Friday’s Photo

While at an event this week at the Boston Design Center I noticed two trends that show no signs of fading; large scale lighting and organic elements used as accessories. I especially loved the entrance display at Webster and Company.

Linda Holt Interiors

Linda Holt Photo

That antique lantern is just incredible and although the hefty price tag might not work with all budgets, the succulents in the organic inspired pottery is easy to recreate. As if the Universe was making it easy for me, I stopped at Home Depot on my way home and what did they have? A whole table display of succulents. My weekend project is about to get underway.

Have a happy weekend everyone!

Looking to freshen up your home for Spring? If you would like help with decorating or color give me a call.

Kimberley Seldon’s Business of Design

As a decorator who entered the field after a full career as a photographer, I never had the opportunity to intern or work with another designer. I often wondered how other designers conducted business. How did they structure their day? What was their contract like? What procedures and steps did they follow once a job was secured?

Over the past few years I have run my business the best way I knew how but in all honesty, I have been somewhat loosey goosey as far as procedure goes. Well that is a thing of the past because last week I flew to Atlanta to learn from the super successful, top designer Kimberley Seldon.

Kimberley has made it her mission to change the way the majority of designers conduct business (too many hours logged for not enough money earned). The core of  her program is a 15 step client process to guarantee a project will be completed on budget and on time. Shocking right??

I highly recommend you check out her next class but in the mean time, you can pick up her new book which is the next best thing.


On a side note, travel is my biggest source of inspiration and I always look for colors, patterns, subjects or light that catches my eye. Unfortunately, all I saw of Atlanta was the airport and hotel but here are a few things that I thought were photo worthy.

Linda Holt Photo

Atlanta Airport-waiting for Tam-Linda Holt Photo

Love this color palette and lighting I saw late afternoon at Atlanta airport.

Embassy Suites Hotel Lobby-Linda Holt Photo

Embassy Suites Hotel-Linda Holt Photo

Looking down from the 9th floor was this wonderful image of color and pattern.

Embassy Suites Elevator-Linda Holt Photo

Embassy Suites Elevator-Linda Holt Photo

Early morning when the sun came streaming through the window there was about 10 seconds when the elevator door opened and you could see all the way through. I thought it was cool but maybe it is just me.

On a design note, my favorite thing about the Embassy Suites (besides the free cocktail hour) was the black and white graphic wallpaper and these red leather slipper chairs. I don’t know how I feel about the carpet as it made me a little queasy (of course that was after cocktail hour)  but I am sure it would hide just about any stain you could spill on it.

Linda Holt Photo

Linda Holt Photo

If you have a project you would like finished on time and on budget, give me a call…I have a great 15 step process!

When NOT to follow the trends

There are many ways to have fun when decorating while incorporating the hottest new trends but it’s also important to understand when NOT to follow the trends. When building or renovating ignore the trends no matter how tempting when it comes time to choose fixed elements. 

Unless you are planning on doing a major renovation within 8-10 years it’s best to stay clear of trends when choosing fixed elements such as tiles, flooring, and cabinetry. Otherwise, once the trend is over you are stuck with a dated feature that is costly to change out. Remember when accent tiles were so trendy back in the 80′s and early 90′s?  I fell prey to that trend and used vegetable and fruit accent tiles in my “new” kitchen back splash.

accent tile circa 1990

Today there is no shortage of trendy tiles and ways to apply it.  Colored glass tile is very trendy and I adore it but I just can’t help thinking today’s colored glass tile is tomorrow’s dated accent tile.

blue glass tile in kitchen back splash

Mrs. Howard

Thin strips of stacked glass tile applied on the vertical is also very trendy.

As much as I like this look, I think this bath will soon look dated with the tile application and vessel sink.

Bold tile such as this chevron pattern is so much fun and it makes for a great magazine shot but this kitchen will look dated once chevron is no longer “hot”. (Not to mention there are no upper cabinets for storage).

chevron tiles

Brightly colored high gloss cabinets are also trending but I wonder if these homeowners will still love this kitchen say 5 years from now.

Via Pinterest

The bold floor below is lots of fun but when the geometric trend ends this bath will be left behind.

bold geometric floor

via Pinterest

Maybe this fabulous hallway by one of my all time favorite designers will stand the test of time but if not, it is going to be one expensive redo.

