A Rainbow of Emotion: Color Psychology for Interior Design

Color is an important piece of the interior design puzzle. I’m fascinated by color’s influence on the feel of a room. You’ve probably heard that red is invigorating, but most people don’t want a lot of red. Greens and blues soothe the nerves. Yellow is cheerful and inspires creativity, but, like red, can come across too strong. This is how color psychology for interior design comes into play.

Color choice comes down to personal preference and how colors affect people. I love red; it energizes me! I often ask clients their favorite colors and the colors that they hate. (If you can’t figure it, out go look in your closet.) With some clients, we’ve even done wonders with purple.

Shades of blue and lavender with bold splashes of color in the artwork make this office a fun space

At the start of all my projects, I ask each client, “What is your favorite color?” “What is your least favorite color?” Both are equally important. This comes down to: “What colors do you use?” We start with that. Then, frequently there will be something that they show me – a piece of art or a travel memento. One time, clients brought in handcrafted ceramic dinnerware they loved. There’s usually some little piece that inspires their color scheme.

The bold yellow and blue palette shown her carries throughout the house – interior and exterior

I delve deeply into color psychology for interior design. We each have psychological associations to color. These feelings typically stem from childhood environment and culture.

I’m not surprised by many of my clients’ aversion to red, but I am surprised that few people like green. Green permeates our natural world. I recommend that if you want the organic effects of green, you explore the variations.

A common mistake is to go too pure, too bright. Look at the paint swatches and go 2-3 shades darker or more grey. Going darker is always better than lighter because it tones down the room. Always paint samples on your walls. Lighting and color are two peas in a pod. A teal green can look blue during different times of day, depending on how the sun shines on it.

A soft, creamy yellow is a cheerful hue for a master bath

Color choice affects how we feel throughout the day. Color psychology for interior design proves that greens and blues promote concentration; they are good shades for an office. Calming, darker tones of blue and green make a bedroom feel like a cocoon. Generally, a darker color is more conducive to helping you sleep, and a brighter color for waking up.

Rich terracotta and deep blues are a complementary color scheme that works well for a guest bedroom

Clients care about color. Subconsciously, color psychology for interior design influences our everyday lives. We always have opinions on color, whether for car or shirt. We are affected by colors and gravitate toward the ones we like and away from the ones we dislike.

Which colors are prevalent in your life? How do they enrich your soul?

Game Changer: Innovative Bathing Product for 2017

Jacuzzi freestanding whirpool tub

Jacuzzi® Modena™ Freestanding Whirlpool Tub with Whisper+ Technology™

This unique technology reduces the noise and vibration associated with standard Whirlpool baths by up to 66%, giving the user a truly relaxing hydrotherapy experience. The pump also uses 60% less energy than other heated whirlpool systems.

This is the first of its kind from Jacuzzi and it is freestanding! Available in several colors including black, white and oyster, as well as two-tone options.

5 Things You Might Learn About Yourself During a Remodel

I just read this article that really points out some of the things people don’t realize when they start planning a remodel. It can definitely be a learning experience. Here are the top five things I took away from what I read.

Prepare to find out who you really are — the good, the bad and the ugly

  1. You’re more impatient than you thought. Remodeling will — I repeat, will — test your patience.contemporary Powder Room
  2. You’re adaptable. Bathroom remodels and kitchen remodels are notorious for, well, making bathrooms and kitchens unusable while they’re under construction.
  3. You want in on the action. It starts small: At first, you’re just chatting with your contractor about the status of your project — normal stuff. But as time goes on, you can’t help but ask questions about the more technical side of things.Desert Mountain Contemporary Closet
  4. Your relationships can (probably) weather any storm. If the space you’re remodeling is a place that you share with someone else (whether it be your spouse, children or others), it’s likely that you’ll feel a little more stress than if you were just remodeling your own personal space.
  5. You’re fearless. I’ll tell you this much: It takes a lot of inner strength to not freak out when you see someone you’ve never met come through your front door with a hammer.Her office Desert Mountain contemporary remodel

Remodeling is a personal journey, full of personal discoveries and accomplishments and all that good stuff. The only way for you to truly know how it will affect you is for you to experience it yourself.

excerpts from article by Hannah Kasper (via Houzz)

Simply Serene – Scottsdale Contemporary Remodel Soothes the Spirit

When the builder first introduced us to this client, we both had a chuckle over our names – she is Tanya (pronounced like Tonya). Our vendor meetings frequently had him calling us the two T’s. Email’s got a little confusing, too. But we both knew right away it was going to be a great working relationship – and it was.

