Monthly archives: February, 2016

8 Design Words You are Probably Saying WRONG!!!

Design is a global medium of artistic expression; therefore, it is no wonder some of its terms can be a linguistic challenge.   There are more than a few words we have all mumbled through in hopes of sounding in the know.  It is also no surprise that most of these words derive from one the chicest countries in the world.  Below, are some commonly mispronounced design terms:

Sette – (French) pronounced SET-TEA.  Commonly mispronounced Set-tay  A long seat with back and arms that is made for more than one person.

BERGERE– (French) BUR-ZHAIR  The mispronunciations are too great to list.  An armchair with exposed wooden framing and upholstered back and seat.  Bergère chairs became popular in 17th century France among nobility.

Bergere Chair in a modern print - Image from One Kings Lane

Bergere Chair in a modern print – Image from One Kings Lane

ARMOIRE– (French) ARM-WAAR.  Commonly mispronounced Arm-Wah  A tall wardrobe or move-able cabinet that dates back as far as the 16th century. Today, armoires fulfill a variety of storage needs.

FAUX BOIS– (French) FOH-BWAH Imitation of wood or wood grain.  The literal translation is “fake wood”.

Faux Bois outdoor chair via Neiman Marcus

Faux Bois outdoor chair via Neiman Marcus

FOYER – (French) FOY-YAY.  Commonly mispronounced Foy-yer  The front entrance hall in a home or building.

My Foyer

My Foyer

IKAT– (Indonesian) EE-KAHT. Commonly mispronounced Eye-kat  A fabric in which the yarns have been tie-dyed before weaving.

NICHE – (French) NEESH.  Commonly mispronounced Nitch.  A recess in a wall, commonly used for displaying decorative objects.

Image via Decorpad

Image via Decorpad

CHAISE LOUNGE (French) SHEZ-LAWNG.  Commonly mispronounced Shayz-lounge.  An upholstered sofa in the shape of a chair that is long enough to support the outstretched legs. The literal translation is “long chair.”


Horchow Maddox Chaise Lounge


I hope to have helped save you from any raised eyebrows at your next party (because really, who does not talk about design at parties 🙂   Now, you can confidently converse on all things design related.

Let me know what design terms you find commonly mispronounced, or any words you may have questions about.

Thanks for reading!

XO Laurie

Spring 2016 Style Preview! The Fashion-Home Design Connection

Historically, home design follows fashion.  However, the converse is also true.  Fashion designers often proclaim that architecture and interiors serve as their inspiration, and I can personally attest to having found design inspiration from a beautiful or unique piece of clothing.  Below, I will illustrate the parallels that can be found in fashion and home design.  Here are some key trends for Spring 2016:

Blush tones for home

  1.  It is no surprise that soft pastel colors take the spotlight as Spring draws near.  One can argue that both fashion and home design take its cues from nature. Therefore, it is not surprising that as nature’s palette of colors expands and the trees and flowers begin to bloom that fashion and home decor follow suit.  Of all the pastel colors that have been highlighted for Spring 2016, Blush is the “IT” color.  Blush has long been a favorite color of mine.  This soft pink works on every skin tone.  Everyone looks healthier when wearing blush tones.  It is soft, chic and understated.  The same can be said when using blush in one’s home.  This color serves as a perfect complement to almost any color.
Image via Style Me Pretty - Design by Anne Hepfner

Image via Style Me Pretty – Design by Anne Hepfner

2.  Mixing Stripes and Floral

This is a classic mix.  This mix is fun,preppy and will always look chic.  There is no one who does this look better than Ralph Lauren.  Below, I love this wide stripe rug from Lulu and Georgia paired with a classic Louis dining chair in a modern floral from Ballard Design.


Floral and Stripe Dining Room - Image via BHG

Floral and Stripe Dining Room – Image via BHG


Texture is IN

3. In the image below, Christian Dior mixes a chunky knit sweater in pastel blue with white delicate, scalloped sheer shorts.  The pillow from Williams Sonoma Home beautifully mixes lush velvet with a leather croc banding.

