Friday, November 13, 2009

Transforming With Orange

Now I'm not talking about a wall transforming into a robot, more like paint transforming a room. I recently did a color consult for a client who was moving into a cute little bungalow rental. The kitchen was painted with a color from the "white" family. It has maple cabinets, nothing fancy, but in good shape. The counter is a dark green Corian and the appliances are white. Very basic but not homey, until I pulled the "Toffee Orange" from the Benjamin Moore deck. Suddenly the room came alive! The cabinets were much warmer, the counters stopped being dark thanks to the specks of orange that were no longer hidden by the forest of green. I have yet to see it myself, but my client received a big thumbs up from the painter.

Orange happens to be one of my favorite colors, it was Frank Sinatra's as well. I say one because I also love citrusy greens, but this is about orange today. The Color Section in the October 2009 issue of "House Beautiful" is all about orange. It seems my thoughts on orange are not alone. Orange has such an amazing range and can be complimented by many colors. Mom actually had a purple and orange bathroom once. Yes, it was back in the 70's, but it worked, it was pretty cool.

Orange and pink is still very hot, not to mention orange and red, orange and green, orange and blue (no, not Bronco blue), but a soft blue. Orange really does work with just about any color. One of my favorite color stories with orange includes a dark chocolate brown and white. On my first trip to New York, my friend and I stumbled upon this oh so cool spot called "Canteen". It was designed so amazingly well, simple, clean lines using only orange, brown and white, it was truly stunning. So stunning that it was mentioned the following month in "Metropolitan Home".

I love color, and if I may say so myself, I have an amazing eye for it. I chose a wheat yellow when my parents remodeled years ago. Their kitchen and great room are always warm, even when it is 20 degrees outside and the ground is covered by a plush blanket of snow. They are building next year and you can bet that the wheat yellow will be making another appearance, not to mention orange, and probably, well, you'll just have to wait!

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Comfort Food

With the weather turning cooler, my thoughts turn to food...and sassy coats and boots, but I'll save that for later! Of course I eat in Spring and Summer, but there isn't a lot of "cooking" involved. I've been going through my cooking magazines and cookbooks, tagging recipes that I want to create in the next week or so. Chicken Holy Basil is a Fall must, to use up my sad harvest of basil due to a very wet Summer. I usually make 3 or 4 trays of pesto and freeze it for future use, but not this year. I always make Lasagna in November and freeze portions to eat during Winter. I love to make soup on the weekends and slurp it up during the week. Risotto is another Fall/Winter staple, thanks to the fabulous pan Mom gave me for Christmas last year, a lot of Risotto will be made in the following chilly months. But if I had to pick a food to take to a deserted would be the food I have weekly, potatoes! Although I would have to cheat and smuggle some pasta too, shhh, don't tell...

I love, love, love potatoes! I often eat potatoes with my pasta. I love French Fries. I love scalloped potatoes, I still need that recipe Mom, but when naming my comfort food, it's Smashers. I don't mash my potatoes, I smash them, skin on, smooth but with a bit of texture. I always put garlic and Parmesan in my basic smasher, there are of course variations...Chipotle and Cheddar, Pesto, etc. The King of smashers is hands down my Confetti Smashers. I created Confetti Smashers a few years back when I wasn't feeling well and, well, I just needed some comfort. Now when I feel I might be coming down with a cold, I make my basic smasher, add green chilies and sun dried tomatoes, drink a Cosmo while making them, and voila, no sickie!

We all have our "comfort foods", PaPa says his is Tortilla Soup, I would say that is his "hip and trendy" replacement for Chicken and Dumplings. I know for a fact that my NaNa never made Tortilla Soup, but oh my, she made the best Chicken and Dumplings! Mom unfortunately picked meatloaf. I do not like meatloaf, never have, never will. I have never made it and have no plans to in the future, no matter how much I love someone. She is on her own with that choice, but I will make her the Cosmo and smashers to go with ;) .

While comfort food won't cure Swine Flu, I think it has amazing cure-like benefits. The next time you are feeling a little blue, either sad or because it is so freakin cold, treat yourself. Forget the antibiotics, EAT!

