Liven Your Office: How to add Accessories

Lately, I have been on a Pinterest kick. It’s a little piece of social media heaven for a visual person.  When I started to look for photos for this post I headed straight to Pinterest. Enjoy!

Anna Quindlen said “I would be most content if my children grew up to be the kind of people who think decorating consists mostly of building enough bookshelves.” Books – lots and lots of books – my favorite “accessory”. I also love this take on a corkboard with the texture and the nailheads. And I can’t live without that library ladder. See it just comes back to the books.

It all comes back to the books. And I wouldn’t turn down that view!

Is your personality vibrant but work is a little bit buttoned up? Spice up your cubicle with some fun prints or bright orange or lime green in your accessories. I worked on a graphic designer’s office, who absolutely loved orange. Her main request for her office decor was the helvetica poster as seen in Mad Men. Her primary office color needed to be a neutral gray as she works with color all day. We layered in orange accessories and her office was a knock out.

Orange not your thing? How about lime green or lucite?

White accessories against this glam blue wallpaper are the perfect touch – and super functional – for this arts and crafts area.

More color can be added by using art. I love the dark walls behind the uber white cabinetry. This makes the bright colors in the art work pop.

For the architect or designer in your life. Must buy these for  my husband.

There is something really cheeky – and fun – about bookends that are made of letters. Just callin’ it like I see it.

Love to hear from you. Have you used colorful accessories in your office? Let me know in the comments section.

I am passionate about bringing my client’s brand to bear through the design of their space. Not only do we improve employees’ productivity and the functionality of your space but we ensure that your clients experience your company’s brand through your office environment.

Not sure how to add accessories to your office or home office? Contact us at for a consultation.

(All photos from Pinterest)


Interior Design: Library Update

I am in the last days of working on the Library project for my client. We spent several days last week shopping and found the perfect rug, a great lampshade for her Simon Pearce glass table lamp, a floor lamp and several pillows. With every purchase, we kept in mind her two young children.

  • Could a lamp be shaken and toppled? No.
  • Should we skip the precious glass vase in the center of the coffee table and put a book instead? Yes.
  • Would one child grab the heavy urn and bash the other one in the head? Turns out no, but it was worth asking.

The draperies are installed and the client loves them! A great special touch is the pinch pleat sheers on traverse rods which allows my client to open them during the day for extra light but close them as needed for privacy.

library, accessories, art, furnishing, interior design, inspiration, lighting, Ruth NewquistSince I am days away from posting some photos, here is the design inspiration board to whet your appetite. This is what I presented to my client prior to shopping to give a sense of the overall look and how my ideas for lighting and accessories would work with the new fireplace and rug.

Since my readers are regularly asking me about the interior design process, I have listed the steps for this project below.

The Process

First, we measured and created a space plan for the furnishings and location of the fireplace. Then we designed and oversaw the construction of the fireplace as shown above.

Next, we added sconces and overhead swivel lighting to accent the fireplace and the piece of art by local artist, Ruth Newquist. We are still choosing between two paintings so it is not yet purchased. 

We chose a beautiful embroidered taupe linen fabric from Cowtan & Tout for the draperies. Photos will be an upcoming post. These and the sheers were just installed.

I then worked with the client to move the furniture into a new layout that would create a seating area facing the fireplace.

The rug was the next purchase as I knew its colors would dictate those of the accessories. The coffee table that was originally in this room hid the beautiful new rug from Safavieh, so we swapped it with the family room table.

The client already had a Simon Pearce lamp but I thought the shade needed updating. This is a great way to bring in an unexpected splash of color without breaking the bank.

Next week, I will be hanging the turquoise boat painting next to it above the console.

The client also needed new end tables, a floor lamp, a table lamp, pillows and accessories. I riffed on the turquoise in the painting for my accent color using cool and subtle acquas in the accessories to balance the warm peach walls.

Can’t wait to show you the final photos.

I love to hear from you. What is your process for updating or renovating a room?

(for paintings by Ruth Newquist)

Wordless Wednesday in Interior Design: All you Need is a Sharpie and a Dream

In the category of I wish I had thought of this…

Charlie Kratzer decorated the cream-colored walls of his basement with $10 worth of Sharpie pen.

I’m thinking don’t show this to the kids…

To read the original article, go to The Lexington Herald.

Interior Design: Artist Donald Judd

Interior Designers are always turning to magazines, art exhibits, architecture, well you name it, for inspiration. I was flipping through the pages of the latest Veranda magazine today when I stumbled upon a work by Donald Judd. I had forgotten how much I admire his work.

minimalism, donald judd, 1960s, Chinati, interior design, art, sculpture, installation

Donald Judd

“The art and architecture of the past that we know is that which remains. The best is that which remains where it was painted, placed or built. Most of the art of the past that could be moved was taken by conquerors. Almost all recent art is conquered as soon as it’s made, since it’s first shown for sale and once sold is exhibited as foreign in the alien museums. The public has no idea of art other than that it is something portable that can be bought. There is no constructive effort; there is no cooperative effort. This situation is primitive in relation to a few earlier and better times.”

–Donald Judd

Ohne Tite Stack

I think variations on this stack are my favorite. It’s the simplicity that appeals to me – how it is all about the geometry and the form. As though knowing if you collapsed the stack, they would all fit together perfectly.

Chinati, Texas, aluminum, form, sculpture, art, donald judd

100 Untitled Works in Aluminum

Works from the Chinati Foundation in Marfa, TX. Add this to my must-see list.

donald judd, sculpture, form, St. Louis, outdoors, art

Sculpture in St. Louis

It would be all I could do not to walk through these. I would want the whole ‘six-sided’ experience.

donald judd, furniture, color, art

Corner Chair

This doesn’t look comfortable to sit in, but it’s a great statement piece. I would use it as an end table for books instead.

bookshelf, furniture, color, donald judd


And speaking of books, this is the first bookshelf I’ve seen that would come close to holding all of mine.

donald judd, furniture, art, color

Desk and Chairs

Just for fun… If you click on the photo of the desk and chairs, you will go to a link (by Graydon Parrish and Mikhail Simkin) for a quiz called “Donald Judd or Cheap Furniture?” Is the photo above Donald Judd? Not telling.

donald judd, color, chart, 1989, LEGOs, MOMA, Museum of Modern Art, NYC

At MOMA in 1989

More fun in color and form. I can see why I still love playing with LEGOs…

I love to hear from you. Which artists inspire you?

Thursday’s Treasure in Interior Design: Black Crow Studios

Black Crow, Graphic, black and white, interior design, Tracy Hiner, wallpaper

What’s not to love about Black Crow Studios’ wallpaper?

First a little social media history. Tracy Hiner (@tracyhiner) and I met through friends in the interior design Twitterverse: Wanda Horton (@WandaSHorton) and Maybelline Te (@maybellinete) amongst them. Then I had the great privilege of meeting two of these talented designers at the International Contemporary Furniture Fair this past Spring. Tracy’s wallpapers adorned Maybelline Te’s Snug Furniture booth. They were a perfect match! Meeting social media friends IRL is the best!

modern, wallpaper, color, Tracy Hiner, Black Crow Studios, interior design

Why now? Because Tracy’s wallpaper was just featured on The Today Show and I am so psyched for her I just had to celebrate on my blog!

watercolor, Black Crow Studios, modern, traditional, interior design

I love this oh so modern graphic wallpaper against the ultra-traditional stark white moldings. Can you imagine this in your dining room?

Black Crow, wallpaper, Tracy Hiner, interior design, graphic, urban, bliss

This is Bliss. I can’t choose between Bliss and Pier (below) to liven up my taupe home office. For the record, the color is a little boring because it would be hard to accurately read/compare colors for my interior design clients in a bright orange room! But my accent color is that dreamy blue…

Black Crow, interior design, wallpaper, color, graphic, pier, Tracy Hiner

Hope this Thursday Treasure was wildly inspiring!

I love to hear from you. Do you still love wallpaper? Where would you use it?

Design Magic on Monday: Big Bambu

Due to technical glitches in my computer, I missed blogging about the Big Bambu last week.

My husband and I were able to sneak away for a NYC day, while our daughter stayed with Nonna and Papa.  In the morning I met with my client who is having me renovate her Florida bath.  Then we were off to Lincoln Center for an afternoon concert with the New York Philharmonic.

Following that, we went to the Metropolitan Museum of Art for a cocktail on the roof under the special installation Big Bambu.  It was the perfect night.  We visited several other exhibits, which I will show you in future posts.  But today is all about the magic of Big Bambu.

The one of a kind structure by identical twins, Doug and Mike Starn, measures 100 feet long by 50 feet wide by 50 feet high.  Yes, that is a ramp that you can take up or down on the guided tour.  I was wearing my oh so pretty cocktail sandals, which were not considered nearly practical enough so we will have to wait for our next trip and bring a pair of sneakers.

This is the view looking up and it’s pretty amazing to think that people walk on that structure made of 50,000 bamboo poles and 50 miles of nylon rope.  What’s most fascinating is that they are still in the process of building it – art meets architecture meets performance art?

The view of Central Park alone is worth the trip.  The continuing building of the installation is meant to “suggest the complexity and energy of an ever-changing organism.”

Because of the complexity and density of the poles at first I did not realize that I was taking a photo of the reflection on the glass wall of the museum.

A view of the steps up to the ramp.  Ready for an unusual urban trek?

I love to hear from you.  What are some of your favorite places to go in the city nearest you?

Magical Monday: Yacht Interior Design

Wow!  I was browsing through on of my all time favorite interior design magazines, Objekt International, when I came across this stunning yacht by Bannenberg and Rouwell.  Built in 2009 by Baglietto in Italy, the 137 ft. Natori houses not only a grand salon, luxurious master suite and a gym but also five guest suites.

Grand Salon

Where does one start?  I love the stark contrast of the glossy black floors and the reflections of the glass, mirror and polished stainless steel warmed up by the creamy walls with the subtle horizontal detail.  The coppery pillows in that lush velvet add that tiny bit of color to warm up the space and make it feel even more luxurious.  There are more references to art deco (one of my all time favorite design periods) than I can count, but balanced with the contemporary so that it does not feel like a “period” room.

Living Area Detail

Another view of the living area where you can get a close-up view of so sleek and oh so contemporary details like the nailheads on the modern black and white bench, the dark blinds in the background, the polished stainless steel legs of the coffee table, the black and white greek key pillow (another fave design motif!).

Dining Area

It is clear that the interior designers referenced elements from the client’s existing art collection in the design of the interiors.  See how they reflect the beautiful colors found in this jazz piece above the table.  Again the gloss of the table is offset by the soft chairs that beckon you to enjoy a sumptuous five course meal.  I love how if you look very closely there are also occasional jazz references in keeping with the time period of Art Deco – a very subtle detail.


Speaking of detail, it abounds in this staircase.  The circle motif of the staircase repeated everywhere.  And I love the dark wood handrailing against the fabric covered walls in alternating bands of cream and grey.

This is luxury redefined – magic!

Your comments are always welcome.  I would love to hear what your favorite elements are in a room.

(photos from Objekt International)

%d bloggers like this: