Archives For -Design


Hi All! Well we finally decided to go live with the new look for the blog. Mr. S. deserves most of the credit for this one (Thanks Mr. S!).  A lot of the work is actually on the back end. So in addition to a new logo and appearance the blog now has responsive design which is really cool and means that it should work well on phones and tablets too (which is 100% Mr. S.)!

The biggest change is probably the new logo. Which took lots of back and forth and I think is quite beautiful. We have also added a white background, which is departure for me but I think it work well for highlighting the content.  We also added a colorful border with different patterns that vary (because I need to have my color and pattern somewhere).

I still have a bunch of stuff to add including a new picture of me (in progress), social media links, a links page and most importantly a full house tour. Since the blog with have its 2 year anniversary at the end of the month, I hope to have all of that up and running by then.


Original Design from 2011

We have come a long way in the two years since we started. I hope you enjoy the new look!

And a special thanks to all of my readers who keep me inspired! xoxo



This is a little off topic, but it is important so I wanted to share. The Camden Children’s Garden is being evicted by the State of New Jersey and given two months to clear the site. So I am joining the Blogger Day of Action to Save the Camden Children’s Garden I am including some pictures from over the years  (thanks Tim). The garden was designed by Venturi, Scott Brown and Associates with Rodney Robinson Landscape Architects.


It was one of the first projects I worked on when I start at VSBA. I only worked on it a little bit but it was such an exciting project to be involved with and I still have fond memories of the opening party. It is one of the best examples of Steve Izenour’s built work. Not only is the Children’s Garden a great place to take the family but they also do SO much great work in Camden supporting and running community gardens around the city and offering youth education, training and employment.


Michelle Obama even highlights it in her book “American Grown”. It is a sad day that the NJ would decide to take something with such positive impact to such an under served community and destroy it.

Please consider adding your support to save the Camden Children’s Garden. Sign the petition here.

Here are some related articles:

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Blog Update Coming Soon!

January 23, 2013 — 2 Comments


Behind the scenes over here we (as in one part me and three parts Mr. S.) have been working on updating the blog design. Although I am still generally happy with the current design, we have been running into problems with it working with the latest version of WordPress.  This lead to Mr. S. suggesting a redesign (Yes I know I am really lucky!). We are really close to launching (Yeah!) but of course this means that I am behind in new posts (Boo!). I thought I would show you some of the patterns and colors I am working with though. Because after all I can’t seem to get enough of either!


We are still tweaking the scale and colors but I am really liking where this is going. I got some inspiration from the Pantone Colors for Spring 2013 along with some artwork and prints that I love. There will also be more white on the site, which is new for me, but will hopefully offset the color nicely. I am also working on adding some new features (which will probably take longer to fully implement).  The blog itself is also going to be updated with the latest versions of code and will be scalable for different viewing platforms including mobile devices and ipads, which is pretty darn cool (I am so lucky to have a husband who can code!). I am hoping that we will go live by next week, so THANKS for being patient and stay tuned!

Also if anyone has any opinions on topics or things you would like to see covered on the blog please let me know!


Woodpecker Lamp, $49.99 & Gold Woodgrain Pillow, $24.99 paired with my vintage wingback chair in a Paul Smith Maraham Fabric

A couple of weeks ago I wrote about Target’s latest design collaborations. They became available on Sunday, so I was all set to run over to Target, since I had my list ready to go! First, though while I was still in my pjs, I looked online. And fortunately almost everything was still in stock (at least a 9 am). So I decided to place my order, figuring if I didn’t like something in person I could always return it. I also ordered a few items for Christmas presents (yeah!). Well almost everything arrived yesterday! In the meantime, I was in Target earlier this week doing some grocery shopping and I took a peak. They still had some items, but it was definitely already picked over and the lamps were missing their shades.  : ( Fortunately it looks like a lot of the items including the pillow and lamps are still available online.

The quality on the lamps seems pretty good. The only weird thing is that it comes with a fluorescent bulb. I HATE fluorescent bulbs. I guess it does because it is only rated for a 13 watt bulb! Eeeek, that is a really low wattage. I will be picking up an LED bulb when I get a chance.

