Colors Today, Inspiration, Tips, Trending, Trends

The Terrazzo Invasion

Happy Tuesday ya’ll! I am coming at you with another trend alert today. Terrazzo – its not just for government buildings and banks anymore. It is EVERYWHERE are I am loving it!


Terrazzo refers to an ancient method of floor making that involves crushed bits of marble, quartz, granite, glass or other leftovers suspended in either concrete or epoxy resin and polished. The result is a speckled and textured finish.

For a long time this type of flooring (I didn’t know what it was called when I was a child) reminded me of boring, heartless, and cold government buildings. But If there is one thing I know for certain, it is that trends will always come back in one form or another, and always with a new twist. Remember caning? Twisted into new shapes, paired with different colors, and tied to modern trends in design…

This is the old version of terrazzo that I remember as a child:

terazzo inspoterrazoinspo

These are things that do not excite.

These are things that do excite:


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Terrazzo is not just for floors anymore. It is being used as countertops, as well as furniture, and even lighting!

The grain of terrazzo has the potential to be really large scale and bold (like in the first few photos) or smaller scale and speckled. However, both scales are rather busy and detailed, and whenever you have something that creates a busy energy in a room you have to pair it with the opposite: minimal, calm, modern, Scandinavian.  You’ll notice none of the photos I’ve shared have a ‘traditional’ vibe. They are all in styles that are more streamlined: modern, Scandinavian, mid-century, and art deco.

Terrazzo has been updated, not just in shape and style but also in color. Most terrazzo used to be a monochromatic beige, but the new iteration of terrazzo is introducing pastels, jewel tones, and moody colors:

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I absolutely love this pattern because of the way it combines the natural texture of stone, and the polished concrete, not to mention the bright, minimal designs it is being paired with! I am so excited to see where this trend is going…

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Inspiration, Trends

Caning – Not Your Grandmother’s Chair

Happy Friday!  Today I want to talk about a trend that I am seeing more and more- caning! Like most trends, this one is an oldie but is coming back in a big way with a modern slant.

Caning is a method of weaving natural fibers into furniture, usually the seats and/or backs of chairs. This is different from wicker or rattan furniture as it is usually not the only material used to make up the piece, whereas wicker or rattan make up the structure of the furniture itself. Caning is much more of a decorative feature than a practical method of furniture making. It usually looks like this:

caning.jpgThe organic, yet geometric nature of canning pairs so well with the mis-mash of styles we see happening in design these days. It’s all about old standards marrying with modern shapes to create something timeless. Here are some of the modern shapes I’m talking about:







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Cane furniture is becoming the new symbol for the modern cottage trend. The way this dated material is being twisted into modern shapes, paired with a contrasting glossy black frame, puts canning into a new light.

Since cane is a natural fiber it can be a great organic element in a room, almost having the same effect that wood does by contrasting the sleeker elements with warmth and a hint of nature.

Cane Design Roundup


Design Board, Design Plan, Inspiration, Trending, Trends

Bright Modern Dining Room

Happy Tuesday! In honor of the start of spring, today I have for you a bright, modern, and visually light dining room. Because spring is…bright? Isn’t it? Its kind of hard to tell under all this snow…

I like to design with a particular person in mind, and here I give a short description of who I think that person is and what their lifestyle is like. This makes designing more fun and meaningful, since design is about describing someone visually in order to help you get to know them. In these posts I reverse the process!

Anna’s favorite part of her home are the painted wood floors throughout. Her goal is to have everything in her life be as full of light as possible, including her home. Anna recently took a master class in cooking and ever since has been experimenting and adapting recipes, always improving the dish a little bit at a time. She recently started a new job as a child advocate for a hospital working with abandoned or abused kids. This has been her dream job since she was 17 and decided to go into social work. She has short blond hair, brown eyes, and one of the loudest smiles you have ever seen.

OB-Dining Room Modern Abstract

My favorite part of this room is without a doubt, the large vintage abstract from Chairish. The cobalt, mustard, pink, and emerald, and mint are loud colors that seem so elegant in this setting. Everything in this room is visually light, but with contrasting colors and textures which is why this is still a grounded design. The stitched hide rug is very washable and low-pile (flat) which makes it the perfect dining room rug. These speckled plates from H&M are extremely affordable and very on-trend.




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Chair, Plates, Silverware, Art, Chandelier, Table, Rug, Art, Curtains, Plant

Design Board, Design Plan, Inspiration, Tips

Modern Minimalist Bachelor Pad

Welcome to another full design plan! Today our client is very special because this is an interpretation of my husband Michael’s tastes in his hypothetical, never-gonna-happen bachelor pad!

