Remember Me?

Yep. I’m back.

And no… I don’t have some stellar nursery update for you…

Nor do I have a current picture of my growing belly to share.

But you have my solemn vow that those things will be coming soon – scouts honor.

Because all the nursery items are FINALLY on order…

And I plan to be “dressed up” this weekend for a holiday party, so I’ll snap a few glamour shots of my current (read: large) physical state.

Life as a new business owner is hectic enough as it is.

But throwing in the freight train headed our direction, officially has my life in manic mode. 

I’ve been trying to keep up with the needs of my wonderful clients so that no one feels neglected once the baby arrives.

The good news… I’m starting to see a light at the end of the tunnel!

My long hours and late nights have afforded me a little breathing room, and maybe even a little more time to blog??

So today, I’m just sharing some things that I’ve come across in my month-long hiatus that have inspired me, or made me happy.

For now – this will have to do until more progress is made on the nursery. 

(So please stop asking, or I’ll have a nervous breakdown)


Moroccan tile = heart. 

WZ Ashbury 1

WZ Ashbury 4

WZ Ashbury 6

WZ Ashbury 7

WZ Ashbury 2

WZ Ashbury 8

WZ Ashbury 9


Beautiful hand-blocked linen prints from Idarica Gazzoni… I’m obsessed.





These totally weird yet totally awesome shoes I saw the other day…

Why do they remind me of the late “King of Pop”?? 

I might need them to spruce up my lame maternity outfits for the holidays.



In my quest to find cute and unconventional toys for the baby…

I’ve fallen in love with all things Bla Bla

blah blah 1

blah blah 2

blah blah 3

blah blah 4

blah blah 5


I am also THRILLED with all the cyber-sale activity online right now…

Makes for one happy, too-busy-to-hit-the-mall shopper!

And while it’s helpful to get these deals when shopping for gifts for OTHERS..

You just CAN’T pass up buying something for your home when all these furniture stores are getting in on the action!

Basically NO ONE is charging for shipping right now, so pick out a little something from “Santa” for yourself!!


West Elm

jayson  rest 



And finally, I’ve been feeling really inspired by the eclectic and fun-spirited design work of a young design team out of New York.

Tilton Fenwick.

(The design company was named by combining the Hall names of their Freshman Year dorms)

They are two young designers, brought together by their love of interiors…

And their projects have been getting some serious attention lately.

It continues to solidify in my mind that the BEST design is always collaborative.

Don’t they make design look like fun?!







SWOON over my favorite Christopher Spitzmiller Lamps being used in this bedroom.

The coral color in person is TO. DIE.



Hope this is enough to wet your whistle for today…

Till Tomorrow, Happy Decorating!

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‘Round here…

Has it REALLY been fourteen days since I posted last? 

That is nuts, and I apologize. 

The past two weeks have flown by,

and lately I’ve been feeling a little like THIS.


Exhaustion from the third trimester, and running this here business have started to catch up with me…

And I am tired.

(And maybe a little bit more irritable than usual?)

But it hasn’t stopped me from forging ahead on my projects…

Because as expected, clients want to feel good and settled before “Baby S” arrives.

(Don’t we all?)

So last week, I had the pleasure of doing a quick mini-installation for a fellow “Chicagoan” client of mine.

And while we’re still waiting on a fabulous striped lounge chair, and a pair of chic studded leather ottomans to sit in front of the fireplace…

The house looked absolutely beautiful already. 







And no… we didn’t base the color scheme on our favorite football team.

While “Da Bears” have been playing like champions lately, the client had a blue-and-orange vision for the house looonnnng before the season started.

Till Tomorrow, Happy Decorating!

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In My Defense

This past weekend, my absolutely wonderful Mom hosted my very first Baby Shower in Chicago.

It was an event fit for a real-life princess.

The room was beautifully decorated, the food was delicious, the company was incredible…

And there were four words on everyone’s lips:

“You’re having a boy”.

And while some analyzed the “way I’m carrying”

Or wanted results from the age old “ring test”…

Many of these women were convinced I was having a boy simply because they read this blog,

And saw recent plans for the nursery…

Thus their predictions for our baby’s gender are only based on the fact that I’ve “painted the crib BLUE”.

Can you believe this?

They are calling the crib BLUE!