She asked for a pretty space that reflected their lifestyle and taste in a calm, neutral palette. They wanted to incorporate their art and rugs accumulated on travels, and utilize existing furniture while updating the look to a more modern style.Scottsdale contemporary transitional entry Scottsdale contemporary transitional living room

The floor plan called for being more open and inviting, with a flow that allowed them to entertain family and friends. We worked closely with the builder, RJ Gurley, to create spaces that functioned well for them and incorporated beautiful finishes, materials and special details throughout.

A functional and open kitchen with gorgeous glass mosaics and durable quartzite countertops is the centerpiece of this renovation.Scottsdale contemporary transitional kitchen

The master bath was opened up with a better layout while adding stunning details in the flooring and wainscot backsplash. It is an inviting a soothing space to prepare for the day.Scottsdale contemporary transitional master bath

The powder room is the one space that is a little more dramatic with deeper tones and luscious textures.Scottsdale contemporary transitional powder room

Sesshu Design Named as one of Top 27 Designers in Arizona

We are very honored to be included on this list of very talented and impressive designers. Thank you for the inclusion!

A talented interior designer is oftentimes one of the most underappreciated artists working today. So often we walk into beautiful, comfortable rooms or spaces and take for granted the fact that the vision-turned-reality of these great works are the result of the time and talent of people who can envision a space beyond four simple walls.

Arizona has, not surprisingly to those in the business, one of the country’s best rosters of innovative interior designers, and today we’re going to celebrate (in alphabetical order) some of the Grand Canyon State’s best.

Sesshu Design Arizona Top Interior Designers

The Top Designers in Arizona are a pretty impressive group

Tips for Creating an Eco-friendly Bathroom

One of my favorite blog sites is Inhabitat.com because of the variety of eco-friendly topics they cover.  Bathroom design is a key factor to consider when going for a sustainable home. This recent post about making your bathroom more eco-friendly is great- it really does cover the top reasons (and ways) to make the most used room in your home a more environmentally friendly place.  The tips presented here are easy, quick and inexpensive to implement.

7 Eco-friendly Tips to Green Your Bathroom

by  , 09/29/12


TIP 1: Install a Low-flow Toilet

eco-friendly bath interior design low flow toilet

Low flow toilets save both water and money

Toilets use approximately 27%  of the water consumed in your home — more than any other appliances or  plumbing — including the washing machine, dishwasher and shower.Replacing your old toilet with a low-flow  model is a great place to start when greening your bathroom. Newer  homes will boast more efficient low-flow toilets installed by their contractor,  but those found in older homes can use up to a whopping 7 gallons per flush.  While low-flow toilets used to get a bad rap for boasting a less than desirable  flush, sometimes requiring users to hit the handle twice, modern low-flow  toilets provide ample flushing power while still using just a fraction of the  water.

If you already have a low-flow toilet you can still cut down on water usage  even more by installing a dual-flusher that gives you a choice: push one button  for flushing liquid waste (around .8 gallons of water) and another for solid  waste (1.6 gallons or less). The BlueSource  HydroRight Dual Flush Converter is our pick — it’s easy to install and costs  just a little over $20.

If you can’t afford to purchase a new toilet at the moment, a temporary quick  fix is to drop a little sand or pebbles into a 2-liter soda bottle and put  that in your tank to displace some of the water that would have otherwise filled  the tank. However, note that 2-liters does not equal the up to  5.5 gallons you could be saving per flush with a low-flow toilet.

TIP 2: Install a Low-flow Shower Head

Taking shorter showers is one way to cut down on excess water use — they say  you really only need to be in there for 5 minutes anyway — but if you’re someone  who likes to linger, then you should consider installing a low-flow showerhead. A typical shower head will use anywhere  between 5 to 8 gallons of water per minute, while a low-flow head will bring  that down to 2.5 gallons or less with the same amount of water pressure.

