May 31, 2011

affordable find: outdoor maze rug

i hope everyone had a wonderful weekend! we had a lovely time
visiting my brother and his family...we arrived home last night to a house
that was 50 degrees inside! when is it going to start to feel like summer?!
maybe this will help:
5'3" x 7'7"

6'7" x 9'6"

the great thing about indoor/outdoor rugs is that they are so versatile.
i love to use them indoors in high traffic/high mess areas like
entrys and breakfast rooms. 
happy shopping!

May 28, 2011

will you watch?

i sure will.
i find myself powerless against the seduction that is bravo reality tv. 
we got rid of our cable about 7 months ago, and i haven't missed
an episode of the real housewives of orange county or flipping out.
i have a feeling that his show is going to be a  hit. at least with me.
all the drama and humor of bravo reality PLUS amazing design?
sign. me. up.
million dollar decorators premiers may 31 on bravo.

May 27, 2011

design plan: my perfect patio

i recently completed an e-design plan for a patio, which really got me thinking about
my own outdoor space. we furnished our patio about 7 years ago, and the patio furniture is
definitely showing it's age. the cushions are totally worn out, and i am having a hard  time
deciding whether i should get them reupholstered or just start over again. and, of course,
all of that led to me daydreaming about my perfect outdoor space...what i would do if
i had a much larger space and budget....a pergola is a must! i would love to see the
edges softened with some simple curtains, and urns filled with herbs. next up would be a
cozy seating area packed with colorful pillows and anchored with a graphic outdoor rug.
ahhh...i can almost smell the grill going and the music playing...

outdoor banded drapes

happy memorial day weekend friends!

May 26, 2011

i want this rug

i SO want this rug for my living room, but it is a thin, flat weave rug, 
and i really had my heart set on a thicker, plush rug. anyone out there
know of any recommendations for something similar?

May 25, 2011

affordable find: bronze drum chandelier



(this is why we LOVE i right??)

May 24, 2011

thank you, emily.

thank you for auditioning for design star.
and for winning.
and thanks for being so awesome.

 to see more of emily's work, click here or tune in to:
secrets of a stylist on hgtv on saturdays at 9est/8c.

May 23, 2011

quick fix: local great room

i was contacted a few weeks ago by jennifer, a young mom who lives pretty close to me.
she is on a tight budget, but wanted to to make some changes to her entry, 
family room and breakfast room. 
we emailed about the possibility of doing each room as an e-design
project, but the total design fee was going to blow her budget. instead, we decided on a home visit
in which we could walk through and discuss each room and talk about options. i took a few minutes
before our meeting to pull together some options that i thought might work for what she was wanting, 
and we met for just over an hour and a half at her home. we walked though each room, and as we talked,
i jotted down notes, wrote down websites that i thought would be helpful, made a few quick sketches, and showed her the page of ideas that i brought with me.
well, i was thrilled when jennifer  contacted me again and showed me her progress. she was able to find
some amazing treasures at ross and tj maxx, and got busy making pillows from the
 fabrics that we discussed.

and  "almost" after:
what a difference some panels, some simple rearranging and the addition of a few new items makes!
 to keep her cost down, she sewed all the pillows herself.
 jennifer saw an idea in the ballard designs catalog where old books were bundled with twin. she 
went to a thrift store, bought some books, took the covers off and tied them with twine. she got a similar
look for a fraction of the cost!

we talked about rearranging some of the items on her armoire to add some additional height,
and bringing some items out of storage that had some sentimental value. 

 eventually, the panels will be stenciled, and a  new rug and ottomans will be added to the family room.

 they foyer got a nice facelift as well. jennifer's  husband was never fond of this area, and was not
a fan of the vintage bench, but now she says that he loves the new look. 
by the way, she found the mirror and the metallic garden bench at ross!
she still plans on painting the bench a soft teal color and adding pictures to the empty frames...
 the tape is where the top of the new wainscoting will be. since this picture was taken,
a new light fixture has been installed:

it was great to see all the progress that was made, but best of all, i have a new friend!

interested in making a few quick changes around your house, but need to stick to a very limited
design budget? for local clients, i can do exactly what i did for the above client...and for those of you not in the salt lake city area, i can help you via a phone consultation. 
email me at for rates and more information.

May 19, 2011

lovely lilac

over the last few days, the group of unattractive, scrubby bushes that line
my backyard have been transformed into a bevy of lilac blossoms. growing up, i lived in a house
with several lilac bushes in the yard, and i always looked forward to seeing them bloom every year. 
there is something about the smell of lilacs, and the beautiful gradient of purples in their blooms that i find so inspiring. if you would have asked me a few years ago what my least favortite color was, 
i would have answered "purple" without hesitation.
but, now? well, let's just say i have changed my a big way.
this room is lilac at it's best. just that hint of deep, muted purple at the windows is enough to give this
room a sophisticated, feminine feel.
pictures like this feed my soul.
this bold rug brings this neutral room to life. 
(and the gothic arch window and wainscoting are certainly helping out as well...)
here are a few ways to add a dose of lilac to your home:
schumacher's stripedot in lilac would make a great cover for an ottoman.

