Oh Spring Break…I remember those days!  It feels like ages since I’ve been on a fun trip during the month of March.  It could be because I am now in the working world where unfortunately, the reality is, there is no paid time off for Spring Break.  My parents always joke that I have such a strict boss who never lets me take time off (AKA, me); however this Spring Break was a little different this year.

Not only did I not go on Spring Break, but I got the chance to live vicariously through my design clients who all seemed to have fabulous spring break plans.  Some went skiing, others to Disney World- but there was one client in particular whom I didn’t want to just live vicariously through.  I would have done anything to have actually BEEN on this trip!  My client, her husband, and their two adorable little boys ventured to the far away land, the Caribbean, where they stayed at the luxurious Viceroy Anguilla.

As many of you already know, the Viceroy is not just any regular hotel.  It is the hotel designed by interior design superstar, Kelly Wearstler.  Ever since Stacey told me back in January that they were going to stay at this Viceroy, I told her that she HAD to send me a bunch of photos of the hotel design!  I’ve posted about this hotel before, but it’s not the same as when someone actually experiences it firsthand (and someone who is kind enough to let me share their experience with all of you!)

When I saw these photos, I was blown away!  How does Kelly think of some of these things?  Where does she get her materials, furniture, and accessories?  What was the inspiration behind this hotel?  So many burning questions!


Stacey said that KW used silver travertine just about everywhere in the hotel.  It’s funny because we are working on Stacey’s house right now and she has silver travertine in two of her bathrooms.  It was fun to see what finishes Kelly mixed it with.

Where can I get a set of those bar stools for my own kitchen? Loves!

This is by far my favorite photo.  Just look at this bar!  The back wall has a faux bois look to it and do I have to say again how much I love those barstools?

This outdoor lounge area exhibits Kelly’s love for sculpture and intriguing objects.

The gift shop…no cheesy key chains here!

The hotel could be a museum within itself!

Hall of bowls….

Here is where I get really envious…

Stacey was upgraded to a four bedroom, four bathroom villa, complete with a private swimming pool!  (Paris Hilton was rumored to be a neighbor)


The entry…

Those tall lamps are to die for!  Kelly knew what she was doing because it wouldn’t have looked right to have stumpy lamps flanking the very low sofa.  The added height creates drama and fills up the large white wall nicely.

The dining room is incredibly striking…the shell chandelier and oversized mirror make the space!

I can’t get enough of these dazzling light fixtures.  They all look so incredibly unique.

A geometric screen divides the dining and living areas.

How about those chairs!  Although this wall is monochromatic and entirely cream, the interesting texture on the armoire, sinuous chair lines, and lucite shadow boxes make everything that much more exciting.

At first glance, the kitchen looks a little bit more plain and simple than some of the other rooms; however, when you take a closer peek at the countertop, you quickly realize that nothing in this villa is humdrum!

Kelly is a brave one!  In the master bedroom, she mixes every metallic and finish under the sun and somehow it all looks so amazing together.

The master bath is equally yummy!

And more silver travertine…but this time, it’s laid vertically.

A hotel room wouldn’t be complete without an outdoor shower to boot!

Guest bedrooms in their villa…

My subsequent business plan should be to come up with a way to work a Spring Break vacation into my design fee….and next time Stacey, you have to take me with you! 😉

Last March, we introduced the feature, “Bloggers’ Homes- UNVEILED!” where we spotlighted nine homes that belonged to some of our favorite design bloggers.  Some of these guys and gals were practicing interior designers, while others were general design enthusiasts who had a knack for design.  We soon realized the one thing that every blogger had in common- a passion for interiors and making a house into a home.

We are so thrilled that another set of our blogger pals have so kindly invited us inside their beautiful rooms (and what can I say? I’m a snoop! I love this feature!)

Here is Part I of Bloggers’ Homes unveiled.  Hope you enjoy viewing their homes as much as I did!


Patricia Shackelford’s charming blog, Mrs. Blandings, (the adorable moniker based off of the 1940’s movie) has become one of the most beloved design blogs out there. Patricia’s Kansas City home is equally delightful and its warm colors and cozy seating would make anyone feel right at home!

Living Room-

This is one of the first rooms we painted after we moved in.  I knew what I wanted in here – this glowy glazed yellow – but we started with a base coat that was way too strong.  Once the glaze went on, it looked like “school bus yellow” had been the inspiration.  Fortunately, my painter is incredibly patient, and we started over.  It was definitely worth the effort.


