Monthly Archives: August 2011

Labor Day-Let’s Party! …Painless table setting idea’s


The end of summer bliss usually means crossing your fingers that Labor Day weekend will be full of sunshine, friends & checking in that your finally done with all those “fun” projects you had planned for your home. Ok, well some of us are obsessed with somehow perfecting our home…and I’m definitely on the list.  As well as the list for needing more than 24 hours in a day.  AND somehow just never getting everything on my own list done! Hopefully that’s normal? So to appeal to my naive side I fantasize about making the last official weekend of summer visually pleasing. One way is by inviting friends & the sunshine to an outdoor feast where easy to do table settings & laughter are on the menu.

Check out these hands-down, uncomplicated & budget friendly table setting ideas for a whole crew of guests or just your favorite few.

Simple & effortless, these tables don’t take much effort. Great for a last minute get together or even planned ahead…it will leave more time for you to finish up that project you still have in the kitchen. A monochrome table cloth gently covers any table. Use whatever chairs you have around and your everyday dinner dishes. The trick here is to “dress” it up by placing the table center stage on your back patio or on your lawn in-between those large beautiful trees. Then adding colorful flowers in the center. No tablecloth but colorful chairs? Well that’s all you need to have the look of the table below…and just bunches of large colorful flowers.



Want something a little more formal or really laid back? Oh, and on that user-friendly level? Take these great ideas from these party designs. The turquoise blue makes quite a statement and it’s simply a tablecloth! Any bright color top with contrasting napkins and flowers are eye catching on their own-so you done! OR if you’re at the beach, configure some well-balanced low lying table top. Then place light & clear table ware & vases filled with candles & flowers. No need for real chairs-get down in the sand on some large and comfy pillows.


flowers by fudgie                                               

Feel the Martha Stewart coming out?  Leaves, lemons (yes…oranges & even blueberries too!) and creative initials for each guest make this place setting flirty and indulging. Your guests will want to sit and see what’s in store for the evening. Being a good cook is not required…just a few good bottles of wine.

Want to be playful? What tops the entire place setting is what’s usually seen first (…you caught the initial thing above, yes?) Well, one idea is to use bandanas (mix colors too) as your serving napkins with fruit or flowers on top. How about after a group hike or trimming your own just-happen-to-have fern tree (or the like)…place the leaves tied on the napkin as well? If done on monochromatic place settings, it’s be an easy focal point for all to see.


housebeautiful                                                         countryliving

The no brainer part of this whole table setting idea is that ANY type, color, size of a floral centerpiece is the key to outdoor entertaining. You don’t need to use your bucks and do something fancy. If you have your own flowers-use them now or buy something simple and the same color. Place them in tins or jars and just pack them in to make your friends gawk at all the effort you put into this lovely summer day. (Hint-don’t really tell them it was nothing-they won’t believe you).


 realsimple                                            cake events

Lastly, be a know-it-all and show off your place setting knowledge. You’ll want an informal setting that looks like it’s dressed for the Grammy’s. Dessert spoon & forks go at the top, in-between the salad plate and glassware (water, white wine & red wine).  The knife & spoon to the right…and dinner fork and salad fork to the left.


allthingsrefined                                                                     hgtv

Forget the REST of the house and that to-do list that just won’t get done. Enjoy next weekend and splurge your ideas on your friends…not your wallet!

Send me pics or questions to:

…or post on DesignEyez Facebook to share your creations!


It’s Your DORM Room…Man Cave Or Girl Humor Decor? Pull Yourself Together!


You’re there already. Whether a new freshman or that excited upper classman moving off campus finally, you’ve unpacked and begun to settle in.  If you’re a guy…you’re priority is probably not to spruce up your dorm room…or at least not yet (there are benefits!).  If you’re a girl…well, we know that you want to make this place just right! You’ll be there ALL year and will want it to feel like your own place vs the idea of living within four boring walls. If you are the bewildered parents in overdrive…you may want to help out. Not with design advice but with some extra bucks! Just kick the year off right.

Here we go- the economy is crap and you’re thinking an all-out mod college dorm room is not in the cards entirely. Well, you’re right…but…it can be done over a little bit of time-as in a few weeks. You don’t HAVE to buy everything at once. There is not much you can do about the cookie cutter environment, the cinder block walls (be grateful if you have sheetrock) and your choice of roommates but you can add color, lighting and some cool rugs that will not only make you love your new shack but have all those new friends your making come over and hang at your place! It’s a start.

First-your floor. Definitely try a shag. Or something bright and soft enough to walk bare foot or lay down on. You probably have some horrific color carpet wall to wall. You need to put something on top immediately! If you have beautiful hard wood floors you’re in better shape…but still top it off with something more than practical.  Find an eye catching rug  for the center of the floor.  That simple.  Large rectangular or smaller circular shapes all work. Just do something. This means bright orange or lime green or fuchsia pink. It means that cool shag rug in chocolate brown or that cow hide in any funky color. You can find deals on e-bay or CB2  like this late night game of “hopscotch” rug.

