5 Tips for the Perfect Shelfie

Nothing looks more scattered and disorganized than shelves with books and objects shoved in any old way. It’s a look that can ruin and otherwise gorgeous room! Well-styled shelves have become so popular that there’s even a term for photos of them – shelfies.

If you want a great shelfie, too, I have 5 tips that will take your shelves from cluttered to creative!

1. Sort by color. Those book jackets are beautiful, so use them to your advantage! Arrange book jackets by color, and even consider slotting in an objet or two in the same hue.

Naeem Khan for AD

Naeem Khan for AD

2. Mix it up. Use a perfect balance of horizontal and vertical stacks of books, as well as a combo of art, books, and accessories.

Nicole Gibbons

Nicole Gibbons

3. Get the big picture. Take a step back and look at the shelving unit as a whole. You want a balance on each shelf, and as the shelves relate to each other!

Kapito Muller Interiors

Kapito Muller Interiors

4. Let it breathe. It’s fine to have some space in the shelves! It lets each item shine on its own. And I love this neutral palette, too!

Leo Designs

Leo Designs

5. Add color. You can also have some fun with the back wall on your shelves. Add color with a fun paint or even wallpaper!

Jackie Armour via Luxe

Jackie Armour via Luxe

Try these tips to create gorgeous shelfies in your home!



My Top 4 Spring Colors

I am so excited that today is the first day of spring! As much as I love the bursts of beauty outside, I also love the feeling of spring inside the home. With that in mind, I’m sharing my top 4 spring colors to provide a little inspiration.

The Pantone color “Greenery” is one of my go-tos, especially at this time of year. I love its gorgeous balance of brightness and depth.

Sky blue is another personal favorite. I find it to be very versatile because it works with deep blacks, soft browns, pretty purples, and creams — and most accessories look fantastic with a sky blue backdrop.

Take a look at the ever-romantic blush pink. So soft, creamy and clean with a surprising touch of drama.

White is a longtime favorite of mine as well. The quintessential color of spring and summer, white never gets old and always offers fresh possibilities when putting together a stunning space.

Which is your favorite? Is it on my top 4 list or do you have a list of spring favorites all your own? Enjoy the beautiful days to come!



5 Looks that Move from Runway to Home

I love New York Fashion Week! Twice a year, I find amazing inspiration from the colors, patterns, and trims. And I’m not the only one – furniture, fabric, and wallpaper designers are just a few of the others who will bring their favorite trends from the runways right into your home.

Here are 5 of my favorite looks from last month’s fashion shows that I think will find their way into interior design:

1. New Romanticism. When even Ralph Lauren goes all dreamy and sensuous, you know this is going to be a big trend. Look for more feminine detailing, gorgeous silks, and fabulous flowing designs for the home.

Ralph Lauren

Ralph Lauren

2. Argyle. Menswear looks are timeless, and this preppy pattern is making a comeback in a big way, like in the Thom Browne look below! This could be a trend that you see on fabrics, but also in shapes for wood and other materials.

Thom Browne

Thom Browne

3. Orange really is the new black. It’s the hue to watch for in the home – including paint colors. Don’t be afraid to take a bold step with this color, including the deeper burnt orange like this one from Christian Siriano.

Christian Siriano

Christian Siriano

4. Plaid is everywhere. Look for plaids that aren’t normally seen in menswear, but offer new colors and patterns, like this elegant version from Jenny Packham. Note the romantic flow of the dress, too!

Jenny Packham

Jenny Packham

5. Skinny bright stripes. A fun and funky look from designers like Jeremy Scott that’s inspired by the ‘80s, this would be a fun look in a powder room or on a great accent chair!

Jeremy Scott

Jeremy Scott

Was there a color or trend from New York Fashion Week that caught your eye? Let me know what it was!



5 Ways to Lighten Up

When you walk into a room and turn on the light, the space dramatically changes, right? Lighting affects our mood, it directs our eye and it sets the stage for experiences in the home —resting, reading, entertaining, dining, and more.

