Sunday, February 10, 2013

Designing for the sexes

This is one of my favorite transformations. My client's items while comfortable were looking a little tired. They needed an update.

Here's where we began:

The burgundy and washed out rug were not doing any favors to the gorgeous cabinetry and black fireplace. We needed to add some drama. We needed contrast.

These clients really like the clean lines and masculine side of the mission style. But, we had to make it appropriate for the lady of the house too.

We grounded the space with a stunning black, tan, and red rug. It brought the fireplace into perspective. Then, we needed to add contrast with the sofa. We kept it a neutral cream shade to bring out the rug even more. The chairs were a clean and simple taupe leather with buttons to add texture. For the masculine edge we added a plaid on the ottoman and brought in a slightly feminine black and gold floral for pillows on the couch. The existing cream window treatments balance the cream sofa beautifully.

Can you believe how great the bookcases and fireplace look? It's cozy and inviting. Simply changing the color scheme and updating a few items made a huge difference.

To make this space even cozier, I would pull the sofa and chairs into the center about a foot on each side and center the ottoman with the fireplace.

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Fresh approach

Last week I had the pleasure of being on a delivery call for one of my clients. It's always exciting to see the transformation unfold in front of my eyes.

Here's where we began...

Our goal was to update this space with clean lines and crisp, minimal pieces. She loves the mission look that her friend has in the mountains but she wanted a little bit more formal approach. The artwork above the sofa is quite signifigant as a friend painted it for her. We wanted to keep that in the room since it is so special to her. Knowing that, we pulled the colors from the artwork to make it the "star" of the space.

Here's the background work with the project board and fabrics up close.

 And here's the after picture. Clean, simple, modern. I think we acheievd exactly what we were after. The only thing left to update are the lamps. Next mission: find new shades. And, it wouldn't hurt if the sofa was moved to the right a couple nudges.


Friday, February 8, 2013


Paint can be stressful. I see people everyday that need help selecting paint colors.

Paint is tricky. Paint changes based on the lighting in your home. Paint changes with season. Heck, paint changes with the time of day.

It's my professional opinion that you save the paint color for the last step if you are redecorating. Often, I will see people who already have a paint color picked out and will try to work around it with sofas, chairs, even wood pieces. Honestly, more times than not, that limits us.

Ivories can take on yellow, peach, greens, and even golden tones.

Greys will become purple, blue, green, and brown.

Save the paint for last if possible. Paint will be the canvas for your beautiful furniture and set the mood in your home. If you're purchasing new furniture you want to let the stars shine.

So what happens if you already have your furniture and want a fresh look with new paint? Try to pull a neutral shade from your accessories. Or, if you want to add color you can do a lighter shade and accent with the brighter tones.

I love that paint stores will let you sample the paints these days. It takes some of the fear out of a paint purchase. If you don't want to purchase those samples, take home a few paint chips and tape them to the wall. Leave them there for a couple of days to see them in all types of lighting throughout the day.

You don't need to paint every room in your home the same color but it does need to flow. If you have an open floor plan with rooms looking into each other, I often recommend using a color that is on the same paint swatch either a shade lighter or darker for subtle contrast. If you're a color person, it's important that the colors are in the same category. For example, if your home has primarily warm tones it's difficult to incorporate a cool grey. Take a look at some of these color schemes that are fantastic- both neutral and colorful.

I especially love how the designer painted the backs of the bookcases a contrasting color, The taupe picks up the color of the taupe chairs featured and balances the room. It, also, acts as a beautiful backdrop for the white pottery.

A beautiful, neutral palate that lets the furniture shine. The paint acts as a wonderful contrast to make the headboard and artwork really stand out.

A cool contrast using contrasting colors that compliment each other, The yellow on the top lightens the room and draws your eye upwards making the room appear taller and adding visual interest.

A contrast using  monochromatic theme. This is an example of using the same color family just a shade lighter or darker.

Staying in the warm color family of earth tones. When choosing an accent wall make sure it is a focal point and is large enough to make a statement.

