Browsing Category: Design 101

Designer Secret – Hiding Flaws with Paint!

Color is a powerful decorating tool.  The colors you choose and where you use them can have such a dramatic effect on a room.   Like duh, right?!  I know, so obvious Jessica, but hear me out!!  Beyond having the power to elicit emotions,  using color can highlight things you love, AND it can even disguise thing you don’t.  You can help imperfections fade into the background!  It’s a teensy little trick that designers use all the time.

Now, when you scroll through a magazine you will start to see the thought process behind some color decisions.  This will be a new trick that you can use in your own home!  Which is totally what I’m going to do in my master bathroom refresh!!  Okay, let me show you and then we can convo at the end!

Let’s say, that you’ve got a door in a weird spot?  Consider this…

By painting the walls, trim, door all the same color the door completely fades into the background.  Like magic…

Let’s say, that you’ve got an oddly shaped room.  Yup, color can help you there too!

And that trick works for rooms with low ceilings, too!  When there are no “lines” differentiating the walls and ceiling it all becomes one mass of color!  Your eye doesn’t focus on sloping walls or where the ceiling is – the room appears larger!

Don’t see what I’m talking about?  Check out his room above.  Those ceilings a llloooowww, but it still looks open because they have kept most of the room the same color!  Imagine the same room with the moulding or beams painted out.  Yikes!!

Here’s a peek at the reverse… The higher the color contrast, the more the feature is highlighted.  Um, yes I see you high ceiling and gorgeous windows!

This hallway’s all like, Look at all my pretty details!

Whereas this one is saying, Feel my grandeur!  For such a long hallway, it doesn’t feel long or restrictive, and damn, that floor!

I’m totally not saying that one is better than the other. At. All.  These are just ideas to plant in that pretty little head of yours.

Now there is one bit of trickery that we haven’t gotten into, and it’s the 3/4 painted wall, bringing the ceiling color down onto the walls.  This most certainly gives the impression of a higher ceiling and visual interest for just the cost of paint.  It also hides imperfections where the ceiling and wall meet – if you have wonky seams this trick is for you!!

In my master bath I have tile that I don’t love and a door that stands out a bit more than I’d like.  I can totally paint the whole room the same color as the tile (door too) to make those imperfections not so noticeable.  My hope is to trick the eye into seeing beautiful new mirrors, an updated vanity and lighting, vs the yuck stuff!

A plan is forming… I’m getting excited!

White doors, Blue Paneled Door, Grey Loft, Attic Loft, Teal Bedroom, Beamed Living Room, Grey Ceiling, Grey Hallway, White hallway, Bedroom, Double Blue Room, Black Header Bathroom

Trellis, Lattice and Arbors; Structures Plants Can Grow On

You know when you have an idea in your mind that you’re totally going to do, but you don’t know how or where or ANY OF THE DETAILS?  Alls I know is that I want some structure built for the purpose of some plant to shower me with flowers on the daily.  Picture me in a Bollywood movie.

The seed has been planted.  Bad pun intended.

Wondering what I’m actually talking about?

Well, this here below is a trellis… Trellises are often filled with lattice.  Trellis is the structure, usually wall-like not enclosed, and lattice is the wood grid stuff you can buy at Lowes to pretty it up.


An arbor (or arbour) is a structure that creates a shaded walkway or sitting area with crossbeams.  It is sometimes attached to a house or other structure, but the key is that it’s not completely enclosed, like with a roof, which is perfectly suited for lots of green goodness to grow all over it.


Both images above – Garden Club

Here are a bunch of inspiration photos for what’s swirling around in my head…  Maybe you can test yourself on your garden structure knowledge?

Screen Shot 2015-09-16 at 4.38.40 PM

Dark Blue

Screen Shot 2015-09-16 at 4.41.50 PM

Parthenocissus Quinquefolia Vines

Screen Shot 2015-09-16 at 4.47.29 PM


Screen Shot 2015-09-16 at 4.53.12 PM

Natural Arbor


Good Life

Screen Shot 2015-09-16 at 5.17.46 PM

Apartment Therapy

And this last one… it’s a teepee y’all.  Duh.  It’s it all kinds of magical?  I think it’s where unicorns sleep.

Do you have any big plans for your garden?  I have all kinds of ideas… in my head, I’m just like, more green, More Green, MORE GREEN!  Now I need to get focused because I have maybe a month or two to get it done this year.  I don’t want my new leafy babies to freeze in the California winter.

Screen Shot 2015-08-06 at 9.02.45 AM

Wicker? Rattan? It’s all Reed to me!

We’ve all seen wicker furniture, right?

And I’ve always been a bit of a fan of the woven stuff.

91c74d3388ea7018116fb64f97536bd3But just two weekends ago, I rolled on over to the Pierce College Flea Market and found the cutest little wicker chair.  For 15 dollars, y’all!! And besides the fact that I have 99 projects, I can’t help myself to one more like this!  My dear, where shall we put you?!?!


And it was funny as I was trying to tell my GF what I bought because I said, “You know wicker, or rattan or woven something or other!”  My brain just got all twisted up about the stuff.  So I kinda figured that maybe that may have happened to you too!

Wicker is like the mother category – it’s a piece, usually furniture or baskets,  woven from branches, roots, stalks, and now, plastics made to look like the plant stuff.  Pretty wide spread category, huh?!


(Wanna check out this nursery?  Here and SO fabulous!)

Anyway, so wicker has been around forever.  Seriously.  Since pharaoh times.

