Our Holiday 2013

Hola mi amigas and amigos!  Today, I want to share with you our recent travel to Prague and Vienna in late November, early December of 2013.

Me and my husband tries to go somewhere new every year. I think it’s very important to share new experiences together and opening our eyes to what this beautiful world has to offer. Here are glimpses of the trip.

holiday prague and vienna

Since it’s mostly hot in Texas {well, I guess except now that we’re experiencing the cold like we’ve never experienced before this part of the country}, we enjoyed donning our winter gear that came out of hibernation.

stephansplatz at night

We stayed at Stephenzplatz in Vienna — the city center. Once you arrive, I suggest to ride the train that goes around the Ringstrasse to give you a little overview of what the City Center has to offer.

food experience prague vienna

My husband got us reservations at Restaurant Sterereck for Thanksgiving {we’re usually not this posh but the resto is #9 in the top 10 restaurants of the world! Say what?! I say he did good and we had four amuse-bouche even before our main course came}; we had gluhwein or hot wine, oh, every hour or so and jagermeister is the ultimate drink chaser for it; hot potatoes on a stick in Prague —we say, give us some!; these pretzels sells like pancakes in the streets of Prague; Vienna is known for sweets and of course we just had to try the world-famous Sacher torte and a choco mousse at Cafe Mozart.

schonbrunn palace

Vienna had so many palaces but Schonbrunn Palace takes the cake for the most grand. This was the imperial’s family’s Summer House and Hofburg Palace was their winter house — must be nice to have a home for each season!

prague cafe fur chairs

I adore Europe for all of its outdoor cafes — whether the weather is warm or cold — these cafes are always dressed to impress and this time of the year, they are dressed in fur. classical concert prague

We were prim and proper while we attended a Christmas Classical concert in a 17th century church — oh, it’s not that old.

at hofburg palace

It was so cold in Vienna, we had snow flurries in some days. This was taken in front of Hofburg Palace.

mozart first concert

In Vienna, Mozart was everywhere. In restaurants, in chocolates, in decor …. the World’s most famous composer had his first concert at age 6 in 1762 in front of the Imperial family here. Talk about a prodigy.

prague at night st. charles bridge

And last but not the least, the whole city of Prague was just magical. It totally takes you to a different world that is enchanting. St. Charles bridge at night was both mysterious and beautiful at the same time.

And there you go — a compressed version of our trip. In my dream life — I work to travel and travel to work, ha! Hopefully, there’s a new trip on the horizon!

Muted and Refreshing | Two Bedroom Boards

The bedroom is definitely one of those areas that begs for the words calm, refreshing, cozy. And for the right reasons of course — getting to that all-peaceful place called the REM state is just hard to reach if there’s just too make excitement and boldness around you. Today, I’m sharing two bedroom boards I made for two different clients: blue and seafoam bedroom

1. For the Modern Rustic Abode: Hues of light blues and sea foam with a mix of modern traditional rustic furniture pieces.

The progress? Most furnishings are in except no decisions yet on the lounge/reading area chairs. We took out the secretary desk chair combo and opted with a dresser. We redid the carpet in almost the same geometric pattern as the one in #6 except we went with a sandy hue. We were wanting a seagrass seafoam wall covering but opted for painting to save costs {We did a wallpaper in an accent wall in their living room though!}. And the draperies — we went with a solid velvet in charcoal.

neutral bedroom

 2. For the Laid-Back yet Sophisticated Condo –  neutrals galore in white, creams and camel with lots of mirrored pieces and a tall leather headboard with faux bois pattern.

Here’s what’s happening: She didn’t go for the headboard but there’s certainly mirrored pieces and studded upholstery and yes, a gorgeous and shapely mirror.

In design, flexibility is key. Though I had initial ideas after meeting with the client, these ideas continues to evolve and meld with the clients thoughts. Adaptability is key.

Did any of these Bedroom design boards appeal to you?

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

The Fabric Divide

Truth be told, I don’t like wide open spaces and open floor plans in a house. This is rough because most new houses are built this way. I’ve been real estate stalking and if I see one more listing stating,”this house with an open floor plan…..,” I’ll cringe.

