Better Late Than Never



Hey Guys! I’m so embarrassed it took me so long to write this post but better late than never, right?

Grad School has been kicking my butt and I just couldn’t juggle both the blog and school. I was really upset that I had to neglect SDS, but school is a priority that I had to fully commit to.

On the bright side, I am working to relaunch early next year. I will be in my last semester and I will be able to commit a lot more time to the site. My relaunch will include new branding, a new look and possibly (still working this out) a new name. I have a much better idea of my design style, who I am and what I want to say about design overall.

I also have a special project I’ve been working on too. It will launch mid 2016!

I’m really excited to share this new me! It is obviously crazy to say hang tight after almost a year, but I really really hope to “see” some of you when I relaunch.

If you want to see what I have going on daily, catch me on Instagram and  Twitter.


Inspired by No. 3

Kemble Interiors Black BookshelvesIt’s Friday! The weekend is here and I am really looking forward to a fun-filled weekend with the boyfriend. We plan to try out a new burger spot and visit my sister and nephew. Nothing too big, but family and food are always fun!

As you know, I’ve been planning my workspace in my living room. I’ve made some progress but I’m stuck at storage. I’m trying to decide if I will flank my desk and window with bookshelves. I love the look but my windows are so tall that I would have to find bookshelves 8 ft tall. My budget only permits 7 ft tall bookshelves so now I’ve been looking for a solution. I may just have to give up on the idea of bookshelves but more on that later…

So many bloggers and designers are moving into their own studio spaces. It’s such an inspiring process. I can’t wait for the day that I have my own studio/storefront! Emily Henderson and Amber are sharing their studio design process. I can’t wait to see the reveal of Amber’s studio space. The custom storage looks amazing! It’s cool to see the space planning process and the custom detail drawings.

I’ve been obsessed with Podcasts lately. I listen to The Read for entertainment purposes and I listen to The Lively Show, After the Jump and Myleik Teele to learn. These ladies provide so much useful information and are just overall inspiring. The Lively Show and After the Jump are both available on iTunes. Do you guys listen to any podcast?!

Mr. Kate has a great youtube series called OMG! We Bought A House where she and her husband show their decorating process for there beautiful 1920s house. I love their living room! 

My Pattern Mixing 101 post has been really popular this week! I’ve been thinking about doing a part two where I show 3 examples. Make sure you check it out. 

Marsha Ambrosius’ Lovers and Friends album is really great. I’ve also been giving Lianne La Havas a listen too. 

I discovered Lauren Conrad’s The Little Market. It’s a global market of artisan groups. I’m always skeptical of sites like this but it looks like she is doing it the right way. She highlights the designers and tells their stories. The products seem to be fairly priced as well. I really like their wood serveware from the Wood Carvers of Kenya. 

That’s a wrap people! Have a great weekend!

Image Source: Kemble Interiors

Basic Supplies for Interior Design Students Part 2

Interior Design Student Supplies Part 2

It’s that time of year again! The last time I did this interior design student essentials post, it was for first week survival of design school. This time I dug a little deeper. I wanted to share supplies that I thought would be used often. 

ONE// Color Fan Deck It’s essential for your studio classes where you will be building your design concepts. I initially use the fan deck to build my color schemes and then I order larger paint samples via 

TWO// Cutting Mat One of the first projects I had in interior design school was to build a model. You will consistently be building models. They give you a deeper understanding of the space you are designing. The cutting board it used to protect the surface you are working on and it also has guides for angles and straight lines. 

THREE// Tracing Paper When you are space planning, tracing paper becomes essential. I usually print out the floor plan and use the tracing paper to sketch over it. This allows you to solve design problems before you design on the computer. Tracing paper can also be used for diagrams and draft perspective drawings.

FOUR// T-Pins Critiques are a big part of the interior design school experience. At school, we have crit rooms where we have to pin up our work for critique. This happens often. Usually 1-2x a week. It’s a good idea to keep these handy. 

FIVE// Color Wheel The first class I took in interior design school was Color Theory. Color is huge part of design and it’s very important to understand. The color wheel can help you understand the different color schemes are well as tints, tones, shades, etc. This is something you should definitely use to make sure your color choices make sense. 

