So, here it is. My favorite time of year. Fall.  It is TOO short. There is an incredible amount of beauty in the colors of fall. I am forever inspired by the changing colors of the leaves.  Just stop. Tomorrow when you are walking the dog, or bringing in the trash cans, or on a stroll home from the coffee shop, just stop.  Take a look at all the amazing colors happening in the trees.  Juxtasposed against the blue sky. There are many unexpected color combinations out there.  Here is more inspiration:
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autumn brights
Sibella Court
Summit Rug
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I recently had a client ask me to select MANY ceiling fans for their new home. At first, I was a bit hesitant, but after a few hours of late night research, I was happily inspired.  There are some pretty great
new fans out in the stylish world of design. 
I love this article from Brian Patrick Flynn which was featured on
He shows us show great options in fans and other decor.

Here are some other ideas:

58" Artemis Maple Finish at Lamps Plus

Fanimation Involution

Kendal Novo Fan at
Kichler Hatteras Fan available in different finishes

14" Savoy House Sea Side available at Lamps Plus

Stay Cool.


This week I am featuring a neighbor's kitchen remodel.  She had a vision that took years to build. She scoured magazines, blogs, and books. Throughout her travels she was inspired by dozens of new ideas.  She did not want to do any drastic moving of walls but needed a refresh of her finishes.  The style of her home is eclectic southwest so in keeping with that, she replaced her builder grade, white porcelain, 12"x12" tile with a beautiful slate laid in a hopscotch pattern (*note: this pattern is very labor intensive, advise your contractor if this is your desired outcome)

 In her kitchen she had pickled wood cabinets and tile countertops. It was a perfect match to her decor years ago, but with a refresh in mind, she had three main things she longed for:
(1) A wood island top (2) Creamy white cabinets (3) Slate floor throughout
We looked at many slates and even made a field trip to see what a friend had done with slate on their entire first floor.  She interviewed several tradesmen to ensure her dream of a walnut island would be perfect.  She found an amazing back splash and simply elegant island lighting at a local home improvement store. The results of her time and energy are stunning.

She has future plans for window treatments and the addition of timber beams in her adjoining family room. For now, she and her family and enjoying a beautiful, crisp, clean new kitchen.

Sandwich Antique Market! It's back. I was giddy on Sunday morning.  Like a kid on Christmas Day.  Like some adults I know at Halloween.  I LOVE this market.  The gentle summer breeze in the air, the smell of musty wood mixed with the ever present bratwurst truck parked in the center of the park, the dusty road that winds around the fairgrounds. I love it all.  Most of all, I love the bargains and I love the authenticity of the products.  You never know what you will find.  Here are just some of the gems from May's vendors:

This vendor had AMAZING things. Raw Industrial. 
These letters are from a bowling alley on the south side of Chicago.
I tried to convince him to come back next month.
(Message me if you want his info).

Just one of 20 "booths" loaded with wood pieces.

I feel like this might be found on the set of Mad Men.

Love it when I find the ones with a slightly blue tint.

Had to have these vintage suitcases.
I plan to pair them with red ribbons. Stay tuned.

Reminds me of my grandma.

This was my favorite moment of the day.
My 8 year old son was fascinated by this object.

Just one more reason to love the
upcoming summer antiquing season....history lessons.

The Kitchen and Bath Industry Show wrapped up at McCormick Place in Chicago last week.  It was a bigger show than I have seen in the past, but there was a lot of the same common products infused with new technology.  I want the candy!!! New stuff!!! Design!!!! Please!  Okay, I will settle down.  One of the best booths at the show was tucked way in the back.  Dal-tile.  They have an impressive showroom in Chicago and showed an equally impressive booth at KBIS. 
Here are some of my favorite new (and old) things from them:
I LOVE THIS so much.  Backsplashes are getting pretty predictable but this is so fantastic.
It is a Warm Waterfall blend of Marbles.

This is Blackened Elm on the floor. Tile. Not wood. So gorgeous.

Coastal Keystones in a Straight Joint installation.  Just the right amount of bling.

The fireplace features City Lights in Barcelona. So retro and yet so modern.

Stone A La Mod in Contempo White.  I adore an oval mosaic.

Zen Garden has Pre Consumer recycled content in it. Lovely and Green.
Now the question is....where to use it all?
visit for more inspiration.
One of the world's nicest couples lives around the corner from me.  Last fall, they asked for some design assistance to renovate and upgrade their kitchen.  They have two young boys and live very active lives.  The plan was to save some money by painting their existing cabinets and stainless steel top table while updating their backsplash, lighting, paint, and window treatments. 
This is where we started:

The adjacent family room gave me color inspiration and 
I developed this style board:

The end result is so fitting for their family. For my sweet friend there are feminine touches found in the hardware and the window panels.  For her hubby and young boys there is a
richness and masculinity in the paint and lighting. 

Their contractor did a great job painting the cabinets with Sherwin Williams Maison Blanche.
He went over the base color with a light gray glaze.

See something you love? 

A client of mine recently had to renovate her basement bathroom. She had a decent foundation. Nice paint, newer fixtures, great floor....but it needed help.


Amazing what a little tile can do.
We used flat river rock on the shower floor and extended it into the tile details. Another stylish idea was turning the 18" rectangular field tile 90 degrees to create interest and height. The glass surround makes the room feel much larger.

(Her guests won't want to leave when they see this)
There are several blogs that boast the mad skills you will achieve by using Pinterest.

I think the best one speaks straight from Ben and his team...

Remeber when I told you to run....not the Target Missoni launch?
Well, I am saying it again. Get yourself over to Pinterest. You will not regret it.

I know you have all seen the zillions of magazine covers suggesting you get organized and lose weight in this New Year. As time goes on, I notice a distinct pattern of the same magazine articles giving me the same advice with a new “twist”. The information is not new.

Just try to live with less. Less Stuff. Less Food. Less Stress.
If we simplify, our lives will be less complicated.
We will accumulate less.
We will weigh less.
We will complain and stress less.
This brings me to the one simple thing we can do in our stylish homes
to bring a fresh, new ambiance to our worlds.
I love it.
I wish I was better at it so I could knock out a room in ½ a day
and still have dinner on the table at 6 pm.
At least I am good at knowing color.
I have an intimate relationship with color.
I know what works.

Today, you will see my favorite Benjamin Moore colors. These are my go-to colors when I am in doubt and they never fail me. There is a movement right now away from dark colors and into a lighter and more tranquil palette. This can be tricky because if you go too light there will be no impact. Your walls will fade into nothingness. If you go too dark, the walls can be
more exciting than the rest of the interior.

And so I present…

Southern Charm (this color makes you look fabulous)

Pittsfield Buff (this is a gorgeous neutral)

Palladian Blue (fresh and versatile it can be luxurious or casual)

Golden Straw (like candlelight)

Elemental (pale and soft-looks great with dark wood tones)

Carob (delicious and creamy)

Smokestack Gray (lots of depth to create a great backdrop)

Ashley Gray (saturated perfection for warm OR cool rooms)

Do you have a favorite?
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