Archive for October, 2008

This Little Project went to Market

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It is always exciting to see the transformation that takes place with a home renovation project and nothing makes this more evident than seeing the “before” and “after” photos. I think remodeling is a testament to the true value of hiring professionals, whether they are designers, architects or other consultants.  There are so many choices of product and design available and professional consultants help bring all your ideas to fruition!

It was exactly this time of year in 2006 when I started one such renovation. I had the opportunity to reminisce about this project and others last week when I received some exciting news… … …

Last week I was approached with the amazing honor of being the featured designer in the High Point Furniture Market showroom of my favorite custom rug company, New River Artisans, for the upcoming Fall Show.  This is a huge compliment to my work, as New River has worked with many talented and nationally recognized designers from all over the country including the amazing Thomas Pheasant of Baker Furniture fame, Geoffrey Bradfield and many more. 

While I was reviewing many of my past projects, specificiallt ones where I had incorporated rugs from New River, I began reminiscing about one project in particular that I think was especially successful.  It is traditional and classic in its style but was redecorated in a fresh and clean way. When re-designing the interiors, I paid special attention to the colonial architectural style of the home that was built in the 1930’s.  Still I wanted to ensure that the home was a perfect compliment to the young family with 3 teenage daughters and would be a great atmosphere for entertaining friends and family.

Take a look and see if you agree that the renovation was a great success! And take special note of the gorgeous geometric patterned rug in the redesigned den, created for me by New River Artisans. I hope all of you visiting the New River Showroom at Fall Market will enjoy seeing this and other beautiful homes where I had the pleasure of using New Rivers’ amazing carpets!!

Here is the Family Room before:

And after!

Living Room before:

And after we turned it into a cozy den!!

There’s that beautiful New River Artisans Rug!!!

The Kitchen and Breakfast Room Before:

And after the renovation!!

Here is the Dining Room before we redecorated:

And after!

Master Bedroom before we began:

And after!

The small study attached to the Master Bedroom:

And the quaint retreat after!

Flower Power

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It’s always exciting when my work is published! And it is especially rewarding when it is on the national level. Just this week one of my favorite and most fun projects finally got published!  Though these things sometimes take a long time, even as much as a year or two, this one took the long way around!

This fun children’s space was originally scheduled to be featured in the magazine Kids Rooms, a special publication by Better Homes and Gardens, in the Fall of 2006.  A preview photo even ran in the issue before, but unfortunately just a few weeks before the issue was going to press, Meredith Publications, its parent company, decided to stop production on this adorable magazine.  That seems to be the way of the publishing industry. Like television, it’s all about the numbers and they were not experiencing the readership they needed.

So to my exciting surprise, I got a phone call just a few weeks ago that it would now be appearing in Dream Bedrooms, another special publication of Better Homes and Gardens.  This time it would have major circulation…200,000 to be exact.  And this issue has a long shelf life, so all of these details made me very excited!!

Still, I had no idea until I saw the issue this week what a beautiful one it would be! I have a subscription to all the interior design special publications of Meredith Publishing and though I usually enjoy them all, some are definitely more appealing to me than others.  This one ranks right up there among my favorites, and not just because I am in it!  Some of my all time favorite interior designers in the nation are in this issue…Jamie Drake, Barry Dixon, Darryl Carter.  It is an all star list and there are many other beautiful spaces created by other talented designers from around the country.

I hope you will pick up an issue of Dream Bedrooms.  It is one of those issues that you will find yourself reading again and again!  My feature entitled, Full Bloom, can be found on pages 120-125. And until you get a chance to pick it up, here is a sneak peak at some photos from the adorable room.  It is a “Tween’s bedroom” and quoting from the magazine, “ the eclectic mix of pattern and color is as powerful as a young tween’s personality—expressive, unique, and bold”. So check out this dramatic and fun retreat.  I hope it inspires you to design a wonderful and creative room for your children or the child in you!!

It’s all there in Black and White.

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I love color! I have used bold shades of it in interior design for years. But there is just something so graphic and bold and handsome about black and white.  It is crisp and dramatic and I find that I gravitate towards it time and again.  Maybe it is the same excitement I get from using black and white in my wardrobe that translates into my interior design.  There is nothing more appealing than a starched white tailored shirt.  And black….do I even own anything to wear that is not black.  It is the comfort color. It makes you look slim and sleek and sophisticated!  And when you put these 2 colors together, it is just a combination that can’t be beat! It is timeless. It is glamorous. It is classic.

I think there is an art to making black and white comfortable in an interior application.  There is always the risk of it coming off too stark, or harsh, or cold.  So here are some tips for achieving drama and style without sacrificing comfort in your home

1. Layer in various tones of white with black so that the space is not too stark.  I would err on the side of off-white or cream in many instances. It still reads “black and white” but it is a little softer.
2.Integrate other colors as an accent.  Even if you want to keep the palette neutral, a little tan or charcoal can add depth to the palette and give it a little more interest than simply black and white. And if you are willing to go bold, pop in a bright yellow, hot pink, or apple green for an exciting twist!
3. Layer in pattern and texture.  Since you are primarily working with 2 colors, it is important that you have a variety of pattern and texture to make the space both visually interesting and also comfortable and soothing to the touch.  I prefer large-scale patterns in black and white to really play up the drama.  And contrary to popular believe, I think large patterns work exceptionally well in small spaces!
4. Mix in metallic finishes to add another “color” dimension to the space.  Both gold and silver work beautifully with black and white depending on the style you are trying to evoke.  Silver leaf, chrome, or nickel finishes would give a more contemporary feel where gold and gold leaf put a traditional spin on the black and white palette.
5. Incorporating a variety of stained and painted wood tones into the space can certainly add warmth and interest.  Again, depending on the style of the room, stained wood can be a fabulous addition.  Using it with a sleek finish can make the space feel new and fresh. Combining black and white with more rustic stained and painted finishes can work beautifully for a more traditional and casual result.

