Big Things in the World of Design

Waldron Designs is so excited and honored to have been featured in Pacific Northwest Homes- a beautifiul coffee table book featuring the best deigners of Washington, Oregon, and Idaho! These books are available at The Country Store in Vashon (signed copies), for purchase on Amazon, or directly through Waldron Designs! 

We will be at the Vashon Home Fair on March 10th and will have several of the books available for purchase at the show, but more importantly, we will be there to talk about your future projects or direct you to preferred professionals in the industry. We look forward to seeing you there!

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Less is more... Quality is everything

I grew up calling myself a "girly tomboy". I was a fan of thrift shops, used items, and the better the deal, the better I'd done at shopping. I remember meeting my husband and being so proud of the $5 jeans I was wearing and the $20 red leather pants (you're jealous... admit it). But, he looked at all the piles of clothes I had with holes, loose threads and stains and said: "why don't you buy something nice and have it last?" I was appalled and dumbfounded simultaneously. My things weren't nice?!


Fast forward 20 years... I'm sitting in a meeting with a client and contractor. The client lives in a gorgeous 1920's bungalow and the contractor suggests we put {GASP} vinyl tiles in the bathroom. A few days earlier, another client suggested that they were okay keeping the vinyl flooring in the kitchen and mentions that they hadn't considered aesthetics. Then, it dawned on me. So many people hire me to help with the functionality of their home, to make their spaces work better for them, and it is not realized that the quality of materials absolutely affects the function of the space.

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Oh, Those Contractors...

You know how it goes... they all have that reputation. They walk out on a job, they curse, smoke, leave a mess, have poor communication skills, and seem to come and go as they please. It's like you need a degree in crude and unprofessionalism to be a contractor right?

There's more to it than that though...

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Home improvements for Resale

Home improvements for Resale

Those of you who read last month's newsletter may recall that I visited a home on the market and fell in love with it. Unfortunately, I was not in a place to move, so I had to watch someone else buy my dream home... ouch! This experience got Sean (our architect and my husband) talking about our improvements to our own home. The interesting thing is that he seems to be more motivated than ever to go big, where I'm more motivated than ever to keep the improvements minor and aesthetic.

The question is... do we stay or do we go? The length of time in your home should dictate how much time and money is put into it.

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Big Picture Design

We all have our projects in our homes, and maybe we have two or three or maybe the whole house is a project, but regardless of how many or how big these projects are, it is important to always keep the big picture in mind. Do not lose sight of the grand idea when working on smaller tasks. 

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Linoleum is not Vinyl and Other Misconceptions

Linoleum is not Vinyl and Other Misconceptions

There's one finish that I adore, but when I suggest it, I see winces and looks of doubt. Linoleum. Linoleum is so often confused with vinyl sheet flooring, that no wonder people panic! But, did you know that linoleum is a natural product made of clay with a natural jute backing? Did you know that it is a healthy product, good for the environment, durable, and withstands spills and splashes? Did you know that because the color goes all the way through, when this product is scuffed and scratched, it is hard to notice.

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Our Passion. Your Paradise.

Our tagline absolutely encompasses all of these things! OUR PASSION. So, I included the details of our passions on a newly updated "about" page on the site, and I thought I'd share a bit more with you about these passions and what makes me keep going even through the lows (and yes, there are plenty of lows in design).


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Why White, Gray, and Bright is a Must in the PNW

Why White, Gray, and Bright is a Must in the PNW

Waldron Designs has been simply exploding! We have so much going on, particularly at the start of a new month, that we've decided to shift our monthly newsletter to go out mid-month instead of the start of each month, so that you can be prepared for all the excitement in advance.


First Friday

We hosted a fabulous First Friday for July with a great turnout and amazing artists. This is a wonderful event to attend if you are looking for that perfect piece for your home. I have to admit, I've found a few myself for my home! It's not too late to pop in and see the art currently in our space by Ken C. Judd and Michael Denslow. Ken's amazing sculptures and wall art are edgy, funky, and even a bit creepy sometimes, in the most wonderful way! Michael offers a unique approach to pottery and painting that I envision working in many types of spaces, but boy would I love to see his raw take in a super modern space!

Next month, we are thrilled to have Brian Fisher and Ilse Reimnitz featured in the space along with The Parlour Snakes as our musical entertainment! You won't want to miss this!!


PUBLISHED Design Firm!

That's right. Waldron Designs is soon to be featured in a coffee table book. Early ordering will be available soon, so if you'd like a copy, let us know and we can get one ordered for you. We have a 10-page spread in the book, featuring many of the projects seen on our website. Additional projects will be added to a digital version of the book which will be able to be embedded on our site. We will probably have a little book release soiree at our studio, and you will most definitely receive an invitation!