I was searching around for people with good style to do practice design plans with and I realized I have someone with crazy cool style right under my nose! Or rather, slightly above my nose. Anyway! This is my dream client (and man). I know what he wants probably better than he does, and he lives with me so scheduling meetings is a breeze!

He agreed to do two rooms with me and our first consultation got him thinking about his own tastes in design probably more than he ever has.

  • He found out he will always go for cool and minimal rather than bright and busy.
  • He prefers high-end materials and quality products.
  • He wanted tropical looking plants
  • He also hates art or figurines with human faces. It creeps him out.

He asked me to make him a minimal oasis with industrial elements and high-end materials. I was thrilled. I love this style! And although I don’t think it would be practical for our family or fulfilling for me as a designer (I’m a semi-maximalist and yes I’m aware of the irony in that sentence), this is a great style to incorporate into any home! Here are some of the inspiration photos:



A few things I knew right away the room needed:

  • Wide plank, white oak flooring (for warmth in the minimalist pad)
  • Some quirky art
  • Big windows (because Michael loves natural light)
  • Cozy bedding (because he also likes to burrow)
  • Manly industrial vibe (industrial is the complimenting style to this type of minimalism)
  • Lots of Black accents
  • And of course white walls

The floor plan was broken down like this:

Michael Floor Plan breakdown

This room is pretty big so there is a sitting area in the bottom right corner and a desk in the bottom left. Michael likes to do his work almost as soon as he wakes up and most of it in the comfort of his bedroom. This is where he would send emails, listen to tracks, and write incredible, chart-topping songs.

The double doors on the left follow into his bathroom, single door on the left is a walk-in closet (something he always wanted) and the double doors on the right (as long as we are dreaming) lead to a balcony! At the foot of his bed is the sofa and another small zone for cozy chats and drinks.

The 3D version doesn’t represent the final style of the materials but it definitely helps to get a feel for the space:


The first version:

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OB-Michael's Bedroom #2.jpg

This version is more colorful and tropical. The reading nook has two chairs and there are hits of vibrant blue and yellow accents. The linen curtains add a finished, cozy feel.

OB-Michael's Bedroom #3

OB-Michael's Bedroom #4

This version of his bedroom has the volume turned down on those colors and everything rests a little easier. The greenish blue sofa from interior define is a perfect example of a color acting as a neutral. It blends in with the foliage and doesn’t jar you. One of my favorite features of this bedroom is the 4 poster bed. Because the space I was working with was so big (high ceilings, very open) the bed needed to fit the scale and this one from OKL fit the bill perfectly but is no longer available. Here is one I found that is similar: 4 poster bed. Instead of curtains in this room there are privacy shades (not shown). Even though the curtains feel cozy, the lack of curtains amp up the minimal vibe significantly.

Michael’s favorite feature is the black leather chair. During my initial conversation with Michael he said “And I’m over leather, no leather.” I frowned a little and I said “Do you mean…brown leather? Because I think you like black leather.” to which he replied “Oh, yeah. I like black leather. Just no brown leather.” Got it. Sometimes you need to clarify things with clients to give them what they want. Can you imagine if I had stuck with no leather and risked omitting his favorite part of the room??

You’ve probably guessed that he chose the second option. Here is the final version and shopping list after a few minor revisions:

Michael Design Plan get the look (1)


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Design Board, Inspiration

Parisian-Colonial Vignette

Happy Thursday! Fun fact about me: I am always getting my Tuesdays and Thursdays mixed up. I have tried every mnemonic device out there and I still get confused! Anyone else have this problem?

But I digress.

I like to design with a particular person in mind, and here I give a short description of who I think that person is and what their lifestyle is like. This makes designing more fun and meaningful, since design is about describing someone visually in order to help you get to know them. In these posts I reverse the process!

Melissa is a 33 year old journalist living in her Vermont cottage. She surrounds herself with warm tones, neutral colors, and lots of texture. She has silky black hair, large brown eyes, and a slight southern twang. She loves raspberry sorbet, velvet, and action movies.  She has the loudest laugh you have ever heard and her favorite place in the world is reading in her living room on a rainy Saturday afternoon.



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This small vignette has a balance of different styles. The overall feel is “Parisian” which means “relating to Paris”. Parisian design is essentially a mash-up of styles that has become a style in and of itself. It combines modern, art deco pieces with ornate traditional and victorian elements. There is something slightly colonial in this look, with lots of muted colors and elegant textures.

Art, Chair, Side Table, Vase, Sconce, Pillow