Archive for the ‘Design Trends’ Category

A Birthday Celebration

Posted by

Screen Shot 2016-01-22 at 11.11.04 AM

Today is my birthday. It isn’t a milestone birthday, but I’ve believe that we should celebrate every day in our lives, especially our birthdays! So today I have a fun lunch and a relaxing spa day planned today with my daughter and a fabulous dinner out tonight with family. It’s going to be perfect!

It just so happens that Paperless Post – the fabulous online and paper stationery company – asked me to tell them what I would do to celebrate my birthday if I could plan a fun soiree! Now that’s a bit of a hard one for me because I love planning parties for other people where I am the hostess, but I am not one to have big birthday party plans when I am the guest of honor. I usually keep my birthday pretty simple. But just for fun if I WAS having a fancy fete, it would be all about the details…

Screen Shot 2016-01-22 at 10.55.26 AM

I am really making it a priority these days to spend more time with my friends – people whose company I truly enjoy. So I would have a small party with a few of my favorite people. And Paperless Post has fantastic online designs for birthday invitations, including the one above that I love which would be ideal. This one is perfect for me with its pattern of dots and its bright pink color! So I would invite friends to enjoy cupcakes and cocktails – two more of my favorite things.

Screen Shot 2016-01-22 at 11.07.53 AM

And any event that I plan has to have fresh flowers! I especially love bright pink peonies, white tulips, and gorgeous lush hydrangeas. Flowers liven up a room with color and style, and they are my favorite form of decoration.

I’m all about little nibbles at a party – in fact, I would probably have hors d’oeuvres instead of dinner most nights if I could get away with it. So my cocktails and cupcakes event would include lots of frosted cupcakes, salty snacks, and deliciously designed appetizers. I’m thinking these Neapolitan cupcakes would be the perfect flavor because my family and I can never agree on our favorite flavor. Some of us love chocolate and others vanilla. So these are the best of both with fabulous strawberry icing on top!

Screen Shot 2016-01-22 at 11.09.53 AM

And to keep the pink color theme going, I would pop the cork on a few bottles of a gorgeous rosé champagne like the one above! After all, it isn’t a celebration without some bubbly!

Screen Shot 2016-01-22 at 11.10.29 AM

And my family is the BEST when it comes to thoughtful and fabulous presents that are chic and colorful. Because a color-lover like me can’t celebrate without bright, fun, and festive details!

Thanks for letting me share my perfect little celebration with you and with Paperless Post! With Valentine’s Day just around the corner, be sure to check out the gorgeous designs from Paperless Post that will help you celebrate with those you love, too!







A Return to Traditional

Posted by


The “new traditional” look has been popular for quite a while now, with traditional silhouettes and designs softened with sleeker lines. Part of that influence came from the craze for midcentury modern looks, with their clean styling. But I’m seeing a return to true traditional design in furniture and interiors!

Part of it is a renewed interest in the art and craft of creating a piece of furniture – so there are more wood finishes coming to the market than painted pieces. And people love the nostalgia of an artisan look, like the turned legs and brass claw with acrylic ball in my London table above from Woodbridge Furniture. It’s a also a drop-leaf table, which is a very traditional look seen in many antiques. But it really fits today’s lifestyle, with people wanting furniture that can serve a lot of purposes, like a console table when the leaves are “dropped,” and a dining table when they’re up.


Attention to detail is also important for traditional design. In my Brunell table for Woodbridge (above), I took inspiration from Dorothy Draper and her love of shape and form. She called herself an “anti-minimalist,” and loved gold leaf detail and lucite.


This return to traditional isn’t about the stuffy, dark furniture that some people think about when they hear the word “traditional.” It’s more a celebration of the art of traditional design, like the deep tufting and gorgeous nailhead created by the craftsmen at CR Laine for my Aana ottoman. There is a real art to expertly upholstering a design in leather like that!

What do you think about traditional design – both in interiors and furnishings? Let me know in the comments section below! I look forward to showing you more of my traditional designs coming up for the April High Point Market!







