Design Inspiration: Tropical Mexico

Apologies to anybody who happens to be stuck in the snow at this time, but I am on the beach in Mexico, in a little town just south of Puerto Vallarta. The beauty of the tropics never fails to stun…

Fall for a Water-Wise Fountain

Water attracts tranquility, balance and motion to an outside space, qualities nearly impossible to replicate with other materials. How can you have the appearance with water conservation in mind? There are a few strategies:Reduce evaporation by minimizing the outside areaSurround…

Get Floored by Creative Use of Tile

You understand how supposedly we use only 10% of our brains? Well, I think we use only about 10% of tile’s capacity also. I really like staggered subway tile as much as the next woman, but let’s face it: It’s…

Contemporary Farmhouse Vineyard in Minnesota

A modern farmhouse may seem like an oxymoron to some people, but also for Bill Costello of Murphy & Co.. Design, the farmhouse feel was appropriate for his client, vintner Billy Smith. Even though the home and land function as…

Crazy Cool Shelves

I’ve been designing a few special custom shelving for a client building a new modern house in Venice Beach, California. He is really pushing the limits of the expected criteria in notebook, and I like this. In working together with…

Contractor Tips: Step Up to a Safe, Stylish Staircase

A staircase is a very simple and elegant way for people to move between floors. The layout, design and implementation by the builder all play a role in determining how safely and comfortably a stair accomplishes this task. Lingo to…

Narrow-Room Solution: Split It Up

Many classic American homes are blessed (cursed?) With a long, narrow combination living room and dining area. These rooms can be hard to decorate because they seem too slim and provide no organic division points. The challenge would be to…

Timeline of American House Styles

Like more than 100 million people, we saw this year’s Superbowl to observe the New York Giants prevail within the New England Patriots. But let’s face it. We see the Superbowl for not only the match but for the half-time…

Color and Character in North Carolina

When designer Emily A. Clark moved into a home in North Carolina with her husband and three kids, she had a hard time envisioning her distinctive style from the cookie-cutter space. “Our house had completely zero personality,” Clark says. “The…

Guest Picks: Autumn Tabletop Essentials

When it comes to fall, I love the changing colors of the leaves and also the onset of colder weather that supplies an excuse to wear my preferred peacoat. Indoors, the change of seasons brings the opportunity to amuse with…