All photos are featured on the website

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Sea grass in the midwest

I am currently working on a home that requested a "Florida" look. It's not everyday that I get to design with what I will consider my style. The Midwest is known for earth tones and clean lines of the Mission style. While I love all styles, the coastal design has my heart.
(On a side note, I'd like to mention the rapper Flo Rida. Without him, I was always spelling Floridia Florida incorrectly... )

Back to my point: What is a Florida look? Is it blues and greens? Is it seashells? Is it palm trees? How did you guess!

I am obsessed with the coastal look. But, there are many different types of coastal. There's the New England coast which is predominately designed using navy blues, white, and splashes of red. Then, there's the west coast style which is brighter tones of oranges, and yellows with rich wood tones. But Florida? Oh, Florida. That's my favorite.

Florida is crisp white linen, pretty teals, and greens, and sea foam blues. It's white washed furniture, and warm sandy tones. It's sea grass texture, mixed with dark west indies inspired pieces. It's baskets, and, shells, and did I mention sea grass?

Take a look at some of my very favorite sea grass items. Maybe there's a place in your home for a little Florida.

Bring in some blues, greens, and whites to complete your look. Even if you have a chocolate brown leather sofa, you can add some pizazz with cream pillows, a sisal textured rug, light artwork reflecting the beach or shells. Soften your look with accessories; white linen drapes to frame your window not hide it. Add vases and picture frames in aqua tones. It will brighten your mood and your life.

Who doesn't want to live in Florida year round? Ok, maybe not during hurricane season.

Pottery Barn


Ethan Allen

ballard designs


Living in the Emerald city

It's here! The color of the year. Drumroll please.... Emerald Green. Wha....? No, it's true. Pantone has declared the color of the year is Emerald. Personally, I think this has something to do with the beautiful Princess Kate because she knows how to rock a green dress.

Let's take a look at some stunning fashion trends and design trends in green (it helps that it's my favorite color.)

 Gorgeous, right? There's a fine line between emerald, Kelly, and hunter green. Whatever the green tone, the Duchess knows how to wear it!

From a home fashions standpoint, the popular colors seem to lag behind a year. Home fashions always follow clothing fashions. For example, last year brightly colored denim was huge. I remember fretting over whether to purchase red jeans. Was it too trendy? Could I pull them off? Was I going to get laughed out of Peoria? Now I have pants in nearly every color of the rainbow. My husband prefers the orange ones. =)

My point is... just in the past couple months have brightly colored furnishings popped up. Ethan Allen just introduced a line called Fresh Colors and American Colors at the beginning of the year. It features furniture in several different bright colors including pink, yellow, 3 shades of blue, and 2 shades of green. Now you can get desks, beds, even a china cabinet in any color of the rainbow. Emerald green? Not yet. But Kelly green? You betcha. Take a peek.

I'm not sure how long this trend will last but there sure is something refreshing about introducing colors into a home. But please remember: a little bit of color goes a long way! Take it easy and have fun with it!
For more exciting painted pieces, check out And stock up on some green clothing. After all, St. Patrick's day is right around the corner. Cheers!

First things first

Hey All!

I have decided to take charge of my life and create a blog. Crazy, right? Well, maybe. I think it's time for me to become and adult and venture out on my own. I have relied on others taking care of me most my life and I'm ready to come out of my shell and let the world know what I have to offer. No more hiding behind my parents, my friend Kim who acts as my subconscious, my college roommate and mother hen, Jess, my handsome and outgoing hubby, and my wonderful and very talented co-workers. I'm ready. So here it goes...

I am a wife.
I am a mother.
I am creative.
I am a designer.
I am a crafter.
I am NOT an artist. Well,  not in the traditional definition anyway.

This blog will be dedicated to design, quilts, crafts and handmade goodies, random acts of kindness, and the occasional crock pot recipe and hilarious stunts my 2 rascals preform.

My hope for this blog is to one day be able to spend more time at home creating gorgeous designs in my sweats. I hope to create a virtual design environment where people send me design questions and floor plans and I make something wonderful out of their dilemma. From dilemma to design  Make sense? Clear as mud? 

In the very wise words of my past co-worker Alicia, "You got this!" Funny how something so simple can be so inspiring.