In this episode of DesignTV With Steven G., the Miami interior designer talks about why the highest quality interior design work always starts with a great floor plan and what you should look for in yours.


We’ve been fortunate enough to have Grant Cardone and his lovely and talented wife (the actress Elena Lyons) ask us to design their home. But little did we know Grant would stop by our showroom for an impromptu interview with yours truly.

For those of you who don’t know him, Grant Cardone is one of the world’s foremost business and sales experts. He’s a New York Times bestselling author, appears regularly on almost every major network, and has who-knows-how-many Fortune 500 clients.

He’s also one of the most unique and energetic guys I’ve had the pleasure of meeting…and that’s something coming from me.

But don’t take my word for it. Take a look at this video of our interview.


I love Harry Potter (there, I said it).  As an interior designer, the world that J. K. Rowling creates is a true inspiration.  Extremely detailed, imaginative, fanciful and of course magical.

As wonderful and exciting as the design field is, I hate to tell you that it is unfortunately not always magical.  Interior designers would love to have magic wands where we can transform spaces with the flick of a wrist and a beautify charm but I still haven’t figured out how to do this.  (Please let me know if you have.)

However, there are some fun lessons that we can learn from Hogwarts that can help inspire and direct your design decisions.  So put on your Sorting Hat and lets get started.

One of the coolest things that can be done in the Potter world is Transfiguration or the magical skill of changing the form or appearance of an object.  High end interior designers do this on a daily basis.

In the world of Miami interior design, we could just be changing your condo layout from looking like the one above and below you or we can be creating a focal point or making something disappear (like an ugly vent).

The aim is generally to make something look new and unexpected properties.  Potions with magical effects, we have to make sure that we add just the right amount of each ingredient to make the “potion” the correct mixture (proportion and balance).

One of the main reasons that Harry has become so loved is that the books are so detailed that you feel like you can step into the magical land through the pages.  Truly high end interior design should do the same thing.

When making decisions about your interior design, always think in terms of whether this is something that will help build the world you’ll be living in.

Harry always did what he felt was right in his own heart and this is something that everyone should do when it comes to their spaces.

I hear clients saying that they fell in love with a piece of art, for example, but that they didn’t buy it because it didn’t go with their décor.  So so sad.

It is more important to surround yourself with things that you love instead of having your art match your sofa.  Something you love can always become a welcome addition to your home if your home truly reflects who you are.  The way to assure this is to consistently evaluate what is already in your home as well as what you are bringing in and only keeping the things that you truly love.



In this episode of DesignTV With Steven G., everyone’s favorite Miami interior designer shows a gorgeous piece of pop art and then gives tips on how to replicate the look in your own home.


As on almost every Friday, here are my choices for the best high end interior design blogs of this week. And this time it’s an especially fun bunch!

Click the headlines below to see each article.

Returning Home – Interior Design Shrink

Our blog is called The Psychology of Design, so how could we not love our newest discovery…a site called The Interior Design Shrink. This article touches on one of our favorite themes: Finding balance inside before creating beauty outside.

House Tour: Angela Dunn + Colin Radcliffe’s Gorgeous London Home

When we see an example of amazing quality interior design, we have to bring it to your attention. Take a look inside to see some of the best work we’ve seen in awhile.

Lisa’s Vegas Regret

Not only is Lisa Hochstein from The Real Housewives of Miami a client of ours, she’s funny, dramatic, and always interesting. Check out her blog here at Bravo before the launch of her new site Lisa’s World.

12 Deadly Decorating Sins

Houzz contributor Kurt Cyr really hits the nail on the head with this one.

Toilets 101

A hilarious article about something every home needs but not everyone likes to talk about.


I was once friendly with a man who was very handsome, fit, and had a larger than life personality. He could make anyone laugh at the worst of times. I started to date him. Sadly,  soon after, he received a diagnosis that he had Stage 4 lung cancer.

His prognosis was bad. After watching him deteriorate from Chemo and radiation treatments I was determined to convince him to get off the conventional medical treatments and try macrobiotics.

