Proper Table Setting

May 10, 2012

Proper Table Setting


With the upcoming spring holidays, I thought I’d share about how to properly set a table.  Perhaps you need a reminder of where the cutlery should be placed around the tableware.  With our casual lifestyles it’s easy to forget how a proper set table should look.  Here’s a refresher showing how to set a table.  If your hosting a holiday dinner or you just want to throw a spring garden party this information will be helpful.






Dessert spoon can be placed above the plate (facing left) with the dessert fork – with the tines pointing right


Salad bowl or dish can be placed to the left with bread plate above fork


Glass above the knife – glasses to be used first go on the outside – glasses line up from the first one















 Remember…Left for eating, Right for Drinking. Start at the outside and work in. 


Napkin Placement:

It depends on your preference and there are many folding variations that can be created. There are napkin folding books that can teach you how. As a default, the napkin can be placed in the water glass, folded on the dinner plate, or beside the flatware on the left. You may not want to use all of the tableware pieces shown in the above diagrams, they are optional and it also depends on what you are serving.

I have a napkin folding book and I like to put my creation on top of the plate. 


There are so many decorative and fun napkin rings that can adorn a folded napkin if you’re not up to learning the napkin folds. 

Buffet Style:

If you’re going to be serving buffet style (I serve buffet style a lot) the plates are not put on the table. They are piled on the buffet serving table.  Put the napkin in the center (where the plate would otherwise go).  

 Easter Table Setting


Elegant and Colorful Table Setting 

table spring

Modern Table Setting

table modern

Simplistic Table Setting

Tea Party Table Setting 

Dinner for Two Table Setting

table romantic

Natural Table Setting


Outdoor / Casual Table Setting


Creating a beautiful table setting doesn’t have to be difficult nor do you need to have fancy expensive tableware or silverware.

Creativity is “key” to a pretty place setting.

Have fun!

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Happy Spring – Tips and Ideas

March 22, 2012




 Spring’s warm breezes and blooming flowers indicate that the warm weather is near and it’s time to “Spring Clean”.

Many people get the urge this time of the year to give the house a good cleaning and re-organize their closets and cabinets.

Spring is a time for renewal and the perfect time to bring “new life” to your living spaces.

Below are some of my favorite tips from Martha Stewart.




Retrieving a jar or bottle from the back of a crowded cabinet can be awkward. For a simple fix, gather the pantry supplies you store on the shelf into a spare baking pan, then treat it like a drawer, carefully sliding it in and out for easy access. The pan will also catch drips, speeding cleanup.  I love this idea since I love to bake.



I use Magazine holders all the time but I never thought to attach a sash lift to them.  Magazine holders are good for keeping old issues in order, but their handleless backs make it difficult to access them when you need to. For a permanent fix, position a sash lift on the back of a holder, and mark screw holes with a pen. With a hand drill, make two holes in holder to accommodate small bolts. Secure the lift to the holder with bolts and matching nuts.



Great Idea for Spring Cleaning!  For easier spring-cleaning, fill a bucket with basics that need to be toted from room to room: all-purpose and glass-cleaning sprays, a sponge, a toothbrush, a squeegee, a scrub brush, hopsacking, and terry-cloth towels in washcloth and hand-towel sizes. Between tasks, hang rubber gloves over the rim to dry.




Wonderful Storage Tip.  Well-organized closets, storage areas, and office spaces can help you save time, open up your living quarters, and restore beauty and order to your home. Follow our easy ideas for storing anything and everything in your home.

Don’t let your matching sheets get lost in the linen closet. Use this simple trick: Tuck a sheet set inside one of its pillowcases, and then stack according to size (twin, full, queen, king) or by the room you use the sheets in (master bedroom, guest room.)



These are a MUST for me!  Bathroom drawers are second only to junk drawers in their potential for messiness. It’s too easy to toss grooming products in there pell-mell. Wooden boxes and trays help categorize the items and are available in various sizes and materials, so they can be mixed and matched to fit any sort of drawer.



Bedrooms are where we go to rest and relax. That can be hard to do if your clothes are strewn all over and your jewelry is tangled. Restore order while maintaining a beautiful space with our easy organizing solutions.