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

The Way Movies Should Be Watched

Most houses being built nowadays are equipped with "theater rooms". I think theater rooms are fabulous, but stylish, uh, no. The chairs that I've seen in such theater rooms are anything but stylish, honestly they are quite ugly. Not only are these theater seats ugly, but who really goes to a theater because the seats are sooo comfortable? I don't know about most people, but when I watch a movie at home, I want to be comfortable.

In Vegas a few years ago, I toured some model homes with my parents. There were some very cool floor plans, but the one thing I remember most was a theater room with the coolest sofas that were way comfy! They had a rattan base and a deep seat, very important for movie comfort. There were two of them, one in front of the other. The sofa in back was up on a platform, 10 to 12 inches high, so those in back could see over those in front. It wasn't a fancy room just very comfortable and stylish and probably way less expensive than theater seats.

I'm a bit picky about sectionals since I like modern sofas, but the European sofas have that modern line and the seat itself is deeper so there is more room for comfort and cuddling! I realize that theater rooms are designed for company, but sectionals are great for this as well. The sectional above would be perfect with just one more armless center piece added. The chaise at the end is just right for stretching out and cuddling and the curve of the sectional is also great for conversation. Another fantastic aspect to sectionals is that they can be pulled apart for separate conversation areas.

I am not saying that European sofas are the only option, Mitchell Gold and Bob Williams make this really cool grouping called Dr. Pitt. This grouping is so versatile, the options are endless, but I love it as one big pitt! The seats are deep so it is quite comfortable no matter how arranged.
So now I know what I will furnish my indoor theater with, but I want an outdoor one for Summer too...hmmm, time for more research.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Sweet Validation

I was doing my "research" today and I came across an article that seemed familiar. The article was about wall and trim color combos, something I blogged about not long ago. I find validation in the fact that my feelings regarding "non-white" trim are shared by many top designers, yea for me!

In the August 2009 issue of "House Beautiful", the color section is all about colored trim instead of white trim with colored walls. I am not a fan of white trim unless a room has a good amount of white in it, such as furnishings or accessories. The colors the designers used for different projects ranged from the grey/blue walls with brown trim, as shown in the top photo, to a red-on-red combination used in a library. A room looks and feels finished when the trim is done in a contrasting color or in the same color family as the walls.

Something else mentioned in the article seemed familiar as well. The designer who did the bathroom shown above, bought the painting first, something I like to do and the topic of another blog. There is also a chandelier, again, another topic I have blogged about...see where I'm going here. Even though my work hasn't been published, yet, it is good to know that my creative mind is on par with top notch designers. While I have never questioned my approach to design, validation, well, let's just say, me likey!

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Goodbye Sweet Boy...

Just so you know, this particular blog has nothing to do with interiors or style....

I started volunteering at the Colorado Horse Rescue (CHR), two years ago this month. Those who know me well, know that I love animals. CHR takes in horses for many different reasons. Some horses have been loved and taken care of by their owners, but do to economical reasons, they can no longer take care of these horses and surrender them to CHR. Unfortunately there are horses that come to CHR because they were not taken care of. Horses that have been neglected and abused. When a horse arrives at CHR, they are treated with nothing but respect and showered with unconditional love.

I remember when I first met Ledger when he arrived at CHR in late Winter. I remember the halter strap marks that were scarring his face from a halter that was too small for a growing boy, he wasn't quite 2 years old yet. Ledger was rescued by Animal Control. His living conditions were bad, very bad. He was kept in a small dark stall with two other horses. The thing that I find amazing is that you never would have known what this boy went through before he came to CHR. Ledger was so loving, sweet and most important of all, trusting. He obviously did not hold a grudge, even after he was gelded. I remember having to exercise him after is "procedure". I felt horrible for him, but exercise is necessary to keep the swelling down, so to ease the guilt I ran around the pen with him instead of making him go it alone.

We have had a horribly stormy Summer here in Colorado, and today was no exception. Around 3:45 in the afternoon today, Ledger was struck by lightening. My heart is heavy, but the joy that Ledger brought to my life will never, ever, be forgotten...Goodbye Sweet Boy...

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Meant to be a Stylist

I was doing some research today, yes, looking through magazines, but hey, it is part of my job! As with many things in life, I get so excited just looking at many, many different styles and designs. I have never been officially diagnosed with ADD, but those who know me would vouch that I probably have it, peppered with a healthy dose of hyper, neither me nor my brain can sit still. Having now diagnosed myself, I know I was meant to be an Interior Stylist.

