Outdoor Inspiration

I know my non-New England readers will wonder why I’m writing about snow on April 1, but with the winter we’ve had, it’s likely that there will be snow on the ground until June.  (The joke’s on us, right?!)

A few weeks ago my husband and I decided to take a late afternoon walk with the dog.

Vermont Interior Designer

As we got out of the car, it was much colder than we expected – in the high teens.  It was later than we thought so we knew we had to walk quickly.  Even so, as a designer, my eye is ALWAYS attracted to something.  So, I took my phone and snapped photos.

Vermont Interior Designer

Isn’t this tree gorgeous?

Vermont Interior Designer


The colors are AMAZING and I used it for paint inspiration.

Vermont Designer Paint Consultation

Remember, design inspiration is EVERYWHERE

Have a well-designed day!


Tray Chic

As an interior designer, I work on a lot of mountain condominiums in the Killington and Ludlow ski resort areas.  Ski condos are typically smaller, second homes so that means space is at a premium but since it’s a home created solely for rest and relaxation, comfort is frequently our goal.  I find that using an ottoman in place of a coffee table provides luxury, comfort and since many of my clients like to entertain overnight guests, they also provide excellent additional seating.

nel hills 3

The problem arises when you want to place accessories or serve drinks.  Trays to the rescue!

Killington Vermont Condo Furniture

Trays can be used to serve hors d’oeuvres, cocktails, dessert and they can even be used to decorate.  When you want to put your feet up, simply push the tray aside and you can recline and watch the game (or a good movie).

Nell Hills 4

Who knew trays could be such problem solvers?

Have a well-designed day,





Photos: Ruxana Oosman, Ruxana’s Home Interiors

Feathering your nest

My brother’s company is working on a project in Taiwan and when he invited us to visit them and play ‘tourist’, we jumped at the chance!

2015-01-15 03.11.02

To orient ourselves with the capital city of Taipei, my brother took us to a restaurant on top of the largest building in the city.  The views were magnificent.  e785a7e7898701

….then I saw the peacock feather wall covering and I fell in LOVE!

Peacock wall covering

Want a close-up?

Peacock wall covering


The door handle to the special peacock room….

Peacock hand-blown glass

This hand-blown peacock glass door handle was amazing!

And THEN we were escorted to the Pheasant room…Pheasant feather wall covering

Squeal!  Pheasant feathers!

2015-01-12 01.22.57


If you need inspiration and ideas to help you feather YOUR nest, give us a call!

Have a well-designed day,



“Winter is the time for comfort, for good food and warmth, for the touch of a friendly hand and for a talk beside the fire: it is the time for home.”

cozy Vermont cottage

Have a well-designed day,





Photo: Providence Design Quote: Edith Sitwell


I don’t know what I love more…..the oil painting of the dog above the bed or the children’s silhouettes.

pointer painting

Have a well-designed day,


Photo: Design New England

Signs that you’re a decorating ‘maximalist’

My husband jokes (frequently) that if a minimalist says “less is more” than I’m a maximilist because I say “If less is more, imagine how much more, MORE would be!”

Here are some signs that YOU might be a maximalist:

1.  You love animal print and try to sneak a little in every room.

Decorating maxmilist

2.  You love collections!  There more the merrier, you say!

Tortoise Collection

3.  You love to surround yourself with books.  “So many books, so little time”.


4.  You like mixing, not matching.

Charles Faudree Fabrics

5.  You love deep, rich colors…even if it ISN’T trendy!

deep blue room with tartan plaid

A high-five to my fellow maximilists!

Have a well-designed day,





Photos: SMW Design, The Scout GuideRuxana’s Home Interiors; Stroheim; House Beautiful

What ‘cheap’ REALLY costs


You get what you pay for


I was invited to present a workshop recently - ‘The Art of Window Dressing.’  I discussed a variety of things to consider when purchasing window treatments but because it was an informative workshop for the attendees, I did not ‘sell’ nor did I discuss price points – my goal was simply to empower the attendees with knowledge.  Surprisingly, one of the questions from the audience actually addressed the issue that cheap is… well…CHEAP!

