Happy Memorial Weekend!

via Etsy

What are you doing this Memorial weekend? Whatever it is, relax, have fun and enjoy!

For some “day of” inspiration, check out our Pinterest Board.

I got introduced to this new site & I kinda love it!

I had a blast dining with wonderful local designers at Mettle Austin.

I’m a Spurs fanatic and this vid made me teary-eyed.

I adore these chairs!

These tiles are sick! I just adore intricate tiling.

Finally, I can’t thank Wayfair enough for this wonderful gift for #ProjectNursery #BebeStevens.

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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Valspar’s Answer to the Battle of the Paint Lines

Color in design is one of those things we, decorators and design lovers can’t stop talking about. If you want to know more tips and tricks on infusing color into your space, read our  Color Design Rules. If you’re ready to have a specific color palette, check out these Perfect Room Color Combos. Of course, you have to know the basics, I made a presentation at Treehouse Austin about Color Theory.

Color is in everything we see and sets the tone for every room. And nothing infuses more color than paint of course! With a wide array of brand names, which one should you choose? It’s no secret that I’m quite partial to Sherwin Williams and I’ve used Benjamin-Moore and the Jeff-Lewis paint line before. But I’m very intrigued about the new line by Valspar called Reserve.  Reserve features HydroChroma Technology, a new colorant system developed by Valspar with super-strength pigments allowing for a broad range of deeper, more vibrant colors and more accurate color matching. I must admit, their commercial was very clever too. It’s that one where the Mom is doing a video chat with Dad & kids. The wall behind them is vibrant yet after zooming out, there’s clutter everywhere and mess on the walls. So, it looks like cleaning will be a breeze and taking out stains off the wall is super easy.

Chroma in Color Theory is the saturation of a color, how intense it is. Think of it as “pure, bright color”, compared to a color diluted with white, darkened by black or grey, or thinned by glaze. Reserve is Valspar’s top of the line paint that is low-odor and zero VOC, it’s fade resistant and with the saturation being so intense, one-coat coverage is greatly improved {a must for paint DIY’ers out there}.

blue room valspar reserve

purple red room vaslpar reserve

pink mudroom Images by Valspar

With their newest line 40%  more durable & 40% better stain blocking, Valspar’s new paint line and technology is something to check out.

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 >>>

2014 Ten Kitchen Trends to Try

When kitchen and cooking prowess were sprinkled to us humans, I was probably in seclusion under a rock. It’s really a tragedy that I can’t cook; but I know just like everything else…all I have to do is try and practice, practice, practice. One thing I love doing though is looking for innovations on how to make a kitchen be both design-savvy and extremely functional.

While perusing the May issue of Better Homes and Gardens, I came across lots of ideas and kitchen trends to check out. While I won’t wait to have all of these in order to have an ounce of culinary skills; I think for all of you where the kitchen and dining room is the family hub, these kitchen trends are a must to check out!

1. Touchless faucet. Isn’t it just a hassle to move from one food prep to another and smear your faucet with bits of chicken meat then some parsley after? Yuck! So, with touchless faucets, you can just improve your cooking flow and get things done with less mess.

touchless faucet

Kohler Sensate Kitchen Faucet

2. Sliding Barn Door to the Pantry. Sleek and functional and sort of unexpected. It’s like the parting of the Red Sea when you open these doors to reveal canisters of flour and sugar and a wide array of seasonings.

3. Peek-Through Pantry. Isn’t it obvious yet? I get a thrill from looking at pantry items. A little peek just adds more to the excitement!
via BHG
4. Quartz Countertops. Move over granite, you are just so yesterday. The new thing in kitchen countertops is quartz. It looks like marble but not as expensive as marble. It’s also arguably the most durable option for kitchens.  Their primary ingredient is ground quartz combined with polyester resins to bind it and pigments to give it color. They are counters stain and scratch resistant and nonporous, so they never need to be sealed. Hoe’s that for convenience and style?


