December 30, 2008

School Bells Ring in the New Year With Design Guy University

School bells ring in the new year with this semester’s choice course list from Design Guy University. Colors for 2009 top the list with topics covering big design for small spaces, construction basics, interior design history, and the latest with the new products available at a new showroom to-the-trade. Taught by local interior designer D. Scott Tjaden, Allied Member ASID, at University City’s Centennial Commons and on location. Design-divas, style-mavins, cable-home-decorating addicts, and anyone else wanting to hone their interior skills will benefit from the Winter offerings. Starting January 20th until February 17th, every Tuesday your choice from either 2-4pm or 7-9pm, the class list is available on the website at or by calling 314.761.5740. RAH! RAH! RAH! See you in class! (Sorry, rowdy towels not included).
314.761.5740 for more information and to reserve a spot.

Checks make out to: Scott Tjaden Mail to: Design Guy University, 2433 McNair Avenue, St.Louis, MO 63104

Classes all 5 for $98, 2 hours each at either 2-4pm or 7-9pm on days listed below.

Class listing:

1. Jan 20, 2009: Color 101: Color for 2009.

Learn what new colors are in store for the year from the leading color resources and the Color Marketing Group. Centennial Commons, 7210 Olive Boulevard, UCity, 63130; 314.862.2037.

2. Jan 27, 2009: Big Design, Small Spaces.

Learn how even the smallest péid-a-térre (like mine of only 150 square feet) and small spaces don't have to be difficult with just a few hints. Centennial Commons, 7210 Olive Boulevard, UCity, 63130; 314.862.2037.

3. Feb 3, 2009: Construction 101. Real costs revealed as you see what’s involved when adding on or building a new home. Learn how Green design can save you money down the road. Boa Construction Company, 8417 Chapin Industrial Dr., Saint Louis, MO 63114, 314.524.0203;

4. Feb 10, 2009: Design History 101.

The history of interior design via the design of chairs. We’ll look at the earliest chair known from the Metropolitain Museum of Art (Egypt 4000BC) to present day designer Phillipe Stark. Centennial Commons, 7210 Olive Boulevard, UCity, 63130; 314.862.2037.

5. Feb 17, 2009: Design & Detail.

We’ll go to this two-year-old showroom located in Maplewood where we’re in for a surprise of new products available. Design & Detail, 2731 Sutton Blvd Suite, 100 St Louis MO; 63143; 314.781.3336;

Happy New Year from Design Guy University

Thanks to all of you for making Design Guy University's first year a success. Wishes for a prosperous and happy 2009!

November 5, 2008


With the election behind us, I thought this week I'd share the acquisition of some rare interior shots of the White House during the renovation of the White House from the Theodore Roosevelt administration in 1904. These glass color plates are property of the Library of Congress and show the grandeur of the 'modern' American interior. What you may NOT know is that the interior of the White House was heavy Victorian and decorated by the likes of Louis Comfort Tiffany and other well-known artists in vogue at that time. The need for redecoration to something less heavy at the turn of the century resulted in these lush rooms.

Enjoy these rare shots, I certainly did.

The East Room, 1904. I think anyone would love to throw a party in this place.

The Blue Room. WOW. Look at that floor and the scale of everything. Elegance.

The State Dining Room. 1904. Wow. Look at that GREEN. Classic. And look at that ceiling decoration. Amazing.

Green Room. 1904. Love this. 'Nuff said.

President's Office. 1904. Remember this pre-dates the oval office. Now the office is I believe another bedroom. (is it the Lincoln Bedroom??)

White House Lobby. 1904. WOW. Simplicity, yet complete complexity in terms of the moulding and understated elegance.

Another View of the East Room. 1904. 

The Red Room. I could certainly enjoy a drink at the end of the day reading or receiving my out-of-country dignitaries in this room. No problem.

October 26, 2008

New Class: Decorating for the Holidays

Perplexed elves and others in desperate need of holiday cheer can face the upcoming season with new found confidence by enrolling in the latest class offered by Design Guy University: Decorating for the Holiday Season.

