Brad Ford, NY interior designer and our blogger friend over at Design Therapy, sent us photos of the porch he designed for the Hampton Designer Showhouse.

I’ve never seen a cooler screened in porch!  I am obsessed with the suspended seating/porch swings that he custom designed.






I love his modern take on the traditional wind chime.  This display of art is so ingenious!


Fantastic job Brad!

Read more about it on The New York Times website.

About a month ago, I posted about the Home for the Holidays event that I had participated in at the Dallas Trade Mart.  My photographer just sent me the photos she took of the “Holiday Glam” guest bedroom that I designed, and I must say, she did an awesome job with the photography! (Contact me if you need a really talented Dallas photographer- I love to brag on Jessica, she is the best!)


All in all, Home for the Holidays was so much fun- but definitely a lot of hard work.  The paint and carpet were chosen for us, but other than that, you were given free reign to design whatever you wanted!

I had to go around begging vendors in the trade center to let me borrow their pieces (since most showrooms needed their furniture to be on display IN their showroom during market).  But all’s well that ends well, and I ended up getting most of the furniture I wanted with the exception of a couple of black and white cowhide x benches that were supposed to go at the end of the bed.

I am really appreciative of the showrooms who participated and wanted to pass along their info in case any of you are interested in these specific pieces (or just visiting their showroom in the Dallas World Trade Center/Trade Mart!)


{French Side Table (vanity table)- Design Directions- WTC #11000)

{Cabebe Shell Dish- Two’s Company- Trade Mart #2202}


{Tribeca Chair and White Chapel Table- Omni Sales Group- WTC #333}

{Titus Artwork- Rosenbaum Fine Art- WTC- #9000}

{Cerny Vases- Uttermost- WTC}

{Lauren Jeweled Mosaic Photo Frame- Twos Company- Trade Mart #2202}

The chair below, called the Seatbelt Chair, was a hit with everyone! However, people were too afraid to sit in it for fear that it would break…but it is surprisingly very sturdy and it is made incredibly well!


{Seatbelt Dining Chair- Taylors on Ten- WTC #10010}


{Bed- Hex King Bed- Design Directions- WTC #11000}

{King Bedding (white)- Bella Notte- WTC #6494}

{Tristesse Dark Gray Rug- Feizy- WTC #102}

{Optic Chandelier- Currey & Co- WTC #10008}


{Pillows- db Sources-Taylors on Ten- WTC #10010}

{Artisan Chests- Global Views- WTC #608}

{Old Timers Alarm Clock, White Coral Sculpture- Two’s Company- Trade Mart #2202}


{Marius Box- Uttermost- WTC)

{Moonglow Table Lamp- Currey & Co.- WTC #10008}

{Orange Abstraction Art- Taylors on Ten- WTC #10010}

Fantastic Craft did such a good job trimming the room with Christmas decorations.


They added sticks to the Montreaux Twin Horn Vase (from Two’s Company).  I love how they made everything feel so organic and natural- it went with my subdued scheme really well.


My client Debby even surprised me at the Toast and Trim party- very sweet of her to come!


Here’s to a wonderful celebration of Christmas in June!

We ditched the underscore!

Posted By Emily-Dallas | Jul 28, 2009 | 1 Comment | Category: Website News

Just wanted to let you know that our new and improved Twitter name is materialgirls!

It used to be material_girls but we decided to leave the underscore out so it would be less confusing for everyone involved.


See you in Twitterland!

What if your interior designer was also someone you considered a friend, an aunt even?  A person you had worked with for eleven years who knew your taste so spot on that the interiors came out flawless- a reflection of your own personal style mixed with the designer’s good taste.

This relationship just so happens to describe that of Dallas designer Jan Showers and her client, Kimberly Whitman.


Jan just completed her sixth project for Kimberly, a residence she shares with her husband and son in Highland Park.  This gorgeous home was featured on the cover of the September Traditional Home.


I’ve always admired Jan Showers’ work.  Her interiors tend to be more on the glamorous and elegant side, which I gravitate towards.  I don’t think Jan has ever designed a room I haven’t been completely in love with!

To start, the tour, here is Kimberly’s dining room…can you believe the original homeowner left that stunning chandelier?  It goes perfectly with the space.  You can barely see it, but there are two matching wallpapered doors on the right and left side of the back wall that lead to the kitchen.  They are pretty well camouflaged!


Kimberly’s dining room reminds me of a project I am working on.  We just wallpapered my clients dining room in Nina Campbell’s Lombardia Ponchielli.  It looks similar to the gray and gold hand-painted wallcovering that Jan has used.  (but the Ponchielli would be a more cost effective alternative to doing a hand-painted wallcovering)



Across from the dining area, is the sophisticated and symmetrical gray-blue living room.  I am loving that mirror over the fireplace and also her idea to put a collection of vintage cigarette lighters as decorative elements on the coffee table.


