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  • Friday, October 16th, 2015

    FBF: Interviews with Design Celebs

    It occurred to me the other day that I’ve been fortunate to interview or speak with virtually every celebrity interior designer I admire and that it might be nice to collect all of those articles together in one place. This is my ultimate Flash Back Friday. Scroll through to find your faves of the design world and walk down memory lane with me…it hasn’t always been pretty, but it’s definitely been interesting.

    Alex Sanchez  (HGTV’s Design Star, Season 5) August 2, 2010

    Amy Sklar (HGTV’s Design Star)

    Antonio Ballatore (HGTV’s Design Star, The Antonio Treatment)

    Candice Olson (HGTV’s Divine Design, Candice Tells All, Design Star) July 16, 2009

    Casey Noble (HGTV’s Design on a Dime, Design Star) August 17, 2010

    Chris & Peyton Lambton (HGTV’s Going Yard) December 2012

    Courtland Bascon (HGTV’s Design Star) August 10, 2010

    Dan Faires (HGTV’s Design Star, Dan Made) July 12, 2010

    Danny Seo (Simply Green with Danny Seo) December 10, 2013

    Dan Vickery (HGTV’s Design Star, Kid-Sized Design)

    David Bromstad (HGTV’s Design Star) June 11, 2012

    Duncan Hughes (Duncan Hughes Interiors, Boston) May 2014

    Eddie Ross (Bravo’s Top Design) September 22, 2009

    Emily Henderson (HGTV’s Design Star)

    Genevieve Gorder (HGTV’s Genevieve’s Renovation, Dear Genevieve, Design Star; TLC’s Trading Spaces, Town Haul) July 19, 2009

    Jany Lee (HGTV’s Design Star)

    Jason Champion (HGTV’s Design Star, Showhouse Showdown)

    Jeanine Hays (AfroChic)

    Jeff Andrews, Designer to the stars, December 11, 2012

    Jeffrey Alan Marks (Bravo’s Million Dollar Decorators) December 2012

    Jen Guerin (HGTV’s Design Star)

    Jennifer Bertrand (HGTV’s Design Star) December 2012

    John & Sherry Petersik (Young House Love blog & books) August 8, 2013

    Jonathan Adler November 29, 2012

    Jordan Cappella (HGTV’s Design Star) May 2014

    Julie Khuu (HGTV’s Design Star) June 14, 2010

    Kevin Grace (The Steve Harvey Show, HGTV’s Design Star) August 15, 2012

    Kim Myles (OWN’s Home Made Simple, HGTV’s Design Star, Myles of Style)

    Krista Watterworth (HGTV’s Splurge and SaveSave My Bath, Food Network’s Restaurant Impossible, DIY’s The Vanilla Ice Project) July 2013

    Linda Merrill (Surroundings and The Skirted Roundtable blogs) December 2012

    Lonni Paul (HGTV’s Design Star)

    Mary McDonald (Bravo’s Million Dollar Decorator) December 2012

    Matt Locke (HGTV’s Design Star, Designers Showdown) April 4, 2012

    NataLee Callahan (HGTV’s Design Star) July 20, 2009

    Nathan Galui (HGTV’s Design Star) August 17, 2009

    Nina Ferrer (HGTV’s Design Star) July 19, 2010

    Ryan White (Ford Model turned designer to the stars) January 7, 2014

    Sandra Espinet (HGTV’s Celebrity Holiday Homes) December 2012

    Sarah Richardson (HGTV’s Room ServiceDesign Inc.Sarah’s HouseSarah’s CottageSarah 101 and Sarah Sees Potential) May 31, 2013

    Stacey Cohen (HGTV’s Design Star) July 28, 2010

    Taniya Nayak (HGTV’s Designed to Sell, Showdown, House Hunters on Vacation, Food Network’s Restaurant Impossible) March 7, 2013

