• All About Lighting

    Lighting can be so much fun, and is a key element in design that can make a home feel custom.  There are a few key things to consider when choosing lighting.   Today,  we will focus on variety, sizing, and light output.  

    Here is a dining room from our Modern Eclectic post, with a nice large fixture:

    And pendants from the kitchen:

    I challenged Alex to come up with her ultimate lighting scheme for a home and I did the same.  

    Just like furniture, I don't like the lighting to "match", or all be from the same family.  It looks like a builders special.  Below are couple of examples of coordinated lighting, whose styles and material are not a perfect match. The first I put in a dining room.  The room has navy blue walls, so the white looks WOW.

    Keeping with the gold and white scheme, I put these sconces in the powder bath.  Love the glass tail on the sconce!

    This beauty goes in the den.  Though it's more old world and french, I love that it is different and still ties in with the white and gold.

    In the same open concept room, these lanterns hang over the kitchen island.  The mix of contemporary and old world works and is so interesting!

    And now Alex's turn:

    Personally, I love bold fixtures that are a mix of classic and modern.  The shape of this fixture is more modern than I typically go for, but nevertheless, it is gorgeous. The opaque glass in combination with the gold and black offers awesome contrast.  I could see this over a dining room table, or in a living room.

    This pendant reminds me of a street light, the hearty black looks great with the brass details.  I could see these hanging over a kitchen island.

    Lastly, I picked out this sconce.  It reminds me of a pearl earring in a gold setting, and would look wonderful adorning the wall of a dining room, or powder bath.

    FINAL TIP: Consider the size and light output:

    A wall I run into again and again with client's is the "dreaded Pottery Barn." Their fixtures look great and have a great price point, but when you really look at what you are getting it's usually too small and has low light output.  The one below is a great looking light, not a bad size at 28" (still too small for me), but only uses three 60 watt candleabra bulbs.  I wouldn't be able to see what I was eating with that little light!

    Thanks for taking the time to check out some of our favorite lighting fixtures, and hints and tricks.  Lets us know which are your favorites down below!

  • Fashion Trends and Interior Design

    This weeks blog is focused on fashion trends you can find in interior design.  It is kind of fun to be able to wear and experience your favorite trends on your body and in home.  But I won’t get ahead of myself, a lot of a trend can go too far.  Some of my favorite fashion trends going on at the moment are lucite footwear, tweed, and fringe.

    Translated into interiors we are seeing them in mostly furniture, materials, and accessories, respectively. Keep scrolling to see some of the cool finds.

    Shoes: YEEZY Season 2 Lucite Heel found at, VALIANT Pointed Boots by Unique found at, Gianvito Rossi found at Bed: Oscarine Lucite four poster bed fround at Side Tables: Both to the trade pieces found at Made Goods. 

    Tiles: Emser Tile. Throw: Made Goods, to the trade.  Fabrics: To the trade, can be found at The Design Shoppe

    Bag: Ray Fringe Shoulder found at Boots: Ray Fringe OTK found at Metal chandelier: Douglas found at Pillows: To the trade, found at

  • California Casual Pt. II

    Part II of our California Casual reveal is focused on the dining and living area.  The client wanted to replace the carpet in the living area with hardwoods, which were currently in the entry, hall and dining areas.  Between not being able to match the current engineered hardwoods, and some other issues with those, they ended up replacing all with new engineered hardwoods. Any time you can have the same flooring running throughout an open concept floor plan, it makes it look larger.

    In the living area, the traditional fireplace mantle was removed as well as the chair rail and trim boxes.  We painted the fireplace the trim color.  Beadboard was added where the chair rail and trim were.  The result was a much cleaner, more up to date look. I think it's fabulous.  An unbelievable difference!

    We put in woven wood shades for a little texture and added color with blues and bright orange.  What I love is that if you took away the orange, you could easily and inexpensively add in any other color.

    The dining room had alot of small trim boxes.  We decided to take all of that down in favor of clean, smooth walls. Part of the wall between the kitchen and dining was removed to make a bar/pass through area.  A new chandelier, fabulous art, jute rug for texture and new seating complete the transformation!  The client brought a picture of a banquette that she liked.  Our master upholsterer duplicated it.

    What do you think? Let us know!

  • California Casual remodel

    When I started this remodel project, I truly didn't expect such a dramatic change.  This laid back physician client and her husband were the NICEST to work with.  They had a great, south tulsa, older, single story brick home with a pool out back.  Her goal was to open up the kitchen, dining, and den area, which currently felt like three separate rooms.

    The goal was to update and open up.  We took out the wall between the kitchen and dining room and made it into a see through bar.  We replaced the cabinet doors with shaker style doors to replace those 70's Brady Bunch doors.  They were able to add a walk in pantry by making the study a bit smaller.  The granite surround counters stayed.  We made the island larger and chose a solid surface counter in an off white/gray that blended well with the granite. 

