Design Elements | Watergate Bay Hotel

When I think of a Coastal Summer or Beach Chic, I don’t ever think of the UK. Never, right? Well, at least for me; I haven’t traveled in that country much; so visions of union jacks, pubs and well, the pregnant princess of course is what comes to mind. Well, well, come to find out, the beach life is alive and well in Cornwall in the United Kingdom; it’s in the westernmost part of the south-west peninsula and bordered in the East and West by the Celtic sea. I fell in love with the Watergate Bay Hotel in this town & the laid back design elements that perfectly evokes the relaxed, beach life of course!

To get the look and feel of this amazing place go for:

1. A cheery & bright palette of yellows, whites/creams and all shades of blues.

2. Natural textures, wovens and bleached woods should be the staple.

3. Do some striping! On walls, linens and window coverings.

watergate bay hotel design elements

watergate bay hotel activity room

Inspiration for designing your next space can truly come for everywhere. One of my all time favorite tip is to take a cue from a favorite destination whether you’ve been there or not! Travel nostalgia at it’s best.

Check out the Watergate Bay Hotel here.

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Tips & Tricks | Get the Look of a Classic Bath

The bathroom should be somewhere that we can escape to, a place of peace and calm where we can lock the door on the outside world. With many different bathroom design schemes out there, it is the classical look we frequently turn to for the perfect blend of luxury and comfort.

So what exactly do we mean by a classical bathroom?

Defining classical. Any classical interior scheme takes its style cues from days gone by, when a relaxed opulence and hedonism ruled. The mood of a classical bathroom can be shaped by ancient Roman and Greek themes, using imitation Doric columns, acanthus leaves and mosaics, or it can reflect more recent historical ages such as French Napoleonic or Italian Baroque periods.

Yes, classical bathroom style really can be cherry picked from all the best bits of interior design history – it is entirely possible to mix and match ideas from across the ages, with the exception of really contemporary styles. Forget ideas of modern wet rooms in polished concrete and minimalist styling – a classical bathroom does not hold back on the glamor and unashamedly embraces the best from times past. Some may prefer to call it traditional, but that term lacks the gloss and high style often associated with ‘the classics.’

Get the look. There are easy ways to introduce classical style into the bathroom. Begin with choosing sanitary ware with a traditional feel, such as pedestal sinks.  Freestanding claw-foot tubs add instant glamor, as do gold or burnished brass faucets. Colors in classical bathrooms tend to be muted shades of cream, gray, white and gold. Materials such as marble, stone, Tuscan tile and mosaic give the quietly luxurious touch we are after. Walls painted in rich, muted tones work as the perfect backdrop to a theatrical scheme – for added authenticity try out some of the superb historic shades widely available. Ornately decorated traditional wallpapers can also bring a historic feel to the bathroom, designs with Chinoiserie, French Toile or classic English William Morris overtones are all worth consideration.

Classic windows. For pure drama and theater in the bathroom, look to the windows. Classical bathrooms demand special treatment with lavish drapes in rich fabrics. Go overboard on the drapes that frame the window, opting for rich swags and tiebacks. For privacy fit subtle low cost vinyl blinds, and then dress the surroundings for maximum impact.

Finishing touches. Clever use of accessories underlines a bathroom’s classic credentials. A well-chosen set of antique prints in black and gold frames can look stunning. Mirrors in gleaming mahogany or ornate gilded frames set the tone for a classic scheme, as do lamps with crystal and glass shades. Breathe boudoir bravura into the room with a carefully placed antique armchair upholstered in sumptuous crushed velvet. For bespoke vanity units and towel storage, re-purposed French style furniture works wonders – paint it in muted colors and embellish with gold detailing for maximum effect.

So, when it comes to putting together a classical bathroom design the rules are, there are no rules! Just select the best ideas from yesterday’s interiors, throw in a large slice of luxury and a side order of comfort – and a classical bathroom is born. And remember, the real beauty of this bathroom style is that it won’t go out of fashion.

