Category Archives: Decor Help

Working Weekend…

This weekend I am working. Normally I would be real ticked about that, but this is FUN work. A few weeks ago I posted my preliminary ideas for my Mom’s upcoming beach home construction here. She and her friends loved my ideas, so I am consulting on a few other rooms in the home. Exciting? I think so. Above is a rough 10 minute attempt at one of the guest rooms. Pulled from West Elm, Pottery Barn, Crate and Barrel, and All Modern. We will see how everything comes together tomorrow on our shopping trip. Weekend work=shopping which is always a recipe for a good time.

Happy Weekend.




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Ideas galore for a lovely beach house

My parents and their friends are building a beach house on the Oregon coast. I was so happy when my parents told me, and immediatly the designer in me began spinning my wheels, and shuffling through my mental inspiration files. So I was delighted when my mom asked me to come up with an inspiring mood board as she and her friends embark on this journey.

First we needed a guiding light. Enter the best movie set beach house of all time. The house from “Something’s Gotta Give.” You know it. Check it out. I would move here in a minute, would you?

Dreamy Kitchen! This reminds me of the Barefoot Contessa kitchen.

Shot from the opposite side.

The cozy living room

And a shot from the other side

There are so many things to LOVE about this house and if you have seen the movie you know that it is visual eye candy for 2 solid hours. I just love that the entire scheme is white, blue, and neutral with subtle punches of color. (No shells, or cheesy beach signs in sight). Also, the materials are natural which allows the coastal feel to take center stage.

Here are my slightly more modern picks for the house. Just to wet the palette, later I’ll post my full mood board.

Starting with the new Oasis couch from Crate and Barrel. I promise, this is so much more lovely in person.

To be accented with Thomas Paul pillows. You know he’s my favorite.

Moby Dick pillow

Anchor pillow

This fish pillow because mixing orange and blue is a fun way to add in some pop

Wood Chandy

Crate and Barrel side table

To mimic the rug in the inspiration picture, pretty some fabric

I have many more ideas to come. I just need to sort through all of my thoughts.


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Decor Help for Ruth Ann

I was BUSY this weekend working on a room for a client. Below is the mood board we put together once we agreed on a general theme, budget, and color story. Then it was off to gather up all the goodies to make this room come to life. Since we are consulting from out of state, this room will take a bit of time to come together, as soon as we have it done we’ll get some before and after shots up.

Resource List: One of my favorite lamps of all time- Jonathan Adler Meurice Floor Lamp . For the blue dipped throw pillows click here. Also, in the same pattern pretty bolster pillows. The swatch of fabric here for re-covering dining chair seats will tie the eating area into the living space decor. The wall mirrors are from Crate and Barrel and can be found here. Candle sconce from WSH check it here. John Robshaw orange pillow can be found here. Large floor vases from Crate and Barrel here. Couch is Mitchell Gold and Bob Williams, check it out here. White ceramic pagoda’s are Williams Sonoma Home (on sale) no longer available online, I must have scored the last 2. Gold bowl is also Williams Sonoma Home here. Dramatic black lacquered side tables with marble top (on sale at WSH) click here. The best coffee table in all of the world designed by Eva Zeisel click here. John Robshaw blue pillow, click here.

Happy Monday!


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Decor Help for Amy

Amy had some questions for Lyn and I on our blog comments. See what she wrote to us below:

Dear Susan and Lyn…

I have a decorating condundrum that I was wondering if you could weigh in on. I am looking for a new couch. I would like to buy a leather couch because I have two messy 5 year olds and a messy husband and a messy self. Leather works well for my family. I have a distressed black entertainment center and black end tables. I have a dining room table that is sort of a honey color on top, black on the bottom with a black and honey small check patterned on the seats. I don’t really have any art that I am in love with. I have recently realized the colors that inspire me are that silvery blue, glass, silver, light celery green and that rose color that is somewhere between a pink and red but muted. My question is what color should my couch be? What about accent chairs? My instinct tells me to go light on the couch but light leather looks cheap. I need a distressed, lived in look that can take the wear and tear of my family but I am so sick of neutral, boring colors that I would like accent with colors that inspire me. Please help me bring it together. The couch is such an anchor piece to a room. The couch I am getting rid of is one that I have serious buyers remorse about and have had to live with it for 6 years. I don’t want to make the same mistake. Thanks girls!

And here is our visual solution to Amy’s problem.

Here is the source list:

1. Z Gallerie:  Mariposa Floor Lamp 2. Target: Bird and Floral Slipper Chair 3. Velocity Art and Design: Thomas Paul Melamine Plates 4.  Target: Dwell Studio Reversible Pillow 5. Z Gallerie: Mariposa Urns 6. Target:  Dwell Studio Reversible Privet Pillow 7. Crate and Barrel: Axis Leather Sofa 8. Target Crystal Lamp 9. Velocity Art and Design: Thomas Paul Melamine Plates 10) Velocity Art and Design:  Thomas Paul Platter 11) IKEA: Soli Wall Mirror

Okay here is the big idea for Amy. She needs a couch and a new look. She needs a functional couch for an actual family and not a design magazine. We say in this situation, leather all the way. Not just any leather, dark leather. The best part about dark leather is that it ages over time, so scratches and wear/tear can look “meant to be there.” With so many new styles and options, we say a sleek modern silhouette (like above) is the look to love. We suggested quality leather sofa, as this will be an investment piece and is not the place to scrimp. We say, invest in something that will be around for a long time and look to accent pillows, and extras as a place to save money.

Amy also wanted advice on accent chairs. Because she has little ones, we say choose a style that is on the less expensive side, and a classic shape that can be recovered if little hands create lasting stains. These chairs could easily be recovered by a removable slip cover (note: these are fairly inexpensive to have made if you find the right place). For the time being, this modern print is fun and bright. Amy wanted some green accents and we say a lime green is a happy way to punch in some color. The general theme here was nature inspired, which is why we went with the modern bird print on the chair and in the blue Dwell Studio accent pillow (which reverses to a pretty chevron for variation). Also, this pillow has a bit of black. Amy mentioned that her side tables are black, and we wanted to incorporate some black in the pillows, so that the tables are tied into the new decor. The nature theme helps to brings the feeling of the outside-in, and balance the look of the dark leather

When adding the extra’s to a feature piece like a leather sofa, accessories need to be chosen carefully. Because leather can look overwhelming, the accessories need to be light and airy. So we suggest…glossy white, clear-transparent hits, and mirrors galore. And speaking of mirrors, these IKEA Soli wall mirror squares are the best. Sold in a pack of 4 at $4.99 (a steal) these can be layered in any pattern to create an open feel and will help to fill space. Talk about inexpensive artwork! And more on that, we love decorating with platters and plates, especially in a family room that opens to a kitchen. These can be hung in a fun pattern with cheap plate holders purchased almost anywhere. (For a reference click here) This is a creative and fairly inexpensive way to create a diverse art wall.

Finally just a bit of info on the lighting here. We love crystal lamps to help balance the dark brown (especially the less spendy versions from Target). Also, the glossy white floor lamp will add a modern touch as well as brighten the space. Last but not least, we want to address how small updates can make a bit difference. Amy mentioned that she has an old black check pattern on the seats. Re-covering dining seat chairs is a simple and dramatic way to make something old look new. Check out the easy tutorial here. We suggest Amy re-cover her seats with either of the 2 prints below. Key West here or Andina here. Though, The Key West print is our favorite and helps to incorporate that rosy pink that Amy loves.

Key West Print

Andina Print

So go forth and decorate Amy, and keep us up to date on the progress.



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