Woodpecker Lamp with Woodgrain Pillow

The lamp itself is not particularly tall, so if you are putting it on a side table you will probably need to place it on some books or something, so that you are not looking at the bulb. For now I have it on a side table in the Living Room. This is too precarious to leave with 2 rambunctious kids, so I’m not sure where it will decide to live permanently. Maybe in my imaginary cottage in the woods?

I am liking the fall feeling of these items. I also think that the pillow could work really well with some Christmas and winter items.

There are a few other things that I picked up that I will show you sometime soon.

Did anyone else pick up anything from Patch NYC or the Curiosity Shoppe?

I hope everyone has a lovely weekend. We have been having some amazing weather here and I am looking forward to spending some time outside.

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Patch NYC: A new line from Target

It is no secret that I love Target. I shop there quite often, but one of my favorite things is their collaborations with different designers. I have lots of items from their Orla Kiely 2009 line decorating my house, a couple of things from the Liberty of London 2010 line and almost nothing from the Missoni line earlier last year. After the craziness of the Missoni launch, I am a little more dubious about getting too excited about anything, since I might have to fight some crazy lady for it. This fall they are going to be offering products from Patch NYC and The Curiosity Shoppe. As always these are limited while supplies last, with a debut date of September 9th.

The Curiosity Shoppe: A new line from Target

There is some nice looking stuff, with a definite fall feel to it. It is interesting because I am really liking the woodsy feeling items. Normally I am all about the color, but not this time. I thought I would show you what I have my eyes on. I am having sudden urges to buy a cabin in the woods.

My Picks from the new Target Lines: 1. Deer Canister, $29.99  2.Packaging, $5-10 3. Owl Pillow,$24.99 & Bunny Duvet, $99.99, 4. Woodpecker lamp, 49.99 5. Wood bowl,  $30 & Server Set, $15 6. Wood grain pillow, $24.99.

My favorite is the deer canister. Anything striking your fancy?

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We had a lovely vacation on the Florida panhandle, but this morning was pretty painful, after a week off and an hour time change (okay, I will stop complaining now). I have a ton of pictures to go through but I thought I would start out with a few of my favorites from our trip. Seaside and Water Color Inn & Resort are filled with lovely white beaches with lots of picturesque cottages, all beautifully planned out in “perfect” little communities (Seaside was where they filmed “The Truman Show” after all) . I was ready to move in (except for the prices and that you are in the middle of nowhere). The kids had a great time making sandcastles, “swimming” (I mean floating around the pool on inner-tubes), fishing and kayaking.

Sam's Drawing of Our Trip including swimming pools, fish, a crab and him wearing goggles

I will be back later this week with some cottage pictures, details and paint colors to inspire.

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Guess where we are?

April 20, 2012 — Leave a comment

Sorry I haven’t posted much this week. We are enjoying some rest and relaxation in the sun!

Can anyone guess where we are? This house was featured prominently in a movie a few years ago? (And no we aren’t actually staying in this house).

I have been busy taking lots of photos of interesting houses that I will be sharing next week.

Hope everyone has a great weekend!

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New Girard Book by Todd Oldman & Kiera Coffee

We survived Christmas and the kids are VERY happy with all of their new toys! And to top it off my contractors are down in the basement working on the last few things that need to be done before the our new drainage system gets installed in a couple of weeks. It is disgusting down there right now and I am really looking forward to having a functioning space again.

My favorite present that I got this year is the new Alexander Girard book by Todd Oldman and Kiera Coffee. It weighs in at a whopping 17 lbs (and 672 pages)! I have been a fan of Alexander Girard for a while but now I am a SUPER fan! I am only half way looking through it and I can’t believe how much design the man created! I am also surprised at how current his work looks. You could pull out almost anything and put it directly into the latest design magazines. He is probably most famous for his textile designs (he was the head of the textile division at Herman Miller for decades) but was also an architect and industrial designer.

I have included a few of my favorite images from the book. I highly recommend picking lugging it up! It is quite a pricey book, but I think it is worth it since it will be such a major source of inspiration for years to come. If you decide to order it, shop around. I found it discounted from the retail $200 price to $120 on Amazon. House Industries also created a series of fonts based on his designs (and the blocks in this year’s holiday card).

