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Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Holiday Trees in November!

This year I have found myself in a state of holiday glee! It all started the first week in November when I participated in a holiday event and listened to holiday music to get in the mood. Well, that mood stuck so now it's not even December and my shopping is done, my gifts are wrapped, and my decorations are begging to be put up!

I was lucky enough to decorate a tree for Health East's Festival of Trees, last week at RiverCenter in Saint Paul, MN. Each year this event brings 750 people to the RiverCenter in support of the Health East Foundation which provides services to patients in need.

My tree was 7.5 feet tall and my theme was "Birds of a Feather". I used gold ball ornaments with traditional red accents. My favorite ornaments were the white owl (Target), birds nests (trade source), and cardinal globe (trade source). I was able to decorate this entire tree for $200 including the skirt!

Monday, November 15, 2010

5 Minute Holiday Craft!

This crafting process seriously only takes about 5 minutes. Believe me, you don't have to be Martha Stewart to get this one right
First, you'll need the following tools: holiday scrap booking paper (something sturdy), holiday stickers, ribbon, cutting tools, zots (adhesive glue dots - or just Elmer's glue is fine too!).

To make the process simple, I am using a circle cutting tool from Michael's. This tool is around $20.00 but wow is it worth the cost - you can cut circles anywhere from 4" to 12" in about two seconds! It is so easy to use.

The first step is to cut a circle out of your first paper - any size will do. For my larger size I used a 10" circle with a 5" circle in the center in a contrasting paper. Once you have your first circle cut then cut out your second circle and glue or "zot" your second circle onto the center of your first circle. Now punch a hole in the top of your big circle and run a ribbon through the hole to create a hanger. Now you can embellish the circle with holiday stickers or you can use glittery letters (from the craft store) to spell out holiday phrases.

Now...where do you use these? I plan to use some in the center of my wreaths - I simply hang the ornament from a nail or hook and then hang the wreath on that same hook. If you measure carefully the ornament will hang in the center of your wreath; this is a beautiful, easy decorating trick! You can also make banners as I have shown - connect your circles with ribbon. You can hang banners just about anywhere but they are very pretty by a fireplace mantel (just keep them as far as possible from flames!) or across a mirror.
This is incredibly inexpensive and you can recycle these ornaments when you are finished if you don't want to use them next year. Or, if you make smaller circles you can repurpose them as gift tags next holiday season.
So simple! So festive!

Chaos No Longer!

When it comes to the kitchen, my favorite accessory is just about anything you can put on the table: place mats, napkins, napkin rings, place card holders, runners, and table cloths! For me, these are to the kitchen what shoes are to a woman's wardrobe!
Even with the best of intentions, my linen cupboard was a disaster. Any time I needed a particular item the rest would tumble out of place and, in a rush, I would shove them back in the cupboard and shut the door. What a mess!
A few weeks ago I tackled the issue head on with a label maker and some organizational bins. My supplies were purchased at Target. I opted for Sterilite containers to hold my napkins, napkin rings, and and table runners. Each container is along labeled using my trusty label maker. For instance, one container is labeled "cloth napkins, sets of 6". I also have "sets of 4" and so on...
My napkin rings are divided depending on occasion: everyday or holiday.
If your kitchen is a mess, this is the time to tackle it! If you plan to do holiday entertaining or even holiday baking surely you will need to find things easily and quickly. No better way is this possible than through good organization!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Gift Wrap Center

