Defining Spaces: Creating a Gallery Wall

I have always felt that great design has to be a personal effort.  Whenever I meet with a client and we begin a design plan, I always request that we find personal items we can integrate into the design. Not only do these items make the space less sterile, but they give the homeowner a sense of comfort.  Spaces with a personal touch also are a great way to create a conversation when guests are visiting.

Recently I had the pleasure of helping my client Kathryn pull some of her existing items together to create a gallery wall on a large blank space in her great room. Sometimes a brand new home can be daunting.  You have a ton of wall space to fill!  When I arrived, Kathryn had done her home work and pulled out a lot of items she loved from her previous home.  Now, the fun begins!



We spent a couple hours playing with photos, mementos, wall letters, large antique printing trays filled with seashells she collected over time.  On the floor, we laid out the design and then transferred it to the wall piece by piece.  When we were finished, a completely new look had been obtained!  It completely transformed the space from a blank slate to a wall belonging their family.  Success!!




Here are a few tips for creating your own gallery wall:

  • Pull pieces of all sizes, textures and shapes.  Don’t be afraid to mix and match – quirky is key!
  • Mix family photos, places of interest, wall letters, vintage signs – be creative!
  • Lay out your gallery on a table or floor before you begin to hang your items on the wall.  Try to keep the spacing within 2″ of each other.
  • Choose a space that will be viewed by all – a large hallway, family room space or dining room wall is ideal.


Here are some other gallery walls I have used for inspiration.  The possibilities are endless!




The Evolution of the (Indoor) Outdoor Rug

It’s amazing how once you have kids your complete outlook on decorating changes.  Love that china vase you saw online but are afraid that your now climbing toddler will be able to reach it and down it comes off the shelf?  Do you want to have a beautiful living room, but are afraid that baby food, markers and the all too frequent spill will ruin it all? Well, fear not!  Today, some of the most beautiful rooms you see on Pinterest have performance fabric slipcovers and indoor/outdoor area rugs on the floors.

Indoor/Outdoor rugs have come a long way.  As a child, all I remember was that green astroturf looking stuff.  But now you can have a beautiful, washable, scrubbable and even hose able rug in your home without sacrificing aesthetics.  Most of these rugs are made of synthetic materials like polyester, polypropylene, and olefin.  These fibers have a soft hand (or foot!) and can compliment any room.  Not only are these rugs family/pet friendly and durable, but they also cost much less than most natural fiber rugs made of wool, jute or sisal.  A typical 9 x 12 will run you under $500. Most all major rug and home decor manufacturers carry these rugs now, but the stores who carry my favorites are:  Ballard Designs (, Home Decorators Collection ( and Dash & Albert ( And, don’t worry…..I won’t tell anyone what’s on your floor!

Please enjoy a few of my favorite examples:


Assorted Rugs from Dash & Albert.

Assorted Rugs from Dash & Albert.



Chevron Rug from Ballard Designs.





Industrial Design: Adding Elements on a Budget

Industrial design.  It’s all the rage right now.  Edison bulbs, a mix of steel and wood.  I have to admit, I really love adding these elements to any decor – but a simple light fixture can go for upwards of $350 or more. Luckily, most affordable home decor companies are now adding industrial elements to their product lines.  Here are a few comparisons from high-end vs. budget friendly options to make your space uber industrial!

Industrial Stools

Rejuvenation Industrial Stool – $395.00          vs.              Target Dakota Adjustable Stool – $79.99

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Barn Light Electric Maven Chandelier – $670.00    vs.    West Elm Industrial Chandelier – $249.00

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Restoration Hardware Factory Cart – $995.00   vs.    World Market Henry Coffee Table – $349.00

Restoration Factory Cart - $995.00 467687 HENRY COFFEE TABLE

An eclectic mix of industrial, modern and traditional.

Want to add Industrial Elements to your existing design, but don’t know where to start? Just send me a photo of your room and I’m happy to help you!

How to use Radiant Orchid – Color of the Year 2014

When Pantone announced this year’s color earlier this month, all I could think about was how my 8 year old daughter was going to go bananas.  For about two years now, Caroline has been asking me to change the very young, girlie, pink and green palette in her room to PURPLE.  Yes, purple!  The only color any girl her age wants her room.  And, I have to admit, I have been fighting it.  But now that we’re building a new house, and she’s getting older I realize it’s time for a new, grown up change.  And, luckily Pantone’s Radiant Orchid is actually a hue I can live with.  Before you completely write off the idea of having anything purple (or orchid in this case) in your home, take a look at a few of these ideas on how to incorporate this vibrant color into your decor:

  • Add A Small Accent – Feeling uncommitted? Why not try adding a small splash of color to a room you feel needs a little pick me up.  How about a beautiful throw, small pillow, or even an actual orchid plant to brighten up your room? Drapes are great too! This could be the one thing your room could use to make you smile this winter.
  • Pull Out the Undertones – We all know red and blue make purple, so why not use those colors to compliment this bold shade? Even pinks, oranges and greens will work! I personally like how gray can make purple pop yet remain understated.  That’s what I plan on doing with Caroline’s new room.  Check out a few of these super cool ideas:


  • Go Big or Go Home – Okay, so you’ve officially fallen in love with Pantone’s choice for this year.  So why not go all out?! Hey, it will definitely be a topic of conversation at your next dinner party!

Questions? Comments? Let me know!