From the Mouths of Babes

After ten years of being a designer, I have acquired a lot of adoring nicknames for my clients but I have never received one... until now!  I find it quite ironic that I finally have shared a few of my favorites with you and then out of the blue, my 5 year old client, who I renamed "Monster Jam" had news for me. 

I visited with Monster Jam and his mom last week and after he said hello, his mom said, "Tell her what you call her...".  He was pretty shy about it (which made me a little nervous) but decided to announce it...
"Mrs. Pretty Maker because you make our house pretty."  Whew- I like it!  So cute and very smart boy. 

His mom and I finalized fabric selections for the breakfast nook furniture and then I was treated to view the photo album of his visit to the "Monster Jam" exhibition in Dallas.  Time flies... what happened to Thomas the Tank?

Here is Monster Jam's bedroom we did a few years back and more cute rooms for boys!

No Monster Jam trucks in sight:)

Wide stripes are in-

Look where the bed is-

Inexpensive wallpaper... Maps!

New trend in nursery design... modern look

Defining "personal space"

Boy's bedrooms can be just as fun as little girls!  Call me if you want a visit from "Mrs. Pretty Maker"!

Until next time,


Images via: Desire to Inspire, Design Conquer, Google Images and Moi

IDS seeking Mike Modano (and you) for Jonathan's Place!

As many of you know, I have held the title of President of the Dallas/ Fort Worth chapter of the Interior Design Society for almost four years now.  It is a privilege to network with other designers in the area as well as meet fantastic vendors within the community.  One of our main goals is to complete a charity project each year and we are ecstatic to announce that we have chosen:

  The Mike Modano Cottage at Jonathan's Place!

Jonathan's Place is an emergency shelter for children who have been placed into Child Protective Services. It was founded by Lisa Matthews in 1991 and they have just completed their full service campus in Northeast Dallas County.  It is a home style environment where kids can find safety and hope away from impossible situations.

One of the first buildings completed at the site was the Mike Modano Cottage in 2003.  Since then, thousands of children have cycled through the doors and it is in need of a total facelift.  We are well on our way with our plans and can use more donations!

Some of our members during a planning session

Kasmir Fabrics has generously donated all the fabrics (and workroom labor) required for our window treatments and bedding!  Thank you Kasmir!!  Here are the inspiration fabrics below for each wing:

Tangerine (all fire retardant fabrics)




As a bonus, Sherwin Williams has donated all the paint and Craig with Inside Expressions has repainted all the walls and ceilings, pro bono!

One more donor that has climbed aboard is the Allen location of ProSource Floorcoverings who has agreed to donate the hardwood flooring to complete the bedrooms and halls to match the existing living space.  WOW!

We still have needs for flooring installers, muralists, window blinds, lighting, accessories and of course, financial gifts to make this happen!  We are making a huge difference to the little ones out there:). Please contact me if you would like to participate in our endeavor!

And... Mike Modano and Willa... since it all started with you, we'd love to have you present at our big reveal in May!  Call me... wink wink-

Until next time,

Images via: Jonathan's Place, Kasmir Fabrics and

Lighting the Way for The Bachelor!

I'm not sure if I was the gold crackle or the sparkly prisms that caught my eye, but this beauty sure did!
While shopping for light fixtures for my client, The Bachelor, I had to snap a photo of this gem (unfortunately, not for his dining room, but hopefully for future client!).  I love the art deco shape and the fact it is so unique.... ahhh.

The Bachelor has traditional taste, a bit Old World, so I wanted to find something a bit masculine, heavy enough to pull off the look and not a typical chandelier!  How about this for a start?  Or perhaps the larger version?     

I'll see him tomorrow, so keep your fingers crossed! Here are some guidelines when selecting and hanging your new chandelier:

In general, the height of the main source of light should be 30"-36" above the table. There should be a minimum of 150 watts total in the chandelier. You should also consider the room size when choosing your chandelier .

  • 10' x 10' rooms should use a chandelier with a 17"-20" diameter

  • 12' x 12' rooms should use a chandelier with a 20"-16" diameter

  • 14' x 14' rooms should use a chandelier with a 24"-30" diameter
Light fixtures remind me of jewelry... so many options, some with more bling than others- check out a few that I love love love!

Naturally called, Simplicity... classic lines

Ashbury Silver- I have a thing for drum shades

Aston Court- Combines the drum shade with harlequin pattern... can't get any better

My fav- Candice Olson

Youngstown- Elegant with a touch of crystal

Ohhh... the Olivia- stunning!

A twist on Rustic
Which is your favorite? Look for a future post on pendant lighting... talk about!  I'll let you know what The Bachelor says~

Until next time,

Images via: Uttermost, Bellacor, Lamps Plus and Moi


Mrs. White Walls No More!