Jonathan Adler is a master at mixing textures and prints. Below, he artfully mixes grasscloth wallpaper with mirrored furniture, which he then pairs with his soft Maxime lounge chair.

Jonathan Adler Delphine Bar $2995 and Maxime Lounge Chair $2250

Jonathan Adler Delphine Bar $2995 and Maxime Lounge Chair $2250

White HOT!!

4. Is there ever a Spring where white is not in?  This color signifies purity, innocence and new beginnings.  A fresh update this year on the runway is seeing all white looks for evening.  This trend lends itself seamlessly to home design, and unlike its fashion counterpart, an all white room is always stylish (see my post here on this topic).

Photo via Pinterest - My Domaine/Every Girl

Photo via Pinterest – My Domaine/Every Girl


5. Adding metallics to your space is like adding jewelry to your outfit.  Jewelry adds the finishing touch to every outfit.  No one did jewelry like Elizabeth Taylor.  She was quoted as saying “Big Girls need big diamonds”.  She understood the importance of sparkle.  Metallics add life and dimension to a room.  EVERY room needs to have metals in them.

On the runway this Spring, silver held just a little more of the spotlight than the other metals.  However, every shade was represented.  In the room below, bronze and gold add depth and drama to this dining room. I love the gold dining table.

Image via Elle Decor

Image via Elle Decor

I hope you enjoyed this post.  The trends that I highlighted from Spring 2016 were among my favorites.  Let me know what trends you are loving for Spring.

Thanks for reading!

XO Laurie

RED And Pink For Valentines Day!

In honor of Valentine’s Day, I am featuring red and pink home decor.  Both are bold, high impact colors.  Therefore, know thyself; if you are fairly conservative, you might want to limit these colors to accent pillows, throws and accessories.  If you are a little more bold, go for upholstered pieces and area rugs. A tip for successfully using these colors is to pair them with a lot of white.  This will keep things looks fresh and crisp.

Almost every item I chose is currently on sale.  At the end of this post I listed coupon codes for some of the best sales.

Although red is a bold color, it can be paired with many other colors successfully.  It also plays well with both gray and beige.  Red looks great with a black and white color palette, and a red and white room always looks chic.

Pink is one of my favorite accent colors to use.  It is pretty, feminine and adds a great pop of color to any room.  Pink pairs well with black, white, gray and gold.  I love finding really classic elements done in pink.  The mirror above is a fresh interpretation of the classic french chateau mirror.

There are great sales to be found this week.  The following list are some coupon codes for some of the best sales:

Williams Sonoma Home: use code EXTRA for 20% off clearance items

Pottery Barn: use code FRIENDS for 20% off your ENTIRE purchase

Lulu and Georgia: 75% off sale items (all sale items are final sale)

Z Gallerie: 15% off purchase Use code PRES15 and for furniture use code PRESFURN15

The next couple of days will be great shopping days!  If you are looking to update any room, this is the time to do it!

Wishing you a day filled with Love and Happiness!  Thanks for reading!

XO Laurie


Shop Like A Designer! Where, When, How……!

One of the most FAQs I get is where I shop for Chic home decor.  My answer: EVERYWHERE!  The honest answer is that great things can be found anywhere.  It is learning what elements are critical to the look trying to be achieved, that will determine one’s success.  However, I do have my little black book of the best places and websites for certain things (I will save that post for another day).

Every designer will use elements that are a splurge and that eat up a hearty portion of the budget, as well as elements that cost next to nothing.  This high/low design strategy is used often because it keeps the budget in check, as well as provides the perfect juxtaposition that is crucial in successful design.  Now, Juxtaposition is a design buzzword.  Personally, I find buzzwords annoying.  At their best, they clarify a concept that has become mainstream; at their worst, they anesthetized us to their impact, rendering the word meaningless.  That being said, juxtaposition is a VERY important design concept.  If I had to choose only three design principles that are crucial to good design, juxtaposition would be one of them.

