Design That Matters: Your Design Style

Interior Design encompasses more than just choosing furnishings, colors, accessories, and lighting. This profession seeks to understand both the physiological and psychological effects of specific design elements relating to the client and his/her environment. Finding and choosing your specific design style is a process and should involve a professional.

Various styles have evolved in this profession and unfortunately people often feel they have the inside scoop through various television shows to understand completely interior design. This is definitely not the case however, going through the design process and assessments to realize your true design style can be adventurous and enlightening.

Design By Functional Conceptz for Interiors

Design By Functional Conceptz for Interiors

Design styles have developed over time and are a direct result of a melting pot of cultures, ethnicity’s, and environmental changes. Depending upon your worldly location depicts the benefits found within certain design styles. IKEA is an excellent depiction of achieving comfort, while living in extremely small living spaces. These small living spaces are found in various European and Asian countries and are not necessarily and “American” design issue. However, through the integration of design styles and collaborating cultures, we find everyone can benefit from an otherwise not ideal living space.

Titles of various types of design styles come from countries, cultures, nationalities, and geographic locations. As a designer I want to create “your design style” fitting for your needs and comfort. You may think your style is traditional, contemporary, rustic, or boho chic however, you may be none of those. The uniqueness of “you” must be infused with various design styles to create a personal style that makes a standalone statement.

Specific rules are non-existent to finding your design style however; you must always do what is best for you. Mixing and matching known styles or creating new ones proves invigorating only when they match your environmental needs and personal style. This will make the choices in furnishings, colors, and accessories easy to love long-term. Your home is your outward expression of your passion in life and who you are – always take pleasure in it!

Design By Functional Conceptz for Interiors


Tip of the Month

Various quizzes exist on the internet allowing you to pin point your current design style according to the industry.

Try which offers a unique approach to finding your design style or the design style quiz on

Although these quizzes are exciting, I highly recommend you hire a professionally trained designer to blend your personality and style into a flawless home environment just for you!

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Design That Matters: Bedroom Sanctuaries

Schedules are ever-changing, deadlines are looming, and careers of many tamper with the use of romantic environments we create. However, as the seasons and holidays change, we seem to increase how or why to create “for the moment” environments. February is a month of dreams, love, and romantic gestures offering certain euphoria when environmental enhancements are created to promote romantic and sensual feelings. Euphoria can be created permanently with interior design practices usable throughout the year to promote wellness, rest, romantic moods and sweet dreams, especially in the bedroom.

Design By: Functional Conceptz for Interiors

Design By: Functional Conceptz for Interiors

The bedroom should be your sanctuary where you rest, relax, and contemplate the day. This is the room you see last and the first thing you see when you awake. A romantic bedroom getaway should illuminate positivity by exuberating feelings to please all senses while enhancing intimacy. You should never wait for a special occasion to create ambience within your soul. Follow your senses to begin a long-term transformation beneficial to your future. The five senses, touch, sight, smell, sound, and taste, used correctly to transform a space will ensure the design process is covered thoroughly  to unveil a romantic and comforting sanctuary.

Spa and wellness setting with candles

The sense of touch

should be realized within the bedroom beginning with the bed, which is most often the focal point. Choosing luxurious fabrics, plush pillows, and a comfortable mattress is ideal. Incorporating an oversized headboard with a luxurious look and feel is exciting and can promote heavenly feelings. The ability to feel caressed by your environment will leave you feeling cozy, warm, and blissful. You must always consider the senses and do your best to please them. Design should always be appealing to your eyes to create an interchangeable atmosphere. The use of mood lighting, soft, filtered, low wattage bulbs in various hues can produce a genuine romantic feel. Candles are ideally suited for creating a sensual sexy mood, and can be tailored to fit your lighting needs.

Your senses are beginning to explode as you dive further into creating an atmosphere based on sensible pleasures. Creating bedroom romance through the sense of smell will make you come alive. Scented candles add ambience, and the use of scented oils, linen sprays, and sachets add to the air of romance. Stay away from harsh musk smells; instead try lavender, rose, and vanilla aromas. While indulging in the soft feel of your linens and breathing in sensual aromas in an aesthetically pleasing environment, continue to alter the mood through music, trickling water fountains, and crackling sounds of a fireplace.

The bedroom should be your showplace so get creative with furniture, remove clutter, explore new lighting, add layers of color, and accessorize seamlessly by using plenty of pillows, wall art, floor coverings and intimate photos to create your bedroom sanctuary year round. Experimentation is the key and the result should be an environment you take pleasure in….in more ways than one! 

Tip of the Month

Intimate photos can provide an excellent way to personalize your bedroom. Get creative with unique frames and different styles and perspectives. This task can be invigorating and allow you to communicate feelings through printed presentations. Another enjoyable task is to create a pillow paradise with a combination of pillow sizes, shapes, and textures. This will add additional personalization and promote quality time. Whatever the task, enjoy it and remember it by creating these lasting keepsakes.

