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…..

BEFORE AND AFTER

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





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If there are two things I completely obsess over, it is great design and celebrity gossip. I too often get carried away catching up on the lifestyles of the rich and famous. So naturally,  I was thrilled to discover (via Elle Decor) Cameron Diaz had enlisted Kelly Wearstler (our idol) to bring a taste of Hollywood to her Manhattan apartment. Consider it, West Village meets West Coast.

Cameron just took on the role of Artistic Director for the fashion-accessories label Pour La Victoire and so she already knew the space needed color. A lot of the signature pieces in the living room, including the stunning chandelier, are vintage.

Wearstler considered Diaz as more of a collaborator in this design rather than a client since she was very involved with the process.

The rooms reflect her personality- “innately sexy but not overly flashy” (-KW).  Lighting plays such an important role in this design story and the richness of the emerald green cabinets, along with the mirrored walls definitely give off that movie star vibe.

The bedroom really showcases the glamour and true to high-end couture, no detail is overlooked. Even the chest drawers are lined with raw black silk!

I love the glass tiling and metallic finishes used in the master bathroom!

If this guest bathroom does not scream luxe, nothing will! The apartment transitions from rich tones in gold and green to subtler palettes reminiscent of 1970′s fashion and I am sure Team Kelly and Cameron have now created new trends to be inspired by and follow!





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Recently, Beverly Hills House Wife Lisa Vanderpump, her husband Ken Todd, and their dog Jiggy, moved into their newly remodeled Beverly Hills home…. well, mansion.  At 8,000 square feet, it’s a downsize from their 15,500 square footer they just moved out of.  Lisa’s reported net worth is valued at $65 million.  So, with that being said, it’s no wonder she lives a life of lavishness!  With pink as her trademark hue, she’s tricked out her new princess digs in the pretty color.  Take a look at some of these “Before & After” shots of this glammed out Real House Wife of Beverly Hills super sumptuous pad.

Here’s the entry before:

And after:

 

 

 

Definitely a massive change!  The mirrored walls, and lighter wall colors with Lisa’s touches of pink, totally brighten this baby up!

The formal living room also “had a little work done”!

Lisa’s new Formal Living Room:

Darker hardwood flooring, lighter upholstered furniture, painted trim work, chandelier and mirrored furniture transformed this once dark living area into a room fit for even Marie Antoinette to receive callers.

 

Next on the list is the dining room.  Here’s what it looked like before:

And after:

 

The next area that got a major face lift was the outdoor living areas.  Check out the before and after’s of this part of the estate:

 

 

 

 

Talk about a night and day difference! Love how you can lounge outside, yet still be under a fabulous chandelier at the same time! And, I’m totally obsessing over that infinity pool with it’s view of the famous ‘Hills’!

Check out the master bedroom. Major pink transformation!

Even Ken’s closet got a make over!  I love how all the white and mirrors can still be made to feel masculine.

And here’s his closet after shot.  I guess the love of pink is a mutual thing! Looks like he has more pink shirts than I do!

And now, without further ado, I give you the piece de resistance….. Lisa’s closet! (although, I feel like “closet” isn’t the correct terminology for this palatial dressing room).  I don’t know whether I should stand and stare, or go shopping!  This thing is so big, it needs not one, but TWO chandeliers!

OMG, am I in Hermes? Oh, no, wait, it’s  just Lisa Vanderpump’s private closet! Check out all those Birkins! My mouth is watering!

And here’s just a little sampling of some of her bling:

Clutches, purses and bags, Oh My!

Well folks, there you have it.  The life of the the rich and famous!





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The opening ceremonies for the 2012 Summer Olympics, was indeed quite a show.  We certainly enjoyed watching all the festivities, especially the Queen’s awesome entrance into the stadium! Another great highlight was watching the parade of champions.  This year’s summer games ushered in some fantastic inspiration from fashion.  Fashion can be a marvelous muse for creating an unforgettable interior space.  Here are some of our favorite inspirations from this year’s Summer Games:

Cobalt, Orange & White: Holland

 

 

This year, Holland totally rocked their bold color pallet of cobalt, orange, navy, and white.  Each athlete was exquisitely tailored in these designer outfits.  A wonderful touch and homage to their homeland’s national flower, can be seen here with a tulip pinned to each athlete’s lapel.  These colors are a fresh and trendy way to spice up any interior.  The contrast that these colors make next to each other creates a statement that is sure to impress.

