joy of nesting

joy of nesting
Shiree Hanson Segerstrom Design and Wellness for Women with Arthritis and Other Chronic Pain.

SHS Bespoke Design Schemes

Featured service from SHIREE HANSON SEGERSTROM

Writing my design columns and blog I usually approach them from an instructional, "how-to" standpoint. However, here I'm sharing some of the benefits of a service I provide: a basic design package that my clients find informational and beneficial. This is a great plan of information such as visual aids, CAD/floor plans, fabric swatches, written reports, and estimates of all proposed fabric treatments and furnishings. One of the best features is the price tag. It's fixed so there are no surprises.

Designing and furnishing a home takes lots of planning so let's talk about how these plans can help you freshen your presumably drab interior, protect your budget, and improve your home life in the process.

SHS Bespoke Design Schemes come in packages of two to three design schemes created especially for each client. It's offered at a set price so there are no questions regarding the time I bill the client. All of the fabrics and furnishings I propose in my plans are available through me if they meet with your approval. However there is no obligation to purchase through me.


I take into account a number of important criteria when putting the plans together for you. I ask such questions as: Do you have children, grandchildren, or pets. What is the architectural style. Where is the home located. Is it a loft in the city or ranch in the country. Do you have special needs or physical limitations. Do you entertain. Is your lifestyle is casual, formal, or something in between. Is there anything we can work with as a starting point that you absolutely love, such as an oil painting, a family heirloom, or a special color. How do you use the home. Are there any rooms you don't use.

Style Preference

 I can tell somewhat by looking at their existing furnishings which style someone prefers. A good designer knows not to take a client 180 degrees from their current decor. I always try to keep some familiar elements in the overall scheme, especially if it's something you love. It's often a matter of determining what you like about your home, what really bothers you, and finding gorgeous fabrics and/or furnishings to pull the new and old elements together into striking combinations.

The process starts with a consultation, and takes sixty to ninety minutes to discuss your home and take measurements. In approximately two weeks I return with a presentation.

Each package includes some or all of the following: two to three custom design schemes with over sized fabric swatches, CAD/ drafted floor plans to determine the best, most anchoring furniture layouts; proposed budgets and scopes of work; paint or carpet chips as needed; written estimates for all proposed work; and a written plan explaining the design schemes. The fabric combinations and floor plans stand out as visually beautiful, comfortable and cozy schemes that work within your lifestyle.

Scopes of Work/Budgets

A scope of work and budget work hand in hand to determine how much money will need to be spent to accomplish what you wish to accomplish. There are a lot of loose ends when you start this process, a lot of uncertainties. But you'll quickly see how to proceed and what is feasible once we get started. The plans help you prioritize and gain a clear idea of what your room will look like once it's finished. 
For instance I had two projects recently. The first was a fairly good sized project. The client wanted a new sofa, two new chairs, new window coverings, new area rugs and new upholstery on two existing chairs. She also wanted me to place accessories. I was given a fairly small budget to accomplish this and came in with three possible scenarios.
I gave her one plan under budget by $1,000, one $1,000 over budget, and one $2,000 over budget. Her actual budget wouldn't allow new chairs and sofa so I proposed recovering them instead. In the last budget, the one that was $2,000 over budget, there was an allowance for the new sofa. So we were able to accomplish a very nice scope of work reasonably within budget and provide for many options within the plans: options on fabric combinations, options on floor plans, and options on budgetary allowance.
The second project was a client with hopes of accomplishing quite a bit for a fairly small budget. I wasn't able to accomplish all she wanted but I did come up with two plans that were within $1,500 of her actual budget. She wanted her sofa, two chairs, and a settee recovered, and new throw pillows and curtains. Both plans I created for her had flexibility, just like the previous client. She has the option to purchase the fabric from me and do the work herself through less expensive work rooms to save money, or spend the extra $1500 and have the fabrication, order placement, order tracking, and deliveries arranged and overseen for her.
So scopes of work are important to determine just how much you need to accomplish. The budget acts as a balancing act to rein you in on unnecessary purchases. It keeps you realistic. The scope of work determines what needs to be done and the budget determines whether or not the scope of work is feasible.
With a professionally created design scheme, the hardest parts of the job are done for you enabling you to make the decision of whether to do the job yourself or through a professional. Either way is a win win when you have the plans done for you. Please feel free to email with any questions. I'm happy to explain how you can benefit from this service.


This wing back chair is actually slip covered. The fabric is a taupe linen with French script calligraphy. Welts are red velvet. It was done for a San Francisco client who asked me to work around her husband's favorite silk Aubusson rug and the colors were taupe, cream and oxblood red.

It was part of a SHS Bespoke Design Scheme.

Diana Schwarzbein Five Step Program... a health and beauty regime for a lifetime

I bought a book a few weeks ago called The Schwarzbein Principle II by Santa Barbara endocrinologist Diana Schwarzbein. The book was timely for me because I've had a few boring little age related issues pop up recently. I have high energy levels and lead a healthy lifestyle but I've made a few big health related mistakes over the years which I'll explain.