Images: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4

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Park West Austin

Location & affordability? I didn’t know they still exist in Central Austin. One of the places we visited for this year’s Austin Downtown Living Tour is the Park West Residences in the corner of 18th & West Ave, a bike ride away from the University of Austin, downtown and Clarksville. For singles, bachelors or even a young family, I really think this is a good spot for you. My friend even thought of getting a unit here to have a home away from home {which is WestLake Austin}; a girl’s night out is more safe if you can just crash at your downtown digs after a night of partying right? Have the best of what a great location can offer at an amazing price. Here’s a quick tour:

branch-accessory arched door

bedroom park west austin living room park west austin bedroom park west austin kitchen park west austin bath park west austin common area park west austin

The Downtown Living Tour really did a great job of showcasing what downtown Austin has to offer. If you are looking for posh, there are condo units in the millions but if you’re into living the urban life without breaking your bank, then there are lots of options for you too. Explore more of the Park West Residences.

See more images of the 2013 Downtown Living Tour. These images are copyrighted and cannot be copied without explicit permission from Hanan Exposures.

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The Pretty Poufs Round Up

I hope you had an amazing fourth! For a lot of you, this is a four-day weekend….time to relax and put your feet up in a pouf or ottoman. I’m pretty good at doing this segue to a new topic 🙂 Today, I’m doing a pretty poufs round-up…a little plug about new finds at the shop. I’m a big fan of poufs myself, they are small yet functional and does double {maybe even more} duty all the time. From occasional sitting to a feet relaxation center and yes, even an accent table. They are so versatile and will be amazing in any space. I was pretty conflicted at first as to what’s the correct term for these precious pieces of furniture. Are they poufs or ottomans? Well, I checked the dictionary and found out my answer…

Pouf: A broad, backless cushioned seat

Ottoman: A low cushioned seat without back or arms

Er…I’m still confused! For my purposes, I’ll use “pouf” if it is a stand alone seating and an “ottoman” if it’s paired with a similar chair or sofa. Are you with me?

pouf-round-up 1. Off White Pouf

2. Square Chauncey Ottomam

3. Boutyard Pouf

4. Round Kilim Pouf

5. Triangle Pouf

6. Vintage Sack Ottoman – Round

7. Vintage Sack Ottoman – Square

 From a coastal themed space to vintage rustic, a little Boho or French Country, I think these poufs are perfect! Happy weekend and enjoy the rest of your vacay!

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Tips & Tricks | Get the Look of a Vintage Bedroom

Thinking of going vintage or vintage-style in your bedroom design? I still get conflicted at times, what does vintage actually mean?  Vintage style harks back to the 1940s and 50s, when furniture had been passed down from generation to generation, so it had that old, well-used, well-loved look. It was a time when a bedroom was an essentially feminine space, light and airy, replete with frills and pastel colors, and of course, lots of accessories.

1. Get the Look
The bed is the focal point of any bedroom, and going vintage, means going for a bed that is sturdy, yet somehow delicate, comfortable and inviting.  Bedsteads or frames made from metal work well, as do wooden frames, with carved finials and headboard designs.  Canopies are also a feature of vintage bedrooms and they are easy to dress and change if you want to, by swapping the fabric for a different color or accessorizing with fairy lights.  Essential pieces of furniture for the bedroom include bedside cabinets with drawer storage, a wardrobe or armoire and a dressing table.

2. Color schemes and fabrics

Easy on the eye is the key to a vintage look.  This means going for a color scheme of pastel colors, teamed with lots of white or antique cream.  Keep the bed linen and drapes the same fabric and pattern if possible to tie the room design together.  Create accents with cushions in contrasting colors.  Create layers of texture, especially on the bed, by placing a fringed or embroidered throw across the foot.

3. Genuine vintage furniture

Flea markets are a great place to find genuine vintage furniture for a fraction of their original price, as well as other outlets like antique shops, auctions and craft fairs. Patience is the key here though, as it may take a while for you to come across the piece of furniture that is just right for your bedroom, but the feeling when you do is awesome. Remember not to rush into buying an item just because you have fallen in love with it as well though. Ensure that you have sufficient space, and that it will serve as a functional, as well as beautiful, piece of furniture.
4. Modern vintage furniture

Sometimes you just cannot find genuine furniture and you will have to resort to buying modern.  But this does not mean you have to sacrifice your vintage style.  A lot of modern furniture is made in an old, or should I say, vintage style, so while it may not be authentic, it will at least look right. Take a look at some examples on Furniture Village.
5. Accessories

Accessories can also give a modern room a vintage look.  Fix light sconces to the wall, either with or without candles.  Landscape paintings are perfect for a vintage style, but these need to be in wooden frames, preferably painted white.  Place hatboxes on top of wardrobes or under a chest of drawers or the dressing table.  Not only with they give you additional storage, they will also instantly achieve that vintage style. To complete the look, decorate the dressing table with old-fashioned bottles and jars of cosmetics and perfumes.

