~ Happy 4th of July ~

By: mario On: 05:29
  • Let's Get Social
  • I'm stopping in to wish you all a wonderful 4th of July!

    I'll be heading out today to spend some vacation time at a nice cozy cottage in Northport , NY. It's Just a town away , but a nice little waterside village and a week away from routine and responsibility :)! I hope you are all enjoying a beautiful summer too! Have a wonderful week ladies!

    Hugs and appreciation!

    ~ Cynthia ~

    Tulikivi Masonry Unit Heater (Fireplace)

    By: mario On: 12:15
  • Let's Get Social
  • Some of you were able to tour our 2009 Michigan Energy Fair Show Home in Kingsley Michigan this last weekend, for those of you that were not. One of the favorite feature of this home was the Tulikivi Masonry Unit Heater Fireplace from Positive Chimney & Fire Place Located in Cadillac, Michigan. TULIKIVI (TWO-lee-KEE-vee). In Finnish, it literally means "fire stone". In English, it translates into one of the world's most beautiful and efficient ways to heat your house.

    Fireplaces are important in every home especially to those who are located in cold places like Michigan. However, burning wood inside your home is not eco friendly enough and not an efficient way to save fuel. To address this issue, Finnish company Tulikivi has created the soapstone fireplace that is truly beautiful and fuel-efficient that produces some of the cleanest, most energy-efficient wood-burning fireplaces in the world. Adding to the “green” appeal of a Tulikivi fireplace is its healthy radiant heat output and use of a local, renewable, carbon neutral fuel – wood. These soapstone fireplaces are a traditional heating method in Finland, but are now winning converts here at a time when prices for oil and natural gas continue to soar. Typical wood-burning fireplaces send the majority of their heat up the chimney; not so with a Tulikivi. The soapstone soaks up the fire’s heat as it burns, stores it and then gently and steadily releases it after the fire is out. Tulikivi is recognized by the Finnish Allergy and Asthma Federation as a heating option for those households where asthma or allergies are a key concern, due to the extremely low particle emission of its latest collection of fireplaces (introduced in North America earlier this year). Tulikivi fireplaces supersede the strictest air quality standards in the world and help's our "Granite Hill Project" earn points towards its projected LEED for Homes "Gold" certification. It’s nice to know that you can now have a fireplace that is not only fashionable and elegant, but also an earth friendly one.

    Several people that attended this years Energy Fair told me it was worth the trip to this home just to check out his Tulikivi soapstone fireplace.

    Octopus Bottle Stopper

    By: mario On: 18:30
  • Let's Get Social

  • 2008
    Cast bronze / patina
    6" x 5" x 6"

    This cast bronze Octopus bottle stopper was created for a specific exhibition put on by the Wood Turning Center called "The Art of Opening: Bottles & Their Toppers". After receiving all the cork screws and stoppers, the Center teamed up with the Wheaton Arts Cultural Center in Millville, NJ and had local glass artists blow one-of-a-kind glass vessels for each piece. See the piece as shown in the exhibition below. Check out http://woodturningcenter.org/2009/exhibit4/index.html to see other pieces in the online gallery.

    Pine Strobilus

    By: mario On: 19:49
  • Let's Get Social

  • 2008

    maple / paint / gold leaf
    1.5" x 3" x 2"

    ~ Homemade ~

    By: mario On: 05:41
  • Let's Get Social
  • Hello Ladies! I have to first say, thank you so much for your sweet and funny letters to my Mom from the previous post! My parents are coming up for a visit tomorrow and will be here for about a month, so I can't wait to show her your little pleas for my china :) She told me she couldn't bring any on the plane, lol, so hopefully that means the rest can be shipped when she gets back home :) Now on to the new post... We have had rain here for what seems like 60 days, and so instead of gardening and playing outside this past weekend, I spent the time baking and cleaning and getting ready for company. My middle Son Kyle is graduating High School and so this coming weekend I'm throwing him a party to celebrate. One of the items on the menu is homemade bread :) I find this recipe so easy and most of the work is "waiting" for it to rise, lol, so I got a lot of cleaning done in between and also spent an hour reading through my new magazines too. Just click on the pictures to make them bigger and you can copy the recipe if you'd like, it's delicious, so Enjoy!

