Sunday, April 10, 2016


Moments of clarity always come to me when I am the least likely to be open to it. Last September 10th, on my way to West Point for the last of many funerals, and after delayed flights and a car rental experience from hell, I found myself stuck on the Major Deegan Expressway at rush hour. Starving and exhausted, I looked up from a dead standstill to see a billboard sign hidden in the dark sky, one word in bold type, GRATTITUDE. Misspelled (like every word I spell) with an extra T and a backwards E, I couldn't help but smile at the irony. 

Gratitude: The quality of being thankful; readiness to show appreciation and kindness.

How is it that such a simple word with such a clear definition, can be so hard to practice in my own life. Yet, there it was, my lesson for the day, staring me down from above, so that I couldn't possibly miss it. GRATITUDE. I was grateful that day, to be going to my Great Aunts Skippy's funeral, on of all days 9/11, thankful for her life and her lessons that she left to all that loved her. Practice gratitude everyday, even in the dark and in traffic, and you will find happiness. It's not complicated at all. 

As if my Great Aunt Skip would have had it any other way, her funeral was a clear celebration of life, we laughed we smiled, we shared only the good times. Afterwards, we jumped in our cars, drove up and down the Hudson River Parkway and celebrated on the water with great food and wine and basked in the sun light.

Wednesday, December 2, 2015


Meet Client Glam, she's is blond, beautiful, young, fun and lives on her own. Not tied down by a resident second half, she wants it all.  Her adorable apartment in Elizabeth is in need of a brand new luxe overhaul. To make the project even more fun, I called in my favorite designer and partner Lizanne Shaver to bring in some super fresh ideas.

Not a stranger to this blog, Lizanne's previous house was featured here in May of 2012.  After reviewing some pics of her to die for space, I knew she was the right one for the job, and I was lucky enough to score her as my Design Assistant for client Glam's luxe space.

Check out Lizanne's Living Room at her previous residence!

The plan is to finish up what her previous designer started and get the walls painted. Her previous designer installed beautiful lavender grass cloth panels in the family room. We painted the walls in the main living room, hallway and floorboards Benjamin Moore's Gunmetal. The ceilings in the mid-century apartment are fairly low, so we painted the ceiling and all of the trim Benjamin Moore's Silver Lake.  We actually used the (light gray) Silver Lake in place of traditional white. 

The Living Room in Mid Construction

With the basics in place, (ALWAYS PAINT FIRST) we turned out attention to the creating the perfect boudoir for the woman who has it all. The previous designer had installed the main wall with a charcoal grass cloth that we are definitely keeping, so tying the color scheme's together became our challenge. Lizanne and I originally came up with this plan:

We ended up going a different direction with the room, which is the part of the creative process that I love! I do love this crazy sick wallpaper from Candace Olsen. We are wallpapering the closet and creating a little nook, so we looked at a million wallpapers.

A no go, but I still love.

Back to the drawing board Lizanne and I went, and by that I mean we made a bee line to Karen Saks to do some some serious homework. After several hours and a few cups of coffee we came up with this little luxurious gem of a fabric plan. 

Check out the fabulous fabrics we picked!!

Design board number two was a major hit!  The plan is to paint the walls a metallic silver with a little warmth in it. We decided to use the crushed velvet from JF Fabrics on the Euro Shams. Through out the house we replaced traditional white with  light gray, so why not do the same on the bedding. I like the pin tucked version from West Elm. Staying in the room are the existing mirrored bedside tables and purple glass lamps. Front and center in the new room will be a new upholstered headboard, we are looking for one with a shelter arm that will give the bed the built in feel she loves.  Thrown at the end of the bed, a over the top luxe faux fur blanket of course!

One major point of interest will be the Kelly Wearstler Channels print in Periwinkle and Oat. We plan to use the fabric on the roman shades that will define the corner pair of mid century windows. Also in the works is using the same pattern but in wallpaper in the closet. We took off the doors and are creating a fun little niche for hiding an ottoman and floating shelves.

Stay tuned for more updates and fun progress as this project pulls itself together!

Friday, October 16, 2015

Creative Fraud: Designer Code Of Ethics

Two and a 1/2 years ago, we sold the home that started this blog. The home that we renovated twice in the SEVEN years that we lived in it. We added a front porch and completely renovated a dilapidated screened in porch, turning it into a 8 window sun room full of light and stuffed it full of children.  Indeed I left some of the original renovations to the kitchen and upstairs bathroom, but with out a doubt the house was completely transformed. Every room was designed by me, window treatments, furnishings, accessories, art work, all by me and with help of some other very creative souls. At the time we hired Allen Brooks with ALB Architecture to work with us, we had to go through the Historic Committee and get a variance from the City of Charlotte. We then hired and worked with Concept Building on the construction of both porches.

When we sold our house, the women who we bought the house from in 2006, hunted down our real estate agents photographer and unethically purchased the photo's we used when we listed our house in June of 2013.  I found this out when my daughter was doing a project on Historic Dilworth Homes and we searched Pinterest and found my house with her design credit.

Seen Above are pictures of our bedroom, my children bedrooms and my office.

Since then, I have tried everything I can, including suing her, to make her stop. While what she is doing is unbelievably not illegal,  it is most definitely unethical. When designers and artists put there heart and soul into the creative process, it is a labor of love, every brush stroke and every individual accent makes it ours.

Seen above is the side and back yard entrances. Ironically, we were never able to do the back renovation. 

This morning, while searching for images of my old living room, I found yet another (she has taken the websites down) website that Dawn Mathews created for herself.

 Her newest website is

Please help stop this type of creative fraud by getting the word out, and by stopping her and other people from claiming design work that is not their own.