Monday, October 7, 2013

Window treatments for Arched Windows

So last week I met with a new client....a wonderful uber exciting client! These clients just moved into a beautiful new home in Westchester from NYC and have very little furniture. Yeah! They also like things slightly contemporary with clean lines... double yeah! I have to say, most of my clients are traditional/transitional in style so contemporary will be fun to do!

One of the first elements we are grappling with is window treatments. Regardless of design style, I feel like clients are always stumped when it comes to window treatments. They are expensive. They are a commitment. There are a lot of options and retail stores do the homeowner no favors by selling 84" curtains....they are not to be handled alone!

NOTE: Unless you have 7' ceilings- you should NOT be buying 84" curtains!!! 

Ok, off the topic...window clients....did I mention arched windows? Hhmmm..this one is a dozie...especially with contemporary clients. How does one address a more traditional arched window and still keep the feeling contemporary? Well, here are some of the inspiration photos I have...which I am going to explore with my clients...

1. Clean panels hung above the arch:

 2. Shutters cut to fit the arch:

3. Roman shade made to fit...not so contemporary...but it can work:

I like either the shutters or the panels...but for light control and privacy, the shutters might be better....although we can always do both:) Keep checking in to find out what we decide on!

Monday, September 30, 2013

Busy, Busy, Busy!

I know on the last post I apologized for my long hiatus and then whoops! I did it again! Actually- I didn't really take a hiatus- my computer was on the fritz...I couldn't log-on to Blogger (uggh!) and then my hard drive went and crashed! Fun stuff...really.

Anyway, I'm back! Up and running and I super busy! I have been working with some new clients along with finishing up some of the current jobs which took a slow stall in the summertime. I will have some great progress shots to share with you from one of my favorite clients since I'll be swinging by there tomorrow....yipppeee!

In the meantime, I also have lots of things I'm loving right now so let me top five faves of the moment:

#1. Shut-up Schumacher! This stationary is to die for.....

Schumacher Chiang Mai Dragon Alabaster
Schumacher Birds & Butterflies

#2. Corrie Hayes...I have a place for this peacock!

Peacock Painting, Original Peacock Bird art, Abstract painting, bright contemporary art, children's and nursery art, wild painting, colorful 

#3. Kate've made my Christmas list...yes...I'm working on that already:) And I resisted the re-emergence of gold but gold & pink?? Wowsa....

#4. Aww Avenue B....The color of this chest makes such a statement....LOVE it!
Royale Chest 

#5. Urban've changed my life with 24/7 Glide-on eyeliner. This stuff does NOT move....finally! Where has this eyeliner been all my life?? I have Corrupt and Zero...can't get enough!
Urban Decay - 24/7 Glide-On Eye Pencil

And I'm hoping to be able to share some big exciting business news soon! I have a new endeavor I'm working on which I'll be able to share with you all very soon, I hope!

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Sarah Richardson at Kravet

What do you get when you combine two of my favorite powerhouses? One very happy designer.....and that is because Kravet now carries a fabric line designed by one of my absolute faves (a best friend in my head) Sarah Richardson!
Portrait of Sarah from Sarah 101 Season 2
Sarah Richardson

You TV junkies may recognize her from Design Inc or Sarah's House on HGTV. I love her down-to-earth approach to design. She makes the design process seem very approachable without down-playing the value of a professional designer. And she is absolutely gifted at working with color and mixing patterns.

When I was at BlogFest 2013 a few months ago, I had the privilege of touring the Kravet offices and I had a little sneak peek at the Sarah Richardson line.....I practically broke a sweat with excitement and grilled the Kravet peeps about the behind-the-scenes deets on Ms. Richardson....word around the office is that she is super sweet and a true pleasure to work with. Glad to hear her reputation didn't disappoint!

And here are some of the fabrics available at Kravet! If you are interested in any of these fabrics, Homestyling101 can get them for you!





Thank you Sarah for these wonderful fabrics...I already ordered my samples for an upcoming project!

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Summer Break

So without any planning or notice- I took a hiatus from blogging. It wasn't something I really planned or premeditated. School ended and life took over. While I do love to blog and check in with you all- when things get busy I just can't seem to muster up any creativity for the blog. And I would rather take a hiatus that put out some half thought-out posts for you all! Heck- some of you may not have even noticed my break!

Funny Workplace Ecard: Welcome back from the vacation I didn't realize you went on.

Besides, in the creative field, I find that taking a mental break from things helps to stir the creative pot a bit! So this summer I had plenty of fun with my kids. We took a few trips and I worked a bit. And now...I'm ready to blog again! One of the other things I bailed on this year was the NY called NY NOW at the Javits Center. It always seems to be around my hubby's birthday and we often jet out of town. So while I didn't attend in person, I am following the cool products that were introduced there....and some of my faves came from Red Egg.