By installing low-flow showerheads, you’ll be saving in two ways: 1. The  amount of water you use while showering; and 2. The amount of energy you are  using to heat your water. Manufacturers of low-flow showerheads claim that an  average family will save hundreds of dollars annually by making this simple  change. Better yet, this is a very inexpensive upgrade, and installation is easy  and should require no more than a wrench, a little PTFE tape and 10 minutes of  your time.

We also recommend finding a shower head with a water filter built-in,  especially if you have hard water (we like the Culligan  WSH C125). Like any water filter, it will remove impurities, chlorine or  other chemicals, and the potential health problems that these things harbor for  both the skin and your respiratory system. Filters will also curb the drying  effects of chlorine (your skin and hair will become softer and healthier!) and  make cleaning residue in your shower much easier. If  you already have a low-flow showerhead installed, you can simply upgrade  your current system by adding an attachment filter like this one here.

TIP 3: Install Motion Sensor Faucets

eco-friendly bath design hands free faucet

Auto shut off on motion sensor faucets conserves water and keeps germs from spreading

Another place where water is wasted at rapid rates is your bathroom sink.  Despite all the best intentions, most people find themselves using more water  than they need to when washing their face or hands and brushing their teeth.  Think about how much unused water flows out when you simply move your hand to  and fro faucet handles while going through your daily routine. One way to keep  this wasted water from adding up into an wasted pool the size of the Pacific is  to install  a motion sensor faucet. A motion sensor will be able to expertly track when  you need H2O to flow. Moreover, using a faucet  like this will also help you keep your bathroom cleaner (familiar with the  gunk that builds up around your faucet handles?), and prevent the spreading and  recontamination of germs.

TIP 4: Change Your Light Bulbs

If you haven’t already made the switch  to LEDs, now is the perfect opportunity. Enormous technological  advances have been made in the color renderings of LED  lightbulbs in the past few years, and consumers can now find “warm  LED bulbs” which glow at the same cozy amber color temperature that we know  and love from old-fashion incandescent bulbs.

Switching  to LED light bulbs is one of the simplest ways to save on both  your energy bill and the need to constantly buy replacement bulbs. On  average an  LED bulb consumes 80 percent less energy than its outdated predecessor, and  it lasts 25 times longer — that’s a rated life of about 25,000 hours. And  because LEDs operate at a lower wattage, without sacrificing lumens or light  quality, a single bulb alone can help knock  hundreds of dollars of your energy bill. For example, the Phillips EnduraLED  A2117 watt bulb, an LED-based replacement for the 75-watt incandescent light  bulb, boasts an energy savings of $160 per bulb. LEDs are quickly growing in  popularity, and there are plenty out there to choose from.

Another great reason to make the switch is because high wattage lightbulbs  (those over 50-watt, aka most of the common incandescent bulbs) will be  gradually be phased  out of stores over the next 3 years.  You’ll want to stock  up on low energy bulbs now to get ready for the phase-out. If you want more  details on how to make the switch, check  out our how-to video.

Photo: Green  blue antique luxury bathroom via Shutterstock

TIP 5: Switch to an Energy-Efficient Vent Fan

How’s the ventilation in your bathroom? If you depend on a vent fan  to keep moisture at bay, a great way to cut down on energy usage is to replace  that standard fan with an ENERGY  STAR-rated fan. While it may only be switched on briefly a few times a day,  an energy-efficient replacement fan will provide you with a 60% energy  savings over your old model. And if you don’t already, it’s important to  keep your fan running during your shower and for 15 minutes after to make sure  moisture in the air doesn’t become mold in your walls. Just a little can build  up into a seriously  unhealthy, not to mention costly, situation.

TIP 6: Buy Eco-friendly and Sustainable Bath  Products

eco bath cleaning products

Non toxic, recycled, and effective options for your bathroom products

From bath  towels to hand soap to  toilet paper, all the products that you’ve got packed into your bathroom can  all be made more green. Purchasing green  and certified organic products  ensure that you’re bathroom routine has a lower environmental footprint – and  just as importantly, is safe and healthy for your body and skin. Ingredients in  conventional toiletry products are frequently laden with petrochemicals  and toxic preservatives like parabens, have often been tested  on animals, and the source of ingredients are frequently shrouded in mystery  (“Parfum” anyone?)

