Monday, October 24, 2011

Nicki, the Spokesdog, Says Hello

While I was in the great town of High Point, NC this weekend to attend the Fall 2011 Furniture Market, I saw a black standard poodle all dolled up with bows in her ears and painted toenails.  She was serving as the spokesdog for a furniture company!

When I told Nicki about this, she was very jealous and insisted on getting some face-time here on my blog.  She said she hadn't been well represented recently.  And I agree!  So here's a cute picture of Nicki to start off your work week. 

And be sure to check back later this week when I post pictures and commentary from my travels to High Point...

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Falling for More 2012 Color Trends

Benjamin Moore just posted 4 color trends for 2012, so I thought I'd piggyback on last week's post and share them with you! 

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Falling for Fall Color Changes

Now that fall is officially in full swing, nature is beginning her annual change of colors.  There is nothing like the vibrant reds, oranges and yellows of leaves turning on a gorgeous, sunny fall afternoon!

Recently, while in Pittsburgh, PA (my home away from home) picking up a gallon of Pony Tail (#315-4) paint for a client, I was browsing the PPG Pittsburgh Paints display at Rollier's Hardware.  I always welcome design inspiration as well as insights from my favorite vendors as to the upcoming trends, be it furniture, fabrics, lighting or, in this case, paint!  I picked up a fabulous little brochure entitled "Wow Color Now; Color Trends 2011/2012."  This brochure features 4 color schemes that Pittsburgh Paints chose to say "color is back in a big way!"  They go on to explain that "we are rediscovering the joy, beauty and optimism that we need to overcome adversity, and our color choices for home will reflect that.  We see trends gravitating towards deep, bold and bright colors to invigorate the greys and beiges of past years.  The headwind of color enthusiasm will encourage us to make highly charged personal choices like lipstick reds and azure blues, setting the stage for a vibrant 2011 and 2012."

Below, I have featured their 4 schemes - Instinct, Glamour, New Bohemia and UpCycle - below.  Which is your favorite?

P.S.  Nicki says "hi" and sends her love as the Inspired Interiors official "spokesdog."  You'll be hearing more from her soon.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Nicki, The Amazing Supervisor

Nicki and I think it's time for you to start some fall remodeling projects around your home.  In fact, Nicki's parents have been doing some late-summer remodeling of their master bathroom, thanks to an awesome wallpaper found by Inspired Interiors (see below).  Throughout it all, she's been a great supervisor.  For instance, while the vintage 1987 wallpaper was being stripped with a steamer, Nicki-Noodle enjoyed coming into the room and stealing a piece of glue covered wallpaper as a tasty snack.  Later, as her dad was doing some minor repairs to the drywall in the skylight over their soaking tub, she hopped up on the gang plank (aka 2" x 10"s) and dove into the unfilled tub below!  After a swift rescue by the Coast Guard (aka her mom), she posed for this picture to remind you just how much fun a remodeling project can be....especially when Inspired Interiors and Nicki, the amazing supervisor, are handling all the sticky details for you.

A gorgeous Albert Van Luit wallpaper!

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Fun with Fabrics

Woah, August already?!?  Wasn't it just Memorial Day?  I hope you are enjoying your travels to wonderful locations.  Nicki sure has enjoyed all kinds of fun Inspired Interiors outings this summer, especially since my mom has been off from teaching school and has been able to lend a hand "dog sitting" while we drive around town and pop in and out of stores.  This is a picture I shot of her contemplating some fabric selections while I was picking up some fabric for a client's soon-to-be reupholstered settee yesterday.  I think the bright tropical patterns and colors were really "speaking" to her.  WOOF, WOOF!

Friday, July 15, 2011

Nicki Cashes In

Yesterday and today the weather has been gorgeous here in Richmond, VA!  Everyone in town seems to be taking full advantage of the lower temperatures, lower humidity and delightful breezes because the summer heat and humidity are due to arrive back into the region next week.  One of my errands yesterday was to the ATM to deposit some checks (yea!).  It was such a beautiful day, I couldn't resist taking Nicki along with me.  She enjoyed sticking her nose out the window and feeling the gentle breeze while I worked the machine.  Guess you could say she "cashed in" on my errand...

