It has been a very fun week.  I have learned a ton of new skills in the last few weeks, and so appreciate the people I’ve just met, or am getting to know better through this generous community.  Thank you for being so warm and welcoming.  The photo is via Flak Photo, an interesting website that features a variety of international photographers.  To learn more, or to subscribe, click here.  

Photo: titled Waterfall, shot by Coley Brown.  Please visit his website  Have a great weekend and remember:  

For you can look at things while talking or with a radio going full blast, but you can see only when the chatter stops.

Frederick Franck

Category: Design | 2 Comments


Inspiration comes in so many forms for me.  I don’t know about you, but when I truly pay attention, which for me means minimize my distractions, and take it what exists around me, inspiration results.  Our senses, thrive on being fed.  Creativity insists on it.  I mentioned a few of my daily design blog favorites in yesterday’s post.  Over the last year, I have joyfully stumbled upon bundles of inspiration from certain blogs, some of which are not written in or easily translatable to the English language. The inspiration I receive from visiting these sites is as memorable if not more so and I wonder if it’s because a portion of my attention does not get committed to the written word.  One of these blogs is the lovely KELTAINEN TALO RANNALLA or A yellow house by the sea.  She regularly writes posts on designers, photo stylists and other creative types that speak soft words of inspiration.

I’m committed to giving my clients unique interiors that are affordable, have staying power, both functionally and aesthetically—interiors that reflect the best of who they are, not who I am. This can be challenging.  In my previous career as a CPA/business consultant, it was sometimes easier to meet deadlines, as the work didn’t call for right brained, creative expression.  Developing a design concept is an entirely different animal.  It might only take me, say 6 hours (billable time) to develop a design concept for a small scope remodel project, but the elapsed time it takes for me to develop that concept can easily take week or longer. For me, ideas come in waves, from a variety of sources, and I’ve found if I just try to look at all things as elements of inspiration, better concepts result.   I am increasingly drawn to the work of stylists.  The area of photo styling is so intriguing to me. One of my goals for 2009 is to become more camera savvy, and to do some of my own pseudo photo styling in the design studio. I promise to share more about my studio in an upcoming post.

Today I am featuring a handful of visuals from the jaw dropping portfolio of freelance photo stylist Lucyina Moodie.  Based in London, she works throughout the UK, as a freelance photo stylist and interior designer with her colleague and partner, Lucy Wrisdale.   Her styling, the color palettes, textures, blend of materials and phenomenal photography simply soothe the soul, don’tcha think? Click on am image to see on her site.

Category: Design | 6 Comments

This is a blog about design, and I just started blogging this week; I had hoped to hold off on the crazy for a few weeks to establish myself as a serious interior design professional.  But, then I can across this lovely lady via my new online vice Twitter.  

I try to be generous with the funny. I absolutely love Ellen Degeneres.  I will also make sure my mom has my dad watch this, he does enjoy the funny too.  Hang in there, it is a bit long, but well paced and completely worth the wait.  

Category: Design | 4 Comments


 A previous post featured tables from Phillips Collection that are both organic and free form.  In keeping with this idea, let’s look at the works of the incredibly gifted artist, Linda Plaisted.  I have been admiring her photo stream for over a year—I can’t pinpoint exactly where I found her; I am quite confident it was from one the women that have fed my passion for design, and continue to introduce me to cool decor, fresh talent, design deals fab furniture and phenom portfolios …. their inspiration is contagious.

One of my daily reads featured Linda’s work in early late 2007. I remember finding her personal blog, and crying well into the night after reading a her personal struggle of joy and grief; the truth, beauty and wisdom of surviving life’s trials is evident in her work. Linda’s work routinely makes me smile; her pieces have textural layers; they elicit feelings—they tell stories. A selection of her works are being featured on Per ViewvilIe’s well written artist description:  

“Linda Plaisted is an artist who demonstrates in striking fashion how photography can be used as a basis for artistic expression rather than just as an end in itself. She layers photographs with textures from her paintings, drawings and collected ephemera to create painterly works with a lucid narrative quality.”

As a classically trained artist, she springboards that experience with her unique photography talent and background as a mixed media artist.  Here are a few of her works from the series:  Lay of the Land, among others.

Seed    Photographer’s Notes:

An elegant branch, in haiku form. From my “Lay of the Land” series that combines my original photography with textures from my paintings for a sense of depth not unlike paint applied to canvas.

Homeward  Photographer’s Notes:

Evening at the beach. After a fine seafood dinner, M and I walked down to the little private dock to go fishing on the Albermarle Sound. Didn’t catch anything except a bunch of picture postcard images like this one.

October  Photographer’s Notes:

The life of a tree is a hundred and a thousand years ; its decays ornamental ; its repairs self-made : they grow when we sleep, they grew when we were unborn. But we must look forward also, and make our-selves a thousand years old ; and when these acorns, that are falling at our feet, are oaks over-shadowing our children in a remote century, this mute green bank will be full of history: the good, the wise and great will have left their names and virtues on the trees ; heroes, poets, beauties, sanctities, benefactors, will have made the air timeable and articulate.

