I love to decorate with fresh flowers and am always looking for creative and inexpensive ways to add them to my home.  So, while doing a little research on flower trends, I was surprised that my reasearch lead me back to a staple in the flower family–Carnations!

I’ve always thought of carnations as a cheap filler flower, and have made it a mandate to my husband that if he sends me flowers, there are to be no carnations in the arrangement.  Well, after realizing just how dynamic arrangements can be, made only with carnations, I’ve changed my tune.

  Carnations can be beautiful!

carnations via bhg

via bhg 

Carnations are available in a load of colors, but if you can’t find that perfect hue, ask your florist to dye the carnations to match your favorite Pantone color.  It can be done.

A little greenery added to a carnation arrangement gives these inexpensive flower a whole new look.  

There are lots of carnation varities to choose from and you’re sure to find a style you love. 

I am so glad I’ve discovered how beautiful and stylish Carnations can be. Now I can have fresh flowers in my home all the time and it won’t break the bank. 

Why don’t you use carnations to create a beautiful arrangement for your home…and send me photos to share with my readers.

 until next time…


It appears that the color of royalty will remain a strong design influence into Fall 2010.  While purple is not a color that I would typically design a whole room around, I do love how it can give a room a shot of modern elegance and sophistication!

via elle decor

How would you use the color purple in your home?


As a young child, I was one of those kids that wanted to challenge every “rule” that came my way.  I just didn’t get why some things had to be a certain way… 
 Why did I have to make my bed every morning?
Why did I have to be in the house before dark?
Why did I have to take woodworking class instead of sewing?
 Well, now that I am older, I understand that “rules” exist to enhance our lives and to make us the best that we can be.  
 In the world of design, the concept of rules are no different.  There are “rules” of design, but they too should be challenged in order to help us achieve the best look and feel for the space in which we live.  When designing, I love to think outside the box, challenge my creativity and  follow 

My 10 Commandments of Interior Design!

 1.  Discover Your Personal Style

Read shelter magazines and search design websites to find photos of rooms that simply make you feel good.  Once you begin to identify with room layouts, furniture styles, colors and accessories that appeal to you, you’ll be better equipped to create the living space that makes your heart sing. I’ve collected photos from magazines for years and have them sorted by category.  Over the years, my design style has changed, but the core of what I like and don’t like have remained the same.  Creating your own inspiration library is a great way to really stay in tune with your style. 
2.   Never Use Anything You Don’t Love
Whether it’s a piece of furniture, artwork or a simple decorative object, using the things you love, as part of your decor, will guarantee a beautiful and comfortable home environment.  I meet people all the time that feel like they have to use something that was given to them as a gift.  If you don’t love the item, it will never feel good, no matter where you place it in your home.  Your home is your haven so make sure everything in it is something you treasure!
image via william yeoward

3.   Don’t Buy Items That Aren’t Essential To The Way You Live

If your lifestyle does not require a traditional sofa and loveseat, then do something different.  Try a combination of arm chairs with a coffee table as your living room decor.  Make your home function for you and your family and it will please you for years to come.

4.  Embrace Color

More than just about anything else, color added to a room can transform it from plain to powerful.  If you’re not a red wall person, use color as your accent,  in accessories, fabrics and artwork.  Don’t know what color(s) to use, check out your closet and see what colors you’re attracted to in your clothing.  Your clothing colors are a great source of inspiration for the colors you’re comfortable with, and that make you feel good. 

5.  Always Have A Touch Of Black

Ok, this is a hard one to explain, but there is just something that black does for a room.  Black helps to ground a space; black helps to define a space; and black helps to add substance!  You can add black via a frame, accessory, lighting or as an accent on a piece of furniture.  If you have a room without a touch of black, try adding the color somewhere and see how it changes the room…for the better.  It really is design magic.
via traditional home

6.  Do Something Unexpected

If you really want to make a design statement in your home, try using something in an unexpected way.  I love that this antique farm table was turned into the vanity/sink counter in this bathroom.  And, the shuttered window, rustic wood framed mirrors, metal pendant lights and antique armoire give this space even more character. 
image via kay douglas

7.  Mix and Match

Nothing is more lack-luster than a room designed with all one style of furniture.  When decorating, I love to use different styles and finishes of furniture, so that the space has an eclectic yet stylized vibe.  The mirrored nightstand, traditional poster bed,  old trestle table and cottage inspired bed linens add such unique personality to this bedroom.  If you love stained wood finishes, try incorporating a painted piece of furniture to mix it up a bit.
image via traditonal home 

