Monday, September 28, 2015


The Home Depot Style Challenge series features some of the top designers, DIYers and bloggers in the industry. So when I was selected to participate in the challenge this fall, I was thrilled and knew I had to come up with a pretty amazing "Before and After."

When it comes to DIYs, I'm a big fan of using IKEA furnishings. The simple clean lines of much of IKEA's furnishings makes customizing their pieces a breeze. You can really create your own unique look using their basic pieces as a foundation. I definitely wanted to incorporate a DIY project that would really transform the look of the space. So I decided to use the IKEA bookcases we've had for years as the starting point of our dining room's fabulous new look.

We've had the bookcases in our dining room for years. To be honest, I wasn't using them as bookcases at all. I'd been using the them to display vintage finds and some of my favorite decorative pieces. My husband would often jokingly ask if we were ever going to use the bookcases for actual books.

Here's what the bookcases looked like before we got started.


 And this is what it looked like when we were all done. The bookcases received a complete overhaul!


Here's a rundown of what I did to transform the bookcases. I started with a quick trip to the Home Depot accompanied by my assistant for the day (aka my youngest son Samori).  We picked up molding, trim and paint for the project.

Getting the look for less often calls for being resourceful. 

I had to enlist my husband's help for some parts of this project.  At nearly 80 inches tall, the bookcases tower over me. Working on them was definitely a 2 person job. We attached the bookcases to one another using a 2 x 4 piece of lumber and L-brackets.


We added another 2x4 across the top of the newly joined bookcases and then attached a 10 inch wide piece of plywood to the 2x4 to add some height to the piece.

Using an 18 gage brad nailer, I attached a piece of crown molding to the plywood on the top of the bookcases as well as to the base of the bookcases..

As you can see, due to way the bookcase is made, after the plywood was attached there was a small gap left between the bookcase and the plywood. No worries. I used a piece of lattice trim (which you can find on the molding aisle in Home Depot) to cover the gap.

I used painters caulk to fill any remaining gaps and also filled the unused shelf holes on the sides of the bookcases with caulk to ensure a custom look.  

The final step of the project was to give the whole piece a fresh coat of paint. Here's what the lattice trim, plywood, and molding looked like once the piece was all painted. Pretty good right?

For the final step,  I loaded up the bookcases with actual books and had fun styling the shelves with a few decorative and fall inspired pieces.

Simple molding and trim added architectural detail and a customized look to these basic IKEA bookcases. The new look is seamless and I love it!

My favorite part of the dining room's finished look is, without a doubt, the revamped bookcases. The crisp white molding and bright bold pop of color inside the bookcases are the perfect mix of traditional meets contemporary.

Like what you see? Looking for ideas on how to revamp your own space?  Follow me on Pinterest and Instagram for design inspiration and home decor tips.

Monday, September 14, 2015


I'm so excited to share that my Home Depot Style Challenge is LIVE! Head over to the Home Depot Apron Blog to check it out now!

The Challenge

We are a family that loves color and every space in our home reflects that, including our dining room. Our dining room is multi-functional and serves as a central hub for many of our family’s daily activities. In this space, we eat meals, entertain guests, and even play board games. The kids do their homework around the dining room table and my husband catches up on his reading there too.

When the Home Depot asked me to come up with a new seasonal look for our dining room, I was thrilled to accept the challenge! 

Switching Things Up

Because this is such a hard-working area of our home, it’s nice to occasionally switch up the décor to keep things fresh and exciting. This season our dining room boasts bold fall décor with creative use of color, a mix of patterns and simple DIY projects you can try at home.

My Vision

My vision for the Style Challenge was to create a space with a fresh new take on seasonal décor.

I wanted to welcome fall with an exciting new look for the dining room, while making sure the room remained functional and truly reflected how we live. 

I’m happy to say that our dining room’s look this fall is anything but traditional. You don’t have to take my word for it, have a look and see how I created our dining room’s new sophisticated seasonal look. Here's a quick sneak peek photo of the room.