Moreover, buying eco-and  sustainable products has a larger global implication — these products  often use natural ingredients sourced from organic farmers and fair-trade  organizations, meaning that you are supporting ethical business practices that  put environmental and human interests above monetary interest. And lest you  fear that green products are significantly more expensive than their  non-environmentally friendly equivalents, remember that as more people demand  green products, and economies of scale kick in, the cost will eventually come  down. Also, the old mantra “you get what you pay for” really rings true in this  case. Isn’t your health, beauty and the state of your environment worth a few  extra dollars?

Photo: Cleaning  products via Shutterstock

TIP 7: Clean With Homemade Products

Plenty of studies show that conventional harsh cleaning products can be  detrimental to your health, not to mention the planet’s health (products  labelled with a skull and crossbones and the word ‘HAZARDOUS’ will hopefully  have tipped you off). But there’s no need to purchase caustic cleaning solutions  when you’ve got everything you need right in your kitchen cupboards to  get the job done of cleaning  the bathroom. If you’re looking for ways to clean  your bathroom safely and ecologically, a bit of baking soda and vinegar is  enough to get your bathroom sparkling. Simply sprinkle some baking soda on  problem areas add a little white vinegar, let it foam and sit for about 5-10  minutes, and then scrub the area down with an eco-friendly sponge or brush. You  can also use a little lemon or your favorite essential  oils to help mask the vinegary scent. Moreover, oils such as tea tree,  lavender, eucalyptus, lemongrass and rosemary boast antiseptic and antibacterial  properties in addition to smelling great!

More on how to green-clean  your bathroom HERE >

Some other quick mixes:

  • Window wash: Mix 3 tablespoons vinegar with 2 cups of water  (or for a bigger job – 1/2 cup vinegar to 1 gallon water) and spray it right on  your windows. Club soda and lemon will also work wonders.
  • All-purpose disinfectant:  Mix 2 cups water, a few  drops of natural soap, and 15 drops each of tea tree and lavender organic  essential oil. Use this on floors, countertops and generally any surface except  glass, as it will streak.
  • After shower cleaner: Make your own daily shower  cleaner by mixing two cups of water and three drops of tea tree oil in a spray  bottle. After you shower, simply shake your spray bottle, mist, and then walk  away. This should help keep mildew at bay between cleanings.

Read more:  7 Eco-friendly Tips to Green Your Bathroom toilet – Inhabitat – Sustainable Design Innovation, Eco Architecture, Green Building

8 Simply Stunning Bathroom Designs

We are excited today to present a guest post highlighting stunning bathroom designs ranging from sleek and modern to organic, rustic and traditional.  We’re sure you’ll find something you love here as well- and we’d love to hear what you like best.

Stunning Bathroom Designs

Hello, everyone! It’s Mari here from Design Shuffle, a social networking site for interior designers to showcase their work and design enthusiasts to find decorating ideas for their own projects.  As part of my job I often have the opportunity to visit interior design blogs to share some of the beautiful spaces I’ve discovered in my online travels.

Today’s guest post is about bathrooms that are simply stunning. We often hear the phrase “less is more.” In the case of bathrooms this design philosophy can certainly be taken to a new level. Here are eight of my favorite bathing spaces–simple and sleek with stunning good looks. Please enjoy!

Modern Bathroom Designs

Stunning Bathrooms

Stunning Modern Bath

Both stunning in their own way, a freestanding tub and a panoramic ocean view offer the ultimate bathing experience. A slatted wood platform warms up the concrete floor.

Stunning Bathrooms

Elegant Modern Bath

An oval soaking tub and contemporary chandelier bring a bit of glamour to this bath. The round window is an interesting architectural element in the space.

Stunning Bathrooms

Drama and Sophistication for Bathing

A contemporary bath with stylish fixtures goes over the top glam with a massive crystal chandelier. Unexpected rustic flooring grounds this brilliant red design—simply stunning.

