Archive of ‘Design and Styling Inspiration’ category

Refreshing Changes…Updating Your Rental Property, Inn, Restaurant and Home

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As I happily run around trying to finish up two great design projects — a burger/grill restaurant and an advertising agency’s creative offices, I realize how much I love working with clients who want to bring unique design to their spaces. Many of my clients budgets are snug so we need to be creative with what we have and our design ideas — which I think is one of the best things about my job!

With simple and/or moderate changes, the properties I work with become fresh and inviting without losing their character or branding, which made them unique in the first place. So, keeping your design in line with your branding, the property’s architecture and the surrounding community, will help you think about how you can create stunning spaces that your guests will be thrilled with.

Since I specialize in budget-conscious residential rental properties, small inn, restaurants, and resort projects, I know how to use what’s already there- to its best advantage as well as finding affordable, unique pieces and design ideas.

So here are a few of my recent projects (before and after pictures) that prove, with some changes (and some larger ones) you can bring your make some changes for the new year!

The words that go with the pictures are part of my printed portfolio — so they are hard to read on the website — sorry about that.

Want some help? Give me a shout!

renovation of bar pub vermont joanne palmisano

closet bar modern and hip joanne palmisano


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Update your AirBnB rental would be so simple! A few changes and you can stand out!

Update your AirBnB rental would be so simple! A few changes and you can stand out!

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Design Books, Holiday Gift Ideas, Vintage, Inspired, Collectable, Style…

There is something special about giving and receiving books for the holidays. Not only is it a great gift idea but they are easy to shop for (and wrap). I’m thrilled to say my books have received some amazing reviews here in the United States and abroad. Check out these inside pages and see what all the fuss is about :). There are many locations to buy them, including Amazon.  It would mean a lot to me, if you considered giving one or both of my books to your favorite designer, homebuilder, architect, or lover of all things vintage, antique and recycled. Published by W.W. Norton, Photography by Susan Teare.

Holiday Design Book Ideas


Commercial spaces with unique salvaged and vintage décor.

Salvage Secrets Design & Decor

You will walk away with hundreds of decorating ideas for your own home.

Salvage Secrets Design & Decor by Joanne Palmisano

Full of color, spaces and unique ways to decorate.

Salvage Secrets Design & Decor Book, W.W. Norton, Joanne Palmisano, Susan  Teare

Stunning DIY ideas that cost next to nothing. Step by step pictures included.

Salvage Secrets Design & DEcor -- Book

Romantic, Bohemian, Rustic, Country, Modern…all these styles and more are featured in Salvage Secrets Design & Decor

She sheds are so hot today…this shed turned guest cottage, is just one of the bright and cheerful spaces featured in this book.

Salvage Secrets Design & Decor

Modern Farmhouse is hot right now and this home is a stunner. There are over a dozen homes featured in the book, with details on how they got their style and where they shop for their treasures.

More DIY’s and ways to style your table tops and salvaged finds.

Salvage Secrets Design & Decor by Joanne Palmisano (W.W. Norton)

This Southwestern Home and Northeastern home show two totally different ideas — but a common theme — can you guess it?

You have got to love this cottage on the water outside of San Francisco. Quaint, cozy and oh so, creative. See the whole house in the book.

Glamorous uptown New York City apartment shows that you can use all vintage, salvage and reclaimed and still look like a million bucks! You don’t want to miss the rest of this apartments and the homeowner/designers favorite places to shop in NYC.


Salvage Secrets, Transforming Reclaimed Materials Into Design Concepts

Lighting…this book shows how using salvaged and recycled materials can create some of the most unique lighting available today.

From reclaimed wood floors to vintage gates as décor, this book goes from A to Z when it comes to adding salvage, reclaimed, recycled and vintage to your home.

Design ideas, romantic settings and amazing photography by Susan Teare, this book will inspire you.

List of Tips, Design Ideas, Where to Shop and how creative you can get…

Sometimes it just takes one unique piece to create a focal point. Also — details on materials — how and when you should use them.

Salvage Secrets Joanne Palmisano

Houses from East to West are featured in this book. Each with their own style.

Retro, Rustic and Places to Shop

Salvage Secrets book, Joanne Palmisano

Sometimes the styling can be simple if the design is gorgeous all on its own. Recycled cabinets and sink make this kitchen a stunner!