10 Steps to the Perfect Guest Room

Posted by

Screen Shot 2016-01-08 at 3.36.31 PM

I love to entertain overnight guests – and I’ve enjoyed planning the guest bedroom in my new house during my renovation! By summer my guest room will be ready for visitors. And there are so many ways to really make your guests feel comfortable and cared for, so today I’m going to give you my 10 best tips for a hotel-worthy guest room.

1. The absolutely most important thing in a guest bedroom is the bed, of course. Too many people just plop their oldest mattress in this room like an afterthought. But it’s important to have a really good mattress for your guests, too, so give them a fabulous night’s sleep when they’re staying with you! If you can’t buy a brand new fancy mattress for this space, try adding padded or down-covered mattress pads, foam mattress covers, or even feather beds to make your guests extra comfortable when staying the night.

2. Linens are also critical. You don’t have to have Egyptian cotton, or some particular thread count, but you should buy the best you can get for your budget. There are several high thread count (and very soft) sheet sets at Target. My favorite sheets are actually by SDH and made of Italian Wood Fiber (called Cellulose). It’s softer than silk, but isn’t slippery.

Screen Shot 2016-01-08 at 4.00.34 PM

3. Pillows are very important, especially to me. The pillows definitely make or break a hotel or sleeping experience in my opinion. So you want to have a selection on the bed and maybe some options on a shelf in the closet. I am a down pillow gal myself, but some people are allergic to down or even down blends, so have several types on hand. And it’s good to offer soft and firm options, like the best boutique hotels! You don’t want your guests having neck and back pain all weekend long.

4. Having a bench at the end of the bed, or a stool in the room, is a great touch. It works like a luggage rack, giving guests a place to set their bags, and it’s great when they need to sit down when putting on their shoes.

5. I also like to have a chair in the guest bedroom, if space allows. Guests may want to read or just relax before bed without getting in the bed – so give them a great upholstered chair for their room.

Screen Shot 2016-01-08 at 3.36.56 PM

6. A cozy blanket or throw is a great addition for your guest room – they can use it on the bed if they need extra warmth, or they can wrap up in it while reading in the chair. Make them feel cozy and at home! If you want to go the extra mile, you might consider a down comforter, too. Some people prefer the weight of a duvet when getting cozy.

7. A guest room also needs great light control. First I love natural light in a bedroom, so if your home has great windows that’s a big bonus! But you’ll want window treatments with blackout lining so the natural light doesn’t keep guests awake or wake them too early. And be sure there is a working overhead lighting fixture (preferably on a dimmer) for when guests need brighter light – like to tell if their socks are black or blue. But also layer in several lamps in the space for ambient lighting in the evening. I like to have bedside lamps or swing-arm lamps for those who want to read in bed, and also a lamp beside the chair or on a chest is a great and functional addition. Oh, and don’t forget a nightlight so guests can see if they get up during the night.

8. A stack of magazines and books is a nice touch for a guest room. Give your guests great reading material for the evenings, or for down time during their visit.

Screen Shot 2016-01-08 at 3.59.05 PM

9. Fresh flowers are one of the nicest ways to say “welcome” to your guests! This is really essential to a guest room in my house because they are pretty and they smell great.

10. A final perfect touch if you have the space is a coffee station and plenty of water – either in bottles or a carafe. Some guests may rise much earlier than you do, so this is a great way to let them start their day whenever they like without having to head down to the kitchen in their PJs! And I always include a few snacks in case they get hungry. You know a good Southern hostess never lets a guest go hungry.

So try these ideas to make your guest room work like a fabulous boutique hotel. And you can even take it further like providing the code to your wi-fi, adding a fabulous smelling candle and matches, including a basket of essentials like fluffy towels or a robe, and you might include a few necessities in case they forgot them like an extra toothbrush, deodorant, or a disposable razor. I love going the extra mile to make those staying in my home feel loved!

So what do you do in your home to welcome guests? Let me know in the comments section below!







