Tory Burch Opens Store in Tysons!

Very exciting news! Tory Burch is opening a store in Tysons Galleria (Tyson’s Corner, Virginia). I’ve always been a big fan of the Tory Burch stores and Tory Burch herself. She quite the designer and entrepreneur who has the savvy and business sense to institutionalize a globally-recognized luxury lifestyle brand (named after her) in less than 10 years. She distinguished herself by designing her flagship store in New York to look more like a room in her home than a traditional boutique retail store. Since establishing her business in 2004, she has since opened up more stores across the country and the world. Each store exudes that “Tory Burch” style with a mix of patterns, vibrant colors, and glam…but they also highlight design elements that are unique to their location. Here are a few to oogle at for our own home design inspirations!

Tory Burch Botique in Seoul, Korea from

Tory Burch Store in Seoul, Korea from

Tory Burch Store in Honolulu, Hawaii from

Tory Burch Store in Scottsdale, Arizona from


Design a Tote Bag, Win a Competition, Make a Difference

What are you guys up to this weekend?? How about entering the Designs for Development competition??

I’m so excited to highlight on Design Palate today an opportunity for creatives out there to unleash your artistic energy on the design of an eco-friendly tote bag for Roots. Roots of Development is a not-for-profit organization based in Washington, DC whose mission is to foster sustainable development by empowering communities to come together, make collaborative decisions, take ownership, and be transparent. Roots has facilitated access to clean drinking water, basic health care, and infrastructure like housing, roads, and electricity for countries in great need of these basic resources, such as Haiti.

Here’s a little excerpt of the Root’s Philosophy:
“The communities we work with have many dreams. They also have the drive and determination to realize them. What they do not have are the basic resources to build a foundation for growth. By providing them access to these resources, communities will be closer to achieving their goals and realizing their dreams. Whether in Haiti, the United States, or any other country, people deserve these basic resources, not as a privilege, but as a right.”

Enter the Designs for Development competition and have the potential to win BIG — in heart, mind, and wallet. Winning entries can receive up to $1000! So what have you got to lose? It’s a triple win all around.

Have fun!

Anthropologie Hosts Design*Sponge

I was thrilled when I got off the Design*Sponge waitlist this past weekend to attend Grace’s book signing. I didn’t make it off the craft event waitlist, but was just as peachy pleased to be there. Hubby was wonderful enough to hang around Georgetown, while I lined up to meet Grace (which is such a lovely name since it’s my middle name!) and get my Design Sponge at Home signed.

And here it is! Really quite a lovely book–filled with design inspirations from real homes, real people and with DIY projects and tips on tools and techniques. It’s not just a pretty thing to look at (though it certainly is).

Anthropologie had a pretty good spread for the event and our enjoyment.

And the icing of the event was meeting new creative friends who are either fellow bloggers or design-enthusiasts, including chicdonecheap, The House of Sukio, and The Scribble Pad who is also over at Calligraphy by Shannon.

West Elm Sweepstakes

One of my favorite stores is West Elm. I get tickled when I get their catalog in the mail. All other unopened mail gets piled up on my little side table by the door, but the catalog is one of my night-time, on the Metro, take-a-break-from work reads. I’m especially excited to see a lot of hand-made, globally inspired items this season. Thought I’d share the love and inform you of their Dream Big Sweepstakes (enter now through August 31)! Of course, if you want to pay-it-forward, you can enter more friends names after you’ve already entered your information.

If I won, I’d love to buy these delicious items!

From West Elm

Gorgeous carved mango wood coffee table.

From West Elm

This “Arc” chair with the Paisley Iron/Flax fabric.

From West Elm

These pretty mugs for my hot chocolate cravings.

From West Elm

LOVING this handmade quilted throw made from Indian saris.

From West Elm

Beautiful bone-tiled side table.

From West Elm

Four of these nailhead chairs for my dining space.

