Tuesday, June 28, 2011


Things I've bought recently:

The World of Ornament, $50 on Amazon
(but FREE with points from our Amazon credit card!)

adorable Lulu Guinness flats, $25

Things I wish I could have bought recently:

loveseat upholstered with my favorite DwellStudio fabric, $725
on The Foundary (yup, it is the same as that Nate Berkus one from
HSN, but with much cooler fabric - made by Skyline Furniture, just
like a lot of Urban Outfitters' and Target's furniture)

LOFT necklace, $9 at current sale price

Things I've made recently:

$100 brass & glass trestle desk (crappy phone pic, sorry).
Let's not talk about the iMac, whose motherboard died
precisely 1 week after we bought it on Craigslist, also
known as the reason we made the desk in the first place.
Yup, concentrating on the awesomeness of the desk.

My very first design board! Entry with $350 budget.

More regular posting next week, when one of my two temporary jobs ends. What have you been up to recently?

Wednesday, June 22, 2011


As I explained here, I am possibly the luckiest tenant (and design blogger) ever. Our landlord is renovating our kitchen and bathroom and I've been able to choose most of the finishes and fixtures!

This is the design board I originally made; I want something elegant and classic, and simple enough to satisfy many generations of renters. 

This will all hopefully happen sometime in July or August. And, because the grass is always greener, I'll probably soon get bored of the blank-slate quality of that whiteness. I know the average rental bathroom doesn't involve carrera marble or wainscoting, but many do happen to be mostly white (maybe with some black borders). 

Although that may seem boring and uninspiring, just like the rest of your average rental, don't think of it as a drawback; instead, think of those white tiles it as a backdrop for bathroom loveliness. What can you do to liven up that whiteness? I brainstormed, searched, and came up with some ideas...

An industrial-chic, clean-lined space, keeping the white walls:

Ruffles, saturated color and Moroccan-style details:

If you're allowed to paint, why not go all out? Paint your walls dark charcoal and choose masculine, elegant accessories:

Or switch out the chrome for brass and posh, luxurious furnishings:

clockwise from upper left:
Quoizel sconce at Lumens
Martha Stewart "Ingrid" mirror at HDC
shower curtain found on Real Simple
Nate Berkus for HSN stool - I cheated; no longer available :(
decoupage wastebasket at The Well Appointed Home
towels that I bought on OKL for my real future bath, much cheaper here!
similar monogrammed towels available here (check out all the style options!)

I'm not planning on using any of these boards for my own bathroom, but you might see bits and pieces in the final product! Stay tuned...

[I'm too tired to write down all the product sources at the moment, but let me know if you want to know where I found a specific item!]

Friday, June 17, 2011


In honor of the bulletin board I recently made and posted about, here's a quick roundup of some of my favorite bulletin/inspiration boards. 

clockwise from upper left:
Jamie of I Suwanee
Diane Bergeron
Eddie Ross


Nate Berkus
Eileen Kathryn Boyd
Martha Stewart

Sabrina Linn, Canadian House & Home
More substantial posts soon, promise :)

Monday, June 13, 2011


A couple of weeks ago I mentioned tweaking designs after they're "done." I've been doing a lot of that in the few months since we supposedly finished the apartment. If any of you compared my original posts about my apartment with the images posted on Copy Cat Chic you might have noticed a few differences...

I put a coat of glossy black paint on the Ikea nightstands that I had previously stained walnut brown, and added black grosgrain ribbon and greek key trim (from Michael's) to the edge of the screen. 

In the living room, I added an absolutely fantasic inlaid chair (from Craigslist, of course, for under $100). This was my first birthday present (the second being the ring!). The seller told me that it was Syrian, and 
the style looks Moroccan. I love the intricate details:

I FINALLY bought pillows. When I knew I was about to finish buying all the furniture we needed, I decided I would not get pillows for the couch, so I would have an excuse to go shopping once in a while. After lots of agonizing over the only purchase I was "allowed" to make, I decided that I was being silly and it was time to just make/buy some. I made the geometric blue and white one from a napkin; the watercolor one is from CB2; and the coral one is from HomeGoods. 

yup, now you can see how terribly bowed the shelves are...

Last but not least, I made myself an inspiration board. We originally planned to put a desk in the bedroom where the chair and ottoman are, and I had imagined putting a big bulletin board near it. So, despite the (current) lack of desk, I used the leftover fabric from the ottoman project to make a bulletin board to put on the back of the bathroom door. I just used a door-shaped piece of foam board (I had some leftover from the screen) and some cork tiles, all stapled together with the fabric on top. Here are some in-progress pictures and the finished product in its current state:

Inspiration board cum jewelry holder, actually! That table in the upper right, from Martha Stewart Weddings, is actually one of my primary inspirations for the décor of my reception.