 Double Happiness Hanging Porch Bed
 Wished I was swinging here this summer....LOVE!

Double Happiness Open Shelf Bookcase with File Drawers
This little lover has file drawers in the bottom...who wouldn't want this in their office?

And they have the most amazing chairs available in multiple beautiful finishes! 
And now that I'm back I'll continue to share my inspirations with you! Happy to be back! Hope you all enjoyed your summer and fueled your creativity!

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

What's your backsplash?

Hello, strangers! The last few weeks of June have been kicking my butt. I still owe you all more deets on BlogFest which will come the meantime, I wanted to share an article I was included in about selecting the right backsplash for your kitchen.

I actually just did a backsplash in the kitchen of a home I was staging. The kitchen was a new, updated kitchen but somehow it just fell flat. We decided to put a beautiful caramel-toned marble backsplash in a brick pattern. It looks beautiful (bad, photos). See what other professionals are recommending for this eye-candy in the kitchen!



Here are some of my favorite photos from Houzz with some amazing backsplash options.

White subway tile in a brick pattern with a dark grout.

This looks like some sparkly marble- in a brick pattern with light grout.

This little sparkler looks like some pretty glass beauts!

If you can't do it on the is a marble slab on the backsplash! Beautiful!

What kind of backsplash are you sporting? There is just so much to choose from!

Thursday, May 23, 2013

BlogFest 2013: Day 1

So on Monday and Tuesday I had the pleasure of attending BlogFest2013- a conference of Interior Design Bloggers brought together for some fun, learning, networking, touring, lots of laughs (and some food and drinks...and gifts!). Over the next few posts I will share all the wonderful things I took away from this whirlwind of a time!

The first day started bright and early with an opportunity to tour the Kips Bay Decorator Showhouse privately with the other bloggers (sans the public!). The Kips Bay Decorator Showhouse has been around since 1973 when it was started to benefit the Kips Bay Boys and Girls Club after school programs for NYC kids. It was such a treat and truly inspiring! I took some pictures but the professional ones on the Kips Bay site are much better so here are a few teasers compliments of Kips Bay Decorator Showhouse site:

This dining room was probably one of my favorite spaces. It had laquered blue walls, yellow-ochre curtains, a deconstructed metal buffet and the one gem you can't see in this photo....a gold-leaf wallpapered ceiling that was hand-painted over. I COULD DIE! It was amazing! And the designer was in the room to greet us and she was so lovely. Kudos to Kristen McGinnis- you killed it! 

 Dining Room by Kristen McGinnis

 I believe this room below is the Lounge Suite by Garcia/Maldonado, Inc. It was such a gorgeous and serene sitting area. I loved the unique color pretty!

Garcia Maldonado Lounge

Here is the Master Suite compliments of one of my favorite designers, Kathryn Ireland. It was a beautiful combination of antiques and her always unique play on patterns and colors.

Master Suite by Kathryn Ireland

AMAZING Laquered powder room on the main the play of two-toned turquoise and gold!
Foyer/Powder Room by Andrew Suvalsky Designs

I have to say- the outdoor areas in this Decorators House were unbelievable...each one more enticing than the next. I don't have a photo of the sitting area on the first floor but it was serene and sophisticated done by Nievera Williams Design....and then take a look at this....imagine bathing right outside in NYC! The fifth floor terraces featured amazing work by West Chin Architects & Interior Designers.

Fifth Floor Terrace by West Chin Architects
We were also treated to a lovely breakfast compliments of Doodle Home in this amazingly sophisticated yet rustic kitchen by Christopher Peacock. The wood can't be appreciated in the photos but those cabinets and the hardware were just divine. And Doodle Home had the most delicious breakfast set up for us to start off the day. For those readers who are designers- definitely check out Doodle Home- it is the wave of the future in how you will run your business and purchasing!

Kitchen by Christopher Peacock

After touring the beautiful Kips Bay, we headed on buses over to the Hearst offices which sit high up in NYC for a festive lunch and speaker time! Ok, you've been reading long enough...I think you've earned about some HGTV goodness?

HGTV was so generous in offering the bloggers at BlogFest and our readers a 69% discount on a subscription! Just visit - I am already a subscription but make sure you visit to be able to get your own monthly treat in your mailbox! Stay tuned for the next post on the HGTV lunch and the hilarious speakers.....

Friday, May 17, 2013

What I'm reading...Undecorate

On my last trip to the library, I happen to grab a book that I had my eye on for my design library. I love being able to preview the books through the library before adding them to my already large design library. The latest book I picked up was Undecorate: The No-Rules Approach to Interior Design by Christiane Lemieux.