Some of your heels are works of art, so why not display them as such? Line the walls of a walk-in closet or a dressing area with picture-rail molding to make a tidy yet visually arresting display.

Buy preprimed pieces, and have them cut to length at the store. Paint before installing, either the color of the wall or a bold accent shade. Space the rails a foot apart, and attach them to the wall with construction adhesive. Hammer finishing nails every 18 inches (you don’t have to hit studs), countersink nails, spackle, and touch up with paint.


storage shoes

I place my shoes on the shelf with one shoe toe first and the other heel first.  This way here I can see the heel size and toe style at the same time.  It also allows more room to fit more shoes per shelf.

storage handbag

Since I store my handbags in cloth bags I can’t see what handbag is in there.  So I take picture of the handbag, print it and cut it to fit in a plastic baggy.  I tape the baggy shut, make a little hole in the top with a hole puncher and I attach it to the string of the cloth bag. Now I know which handbag is in there.

And don’t forget to allow some time to enjoy the beautiful weather. 

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July 3, 2010

Appliance Rebates started on July 1, 2010 

Good News for Arizonans!  Funds are once again available to buy qualified appliances.  Go to for an online applicaton.  You can do the process online or print/mail it in for the rebate.  This is a limited time offer…Funds will be availalbe until Decemeber 31, 2010 (or until they run out…whichever comes first).  So don’t delay. 

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Top 7 Decorating Mistakes

July 2, 2010


Being an interior designer for over 25 years I’m quite familiar with the most common mistakes most people make (even some professionals) when decorating a home.  Decorating should reflect our taste and style, and it is a very personal thing.  However there are a few decorating blunders that should be avoided.   Below is a list of mistakes and fixes. 

The Line UpMISTAKE 1:  The Line Up…lining up the furniture on one wall.  I see this done a lot especially in bedrooms, where several different size dressers are all shoved against one wall.  This creates a “cluttered” look and feel.  It’s also unbalanced. 

THE FIX:   Be sure to measure the space and the dimensions of the furniture you’ll be placing on each wall.  Place one main piece of furniture on a wall.  You want to make sure the room looks and feels balanced.  Also, be sure to leave enough “walk room” between the bed and the furniture.  You don’t want to be bumping into things if you get up in the middle of the night to use the bathroom.  Scale is very important here. 

Good PlacementMISTAKE 2:  Furniture Placement…many people think pushing the living room sofa against the wall and by having the open space in the center of the room will make the room appear larger…False.  This type of arrangement makes it difficult to carry on a conversation.

THE FIX:  Since the sofa is the largest piece in the room it should be placed in the center and across from either the entertainment wall or fireplace (the focal point). Rearrange the other pieces around the sofa to create an intimate setting that is more conversational.  (group all piece in the center of the room) Make sure you’re TV is hung/placed at eye level and the sofa is placed at the correct distance from the TV.  The distance depends on the size of the TV and your preference.  A good rule of thumb is to take the size of the TV and multiply it by 1.5.  For example, if you have a 42” Flat Screen TV, you would multiply 42 x 1.5 = 63” or 5’1/4”.  If you feel that it’s still too close you can move your sofa back to about 6’.  The larger the TV the further back the sofa should go.  So it’s important to know your room size before purchasing a TV.  (measure to the back seat of the sofa)

Some rooms are too small for this configuration, if you have to place the sofa against a wall be sure to group the other pieces around the sofa…don’t push the chair against another wall, etc.

Upon entry you see the back of the sofa…that’s a great place for a console table to be placed with a few accessories displayed. 

Fear of ColorMISTAKE 3:  Fear of Color…when I first moved to the dessert I was shocked at how many beige / cream colored houses I went to.  Floors, walls, ceilings and furniture were all beige, which tends to look boring and lacks creativity.  Many of the clients told me that they love color but were afraid to use it.  Many think using a paint color, other than off white; will make the room look smaller and be difficult to match with furniture. 

THE FIX:  Use your favorite colors!  I recommend selecting the upholstery and window treatments first.   You can start with a palette of three colors in different shades and contrast – you can have one dark deep color, complimented by lighter colors.  Select the main color followed by accent colors.  Darker colors tend to ground while lighter colors tend to float.   Don’t use all jewel tones or pastels – mix it up.  After those selections are made then the paint color can be selected.  It is best to select a few colors and paint them on the wall in the room.  Stay with it for a day or so and see how the color looks in the natural light and nighttime light, then select.  The goal of paint color is to enhance the other colors being used and to create a mood.  You can use paint color to make something pop or to create a soft glow.  But always surround yourself in the colors you love. 

Too Many PrintsMISTAKE 4:  Too Many Patterns… using too many patterns can become distracting to the eye, busy and overbearing.  However, you don’t want to be “matchy-matchy” either.  There are many ways to introduce patterns to the décor of a room but there is also a fine line with how many to use and where. 

THE FIX:  I love to decorate a room with different patterns, it creates interest.  However, you must stay true to your color palette and plan. Use patterns and prints very specifically to support the main color and draw attention to the accent colors.  Mix it up with a blend of solid colors, prints, different textures and materials. 

Artwork too HighMISTAKE 5:  Hanging Artwork Too High…you shouldn’t have to strain the neck and eyes to view art.  In most situations art should be hung at eye level for proper viewing and balance. 

THE FIX:  I see this mistake often, art being hung way too high.   Art needs to be hung at eye level; the main feature of the art (or center) should be at eye level.  Since we’re all different heights, you can use this as a guideline…hang art approximately 60” above the floor, 8”–12” above a sofa, chair or headboard.  6” – 8” inches for a mirror above a chest.  In contemporary settings I prefer to hang art a little lower than in traditional settings.   But don’t go too low because that doesn’t look good either. 

Wrong Window TreatmentMISTAKE 6:  Hanging Window Treatments Too Low…I see this mistake often too.  In most homes the art is hung too high and the window treatments are hung too low. 

THE FIX:  I consider window treatments “jewelry” for the window.  The goal is to dress up the window, add some bling and drama.  Therefore you don’t want to stay in the constraints of the window size.  The higher the curtain is installed the taller your room will appear.  Hanging drapes at ceiling height will give a dramatic effect on the entire room.  For the length, go ½” to 1” above the floor or make the drapes longer to “puddle” on the floor for a little drama.  If you don’t want to go to the floor, than go just below the window molding. (in some cases you can touch the window sill) I don’t like drapes ending midway on a wall because it looks like you ran out of fabric and the flow is wrong.  

ClutterMISTAKE 7:  Too Many Knickknacks…I think it’s important to display personal collections, things that you love to look at or have sentimental value.  However, you can’t display all of them or have collections displayed in too many places, it becomes too messy and cluttered looking. 

THE FIX:   If you do have a collection of knickknacks that you want to display select one area, cabinet or wall and display a few of your favorites.  You can store the others and rotate them seasonally.  It’s important to use accessories when decorating to bring the room together, to add some bling and drama but again don’t add too many.   It’s best not to have too many small items on display.  Instead use fewer but larger pieces that add impact and create drama.  It’s important to have “negative space” so you don’t have to cover everything with a knickknack.  In most cases…LESS IS MORE!



  • Toilet Rugs – unsanitary
  • Too Many Focal Points – don’t know what to look at first…just have one
  • Electrical Cord and Cable Wires – messy…tack them up
  • Too Many Personal Photos – display some and use photo albums for the remainder
  • Buying the “Display” at a Furniture Store – it never looks right in the home…either the scale is wrong or the pieces are too matchy
  • Floating Area Rugs – measure to get the correct size for your area rug…it should always “connect” to the furniture or fit the room leaving 12”-16” of floor space around the rug…for the dining room…the chairs should fit on the rug 
  • Cheap Plastic or Fake Plants/Flowers – this is one area that you must buy a high grade or use real
  • Vertical Blinds – outdated
  • Using Things You No Longer Like – it’s important to surround yourself with things that you love and make you feel good  (use the wall space in your garage for things you can’t part with)


Good DesignWhen decorating a home it’s imperative to have a plan and budget.  When you have a plan and budget you’re going to make better decisions and purchases.   I find that most people struggle with scale and proportion when selecting furniture.  Use books, Internet and furniture showrooms to gather ideas and to get familiar with what works.  Visualization is difficult for most people and if you’re really stuck it is best to call in a professional.   In the long run you’ll save time and money but most important you’ll get the job done right.   Hiring a professional can turn a stressful project into an enjoyable one!  

