Dynamic Dining Rooms: Define Your Style So You Can Dine In Style


Dining in a beautiful, elegant, cozy, comfy dining room is always more pleasant than in a bland, insignificant, uninviting space.  Ambiance and atmosphere set the tone for the entire evening.  Of course a great meal doesn’t hurt either, but a great atmosphere can even make an unpleasant meal more tolerable! 


Everyone has their own perception of beauty and comfort.  When you think of the atmosphere you like in a dining room – what style would that be?


  Do you like color, do you like clutter?  Do you like monochromatic, modern lines?  Or traditional styles with lots of curves?  Maybe edgy and off-the-cuff?   So many beautiful styles to choose from!  It’s time to create some atmosphere in your own home and enjoy entertaining family and friends in style.   Don’t settle for boring and insignificant!  Check out these photos of some amazing dining rooms and see if you can define your style.


A modern traditional look.  The wall color compliments the chairs and the clean lines of the furniture bring a subtle elegance.  The soft rug adds warmth and personality without overwhelming the space.


The clean embossed white dining chairs look absolutely fabulous with the rustic table.  The palm trees in the corner add warmth, texture and interest.  Very cool!


For the modern yet eclectic, and maybe a bit funkier folks….look how sleek and classic this dining room looks.  I love it. 


Hip, modern vibe with the teal chairs, drum light fixture and Pottery “Barnesque” table.


Classic, traditional space with a bit of modern twist. Notice how the mirror enlarges the space?  Great way to give the illusion of a much larger area than it really is.   With the tile floor and no area rug it gives an otherwise traditional dining room a more contemporary vibe.


Very timeless and traditional.  The round table with a draping cloth, traditional chairs and accessories – always a great look.  Simple, straight panels on the window – again timeless.  By the way notice the color of the walls in the next room?  Don’t be afraid to transition to color.


Black, white and chrome.  Modern, edgy, and incredibly elegant! 


They’ve created a cozy sitting room here that can easily transition into a dining room by pulling up the settee and extra chair.  Great idea and great look.  The zebra rug throws a really fun twist to an otherwise serious space.  Love the wall in the background.  It brings tons of personality and interest that a simple painted wall could not.  Great space!


Over the top, opulent and not for everyone, but for that funky, edgy, “showy” homeowner who’s all about grandeur……it screams perfection.  Notice what pop the lavender chairs create in an otherwise black and white space?  A little color goes a long way in a space like this.  If the over-the-top furniture isn’t your “thing”, maybe the one thing you can take away from this picture for inspiration is the overall black and white décor with a fun pop of color in the chairs.  Just tone down the grandiose style of furniture with simpler lines, but keep the color scheme the same.


Cozy – urban meets country – dining.  Perfect for the no frills, casual homeowner.  Great for a very relaxed, friendly dinner party or everyday dining.


Classic urban space.  Love the white chairs and lighting against the dark wood.  Classic, elegant…..perfect for “fine” dining.


Sleek, modern.  For those who love a modern edge these white chairs and sideboard paired with the bright red table and accessories possess true Hollywood glam.  Does this reflect your style?  Go for it and wow your guests!


This space is contemporary, but casual.  Sort of a modern country style with the daisies.  Love the all white space with the splash of yellow.  Bright, charming and fun.


And last, but not least – a traditional, French dining room.  For those of you who prefer a formal, almost regal European space here’s a look you might like.  The colorful rug pulls the blue and white chinoiserie fabric on the chairs with the gold silk drapes and gives it that “Old European” look.  Europeans are famous for combining a multitude of colors and patterns for an interesting, very “lived in” space.  It reflects the tradition of old where rugs and furniture were handed down through the generations so that a home was filled with pieces from different homes and family members.  It creates a uniquely warm, inviting , “European” atmosphere.

So did any of these pictures help you to determine your likes and dislikes?  If so, it’s time to create your own dynamic dining room!  Define your style and soon dine in style with your family and friends. 

Happy Decorating!!

Savvy Sofa’s With Attitude


If you are in the market for a new sofa take a look at some of these fabulous pieces from one of my favorite showrooms, Grassroots Imports.  I’ve done a couple of posts on them before.  One about their awesome blingy, mirrored pieces and one about their amazing old doors.  Today’s posts is about their lush, fun, “hip” sofa’s.  Take a peek and see if you think these sofa’s have a certain swank and swagger to them with their fun lines and textured fabrics.  They have, shall we say……attitude”.  

sofa 1

Do you detect a bit of Hollywood glam?

sofa 3

I’m lovin’ the gray!

sofa 4a

Can you say sleek and sassy!  Like a glamorous Hollywood star with bright red lipstick!

sofa 5

Classic, classy……Wow!

sofa 6

Burlap fabric and ebony frame……beautiful.  Casual, yet chic.

sofa 7

Love the curves here…..And look at the prissy back below.  Love it! Attitude I tell you!

sofa 8


sofa 9

The piece above and the piece below – both neutrals – both rockin’ a totally different look.

sofa 10

Each with their own unique personality….their own attitude.

