Although it’s fun to keep up-to-date with the latest and greatest in design trends, it sometimes pays off to look into the past for a little inspiration.

Campaign furniture as we know it has been in use since the traveling armies of Julius Caesar, but is most commonly associated with the British Armed Forces. Why the war-time trend? Because that’s where the ‘campaign’ name comes from.



Considered to be any type of furniture made to be easily broken down or folded for easy transportation, campaign furniture was initially designed for armies to pack up and carry with them on their marches. Demand for these portable pieces increased in 18th and 19th century England but now you’ll find them all over the globe (including in Dallas, on Craig’s List)!

A few weeks ago I stumbled upon an extremely affordable and chic campaign desk on Craig’s List that just needed a little bit of extra TLC. I had been wanting a piece of campaign furniture for a long time, but hadn’t come across “the one” yet.  Since we are moving into a new office and need another unique desk (I’m not one to buy office furniture from IKEA), I snatched this up from sweet Bonnie and immediately started searching for painted campaign inspiration.

{Desk looks very similar to this one here}

While the most common item of campaign furniture is actually not the desk but the traditional chest of drawers (also referred to as a military chest or campaign chest). These campaign cuties come in so many different shapes and sizes, the options are endless. Campaign furniture is most often made of mahogany or teak, and can be easy to distinguish because of their recognizable folding places, but others only have their standard brass corners and strap work (originally used for travel protection).

We love their worldly feel, and even though you may not be packing up your entire set of drawers for your next road trip, these pictures of inspiration show that you can still have lots of fun with them.

This kelly green painted campaign dresser quickly became an internet sensation-


Are these nightstands brown or black? I can’t tell…either way, I’m in love!


This deep blue color is stunning!


Other kelly green beauties…


Classic white paint always looks good and boy does it make the gold hardware pop!

Ok I don’t know if it’s the gold chair with the zebra print or what, but I’m completely obsessed with this set up here-

Va va voom coral!

This turquoise color is nice and fresh! Notice the black top for contrast…

And the best of every world- multi-colored campaign!

There are so many color options out there! Now I ask you dear readers, what color do you think I should paint mine? Leave a comment if you have a favorite bright furniture paint..would love to get your opinions!

Thank you Merida for blogging about our Frisco client’s dining room!

We used one of Merida Meridian’s gorgeous sisals on this project- (Luxe Silver Topaz with a Soft Cotton Twill binding to be exact) and we loved how it turned out.  The textured sisal was an amazing juxtaposition to the shiny metallics, smooth blown glass and sleek mirrored finishes.

It can be challenging to source a grayed out sisal.  Since sisal is a natural material, it’s much more common to find them with warm gold tones.  When we stumbled across this one from Merida, we knew it would coincide perfectly with everything else in the room.

The lighter rug ended up making such a huge difference in a room that started off as a sea of dark brown.

{Luxe Silver Topaz Sisal}

When the client and I first met, she said that everything in the room could go except for the trim and wall colors.  We both agreed that since we were leaving the dark brown paint, a wallpapered accent wall on the back wall would give this room the pizzazz it needed to set it apart from the extremely traditional neighboring Frisco homes. (Anyone who reads this blog knows that I’m not a fan of the painted accent wall, but wallpaper is a totally different story)

As they say..out with the old, in with the new!



For more about the Frisco dining room renovation, visit Merida’s blog!

For the past two years I’ve been living in a 1,000 square foot house in East Dallas with no disposal, a dishwasher that you have to hook up manually to the faucet, one bathroom and a vintage O’Keefe and Merit oven (which is adorable until you want to make cookies and have to buy a special tiny cookie sheet for the oven and THEN have to light a match to even start the baking process).  At times, I forget that I’m living in the 21st century 🙂

Don’t get me wrong, we love our quirky little 1930’s house.  It has lots of charm (original doorknobs, warm wood floors, scalloped built-ins, and french doors.) It’s also fun living near White Rock lake, Mockingbird Station, Greenville and Lakewood.

This house has been a great first house for my husband and I..but let’s be honest…one bathroom, closets that only fit half a season’s worth of clothes, and a living room that doesn’t fit anything larger than an apartment sized sofa, are things that are wearing on us just a tad.

