April 23, 2014

DIY: Upholstered Window Cornice

I recently finished up a client's nursery for her little baby boy -- and it was such a fun project! When we first went over the room, she mentioned she wanted something calm and soothing, and had already painted the walls yellow. To keep with the calm vibe, I brought in lots of greys and whites in varying patterns.

One of my favorite parts of the room is the cornice and curtains. We were going to have roman shades installed, but she had just had black-out solar shades installed. So I decided to do a great cornice in a fun and playful pattern. And I decided I wanted to try and attempt to DIY it. I think it came out great. We decided on this great Duralee fabric in light grey and I ordered about 3 yards of it for the project, with some left over.

Before heading over to Home Depot, I measured the width of both windows in the room including the window trim. I then added 3 inches on either side to let the molding "breath" a bit visually, and let the windows look larger than they are. So the smaller window was 48", and then I added 6" to ask for a length of 54". I decided on 12" for the height of the cornice which is pretty standard. For the sides of the cornice, I wanted there to be a 4" depth so that the curtain rods could fit into place and be removed if needed. I first went to Home Depot and funny enough, the associate who was helping me was married to a woman who had her own window treatment company. He was able to recommend a thick enough wood for the job. Which was half an inch. He explained that thicker wood wouldn't cave in over time and would keep that clean look.

I had all the specs written down and the great guys at Home Depot were able to cut it into the pieces I needed in about 30 minutes. It was insanely fast and easy. I also picked up a heavy-duty stapler gun, staples, and brackets both for the wall and to hold the each part of the cornice together. Most of the time the cornice brackets have screws that are too long for the half-inch wood, so I picked up some shorter screws and used those instead. Afterwards I swung by the craft store and picked up a roll of queen size quilt batting to give the cornice that rich, upholstered look.

The first thing to do is put the three cornice pieces together, using the brackets. You want to makes sure your frame is in place. You'll definitely need a drill for this part as well. Once your cornice is in place, now it's time to staple the batting. You can either staple the batting and fabric together or separately. I decided to do it separately so I could make sure that everything was nice and tight. Once I had aligned the fabric, I then stapled that as well. Afterwards, you can add on the brackets. Just make sure you choose screws that aren't more than half an inch deep so you don't poke through the batting or the fabric.

The hardest part is definitely lining up the fabric to make sure both cornices match and that it's in a straight line. I was constantly checking mine as I stapled. But overall it took an evening to put together.

I lucked out and picked up some gray curtains from the Target Nate Berkus collection that matched perfectly with the Duralee print. And in the end it was absolutely stunning. The mom was out while I was doing the install with the handyman and she was so excited when she came back!

January 20, 2014

Latest Loves: Hudson Bay Multi-Stripe

Maybe it's a bit of the past, but in the past week I've found myself really into the Hudson Bay classic stripe. I stumbled upon it when searching for throw blankets for a client and had 1980s flashbacks of the print. I'm kind of really into it. I love the unexpected bold colors against the cream background. And I love the idea of a simple Hudson Bay Stripe on a rich leather chesterfield in a dark study on a cold, rainy day.

I did some digging around on the origin of the pattern -- and blanket. Did you know this print has been around since 1702? And the multi-stripe has never been out of production since it was first commissioned. So it's a classic.  While I don't think the throw will work with my current decor, the jacket definitely will go nicely in my closet.

1) Pendelton Duffle Coat, $895. 2) Multi-Stripe Caribou Throw, $150. 3) Atwell Leather Tablet Case, $160. 4) Pendelton Wool Pillow, $52. 5) Billy Kirk Multi-Striped Bag, $395.

Image source: Pinterest.

January 14, 2014

SheKnows: 4 Foolproof Steps for Buying a Rug

Shopping for a rug can be challenging and confusing — especially if you have an awkwardly-shaped room or an unusual mix of furniture. Without the right information, you might end up purchasing a rug that does not fit your space. A rug that is too big will make a room feel cluttered, whereas a rug that is too small will make the furniture seem like it’s floating. Challenges aside, a rug is the finishing touch for almost any room. It ties a space together, adds coziness, and brings in a new color, texture or pattern.

