Decisions Must Be Made!


Well, We're FINALLY doing it. Last week, Brian got the permits for OUR house. 

I can't even explain how huge this is for us, especially for me.

I moved in with Brian about nine years ago, and we've changed our "plan" a million and one times.

We've thought about re-doing the house, moving, finding another house to re-do and move to, and most recently, building something new.

We own a lot about a mile from our existing house, and while we may move forward with building on it one day, we ultimately decided that it was not the right time for our family to do a new build.

We have no children and we have no idea what our future family looks like. Jumping into a new build when your family unit is so up in the air seemed silly and maybe pre-mature. 

So, this spring we started having plans drafted to make our little cottage something more special.

We are adding an addition to the back of the house, which will have a family room, large porch and upstairs master suite.

Our existing house is being completely re-done and we're taking in our one-car garage and adding it as usable kitchen space. I AM SO EXCITED.

With this re-do comes something which makes me entirely uncomfortable, and that is making design decisions for myself. Obviously I've made a career out of making design decisions for other people. I would venture to say I'm good at this, and even quite decisive. I know what I like, and even my quickest decisions are ones I don't regret.

But ya'll. Making decisions for your own house as a designer is SO HARD.

I think it's because you know the full breadth of what's out there and it's really hard to narrow it down.

One of my latest downward spirals centers around our guest bath, which will also serve as the powder. 

It is small and will be charming.

I have narrowed down the color scheme to blue and white. Clean and classic.

I'm planning on a pink kitchen (more on that later) and a fairly sizable amount of pink in the dining room, so I felt like I needed to tone down the pink and go with one of my other favorite colors for this bathroom that will be the main bath guests see.

Here are some of my inspiration photos. Not all are of bathrooms, but these show the vibe I'm going for in there.


Mark D. Sikes Bath at the Kips Bay Showhouse NYC 2018

I actually saw the above bath in person when I visited Kip's Bay last May. It was STUNNING and the pictures do not do it justice. This bathroom has become part of my downward spiral, which I'll get into in a minute.


I liked the above inspiration picture because, although I'm going for a different color scheme in the guest bath, this is very similar to how our bath is layed out. We currently have a tub in there, and it will be turned into a walk in shower.

I really love the sink console they used and how clean and classic it is. 

It turns out it's from Signature Hardware and is quite reasonable!


It's available in several finishes but I'm partial to the polished brass or polished nickel.

And here's where the downward spiral begins my friends.

You see, I've always been a die hard brass person. I adore brass. I've spent YEARS convincing every client of mine that brass is pretty much the only way. I've sometimes done a polished nickel or chrome bathroom or two at the request of the client, but brass in bathrooms has been my passion.

And now I'm not sure that I want it in my guest bath.

Eeek, I can't believe I just said that out loud.

Here's whats going on.

Brian is insistent that we use either Delta or Brizo plumbing fixtures. I agree with this standpoint on a bunch of different levels.

1. It's great quality. Brizo is owned by Delta and their valves are universal, they're easily serviceable and the quality is fabulous.

2. It's cost effective.

3. Their styles are timeless and something we won't tire of.

Delta does carry a brass, which they call Champagne Bronze in Delta Fixtures and Brilliance Luxe Gold in Brizo Fixtures. Both are pretty much the same finish and although they don't match the Signature Hardware Console above that I plan to use, I think I could probably make my peace with a tone on tone situation if I decided to go the brass route.

Lately, As I've been researching Delta Fixtures, I've kind of fallen in love with their polished nickel options.


Above and Below, Delta's Cassidy Faucet, Above in Champagne Bronze, Below In Polished Nickel.

 Brizo's Baliza Line is what started my Polished Nickel Love Affair and it's a definite contender for the guest bath. It doesn't come in the Brilliance Luxe Gold, so if I went for this one, I'd have to do polished nickel.


Brizo's Rook Line comes in both the gold and the polished nickel. I love how it's traditional and sleek all at the same time, and different from what you normally see. Because of its availability in both gold and nickel, I may save it for my master bath, which I am certain I want to do in brass.


Brizo's Odin Line is another contender in the Brilliance Luxe Gold. I love the sleek modern lines of this one.


Last but not least, Delta's Trinsic line will always be a favorite. I love the way it looks in their champagne bronze.

If you're wondering what I plan to do with my tile, here we go.

On the walls, I am planning on using a modeled subway, which looks hand made (even though the price point tells otherwise).

Available at Home Depot


Available at Home Depot

On the floor, I am thinking of doing one of two options.

Either a blue and white Mexican talavera tile on the bathroom floor (I would probably add a white penny tile on the shower floor in this scenario.)

I love the look of talavera, my only hesitation is whether it will be durable (and very susceptible to cracking.)


If I do end up with the blue and white tile on the floor, I think I might consider one of these Scalamandre wallpapers with a stronger blue.


My other floor option is the flower mosaic from Floor & Decor above. I love the blue-ish aqua color and the ceramic will certainly be durable and the abundance of grout lines would aid in slip resistance.

If I ended up with the above floor, I'd probably lean toward this Schumacher wallpaper.


So readers, I would love to know. Do you think I should lean toward brass or polished nickel? 

Comment below and let me know your thoughts. My sanity would greatly appreciate it.

Happy New Year---Let's all Think Pink!

WOW I've been away a long time. If you're still out there reading this little ol' blog---I thank you!

I have no excuse---I was busy starting a business, blah blah blah---whatever, I'm BACK.

I'm going to spare you on my resolutions for the New Year--they are nothing ground breaking or original.

I'm not sure why people don't just save themselves the time, because basically everyone has one blanket resolution.



Anyway, I wanted to get right down to what's on my mind---and that my friends, is PINK.

I was scrolling through insta this morning (shout out to @bigshipmedia ) and I saw a familiar image (similar to the one below) of a restaurant in London. You have no doubt oggled this one before as it's all over Instagram and Pinterest.

I am a pink person through and through. I absolutely love blue and green too (no secret if you've ever seen a smidgen of my work), but pink is my one true love.

We bought a vacant lot here in Fort Worth last year, and we are hoping to start building sometime in the next year. Pink is going to be a integral theme in this new house, so you may be seeing a lot of inspo coming your way in this vein. 

I have many clients that shy away completely from pink, which is often comical to me, as it seems that pink centric images seem to be some of the most popular on Pinterest/Instagram. I think it's a little bit more daunting to commit to it in your own home.

I love the pictures I see of Peggy Porschen Cakes in London.

I am one of those people who HATES Halloween decorations, but those below are fabulous.

While perusing 1st Dibs today for a client, I spotted a


on designer

Fran Hickman

, and fell in love with her spaces for Emilia Wickstead and Moda Operandi's London operation.

They are the perfect example of how pink can be sophisticated and modern, rather than juvenille or bubblegum-esque.

In love with the channel back and rattan chair seen in the mirror above.

I would also like to know who the photographer is in the prints shown above and below. There is nothing better than retro, slightly subversive photography.

photos above via 1stDibs and Pinterest

The client of mine we did the bathroom below for does not shy away from pink!

This is a project I completed recently with my husband Brian ( Follow in Insta: @zwickhomesfw )

The Cole & Son Flamingo wallpaper is a favorite of mine and I love the vintage bamboo mirrors I found and had painted a glossy grey.

photo above via

Kelli Durham Photography

So, do tell, What do you think of pink?

Our Vacation in Galveston and Five Things to Do on Your Next Visit!

