Luxe Libraries

Earlier this month I told you about the design books I’m most anticipating in the coming months – but all those books need a home. I love to design luxurious libraries for my clients, a place to curl up and read for hours! Let’s look at some of my favorite reading rooms:

Design by Katie Ridder

Design by Katie Ridder

Bold color envelopes the room above, lending an unexpected coziness to an otherwise bright room.

Design by Jane Pendry

Design by Jane Pendry

The sky’s the limit in this fabulous Parisian living space, offering ample space for the owner’s collection.

Tilton Fenwick

Tilton Fenwick

Suysel dePedro Cunningham’s apartment offers a gorgeous view of art and books, and plenty of comfortable seating for reading away the hours.

Meg Lonergan

Meg Lonergan

Comfort is key to this quiet nook, with plenty of light to ready by.

Where do you like to read? You can find more of my library inspirations on my pinboard here!



Top 10 Design Books for Fall

Every spring and fall I look forward to the newest slate of design books, and next month will kick off an amazing line-up of titles to choose from! There are literally dozens and dozens that I want, but for the sake of my budget, I’ll have to narrow it down to my top 10 selections (in order by release date):



One of my favorite designers looks at a classic combination of blue and white, but with every variation possible of both colors. Can’t wait for this one! Available Sept. 12.







This handbook from House Beautiful gives handy guides and tips to homeowners, showcasing what is truly essential for gorgeous interiors. Available Sept. 19.







From one of my favorite shelter magazines, comes this gorgeous feature of 30 homes that use color in thoughtful, bold, or eye-catching ways. Available Oct. 3.








I’m a big fan of architect Bobby McAlpine and I can’t wait to see this new book featuring 20 of his projects, all in romantic locales. Available Oct. 3.







It’s been a while since Victoria Hagan’s first book, so I’m really looking forward to this one. I love her restrained elegant style. Available Oct. 3.







This fun tome showcases 22 designers at home with their fabulous furry family members – I can’t wait to see this fun book from Susanna Salk and Quintessence’s Stacey Bewkes. Available Oct. 3.







Jason Oliver Nixon and John Loecke of Madcap Cottage showcase their gorgeous style of layering patterns, with great tips and how-to’s. Available Oct. 17.






Vogue features the most fashionable figures in the world and this new book will take us home with them, with inside looks at abodes from people like Tory Burch in Southampton, India Jane Birley in Marrakesh, Aerin Lauder in Aspen, and Stella McCartney in Scotland. Available Oct. 24.







The original founding editor of Domino joins forces with photographer Melanie Acevedo delve into the lives and homes of inspiring visionaries. Available Oct. 24.









This is the perfect book to curl up with on a cold autumn day, featuring homes that welcome you as an escape from your stressful day. Available Nov. 25.




Double the Fun

Twin beds fell out of fashion for a while, with people thinking of them as old fashioned, like those iconic beds that Ricky and Lucy “shared” on I Love Lucy. Or they were only thought of for kids’ rooms.

Designer Phoebe Howard

Designer Phoebe Howard

But today, the functionality of twin beds is giving them a comeback story and they are being showcased in guest rooms, teen rooms, and in vacation homes.Furniture designers recognize this, and are creating more modern, grown-up looks using twin beds. Thanks to these designs, twin beds are taking on new life that’s twice the fun.

Designer Michael Maher

Designer Michael Maher

New twin bed designs are no longer “cutesy” or childish. There are fabulous sophisticated styles that offer chic designs for welcoming rooms. Twin beds can also be placed apart or together, giving you even more functionality for guests.

Design by Sarah Richardson

Design by Sarah Richardson

Whether you have a need for a set of twin beds or you just love the look, ideas abound for designing a room around them. I bet your guests will do double takes!For more ideas, check out my pins.



On with the Show (House)

I was so honored to be selected to design a space in the 2017 ASID-Texas Gulf Coast Chapter Designer Show House in Tomball, TX! The house is in Willowcreek Ranch, and is a 10,000-square-foot home with 30 rooms, including an in-law apartment, a children’s suite, and a pool, all on a six acres.

I designed the exercise room and a connected powder bath in the home. We had guidelines about color and a general style, but were able to use our creativity to make it a casual but elegant home.

