Annual Survey and Analysis of 16 Million Monthly Users Reveals Top-Rated Building, Remodeling and Design Professionals

Oakland, CA February 4, 2014 – MAS Design of Oakland, CA has been awarded “Best Of Houzz” by Houzz, the leading platform for home remodeling and design. The up and coming Oakland based interior design firm was chosen by the more than 16 million monthly users that comprise the Houzz community.

The Best Of Houzz award is given in two categories: Customer Satisfaction and Design. Customer Satisfaction honors are determined by a variety of factors, including the number and quality of client reviews a professional received in 2013. Design award winners’ work was the most popular among the more than 16 million monthly users on Houzz, known as “Houzzers,” who saved more than 230 million professional images of home interiors and exteriors to their personal ideabooks via the Houzz site, iPad/iPhone app and Android app. Winners will receive a “Best Of Houzz 2014” badge on their profiles, showing the Houzz community their commitment to excellence. These badges help homeowners identify popular and top-rated home professionals in every metro area on Houzz.

“What we try to create in our work is a mashup of space and style. We believe that your space should be an expression of who you are, and our focus is creating sophisticated spaces that allow our clients to live, relax and thrive. What we design are thoughtful compositions that are successful because they are based intrinsically on who our clients are. Coming from the perspective that tasteful design does not have to be boring, our work is design-forward and allows one to experience it in a visceral and even emotional way.”

“Houzz provides homeowners with the most comprehensive view of home building, remodeling and design professionals, empowering them to find and hire the right professional to execute their vision,” said Liza Hausman, vice president of community for Houzz. “We’re delighted to recognize MAS Design among our “Best Of” professionals for customer satisfaction as judged by our community of homeowners and design enthusiasts who are actively remodeling and decorating their homes.”

With Houzz, homeowners can identify not only the top-rated professionals like MAS Design but also those whose work matches their own aspirations for their home. Homeowners can also evaluate professionals by contacting them directly on the Houzz platform, asking questions about their work and reviewing their responses to questions from others in the Houzz community.

Follow MAS Design on Houzz http://www.houzz.com/pro/moodandspace/mas-design

About MAS Design

Dawn and Carol encourage their clients to join in the collaboration when possible in order to express their highest selves and to make what can be a daunting process actually enjoyable. They hope to gain insight into their clients and help them achieve dreams they might not be able to access without MAS’ knowledge and experience. Their collaboration enhances each other’s vision, and together, they create designs that surpasses a mere aesthetic, and that instead are an inspired expression of who their clients are. Welcome to MAS. High Design. Low Blah.

About Houzz

Houzz is the leading platform for home remodeling and design, providing people with everything they need to improve their homes from start to finish – online or from a mobile device. From decorating a room to building a custom home, Houzz connects millions of homeowners, home design enthusiasts and home improvement professionals across the country and around the world. With the largest residential design database in the world and a vibrant community powered by social tools, Houzz is the easiest way for people to get the design inspiration, project advice, product information and professional reviews they need to help turn ideas into reality. For more information, visit www.houzz.com

We hope you enjoy the photos from our newest photo shoot! A while back we gave you a sneak-peak, but these are from the final cut!

MAS designed a kitchen for a fun and fantastic woman, who has collected art and sculpture from around the world. She wanted to pull it all together, and our help representing her sophisticated, eclectic, “grown up” personality alongside her treasures.

The design “crept” from the kitchen to the living/dining, then to the bathroom and then upstairs and beyond. The timeline expanded, but the result is no less than a glam sanctuary. A first?! A quote from the client’s email after the shoot, “The house FEELS like me… you captured my very essence and I’m so so grateful. I wish you all could have been here to see my face when I turned on the lights…I wish you could have felt how my heart leapt, how my tears filled with joy, how my mind raced and immediately erased all of the crazy moments of this very intense yearlong project!”

Can’t ask for any more than that, folks, it’s why we do what we do. And contrary to popular belief, it ain’t easy, tearing up houses and putting them back together again. But it is sooooooo worth it.

