Welcome Aboard!

Posted By Nathan-Dallas | Feb 27, 2013 | No Comments | Category: Celebs, Commercial Spaces, Small Spaces

Hello Tomorrow!

Traveling internationally used to be so glamorous.  I loved ABC’s TV show Pan Am, even though it only aired for a short while.  It depicted what traveling in style used to be.  I’ve always enjoyed travel, and the thoughts and possibilities of adventures and fabulous things that await in far off lands.  A few years ago I went to the movies with one of my best girlfriends, Katelin, and watched Sex and the City 2.  I was mesmerized by their flight to Abu Dhabi, and the airline they flew on….. Emirates!  I immediately had to find out all about it!  As it turns out, Emirates (I believe anyways) is the most fabulous airline in the world.  It’s reminiscent of Pan Am in it’s glory days, and they definitely bring back all the glitz and glam to international travel!

My Partner Tim flew to India two weeks ago, to start our journey into fatherhood.  He was there to meet with doctors, our egg donor, and surrogate.  Back in November, we were looking at flights for him.  I was shocked to find out that for just a little bit more than other airlines, he could fly Emirates!  Boy, was I jealous….big time!  The cabin design and amenities are incredible, and seem to be limitless!

Flight Crew

This is the flight crew.  They dress in this uniform for every flight.  When I went to pick Tim up from the airport on his arrival back to Dallas, I got to see them get off the plane and exit the gate.  They all walked in perfect unison, and looked immaculate after working a 16 hour flight!  Not a wrinkle to be found on their uniforms and not a hair out of place, or a stitch of makeup smudged!  They even carried their matching purses all on the same shoulder!

First Class Cabin

Just take a look at the first class cabins!  Everything is trimmed in gold, and there’s burled walnut everywhere!  Each cabin encloses with sliding doors for privacy.  Check out the built in mini fridge!

First Class Cabins

The design of the first class cabin is really extraordinary.  It makes you feel like you have your own little hotel room in the sky.  Check out the cute little lamps they all have!

Sleep In Flight

Each seat is designed to pull out into a small bed for sleeping.  Just ask one of the ladies of the flight crew, and they’ll bring out your sheets and make your bed up for you when you’re ready to call it a night!

Kim's First Class Cabin

Of course Kim flies Emirates!  She looks comfy and ready for her flight to Dubai!

Sex and The City Fly Emirates

Here’s Carrie and Samantha having a little chat and admiring their luxurious surroundings.

In Flight Cosmopolitans!

Need to relax?  Enjoy a cosmo at the in-flight bar and lounge!  All drinks are complimentary!

Bar and Lounge

Mimosa Time!

The in-flight bar and lounge appears to be super swanky considering it’s on an airplane!  It’s sleek design and attention to detail make it a beautiful place to relax and visit with fellow travelers while your flying to your destination.


Great Bathroom Lighting!

Fabulous Amenities!

And yes, you guessed it… There’s even a spa on the plane! A far cry from the tiny bathrooms that we’re used to on most aircrafts.  I don’t even think my bathroom at home has lighting this good!  It really is just like a flying hotel!

Business Class

Tea Time in Business Class

Business class isn’t too shabby either!  You can still fully lounge back in a large comfy seat and watch TV all the way to your final destination.  There’s plenty of storage built in for your carry on and other personals, as well as a large pull out desk area to catch up on any work while you’re in the air, need to email or chat via the web?  It’s no problem with complementary WiFi!

 It amazes me how they can get so much on something that flies 43,000 feet up in the sky!

It has been absolutely nuts ever since we got back from holiday break. We have started a bunch of new projects and have been going full steam ahead ever since Jan 3rd so the fact that this month is almost over just blows my mind!  It feels like just yesterday that I was in California with my family for Christmas. It was my first visit to the golden state, and I must say that I loved it!  The laid back attitude of Californians, the amazing weather and gorgeous views, made it very tempting to move EJ Interiors across country and set up shop there.

