Skip directly to content


Topics such as interior design, home landscaping, gardening.

Smart Design With Suzette: Green Building - Designing Your Home To Help The Environment

on February 5, 2017 - 7:13am

Los Alamos

Whether we want to admit it or not, the Earth is currently facing some serious challenges. Fires and droughts are becoming more common, and the ice caps are melting.

If climate change is going to be managed, it’s going to require participation from everyone in society. Below are a few ways you can live green and use your home to help the environment.

Use a Smart Thermostat
If you want to make your home greener, you need to make your home’s heating and cooling system more efficient. One way to do that is to install a smart thermostat.

Smart Design With Suzette: Insights From Kitchen & Bath Show 2017

on January 20, 2017 - 7:14am
Thompson Traders copper sinks. Courtesy photo

Los Alamos

Design trends, professional growth, product launches, networking, industry speakers, innovation, inspiration, learning opportunities, kitchens and baths…that’s what I experienced last week in Orlando at the Kitchen and Bath Industry Show (KBIS), National Association of Home Builder’s (NAHB) International Builders Show and Design and Construction week.

Held at the Orange County Convention Center, I went everywhere – from the West Hall to the South Hall (and back and forth more than I want to remember) to the Outdoor

Smart Design With Suzette: Organization

on January 15, 2017 - 7:27am
Organized closet. Courtesy photo

Los Alamos

Happy New Year! Many New Year’s resolutions involve getting organized. Disorganization puts tremendous pressure on both the mind and the body. Taking the time to organize your home can lift a great weight off of your shoulders and reduce stress.

But let’s face it, getting organized can be difficult and time consuming. One of the toughest part is getting starting and knowing the process. Here are some tips to help you.

Clear Out Some Clutter

The first step is to get rid of things you don’t need.

Los Alamos Single Family Home Prices Jump

on January 11, 2017 - 7:07am
LAAR News:
The Los Alamos Association of REALTORS® (LAAR) reports that the median price of Single Family Home salesjumped by 18 percent when compared to the 4th Quarter of 2015 or $270,000 to $320,000 in this quarter.
Single Family home sales moved from 57 in the 4th Quarter of 2015 to 63 this quarter. Single Family home sales volumes also rose sharply from $16.7M in 2015 to $20.8M for the 4th Quarter of 2016 reflecting the increase in home prices. Condo and Townhome sales also rose in the 4th Quarter of 2016 to 21 units sold compared to 16 units in 2015.
During this same

Operation Holiday Home Protection Roll Outs New Toll Free Number

on January 2, 2017 - 8:26pm

Attorney General Hector Balderas

From the Office of the Attorney General:

ALBUQUERQUE Anyone facing foreclosure or finding it hard to make their mortgage payments, Keep Your Home New Mexico, a program run by the Office of the Attorney General may be able to help.

Attorney General Hector Balderas has announced that the program has a new toll free number: 1-800-220-0350. By calling this number or by visiting, New Mexicans can get assistance that may help keep them in their homes.

“Foreclosure can feel like a hopeless, scary situation, but the worst thing you

Smart Design With Suzette: What’s Next?

on December 30, 2016 - 4:05pm
Courtesy photo

Los Alamos

Residential construction leaders have begun predicting green building trends for 2017.

Most homebuyers aren’t looking for a LEED label on a new home, but they are looking for high performance and comfort.

That’s the consensus from builders and other industry professionals who have participated in the Excellence & Building Conference in Texas.

Here’s an overview of insights and trends shared by building professionals.


Energy/Water Efficiency
When homebuyers were surveyed, the tops “must haves” in a home were energy and water efficiency.

Smart Design With Suzette: The Year In Review

on December 24, 2016 - 10:55am
Courtesy photo

Los Alamos

Happy Holidays everyone!

As we slide into the remaining week of 2016, it’s time for pause and reflection.

For many this has been a really tough year. No doubt, some wonderful things have happened in your life. And, you’ve likely had your fair share of struggles and setbacks, too.

The idea is to create a road map for the year ahead—an overall outline of what matters and what you hope to achieve in the next year. I complete this process in bits and pieces over several days because it helps me to think about it slowly.

While a lot of people want

Smart Design With Suzette: Pantone Unveils 2017 Color Of The Year

on December 17, 2016 - 7:33am

Courtesy image

Los Alamos

Pantone, the global authority on color and provider of professional color standards for the design industries, announced PANTONE 15-0343 Greenery as the 2017 Color of the Year. Greenery, a fresh and zesty yellow-green shade that evokes the first days of spring, illustrates the lushness of the great outdoors.

“Greenery symbolizes the reconnection we seek with nature, one another and a larger purpose,” said Leatrice Eiseman, Executive Director of the Pantone Color Institute.

Smart Design With Suzette: Holidays - Stress Free

on December 9, 2016 - 8:25am
Relaxing at home during the holidays. Courtesy photo
Los Alamos

The holiday season is a wonderful time of year, complete with family gatherings, meaningful traditions, delicious food, and gifts. It is precisely these things that can lead to stress and overwhelm us.