Traditional Bathrooms

Stunning Bathrooms

Elegant Tradtional Master Bathroom

With a creamy white palette, this pretty bath offers several traditional bathroom design ideas including the deep silver clad tub. I love the vintage style faucets and fixtures.

Stunning Bathrooms

Gorgeous Rustic Mountain Bath

Curved windows offer breathtaking mountain views from this romantic tub—both the view and the bath are stunning.

Romantic Bathing Spaces

Stunning Bathrooms

Romantic Master Bathroom

At once classic and contemporary, this elegant bath is simply stunning. The large open space is reflected in a wall-sized mirror behind the tub. Underfoot, marble is laid in an interesting chevron pattern.

Stunning Bathrooms

Contemporary Bathroom with a View

Open to the cityscape beyond, this lovely freestanding tub with its own built-in surround is the centerpiece of a simple bath design.

Organic Bathing Spaces

Stunning Bathrooms

Organic Outdoor Bathing

Organic form meets contemporary style in an amazing open-air bath. I can envision this gorgeous tub indoors in a spa-like retreat.

Now that you’ve seen our eight choices, which of these simply stunning bathroom designs would you choose for your home? Let us know! And don’t forget to visit Design Shuffle where you’ll find a wide assortment of bathroom decorating ideas for any home!

10 Options Other Than Granite Countertops

I just re-read this excellent post on Houzz, talking about the many options now available for countertops that are NOT granite.  There are great photos and the comments are very informative as well!  I wold love to hear what you think- are you tired of granite in the kitchen?

Your Kitchen: 10 Great Alternatives to Granite Counters

By Paul Anater

“As a kitchen and bath designer, I get asked about countertop materials often, usually in the context of “I’m looking for something other than granite to use for my counters—what are my options?” While it’s true that the majority of my kitchen and bath projects get granite counters put in them, there are times when granite just won’t work.

Granite’s a great counter material but it has a tendency to hog the spotlight. The mirror finish on most granites makes it difficult for granite to be subtle. There are times when this works, but there plenty of other times when it doesn’t.

Fortunately, there are a good number of options out there and their number just increases over time. Here are some of great, non-granite surfaces to use for counters. All of them are readily available. Combined, they add up to a trend that’s pushing back against granite’s dominance.

Hands down, my favorite counter material is Carerra marble. Marble is not for everybody though. It is a softer stone than granite is and it scratches and stains. It’s an inherent characteristic of the material and frankly it’s part of why I like it so much. I like materials that age and show wear. If you don’t, then you are not a candidate for marble counters.

More alternatives to granite countertops

This is soapstone. Soapstone is a soft, non-porous, natural stone. Despite its softness, it’s some pretty resilient stuff. It is always a dark stone, very nearly black and it always has a honed surface. People who cook love it because it’s an excellent heat insulator.
Wood counters have never really gone away and are currently enjoying a bit of a renaissance. Adding a wood top to an island while using a different material for the perimeter counters is a terrific way to add some interest and function. Wood counters require periodic oiling to prevent them from drying out but they add a warmth no other material can.
Wood works in bathrooms, too, as this mahogany beauty shows eloquently. This is a beautiful bathroom for any number of reasons, but I love that the designer used wood for the counter and sheathed the wall in Blue Macauba quartzite. That quartzite makes an attractive counter as well but on a wall it takes on the air of a landscape painting.
Quartz composites are a newer and growing category in the countertop world. Composites are made from stone aggregate and polymers that compressed under high pressure. The resulting material is practically non-porous and just as strong as most natural stones. Since it’s a manufactured product, it has consistent colors and patterns.
modern bathroom Polished Concrete Sink

