Have you ever accumulated a stack of about six magazines that you are just dying to read, but know you need to save them for a time when you can really sit down and concentrate on them?  Well that has been me for the past few months…saving my favorite magazines for the appropriate time and place..finally, that time was this weekend.

Out of all the articles I read and all the photos I perused, I must say that the 2010 Hampton Designer Showhouse that was featured in Traditional Home this month was completely and utterly stunning! I definitely ended up having some favorite rooms that I haven’t been able to get out of my head since my eyes first met the page.

Here are my top rooms- which ones are yours?

Room- Master bedroom sitting area

Designer- Skye Kirby and Diane Karmen for Lillian August

What’s so swoon-worthy?

The glam silver-leaf ceiling, elegant tufted slipcovered settees, and the soothing lilac palette.

**Now I don’t like picking favorites, but if I had to, this room would definitely be it!!**

Room- Master bedroom

Designer- Skye Kirby and Diane Karmen for Lilliam August

What’s so swoon-worthy?

The va va voom mirrored furniture, the sophisticated art series and the lucite bench legs.

Room- Master Bathroom

Designer- Susanne Kelley Design

What’s so swoon-worthy?

The gorgeous glass floor tile, the luxurious silk roman shade, and the freestanding furniture that creates a cozy atmosphere.

Room- Entry and Living Room

Designer- Patricia Healing and Dan Barsanti of HB Home

What’s so swoon-worthy?

The textured grasscloth wallcovering and sisal rug, the mix of natural and glam pieces (i.e.: lucite and stone), and the deep navy accents.

Room- Butler’s Pantry

Designer- Judy Hadlock, Old Town Crossing, Southampton, New York

What’s so swoon-worthy?

The Phillip Jeffries wallcovering on the walls and ceiling, the antique French crystal chandelier, and the dramatic/moody monochromatic color scheme.

Room- Guest Bedroom

Designer- Arden Interior Architecture and Design

What’s so swoon-worthy?

The bright happy color palette (including the lacquered yellow walls), the layering of pattern, and the quirky artichoke lamps.

Room- Kitchen Porch

Designer- Nancy Pearson

What’s so swoon-worthy?

The abundance of Quadrille pillow fabrics, the organic looking teak coffee table, and the classic Suzanne Kasler Visual Comfort lanterns.

Room- Den Porch

Designer- Christina Murphy Interiors

What’s so swoon-worthy?

The subtle gray tones mixed with bright pops of yellow, the graphic greek key area rug, and the totally unique mirror.

When my uncle called me in April and told me that he was closing on a house within the next few weeks and it needed my design assistance ASAP, I couldn’t help but panic a little at the quick lead-time.  I was balancing a full schedule of projects already and I knew that the house needed a lot of stuff, and a lot of stuff fast! The main room that I was supposed to be focusing on was his daughter’s bedroom, and as a single man, my uncle had no clue what an eight year old girl’s room should look like and what it needed (but who could blame him)?  I knew this was nothing short of a design emergency, so I scheduled a consultation with his daughter Annie right away to get to the bottom of her design style.

I always find it helpful when a client can give me photos of rooms they like as inspiration.

Annie presented me with this photo from Rooms To Go as something that she really liked…

While I liked the idea of purple, black and white, I thought it needed to be toned down just a tad.  I felt like we should take these same colors but give the room a more sophisticated spin- something she could grow into.

When we met, I gathered all my initial info (photos and measurements) and got to planning.

Here it is as the BEFORE:

Two weeks later, here’s the AFTER:

The project was as quick as Khloe and Lamar’s engagement! I couldn’t believe we pulled it off that fast.  I always tell clients that the time-frame on the project a lot of the time depends on how quickly we can make decisions.  I must say that my uncle was very good about letting me take the design and run with it (and didn’t feel like he had to approve any of the design/purchases in advance) which helped the project move a lot quicker.

