Friday, December 28, 2012

A year in Review 2012

I am very thankful for every moment I experienced this year as it has not only made me grow, but it has also motivated me to do more, bigger and better... here's a year in review of 2012.

PHOTO by : David Young-Wolff-  Custom Design wall unit with intersecting desk design by Erica Islas. 

January 2012 started off with a bang with an amazing feature In Real Kitchens - and we landed a great renovation project because of it which we just completed and getting ready to photograph.

In February I was invited to Fashion week with Brizo , which has turned out to be one of the best business trips of my life .  I met some amazing designers on this trip and have made great friendships.  THANK YOU Brizo for this amazing opportunity .  Thank you Christian May & Brandon Smith for the nomination.

In March we received recognition : "Best of remodeling 2012 bathrooms in Los Angeles" from

In April Worked we worked on an Hgtv episode of House Hunter Renovations , where we used the NEW Black Matte Touch Faucet by Brizo and joined the Decor Mentor group.

In June we were featured in Small Room Decorating... Our client's home office / guest room project and started a couple new projects.

The summer was fun!  Fun filled with projects , and juggling the home life with kids beign off of school... Lucky for them they had Art Camp at the LACMA, otherwise they might of been interning at EMI Interior Design all summer long :) 

In October the HHR Episode aired  and went to I High Point Market with my amazing designer friends Michelle Workman & Shirry Dolgin.  These two woman are incredibly talented and inspiring. Very Thankful to have them in my life. 

We (EMI Interior Design Team) are very blessed and thankful to have about 14 running projects on the boards.  They are all at different stages, and as one finishes another one starts.  Some are big some are small. Some new clients and a lot of repeat clients.  

We are ending the year with a featured in Small Room Decorating -Spring 2013 issue , a perfect way to end December.

This has been an amazing year and I am thankful for all the connections I made this year with everyone, too many to name, but you all know who you are.  I am grateful.  It has been an eventful year. 

Cheers to a fabulous New year !   Excited to see what 2013 has in store.

Friday, December 7, 2012

Small Room Decorating Magazine 2013

Featured in Spring 2013 Small Room Decorating Magazine

Let's face it, when you have a small space you have no choice but to get creative to make the most of it.  It challenges us to think outside the box.

This new issue of Small Room Decorating Magazine-Spring 2013 which is on newsstands now is filled with lots of inspiring ideas on how to make your small space Big!  My work is featured on page 8 and 9.

My tips featured include:
-Build a multi-functional Divider to break up room and create spaces.

- Add layers & texture (Especially to Small spaces) with different materials & finishes .

-Use up vertical space : Take tile up to ceiling as well as shower curtains.

Thank You Small Room Decorating Magazine for including my work. 

Friday, November 30, 2012

High Point Market Fall 2012

It took me a while to decompress from all the excitement from High point market in October .  I mean it was Ah-mazing!   I especially had a great time because I was in the company of two lovely and talented designers the entire trip.  There was not a dull moment with these two fabulous ladies, Michelle Workman & Shirry Dolgin .
Today ,  I finally went thru all the business cards and brochures that I collected at High Point Market and then I realized... I had not done a post about high point market.  Truth is, design is not always glamourous!  I have been swamped with projects and buried in construction documents since I returned,  ALL of which is great, but it left me very little time to write a post .  But today we are taking a little break to talk about all the Fun we had during this great trip to North Carolina for High Point Market.

There was a lot to see and a lot to take in at High
Point, but some events and some Showrooms really stood out.  Amongst my favs' were Palecek's new collaboration with Million Dollar Decorator ....Jeffrey Alan Marks.

The collection is modern and earthy, a mix I love.  This was exactly was Palecek was missing.

Pictured here: L to R- Shane Inman, Ross Cassidy,Michelle Workman, Shirry Dolgin & Erica Islas, Front& Center Jeffrey Alan Marks & Gretchen Aubochon .

The Acrylic Antlers were another one of my favorite finds .

Just Love these!

Shagreen was Very popular.  This was one of my favorites Faux Shagreen pieces.

Cyan Design was a fun new shop for me .... it had some great quirky pieces ... this table lamp was a favorite.

With the lovely ladies of Decor Mentor - ( Elaine Williamson, Lisa Ferguson, Kati Curtis, Me - Erica Islas & Jennifer Brouwer ) in Tango Tangerine color of the year for 2012
With Tom Felicia
Ginna From Marc Phillips Rugs at the Market Square

There are too many other companies to mention, Arteriors, Halo, .....