Keeping the holidays simple can reduce stress and chaos. Consider the following ways to simplify your holidays this year. Taking time to reflect on what you do want this holiday season — and what you don’t — can help you keep your celebrations simple and heartfelt.

Perhaps the thought of

Smart Design With Suzette: Holiday Decorating

on December 2, 2016 - 8:43am
Dining room decorated for Hanukkah. Courtesy photo

Los Alamos

It’s that time of year…we excitedly stand out in the cold to watch the holiday light parade, marvel at the performance of the Nutcracker ballet and look forward to time spent with family and friends celebrating the holiday season.

Whatever holiday you celebrate, I hope you will enjoy reading this as I share some ideas that might inspire you this season.

We often see holiday decorating ideas that are perfect for the living room and even the tabletop, but what if you’re one of those particularly dedicated folks

Smart Design With Suzette: Designing Perfect Pantries

on November 26, 2016 - 8:57am
Walk-in pantry. Courtesy photo


Los Alamos

Ask your friends what they dislike about their pantry and you’ll likely get “it’s too small” or “I can’t find anything!”  I hear these complaints often. Clearly, a pantry takes careful planning.

Whether you’re building a new kitchen or remodeling, you need to consider what makes a pantry work and which kind is best for your situation. There are three main types of pantries: cabinets, reach-ins and walk-ins. There is also a hybrid pantry/mudroom/laundry room that the homeowner walks through as they enter the house.

Keep a few

Smart Design With Suzette: Bathroom Face-Lift Or Renovation?

on November 19, 2016 - 6:59am
Curbless shower and sliding shower head. Courtesy photo


Los Alamos

Do not underestimate the time you spend in your bathroom on a daily basis. Whether you are getting ready to start your day, unwinding in a warm bath, or getting the kids ready for bed, your bathroom is an important aspect of daily life.

An updated bathroom adds substantial value to your home in the event that you would ever choose to sell. Today’s demanding homebuyers are drawn to “move in ready” and spa-like retreats; and buyers are willing to spend more money to get the features they want in a home.

Smart Design With Suzette: Seven Sustainable Products From Greenbuild 2016

on November 12, 2016 - 9:06am
Dekton by Cosentino line Trillium. countertop. Courtesy photo

Los Alamos

Sustainability-minded designers and builders flocked to L.A. (the other L.A.) for the annual Greenbuild Conference & Expo last month.

Along with a slate of education opportunities, the event featured hundreds of manufacturers showcasing products that save energy, conserve water, maximize resources, provide daylighting (the illumination of buildings by natural light) and otherwise contribute to a home’s sustainability.

Though Greenbuild is still largely a commercial show, many new products on display

Smart Design With Suzette: Holiday Guests

on November 3, 2016 - 1:25pm
Guest bedroom with luggage rack is ready to welcome visitors. Courtesy photo

Los Alamos

Now that it’s November, the holidays are upon us, and with them, holiday guests. Here are a few tips for getting your home ready for guests with affordable ideas to refresh and organize your home.

Identify And Anticipate Needs
The only way identify what your guests might need is to stay in your guest room overnight. You might find you need an extra blanket, pillow, clock, radio, or reading materials.

Smart Design With Suzette: What’s Trending In Baths

on October 31, 2016 - 8:13am
Bathroom with a barrier free shower with a linear drain. Courtesy photo


Los Alamos
In renovating my master bathroom, I’ve been looking into the latest trends and weighing the old with the new. One thing is for sure, linear drains are hot - here is why.

Previously, shower floors were fairly predictable – a round drain, centered, underfoot and highly visible. That’s changed over the past few years as sleek linear drains have quickly caught the attention of designers and homeowners thanks to their modern, streamlined appearance and installation flexibility.


Smart Design With Suzette: Designing A Green Lifestyle

on October 21, 2016 - 5:02pm
Solar panels. Courtesy photo

Los Alamos

Whether we want to admit it or not, the Earth is currently facing some serious challenges. Fires and droughts are becoming more common and ice caps are melting. If climate change is going to be managed, it’s going to require participation from everyone in society. Below are a few ways you can live green and design your home to help the environment.

Use a Smart Thermostat
In the summer, homes consume a lot of energy for air conditioning. During the winter, heating is the biggest energy expense.

Enchanting Halloween Decorating Ideas

on October 13, 2016 - 4:45pm
Tiny graveyard. Courtesy photo

Los Alamos

Halloween’s just around the corner. If you like to decorate for Halloween, it’s not too late to enhance your haunted house, add a touch of fright to party decor, or prepare for trick-or-treaters. Here are a few of my favorites…

Tiny Ghost Town
I saw this last year in a magazine and it turned out terrific. Matte black spray paint or dark gray craft paint will turn craft store birdhouses into an eerie mini landscape. To bump up the creep factor, add oversized spiders to your scene.

