Design Show and Tell: Sunroom


We left off at the living room, shown below, which I opened up to the adjoining sunroom by knocking out the wall to the left of the fireplace. I also turned the fireplace into a double-sided one. The overall effect here is a much more open floor plan, creating the illusion of more space…Picture1

If you were to walk through the opening on the right (above) and turn slightly left, this is what you’d see. The back wall and left corner of this room are all window…CIMG1652CIMG1653

A view from outside…this door was changed to open out and was switched to have the hinges on the opposite side, making for easier traffic flow from the living and sun rooms onto the deck, which was built up to be even with the doors…100_1962

As you can see, the stairs and concrete slab were really just a big eyesore. Building up a deck here made the space much more usable, and being that it is directly off the dining, living, and sun rooms, it was really just an extension of the indoor space…CIMG1633

A view in from the backyard…on the right, looking directly into the sunroom, you can see the built-in white shelving that was removed to create the second opening on the other side of the double-sided fireplace. To the left is the master bedroom window…Picture2

Here is the basic layout of the sunroom and below it, a concept sketch…CCI12022010_00000

The design I created was meant to have a playful and dreamy quality to it. I used crisp yellow-greens, coral, and aqua as my accent colors. The furniture was kept light and low in profile so as not to block the view of outside. In the top right you’ll see mirrored tiles used to cover the fireplace, reflecting everything outside and all that beautiful natural light…

This is the effect achieved by covering the fireplace in mirrored tiles. Antiquing them is a great idea, especially in this case where they’re located in a room filled with sunlight. If you wanted the window treatments raised, the antique finish would reduce glare. Also, using the smaller sized tiles cuts down on glare because the slight irregularity from one tile installation to the next helps break up the rays, causing them to bounce off in slightly different directions…  WY001210


Anyone who has ever lived in a hot climate knows how important ceiling fans are and we tend to not want to give them up…ever…for any reason. But who says you have to sacrifice style for comfort? Not me. This Artemis ceiling fan from g2art.com was my solution to the whole “have an ugly fan vs. don’t and sweat like a pig” conundrum. With smooth, attractive curves in an appealing group of three translucent blades, this fan solves the problem and everybody’s happy. Beautiful, modern, sleek, and unobtrusive…f803-tl-500 

I loved all the fresh shades of blues and greens with hints of coral (used throughout the room) and fantasy-like qualities in this 1914 Bird of Paradise Vogue cover from the Conde Nast Store. This fantastical nature scene is fitting for a room with a big view of outside…    CCI12022010_00002 

This is a 1970’s ceramic lamp from 1st Dibs. I thought the soft, milky, jade green was just delicious…CCI12022010_00003

In keeping with my belief that something doesn’t have to be expensive to look good and you can certainly mix high- and low-priced items, I picked this acacia wood mini bar from CB2 to bring a little “feel good” into the room, perfect for entertaining…AcaciaMiniBar3QF8 Picture_2

Don’t you dig this fabulous rug?? It’s a 1930’s Chinese Art Deco, also from 1st Dibs. Fun, feminine, and traditional with a funky jolt of color… AAAADKCQ20QAAAAAABsWHQ

Fabrics are always my favorite part!… I just love this print by Schumacher, it’s called Le Petit Oiseau Toile in Aqua. It was used for pleated balloon shades on all of the windows, adding to the light, fresh nature- and sort of daydream-inspired space…CCI12022010_00001

Wouldn’t this be a fun little room to sit and have a cocktail with your best friend in? Sitting on that low-slung studio sofa and Barcelona chair in front of that uber-glam fireplace? Between the drinks from the fabulous little acacia bar and all the pieces hand-picked to spark your imagination and inspire delight, fun times and conversation would never be lacking in this room.


Happy Turkey Day!


Sorry I’ve been away. Between fighting off a bad case of bronchitis and preparing for a garage sale, I’ve been a bit pre-occupied…

Since I’m sure you’re all probably preparing for a very busy day of cooking and eating tomorrow, I decided to keep this short and calorie-free!

