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

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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 >>>

10 Ways to Refashion Your Furniture

It’s Spring everyone and for most of us, it spells a blooming change. In the April issue of Influential Magazine, I wrote about ways to beautify your old furniture and give them a new lease on life! Read on…

Giving your outfits a little makeover is as easy as putting on a few accessories or donning a bolero or sweater and layer away! Giving your furniture and decor a makeover may not be as fast and easy to do but just spend a few hours and a little elbow grease can give that ho-hum, tired furniture a new lease on life. Whether it’s a piece you’ve had for a long time (Bachelor pad or college days ring a bell?) or it’s a yard sale find with good bones; here are ideas to restore, revamp and yes, refashion your furniture:

1.Paint It. It may sound like a no-brainer but changing the color of a furniture or decor piece can totally change the look and feel of it. How about painting a wooden piece antique white for a refreshing coastal or shabby chic feel? Or emerald green to exude hollywood glam?

2. Stenciling. From Moroccan to damask, geometric to floral….your options for stencils are endless. Stencil the whole piece or just a part of it and you’re in for giving that furniture a new statement. It can be as easy as putting a bird on it to add quirk to an otherwise boring piece.

3. Change the Hardware. Maybe you’re tired of the faux brass finish and want to go for the polished nickel look, then all you’ll need is a screwdriver to take out the old & bolt in the new fittings.

4. Lacquer. It’s not new news, the glossy, shiny, sparkling and gleaming is back again. The clear or colored wood finish that gives furniture that hard, durable shiny finish can transform a stale piece into a glamorous and sophisticated one.

5. Distressing or Aging. A new furniture can exude more character with distressing techniques. Aging a furniture is just like as it sounds, making it look older. Distressing and techniques can range from using chisels and a hammer to add cracks to the piece, a wire brush or other abrasives to create scratches or better yet antique finish paint and glazes are also available.

6. Gilding or Gilting. The decorative technique of gold leafing or coating a piece with material that simulates gold is alive and well in the 21st century. I am not suggesting to gild a whole table but how about just a portion of it’s legs for a dipped gold leaf look?

7. Use appliques or Overlays. Like three-dimensional ornaments, appliques or overlays comes in a wide array of designs as well. Fretwork panels are great for simple, modern furnishings while appliques such as escutcheons and rose swags will be amazing for a girl’s bedroom furniture for a French-inspired design.

8. Wallpaper. Yes, you are not reading it wrong. Wallpaper can also be installed in small pieces such as a dresser or nightstand. Choose furniture with clean lines, no curves or crevices for a polished look.

9. Stain. This may be the easiest way to update a furniture piece. It’s really as easy as 1-2-3. One, prepare the piece; Two, stain and Three, finish the surface.

10. Repurpose. Giving a piece a new function or a new purpose and moving it to a different part of the house is both clever and ingenious, all you have to do is tickle your creativity. A discarded butcher block kitchen island can be your new home office desk or a bar cart as your new night stand — wine bottles not included.

So, the next time you’re thinking of tossing that furniture piece; think again. A list of creative options are out there.

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

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 >>>

Patrick Dempsey’s McDreamy Malibu Home

Ok, so I did succumb to using the “McDreamy” word. I was never a fan of Grey’s Anatomy but long before he was the dream of women in scrubs all over; I was swooning over him in his earlier movies like “Happy Together” and “Can’t Buy Me Love.” But alas, I do think he gets better with age.

I just got my issue of the latest Architectural Digest and there is a whole spread of his Malibu home he shares with his wife and three adorable kids. It’s one of Frank Gehry’s earliest houses. The decor is laid back yet polished. A little bit rustic yet well appointed. Here’s a few of my favorite snaps!

open space livng room banquet seating dining area bedroom swing kitchen patrick dempsey malibu home patrick dempsey outdoors outdoor dining rustic Tin Guest House They even have a tin guest house, an airstream and chicken coop! What do you think?

Do you have a Design question? Feel free to drop me a line here >>>

10 The Doors of Spring

I’m a total sucker for anything quaint and I can’t deny that I personally lean towards classic details with a cottage feel. When I run around the neighborhood {oh the few times that I try}, flowers are starting to take over and they couldn’t be any more beautiful. There’s nothing that screams Spring than a door adorned by these gorgeous creatures of nature. Here are 10 Doors of Spring to love!

