Relaxed Elegance Redux: A Look at Three of our Top Posts in 2010

Happy New Year! Hope all of you had the most wonderful of holidays with family and friends.

Relaxed Elegance and Avery Design Interiors will continue their holiday hiatus throughout the weekend but will be back on Monday with more interior design magic.

Expect in the new year – an update on my progress on my 30 day LinkedIn project, new photos of the Library Fireplace in CT and the Master Bath renovations in FL, and finally many more family friendly interior design tips.

I love to hear from you… Please let me know which posts inspired you last year. What would you like to see more of from Relaxed Elegance in 2011?

Enjoy the 2010 Redux….

5 Interior Design Tips for Renovating a Bathroom

September 2, 2010
by averydesigninteriors

I recently worked with a client who handed me a list of 50 Decisions for the Guest Bath.  Now, if I were one of my clients I would be completely overwhelmed with a list of 50 decisions. Wouldn’t you be?

So, I’ve pared down the list to 5 decisions. For more….

Interior Design: Farmhouse Fireplace

October 1, 2010

I met with a new client today. She is lovely as are her gorgeous two young children and super nice down to earth husband. They have an underused front living room, which is in need of some warmth and light. Their first priority is to add a fireplace. They have the chimney so the construction won’t be nearly so traumatic.

Their style is relaxed, comfortable, leaning towards the warmth and feel of a farmhouse. Everything must be kid-friendly. They love their pale peach room and taupe sofas but are asking for an all white fireplace to match the existing trim. The room is small as is the fireplace wall, so the scale of the fireplace will need to be small as well.

Here are some of my initial inspiration fireplaces – not necessarily at the correct scale. Of course, I will be providing the clients with an original design. After I draw it and get the clients’ approval, I will post it for you. For more…

Interior Design of a Teen Room

August 30, 2010

This past week, I’ve been busily working on a teen room in conjunction with my new interior design service, ‘Ready, Set, School: Your Child’s Room Grows Up’. It is so much fun to design a young person’s room. Here are some of the design inspiration and “during” photos. For more…


Catching up with…The Adventurer

Between getting ready for Christmas, fighting a nasty cold that we have all shared chez Avery and reading a divinely funny and poignant blog, I have been absent from writing my own!

I love this addictive new blog so much that I have to share an excerpt with you and then you can link on over to read the rest. I promise you will laugh, cry and everything in between.

So you are wondering how I came upon this blog… I recently ran into a friend of mine from interior design school who I had not seen in about a year. I was shocked to hear in that time she had gotten breast cancer and was already well into the fight. We were so busy catching up on the world of design, family and friends that we didn’t have a minute to talk about her cancer battles. If you knew her personally, you would not be surprised, she is busy enjoying her life!

I had to read her blog to discover what her last year has been like. So, she started her blog, The Adventurer, with the day she had the mammogram which was also her third anniversary to (second) husband Peter.

It was hard to choose just one post so I took an excerpt from her latest.

Read on…

I LOVE being bald. Yes, I know, pretty weird thing for someone blessed with a thick mass of untameable curls that she used to hate but grew to love, but honestly I really like this new look. And I’ll tell you something – having no hair makes getting up and out of the house a breeze. I actually take quicker showers than my husband! 

Peter, godblesshim, having become an instant parent to four teenagers some years ago, came up with a bizarre rule called The Two Minute Shower. His attempts to turn the entire household into TTMS followers met with dismal failure. My three girls would simply give him The Look as they trailed steam and wet towels. My son, who should have been more receptive to the concept being of the same species as Peter, just grunted and tried to wrestle him to the ground. As the wife, I paid no attention to P’s quaint little quirks. But these days I’m not only a convert to TTMS, I’m its best practitioner. With no hair to wash and condition or legs to shave, two minutes is longer than I need.

After I’d shaved my head and become a regular in the infusion room at Norwalk Hospital, I discovered that walking around au naturel was not the norm at all. In fact, I was the only one without a wig or scarf! Mind you, I’d started off wearing hats and scarves, mainly to keep my head warm but also because I didn’t want to make on-lookers uncomfortable. But there came a day when keeping my head warm was the last thing I wanted, and I didn’t give a hoot what anyone thought.

My step-daughter Rony (she’s in the middle in the photo) was visiting from Australia and I decided to take her to Stew Leonard’s, a funky local supermarket. It was the middle of the afternoon and the temperature was hovering around 105°. Remember Robin Williams in Good Morning, Vietnam? It’s hot! Damn hot. Real hot! As we set off across the parking lot I realized I’d left my Panama hat in the car. Ooof! We were nearly at the air-conditioning. Did I want to go back for the hat? No way. 

