Verena Dalati Salme Posts

The Colors of Mexico

By: Verena Dalati Salmé

My recent trip to Mexico City was as inspiring as it was relaxing. The locals were friendly, the food was delicious, and the history was rich. Among the art, museums, and regional traditions I experienced, there was one overarching theme I couldn’t ignore: COLOR! From painted buildings to artisan creations, unique color palettes were created by ordinary items in brilliant hues.

Mexico 1

Cayenne | Emerald | Blush

1. Door detail by architect Luis Barragan, Casa de Luis Barragan, photo courtesy of Guy Salmé.
2. “Frida on White Bench” by Nickolas Muray, Fenimore Art Museum.
3. Traditional dress detail, photo courtesy of Guy Salmé.

Mexico 2

Aqua | Terracotta | Yellow

1. Mexican ceramic tile detail, Puebla, Mexico, photo courtesy of Guy Salmé.
2. Amor graffiti, Puebla, Mexico, photo courtesy of Guy Salmé.
3. Acapulco chair, Replica Furniture.

Mexico 3

Bubblegum | Seafoam | Caramel

1. Seafoam door with bubblegum accents, Mexico City, photographer unknown.
2. Brooklyn brownstone, Brooklyn, NY, photo courtesy of Andrew Cammarano.
3. Cacti needles, Luis Barragan building, Mexico City, photographer unknown.

Mexico 4

Royal Blue | Ivory | Oatmeal

1. Standing bear sculpture, painted wood, Oaxaca, Mexico.
2. Talavera tile detail, House of Tiles, Mexico City, photo courtesy of Guy Salmé.
3. Talavera salsa bowl,

Mexico 5

Goldenrod | Chili Red | Pepper Black

1. Traditional Mexican corn on the cob, photographer unknown.
2. “Do Not Throw Trash” Ciudadela Market, Mexico City, photo courtesy of Guy Salmé.
3. Prickly pear chair, designed by Valentina Gonzalez Wohlers, traditional Mexican Otomi fabric.

From market streets to boutique gems, the colors of Mexico are bold, rich, and spicy — how can you not be inspired?

Obsession: Black and White Patterned Tile

By: Verena Dalati Salmé

Lately I’ve been really inspired by bold, patterned tile, which may or may not have anything to do with my upcoming trip to Mexico. The movement, the contrast, the amazing statement a wall of this beautiful tile makes–I love it all.



The echo tile is the kind of tile that gets better the more you use it in one place. The Corazon restaurant in Portland has the right idea.


It’s hard to go wrong with this classic pattern, so go ahead and fill a whole wall with it. Seriously, do it.


Photography by Sharyn Cairns for Whiting Architects

Maybe you can’t decide which you like better: organic or geometric patterns. That’s okay, mix ’em up! The monochromatic aspect keeps the patchwork tile eclectic, not chaotic.

Black and white doesn’t have to be boring. Go big with patterns and make a statement!

Color Obsession: Copper

By: Verena Dalati Salmé

Some people like silver, some prefer gold. But then there’s copper. Offering a refreshing third option to the world of metallic finishes, copper has functional and aesthetic benefits. Lightweight, recyclable, and antimicrobial, it develops a natural patina over time that only makes it more intriguing. 


Like the industrial look but also want to feature a bit of color? This Metal Bell Pendant from Pottery Barn totally gets you. Pairing copper with rope makes it beautiful with a little bit of edge.


The Real Good Chair from Blue Dot is pure genius, with laser cut fold lines that allow you to set your own perfect angles. It’s a sleek, chic statement piece that’s sure to impress.


Copper and marble: a match made in heaven. The appropriately named Zen Collection from Watermark uses classic materials in a modern yet elegant fashion.


The edgy Cole Stool from Madegoods can be used indoors or outdoors. We suggest both.


Think a single statement piece isn’t enough? How about a statement wall? We love this copper paneled wall featured in the 25 Hours Bikini Berlin Hotel.


Little details can make a big impact. These copper elbow pipe hooks are easy to DIY and will instantly add energy and style to any space.

A little bit industrial, a little bit glamorous, copper accents are an unexpected way to dress up any space.

5 Ways to Upgrade Your Home & Add Value: Lesson 2 – Make the Kitchen Really Cook!

By: Verena Dalati Salmé

Your kitchen is the heart of your home. As a gathering place for family and friends, it deserves to look its best. But whether you’re planning a complete renovation or just want to spruce up what you’ve got, there’s a few things to keep in mind to make sure you’ll love it forever.

1. Open it up, spread it out.

The days of hiding that avalanche of pots and pans behind walls and cabinet doors are over. Open plan kitchens allow a spacious, more collaborative cooking environment. If tearing down entire walls is not an option, consider removing sections to visually connect the kitchen to the living area. Worried about losing that valuable counter and cabinet space? Don’t be. An island can solve that problem, and now you’ve got enough room for one.

Photos courtesy of Remodelaholic and House to Home.