Brian on the Beach with our corgis

As long as I can remember, my family has spent portions of the spring and summer on Galveston Island. Growing up in Houston, it was a popular sunny destination just 45 minutes away. When I was 14, my parent's bought a beach house in the neighborhood of Pirate's Beach, on the west end of the island. My brother in-law (and new sister in law) got married a couple weeks ago on the island at the Hotel Galvez. Having not taken a long vacation maybe ever in our relationship--Brian and I decided to take advantage and spend the week in Galveston at my parent's beach house.

I find that many people that aren't from Houston (and some that are) often turn their nose up when I mention vacationing at the sunny South Texas Island. To be sure, Galveston is not the prettiest beach to behold---muddy colored sand and water to match--which only turns a pleasing shade of green when pollution in the Gulf is at an all time high---but there is a charm to the island due to it's rich history and eclectic group of locals. Before the great hurricane of 1900, Galveston was set to be the next New York City. The late 19th and early 20th century architecture is a sight to see for sure, and there are so many things to do. We found ourselves returning from the island with the vacation blues, and wishing we could stay longer---or forever!

I thought it would be fun to detail Five Things to Do on Galveston Island---hopefully it will provide some ideas for your next trip---or convince you to book one if you're one of the current naysayers that  I am referring to.

1. Have a Date Night on The Strand.

The Strand is very reminiscent of New Orleans to me---lots of beautiful architecture and very walkable. We did a date night last Sunday night, dinner first at Little Daddy's Gumbo Bar---fabulous gumbo, steamed kettles of fresh clams and seafood and scrumptious seafood po-boys---followed by Ice Cream at Hey Mikey's---homemade, to die for ice cream. 
Are you singing the song in your head now? too.
 Other favorites on The Strand are Saltwater Grill and Rudy &Paco---both more upscale.

2. Buy Fresh Seafood at Katie's on Pier 21

Maybe one of my favorite things we did on our trip was make a visit to Katie's Seafood Market on Pier 19. We parked a little ways down and took a stroll---looking at all the nearby fishing boats. The whole thing looked like a piece of New England instead of South Texas. We bought the BEST sushi-grade yellow fin tuna at Katie's and I brought it home and made a tuna tartare or Tuna Poke (does anyone understand the difference? I won't pretend to.) I loosely followed this recipe from PopSugar, except that I found "hot" sesame oil and used that and omitted the red pepper flakes and it was still equally delicious and spicy. I made the tuna twice---first for Brian and myself and then again for guests, and the second time I served it on it's own and without all the fixings of the bowl.

Attempt One---I used jasmine rice instead of brown like the recipe called for---drizzled with a little sriracha aioli----just sriracha, prepared horseradish and mayo---SO yummy.

And Attempt Two---grouped on a little plate by itself--so delicious and my guests loved it!

Keep in mind that you need very fresh sushi grade tuna for a recipe like this. That keeps it safe and delicious!

3. Order a Pina Colada at The Spot's Tiki Bar

The Spot has long been a family favorite---it's a great place to grab a burger or fried shrimp. Located on the Seawall---it's casual, easy and delicious. Once I reached legal drinking age, I discovered that their bar next door--The Tiki Bar--offers very potent Pina Coladas served inside a real coconut, complete with pineapple wedge and an umbrella. Sitting inside that bar---although it looks directly onto the Seawall, you'd never know you were in Galveston. It seems more akin to a remote resort or island.

4. Visit the Moody Mansion

The Moodys were a well known and very well to do family that were a pillar in Galveston. They bought the mansion in 1900, right after the infamous hurricane. Their family resided there until the mid 1980's and it is now a museum. The tour admission is $12 for adults, $6 for students and free for kids under 6. We did not visit the Mansion on this particular trip to Galveston---we went a couple of years ago. It's a great rainy day activity, but a must see in any event. If you love history and things like Downton Abbey, you will love the Moody Mansion. It is all either in original condition or replicated to look like its original condition and so so cool.

(info courtesy of

5. Buy a Cigar at Havana Alley---and Maybe Stay A While.

Brian is a big cigar fan--although he rarely allows himself the leisure time to actually enjoy one. He made a point this trip to seek out a local cigar shop, and we stumbled upon Havana Alley. The building might as well have been in Cuba---It was deep and dark inside--with a fabulous walk-in humidor and a few locals hanging out at the bar. The deck out back was huge and had an "island" feel. Brian and I decided to stay a while and I may or may not have indulged in a cigar of my own!

We cannot wait to return to Galveston this summer and soak up even more of the food and culture it has to offer!

Fixer Upper on HGTV and How to Get the Look!

Brian and I have always loved HGTV. Some of it is hard to watch---especially since a lot of it makes my job a lot more difficult---they tend to give some very unrealistic budgets and time frames on some of the makeover shows, but it's for sure addicting and fun to watch. Fixer Upper with Joanna and Chip Gaines has become our absolute favorite show on the network.

I think the reason so many people like the Gaines' is that they are so sweet, funny and down to earth.

It also doesn't hurt that they are from Texas (and just an hour and a half away from where we are!).

 Joanna is know for her clean, rustic and crisp interiors and I know that many would like to emulate her style.

A couple weeks ago I noticed a post on a popular Facebook forum that I follow requesting ideas on how to get the "Fixer Upper look" for a reasonable price. It gave me an idea for this post---to show several pieces that will give you the look.

First, some inspiration from Fixer Upper.

This might be my favorite kitchen that Joanna has ever done. Love the waterfall island and how she carried the subway tile all along the walls and up to the ceiling.

images via

Here are my "Fixer Upper Style" furniture and accessory picks.

World Market has a slew of pretty and very affordable dining chairs, a lot of which are sold in pairs.
Love the Frenchy-Rustic vibe of these.

These RH Baby & Child (children's collections from larger retailers are a great place to buy lighting/rugs at a lower cost) pendants would be fabulous over a kitchen island.

Love how this nightstand is both Mid-Century and Rustic---a great mix of styles and lots of good storage.

I've actually ordered this exact sofa for a client and I was very happy with the quality. It's a great price for a chesterfield style sofa and it's real leather as opposed to some of the synthetic versions.

I think this lantern is really fun. A simple design, but I think the screen and the washed wood give it a lot of personality!

The dining chairs are also from World Market and I like that they're a different take on what we usually see.

This rug is 70% off right now on and comes in a variety of sizes. I like how the style is more traditional but the fading on it makes it more rustic and a bit contemporary.

Love this coffee table---very much like the nightstand above, it's both Mid-Century and Rustic.

I've seen versions of this bar stool a lot, but I love how it's legs are more sleek and tapered.

Really fun jute wrapped chandelier.

Great cabinet to display accessories & antiques.

Love this bookcase---would look great flanking a console in a large dining room or even as extra shelving in a kitchen.

This table is great looking and really versatile---it would look fab with a variety of chairs.

These chairs are a perfect mix of contemporary and country.

Love this leather chair from West Elm---a more modern take on a wingback, but still comfortable and versatile.

Do you guys love Chip and Joanna Gaines and Fixer Upper as much as we do? Would love to hear what your favorite episode/house was!

Nursery Fun by Alice + Olivia and How to Get a Similar Look!

Earlier in the week, a client of mine texted me a screen shot of this picture off of Alice & Olivia designer Stacey Bendet's instagram. It's the nursery for her third daughter, who arrived recently.
I adore how fun and bright this nursery is, but the thing that struck me the most was an unabashed use of a colorful and heavily patterned wallpaper. It really makes the look and I think it would be such great stimulation for a new baby to have all these shapes and colors surrounding their room.

A progress photo. That Rosewood door is TO DIE FOR. 

