When I first started out in design, I considered myself a minimalist. I loved the clean, pared down version of life that minimalism offered. In many ways, I still do (I will never stop hating clutter!). I think the initial love of minimalism had to do with being in school and studying those masters that designers and architects love to love (Mies van der Rohe, Corbusier, Charles and Ray Eames, etc.).

Now that I’m five years in, I’ve noticed how my tastes have evolved. I’m much more confident about what I like and don’t like and what is and isn’t good design. But even though I’ve come far from minimalism, I can still appreciate a good, minimalist space! I still love the crisp, clean lines and feeling of there being nothing extra or unnecessary in the space. Take, for example, the following spaces designed by Donald Billinkoff.

This light fixture is a favorite of mine. I also love the way the kitchen is broken up into large blocks of space.

These bookshelves are great. I love that wood!



A Graceful Dining Room


A quick inspirational space for you today. This dining room was designed by a New York City designer, David Scott. I am in love with so many elements from this room! My favorite elements though…the wallcovering and the curtains. They add so much dimension and interest to this space.


Fall Decorations


I’m not a ‘decorate for the season’ person…the one exception being Christmas. Though, come to think of it, I didn’t even do that last year as I was very busy and we spend Christmas at our parent’s houses so it seemed pointless . It’s not that I’m anti-holidays or anti-seasons, I’m just someone who tries not to create extra work for herself.

That being said, I do love when people decorate for the holidays, so I am happy that all people are not me! I’ve been spending the last hour or so taking a look at simple decorating ideas. Who knows? Maybe some of them will rub off on me and I’ll end up doing a little bit of fall decorating. Here are some of my favorite ideas.

The first three are from Better Homes & Gardens. I especially love the idea of just putting some pretty branches in a vase.

Using a bunch of different shapes of gourds in the same color can be quite elegant:

Or how about stringing a bunch of little gourds together for some homemade garland? Adorable!

Perhaps most simply of all, a nice arrangement of fall pumpkins, gourds, squash, branches and leaves is always nice.

 It’s no surprise that I’m attracted to the decorations that require the least effort. No wrestling with branches and corn husks to create a wreath for me. Nope, I prefer a much simpler, more elegant arrangement of gourds on the table or some dried branches in a vase. I think I just may have to make a trip to the farmer’s market this weekend to search for some gourds. I may decorate for fall this year after all!


A Pretty Picture


Why don’t we start off this short week with a pretty picture? Hopefully everybody had a great holiday weekend and got to enjoy some extra time off! I spent a good portion of the weekend dealing with the 80 pounds of tomatoes I bought from the farmer’s market. Yeah, I sort of overestimated how many pounds of tomatoes I would need to can enough diced tomatoes and tomato paste to last through the winter. But all is well as I found ways to deal with the extra 20 pounds!

This bedroom is nothing like my bedroom now, but I love it. It’s perhaps a tad too feminine for me, what with the ruffled bedskirt and mirrored side table, but I still love it. It’s simple, clean and inviting. My favorite part of this room is a toss-up between the rug and the bedframe…with the chandelier running close behind.

I find as I gain more experience as a designer, my tastes are really broadening. I used to only like ultra clean lined furniture and spaces. I would have said I loved modern design and was okay with most transitional design items. But now, I find I’m attracted to all sorts of styles. Five years ago I never thought I’d be someone who could fall in love with such a traditional looking space. Things sure have changed for me, but I think it’s great. One piece of design advice I’d love to share with everyone I meet is that we shouldn’t limit ourselves to one style or to what we think we should like. Like what you like, no matter what the style. Embrace who you are. You’ll be better off for it.

-Sara (Image links to source)

DIY Artwork


Being a person of a limited budget, I am a huge fan of DIY art. There are just so many options, so if you can’t afford the artwork at your local Starving Artist’s Fair, read on.

You’ve already seen me make some of my own artwork in the form of fabric panels.  Another great (and simple) idea is to stop by your local paper store or even your local target and pick out a pretty, graphic gift wrap or scrapbooking paper. Mount this on some foam core or other substrate or frame in a frame of your choice and voilà! Art!

This morning I came across an article on Better Homes & Gardens’ website on this very subject. They had about 15 or 16 different ideas, but here are the ones I liked the best.

#1: Place Mat Wall Art: Simply find a placemat you really like, drill holes in the corners and connect the mats with wire, twine, string or a chain.

#2: Canned Art: Save those old diced tomato cans and repurpose them as vases on your walls!

#3: Silhouettes: Trace whatever you want–yourself, your family, your cat, birds!, and then cut the shape out of black paper. Mount on a colored or patterned background and then frame.

#4: Six of a Kind/Repitition: Find a number of small items, post cards or greeting cards work well, similar but not identical. Frame them and hang in an orderly fashion.

If you want to read the whole thing, you can find it here. Let us know if you plan on trying any of these ideas out or if you have your own idea for DIY art.


Getting Back to Business


Summer has certainly been sucking up all of my free time this year and so I have a few issues of House Beautiful lying at home, unopened and neglected. Which is disappointing, because I have found it to be a great source of inspiration over the past year. Thankfully though, the day job is slowing down just a tad for today so I’m taking some time to peruse their website. And just as I suspected…inspiration!

It’s no secret that as of late, I’m awfully enamored with the farmhouse or cottage lifestyle. Clean, white rooms full of beautiful old pieces of furniture suggesting a more casual, yet hardworking lifestyle. But let’s face it, I’m an Interior Designer, and it’s known that we can often have split personalities when it comes to styles. We see so much stuff that it’s hard not to fall in love with many differing things!

So here’s something a bit more modern for you. Still with a nice clean, white backdrop but with a beautiful pop of my favorite color—green!

 I just love that painted lily pad floor! Here is is up close:


This beach house is located in Oyster Bay, New York and was designed by Christina Murphy. Head on over to House Beautiful’s website and check out their interview with her. Now hopefully I can find some time soon to page through my stack of magazines at home…


The Beauty of a Vase


 I’m a sucker for vases. I especially love when vases of different shapes and sizes are grouped together. I find I’m often lamenting the fact that I have very few surfaces in my house on which to put said groups of vases. Which means, more often than not, I can be found in a store gently setting a vase back down on the shelf, reminding myself that I have no place for it. Sure, sure, I could just buy it and put it in “rotation”. But I’ve found that as soon as I put an item away in a box or a closet, for use “later”, I’ll just forget about it. So instead, I just look at all the vases and vessels and containers that I want to buy and hope someday I have a house with places to put them all!

What got me musing about vases today? Well, this image is what started it:

It’s pretty much exactly what I want in my own house someday. An old, weathered hutch in the dining room where I can put all of my white vases and dishes to show off. Once I found this image, I of course had to do some online window shopping to see what was out there. And I found that West Elm has some really beautiful vase collections right now! First, there’s my favorite, the white:

But if you’re not into the white, they have so many more collections…and I want them all!

Which collection is your favorite?