We covered Newport, Laguna, LA and San Diego in a short amount of time.  It was an adventure to say the least!  Of course, it couldn’t all be about sand, waves and water.  I had to incorporate some aspect of design on my trip to keep it interesting and to slowly but surely educate my husband (which he loves of course!)

We stayed at Pelican Hill in Newport for a few days and the views around this place were breathtaking- Paloma wasn’t kidding!

It was a little bit more traditional than the hotels Ben and I normally stay at, but it was really beautiful and super cozy nonetheless!

During the days, we ventured out to Balboa Island (where I met Jill!) and Laguna Beach. There was the most adorable home shop in Laguna called Tuvalu.  It had lots of items with familiar names such as Currey, Arteriors and Palecek.

We then took a day trip to LA with my entire family (we should have known nine people in a limo bus on an all day tour was a recipe for disaster) but hey, that’s how the Johnstons roll. It’s not a family vacation if at least three people don’t get Hangry (angry because they’re hungry) or in trouble with my dad for running late.

Luckily, a beautiful drive up the coast and an amazing church made it all better.  Who wouldn’t want to get married here in California’s perfect weather?

I then had one (and only one) request of the bus driver…and that was to take me to see the infamous and mysterious Chateau.  I’ve read too many issues of Us Weekly, not to go there.  This castle on a hill is legendary in my mind and although I only saw it from the bus (because I’m not a B or C list celeb), you get this amazing slanted I phone photo…

OK, I did have one more request on the trip to LA….to see the iconic Martinique wallpaper that was made famous by the Beverly Hills Hotel and then later used by Paris Hilton and Brian Atwood/Nate Berkus.  We’ve blogged about this leafy paper before HERE. I had to beg the guy at the hotel to let me take a photo of it and luckily he obliged!  What I didn’t get a photo of were the tiny Olson twins eating next to us at the Polo Lounge five minutes prior. I don’t know what got me more excited- seeing Martinique or Michelle Tanner!

The next stop got a big roll of the eyes from the husband (well, a few stops did) but this one was the most memorable- The Beverly Wilshire hotel.  We just had to see the Pretty Woman elevator! I told Ben it’s on the list of things I have to see before I die, so that helped convince him.  As we walked up to the hotel, I heard my twenty two year old brother mutter- “What’s Pretty Woman?”

Oh geez- the adventure continues!

“Well color me happy, there’s a sofa in here for two!”

So now that Ben is almost convinced this is a complete girls’s trip…I reassure him of this by heading over to the Viceroy Santa Monica to stay the night and gawk over KW’s design.

The colorful California Viceroy was a complete departure from Wearstler’s more neutral design in Anguilla.  With bold kelly green and graphic black and white accents, this hotel was definitely more bold and vivacious.  It’s no surprise that Saturday night here by the pool is “bumpin” (per Trip Advisor).

We then headed to our next hotel stay in San Diego at the historic US Grant Hotel.   I ended up really liking this hotel.  It had the most comfortable bed (which counts a lot in my book!) I also liked how they mixed the elegance from the 1910’s with an updated more modern feel.

I had to take a photo of the TV cabinet in our hotel room too.  What an inspiring and attractive design for a custom casegood!

The day after we arrived in San Diego, we went to one of the largest and most progressive zoos in the world. I can’t help but notice design and pattern no matter where I am- even on the fur of this leopard!  Such a gorgeous gorgeous animal…

After many recommendations from friends, we took a visit to”the Del”, a 120 year old hotel in Coronado.  The Hotel del Coronado is known for its Victorian design, reported ghost sightings, movie set background and celebrity visits.

The last stop on the journey (and the whole purpose of our San Diego trip) was the UT bowl game.  As a Sooner, I felt like a traitor wearing burnt orange, but it got me a new sweater from Banana!

All in all, such a fun trip and I can’t wait to start planning my next California trip- to San Francisco!

(Sorry for the strange spaces between the photos- blog issues!)

Yesterday marked the three month anniversary of being in the new office space.  It’s hard to believe that ninety days have gone by and I still have a  mishmash of furniture in there.  As a designer, this normally is something that would drive me completely bonkers, but we’ve been running around so much these past few months that we’ve barely had time to notice.

