I spent a large part of labor day weekend painting stripes on my kids’ bathroom walls. Why stripes? Well, they are fun, they are different and they are fairly easy to do. The hardest part of the project was the taping. I used the blue painters tape delicate version and that worked out wonderfully. When I ran out I used the regular painters tape and that was a disaster. It pulled some of the paint off which requires me to go back in and touch up.
I started by deciding how many stripes I wanted in the space and dividing the ceiling height by that number. That gave me the height of each horizontal stripe. I measured carefully and started by marking the wall at several intervals in order to be able to tape off evenly. That was proving difficult so when I got to the other side I decided to actually draw the lines in pencil and follow those with the tape. That was a lot easier.
I started with the green stripes. I used Benjamin Moore’s Green Acres in Aura Bath and Spa for the green stripe. After two coats I removed the tape immediately.
A few days later, after re-taping, I came back and did the contrasting stripe and bathroom ceiling in Benjamin Moore’s Seahorse, also in Aura Bath and Spa.
A few well appointed accessories pull it all together in a very fun, kid friendly way. The colorful shower curtain (where I pulled all of the accent colors from) adds pattern and color to the room. A contrasting blue alphabet canvas print reminds us that its a kid’s bathroom and pulls out another accent color from the shower curtain. A totally contrasting coral towel, also a color from the curtain) adds a third splash of fun.
Here are the before and afters:

In this project we created a very clean, modern, neutral yet fun and interesting living room and dining room for a fantastic young family in Falls Church. When we had our initial consultation the clients asked for a great space to entertain during large family gatherings. They wanted plenty of seating in both the living room and the dining room. They wanted a space that was up to date, but not too wild or in your face. Subtly clean and chic is what we gave them.

My favorite part is the draperies. We used a linen blend fabric that has these great sewn in folds to it. They give the design texture while keeping it neutral. We didn’t have room for two panels next to the fireplace so we swagged back one panel per window for added interest. The fabric is sheer and we kept it unlined to allow natural light. We added simple roller shades in a soft textured off white fabric for function as well as added style.



The sofas were created by separating sectional pieces. We used the Beckham Sectional by Bassett Furniture Industries in a soft grey, easy to keep clean fabric. A round cocktail table, the Berkeley Cocktail Table, also by Bassett mimics the round wood mirror on the fireplace.

The paint scheme is simple. We added a soft taupe/grey to the walls and a lighter version of the color on the fireplace to highlight its unique shape.

In the dining room, we went a little darker with the wall color for drama. The table seats 8 comfortably. We kept the homeowner’s existing chandelier. A large china acts as additional storage and display. Some branch shaped candle sconces added softness and texture to the space. The highlight is the silk draperies with a pant leg break on the floor.



The rug is by West Elm. The table and china are part of the Redin Park Collection by Bassett. The chairs are custom upholstered, also by Bassett. The draperies are our design.

We started working on my son’s big boy bedroom this past month as a gift to him for his 3rd birthday. He’s obsessed with all things superhero. We purchased a wall decal of a cityscape from Wall Star Graphics (http://www.etsy.com/people/WallStarGraphics?utm_source=convo&utm_medium=trans_email&utm_campaign=convo_html) a great resource we found on Etsy (also a great resource for unique art and accessories). The sticker was easy to apply and should come off easily when my son decides its dinosaurs or baseball he likes). We added Batman, Spiderman and Superman Roommates wall stickers to make it look as if they are coming into the city to do their super hero thing. Three floating shelves act as display space for some of his figurines and will also cap off an upholstered headboard we are designing and will install to make the bed look like a daybed. The bed is the 2×2 platform bed from West Elm.

On the other side we created a collage of framed vintage comics (some which were my husband’s when he was a kid). We also framed three record albums that were also my husband’s and add a great pop of color.

A few block shelves in red for accent display more of my son’s figurines. The area rug with circles and stars in blue is from Surya. The shades and valance are my designs.

These dramatic sheers add a whole new level of texture and warmth to the space.

Tying back draperies creates drama, the sheer, contemporary fabric keeps it from looking stuffy and over decorated.

