Make A Bold Statement With Tile: They’re Not Just For The Kitchen And Bath Anymore!


Want to get really creative and make a statement in your business or home?  Think about dressing up a wall or two with tile.  Preferably glass tile or the decorative etched metal tiles that are new to the market.  Do an entire wall, use it as an accent or fill a room with it!  Yes, it’s a bit pricy no doubt but, take a look at these fabulous pictures and see if it’s not worth it!


Glass Mosaic Wall

How about this glass mosaic wall by Dal Tile? (I actually like the cool chaise, too!)


Etched Metal Tiles

Above is a fabulous etched metal by Walker Zanger!  Wouldn’t this look great as an accent wall or a niche in a living area or bedroom?


And, what about these incredible idea’s for tile below by Hakatai :




hakatai-1 How fun and dramatic is this fireplace?


hakatai-6 Create a fountain with customized tiles to coordinate with your home!



Isn’t this a creative, gorgeous fireplace surround by Susan Jablon.


Mural And what a fun, amazing mural by Ceramic Tile.



And, two more amazing looks:

 wall-tile-gold damask A more traditional pattern above and more modern pattern below.  Both brilliant looking!

modern polka dots


Okay, so maybe you’d have to scale down a tad in your home and limit it to an accent wall or niche.  Or maybe you have the money (and the guts) to go for something like this on an entire wall or room….Either way you can add a touch of whimsy, creativity, boldness and fun.  Whether it be on a small scale or larger scale a definite statement could be made!  So don’t hold back….go for it! 


Happy Decorating!

Define Your Style: Which Design Scheme Appeals To You?


Many clients don’t necessarily always know what they want in their homes, they just know what they DON’T want.  They’re not even sure if they have a style at all much less what it is.  Our friends, Greg and MaryAnn used to laughingly call their styleearly discontinued”, because it was a hodge-podge mix of hand me downs from family and friends.  Sound familiar? (Their style has since evolved!)  But, most people do have a “style” whether they know it or not, they just don’t know how to define it.  So do you know what yours is?  Is it contemporary, traditional, transitional?  Maybe eclectic, Old World,  Tuscan? French, Hill Country? Any idea? The best thing to do to help define your style is flip through magazines and books.  Tear out pictures from decorating magazines and make copies from decorating books that appeal to you.  Place them in a file and begin collecting colors, fabrics, photo’s….whatever you find appealing….and odds are you’ll start to see a definite style start to develop.   I can’t go over all the styles in one post (I will try to hit each and every style in future posts), but take a look at the ones below and see if they can begin to help you “define your style”.

Contemporary Living                                                                                                    Picture by Zuri

Do you prefer clean lines?  Do you prefer a minimal amount of “stuff”?  Take a look at these pictures above and below.  Do these looks appeal to you?  And do you prefer the monochromatic scheme above or the vibrant loud colors below?  Would one of these rooms make you smile and unwind at the end of a long work day?  Then you prefer a more contemporary look.  Maybe you just haven’t had the inclination to nail down your true style or the vision to make this look a  reality yet.  Well, now it’s time to get started.

lando_main                                                                                                     Picture by Zuri

 Or maybe you prefer a little more “stuff”.  You like mixing different fabrics and colors, prefer pleats on your upholstered pieces, and more curves and detail work in your furniture.  Decorative clutter makes you happy and if there’s an empty corner in the space – it simply must be filled.  Does that sound like you?

kousa-creek-living-l                                                                                    Picture from Southern Living Magazine

Then maybe you are American Traditional like the picture above or more European Traditional like the picture below.


                                                 Picture from Southern Living Magazine

Or, perhaps you prefer a mix of different looks and want to have fun combining different styles together.  You can’t stand the idea of being “boxed in” to one particular style or “theme”.  Then you might just be “eclectic” like the pictures below.


Victorian sofa mixed with the African art and contemporary stairs.


                                                                                Pictures from Southern Living Magazine

Contemporary rug and chairs mixed with traditional chairs and accessories.

