For some reason I feel like all of my projects lately have had one thing in common… ottomans! Random I know, but it seems like these multi-purpose pieces have solved some big design dilemmas for us at EJ Interiors! Whether we are working on a family room, bedroom, home office, or even an outdoor living space, ottomans have been the perfect solution when we are tight on space or need the room to serve several functions! I searched my go-to sites (Pinterest and Decorpad) for some fabulous examples of how ottomans can transform ANY room.


I must say that my favorite use of the ottoman is a square ottoman set on the diagonal placed between four chairs.  This seating arrangement makes for a very cozy conversation area-

{Traditional Home}


Sometimes you just want to put your feet up when on the couch watching TV, but this is never as relaxing with a regular coffee table.  With this layout, you don’t have to feel guilty kicking back and relaxing and it’s super comfortable too-

{Elle Decor}

In this situation, I like a tray on the ottoman- one that can hold books, vases, and other random accessories-

{Elle Decor}


J Lo chose to put a coordinating ottoman between her two two matching chairs.  This ottoman can serve a few different purposes…it can be pulled up in front of one of the chairs as a foot rest, could be an extra seat, or if it had a tray, could pose as an accent table to hold drinks.


This ottoman poses as a foot rest and/or coffee table between these two chairs in this gorgeous gray library-


You never know when you are going to need extra seating at a party, so the placement of this ottoman is a great solution for when you have to accommodate larger groups. Not to mention, this ottoman just looks good as an accent under the console table and softens the lines of it.


This is the most obvious place for an ottoman, in front of a chair..however, where the chair and ottoman are, couldn’t be more unexpected- in a master bath!


These round and oval ottomans are pretty fab and are a great way to add extra seating to your living room. Usually placed right in front of a coffee table, these ottomans provide a place for guests to perch and enjoy their cocktails!

Jamie knew what he was doing when he added this huge round hot pink ottoman-

{Jamie Drake}

And here he did it again!

{Jamie Drake}


Ottomans in the bedroom are perfect for breakfast in bed! (or more realistically, a good spot to sit and put on your shoes!)

{House Beautiful}

{Tobi Fairley}


Ottomans in an outdoor living area add seating without blocking the beautiful view OR they could serve as footstools for days when you just want to lounge!

{Architectural Digest}

{Windsor Smith}


How amazing is the Rousseau storage ottoman from Lilly Pulitzer?? 16 storage pockets inside for shoes!! This is seriously every girl’s dream…


Well actually, maybe THIS is every girl’s dream. Great use of it, wouldn’t you agree?!

And another…just so I can live vicariously through these women with their big closets!

So I guess the question is- is there anything you can’t do with an ottoman?!!

Last weekend was the bi-annual Roundtop Antiques Fair, in Roundtop, Texas.  You might remember my trip out to Roundtop last September, which I blogged about here.

Anyone who has been to Texas in September, knows how unbearably hot it can be, so after my last trip down there in the Fall, I promised myself that I would go back for better weather (85 to 90 degrees) the next March.

Well, the weather cooled off and March 2011  rolled around.  I couldn’t wait for my adventure to Roundtop to begin!  I had my room measurements and fabric swatches ready to go; however, there was just one small detail that had to be ironed out before the show- I had to bribe my sister into going with me!  Now let me just tell you about my sister, Catherine. She has always had an amazing eye for fashion, but has never really been much into interior design (which is the complete opposite of me).  I could care less about saving up for the “it” bag or switching out my winter wardrobe for new Spring clothes.  I instead, look forward to the new “it” fabric and switching out my pillows for Spring.

I never thought in a million years that Cath would come to Roundtop with me, so was extremely surprised when she said “I will come with you, if you promise a beer, a bathroom, and some unhealthy food”.   Substitute bathroom for “porta-potty” and she had herself a deal!

{No trip to Roundtop is complete without a visit to Royers! Above, picture of Bud Royer}

When we got to Roundtop, I told her my list of things that I was trying to score on this trip.  Here is how the conversation went-

E- “I am looking for an animal head for my wall”

C- “A what?”

E- “An animal head!  Don’t be silly, I don’t want one with a face!  Just one that’s cast in resin.”

C- “Who would want that?”

E-  <Sigh> “People like me.  I also want a bust.”

C- “Excuse me?”

