Category Archives: Unique Ideas

Elevated Life: Custom Residential Elevators

Our design firm, Jigsaw Design Group, is based in beautiful Manhattan Beach, California.  Coupled with living the beach lifestyle is the desire for the coveted ocean view from our homes.  Therefore, in order to reach that view,  we often stretch design to dizzying heights to get it; a three or four story home is the norm even if you’re across the street from the beach.  Meanwhile, all of those floors come with a price and it’s not just about $$ but about climbing all those STAIRS!  To conquer the multitude of steps to the top, builders are placing full size residential elevators in almost all new builds here at the beach. 

While this idea is a growing trend all across the country, the elevator is not limited to 3 or 4 story homes.  Two story homes everywhere are taking this leisurely way up too…and also in style.  Let’s face it, life is busy and anything to make home life more convenient  is priceless.

Custom elevators are not the sterile designs of their predecessors,  the cabs, as they are called, that we are seeing installed now are like little jewel boxes, or even museum like in nature. Styles come in circular shapes, all-glass, custom metalwork, and even Swarovski crystal inlaid and layered mirrors like these from DomusLift.

So besides convenience, why add or build to include an elevator?  It’s simple…added value.  Including an elevator in the design of your home will maximize resale value should you decide to sell your home.

Elevators installed in homes fall require a set of safety regulations that govern how home elevators are manufactured and installed. That code is the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) Safety Code for Elevators and Escalators, Private Residence Elevators A 17.1, so finding a reputable firm is a must to ensure these guidelines are followed.  

The Elevator Boutique in Hollywood  California offer mind-blowing gorgeous elevators that are power failure safe and energy efficient.   Italian designed and known for excellence, the Supermec 3 uses minimal energy and runs from regular power outlet.  Additional perks: super luxurious, and does not require a machine room. 

Customizing the cabs come in every shape and fashion.  Dozens of companies offer this skill set with ability to build out an elevator to perfectly blend your style with this piece of machinery.   From white paneling with chair rail, to marble floors and custom metal work, styles run the gamut from rustic to modern.     

Bottom-lining it:  The New York Times reported in Sep 2016 an average cost of a residential elevator installation at $15,000. This rate was based on a 15 square foot hydraulic elevator of “average” design to carry up to 1,000 pounds.  The instillation is figured into a pre-existing home, not a new build.

The cab and hoist way reportedly cost between  $15,000 to $100,000 on average.  These costs are affected by customization, installation variables like single family home or high-rise apartments, permits, construction and added luxury features like the wine display case in the image below.  The number of floors to be accessed also affects the cost for example the two floor system would cost less than a four floor system.  Other additions to consider would be a phone for emergencies, which installing one is an additional $50 to $200.   

For more information on how you can elevate your life with a residential elevator or images used in this post, please leave a comment below or visit our contact page.

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How To: Select-Measure-Calculate Wallpaper

Take your space from bland to wow in an instant simply by adding Wallpaper.  Transforming your space using bold colors, textures or patterns make a statement in your home or office quickly and for a cost that won’t break the bank. 

With so many options available, choosing the perfect paper can be a bit arduous, but by following a few basic tips we’ve provided and using Jigsaw Design Group calculation tool, your search can be simplified and even fun. 

For starters, draw inspiration from your current space by bringing an existing accent color to life, or consider selecting a dramatic pattern to  bring excitement a room where most of the upholstery is solid.  Take into consideration how many walls you plan to cover, a giant geometric may be more suited for an accent wall or a petit powder room instead of the four walls in your bedroom.   A good rule of thumb is that the wallpaper should match the mood of your room.  For example,  a relaxing or romantic print for the  bedroom,  a bold and quirky print for a kids room, or rich and glamorous for a dining room will make sense in those spaces.  

Below, see how a Jigsaw Designer took a bedroom from pretty to a fashionista haven simply by adding the navy and white striped wallpaper.  She took inspiration from the navy and white theme of the room, and also used the more masculine bold stripe to contradict the frills of the Baroque framed mirrors.