Mixing patterns with these exciting  colors works well, and adds even more look to this stimulating mix of hues.

These deep navy walls with accents of orange is striking and at the same time, elegant and fun.

This luxurious cashmere blanket by Hermes is a definite must have statement maker.  The unmistakable, classic Hermes orange and white will not go unnoticed!  Also, these orange and cobalt painted vases would be fabulous on any mantle.

Aqua, Sunshine Yellow, & White: Sweden

Sweden’s athletes were definitely noticed at this year’s opening ceremonies.  Their bright yellow and aqua stripes with white pants were definitely “spot on” for summer fashion.  Even their sneakers made a statement, blue with yellow laces. Great attention to detail.

This delicious dining room makes great use of yet another bold color pallet.  Beautiful,bright bamboo chairs in a cheery lemon yellow are definitely a focal point.  The black accents of the doors and the chevron pattern rug help add a touch of chic to this fun dining space.

Add some colorful light and sparkle to your space with this amazing yellow chandelier from Cyan.  This piece brings fun antique whimsy with its classic shape that is sure to liven up any space.

Check out this brightly colored room! The yellow sofas and bright blue pillows are festively summer, and help give this room its own signature look.

Kelly Green & White: Nigeria

Take a look at these fabulous white and green outfits worn by Nigerian Olympic competitors.  Kelly green makes a luscious color statement against bright white.

This gorgeous green upholstered head board transforms this bedroom into a tropical retreat.  The simple bedding with a classic green stripe is simple and refined, making a calm compliment to the statement making headboard.  The bedside lamps with a clear glass base add interest to the room, without taking away from the clean, crisp feel of the space.

Another clean color pallet of green and white makes this living room feel swank.  The modern floor lamp and glass top cocktail table make this space feel expensive, without going over-the-top.

The metallic accent pillows and chrome side table really adds some glamour and flash to this tropical living room.  The palm tree is also a great touch of natural color.  We also like the white cow-hide rug turned on an angle under the cocktail table.  Definitively chic and modern!

Red, White & Blue: U.S.A

Who better than to dress our American Athletes than Ralph Lauren? This classic American preppy look was a fantastic representation of fashion directly from the USA.  Navy blazers, white trousers and knee length skirts with berets and ties definitely has an Ivy League spin.  Feel like standing up straight and saluting the flag?  With and outfit like this, I sure do!

Using red judiciously is key in this bedroom.  Red is a powerful color, and helps define the headboard, bedding and bench.  The gold pendant fixture definitely adds a designer touch to the room.

Adding adventurous patterns makes these living rooms come alive.

This patriotic painted chest with gold accents demands attention.  Finding unique furniture such as this, really adds a great deal of character to any room, and is sure to serve as a conversation piece!





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Congrats Jennifer!

Posted By Emily-Dallas | Jul 02, 2012 | 1 Comment | Category: Bed and Bath, Contests

Congratulations to Jennifer B. in Dallas for winning our Quality Bath giveaway for a luxurious towel warmer!

She plans on warming up her traditional brown and white bathroom by placing her amazing new towel warmer next to her shower! This towel warmer is sure to keep her warm when stepping on her cold travertine floors… ENJOY Jennifer :)

Everyone don’t forget to enter our next giveaway- stay tuned for more info!





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We are excited announce yet another fabulous giveaway! This month, Material Girls is teaming up with Quality Bath to giveaway a towel warmer! One lucky MG reader will no longer have to freeze every time they step out of the shower – They’ll be able to snuggle up with a cozy warm towel!

 

Quality Bath is an online store with a huge selection of premium brand name bath, hardware, kitchen, and lighting. They have over 25 years of experience in the plumbing industry, so their employees provide their customers with expert service and offer luxury products at a fraction of the price!

 

Here is the towel warmer that is up for grabs- the Myson Pearl Electric Towel Warmer-

Enter HERE now for your chance to win one for free!