Last , But certainly not least, was our visit with Sunbrella another one of my favorites companies and sources.  Did you know they make these amazing cozy throws!  YES! They can be left outdoors!

There was so much to see and so much to do , and oh! all the parties... it was endless fun!

The energy at High Point Market is extremely high & inspirational and I can't wait to go again .  Imagine an entire city dedicated to design & furnishing, there's no other place in the world like it.  Until next time.....

Thursday, November 29, 2012

HGTV & HighPoint Market Color Trends

HGTV interviewed my colleague Shane Inman & I about color trends at high point furniture market.  Here's what we had to say:  click here to read : High Point Market Color Trends 

Sunday, October 7, 2012

House Hunters Renovation Kitchen

Working on House Hunters Renovation was a blast! I am thrilled to finally be able to show you what we did ! 

The Black Matte touch faucet was one of my Favorite features.

We also used black matte pulls and knobs to tie it all together.
We used a glass backsplash with a random pattern to incorporate  warm tones while we used cooler tones on the cabinets and walls.


AFTER - Opening up the kitchen
Ta' da ! 
Opened up the kitchen to the dining room and selected a glass island hood
We also Demo'd that awful unusable pantry and gave the client a new functional pantry with pull-out  shelves .  A counter depth fridge for a streamline look. 

Cozy Little Breakfast nook
We chose a school house pendant to add some vintage charm .  We used Sunbrella Fabric for the custom bench cushion, for easy maintenance.  Mid Century accents .

Chalk Board wall for the client who is an artist.
All "After" photos By David Young-Wolff
We picked a bevel counter edge detail for the White Quartz counter top.
The frosted glass inserts on top cabinets lighten up the space.

Hope you enjoyed watching the renovation unfold on HGTV's House Hunters Renovation.  We had a blast filming !  SHOP THE LOOK HERE!

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Tune in ! House Hunter Renovations Airs this Sunday !

EMI Interior Design, Inc Announces
Featured on new HGTV show 

Los Angeles, CA - October 2012 -  Erica Islas along with her team will be featured on HGTV's new show House Hunter Renovations this coming Sunday, October 7th 2012 at 8pm PST on HGTV. 11pm EST check your local listings.

Tune in and watch how Erica and her team transform a dated kitchen into a contemporary space that is both charming and functional for first time home owners.

Special Thanks to our Awesome Vendors
For your talents and amazing products ! 

Frank Loera Custom Cabinetry-
Filmore Clark-
JT Hardwood Flooring-
Vertical Fashions-
Planet Stone-
Sunbrella -
Practical Props-
IDG Studios-

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

MY TOP PICKS Preview of High Point Market

Last week my colleagues of Decor Mentor and I shared our TOP Picks in the #HPmkt twitter chat, a preview of what's in store at High Point Market this Fall.  Incase you missed are My Top Picks.

Saba Italia - 220 Elm #328  On twitter: @220Elm

 Splurge by Robert Nicholas 

Gus*Design Group - IHFC H512.

Astele - Suites At Market Square - G-6007

Feizy Rugs - 145 Market Square. Twitter: @feizyrugs 

For the Rest of the TOP PICKS by the Decor Mentor Team... check out Our Pinboard on Pinterest.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Small Space BIG Style

On Tuesday I had the pleasure of attending CA Home+Design's press breakfast for the unveiling of their first ever  showhouse .  As a designer who LOVES challenging small spaces, I couldn't wait to see what my colleagues at the Small Space Big Style showhouse had done.

Immediately when I walked in , I was smiling ear to ear! These 8 designers hit this out of the park! What these designers did to compensate for the small space was brilliant !   For example..... My friend Christian May of Maison21 used an incredible BOLD graphic wallpaper he created with talented Tracy Hiner of  Black Crows Studio.  By the way, this "Memphis" wallpaper is now available.  

The living room design by Christopher Kennedy is Fun and colorful !  Christopher used paint to create huge supergraphics on the wall in bold earthy tones with pops of Fuchsia.   He even carried the mossy green stripe up and across the ceiling, creating balance with the high ceilings.     

The Kitchen Design by Azadeh Shladovsky was simple and classic.  I loved the unexpected large brass wall sconce above the kitchen sink.  She took full advantage of the height and took cabinetry all the way up the high ceiling , which is appreciated from the loft on the second floor.   

