Monday, April 21, 2014

Lovely Mondays - Inspiration

I am currently having a really fun time putting together wallpaper/mural ideas for a client's space.  Our goal is sophisticated and feminine while staying youthful.  It is somewhat a dreary day here so I thought these papers were the perfect pieces to add some color to your day...

Cole and Son



Gracie Studio

Black Crow Studios

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Contest Wednesdays - Furnishings

Because this month's winning space was a fairly straightforward dining room spatially we are going to focus more on the furnishing selections this time around than the floor plan.  

Highlight 4
I saw this piece as mainly masculine, however, the oval shape and the finish adds a bit of softness as well.  I also really like the unique silvery gold finish here.

Highlight 5
I am not always a proponent of doing something dramatic on the ceiling.  That trend is getting a bit overused in my opinion.  But this subtle textured paper will add warmth and just a bit of interest without taking away from the main elements in the room.  Holland and Sherry is the master of subtle luxury.

Highlight 6
I am extremely happy these were requested by the clients.  Durable, chic and fun to pair with almost anything, the Stark Ghost chairs have long been my favorite.

Monday, February 24, 2014

Lovely Mondays - Inspiration

All of the various fashion weeks as of late have been very inspiring, as per usual. In my former life I would watch closely for the styles, the walks, the makeup...whereas nowadays I find myself wanting to turn certain dresses into pillows or dining chairs.  Below are a few of the highlights for me.

Altuzara used color blocking to perfection.  I love the fresh combination of black with fuchsia and orange.

I love the glittery interior of this coat by Alberta Ferretti.   The juxtaposition of this with the wool is stunning.  This is a perfect example of monochromatic with loads of interest.

Stunning detail from a Gucci dress

Finally how about this shade of green for this coming fall?  I know I am biased but Giorgio Armani is always perfection in my mind.  

I especially love how many of these designers are pairing fresh colors with black.  Also notice the texture pairings that add such interest.  Not only is this successful in fashion but it is vital in interiors as well.  Silks with wool with linen...the combinations create interest and, ultimately, energy in a room.

Photos by Yannis Vlamos via

Friday, February 14, 2014

Fabulous Fridays - Menu

As previously mentioned, my husband and I celebrated Valentine's Day a bit early this year due to travel plans, so I can already vouch for this menu.  I planned for a rich pasta dish to pair with a bottle of wine from our last trip to Napa.  All served with crusty bread and a light spinach salad, it was very easy.  (ps I did not make the pasta myself and instead used a dry rigatoni)

Tonight I'll be celebrating with my kids, eating pizza and watching the Olympics.  How are you celebrating?

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Contest Wednesdays - Furnishings

This month we worked on a sophisticated dining space; one with a traditional ground but with some unexpected elements in order to freshen the look.  

Highlight 1
The client requested something that would take a lot of use because she envisions not only using this space as a dining room but as a library.  The zinc will patina over time and really will just get more beautiful with wear.  

Highlight 2
These sculptural leather chairs will certainly add interest to the composition as well as having a rich textural quality.

Highlight 3
This piece will really shine in this room with its stunning wood finish.  The color will look especially beautiful against the warm blue glossy wall.

Monday, February 10, 2014

Lovely Mondays - Be Mine

Thinking about Valentine's Day today...a bit early since my husband will be traveling on Friday.  So instead I'm going to make dinner on Wednesday and as usual I'll try to be thoughtful about my table setting.
 I have always enjoyed Valentine's day, even back when I was single (I am a sucker for just about any holiday).  Why not use it as an excuse for good friends, girl movies, pink nail polish and eating cheese for dinner and chocolate for dessert?   
Hope you enjoy these ideas that you can implement for your partner or your friends.
My inspiration is a dinner at dusk while watching the sunset...

Friday, February 7, 2014

Fabulous Fridays - Cake.  Again.

I am usually not a shortcut cook but I'll make an exception when I need chocolate cake at 8 pm (which is way too often).  I have seen and tested my share of mug cakes when my oven was broken last fall.  This is my variation after experimenting.  Hope you enjoy and happy Friday!

Dark Chocolate Mug Cake

1.  Melt 2 tbsp butter in coffee mug
2.  Stir in: 2 tbsp water, 1/2 tsp vanilla, pinch of salt
3.  Mix in: 2 tbsp cocoa powder, 3 tbsp sugar and 4 tbsp flour

whisk then microwave for 45-80 seconds, depending on your microwave.  Mine took 50.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Contest Wednesdays - Reveal

This month's winner provided us with a nice size dining room with some already wonderful architectural details.  We took their request of using blue to maintain the flow of the first level and kicked up the interest with texture variation plus an unexpected element on the ceiling. The pieces chosen lend themselves to a masculine library feel, however with a light and bright palette, plus curves on the lamps and chairs, a feminine argument exists as well.  The result is a sophisticated and refined room ready to take on this busy family of five.