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Street of Dreams

Would you ever want to live in a Street of Dreams home? Do you read design magazines? Ever notice that the homes in design magazines are not nearly as showy as the Street of Dreams homes? There is a reason for that. Street of Dreams homes are not designed for people, they are designed for product sales. I pride myself on designing homes for real people.

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Terms to Understand Before Hiring a Home Designer

One of the first questions we ask is, "how involved would you like to be in your project?" Sometimes a direction is all that is needed to run with. Sometimes, measurements and plans are needed, then sourcing is done independently. Then, there's the "turnkey" project, meaning that we handle the design work from start to finish...

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My Pledge to Resist Snobbery

As a designer, it is in my fate to be a snob. And, I am often a snob. I am a cabinet snob. I know good cabinets and will stand for nothing less. I've seen too many particle board cabinets with shelves dangling loose and gouged beyond repair. I am a snob for quality and for the best possible services I can provide. 

I'm also a realist and grew up with dreams of a "beer budget". I know that not everyone can afford the finest quality. In order to provide excellent services to those who may be on a tighter budget, I've implemented a few new services. Read on to find out more about these below!

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Waldron Designs News- February

So much has happened in the last month! So much that... well, I'm about a week behind getting this newsletter out.

I've had a deadline that I've been crunching on to get the final documents complete as the homeowner rips into the house and pulls it apart! The final presentation is today, so I'm feeling a huge weight off my shoulders, and am at the same time very excited to see this home come together. On top of that, my new space... well, it didn't work out. I discovered an open shared space is a fun idea, but not if your clients see and hear the other spaces first and these things are encroaching on your own space. So... moving right along, Waldron Designs found a space much more suiting to our needs in the Vashon Landing Building. It's a very different space, not quite the edge, but so much class, and we look forward to making our space our own:

Design Freedom

My new pink 'do

My new pink 'do

Yesterday, I went to get a hair cut and color. I love my stylist. She is not only an amazing friend, but incredibly talented and not afraid to get really edgy with my hair (how many times have you told your stylist "edgy" and walked out looking "soccer mom"?). You know what my favorite thing about her is though? I can tell her to do what she wants to do with my hair, and I trust her. She is an artist, and allowing her the freedom to do what she knows is right for my face, my personality, and my skin tone has always given me such confidence when leaving her space. I know that she will only ever choose what is best for me and what suits my style.  

Clearly, pink hair isn't for everyone, and she knows this. She also knows that this is absolutely and completely me, and I left feeling edgy and comfortable in my skin (or hair, rather).

After my hair appointment, I dashed off to get a tattoo (it was a pamper me day). I asked my tattoo artist what was the best next move in my 1/4 sleeve process and told him about the equal sign I wanted on my wrist. Now, with a tattoo... I'm not one to give complete freedom to do whatever he wants (just like you shouldn't be with your home. But, I ask him, "do you think the equal sign should be solid? What about placement? How about size?" His placement wasn't at all what I had envisioned and I was thrilled! And, just for fun... my new tats:

goonies tattoo
Equality Tattoo

What is my point? Well, if you go to a designer- any type of designer and dictate every detail, sure you're getting what you want, but you aren't getting a design. You are not utilizing the designer to the best of their skillset. I am happy to serve as a "second set of eyes" or a consultant. But, to this day, I've only had a few clients truly utilize my design skills. Guess what? One of them won an award! 

Moral of the story... trust me, as your designer <3

The Design Process

Sometimes the idea of working with an interior designer is intimidating. Those of you who read my article To-may-to, To-mah-to, may wonder how to know if the designer they are contacting is the right designer for them. The only way to truly know, is to ask! Most designers will have a network of designers and can make suggestions for someone who is more closely suited to the type of work you are looking to do if they are not the right fit.

Now, what happens? You have a designer... what next? Again, every business operates differently, but I am thrilled to share that I have recently updated my site to include a Design Process page! We develop a thorough timeline with deadlines, so you always know what to expect and when to expect it.

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To-may-to, To-mah-to

While many share the title, "Interior Designer", the profession varies extremely depending on who you talk to. Much like a podiatrist will help you with your feet, and an obstetrician will help you with.... not your feet, designers have many different areas of expertise. Be sure to do research and determine first, what you are looking for in a designer, then whether your local designer provides/specializes in the service you are seeking.

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Lighting is Serious Business

I took a lighting course in college and  I have to be honest, I realized that I could major in lighting alone to truly understand how to design with light. Color temperature and lumens are WAY more important that wattage. All the wattage will tell you is the amount of energy that particular bulb is using. So, throw out everything you ever thought you knew about lighting, and let's grace the surface together.

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Get the Spa Feeling at Home

Almost anyone who has ever visited a spa does not want the feeling to end. It's a place where we leave all our to-do's, our responsibilities, and burdens behind and focus entirely on the here and now.

We feel healthy, pampered, and able to leave the world behind for a time. Isn't this how our homes should be? We should arrive home and not let work even cross our minds. We are in our safe place, our oasis. This is our haven, our place of ultimate freedom and even more than a spa- personal expression!