"Royal Elegance" Shag Rug 6' x 9' - Espresso, Extra Thick Twisted Acrylic Yarn, Hand Tufted, Cotton Backing

Next, your walls are a must…you want visual security that you’re not going to have to stare at blank walls or a bunch of crazy junk on them all year. Obviously, you can go the classic route of pinning up posters up and around your bed and desk area with masking tape. Huh-uh…just like everyone else. Ok- budget can be an issue so yes, you can go that route, but only most of the way. Look into scoring a few great ideas here for something creative that can bring your eye onto any part of the room (ie ceiling or even a corner). Wall decals, are the most design friendly way to go. You can do almost ANYTHING in wall decals! Pics, designs, letters, numbers, sayings and even customize your very own (but save that for senior year).  Below are a few fun ways to use the decals. There are great ideas for just using up space, showing off our most valued bff/ friends/ family photos or  just saying what’s on your mind. The wall MURALS will be an even bigger hit! Guys-there are surf scenes and sport figures…girls…anything under the stars you can create are there.


Below are the very cool and easy to use wall decal frames by Stick’R frames


Not into the peel and stick? Group any bunch of picture frames together! Ikea to Bed, Bath & Beyond have a ton. Or a great bulletin board to pin up your pics. Do a classic look with some current mod fabric to give it some background.


The biggest must is lighting! You most likely have what must pass as a flashlight in your room. Since overhead options are probably not part of the deal…you must invest in some really solid desk and standing lamps. One of my faves is the ipod docking station standing lamp. That’ just a win-win. Then there’s the extra shelving storage unit with the lamps built in! Major space saver.


Whatever you choose…make sure the wattage is high…60-75 is ideal and look into the “green” bulb options as well to make a smaller foot print in the world. You can save the big foot prints for when you graduate and become the CEO of your own biz or that perfect TV personality we are all looking for.


There are of course endless ideas to help pull together your dorm room or off campus abode….it all depends on what you are working with and the size of your room. Yes, designers do that every day and that’s what DesignEyez can do as well at a fraction of the cost…but I’m sure a designer tailored dorm room is just not that cool…and doing it yourself is 100 percent better and you can take all the credit you want. Throw pillows on your bed, some drapery panels around your window and some cool vintage signs on your door to let everyone know what you are about. Have some fun with it! Whatever you want your space to be it should be. Define it and own it!

…If you really want some secret help that no one will know about….shoot me an email and I’ll answer your question!


Stars & Stripes Interiors…In honor of those lost-some beauty to inspire PATRIOTISM in the home.



As a designer-I see, I read, I look, I analyze…the everyday. All of this visual stimulation in everyday life definitely arouses my creative moods. From my children, to friends, family, strangers and all that stuff in-between. It’s all the stuff floating around the internet and the news at 11pm. Guess that’s a little normal? Then there are the certain stories, and the people from those stories, that stick to my thoughts all day…and inspire me the most. I in turn give my kid’s an extra hug, call a friend I haven’t spoken to or decide “tonight I can stay up and work into the wee hours”.  Don’t love that last one but I am always trying to stay positive. This helps me recognize the beauty in everything.  So when I read about the tragedy of our navy SEALS and think about all the other brave Americans we have lost, I turn that inspiration into patriotism and for what home means to us.

I hope you feel inspired too! Proud to be an American…


A chic, antiqued yet bold wall mural. This is pretty darn cool and can make one feel proud! 

The leather headboard adds a nice contrast and is that american flag tins behind the pillows!? 

Well, looks cool for the pic! 

Wallmural at

For real comfort in the bedroom or living room….these patriotic pillows you can either knit on your own or buy on-line.

You will get you pretty far with comfort and feelin’ darn proud!

4th of July Toss Pillows | World Market            


Find on leisurearts/ etsy/  littlechoux/ worldmarket

These pillows are so subtle yet stand out as a major focal point. Try the same in your home

using LOTS of patriotic throw pillows on your sofa…If your sofa colors don’t match our classic

red, white & blue…it’s simple-get a slipcover for the occasion!

K. McDowell for House Beautiful

Trunks are a key secret in designing…use in living rooms to kids rooms to that unused corner! The retro

detail on these trunks are inspiring for really any room in the house. Put magazines on top

to using it as a bench or a side corner table with a lamp-it’s limitless.

           Stars & Stripes trunk by Halo

1. Photo by designer Jamie Hempsall as interiors below 2.Trunk by Halo

Here’s a great boy’s room with the trunk in the corner…The bold stripe roman shade

gives strength and height to the room so that the bunk bed doesn’t feel so intrusive. Note

those pillows!!!! Even one or two on the bed make a great accent and say it all…



As sometimes we can get a little over-the-top patriotic (…not showing those disasters!) An easy way

to add the stars and stripes to your home is through art or ANYTHING vintage/ antique!

