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Navigating the Design, Decor, & Decorating World...One Home at a Time

Cristi Alyse, Diva Designer & Decorator

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July 2015

A Diva's Year: Best of 2013 Part II

</p> <p>Part II includes the last seven of the 13 features that round out our "best of" list.  From Holiday Centerpieces, Designer Profiles, and Dear Diva Q&A to Design Guides, Entertaining with Style, and Interior Inspirations, we hope these articles inspire your next Home Decor Purchase, DIY, and Home Improvement Project.

Part 2 of our Spring Forward Series details how to make a fabulous, yet multi-use centerpiece for Easter and Spring.  Centerpieces really bring a table to life, particularly if you do not plan to completely dress it with placemats, napkins, place settings, etc.  Holiday centerpieces are extra fun, especially if they can be easily altered to work throughout the season.  Here’s how I created a lovely centerpiece for the dining room.  Continue reading here…

<span style="font-size: medium;">Designer, Author, Talk Show Host, Expert…Nate Berkus wears many hats and wears them well. I fell in love with Nate back in college when I saw him on “The Oprah Winfrey Show”. Never before had I witnessed interior design be so accessible yet chic for any size space, at any budget. His attention to detail as he transformed his client’s space left me in awe because of its beauty, function, and true reflection of the client’s needs. Nate’s design tips made me feel like my small, dark dorm room could be as fabulous as I could imagine it. Plus, he was GORGEOUS!!! ;-)  <a href="" target="_blank">Continue reading here…


Dear Diva:  What Everyday Items Can I Use to Clean My House?
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I’ve received several questions asking me what everyday items I use to clean my house.  With all the expenses and news articles regarding the latest breakthrough cleaning products, a lot of us are looking for alternative products to clean our homes, while saving money at the same time.  I’ve previously shared with you how I clean my electric kettle, below is a few tips I have for cleaning other items in my home with everyday items.  Continue reading here…</p> <p></p> <p>

New Host Alert:  Soleil Moon Frye to Host "Home Made Simple" on OWN
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Mention Punky Brewster to any child of the 80’s and a fun, mischievous, exciting wave of nostalgia twinkles in their eyes and sweeps across their faces into the biggest smile.  Well, Punky’s all grown up and joining Season 3 of Home Made Simple on the OWN Network as its new host.  Continue reading here...


Design Guide:  Turquoise Home Decor
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Blue is my favorite color, always has been. Over the years, my love of Blue has expanded to include every shade of Blue, fromcerulean-to-teal-to-cobalt-to-navy. One of my favorite shades of Blue is Turquoise. This light blue with a tinge of green color reminds me of the cool waters of a tropical ocean, serene and peaceful. Lovely on its own or with complimentary shades, turquoise is a very versatile and beautiful color to decorate your home with, whether it’s in your bathroom, kitchen, or den. Personally, I have it all over my house in an arrangement of lamps, art work, candles, pillows, throws, serve-ware, etc. Below are just a few delightful and fabulous items I’ve found in turquoise that will surely had a little dazzle dazzle to your home.  Continue reading here...</p> <p>

Interior Inspiration:  Easy Tweaks to Update Your Home
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Every so often, mostly as the seasons change, I like to make small changes around my home.  Some of the simplest, most inexpensive ways to boost my mood, is to update things around my house.  Whether it's changing out the pillows on my sofa from Navy Blue and Peacock prints and to my Missoni for Target Pillows I lovingly dubbed"Missoni Madness" or swapping out my placemats and center piece on my breakfast table, little changes around the home can increase your sense of accomplishment and break up some of the routine of life that we all fall in too from time to time.  Continue reading here...</p> <p></p>

Entertaining With Style:  Threshold Dinnerware & Serveware
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From the time I was a little girl, I have such great memories of my mother hosting meetings with her sorority sisters or community leaders at our home. The grace, elegance, and pride she took in not only preparing the food for her meetings, but also in presenting them to her guest, really had a major impact on me and inspired me to do the same.  Continue reading here…</p> <p>
Until Next Time…
</p> <p>Ready, Set, Journey On!!!
Posted by cristialyse on January 03, 2014 at 9:09PM | Permalink | 0 Comments

Dear Diva: What Everyday Items Can I Use to Clean My House With?

I’ve received several questions asking me what everyday items I use to clean my house.  With all the expenses and news articles regarding the latest breakthrough cleaning products, a lot of us are looking for alternative products to clean our homes, while saving money at the same time.  I’ve previously shared with you how I clean my electric kettle, below is a few tips I have for cleaning other items in my home with everyday items.

1.   Use coffee filters and window cleaner to clean finger prints and smudges from stainless steel appliances.

2.   Slice a lemon in half, place it in your garbage deposal, and turn it on in order to clean it and remove odors.

3.   Have left over pieces of soap or candle wax in jars?  Place them in the bottom of your trash cans with a little baking soda before you put your trash bag in to keep odor at bay.  Don’t have any leftover soap or candle wax, then coffee beans can also be used as odor absorbers.

4.   To remove rust or food stains from stainless steel sinks, use a dish scrubber brush and a dusting of Ajax Cleansing Powder to clean.

5.   Need to remove a hair clog out of your bathroom sink?  Try mixing a little white vinegar and baking soda, followed by pouring hot water down the drain.  Caution, this causes a chemical reaction so use only a small amount in a well-ventilated area.

Continue reading here
Posted by cristialyse on August 01, 2013 at 3:50PM | Permalink | 0 Comments

Dear Diva: How Do I Clean My Electric Kettle?

Dear Diva,
I make hot tea and/or coffee with my electric kettle every morning before I go to work and throughout the day on weekends.  Lately, I’ve noticed a white residue that’s hard to wash off on the bottom of it.  How do I get my electric kettle clean?  Can you suggest a cleaning product I should buy?  I’m afraid the white residue will taint my morning ritual.  Help, Help, Help!!!
Dirty Kettle :-(
Dear Dirty Kettle,
The white residue on the bottom of your electric kettle is actually calcified mineral deposits from the tap water being used.  Although generally harmless, these mineral deposits, once calcified, can affect the quality of your boiled water and shorten the life span of your electric kettle. Cleaning your electric kettle is simple and will not require any expensive cleaning product to get the job done.  All you need is water and white vinegar.  Fill your electric kettle half way with water and the other half with white vinegar.  Turn it on and let the mixture come to a boil and boil out until there is only a small layer of water on the bottom of the kettle.  Turn off and refill kettle to the full line with only water, turn on, and let the water boil down again.  Next, turn off and unplug the kettle, and wash out the inside with a dish cloth and hot, soapy water.  This will clean any left over vinegar from inside the kettle.  DO NOT place electric kettle in sink of water.  This will damage the kettle.  After washing and rinsing out the electric kettle, place upside down on a towel to allow it to dry completely.  Once dry, the electric kettle is ready to use again.  {Side Note:  In a pinch, I’ve also used apple cider vinegar when I’ve run out of white vinegar.  It also works, you just have to clean it a little longer with the soapy water to make sure the apple cider vinegar residue is completely removed.}  
Happy Sipping!!! ;-)
If you have a household, design, and/or decor question, feel free to send your Dear Diva question via the Contact link.  Be sure to specify in the subject line “Dear Diva”.
Until next time…

Ready, Set, Ask!!! 
Posted by cristialyse on June 06, 2013 at 6:20PM | Permalink | 0 Comments