sunshine yellow…

Ever since Nyla Free sent me a teaser of the design she’s cooking up for my living room, I haven’t been able to stop thinking about the color yellow.

It could also have something to do with the fact that it just can’t stop raining in the Pacific Northwest, and I’m craving a little sunshine…correction…a truck-load of sunshine. So consider this my sundance…’cause I’m just not willing to go out and dance on my front lawn in the rain!!!

courtesy Abbe Fenimore Studio Ten 25 via Houzz

courtesy Jennifer Brouwer via Houzz

courtesy Sarah Richardson

courtesy Donna Griffith for Style At Home magazine

courtesy of Virginia MacDonald for Style At Home magazine

courtesy Kim Christie for Canadian House & Home magazine

Don’t you just love that painting by Bobbi Burgers? She’s one of my FAVE artists.

women in business…

My dear friend, DeAnn Bremner of Empower By Design invited me to talk at her meet-up about how social media has become a huge part of my brand development.  I’m really looking forward to connecting with other entrepreneurial women and sharing what I know about the world of Twitter, Facebook and Blogging.

Once you get me started talking, it’s hard to shut up me up, but I’ll need an audience (who am I kidding…I could talk to myself for hours…and do regularly when I’m grocery shopping), so if you’re interested, I’d love to see you there.

empower by design

happy summer happy color…

Can you hear me sighing with relief? It’s finally summer! Although the sun isn’t shining here, we’ve been promised a peak at it later in the week. When I think of summer, I think of color, so what better post than one on color in decor? I’ve collected an eclectic assortment of colorful rooms.

My inspiration for this blog is a bungalow designed by a fabulous Canadian designer, Jonathan Legate.

Photograph by Stacey Haines for Style At Home

I can see myself living happily in a room like the one above. The combination of warm buttery yellow walls with just the right red–especially the striped chair–and the gorgeous black toile drapes is such an inviting combination! Just the right degree of cozy & drama.

photograph by Stacey Haines for Style at Home

I think I finally get it…fabric is king! Look at how fantastic this room looks with that fabric. I might not give it a second look if I was leafing through swatches, but a designer like Jonathan has the experience to see the big picture and understand how it will make a room shine. Yet another example of why it pays to hire a designer.

photo courtesy Benjamen Moore

Pottery Barn’s summer paint colors for Benjamin Moore are really interesting. As paint chips, they don’t jump out at me, but once I see them in a vignette, they’re fabulous. The brown, blue and red in this room somehow manage to seem light and airy. Go figure! At this point, I think you’ve got a sense of how color-challenged I really am…lettin’ it all hang out here on the pages of this blog.

photo courtesy Benjamin Moore

I just think this cozy turquoise room with the gorgeous-smorgeous bedding is the cat’s meow! I’d never leave my bedroom if it looked like this!

photo courtesy Lonny magazine

You know me…gotta get a little orange in here somewhere. This appeals to the modern side of me.

photo courtesy Midwest Living

For some reason, I’m craving a mojito and a fan! I doubt that Mark would actually join me on this verandah for a drink…hmmmm…wait a minute..!

photo courtesy Elle Decor

This rosy red is “in” right now. So if you want to be super cool (just like me), rose is the color for you! I just can’t decorate with it, ’cause it would be a major clash with my red hair–I’m  a big believer in decorating with the colors that flatter you! My mom would probably claim that horizontal stripes on chairs make you look wider…hmmmm!

photo courtesy Benjamin Moore

photo courtesy Lonny magazine

The boldly colorful couch and the gold gilded picture frame remind me of some of the decor I’ve seen in Britain. It just says, “sit down and we’ll have a really good chat”.

I’m hopeful that this summer will be full of color. Full of friends. Full of fun!

nautical know-how…

Know how I know it’s almost Summer? Nautical-themed designs start popping up! I’m not a huge fan of theme designs, ’cause they can be WAY over done and look matchy-matchy. Just one too many lighthouses or (gulp) seagulls , and nautical becomes “no, no, please no”. Designers who can take a tricky theme and give it a subtle treatment get my stamp of approval.

I love the simplicity of this DIY rope treatment for a table lamp that was demonstrated on House & Home’s online TV show. I also love the retro wallpaper pictures–easy peasy to make and just the right degree of campy nautical. As for the pillow–very cute, but too fussy to make. I’d just go out and buy one.

