More info, keep the questions coming.


Ok. So I love that you guys want more info.
About the window treatments in the living room.  No, Ian didn’t want them, and I didn’t either.  Don’t get me wrong, I love drapery.  But in this case the views were spectacular (of the canyons) and the drapery is pretty feminine for a dude.  We did put very simple blinds in the den so he could shut them to watch tv if he needs them, but you can hardly see them (they roll up to be about an inch at the top of the frame and are white so you don’t really notice them.)
OH! here’s also why:  we all know that drapery hardware can be tricky (read: ugly)  – its often over-designed, when i just want it to disappear.  I love it best when its almost at the ceiling, but in the case of the living room you can’t have it at the ceiling because it is vaulted. So then the hardware adds so much busyness and distracts the eye from the bookshelves, that feature window and the views.  Also, the windows open in, so they fight with the drapery.  We could have done some sort of wood or bamboo rolling deal thing, but it just didn’t seem necessary – he doesn’t have privacy issues and would have added a lot of cost.  So no. no drapery here.
I did talk about this on the show, but some of the things have to get edited out, so this must have been one of them.
Ok, so lets go through some other pics. 
Sorry, this is kinda  a blurry pic.  This is the tablescape from the 2nd look, and I think i like it the best.    I’m not normally a ‘set your table 24 hours a day’ kinda girl – i think it can be fussy and strangely creepy (like, did you almost have dinner and they you killed everyone?), but it did photograph really nicely.  I’m a ‘big-vessel-with-branches-and-maybe-a-few-candles-or-candlesticks-tablescape’ kinda girl  
We actually have now put the bench back in the window at the back (where it truly belongs, just perfectly, from the first look) and used the ming chairs in his 2nd guest bedroom that wasn’t on the show (due to time/budget).  I bought 6 mismatchy farm chairs (ranging from $5 to $50) for around the table.  and i lurve them.  They bring so much character and history into the room, and were super cheap.  
OH and bells of ireland flowers – so easy to style (they pretty much just style themselves), simple, cheap, beautiful, last a long time and a great pop-o-green.
Here what it the final tablescape looked like (below). And I like it, but Ian really didn’t like the indigo runner (in fact he said it made him want to kill himself, now, now, Ian, dramatic much?) – i actually preferred it without the runner, but it needed color for TV.   And i wish the lanterns were closer together.   It’s such a learning curve figuring out what looks good on camera versus in person.  And again, i know i have a leg up due to prop styling, but video is different – the light is different and the angles are different and you have less control because you are busy doing shopping segments and interviews, you really have to trust the people you work with.  
But I LOVE the toile.  And so does Ian. It’s Thibault (I know, i know kinda old school decorator-y in a good way, right?)  Here’s the link 
And to the guest bedroom:
Here it was before as a tv room, which would be fine left as a tv room, but due to the fact that we plan on watching hours and hours of tv there in big groups, this no worky for our needs.  The ‘office’ was unused and so much bigger and more inviting. So it only made sense that this be turned into a temporary use room.
And after:
I actually really love this little room. Brian and I stay over there a lot and its like a little happy nook (of nooky).  It’s super cozy and has a beautiful view, although ***WAY too bright in the mornings, so i have little blinds coming (ones you can barely see).  Ian doesn’t want them, he loves the view, but its hard to sleep in past 7.
OK Sources:  The duvet is West Elm, the wallpaper is Katie Ridder ‘Leaves’ in grey (I bought it from Harbinger in LA, to the public).  It was kinda expensive I think $250 for that wall, but its really beautiful and interesting – a masculine color in a feminine pattern.  The pillows were just sourced fabric from Michael Levines ( a toile to keep that theme going, and a silk grey and white stripe), and we sewed them to save some money.
Oh and I do wish I had been there when they took this pic – the bed is messy in a bad way.  It’s so hard
giving up responsibility, i never thought I was a control freak, but turns out I might have to be.
The trunk was a thrift store find for $100 (its big and old and sturdy as hell). Everything else was flea market (chandy was $20, lamp was $15, mirror $30, little bud vase from CB2 and buttterflies/wall ephermera was random flea market/thrift store 1 and 2 dollar stuff). The bed is an ikea platform base and their cheapest mattress which i DO NOT recommend – way too hard, i’m buying a pillow top to help out.
The paint on the wall is Gray Owl (BM) and was beautiful. It’s slightly warmer than the one in the living room and mimicked the color of the leaves.  I painted the ceiling gray as well, which i feel like keeps your eye moving instead of stopping at 8 feet high.
Finally i got rid of the terrible sconce and moved the j box (well, I didn’t, come now) to the ceiling.  I decided not to put the little shades on the chandy bulbs (because a. they are hard to find pretty ones, and b. they add about $100 to the cost of the chandy, and c. they are slightly suburban). So instead i bought little round globe bulbs which are awesome, but need to be dimmed (which we did). I think it makes this antique chandelier look more modern.   I found a matching black iron sconce (flea market, $5) that goes on the other side of the room (not-pictured), and did the same bulb-no-shade treatment to it.
I think with guest rooms you can go a bit quirkier.  People are only in them temporarily and every time i walk into this room i get happy, it’s a fun little surprise.   It still feels like the rest of the house, but just a bit more feminine and quirkier.  I could have oriented the bed to come out of the wallpaper wall, but it would have made this room teeny tiny, whereas there is still a chair/seating area in the other corner and room for guests to walk.  There is a lot of Emily in this room, fo shizzle.
Alright folks.  unfortunately i have to run because The RHONJ reunion just came on and its getting ugly really fast.  and I have my unfortunate priorities.  ‘We are in the ok corale? ‘.  
wtf does that mean???