Design That Matters: Colorful Properties




With the Holiday Season here, many shared positive memories will be created. This is the time for gift giving, family gatherings, and the décor needed to set the mood. The holiday season can ultimately transform and enrich the inner soul. You may ask yourself, “What holiday colors are widely used?,” most would say green, red, silver, gold, brown and white, depicted throughout Pine trees, the essence of candles, wreaths, ornaments and table settings.

Colors have long held deep meaning and have given significance to many historical events. Scientifically proven, rich vibrant colors have deep internal meanings. These very meanings are important in design and how individuals manifest themselves within their homes. While color can depict status and social class, it can also be associated with a religious reference, giving it a symbolic meaning. People from various walks of life value the meaning of color and continually maintain a serene environment through meditation and using color accordingly.

Toni Cuenca

Toni Cuenca

Red is a vibrant color used to induce strength, passion, love and will power.  Silver exudes victory, intuition, right brain activity, and neutrality. While green is associated with wealth, success, physical growth, and certainly reflects a plentiful harvest.  The color white is the most important color because it represents purity and cleansing properties.  Additionally, white promotes spiritual strength, protection, truth, and repels negativity. White is the balance of all colors and should be used frequently in your environment to create clean, elegant, dramatic statements.

During the holidays I encourage you begin to experience the powerful properties of the color white through the use of candles, linens, dishes and lighting.  This color will increase peace throughout your home and definitely create a new balance of serenity. White comes in various shades and not all are stark white. Take your time and choose the shade complimentary to your décor, whether antique white, ivory, cream or whites tinted with beige or yellow. White promotes spiritual and mental cleansing, while healing emotional chaos.

Holidays are an excellent time to experiment with candles, colors, and positive environmental enhancements. I entice you to perform your own experiments this season to see what type of moods you can create. First decide on what mood you are after and pick your candles and décor colors accordingly. Invite some friends and/or family over and become an unobtrusive observer in your own experiment. Color matters!


Holiday Tip

Recycling should not just be a thought regarding plastic, glass and saving on electricity. Any way possible to reduce your environmental footprint is ideal. This season when you pull out your decorations use the old ornaments and garland to create your own wreath. A prepared circular structure can be purchased at many craft stores and the cost is minimal. Wrap your garland around it to create a foundation, and then attach the old ornaments to create your wreath. This is a practical craft project for the entire family all year round and also can be used for gift giving.

Design That Matters: Tablescape Design

Tanya Capaldo Interior Design

Tanya Capaldo Interior Design

The joyous holiday season is quickly approaching and the desire for peace, harmony, and a stress free environment is heavily sought. Decorating ideas to enhance our homes, work environments and exteriors to create a haven on a frugal budget is essential, leaving additional monies for memorable meals and gifts. Creating this environment can be exciting, fulfilling and magical. Where do you begin? The place where conversations are vast, memories are made and advice is in abundance…even unwanted advice…the dining room table! Turn your table into a picture perfect arrangement filled with innovative ideas sure to be a conversation starter.

Blackband Design.jpg

Tablescapes are an arrangement of items gathered and placed on the table. Like a landscaped painting or photo, tablescapes showcase how beautifully your favorite dishes, cutlery, linens and anything you choose to create your design style can be laid out….yes even in a tablescape design. The goal is to create an environment depicting a theme, personal travel or an interesting arrangement and display it stunningly! The ideas are limitless, granted you let your imagination soar.    

Blackband Design

Blackband Design

Effortless ways to enhance your tablescapes:

  • Instead of traditional plate chargers, use ceramic, porcelain, marble or travertine tiles

  • Replace your normal botanical arrangement with seasonal botanicals including seasonal fruit

  • Change your candle colors to reflect current decor

  • Create a themed candle base with garland, ornaments or fall leaves depending upon the occasion

  • Use various fabrics whether a table topper, a runner, ribbons, placemats and/or napkins

  • Remember to only take up no more than 1/3 of your table unless it’s strictly for display

Interior Design comes in various forms and tablescapes are not just for the holiday season as they can be used throughout the year. The use of your mantle, coffee table, along with botanical elements, and bedside tables can all be used as your landscaped portrait. Create this portrait through various textures, staggering heights with the use of vases and bowls and unique lighting elements. A few simple changes can go along way! Get creative with everyday materials and make a tablescape design that will be the topic of conversation. 


Tip of the Month

Pull out everything that you have for dining party occasions. Lay everything out and take a long, hard look! Section everything into color categories or by holiday season, then look around your house and choose some of your favorite items from your travels or everyday décor items. Combine all these items and play with various set ups until you are satisfied! Please send me pictures of your designs. Don’t forget to tag me on IG @azlewisdesigns. Good luck!