Archive for April, 2010

Happy Friday

Happy Friday y’all. I hope you have a glorious weekend ahead of you filled with adventures and time to catch some ZZZZZZs.

Graham and I are driving to Omaha, Nebraska today. That’s right, Omaha. We’re off for Berkshire Hathaway’s (Warren Buffett’s company) annual meeting. As shareholders, it is something we have wanted to do because it is a scene and we will never be so close to Warren’s hometown again. We’re off to the “Woodstock of capitalism;” Omaha will be busting at the seams with people who have made the pilgrimage to hear the oracle himself speak. I am fascinated by Buffett – I even read all 900 pages of “Snowball,” an in depth biography about him. Graham got to sit across the table from Buffett at a luncheon not so long ago – LUCKY!!

Graham and Warren hanging out

I am excited for the trip. However, I can’t go another weekend without sneaking in some design. I’m thrilled because one of the companies that Warren invested in is Furniture Mart. They will be selling stuff at the annual meeting at a steep discount. I have a friend who picked up a fabulous rug there last year. So, yes, we are going to hear Warren speak…but, I may have some ulterior or should I some Interior motives as well.

Happy Friday!!

April 30, 2010 at 8:53 AM 3 comments

Modern Family: Let’s Play House

I love the show Modern Family. If you haven’t seen it, you are seriously missing out. I wouldn’t blog about it if I didn’t mean it. That half hour makes me laugh till my tummy hurts. You agree?

Not only is it hilarious, the homes are such fun to look at. I figured we could play house today. If you could pick a house from Modern Family to live in, which one would you pick? Would it be Cam and Mitchell’s Spanish style casa, Phil and Claire’s traditional digs, or Jay and Gloria’s modern abode?

I would hands down pick Cam and Mitchell’s Spanish style home. It’s perfect. Exactly what I’ve always dreamt of. I grew up in an adobe spanish style home myself and I love that home; guess I have always wanted a place just like it. Mom, feel free to hand over the keys. 🙂

Cam and Mitchell’s Spanish style house:

Phil and Claire’s traditional home

The image “” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.

Jay and Gloria’s modern home

If you’ve seen the show or based on these exterior home shots, which one would you choose?

April 29, 2010 at 8:16 AM 15 comments

Black and White Kitchen Floors

I have a friend who is putting in black and white checkered laminate flooring to her kitchen.  First of all, fantastic choice!  Graham and I have black and white flooring in our current kitchen and we love it.  The only issue with our floor is that the laminate is very old and it is coming up in parts.  I guess that’s part of the “charm” of renting a brownstone with “character.”  When we own a place one day, Graham and I both want the black and white checkerboard flooring – it is so classic.

My friend is picking out a paint color for the kitchen to go with her new floors.  I believe she has chosen a soft yellow, which is a great choice.  You can never go wrong with a soft yellow in the kitchen.  Plus, the beauty of black and white is that it goes with all colors.  For my future dream kitchen, I think I would maybe do crisp white walls and then put in kelly green or colonial red for accent colors.

Here are some rooms for inspiration…

(My personal favorite – I love the butcher block)

Check out the red apple painting!

Hope this helps to inspire paint choices.

April 28, 2010 at 7:17 AM 11 comments

And I’m Crushing

I have about one million crushes on different designers.  I have been looking for a perfect rug that fits the space for a client and I decided to peruse one of my favorite rug designer’s site: Madeline Weinrib.  She is the granddaughter of the founder of the legendary ABC Carpet & Home in New York City.  Weinrib is a painter as well as a designer and so she brings vivid, bright colors that you see in her paintings to her rugs.  I love the colors, textures and designs.  She is out of my budget for now but someday I hope to be an owner of a Weinrib rug.  I checked on ebay and there is one new 10 X 14 rug for sale for $3,000, click here if you are interested.  She also has furniture, textiles and pillows for sale that make my heart swell, but for now I’ll concentrate on her rugs.  What do you think?  Are you crushing as well?  What rug would you buy?

Brown and Pink Mandala

Pink and Orange Lulu (cute name!)

Light Blue Megan

Blue Ikat

Tomato Riva

Coral Otto

Blue Carter

Love, love, love.  I swoon over such amazing beauty but I shall not open my wallet, I shall not open my wallet, I shall not open my wallet, I shall not open my wallet….

April 27, 2010 at 6:54 AM 9 comments

Slim Shady

Coming off of a weekend in Vegas, where we went to the same club as Paris and Nicky Hilton, I thought I’d show some pillows that are cute but more for a  celebrity budget.  Because we’ve all got some slim shady in us, it’s time that our couches get cool with these awesome cushions.  The cushions are actually $450 each so I’m automatically out. But if you can swing it, put down some dolla’ dolla’ bills yo and get yo shady on..