From West Elm

From West Elm

And this whole bedroom!

What would you buy if you won??

Design Palate Finds At The New York International Gift Fair

So excited to tell you all about my first visit to the New York International Gift Fair this weekend! In addition to having an amazing time looking at all sorts of design candy–from home furnishings to fashion and accessories–I met with some of the most amazing and talented people. My best finds were in the Handmade Global Design division, which showcased artisan-made items from all over the world. Let’s check them out, shall we? (P.S. if you click on the images, it will take you to more info about the product.)

Photo by Michelle @ Design Palate

Amazing detail, don’t you think? This vase, called the Three Leaf Fish Vase, was made by an artisan from San Juan de Oriente in Nicaragua and is showcased in the U.S. with the wonderful help of Chaka MarketBridge. I’ll tell you more about that in another post!

Photo by Michelle @ Design Palate

I love the colors of these woven textiles from India.

Photo by Michelle @ Design Palate

LOVE! these pillows. Such beautiful craftsmanship by the talented women living in the rural communities near Tegucigalpa, Hondoruas. More on their story on another post too!

Photo by Michelle @ Design Palate

This is a garden wall art made out of the base of an oil steel drum by an artisan in Haiti. What a marvelous way to repurpose used bins!

Photo by Michelle @ Design Palate

During the Autumn, ever think of turning that pile of leaves that fall on your yard into eco-friendly lamps?? Well, eangee home design had a great idea and ran with it…working with artisans in the Philippines to make these colorful beauties for you.

Photo by Michelle @ Design Palate

Malaysian woodcarving by Norhaiza Noordin, mastercarver. This little image does not do the real pieces justice. When I meet Norhaiza, he was sketching plans for a beautifully intricate wood-carved bed. He’s an amazing artist all around.

Photo by Michelle @ Design Palate

A gorgeous wood cabinet with mother-of-pearl inlay from Syria.

Photo by Michelle @ Design Palate

And one of my very faves, Egyptian ceramics at the Aid to Artisans booth.

What do you think? Amazing pieces aren’t they? Know of more artisan-made home furnishings and accessories? Let us know!

Fun Design Project: Fractured Legacy

Got myself hooked in on a fun little design project recently! I’m the Art Director for a short film called, Fractured Legacy. Check out the video below of our talented writer and director, Sebastien Tobler, discussing the film’s storyline.

Fractured Legacy – Kickstarter Video from Sebastien Tobler on Vimeo.

So what exactly does an Art Director do and how’s that related to design? As I’m quickly finding out…it’s a lot of hunting and gathering for set locations, props, and costumes to visually set the tone of a scene and convey the attributes of the characters…their unique style and personality. Sound like interior design, eh? But in the latter case—rather than revolving around a story—we’re setting tone of how the individual (client) wants to experience the space, dressing it up to convey their unique style and personality.

I’ve been busily creating set design concepts for our three locations and wardrobe concepts for our characters. More to come in the next few days as all this unfolds….!!! Stay tuned!

design palate “Meets Obsession”

So proud of Mei Tan, my dear friend and managing editor of thriving online magazine Meets Obsession (MO), on the premier issue of MO’s print version! Check it out for fashion, culture, art inspirations to influence your design tastes!

From Meets Obsession

See the inspiration board I created for Mei for her Cleveland Park studio.

Pinterest Challenge

I recently received an invitation to Pinterest, a virtual pinboard that makes it easy to catalog images you find in the interwebs. It takes the “inspiration board” to a whole new level. You can capture images for ideas for your home, your closet, your travel interests, your hairstyle, your you-name-it. I’ve got a pinboard for…

My dream destinations…

Design Dish: Thinking of Small Spaces

I’ve been craving a visit to NYC and dreaming about living there someday.  But I can’t imagine giving up my two-level, 900+ sq ft Peach to live in a teensier home.  It helps to know though, that if you’re creative, you can do a lot with very little.  Check this out: