Monthly archives: January, 2016

5 Design Rules to IGNORE!!!!

There is no doubt that rules can make us feel safe and secure.  For most, they allow an imaginary line to be drawn that lets us stay on the side of “right” and “acceptable”.  Rules guide us and reaffirm that we are on the right path.  What they don’t do is allow us to develop our instincts.  They can rob us of our creativity.  At their worst, they tell us that we are not capable of developing our own ideas of what is acceptable.  Nonetheless, we must know the rules before we can break them.

Interior design is a highly visual and highly subjective medium.  Therefore, one can without any “eye” for design, determine whether a room looks stylish and successfully put together.  The success or lack thereof, lies in the eyes of the beholder.

While I believe that there are some rules that keep one from making the most egregious design mistakes, there are others that are no longer relevant. Here are a few design rules that should be ignored:

  1.  Only paint small rooms in light colors.  This rule is the one that people have the hardest time ignoring.   I understand people’s hesitation.  It seems counter-intuitive to think that a dark color would visually expand a small space; however, it does.  A dark painted room can actually make a small room look larger because it allows the corners of a room to recede and disappear.

Below, is an image that illustrates this concept.

Anne Lowengart Interiors

Anne Lowengart Interiors

When painting a small room dark, opt for minimal or no window treatments.  The strategic use of mirrors will also double the size of the room.

2.  Large furniture should only be used in large rooms.  Quite the contrary; I always recommend using large-scale furniture in a small room.  Using larger furniture tricks the eyes’ sense of proportion.  In addition to this,  it causes one’s eyes to move around the room less.  This allows us to take a zoomed out view of the room.  It is an optical illusion that really works.

blog post design rules to break

Image via Better Homes & Gardens

3.  You can not mix modern design elements with traditional design elements.  Quite simply, yes you can; it is called transitional design!  You can mix rustic with modern, country with modern etc…… Mixing styles adds depth to any space.

Image via Houzz

Image via Houzz

Mixing period design such as art deco, Victorian, or mid-century modern is harder to do, but can be done. Below is a modern and Victorian mix……this is really well done!!

Mixing modern and victorian decor

Image via Andrew Flesher – Mixing modern and Victorian decor

4. If the room has a fireplace, it should always be the focal point.  While it is true that a fireplace can make a beautiful focal point, it does not always need to be the star of the room.  If one’s home has access to a breathtaking view, or one should possess museum quality art, both would supersede the fireplace’s status in that space.

The designer above smartly made the view the star of this room.  The lack of window treatments allows the window molding to “frame” this home’s gorgeous view.

5.  The ceiling must always be white.  The ceiling is a room’s fifth (and forgotten) wall.  The ceiling is an opportunity to showcase your style.  I love to paint children’s room ceilings a contrasting color, and wallpaper the ceiling of a powder room or master bedroom closet.

The family room below makes the ceiling a focal point by adding coffered molding and using a deep gray to showcase this detail.  This look is always a show-stopper!  Add a metallic ceiling to a dining room, or a gold flecked paper to your powder room.  Don’t be afraid to try it.  If it’s not for you, a few swipes of white paint and you are back to where you started.

Image via Blogspot

Image via Blogspot

My bonus rule that should be ignored:

6.  Interior doors should always be painted white.  There is nothing more chic than a black high-gloss interior door.  The French have been doing this for decades.  A black high-gloss door is very dramatic and makes a statement; it is the exclamation point added to a room.  It lets all those who enter know that those who reside on the other side of that beautifully glossy door, live a little North Of Chic 🙂

black interior doors

Hope you enjoyed this post!  Thank you for reading!

xo Laurie

Designer Decor for LESS! – HUGE Savings on Designer Knock Offs!

You have slaved over putting together a room in your house.  You are almost done.  You find the PERFECT piece that will be the finishing touch to your room.  However, that perfect piece is a lot more than you wanted to spend, and will put you over your budget!  You have been patiently waiting for it to go on sale.  What to do?  Find the PERFECT replica, for MUCH less!

I’m not going to lie, it takes a lot of time and effort to search for replicas.  However, it is all worth it when you find that perfect piece!  Here are some amazing designer knock offs that give you that high end designer look, for a fraction of the price.

