02 December 2015

Design Inspirations :: TARTAN!

Town & Country Magazine

Beaux Mondes Designs

Ralph Lauren Home

One of my favorite things to use in decorating at the holidays is TARTAN!  I am so in love with this pattern, it even has a Pinterest board all to itself on my page!  There is something about it that is so cozy and warm... elegant yet rustic at the same time.... a true classic, if you will.

Here is a little bit of history...

According to the Scottish Tartan Museum....Tartan refers to the pattern of interlocking stripes, running in both the warp and weft in the cloth (horizontal and vertical), or any representation of such a woven design in other media (printed, painted, or otherwise rendered).  Tartan has been around since before 3000 BC.  Who knew?!  However, the real popularity of the Tartan took off in the 17th century in the Scottish Highlands.  Though clan tartans are the most well known, tartans can represent many different things.  Some tartans represent families, towns, district, corporations, individuals, events -- you name it!  What makes a tartan "official" or "authentic" is not age or antiquity, but whether it has the approval of the governing body of what that tartan represents. 


I love the beauty of this pattern in every possible color and form!  Textiles...dishes... A tartan Dior handbag??! PURE HEAVEN!   I think I will put this one on my Christmas List!!


09 March 2015

Design Inspiration :: My Georgian House Remodel

My sweet friend, Andrea, at THE GLAM PAD was just in town for a visit.  We had such a great time catching up and talking all things design.  She asked if she could write a post about the fabulous Georgian house my husband and I bought and remodeled a few years back.... Of course, I told her yes! 

Come and join us today over on Andrea's glamorous blog to see all the before and after pictures.  It was such a fun project... so much so, I am itching to do it again!!  Click here to join us... and don't forget to sign up for her blog while you are there!


27 February 2015

The Love of Entertaining :: 5 Tips for Sprucing up your Patio for Spring

Tiffany Jones Interiors

Friends... it has been a chilly week in Dallas!  While we have had very little winter to speak of... these past grey days have me thinking about beautiful patios for Spring!  As soon as it is possible, I love to have friends over and entertain on the patio.  It just puts me in such a festive mood.  The extended day light... just slightly warmer air (but not too hot!)... the long hours of chatter with old and new friends.... There is just nothing better. Entertaining on the patio has a cozy feeling that can't be achieved anywhere else. So, let's get ready for Spring!

5 quick tips for sprucing up your patio for entertaining

(1)  Make sure the patio is swept clean and the cushions are clean.  

          This is 80% of making your patio look like a million bucks!

(2) Add some evergreen plants in pretty pots.  

          It softens up to the space and adds warmth. I love  a boxwood or a topiary tree or two
          for height.  But be careful... too many will make a jungle look and that is not 
          welcoming.  Less is more so invest in something that you really like... and make sure 
          the pots all match.  If you already have mis-matched pots, consider painting them all 
          the same color for a more cohesive look.

(3) When you are ready to entertain, add a layer of flowers to bring in some color

      Maintaining perennial plants can be a chore so only bring them into patio mix when you
      can get their full enjoyment.

(4) Pretty Pillows!

      Even if your patio furniture is old, hand-me down furniture, the minimal investment of a 
      few "nicer" pillows will change the whole attitude of your patio.  

(5) Lighting!

      Look at your outdoor lighting.... if you have just an ON/OFF switch on your patio lights, 
      consider adding a dimmer to create a softer atmosphere.

      No lighting at all??? Consider an indoor/outdoor floor lamp with a 60 watt bulb or oodles
      of votives.

If possible, string some all white party lights on your patio or place them in your potted plants.  It takes the ambiance to the next level!

Here's to thinking about Spring and enjoying our friendships!


17 February 2015

The Art of Living Stylishly with Blair Farris from PEACHY the Magazine

Y'all know I love a good small world story!  Well... last Spring when I attended the Design Bloggers Conference, I ran into a girl that I had known in college and was in my sorority.  Who would have thought!... And what fun to learn that she had launched a BEAUTIFUL new digital magazine called PEACHY which covers art, architecture, gardens, interiors, entertaining, style, health and inspiration!  It just celebrated it's first birthday last Fall.

So here is the scoop on the magazine.....
In 2013, Blair Farris set out to create and publish a lifestyle magazine honoring her late grandmother’s zest for life and love for all things beautiful. A huge influence on Blair, her grandmother “Peachy” had a big, bold and eclectic style and loved to make a statement with fabulous jewelry and purses, bright colors and creative hats. Peachy’s love for the arts has always inspired Blair, and she instilled in Blair and other family members a passion for living a good and meaningful life.   
Peachy is a digital publication that takes readers inside gorgeous homes, walking them through verdant gardens, enticing the taste buds with delicious food and drinks, inspiring readers with the latest style trends and showcasing beautiful art and architecture, plus so much more.

Now here is the scoop on my very talented friend...