Read more of my article on SheKnows.com >

January 7, 2014

My Projects: Some Behind-the-Scenes Pics

It's been a busy couple of months -- but there's no time busier for interior design than January. Fresh start, fresh home. And also finishing up some great projects that were started at the end of the Summer -- and I'll get to shoot in the next couple of weeks. The most fun part of the design process is putting it all together -- the install. Here's what I've been up to with some behind-the-scenes pics from some installs and resource scouting!

Picking fun fabrics and patterns for a fun and festive family room.

Going through backsplashes for a client kitchen -- the theme is all-white with a hint of navy.
Love this violet wall paint -- right on par with Radiant Orchid! A shelf install before decor items are put in.
What I like to call "refreshed English countryside home," curtain and artwork install. What's next? Professional shade installation, additional throw pillows, decor items, fig trees, and rug installation.

The most intense part of any install - artwork installation. Takes hours -- this gallery wall took 3 hours!

Sorting through beachy fabrics for another family room -- so many options.

January 3, 2014

Latest Loves: Gold Home Picks for Under $100

There are so many great -- and affordable -- brass and gold pieces out there. I can't get enough of it! If you're looking to make some quick and cheap updates to your space, I've found these great pieces. And they're sizeable pieces too. Definitely a lot of bang (and glam!) for your buck.

Threshold Inlay Table, Target, $79. Banks Chair with Gold Legs, Overstock, $99. Eyeball Sconce, Urban Outfitters, $29. Nate Berkus Throw Blanket, Target, $34. Metal Porthole Mirror, Target, $89. Treshold Tufted Bench, Target, $99. Threshold Metal Stamped Table, Target, $59. Gold Napkin Ring Set, West Elm, $20. Treshold Tufted Bench, Target, $59. 

December 30, 2013

Inspiration: Looking Back at Home Design Trends of 2013

With just a couple of days left in 2013, it's the perfect time to reflect on some of the great trends and styles introduced in the past year. Two thousand and fourteen will bring some new and groundbreaking interior design trends (Radiant Orchid, anyone?), but before we make the transition, let’s reflect on what 2013 made big!

Emerald Green
Although it was Pantone’s 2013 Color of the Year, we will not be saying goodbye to this color anytime soon. It’s classic and preppy hues transform any space with ease and sophistication. The deep rich color works great with a variety of colors, from bright orange to classic navy, to burnt yellow, and gold. From fabrics to paint colors, this color is here to stay – and even plays nicely with Radiant Orchid.

Tufted Upholstery
While tufted furniture is not necessarily new (having originated in England and France during the 1300s and 1400s), it has made a major comeback in 2013. This style of upholstery is more elegant and in fact, it was one of the ways upper classmen would show off their money as tufting requires more fabric than other upholstery methods. Tufted furniture has the ability to transform a space – giving it a more defined and regal look. And this trend won’t be going away in 2014.

Originating in Indonesia, ikat is a dying process similar to tie-dye with colors bleeding. However there is more structure and pattern with ikat techniques which allows the color bleeding to have a consistent pattern. With larger retailers, we started off 2013 with ikat in blue and white combinations. However as the year progressed, we now see ikat in so many different colorways and variations.

Mirrored Accents
With mirrored chests, tables, and trays, the furniture world was overtaken by mirrored accents this year. Luxurious bedrooms were filled with matching mirrored nightstands, while mirrored-top coffee tables added glam to an otherwise dull living room. We will continue to see the use of mirrored accents in 2014, but in more subtle ways.

It has been a big year for gold (and brass). Almost all furniture retailers are embracing the gold look – and even larger retailers like Target have hopped on board with their Threshold brand. Previously, there was limited use (and more expensive) of gold and brass tones in furniture, but now the finish has become more affordable to the greater population. And it has the ability to transform anything with some elegants and shine!

