Home Tour | Interior Designer Jessica Buckley

I was scrolling through the Apartment Therapy site and stumbled across a home tour they featured in Edinburgh, Scotland.  The home, owned by interior designer Jessica Buckley has to be one of the prettiest homes I’ve seen in a long time.  

Jessica’s style is fresh and modern with classic elements and just the right amount of feminine details.    With an apparent love for color you can see that she has used color on the walls as a way to define each room within her home.  The blue grass cloth on the walls in the living room is dramatic but not overwhelming.  I love the depth and texture it has against all of the white mouldings and trim work.  Another fun aspect to Jessica’s home is her use of patterns and how expertly she has mixed and matched them.  The paring of black and white with a bold floral in the kitchen is an ideal accent for the soft pink walls.  And the fabric drape over the guest bed is stately but modern.

Jessica is definitely one to watch and be inspired by.


Home Tour of Interior Designer Jessica Buckley

Home Tour of Interior Designer Jessica Buckley

Home Tour of Interior Designer Jessica Buckley

Home Tour of Interior Designer Jessica Buckley

Home Tour of Interior Designer Jessica Buckley

You can view Jessica’s design portfolio here. And check out her delightful blog here.

all images via Apartment Therapy

Design Guide: 10 Components To A Beautiful Home

Design Guide: 10 Components To A Beautiful Home


Every designer you ask will have a list of key components they think are essential to the design and function of a beautiful home.  And while my list may differ from others, I think all designers would agree that each of the items on my list contributes in one way or another to how a home looks and feels.


I meet clients all the time that don’t have a good handle (or vision) of their design style.  They know if they like an item or not but they can articulate clearly the overall look for a room or the mood they want a room to have.  Once you define your design style you’ll be able to envision the decor of your home, down to the details.

Defining your style encompasses many different elements, from the colors and materials you like to the style of furniture and accessories that appeal to you.  And don’t worry, defining your style doesn’t happen over night. Your style can change throughout the years just like you do.

One of the ways that I have my clients convey their style to me is by going through design magazines and tagging anything that appeals to them.  Then I have them jot down a word or two telling me what they like about the image they tagged.  The word ‘cozy’ on a room photo with warm colors may convey the colors they like. The word ‘clean’ may be associated with a room that is streamline and clutter free which tells me a lot about how they want to a room to look and feel. Once you have a stack of tagged images you can look through them and begin to see the common threads in the design style that appeals to you.

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The focal point of a room is a lot like a statement piece of jewelry.  It’s an element that captures your attention, serves as a dominant statement and in some cases sets the tone for the rest of the entire room.

The focal point in some rooms may be an architectural element like the windows or a fireplace.  In other rooms it my be a wall decor arrangement, a rug, artwork or even a sofa.

Identifying or creating the focal point within each room of your home will give you the starting point upon which to build your overall design theme.

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We all know that the way furniture is positioned in a room can impact the way a room feels and functions.  Arranging furniture so that movement can happen easily in, out and within a room is critical to the overall design of a space.

When decorating a room think about the scale of the furniture and accessories to ensure they won’t swallow up space and make the room look visually cluttered.  For the Key Measurements You Need To Know When Decorating Your Home, check out my post here.

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In my book texture is one of the most important elements to design.  Texture provides visual interest, depth and dimension and its also one of the elements that makes a room feel inviting.  As it applies to design, texture is defined as ‘the sensations caused by the external surface of objects received through the sense of touch’.  But it can also be a ‘perceived sense of touch’–you can experience texture visually without having to actually touch something.

Texture can be introduced into your decor through the fabrics you choose, the materials accessories are made of as well as the style of your doors, windows and walls.

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Variety is definitely the spice of life when it comes to decorating a room.  You don’t want one-dimensional decor…you want a home that explodes with interest and personality.

While your style blueprint may dictate a particular type of furniture and accessory style, you want to decorate with a mix of materials and finishes in order to bring your decor to life.  Don’t be afraid to mix gold with silver, leather with velvet or glass with metal.

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Years ago the trend was to shop your favorite furniture store or catalog to decorate your home.  While it was easy, many homes ended up with decor that was cookie-cutter and uninteresting.  Just like mixing metals and materials, it’s a good idea to mix the age of items you decorate with.  Pair vintage and antique pieces with newer items to build the character within your style blueprint.

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If nothing else, your home should feel personal and reflect you and your family.  Personal touches like family photos, books, artwork and collected pieces should be used in every room in your home.

As you decorate, be thoughtful in the placement of accessories and keep these tips in mind:

♦ Arrange accessories in odd numbers in different sizes.  It’s been proven that grouping objects in odd numbers is more pleasing to the eye than even numbers.

♦  Objects that you place together when creating arrangements should have something in common: color, shape, theme, texture, vintage.

♦ Balance the art and accessories throughout a room. Don’t place everything on one side of a room.