How to use reclaimed stone to adding special touches to your kitchen.

Salvage Secrets book, Joanne Palmisano

Even the smallest piece of wood can be reclaimed. This book is all about the simplest ways to make recycling fun, creative, unique and good for the earth.






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DIY Holiday Gift- Make Your Own Stone Cheese Platters


Here are the finished products-soapstone and marble cheese platters. Great holiday gift idea!

How much fun am I having making holiday DIY gift giving crafts with my husband and daughter! Rarely can I get them to work with me on my DIY’s but this time Steve suggested it! Say what! “I’m sorry… did you say you wanted to make DIY cheese platters for gifts for our family and friends?” Well, not only are we making those but we’re putting together some fun crafts for his company’s holiday craft fair sale. Our table is going to rock with vintage signs made by Gabrielle, stone cheese platters and trivets by Steve and I and of course some fun wooden coaster made by me!  So get creative with your family this Thanksgiving weekend!

Here is the pile of left-over, scrap stone pieces we had. We had the soapstone left over from our kitchen counters and the scrap marble pieces I picked up at my local stone yard — they always have scraps in the back.

Steve rented a wet tile saw from Home Depot. We have a small one but the stone was pretty thick so we decided a heavy duty one would be better. Don’t me intimidated by this saw — it is pretty easy to use. Lots of easy step by step instructions online and the hardware store will also give you some directions.

Using the guide on the tile saw, Steve lined up the stone and gently starts to cut the rough edge off. Some of the stone pieces we had only needed one side to be straightened out.

As you can see Safety comes first! Look how handsome he is! A couple that crafts together, stays together :)

So here is the pile of stone pieces after they have been cut. Now it is time to soften the edges.

Using a wet sanding block specifically for tile, running the water over it as you go, sand down the edges to give them a rounded feel. Scrap out the stone dust from the sink after — better it not go down the drain.

We used super slider feet for the bottom. And some seriously strong glue. Then I pressed them into the back — at the four corners.

I laid them all out on beach towels, with the bottom facing up, to make sure it dried completely before I added the feet. Once you put the feet on, use glue as well as the self-adhesive on the back of the feet. Then stack a piece of stone on top of it to ensure it adheres to the back. Let dry for a few hours before finishing it up.


After the feet were dry and I added mineral oil to the soapstone pieces, I added a cheese spreader and ribbon to the stone pieces.

Then I printed some fun pictures I took and made tags out of them by using food cardboard boxes and a glue stick.

Okay, so everyone now knows what they are getting for the holidays. Oh well, it doesn’t change the fact that these are made from our very own hands and they come from our hearts.

Soon, many more of my holiday diy/crafts are going to be LIVE on DIY NETWORK. Hope you follow the blog to make sure to see them!

Hugs, Joanne (and Steve)

P.S. I really hope you get a book or two for your favorite readers on your list. Here a few I recommend :)

Some holiday book ideas for the readers in your family. Chefs, cooks, designers and DIYers will love these books!


Travel by Design…California, Sonoma County

Vintage Suitcases

Seriously…I love to combine work and play…when I’m traveling I’m always on the look out for cool salvage shops or interesting design ideas, so it is no surprise when visiting my twin sister in California for a little vacation…I squeezed in some work :)

Vintage Suitcases

These vintage suitcase were a gift from my girlfriend, Regina. I cleaned them and shipped them back to Vermont — where they are now proudly displayed. Thank you! Regina!

Seriously, my sister and I ate at the counter at the Fremont Diner in Sonoma, and that was sitting in front of me the whole time! Crazy yummy food. The place is an ICON! You must visit there when you are traveling in Wine Country.

Diner mugs… you gotta love them! This display is something I’ll keep in mind for future kitchen design ideas.

Vintage Ford Explorer Truck Yellow

Just in case, you were wondering what I want for my birthday… a vintage Ford Explorer Truck will do!

This is a fun stop in the town of Sonoma, California. Café Scooteria, where you can drive up and they’ll serve you coffee at your window. Or hang out at the shop — and enjoy it there. Rosanne and I road our bikes there. I mean really who could resist Italian style coffee drive-thru located at a vintage scooter mechanic’s shop? Not us!

