Tips for a Stylish Home Library


This drop in temperature has me craving quiet time with a cup of a coffee and a good book. As you might already know, I not only have a weakness for good design books, but also for arranging them, and re-arranging them some more. Books on the shelf, on the coffee table, and on the office armoire, you can find them in almost every room of my house. I always like to think that you can get a good sense of who someone is by the books they keep. I find myself daydreaming up home libraries for me and my clients. From traditional home office libraries for some inspiration or mid-day distraction (great for creative blocks!), to non-traditional home libraries under staircases or in patio areas. In this day and age where almost everything is digital, I can’t help but fall in love with the tangible charm found in books. They are ideal for big and small spaces, creating an organized, yet spontaneous focal point in a room.  Interested in dreaming up a home library for your home? Let’s chat over coffee!

Designer tips for styling a bookshelf:

1. Mix it up: A mix of vertical and horizontal books can add an unexpected element creating a more visually interesting bookshelf.

2. Personalize it: Books can tell someone a lot about you, but it’s even better when it’s combined with photos or personal art work.

3. Play with color: Try color coding your books, painting the inside of your bookshelf, or adding simple touches of color that ties in the contents of your bookshelf. (Ex. A blue trinket box to highlight all the beautiful details of blue throughout your bookshelf.)

4. Decorate with shapes: Books for the most part are rectangular, so adding decorative items of different shapes can add a playful flair to your arrangement.

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Image sources: top//middle//bottom

Rustic Fall Elements


Fall is in full swing! Which means switching from summer barbeques to gatherings around the table for some spiced apple cider and a taste of Autumn harvest. When I think of Autumn, I immediately gravitate towards rustic elements with an organic touch. I love creating a table scape with items of form and function, as well as items that easily transition into the next season. Here are some ideas:

1. Neutral colored pumpkins translate the aesthetic of fall without being “too” focused on Halloween.

2. Leafy herbs are aromatic and make for beautiful centerpieces that never go to waste. The beauty of such tasty and organic centerpieces not only bring life to a table, but also brings flavor to our plates. I like it when decor can later end up potted in a garden versus stashed in my storage closet.

3. Wooden blocks add a great rustic element and can be used for anything, from staging a beautiful cheese plate to being used as a cutting board. Lastly, re-cycling wine bottles into candle holders creates an intimate ambiance while bringing out the beautiful, rich colors of fall.

So whether you’re gathering ideas for a pumpkin carving party or a Thanksgiving dinner, consider the rustic elements of what we love so much about this time of year.

Interior Design in Austin | E-Design everywhere. Contact me.

Image sources: Top/pumpkins/herbs/wood/wine bottles



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Autumn Walls

How was your weekend everyone? We had torrential rain here in Austin and though, it still gets pretty warm during the day; it is most certainly the Fall season. Perhaps you’re already enjoying pumpkin lattes, go easy on it though.

Today, let’s talk about the hues of Autumn in wall color. It’s warmth and spice all in one gorgeous tint. From vivid and vibrant oranges, pumpkin, amber, rust, gamboge {a dark mustard yellow}…such a wide array of lovely hues to choose from. Here’s a few inspiration for you! all

Just add texture and you’ve got a cozy room to love! Now, I just might enjoy a pumpkin latte soon…or some cider maybe? Cinnamon layer cake sounds good. Have a great week!

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Images: 1 | all others via Derring Hall

Home Office Update in Bee Cave

Does anybody know what day it is? It’s Wednesday hump day everybody! Ahhh, time has been flying fast these days. The weekend got away from me with a rehearsal dinner, a wedding and a christening…all in one weekend. And the past two days was spent working.

Today, I want to share a few images from a home office design I did for a financial executive turned consultant turned friend, we’ll just call her Darling D. She lives in gorgeous Bee Cave overlooking hills in an equally gorgeous home. She approached me a few months back to help her with her unused home office. She started working from home and need the space to be functional & beautiful. She needed the walls to stay the same, it’s in army green in a sort of Ernest Hemingway feel with deep walnut chair rail moldings. She wanted to reuse furnishings she already had and buy only a few new items plus accessories.

eames chair

Every office needs a reading nook to unwind at. She just gotta have this gorgeous Eames chair + ottoman & we paired it with an etagere & a floor lamp. We’re still on the look out for the perfect art piece for the bare wall to the left.

orange accessories

She adores orange in her everyday outfit so it’s just befitting to have a few orange accessories.

orb lighting

A space always calls for gorgeous lighting!

green home office

The images are by my good friend James Leasure who just captured how gorgeous this herringbone wooden floors are!

