Thanksgiving Holiday Décor

The season for giving thanks is fast approaching and what better way to celebrate than by inspiring you with you beautiful table settings. I personally will do a casual spread and just focus on a centerpiece and let everyone server themselves like a buffet. But every house I have lived is very different, so I always tend to go more for a “family style” approach. For instance in our small house in San Diego we had a groupings of tables while the island in my kitchen was set up with all the food for everyone to grab from. Or like the time I had to carry in entire Thanksgiving dinner on board the USS Porter for my husband and his friends who were on duty that day. PS. I almost dropped the turkey while carrying down the ladder to get to the mess deck but, I caught it I was just totally red in the face though.

As a military wife it brings me great joy to welcome the service men and women into my home that can’t be with their loved ones for the holidays. It’s important for me to create an environment where they can come and get good food, relax and stay for fun and drinks. After all that is what the season is all about right? being with family, friends, and  thankful for the what we have right. But you might as well do it with style that is was I always say, so here are some dazzling table scape’s that are sure to stir your decorating juices.

Start with a great color palette first:

Gave the traditional yellow, orange and red Thanksgiving palette a contemporary twist by pairing it with icy blue placements. Using contrasting cool and warm colors like this is a sure bet for an eye-catching table setting like these images here

Try going dark red or in this case Merlot, fuchsia, orange and ocher would be a nice analogous color scheme

When it comes to a centerpiece and your mantel try to bring the outdoors in:

Think of using fresh fruit such as pars, pomegranates, oranges and squash for rustic organic look

Fill clear containers with nuts and corn for an easy candle update

Wrap a piece of wood veneer around the bottom of a vase and use a wooden ball as a decanter stopper or use birch wood strips as a table runner and layer over top of them

Use leaves and branches for added décor

Place setting 101:

Start with white dinner plates, wine glasses, flatware, and runners. Layer and add color with the salad plates, napkins, appetizer plates, and dessert plates.

Have a Happy Thanksgiving!


the pink door designer

Image Sources and Readings

Lonny Magazine



Design trends for the home

Hey there, I know, I know it’s been a while. Last month was very hectic for me and it looks like it’s running into this month as well. I went for the first time to the largest furniture markets in the U.S. to High Point, North Carolina. It’s the market of all markets for trade professionals that happens twice a year.

This small town is home to many manufacturers of  “american made” furniture company’s. It is made up of multiple clusters of buildings stories tall  full of unique fine furniture, art, accessories, rug, and jewelry dealers for a designer’s to shop through every Spring and Fall.

This is a place where new budding furniture makers or  any one within the home decor market  can come to be in the forefront of designers who are constantly looking to buy/sell to their clients. I happen to come across a reusable wallpaper company that I just loved! ( I am hoping to use it on a project sometime soon) Anyway, the theme this year was High Fashion, but I notice a few trends myself and I just wanted to share them with you.

Color Trends:


Lemon Zest

Poppy Red




I was in LOVE with this wall color!



Accent and Detail Trends:


Weird Science

Angelic Infusions

I had such a great time and I would love to spend the whole week really checking out all the off the beaten path places to scope out all the resources! If there was one something I learned early on it was that a designer is only as good as their resources, so it’s important to always be looking around for the latest and greatest.


The Pink Door Designer

Image resources:

Pink Door Designs

Lonny Magazine

This is Halloween!

This is Halloween, this is Halloween!!!

Ahh yes! Halloween is my most favorite holiday of them all. I love the drama, fright and fun of it. Best of all the costume’s! I look at Halloween as chance to bring out your inner deviant self for the evening. If that you don’t have a deviant then maybe your inner  sexy vamp, celestial fairy or a whimsical witch perhaps?

It’s a time for fun and your décor should reflect your mood. Weather your more on the traditional orange and black side, moody gothic, or love all the colorfully nostalgic charm of the old world. I’m sure you can take some inspiration from the images below and come up with your own personal Hip Halloween Style.


Victorian Goth

Nostalgic Charm

My favorite Halloween costume with Isabelle over the years

 Halloween 2011

Isabelle as Corpse Bride last year. I made the costume in one evening with a pair of white tights, unitard, a curtain, flowers, fabric spray paint, artist chalk and off I went creating! She was very happy with it. I went as the widow spider who helps her out.