{an example of our oven}

With our lease expiration in May fast approaching, the clock has started to tick on finding a larger place.  We’re toying with the idea of buying something and I have to admit that I’ve been doing what must be typical of every interior designer (right???)- something I like to call obsessing.  I check the MLS for new listings every single day trying to find the “perfect” house in our price range. My realtor has dubbed me the “picky” client as I always seem to point out what is wrong with every single house (“oh I need a separate formal living and separate formal dining”, “is that carpet in the kitchen?”, “does this backsplash give you the heebie jeebies?”, “does the orange undertone in these wood floors bother anyone else here?”, “Zoey can’t live in a house with a detached backyard”)

Okay, okay she’s right- maybe I am picky…but I think the main problem is that I improve spaces for a living and so I am out there every single day seeing the latest and greatest so when I see the not so great, I immediately have to comment on it. Of course no house will be perfect and really, what fun would it be if it was? My husband has been dying for us to get a fixer-upper so we can work on it together these next few years.

Until then, there’s nothing wrong with dreaming of the perfect house, is there?

There are so many images on MLS that make up “my dream house” but since that 12 million dollar house on Strait Lane is a little bit of a reach for me ;), I thought I’d compile my favorite images of realistic houses that we’ve actually been looking at into a virtual “dream home” for ya’ll to see- enjoy!

Hollywood Heights, Santa Monica, M Streets or Lakewood? I’d be overjoyed to live in any of these East Dallas neighborhoods. You don’t get a lot of space for your money, but because I die over those Tudor exteriors, I’d gladly give up square footage for curbside appeal with one of these cottage cuties-

An updated kitchen can be hard to come by for the right price in this neighborhood, but I managed to find a few white kitchens that I’d be happy to bake my cookies in (and I look forward to joining the rest of the world with a modern oven and dishwasher- woo hoo!)

I love a formal living room.  I know it’s not really practical this day and age, but I think I’ll always want to have one.  It’s the one room where you don’t have to feel guilty about purchasing unique vintage chairs that are on the smaller side, delicate mirrored coffee tables and clean lined, dainty tight back skirted sofas. This room can be all about PRETTY.  If your husband is anything like mine, he doesn’t care what goes in this room, as long as he has a “man cave” or a comfortable den, so this room truly becomes whatever you want it to be- bliss!

Of course, a family room is important too, but unfortunately most of these smaller houses in East Dallas only have one living area, so in this case, I’m loving how these homeowners mixed the formal with the informal to satisfy both parties in the family.

Arched doorways, painted wood fireplaces, and crown moulding give these houses architectural interest and extra detail.

My husband came across this listing the other day and said that he wants this exact room as his “man cave”- I can deal with that!

In general, I love me some dark wood floors, white trim and gray (or off white) walls!

I’m a nut for a clean and updated looking bathroom.  You can see that this homeowner was on top of the ball when he chose to use white marble in this guest bath.  I always say that every space needs a touch of black- he must have thought so too!

White subway tile is a very affordable way to give a bathroom an instant makeover.  Normally you see white cabinets with white subway, but I like how this homeowner went against the norm and stained his cabinets a deep brown. It warms up the small space nicely-

This room was done by the homeowner, who is an interior designer (can’t you tell)?  Most bedrooms I stumble across on the MLS in our price range aren’t this put together.  Notice the custom cut sisal around the perimeter of the room, custom window treatments and upholstered headboard. You can tell that this homeowner is with it.  Perhaps if we buy this one, he’d consider throwing in the sunburst mirror for free?

And I almost forgot about storage!  Since our house is bursting at the seams currently because of no storage space, I’d add some extra built-ins to our make believe house like the below-

Since this is a dream, I suppose I’ll add on this indoor side porch too.  It makes such a cute sitting area-

Of course, the backyard is very important too.  Even though our house is tiny, we have a great backyard with a deck (it’s probably larger than our house) so I know that is one of the things that we will miss. Here are some other views from the back porch of my pretend East Dallas home, that I wouldn’t mind waking up to every day-

And while we are at it, let’s throw in a guest-house for EJ Interiors to office out of-

Well I suppose it’s time for me to wake up from my house dream and get back to reality. Until next time!

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!)

Every designer in Dallas has their go-to vintage stores that they frequent for the best deals and hidden treasures. EJ Interiors would like to share one of our personal favorites for finding the best in vintage furniture and accessories – Antiques Moderne! (We are not alone, this is even Barbara Bush’s favorite spot for vintage furniture shopping!) They are a one-stop shop – you can pick your piece and they will refinish, restore, or reupholster for you as well.