I love looking at different styles and design, my brain immediately goes into overdrive creating, even if I'm not working on a project! I am all about mixing styles, but of course it is ultimately up to the client whether I mix or not. Some people think that a house should have the same style throughout, oh contraire! One room may be traditional while another is modern, but by adding and mixing styles, a home becomes more interesting and alive. A combination of styles will make the home blend and flow from room to room.

I have never taken one of those personality tests that tells one what career they are best suited for when they grow up, honesty I'm scared of what it would suggest. I am passionate about interior design. I love being hired to create and create is what I do. Creating a style plan that will transform a house into a stylish and comfortable home excites me. The side of hyper is just an entertainment bonus for the client!

Wednesday, July 29, 2009


I was leafing through a magazine to find something to blog about since I haven't blogged in two weeks! I've been in a bit of a creative funk, couldn't figure out why until I came across an article in "Elle Decor". A question was posed to seven stylesetters. The question was basically what they think of, thoughts or memories, when they think of Summer. That's when it hit me, Summer in Colorado has been missing for a few weeks now. It has been wet, dreary and cool. Then I realized one of the things I love about Summer and look forward to, but due to the aforementioned conditions, they are missing...CRICKETS!

People think I'm crazy, and by people I mean friends and family, not to worry, I'm used to it. I'm not sure when I became fond of crickets, I did have a wooden Pinocchio doll as a child, but I'm thinking it probably started when I would spend the summers with my grandparents in Colorado. I probably didn't pay much attention to their song back then, but now I look forward to hearing them every Summer. The weather we have been having this July has unfortunately robbed me of slumber music. Yes, I do have a sound machine that I listen to year round and yes it is set to crickets every night, but I miss the real musicians. I do not blame their absence on my lack of creativity, I just miss them, but I do blame the weather!

I am truly a person who responds to warm, make that really warm, oh hell, hot temperatures! (Pardon the pun, but I couldn't resist.) As much as I love higher temperatures, I really love the sun. It is my daily dose of happy and I'm just not myself without it, hence the lack of creativity. I am hoping my "happy pill" is back in full force next week because I will be starting the headboard for my clients boudoir. Of course there is always the happy pill in the form of a martini, but I will be working with power tools...anybody know of a successful Sun dance?

Monday, July 13, 2009

Room Jewelry

There is nothing quite like a chandelier to add a little elegance to a room, even a kitchen, I have one in mine! A chandelier adds elegance, but it can also add a touch of whimsy, like in a kitchen...I was shopping for a chandelier today for my clients boudoir and I thought it would make a good blog topic.

It is no wonder that we ladies wear earrings named after chandeliers, because chandeliers accessorize a room the same way jewelry accessorizes us. I believe in a previous blog I touched on a very simple room with a bold wall color, a perfect style of room for a chandelier. The room above is very simple, cozy, kinda cottagey, but wow the chandelier just adds that extra little kick of glam!

The other amazing thing about chandeliers is the crazy range of pricing. While yes, one could spend tens of thousands of dollars for a chandelier, I found one for the boudoir for $59! It is 11x14, wrought iron with crystals, absolutely perfect for this project! I found it on, they have an amazing selection to choose from not to mention amazing prices. If you have a room that needs a little touch of glam, go for a chandi. Who knew glam could be so affordable!

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Art as the Heart

I was working today, doing some research, okay looking through magazines, but it is a required task for my profession, man I love my job! There was an article in Elle Decor, June 2009, about an artist, Jules de Balincourt. The above painting captured my attention and wouldn't let go. I was on that beach, camping in that tent with a full moon above...
I love art that creates a mood, a feeling, a room. The colors in this painting are absolutely breathtaking. The room I would create would be loungey cool. I would paint the walls and ceiling a glossy midnight blue. Throw a grass rug down for texture and to keep the beachy vibe. The sofa would be a dark aqua, but very streamlined, something from the 50's. A few beachy striped floor pillows to keep it relaxed, AAAUGH, I LOVE IT!
I have always used art as a start for a room. My favorite artist is Georgia O'Keeffe. A client doesn't have to love or even like the content of an O'Keeffe painting, but her use of colors was amazing. I myself love the content of her paintings, from her early New York work to her life in New Mexico. It wasn't just her use of color, but there is such a fluidity to everything she painted. Yes, a lot of her paintings are quite sensual, but there is absolutely nothing wrong with that!
So look around your home. Did you buy a piece of art because you had to have it, was it a hand me down or a Nagel left over from the 80's? If you said yes to the Nagel, call me! Maybe you aren't really into art at the moment, but wait. Art calls to you when you least expect it, you will know the right piece. When you find that piece, watch how it makes a room come alive. Respect it. You may need to make some changes to the room because chances are the art is more a part of you than the sofa you sit on.

