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A Global Inspiration

September 29th, 2014

When beginning a new project we often think about what inspires us, what elements to bring in and what mood we want to create.  Travel, whether across the country or across the world, has always been vital for me and something that continues to influence my work.

Here are my Top 5 favorite projects I’ve worked on with their own with Global Inspiration:


For this project on the beach in Los Angeles, our client was particularly drawn to the peaceful aesthetics of Asia.  Of course, Japan and Zen came to mind, especially when seeing the tranquil ocean just steps away.  Neutral colors, clean lines, elements of nature and a peaceful space are exactly what this home called for.

Japan Living

Bringing the outdoors in, we used elements of stone, metal, wood, glass, fire, water and earth to create a perfect soothing sanctuary living room retreat.  The expansive windows offer a clear view of every angle of the Pacific Ocean and bring in plenty of natural light.


Japan Dining

Grasscloth wallcovering adds a natural element to warm up this Dining Room, and a mirrored wall reflects not only sunlight but the ocean view.


Japan Bedroom - Beach - Master 1

East meets West with the clean lines and minimalism of the low platform bed, floating night stands and cocktail tables, creating a relaxing and soothing Master Bedroom.



Nothing feels more comfortable and inviting than a Spanish interior.  With the freedom of bringing in elements from Spain, Morocco and Europe, we were able to be playful and creative with many of the rooms within this home.


Spain Living

Incorporating dark rich wood, wrought iron, white plaster walls and exposed beams creates a warm setting.  Details like tassel trim, cut crystal chandeliers and leather inlay settees are touches that really make this room feel special.


Spain Dining

Inspired by Spanish tiles and the colors from the antique rug, hand painted murals and monograms were placed on the ceiling for balance and intrigue.



If you’ve ever been to Barcelona, you’ll remember the wave-like path at Gaudi’s Park Guell.   We wanted to create the same meandering feel and added Andalusian Tile on a soft water feature, terracotta floor tiles and natural landscaping to welcome guests into the home’s courtyard.


Hong Kong

Chinese interior design, especially from stylish Hong Kong, is rich, bold and at times dramatic.

Hong Kong Living 2

Cool and contemporary to China, I see Hong Kong as more modern, mysterious and exotic.  For this bachelor, we blended the classic Asian low seating of the curved sofa, leather upholstered ottoman and vintage Josef Hoffmann chairs with contemporary geometric shapes in the hair on hide rug and layered chandelier.  Pops of red accents symbolize good luck.


Hong Kong Hall 5

Here we mixed a traditional Chinese antique wood cabinet and decorative box with contemporary Ming mirror and marbleized wallcovering for a neutral backdrop.


Hong Kong Bedroom

Classic to the Chinese color palette is high gloss black lacquer, with accents of red and gold.  An added element was the dragon motif in the throw pillows, which symbolize compassion and wisdom.


New York

Unfinished and raw, cool and contemporary - these are the elements of life in New York City.  Warehouse and loft living spaces are still going strong because it’s edgy, authentic and never tries too hard.

New York Loft 1

Here we  juxtaposed a modern sofa, wood and glass table, and classic Barcelona Chairs with the exposed concrete walls, pipes and duct system.   Of course, we always bring in plants and natural elements to balance and soften the space to make it feel warm and inviting.


New York Loft 2

A clean and modern kitchen sits next to the raw building structure.


New York Loft 3

This soft and transitional bedroom has a view of the building just across the way.  Again, it’s the balance of old and new, soft and hard that keeps this space interesting.


Provencial French

The French countryside offers a natural elegance.  There are moments of both sophistication and relaxation.  Butter yellow, blues and soft green are a common color palette and are influenced by the surrounding landscape of southern France.

French Provincial Living

It’s all in the details: notice the wall moulding, drapery and trim, parquet floors, elaborate crystal chandelier and refined furniture.


French Provincial Morning

This morning room is bright, colorful and casual; A garden-like feel which effortlessly connects the indoors with the out.  The floral drapes creates a gorgeous frame to view the outdoors just beyond the paned glass windows.


French Provincial Exterior

This home is complete with a stone facade, blue shutters framing arch windows, worn brick and an open trellis.  Perfect for relaxing next to a lap pool and exquisitely manicured landscape.


I’d love to know…Where have you gone in search of inspiration?  What feeds your creative soul?


Posted in Architecture and Design, Baths, Furniture, Lighting, Materials, Uncategorized | Leave a Comment »

Design Camp High Point

September 10th, 2014

We’re on the road again and our next destination is fall market at High Point.  For those of you who have never been, this is the perfect time to come and see what’s new and refresh your interior design and business skills at Design Camp.

