Sketch | Teal and Red Bedroom

teal and red bedroom

Sketch: Red and Teal Bedroom

Maybe this post should be called ramblings while overwhelmed. Well folks, it’s official. I am finally admitting that I’m overwhelmed. My baby is 5 weeks old and with me and my husband living away from family; there’s no rest for the weary.

I thought I was doing well; didn’t mind waking up several times during the night for feed time, learning beyond what I want to learn on how to do things with one hand {well, I have to use my teeth at times too} or the isolation of being at home all the time {I did start going out}. But the latest situation is kicking my butt. I developed mastitis a couple of days ago which I was dreading and sure enough, it’s dreadful. It’s a mild case but still bad enough to make me cry, become so irritable and yes, even hostile. It’s on the mend and I feel better but during my periods of irritability & hostility, I started nitpicking some relationships in my life. Like how some friends who I thought cared hasn’t visited or called since the baby arrived {I do think that it’s childish for me to think this way}. Then giving them the benefit of the doubt … “maybe they wanted to give me space & thought they’ll be a nuisance.” The resentments I’m thinking and feeling and the pressure I give my husband for the things I want and the things I need …which again, was not a good thought at all. Today, I don’t want to think bad thoughts and taking strides to replace them with positive ones. Stress and pain can be so powerful and take over your life. One negative feeling if left unchecked can heighten to something insurmountable. I’m committed to not doing that.

I started to sketch today {Sunday} and just focusing on something entirely different and creative feels good. I have these watercolor pencils I haven’t used … can u tell as I used it over black ink, hence all the blurriness. Well, I know I should know better but seriously, my brain is not working it’s usual 100% yet … ha! Anyway, have a great week everyone!

Do you have a Design question or dilemma? Drop me a line and I’ll answer them for free {and absolutely no strings attached!}. Click here >>>


The Nursery … Coming along Slowly

The nursery is coming along slowly but surely. As a designer/decorator, I probably should have had the space done, oh 2 months before the baby came? But alas, life caught up with me … work, travel. Excuses…excuses. Or I’d like to think, I am so selfless, I complete other people’s projects first before mine …. ha!

Well, I started getting it together mid-August. My first buy for the space is this lovely dresser from the fine gals at Nod to the Past when I found them on Craiglist. Circa 1940’s, I adore the undulating cabinetry & they repainted it with Annie Sloan’s paint in Mushroom & French Gray.

nursery dresser

The space is a guest bedroom and it still is! With a plus, it’s a nursery too so whoever comes to visit instantly becomes the sitter 🙂 Gotta have star string lights  {it’s from Amazon}.

star lights nursery


white leather rocking chair

The white tufted chair is a gift from the lovely people at Wayfair & the Zebra pillows {I have a pair} is from Dwell Studio.
nursery wallpaper and decor

The plan for the white headboard is to wallpaper it but my selection is $250 a roll …yikes. I stumbled upon this Otomi wallpaper but alas, found a more affordable alternative with stencils {will work on this soon, promise!}. And I couldn’t help it but I just have to get a few of these papier-mache animal heads.

crib and artwork

The crib is a gift from my mother-in-law from Million Dollar Baby & she will also make the canopy {inspired by Emily Henderson‘s nursery; the fabric is coming from Bolt & it is adorable! } — because she is awesome & I’m shameless. Picking artwork will take time but I have a few — a print from the Georgia O’Keefe museum when me & my daughter visited Santa Fe this Summer, hot air balloon invite from my baby shower thrown by my lovely sister-in-law {because like her Mom, she is awesome} & a personalized alphabet from Minted.

I kept everything pretty neutral as we decided not to know the sex of the baby. I also tried to keep costs down and so far, I’m achieving that. Any one-room projects anyone?