Name:    Blair Duwe Farris
Location: Charlotte, NC
Occupation: Publisher and Editor in Chief of Peachy 
Owner Blair Farris Designs - Landscape Architecture

My home is ……
Charlotte, but I grew up in Austin. Always a Texan at heart.

Describe your style in 3 words….. 
????...Eclectic Chic?

A luxury you cannot live without….. 
The Jura Nepresso Coffee maker.  
We once took it on our three week trip out west and plugged it in at a campsite bathroom!

Who or what inspires you most
Nature - it’s all there - beauty, grandeur, color and details. 

Who would be on your dream dinner party list….
India Hicks - oh, wait... I am having dinner with her next month.  
Peachy, my grandmother, there are so many things I didn’t get to ask her. 

One thing you have always wanted to do... 
go to Thailand.

Favorite Flower....
Garden Rose and Peony

Favorite Place in the World...

I wish I knew how to...
Play an instrument...well!

What are you currently reading?...
Where'd You Go Bernadette, Jesus Calling, Loop

Describe your perfect evening....
Dinner date with my hubby.

Best advice you have ever received....
I heard this from Elizabeth Nichols, CEO of Taigan. "Be careful of the toes you step on today, because they might be connected to the ass you need to kiss tomorrow."

If you could be anything else in the world, what would it be?
I actually love both of my jobs and the opportunity to be able to use my creative ability.  I think maybe I would like to be a clothing or shoe designer.

I loved our visit with Blair today and introducing you to PEACHY the magazine!  In fact, she has offered each of you a FREE SUBSCRIPTION!!  Just click on the link below.

Happy Tuesday....


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All photos courtesy of Peachy the Magazine.

13 February 2015

Happy Valentine's Day!

As Valentine's Day is approaching, I have been wondering what the actual history is behind this LOVE holiday...it turns out it is quite obscure and further clouded by extravagant legends.

One legend suggest that the holiday's roots are in the ancient Roman festival of Lupercalia, a fertility celebration commemorated annually on February 15.  The ceremony of the festival was intended to secure fertility and keep out evil.

Another legend suggests Valentine’s Day is named in honour of Saint Valentine, the patron saint of lovers who, it is believed, was murdered on Feb. 14 AD 270. During the rule of the Roman emperor Claudius II, all marriages and engagements in Rome were cancelled!  The emperor was struggling to build his military forces and believed it was because men were emotionally attached to their wives and families.  However, St. Valentine secretly married couples until he was caught and was sentenced to be beaten to death with clubs and have his head cut off.  One piece of the legend suggests he left a farewell note for the jailer’s daughter before his death which said “Love from your Valentine,” the first Valentine’s card.

Yet a third legend suggests it was not until the 14th century that this Christian feast day became definitely associated with love.  According to UCLA medical scholar Henry Ansgar Kelly, author of Chaucer and the Cult of Saint Valentine, it was Chaucer who first linked St. Valentine's Day with romance.  "In 1381, Chaucer composed a poem in honor of the engagement between England's Richard II and Anne of Bohemia.  As was poetic tradition, Chaucer associated the occasion with a feast day".

So it appears that the mystery behind St. Valentine and the origin of the holiday will continue to elude us... But one thing is certain.... February will always be the month we associate with  love.

Wishing everyone a Happy Valentine's Day and quality time with those who are special in your life.


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10 February 2015

Design Inspiration :: My Fascination with Doors

Barbara Barry

Portella Doors
Andrea Brooks Interiors 
Jones Pierce Architects
Daniel Cuevas

There is something about doors I find wildly intriguing!  So much so, I have an entire Pinterest board dedicated to the THE DOOR!  I am fascinated by not just the color but the design details such as the moldings, the glass, the hardware...even the hinges!  When I am traveling, I find myself taking pictures of random entrances and wondering what magical secrets must exist behind them.  In fact, the significance of the door shows up not just in design but in literary references, historical references, and even biblical references.

It is one of the first things someone might notice when they arrive at your house.  A door is not just a door... a barrier to an entrance....it is the opening into your your most intimate setting... so it is an important element of your house design that should not be overlooked. Be it in a tiny dark apartment hallway or a grand estate, your front door is a reflection of you and your style.

What does your door say about you? Is it clean? Is it freshly painted? Is it a color that is pleasing and enhances the front entrance? Does it have a beautifully polished knob? How does it greet you when YOU first walk up?

Next time you enter you home, take it all in.  I bet you will be surprised with what you see.


06 February 2015

The Lost Art :: Courtesy


The art of courtesy is the practice of the Golden Rule in little things.

It is being courteous even to those who are discourteous.  It is striving to avoid a reaction of irritation in spite of the most severe provocation.  It is remembering that a "soft answer turneth away wrath."

It is coming forward to meet others with warmth, graciousness and a hospitable spirit.

It is using shock-absorber words to smooth the jars and jolts of daily living;  words that express kindness, consideration, and gratitude.