I had read so many things about how people survived the worst of diagnoses and lived long, quality lives. I took off to the Kushi institute in Massachusetts. He was too ill to come along. I went through the program and was convinced further that macrobiotics was the answer. Not only for him but for myself as well.

Macrobiotics has improved my health and my personal and professional life in so many ways. Furthermore, it has improved my technique as an high end interior designer. I use the two principles of Yin and Yang to create quality interior designs (similar to the principles of Feng Shui). In fact, you could say Macrobiotics is Feng Shui for the body.

Macrobiotics incorporate an ever-moving relationship between opposites but complementary energies of Yin and Yang. The idea is to balance the energies— hard with soft, opening with contracting, expansive with inward.

The translation into quality interior design is quite easy: Balance the Light/dark, large/ small space, big prints/small prints. Once you understand the balance of the energy of all things, it will become easier to make decisions for yourself.

When we balance our bodies with the correct foods our whole life improves. We become more balanced human beings, not needing so many conventional medications. Our thought process changes. We are not so hostile as a result of not feeling well (many of us don’t even recognize that we are not feeling well).

A more balanced, healthy society is a more peaceful society. It’s a more compassionate and loving society…less greedy and needy for things that do not serve us.

The same holds true for your environment, of which quality interior design is a part. Every item in a room, every line, should relate to each other in a balanced way.


Toxic food can lead to disease. Look around at all the cancer and newly labeled disorders we are giving our children and ourselves. Not to mention, the needless medications that are being prescribed.  This should be proof enough that something is not right. Most turn a blind eye.

A healthy, well balanced environment leads a good, long life.The same is true for your home environment. Clutter and poor lines lead to clogged energy flow, which leads to unhappiness and disharmony. When thinking about your home design, keep in mind the Yin and Yang principles.

Allow air to flow freely through the space. Plenty of fresh flowers and real plants help clean the air you breath with in your home. Balance your space so there is not too much of any one color. Use a well-balanced assortment of furniture.

We don’t need to fill every corner or wall. It’s OK to have free space. Let the positive energy flow through your home. Travel and collect things you love. Place the love in your home.Trust me, the colors do not have to match. Where there is love in an environment there is no room for toxic, negative, sick energy.

Wake up world, a new light is dawning. Like our bodies, when thinking about making quality interior design decisions, beauty can be important, but it’s the heath and well being of our homes that make the most difference.

Post your comments below. 


Confession: Jamie Lynn Sigler, who played the character, Meadow Soprano on HBO’s hit drama series, The Sopranos, is my cousin.

I consider the series to be one of the most influential television dramas of our time (not biased). While having a relative be part of this television phenomenon is, admittedly, a pretty cool thing, it’s also kind of interesting to share the story of how she landed the role of a lifetime and how it has inspired my design sensibility.

My cousin had no idea what she was about to get herself into.  Jamie, being a talented theater singer/actress since the age of 7, was first called in to audition for the Meadow Soprano role, knowing little or nothing about the premise of the show.

In fact, she thought it might be about opera singers, something she was very comfortable with and encouraged to pursue. When she figured out what the role entailed, 16-year-old Jamie carried a slight edge of negative attitude because she felt she didn’t stand a chance. Ironically, it was that very attitude that won her the role.

Although The Sopranos went on to be a massive hit, it’s crazy to learn that the show’s creator, David Chase had a hard time convincing primetime TV networks that his script was a worthy creation.

FOX Network expressed interest but they decided to pass it up.  Eventually it was HBO that decided to fund the first pilot premier of the show.  Although HBO did not go through with it right away and placed the show on hold for several months, they eventually decided to produce the 13-episode first season.

Good move because The Sopranos was a major ratings success. Despite being aired on premium cable network HBO, which is available in significantly fewer American homes than regular networks, the show frequently attracted equal or larger audiences than most popular network shows of the time.

It is this very dynamic that gives me inspiration in my own life as an interior designer.  I think to myself, if David Chase had given up pitching his creation, he may never have experienced the greatest success of his life.  If Jamie hadn’t gone out of her comfort zone and taken a risk, she would have missed the most challenging and rewarding role of her life.