Here’s a living room with a strong and well balanced statement.

Americana interior design-living room

…and look on line for any of these finds for hosting and game night!

      Pfaltzgraff Stars & Stripes Acrylic Cooler Glass, 19 oz.                                              


The Fifth Wall…You Know It’s There!


Yes-use those EYEZ and look up!!!! You know what’s there….it’s your ceiling! This is no bird or plane concept. This is also a no brainer.  For years us designers have LOVED bringing the attention to the top. We all have a white ceiling somewhere in our home…but with all the design talk of doing’ your ceiling-isn’t it about time!? For my designs it was always simple. The eye goes up when there is something to look at! See? No brainer! While a room boxed within the four walls will most naturally have its own focal point, the ceiling is on its own. I love tilting my head back for painted stripes, hip wallpaper and even stenciling if you have the patience! The best places? In bathrooms and hallways and of course kids room…especially nursery’s. While your thinking of where you like doin’ it best…painting, wallpaper, or stenciling…SEE some of my favorite examples by other creative people! Oh-and try to scroll to the very end when you can see what to really do with a must-have white ceiling!

Get INSPIRED…& check it out. 
J.Crew‘s creative director Jenna Lyon’s hip nursery. Newborns respond well to large, contrasting patterns. Avoiding a bumble bee look…this design opens up the space and emulates luxury.
Another lucky kid….can you imagine how boring this space would be without this daring lime color green!
2 modern kids bedroom idea with colorful decoration Playful Kids Bedroom Idea with Color, graphic and a Dreamy Ceiling
This Dining space is sexy & attrctive without usuing the customary “reds”- LOVE the ocean blue ceiling, curvacious rug & oversized pendant!
white blue red orange modern retro colorful dining room
modern retro dining room blue black ceiling colorful round table
Very very very cool….with great mix of materials. Notice not only the golden wallpapered ceiling (which certainly takes center view) but the use of natural “woods” on the walls. Very grounded with an overscale patterened rug. Oh-yes, the lights are perfect!
See-patience leads to beauty…this concept is above most of our heads…
For the light hearted…it’s still a color but very inviting and serene for this bedroom!


AHHH-the WHITE CEILING! Now this is the way to do it! Bold color walls and large open space…SO masculine yet delicately romantic!
Campbell Designs LLC
How could I not include this crazy cool hallway….
Muriel Brandolini’s Southampton weekend house/ Elle Decor

Caffeine & breakfast….the best #CHAIRS to comfort your caboose with in the kitchen!

Buddha sitting in front of a wall in Ayutthaya,Thailand Stock Photo - 1781657

Buddha sitting in front of a wall in Ayutthaya,Thailand

…AT least the Buddha looks comfortable! For centuries our bloodlines have continued to master the best way to rest when we really needed it! We went from dirt floors in dark caves to animal skins to all types of wooden contraptions to the easy access of ordering any type of chair online.

Sitting on the ground is still common practice today whether it’s cross-legged or on your knees-for the right reasons! In Japan, it’s called SEIZA for proper sitting-just a little tidbit!

Personally, when I wake up in the morning, comfort may not be the first thing on my mind but it’s definitely what my body wants. Not that I always have the luxury of sitting at home to guzzle my caffeine intake, but if I did, I would go on-line and order one of my few faves! Sitting on the floor just isn’t an option…

Enjoy the peek!

saarinen tulip side chair - black

Grew up with the white shell & a red seat version-my mom was a hipster! Saarinen tulip side chair from

…in LOTS of fun colors!

 saarinen tulip side chair - black

Tweeted about this earlier! This is fool proof for spills and looks just dam_ good! It’s actually comfortable but for skinny fanny’s…get a seat cushion.


Yes-it’s comfortable…and just cool looking…if you only have room for 2 chairs

in your kitchen then this is the way to go!

Dining Chairs - Maxon White Plastic Dining Chair

Simply a classic #ICON-beyond comfortable! The Eames molded plywood chair…low back for great support and doesn’t overpower the kitchen space at the same time. No cushion needed!

This is a fave cause I just LOVE purple anything! Probably comfortable but who cares! It’ll look so cool in an all-white kitchen!


ONE of IKEA’s many easy and hip looking chairs…The price is always right there…go to for more!

BERNHARD Chair, chrome plated, Kavat green-yellow Width: 17 3/4 " Depth: 19 5/8 " Height: 30 3/8 " Seat width: 17 3/4 " Seat depth: 15 3/4 " Seat height: 18 7/8 "  Width: 45 cm Depth: 50 cm Height: 77 cm Seat width: 45 cm Seat depth: 40 cm Seat height: 48 cm