✢ Ming Chairs get their Zing

Who doesn’t like a before and after?
A little creativity and TLC can transform just about any piece of furniture that has good bones.  In this case, these Vintage James Mont Keyhole Ming Chairs not only have a “here and now” vibe, but that Jade color really sang to me.

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For more on James Mont, click here for The NY Times Magazine article.

I didn’t dare to alter the color of the frame, so they really just needed upholstery.  The search was on for the perfect fabric to compliment it, but I didn’t have to look further than our own office yard for inspiration…

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hmm…bright mossy green + rich emerald leaves work pretty well together, don’t ya think?

I am thankful for clients who trust me and allow me to create something unexpected in their design plan. I’ll admit though, this idea made me wonder if she’d go for it.  As you can see, she did, and they are  F A B U L O U S.

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Et Voilà!  The Osborne & Little Needlecord Tarva fabric gave these chairs their much needed Zing!

Thanks for the inspiration,


✢ Girl’s Got Game

A sassy little poker caddy can provide all kinds of color inspiration. 

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“Let the games begin”!  This phrase is used quite often in our household.  OK, it’s used by me anyway, and admittedly often met with a less than enthusiastic response.  Yet, I can almost always count on my husband to roll up his sleeves, and join me in a “friendly” little competition.  So when I found the acrylic poker set, I knew it had our name written all over it!

The bold graphic pattern on the cards, the gold dotted dice, and the primary colored chips inspire a little ensemble from what’s already in my closet.  In fact, I find inspiration for design projects (and all kinds of creative expression) by the little things I see in everyday life.  So, I thought it may be fun to share how a little Five Card Draw tonight can become tomorrow’s outfit.  Game on!

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The blue laser cut-out top is an oldie from Banana Republic.  The skirt is a treat for “Mama” found when my daughter led me through her own H&M ensemble search. The neutral kitten heels are by Butter. Royal blue readers were purchased at The Gibbes Museum of Art gift shop. The lapis and diamond earrings are a fun find from Croghans Jewel Box. Any orange-red lipstick is a must this Spring, but the matte “Flame” from Tom Ford is certainly on my color radar at the moment.

And that’s one for the win-


✢ Grazin’ In The Grass is a Gas

✢ Grazin’ In The Grass is a Gas

….Baby, Can you Dig It? April is Here, and Spring is finally in the air.  Each morning is a gift of new growth and color.  We’ve waited so very long for a change of palette and now we say, “Spring?”…Bring … Continue reading

✢ Make Treats…not Tricks!

Happy Halloween!

As we are in full-blown tackifying mode around our haunted house, we stop to share some wacky inspiration for a fun evening full of Tricks AND Treats.


When setting the table, opt for dry as well as  slimy elements you can find in your own back yard.  Use moss, and sticks, antlers and the like, and dried bugs (although our little roach critters were obtained from the Dollar Store).

Put webs in that gorgeous chandelier of yours and place crows, spiders, and bats.



Use a colorful wreath to interest neighbors to your front stoop.


I know I  will loose favor among the little ones and their dentists, but this precious little craft makes a great treat for goblins who

come a knockin’.  3bd87f0336bc5155aece968698b99a91

Living on the coast, or where ever you are, think out side the Jack (in the box). Monogram that gourd, emblazon it with your logo, what ever, just get your knife and your creativity and carve that vegetation.



Before the goblins leave to run about the Hood, I try to pump something into them  that may balance the fructose they will ingest in the next 24 hours.  This one is quick and easy:

Sweet potato stuffed with Chili and avocado cream topping.


Many (many) years ago, we would adorn cupcakes with these cuties, and I still have some of these from my childhood.  I have, however seen them at five and dime stores (do they even use that term anymore?) on rare occasions.

For the adults, a grown up version of a candied apple; a caramel pear with sea-salt sprinkles will keep us energized while walking about with the trick-or-treaters.