Monday, June 29, 2009

DIY, Who Knew!

I am making a padded headboard for a client, so I was of course doing some research online. I found myself on DIY Network and holy moly, it's freakin awesome! Not only did I find a couple different sets of instructions for the headboard, but there are tons of other things, like how to build a pergola!

The pergola instructions will come in handy some day. I think a couple of pergolas would be fantastic additions to Mom and Dads future home. Pergolas are such a basic addition to a patio either draped with a cool string of industrial lights or a beautiful Wisteria. I haven't met a Wisteria that didn't love a pergola. The directions look so simple, even I could make it!

The next article was "Top 10 Uses for Vinegar". I know I can't make vinaigrette without it, but what else does it do? Well, it's pretty powerful stuff, but you'll have to read the uses yourself. It's crazy to think that we actually consume this multi-tasking liquid, but hey, after eating a salad, your insides will be clean and mildew free, but they didn't provide any vinaigrette recipes?

Truly, the DIY Network site is amazing, whatever you want to do , you will most likely find it here! You can get instructions for installing a chair rail, hardwood floor, lay a brick paver patio, deck stairs, build a stone fire pit...I love it! A definite reference.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

I'm Baaack!!!

Wow, I cannot believe that I have not blogged in almost 3 weeks. Sooo sorry, I have been a bit consumed with some things, but I'm back baby!

I took a long weekend for Fathers Day and went home to Bayfield, a small town in Colorado near Durango. Other than hangin with the fam, I did do some work. Mom and Dad are building a house. We have only been working on the plans for about 2 years now, but who's counting? I drew up the initial plans and they have finally taken them to an architect for the final drawing, woo-hoo!

I have to admit it has been a little trying at times making everyone happy. I of course have been the voice for Mom, which is hard since I am a clone of Dad. I had to convince him that the garage needed to be near the kitchen and pantry so she would not have to schlep the groceries through the house. We split the difference, two garages. I mention this because things often get over looked when planning a house.

I spoke of this in an earlier blog; builders placing the fireplace right next to the built in t.v. cove. There are too many builders who are given say 2,000 sq. feet to make a house without any thought of how a person lives. I recently had a client with a decent size great room. I wanted to pull the sofa from the wall so the conversation area would be a little more cozy. It worked, until I saw the lamp cords stretching from the end tables to the wall.

I am very excited to see that we are nearing the final stages of the of the plans for Mom and Dad's home. I am also very excited that my turn to design the interior is about to begin, but man, I have a lot of little details awaiting me. Not only the style details, but the technical details as well, like outlets in the floor! This is why my former instructor rode me on the technical stuff, thanks Lori! I am very excited to help create Mom and Dad's dream home, and if I happen to get published...let's just say that's my dream.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Taking the "Out" out of Take Out

The other night I hosted a little movie night for
someone special
. I was planning on making
Lo Mein and was thinking about which dishes to use. Since it was a "movie" date, I wanted to be able to eat while watching the movie, so bowls were of course the way to go. I have several different pasta bowls, but none that were really Beef and Broccoli Lo Mein bowls, then it hit me, take out boxes!

I went to Cost + World Market, they had a package of seven boxes for $6.95 that just happened to be 50% off! If I didn't buy the package of boxes, they would have been 99 cents a piece, still a great deal. I was so excited with my purchase that I couldn't wait to serve dinner. Since I found these fabulous boxes in the "dish" area, I didn't even think about them being food safe, well, they are not. Not to worry, another wonderful use for parchment paper. I cut a couple squares of parchment paper and lined the boxes. The paper made them even cuter, they looked like little presents!

