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Archive for June, 2009

Master Suite


Our homeowners were looking to make a move soon but wanted to complete their master suite in the meantime.  This master bedroom started as a plain white room that the homeowners didn’t feel like spending any time in.  Their goal was to transform their plain third-floor bedroom into an open space with a bright yet relaxing feeling.  Since this was a temporary space, our biggest challenge was not being able to paint, replace the light fixtures or flooring. The bedding was a recent purchase and our homeowner wanted to use it as the inspiration for the overall look.  We took the king-sized bed and added stunning velvet tufted upholstered headboard, two unique bedside tables for added storage and a whimsical orchid pillow for a pop of color. We needed to spiff up the sliding glass door and remove the plastic vertical blinds. We put up drapes in a beautiful buttery yellow and soft blue striped silk fabric to tie in with the bedding and soften up the sliding glass door.  A sitting area was created next to the glass door as a restful place to read and enjoy the city below. After a few last-minute touches, this master-suite was complete.

Enjoy the details!

pillow bird

sitting mirror

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Baby Hope's Nursery – Home Away From Home

Baby Hope is on her way!  In preparation for her arrival this winter her mom and dad are itching to complete her nursery and asked us for help. Since they are struggling to mix both of their styles, we combined the best of both to give baby Hope a hip, chic and stylish place to dream! Take a look at their letter and Hope’s nursery finish board!


Hi Abbe,

My husband and I are expecting our first child this winter and with our busy schedules, we have had no time to shop for Hope’s nursery!  I have to admit that we are putting it off because we can not agree on the style of the items we want. My husband wants simple but I want a bit of frill. We need your help to complete her nursery before she makes her big arrival this winter.  We tried to start on the room and the only thing we have been able to agree on has been painting the room a warm beige color.  I want to keep the walls neutral, as Hope grows up and we change her bedding I really don’t want to repaint the room. We both love some color but are unsure how to pull things together without it looking crazy.  Here is a list of what we want for the room:

1. No pink, we want to go with a brown and green color scheme

2. We love the “modern baby” look of clean lines, white furniture and wood accents (We need a crib, changing table & rocker)

3. A few “girlie” touches please. I am drawn to more frilly things and my husband wants things more natural and simple. Helps us combine our two styles. Enclosed is the bedding we have purchased, it is white with a floral pattern. My husband let me win that one!

4. We need a bit of art to hang in the room and help with a layout. Three of the four walls in the room are full. The first has the closet, the second has the windows and the third has built-ins.

We are so excited to see your ideas and know you can help us resolve our style differences so baby Hope will have a perfect nursery!

Thank you,

Brandi & Jeff

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Sophisticated Sitting Room- Home Away From Home

Stephanie was starting from scratch in her formal sitting room and knew exactly the look she wanted. Her only problem, how to find each of the elements she loved and pull them together. That’s where we come in!   Here is her finish board and  letter:


Hi Abbe,

I have used an interior designer in the past to help me update and finish a few rooms in my home of  10 years. I have invested a significant amount of savings into the updating and am wanting to finish out my sitting room within budget. I am willing to purchase quality pieces but am excited to have access to your design advice with out all of the design fees stacking up on me.  The room I need help with is my front sitting room. It is the first room my guests step into when entering my home and it has been pushed to the side of my “to-do” remodel list for quite some time now. As for my style, I like to start with classic pieces and invest in quality furniture that will still by stylish if I change things down the road. I am attracted to a more feminine Asian Chinoiserie look, pieces with floral touches and even birds.  I am in love with de Gournay’s handpainted wallpaper so if you could incorporate anything that has that look in the room I would love it. Regarding colors, I am attracted to jewel tones but also love classic neutrals, traditional woods and art deco pieces.  A bit all over the design style map but that is the direction we went with the other rooms I updated.  As you can see  by the pictures I am attaching of my home, I have warm wood floors and a soft buttery yellow on my walls. I do not want to repaint as I am pleased with the wall color. Thank you for your help and I am looking forward to seeing your idea.



Look for design advice? See our home away from home here….

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Pillow Talk

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Pillows from AlexandraFerguson.Com

Besides my ongoing obsession for lamps, chandeliers and mirrored pieces I have been recently been a bit obsessed with pillows. Yes, I know it sounds a bit strange but the impact a pillow can have on a space is intruiging to me!  Pillows are an affordable way to spruce up a space and create a fresh new look and feel with out breaking the bank.  My husband and I share the same style with the exception of color. He loves dark muted colors that are simple and “manly”. And being the “girly girl” that I am, I love pops of fun cheery colors like fuschia, purple and turquoise!

So, since I was up until 1:30 am looking at tons of fabulous pillow options for our living room and bedroom…I wanted to share a few resources with you.  Sometimes I want to branch out beyond the masses and find something a bit more unique and fabulous!

I love the fun bold & muted colors with bold texture on these Bliss Pillows. Fun options an great designers to pick from too!

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Here are a few stunning finds from my new favorite site…Etsy

Mik & Cookies Canada

MHpink MHblack

MH Pillow

Robins Egg Pink

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KainKain Shop

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Kain kain4

Alexandra Ferguson….what a hip gal! Love her pillows and custom options!!!

Handmade one and at time and machine embroidery adds the finishing touch, with the logo at the center back bottom, and in some cases a whimsical phrase to surprise you on the back. Zipper closures allow for removable inserts. The handmade and organic process by which the pillow covers are made mean that each one is one of a kind and unique.



