Viewing entries tagged
interior design


International Home

Going abroad is always a memorable experience. You return home with an opened mind to the lifestyles and cultures of other countries and people. Why not bring back some mementos from your trip? I’m not talking about key chains or t-shirts. There are ways to bring home great décor pieces from abroad, whether within the country or from overseas. 

Now, when it comes to international shopping, there are two types of buyers:

1. Organic, International Curators

These are my passport-carrying, travel-daydreaming, "set-and-ready to go" shoppers. If you go on a trip you are bringing something good and worthy back! If this is or will be you, before your trip, be sure to familiarize yourself with the history and art of the region from which you intend to buy. This will allow you to properly gauge the value and authenticity of potential purchases. The last thing you want is to get scammed out of your precious money while overseas…no bueno!

Also, if the item is durable enough and you are willing to check / carry it onto your flight, prepare to have to “claim” the item at customs. Your flight attendant will hand you a Customs Declaration card, on which you “declare” any purchases you made while overseas and state the approximate amount spent on those items. Don’t let the movies get your nerves riled…going through customs is not that bad. I came back from Jamaica multiple times with Blue Mountain Coffee in my suitcase and police dogs sniffed their way right on past it. No problem mon! My coffee was the least of their worries coming from Jamrock! ;)

2. International Shoppers...without Passports. 

First off, if you do not have a passport yet, GET ONE! That’s the first mandatory step to beginning your world-class life journey, abroad. However, when it comes to being a worldwide shopper, passports are not required. All you need is the worldwide web! You can easily locate local or regional specialty boutiques and consignment shops. You could certainly order furniture, antiques or accessories from any of the millions of online retailer stores, as long as you are willing to pay for the shipping.

Another way to “fake it” fabulously is to buy look-a-likes! Pier 1 Imports is famous for its multicultural home décor. Try One Kings LaneJoss & MainDot & Bo, and more! There are tons of sites dedicated to home décor and each cater to a variety of home styles. If Moroccan is your pleasure, go to Z Gallerie! Do you favor upscale, Italian, contemporary design? Call on Calligaris! You just have to do the research...or ask me!

Cultural home décor truly does become a treasure. From my tapestry from Istanbul to my coconuts and beads from my very first Mardi Gras while living in New Orleans, each have become so dear to me and I will never be able to give them all up. The memories are too precious for me to let go…well I did have to get rid of some beads…I had a ridiculous amount…evidence of a good time! ;) 

What are some of your most prized décor pieces? From abroad or from the States…what is one piece you will never go without?

See you soon “HOME-ies”! 


Closet Addict...Not That Kind!


Closet Addict...Not That Kind!

Have you ever been in a really nice clothing store's dressing room and thought, "This is niiice!" Well, you can bring that look home in small, inexpensive ways! 

Find Your Style

Remember last week's article on design styles? Yeah! Continue your design style from your bedroom and bathroom into your closet decor by choosing complimentary colors in paint, art and accessories. Maintaining a flow with style will allow a seamless transition between spaces and create a connected feeling from room to room. If your bedroom has contemporary finishes, keep your closet's decor in the same design family.

Light It Up

Task lighting is essential in closets, but that doesn't mean it can't be decorative. Hang sconces, pendants or track lighting to illuminate your walk-in or add baseboard lights to display shoes and boots on the floor. Use light bulbs that emulate natural daylight to see clothing and shoes in their truest colors. Hang mirrors to reflect light and to add an open concept feeling.


Honestly, this is probably the easiest paint job for your home. Think about it, it is probably the smallest room in your entire place…and lucky you if it’s not! You can paint your closet any color you feel. Go dark for a high-class, luxury look. Stay light and airy with a pastel or bright, refreshing white. Either way, don’t overlook the closet for a paint job, just because it’s the smallest space...don’t be afraid of wallpaper either!

Use Your Clothes as Decoration!

Unless you have enclosed cabinetry (which would be the easy, chic route), there will be no hiding your clothes in your closet. Therefore, the way they are displayed is crucial to the overall look of the space. I suggest either of these two options: 1) organize by color or 2) organize by item.  If your closet’s paint color of choice is white (or that's the color your apartment stuck you with and your aren’t changing it ;), then I suggest the color coordination. It makes the space seem more thoughtfully planned. If you are down for a colored closet, then you may go either route, but organizing by item may keep your closet from looking like there is “too much going on.” Be sure there is a place for everything and everything is in its place.