Love this custom skirted bassinet. The graphic black and white is a great juxtaposition to the colorful walls.

images via here and here

I love how they kept the crib neutral against all of the color and pattern--- complete with very blue curtains and fun chandelier. I love how saturated this is, but if this were in my personal home, I might have done white drapery with a cobalt trim---but, to each their own and it looks fabulous.

 For slightly older children, I adore this dress and peacoat from Alice + Olivia's kids collection.

Inspired by Stacey Bendet's fabulous nursery, I decided to put together some inspiration for a nursery with another colorful and fun patterned wallpaper.

Using my favorite Scalamandre wallpaper---Chinois Exotique.

 With a black Jenny Lind Crib. A steal at $219---Great to offset the cost of the wallpaper.

I'd do the trim and doors in Farrow & Ball's Red Earth.

Shown here on walls.

And here on paneling and cabinetry.

Both images via Pinterest

I would do drapes in this Scalamandre jacquard---Pickfair in Coral. I would also find a fun green and coral tassel trim to add to the edges.

For lighting I adore this Coleen & Company Lantern in Peacock. So fun and whimsical, just like the wallpaper!

Do you like the idea of wallpaper in a nursery? 

O.J. Simpson, The 90's and Style.

Did ya'll get to watch the series premiere of The People vs O.J. Simpson last night? It was SO good.
I am already totally hooked on it, which considering how enthralled America was with the trial over 20 years ago, is not surprising. 

This is a weird comment, but if you are at all into reality tv, it's really worth a watch, because so many Beverly Hills/Los Angeles people that are still reality figures today are portrayed as their younger selves and that's really fun to see. I am LOVING David Schwimmer as Robert Kardashian. We see far too little of him since Friends ended and I love getting a glimpse into what the original patriarch of the Kardashian family was like.

I am also loving Selma Blair's portrayal of Kris Jenner. She has always been a favorite (since Cruel Intentions) and it's fun to see her interact with Faye Resnick's character (who I did a lot of googling about last night after watching this and Real Housewives of Beverly Hills.) I swear that Bravo and E! have an interest in this mini series, because they are playing up all the right people at all the right times coinciding with this show.

Anyway, we're not here to talk about famous murders/murder trials, as this is a style and interiors blog.

I did love watching all the 90's fashion and interiors pop up in the show last night and it was reminding me how we are really seeing a resurgence of 90's style both in fashion and interiors.
And I do not mean the grungy-Courtney Love, pants dropping, flannel shirt type of 90's.

I'm more into the Clueless, Carolyn Kennedy, Only You with Marisa Tomei ---Ultra CHIC type 90's.

For instance the resurgence of plaid and checks---which I must say I hope is back to stay for a while.

As seen in Clueless.


And in one of my personal 90's favorites---The Parent Trap remake with Lindsay Lohan.
She is so darling here.

I am obsessed with plaid and checks in interiors right now. One of my client's houses has ended up being sort of Ralph Lauren esque meets 1940's modern and we've done LOTS of plaid. 

Love these rooms.

If you've never seen Only You with Marisa Tomei and Robert Downey, Jr, do yourself a favor and Netflix it immediately. It was my FAVORITE movie as a kid and might still be my favorite to this day.

Marisa Tomei's fashion is ON POINT---She even looks chic when running around in Keds, they're driving around Italy and Robert Downey, Jr. is hilarious and oh so cute.

Love her red dress in the movie and love red re-imagined by Miles Redd in this gorgeous dining room in a recent issue of Veranda.

More Marisa Tomei fashion in all it's 90's glory.

I love how people just unabashedly wore all white like all the time in the 90's.
Did dirt not exist then?

Carolyn Kennedy in all white.

I think we all know that all white interiors have surged in popularity in the last few years---especially where clean, all white kitchens are concerned.

More Carolyn Kennedy in a fab leopard coat.

I'm not sure that I can say that leopard has "resurged" as it's really always a classic neutral in my opinion, but I'm hard pressed not to love any piece of clothing or interior with leopard.

Love this room by Nick Olsen.

I'm not sure who the room below is designed by, but it pretty much inspired my own sofa.

Can't talk about The Parent Trap on this blog without drooling over a few of the interiors from the movie.

It was directed by Nancy Meyers who always always has fabulous sets, so that's no surprise.

I still think about the "London House" to this day. So traditional, so English, SO Classic.

I really feel like, especially in the last few years, that traditional interiors are "cool" again.

Love this room by Miles Redd.

Even though she's a total witch in the movie, you can't help but love Meredith Blake's wardrobe.

I still think about it to this day. The perfect picture of classic and chic. Such a Grace Kelly type look.

Classic Black and White will always be chic in interiors.

Love this foyer with the classic black and white floors and the gold and ivory buffet.

What was your favorite 90's look?

Pairing the New Farrow & Ball 2016 Paint Colors with My Favorite Decor Pieces!

image via here

Yesterday I got an email from Farrow & Ball with the debut of their new paint colors for 2016. 
I love all of the nine new colors in their collection and I thought it might be fun to discuss them, along with a piece of decor I envision pairing with each color.

Shadow White No. 282 is the first color in their line up. A perfect, just barely off white, it's something I can see myself suggesting again and again to clients who want a more contemporary feel to their home, but are trying to veer away from everything looking too sterile.

Every white wall needs a touch of black and I love this bed from PB Teen. Modern in it's simplicity, with a bit of traditional detailing, I envision it in an all white room with all white bedding. I would love it with the crown and base boards painted this same black. Graphic and gorgeous!

This collection has a lot of teal-ish blue in it and I love that! We are all attracted to different colors inherently and teal and emerald are definitely two colors my eyes can't get enough of!

This shot with the modern blue and white brushstroke vases is everything---it sold me on the color immediately.

Mulberry Flying Ducks Velvet Sky--To the Trade

I imagine it in a family room with two large club chairs upholstered in this Mulberry Flying Ducks velvet.

Worsted is a gorgeous gray---and if you've ever dealt with gray, you know how hard it is to get it juuuust right!

I envision it in a woman's office, with a pair of these rose gold and marble shelves from CB2 flanking her desk.

Cromarty is this wonderful gray-ish neutral. The pairing with a light pink door inspired me so much that I immediately thought of this chair I had seen on West Elm's website some time ago. As I was going back through their chairs, I saw another pink and gold version I liked even more.

It's taking every fiber of self control in my being not to order two of these beauties for my living room RIGHT NOW.

Yeabridge green is so pretty, so English and so traditional.

I imagine it in a formal living room, saturated on the doors, woodwork and walls--Maybe even on the ceiling. In one of the corners of the room, I imagine this gorgeous Lucite and brass bar cart from Anthropologie, stocked full of accoutrement's for parties.

Salon Drab is such a beautiful and moody color. Almost graphite, but with a hint of mocha.

I imagine it in an entry hall----with gorgeous lighting and two of these carved metal chairs from Wisteria flanking an entry table.

Drop Cloth is this absolutely stunning neutral. It's not white or beige or gray---it's really a combo of all and I love it.

I imagine this color completely swathing a contemporary kitchen---walls, cabinets, and woodwork.

Over a big island, complete with a thick calacata marble top, I imagine three of these pendants from RH Modern.

I have long thought about painting my next dining room pink, and Peignoir may end up being my perfect shade. It's the perfect pink---such a crowd pleaser---It's almost porcelain, with just a hint of that blushy hue.

I loved this pairing with a deep burgundy hue, so much so that I started to imagine my pink dining room with Oxblood Lamps.

I would love to do a pair of these Jan Showers Collection Ceramic Series #2 Lamps.
I think they'd be gorgeous against the Peignoir walls atop a tall Rosewood Buffet.

