Color Therapy: Lagoon


If you look up the most popular interior colors after neutrals, blues and greens are consistently at the top of the list. Each season we see different nuances of blues, greens and everything in between. One color we are loving right now is a deep, but less saturated teal we like to call Lagoon. Sherwin Williams calls a similar hue Oceanside, and named it color of the year for 2018. Here’s lots of inspiration for decorating with teal!

decorating with teal

Room by Leanne Ford Interiors

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PROJECT REVEAL: Bright & Airy Open Concept

bright airy kitchen reveal

This bright airy kitchen makes me so happy! Today’s project reveal is the entire first floor — open concept living, dining, kitchen, family room and powder room of a Lincoln Park, Chicago single family home. My clients built this gorgeous home in the early 90’s and were desperate for an update that reflected their current style and lifestyle. This project took almost a year to complete from our initial meeting to the photo shoot day, and you often become friends with your clients over that time period. I just love this family and I’m thrilled I was able to deliver the bright and airy refresh they were hoping for in the beautiful architecture that was their home.

Here’s a look at the finished project. Make sure to scroll all the way to the bottom to see a few of the before pictures too as I reference them when sharing some design tips!


The old kitchen had the dated cherry wood look but overall a really nice layout. We kept appliances in the same place but made major updates to the hood, island, built-in pantries, backsplash, countertops and lighting. The old hood and backsplash were not making use of the beautiful high ceilings and that needed to change ASAP!

artistic tile marble backsplash

We used Starmark Cabinetry which is the made in USA line of cabinets I have in my kitchen and also one of the three lines we carry at our design studio in Lakeview. My design studio partners, Studio 912 Kitchen & Bath, also created the useful sections of custom butcher block for the work space on the island and coffee bar area.

Taking the backsplash all the way up the wall and creating a custom hood made a huge visual difference in the kitchen. Taking your site line all the way up to the ceiling makes for a bright airy feeling in the kitchen, as opposed to the darker and stout before image. We used a polished marble mosaic, called Studs Calacatta Gold, by Artistic Tile that shines and shimmers in the light. It also adds wonderful texture. If you can splurge, I think the backsplash is the best place to do it, as it’s often not a huge amount of square footage.

butcher block island

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The Warwick Reno: Spring Home Tour #2 – FULL REVEAL


I am SO EXCITED to finally be writing this post! Our upstairs remodel has been in the works a long time. We started the process in the summer of 2016 (with tearing out the old linoleum floors and planning the bathroom remodel). Remember the BEFORE PHOTOS from when we first moved in? And the terrible upstairs BATHROOM?

Not anymore! So fresh and so clean.

The small bathroom was gutted, re-framed and we tried to make the most of the footprint. More details in the post.

We waited until Luke had time off last summer to really dive into the complete gut. Here was the post with our ATTIC BEDROOM DESIGN. We hoped to be done with the upstairs renovation by September of last year, but with the reality of all there was to do, we just finished in the new year. When we purchased the house, the couple we bought it from had a legal cat rescue, so no one had lived upstairs in years – just the cats! The space has come a long way! With major improvements to the plumbing, refinishing of floors, new drywall, added electrical, new baseboards, doors, door hardware and lots more! 


Master detail. I designed the floating end tables to save space and keep a light and airy feeling. Lamp by Unison Home.

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February 20, 2018 Interviews 1 Comment

I don’t remember the exact moment I discovered William McLure‘s design work and art work, but the first image posted below, with the white painted floor stopped me in my tracks! There is nothing I love more than a well-layered room, and I was likely researching white painted floors. William does both the floor and the layering so well! I think I’m drawn to his style for a few other reasons, including the depth he creates in his rooms with items you can tell are vintage or antique. Plus, he can create show stopping rooms in both neutrals and color – as you can see in all the photos below. I think that is a true sign of a talented designer. No one trick pony around here!

William is based in Birmingham, Alabama and I think you’ll love his insight and tips. Here’s the William McLure interview / Q&A:

My secret styling trick: Layering a room. Books, candles, flowers, sculpture, etc….The details that make a room personal. This is what makes a room special, unique and pulls it all together!

My childhood bedroom would have this: I was constantly nailing sheets to the ceiling to try to give the effect of a canopy over the bed!!

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Color Therapy: Vermilion

using red in interior design

Whether you know a name for every shade or call a spade a spade, color has a huge impact on us in many ways. In this new series, Color Therapy, we want to not only highlight trending colors but show how designers use them in unique and aspirational ways. As color lovers, we hope this series will encourage you to bring more color into your life so we’ve pulled together some accessories to get you started using red in interior design. You may notice a few of these items in the designs featured below!

using red in interior design


One color that is popping up in a powerful way is red, also known as vermilion (if you want to sound fancy!). Interior trends notoriously follow fashion and red was all over the Fall/Winter 2017 runways. Benjamin Moore named Caliente the color of 2018 and Charlotte Sinclair of Vogue says, “Revolutions are ignited by it, the camera loves it and people go to court over it – no other colour has the extraordinary appeal of red.” It’s a classic color rooted in human history and we’re seeing it trending in two different ways.

