like wood and marble create a good combination when they are used in interior spaces.


Black stainless steel
Instead of the commonplace shiny silver electrical house appliances, the trend of the moment is the use of black stainless steel to make these gadgets.


Rough touches
The adding of some rough texture on an otherwise conservative object has the potential to bring out an unexpected intrigue and touch to the senses. The use of wallpapers that bring out a rustic and aging look has also been popular this year.


Floral prints
Interior designers have predicted an even growing popularity with floral fabrics used on furniture like sofas and on curtains.
With the aforementioned designing styles and many others that have been used with a lot of great results, it remains to be seen what more will be in the offing as far as interior designing is concerned.

Eclectic Decor- Get the Look!


We’re seeing it everywhere- eclectic design is the bee’s knees in 2016! A mix-match of randomness that somehow seems to all pull together. Ever wondered how designers can take a variety of seemingly unrelated items and make them work together in a beautiful yet cohesive way? Well, here’s how!

Eclectic Decor- Get the Look!


1. Stick with a color palette. It’s true! If you have a variety of decor that is completely unrelated, you can get a designer look by keeping them within the same general color palette. Color is one of the easiest ways to pull an otherwise mismatched space together.


2. Group like items together.  It’s a “psychological thing.” Our minds desire to see like things placed together. When several similar items are placed in a grouping like the sconces, books and pillows in this room, our minds categorize them, making it appear less busy. If you have a lot of something, display it together! This will surprisingly make your space feel less cluttered, and well, eclectic.


3. Be Selective. When purchasing decor for your space, choose items that are unique- this will truly give you that eclectic look.


4. Let the architecture do the work. Whether you live in a rustic old or streamlined modern building, the key is to let the beauty of the architecture stand out. Bring in key pieces that mean something to you. Keep a neutral palette. Mix old and new, and let the sunlight in! This will naturally highlight the beauty of your space.



Looking for a design consultation? Contact Kathy Banak today!