Dec 27, 2009

Phillips Furniture -- one table, four ways

I am having so much fun in the very fashion-forward Phillips Furniture store in Kirkwood, Missouri, where I've opened the in-home design program that offers affordable design services.

Our store is where "life meets style", as the tag line says.

True to life, a client gave me design challenge. She loves the above very cool guitar-pick table by Sitcom. She wants to replace the stools for chairs that provide a supportive back for her child's booster seat.

Can life meet style?

Ha, you bet!

I found three stylish options to support a booster seat:

So which is your favorite?
Come visit me at Phillip's Furniture to learn more about the in-home design program, because YOU deserve a designer! 314-966-0047

Dec 24, 2009

Gift Wrapped Dinner Table

Merry Christmas! It's been a while since I posted. I have been so busy with exciting projects I will share later.

These are photos of our Christmas Eve dinner table. I pulled this together in about 20 minutes, all the time I had before guests arrived. I used wrapping paper -- used in place of a table cloth -- and bows, paper goods I bought on the way home from work and a few candles I found in my closet. I had literally no time to pull out usual table linens and iron them, unpack holiday dishes...etc, I had to go with simple and easy. Thankfully my husband made the dinner!

The wrapping paper had a slight coating on one side and so it kept the table clean of spills. But I would recommend using a table cloth or table pad under the paper.

I love the challenge of designing on a dime and no time. It forces me, in a good way, to think of solutions I would never consider if I had all the time and money in the world. And there is so much satisfaction found in being resourceful.

Nov 29, 2009

Heather's piano room -- bold, happy color!

Friend Kara recently shot photos of Heather and Tom's piano/living room for my portfolio. I am preparing my Design Star application and I plan to include these photos.

So where is the piano? On the other side of the room, but the fantastic chandelier to go above it is not yet installed. This is just a preview of things to come.

My husband said, "I am impressed with your work, but even more impressed by Heather, that she would be so fearless."

There is NO fear in this interior. Heather has embraced color and pattern in her wardrobe for years. We just took her wardrobe and splashed it around the says "Heather" all over it!

What about Tom? Well, let's just say this room is a monument to a husband's love for his wife.

Rate it on Rate My Space.

Nov 4, 2009

Meet my friend Paul

So for months now my friend Paul Pagano has been saying he needs to start a blog.

He did it!

Kudos to Paul. Please encourage him by visiting his site -- click here -- and leave a comment.

Paul is an interior designer of the Ty Pennington variety, very hands-on projects involving creative construction, destruction, re purposing, painting and unique finishes. His faux concrete counter tops are his own unique invention and I am sure you'll see them on his blog soon.

Paul's background is strong in vintage restoration projects, but his heart is a mix of mid-century modern and vintage. His unique, fun style is featured at the Crestwood Plaza (see above photo) where he shares a space with like minded artist and furniture repurposer (my word) Elizabeth Maxson.

Paul and I partner on some jobs. He is currently doing a commissioned painting for my clients and I'll share that soon.

I love featuring design collaborations and I am so proud of my friend Paul.

my tree & me

Check out my tree & me for contemporary family history charts. I have been looking for something like this for a long time. I think I'll get the above "Birds of a Feather" print.

Every home should have a family tree, do you agree?

I found this resource on design*sponge.

Nov 2, 2009

Rate Me on Rate My Space

I am having fun reading comments to my portfolio at Rate My Space (RMS). It's a great online community and place to bounce off ideas and gain feedback to your work.

If you are not a part of it, you might consider. It doesn't' matter if your space is a work-of-art or a work-in-progress. The community supports your efforts. It's like having designers and neighbors at your fingertips giving you feedback and encouragement.

Top-rated right now is the remodeled kitchen I did for Annette and John in Ladue, Missouri. I have posted a photo above...see more by viewing the slide show at Rate My Space, click here.

Nov 1, 2009

Super Cool Skateboard Room -- Ashley Furniture

I am always on the look out for ways people have used Ashley Furniture in their homes.

Here is the I-Zone youth loft bed in a skateboard-themed room. Super cool!

I found this example at Rate-My-Space. Click here to see more photos. Super cool mom explains how she designed it.

The brick wall is actually wallpaper.

Oct 23, 2009

designHop this Tuesday

Amy Larson is having the designHop club over this Tuesday -- October 27th -- to tackle her decorating dilemma. What to do with blank dining room walls?

Amy says:

"I am reupholstering the chairs this weekend, and hanging the rod and sheers, so the pictures show a very bare room. As you can see, the furniture is definitely retro. I love the retro style, but I also want to put a modern twist on it. I was even thinking about a texture (maybe tiles--kind of like ceiling tiles--of some sort) on one wall in white. I just don't know. That is why I need everyone's ideas! I am buying a lot of accessories for us to consider and then will take back what we don't use. I'm so excited! Thanks again, Dana."