    Tashica Morgan (HGTV’s Design Star) August 12, 2009

    Tera Hampton (HGTV’s Design Star) June 22, 2010

    Tom Vecchione (HGTV’s Design Star) July 26, 2010

    Torie Halbert (HGTV’s Design Star) September 1, 2009

    Trent Hultgren (HGTV’s Design Star)

    Vanessa De Vargas (Turquoise Interior Design, LA) May 2014

    Vern Yip (HGTV’s Design Star) July 15, 2009

    Will Smith (HGTV’s Design Star) August 8, 2012


    Wednesday, August 13th, 2014

    Blogging Update

    You might have noticed a crazy wide gap between the date of my last blog post and this one. What gives? Man, I dropped this blog like a hot potato. It was never my specific intention to stop blogging when I did. I just gave myself permission to take a little break, which turned into a sabbatical, which turned into a downright refusal to go back to it. The only reason I’m even doing this post now is because I was updating a page or two on my website and I was already logged in.

    Yeah. That’s how apathetic I’ve become where blogging is concerned.

    The truth is, I looooooooooooove not blogging. I have reclaimed oodles and oodles of time in my schedule to do other things (or not do anything at all). I have enjoyed the hell out of that.

    In the interest of brevity (and the desire to log back off as soon as possible), I’ll just say thanks to former readers for joining me along the way, and invite you to follow us on Facebook, where I still post on occasion.


    Wednesday, January 29th, 2014

    Modern Home Tour Austin Tickets Giveaway Winner

    Congratulations to Heather, who has won two tickets to this Saturday’s Modern Home Tour in Austin!

    Monday, January 27th, 2014

    Austin Modern Home Tour 2014

    After a week (and counting) down with the flu, I am hoping to celebrate re-entry into the germ-free world by hitting this weekend’s Modern Home Tour in Austin. Some highlights of what you can look forward to:

    314 Ridgewood Road

    314 Ridgewood Road

    314 Ridgewood Road

    314 Ridgewood Road

    314 Ridgewood Road

    314 Ridgewood Road

    4902 Tortuga Place

    4902 Tortuga Place

    4902 Tortuga Place

    4902 Tortuga Place

    4902 Tortuga Place

    2704 Rock Terrace Drive

    2704 Rock Terrace Drive

    2601 Pickwick

    4503 Oakmont Boulevard

    700 West Monroe Street

    700 West Monroe Street

    700 West Monroe Street

    700 West Monroe Street

    1021 West Milton Street

    2017 Hamilton

    6909 Daugherty

    6909 Daugherty

    6909 Daugherty

    1911 Cliff Street

    1911 Cliff Street

    1010 Juniper Street


    How’d you like to hit the tour for free? Leave a comment below to enter to win a pair of tickets to this weekend’s Austin Modern Home Tour! A winner will be chosen at random sometime Wednesday morning.

    Austin Modern Home Tour
    Saturday, February 1st
    Advance tickets: $30
    Day-of: $40

    Monday, January 13th, 2014

    Drawing Inspiration from the Golden Globes

    I’m not usually one who has to watch awards shows. Apart from seeing what everyone is wearing, the percentage of time spent on boring thank yous far overwhelms the interesting moments. But since Tina Fey and Amy Poehler were hosting last night’s Golden Globes, I figured they would make the telecast worthwhile and I got sucked in.

    True enough, if you edited out the ubiquitous nods to “my team” and endless lists of names only Hollywood insiders would ever recognize or appreciate, you’d be left with about 20 minutes of footage worth watching. When you think about sources of inspiration for home decor, maybe the Golden Globes don’t immediately come to mind…but it’s exactly these bits of visual stunnery (yes, I’m making up words now) and haunting emotional moments that can impact what we’re drawn to in the days following such an event. Here’s what made a lasting impression on me from the Globes last night, and how you can incorporate these influences into your home decor:

    1. Lupita Nyong’o

    Lupita Nyong’o. Photo by Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP.

