As kids, we loved finding “secret spaces” around the home or in the backyard to call our own. Well it turns out those special spots are definitely not just for the little ones. Check out some of these very cool secret spaces for the home—and be sure to comment and let me know which ones are your favorite!!

Take this one for example: who would have thought to use steps themselves as storage?! Think of the endless options!

Last week I wrote a post about wine storage and how storage can be a part of your home’s design element and let me tell you, I found some very cool wine storage options. This secret space reminds me of a wine celler in my last post except a little more “undercover.”

Clever, clever!! You know that dead space under your cabinets that just collects dust? This is a very cool way to use that space in a bit of a mysterious way. Who would ever think to look under there? Now what would you put in these drawers?

Is this not Narnia or what?! I can just imagine how this would become a kid’s favorite space in the house. It would make for such a special reading room!

An ordinary looking dresser “magically” opens up to contain a hidden safe! My only question is: Don’t robbers usually look in drawers anyways? I wonder if this adds an extra security or if it’s just for fun!

A bookshelf that pushes back to reveil a secret room! The owner of this home has left the space unfinished for the moment, but wouldn’t that make for an awesome library or a home fitness space?

I know many people that use this little trick to their advantage already! Ordinary looking cabinets pull back to show numerous storage options. Clever and clean looking, don’t you think?

This has got to be one of my favorites and it reminds me of something I was discussing with my Facebook fans a few days ago.  Laundry rooms are a necessity, but not all of us necessarily want this space to be prominent in the home. This cabinet, turned laundry room is such a great idea to hide that little space away from the rest of the world!

Simple and clever indeed. For those of you with little ones running around, you understand the usefulness of this one!

The last one I found was another stairs option. What a great secret space, and a great way to use often-wasted space!

Which secret spaces are your favorites? Do you have any secret spaces in your home? Please comment and share your thoughts and experiences below!





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{Chinchilly, Essie}

{Buckingham Interiors + Design}

Fall has officially come to Chicago, and chilly it is!  Today it barely broke 60 degrees and what does cooler weather mean besides boots, scarves and jackets?  Autumn nail polish, of course!

Today was the first time I got my autumnal manicure/pedicure for the season, and what better color to choose than Chinchilly by Essie!  I discovered this color around this time about two years ago, and it has been a cool weather staple ever since.

Here are some of the colors that I am look forward to painting my nails this fall, and in the spirit of MG, here are some cool interiors to go along with them!

{Carry On, Essie}

{Lonny Magazine}

{Very Structured, Essie}

{Elle Decor}

{Glamour Purse, Essie}

{Rue Magazine}

{Power Clutch, Essie}

{Lonny Magazine}

{I Break for Manicures, OPI}

{Architectural Digest}

{Suzie Takes the Wheel, OPI}

{Decor Pad}

{Roadhouse Blues, OPI}

{Decorpad}

{I Eat Mainely Lobster}

{Architectural Digest}

{Are We There Yet}

{Decorpad}





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{Urban Smoke Ball Fixture}

Lighting has long been one of my favorite parts of any design project, but it can also be one of the most difficult and time consuming part of the process.  First off, lighting really comes in bulk.  In some of my larger projects, I have upwards of 100 fixtures!  Wattage, placement, dimensions, shades….so much to think about when choosing just the right lighting schemes.

When I was blogging about the 2010 San Francisco Elle Decor Showhouse, I realized that the various designers had one common lighting theme: Urban Electric.  I often use UE myself, for their diverse collection of fixtures can appeal to a broad range of clients’ tastes.  I really admired the pieces used in the showhouse, but I wanted to also share with you some of my personal favorites.  Enjoy!

{Anson Ribbon Fixture}

{Athena Fixture}

{Chisholm Hall Fixture}

{Diamond Fixture}

{Dover Ball Fixture- Elle Decor Showhouse}

{Gwendolyn Hang Fixture}

{Kings Road Fixture}

{Poppy Fixture}

{Morris Ribbon Fixture}

{Sprig Fixture}





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Living Like a Star

Posted By Julia-Chicago | Feb 05, 2011 | 7 Comments | Category: Celebs, Decorating, Living Rooms

{Brad, Angelina and the kids racking up the frequent flier miles}

Don’t we all love getting a glimpse into the fabulous lives of celebrities?  US Weekly, People, even Star, there’s something so addicting about getting the inside scoop on the stars.  Not only do we like to see them at their “finest” (how can we forget Britney’s little getting out of the car mishap, Lindsay’s many lovely party pics, or the Olsen twins glued to the Starbucks and oversized shades), but we also love to see the way they live in their homes.

As I was browsing the Architectural Digest website, checking out what the recently appointed editor-in-chief Margaret Russell is doing for the magazine, I came across the “celebrity living room” feature.  And like any juicy deets about celebrities, I just had to take a peak.

