Jenny McCarthy has come a long way from her days as a co-host on MTV’s Singled Out (remember that one?)

We’ve seen her try nursing school, pose for Playboy, date Jim Carey, raise an adorable little boy, Evan, transform into a best-selling author from her parenting books and also become an activist for autism.

Just when you thought you’ve seen it all from Jenny, she has come out with an ecofriendly crib bedding line, called “Too Good” sold at Bed Bath and Beyond, Buy Buy BabyTarget, Baby Depot, and Baby Supermall.

What are your thoughts on Jenny’s new line?

J Lo’s Dreamy Digs

Posted By Emily-Dallas | Dec 23, 2010 | 9 Comments | Category: Celebs, Decorating, Magazines

I always get so happy when this arrives in my mailbox…

{Jan/Feb cover of Veranda}

This month I was especially thrilled because there was a story in there that I particularly loved and it happens to be the house of someone you may have heard of before-

J Lo!

Her California home was designed by Michelle Workman and it is so incredibly dreamy! Just look how peaceful her living room is with all the gray-blues-

Lots of understated glamour!

What I loved most is how her home is a mix of high end pieces and affordable pieces (I hate saying high/low as it makes those low pieces come off as subordinate to the high!)  These affordable pieces are certainly anything but inferior. I noticed immediately that her end table was Global Views’ Directoire table in brass and white marble and it looks like she also has the Global Views round Directoire table in the far left corner.  Her accent table between the two chairs could quite very well be Arteriors (if not, it’s very similar to one they used to have).

Her custom klismos lounge chairs in the foreground of the photo are eerily similar to ones I’m getting custom-made for a client’s wine room as we speak.  J LO and I must be on the same wavelength!

I would love to know what blue-gray paint colors she used.  Anyone know?  They are incredibly serene and mix beautifully with the cream and gold accents.

Also notice that they mixed golds AND silvers in J Lo’s home (a great way to add interest and warmth to an overall gray room)

Also, the designer chose to add dark wood on furniture pieces to “ground the space” and so that the room wouldn’t just float away!

Look at this kitchen! Not only is J Lo the Queen of Pop, but she’s apparently also the “Queen of Nailheads” too!

(The light fixture is another affordable, “to the trade” piece by Arteriors)

Oh the bedroom..(sigh).  I’d love to rest my head at night here!  It reminds me a lot of the guest bedroom that Jan Showers designed for Kimberly Whitman.  Same elements- tufted lucite bench, peach wall color, white bedding, abstract art, drapes with valance that match the wall color, and white accent chair.  The only thing that’s missing is the funky light fixture that J Lo added!

For more photos of her stunning entry, informal living room and dining room, pick up a copy of Veranda!

Who Me?

Posted By Emily-Dallas | Dec 21, 2010 | 13 Comments | Category: Designers

Interior designers are unique people.  We often take notice of things that others do not.  We are very detail oriented, meticulous and imaginative (sometimes to our detriment!) We often have unexplainable behavior that baffles our friends and family.

Here are my top twenty “you know you are a designer because…”

(But let me first preface this list with- I don’t do ANY of these things! (wink wink ;))

1) You spend forever picking out things that have a pattern- wrapping paper, paper plates, thank you cards, scrapbook paper.  When shopping at Party City for a graduation party, you choose the “geometric patterned” paper plates because they remind you of a cool fabric.

{La Plates patterns}

2) Craig’s List is your best friend.  Things you purchase for your home end up on it faster than you can say “I’m over it”.

3) When you used to go on vacation as a child, you’d pack up your room’s belongings, take them with you, and “re-decorate” the hotel room that you were staying in for the weekend (complete with Mike Modano and SBTB “wall decor”- otherwise known as posters)

4) When you ask your family and friends what they think about your newest pillows or home accessory, they refuse to give their two cents because “it will be gone tomorrow and replaced by something else next week”.  (90% of the time, they are right!)

5) The key players in your dreams at night are people in the industry and your last nightmare had something to do with a client’s project going awry.

6) You can go to someone’s home and pinpoint exactly where each “new” furniture or accessory piece came from as well as offer up where they sell the piece (or something similar) “to the trade” for less.

{Hello, Pottery Barn}

7) You find yourself ending many conversations or outings with “this would make a good blog post”.

8- When looking to purchase a car, you focus more on the interior than the exterior and get a lil nit picky about the seat fabric and interior color (please bring back gray, Volkswagen!)

9) You notice when the undertones of the paint and tile at a restaurant are not meshing well together and comment about it to whoever is eating with you (your design rant always makes the meal TONS of fun for the other person with you!)

10) At friends’ house parties, you walk in and immediately say “you have to give me the tour!”

{Photo via The Red Room}

11) You speak a different language (acronyms mostly).  Terminology like CFA, RID, and COM often come up in conversation after-hours (and more often than not, require a translation)

12) You go out of town to visit a sibling and the first thing you notice upon seeing her home is how one sconce is lower than the other and how her china cabinet isn’t centered on the wall. (sorry Cath!)

13) When selecting bridesmaid dresses for your wedding, you take into account the carpet at the wedding reception venue.

14) Fabric swatches start turning up in unexpected places all over your house- in the cracks in your sofa, in the laundry hamper, as your pet’s chew toy…

15) People are always commenting on how heavy your purse is.  Just like Mary Poppins, you start pulling strange objects out of your “carpet bag”- tape measures, fabrics, paint fans, tile samples, you know the usual….

16) You get blank stares from your friends when you tell them what kinds of things Kelly, Suzanne, and Bunny are up to.

