Hello my favorite design-people:-)

I have been wrapping up a bunch of projects lately. This is great because it means that I have a lot of before&after pics headed your way! One of the final steps in wrapping up a project is the most fun...accessories! It seems that most clients are intimidated by buying and placing accessories. I agree it's a tough part of a project, but no room is complete until the final pillows, artwork, candles etc. have been placed.

I should add that most of my designer friends would argue that this is a very "decorator-esque" post, and I agree. However, it is a key part of being a residential designer.

Here are some of my favorite accessorizing tips:

1) Buy, buy, buy. Charge that card baby! Don't look at the price-tags and stress about how much you are spending. Go to some of your favorite stores and start piling up what you love! You will find a spot for it! I typically purchase double what I actually end up using in the space. Sometimes you will be surprised at what you use and what you don't.

2) Start out at the discount stores. TJMaxx, Home Goods, Marshalls, Ikea, Ballard Backroom, Target and Walmart. I always start here. I am constantly amazed at the products I find at half-price, that I saw at ZGallery and even Restoration Hardware....

3) Only purchase accessories from retail stores. Some of my favs are Zgallery, Pottery Barn, CB2, Crate & Barrel, and West Elm. This is important, because you can always return what doesn't work in your space.

4) This seems obvious, but try to vary your objects. Try to avoid "candle-land" or "picture-frame-land". Add in a clock, go for the funky elephant, add a wood sculpture, grab the bright blue vase.

Ceramic Owls

5) Buy in 3's and 5's. Items typically look better in odd numbers.

Decorative Bowl Wall Art

6) Add texture and pattern. Grab some nubby baskets, add a furry pillow, or a colorful striped rug.

Oversize Seagrass Basket

7) Mix and Match. I have 5 pillows on my sofa. None of them match, but they coordinate. Take 1 floral, pull out the blue color in the florals with a solid pillow. Add a white pillow, then pull in a stripe that coordinates with everything else.

Kantha Quilted Pillow

8) Rugs and drapes are expensive, but no room is complete without a rug and drapes. Save on cost by purchasing your drapery hardware from Target.

Silk Grommet Window Panel

9) Don't buy a piece of art unless you love it. You have to stare at that artwork every single day...love it! Check out art.com and find a print of a piece that you love. You know those great maps that they are selling at Restoration Hardware...they cost over $1000. Find a map on art.com and they will frame it beautifully for under $200.

10) Go big or go home. Don't buy teeny, tiny little accessories. Buy big impact items that become a focal point of the room.

11) Plan out your frame walls. It's difficult to put together a family wall...here is one of my favs.

Last piece of advice is if you are still feeling overwhelmed, hire a designer. Myself and a lot of designers will accessorize your room at an hourly rate. It's pretty time consuming and difficult to properly accessorize a space. A lot of my clients have great taste, but they are short on time. You can save a lot of time, energy and money (yes, money---designers get great discounts!) by hiring a professional. Let me know how I can help!



Interior design earns dual No. 1 rankings by DesignIntelligence

I am so excited to announce.......

SCAD's interior design department has earned two No. 1 rankings for its undergraduate and graduate programs from DesignIntelligence's 2012 edition of "America's Best Architecture and Design Schools." It is the first time in the ranking's history that one university has received top honors for both undergraduate and graduate programs.


So proud to have gone to such a fantastic school!




As promised, I have pulled together some of the fantastic photography that my mom (aka. Amazing photographer/graphic designer extraordinaire) took on our trip to Interlaken. This is truly one of the most beautiful cities in the world. It's almost difficult to focus on the architecture throughout the city because the views beyond are so spectacular. Enjoy!

My mom and I dipping our toes into the freezing cold water...



Switzerland, France, and Germany: Post 1

Hello All,

First, I have to apologize that my blog has been completely neglected while I have been traveling. I have been in and out of the country for the past month or so. My wonderful husband, Reese is doing a lot of work in Basel, Switzerland so my mother, Baby G and I ventured over for a couple of weeks. Basel is located at the very top of Switzerland and is about 15 minutes to France and 15 minutes to Germany. We took full advantage and visited the following cities:

Zurich, Switzerland
Colmar, France
Freiburg, Germany
Strasbourg, France
Interlaken, Switzerland
Lake Lucerne, Swintzerland
Wein am Rhein, Germany

Architecture and Design in Switzerland is of course a fantastic mix or ultra-modern and antiquated buildings. Here are a few images from our trip:

This was Colmar, France. Next post, Interlaken.



Favorite Shops & Spots

A long time ago, I worked for a small design studio as an assistant...). I learned all sorts of things about running a design business from the lead architect. Most of which are things I would place into the category of "What-NOT-to-DO". His number one motto was "A designer should NEVER reveal their resources". So here I am, revealing a bunch of my favorite shopping resources all over the Internet. Oh well....
Here are a few of my favorite places:

Shopping In & Around Atlanta:

Anthropologie-This shop just feels so good. I feel inspired every time I go here. I like to shop here for plates and accessories.

Webb Marstellar-Fabrics, Wallcoverings (amazing selection with good prices), Furniture etc. I have been shopping here for the past 6 years and they never disappoint. It is on the high-end side, but stop in for that WOW piece for your house.