Do you have the right amount of light in your home? What about the types of light fixtures? Today I want to share 5 lighting options for your home to get your imagination “lit up” by the ways you can add more ambiance or brightness to your space, including task, pendant/chandelier, sconces, table lamps, and floor lamps.

First, the sconce. Stately and classic, it creates more surface space and brings more interest to your room.

Second, the chandelier, with its many style and varieties. The chandelier might catch more envious eyes than any other kind of light.

Next, the task light. Just because it is utilitarian doesn’t mean it can’t also add a ton of character.

The pendant. Graceful and linear, the pendant lights up an area while leading the eye down to the main focal point.

Finally, table and floor lamps brighten up corners and tables, bringing light exactly where we need it.

Whether you go high-end or high style, great lighting can make all the difference in your space. Reevaluate from time to time the lights you have around your home. You’ll be surprised at what a simple change or addition can do.



4 Ways to Make Wood Work

One of the questions I’m asked a lot as a designer is how to expertly mix different wood finishes in a room. It really does require the right touch to get the balance just right, so I put together my top 4 tips for mixing wood tones:

1. Remember to look at all the colors in the room and select finishes/colors that have the same undertones, like red or yellow. In the dining room I designed below, the browns from the ceiling to the floor all have a similar undertone, which creates a harmonious look.

2. Break up the wood with softer paints and rugs. Rather than placing wood furniture directly on the wood floor in my project below, I added a rug to act as a soft buffer between the two. The white paint on the walls does the same thing for the dark wood cabinets and wood beams.

3. Limit your finishes in one room to 2-3, and that includes painted finishes. If you look at the kitchen I designed below, you’ll see 3 wood finishes: The warm buttery tone of the ceiling and floor, the sandy tone of the island and chair legs, and the lovely spring green on the cabinetry.

4. Let one tone be dominant. You don’t want to have two wood finishes fighting each other for prominence, so be sure one is the star and the others are supporting players!

Use these tips and you’ll be mixing finishes like a pro!



The Classic Greek Key

The Greek key pattern is a beautiful, timeless classic — but did you also know that it symbolizes infinity or the eternal flow of life? The repetitive, geometric pattern of right angles is a favorite of mine, so let’s take a look at a few examples of how versatile and applicable the Greek key pattern is in the home.

As an eye-catching floor tile.

As an upholstered fabric featuring two contrasting colors.

Screenshot 2017-01-20 23.25.12.png

On beautiful bed linens in burnished gold.

As a raised pattern on accent furniture.

From bath towels to artwork to floor rugs, the possibilities go on and on — and it’s one of those design elements that never feels stale or outdated. How can you use Greek key in your home?



Dangerous Curves Ahead

Furniture design has gone through phases of right angles and hard turns, but when I custom design pieces for my clients, I love to throw in a few curveballs! These twists and turns make furnishings more interesting and softer, like in this swirling red sofa I used in an entry for one of my projects.

Rounded shapes are great in square rooms – they actually take the edge off and balance the look of straight and curving lines. It creates a balanced look, like in the bedroom I designed below.

Those curves are cozier, too, like the club chairs below that I used with a round table in a client’s dining room. Notice how the legs also have twisting turns in them!

And I love any furniture piece that takes a twist, like the waves in the headboard below, in one of my projects.

So what do you think of these dangerously gorgeous curves? Would you take a chance with them or do you prefer the straight and narrow? Let me know!



4 Tips for the Chicest Home Office

Today I’m sharing four simple ways to spruce up your home office space. Don’t fall into the same look that’s been out there, year after year. With just a few easy upgrades, you’ll have the chicest home office on the block! Take a look. 

1. Forget the standard, boring office chair in brown or black. Instead, go for a gorgeous, upholstered chair that gives you all the comfort you need with way more sophistication than the typical chair you might expect. 

2.  Ramp up the color.  An office is a room that can take a lot of color because it's a space that needs to provide energy and inspiration. What’s one, quick way to achieve a ton of motivational color? A huge piece of art as a backdrop.

3. Out with the brown executive desk and in with something glam and gorgeous! Go shopping especially with a unique desk in mind and be willing to step out of the cookie cutter mold that is so easy to fall into with the home office.