E- “You know, a bust.  But only a woman bust, not a man bust, or Ben might get creeped out.”

C- (shakes her head in confusion)

So thus began our trip to Roundtop!

It dawned on me that the things I constantly see in magazines, on blogs, and in showrooms (things that most of us bloggers/designers are already tired of), were all new concepts to a design newbie like Cath.  I decided to make it my mission to get Cath out of her retail, mass produced, interior design bubble and show her the things that (whether you hate ’em or love ’em) people are putting in their houses….

#1- Ginormous Foo Dog– Ok, I can’t say that this would be the first thing I’d choose to put on my doorstep to greet visitors, but it was fun to see the look on her face when she saw this enormous red Chinese guardian lion.

#2- Elegant Bust (pearls included?)- Cath had to get a pic with her new lady friend….

#3- Oversized Crown- Cath admired a crown accessory fit for the Jolly Queen Giant (he he)

#4- Animal Head- I think this was the thing that shocked her the most (and she is still skeptical to this day…)   I promised her that she will think it’s normal once it reaches Pottery Barn next summer.

#5- Cowhide- Cath got “Cowhide 101” and literally had to “pet” the rug

#6- Suzani– Cath enjoyed taking her time checking out this Suzani (I got excited thinking that she and the suzani might have connected, but I think it more had to do with the fact that this was the only booth with A/C)

#7- Clam Shell– If there was a cartoon bubble above her head, Cath would be thinking “You don’t see these mammoth clam shells lying on the beach every day in Cabo…”

#8- Mystery Glass- Here Cath is, weighing in on the mystery glass (literally).  I actually bought one of these for myself to put on my entry chest and am so in love with it.   Granted it’s not Kryptonite like the booth owners originally told us, but it comes in close, as colored glass from a glass plant overseas.

#9- Nude Figure Drawing- Another piece Cath had a hard time understanding.  I think at this point, she’s not liking this blog post game anymore and is begging for me to stop thumbing through original art sketches brought over by an adorable French couple at this booth here.

Now she’s thinking…”We’re finally done!  Take me somewhere in Roundtop that I really want to see.”  So off we went to the worlds’ smallest Catholic church!

{Thanks for coming with me Cath and for being a great shopping buddy! I’m putting you down for next year’s tour.. :)}

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!

Ohhhh January market…what could be better than you?  The thought of strolling through eleven floors of showrooms (that normally aren’t open on the weekend), seeing the latest and greatest in design, while munching on food so good, you’d think you were at the Texas State Fair, gives me goosebumps (in a good way).

While at market, you really do lose all sense of time and reality.  Those three hours that you originally had to spare, have suddenly vanished, and you can’t remember the last real meal that you had, before your body was taken over by delectable ice cream bars, greasy popcorn, cotton candy and sliced salami.  The overwhelming feeling of excitement upon seeing beautiful new products is almost too much to handle.  But not to worry, you know that a glass of wine from Global Views or a warm cookie from Two’s Company will numb the pain of not being able to take home every fabulous piece that you lay eyes on.  Each new showroom that you stumble upon brings the promise of finding another “wow” piece for a project and ends up catapulting a plethora of exciting ideas.  (am I giving you goosebumps yet?)

Showrooms start preparing for the Dallas market months in advance….and who can blame them?  It takes a lot of time and effort to get ready for a seven day visit by thousands of buyers and exhibitors from all over the country!

So needless to say, what started as a normal Saturday for me last weekend, where I was “just going to run up to the trade center to select a finish for a client”, soon turned into a shopping extravaganza with my mom, as market was just too tempting to pass up!

Here are some of our favorite stops along the way-


Currey and Company is one of the most sought after lighting companies by designers. I tend to use them A LOT in my projects (as their lead time, product design, and customer service seriously can’t be beat!) There is honestly something for everyone at Currey (whether you lean more traditional or contemporary) and I do have to say that the showroom manager there is awesome (hi Lori!)

I purchased this chandelier for a client having never seen it before in person (only through their website), and just like we had hoped, it’s even more unbelievable in person!


Right next door to Currey is Taylors on Ten, the showroom that sells the infamous Visual Comfort lighting line (among other great lines such as Phillips Collection, Soicher Marin, Emissary and Bliss Studio).  One of the newest additions to the Taylors showroom is the Ralph Lauren lighting line, which debuted there at market.