Dining Room

Current dining space

Monday, February 3, 2014

Lovely Mondays - Daily Picks

Today I'd like to go back and highlight some of the products I have chosen for my pick of the day on Twitter.  I have had an embarrassing amount of fun on Twitter since I started my account a few months ago.  I was blown away at how quickly you can make "friends" via this outlet.  And as you all know, I love mentioning my favorite product designers so my "pick of the day" posts have been enjoyable and well received.

This is a printed grasscloth from Holland & Sherry.  I was happy enough using their gorgeous wools as drapery but along came their wallpaper and I love them even more...

I just bought my second pair of Loeffler Randall boots and am again so happy with how beautiful and comfortable they are.  I may try their heels next with this pair from Madewell.

Maxine Snider is an extremely talented furniture designer and I was happy to hear of her new collection of well edited antique and vintage items.  

Aerin Lauder sure is making her mark on the design world and rightly so.  These sconces are so refined (via Circa Lighting).

Friday, January 31, 2014

Fabulous Fridays - Really??

I was so thrilled to receive the e-mail telling me I am a finalist for the Design Bloggers Conference's award for "Best New Design Blog".   This will be my first time attending the conference, this year in Atlanta, and I am looking forward to many of the people I have been in contact with just because of this new outlet.  I am so thankful for my readers the past four months and for all of the support leading to this nomination.  If you find a minute to vote, please do so here as voting ends February 12. 
Thank you!!

And thank you so much to the past winner, Hadley Court, for "paying it forward" as she called it and writing this post!

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Contest Wednesdays - Don't Forget

to enter our contest here if you are in need of a room design!

Friday, January 24, 2014

Fabulous Fridays - Bullet Proof

I recently had the exciting opportunity to be interviewed by Modern Luxury Texas Interiors.  It began as a discussion as to why my business has landed here in Houston and what my plans are for 2014.  What it ended with was a discussion regarding tricks to make a home both elegant and kid proof; my area of expertise if I am pressed to say.

Believe me it is possible.  I am fortunate enough to work with such lovely young families that need spaces that are aesthetically impressive for entertaining but can feel like home for their children and pets the remainder of the week...

I thought it may be helpful to elaborate on some of the hints I gave via this interview...

You can use outdoor fabrics on virtually any piece you are having upholstered.  This can be especially useful in either the dining room or kitchen for obvious reasons.  
I used a Holly Hunt Great Outdoors fabric on these custom chairs from The Shop NY and what resulted was the look of sumptuous mohair.

Using these fabrics does not necessarily mean that you have to create a piece that is completely custom.  In fact, I just ordered a yard of Perennials fabric through Pottery Barn to reupholster my breakfast bench from Target for a total of $75.  Their fabrics are incredibly durable (my neighbor even uses 409 to clean hers) and most have the feel of soft linen.  I love that Pottery Barn has made a few of the colorways available to everyone.

Put your "wow" factor away from the action.  I often use lighting as my wow factor in spaces and this can create such drama and no worries.  

Sconces by Moth Design

Chandelier by Gregorius Pineo

Scones by Emily Todhunter via George Smith

Use art and wall decor.  This could easily be listed at number 1 I suppose since any one of us could walk into a gallery and be mesmerized by a piece of art and see nothing else.  I approach design from a more functional standpoint but that doesn't mean that art doesn't create a critical and necessary discussion.  As a cheaper alternative I have created custom floor to ceiling mirrors (about 5' wide by 8' high) in spaces to add drama as well.

Friday, January 17, 2014

Fabulous Fridays - New Space

Part of my 9 year old daughter's Christmas present this year was that we can redecorate her room.  We have spent one year in our new home now and I thought it would be fun to take a few days and take my focus off designing for clients and put the spotlight on Calista.

I am thrilled with the beginning of the palette and that she took such a sophisticated approach.  While I was busy showing her chevron and polka dots she was eying my new floral book from here we are...


I'll keep you posted on where we go from here!  I hope you all have a great weekend while I go get my painting gear on...

Speaking of Tiffany Blue I'd like to thank Haley Garcia and The Women of the Woodlands for inviting me to a lovely breakfast at Tiffany & Co. this morning to learn about the needs of Montgomery County Food Bank.  I am looking forward to getting involved and spending more time with this wonderful group.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Contest Wednesdays - Space Planning

This month's design made for quite a simple floor plan.  With only three major pieces I only had to play around with approximately three scenarios.  This plan below turned out to be the simplest as well as my favorite.

Function 1
The storage and art is placed against the far wall for the most visual impact.  

Function 2
Because this is a creative office plenty of lighting is necessary.  With overhead lighting and sconces in addition to the natural light there should never be any issues working with color.  The desk was placed closest to the window to assure this as well.  

Function 3
The chaise is placed by the fireplace for a sense of relaxation and a peaceful view when sitting in the desk chair