What were those designers thinking? The Hampton Designer Show House

Before I was in the design business I would visit show houses and look at the rooms simply from a personal perspective. If the room happened to be decorated according to my taste and done up with colors I liked I would declare it a hit. If it was anything else, I would immediately dismiss it as ugly. I was quite the critic!

Now that I am educated to the design process and I have friends who participate in show houses, I look at the rooms with a totally different perspective. Such was the case at last weeks Hampton Designer Showhouse. Some of the rooms were simply beautiful and appealed to the masses. They were decorated in soft soothing colors with tasteful accessories that were appropriate to the Hampton location.

Design by Kate Singer, Linda Holt Photo

Design by Kate Singer, Linda Holt Photo

Some of the other rooms were very well done they just happen not to be my taste. Ironically it is those rooms that I give the most thought and attention to. I try to guess what the designer was thinking. I want to know what their inspiration was for the room. There are so many moving parts and decisions that go into creating a show house and sometimes the designer has to use what is available even if it’s not their first choice. I learned this when I participated in the One Room Challenge which was a virtual type of show house.

So no matter if I was a fan or not, I studied the rooms and here are a few of the common threads I observed within all the rooms of the Hampton Show House.

TEXTURE: This was my number one observation. Rich luxurious textures were a major theme within the house. I keep hearing opulence in interior design is making a comeback and many of the show rooms proved this to be true.

Melanie Turner Design, Linda Holt Photo

Melanie Turner Design, Linda Holt Photo

Giant over scale chunky throws were in many of the rooms adding luxurious layered texture as well as thick textured carpets, fur, grass cloth covered walls and sumptuous fabrics. This room, designed by Melanie Turner, was my favorite room in the house. The fabric she chose for the window treatments was riddled with holes which added even more texture to her all white room.

Melanie Turner Design, Linda Holt Photo

Melanie Turner Design, Linda Holt Photo


Get out your giant knitting needles and get to work!

How cool are those giant cable knit pillows against the faux bois wallpaper?

Mabley Handler Design, Linda Holt Photo

Mabley Handler Design, Linda Holt Photo

The master bedroom designed by Mabley Handler was a sumptuous retreat filled with luxurious textiles as well as a shiny silver dresser, sleek leather chairs and textural grass cloth clad walls. Notice too the statement chandelier which looked like a wedding cake. The layers hanging down are fabric. I loved this room and had to use restraint because I wanted to touch everything, lay on the bed and roll around on the rug.

The black and white bedroom below designed by Elsa R. Soyars was interesting. Not only was it filled with lot’s of different textures like the sculpted rug, a velvet bench with a fur throw, linen and silks, it also featured a black macrame hammock directly next to the bed. This was one of those instances where I would have loved to ask the designer her thought process on the hammock (as well as her placement of a life size deer on the opposite side of the room).

Elsa R. Soyars

Elsa R. Soyars

STATEMENT LIGHTING:Big statement lighting is nothing new but this show house had some very unusual pieces.

Notice the big chunky macrame table skirt adding even more texture to the mostly all white room. Speaking of white rooms…the majority of the walls in the show house were either painted white or covered with grass cloth.

Marie-Christine Design, Linda Holt Photo

Marie-Christine Design, Linda Holt Photo

Another primarily white room with a chunky throw, pillows, a thick textured carpet and a geometric statement chandelier.

Statement lighting was in every single room including a powder room so small I couldn’t get a photo of much more than the light and a tiny glimpse of the ceiling and wallpaper.

Steven Stolman design, Linda Holt Photo

Steven Stolman design, Linda Holt Photo

LACK OF BRIGHT COLOR AND PATTERNS: With the exception of the powder room above and the master bathroom (below) there was very little color or pattern in the house. I would say the master bathroom though had plenty of both color and pattern for the whole house!