Also, see the dramatic difference adding a wallpaper feature wall made to the entry in the same home come to life.

 The transformation is huge.  So, now that we have you on-board for trying wallpaper for your space, next…measuring and ordering.

Things to consider: Each variety of wallpaper has a bit different temperament than the other, so it is vital to the success of a wall coverings project to measure and order the appropriate amount of paper or fabric.  Jigsaw also suggests using a professional contractor for application.  This will take the stress off of you and avoid time and financially consuming mistakes. 

While most wallpaper is pre-pasted to make hanging a bit easier, grasscloth is not. Therefore, applying specialty wallpaper glue will add a step to the instillation process.  Finally, priming walls with a Shellac or any wallpaper primer will prep the walls for a beautiful final product. 

Luckily for our valued readers, Jigsaw Design Group provides a very handy Wallpaper Calculator on our website where one may easily input the measurements of the space to cover, discover the number of rolls needed for a project, and get an approximate cost for labor.  Wallpaper costs can be a bit tricky, so the Wallpaper Calculator can help eliminate unwanted surprises with your budget.  To check out the Jigsaw Wallpaper Calculator please visit our website at  This calculator and all of the helpful information on the website helps make the task of selecting, measuring and ordering wallpaper so much easier and enjoyable.  

While there are dozens of wallpaper vendors, and many more listed on our website,  below are some of our favorites.

At Jigsaw, we love using wallpaper to enhance spaces.  It brings something special into a room and adds warmth to a stark space.  For more information on wallpaper, or even help in choosing the perfect paper, leave us a comment or contact a designer through the Jigsaw website.  We’d love to help!

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Outdoor Furniture: Modern Luxury

British writer Henry James once said, “Summer afternoon—summer afternoon; to me those have always been the two most beautiful words in the English language.” And, who wouldn’t agree…

ravello dining

What better way to spend your summer afternoon than lingering over a poolside lunch on a Porta Forma Mercer dining table.  This gorgeous set is a stunner with it’s rose gold thick aluminum frame with contrasting pearlized black wicker seats, and cushions soft as clouds.  Complimented by the tempered glass top this stylish set has a luxuriously modern feel with a touch of retro.

Gold wicker chairs porta forma

Santorini here we come…the Ravello seating collection also by port forma in blue and white is the perfect beach palette.  The curved basket weave design is fresh alternative to your typical wicker designs.  This color scheme and silouhette blend well into a variety of homes styles as well even with the organically shaped white table that plays off as clean and crisp.

Basket Weave porta form

Circular and morphed shapes are a strong trend we are seeing in modular outdoor furniture.  The Hyde Park collection by Front Gate features extra-deep seating, all weather wicker and thick high density cushions.  While all these functional necessities are checked off the list, the uber cool factor at the top of our list is the circular shape that is visually appealing and allows more intimacy when visiting with guests.

Curved Modular seating front gate

The Baleares modular day bed is the perfect poolside companion.  This beautiful circular bed pulls apart to become two curved benches and round ottoman, or altogether as one large day bed.  The canopy allows for privacy or simply taking a break from the sun with the attached sunbrella shade with 98% UV protection,  in crisp white cane and brightly colored cushions this day bed is playful and functional.

Baleares Modular Lounger

For simple modern shapes for outdoor living at it’s best, Restoration Hardware never disappoints.  The Aegean Collection features low sitting contemporary designs with superior materials, clean lines and perfectly constructed metalwork. The Jigsaw Designers love the white metal framed silhouettes for light bright seaside style.  Create an outdoor living space or  relax poolside in the chaise double lounger.

Aegean Rest hard white

Agean double chaise lounger

Restoration Hardware also does the outdoor day bed very well.  The Luna Domed Day Bed with it’s organically shaped design offers privacy and comfort in high style.  This bed is sexy and stylish and sure to make you feel like a celebrity.