Do you have a Design question or dilemma? Drop me a line and I’ll answer them for free {and absolutely no strings attached!}. Click here >>>

Ellen Pompeo’s Home : Before and After

So how was your weekend everyone? My weekdays & weekends are all the same to me since the little one came. Anyway, Sundays are usually “magazine reading days” for me. I have my favorite home mags by the couch … Elle Decor, House Beautiful & I must admit, I have a newfound love for Architectural Digest. Even their new website is amazing! {I thought it was really sterile before}. I think since Margaret Russel took over the mag, it found a new lease on life. A much younger voice but still full of class and sophistication. Well, their November issue is all about before & afters and it’s a must read.

I was especially mesmerized by the work of Martyn Lawrence Bullard at the enchanting home of gorgeous actress, Ellen Pompeo. I dissected the transformation & learned/affirmed a few things about design and decorating from the creative genius that is MLB. Oh, Million Dollar Decorators, how I miss you! Here’s a few things I wanna share. Please pardon the drawing & scan copy. I was drawing/scanning with one hand {holding the baby} & why oh why do scan copies have that blue smudge sometimes?

ellen pompeo living room before

In the living room, a cohesive palette and clever furniture/space planning transformed the space into an amazingly inviting space.

ellen pompeo dining room before

ellen pompeo dining room

The dining room transformation is swoon-worthy! Wood on wood treatments {floors & walls}, who would’ve thought this would work seamlessly without looking like a rustic lodge? That chandelier is to die for.

! ellen pompeo bedroom before

Hmmm, so wall paneling is alive & well. And yes, in this room, it works so well and makes for a cozy & warm retreat.

ellen pompeo bedroom

It really just goes to show you how many elements, layers and textures it takes to make a space well done.

Have an amazing week everyone!

Do you have a Design question or dilemma? Drop me a line and I’ll answer them for free {and absolutely no strings attached!}. Click here >>>

Provence Dreaming

Hola & happy Friday everyone! Tomorrow marks the one month birthday of my new little bundle, Simon Sebastian. Oh, how time flies! He is getting bigger each day, which is a good thing after having a bout of jaundice that first week when he lost almost a pound {super scary for a newborn & parents of course!}. I’m trying my darndest to have a regular schedule and do things according to my task list but alas, newborns have a schedule of their own. My days are filled with diaper duties and breastfeeding/pumping around the clock or researching about cradle cap and stalking Mother forums where they discuss, “Is my baby crying too much?” “Am I spoiling my baby?” “Is my baby too clingy?” It goes on & on — by the way, the answer is No, No and No.

Anyway, for the weekend, I leave you with these gorgeous pictures from Kathryn Ireland’s vacation home in Provence. Well, because it’s just dreamy. The amazing designer marries a gorgeous, colorful palette with rustic surroundings that makes for a cozy getaway. I just adore her and the stories she makes through her designs — one that’s collected, full of life and spaces that will make nostalgic memories.

Can you imagine having dining al fresco in this vignette? I am in love!

I leave you with a few images of the little one. I’m slowly getting back to work {just hired a part-time sitter…wahoo!} and finishing up some designs & starting new ones. Life & work will be different, but I can tell it will be amazingly better! Happy weekend everyone.

bebe Stevens











Do you have a Design question or dilemma? Drop me a line and I’ll answer them for free {and absolutely no strings attached!}. Click here >>>See more of the gorgeous images via Domaine

Project Feminine Rustic Design

I am living vicariously from single ladies who I’m currently helping to design their gorgeous abodes. It reminds me of the time when I bought my first home, a quaint cottage with a yard; where I lived all by myself, did things when I want to do them, decorated the way I want to and when I was most disciplined {when it comes to exercising & eating right — why does marriage make you gain weight?}.

