Q & A : Choosing Paint Colors

I had an eventful past two weeks! Amazing vacation with my daughter to Italy & Morocco … details later! I’d like to share with you a little Q & A with Wayfair on Choosing Paint Colors.

Paint can set the tone for a room before you’ve even added the furnishings or decor—making it all the more important to choose the right color. No one understands this better than our May Designer of the Month, Maureen Stevens. Lucky for us, she shared all of her paint knowledge and experience, as well as some of her favorite hues, to help tackle some of the most cumbersome dilemmas.

What Matters When Buying Paint?

I keep these three things in mind when shopping for paint:

1. Quality. Many people think all paint is the same, but it’s not. Paying a little more goes a long way. Quality paint provides better coverage and a depth of color that makes your walls come to life.

2. Eco-friendly and non-toxic. Look for a paint that has no VOCs (volatile organic compounds). By doing so, you are helping the planet and keeping you and your family safe.

3. Vibrancy. There is nothing more disappointing than a paint color that dries dull and uninteresting. If the name of the paint is bright red, it should be bright red!

How Does Color Change Mood?

If you want a relaxing space, then go for different shades of the same color that are more or less tone on tone, such as a room done in creams and whites. If you prefer a bolder look that packs a punch, then consider contrasting colors in brighter hues, such as an orange and blue color scheme.

What About White? Black?

White is so versatile, it can be used in pretty much any kind of space—but there’s more to white than just one shade. Go for ivories in traditional spaces, bright whites for modern rooms, and whites with warmer tones for a cottage look. They’re also perfect for wide open spaces. On the flip side, I prefer darker colors in small spaces. Some people think that would make a space feel smaller, but it really creates a dramatic mood. I also like it in bedrooms since dark rooms are best for sleep. Black is so sophisticated & so luxurious in high gloss!

Both of these rooms are painted the same color, but because of the light in the space and the furnishings, the left one looks cooler and the right one reads warmer.


It’s all about the undertone when selecting a paint color. Be sure to take samples home and look at them during different times of the day to see how they read in your space. Maybe that gray-white really is the way to go!

Accent, or Not?

I’m not usually a fan of accent walls, as I think it makes a space feel choppy, although I do think there are spaces where it works. If you decide to do an accent color, make sure it feels cohesive with the other elements in the room. Since you are making this the focal point, everything else in the space should pack a punch too.

However, I do like the idea of accenting features in the room. Architectural moldings are traditionally painted white, but try going in the opposite direction and paint them in a glossy black or dark navy. You can also paint ceiling medallions an ultra-bright color amidst a sea of white ceilings or try playing up crown moldings by painting a line around them as a sort of frame.

Go-To Sherwin Williams Colors?

I have a wide array of favorite Sherwin-Williams paint colors, from neutrals to pastels, muted to bold; here a few of them.

Have an amazingly positive week everyone!

Decoding Joybird Fabrics

To all Mid-Century Modern enthusiasts, Joybird is the online promise land for affordable mid-century modern seating. All the hip styles you want, lifetime warranty & an unheard of 365-day policy. There must be a catch right? Well, from my experience, none. I’ve placed orders from them for clients & the customer service is top-notch as well as the craftsmanship. But why-oh-why must there be 20 different types of fabrics that seem to all look alike but really not. I would like to help you by decoding their fabrics. For the people who believes simple is beautiful, I categorized them into 3 parent categories:

1/ Lux: Their version of luxurious & refined where the weave is smaller creating a look that’s more sophisticated, plush & soft. Mid-century modern is utterly casual but lux fabrics ups the ante a bit.

2/ Mid: Moderately lux, moderately casual; it’s their in-between. Think herringbones, tweeds, weaves & textures you can never go wrong with.

3/ Casual: Think funky & hip, bold & colorful & just a lot of fun. It’s for the bachelors & bachelorettes, it’s for the game room & family room, it’s for your teenager’s space, it’s for the man-cave.

Joybird Fabrics

Sometimes too many options can be dizzying. Of course, do not take my word for it, you can always get fabric swatches from them. Smell them, touch them, put them against your skin, sooner or later one will heed the call for your seating yearnings. And for those with little kiddos & lovable pets, they do have these performance fabrics:

pet friendly fabric joybird

If you’re more traditional, check out my post on Decoding Restoration Hardware fabrics.

5 Fab Friday Finds | 5 Storage Styles for Nursery & Kid’s Rooms

Ok, first, that is a very long title. And it’s been an extremely long week too! I am a Mom of an almost two-year old. The terrible two’s is not a myth, it is unquestionably real; and though this is not my first foray into motherhood, I don’t quite remember my little girl now a teenager to be as messy as my baby boy is right now. And as a designer, I obsess about things being neat, tidied up & in their right place. Alas, this notion is not realistic. So. my advice? Embrace the mess, it’s ok to let it linger then later, pick up & put them in stylish storage baskets & bins for when guests or your mother-in-law comes, or when you just want to get in touch with your sane self again.