Thanksgiving is full of fond memories of time spent with family, favorite dishes we all look forward to throughout the year, satisfied grunts and groans, much anticipated naps, & pants whose buttons suddenly become potentially deadly weapons if left fastened…

Enjoy these Thanksgiving dish inspired rooms, all the great food you’ll enjoy tomorrow (don’t feel guilty, savor it!), and time spent with your loved ones…

Creamy, buttery, mashed potatoes and gravy…Picture9 Picture12(zunigainteriors.blogspot.com)


Picture10 (desiretoinspire.net)


Cranberry sauce, from the can or homemade, whichever you prefer…





Picture15(source unknown)

Turkey, best (I think) when brined & crispy, but great as long as it’s juicy…

Picture5  Picture6(decorpad.com)


   Picture8 (saragilbaneinteriors.com)


And last, but not least, those sweet, sweet, sweet potatoes. Whether in pie or casserole form, with marshmallows or pecans & brown sugar, this dish is a Thanksgiving must…

Picture1  Picture3(yourdecoratinghotline.com)  Picture2(marthamoments.blogspot.com) 

Picture4 (cococozy.com)


Happy Elastic Pants Day Everybody!!!


Where To? Brasil



I’ve never been outside of the U.S., but I have always been fascinated by other places and their cultures. As you already know about me, I love to incorporate pieces from other places in my own home. There’s just something fantastic and awe-inspiring about having something beautiful in my home that came from somewhere far away and can’t be picked up at my local Wal-Mart or Pier 1. The more unique, the better. And I love things that are handmade. I guess I’m partially drawn to these types of things because they tell a story and have true character and a soul

Brasil has been a bit of a design obsession of mine for a while now. I am constantly finding myself drawn to pieces, interiors, and architecture that come from this beautiful country. Maybe it’s because so many of their approaches to interiors are flawlessly simple and minimalistic, without seeming pretentious or untouchable…having only a few focal points at a time, keeping the rest to basic necessities, but never lacking… Or maybe it’s because they seem to be so connected to nature- always using what’s around them and effortlessly blurring the boundaries between inside and outside…

1433983926_97607192d9 house designed by Oscar Niemeyer

(source unknown)

bernardes-jacobsen-house1 bernardes-jacobsen-house5 above images are from a home in Sao Paulo designed by Bernardes Jacobsen Architecture


imagesfrom the book: Living in Bahia


FROMOURHOMETOYOURS-EN.BLOGSPOTPart of a Brasilian family’s Easter decoration- African violets in eggshells… simple and beautiful.



Brasil is known for having some of the most stunning natural resources in the world, amongst these are wood and stone. Some of the more well known species of wood are Teak/Cumaru…ARTHURCASAS_MOMOY.COM_CUMARU ARTHURCASAS_MOMOY.COM_CUMARU2 ARTHURCASAS_MOMOY.COM_CUMARU3

above images are from a house designed by Arthur Casas



 pool house designed by Hariri and Hariri Architecture






(kitchen image from kitchendesignnotes.com)


And Tigerwood/Koa…futurelintblogspot_koa



A few fun facts about these lovely woods:

  • Cumaru
    • naturally resistant to rot, decay and insect attack
    • has a flame spread rating of Class A, the same as concrete or steel
    • offers a lifespan well over 40 years without preservatives (meaning low maintenance)
    • its density helps make it remain smooth and splinter free
    • doesn't absorb water, twist, splinter, or bow like softer woods
    • endures very little color change due to sun light
  • Ipe
    • naturally resistant to rot, decay and insect attack
    • has a flame spread rating of Class A, the same as concrete or steel
    • endures very little color change due to sun light
    • mold resistant
    • warp resistant
    • can also be left untreated
  • Jacaranda/Caviuna
    • endangered and protected and therefore very rare and prized
    • very hard and dense
    • used for furniture, musical instruments, bowls, platters, etc.
  • Koa
    • very durable
    • naturally resistant to insect attack
    • has excellent weathering properties
    • very durable regarding decay resistance