The process actually ended up being a lot of fun. I felt like I was on a design competition show, and was just waiting for India Hicks to walk in during the install and tell me that my time was up and the challenge was over. Luckily for my intern Brennan and I, the mad chaos that went on the day of the install, wasn’t filmed and the ultimate judge, Annie, gave it a thumbs up.

We never could have done this bedroom in time if we had gone with custom bedding and custom drapes.  I knew we had to play it safe (time-wise) with PB Teen bedding and drapes.  The bold floral printed duvet was the start of our scheme.  From the bedding, the wall color fell into place, Sherwin William’s Wisteria.  Luckily, the room had wainscoting on the bottom half of the walls, otherwise the purple might have been screaming bright if it went floor to ceiling.



I’m not kidding when I say that Annie barely had anything to start with.  Her old room had taken her from her toddler years until now, so most of her old stuff was too babyish and not fit for a tween!  I literally had to purchase everything new (down to the box spring and pillow inserts) and/or had the existing pieces refinished.  I gave her my own pewter iron headboard from Weir’s (good excuse for me to finally get that upholstered headboard) and we had the painter paint it white.  I must say that I loved it SO much more this way! We then purchased two mirrored nightstands from Pier 1 and accessories/art/mirror/lamps from Home Goods.

I spray painted her old cream colored wicker dresser and bed bench out in their backyard one day (what a difference a $5 can of bright white spray paint can make!).  I then had my workroom make a black/white houndstooth cushion and some colorful neckroll pillows for her bench  We then had her chaise lounge recovered in an inexpensive cotton tone on tone diamond mini print. By the time we were done, even her electric piano matched!



I still think she could use a few more accessories (especially in the bookcase) and a fun piece of wall decor above her bed (which I’m sure my uncle would just love to hear right now… 🙂  but the perfectionist in me has got to stop somewhere…until next time!

Mirror Mirror….

Posted By Emily-Dallas | Apr 28, 2011 | 8 Comments | Category: Bed and Bath

One of my clients went to Vegas last winter and came back from her trip telling me how much she love love loved the bed at the Encore hotel.  She was attracted to everything about it- from the mirrored headboard down to the mattress and fluffy white duvet cover.  Her stay was perfect timing, as we were about to start re-doing her master bedroom.  It was only a matter of days before she sent me photos of the room and info on the bed from their Home Store.

{Encore Home Store}

{Encore hotel room}

We decided to order the bed frame, mattress, box spring and bedding from the hotel, so all we had left to do was….design the entire bedroom around it!

Her walls were painted Camelback by Sherwin Williams and her floors were hand scraped hardwoods so we had a nice neutral palette to work with.  We started discussing headboard options and she sent me one that she loved from Horchow that consisted of a beige/neutral fabric; however, I just knew this color wouldn’t be right and would fade right into the Camelback walls.  I decided then and there that we needed something bold, something sexy, something dramatic!  After all, she was about to become a newlywed so her bedroom needn’t be ignored!

Nothing says sexy like TUFTING, nothing says bold like GREEN, and nothing says dramatic like MIRROR. So what did we end up with?  A custom-made tufted velvet headboard framed in beveled mirror.

{Inspiration board for client’s room}

The client came back from her honeymoon to this and fell head over heels (I finally saw it today and was equally as smitten!)

{Headboard covered in Kravet’s Versailles Velvet- E26304; coordinating pillow fabric in Schumacher’s Blades Lush Summer Lawn}

Although it was a tedious process designing the headboard, seeing the finished product makes me want to do it all over again.  I love the hint of sparkle that the frame gives the room and the luxe look of the tufted velvet.