Or maybe, just maybe, you love a wallowy, slip covered look.  You like the cozy charm of ruffles and flowers mixed with checks and plaids.  You like lots of decorative clutter in different shapes and textures filling your shelves and table tops.  If this sounds like you, then your style would be a  “cottage style”.

Cottage Style                                                                                  Picture by Southern Living Magazine 

If any of these pictures define your style take a careful look at the one that appeals to you most and note all the details you like in each space.  Print out the picture and place it in your file for future reference (or better yet – come back to my blog!).  That way when you are ready to tackle the project you will have done all your homework.  Whether you are doing it yourself or working with a designer – the pictures and notes will come in very handy in honing in and creating your own specific style.  If none of these pictures “nailed” your style keep checking in for future posts.  I’m going to have an ongoing category post, periodically, called “Define Your Style” that will point out different design styles and looks that will help you realize your own style and determine what you’d like to see in your own home.  Hopefully it will motivate you to jump start your plans to get that space you’ve been stressing over decorated in a style that suits you -  down to the last detail.  No more “early discontinued!”….it’s time to “define your style” and make it happen!

Happy Decorating!


A Picture Is Worth A Thousand Words: Or In This Case A $25.00 Dollar Reuben


Back to my Business of Design seminar in New York a few weeks ago — I just have to share this famous New York deli with you.  A couple of the girls I was travelling with really, really wanted a real New York deli sandwich and I, never one to turn down food (unfortunately!), was up for it, too.  We were told that Carnegie was the place to go so our last morning there we set off on a trek to find it.  After a pretty hefty walk we were happy to finally see this sign.  As tends to happen in New York by the time we got there we were a bit tired of walking, and we were good and hungry — ready to chow.  Check out the line to get in: 

Carnegie Deli

There was a line when we got there and there was a line when we left.  Remarkably though it actually moved pretty fast.

Packed Inside

It was filled to the brim with people – check out the photo gallery of famous people who have eaten there – and the place was hustling and bustling with “busy-ness”.


Can you feel the frenetic vibe in this place?  Filled with people, filled with pictures, filled with food and waiters and waitresses.  Lots of energy here.


One of the wonderful designers we met there is this nice man, Glen Boudreaux of Glen Boudreaux designs.  After a chance meeting in the hotel on our way out we asked him to join us for lunch.  So all the way there and all during lunch we enjoyed some fabulous “design talk”.   We just can’t seem to get enough of it!  In the picture is Glen, me, Traci, Barbara and Dot.

Glen and The Dallas Designer Chicks

 Okay, I about fell over when I saw that the “sandwiches” were $25.00 each.  Some more, some less, but most were right at about $25.00.  We debated on whether or not to split one, but since we were all hungry and wanted different things we  decided to get our own.  I justified the cost by choosing to save half of it for the plane ride.  (Since you barely even get so much as a pretzel on a 3 1/2 hour flight anymore!)

Turkey Reuben "Sandwich"

Okay, now…..seriously!?…have you ever seen anything like this in your life?  These were our “sandwiches”!  I had the sandwich above and Traci had the one below.

Traci's " Sandwich

This one below was Barbara’s.  I’m here to tell you that one meal……ONE….would have easily fed our entire table.  No kidding… exaggeration.  We ate as much as we could and still had enough left over to feed an entire family from EACH plate.  I did “stick to my guns” and made a little sandwich to go to justify the cost and keep from passing out from hunger on the plane.  (Thank goodness….it came in handy on the long flight home.)

Barbara's "Sandwich"

I honestly couldn’t help but cringe at the thought of all that leftover food going to waste instead of someone’s hungry belly.  I’m sure there’s a great many people who would have been grateful to have what surely gets tossed in the garbage.  But, it was good food and good fun, I’ll give you that….and it was a genuine “New York experience”.    And when you’re in New York it is after all – all about the experience!