What do you think??

Head over to the Home Depot to read the full story, complete with details on DIYs you can pull off at home plus see lots more photos of the space. If you like what you see, leave a comment when you're done viewing the photos and story. Can't wait to hear from you!

Many thanks to the Home Depot for inviting me to participate in this year's challenge. It was a blast!

Wednesday, September 9, 2015


For many, fall marks the beginning of the holiday season, a time for hosting dinner parties, family gatherings and entertaining friends.

When hosting guests, I've found that it's often the attention given to the smallest details that adds unique style and makes for the perfect dinner party or special event.  Using fresh flowers, a handwritten place card with the name of your guest at each place setting, or filling your home with the scent of your favorite candle are all simple and thoughtful touches to welcome your guests to your home.

After you've invited the guests and planned out the menu, it's time to start thinking about the atmosphere you want to create for your guests. 

Although the importance of setting the table is often overlooked, as an interior designer, it's just as important to me to create a feast for the eyes (with your table setting) as it is to create a literal feast or delicious meal for guests.

When putting together a tablescape, I like to start with the smaller details like the flatware.   There are so many flatware finish options available on the market now.  For a more formal setting I like using flatware with a polished finish.  However, if your style tends to lean more toward a contemporary flair, you may want to try using flatware with a matte finish. I love using flatware that has an interesting finish or details.  

Choosing the right flatware can help you to create a look for your event that's distinct to your style.  

Here's a look at my top 6 flatware picks perfect fall entertaining.  

12 , 34 , 5 , 6

How unique is the stainless steel silverware in that chic black finish?!  That set is bound to impress and catch the eye of your most stylish dinner guests. So contemporary and chic, right?

Which one is your favorite?  Leave a comment and let me know.  Be sure to check back here on the blog soon for a look at the fall tablescape I came up with for the Home Depot Harvest Style Challenge.  I created a bold fall look for my dining room that's perfect for entertaining guests.  I can't wait to show you how it turned out! 

Thursday, September 3, 2015


Of all of the rooms I've designed and shared, aside from the infamous master bedroom turned dream closet/home office, the glam bedroom below, receives the most email inquiries.  I'm often asked questions about the room's wall color, the quilt, the lampshades and of course, those pillows.

Many are surprised to learn that their favorite pillows in the space (the black and white ones) did not start out as pillows at all.  

They are actually cloth napkins I made into easy no-sew pillows. Here's how they looked before I worked my no-sew magic.

I don't think DIYs get any easier than this one.

To make each pillow, I used fusible bonding tape, a pillow form and 2 cloth napkins. Since the edges of the napkins come already finished, turning the napkins into pillows was a breeze. I attached the 2 cloth napkins together on 3 sides using an iron and the heat activated bonding tape.  I made sure to leave one side open to insert the pillow form.  Once the pillow form was inside, I used more bonding tape to close up the 4th side of the pillow.  See, no fuss at all.   This is definitely a project you can tackle at home.

Although I turned my napkins into pillows, there are lots of other unique ways you can use napkins to decorate your space.

Here are 2 more ways to decorate and refresh your decor with cloth napkins: 

Use A Cloth Napkin as Wall Art 
This one is super simple. Find a print you love, frame it,  and then hang it. You can even hang a series of napkins for a gallery wall art installation effect.

Table Runner
Attach a series of napkins to one another to form a table runner.

I'm always on the look out for fun patterns to use in my designs and recently came across a great selection of cloth napkins that would like amazing as accent pillows or framed art.  Which one is your favorite?

Decorating with cloth napkins is such an easy and creative way to add color to your space.  

Like what you see? Want to try your hand at decorating your space with cloth napkins? Here are links to the napkins shown above.

1, 234, 56

Follow me on Instagram and Twitter for more decor ideas and tips for your home. Need help creating a space that suites your style and needs? Contact me here.   I'd love to hear from you!