Skip directly to content


Topics such as interior design, home landscaping, gardening.

Smart Design With Suzette: Environmentally Friendly Kitchens

on May 31, 2015 - 9:06am
Light-filled kitchen. Courtesy photo
Smart Design With Suzette
Environmentally Friendly Kitchens

Designing interiors using sustainable practices is important. Indoor air quality, sustainable materials, water efficiency, and energy savings will provide long-term cost savings, comfort, peace of mind and safety.

Sustainable design is a science. Some principles apply across the board, but many measures will depend on your home's age, construction techniques used, building codes, local climate (temperature and humidity) and the land on which your home sits.

Smart Design With Suzette: Plan Your Kitchen Like A Pro

on May 10, 2015 - 7:08am
Design drawing for a kitchen remodel. Courtesy/Suzette Fox 
Smart Design With Suzette
Plan Your Kitchen Like a Pro

A kitchen can be filled with beautiful materials and finishes, but if the layout and space doesn't work well, it's not a successful design. A good space plan and flow are critical. Anyone who has tried working in a poorly designed kitchen knows this.

Kitchens have become the main gathering area of the house. We want more from our kitchens—we want them to really work for us and, at the same time, be beautiful.

I recommend working with a kitchen designer to

Smart Design With Suzette: Budgeting For A Kitchen Remodel

on May 3, 2015 - 10:43am
Remodeled kitchen. Courtesy/Suzette Fox
Remodeled kitchen with a modern look. Courtesy/Suzette Fox
Smart Design With Suzette
Budgeting for a Kitchen Remodel
Last week I wrote about getting started in your kitchen renovation. The next step is determining a budget. Let’s face it, it’s not the most fun thing to do in a remodel, but it’s the most important.

Using Your Home’s Value

If you’re looking for the best return-on-investment, expect to spend between 6 and 10 percent of your home’s value for a full kitchen renovation.

Smart Design With Suzette: A Kitchen Renovation ... Getting Started

on April 26, 2015 - 2:31pm
A newly renovated kitchen. Courtesy/Suzette Fox
A white kitchen. Courtesy/Suzette Fox
Smart Design With Suzette
A Kitchen Renovation – Getting Started

The kitchen is my favorite room to design. Kitchens represent family, nourishment, friends and laughter. Kitchens are also the most challenging. Huge mistakes can be made. These mistakes have lasting implications as a result of decisions that were not thought through.

This article will be the first in a series on kitchen renovation.

Visit LAAOR's 28 Top Open Houses Today!

on April 26, 2015 - 10:12am


The Los Alamos Association of REALTORS® is sponsoring Open House Sunday today with 28 homes participating throughout Los Alamos and White Rock, hosted by 10 local REALTORS®. 

The times and locations for these 28 open houses are published on the front page and in the Real Estate Section of the Los Alamos Daily Post. The list also is available on the LAAOR website at under the LAAOR Documents tab.

The Los Alamos Association of REALTORS® (LAAOR) was established in 1977. Originally it consisted of 16 REALTORS®. It has been as large as 100 members and today is 42

Smart Design With Suzette: Back To Nature – Biophilic Design

on April 19, 2015 - 6:50am
Nature in space. Courtesy photo
Smart Design With Suzette
Back To Nature – Biophilic Design

Have you heard of Biophilic Design? The term "biophilia" literally means "love of life or living systems." That sounds good, right?

Not to be confused with a specific “natural” or “organic” aesthetic, biophilic design is a design method with proven benefits for human performance and well-being.

 Biophilic design can reduce stress, enhance creativity and clear thinking, improve our well-being and expedite healing. I’m in!

An outdoor green space. Courtesy photo

Biophilia is a

Backyard Poultry Workshop And Tour May 9

on April 15, 2015 - 9:21am

4-H News:

Saturday, May 9, Los Alamos Team 4-H will be hosting a Backyard Poultry Workshop and Tour.

The Workshop starts at 10 a.m. in the Meeting Rooms at Mesa Public Library. Speakers will include a cooperative extension agent to talk about raising backyard chickens, a representative from Los Alamos County to talk about the rules for keeping backyard chickens, and Pet Pangea to talk about supplies.

At 11:30 a.m., maps will be handed out by Los Alamos Team 4-H in the Mesa Public Library lobby showing which backyards and stable lots will have hosts for the public to tour their poultry

Smart Design With Suzette: Easy Spring Decorating

on April 12, 2015 - 11:48am
Front Entry. Courtesy photo
Smart Design With Suzette
Easy Spring Decorating

This time of year everyone is ready to do some spring-cleaning. I know I am. When spring’s breezes inspire you to embrace the new season, use these decorating ideas to freshen up your rooms.

Decorate the front door

This is a great time to rethink your door color. Add a pop of color. Replace an old welcome mat with a new one. Add a wreath and you’re set.