    ~ The recipe comes from my Vintage Pillsbury cookbook, circa 1963 ~

    The smell of homemade bread is amazing! I found the trick is using scalding milk, and soaking the yeast in warm water first too. Just as the recipe implies :)

    And of course, kneading is everything, I use my palms and really get in there for about 10 minutes!

    Then you end up with this silky smooth ball of dough and even that has a wonderful scent too! The little picture above on the right is the first rise, a slightly damp towel covering the finished dough is another great tip for rising!
    ~ Then you wait, and wait and wait :) then you wait again :) ~

    I passed the time cleaning and then sat down to the new summer reads! Country Living Magazine and of course Victoria too! I think this is one of the prettiest issues yet from Victoria! Go grab your July issues if you haven't already! Victoria features Maryjanes Farm in this issue and the eye candy is fabulous and fresh! And the recipes from Country living are sure to be a big part of Kyles Graduation party too!

    Then I did a little more waiting , lol, until the pretty dough had been turned and risen a few more times, it was ready to bake!
    Can you smell it? I sure hope so , because you all deserve a nice big piece!

    Baking bread wouldn't be complete for me if I couldn't store it in something pretty :) A few years back I went on a quest for some Vintage European bread bags, this one below was a great find on eBay and I just adore the colors. I believe it's Swedish or German for " Fresh Bread" ??, but if anyone knows for sure, let me know if I'm right or wrong :) I am on the hunt for an Italian or French one now :)

    They even look pretty and fit right in with the aprons when not being used for Bread!

    I let the loaves peek through for the picture, but if you pull the ties closed the linen will keep the bread fresher a bit longer! Of course, homemade bread doesn't usually last too long in my house , but it looks sweet on a table when you have guests or for a party too!

    ~ Fresh bread is best warm right out of the oven with fresh butter and jam preserves too! Enjoy! ~

    I hope you all have a deliciously sweet week ahead! I am praying for a sunny day for Kyles graduation BBQ here! keep your fingers crossed for me! Thank you so much for always being such sweet friends, I hope the summer is finding you all blessed and content!

    With appreciation and Hugs,

    ~ Cynthia ~

    Results in Google Search Engine

    By: mario On: 02:52
  • Let's Get Social
  • We are excited to announce to our clients and associates on our top positions in Google search engine. Thank you Google and clients for your continued support.
    We are found top ranking in following keywords search:-

    Singapore interior design company - 2nd / 1,050,000 position
    Singapore interior renovation contractors - 2nd / 63,000 position
    Office chairs Singapore - 1st / 667,000 position
    Office furniture Singapore - 1st / 1,160,000 position
    Office renovation - 4th / 1,820,000 position
    Interior designers Singapore - 9th / 2,100,000 position
    Office chair - 1st / 31,500,000 position
    Office chairs - 1st / 41,5000,000 position
    Office furniture chairs - 1st / 2,030,000 position
    Singapore renovation - 9th / 1,230,000 position
    Mesh chairs - 2nd / 341,000 position
    Singapore office furniture - 1st / 4,830,000 position
    Carpet Singapore - 6th / 2,370,000 position
    Carpet tiles Singapore - 3rd / 205,000 position
    System furniture Singapore - 1st / 631,000 position
    System furniture - 2th / 40,700,000 position
    Singapore interior renovation - 1st / 113,000 position
    Door access system - 6th / 19,900,000 position
    Meeting tables - 5th / 50,700,000 position
    Interior renovation office - 5th / 50,700,000 position

    Pls do not hesitate to let us know how we can improve on our website to serve you better.

    Things to note for when renovating offices, factories, retail shops in Singapore

    By: mario On: 00:50
  • Let's Get Social
  • Taking this opportunity to share with our customers what to watch out for when planning for the renovation for your office, factory and retail shop:-

    1) Obtain the fitting-out manual / renovation guideline from the landlord / building management office. This spells out the terms and conditions for the decoration work and it may includes cost for certain work such as for the fire protection system (sprinkler, heat / smoke detectors), contact for their Qualified Persons (QP), Professional Engineers (PE), Licenced Electrical Worker (LEW), etc.
    Pass a copy of this manual to your Interior designers / Renovation contractors for their reference and compliance. Application forms for the Renovation permit, Shut down of Fire Sprinkler System, Application of Hot Work Permit are found in the manual, and needs to be submitted prior to the commencement of the renovation.
    We would also advise tenants to ask the building management office for any special instructions relating to the renovation, as this may spells out any hidden cost to you later.