Here are 5 Storage Styles for Nursery & Kid’s Rooms:

Storage styles for nursery and kid's rooms

1. Coastal or Cottage: For a clean, crisp style 1 / 2 / 3

2. Industrial: For a Rustic Feel 1 / 2 / 3

3. Fun & Colorful: For a Vibrant & Cheerful Space 1 / 2 / 3

4. Dainty: For the Princess of the House 1 / 2 / 3

5. Modern Nordic: Minimalist 1 / 2 / 3

Happy weekend everyone!

Where to Find Affordable Art

I spend a lot of my time finding the finds for clients. I’m telling you, furniture shopping is a breeze if you compare it to finding the right art. For one, it is so subjective {what you find beautiful, your clients may completely abhor} & it has to be cohesive or complementary to the color palette established & oh yeah, the feel & look has to be just right. and the all-important price, especially if there’s a specific budget in mind.
Here are some great websites to find affordable art!


Offers a wide array of original art in different mediums and at different price points.

Curated original art with some pieces at less than $500.

Mostly reproductions but you can get art in several size & even framing options.
Find vintage to handmade art from artists around the world.
Curated art from savvy pickers from modern to vintage art.
From Photography art to Mixed Media to Framed Textiles and Posters.
Offers trendy pieces and known for their art on Fashion and Typography.

Check out the works of the local artists in your area or even student’s work at your local university & college. In Austin, check out the artists from the EAST AUSTIN STUDIO TOUR & the WEST AUSTIN STUDIO TOUR.


Happy curating & remember, to have walls that’s full of life, Art is the answer.

5 Fab Friday Finds : Embroidered Wallpaper

I go gaga for intricate details & in design, texture is that oh-so important element that gives a treatment, finish or a space more depth. I’m a big fan of hand painted wallpaper of course, case in point here, but now I’m all about embroidered wallpaper. Obviously, you can’t touch & feel my favorite ones below but close your eyes & ran your fingers through the embroidery, please!

Embroidered Wallpaper

1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5

Custhom available at Supply Showroom in Austin.

Anybody wants one in their space?

Design Board | Cognac & Cement

Did you have a firework-filled July 4th? Did you don your best red, white & blue ensemble? Ours was low-key except for a trek to a drive-through Safari.

I do design boards for almost every client. This one was a contender for a bachelor pad at the Seaholm Residences here in Austin, but alas, another design board won for this project {turns out the client is more bold & loves color rather than ultra-masculine notes & muted colors}. I totally love this one, I guess because I’ve been doing traditional & more feminine spaces lately. This one is colder & minimalist but totally awesome! Everything would be in masculine browns, cognac specifically which is all about glamour & refinement, cement grays in hides & finishes, dashes of marble white.

Gray Cognac Leather Design


1/ Sectional : Volo at Nest Modern

2/ Wallpaper: Romeo Carrara from Fschumacher

3/ Coffee Table: Zaine Nesting Tables at Palette & Parlor

4/ Area Rug: Hide Patchwork Area Rug from Wayfair

5/ Counter Stools: Acrylic & Hide Stools by Zentique

6/ Lighting Pendant: Crimp Bar Pendant by Studio A

I can see ultra avant garde art everywhere, like horses with balloon heads , oh & maybe other animals, a whole safari! Happy 1st week of July everyone!

5 Fab Friday Finds

It has been an amazing week! The first week of May has turned out to be #MerryMay indeed! First, I am Designer of the Month at the place that sells a zillion things, Wayfair; then just learned that Culture Map Austin voted me to be in the Top 5 Interior Designers to Watch. Woop! Woop! Still doing a happy dance! I am thoroughly grateful! I’m already having so much fun doing what I do but this is icing on the cake & I love icing!

So, my 5 Fab Friday Finds are all about show stopping coffee tables. Sourcing one for a client and he has an amazing {and expensive taste}. These tables are in my home in an alternate universe, they are break the bank tables but oh-so-fine, so without further ado ….

1/ Mattia Bonetti Meander Coffee Table

Because gold plated bronze in swirls is just super-duper amazing! This one will set you back about 40k though. Yowza!

Because gold plated bronze in swirls is just super-duper amazing! This one will set you back about 40k though. Yowza!

2/ Sun & Moon Coffee Table

What if you can get the Sun & the Moon in marble & brass, you’ll get it right?

3/ To Turn You On

Maybe you’re turned out by this table, maybe you’re not but I love it because it’s sculptural & you have so many options as to where to put your glass of wine.

4/ Tears Cocktail Table

It's tiered & it swivels in glamorous black & gold, what's not to love? About 6k.

It’s tiered & it swivels in glamorous black & gold, what’s not to love? About 6k.