Halloween 2005,( I think…)

Isabelle as Mulan when she was about 5 years old. I just started design school, so I still had some time on my hands to make her costumes. What am I saying? I have created a monster over the years and now store-bought costumes just won’t do…LOL

Anyway, I made the coat and obi belt. I still have it in her closet even though it does not fit. I love this picture so much that I will Photoshop the skeleton out of the background and have this printed on canvas for my entry way. I am not big into cheesy family photo’s unless they artfully done. HEy, I think I just came up with my next topic.

“Ya’ll have a safe and Happy Halloween out there ya hear”

Image Sources:


Trends Magazine

Good House Keeping Magazine

Martha Stewart

Pink Door Designs

Fall Decorating Ideas

Fall is officially here people and this is my most favorite time of year!!! This is will be a short and sweet post of some ideas and inspiration photo’s found via web and magazines to get your decorating muscles in shape for the holidays.

I decorate from mid September thru the end of November.  I really like to use a lot of foliage, mum’s, hydrangea, jute, and pumpkins of all kinds!!!! Doing it this way serves as a base for fall decorating.

Then, when it come’s time to transition into Halloween and Thanksgiving simply change out a few accessories to sway to the mood of the holiday.

BOOM, you’re done!

From now until the end of the year I will post something about what I believe to be great ideas for holiday decor starting with September. This is a celebration of the beautiful fall color’s inspired by mother nature her self. It is her last ” Who-Rah” after all before she hibernates for the winter. Happy Decorating!

The color’s of FALL

Make a statement at the front door

Pumpkins, pumpkins and more pumpkins

Table scape

Dressing the mantel

Shopping Sources:

Hobby Lobby


Garden Ridge


Online:  ( for those of ya’ll who are not in my neck of the woods)

Trendy Tree


Grand In Road

Images Sources:

Analog Girl In A Digital World


Decor Made Simple

High Street Market

Kristy Masterandonas


Southern Living Magazine

Glamours Wall Treatment

How to take your walls from builder beige to designer dazzling!

What you will need:

The paint colors specified is what’s shown in the photo, but feel free to use your own color scheme.

* Valspar’s Metallic paint in Aged Brass (shown) this is a two-step process. Other metallic’s may come as a single application like Ralph Lauren’s, but is now sold in boutique stores look on on-line for more details.

* Sherwin Williams in Haze in a Flat finish (show)

* 3 different sizes of blue painters tape: 2”, 1.5”, and 1”

* Painter’s treys

* Rollers if you’re doing this on a texture surface you will have bleeding and will need to go back with a clean angel edged brush to clean up the bleeding by hand.

1. Apply coast of Valspar base cost and let dry per directions typically 4 hours or until dry.

2. Next apply the gold Valspar Metallic: Aged Brass coat all over the base coat. Let this dry at least over night before adding the tape.

Note: The top coat is the second coat of the metallic and the bottom is the first cost of the base.

3. Now it’s time to get creative with your design. Start with the largest tape width first 2”, then go with the second largest 1.5”, and finish with the smallest one last 1”. It’s good to have a concept in mind or stand back in between tape applications to see how your design is coming out. At this point you can edit your design as needed.

4. Once you have completed your design now you need to apply the Sherwin Williams: Haze color all over the entire wall tape included! If you need to apply a second coat now is the time to do so. Before you pull the tape off.

5. Once the blue has been applied and still a little wet gently pull the tape slowly off. Starting with the smallest one first 1”, medium 1.5” second and the largest last 2”. See… there is a reason for my madness. I know because I learned the hard way!

6. If your walls are flat then you can stand back and look in amazement and dance for joy! However, if you have textured walls like most us.  You will need to go back with an angled brush and clean up the bleeding by hand. I was so excited at the way it turned out I was still busting a move anyway!

This design took me a weekend to do, and cost me around $170 in materials. This decorative paint treatment was inspired by a china pattern that took my walls from builder beige to designer dazzling and has packs a real “WOW” factor! A little goes a long way.