Has anyone else been working on any little projects or additions?

Thursday, June 9, 2011


As promised, I'm now offering design boards! Here are the details:

  • I'll need pictures and dimensions of the room in question, as well as pictures of any furniture you absolutely want to keep and an explanation of how you'd like to use the room. 
  • In order to get a sense of your aesthetic, send along an explanation of your style and/or some inspirational images. If you don't have any images in mind, check out some blogs (look at the sidebar for some of my favorites!) magazines, or pinterest.com for plenty of inspiration!
  • You will also need to provide me with budget specifications.
  • Let me know if you're open to the possibility of some DIY projects or Craigslist/Ebay sourcing. I don't necessarily recommend this, since Craigslist is notoriously unreliable and the piece in question may be sold by the time you're able to contact the seller. However, if you have a budget well under $1000 and really want to make your space beautiful, let me know and we'll see what we can do!
  • The cost of a design board for a single room will be $75. Payment will be via PayPal.

You'll be sent, via email:

  • A design board with all necessary furniture and some accessories. For some examples that aren't fully fleshed out, see below. These examples represent a variety of styles and price points, but I can very comfortably adapt to simpler and thriftier parameters (for proof, check out my $500 bedroom and the rest of my apartment!).
  • A list of all sources with links or purchasing information; all items will be available online or locally. 
  • A drawing of the layout (with dimensions, if provided).
  • Unless otherwise agreed upon, everything will be completed and sent within two weeks of the payment. 

If you're interested, just send me an email at luisadesignblog[at]gmail.com (written out to prevent spam)!

Tuesday, June 7, 2011


While I'm getting some design board examples ready (so that you'll all be compelled to hire me, of course!), I'll leave you with some loveliness. I've never been a big fan of beige, but lately greige – somewhere between beige and grey - has been my new favorite neutral.

Sunday, June 5, 2011


Now that we're just about ready to decide on a venue, caterer and photographer for our wedding, I'm starting to get a bit less stressed and a bit more excited, because once those decisions are made I can start to focus on the fun part: the details! A lot of my stress during the first steps of wedding planning has been based on feeling like I have very little control over the end result, partially because of the budget but also because of venues' policies and restrictions. I hope that planning the décor will bring back the excitement I initially had when I thought about "designing" my wedding. 

One of the biggest elements of reception décor is table design: from furniture to linens, china, glassware, and centerpieces. The venue we've almost-chosen will at least partially dictate the style of the table settings, but to help me envision various possibilities I rounded up some of my favorite table settings, both wedding and otherwise, from my files.

First up, some classic, elegant tables, with lots of simple colors and clean lines:

clockwise from upper left:
wedding at the Viceroy Palm Springs via Green Wedding Shoes
Martha Stewart
wedding photographed by Max Wanger via Inspired Bride
Thanksgiving table setting from Domino
?, ?, ?, ?
library wedding via Style Me Pretty

Can you spot the CB2 candlesticks I have on my dining table? Some of them have been discontinued, but at just a few dollars a piece, this is such a great way to create a glamorous but inexpensive centerpiece. And if you've seen my apartment you're probably not surprised by the amount of black, white and gold in these images! The tables above are probably closest to "my aesthetic," but I'm also attracted to the bright, preppy colors and bold prints seen in some of these. These fabulous table settings let those elements take center stage:

clockwise from upper right:
via Sketch 42
 photo by Allan Zepeda
Eddie Ross
Eddie Ross
New Year's Eve wedding via Green Wedding Shoes
ballroom wedding via Style Me Pretty

Not for the faint of heart, these tables covered with chinoiserie florals, ikat, greek key, and geometric trellis patterns could be straight from a decorator's dinner party. Using this layered, colorful style at a wedding would make for an absolutely unique look! If you want something a little more toned down, though, picking one color and running with it can be just as interesting:

clockwise from upper right: ?, Martha Stewart, via The Scoop, Nonpareil Magazine, ?, ?, ?

Some of these monochrome tables are standouts in pink or green, while others are a little more subdued with layers of neutrals. A monochromatic setting can range from preppy (poolside with clean lines, as in the upper left) to classic (in white, grey, or gold) to 
casual (on the lawn with a dip-dyed ombre tablecloth). Although it's not the most practical look to recreate for multiple tables, the latter makes me intrigued by casual, nontraditional table settings like these:

clockwise from upper right: via Snippet and Ink, ?, ?, via Once Wed, wedding in Guatemala via Style Me Pretty

Would you go for a simple table setting for a wedding or would you choose something more unique? What about for a dinner party?