Miles Redd

My advice? When choosing fixed elements  for your home, to get the longest “shelf life” so to speak, it’s best to go safe even if you feel it is boring. At least things won’t look dated in 5-10 years.

classic kitchen

Victoria Hagan design

Neutrals, classic lines and timeless materials with traditional application will stand the test of time. This kitchen by Victoria Hagan could have been designed yesterday or 10 years ago; it is beautifully timeless.

Best to incorporate today’s trends in easily replaced furnishings, fabrics, accessories and of course my favorite…paint!

I would love to hear from you. Do you follow the trends? Have you ever regretted a trend you used on a fixed element in your home?

3 Top trends from Kips Bay Showhouse

Day 2 of my recent trip to Kravet Blogfest began with a private tour for all the bloggers of the famed Kips Bay Show house.  I’m  not going to write about the rooms because there have already been dozens of blogs and articles written about the house, the designers and the decor. Instead, I would like to share what I saw as the top 3 trends.

1. Lacquered walls, ceilings and furniture. Lacquered furniture has been popular for awhile now but the show house featured several rooms with lacquered walls and ceilings. Many of the colors were deep jewel tones and although beautiful, a note of caution; best to use a professional if you want this look in your own home. This is definitely not a D.I.Y. painting project.

The dining room had lacquered dark teal  walls with a gold leafed ceiling.

Dining Room photo via A.D.

I loved this bathroom with turquoise lacquered walls, moldings and vanity. It felt like being inside a jewelry box. I also loved the giant round gold mirror that took up the entire wall.

Turquoise lacquered bathroom A.D. photo

This purple lacquered ceiling was certainly the focal point of this room.

2. Large scale art. Almost every room featured LARGE  scale art work. I especially liked the triptych photographs of  pond reflections that was hanging in the second floor hallway. Large scaled photography is certainly something you can create for your own home as long as you have a decent digital camera (10-12 megapixels). I also found several online sources that will make large canvas sized prints from your images that won’t break the bank. One that I just recently looked into for myself is Modern Digital Canvas.

The “lounge suite” created by Louis Garcia-Maldonado had two of my favorite pieces; a large photo of Kate Moss

and this wall sized painting of a woman floating in a pool.

3. Wallpaper. If the show house walls weren’t lacquered they were wallpapered. Personally, I have very mixed feelings about wallpaper. The house I grew up in had wallpaper in every room so I have some good memories of it, but I have also spent countless hours removing it from 2 different houses we’ve owned. I do appreciate the look though, especially for powder rooms, bed rooms and entrance ways. I found “La Petite Writing Room” so peaceful and soothing. Can’t you just imagine curled up in that chair writing lovely notes to all your lovely friends?

 The “Modern Family Room” had very graphic black and white wallpaper along with black lacquered trim and moldings as well as a light purple lacquered ceiling.

The sitting room below incorporated all three trends; large scale art, gold lacquered ceiling and wallpaper.

My favorite wallpaper in the show house also made the biggest statement. It is a new Fornasetti design of fish from Cole and Son. Obviously this would not be for everyone and I would probably tire of it in a year or two but I thought it was so fun in this sitting room.

here is a close up of the fish…so detailed.

 After the show house tour it was off to the Hearst building and an HGTV sponsored lunch. The inspiration and fun just kept on coming!

What’s your favorite trend from Kips Bay? Do you have any of them in your house?

It’s Baaaack….Shocking Color Trend

Last week I attended Design Camp Seattle, put on by celebrity designers Lori Dennis and Kelly Ellis. The line up of speakers was amazing and I came away both inspired and informed. The opening speaker in Seattle was Bill Indursky, founder of the online shopping site V& M.  Bill spoke on trends and as a color consultant I was  interested in hearing what he had to say about Color.

Bill Indursky speaking on Trends 

Hang on to your paint brush because according to Indursky, the Gray trend is over and Beige is back… shocking I know! Seems like just yesterday (wait…it was yesterday) all we saw were shades of Gray. Now it’s all about Beige and Brown. I might have doubted this fact except when we walked into the Seattle Design Center where the Camp was held every single show room had nothing but Beige on Beige with dark brown wood furniture. In fact, there was not a Gray sofa or Gray wall in sight.