these linen pillows are currently out of stock at wisteria, but i loved the hushed, 
greyed-out purple tones... and the texture.
this lupe rug by madeline weinrib could transform an entry.

 i can picture this fabric as a bedskirt or some window treatments in a little girls room,
paired with pale, taupey-grey walls, and pops of mustard yellow.

  this wallpaper would look great in a master bath, paired with
dark wood cabinetry and white marble.

if lilac wallpaper scares you, you could start off by adding just a hint of purple

you may recognize this pretty bedspread from here.

not quite eady to take the plunge and add some lilac into your decorating plans?
then start here...fresh, fragrant and lovely.
(images from houzz)

May 18, 2011

buy this, not that: tueday morning

buy this, not that: tuesday morning edition.
first of all, thank you so much for the responses to my first post in this series,
buy this, not that: ross edition.
here are a few of my favorite comments from last time:

and, of course, i need to put in the "disclaimer" again...

realize that by reading this and looking at
these pictures, that you are getting my big, fat opinions on all of this, 
and you should not get offended  if you have,  in fact, bought "that". 
and, hey, it's all a matter of opinion, right?
ok, so here goes!

buy THIS:
adds color?
adds texture?
looks like you'd want to snuggle up in it?
go ahead and buy it.

not THAT:
um...besides the fact that you would probably cut yourself on all of the sequins and rhinestones,
you aren't allowed to have something like this in your room unless you happen to be a 9 year old girl.

buy THIS:

not THAT:
oooo...i've got you a little stumped on this one, don't i??
so, the point i am trying to make here is that if you are in the market for a
plain blanket like this one, and you have a choice, always pick the one that
has an interesting texture. anytime you can add some great texture to a room, go for it!

buy THIS:
(no, not a pun...but if it WAS, it would be an AWESOME one.)
i'm pretty sure this soap dispenser comes with a light-up/singing sweatshirt that 
plays "grandma got run over by a reindeer".

buy THIS:

not THAT:
if you were ariel--as in "the little mermaid",  i would totally approve of you putting these in your bathroom, if not, opt for something with a more simple and transitional shape. see above.

buy THIS:
cute design?
great colors to build a party around?
would work for anything from a kids party to an impromptu potluck to a bridal shower?
green light! take them to the register.

not THAT:
predictable, and pretty bleh.
step it up, paper plate manufacturers, step it UP!

buy THIS:
the abstract florals and bright, saturated colors
make this wrapping paper vibrant, sophisticated and fun.

not THAT:
i'm pretty sure that a matching wallpaper border was made for this wrapping paper...
in like, 1985.

 buy THIS:
vera wang, periwinkle note cards?
classy all the way!

not THAT:
these are just a little...NOT vera wang-ish.

buy THIS:
 classic shape. cool texture.
great color would add a little zing to any closet or shelf.

not THAT:
um. *yawn.

buy THIS:
wouldn't a candle look so pretty in here, all flickering away?
the shadows would be really nice!

not THAT:
this votive holder reminds me of an a brain or intestines or something else that
i never want to see with my bare eyeballs.  it's a little it just me? and wouldn't it look
even WORSE all red and glowing from the candle? eww...intestines aflame! (ouch.)

buy THIS:
classy. elegant. really allows the photo to be the "star".

not THAT:
nothing WRONG here, but really nothing RIGHT either.
(and sorry for the blurry picture!)

buy THIS:
animal prints are neutrals, so this rug could literally go anywhere. the giraffe
print would look really cute in a nursery or a screened in porch.

not THAT:
in an ideal world, this rug would have never been manufactured. if you,  or someone in your family
 loves baseball, there are classier ways to showcase that obsession.
just say "no" to themed rugs.

buy THIS:
texture. color. pattern.
check, check, check.

not THAT:
uh....blanche devereaux from "the golden girls called". she wants her  floral mauve brocade pillow back. 

buy THIS:
cutesy, but not too cutesy. the graphic element of the birds and branches in silhouette
make this rug a winner.

not THAT
you like cocktails? and margaritas? and cute tropical drinks? 
that. is. awesome. 
you don't need a rug announcing it.
just walk away.

buy THIS:
great shape, and what a fun color! even if you hated the green, you
could repaint it and still have a nice accent table/nightstand on your hands.

not THAT:
flutter away. literally.

buy THIS:
i know that foo dogs happen to be trendy right now, but the strong black and white elements
of the lamp will remain timeless. a pair of them are even cuter than they are by themselves.

not THAT:
is there anything WRONG with this lamp?'s just a little..."meh".

buy THIS:
in my opinion, mercury glass is one of those things that will always look fabulous!
it works with any color scheme or decor and adds some shimmer and reflective
yumminess to any space.

not THAT:'s white! 
no.... it's green! 
no, wait, it's BOTH.

buy THIS:
again, if people were pillows...
this pillow would have all kinds of amazing seafaring adventures to share with you!

not THAT:
this pillow would talk about their battle with psoriasis and want you to feel the
"weird bump" on their armpit. no thanks.