Now that I think back to my pre-cancer days, I don’t remember seeing a lot of bald women walking around – and I’m the sort that notices that sort of thing. So I was absolutely gob-smacked that no-one stared at me in Stew’s. Actually, not quite true. Little kids stared open-mouthed, then tugged at their mothers, but nobody pointed or said anything out loud. Quite amazing. After that, I ditched the hats altogether except as sun protection. Incredibly liberating.

For more from The Adventurer

Three Family Friendly Tips for Holiday Decorating

Here at Avery Design Interiors, we have been busy elves readying our clients’ homes, as well as our own, for the holiday season. Here are three family friendly pointers for holiday decorating.


Toy Cabinet

1. De-Toy

Before the impending influx of new toys, clean out your children’s current toys, whether in a basement play room, their own room or the family room.

As you sort, ask yourself the following:
Are there any missing pieces or parts?
Is anything broken and can we fix it?
Has my child played with this in the last three months?

In the last year, your child’s tastes have changed. In our family, we have successfully reused the bins with Little People (now residing in said attic bag mentioned below) for the burgeoning collection of clothes and accessories for our daughter’s American Girl doll.

Ideally, you will be able to do the clean-out in conjunction with your child. Let them choose which toys to give away. But if your child can’t let go and might miss a toy, store them in a big plastic bag or bin in the attic. In three months, if your child hasn’t asked for it and it’s still in good condition, pass it on to a local charity or school.

Child's Christmas Tree

2. Decorate

Have your children decorate their own rooms.

They can make ornaments or set up a menorah or crèche. Purchase a small tree and let your child decorate it with some of your unbreakable ornaments or their home-made ones. My daughter loves her new tree – kitschy isn’t it?

You can keep your children occupied for hours with some great arts and crafts during this season. They can make a handmade card for Grandma and Grandpa. Or have them decorate plain brown paper to use as wrapping paper for gifts.

Christmas Cookies

My personal favorite – have your child join you in the kitchen to help bake holiday cookies. It’s all messy but a ton of fun.

3. Dine

This is your chance to get back in your under-utilized Dining Room. Please bring out Grandma’s fine china, the family silverware and the gorgeous crystal goblets you got at your wedding. Really, there’s no need to let these lovely items collect dust just because you are afraid one might break. I mixed my Christmas china, crystal and Grandma’s silverware with fun contemporary accessories.

Surprisingly, your children will rise to the occasion. Have a practice run this weekend. Pretend you are having a tea party with the prince and princess.

Make it a big deal! Dress them up in their finest, seat them at the big table and use this opportunity to let them practice their very best manners on your family.

Here’s the trick – don’t start dinner at the regular time. We eat dinner by no later than 4 on holidays.

If you want to spread out the joy and think (okay seriously…know) your kids won’t make it through, have a sophisticated dessert for the grown-ups a little later and just let the kids munch on those delicious home-made Christmas cookies and hot chocolate in front of a holiday movie in the family room.

Aren’t sure how to make it all come together? Give me a call and I will style your Dining Room for the holidays.

I love to hear from you. Which is your favorite holiday tradition?

From our home to yours, wishing you the happiest of holidays!

All That Glitters… Holiday Home Decor Shopping

How is your Holiday Shopping?

Have you finished your list?

How about a glamorous gold bowl?


bowl, gold, decor, holiday, shopping, interior design

Dauville Gold Glazed Bowl - Canvas Home



kosta boda, gold, bowl, glass, interior decor, shopping, holiday

Glimmer Gold Bowl - Kosta Boda

Sky’s The Limit


bowl, home decor, interior design, gold, fiamma, Missoni Home

Fiamma for Richard Ginori - Missoni Home

(as seen in Elle Decor)

Holiday House: Snow Day

Wordless Wednesday: if you haven’t been to Holiday House in NYC yet, you don’t know what you are missing.

Holiday House is to benefit Susan G Komen for the Cure. Located at 2 East 63rd St. in Manhattan, Holiday House is open until December 15th.

Here is a taste of a Snow Day from Irwin Feld Design and their Mid-Century Furniture Gallery in Stamford, CT.

Custom wallpaper design of Marcy Feld’s photography as realized by Tracy Hiner of Black Crow Studios.



Holiday House

Susan G Komen for the Cure

Black Crow Studio

Interior Design: New Lighting Love

Love the designs from Prospetto Light in Stow Ohio! I can just imagine one of the glass pendants as a focal piece in a Foyer.

It’s Wordless Wednesday so just kick back and enjoy the pictures…

(All images from Prospetto Light website)

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