Gorgeous Gardens: Natural Outdoor Living At It’s Finest


 There’s nothing more relaxing, cozy and enticing than a beautiful outdoor garden or nicely done landscaping to woo us outside and settle the soul in a way we simply can’t get from the indoors.  A beautifully done garden is peaceful, serene…..tranquil.  How many of us could use more of that? A place to sip on coffee, tea, wine….read a book, take a nap.  A place to get away and reflect. There’s just nothing quite like it.  And any of us who have a home (or even an apartment) can create their own glorious garden to enjoy.   No matter the size of your home think about making your backyard your own private oasis….that special place where you can feel the shoulders start to relax, the smile slip back into your soul…..a quiet, cozy place to unwind.  Here are some amazing gardens from Southern Accents to give you some refreshing idea’s for that cozy outdoor space of your own.

cozy garden

How do you like these two gardens?   Think you’d like to sit out here with a book and a glass of wine?  I know I would!  Just looking at these pictures relaxes me and makes me smile.  Imagine what the real thing could do!

backyard courtyard

backyard patio

The cozy courtyard above and the classic style pool below add to the quality and serenity of each space.  Different vibe, different personality – both amazing.

backyard w/pool

This cozy “cement pond” below takes my breath away.  I could sit and stare at this with it’s cool stone deck, lush greenery and colorful roses all day long and – never need to move. 

Stone and Ivy

For those who like that clean, pristine look you might find the next two yards relaxing and inviting with all the perfectly manicured landscaping.

Lots of greenery

Perfectly groomed

Obviously these are some pretty snazzy homes and gardens here.  But don’t think for a minute you can’t duplicate the look you prefer on a much smaller scale.  (Okay, maybe minus the swimming pool if that’s not in the budget – but you get what I mean.)  Your space doesn’t have to be huge and you don’t have to be rich to have your own serene little oasis.  If you have a teeny backyard or an apartment balcony go to the nursery and take a look at some of the containers and container plants they have.  Make yourself a container garden and put a cute little bench or chair in the middle of it.   And if you’re fortunate enough to have an actual yard – big or small – take the time to make it special….treat yourself – and create your own private little sanctuary.

Happy Gardening!

Traditional Old World Style: Still Going Strong


As I’ve said before I don’t do a whole lot of retail shopping, but when I do there are those particular stores that I love.  One of those stores is  Anderson’s FurnitureIt is the type of store that is so beautiful….so magnificently merchandised..…. that it’s fun just to meander through and absorb all the beautiful vignettes on display.  (I could spend hours there. ) Chock full of Old World traditional pieces –rugs, furnishings, accessories, drapes – it’s like you’re in a castle wandering from room to room.  The style is very specific and for those who love old world or traditional it’s definitely the store to see.  Check out some of these dreamy finds.





They have lots and lots of beautiful painted furniture.  Tables and chests and more.  This particular table above comes in all these great finishes below.  How fab is that?!




They also have a great selection of squishy, comfy upholstered furniture with a variety of lush fabrics, pillows and fun trims.




This sofa below had been marked down from over $6,000.00 to $2500.00!  It’s sooooo comfortable. You just sink into it and never want to get up.  Love it!




Their bedding is amazing.  So full of lush, extravagant details.






And they have amazing artwork.  This one is by Elle Designs (one of my favorite artists).  They do fabulous work and will customize pieces for your home. 



Okay, was I kidding about how incredible their stuff is?   Everything in the store is absolutely spectacular.  If you’re in the Dallas-Fort Worth area stop by and check them out.  If not, visit their website to see more of their wonderful pieces.  Also, be sure to check out Elle Designs website to see more of her unique, awesome artwork.  

Happy Decorating!

Savvy Set Up For The Spunky Young’ens: Tips For A Sensational Multi-Kid’s Space


Many of us have a reason we might need to incorporate a space in our homes that can house bunk beds, or multiple beds.  Maybe you have a lake house, a mountain cabin, or a beach house????  Or maybe you’re a grandmother, like me, in need of a sweet, special place for the grandkids, or a young mom in desperate need for a cute, functional space for her young children.  If ever a time to be creative this is the time!  It’s important to make the space safe and functional, absolutely!, but it’s also important to make the space fun, give it character and wow it with personality.  Take a look at some of the savvy and sensational kid’s rooms from Coastal Living Magazine.  You’re space may be smaller, shaped different, have different architectural features…..but I’m sure you can take something wonderful away from these fabulous pictures to incorporate into your own personal space.  Think like a kid again and have fun with it!