8.  Personalize Your Space

I love to walk into a home and discover a piece that really reflects the people who live there. Maybe it’s a color your love or a material you covet.
This turquoise chandelier from Marjorie Skouras Design is a real show stopper.  As  person who loves turquoise this piece would be right at home in my foyer.
image via house beautiful

9.  Always Use  More Than One Pillow

Yes, I am one of those crazy pillow people.  I just think pillows add so much to a sofa, chair or bed.  I love mixing patterns and shapes to create a wonderful and festive mix wherever I can.  Try it…I think you’ll like it!
image via hgtv

10.  Don’t Settle

 As my last Design Commandment, this is a big one.  Whatever you do, don’t settle.  It may take months or ever years to find that perfect piece of artwork or the dining table that fits just perfectly in your dining room.  If you have a vision for your home, take the time, however long that is, to make it everything you want it to be.

imave via coastal living

Do you have a favorite design “rule” you use when decorating?

Photo Source:  Kay Douglass, Traditional Home, House Beautiful, HGTV, Coastal Living 


If you asked anyone if I was a person who loves color, they would definitely say yes!  I love wearing bold colors, (red is my favorite) and I love to decorate with color.  But, despite my love for color, I can’t help but be attracted to rooms that have minimal color, especially rooms decorated in black and white.

To me, black and white is such a strong, sophisticated and dynamic color statement.  While there may not be an intense pop of color, the combination of black and white can be just as vibrant and stylish.


via decor pad


via house beautiful

To make a black and white color statement successful, it’s best to have a variety of patterns so that the space has dimension and depth.  Try combining a black and white floral, stripe, check, and solids to create the best look.


via house  beautiful

via woodson and rummerfield


via tobi fairley

The incredibly talented designer Tobi Fairley incorporated this lovely chest into one of her design projects.  What an easy and inexpensive way to update an old or thrift store piece.


via cottage living

via decor 8

Even with white or ivory as the foundation of a room, infusing black as the accent color will bring it to life and give the space substance.


via design inc.

A single pillow can make a design statement.


via larry laslo

via max & co.




via house beautiful

 The next time you want to add a little color to your home, try decorating in a simple palette of black and white!

Do you have a black and white room?  I’d love to see pictures.


Photo source:  DecorPad, Woodson and Rummerfield, Tobi Fairley, Cottage Living, Decor *, Design Inc., Larry Laslo, Max & Co., House Beautiful


 When it comes to party planning, there are some basic rules of thumb:

Location, Invitations, Decor, Food & Beverages and Atmosphere.

But, how you interpret these “rules of thumb” is what gives your party style and panache. 
 Here are a few tips to make your next party a fabulous & stylish one!


When choosing a location, pick a spot that will reinforce the “mood” you want to create for the event. 
For an outdoor party, incorporate some indoor decorative elements to give a warm, home-like feel.

via verandah


The invitation you select to communicate your party will set the tone for the event. 
I say go with something spectacular! 
One of my favorite, and I mean favorite stationery/invitation companies is Ceci New York.  Lisa “Ceci”  Johnson is the founder and creative director of this magnificent line of paper goods.  Her designs are classic yet sophisticated, and the colors, textures and details she applies makes each invitation a work of art. And, if her invitations weren’t enough to make you faint,  Ceci worked with the USPS to develop a custom line of postage stamps, showcasing her beautiful designs. What could be better than gorgeous invitations and a postage stamp to complete the look. You can check out her full line of stamps at


 Ceci New York Proud Peacock Collection


CeCi  New York Custom Designed Postage Stamps.  How cute are these!

 Ceci New York has a faithful following of customers, including many celebrities. 
The invitation above was custom designed for Sean “P Diddy” Combs’ annual White Party. 


Once the invitations are in the mail, it’s time to focus on the decor.  Layering is the key for creating a stunning visual statement.   
Layer your linens on the table; Create layers with your dinnerware; Incorporate layers of fresh flowers as the centerpiece.  Give the eyes lots to look at!
Whatever elements you use, creating layers of texture, color, pattern and dimension will give your table that wow factor.

 via carolyn roehm


When it comes to your food and beverage selections, do something that will have your signature touch on it: 
Mix-and-match your stemware to create an eclectic and colorful statment. 
Create a signature cocktail that reflects the theme or occasion you are celebrating. 
And, finish the evening with a dessert that stands out.

via carolyn roehm

via southern living 


I don’t think any party is good unless there is a bit of mood music to infuse the atmosphere. 
 Whether you choose Jazz, Swing, or a little R & B, make sure to have music playing in the back ground.  Here are a few of my favorite party cd’s, available from Brisa.

 image via Brisa

So the next time you get ready to plan a big soiree, make a statement–a unique and personal one! 