    2) Engage only designers / contractors that are experienced in this type of commercial work relevant to your premises. Avoid pitfalls and ask for their experience and portfolio.
    Experienced teams from Singapore Interior Pte Ltd will provide a full turnkey service to your renovation needs:-
    . Preparation of drawings for submission to relevant authority such as FSSD (SCDF), HDB, URA, BCA, etc.
    . Cabling work for lighting, power, voice and network points.
    . Provision of keyphone / PABX system, server rack, UPS, door access, surveillance camera.
    . Erection partition rooms with drywall gypsum board, tempered glass, fire rated board, etc.
    . Install false ceiling and plaster ceiling
    . Floor finishing - carpeting, vinyl tiles, vinyl sheet, granite / homogenuous tiles.
    . Wall finishing - wall paper covering, emulsion / enamel painting.
    . Fire protection system - addition / alteration to the fire sprinkler, heat / smoke detectors, call points. Provision of FM200 for server rooms / data centre.
    . Plumbing work - inclusive of supply and waste piping, coring of floor slabs for new wet pantry and toilets. Installation of toilets sanitary ware, sink, etc.
    . Carpentry work - all design and built items relating to furniture inclusive of decorative items such as stainless steel, mirrors, glass, etc.
    . Office furniture - complete range of office furniture, system furniture, open plan partition, desks, cabinets, chairs, conference table, reception counter, etc.
    . Company signage - in 3D acrylic, stainless steel, aluminium box-up, vinyl stickers, etc.

    . Provision of telephone and video conferencing equipments, projectors, etc.

    3) Obtain from the landlord / management office / your property agent a copy of the floor plan. Try to get hold of the M&E drawings too, this shows the aircon, lighting and fire protection system. Pass a copy of this to your interior designers / contractors.

    4) Prepare a list of your requirements before meeting up with your interior designers / renovation contractors. List down for example, your head counts, rooms required, what you expect for the finishing / furniture.

    5) Ask these informations from your landlord / management office prior to meeting up with your interior designers / contractors:-
    . Is electrical distribution board provided?
    . What is the electrical supply rating provided?
    . Is the telephone main cabling from TAS riser to unit provided on site by landlord?
    . Any floor trap for water discharge (for pantry, etc)?
    . Hacking of floor screed allowed (to conceal cabling)?
    . Installation of split unit aircon allowed?

    6) Ask your interior decorators for layout plans (space planning), 3D drawings, quotations. Study the proposals and make revisions to suit your operation, purpose.

    7) Always ask for detail drawings / production drawings to illustrate items proposed prior to the execution of work on site. This will avoid any mis-interpretation and changes while work is in-progress. Production drawings shall show the ceiling, lighting, cabling for power, voice and LAN points positions. Including shop drawings for custom-made furniture / fittings.

    8) When taking over the premises from the landlord / property agents, please conduct due diligence to check for any defects from previous tenants, such as cracked / stained ceiling boards, cracked glass panels, window mullions with screw holes. All defects must be written down on the handover sheet and have the landlord rectified them before handing over to your interior designers / renovation contractors. It is advisable to take pictures of the premises and forward a copy to the landlord for their file. This will avoid any future dispute on your reinstatement once your lease expires. Quantity of lighting, air-conditioning units / diffusers, EXIT and emergency lighting shall be indicated in the handover record.

    Our project team will also conduct a Pre-inspection check when the premises is hand over to us and we will list down any irregular items found and forwarded to our clients for their reference / followup action. Similarly once our fitting out is completed, we shall conduct a handover to our client.

    We trust that the above information will be useful for your purpose and please do not hesitate to contact us for any further assistance required.
    Tel: 63239213 Email:
    sales@singaporeinterior.com URL: http://www.singaporeinterior.com/

    Information mentioned above is strictly for your reference only and not for sales as training material, neither allowed for use by interior designers / contractors for their check list. All authorisation from us must be written. All rights reserved.

    May & June Update!

    By: mario On: 17:01
  • Let's Get Social
  • Many thing have happened since our last update. You can read the articles I wrote below about our trip to the Andersen Window factory, our "Watercress Project" completion or our 2009 Michigan Energy Fair show house and the exciting news about the "Vineyard Project" HERS score and it becoming a projected LEED for Homes "Platinum" project just to name a few thing since our last update!