Did anyone get any great presents this year?

Summary Sheet that came with the book

Salvaged Wood Wall

How amazing are these fabric designs? You can still purchase several of his fabrics through Maharam and their Textiles of the 20th Century line. As you can see there are also quite a few fabrics right now that take their styling from these.

Playful Fabric Designs

More Amazing Fabric Designs (doesn't the one on the right look like a dwell fabric?)

More Colorful Fabric Designs (the one on the right looks a lot like one of the Premier Fabrics)

Here are a few affordable current fabrics that are similar in style and color:

1. Dwell Studio Fabic

2. Premier Prints Fabric

3. Premier Prints Fabric


1. Dwell Studio Indoor/Outdoor Mazescene Taupe, $9.98 yard

2. Chipper in Black/Denton, $12.98 yard

3. Zoom Zoom in Village/Natural, $7.48 yard



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Terrain All Decked out for the Holidays!

Tuesday was a gloomy, wet day here. The weather was weirdly warm for late November but the rain felt like it was never going to end (which of course it did yesterday). I had some errands to run out near Terrain at Styers (one of my favorite stores for inspiration). So I decided to stop by and see what they had for the holidays and try to put myself in the Christmas spirit.  The entry looks like it should be in Germany (and I LOVE Germany around Christmas time). I put together a collage of some of my favorite things. As usual their styling was impeccable! I hope you enjoy!


Twinkle Lights: Terrain knows how to use inexpensive twinkle lights better than anyone (i.e. back at the Design*Sponge book signing they had the room lit with the same lights). Use them in unexpected places, and dim the rest of the lights to let them be the main lighting for the space. Part of their success is using them in large quantities for a more dramatic impact.

Bring Nature Inside: This doesn’t have to be expensive. Cut a twig off of your evergreen and place them inside. Better yet cut a few small branches from several types of shrubs or trees and combine them. Put them in an inexpensive metal or glass vase. Add some twinkle lights for good measure. Another option is to literally bring in some logs or branches. Here they have used a lot of small cuttings of birch trees and various twigs for decoration. Also grab some pinecones, even we have a tray at our house. I think a mix of pine cones on a mirrored tray mixed w/ a candle would be lovely.

Indoor Plants: I will be the first to tell you that I do NOT do well with indoor plants. Here they cleverly combined a few red plants in with a bunch of their terrariums to give them a holiday feel. Terrariums are all the rage (at least in the design blogosphere) and Terrain has an amazing selection, and will even make one for you. I am still not convinced, but I do have some old glass lanterns that might make some lovely terrariums. However I think succulents are right up my alley. I purchased several inexpensive ones at Ikea this spring and I am thinking of combining some into larger pots to highlight their different texture. I was pleasantly surprised to see quite a few on display.

Combine Textures: The favorite combination I saw was rough wood and bark paired with dark metal and glass.

Sparkle/Pop of Color: Sparingly add a bit of sparkle or a pop of color. I saw a lot of small pops of orange to red to purple. After all it is the holidays and what says that more than a little bit of red. Another way to add a bit of sparkle is through the use of a mirror. The antique mirror tray below the silver trees added an extra bit of subtle bling.



I am a lover of pattern, particularly when it involves carving and casting. So I was really excited to see the small exhibit at the Art Institute of “Fragments of Chicago’s Past”. There were some beautiful fragments (unfortunately of mostly demolished buildings), many by Louis Sullivan, Alder and Frank Lloyd Wright. Wright studied under Sullivan, and I have always been partial to Sullivan. I put this collage together of some of my favorite patterns. I also included some beautifully carved Early American chests. This makes me want to start designing patterns again.

Sam studying the pointillism painting "A Sunday on La Grande Jatte" by Seurat

And of course our trip would not be complete without a stop at “A Sunday on La Grande Jatte” by Georges Seurat (now picture Ferris Bueller’s Day Off). We also considered asking to tour the house where Cameron lived (which is currently on the market).

I could have spent all day there, but alas the kids became quite restless after an hour or so. The collections were amazing and surprisingly diverse and I definitely recommend a stop if you are ever in the area.

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