♦ Scatter your accent color in at least three places around a room to create visual movement.

♦  Keep scale in mind with pairing accessories.  Small accessories clustered together or scattered throughout a room will look like clutter from a distance.  Use medium to large-sized accessories which will be noticed and seem more important as you enter a room.

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 I think every room would have a wall decor statement that stands out.  That could mean a single piece of art or a grouping of pieces that create a dominant visual impact.  Based on the layout of your room and the architectural elements within the space, your wall decor can serve as the focal point.  For creative wall decor inspiration, check out this post.

Design Guide: 10 Components To A Beautiful Home

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Most homes I go into lack sufficient lighting  and without the right lighting and the correct amount of lighting, your home won’t look as good as it could.  There are three types of lighting every room needs:

AMBIENT LIGHTING:  Ambient lighting includes chandeliers, recessed lighting, or sconces, all of which provide overall illumination to a room. And the use of dimmers with your ambient lighting will give you control over the light levels allowing you to easily change the mood of a space.

 tip: When wiring your rooms, include multiple circuits. This will allow you to dim some lights while keeping others brighter.

TASK LIGHTING:   This lighting is particularly important when performing specific tasks like cooking, doing office work, or getting ready in the bathroom.  In the kitchen, pendant and under-cabinet lighting can illuminate food prep areas. In a living room or bedroom, table lamps and floor lamps will provide task lighting.

tip: Even illumination is essential when planning your bathroom lighting plan. Make sure the same amount of light comes from the sides of the room as the top of the room. This will help prevent shadows and create the ideal bathroom lighting for applying make-up or shaving.

ACCENT LIGHTING:  Accent lighting can be used to highlight objects like art, sculptures, and architectural details within a room.   Classic track lighting and picture lights are the most common types of accent lighting, but candles also fall into this category.

For more lighting design tips, read my posts here and here.

Design Guide: 10 Components To A Beautiful Home

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Something natural is a little detail that can make a big impact.  A plant in a corner or a vase full of flowers or stems will give life and energy to your decor.

Design Guide: 10 Components To A Beautiful Home

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If you’re starting a new decorating project or looking to refresh your decor, keep these 10 components in mind and create the home of your dreams.

Design Guide: 10 Components To A Beautiful Home

Favorite Of The Week–An eclectic mix!

It’s Saturday and I’m up early and headed off to the gym to swim.  I may not have mentioned it before but I swam competitively when I was younger. Over the years, as life got busy I drifted away from swimming but I’ve been feeling the urge to get back in the pool. And I have to tell you that it feels so good–the water is my happy place.

While I’m off counting laps, I hope you enjoy a few of my favorite posts from the week.

Enjoy your weekend!

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Style Profile: Chinoiserie Chic Design & Blog

How many of you have a handful of design blogs you count as your favorites?  I sure do and Chinoiserie Chic is one of them.

I’ve been reading Beth’s blog for some time now and love everything that she shares. Each blog post is filled with beautiful and colorful room designs showcasing Beth’s love of chinoiserie, blue and white and classic interiors. #mystyle

It wasn’t until reading through her bio recently that I learned Beth fell (pushed by her passion) into her career in design after working as an attorney in Washington, DC. As a designer, Beth is now able to use her skills and talent to create beautiful spaces for clients in her area and the country.

Looking through some of the images in her portfolio, many of which are her personal home, and you’ll immediately understand why I call Chinoiserie Chic a favorite.


Beth creates the most interesting and eclectic vignettes in every room that she designs.

Chinoiserie Chic Blog

Wallpaper is a signature element in Chinoiserie Chic room designs.

Chinoiserie Chic Blog

Classic design elements like bamboo, Pagodas and Asian motifs form the foundation of her design work.

Chinoiserie Chic Blog

Greek key trim add to solid drapes is always a winner.

Chinoiserie Chic Blog

Accessories are layered in such a way that they draw you in and make you want to dissect every detail.

Chinoiserie Chic Blog

So many fun accessory pieces that I’ve now added to my shopping list 🙂 #ineedtortoiseinmylife

Chinoiserie Chic Blog

Man Cave Makeover

Chinoiserie Chic Blog

Chinoiserie Chic Blog

Chinoiserie Chic Blog

One Room Challenge Home Office (what a creative space)

Chinoiserie Chic Blog

This closet would make you feel like a young girl playing dress up every day.

Studying Beth’s room designs will give you a lesson in pattern mixing.

Chinoiserie Chic Blog

Laundry Room Makeover

Chinoiserie Chic Blog

It’s all in the details when it comes to Chinoiserie Chic style!

Chinoiserie Chic Blog

Chinoiserie Chic Blog

Beth just announced that she will be opening an Etsy and Ebay shop to sell some of her amazing finds and boy or boy am I excited!