One of my favorite holiday tasks is gift wrapping. Amongst family and friends I am known for my gift wrapping and usually people know who the gift is from long before they look at the tag. I don't mind being known for gorgeous gifts.
I do mind, however, when my gift wrapping supplies are in disarray. Due to lack of dedicated space I tried to contain all of my supplies in an under-the-bed storage container. The main issue was that this particular container did not contain a roll of wrap - the rolls were too long! So, I kept wrapping paper in the unfinished basement, other supplies under the guest room bed, and then the tape and scissors were in the den. What a mess! Every time I had to wrap a gift I would run to five different rooms to gather my supplies. This process sucked all the fun out of wrapping gifts!
I have been on the look-out for a smart gift wrap center but had been disappointed with what I saw. I could have easily spend $600 on a high-tech gift wrap center but I didn't want to do that for a temporarily solution. So, I put on my thinking cap, went to Home Depot and came up with a peg board system.
All of my accessories like ribbon, gift tags, tape, pens, tissue paper, and gift bags are organized on my peg boards. Under the peg boards I have a 4' by 2' table that I use my work surface. On that table I have a few small baskets that hold miscellaneous ribbons and small "do-dads" or embellishments. Then next to my table I have two trash tubs - one holds my everyday gift wrap and the other holds all of my holiday gift wraps.
This whole system cost me $95 - real steal in my mind! Now sanity has returned my gift wrapping process and I couldn't be happier with that.

Wonderful crafting tool!

I am obsessed with this new crafting tool that is available through Martha Stewart Crafts. The tool is called "Punch Around the Page" and you can purchase it at Michael's for $24.99. Look for coupons though - Michael's usually has a weekly 40% off coupon and you can use it on this particular item!
Versatility is the main reason that I love this tool. I have used mine on paper to make beautiful place mats, gift tags, mailing labels, card stock, stationary, and more. You can use this for just about anything.
If you are going invest in this tool I would highly recommend a classic pattern that you can use all year. There are some cute snowflake options but it would be ridiculous to use that during the summer months! I chose a classic loop pattern for my punch and I have very happy with it!
Using this tool is so straightforward and somewhat mindless. A note though, if you have arthritic hands get someone to help you or you hands will hurt for days!
Happy Crafting to all!

Fantastic Book!

One of my favorite past times is rummaging through design books at the library. I do buy a lot of design books as well but I like to preview books first and the library is perfect for that!

A few weeks ago I stumbled across a book called Creating a Sense Sational Home by Terry Willits. I love this book and cannot say enough positive things about it!

As a designer I always try to convey to clients just how important the concept of HOME is. How important it is to raise children in a comfortable home that reflects the family and sense of togetherness. This book puts it into easy to understand, yet eloquent terms.
Terry has a unique background as well, she is an interior designer but her husband is a pastor so she does discuss religion in the home as well which I found interesting too.

There are tips and tricks throughout the book - how to change a small thing here and there to make a big difference.

I would highly recommend this book!
P.S. - Sorry for the click caption on the photo. My lack of tech-savvy is showing through! =)

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Fashion and Home Design

Interior Design and Fashion Design are closely related. I've put this photo of an advertisement for Lee Jofa's newest line from Oscar de la Renta (a fashion designer) to show how fabric houses are trying to get consumers to relate fashion to home design.

At the beginning of a new season do you take stock of your wardrobe and see what pieces no longer work and what needs to be replaced? I do. But rarely do people do this same seasonal editing with their homes.

I am certainly not advocating that you completely redecorate every single season, I am only suggesting that you take inventory each season and rotate things in and out of your home to keep your home looking fresh, new, and inventive each season of the year.

Accessories are the easiest to rotate in and out followed by soft goods like pillows and throws. If you have some smaller furnishings (occasional tables or chairs) you can always swap those out once a year to give some fresh perspective.

Your home is a reflection of you and your personality and it should always be changing just as you are!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Protecting your Investment

The design and purchasing processes are the first steps in any room or home improvement. One step that many consumers neglect is the protection step. I know, it is another expense after you've just spent a hefty amount on a room full or new furniture but imagine how distraught you'll be when a dinner guest dumps a glass of red wine on that new sofa and the stain doesn't come out! There are a few different ways to protect your investments. Usually just doing one or two things will enhance protection but if you want to dot your i's and cross your t's then take care of all of the following items and your furniture will stay in like-new shape for years to come!