Tilton Fenwick, Linda Holt Photo

Tilton Fenwick, Linda Holt Photo

I will leave you with my final image of the kitchen. Just like the proverbial wedding gown at the end of the fashion show, the kitchen is the room that set the tone for the whole house. White, bright, beautiful and a wonderful mixture of textures.

Bakes and Kropp Design, Linda Holt Photo

Bakes and Kropp Design, Linda Holt Photo

Bakes and Kropp, Linda Holt Photo

Bakes and Kropp, Linda Holt Photo

So there you have it. My take on the 2016 Hampton Designer Show House. I hope you enjoyed my virtual tour.







Friday’s Photo: Sleeping with the family

One of my favorite things about going to High Point Market and visiting the different show rooms is seeing how the rooms are styled. The designers are so creative and I always see something unexpected and unique. Continuing last Friday’s Photo theme of wall murals I spotted this idea at Universal Furniture.

wallpaper family portraits

portrait wallpaper at Universal Furniture

I know it’s not for everyone but I thought it was a cute idea for a child’s room. It would be hard to feel lonely when the family is watching over while you sleep. Having the actual wallpaper made would be a huge commitment but another idea would be to cover the wall with either cork board or foam core. Then using adhesive spray (for the foam core) or pins (for the cork board) attach the images. When the fun had run it’s course just remove the foam core or cork board and the walls are back to the origional state.

Have a good weekend!

It took 11 years but I finally have a decorated dining room

As is true with many designers, our own home often takes a back seat when it comes to decorating. Between client projects, blogging, family obligations and an overall busy life it’s a wonder anything gets done at all. Case in point, my family room was filled with junky/yard sale furniture for over two years after we gave almost all the origional furniture to my son for his apartment. It took the public pressure of the One Room Challenge to finally kick my butt into gear to getting it decorated. (the six week deadline almost did me in but at least it got finished)

I also have a few other unfinished spaces in my house and the dining room was one of them. You see, I never got around to buying a carpet. It’s not that I didn’t look, it’s just that every carpet I liked was either the wrong size, too high of a pile or over budget.

Last January a perfect solution presented itself when Karastan Carpet, one of our Modenus Blogtour sponsors for KBIS, explained to us that any of their wall to wall carpets could be cut and bound to just about any size. Eureka! Wall to wall carpet is often a more affordable option than a large area rug and the fact that I could have it cut to a specific size was even better.

Due to allergies and a dog that sheds like crazy, I wanted a 100% wool low pile carpet. Karastan has so many great choices but in the end I chose the Woolston Plaid in Domino. It arrived last week cut and bound to my exact size specifications and I am thrilled! It’s a black and white grid pattern and here is what it looked like as soon as we laid it down. (The edges have since relaxed and it lays flat)

dining room before

Karastan Woolston Plaid carpet in Domino

I am now happy to say I have one more completely finished room in my house.

dining room with black plaid rug

Linda Holt Photo

My new gallery wall from Fracture is on the adjacent wall and if you want to read my blog about the process of mounting images on glass you can read it HERE.

Gallery wall

Linda Holt Interiors

Now I just have the the master bedroom and guest room left to tackle. Oh well, one room at a time….unless of course we move which is a continuing topic of conversation.

How about you? Do you have any unfinished rooms in your home?

Friday’s Photo: Look how wealthy I am!

What material possessions do you think of when you imagine great wealth? Luxury cars? Second (or third) homes? Designer clothing and jewelry? Fabulous art? I bet the one thing that doesn’t come to mind is a dining room sideboard.

Back in the 1850’s the dining room sideboard was the ultimate trophy to show off one’s wealth. The more intricate and lavish the carvings the more impressed your dinner guests would be. It was the 1850’s way of showing the world, “look how wealthy I am”!

1850's oak sideboard

1850’s Pennsylvania sideboard Museum of Fine Arts Boston

Intricately carved fruit, birds and animal heads added to the wow factor and expense of the piece. The sterling silver urns and tea sets completed the look. Today, we have moved on and replaced side boards and silver tea sets with other possessions as a way of showing off our wealth. It is fun though to look back on history and see how trends have changed. I wonder what prized possession of today will be passe in the next hundred years?