Day after brain-dead-ness

Ahhhhhh!!!  Thank you so much.  I don’t really know what else to say except that i could have woken feeling like crap today but instead i woke up feeling pretty amazing, although totally tired. My brain is a bit full.  it doesn’t take a lot, its a pretty small brain, but it might be at capacity right now.


I’m not sure if you guys want more from the house, but i’ll just post a couple before and afters here and talk about some stuff that maybe didn’t get talked about last night.

Here is his living room, ‘before’


Here was my inspiration board that i was working with:  Things changed a bit, as you can see, but the general look feels the same. 

Ok let’s go around the room.   The coffee table, sofa, pouf and lamp were all new.  Coffee table ($1300) , sofa ($900) from HD buttercup and standing lamp (anthro $398).  The pouf was $200 from Mosaik in LA.  Everything else is vintage and came from either TINI, Hernandez brothers, 45 three modern and the flea market.  So yes, the coffee table and table lamp were splurges, but i saved on everything else – i mean some of the side tables were $20 and the pillows were just 1/2 yardage that I bought for 10 bucks. 
 I think that coffee table (while i couldn’t afford it) was worth the splurge because it completely grounds the room, makes it look high end next to all the thrift store pieces and is heavy, but since its metallic it doesn’t weigh down the room.  And it has storage.   
Oh and In case you don’t know my feeling on legs,  you should try to have at least one piece of furniture that doesn’t have four legs, whether its a really low sofa, or a skirted sofa or chair or in this case a coffee table, it helps the whole space look more grounded and substantial. I forget who said it, somebody from house beautiful, but a designer said that a room with too many legs looks ‘nervous’ and I totally agree.    
The paint color is BM Smoke embers, and i LOVE it.  
The artwork is controversial, i know.  I think its awesome, while some people think its creepy.  Here’s the thing with artwork on TV shows:  it is super super hard to get things cleared, meaning that the original artist or their family (if they are deceased) has to sign off on it to the network – and its normally super hard to track down who the original artist is – especially flea market art.  (this is not the case in magazines, i don’t know why).   I’m not an artist, so i can’t make my own art (although i do have a few ideas of weird collage-y things that I can do). 

Luckily Ian loves vintage maps, because those are cleared. And he loves antlers, which worked perfect with the FDR look. oh and to the critics who say that antlers are ‘out’, i disagree. Sure, they were ubiquitous a couple years ago, but things that are beautiful are never ‘out’, we just don’t need anymore cardboard antlers or maybe high gloss pink antlers.  Its like how coral was so huge 5 years ago.  Now people are repelled by coral, but coral is beautiful. just buy one natural piece to display, not a bedding set with coral all over it.    

Back to the room.  Here is the more sixties look.
I actually really like it, although it just feels too art directed.  It definitely looks more ‘designed’ which is exactly what Ian didn’t like about it.  
And the shelving was a bit west elmy and cataloguey.  
That rug is from Ikea, i’m sure you all knew that. its pretty great for $179.
And as much as i like the idea of doing something to the back of  shelves, i knew that Ian wouldn’t ultimately want to live with it – otherwise i probably would have wallpapered back there.  

Ok apparently my brain is too tired to blog today.  I mean, what a boring post.  Sorry guys, i’ll try to do a better one tonight.  


