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.


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:

Tasty Decor: On Winter Pine…New Home, New Look!

After a long hiatus from all things interior design, you can imagine my excitement when I was asked by my hubby’s cousin and his wife to help them think through the design/decor features for their first owned home. Matt and Mandy recently moved from their 2 bedroom Crystal City apartment into a wonderful 3 bedroom, 3.5 bathroom, over 1,500 square feet townhome that is within walking distance to a metro and has a huge extended backyard. Quite a rare find in the Washington, DC-area at an affordable price!  They had a number of furniture pieces that they were bringing over from their apartment to their new home, most of which were transitional.  Their primary challenge was identifying the design scheme that can incorporate their existing furnishings with new purchases and add in colors to blend in their transitional, contemporary-leaning taste.  So I came up with a few moodboards to help them visualize the potential!

Living Room
They had a sage-green sofa and loveseat as well as matching dark-chocolate side tables and coffee table.  But they wanted to bring in color into the space.  So what did I come up with?  GREY!  Yes, grey.  Well, a silver-grey anyway.  It just fit their contemporary leaning style and a great backdrop to an infusion of other colors, like golds and fuschia, in the space as well as a great tie into the other wall colors in the other rooms.
1. West Elm Tiled Capiz Table Lamp.  What better item to juxtapose against a silver-grey wall than a metallic-gold capiz-base lamp?

2. Pier1 Sand Striped Window Panel or Pottery Barn Dupioni Silk Grommet Drape. And of course, to add warmth to the room, muted golden window panels.  Also a great tie-in to the sage-green sofa, loveseat and the chocolate tables.

3.  Handmade Soho Blue Burst New Zealand Wool Rug (5′ x 8′).  Loving this.  The burst of gold, bronze and texture will make your room (and your feet)  happy!

Dining Room
For their dining space, Matt and Mandy already had the dining table and chairs in the above moodboard.  The dining room is horizontally adjacent to the living room, with silver-grey wall against golden capiz lamps and gold window panels… I thought why not a mustard-ish yellow wall?  From gloss to muted yellow.  The dark brown leather chairs and the reddish-brown table legs would fit well.  To tie it all together, I found some tasty goodies below.

  1. West Elm Round Metal Chandelier
  2. West Elm Shelving Brackets
  3. West Elm Sweater Rug

Reading Room
Immediately next to their kitchen is an open space that may have been an informal sitting area, which Matt and Mandy are turning into their reading room/first floor office.  Mandy fell in love with this Santorini blue, which worked perfectly in the flow of my silver-grey and mustard-yellow wall schemes.  Some goodies for their reading room on the moodboard above.

  1. West Elm Round Coco Mirror.  for over fireplace?
  2. Andalusia Rug

Master Bedroom
And for one of the most important rooms in the house, a comfortable, serene space.  They already had most of the furniture, so all I had to do was find the right wall color and options for their lighting scheme and some additional accessories.  For the wall color, I suggested a light, grey-blue…which worked perfectly with their chocolate-colored bedroom set.  Other fun items, I found:

  1. West Elm Flat Stock Lighting Collection: Single Sconce
  2. Pier1 Pearl Silk Window Panel

Hopefully they’ll love these ideas and will be on their way to making an already happy home even happier!

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.

House Dressing: An Old Town Treat

On my Groupon alert today, I received a lovely discount to a new DC jewel named Treat.  Treat opened last May 2009 in Old Town, Alexandria and touts itself as “the sample sale boutique,” carrying designer brands at affordable prices.  Yes, help us chic, stylish professional DC women get out of our everyday black, brown, blue, and grey suits and into something more colorful, if not fashion forward!  I’m gushing over this DC color staple:

I love the shape and its visual texture.  And who wouldn’t want to wear a dress like this, with the accessories I found, in rooms like these?

From Action Interior

From Absolutely Beautiful Things

From Cococozy

From Interior Design

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.