The giveaway will end Monday, July 2nd and the winner will be announced the same week. Good luck to you all!

 




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Although we’re always on the lookout for fun, creative showrooms, it’s sometimes hard to find one whose character truly stand out from the rest. But West Palm Beach, Florida-based resale shop Circa Who has done just that with its wild selection of colors, fun trimmings, and collection of whimsical pieces from artichoke lamps to dolphin candlesticks.

Circa Who manages to fulfill your wildest design fantasy, while not going tacky-overboard, and the store’s owner and buyer Tracy Deramus describes the pieces as “20th Century furnishings meets vintage Palm Beach.” We love the mix of fabrics and colors that the store offers, with more than enough pieces to satisfy even the most avid of bamboo-lovers.

Here are a few of our favorites…

Orange ‘X’ Benches

 

 Pair of Clam Shell Lamps

 

Hollywood Regency Mirror

Cyprus Root Console

Faux Bamboo Chippendale Arm Chairs

Greek Key Headboard

Faux Bamboo Barrel Chairs

Pagoda Mirror

William Haines Cabinet

Artichoke Lamp

We asked store owner Tracy a few questions:

When did Circa Who open, and what inspired you to open your own store?

 The store has been open since 2004. While buying things to put my own house together, I realized there is so much FAB merchandise out there with so much LIFE left. I started buying all the things I loved and hoarding them in my husband’s warehouse and he encouraged me to open up a shop.

What inspires you to find “20th century-meets-West-Palm-Beach” pieces?

  I love the 20th century design, and how it was interpreted through Palm Beach details, especially in the 1970s!

Do you have a favorite room in the house to decorate?

The entrance/ foyer.

Who would you say are your ‘typical’ customers?

DIY decorators.

What is your favorite aspect of owning your won business?

Doing something that I LOVE to do!

Anything else you would like to share with Material Girls readers?

 I always tell my clients that it is the piece I fall in love with, not the color or the fabric. It’s the new life that I leave up to them!

Check out the site for more information on the store and its playful pieces! http://circawho.com/





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Pillow Bar Giveaway!

Posted By MaterialGirls | Dec 27, 2011 | 8 Comments | Category: Bed and Bath, Contests, Gifts

We are excited to announce that our latest giveaway with our friends at The Pillow Bar! One lucky MG reader will have the chance to win a luxurious “Dr. Mary Side Sleeper” AND a “Jetsetter” pillow! Go HERE to enter now, and tell all of your friends!

The “Dr. Mary Side Sleeper” is the Pillow Bar’s best-selling pillow and valued at $325!! It was developed by Dr. Mary Collings, a noted sports chiropractor, and relieves tension in the shoulders and neck. Just think, you will finally be able to catch some z’s after the busy holidays are over! Plus, the Pillow Bar is throwing in an additional “Jetsetter” pillow that is perfect for travel or at home and retails for $135! This lucky winner is going to have some seriously sweet dreams!

Dr. Mary Side Sleeper Pillow

Jetsetter Pillow

Take a look at their other great products as well! -

Peaceful Dreams Pillow

Even your pooch can have a peaceful night’s sleep with the Lucky Dog Pillow!

Who doesn’t love a great night’s sleep? Now you all have the chance to win two amazing pillows for great sleep at home or on the road! Enter HERE for your chance to win. The giveaway will end Tuesday, January 17th at 12 p.m. (ET). The winner will be announced here on Material Girls on Wednesday, January 18th! Good luck to you all!





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Snuggle Up!

Posted By MaterialGirls | Dec 02, 2011 | 3 Comments | Category: Bed and Bath, Shops and Showrooms

In the winter, I love to snuggle up with a crisp, white fluffy duvet.  In most of my projects, I opt to use white duvets because of the hotel-like feel and versatility.  Since they go with just about everything, it’s easy to switch out your color scheme often through accent pillows and blankets.

I compiled my favorite white duvets at every pricepoint (list goes from high to low).  Since good bedding can be few and far between, I thought this list might make your bedding shopping this winter just a tad bit easier!

Leontine Linens- Maxwell + Sadie

Queen Duvet- $585

What can I say about Leontine? It’s always been a favorite of mine and definitely worth every penny! Monogramming is a must on this bedding.  I’m loving this neutral look of theirs- so chic!