Vardo is another gorgeous teal blue. I love how saturated the color is---probably one of my favorite aspects of all Farrow & Ball colors.

I imagine it in a master bedroom, with one wall in this gorgeous Miles Redd for Schumacher wallcovering and the rest of the walls and the ceiling in Vardo.

What's your favorite hue from the new Farrow & Ball collection?

A Round Up of Baby Friendly Decor

image via here

On Saturday, Brian and I went to a 1st birthday party for a good friend's son. It was a really fun event and more than anything it made me realize how much our lives have changed in a short period of time and more importantly, how many people we know that now have children.

I swear that five minutes ago we were on the "wedding circuit" attending nuptial after nuptial. Now it seems that we've skipped onto the baby stage and every five minutes one of our friends announces the impending arrival of new baby.

Most of my clients are around my age, and thus a lot of them either already have children, or are planning on it very soon. I thought it would be fun to do a round up of "baby and child friendly" decor. I love that most of this is easily added throughout your whole house, not just the nursery.

My main recommendation to someone who has children is faux leather or vinyl. Before you cringe and decide that I must have arrived from the 80's in my design Delorean---hear me out.

Faux leather has come a loooong way. It comes in a variety of color and textures and even feels like leather---the only things that are missing are the smell and the maintenance. The great thing about faux leather is that it's easily wipe able and very stain resistant. It's best on furniture with a tight seat and back---It's fabulous for dining chairs, banquettes (like in the room above by Massucco Warner Miller), on headboards, and benches.

These are two of my favorites from Kravet and Duralee.

Genslar from Kravet

Textured Vinyl in Parchment from Duralee

I love the texture in this one from Duralee---So fun on dining chairs!

I know most coffee tables become parent's worst nightmare because of the sharp edges and a lot of people are now ditching them in favor of upholstered ottomans in front of their sofa. However, maybe you still want a hard surface---albiet one that's a little less anxiety inducing.

I love this option from Anthropologie. The graphic pattern gives it a wow factor and it's a bonus that  it would meld with a variety of styles. 

Bunny Williams now has a collection for Ballard Designs and I adore these melamine dishware. Perfect for al fresco dining, or just shatter free dining with kids. I love how the colors are a bit more traditional---it looks like real china!

My friends with kids tell me that storage is key, and I adore this storage ottoman from Ballard Designs. They are now offering the leopard fabric I have on my sofa---which I can say from experience hides dirt very very well. I love how Ballard's website will let you preview the piece in the fabric. 

If you have a nursery, chances are you have a swivel glider of some kind, but who says they're for a baby's room only? I love this sleek version from Serena & Lily that comes in a variety on non-juvenile fabrics. I would add two to the family room. They can be used for the baby and/or for your own comfort.

Rugs are expensive and can be hard to clean. Obviously that's not an ideal situation with kids. I got this indoor/outdoor rug a couple years ago on and they still carry it. The great thing is, you can literally take it outside and hose it down. Perfect for kids or dogs. I love how it looks like a sisal and doesn't scream outdoor rug. Fun and Functional. It's also 70% off on their site right now!

I couldn't leave this Nursery Works crib out of my line up---especially with those fab brass legs.

While we're on the subject of Nursery Works---can we talk about their fabulous styling and photography?

Here's another one of their cribs---Can I please be this baby? Look at that VIEW!

Last year I wallpapered a client of mine's master bedroom ceiling and they were pleasantly surprised about how much their baby was mesmerized by it. Why stop at just the nursery---stimulate your baby's senses all over the house with one of these fabulous wallpapers.

I like palms anytime, and this Lyford Key pattern is fabulous against a soft pink background.

Love this colorful wallpaper from Schumacher. It would be a show stopper on a living room ceiling.

This chinois pattern in black and white is monochromatic, but still dramatically patterned enough to be interesting.

Before I sign off, can I just say that I came across this stroller during my "research" for this post and I am DYING over it. Yes, that is rose gold. Be still my heart.

What's your favorite baby friendly decor item?

Brass is BACK.

A few months ago I was in a plumbing supply place trying (at no avail) to find a trim kit for an old style shower valve. While standing there, I was lamenting at their lack of attractive brass options, and another patron (who identified himself as a builder) over heard me and informed me that brass was simply "out of style". I had news for this guy (who apparently hasn't picked up a decor magazine since 2007)---BRASS, IS BACK.

Unless you've been living under a design rock for the last few years, you undoubtedly realize that brass has made a resurgence in the market---and it's not your grandmother's brass either. I especially like it where faucets are concerned. There's a way that it adds warmth to white, grey and black that nothing else can.

Here are a few Pinterest inspo pics...

And some of my own work with brass faucets below.

photo by Kelli Elizabeth Photography

What do you think of brass faucets and brass hardware in general? Is it a yes or a no?

Mackenzie Page Interiors-Office Inspiration

When I decided to go out on my own and give Mackenzie Page Interiors a full time shot, one of the things I kept hearing from all the "advice givers" out there was to keep my overhead as low as possible for as long as possible. This is a sentiment I totally resonated with, and thus my decision to carve a space out of our guest room for my office for the time being. It's ideal in some ways---Hello early morning emails in my PJ's! It's not ideal in others, but I am making due.

This has not stopped me from dreaming up ideas for my own office once I get to the point where having one makes sense. I am more traditional with a twist in my own style at home, but when I have my own office some day, I love the idea of doing mostly contemporary with some antiques mixed in, like this gorgeous mirror at Aerin Lauder's office shown below. I'm very inspired by both her office and the Moda Operandi headquarters, also based in NYC.

Aerin's Lovely office above. I love how she so effortlessly mixes modern pieces with vintage and well thought out pops of color with clean and crisp neutrals.

And Moda Operandi's offices. Those window frames painted in a high gloss oxblood---I cannot even. SO GOOD.

Love their unabashed use of pink.

Also loved this crisp and clean conference room I saw on pinterest.

So, For my office, I think I'd start with sealed concrete floors in a grey color.
Like This.

Followed by walls painted in a whispery pink, like Farrow & Ball's Middleton Pink.

I think when you're a lady boss it's the perfect opportunity to throw caution to the wind and just go for it with the pink.

Speaking of going for it, I think I'd do several rugs made of bound leopard carpet.

Most of the surfaces in the office I'd keep simple, but for my own desk, I love this one by World's Away. How could you not be creative on a burlwood and brass surface?

I saw this chair on ABC Carpet and Home's website about a year ago and I am still coveting it for my desk chair. It's price tag was a tad steep for me (keeping that overhead down, remember?) but I think I could recreate the look by recovering this Ikea chair in a pink velvet and spray painting the base in a rose gold!

For the rest of the office surfaces, I like a bunch of these simple Ikea tables put together.

I love the idea of having these chairs pulled up to the Ikea tables. I love the classic style, and reinvented with the hunter green or navy, they are perfection!

Every design office needs a little seating area, and I love this tufted pink velvet settee from Anthropologie.

I love this more contemporary coffee table, also from Anthropologie to offset the traditional and girly factor of the settee.

On the desks, I love the thought of using several of these lamps from Ikea. A great price, and I love how they bring out the use of both brass and nickel.

I envision my office as one big room and I'd love to have an island for meeting with clients and laying out fabric stories. I would do two of these marble topped islands from

For seating around the island, I love two or three of these Serena & Lily counter stools. I like how they add a fun Frenchy element!

Over the islands, I'd place a few of these pendant lights from Ikea.

On the wall, I'd add two fun vintage mirrors---Love this pair from Circa Who.