For a FREE consultation call or click:  480.816.4233 or


Article by Cheryl Sandella, ASID Interior Designer, Fountain Hills, Arizona

©2010 Cheryl Sandella.  Sandella Custom Homes and Interiors, LLC. 

Cheryl SandellaAbout Cheryl:

Cheryl Sandella, Interior Designer ASID Allied Member and CEO and Founder of Sandella Custom Home and Interiors.  She is a talented designer dedicated to providing homeowners with a high level of design standards and expertise, while providing guidance and support throughout the home renovation process.  Presenting every homeowner with a precise plan and customized design.

Cheryl is known for her keen eye and ability to pay close attention to design and details while never loosing site of the homeowner’s lifestyle, budget and dream.   She works closely with her husband and partner of over 30 years, Al Sandella, General Contractor and together they design, remodel and build homes in the valley.

To read more about her go to   and sign up to receive the FREE Guide, “How to Create a Design Notebook” and to discover upcoming promotions, programs and services. 

WANT TO USE THIS ARTICLE IN YOUR NEWSLETTER, BLOG OR WEB SITE? You can, as long as you include this complete blurb with it: Cheryl Sandella is a sought out Interior Designer who specialized in design, remodel and custom home building.  Cheryl is the CEO and Founder of Sandella Custom Homes and Interiors.  She publishes a monthly eZine called “Bespoke Home”.  If you want Tools, Tips and Guidance to design, remodel and custom home building, be sure to get your complimentary subscription at  

Sandella LogoCheryl Sandella

Sandella Custom Homes & Interiors

PO Box 18132

Fountain Hills, AZ 85269

480.836.1543 – office

480.816.4233 – Cheryl’s personal line

Green Building and Design

Presenting the New Maserati

May 17, 2010

Join us for a fun-filled evening at the Home and Design Idea Center for the unveiling of the NEW Maserati Gran Turismo on May 20, 2010

Complimentary Drinks and Hors d’oeuvres

From 5:00 – 8:00pm

HDIC and Sandella Custom Homes and Interiors

19120 N. Pima Rd, Scottsdale, AZ

For more information contact Sandella Custom Homes and Interiors – 480.836.1543

The Color Pink by Cheryl Sandella

May 26, 2009
Sandella Custom Homes and Interiors

Bespoke Home with Cheryl Sandella










Welcome to Bespoke Home Ezine
May 2009





Gabrielle SchoeneweisSad News.  On May 20 I received shocking news that one of my past clients, Gabrielle Schoeneweis, had passed.  She was only 38 years old.  She left behind a loving husband, Scott Schoeneweis, pitcher for the Diamondbacks and four beautiful children. Gabrielle had a strong sense of style and fashion. She loved the color pink.   I write this article in memory of her.  May she rest in peace. 






The History of Pink 

The color pink

The color pink is a combination of red and white and stands for beauty, grace and goodness. It is associated with love and romance.  It was recorded in the 17th century to describe the pale red color of flowers.  I like to call pink the sweet side of red.
In the 20th century believe it or not pink was actually a masculine hue and it was considered the pastel color of red.  It was the popular color for little boys.
It wasn’t until the 40’s that pink then became the color of choice for little girls. 
In 1949 Crayola Crayons introduced it’s first pink crayon called “Carnation Pink”.  They’ve been introducing new pink colored crayons ever since.
In the 1950’s the new pink color  trend was “shocking pink” or “hot pink”.  When Barbie was introduced in 1959 she wore mostly pink. 
The 60’s were a big pink time  – the band Pink Floyd was introduced and they went on to sell over 200 million albums world wide over the next 40 years.  In 1964 a movie came out called The Pink Phink, now known as the Pink Panther.  That movie won an Academy Award.  And in 1968, Mary Kay Ash purchased her first Pink Cadillac.
In the 80’s pink was a popular color for decor.  It was paired with gray, mauve and cream colors. 
In 1990 the Pink Ribbon was introduced for Breast Cancer Awareness.
In 2006 the Chicago Transit Authority picked the color pink for the name of the new branch of the L’Train.
To date the color pink is still a widely used color in fashion and decor.  In today’s culture pink is the most popular color for girls. Many feel that if a man where’s the color pink he has high confidence while other’s still look at it as a “feminine only” color. 