Today, I want to share what we’re doing for a young, successful lady in her cute loft-like home. The home is split level with the living room, dining room & kitchen, library/office all in one open space with 20 ft. ceilings and a massive fireplace. She wanted a sophisticated, inviting environment that’s not one note … she wanted a mix of several styles without looking hodge podge of course!

feminine rustic living room

In the living room, the fireplace is the focal point. She is in love with a leather cognac sofa which is perfect for the rustic space. A wing chair with nice curves, marble accent table & a white tufted bench exudes feminine sophistication. She has a few stairs going up to the bedroom & restroom & ornate, European-style candle lanterns will be so romantic, don’t you think? And the venetian mirror…nothing beats a classic!

foyer and bookcase

In the foyer or entryway, a console + chair + hooks is both beautiful & functional. We’ll add a collage of art, a mirror {because it just helps to look at yourself just one last time before you head out the door}. She has a bookcase right behind the sofa which we’ll paint the inside with a charcoal hue & of course, nothing is really done until they’re accessorized & styled.

french modern dining room

And here’s the dining room design board. We’ll pair a sleek, white, minimalist table with a dramatic crystal chandelier & rattan french bistro chairs. She loves European getaways so why not bring the al fresco French cafe experience to her?

We’re slowly getting things together…there maybe a few changes here and there. I’m hoping {and thinking} she loves it.

Do you have a Design question or dilemma? Drop me a line and I’ll answer them for free {and absolutely no strings attached!}. Click here >>>

Austin’s DIFFA Urban Picnic by Design Wrap-Up

A couple of weeks ago, I was so honored to be one of the designers to design a table for the first DIFFA’s {Design Industries Foundation for AIDS} Urban Picnic by Design in Austin. For us designers, we’ve swooned over & over again to magnificent tablescapes styled by amazing designers & brands for DIFFA’s Dining by Design in metropolitan cities like New York & Dallas to name a few. If you’re not familiar with DIFFA, it is an organization that launches unique events showcasing innovation and creativity of design communities and has granted over $40 million to hundreds of AIDS service organizations nationwide. The first one in Austin was held on September 11 benefitting the AIDS Services of Austin.

I collaborated with a good friend of mine, the talented Jeannie Vianney {who by the way won Texas Top Designer of the Year in 2011}. I was hanged up on doing an all white, really delicate table but she convinced me on giving it a twist and we went with a Modern Wedgewood theme. This is such a departure from what I usually do as we went with a minimalist theme. Here’s what it’s about …

“Taking cues from the opulence of stoneware & the most famous work of British potter, Josiah Wedgewood in the 1770’s. We were inspired by the muted palette of pale blues, matte whites, the occasional gold embellishments and Greek motifs of Jasperware. Juxtaposing this vision with modern elements like acrylic, deconstructed materials, simple china and quartz creates the perfect mix of two eras.”

modern wedgewood DIFFA design

With the leadership of the amazing Kelly La Plante {who by the way is the calmest lady under pressure}, me & designers Sarah Stacey and Elizabeth Mollen of Stone Textile helped to make the event happen along with Kelly of the Crush List and Kristen of POMPR.

kristen chin kelly laplante maureen stevens

Kristen and me via Austin Social Planner | With Kelly via The Statesman

diffa austin table

diffa table austin diffa austin table

See the wonderful pictures at Culture Map. Me & Jeannie can’t thank the following people enough!

Carrie Beamer of Flora Fetish | Florals: who is by the way the most helpful & sweetest florist ever!

Rachel Meyer | Tablecloth: who slaved for hours making our one-of-a-kind tablecloth

Kaleigh Wiese of Meldeen | Stationery: who is a creative genius & made stunning place & menu cards on acrylic!

The event was amazing and on top of that, it was for a good cause as all proceeds went to the AIDS Services of Austin. It was exactly a week after the event and I had my baby, Simon Sebastian. Whew! I did wear some heels that night & boy I paid for it!

Thanks to these wonderful images by Jake Holt Photography.