Any friend of lacquer is a friend of mine!  The cozy library is lacquered in a dramatic navy blue.  Same color drapes disappear into the wall enveloping the end user in a deep cocoon of an endless hue.  Jan added green leather chairs from a Paris flea market and geometric pillows to interject other punches of color.


And who could forget the beautiful and luxurious bedrooms?

The master is one of my favorites.  So serene and calming- blue, cream, and gold is my preferred color combination.


The pale pink bedroom was in one of Kimberly’s previous homes and is now the guest room.  I have to say- I wouldn’t mind staying here!


The photos from Kimberly’s house are just so stunning.  Jan has done it again!

To trim or not to trim?

Posted By Emily-Dallas | Jul 27, 2009 | 6 Comments | Category: Decorating

When does decorative trim get to be too much on a pillow?


Pillows just aren’t as embellished today as they were five to ten years ago.  Fringe, tassels, pom poms, and rope trim have become less and less prevalent in interiors.  I think interior design in general, is becoming more simplified.  White walls, self welting, unfussy window treatments, and cleaner lines seem to dominate the pages of magazines.

What trim are you loving, if any?  Or are you a predominantly self welter like myself?  What type of trim do you wish would disappear?

Personally, I am loving the look of simple tape trim to create a graphic look (just like Drew’s X pillows!)


Below is more decorative trim- should it stay or should it go-go? You be the judge!


Pillow with pom pom trim- Country Living




Schumacher St. Tropez braid- Coral


Annie Selk Trims- Calico Corners


Kelly Wearstler’s Fretwork- Magenta/Lilac- Lee Jofa


Kelly Wearstler’s Honeycomb- Salmon- Lee Jofa


Kelly Wearstler’s Wood Drop- Dove- Lee Jofa


Robert Allen Classic Scroll trim


Schumacher Merida Tassel Fringe


Robert Allen Classic Beaded trim


Schumacher Cabana Braid

How do you like your pillows?

Orange Italia

Posted By Emily-Dallas | Jul 24, 2009 | 2 Comments | Category: Color, Commercial Spaces

I went and ate at Ristorante Cibus tonight (located in Northpark) and it was wonderful…but who could expect anything less than that from Dallas restaurateur, Alberto Lombardi? With seven successful restaurants under his belt already, there was no question that Cibus would turn out to be a dining hit with Dallasites.


The food was delish and the decor was equally amazing.  The plethora of bright orange throughout the restaurant was right up my alley!

Booths upholstered in an orange geometric print and orange chandeliers made this commercial interior pretty unforgettable.


Luckily it was a cool 85 degrees and I got to sit outside.  I had a great view of the orange acrylic chairs and fun yellow accents that pervaded the outdoor seating area.


If you want a more casual atmosphere, Cibus also has a Caffe and Gelateria next door- where you definitely won’t miss out on any of the orange appeal!


Where was I when this tray came around?


Will orange be the new phenomenom for dining areas like red was five or six years ago?  I hope so! I am loving this fresh, stylish color and it definitely worked on my appetite!

This botanical art makes me so happy…but happy that it’s a Monday? Well maybe not THAT happy!


Aren’t the colors in it stunning?  They complement the paint color (Benjamin Moore’s California Breeze) so nicely.

This botanical painting, created by Sarah Graham, was in the living room of this year’s Kips Bay Showhouse.  House Beautiful featured the Bunny Williams’ designed room in their August issue and also spotlighted the bold canvas painting.

I did a little research (isn’t that what blogging always leads to) and found out more about Sarah.  She is a British artist who is represented in London by Sims Reed Gallery.


{House Beautiful}

The coordinating pair of paintings were made specifically for the space and can be bought at Bunny Williams’ shop, Treillage for $10,700 each (price includes the frames).

Her graphic drawings are equally as beautiful as her paintings.  Done on handmade paper, these drawings are incredibly sophisticated and so timeless.



Cardiocrinum Giganteum (phew- that was a mouthful!)


Paradise Flowers


Chinese Ink



If I was Sarah, I’d probably be doing commissions all day just for myself!  How could you resist- these would make such a great series!

I just found out that my favorite Duralee ads were styled by Eileen Kathryn Boyd herself! No wonder I liked them so much.  Eileen has a great eye for color and all of her designs are very vivid and full of life.  I can definitely now see the connection between her work and these ads.


Bravo Eileen! Keep the colorful ads coming- they liven up the pages of some of my favorite magazines.


Vacation Inspiration

Posted By Emily-Dallas | Jul 17, 2009 | 4 Comments | Category: Commercial Spaces

This past week I’ve been in Hawaii for a much needed vacation.  Last month was incredibly busy for me so I welcomed the week long break where I (attempted) to stay away from internet, work, and anything design related.