AHHHHHH.. thank you guys so much for all the support.  Its so hard to be objective, but the fact that you guys loved it so much means a lot to me.
thank you soooo much.
and in case you want HGTV to know how you feel
you can leave a comment by clicking here
there will be haters. as there always is. and yes it is baffling at times how cruel some people can be.  ignore them and just write what you want.
i love you so much

TONIGHT!!!!! My first day on the job. AHHHHH!!!!!


So picture this:  you are a college football coach and you’ve dreamed about being a sports commentator for years – you just knew you could do it, but no, you actually had no formal training.   But one day, you win a position on NBC, during the playoffs!!! AMAZING!!  You are terribly excited, grateful and nervous as hell.  You show up first day of your dream job, and you are reminded that yes, your first day of your new job will indeed be on national television.
Holy eff balls.
Secrets from a Stylist debuts tonight.  I’m super excited (i saw it this week) but I’m feeling pretty exposed and vulnerable, too.  Here is how i keep it in perspective:  
Winning Design Star and getting my own TV show is an incredible new job, a job that was 10 steps ahead of what I was doing before, an unbelievable promotion in every way, but just a job. 
The amazing parts of my new job are the creative freedom, daily excitement, immense responsibility (yes, i like responsibility, it keeps me out of trouble), and public effect. 
The drawback of my job is that my first day on the job – untrained – is on national TV.  
i mean, i know that’s kinda the point of a TV show, being on the TV. But still, I’m on TV.
Yep.  With potentially a million people watching.  (hopefully, but honestly i have no clue how many people watch TV shows, or even how many people ‘a million’ are).
So I try to not think about all my friends, family, co-workers, fellow designers, bloggers, readers, admirers and yes, haters watching and judging. (hopefully instead they are laughing and smiling and not wanting it to be over.)  
 I’m really proud of my first day on the job.  And the potential of doing it everyday is insanely exciting.  
Do I have criticisms of myself?  um, no doy.  I always will.  
But every time I think about the world watching me, a mini panic attack begins.  
and that’s when I remind myself:  
it’s just a great new job, its just a great new job.
 – one that I’ll get better at everyday – because that’s what happens on new jobs.  You start out not knowing quite what you are doing – people help you along and give you tips, but there is a lot of learning and troubleshooting.  It takes a while to find your rhythm, figure out what things you are good at, and what things you need more help with. 
So I want feedback, obviously.  But pretend i’m a five year old who just finished her first piano recital in front of 100 people. Sure, you saw some things I could do better next time, but maybe wait a while – after the shows been for sure picked up and my nerves have calmed down to tell me about them.  For now, let me know what you like about the show, what you definitely want to see more of, or don’t want cut out.  I definitely want constructive criticism, too, just not yet.  please.



oh and I’m not sure if HGTV reads these comments, so if you feel like it, comment on my web-page  on HGTV.  
Remember during the show when everybody was promoting their fan vote, and I wasn’t?  Well, obviously you know why now. But I’m calling in that favor – if you get a chance, and feel like it let HGTV know what you think about Secrets From a Stylist.  Viewer feedback is super important to them. Click here, to comment to HGTV. 
OOH, also I’m starting to do blog posts for them (which I’m stoked about). And my second one (my first being my 12 most memorable moments from DS, click here to read) will be up after the show – or maybe tomorrow I’m not sure, and you’ll be able to comment on that, too.  It is 10 tips to help shopping at flea markets and thrift stores.
So watch SFAS tonight at 10pm on HGTV.  please please please. 
I hope you love it.
And remember, It’s just a great new job that I love very much.  
And like that football coach turned commentator,
I’ll do the best I can, and get better at it every day. 
And someday when I’m a total pro (which will happen, just watch)  I won’t give a sh*t about haters.  


  Yo YoYO

I’ve done a ton of blog and radio interviews this week to promote for the premiere of Secrets From a Stylist.  I figured i’d start posting some of them here today.

Room Fu – Austin Blogger and Design Star Critic.  Click Here

Casa Sugar – a huge great design blog.  click here for part one and  here for part two

Aphrochic, another super lovely design blog, here

AOL.  click here

And Buss Buss (Thanks Kelly for coming to the party!!!)   click here

I know there were others who asked and PR is working on the requests.  The series won’t air for a while so we might want to spread out the press.  So you are not ignored, i promise.

I’ll spare you the radio interviews, although I do have a 1/2 hour live conversation today at 3pm.


How to Listen:
Friends and family can tune in on the radio in Southern California -980 on the am dial. Or live streaming on the website –  HYPERLINK “” – click where it says “listen here”


That’s it for now.
i love you guys.