Here are some mirrored bed photos to inspire you to give your room that extra touch of bling…

{Paris Hilton bedroom}

{Domino Magazine}

{Miles Redd…in bed}

{Bunny Williams’ bedroom}

{photo via Design Hole Online}

{Bedroom I did for the Dallas Market Center’s Home for the Holidays event.  The Design Directions showroom so kindly lent me their bed!}

{via Interior Design Daily}

As I’m perusing the internet for design inspiration, I came across this beauty from the Elle Decor Showhouse 2010 by Jay Jeffers design.  It’s hard to put into words how obsessed I am with the colors in this room.  From the taupe walls down to the pink, yellow, and turquoise artwork, I am totally smitten.  I’ve seen this photo before, but keep stumbling upon it by chance and have decided that the style and colors of this room are exactly what I want to incorporate into my work-in-progress living room! As they say, when you know, you know.  What great inspiration!  Thank you Elle Decor…

Gets put on the blog!

I was in Vegas this week for the Coverings Tradeshow Media Tour and had fun learning all about the latest and greatest in tile and stone (and meeting some really cool bloggers and editors, to boot!)

The show was held at The Sands Convention Center at The Venetian and consisted of 46,456 square feet of tradeshow! Now that’s alot.  There was so much to see in so little time, so I thought I’d highlight my top five parts of the Coverings’ experience-

#1- TREND UPDATE– On Tuesday, at the Tile of Spain Press Conference, Patti Fasan gave a very informative talk on the 2011 trends for tile and stone.   Here are some of the trends that she touched on-

  • Camel- “the new neutral”.  When it’s mixed with black, it’s a lot less stark than black and white together
  • Blues- from dark indigos to light shades (in a vintage look)
  • Mirror like reflections- opalescence or a clear/mirrored surface, and metallic tints/sparkle
  • Textured tile surfaces- folded, twisted, pulled, stretched (manipulated flat planes to create interest)
  • Ceramic tile in different shapes
  • Rich, tarnished gold mixed with brown is the new metallic (she pointed out that it “reeks of luxury”). She also said that copper is a big one (in stones, wood, and textiles)
  • Purple- influenced by browns, grays (and even standing on its own)
  • Faded, weathered sepia hues with vintage inspired motifs
  • Browns- less stark than black, but a warmer, softer palette than grays
  • Tile that looks like menswear fabrics (herringbone, linen, etc)
  • Thick tiles inset into the face of cabinets to match the wall tile and medicine cabinet tile
  • Lack of red (she said that red is receding this year and is used mainly as a temporary accent)
  • Digital printing on tile
  • Pastels- such as ice colors and champagne (hues with just hints of color)

#2- TILE OF ITALY- On Tuesday, we also visited the booths at the show encompassing the “Tile of Italy”.  First off, let me just say that the Italian tile that I witnessed was absolutely GORGEOUS (almost as much as the Italian men that were stationed at each booth 🙂  Talk about well dressed! Some of my favorite booths that we visited-

SICIS- there are no words to describe SICIS.  It was my favorite booth at the show and I knew that MG readers would really appreciate it, so I made sure to snap lots of pics.  SICIS is known as an “art mosaic factory”. I’m sure you’ve seen their ads in magazines, before, displaying their luxury mosaics.

On the Italy tour, we also saw-

Tile made from recycled televisions at REFIN

Incredibly thin porcelain tile at LEA (their Waves collection)-

Incredibly large tile (48″x48″) at FLORIM group in different neutrals.  This series, dubbed Nera, also comes in trapezoid sizes.  FLORIM also had lots of glass tile in neutral colors, that were nice and versatile.

Funky wild tile from Mosaico (a relatively new company- only three years old).  The new tile from their Area 25 Collection is composed of 95% recycled glass.  Their Dialoghi collection gives you the opportunity to create your own custom design.

We also saw tile from Viva and Emil that were made to look like wallpaper-

#3- TILE OF SPAIN- Tuesday morning, we visited the booths of Spain.  Spain is really on top of their game here.  They had fabulous booths with really informative presentations (and not to mention tapas AND sangria!)

