Thursday, January 31, 2013

Bedrooms Galore

What is your style of bedroom? If you had all the money in the world how would you design your dream bedroom? After all your bedroom is your getaway, your serenity. It needs to be a place where you can feel safe and peaceful. 








Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Happy Birthday to ME!

Today I am 23! It seems like every year goes by quicker and quicker and I am not even old. Let me tell you a twenty things about myself so you can get to know me better.
1. I can spend hours in Target when I am just running in on a quick errand
2. I have been married to my husband Mike, for a year and a half
3. I have a puppy named Luna, no kids yet. I would say another 5 years until we do, in the meantime I have 2 nephews, 7 nieces and a new one coming in August!
4. I am scared of spiders! Not so much because of the spider itself but because I dread the sound I hear in my head when I squish them...yuck!
5. I love the Victoria's Secret Pink Collection but get upset when someone asks, "Why does your shirt say pink when it is blue" hahaha very funny.....not
6. I am obsessed with perfume, if only every bottle was not near $100!!!
7. My favorite foods are sushi, seafood and hot wings
8. My favorite magazine are People, Elle Decor, Architectural Digest, Teen Vogue and Better Homes and Gardens
9. I would die if I didn't have Dr. Pepper
10. No matter how hot it is at night I always have to have a blanket on me.
11. I am LDS and proud of it!
12. I love wearing colored pants!
13. The last book I read was the Hunger Games, I don't really get the whole Peeta thing....
14. I want to pick up photography and become a more well-rounded designer
15. I played lacrosse when I was in high school. I played offense because I'm a fast runner and goalie because I'm tough.
16. I have 2 sisters and 3 brothers
17. When I am in the shower sometimes I have to peek out of the curtain to make sure no one is there...too many movies like "Psycho"
18. I am terrified of being in water (lake/ocean) by myself for fear of a shark coming to get me
19. I talk a lot in my sleep and occasionally throw pillows as well
20. I can make delicious meals with Ramen Noodles. You would have never even thought I used Ramen to make it ;)

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

More of My Kitchen Designs

Contemporary yet Traditional

Simply White and Unique

Traditional and Fun

Bold and Distinguished

All Natural and Clean

Bright and Joyous


I love the color mint! I have mint pants, mint shirts, mint decor, etc. Mint is just such a lovely soft color that can really work all year long. What are some of your favorite mint colored trends?

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Jasmine Blue and Leaf Green Living Room

What a vivid living space! These colors of course I think of when I see a peacock. Peacocks are gorgeous birds and their colors are quite inspiring. What animal would you look to with inspiration with designing. That may seem like a silly question but think about all the design their is. When I am in Restoration Hardware I think that their inspiration comes from the cow haha. They aren't flaunting pictures of cows throughout their store but they do have a lot of leather and cow hide incorporated with their products. I feel like Restoration Hardware has this SteamPunk Western feel and I genuinely think of cows. You could see a blue and yellow room and think of Dory from Finding Nemo. You could think of a fox and have a orange red and cream themed room and it is has very natural elements to it. Tell me what you would do and what "animal" made you go that way.

My Personal Goals to Success

My name is Vanessa Starkweather and I have always loved designing. Growing up I would always design my bedrooms and help with parts of the home. I got the gift from my mother who went into fashion design when she was my age. I have always been passionate about design even though with growing up I would say I want to be a nurse, I want to be a DEA agent, I want to be a OB/GYN and so on. Finally I realized I will never be happy with any of that unless I could do what I love. Luckily, I figured this out at a young age so I can start fresh and gain many years of experience on my journey. Currently I am the in-house designer for Rivell Distributing. This is a great way to get to my finalized goal because I look at a lot of commercial blue prints and assist in the design process with errors that I come across while looking to place appliances in the kitchen and bath areas. 