Enjoy the final photos – many thanks to the amazing photographer Helynn Ospina. We are forever fans.www.helynnospina.com


This beauty was parked outside the office yesterday.  Sometimes you just need to admire some pointless fluff.  And fuzzy dice.

street art

Better late than never! We’ve been so busy we haven’t had time to post last year’s condo projects that we designed for two sets of clients. The “crazy modern” condo on Santana Row was created for an edgy young couple who love design icon Philippe Starck. (Fun! You rarely hear, “GO FOR IT”! so loud and clear from a client. So we went!) We brought in their love of animal skins with a 10 foot x10 foot photographic print and abstracted, hand-stiched “zebra” pillows. Four black chandeliers make you feel like you are in a very strange (and chic!) dream.

The second, vastly different condo at the fabulous Axis Building was created for a successful woman who spent too much time in traffic commuting from her beautiful traditional home in Tracy to be a super-exec at her job in San Jose. She wanted something completely different for her “splurge” pied-a-terre in the modern high-rise. She has a “no-fuss” lifestyle, so the space reflects her desire for a simple, chic space that she can enjoy while away from her main home and family. (Not a surprise that her college-aged daughter uses it as a fun crash pad after concerts with her friends at HP Pavillion). Both projects were a fun and inspiring contrast to each other, and we absolutely loved working with both sets of clients!

MAS was thrilled to hear from Children’s Support League (CSL) to participate in their annual Designer Showcase in an incredible Georgian colonial in Piedmont.  What an amazing charity event, as well as an incredible opportunity for our young firm.  CSL invites several designers to each design one or two rooms in a historic home, then they host a tour, where donors visit the home and have a chance to see not only the home but also what the designers have done with their spaces.  The event is really quite fun, and designers are encouraged to have a little fun (aka take risks) to keep people engaged and coming back year after year.  You know we love to push the boundaries.  It’s fun!  But the architecture demanded respect so we had fun balancing both sides of our design minds!  We worked hard, we played hard, and we met some amazing people along the way.  We’ll never forget it (for more reasons than the insane pink lacquered walls being burned into our eyes).  Enjoy!

“Heart on Fire”

A 9 year old girl needs a space that will reflect her transition from the carefree life of a child, to a sophisticated young lady.  Mood and Space Design (MAS)’s goal for this space was to create just that.  To give plenty of room for limitless advancement, self-reflection, and art, without neglecting the lighthearted whimsy and imagination that we strive to keep with us as we mature.  This kind of “heart on fire” goal can lead only toward success and happiness.  MAS has created a carefully curated room that cannot be held captive by confining categories of design.  The traditional details are a nod of respect to the history and architecture of the home.  The modern and quirky elements add unexpected and playful surprises that hopefully will remind young girls to “color outside of the lines” in design and also in life.  The unexpected, sophisticated mint/cream color palette in the bedroom creates a personalized sanctuary, while the bright, lacquered walls of the bathroom practically demand a smile.  The edgy juxtaposition of luxe sophistication and California approachability is a specialty of MAS, and we hope you enjoy this space as much as we loved creating it.

Special thanks to Children’s Support League for inviting us to participate in this amazing, inspired fundraiser.  To help Oakland kids, visit their website: www.wehelpkids.org

Also we raise our glass to the AMAZING vendors for their hard work and donations.  We owe you our first born.  You might be waiting a while!  xo

Save the Date - Final

Hey listen up – this is a big deal! Please save the date for our fundraiser designer showcase home tour for Oakland kids’ charities, April 26, 27. Our 9 year old girl’s room is going to be insane! WE WON’T DISAPPOINT! Please help support the charity and MAS by buying your tickets now, thank you!!!

www.wehelpkids.org for tickets!

Happy holidays from the team here at MAS. We hope you celebrate whatever you believe in, hold tighter to those you love, and indulge a little or a lot. It is a short life. Live it loud or, if you prefer, enjoy the silence.

We heart you. Wherever you are, we wish you your own personal, sacred joy this holiday season.