To keep the owners motivated in the exercise studio, I combined sophisticated technology with beautiful and thoughtfully designed fitness equipment, giving the room a collected feeling. The floors are cork-backed wood-style flooring by Floor that is perfect for the heavy equipment. The exercise equipment was provided by Winston Fitness, the fan by Big Ass Solutions, and the zebra rug by Longoria Collection. And that gorgeous art from Dimmit Contemporary Art adds a bright pop of color.

Screen Shot 2017-08-01 at 1.00.07 PM.png

On the other side of the room, I custom designed the console table in a faux alligator finish with the help of local artisans Anything But Plain, and Peck and Company created a custom-made bench with a Holly Hunt Velvet.

I designed the attached powder room to be sophisticated and elegant, with hand-painted pearl fresco walls with gilded gold details by Anything But Plain. I designed a custom cabinet in the style of an ornate French commode, topped by honed Misty Bay marble from Thorntree. The hand-hammered gold sink sets an elegant tone that’s highlighted by a chandelier from Circa Lighting and sconces that I custom designed with the help of Peck & Company.

Show homes are a lot of hard work, but they give designers like me a chance to showcase what we can do, and this one was for a good cause, too! Proceeds will help support the Alzheimer’s Association as well as ASID’s own foundation that provides education and research for the design community and scholarships for future trendsetters.

I hope you enjoyed the tour of my spaces!



Have a Happy Holiday

It isn’t even Labor Day, so why in the world would I talk to you about the holidays now?! Because I’m going to let you in on a major designer secret.

Z Gallerie

Z Gallerie

If you want to have the very best holiday season you’ve ever had, it’s time to think about that NOW. Why? Because the window is closing quickly for you to get that perfect dining room table, your dream custom sofa, or a bespoke rug. Furnishings, especially anything custom or high-end, can take weeks or months to be delivered.

Homes & Gardens

Homes & Gardens

Designers always despair of those clients who contact us in October, needing the perfect dining table delivered by Thanksgiving. We really want to make it happen, but often our hands are tied by manufacturer delivery dates.

Design by Craftberry

Design by Craftberry

If you need a major renovation or a lot of furniture, now is the time to talk to your interior designer. If you’re thinking of just some paint and a few extras, you still probably want to talk to a professional before the end of September. The best people are booked early and you want to get on their schedule as soon as possible.

Design by Yellow Bliss Road

Design by Yellow Bliss Road

I want you to have the best and most beautiful holiday season ever – so plan ahead to avoid stress and headaches!

You may now return to your fun-in-the-sun summer!



Behind the Scenes: Design Details

It's such a cliche to say that the details matter, but they really do when it comes to interior design! In the Brother vs. Brother renovation project for HGTV, the details of each room really helped create that overall chic coastal look that Drew Scott wanted for this Galveston beach home. Let's take a look!

The Walker Zanger Studio Moderne Diplomat tile in the master bath, for example, really added a cool dimensional look. And I loved the LED mirrors we used.

The polished stones in this chandelier from Wayfair added an organic look to the dining room.

The blues and turquoises we used for our coastal palette were highlighted by bright touches of coral, like in these pillows in the guest room.

We also found some fun art on Wayfair to complement the beach house vibe, but in a more fun and chic way.

This incredibly sophisticated lamp is created with white shells that look almost like blooms. It's serene and lovely - perfect for the master bedroom.

We extended that cool coastal look even into the laundry, with woven baskets in water colors.

Screen Shot 2017-07-21 at 10.04.32 AM.png

And on the outdoor deck, we set the table with summery looks like this, with whimsical napkin rings and seashore palettes.

I hope you've enjoyed all the behind-the-scenes looks at my time on HGTV's Brother vs. Brother! It was an amazing experience that I'll never forget!



Marble Madness

One thing that I love the most in the home I designed with Drew Scott for Brother vs. Brother on HGTV is the gorgeous Walker Zanger Calacata marble-like porcelain slabs. Marble – both real and engineered – is one of my favorite materials to use in a home. It adds both a natural look and a sophistication that’s hard to beat. Let’s take a look at some of my favorite interiors featuring marble:

First, here’s a closer look at the fireplace in that renovation project for Brother vs. Brother. The bookmatched slabs create a stunning pattern that I love!

