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


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.

Posted by :

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

The fool-proof way to hang pictures

In the last few years I have had some clients ask me about the best way to hang art work. Heck, I’ve even had one client hire to go over her house and do exactly what I am about to tell you.

I have noticed that some of the television shows make it seem so easy by telling you to lay out your composition on the floor first, and then put up on the wall. But, what they don’t tell you is that you will lose you spacing by moving the frame from one place to another and wind up with a mess.

What I have found that works best is using templates. While this can be a bit time-consuming it is a fool-proof way of getting the look you want without having a few unwanted holes and pencil everywhere by trying to “eyeball it”.

Note: the example images are from my personal clients who I have helped with on-line guidance from me Pink Door Designs

1. First, use wrapping paper (be use to use the non-print side so you can visualize you concept better) or butcher paper is best.

2. Trace and cut out the frames and be sure that you number them so they don’t get mixed up. At this point you should mark approximately how far down the nail should be on the front of the template.

3. Now, begin to lay out your arrangement directly on the wall the way you would like. This is the benefit of doing it this way because, now you can rearrange the composition as much as you like before making any holes in the wall. Also, since you have them numbered you can consider which one is which and place them by content. Think of arranging them by color complements or relation.

4. Once you have your final lay out you can hammer the nails through the paper. Remove the paper and begin to place the art work where they belong and admire how PERFECT they look once your done.

Optional:  Add bumpers to the bottom corners of the frame. These will “grab” the wall, eliminating any skid or scratch marks, while keeping the frame itself level — side to side and top to bottom.

Need some more inspiration? Here are some of my favorite arrangements from various sources via the web

Lastly does this seem like to much trouble for you? You can actually buy them as a kit here are a few links


The Perfect Picture Wall Company:

Arron Brothers:

What is Hollywood Regency?

I just recently realized a design style that I have been drawn to for some time now, but never really could define it until recently. Until a few months ago I stumbled upon the book In the Pink the story of Dorothy Draper” the designer of The Greenbrier Hotel and many other projects.

That’s when a light bulb went on in my head! (DING DING, I’m a winner!) It’s the ultra glam/neoclassic infused style called Hollywood Regency; which is no new concept for those on the West Coast of California, but this Texas native is few decades late to the party, oppsie’s .

It was after attending interior design school on the sunny gold coast that I noticed I had been drawn to its artful, avant-garde, classic design element for a long time. For those of you who are new to the style let me just recap it’s origin.

This style got it’s start in 1930’s when Hollywood was at its utmost peak of perfection. Everything was focused on entertaining, conversation, charming wit and high style.  It’s no secret that the sets of Hollywood have been setting the trends for decades. But, this one in particular has since become a new traditional classic in my book.

First, it gets the attention of editors of all the magazines, and then they find their way into commercial interiors such as retail shops, restaurants and hotels. Finally, the style trickles down to us regular folks and influences the way we dress and style our homes. In order for you to get a good understanding of what I’m talking about let go back a bit and talk about the who’s who of this time period.

In Front of the Camera:

Hollywood Starlets of the day: Jean Harlow  &  Joan Crawford


The Magic Behind the Scene:

The front-runners who pioneered this style are designer like Dorothy Draper, Elsie de Wolfe and William (Billy) Haines who actually designed the sets back in the golden age of films in the 1930’s.

The style is really is East (Orient) meets West (Gold Cost) with hits of vibrant color, neoclassic details with a whimsical mix of scale.

For example, the use of large over the top baroque architectural cast details to really make an impact that leaves you saying “wow”!

Dorothy Draper:

William (Billy) Haines:

Sound overwhelming? I am going to show you what I think are the “stand out” design elements, so that you can pick and choose which ones you would like to bring into your space.

First, COLOR think Chinese Red, Canary Yellow, Apple Greens, Turquoises, Aqua, Pinks (of course) and general dose’s of Black and White

Then: The Greenbrier Hotel by Dorothy Draper


Now: Viceroy Hotels by Kelly Wearstler



Try mixing these “today” colors into your palette:

Patterns: Geometric shapes, squares, rectangles, ovals, oh my…! Chevron and Escher (the artist) patterns scaled down to its barest form.


Works of Escher


By Mary McDonald

Chinoiserie: A French term, signifying “Chinese-esque”, a recurring theme in European   artistic styles since the seventeenth century, which reflect Chinese artistic influences.

It is characterized by the use of fanciful imagery of an imaginary China, by asymmetry in format and whimsical contrasts of scale, and by the attempts to imitate Chinese porcelain and the use of lacquer-like materials and decoration. Other “Chinese-esque” elements are Chinese guardian lions aka Fu Dogs here in the states, fret work, and the use of bamboo materials


Scale: Go big or go home have fun and mix it up!

Lonny Magazine:

By Windsor Smith

Whimsical Details: Large pop art type pieces, high glamour photography and maybe a few feathers. Don’t take things to seriously

By Jonathan Adler 

Furniture & Finishes: Clean, modern, small-scale, streamlined tailored piece mixed with European antiques or materials like lacquer, mirror and velvets.

By Miles Redd

Uhh, did ya notice the lacquered walls?!!! WOW

Fabrics: Moroccan Trellis, foliage, floral, geometric shapes, and damask pattered fabrics. As for solids think texture; velvet, chenille, high gloss and paten leathers.

Now, let’s see it in action shall we?

Image below, designer is unknown sorry.

By : Carleton Varney’s “Mr. Color”

When doing this in your own home start with a color and pattern. When mixing patterns try to have a large, medium and small-scale pattern. Color should be a common tread  in all of them or at least be complementary (opposite each other on the color wheel) to each other in order to bring harmony into the room. Just don’t be afraid to mix things up and have fun you can do a little or a lot.