Here are some photos of my own home, where I have incorporated the black and white color palette. They are actually some of my favorite spots in the whole house!

I also used black and white as an accent in my previous home. It was a 1950’s ranch style so the mod look of black and white was a great compliment!!

And this last space is a guest bathroom in a client’s home. I love the geometric pattern and banded shower curtain:

Here are some beautiful black and white products currently on the market! These Madeline Weinrib Rugs and Pillows are some of my favorite black and white finds!


Barbara Barry does a beautiful job with black and white!! Her Bracelet Chair is a classic!!



And Suzanne Kasler’s New Collection for Hickory Chair has some beautiful Black and White pieces!!

So I hope these photos have inspired you to give black and white a try!! It may be just the perfect addition to your home!

If the shoe fits…

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Today I am taking a break from the world of interiors to talk about fashion. And more specifically shoes. And to take it a step further…Super-sexy, mega-feminine, Stiletto heels! The fabulous designer styles that you see in all the best fashion mags and on the feet of the rich and famous!

As many women do, I have a thing for shoes…expensive ones! It is my hobby to purchase said fabulous shoes when I travel to New York, Las Vegas and the other superb places I go several times a year.  Some people may buy T-shirts or funny little souvenirs to remember their travels by but for me it’s shoes. And sort of like remembering the vintage of a fine bottle of wine, I can recall fabulous destinations by the pair (or two) or foot wear I purchased during the trip…like the leopard Gucci’s-Sax Fifth Avenue, New York City, Winter 2008.  Or the Burberry mules, Vegas Forum Shops, Fall 2005 or maybe the Green Silk Jimmy Choo’s, Bergdorf’s New York City, Summer 2007.  Or even one of my very first pair of “grown-up” pumps…Donald Pliner leopard calf-hair, Las Vegas 1997.  I am considering this fabulous pair of Louboutin’s for my next jaunt!

My love of women’s shoes is a long-standing one. I spent a million hours of my childhood wearing my mom’s high heeled shoes. There is even this hilarious story about me wearing obviously too-high and too mature for me heels to my 6th grade graduation! And the even funnier thing was that mom my let me! Well actually if I tell the truth, she begged and pleaded with me to wear something more age-appropriate but since I would hear nothing of it, she let me make a fool of myself in front of my classmates and their relatives!  But even that public episode could not diminish my love affair with heels!

And now I think this shoe thing is even hereditary.  Now my 3-year-old daughter has already taken up the same habit. There is just something about them…so beautiful, so intriguing, that you just can’t help but slip your little tootsies in, in the hopes that they fit. It’s sort of a Cinderella Complex.  Hopefully she won’t want to borrow any for her pre-school graduation shindig next year! But I wouldn’t be surprised!

And though wearing pairs from my beautiful shoe collection brings back these wonderful memories of prancing around in my mom’s size 8’s, there are 2 people in my life that I think of first when I think Stilettos.  The funny thing is that they both happen to be men.  And they both happen to be having a birthday today.  Weird, I know! One is my Dad, the other is my good friend Herren.  These two men LOVE shopping for women’s stilettos (not for themselves thank goodness!!).  And fortunately for me, my mom, and Herren’s beautiful wife Susan, they also love buying them!

So in honor of the Birthday Boys, here is are some photos of a few of my favorite styles in my collection that I know they are particularly fond of as well! Happy Birthday you two!! I see many more years of Stiletto buying in your futures!! 


Star light, Star bright, Starburst on my wall tonight!

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Starburst mirrors…Okay so maybe they are a little overexposed. Or possibly even a lot! And yes, you can find a not-so-fantastic knock-off in about any price these days (and even a few almost fabulous ones!) But I still happen to think the great ones are worth discussing again!

These glamorous silhouettes have certainly added a ray of light into some of my favorite projects over the past several years.  And like a great animal print, you know the fabulous silk velvet $1500 per yard kind, a great starburst mirror is never cliché and always in style!

I had fun using them in these beautiful spaces!


I am crazy about this one on my living room wall!
And here are a few more of my favorite styles!

Julian Chichester makes this fabulous find!


This Stunning yet simple design from the renown Parish-Hadley Design Firm is produced by Baker Furniture.  Can you Classic??

Also by Baker, this Thomas Pheasant style is much more exotic.  For me, it conjures up images of the 1980’s and the movie Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome.  Or more recently, Xena Warrior Princess.  I think it is strong and sexy and definelty has a masculine feel!

And as if these weren’t enough, there are some AMAZING antique starburst mirrors ranging from the 19th century to the 1920’s that are to die for! Check some out on!

If you haven’t already, you should try going glam with one of these soon!