During the Q & A segment of the workshop an attendee asked about a problem she had: the cord of the traverse rod no longer worked so she just left the window treatment of the sliding glass door closed.  I inquired why the company that sold her the window treatment did not guarantee their product….. she said that she purchased several individual panels (on sale) at a retail store.  They were lined so she was very happy with the insulation they provided her but because they were not custom, she had to have a seamstress cut and stitch all the panels together. Her seamstress pointed out she did not have enough to cover the windows so she went BACK to the store to buy more.   She purchased rods from a big box store and realized after a short while that the rods would not support the weight of the window treatments.  She had to go to a specialty store to purchase custom rods to support the weight.  She agreed that window treatment installation is an art unto itself and she admitted that both times she had to hire a professional installer to correctly install the rods.

Custom Window Treatments in Vermont

So….let’s calculate this – insulated panels (at a discount) BUT she had to hire a seamstress to ‘piece’ together the individual panels.  She went to a retailer TWICE to purchase all the panels necessary.  She purchased TWO sets of rods (one inferior and one custom), she hired the installer TWICE and she currently has one window treatment over a sliding door that is not operable so it remains closed.  I have no idea what she paid for all of this but likely her time, gas, labor, materials AND frustration are comparable to purchasing custom window treatments.  Not to mention that the treatment would not be a ‘compromise’ with a variety of unnecessary seams and a color she admitted was  ‘close’ to the color she actually wanted.   Plus, ALL of her window treatments would be operational as a professional would certainly warranty their products for more than 3 months!

Vermont Window Blinds and Shades


In the words of Miles Redd “Buy the best and you’ll only cry once.”

Have a well-designed day,





Photos: via and via

A busy year

I sat down today to order New Year cards and I was brought to tears by the abundance in my life.  Few people can say that they LOVE what they do and I am blessed to be one such person.   Thank you for allowing us to serve you.  Without YOU, there would be no US.

Vermont Interior Designer

Have a well-designed day,


Christmas Decorating

Christmas decorating ad

Our elves are in full swing decorating homes and commercial spaces.  In fact, they just decorated the lobby of Salon 930 and A Signature Day Spa.   Give yourself the gift of TIME and allow us to take care of the decorating.

Christmas Decorating salon lobby

We can use your decor, or for commercial spaces and condo rentals, we have complete rentals (including removal). Click HERE to reserve your spot today!

Here’s to a well-designed HOLIDAY,


Taking the perfect Christmas card photograph

I love getting Christmas cards.  If this can be genetic, then I inherited it from my mother.  She saved all her cards and collected them in a decorative basket.  At the beginning of the year, she would gather them, tie a ribbon around them and place them in a decorative box.  From time to time she would pull the box out and reminisce.  Now I find that I do the same thing….

1950 christmas card with scottie dog

When our family gathers together, we frequently have professional photographs taken.  The following tips will help whether you’re taking your own photographs or hiring a professional.

*  When photographing a group of people coordination of clothing is imperative. If the photo will be enlarged and framed for your home, you’ll want to make sure you coordinate your clothing to match the décor. Crazy? No, you’ll thank me later. I’m not suggesting you wear curtains ala Carol Burnett but rather you wear similar tones to the room’s color palette.

*  You’ll also want to make sure all the participants wear clothing in the same tones.  If someone wears white and another wears black it creates too much contrast and becomes distracting.  Stay away from busy prints (including bold stripes, checks and plaids) or bright colors. Coordinating clothing really creates a sense of unity, which is significant when taking photos for holiday cards.

Photo: Vibe Portrait Art

Photo: Vibe Portrait Art

*  Four-legged sons and daughters can certainly be included in family portraits. As you can see, our dog, Ella, is used to having her picture taken.   She’s a bit of a ham.

Ella 1 (2)
*  Avoid exaggerated necklines. A deep V-neck pulls attention away from the face while a bulky turtleneck lacks dimension.

*  If you’re taking the photo in your home, make sure the spot you choose is photogenic. Not sure if it is? Take a photo without people in it and take a look. Is it too busy? Is it dreary?  Take the time to set the stage. If there are windows in the background, wash them. If there are window treatments in the background, iron them. If there are electric cords visible anywhere in the photo, hide them. These little things make a big difference in photographs and will save you from disappointing results.

Antique postcard of dog and couple in Vermont

Have a well-designed day,


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