design

Design inspiration from the Dalmatian Coast

Hvar, Croatia, Dalmatian Coast

It's been nearly a year since I first laid eyes on the crystal blue waters of Croatia's Dalmatian Coast.  Last August, Joe and I set out on a life-changing tour of Croatia, visiting Dubrovnik, Korcula, Hvar, Split and Plitvice Lakes in one whirlwind trip. 

Long worn-torn and under the thumb of a socialist government, the country formerly called Yugoslavia, is now opening its doors to tourists.  It boasts a rocky coast, walled cities and fortresses, glistening blue waters, more islands than you can count, and natural wonders if you choose to venture farther North.

The people are friendly, the food and wine are superb and the homes are beautifully simple.  Many residents still live in hundreds-of-years old walled cities.  And everything is built with breathtakingly beautiful limestone.

It's a way of life I can only dream of.  And maybe visit on very, very special vacations.

Courtyard Oasis

There's a restaurant in New Orleans called Cafe Amelie that has the most...amazing...courtyard.  The first time I ate there, I knew that's what I wanted my own yard to feel like.  Years later, we're just about there! 

Our backyard was pretty hideous to begin, but we've slowly upgraded the permanent structures.  We removed ugly old trees, built a tall fence with modern horizontal lines and built a storage shed that seamlessly blends into the design. 

Next came the brick work.  Joey and I spent two long weekends expanding and redesigning the original brick patio.  We re-purposed old bricks for the new section, so it blends with the existing patio.  It's now centered in the yard and twice as big as it used to be!

The real show-stopper, however, were the brick planters!  I did the design and our incredible contractor Dragan executed the elaborate, overlapping brick work.  The design's soft curves contrast nicely with the geometric lines of the fence and the varying heights add another level of interest.

After practically buying out Perino's entire garden center and spending another weekend planting and installing the fountain and irrigation system, the makeover coming along nicely.  We still need to hardwire the fountain, add lighting, furniture and build a deck, but I think we have a great start!

Urban calm at Folklore hair salon

folklore hair salon new orleans

New Orleans is a lot of things, but it's not exactly hip. Antebellum mansions, classic cocktails and Mardi Gras balls usually spring to mind.  When you step into Folklore Salon, you instantly get the feeling that somehow, maybe, New Orleans is cool.

My friend Nicole opened the Freret Street location with her business partner Agnes in March. It's simple, clean, airy and inviting.

Each mirror is surrounded by air plants in geometric planters, the seating areas feature clear lucite chairs atop warm woven rugs and towering white walls contrast perfectly with stained concrete floors.  Topping off the entire design are four stunning large-scale oil paintings by New Orleans artist Craig Berthold.

If you're in town, stop in for a cut and color.  You just might walk out feeling a little more hip.

Zillow's top design trends for 2015

Top Design Trends, Gold Fixtures, Courtesy Zillow Out with the chevron.  In with the golden hues.

Zillow has released it's top five design trends for 2015 and I am TOTALLY on board.  In fact, I think my exact kitchen faucet is in one of their pictures!  Here's what Zillow thinks is IN and here's what they say is OUT.

Of course, design is all in the eye of the beholder.  If you fill your home with things you love, it'll never go out of style!

In for 2015:

  • Gold fixtures
  • Cowhide
  • Wallpaper
  • Blue accent colors
  • Modern and mid-century modern elements

Out after 2014:

  • Chevron print
  • Bright colors
  • Solid painted accent walls
  • Matching furniture