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 DOORS Loving 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 doors Or 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

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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!

via

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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 >>>

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?

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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

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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.

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