Summer is my favorite time of the year! Warm weather, tanned skin, drinks on the beach- who doesn’t absolutely love this season? What I love most about summer, however, is the vibrant colors that this season always brings with it (and my need to redecorate before those dreary winter months!). That’s why I wanted to showcase Yellow Boat Pillow Company as a great example of how to easily bring bright and fun colors into one’s home!  These pillows are an awesome alternative to having custom pillows made, and the price is right too!

If you’re looking for a more understated look for your decor, Yellow Boat features Neutrals, Naturals, and blacks and whites in both large and small prints.

Yellow Boat recently sent me two amazing pillows for our EJ Interiors office and I’m loving my graphic black and white greek key printed pillow! It fits perfectly in my chair and is great to have during those late nights at the office :) and you know there are many of those! Check out “Black Greek Key” and “Bakana Zig Zag in Aquamarine”.

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So many fun prints and colors to choose from- where’s a gal to start? Be sure to get your Yellow Boat Pillows before summer ends and it’s time for furry throws and hot cocoa!





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Last year when we were presented with a project in which we would gut a guest bathroom and convert it into a master bath in Hollywood Heights in Dallas, I knew it would be no easy feat.  It was a very tough decision for EJ Interiors to make when deciding whether or not to take on the project because the client is legendary for being the biggest perfectionist and most picky client of all time.  You might know her? Her name is Emily Johnston Larkin (A.K.A. me)

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I’ve heard it time and again from showrooms- “You are one of our nicest designers but you are also our pickiest designer….dont worry that is a good thing…?”  (awkward silence)

I just can’t help it- it’s in my blood!  I started planning this project last December (and no, not December 2013, December 2012). My bathroom was more than 80 years old, so I wanted to make sure that if I was going to change “history”, then I needed to do it in a way that would flow with the rest of my little 1930′s English tudor home so I planned and I planned (and then planned some more).

Here is a “Before” photo of the bathroom before we moved in- can you say yikes?!!

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In this bathroom was a 1980′s vanity, the original black and white tile from the 1930′s, and a shower that even Twiggy could not fit in.  It became our guest bathroom when we moved in and was so NOT functional.

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Oh yes, this is the lovely coffin sized shower where I would have to kick the door open just to shave my legs! This was not going to work for very long….

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Once we moved in, we got rid of that awful pinky cream wall color and the brass around the shower door, but that wasn’t enough- the 1980′s vanity was still staring me in the face every day.

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You are probably asking- well what about your other bathroom? (the one that is considered the actual “master”) Why couldn’t you just use that bathroom? Well, this is why…..

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And how we decided to move into this house upon seeing the above photo in our home’s listing, is beyond me! But this bathroom is a story for another day…

Back to the guest bath!

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Ben and I were on a time crunch because we were leaving on a trip to Europe so we hurried and hired a contractor (the amazing Kirk Eppler of Eppler Construction).  And by amazing, I mean that it was a miracle he didn’t quit on me.  At one of our first meetings when he came out to measure, I already had all the new walls taped out with blue scotch tape and proceeded to move the tape 1/20th of an inch to make sure the door openings and such were juuuuust right.

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We started the demo while we were in Europe since we knew it was going to be crazy messy.  We essentially eliminated a hallway (that went from the guest bedroom to our den) to give us more space in our bathroom and then we merged two smaller closets into one larger one.

Thankfully, Material Boy Nathan was there to take photos of the demo while I was gone-

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Next order of business was to pick my materials!  Since my house is in a conservation district, I didn’t want to do anything too trendy nor too modern- I really wanted to stay classic. I decided to go with 2″ calacatta marble hexagons for the floor and 3×6 calacatta subways for the walls laid in a brick pattern with snow white grout (the tile would go all the way up to the ceiling in the shower and then to chair rail height on the other bathroom walls- a great suggestion by Material Girl Lauren- (a K&B designer who was so sweet in letting me bounce ideas off of her!)

I knew I wanted to do Calacatta gold marble because of it’s warmth (Carrara marble was way too cold for my house).  Calacatta looks best paired with polished nickel since it’s a warmer metal so I chose that for my fixtures versus the widely used and “colder” chrome.

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As you probably already know, a designer is her own worst client (seriously).  We love so many different things that it is hard to commit to just one and the thought of this bathroom being so PERMANENT and not something I could just sell on Craig’s List the next week was a little terrifying.