    As of this month we are happy to have 15 active projects in our office for design. The picture in this article is from the site of the latest project under design which will be built on Long Lake in Traverse City, Michigan. We have just completed the designs for a interesting projected LEED for Homes "Gold" project called the "The Hybrid II Project" in Pittsford, Michigan that Adam Bearup of Hybrid Homes will be building along with the projected LEED for Homes "Platinum" "Turtle's Hope Project" that he has currently under construction. These projects should be fun to watch as Adam turns our designs in to reality. At the end of May we were hired for a new Zero Energy Home (ZEH) project in Beulah, Michigan and are currently interviewing for several other interesting projects throughout the state. Thats all for now.

    Hope to see some of you at the 2009 Michigan Energy Fair were in Booth #8.

    ~ New Pretties ~

    By: mario On: 11:25
  • Let's Get Social
  • I hope you are all enjoying a wonderful week! It's been another busy one here at the Cottage :) First off, I finally finished transferring my old web page into a new blog, I'd love if you all gave it a peek and let me know what you think. I tried to keep it simple and bare with me because the items that were in the shop portion still have to be stocked again. But I'll get there soon :) Feel free to add the button above to your side bar so you can check in for new sales and items coming soon! Thank you all for your support and comments on the little change I made!

    Now on to another note, I received another goody box from Mom again, wow, she really must have an over-stocked basement, because this time I really made out on her desire to "clean out and downsize", lol. I have adored this china since I was a little girl and she always promised me I could have it, well, lol, it's 40 plus years later and I finally can say I have my Royal Albert China :) Thank you Mom, you're slow, but your the bestest!
    Along with my china , came so many mementos she thought I'd love too. And she was right. I'm saving some for another post, but along with their wedding picture ( above ) she also dropped in everything she had saved from her honeymoon 57 years ago. If you click on the picture above you can see the American Express Bill for their honeymoon in Bermuda ! Back then, that was a lot of money, but I couldn't help but giggle at the total, I couldn't find many places to go on that price anymore if I tried :)

    ~ My love for all things elegant and cottagey really makes this china a welcome addition to my collections ~

    Now I just need her to send me up all the dinner plates and silverware she had that went with it, and I'll be a very happy girl :) Hint Hint Mom, I would love another box soon! :)

    I don't even think they make china with this much 14kt gold trim anymore, so I'll be sure to keep it out of the dishwasher!
    Even though this china has such an elegant look to it, I can't help but use the delivery of it as a chance to line my kitchen hutch with it and play again re-doing the shelves. Ok the hints are getting relentless Mom, so here's one more. I really want to take a wide shot photo of the kitchen hutch with all the rest of the serving for 12, it would fill my entire hutch and look so pretty! Don't you girls agree? if so, tell my Mom in a comment that she simply has to part with all the rest soon! The china will be much happier here , out of the box from the Georgia basement, and it will come to life again in my Cottage Royal Albert home...lol

    Oh I hope she got the hint! :)

    Wishing you all have a beautiful pink and fuchsia day! Or at least that's what I'm calling my day :)

    Stop by the new site when you get a minute, I hope you enjoy the visit! and now it's time to visit all of you without a "to-do list" in front of me for the first time in 2 weeks :)

    Happy Day and Hugs,

    ~ Cynthia ~

    Home Interior Design | Home Interior Design Ideas

    By: mario On: 04:10
  • Let's Get Social
  • If you like the idea of coming up with your own home Interior design,you are not alone. Lots of folks these days are planning out and then executing their own interior designs. But how do you come up with great home interior design ideas? Here are a few suggestions to get you started.

    Probably one of the easiest ways to get home decoration ideas is to simply watch television these days. There are several shows that are dedicated to the subject of completely redesigning an entire house room by room. The biggest problem with watching these television shows is having something in front of you as documentation. So a couple of ideas that may help out is to have a pencil and paper available to take notes as you go, and also to record the program for viewing later on.

    Even though you may get some great home interior design ideas from these television shows, ask yourself whether or not they will fit well in your particular home. Just because they look great on television in someone else's home does not mean that it will fit in well in your home. So try to visualize the whole project from beginning to end in your house. And plan, plan, plan. By taking extra precaution in the planning stages, you can ensure a more problem free application.