My 3-6 month goal is to finish this semester, walk in May and then take my last 2 required classes necessary to receive my diploma. I want to work really hard this semester with my 21 credit hour load and get all A's. That never seems to happen when a teacher is pregnant, I guess the hormones come in and they forget everything. This semester I want to go out with a bang and feel really great with my accomplishments. I am excited about the classes I am taking and know that it will be great. Another thing I want to achieve within this time is working with the acclaimed Brett Bluth from New York City. He currently relocated to Park City and he said he would like me to "intern" with him come the first of February. He has a vast knowledge of hospitality, retail and event planning design. I am very excited to work with him and gain the knowledge that he has to offer. We will be working on a spring trade show is all that I know currently. 

In about a year I plan to still work at Rivell Distributing because I feel like it is really going to take off for me. The salary will be great because it is part sales and I feel like this will look great on my resume for being the age I am. I will work with commercial and residential builders. I will assist the with the design of the kitchen and bath areas of their project. I will sell them high end appliances or even the less expensive according to their needs. This will definitely develop my skills with sales, visually seeing and examining blue prints and practicing design for projects other then residential. I want to stay connected with Brett Bluth and work with him from time to time. I feel like doing this will make it so I can be introduced to all the right people. After I graduate SLCC I would like to pick up a few extra classes that I feel will make me more well rounded and assist me throughout my career such as photography, design psychology, revit, green design, advanced kitchen and bath, and a few architectural classes. I don't know if I will have time for all of these in the fall and spring semester after I graduate, but I would sure like to try. 

In three years I am hoping my husband and I will have moved to either New York, Houston or Chicago. We both want to live in the big city but it depends on how my husband's business is doing here in Utah or how well it expanded into other states. Anyways I would be fine moving to any large city with a need for a creative mind. There I would want to start working with a hospitality design firm. By the time I get to this point I would have worked at Rivell for 4 years, bringing in a great salary and having connected to Brett Bluth who has done many marvelous works. With this on my resume I don't think the firm would start me as entry level but want my assistance as part of a design team. This would be great and on my next step to achieving my goal. While I was here I would look up to the lead designer on all of the projects and try to learn as much from them as I could. I would ask them questions and make sure I know what I am talking about so that they would see how hard I will work to get what to where I want to be. 

After gaining knowledge within the design team I would want to become the lead designer in two years. So in my goal plan in about 5 years from now I would like to be the lead designer for the hospitality design. I have so many great ideas for restaurants and hotels. I would move again if I had to because my husband supports my career and he is so inventive and a true entrepreneur that he will do good anywhere we go. Back to my goals…being the lead designer not only would I give all that I have I would give more to the job in terms of creativity and giving the consumer what they wanted and some. I would lead the team I put together to success so that we would become number one in the nation. I would network and make sure I had a lot of connections. I feel like in this field you need to have many connections in order to succeed. I want Architectural Digest to have articles on the hotels and restaurants I have designed. I want to make it in 5 years and have everyone know me as a designer around the nation. I want to be the "Nate Berkus" on television. I feel like I will achieve this goal because I am so dedicated to this that even when the going gets tough I continue on through it.

In ten years I hope to have completed my highest goal. This is one where my husband and I work together. He has always wanted to buy and sell hotels and buildings. In ten years I want to be able to open my own hospitality/commercial design firm. I will have connected to enough people that I will have people invest with my company so that it can take off quickly. I will hire top designers and I will also hire entry level designers that I feel like will become great with the right knowledge and assistance. My company will work directly with my husbands. He will buy buildings and we will restore them, whether it be a restaurant, hotel or just a commercial office space. The hotels will be so great that when people are in them staying that they won't want to leave. The restaurants will be so explosive in design and yet so mellow that you will be staring at the restaurant the whole time instead of your date. The offices that we design will be a place where you feel like you can express your thoughts and not feel so confined to the stark white walls and ugly cubicles. I really want to create something different and I want to establish myself on top and have my name be recognized. I truly love design and I will accomplish all of my goals. I want to have a nice house in Orange County and San Francisco at this time and will travel in the nation to complete all projects, and I will trust my built up staff to go out for me to accomplish our projects. 

