Skip directly to content


Topics such as interior design, home landscaping, gardening.

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

Decorating A Kid’s Bedroom

on August 26, 2016 - 8:34am
Beautiful nursery. Courtesy photo

Los Alamos

I love to write about interior design, but often forget to cover one important group – kids! Most parents will agree that providing their children with a wonderful living space in which they can thrive, learn and play is of paramount importance.

For a child, a bedroom is more than just a place to sleep. It is a place to do schoolwork, listen to music, play games, sprawl on the floor, rough-house, read, build models, daydream, visit with friends and keep innumerable possessions.

Smart Design With Suzette: Amaze Your Friends And Annoy Your Neighbors With Your Own Backyard Theater

on July 28, 2016 - 3:22pm
Backyard theater. Courtesy photo

Los Alamos

The great American love affair with the drive-in movie theater celebrates its 83rd anniversary. Although around 350 still exist across the United States, the drive-in survives on a smaller scale thanks to a growing number of people who have taken the concept back to its place of origin: the driveway and backyard.

Can it be done without spending a fortune? Not only is it possible, it is an amazing amount of fun as long as you follow some common sense rules.

Don’t be That Neighbor…

Depending on where you live, the concept of a

Smart Design With Suzette: Backsplash Beauty

on July 22, 2016 - 8:41am
Decorative backsplash. Courtesy photo

Los Alamos

Backsplash designs are an extremely important element to consider during a kitchen renovation. The right backsplash design should be a focal point of your kitchen and really tie the whole room together.

Kitchen backsplash design should really incorporate your own personal style. Many people have trouble choosing a backsplash. I’m here to help. I’ll show you examples of what’s tending now and guide you to make an educated decision that suits your personality.

Popular Materials

Subway Tile
Glass or ceramic, subway tile is still

Smart Design With Suzette: Decorating For The Fourth

on July 3, 2016 - 10:35am
Patriotic flower pots and jars. Courtesy photo
Los Alamos

Can you believe we are mid-summer already? It’s our country’s birthday and time to celebrate! My family loves fireworks. We are blessed enough to watch them from our deck, so the day will be filled with good eats - ribs on the barbeque, lawn games, probably even a trip to the pool.

It doesn’t take much to decorate for Independence Day. You can decorate with food, flowers, and lawn decorations. Follow these guidelines for a red, white and blue, patriotic celebration.

Sodas in red, white and blue. Courtesy photo

Guardian Mortgage Company Expands Footprint

on June 29, 2016 - 8:56am
Guardian Mortgage Company staff Michaelann Cavazos, Marita DeVargas, Monie Blum, Bob Ortega, Mandi George and Cassandra DelgadoCourtesy photo
DALLAS  Guardian Mortgage Company is expanding its footprint once again, this time with services in Santa Fe, delivered at First National Santa Fe branches.
Guardian Mortgage Company, a Dallas based mortgage originator and servicer with more than 50 years in the business began providing all primary home loans for its affiliate First National Bank of Santa Fe in September 2015. Through this partnership, Guardian Mortgage

Scenes From Habitat For Humanity House Building

on June 29, 2016 - 8:43am
Craig One Feather and Debray Bailey survey the work from across the street. Photo by Nancy Coombs, UNM-LA
HFH News:
The Habitat for Humanity house build in Los Alamos Saturday, June 18 was supported by UNM-Los Alamos.
The house, on Questa Road, will provide a home for Ivette Jimenez and her son Ruben. Volunteers are welcome any Saturday.
For more information, contact Habitat for Humanity at 505.747.2690.
Ivette Jimenez tests out paint colors on the front of the house. Bill Gilson stands behind her, while Craig One Feather looks on laughing. Photo by Nancy Coombs, UNM-LA

Smart Design With Suzette: Hotel Style Bathrooms

on June 19, 2016 - 1:15pm
Make your bathroom feel like a luxury hotel. Courtey photo
Los Alamos

My master bath is extremely small. Unless I want to tear down walls and move the laundry to another location, which I don’t want to do, I have to find ways to make my master bathroom luxurious. I work really hard and I want my lovely, small bath to be a place that will be an aesthetically pleasing, welcoming retreat…like a luxury hotel.

The bathrooms of first-class hotels are defined by their luxury, style and quiet elegance.

What makes a great bathroom is a well-considered combination of fixtures,

Los Alamos County Housing Survey Opens

on June 15, 2016 - 12:23pm


Los Alamos County and A-19 Acquisition Group are asking for potential home buyers in the Los Alamos County area to participate in an online survey of New Home Buyer Preferences. 

The Los Alamos County New Home Buyer Survey is on the Los Alamos County website ( under News and Alerts. Use the following link to start the Los Alamos County New Home Buyer Survey:

The results of the Los Alamos County New Home Buyer Survey will be used in the planning and development for site A-19 in White Rock.

Smart Design With Suzette: The Power Of Paint

on June 5, 2016 - 11:57am
Adirondack chairs go pow with a new coat of paint. Photo by Suzette Fox
Curb appeal! Color it up with paint. Photo by Suzette Fox
Los Alamos

Recently, I decided to tackle some home projects that I have meaning to do for a while. I have to say the projects that make the biggest transformation have to do with paint.

The power of paint is undeniable. For about $30 a gallon, paint can do wonders.

Here are some before and after photos of my very own projects, at my house, that say just that.

The right color adds depth and texture to a room. Photo by Suzette Fox

Smart Design With Suzette: Design Envy

on May 22, 2016 - 12:36pm
Spiff up your home with a do it yourself project like painting furniture. Courtesy photo
Los Alamos

As someone who looks at a great deal of photos of beautifully designed homes every day, I know how the pangs of design cravings have the potential to overwhelm.

Despite the fact that we may be wishing for something different at home, that doesn’t mean we can’t also learn to love our homes just as they are today. Hardly anyone escapes home design envy.

Over time I have developed an arsenal of strategies to help cope with any feelings of my home being “less than” how I want