Do you have a Design question or dilemma? Drop me a line and I’ll answer them for free {and absolutely no strings attached!}. Click here >>>


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Roundup: Favorite Online Decor Shops

In the design world, we call it sourcing, purposeful shopping, research, inquest. As a designer, furniture are not just rectangular pieces {or whatever shape} to us & swoon-worthy objet trouves makes us gasp with excitement every time. We consider these items a piece of a story that seamlessly narrates what our design client is all about. Don’t get me wrong, going to brick and mortar shops is a must as well as developing relationships with trade partners and vendors is crucial {especially with local artisans}. But when we’re explaining a piece to a client, nothing is easier than capturing an image or a link online and saying…”something like this.” And helps in finishing up design boards too {check mine at Houzz!}. Well, my purposeful shopping and research always bring me to these online shops that seem to absolutely get me & my client’s needs:

For accessories….

Domino online shop

Domino, the beloved mag which launched a slew of design-loving and decorating-savvy community may have initially collapsed but it’s thriving again with it’s e-magazine, quarterly printed issues & yes, a wonderful e-shop. It sells various home items but I’m especially in love with their accessories.

furbish studio

For vibrant, colorful and even whimsical little finds, you won’t get disappointed shopping at Furbish Studio.

For amazing vintage finds ….

chairish vintage

Of course there’s always Craigslist but Chairish is amazingly curated and well-edited, I couldn’t help but “heart” almost every piece. Additional perk, you can actually negotiate on the item pricing, now that is awesome!

One Kings Lane shop

Of course One King’s Lane is one of my faves. Flash sales of impeccable pieces is an adventure in itself. You should really check out their vintage items!

For deals …

wayfair shop

Contrary to what most people think, Wayfair does not carry only low to medium-end products. It also carries high design brands like Jonathan Adler and Herman Miller. Their discounts are not to be beat. Here’s a tip, if you are a designer or working with a designer, join their Trade Services which gives you more discounts on already discounted prices. You’ll get personalized assistance from a dedicated rep & the Wayfair brand includes other amazing shops; All Modern, Dwell Studio & Birch Lane.

For the modern lover….

all modern shop

All Modern is amazing! Sometimes these items can be downright super pricey but this shop has alternatives for the same look!

For the eclectic ….

dwell studio shop

Dwell Studio… Eclectic with the occasional glam, whimsical & bohemian vibe, this is a brand neo-traditionalists can relate to.

For masculine finds ….

jayson home and garden shop

I’ve been in love with Jayson Home & Garden ever since I stepped into their shop in Chicago about 6 years ago. The feel is masculine, global and rustic and all around just sophisticated.

For the traditional …

horchow shop

Then there’s Horchow, Neiman Marcus’s sister brand for all things home related. It’s all about beautiful, more ornate and Euro-traditional items & pieces.

Where are you online shopping right now?

Do you have a Design question or dilemma? Drop me a line and I’ll answer them for free {and absolutely no strings attached!}. Click here >>>

7 Amazing Circus Painted Ceilings

Hola friends! I’m still here…it’s been two months since my last post. June,July and early August has been extremely hectic. On a good note, I am two weeks away from having my baby and to all Momma’s out there, you know what I’m going through. Oh, but this post is not about venting my grievances, gripes and beef with the last few weeks of pregnancy. Le sigh!

I am nesting, having a boost of wanting to get everything done and organized. Everything is set to go; car seat in the car…check, all classes & hospital tours… done, going-to-the-hospital bag packed…yup, nursery completed…no. Well, I don’t think it will be complete for a while. It will evolve as he/she {yes, we don’t know what the sex is, it’ll be a surprise} grows, of course. But right now, I’ve made some compromises already….like I originally wanted this crib but seriously I can’t justify the price {plus I’m getting a better one with both looks & functionality courtesy of my MIL}; I was going to get this wallcovering to dress my cutout headboard but I am now opting for a simpler look, how about some unassuming but cute elephants {plus yes! the wallpaper was pretty pricey}? But this one, I am not willing to compromise just yet… I want a circus painted ceiling. The hubs is busy and has not committed yet on when he can do it. At this time, even saying that it’s for the baby doesn’t help. Let’s have some inspiration, shall we?