Next I had to select and coordinate my vanity, sconces, and medicine cabinet.  I am a total organizational freak and someone who likes everything to look very clean, so I opted for a lucite washstand from Palmer instead of the traditional painted wood vanity cabinet (even though most people told me I was crazy to do this). Since I had limited square footage in this bathroom, I loved the idea of the lucite not taking up a lot of visual weight in the space and I also knew that if I had a washstand, I wouldn’t be able to throw a bunch of needless junk in it like I would probably end up doing with cabinets and drawers.

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To solve the storage problem, I went with a large 1930′s inspired medicine cabinet from Restoration Hardware. I loved its atypical rounded edges and polished nickel frame!

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I spotted these Visual Comfort Sconces by Barbara Barry at Taylors on Ten showroom and I just about died. They were exactly what I was looking for! And then I also purchased a Thomas O’Brien Bell Jar pendant from them for my ceiling fixture.

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One of my many CAD drawings throughout the process…I’d make copies of them for everyone working on the bathroom just so we were all on the same page-

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Once the marble got here, I decided to take it upon myself to go through every single box of it and separate out the ones that had “too much UT burnt orange in them”. I stayed up until 2 am one night and looked through thousands of individual tiles before the tile guy came and laid them the next day.

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And even after I had hand picked every single marble subway that was to be installed in that bathroom, I STILL had the tile guy rip out a bunch that I didn’t like out of the wall the next day.  (and I ask again….how did Kirk the contractor not fire me throughout this process)?

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{The incredibly sweet tile guy making my “edits”}

And then after my window got put in and the tile installed around it shrunk the actual size of the window, I analyzed how “small” it was for days. Now I can happily say that I am completely over it and love the size.

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So after a lot of blood, sweat and tears, the bathroom was FINALLY done!  Here is the “new” master bathroom and connected closet-

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{White linen monogrammed hand towels add a personal touch to the bathroom}

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{One thing to keep in mind if you are considering a washstand is that ALL of the pipes and the bottom of the sink will show underneath the countertop….so it requires some extra special “pretty pipes” and a sink with a finished base to look presentable! I learned this the hard/expensive way}

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{The best investment we made to our bathroom was the shower bench!  My husband and I both love having the bench and opted for a larger shower instead of double sinks (we are never getting ready at the same time so we felt that double sinks would be a waste of space for us}

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{Towel and robe hooks are the vintage style hooks in polished nickel from Restoration Hardware. And it sounds crazy but my new black velvet hangers in the closet have been life changing!  My husband would beg to differ- he is still an advocate of the free wire hangers from the dry cleaner.

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{We divided the closet into “his and her” sides and it’s a lot larger than what we had originally, but still a fairly small closet ,so organization in here is key.  We have belts, purses, scarves, hats, and necklaces all hung on different size hooks and then shoes are tucked into two lower shelves. We also have a shelf up top where I store things in baskets}

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{We went with a frameless shower door that has polished nickel accents; faucet and fittings from Newport Brass}

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{One of the details that I am most happy with in the bathroom is how we put the shampoo bottle niche and soap dish in the half wall in the shower so you don’t see any toiletry bottles in the shower upon entering the room. They are completely hidden!

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{Remember how I said that most people thought I was crazy to not put in any cabinets in my bathroom? Well the only reason I am able to get away with this is because I did the built-in “x cabinet” and drawers in the adjoining closet. I put all my extra toiletries and towels in there as well as underwear, socks, tank tops, etc- perfect for having close by for when you get out of the shower!}

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{I had considered putting a train rack for towels above the toilet ….but since I like to keep things hidden as much as possible, I went with black and white figure drawings framed in gold, instead!}

And now let’s take a trip down memory lane…..

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Phew! Thank you for following my bathroom renovation- aren’t we glad it’s over? :)





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Beachfront Beauties

Posted By Nathan-Dallas | May 23, 2014 | No Comments | Category: Decorating

Sea salty air, the warm sun, palm trees swaying in the breeze, sand between your toes, waves crashing…… ahhh the beach!  Is there any better place to be during the summer months?  The coast has always been one of my most favorite places, weather it be the Gulf of Mexico, the Atlantic, the Pacific, or the Mediterranean, every beach I’ve ever visited makes me never want to leave.  The past few summers we have been going to Galveston Island (the nearest beach to Dallas)  to visit our friends Darynda and Rick.  They own a beach house there that is as cute as a button!  So, it comes as no surprise that it has always been a dream of mine to design and decorate a beach house all of my very own.

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I think my first step would be choosing a really fantastic color scheme.  It would either have to be something cheerful and energetic, or neutral and soothing.

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I’ve always admired the gorgeous sea side inspired furniture and light fixtures that Currey & Co. design.  Here are a few of my favorites:

 

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I think their use of sea shells for decorative ornamentation is exquisitely done with so much detail!  Every time I see these in the Dallas showroom, I immediately want to be transported to a beach side cabana with a pina colada in hand!