I have always loved the Parson Table.  This design was designed by Jean-Michel Frank in the 1930’s.  It is as relevant today as it was then.  This is truly a modern classic! In my original post, Pier 1 had a great table for under $500!  Sadly, this is no longer available.  Here is another great alternative from Zinc Door.

This gold and marble cocktail table is of perfect size and proportion.  The geometric detail adds a lot of visual interest.  The table from Overstock is a great find!

I LOVE mirrored furniture.  It reflects light beautifully, and adds just the right amount of sparkle to a room.  This piece would look great in a dining room or bedroom.


Below are nickel plated console tables.  Glass tables are a great way to add furniture without taking up a lot of visual space.  Great for smaller spaces.

There is something very chic about Zinc.  It has a great looking patina that looks rustic, yet refined.  This could serve as a console or desk.  Add a lamp with a shiny finish, and your are good to go!

Unless a throw is made of cashmere or fur, it should not cost $300.  I’m sorry, but that is absurd!  This cotton throw from target is a great find and comes in many other colors.  Since a lot of designers farm out their production to factories overseas, there is a good chance this was even made in the same factory.

This is a really stylish headboard.  The nail head detail adds a lot of interest and gives it a special look.  With the $1200 you save, you could buy some high thread count sheets and a nice duvet 🙂

I am a sucker for interesting looking accessories.  These metal spheres add so much interest and style.  Add them to a bookcase, inside your kitchen glass cabinets or on top of a stack of books on your cocktail table.

I could spend all day posting these design hacks!  There are so many great deals to be found.  There are some things I feel are worth the price and are truly an investment (a great sofa is one of these things), and somethings that are worth taking the time to find a cheaper alternative.  We no longer buy heirloom furniture.  Most of us do not want to have our furniture for 40 years, to later pass on to our children.  Therefore, we are not looking to spend a small fortune on each piece.

My philosophy always (whether it is furniture, clothes, shoes or purses) is to buy the best you can afford.  But, be selective.  In my opinion, I would rather invest in great kitchen cabinetry that is crafted of superior material and will withstand the wear and tear of many years of use, than on a $15,000 dining room set that I will be sick of in 5 years.  The best rooms are the rooms with a few high end pieces and a few design hacks. I’m warning you though, the hunt becomes just as fun and addictive as the savings!!

Hope you enjoyed this post on designer replicas.  Let me know if you have found any great knockoffs that you want to share.

xo Laurie

No Fail Paint Color Pairings (Part 2-Warm Colors)

While temperatures dip below freezing in the Northeast, writing a post on warm paint color palettes could not have come at a better time!  Dreaming of sun, sand and all things warm is a nice respite from this frigid weather.  This might be my longest post yet; so, buckle up, Babydolls!

I find that warm colors are more tricky to work with and harder to pair with other warm colors.  The undertones of warm colors vary so greatly making it difficult to find other colors that marry well with them.  That being said, there are a few tips I like to use when pairing these colors together.  But first, let’s start with some color palettes and pictures that illustrate these palettes before I launch into my tips. As a caveat, most computer screens and the screens of hand-held devices are all calibrated very differently.  This great effects the way these colors are viewed.  Please take paint chips home or buy paint samples to try out in the space you are looking to use them (viewing them during both the day and night) to ensure the color is right for you.

The colors below are colors we all know and love with a few updates.  Those who follow fashion know that when trends emerge from past trends, they are always tweaked to make them more current; paint colors are no different.

As I stated in my last post on this topic, try to use a dark, medium and light colors in each room adding a pop of color for interest and depth.  The palette I highlighted below features Springfield Tan, Yosemite Sand, Rustic Taupe, Nightfall and Cork.  A nice combination to use might be to have Springfield Tan on the walls, Yosemite Sand on the ceiling (this would look amazing), Rustic Taupe and Nightfall as your accent color and Cork as your pop.

The room below features sand colored walls with white trimmed box molding and pops of yellow and black.  Unless you have a high threshold for color and contrast, it is a good idea to limit your pop of yellow to accent and accessories that can easily be swapped out.  Yellow is one of the hardest colors to work with; therefore, when it comes to yellow, muted is best.  In my opinion, pastel yellow only belongs in a nursery.

