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Recent Projects: Window Treatments

By far one of my favorite types of window treatments are woven wood shades (or sometimes called bamboo shades).  They are great by themselves or with drapery panels.  They have a natural look and filter light beautifully.  Or you can back them with fabric to block out light.  Below are some I've installed in my own home and client's homes.

I installed these shades in my own home about ten years ago and I like them just as much today as I did then...

Melissa McLay Interiors
Here are shades that were recently installed in a sunroom in Severna Park, MD...

Melissa McLay Interiors
Here are shades installed in a breakfast nook in Vienna, VA...

A simple white shade installed in client's bathroom in Vienna, VA...

Melissa McLay Interiors

Here's a woven shade installed with wood hardware and linen panels for guest bedroom in Severna Park, MD...

Melissa McLay Interiors
My husband teases me that one of reasons I love what I do because is I receive packages each day.  He's right.  I enjoy getting home each day and seeing what has arrived on my doorstep.  Mostly it's fabric memos  for client projects like these...

Melissa McLay Interiors
Or fabric to be used for client pillows, like this...

Melissa McLay Interiors

But one of my favorite packages I ever received was my Hunter Douglas sample pack with all their woven wood shade samples.  I use it all the time with over 40 different shade samples to pick from.

Below are some of my favorite images with the same look.  You'll see that the woven wood shades work for all types of homes and styles.  


House Beautiful


House Beautiful

Steven Gambrel



Southern Living

Palmer Weiss

Phoebe Howard

Peter Dunham

Coastal Living

Have a great week!


South Beach

In less then twelve hours I'll be flying to South Beach with some of my closest friends for a long weekend.  I've never been and hear it's quite the experience...great food, gorgeous beaches, beautiful people everywhere, and wonderful Art Deco style.  Luckily I was able to raid my sister-in-law's closet for some fun clothes to wear!

Here are some of our plans (all subject to change of course)...

We're staying at the Betsy...

Can't wait to relax on the beach...

Eat lunch at Mr. Chows...

A little shopping at Lincoln Rd...

A drink at sunset at Mondrian Sunset Lounge...

Dinner at the Delano Hotel...

Followed by dancing at the Liv (assuming we are still awake and can get in!)...

I would also like to fit in a tour of the interiors of the Viceroy Hotel and The Tides who were both designed by Kelly Wearstler, a very talented and fearless designer.


My typical weekends are so different then then the one I'm about to experience.  It's nice to change things up a bit and spend time with good friends!

Have a great week!


Recent Projects: Over Dyed Rugs and Oriental Rugs

I feel every great room starts with either great artwork, great fabric or a great rug.  I'm working with two different clients both in need of a complete room designs.  The rug is where we started for each room. 

Over Dyed Vintage Rugs

These rugs are not only beautiful but eco friendly.   Older rugs with unattractive color ways are given new life with vibrant dyes.  In the picture below they pair an over dyed rug with neutral interiors so it really pops.

Here's another rug with monochromatic and neutral colors but with a patchwork design.  They've taken old rugs and patched them together.  What a great way to reuse old rugs and get a fantastic look!

In this picture they are introducing more color with the rug but still keep the room from being overstimulating with the white walls, one of my favorite looks...

I'm loving my client's new rug from Colore that just arrived for their entry.  We are also doing an over dyed patchwork rug in their living room.  The living room sample is on the left with a side table is going in their living room.

Here's the design plan for the entry.  The living room design is being finalized which I'll share a little later.
Oriental Rugs

Oriental rugs are hand-knotted or hand-woven rugs and are from the Near or Far East that are woven in complex floral or geometric patterns.  There are many oriental style rugs on the market but technically they are not "oriental rugs" unless they've been made by hand in an asian country such as China, Vietnam, Turkey, Cyprus, Iran, India, etc.  Oriental rugs are organized by origin such as Persian, Arab, Anatolian, Kurdish, Caucasian, Central Asian, Turkestanian, Chinese, and Tibetan.  

Another client will be using oriental rugs in their great room and sitting room.  Oriental rugs are wonderful because they can be used with all different styles...modern, contemporary, rustic, traditional.

Last weekend, the Washington Post, highlighted this home recently built in northern Virginia.  I fell in love with it because of the home's connection to the outdoors. Below is a room from this home that uses neutral interiors with the rug, probably so the focus would be on the outdoors.   To see more of this home, click here.  

In the room below the oriental rug is mixed with both contemporary and rustic elements.  The furnishings, again, are more neutral.

A little more color is introduced here...

Below the solid pillows tie back to the colors in the rug.  But notice the turquoise pillows are not an exact match to the blue in the rug to prevent it from being too boring.

A more eclectic look with dark grey walls...

I snapped this picture with my iPhone in the Kravet showroom many months ago.  I was taken with the kilim style pillows and rug.

This pretty room with more formality is from Lillian August's (a great furniture line) website.

Here's another more traditional room that mixes in blue and white porcelain and pattern, very pretty..

Oriental rugs are not just for the living room.  A very pretty look in the bathroom too...

And also for a child's bedroom.  Love the grey walls with the rug.

I found the following rugs at Manoukian Brothers, a fantastic rug store in Silver Spring.  They have gorgeous oriental rugs with fair prices and they're a pleasure to work with.  I don't believe they have a website but here's their contact information on yelp.

We are using two oriental rugs with a similar look to define two different seating areas in the room.  Here's one...

And here is the other.  Design plans are being finalized which I'll share later.  But you can see I have lots of wonderful colors to work with.

In another room, we are using this rug as the starting point...

Here's a close beautifully made with vegetable dies that gives you the variations in color.

I took these pictures at Manoukian Brothers several months ago when I was picking out a rug for my own living room. 

They clean and repair rugs also, plus provide excellent rug pads which are needed to increase your rugs longevity.

I hope you all had a great weekend!

Have a good week ahead!