Luna Daybed

The classic look of teak can fit most any style. The Restoration Hardware teak Malta Day Bed is made up of a dreamy double chaise loungers with four-post canopy for ultimate in intimate beach side sunbathing.  Offering a dramatic experience that you won’t ever want to escape from your escape.

Malta Day bed

No outdoor setting is complete without an umbrella to keep that delicate skin of yours out of the sun for a much needed break.  Santa Barbara umbrella has some of the highest quality umbrella’s around.  These sun bathing beauties however will set you back about $4K, but if you got the money to burn better that than your skin!

sb keyhole valance umbrella

For more information on outdoor furniture trends and resources visit the contact page on the Jigsaw Design Group website at  Someone will quickly contact you with more information.  Please subscribe to the blog for more informative articles like these, and check out our Facebook page for more tips and images!  Be sure to ‘like us’ on Facebook!   Now join us on Googleplus too!

Led Glow balls

*photo credit information available on request

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Favorite Apps for the DIY and Interior Designer

These days, there is an app for everything.  At Jigsaw, we have teams of helpers from Architects to Painters that we use regularly, but sometimes there is just that odd job here and that needs to be done…and somebodies got to do it.  We find ourselves outsourcing in essence of saving time.  As a result, we’ve become so enlightened with a variety of these time savers that we had to share the good news.  In fact, we’ll likely do a monthly post on our latest favorite apps because they are always evolving…so stay tuned…in fact, subscribe! 

One of our favorite Apps is TaskRabbit.  If there is one thing that drains your time during instillation, it’s putting together furniture.  This app allows you to upload the task at hand on the App and taskers bid on your project.  Taskers can pick up orders at stores for you, put those items together, and even stand in long lines for you.  The taskers ranges from house keepers, handyman, graphic designers to entertainers; so virtually any task you need, Task Rabbit can find the tasker. The prices are fair and each Taskers undergoes an extensive background check in-person before joining the team at TaskRabbit.  Also, you can pay for the task through the secure website/App.  No dealing with money on the spot, everything is very clear when your taker arrives. 

Jigsaw’s latest discovery is a furniture moving App call LUGG.  This App is the Uber of moving and what every designer, single gal, city dweller with no car, or you Smart Car drivers out there needs (settle down girls, we know your tough but let’s face it, the sofa is heavy).  Simply download the app and within 30 minutes a truck or van with two movers will arrive at your selected location.  Drivers can pick up at local stores, Craigslist locations, move your entire house from one location to the next.  LUGG can also pick up your donation and drop them at Good Will or even the City Dump if you wish.  All their drivers are vetted for quality and the trucks are either pick up trucks or cargo trucks depending on your needs.  Using the app is easy, you download the app to your device, select a pick up location, then add a photo of what you need moved, then once you select your pricing and options, help is on the way. 

Next is our beloved Thumbtack.  Thumbtack is a bit like Task Rabbit, except the focus is finding professional freelancers in Home Improvement for their given field.  For example, one can find a professional tile worker or painter on Thumbtack.  And like the aforementioned Apps, you simply download the App, describe your project and then wait for bids to come in from different professionals.  Once your bids arrive in your account, you can read about your potential professional and even start a conversation to ask more specific questions.  Like the other Apps we’ve discussed here, you can also hire, make a payment, and then leave comments about the contractors work directly in the App. 

At Jigsaw, we enjoy helping our readers explore ideas, make their DIY project easier and save time.  We hope this blog will help you realize your home improvement projects faster, easier and more economically. 

Have a home improvement  App you love?   Then please leave us a comment…we’d love to check it out and even feature the next Favorite App blog, we’ll even give you the cred! 

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Happy St. Patrick’s Day-Inspiring Green Interiors



In honor of St. Patrick’s Day, we are resurrecting a beloved blog on green interiors.  The color continues to stay fresh and inspiring!  Covering everything from emerald to kelly green we will share gorgeous green ideas in this post proving, it really is greener on the other side.