2016 Warm Paint Colors


Image via Houzz

Here is a palette using a medium tone beige, a deep brown, cream and cherry red as an accent color.  I love this bright, almost pink pop of red.  This is a beautiful and more current red than was used 10 years ago. It is bright and saturated, yet still refined.  In designing a room using these colors, I would use the medium color, Baja Dunes on the walls; the dark and light color, Fallen timber and muslin, as accents and Rose Parade as the pop of color.  The dining room below is a very dramatic use of these colors.  This designer chose to paint the walls a very deep shade of brown, with white moldings, trim and mirror.  The pop of cherry red is used only on the upholstery, area rug and wall decor.

Image via Houzz – Tobi Fairley Interior Design


The deep brown (almost black) walls looks so rich with this shade of cherry red!

My last palette using warm colors features a color that a lot of people are afraid of: Orange.  I can understand one’s hesitation to use this color.  When searching through Designer portfolios for images using orange, I found more badly designed rooms using this color, than I did of rooms that used orange successfully.  I have a few tips just for this color alone.  When using the right shade of orange, in the right places, this color can add a fun pop or add a warm, comforting vibe to your space.   The palette below features a crisp white, White Dove; a light beige, Manchester Tan; a rich brown, Brown Horse and a saturated orange, Pumpkin Spice.

Tips for using orange:  Use orange in a space that gets a lot of natural light.  I would also suggest limiting this color to one wall.  Orange is a secondary color, it is a blend of red and yellow.  Choose an orange that has more red than yellow in it.  Therefore, I would opt for a medium to deep shade of orange over a lighter shade of this color. In addition, when incorporating metals with orange, I would suggest using gold over silver.

The rooms below use this color as an accent color to add depth to the space.  They both limit this color to strategically placed pops of orange.  The first room uses a deep dramatic brown for the wall color, adding a deep orange throw at the bottom of the bed and orange Hermes boxes on the nightstands.  The second room uses a lighter wall color with orange as the accent on the rug and upholstery.  Most importantly, the designers of both rooms kept the intensity of the orange (deep and rich for the first, rich and bright for the second), consistent with the other colors in the room.



Image via Houzz-Gary McBournie Inc.


Image via Houzz

Image via Houzz


Below are my pairings for those of you who like things a little bolder 🙂  These palettes are deep and dramatic.  There is much less variation in the intensity of the colors used in these spaces.  This palette features Sherwin Williams paints.

Bold Color Pairing-Sherwin Williams


Image via Houzz- Salins Group

Image via Houzz – Leigh Olive Mowry-Olive Interiors


Image via Pinterest – Blogspot

In the image below, I love how this designer created drama using the same color intensity for all colors.  Although this room is too dramatic for most people, it is really well done!  Green is a versatile color in that it plays well with both silver and gold.

Image via Pinterest – Studio M Interiors

This last room illustrates a classic black, white and red palette.  This palette will never go out of style.  However, this is a fresh interpretation that I love.  Most elements in this room are kept light and bright.  The use of black on the window grills adds a dramatic and upscale element.  It is as though this designer used kohl eyeliner to line the “eyes” of this room.  The designer showed restraint in leaving the window treatments simple to highlight this feature.  The red chairs are a perfect use of dramatic symmetry.  I am loving this dining room right down to the blown glass orb chandelier!


Image via Houzz-Spinnaker Development

Image via Houzz-Spinnaker Development

Ok, here are a few tips on warm paint pairings:

  1.  According to House Beautiful, warm colors are best used in south and east facing rooms.  South and east facing light is warm and will enhance warm paint colors.   To determine what direction your room faces, you can download a compass app on your phone.  Be sure to keep your phone (or compass) flat for most accurate results.
  2. As a general rule of thumb, gold is the best metals to use when accessorizing rooms using warm colors.
  3. Be cognizant of the type of light you are using in a room with warm paint.  Florescent light bulbs (never recommended) emit a very blue green light and will completely change the way your paint looks at night.  Incandescent light (most light bulbs) If you have nothing better to do, you can click here for more info on this topic 🙂

I will wrap this post up by expressing my deep appreciation for all of your kind, enthusiastic and supportive feedback. I appreciate each and every comment and private message I have received. This blog is a labor of love, and it is my hope that I am able to lessen the frustration and challenges that arise in home design.  Your feedback is immensely helpful and lets me know what you are interested in reading about.  Keep the suggestions coming 🙂

xo Laurie

How to make your home look more expensive!