Bill explained the trend back to Beige is partly due to the  popularity of the raw wood/industrial/rustic trend but bottom line is that people want to feel safe. Beige represents stability, durability, and plays off one of the other hot trends which is antiquity. Brown represents security and gives people the feeling of being connected to the Earth, organic and grounded. Seems like good qualities to have in our home considering all the stressful things that have been happening  in the US lately.

Restoration Hardware

The rule of thumb is that trends usually last for about 10 years. The Gray trend is only about 4 years old so if Beige is indeed the new neutral it will be interesting to see what happens to Gray.

Nancy Braithwaite Designs

So there you have it. Beige (and Brown) is back…Gray is SO 2012.

Oh, and Bill told us he always dresses in one of the major trends when he presents.  His outfit is inspired by  ”The Ancients”.  Greek, Roman, and Egyptian inspired elements are all trending right now both in interiors and in fashion.

What do you think about Gray vs. Beige?  Do you think the Gray trend is over?

If you would like help deciding what neutral is best for your home give me a call.




Ronda Rice Carmen’s New Book “Designers At Home”

This past Saturday I came home to the BEST surprise, a Fedex package containing a book I had won from Interior Designer Karen Davis’s blog giveaway. Karen doesn’t know this but her blog called The Adventures of Marker Girl was one of the very first blogs I started reading when I first got into reading Design blogs. I love her modern and warm family friendly design and her practical decorating advice. Karen was so kind not only for sending the book but to include a personal note written on her beautiful stationary.

Karen’s lovely note included with my book

Ronda Carmen is well known for her award winning blog called All The Best Blog, and Designer’s At Home is her first book.  Take a look above at who wrote the forward and you know this is a book worth checking out. The first thing I love is that the book is smaller than a standard coffee table book. The smaller size makes it so much easier to read and study the room photos. Ronda features the homes of 50 top designers, including greats like Charlotte Moss, Barry Dixon and Bunny Williams. There are beautiful photos of each designer’s home as well as their thoughts on what makes a beautiful home and life. I spent a good part of Saturday looking through the pages and studying the photos.

The one fun thing I discovered is that Designer India Hikes and I actually have one tiny thing is common in our homes. It might be a long shot but here is little shell vignette that I have displayed on top of a bookcase in my home.

Shell collage in my home

and here is India Hicks shell vignette in her home.

okay…I know I said it was a tiny similarity but it still made me smile. Anyhow, the book is a must read if you love decorating and I thank Karen for such a wonderful surprise.

Tomorrow I leave for Seattle to attend another Design Camp. I can’t wait to share lot’s of new design info with you once I return. In the mean time follow me on Twitter and Facebook for daily tweets and posts from Camp.



I’m Going to Camp!

I am so excited because in just 2 days and counting I will be heading off to Camp.

Well not actually this kind of camp but Design Camp in Atlanta GA. For those of you who know me, you know I am a life long learner. Maybe it is because I am a Gemini but I always seem to discover new things I am interested in; hence a College degree in Marine Zoology followed by 2 years of Photography School.

When I decided a few years ago to leave photography and pursue my life long passion of  Design, I wanted to learn everything I could about the subject. I signed up for as many classes and programs that I thought would give me enough knowledge to launch my business. The thing about Design is that it is an on going learning process and every class I take I walk away with something valuable to pass on to my clients and blog readers.

So a couple of weeks ago when I discovered that I had won a complimentary ticket to Design Camp from Lisa Mende’s Blog courtesy of Lori Dennis and Kelli Ellis I was jumping for joy.

I can’t wait to meet them. Both Lori and Kelli are mega successful Designers having appeared on HGTV, Bravo, NBC, Oxygen, TLC and the Food Network.

Lori Dennis and Kelli Ellis

The agenda for the three days is amazing. As if Lori and Kelli aren’t exciting enough, there will be other Design celebrities including World Famous Interior Designer Barry Dixon, Lisa Newsom (Founder of Veranda Magazine), Atlanta Socialite Danielle Rollins, and Design Author Susanna Salk (who’s new book “Be Your own Decorator” was a Christmas gift). I am so excited about the agenda that I actually watched their Camp Video three different times.

So I am off to pack. You can also follow me on Twitter and Facebook where I will be sharing photos of the event and tweeting throughout the 4 days.

Also, be sure to check back next week because I will be sharing all that I learned at Design Camp.



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