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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