It is no secret that one’s home is a symbol of status.  Whether it is accurate or not, we assume one’s bank account is in direct relation to one’s home.   Who of us has not walked into someone’s grand or super stylish home and wondered “what do they do for a living?”.  Or conversely, assumed that one was of modest means after visiting that person’s home.

For most, one’s home is one’s biggest financial investment.  We are all hoping for a large payout when the time comes that we are ready to sell.  Therefore, we look to do things to increase the value of our home.  Whether you are looking to sell in the near future, or just want to elevate the look of your home, here are 5 things you can do to make your home look more expensive.  (As a side note, I will almost never post “20 things” for anything.  I am not a big fan of laundry lists.  Personally, I do not want to do 20 things, no matter what the topic is.  I favor tasks that feel achievable; hence, my list of 5 🙂

  1.  Add Art to every room on your first floor (powder room included).  Showcasing a gallery or a single piece of art gives the impression of a cultured and refined owner.  You need not spend a fortune; Minted is one of my favorite sites that carries reasonably priced framed art.  Keep the style of the art consistent throughout the house.  Although it is possible to successfully mix things like photography and abstract art, it is not for the novice.   For a really high end look, choose ONE piece to showcase in each room.  I like to make this piece LARGE, as shown below.  There can be other art in the room, but one piece should hold the spotlight.

This room is one of my favorites that illustrates this tip:

Blog Post More Expensive2.  Add molding!  This is a tip we’ve all heard.  However, most times it is crown molding that is the focus.  I completely agree with this; however, the base molding seems to be the ugly step sister of molding and therefore, is rarely mentioned.  A truly high end home usually showcases 4″-6″ base moldings.  If you want your home to look more expensive, beef up those base moldings!  I also like adding an extra piece of molding at the top to create an even more custom look.

I love the way the picture below uses the extra piece of molding at the top of the base molding; it is the details that gives this a truly special appearance.

Image via Houzz - Bruce Johnson & Associates

Image via Houzz – Bruce Johnson & Associates

3.  Use inside mount window treatments.  Inside mount window treatments are usually associated with custom treatments……cha-ching!!!!!  Those of us who have installed custom window treatments know that it is easy to spend $2000 per window.  (In another post, I will give you my tips for major window treatment design hacks to save you big $).  Using inside mount treatments will undoubtedly give your home a more high end appearance.

The pictures below are from The Shade Store and start at $345.  The Shade Store is a great resource.  Their designer collaborations with Dwell, DVF, Robert Allen and Jeffery Alan Marks make it so you can get designer fabrics at a steeply discounted price.  The fabric alone would cost this amount at designer showrooms.

4.  Pull some furniture away from the walls.  In addition to this, remove a couple pieces of furniture from each room.  Floating the furniture gives the illusion that the room is larger than it is.  High end homes do not have furniture crammed into a room.  Quite the opposite; they usually have much less furniture than the space can hold.  This also gives a more open and stylish appearance.

I love the way this room feels like there is room to breathe. The room is a good size, but looks even larger because all of the furniture is floating and not anchored to any wall.

Interior via Martha O'Hara Interior Design

Interior via Martha O’Hara Interior Design

5.  Update your light fixtures (especially your ceiling mount fixtures, change them out to semi-flush mounts).  The parallels in fashion and interior design are endless.  You can elevate a dress from Banana Republic with a few nice pieces of jewelry.  The same principle holds true for your home.  Choose lighting that is interesting.  Make a statement with crystals or laser cut metals.

Here are a few that I like from Shades of Light and Lamps Plus:



We will return to our normal programming, and continue with our paint pairings using warm colors for our next post!   Hope you enjoyed this interruption!  Let me know what you think, or if you can add to this topic in any way.

xo Laurie

No Fail Paint Color Pairings!! (Part 1-Cool Color Palette)