(remember: if you click on the photos you’ll go right to the URL for the source).


photo courtesy House & Home online TV

This room doesn’t actually have anything overtly nautical. Instead, it suggests the theme with the standing lamp, the dark navy, light blue and off-white color treatment. The stripes and the dots also give it that cruise liner feel. I could do without the birds on the wall, but hey…if sea birds are your thang, go for it.

photo via Houzz by Celia James

If anything says nautical, it’s a room by Ralph Lauren Home. It’s that wonderful mix of navy blue, white, wicker and reclaimed timber! Makes you think of the old tall ships with rakish men wearing blowsy sleeves and looking toward the horizon with furled brows. Of virtuous women with long curly auburn hair blowing in the sea breeze with unfurled corset laces ….I should write a Harlequin romance! Wow!

Notice how there’s only one sailboat reference, not fifteen?

photo courtesy Ralph Lauren Home

Restoration Hardware is no slouch when it comes to nautical either. Although it’s not really subtle, the theme isn’t garish, so they pass muster (get it?). (I can hear their designers shaking their heads and sighing at my complete lack of insight! I get it, you’re trying to sell gorgeous products. I’m a retailer too…we should do coffee!)

Their nautical lighting is over-the-top beautiful, and I love the combination of “reclaimed” wood and shuddered doors on the cabinet. I must have that desk!!! Anyone got about $20K I can have? Huh? Come on.

photo courtesy Restoration Hardwar

Country Living and nautical seems to like an oxymoron to me, but it works. Perhaps a titch overboard (Get it? See how easy it is to get carried away and just become annoying?), but I like elements in the room. The zebra print footstool keeps it from getting kitchy, but I’d lose the framed poster and the lifebouy pillow. I’d probably substitute with the DIY wallpaper prints (see above) and anchor pillow. I’d also add some silver sea life from my own store, Nicole Jane Home .

photo courtesy Country LIving

photo courtesy Nicole Jane Home

paper and ink…

photo courtesy of Pink Dot Press

Do you remember the thrill you got years and years ago when a crinkly airmail envelope with blue and red striped trim arrived in the mail, or a tacky postcard from a pal on summer vacation? I used to LOVE getting mail, but the only mail I get these days is mind-numbingly boring (bills, flyers, pizza menus).

I was thinking about the lost art of letter writing and recalling how much I used to enjoy having personalized stationery (that was before kids, house, dogs, laundry…when clocks were a lot slower). There’s nothing quite like a good pen, a thick piece of luxurious cotton paper, and the perfect words–it’s just so Oprah!

When I was studying graphic design, I took a typography course and the instructor toured us through an amazing letterpress printing room with cabinets full of old letterpress blocks–it was absolutely fascinating. I’ve been a fan ever since. With the advent of digital printing, letterpress was put on the back shelf, but thanks to a lot of very creative people, there is a groundswell of wonderful products out there. Here are some of the intriguing images I found on my hunt for letterpress artists–I hope they inspire you to pick up a pen and write.

photo courtesy of Elum Designs


photo courtesy of Sunlit Letterpress Printing

photo courtesy of Paper Shop Ink

photo courtesy of Prologue Press

photo courtesy of Pink Dot Press

photo courtesy of Modus Press

photo coutesy of Dolce Press

photo courtesy of Design Sponge

British invasion…

There are a couple of design trends that I’ve been noticing lately, and I just thought I’d share them. For those of you who are way ahead of me on the trend front, please bear with me (actually had to Google that to make sure it isn’t “bare”–I can hear my teacher sister gasping for air).

There’s a bit of a British invasion happening. I’m seeing more and more Union Jack flag decor–from an entire couch covered in Union Jack leather upholstery to clocks and pillows. One of the items I’m bringing in for spring is a metal pillar candleholder in the shape of a British crown.

I found this image on a lovely blog called White Alder Home. The Union Jack pillow really packs a punch of style.

photo courtesy of Google images

This wall hanging by Fire Horse Textiles was featured on MadeByGirl. I just love the green take on the iconic Union Jack

The other trend that I’ve been noticing is animal skin prints–especially zebra. They were hot when I was a kid, and it looks like they’re making a strong comeback. Giraffe prints are a fresh (even if they’re classic) take on this exotic look.

This is another photo featured on White Alder Home.

This is a room designed by Miles Redd a celebrated Manhattan designer

photo courtesy of Metropolitan Home magazine

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