{the big blank space}

Last night I finally got serious about purchasing some new office furniture.  I did some extensive research and discovered that a lot of people were giving the CB2 Bubble White Office Chair really good reviews so I took the plunge and ordered one for Taylor’s desk.  Of course, then I stumbled upon the CB2 Vapor Counter Stool and its acrylic good looks (and the fact that I had been borrowing my sister’s stool for my craft desk) had me at first glance.  Before you knew it, the darned thing was in my shopping cart too!

A few Crate and Barrel gift cards later, my order was processed.  Mission accomplished!

But wait- blank walls, a counter stool that practically disappears into thin air and a white desk chair didn’t scream “interior design office'” to me.  It was more along the lines of “chic sterile hospital”.

Luckily, visions of kelly green and shiny metallics started to pop into my head and soon after, this inspiration board was born-

Now for the reality of it all- (what I have and what I still need to make this happen)


  • My own desk chair is currently upholstered in the blue Duralee geometric printed fabric and sits in front of a glass and chrome sawhorse desk.
  • The artwork above that used to be in my home, is a perfect way to incorporate the color from my desk chair fabric as well as bring in the jolt of kelly green.   I also love how the black and cream in the art provides a nice graphic punch.
  • I had the EJ Interiors logo bags made for client projects (off Vista Print) and staggered about twenty of them on Container Store brushed nickel hooks down a long, unused and really boring hallway when you first walk in the door.  You’d be surprised how interesting this looks with the repeated logo coming down the hallway.


  • Touches of metallic in mirrors and furniture hardware
  • A smidgen of animal print- like Jan Shower’s favorite Snow Leopard fabric
  • Would like to paint Taylor’s desk a funky Kelly green color with brass hardware
  • Would love to eventually have more comfy seating- four lounge chairs sitting around a round coffee table
  • A very large sisal rug

We desperately need a little more color and pattern in this place.  All in due time I suppose!

But for now I’ll just have to settle with this black and white printed fabric that our EJ Interiors mascot brought in- 🙂

I have to apologize- I’ve been a little MIA on MG Dallas lately because we’ve been out of town.  We spent a week catching up on some much needed rest and relaxation.  The past few months have been beyond crazy, so I welcomed a quiet, desolate island that had cold weather (AKA weather that was thirty degrees cooler than Dallas).

After two plane rides, three cab rides, one rocky boat ride, and three trips through customs, we finally made it to the Viceroy Anguilla.  It was just the place that we needed to unwind.  Since I’m a workaholic, I’m sure it doesn’t surprise you that we stayed in a hotel designed by Kelly Wearstler (hey, a girl has to incorporate design into her travels!) and it’s probably not shocking that we also got a tour of the hotel the morning after we arrived.  We had a day to unpack and settle in and then our tour of hotel de Kelly began….

We met said tour guide in the hotel lobby at 10 am.  She started off by telling us the background of the hotel-

The British West Indies property consists of thirty five acres divided between a resort and residences.

Construction at the Viceroy was supposed to be done in three years but just like every project, there was some unanticipated drama. They were having trouble getting a bunch of the materials there.  Things were coming in broken from being shipped long distances, among other mishaps.  Fast forward five years, and the Viceroy is finally done with construction.  Everything has been going great since then and during the year and a half span that it has been open, they’ve had travelers (and celebs) come from far and wide to visit this unique establishment.

The guide also told us why the colors of the hotel were so muted and neutral.  The purpose was to have the hotel’s natural elements pop out (sand, sky and water) and to “bring the outdoors in”.

The entrance to the hotel had an intricate stone pattern that was apparently a collaboration between KWID and Walker Zanger.

The lobby looked so different from day to night-

They used a ton of natural materials in the Viceroy.  The stones that they used in this hotel were nothing short of AMAZING and were brought in from Italy, Turkey and China.

Kelly had prototypes made of everything before she ordered, so there were no design surprises!

An abundance of silver travertine from Italy filled the outdoor walkways and hotel room interiors…I’d never seen so much in one place!