The boxes were ready, dinner was ready and I was more than ready to eat. I have to say I will never eat from a ceramic dish ever again on movie night. You hold the box in one hand (trust me, hands were made to hold take out boxes) your chopsticks or utensil in the other, and walaa, instant party! The party thought really got me to thinking, take out boxes would be great for a party. You don't have to serve Chinese in take out boxes. Chips, salads, pastas, smashed potatoes, whatever! Pre-package the food in parchment paper so all your guests have to do is throw the used paper out and grab a new little package of yum, and so on and so much as I love food, I love it even more when it is fun, enjoy!

Tuesday, June 2, 2009


I don't know what it is about fabric, but I love it, lots and lots of it! When it comes to window coverings I generally stick with grass and bamboo shades, love the texture, but every now and then certain rooms need impact. A dining room, a living room or a master bedroom for instance, can take the impact and drama of ceiling to floor curtains that puddle like it's been raining for days. Yes, the puddles outside influenced today's blog.

While the canopy above the bed is a wonderful focal point, this bedroom is very simple but elegant. You could have a room that is virtually empty, a couple pieces of necessary furniture, lighting and honestly accessories aren't really needed when you have fabulous curtains. Even if you don't have 20 foot ceilings, hang curtains as high as possible and let them puddle. The amount of light you want to enter the room will determine the kind of fabric to use. I personally prefer velvet for the drama, but it really depends on your style and the look you are trying to achieve.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Palm Springs

I was perusing through the May 2009 "Metropolitan Home" today. In the WORD section, they recommended this amazing looking hotel, Ace Hotel & Swim Club. I was immediately drawn to the picture, the room is just so cool looking! The walls between the bedroom and sitting area are huge canvas curtains. Okay, the rooms look amazing, but it is Palm Springs. One would expect to pay upwards of at least $500 a night for a cool pad in P.S., but nooooo...doubles start at $89!

The other thing that is drawing me to this place is the fact that it is a transformed vintage Howard Johnson. One of my dreams has always been to revamp an old 50's-60's motor lodge. You know the kind, single story, out in the middle of nowhere, with Norman Bates checking you in. My motel would be so swanky, a totally destination spot, a complete joy to stay in. A place to take one back in time...

I went to Palm Springs for a friends bachelorette weekend about 10 years ago. We stayed at The Orchid Tree Inn, one of the coolest places ever. It was a retro style bungalow with the pool right outside the back door. You couldn't help but think about the good ole days when Palm Springs was the hot spot for Hollywood stars to escape. The landscaping on the grounds was very lush, with lots of orchid trees, which made for a nicely secluded destination. Sadly enough I just read online that the The Orchid Tree Inn is no more. Hopefully somebody will purchase and re-vamp the fabulous bungalow, hmmm, that gives me an idea!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

"Colazione da Tiffany"!

Okay, I have been seriously lagging on my blog duties, please accept my apologies. I promise to do better, at least three a week, but I would prefer to do four, be patient.

This past weekend was absolutely, hmmm, how should I put it, let's just say "not great". The weather in Colorado was cold, windy, wet and my heart was hurting, so what is a girl to "Colazione da Tiffany", I love the way it sounds in Italian! I really am not a chick-flick chick, except for "Breakfast at Tiffanys". So, since I had a case of the "mean reds" this weekend, I had to watch it!

Audrey Hepburn was one of the most glamorous ladies and she did it without even trying. It of course didn't hurt that she wore one of the greatest Couturiers of all times, the king of fashion Givenchy, but she could wear a sheet (she did actually) and still look fabulous! The movie takes place in the early 60's, when fashion was lady like, interiors were swank and cocktails flowed freely!

Holly's apartment was very sparsely decorated, but it was still stylish. She had a zebra skin rug, a shipping crate for a cocktail table and a bathtub for a settee. Wait, a what for a settee? Yes, a bathtub, with stunning silk pillows, they were actually pink in the movie, not sure what happened to the color in the above photo. The reason why her apartment was so stylish was that she had furnishings that made an impact and no clutter.

Now Paul Baby's, a.k.a Fred, apartment was the complete opposite. His "decorator" decorated his in rich manly colors, damask wallpaper and a lot of gilded pieces. Not quite the apartment for a bachelor in 2009, but in 1961 it was pretty damn cool.

The weekend is over, the weather is still crappy, my heart is bruised, but my home is my Tiffanys, cheers darlings!