My Mom has sincerely convinced a group of women that my husband and I secretly know the sex of this baby…

But are keeping the truth from everyone…

Except that she thinks she’s cracked some “secret code” because the crib has been painted BLUE.

Now, as an interior designer – before I can even think about being offended by indirectly being called a liar…

I am more offended that they are calling the crib BLUE!

Because the crib, dear family… is TURQUOISE.

And that that there is a huge difference.

Turquoise – in my EXPERT opinion (I had to throw that in there) – is a gender neutral color

And I would even argue the color leans a little toward feminine.

So just to strengthen my argument…

Here are some images of turquoise in all its girly glory.

Dining Room

girls room 2

girls room 3

girls room


Kitchen floor

Living Room 2


Living Room

Nursery 2

Of course now my mom and her friends are probably gathering somewhere to reassess the “secret codes” embedded in this blog post…

And are likely convinced that defending our crib color means I must KNOW I’m having a girl…

But that’s the fun part of keeping them guessing.  No one knows for sure. 

But for the record:  I have NO idea about the gender of this baby.

I just happen to like the color turquoise.

Till Tomorrow, Happy Decorating!

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Tis the Season…to be Scared

This is hands down my favorite time of year.

Just as the leaves start changing colors, the tone of upcoming movie previews begins to change as well.

For the month of October, gone are the days of the release of new Rom-Coms – making room for the Horror Films attracting thrill-seekers like myself.

I LOVE a good scary movie.

So while I look forward to Halloween because it allows me to use my creativity coming up with outlandish costume ideas…

It also gives me the perfect excuse to see as many scary movies as my husband will agree to.

(Because you know I’m not watching that stuff by myself!)

The best news of all – is that the “creepy” can continue long after Halloween this year…

Because FX has launched an awesomely terrifying TV show that completely taps into my love for all things frightening.

American Horror Story is about a family who relocates to LA from Boston, and it seems they may have picked a house with a dark history.

*Warning – for those of you who spook easily, you may want to watch this preview through your fingers…

It’s a great show, and I totally recommend tuning in…

But be sure to have a friend in the room because some of the scenes will have you jumping!

So in the spirit of Halloween – here are a few fun images to get your heart racing.






spooky 2




And just plain SCARY…


Till Tomorrow, Happy Halloween!

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Baby Steps

Pun FULLY intended…

The plan has been drawn…


The room scheme has been selected…


A new window has been installed (and the hubs has achieved real-life-handyman status)…


And the crib has been painted…

We are officially in “nesting mode” people.

Till Tomorrow, Happy Decorating!

Posted in Family, Me, Nursery, The Kipling House | 8 Comments

Breakfast With An Icon

Last week, I was invited to attend a fun industry brunch featuring the famous interior designer, Alexa Hampton.

It was hosted at our local Hickory Chair showroom, where Alexa has also designed a beautiful line of furniture. 

Hickory Chair showroom

Hickory Chair Furniture 2
(some of her furniture pieces designed for the showroom)

In addition to promoting a new book, she planned to take a moment to speak to the crowd about her experience in the industry.

I always look forward to events like this, because as a newly self-employed designer, I find it thrilling to see what type of person is able to take their design career to the next level.

Most of the time, I’m pretty disappointed.

Because often, it’s the famous designer who is a highly egotistic, self-centered Diva only interested in showing off images of their work in the hopes that everyone drools and continues to tell them how wonderful they are. 

Believe me… there have been several. 

But this brunch had quite a different spirit.

While Alexa Hampton was born into design royalty (her father was the famed interior designer Mark Hampton)…

And while her portfolio of work shows a very sophisticated and ornate traditional aesthetic…

She was not a British-accent-faking Prima Donna in the least, and was actually extremely LIKEABLE.

Very candid, and funny, and down-to-earth given how extremely successful her career has been.

Alexa was even recently named Architectural Digest’s top 100… and here are some examples why…

Dining Room

Bedroom 2

Living Dining

Living Room

room 2



She is a young mom, amazingly talented, and delightfully full of spunk…

Thus it should come as no surprise that I’m now a huge fan.

So of COURSE, I had to wait in line so she could sign a copy of the book for yours truly. 


I was joined by my dear design mentor and friend, Mary Hickey. 