1. Blue door and window with purple and blue hydrangeas close by.

2. Creeping vines and pink flowers surrounds a rustic wooden door.

3. Mint green door and a few pots of flowers is just gorgeous don’t you think?

4. Bubblegum pink door wrapped in pink flowers is just scrumptious.

bubblegum pink door

5. Deep turquoise with magenta is a match made in heaven.

6. How about a crown of flowers over your door?

7. Or better yet, soft pink roses as a gorgeous border.

8. A classic white door juxtaposed with flower boxes.

9.  A swag of flowers over the door doesn’t disappoint either.

10. So, these may be fall leaves but against a refreshing mint green door? Looks like Spring to me!

Images : 1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5 / 6 / 7 / 8 / 9 / 10

Do you have a Design question? Feel free to drop me a line here >>>

Styling a Glamorous Dresser

We are finishing up a bedroom design. It’s a small but adorable space. For furnishings, we just had to get the bed, a dresser, a night stand, a lounge chair + stool. So considering that we only have to get 5 pieces, I’m sure my client was baffled that the shopping list to get together, style and accessorize her dresser has 10 items in it if not more. Styling is the best part of my job! It’s really all about layering, mixing and matching and making the tabletop vignette curated yet functional.

how to style a glamorous dresser

1. French Marble Top Chest | Jean Marc Fray

2. A Trio of Gold-Leafed Convex Mirrors | Layla Grace

3. Gold and Black Lamp | Currey & Company

4. Decorative books

5. Quartz Votive Holder | Jayson Home and Garden

6. Bone Oval Boxes | Jayson Home and Garden

7. Double Chain Link Sculpture | Kelly Wearstler

8. Bone Frame | Dwell Studio

9. Gold Ceramic Rope Vase | Studio A by Global Views

10. Art prints | Made by Girl

11. Gilded Jewelry Box | Anthropologie

The client went with a heirloom piece is a dresser but this French Marble top chest is all about the feel we’re going for. For a glamorous dresser space, go for luxurious and sophisticated pieces. It also means to go for texture and materials that screams elegance —- gilded and gold-leafed items are definitely in, quartz and bone elements speak opulence as well as those that’s shiny and gleaming. And of course, gorgeous flowers and chic books go a long way!

Happy Thursday everybody!

Do you have a Design question? Feel free to drop me a line here >>>

Kohler Co + Benjamin Moore Color Collab

So, what happens when two inspiring and trusted brands come together? An environment that’s creative and thoroughly inspiring of course! Sometimes coordinating kitchen and bath fixtures with the color of your cabinets and cupboards is just hard with hundreds {if not thousands} of options out there. But Kohler Co. and Benjamin Moore makes it so easy. These are the first 3 looks they got together so far:

1. Southern Charm: I can’t help but love this palette! It’s perfect for a Parisian loo, rich with architectural details. The soft pinks of course is unmistakably feminine but the soft blues and grays is something both genders can agree with. White sinks and polished chrome fixtures are a great complement with the hues.

kohler benjamin moore southern charm Color | Fruit Shake

kohler benjamin moore southern charm Color | Province Blue

2. Eastern Mist: Relaxed and refreshing in misty greens and tranquil blues are amazing with light woods reminiscent of coastal and cottage styles.

benjamin moore kohler eastern mist Color | Wickham Gray

3. Northern Roots: Deep, complex neutrals perfect with a farmhouse style or contemporary abodes.

northern roots benjamin moore kohler Color | City Shadow

Which one is your favorite? I’m kinda partial to the Southern Charm one right now. With Spring in the air, it just reminds me of pastel-hued french macaroons!

Do you have a Design question? Feel free to drop me a line here >>>

Be Original America : A Talk at the Austin Jones Center

american design furniture

Hello friends! I came across this website that is all about celebrating original design called Be Original America. Truly, in a world of copycats, it is refreshing to see that a company is championing original design. Their members are all about the value of authenticity , their campaign goal is to establish a set of industry standards that encourages consumers, the architecture/design community, producers, dealers and media partners to fully support genuine creativity.

Because get this:

According to the International Chamber of Commerce, 2.5 million jobs have been lost due to fake products.

Estimated value of counterfeit goods in 2008:  $650 billion Projected annual value of counterfeit goods by 2015:  Over $1.7 trillion1

Supporting fake goods  and knock-offs may help your pocket book for a smidgen of a second but the cons far outweigh it’s pros. Next week, they are holding a lecture at the Austin Jones Center to support their manifesto and cause. Here are the details:

Why Original Design is Important February 25, 2014 | 6:00 – 7:00pm Presented by Jerry Helling, President of Bernhardt Design Imagine a world with no original design.  Everything would be a copy and nothing would be new.  Join us for a talk at The Contemporary Austin Jones Center about why original design is important.

The Contemporary Austin Jones Center 700 Congress Avenue Austin, TX 78701

Let us support this cause and help a new generation of designers with the same ingenuity as the Eames, the Meeks and Evans of past eras.