But the funny thing is that being a designer, you really never can escape design.  It’s too challenging to turn off your design radar for a week and ignore the beautiful interiors that surround you.  While the other people that I was with would notice the amazing beaches and exotic plants, I found myself walking into a space and commenting on the glass tile or funky fabric on a wing chair.  I always had my camera with me so I couldn’t help but take pictures of what I saw to share with you all!


For the first half of our trip, we stayed in Kapalua (in Maui).  We decided to venture out one day to The Four Seasons in Wailea which was about an hour away.  I think my boyfriend thought I was crazy that I wanted to spend a day touring hotels when we could be touring something else- like maybe a beach? Ok maybe touring hotels IS a bit nutty but it comes with the territory of dating a designer- we are constantly needing to feed our desire for eye candy!


The Maui Four Seasons is known to be one of the “world’s most acclaimed resorts”…and the interior certainly proved that!

Two large sculpture heads greet you at the front entry.


Oversized sconces were prevalent throughout the hotel interior.  The one thing I kept noticing about every hotel I visited (including mine) were the light fixtures.  Huge lanterns, sconces, and pendants adorned the hotel lobbies and corridors.  I even spotted some Visual Comfort ones at a historic Westin in Honolulu!


I loved how everything in the lobby was so airy and open.  White walls enveloped the space with shots of color thrown in unexpectedly.


The seating areas were a lot of fun.  I like how the colors don’t scream “beach” and are very understated.  But at the same time, the space isn’t stark or uninviting.


The golden ceiling and coordinating pillows warm the space up- breaking up all of the white.


No spa time for me on vacation- but I would have loved to have seen what was beyond these doors!


What was so interesting about this hotel is that they had lots of cool art on display- like these pieces of colorful and intriguing blown glass.


And the vendors weren’t overbearing either- (which was a huge plus in my book).  They weren’t stalking you down to take a look at their stuff or have you listen to their life story (which happened to us in Costa Rica!)

Gorgeous gorgeous paintings!! I wanted one of these so badly- didn’t even bother looking at their price tags.  They looked a little out of my souvenier budget.


The artwork on display in the hotel was equally amazing.  I had to get a close up of this so you could see the detailing.  A multitude of holes were burned (from a cigarette?) through Japanese rice paper to create this piece.


I thought this piece of art was a great idea for a DIY project- framing a large quilt.  I am always looking for eye catching ways to take up space on a large wall.  The wall below wouldn’t have looked right with lots of smaller pieces- instead, one large one really jumps out at you and makes a statement.


And another massive sconce!


The designer certainly took “sconce it up” to a whole new level!



The art work in this place was amazing- fascinating statues to boot!


Me and my sister Catherine in front of the rice paper art


(see Cath, I told you that you would make it on the blog one day! 🙂


What was most inspiring about this hotel was the intricate detail on everything- notice the coffee table, sofa arms, bar face and cabinets.  So much texture- love!





Posted By Emily-Dallas | Jul 07, 2009 | 18 Comments | Category: Designers, Magazines, Material Girls Projects

I have very exciting news to share!

Julia (MG Chicago) was featured in Beautiful Homes this month! They did an entire spread on one of her Chicago projects that she has been working on for quite some time.

I am so thrilled for Julia…and being the sweet, modest person that she is, she wasn’t planning on posting it on our blog.  But me, being the pushy, overly excited blogger that I am, just had to share this home with you all.

Her design can be summed up as “vintage French”- a new house with a generously spacious open floor plan and traditional decor.


Outstanding architecture blended with Julia’s expertise, is what makes this entry so special!  The black and white marble flooring has to be one of my favorite parts about this entry (and did I mention it’s heated too?)


I love Julia’s use of scale- the oversized clock at the end of the corridor draws your eye further into the space and makes this area feel more grand in size- as they say, large objects fool the eye into making a small space feel larger.


The formal living room exhibits a sea of neutrals with bright pops of color added into the mix.  It’s hard to see, but if you look closely, you will notice the 11-1/2 foot tall coffered ceiling made out of plaster.


The master bedroom looks like such a serene space.  Upholstered sage green walls, French doors, and a private balcony are just some of the appealing attributes of this room.


In addition to the entry, heated marble floors permeate the master bath as well…this is one lucky client!


Julia quotes “This ‘dressed up’ French country home is designed using ornate traditional styles.  The rooms are filled with furnishings and accessories using rich and deep French country colors infused with cool and elegant neutrals.  All of the rooms are filled with intricate architectural details.”


The kitchen, complete with reclaimed beams and hand scraped walnut floors,  gives off a casual and rustic vibe.  A beautiful marble countertop as well as painted white moulding dress up the space a tad and tie in the other, more formal areas of the home.


Antique table and chairs (that were re-upholstered in new fabric) give this dining room lots of charm.

Great work Julia! We are so happy for you…and after all that hard work, you deserve to celebrate big time!