Happy Thursday!

Today’s post is slightly different than usual as I have a tiny design dilemma to share with you. The other week we attended a couple of cocktail parties at two of our friends’ homes here in Urbana and I got the chance to see some beautiful properties. Both set in our neighborhood, Historic Urbana – affectionately called the ‘faculty ghetto’. The brick paved, tree-lined streets feature beautiful homes in a variety of architectural styles. Each one is prettier than the next and (since we are renting) often times I find myself fantasizing about decorating them, repainting their facades or reconfiguring their front yard gardens…

Anywho, our friends recently purchased their home – a 1890s Victorian style beauty and, while they did do some light decorating, the interiors are pretty much original to the house. Exquisite wall paneling, carved wood and fireplace mantels, intricate moldings and rosettes, colored glass windows and transoms, everything is still intact and, well… over a century old.

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A few weeks ago, Caitlyn Dorris, Community Manager of Chairish, kindly extended me an invitation to participate in a bucket list challenge marking the launch of Decaso, the Chairish baby sister site.

Decaso is a high-end market place for some of the world’s most respected antique dealers and it completely lives up to that description. It is a treasure trove of antique and modern furniture pieces, artwork and vintage textiles, botanicals and decorative objects – so make sure to bookmark it for future client projects!

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I happily accepted Caitlyn’s invite as it meant virtually shopping with a limitless budget in mind. When does that ever happen? Real life projects, no matter how large or small ALWAYS, ALWAYS involve a budget so this was a great distraction for someone who lives and breaths design. Mind you, it will be hard to get reacquainted with the real world but boy, was it fun!

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Don’t you just love interiors that have a strong indoor/outdoor connection? Well, me too! When it comes to decorating, I have an affinity for rooms with an earthy feel that evoke the tranquility of a garden. Even better if they open onto one!

Whether you have stunning views and a patio right outside of your living room, or not, there are many different ways to bring the outdoors in. You can begin with the color scheme – an earthy palette of greens and grounding browns will work like a charm. Next, use fabrics / wall coverings that depict serene nature scenes and floral patterns. Last, finish the room by incorporating natural textures whenever possible – rattan, sisal and wicker will subtly create a garden-like feel. Now, if you’re bold enough, you can always try a garden trellis! It is by far one of the most dramatic and efficient ways of creating a garden room.

A garden trellis or a treillage (aka as fretwork or lattice) is an architectural structure made of interlacing strips of wood, bamboo or metal, that is widely used in gardens to support climbing trees and plants.

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The graphic and playful interiors of international designer Muriel Brandolini have been featured in all major publications around the globe, from Architectural Digest, Elle Decor to Harper’s Bazaar, Vogue and the World of Interiors and so it’s no wonder that her fabric lines are equally fun and sought-after. You see, I’ve been crushing on one of her prints after seeing it used by one of my favorite designers and I’m happy to have tracked it down and bookmarked it for future reference.

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”My family’s home in Palm Beach inspired the AERIN collection by Williams Sonoma. The sound of the ocean, the beautiful green grass- everywhere you look it’s blue skies and blue seas. It’s truly paradise to me.”  – Aerin Lauder

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Inspired by the women in her life, her grandmother Esthée (the amazing business woman that created Esthée Lauder beauty empire we know today) and her mother, Aerin Lauder’s dinnerware collection is a marriage of timeless traditional elements like the blue and white palette and scalloped edges with a more modern point of view. The result is a fantastic collection off which I covet every piece!

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