Color Palettes

Posted By Emily-Dallas | Dec 09, 2008 | 1 Comment | Category: Books, Color, Paint

My favorite section in House Beautiful is their article they put out monthly on designer’s favorite paint colors- one month, the topic will be “paint colors that flatter brunettes”, the next month will be “colors that calm”. You just never know what’s coming next with them! I have a new topic suggestion- paint colors that flatter really pale people? I could be their guinea pig!

And even better than the article each month, they’ve expanded with a book! I just received it in the mail, it’s called Colors for your Home- it encompasses 300 paint color suggestions from well known designers…I can’t wait to start experimenting with these on my wall!

You can get it here at Barnes and Noble. Great Christmas gift for that friend who needs some paint suggestions for her new home!

Today is the start of our monthly design challenge! It’s a new giveaway that the Material Girls will host each and every month here on our site.

All of us designers at MG will give you guys the chance to challenge us each month. Do you have an irregular shaped floor plan? Are you stumped on what color scheme should go in your bedroom? Can’t find any lighting you like? We pick the topic, you provide the home’s challenge, we provide answers- easy as that! Free advice and inspiration to one of our readers each month (no matter where you live) from our practicing MG designers.

Here’s the lowdown on the monthly challenge:

Challenge will be announced on the first of the month every month…this month’s challenge is “Space Plan for your Living Room”

Designer: Jill Seidner

To enter our giveaway, all you have to do is email our MG blogger, Jill ( by the last day of this month (12/31) with these few things-

**Description of the room, why it is a challenge, and what is needed in the room

**Detailed room dimensions

**At least 4 images of all angles of the room

**Any existing furniture to be used (Dimensions & photos of these pieces)

**Also, any furniture that you would like to add to the room

After the first fifty entries or the last day of the month (whichever comes first), we will post a note on our blog that the giveaway submittal window has ended and Jill will go on to select the best Living Room space plan challenge.

On the 15th of every month, (January 15th for this particular challenge), we will post the winner along with the answer to the challenge. This month, it will be Jill who will provide one of our readers with an answer to their Space Planning quandry.

The MG designers will rotate each month, as will our chosen challenge!

So for every month, here is the “Challenge Calendar”:

1st- Challenge announced

15th- Previous challenge winner announced on our blog as well as the solution to the challenge

Last day of the month- All entrants must be emailed to the designer who is taking on that month’s challenge

Any questions? Email us! Thanks in advance for letting us into your homes and giving us the chance to be a part of your home’s design!

The Queen of Red

Posted By Emily-Dallas | Dec 05, 2008 | 1 Comment | Category: Color, Designers

Warm, inviting, rich, charming, vibrant and comforting are just some of the words that describe Alessandra Branca’s well known designs.

Born in Rome, this talented designer grew up with beautiful and inspirational surroundings which ultimately influenced her prominent design career.

Her firm, Branca Interiors, has been featured in countless publications. Her designs are just lovely- one of which I couldn’t resist posting about- it was featured in this month’s House Beautiful.

Can I curl up in this library area? Please? It looks so cozy with the dark velvet sofa and rich color palette. Bookshelves filled with knicknacks and old books gives this room lived in charm.

A fanciful, detailed and refined dining room…Alessandra describes it as “a winter garden in the middle of downtown Chicago”. The wallpaper was designed by none other than Ms. Branca herself! Fun stripes on the backs of linen velvet upholstered chairs give the room a punch of color.

The Living Room was so large it had to be divided in half. Benches are upholstered in a Schumacher red and white wide stripe. Bookcase designed by Branca also!

Her signature color is red of course…but I’m sure I didn’t have to tell you that! It’s pretty apparent in her designs.

Some of her past projects are below…red is very prominent in them- just in time to get you in the mood for the holidays!

She now has a lifestyle store in Chicago off of Pearson- be sure to swing on by if it’s not too chilly out there to shop! I know I’ve been hibernating these past few days..and I just live in Texas!

Make it Right

Posted By Emily-Dallas | Dec 02, 2008 | 4 Comments | Category: Celebs, Magazines

Guess who is on the cover of the next Architectural Digest? It is none other than the remarkably handsome, doting father, and do-gooder Brad Pitt. This man seems to do it all! One day he is running after Pax and Maddox, and the next, he is starting the Make it Right Foundation.

Brad fell in love with New Orleans while he was filming Interview with the Vampire in the 90’s. His fascination with this city has never ended. The AD article describes how Brad was aghast at the lack of progress in re-building the Lower Ninth Ward after Katrina…so Brad decided to take it on himself! He started Make it Right- hiring architects from New Orleans and all over the world to design 150 houses in this area for those who were affected by the storm.

Brad welcomes residents personally into their new home and “loves seeing the delight on people’s faces when they see how these homes work”

Good for Brad! Can’t wait to read this January issue- comes out December 9th!

And coincidentally enough, Brad is back in New Orleans again- last night my brother in law (who is there on business) was at the same restaurant as Brangelina! Apparently they are in town promoting his Benjamin Button movie. You know I would have freaked out over that sighting!