Colorful doormat. Courtesy photo

Think Nature

Gather nature’s gifts and place them in simple containers around the house.

Living Well Los Alamos: Spring Cleaning Your Kitchen

on April 8, 2015 - 7:19am
Living Well Los Alamos
Spring Cleaning Your Kitchen

When we think of spring cleaning most of us think about cleaning the gutters, washing the windows, shampooing the carpets or sweeping the garage.

Don’t forget about the kitchen when you are making your list of things to get done. Spring is a good time to go through your cupboards, refrigerator and freezer to take stock of what you have and to develop a plan to use up or discard any products that may be past their prime.

The following is a sampling of storage guidelines for best quality.

Smart Design With Suzette: How To Design A Home Office

on March 29, 2015 - 1:16pm
Home Office. Courtesy photo
Smart Design With Suzette
How To Design A Home Office

Whether your home office is designated for running a business, the occasional telecommute, or simply a nook for paying bills, a well-designed home office is a necessity. It should be a place you want to work in.


Designers make very conscious decisions about what to emphasize in a space, because the focal point immediately determines its purpose. When it comes to your home office, it’s important to emphasize objects that instinctively tell your brain “this is a space for work.”

Smart Design With Suzette: Small Space Design Tips

on March 15, 2015 - 9:00am
Smart small kitchen design. Courtesy/Suzette Fox
Smart Design with Suzette

Small Space Design Tips

If your home or apartment feels small to you, maximizing space is essential. My first home was a 900 square foot bungalow in Florida. I quickly learned how to make the best use of a small space.

Squeezing in as much usable space as possible makes rooms livable by helping it function properly, keeping claustrophobic feelings (and clutter) at bay, and making a home (especially a tiny one) feel more spacious.

No matter the square footage, it really comes down to being smart about

Real Estate Corner: Why Do I Need Title Insurance?

on March 10, 2015 - 7:48am
Real Estate Corner

Why Do I Need Title Insurance?

One of the most common questions buyers ask during the process of buying a home isWhat is title insurance and why do I need it?” Title insurance (also known as an owner’s’ title policy) is issued by a title company and protects you against claims against your property and events that have happened in the past. The underwriter of the title company in addition will defend you in court if there is a claim on your title. 

What Types of Policies are Available to a Homeowner?

There are two types of title insurance

Smart Design With Suzette: Universal Design

on March 8, 2015 - 9:52am
Courtesy/Suzette Fox
Smart Design with Suzette
Universal Design
A few days ago my uncle died. My cousin was telling me how my uncle was restricted to a hospital bed in his home for years before he died. This got me thinking about the need for Universal Design. If you haven’t heard of it yet, you will in the future.

Universal design, originally aimed at creating easily accessible spaces for individuals with physical disabilities, has evolved into the design of functional, stylish spaces that make life easier for anyone, regardless of age, size or ability.

Smart Design With Suzette – Projects With Best Return On Investment

on March 1, 2015 - 9:46am
Smart Design with Suzette 
Projects With The Best Return On Investment

When a client invites me over for a consultation, one question inevitably comes up, “What renovations should I make to get the best return on investment?” Here is a list of upgrades with percentages attached so you can learn what makes the most sense.

Plan Your Remodel

Give yourself time to live in the home. Make a list of updates you need to make and how long you will live in the home. If you are planning on selling in the future, talk with a realtor and/or designer about a selling plan.

Real Estate Corner: 10 Tips To Purchasing A New Home

on February 24, 2015 - 11:33am
Real Estate Corner
10 Tips to Purchasing a New Home

Buying a new home is exciting and a big commitment, both emotionally and financially. These 10 steps of the home buying process can help you make the best decision possible so you can purchase with confidence:.

  • Step 1: Find a Mortgage Lender. Your mortgage lender can pre-qualify you for a mortgage and provide with the price range you should be looking at in your home search. A pre-qualification letter will be issued to you by your mortgage lender. 
  • Step 2: Find the right Real Estate Professional. A Realtor ®

Smart Design With Suzette: Wall Art

on February 22, 2015 - 9:23am
Courtesy/Suzette Fox
Smart Design with Suzette
Wall Art

Thomas Merton said, “Art enables us to find ourselves and lose ourselves at the same time.” Indeed, as a society, we are moved by great pieces of art. But has anyone ever tried to hang it?

Have you heard, “Hang art so that the center of the piece or grouping is at eye level?” But eye level is different for everyone. It’s not like we are all the same size!

Hanging Height

There’s no real hard and fast rules about the height you should hang pictures on the wall, but there are some guidelines and starting places

Real Estate Corner: 10 Tips To Get Your Home Ready For Sale

on February 17, 2015 - 7:48am
Real Estate Corner
10 Tips to Get your Home Ready for Sale

Spring is nearly upon us and some of you have decided to sell your home. So now is the time for you to help potential buyers capture their vision of living in your home.

