I recently worked on a project with a young 20-something young woman in her first house- to give a face-lift of sorts to her kitchen and living room. We were on a budget, as most people are at such a young age. I wanted to make some big changes that would make her feel like she was in a new space, without making any changes to floors, windows or surface areas. In these situations, paint is an amazing way to make a huge change and is the first thing I would recommend if you are working in phases. Below are some pictures of her space when I first visited. The walls were a bit dark and the furniture did not fit the space as well as it could. Some pieces were too large and some were too small.
With a smaller budget, I started with new paint throughout the house, and new furnishings to mix with some of the old in a different scale to make the most of the space and allow for more seating and a better space to entertain. In the kitchen, we added new lighting and hardware to lighten the space up, and in the living space we are working on making a perfect seating area for conversation and social events.
We have a few pieces of furniture waiting to arrive and some finishing touches, but this shows the power of paint and thoughtful space planning to make the most of your home.
So, it turns out when you write a blog and want it read, you must hit the publish button. Ya'll, I'm trying! Better late than never, right? Here is what I loved in February.
I have been wearing nothing but Asics for for almost two years after my friend, Melissa, suggested they might be a good fit for me. I found a new style to try and they are THE most comfortable training shoes I've ever worn. I may need to buy a few more before the style disappears. These are the Asics Gel Fit Training style and I can't say enough good things about them.
I love a good bargain but the item has to actually work. You know when you try to save money on foil at the dollar store and then you realize there is a reason it cost a dollar? Well, ELF cosmetics (it stands for eyes, lip, face) has really impressed me with a few of their products. I will share the other for March, but in February I purchased their blush/bronzer duo in St. Lucia. It's the perfect amount of a little shimmer for a glow. I don't use it to countour, but I mix just a little of both together for the perfect color. And, it's $4. FOUR DOLLARS!!! It happens to be a really close option to offerings from NARS.
Bowerbirds. I have had them on repeat for a while. It's pretty and a bit addictive.
I was recently looking for affordable art and found Urban Outfitters to have some amazing prices and really fun options. I have a special place in my heart for this one......I have a thing for llamas and camels. And peacocks. And dogs and cats.......but how cute is this?? The photographer is Sandy Broenimann.
And that's it! Enjoy.
So, I completely skipped December's Must Haves....and to be honest- January almost didn't make it after my computer froze yesterday and I lost all my work! Grr. But, I woke up determined to share my new favorite things for the New Year.
RD Style Pullover Sweater
I got this from Stitch Fix and love it. It's a classic cowl neck style but has modern lines and zipper detail. I have seen a preppier friend wearing one and it seems to work on everyone. It also comes in navy. I'm finding I like this line a lot. If you have not tried Stitch Fix Yet- I really do recommend giving it a try! You will get a personal stylist after you fill out the style profile. Keep only what you want. Click Here to sign up! I'll get a credit and you will get your stylist. I also urge you to create a Pinterest Board with your style likes and ideas to help your stylist really see what you want.
This is actually for your body. I have always loved Aromatherapy and one of my BFFs introduced them to me. These Chakra Body Mists from Aveda are sold separately or in a small set as shown below. I use them daily and particularly when I am meditating and concentrating on my chakras. I'm a hippy like that!
Check out the Robert Glasper Trio. I have been listening to this a lot while I work or cook dinner and sip wine. It's very versatile jazz!! I want more jazz in my life.
Whenever possible, I start with the rug when designing a space. I love FLOR carpet squares and own two rugs already. I have been coveting this new pattern and it's tribal influence. These squares can be replaced when they get chewed up by your dogs because you left the house (I have a set by the front door and there is one square my dogs take their separation anxiety out on). Check FLOR out. It's pretty ingenious.
The Cold Brewed Irish Coffee from The Skellig is my favorite new treat(and my new favorite bar). I love iced coffee, I enjoy whiskey, and this combines the two. The Skellig uses Virtue Coffee and the nitro espresso is not messing around. Don't drink this late at night. It will keep you awake!
Happy New Year!
November has already been a whirlwind, but I have to let you know my favorite things this month!
Now that it's FINALLY getting cooler in Dallas, I like to have something snuggly to put on when I'm lounging in pjs in the evenings or weekends cooking breakfast. This cardigan by Barefoot Dreams is so comfy and comes in different colors and has been around for a few years. It's a great gift for the holidays too!