A leather and fur pairing creates the ultimate yin and yang

A leather and fur pairing creates the ultimate yin and yang

driftwood and glass

driftwood and glass

Williams Sonoma mixes a cozy faux fur throw with leather; coincidence?  Crate and Barrel artfully mixes rough organic driftwood with sleek glass.  The mix of yin and yang creates the perfect visual tension.

Determine what elements are crucial in aligning you with your theme.  If you are going for a Farmhouse Chic look, the accessories and wall decor will be the elements that make this look successful.  If it is a mid-century modern look you are going for, it will be the furniture that will be the star of the room.  Spend your money on the things that are crucial in establishing your theme.  Upholstery is always a wise place to invest.  Historically, January and August are the best months to buy furniture.  This is when the new inventory for the upcoming season arrives, resulting in deep discounts on last season’s pieces.  If you are looking to buy a splurge worthy piece, it is worth it to wait to purchase during these months.  A couple of my favorite places to buy furniture are Mitchell Gold and Bob Williams and Crate and Barrel.

Undoubtedly, accessories make the design.  They are the jewelry that serve as the finishing touches.  Accessories bring one’s theme to fruition, as well as add authenticity.

Below, this glam (albeit tiny) living room is well-appointed due to the shag rug, tactile throw pillows, gallery wall and table top decor.

Image via Home and Fabulous

Image via Home and Fabulous

Below, this rustic chic entertainment area features a TV mounted on a distressed white washed wall panel.  The vintage suitcases add another rustic layer to this room.

image via Rustic Crafts Chic Decor

image via Rustic Crafts Chic Decor

Here are some accessories I am loving now:

Spring is drawing near.  Rough organic elements (such as the driftwood bowl) and soft colored decor (such as the blush velvet pillow) are very on trend for Spring.  Although Spring in not here yet, it has already sprung in the stores.  Now is the time that Designer’s start shopping for elements to update client’s homes for the upcoming season.  Start making a mental list of all of the Winter accessories that you would like to put away, so you can make room for the new accessories you bring in.

I hope this post helps you to shop like a Designer!  Thanks for reading!

xo Laurie

Kitchen is King! How to Style The Most Important Room In The House!

It can be argued that the kitchen is the most valued room in one’s home, both literally and metaphorically.  The kitchen, revered by all, possesses a certain cachet that eludes all other rooms. This room of royalty holds court and demands our attention.  Therefore, it is no surprise that we struggle to adorn it as it so rightfully deserves.  Here are some tips to styling this regal room.   However, one does not need to pay a king’s ransom to create a chic and sophisticated kitchen.  Here are some easy and inexpensive tips:

  1. Clutter is not chic!  Kitchens seem to be a dumping ground for one’s mail and rogue papers that appear out of nowhere. I  get it; it is hard to control the copious amount of papers that flow through one’s door.   However, one can only have so many junk drawers.  (If you read my post on the Ridiculously Simple Things For A Better 2016, this is surely not the case for you 🙂

Come up with a real solution that allows you to control the clutter. I love vintage and rustic looking accessories to add some depth to your decor.  The more refined your style is, the more interesting the juxtaposition of vintage looking accessories will be.  Choose  interesting metal or wooden containers like these to wrangle in those papers.

These metal hanging baskets get the clutter off your countertops-Wayfair $54

These metal hanging baskets get the clutter off your countertops-Wayfair $54

Wood container with chicken wire sides and rope handles $49 for a set of 3

Wood container with chicken wire sides and rope handles – Wayfair  $49 for a set of 3

2.  Create small vignettes to style your counter top.  In the average size kitchen, limit the vignette to two.  If your kitchen has an area designated for cocktails, you can create another one there as well. Vary the height of the items in your vignette to keep it interesting.

