House Tour: Chic Kids Spaces

Kids rooms used to be the last space that had a design – unless it was a Disney theme. But today’s rooms for children and teens are just as chic and enticing as the rest of a well-designed home! For my month-long tour of fabulous homes, I wanted to include some kids’ spaces that are fun and fabulous – let’s take a look:

What kid wouldn’t love a built-in slide next to the bed? Andrew Howard designed this gorgeous room – but will the kids ever go to sleep?!

Megan Winters went big and bold in this colorful room for a young girl, showcased in Elle Decor.

Butterflies and zebra prints are expertly mixed in the sophisticated kids room from Delphine Krakoff.

Nick Olson opens the lines of communication in this striped room full of personality!

This boys’ room designed by Traci Zeller is chic and playful!

I love design that’s gorgeous and functional, and these kids rooms are the best of both worlds! What do you think? I hope you’ll join me for the last stop on my spring home tour as we take a look at fabulous outdoor spaces on Thursday!



House Tour: Working from Home

It’s amazing how many people work from home now! In fact, new studies of homes today show that over 60% of people work in their homes for at least part of the week. So home offices have gone from being a secondary thought, to gorgeously designed spaces that function perfectly for home work.

So for the next stop on my month-long spring home tour, I want to take a look at some of the most stunning – and functional – home offices. Let’s start the tour!

Betsy Burnham adds color and pattern to the home office above, perfect for sparking creative thoughts!

Who says you have to use a boring office chair? I love the bergere in this office by Garrow Kedigian – and check out that blue lacquer!

Want to make a big impact in a small space? Built-ins are perfect for that, like the one here from Jenny Tamplin.

Brian Watford goes to neutral territory with his luxe organic home office with just a hint of teal blue.

Amie Korley makes it a duo in a home office built for two – and with plenty of fabulous storage to boot!

So what do you think of these hardworking home offices? I have even more to show you on my pinboard here! And next week we’ll take a spin through some chic kids spaces!



House Tour: Bathing Beauties

Did you know that studies show that the #1 room in the house that people love to snoop in is the bathroom? We just want to know what’s in all those cabinets! But I love to see other people’s homes because of the gorgeous designs!

We’re continuing on our spring home tour with a look at some of my top picks for beautiful bathrooms. You won’t be able to see in the cabinets, but I bet you’ll love them all the same!

There’s nothing more luxurious than a freestanding tub, and Jeff Trotter makes it the star of the show in stunning master bath above.

If you follow me on Facebook, you know that every Tuesday is Tile Day for me. This is one of my favorite tiled bathrooms, from the marble tiles on the wall to the cheeky faux-rug designs on the floor – an amazing room by Betty Lou Phillips.

Dual sinks are a must in a master bathroom and I love these separate stations by Mark Henry.

Speaking of sinks, this sophisticated design from Altamarea seamlessly combines the sink with the counter.

And this glam design from Tiffany Leigh makes the most of a gold and lavender color palette.

I’m ready to soak away my stress in this bathing beauties – how about you? You can see more of my favorite bathrooms on my pinboard here. Let me know what you think about my spring house tour so far, and next week we’ll head to the home office!



House Tour: Divine Dining Rooms

I’m having a blast taking you on a spring home tour of my favorite homes and spaces! Today we’re going to take a peek at some of my favorite dining rooms. They’ll really whet your appetite for gorgeous design! Ready? Let’s go:

The sculptural furniture and the gorgeous modern painting make this an artistic space for a fabulous dining experience. Design by Damien Langlois-Meurinne.

Michael Schaible’s dramatic dining room above reflects his travels around the world, and makes an exotic statement, too.

On the other end of the style spectrum is a more traditional, and lovely, take from Joy Tribout Interiors.

The color combination of French blue and deep plum is the perfect recipe for a gorgeous room, by Eric Piasecki.

Stephen Sills expertly mixes modern and traditional in this Manhattan townhouse’s dining space from AD.

Don’t you just love these delectable dining rooms? I have even more favorite spaces on my pinboard here, so go check them out!



House Tour: Magical Master Bedrooms

We’re continuing my April virtual home tour of favorite spaces and designs! We’ve seen the kitchen and living room so far, and now we’re moving on to master bedrooms so magical that they’ll send you into a dream state! Let’s go!

The room above by Jan Showers was made for sweet dreams, with a luxe canopy, deep upholstered bed, and sumptuous linens!

Mario Buatta creates a dreamy escape with fabulous wallpaper, a black-and-white four-poster, and gorgeous seating.

A smaller space can still pack a style punch, like this blooming bedroom from Suellen Gregory and House Beautiful.

Texture and toile tell a luxurious tale in this jewel-toned master bedroom by Melanie Turner.

And Kate Marker creates an oasis in her quietly neutral bedroom.