Peronda showed us how they used inkjet technology to produce “Graffiti-like” tile-

Grespania– had lots of options for imitations of natural stone (shown here is an imitation of Carrara marble produced through ink jet technology)

Their Palace Collection of porcelain tile was also really interesting-

The Onix booth had their 98% recycled-content glass mosaic tile on display.  These tiles are great for pools and spas.  Their tiles can even be done in gold leaf for a high-end application)  They can also produce custom designs. I learned that they were one of the first companies to make atypical shaped mosaics, such as ovals.

#4- NORTH AMERICAN TILE- Now of course, I can’t forget the American tile tour on the top five!

Crossville had a very colorful booth which displayed their latest “Color by Numbers” collection.  This series coordinates  their color block porcelain floor tile with Benjamin Moore paint.

I enjoyed “learning about”/devouring their color coordinated M&M’s too-

Art Tile Village- we learned here how artistic tile in general, is a North American phenomenon.

We came across a lot of “tile that didn”t look like tile”….(made to look more like wood and stone)

{Wood done in ceramic at Florida Tile}

{Iris, one of the leaders in digital printing technology- which means that they take designs and make the tile look like real stone}

#5- OUT and ABOUT- Aside from the scheduled tours, I did venture out a bit to see what the rest of the show had to offer.

I had an appointment to meet with the folks over at Bondera and had fun playing around with their pressure sensitive adhesive-tile rolls.  This adhesive can be used on a countertop or backsplash and makes installing tile a breeze!  What a great and easy DIY project.  The process takes a lot of mess away from typical tile installation…literally just peel and stick!  *Warning- only 36″ tile or below, can be used!*

Since Material Girls are such nuts for metallics, I had to snap a photo of this wall tile from Villeroy and Boch

More fun accent tiles-

Thank you Coverings for such a great experience!

I was reading designer, Emily Clark’s blog today which featured a recent bedroom makeover that she completed.  My jaw practically hit the floor when she revealed her source for the nightstands.  She took a big box retailer’s run of the mill chest (for $79.99) and then added pretty hardware to it.  I swear, it looks like a whole new piece!

Click HERE to find out what retailer Emily got her revamped nightstands from- you won’t believe it!!

Designs for Living

Posted By Emily-Dallas | Feb 10, 2011 | 5 Comments | Category: Bed and Bath, Designers

Interior designer, Thom Felicia, has an announcement!

He is branching out into bedding and his new line will premiere on QVC February 16th.  Take an early glimpse at what the TV personality and best selling author has been busy designing…

The collection is really well priced with pieces ranging from $28 to $250 and consists of comforters, pillows, and throw blankets.  I’m loving the brown and gray combo on the printed comforter, dubbed, the “Brick Chain” (and just in case you were wondering, I will take a pair of those lamps too!)

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?

Oh to be in college again! <Sigh>.  As my intern Kim gets ready to go back to school, I’m left living vicariously through her start of a new semester.

It feels like a million years ago that I lived in the dorms, but no matter how much time passes, I don’t think I’ll ever forget that decrepit building, the long trek up four flights of stairs to get to my room, those “pain in the neck” shower caddies (not to mention the awful community bathrooms) and the Laura Ashley floral EVERYTHING that I decorated my room with.

“Kids these days” are so lucky that there are such stylish and affordable decor options out there to make the dorm room the comfortable home away from home that it should be.

I recruited Kim (the recent dorm residing expert) in helping out with my top picks for cheap (but not cheap looking!) small space/dorm must-haves.

Airgo Chair- currently on sale!

Small Double Bell Alarm Clock- White

Twin Cherished Garden Quilt

Girls’ Solid Canvas Bins

Desk Lamp- Green

Tranby Mirror– only $19.99! A mirror at this price is pretty unheard of

Coming and Going Coat Rack

Knitted Poufs- beanbags with a twist!

Splendent Suzani Pictures

Perfectly Prepped Hair Accessories Organizer

Brocade Desk Accessories

Bredgrund Shower Curtain

Kim sent me photos of her dorm room from a few years ago and I had so much fun taking a peek into her hot pink, black and white dorm room world! Truly a designer in the making…

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.