Glam Up Your Bookcases!

Posted By Emily-Dallas | May 20, 2009 | 1 Comment | Category: Books, Design Inspiration

Nina Campbell proved that even bookcases can be dramatic!


I’ve always loved this idea (featured in Veranda)…it’s hard to imagine the bookcase without the mirrored divider.  The mirror serves to break up the stacks and stacks of books and takes the built in from simple…to stunning!

Downtown Chic

Posted By Emily-Dallas | Mar 14, 2009 | 1 Comment | Category: Books

I loooove to read in general but I especially love reading and collecting new design books! I got word of a new one coming out on April 28th called Downtown Chic.

This book was co-written by husband and wife team Robert and Courtney Novogratz of the world renowned NYC based firm, Sixx Design. It is in fact their first book- how exciting!

Ever since their first design project in Chelsea, the duo has developed and designed gorgeous living spaces in Great Barrington, Massachusettes, Soho, and Trancoso, Brazil. Not to mention, they also have SEVEN kids! Wow- what a hard-working pair!

Their book is coming soon but you can pre-order it now on Amazon.

Color Palettes

Posted By Emily-Dallas | Dec 09, 2008 | 1 Comment | Category: Books, Color, Paint

My favorite section in House Beautiful is their article they put out monthly on designer’s favorite paint colors- one month, the topic will be “paint colors that flatter brunettes”, the next month will be “colors that calm”. You just never know what’s coming next with them! I have a new topic suggestion- paint colors that flatter really pale people? I could be their guinea pig!

And even better than the article each month, they’ve expanded with a book! I just received it in the mail, it’s called Colors for your Home- it encompasses 300 paint color suggestions from well known designers…I can’t wait to start experimenting with these on my wall!

You can get it here at Barnes and Noble. Great Christmas gift for that friend who needs some paint suggestions for her new home!

Ladies Man?

Posted By Emily-Dallas | Nov 24, 2008 | No Comments | Category: Books, Designers

There are two books that came out recently about Frank Lloyd Wright- seems the architect had more than just houses on his mind! Both books explore FLW’s well known philandering.

In Loving Frank, fact and fiction come together to tell the tale of a man (FLW) who was having an affair with Mamah Borthwick Cheney.

How they knew each other: her husband had commissioned Frank to design a home for them…(scandalous!) Novel focuses on their dramatic love story- I saw it at Borders the other week…might have to get it!

Then another interesting historical novel came out called The Women, written by T.C. Boyle. (Fun fact: Boyle currently lives in a home designed by Mr. Wright.) He details out the architect’s real life relationships with four women.

Who knew there was so much controversy hidden behind Frank’s prairie style homes!

Trade Up!

Posted By Emily-Dallas | Nov 17, 2008 | 1 Comment | Category: Books

Last year for Christmas, I got a copy of The Savvy Girl’s Guide to Money from my mom- (was this supposed to be a hint at something?) I rendered it a coffee table book…along with my other random coffee table books I’ve gotten for Christmas that are collecting dust like Runnin’ with the Big Dogs or How to be a Lady.

One day after the Christmas holidays settled down, I decided to open up the book to see if there was any useful info in it and I ended up reading the entire thing! The book explains how if you forgo your morning Starbucks run for an entire week, you can save a significant amount of money (it really does add up over an entire year) and spend it on something you’ve been wanting to save up for (like that tufted upholstered headboard you’ve always wanted or that gorgeous chandelier!)

Imagine how many rooms Brit Brit could have furnished if she didn’t have her Starbucks frap five times a day?

Where am I going with this?

Well House Beautiful has a new web exclusive column called Trading Up: They say money can’t buy you happiness, but if you’re spending it anyway, shouldn’t it go toward something that makes your home a happier place? While the economy is down, don’t give up: trade up!

Interesting and alternate ways on how to put your money into something that lasts. Skip out on a first class plane ticket to Paris and instead buy your OWN seat to put in your home that you will have for years to come- read more on this article here

The ideas they have don’t stop here…it’s a weekly column discussing alternate ways to spend money and making your House…well, beautiful.

Another great read!

Posted By Emily-Dallas | Apr 20, 2008 | No Comments | Category: Books

Another book recommendation we have for you is “Flower Sense” by Tricia Guild. I love Tricia’s Interior Design work and believe that she has an incredibly creative eye for floral arrangements as well- but not just any arrangements, these are simplified ways you can add even just a few flowers to your room and transform it dramatically! Her fascination with flowers in Interior Design led her to create this book and what a fabulous and interesting book it is! Available at Amazon for $26.40 (lots of beautiful photographs to keep you entertained and inspired!)