Do you have a Design question? Feel free to drop me a line here >>>

Kim West: Fearless and Confident Design

When it comes to spaces that deserves an enthusiastic ooohhh and aaaahhh, the description bold, daring and gutsy comes to mind. Going past the simple and safe is something that some of us have a hard time doing. But Kim West, a New York transplant will tell us how to do just that. Her home was featured at the Tribeza Interiors Tour and rightfully so. Her vision and design is exemplary and confident just like the bubbling personality that she is. Here’s an insight about her leap to the design world and her fascinating aesthetic.

eclectic colorful living room

1. From the fashion industry to interior design, what made you take the leap?

The move into interiors was organic for me, I think style is style and I have always looked for it whether it was a pair of earrings or a lamp. The exposure to a high level of design, loads of international travel and being a NYC citizen trained my eye. During that decade I spent in the fashion industry I was also obsessed with real estate, renovating and decoration. My developer husband and I loved buying apartments and turning them into little gems. When we sold them in one day with bidding wars I thought perhaps there is something there. When I left my position at Marc Jacobs and the city I wasn’t really sure what was next. A year later several people asked for my design work in their homes and Well Dressed Space was born.

kim west well dressed space

2. Some designers will say that they themselves were their hardest clients; were you an easy or hard client when you were designing and decorating your home? Why?

I find the hardest part of working with clients is comforting them into taking the leap away from safe choices. So I actually think I was an easy client. I’m more afraid of a boring space than a lively one. It’s sort of like one of Diana Vreeland’s philosophy’s… either be the best or the worst, just don’t be stuck in the middle.

eclectic colorful living room

  3. Designers continually evolve and are multifaceted, for your home, what main “style” did you lean towards and your initial source of inspiration?

This house is cheeky and charming, I wanted my family to live in a home that is playful and fun. My goal was to preserve and highlight the original details while taking it up a notch with strong hues and prints.


striped nursery nursery design kim west

4. For some, wall coverings or wallpaper is passé {which we totally disagree of course!}, why do you think it’s otherwise?

Hallelujah that it is back and back big time! Wallpaper is full scale art, mixing patterns with paper is one of my favorite design opportunities. On ceilings, on furniture, in an air stream trailer, I’m game for it anywhere. We are mixing two stunning papers in a client’s kitchen right now; I’m dying to see it once we finish!

5. You showed us that in your style and home, you’re not afraid of color and pattern; what advise would you give clients who are afraid to give it a shot but longing to do something more bold & daring in their space?

Paint!! It is inexpensive and can be changed easily. You also have to let the eye adjust and live with it for a bit. Give yourself a few weeks with your new shade and see how it feels. Also take a risk in a small space perhaps a closet, utility area or powder room. The world of inspiration is never ending, join pinterest, spend some time perusing design publications and commit to a look.

6. Ralph Lauren, Calvin Klein and a slew of others have done it; which fashion designer would you love to see foray into the interior design world to make some home decor furnishings and accessories?

Good question! I can’t narrow it down to just one. I would love to see Irene Neuwirth designing light fixtures, textiles from Marni, accessories from Lanvin and any and every category from the queen Miuccia Prada.

Thank you so much Kim! Your style is adorable and Austin is lucky to have such an incredible interior design talent. And remember everyone, a daring and adventurous transformation to your space this 2014 just might be the first step to unleash your endless creativity and spunk!


10 Ideas for a Stunning Wine Cellar

I’m having a serious case of the winter blues and I can’t even complain as it’s been in the 70’s here in Austin this weekend {and it’s most definitely not what Atlanta, NYC or Washington is experiencing}. But looong weeks of dreary days in the 30’s a couple of weeks back is what I think did it. I love my sunlight & need to get my melatonin levels down and be bright, cheery and driven all over again!

Anyway, on a good note; last week, I went with a group of friends to the California wine country for a gals special birthday. It was rainy & dreary but the company was fun. We checked out great sights in San Fran, had amazing food and went to several wineries in Napa, Sonoma & St. Helena. I am no wine connoisseur {and don’t pretend to be} but here’s what I adore in wineries; the tasting rooms & cellars themselves. So cozy and so intimate. Here are 10 ideas for a stunning wine cellar:

1. In the center of the room, encased in glass.

2. In the basement in rustic crates for a vintage feel.

Country Living

3. X-boxes in the kitchen cabinetry for built-in wine storage.

4. Or in a linear fashion that goes from horizontal to vertical or vice versa.
5. The dungeon, stone carvings {holes} look for an old-world feel.
6. Turn the kitchen hallway into a curved wine case storage.
7. Have an almost floor-to-ceiling X-configuration built-in wine storage.
8. Or a whole library of floor-to-ceiling wine storage just across from your dining table.
9. The wine bar nook look, of course!
10. My favorite because it’s unexpected! The spiral staircase wine storage.

How about you? Any favorites? In other parts of the world and the country, the wine cellar is as important as the guest bedroom … for now, I’m sticking to my bar cart although I’m seriously considering having a wine cellar on my *want* list.

Do you have a Design question? Feel free to drop me a line here >>>