Thursday, October 29, 2015


Adding just a few sentimental pieces when styling and decorating your shelves is a great way to infuse your personality in your living space.  

Creative bookshelf styling is all about adding visual interest.  Using different shaped accessories, textures, and of course, books, placed both vertically and horizontally on each shelf, creates movement for your eye to follow.  Think of it as creating little "moments" or what designers call a "vignette", on each shelf.

via BHG

A perfectly styled shelf tells a story.  The books' titles, framed art, and even the accessories chosen all provide subtle hints about your personality.    

 Here are 7 tips I Put Together to Help Style Your Own Bookcase like a Pro: 

1. Layer Objects

For the shelves in Zaria's nursery, I used layers and color to create a fun and cohesive look.  

When selecting items to use on the shelves in the nursery, I looked for interesting shaped items to display. I loved the unique shape, height and size of the decorative acorn and thought it was an interesting touch to add. 

Although I had already decided on a color palette to compliment the room's decor (fuchsia, navy and white), I knew that if I found something I really liked I could always update the color with a quick coat of spray paint.  I ended up doing just that with the 2 small rattan bowls with lids.  I took them from natural to fuchsia in under 20 minutes with 2 quick coats of spray paint!

For a more personal touch, I painted 2 blank canvases and leaned them against the wall in the negative spaces on the shelves. Then I layered each canvas with the herringbone print blue and white chargers. The fuchsia accents provide a nice contrast against the blue and white pieces. I scored the blue bowls at Target and popped in some greenery for a fresh feel. 

I think my favorite piece is actually the cowrie shell necklace on the display stand.  I like to incorporate items that signify our heritage in the spaces in our home. The necklace is both sculptural and gives a global yet whimsical feel to the vignette. 

2. Incorporate Art 

Lean or hang framed art against the back wall of the bookcase to add visual interest to the shelf.

via Designmom

3. Choose Items that Reflect Your Personality

Small sculptures, souvenirs and other mementos can be displayed among your books to reflect your interests. 

Via Pinterest

4. Pick A Color

Decide on a color palette for your accessories then try repeat the chosen colors throughout the display.

via Pinterest

5. Make it Interesting

Break up the monotony of rows and rows of books.  Vases, decorative boxes, bowls and small sculptural pieces are a great way to add color, shape and even texture to your shelves. They look great as bookends too!

via Pinterest

6. Show It Off 

Display a collection or grouping of favorite items.

via Pinterest

7. Stack It Up

Stack your books both vertically and horizontally for a more eye catching display.  You can also use books to elevate items and give your display more visual height.

via Pinterest

Did you find these tips helpful? Ready to put these styling tips to work?  I'd love to see what you come up with! Share your photos with me here.

Monday, October 19, 2015


Let's be honest.  If I asked you to describe what your dream bedroom would like look, I'm sure very few, if any, would envision a bedroom with walls painted black.  Black walls in the bedroom is definitely a daring and dramatic look not many would attempt to pull off.

While dark interiors are certainly not for the faint of heart, when done right they can be elegant and sophisticated.

If you're feeling up for the challenge and considering taking the plunge, I've come up with 3 tips you'll need to make sure your space reads elegant instead of gothic.

Designer Tip #1: 

The key to pulling of a dark interior is to make sure you add lots of contrasting bright white.

Designer Tip #2: 

Incorporate reflective surfaces like mirrors, gilded or silver frames.

Designer Tip #3: 

Keep window treatments light in color and allow light to filter the room.  Use natural light or artificial light via lamps or chandelier to ensure the room doesn't begin to feel like a cave.  

The moody hue makes such a huge design statement! Here's a round up of my favorite black bedrooms. You'll see that elements of the 3 designer tips can be found in each of the inspiration photos below.

These amazing bedrooms are perfect examples of when taking a design risk pays off.  Aren't the rooms stunning?

Looking for more ways to reinvent your space?  Need help making over your space? Let's chat! Contact me today.