5. Mechanized Kitchen Drawers. Because everything should be automatic and opens and closes with just a simple nudge.
6. Eat-in Kitchens. So, this idea may not be new and most families have been doing this since time immemorial. If you’re like me, I don’t need a formal dining room. I want one that’s casual and can be a dining room, nook for paying bills and homework central for the kids. Whether you have banquette seating or a long table within the kitchen, eat-in kitchens are a must for every home.
7. USB cable receptacles. The word innovate and technology just goes hand in hand. From USB cable receptacles, to wireless printers and paperless tracking of the household’s financial planning should be within reach and available in the kitchen.
8. Apron-Front Sink. Ok, I must admit, I’m a bit partial to the farmhouse feel. But farmhouse and apron-front sinks are not just for farmhouse designs, it can also be for the modern, eclectic and traditional styles. The apron front look just gives the space a different look and since this area gets a lot of water; it just makes sense that it should be made of a material that can withstand this element.
9. Vinyl Tiling. While marble or wooden floors is my absolute dream; vinyl tiling makes a grand entrance in the world of kitchen floors. Why? Because it’s tacky look is gone. Vinyl tiling can now both look sophisticated and luxurious. And nobody can even tell what’s the real deal and what’s not.
10. Fireplace in the Kitchen. This is one of those things where what’s old is new again. A long time ago; before the birth of the oven, there was only fire housed by a canopy of bricks or stones. You can have the real deal or one of those flameless fireplaces and both are made with extensive safety features. How about make some smores or a real brick oven pizza from just across your kitchen sink?
So many great ideas…thank you Better Homes and Gardens!
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 Quick Trip to San Antonio

One thing that me and my husband always try to do is going somewhere new and fun. Well, with an upcoming addition to our family we’ve been slowing down with traveling. But really, we are so lucky to live in Austin where there are tons of things to do and places to go to. I must admit, we have been bad in appreciating this, thinking that unless we go somewhere far then it’s no big deal. Aside from in-town attractions, the adorable towns of Fredericksburg, Gruene and New Braunfels is just a little more than an hour away. And so is San Antonio, where The Alamo stands. And yes, it’s also where the Spurs are playing in the playoffs {and yes killed the Dallas Mavericks & now the OKC Thunder}. My husband is a fanatic and graciously gets us front row tickets. Now, I’m not one to splurge on game tickets, my task is booking our hotel.

the menger lobby

We stayed at The Menger this time which was gorgeous and brought us back in time circa 1859. And thank you to Expedia, we got VIP treatment with an upgrade to The Sidney Lanier suite and a welcome fruit basket. I mean everybody needs grapes and strawberries after a long drive.

maureen and jason

My husband’s honorary grandpa took this picture of us before the game and captioned it, “Wolfman and Lady.” Yes! It’s spot on. And of course I have to have a pic at the riverwalk, which is gorgeous day or night.

San Antonio the Menger A few snaps of the hotel; the garden, gorgeous tiling and hallways and I am also loving the wall moldings at the stairs.

maureen stevens pregnant

And finally, a quick snap of how the baby bump is coming along. I’m almost 5 months and feeling so much better than the first 3 months. Happy Friday everyone and have the best of the weekend!

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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Interior Define | Luxury Sofas at Affordable Price

I love shopping for furnishings and decor! Shocker, right? It’s one of my favorite things to do and “sourcing” or finding things both for me, family, friends and of course, clients is one of my daily tasks both for fun and work. As a designer, I get to see “what’s new” in the market from newsletters, press releases, trade mags & events that I pass on to my clients, of course! If you’re like me, I go for the luxurious but with a great price; I am the champagne on a beer budget gal {although don’t get me wrong — there are pieces that I would totally say, go for the real deal and top of the line}.

There’s a new “seating” option out there, an online source for sectionals, sofas and chairs. Interior Define offers well-crafted pieces at a fraction of the price of mainstream luxury brands. They do this by bypassing unnecessary middlemen and markups. Here are my faves:

interior define sofas 1/ Asher sofa 2/ Wesley Chair 3/ Pritchard Sectional 4/ Taylor Chair

modern sofa modern traditional sofas You will be floored when you see their pricing! Here’s a little bit more about them and with a 365 day return policy plus a concierge service, you can’t go wrong. They also have really great advisory board, with Andy Dunn of Bonobos and Joel Peterson, chairman of Jetblue. I just got my fabric, felt and leather swatches & they are sweet! Getting a sectional for a client soon!

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 >>>

Grand Entrance | In Color or Neutrals

As you can tell I’m having a front door fetish lately. Well, a lot of friends and clients have been looking to spruce up their grand entrance. And I say, nothing says “grand” than glossy lacquer for the front door. I’m swooning over the new paint by Benjamin Moore, Grand Entrance. It’s lush, it’s so European and frankly, you can’t go wrong with any color you choose.

