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?



Porch Living

Did you catch my debut on Team Drew in last night’s Brother vs. Brother season opener on HGTV? I’m so excited to work on a gorgeous beach house in Galveston with Drew Scott – it showcases the very best in outdoor living for the summer!

In the South, porches and decks are so important for visiting with family and friends, and taking advantage of gorgeous weather. Let’s take a look at some of my favorites:

On another HGTV show, Joanna Gaines designed this porch to serve as an outdoor dining room. I love the mix of materials with wood and metal making a statement.

Designer Leah Bailey sets up this porch for serious snoozing, using a daybed as the porch swing.

Two traditions – wicker and rocking chairs – are combined in this gorgeous outdoor area from Better Homes & Gardens.

What are your favorite outdoor areas? Let me know – and enjoy the next episode of Brother vs. Brother on Wednesday at 9/8c on HGTV!



Passport to Inspiration

I’m continuing a theme I started earlier this week, of telling you where I get my design inspirations. Travel is always inspiring to me! Whether it’s new colors, scents, or sights, I always come home full of new ideas and techniques I want to try. Here are some of my favorite destinations for inspiration!

Paris is, of course, the ultimate destination for people who love design. And although I love the Louvre and the Eiffel Tower as much as anyone, I also find inspiration along the side streets of the city!

Greece inspires the trifecta of design: color, pattern, shape!

The beach is always a source of respite and inspiration for me, like this gorgeous Cinque Terre destination in Italy.

The Summer Palace in Beijing is a riot of color and fantastic patterns!

And a quintessential English garden, like this one in Norfolk, refreshes the spirit and offers a stunning display of color and form.

So where do you find inspiration? Let me know!



Reservation for Inspiration

I’m often asked where I get my inspiration for the interiors I design. Everything can inspire me, from art to fashion to fabrics. But I love getting inspiration from commercial design too, like restaurants and hotels. There are amazing designs that range from over-the-top to super-glam all around the world! Here are some of my favorites:

This scenic restaurant La Foret Noire was designed by Claude Cartier to remind the viewer of a dark forest. I love the wallpaper, the deep banquette, and the shape of the chair backs. Magnifique!

On the other end of the light spectrum is the light and bright Chez Gaston with stunning marbleized walls and pale wood.

Yellow and black are definitely trending as a color pair right now, so I love the Le Flandrin Restaurant redesigned by Joseph Dirand.

And another restaurant with an amazing floor is the Hispania Restaurant in London designed by Lorenzo Castillo. Love the pops of turquoise!

Speaking of floors, how could you not be inspired by the brass lines that start at the bar and continue across the marble floor? This stunning design is by Build for the Herzog bar in Munich.

Aren’t these spaces incredible? For more inspirational looks at commercial spaces, see my pinboard by clicking here.



Animal Attraction

I love a touch of leopard – whether it’s in a room, or an accessory for a fabulous outfit! It’s a perfect touch of the wild side that can amp up your personal style. Let’s take a look!

Kelly Wearstler brings the glam with a leopard carpet on the sweeping staircase, featured in Elle Decor.

A little leopard goes a long way, as in this street style scene from Vogue.

Side chairs are the perfect vehicle for leopard print, like this pair designed by From The Right Bank.

Love this little touch of leopard on a chest from Moissonnier Frères.

This tabletop design by Ralph Lauren Home really brings the “cattitude!”

So what do you think of leopard? See more of my favorite catty designs on the pinboard here.



Designing the Perfect Garden Party

It’s the perfect time of year for dining al fresco or hosting backyard BBQs. But there is a method to designing a great outdoor event, so here are my top tips for making the most of summer weather!

Ballard Design

Ballard Design

1. Be sure you have plenty of comfy seats. Guests want to mix and mingle, but they also will want to sit down and enjoy themselves, so be sure there are enough seats for all.

El Mueble

El Mueble

2. There should be enough tables for plates and drinks, too. Although most outdoor events are casual, you still want to entertain as you would indoors.

PK Colorado

PK Colorado

3. For an extra-special event, consider bringing the indoors out, with lamps, rugs, upholstery and more! It’s a bit more work, but creates an amazing venue.

Foo Dog

Foo Dog

4. Remember the color – you can go bright and bold outside! So be sure to add in a great hue that makes people feel festive!

Al Fresco

Al Fresco

5. Mix high and low! Use mismatched chairs and an old piece of wood for a table, but then bring out your china, crystal, and flatware. It’s a great celebratory look!

See how a little thought and some interior design ideas can give you an outdoor party to remember? Let me know what your favorite al fresco gatherings are!



Rooms Mom Will Love

This weekend we’re celebrating moms with flowers, dinners out, and candy. But do you know what moms really want? An oasis! A place that’s all her own where she can get away and unwind. I love peaceful rooms that allow you to recharge, so here are some rooms that I know mom will love!

1. A spa-like retreat. What mom wouldn’t love to soak away her cares in a deep and luxurious tub? Add a few spa details like warm towels and stress-free design, and you’ve got the perfect present, like this room from Sabon.