What's included:

* Brief overview of the history of decoration for winter and holiday
* View photographs of beautifully decorated homes
* Go inside the area's second-largest private home to see how I decorated the public spaces for the holidays
* Learn techniques used by professionals.
* View and learn about unusual choices of plants and greenery (live samples) for your home
* Learn the correct way to light a tree
* See the latest in artificial and permanent materials available
* How to use containers correctl

All registrants get a special holiday gift from Scott, the Design Guy.

TIME: 9am - 11am
DATE: Saturday, Nov.15,
LOCATION: The Heman Park Centennial Commons Building in University City, 7210 Olive Street, University City, MO 63130
COST: Only $39 per person

Make Check out to: Scott Tjaden

Mail Check or Money Order to:

Design Guy University
2433 McNair Avenue
St. Louis, MO 63104

October 12, 2008

Design Guy University At-Home

I was asking my students what they wanted, and in response I created an at-home version of Design Guy University. The first of it’s kind, you pick from the topics below, or collaborate with me to come up with something you’d like and we’ll have class... right in your own home! Pretty cool, huh?

The cost is $295 per 2-hour lecture for up to 10 people. $29.50 additional per person after 10. Perfect for women’s groups, subdivisions, or a group of friends.

And, it's only $29.50 per person... it's a great deal!


Color 101
I’ll not only give you the new colors for the season, but discuss who in the heck makes these decisions. Also some color tricks I’ve learned through the years like how to deal with matching reds, it's the hardest color in the palette to work with.

Room makeover
You’ll give me digital photos of the space before hand and I’ll provide some suggestions that you can use. Your friends will either help move furniture or kick back and watch. Limitations apply, please call for details.

Drapery 101
We’ll learn the basics about drapery. What’s in, what’s out. What’s new on the market. From basics to high end. We’ll even see photos of professional jobs that you can use to help decorate your house. The handout is my special Drapery reference made just for you.

Feng Shui Basics
There is no traditional word for interior design in Asia, it’s simply known as Feng Shui, the art of balance. I’ll have a a Feng Shui chart for you as part of the handout and information.

Upholstery 101
We'll learn the basic parts of upholstery. I have a handout and a few samples to show you the difference between down, 1/2 and 1/2 and we'll even create our own pattern with upholstery nails that you can either use yourself or take to a professional to recreate.

Interior Design History 101
Essentials you need to know about the history of Interior design. I'll start with Greek and Roman interiors and take us through modern times. You'll get a time line and a handout. We'll discuss pivotal people in history such as furniture great Thomas Chippendale, and designers like Francis Elkin and David Hicks.

Interior Design via Web
We’ll take a cruise through the Internet as I show you my favorite sites. Many of which you won’t know. And, we’ll also go to sites all over the world. You pick the area of interest, or I can show you a sampling of what I just love. Blank wall needed for my projector. You need to have a wireless Internet connection and a blank wall. Don't worry, I have an electronic projector.

Call me to discuss and sign up. My website at has the contact information.

Help your friends earn their degree in confidence!!

September 28, 2008

Sitting Pretty

After several weeks of being away designing, giving out degrees in confidence through Design Guy University and some personal things, I'm rearing my head to promote a book that I just love. Written by Florence de Dampierre, Chairs, a History, is just plain marvelous. It's a history lesson in the progression of that one item in our houses that we all have, a chair. Whether we use them to recline and relax, dine, or for display, the chair is really the one item through history, that has not changed. Here are some of my favorite examples... so just sit back and enjoy these few pictures... and.. of course... some commentary.

This Florentine chair was produced c1840. Can you see the carving? Wow. No wonder it's believed to have come from a palace.

Thomas Chippendale. No book on chairs would be complete. I wouldn't mind having one of these beauties. Yum Yum.

I'm designing a house right now whose inspiration is Art Deco. These are prime examples: Hexagonal chairs by the designer Charreau. Henredon has a line out right now where I am confident this is the inspiration. Their chairs, however, are narrower than these graceful, generous beauties.

All types and periods are represented. This particular chair is done by pop artist Arman and is created with a series of lucite boxes. Just incredible.. do you see the wheels underneath?

And we finish with this strange chair. Any guesses? It looks like it was created today with those bold blue animal legs and interesting carvings. Give up? Try the 18th Dynasty of Egypt. It's on display at the Louvre and is one of the earliest examples of chairs still in existence.