High Point Market

High Point

We’ll be camping out in the fabulous Jaipur Rugs showroom Suite 3000 in Showplace, Saturday, October 18 from 3-6PM.  Design Camp Co-Founder Kelli Ellis and I will share our insights on how to charge a flat fee, being transparent with clients and staying profitable.  Joining us is our friend Michael Stein from Houzz, sharing secrets on how to get more clients and raise your ranking on the number one interior design site.  There will  be a surprise Design Icon and our usual gift bags and giveaways for the first 100 designers who register.   Best of Houzz 2014


Following the camp, Jaipur will be hosting a cocktail party.  I’ve been quoted saying that one of my favorite things about market is the lunch at Jaipur.  The cocktails are just as good!!!  Asha (the owner), Candace and the rest of the team roll out the red carpet and welcome you with old fashioned, Indian style hospitality (you will not go hungry at this cocktail party).

Asha Chaudhary and the Jaipur Team

Asha Chaudhary and the Jaipur Team

You may have also heard through the grapevine that Design Camp has partnered with Jaipur to bring you a line of outdoor rugs.  We’ve long been fans of the style and quality that Jaipur has to offer, but are even more grateful for the opportunity to contribute to the charitable work the Jaipur Rugs Foundation is doing!!!  Some of my favorite rugs are the Barcelona indoor outdoor and the tribal kilims.

Jaipur Rugs Foundation

Jaipur Rugs Foundation

Jaipur tribal pattern flatweave kilim rug

Jaipur Tribal Flatweave

Jaipur indoor outdoor rugs

Jaipur Rugs Barcelona


Come say hello, learn a lot, make new connections and enjoy everything that Design Camp and Jaipur has to offer! REGISTER HERE.

Posted in Architecture and Design, Charities, Design Camp, Events, Free Interior Design Advice, Green Living, interior design education, interior design education, Interior Design Trends, Interior Designers, Lectures, Public Speaking, Uncategorized | Leave a Comment »

Top Five Guests at My Dream Dinner Party

June 27th, 2014

The people who impress me most have unusual clarity, drive and are the best at what they do. With their unique views on the world, determination and perhaps good fortune, they’ve risen through the ranks, ascending to the top.  Everyone knows finance and politics are taboo topics among guests and anyone who knows me, knows I don’t care about being taboo.  Guest one and two, sitting right in the middle of the table, are dominate power players who impact the world.  I also like a good story, so I’ve invited the best in the biz.  Finally, I’d love my party to have panache, so I’ve called on the dead to invite the most “fabulous” person I know.

Without further ado, please meet my guests.


1.   Lloyd Blankfein - CEO and Chairman of Goldman Sachs
Lloyd Blankfein Goldman Sacks
An avid Zero Hedge reader, I’m fascinated by how money really works in the global economy.    This NYC boy came from a  middle class home, not elite private schools on the Upper East Side. Through ambition, hard work and unwavering perseverance, he became Valedictorian of his high school and went on to attend Harvard undergrad and Harvard Law.  Since taking on the role of Head at Goldman Sachs – and not without controversy – Blankfein has since been named “2009 Person of the Year” by Financial Times, Forbes Magazine’s “Most Outrageous CEO of 2009″, and #43 on Forbes list of “The World’s Most Powerful People.”
2. Vladimir Putin – President of Russia
Vladimir Putin
I’d love to listen to his story about his journey from his early years living in a communal apartment with other Leningrad families, to becoming one of the wealthiest men in the world.  He restored the glory of a failing nation, steadily grew the economy during his first two terms as President, and continues to receive the love of his people after being re-elected numerous times.  Under his direction and energy policy, Russia has become a clear energy leader in environmental sustainability and energy development.
3. Jenji Kohan – Creator of great shows like Weeds and Orange is the New Black
Jenji Kohan
She’s such a delightful story teller who always seems to know the inner workings of the Vlad and Lloyd.  With many credits under her belt, including 7 Emmy Nominations ( finally winning for Executive Producer for Tracy Takes On)  her point of view and getting to the nitty-gritty is always intriguing.
4. Wes Anderson – Director, Screenwriter of The Grand Budapest Hotel, Rushmore, The Royal Tenenbaums, Moonrise Kingdom 
Wes Anderson
If you’ve seen his movies, you can only imagine what insanely hilarious things he could write about the guests at this dinner party. The, quirky cartoonish details of his storytelling shock and delight.  Every movie is different yet distinctively “Wes Anderson” and the same lines run through my head for each one, “WHERE DID HE COME UP WITH THIS SH*T?”
5. Tony Duquette – Designer in Costume, Jewelry, Set, Furniture and Interiors
Last but not least, the most “divine” person on my list has also risen from modest roots to working for and along-side the elite in film, fashion and all things design.  Elsie de Wolfe picked him up and he was off and running in the design world!  Duquette is the king of recycling – transforming the ordinary into something exquisite.  Also, I know he’d give me great decorating advice for the party and perhaps he would bring some of his beautiful jewelry over for me to borrow for the evening.
Am I forgetting anyone?  Bon appetit!

Posted in Uncategorized, Who's Who | Leave a Comment »

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