Along with the Cheetah Couple, my client Mrs.White Walls is definitely making progress on her design project.  However, instead of selecting fabrics and furniture, we have been busy choosing paint colors, sourcing tile, selecting light fixtures and ultimately covered in dust!

You see Mrs. White Walls (as she cleverly named herself) has been putting off this remodel for years... and it is definitely time she took the plunge... and how beautiful it will be!

Take a sneak peek of the project in action starting with the before photos:

Kitchen before

Two weeks ago: Custom hood added, bar cut down and meaty molding added to the cabinet tops! Take note that the window is gone (along with the boxed fluorescent light) and hardwoods are installed.

Now: Granite in, wallpaper stripped (whew!) and stainless appliances making their entrance

The kitchen is only about half the meat of this project!  Mrs. White Walls now has new beautiful hardwood floors on the bottom floor of the house after swearing she'd put nothing down but tile:).  I know she is enjoying the low maintenance floors with her high maintenance puppy!  We still have the master bath to go, along with two other bathrooms, all paint, lighting and carpet!  A brand new house!

Tomorrow the kitchen backsplash goes in (the long awaited tile inserts will be arriving) and we'll be ready for paint on the cabinets.  The icing on the cake is the paint color for the kitchen... one of my very favorite colors. You'll see what it is during the grand reveal!

So... with the look of this photo- she will no longer be Mrs. White Walls... how about Mrs. Dusty Halls?

Stay tuned for the end result and progress on the other phases!

Until next time,

What's Haute?

What's Haute?  We are not!  When most of us think of Spring Break, we think of warm sunny skies... Florida, Mexico... but we are stepping out of our norm and enjoying the beautiful mountains of New Mexico.

Skiing over sun bathing is definitely okay with me this year and a new experience for our kids.  After the first day at Angel Fire (near Taos), we are in good shape but a bit sore.  Based on how my knees are feeling right about now, I plan to slip away tomorrow to see if I can find a cozy lodge and sip a toddy in front of the gorgeous fireplace.  I hope it looks like this...               
Love the overscale chandeliers
Or this...

I suppose we can create the same ambiance in our own homes.  Think back a month or two when it was quite chilly and you desperately wanted to redo the surround of your hum drum fireplace surround. 

Here are some ideas to inspire you to "get" a haute new look on yours:

Stacked stone is rustic yet traditional

Clean lines and check out the log storage... stunning!

Ahh... classic

Glass tile... can't go wrong

Wish me luck for the rest of the trip- my son will be doing this tomorrow!

Until next time,


Images via: Angle Fire Resort, Google Images, Southern Living, Mike Connell:)

The Wonders of Wallpaper

I know you have heard that wallpaper is out... but that is so not the case!  Don't get me wrong, I would not encourage you to wallpaper your entire kitchen and all the baths like we did in the 90's but... using it correctly will knock your guests socks off!  Try it in a powder bath or in strategic areas like below- you'll love it!

Check out the impact of using wallpaper on either side of the fireplace...

Play it safe in a small niche area

What a statement paper makes here... big bang for the buck!

Another quick and inexpensive focal point in a room

As you'll see in my future posts, all my clients have nicknames. While visiting my lovely Cheetah Couple yesterday, the idea of wallpaper in an alcove in their foyer almost knocked me over.  I figure if they are bold enough to go with turquoise and ivory cheetah print in their family room, then an updated wallpaper addition would be a shoe in.  They are game!  Now I'll go find the perfect fit!

Here are some unique patterns from Schumacher Wallcoverings-

Imperial Trellis

Braided Stripe


Xando Pool Lime

Don't forget about the ceiling! 

Until next time,


*Images by Sarah Richardson (room 1) and patterns by Schumacher. Please forgive me for lacking the sources for the other room shots- I've had them in my catalog for a while... if you know, let me know!

Giddy over Greenhouse!

Saturday morning at the Connells:

Me:  Oh my gosh!  Ahhhh!
Husband:  What's wrong? (yelling with concern)
Me:  New fabric books have arrived!!!  It's Christmas again!
Husband:  "Silence... birds chirping"

I do not think Mike was as equally excited about the new shipment of sample books from Greenhouse Design. Upon a quick browse, I saw several swatches that I can propose to current clients... but best of all- for yours truly! 

As a designer, you can imagine all the great things I find on a daily basis and I have to "love it" at first glance to put it in my own home... and boy, did I love two of them.


My next move was to look at it in the space where I wanted to add fabulous drapery panels... my dining room.  Instead of silence, I did hear a "sigh" when Mike saw the fabrics propped on the chair and I'm sure he was thinking... "here she goes again".

So, as I have to ponder over your selections until I know it is right... I ponder over my own as well.

Here are some other fabulous finds that you may want to use in your home:

        Love the apple green and lattice print 

Always trying to incorporate blue with green and red

Fresh geometrics!

I have my favorite picked for my dining room... let me know which is your vote!

Until next time,


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