So I took home not only an insightful design book I will ACTUALLY read…

But got a really great reminder that being successful isn’t only reserved for the Divas.


Till Tomorrow, Happy Decorating.

Posted in Good Design, Me, Sourcing Product | 2 Comments

David Weeks… and 26 Weeks

If you have been doing your homework

And flip (or scroll) your way through countless, high-end interior design magazines…

You have inevitably come across the stunning modern and sculptural lighting of the fabulous David Weeks.

in room

The cross mobile pendant.

Cross Mobile

torroja cross in room

The tarroja cross chandelier.

torrojoa cross

double pod in room

two arm in room

The double pod floor lamp and sconce.

Double Pod

one arm

But even if you haven’t been doing your homework…

At least tell me you’ve taken my advice, and started watching Gossip Girl?

Because not only is it absolutely life altering (Blair is TOTALLY pregnant with Chuck’s baby, right?)

But also because David Weeks light fixtures have also been spotted in the homes of Manhattan’s upper elite.

chandelier in gossip girl

The aluminum bullet chandelier.

aluminum bullet

sconce in gossip girl

And, the sarus sconce, natch.

sarus sconce

But the beauty of these highly sought-after fixtures comes at a price.

Ahem.. a hefty price…

I quoted one out for a client recently, and we’re talking several thousand dollars a pop.

Thus, for most of us, owning a piece by David Weeks is merely out of the question.

So imagine my surprise when I strolled into West Elm the other day, and walked smack dab into THIS.

WE chandelier

And… THIS.

WE floor lamp

Because there is no denying West Elm has caught on to the trend for sculptural lighting…

And it looks like they’ve released some “Weeks-Inspired” pieces that we all can afford!

WE long arm pendant 2

WE long arm pendant in room

WE long arm wall sconce

WE long arm wall sconce in room

WE taper shade floor lamp 2WE taper shade sconce

The fixtures are really quite pretty in person…

And I’m coveting the floor lamp as a possible pop of modern in the nursery.

Though I’m still not sure when I will find time to work on THAT project,

As my hands have been pretty full these days with actual design work. 


And speaking of full… As in, full-figured…

26 weeks a

I’m 26 Weeks today and feeling pretty great.

(The smile above is courtesy of  Zantac).

And while the newly popped belly keeps me from getting up and down off the floor as quickly as I used to…

It hasn’t slowed me down a bit with my ever-increasing workload…

Which I actually better get back to.

So…Till Tomorrow, Happy Decorating.

Posted in Good Design, Me, Pop Culture, Shopping Guide, Sourcing Product, Trend Watch | 6 Comments

D. I…. Why did I wait so long?

Hi blog friends!  Yes, I’m alive!

I’m sorry for my week of neglect, but I’m back and ready to fill your heads with more nonsense today. 

This past week among loads of job project productivity…

I got the urge to complete a little DIY project here at the Kipling House that I’ve been contemplating for many months.

Almost a year ago, when I was scouring one of my favorite antique shops in town, I came across these…



An assortment of actual pressed botanicals from the 1870’s that were in amazing condition.  The charm of these leafy finds were not only the diversity of the species… but the beautiful hand-written identification tags that were delicately tied with twine to each stem. 

I’ve seen things like these framed in many a magazine (images courtesy of Pinterest).

 image 1

image 2

image 4

image 6

And I considered how I could make them work somewhere in my home.

Well… I finally got the inspiration and energy to complete the task.

So I went out and bought the supplies I would need.




Next, I artfully laid out each individual botanical on a sheet of craft paper

laying out 3

laying out

Then, I carefully tacked down the larger branches with linen tape…

linen tape

And rubber cemented leaves and description tags into place.

laying out 4


Next, I centered the botanicals in each mat…

with tape

And finally placed them into their frames.


Last, I attacked the trickiest part of the whole project…

Convincing my super anal husband my to tackle hanging the series in equal spacing over the sofa!

Because I have absolutely ZERO patience for things like that.

(a few of them are still a little wonky in the photo, but we’ve since worked on perfecting them)

on the wall

I think even Nellie approves of the new addition.



And while my mind is constantly flooded with ideas like this to try here at the Kipling House,

The challenge is finding the time to actually complete these simple DIY projects.

But once we got started, this little adventure only took a few concentrated hours.