Rosanne relaxing, while I check out all the vintage bikes…

Now… work time… yes, you can see we take our work seriously. Rosanne (pictured here) is working on a design project for a villa in wine country so I’m helping out for a couple of days.  Rosanne was making sure, Regina Martinelli, from Martinelle Winery, measured up to helping out for the day as well. Turns out she does. :)

I’ll admit, I haven’t been to a lot of ballgames — but really is there a pretty stadium than AT & T Park in San Francisco? WOW!

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Into the city of San Francisco we go! For a ballgame that is! We were taking our lives in our own hands wearing our St. Louis Cardinal’s gear in the Giant’s stadium. Gorgeous day! Beautiful spot.

Pladra Clothing Line USA

Shopping in San Francisco’s, after a yummy breakfast at … Pladra, a very cool custom flannel clothing line made in San Francisco, has a very cool Pop Up Shop on Hayes Street. Loved their displays. Again… great ideas for a rustic Americana entrance way look!

Bodega Bay…early, early in the morning… surfers, fog and us. Really doesn’t get any better!

When we were not hiking, or doing design work…we were…busy meeting people and drinking their wine — which was outstanding! Here we are having a blast at Buena Vista Winery. I felt like I was back in Italy! The nicest people there — they took such great care of us!

LOVED the private lounge, party area upstairs at Buena Vista — someone rent that out for me for my birthday please! And the Champagne Lounge downstairs was fantastic as well.

Rosanne and I getting a private tour — we were honored! Thanks for making us feel so special. It was a great day.


Artefact Design & Salvage

Rosanne and I shopping at Artefact Design &Salvage in Sonoma…Love their displays and vintage finds… amazing shop for anyone who wants to add something special to their home design.

And Rosanne says I’m the one with the bad sense of direction… Lost again, on the trails through Sonoma… Here is Rosanne showing me the way out.

Once again, hiking in Sonoma, who would have thought an amazing Redwood forest in the middle of wine country

Visiting Martinelli Vineyards…the back side of the vines…gorgeous day! If you have not tried their wines — I insist you run out and get a bottle — my fav — the Pinot Noir.

Here is Rosanne again…this time we stuck to the trail at Bartholomew Winery Park. LOVED the Redwood forest in the middle of the hike. It was a great trail system.

Here I am, helping Rosanne out with her design project. Don’t worry when she comes to see me, she helps me with all my projects as well.

Seriously, I should have picked this up. $20 at Republic of Thrift (benefiting the public schools), a second hand shop in Sonoma. It would have looked so cool framed in a huge frame hung in a living room — Adobe style house… Love all the second hand shops out West!

Being from Vermont — I’m sure you can understand how much I appreciate an amazing Mexican food meal. Here is a hidden gem in Sonoma…El Molino.  The before picture…

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A house for sale in Sonoma comes will all the parts and pieces you could ever want… LOVED this place. Housing hunting with my sister…

The backyard at Artefact Design & Salvage. LOVE the extra large blue industrial pot…looks like an old smeltering pot turned into a garden container. I can see it in a very large sunroom with a huge orange tree growing out of it. The fair wheel is fun too!

Rosanne’s friend… has the original…salt and pepper in old toy trucks… or at least that is where she got the idea, and I got the idea from her… and other’s got the idea from me… and so on and so on…

How happy am I? Craft coming right up!


A DIY Craft I made from my memories of my trip… sand dollars from Bodega Bay. Lots and lots of fun!

I didn’t get here but I will next time! Sonoma Nesting Company and many other interesting places to visit… I’ll be back!





Salvage Secrets T-shirt Fundraiser for JDRF

Once a year a do a fundraiser for Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF) . This year, we created cool t-shirts and here my daughter is modeling them for you (short and long sleeve — see below for sizing info). Only $25 to benefit JDRF. Want one? Just go to my Etsy Shop. THANK YOU FOR YOUR SUPPORT!  My best, Joanne  Only 30 left!

Salvage Secrets T-shirts

Get a Great T-shirt, Help a Great Cause!  THANK YOU!

Short Sleeve S, M, L, XL (Gabrielle is wearing a small)

Long Sleeve (buttons on the sleeves) S, M, L, XL (these run very small — if you wear a small, you will want a medium or large ) (Gabrielle is wearing a small but it’s snug)

Both are 100% cotton.
SalvageSecrets Design Tshirt back Long Sleeveclose up Salvage Secrets Design Short Sleeve Tshirt Frontcloseup

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