    We were stuck with 8' ceilings, but were able to add pendant lighting because we chose clear glass and nickel fixtures.  They have a light, airy feel that doesn't cut off your line of sight.  It amazes me that we didn't have to gut the kitchen to get this total transformation. I remember walking in after they opened up the walls, and I could not believe the difference in the light flowing through.  It looks like a different house! Stay tuned for part II:  the dining and living areas!

    Post your questions or comments on your own remodel.  We'd love to hear your experiences!

  • Emerald Green

    Have you noticed the reimurgence of hunter green lately?  I remember it from my own home in the early 90's! The photo below is by Henry Bourne for The World of Interiors 1994. Had I not read the description, I would have thought it was a current photograph!

    What a fabulous hunter green and brass kitchen designed for Cameron Diaz by Kelly Wearstler: I wish I were brave enough for this in my own home!

    Faux malachite wallpaper with a brass mirror sets off this alcove:

    This is my favorite.  I'm seeing tons of hunter green velvet sofas.  That's something I would do without batting an eye. Love it with the white and gold.  

    I think hunter green can be a neutral.  It pairs well with charcoal grey, white, gold.  I wouldn't be afraid to mix in some bright yellow, orange, or navy blue.

    It's a show stopper with leopard and metallic brass accents!

    Don't be afraid to try some hunter green in your home.  Especially in a luscious velvet.  I think it's a pretty safe bet!

  • What's Trending | A Big No-No

    "You never want a house to look like Garanimals. There's really nothing worse than matchy-matchy." --Alesandra Branca

    I preach this so much that my clients will now say to me "I know, I know Michelle, it's too matchy-matchy."

    What do I mean by matchy-matchy?  Think walking into a big box furniture store and purchasing a matching dining table, chairs, china hutch and buffet. Or a bed, night stands, dresser and chest that all exactly match.

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    There's an art to mixing wood tones, metals and styles. For instance,

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    There's a careful balance between the antique chair and chest and the modern art that hangs above it. Just because your house leans French or traditional doesn't mean you can't mix in a few contemporary or modern pieces to spice things up. 

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    This room has three tones of brass mixed black iron mixed with white. YES. Please don't feel like you have to stick to the oiled rubbed bronze fixtures that cover every surface of your house. You CAN mix it up a little. Your room will look so much more interesting when you have brass mixed with silver and iron. 

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    It's okay to pick two of three wood finishes and stick to those throughout the space. This example brings in a light wood for the floors, dark cherry for the console, and adds lightness with a painted wood antique chair. You could always add in, my all time favorite, black! If every wooden piece in your room is the same, it begins to lose it's interest and looks too neutral. 

    How far are you willing to go to mix it up?

  • DIY: Cane Counter Stools

    In part two of Michelle's Renovation series, she mentioned some stools that were found in the attic of the new house. In need of some counter stools in the kitchen, we decided we would just rehab them instead of throwing them out. Here's a look at the dirty mess before: 

    There's definitely something lacking to these outdated stools and I just can't help but think we could do something really fun with them. Through lots of researching (mostly on Pinterest...oy), we're thinking one of these projects might just do the trick. 

    This chair has some added detail that our cane chairs are lacking, but the gold could be a great touch with some custom cushions. The granite countertops are now black and white--rather than the pale yellow Formica (yikes)--so the contrast would be outstanding!

    I LOVE the dark blue paint here. The kitchen is attached to a large den that still needs a new rug, so this could give some color to play with. Maybe a Prussian or Peacock Blue?


    A stark black might be a nice touch, but I would probably choose a more neutral fabric rather than one this loud given that we have to accomodate the colors in the den, as well. 

    Stay tuned for updates on this project as we navigate the world of DIY and make this house something spectacular!

    What would you do with these chairs?


    Hello and welcome to the first ever blog hosted by The Design Shoppe! If you aren't familiar with us, please stick around and find out what our little shoppe is all about. We want to share our world with you and create a community of design lovers. Whether you're looking for inspiration, searching for some help, or just need a good story to brighten your day, that's why we're here!

    On this blog, we'll share tidbits about our projects--past and present--and give you an exclusive look at what our team does every day. We'll give you advice on the latest trends and hope you'll share yours, as well. Soon, you'll even get a look at the home renovation of our very own founder, Michelle!

    First and foremost, we're going to be honest. The design process, as beautiful as the outcome may be, gets messy at times. Design trends are sometimes awful. We want to share that with you and talk about the hits and misses because that's what makes design so wonderful!

    Check back tomorrow for our first (real) post. We can't wait to share our ideas with you!