Amy just got her groovy furniture from T.F.A. (Tomorrows Future Antiques) -- a St.Louis favorite for mid-century modern.

We plan to paint patterns on the wall and each member of the group has been asked to bring any paints and brushes to share. Everyone has been given homework to research mid-century designs and bring their favorites found in magazines, books or online.

Amy is partial to hexagons as seen in her dining chair fabric (above)

The meeting's agenda: 1) We will talk pattern and study the retro designs each person brings to the meeting. 2) Then we'll get to work on that blank wall and anything else Amy wants.

We are meeting at 7 p.m. If you live in the St. Louis area and would like to join the group, please leave a comment with your contact information or call me at 314-276-1129.

Stay tuned...I will post the reveal!

Oct 7, 2009

I am in love with Marimekko

I am having a hard time deciding which Marimekko bedding I want to inspire my bedroom.

Help me decide and tell me your favorite. I could take any of them. Bright, bold,'s me!

When given the full range of the crayon box and permission to let go...I can do wild and fun. It's just happy.

I have two places I want to visit in New York: Marimekko concept store and the MOMA.

Book me a ticket!

Sep 3, 2009

Katherine's Zen inspired family room

Katherine Bish, photographer, has been taking a whole lot of photos for my updated website (reveal coming soon). Katherine is not only my friend and photographer, but she is also a client. This is her family room.

The room BEFORE -- above -- a basic box. We painted the mantel white so it would contrast with the dark marble surround and pull together with the punches of white in the room.
My favorite element in the room is the area rug. Who says an Asian room has to have an Asian rug? We chose a contemporary rug.

The circles remind me of the Japanese word Enso, meaning circle, a concept associated with Zen and symbolizes Enlightenment.

Aug 24, 2009

Cozy at home give-away -- pot holders in Heather Bailey fabric

My dear friend Elizabeth has opened an Etsy shop.


To celebrate she has a giveaway going on. Visit her site -- click here -- to win these darling pot holders made from Heather Bailey's fabric.

Aug 22, 2009

Happy Birthday to Whitney and my blog!

Happy Birthday to Whitney Johnson, Dare-to-Dreamer who dared me to start this blog two years ago. Wow, time flies and I really didn't think I'd stick with it. But here I am in bloggerland and contemplating twittering and other social media. Yikes.

This blog was Whitney's birthday present, but I think the present has really been for me.

Here is what I have gained from blogging:

1) An opportunity to develop my design voice.
2) Ability to share my design voice with the media.
3) New friends and networks.
4) Confidence that I can indeed manage technology.
5) Improved writing skills.
6) A way to look back, a journal for keeping design notes.
7) An active way to share my portfolio, beyond my website.
8) Joy in sharing.

...and probably a whole lot more. I never imagined all these things would happen.

Thank you Whitney!

Please help me celebrate by visiting Whitney's blog -- Dare to Dream -- and tell her your dream.

Aug 20, 2009

Painting Crisp Lines

Here is a little trick I learned to keep paint from bleeding through your tape.

Aug 19, 2009

Candlestick find in Melissa's home

Today I helped Melissa put the final touches on her room. We accessorized with items found around her home. I pulled this cool looking pea green candlestick she had hidden.

Melissa asked if I knew what it was made from. No clue.

Look close and see if you can tell.

Look closer. Does the shape resemble anything you know?

Clue: If you have a baby, you might get it.

Do you see it?

Baby food jars. Yep, those are baby food jars. Clever, clever.

Melissa's mother-in-law made this candlestick back in the 60s. Retro and green all in one.

I don't have the instructions, but I am pretty sure it involves gluing the jars together. The bottom and tops are plates that felt like metal. The whole thing was painted and must have several layers of polyurethane because there was not a chip or scratch on the thing.

The baby food candle stick looks right at home amongst the turned-wood variety.

Melissa's new mantel with our final touches -- all found objects from around her home. Melissa joked that she's been decorating this room for ten years, that's how long she's been married and collecting things.

My favorite among her things?

The baby food jar candlestick.

Aug 16, 2009

Have it: Jonathan Adler's book

I just love Jonathan Adler's design voice that inspires us to have "happy" interiors, so I added his book -- My Prescription for Anti-Depressive Living. --to my design library: Check it out.

Johnathan Adler from his website:

If you don’t have one, get one. Nothing inspires me more than when someone tells me I can’t do something. Get up close and personal with somebody who is wildly unsupportive. My mother is the greatest person on earth and I absolutely love her. Truly. But, she is pathologically risk-averse and whenever I tell her about some new venture I’m embarking on I know that if she screeches that it’s a terrible idea and that I’ve lost my mind then it’s a sure-fire smash. If she says nay, I say yay.


And check out St. Louis AT HOME magazine to learn how Jonathan Adler inspired local St. Louis couple to decorate their home in the "happy chic" style.

See more design voices, check out my design library found in the column on the left.