Yves Delorme- Athena Collection

Queen Duvet- $550

I just specified the Athena bedding in the Lin color for a client’s master bedroom.  Its 500 threadcount is what makes this bedding so luxurious and its clean-lined appearance is what gives this bedding such timeless appeal.  What drew me to it in the first place were the horizontal and vertical stitched borders.  Yves Delorme produces great quality bedding- and being in business for 160 years definitely proves that!

Bliss Living- Belgravia White

Queen Duvet- $465

This duvet is definitely one of a kind!  With enormous asymetrical pleats and a combo of  cotton, herringbone ramie, and white linen, this duvet packs a lot of textural punch!

Peacock Alley- Lyric Collection

Queen Duvet- $475

The Lyric Collection looks as peaceful as its name implies.  Another 500 threadcount beauty, this bedding is imported from Italy and comes in white, sable and ivory.

SFERRA- Kelly Wearstler- Tides

Queen Duvet- $473

The Viceroy Anguilla had similar bedding to this when I stayed at there a few months ago and it was SO comfortable!  This luxurious bedding by KW for SFERRA is made of cotton sateen that’s woven in Italy.

Bella Notte- Linen with Crochet Lace Duvet Cover in White

Price- TBD via your local retailer

With their only permanent showroom residing in Dallas, Bella Notte has become one of my favorite local bedding sources.  I actually just got some of their bedding for my grandma and she is really loving it!  For almost fifteen years, this easy-care luxury linen manufacturer has been providing their customers with high quality bedding that exhibits a “modern feel with a vintage edge”.

Williams-Sonoma Home- Classic Greek Key

Queen Duvet- $358

WS Home recently shut down its Plano location, so unfortunately now the only access we have to this bedding is online…but Dallas residents, don’t despair, as they have lots to choose from on their website!  This greek key bedding comes in blue, chocolate and white, and is a modern take on the classic motif.

Restoration Hardware- Italian Hotel Satin Stitch

Queen Duvet- $249

I use RH’s duvets over and over.  I pair them with funky pillows and custom bedskirts.  I have this set in my master bedroom and have nothing but good things to say about it! It’s been great these past few years. I love this hotel bedding because it comes in tons of different color options and looks good in both modern and traditional settings.

Serena and Lily- Berry Border Frame

Queen Duvet- $230

I have been dying to use this berry border bedding!  How much fun would this be paired with orange or navy?  Such a fun colourway and the matching sheets are extremely adorable.

Pine Cone Hill- Classic Ruffle White

Queen Duvet- $115

This flirty ruffled edge duvet is a great option for a more feminine room.  At 200 threadcount, this sweet looking bedding is machine washable and at an affordable pricepoint.

Pottery Barn- Pearl Embroidered

Queen Duvet- $99

This is a great duvet for the price! The pearl embroidery consists of tiny dots that come in multiple color options.  The porcelain blue is by far my favorite and is so soft looking, it almost acts as a neutral.





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We are so excited to announce that the winner of the Peacock Alley Soprano sheets giveaway is Ashley from Midland, Texas! Congratulations!

She is a girl after our own hearts…she graduated from OU with a degree in Interior Design! She is also a new mom of a two week old baby girl, so these luxurious sheets will provide a great getaway to sneak in some Z’s!

Ashley was also kind enough to provide us with some info on her favorite design material: fabric! This girl really knew what she was talking about!

“I love fabric because you can really make a space special with it. It’s easy to toss in a few new pillows or a throw on your couch, or change out your curtains with the season to make your space seem fresh. I love mixing graphic prints with stripes and solids with interesting textures.” – We couldn’t agree more!

She also told us that her major inspiration when it comes to fabric is Sarah Richardson. “I love that she doesn’t just use bolts of fabric in obvious ways, but can sew interesting tea towels into accent pillows or frame an interesting print fabric as artwork.” We love her work too!

Thanks so much for sharing Ashley, and congratulations again! We hope these sheets provide you with some much needed R&R! Also, thank you to all of the MG readers who participated.  Be on the lookout for the next MG giveaway coming soon!

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