Design Notebook: “Home Style” Kitchens

The Hubby and I have been dreaming of renovating our kitchen since we adopted Our Peach three years ago. As you may know, Our Peach is quite old — built in 1890 and the most recent renovation was in the early 90s. So we’re talking about almost 20 years old set of appliances and kitchen decor. It’s not so bad, as you see.

The Heart and Soul of Our Peach

Everything is functioning as they should. But we are just counting down the months/days we have left on the life expectancy of our microwave, stove, refrigerator, etc. Add to the fact that the Hubby loves to cook, and we really need more counter space to accommodate all that he wants to be able to do in the kitchen. Three years into our slow updating of our home (we’ve done a great deal of minor renovations like painting, re-caulking, spackling, etc), I think this year might just be the time for us to take on a larger renovation — that is our kitchen and really the heart and soul of our home. It’s the place where we spend the most time together after work…catching up on the day’s events, sharing a couple of glasses of wine, dancing while simmering, and just helping each other make a great meal for us to share. So, it’s a special part of our home, and it needs a little more TLC.

And Sometimes, Our Dance Floor

I’m doing some research on different ways for us to add more counter space, storage, and improve the overall aesthetics of our kitchen. I’m just at the beginning stages, so if you have any ideas for re-organizing appliances or the kitchen space generally…I’d greatly appreciate it. For those who are just starting off like me, I found this excellent resource for matching your kitchen to your home’s architectural style. It’s not necessary, of course. But may be helpful to you in brainstorming different looks to consider.


Do you have a Federal style home? Queen Anne, perhaps? Or Art Deco, Modern? Cape Cod? Arts and Crafts? If you’re interested in bringing the outside in, then check out this resource from


Design Notebook: Urban, Playful, and Dorothy Draper Inspired

Yesterday I mentioned that a dear friend is moving into a studio apartment in Cleveland Park NW DC and is looking for design ideas for outfitting her new soon-to-be home. To continue my search for design inspirations to spark a funky, lovely, urban, yet playful concept for my friend’s new Cleveland Park NW DC apartment, I found these….for your viewing pleasure (and mine)! Of course, I kept in mind notable Draper Effect elements.

From Fashion Nation

Love the chandelier in this photo below. Draper Effect element: striking detail. Check.

From The Blissful Bride

Draper Effect element: Dense textured carpet. Check. I like this one below, textured minimalist. And what a neat idea for a coffee table!

From Decor8

Draper Effect element: Intense color. Check! Even with black and white…and a hot pop of pink.

From the Glam Lamb

I just love this couch and set of chairs…very urban feel.

From Hotel Chatter

More Dorothy Draper elements: bold, exuberant prints on the carpet. Striking details in the chandeliers. Check. Check!

From Decor to Adore

This one… well, it’s just glam, glam, glam with a hint of sophistication.

From Studio House Design

Ornate mirror — without the overdose. A striking detail and Dorothy Draper element. Check. I love the patterns, texture, and fantabulous blend of bold colors in this room. Oh, and of course, how can I forget Dorothy Draper design element: Roaring Fire!

From Fine Living

Umm…. great couch. Need I say more?

Love the Couch

And a little urban serenity… good use of natural elements.

From Poppies at Play

Now, do share! Which of these images connect with your urban, playful, funky, and lovely self?

Design Notebook: Beautiful Bedrooms

I can’t sleep. Most people would probably watch some TV. But I’m hoping that looking through beautiful bedrooms will help me get more quickly to dreamland….

From Hooked on Houses

From Tobi Fairley

From Chichi and Luxe

From Dreaming in Pink

From DIY Ideas

From Canadian House and Home via Never Without

From Decor Pad

From Country Living

From Flickr

I came across Country Living’s Bedroom Ideas Guide and found so many more design inspirations. But for now….I think I’ll retire in one of my own.

By Michelle @ Design Palate

Design Notebook: Inspirations from Desktop Wallpapers

And did I tell you they’re free?  Click here, if you want to spruce up your Desktop or Web site. Many are great for inspiring interior redos and updos! Here are some that I liked.

Design Notebook

For my inaugural post, I thought I’d share with you my Design Notebook.

I don’t know about you, but whenever I’m traveling for work (or pleasure) I love catching up on my design gossip.  I wanna know all about the hottest trends (which today is all about being green, no not Kermit green, but green as in energy efficient) and makeover magic and DIY tips.  I love peeking into gorgeous designers’ homes and crushing on their victorian sofa, barnyard kitchen, or bohemian bedrooms (yes, I have a wide range of tastes).  Among my fave go-to-mags are: Country Living, do it YOURSELF, Elle Decor, Better Homes & Gardens, Domino, Blueprint, and Cottage Living.  I’m sad to say that the last three are now resting in peace.  I heart Domino especially.  It was the only design mag I actually subscribed to.

Anyway, I would stop by Hudson News before boarding the plane and lug my design mags to my destination and ultimately back home.  I used to drive Hubby crazy with the pile of design mags I would have laying around the house.  He would say, “time to recycle!  Gotta get rid of these magazines like we do our newspapers.”  And I would fret and frown, dreading the time I’d have to go through them again and try to save the ones that had a design concept I absolutely adored.  I just couldn’t bear putting them in THAT BLUE CAN.  I mean, what if we ever needed to re-do our kitchen or our bedroom or our home office or our yard??  I would need to do research and put together a design concept, etc. etc.  I needed my magazines!

Well, one afternoon, after a long, trying work day I decided to stop by Barnes & Noble on my way home (books make me happy).  I perused through the aisles, sifting through books and eventually ended up in the design section where I saw Domino’s latest (and only) Book of Decorating.  I thought that I deserved it after the day I had at work, and it now sits proudly on my shelf.  Just a few months later, Domino was gone.  That’s when I realized that my fave go-to-guides for “living with style” won’t be around forever, so there had to be a way for me to keep my favorites around — at least design idea faves.  So I created a little Design Notebook.  Whenever I see a concept that I would love SOMEDAY to replicate in my own home, I cut it out and paste it into my Design Notebook.  It’s another activity that I find cathartic.  So, if you see a design idea that you like, don’t let it pass you by.  Take out those scissors or just rip it out and paste it into something pretty.  You never know when that hubby of yours will say “time to recycle” or when your fave magazine will run out of business.  I share with you now my Design Notebook and some of my favorite design concepts.

My Design Notebook


Color Schemes in Our Home


I was once really into Orange — on occasion, I still am.



Don’t you just want to cuddle up with a blanket (or loved one) have a glass of Merlot and read a book in this room?


I want a claw-footed tub in my bedroom! I once went to a spa (indulged myself while on a business trip) that looked like a quaint bedroom like this.  It had a bathtub in it, and of course, I took a nice milk bath….so relaxing after a long flight (I’m in the east coast; my destination was all the way across the country).

I also take note of future flea market events to attend!

And someday, have a place like this to watch the sunset with my hubby.