Aug 9, 2009

Glass Installation -- my place!

Here is an exciting preview of the Chihuly-inspired glass installation above my fireplace. Jana from Gringo Jones came to install the glass. The plates and pods (curly objects) are individual pieces of recycled glass made in Mexico. Together we sculpted the shape.

Jana put brackets on the wall and wired them in place. Earlier in the week I painted my wall the turquoise color with one inch wide stripes -- still in progress, I grab the paint roller whenever I have an hour or two. I love how the layers of pattern and color play off each other.

Thanks Jana, it was a fun collaboration!

Stay tuned for more exciting layers of color and pattern to be revealed in my home. Yummy!

Aug 1, 2009

designHop club makes a difference at Etanim's home

See videos and photos to follow the latest redesign by the designHop club.

Dear Dana,

Please pass on to the designHop group a very sincere thank you from our little household. You can only imagine what peace it brings to now have such a lovely living room. We are still so very excited about it. Please thank everyone who came (in spirit or in person) for their wonderful contributions. We are most grateful.

Sincerely, Chantal, Etanim, and Mario

Etanim and son Mario live in a beautiful home they share with Chantal, their housemate and friend. Etamin is a single mom and works hard to keep a home nice for her son. Recently she received furnishings from St. Vincent De Paul Thrift Store in St. Louis. She got wind of our designHop group and invited us to use her newly acquired furnishings to create a warm and inviting living room.

Nine amazing women, Mario, and two darling babies completed the transformation in just four hours.

We pulled the covers off of beautiful furniture hiding from view. Etanim thought two fabic chairs did not work together with the sofas, so she hid the offending chairs. We told her they are beautiful, keep them uncovered! An area rug stored in my basement was re-purposed to the room and helped pull the furniture together.

Ann Brown donated the oops paint -- cheap, but very nice paint at Home Depot. Check them out. For just $25 Ann bought five gallons of Behr brand paint in a perfect buttery cream and one gallon in a warm sage green. The buttery cream paint is enough for Etamin to continue painting the stairway and halls. We used the sage paint on the fireplace wall.

While most of the group painted, Julie Koch and Christie Hutchins settled in the dining room where they kept two sewing machines humming to make window treatments. They created the simple, easy pattern on-the-spot. Way to go ladies! Throw pillows will be made later by Etanim and I'll post follow up photos.

The whole evening came off with minimal planning. The only instructions that went out were photos of the room and a call for donations of paint. We executed with whatever came together: paint, sewing machines, fabrics and talented women fueled by Etanim's tasty homemade salsa and treats.

Thanks to Kara Johnson for the videos!

The living room BEFORE:

The living room AFTER the designHop ladies did their magic:

See more photos of the group on Chantal's blog post -- click here.
So whose house do we hop to next?

Jul 6, 2009

Great Look for Less -- Planters

Look at these great pots sitting between my neighbor's door and mine. They were bought at Ashley Furniture, where I work, in Kirkwood, Missouri. The orb (round) pot was bought for $88. Compare to the DWR Gratia orb planter that is priced at $520.00 on sale. I think we achieve the same look for a lot less.

Jun 14, 2009

AT HOME St. Louis Magazine's Habitat for Humanity project -- Sherrel's room

It's been fun working again with AT HOME St. Louis Magazine on yet another successful community project, this time with Habitat for Humanity. You may remember last year's project with Haven of Grace.

I was teamed up with designers Ellen Alvey and Becky Noelker. What a blast working with these talented women. We decorated Sherrel's top attic bedroom.

Sherrel gave us only one direction, blue walls with black and white accents and fabric. We loved the idea! All we added to the design plan were the pops of red.

All items were donated by generous area vendors and subscribers to the magazine. I donated the Ashley Furniture lamp to the right of the bed. The artwork was donated by a St. Louis favorite, Laura Gunn.

Sherrel and her friends helped paint the room. They also assisted us in painting the furniture.

See photos below with captions that tell the story.

Above, we laid out all the fabrics and a fun lamp shade for Sherrel to view and approve.

Above, old chest found in basement.

Above, after a bit of paint. We accentuated the lines already in the piece. The hardware is the same, original flower shaped knobs. We just spray painted them white and then dipped the edges in black. So cute! the scroll pattern on the top drawer was inspired by an are rug in the room.

Above, room before.

Above, room after.

Above, we slip covered this grandma chair in a fashion-forward pop of polka dots! Not your grandma's polka dots, but big ones. The red pillow was a bonus, made of found scrap fabric. Could not have planned that if we had tried.

Above, the three musketeers, left to right, Becky Noelker, Ellen Alvey, and me.

Artist Laura Gunn with her paintings.

Above, I can't resist this photo of Paul Pagano, designer, who worked on the basement of the home. He would drop by our room and entertain us. Watch it now, don't split your pants!

Sherrel thinks her room is hot!