Another Favorite was this room by Brian Patrick Flynn.  LOVED the detailing of the shimmering white emu upholstered walls with chrome nail heads.  His bathroom design was also spectacular with a black industrial factory window for the shower enclosure !  (not pictured here)

You'll have to check out the Showhouse for yourself see the rest of the rooms by Molly Luetkemeyer, Potted, and Erinn Valencich.   You'll be in for treat ! They are open September 14- November 18.  For ticket info click here.

All photos courtesy of CA Home+Design Photographer: John Ellis

Sunday, September 9, 2012

High Point Market Just around the Corner

In the next couple weeks and leading into October,  you will find my Facebook posts and Twitter feed loaded with talk about High Point Market.  What is High Point Market ?  Well,  It's the largest furnishings industry trade show in the country and it occurs twice a year, once in October and the other in April (in North Carolina).   Imagine an entire city dedicated to furniture and home decor!  Thousands of designers , buyers, manufactures, and industry people-alike, attend this week long event year after year.

I am very excited to be attending Fall Market in October alongside my super fabulous design colleagues.  It's going to be fun and inspiring.  I will be posting daily about what's new, hot and trending, along with some of my favorite timeless classics.  

So stay tune! and be sure to follow us on Twitter and Facebook

For a Sneak peak of new products for the upcoming 2012 Fall Market ....log on to #HPMKT twitter chat on Tuesday, September 11, at 6pm EST where the Decor Mentor Ambassadors  (including me) will share a collection of our top favorite picks.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Small Room Decorating

Featured in the new issue of Small Room Decorating . On stands now.

This small home office multi-functions as a guest bedroom when you slide the desk to the left.  Creative space planning is Key with every project we do and this project is a great example of that .  We managed to utilize every square inch in this space , making it a spacious room and accommodating all of our clients needs.   Read about it in the new issue of Small Room Decorating on stands now thru September 2012.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

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We are having so much fun pinning!  YOU should join in the fun!

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Good Proportions = Great Design

Most people don't think about proportions,scale and balance like designers do.  The average person can tell you something looks incredible and they can also tell if something doesn't "feel" or look right, when this happens, chances are there is an element of scale and balance that was overlooked.  

                                                                                     Photo By : David Young-Wolff Photography

We designer's know that when you have a wall this big (see above: 18' wide wall x 10'tall) it is nearly impossible to find furniture (i.e. bookcases and desks) that fit the space without making them look out of scale.  For times like these, it is best to go custom and fill the wall.

I love custom mill work and custom built-ins for that very reason, making things fit a space perfectly. 

Above is a bookcase I designed  to fill the entire wall.  We spent several hours carefully designing the spacing , width, heights,thicknesses,  etc... keeping all the proportions just right.  Doesn't seem like it would be a big deal, but it is.  This wall unit could easily look out of proportion if it wasn't for careful planning.  The long desk (11'-6") that intersects with the bookcase, also was revised several times until it was perfect on paper .We also had to keep in mind how BIG we could actually make things so that they could fit through the hallways and doorways once built .  ( I put myself in this picture above so you could see how big this wall unit is.)  Once it was perfect on paper, it went into production where I had to make some additional adjustments at the wood shop before it was lacquered and delivered. 

Although I filled the entire wall, it does not feel heavy and over powering in the space . Why?  Answer is because the proportions are right.  Sure, painting the bookcase & desk a white lacquer like the white walls helps with keeping things light and airy, however the proportions of the woodwork is what makes this space work.  

Proportion is simply Scale and Balance , it is the relative size of areas and objects, and how they relate to one another.  They are important factors to consider when designing any room ,especially for a wall this big .   For Designer's this is second nature.  Try these simple tips on your next project and see how much greater your space can be. 

When something doesn't "feel" or look right ask yourself :
How can I balance the space / room?
If one object is big on one side, balance it by putting another large piece on opposite side. 

Is everything the same height?,weighing the room down and making it feel heavy?  If so, Varying object heights is another way to balance a space. Tall objects, low object, keeps your eye moving and keeps room from feeling "stale".  

Is the scale of one object relating to the other?  If not,sometimes simply re-arranging the objects balances the space.

Color is another way to balance a room. If you have a pop of color, be sure to "sprinkle" it around the room space, so that it is not only in one area. It also keeps your eyes moving.

If you have a focal point in the room,example a fireplace...Be sure you have one or more pieces about the same scale in the room that help anchor your focal point.   