53204-sleepover-central-r-x-kids rooms 

Polka dot lampshades, yellow toy boxes, big flower pillows.  Too cute!  (Don’t know if I’d be brave enough to do white bedspreads…..but surely these can be thrown in the washer and dryer!  Maybe even bleached.  If that’s the case…..then okay!)

53415-added-value-r-x-kids bunk room

Great storage under the beds.  Talk about functional!  And of course lots of bright, fun colors.


68069-beachy-bright-r-x-kid's room

What a happy, fun space for little girls with all this bright pink and crisp white!  Floppy bean bags and double bunk beds with fun ladders….great use of the space. 

Bunk Room

Switch gears to a boy’s space (or maybe a neutral gender space) with this navy, lime and aqua color combination.  Similar white bunk beds with the fun ladders – just set up a little differently from the girl’s space above.


These next group of pictures from Southern Accents Magazine are also full of great design ideas.  Check them out:


This is another neutral-gender space with the blues and reds, the dark stain wood with the crisp white.  Storage under the beds and the toy box can house clothes, toys, coloring books, crayons, etc….



This is a fun, happy space with all these great blue and white stripes! 



This is obviously a space for older children (or even grown up house guests), but it didn’t stop them from adding fun and personality.  Great cow hide cubes at the end of bed.



Vibrant colors, great personality and awesome use of space!  Fun, functional, colorful…what kid wouldn’t want to camp out here?



Look at the desks fixed to the end of these bunk beds.  Great idea!



For the older girls (or even adult guests) these rooms above and below from Southern Accents Magazine provide the ultimate in warm and cozy. 


Are you inspired yet?  I am!  So before you begin designing your own “bunk” room be sure to: 1) Take a careful look at your space.  2) Measure your room so you will know what will fit and function best.  3) Take your measurements to the store and let them see if the beds and any other furniture you would like will properly fit.    4)  Of course consider the children’s ages when choosing colors and fabrics and choose what will last for some years to come.  5)   Have fun with paint!  Slap something bright and cheery on the walls.  Add colorful polka dots or some other fun design!  6)  If you can’t afford to have custom bedding and draperies made check out places like Walmart, Target, Marshalls or Home Goods. These are all great sources for fun bedding, rugs, drapery panels and pillows.  

So take notes on your favorite ideas from these fabulous pictures and get to work and have fun with it!!!!  Send me your pictures when you’re finished!


Divine Dining With Divine Designers!


One of the fun things we got to do while we were in New York for the Business Of Design Conference (I talked about this trip in an earlier post for those of you who missed that) was go out in small groups, get to know other designers and discuss the challenges and joys of running an Interior Design business, trade idea’s and share stories.  My group went out to a quaint little restaurant called Cibo on Thursday night after the conference and enjoyed a great meal (I had a fantastic Peach Bellini!) and a couple of hours of food, drink and design discussion.  It was great fun, great company and great food.  And as always I checked the restaurant out for fun design ideas.  And as with with most restaurants, hotels, commercial buildings, etc. I found something interesting that could be incorporated into a clients home.

We had quite a hike through the city to get to the restaurant from the hotel and worked up a sweat and an appetite by the time we got there.  Thank goodness I was smart enough to put a comfy pair of shoes in my purse to change into or I would have been miserable!

 Cibo had a casually elegant feel to it and felt very “New York”.  We were able to sit by a window so we had a view of the city street while we ate.  (I always like that when I’m in New York!)


As you enter the restaurant you see a cool, contemporary wall unit…..which I immediately noted would be a great feature in a client’s home.  (Click, click – picture time – file it away for a future project!)


How do you like this copper and navy combination? I love it.  My friend and fellow designer, Diane, and I designed a master bedroom for a model home in these colors last year.  I think it’s an interesting, gorgeous, fun combination.

Navy and Copper Master Bedroom

 This is the color board of the space we designed. See what I mean?  Love these colors together! 