    However, television is not the only source for home decoration information and ideas on Interior design. There are several great books on the subject that are able to help designers of almost any background and experience level. The advantage of books is that the documentation is already done for you. It usually has a very well thought out plan for implementing any kind of home interior design on its pages. And usually you'll be able to have more than enough photos and pictures to help get a good mental picture of the process as it goes.

    Another way to get excellent ideas for interior design is to look through magazines on the subject. There is no shortage of magazines that are devoted to home decoration and interior design. Believe it or not, even many professional interior designers collect large quantities of magazine articles and pictures and store them in a way that will help them have a larger pool of ideas to draw from in the future. Not being a professional yourself, it may be a good idea to start your own scrapbook of home interior design articles and photos that you can separate according to a specific theme or room type. Sometimes, the best decoration ideas are a combination of things that are brought together from several different sources to form a unique, one-of-a-kind design.

    As you become more comfortable with your own level of creativity, you will be able to combine aspects of one design with another more adeptly. However, as you start out it may be best to stick to the overall themes and suggestions given in the magazine for achieving the look that is desired.

    Home Interior Design | Home Interior Design Photos

    By: mario On: 03:55
  • Let's Get Social

  • Mallipoo story...

    By: mario On: 20:06
  • Let's Get Social
  • Right now this beautiful painting by Kalyani Ganapathy called Ponnuku Mallipoo Asai translated 'A little girl likes jasmine flowers' adorns the orange wall in my daughter's room.

    The story~
    Last year when I featured Kalyani's work here, I fell in love with this little girl called Mayuri in the painting, she so needed to be in my daughter's room. We were in the process of moving to our new home and I had already visualised how the painting would look in my daughter's room. Kalyani has used acrylic on canvas and has really made the little girl come to life:-)

    Will post more pictures from my daughter's room, which still is work in progress.

    Do visit Kalyani's site Surfkye, to see some of her gorgeous work.

    My foray into product photography...

    By: mario On: 18:47
  • Let's Get Social
  • Things have been rather quiet here at Rang Decor and I am sorry about that. Thanks to all you lovely readers who come back often to check on the blog.

    Many of you know about my love for photography, I post regularly on flickr and occasionally in Rang Decor. When a beautiful opportunity came my way, I just had to explore it:-)

    I have recently started shooting for a Luxury handcrafted Bedding & Linens store~ Saffron Marigold.I have been styling and shooting the gorgeous products for Saffron Marigold. The recent one being the Morning Dew print that they have recently launched.

    Here are some of the frames from the shoot. Hope you like them.Morning Dew Table Runner
    Morning Dew European Pillow Sham
    Morning Dew Table ClothMorning Dew Sheer Curtains

    The behind the scene experiences, the styling and other photographic features I will be sharing soon on my other blog~ Rang: The Colours of Life

    Have a great day!

    A HERS Score of 34!!!

    By: mario On: 06:09
  • Let's Get Social
  • Exciting news from Mike Holcomb of AES (Our LEED for Homes rater) and Adam Bearup of Hybrid Homes our "Vineyard Project" just received a HERS score of 34. This is the lowest score Mike Holcomb has every tested as a rater and possibly the lowest score in the State of Michigan. This extremely low HERS score means that our "Vineyard Project" is now projected at the "Platinum" Level under the LEED for Homes program. Both Adam and I are very excited about this news.

    What is a HERS, or Home Energy Rating System score? Well it is basically a rating of how energy efficient a home is based on a number of things, including a blower door test, the HVAC system, energy usage, and so on. The HERS rating is what is used to qualify a home for the Energy Star Rating. The rating is based off of a standard new home built to code that was rated originally tested and used as the test case with the score of 100. A typical older home has a HERS index of 125-150. Most homes that qualify for Energy Star homes must have a HERS rating of 85. That means that those homes are 15% more energy efficient than the test house. This is really good and a step in the right direction. Most of our homes have been scoring in the 50's, which is where we would expect the to fall. That HERS score would qualifies our homes as 5 star+ in the Energy Star rating system. The "Vineyard Project" came in at 34 (lower the better) making it 66% more efficient than a new home built to code.