We wish you a house filled with friends and neighbors, full vampire smiles, and an evening full of good-old-fashioned FUN!  ❈

✢ Old School Cool

✢ Old School Cool

In our age of technology, texting, and messaging as the seemingly preferred means of communication, I am so thankful for Generation Z (+) to UNPLUG. Yes, I said it. I hope and pray that my children will learn that a … Continue reading

✢ Clean Up your Act, Man.


This Gentleman’s bathroom was in need of a clean overhaul.  We simplified the space and color palette,  but kept design interest by marrying a variety of textures.  The grasscloth walls in the water room add warmth while the marble in the bathing area  is calm, cool, and collected.

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Here are some inspirations that may help you, Mr. Clean.


Calcutta Gold Tile.  This is a natural marble surface.  Keep honed tile on the floor.  You can place polished or honed in shower and walls.  For this installation, we took the large tile and cut it into thirds, to apply in a Herringbone pattern.  Any unique (but not trendy) application makes for an interesting aesthetic when all surfaces are in the same family.


Any grasscloth that speaks to you is fine.  Our opinion is the knobbier the better.


Trust us on this one.  Start off FRESH…literally.  Invest in some new clean white, ivory, or off white thick Egyptian cotton towels.

Get rid of the ones you’ve had since college.  Use them to wash the dog.

e399d3e5242cc710d1ec3cd23eb0c4d8Find a contemporary or striking etching, ink, or drawing;  husky, and masculine.

b63e38083e08abd85760ede961e7ae08We used antlers in this install to bring in a raw, natural appeal, but these bronze Boars are catching my eye at the moment too!


Yes, gentlemen, you too can lounge around and eat bon-bons….but if you find you just quite frankly don’t have the time,

you can throw your pumice soap in an antique silver dish for a rich detail.


Smooth operator…..


Now, Mr. Clean, you are ready to conquer the world.  May the force be with you. ❈

✢ Light of the World


Gold.  Who can resist?

So when looking for swing arm lights for a client, we scoured for the perfect lighting fit, and before we knew it, the afternoon was behind us, and we still had not made a decision, but were we ever in awe of the glorious gold we found in the world.  Curses, you time-killing internet!


And off I began to daydream, wondering who can pull off these fab gold pants……


88bf8c3cc59277b55171f87ab8d299daThe old gold standby….safe as can be, and a true heirloom treasure, is a gold charm bracelet.  No matter your age, the event, the figure, a lovely like this is always appropriate.  (maybe even WITH gold pants).



Enjoy the light within YOU and shine on, friends!  ❈

✢ Green With Envy

When Emerald was announced the hot new color for fashion and home last Spring, we were at the ready to be inspired by this happy, soothing color.  While of course we like Emerald, we sought to step out side of the green box and pop some chartreuse in our typically earthy design palette.


Our design inspiration board is currently filled with mixtures of pea green, paired with champagne, metallics, and grounded with an earthy gray.

Below is a dreamy Nina Campbell metallic wallpaper for a soothing Bedroom, with the ceiling and trim finished in Modern Metallics Champagne color.  The cheeky side chair in Luigi Bevilacqua Radica Verde Lame is an unexpected detail to add interest and texture.





Our modified design scheme will take us skipping into the Fall Season as we sadly bid Au Revoir to the Summer Season.

WIth cooler weather coming, it is a perfect time to sit on the porch with friends and enjoy the last days of summer with a cool champagne cocktail adorned with fresh mint from the garden and juicy cucumber slices.  ❈



✢ I’ll have a Double (take)

Eliza T. Collins, my dear assistant with our design firm,  is a gal who possesses many talents. Eliza is my right hand.  And when asked, she wears any hat that is needed for the task with a smile.  Lately, she’s taken snaps of a few of our projects and has done a marvelous job.  I begged her to share a few photos from her personal projects, and as usual….Eliza does not disappoint.



Eliza’s photographs were created through the combination of new and old age technology. She began with digital files, then morphed those through soft-wear programs she uses.  The images created from this process were laid out in the darkroom and then exposed  in the sunlight to create the final photographs blending new and old techniques.  I’m a huge fan!  ❈

Entire project can be seen on Eliza’s portfolio : www.elizacollins.com