I also love the way they designed this built in.  Wouldn’t this look great in a home….especially a contemporary or eclectic space…for displaying accessories, art or florals?  I love the navy background set off by the copper, the lighting to create ambiance and accentuate the pieces and the clean lines of the built in.  Fabulous look!  Always nice to come away from a restaurant with a great design idea!


These are the fabulous designers I went to dinner with from all over the country.(Minus Skip who had to leave before we got the picture)  All talented, fun, friendly and willing to share the in’s and out’s of the design business.   I enjoyed getting to know them all and look forward to seeing them again next year!

Fabulosity In Fort Worth: A House Of Tuscan Splendor


When I started working with Marion on her dream home in Fort Worth the builders (Fred Parker Construction) had barely broken ground.   But, as building a home tends to go we needed to make some fairly quick decisions and get to work selecting the stucco color, the roof tile, the stone to use on the patio, etc….  After that it was onto the next item, then the next and the next.   A whirlwind of constant selections and decision making whether it was with the landscaping, the pool, the interior, the driveway, the garage….you name it.  But we had a ball working together and it actually turned out to be a two year labor of love.  Marion is fun, funny, an absolute blast to work with and the biggest sweetheart you can imagine.   Not to mention she has spectacular taste!  We were laughing the other day at how we were practically joined at the hip for a couple of years, then suddenly the project was finished.   Take a look at our fabulous “labor of love”.

Tuscan Style Home

We added iron balconies to the windows after I took this picture which adds a lot of charm to the exterior, but for some reason I don’t have a picture of it.  So here it is before we added them.


This is the amazing two story fireplace.  We had it installed so that it looked like it was completely dry stacked.  (The box in the middle is where the TV would go.)


Marble and Wood Floors 

Beautiful marble and wood floors in a diagonal pattern grace the living and dining rooms.



This kitchen is one of the best features in the home with a large bar area off to the left, loads of cabinets, beautiful tile back splash and great pendent lighting.   It has a combination of textures that create a rich warm vibe with the granite countertops, hand scraped wood floors, stone bar front and wood bar front.


Tumbled Stone

Beautiful, spacious bathroom with a lovely medallion in the center. We used a combination of honed marble and tumbled stone to create this fabulous look.



Gorgeous granite countertops!



This is the stairway leading down to the wine cellar.  We gave the stairs some pizzazz  by using large stone tiles on the step and small staggered 1×2 slate pieces on the risers.



Cool cellar door leading into the wine cellar.


Wine Cellar

This amazing wine cellar is big enough for a dining table for entertaining.  The floor is actually porcelain tile that looks like natural stone.

 Large Stone Steps Leading To Outdoor Shower

These large steps lead up to the outdoor shower facility.  Just passed this door is the  enormous outdoor shower.


Outdoor Kitchen

In the back yard is a fabulous swimming pool and a large outdoor kitchen.  Great space for entertaining or just hanging out with the family.  Notice the stone around the pool, the stamped concrete deck and brick floor in the kitchen area.


Upstairs Balcony

This is the view from the upstairs balcony.  We used slate again placing it on a diagonal here and framing it with 1×1’s to create this pattern.


After this labor of love, and so much fun making all the selections and building this beautiful home they decided not to move in after all.  (I know, can you imagine!) But, in the end when all was said and done, they decided they just couldn’t leave their children and friends, or all the land they were used to living on with their horses in Aledo,  a small town outside Fort Worth.   So they sold the house and stayed put!  But, I must say, it sure was fun working with Marion,  going through this process to build this fabulous home and see the amazing end result.  I’m sure the new homeowners will love every square inch of our blood, sweat and tears……..and all the laughs and fun we had along the way.

Hollywood Bling: The Magnificence Of Mirrored Furniture


Do you like the glitz and glam of Hollywood?  Do you like to have snazz and pizzazz in your home?  Maybe just that one room you want to do “over the top”?  Consider doing a space with an accent on mirrored furniture.  With the sexy mirrored furniture and a blingy chandelier……maybe some silk or velvet seating or bedding……mmmmmm…… (can you picture it?) you can bring a little Hollywood glam to your home.  Check out some of these fabulous pieces below.  I stopped by a wonderful designer resource here in Dallas called Grassroots down in the Design District and was thrilled to happen upon all these glitzy pieces.