    Based on their Home Energy Rating System (HERS) scores, the average home certified under LEED for Homes since its launch in February 2008 is predicted to use an estimated 30-60% less energy than a comparable home built to International Energy Conservation Code. Based on the average HERS ratings for each level of LEED certification, these homes could potentially see energy reductions of:
    • Certified: Up to 30%.

    • Silver: Approximately 30%.

    • Gold: Approximately 48%.

    • Platinum: 50-60%.

    As many know, Adam and I are firm believer in Kaizan ( A Japanese philosophy Adam introduced me too), or continuous improvement. We are continually studying the design & construction of our homes to make improvements to them so they are as energy efficient as possible within their budgets. So even though a HERS rating of 34 is the best we have achieved so far our goal are to continually improve upon that score with the ultimate goal of a HERS score of 0. You can read Adam's take on it at his blog.

    ~ Website Update ~

    By: mario On: 10:34
  • Let's Get Social
  • ~ Everything but the kitchen sink ~

    ( 6/14/09 ...Update...: Just a quick note, if you try and view the Cottage Shop blog, it will come up "invite only", that's not true :) Its just the only way I can work on it without having you see the mess before it's done :) I didn't realize that blogger had that feature till after I did this post. I will do a post about it being ready soon... )

    Well, lol, that was my dream at least....to have my website be a one stop shopping site for everything that makes a house a home. But , this is proving a little more difficult than I thought :) I had started the other site ( Cynthia's Cottage Design. com ) awhile back and sold out of most of the items fairly quickly, I thought it would be manageable to keep up with stocking the shelves, but I also have clients homes in our area to Design, so between work and family and trying to keep it all together, I was in over my head so to speak :) I know you've all been there too, the place where you realize you have to cut back on your schedule to keep that happiness factor going :) So I wanted to take a minute to let you know that I closed my website and have decided to switch to using another blogger page to open a smaller version, I will still feature the online consultations and accessories for sale , but in a simpler fashion this time... I have a few older posts with links to my old website, so hopefully I can correct those and link them to the new Cynthia's Cottage Design Shop on blogger. I'll be working on it a bit over the next week and I'll be sure to let you all know when it's up and running, in the meantime, if you peek in don't mind the renovations, you all know how messy things can look before we pretty them up :) ps: My blog here will remain the same and I'll provide buttons for the cottage shop when it opens too!

    I hope you all have a fabulous day and thank you so much for all your support and friendship always!


    ~ Cynthia ~

    New Office | Factory | Retail Shops Renovation

    By: mario On: 06:51
  • Let's Get Social
  • We assist customers by visiting and evaluate their new to-be offices, factories, retail shops prior to their signing of tenancy agreement.
    Our experienced teams provide free space planning, budgetary costing / renovation proposal to the premises and helping customers to decide whether the premises are suitable for their purpose. This will enable clients to make a better decision / better planning for their interior design and renovation.
    email: sales@singaporeinterior.com
    url: www.singaporeinterior.com

    Interior Designers (Recruitment / Career With Us)

    By: mario On: 05:38
  • Let's Get Social
  • Join Our Interior Design Team

    We are in expansion phase and would like to hire experienced interior designers to join us. Our expertise is into interior design, renovation of offices, factories and retail shops.
    Interested designers please send your resume and 3D portfolio to:-

    Happy 142nd Birthday, Frank LLoyd Wright

    By: mario On: 08:37
  • Let's Get Social
  • Today is the birthday of Frank LLoyd Wright. Widely regarded as America's most influential architect, Frank Lloyd Wright left behind a rich legacy of homes and buildings, and created a distinctly American style of architecture that continues to influence architects to this day. He was born June 8, 1867 and pasted a way in April 9, 1959. His work has influence my life since I was a young teenager. I have been and still am inspire by his work. Some of my favorite works of his are Fallingwater, Meyer May House and all the Prairie Style and Usonian houses . Wright's philosophy in architecture promoted harmony between the building, its inhabitants and nature. His homes became part of their surroundings. He minimized their presence and maximized their practicality. He revolutionized modern architecture with the essentials of ecological design and green building. Also today was the birthday of another organic architect pioneer Bruce Goff who would of been 105rd. Today we should all honor both of these pioneers of the green movement. Other birthday this month are, mine Eric Hughes (June 9Th), My Son Joshua (June 29Th) a future pioneer in green movement.