After seeing several reviews and ads on Living Proof hair products (the brand Jennifer Aniston represents) I decided to order a trial kit before I went on a trip. I LOVE all of it, but my favorite so far is the Perfect hair Day 5-in-1 styling treatment. It makes my hair soft and hides split ends. My style holds longer and is generally shinier and healthier looking.
I am loving Doug Burr. He has a lovely voice and a great beat on the song Red, Red....
Recently when I visited NEST on McKinney, I saw a lovely rug sample from Missoni and it is so typical of their fantastic iconic prints with bold color and really beautiful knot work. See sizes online at YLiving here.
Now I need to get working on December!
October means fall which means my favorite season. I know I'm not alone. I have some great finds for you!
I think I am a little late to the Stitch Fix Game, but I recently signed up and am really impressed. Stitch Fix is a personal styling service that sends 5 items to you up to once a month (you can sign up for one Fix or one a quarter...it's all up to you). I loved the jeans sent and a great necklace and poncho for fall. Check it out here .....below is an image of some of their pieces, showing you how to style white denim for fall. Cute!
I have used this product off and on for a while and it is now a staple. When I used it last week, I knew it was the best candidate for today's post! Lush's 'Silky Underwear Dusting Powder' was suggested to me years ago for ....um....boob sweat. You well endowed ladies know what I'm talking about- but it is amazing in so many ways. I use it especially during summer. Ithas a lovely light jasmine scent and I find now that I like to use it after moisturizing regardless of season or weather. I gave it to one friend who swears by it for chafing between her thighs for short runs and one of my friends uses it on her sheets and another uses it to soften her nightgowns. It's fabulous!
Ryan Bingham. Besides being REALLY easy on the eyes, I love his voice and I'm a sucker for guitar players.
I found the most beautiful media console for a client and I think it is a perfect design. With two sliding doors- you can change the look and hide media components. It would just as easily work as a buffet or entry piece. I think it's so beautiful.
From FFDM- it is the Movie Night Media Console.
Maybe one of the best things I've ever eaten in my life is from Oishii Sushi here in Dallas. It's the Tribeca Roll- if you like the taste of truffle- this is amazing. It is like a sushi sandwhich filled with fresh salmon to dip in a truffle laced sauce. And you can substitute fish if you wish (I just rhymed).
Happy Fall Y'all!
I recently finished up a living space and had several people asking questions like:
"What did it look like before?"
"How does the design process work?"
"Did the client have any pieces to start?"
"How do you get inspiration?"
So....here is a quick step- by -step to show you how this project played out.
First- I visit the space and measure, do an inventory of what we will use in the new space, and take any before pics for my reference.....
My client just had the whole house painted so I was working with a warm neutral wall. She also had a brand new piece of art, from artist Austin Allen James, that we knew would go in the room. Finally, she had a sofa and chair already picked out to use in this space if I could make them work. They were a light ivory with dark wooden frame- so I worked with that as my starting point.
This is the Austin James piece that was my inspiration for color.
My first step is to design a mood board. I will sometimes have a specific piece I know I want to use, like the coffee table here, and I then add ideas to show the client what I have in mind. I knew I wanted to use shades of blue and citron, and add lots of texture and organic shapes. The client has a great art collection so I planned on hanging art and possibly creating a gallery wall. My first instinct was to use lavender as a splash of color. My client gave me the go ahead to start sourcing specific pieces and fabrics.
This is an image of the presentation pieces I had to show my client after visiting fabric showrooms and sourcing the actual pieces I wanted to use. I found a few fabrics with dark reds that really stood out to me, so I changed direction away from the lavender. I found vintage chairs from Scout Design Studio that I wanted to reupholster and pieces from several different manufacturers and designers to create the look. She loved it all!
Here are 2 photos I took (no professional shots yet!) that shows the room at the end of install day. The wine cage in the back was already in the room. I took a piece of art from another room and hung it in the hallway from the entry to the living room to bring more color in.
Our next step is to replace the ceiling fan with something more updated or a light fixture.
The artwork in the gallery wall is painted by my client. I saw it and told her I wanted to incorporate them into the room. She thought I was kidding, but after having them framed and hung, it makes a really big impact and is very personal to her.