Chinoiserie Chic Blog


You can read more about Beth and follow the Chinoiserie Chic blog here . And be sure to check out Beth’s inspiring Pinterest boards here.

Green and White Decor (in honor or St. Patrick’s Day)

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!


Irish Quote


Don’t you just love the good ‘ole Irish blessing.  There is just something so cheerful and uplifting in the rhyme and rhythm of it all.

Another thing I love is  beautiful green and white decor so in honor of St. Patrick’s Day I’ve rounded up some green and white design inspiration for you!


Green and White Decor Inspiration


One of the things I love most about decorating with green and white is that there are so many shades of green to pull from.  This vignette is a great example of mixing different tones of one color to create depth and interest.

Green and white chinoiserie
Luxe Addition


Green is a fun accent color in any room and is so pretty mixed in with a bright white palette.

Chinoiserie via DecorPad

This bedroom space is really beautiful and is a great example of how to pattern mix with success.  It’s all about using different patterns scales so that nothing competes and each pattern stands on its own.

Chinoiserie via Traditonal home
Traditional Home

Thanks for stopping by today.  If you happen to see me out and about, don’t pinch me because I forgot to wear green today.

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Design Crush: Anna Spiro

Absolutely Beautiful Things

Do you ever have one of those fleeting moments when you see the decor in a home and it makes you think about redecorating your entire home.  I have those moments a lot but recently I started delving in one of my design books and it really has me itching to change my look.

The book I’m talking about is Absolutely Beautiful Things by Anna Spiro.  Anna is an interior designer and shop owner based in Brisbane, Australia.  Her store, my Black & Spiro is filled with a unique collection of colorful, eclectic and interesting decor and accessories.

When it comes to designing rooms, you can tell that Anna’s approach is all about infusing color and vibrancy into the space.  Let’s take a look at her style shall we…

Anna Spiro

The wallpaper above is just one of Anna’s designs available through Porters Paints.

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You have to love this eclectic gallery wall arrangement.

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Classic with a pop of color–yes please!

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The white piping and monogram take these black end chairs to a whole new level.

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Colorful pillows on a traditional settee is the perfect combination.

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I’m crushing on bold sofas these days and love the decorative boxes on the coffee table.

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A traditional chair with a twist–such a statement piece.

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This entire banquette setting has me drooling.  I just love the colorful mix.  It’s such a happy place.

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And if you ever questioned whether bright colors and traditional furniture could mix, here’s proof.

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One thing I know about my personal design style is that I love classic styling, whimsical touches and pops of color so that’s why I’m so drawn to Anna Spiro’s style.  A trip to Australia and a visit to Black and Spiro are on my bucket list but until that happens I’ll keep arming Anna from across the pond.

To learn more about Anna and Black and Spiro, you can visit her site here and follow her on Instagram here.

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Define Your Design Style

Design Style.001

I taught a design workshop right before Christmas that focused on seasonal décor and fashion.  During the workshop I presented decorating tips and design ideas to inspire those in attendance with their design and personal style.  As I look back on the workshop I recognize that the ideas presented ran the gamment from casual and country to chic and traditional.  It’s always my goal to present a range of ideas that anyone can identify with, since everyone’s style is different.

The workshop also got me thinking about people who don’t have a clear vision of what their style is and in-turn find it challenging to decorate their homes.  If you fall into that category, this blog post is for you.  I’m outlining the steps you can take to analyze and define your design style so decorating becomes a joy and not a job.

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Design Crush: Alessandra Branca

Alessandra Branca6 via Traditional Home

Hello friends.  The last few days my life has been a little like this beautiful inspiration board above…a mass of stuff on the to-do list and lots of projects the works.  In times of stress, I look to sources of inspiration to get me through. So I’m popping in today with a quick post to share one of my sources of inspiration and favorite designers, Alessandra Branca.

Alessandra Brance via Lonny phot by Joshua McHugh

via Lonny, photo by Joshua-McHugh

If you’re note familiar with Alessandra Branca, she is a Rome-born designer known for her use of color and her skill of combining  chic, old-world style into the spaces she designs.  

Here are some of the reasons why I love her style:

Exquisite pattern mixing + that floor lamp

Alessandra Branca3

Sophisticated color combinations + those upholstered chairs

Alessandra Branca2

Decorative details + that coral dutch door

Alessandra Branca4

Dramatic design + that plaid daybed

Alessandra Branca

Her fabric line for Schumacher + this chair

Alessandra Brance for Shumacher

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Alessandra Brance for Schumacher--Upholstered Chair

via Schumacher

Traditional Roots + those stools

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Her passion for pink + that rug

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Her whimsical side + that ceiling treatment

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Her use of trims + that chair detail

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When it comes to design with personality and polish, Alessandra Branca is definitely a designer that inspires me.

You can view more of her design work here or pick up a copy of her book…

Alessandra Branca New Classic Interiors


all room images via Alessandra Branca unless noted

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