These petrified logs are from South America.  They bought eight hundred of them!

Not only was their bar, dubbed Sunset Lounge, a great place to fall asleep while reading The Help, it also made for some amazing photographs.  This Black Rainbow Granite was brought in from China and covered the entire back wall of the bar.

This mirrored bar was right up my alley…

These vinyl upholstered bar stools were a far cry from the typical “icky” vinyl and had such great style…

The bar countertop was made of “new silver travertine” (I’ll explain more about this later when we arrive at Kelly’s personal villa!)

Our guide also told us that they are still figuring out how some of the materials they specified work in Anguilla’s environment/weather.  She said that since there is so much more sodium in the air and the sun is so strong, things tend to corrode quicker.

In Sunset Lounge, they installed Iroko Wood on the floor underneath textured jute rugs. They originally specified a lot of teak, but it was too expensive. Our guide explained to us that Iroko wood is the “poor man’s teak”.

White slipcovers covered a lot of the furniture at the Viceroy. I asked our guide if they were nervous about wear and tear (because who wouldn’t be with that much traffic) and she said they were a little bit worried since they only bought one more set of off white slipcovers for the Sunset Lounge!! I have been known to spill a time or two (at each meal), so Ben and I were extra careful when eating on the lounge “beds”.

{The infinity pool..}

Glass railings were used throughout the property in order to avoid obstructing the gorgeous views…great decision on their part I must say!

Also, the teak chairs surrounding the property have since weathered to a gray tone.  Don’t worry, this was all planned out from the beginning.  If you can believe it, the designers wanted it to have this look, so it was all part of their master plan. Gorgeous!

The silver travertine never ends at this hotel!

It took me a while to realize that these faces were functional! They are wood chairs that face the ocean…sigh….

We then made our way to the Italian restaurant, Coba.  It was empty at the time, so we got a really nice close up look at the space.

The limestone flooring and pink shellstone walls were nice backdrop materials for the swanky sculptures that were in recessed metallic nooks.

This photo has scared a few of my family members when I’ve shown it to them, but I actually thought this adobe-looking statue was quite interesting when I looked at it closely.  It had coconut hair and a cork breastbone-

Our guide showed us how there are a lot of color variations in the pink shellstone since it was quarried earlier than when they actually purchased it.

The sunburst is the Viceroy’s logo, so in Coba we saw them everywhere- they were in statues and ceiling light fixtures. The ceiling lights were custom-made from Triton Lighting. They got them made in brass so they would have natural patina.

This seems to be Kelly’s signature chair…

The landscaping was done by George Gerban.  The landscape is pretty much all green and white (the way Kelly likes it). Apparently she is not a huge fan of colorful landscaping.  Also, the guide said that Brad, Kelly’s husband, is very much into landscaping and had revised the design quite a few times so it would be perfect.

Reverb Co. did the signage (company out of Los Angeles). Don’t you just love the men and women’s bathroom signs?

Now let’s go to the spa!  It’s truly incredible.  There is a pool on its balcony overlooking the ocean and the furniture, upholstery and sculptures in this place are nuts (in a good way).

Now let’s enter Villa 9, where all the magic happens!

Villa 9 is the Villa that Kelly owns with her husband Brad and his father.  They stay in this one when they visit (apparently).

Upon entering, you immediately notice a really cool brass light fixture and bronze screen.

Oh look- it’s our friend Silver Travertine again!

Like we always say, don’t be afraid to mix your metallics! Kelly shows that she has no fear of mixing warm and cool tones.

I’m pretty sure I’d be happy with showering outside for the rest of my life if this was my shower-

The living room was my favorite part of the Villa.  A dash of soft pink in the pillows, linen upholstery and driftwood lamps were just a few things that caught my eye.  Our guide said that the cowhide rug in the living room was starting to curl up a bit at the edges, is getting dirty and going bald.  Yikes!

The lamps near the TV are sliced quartz with a lucite base…wowza!!

The guide told us something interesting…that Anguilla really doesn’t have commercial building codes.  Can you imagine!