I try to do the installs all in one day whenever possible- the client is at work and I have my shipping and receiving team deliver everything at once and I get to move things around and decorate. When the client got home we cracked open some wine and enjoyed sitting in the new living room. The best part of my job is that I get to create individualized design that is unique to each person and family, so no room or space looks the same. Let me know if you want to design a space that is perfect for you!
Dark maroon. burgundy wine colors always seem to appear this time of year. I have never been as drawn to it as I am now and here are some great ways to incorporate it into the season!
It may be my favorite color of the season.....time to go get my nails done!
With Fall on it's way I was looking for a new scarf to add to my collection. This one from ASOS is pretty with a bit of a boho vibe- the embroidery is a special detail and the color goes with anything. 100% wool so it is great quality.
This is actually a product for the body. I have been doing what I can to use products with natural ingredients that aren't toxic to me or the environment. Acure is a line I found this year that fist the bill and is affordable. The Dry Oil Sprays are so great. They are organic, light weight and easy to use. My skin feels soft but not greasy. Right now I am loving the Rose scent but I plan on getting all of them!
Although I've only heard two songs from Kaleo, I love both of them and they just get me in a groovy mood. I'm looking forward to more from them.
Jonathan Adler produces beautiful pottery and I am in love with this chic collection of black and gold pieces.The Future Drip Urn is so chic and has a bit of edge with the color palette. I think it's so beautiful.
In June I shared a favorite furniture design, the Tulip Table by Eero Saarinen, that I believe is timeless and and looks great in almost any setting. It's foolproof! This month I'd like to share with you the Wishbone Chair by Hans Wegner, designed in 1949. Carl Hanson & Son has been making the licensed version since 1950, but there are numerous reproductions being sold.
I love this chair because it can be used as a dining chair, desk chair or occasional chair and mixes into any style of design. Below you can see it used in a variety of styles and it always works. Many licensed 'classic' designs may seem a bit pricey, but they will always be relevant and are often collector's items. It is now available in a variety of colors which makes it even more versatile.
My favorite post each month! Here are some things to check out in August....
I love Eileen Fisher for classic pieces that almost never go out of style. They are extremely well made with mostly eco-friendly materials and drape so well. This long sleeveless sheer tunic is an awesome buy because it can be worn any season! For summer with a pair of skinny jeans and heels on a night out. In Spring with flowy pants or a maxi skirt and fun wedges. For Fall it would be great with leggings and boots and a fabulous scarf and denim jacket. And in Winter, it would be wonderful with jeans, booties and a fabulous blazer. It comes in ivory and black. Get both!
I recently had a gift certificate to Neiman Marcus and went straight to the cosmetics counter. I was introduced to a great product from Trish McEvoy for your eyes. This Deluxe Instant Eye lift eye treatment acts like a quick wake-me up and I use it once in the am and then as a touch up once or twice a day. It works to depuff and erase darkness without adding color like a concealer. It just brightens the area and makes you look more awake. It's wonderful.
Iron and Wine and Band of Horses are two of my favorite bands so when Iron and Wine and Ben Bridwell from Band of Horses got together to make an album of cover songs, entitled Sing Into My Mouth, I was looking forward to it's release date for a couple of months. It is so lovely and these two handsome men work really well together. Ab's Song (Marshall Tucker Band) and This Must Be The Place (Talking Heads) are two of my favorites. It is a perfect album.
I recently decorated a boy's room going from nursery to big boy! When looking for some wall decoration, I found these great game boards from Wisteria. I love them because they add color and interest and can be re purposed into a game room or hallway. There is nothing trendy about them and the price is right! They can also be arranged in several ways.
I don't eat sweets or dessert often but when I frequent one of my favorite Dallas restaurants, Mesero, I am tempted by their delicious Pastel Cinco Leches Cake, written about by Scott Reitz of the Dallas Observer and shown below from his article. It is divine. Light, fluffy and moist at the same time......and if you are lucky they might bring you a spoonful after dinner without even asking. Photo from the above article.
And that's it for August. Enjoy the end of Summer!
This is where I share everything from design ideas and tips, images of beautiful spaces to fashion and recipes.... and of course stories and pictures of my rescue pup and sidekick, Frito Pie.