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Remove Chaos from the Kitchen

Let's talk about the kitchen. It’s the heart of the home and the hub for all activity. The kitchen often becomes the office, the gathering space, the organization center, the art and crafting space, a sewing center, the list goes on. What it comes down to is that this space needs to perform multiple functions.

Over time, I see kitchens grow larger and larger, and I am starting to wonder at what point will it explode and the spaces either become individualized again or the kitchen will take over the entire living area. As of late, it appears as though we're heading more toward the individualized use of space with a very strong connection to adjacent spaces. 

Here is an example of one of the largest kitchens I've done.  

Here is an example of one of the largest kitchens I've done.  


The first step in removing chaos from the kitchen is what may feel like the endless chore of cleanliness. I find that when I feel overwhelmed, focusing on cleaning out the sink and wiping the counters alone does wonders for the room.

My husband does the grocery shopping and while he’s out, I clean out the refrigerator, and cabinets to make sure I have open space and am not desperately cramming new groceries on top of the old ones.


If you ever look at real estate listings, you may notice that the kitchens seem almost bare compared to all the gadgets we may have on our counters. Take a minute and look around the kitchen- how many items do you have on the counter that are not used every day? Why are they taking space?  Some of the most obnoxious counter-eaters are the toaster and microwave. I finally parted with the toaster and use my oven broiler instead. I haven't regretted it for a moment. If it's possible to build in the microwave or store it in a pantry or cabinet, the space will feel so much more open. Try to keep it near the refrigerator though. Consider that all food that goes into the microwave will likely come from the refrigerator. 


Zoning is a major part of my job, and I take this very seriously in kitchen planning. The idea is that an area is delegated for a type of activity. The categories I use for zoning are: consumables, non-consumables, preparation, cleaning, and cooking. In an ideal situation, no two zones overlap.

Each zone can be a bit confusing because it truly depends on how the occupant uses the space. For example- nonconsumablesincludes flatware, dishware, utensils, and the like. Preparation may include mixing bowls and baking utensils. Cooking will include pots, pans, and cooking utensils… so the question is- do we have three zones for utensils? And, the answer may very well be yes- but it ultimately depends on the layout of the kitchen, the size of the kitchen and the way that it is used.

Non-Consumables: Cutlery, Dishes, coffee dishes, glasses, dessert bowls, plastic containers, and less frequently used electrical appliances.

Consumables: This is where the refrigerator is and ideally the pantry is nearby… again, sometimes the home dictates a layout that simply does not comply with this ideal. Bread, beverages (coffee, tea, cocoa), cereal, canned goods, noodles, rice, packaged foods, sugar, flour, snacks.

Cleaning: This is usually centered around the sink and includes the waste storage, garbage bags, household cleaners, detergents, and shopping bags.

Preparation: Prep utensils, “gadgets”, cutting boards, mixing bowls, vinegar, oil, sauces, spices, mixing bowls, scales, mixers, storage containers, cookbooks

Cooking: Pots and pans, Cooking utensils, special oven pans, baking trays, baking tools, oven mitts, cookbooks can also go here.

It’s important to determine what activities dominate in your space and I like to create a hierarchy of these activities to ensure that those that absolutely need to work together do.

Most of the time spent in my kitchen is preparing dinner, assembling the kids’ meals for school, and cleaning. I love to bake with my kids in my spare time, but unfortunately spare time is limited. So, my hierarchy begins with cooking, preparation, and cleaning, and I ensure that everything supports these needs in my kitchen plan.

Not all of us have the luxury of planning a kitchen from scratch, or even remodeling, but that does not mean that we cannot consider the way our space was laid out and work with that layout rather than fight it.

These zones work great for basic kitchen purposes, but the real trick comes into play when secondary activities are happening in this space. Is your kitchen your office? Do the kids do homework here? Make these activities easy to do here, rather than expecting the family to drag items into the room and remove them when they’re done. Not only is it frustrating, it’s chaos!

Return to how you want to feel in your space, and consider this in the way color, décor, even scent is used. Because so many activities happen here, the kitchen should be a place of convenience. We want to be in the moment, but in this instance thinking about every task can cause a burden and overwhelm those trying to use it. This is a space that is utilitarian first- where form should follow function.

Join Me in the Fight Against Cancer

Join Team Waldron Designs and Friends in the Relay for Life!  

Join Team Waldron Designs and Friends in the Relay for Life!  

Next weekend, Team Waldron Designs and Friends will be waking in the American Cancer Society Relay for Life in Vashon Island. We have a small team consisting of some truly amazing people. One team member is a cancer patient, and another a cancer survivor. Show these awesome ladies your love and support by joining our team and walking with us. If you're unable to walk with us, please consider making a donation or sharing our team page on social media.