{Demi Moore and Ashton Kutcher, Beverly Hills}

{Angelica Huston, California Central Valley}

{Sting and Trudie Styler, London}

{Joshua Bell, Manhattan}

{Jennifer Aniston, Beverly Hills}

{Elton John and David Furnish, Los Angeles}

{Kimberly and Dennis Quaid, Los Angeles}

{Diane Keaton, Beverly Hills}

{Gerard Butler, New York City}

{Patricia Heaton and David Hunt, Los Angeles}

{Cher, Los Angeles}

{Sheryl and Robe Lowe, Santa Barbara}





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Tags: , ,

{Look familiar?}

If so…then it’s your lucky day!  I think most of us are probably familiar with the much blogged about Bunny Williams’ living room (turquoise? horn decorations? sound familiar?) that was a part of 2009 Kip’s Bay Showhouse in NYC.  If this room caught your eye, than you really must check out the many other rooms styled by other top designers.  And if you really can’t get enough, then you can have it all to yourself, for $50 million that is.

Sotheby’s International Realty is listing this home, a 21,000 square foot limestone mansion on the Upper East Side, at quite the price tag.  Although unfortunately only the select few can afford such a home in the mid 8 figures, you can virtually tour it all you would like at House Beautiful’s virtual tour (as well as check out more photos from the show house).  Enjoy!  Oh yeah, and if any of you MGs end up purchasing this home, I’d be more than happy to stop by for a visit ;)

Images courtesy of Sotheby’s International Realty.





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Gleaming, glowing, glossy and bright… These walls are anything but understated and I’m infatuated with every inch…

Never afraid to color outside the lines, Miles Redd allows sapphire to shine

Where was this room when I wrote Purple Rain? Check out these glossy, bold boundaries… Yum!

Jonathan Berger gave this late-19th-century Brooklyn home one jaw-dropping entrance with Benjamin Moore’s Razzle Dazzle… Wowza!

Laquered loveliness… This space couldn’t be more fab if it tried.  Loving this high-gloss blue amid black, white and yellow…  Fierce.

{Images gathered from Architectural Digest, House Beautiful and Head Over Heels.}





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Essie’s new flavorful Winter Collection has me smitten like never before… Mint Candy Apple, Lollipop and Rock Candy have joined the Essie line up and are far too fabulous to cover fingertips alone…

Don’t you agree?

Essie Winter Collection

Mint Candy Apple floors shine amid snow white subway tiles and lacquered cabinetry… I am eating this Windsor Smith kitchen up with a spoon! Delish!

Windsor Smith Kitchen

Sarah Jessica Parker packs a Lollipop punch in her Hamptons kitchen with Enzo Mari art and a glossy red island center.

Sarah Jessica Parker Red - Hamptons

Betsey Johnson, Eye Candy Goddess, coated her NYC Penthouse sky in Rock Candy-inspired hues… Can we blame her?

Betsy Johnson Living

I just love how a tiny .5 oz. bottle can inspire an entire room… Don’t you?

Essie Mint Candy Apple

{Images collected from Elle Decor and Elle Decor UK.}





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As you know, I’m quite partial to brights, lights and whites… of neutrals and heather grays… but must admit, these slate-inspired spaces have me going to the dark side

Mario Buatta adds depth and elegance with his brilliant selection amid feminine, delicate decor…

Loving this seamless blend of ebony walls and glistening black flooring…

Crisp white linens set off soot-like surroundings oh so beautifully in this Domino bedroom…

Drama and glamour filled walls house this chic ebony and ivory tub just right…

This sleek backdrop is the perfect compliment to Vueve Clicquot hues and rustic wood floors…

Natural elements and fresh whites pair perfectly atop pitch-black boundaries…

What do you think? Time to turn in those pale walls for a little dose of drama?

{Images gathered from Apartment Therapy, Domino, Decor Pad and Living Etc.}





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Two Windy City fashionistas gave their La Porte estate a renovating makeover and welcomed Chicago Home + Garden Magazine through their doors… So happy they did.

This glossy red entranceway has me crazy in love… Paired with black and white papered walls, it truly shines as it should.

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Love, love, loving this effortless mix of classic and modern.. of matte and gloss.. of slate and white. Lucite Louis X-esque chairs amid mirrored finishes leave this space feeling boundless and bright.

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A consistent palette enables the couple to mix, match, accessorize and expand collections at will while maintaining a sense of fluidity and balance throughout… “It’s incredible how much fun it is to play musical furniture. We like playing house.”

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The perfect mix of personality and soul… well-collected and a true reflection of the Mark Heister Designs pair. “We’re from a black-tie life in the fashion business. Every day is an event, and why not?”

f89282003eef1556061dd5f2ff1085b1

Well said!





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There’s something oh so enchanting and alluring about rustic elements mingling with sleek, luxurious design. I absolutely adore this Wyoming haven and secretly wonder if it’s available for a weekend home swap…

 Ahhh, a girl can dream…
 
This red cedar entrance hall exudes “Welcome Home”.
 
Wyoming 1

Could this delicate Ochre fixture be a more lovely topping  for this handsome walnut Hudson Furniture table?

Wyoming 3

Texture, texture, texture! What I wouldn’t give to curl up and indulge in this fireside nook… I am loving the Alison Berger sconces and pendant lighting, not to mention the bronze vintage table by Philip and Kelvin LaVerne.

Wyoming 2

Well done, Madeline Stuart…well done.

Check out the full spread in the November Issue of Elle Decor.

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