I spend a lot of time in this room and it has become the spot where many of my most personal stuff seems to land.  I stitched this pillow for my husband for Valentine’s Day; he’s the fourth, you know, William Harrison, IV, and I’ve recently been picking up 4’s wherever I find them.  He would say this is more my collection than his.


This is where we spend most of our time with the boys.  I know it looks a little bare, but the tables are usually piled with Legos and books and sporting equipment.  I decided a long time ago that I wouldn’t have things out that it would make me crazy if they were broken.  It may look a bit monastic here, but it is usually a jumble.


I was recently introduced to Chic Colesa fabulous blog that features design and style tips from a mom and her daughters.  I can certainly identify with them as I am very close with my two sisters and mother.  I love how Melissa, Cassandra, Leslie, and Wendy have all teamed up as a family to create such fantastic eye candy.  The Chic Coles sent us photos of their fresh and stylish Connecticut home.  If you want more of their style, visit their online store, Shop Chic Coles.

Living Room-

We used the Imperial Trellis Pillows in a home we had worked in and loved them so much, we decided to have some made for our sofa.  We live in CT near the water, so we wanted a Nantucket/beach feel and achieved this through blues and whites and corals.

This is the master bedroom.  These pillows are our absolute favorite.  They are by Travers and the two bedside lamps are by Robert Abbey from Shop Chic Coles .  We were continuing with the nautical feel and brought the blue into the downstairs bedroom to tie in with the living room.


I am constantly amazed by the talented and hard-working Linda Merrill of Surroundings.  She does it all, I swear!   In addition to the successful Surroundings blog, this New England interior designer is also the founder of The Skirted Roundtable, the Silver Screen Surroundings blog, and her own design firm, Linda Merrill Decorative Surroundings.  Somewhere in the midst of all this, she found time to renovate her kitchen too!  Here is a photo tour of her stunning Massachusetts condo.

I live in a townhouse condo in a small seaside town in Massachusetts. The living room/dining room are open floor plan, the kitchen is very small. The bedrooms are on the lower level and they get very little natural light.

Kitchen- (shots taken by Michael J. Lee photography)

I recently re-decorated the kitchen. I repainted all the cabinets and ceiling. The walls were beadboarded and painted. The skirted counter along the wall is new (made from a narrow door). It provides lots of new counter space and hidden storage underneath. A friend and I did all the work ourselves and I made the counter skirt and window treatment.

Living Room-


The bedroom set is actually the one I used growing up in my parents house. My bedroom doubled as the guest room (yes, I got booted out and into a cot in my parents room!). Years after I moved out, my parents didn’t need the set anymore, so I got it again! I made all the pillows, the bedspread is from Brocade Home.


Paloma Contreras, the brains and beauty behind La Dolce Vita blog, is constantly inspiring the Material Girls with her daily entries, so it’s no surprise that her house is equally inspirational.  Her stylish and modern abode is just the type of place that you would imagine Paloma living in.  I love how most of her home is neutral, but with added pops of color.  What a lucky pup, Tate is, to live in such a fun space!

I’d like to start off by thanking Emily and the other Material Girls for inviting me to be a part of this fun feature.  Last year’s peek into blogger’s home was fantastic and I am sure I will be in great company.

My family room is where my husband Fabian, puppy Tate, and I spend the most amount of time together.  During the day, I can usually be found in my office, but come night time, we like to hang out and watch TV together in the family room.  My coffee table is stacked with magazines and design books.  I have actually accumulated more since I took these pictures!  I really like having the starburst mirror as the focal point of the room.

The color palette in the room is pretty neutral, but I have added color through accessories, like my collection of Penguin Classics.  The chairs in the background are vintage from the 1950s.  Fabian and I bought them last year, painted them, and had them reupholstered in this great, chocolate cane print.

You’ll probably notice that I have used a restrained palette in most of my home, but add color through accessories and pillows.   I love our white bedding.  There is something so soothing to me about crisp white sheets and a fluffy white duvet.  The sunburst mirror is from West Elm and the zig zag pillow is from Target.

A couple of Fridays ago, I featured my bedroom on my blog and showed both of our end tables.  Mine is shown here and is styled in a decidedly more feminine fashion than Fabian’s, which I really love.  The bedside lamps are from Target.  We added chocolate silk shades to add some warmth.  The “For Like Ever” print is from Village, the Bruer chair is vintage, and the floor lamp is from Circa Lighting.