A wall of draperies topped off with a beautiful box pleated valance. Its all in the details. Leading edges are trimmed with beaded trim.

The long awaited almost final results of the fun and funky family room we completed for a great family in Chantilly is here. For this design we used color, lots of bright, fun colors, a lot of functional and user friendly storage and durable fabrics that will outlast the six year old twins that will enjoy this space the most. We created spaces for her, for him and for them. The final photos are still not in but here is a great snippet of the room in its final stages of the project. Would love to get your thoughts. We will publish photos of the great built in cafe area we did for her as well as more panoramic views of the room shortly.

I’m so excited about our latest window treatment install. This one is for a retired gentleman who lives in a great little condo in Stephens City (near Winchester), VA. He wanted something functional to give him privacy when necessary and to allow natural light to flow during the day. He also wanted something updated and stylish. We chose to go with wood blinds from Graber in cherry finish to match his existing furnishings. For style we added beautiful cornice boards in fabrics that are masculine in style but full of life and texture. They work amazingly with his new paint colors. In the living room we needed functional draperies to allow him privacy at night. We did a very classy blue/brown/green faux silk striped fabric that just pops against the wall color and ties his artwork and furnishings together. The rod is traversing in bronze finish to match his new ceiling fans.

Master bedroom wood blind and cornice board.

Office wood blinds and cornice board.


Living room draperies closed. Couldn't get a good picture with them open.


Part of our work with this client was helping him to hang his fantastic collection of artwork from his travels across the world. We chose to display is art in groupings to make them more substantial and to have them really attract attention. When hanging artwork, groupings tend to create a very dramatic display that calls for conversation. Check out how we did.

We had these reframed by a professional framer (Digital Recollections) to really bring out the colors and beauty of the art.

View down the hallway.

When this Gainesville, Virginia family first approached me to design their family room I didn’t know they would become one of my absolute favorite clients. Judging by their collection of beautiful items for around the world, they have great taste, there is no doubt about it. But the more I got to know them, see them interact with each other and the way they totally and completely collaborated with me on their design project was so easy going and positive, it made every moment of designing their space and implementing their design so pleasurable and easy. When we first started talking they shared with me stories of their travels and their collection of amazing furnishings and accessories from around the world. They also shared that they enjoy spending time with their tween children at home and wanted to create a family room that made them all feel great. It had to be comfortable for lounging and watching movies together, doing homework, as well as mild entertaining. It also had to feel incredibly warm and inviting. They wanted to incorporate a mildly Tuscan feel without it feeling thematic or over the top. They wanted the warmth and texture of Tuscany with the an updated feel.

The Design
Together we landed on a warm, golden yellow that just brightens up the space and invites you in. I then brought in a lot of texture and contrast with the olive colored draperies. I embellished them with red, green and gold fringe trim on the leading edge. A simple french pleat header adds to the traditional feel. We hung them from vintage gold wood traversing rods to finish off the look. On the sofas we went more bold with the red and gold stripe on the chair and a half and a textured red with gold undertones on the sofa. The accent pillows tie the fabrics together. The piece de la resistance is a gorgeous accent chair which I upholstered in a red fabric with grey/black medallions. A small accent table and floor lamp creates a comfy reading nook for early Sunday morning paper reading. Here are the results:

Sofa, chair and chair and a half are from Bassett Furniture. Draperies are Creative Elegance Interiors. Fireplace arched accent is from Uttermost and fireplace screen is from Willow House.

We tied the breakfast area and kitchen to the family room by adding short box pleated valances in a decorative, embroidered fabric in a slightly lighter green color. We kept the breakfast room treatments short so as not block out any great natural light.

Don’t look at the bedding. Do instead look at the headboard and lights. We finally got our amazing upholstered bonnet style headboard in from Bassett last week. We also had our sconces installed. We purchased the Chelsea Sconces from Pottery Barn. They come as plug ins but a very good friend who’s an electrician helped us to hard wire them. They are fabulous. Now we can control them from the light switch or from the sconces. They are two way so we can have both mood lighting and task lighting. The headboard was made by Bassett Furniture. However I did COM (customer’s own material) on the fabric. I used the same linen fabric that I used for my master bathroom cafe style draperies. Its soft, textural and easy. Its hard to see in the pictures for the color is lighter than the walls so it does stand out without being overwhelming.