1) Fabric protection: You don't have to use Scotch Guard anymore, there are other options as well but be sure that your fabric has been protected from stains in some way. Also be sure you know the limitations of that product. If it needs to be reapplied every 2 years then be sure to do that or you will no longer have the same level of protection!

2) Anti-Fading: The only way to protect your fabric from the sun is to have your windows covered with a special film OR to keep your window treatments drawn during the day when the sun is strong. Window films have come a long way; they no longer appear dark or "black" on windows the way they used to. With professional installation you won't even notice a change with your windows but your fabrics, floors, and art will be safe from the sun.

3) Disaster Ready: Before your new furniture is delivered ensure that you have a proper cleaning kit for emergencies and that it is stocked well. For a well-rounded cleaning kit have these products on hand in an organized container: baking soda, clear all-purpose cleaner, clear dish soap, ammonia, guardsman (dry cleaning solvent), table salt, and soft white cloths.

About your kit:
For tricky stains seek out a professional to help you before you attempt to clean it and then possibly make the problem worse. For red wine stains on fabric dump table salt on the spill and let is sit until the salt wicks up the wine. Clean any remaining spot with mild dish soap and a soft cloth. This technique works on carpet and rugs as well.
Always be sure to spot check a fabric if you're trying to clean it! I have learned my lesson after a rug in our house became discolored after I cleaned a small spot with a strong cleaner. Always test in an inconspicuous spot!

Monday, September 20, 2010

Service for the Holidays

As you make your holiday preparations for entertaining be sure to give proper attention to serving ware. You'll most likely dedicate a lot of time to the construction of the perfect menu so ensuring you have the proper way to serve your foods will make for a flawless dining experience for your guests.
If you're having a buffet of sorts, be sure to place items at different heights - this adds dimension and interest but it always helps people see dishes individually versus one massive plane of food. To create height you can stack books under your table cloth to create ledges or buy dishes with height to display fruits, desserts, or crackers with various cheeses. The display I have pictured above is from Jayson Home & Garden and retails for $150. If you're looking for a budget piece with height check out Pier One as they carry versatile, budget-friendly pieces.
Utensils should not be overlooked either. Instead of buying a serving set I try to find vintage pieces at antique shops, thrift stores, and even rummage sales. Older serving pieces tend to be more ornate which feels special and dressy. Also try mixing intricate pieces with modern, classic pieces to create interest and tell a story of your interests.
Keep your displays personal. Try to use your Grandmother's china or Aunt Susie's crystal vase. When people comment on a given piece you'll be able to tell them a family story of who it came from and why you love it. If you're dining with family they will appreciate the history present at the table.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Fantastic Party Decor

This weekend I attended an event for the Courage Center, right here in Golden Valley, MN. Courage Center is an amazing institution that provides physical therapy, rehabilitation services, and outreach to persons with physical challenges. The even this weekend, Celebration of Courage, is their signature annual event and is the major fundraiser for their much needed equipment to aid their clients with rehabilitation services.

The event was at the Earle Brown Heritage Center and I can say I've never seen the inside of that event center looking so wonderful! The event designer did a fantastic job on the decor. I especially loved the light fixtures which I captured on my IPhone to share with my readers! So creative, so cool! It's hard to tell from my primitive photo but there were fans of real tree branches mounted to a circular board. Strung in those branches were small white lights. Hanging from the center were elaborate glass chandeliers. So gorgeous!

Commited for the Long Haul

As I edge up on my own wedding anniversary I find myself reflecting on commitment of the long-term type. Two weeks ago I found myself in New York City at The Metropolitan Museum of Art. I was astounded as I looked upon fine furniture from 1600 or sooner and I couldn't help but think: what are we making today that will last for thousands of years? Not much. I can assure you that the department store sofa with a cardboard core structure will barely last you three years and certainly not 3,000. As a culture our attitudes on furniture has shifted drastically in the past 40 years. We don't buy "heirloom" furniture, we buy IKEA furniture that lasts a few years. Why?