Summers arrives and everything blossoms, the spring rains usher in lush colors of green and inspire us to bring nature’s most soothing color into our space. The color green, in essence, signifies nature, life, youth, hope and safety.  Therefore, bringing green into your formal dining room plays off as comforting yet with a regal twist.  Use this lovely shade of green with muted colors for a softer look or make a bold statement contrasting with black and white as seen in these dining rooms that are sure to charm.

Green Dining Chair



Wearstler wallpaper

Sofas and accent chairs in the living room make a bold statement and create a definite wow factor.  A pair of kelly greens chairs with a small gold table for a sitting area is the perfect way to add a pop of color to the room.   The Jigsaw designers like mixing grand velvet green sofas with gold accents, charcoal grey and black and white as seen in the images below.




Emerald Green chair


Our bedrooms are our sanctuary, the escape from the world to be completely ourselves.  If you are not one for a typical soft palette in your most private space, then the calming color green is the answer.  Known for it’s relaxing qualities, it has long been a symbol of fertility and was even the traditional wedding dress color in medieval times.  One trend that we are in love with right now that works great in the bedroom is painting walls and the ceiling your favorite emerald or kelly shade.




Green is very striking, it is the symbol of “GO” by all means, so adding it in smaller doses might be just enough for most of us.  Green drapes make the perfect temporary green fix.  Kick it up a notch by adding a black and white trim or using a fun green and white chevron pattern as seen in the following images.




Green with it’s many meanings including balance and well-being, are actually recommended by color experts in that adding green into your environment will help create a fresh new balance in your life.  A lamp, a bench, wallpaper, whatever it takes, just get some green into your space and enjoy the revitalizing and fantastically stylish feeling it gives you.



For more information on color trends and resources visit the contact page on the Jigsaw Design Group website at  Someone will quickly contact you with more information.  Please subscribe to the blog for more informative articles like these, and check out our Facebook page for more tips and images!  Be sure to ‘like us’ on Facebook!   Now join us on Googleplus too!


Screen Shot 2015-05-28 at 9.23.39 PM



Hardwood Floors: Engineered VS. Solid Plank

Today, there are so many engineered hardwood floors that look and feel like solid wood, yet these floors are often more durable and cost effective than traditional solid hardwood floors.  Besides these obvious attributes, engineered floors imitate solid plank floors so well, even the savviest have a hard time telling the difference.  Can you tell which floor is Engineered Hardwood or Solid Hardwood in the images below?  Not that easy?  Well, image ‘A’ is the Engineered floor.

Image A

Image B

To clarify any misconception, engineered wood floors are actually genuine wood; solid hardwood floors are simply solid planks of genuine wood and engineered hardwood floors are made with a core of hardwood and topped with a layer of hardwood veneer attached to the surface.

While both types of floors are durable surfaces, the engineered woods tend to be slightly more water resistant due to its ability to expand and contract without lasting damage (for the most part).  The thick veneer on the surface of the engineered woods offer a reasonable amount of protection making them more stable.  However, like solid hardwoods, the floors cannot take standing moisture.  The advantage here is, unlike solid wood flooring, you can install engineered wood flooring in bathrooms, kitchens and laundry rooms that encounter spills, steam and heat daily.


Meanwhile, advanced tongue-and-groove engineered systems that are popular today make instillation easy.  These floors lock into place instead of being nailed or glued in. These options are usually thinner wood and can be installed over an older floor, concrete, or cork underlay.

Additionally,  despite being new to the market, it is believed that the best engineered floors should last the test of time and perform as well as solid plank floors.  That said, if you are looking for your floors to last a life time, then buying high quality is the only way to go.

Finally, another factor in the quandary over solid vs. engineered flooring can be cost.  Typically, engineered floors are slightly more cost effective running anywhere from $3-$18 per square foot on average.