So what’s next. I’m headed out to buy the materials for the cornice boards. Those should be the next portion. The duvet is being made, can’t wait to show that off. Then its the bedskirt and light fixture. Finally I hope to purchase a comfy chair and ottoman and bench for the end of the bed. A few mirrors and some well placed accessories and the room will be complete. Stay tuned!!!

Check out our latest design project. We’ve just about completed this family room for a nice couple and their four legged children in Alexandria. When we started the room had a nice collection of traditional furnishings that had been lent to them by her mother. The pieces were of excellent quality and quite attractive but just didn’t reflect their style and personality. This is the room in the house where they spend the majority of their time and they were ready for a space that they could lounge in and relax, entertain in and really get a lot of use of.
We started with an incredibly large and deep, comfy sectional. The sectional is in a deep chocolate fabric. We contrasted the chocolate a woven fabric with shades of reds and golds for the accent pillows. The coffee table, by Stanley Furniture, is perfect for hiding remotes, blankets and games. The metal side tables with glass tops ensure the kitties will not scratch them. The swivel arm lamps allow for perfect reading light.
The large entertainment center provides plenty of storage for the dvd player, WII and games. It allows gives plenty of display space for collections of vases, glassware and books.
We chose front fold roman shades to avoid kitties and doggies from destroying draperies and to give a more casual, family room feel. They also block light for tv watching. The deep green/grey color adds contrast to the neutral walls. Finally the details, like the two sets of wall plaques in varying shades of green, red, yellows and browns adds texture and color to the neutral backdrop. All thats missing now is a couple of great pieces of art on the walls near the entertainment center and recliner that is on order from Ethan Allen for the corner.
Check it out. We’d love to hear comments…

Family Room Before Picture

Since things are going so slowly with my master bedroom redo (partly because of lack of time and partly because I’m waiting on the headboard to arrive and lights to be installed) I thought I would share some quick and easy tips for updating your powder room. Here are the before pictures of my powder room.

Typical, standard powder room. Nothing to write home about. I had purchased the cabinet on the wall at The Very Thing in Haymarket, my very favorite consignment store, to hide all of the bathroom necessities. I believe it was originally a plate display case. I added the fabric curtain by installing a tension rod and cutting some inexpensive fabric to size and then hemming it with fabric glue. Not rocket science, by any means. Not it contains extra toilet paper and bathroom soap refills nicely hidden behind the decorative fabric.
Here is my powder room now…

I painted the walls in Benjamin Moore’s Whiteall Brown HC-69 in the new Regal Select semi-gloss. I chose semi-gloss because I’ve seen that bright, shiny finish in deep dark colors in all the magazines on all sorts of walls and I wanted to see for myself if it really looked as good as the pictures showed. It looks good. Would I do it again, maybe. Next time I would take more time to ensure that the walls are free of nicks and bumps. It shows every little imperfection (as I knew it would, I just couldn’t see the imperfections with the builder flat on the walls). I do like the way the light (artificial, there are no windows in this powder room) shines off the walls. It gives it a sophisticated look.
I also painted the wall cabinet. I had some Cabinet Coat left over from the family room built in painting and decided it would be nice to tie the two cabinets together. A light sanding and two coats of Cabinet Coat and the wall cabinet looks like new. I changed the knob to a more updated silver know.
I found the mirror on discount at Pier 1. I loved the shape and color and it fit perfectly. I got really lucky. I also changed out the towel bar (not shown in the picture) and toilet paper holder. A few choice accessories and the bathroom is complete.
Eventually I will change out that hideous builder grade light fixture and may even add some crown molding. For now, there are more pressing projects calling my name…
I’d love to hear your thoughts on the powder room redo.
Here’s a few more shots…

Check out our interior decorating and design articles published at www.Ezine.com

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