Etsy Sources for Custom Upholstery

A bunch of you have asked me on Instagram where I got my new ottoman, which replaced our glass coffee table a.k.a. “The Baby Guillotine”. I looked high and low for a  zebra cowhide ottoman in the size I needed for my long, narrow living room and struck out.  And the designer grade custom items I was pricing out were a fortune.  So I turned to Etsy (as I do quite a lot when looking for custom goods that don’t break the bank). I had one made for me by the shop 1801FurnitureCo. and it came out perfect!

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Dining Table + Chair Roundup

Hi guys- sorry this is late. I’ve been running on fumes this week! However, I did think a post like this would be pretty interesting as I’ve found that people can find it a bit difficult to pair dining tables and chairs. In the design world its a no-no to buy furniture in sets (of any kind) so pairing a table with chairs that compliment but don’t MATCH is key. Here are a few examples that may help you visualize your own space!

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Expanding Your Mind: Learning From Spaces That Aren’t Necessarily “You”

1528 New York Magazine Mele

Before I was married, I was an intern at a well known design firm in Boston.  And while many lessons (good and bad) were learned during this year-long experience in my career, one of the most important I took away from it was how to grow as a designer by appreciating and studying styles that aren’t necessarily “you”.  The designer I worked for was very modern, and I had grown up under the tutelage of my designer father who loves and works in a wholly traditional “New England” style.  It’s all I ever knew, and so I adapted it as “my” style as well.  So working under someone whose style was the compete opposite was challenging as selecting goods in this aesthetic did not come naturally to me.  But it was the best way ever to expand what I knew and figure out what I, as an individual, liked.  I found that I could really appreciate aspects of modern design, even if it wasn’t something I would do in my own home.  Now,  as a grown up (sort of) designer, my style is a complete blend of these two looks.   So I like to study the work of those who are perhaps bolder, or more demure, than what I typically like.   It’s a great way to push yourself and explore what  perhaps scares you or gets you a little excited.   I also work with clients all the time who don’t want “my” look, they want “their” look, so I have to keep myself abreast of all kinds of design styles.

Case in point, designer Patrick Mele.  I LOVE his spaces, but they are more bold and colorful than I would do in my own home.  But there is so much to be admired about his work. This room is probably closest to my own style, but even so, I am noting the bold, wide cuff roman shades as a great idea, as well as the blend of emerald green and super pale blue.  Just because as space as a whole doesn;t speak to you– find the elements that DO and consider how you could work them into your own space.


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It’s All In the Details…

I cam across this incredible Parisian real estate/ renovation and design site A+B Kasha and fell MADLY, MADLY in love with everything I saw. Of course, as with most things, the French just do it better. And that goes for architecture too. Don’t get me wrong, a love a good, old New England Greek Revival- but the details found in the old apartment buildings in Paris are hard to beat. And I adore seeing a development company like this really celebrating all the gorgeous historical millwork, hardware and small accents that really make these spaces works of art. And seeing them empty and pristine like this just shows how much potential is there for decorating!

Get ready to SQUEAL.

Look at all that detailed crown and millwork. And the FLOOR! And windows. And the LIGHT! The light in Paris is just special.

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Rug Sizing & Layering 101

One of the things that drives me the most insane as a designer are ill sized rugs.  And it’s a mistake seen SO often- even on favorite HGTV shows (not naming names- but there have been  large spaces “designed” with what looks like bathmats!)  So I wanted to do a thorough post about how to properly size a rug to your space by room.

Living Room

Wrong (even in AD!): This rug is way too small for this seating area.  None of the furniture touches it except for the coffee table. We in the “biz” call this The Dreaded Rug Island.  Everything looks like it’s alienating each other. Does the rug have cooties? Come on furniture, can’t we all be friends?


Right:  Emily Henderson, of course, knows how to size a rug in the room below.  This one runs under all the furniture but you can also scale it down a little bit and have just the front two legs of each major piece of furniture on it too.  This anchors the room and makes everything look cohesive instead of floating in space.


Here’s a little graphic I created showing both options.

living room

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