Counter Attack


More decisions today are made in our kitchens than in any of the board rooms across this country. This is especially true as life becomes more digital. How many times have you paid bills, planned trips, checked school assignments and synchronized calendars working off your kitchen counter? We confess, much of this blog gets written in this exact way. Early mornings and very late nights standing doing last minutes edits or notes for the next great idea we have. With our kitchens being the command hubs, counters have to take on so many different functions.  Because this is a design blog…we say those counters need to look good while doing it! So what better way than to make a counter look good than to have a cake on it?!

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Friday Night Cat Fight

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It’s been said working with two designers is like putting a pair of cats in a bag and letting them work it out. It’s not a pretty thought.  While we can see how this might happen, nothing could be further from the truth with our partnership.

We bring two perspectives to each project. Most times the overall foundation of our concepts are very similar. However, no matter how many times we work together we can always count on each other to look at the same thing just a little differently. Such was the case recently when this kitchen in Houzz caught our eye.

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8 Days A Week

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 Everyday Must Haves

Just like the Beatles song, we all have a few items we need everyday of the week, and then some.  These are items that make our days start off better, run more smoothly and finish off nicely.  They can be consumable items, furnishings or the latest technology.  What they all have in common is that we count on them and look forward to using them on a daily basis. These things are woven into the design of our homes and lives.  Let’s take a look at our favorites.

Happy Friday!

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Ebony and Ivory

This Friday’s Favorite is also a Find!


I lived in a one bedroom apartment my junior and senior year of college. Starting from scratch, I began purchasing the essentials that I needed to live on my own.

One of my favorite first purchases, that I still use today 6 years later, is the Frank Dinnerware from cb2.   I bought the whole collection.  It includes dinner plate, salad plate and soup bowl. I soon fell in love with the simplicity of my white porcelain dinnerware! The most unique feature of this collection is that it is stackable. They can be stored as a compact group. The salad plate also doubles as a lid for the soup bowls. How neat is that?!  For the minimalist (sometimes hidden) in all of us… this dinnerware collection is great quality for a great price!- Kristen

Frank Dinnerware

Available online at cb2



White Dinnerware Perfect in Any Decor


This is one of the times when fate is more powerful than words.  I also purchased the same Frank Dinnerware the first year it was available and continue to use it everyday.  I’m pretty sure having the same daily dishes is not a partnership requirement, but it is touching none the less.

This dinnerware pattern is inspired by the Bauhaus school of design, circa 1920s Berlin.  Along with the versatile salad plate as lid for bowl feature,  is the fact that it is both microwave and oven proof.  There are also medium size serving/baking bowls the same design as the dinnerware bowls.   Agree wholeheartedly that white dinnerware, no matter the design, works in all decor.  The possibilities are endless using a simply chic dinnerware as a foundation for your table.-Laurel

Let me sneak in another favorite dinnerware!


One last thought.  We have clients who have been designated the family keepers of china…sometimes several sets.  Others who ask us what to do with China that is packed away and was “expensive”.  How about let’s use it in our everyday lives?  Unless it has gold/silver on it, it can go in the dishwasher. (some with these metals can even go on gentle cycles so try it) But what if a piece breaks?  So what?  It will be a nice story to tell your kids/grandkids that would not have opened the box of these precious gems you passed on otherwise.  They might even be the ones to break a piece and your legacy can live on in memories for years! We suggested a client use one of her multiple sets at her lakehouse….what fun she has had with this!   Mixing china patterns and adding them to the above ebony or ivory pieces could be ever so chic.


Go ahead and get your china moving!


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How are you using your China?



Fab Friday Finds

Online shopping for home decor is at an all time high. We are constantly asked about the quality of items that seem priced to good to be true.  We encourage our clients to take advantage of online discounts and pop up sales.  Two suggestions tho…work with your designer to discuss the value of the pieces you are considering in regards to the plan your have for your decor.  Sometimes a “deal” can turn out to be very costly.  Below are a few items currently on clearance that are good values.  Let’s look at how they might work in your existing decor.