Lauren, of Pure Style Home featured a before and after of my guest bathroom which was done on a tiny budget of around $300.  I think the difference is pretty remarkable!  Again, I like crisp, white linens, but wanted to keep the space from looking too sterile and designed the space around the banded shower curtain.  The monogrammed towels are from Pottery Barn.  We painted the cabinetry a high gloss black to add contrast with the countertop.

We framed several photos from our travels to London and Spain and hung them in the guest bathroom.  I chose to print the photos in color so as not to overdo the black and white theme.  My crafty husband made the frame for the mirror with inexpensive trim from Lowe’s and painted it black to match the cabinets.

We just painted our formal living and dining rooms this lovely shade of mocha and love the warmth and polish it added to the room. On the left, you see a hint of my dining room behind my puppy, Tate. I love the color the plate wall adds to the space. Tate is sitting in one of the two vintage Knoll Brno chairs that are sitting side by side, only separated by a small table. The chairs divide the formal living from the dining room. On the right, you have a little nook in the formal living room. I have a second Bruer chair in here along with some Rothko prints in gilded frames, a convex mirror, and Pharmacy Floor Lamp from Circa Lighting. I posted about this room last week, if you’d like to see the full thing. Hope you’ve enjoyed a peek into my humble abode!


Matters of Style blog, a “guide to gracious and glamorous living”, was co-founded by Sarah and Allison (who originally met in law school).  These smart cookies created the blog on the fly after they found themselves calling each other constantly about design ideas.  In April 2009, MoS was born, and the rest, as they say, is history.  This week, we are featuring Sarah’s little boy’s room and next week, Allison’s home!

Sarah unveiled her little boy’s nursery on MoS last November.  She tells us that his room was done on a budget.  But who could tell? It looks amazing!

That navy wall color is delicious!  I love the contrast it provides when paired with the crisp white furniture and graphic accents.

Her color scheme of navy, green, yellow and coral was done on purpose (so it would work for either a boy OR a girl).

She painted the bookcase white (one that was passed down through her family) and lined it with the striped drapery fabric.

Look at her adorable elephant accent table and her fabulous white chandelier!

Be sure to return next Monday where we will feature Part II of our Bloggers’ Homes Unveiled series!

She’s here, she’s there, she’s everywhere!

Look who is now lending her design sensibilities to Global Views, one of my favorite Dallas “to the trade” showrooms and winner of this year’s ARTS Award.

Tonight I was searching for mirrors for a client online and stumbled upon this one by Restoration Hardware.  I’m just a little obsessed!

I seem to have a general infatuation with this Moorish inspired shape.

So much that I made a logo out of it for the biz!  Isn’t it funny how we subconsciously flock to the same shapes over and over again?

{Dose of Design blog– PB Rug}

{Spanish synagogue- Prague}

{The Globe and Mail}

{Elle DecorLa Mamounia hotel- Marrakech}

{Color, Design, and Art blog}

{Home Accents Today}

{Kravet fabric- Riad Clove}

Moroccan inspired headboards-

{Red River Interiors blog}


If you want even more Moroccan inspiration, visit Maryam of My Marrakesh.  Her blog is centered around her family’s quest to build a guest house in Marrakesh.  Very inspiring!

You knew you were destined to be an interior designer because….(fill in the blank here).

I think my answer would have to be because I made my own dollhouses as a child.

My family had a good laugh this weekend when they found a picture of the above circa 1989.  It’s a cardboard dollhouse that I made for myself when I was seven.

I love how the piano is just sitting directly on the ground (maybe I had the pianist’s comfort in mind?) and I was also very entertained by the fact that everything in this house is wallpapered (including the bathroom floor and the kitchen table!)  I guess it was foretelling of my love for wallcoverings!  The window treatments don’t go from ceiling to floor (which would drive me crazy on a normal project) and the space doesn’t seem to be too functional (where are the chairs?)

Ahhh gotta love it!  I think this one might be a framer.

Last weekend I saw She’s Out of My League– which was a pretty hilarious rom-com, I must say!

How could you forget the infamous scene where Kirk meets Molly’s dog and family for the first time? (oy, oy oy- poor Kirk)

While the whole crowd was roaring in laughter at this encounter, I was busy gazing at the paint color and wallpaper in Molly’s apartment.  (oh, the visual distractions that come with being an interior designer!)