It is the wisdom to know that we should love before we think and think before we act.

It is putting people at ease, helping them to relax.  It is recognizing the worth of the individual, protecting his dignity, inspiring him to think well of himself.

It is the sympathic ear and the understanding heart.

It is going the second mile to make things pleasant for others.

It is appreciating what others do for us and letting them know it.

It is being big enough to take the blame for our mistakes and being quick to ask forgiveness for our blunders. 

It is recognizing the universal power of a smile; for a sincere smile is courtesy in every language and puts a glow in the heart everywhere on earth.

it is emphasizing the gentle in gentleman. 

It is endeavoring to live with some nobility that we may prove that the age of chivalry isn't dead.

It is keeping constantly in mind the words of Emerson: " Life is not so short but that there is always time enough for courtesy."

 - WIlferd Peterson

Food for thought from one of my favorite authors.  Happy Friday!!  


03 February 2015

Winter Inspiration :: Fresh Cut Flowers

I love the month of February... It is a short, happy month that conjures images of love, chocolate and all things pink.  However, despite those "happy" thoughts the reality is most days are typically cold and grey... It is when we start thinking Spring cannot come fast enough.  But let's not wish away the days... after all, how is already February??? Instead, let's look for little elements of beauty to add our grey days to help get us through the winter.

One of the design elements I try to almost always have in my house is fresh cut flowers.  I place them in the entry hall, the kitchen, my desk and sometime my bedroom... places where I will appreciate their beauty most. These are not crazy, expensive arrangements from the the florist... they are literally from the the grocery store, simply arranged in small vases.  (I seem to gravitate to the pink ones...tulips, roses, peonies... regardless of the time of year).  I find flowers to be a simple yet elegant reminder of the of complexities of nature and there is not a single design accessory I love more!

Should you find yourself needing a little winter "pick-me-up", bring a bright flower arrangement into your space.  I think you will appreciate and enjoy the beauty it adds to your surroundings.


29 January 2015

The Lost Art of Taking Tea

I have always loved to have tea.... I think it is something I inherited from my mother.  She loves a good afternoon of tea but a FANCY afternoon out was typically saved for a birthday or special occasion.  However, when I lived in London... the art of taking tea became a regular occurrence both with my friends and my girls.... It is just such a civilized way to spend the afternoon.

Many times I will have tea and scones with cream and berries for my children after school. It is a beautiful way to slow down from the hustle and bustle of the day before the afternoon and evening activities begin.

Here is a little "tea knowledge" I learned while living overseas...

  • "Taking Tea" refers to the ceremonial aspects of this glorious afternoon activity
  • Did you know "TEA" does not just refer to the drink (this is where my love of champagne gets to come in...) but rather the MEAL of tea?
  • There are 2 types of TEA... Afternoon or "low tea" & "high tea"
    • Afternoon Tea is taken between 2 and 5 p.m. and is usually a light snack with sandwiches, cakes, pastries and scones.
    • High Tea is taken between 5 - 7 p.m. and is considered an early evening meal

I'd like to invite you to find an afternoon to enjoy The Lost of Taking Tea.... I think you will find it to be one of the most enjoyable and rejuvenating respites you have had in a while.


all photos property of Tiffany Jones Interiors

26 January 2015

Design Trend :: Deep Dark Walls

Elle Decor
Jan Showers
Daniel Cuevas

Recently, I have been quite drawn to the darker walled rooms... whether it be a lacquered paint or a very dark wood paneling.  It is not anything I have ever designed in my own house and have only once or twice recommended to a client... But there is something lately that keeps drawing me in.  A coziness... a richness... a sophistication, perhaps.  Maybe all these "clean spaces" of late are leaving me wanting more.

I really like the old world glamour it adds to a room. Making a bold design decision such as this is not for the faint of heart...it shows you have conviction in your design style... and it definitely exudes a personal confidence, as well.

Apartment Therapy

Alicia B. Designs

Sasha Adler via Elle

Garrow Kedigian

I am smitten... and cannot think of where to execute this fast enough!

What are your thoughts on the darker walls?  Yes or No??


23 January 2015

Design Inspiration :: The Return of the Skirted Table

Beth Webb

Upon reading my collection of design magazines recently, I was so thrilled to spy a segment on Skirted Tables.  I must admit... I LOVE a skirted table and always have at least one or two in my own house.  With many design trends over the past few years leaning towards cleaner lines, the skirted table has gone by the wayside and touted as something from Grandma's house.  I beg to disagree... 

A beautifully skirted table is a design staple.  When executed in the right manner, it brings a sophistication and elegance to a room that cannot be duplicated. It brings a warmth and softness, if you will.... And as an added BONUS, can provide a secret place for storage underneath.

My favorite part of this design essential is that it can be any size or shape and work in any space in your house. 

Source Unkown 

Architectural Digest

Palmer Weiss
Design House

How do you feel about a skirted table?  I would love to know!

Happy Friday!



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