Decorating with PinkPink Room
 The color pink has the ability to excite and relax.  It can be used to create different looks such as romantic, shabby chic, glam, country, vintage and girly glitz.  It can be soft or vibrant, used as a solid color or available in many prints and patterns. Pink can be used as an accent color or used as the primary color for a room.  It can be paired with other colors such as chocolate brown, black, white, green, blue, gray, beige, or purple.  Pink is considered a warm hue on the color chart and comes in so many variations making it a widely used color in decorating and fashion.  Depending on the shade of pink and how it’s used you can create a soft and romantic room, or a room of sophistication.  Pink is also a color that can be used with so many different styles as it works great with traditional, contemporary or country decor.  Martha Stewart decorated her guest cottage in Maine primarily in pink with some accents of soft gray. 
To achieve the soft feminine look use the softer shades of pink.  The walls could be painted in a soft pink or blush tone.  The trim can be accented in a pearl white color.  The fabrics could be lace, floral, silk and satin.  Sheer silk window treatments with trim at the leading edge could gently grace the windows.  Pink roses are a must have for this room’s decor.
To create a glamorous look use brighter shades of pink and fabrics of velvet, silk and metallic.  Glass mixed with silverleaf wood furnishings will work well.  Large printed wallpaper, a sparkling chandelier and bold prints will compliment nicely. A layered window treatment of cascades, jabots and tassel tied side panels would complete the space. 
For the sophisticated look I like to see pink furnishings atop hardwood floors with warm wood tones for furnishings.  Striped fabrics tend to give a look of sophistication.  A custom roman shade with stationary side panels would add a nice touch for a window treatment. 
The color pink could just be added as a splash of color or you could do what Martha Stewart did and use it monochromatically in the entire house. 
I’ve decorated many nurseries, little girl rooms, bedrooms, bathrooms, closets, offices and tea rooms in pink.  I’ve always enjoyed decorating with the color pink – it offers so many choices that allow me to be very creative.  I’d love to do a “Pink” kitchen.  Any takers?
Halloween at preschoolCheryl Sandella, Interior Designer ASID Allied Member, works with her husband and partner of 30 years, Al Sandella, General Contractor.  They own Sandella Custom Homes and Interiors in Fountain Hills Arizona and design and build homes in the valley.  To read more about her go to     
Cheryl Sandella
Sandella Custom Homes & Interiors
PO Box 18132
Fountain Hills, AZ  85269
480.836.1543 – office
480.816.4233 – Cheryl’s personal line   
If you’d like to recieve Cheryl’s gift, “How to create a Design Notebook go to her website and enter your name/email in the box titled “Get Free Stuff”.

WANT TO USE THIS ARTICLE IN YOUR E-ZINE OR WEB SITE?  You can, as long as you include this complete blurb with it: Cheryl Sandella, Interior Designer publishes a monthly eZine called “Bespoke Home”.  If you want the Tools, Tips and Guidance to design and build your custom home, be sure to get your complimentary subscription at 









Green, Global and Glamour by Cheryl Sandella

February 4, 2009

Green, Global and Glamour


While many of you have been hearing about the up and coming green design it’s in full force for 2009.  The prediction for Arizona is that 10% of all new home construction in 2010 will be constructed green and equating to a $20 billion market share.  Due to our “red” economy many may not be able to build a completely green home but consumers will still be seeking green products for sure.  Many are becoming environmentally conscious so you’ll be seeing more and more green products on the market for 2009 and beyond.  Green has had a strong focus on appliances, solar energy, lighting, heating and cooling.  But for 2009 green goes LUXE.  Be on the lookout for luxurious eco-linens that will feel and look like silk.  Bedding and other high-end accessories will be getting the GREEN treatment. 



For 2009 there will be a merging of multi-cultural designs.  We will still be inspired by the Asian and Middle Eastern cultures.  Adding to them will be a fresh focus on Russia, India, Morocco and Latin America culture. 