The kitchen was downright dreamy…and after a few days I was really wishing our hotel room had one too.

Such amazing exotic stones gathered from around the world…this one is Black Mosaic.

It’s hard to tell in the photo, but these nightstands are made of a hammered foil…

Some people had commented how the lamps cover the artwork too much (it’s like this in every hotel room)..what do you think- yay or nay?

And as you can tell, they love ambient lighting here!

There’s a luxe dual showerhead in the bathrooms…

Not such a shabby view from the upstairs…

The upstairs houses the Junior Master Bedroom and the Master Bedroom Suites.

Now for the master suite!

The doors throughout are made of a very interesting veneer…

Notice the hanging bed on the balcony…

Look at the size of that closet! I don’t even have that many clothes split between my summer and winter wardrobes, let alone enough to fill it for a one week vacay!

It’s hard to tell in this photo, but “new silver travertine” was used on the vanity countertop and plain “silver travertine” was used on the bathroom floor.  I learned that the difference between these stones is that the “new silver” one has more brown in it and the “regular silver” has more gray. I suppose they mixed in both for contrast?

This is a little thing that most people probably didn’t notice (but something that I had to point out) was how Kelly accented the neutrals throughout the hotel with pops of soft purple.  All the towels were muted purple as well as the hot tub tile on the balconies of each room.  I thought it was a nice touch since it pulled that subtle purple color out of the travertine and inserted it throughout the hotel.

The Viceroy was a really remarkable hotel and I would recommend it to anyone- design aficionado or not.   Hope you had as much fun on the tour as we had!  Until next time!

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 can’t tell you how much I loathe “styling” my hair every day.  I have that kind of lifeless, straight, fine, easily- tangled hair that’s impossible to give body to.

We had our engagement photos this past weekend and of course, once again, I was stressing about how to make my hair look lively but natural.  My friends suggested going to the new Dry Bar in the shops of Highland Park in Dallas.  I made an appointment right away and not only did they do a great job with my hair (for only $35!), but I also couldn’t help but notice the space’s adorable decor.  I felt a little creepy asking to take photos of their shop after my blow out, so instead, I managed to find some great photos from their website to share with you-

Dry Bar began in Brentwood, California but since their initial opening, they now have four other stores in California (West Hollywood, Newport Beach, Studio City and Pacific Palisades).  Dallas is actually their first store out of state, and opened about a month ago.  How lucky we are to have such an affordable blow dry at our fingertips now!  Honestly, having someone do my hair is priceless to me.  My sister is probably so glad I found the Dry Bar so she doesn’t have to be subjected to being my hair stylist anymore.

The colors in The Dry Bar are lemmony yellows, shiny silvers, bright whites, and cool grays.  The mirrors and windows help the store feel so open and fresh!

It really is set up just like a bar (but without the obnoxious intoxicated people and smoke filled air).

You take a seat in a white leather chair at the “bar” which includes a gorgeous white carrarra marble countertop.  You then order your hairstyle of choice, and proceed to sit back and relax with a glass of champagne and their featured movie.  I got to watch Dirty Dancing, which I hadn’t seen in about a million years, and I had forgotten how much I love that movie. Whenever I go to a salon, it’s about the only time that my mind is totally cleared and I can truly relax.  I could get used to this…

How cute is their yellow hair dryer chandelier and their framed menu?

Such a cool concept!  I would definitely recommend it for your next special event or if you are like me and can’t get your hair to do anything but lay flat. Can’t wait to go back!

This week, the Dallas Total Home and Gift Market is taking place at the Dallas Market Center; however, this year is a little different from past markets, as the DMC has launched a new part of the show, the Dallas Hospitality & Contract Design Show.

This event will take place from June 24-27 and will showcase thousands of product lines and exhibits, as well as provide educational opportunities (think seminars, tours, and forecasts!) for those in the hospitality and contract industry.

I’ll be up at the DMC tomorrow getting an early start to Market..come join in on the fun!