The marble farmhouse sink in a home designed by Jenni Kayne is perfection. I like how it’s paired with rustic wood cabinetry – as featured in Domino.

Kelly Wearstler uses different colored marble tiles to create a wildly patterned bathroom at The Tides South Beach

The natural striations are what give marble its unique character, like in the Saint Laurent store in San Francisco, designed by Hedi Slimane.

The darker colors in this tiles at Hotel Zwolle Van der Valk really showcase the natural stone characteristics that make marble what it is.

For more gorgeous marble designs, see my pinboard here. And let me know how you love to use marble in your home!



Behind the Scenes: Guests Are Welcome

This is my last behind-the-scenes blog post about my time on Brother vs. Brother episode on HGTV! It was a whirlwind 6-week process - yes we really had only 6 weeks to put all of this together - and I loved every minute.

Guest rooms are so key to creating a welcoming home, and that was the focus of the very last episode. With this being a vacation home at the beach, Drew Scott definitely wanted to have some inviting and gorgeous secondary bedrooms.

As you can see above, we really had our work cut out for us – these were some dark and dreary rooms

But with that coastal-water color scheme from the rest of the home, these rooms were transformed into oases that you almost wouldn’t want to leave. And I really loved the extra function in this room, where you can fold the bed up into the wall and have an open home office!

These cute bunk beds also add a lot of extra sleeping places without taking up too much room. I also used this idea in my Telluride project so even more guests could sleep over as needed.

The cool grays in the guest bath are brightened with touches of gold tones for a great color combination, and the shiplap walls are a nice coastal touch.

What do you think of the guest bedrooms? I’m ready to sleep over for sure! I hope you enjoyed this behind-the-scenes tour of my time on HGTV's Brother vs. Brother and on Team Drew Scott! Keep your eye out for replays of the season, and let me know what you thought of our house!



Behind the Scenes: The Great Outdoors

After four weeks filming on HGTV's Brother vs. Brother show, I was finally getting more comfortable with the cameras and sometimes didn’t even notice them! This was also the point where we moved to the outdoor areas, which was great because this house was made for outdoor living with all the decks and amazing water views.

In the original design of the house, though, there wasn’t anything at all that was inviting about the outdoor spaces.

Drew Scott had to replace all the pilings, too, on the canal side of the house, which was an unexpected expense. But it gave him a chance to redo the boat dock. There was also a lower deck here, so Drew and I included a daybed area in his plan for the space.

It’s a great relaxing lounge area, now, and how cool is that ladder that works as a towel rack?

On the other side of the lower deck area, we brought in traditional Adirondack chairs and a rolling cart that serves as a refreshment center.

It was the upper deck, though, really needed the most love!

So much time at a beach house is spent outside, so we really needed an inviting space on that deck. Now there’s a new dining area that can fit a lot of friends and family for al fresco meals!

Drew also loved the furniture we chose for a conversation area on the deck, and he jumped right in to help arrange it. 

The coastal colors are so soothing and inviting in the new deck area – they make you want to spend all your time here, enjoying the beautiful views!

The photographer caught Drew and I enjoying the finished seating area! This entire project was such a blast, and Drew really went out of his way to make me feel comfortable and welcome on his team!

Keep reading my blog throughout July and I'll give you more insights on what it was like to work with Drew and the HGTV team.



Behind the Scenes: Master Suite


I had so much fun working on HGTV’s Brother vs. Brother and helping Drew Scott with his transformation of this Galveston beach house! One room that really had a major makeover during our TV shoot was the master bedroom.

The original room was really in bad shape – look at that carpet! And it need some serious sprucing up.

It was such a large room, but the space didn’t have a good flow. It just wasn't a functional area at all.

When we redesigned the master suite, we added a fireplace and enlarged the master bath. The fireplace in the sitting area is a perfect retreat for an early morning cup of coffee before the day begins or unwinding from a day at the beach.

The original master bathroom had a large hot tub, and faux wood panelling - not exactly the retreat we were wanting.

We created a serene retreat that’s much more like an in-home spa! And I love the 3D tiles on the wall behind the sink.