    Jeff Vespa/

    In the history of red carpet appearances, this has to be the single best red carpet look EVER. Wearing a minimal dress by Ralph Lauren, Lupita Nyong’o stood out among all other stars and all other dresses. I’m borderline obsessed with the power and restraint of her whole look–her hair, her understated accessories, her (seemingly) effortless elegance, and that amazing dress. I’m sure this gown would look great on a lot of people, but this is one of those instances where you just know the woman and the dress are a match made in fashion heaven. If Lupita’s look epitomizes your own personal style, you’ll love this spare, mid-century modern chair designed by Adrian Pearsall and reupholstered by Remnant:

    Nothing superfluous, just beautiful lines and saturated color.

    2. Margot Robbie

    Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP

    Another vote for minimalist design, Margot’s dress by Gucci is one of the few ivory gowns I’ve ever seen that doesn’t scream “bridal” and features just the right amount of bling for you mod princesses out there. If you like this look, you’ll love this pendant light fixture by Candice Olson (via Lighting City):

    Candice Olson 4-Light Edison Base Pendant in Ivory

    3. Zooey Deschanel

    Jason Merritt/Getty Images

    John Shearer / Invision/AP

    Oh, how Zooey Deschanel rocks a vintage look. There are a lot of decorative details in this ensemble by Oscar de la Renta, yet it’s not overdone. If that speaks to your style, you will probably dig this pearl pillow from Wayfair:

    Debage Inc. Mother of Pearl Pillow

    4. Lena Dunham

    Jason Merritt/Getty Images

    Love it or hate it, you can’t deny the wow factor of Lena Dunham’s bold yellow gown by Zac Posen. If you find this kind of in-your-face color inspiring, check out this supercute Hollywood Regency mirror with celebratory curves, available via Horchow:

    5. Jewel-toned tuxedos

    Terry Crews. Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP.

    Amy Poehler and Seth Meyers. Getty Images.

    Will Forte. Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP

    Usher, Tom Hanks, Rita Wilson

    Think “colorful tuxedo” and you might conjure up images of cotton candy tuxes and ruffled shirts from 70s era proms. But the men attending last night’s Globes proved you can totally pull off color in a tux, provided you stick with classic lines, rich fabrics, and dark jewel tones. If you found yourself drawn to these looks, you can’t deny the appeal of this timeless sofa in aubergine velvet from Z Gallerie:

    Pierre Sofa from Z Gallerie

    6. Ill-advised eyebrows

    John Shearer / Invision/AP

    Via LoveByDebs on Twitter

    If you like this look, you’re on your own. I can’t help you.

    7. Alright alright alright!

    Paul Drinkwater/NBC

    If I had a dollar for every “alright alright alright” that appeared in my Facebook and Twitter feeds last night, I could take the day off. You can dress Golden Globe winner Matthew McConaughey up and put a tux on him, but last night’s acceptance speech proved he’ll always be our lovable, naked bongo player. If Relaxed Stoner Chic describes your style, you might like:

    Knotted Melati Hanging Chair from Anthropologie

    Friday, January 10th, 2014

    CB2: Three Hot New Pieces

    TGIF! As I duck out to my first consultation this morning, I give you not one but three great things to drool over from CB2:

    Three-Piece Mango Wood Guardian Set, $69.95.

    Stella Cabinet, $399.

    Vane Knitted Pouf, $129.

    Happy weekend!

    Thursday, January 9th, 2014

    Work in Progress: Elaine & Roy’s Northwest Austin Media Room

    I’ve been working with California transplants Elaine and Roy for several months now, to furnish their enormous home in the northwest hills of Austin. It has been SO. MUCH. FUN. Why? They want things to look good, but they’re not scared to have fun with their home decor. I LOVE that in a client.

    One room we’re having a good time with is their media room. Using a playful combination of fabrics from Bolt Fabrics, we’ve created a custom window seat cushion and decorative pillows to die for:

    How cute is this?? For these and other awesome modern fabric options, head over to Bolt!

