Browsing Category: Design 101

To Label or Not to Label?


How was your weekend?  Good I hope!  We enjoyed our last few weeks of summer in the pool.  Gotta keep practicing “paddlers” and “kickers” so the boys can finally swim on their own!  I seriously daydream of the day when I can leisurely lounge on the sidelines with a cool drink in one hand and a good book in the other.  Ahhh, sounds sooo nice.

Anyhow, as some of you know I picked up the Domino Book a few months ago.  Lots of pretty pictures and some neat advice… But one thing in particular has had me thinking for awhile.  It says that an important first step to decorating is to determine your style.  Label yourself.  This is something I have always struggled with and I don’t think it’s that uncommon… how about you??  Do you struggle to define what you like in 2 or 3 words?

Here are some buzz words they throw out to inspire:  Feminine, Elegant, Tailored, Classic, Modern, Traditional, Witty, Comfortable, Zen, Edgy, Dramatic, Pop, Vibrant, Clean, Organic.

Any jump out at you?

Or are you appalled by being asked to label yourself?

Does a label restrict who we can be or does it allow us the freedom to be who we are?

Both, I guess.

But since I’m on a trek (of sorts) to become better at my addiction, I am game to play.  Now, to figure out how to describe “my style.”  I can do that… I think.

Here’s what I’m not….

Cultured Irreverence


Masculine Bohemian
Masculine Bohemian


Ladylike Luxe
Ladylike Luxe

I actually really like all the rooms, but are they me?  Not so much… especially at this point in my life!  I’m not nearly so glamorous or sophisticated!

Me?  I’m a little more of this…


and this,


But maybe with a little more color?


And of course a sense of humor!


So, yeah, that’s my style in a nutshell.  Well, for now, at least!

Collected Relaxed Happy

I love going to antique stores and flea markets, so a lot of my favorite pieces are from all over the world (although, yes, I have to admit that I’m most in love with Asian ceramics and art).  But I’m not on the zen side of design – I can’t say no to color and I like having stuff; pictures on the walls, finds from our travels, art made by the kids.  No room in the house is off limits (I mean, how could it be??) and that’s nice for us… the kids have an impact in the space and how it’s designed too.

Ever noticed how you love certain rooms, but never emulate them?  This is me to a T!  I see all white rooms and think they’re so fresh.  But then I’ll pick out fabric and go for the wackiest patterns.  I never buy white, beige, cream, taupe.  I don’t want to sew white stuff.  I want to buy fun things and make colorful pieces… I guess, deep down, it’s just not me.  And now that I’ve found my style, I feel better about it!

I’ve been labeled!  Phew, what a relief.

Making the Bed – Domino Idea

Hhheeelllloooo Nurse!  Remember that old gem?!?

For the last week I’ve been reading the Domino Book of Decorating.  I’m sure many of you have perused it (or even read it).


It’s a beautiful book on the outside, which is great for decorating with it later, and has great photos on the inside.  I won’t say that it’s a wonder of decorating advice… it’s kinda predictable.  Not too much there that I haven’t heard before… but what am I expecting?  Only superhuman decorating powers!!  No pressure Domino.  Gotta step it up in the 2nd half.

BUT.  A few things have caught my attention.  Here’s what I read last night on the bedroom section, “The easiest way to combine different patterns (sheets, that is) is to make sure they share the same background color (such as white or ivory).”

It can’t be that simple, right?!?  Maybe, just maybe, in the sheet world, it is.

I investigate.


These sheets all have an ivory background – Check.  Does it work together?  Check, check!

Now, I did struggle to find great photos of just sheets, but it seems that the rule does in fact pan out.  As for the rest of the bed?  That definitely takes a bit more artistry.  A few suggestions from the pros… pick 2-3 colors and stick to them, vary the scale of the prints (so, one large, one medium, one small), however, keep the intensity of the colors the same.  I’m learning something… I CAN be taught!!  Like the photo above, the reds are all super red and the blues are in the navy category.  Uh huh.

All navy and white. Stripes, circles, large print, solid. Easy one, yes?
More advanced, but still doable in my book. Reds, blues, orange with ivory as the anchor. Art matches perfectly too!
Black and white can calm it all down, even in a print. This here was done by a trained eye. Yes, there is the pink chinoiserie theme, but the turquoise? Genius.

Now there this room, which is so put together and special. Yet.  The thinking behind it makes no sense to me.

Thom Filicia you are a crafty dude. Purple walls?!?! Say what?

So with all that said, take these suggestions and then just do whatever feels right.  It is the bedroom!!  Wink, wink.

And now, just a bed set that I’m loving.  I must share.  Cool people sleep here, yes, they do.


Now, go make your bed and lie in it.





Mark Hampton – Part II

It’s Friday and school’s out!  Oh, yeah!!  (The Snicker song just came on – I know you know it!!)

And I’ve got Mark Hampton’s chapter on wallpaper on the brain – fun stuff to think about, if ya ask me!  And although he was most known for using chintz, I want to share a few of his ideas/thoughts on the wallpaper subject since (not only was it my favorite chapter) it might just inspire you to wallpaper a room or two!

1.  Strongly patterned wallpaper very often makes a small room look larger.  “It seems larger because you immediately have a point of reference.”  This trick works the best in tiny rooms.


2.  Often, a wallpaper allows several patterns to play together in an “orderly” way; meaning it can unify lots of patterns, making the space have a sense of purpose rather than looking random.  It can unify lots of “disparate elements or decorating that you love but that you find difficult to mix.”


3.  Wallpaper can be a great background for art… seems counterintuitive, but a patterned background can have a calming effect when there is a combination of drawings and paintings.


4.  The fear of wallpaper creating a “fussy” look is an opinion of taste not a fact.  A room can look sleek and modern in wallpaper.


5.  In rooms where the furniture is moved frequently, wallpaper works great because when the arrangement is changed there are no “blank” areas on the walls.


6.  Wallpaper is also perfect when your room lacks architectural interest.  “If the existing architectural details are bland, the mood of the room becomes far more assertive with the help of a good, strong wallpaper in a definite style.”


7.  And finally, wallpaper is great when your walls are in bad shape or you love to move pictures, since it’s perfect for hiding nail holes!


All Fabulous reasons to look into some wallpaper!  But really, I just love it ’cause it’s soooo purdy!  But, hey, if it can make your rooms look bigger, walls look smoother and artwork smarter – then all the better!!  Cheers and TGIF!

You can even wallpaper your exterior!
You can even wallpaper your exterior! Not such a square box anymore.
This ain’t your grandmas floral!
Lots of prints and colors… yet, surprisingly calm and cozy.