John Bacile is the owner of this 20,000 square foot space that is packed full of furniture, art, lighting, and accessories. He has a workshop in the back where they are busy restoring, upholstering and lacquering unique pieces for their wide range of clients. John finds some of the most amazing pieces that you just can’t find anywhere else, and he’s always got the history behind each piece! This guy really knows his furniture.

Take a look at some of the furniture pieces our clients have purchased and the amazing job that Antiques Moderne has done refinishing them –

Wing Chair BEFORE:

Wing Chair AFTER!:

We refinished the wood in a glossy white and reupholstered it in a fun gray and white fabric with shiny silver nail heads. Didn’t their team do a great job? Our client just loves it, and we do too!

This credenza stopped me in my tracks when I first saw it. I completely fell in love, and our client did too!

This is it BEFORE:

And here is the AFTER!:

We had John and his team lacquer this piece in a gray-blue color to coordinate with a fabric in the room. It looks absolutely fabulous now!

For the same client, we purchased two wing back chairs that were in need of a little T.L.C.

Here is the BEFORE:


We had Antiques Moderne reupholster the pair in a vibrant orange velvet to pop in the navy room. They turned out amazing!

If you live in, or ever visit, Dallas you must stop by Antiques Moderne to see their huge inventory of great vintage furniture. You’re sure to fall in love with something!

Their address is 1208 N. Riverfront Blvd. Tell John we sent you!

This year has been a pretty fast-paced one for EJ Interiors– we moved into a new office, added some fresh faces to the team and have worked our tails off!  It’s hard to believe that it’s already December and 2011 is coming to a close.  We’ve been really lucky to have worked on a lot of exciting projects this year (and have been having so much fun with our clients in the process) that we thought we’d give you a sneak peek at what EJ Interiors has been up to for the past eleven months or so…

Living Room

Dining Room

Breakfast Room and Kitchen


Dining Room

Kid’s Room

Family Room

Wine Room

Living Room

Guest Bedroom

Family Room

Family Room

Living Room


Game Room

Living Room

Master Bathroom

Piano Room

Dining Room

Guest Bedroom

Master Bedroom

And stay tuned for some real photographs of these projects coming in 2012… 🙂 In the meantime, hope you enjoy our virtual design boards on our site in the meantime!

This past weekend we participated in the Hope for the Holidays event with Catholic Charities.

Pettigrew Associates in the Dallas Design District was kind enough to host the event at their fabulous new showroom off of Market Center Boulevard.

Back in September, we were asked by Catholic Charities to select a few pieces from their World of Goods store and revamp them using paint, fabric and other materials.  We love a fun vintage “Before and After” and also helping out a good cause, so of course we were more than thrilled to participate!

With the painting expertise of RetroChic Renovations, the upholstery skills of M&M Upholstery, and the mirror knowledge of Alamo Glass, we were able to take these pieces from old and worn to modern and fresh!








(All furniture pieces are available for purchase via Catholic Charities, so email us if you are interested!)

EJ Interiors was also asked to decorate a Christmas tree in the theme of our choice that was to be auctioned off the night of the event. Our “Hollywood Regency Holiday Tree” incorporated a chartreuse and white geometric printed skirt, gold peacock feathers, damask ribbon, and an assortment of funky decorations including- white feathers, gold and silver sunbursts, crystal droplets, solid chartreuse, mercury glass, pearl and mirrored ornaments. We were lucky to find the “tree topper” at West Elm which we had created using silver feather-like fans.

On Friday afternoon, we toured the new Pettigrew showroom, which had lots of amazing abstract art, incredible chandeliers, rock crystal accessories, and luxurious pieces of furniture. I loved their mix of traditional and modern in each vignette.

The best part of all, is that Pettigrew makes their own lighting! We went back to the shop where all the magic happens. They showed us a chandelier from England that they are currently working on for a client in Dallas. The scale of it was pretty amazing. Taylor is standing next to it (so you can really see how humongous this thing was!) Now if only we could see the house that this incredibly tall piece is going in….

Some more of their lighting. Isn’t the piece on the right gorgeous?

If you are a local interior designer and haven’t visited Pettigrew’s new showroom yet, it’s a must! It’s a great trade resource for clients with lots of unique and diverse pieces!

