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.

queen anne

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Howdy!! It has become a habit here on Café Design to zoom in weekly into a particular room and its décor. Breaking down the details is one of my favorite things to do when writing about beautiful homes. Plus, it gives me the chance to learn something new and become a better designer for it. I hope. So here goes this week’s installment of  ”Room of the Day”.

This beautiful home library is the work of Texan designer Shannon Bowers and was published in Milieu a few years ago.  One of the reasons I thought of this space today is because of its freshness. We’ve had some tropical weather here in Illinois and there’s nothing more soothing on a hot summer day than a green and white color scheme. I just love how this room is such an eclectic mix of details. On one hand, we have clean lines of modern architecture. White walls and neat built-ins contrast with the selection of antique furnishings and the warmer woods. On the other hand, every piece seems to tell a story. The neutral color scheme has lots of patina, jazzed up with green and gold accents. Pottery and ceramic bowls in greens and aquas, textured seagrass and linen bring everything corner into focus.

shannon bowers

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Happy Mother’s Day to all of the wonderful, loving, caring and fun mothers out there! I hope you’ve all had a great weekend. We have been on a whirlwind of social events for the last couple of weeks but somehow I managed to squeeze in some alone time this weekend. As a mom of a five year old, it’s not often that that happens but when it does, I’m thankful for every minute. Yoga and a good (design) read are two of my favorite ways of spending some quality  ‘me’  time. Cue, Elle Decor’s June issue. I was slightly intimidated by its cover but once I got to the style section, I was hooked. This beautiful project by Steven Gambrel has been a teaser for some time as I’ve seen shots of the living room before, but now the entire project is revealed and it’s another Gambrel dream home!


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   If you love beautiful fabrics, color and the timeless appeal of traditional patterns as much as I do (and I’m guessing you do since you’re reading this 🙂 ) you’ll find that today’s post hits all the marks. Cabbages and Roses is a worldwide famous brand of fabrics, clothing and homewares founded by British stylist and decorator Christina Strutt at the beginning of the millennium. Frustrated by the scarcity of vintage fabrics throughout flea markets and thrift shops, Strutt decided to start making her own. Her first print, called Bees, was a reproduction of a vintage floral quilt pattern and, well…  the rest is history. Fast forward two decades later and her brand has reached a cult level, being widely appreciated throughout Europe, the United States and Asia.

Supporting her entrepreneurial endeavors, Strutt has also authored several lifestyle books (and I’m the proud owner of each and every one of them) that proved to be a clever business move that further consolidated her brand.

As its name so clearly suggests, Cabbages and Roses is dedicated to beautiful living through a romantic lens. Delicate floral patterns in the prettiest blues, greens and cerise are perfectly complemented with ticking and stripes, and pure linen weaves. While some might call the Cabagges and Roses lookbook ”granny chic”, I call it rustic luxury, refined vintage – a beautiful nod to times passed.

cabbage and roses constance blue

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Hi, y’all! Another week, another fabulous showhouse room to share with you! Today’s beauty is part of the 2017 Lake Forest IL Design & Garden Showhouse and is the work of designer Wendy Labrum. Bringing the gardens in has never looked better! This small space used to be a porch room with beautiful garden views, but without much interest in and off itself. During the showhouse  renovation, Labrum had paneling installed and lacquered, and now the room packs plenty of drama!

wendy labrum 3

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