I hope you get to cash in on this weather and enjoy some time outdoors this weekend!  :)

Monday, May 16, 2011

Being Patriotic is Cool!

Life has been crazy for the past few weeks, so I'm sorry for missing out on my blog posts.  I have lots to share with you... On Easter Sunday, Nicki and I went to the Monument Avenue Easter Parade where she enjoyed some vanilla ice cream straight from the cone!  This got me thinking about how very American ice cream's a staple at most every summer gathering and the simple sound of the ice cream truck cruising through the neighborhood conjures up memories of summertime and childhood days gone by.  A link on the Turkey Hill ice cream website insists that our favorite ice cream flavor tells a lot about our personality and even suggests which breed of dog we best associate with!  Uhhhh, Nicki hopes mine says POODLE.

Turkey Hill - Links to Ice Cream Personality Tests

While I was unable to attend the spring furniture market in High Point a few weeks ago, I enjoyed reading and hearing about the latest trends.  This video is excellent and talks about how the "Patriotic Spirit" was alive and well at the spring market - from "made in America" to Americana themes to Federalist details to historical references to a nostalgic spirit and definitely some stars and stripes. 

Nicki and I want to know, how about some ice cream to go along with this theme?  After all, Memorial Day is only 2 weeks away...

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Stopping to Smell the Roses

It's literally "spring break" this week here in Richmond, VA - the area schools are closed, the weather couldn't be more gorgeous and all of the dogwood trees and azaleas are in full bloom!  So is the pollen, but that's another story altogether; if you don't believe me ask my black car that got washed on Sunday and turned into a yellow car a few hours later.  Prior to said car washing, which proved to be an exercise in futility, Nicki Noodle and I went on an excursion to pick up some plants for my outdoor container gardens.  While there, she literally took the time to stop and smell the roses!  It was a precious photo op that I couldn't resist shooting and sharing with you.

I love the contrast of her black fur and the fuchsia colored rose.  Which brings me to sharing a few interior shots that have successfully infused a pop of fuchsia into them.  Enjoy!

This one has it all!  Fuchsia toile, fuchsia lampshades, fuchsia striped rug and floral arrangement.  I think if this were my space to design, I'd eliminate the patterned wallpaper, though.  A bit too many patterns for me.  Taken from
I know this is a little bit more modern than most of you would go, but this is a great use of a warm fuchsia paired with crisp Granny Smith apple green both of which are toned down by white and chrome fixtures.  Love the glass mosaic tiles, too!  Taken from

What a cutie pie!  Classic spooled feet and nailhead trim balanced with fuchsia upholstery.  That's small enough to ship via UPS straight to my front door!  Taken from

If you don't want a permanent infusion of fuchsia into your space and you are lucky enough to live in a region where azaleas grow, just walk outside, trim a few branches off and bring them indoors. Photo by Anna Lisa Yoder.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Nicki's New Definition of Social Media

The P-Doodle and I were out on a walk earlier this week and she ran into 2 of her fellow poodles.  Although they were a WEE BIT bigger than she was - we're talking BIG standard poodles vs. a miniature poodle - she enjoyed saying hello and being social with them, despite their deep, loud barking.  Look at all that beautiful kinky, curly black hair!  Ta-da - Nicki's new version of social media.

This brings me to the topic of the day - social media and social networking.  Yes, yes, Blogging and Facebooking and Twittering - oh my!  Inspired Interiors is having fun, but working hard to entertain you, educate you and INSPIRE you through ALL of our social media outlets.  And, we KNOW that you have a lot of friends who would be interested in what we have to say!  So, I'm wondering if you can help us get our name out there by posting a comment to this blog, signing up to follow us or even "like" us on Facebook.  Share the love a little, why don't ya?  Here, I'll make it easy for you:

Inspired Interiors Facebook Page

Inspired Interiors Twitter Page

Nicki and I thank you and wish you a wonderful spring weekend!  Woof, woof.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

April Showers...