David Chase did not allow the fact that his script was not standard fare for the time keep him from carrying on his vision of what viewers would, in fact, relate to.  It was this raw account of human storytelling that gave way to what is now considered one of the best TV series ever.


If anything can be taken from this is that the best strategy can be not following the trends.  Designing for what is thought to be the popular, one-size-fits all approach or what’s “in”, does not allow for real freedom of personal interpretation.  Many people are afraid to take risks for fear that it is not popularly accepted.

As a high end interior designer I encourage my clients to trust their own instincts and allow their own self-expression to reflect their personal style.  It is a main part of the designer-client relationship, to learn every client’s needs, wants and lifestyles to tailor fit their design to their specific way of life.


Replace what’s “in” with what’s best for you. If you are not into straight, clean-line furniture, don’t feel pressure to have it in your home just because it’s what’s in fashion. You won’t feel comfortable.  Opt for equally stylish but more transitional lines that can easily fit into any quality interior design scheme.

The Sopranos didn’t appeal to everyone; it was viewed by some as an unrealistic (or at least, uncomfortable) view of the mob life.  Perhaps it didn’t have the glamour that some thought it should, based on previous mobster movies like The Godfather.  It was a show that was its own, it didn’t follow anything that had already been done, and not everyone understood this in the beginning.

In the end, quality interior design equals uncommon, tailor made, unique work that stands the test of time.  Frankly, sometimes that takes guts.

Look to my cousin Jamie-Lynn Sigler as an example. By stepping outside your comfort zone,  If you don’t follow what is widely accepted and trust yourself, you open the doors to new possibilities and accomplishments that you may never have experienced, had you not taken a chance and challenged yourself to do the unexpected. This applies to as much to interior design as it does to every other area of life.

Post your comments below.


When I worked for an art gallery in a past life, we never thought about about current trends. It was always all about the story of each piece, how it evolves, and the placement of each item in a space.

Artists explore visual imagery by layering meaning and their personal reactions their two or three- dimensional surfaces. They are analytical, conceptual, creative, forward thinkers. They set trends rather than following them.

When I worked at Dior, it was a similar story—I was surprised to find that the fashion industry was less about to-the-minute trends than most people think.

“Fashionistas” look at fashion as an art. They see bodies as canvasses and are constantly at work on developing their own sense of style.

Now as a high end interior designer, I apply the lessons from art and fashion to my approach. Whatever role you play in making your home’s design come true, you could do worse than to look at these fields for inspiration.


Armani’s classic clean lines and Zen approach is subtle and timeless.

Andy Warhol’s iconic graphics of famous people and shoes have influenced Dior collections.

The Greats reference their influences. I try to do the same when working with my clients.

Identify the artists and fashion designers who mean something to you and then apply their ideas to your living space.


To use art and fashion to help create quality interior design, here are some things you can do…

1. Define who you are and your interests.

Are you a minimalist, traditional, eclectic or bohemian chic?

Do you like pop art, abstract expressionism or Italian Renaissance paintings?

2. Travel to new places…explore and absorb the experience and surroundings.

Is there a story to bring home to share? It could be a piece of art, on a print on a sofa or texture on a wall.

3. Immerse yourself in culture.

Art galleries and boutiques are always great places to learn about new artists and see the latest fashion and colors forecasts.

Adding new stories is like layering a room with history you create and that represent who you are.

This me at the Gagosian Gallery in Rome…wearing my everyday favorite, lulu lemon.


Tell us where you get your inspiration. Post your comments below.


In this episode of DesignTV With Steven G., I talk about why animal prints are back. Find out how people are using them in their homes and high end interior design projects in a very 21st century way. No animals were harmed in the production of this video blog.

Not Open to The Public, By Appointment Only



* indicates required
Privacy Settings
We use cookies to enhance your experience while using our website. If you are using our Services via a browser you can restrict, block or remove cookies through your web browser settings. We also use content and scripts from third parties that may use tracking technologies. You can selectively provide your consent below to allow such third party embeds. For complete information about the cookies we use, data we collect and how we process them, please check our Privacy Policy
Consent to display content from Youtube
Consent to display content from Vimeo
Google Maps
Consent to display content from Google