Good Proportion is what separates good design from great design. 

Wednesday, March 28, 2012 Best of 2012

Thank you for the recognition.  I am thrilled to have received "Best of Remodeling 2012- Bathrooms in Los Angeles".

houzz interior design ideas

Click here to read more about it and to browse thru the hundreds of wonderful photos in

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Frequently Asked Question : What color paint is that?

Another one of our most frequetnly asked questions:
 What color and paint brand did you use in this kitchen ?

Answer : It's actually a mix (50/50) of two colors by Benjamin Moore
As a designer I often need to tweak colors....
my secret formula for this perfect shade of rich Navy.... 
 HC-154 Hale Navy and  HC-155 Newburyport Blue

Keep in mind that lighting plays a BIG role in selecting paint color.  This Kitchen has a lot of natural light which brings out the richness of the blue.  Also the trim is painted Grey not White which adds a softness & sophistication to the navy walls.   

 Please feel free to leave your comments below.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Glamour and Glitz Brizo Fashion Week Part 2 : Jason Wu Fashion Show

Fashion week went by too fast ! It's so true that time flies when you are having fun..... I was having a blast !  Thanks to Brizo who sponsored me and 18 others (a.k.a Blogger19) to NYC for fashion week .
Now for part II of this amazing 2-1/2 day Brizo Fashion Week event.  The last day lived up (+ so much more) to the glamour and glitz one would expect at the Mercedes-Benz fashion week in New York.

Friday morning started with a lovely Champagne Brunch and round-table discussion with Brizo. This was again another favorite part of this event. The exchange of ideas between designers and the Brizo team was effortless and engaging.  I was very impressed by how receptive and open to feedback the Brizo team is,  it really allows for an on going relationship.  The conversation, Food and Champagne were flowing.

Brizo ended the session by passing out another gift ( they were full of surprises). In this box was a limited edition,  signed and numbered lithograph.  Lastly they handed us our personal invitations for the Jason Wu 2012 Fall runway show for later that afternoon.  Of course that meant wardrobe change # 2 for the day.  One more to go.... 

The rest of the day flew by !
Rolling VIP in our black tinted window suburbans, we arrive at the Jason Wu 2012 Fall Fashion show.

The show was spectacular.  Best 12 minute show ever!  Yeah, that's how quick these runway shows are.  (see video below)  It was a dramatic entrance through the large gold studded red doors.  Fog rolled out through the doors as they slowly opened and drums began to sound.  Out came the first model trotting down the runway.  It was all about rich reds, black, gold, military green, studs, fur, belted jackets inspired by his Chinese heritage, with a strong military influence and Qing Dynasty opulence.  Oh and high slick ponytails ! The ending was exhilarating and powerful , beautifully orchestrated with the models marching out in rows . See video below.

Jason Wu taking a bow for his incredible Fall collection

The after party at the MPE Penthouse was intimate and sweet.
(photo by Jayme Thorton)
Which allowed for a Q and A with the talented and witty Mr. Jason Wu.
(photo by Jayme Thorton)
  The views were we took Lot's of photos....
Erika Ward , Michelle Workman, Lisa Ferguson

Shane Inman, Ronique Gibson , Niki McNeill
Michelle Workman and Me (Erica Islas)

Back row: Nicole Zeigler ,Cynthia Hernandez , Ronique Gibson,Erika Ward, Shane Inman,Shay Geyer , Lisa Ferguson, ChrisLaumer-Giddens
Front row : Michelle Workman,Amy Dragoo , Jill Seidner, Lisa Smith, Liz Joy , Erica Islas , Niki McNeill, Jason Wu , Jennifer Duchene, Carrie Leskowitz, Ann Maxwell Foster, Gretchen Aubuchon
(photo by Jayme Thorton)

Jason Wu and me talking about his dress.   (photo by Jayme Thorton)

Jason Wu and Erica Islas (me) in Jason Wu Dress ( love the pockets! in this dress)  (photo by Jayme Thorton)

I couldn't be more thankful to Brizo for Flying me out to NYC on this all expense paid trip.  They were so attentive and so amazing.  I am happy to be part of their family ( Blogger19 alumni).  I had such an incredible time !   Thank you Brizo.
Until next time.....
The Amazing Brizo Team!   (photo by Jayme Thorton)

More photos on my twitter & facebook  pages sure to follow if you don't already.