Currently Available at Ballard Designs Online Clearance Section

Madame & Monsieur Pillowcase Set #FL936

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Available in Tuxedo Black and White

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Or Subtle Sandalwood

It’s hard to find a pair of King cases anywhere near this price.  Ones that meet your inner Francophile in 2 classic colors even harder.  We can see these as an addition to a neutral, ivory/white/gray bed linen decor.

Ellis Glass Table Lamp #LT859

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Available in Light Blue and Amber

These lamps are just so interesting and versatile.  They will look good day and night.  We can see them on a pair of nightstands, a dining room buffett or individually in almost any situation. Almost like pieces of art.

Parker Pom Pom Raffia Pillow#RP079

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In Black

These 18×18 pillows could be used in so many decors.  A little black pom is a detail that is never wrong!

Brass Bamboo Hurricane #AC464


2 Sizes

Candlelight is always a plus in any decor.  These hurricanes keep things safe while being so chic.  Use individually, in pairs or even groups.  Everyday and for special occassions.

This site is not monetized and we do not profit from suggesting these finds.  Like many of online and retail outlets for home goods,  we are members of Ballard Designs Trade program. Because we use their items in our projects we can recommend the quality.  

If you know of someone who might also enjoy our blog/ website -please pass on the links below.

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The Family Jewels

It’s Friday Favorites!

Who wouldn’t pick jewelry as the any day of the week favorite?


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Tech Lighting

 Jewelry and lighting have noticeable similarities. Adding lighting to a room can have the same effect as adding a necklace to your Little Black Dress.  Think of lighting as the rooms jewelry. Adding the perfect necklace to a simple dress makes a statement similar to the statement that lighting makes to a room.  The combinations are endless!



Visual Comfort


In both fashion and decor, the accessories can be casual or more formal. Lighting can be an accent or a focal point of a room. Dress up your home with lamps, wall sconces, pendants and chandeliers just like you dress up your outfits with bracelets, earrings and necklaces. Perhaps even consider “seasonal” lighting?  There is no rule that says we have to keep the same light fixture until the next major renovation. What if you change out the lighting in your home every so often?  What a mood lifter!





Visual Comfort

The perfect LBD that gives us so much confidence in our wardrobes , follows the same concept of a well planned foundation for each room in our homes.   Gives us a license to be a little more daring with decor items.


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Next time you are adding the finishing touch to your outfit… perhaps you will start dreaming about another light fixture as well!



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Timing is Everything



What a week this has been.  We’ve been upright and working more than we’ve been horizontal. Several amazing projects are nearing the homestretch and exciting new ones are in heavy planning stages. Everyone on our team is once again doing what we do best…working the plan and loving every minute of it.  Well, maybe except for the one night this week I got myself in a little snit.  After letting me vent one of the guys said “chocolate goes well with whine” so matter of factly that I chuckled the rest of the evening and remembered why I work with this team.  We’ve got each other’s back…always.

As it often happens in my life, a higher power than me knows when I need more than one attitude check.  The next morning Fed Ex delivered the above wine and chocolate. Kismet, fate, of just plan freaky? On top of this maxed out week, our IT guys decided we were ready to go live with this blog. (thanks guys)  Two of our dearest clients sent both Kristen and I this “lbd” bottle of wine as a congrats to the launch. So they are my Friday Favorites for the week….I see you’ve got our back too!


Kristen, always the professional, chose a project as her Friday Favorite.  I have to agree, and if I was not older and more tired than she is, I might have come up with the same fav this week!  We have had another opportunity to help a young family make a recent new home purchase “their own”.  They have been open to innovative ideas and been a welcome interactive part of the process.  All with full time careers, 2 little ones, and the third due to arrive just about the same time his new abode is ready!  Here’s a quick before shot and just a few of the progress photos.  Perhaps when their lives settle a bit they will let us show you more of this transformation.



Using the Existing Space in New Ways

Added Bedroom/Bath/Laundry/Walk in Closet/Pool Room/Family Snack Bar


We are obsessed with the way the two tiles interact!


And All the Cool Selections Mixed Together


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