I'd also do some fun retro photographs on the wall---maybe this one of Babe Paley taken by Slim Aarons, available on

Here's hoping I'll get to make this dream a reality someday soon!

Let's Go There-----The Raleigh Hotel in Miami

Exactly three years ago, I got an opportunity to take a work trip to Miami. I had been to Florida before, mostly to Seaside, and while I expected to like Miami, I did not expect to fall in love with it like I did. We stayed in Miami Beach (South Beach) for the duration of the trip, and on my morning walks to get coffee, I couldn't help but be captivated by the fabulously preserved art deco architecture, especially that of the hotels that are scattered along the ocean.

One hotel that I spotted in particular on that trip, and one that I vowed to return to one day, was the The Raleigh. Built in 1940, and beautifully re-done, the Raleigh boasts all the modern amenities you could ask for, while offering an ambiance that can only be present when a space is authentically retro.

The main element of the hotel that I keep dying over is the abundance of gorgeous outdoor spaces!

 I mean, just LOOK at that pool.

How would you like to have a lavish dinner on this patio?

Or a champagne brunch on this veranda?
Let's be honest, put kelly green stripes on just about anything and I'm smitten as a kitten.

I love this shot of the the entrance just beyond the palm.
It looks like the gates to heaven, if you ask me.

The interior has been restored to all it's retro glory.

The rooms are chock full of peachy goodness.

I even love this beach lounging situation. 
What. A. DREAM.

 I love this vintage photo of the pool. 
Pink Perfection!

image via here

I am turning the dreaded 3-0 at the end of May and we are taking a trip to Miami to celebrate. We are still deciding on hotels at the moment, but this South Beach beauty is at the tip top of my list.

Now I just need to go stock up on palm print attire to wear!

Happy Humpday Everyone!

images via TheRaleigh

The New House Beautiful and My Favorite Project by Miles Redd

I finally had a chance to open my February issue of House Beautiful last night after being out of town for the wedding. I have spent the last several days reading blog posts that fawn all over Michelle Adams' (former editor of both Lonny and Domino) home in Ann Arbor, and while I adore Michelle's cottage and it's minimalist meets edgy that somehow all fits together to be totally timeless sensibility, it was another project that caught my eye.

Miles Redd's refresh of his parent's home in Buckhead, which is a wealthy suburb of Atlanta is absolutely stunning and my only disappointment is that they didn't show more of it!

Ok, so first, here's Miles with his family, and no shock here, they are just as cute as he is.
Loving the vintage French iron furniture and the white and red cushions. How fun and classic.
I am also really enjoying the cross marketing of his fabric line for Schumacher which if you haven't seen it, is TO DIE FOR.

I adore this room that he made his mother's office---That large skirted table is a dining table with leaves. First, what a fun fabric opportunity---Loving this Lee Jofa Althea chintz, AND what a great way to hide stuff that you don't want to be seen! Which, let's be honest unsightly junk graces almost every office. I also love the addition of those two huge blue and white lamps and how Miles brings it all together with pleated silk shades that tie in the other fabrics in the room.

Their dining room is SO fun, and yet somehow still totally traditional. Love the china cabinet----I actually found one similar for my own mother. The yellow and cream striped wallpaper really grounds the space. I like how they went with another table skirt in here as well. Have an "L-shaped scratch" in your dining table like Elizabeth in The Help? A table skirt is a great option---much less expensive than just replacing your table and bonus, you could have a couple made to change out for different occasions. Please, please in the name of all that is good and holy have it made, and also make sure it touches the ground.

all images via House Beautiful

I was reminded of what I really love about Miles Redd's style while looking at this project. He is often wild and subversive with his use of color and patterns, but it all inherently FITS together. He ties it all back by repeating a color or theme in an accessory or a lamp shade. It makes his interiors look cohesive. I'm always curious as to whether there's something I've missed or don't get when it comes to some other designer's projects. It often seems that people mis-match and try wild color or pattern just to be noticed and it sometimes looks more random than beautiful.

Bravo Miles!

South Congress Hotel

The last of my Matron of Honor duties this weekend was to pick up my sister and her new husband, Kirk at the hotel they stayed at for their wedding night. They chose the new South Congress Hotel and not only was it absolutely stunning, but full of eye candy everywhere I looked. The lobby pictured above was the perfect balance of mid-century inspired, Austin-esque bohemian chic and just a touch edgy. Certainly not your typical hotel lobby, even where the "nice" one's are concerned.

I am dying to dine at Cafe No Se upon my return to Austin. The decor, albiet minimalist, is warm and very chic. You can't help but think as you walk around this whole space...I wish I could have a house like this.

It's definitely too bohemian for my every day life---I need comfortable upholstery and lots of velvet and silk surrounding me--but it's such a fun space to visit for a night or two.

image via here

image via here

Once I arrived at their Suite--aptly name the "Congress Suite" I continued to be in awe of the decor, ESPECIALLY as I walked into their bathroom (pictured below). Holy bohemian and brass heaven. That counter to the left is a gorgeous neutral marble, and while I usually perceive vessel sinks as being very dated looking---the unique shape of these was very cool. I also like the different take on subway tile with the more elongated version and using the same tile in two different colors. Talk about visual impact. What I was really dying over was the brass framing on the shower glass. YES. It was everything. Topped off with brass faucets and fixtures and a floating oval tub---and it was heaven.

image via here

image via here

A view from their suite. You may as well have been looking over the view in LA.

image via here

image via here

I am so excited to return to South Congress Hotel at some point---SOCO is one of my favorite parts of Austin for the shopping, eating and the vibe.

South Congress Hotel may even have beat out my burning desire to stay at Hotel San Jose---or maybe I'll just have to take two trips!

image via here

My Baby Sister's Wedding---A little Recap!

If you follow me on Instagram (and if you don't---be a dear, and follow me @mackenziepageinteriors) you're probably like, "Did your sister get married this weekend?"
 "OH, wait, you won't STOP posting about it."

Why yes, my baby sister, Molly tied the knot with her love,  Kirk on Saturday at Prospect House in Dripping Springs, TX. I worked most of the day on Wednesday (first day as my own boss!) and then headed to Austin to start the festivities. Our family friends were visiting from Germany and Denmark and I got to spend some time with them at the house we rented before and after the big day.

Before I start this post, you need to understand something. My sister was like, THE BEST maid of honor ever. Part of the deal is that she's a grade A bad ass and she gets shit done, pretty much at the cost of her own needs like sleeping and eating.

Anyway, I went into this weekend feeling like it was Christmas morning and I had already opened a thoughtful, creative gift from her and I knew all I had to give in return was a pair of sensible socks.

I was determined to at least partially return the favor. 
We started with a day of beauty on Thursday-----Waxing (ouch), nails, lunch and then an airbrush tan.

Side note on nails.

 I'm one of those people that hates doing the shellac thing. I don't have time/don't want to sit there for 17 hours under that stupid light. I have more important things to do---like write blog posts. 

Anyway, the traditional nail polish route is not exactly a fail-safe for me either because I ruin them in 3.2 seconds when leaving the salon. 

Have ya'll tried Vinylux polish? It's the BEST.

Dries immediately, lasts twice as long and can be removed with nail polish remover.
Some salons offer it, but I went and bought my own at Ulta and had them use it on me at the salon.
You do no base coat, several coats of the polish and top it off with the Vinylux top coat.
You're welcome. 

Thursday night we hung around the house and ordered dinner in, and my mom tested out lip color shades for Molly's bridal look.