COLORFUL FRONT DOORSLoving the front door in color? How about scarlet red? Cheery Orange or yellow, luxurious greens and electric blues, exciting indigo or royal violet? Yup, the colors of the rainbow shouts boldness and sass.

neutral front doorsOr maybe, you’re more into the classic ….simple, understated yet boldly beautiful all at the same time? Fall in love with glamorous blacks, grays and whites. I say go on, change the color of that door and create a grand entrance!

Images: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13

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 >>>

Birch Lane

When people ask what my design style is, I do try to veer away from the word “eclectic,” because really this word can take on a myriad of meanings. I say mine is more an updated classic or new traditional, neotrad. More on the “trad” side than the “new” side. That’s why I’m so happy when one of my favorite decor shopping sites, Wayfair, launched a new website that’s dedicated to all things traditional, quality furnishings and inspired decor. It’s called Birch Lane.

I have been perusing their website in the past hour and already thought of different schemes that can be done with their selections. One that is British Colonial — English classic with dark woods and neutral fabrics, and French Country — white on white and distressed woods. Both traditional yet comfortable and cozy at the same time. Check it out:
birch lane Selections for British Colonial: 1. Landry Sofa 2. Barton Wing Chair 3. Harwich Storage Trunk 4. Brooklyn Chandelier 5. Shaw Floor Mirror

Selections for French Country: 1. Montgomery Loveseat 2. Montgomery Armchair 3. Grafton Console Table 4. Brighton Chandelier 5. Frances Floor Mirror

What do you think? Wee, more wonderful shopping sites for me! Of course, I always check out their partner sites regularly as well; AllModern and Dwell Studio. Their customer service is impeccable!

Happy amazing Wednesday friends!

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 >>>

Ramblings and a Garden Shed

So, it seems I’ve been hibernating lately…even from the blog world! Tsk! Tsk! I haven’t made a post in almost two weeks. Bad Maureen! Bad Maureen….ha!ha! I have been somewhat busy behind the virtual world though. Collaborations and more design work are on the horizon and I’ll share them with you as they unfold.

Anywho, so if you don’t know it yet; I’m pregnant. And I’m really finding out I’m a grumpy preggo lady. My energy is slowly coming back since I’m about 4 1/2 mos now though. I’m doing some run/walk activity and light aerobics a few days a week and finally admitted that my pants cannot fit me anymore. I also realized that most maternity clothes are hideous! Really, all I want to wear are outfits from Hatch but why is a shirt $250 or so?

I hope all of you have a happy weekend and today I leave you with this image of a gorgeous garden shed. Seriously, I’ll serve brunch and dinner here and have a reading nook in the corner!


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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My House Tour on Apartment Therapy

Happy Monday folks! A few weeks back, my house was shot by the uber talented Adrienne Breaux for Apartment Therapy. I must admit, I’ve been at times hesitant showing our personal space. Well, because it’s personal and I know the online audience can be brutal and the adage; “If you don’t have anything good to say; don’t say it;” does not really apply. I was so grateful to see glimpses of our casa in the premiere issue of Make it Over magazine by the makers of Cottages & Bungalows and Romantic Homes but I must say, online features gives further more instant gratification but it comes with a double-edged sword with a handful of less than pleasant comments. See the tour at Apartment Therapy and the Facebook post. Here’s some of my favorite shots…

I must say the comments were not bad at all and some were even downright funny, like branches not being cat-friendly or it’s the ultimate eye poker {it’s Spring people and blossoming branches are the shiznits!}; or it’s stiffly styled {I guess it feels & looks different in real-life} and that my shoes are horrible and I shouldn’t wear heels with shorts {maybe I just couldn’t rock the outfit very well and it looks better in standing, but really; I was mostly scared that I’ll look pudgy; well aside from eating too much lately, I’m also 3 months pregnant here.

Thank you so, so much Apartment Therapy for the feature!

Images by Adrienne Breaux

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 Pink, Blue and Gold Easter Table

Easter is this weekend everyone, are you ready? Easter egg hunting is on everybody’s mind and everything pastel-hued. For us grown-ups, how about something more elegant? Art de Fete shared with me this gorgeous Easter table filled with Spring’s glorious pink branches, luxurious gold and silver and the mystic of cobalt blues — all amazingly put and styled together. You know I adore styling so I’m sure you can get an inspiration or two {or lots} from these images.

pink and blue easter table pink and gold easter food easter table pink gold blue pink easter branches What do you think? Art de Fete truly lives up to it’s name of sharing ways on creating artful celebrations and events.

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 >>>