It is hard to get paint wrong when dealing with gray and beige.  Yet, one should not limit oneself to gray and beige alone.  Color is the fastest way to give any room a lift! Below are some NO FAIL color schemes to add interest to your rooms.  Every great paint palette consists of a dark , medium , light and pop of color.  With any of these palettes, the colors can all be used as paint applications. However, most of the time two to three paint colors are used and the other colors are brought in through furniture and accessories using these pops color.  As with any changes you make to your home, know thyself!  If your threshold for color is low, stick to the schemes in the first half of this post.  What you wear is a great indicator for your color threshold.  Take a look in your closet.  If you own very neutral (black included) clothing and very little color or pattern, you probably have a low threshold for color.  If you are looking to dip your toes in the “color pond”, start simple by adding only one pop of color to your room.  Painting (and wallpapering) the ceiling is one of my favorite design tricks for adding interest to any room.  However, I would recommend starting a little less ambitiously by keeping dark or accent colors to the bottom half of the room.

Part 1 of this post deals with the color schemes using cool colors such as gray, beige, blues and pinks.  It is impossible to get it wrong with these schemes.  At the end of the post, I will showcase a few bolder palettes for those of you who are more daring.  All of the paints used in the first part of this post are Benjamin Moore colors.

In the room below, the throw pillows and blanket are the dark color, the headboard features the medium color, the walls are the light color and the pillows and bench showcase the pop of color.

paint palette gray pink beige


This paint palette features Chelsea Gray as the dark color, Waynesboro as the medium Taupey color, Muslin as the light, fresh color and Melrose Pink as the pop of color.

This next palette showcases white, gray and blue.  The first room is a bold look that uses the pop of color liberally.  Painting the ceiling using the accent color creates major drama and visual interest.  The second room uses a softer palette with the pop of blue used on the pillows, art and ottoman.  The deep color is used on the rug to anchor the room, and the light color is used on the wall.

Beige, Navy, Gray and Pink Palette


Below is a gray, beige, cream and yellow paint palette. In these rooms, the pops of color are featured using accessories.



For the more daring, here are some pairings from BHG that will really take any room up a few notches.  Notice that all of the colors used are the same intensity.  Choose one color to serve as the main “anchor” color, and use the others as accents and pops to add visual interest.

A caveat to using a really bold color palette like the ones above is that any contiguous rooms should feature a neutral more subdued palette.  In addition, those rooms should have accessories which feature a few of the colors in your bold color room to create coherence.  There is nothing worse than every room featuring a different bold color.  It should never look as though Crayola had too many RBVs  and came home and vomited all over your home……..not good!!  Choose colors like Muslin and Carlisle Cream for the rooms that lead into your bolder rooms.

Next up is Part 2 of this post: Paint Color Schemes using warm colors.  STAY TUNED!!!  Let me know if there are any colors that you have been dying to use, and need help pairing with other colors.

Thanks for reading!

xo Laurie

2016 Paint Color Trends!

Picking paint colors has always been the number one request I get as a designer.  People get very nervous committing to a color from 1×2 paint chip.  It is also nerve-wracking knowing that the same color can look very different in two different homes, during different times of the day or whether it is on sheet rock or plaster.  In addition, choosing a palette for one’s home where one room flows seamlessly to the next,  while having each room still maintain its own identity can be challenging.  One’s threshold for color also plays a role in what color one chooses.

Below are the color trend reports for 2016 from the three largest paint companies; Benjamin Moore, Behr and Sherwin Williams.

Below is the 2016 paint palette for Benjamin Moore:

The Benjamin Moore palette is my favorite of all three palettes.  I love the muted quality in this whole palette.   Most of these colors have gray and black undertones.  Also, the colors in the palette on the right share similar color values and intensity.  Therefore, it will be very easy to mix and match these colors.

Below is the 2016 paint palette for Behr:


Behr 2016 Paint Palette

Behr 2016 Paint Palette

The Behr palette has a very deep and moody tone to it.  I would use this palette in rooms that get a lot of natural light, or in rooms with very high ceilings.  I love the Charcoal Plum, Opus, Black Pearl, Pagoda and Fifth Olive-nue in this palette.

Here are Sherwin Williams’ Paint Trend Palettes for 2016:

My personal favorites are the entire Pura Vida Palette, as well as the Naval and Backdrop from the Nouveau Narrative palette.  I think Sherwin Williams was hedging their bets a bit by including just about every color under the sun this year 😉

All three palettes feature colors that are very muted and have gray and black undertones.  After many years of beige and gray, this is a very safe way to get people to dip their toe back in the “color pond”.

