Shelves – How to Accessorize

What is the best way to accessorize shelves? You probably have a bookcase or some other type of furniture piece with shelves in your home. Often times these pieces are crammed with all sorts of books lined up one after the other in anything but a creative or attractive fashion. But did you know that you can easily turn these shelves works of art that you would love to look at?

You probably already have what you need to make this happen. First, give your titles a serious look and donate the books you will not read, reference or re-read. Of the titles that remain, get creative with their placement.

Place a grouping of books vertically and add a heavy object (a box, a figurine, a vase) at the end of the grouping. Stack some books horizontally (with the spines showing) on another shelf. You can leave these as is or place another object on top of the stack. Use other objects as “fillers” on the shelves, but remember, in this instance, less can definitely be more.

Shelves - How to Accessorize

Here are some objects other than books that make shelves more interesting:

1. Letters – a word, a single letter, or a combo of letterscreating your monogram
2. Vases – a single vase or a unified grouping of varying heights
3. Boxes – these come in all different sizes and serve a dual purpose being both decorative and a place to hide small items
4. Candlesticks and candles – decorative on your shelf and at-the-ready when you need them
5. Photographs in frames
6. Seasonal items (a decorative heart for Valentine’s Day, a pumpkin in the Fall, etc.)
7. Objects from your travels
8. An interesting sculpture
9. A clock
10. Figurine

Miller Small-10

Create interesting vignettes on your shelves and use items that you love or that have special meaning to you so that looking at these shelves makes you happy.

At Danziger Design, we can design built-ins and bookcases for you as well as help you with display of your books and favorite pieces.


Wood Countertops; Solutions for MD, DC, and VA Interior Design

Wood CountertopsWhen a wonderful company or product comes along, we have to give them a mention.

We recently received this book (left) of projects from a company named Grothouse located in Germansville, PA. Danziger Design had the pleasure of working with this company on two separate kitchen projects. Grothouse specializes in wood solutions; specifically, solid wood and butcher block countertops for kitchens, bathrooms, bars… you name it! Not only does Grothouse provide a quality product, the owner and employees are very professional, knowledgeable and courteous.

As the industry continues with the movement of paint-finish kitchen cabinets and counters made of quartz, granite, or marble, wood countertops provides a warmth that these other materials simply can’t. The finishing process used at Grothouse makes these wood surfaces usable, not something to be feared.

We worked with Grothouse for two kitchen projects. The first was a large Potomac kitchen with grey toned cabinets, wood floors, quartz counters and stainless steel appliances. For this kitchen, we used a round, 2″ thick, edge grain Peruvian walnut counter for the eating area.

The second project where a Grothouse wood surface was used was in Wendy’s own kitchen. Her small Bethesda kitchen has grey-green cabinets, wood floors, quartz countertops and stainless steel appliances as well. Wendy decided upon a walnut table top that would be nestled between two pantry style cabinets.


Both projects with Grothouse solid wood surfaces are shown below:

Kitchen - Interior Design, Bethesda, MD

Wood counter top

Grothouse was kind enough to feature the project above in their Wood Innovation book…

Wood counters

Our thanks to Grothouse! We hope to see you in the near future!

Bathroom Design

We’ve recently completed two very different Master Bathroom Projects and would like to share them with you here. For each bathroom, we used the same approach from an interior design perspective, however, based on the materials selected, the final outcomes are very different.

The first is a Master Bathroom in Bethesda, MD with transitional look, a traditional backdrop and spiced up with an ethnic flair.

Bathroom Design - Bethesda, MD

Custom Master Bathroom Vanity – Bethesda, MD

The second is a transitional Potomac, MD Master Bathroom with a contemporary backdrop spiced up with Asian flair.

Bathroom Design, Potomac, MD

* Custom Master Bathroom vanity – Potomac, MD

Bathroom Design – How We Achieved These Results

In the first approach, we began with an updated floor plan that removed the large, seldom used tub, enlarged the shower and provided for ample storage in the custom vanity cabinets and linen closet. Next, easy maintenance porcelain tiles made to look like slate were chosen for the floor and shower. Accents were selected for the shower with the look of bronzed metal.

Master Bathroom - Interior Design, Bethesda, MD

* Master Bathroom – Interior Design, Bethesda, MD

The clients knew they wanted wood cabinetry, so we honed in on a slightly traditional Shaker silhouette in cherry wood with a warm honey brown finish. Timeless fixtures in polished chrome were chosen and work began.

Master Bathroom - Interior Design, Bethesda, MD

* Master Bathroom – Interior Design, Bethesda, MD

Fast forward to post-construction, we selected ethnic-inspired accessories to compliment the couples’ love of travel.

Bathroom Design, Bethesda, MD

A framed ethnic print was selected to liven up the far wall.

Bathroom Design, Bethesda, MD

Hand-made baskets from Uganda add color to the wall across from the vanity.

A custom niche trimmed in the same bronzed metal tile used in the shower graces the back wall of the separate toilet room.

Master Bathroom Niche - Interior Design, Bethesda, MD

* Custom niche trimmed in tile.


In the second Master Bathroom, we began very much the same way as the first. An updated floor plan made better use of the existing space… a large tub was removed from the room which allowed for a comfortable shower, large vanity, separate toilet room, loads of storage, a fireplace, and something the client really wanted in the room – space for a comfortable chair to watch television.

The shower tile was selected next – the highlight –  round tiles that resemble water droplets were used along the entire back wall of the shower.