This book is not only a chronology of interior design history, but an insight on how humanity has lived. A must have reference.

August 21, 2008

Design Guy University Classes

Tuesdays 2-4 pm, repeat class 7-9pm
September 16th through October 14th 2008

We have some great new places to go to and people to learn from in the next series of classes from Design Guy University!

September 16th. - R. Ege Antiques:
 “The objects in my shop are things your grandmother never had.” This store is great. He has been voted the best affordable antique store in St. Louis and also the best window display in the city. You'll see why when you walk through the door. Whimsical items, antiques, everything from 19th furniture to paintings, to very, very unusual accessories and mineral specimens and shells. Learn about his buying trips to Europe and his shows that he participates in located in other cities. We'll talk about how to pick out the right thing and how to train your eye to find just the right object for your space.  

September 23 - Centro: We'll take a look at St. Louis' only higher-end modern design store with the top designers from Britain and Italy. We'll see trends in modern lighting from their Artemide showroom as well as discuss principals of modern design and how to integrate modern and new together.

September 30th - Mark Buckheit Framing:
 The framer for the St. Louis Art Museum, the Contemporary, and various galleries around town, we'll tour his studio, see some marvelous artwork and also learn how to frame things properly. I'll have a handout on some tips/hints that you can use. (please note: there will be several flights of stairs to climb for this particular tour. If you cannot do this, please contact me)

October 7 - Ivey-Selkirks Go behind the scenes of Ivey-Selkirks. We'll have a lecture on how auction houses work, you can ask questions, and we'll also get a preview before anyone else in St. Louis of some paintings/furniture from their upcoming auctions including the Modernist auction in November and their monthly auction. I'll show you my pics and some possibilities of what you can buy and use for your home.

5. DonghiaCatie, my local rep for this internationally known line of fabric and furniture will preview the new fabrics for fall. It's exciting. She'll have real, large samples to share. Everyone will love this opportunity.

For the first class, we will meet at R.Ege's shop, when you send in your registration, I'll then email you directions closer to the time of the class. 

Cost is $98/per person for all 5 classes. You have a choice from 2-4pm OR 7-9pm whichever you choose. I do need a commitment from you for either time so I can see how many students are available each time. 

Email me at for more information. I can even send you a registration form. Our website should be updated soon with the current information. 


Coming late fall/early winter: Christmas decorating. I'll share my experience decorating the second largest house in St. Louis for the holidays. The lecture will be on Florist Row in St. Louis.

August 12, 2008

Big Houses, Big Price Tags

Just out in the New York times and various news programs, a mystery Russian Billionaire bought this house on the French Riviera for a staggering $748 Million. How much is too much? Apparently according to top world real-estate agents "..people in this income bracket, we don't show them anything under $100M anymore... "

This one was acquired by King Leopold II in 1902. Not too much is known about this house except the fact that it has 19 bedrooms. Sorry, no inside photographs... perhaps they'll surface eventually. It was previously owned by a Lebenese banker's widow who held out on the sale. I think she did well.

Previously, the record was held from the purchase of a London mansion, located on a street dubbed Billionaires` Row on Kensington Palace Gardens, fully furnished and with an art collection, to Indian steel king Lakshmi Mittal for $230 million. He called in a design firm
to come and put some changes to only the Taj Mahal would compare.

Left: Flowering laburnum tree inlaid with yellow sapphire on white marble.
Right: Red onyx and golden sandstone flooring pattern from the solar bathroom.

Monumental carved white marble lotus fountain surrounded by twelve flowering trees inlaid with precious stone.

Pool inlaid like a Persian carpet with semi-precious stone surrounded by white marble jali screens inspired by the Taj Mahal.

This house following is a mere whisper of a residence. Bought by Israeli diamond billionaire, Lev Liviev. It holds the record for new construction in England. It boasts bullet-proof front door costing $100,000, real estate dealers said on Tuesday. The seven-bedroom house in the exclusive north London district of Hampstead boasts a $1.5 million stone staircase constructed using 150-year-old carving techniques and an indoor swimming pool with gold-plated mosaic tiles. The Palladian-style home also features a gym, sauna, ballroom and cinema, a private hair salon and a one-ton bathroom basin carved from a single piece of white Iranian onyx. WOW.

August 2, 2008

Modern Marvels

I long (privately) to have a modernist house in a Zen style unlike my tossed about very 'full' place here. Good design is good design and I wanted to show you some really great modern designed items for your home that I would choose personally for my house.

Iceberg Table
Designer: Thien and My Ta Trung

I chose this because it's so hot here... and this is cool as winter itself. Each piece is a perfect snowflake laser-cut from steel. And if you have a great floor or rug you can enjoy that too.. it just seems to float on a floor. Someone asked me if you needed glass atop of it, and I thought... well, maybe a tray.

AQHayon Bathtub
Designer: Jaime Hayon

Luxury, let's face it. Baths used to be the epitome of elegance. I saw the new release of Brideshead Revisited and the bathroom that Sebastian was bathing in was... well, stunning. It reflected the status of the home owner (i.e. Emma Thompson) and the quality of everything in Brideshead. Well, who needs a movie? These days are back with the exquisitely designed AQHayon Bathtub. With a variety of ceramic accessories to customize it (they have a sink, too). Relax, unwind, and end a stressful day with a long soak in what will soon become your favorite room in the house... Also available in black, gold and platinum. It also has (for an upcharge) a ceramic tray for bath products, an ashtray for those that still partake in that, and a few other options. But it's killer, face it. Wow.

Ruby Cube
Designer: J.P. Meulendijks

Based on the original Rubik's cube, it's made from cthe same color special acrylic plates that change color when viewed from different angles. How cool is that. Colors change from dark green to grey to aubergine (you haven't heard that color in awhile).

Glow Brick
Designer: Sam & Jude

OK, this is just plain cool. It's a (real) light bulb set in a clear solid acrylic brick. How does it work? It recharges from energy in natural light during the day - glows at night! Talk about eco-friendly. I could see a bunch of these even outside down a path ( I wonder if that would work? hmm Not sure if they're water proof, but I bet they are.)

PZL Slot
Designer: Giuseppe Colonna Romano
This lamp is made of four interlocking, colorful shapes. It's scale and luminosity would create an equally striking effect on the wall or floor. Shown in the picture are, I believe, 4 of them placed on the wall.

July 27, 2008

KDR Showroom visit.

Design Guy University And KDR Showroom.

Design Guy University and local showrooms are teaming up for one-time classes for only $29. The first will be at KDR Showrooms in Westport on Saturday, August 9th from 10am-12pm.

Located in a 16K+ showroom space at a cost of $9M, KDR is the largest showroom in St. Louis. They carry hundreds of lines of fabric, furniture, window treatments, accessories, lighting, and more. You don't see this stuff in the stores! Several things are out on the floor, but also can be special ordered as I'll show you the vast array of catalogues available to designers. Also, banked along the outskirts of the showrooms are aisles and aisles of designer fabrics and wall covering. As described in the article about Design Guy University in St. Louis At Home magazine, this place is Mecca!

Taking a tour of the showroom will be coupled with a lecture on how showrooms work, behind-the-scene secrets, and some trade lingo that will help you understand what designers go through when completing a project.

Sound fun? Email me at and make your reservation today.

July 20, 2008


Carly Margolis and Ophir Tanz, lifelong friends, started Canyon Home, a collection of wall covering. It speaks to nature, but has that modern sensibility. Each roll is hand-silkscreened and come in a variety of colors. I love their stuff and wanted to share a few pictures with you. Each roll is 15 feet by 27 inches and costs $155/roll. (They do have a two-roll minimum order, for wallpaper).

Carly and Ophir have been featured in Traditional Home, California Home + Design, Domino, Teen People, and other magazines. I love some of the patterns because it reminds me of one of my favorite designers, Mr. David Hicks. (And, wow... Lance Armstrong is photographed with that great green wall paper in the background)

This year they came out with a line that’s more geometric, but also integrates children’s drawings from Peru. I’m into what I call “Social Conscious Design”, a term I coined to categorize hand-made products or art where the proceeds go back to the country, or person(s), of origin. This wallpaper line helps Casa de Milagros, an orphanage in Peru. (see last photo)

I hope you love these designs as much as I do!