Google Analytics


Green and Great Looking

Whew...the design is done for the Washington Post House Calls column!  I turned it in Tuesday to the editor and illustrator.  I'm very much looking forward to seeing everything I picked out for the room in a 3D color illustration for the article right down to the pink peonies in the vase.   As you know I was asked to design a guest bedroom.   Many of you liked the bedrooms that were serene and pretty so that's the direction I went in.  I did add some texture with a few pops of color and pattern too.  After all it does have to show up well in newspaper print!

I was recently asked to put my thoughts together for an article on "green" interior design and wanted to share my thoughts with you too.  I am by no means an expert in the area but I have some suggestions you can implement in your home pretty easily.

You may be asking yourself...why should I make my home more green?  Some good reasons include 1) adds value to your home, 2) saves you money in the long run, 3) creates a healthier environment for you and your family, and last but not least 4) helps protect our natural environment and wildlife habitats.

Not all of us have the luxury to build custom state of the art LEED certified homes but we can all make smaller changes that can make a difference.   So here it goes....

1.  Less is more.  You can keep your furniture simple and elegant.  You spend less money and it keeps dust and allergens to a minimum.

2.  Keep toys to a minimum.  Let the kids do more imaginative play!  Chalkboards are great...they can be reused over and over.

3.  Add a window or skylight.  Bring in the natural light and use less electricity.  For existing windows, let the light in and don't cover them up with drapery and shades until you need the privacy.  Your space will be instantly happier and cheerier.

4.  Buy only things you love so you won't throw it out next year.

5.  Invest as much as you can in good quality furniture such as from Lee Industries!  It will last much longer and can be recovered later if needed.

6.  Before you throw out something, get creative and see if it can be repurposed with a little paint, trim, or fabric.  Subscribe to one of my favorite blogs, Design Sponge, to see some great before and after shots and get inspired!

Design Sponge

7.  Organize your recycle area so it will get used to it's fullest.


8.  Reuse wood.  Whether it be for floors, furniture or mantels.  It adds a ton of character to any home no matter the style.  Check out the reclaimed wood table and floors in this picture.

9.  Buy local, especially furniture that doesn't need to be shipped from far away.

10.  Use natural fabrics that don't use chemicals to produce and sustainable fibers such as hemp and bamboo.  Mod Green Pod offers super fun patterns using organic fibers.

Mod Green Pod

11.  Use concrete.

12.  Shop from flea markets, antique stores and yard sales.  Antiques were repurposed and used in this bathroom and kitchen.

13.  Decorate in white.  White reflects light so don't need to use as much electricity.

14.  Use dimmer switches on your lights to use less electricity.

15.  Replace your outdated appliances with energy efficient ones.  Also, bigger isn't always better.   Smaller appliances use less energy.  Know your needs before you purchase.

GE Monogram appliances

16.  Buy multipurpose furniture.  For instance, a bedside table that doubles as a desk or vanity.  Sorry I keep using this picture over and over but I love it!

Southern Living

17.  Use paint with lower VOCs, such as Ben Moore's Aura collection.  I used it my bedroom recently.  It goes on beautifully and very little odor.

18.  Add live plants and herbs to your home.  They clean the air plus make your food taste so good.

Southern Living
Southern Living

19.  Have lots of books?  Create your own lending library for your friends and neighbors!

Habitually Chic Blog

20.  Need to replace a toilet...consider a dual flush.  I have one in my bathroom and it works great!

Melissa McLay Interiors

Photos courtesy of Elle Decor unless otherwise stated.

Here's a cool website that calculates your homes carbon footprint....

Have a great weekend!  I'm off to Highpoint, North Carolina for the spring furniture market.  Can't wait to share my findings!


Sponsors and Kips Bay Showhouse Designers

First, a big thank you to my first Pretty Inspirational sponsors!  Check out their ads in the right column of the blog.  Dorrance Hardwood Floors is a great local resource for wood floor installation and refinishing.  I think one of their trucks has been in my neighborhood just about every week for the past several months because they are so good at what they do.  Also, check out Barbara Umbel's beautiful jewelry.  Her one of a kind pieces will become life long treasures.  And last but not least, check out Quirk-n-Bach Pottery.  Their ceramic designs are so much fun!

Kips Bay Decorator Show House, one of the premier show houses in the country, just announced their list of designers for this year.  After checking out their work, I might just have to get on the ASID bus this year and head to NYC to see it.  The show is from April 28-May 26, 2011.  Tickets are $30.

Here is work from some of the talented designers selected...

Brad Ford

Brad Ford

Brad Ford
Brad Ford

Matthew Patrick Smyth via 1stDibs

Matthew Patrick Smyth
Richard Mishann
Celerie Kemble via Lonny

Celerie Kemble via Lonny

Celerie Kemble via Lonny
Celerie Kemble via Lonny
Celerie Kemble via Lonny

Amanda Nisbet

Amanda Nisbet
Have a great weekend!


Kitchens, Kitchens, and more Kitchens

Happy St. Patricks Day!!

A few of my favorite kitchens...Enjoy!

I would love to help you create your own gorgeous kitchen!