Take advantage of 10 tips that will help you put your “for sale” sign up sooner and get a better return on your investment.

The following tips will help make positive first impressions:

  1. Curb Appeal: The first impression of your home is when a potential buyer pulls into the driveway of your home.

Smart Design With Suzette: Front Door Curb Appeal

on February 15, 2015 - 11:46am
Courtesy/Suzette Fox
Smart Design with Suzette 
Front Door Curb Appeal

Whether you are selling your home or want a fresh look, your front door needs to be inviting. A buyer will judge whether they want to buy a home within 15 seconds of walking in the door. If the curb appeal doesn’t get them in the front door – your house will not sell and you’ll hurt your property value.

Taking on the entire curb appeal of your home including the lawn, landscaping and design could take up to a month or more to undertake.

Smart Design With Suzette: Powder Rooms

on February 8, 2015 - 9:52am
Smart Design with Suzette
Powder Rooms

Thanks to its petite size – 4 by 5 feet on average – a powder room can be one of the least expensive rooms in the house to renovate.

Powder rooms are unique in the sense that they are not bound to any other room's design. They are a great place to experiment with bolder colors, patterns and textures. Adding some fun and personality to the powder room can create an unexpected design surprise for guests.

Photo by Suzette Fox

Here's how to remodel your powder room so you're never afraid to say, "Yes!" when someone asks, "Do

Extension Service Welcomes Helen Idzorek

on February 5, 2015 - 9:55am

Helen Idzorek

LAES News:

Helen Idzorek has been selected to the position of Los Alamos Extension Service(LAES) Home Economist for New Mexico State University’s Cooperative Extension Service.

She replaces Paula Roybal Sanchez, who retired last year after serving Extension for more than two decades. Roybal Sanchez was awarded emeritus status from NMSU in recognition of her outstanding service.

Idzorek comes to Los Alamos by way of Alaska where she worked for the University of Alaska Fairbanks Cooperative Extension Service for nearly ten years.

Smart Design With Suzette: Bookcases

on February 1, 2015 - 8:44am

Courtesy photo
Smart Design with Suzette

If you are like me, I absolutely love bookcases in a home. I dream of having a custom bookcase built around a fireplace or a library dedicated to relaxed reading.

Most people think they need to fill bookcases with only books, and as time progresses, they end up asking me for advice. More than one client has asked me to handle an out-of-control bookcase.

It’s really quite easy to declutter, organize and decorate your bookcase if you have a little bit of time and a step-by-step guide to help you.

Smart Design With Suzette: 2015 Color of the Year

on January 25, 2015 - 11:42am
Smart Design with Suzette
2015 Color of the Year

Pantone LLC, a subsidiary of X-Rite, announced Marsala, an earthy wine red, as the Color of the Year for 2015. X-Rite is a global leader in color science and technology.

What does this mean? This means you will see this hue everywhere, from the runways, to make up, to interior design.


Courtesy photo
“Marsala is a subtly seductive shade, one that draws us in to its embracing warmth,” said Leatrice Eiseman, Executive Director of Pantone Color Institute.

Smart Design With Suzette: Trash To Treasure

on January 18, 2015 - 8:07am
Smart Design with Suzette
Trash To Treasure

Have you ever thought about updating some old furniture with a coat of paint or adding something new to an old piece? Until I became passionate about eco-design, it never occurred to me.

Recently, I ran across a pair of vintage mid-century modern chairs at a local thrift store. They struck me because they had great lines but were in such a sorry state. I HAD to rescue them. I purchased the pair for $20 and drove off with a big smile on my face.

Smart Design with Suzette: Furniture Arrangement

on January 11, 2015 - 8:09am
Smart Design with Suzette
Furniture Arrangement

Furniture arrangement can be the simplest or the hardest thing to do depending on the size, shape and traffic flow of your room.

When you get this right, you will know it. The room will be welcoming and relaxing.




Start with an overview of your room. Look at the traffic flow and do not to place any furniture in its path. Next set your focal point. For a living room, it should be a fireplace, television or window. The bedroom should be the bed and the dining room should be the table, etc.

To help with

Habitat For Humanity Seeks Los Alamos House Partner

on January 6, 2015 - 10:18am

HFH News:

Habitat for Humanity of Espanola Valley & Los Alamos, Inc. is currently accepting applications for a New House Partner. The home is to be built on a small empty lot at 3564 Questa in Los Alamos.

Applicants must live or work in Los Alamos and fit the HUD income guidelines for Los Alamos.

Applications are available online at, at the Habitat office or contact 505.747.2690, for further information and/or an application.