As we move toward a more green earth and make eco-friendly choices I urge you to consider eco-friendly choices when you purchase furniture. Think about that cheap sofa you bought; in 5 years you're going to need a new sofa because the one you have will be worn out completely. You won't be able to reupholster because the frame itself will be shot. So, where do you think that sofa is going to go after your living room? A landfill and there it will sit..for a long, long time. Consider instead a timeless frame with classic lines that is well-built and will last (without frame repair) for 40+ years. You will be able to upholster that piece several times and save our landfills from those 8 cheap sofas you would have purchased in the same 40 years time.

One of my favorite artisan furniture makers right her in America is Thos Moser. Located on the East Coast their work studio is full of artisans who hand craft each piece of furniture. Each piece of furniture is unique and built to last a lifetime. This is certainly worthy of heirloom status.

I've included a photo of one of my favorite tables by Thos. Moser: Pasadena. Prices start at $5,900 for the dining table in the 74" length.

For more information check out their website:

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Fabric Obsession!

My favorite part of my job as an interior designer to to hunt out great, unexpected fabrics. I love fabric -- the feel, the texture, the color, the design -- LOVE IT! A few days ago I was rummaging the showrooms at International Market Square in Minneapolis and found this fantastic Vervain fabric at the Ambiante Showroom. This fabric is a silk tafetta and it has a printed, colorful design. The fabric does have a lot of slubbing which is completely natural to silk but anyone purchasing the fabric should be aware and expect the slubbing.
The most impactful part of this fabric is the beautiful array of colors used in the large-scale, printed design. The design is youthful, playful, yet feminine. The drape of this fabric is gorgeous and it would be the perfect drapery fabric. It could also be used on an occasional chair but a backing would be very necessary.
I have included a scan of the fabric. It doesn't quite do it justice but you get the point of what this fabric looks like!

Old School Shabby Chic

During my first year of college I was lucky and cursed to have the one single dorm room in the entire dorm building. I loved that I had my OWN space. Growing up with my own bedroom I was certainly accustomed to the privacy and freedom of having one's own space.

This first year of undergrad schooling I was obsessed with Rachel Ashwell's Shabby Chic books. I loved anything vintage, French, or even remotely antiqued. I couldn't get enough of the bold floral chintz fabrics I would find at thrift stores or flea markets.

One of my most memorable moments was while I was sitting in an interview with admission's counselors in the hopes of becoming an Admission's Ambassador. One of my duties, if hired, would be to host prospective students for over night visits in my dorm room. One of the counselors said "describe your dorm room for us" and my response was "it's very Shabby Chic". I got the job!

I love to look back at old photos of my past bedrooms, apartments, and really early projects. It's amazing to see how my style has changed as I've experienced new things, learned lessons, and grew as a designer. Some things, like this shabby chic dorm room, are better left in the past!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Recycled Walls

This morning during a new product showing I spotted a great new wall covering that I wanted to share with my readers! This innovative product is from Weitzner Limited and is made from recycled newsprint. It has a nylon webbing on the front to protect the newsprint and it is paper backed for installation. This is a handmade product and therefore is incredibly unique. The graphics and colors will vary throughout the roll and from roll to roll. The product is 47" wide and is sold in 5 yard increments. The retail price is $250.00/yard.

This wall covering would be a great accent wall in an office, den, or youth bedroom. Imagine the thrill of being surrounded by words and stories of the past! Something so unique is sure to spark conversations and strong reactions.
If you have specific questions on this product please call our studio: 612-746-5519.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Look for Us on House of Turquoise!