Below, is a fun mixture of texture and color.  The texture is created with the cutting boards which add a roughness and an organic feel.  The ceramic jars add a bumpy texture and the flowers add a fun pop of color.  The gold salt and pepper shakers add just the right amount of sparkle.  Flowers are always chic!  Read my reasoning here (see tip #4).


Image via Becki Owens

Yellow is the accent color I chose for my kitchen. I bring this color in using simple pieces. My utensils are held in a yellow flower pot I bought at IKEA.  I placed lemons in a footed bowl I purchase from Pier 1. I love the mix of textures in the marble and wood cutting board. The succulents are in a glass vase adorned with gold stripes (which is a replica of a Kate Spade piece).


In my own kitchen, I placed elements at varying heights to keep the grouping interesting.

On my counter top, I placed elements at varying heights to keep the grouping interesting.

Below, is an adorable coffee bar.  I especially love the vintage container that holds the coffee filters

The rattan tray provides a great organic texture to the countertop, and the framed chalkboard is a fun whimsical addition

The rattan tray provides a great organic texture to the polished butcher block counter top, and the framed chalkboard is a fun whimsical addition

3.  Stock your bar with style.  If you have a separate area in your kitchen for cocktails, gather some of your prettier bottles and accessorize with a mix of metal and crystal to create a chic display.

The vintage brass and crystal candelabras add a sophisticated touch to this counter scape - Image via Designthusiam

The vintage brass and crystal candelabras add a sophisticated touch to this counter scape.  The fresh roses in the antique china creamer adds a pretty pop of color – Image via Designthusiam

The vintage vanity tray is a perfect way to corral all of the bar fixings!

4.  Add an artfully arranged display of fruits or vegetables.  Fruits and vegetables come in a myriad of colors and textures; best of all, it is a CHEAP way to create a counter top display.  I love to display fruits and vegetables in containers that were meant for another use.  Place fruit of the same color in a glass trifle bowl, or arrange artichokes on a cake platter.   I prefer to use pure white stoneware or clear glass to showcase my fruits and vegetables.


The variation in height is what makes this grouping successful - Image via Modern Home Idea

The variation in the height of these glass containers is what makes this grouping successful – Image via Modern Home Idea

5. Add interesting and unique wall decor.  The possibilities for wall decor in the kitchen are endless.  Wall decor can be three dimensional, framed art, a chalkboard or hanging containers.  More so than in any other room, kitchens are set up like grids with horizontal and vertical lines and planes.  Wall decor helps to break up these linear elements to create visual interest.  I prefer to add three dimensional wall decor in kitchens for this very reason.   Wall space is usually limited in a kitchen, so make sure the elements you choose are unique and create a sense of presence.

These wooden boxes are both beautiful and functional – Image via Driven by Decor

6.  Add fun and interesting patterns through window treatments, upholstery and rugs.  With so many hard surfaces in a kitchen, using fabrics and rugs are a great way to add some soft and cozy elements to your kitchen.  Use fun, bold pops of color to lend a fresh feel to your kitchen.

The yellow ikat adds a bright pop to this banquette

Image via Pinterest

This blue trellis area rug breaks up the black and white palette in this kitchen

This blue trellis area rug breaks up the black and white palette and adds much needed pattern in this kitchen.

This modern yellow and gray pattern on this roman shade breaks up the white cabinetry and adds much needed pattern -Image via Pinterest

Image via Pinterest

The kitchen is probably the most expensive room to build; it increases the value of one’s home more than any other room.  It is also the room that hosts more activities than all of the other rooms combined.

According to a study done in 2015, the average women will spend the equivalent of 18 years of her life in the kitchen.  Therefore, this room deserves the same, if not more, attention to detail that we bestow upon other rooms.

I hope this post helps inspire you to look at this room with a fresh set of eyes.  Adding decorative elements, especially ones that are not typically found in a kitchen, truly elevates the look of this room.

Thanks for reading!

xo Laurie