Mirrored Chair

 Check out this fabulous chair.  The chair back is mirrored and the finish on the chair frame is brushed silver.  Look closely and you can see the sofa and table in it’s reflection.

  Mirrored Dresser and Mirrored Art 

How’s this for glitz and glam?  Does this scream Hollywood or what?


Great lamps, too.


More Mirrored Art

An interesting piece of mirrored art. 


Blingy Dining Table

I fell in love with this dining room table and chairs.  The mirrored pedestal adds the bling as well as the silver pieces on the table.   And, I’m in love with these chairs!


Mirrored Chest

Love the feminine style of this piece and the way it’s paired with gold accents.


Mirrored Table

Great mirrored cocktail table.


Small Mirrored Chest

This piece is interesting with the wood edging.



I want this screen!


Mirrored With Gold Edging

 Another sexy piece with the pairing of mirror and gold. 



How about this giant, oversized mirror?  Isn’t this stunning?


Mirrored Chest With Gold

Great mirrored console.  And great lamps and artwork, too!

Are you getting a heart ping for the mirrored bling???  If you have a space,  just that one little room…..your “girlie” room or a guest room, your daughter’s room….consider adding some mirrored pieces to the mix and go a little Hollywood!  A little glam goes a long way!

Enhancing The Interior Of Your Home With The Warmth Of Exterior Stone


Using stone (and I mean rugged natural outdoor stone) to enhance the interior of a home is one of those things that not everyone is willing to do simply because of the expense.  And, no doubt it can be pricey.  But, as they say – OMG! – what a difference a dollop of stone can make.  It creates such a unique personality and character to a space and adds instant warmth to any room .  This home is a Whitestone Model Home in San Antonio I designed and decorated with my friend and fellow designer, Diane, for a local design studio.  


We wanted the Hill Country vibe so common in San Antonio and chose to use as much natural stone as we were given the thumbs up by the builder to do.  Notice the warmth in this kitchen just by virtue of the stone.  Cool, huh?

Kitchen 3

The stone is also placed on the wall behind the cabinets, and used on the back splash down to the granite countertop.  This combination of granite, the natural stone and the staggered brick pattern in the slate floor creates a kitchen that is full of charm and interest. 

Coffee Bar

This little area above is a coffee bar with the granite counter top and distressed cabinets in a black finish for even more texture.  Isn’t it cute?

Cabinets and Vent-a-Hood


Entry Hall

We bordered this entrance to the kitchen with hardwood encasing the slate tile.  We had the tile placed at a 45 degree angle to add a twist in the detail.  Notice the slate pattern changes to the brick pattern in the kitchen.  The slate floor compliments all the natural stone beautifully.

Stone Entrance

This cool stone doorway is off the dining room.  I love the way the arch here mimic’s the arch behind it leading into the kitchen and allows just a peek at the stone in the kitchen as well.


In the dining room we designed a stone wall with a wine shelf to fit just inside the stone casing.   This gives the dining room a “stately” wine cellar feel which is, of course what we were shooting for. PS:  We had fun collecting all the wine bottles for display!  (They had to be empty in order to leave them here – but, no worries – they were “emptied” over an extended period of time – and some were given to us by friends and restaurants.)

Stone Dining Room Wall

So if you are in the market for a new home or in the throws of planning a remodel consider the use of stone.  Yes, it does cost you a penny or two (well, okay, more than that), but it’s one of those details that just can’t be beat.  When compiling your list of priorities for your home, maybe stone can replace some other detail you can live without.  It’s worth checking into and pricing out. I have found that so often it’s the things you don’t do that were on the “wish list” verses the things you opt to do that causes more regrets.  Is it your dream home?  Is it your once in a lifetime remodel?  Think it through……you might just find you can swing it after all.  And, personally, I think you will be very glad you did. 

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