Billowing Ghosts
The two ghosts pictured are about 25

Los Alamos Home And Condo Sales Jump

on October 8, 2016 - 8:01am
A report released by the Los Alamos Association of REALTORS® (LAAOR) shows Single Family Home sales moved from 68 in the 3rd Quarter of 2016 to 94 this Quarter.
LAAOR President David Horpedahl
The median price of Single Family Home sales held nearly steady when compared to the 3rd Quarter of 2016 or $276,500 to $279,500 in this Quarter. Single Family Home sales volumes also rose sharply from $21.2M in 2015 to $29.5M for the 3rd Quarter of 2016 reflecting the surge in sales.
Condo and Townhome sales also increase in the 3rd Quarter of 2016 to 30

Smart Design With Suzette: Photography

on October 6, 2016 - 2:26pm
Courtesy photo
Los Alamos

Recently my youngest daughter had the opportunity to experience a photo session with local photographer, Paulina Gwaltney. From the moment we stepped into Paulina’s boutique studio, we could tell she had a great devotion for creating portraits. Her artful display of photographs was very impressive. As a professional that wants to help educate others, Paulina would like to share her knowledge with you, so you too, can artistically display your portraits at home. Paulina…

Beautiful photographs are something everyone likes to have.

Smart Design With Suzette: My Five Favorite Design Trends

on September 30, 2016 - 8:28pm
Black-framed windows. Courtesy photo

Los Alamos

Remember when Oprah would have her “Favorite Things” show? Well, I realized with so many fantastic design trends right now, it would be fun to tell you what my favorite things are. Thus far, this year has reflected soft, feminine qualities, along with a few masculine ones that I adore.


I am in love with copper and gold. From lighting, to jewelry to kitchen pulls, it makes a room sparkle. I recently repainted my kitchen cabinets. I paired cool gray cabinets with copper knobs and pulls. It’s just yummy!

Brass (gold)

Home Efficiency Expo Shares Ideas Saturday

on September 25, 2016 - 8:39am
Los Alamos Department of Public Utilities' James Alarid and Angelica Gurule show off energy saving goodies at their booth at the Home Efficiency Expo Saturday at UNM-Los Alamos. DPU sponsored the event, which showcased ways to be more energy efficient at home. Photo by Bonnie J. Gordon/
A representative from SunPower talks with a visitor about solar power. Photo by Bonnie J. Gordon/
A vender shares information at the Expo. Photo by Bonnie J. Gordon/

Smart Design With Suzette: Designing With Pets In Mind

on September 24, 2016 - 7:17am

Courtesy photo

Los Alamos

All this while, I’ve been writing and posting about how to make your home beautiful and make it a more beautiful place for YOU to live in. Have you ever thought about your pets?

Pets — they’re our pals, our TV-watching sofa buddies and our motivation to get outside and take a walk. There’s no denying that dogs (or cats) are man’s best friend, but they’re not always easy to live with.

Maybe you find yourself repeatedly tripping over the water dish, endlessly searching for the leash, or dealing with an undesirable litter box stench.

Smart Design With Suzette: How To Decorate A Large, Blank Wall

on September 19, 2016 - 9:33am
3-D wall panels. Courtesy photo

Los Alamos

We lean art against them and drill curtain rods into them, scuff them with chairs and sometimes ignore them completely.

When thoughtfully considered, these often overlooked features form the foundation of any decorating scheme and impart a finished look. Walls can dramatically transform a space, lending historical reference or sleek sophistication, eye-catching architectural detail or whimsical fun.

I’ve rounded up several inspiring treatments to help you think outside of the plain-white box and reinvent the walls that surround

Smart Design With Suzette Fox: DIY Projects For The Weekend

on September 12, 2016 - 9:13am
Coffered ceiling. Courtesy photo

Los Alamos

Labor Day weekend has come and gone, but at my house, every weekend is “labor day.” After helping clients all week, I’m excited to work on projects around the house that will make a big impact. I’m back again, with more DIY projects for the weekend.

If you are thinking of staying home this weekend to tackle a DIY project or two, take a look at some of my favorite projects that might inspire you. These are easy for both homeowners and renters.

Add Storage to Your Entry
If a traditional entry closet or a beautiful built-in shelving

Smart Design With Suzette: Decorating For Fall On A Budget

on September 5, 2016 - 8:13am
Courtesy photo

Los Alamos

I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE this time of year! Of all the seasons, fall is the easiest and least expensive to decorate. As the days get shorter and cooler, walk out your front door and you have found your inspiration and resources. From the exterior to the interior of your home, fall decor colors can be rich and robust or subtle and subdued. Here are some ideas to inspire you.

Bring Nature Inside
What better way to decorate then to snip some fall leaves and put them in a vase.
Red, yellows and oranges bring a beautiful pop of color to any room.

Use Your