The Lotus

Posted By Emily-Dallas | Jan 28, 2014 | No Comments | Category: Material Girls Projects, Walls

Last September while in London, I was lucky enough to visit Farrow & Ball …the creme de la creme of wallpapers and paint! It was a rainy afternoon (and my birthday of all days!) and my husband wanted to take a cat nap before we went to my celebratory dinner, so instead of resting up too, I hopped in a cab on my own little adventure and booked it to the F&B store in Chelsea ten minutes before it closed. I was determined to catch a larger glimpse of their Lotus wallpaper (and a few samples)- a wallpaper I had been coveting for years.


I first heard about the Lotus paper when my mom saw it at Boxwoods in Houston and was dying over how gorgeous it was…we then posted a photo of it on the blog. This was almost four YEARS ago! I’m often sick of a wallpaper after four SECONDS so to still be coveting that precious Lotus paper four years later? Unheard of! (But I guess that means it was true love!)



So what I love most about the Lotus in particular are two things- 1) that you can hang it right side up (how it’s traditionally supposed to be oriented) or upside down..the image above shows it “upside down” if you can believe it! 2) that it comes in two sizes- small and large. I’m partial to the large  because I always “go big or go home” in design and the large was definitely more my style. The small is great but has a more traditional feel to it.

You may be thinking- “where have I heard that name- Farrow and Ball?” Well, Farrow and Ball is no newcomer! It was started in the 1930’s by John Farrow and Richard Maurice Ball and the company has 43 showrooms across the UK, US, Canada & Europe as well as a global network of stockists carrying both paint and wallpaper. They are everywhere! In Dallas, you can now get it through the trade at the Lee Jofa showroom.

Here are some of my favorite images of the Lotus installed in different spaces- (as you can see, it can go more formal in a dining room or more casual in a laundry room! It can also go more subtle with the tone on tone colorway or more dramatic and graphic with the black and neutral one)




Screen Shot 2013-03-05 at 3.41.04 PM









F&B even has the Lotus on the front of their building!




I’m happy to say that I finally bit the bullet and did the dark teal colorway of the Lotus in my small entry-



The Lotus makes the space seem SO much larger!  I love how the shapes of the lotus practically “grow up” to the ceiling! I haven’t been able to bring myself to put any wall decor over it, I just love it so much.  Wallpaper is an investment but you get so much bang for your buck with it and it can make such a statement.



At first I was worried it might be too colorful, but the teal actually is so grayed out that it almost acts as a neutral and I love how it complements the orange-red color of the bricks on the exterior of my house.



We’ve always been charmed by the beautiful, hand-painted Chinoiserie, Japanese, and Korean wallpaper created by de Gournay but, as impressive as these designs are, don’t think of this NYC company as a one trick pony.

In addition to admiring their knobbly slub silk, hand woven silk damask, Indian tea paper, and striking metallic wallpapers, we’ve recently been intrigued by de Gournay’s extensive fabric collection.

The talent behind these romantic designs can paint any of their looks onto fabrics of different qualities and weights. Upholstery, bedspreads, curtains, blinds- whatever your need- the designers at de Gournay will help you complete your room in the best possible taste. Even porcelain can be used as a canvas to create the harmonious interior of your dreams!

Take a look at just a sample of their hand-painted work!

For those of you in NYC, look out for the re-opening of their showroom on 59th and 2nd avenue in the design district before the summer months!

Show Off

Posted By Emily-Dallas | May 19, 2011 | 4 Comments | Category: Contests, Designers, Shops and Showrooms, Walls

I’m a big fan of Schumacher’s “Show Off Your Schumacher” contests that they’ve been hosting as of late.  How it works is Schumacher sends out an email to interior designers across the country announcing the contest.  Designers have a few weeks to submit projects where they’ve incorporated Schumacher product, and winners are then recognized (there’s a Top Winner as well as Honorable Mentions).  A few months ago they hosted the fabric contest- spotlighting amazing rooms done by designers that incorporated the Schumacher brand.  A few days ago they announced the winners of the wallpaper edition and I must say that I was super impressed by their designs. I’ve always been nuts for their wallpaper in general and seeing some of my favorite patterns used in different applications, left me speechless!

A big round of applause for these very talented designers who put the Schumacher product to amazing use!

TOP WINNER- Bronwyn Poole- Touch Interiors- Mosman, Australia

HONORABLE MENTION- Renee LeJeune Hallberg- RLH Studio- Minneapolis, Minnesota

HONORABLE MENTION- Kippie Leland- Leland Interiors, Inc- Nashville, Tennessee

HONORABLE MENTION- Christopher Kennedy- Kennedy Interiors- Palm Springs, California

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!

F&B Online!

Posted By Emily-Dallas | Mar 12, 2011 | 6 Comments | Category: Shops and Showrooms, Walls

Farrow and Ball just announced that their wallpapers can now be purchased online!  My favorite pattern has always been their Lotus paper (ever since my mom sent me an image of it used at Boxwood Interiors in Houston).

I would take this paper in any colorway! Isn’t it fun?

In Texas, you come across a lot of houses with massive stone fireplaces or stone walls (particularly in newer homes…ones that were designed by home builders).