Miss Shady Blue by Tara Bernerd | Wool and Silk Cushion

Miss Shady Pink by Tara Bernerd | Wool and Silk Cushion

Miss Shady Gold by Tara Bernerd | Wool and Silk Cushion

Pillows available at the Rug Company by Tara Bernerd. Click here for more information.

April 26, 2010 at 7:18 AM Leave a comment

Happy Friday

Happy Friday everyone! I hope you are looking forward to a fabu weekend. I can’t wait for mine!! I am headed to Las Vegas to celebrate with a dear friend from high school for her bachelorette party. Look out Vegas because you’ve got trouble coming your way with the fantastic group of girls that are making the trip. I’m not sure if the details of the weekend are a surprise to the bride (and she is a faithful reader – thank you, Erin); so I’ll just say we are going to relax, play, laugh and imbibe. Can’t wait!

I thought I’d depart with some pictures of rocker suites as the Hard Rock Hotel in Las Vegas which are very impressive. The work has been done by the design shop Chemical Spaces. Take a look – it’s not my style for a home but it rocks for a vacation.

Happy Friday everyone. I hope you find a chance to let your inner rocker out this weekend!

April 23, 2010 at 7:51 AM Leave a comment

Happy Earth Day

Hello Everyone,

Happy Earth Day! I hope you are having a wonderful day and are giving the earth a nice break today by trying to do something eco-conscious.

I have always tried to do a little bit to help out the earth; this interest began at a young age when I was the Ecology Commissioner in the seventh grade. Funny, but true. Nowadays, I try to do my part with little things, by shopping vintage and by finding ways to use objects that would otherwise be thrown away. I actually have come to the point where I prefer shopping at flea markets, etc. because there is a challenge to it and such high rewards.

If you are feeling in the mood for some DIY on Earth Day – I found a few great projects over at

Here are my favorites…

Transform an old shirt into a shopping bag. I don’t know about you but I have a bajillion t-shirts. People may give me strange looks at the grocery store, but at least the Earth will be happy.
Find out how to do this here.

There are so many great belt buckles out there, tons sold super cheap at flea markets. Martha has taken belt buckles that seem useless without a belt and transformed them into a great beside memento or even better as a fridge magnet.

Complete instructions available here.

Have some cereal (while reading my blog) and then once your done use the box to organize your bills and paperwork. Oh Martha. Only she can make Special K look so special.

Instructions available here.

Happy earth day! What are some things you do to help the earth? Do you know of any fun recyclable craft projects? I would love to hear about them!

April 22, 2010 at 7:15 AM 4 comments

A Blank Canvas: Room Makeover

My mom has a room that she would like to convert into an extra bedroom for when all her kids come to stay and a children’s play room. I don’t have pictures of the room but it is square with two bay windows and an adjoining bathroom. I’m working with a blank canvas – here’s what I am recommending…

I would paint the room pale smoke by Benjamin Moore – it’s a light gray with an undertone of blue. The molding would be white and the window seats would be painted white as they are now terracotta colored.

Pale Smoke by Benjamin Moore.

Here is an example of room painted in this color

Picture above is of Katie Lee Joel’s living room. This color comes up light blue with gray undertones. It is a sophisticated color that is appropriate for a guest bedroom yet it is still light and fun which is great for a kid’s playroom. To keep the room light, I suggest using white furniture and pink and turquoise accent colors.

Madeline Daybed & Trundle

This is a daybed with a trundle from Pottery Barn. Mom requested a twin bed and all of kids are very anti- a twin bed as we all have spouses. The trundle would cover both requests but keep Mom’s request a priority. The daybed could also be used as a couch to sit and watch the children as they play.

The daybed would have the following bedding:

Soho Hotel White Cotton Quilt Diamond Bedding Set King

Soho Hotel White Cotton Quilt diamond bedding from If this is not machine washable it would switch to one that could be thrown in the wash and bleached.

There will also be some pops of color in the pillows. Since the walls are light blue for the boys, the accents must be pink for the girls.

I would sew pillows using this fabric:

Source: Lewis and Sheron Textile Co.

Then I would add in two larger solid pink pillows that matches the color pink in the above fabric.

Finally, I would add in one turquoise pillow as that will be the blue accent color….

Source: Jonathan Adler

Now that the bed is made and set, we need a place to put our grown up clothes when we come to stay. That’s where the matching dresser also from Pottery Barn comes in.

Madeline Dresser & Nightstand

However, we can’t just keep it as is – let’s spruce it up with some Anthropologie pulls.