Friday morning we did the rehearsal at 9 am and provided coffee and bagels for everyone.
I must admit that I was pretty skeptical about rousting everyone out of bed at 6:30 am to get ready for the bridal luncheon and get them to the rehearsal, but it was nice that we didn't have to rush on to a rehearsal right before dinner.

Rehearsal was followed by a bridal luncheon at Josephine House in Austin hosted by my Aunt Dixie, who is my mom's best friend.

Aunt Dixie also hosted my bridal luncheon with my Aunt Shawn who is my godmother and I'll be honest, I didn't think there was ANY WAY Dixie would top what she and Shawn threw me.


This bridal luncheon was ridiculous.

First, we were greeted on a heated patio with a choice of French 75's or Sparkling Rose in very THIN champagne glasses.

That's what I imagine the gates of heaven are like.

Then we were ushered in to the cutest little cottage for lunch, complete with a carrara marble bar holding rustic bread and more chilling rose.

It was like Instagram heaven.

I made Molly take several selfies with me.

The helicopter angle is working for me and I am not sorry about it.


Here we are with Josefine, our friend from Denmark.

Whenever I'm in a cute restaurant, I'm always eager to see the bathroom, because it's usually pretty good and this one did not disappoint. Painted paneling and carrara marble hex floors. Yum.

I'm not usually one for mirror selfies, but I thought ya'll might enjoy seeing a full length of what I wore.

Loved the sink too with the wall mounted cross handle faucet. YES.

I know what you're thinking---Like, did you leave this bathroom at any point?

Dixie had decorated the tables with this gorgeous dried foliage with woodland creature finger puppets scattered about. I know, she's the best.

Friday night we went to the rehearsal dinner at my Uncle Phil's office---He owns a company called Film Fleet that rents equipment and trailers to the movie business and he has a huge office and property where they store everything. The dinner was awesome and magical and my cousin Shelly who works with her Dad, did such an amazing job.

Friday morning we woke up early to start getting ready.

Makenzi Laine and her team came to do our hair and makeup and they were SO awesome.

I had a couple comments on Insta asking where Molly's robe was from. It was actually a full length caftan and she gave all of the bridesmaids one, each in a different pattern/color. I gave my bridesmaids shorter one's when I got married and we both got them on Laughing Cherries.

You can order them in all these different colors/patterns/styles and they'll customize them to your bridesmaids size and height.

They are also much more reasonable than some of the other companies I found that did the same thing.

We headed over to the venue, Prospect House around 1 since it was about 35 miles away and the wedding started at 4:30.  Molly put her dress on and took all of our breath away. The dress was designed by Watters, who also designed my wedding dress. It was so so gorgeous.

Prospect House was also amazing in all it's minimalist glory. Typical Interior Decorator but I told Molly after the rehearsal that I was most excited about how fabulous the powder rooms were!

The ceremony was outside just before sunset, and albiet FREEZING, it was so sweet and special.

I was the only one who witnessed my Dad seeing Molly for the first time and suffice it to say that all three of us started crying immediately.

I stole all these ceremony pictures from my friend Anu. Seeing that he's in Finance and not photography, I don't think he'll mind. 

Here's my hubby waiting for the ceremony to begin.

My parents watching them get married.

My Uncle Bob and Aunt Julie were the officiants.

I wore a black sequined Calvin Klein gown and my great-grandmother's mink stole.

The newly minted, Mr. and Mrs. Cushing.

For those of you wondering why half of the pictures of Molly are of her backside, I was obsessed with the back of her dress--the illusion and the buttons were so gorgeous.

Molly's wedding decor was COMPLETELY different from mine---Very minimal florals (save for a fabulous arrangement by Sprout in the entry, a vine and floral covered wind vane twirling around the ceiling in the reception room and planted native grasses at the ceremony site with tons of glass cylinders filled with votive candles going up and down the tables. Each of our place settings was set with a white plate, grey napkin, a menu and a single black and white feather (a nod to Kirk's proposal with a snow owl feather). It was so cool and different and I absolutely loved it!

The Zwicks.

I took like, 9,000 selfies with pretty much everyone in attendance.

Here with Mr. Zwick.

Here with two of my besties, Blair and Rebecca.

My sweet parents danced the night away, probably mostly in celebration 
that this is their last wedding to pay for!

At the end of the night we all gathered outside to do a sparkler exit.

Love this picture of them, maybe my favorite of the night.

They drove away in a vintage Land Cruiser. My husband was thoroughly jealous.

It was an absolutely fabulous weekend and there's no other way to describe it than magical. 
Molly and Kirk really love each other and I'm so thrilled that they finally get to be together after 10 years of long distance dating from Texas to Canada.

Mackenzie Page Interiors

It's hard to say where my love affair with design began. Was it at age 5, insisting my mom paint my room an exact shade of light pink? Or in junior high when I decided that my space should be all pastel in shades of robins egg, chartreuse and lavender? Or in college when I devoured each Rachel Ashwell book with more eagerness than the last?

I don't know exactly where my love came from and when it began, but I do know when I decided that I would make it my life's work. I was a 24 year old real estate broker. I felt so seasoned at the time---a sign that you probably have no idea what you're doing. It's my observation that it's only experience that brings you actual humility. Probably why the young are (at least according to Taylor Swift) reckless. Brokerage was never really for me. I loved to hear people's stories---that made me good at sales, but walking around dusty warehouses in 4 inch heels was not my cup of tea--even though it made me feel like a badass. At night I would go home and delve into everything I could find about interiors. Blogs, magazines, design books. I was voracious for information about what was then, merely a hobby.

After about a year, I decided that I would try to pursue this hobby as a career. I wanted to be a decorator, but I wasn't quite sure how to get there. So I googled the Dallas Design District, made 40 copies of my resume and walked around one rainy afternoon. Pretty soon, a well known designer in Dallas called me and offered me a job. It was there that my previous flirtation with antiques became a full on love affair. I learned about the history of furniture, what a really beautiful finish looks like, how a simple fabric can transform an ugly duckling, and how one good piece can transform a room from ordinary to breathtaking. On the PR Side, I was actually using my degree. Becoming starstruck every time I spoke to an editor or a writer whose article I'd poured over the month before. I became well acquainted with my inner interior design geek. Meeting the owner of a well known wallpaper company was to me, like getting to meet George Clooney. After a couple years, I had decided that this was in fact what I really wanted to do. I took a job with a wonderful Fort Worth designer, who showed me what the day in and day out life of a designer is, how to mix patterns and spot beautiful rose medallion or a one of a kind chinoiserie piece.

I started helping friends on the side. Those friends introduced me to their friends. Then those friends put me in touch their friends. About six months ago I thought, Oh my god, I could really really do this. Like, For REAL.

And so, Today I take another step. Another step in the direction I've been headed for a long time. It feels surreal to finally be here, taking this big leap that I've calculated over a number of years. I'm a creature of habit, an over-thinker and reluctant to change. I gave myself every reason in the book not to dive in, but suddenly, I was sure I would be able to swim.

As of this morning, Mackenzie Page Interiors is officially open full time for business. If you need a room reworked or a your whole house needs a refresh, I am your gal. If you're starting from the ground up, or remodeling a home you've lived in for years, I can help you find your design style and creat the space you've only dreamed of.

I am truly humbled by all the support from my family, my clients and my friends. I hope to get the opportunity to make people's lives just that much better, even if it's just a five minute mood elevation from a really fabulous pillow.

Wish me luck. Or actually, just tell your friends.

Learn more at


In high school, one of my closest friends was obsessed with cherries. Not really to eat, but she was obsessed with anything that was printed with cherries. I'm pretty sure the present loot from her 16th birthday consisted of nothing but cherry memorabilia. 