What kind of attitude would you like to bring to your own space?   If you like these transitional and/or contemporary pieces consider one of these styles for your own home.  Build the rest of the room around your swanky new sofa. 

Time to give your space some sass….time to give it attitude!

Happy Decorating!!

Define Your Style: Another Look At Your Dream Kitchen


If you could plan your dream kitchen…….any style at all…..what would it be?  Would you prefer clean, sleek lines, no clutter, stainless steel and smooth rich stained cabinets (no grain showing)?

Or do you see yourself in a cozy country kitchen with different paint colors on your cabinets – maybe distressed – some bright, fun flowers, a little decorative clutter, and café curtains on the windows?

Maybe you prefer Old World, Rustic, Transitional…….how do you define you style?

Do you know what you like?  Or maybe only what you don’t like?  Take a look at the kitchens below and see what style suits you best.

Do you like the look of these contemporary kitchens?  No clutter, clean lines, rich stain?

contemporary 1


contemporary 4

contemporary 7


Maybe that’s too contemporary?  You want more stuff, more color, more curves and textures.  See if these country kitchens are what you see yourself in:

country 4

country 7

Notice the curves, the two tone cabinets, the baskets, the country hardware as opposed to the sleek style of the contemporary kitchens above?

country 6


Still yet, you may prefer the “Old World” charm.  Like the oversized farm sink, a cozy iron pot rack, the oil rubbed bronze fixtures, rich earthy colors and lots of European charm:

old world 2

old world 3

Like these rich, earthy textures, and the touches of iron?  Make sure to check out the ceiling in the picture below.

old world 5

old world 4


Maybe you prefer some  rustic touches?

rustic 6

Like this flagstone floor and stone entrance, beams on the ceiling.

rustic 1

Or the tree trunk chairs, bead board ceiling, leather and iron chairs.

rustic 4

Or these log walls.

If you’re somewhere in the middle of all these you might be dreaming of a more transitional space like these below:

transitional 4

transitional craftsman 1

transitional 3

images by BHG

So what’s your dream kitchen?  Can you define your style?

It can be a tough decision remodeling a space like this.  Remember your kitchen is one of the most important, if not the most important selling feature in your home.  So in addition to designing a space for you to enjoy with your family and friends, be sure to keep that in mind. 

If you are seriously considering a remodel do like I always suggest and start a file.  Pull tear sheets of everything you like.  Take pictures of models, restaurants, friends kitchens, etc….  You’ll start seeing some consistency there in what colors, textures and overall style you like.  It will help you immensely once the selection process begins.  Remodeling can be a very costly venture and one that you might find best done with professional guidance.

 I hope these pictures helped you to define your style!

Happy Decorating!

Define Your Style: Interesting Bathroom Idea’s In Decidedly Different Themes


Again, in honor of National Kitchen and Bath Month I’m focusing on the bathroom today.  The master bath is another extremely important space in the house in terms of re-sell.  Why not make it beautiful and enjoyable while you are living there and add value to home for re-sell as well?  Remember to define your style and pay careful attention to detail.  It’s the details that make the difference.  Take a look at some of the interesting bathroom idea’s from House Beautiful. 

5-Wolf-0209-xlg-46904732-7481006 If you are contemporary something like this might make you sigh with a happy smile.  Would you like to soak in this fabulous tub?



Do you have a bent towards the rustic?  Or unusual?  Do you like a conversation piece to wow your guests?  What about this unconventional rustic bathroom?


0610-bath-mirrored-furniture-deOr are you more opulent?  You like the glitz, glamour and bling.  Maybe this Opulent French bathroom is something you’d like to see yourself in.



Would a traditional bathroom lure you in for a dreamy bath?  Maybe you’d prefer a more traditional look, but with a bit of a twist.  The addition of the black floor, black granite and bold stripes give this bathroom a modern traditional vibe.


12-warmth-bath-1107-xlg-23883405Do you prefer a modern twist on a country style?  Perhaps this modern country spa like retreat appeals to you. 



If you tend to like minimal clutter and the modern flair you might be most comfortable in this eclectic modern space.


bathroom-wallpaper-sink-0710-bathofthemonth-14-deThe wallpaper and country accents in this charming space may be just what you’re after.  If so you lean towards classic country.

                                                                                       Images by House Beautiful

Whatever your style you can make it happen in your home.  This is another area where hiring a professional would be a very good idea.  They are skilled at coming up with a polished plan, and paying careful attention to the details that will accentuate and define your style.  So give that idea some serious thought before you begin.

Have fun and 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!


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!


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