With epic love and appreciation,
Team MAS

OK so my apologies – in advance. Sometimes things are just executed in a way that – well – is divergent from how I might do things. To each their own – I hope everyone is just out there doing their own thing creatively, hopefully in spite of their critics. I think it is interesting that we can pull ideas even from things we don’t necessarily like. Take this ugly shirt, for example. (Sorry – there it is). But I just happen to not like it. I think it is great if someone out there does. But I don’t.

HOWEVER…there are a few interesting ideas nestled in its design. I love the hand-rendered vibe of the pattern. I love the horizontal lines. I love that there seems to be a bit of mild chaos. Something about it keeps me engaged, if not thrilled. So we borrowed the ideas we liked and created a pattern for our office accent wall (which has *ahem* been blank for just under a year).

We met an incredibly talented Caroline Lizarraga (Decorative Artist: www.carolinelizarraga.com) at a few industry events recently. She was kind enough to come and say hello and a fun dialogue began about this wall idea and how she may help us execute it. I was slightly embarrassed at the onset to show her the image that inspired me. She didn’t know our work and may just think we lack taste. She definitely didn’t see it at first, but we collaborated and she went right on the journey with us. I explained what I liked about it and how it might work with our idea for our accent wall. We wanted something modern and brave, but also calm and innovative. The pattern certainly needed some tweaking. But we “used our words”, pinpointed what could be great, and got there with little difficulty. We toned down the pattern, worked with our existing color palette, and decided shimmerstone plaster was an edgy but sophisticated texture and graphic solution.

Combining our “MAS ideas” with Caroline’s classical training, we were excited to finally fill our space with an expression of our own. In the time since, we’ve gotten to know Caroline, and her adorable personality, fun and (dare I say, “inappropriate”, Caroline?) sense of humor fit right in here at MAS and only enhances her insane talent. We are absolutely thrilled with our new space and hope you all are, too! Many, MANY thanks to Caroline, and also to my incredible team who trusts me (and 100% enables me!) to run with a strange idea. Or two.

(It’s a step up from the art we created that was inspired by a pattern on a semi-truck, no?)


I had a great time at the 7×7 Magazine party at DSW the other night. Loved the spontaneous drop-in by the talented designer Agustin Sanders! Always a blast with that one! Didn’t see much from the magazines, but hey, we always love free shoes and cocktails, so no complaints…

Team MAS has been out on the town!  Doing some serious hob-nob-elbow-rubbin’ kind of networking.  Trying to get out the good word about this new little start up that we call Mood and Space Design.  (Side note – *we’re exhausted*).   Industry events, although educational and certainly productive, can sometimes feel like a bit of a drain after a very long day.  Not so at Ann Sacks San Francisco’s event in September, where Vicente Wolf was debuting his new tile line!   (Which is stunning, by the way.  Sculptural, elegant, modern but with a classic feel. Lovely.  Check it out: Vicente Wolf for Ann Sacks)

We still can’t believe what a great time we had meeting Vicente! You know that we don’t design swoon often, and we know it’s not a good look.  But we’re going to embrace our inner design nerds just this once because it was such a great experience for us.  Vicente really does have incredible talent, and his combinations of contemporary minimalism with antiques allow for charm and elegance – a beautiful juxtaposition.  Needless to say, we are extremely impressed.  Doesn’t happen often.

But meeting him as a person – design aside – was a special treat for us.  He was just simply human and took time to listen and to consciously mentor.  We were particularly impressed with his approachable nature – and his sense of humor!  We just may have enjoyed some, “off duty” language, directed with a sly grin, muttered under his breath.  We are always thrilled to be in on an inappropriate joke or two!

We may have even charmed Vicente. He certainly charmed us.  I do believe he gets it. You know, the grand “IT” in life – decency, humility, design, cocktails and a bit of cursing, when necessary…

…we admit that we are probably reading into things, but allow us this indulgence.  Anyway, please enjoy these lemongrass-martini-laden photos. They’re going on our trophy mantle.

Thank you, Vicente!