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


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.


Designer’s Tip and Tricks for Rent Dweller’s

For the last 13.5 years and counting to my beloved husband who is in the U.S. Navy I have lived in a house or two or three, or maybe four heck, I have lost count! Through the years I have come up with different ways in my making my temporary houses feel more like home in doing some of the following things that always seem to work no matter where we go.

1.   Paint: If you’re allowed to paint this is the easiest  most cost-effective way to get big impact for your money. If the palette is neutral enough this could be considered a tenant improvement and you may ask about how to get a credit toward your next rent. I would avoid using really saturated colors because they take a lot of work to cover up that you will have to take care of in the end.

2.     Upholstered Walls: This is nothing new. They have been doing this since the Greek and Roman ages with tapestries then it became popular in the Baroque – French Neo Classic period where the walls, windows and bedding where all done in the same fabric. However, I got this idea from my Aunt Rosie circa 1987 when she rented her little house in Deer Park Texas. Thanks Tia!

Designer note: I would use upholstery tacks rather than liquid starch. That just seems like way too much work and a lot of mess. If you’re feeling frisky you could even do a design with the tacks. They leave tiny holes and are easy to fill when you go. Also, on a budget tip. I have used patterned flat sheets for a hallway in my last house. I shopped at a discount department store and I was able to cover the entire hall for $75.

3.     Large Scale Re-stick-able Murals:  Now, I have not used this technique myself YET! I am planning to do this for my guest bathroom, but this is a really good way to get big impact without any damage to the walls. Also, this particular vendor allows you to upload your own image. (high-resolution is best) I have seen a lot of really good photography lately that would be great for this application. Check out the vendor at for more information

Designer Note: Back in the late 90’s when I was newly married and had little money to decorate the house with. When I worked at Abercrombie and Fitch we were allowed to take home the large-scale black and white photo displays. I hung these up in my home when paint was not an option. It really made the space fell like a NY loft even though I was renting a town home in Norfolk, VA with 3 other roommates!!!! That’s a story for another time way to much drama MTV really missed out. Okay, back to the topic at hand…

4.     Carpet Tiles: Should you inherit unattractive floors this could an ideal solution.  Best if used on stone, tile, linoleum and low pile carpets. These are great because they come in a variety of patterns, and sizes to create custom rugs, or wall-to-wall carpeting. Plus it’s ideal for households with kids and pets because they make for easy replacement if they get stained.

5.     Size Matters: If your like me and have to move every 2-3 years you never know where you’re going land, or what size home you will be able to get into. That’s why it’s best to keep your furnishing to a clean, small, mid range scale. Meaning stick with a queen size bed, “for-go” the large over stuffed rolled arm sofa they take up a lot of real estate. Dining tables: the best shapes are round and a small-scale rectangle. When working with a round table you can squeeze in more people for dinner parties and when it’s not in use you could stash it away in corner or use it as a side table.  However, for the small-scaled rectangle table you can use it as dual workspace in a small apartment.

6.     Light Fixtures: Changing out dated fixtures to a fabulous vintage chandelier or a cool mod orbit style pendent can really make a difference. Yes, it may call for an electrician or mechanically inclined friend to make the “switch” lol…get it? Switch? I know I get a little corny sometimes I can’t help myself. My point is, it can really make a space feel special and the best thing is that you can take it with you when you go. Just be sure to safely store the other light in a cool dry place.

7.     Drapes: I can tell you right now that I have a least 4 pairs of store-bought drapes in the hall closet. Why, because every house it different and the ceiling heights vary. My suggestion… Buy the longest lengths you can.  The most common length in the store is 108”.  I believe Ikea has some that are longer. The average ceiling heights are 8’, 10’ and 12’. As a designer it’s best to hang your drapes at the highest point of the ceiling to make the window look taller. To adjust the drapes you can take them to your local dry cleaner and ask them to do a light baste stitch hem, or you can do this yourself with a sewing machine.  A baste stitch is a long length stitch that can me easily removed with a seam ripper. Just be careful not to snag the fabric.

Also, trick number two is if you stick with a solid or neutral fabrics you can easily make you store-bought drapes into custom lengths by adding a contrasting band of fabric to the bottom. Not to mention that this trick makes your store-bought drapes now look custom.  Drapes are like the eyebrows to your face.  That’s how important they are so “don’t not do it”, because they frame and soften the room.

Images Sources:

Happy home making!

Why Design Matters

A few months ago while reading my girlfriends design blog Behind the Design by Ashley. She had posted this article about the importance of design. It came to me at a time when I really needed to hear it, while getting rejected from one employer after another in this tough economy. She managed to keep very upbeat and supportive for the both of us even though she was going through a much harder time then me and I want to “thank” her for the love and support over the last year. Since then we have both found employment and are making our way as emerging designers. I am re-posting it in hopes that it will help someone else who my need to hear it. So read it and take it in for all it’s worth.

1. You are a combination of engineer and artist. Not only do you take into account safety and economy when designing a space, but you also create an aesthetic that can comfort and inspire.

2. Your work improves the lives of others. You design for the homebody and the worker bee, in addition to the aged, handicapped, and infirm. Whether you add light to a dark interior or design a beautiful and healthy working space, you make a difference in the lives of others.

3. You are continually learning and seeking answers. You take CEUs, discuss problems with your peers and research materials. You know that the profession is evolving, and you’re evolving with it.

4. You don’t settle for the tried and true. You push boundaries and discover new and better ways of doing things.

5. You provide a service. You work with clients who typically have little to no experience in design, and you find a way to turn their ideas into a tangible reality.

6. You pay attention to details. Whether you’re picking which carpet to use in a hotel hallway or what color to paint a hospital wall, you make each seemingly small decision count for the client’s health and happiness.

7. You explore what sustainable design can mean in the home and workplace. You’re debunking myths and testing new products, and you’re saving clients money along the way.

8. You’re a problem solver. Each project you work on is a new puzzle with a new set of challenges. As the designer, you’re in charge of making it work.

9. You’re collaborators. You’ve learned the value and benefits of teamwork, and how to process and connect disparate ideas into a working whole. Even if you work alone, you’re never really working alone. You have a network of peers that you turn to for advice and support along the way.

10. You work to change the public perception of Interior Designer vs. Interior Decorator. You refrain from sighing when your colleague’s friend learns you are an Interior Designer and asks you to suggest paint colors for her son’s room, and instead patiently explain qualifications, certifications and scope of experience. You are more than just a reality TV design star.

Now it’s your turn. Why do you, the designer, matter?

I believe that design matters because it’s a need vs. a want. It’s a tool in which we work, eat, recover, relax, educate and live, etc. Good design is a renaissance attitude that combines technology, cognitive science, human need, and beauty to produce something that the world didn’t know it was missing.

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Images from: Interior Design Magazine, Candice Olson, and Sarha Richardson,

Trending now: Black and White

TRENDING: Black and white color scheme is on the rise. This however is a timeless classic way to design within your space especially for those color phobic’s out there, or if your like me and live in the crayon box and can never get enough of color! By keeping a black and white theme you are basically sticking to neutral base and then you can bring in your favorite pops of color. What is nice about this is the flexibility. It gives you the option to change things up every once in a while by just changing out a few accessories from season to season. I found this video from one of my most favorite designers Sarah Richardson and Tommy Symthe talking about how to work for your space. I hope you enjoy!