I have a serious addiction to Global Views.  As we walked through all of their amazing vignettes, I proceeded to tell my mom which pieces I’ve used..and how…and where in my projects.  Gotta love mom for still appearing interested after ten minutes of this mind-numbing history of my projects.  As I told her how many pieces I’ve used of theirs in the past year, it dawned on me that I, Emily Johnston, am obsessed with Global Views.

Global Views always has the best presentation at market.  Whoever comes in and does their visual merchandising, has got it down to a science!


I love this showroom, and not just because of their warm cookies!  Two’s Company has some of the better (and more affordable) accessories out there.  They are really on top of their game here with the latest trends and providing designers with stylish furniture and accessories that will really make a statement.

I really want this oversized wall bracket (on the right!) Now to figure out where to put it…


In Detail has everything from Arteriors, to Lazy Susan, to Best Slipcover Co, to Go Home, Ltd. I always have good luck here!

Arteriors’ latest designer to come on board is Dallas’ own, Lisa Luby Ryan.  I hadn’t seen her Arteriors pieces in person before Saturday, and I must say that they are very impressive!

And congrats to Arteriors for their mention (and visit) from the Kardashian sisters on the premier of Kourtney and Kim Take New York.  (I hope I wasn’t the  only one watching that show Sunday night!) Click HERE to see what they used from Arteriors in their DASH New York store.


I really want a pair of these mercury glass lamps for my bedroom. Enough said!


It’s always exciting to see what new linens and colourways the folks over at Bella Notte are coming up with.  I am in LOVE with this gray-purple and icy blue bedding that they had on display.  If this entire set could somehow transport itself into my bedroom, that would be great!

On Saturday, everyone was rushing around getting ready for the big ARTS Awards gala, that was that night.  I went to it last year and it’s amazing how they transform the trade mart into this spectacular event.

Of course, we can’t forget to show you the list of the night’s big winners…click here for the deets!  A big congrats to some of our favorites who took home an award this year- The Phillips Collection (Manufacturers category), Arteriors Home (Portable Lamps category), and 18 Karat (Decorative Accessories category).

Of course you’ve seen the black and white- maps, botanicals, and architectural drawings pop up everywhere in rooms these days.  You can’t hardly open up a magazine without seeing a series of them somewhere within its pages.

But how about the black and white nudes?  I keep seeing these sketchy pieces of art everywhere lately and although I usually shy away from something like this, I actually found myself purchasing a pair for a client, from the Robert Allen showroom the other day.

{John Richards- at Robert Allen}

What I loved about these is that they weren’t incredibly detailed and didn’t get too up close and personal with any body parts :).  They were  just very simple and sophisticated.  They were exactly the kind of series that I had envisioned to set on top of this busy “nude” geometric wallpaper by Osborne and Little in a small dining area.

And as luck would have it, the figure sketches ended up working out perfectly for the room!  The repetition of the wallpaper’s neutrals within the art and bit of black to act as a punctuation mark, made a nice graphic statement on the wall, without screaming for attention. I always say, every room needs a touch of black!

Now that I’m no longer looking for these figure sketches, I keep coming across them everywhere!  Are these the new “botanicals”?

Ashley Goforth used one on her client’s gallery wall.

{Via Decorpad}

Z Gallerie- Spa Day 3

William Sonoma Home- “Anna In Repose”

Horchow- “Nude” Paintings

Soicher Marin- Nude Sepia Drawings after Fragonard

1st Dibs- Etherial Figure Drawing

Paragon- Nudes

What are your thoughts on the nude figure drawings?  Love ’em for interiors or leave ’em for anatomy class?

Get on the Horn!

Posted By Emily-Dallas | Aug 25, 2010 | 7 Comments | Category: Decor Accessories, Decorating, Trends

Kips Bay Decorator Showhouse- room decorated by Bunny Williams- via SF Luxe

The photo above of the Bunny Williams room featuring horns as fireplace accessories only further peaked my interest in these exotic pieces of decor.  There’s just something about their curvy, dramatic shape and sleek form that I’m really drawn to.

Horns flanking a mirror on a fireplace is my favorite application but they also look great in many other forms- chairs, tables, mirrors, and even serving trays!