Whenever I come across something I think would be useful to others I want to share it. I see women my age and much younger suffering with weight issues, mood swings and decreased or non-existent libidos and if I know I have found potential solutions to their problems, I am ecstatic to share. We women truly want to help each other be the best we can be physically, professionally and even emotionally. We are nurturers.

Diana Schwarzbein is a proponent of a largely unknown, natural product called bio identical hormones used in hormone replacement therapy mostly for women but also men to a certain degree. She also emphasizes the importance of a "five step program" to a productive, healthy, active, disease free lifestyle at all ages, the basis of her book.

I first heard about Diana in a book called The Sexy Years by Suzanne Somers that I purchased in 2004 but I didn't utilize the information on bio-identicals till probably 2006. Most recently, I'm following the rest of her lifestyle recommendations as well.

I'm naturally curious about maintaining my health and vibrancy for life. At fifty four I've been living proof that bio-identicals keep your energy high, appearance healthy and attitude positive but about six months ago I started showing some frustrating symptoms. As I started investigating my issues I came upon Diana's book that lead to my answers.
When the student is ready the teacher appears.


Diana's five step program can't be fully explained in this blog but I'll give you enough information to make your own decision on whether or not to seek out the book for your own library. I hope you'll find the answers you're looking for. Aging well i.e. energetic, positive, active, requires some studying on your part. I wholeheartedly encourage you to do so for yourself. You are a lovable human being and you are worth it. 
The steps include removing or lessening as much as possible, toxic chemicals from your life. Diana identifies these as sugar; caffeine; alcohol; nicotine; certain medications;artificial sweeteners; pesticides; and anti-biotic's and growth hormones found in today's meat, pork, poultry, and lamb.

Eating real, high quality foods in a balanced manner--the key being balanced proportions: good quality protein (wild caught salmon, free range poultry, eggs, minimally processed cheese like Feta, fresh Buffalo mozzarella, ricotta and chevre), non-starchy vegetables (leafy greens, broccoli, bell peppers, eggplant), real carbohydrates (beans, quinoa, brown rice, whole grains) and high quality fats (olive oil, avocado) and omitting all packaged foods.

Manage your stress: this includes sleeping a full eight hours, controlling caffeine intake (this really surprised me), doing daily relaxation techniques like taking a slow walk, doing Yoga, meditating, praying, managing your work load, and taking time for yourself and your favorite activities.

Cross training exercises: at levels that don't cause stress. Yoga and other stretching exercises, low impact aerobic exercises and resistance training exercises (weight machines and free weights). Diana stresses the importance in exercising the whole person, not just the heart or just weight training. Stretching is important to for calming yourself as well as range of motion. She warns against over exercising (another surprise to me).

Lastly, for those of us who need it (most women over 45) bio-identical hormone replacement therapy.

One of the differences between synthetic hormones and natural bio-identical hormones is that your body recognizes bio-identicals as the hormones you create yourself. Synthetic ones (like Premarin) are toxic and better off avoided completely. This is something each person has to investigate by reading, not necessarily by talking to your doctor because many doctors (who according to the book, receive all of four hours teaching on hormones) are still largely uninformed about bio-identicals. Bio-identical hormones are natural and are therefore not patentable. What that means is, if the pharmaceutical companies can't patent them they can't profit from them. Doctors largely sell what the pharmaceutical companies tell them to sell. To get real answers, read books by the endocrinologists listed in this blog and make your own informed decisions. Bio-identicals are usually cremes, applied topically every twelve hours and are produced in a compounding pharmacy. They are made from yams which have been synthesized in a laboratory and as I said before, mimic your own hormones "identically", thus the name.

What surprised me most is how much I underestimated the harm sugar and caffeine cause. I was lulled into a false sense of confidence because I have always eaten so healthy and exercised consistently. I wrongly believed it was okay to consume a sweetened iced coffee or two a day and several glasses of sweet iced tea. After all, I didn't eat desserts every weekend like I did in my twenties and thirties. I eat a big salad every day. I do twenty five minutes of sustained aerobics six days a week and alternate Yoga and weights every other day. Why should I give up one or two little vices? My answer came when I started developing considerable weight around my midsection, horrible pain in most of my joints particularly my neck and thumbs, and daily heart palpitations.

Sugar, caffeine and stress aside, my biggest mistake turned out to be following an ill informed doctor's advice on how to administer bio identical hormones. According to Dr. Schwarzbein and Dr. Uzzi Reiss a woman should not take progesterone on a daily basis, but rather fourteen days out of the month. She should take estrogen daily. She should have annual blood tests to make sure her hormones are balanced. And she should pay attention to her symptoms such as mood swings, bloating, energy levels, etc.

So my lifestyle changes include consuming less sugar, caffeine and alcohol, managing my stress better, and balancing my hormones. I expect to be playing a mean game of singles tennis in a few months with a pain free neck, and rocking a trimmer midsection by summer.

WHAT's NEW and IMPROVED at Shiree Hanson Segerstrom?

I'm happy to announce my new and improved website is up and running with an interactive page called "Buzz" to access my design columns both past and present, and various media coverage of late.

Please check it out by clicking on... Shiree Segerstrom.



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