I couldn’t get enough of her large scale floral wallpaper that was used as an accent wall and I also fell in love with the taupey-gray paint color on the surrounding walls.

Her paint color got me thinking about some of my current projects, in which I’ve been specifying this color a lot lately (as a paint color and in upholstery/pillow fabrics)

This color is quite amazing in that it doesn’t go completely warm/brown, but it also doesn’t go completely gray, which can come across as cold and uninviting.  It really is the perfect happy medium and can be used in any type of space- more contemporary or more traditional.  It all depends on what you pair it with!

Right now I’m working on a residential office/guest room project that will primarily be used by a male.  We wanted to stay pretty masculine and modern with the fabrics in this room and decided to incorporate charcoal, white, icy blue, and that good ole taupey gray in his color scheme.

As luck would have it, Duralee had the perfect fabric to tie my whole color scheme together.  I’m using this Cobalt Sapphire fabric on large pillows on a charcoal sofa.

{Duralee- Cobalt- Sapphire}

Today my mission was to pick out the perfect taupey-gray upholstery fabric for the coordinating side chair.  I returned with about twenty fabrics (but immediately eliminated half of them).  Just like most neutrals, taupey-gray fabrics can be difficult to select since they can have all sorts of undertones  (and can look either more pink, gray, brown, or green) so it’s really important that you select the best match for the space.

{My taupey-gray fabric options- this is only the half of them!}

After much deliberation, the winner of my taupey gray challenge was Pindler and Pindler’s Marlow-Greystone!  (one of their new fabrics)  It really was the best match to the taupey-gray in the Duralee fabric.

Moral of the story- don’t get distressed.  The right fabric with the right undertone is out there somewhere!  As they always say, you have to kiss a lot of frogs before you find your prince…I guess the same philosophy can apply to neutral fabrics! (just don’t experiment with too many frogs, or you’ll end up like me with a million fabrics to return to the design district!)

New New York!

Posted By Emily-Dallas | Mar 11, 2010 | No Comments | Category: Design Bloggers, Designers, Website News

We are so thrilled to announce that Rebecca Soskin of Rebecca Soskin Interior Design has joined the Material Girls family as our new New York blogger!

Rebecca is an interior designer in NYC who has so much great design experience and is as sweet as can be.  She previously worked for decorator Markham Roberts and Laura Ashley, Inc. before opening up her own interior design business.  In more recent  news, she was named as one of House Beautiful’s “Designers to Watch in 2010”.

Welcome Rebecca!

Be sure to checkout her recent post, Get the Look for Less!

I’ve totally had laundry rooms on the mind ever since we announced the launch of the Wisk Laundry Detergent “Pimp my Laundry Room” makeover contest last Monday. If you missed the announcement, Material Girls is teaming up with Wisk and Whirlpool to give one lucky winner a laundry room makeover.

The laundry room is often the most neglected room in the house unfortunately.  I’ts not usually a room that we make a priority to decorate (especially when we have tons upon tons of other projects going on in the house).  That’s the bad news.  The good news?  A small space like this could easily be turned from drab to fab in no time.

The great thing about tiny spaces is that since you don’t need large quantities of materials for them, you can use more desirable materials (but in smaller doses) for these types of rooms.  For instance, you wouldn’t have to install nearly as much glass tile, wood flooring, marble countertops, and fabulous wallpaper in a laundry room as you would in let’s say, a kitchen.  So why not treat your laundry room with the DLC (the Designing Love and Care) that it so deserves?  Think of your laundry room as just another powder bath- a small, unexpected gem, that can give you that fabulous jewel box effect upon entering.

In the spirit of the video contest, I’ve gathered some of my all-time favorite laundry room images.  These are not your run of the mill rooms- they certainly put my laundry room (excuse me, laundry room/pantry/storage room) to shame!

Since you don’t usually use upholstered furniture in a laundry room, where else are you supposed to bring in pattern?  This is where amazing wallpaper comes in handy!

You are one lucky gal/guy if your laundry room has this much natural light (and a nice view while you are folding clothes doesn’t hurt either!)

Here’s another great example of wallpaper.  This one brings the outdoors in- no need for a window!  (they have even gone so far as to paint the ceiling light blue for a “sky effect’) Can I just say how much I love the lantern in here and the chicken wire on the cabinet doors?

Storage is key in a laundry room.  Using things like galvanized tubs, glass apothecary jars, tin cans, hooks, floating shelves, and labeled laundry hampers can really help one get (and hopefully stay) organized.