Need a little more help?  Watch me explain it in on television in the second segment of Daytime @ Nine KABB, San Antonio. Link: KABB Fox San Antonio :: Daytime @ Nine – S.A. Magazine: Do It Yourself Home Decor

If this is to daring for you here are some other of my personal favorite decorative treatments below.

Geometric Patterns: See paint images for more info.

* Gingham Wall: I’m getting ready to do this for a client we (Interiors by Design the design studio I’m currently contracting at) are working with in nursery next weekend

* Harlequin Patterns: I did this in my family room in our first home with help of my father, thanks dad.

* Stripes horizontal or vertical, and graduated: I have done this again through the years for client’s and myself it’s always a graphic statement that stays fresh.

* Chevrons: Again a very classic pattern that can be really eye-catching in a large-scale in hallway or in a guest bathroom.

Notes from the designer’s desk: Other tips for selecting paint

* When picking a paint color. Go BIG! Paint a good 8’” x 10” sample on all 4 walls in the room you plan on painting. Label them and watch them trough out the day in different light.  Anytime you’re doing this on white or any other color the new colors will look very stark. This why my clients have such a hard time selecting more saturated or darker colors.

* With the “open floor plans” it can be hard selecting a color palette. You have to consider how you want your home to feel: calm serene, energizing, warm and cozy etc. Then, pick a pallet that reflects that feeling and think of how you want the colors to upfold from on room to the other. It never hurts to get a professional’s opinion and pay for a design consultation. A couple hundred bucks can save you a lot time and money in the end, remember we do this for living! Check ASID and IIDA for local designers in your area.

* Don’t forget the ceiling, it’s the 5th wall!

A Modern Traditionalist way to a Glamorous Dining Room

Okay, so late week I had mention that my formal dining room was published in the September issue of San Antonio Magazine. Well, it’s now out on the news stands, airports and books stores etc. I thought I would give you my personal thoughts on how I came up my overall design concept for my modern traditional glamorous dining room. I designed it in my head over several months and pulled from multiple inspirations.

P.S. I made the cover! This is my entry way buffet I re-vamped. It was a consignment find at $150.00

Sampson, my dog he loves to take pictures!

First I started with trip to an antique market where I stumbled upon a pair of paint by numbers art pieces in these sad little frames. They had a beautiful color story and I loved the chinoiserie scene with cherry blossom trees and swans. Very Oriental in its content which is what chinoiserie is all about. It was commonly used during the French Baroque and Early French Neo Classic: 1600-1789 time periods. This is a traditional design theme that I have always loved and will never go out of style.

Next I made trip to a very large store in my home town of Houston, Texas baby! At the High Fashion Home where I found the perfect fabric for my stationary drapery that I had made there at the store. I know it’s awesome; especially if you’re a regular Joe and don’t have access to trade stores like I do. (At the time I was not working at a design firm and new to the area)

I had already started with the staple pieces like my dining table that  is very clean lined and made out of reclaimed teak wood. It’s wonderful to have something that has a history but is very modern in its shape. This is what I call modern traditionalism mixing old and new. I purchased the Drexel Heritage style formal dining chairs from an antique dealer out in San Diego before we moved. They where in desperate need of a make over with a tired palm tree fabric seat covers and where in their natural wood state that made them look dated.

The Staples:

Create and Barrel : Terravida 87″ $999.00

My walls were builder beige and since are a military family I  know our time here in this house is limited. I contemplated a lot on what to paint, what not to paint ect… I happen to watch one of my favorite designers show by Sara Richardson who did this dining with this gorgeous wallpaper in this blue and gold color scheme. Again, temporary living situation wallpaper is not so temporary! What is a designer to do…?


I let it go for a few months. Sometimes you just need to let the design come to you and not push it. I know that it will hit me like a tun of bricks and keep me up at night with my creative thoughts once I’m in the design phase.

Tick, tick, tick….

Fist while having wine and the best brie cheese ever Saint Andre you gotta try it with Carrs crackers. We where in the middle of our Mad Men Marathon and I could not stop looking at the set behind the handsome Jon Hamm in the California, San Pedro house. The walls were this light blue with this lattice tan drapes it just looked great to me. The wheels started turning in my head and I began to look over at my builder beige walls. My husband saw my face and he knew.