Now you can see why this room is my favorite transformation in the whole home! Be sure to check in with my blog all month as I bring you even more inside looks at how we transformed this Galveston beach house!



Behind the Scenes: Kitchen Reveal


Working on HGTV’s Brother vs. Brother was a lot fun, and one of my favorite episodes was the kitchen makeover. The coastal color palette was so smart, and the reworked footprint really opened up the space. As you can see above, I loved being “Team Drew” with Drew Scott.

Above is another reminder of what we were dealing with when Drew bought this home in Galveston. It was so dated with the paneling and shag carpeting.

As you can see, we flipped the kitchen and dining areas, which allowed much more natural light into the room. Everything is so much brighter with the white cabinets and the Walker Zanger Calcata Gold porcelain counters.

Such a huge difference from the beige and brown look above, right?!

The backsplash is so pretty, too – you can see it here in the right corner of the photo. It’s Walker Zanger Robert Stern Shingle, and it reminds me of waves – perfect for a beach house!

What did you think about the kitchen? Let me know – and be sure to tune in to my blog throughout this month as I give you more inside info on working with Drew Scott and HGTV!



A “Drew Re-Do” of the Living Room

On HGTV’s Brother vs. Brother, you saw Drew Scott and I transform the living room of his beach project in Galveston. As part of Team Drew, I thought I’d give you a little more behind-the-scenes on this major renovation. It was one of the fastest projects I’ve ever worked on, with only 6 weeks to transform the entire house!

As you can see above, the interior was a total gut job with terrible paneling and shag carpet in every room.

The new fireplace is one of my favorite spots in the whole house, with the Walker Zanger Calacata Gold bookmatched porcelain slabs – it created a stunning look!

Looking back toward the dining area in the former design, you can see how dated and dark the room was.

Our Coastal Cool vibe lightened up the room and gave it a more modern look. Drew wanted the colors to be the classic sea glass blues, greens, white, and a touch of coral. 

If you missed this season, don't worry! HGTV is sure to repeat it soon. And stay tuned here throughout July as I give you more behind-the-scenes info!



Behind the Scenes of Brother vs. Brother

I was so thrilled to be chosen to work on Drew Scott’s team for the 5th season of Brother vs. Brother on HGTV! Last night was the last episode for this season, so now I can give you a little behind-the-scenes info!

When I began the interview process to work on Drew’s team and try to help him win the competition, I decided at that point it would be something that I had never done before, and that it would be fun to at least try it. I was so thrilled when I received the call from the producer! With the timeline, it was fast and furious until the end, and it was great fun working with the entire crew. 

First, the home was a gorgeous 1,750-square-foot house in Galveston, TX, located on the west end of the island. All of the homes have canals for easy access to the bay and the beach is a golf cart ride away.

Drew purchased a two-story home and we re-worked the floor plan to add bedrooms, but it also had a few major issues he was not anticipating. The pilings had to be replaced along with the all of the siding, and the interior was a total gut job because it had paneling, shag carpet in every room, and a tiki bar off the kitchen. I really think the living and dining areas were stunning when they were finished!

Stay tuned here because I'll give you more sneak peeks and inside information throughout the month of July!



Color My World

There are certain color palettes that just automatically set the tone for a room, like the coastal cool vibe in the home I’m working on with Drew Scott on HGTV’s Brother vs. Brother. Those water colors of turquoise and sky blue aren’t the only classic beach colors, though. I also love a patriotic red, white, and blue for homes on the coast, especially for those July 4th getaways! Let’s take a look:

Barclay Butera is known for his California coast look, and he doesn’t disappoint in this living room. He goes slightly lighter than navy for a slight twist on the traditional flag colors.

Brian Patrick Flynn uses several shades of blue and a washed-out-red to create a winning bedroom design above!

In a home designed by Robert Couturier and featured in Elle Decor, a Jean Dubuffet painting brings the patriotic palette without overtly waving the flag.

Fab You Bliss sets a patriotic table with not one stripe in sight. To recreate this for your Fourth festivities, consider vintage patterns to mix and match with newer tableware.

To see more red, white, and blue interiors, go to my pinboard here. I hope you and your family have fabulous plans for the Fourth next week!



