Furniture | The Diva Design Diaries
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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

DIY: Turn Junk into Lamps, Tables, Mirrors, and More via the “Today Show”

Visit for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

"Brian Kelsey, a licensed contractor, shows Today's Hoda Kotb and Guest Co-Host Carson Daly how to turn old junk into useful household items." "Do-It-Yourself: Turning Trash into Treasure"
Segment on July 23, 2013.</p> <p>
Posted by cristialyse on August 19, 2014 at 8:15PM | Permalink | 0 Comments

Laid Out: My Search for a Fabulous & Functional Rug

Open, inviting, yet empty, my dining room was in serious need of furniture and furnishings.  First step, in the journey of transforming this space was to find a great area rug that sticks to my design mantra of being fabulous and functional. Finding a fabulous rug is easy. Finding a functional one, well that’s a matter of defining what function, other than lying on the floor, you want it to serve.  A functional rug for me is one that’s soft enough to walk on barefoot without feeling any course fibers.  It should also be well suited for sitting chairs or a table on it so that if you need to drag a chair across it, there will not be any ripping or damage to the rug. A functional rug should also be the right size for the room, especially when it’s for a dining room.  Unless you want a wall-to-wall rug, then make sure you measure the area in the room where you want to rug to lay and buy a rug according to that. 

Since going into my rug hunt, I knew that it would be under my dining room table, I wanted to make sure that it met all my functional criteria and yet, still be stylish in its design.  Now I know traditionally, people often placed neutral colored rugs (if any) under their dining room tables.  Well, there’s nothing wrong with jazzing up your rug, even if it’s under a piece of furniture.  The exposed parts will be a welcomed sight to your guest and only add to the overall design of the room.  Having previously purchased a rug set for my home from Bed, Bath and Beyond, I first searched my local store as well as online.  

Continue reading here

Posted by cristialyse on December 02, 2013 at 5:00PM | Permalink | 0 Comments

Sabrina Soto on "Family Room Furniture"

My rule for family room furniture is: Focus on comfort and durability while maintaining established design cues.

<p>Home Design: A Layer-by-Layer Approach to Turning Your Ideas into the Home of Your Dreams
Posted by cristialyse on October 22, 2013 at 3:20PM | Permalink | 0 Comments

Diva Life~Design Links

This week we’ve featured articles from
House Beautiful, PopSugar Home, Martha Stewart, Mac World, and The Nest.  Featuring Decorating Apps, Stylish Traveling Tips, Choosing a Color Palette, and Furniture and Home Accessories, this week’s selection offers many tools, techniques, tips, and tricks to beautify your Home, your Patio, and your Summer Travel.

Posted by cristialyse on August 09, 2013 at 3:00PM | Permalink | 0 Comments

Save and Splurge on Spring Home Décor via the “Today Show”

Visit for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

“Whether you’re looking to spend a little extra on something special for your home this spring or you’re in search of a bargain, Sabrina Soto of HGTV has products for you, from brass mirrors to nesting tables.”
~ "Today’s Home" Segment on March 25, 2013

Posted by cristialyse on July 17, 2013 at 10:00AM | Permalink | 0 Comments

The Fab 4 & Their Homes: Celebrating Sex and the City's 15th Anniversary

“A lot of [stuff] went down in this apartment.  Attention must be paid.”
~ Samantha Jones, Sex and the City The Movie (2008)

Sophisticated, Aspirational, Glamorous, Legendary, Sexy, Entertaining… Sex and the City!! The ground-breaking, colossally chic, cultural phenomenon that introduced us all to Carrie, Miranda, Charlotte, Samantha, and Manolo Blahnik, celebrated its 15th Anniversary on June 6th.  June 6, 1998 also introduced us to the 5th main character of the dynamic series, New York City!  From Charlotte’s Upper East Side Apartment and Carrie’s Brownstone in Manhattan to Miranda’s Townhouse in Brooklyn and Samantha’s Sexy Apartment in the Meat Packing District, SATC introduced us to love, life, and real estate in the Big Apple.

In honor of the 15th Anniversary of my FAVORITE SHOW of ALL TIME, let’s take a closer look at the places where our Fab 4 not only called home, but where they shared living in New York with the world.

Continue reading here
Posted by cristialyse on June 17, 2013 at 6:00PM | Permalink | 0 Comments

Upcycle! Save Worn-out Furniture from the Trash via the “Today Show”

Visit for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Nicole Curtis, host of DIY Network’s “Rehab Addict,” shows how to make old furniture new again. Her examples include turning an old dresser into a wet bar for the backyard and giving a side chair new life with fabric and a coat of paint.” ~ "Today's Home" Segment on February 8, 2013

Posted by cristialyse on March 01, 2013 at 11:38PM | Permalink | 0 Comments

Refurbishing My Baker’s Rack:

Taking it from Blah to Badaboom!
In my quest to decorate my new home on a budget, I’ve tried to repurpose and reuse as much of my existing furnishings as possible.  Whether it’s the sofa set I’ve had for 6 years or my breakfast table, reusing existing pieces is a great way to save your decorating budget.   Sometimes, your existing furnishings aren’t reuse-ready.  However, with a little love and a whole lot of elbow grease, you too can transform an existing piece into something truly fabulous!  
That’s just what I did with a hand me down Baker’s Rack that I received from a family friend when I graduated from college.  It was well used, but still in working shape.  So I shipped it to Arizona, spray painted it black, and bought a lace runner to cover the wooden part.  It sat next to the front door of my apartment for almost 4 years in all it’s have-done glory. LOL! Oh, how I could have benefited from reading a design book or at least the latest issue of Better Homes and Garden.  ;-)

Well, time passed and the Baker’s Rack made it’s way back to Alabama into another apartment and then a house. When I moved into my new home, I made it a priority to do something with that Baker’s Rack and make it as fabulous as I could while maintaining its functionality. One night while reading one of my favorite design magazines (HGTV Magazine) I came across the “Mission Makeover” article which illustrates how people repurpose their furniture and make it into something new and improved. After reading this feature many times, it gave me the courage to try my hand at it as well. What better project to start with than my Baker’s Rack.

So after a trip to my local Home Depot for some supplies (sandpaper, Bronze Spray Paint, stencils, screws, bolts, sponge rollers, stencil brushes, painter’s tape, Wood Stain in Honey, and Glidden Paint in Peacock Blue), I was off on my Blah to Badaboom Adventure!!!

Continue reading here…
Posted by cristialyse on January 25, 2013 at 10:37PM | Permalink | 0 Comments

Welcome to the Diva Design Diaries!!!!!!

I’m Cristi Alyse and my passion for design has taken me from being a Casual Observer - Decorating Dabbler - Furniture Fanatic - to a bonafide Design Diva!!! I love everything about the design process from concept to implementation. My life as an Engineer has sparked a love of all things design including machinery, jewelry, fashion, and of course, Furniture and Home Decor.  Continue reading below for more information on my design journey...

Posted by cristialyse on March 12, 2012 at 3:22PM | Permalink | 0 Comments