Here are some quick examples of different kinds of wicker; Reed, Bamboo, Rattan…

62c9ca45c1db29e23e553506fecb1d04 e12f6e586e0cff879912ffe814808752 59fa3ef5f0562be4fbaf051cb9763532

5205869f86314f1bfee2a2c5f9f117ff 21600477c929c76c895e82896cf86180

Rattan refers to a special category of palms that have thin stems.  The plant looks more like a vine than like an actual tree and it’s not hollow, like bamboo.  Is any of this important?  Probably not, but it’s cool to be smart.

Rattans are used to make furniture and that furniture is called wicker.  Phew!

7d4d06296114668cec26dc58b831e3ff 4863962c090bbc0bbbb3a1b5e2ee5336

So, what’s chair caning?  Well, that’s the physical skill of applying cane material to the backs or seats of chairs.  Confused yet?


Well, whatever it’s called I love the casual nature of wicker… and the limitless possibilities!  The texture it adds is pretty hard to beat.

Now I’m interested in a few wicker repair tips.  Got any?  One of  these days I’ll be fixing up my latest chair obsession find!!

Happy Creating!!  Jessica

Milo Baughman, Check!

I think it’s safe to say that I’ve moved up in my design journey.

In the process of collecting and decorating, I’ve been able to hit milestones, if you will. Milestones like, acquiring my first authentic piece of art, purchasing a true antique, devising and executing a full kitchen/bath remodel… and now I am thrilled to say that I can add a new notch in my belt!  I have purchased my first piece of furniture history!!

I am the proud owner of two gorgeous Milo Baughman barstools!!

Do you remember my barstool musings?  You can revisit here.  But after hours of searching and visualizing, I just couldn’t make a decision.  It’s like I knew that something great was on the horizon and I just had to be patient.

Behold the loveliness.

FullSizeRender-2 FullSizeRender-3

These babies weigh a ton!!  But they are so shiny and pretty.  Ahh, I’m in love.

Well, I’m in love with everything except the upholstery.  One stool has been badly bleached by the sun.  Does anyone have any tips for fixing sun damaged fabric?  I’ve got a few ideas, but some help would be much appreciated!!

And for those of you who are like, “Ok, I’ve heard of Milo Baughman, but what’s the hype,” let’s us dish about this iconic American designer.

Inducted into the Furniture Hall of Fame, Baughman is most credited for offering modern pieces at affordable price points.  He was a master of using glass, chrome, burled wood, and lacquer – usually combining the mediums.  His design philosophy was that furniture should enhance the atmosphere of the space and improve the quality of life.


You’ve probably seen his pieces and just not known it… Any strike an “oh yeah”?!


Cube Chair


Cantilevered Sofa – This is from the 70’s!  Can you believe it?!

This Chaise is so damn sexy.



Ellipse Chair – Pretty epic

And for fun, here are some of interiors with his iconic pieces


Cheryl Burke Interior Design

amazing-and-fascinating-dining-space-idea-with-edgy-glass-table-and-chairs-under-gorgeous-artsy-chandelier milo-baughman-recliner


eclectic-living-roomDying to know the paint color of this fabulous room??  Benjamin Moore Dark Harbor.

Obvs these are just a few examples, but it should give you an inkling of the genius involved.  Now you will spot imitations all over the place, and if you’re lucky, like I was, you will be able to take home a beauty of your own.

So what do you think?  Are you a fan?

Happy Creating!!  Ciao-sies, Jessica


The 3 Levels of Rug Layering

Hello Party People!

Today I’m totally feeling the aches and pains of DIY!  Yesterday I painted the chairs, after hours upon hours of sanding, and I can’t wait to show you how they look!  For now, and the next day, they’ll be in hibernation drying and curing.  I would say that waiting is the hardest part, but it’s not… it’s not at all.  Painting those suckers was quite a feat, lemme tell ya!  Anyhoo, I’ve said too much – that’s to come on Thursday.  (If all goes well!!)

Today, I’m thinking about the coziness of layering rugs.  Maybe because the weather is cooling down or because the look is easy/casual but I’ve been loving all the layering going down!  And I think it will be a nice look for my dining area… just another way to get the “stuffy” out and bring the comfortable in.



Here are the basics of layering and it’s super easy.  Start with a sisal or jute rug, plain in color and low pile, and then insert texture and color with a smaller rug on top.  Seriously, anyone can do that, right?  Elementary, my dear Watson!

Then, another step up from beginner, let’s say the high-schooler of rug layering, is based on mixing colors and patterns.


Now you’ve got a tougher look to pull off.  Black and White, a classic, keeps it a no-brainer though.  Phew, not so tough, huh?!  Pick two colors and stick to that scheme to keep it from looking fussy – it’s more modern that way.

But let’s say you want to play in the big leagues of rug layering… want that look to stand out.  You want people to say, “Dang, that’s a lot of layered rugs!”  It looks so effortlessly easy… of course, you and I both know that there is a bunch of thinking, hunting, and crazy placing that goes behind these “haphazardly laid” rugs.

This is master rug layering, people.

kristoferjohnsson1 rug layering layered-rugs-5

Instead of picking colors, per se, you pick a look, a mood.  In the first picture, it’s modern shapes and graphic patterns that tie the rugs together, along with the black and white, of course.  In the other photos, it’s a bohemian feel with kilim rugs in intricate patters… yes, the colors are harmonious but you don’t get bogged down on the exact colors because the “feel” is cohesive.

So, where do you rank?

For the dining room, I’m trying to go for master, but that “a lot” of rugs thing is kinda tough… you literally have to have a bunch to layer.

Back to the hunting part!!

Happy Creating!  Jessica