With so many fabrics and different patterns to choose from these days, being an interior designer (or anyone planning a home makeover for that matter) can be both exciting and scary at the same time. Luckily, there are a few textiles around that have become trusted staples as some of the most talented designers have been using them in their projects time and time again. One such exquisite print is Henriot Floral by Quadrille. Like many others, I am bonkers over this one and love seeing it used as much as possible, both on upholstery and draperies (wallpaper too). The pattern itself is a delicate, stylized floral with just the right size to make it eye-catching on chairs and window treatments alike. There are five color ways available, ranging from a cool mix of blues and turquoise to warmer colors like lilac, peach and pink, all on ecru. The designer approved way of using this oversized floral is by pairing it with subtler geometric prints and solids. But you know, we all appreciate different things so do what you love best 🙂

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Henriot Floral by Quadrille

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I haven’t met anyone who didn’t enjoy a good before and after design story. In this case, a great one! Have you? Designer Madeleine Stuart and her husband, writer Steve Oney, purchased a historic Santa Barbara bungalow and fixed it up into a totally dreamy  retreat. Wanna see? 🙂

The Spanish style home came with plenty of charm and great bones, which helped of course, but the dark interiors needed fresh coats of paint and new fittings. And nothing like white walls to capture all that beautiful Santa Barbara light.

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If you were wondering What should I be wearing right about this time of year?, well that’s the answer! Or at least that’s what fashion experts suggest 🙂 One of the hottest trends of this Fall-Winter season, velvet is just great for wearing during the cold months. Soft and warm, for your comfort; smooth and shinny for that extra glam factor -the best of both worlds! Plus, it screams ¨Holiday Party¨! And since Thanksgiving is around the corner and then we’re smooth sailing onto Christmas, I thought I’d inspire you with some last minute fashion ideas. There are way too many fabulous choices, but here are my top twenty velvet-y looks, on and off the runway for both formal and every day wear. Enjoy!

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Armani Privé

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Don’t you just love attics? I adore them, ever since I was a little girl. My bestie and I would play hide and seek, hang out and would spend hours in my grandma’s attic going through her old storage boxes, looking for treasures 🙂 . And although I no longer rummage through grandma’s stuff, I admit the attic fascination has stayed with me to this day.

At the moment we live in an apartment building so no attic space for us but when it comes to designing for clients, I believe in making every inch of real estate count, both aesthetically and functionally. That includes turning an often overlooked space like the attic into a cozy, charming, livable space. Forever destined to be forgotten drop-off stations for family heirlooms and objects we no longer want in our homes, but are reluctant to part with, attics can be transformed virtually into any room. With some clever space planning tricks, they can function as bedrooms, home offices, libraries, dressing rooms, bathrooms, lounging spaces and more. Depending on the client’s needs and budget, anything can be done.

Two of the most common problems when converting your attic, are the lack of storage and insufficient natural light. Since angled roofs make it really difficult to fit closets in, built-ins are the better way to fix the storage problem. As for bringing in natural light,  you can install new windows, skylights, or even dormers. If the attic space is large enough to be divided into different areas, glass doors and dividers, or inner windows can help carry the light throughout.

But more than attic spaces in general, today’s post is about attics turned into beautiful bedrooms, which is one of my favorite ways to go design-wise ( I’ll try to post later about other space solutions). Here are some of my favorite rooms for inspiration.

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I know, I know, my seemingly regular posts about designer Mark D. Sikes start to sound like an obsession (lol) but I take solace in knowing that I’m not the only one (I wrote about his work here, here, here and here) 🙂 Plus, what some people might view as an obsession, I like to see as a healthy admiration of a self-made interior designer, whose design aesthetic is a most beautiful mix of East Coast traditional meeting the casual, easy-breezy California living. The perfect blend!

Mark’s home has been published twice in shelter magazines such as House Beautiful and Veranda, and recently One Kings Lane paid a visit to his lovely Hollywood Hills home and published new photos of its interiors. Some that have never been published before, which justifies today’s post- third time is a charm.

The architecture of the house is Spanish colonial with a strong indoor-outdoor connection that is so typical to Southern Californian homes. The interiors are decorated with some of Mark’s favorite things: chinoiserie furniture pieces, blue and white porcelain and Gracie wallpaper, leather accents, touches of leopard and black, layered natural fiber rugs, vintage dhurries and rattan chairs. So many different textures and design elements come together seamlessly to create one of the most beautiful homes in the country.

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{Mark D. Sikes in his chic living room}

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