Calico Frog Knob

I would love to have the froggy pulls on the top two drawers and then do a matching color to the blue for the rest of the drawers – perhaps this knob will work.

Blue-Sage Osteon Knob

Now that we have a dresser for grown up overnight guests, we must add storage for the little visitors: they get cubbies also from Pottery Barn Kids.

Cameron Cubby & Drawer Base

Because that won’t be enough we’ll add in a medium sized canvas bin on either side of the Cubby and drawer base. I’d change the bottom pulls to the frog knobs.

Dot Floor Tote, Medium, Chocolate Dot

Source: Pottery Barn Kids

Thank goodness kiddie tables are small – we can hopefully fit one in without cluttering up the room. Although it’s likely that this will get edited out in the end for room sake.

Carolina Table

Carolina Table from Pottery Barn.

The chairs pictured above are not good enough for my nieces and nephews. They need to sit on Moroccan Poofs in pink of course!

Pink Moroccan Pouf


Also if room is permitting, we’ll add in a rocking chair for the adults to rock their babies to sleep. Otherwise, they’ll just have to sit on the couch and rock with their own bodies.


Now we have two windows in the bedroom that need some dressing up:

For the windows:

Pelmet boxes shaped like this but either with a similar look to that shown below or using white fabric as shown in the picture below this.

Quilted White fabric from Ballard Designs

Quilted White Fabric By the Yard - White Quilted from Ballard Designs

Or for a bolder look I would use the same pink print shown above. Then we would put coordinating pillows on the window seat.

Above the kiddie storage wall there would be an art gallery of sorts. I would frame art work from my brothers and myself that my mom has kept all these years. I would also get some of the poems and things we wrote as children calligraphied – written on hot pink card stock paper using a turquoise calligraphy pen. The frames used would the Pottery Barn wood gallery frames with lots of white matting.

18" x 18" Deep Gallery Frame

And the final touch change out the lighting that there is there now to this

Source: Chintz and Company

That’s the room in a nutshell. Mom will have the room painted by the time I come home in June and then we will work on finishing up the room. Stay tuned for before and after pictures! This is a service that I am going to be offering. If you have a room that you would like design advice for, please let me know. You can e-mail me at

What do you think?

April 21, 2010 at 7:53 AM 8 comments

Forestbound Love

As Earth Day is quickly approaching, I wanted to share these beautiful bags I found on ETSY that are made from completely salvaged materials.  I adore the vintage look of them and I think they would be so appropriate for a sunny day meandering through a flea market or farmer’s market.  “Forestbound” is the name of the shop and she makes beautiful one of a kind recycled carryalls.  The carryall I have my eye on is made from a 1940’s grain sack with a blue and white ticking lining and a fabulous leather strap.  It is beyond my budget at $190.00 but I do have a thirtieth birthday on the horizon.

Earthbound also has a great tote bag made from WWII era military duffel bag and has a full leather bottom.  I’m a sucker for army green.  She spends a lot of time finding different materials that go into each bag, so much love goes into each creation.

If you are lucky enough to live in San Francisco, there is a small collection of Forestbound bags and pouches at Small Stump/Studio Choo on 262 divisadero street.  Otherwise click here for the ETSY site; these bags do seem to go quickly.

April 20, 2010 at 9:21 AM Leave a comment

Shower Time

This past weekend, I threw a shower for my best friend, Lauren. She is getting married July 17 and I am so excited for her! I hosted a kitchen shower that was a cookie and tea themed where each guest brought a cookie recipe. Lauren lives in Seattle and I live in Chicago so planning for this was a bit of a logistical nightmare. I thought I could be like Mary Poppins and have a teeny tiny bag that would fit tons of supplies. This magical bag did not exist and so I brought a duffel bag filled with six trays, four tea cups and saucers, tissue flower balls, goodie bags, twenty cookie cutters, napkins, forks, coasters, paper plates and candy dishes. I had plans to sew a table runner but life got in the way and I ran out of time. Even though people thought I lost my mind, the hefty load was worth bringing along.

It was a wonderful weekend and I was so happy to spend time with Lauren. We got to go over every little detail for the wedding…and weddings are all about the details. Her big day will be amazing and I am thrilled to be the maid of honor! Stay tuned for pictures of her wedding in July. For now, here are pictures of the shower…

The blushing bride beams in blue.

The table

The tissue balls

Goodies table


Lauren enjoying her gifts

April 19, 2010 at 6:32 AM 9 comments

Older Posts


Hi, welcome to my interior design blog. This is my little spot to attempt to express my design style and to show wonderful inspirations for making a home. I hope you enjoy it!

Follow me on Twitter

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email. Chance for a free Kate Collins Interiors' designed gift...

Join 361 other subscribers