However, by far, the overwhelming consensus is that 2016 is White’s year to shine!!  White, and all of its shades is being touted at the “it’ color.  Benjamin Moore listed its Simply White as the Color Of The Year for 2016, and  Sherwin Williams listed Alabaster as their Color Of The Year for 2016

My interpretation of these color trend palettes is that people will keep their walls light and bright (think anything in the Pura Vida palette) and use the bolder colors as accents on walls, furniture, pillows and accessories.  I think bold colored painted furniture in hues of fuchsia, yellow and blue will be big for the next few years.

The pictures below illustrate the look of light bright walls with bold accents, beautifully.

2016 Color trends pic -cortinas-amarelas-1

Image via The Fab Guide

Image via Popsugar

Image via Popsugar

2016 Color Trends Maria Barros

Image via Maria Barros

Next up is paint color pairings for walls, accent walls, furniture and MORE!!!…….stay tuned!!!

As always, I would love to hear your thoughts and recommendations for future posts.

xo Laurie

7 of the BEST Home Design Trends For 2016

Home design trends are usually born from social or economic events or movements.  It was no coincidence (or surprise) that a more modern, clean and clutter free trend arose shortly after the economic crisis of 2008.  Some trends are fleeting (faux paint treatments and laminate floors), while others have more longevity (kitchen islands, dark stained floors & stainless steel appliances).

Traditional decor with skirted sofas, hunter green and bouillon fringe are long gone.  Traditional style has moved to a more streamlined and less fussy look.  That trend seems here to stay.

In recent years transitional design has been the ‘belle of the ball’.  Transitional design merges modern and traditional design.  This look appeals to those who want a cleaner, fresher look that still maintains a timeless quality.

Kitchen design is having a major moment in design this year.  Three of the top seven trends for 2016 are kitchen trends. Kitchens play a large role in the value of one’s home, so making this room a show stopper translates into a higher asking price (I’m sure my realtor friends can chime in on this topic).

Here are are the best trends for 2016 that will be here to stay:

  1. Mixed Material Kitchens –  Using different color cabinetry for perimeter cabinets and islands is not a new trend.  However, in 2016 there will be a lot more painted cabinetry in soft shades of blue, gray and  beige on perimeter cabinets with either a wood tone island, painted island in a complimentary color or a more rustic or industrial material.

The soft gray base cabinets ground this kitchen. The white upper cabinets look fresh and bright in this traditional kitchen.

2016 mixed cabinet kitchen 3

Gray perimeter cabinets provide a soft back drop. The dark stained island serves as the anchor in this transitional kitchen.

Kitchen Trends 2016

This soft color palette of white perimeter cabinets with a light gray island looks clean, airy and fresh in this transitional kitchen.

2.  No Upper Cabinetry – A trend that is emerging is the look of a more open kitchen.  These kitchens have very few, if any upper cabinetry.  I love the second look that has a row of windows above the counter tops.

Kitchen Trends 2016

No upper cabinets in this kitchen creates an open airy feel.


Kitchen Trends 2016

Love this look of having the windows right above the counters!

3. Black Stainless Steel Appliances – Stainless steel has pretty much taken over the look in appliances for quite a few years now.  It lends a professional look and adds just enough sparkle to the kitchen.  For 2016, black stainless steel is very on trend.  Although these appliances boast fingerprint-less design, they carry a pretty hefty price tag.

Kenmore black stainless steel fridge-Kitchen Trends 2016

Kenmore black stainless steel fridge

Kitchen Aid Black Stainless Steel Stove-Kitchen Trends 2016

Kitchen Aid Black Stainless Steel Stove

4.  Return of the Formal Dining Room –  Both Elle Decor and Houzz agree that people are no longer turning their dining rooms into home offices or media rooms.  People are ready to sit in a beautiful space to eat and reconnect with friends and family.

Interior Design Trends 2016

Everything from the geometric ceiling molding, to the monogrammed linen chairs is perfect. The proportions are spot on!!

Interior Design Trends 2016

5.  Outdoor Fabrics For Indoor Use – It seems as though we want to live in a beautiful and stylish space in 2016 without having to worry about keeping everything pristine.  This trend is great for creating a beautiful room that can withstand wear and tear from children and pets.

