Sunday, November 30, 2008

Cozy Bath

photo courtesy of domino

Carolina Herrera Jr. wanted to create a dressing room she could hang out in. The petite floral fabric on the walls, pink striped lounge chair and layered cow hide rug on carpet create a cozy atmosphere for wardrobe and tub. An inviting way to start or end the day.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Fall Flora

photos courtesy of domino

Pheasant feathers look great with brown transferware dinner plates on a mostly white background.

This is and easy and pretty arrangement of Nandina, we have a ton in our yard. If you aren't careful it will take over, but it does have pretty folliage and berries this time of year. I never thought of bringing it indoors.

Love this natural table with driftwood and crab apples. I wonder who makes those blue plates? My china is a similar cobolt blue from Mottaheda, Blue Lace.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Election Day

Serena and Lily are having a election day sale on their red and blue Nate collection. They have beautiful baby and children's room linens and have been growing their business. It has been fun to see all their new creations. What talented gals.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Slow Blogging

It has been a slow few weeks on my design blog. We moved back into our house and I've been trying to get unpacked and settled.

Here are a few snapshots of our new house. I love our dark wood floors, a 50% mix of antique walnut and ebony and our fresh walls in linen white. We used more color in the bedrooms and study.

As for decorating I started with the basics, fresh paint, drapery and accent pillows, a new dining room table and lighting. Over time we will add the finishing touches, a few more pieces of furniture that I don't want to rush into, plenty of art and some accessories.
**Updated to add that this curtain fabric is one of Windsor Smith's designs that my friend Lisa found for us.**

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Bath Inspiration

Our house remodel project is almost complete. The floors were stained this week and we are waiting for them to dry. Next week appliances will be installed and the final paint touch ups will be completed.

Here is a bathroom photo that inspired a bit of my own bath. I love these sconces and the subway tile. We also used a similar shade of pale gray on the walls.

Saturday, August 16, 2008


I like the mix of low priced furnishings along with higher end pieces. It keeps the room from being too contrived and certainly is friendly to the budget. I've posted a few inexpensive finds below.
Line two of these up side by side for a modern dresser that can live happily among more traditional pieces.

Ikea's version of the Saarinen dining table, a few thousand less than the reproductions at Design Within Reach and various other modern furniture lines.
This piece is modular. Picture just the base, without the top piece. I spied it in a Domino article under a bank of windows - they left a few of the cubbies doorless and stacked with books.

I like the clean lines of this chest for a boys room.

And finally the very popular and versatile parsons console from West Elm. Their similar parsons desk is nice as an end table by the bed.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Sit Back & Relax

photo courtesty of Architectual Digest

Looking at these photos takes all the remodeling stress away. Poof!

At first glance I thought this was overlooking San Francico GG bridge, but no...

Look at that blue water. And although a suspension bridge, this one is a bit different than Golden Gate. This home is overlooking the Bosporus, I'm not sure if they are on the Istanbul side or more likely on the Asian side overlooking the city. Istanbul is the third largest city in the world. Amazing place, I had the opportunity to visit when I was living in Den Hague. The mosques with their calls to prayer, the bazaars the food, all of it is great.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008


Tablescapes have been catching my eye, now more than ever. Maybe it is just because I can't have any because we have three toddlers roaming the house who are now just curious enough and tall enough to grab or climb up to anything table height.

What is a tablescape? Just a collection of stuff that is interesting and pretty, your treasures, arranged artistically with varying heights, textures and depth. Often books are used as pedestals to elevate items and add color or convey a mood (think travel or art books). Add a flower or a branch or other natural element and you are done.

I imagine my new house dotted with lovely tablescapes - all 42" or higher off the ground and incorporating toy cars, sippy cups, binkies and baby wipes, properly propped of course with books 'Toddler 411', 'Love and Logic' and 'Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child' and finished off with a found stick from the park.

Enough chat...let's get to the pictures.

Let's start with the master David Hicks.

And then of course there is his daughter India Hicks who inherited the talent.

An office tablescape...forget where I found this one.

Well crafted shelf display by Lili Diallo.

And the talented Anna Spiro at her store Black & Spiro (Australia).

More from Black & Spiro.

And one more from Anna.

Funny enough, just as I was compiling these I noticed Anna announced a tablescape 'Absolutely Favorite Things' series. Starting tomorrow she will feature a favorite designer and have them create a vignette with their favorite things. Oh, joy! Check it out her blog Absolutely Beautiful Things.

Friday, August 8, 2008

Displaying Art & Photos

Holden and I are watching the Olympic ceremony so here are just a few quick wall photo and art collections for inspiration.


photo courtesy of Oprah

Home of Nate Berkus.

photo courtesy of Domino

Amanda Peet's stair way display.

photo via Decorno

Happy Chic Design contest winner Michelle Adams inspired by Johathan Adler.

photo from Nate Berkus

Art on a grass cloth covered entryway from Nate's portfolio.

Sunday, August 3, 2008


Oh, the pain of an ebay loss.

I found a twin version of this amazing Robshaw quilt shown here in Amanda Peet's guest room on ebay.

Even though I had my eye on it I got outbid in the final moments. My guard was down because no one was countering and I was happily day dreaming about 'my' new quilt and playing with Holden...but indeed people were watching or had auto bid or something.