Nicki-Noodle is hanging out with me here at the Inspired Interiors home office this afternoon as it sprinkles on and off here in Richmond, VA.  You know what they say about those April showers!  Nicki also enjoyed barking and greeting the nice FedEx delivery man who dropped off my client's Abbie Crystorama Chandelier a short while ago.  I love that my client decided to add a little touch of sparkle and femininity to her newly remodeled laundry room!

Anyway, I digress...the overcast weather and stormy skies around the area today have reminded me of all of the wonderful uses of gray seen in interior design.  Be it in FABRICS - often paired with warmer shades to keep a space from feeling too "cold" - or in PAINT COLORS.  I'm even seeing gray pop up in the increasingly popular washed and stained finishes on CASEGOODS.

Benjamin Moore's AF-685 Thunder, paired with yellow accents to warm things up!
Benjamin Moore's AF-700 Thunder graces the back of these bookcases, but doesn't look heavy or dark paired with the white doors and wainscoting. Also notice the reuse of the "thunder" color on the sofa upholstery and the use of both cool and warm accent colors.

The washed gray Wyatt Lamp Table from Lexington's Twilight Bay Collection.

And I love this entire bespoke "bachelor pad" filled with shades of gray such as: "pearl, dove, pinstripe, oyster, fox, seafoam, mist, moonlight, pebble, mushroom, taupe, smoke, cloud, steel, platinum, ash, pumice, slate and, of course, silver."  This flat was designed by Geoffrey Bradfield and was featured in the September 2008 issue of Architectural Digest.

Thanks for reading; I better go and rescue my natural woven shade sample from the grips of Nicole's puppy teeth!  She does love finding things that interest her in my office...

Sunday, April 10, 2011

More About that P-Doodle (a.k.a. Nicki)

Nicki-Noodle at 3.5 months old putting her seal of approval on my client's carpet selection.

While Nicki, the black miniature poodle I wrote about in my last blog, is technically my parents' dog, I happen to live very near their house and conveniently get to spend a fair amount of time with this little bundle of joy.  In fact, several of my dog-loving clients have already met her since she's occasionally kidnapped to "ride along with me" on Inspired Interiors errands and official business appointments!  I think Nicki really likes the design business - she's always checking out my fabric and finish samples.  She even likes to walk on carpet samples to make sure the fibers are appropriately soft for an afternoon cat (oops, I meant dog) nap.  Really, I'm convinced she loves this design's not just that it frees her from the confines of my parents' house while they are at work, right? 

Regardless of Nicki's feelings toward my design business, you'll be hearing a lot more about this little dog, who is fast becoming the Inspired Interiors official mascot.  Just so you can't say I didn't warn you, she's frequently called any of the following names:
  • Nicki
  • Nicki-Noodle
  • P-Doodle (watch out P. Diddy)
  • Doodle Dog
  • Nicole (when she's in trouble)
Well, that's about it for today; I'm back to planning what trouble Nicole and I are going to get into this week!

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Is It Time for a Tune Up?

This past weekend, I had what I consider to be a milestone birthday...I won't tell you what milestone it was, but I can tell you it has been the cause of much reflection on my interior design business and myself personally.  This afternoon was a beautiful day here in Richmond, VA and I had the pleasure of letting my parent's adorable 7 month old miniature poodle puppy, Nicole (a.k.a. Nicki) out for her mid-day bathroom break.  After she "did her thing," I took a moment to sit her down on my lap and soak up the warm spring sun on our faces.  She took the opportunity to reflect on all of the new sounds she was hearing in the backyard - the rustle of leaves in the wind, the chirping of birds and the cackling of a few crows flying overhead.  Nicki was certainly taking it all in - processing which sounds she liked and which she didn't. 

While I was sitting there today, it occurred to me that we sometimes need to reflect - not only on ourselves - but on our homes and consider undergoing little "tune ups" that will make our lives a little easier, a little more comfortable or even a little more bright as we go about our busy day to day lives.  So, I challenge you to take a few moments, look around your house and determine which things you like and dislike and what "tune ups" you might make this spring.  Can Inspired Interiors help you accomplish those goals?  ABSOLUTELY!  Give me a ring or shoot me an email.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

And the Oscar Goes To...