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Beautiful Blues

I am going to make a bold prediction that next year’s Pantone Color of the Year will be one of the blues. Well, I’m glad I’m not making a bet with this prediction. I really don’t know yet I am being drawn to it more and more lately. Of course not too long ago in 2010, we had Turquoise so I’m really not sure if we’ll have one of the cool colors again so soon. But there is such a wide array of blues that I think Pantone can just have so many options.

Maybe Periwinkle? With a hint of purple, the hue is playful yet refreshing.

Then there’s Cyan, the color of clear water on a sandy beach.

And who doesn’t love the rich hue Navy blue?

Cadet blue is very sophisticated with a hint of modern gray.

Indigo is royal and rich but more on the purple side.

Or teal perhaps? Throwing in a green in the blue?

Ahhh blue! Why are you so beautiful?

Images: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7

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Book Review: House Proud | Louisiana Style

With Louisiana just a couple of hours away where I lived in Southeast Texas, there’s an unmistakable air of the Bayou lifestyle; from the food to the Cajun slang. What you don’t see though is the French-inspired architecture and homes that speak of unique stories like the ones you see in New Orleans. I am a big NOLA fan! I clearly had the best Rum bread pudding here and they make the best hurricane drinks as well; but most of all, I’m in love with the cobblestone walkways where you can catch a ghost tour anytime of the week, the quaint stores in the Garden District and the lovely homes, from palatial French-inspired to Grand Victorians, Greek-revivals to shotgun houses. All that and more is featured in the book by Interior Designer Valorie Hart, House Proud | Unique Home Design Louisiana.

House Proud louisiana style

I did have preconceived notions about this book. I thought it was going to be a collection of glorious and even grandiose homes that is absolutely out-of-reach for us common people. I was definitely pleasantly surprised. Valorie took me inside homes where you won’t feel an air of pretense, where color is in abundance and where you’ll find furnishings that don’t seem to go together and yet they amazingly do {and so beautiful at that}. It does give hope to all of us, showing that it doesn’t matter where you live; big or small, luxurious or modest; great design can happen anywhere!

blue living room

Blue walls, green ceilings.

eclectic french living room

Eclectic French with rustic feel {deer head} & a skeleton, why not?

eclectic sunroom

A  cozy sun room.

The book is full of ideas and inspiration. According to the designer, Valorie, “The people of Lousiana makes their homes welcoming, whether it’s at a humble farm table or at a fancy Chippendale dining table under a glittering chandelier. Here, decorating is a way of life.” Her words are spot on! We can learn so much from the pages of this book.

From House Proud: Unique Home Design/Louisiana by Valorie Hart, © 2013, published by Glitterati Incorporated Check out Valorie’s blog here.

Interior Design in Austin | E-Design everywhere. Contact me.

Handmade for HGTV | Chair Feathers

The change to the cooler season always signal having a few more textures. Fur,velvet, cashmere and yes feathers! Warm hued feathers for the Fall, black ones for Halloween and gold, white or silver for winter and the holidays. So, you can make feather wreaths, spruce up vases with hints of feathers or why not dress up a chair’s derierre with feathers? We outfitted this vanity chair with ruffle feathers for the Handmade for HGTV series. Check out the how-to and see how easy it is to make this.


feathers-piano-chair So, yes, we liked it so much, we thought dining chairs & piano chairs should have feathers. I couldn’t make these projects possible without these people: my super amazing assistant, Rachel and this wonderful and talented photog who pretty much dabbles in everything, James. This is his lovely home by the way!

How about a DIY weekend making some feather chairs. The link is here and check out our other Handmade for HGTV projects.

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7 Rules of Bookcase Decorating

I’m sure many people will argue that bookcases are meant for books only, but most decorators and designers may respectfully disagree. The truth is, you can use any type of furnishings however you want to as long as it’s functional, but function plus aesthetics? That’s much better! Which leads me to one of our bookcases at Casa Stevens. This is a World Market find by the way and super affordable. Mind you, I was hunting for the perfect brass bookcase but I can’t seem to commit to buying one that’s worth two grand {yes, they are super expensive!}. Solution? Just paint this one in glossy black & spray paint the brackets and other hardware in brass.

bookcase decorating

And here folks are my 7 Rules for bookcase decorating:

1. Mix up accessories & books. Now, I love books. But books with accessories that means something me? That makes it double functional!

2. “His” and “Hers” books go together. So, yes, I adore fancy decorative and designer coffee table books but I also love my husband and although his poker books are not as pretty as mine, they deserve to be in the bookcase at our living room.