Images: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5

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The Whitley Austin

Until now I’m still conflicted between living downtown or overlooking mountains or at the lake here in Austin. Oh, if only I can have the best of three worlds. Well, in downtown Austin, apartment buildings and condos are sprouting right and left; real estate is definitely booming. There’s a new posh place in downtown; if The Monarch and The AMLI is on the West side, The Whitley just east of Congress just is at the corner of 3rd and Brazos. It was The Whitley Printing Company for five decades transformed into this landmark residence.

the whitley bedroom the whitley bedroom i-dfj9N9n-L i-gDTDzjQ-L accessories the whitley the whitley bath

What do you think? Explore The Whitley here.

See more images of the 2013 Downtown Living Tour. These images are copyrighted and cannot be copied without explicit permission from Hanan Exposures.

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Farmhouse Dining Design Board


When I think of Farmhouse style, I dream of the English countryside. Rich woods, wire, zinc and tin objects, rustic baskets. There’s a chicken coop outside, lavender plants and other wildflowers in the fields. It’s quaint, it’s cozy. Neutral on neutral plus other colors of nature. When two design clients asked me for a Farmhouse feel in their dining board with a twist, I couldn’t be any more excited. I plan to have the usual elements of Farmhouse style with splashes of color & pattern. Below is a sketch and one of the design boards.

farmhouse dining sketch

farmhouse dining room I’m really loving the San Marco fabric by Quadrille; caned chairs will be wonderful with coordinating pillows, a balustrade dining table, a rustic demilune with a zinc garden urn. The other design board is still in the works. Hope this all comes together soon!

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What Bedding Personality Are You?

What’s your personality in the bedroom? Ok, don’t get the wrong idea. I’m talking about bed sheets, pillowcases, duvets and the like. Your choice of bedding is so crucial to the look and feel of your bedroom. It takes up a third of this space so choosing the best color palette and pattern that fits your personality is very important. Some people change their bedding look every season, why not every different mood you’re in?

I came across this gorgeous website for bedding where every collection has a story and yes, a different personality. Frette has been around since 1860. Holy moly…I believe they know their linens! Here are some of my favorites and quite frankly, fits my ever changing mood and personality.

1. Classic : If you’re into the simple yet luxurious. It reminds you of the comfort of fine hotels, the hotel classic.


2. Romantic: So, this is not red or hot pink but the peach salmon color of the Paraggi collection exudes a romantic feel. It’s a bit feminine but not frou frou.

bohemian bedding

3. Bohemian: If you’re a free spirit with a flair for the global and exotic, the Mabrouka Bordo is for you. If you’re going for boldness, how about choosing the red one?

blue bedding

4. Relaxed: With cool blues, the Baglio collection is all about celebrating the Italian Riviera; or the Greek isles {if you ask me either one will work}.

elegant masculine bedding

5. Elegant: If you’re into the sophisticated and elegant, classy and refined, how about the Triplo Bourdon?

So, what bedding personality are you?

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Shake up the Chemistry of Decor

I do love the elements, oh you know especially silver and golds but I don’t think the elements loved me in Chemistry in high school. The properties of matter is just way complicated! Well, that was years ago. Right now, we’re shaking up the chemistry of decor by using beakers, flasks and test tubes most of us only handled in Chemistry into elements of design and style.

chemistry decor vases


I just adore these items as vases and they look especially charming in clusters. Line them up, go for varying heights, or like items; you can’t go wrong with these glass collection. I see them on top of consoles, the coffee table, end tables, the desk; even bookcases. Ahh, all the styling possibilities! Or how about at weddings and other events. Ok folks, I’m not just saying that because they are at the shop; I really think they are simply fabulous! Check them out at the shop.

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Handmade for HGTV | Fabric Scrap Cafe Curtains

For the second installment of my contributions {see my first one here} , my task was to make a window covering from fabric scraps. As always, the most important thing with these handmade items is they have to be easy. I totally would say this would be in the very, very, very easy button.

Follow the jump here to see the whole tutorial. Thank you to my wonderful assistant, Rachel for helping me out and snapping the pics.

fabric scrap curtain

Thanks all for checking it out, there’s more to come.

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