Have a great weekend everyone!

Adding coastal flair to wardrobe and decor

Recently I spent a night at the Attwater Inn in Newport Rhode Island with my friend Susan Kanoff, along with photographer friend Emily O’Brien. The Inn was designed by Boston’s own Rachel Reider and she did an amazing job. The Inn is fresh, colorful and full of unexpected ocean inspired decor.  I was there to photograph the interior with my iPhone while Emily was photographing both the interior and fashion for Susan’s blog, The Midlife Fashionista. Susan is a fabulous wardrobe stylist who specializes in styling the more mature woman (hence the name of her blog). We often discus how fashion and interiors are so closely related. Susan’s outfits were reflective of our coastal location so I thought it would be fun to do a coastal fashion and decor match up.

“A coastal vacation calls for a comfortable and laid-back look—nothing fussy or stuffy.  Think crisp white with pops of vibrant color…bright and fun! Stripes always fit into the nautical theme and a flowy maxi dress with a poncho or wrap is a stylish and comfortable night-time look.” Susan Kanoff

Based on what Susan was wearing here are three different ways to add some coastal flair to your wardrobe or home.

1.Stripes: what says coastal more than stripes? Incorporate stripes into your interior with paint, pillows, fabric and accessories. Choosing a nautical blue color like in the powder room below adds even more of a coastal feel to the room.  Speaking of stripes, I thought it was funny that we both showed up wearing almost the exact same outfit. Sunglasses, white jeans and a black and white striped top. Hey, you don’t hang with your stylist friend without some of her teachings rubbing off on you!


2. Fringe: Fun, relaxed and casual, fringe is trending in both fashion and interiors and adds a Summery coastal vibe.  Susan added a fringe open cardigan over her striped top for the breezy Summer evening. Denim drapes are given a boarder of fringe for a casual coastal vibe in a beach house.

OB-Fringe inspiration

3. Colorful beach inspired accessoriesShells, sea glass balls, and a sea horse lamp bring lots of coastal flair into the sitting room below. Susan added a vintage inspired straw beach bag and hat to her bright orange dress and denim jacket for her Summery look. Summer is the perfect time to have fun and go “beachy” with accessories.

OB-coastal accessories

See how fashion translates directly to interiors? The same trends and colors are popular and many designers get inspiration from the runway. I hope you enjoyed our match up!

For more style inspiration follow Susan on Instagram and if you are interested in having her help you with your style, you can contact her here.

High Point Market Recap part three

This is it! Today is my final wrap up of my three part trend report from High Point Market. I hope you enjoyed Part One and Part Two. I am finishing up my series today with the final three trends I spotted at Spring Market.

7. Elevated Organics: Nature inspired decor is nothing new, but taking natural elements and elevating it’s importance by using it on furniture and lighting is a growing trend. This console chest from Ambella Home is an especially beautiful example. Brass sculpted cherry blossoms adorn the white oak front.

Ambella Home Linda Holt Photo

Ambella Home Linda Holt Photo

This branch inspired brass base on the ottoman/coffee table is another example from Vanguard. (notice too the blush colored top as I pointed out in my first trend post).

Vanguard:Linda Holt Photo

Vanguard:Linda Holt Photo

This “sapling” cocktail table is also from Amabella Home and another beauty.

Ambella Home:Linda Holt Photo

Ambella Home:Linda Holt Photo

This divided screen from Currey not only uses oyster shells as inspiration but uses the actual shells. Accented with satin brass the shells are “elevated” to a work of art.

Currey:Linda Holt Photo

Currey: Linda Holt Photo

Rock crystals are another huge trend right now, especially for lighting. I visited three different lighting showrooms and they all were showcasing lighting that was designed using rock crystals. This rock crystal chandelier and the two rock crystal sconces are both from Visual Comfort.