    Feeling stymied by the idea of coordinating your own home decor fabrics? We can schedule an in-store consultation at our fave Austin fabric resource, Bolt Fabrics, and assist you in selecting the perfect combination for your home. Just give us a call or text us at (512) 797-5821 to get started!

    Bolt Fabrics
    2200 South Lamar, Suite B
    Austin, TX 78704
    (512) 442-8255

    Store Hours:
    Tues 10-7
    Wed-Fri 10-6
    Sat 10-5 

    Tuesday, January 7th, 2014

    Celebrity Interview: FORD Model Turned Interior Designer Ryan White

    Happy New Year, everyone! I must say, that was a much more extended break than I had planned. It’s just so hard to get back into the swing after the holidays…I’m sure I don’t have to tell you that. For me, it’s much easier to manage my work routine when my kiddo’s in school, and today was the day, so let’s get to it!

    I can think of no better/easier way to dip my toe back into the working world than to share my latest interview for Williams-Sonoma Designer Marketplace. Ryan White, a former FORD model, stumbled into a career as a highly sought-after interior designer about two years ago. I thoroughly enjoyed interviewing him for this piece–and clicking through will give you another chance to LOOK AT HIM. They don’t put fugly dudes in magazine ads.

    Photo: S. Tong Photography.

    *The following content originally appeared on Williams-Sonoma Designer Marketplace.*

    As a former FORD model, Ryan White has an eye for beautiful details that has helped him achieve an impressive level of success as an interior designer in what seems like a millisecond.

    Have you always been creative?

    Yes, in a way. I wouldn’t say I’ve always been creative design-wise but I’ve always had a creative soul. I moved to New York from Montana when I was nineteen. I wanted to feed off of the creative energy a large city would have to offer. I moved there for modeling and transitioned into acting. If you asked me three years ago, “Do you ever see yourself being a designer?” I think my answer would have been, “Probably not.” I didn’t seek design out as a full-time career but it’s been the most surprising thing in the best possible way. It brought something to my life that is so exciting and makes work fun every day.

    How long have you been in this business?

    It’s been about two years that I’ve had paying clients, where I was able to establish myself as a designer. It’s flown by, that’s for sure.

    Photos courtesy of Ryan White Design.

    You’ve enjoyed a huge trajectory in such a short time. Getting featured in magazines like House Beautiful and Traditional Home is pretty amazing exposure for a relative newcomer to the business. Is there any one thing you would attribute to as the secret to your success?

    Not allowing self-judgment or fear get in the way.  If I had had a fear-based mindset, I would be ten steps back from where I am now. There were so many things that have happened along the way—and are still happening today—that, in my mind, are scary. Fear can sometimes be a very positive thing if you can confront it. Channeling that fear and uncertainty into creativity and positivity has helped a lot.

    Has your modeling career helped your design practice?

    Being a model has allowed me to interact with a lot of different types of people and hone in on my people skills. One of the qualities of being a successful designer is to have a great relationship with everyone, from your clients, to your team, to vendors and contractors. If you can’t make everyone fall in love with you and with what you’re doing, it’s like a sinking ship. Modeling helped me prepare to just roll with any situation.

    Photo courtesy of Ryan White Design.

    Do good looks help or hurt your relationships with clients?

    It’s a double-edged sword, to be honest. There are times when it really works, but I feel like I have to prove myself that much more when I go into a meeting. There are some vendors and other designers who think, oh, he’s good looking, that’s how he got to this point—he’s not going to have much under the hood. I have to prove that I’m talented. It’s not like I can smile at a client and get them to do what I want.

    Do you have any camera tricks from your modeling days that you carry into your portfolio photography or do you leave it up to your photographer?

    I’m very close to Stephen Busken, my photographer, because he used to shoot me as a model. He moved into shooting interiors about the same time I switched to interior design. I don’t necessarily have any tricks, I just make sure my photos have the right style to them. The right lighting and the right photographer are the keys to branding yourself and maintaining a consistent look. I’m lucky to have found a photographer I really like because if I had to shoot every project differently, my portfolio would look mismatched. I want people to see a photo of my work and say, “Oh, that’s a RWD (Ryan White Design) project.”