~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

Threshold  Photographer’s Notes:

The images are composed of many layers, both literal and figurative, not unlike the contrasting layers of emotion I have experienced upon my arrival at this place, this threshold. This images tells how I arrived here with a new identity, shaped by joy at the birth of my daughter and grief at the death of my other child.

I have used my original photography, vintage photographs of my ancestors and past family documents, as well as textures and ephemera from my past and present lives, layered with photographs meant to conjure internal and external landscapes and, ultimately a sense of hope and new beginnings.

Her work normally ranges in price from $65-150, depending on size.  See more information by visiting Viewville’s website here or Linda’s website, Many Musings.  I was drawn to her originally from seeing this, and this, I know, she’s phenomenal, right? Oh and I also loved The Women series.  A newer series, titled the Language of Flowers, features Patience.

On a lighter note, when I was preparing this post, I wanted to use a photo of Linda to put a face with her name.  I guess I had her website/flickr name in my head (many musings) when I was sending her an email and I opened it with “Hi Mary.”  She kindly correctly me and we shared a laugh.  Sometimes foibles create a space for connection. Linda mentioned the something about the passion she feels for the art that she makes and with her permission, I’d like to pass it along to you.  “I love my life. Art is truly a “calling” for me, corny as that may sound. I live and breath to create things that really speak to people in whatever language they know best.”  

In other news, Linda was recently awarded Daily Candy’s DC, Best of 2008 award—COGRATS Linda.  To celebrate her DAILYCANDY win and her recent birthday, she’s giving 20% OFF ALL ORDERS from her website of $50 or more through March 2.  Click here for more information.  I am honored to feature the talent of Linda Plaisted.

Category: Art | 2 Comments

Las Vegas Market seemed a bit slower in February than the market this past summer and the vibe was noticeably down.  It was apparent to me that the economy is taking a toll on vendors and their representatives.  This was my second visit to Market in Vegas, an ever growing furniture market on the West Coast.  

One of the vendors, Phillips Collection has an interesting array of products, their large scale pieces work well in select residential projects, larger hospitality projects and certain contract clientele.  Their showroom space illustrated some repetition from summer market, with some interesting new product introductions.  Overall, their pieces seemed grander to huge compared to what I had remembered.

One of their signature products is free form wood console and side tables.  These pieces are incredible in person, each one unique in shape, size, wood type and footprint.  The use of strong, natural elements in thoughtful moderation is a perfect addition to many interiors.

 I wanted to share a selection of visuals that illustrate the balance of organic free form wood elements offset against cleaner, simpler elements.

See full post here

See Grace’s writeup here

In closing, I’ve added a mix of the other items  that Phillip Collection offers; they have a mix of products including furnishings, wall decor, mirrors, sculpture, lighting, accessories and outdoor decor.

I am drawn to the sculptured, cut out lighting, and the back hole chair is masculine, yet sexy somehow. The Frog table is a nice scale, reflects a playfulness evident in some of their items.  Their newest releases are not available for visual download as of yet, but I’ll follow up and keep you posted.

Category: Design, Finds | Leave a Comment

I’ve been a working interior designer since 1998; prior to that I lived in the world of CPA’s and business consultants; it’s amazing I made it out alive.  Those skills come in handy with my design clients.

I took an interest in design blogs while coming out of the fog after having AJ and then G (14 months later).

The focus of my business had taken a back seat initially to ttc and ultimately to caring for two babies–our blessings come in waves.  The journey was unimaginably difficult and beautiful, but that’s a topic for another post (or not).  One of the first blogs I stumbled upon is authored by the lovely Victoria.  

Instantly intrigued, I read, and read, soaking in her visuals; my favorite kind of reading.  I emailed Victoria about how she started blogging,  who had done her banner, and a few other questions.  She was generous in referring me to the sweetest talent ever.

Victoria shared her love for Heart Fish on her blog.  Hijiri Shepherd, has helped with every aspect of this blog design–we collaborated on the design, color scheme, textures, including additional collateral material for my design business, studio and store front.  She knew I wanted an organic yet feminine professional image, and she secretly uploaded a photo from our succulent garden via my flickr photostream.

What resulted is this logo, for the design arm of my business—the color, texture and use of negative space—are all spot on for me.  This project is a great example of the power of technology.  Hijiri was living in San Francisco when we initially connected.  She has since moved to Brooklyn.  All of our project work has been done online or by phone.  I would highly encourage anyone looking to expand their business or define their online presence with a website, blog, collateral material, or other graphic design material to use Hijiri K Design Studio.  I’ll be forever grateful for her spirit, patience, talent and heart. Hijiri’s ventures are expanding as well, more recently through new work of the letterpress variety; see some of her treasures featured in her etsy shop and more here.

It’s been an arduous process getting started, my end of it– this is so new to me–I’m a perfectionist and quite unfamiliar with the tools used to share interior design online.  My hope is that this blog will be a venue for sharing, connecting, learning and laughing along the way.  I welcome comments and emails.

Category: Design, Family | 5 Comments


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