5/ Lapiaz Coffee Table

Screen Shot 2016-05-05 at 2.36.39 PM

It’s like gold lava coming out of a volcano’s mouth! This one divides into three different pieces. Earth shaking goodness!

Black and Gold Coffee Table

Have an amazing weekend everyone! I am a workaholic & do not respect the weekend most of the time but this time I will —- so cleaning the house/garage it is! Ha!

May your spaces scream of beauty and awe and your rooms effortlessly curated. Interior Design Austin and beyond. Design questions or dilemmas? Drop me a line! Click here >>>

Tile Guide | Choosing the Right Tile

Life is full of options isn’t it? In food, fashion and yes, design. How about paint colors? There’s a gazillion of them. Unfortunately, that’s the way it is with tiles as well. Here’s a little Tile Guide infographic for you that may help out a bit.


Of course, there are other things to consider, color, pattern, size, grout but choosing what kind will be the first thing you should think about.

May your spaces scream of beauty and awe and your rooms effortlessly curated. Interior Design Austin and beyond. Design questions or dilemmas? Drop me a line! Click here >>>

3 Light Gray Paint Colors to Try

I’m doing some pretty bold colors in some spaces in our new home — navy blues, teals … I even wanted magenta but the husband refused pink’s more daring cousin. But in most parts of the house, we have mostly whites & grays.

Looking at a few past projects, it seems I do have some go-to light gray paints I absolutely love. Grays can be warm with brown/taupe undertones or cool with blue/green undertones so if you want a true gray, these are surefire hues to get that wall color right:

1/ Moonshine by Benjamin Moore as shown in this fun abode for a young client. It was the perfect backdrop for her spaces where we used navys, pinks & blue-greens.

2/ Collingwood by Benjamin Moore was the right amount of classic for this urban condo dining-kitchen turned feminine with a dash of pastel colors & a French patisserie feel.

3/ And last but not the least, Light French Gray from Sherwin-Williams is my all-time favorite and perfect for the Updated Classic project.

Light Gray Paint

What do you think? Any favorites? Have a great week everyone!


May your spaces scream of beauty and awe and your rooms effortlessly curated. Interior Design Austin and beyond. Design questions or dilemmas? Drop me a line! Click here >>>

5 Fab Friday Finds

Oh hello! It’s been a looong time since my last Friday finds post. Womp! Womp! Not doing too well with this consistency thing. I’m trying! The past few weeks have been eventful, finishing up projects from 2015, starting on new ones this year, shot one of my projects, had a little soiree with college friends in Vegas and checked out the Austin Modern Home Tours.

Today, my Friday finds are shops I fell in love with during my last trip to NOLA. Please forgive me for the awful photos 🙂 They are amazing shops … believe me!

1/ Box Paper Scissors

This shop is a gem! Well-edited, extensively curated, you’ll see finds from Lladro, Kelly Wearstler, Fornasetti & saw this Maison Margiela door decal for the first time, it’s a beaut! From apothecary, fine clothing, paper and Hermes scarves throw pillows and floor poufs, this shop is a dream stop for high end shoppers or for people like me just browsing for endless inspiration.

Box Paper Scissor

Box Paper Scissor

2/ Rivers Spencer

Unmistakably French & utterly feminine, this design studio and fine furnishings shop is also a must-see. I kinda fell in love with her own collection, like this Shield chair and this Audrey bench.

Rivers Spencer

Rivers Spencer

Rivers Spencer

Rivers Spencer

3/ Leontine Linens

When bespoke monograms is your thing, this is unmistakably linen heaven. They have one of those doorbell things though so it may be a bit awkward if you’re the only one in; it feels like one of those boutiques you dread to visit because you’ll instantly feel like Julia Roberts in Pretty Woman even if you’re not wearing any safety pins.

4/ Perch

I’ve loved this store ever since my first time visiting NOLA. They have quite an eclectic collection, from contemporary paintings to antique finds and to furniture they have refurbished themselves. Wallpaper inspiration galore in every corner & they carry one of my fave lines, Timorous Beasties.

Perch NOLA

Perch NOLA

5/ Kevin Stone Antiques

My must-check-out store when looking for 40 k chandeliers or 5 k busts — oh because I love the history. The space is pretty tight, not because it’s small but it’s just packed to the brim with finds albeit from the interiors of lords {kings & queens perhaps?} from a bygone area. It’s just a feast to the eyes! Maybe someday soon, I’ll be able to muster the courage to buy a desktop accessory — maybe a letter opener?

Until next week folks. Tomorrow, we’re doing a crawfish boil & watching the Pacquaio fight. What are you doing?

May your spaces scream of beauty and awe and your rooms effortlessly curated. Interior Design Austin and beyond. Design questions or dilemmas? Drop me a line! Click here >>>