Fashionista Couture – where glamour and beauty from the fashion runways inspire your home.  You’ll see lots of embellishments on accessories.  Pillows will be dressed with belts, sequence, Swarovski crystals and flowers.  Window treatments will have dressmaker details and trims. Upholstered headboards will be glamour inspired using velvet fabrics with silver – leaf finish accented with metallic trim. 


Cheryl’s Top Ten Trends for 2009:

  1. The color Purple is back!   Soft is out and loud is in.  Colors that say “look at me” will be getting the attention.  Red and blue will still be important while herbal green joins the scene.  Due to Asian inspired design, gold and yellow will be shouting out.  White is also making a comeback especially in kitchen design.  And neon colors will be shinning through.  There is power in color and I feel every room should have a shout of it. 
  2. The “New Look” is Traditional with an Edge.  What I mean by edge is a fresh modern look, a fusion of the two.  Old World and Tuscan design are out and Traditional and Contemporary are in.  Modern, minimalism, green with a touch of glamour has got my attention this year.  This will be the year to mix it up – juxtaposition design done right can be very striking. 
  3. Home furnishings will be getting scaled down as will room sizes.  So the furniture must fit the scale of the room so you’ll be seeing a “back to basics” approach in furniture.  Distressed wood will still be popular in 2009 but the shades and stains will get a little lighter.  You’ll also see a fusion of shades being used such a chocolate brown and white. 
  4. Fabrics will be larger in scale, bold and bright with added glitz.  Metallics will still make a statement as they are fun to work with and always add a spark of interest to the piece.  
  5. Popular Patterns of paisleys, geometrics botanicals, mosaics and patchwork will be seen on fabrics and wallpaper.  Texture will also play a major role in décor.  Using the layered look creates visual interest.  I enjoy designing a painted wall with a layer of moldings – it creates architectural interest for the room.  Tile patterns in bathrooms are the rave especially brick glass tiles. 
  6. Lifestyle – a new trend of homeowner is emerging and will be living in their homes longer.  Making a long-term commitment to stay in their homes will be paramount when making decisions on home design and building.  The recent down turn in the housing market will play a part in how they design for the future.   These homes will be custom tailored to their lifestyles and they will be smart about what they want such as flexible floor plans, emphasis on green building and living, and multi–purpose rooms.   
  7. Remodeling and Expansions will be huge in 2009 and beyond.  Homeowners are now in a nesting mode and are willing to update their existing homes to conform to their current lifestyles and personalities. 
  8. Custom Home Building will continue to grow in Arizona and will continue to be one of the fastest growing states over the next two decades.  The emphasis for custom home building will be on “practical building”.  The new homes erected will be a tad smaller in size but without compromising quality.  With a strong focus on energy efficiency, individuality, practical floor plans, multi-purpose room, modern style, high technology and great curb appeal. 
  9. Watch for local, state and federal government programs that will offer homeowners incentives to build green.  There will be tax credits and rebates offered.  Many new websites will be available for information as well.
  10. Express Yourself!  Designing and building your home should be about your personal preferences not on what’s the hottest new trend.  It’s fun and exciting to hear and read about what is new and up and coming but if the trend doesn’t suit you and your lifestyle then it shouldn’t go into your home.  Design with “you” in mind.

Gilles Nouailhac

Gilles Nouailhac






Sweet Pea and Willow

Sweet Pea and Willow

Cote France

Cote France

© 2009 Sandella Custom Homes and Interiors LLC.  All rights reserved

About Cheryl: 

Cheryl Sandella, Interior Designer ASID Allied Member, works with her husband and partner of 30 years, Al Sandella, General Contractor.  They own Sandella Custom Homes and Interiors in Fountain Hills Arizona and design and build homes in the valley.  To read more about her go to  


WANT TO USE THIS ARTICLE IN YOUR E-ZINE OR WEB SITE?  You can, as long as you include this complete blurb with it:  Cheryl Sandella, Interior Designer publishes a monthly eZine called “Bespoke Home”.  If you want the Tools, Tips and Guidance to design and build your custom home, be sure to get your complimentary subscription at

Cheryl Sandella

Sandella Custom Homes & Interiors

PO Box 18132

Fountain Hills, AZ  85269

480.836.1543 – office

480.816.4233 – Cheryl’s personal line