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How to: Select a rug by size and style


With so many styles, colors and materials to choose from how do you know what is right for you?  It’s easier than you think if you follow a few basic ground rules!  If I had a dollar for every time someone asked me how to select the right rug for their space I could pay for my Starbucks habit in no time!  It can be tough if you don’t have all of the details you need when shopping for the perfect size, style and type of rug for your space.  Not long ago, we moved into an updated 1950’s style home from an oversized brand new spec house and of course my existing rugs did not fit into the new rooms.  One of the best pieces of advice I can give you in that situation is to find a flooring company that can do rug binding and repair.  I figured that since we have already made an investment in the rugs and I loved them so much, it was worth having them altered to fit the new space.

So, with a little help from Ballard Designs…let’s start with the research portion of rug shopping. You must do your homework, starting with measuring the area/room where you’ll be placing your rug. You might want to select a minimum and maximum optimal size to give you a wider selection of rugs to choose from.

Here are a few things to keep in mind:

  • *In the dining room, a rug should be large enough to allow space for chairs, even when pulled away from the table. Measure your table and add  approximately two feet, or sit in one of your chairs yourself and measure the distance from the table.
  • *If you have a wood floor, try to have at least 18 to 24 inches of flooring around the perimeter of the room.
  • Celerie Kemble House Beautiful Nov07_thumb[6] Picture 9

*Don’t worry about whether the furniture sits on or off the rug. What looks good to you is what’s important.

*In the family room, select a size that covers at least the length and width of your furniture. A 5′ x 8′ or 6′ x 9′ rug is a good size to cluster  furniture around for an intimate area. To expand the space, select a larger larger size that outlines the perimeter of the area.

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Now for a few tips on selecting a style

First, take a quick inventory of your color scheme. To tie the look of the room together, you’ll want to select a rug that complements the two or three main colors in the room.

If you go to a store, we suggest you take a throw pillow and a color swatch of your drapes, furniture or wall colors with you. It’s incredibly hard to visualize how the colors will work together without any reference. And if you’re considering a Ballard Designs rug, we strongly suggest you order a swatch first.

Use these basics to get you started on your hunt:

*If your primary furniture, such as a sofa, is a solid color, consider selecting a patterned rug.


*Match the secondary color in a patterned rug to your sofa. Match the third rug color to your pillows, drapes, wall color or other accents in the room.


*If your primary furniture is upholstered in a pattern or is elaborate in design, a solid-colored rug would work really well.


Make sure a solid-colored rug complements your sofa color, and match it to the accent colors in the room, such as artwork or a vase.


Now get shopping!

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Home away from home…on a serious budget

As my clients look for ways to cut cost with out compromising good design, I am constantly looking for better “budget” options.  It seams like the big trend in decorating/ design is getting “the look” for less.  And with HGTV and the Style network bringing so many fabulous designers and their unique shows for all of us to drool over…great design and fabulous rooms are no longer a dream. Right now I am working on a few bedrooms that require high style but come with tiny budget.  I love to shop for bargains and am  fortunate to be in the fabulous and resourceful city of Dallas, TX.  There are tons of budget friendly finds to be had at places like Ikea, Target, Walmart, TJ Maxx homegoods & Marshall’s just to name a few. Not to mention many of the high end “outlet” stores where fab pieces from last season go to be re-discovered again. Places like Horchow Finale, Last Call Neiman Marcus, Crate & Barrel outlet, the new Lam Lee outlet  and I could go on.

I was recently asked to create a room similar to the one my client gave me (below)..only on a budget. I wanted to stick with the budget friendly stores for the basics and I was able to find almost everything in the room at WAL-MART and Target!!  Getting great deals is great, but I do still believe that you need to invest in quality pieces that will be classics and be able to withstand a few relocations along with average wear and tear. Her is her letter

Hi Abbe,

I am a new college grad with my first place and am in serious need of new furniture in my bedroom. I have decided to sell most of my awful college furniture and replace it with a more chic grown up look for my first place. I have just moved into my new apartment and would love to get started on my bedroom right away. I have a brand new mattress set (queen size) and a few pieces of art that I love and would like to use in the space. I am including a picture of a bedroom that I totally LOVE and want for my new place. I have started to look at things similar to the items in the picture but am hitting a wall and have no idea how to pull it all together. My budget is small ($1,300), I have money stuck back from graduation gifts and would like to use that without dipping into my  new paycheck! Hopefully  you can help me find things to create the look, I am open to anything you suggest but my one request is to find the wallpaper. I know it’s an apartment and I shouldn’t put up wallpaper but I really think it will make the room. I can’t wait to see what you come up with.

Thanks, Stephanie


Stephanie has fabulous taste and I can see why she is not wanting to budge on the wallpaper! With a few clicks and free shipping as a bonus, Stephanie will be right on budget to create the look she wants. Now this college grad can come home and relax in style! Here is the finish board, I usually don’t get detailed on pricing and the location of the items I suggest but this is such a fabulous price!!

Walmart Target

Here is the run down on cost:

1.King Ivory Tufted Headboard: Walmart $269.00

2.Netural Bedding: Walmart $49.99

3.Faux Silk Pillows: Walmart $12.88 each

4.Chrysanthemum Wallpaper: Target $74.99 double roll

5.Black Nightstands: Walmart $104.75 each

6.Glass Base Table Lamps: Walmart $76.00

7.Pinch Pleat Drapery Panels: Walmart $31.88 each

8.Canary print Chair: Target $299.99

9.Blue Accent Pillow: Target $24.99

Total approximate cost: $1093.9

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