Love these ideas? Shop my picks for making your guest room extra special…



Making a Grand Entrance

Posted by

Screen Shot 2015-11-07 at 9.14.25 PM

I can’t believe I am saying this, but the holidays are here! And as you start welcoming guests into your home through the holiday season, you may start to take a good hard look at the entryway of your home. Is it welcoming? Is it a great first impression for the rest of your home?

I know you probably can’t remodel or redecorate it now and be ready in time for guests this holiday season, but you can start to think about how you would like to freshen it up so it will be “party ready” going forward into the new year.

Screen Shot 2015-11-07 at 9.18.10 PM

I like to think of an entry like a fabulous invitation to a great party – it sets the tone for what’s to come. And you know when you get the most fantastic invitation ever in the mail? If you’re like me, you sure don’t want to miss that soiree, now do you? In the same way, a gorgeous entryway is a great opportunity to showcase drama, whimsy, or a sophisticated viewpoint in your home, starting right at the front door and then by drawing people in.

Screen Shot 2015-11-07 at 9.20.44 PM

What can you do in your entry to really wow your guests? Think about it as another great place to showcase color and pattern, to make a bold statement. Entryways are the perfect place for dramatic wallpapers. And if there are stairs, a chic runner in a bold geometric or floral (or animal) print can be a great way to pump up the WOW factor.

Screen Shot 2015-11-07 at 9.24.05 PM

But don’t forget that the entry way is attached to other spaces in your home, so it needs to be cohesive with the design of those rooms, too. The entry needs to seamlessly flow into the adjoining spaces. The goal is to enhance the design of other rooms and not fight with them.

Screen Shot 2015-11-07 at 9.25.45 PM

And even if your goal is a beautiful and dramatic space, you can still offer plenty of function (you know function is one of MY main goals). So do this with tables, seating, closets and storage in your entryway if space allows.

And if you are still thinking that these are great ideas for an “after-holiday renovation,” but you want to make your guests feel excited about your entryway today, then be sure to use fresh flowers, gourds, or holiday greenery to make your entry festive and beautiful. There’s nothing I like more than gorgeous hydrangeas or tulips mixed with fresh pine and cedar. And for Thanksgiving, mixing in seasonal gourds and berries look so pretty. These natural elements bring a pop of color and smell oh-so good!

So what do you think?  Have I given you any ideas on how to make a great first impression in your home? Let me know what you think in the comments below!

And I wish you and yours a fantastic holiday with your family and friends!








Gift Guide: Living the Good Life

Posted by



Living the good life. Do you want to? Well it isn’t always about having lots of money and buying expensive things. It’s mostly about making memories, especially during this time of the year.

But yes, there are those of us who love fine things, myself included.  And sometimes it’s more about good taste than a high price tag, right?  So whether your budget allows for expensive splurges this Holiday season or you just want to look like it does, here’s my mix of High and Low priced lovely things that will have you and your loved ones living the good life.

And since it’s Cyber Monday, the biggest online shopping day of the year, I bet you can get some deals on many of these fab finds today only. Good luck! (P.S. I have 2 more days of gift guides to help you finish your shopping before December has hardly started. So stay tuned for my last few favorites coming your way this week!)