Bungalow-Everyone who knows this store, just loves it. If I were to choose a shop in which I would want to live forever---it would be Bungalow.

B Braithwaite-This is a great children's/baby store. They are located right next to Bacchanalia (another fav. spot for eating) and have fabulous cribs, bedding, clothes, toys, books etc. You can also find some high-end baby gear here. I love to just walk around in this store--although I always end up with something for Baby G.

Lewis and Sheron-Looking for a fabric to recover that ugly sofa sitting in your basement that your husband just won't let you part with? L&S has been in the fabric biz. forever! There are 2 floors of fabrics, 1 furniture area, trims galore....love this place. Plus, the same people have been working there for seriously 10+ years and always are willing to help.

A couple others to check out local to ATL:
Ballard Backroom
Paris on Ponce

Shopping Online:

Horchow is a company that carries just about everything. They have fabulous art/furniture/accessories etc. Horchow carries a lot of my favorite designer pieces as well.

Junk2Funk is a duo of the ultra funky (lovely friends of mine) Shana & John. They hit up antique shops, estate sales and thrift shops to find super cool finds---then they re-create their treasures into usable furniture, art and accessories. If you are looking for something eclectic and (like me) don't really love hitting up the junkstores to look through it all, check out their site on etsy.

Serena and Lily is pretty well known for their ultra-chic (and pricey) baby bedding; however, I love their whole furniture line/paint/bedding/accessories etc. The two super-cool women that own Serena and Lily have fantastic taste. Definitely check out their site.

Room and Board What I especially love about Room and Board is that they have the "rights" to sell a lot of mid-century modern pieces. They carry some of the big names like Knoll, Herman Miller, Eames. Most designers know that oftentimes you have to go through a dealer to purchase from these companies. Need it fast and don't feel like going through a designer (unless you want to call me of course:-), go to Room and Board.

CB2 Not everyone knows about the funkier, more contemporary (and less expensive) store owned by Crate and Barrel. This one is a keeper....although they do not give designer discounts...which I am still just a little bit upset about.

Neiman Marcus Who knew that this big name clothing store would have great pieces for your house. They do, check 'em out.

Enjoy just a few of my favorite shopping spots!


Big Impact Design

Hello design lovers,

I can't believe it has been so long since I have posted on my blog! 2 weeks. It has been a really crazy summer. I am very fortunate to be busy with some fantastic clients and some really great design projects going on currently. I have been neglecting my blogging recently for a really fun project. It is an insurance agency called Brightway Insurance which has a whole new spin/concept surrounding the boring world of insurance. We are working hard to stay on a pretty tight budget, but to also create a fun environment for her employees.

Here are some of the ideas that I have found have a big impact, with a pretty small price tag. Most of these things can even been done without the help of a contractor or a professional painter.

This is an original inspiration image that my client sent to me. I think it's a great way to make a big, big impact using only paint. I am using the idea in the main office area. We have a huge wall and guess what---can't afford artwork. What's the next best thing? A massive painted wall with ultra-bright stripes along the entire wall. Guess how much it costs...under $200. Try this instead of a headboard or if you are feeling very adventurous, anywhere else in your house!
Ok. I know everyone loves Ikea....but this place is seriously cheaper than Walmart. Crazy right?! This is a huge impact canvas for $49.99. When I say HUGE, I mean this thing is huge. Check it out. 30x50 Zebra Canvas

I just love this room in general. There are a couple of things that I love here. Remember Monica from Friends? Mix-matched chairs in her breakfast nook? Am I the only crazy that a. remembers that b. that still watches Friends c. that still loves this idea? Anyway, try mixing some pricey chairs with some Ikea chairs! Makes you look very edgy and cool, while saving money!
Try choosing some uber-cool light fixtures like these and placing them above a very cost-friendly table and chairs. Nobody will notice the furniture. It's ALL about the chandeliers.
Check out the wall in the back. Grab a paintbrush, give one to your toddler (ok, maybe not), and your non-artistic husband. Ta-Da...modern art:-)

I need to start this off by saying that this is NOT going into the office design. Look at the painting over the bed....guess how it was created....it involves a canvas on the floor, an adventurous better-half, and some naked time. You guessed it! http://www.loveisartkit.com/. Cheap, fun, and a fantastic end-result (I guess that depends on you).

What's up super cool decal?! Even the baby thinks it's cool! This costs a total of $65. You install it yourself and it adds a fun focal point to the room. I have seen some really, really bad decals. My recommendation is to check out Blik and don't ever buy cheesy decals with inspirational quotes on them....PLEASE.

I just hate to keep plugging IKEA, BUT come on.... a kitchen for $800? Amazing. Notice the tower cabinet on the left? This costs $100 and provides a complete pantry for the office-while looking great. Check out the 2 silver shelves in place of wall cabinets. These cost $14.99 each and you can stack bright plates (see below) and hang cute little tea cups from them. Keep in mind that you are only allowed to place adorable dishes on these shelves. Open shelving can go downhill very, very quickly.

I thought these were way cute. They are from West Elm and you can mix them with some white dishes to save on cost. Why can't we mix and match dishes if we are mix and matching chairs?