“Coloring Book”

Posted By Emily-Dallas | Apr 13, 2008 | 3 Comments | Category: Books, Color

A book by Stafford Cliff about how to get the best effects with color in Interior Design. An inspiring book for homeowners as well as designers! $26.37 on Amazon

A Rebel in an Ugly World

Posted By Emily-Dallas | Dec 16, 2007 | 2 Comments | Category: Books, Designers

Who was Elsie de Wolfe?

She was believed to have invented the profession of Interior Design and often referred to herself as “a rebel in an ugly world”.

In 1903, at age 40, Elsie began to pursue Interior Design after being an actress and staging plays for many years. She was responsible for brightening the interiors of some of the most impressive Victorian houses of that era. In 1913, she wrote The House in Good Taste- one of the most influential and memorable design books of all time.

She also introduced society to the cocktail party and the small intimate dinner party (love it!)

In her clothes as well as her Interior Design, she lived by the motto she embroidered on taffeta pillows in her parlor: “Never complain, never explain.”

The three aspects Elsie always desired in a room were light, air, and comfort.

Elsie’s home decorating tips are not lost today. Using Horchow’s gorgeous traditional furniture and accessories, you can bring an up to date Elsie de Wolfe style into your home and create a timeless environment.

Here are a few of her decorating tips below:

1) Artwork: Elsie often hung artistic portraits and traditional landscapes in the homes she designed.

2) Color Palette: Elsie loved the colors- blue, rose, and cream. This bedspread embodies all of these hues while maintaining a high level of elegance and femininity. Other colors she desired together were greens, purples, and lavenders.

3) Comfort is Key in Furniture: She used 18th century French and English furniture in her designs but she made sure the chairs were always comfortable.

4) Chaise Lounge– this piece of furniture was often a key element in Elsie’s decor.

5) Preferred lots of light sources: Elsie wanted her rooms to be filled with lots of light- coming from various sources. This crystal chandelier and mirrored sconce are updated versions of the ones Elsie used to fill her homes with.

6) Delicate Writing Tables: This writing desk from Horchow looks very similar to those chosen by Elsie back in 1903.

7) House Plants/Flowers/ Porcelain Bowls- These were the kinds of accessories that Elsie liked to decorate with in a room. She especially loved potted palms.

8) Footstools- Elsie used these small pieces of furniture throughout her rooms to give them a dainty touch while also providing another place to sit.

9) Painted and Stenciled Furniture: Elsie loved the intricate detail in painted furniture.

10) Animal Prints: A popular home trend now, she often used animal prints in her designs. It just keeps coming back!

11) Mirrors: Elsie used mirrors mostly over fireplaces and dressing tables; her favorites were those with silver and gold gilded decorative frames like the one above.

12) Persian Rugs- These rugs are classic and timeless- still used today.

13) Vanity Table: These were seen in a lot of bedrooms she designed. The vanity table’s skirt adds sophistication/glamour and softens the hard edges of the table.

14) Wall Colors: Elsie desired light, fresh, and soft wall colors.

She was once heard saying- “It’s my color- beige!”

15) A few of her other design tips included: Faux finish treatments, chinoiserie print wallpaper, chintz fabrics, and uncluttered rooms.

Her design advice was very practical and relatively inexpensive to carry out.

One of my favorite quotes from Elsie- “It’s the personality of the mistress that the home expresses. Men are forever guests in our homes, no matter how much happiness they find there.” Amen!

Books to Buy!

Posted By Emily-Dallas | Oct 31, 2007 | No Comments | Category: Books

Vogue Living, we hear, is another one of the “it” books for design that comes out this fall. I don’t know about you, but I love any and all coffee table books and I absolutely love to read. We compiled a list of the new must have design/fashion/art books for the holidays along with a few classics that any design enthusiast should own. Any of these books would make perfect Christmas gifts!

Cowie has long been the mastermind behind celeb parties such as Oprah’s Legends Ball and Elton John’s Oscar Party. His latest book gives insight on how to throw celeb worthy parties in your own home (and on your own budget)!

Colin Cowie- “The secret to elegant entertaining is surprisingly simple: Create a relaxed, friendly, atmosphere where you and your guests feel welcome.”

Book will be on sale December 31, 2007! Pre-order your copy now at for only $20!