Some Texas sized fireplaces and walls for your perusal…(before photos)

As they say, everything is bigger in Texas….seriously!

I can’t say that I’m particularly fond of them as I think they make it a little more difficult to decorate around.  I much prefer a smaller, crisp, white fireplace with a stone surround like this one below, as I love to decorate with whites and grays- (but that’s a different story)

When I get a project with a massive stone fireplace, it does present a little bit more of a challenge (but EJ Interiors loves a good challenge) so we tell the client in most cases that you don’t have to call in the bulldozer and that we should look at fabrics that complement the stone and try to work with it first.

I met with a client today who has a big stone fireplace and so I proposed a Thom Filicia fabric from Kravet (for sofa pillows) as a starting point to bring out the neutral tones (browns, beiges and grays) in her fireplace and she loved the idea!

Fireplace +

Existing Granite and Cabinets (that have to stay) +

Pillow Fabric=

It was like it was meant to be.  Add in some other pops of color through artwork and accessories, and we have our room plan!  I think the key with stone fireplaces is to not go crazy with pattern in your upholstery fabrics because the stone in itself is already very busy.

As you can see from the photos below, these designers and home owners did the exact same thing.  They selected textiles and furnishings that enhanced the stone, rather than ignored it.  The stone no longer stands out like a sore thumb, and instead, it blends in and flows with the rest of the space.

{Basement by Candice Olson}

{House Beautiful}

{Elle Decor}

{anyone know the source on this one?}

{House Beautiful}



{Coastal Living magazine}

{Veranda Magazine}

The funny thing is, that after the project is over and the decorating around the stone fireplace is done, clients usually tell me that they don’t hate their big stone fireplace anymore.  I guess that means my work is done!

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?

I’ve never been a big fan of the painted accent wall and oddly enough, that’s usually the number one question that I get asked at an initial consultation…”What are your thoughts on doing an accent wall in here”?

In most instances, I choose to stay away from the painted accent wall.  It reminds me of a bad home decorating show where they paint a random wall a god-awful color, just so they can say they did something “creative”.  Another reason I have nightmares about accent walls is that I myself painted an accent wall in every apartment I lived in, in college- yikes!

In my personal opinion, I would ONLY recommend doing a painted accent wall if it makes sense in your room and if you have a focal point that is screaming to be highlighted (like a fireplace wall, the backs of bookcases, a ceiling, wall nook, etc).  Make sure you stay far far away from doing an accent wall on a random side wall!  There is nothing worse than an accent wall that makes absolutely no sense!

However, painted walls aren’t the only accent walls out there.  I actually LOVE a fabulous wallpapered accent wall.  The key to one of these is to have the side walls’ paint color relate in some way to the wallpaper and always choose the wall that is more of a focal point in the room.

{Elle Decor}

Not to mention, you can use that more expensive wallpaper that you’ve always coveted since you only need one wall’s worth of paper!

{Nicky Hilton’s LA home- via Alkemie}

{via Little Green Notebook}

{via Design Strategies}

{Domino Mag}

{Megan’s dining room of Beach Bungalow 8}

{via Apartment Therapy}



We did a wallpaper accent wall in the guest room of one of my client’s houses and it did wonders for that small, bland room!

Also, keep in mind that when using a wallpaper with a metallic color in it (like the one below), it’s a bit more difficult to select paint (for the corresponding side walls) for it than it would be off a normal matte wallpaper (since metallics have a sheen and are always changing on us!).  Patience is key here with these glam papers!

{EJ Interiors}

I’m getting ready to do another single wallpapered wall for a client’s dining room and I can’t wait to see the impact the pattern has on the space!

I ordered a mirror from Made Goods for a client of mine and we have been anxiously awaiting its arrival ever since.  It came in last week and let me just tell you, it’s PHENOMENAL in person!

The Isabella (above) is so intricate and the level of detail really exceeded our expectations.  I knew it would be beautiful, but I was seriously wowed when I saw it up close and personal.  (excuse the iPhone photo- the mirror and wallpaper is not pink in person, I promise!)

Made Goods just launched a  new collection of more than sixty products and mirrors that will blow your mind!  If only I could see them all in person…





Zippity Zig Zag

Posted By Emily-Dallas | May 10, 2010 | 9 Comments | Category: Decorating, Fabric, Floors, Walls

{House Beautiful}

Oh how I love a good zigzag!  As of late, I’ve been completely smitten with this distinctive and confident pattern.  There is nothing subtle about it!    Watch how this pattern takes center stage and transforms rooms through pillows, rugs, wallpaper, and furniture, giving each its own distinct personality.

{Jonathan Adler}

{Jamie Drake}

{Rietveld Zig Zag chair}

{Sally Wheat}

(Design tip: a lot goes a long way with this print, so use in moderation!)

{Quadrille fabric}

{Mary McDonald}


{Zigzag Console}

{Jonathan Adler}



{Miles Redd}

{Bargello Zig Zag pillow}



Who knew a pattern this straightforward could be so much fun?  Of course, I’d design a room with it, but my question to you is- do you love it enough to wear it too?