Happy Shopping Darlings! xo,






  1. Valentino “Rock Stud” Pumps–A splurge for sure, these gorgeous red studded pumps from Valentino will have you looking like the Bell of the Ball this holiday or maybe like a rather fancy Mrs. Claus. Are these the perfect gift for YOU this year? Then your honey needs to be sent a link to purchase these hot little numbers to put under the tree. I’ll vouch for you that you’ve been a good girl! Don’t love the Red? Well don’t worry. These babies come in many colors so you can pick the one you love most.
  2. Beaded Pillow–this “Ritzy”-looking Rizzy Home beaded pillow only looks expensive. Add a few of these to your sofa to jazz things up a bit. Or gift these to your friends with a new home or your stylish college student for her bedroom. You’ll have them all looking glamorous in no time!
  3. Aerin Match Striker–I have a thing for gorgeous Match Strikers. And boy did Aerin Lauder ever make a fabulous brass one! Yes, it’s pricey but I’m ordering this beautiful piece for myself today. Merry Christmas to me! It’s so pretty it doubles as an accessory so it’s my favorite sort of piece, beautiful and functional all at the same time. This makes a great gift for those hard to buy for friends and family who live the good life and seem to have everything already.
  4. Manolo Blahnik Book–So maybe splurging on a pair of Manolo’s isn’t in your budget right now, but putting his gorgeous book on your coffee table just may be. This is a  gift that all those “Carrie Bradshaw’s” in your life will appreciate. So if you are a fashionista or an interiors enthusiast or have some of them on your list, this will be the perfectly pretty and inspiring gift to decorate their homes.
  5. Kate Spade “Money” Phone Cover–It’s all about the Money, Money, Money. Ok, so maybe you don’t have as much cold, hard cash as you wish this holiday, but not to worry. This adorable “Money” phone cover won’t break the bank. Designed by the creatives at Kate Spade, this glam little item will have you feeling like a million buck while you Cyber-shop on your iPhone. It is perfectly sized for a stocking stuffer too. And at this great price, maybe you should buy 2!
  6. Marabou Vest–What could be more glamorous and chichi than a Marabou Vest? Well thank goodness for Betsey Johnson because she came to the rescue with this adorable one! This piece is great for layering and if you don’t want black, no worries. It comes also comes in blush and gray. I think this gift will get squeals from those Fancy peeps on your list.
  7. Pointy Toe Leather Bootie–This gorgeous and classic leather bootie by Sam Edleman exudes style and sophistication. And though it looks top of the line, the price tag isn’t too bad. Yes, still an investment but one that will go with anything and everything for seasons to come and it looks MUCH more expensive than it really is. I think this is the perfect gift for those shoe-lovers on your list. And if you’re wondering, I’m a size 8. (wink!)
  8. Oversized Leopard Clutch–Ok, another Splurge item but Oh My! This gorgeous leopard clutch is dreamy. Forget Sugar Plums, I have visions of Leopard in my head and this zip top clutch with gold hardware makes my dreams super sweet! Do you have anyone on your list who would love to be “seeing spots” with this cutie under the tree?
  9. Nest Holiday Candle–Nest brings the Glam to candles. And they have the BEST scents! Looking lovely and high style in it’s gold packaging, I think the Nest Holiday Candle (Birchwood Pine Scent) is the perfect Hostess Gift or Stocking Stuffer. I can hardly wait for the holidays to roll around each year so I can light one of these lovelies and make my whole house smell like Christmas!
  10. Osis “Dust it” Hair Powder–Want to look like you stepped out of a high-dollar salon all season long? Well this product will do the trick. I love Dust it Powder to give my hair control and long-lasting hold while still looking soft. It’s like dry shampoo but better. Drop one of these in the stocking of all the ladies in your life. I see some glamorous hair in their future!
  11. Celine Havana Sunglasses–Celine brings us these gorgeous and totally chic sunglasses to help you and yours look like a star. The bold black frames are detailed with red edges and a beige interior for some added appeal and Hollywood Style.
  12. Parisian Bar Cart–A Bar Cart definitely makes the list of my favorite things! Seriously, what’s more glamorous than serving drinks from this black and brass beauty to all your Holiday guests? And the top Shelf doubles as a removable tray to make serving that much easier. Oh Santa Baby, I’ll have a martini, please! And pair it with this stylish bar cart from Serena and Lily if you don’t mind.
  13. Gold Caviar Serving Set–Dahling, if you’re serving Caviar at your next soiree, this Gold Imperial Caviar 4-piece hostess set by Marchesa is a MUST have. For those on your list who have a sophisticated palette, this would make the perfect gift.
  14. Red Tory Burch Tote–The slender handles and gold logo hardware keep this handy Tory tote looking chic. It’s a perfect carry on for all those Jet-setting friends and family of yours. So put this under the tree and they will think of you as they travel the world in the year ahead.
  15. Black Leather Gloves with Bow–The darling bow detail and soft leather make these gloves dreamy. I love the feminine styling and it will help your girly-girls look lovely and stay warm all at once.