Aren’t these gorgeous master bedrooms? You can see more of the dreamy bedrooms I love on my pinboard here! And join me later this week as we continue the spring house tour with a stop in the dining room.



House Tour: Living Spaces

This month I’m taking you on a virtual home tour of my favorite spaces and designs! Today we’re going to look at living spaces that are not only stunning, but are perfectly designed for gathering and entertaining! Let’s start the tour:

Seating is the key to any good gathering space, like the gorgeous sofas and chairs in Kathy Kuo’s design above. I love the shapes and the beautiful blue.

Visual interest makes a big impact in living space, like the art, gorgeous light fixture, and patterned rugs in this room by Louisa Roeder.

Color and pattern create a cozy spot for reading or music in this home by Tom Scherer.

I added plenty of tables for drinks or books in this living room I designed, above.

Suysel dePedro Cunningham of Tilton Fenwick creates an inviting library in varying shades of green, perfect for welcoming guests, or settling in for some alone time with a book.

What do you think of these amazing living spaces? For more great living spaces, see my pinboard here. And be sure to join me next week for another stop on our spring home tour!



House Tour: Kitchens that Cook

One thing I love about spring is all the amazing home and garden tours that spring up in the South. It’s so inspiring to see gorgeous design as I tour homes in my area! So I thought for April I would take you on a little house tour of my own. Each Monday and Thursday this month, we’ll virtually tour some of my favorite rooms.

Today we’re focusing on kitchens are so gorgeous that you can’t wait to dive in and get cooking! And we’ll talk about why each one is so special. Ready to be inspired? Let’s go!

Let there be light! This Christopher Peacock design for a Traditional Home showhouse takes advantage of the gorgeous tall windows in the room. I love the color of the cabinetry and all of the custom storage. This kitchen wins for fashion and function!

Who says you can’t have color in a kitchen? I love the moody blue in this room by Tammy Connor, featured in Luxe. It perfectly complements the marble backsplash and sets the tone for the original art.

This is the most glamorous kitchen I’ve ever seen! Would any of my clients be daring enough to try it? I’m not sure, but I would still include this on any kitchen tour just for its WOW factor! This swoon-worthy gold-leafed kitchen is by Jean Louis Deniot.

There’s nothing more classic than a white kitchen and this is white done right! Designed by Elizabeth Bauer, the kitchen keeps its clean theme with just a pop of green in the gorgeous bar stools.

And then for architecture that is truly inspiring comes this kitchen by Rufty Custom Homes. It has all the space you could possibly want for whipping up culinary creations!

So what do you think of my kitchen tours for spring? Are there kitchens that inspire you? Let me know! And for more kitchens that I love, see my Yes Chef! pinboard here.



Cool Coastal Looks

Is it too early to start thinking of beach trips? Not if you live in my neck of the woods! And a girl can dream any time of the year, right?

Any mix of navy and white stripes always makes me reach for the sunscreen, ready to hit the surf and sand.

Ralph Lauren Home

Ralph Lauren Home

I also love nautical touches that can be used in a home anywhere, not just in a beach house, like this fun porthole window.

Brittney Nielsen

Brittney Nielsen

Sheer white flowing draperies make me dream of warm summer days and ocean breezes.

Kate Jackson

Kate Jackson

Shiplap really sends me – evoking images of sailboats, sun, and waves!

Sophie Metz

Sophie Metz

What are you favorite coastal looks? And are you as ready for summer as I am?!



5 New Design Books to Buy

You know how much I love to curl up with a design book and take note of new ideas and inspiration. I love to pass that inspiration on to you as well. Today I want to share my must-have design books for spring and summer. These titles are full of gorgeous takes on all kinds of spaces so get your hands on them as soon as you can.

1. The Decorated Home by Meg Braff. Meg is a talented friend of mine, and in this book she gives her formula for creating rooms that are livable and gorgeous!

2. How They Decorated: Inspiration from the Great Women of the Twentieth Century offers a beautiful collection of rooms and homes that belonged to iconic women of the last 100 years, including Pauline Trigère, Sybil Connolly, Vita Sackville-West, Gloria Vanderbilt, and Georgia O’Keeffe.

3. The New Chic: French Style from Today’s Leading Interior Designers is a fascinating look at a style that continues to be a favorite for designers and homeowners alike.

4. Don’t miss Modernique, an amazing book by my friend Julia Buckingham. If you love the vintage look, but you want to keep it fresh and modern, this title is an absolute must-have.

5. I have a soft spot for Heart and Home: Rooms that Tell Stories. The most remarkable design is the kind that has a greater depth of meaning behind it. This books pays homage to that philosophy and underscores the idea that rooms have a narrative — a wonderful read! And if you remember the original Metropolitan Home magazine, the author was one of its iconic style setters!

Put these on your reading list for the spring – you won’t be sorry!



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.