Friday, October 16, 2015


It's finally beginning to feel like autumn here in Maryland and we're all set to host a fabulous fall inspired soiree for family and friends.  As part of my participation in The Home Depot Style Challenge, I gave our dining room a seasonal makeover.  For the makeover,  I combined natural rustic elements, added pops of bold color and used accents and accessories with sophisticated lines. I'm really pleased with the transformation.

Here's a rundown of some of my favorite elements of the dining's room new look. 

The 3 drawer buffet (an amazing find from HomeGoods) is probably the hardest working piece of furniture in the dining room.  It discreetly hides the kids' school and craft supplies while also serving as the perfect spot to hold appetizers and  beverages for guests.  The burlap wrapped pumpkins at the base of the buffet were another great fall find.  The burlap finish made the pumpkins easy to customize. I gave one pumpkin a quick coat of plum hued spray paint to compliment the colors in the room.

In addition to adding a few more traditional rustic elements like the wood slice trivet, framed chalkboard sign and mini wooden trays, I added a more modern contrast by using chartreuse and plum as the new accent colors throughout the space.  

Entertaining Tip:  The striped paper straws are such a fun touch and can be found in an array of colors to compliment your decor. I love using these straws to add a festive flair when styling dessert and beverage displays. It's best to place the straws in clear containers or glasses to really show off the pattern and color.

You'd never know it but, the antique pulls down the center of the buffet are not original to the piece.  I came across these pulls when shopping for a client project and just knew they'd look perfect on my buffet at home.  Here's another Designer Tip:

Updating hardware is the fastest and easiest way to give your furniture a new look.  

Another favorite feature of mine is the faux marble look I added to the top of the buffet.  This project definitely goes down as one of the easiest DIYs I've tackled.  It doesn't require a lot of supplies, just the contact paper, an x-acto knife and a bit of patience. I'll be sharing a mini-tutorial in an upcoming blog post so stay tuned.

I also love the mix of patterns in the space. For a cohesive look,  I made sure to sprinkle the new plum and chartreuse accent colors evenly around the room.  Although the walls are a subtle hue (BM Woodlawn Blue), from the table setting to the textiles, this room is filled with interesting pattern and bold color.   Here's a photo of our tufted settee with my new favorite throw and decorative pillows. The clear ghost chairs at the table seem to disappear in the room, allowing the colors and pattern to really pop in the space.  

And finally, let's talk about the reinvented bookcase.  The bookcase is definitely the showstopper in the room. It measures over 7 feet tall and a just a little over 60 inches wide.  I loved using the bold rich color on the bookcase backs to really refresh the piece and give it a completely different look. You can read all about how I transformed 2 IKEA bookcases into this magnificent piece here.

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So what do you think?  Ready for a little fall decorating or entertaining in your own home? Looking for ideas on how to revamp your own space?  Follow me on Pinterest and Instagram for design inspiration and home decor tips or you can contact me for help.

Sunday, October 11, 2015


My decision to convert our master bedroom into a home office/ dressing room, was one of the best design choices I've ever made. I'll admit it was quite an unconventional move, however, I firmly believe that surrounding yourself with things that inspire you is key to creating a productive work space. 

To ensure that my office truly reflected my personality, I layered the space with pieces that I love. 

Just by looking at my office, you can tell that I love fashion, bold colors, lots of detail, rich texture fabric, and classic design with a modern flair. 

Here are 7 important factors to consider when creating your own inspiring work space:


You may be surprised to know how much mood and productivity can be effected by color. Some people find that they are more productive and motivated in spaces with bold bright colors while others prefer more calming, soothing color palettes.   

Determine which colors make you feel happy and at ease and incorporate those colors, via wall paint or accessories, throughout your work space. 

Which of the two photos below appeal to you? The bold and colorful office or the more neutral and calm work space?


Go ahead and pull your desk right up to the window. Natural light increases productivity, productivity and energy.

A glance out the window often provides a much needed opportunity to recharge the mind as well as break from staring at the computer screen. 

I love the desk surrounded by windows in the photo below. The floor to ceiling windows in this home office design really "brings the outside in."