"Where will the stars be before they hit the stage at the 83rd Annual Academy Awards on February 27th? The Architectural Digest Greenroom, of course. Each year, AD selects a noted designer to transform a raw space into a backstage oasis for presenters and winners alike on Hollywood's biggest night. This year, interior designer Michael S. Smith - who was appointed in 2010 by President Obama to the Committee for the Preservation of the White House - is the man for the job. His vision for the room is inspired by luxe, tailored 1940s Hollywood style, complete with a sophisticated color palette and furnishings that reflect the era."

See a slideshow of past Greenrooms by following this link:
Inspired Interiors wants to know which was your favorite?

Monday, February 21, 2011

Mirror, Mirror on the Wall

I thought you might enjoy reading about the history of Venetian style mirrors (mirrors with embellished mirror borders). They are so beautiful!
These mirrors originate from "the island of Murano in Venice, Italy. Today, more affordable versions are produced by skilled artisans around the world, particularly in the Phillipines. In the late 13th and 14th centuries, Venetian artists renowned for glassblowing began creating ribbons and flowers to frame their mirrors. These expensive, coveted creations were collected by royalty, and the glassblowing techniques were kept secret - for a while."

You can use these mirrors "anywhere you want to brighten a room or add a dramatic focal point; over mantels, in the entryway, or above a dining room buffet, bedroom dresser or bathroom sink."

Photos from

Friday, February 11, 2011

Palette: The Power of Red

Wow, the new year has started out with a bang for Inspired Interiors! It's been so much fun helping my clients make decisions and coordinate details for their design projects. My painter was hard at work juggling 2 jobs for me this week and my flooring installer will be putting down a gorgeous dark, tigerwood floor at a client's home next week. I'm sure some in progress pictures will be forthcoming on my blog. In the meantime, in honor of St. Valentine's Day on Monday, I thought I'd share this slideshow from one of my favorites, Traditional Home. Have a heart happy weekend!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Trend Snapshot: From Runway to Home

"The High Point Market is the world's runway for home fashions. With only one month to New York's Fashion Week, the Market's Trend Snapshot showcases how the hottest styles from the catwalk translate into home furnishings." (Taken from:

I don't know about you, but now that the holidays are over, I'm getting a bit anxious for spring! A trip to several home decor stores in the past week "fueled my fire" when I saw pretty, spring floral arrangements all over the place. These fresh colors remind me of the big, bold graphic fabrics - some of them floral in nature - that are coming back into the scene.

The last segment of the video - "Lady Like" - speaks to the master bedroom I started to work on this week for a client of mine.

My question is: which of these 3 trends do you like best? Will you be incorporating any of these into your home in the coming months? Be sure to post your answer below - I look forward to hearing from you. Enjoy the show!

Monday, January 10, 2011

Somewhere Over the Rainbow

Just a quick post to share with you this cool concept that I saw on Design Sponge's blog: arranging your books on your bookshelves by color! What a bright, clever, fun idea!

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Balancing Act

So, we're on day 6 of the new year. Are you struggling to balance your new year's resolutions while getting back into the swing of post-holiday day-to-day life? I'll admit it; I am. I was reading an article on Benjamin Moore's website about color trends for 2011 and they emphasized "balance" and how life is about creating balance, which is exactly what this year's color trends embrace. Maybe I need to get out my paintbrush this weekend?

The folks at Benjamin Moore have selected the color of the year to be Vintage Wine (2116-20) describing it as a "color that's luxurious and comfortable at the same time. Violet has always been a color linked to royalty because it was so hard to get the dye. Vintage Wine has a layer of a rich brown which is culturally a color of comfort and familiarity. Think of things that give us a sense of relaxation like nature (soil/wood), chocolate, a warm cup of chair/ get the idea. When the two sensations come together, we have Vintage Wine to represent the idea of balance."