Bathroom Design, Potomac, MD

* Walk-in shower – Potomac, MD


Bathroom Design, Potomac, MD

* One wall of the shower boasts a textured circular tile that looks like water droplets.


A neutral colored stone resembling bamboo was selected for the TV/fireplace wall. We love the look and texture of this tile!

Bathroom Design, Bethesda, MD

Textured fireplace tile made to look like bamboo.

With all the tile in place, it became evident that something different was needed for the bathroom floor. After much research, a natural teak was decided upon. With storage as the primary goal, the vanity/linen cabinets were designed, and a grey-green similar to the shower tiles was selected as the millwork paint color. The wall color is a ginger tone that provides and unexpected punch.

Bathroom Design, Potomac, MD

* Even the family dog likes to snuggle up near the fireplace/TV wall.


As the clean Asian-inspired look was subtly coming together, the addition of custom wood-framed soji screens to enhance a large window made perfect sense. The feel of the room is very spa-like and the warmth of the teak floors keep this bathroom from feeling stark.

At Danziger Design, we bring a two-fold approach to Master Bathroom Design. First we look to provide maximum efficiency in your space while meeting all of your functionality needs and wants. Secondly, we guide you through the many selections that will ultimately give you the look and feel you are seeking to achieve.

*Photography by Stacy Zarin-Goldberg

Interior Design: Creating Custom Furniture

Custom furniture design allows both client and Interior Designer to experience design without limits. With Interior Design, if we can envision it and put it on paper, it can be built. Built-in furniture and custom furniture pieces are very popular in the MD, DC and VA area. Custom furniture allows you to express your individuality while meeting needs such as storage and display. We recently made a visit to Steve’s shop in Silver Spring. Steve is the owner and cabinetmaker in this impeccably clean shop where designer/client visions are sawed, sanded, stained and delivered. We visit the shop when visuals are needed and details need to be ironed out.

Interior Design

Wendy and Steve review the intricate details of an entertainment unit for a client.

How Does the Process Work to Create Custom Furniture?

How does the process work? Once we’ve assessed a project will involve custom furniture, we begin with a myriad of questions for the client. Let’s say the piece in question is a media cabinet. We would ask questions such as:

What size is your television?
Will it be wall hung or rest on the piece of furniture?
What are your storage needs?
Do you want to display any items?
Do you prefer the piece to be stained or painted?
Etc., etc.

The questions vary based on the piece being created.

Once we have a good idea of the desires the furniture needs to fulfill, we begin with a rough drawing in AutoCAD. That rough drawing is tweaked and modified until we have come up with a concept drawing that performs two functions: 1.) it meets the needs of the client and 2.) it is aesthetically pleasing.

Custom Furniture: AutoCAD DrawingNext, the drawing is shown to the client for approval or input. If changes are needed, we implement those changes. The beauty of an interior design studio using AutoCAD is that changes can be readily made and a new copy of the drawing printed out for the client to approve.

Once the drawing has been approved by the client, we email it to our cabinetmaker for pricing. Once pricing has been approved and a deposit has been received, we send the final concept to our cabinetmaker. He then submits shop drawings to us for final approval. Back at the shop, the item is built and then transferred to the finish department for painting or staining. When the piece is complete, we schedule delivery and installation with the contractor or client, depending on the scope of the job.

We have designed countless pieces of furniture, built-ins, vanities, desks, fireplace mantels and more over the years. Some of the finished products are shown below. If you are considering a custom piece such as built-in cabinets on either side of your fireplace, CONTACT DANZIGER DESIGN FOR A CONSULTATION TODAY.

Custom Furniture

Really Living in your Living Room

More Space

Your living room is the area of your home where life takes place. It’s where you relax after a long day at work, entertain your friends, and spend time with family. As arguably the most-used room, it ought to be your most-loved room as well. The living room should be a space that not only reflects your individuality and aesthetic, but also welcomes others with open arms.

Whether you’re designing your living room in a new home or redesigning your existing one, it is vital to keep two things in mind: functionality and flow. Blending the two takes a good amount of imagination and inspiration.



To emphasize functionality in your living room, you must prioritize your needs. Ask yourself: what functions does this room need to serve? If you have limited area, maybe you need to think about combining the living room with a home office or other multi-functional space. Maybe your main priorities are to create a space for entertaining guests and design an elegant, welcoming atmosphere, or maybe you just want a room that serves one purpose: relaxation. Whatever your main concerns are, they are the fundamentals in creating a functional space. You shouldn’t have to adjust your space constantly to meet your priorities; instead, the perfect design will reflect your needs. If your priority is relaxation, group cozy seating together in a nook with a prime TV view. If your concern is for entertaining guests, there should be plenty of seating options grouped to optimize conversation. Outline your goals beforehand to develop a functional design for a flawless home.



A flowing living room is one that considers balance, empty space, and traffic.  Make sure your room is not an obstacle course. There should be clear paths to pass through the space without bumping into any furniture or fixtures. Keep entryways clear and furniture a safe distance from them. Pull your seating options away from walls and let them float. This will create a more inviting and comfortable space and keep the traffic flow outside of the seating area. Balance solid heavy furniture with light and airy. Consider the connection between the pieces of furniture in relation to one another. Use your room’s functions and focal points to maximize the flow.


Your living room should be a space you actually want to live in. At Danziger Design, we can help you transform that once dull area into a functional and flowing atmosphere. To learn more about our interior design services, contact us today!