 

I’ve also always been in love the the amazing wall decor by Natural Curiosities as well.  They have a dazzling array of oceanic wonders from genuine specimens such as sea urchins, star fish and sand dollars, to beautifully gold leafed paintings of waves, ships, and other curious sea creatures.

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Hopefully one day my dream of having a beautifully decorated beach house will be realized, but in the mean time, I’ll just have to visit all these beautiful beachy sundries in my local Dallas showrooms!





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Hollywood Heights Home Tour 2014!

Posted By MaterialGirls | Apr 23, 2014 | No Comments | Category: Events

Have you ever been curious what all of the beautiful homes in the Hollywood Heights area of Dallas look like inside?  Well here is your chance to find out!  Friday April 25th through Sunday, April 27th, the Hollywood Santa Monica Neighborhood Association in Dallas will be hosting its 23rd annual home tour weekend!  The weekend long tour will start with a candlelight tour of the homes from 6:00pm to 7:00pm, on Friday, and immediately following is a preview auction party with live entertainment at the Dallas Arboretum that states at 7:30pm.  The remainder of the tour will continue on both Saturday and Sunday from noon until 5:00pm.  Hollywood Santa Monica is a historically significant residential area in Dallas that is full of classic Tudor style homes that have been preserved and protected for their original architectural style and designs. This tour is something I look forward to every year (but I am partial, since I live here :) but truly it’s one of the home tours in Dallas that you don’t want to miss!

Along with the tour, there will also be Hollywood Art in the Park on Sunday the 27th at Lindsley Park during the home tour hours.  There will be arts and crafts, exhibits, live music and activities for the kids, along with lots of yummy food trucks!  This fun filled festive market is free to the public!

Tickets for the home tour and more information can be found on the Hollywood Santa Monica Home Tour Website.  Tickets are $15 each.

Take a look at these stunning homes that will be on the tour this year!

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Hope to see you there!





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Pretty Pastel Palettes

Posted By Nathan-Dallas | Apr 16, 2014 | No Comments | Category: Color, Holiday

This time of year always ushers in thoughts of flowers budding, flowers blooming, new growth, and warmer weather. Spring has definitely sprung here in Dallas, and it seems that everyone’s homes are beginning to reflect the coming of spring. With Easter right around the corner, it’s definitely time to bring out the pastels!

There’s nothing quite like a gorgeous room bathed in beautiful soft hues. Pastel color palettes can have such a wide range of vividness, and pair so beautifully with crystal, mirrored furniture pieces, and antiques as well as new and exciting modern pieces.

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If you’re craving some lighter tones in your interior and need a quick fix, try adding some coordinating accent pillows, accessories, or fresh flowers. I recently purchased this fun Easter egg table runner from Target, and then added a fun bouquet of tulips and daffodils to compliment it for my dinning table.

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Another fun Easter accessory I’m adding this year is my son’s very first Easter basket! I ordered it from Pottery Barn, and it just came in! Pretty cute huh?

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Attention Dallas!

Jan Showers just kicked off a VERY special sale…is is her first one in five years!  The sale is going on now at her Dallas showroom and lasts until February 14th.  The prices are amazing yal! My client and I just purchased a gorgeous sunburst mirror from the sale for my client’s living room and the price was out of this world for such a large mirror.

The sale is a mix of her showroom items and antiques (you will see lamps that have never been on sale before!) This sale is not to be missed- happy shopping!

 

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The Lotus

Posted By Emily-Dallas | Jan 28, 2014 | No Comments | Category: Material Girls Projects, Walls

Last September while in London, I was lucky enough to visit Farrow & Ball …the creme de la creme of wallpapers and paint! It was a rainy afternoon (and my birthday of all days!) and my husband wanted to take a cat nap before we went to my celebratory dinner, so instead of resting up too, I hopped in a cab on my own little adventure and booked it to the F&B store in Chelsea ten minutes before it closed. I was determined to catch a larger glimpse of their Lotus wallpaper (and a few samples)- a wallpaper I had been coveting for years.

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I first heard about the Lotus paper when my mom saw it at Boxwoods in Houston and was dying over how gorgeous it was…we then posted a photo of it on the blog. This was almost four YEARS ago! I’m often sick of a wallpaper after four SECONDS so to still be coveting that precious Lotus paper four years later? Unheard of! (But I guess that means it was true love!)