Our completed den project will be featured on the blog House of Turquoise; a very well-known interior design blog. Check it out for the story!
The turquoise that we used was Benjamin Moore's Affinity Azores AF-495.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

The Den: Before & After Window Wall

This "before" and "after" set is the North facing wall in the den, otherwise known as the Window Wall. If you have gorgeous mill work that is beautifully stained and of high quality then I wouldn't recommend painting it. We did not have this. Some people would cringe over the fact that we had the mill work enameled but truth be told it was not high quality product and it had a lot of surface blemishes. Enameling the mill work was a means for brightening an otherwise dark space and creating a fresh look in the space.
What makes this wall so impactful in the "after" photo is the addition of window treatments. I designed these Roman shades with a soft curved detail at the bottom. The shades were made by The Enchanted Room from Cowtan and Tout fabric with Schumacher silk trim at the base. The addition of the window treatments softens the space and makes it feel extremely inviting.
Never underestimate the power of drapery!

The Den: Fireplace Before & After

This "before" and "after" set shows you the West wall of our den. Before we installed the fireplace on the wall there was nothing there so it was quite boring. I came up with the design for a built-in space that would house not only bookshelves and cubbies for accessories but practical things like lateral files and storage for television components. We now have ample space for all of our files but we don't have to have a dedicated office in our home.
The fireplace is framed out with top and bottom panels that have applied mill work to give a library ambiance to the space.

The Den: Workspace Before & After

This first image shows the old "panic room". This was one of the quirkiest parts of our house. There was a wall-mounted bookcase that opened off of the wall to reveal a secret hidden space. I can see how this hidden space would be useful if it were somewhere else in the house but being that it is in the front of the house, all of the neighbors could see us opening it and knew about our "secret hidden space". Not so secret!
We decided to turn that space into a work center. The center had to accommodate a lap top computer, a digital camera, a wireless router, and cable modem, a wireless printer, and our everyday office supplies. I also wanted to be able to shut the space off from the rest of the room. The result was a customized work desk with Cambria quartz work top, custom drawers and cubbies for our office supplies and two recessed armoire doors that also lock for security.
The finished result is a great use of the awkward space and now we don't have to keep all of our office equipment out and visible; we can simply shut the doors and it disappears! Love it!

Monday, July 12, 2010

I've fallen off, again!

I was so proud of myself in May; blogging became a part of my weekly routine and it seemed effortless to churn out at least one post a week. Then June happened...and now it's July and I've become a real delinquent blogger. Forgive me, my faithful readers!
Since the last post the work on my personal den has been progressing; very slowly! Finally, at the end of June the cabinetry was installed and now I am waiting on just the carpet and window treatments. Then the real fun begins with accessorizing and personalizing the space. Check back for photos very soon!

This summer I've been working on expanding our resource library in the design studio. Whenever I can find unique products it is very beneficial to my clients for very obvious reasons. I came across a new product that I've heard very little about but am very intrigued by: Bio Fireplaces. A bio fireplace produces NO smoke, ash, or soot and in many cases there is absolutely no venting required. A bio fireplace is the perfect solution for a space in need of ambiance with little of no room for a traditional firebox or gas insert. The units aren't cheap: they start around $500 for a basic unit and go up from there. However, there are tax incentives that help reduce the overall cost. You can check out bio fireplace units at:
Above I've inserted a photo of the "Transparent" model which retails for $1500.00.

Friday, May 21, 2010

It's getting personal

There seems to be a big misconception out there. People actually believe that because I am an interior designer my house must be completely decked out and "finished". Well, I'm here to tell you that it's certainly not.
First, I don't believe that any home is truly ever finished. A home constantly evolves and changes just as the people who live in that house will change over time. Second, I design Monday through Friday and often times when I go home at night I just want to unplug and relax; I certainly don't want to do more design problem solving.
This is why my house will never quite be "finished" which is fine with me. At this point I would say that the room that is closest to being complete is our kitchen but I still want to work on the lighting and installing a back splash. Eventually I'd love to gut the whole thing but that's another story...
In February I decided to embark on a fairly significant project involving my house. There is a front room on the house that has never been used because it doesn't seem to serve any sort of purpose very well. There was no overhead lighting, no outlets for a cable or phone so using this space as a relaxing room or office was out of the question; at that point.
Soon this front room will complete its transition into Annie's Reading Room or The Den. Mainly, this is the room you will find me in at the end of a long day when I just want to listen to music or read.
Here we are four months down the road from the initial planning and it truly doesn't look like much has been done inside the space. Soon though, it will all come together and be pretty close to being "finished" although I'll be editing the built-in bookcases every few weeks, I'm sure.
This project started with my preliminary sketches of what I wanted in terms of furniture layout and built-ins. From there I started to pull favorite fabrics and materials that I wanted to be sure and incorporate into the space. Once everything is installed I am very confident that this will be my most favorite room that I have ever done (so far) because it suits me perfectly; just the way a home should!
I've attached the color scheme and some "before" photos...
The hope is for an end of June completion (crossing my fingers!).