    Photo courtesy of Ryan White Design.

    Has your upbringing in Colorado and Montana influenced your decorating style?

    Absolutely. I spent a lot of time in Vail and Aspen, and that mountain-lodge-y and comfortable type of vibe will always be in my blood and part of my style. The seven years I spent in New York and the three years I’ve lived in LA give me a city vibe, too.

    Your portfolio definitely screams “upscale comfortable.” Do you prefer designing informal over formal rooms?

    I don’t ever like to walk into a space and feel like it’s informal or formal. I prefer neither. If those two ideas could marry, that’s what I would prefer. I don’t want to call a space any one thing—that doesn’t excite me. I’d rather walk into a room and feel a lot of different emotions and a lot of different styles within the space.

    You’ve expressed an interest in other interviews of having a show on a TV network like HGTV. What would be the focus of your show, if you had one?

    I did an episode of Open House for the NBC affiliate in LA and it was great to be in front of the camera again. If I did a show for HGTV, I’d want to show the audience how a design firm runs from its beginning stages. I still feel like a beginner in this business and think it would be interesting to see how someone starts out or transitions from one career to another. I’m not into personal drama, so I wouldn’t want that element in the mix, but something informative that captures those wonderful moments in a designer’s day, shot in a sexy, chic way, with the city as a backdrop to the whole thing.

    Do you still want to act?

    I’ve put that on the backburner for the past two years. Design is the spot where my heart is now. Hosting might be a better fit. That whole Nate Berkus thing.

    Which supermodel’s house would you most like to design, and why?

    The one and only Carolyn Murphy. I follow her on Instagram and feel our styles would mesh very well together.

    What are you working on now?

    I just started a house in Beverly Hills three weeks ago. It’s a 7,500 square foot Mediterranean and I’m doing every square inch of the house. It’s life-changing for me because the budget is the largest I’ve ever had and the work going into it is something I haven’t quite experienced before. I wake up every day with a panic attack—that fear thing—but I take a deep breath and get through it because it’s going to be a really great part of my portfolio that will take me to the next level.

    See more of designer Ryan White’s stunning work at


    Friday, December 20th, 2013

    Christmas Cupcakes Pinterest Fail

    I had to make cupcakes for Phoebe’s third grade Christmas party, so obvs it was time for another PINTEREST FAIL!

    You might recall last year’s Valentine’s Day Cyclops Cupcakes. My Christmas cupcakes aren’t as scary looking as that, but still a big ol’ hilarious fail. Here was my Pinterest inspiration:

    Instead of red and green icing, I went for chocolate cake and white peppermint frosting since I didn’t have a vat of food coloring to get saturated colors like the pic above. I figured as long as I stuck to the traditional Christmas color palette, it’d all be good. And it was, last night. I dug ‘em so much, posted this shot on Facebook:

    Pretty cute, right? Kids are gonna love ‘em, they were easy-peasy, it’s a total win. Here’s what was waiting for me on the kitchen counter this morning, however:

    THANKS, PINTEREST. It’s as good a way as any to sign off for a few days off for the holidays. Have a great week!

    Remember to check out our Etsy shop for last minute discount deals on gift certificates for Room Fu interior design consultations and mini-makeovers!

    Tuesday, December 17th, 2013

    Prepping for Guests: Last Minute Holiday Decorating Tips

    Christmas is eight days away. Most holiday guests will arrive on Christmas Eve, and if that’s the case for your guests, you have seven days to prepare for the onslaught. Really, you have six days, because you’re probably going to spend that last day cleaning. Okay, five days–you’ll need another day devoted to holiday baking. Oh snap–you know you’re going to have to do some last minute gift shopping, so now you’re down to four days. Discount the 40+ hours you either have to go to the office or contend with the kiddos between now and then and you’re left with two days to prepare for guests.

