Design Extra celebrates 5 year anniversary

Design Extra turns Five in 2014!

5 year timeline sketch

5 year timeline sketch

Lynn Larkin started Design Extra many moons ago as her consulting design business. Today, it has grown into a competitive and fun design firm. The sketch above reflects the colorful path we’ve been on the past 5 years highlighting all of our clients and projects by different market segment colors.

We wouldn’t be here today without our clients, family, friends, sales reps, team mates, consultants and past employees and interns. Thank you for your support over the past 5 years and cheers to many more together!

Girl’s Bathroom

The designs of this bathroom renovation were neutral and contemporary.

Design For All

Universal design is not just a trend, it is a way of life.  It is the design of an environment or product that can be used by all people- abled or disabled- without adaptation. Everyday tasks may be routine for one, but a challenge for another; getting out of bed, taking the stairs, taking a shower, cooking, are all challenges anyone could encounter. Although, it seems universal design would benefit only a minority, in reality, it enhances the way we all live.

This is extremely important for us all to better our lives and great for businesses.  Individuals with disabilities have a strong brand loyalty to companies that are affiliated with a disability cause. The total travel expenditures for the disability market is approximately $13.6 billion annually. If all their needs are met- amenities, accessibility, and informed staff members- this market could spend twice as much.

Here is a list of five things to consider when planning to make changes for a room.
1. Adjustable height bar and hand held shower nozzles


2. Sink height maximum 34″ from floor

3. Knee space under sink with protected pipes

4. Decorative grab bars in bath

5. Shower with even threshold.

Keep in mind that universal design can enhance everyone’s lives and can meet anyone’s style!

The Elephant In The Room

Modern elephant chairs

Tell us about yourself?
I come from Germany.  I am a fun, loving, modern children’s chair designed by Charles and Ray Eames.  I’m made out of polypropylene plastic and I come five different colors: Ice Grey, Light Pink, Dark Lime, Classic Red and Classic White.  Originally I was made of plywood, and there are only two prototypes.  THANKFULLY, Vitra Design Museum have taken that design and made me out of polypropylene.

Where is your ideal place to live?
Ideally, the outdoors; I love to be in the sun and fresh grass. Children’s rooms and playrooms are a great spot as well but, anywhere that I can interact with my people is where I want to live.

What are your fears and dreams?
My dream is to be displayed at the New York Zoo, but since I’m technically not a real elephant, I guess that can’t happen. And I don’t particularly want to be behind bars.  My fear is being destroyed by multiple children.  I want to be able to play, but I don’t want to break!

Three words to describe yourself:
1. Fun
2. Loving
3. Colorful


How do you define good design?
Anything goes. I obviously love bright colors, but functionality is a must, and when you put the two together you can create great design. My designers, Charles and Ray Eames, say that it is not a style, rather a lifestyle.

What is your passion?
Making kids happy.  If they’re having a bad day I want to be there for them to play with and put a smile on their face! But most importantly I want to please all people, not just children; I can bring out the kid in any adult.


This even comes in a cute box! Contact us for any inquiries! 

Going the extra GREEN mile

Did you know carpet has a life expectancy of about 8-10 years? With 1.8 million tons of carpet winding up in landfills annually, reclaiming carpet is a smart choice. A common myth of reclaiming carpet is it costs much more than throwing it away, but in fact, just about any manufacturer will take back carpet- even it is not theirs- once you install new flooring. Typically the cost is equivalent to the fee the contractor will include to dispose the waste. Your interior designer can also help you with logistics. Below is one of our  completed projects using 45% recycled content carpet.

reclaimed carpet

Are you taking sustainable precautions to clean your carpet? Every carpet manufacturer has different cleaning instructions based on their particular brand. If they do not already provide you with the appropriate cleaning steps, ask your designer or manufacturer what steps you can take to clean your carpet in an eco-friendly manner!

Green Design Extra chalkboard


Reclaimed: to bring into or return to a suitable condition for use, as cultivation or habitation.

Sustainabilityrefers to agriculture, development, and consumption of any kind that are socially just, humane, economically viable and environmentally sound.

Carbon Footprint: the total sets of greenhouse gas emissions caused by an organization, event, product or person.

Building A Better Home

We would like to give a big thank you to home builder Jeff Bogard for giving us a tour of the recently completed home in Creve Couer, a St. Louis suburb. This is an Energy Star certified home and as we toured this beautiful space, you could see all the hard work that went into putting together every little detail.  The foundation of the home is the most important- the foundation of this house was waterproof and insulated which caused these walls to be room temperature and not cold like usual. IMAG5200

The kitchen was designed to accessible for all- counters were low, appliances i.e. microwave and stove were low, the space between the counters were wide allowing much movement, and there were no upper cabinets, which meant all storage was under the couter tops. There will never be too many cooks in this kitchen! This is a great example of how beautiful universal design can be, and helps the potential buyer understand that this will enhance their life for years to come.







It was such a blast to be able to tour this green home and learn how much effort and love went into building it.  To learn more about this home click here. 

Lafayette Square Neighborhood SOUPer Supper

What a great turnout to the neighborhood Souper Supper. The businesses in Lafayette Square made soups and snacks for all the neighbors to gather and get to know each other.  The proceeds of this event helped raised funds for the sub station on Park Avenue. We had a great turn out and enjoyed everyone’s company and soup! Scroll down for our recipe 🙂



Our designer Chelsea made jambalaya for the supper and it was a hit!

Design Extra’s Jambalaya

2 lbs. chicken breast- 1inch cubes
½ cup cooking oil
2 lbs. Andoulle sausage- sliced
2 tsp. sugar
4 celery stalks, finely chopped
4 large onions, finely chopped
5 tsp. black pepper
1 large bell pepper, finely chopped
3 tsp. of salt, or to taste
9 c. fresh chicken broth
3 tsp. hot sauce
4-1/2 c. long grain rice
1 bunch green onions, finely chopped (separate green from whites)

  1. Brown sausage in cooking oil in 12 quart iron pot, about 10 minutes on medium heat. Remove and set aside.
  2. Brown chicken in left-over oil until cooked, but not burnt. Add sausage and cook on medium heat uncovered until golden brown, about 20 minutes.
  3. Add chopped onions, celery, and bell pepper. Cook until dark brown and wilted.
  4. Add 9 cups of broth and all seasonings; add more seasoning or salt if desired.
  5. Bring to a good boil, spoon off excess oil if desired.
  6. Add raw rice and stir until water becomes opaque and thick; stir gently not to break rice.
  7. Cover with tight lid and simmer on low for 20-30 minutes, or until rice is cooked (do not open lid unless you are sure it is done, your jambalaya will lose moisture if you do).
  8. Gently fluff rice and add green onion tops. Do not stir again.
  9. Cover and let sit for 15 minutes and then serve.


*A black cast iron pot makes the best jambalaya.