SIX// Circle Template I used circle templates for sketching diagrams on tracing paper. They can also be used during the space planning process. Their are many other interior design templates available but this one I use often.  

SEVEN// Architect Triangular Scale The architectural scale will probably be your most used supply. It’s like a ruler but it’s used to draw to scale. It usually has three different sides with 6 different scales such as 1/8, 1/4, 1/2, etc. How this work is, sometimes you may be assigned a building that’s very large. Let’s just say 20,000 square feet. There is no way you can space plan on paper where 1′ = 1′. You will have to adjust the scale so that you won’t have miles of paper. For the 20,000 square foot building you may draw at a scale of 1/8″ = 1′. So you will use the 1/8″ side of scale to make sure the drawing is to scale. You will annotate the drawing to let your professor know the scale. 

EIGHT// X-ACTO Knife This is mostly used when you are building models. It cuts through the foam board, mat board and museum board. You will use this in conjunction with the cutting mat. 

NINE// T-Square This is used for model building, space planning, etc. It’s used to make sure your line are straight. This can be used in conjunction withe the cutting mat and X-ACTO knife.  

TEN// Tape Measure This one is self-explanatory. I use to get an understanding on the space I am designing for school. You make also do site visits for “real-world” projects in school. This will come in handy!

ELEVEN// Interior Dimensions Book You will need a reference book to understand the standard dimensions for windows, walls, doors, desk, etc. It add when you are designing so that you can make sure your design meets ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) requirements, height requirements, etc. You dont have to buy this exact book. You should find one that works for you. 

I hope this is helpful! If you have any questions, feel free to ask me in the comments. Interior Design School is fun but it’s also a lot of hard work. You have to be prepared!

Design Talk: Pattern Mixing 101


pattern mixing 101

When I think about pattern mixing, I immediately think about Solange Knowles. She’s just amazing at it and makes it look effortless.

We all know Interior Design and Fashion are closely related so it’s always a good idea to look at fashion for inspiration and vice versa. When I decided to write this post, that’s what I did. I looked at some of my favorite Solange Knowles outfits. I also looked at some of my favorite pattern mixing bloggers and designers. From there I developed Pattern Mixing 101.

The “rules” are simple. There are only 3 of them. FYI: I put rules in quotations because I am in no way speaking in absolutes. Rules can and will always be broken. 

Combining patterns can take some time to get it right. Too many patterns can be overwhelming and compromise the intended outcome of the space. The better understanding you have, the more complex your pattern mixing will be. Once you know how to mix pattern for your home, the possibilities will be endless! So the big question is:


Well I’m glad you asked! I will be focusing on the pillows in the picture example. I think pillows are a great place to start! These “rules” are meant to work together. If you follow all three, you should be able to create really great pattern combinations. 


Pattern Mixing 101 Rule 1: Understanding Color


You have to have an understanding of color to get the best results when pattern mixing. I suggest picking up a color wheel at your local art supply store. This will give you a greater understanding of the different color schemes such as complimentary, monochromatic and analogous. Once you understand the schemes, you will be able to create color palettes. From there, you can use the color palette to choose patterned materials to produce unexpected pattern combinations that are cohesive and balanced. Erika of BluLabel Bungalow uses a color palette generator. A color theory book may be a good idea as well.



The biggest fear in pattern mixing is clashing. Understanding scale can completely delete this fear. When you are choosing materials/fabrics for your space, the best beginner tip I can give you is to choose one large scale pattern and one small scale pattern. 

Large Scale + Small Scale = Unified Composition

The idea is to create a cohesive look. Two or more large scale patterns can create confusion for the eye. Two or more small scale patterns can cancel one another out. The image above shows a large scale geometric patterned pillow and a small scale black and grey patterned pillow. As you can see, they don’t clash.

Remember when I said rules can and will be broken? In the picture example, there are actually three large scale patterns. The reason it works is because the largest scaled pattern is black and white. Black and white patterns can coordinate with anything. Also, notice there is a separation of the patterns. Intentional spacing aids in the cohesive look.



Scale and Balance are closely related. You can’t mention one without the other. How do you balance out 2 or more patterns? You do it with a solid or a texture that has simple detail. Balance creates harmony and connection. From here you can add additional patterns that include the solid colors. The example picture displays this flawlessly. 