1. A red circus ceiling is just bold, isn’t it?

















2. Pale blue is so sophisticated.

3. Yet sometimes, going neutral is best.

4. I’ve been biased with mint green hues for a while now.

5. A different take on the circus ceiling in gray; and wowzers…in a workout room.

6. If it’s for a little princess, you can’t go wrong with pink.

7. Or black and white.

Do you have a Design question or dilemma? Drop me a line and I’ll answer them for free {and absolutely no strings attached!}. Click here >>>

Images: 1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5 / 6 / 7

3 Easy Updates for an Old Bathroom

updated old bathroom

The first place we visit in the morning is the loo, right? Well, to start the day right, I say we should see something that’s vibrant and cheerful. Anna from My Bathrooms blog is sharing ideas with us on 3 easy updates for an old bathroom.

If your home is an older one, it probably has a number of charming quirks and interesting features that add depth and texture to your living room or bedroom decor. The one place that you probably do not like to see these old features at is the bathroom. After all, everybody wants a gleaming modern bathroom, not a gloomy one with a stained, oversized tub and dated fixtures and fittings, right? Here are 3 easy updates for you.
1. Color Me Bright!
If your fixtures are sturdy and solid, you are unlikely to want the expense of redoing the entire bathroom. Give your dated bathroom furniture an instant lift by investing in some bath tub paint. This task is a painstaking one, involving thoroughly cleaning the existing bath surface before prepping it for the base coat, which should then be followed by a minimum of two coats of your preferred color.The whole process can take at least one and usually two whole days, so you will need to warn the family that the bath will be out of bounds before your begin. You will be pleased at how something as simple as a couple of coats of paint can brighten and cheer up your old bathroom! You can opt for classic white or you can add a splash of funky color by picking out the tub, basin and even toilet in bright primary colors.
2. Accessorize!
Even the oldest bathroom will look vastly improved with the right accessories from My Bathrooms. Shop around, rather than simply going into the nearest shop and picking up the first set that you see. Look online for ideas and trawl through several websites for inspiration before deciding on the right look for your vibrant bathroom.

3.Light up your Life!

Even if you cannot afford a full bathroom refit, you should invest some money in modernizing the bathroom lighting. Not only is this safer as older electrical wiring can be temperamental and sometimes even dangerous, but the bathroom will look much better with clear bright light banishing the gloom. Modern light fittings can diffuse harsh light, scatter and refract over-bright light and even highlight certain parts of the room rather than others.
Employing just one of the above tips can make a huge difference to your old bathroom, brightening and enlivening the decor and enhancing the proportions of the room. In short, making the best of your beautiful home while creating an attractive and stylish bathroom for family and guests to enjoy.


Images: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4

Do you have a Design question or dilemma? Drop me a line and I’ll answer them for free {and absolutely no strings attached!}. Click here >>>

A Bench Auction by Kelly La Plante and Spruce Upholstery | DIFFA Austin


Hola everyone! How was your fourth-of-July-sweltering-hot-long-weekend? Mine was low-key {meaning it was spent working} which is what I needed after a week and a half long stint in Vegas where my non-gambling and non-drinking self was spent just supporting my husband exercising his passion for poker.

Also, behind-the-scenes, I’m so lucky to be in the committee that is bringing DIFFA {Design Industries Foundation Fighting Aids} to Austin — where 20 designers will showcase picnic table set ups in an Urban Picnic by Design on September 11 {more details to come}. The event is spearheaded by the talented Kelly La Plante. La Plante partnered with the upholstery mavens at Spruce to create this one-of-a-kind, retro-groovy Bench with Alexander McQueen inspired fabric and hairpin legs from Treehouse Austin. I mean, what’s not to love about this piece? It is aptly named the Frank Bench, named after one of Kelly’s dear friends who after battling AIDS for 34 years, passed away this year.


Bid for the bench here! The auction expires at midnight, July 8. That’s tomorrow! Go, go, go! It’s an amazing custom piece made by the who’s who of the design world here in Austin and all proceeds goes to the Aids Services of Austin.

Don’t forget to bid here everyone!