17) When Nate Berkus launched his line for Linens and Things five years ago, you waited in line for hours to meet him.  Even worse, you were devastated years later when the vase he signed broke and you tried to super glue his signature back together.

18) The top debates with your significant other are- whether custom throw pillows are made for sleeping, whether the recliner is a necessary piece of furniture, and why it’s crucial to re-paint the dining room the “same” color it already was.

19) You can divide any number by twelve, and come up with the answer off the top of your head in feet (ok I admit, we’re still working on that one…)

20) You carry around “shopping bags” from fabric showrooms so often that you could be a walking advertisement.  In addition to this, you start to get compliments on the cute bags and people ask where they can purchase them.  (Schumacher, did you hear that one?)

Just to re-iterate, I’m not fessing up to these, this is just what I “hear” that other designers do! 😉

My client, who is a close friend of Laura Day, sent this video to me via YouTube called “A New Spin”, which features Laura getting crafty with markers and paper plates.

Make sure you watch until the VERY end to see what Laura does with this paper plate-

Is she not the cutest?

Click below to see what fabulous piece of room decor Laura makes from this bold paper plate!

For step by step instructions, the video shows exactly how Laura came up with this colorful creation! Loves!

In Need of a Notepad?

Posted By Emily-Dallas | Dec 15, 2010 | 4 Comments | Category: Books, Gifts

I’m ALWAYS reaching for a notepad- especially during this crazy time of year.  My daily to-do lists seem to be getting longer as the holidays approach.  Most of my clients want their homes spruced up before they host their annual holiday parties and prior to family coming in.  To put it simply, the last few weeks and the next few weeks are hectic!

So of course, to keep organized I have my to-do lists all kept in a nice notebook- well maybe not that nice- a Mead Five Star from Walgreens.  I know, I’m out of college, so what I am doing still using these?

Today my notepad ran out of pages (gasp!) and to save myself from writing another item on my to-do list- “make a trip to Walgreens for to-do list notepad”, I saved myself a trip and found a fun notepad that someone from Archie Grand had kindly sent me a while back that I had been just waiting for the perfect opportunity to break out!  This is not just your average notepad…it’s actually stylish!  To be exact, it’s an adorable chartreuse notepad that caters to my profession.  I’m pretty sure that while Walgreens has everything else on the planet (god love ’em), they don’t have one of these babies-

The “Designers I met and Liked” notepad by Archie Grand is awesome!  I love how it looks like a miniature book and is a lot less floppy than those $2 Walgreens pads with the metal spiral bound spine.  I really am a notepad’s worst critic, as I am attached at the hip to mine.

I had to post about Archie’s because I think it would make an adorable holiday gift.  Sure, not everyone’s a designer..but I bet you know some-

Secret Agents



Husbands (from the past)

And if not, you can find a description of someone you know from their massive collection! They are all pretty comical! A+ Archie!

Word on the street is that British interior designer Kelly Hoppen (and ex-step mum to Sienna Miller) will be helping William and Kate with the interior design of  their future London residence, Kensington Palace.

{Kelly Hoppen and Sienna Miller via Pop Sugar}

Apparently Will and Kate “want to create a modern quarter to live in” at Kensington (as told by Us Weekly).

I’d think that Kelly would be the perfect designer to help them achieve this.  She is apparently one of Victoria Beckham’s faves and if she is good enough for Posh and Becks…

Not only does Kelly provide interior design services, but she also has a furniture line through Halo that launched at the October market at Highpoint.  Oh, and did I forget to mention the multitude of other lines that she has- including paints, candles, clothing, fabrics, shutters, and wallpaper?  She’s like the British version of Candice Olsen!

Can’t wait to see what she comes up with for Kate and Will (and let’s hope her design is featured somewhere for the public to see…hmmm I see an Architectural Digest cover in their future!)

A few months back, I was looking everywhere for the perfect lucite coffee table for my client, Becca.  As you know, lucite is not inexpensive and can often be difficult to find.  We searched high and low for the perfect 42″ square acrylic table (one that wouldn’t break the bank) and finally ended up going with online source, Plexi-Craft.   I hadn’t seen the table in her home until today and I absolutely LOVED it in person!  The quality was great and it looked beautiful (exactly like the inspiration photo she had shown them).

Plexi-Craft can apparently create anything that you dream up (within reason).  You can design it and order it custom….

Or go with one of their pre-made lucite pieces…

Either way, what a great, affordable acrylic source where you can get EXACTLY what you have in mind (and if you are anything like me, I always have a very specific vision in mind.  Whether or not I can find it ready-made, well, that’s a different story…)

I’m keeping Plexi-Craft on my lucite radar for sure!


Posted By Emily-Dallas | Dec 05, 2010 | 3 Comments | Category: Magazines

While the delivery of shelter mags to my front doorstep, continue to be few and far between, it was refreshing to hear of another new online magazine, Adore Home.   My friend BK sent me this link, a forward from a friend of hers, who felt that it had some “Domino-like” qualities. I couldn’t agree more.  With bright, fun interiors lining its pages, it did feel that for a second, Domino re-surfaced.

Online magazines are quickly popping up everywhere.  So many, that you begin to wonder if they will eventually replace the traditional shelter mag?  I definitely think there is a place for both in the design world, as each bring such different, wonderful qualities to the table.

Adore is an Australian home and lifestyle magazine so I did a double take when I saw that the Dec/Jan issue of theirs was their “summer issue” and I thought that this had to be a mis-print.  Well, luckily it’s not! Australia’s summer started December 1st and as summer is my favorite season, I was overjoyed to see that Adore’s newest issue is filled with bright color palettes and tropical weather.  A nice break from the dreary, cold days of winter here.

Read their newest issue, here!