What are your concerns or questions about decorating your closet? Let's solve them so you can get to work! :)



Wallpaper? Why Not??

Wallpaper used to be the home décor burden of the 80s. I developed a disdain for wallpaper early in life when I helped my mom redecorate our guest bathroom…a prolonged and painful removal process. I swore to never, ever install wallpaper in my home.

I am going back on that promise. Today, it has been revamped with fantastic styles, designs and even textures! I feign for a good, bold pattern or soft, shimmering textured wallcovering…it sends chills up my spine! Below are a few tips from me and select interior designers for selecting, installing and decorating with wallpaper.

1) Choose your wallpaper and where to put it.

Interior designer Lindsey Coral Harper advices to “use wallpaper in unexpected places: on the ceiling, in a paneled room, in closets, hallways, and small foyers. A great pattern or texture in small spaces can be a prodigious twist.” I could not agree more. 

However, when you do add pattern to a major surface, you will want to layer various types of patterns throughout the space. It does not have to match and it certainly should not match, but each should be complementary to the others.

2) If you can, hire a pro!

It is possible to hang wallpaper on your own, although preferably with someone’s assistance. The assurance with hiring a professional is their expertise and you saving time, energy and money. How are you saving money when you have to pay for the service? Well, I’d rather pay a pro and get the job done right the first time around rather than possibly mess up my wall(s) and /or wallpaper, which is usually bought per square foot. We cannot waste the goods!

3) Proper use and accent to wallpaper.

The main fear when considering wallpaper is creating a busy space.  Insert visual relief by breaking up the patterns with molding (temporary or permanent), chair rails or other architectural features. If you are not too keen on the idea of a fully covered room, create an accent wall. Designer Summer Thornton says to “match either the background or an accent color for the remaining walls of the room” in order to complete the space.

Check out the slideshow for more tips and ideas for incorporating wallpaper into your home! Which are your favorites? Let me know!

Ttyl, HOME-ies!



Color Theory Part II: The 60-30-10 Rule

Last week, I broke down how to use the color wheel when selecting colors for a space. This week, I’ll share how much of each color to use in order to achieve a harmonic, stylish balance. This is the 60-30-10 rule.

Following this rule will allow your eyes to seamlessly flow from one focal point to the next without startling obstructions. Sixty percent of the room should be a dominant color, 30 percent of the room should be a secondary color and 10 percent should be the accent color! Simple right? I know! :)

An easy way to apply this rule is to focus the 60 percent portion on your wall color, the 30 percent for your furniture or upholstery, and the 10 percent for accents like throw pillows, floral arrangements or other small decorative accessories.

Here are some examples in the slideshow! Stay tuned for my article about my own living room “redeco” job, where I put my own advice into action!

TTYL, “HOME-ies”!!



Color Theory Part I: The Color Wheel

I’m sure you’ve heard of colors having influence over senses and emotions. These claims come from the popular studies of color theory, which in short is the “practical guidance to color mixing and the visual effects of a specific color combination.” I will breakdown how to use the color wheel when redecorating a space.

Let’s think of the color wheel as a pie chart. It holds all the color combinations made by red, yellow and blue. These colors can be divided in half and labeled as warm and cool. When someone asks, “How does this room feel?”, warm and cool can refer to more than just the temperature. Warm colors can make a room look vibrant, happy and energetic, while cool colors can reflect freshness, tranquility and cheerfulness.


First, we have the monochromatic colors (longest name, easiest definition). These hues are all the same color, but vary in intensity from light to dark. This is when you hear the term “ombre” in the design world. It is very “safe”, simple and elegant.




Second, we have analogous colors.  When you hear this, think “love your neighbors”. These consist of three colors that are right next to each other on the color wheel.  Still safe and clean with a little more dimension and variety.




Third, we have complimentary colors, which are simply opposite of each other on the color wheel. This is when we get a bit more daring…contrasting colors. Ever notice those colors that always seem to look good together? Blue and yellow, pink and green, red and green? This is why!

The last color theory collection is triadic colors. This combination is bold, yet balanced. (This is why it’s important to use a color wheel!) It is created by three colors that form a triangle on the wheel.

The next time you go to Home Depot or Lowe’s and are perusing the paint section, go ahead and test out these tips. When you start your next (or first) reno / ”redeco” project, pull up a color wheel and this article to plan a colorfully coordinated space.