I have always loved design but especially with hotels and restaurants. I love going on vacations and I just admire the work and effort that has been put into the building. I also think about other buildings of the same sort and think "What you should've done to make this place better". I know that as long as I believe in my self and have the support of my husband that these goals will become reality in the next ten years. 

Wednesday, January 23, 2013


I love Z Gallerie! I may have said this already but it has some really fun things. Every time I walk into their store I just feel so inspired! It can brighten any bad day lol. Anyways...while browsing their site I got creative and put together some "Metallic" themed living rooms. Tell me what you think? Are there any places that inspire you?

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Bright and Lively Living Room

This is definitely for the more bright and creative but I like to create many different things because everyone has such different interests. I had a more modern 60's feel to this living room and just based the colors of the wallpaper I found. Tell me what you think?

Monday, January 21, 2013

Concrete Countertops

I have never been a fan of concrete countertops. When I think concrete I think of the sidewalks or the flooring in the garage and all the cracks it gets over time. I believe concrete is concrete it will act the same no matter where it is placed. I must be one of the few designers that think this because apparently it is very trendy right now. Whatever a person wants they can get. Im not going to forbid a client anything they request for "their" home. I mean it can be beautiful but I don't trust it to last like everyone says it will. Anyways I have found some pros and cons about this material for the countertop. Let me know if you are for or against concrete. 


  • There are many advantages to concrete over other materials. Besides the cost if you do it yourself, there is the ability to shape it into anything you want. You can have your countertop continue down and become a side of the cabinetry. It can extend up into the backsplash. It can curve and angle in any direction and shape you want as long as you are able to form it. With different dyes and stains, you can get it to match any color you want and look like natural honed stone or polished stone. Concrete is also a very durable material and will last a lifetime as long as you care for it properly .


  • While concrete countertops are attractive there are also some disadvantages. If you decide to have someone else do it, the cost is comparable to getting granite or marble, If you decide to do it yourself there is a lot of work in the installation of the formwork plus the finishing of the concrete. Some people see it as art form that takes years of experience to master. Concrete still needs to be maintained. It needs to be sealed and resealed over the years. Even the best sealers will not last a lifetime and resealing it will depend on how heavily you use the countertop. Plus concrete changes over time. Stains and use will change the look of it, so if you like it when it is first poured you might not like it six months later once it has fully cured and settled. Concrete countertops will shrink as they dry, and you will develop some hairline cracks along with the voids you probably got when you poured it. It is also very heavy, so you will need to reinforce you cabinetry or add in some foam to lighten the load.

    ***I would never recommend you do concrete countertops yourself because it can damage and break too easily. 

Friday, January 18, 2013

Storage Ideas for the Laundry Room

Cubbies! This is a great way to stay organized with a growing family. Each family member can have their own cubby that they store their hamper, whether it be clean or dirty clothes. That way they can pick up and drop off their laundry without cluttering and mixing everything up.

If you want things to really be hidden then install cabinets around your washer and dryer. This will hopefully keep things nice and tidy and again be hidden from the eye!

I think this is a great mix of keeping it hidden while having the cubbies to pick up and drop off laundry. 

My favorite is keeping a washer and dryer in the Master Closet. This way you don't have to worry so much about extra organization. Your clothes stay in the same place and never leave your closet, except for on you of course!

Hanging your clothes up as soon as they come out of the washer or dryer is great and ready to go straight to the closet. I think I great idea to keep your laundry room looking orderly is covering the hanging clothes with a cute fabric curtains. You can hide other items behind the curtains such as your tide, fabric softener and bleach.

In the end though, we all know that no matter how hard we try it can be challenging to keep your laundry room clean and organized. So....lets all just hide the laundry room behind a sliding bookcase!