I have recently become obsessed with pineapples. To me, they're sort of an icon of the 60's in the Palm Beach/Palm Springs style of things. I have also recently learned that they are a symbol of welcome. A pineapple in your home can symbolize welcome, warmth and friendship. Now isn't that just lovely?

It's really not helping that Rifle Paper Co. decided to A. Start printing gorgeous wallpaper and B. Has a pineapple wallpaper that is TO DIE FOR and comes in like 5 colors.
Staaaaappp it. It such a beauty.

The black colorway is so sexy, I can't even handle it. 
And yes, those are metallic gold pineapples.

I am personally obsessed with the mint colorway. 
And I'm hoping like real real hard that we'll end up with a pink tiled bathroom a la the 60's in which to put said wallpaper.

I recently purchased a similar pineapple to the one above for my bar cart at an antique shop in Dallas. Love this one from Etsy.

Aside from decor, I love the pineapple for personal effects too---like this iphone cover.

This lamp was available on until recently, and when I went Google searching for 
it, look what I FOUND.

On Are they kidding me with this? 2 of these for $106.45

These little gems are night lights. Someone who has kids please do me a favor----buy one of these and invite me to your child's room so I can die over the cuteness.

Keeping with the theme of welcome, I absolutely love pineapple door knockers. 
They have some fabulous one's on Etsy.

Mis-Adventures in Roasting Chicken

I have a habit of making things harder than they need to be.
This is especially true when it comes to cooking/entertaining.

I think I've spoken in the past of how I tend to be pretty middle of the road when it comes to being a cook. Some I know are major "from scratch" cooks, and others are big shortcut people. I fall in between.

In an effort to better myself as a wife, cook and just generally well-rounded human being, it has been a goal of mine to learn how to perfectly roast a chicken. 

There's just something so romantic about a crisp, golden chicken. It's a simple, comforting meal.

I've been cooking often since I was 14 years old, am generally regarded to be one of the more confident cooks of my peer group, and have been a pretty adventurous cook thus far in my life.
Roast Chicken is just never something I've mastered.

We didn't really eat Roast Chicken growing up in my house----a rotisserie chicken from the store here or there, maybe, but my mom was more of a boneless skinless grilled chicken breast maker. So, Roast Chicken is sort of a new animal (no pun intended) for me.

When I started my quest to perfect the Roast Chicken, I did what I usually do with new recipes. I looked up a few, took what I liked, left what I didn't and gave it a shot.

All these stupid recipes say the same thing to tell when the chicken is done. Pierce the thigh and if the juices run clear, you're good.
Well, let me tell you, the juices were crystal clear, and the chicken was RAW in the middle. Which left me putting a cut OPEN chicken back in the oven for hours upon hours until it finally cooked all the way through. It was exhausting.

Here's another thing. We eat a lot of red meat. We both really prefer it. Under-cooking with red meat is preferred. With chicken, obviously it's a health hazard.

Poor Poor Brian. Every time he came home and I announced proudly that I was serving Roast Chicken for dinner he would give me this look like, "oh, roast chiiicken, so we'll be eating dinner sometime next week then."

I know what you're going to say. Just get a meat thermometer. Well, friends, as previously discussed, I make things harder than they need to be.

I probably tried to roast chicken maybe 4 times. I asked a friend's mom her recipe, tried different things on Pinterest, etc. Nothing yielded the results I was after---which really was moist moist chicken meat, and crispy, flavorful skin.

I had read on a few different blogs about Thomas Keller's Roast Chicken Recipe. And kind of initially blew it off. Why you ask? Ironically, because it seemed too easy.

Apparently, I live under a culinary rock, because he's like famous or something. He's the chef/restaurateur behind The French Laundry and Bouchon/Bouchon Bakery

Mr. Thomas Keller

I'm sure all of my foodie/Food Network super-fan friends/readers are rolling their eyes at me right now.

Sorry guys, as much as I love to cook, I've never been a big Food Network watcher. Nor do I pay much attention to celebrity chefs.
If you want to know something about the cast of The Beverly Hills Housewives, or who's on which HGTV show, then I can probably help you.

Anyway, back to the chicken. Thomas Keller's recipe is amazingly simple.
You can see it below, but let me give you the run down.

Essentially, you rinse and dry the chicken. You rain salt and pepper over it.
You bake it. In the oven. at 450. For like an hour. Depending on how big your chicken is.

That's it. He said you could slather butter over it, I didn't. I did rub some dried Thyme on it when it came out of the oven.

Not my picture, but my actual chicken looked similarly golden and delicious.

And you guys. This chicken. OMG.

It was so friggin good.

I was astonished at the flavor it had, especially since I did none of the complicated crap all of these other recipes called for. You know, like stuff a rosemary bush and entire garlic bulb up it's butt.

Do yourself a favor and cook an easy, delicious yet impressive looking main course for your family/spouse/dinner party guests. 

Don't make life harder than it has to be.
I'm trying to learn that.
It may involve some sort of 12-step program.

Recipe below via Epicurious.

Reprinted from Epicurious, who Reprinted from Bouchon, by Thomas Keller, Copyright © 2004, published by Artisan.


  • One 2- to 3-pound farm-raised chicken
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons minced thyme (optional)
  • Unsalted butter
  • Dijon mustard


Preheat the oven to 450°F. Rinse the chicken, then dry it very well with paper towels, inside and out. The less it steams, the drier the heat, the better.
Salt and pepper the cavity, then truss the bird. Trussing is not difficult, and if you roast chicken often, it's a good technique to feel comfortable with. When you truss a bird, the wings and legs stay close to the body; the ends of the drumsticks cover the top of the breast and keep it from drying out. Trussing helps the chicken to cook evenly, and it also makes for a more beautiful roasted bird.
Now, salt the chicken—I like to rain the salt over the bird so that it has a nice uniform coating that will result in a crisp, salty, flavorful skin (about 1 tablespoon). When it's cooked, you should still be able to make out the salt baked onto the crisp skin. Season to taste with pepper.
Place the chicken in a sauté pan or roasting pan and, when the oven is up to temperature, put the chicken in the oven. I leave it alone—I don't baste it, I don't add butter; you can if you wish, but I feel this creates steam, which I don't want. Roast it until it's done, 50 to 60 minutes. Remove it from the oven and add the thyme, if using, to the pan. Baste the chicken with the juices and thyme and let it rest for 15 minutes on a cutting board.
Remove the twine. Separate the middle wing joint and eat that immediately. Remove the legs and thighs. I like to take off the backbone and eat one of the oysters, the two succulent morsels of meat embedded here, and give the other to the person I'm cooking with. But I take the chicken butt for myself. I could never understand why my brothers always fought over that triangular tip—until one day I got the crispy, juicy fat myself. These are the cook's rewards. Cut the breast down the middle and serve it on the bone, with one wing joint still attached to each. The preparation is not meant to be superelegant. Slather the meat with fresh butter. Serve with mustard on the side and, if you wish, a simple green salad. You'll start using a knife and fork, but finish with your fingers, because it's so good.

The Power of Powder Blue.

They say that you can commit smells to memory. Like the smell of your mom's pot roast can conjure comforting and cozy thoughts years later. 

I can be the same way with colors.

When I was in high school, a stylish friend of mine had a beautiful spring dress coat in this perfect shade of powder blue.

Much like this one. 

I was always obsessed with this coat of hers, and I still think about it often.
In fact, I bought a similar coat last year, a vintage one that reminded me of hers that I had loved so many years before.