I want a house with mysterious corners that leads you to somewhere unexpected, a door after a door that leads you to Narnja and dungeons with a passageway to the secret garden. Oh, wait I’m in fairy tale land again. Case in point, wide open spaces can have something subtle that separates different certain areas to infuse some intimacy and coziness into the space. And what better solution than a fabric divide — a drapery or a curtain that is. The images above are perfect examples — from canvas to sheers, it may not give you 100% privacy but it will give the space a dose of drama and texture. What do you think?

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

Images: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6

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Features | Make It Over Magazine

I was over the moon a few months back when the editors at Beckett and Engaged Media told me they were going to feature our current home in a before and after feature in a new magazine they are cooking up due December 2013. As a new designer, I am thoroughly grateful for this opportunity!  When you’ve got the chance, check it out maybe? 🙂 You’ll find tips of the little transformations we made to this 1920’s run-down-used-to-be-college-frat-house. The gorgeous images are by this photographer extraordinaire James Leasure. And I had a blast chatting with this American freelance writing living in the Netherlands, Tiffany Jansen.

Feature at Make it Over Magazine

And in another feature, I did one of my favorite things to do! That’s styling of course! I got to style a simple, affordable table {Hello ikea!} four different ways. The great photos are by Waytao Shing — may I just say it’s great to have talented friends! Thank You!

Make it over copy

The mag is available in news stands now {I got mine at Wal-Mart and a few more at Barnes and Noble — ha! Got too happy magazine shopping!}. I urge you, I urge you to get the mag 🙂 It is the premier issue and seriously full of ideas, tricks and design and decorating tips — no kidding! Issues will soon be available here as well, Home Magazines Special Issues.

Happy hump day everyone!

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

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Layering Trick: Mirror Behind Nighstand

Hola friends! How was your weekend? Mine was super laid back and got a lot of things done —- I love it when I’m productive! Bring it on 2014.

So, we’re slowly into the accessorizing stage with some of my clients. One loved the idea of a mirror behind the night stand and this trick is a good fit with one of my other clients as well. One we need to put it together with other items to make the area fuller and the other, the mirror will help expand the space. For two different reasons, one function — layering. Case goods {dressers, cabinets, etc} and occasional furniture never looks good with just one thing adjacent to it. A night stand with just a lamp will look blah…but with a vase, some books and a sculpture? Now we’re talking! Back to the mirror, here are some ideas:

1. A vintage floor mirror — it will not give a very strong reflection but it will give the space so much more character.

2. Tall Rectangular mirrors does the layering trick for this bedroom with tall ceilings.

3. How about embed it within the architectural walls of your room?

4. Round mirrors balances the boxiness of night stands.

5. And how about getting it together with other items? An exquisite mirror with framed art and even wall sculptures will give the area so much more depth!

You can also do a collage of mirrors — you can go with similar sizes and styles, different sizes, same style or different all together. The options are unlimited. In styling a space, dissimilar items can go together, the trick is creating balance with them.

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

Images: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5

New and Noteworthy in Design

Are you getting used to 2014 yet? Just 14 years ago, we thought everything will shut down in 2000 {We didn’t prep like crazy — oh, just got tons of cases of water}. Since it’s the New Year, I thought I’d share with you some design products that catches my eye. There is really so much beauty and creativity out there and though liking and disliking something is so personal — I thought sharing with you some of the things I see and resources I find will help you narrow down your choices for your next design and decorating project. Here are my picks for the week:

1. Kelly Wearstler‘s collection of wallcoverings and trims for Groundworks | Lee Jofa is as glamorous as her empire. In metallic hues of course and mimicking natural and urban elements, I say it will be perfect for a sophisticated uptown oasis.

2. The Campeggi sofa bed is pretty cool! So, even though I prefer cozy and quaint than trendy & flashy, I think this new take on the sofa bed is just amazing! Hello urban loft!

3. Behind every great woman is another great woman she is inspired by. This wall mural of Coco Chanel  by Pixercise is just one of many in their collection – Inspiration is a Woman.

4. What a statement these colorful fan tiles would make in a kitchen! It’s definitely not for the faint of heart but it’s fun, splashy and dazzling. By Ceramica Bardelli

5. So, I just got done watching the mini-series “Rome” and yes, I do watch Game of Thrones, so this Medieval-themed wallcovering by WallSuit really appeals to me. Very regal and barbaric at the same time? (How my mind works, always mixing & matching!}.