Visual Comfort:Linda Holt Photo

Visual Comfort:Linda Holt Photo

Speaking of rock crystals, Kathyrn McCoy has built an entire company around using rock crystals.

Linda Holt Photo

Linda Holt Photo

I already mentioned in my previous post about the overwhelming amount of gold finishes in lighting. This sconce by Currey is so realistic it looks like ginkgo leaves were dipped in gold and then turned into a sconce.

Ginko Sconce Curry-Linda Holt Photo

Ginkgo Sconce Curry-Linda Holt Photo

This brass “daisy” pendant is a new introduction from Kate Spade for Visual Comfort.

Kate Spade Flower Pendant-Linda Holt Photo

Kate Spade Flower Pendant-Linda Holt Photo

8. Accessories: A continuing trend for accessories is what I call the “specimen” trend. Nine out of ten showrooms used displays of sea shells, drift wood, turtle shells, rocks, animal horns and feathers.

tutle shells

Petrified wood was also very popular (and pricey) this past Market and I saw it in all shapes and sizes.


Coral was spotted in a few showrooms but not as much as I had seen in previous years. Geodes and crystals were much more popular this Spring.

Tritter Feffer

Besides the real deal, accessories that referenced nature were also are very popular. These green topiaries from Global Views were eye catching.

global views

Spiny sea urchin shapes are still popular and I saw them displayed both on the wall and on tables. These from Harp and Finial looked great on the black and white stripped wall and were the only ones I saw that were NOT gold.

Harp and Finial:Linda Holt Photo

Harp and Finial:Linda Holt Photo

Global and ethnic influence is still trending and I loved this vignette from Harp and Finial with the Moroccan inspired mirrors and the elephant table lamps.

harp and finial2

Harp and Finial-Linda Holt Photo

I can’t talk about accessories and not mention Chinoiserie (Chinese influenced design and motifs) which is classic but more popular that ever.

IMG_4577 This chinoiserie mirror from Kenian Home was a new introduction this Spring and a crowd favorite. (notice the gold faux turtle shell on the table below and the large scale botanical wallpaper which is my final trend below).

Kenian Home-Linda Holt Photo

Kenian Home-Linda Holt Photo

9. Fabrics and wallpaper: Birds and flowers are still trending for both wallpaper and fabrics. This wallpaper panel on display at Ambella Home also incorporates several other trends I have already mentioned such as the color pink, and the organic shape of the table base and chinoiserie.

Ambella Home-Linda Holt Photo

Ambella Home-Linda Holt Photo

This bold wallpaper featuring birds is new from Kate Spade for Kravet.

Kate Spade for Kravet

Kate Spade for Kravet

Birds, watercolor cloud wallpaper and bright floral pillows at Eastern Accents.

Eastern Accents-Linda Holt Photo

Eastern Accents-Linda Holt Photo

Another trend in both fabric and wallpaper is a soft watercolor look. This Thibaut wallpaper is a perfect example. The large scale flowers almost seem to bleed into one another as if they were just freshly painted.

Thibaut-Linda Holt Photo

Thibaut-Linda Holt Photo

For those of you old enough to remember Tie Dye back from back in the 70’s… it’s back! I have very fond memories of spending an entire Summer tie dying white Fruit of the Loom t-shirts.  I wish I knew what happened to them because a few were outstanding!

This tie dye fabric chair was one of my favorites from Huntington House Furniture.

huntington House

Huntington House Furniture

This fabric on the chair below from Rowe Furniture reminds me of one of those spin art toys and is another example of the watercolor look that was so popular at Spring Market.


Rowe Furniture

This last one is also from Huntington House and the fabric felt like velvet. All the bloggers sat in it and no one wanted to get up it was so comfortable and soft.