Three simple “rules”! Easy, right?! I really hope this was helpful and concise.  For more pattern mixing inspiration I suggest you look at Kelly Wearstler, Amber Lewis, Naomi, Jamie and David Hicks…to name a few. Pinterest is also a good resource! Now tell me: 


Images from The Design Files and Design Manifest with adjustments and text added.

Style at Home Social Kitchen

Style at Home California Cool Kitchen 1Happy Monday! While going through pictures I saved on my iPad, I came across the pictures of this kitchen from the June 2014 Style at Home Magazine. Stacey Hegg, design editor at Style at Home, renovated her kitchen to be kid and entertaining friendly. I absolutely love it! The black framed doors, the herringbone back splash, the floors and the cabinets really make this a great space. The fiddle fig and yellow the silk drapery add this great balance between casual and chic.
Can you believe the cabinets are from Ikea?! I love the grey upper cabinets and the white lower cabinets. It’s a great contrast that adds visual interest. The gold knobs and pulls is the detail that pulls everything together but my favorite detail would have to be the grey concrete tiles in the herringbone pattern and the large black range hood.
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I am a huge fan of eat-in kitchens, so this added bonus was the icing on the cake for me. I love the Lee Jofa Cole & Son wallpaper. It was a great choice seeing that it picks up the colors form the kitchen. I’m also a fan of metal mixing, so the gold chandelier and the metal dining chairs work well together. I would’ve opted for a different cushion for the banquette but I really like the extra storage. 


Images Source: Style At Home

10 Questions with… Quintel Gwinn



It’s that time again! First off, thanks so much for the great feedback! I started this series to highlight WOC and women entrepreneurs and creatives under the design umbrella. I am only 3 interviews in and I’ve learned so much! I’ve also connected with great women doing great things!

This week I had the privilege to interview, Interior Designer, Quintel Gwinn! I am so excited to share this interview. Not only is Quintel an Interior Designer but she also owns her own design business. I discovered Quintel when she featured in an Interview with Niki McNeil of Single Bubble Pop. I was curious and eventually found her blog and Instagram. She has hosted events with her local West Elm and is working on this beautiful new construction home! See her progress here and here. Oh and did I mention she just had a beautiful baby girl! Superwoman?!

What is your morning routine?

I’m usually up and at ‘em by 6:00 every morning. I try to spend the first 30 minutes creating to-do lists and catching up on the news. Everything after that is a domestic blur! Random baby stuff, a quick breakfast, misplaced shoes, and well-packed lunches — you know, the usual 5-person household antics. Still, I usually manage to start my workday by 9:00. I like to handle all of the “serious” business before lunch — check emails, make phone calls, invoicing and purchasing, etc.

Who/What inspired you to pursue a creative career?

As long as I can remember, I have always enjoyed creativity. I designed doll clothing as a little girl and doodled like crazy as a teen. High school ushered in many opportunities for me to explore my creative side. After taking every art class that was offered, I knew deep down in my soul that for whatever I was to become, I needed creative freedom. A field trip to the High Museum of Art sealed my fate. It was then and there that I was introduced to the furniture design and architecture of Frank Lloyd Wright. I battled with practicing architecture and teaching art for some time before realizing that designing environments would be my happy medium.

What is your creative process? What project(s) are you currently working on?

I am pro- pre-Pinterest, if I may. I get good vibes from placing fabric swatches, actual textiles, photos, and magazine tears on an inspiration board. Inspiration is the beginning of each project and directs all of the decisions made thereafter. My creative process doesn’t necessarily happen in a particular order, but almost always includes sketches/drawings, paint sampling, trips to showrooms and art galleries, and experimenting with a myriad of materials. I like to have everything in front of me, and then edit. This usually results in a well-thought design/style concept that I’m ready to share with my clients. After that, more editing and refining! I’ve learned that as a creative thinker I have to be flexible and adaptive, and open to rearranging my ideas through an iterative creative process.

Currently on the books – I’m finishing up the first custom kitchen I designed in its entirety, wrapping up the decor for a boutique hair salon, and I just came under contract to design a mobile classroom re-using an old school bus! These are all unique projects for me and I plan to share my progress and updates on my blog.

Interior design is multidimensional. One of the most thrilling aspects of my work is that I get to draw on my creativity at multiple junctures in the design process.


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