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So what I love most about the Lotus in particular are two things- 1) that you can hang it right side up (how it’s traditionally supposed to be oriented) or upside down..the image above shows it “upside down” if you can believe it! 2) that it comes in two sizes- small and large. I’m partial to the large  because I always “go big or go home” in design and the large was definitely more my style. The small is great but has a more traditional feel to it.

You may be thinking- “where have I heard that name- Farrow and Ball?” Well, Farrow and Ball is no newcomer! It was started in the 1930′s by John Farrow and Richard Maurice Ball and the company has 43 showrooms across the UK, US, Canada & Europe as well as a global network of stockists carrying both paint and wallpaper. They are everywhere! In Dallas, you can now get it through the trade at the Lee Jofa showroom.

Here are some of my favorite images of the Lotus installed in different spaces- (as you can see, it can go more formal in a dining room or more casual in a laundry room! It can also go more subtle with the tone on tone colorway or more dramatic and graphic with the black and neutral one)

 

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F&B even has the Lotus on the front of their building!

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I’m happy to say that I finally bit the bullet and did the dark teal colorway of the Lotus in my small entry-

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The Lotus makes the space seem SO much larger!  I love how the shapes of the lotus practically “grow up” to the ceiling! I haven’t been able to bring myself to put any wall decor over it, I just love it so much.  Wallpaper is an investment but you get so much bang for your buck with it and it can make such a statement.

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At first I was worried it might be too colorful, but the teal actually is so grayed out that it almost acts as a neutral and I love how it complements the orange-red color of the bricks on the exterior of my house.

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Have you been “Keeping up with the Kardashians” lately? Well, if you have, then you know the youngest sister of the Kardashian clan has put her Tarzana, CA mansion on the market!

It looks like after filing for divorce on December 13, 2013 Khloe is ready for a fresh start for 2014.
The 8000 sq. ft. home that the reality star shared with former NBA husband Lamar Odom for four years is for sale for a cool $5.499 million.
The gated Mediterranean-style home has 7 bedrooms, 8 bathrooms, a den, home theater, office and 3 custom closets according to redfin.com.
The glam and over the top décor throughout the home is exactly what you would expect from a Kardashian. Take a look inside!

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Khloe’s talented Los Angeles based interior designer Jeff Andrews is responsible for this “glam-traditional” office.

 

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 The two office chairs were vintage chairs that Khloe already owned and were simply reupholstered. Its great to see that celebrities re-purpose furniture too!

 

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 The Marilyn Monroe dining room has rich neutral tones and looks cozy for entertaining.

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The dark browns from the kitchen continue into the family room on this spacious sectional. I love the custom pillows and saw this fabric on F. Schaumcher’s website.   If you noticed the same fabric  was used on the desk chair in the office.

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More custom pillows in the master bedroom backed by a chocolate velvet upholstered headboard.

SR14004993_5_0The gameroom Jeff designed has fun pops of orange and a zebra area rug- a super dramatic space!

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Her neutral bathroom is a mix of travertine stone and wood stained cabinets.

 

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Lots of palm trees and lush landscaping…what else would you expect being in LA?image (3)

The outdoor living area looks like a resort right in their backyard!  I bet she throws some nice pool parties here!

See more Kardashian and other celebrity spaces designed by Jeff Andrews on his website.





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Are you on the hunt for that last minute unique gift? Or maybe the perfect home decor for this year’s holiday party? Well, you definitely need to stop by West Elm- they are killing it in the accessories department this year! There is surely something for everyone here- especially that home decor enthusiast family member or friend!

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Capiz Spheres would make the perfect decorative objects for any bookcase.

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Who doesn’t love candles? The Crystal Votive Holders  and Metallic Owl Candles are so fun.

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One of a kind jewel toned Agate Coasters and Jewelry Boxes.

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These hand blown Glass Knot Paperweights are a definite conversation starter.

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Add some holiday shimmer with any of these beautiful mercury pieces.

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If you are still unsure about what to buy you can never go wrong with a great coffee table book- especially this one by Grace Bonney of Design Sponge!





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Aerin Lauder has released her first book, Beauty at Home. The inspiring coffee table book takes you into her stylish Manhattan apartment, Hampton home and Madison Avenue office.

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I’m so excited she has given us all a glimpse into these private spaces and personal tips on how to recreate her look in your own home.

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Being the granddaughter of Estee Lauder, Aerin is familiar elegance and sophistication.  She talks about her iconic grandmother throughout the book and what lessons she taught her.  Aerin has taken those words of advice and created her own “effortless style”.  The beautiful photographs in her book display many items from Aerin’s home collection.

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Beauty at Home is available on Aerin.com. You can also shop her home furnishings such as lighting, rugs and fabrics.

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