Friday, May 14, 2010

Working in the Studio

Today is a design day in the studio at International Market Square. This is a peek of what I'm working on...
Fabrics include a Lee Jofa flamestitch and a classic Calvin texture with color variation.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Going Home

There is a beautiful song by Miranda Lambert called "The House that Built Me" that has been playing on the local country station. I can't get enough of this song. Every time I hear it I want to drive up to Duluth, where I grew up, and sit on the front porch of my childhood home and watch the world fly by.

I know they say you can't go home again
I just had to come back one last time
Ma'am I know you don't know me from Adam
But these hand prints on the front steps are mine
Up those stairs, in that little back bedroom
Is where I did my homework and I learned to play guitar
And I bet you didn't know, under that live oak
My favorite dog is buried in the yard
I thought if I could touch this place or feel it
This brokenness inside me might start healing
Out here it's like I'm someone else
I thought that maybe I could find myself
If I could walk around, I swear I'll leave
Won't take nothing but a memory
From the house that built me

After hearing the opening lyrics, I'm hooked and now I've downloaded the song from iTunes so that I can listen to it, on demand. You see, I miss "home" sometimes. I think we all do at some point. Life was so simple back then. I had a little bedroom that I loved with no TV, just a radio that was always tuned to 101.7, the oldies station. You might be surprised but I know most of the lyrics to the major hits anywhere between the 1940's through the 1960's. I used to shut myself in my room for the whole day, designing elaborate Barbie doll houses made from paper butter cartons and scrap cardboard I rescued from the trash. This was the beginning of my love for design and the building process.

I was lucky to have relaxed parents who did not have an interior designer (if they had a designer she surely would have hated dealing with me!). My parents let me redecorate my room whenever I wanted and I usually did this every six months. I had many little businesses to raise money for the redesigns. It was such fun, to experiment with abandon. My favorite scheme involved pepto-pink millwork, key lime green walls, and a blue "sky" complete with white clouds on the ceiling. My bedding was a bright melon-inspired plaid with a floral compliment. I loved everything about that room.

So, thank you, to my mom and dad, for always letting me experiment on your walls. Thanks for raising me in a great house that was always under construction; it made me who I am today and I love that. Thank you for encouraging me to follow my dream of making rooms pretty.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Creativity in Upholstery

I want to share this really fun chair that was upholstered for a client. Prior to it's transformation into an absolutely adorable statement this was a rusty gold, crushed velvet slipper chair from the 1970's; certainly it was in need of some TLC. I used a striped cotton on the back and seat cushions. The barrel back of the chair is covered in a bright Schumacher floral linen print. The buttons are encased in raspberry velvet and to top it all off, a multi-colored cord trim was used in place of welt to tie everything together just perfectly! So cute!
A great example of creating something new out of what you may already have at home.

Monday, May 10, 2010

ABD Spring Flea Market

A very sincere "thank you" is due to the many people who attended the ABD Spring Flea Market on April 9th and 10th. The event was a success and also a lot of fun! Thank you for your support! To our vendors who helped out; we truly couldn't have done it without you! THANK YOU!

Latest Installation...