Photos courtesy of Remodelaholic and House to Home.

2.  Say goodbye to upper cabinets.

If opening up your kitchen space sounds like a dream come true, taking out upper cabinets can make a big difference. Open shelving is practical and beautiful, and can be achieved using a variety of materials: wood, metal, glass, you name it. If totally naked shelves aren’t your thing, just removing the doors on your cabinets can make a big impact. Paint them a complimentary color, or wallpaper the back panel. 

Photos courtesy of Apartment Therapy and The Black Workshop

Photos courtesy of Apartment Therapy and The Black Workshop

3.  Upgrade that countertop.

While you can’t really go wrong with a natural stone countertop, there’s plenty of newcomers that are worth a look. You’d be amazed how easy wooden countertops can be to maintain. They come in a variety of grain types and finishes that allow them to work with different looks and styles. If you like a more industrial look, the concrete obsession has shifted from floors to countertops. Don’t forget stainless steel—perfect for your inner Top Chef. 

Photos courtesy of Pinterest and

Photos courtesy of Rue Daily and

4.  Go minimal with the backsplash.

Busy backsplashes with different shaped tiles, grout lines, and overly designed installation patterns can cause visual clutter. Keep it simple by continuning the material of the countertop up the wall. This creates a seamless and integrated look, and makes cleaning so much easier! Subway and other rectangular shapes are the new standard for tile. Stagger the tiles or stack them vertically, and have a little fun when choosing the grout color. You can go bold and contrast the grout with your tile in small spaces, or be discrete and go tone on tone.


5.  Change up those jewels.

Cabinetry hardware may seem like a minute detail, but don’t underestimate the power of subtle changes. By simply switching out a few knobs and pulls, your kitchen can have a completely new look. Here’s some hardware eye candy:

When you’re trying to update and upgrade your home, taking a critical look at the kitchen is a no-brainer. Maybe it needs a total overhaul, or maybe just a few little changes is all it needs. 

5 Ways to Upgrade your Home & Add Value: Lesson 1- Consider Curb Appeal


by: Verena Dalati Salmé

If you want a fresh perspective on the value of your home, walk across the street, turn around and ask yourself, “Does my home look attractive, welcoming and structurally sound at first glance?” If it lacks appeal from the outside, a future buyer may never make it inside.  Every detail of your home’s exterior adds value so here are some tips to keep in mind.

MAKE YOUR FRONT DOOR A STATEMENT: The front door is the first thing guests and potential homebuyers see of your home. They should get an immediate feel and sense of the home as soon as they see your front door. Your front door is your first impression — make it count! If you are in the market for a new front door, fiberglass and steel are creative alternatives to wood. Consider glass panes, screen doors, or storm doors, which reduce energy costs. If you aren’t looking to replace the whole door, consider new paint, adding a new knocker, or updating hardware. Overhangs, such as awnings or porticos, can also add a little character. 

Don’t be afraid to go bold when selecting a color. Left: Yellow Front Door / Right: Red Front Door

FRESHEN UP THE PAINT: If the exterior color of your house is fading or outdated, painting is a good place to start your improvements. Choose colors and exterior details that match the period of your house. There are many long-lasting and environmentally friendly paint brands to choose from in the market. Always consider the color of surrounding homes- make sure your home stands out within any color restrictions in your neighborhood.

Sherwin Williams offers helpful paint schemes for the exterior walls, trims and details.

Sherwin Williams offers helpful paint schemes for the exterior walls, trims and details.

DAZZLE YOUR DRIVEWAY: A driveway or walkway is what leads people to your home, so it’s important to make sure they are well kept. Natural materials can be expensive and require lots of maintenance. New manmade materials can be found for affordable prices and in a variety of color and texture options. Painting or lining your walkway with stones are affordable alternatives to repaving.

Driveways don’t have to be bland. New materials and designs are available daily. Left: Concrete & Pebbles Right: Concrete & Faux Grass

LIVEN UP THE LANDSCAPING: With so much focus on the house itself, your yard can get neglected. Remove diseased plants, tangled trees, and unkempt bushes. Mother nature can go wild at a considerable cost; a fallen branch from a neglected tree can mean serious damage to your home. If you have a curvy walkway, accentuate it with flowers or lanterns. Make sure the colors in your yard enhance the exterior of your house, and choose plants that can survive your area’s climate. Planting containers and window planters add charm, while landscape lighting is beautiful and functional.

The landscaping decided upon should compliment the home in color & style. Left: Cacti Wall Right: Rustic Mauve Family

ACCESSORIZE:  It’s all in the details. Let your finishing touches show your personality: welcome mats, house numbers, doorbells, light fixtures, shutters, and mailboxes are affordable and make a huge impact. If you already have shutters, make sure they are not hanging crooked or flaking paint. Gutters are usually not the most glamorous feature, but they can actually be a huge statement piece if you choose unique finishes and designs. Spruce up your deck with fresh and functional outdoor furniture.

Remember, you don’t have to do everything at once but start somewhere!