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W Hotels - Hip and Sexy!

This time next week I'll be in Detroit, Michigan to help a client decorate their newly purchased home.  I've known this client for a long time so I have a pretty good idea of their style but just recently I learned that both the husband and wife really like the interiors of the W hotels.   I'm already familiar with the W hotel in DC because when Reid and I want to get away for a night that is usually where we stay.  But as part of my preparation for this project I searched high and low for photos of W hotels worldwide. I found it amazing that each hotel had its own distinct style.   I do have to say, after reviewing a ton of images, I'm liking the W hotel in DC the best (admittedly I'm a little biased).  

Because the W Hotel brand is wildly popular, the chain is looking to double the number of their hotels in 2011.  It will be fun to check out the designs for their new hotels this time next year. 

Enjoy the pictures below.  I think you'll agree all the interiors below are spectacular!  The design firms they hired created spaces that are hip, fun, and sexy!  

The following images were taken of the W Hotel in DC (don't forget to click on the image to enlarge)...


Here are a few more images of W Hotels that caught my eye from both inside and outside the U.S...

W Hotel - Chicago Downtown

W Hotel - Hollywood

W Hotel - Mexico City

W Hotel NYC

W Hotel NYC 
W Hotel London

W Hotel South Beach

W Hotel South Beach

W Hotel Bali

Thanks for stopping by!  Have a great rest of the week!


Behind the Scenes

It's been a great day!   My new design assistant, Jen, started today.  I'm thrilled because not only did she hit the ground running (in just one day she learned to use a Mac, sourced fabrics for a project, staged accessories in a client's home, and helped me set up vendor accounts) but she's talented too.  She has a great background working with fabrics and tiles.   I met Jen in design school and soon learned she had a good "eye" and was a hard worker.  Plus she chose Jack Johnson, one my favorite singers, for a celebrity design project!  I knew we'd get along!

Since I've started my business I've been fortunate to meet lots of great people who help me make my designs become a reality.  Here are just a couple of people that I work with.  This is Jeanie, a wonderful seamstress who works at my workroom, and creates gorgeous drapery treatments and pillows.

Here is Cathy, another seamstress who works out of her home and makes wonderful roman shades and pillows.  Aren't her vintage looking sewing table and drawers great?

One day I would like my office to look like Suzanne Kassler's office.  Mostly white,  a clean canvas that won't compete with client's fabrics, pictures, carpet samples and finishes.  Not shown is a fully upholstered wall where the designers pin up all the samples for their designs.  I so want to do this to one of my walls and discard all my ugly brown cork boards!

Here's a little peak at my office.  I have to warn you that my office is definitely a work in progress.  It's spacious and has tons of natural light making it a nice space to work in but currently lacking some pizazz.  One day I'll replace my desk which I'm sure will be the impetus I need to redo the space.  My desk is always covered in sort-of-neat piles that represent my "to dos" for the day.

I like my cute pillow but really need to replace that unattractive chair.   You can see my draft table on the left which I use more for storage of note pads then drafting.   I use AutoCAD on my macbook for most of my drawing.

Here's my work table that I use to layout fabrics, trims, paint chips, and finishes for projects.  On the back wall is a bookcase filled with some of my fabric and trim books.

More fabric books, design books and design boards can be found on another wall.

I'm a big fan of John Robshaw fabrics so I hung up some of his pretty fabric samples so they are one of the first things I see when I walk into my office.

I'm also a big fan of Schumacher fabrics.  These memos were just too pretty to fold up and tuck away.   Client drawings are in the cart (previously used for toy storage a few years back) and my Benjamin Moore paint chip bag on the right accompanies me on every paint consultation.

It's not the prettiest or most stylish office but it works for now. But I admit it is fun to dream about my future office that I'll have one day.

My next two days are filled with shopping trips with two wonderful clients in and around DC.  Thursday I'll be checking out all the home stores on and near U Street with a client who is in need of some gorgeous accessories for her home.  Friday I'll be checking out all the home stores in Vienna and McLain with another client who is also in need of some great accessories.  When you're accessory shopping for a project you know your close to completion.

So many of my projects are so close to being picture ready.  I cannot wait to share.

Please call me if you would like help making your home more beautiful!

Thanks for stopping by and have a great rest of the week! 


Behind the Design

I was thrilled to be highlighted in the Washington Post House Calls section on May 5, 2011.  In case you didn't see the article yet, you can check it out here...A Room that welcomes guests.   It was fun responding to the reader's comments on the Washington Post website!

I wanted to share with you some of the details behind the design.

I knew I wanted to create a warm welcoming bedroom that can be used for multiple purposes...sleeping, reading, and working.  But at the beginning of the design process I was torn between two looks.

LOOK #1 - Soft white walls, fun art, ethnic coverlet, and cool lighting.  Very eclectic.

I was considering Sundance's Gudari Quilt as a starting point.

But after careful consideration (including the feedback from many of my blog readers on previous posts), I decided to go with a look that was more welcoming and with broader appeal.

LOOK #2 - Pretty, peaceful, and monochromatic.  I like the deep color on the walls and the subtle pattens and textures throughout the room.

The Washington Post requires the designers use retail items only (no trade-only items allowed) for their House Calls column.  So my starting point was Ballard Design's Scandicci Gray fabric which I landed up using on the desk chair seat and back.   The fabric is even prettier in person...a worn vintage feel.

I then put together a space plan to determine what type and size of furniture would work best in the room.    Here's the final plan I submitted to the Post so items had been selected and labeled on this version.

After a few weeks I received rough sketches from Julius, the Wash Post illustrator.

After giving him some feedback, the print copy was then published a couple weeks later.

I'm very happy with how the illustration turned out but I wanted to share some closer up pics of the items I selected.

Check out the texture and pattern in Domestic Modern's Grey Tibetan Weave Rug that I paired with Pottery Barn's Woven Jute Rug  and the details on West Elm's  Knotted Felt Pillows.  The Crate and Barrel's Beverly Floor Mirror was left out of the article because you couldn't see it in the illustration.  Anthropologie's Stockbridge Side Table is so cool I wanted you to get a better look at that too.  The wall color is Restoration Hardware's Stone, a warm grey that works well with Benjamin Moore's Decorator's White that was suggested for doors and trim.  

Here are Ballard's Little Bird Giclees I choose for the room.  Very cute.

For a more upscale look, check out the "splurge items" I picked for the column.  Paintings by Melissa Payne Baker, which you can purchase from Quatrefoil Design, an online store by one of my favorite blogs, Things That Inspire.

Aren't they gorgeous!

You can check out all my picks for the room here...Design Solutions.

I've been receiving emails from Washington Post readers who are making changes to their guest rooms as a result the of the article! So cool!

I believe all great designs result from a close collaboration between the designer and their client.  Thank you to all my readers who provided my feedback on their design preferences which helped me with the design process for the article!

Have a great week,


Lucky to have my mom!

Todays post is definitely off subject because I'm feeling a bit sentimental for Mother's Day.

My mom is not only my mom but she is my best friend, confidant, teacher, and tennis partner.  She was a navy wife who spent many months at a time raising my brother and I on her own.  She made sure we lived up to our fullest potential...swim team practices before school, gymnastics five days a week, and tennis lessons to name just a few.  She taught us to appreciate everyday, love for animals, gardening, art, music, reading, and creating a beautiful and warm home.  She is gorgeous, smart, loving, giving and strong.  She also happens to be my number one fan.  I'm glad she is mine.

Happy Mother's Day Mom!