Thanks, HGTV Magazine!

Hey, I’m in HGTV Magazine!


hgtv mag 2

I’ve long admired the “Wow!  What Color is That?” feature in HGTV magazine, and it’s such a kick to be a part of it in this month’s issue.

hgtv magazine cover may 2014_1

HGTV Magazine, May 2014


The table in question lives in our foyer.  I rescued it from a clearance corner at Home Goods and brought it to life with a few coats of the most fabulous orange, Charlotte’s Locks from Farrow & Ball.  Boy, does it pop!

RTH Entry Close up2


I’m glad HGTV liked it too!


 hgtv mag charlie

Get your copy now!





For help creating a home that you love contact me about design services.

Layer, People, Layer!


Hi, readers!  Long time no talk, my friends!

I’ve been thinking a lot about layered rugs these days.

Like this!

cowhide example


I’m basically telling nearly every client these days to layer, and I often show them the picture above to try to illustrate how it might look.

But why??   Well, layering instantly takes your room up a notch.  AND it makes a room feel more dressed up and more cozy, all at once.

Here’s my attempt in my own living room.  You can see a faux zebra leg sticking out.

return to home Via

Cowhide (or a faux zebra) layered over sea grass is my favorite look these days.

This is a great example:

bleecker chairs



Very beachy girly!  I LOVE it!





bleecker chairs 2



 Nice, neutral living room.   Wouldn’t you just feel like a total adult if you owned this living room?

neutral living room




This is Lauren Liess‘ old master bedroom.  Fresh and light and au naturel. 

lauren liess bedroom


I’ve had some people feel squirmy about cowhide / faux zebra rugs though, and I totally get that.

A nice shag rug (sometimes also known as a Flokati) can be a great alternative.

Like this:

shag with gray cofaVia

Or this:

patterened grey rug Via

And hello!  This is a fine example of a patterned flatweave rug with a shag layered over it.  Not everything has to be sea grass.


You may already know that I’m officially nutso over Beni Ourain Moroccan rugs.

Awesome example below:

0f90560a176552c394145129f89fd62a Via


There’s also the whole Morrocan rug, patchwork Boho thing going on right now:  

cup of joVia

But I think my personal style might be a little more buttoned up:

traditional living room Via



For help creating a home that you love contact me about design services.

4 Ways to a Cheaper Throw Pillow

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, throw pillows are an amazing way to transform a space with minimal effort or fuss.

BUT, as you probably know, high-quality throw pillows using designer fabric can easily run $300 each.   So, how do we reap the benefits of throw pillows without putting ourselves in the poor house?

Here are a few quick ideas:

1) Go with embroidery.

As you’re trolling the aisles at Pier 1 or surfing or Amazon (just a few awesome places to find pillows), keep an eye out for pillows that boast some great embroidery.

The texture and the “interest” makes the pillow look more expensive and the materials richer.



morrocan 22 inch embroidered

Via Overstock

Look closely at this blue & white Pier 1 pillow, BTW, and you’ll see some fabulous embroidery.  If only I had just one more room in my house …!

blue suzani

 Via Pier 1


2) Go with a polyester fill.

Look for pillows that have polyester inserts –  they don’t necessarily look as fluffy or “designer” as a feather down-filled pillow, but they do the job and they are MUCH cheaper.

When I’m looking for pillow inserts for my clients, by the way, I often suggest a polyester-down blend, like this reasonably priced one on Crate & Barrel (one of my go-to places for pillow inserts!).   They are fluffy and beautiful but not 100% feather down so they are cheaper!


3) Go one high, go one low.

Oh I feel so deliciously sneaky when I use this one.  Say you REALLY love a designer fabric like one of my favorites, Schumacher’s Chiang Mai Dragon:

chiang mai


And say you need to pair it with another patterned pillow on your sofa.  I suggest going CHEAP for the “secondary” pattern, like this gray chevron for under $20:


gray chevron

Via Etsy


Hide the cheaper one behind the expensive one, and no one will ever know, like this:

chiang mai 2


4)  Go Etsy  

Oh shoot, you already knew about amazing throw pillows on Etsy?  Okay okay, who doesn’t at this point?!  BUT!  You may not know some of my sneaky Etsy tricks!

Etsy Trick #1) Sort by price

Let’s say you love Schumacher’s Hot House Flowers and you’re ready to get some pillows made for your sofa.

hot house

Via Pop O Color

Simply key word search “Hot House Flowers pillow” on Etsy and then SORT by PRICE.  I know, this seems really straight forward! But I wasn’t doing that for the longest time – I was simply sorting by “relevancy”.

Once I started sorting by price, I learned that the Etsy market isn’t necessarily efficient.  This means, one lady in New Hampshire is selling the exact same pillow for $20 cheaper than another lady in say North Carolina.  The exact same pillow!

Etsy Trick #2) Just have one side made of designer fabric

Many vendors on Etsy do this anyway, but it cuts the price in half (duh!) when you have the fabulous  fabric on one side, and a nice, cheaper ivory  linen on the other side.



self weltingVia Etsy

 Etsy Trick #3) Opt for a Knife-Edged Pillow

A Knife-Edged pillow is the one of the most basic pillows you can buy – no trim and no fuss:

trina turk non self welting


 They are also much cheaper than a self-welt pillow which is this one:


trina turk self welting Via

See the trim around the edge?  That’s the self-welt.  It really does make a pillow look so refined and fabulous.  But if budget is the name of the game, you really don’t need a self-welt to reap the benefits of a designer fabric.


So there you have it!  Any additional tips  you’d like to share?  For more inspiration and “Pillow Love”, see my (Pillow) Talk is Cheap Pin Board here.  




For help creating a home that you love contact me about design services.

Quadrille: If I Had to Choose Just One…

If I had to use just one fabric house for the rest of my decorating days, it would hands-down be Quadrille Fabrics.  My friend Rachel took me to their showroom and I finally found in one place all the styles I could ever possibly love – from super beachy preppy to very traditional chinoiserie to boho chic.

Turns out, I had already been drooling over their stuff for years and you probably have too!  Here are some of my favorites.  Recognize any?





I spotted the Montecito pattern on the cover of this month’s HGTV magazine:




Found here; featured in HGTV magazine

I’m such a sucker for “Palm Beach-inspired Prep”, and Quadrille nails it!

 Lyford Background




Found here; Room by Kristy Lee



Paradise Background

paradise background green

Paradise Background headboard Meg Braff

Room designed by Meg Braff


 Found here.

 They’ve got a gorgeous array of ikat prints.  

Bali II




Found here; featured in House Beautiful





 Found here; featured in Coastal Living

Bali Isle and Candu


bali isle and candu

Via;  Architectural Digest, July 2011


 Quadrille also does a nice job with batik-feeling prints.  They could fit in virtually any room. 







Found here; featured in House Beautiful

Sahara, Ferns Uni and Edo



Ferns Uni






Via; featured in Traditional Home


Java Java




Found here; featured in Traditional Home


Love their patterns with a more youthful, modern zing.


Zig Zag


Zig Zag Green wallpaper Elle Decor

Found here; featured in Elle Decor



wavelength sample





Cap Ferrat

cap ferrat

elizabeth bauer

Via Elizabeth Bauer Design


Don’t even get me started on their traditional patterns.  Chinoiserie, you had me at Hello!

Paradise Garden

paradise garden pink


Found Here; featured here in Architectural Digest.





Found here; featured in Elle Decor

For help creating a home that you love contact me about design services.