Concrete is a growing segment of the countertop market as well. In the hands of a skilled craftsman, there is practically no shape, color or finish it can’t transform into.
This is another concrete counter, though the addition of glass aggregate gives it the appearance of terrazzo. Because all concrete counters are one-of-a-kind, adding different colored glass or stone to the mix while it’s being made can be just the thing if there are specific colors you’d like to integrate into a design.
The counter shown here is made from glass that’s been painted on the back side. Glass is a great counter material, and the thickness of glass used as a counter gives it a strength that’s difficult for other surfaces to match. It’s such an unexpected material for this use that it never fails to get a positive response.
The counter in the foreground of this kitchen is a green product made from post-consumer recycled paper mixed with resin. The material is called Paperstone and it’s a strong, waterproof option if sustainability is one of your renovation goals.
Stainless steel was invented in the early 1900s and made its way into commercial kitchens shortly after that. It was a short step from commercial to residential kitchens and it’s been a standby ever since. Stainless steel is a classic, though one with an industrial edge. The birth of foodie culture in the United States has brought with it a renewed interest in stainless steel as a counter material.
Solid surface is the product category, and Corian is the brand. All solid-surface products are made from mineral powder blended with acrylic and sometimes polyester binders.

Before the big move to granite and natural stone 10 to 15 years ago, Corian was the go-to counter material. It’s making a comeback with new colors and textures and as always it can be formed and shaped into anything someone can imagine.

Corian and the rest of the products that make up the solid surface category remain the only material that be seamed invisibly. In its newer colors, this is a category that shouldn’t be overlooked.

What do you think? Does the kitchen of your dreams have granite counters, or is it time for something new?

Designer’s Tip: Decorative Sinks That Make a Statement

Skip the plain porcelain sink and explore the options of a sensational sink that is more like a work of art. Award-winning interior designer and founder of Sesshu Design Associates, Tanya Shively says decorative sinks are in! Two decorative sink lines that are making waves in the design world are Linkasink and Kohler. Here are some of our favorite sinks from these producers.

The English Cutwork Vessel from the Smithsonian Collection by Linkasink 

Oval Brocade from the Bronze Collection by Linkasink

Sea Shell Sink from the Jewel Collection by Linkasink

The Artist Designed Glass Act Collection of Sinks by Kohler

Botanical Study™ Design on Kathryn® Under-Mount Bathroom Sink by Kohler

Lilies Lore® Cast Bronze Under-Mount Bathroom Sink by Kohler

decorative sinks


What decorative sink lines have caught your eye? Tell us in a comment!

With our award-winning design techniques and experience with the industry’s leading products and materials, Sesshu Design Associates in Arizona can help western region homeowners achieve stunning luxurious interiors that perfectly reflect their lifestyle and personality. Contact us at 888-863-3070 to learn more.

Top 5 Trends for Luxury Bathrooms

Bathrooms rank among the most important spaces with homeowners, which is why master baths and powder rooms have evolved into places of luxury, beauty and comfort. Based on a report by Housing Zone, here are the top 5 trends in luxury bath design as well as examples of these trends by Sesshu Design Associates.

1. Spa-like amenities and design

2. Natural color pallets, textures and materials

3. Open layouts with less doors and dividers

4. Ambiance created by a well-layered lighting design


5. Vanities designed to look like furniture


Whether your personal style is more modern or more rustic, the Sesshu Design team can use their experience with the latest trends to create a design that is not only stunning but perfectly customized to your personality and lifestyle.

Contact the Sesshu Design Associates in Scottsdale, Arizona at 888.863.3070 to begin working on your own luxury bathroom master bath or powder room design. Our team loves to travel, so we welcome projects in Colorado and Utah, too!

Zen Powder Room is also Eco-friendly

We recently completed this powder room in one of our projects- a remodel in Scottsdale of an early 90’s semi-custom home. The owner wanted aspects of a Zen aesthetic, with the quiet, soothing sounds of water running to be incorporated into the home somewhere. The powder room was a logical choice for both. We worked with Concrete Interior Design here in Scottsdale to create this unique vanity and water-feature combination.
The entire vanity is designed and constructed of colored concrete, which is made from recycled and eco-friendly materials. Incorporated into the upper shelf is a hidden motion-sensitive eye that operates the “faucet” – a row of individual water streams trickling down into a pebble filled basin. The effect is a unique blend of fountain and function. The design of the faucet feature conserves water with its low-pressure streams and automatic shut-off. Behind the flowing water, a mosaic blend of glass and man-made tiles provides a bit of color and sparkle.
The pebble-like texture of the glass sconces harmonizes with the Zen theme, and repeats the texture of the actual stones in the sink basin. Soft, glowing faux finished walls are the perfect backdrop for pops of bright red accents and tie into the rest of the home.