I went to accessorize a client’s house the other day and was dead set on bringing her a horn accessory for her coffee table, and what do you know, she beat me to  it, and already had a horn of her own!

Decorpad- Miles Redd


Arteriors Bernard Authentic Horns

Barbara Cosgrove Horn Lamp

Z Gallerie- Franklin Magnifier

FCL Style- Horn Side Table

West Elm- Horn Wall Mirror

Shop Ten 25- White Horn Sculpture

Ballard Designs- Horn Oval Bowl

Jayson Home and Garden- Francisco Stool

Horn Mounted on Lucite Base- 1stDibs

Mecox Gardens- Landis Black Leather Armchair

The Well Appointed House- Blue Ceramic Tray with Horn Handles

Inside Avenue- Gray and White Horn Bone Box

What about you? Have you gotten on the horn bandwagon or do you think it’s an overused trend?

With every new year, comes a re-cap of the last.  For the past two years, I’ve carried on the tradition of doing a post right before the new year, entitled “Flashback (insert year here) Trends”.

Last year, my post, Flashback 2008 Trends highlighted the year’s fashion crazes and how they ultimately influenced the world of interiors.  The year before?  Same concept- how fashion paralleled with interiors in 2007.

2009- what a year!  Here’s a look back on the year’s most popular prints, colors, and materials in fashion and some examples we found of how they can be used in the home.  (thanks to all the celebs who participated!)

1) Hot pink





{House Beautiful}


{Traditional Home}

2) Leather




{Metropolitan Home}

3) Neon


domino neon green

{Domino- via Coco Kelley}

office jonathan adler

{Jonathon Adler- via La Dolce Vita}

4) Pastel







5) Fringe

Carmen Electra and her boyfriend spent two hours in Barneys New




6) Futuristic


MH Miami 04

{Metropolitan Home}

MH Miami 05

{Metropolitan Home}

7) Sequins





{Nate Berkus for HSN}

8- Boho Chic



{Domino- via Coco Kelley}

9) Plaid



domino tartan (1)


house beautiful 2

{House Beautiful}

10) Neutrals

panettiere hayden 2009 nov whales1



{Veranda Magazine}


{House Beautiful}

Color Predictions- F&B

Posted By Emily-Dallas | Oct 17, 2009 | 3 Comments | Category: Color, Paint, Trends

Farrow, Farrow, Farrow and Ball– which are the trendy colors for fall?

Glitz and Glamour-









Urban Decay-



When flipping through current design magazines, it’s easy to recognize those pieces that are the hot items of the moment.  Why is that? Because they are everywhere!

They are those accessories or furniture pieces that have become a trend, a fad, a craze, en vogue, the look, the thing, all the rage, in style- the object of the moment!

But when does it become so over-used that it isn’t exciting anymore?  When is it old news?

We want to know…what pieces do you think have been over-exposed lately as a trend and which pieces do you render more timeless?

Zebra Rugs-






Garden stools





Black/yellow/ gray combo






Flokati Rugs and Shag Rugs




Coral/ Shells




Suzani/Suzani Inspired




Colored Chandeliers




Flocked Wallpaper




Bamboo- i.e.: flooring, shades, furniture,  accessories, wallpaper



Sunburst Mirrors




The X bench




Greek key













Blue and Brown




So we ask…what are you over and what are you still loving?

Walk a Mile in His Shoes!

Posted By Emily-Dallas | Jun 16, 2009 | 2 Comments | Category: Designers, Magazines, Trends

I wish! If only I could be so lucky!

I’m not shy about my love for Miles Redd’s work.   A lot of times when I stumble upon a beautiful photo- I look for who the designer was- and oh, what a surprise? It’s Miles Redd again! Remember when I went on and on about the outdoor living area he designed? Even to this day, I’m still obsessing over it!

The latest photo of his that I was ooh-ing and ahh-ing over was in the July House Beautiful.


What is not to love about this room? Moody blue lacquered walls, inky velvet covered slipper chairs, leopard print fabric, and an abundance of jewel tones! Oh how I want this room…Miles, call me if you want to take on another design project (a.k.a.- my house)

Taking a look back on some photos from Miles’ portfolio, one can’t help but swoon!










Here’s an interview that All the Best did with the inspiring and personality-filled Miles Redd.  Enjoy!