I think the attraction to this color—the elegance and glamour that it evokes in my mind, probably comes 
from my most favorite fairy tale, Cinderella.

Her beautiful blue shimmering dress is hard to forget. It's such a timeless color.

That beautiful shade of powder blue extends far beyond fashion. I absolutely love it in interiors.

Suzanne Kasler

Mary McDonald

Avalon Hotel a la Kelly Wearstler

Miles Redd

Suzanne Kasler

The best thing about using powder blue in interiors, is that it really reads as a neutral. It goes beautifully with a host of colors———red, yellow, hot pink, orange, all shades of green, gold, and more.

Being a Bridesmaid....The Beauty and The Beast.

“I mean, no one likes being a bridesmaid.”

Those are the immortal words I said to my very best friend one balmy summer night. It was just weeks before I donned a yellow taffeta dress to stand beside her at her nuptials. I regretted this statement the instant I said it. Fueled by one too many glasses of red wine from our local tasting room and the strength of a friendship that knew no bounds of verbal restraint, I had said the un-sayable to a bride.

Of course I apologized profusely the next day, and, being the great friend she is, she forgave me immediately. 

The longer I am in my twenties, and asked to be in wedding after wedding, the more I’ve become aware that Katherine Heigel’s character in 27 Dresses was probably based on a very real experience. I had my first bridesmaid gig at 24, and in a few weeks I will be a bridesmaid for the 10th time, followed by number 11 in June.

Every bridesmaid gig is a little different.  I’ve had dresses chosen for me, or have been asked to choose my dress. Some brides are very laid back and unconcerned with details and others have specified my hairstyle or even the color nail polish I wore.  I’ve been in destination weddings and hometown weddings. Each have their charm. Destination weddings become the trips you’ll never forget, laughing with your friends until the wee hours of the night in your adjoining hotel rooms. Hometown weddings are characterized by morning pancakes and coffee with the bride’s parents and the true “Father of the Bride” magic that can only ensue when things are inherently traditional.

For better or worse, being a bridesmaid is a huge financial and time commitment. When I think of what I’ve spent on each blessed event, and what that number is multiplied by 11, it’s enough to buy a Ford Focus. The trips for showers and bachelorette parties have been a lion’s share of the traveling I’ve done in my 20’s.

The lunch hours I’ve spent in a poorly lit “bridesmaid salon” getting measured for an expensive gown by a surly saleswoman are hours I’d rather forget. After they take your measurements and consult a chart created by someone truly evil, they point to a size about 17 sizes bigger than your normal dress size and shrug their shoulders while looking at you with a mixture of judgment and indifference. “I don’t know what to tell you, that’s what the chart says.” When the dress arrives and it appears as though you could fit another human in there with you, you curse said surly sales lady while forking over 10% of your bi-monthly paycheck to the alterations place.

Mid-way through my bridesmaid experiences, I began to feel as though the “Always a bridesmaid, never a bride” adage was representative of my own life. With each passing wedding, I wondered if it would ever be me as the leading lady, rather than the supporting role.

And therein lies the really important thing about being someone’s bridesmaid. What you are really there for is support. Support of their decision to enter into a life-long commitment. Moral support when their veil tears, or their hair looks more 80’s prom that bridal chic.

My favorite part about being in someone’s wedding is the hours leading up to the ceremony. Hours of mimosas and girly chatter, makeup and gallons of hairspray.  Some brides have been frazzled with nerves, and others have been calm and easy going. With all of the cons that come along with being a bridesmaid, these few hours remind me of the ultimate pro. A group of women have been carefully selected to propel the bride into the next stage of her life.

I don’t think I fully understood this until the months leading up to my own wedding.  My sister acted as my maid of honor and my only bridesmaid and I had 12 girls in my house party---really whom I treated as bridesmaids. My sister was the driving force of the entire week leading up to my wedding, and there is no way I could have pulled it off without her. The morning of my wedding is one I will not soon forget, it was more than I could have ever hoped for. I cried on and off a lot that day, happy and sentimental tears---and it struck a real chord that I had 13 of the most important people in my life there to support me.

Like many of the best things in life, being a bridesmaid has its good and bad moments. No one likes spending money on a dress they’ll never wear or using the majority of their 10-14 vacation days on events for someone else’s wedding. But in the end, it’s the memories you create and the bonds you share that make it all worthwhile. Standing beside your friend on those church steps, or teetering in the grass under the warm afternoon sun, you realize that it is not only an honor, but a privilege.

And hey, after it’s all said and done, you get cake and champagne. Not a bad deal.

A Hoppin' Saturday Night

I visited my cousin in Austin this weekend to finish up and start a few decorating projects that I am helping her with.

We took the obligatory trip to Ikea on Saturday night to grab some fabulous chairs for her living room. She happens to be one of those lucky humans that lives like 5 minutes from Ikea.

Of course, if you have a modern aesthetic and you like simple, clean lined decor, Ikea is probably a huge go-to for you, especially if you're on a budget. 

The thing that really struck me is that Ikea has a lot of things right now that look decidedly un-Ikea like. Things that you could easily incorporate into other styles of decor, like more traditional, French Country, Hollywood Regency, Etc.

I am smitten with this botanical print bedding. 
It would be darling in a room painted in a soft color, with an antique iron bed and linen drapes.

I would love mixing it with this bedding. 
It was more "rosey" colored in person and it was really kind of French Country looking.

I thought this traditional floral toile bedding was so precious too.

 Love it all together or could be mixed with some hotel-style shams in black and white, or grey, maybe with a fun monogram?

a la Leontine. 
Talk about mixing high and low!

This bedding reminded me of Kate Winslet's house in The Holiday.

I mean, right?

images via here

And while we're on the French and English countrysides, look at this fabric that Ikea sells for $8.99/yd.

It would be so darling (in either colorway) as drapery, as a dust ruffle, or even on a little bench at the end of your bed. 

And this French Bistro style chair, which is getting so popular.
This black Ikea version is $99.

Compared to a similar style that Serena & Lily sells for $225.

If you're trying to outfit your kitchen/dining room and you have a lot to buy or are on a budget, definitely consider Ikea.

I remember a time where I was looking EVERYWHERE for woven chargers like these and some places they were as high as $40 a piece.

Ikea sells them for $3.99 each.

I also love these little dish towels (that could double as dinner napkins) for 79 cents a piece.

They remind me of a pretty much every restaurant I visited in France, or any restaurant in NYC that imitates said restaurants.

And I saw this darling little white and brass lamp that I believe needs to take up residence on my desk.

And here it is in nickel and brass.

Back to their fabrics, I think this whimsical pink and orange fabric is just the best.
I love it for a fun, feminine space or even a child's room! $6.99/yd folks. UNREAL.

I almost got upset when I saw this fabric
I cannot tell you how I searched high and low for a fabric like this before my wedding.
And to make matters worse it's $7.99/yd. You could cover your whole life in it.

I thought this palm print was so fun too. And an incredible $8.99/yd.

We purchased this chandelier for my cousin's office, and I just think it has so much personality.

And when other retailers are charging out the wazoo for other sputnik style fixtures, why not capture the trend at an easy $99?

I also love this guy---perfect for a kitchen island or an informal dining area.

I always love their organizational stuff at Ikea, but these bright pink boxes really caught my eye!
Perfect for a girly office or to organize your closet!

Would work perfectly for both paper clips and pushpins, as it would to corral jewelry.

And last but not least, they have made so many new colors of the their popular lack table available. I was dying over the orange and turquoise colorways.

Such a fun (and cheap) way to add some punch to a room!

I just love a hoppin' and educational Saturday night, don't you?