Monday, May 18, 2009

Hello Summer!

Even though it is technically still Spring, my thermometer on the patio says 90! I love it, I love it, I love it! Why is it that everything is better in Summer? Now don't get me wrong, there are great things for every season, but to me, Summer is the best. I love how life pretty much moves outside. I purchased plants for my patio today, happy pansies, snapdragons (a childhood favorite), geraniums and Summer wouldn't be Summer without HERBS!

I realize that herbs are available at the grocery store, but nothing beats going outside and picking them fresh. I love all herbs, but basil is my absolute favorite. Tossing fresh basil in a pasta dish, on a sandwich or whipping up a batch of Pesto, makes it the herb of summer.

Rosemary is my next must have herb. It is amazing in marinades for chicken, salmon and shrimp. It is superb as a steak rub combined with lemon zest, olive oil and garlic. As much as I love smashed potatoes, there is nothing like grilled potatoes with rosemary in the summer.

Once the flowers and herbs are planted and the grill is cleaned and ready to go, the only thing left is the lighting on the patio. I have a small bistro set so candles on the table don't always fit, but the patio light just kills the ambiance, so...string lights! I think it is so cool how many different styles of string lights that are available. The small Chinese paper ball lanterns just scream garden party! I make my own lights for my patio. Just a simple string of clear Christmas lights with silk flowers attached dresses up my patio and keeps the light soft and um, maybe a little romantic ;)

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Bond...fabulous Bond

As much as I love Mr. Connery as my favorite Bond, credit for the incredible set design must go to Ken Adam. The style of design in the first Bond film, "Dr. No" is simply amazing, a little something for everybody. The hotel room that James stayed in was simple, modern and classy with Scandinavian furniture.

favorite interior was set in the little Bungalow in the hills of Jamaica. It had a lot of Asian influence with bamboo and grass with incredible plank floors. It was simple anMy d cozy with a few elegant lady touches.

Now we shall enter the lair of Dr. No. I have to say that if I had to be held hostage by a crazy, diabolical billionaire on a beautiful island...uh, I would choose Dr. No! Yep, I could handle a bedroom with a silk wraparound headboard, not to mention wearing cute Mandarin tops!

This set was quite elegant with a punch of nature, it was built inside a rock! The living/dining area is very open, which lends to the modernism of the early 60's.

So movies are not only entertain, they inspire. Whether you are inspired to be a suave secret agent or sexy, strong damsel in slight distress, oh sorry, I digress. Movies are also terrific for design inspiration.

Monday, May 4, 2009

The Boudoir

I was going through one of my favorite books today for a little inspiration for a clients bedroom, it's called "Boudoir". My client already has some fabulous mirrored case goods, but does not have a headboard, well not for long! I came up with a couple of great ideas, but it will have to remain a secret until the project is done, then I will share with pictures!

While getting lost in some beautiful pictures, it reminded me that the bedroom really is a sanctuary. The bedroom may be decorated in the same style as the rest of the home, but why? This is an opportunity to make this space personal. This is the room that you dream in, why not make it your dream room?

A bedroom may be a "secret garden", decorated with vintage floral fabrics and furniture. A bedroom may be a "tranquil spa", decorated very minimally, almost hotel like. Personally I think one of the best ideas for a bedroom is to decorate it with furnishings, accessories and colors of a favorite foreign destination where every night could be a vacation, now that's a dream no one could pass up!

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Alternative Wall Treatments

I was doing some creative research today for a client and came across some tear sheets for wall treatments. The first photo is of a collage of wallpaper samples. I believe this is a fabulous treatment for a small wall, such as an entry wall or a single wall in a bedroom, craft room and I can't think of better way to sass up a utility room! I especially think that this treatment would be great in a bathroom, but moisture could be an issue, but in a 1/2 bath, too cute!

This collage is something that I am planning on doing with cartoons from "The New Yorker" magazine. There are so many things that can be used in a collage, photos, vintage seed packets, botanical prints, you name it. One of my favorite pubs in Durango, Lady Falconbourghs (forgive me if I butchered the spelling!) did a collage of beer labels. I very time consuming labor of love performed by the original owners.

The wall treatment in the bedroom shown on the right, is a collage of postcards, another very cool idea!