Coolshire Tufted Sofa, Jardin Side Chair in Green, Madeline Weinrib Ikat Pillow, Brass Gold Mirrored Table, and Robert Abbey Chevron Lamp.

December 15, 2013

SheKnows: 9 Interior Design Rules to Live By

While decorating is considered an art form, there's actually more math involved than you may think. Have you noticed that something seems "off" in your living room or that pieces aren't tying together as well as you had hoped? In the interior-design world, we have a little black book of math rules that we swear by — and I'm sharing nine simple rules that apply to almost any type of space.

Read more of my article on SheKnows.com >

December 13, 2013

Inspiration: 12 Stunning Spaces with Pantone's Radiant Orchid

In case you haven’t heard, Pantone has just announced the color of the year. Move over, Emerald from 2013. The color of the year is now Radiant Orchid 18-3224 – a vibrant blend of purple and pink. While we are sad to say goodbye to our classic, preppy green, the design world is ready to welcome this feminine and awakening color. It’s a confident and expressive purple. And as Pantone puts it, it brings “magical warmth.”

Read more of my article on Examiner.com >

November 7, 2013

Design: Planning for an Office Re-Do

I'm getting ready for my office re-do and could not be more excited about it. Especially when I found the perfect campaign saw-horse desk that I will love forever. I scored it from a dealer in Los Angeles who had found it at a Palm Springs estate sale. And boy did I luck out. So my office has been designed around this desk.

The main priority for my office space is a wall-long pin board. It's perfect for pinning up fabrics and photos for client projects. And this way each client project can have about 2-3 feet of space. I'm also into trays where I can store things as I pull them out of my library. But I want everything to be clean, white, and simple for this.

Anyways, back to the desk, I was doing some browsing and found this Eames plastic mold chair -- but this one is a tad different. I love the rich brown of the legs -- something you don't see too often. I also love the gray and brown color of the plastic. And love how it pairs with the smoke glass of my desk. And of course throw in a sheepskin from IKEA. I'm really into dark and masculine paint colors right now. And am exploring black, gray, and teal paints. These colors won't seem so dark when I have a giant white pinboard and white rug. I'm excited.

July 30, 2013

Latest Loves: A Love Letter to My iPad (and Case)

I needed an iPad. Well I didn't need one. But that was my excuse: that I needed it when meeting with clients so I could swipe through room shots. So I invested in one. And I know I'm very late to the iPad boat. But I wasn't ready before. I didn't know what I needed to be ready for.

So it arrived in the mail—my white little iPad. And so did my Tory Burch case. On our first night together, I figured we'd hang out a bit and I would organize projects in albums and download essential iPad apps like Houzz, Pinterest, etc. Then I would go to sleep. But then something happened: I started scouting furniture on it and reading articles, and three hours later I was in love. And my poor MacBook Pro sat alone on my chevron ottoman.

I love my iPad. I love it for interior decorating. I love it to online shop for clients, look through room inspirations, and organize my work life. I'm so glad that I needed it. Thank you iPad, for being you.

The most exciting part about getting an iPad is buying a case. I think I spent more time on this than I did researching iPad specs. Should I go with Tory Burch, Kate Spade, Marc Jacobs? Did I want to be colorful or sophisticated? First I went for the Kate Spade Pueblo Tiles iPad case—and I loved it. But I was still thinking about the navy Tory Burch Kelsey tablet case. And in the end, I went with that one. Here are some of my favorite iPad case picks.

Tory Burch Kelsey Case, Tory Burch, $145.  Marc By Marc Jacobs Mini Mareika Deboss Neoprene Case, Shopbop, $58. Tory Burch Bow Case, Bloomingdales, $78. Kate Spade Pueblo Tiles Case, Kate Spade, $50. Jonathan Adler Heart Leather Case, Bloomingdales, $158. MCM iPad Heritage Case, Bloomingdales, $350. Ted Baker Apcon Bow Case, Bloomingdales, $70. Alexander Wang Prisma Case, Shopbop, $435. Zac Zac Posen Shirley Case, Bloomingdales, $75. Kate Spade Petula Stripe Case, Bloomingdales, $50.