My true love, and sometimes obsession, for design lies mostly with residential design. That's not to say I don't enjoy taking on an occasional commercial project but it must be something on a smaller scale that has a home-like mood or aura. At the beginning of 2010 a strange thing happened and I started working on three different commercial projects at once; a very rare occurrence for me.

Although both commercial and residential design hold their own challenges, commercial is often less personable and more about the bottom line. One of my favorite aspects of the design process is building a relationship with my client; this is often lacking in the commercial realm as designers tend to deal with committees or groups of people versus one single client.

I just recently finished a small commercial project that consisted of a reception space and two small scale conference rooms. We used beautiful furnishings from Italy that are light in proportion and scale to compliment the small space. Most of the art work is by local artist, Kate Pearce. The fabrics we used are from Pollack and are commercial grade for extreme durability. The final result was simple yet stylish and refined.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Change Your Look

I have a magazine habit that drives my husband crazy. My shelter magazine subscriptions, admittedly, are out of control as I get 5 per month along with my lady magazines. Quite frequently I can be found sitting down with a stack of magazines and a few minutes will pass between a symphony of tearing paper. I tend to collect a big pile of "tear outs" that I save for later inspiration. Sadly, there is rarely any rhyme or reason to the things that I collect in my stack of torn paper but last month I found something extremely noteworthy.

I've attached the page for you to see but it was a fantastic advertisment for a department store. It shows how easy it is to refresh the look of a neutral space through accessory placement and bright colors in small doses. As you attempt another year of Spring Cleaning change out your accessories just for the season. I promise you that the change of scenery will make you appreciate what you have even more and it will hopefully create an excitement for change in your home!

Happy Spring & Happy Changes,


Thursday, March 11, 2010

Jewlery for the Home

Admittedly, I have a problem. A shoe problem to be specific. I have over 50 pairs of different shoes; heels, flats, sneakers, sandals, etc... Luckily, when it comes to fashion, this is the only accessory that I tend to indulge (or overindulge) in. Handbags, jewelry, hats; I can live without a single one but my shoes are the love of my wardrobe.

When it comes to home fashion the trends and styles are typically a derivation of something we've seen in clothing design but it does take a few years to trickle to housing. Accessorizing a home is one of the greatest joys in my day-to-day work life. Within the minuscule details (trims, lamps and shades, art, sculpture, and accessories) of design is where my passion lies and this is precisely why I have opted to work within mostly residential design.

My favorite accessory for the home is what I refer to as the jewelry of any scheme; TRIMMINGS! A pillow or skirted chair can be downright boring without a little touch of unexpected color or pattern brought in with the perfect trim! I love trim MORE than I love shoes and that is why, at any point, you can walk into my resource library and find a bin overflowing with trim samples.

One trim that I particularly love but have not yet used is Samuel & Sons "Espadrille Woven Border". This is a chunky, 3" wide band trim that is perfect for draperies, skirting, pillows, or bedding. The size is fantastic and it makes such a strong statement. I'm showing the trim in the grey/blue color but it is available in several other colors.

The price point is sizable at $65.00 per yard but the effect is wonderful and you don't need to use a lot of this trim to make a big statement.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Oh Baby!

There is something magical and promising about a baby shower. Good friends gather to celebrate a new life that has recently arrived or will debut in the coming months. Such an event took place at my home last weekend.

I'll admit that I tend to "oooh" and "aaah" when I pass the baby section and see a tiny, sweet outfit. For this event I was able to marry my passion of decorating with the sweet expectation of the arrival of two new babies: one boy and one girl.

Although blue and pink is, well, typical, for a baby shower, I decided to branch out and use chocolate brown, bright olive green, and raspberry. Everything from the invitations to the cake was in this color palette.

With simple supplies like ribbon, key limes, pink tulips, votive candles, and onsies, our home was transformed into baby central which was met with plenty of "oohs" and "aaahs" from the guests (well, at least from the women).

If you have questions about the vendors I used or where I found certain items seen in the decor, send me an e-mail at

Thanks for reading! Here's to happy celebrations in 2010.