Photo source:  Veranda, Ceci New York, Carolyn Roehm, Southern Living, Brisa


Just as the summer is winding down and the thought of unpacking boxes full of Christmas decor is a reality (yes, the boxes have arrived at the store already), there is something exciting to look forward to.


Admittedly one of my favorite reality shows,  I just love the antics of Jeff, Jenny, Zoila and the rest of the gang.  Back for another season, beginning August 10th, Jeff Lewis appears to be in rare form.  The commercials airing right now showcase Jeff in some of his most memorable flipping out moments.  Whether you like Jeff or not, (I have a mad crush on him), you have to admit that he is one talented designer.  Having slowed down on his house flipping projects, Jeff has turned is attention to design work.

Here are a few fun facts, you may not have known about Jeff, Jenni and Zoila.


  • Pre-Law and Political Science Major (somehow I can imagine Jeff as a politician)!
  • Has designed a  line of  home furnishings available on QVC
  • Practices Scream Therapy to relieve stress


  • Was a competitive tennis player in high school
  • Considers herself a rapper (actually she is pretty good)
  • Has appeared on the tv shows Monk and Charmed
  • Jeff doesn’t know where she lives.  Jenni fears he will invade her world if he knew.


  • Born in Nicaragua
  • Has two daughters
  • Became a US citizen in 1996
  • Has worked for Jeff for over 12 years (she deserves a metal of honor)
  • The oil painting of her, that Jeff gave her last year sold at auction for over $10,000


One of Jeff’s most recent projects was designing the House Beautiful Kitchen of the Year at New York’s Rockefeller Center. Just like most of Jeff’s designs, the kitchen we designed showcases a modern vibe, with clean, streamlined design elements. 

Here are a few other photos of rooms designed by Jeff.  For more of his fabulous design work, check out his website, here!

Jeff Lewis Design

Jeff Lewis Design1

Jeff Lewis Design2

And, don’t miss the new season of Flipping Out.  You’ll walk away having learned something new about design, and will be throughly entertained along the way!

 until next time…


Yesterday I wrote about the 10 Things I Can’t Live Without.  Many people commented about the things they can’t live without, and there was one common item…FLOWERS.  Seems that everyone loves flowers and how a beautiful flower arrangement can enhance your day/home/life/spirit! 

 I couldn’t agree more.

So, I wanted to share a few of my favorite flower photos with you today.  Happy Thursday!




Photo source:  Cebolla, BHG, House Beautiful, Martha Stewart


Every now and then, (not often enough), I stop and really think about my life.  Whenever I spend a bit of time reflecting, it always leads me to think about those things that bring me ABSOLUTE JOY…the things that I just can’t live without!

 Here’s my list of the 10 Things I Can’t Live Without!



To me, there’s no place on earth more relaxing than a beautiful white sand beach and ocean waves.  I love early morning walks and late night strolls with the warm sand beneath my feet.  This is where I reflect, rejoice and rejuvenate…   

DIY Flower Band Gift  Wrap by ConfettiStyle5


I grew up painting, beading, sculpting, knitting, sewing and decoupaging. I love making things with my hands. My crafting skills came from my dad and besides his love, this is one of the best things he ever gave me…


No matter what time of year, a warm cup of tea soothes my soul.  There’s nothing better than sitting in “my chair”, sipping a cup of tea and daydreaming about my next adventure…


The opportunity to share my life with family, friends and my husband Geno, is really all I need in life…

ConfettiStyle Spring Bedroom Refresh7


My life always seems better when I am able to take a brief slumber on a sunny afternoon… 


Chocolate does nothing for me…it’s all about the salsa!…

 Magazine via pinterest


I love magazines…all shapes, sizes, colors, topics.  Magazines are my little bit of heaven on earth.

via Stella and Dot

  JEWELRY (earrings to be specific)

While I love clothes, and love any opportunity to dress up, a great pair of earrings is always my statement piece.  I recently purchased this display rack so that I could hang up all my earrings. Isn’t it pretty?…

Mother's Day Giftwrap7


I love to give beautifully wrapped gifts.  The process of wrapping the box, adding ribbon and dressing it all up with a unique bobble is a little gift I give myself


What we are is God’s gift to us.

What we become is our gift to God!



What things bring you absolute joy?

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