I just got back from Baton Rouge where I met the winner of the Wisk Detergent laundry room makeover contest, Kristen Maurel!  I will be giving Kristen’s laundry room a makeover in June and the transformation will be featured on Designing Spaces in August.

I really enjoyed getting to know Kristen and her husband Matt, as well as touring their charming city.  I had some time to kill before our meeting, so I went and visited the Old Governor’s Mansion and the Old State Capitol building.  I had never been to Baton Rouge before so this surely was a treat to go around and get to know a new city.

The Governor’s Mansion was absolutely gorgeous.  It was a Georgian- style building that was constructed for Governor Huey Long in 1930 at a cost of $150k.  The mansion was built to resemble The White House (Huey was apparently very convinced that he would one day become the President of the United States).  So convinced, that he even wrote a book about it!  I had a great tour guide who was nice enough to give me the “sped up version” of the tour, since I was running low on time.

Wedding receptions are often held at the Old Governor’s Mansion as well as other corporate events.  I have to say that I definitely wouldn’t mind getting married at a historic place like this- talk about a dream come true!

I loved seeing all of the antique furniture, original frieze work and flooring, moldings, and crystal chandeliers.  I was so upset that I didn’t have enough time to visit the other old Plantation homes that came recommended- Nottoway and Houmas House.  These tours would have been right up my alley!

Above is the grand ballroom where wedding receptions are often held.  All of the light fixtures in the mansion were originals.

The dining area above is also part of the “wedding reception package” and its hand painted wallpaper is original to the house.  The docent told me how much it was per roll…I can’t remember exactly, but let’s just say that it was a ridiculous amount! Apparently they still sell it today overseas.

The private offices…

Apparently Huey loved green so much that he had multiple rooms throughout the house painted/wallpapered in some version of green!

I was surprised at how many elements throughout the house would have still been considered somewhat “stylish” today.  Above, the turquoise and brown color scheme in Huey’s office resembles the color trend of the present and you’ll notice below that they had a pedestal sink in the bathroom, which is quite common now (just not in turquoise!)

Another green room…

The private bedrooms were so quaint

Next, I went to the Old State Capitol around the corner.  This building consisted of both Gothic and Victorian Architecture.  Cast iron staircases, stained glass windows, a cathedral dome, faux bois, gold leafing, marble floors, and brass hardware adorned the interior.

All in all, it was a great trip and I can’t wait to go explore more of Baton Rouge’s architecture in June!

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! 😉

I just got back from seeing Avatar (I’m a little behind on my movies as you can tell!) and was pleasantly surprised at how much I liked it.  It’s nominated for Best Picture at the Oscars this year and it should be really interesting to see if James Cameron takes home the statue for this one!

{Neytiri- whom my boyfriend had a crush on throughout the entire movie- probably because she was only wearing a few necklaces and a small piece of cloth}

The Oscars is like my Superbowl.  I prepare a big thing of queso, drink a cold Bud Light and get ready to scream my head off when my favorite picture wins.  I try not to miss a second of it- from the initial red carpet segment to the closing credits.

How does this relate to interior design you might ask?  Well, there is a little private room at the Kodak Theater, where the Academy Awards are held, that goes by the name of the Greenroom.  Each year, this legendary room is designed by an interior designer chosen by magazine great, Architectural Digest.  This year, it was created by Roger Thomas and has a 1930’s Old Hollywood feel to it.  It was designed around shades of black and white, with touches of platinum, blonde, and silver added in for a glitzy effect.  Roche Bobois, Amadi Carpets, Sunbrella, and Restoration Hardware are just a few of the vendors whose pieces are shown in the room.

At 1,029 square feet, this hidden gem is where the Oscar hosts and nominees reside during the awards ceremony.  Unfortunately, only people like Meryl Streep and George Clooney will be allowed back  here, but we do have an all-access pass for you…to see the rendering!

Isn’t it lovely?  These are always so much fun to get a peek at!  I love the layering of flooring, crisp white furniture, mirrored walls, and colorful screens.

Only a week left until we find out the official winners of the 2010 Oscars! I cannot wait.  Who is your vote for Best Picture this year?