2. Inviting linens, a soothing palette, fresh flowers, and a scented candle – now that’s the recipe for the perfect mom-retreat, like this bedroom by Judy Elliott & Jess Bandiera

3. How about an outdoor getaway right in the backyard? There’s a new trend for “she sheds” to give mom a home away from home, and this one from Country Living is calling my name.

4. Or if a full shed is too much, maybe consider a place all her own on the porch. A daybed is would make the great outdoors even greater!

5. Finally, for the moms who are readers, what about a library all her own? All that’s required is a comfy seat, lots of books, and plenty of time alone.

To all the moms out there, I wish you a very happy Mother’s Day this weekend!



A Chair Affair

I have a not-so-slight obsession with chairs. It’s one piece that can perfectly capture form and function in one gorgeous design! So why chairs, you ask? Well since a picture tells a thousand words, let’s look at some of my faves:

These Horn chairs from Karpen of California may have been created in 1964, but they still look ultra-modern (and comfortable!).

he wing chair is a classic design, but it’s taken to another level with 3D cut-out leather work by Helen Amy Murray.

I love the gate motif on the metal back of this barrel chair called The Bee’s Knees, from Caracole.

Morelato takes utilitarian wood and elevates it to a work of art in the Genny chair.

And for all-out glam, you can’t beat the Masters chair by Philippe Stark, created in gold-coated plastic for Kartell.

So now you see why my chair obsession really is an affair of the heart! To see more gorgeous designs, check out my pinboard here!



Raising Your Curb Appeal

Warmer weather has us heading outdoors again to enjoy walks and drives in the sun. So what is your home saying to your neighbors as they pass by? Do they stop and sigh, or move along in a hurry? This isn’t just an aesthetics question – more homes are sold in May than in any other month of the year. So your home’s curb appeal could actually make or break that sale. Here are my 5 best tips for raising your curb appeal!

1. Color smart. Choose your exterior colors carefully – you want them to enhance and complement the architecture. But you can still have fun with unexpected color, like on your front door!

2. Make historical references. Play to history by adding in great details that will reference your home’s past. If you have a colonial home, add real working shutters. Or if you own a midcentury gem, give it a space-age door knob. Keep history in mind.

3. Lead the way. Lead the eye to your front door with plantings and flowers. I love big pots of blooms lining a sidewalk – they invite you right up onto the porch!

4. Yes, you can be quirky. Of course you can be whimsical with your home’s exterior – but always keep cost and resale in mind. You don’t want to have to repaint that purple exterior that you loved just so you can sell your house to people who don’t get it. So use your door’s hardware, your mailbox, or another less-expensive option to show your personality!

5. Light it up. Be sure there’s plenty of gorgeous lighting to showcase your home at night, too! Use pendants, sconces, and maybe even a spotlight to highlight your home’s style!

How is your home’s curb appeal? And what do you think about my tips? Let me know below!



Upon Reflection: Top 5 Mirrors

The days are longer and the sun is out for many more hours in the day. It’s the perfect time to take advantage of all that natural light in your home! One of my favorite ways to do that is to use mirrors. They bounce light through rooms and help light the darkest corners without any electricity required! And if you choose one of my favorite designs, you’ll also have a great piece of art on your wall, too!

The Classic Starburst

The starburst shape is a classic for a reason – it’s rays bring the sun indoors. But I like the offset shape on this one from Refinery 29.

The French Accent

A quatrefoil shape, like on this design from Z Gallerie, is super-traditional, but still has a modern flair, so it fits most décor.

The Natural Look

I love faux bois, which literally means fake wood. This design from Arteriors adds a new twist with blooming branches on top.

The Modern Touch

This will heat up any room with its fired-up red, but I also like the overlapping shapes on the design from Howard Elliott.

The Flight of Fancy

Jamie Young lets tiny gold butterflies flutter around the perimeter of this lovely mirror.

See how mirrors can be utilitarian and gorgeous? You can see more of my favorites my clicking through here to my Pinterest board!



House Tour: Outdoor Spaces

I’ve enjoyed taking you on a spring house tour of all my favorite rooms this month, and today we’re going to step outdoors to look at a few gorgeous al fresco spaces! It’s the perfect time to start planning outdoor parties and dinners, so it’s a great way to end our tour. Let’s go:

An outdoor living space should live by indoor rules, meaning you should provide plenty of seating, tables, and light. And the space above by Douglas Friedman even has an outdoor TV!

Warm spring nights are perfect for al fresco meals, and I love how Brian Patrick Flynn seamlessly blends indoor and outdoor spaces.

We take porch sitting very seriously in the South, and Amelia Handegan created the perfect spot above with classic white wicker.

Lounging by the pool never looked so cool! Cabana by Kelly Wearstler.

A classic afternoon in the garden with wine and friends – designed by Jacques Grange.

Don’t these rooms have you dreaming about your next outdoor event? You can see more stunning spaces on my pinboard here! Thanks for joining me for this home and garden tour this month!



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!