4. Keep organized without being boring. Look for great boxes, trays, shelves, etc. that will help you keep things neat and tidy in a fun and eye-catching way!

I hope these examples get you thinking about how you can bring more “ooh and aah” to your home office. You won’t be disappointed!



6 Ways to Make Your Kitchen Work for You

I am a huge fan of incorporating function into the home. I’ve still got a New Year’s Resolution vibe going, so in that spirit I’m sharing with you several ways you can make your kitchen work for you. These are relatively quick and easy kitchen upgrades that will make all the difference in the way you prepare meals, while keeping things clean and orderly. After all, a well-organized and functional home is just as important as a gorgeous home. 

1. Create a hidden storage area for small appliances. This will help you keep those countertops clear, which is so important to opening up the area and banishing clutter.

2. Put items right where you need them. Set up your kitchen so that spices are near the stove, coffee mugs are within reach of the coffee maker, etc. I love this combination drawer that house spices and measuring cups and spoons just inches away from the stove.

3. The same goes for this accessory drawer. Think out of the box with specialty drawers and cabinets that work for the way you cook. Everything you need is right within a hand’s reach — plus, once again, those countertops are clean and clear.

4. One of my favorite things to do is to take cabinets right to the top of the ceiling so that you use every square inch of space to accommodate all of your dishware in manageable stacks.

5. Tame the things that make us crazy. A set up like this helps you bring order to items like pot lids, baking sheets and cutting boards — the things that typically never seem easy to put away. This organizational answer is perfect!

6. Finally, add outlets and lights where you need them to make your tasks much easier. It is well worth the up-front time to think this through and make it happen. Imagine the inconvenience you’ll spare yourself when kitchen tasks are simple and accessible.

Organization is not only a great investment — it can be super fun in the process!



5 Best Ideas for Using Pantone's Color of the Year in Your Home

It’s always exciting when Pantone announces its Color of the Year! If you look in design magazines and in retail settings, you see the color trend popping up everywhere. So let’s take a look at the Color of the Year for 2017

I, for one, am excited about the color choice. Interestingly, I’ve also learned that this color appeared at times of major cultural shifts, including the suffrage movement and flapper era of the 1920s and the war and racial justice protest movements and psychedelia of the '60s and '70s. According to an AP article, Greenery is in contrast to the 2016 soft, serenity-inducing dual choices of Rose Quartz and Serenity. Here are 5 ways to use this “fresh and zesty” color — aptly named Greenery.

Bathe your walls in it, and hang colorful, energetic artwork against it. 

Choose small but impactful amounts, like a side table or an accessory. 

Pair it with black for an unstoppably gorgeous duo. 

Experiment with a variety of shades — and bring it even more to life by including actual greenery!

Freshen up a small bathroom and make it feel airy and bright.

"It's been there during times of bold change, when people are exploring," says Laurie Pressman, Pantone’s vice president.

So where and how will you incorporate Greenery in YOUR home?



Top 5 Tips for Sleep-Inducing Beds

We’ve got a little ways to go before we’ll be welcoming the exciting onset of spring. So this is a great time to snuggle up in bed and perfect the art of slumber. Days are still short, the nights are still long — and for most of us, it’s cold out there! Let’s take a moment to celebrate sleep with some tips for setting the stage for a good winter’s rest. 

1. Start by selecting the right pillows sizes and fills. Whether you want twin or king, fluffy or firm is a personal preference, but there is no substitute for quality. And of course avoid anything that might trigger allergies!

2. Once you find your soulmate in a pillow, go for the best linens you can afford. Don’t settle for disposable sheets that need replacing within a year or two. Linen companies, like Leontine and Matouk, are a great place to begin. They are industry leaders in the linen world, and there is nothing like cozying up to their products.

3. When it comes blankets, duvets, quilts and coverlets, make sure you have a variety on hand to fit your hot or cold nature. Plus, when you host your guests, you’ll want to make sure you have what you need to ensure they are comfortable and feeling pampered. 