    Oh. You want to sleep, too? You’re killing me here.

    If this scenario describes you at all and you need some last minute decorating tips, have I got a list for you. I know you’ve been hemorrhaging money the past few weeks and don’t want to set foot in a retail store just to buy pillows and candles, so I’ll even make this a list of FREE things you can do–last minute–to prepare for holiday guests.

    How cool is FREEEEEE?? 

    1. The first thing on the list is already spoken for. CLEANING. Even if your home decor is lacking in pizzazz and nothing looks cohesive or coordinated, if it’s clean, who cares? Your family and friends are there to celebrate the holidays and making those memories matters way more than whether or not your throw pillows perfectly accentuate the sofa. If your people are the judge-y type, I have two words for you: booze and barbiturates.

    2. EDIT. Every year on December 31st, there’s a line of people down at the Goodwill donations drop-off drive thru lane that stretches out the parking lot. Are we suddenly feeling more generous after opening all of our gifts? No. We’re in the line because we’re scrambling for the last minute tax deduction. If, however, you get a jump on that effort by purging your home of unwanted and unnecessary items and hauling them to the thrift store charity of your choice this weekend, your home will feel more open and spacious and you’ll feel lighter and liberated.

    3. USE LEFTOVERS. Once the tree’s been decorated, there are always some leftover ornaments. Pop ‘em in a bowl and put them on the counter in the guest bathroom, or on the nightstand in the guest bedroom for a little holiday cheer. If you have anything else in your holiday color palette just lying around on a bookshelf, it will suddenly look like a Christmas decoration in this context:

    Or how ’bout an ornament sitting on top of a green bud vase? BOO-YA!

    4. FREE MISTLETOE. Now that all of the leaves have dropped, you might have seen little ball-shaped clumps of foliage on otherwise bare branches of trees while driving around town.

    Did you know that’s mistletoe? It’s actually a parasite on the tree. We are compelled to kiss underneath a parasite! Find a neighbor with mistletoe clumps and ask if you can rid them of a little parasite. Tie it up with ribbon, hang it from a doorway, and voila.

    5. TRIM the BUSHES. Holly being a relatively inexpensive and hardy plant, chances are good you have some growing somewhere in your yard. Clip off a few stems, trim off the leaves at the bottom of the stems, and pop them in a vase. Now you have yourself a free holiday “flower” arrangement. Bonus if you find sprigs with little red berries still intact (although these are poisonous, so I don’t recommend this if you have curious pets or small kiddos).

    Not feeling confident of your floral arrangement skills? Holly leaves in a small glass vase are a chic, no-miss holiday decoration.

    Rosemary works, too, and smells fantastic. I love the way it looks in my little red glass vase at the top of the post, or stuck in skinny, modern bud vases like this:

    Check out a similar decorating idea we used last Christmas during Natasha’s mini-makeover.

    6. SET the TABLE. Your formal dining table never looks prettier and more festive than when it’s set for dinner. Get a jump on Christmas Day duties and make your dining room look spectacular by setting the table before your guests arrive.

    Photo by Lucas Allen, via Real Simple.

    7. PAMPER YOUR PEOPLE. Give your guests the hotel treatment by hanging your bathrobe(s) in the guest bedroom closet, or if you’re the Martha Stewart Everything is Perfect type, you can fold it up like the hotel maids do and leave it on the bed. If you have an en suite master bathroom, you won’t need it anyway–and if you don’t have an en suite bathroom, it’s a small sacrifice for your guests’ comfort.

    8. COLORIZE YOUR BOOKS. Yes, I’m trumpeting that horn again. If you’re decorating in traditional colors like red, green, white, gold, and/or silver, collect books with spines in those colors on one shelf for some subliminal holiday magic.

    Aside from the tablescape photo I nabbed off the interwebs, this was all stuff I threw together in two seconds using things I already had in the house. That’s a lot of Christmas bang for no bucks!