Christiane Lemieux is the founder of DwellStudio. DwellStudio is known for their very cool style, eclectic mid-century home furnishing and mod prints in geometric and graphic patterns.

Gate Azure Pillow

Mallory Chair in CasaBlanca Geo Citrine
Mallory Chair

While I was reading it my very enlightened six year old asked me why I would read a book called Undecorate when I spend all day helping people decorate. Curious boy. Wasn't sure how to answer this question...couldn't he have just asked where babies come from? That would have been easier.... Seriously, though- the book is about the antithesis of the "decorating process". It's the antithesis of the "act of decorating with intention". The rooms seen in design books are typically rooms that don't make sense for real life.

As Lemieux puts it:

 "Great style isn't necessarily a finished product so much as it is an ongoing process." 

As she states "These aren't flawless residences straight from the pages of some interiors magazine; these homes are imperfect and unbuttoned, a lesson in how to live whether you're a fashion designer or a dentist."

"Undecorating isn't haphazard style; it's not thought-free. It's about being guided by something other than the traditional constraints- whether it's your commitment to the environment, or your love of polka dots, or the fact that you want to feel like you're in Paris when you live in Peoria"

I wish I could share some of the beautiful interiors but you can meander over to Amazon to check out some pages! I'll definitely be ordering this one for the coffee table....

I am also SUPER excited because on Monday and Tuesday I will be attending BLOGFEST 2013 sponsored by Kravet, HGTV among other amazing companies. It is the third annual BlogFest held for interior design bloggers- FUN! Anyone else going? These things are so much more fun when you have someone to hang with!

Friday, May 10, 2013

Staging vs. decorating

Sorry for the radio silence....I had some really big projects going and clearly I am not good at multi-tasking! I have also been having some issues with Blogger that wouldn't allow me to post pictures...and I couldn't do that to you-a blog with no pictures- no fun!

Anyway, I have been working on a huge staging job that just finished and then rolled into another staging job. Not that I am complaining....busy is good! And while I have my degree in Interior Design, I did get certified as a Home Stager and I do enjoy the variety that those staging jobs throw into my everyday mix! While designing is all about pleasing the client, staging is all about pleasing the masses. This is one approach:

Here is one before and after of a previous job I did...perhaps my biggest transformation- Luckily I had money in the budget to paint some rooms but as with every job, there was something I had to work around: silk teal draperies. Certainly not my first choice for a neutral room- but my job was to create a warm neutral space while I incorporated the teal draperies and made them look like they were intended to be part of the design.

Here is the after can see I repeated the teal color in the artwork and in the pillows to balance the strong statement the drapes make.
I think I may have shared these before. On my most recent project, I had to work around about 75% of the homeowner's furniture.  The biggest challenge was a very large (and beautiful) Persian rug in the family room which was red and black- not ideal for staging. While the rug is beautiful- once the room is photographed, the potential buyer's eye will go straight to that rug in any photo and detract from the items we are trying to sell....the double-story windows, the view of the backyard, pool, tennis get the idea. The trick was to balance the rug so it didn't steal the show. I don't have pictures to share yet- the realtor is having the project photographed so I'll share once I have them.

On another note, Happy Mother's Day to all the moms, grandmas, stepmothers, God-mothers, mother-in-law and mother figures out there! You all do such wonderful, selfless things for the special people in your life so this is your day to be hang up your cape! Be lazy and indulgent! Eat bad food! Ignore everyone and don't clean one single thing! Yes...impossible....I know....just enjoy!

Monday, April 29, 2013

Crate and Barrel Sketch

So I know I told you in a previous post about the Crate & Barrel chair I designed for the Designer Custom Challenge. This challenge was so much fun- whether I win or not- it was a blast designing my very own chair! The chair I selected was the Essex Chair which is a Lee Industries frame sold at Crate & Barrel. beautiful!

Essex Chair with Casters

Then I went on the Lee website and into Crate and Barrel and selected my inspiration was to design a chair for a Ladies Library. Imagine a powerhouse, female CEO. Libraries are typically designed with dark woods, leathers and menswear patterns. I decided to give that a little twist with some stripes, hounds tooth and florals...

Then I came home, broke out the old colored pencils and got to sketching...this was my final design....

It might be hard to tell from the sketch but the seat is done in a light ticking stripe, the back seat cushion is a light neutral floral and the back and base of the seat is done in a khaki hounds-tooth fabric. I think they announce winners this month so we'll see what happens! The best part is that anyone can really design their own chair by visiting Crate & Barrel and selecting from their gorgeous frames and fabrics!