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

Monday, January 13, 2014

Lovely Mondays - Mecox

Today I'd like to take you on a mini tour of one of my favorite shops, Mecox Gardens.  This store is known among designers as a place to go for just about anything you need for a client whether it is a luxurious sofa, unique lighting or overstuffed throw pillows to finish a room.  Mecox opened its first location in Southhampton and now has a total of eight showrooms across the country; thankfully Chicago and Houston are both on the list as I shop there often.  They throw fabulous parties and their doors are open for not just designers, but the end buyer as well.

Here are my picks from their extensive online collection:

These "Large Bone Striped Nesting Tables" are just crazy enough to be so cool.  The would be incredibly dynamic in an otherwise pattern-free space.

They have a wide range of Christopher Spitzmiller lamps and I just love this glossy blue version.

Mecox's collections are not limited to new production; they also offer beautiful antiques such as this Vintage French Cane bench.

This mirror is made with such interest contrast when églomisé and antiqued mirror are combined.

I don't often find desks with built-in storage that I like (in fact my glass desk is always filled with items on the top from lack of storage) but this really is an exception.  

I'll leave you with some of Mecox's wonderful store vignette photos; as you can tell following them on Facebook or Twitter can really brighten your day:

Friday, January 10, 2014

Fabulous Fridays - Exciting Press

Although I quite honestly have not seen this article in person yet, evidently my Lincoln Park feature in Luxe Magazine has hit newsstands in Chicago!  I was excited to receive this text from one of my good friends early yesterday as a preview...

Thank you to my wonderful, easy going, and stylish clients as well as Brittany Kaplan from Luxe and the photographer Eric Hausman.  I also could not have pulled off this shoot without my great assistant, Kelly Barnett.

Professionally and personally I have a lot to celebrate this weekend, who's with me???

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Contest Wednesdays - Furnishings

It is that time again to share the lovely and talented sources I used in this month's winning design.  I'll begin by highlighting what really inspired this serene and textural concept in general:


Highlight 1
I really like to utilize unique storage options.  This piece by Magni made for easy inspiration.  It's rich parchment doors will wear just the right amount over decades of use.  I love that you can splurge on a piece like this and end up using it in almost any room in the house.

Highlight 2
This piece looks just architectural enough to suit the artistic ways of the client, but its warm metal finishes make it so incredibly elegant.  

Highlight 3
This piece by Koen Meersman is all about beauty through texture.  And the geometry of it is just as stunning.  An incredible value for an original piece.  Enjoy this closer look below:

Again, a look at the entire room when all put together:

Monday, January 6, 2014

Lovely Mondays - Longevity

In the spirit of the New Year and the reevaluation of inspiration and design I want to take time to write about my favorite furniture designer because it seems so fitting.  Paul McCobb was the founder of The Planner Group, the best selling line of furniture in the 1950s.  And at least in my work, which leans toward contemporary, I could use almost any single one of his pieces and have it blend seamlessly in the room.  As I am designing my collection of pieces that is my first goal - longevity.  I was in a dialogue with Domino Magazine recently about "modern" and "timeless" not necessarily being a contradiction.  I believe if interiors and furnishings look fresh and stop short of contrived then they have the ability to have a life span that is beyond the customary.  

So on this cold and exhaustive Monday that we are all having I hope these images bring you as much joy and inspiration as they do for me.

For all the talk about styled bar carts lately, could you do any better than this?  Imagine an eclectic collection of bottles and glasses displayed here - would be stunning.  Étagère via 1stdibs and ABC Modern

This is my go to fill-a-corner accessory.  Perfect proportions and major interest.  1stdibs and Metropolis Modern.

This piece was designed for the Calvin Group.  Notice the metal leg detail...I love this use of mixed materials and this has greatly influenced my furniture line.  Again from 1stdibs, through stripe Vintage Modern.

Perfect end tables.  Available through one of my favorite sources, WYETH.

These upholstered chairs are so chic and current.   They look fantastic in white but with such clean lines would take a printed fabric just as well.

Friday, January 3, 2014

Fabulous Fridays - New Year and New Ventures

Like most I have a lot of plans for 2014, both personal and for my business.  It is always an exciting idea to be able to gain a fresh start.  So far, one of my goals of awaking and getting ready for the day before my children get up is already down the drain since I feel completely exhausted from all of the holiday celebrations.  Our kids have been angels by making themselves breakfast and letting us sleep until about 8:30 so I am taking full advantage.  

So after admitting that I have strike one against me I wanted to take a moment to explain why I have started this site as a side venture and why I see it as an important part of my work (and life) in 2014 and ultimately why I'd like it to be a part of yours as well.

As you may know, I am an avid cook and I love reading cooking blogs and watching shows.  So many experts offer daily advice written from their perspective in the trenches.  I will never be a food expert and I fully admit that and love to learn from them.  I recently realized that there is a scarcity in this area in the design world.  We all love our printed magazines and Houzz, Decorpad and certain bloggers are doing a nice job bringing readers inspiration but there still is a large disconnect between the reader and professional designer.  My strong hope is to bridge this gap and here is why:

-- After a decade in the interior design world I have really enjoyed the interactions with people who say they are either intimidated or don't have the money to hire a professional.  I am eager to talk with them (let's face it, how often does one really get to feel like an expert in everyday conversation??) and when I take on projects for people that never expected to love their home...and then is really fun to watch. 
-- I also enjoy educating people about design; I suppose it is my education background still lingering.  With my monthly contest readers get to see everything that goes in to a room concept from a behind the scenes perspective.
--Finally, I love my sources and love to share them even more.  I love having access to amazing craftsmen who are making truly modern heirlooms like Troscan Design and Lindsey Adelman.  I love watching vintage dealers like Wyeth source the pieces I don't have time to search the world for with their trained eye.   

So essentially, while I continue to be lucky to work in beautiful homes across the country on a select basis, I get to accomplish what I love about design on a larger broadband because of this dialogue.  And I so far am overwhelmed by your response and faithful readership these past three months so thank you for the encouragement.

Happy 2014!

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Contest Wednesdays - Reveal

Happy New Year to everyone!  This seems like a perfect reveal for a fresh and peaceful New Year.  Our contest winner this month needed a chic office space that has enough personality to match her work but serene enough to be creative.  How do you think we did??

Home Office

Main Elements

Additional Pieces