A lot of the furniture that comes from Brasil is made of some of these striking woods…


top to bottom, left to right


top to bottom, left to right

  • 1stdibs.com- leather wrapped credenza with bronze pulls and feet by Marcelo Vasconcellos for Thomas Hayes Studio
  • espasso.com- “Domino” magazine stand and side table made of black iron, leather, and marble by Jorge Zalszupin
  • espasso.com- “Banquette” stools by Gregori Warchavchic
  • espasso.com- “Trinco” stools by Lia Siqueira
  • design-milk.com- “Sarrafo” coffee table by Notus Design made of industrial waste wooden slats. The table can be flipped upside down as well.

One of my favorite “furniture” items from Brasil (or pretty much any other tropical, laid-back destination) is hammocks. Nothing says “chilled out and lovin’ life” like these beauties…BRAZIL_trancoso-hero-hammock1 


PLANET-CRAFT.COM_Cadeira_Azaleia_G3 PLANET-CRAFT_hm%20pink%20chair%20hammock%20fringe2

 (above two images from planet-craft.com)

Here are a few jaw-droppingly stunning stones…only a small taste of what’s available from Brasil in granite and marble…


And don’t forget quartz and agate…



STYLEHIVE.COM_imagesCA576C9Xagate coasters



I am in love with the Brasilian Modernist movement, where some of the minimalist nature of their architecture and decor stems from. Part of why I love it so much is because, although it is very sleek and almost futuristic, it has very organic characteristics, which I think is a lovely combination. Oscar Niemeyer, an architect still living today at the age of 102, who worked alongside Le Corbusier, is considered by most to be the father of Brasilian Modernism…

oscar-niemeyer_3-brasilia-soft  the Brasilian National Congress building by Oscar Niemeyer



1432836537_458ab361fc Cathedral of Brasilia by Oscar Niemeyer



1432815231_6e2b2b0879 interior shot of the cathedral



KORDONLINE.COM_SAO PAULOimagesCAGXZSLR This is a store in Sao Paulo keeping with the modernist form. So simple, and I fall for the beauty of black, white, and wood every time.

(source unknown)


I have run across some truly amazing lighting fixtures out of Brasil, too. Check these out…

ESPASSO_CANTANTE_CLAUDIA MOREIRA SALLES_FALLEN TREE TRUNKS “Cantante” sconce designed by Claudia Moreira Salles, made of silver and fallen tree trunks. How gorgeous is that??



ESPASSO_ECLIPSE_MAURICIO KLABIN  “Eclipse” lamp by Mauricio Klabin, made of a single plastic band which can be manipulated to change the orientation of light and folds flat for storage. Part of the permanent collection at MoMA in New York.



DESIGNBOOM.COM_COMERAINORSHINE “Come Rain Come Shine” chandelier was designed by Studio Tord Boontje and is made of metal and crocheted cotton, silk, organza, and other fabrics. These beautiful fixtures are produced by Coopa-Roca, a women’s co-op in Rocinha, Rio de Janeiro. Coopa-Roca recruits local unemployed women to produce these beautiful works of art, allowing the female artisans to use their homes as workshops, enabling them to look after their children and domestic responsibilities whilst earning a living. This is part of the New York company Artecnica’s Design with Conscience project which offers opportunities to artisans to utilize their crafts commercially when they otherwise couldn’t. I think this is a wonderful, wonderful program, allowing these women to have fun, do what they love, socialize with one another, and make a decent and honest living.




And just a few more beauties to tie things up…

ESPASSO_RIVA_RUBENS SIMOES "Riva" flatware in titanium designed by Rubens Simões



imagesCAJEZRLU Brasilian cowhide rug, very “of the moment” but always a classic, as far as I’m concerned


JASKARNRANGI.BLOGSPOT_henrique-oliveira-1 I think this is just amazing. Henrique Oliveira is a Brasilian artist who uses old peeling fence wood to create these sensational installations. Fascinating!…




Pretty freaking amazing, huh? Bet you never knew how much outstanding design came from Brasil, huh? All I can say is: