The Guggenheim Museum has digitized a ton of its out-of-print publications and is offering them free. This is a treasure of art literature as well as great book cover design. Congrats Guggenheim!   Resources Recomme
Guggenheim Offers Free Books!

5 tips for designing on a budget

You don’t need to spend a fortune to have your home look like the pages of a magazine. Overall, the design of your home should possess balance, harmony and proportion. Focus on simple inexpensive techniques to get the look for less.



1.     Paint is one of the least expensive and most striking way to change a space. The illusion of space is affected by the colors you use. Color, tone and shine all play a part when choosing your paint. If you don’t want to hire a professional to do the job just make sure you buy high quality paints and excellent brushes/rollers. Also make sure you know what condition of the wall before you start.

2.     Furniture and Rugs- Re-arrange your current furniture or swap rooms. Shop at estate sales or vintage shops. Mix and match styles within reason. DON’T try to match everything. It will look boring and contrived.  Area rugs are a great way to update a space without re-decorating the entire room. Rugs don’t have to “match” your space, but rather compliment it. Think of it as artwork for the floor.

3.     Lamps – Lighting can change the entire look of a room. Table lamps and floor lamps are the easiest and least expensive. They versatile and can be moved from room to room. Installed lighting is trickier and you should get the help of a professional to determine placement as well as an electrician for install

4.     Get organized – Advantages of getting organized are reduced stress and being able to find things quicker. Get rid of clutter by having a garage sale or donating to a local re-sale shop or church. Put keepsakes and “dust-collectors” that you can’t stand parting with in storage. Shred and toss old paperwork, bills etc. Go through kitchen cupboards and get rid of items you don’t use.

5.     Keep it simple – Simple is beautiful. Avoid clutter and don’t over-do-it. Use what you have first and add new items only as needed.

Inspiring and insightful definition of a DESIGNER,
“We are people who change the lives of others.

We affect behavior, we affect performance, and we affect productivity.

And just because that affect happens to intersect with aesthetics, it should not diminish the value to the human condition of an optimal environment.”


We’ve seen how in these past few months that we’re all connected in a real way, in a really big way and design is not just interiors. Every problem in the world is a design problem. The economy; it’s a design problem. Everything is design. Design is everything.

Vicki VanStavern, IIDA VanStavern Design Group Inc. 2011