Huntington House Furniture-Linda Holt Photo

Huntington House Furniture-Linda Holt Photo

Well, that wraps it up my friends. I hope you have enjoyed my photographic summary of the Spring High Point Market trends. As a final treat I have one more image that features many of the trends I have highlighted over the past three days.

Emporium Home-Linda Holt Photo

Emporium Home-Linda Holt Photo

How many trends in this one photo can you spot?

If you missed part one or part two and would like to read those, the links are below.

High Point Market Trend Report Part One

High Point Market Trend Report Part Two

The ORC: Family room makeover reveal!!

If you have somehow stumbled upon this blog post for the very first time, this is a very big day. For the past six weeks I have been participating in an online design blog event called The One Room Challenge, hosted by Linda of Calling it Home. I had six weeks to completely makeover my family room and I finished just under the wire. The photographer rang the door bell just as I was placing the final touch on the coffee table.

Not that long ago, the room was kinda sorta decorated. It all started to fall apart though after an elderly dog made toast of the carpet and then we gave most of the existing furniture to my son when he moved into his new apartment. I had big plans to redo this room but over a year later, I hadn’t done a single thing. It was an ugly mishmash of random furniture that was brought into the room simply for a place to sit when we watched TV.

In all honesty, it took a diagnosis of breast cancer to finally kick me into gear to get this room decorated. Now that it’s done, my only regret is that I didn’t do it sooner. Then I wouldn’t have spent the majority of the Summer laying on the sofa while recovering from chemo in a depressing, mostly bare, undecorated room.

I know you don’t care about any of this and just want to get to the AFTER photos so here we go.

To refresh your memory, this was the embarrassingly sad state of the room BEFORE.

Family Room BEFORE

Family Room BEFORE


Eric Ross photo

Eric Roth Photo

low rez Linda Holt one room_003

Eric Roth Photo

Linda Holt Photo

Linda Holt Photo

If you have been following my weekly updates you know I found the above campaign chest at the Habitat for Humanity restore for $95.00. It was in rough shape but I had my cabinet maker lacquer it in Sherwin Williams Indigo and I found someone local to refinish the rusted brass hardware.

Linda Holt one room_002 (1)a

Eric Roth Photo

Linda Holt one room_003aThe budget was gone when it came time for art work so I enlarged a few of my own photos and added in some of my favorite plates and glass trays.

The above photo is just to the left of the back wall which is all glass and leads to the deck. The photo below is to the right of the back wall. The antique Korean chest has been in my husband’s family since the early 1900’s and the square ottoman is where I sit to put on my sneakers every morning when I walk the dog.

Eric Ross Photo

Eric Roth Photo

The skirted table below is hiding a secrete which I will reveal in an upcoming post.

Linda Holt one room_004 red

Eric Roth photo

I have had this sea lady head for at least twenty years and I still love her.

Linda Holt one room_004detail
Linda Holt one room_004 (1)detail2

The room is so much more happy now don’t you think? Now we spend all our free time in there and I just love looking at everything. Before, all I could think about was how ugly the room was and how embarrassing it was when anyone came over. Let’s face it, how long could I keep saying to my friends, “I am about to redo this room”. Now it’s done and I couldn’t be happier.

I want to give a huge thank you to all the vendors who came through for me and did fast (in one case 24 hour) turn around times so that everything could make it into my room.

Walls, Ceiling and Trim: Farrow and Ball Satin Slipper

Sofa: Kravet with Kravet fabric

Indonesian chairs: existing. Malabar fabric

Club chair: existing. JF Fabric

Coffee Table: David Francis

Window treatments: Duralee

Carpet: Landry and Arcari

Window Hardware: Window Imaginations

Small green side table: Oomph

Gold side table: West Elm

Bamboo shades: Smith and Noble

Artwork over sofa:Linda Holt

Small art on easel: Pamela Copeman

Birch trees over Korean Chest: Laurie Leavitt

If you are interested in my weekly progress you can read the previous posts.

week 1

week 2

week 3

week 4 

week 5









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