Creating A Kid’s Playroom

A dedicated playroom in your home can be a great benefit for keeping the kids occupied and safe, while allowing you to concentrate on life’s daily chores.   But to accomplish this, it is critical to properly plan and design the room from the onset.  All kids have different likes and needs, and the playroom must be designed to address those interests.

In addition, you must consider that your kids will grow faster than you think, and the playroom will no doubt be used less and less as the kid’s get older and develop other interests.  So unless the budget is not a factor, you probably don’t want to invest in expensive kid’s furnishings at this early age, since the room may change purpose and personality in only a few years.

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The Onyx Bar

I recently visited a long-time client and took this picture.  A gorgeous slab of white onyx that we installed a couple of years ago. The back-lights give the onyx a soft, golden glow, the perfect mood lighting for their frequent entertaining.

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Onyx is a gemstone found in various regions of the world, particularly Brazil. It can also be found in Uruguay, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, India, Hawaii and Madagascar. Continue reading…


Highrise Living in Dallas

It has been pure joy to work on this traditional classic highrise apartment in the heart of Dallas.

Downsizing from a larger single family home in Austin, these homeowners opted for the highrise lifestyle, where the view was a huge consideration.   From the 15th floor in Uptown, the view is definitely the indisputable focal point!

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We painted the living room window wall in black.  But not just paint,  a decorative architectural trowel-on coating technique called Lusterstone.  It’s a shimmery plaster finish that can be manipulated to provide specific patterns, giving the wall dimension and movement.  The black wall is dramatic but warm. Continue reading…


Pet Beds For Today’s Home

There is no doubt that our pets are an integral part of our family.  In fact, when I decorate a home with pets, they are always a consideration in the selections we make.  After all, they live there too and  we want them to feel safe and comfortable.

Unfortunately, most pet beds are just plain ugly!  They are necessary items that don’t contribute at all to the home’s decor.  Fortunately, there ARE a few styles out there that are not only comfortable, but also rather stylish… Continue reading…


My Stay at The Ritz-Carlton

Last week, I got the opportunity to spend the night in one of the guest suites at The Residences at the Ritz-Carlton in Dallas.  A dear friend and client is thinking of purchasing a residence there and asked me to join her to view the available floor plans.

I absolutely LOVED looking at all the different floor plans and walking through the decorated models.  I probably should have taken more pictures, but at the time, I just wanted to enjoy the moment.  I DID, however, noted a few details of the suite we stayed in…a 2 bedroom, 2.5 bath appartment on the 15th floor.

Immediately, you are greeted by a stunning striped wallpaper that leads you from the foyer to a breathtaking view of downtown Dallas.

The stripes empty into the dining area where they are replaced with a soft tropical print.  Even though the both patterns were dramatic, they were done in soft neutrals, so the space still felt calming and relaxing.

Of course, as you would expect from the Ritz, DETAILS play a big role….

Another detail…area rugs, custom cut and bounded to fit the room.  The rugs create a soft surface over the gorgeous hardwood floors in all the bedrooms. 

I loved the acrylic hardware used throughout.  Its a fresh alternative to the more traditional “heavy” rods.  They almost disappear into the wall, allowing the panels to take center stage.

The covered  outdoor space.  The building next door is the Ritz Hotel, which is “attached” to the Ritz Residences by a connecting hallway on the 2nd floor. 

And of course, one of the best reasons to live in a downtown high-rise…the view! 

No decisions were made that weekend, but that’s ok…maybe we’ll just have to do it again! 🙂

Hope I’ve inspired.

Alba


An Exquisite Paint Techique For Your Walls

Introducing: LusterStone®

Recently, Craig Favors of Inside Expressions  did this amazing faux technique for a client of mine.  It’s gorgeous!

Lusterstone ®  from Faux Effects, is a decorative architectural trowel-on coating, which produces a numer of beautifully dimensional but smooth finishes. 

Its a shimmery plaster finish that can be manipulated to provide specific dimensional patterns.  It’s very durable and shows VERY rich and elegant.  It comes in a variety of colors that can be used alone or layered on a wall to create a truly unique and impressive finish.  When you look at it from afar, the matte parts look like velvet.  It’s exquisitely textural with lots of depth and movement.  

My clients absolutely love it…as do I.  Craig does a fantastic job and takes amazing pride in his work.

We brought the same technique into the master bedroom, where a single accent wall transforms the entire room…

…making it a favorite spot for the ENTIRE household!

Hope I’ve Inspired You!

Till next time,

Alba


The Iconic Adirondack Chair

The iconic Adirondack chair. 

Since 1903, it has come to epitomize laid-back days, and comfortable summers.

It was only a matter of time before they came inside!  Barb and Jan of Scotia Blue Design have not only brought a favorite chair inside but have transformed its appearance with their unique ‘fabricising’ process.