In the end, your wish list and budget will determine the best solution for your hardwood instillation.  The options for engineered wood floors available today are tremendous, from Barn French Oak to Maple,  grey wash, distressed, and even hand scraped; the possibilities are endless.

For more information about hardwood floors and the images used in this blog, please leave a comment.  Also, don’t forget to subscribe to the blog.

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Cocktails Anyone: The In-Home Wet Bar


Through our design offices at Jigsaw, we deal with interiors for new home construction constantly which makes it easy to spot trends from building materials to architecture design trends.  We are finding a growing movement for the in-home wet-bar in new construction and remodels.  It’s easy to understand, because people love to entertain.  But, not everyone has the space for an entertainer’s bar, walk-in wine cellar or man-cave, so in this post, we’ll explore how to create an attractive wet bar with a smaller space, along with some of our favorite full size in-home bars that are petite yet built for entertaining.

First we’ll explore the small space wet bar.  This bar doesn’t require seating to enjoy a cocktail, however, one can still create a defined space that is attractive and inviting.   If you have a designated area with a small countertop and bar sink, then you are half way there.  Next, adding the backsplash is key.  We love the smokey antiqued mirror look at Jigsaw, so the following image is a great way to add a vintage-cool touch to your space.  With the open iron shelving to display perfectly arranged barware this in-home bar is one of our faves.

If you want a little more glam, try adding a chandelier and a mirror or metallic backsplash.    For something simple and clean, one can never go wrong with crisp white walls and cabinets with open shelving.  The white space below gleams with gold glassware and fun accessories, and keeping it simple and uncluttered not only looks great, but is also hassle free.

For you Type A’s that don’t like things showing or think an exposed bar would appear to be clutter, then we have a great solution.  A hidden bar can be added to match your built-ins and hidden discreetly behind pocket doors.  These doors match your cabinets and slide in toward the wall for an open bar, leaving a seamless look in your space when open or closed.  Shown below are two different variations, one on a smaller scale,  and one a bit larger with built-in drawers.

Love the bubbles a little too much?  Chill all the bubbly you want with a built-in cooler channel right in your island or bar.  This couldn’t be more convenient and it’s quite the conversation starter.

While we dedicated this blog mostly to the smaller more discreet bars, we wanted to share a few larger scale in home bars due to their unique details.  The first bar in the image below has cozy charm, but what we love are the three built in wine fridges, and the clear liquor cabinets.  All the wine is at your fingertips and one is served on a beautiful marble bar with oversized pendants dandling from above.  Splendid!

The second full size bar gets honorable mention not only for aesthetics…(Did you see how gorgeous the multi lacquered wood cabinets and bar are?)…But also for the dual microwaves.  One may ask, what?  Game day is full of dips, queso, meatballs and popcorn…all of which need to be reheated or cooked in the microwave.  Therefore, you have your cocktails and warming your hors d’oeuvres right at your fingertips.  Simplicity!

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Bathroom Remodel: Adding the Free Standing Tub

The most requested remodel projects from our clients are for kitchen and bath.  These two rooms make the biggest impact for resale value, and frankly, we spend a lot of time in these two spaces.  The kitchen being the hub of the home, and the bath, especially the master ensuite bath is where we both start and finish each and every day. Therefore, creating a blissful retreat to prepare and unwind from our day just makes good sense.


A trend that we’ve previously written about here on our blog is the free standing tub.  Since our last post this trend has ramped up significantly.  Most new luxury home constructions are installing freestanding tubs in the master suite at a minimum, and almost every remodel we are implementing the clients are ditching the tiled in tubs for a freestanding bathtub update.


The change makes sense.  It’s not only nicer to look at, but these tubs are usually easier to work around when bathing kiddos.  Believe it or not, they typically take up less space and simply look less clunky.

We love the innovations in design is this market segment.  The copper tub for example brings a vintage yet fresh characteristic to the bath.


Another brilliant idea worth considering is placing the freestanding tub in a shower room.  In the image below, the larger shower room contains dual showers heads, a gorgeous hammered stainless and copper tub, and a simple teak bench for seating.  This keeps the warmth in the room when bathing and minimizes wet bathroom floors.