One of my favorite wall treatments is tile. There are some amazing tile companies doing some beautiful mosaics. These mosaics range from modern geometric designs to beautiful florals, they are absolutely stunning. The thing I love most about tile, is that it does not have to be used in just kitchens and baths. Anywhere there is a wall and you want to make a statement, use tile!

Obviously, mosaics are not the only tile option, larger tiles are a wonderful as well. The green tiles below behind the credenza/bar, are an Asian inspired design from Walker Zanger.

The mosaic wall below is a prime example of using tile outside the kitchen and bath. It is such an unexpected change from paint and wallpaper, talk about texture! One of my future projects is to cover a fireplace with a glass tile mosaic. Just imagine the reflection of the fire of the metallic tiles, I can't wait!

Monday, April 27, 2009

Ahhh, The Lovely Lemon

Is there a fruit more perfect than the lemon? I don't think so! I am a fan of many types of fruits, but the fact that lemons can be used in savory dishes as well as desserts, makes them number one in my book, well blog. I made a fantastic pasta dish last week with a little fresh squeezed lemon, lemon zest, garlic, pepper flakes, olive oil, arugula and Parmesan, it was sooo tasty and simple!

I remember my Na Na making lemon cake. She would poke holes in the cake and drizzle a condensed amount of lemon JELLO over the cake. It was so moist, "Super Moist" mix wasn't needed! She would also put lemon juice on my hair once a week to make my blond hair even blonder, :) , very happy memories.

My first cookbook was the "Peanuts Cookbook" and the very first thing I made out of it was Lemon Squares. I have also made Lemon Granita, frozen sweetened lemon juice. Oh, I just remembered a rub I make for steaks, olive oil, lemon zest, rosemary and garlic, outstanding! And what would a Caesar salad be without lemon, just another bowl of lettuce...

Grab some lemons, be creative, a lemony adventure awaits!

Monday, April 20, 2009

Arranging Furniture

I was working on a floor plan for a client today, so of course I thought it would make a good blog. Does furniture, namely sofas, have to be put against a wall? And the answer is...NO! There are times when a room is on the small side and the wall is the only option, but I'm talking about when a room is spacious and can accommodate a sofa on an angle, it's unexpected and fabulous! My sofa is actually on an angle. If I had it up against the wall, the room would not be cozy. I actually have my bar behind the sofa, it is a little like a separate room.

Now furniture doesn't necessarily have to be on an angle, but it also does not have to be against the wall. "Floating" furniture creates a grouping. A grouping brings us to the "3 C's": a Cohesive, Comfortable, Conversation area.

Take a look around, if a room doesn't have all "3 C's", I recommend you experiment with the space, it's a simple way to make a big change. If you have indentations in your carpet from heavy pieces, rub an ice cube over these spots, a suggestion from Martha...

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Paint Is Your Friend

One of the funnest ways to add color to a room is to throw some paint on to a piece of furniture. I'm not talking about a walnut armoire passed down from generation to generation, but inexpensive, thrifty Craigslist finds. The piece shown here was actually a bottom half of a hutch, I now call it a buff-utch. It was painted a high-gloss white, not my style.

I started with random spots of rust, brown, ivory and dark green before the main color of celedon. I love how the base colors peak through to give the buff-utch some depth. I changed out the white pulls to coral crystal ones which will soon be changed to metal flower pulls for summer.

Pick a color you have already in the room or add a new one. Paint a stool, side table, chair or even a basket for a new splash of color. The best thing about painted furniture is that when you want a change, you just paint it again!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009


I just wanted to drop a quick note...I AM STILL HERE! I was out of town for the weekend and I have been crazy busy since returning yesterday. I will post something tomorrow, I am just way too tired to even think today. Tootles until tomorrow!

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Why? Part II

Okay, painted trim...this first photo shows a dining room with a glossy black trim which is absolutely stunning! Even though the curve of the molding is a relatively Traditional style, the glossy black is Modern. This ties the Modern chairs together with the ornate, classical console table, the result is a fabulous mix!
The room above is a beautiful Glam/Contemporary mix. The trim is painted the same color as the walls. Again the paint is glossy which makes a bold statement on such a large surface, but I love the fact that there is no break in the color until your eyes reach the ceiling. The room below has the trim painted the same as the walls as well.