I got out bid at $63, I quickly tried to counter but had to log on and the auction expired by a mere few seconds. I've learned my lesson, it you have found an ebay treasure you better be on your toes. This treasure would cost around $300 new -- if you could find one.

In my mind it already looked fabulous on a daybed in our study, inspiring the whole room pallet. Just add a black striped rug like the one in Amanda's room on the dark wood floor, a dusky grey wall color and hang framed sketches on the wall.

Oh, what could have been.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

To Zebra or Not to Zebra

The Zebra design trend has me on the fence. While I appreciate the look and the instant update Zebra's bold stripes can give to a room I still find myself having to push aside thoughts about the dead cow pelt adorning the floor. Not that I don't already have leather in my home. This is merely more blatant.

photo courtsey of Horchow

What do you think? Go wild with Zebra or put to pasture?

photo courtsey of Domino

Interior designer Schuyler Samperton's free spirited West Hollywood home. (This Zebra is actually an authentic family heirloom purchased from a Hemingway's Gallery.) I'm not cool enough to own a rug from a Hemingway but I did go to university with a Heminway (no 'g'). David and I visited in him in his hometown of Monaco. His godmother was Grace Kelly so it leaves some suspicion that he is actually related to the Hemingways. That leaves me with shades of coolness. Appologies for the digression.

Another sidenote: notice the fabulous Bennison 'Dragon Flower' curtains.

photo courtesy of Domino

My friend and very talented up and coming designer Margaret Ann McEver of MALI Design own Houston home.

Friday, August 1, 2008

Bennison Fabrics

Another fine fabric maker Bennison tops my favorites. They are well know for their custom dyed and hand silk screen printed linen and silk fabrics.

I'm quite fond of this Bennison Pandaranda on beige linen. At around $240/yard that would be somewhere between $3500 and $4000 for two curtain panels.

A rectangular boudoir pillow would be a mini-splurge and look great with my dark chocolate painted bedroom (Ralph Lauren Tortoise) and white with flax stitching Restoration Hardware hotel bedding.

I'll have to settle for inexpensive yet pretty Oyster Tuscany linen for my curtains and roman shades.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

John Robshaw Fabrics

I've noticed a lot of these handcrafted textiles from John Robshaw in home design magazines lately.

These fabrics have beautiful colors and an ecclectic world-traveler feel. The Robshaw website describes each textile as a story, a drawing of an adventure in a far–off place–from Yogakarta to Rajasthan, Bolivia to Vietnam.


Ready made curtain panels

Pichhwai Pillows

photo courtsey of Domino

Amanda Peet has a similar Pichhwai pillow in her daughter's bedroom paired with Elizabeth Allen pillowcases.

photo courtsey of Domino

John Robshaw handpainted 'Sunbird' perches in Thom Filica's living room nook.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Charcoal Dining Room

photo from House Beautiful

Love this look for a separate formal dining room. The rich charcoal walls with same trim are gorgeous. Gilded frame display over buffet and gilden mirror are nice contrast agains the dark grey.

The casual french farmhouse chandelier and natural fiber rug keep the room from becoming too stuffy for today's modern lifestyle.

I'd ditch the fabric table covering to go for a more youthful feel. The white fabric makes the room feel less liveable to me. I don't like museum rooms.

Without the white table cloth this room may need some white accents, perhaps iron stone on the table to keep from going too dark. Good lighting, a lamp on the buffet or sconces would help.

I can't really get a good view of this art. But I'd go with modern sketches, to balance the antiques and deliver a more youthful modern ecclectic vibe.

Friday, July 18, 2008


photo courtesy of Nate Berkus

Ahh, a room by my favorite designer Nate Berkus. I'd love for darling Nate to show up on my door stop with plans to decorate my entire home. His portfolio leans towards the formal but he his tailored collected design style can easily translate to casual family spaces as seen through many of his Oprah makeovers.
I particularly like how Nate makes rooms personal by injecting mementos in an honorable way, framing to making art or displaying in an interesting way rather than letting those precious items languish in a drawer or attic. It gives the home a soul and appeals to my desire to make a house a home.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Gas Lanterns

Our new gas lanterns from Bevolo in New Orleans arrived today....they are stunning.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Living Spaces

I'll kick off my living space images with one of my favorites, designer Tia Zoldan's own living room. This photo is a few years old so I am sure Tia has changed things up but I love the eclectic casual feel. This is a space you can really live in. It is not contrived and has an injection of youth to keep it from being too serious. Perfect for a family.

Sunday, June 1, 2008


This is a design blog, a playground for musings on my favorite things - home design or specifically homemaking, creating a comfortable warm and fun home, organization, and sourcing the coolest products and the best deals.

Disclaimer, I'm only a scientist and business woman by training. I have an undergrad degree in Engineering from UT and an MBA from Berkeley. I don't have any formal design training but I have a passion for creative design.

My style lands somewhere between Domino and Cottage Living (and I own every copy neatly cataloged in acrylic magazing holders - well, most of the time). I'm midway through our own home remodel project of our 1930's English cottage so I've quickly ramped my knowledge of plumbing and electrical fixtures, paint colors and flooring. I'm also a mother to four children under two years old (check out my other blog Team Freas) which has bolstered my love for organization and driven my interest in childrens rooms and cool family spaces.