Just like jacuzzis we are seeing the free standing tubs take on new larger forms.  Grand bowl like tubs with more modern lines make for the ultimate relaxing tub…or tub for two if you will.   Perfect for larger bathrooms.  When remodeling, consider taking out space from a surrounding room for a bathing alcove like the image below.  While we love our big walk in closets, our desire for minimizing our excesses is trending…so go ahead and borrow a little space from that super-sized closet just the other side.

Freestanding tubs run the gamut in pricing.  There are a variety of style and prices points in the market place ranging from $800-$3,000 on average.   For example, the copper tub from Signature Hardware comes in about $2800 as well as the Stone Resin Badeloft tub in white.

For more information about freestanding tubs or bathroom remodels, please leave a comment and a designer will get back to you, or find us on our contact page at

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Digital Trends: LG’s OLED Wallpaper TV

The LG OLED Wallpaper TV is an interior designer’s dream.  We are continually looking for clever ways to downplay the television in our client’s homes; now LG has helped us get a little closer to solving the eye sore plaguing living rooms across the country.

Remarkably, the W-Series is almost as thin as a credit card.  It is also flexible without distorting the picture, thus leading the way to the next step for Oleg in the portable, rollable screen that you can take with you wherever you go.

Mounting the Wallpaper TV is as simple as 2 key holes at top, and two magnets on the bottom corners.  Therefore, it is completely flush to the wall with no gaps.  No more clunky TVs.  So where are all the guts you ask…well, all of the hardware is built into the Atmos Sound Bar.  For power, a tiny ribbon cable connects the two, so there is no need for an outlet nearby either.

The Atmos Soundbar seen above contains the Dolby Vision and Sound, and the W-Series runs on 60 Watts of power.   Reportedly,  the sound the Atmos puts out is spatially very advanced.

LG is looking at a March launch for the OLED Wallpaper product, so you’ll have to impress your friends with this technological dream at next year’s Super Bowl.  Coming in with a sticker approximately $8,000, this might just be money well spent.

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Dreaming of Summer: Banana Leaves and Pink Flamingos

After New Year celebrations are over, and the new resolutions begin to fade the bright sun begins to show it’s face.    Just as the weather, we all feel the mood for a change.  The hope of summer is on the horizon.  A quirky trends that we are seeing rear it’s ‘pink head’ are funny flamingos and their complimentary banana trees.  Think Miami, Palm Beach, and our muse for this post, the Beverly Hills Hotel.

While the ‘Pink Palace’ has recently undergone renvations, the landmark hotel is staying true to color.  For those lovers of the old Hollywood era, or the fast life circa Miami Vice, this trend can actually acclimate into ones style more subtly that one might think.

One way to capture the banana leaf vibe is through wallpaper.  This motif brings life to your space with the bright layers of green color, along with a fun retro ferver.  Ideal for a lively dining room, powder room,  or perfectly invigorating for your home office.  A note to remember is big prints in a small space can look great, so don’t be afraid of that tiny space you want to make over. 

The above photo with the pink dining chairs is a good transition spot to bring in the birds.  Combining pink and green colors in the same palette evoke a preppy yet lighthearted feeling in us.  The beloved banana leaf and flamigo pink prove a sunny match like the Beverly Hills Hotel Cabana.

Meanwhile, flamingos are beautiful creatures despite the bad wrap they get from those plastic posers people put in the front yard…but hey, even the coolest hipsters are adding these quirky birds to their landscapes these days.  We will bypass discussing them for their fine feathered friends in this post however.

Interestingly, flamingos can be used in murals, found as wallpaper, and even a subtle watercolor painting, a Jigsaw favorite.  These birds have a great depth of color ranging from the palest pink to vibrant coral, with the perfect splash of black.  These gracefully winged friends are a lovely way to add a touch of pink and nature to your space.


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