The living room below is a beautiful representation of trim being painted two shades darker than the wall paint. The room is simple yet elegant, just imagine if the trim was white? Enough said... next, the doors!

Tuesday, April 7, 2009


Why are new houses so poorly designed? I'm not talking about aesthetically, but architecturally. One of my biggest peeves is the fireplace next to the built in t.v. cove. These are two focal points of a room placed right next to each other battling for attention. But the #1 issue of these "cookie cutter" houses is that they lack character (those who know me can attest that I have plenty!)

I have to say that as a stylist, my biggest hurdle when styling a "new" house is trying to bring it to life. Of course I style it for the occupants and luckily my clients are not cookie cutter drones, but it is still quite a challenge. If someone offered to give me a house free of charge and I had to choose between a brand spanking new home or a fixer upper that was about to be leveled? It would cost me less money to fix the fixer upper than it would to gut the "new" house!

My apologies to those that have a "new" house, but I needed to rant today. Okay, so here's a small tip to add some character, paint the trim. While I find white trim charming, it doesn't always work in houses with a warm palette, but it can work if there are white furnishings or accessories in the room. But enough about white trim, let's talk about color!

The color of trim will again depend on the style of the room, and yes, white works well if you are highlighting the architecture in a Colonial or Traditional type space, but color works especially well if you are going for a more modern style. Painting the trim a slightly lighter tint than the wall will also add height to a room. Unfortunately I did not have time to pull some examples, but I will add them tomorrow, so come back!

Monday, April 6, 2009

The Splendid Carciofi!

One of my most favorite foods in the world is the carciofi, aka the artichoke! My brother and I were so lucky to have parents that loved food. Not just food, but different food. You can always count on artichokes in the spring, of course they are available year round , but usually at a discounted price in the spring. There are several different ways to cook an artichoke, but by far the best is in a pressure cooker, my parents are so smart! When cooked in a pressure cooker, the time is shaved off considerably and this fabulous thistle is so tender. I myself prefer a melted garlic butter while others like mayonnaise. I am not a big fan of plain mayo, but a garlic aoli, mmm, now that's tasty!

Last year I discovered that baby artichokes are available well into the summer. I like to quarter and steam them and toss into a marinade of olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, pepper flakes and some herbs. These little marinated jewels are so versatile! They can be tossed with pasta and Parmesan, thrown into a salad, a pizza topping and of course just simply served as an appetizer before a delicious beef stew on a chilly Spring night ;)

It doesn't matter how adventurous one is in the kitchen, the artichoke is a Spring favorite that should be enjoyed over and over again.

Friday, April 3, 2009


I am often asked, "What's your style?". My style is simple, but complex. I love touches of glam yet I have to be comfortable. I love the simple lines of modern furniture, and by modern I mean the hip furniture of the mid 40's to the late 60's, a subject for a future blog! I love the the rusticness (new word!) and character of old, not to mention the history. Texture is also a must to make a room come alive. So my style I guess would be "modern, cozy, rustic, glam", I'll have to work on a word for that, oh yeah, that would be eclectic, I prefer modern bohemian!

So that's my style, but when working with a client, I create their style. A house is not just a house, it is a home. A home is not just where we eat and sleep, but where we live. A home needs to reflect those who live in it and most important of all, a home needs to be comfortable, a place where you want to be. A place where you want others to be as well. A home doesn't have to look like it just came out of a magazine, or it can, just as long as it represents those who live in it.

There are many "styles" out there: modern, contemporary (yes, there is a difference), traditional, country, modern country (again, different), Spanish, etc. Style is represented by color, collections, furniture, artwork, lifestyle and most important of all, personality. So does your house look and feel like a home? Does your house reflect those who live there? Take a look around...

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

It's Spring, er, well, sorta...

So the calendar says April 1, well Mother Nature is making us all fools! Who cares if we are expecting snow, I have Spring in my home! I changed out a few pillows and rugs. I brought out a bunch of seashells, hey, I miss the ocean! The point is, just a few tweaks can change the look and feel of your home, not to mention your mood!

I guarantee that every home has a painting, a book, a window covering, etc., that has a color that can be pulled to change things up. A couple new pillows, a throw rug or even a vase, and the easiest perk up of all is flowers!

Forget what the weather forecast says, it's Spring, you be Mother Nature, in your home that is. Enjoy!

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