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Kitchen Design Trends 2018

kitchen trends 2018 wood cabinets

Before we get too far into the year, I want to share a few predictions for kitchen design trends 2018. I was flattered to be asked by media outlet MyDomaine about what trend I think will come on strong in 2018. I’ve been working on lots of kitchens lately, and since it’s definitely the heart of the home in my opinion, I focused my answer on kitchen design. See the quotes below:

In summary: There will always be a place for a white kitchen, it’s classic and fresh…but after five or more years of seeing every variation on the white kitchen, you will start seeing lots of dark cabinetry and a return to wood cabinets too!

kitchen design trends 2018

Here are some of my favorite inspirations images for trending kitchen design 2018:

I think you’ll see a lot more people open to dark gray and black kitchen cabinets. This image was actually the main inspiration for a gorgeous kitchen we did here in Chicago for clients that I hope to shoot this spring. As long as other elements in the space are light, such as a wall paint color, and you have decent natural light dark cabinets are a great option and will not cause a space to feel darker.


Image via Pinterest

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Modern Bulletin Board DIY

modern bulletin board diy project

It’s hard to find a classy looking bulletin board! And it can be even more difficult to find a nice big bulletin board. When we opened the design studio, I knew our big blank wall would look great with three large bulletin boards. And they would also be super functional for design time and client meetings, but I couldn’t quite figure out the best DIY method. Then, I came across an image on Instagram where my pal Erin Kestenbaum had used an old frame to create her board and the light bulb went off!



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How To Pitch & Get Press For Your Interior Design Business


Interior design inspiration and education are my main focuses here on the blog (with some personal updates sprinkled in of course). Another passion of mine, is helping to educate other designers on running a business, because design school is NOT business school – as most designers will tell you! I’m fortunate to also have a background in journalism and marketing, so I believe this has given me a leg up when understanding how to pitch and get press for your interior design business. My design work has been featured by many national online design outlets (such as Elle Decor, MyDomaine, HGTV, Domino, Rue Mag, Apartment Therapy, The Chicago Tribune – and more), and fingers crossed I’ll be in my first national print magazine Spring 2018. This is all with less than two years fully in business for myself, which is to say – it’s never too early to start seeking coverage!

If you missed past articles focused on running your design business, you can read My Top 10 Apps for Your Design Business and Branding Your Small Business advice too. You can also hear me talk more about my blog and business on A Well-Designed Business Podcast and Million Dollar Decorating.

I’m going to list all my tips below. But first, I would like to direct you to Amy Flurry of Recipe for Press and encourage you to listen to Amy’s interview on A Well-Designed Business. Besides beautiful photography and some pitching know-how, the most important thing you need is access to the editors! Buying a media list (and the fact that Amy as developed one for creatives) is genius! You still need to do your research (more on this below), but this makes your chances of getting through to the correct person much higher.

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The Warwick Reno: Nursery Reveal


With only 10 days until baby girl’s due date, I’m excited to finally be revealing the before and after of our attic nursery! I’m going to include some before photos below, but if you want to reacquaint yourself with the full BEFORE tour of our Tudor-bungalow, you’ll remember that our upstairs feels more like an attic than a full second floor. The bedroom we decided to use for the nursery has some funky ceiling lines, but it made for a great space to create a graphic accent wall with wallpaper. After much deliberation, I was certain a floral pattern was the way to go. I had a wonderful time working with Farrow & Ball, and choosing a pattern from their new 2017 collection of floral inspired papers. We chose the floral called Hegemone. I love the wild artistic feel and description, “taking its name from the Greek goddess of fruit and flowers, the design blooms freely in all directions to bring your walls to life.

Here’s my initial inspiration board and DESIGN PLAN for the attic nursery:


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DESIGN SCHOOL: Natasha Habermann Studio

Hello there! We are back with a new edition of DESIGN SCHOOL, this time with a designer who comes from a non-traditional background (i.e. self taught). Natasha Habermann was my first Instagram crush and digital friend, who became a real-life friend! Back in good old 2015, Natasha was one of the first people I began following on Instagram for design and travel inspiration, her photos are stunning! Turns out she has family in Chicago, so we’ve been able to connect a few times IRL.

It’s been SO much fun watching her career take off. Her recent One Room Challenge (cult 6-week makeover challenge) space was chosen by none other than Sophie Donelson of House Beautiful as a winner!! Natasha and her husband (and her extremely handy/artistic parents) have been renovating their recently purchased and very chic farmhouse in upstate New York. I love Natasha’s eclectic and artistic style and I think you will too, here is the interview!

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