Interior Design Trends 2016 North of Chic6.  Statement Fireplaces – Every room needs a focal point.  Fireplaces create presence.  Below is a picture of my living room with a two sided fireplaces that leads into the dining room.  I placed it at eye level so it can be enjoyed from any seat in either room.



Statement Fireplaces-Design Trends 20167.  Bathrooms That Feel Like Living Spaces –  Adding seating or other furniture to relax on creates a spa-like atmosphere in a Master Bath.

Interior Design Trends 2016

A white narrow upholstered chair, furniture style vanity and hide rug create a chic Master Bathroom.

Interior Design Trends 2016

The dual frosted glass shower doors and blush upholstered chair lend a spa-like feel to this Master Bath.

Many trends have emerged in the last few years.  Already the list of trends that are no longer “in” is long.  Some of these are kitchen desks, whirlpool tubs, over the stove microwave ovens and the “keep calm and _____” signs (that should have never been “in” in the first place).

I am here to help you navigate through the trends in design.  As with any trend, ultimately you have to do what feels right for you.  Surround yourself with what you love and find appealing.  Let me know which trends for 2016 you like, or if there are any trends I’ve missed.

Next up is Paint Trends for 2016…..STAY TUNED!!

Xo Laurie


Winter White Done Right!

In Winter we seem to crave comfort and warmth.  Thoughts of steamy soup, creamy hot chocolate and crackling fires pervade our thoughts.  Creating a cozy atmosphere at home during the colder months feels primal.  A Winter white palette is one of my favorite Winter palettes to use.  It looks clean and sophisticated, yet relaxed and warm.  The key to successfully achieving this look is texture.  Using as many tactile materials as possible is really important in getting this look right.  A sister color scheme to the Winter white palette is the all-white color scheme.  Contrary to its moniker, not every single element needs to be pure white.  It is aloud (and necessary) to mix in varied shades of white, such as a very light gray and very light beige to achieve this look.

Below, I put together a Sample Board to show you how these elements work together.

I used a soft white area rug with a thin black zigzag pattern to ground the look.  The other elements are a linen sofa, cable throw and pillow, a white and gold canvas, a concrete cocktail table, white lacquered end table and console table and a Capiz mirror.  I relied on many textures such as shiny, fuzzy, sleek and matte to achieve this look.

Below, are some more elements that can be used to achieve this look.


Here are some rooms that I love.  These rooms beautifully illustrate this look:


Monika Hibbs All White Living Room

Monika Hibbs: All White Living Room

This designer used bleached woods, and linen slip covers to achieve a relaxed all white living room.

This second living room is designed by Victoria Hagan, and successfully pulls off the all-white scheme:

Victoria Hagan White Living Room

Victoria Hagan White Living Room

So, a few tips to pulling off this look:

  • incorporate as much texture as you can.  Fluffy pillows, animal skins such as lizard, shagreen and croc, bleached woods and Capiz shells are all great materials to use.  Materials that are rough, smooth, bumpy, matte and shiny add even more depth to your room.
  • Play with tone.  Use as many shades of white as you can.  Try ivory, grayish-white, cream, bright white, eggshell, linen white etc…There are over 1,000 shades of white, so the options are almost endless.
  • Add patterns in light gray and light beige to break up large expanses of white.  Pattern adds visual interest.
  • Choose a rug with some type of pattern (keep the color scheme light).  The rug is almost always the visual anchor in an all-white room.
  • incorporate metals to add depth.  I like to use gold with white.

Another look I love is the all-white palette for an entire home.  This is an extremely hard look to pull off; it is easy to wind up with a bland and sterile looking home.  As with the rooms above, texture (and pattern) are the key.  I smell a future post 🙂

Here is a no fail paint palette that you can use when creating an all white home.  I love painting every room a different shade of white.  The layered look it creates when you are looking from one room to the next looks very sophisticated.  The walls are an incredible backdrop to just about anything you put on them.

White Paint Palette

White Paint Palette

Let me know what you think of the all-white color scheme.  Have you successfully achieved this look in your home?  I would love to hear your tips or see a picture.

I will be posting on how to achieve a beautiful all -white scheme for your entire house.  Some other topics I plan on posting on this year are tile, art & window treatments. Let me know what topics you are interested in reading about.

xo Laurie