1805 Market Center Boulevard, Dallas, 75207

For the past month, we’ve been hard at work on a vignette for Dwell with Dignity’s new Thrift Studio store which just opened up in the design district here in Dallas.  Five local designers were asked to plan out a room vignette using Dwell’s vintage furniture and accessories from their warehouse, as well as other donations from the design community.  We had so much fun on this project because it was different from any other project we had done before. We really had to stretch our creativity on this one! We had a really short time to complete it in, limited resources, and virtually no budget, but we were definitely up for the challenge!

Taking this lackluster space from this-


To this- in just a couple of weeks was a little bit of a stretch for EJ Interiors but somehow we managed to pull it off!

{After- EJ Interiors’ dining room vignette for Dwell with Dignity’s Thrift Studio opening}

Our room centered around bold orange and turquoise. The inspiration? A pair of these adorable chairs that we managed to dig up in Dwell’s warehouse…

The process was so unique that I had to take some photos along the way to document our Dwell journey!

Phase 1- All of the designers meet at Dwell’s warehouse to grab the pieces they want to use for their vignette.  I put everything in my little pile that could be a possibility for the space.  Now the question is- what in the world am I going to do with it all?

Phase 2- There was a lot to do in a little amount of time.  Since most of the things in the warehouse were older items, I knew that re-upholstering and re-painting furniture had to happen..and quick!

I couldn’t believe my luck in finding these four matching chairs in the warehouse…

And  then I was even more shocked to find the perfect turquoise fabrics hidden in a corner…

It was meant to be!

M&M Upholstery donated the upholstery labor and Nicole Horne of Modern Relics donated the painting labor for the chairs…what a fantastic team they made!

Phase 3- Time to get the room painted!  Twenty five Neiman Marcus volunteers came out to help us get our rooms ready and I must say that I couldn’t have done it without them!  They quickly helped my vision come to life and did such a great job painting the walls and trim.

I loved our little team! If any of you are reading this, thank you again so much!

The Thrift Studio starts coming together…

Loved the entrance!

Ok we are making some progress..drapes are almost up!

Phase Four- Completion! Everything is in place for the sneak preview party and so now we just wait for people to shop, shop, shop!

For those of you that weren’t able to make it for the great deals at the preview party last Friday, not to worry because the Thrift Studio pop up shop is open from now until October 29th- Monday through Saturday 10-5:30 pm at 1616 Hi Line Drive in Dallas.

So many great deals to be had and such an amazing way to help out a good cause!

So many volunteers helped make the Dwell with Dignity event such a success.  Thank you again!  Some of the sources below..

{Royal Old Fashioned Tumblers- Wisteria Outlet}

{Mirror- taken off from an old dresser and re purposed for the buffet.  Christian at Think Twice kindly helped us hang the mirror by decorative gold chain}

{Bust- Pettigrew Associates}

{Pedestal- Dwell with Dignity}

{Custom white drapes with turquoise band on leading edge- Stitches by Carmen; wood drapery rods- Williamson Supply}

{Crystal Sconce- Dwell with Dignity}

{Vintage Gucci bag- Dwell with Dignity}

{Painted brackets from Hobby Lobby, vintage New Orleans prints, wall sunbursts, antler horns- EJ Interiors}

{Chandelier- Visual Comfort, Taylors on Ten}

{Wall Color- Benjamin Moore paint}

{Flatware, dishes, wine glasses, decorative bowls- Dwell with Dignity}

{Dining table- Dwell with Dignity- base painted orange}

{Mercury glass vase- EJ Interiors}

{Sticks in vase- found in a pile of bulk trash-no kidding 😉 EJ Interiors}

{Chaise lounge- Dwell with Dignity- repainted creamy white}

{Custom 18″ pillow- Trina Turk fabric; chaise upholstery- Childress leopard print fabric- EJ Interiors}

{6×9 Sisal rug- Dwell with Dignity}

Photos by: Fort Worth Real Estate Photography

Camila over at Effortless Style has been doing her “In her Shoes” series for some time now.  Since the beginning, I’ve been following her blog feature and have loved hearing about how fellow  bloggers Tobi Fairley, Brooke of Velvet and Linen, and Kristen from Simply Grove spend their days. If you haven’t gotten a chance to catch in her shoes, here’s your chance- Camila has a list of all past features!

Recently, Camila asked me to document my day (which I was so pumped about).  Click here to read about what went on behind the scenes of EJ Interiors and MG, one crazy Friday!

Thank so much Camila for including me in this!!

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- 🙂