4. In addition to heavier blankets, you’ll want to have a few light cotton blankets for summer slumber. 

5. And, finally, for the all-important mattress. It’s so important to do your research and purchase the best mattress for you body type. And you must test them! Never buy a mattress you haven’t tried out. Years ago, I made the switch to an amazing mattress, and it made all the difference in my sleep, mood, and energy.

Wishing you many nights of wonderful winter rest — and all of the quality accessories that help you feel cozy and peaceful.



Step It Up

Most homes built today have more than one story.  I also believe that stairs help tell a story within the home. So let’s look at a few ways that you can “step up” your game with gorgeous takes on the staircase while setting the stage for the story YOU want to tell in your home. 

For starters, think about how you can make a statement with the banister. Go for something original and thought-provoking to tell a story of ingenuity. 

Runners look gorgeous while protecting your stairs and also weave a tale of sophistication and attention to detail.

Fronts of steps are an empty canvas — getting creative with them shares a story about artistry and vision.

Using that empty space underneath the stairs for something fantastic (like clever storage) tells a tale of efficiency and organization.

And you thought stairs were a just a means of access! Imagine all of the options before you as you re-think the space that connects one floor to the next, and be sure to see my Step Up Pinterest board for more clever ideas!



Fashion Report

If you know my work well, you know that I love to find inspiration in the fashion world. There is so much to pull from whether it’s color, texture, material, trend or motif. Today let’s look at a selection of gorgeous dresses, which will have you contemplating a fancy night out AND some gorgeous ways to class up your home. 

The colors I see coming online in a big way in 2017 are teals and purples — worn beautifully here in this Alberta Ferretti dress. Beauty for the body and the home!

Texture in fashion translates perfectly to the home. The 3D effect you see here will be seen in the home on pillows, lampshades, and upholstery. 

In 2017, I believe we’ll see more structure to fashion (perhaps even with a subtle harkening back to the ‘80s). We'll see this in shape and form for the home, too, with broader backs to sofas and chairs, for examples.

In the materials category, look for more faux fur to come home again. It’s about feeling and looking opulent without breaking the bank.

How about your own wardrobe? How might you find inspiration for the home in your own personal apparel style? You can also check out my Haute Couture board on Pinterest for more fashion-forward ideas!




4 Ways to Hit the Green Scene

It’s no surprise that Greenery was named Pantone’s Color of the Year for 2017. Green is America's second-favorite color, and the color of hope and nature, perfect for this time of year. We’ll take a look specifically at Greenery next month, but this month I want to look at that entire family of cool and calm colors.

Green can be the perfect color to inject into your interiors or exteriors. Here are some examples from my Instagram to give you a few inspiring design directions when incorporating green into your home.

1. Images of nature:

It’s hard to go wrong when you go green. For more fabulous ideas, see my Pinterest board Emerald City! And stay tuned for a blog post next month on Pantone’s Greenery!



Top 5 Front Door Colors

Your front door offers a great opportunity for eye-catching curb appeal — plus, it’s how you welcome guests into your home. The color you give your door says a lot about your home and its personality. By making a bold statement, your front door can completely transform your facade, simply and stunningly.

Today I want to share my top five door colors. Take a look and see if any of my top five are on your list as well.

1. Confident, ravishing red.  

Are you contemplating a new look for your home entrance? I hope these ideas fulfill your front door fancy! Find even more fabulous front doors on my Knock Knock Pinterest board here!



Winter Whites

January is the traditional month for "white sales" and for good reason. With winter all around us and images of pristine snow on our minds, this is a great time of year to embrace the clean beauty and easy workability of winter whites. 

One of the easiest places to work with white is in the bedroom. What says luxury and a great night’s sleep more than plush, winter-white bedding? I designed this bedroom to offer a great contrast between dark and light, curve and corner, and it creates a dreamy space for my clients.

Often, it’s tempting to bathe walls in deep, rich colors, but sometimes the perfect shade of white is all you need to let the features of a special space sing, like in this hallway in one of my projects. The white is bordered nicely with dark wood and stone.