Off to reading more of my interior design mags! #IHaveAnAddiction

Source: Interior Design Magazine

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Cheers to 2014!

Cheers to 2014 from Maureen Stevens

Going through piles and piles of stuff…that’s what I’m doing as I ring in the New Year {writing this post the 30th of December}. Oh you know, just the usual de-cluttering and reorganizing the home office; except I’m starting a tad early to really start fresh in 2014. So they say, out with the old and in with the new. 2013 has been a great ride; I said goodbye to my online shop {The Inglenook Decor} to focus on interior design. I’ve been having a good ol’ rockin time and meeting new people, seeing different places, having new experiences and constantly getting inspired. Aside from that darn tight boots that I bought {thinking my feet were a half-size smaller}, I say life is pretty good.

If you’ve been checking out the website in the past month — you probably have seen that we changed things in here quite a bit. We have been tweaking & re-tweaking my space in online land. If you’re new here, well “hello there!” Can you please stay, linger longer & come back often? My programmer and designer have done a fabulous job if I must say so myself 🙂 I wanted a website that is seamless, cohesive, well-edited, beautiful, fresh, friendly & approachable all at the same time {I may be talking about how my design process goes here too}. And they nailed it! They were also extremely patient with me {hello — I do ask for a lot, have tons of stuff spinning in my head & then from time to time, ok, a lot, forgets things}, responsive and thorough. I couldn’t have asked for a better duo to help me with revamping the website and make something that reflects me. Charmie — old soul, true beauty, amazing kaftan model and all around creative genius {and she can be a kick ass copy writer too!} & Aaron — muscle man, brilliant coder, programmer prodigy & plug-in Ninja. I can’t thank these two enough and you, yes you…if you ever need a website, these people are the best!

I hope you can check out my “About” page although I definitely would love to know more about you by contacting me here. Spill the beans and tell me who you are and what you like, what inspires you and the travel experiences you can’t forget. Check out my Design and Styling services, images of some of my projects and a snapshot of how the process works. A little pat on the back is always rewarding, we compiled our favorite ones in the Kudos and Press pages. You can subscribe by clicking on the envelope in the top right corner or find the Subscribe box at the bottom of the pages. And connect with us by clicking on the social media icons.

2014 is shaping up to be swell already! New Year, new experiences, new people, new places and new discoveries. I wish the best for you. Cheers to new beginnings!

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Happy Holidays All!

HappyholidayMau
Well folks, it’s that time of the year again! Today, I did a few last minute shopping with my daughter {who by the way is my favorite shopping buddy}. I woke up with a mission & a checklist on hand. I think we were pretty successful, didn’t even get distracted!  All the wrapping’s done & tomorrow we’re off to go to my in-laws a few hours away. I’m looking forward to a home-cooked hearty meal & our nephew’s adorable eyes of delight as he opens his gifts. In the Philippines, we do noche buena where we wait until midnight of the 24th to have our Christmas meal & open our gifts afterwards. Just imagine the anticipation! I miss that…. As I form new traditions here in the US, I bring with me memories of Christmas past but eternally grateful for the amazing family that surrounds me now.

I hope all of you have an amazing Christmas!

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These so Horn-y

horn decor

All items from Jayson Home and Garden.

So, it’s not what you think …. I’m talking about these glamorous decor items made of horn. Although horn has been used in decorative items for a while now, I do have a new found crush in them. Sorta masculine but incredibly refined, they act as a neutral and can go with almost anything. It’s natural patterns are incredibly organic and perfect for a rustic or vintage feel. The rich hues on the other hand is all lush and elegant. Ummm, #2 & #5 is on my wishlist…my desk will totally love these!

Almost done with shopping everyone?

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

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The Dining Chair: Cozy them up with Fur

I truly can’t believe it folks! Is Christmas really just around the corner? I did a little Christmas decorating last week with a few wreaths and a small tree for the casa. Truth be told, I don’t do much holiday decorating. In this case, less is truly more. And that’s why I love this idea so much… fur throws on your dining chairs! It’s cozy and festive at the same time. No primping them up; just toss over your chairs. They are awesome for outdoor seating too {saw them at cafes all over Prague!}, just add fire in the middle and you’re instawarm {definitely a made up word} for this winter season.

What do you think? Any other ideas up your sleeve to add more warmth to holiday decorating?

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

Images:  1 | 2 | 3 | 4