Adding pendant lighting or a chandelier or sconces can really transform the look and feel of a space. I love the chandelier the designer chose in the office design in the photo below. The size and scale of the lighting in this space makes it quite eye catching. While the combination of metal and woven finish adds interest in the space.

Placing the chandelier directly above your work space ensures adequate lighting for the inevitable late night work sessions.


Adding an upholstered piece to your work space adds texture and another layer of design to the space.  When you need a break from sitting at your desk, a chaise or perhaps an upholstered chair is just the space to curl up in.  Be sure to choose a fabric that is durable and soft to touch. 

An inviting upholstered piece makes an office feel like "home."



Having a work surface that accommodates both smaller and large projects was very important for me. I chose a desk top I knew I would be able to spread fabric samples and paint swathes on, and still have room my desk accessories and laptop. 

Also remember that a room can do double duty.  For instance, my home office also doubles as a closet/dressing room. The home office in the photo below is actually in a huge kitchen pantry.   Amazing right?  They've used bright paper boxes to cleverly conceal the office clutter.  An area rug and antique desk provides a dose of cozy in the bright white space. The designer has even incorporated an inspiration board tucked underneath the upper cabinetry.


Whether its a photo of your grandparents, abstract art, or tribal masks from a trip overseas, hang your favorite special moments within eyesight to inspire you while in your work space.  

You can also use an oversized bulletin board to collect and post reminders,  photos, fabrics,  paint swatches and even business cards for current projects.



Keeping your work space clutter free can be challenging.   However, I've found that it is crucial to having a productive office.

With the proper storage and organizational tools, a clutter-free space will keep you up on top of deadlines and ahead of the game. 

Use labels, storage boxes, cubbies, bins, file cabinets and even baskets to sort and organize your office.

Found these tips helpful? Want to see more.  Follow me on Pinterest and Instagram for more design ideas for your space!

Monday, October 5, 2015


When it comes to furnishing a living space, the console table is one of the most valuable and versatile pieces to decorate with.  Their slender, rectangular shape makes them ideal for adding storage and style in narrow places around the house.

1. Optimize Your Storage

In this narrow entryway I designed, I added a dark wood console table and bright bold color to create a welcoming feel in the home. The drawers are perfect for storing house keys and last minute items to grab on the way out of the door each day. The open underside of the console is a great place to house baskets for shoes, hats, and mittens or even a bench for extra seating, as I did in this space.

2. Create an Interesting Focal Point 

To create an eye catching focal point in your space,  incorporate items of varied height on the table's surface. Then, to add character, accessorize with the personal touches like family photos, a map from a recent trip or even a framed program from an event you may have attended. These details are all great examples of unique conversation starters you can use to style the space.

3. Oversized Art /Mirror + Pair of Lamps = Amazing Console Styling 

Trust me. This formula works without fail every time.  Just have a look at the set of photos below. You'll see that in addition to layering in accessories, the console is decorated using the tried and true technique - a set of matching table lamps plus a large scale piece of art or a mirror. 

4. Place it Behind A Sofa

Console tables work great behind sofas too.  Their height makes them perfect for placing table lamps on. The table lamps are also  a nice alternative to using overhead lighting.  

5. Make Your Own Vanity

Add mirrored glass to the top of a wood console to transform it into an instant vanity table.

6. Keep the Party Going!

A console table can really help out during dinner parties and gatherings at home too.  Set up a buffet style spread with your favorite drinks and appetizers to allow guests easy access to food.

7. Instant Work Surface

You can also use a console table as a convenient work surface for your lap top. Just park the console table in front of a window to create your own "office with a view."

8. Add Drama + Create an Optical Illusion

Placing a large scale mirror behind a console table adds drama to an entryway and gives the visual appearance of a larger space. The simple elegance of the styled console table and floor to ceiling mirror in the entryway pictured below makes the room design one of my favorite examples of using a console table to add elegance to a space.

Looking for more design ideas? Follow me on Instagram and Facebook for design inspiration and home decor tips.