Don’t be afraid to go crazy with your backsplash!  Break out that subway tile, colorful glass blend mosaics, marble slab, natural stone (or whatever suits your fancy really!) The backsplash is the one place that you can really make a statement and you will need so little of the material for it, that you can go for that more desirable option without breaking the bank.

This clean-lined laundry room is literally a dream come true.  How do these people stay so organized and tidy in one of the most used rooms in the house?  I want to know their secret!  One guess- it could be those incredibly large green built-ins storing all of their stuff!

Getting new hardware for cabinets (along with painting your cabinets) is a great way to update the look of your laundry room.   I love how the owner of the laundry room below added adorable green knobs to their white cabinets- very unexpected!  Anthropologie perhaps?

Smoky grays and silvery metallics paired with bright whites is such a pretty look (just about anywhere); however, to keep the laundry room from looking too stark, the homeowner added wood accents through hangers and hampers to warm up the space.

In this room, the homeowner decided to make the focal point, the tile flooring.

What I would do to fit a whole desk area in my laundry room!  (and a chair!) Can you imagine?   I forget that I am looking into a laundry room when I see this photo!  The stained cabinets and wood flooring help this room feel so much cozier and breaks away from the typical utilitarian look that so many laundry rooms have.

And how could I not show you Jenny from Uptown Country Home’s laundry room nook?  I love the white fabric skirt she made to hide her washer/dryer and I have to say that her pink/turquoise color scheme isn’t too shabby either.  This laundry room would be perfect for our Marie Antoinette!

A great way to add texture (and privacy) to a laundry room is with a woven shade.  If you are not crazy about a natural shade, get a roman shade made out of your favorite printed fabric.

If your laundry room is feeling a bit dreary and drab, a bright color will definitely help to liven up your situation!

If you are like me (or live in NY), and need to take advantage of every nook and cranny in your home, why not make a laundry area multi-purpose?  This countertop poses as both a wet bar and a laundry room.  I’d come over and fold clothes for this person anytime, in exchange for a cocktail (or two)!

This laundry room could easily be mistaken for a kitchen.  Just look at all that counter space!  The one thing I would have done differently in here is added a few more accessories and/or pops of color.  I just finished reading Inspired Interiors last night and Suzanne did say that “when you do something very simple, like an all-white room, you have to have enough detail so it looks finished.”I couldn’t agree more.  For some reason this laundry room still looks a bit unfinished.

Don’t even get me started on my love for black and white checkerboard flooring.  It would look dynamite in a laundry room!  Also, consider adding a ceiling (or wall hung) light fixture for added sparkle in the room.  We just re-did my mom’s laundry room and we finally got rid of her awful fluorescent lighting in there and added a pretty bell jar lantern…looks SO much better!

See how much potential a laundry room can have?  Have I convinced you to want to re-vamp this tiny space?  We know that sometimes small spaces can be the most intimidating to get started on…so let us do the work for you!  Enter the Wisk contest by submitting a video stating why you deserve a laundry room makeover (and also which laundry personality fits you best).  We just may be at your doorstep ready to put the above tips and tricks to life and give your laundry room the makeover it deserves!

When I think of iron beds, visions of dark metal and straight lines usually come to mind.  Something like the below…

The Iron Bed

That is, until now….

I opened up my new Anthropologie catalog to find the epitome of “scrolls, curls, and twirls” in their new Calligraphy Bed.  This white, whimsical, Hollywood Regency-inspired bed would be the perfect finishing touch to a mega girly room.

And how fitting that it’s called the Calligraphy!  I can immediately see how the elegant lettering art form was the inspiration for this lighthearted and fanciful design.

Today I received this cute lil email flyer in my Inbox….

A lot of the time, the email flyers that I receive are completely random, (they could almost be interpreted as Spam), but I could immediately tell that this one was different.

The bold colors and unique mirrors really caught my eye.  There was no way I was going to move on with my day until I zoomed in on these lookers!  So I ventured onto their website and I soon discovered that the Made Goods products are absolutely, positively AMAZING!  I get goosebumps just looking at them.  I have never seen such original and detailed mirrors…maybe ever?

These focal-point mirrors certainly give texture a good name…

Aren’t these yummy?

And guess what? The texture doesn’t stop here.  Be sure to check out their accessories, furniture, and recently-launched chandelier line for more surfaces that are interesting to the touch.

Off to have dreams about these! G’night!