June 3, 2013

My Projects: A Modern, Yet Rustic Space

You've probably been wondering why I've been so quiet on the blog—at least since the end of March.
Lots of busy design work! As of this weekend, I finished shooting another one of my first projects: a slightly masculine, modern, and rustic design with rich browns, blues, and softer textures to add warmth. The project took about three and a half months from painting/floor installation to artwork hanging/decor accessories and in the end it was totally worth it.

I wanted to share some of my favorite shots, as well as the inspiration board for the project. You can see more of the room here.

March 27, 2013

Inspiration: 13 Relaxing and Warm Outdoor Spaces

I caught the inevitable March/April cold. I didn't even know there was such a thing as the March/April cold but apparently there is. I'm more of a September and December kind-of-a-girl with colds. Not to mention I can't even rest up in 80 degree weather (everyone knows the sun cures all), because yes, it's still under 50 degrees. I think I should just move to Hawaii. I could totally get into some jute rugs, bamboo/rattan arm chairs, and floral prints. In any event, here are 13 photos of beautiful, warm outdoor spaces so you can start drooling, or cursing, if you're in New England.

March 23, 2013

Latest Loves: Wearable Ikat, Gold Glassware, and Coral

It's supposedly Spring. And I am not feeling it. It's snowed three times this past week and there's more snow to come. A year ago I could be found tanning on docks. Now I'm still sporting my faux fur Juicy Couture coat. But I'm going to embrace Spring in my Latest Loves for this week with coral, purple, blue, and naturally, gold. My favorite are the gold chevron and chain-link glasses from C. Wonder. I am definitely getting these. Haven't decided which yet but next time I go to C. Wonder in New York, I'll check them out in person. They'll go great with my new ikat dishware.

I definitely recommend checking out items at C. Wonder before you buy. For example, the multi-colored ikat does not look that appealing online. But in person: to-die-for.

Tea Towel, Furbish Studio, $18. Gold Glassware, C. Wonder, $48 (set of 4). Greek Key Trim Pillow, Furbish Studio, $60. Gold Elephant Placecards, Furbish Studio, $8. Mario Knob, Zara Home, $15 (set of 2). Orange Ikat Lamp, Furbish Studio, $350. Grey Tray, Aeron, $325. BDG Ikat Button-Down, Urban Outfitters, $59. Chevron Rug, Joss & Main (Safavieh Rugs), $78+.  

March 18, 2013

Decor: New York Commercial Spaces

While in New York this weekend I saw a ton of great design in hotels, restaurants—even a gentlemen's club. I love Boston but I notice that the design in commercial spaces isn't as extreme or challenging as it could be. My initial theory is this: In New York, there's more clutter to break through. There are so many hotels, so many restaurants, so many bars, clubs, and museums. How do you stand out? How are you remembered? Interior design plays a huge role in this. I got to see some great spaces this weekend—and some incredible design details.

Chevron marble floors at the Gansevoort Park Hotel.

March 9, 2013

Latest Loves: Creating Roomboards with Olioboard

Usually I create my roomboards and moodboards in Photoshop. It's an extremely time-consuming process but lets me have the flexibility I need/want. I was researching interior design communities and stumbled across Olioboard: an online community centered around creating roomboards. They have a roomboard dashboard with thousands of products ready to layout so you can build the look you want. They also have new "Challenges" which are themed contests. For example, "African-Inspired," "Yellow is the New Pink," and "Bed & Breakfast." The first photo is a dashboard example, and the next two photos are my submissions for two Challenges.

I'll still stick to Photoshop for most roomboards since there are more options for customizing. However, Olioboard definitely makes the process a lot quicker and easier. And the dashboard is really intuitive. I recommend checking it out—it's mostly free.