 

Aren’t these amazing! Each chair is individually handmade to the client’s specifications.  Prices start around $875 and go up depending on size and fabrics chosen. And the turn-around time is usually only 15 business days.

Scotia Blue begins with a solid, traditional Adirondack, expertly crafted from locally sourced Nova Scotia timber then artfully covered in beautiful designer fabric.

 The fabricising process ensures durability together with stain and spill protection.

I’m allways looking for classic pieces that can be used in ALL styles of decor…and this chair fits the bill.  I can think of at least a dozen fabrics I’d love to see  it in!  Hope I’ve inspired.

Till Next Time,

Alba


Natural Selections – A Field Trip

This month, our Interior Design Society’s chapter meeting was hosted by Natural Selections in Carrollton, Texas.

After over 40 years of serving the Architect, Designer, Home Center, and Home Builder customers, Natural Selections has developed the most extensive offering of Natural Stone and Resin products available in the marketplace.  They specializes in glass tile, travertine tile, and unique tiles.

“Unique” being the operative word!

It was SO exciting to see SO MANY different products and applications that are available to offer my clients. Here are 2 examples of “wall murals” made with inlaid tile and stones:  Cherry Blossoms and Zebra Zen

Check out this inlaid work of art.  A fun, unique, one-of-a-kind application for a bathroom or ANY room!

More unique products…  I LOVE the sporatic little intricate detail squares in this traditional tile.

…and the gold leaf inlaid on this one.

But it’s not just tile.  They have unique items in everything they carry…from square door knobs to assorted sinks…

…and a huge sellection of beautiful hardware.

But they’re biggest asset is their staff.  Thank you Natural Selections for a great presentation and tour.

(L to R) Jessica Sparks, Andrea Miranda, Kyle Pate, Leslie Lee and Matt Cawthon

 

Till Next Time,

Alba


Wall Decals…ideas for your walls.

Decals are fun, unexpected and definitely out of the box!   I think you’ll be surprised at the variety that are available.  They’re no longer just for the nursery.
  Isn’t this a stunning living room border?
 
I love the placement of this life-size Blue’s Brothers decal.  It would be perfect for a media room.

 

For the dining room, cutlery is always appropriate, and in this case, the larger the better.  Usually, the larger the decal, the bigger the impact. 

 

 

Of course, bedrooms see more decals than any other room.

 

Decals can help create atmospheres ranging from tranquil to energized.  They’re a fun alternative to traditional wall art.   A single monogram creates a big statement in this room.  It’s a perfect complement to the classic simplicity of the decor.

 

Children’s rooms and nurseries are particularly fun environments for wall decals. 

 

If you Google “wall decals” you’ll get many sources and options to choose from.  Most websites have a video showing how to install their decals.  So if a particular area in your house has been lacking pizzazz lately, consider adding a decal.

These are three of my favorite sources.

 Etsy – Single Stone Studios

 Dali Decals

 Wall Tat

As always, if you find you need a little assistance with your decorating needs, give me a call.  I’d love to help.

Till next time,

Alba 


FLOR …modular carpet tiles

FLOR is a creator and marketer of modular carpet tiles.  For years I’ve been receiving their catalogue in the mail.  Maybe you have too.  But I’ve never been able to touch and feel…until now.   Last month, FLOR opened their 5th retail location right here in Dallas. 

This month, they hosted the August meeting of the Dallas/Fort Worth Interior Design Society, and I got a chance to see the product first hand…I was VERY impressed.

The Dallas store is located at 4528 McKinney Avenue, Dallas (214)520-6363.

The carpet tiles are a wonderful flooring option for a variety of applications.  I just loved their versatility.  Here are just a few of their features and benefits… 

  • 19.7” sq tiles can be configured to suite any space…from a runner to wall-to-wall.
  • They are for use on hard surfaces like wood, tile or concrete, indoors only.
  • The tiles are recyclable, and FLOR has a return/recycle program in place.
  • 90% of the product is made in the USA.
  • FLOR is stain resistant, anti-bacterial and mold resistant.
  • The carpet squares can be quickly and easily washed with gentle soap and water, dried and put right back into place.
  • When FLOR gets stained beyond repair, you can replace individual tiles.

 The design possibilities are endless…

There are many styles, textures and designs available…your imagination is your only limit.

From bedrooms and garages…

…to kitchens and nurseries.

Dallas store manager Mike McKay demonstrates to IDS members how easy it is to custom design a rug using their-user friendly software…

…but chances are, you’ll be able to SEE and build your sample rug from the well stocked sample room.

The Sample Room

 

So if you’re thinking area rug, check out FLOR…it’s a fantastic option!

Many thanks to the Dallas staff.  I was very impressed with them too.  They were all very friendly, helpful and most importantly, very knowledgeable about the product.

For more information, visit their website at FLOR.com

Sales Consultants (L-R) Sean House, Jessica Hasten, Kelcie Bryant and Store Manager Mike McKay

Till Next time,

Alba