And it makes me think… WHY did I not do this sooner?

Because it really does look great in the space…

And it really was quite fun and easy to complete.

I bet you could start pressing your botanicals today!!

(They’ll be seasoned to perfection in about 130 years..)

Till Tomorrow, Happy Decorating. 

Posted in Design Ideas, Life Altering, The Kipling House | 3 Comments

My Life in Pictures

Just a sampling of the fun that’s been going on around here…

(Things that also happen to be keeping me from blogging these days)

I’ve been supervising drapery installation for clients

(blinds to be replaced with woven shades soon)

pic 3

Scoring a lil’ Missoni (or Tar-ssoni…as Jenna jokingly named it) for the nursery…

pic 5

Cheering on the hubs and his brother at their first ever “Duathlon”

(for those of you like me who had NO idea what this means… it’s a run-bike-run type event)

pic 9

pic 2

The boys were incredible, and I was SO proud of them!

pic 6

Pic 1

There have been chairs to inspect inside beautiful wallcovered Dining Rooms…

pic 4

pic 11

I spent one afternoon cheering on my Miami Redhawks with a college bestie

pic 7

I’ve had fun shopping for gorgeous classic tile patterns for a client building a house

pic 10

And there’s even been a few visits to potential day care facilities…

(note the adorable mini bathroom stalls in the background)

pic 8

So while life feels a little nuts lately, all good things have been filling my days.

I’ll also try to post an updated belly pic in the next few days because that’s been making some progress these days too!

Till Tomorrow, Happy Decorating!

Posted in Client Projects, Family, Me | Leave a comment

Back Hole… to Jack Hole

In all my excitement over the trip to Jackson, Wyoming…

I completely forgot to mention that while we were there – we continued hearing rumors that the cast of Modern Family had been seen around town.

Modern Family just happens to be one of my all-time-favorite shows on television…

So, needless to say, if I had bumped into any of them myself, mass hysteria would have ensued, and it would have been the subject of many posts to follow.

Alas, there were no celebrity sightings on my trip.

But if you watched last night’s season premier – you already know the rumors we heard must have been true.

Modern Family took on ‘Cowboy Living’ and hit all the highlights of Jackson Hole.

Modern Family 1

Modern Family 2

A nice view of the Grand Tetons… (The MOUNTAINS people, the mountains)

Modern Family 3

Modern Family 4

Modern Family 6

Modern Family 8

Modern Family 5

And it looks like Ty Burrell and Julie Bowen even got some time to try fly fishing after shooting their episode. 

Makes me feel just a little bit cooler now for having done it myself.

Modern Family 7

And the other thing I neglected to mention when posting about grand ole’ Jack Hole…

Was this amazing hotel we stopped up to one evening.

Like everything in Jackson – the Amangani Resort is all about the views, since it’s perched on the East Gros Venture Butte right in the heart of the Valley.

But I kept finding myself torn away from checking out the gorgeous mountains, because the INTERIORS were equally as beautiful.

Amangani q

Amangani d

phone 3

They had some really great art. 


phone 2

phone 4

And the hotel combined this warm rustic feel, with dramatic lighting and contemporary lines that blended perfectly. 

Amangani e

Amangani g


phone 6

And here are a few shots of the guest rooms (which we didn’t get to see on our drop in)

Amangani i

Amangani l

Amangani h

And we can’t forget about those views.

Amangani r

Amangani m


Then last but not least, we quickly stopped in to a restaurant people told us we just HAD to see on our trip.

The Granary is located just steps from the Amangani Resort.

And while the entry to the restaurant is understated and unassuming…

phone 5

These floor-to-ceiling windows greet you inside.

phone 7

And capture the most amazing view of Grand Teton Mountains we experienced while in town. 

And yes… that’s a bar just in front where you can sit, and sip, and enjoy the best of all Jack Hole has to offer.

I can only imagine how perfect it would be in the winter after a long day of skiing. 

So while it seems we weren’t the only “Modern Family” with the idea to visit Jackson in the summer…

(sorry, I couldn’t resist the pun)

In the end, I can bet our trip was a lot more fun than theirs!

It certainly involved a lot less “Western Wear”. 

Till Tomorrow, Happy Decorating.

Posted in Family, Good Design, Me, Pop Culture, What I'm watching | Leave a comment