Beach House Chic

It’s officially summer and time to head to my favorite beach locations! I love coastal decor, and the beachier, the better. Let me show you a few chic seashore details that make beach homes that reference the location without being kitsch!

Celerie Kemble added waves of molding to the doorways of this lovely Florida beach house. They added a sophisticated touch without being a traditional seashore look!

The door knocker on this New England home gives a fun welcome to beach house visitors.

The beams and bunks in this guest room are a subtle nod to seagoing vessels, rather than a traditional seashell-and-anchor look.

Shiplap and weathered wood give a cool sophistication to this pared-down powder room.

I love seashore homes, and these chic versions have me ready to get away this weekend! Happy summer!



Summer Views

One thing that I love to update according to the seasons would be window treatments. In the winter months, heavy draperies keep out the cold. But in summer months, light and flowing looks let the sun shine in! Let’s take a look at some of my favorite warm-weather window dressing:

White is always right in the summer months, especially when it also has a few bright stripes, like in this shade by Megan Winter Designs.

Pale pink linen draperies get a classic update with Greek key trim. Linen is a perfect fabric for summer looks!

Tiebacks are a great way to open up the draperies and allow those summer breezes inside, and I love these little bees from Anthropologie.

Just like your own wardrobe, summer is a great time for lighter materials and softer colors!

What do you think of these lightened-up looks? I’m ready for those long summer days!



Top 3 Kitchen Solutions

The kitchen is the one room in the house that has to be organized in order to function at peak performance. But there are 3 issues the drive every cook crazy, all of which can be solved with great organization. Let’s take a look!

How often have you scrabbled around in a drawer looking for the whisk? Or do you have one of those giant tubs with all of your gadgets stuffed inside? Instead of a tangled mess, consider drawer dividers on a diagonal! They give you better organization, and there’s room for the longer tools, like rolling pins!

Cutting boards, cookie sheets, and cake pans can make you crazy. Stacked up, they are impossible to get to. And if you have them in that drawer under the stove, you know how frustrating it can be to pull out the right one. So consider cabinet dividers like these – they can be purchased and added to any existing cabinet to help you sort through all of your pans!

We all love our kitchen gadgets and small appliances – but they take up valuable real estate on the counter. Pull-out shelves like these can be purchased at any home/hardware store. They give you a lot of organization while also hiding tools that you only use every now and then!

What do you think of these kitchen solutions? You can find more of my organizing ideas on my pinboard here!



Sending a Chain Letter

There is one pattern that does not get enough love in home decor, but it really sends me, and that’s a chain-and-link design. I love interlocking patterns and this one has an elegance all its own.

The wallpaper from Bisazza above takes it old school with a navy-and-gold palette.

Sticking with the gold theme, but in a grander way, is this Parisian door designed by Pierre Yovanovitch.

And then actual chain can become a work of art, like in this interior from Demakersvan.

What do you think of the chain pattern? Do you have a favorite pattern for interiors? Let me know!



Keeping It Positive


It seems like a no-brainer, but sometimes staying positive is easier said than done. Like most jobs, designing homes and working with clients can be stressful and, although I am doing exactly what I love, negativity can slip in every now and then. But then I remember, “No negative thoughts allowed.”

Thinking negatively doesn’t benefit anyone: not the interior designer, not the client, not the design.

A design that starts in a place of positivity, appreciation, and joy for the craft will always be more successful. Instead of letting those negative thoughts creep in, say instead that you can, and you will.



Runway Inspiration

If I ever have “designer’s block,” there is always one place that will light my creative fire again – Fashion! Fashion is the springboard for so many colors and styles in home decor. As soon as I see a gorgeous look walking down the runway, I begin to imagine how I would use the colors and fabrics in a room.           

This “millennial pink” dress from Chanel would be the perfect inspiration for a softly neutral room like this one from Pastel Interior Design.

Or a peacock color on a dress from Carolina Herrera might encourage you to try a moody blue in your home like this one from Share Design.

Or maybe a whimsical look from Elie Saab will make you rethink a fun pattern in a kids’ room like this superstar from Sissy and Marley!

See why I go for fashion to kickstart new idea? So what inspires you?