Uhh, he’s so cute!…okay back on topic.

A few weeks later while on Lonny Magazine during my lunch break.  I was reading about Kelly Wearstler’s  new store our LA. Somehow I stumbled upon her plates that she had designed for one the high-end department stores that really inspired me for my walls and I was on a roll and ready for my weekend paint project!


With my design in my head I knew that I was making the right choice for my walls.  It was the best way to get big impact without a huge investment of doing wallpaper. My walls are not ready for wallpaper they have a texture on them like most homes in the area around here do. This treatment took me a weekend to do and I was able to do it alone. However, my dad did stop by to lend a hand it was nice to just have him around for the company.

I used 3 colors: Gold metallic, darker blue, then a lighter blue all over the dining room walls. 3 different widths of tape starting with widest one first, medium second, and the tiniest last. This makes it easy for when you go back to pull the tape off. I will post later on how I did this. Better yet, I was asked to do a demo on Day Time at Nine September 4th on local Fox here San Antonio, Texas. If I’m able to get a video feed I’ll post it!

What I came up with to inspire myself and others:

Lastly, when the magazine called their where a few things that I wanted to change like the builder grade light fixture. A designer’s work is never done we are extremely detailed oriented! The one I originally wanted was way to expensive and had mother of pearl inlay with crystals at $1600.00. But, I found this one that seamed to fit the bill with its European rustic glamor for only $450.00  It all seemed  to come together in the end and we totally happy it now. I hope that this inspires your next space and remember you don’t have to try so hard and it takes time.

Photography by: Phillip Esparza “thank you” for such awesome photos!

Thanks to Rebecca, Veronica, Laura and everyone at San Antonio Magazine for such a great experience for my first publication and for honoring me with the cover I am truly blessed and I “thank you”!

Special thanks to : Brandon Gambrell and Dawn Swisher two other creative artist who are always supportive and have amazing talents all their own. “Thanks” 😉

The New Take on Plate Art

A lot of exciting things have happen in the last few weeks. I was recently interviewed by a local magazine here in San Antonio Texas. They asked to take photos of some my work. As an emerging interior design professional this is very BIG!!! For the first time I will be published. They wanted to feature my formal dining room that I organically pulled together over some months, but there where some minor details that still needed to addressed. I had this blank spot in the one corner that I need to fill. I found some plates from a local import store that had great detail on the edges. However, a designer can never leave well enough alone and I wanted to personalize my space with initials. The overall concept for my dining room is an etherial garden with touches of modern glamor and I wanted to go “old school” with the initials on the tree.

Here is what I started with.

Here is what I used

Got the classic Helvetica font stencil and went to work

Note: I used the oil base Sharpie metallic marker thinking I was going to get more of a graffiti  look for my heart, but it didn’t work out so well on the porcelain surface. Instead, I made a stencil out of leftover cardstock I had for the heart and used the spray paint. Then roughed up the edges with a wet sponge so the paint looked worn. I was not going for it to look clean and “perfect”.

Then, once I decided where I wanted them on the plates I taped them off and covered everywhere else I did not want paint

Lastly, I added the self adhesive plate hangers found at my local hobby store in the custom framing department. Then, I had my husband help me hang them late the night before the photo shoot with while drinking my favorite glass of red wine Hall 2008 Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley.

I know what your thinking what about the rest of the room?  The issue is not out yet and I am on pins and needles for the photo’s so I will just share what I took the day of the shoot.

Now this is no new trick. Plate’s on display have been used for interiors for quite some time mostly in traditional settings. I believe doing this in the spray paint and even going with my original thought of the “graffiti look” brings this concept into the modern-day. If you would like to try  this here are my suggestions. Keep the plate’s all one color, or if you have mixed collection paint them all one color to match your décor, and only do 3 an accent color for jolt. Also, play with painters tape for fun patterns. Just think of the larger overall scheme beforehand. Happy creating and I would love to see what you come up with so send your pictures!

I would like to “thank” my good friend Brandon a designer who referred me to the magazine for the article in the first place. You are truly an engaging spirit and I wish you all the best in you endeavors. Also, I would like to thank Rebecca, Veronica and Phillip at the magazine for such a great experience.