Valentine’s Day gift guide

Valentine’s Day is less than two weeks away. I did a post a few weeks ago about something super sentimental you could give, but you would have had to start that project a while ago. Are you still looking for that perfect gift? I worked on a Valentine’s Day gift guide for Parade magazine. You can see the online version here. But there were SO many fabulous options this year, so I had to share the love. Find that sweet little something for everyone—including your girlfriends, your guy, and your kids.


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Mixing patterns

One of the questions I get asked the most is about mixing patterns. What goes? What doesn’t?

I have a few rules that might help.

Mixing pattern 1

Fabric Floral by Persnickety, ($24.70/yard)

Large chevron stripe in sunny yellow and white, ($11/yard)

Liberty of London Tana Lawn Classics in Hot Pink Wiltshire, ($36.52)

Charcoal dots, ($17.50/yard)

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Get Inspired by Paul Smith

Scott and I were in London this past weekend. He planned the trip as an early birthday present to me to see my all-time favorite musical Jersey Boys, and it was just as fabulous as I had remembered. Scott really liked it too.

One of the other trip highlights was a trip to London’s Design Museum to see the Paul Smith (that’s him below) exhibit. It was a peek inside the fashion designer’s world of inspiration, creation, and collaboration, and the entire exhibit illustrated his sense of humor, his boldness, and his uniqueness. For those of you who don’t know, this design icon is well known for his colorful stripes. I was completely inspired.

Paul Smith

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Best gifts gift guide

I was originally going to stop this series after Christmas, but I have one more to share, one that I think makes an incredible gift any time of year, but it’s sentimental enough to think about for your love this Valentine’s Day. Not that any of the gifts in this series wouldn’t make your sweetie melt—like the things that made Scott and I emotional,  a sentimental map, a homemade gift, a thoughtful addition to a collection, a piece of childhood, a treasure passed down, a family tradition, jewelry, or an heirloom.

Jessica Teves, managing editor at Refinery29 shared a family oil painting that had been passed on to her several years ago. You can read the story here.

It made me think of something my brother has in his home.


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Inspiration Scandinavian style

I am meeting with a potential new client next week, who lives in a house in Switzerland built by a Swedish designer. She said she’s having trouble working with the typical Scandinavian design of the house. I decided to give myself a little visual inspiration—research, you know?

Scandinavian style is everything I would love my own home to embody—loads of natural light, subtle, refreshing colors, clean-lined furnishings, and an absence of clutter (that’s the big one I hope to gain).

Screen Shot 2014-01-15 at 12.26.46 PMPhoto via Houzz

White walls and floors, mirrors, and glass maximize and reflect the light in Jeanette Lund’s home in Norway.

Screen Shot 2014-01-15 at 12.43.08 PMPhoto via Houzz

Benita Larsson, formerly of Chez Larsson, maximizes all available space in her Stockholm abode. Organization is key.

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Nature plays a large role in interiors. Nearly every home is equipped with a fireplace or wood-burning stove so firewood becomes part of the décor. Love this!

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Scandinavian design embraces the open layout.

Love all of these interiors.

Screen Shot 2014-01-15 at 2.45.37 PMPhoto via Digsdigs

Screen Shot 2014-01-15 at 2.49.29 PMPhoto via Minty: Charlotte Minty Interior Design

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What are your thoughts regarding Scandinavian design? Too minimalist for you, or do you love it?

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