This is Aalto. A Professional theme for
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Hello!! Welcome to my blog. Very excited to start with a series of ten posts that will outline a few design ideas as presented in my downloadable ideaBOOKs. The 01. ideaBook is about spotlighting, curating, choreographing, and framing collections. We all have them. My goal was to share how I simultaneously organize and display (show off) my own prized possessions.

Firstly, let me give you some background. I spent first sixteen formative years of life in Leningrad (now St. Petersburg, Russia). My affinity for Russian culture is not intentional, rather ingrained. It sets the tone. Although I am a fully assimilated Los Angelina, you can still discern a nod to that Russian heritage in my collections of books, teapots, and wooden spoons.

So, growing up in the Soviet Union, I was painfully shy and quiet. But the need to communicate did not go away. I managed to express myself  in an unusual way. By artfully arranging  objects, near and dear to me. Was I aiming to gain control? Maybe it was an attempt to reveal who I was inside? Hmmm. It seems that acquiring a voice has been an overarching theme of my entire career. Interesting… Clearly, I have definitely come a long way — writing, providing design advice, consulting DIY enthusiasts online, teaching workshops.

Obviously, I thrive on encouraging creativity and self-reliance.

OK! Enough background. Let’s get to the point.

Design ideas file tip #1 / dining room:


Problem: Impossible to hide new electrical conduits within the existing raw redbrick wall.

Solution: Conceal eloquently — create an additional layer.

Introduce a freestanding hollow partition to house everything required.

Added Benefit: “Wire management” wall reveals a provocative niche.

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cantilevered shelf

As you can see, I delight in designing ledges, display rails and stands to feature personal treasures. That’s my way of interpreting the expression “all at your fingertips” in a private language. Focusing on beauty while striving for efficiency.

design ideas, advice without strings, architect on demand

cantilevered shelf repurposed

Design ideas file tip #1a / living room:

CONSOLIDATE & reinforce

Problem: Relocating 10 years later.

Solution: Downsize intelligently — crop the shelves to cantilever from one bracket.

Added Benefit: Enough wood left over to use on a custom valance; virtually zero waste.

design ideas, advice without strings, architect on demand

left-over wood put to use

As mentioned above, this post and nine to follow are based on the ideaBOOK 01 Displaying & Organizing. It is available to download here.

Finally, if you have any questions, please address them to me in your comments below. I am at your service as an online architectural consultant and DIY ally.


  • Martha Diego
    May 13, 2015

    Alla, it’s great that you decided to elaborate on the points discussed in your first ideaBOOK. I am a fanatic for your home design ideas described in the ideaBOOKs. So happy to see larger images, too. Can’t wait for the next installment.

    • Alla Kazovsky
      May 13, 2015

      Martha, I am glad to be of service. Don’t hesitate to reach out when you have a particular question.

  • May 27, 2015

    Where can I purchase these shelves?

    • Alla Kazovsky
      May 27, 2015

      The ones shown are custom-made. Of course you can order them through me, but I would encourage you to make them yourself. I can guide you, no problem.

  • June 3, 2015

    I’d love your help with this, Alla. How do I get in touch with you? Also, under architectural services fees, would this be considered an initial consultation of $50 or $65 per hour?

    • Alla Kazovsky
      June 3, 2015

      Sure! Go to the link and fill out the form. Since this will be our first time, we can start with $50 initial consultation. By the way, in an effort to promote my how-toBOOK, we are offering an excellent deal: «Read the book DIY LIKE AN ARCHITECT and get the first consultation free»

  • June 16, 2015

    Alla, thank you SOOOO much for being my DIY ally! I never thought that for $10 I could get help and an excellent book! I am thrilled!!! BTW, your how-toBOOK has inspired me.

  • October 7, 2015

    Thanks very interesting blog!

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