3. Add something vintage…for character, most definitely!

4. Put personal mementos, yes personal pictures in gorgeous frames are awesome.

5. Dress up the top…that’s kinda it’s crowning glory.

6. Display objet trouves from travels…for nostalgia.

7. And last but not the least, read your books! Yes, we’ve read all books that’s in our bookcase; and the ones we have at our bedside table will soon be added here as soon as we get done with them.

bookcase styling

How is your bookcase looking everybody? Happy Wednesday!

Interior Design in Austin | E-Design everywhere. Contact me.

Bachelor Pads for the Modern Man

From most of my social media postings, my style has been dubbed by some people as feminine. I have been dying to style and design a bachelor pad {thanks to a few people that’s giving me a chance!you know who you are}. It may be true that the “sterile” and “cold” are never in my design vocabulary. But masculine, lived in and curated are not…. these are the words that a bachelor pad or space should speak about.

The term “bachelor pad” conjures up images of uncomfortable minimalism on the one hand, or disorganized slovenly chaos on the other. Creating a bachelor pad that is stylish, comfortable (and clean) however, is easy with a few key items and a small amount of interior design skill.
The Kitchen:
Piles of pots and moulding dishes are nobody’s idea of classy; if any room requires a minimalist theme, the kitchen is it. If washing up isn’t high on your to-do list, invest in a dishwasher. Even the smallest kitchen spaces can accommodate a slim-line washer, and being able to simply rinse and stack should take care of unsightly and unhygienic washing up. For small spaces with limited cabinet space, chrome rails with hooks are great for storing pots and pans. Make a feature of your lack of storage. If a new kitchen is within your budget, look into kitchens with inbuilt gadgets and features for a slick and stylish finish. The buzz words for a bachelor pad kitchen are ‘clean’ and ‘functional’.

The Living Room:
The living room is likely to be your main entertaining space. Leather sofas are stylish and easy to clean. It is likely that the television will be the focal point of the room, either for watching movies or playing video games, but that doesn’t mean you should ignore other features. Make your seating area the center piece of the room; if your room is large enough, create a sofa arrangement in the center of the room to create an illusion of extra space and to draw attention in to the ‘entertainment’ area.
For a stylish room that isn’t stark, opt for woods instead of plastic and metal finishes; wood can still be sleek with clean lines if you keep to one type, and it is complemented perfectly with soft leather furnishings. Lamps instead of overhead lights help with creating a homely atmosphere. Opt for high tech lamps such as the Poplight – accessories should be cool but stylish. If you must embrace your inner geek, consider aesthetics as well; a lamp shaped like a storm trooper head might seem like a great idea, but it is unlikely to win you points with the ladies.


The Bedroom:

Piles of laundry and damp towels are not sexy. If you are congenitally incapable of folding or hanging, make sure that your wardrobe has space for your laundry basket – hiding the evidence of your slovenly habits is a step above displaying dirty underwear for the world to see.
Invest in a good quality bed – leather is a great option for style and comfort; a leather sleigh bed like these oh-so masculine ones from Indigo Furniture are perfect, and with one of these in the room your need for extra accessorizing is minimal. Keep linens to good quality cottons and block colours and, once again, use lamps for low level lighting as opposed to over-head lights that are harsh and brighter than is ideal.

Follow my Pinterest board on all things masculine!

Interior Design in Austin | E-Design everywhere. Contact me.

Images: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7

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Accessory Cues | Color by Amber

In interior design, inspiration is truly everywhere. sometimes the hard part is zoning in which inspiration will direct you to a home or space that truly reflects you. One cue that I tell my clients sometimes is to think about what they like in their accessories, fashion accessories that is.  Are they all about jewel tones and geometric patterns? Me? I’m all about curves in big pieces of furniture and totally in love with the Lexi Headboard from My Chic Nest  {above} but the hues and lines is such a nice complement to these Angles jewelry collection at Color by Amber. 

And let’s talk about facets a bit, there’s faceted studs {how cute are these studs below and the bow & arrow necklaces!} calls for something softer, something plush, like a velvet connection. Ahhh, the Bella sofa is just divine!


How adorable are these jewelry pieces? So, I know I rarely talk about fashion here but I recently got introduced to this jewelry line, Color by Amber. With design forward styles and an ethos that’s all about sustainability, I am hooked! I have the honeycomb gold cuff, swoon!

So, a few notes for this Monday, check out Color by Amber and get interior design inspiration from the outfits you wear.

Interior Design in Austin | E-Design everywhere. Contact me.

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