Year in Review: 2017 Highlights

As I write this post at more than 8 months pregnant, I can no longer balance my laptop on my stomach : ) that is to say that a huge personal highlight of this year was finding out we were pregnant in May. Also, between summer of 2016 and the end of this year we’ve renovated or updated every single room in the house!! (with the exception of the first floor bathroom, basement and backyard).

We hope to get to those in the next year or so. You can find all our home renovation posts under THE WARWICK RENO. Our HOME TOUR, was a really popular post and contains all the downstairs renovation photos. We are so excited to share the second floor before and after photos, and should be able to do that this month or next – very soon!

The new baby girl, due at the end of January / early Feb. 2018 certainly accounted for a good amount of content of this year:

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The Best of High Point Market Fall 2017

the best of high point market 2017 accessories

I was not able to make it out to North Carolina for High Point Market this year, but luckily for all of us, I had an “insider” attend during the October session to bring us back the scoop on the best of High Point Market Fall 2017!

High Point Market, often referred to as simply “market” by the interior design community is the largest home furnishings industry trade show in the world with over 2000 exhibitors, and 10 million square feet of shopping! My friend and fellow designer, Sarah Montgomery, was there on behalf of the company where she works, Eastern Accents, which is fabulous Chicago-based resource for beds, bedding, pillows, drapery and more.

Sarah’s got a FABULOUS eye and knows the Centered by Design brand well (we both love color, texture and textiles), so she chose six of her favorite vendors to highlight for us here:

Wesley Hall

Wesley Hall is a domestic furniture manufacturer based out of Hickory, North Carolina. They specialize in upholstered furniture and are known for their colorful leathers and large selection of fabrics as well as their quality and company culture.

All of their furniture is customizable, from the leg finish, to the nailheads to arm height on a sofa. It is important for designers to see the Wesley Hall showroom at market, not only to see and try the new introductions, but to see the possibilities since everything is custom. Their showroom is always so well done, and they are not afraid of color! They actually change the color of their double entryway doors every market and designers have fun guessing what it will be. It’s this attention to detail that is carried out through the whole showroom and can set a trend in motion.

wesley hall high point market wesley hall high point market book wallpaper

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Our Maternity Photos & Holistic Thoughts on Pregnancy


I’ve been trying to name and start this post for at least thirty minutes! “Our Maternity Photos and Holistic Pregnancy Tips” seems underwhelming at best, but I want to share my thoughts as authentically as possible, as at almost 35 weeks into this experience, I’ve learned a lot and realize that these pretty pictures aren’t the most accurate representation of all that has happened. Although, I do love the photos and I’m so glad we took them.

NOTE: On the photography, we took these on location at the Garfield Park Conservatory and worked with photographer Todd Crawford. I wanted the shoot to feel natural and not too staged, I love how Todd brought my vision to life. Both my dresses are not maternity, or from this season (sorry!). I found the plaid dress at Nordstrom and the wild flowery dress is H&M.

I want to sprinkle some of my real pregnancy experience between the photos, because while there have been some beautiful moments, the majority of my pregnancy I’ve felt less than excited and rarely like the womanly goddess that I see strewn across magazine covers and social media. I hope that in sharing some of my experience it might help you or someone you love feel a little less pressure during this special, but intense time.

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Women Who MAKE: Simes Studios

December 14, 2017 Interviews 0 Comments
simes studios chicago owner

If you’re new to the Women Who MAKE series, welcome! This blog series features an artist, maker or creative excelling in their field. This month I’m so excited to share the history and development of Simes Studios, as told through a visit and interview with co-owner Cindy Simes. Cindy and her husband (and business partner) Jorge have been bringing the tradition of fine art and decorative painting to Chicago (and well beyond) for more than 25 years. The studio consists of many talented artists, often working together, and using their specialities to achieve beautiful results. The studio is known for their murals, painted floors, eglomise (reverse painted glass), gilding and more.

It was a treat to visit their light-filled studio, once a stable in the Bucktown neighborhood of Chicago. Cindy gave me a tour and told me a bit about her story and some of the wonderful homes, projects and designers she has worked with throughout the years.

Photography by Anna Sodziak


Centered By Design: Women Who MAKE Interview – SIMES STUDIOS

  • Name: Cindy Simes
  • Current title/company name: President and Co-owner of Simes Studios

What are your first memories of making art or being creative?

I’ve been drawing since I was very young sitting with my Dad sketching. An art teacher in 8th grade sparked a special interest in art for me, as he had taught for 30 years and told me my drawings were the best he had ever seen in his class. Other teachers in junior and senior high were also very supportive. I did a lot of murals and art work in my junior and senior high schools.

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The Warwick Reno: Baby Girl’s Nursery

November 30, 2017 Interior Design, Warwick 0 Comments

I can’t believe I’m finally writing this post. Designing the nursery has honestly been tough! I think it’s a lot of self-imposed pressure, but also, a good friend wisely said that this is “the most important person” I’ve likely ever met. I can’t disagree, never before have I experienced this level of anticipation waiting for anything. What will she look like? Will I be a good mom? Will her nursery design make us both happy? (probably more of a designer concern – wink, wink). I’m excited to share what I’ve finally settled on; a sophisticated palette fit for a modern baby girl nursery (in a vintage house).

When designing, I always like to have a main inspiration to pull from. In this case, I knew I wanted it to be wallpaper and eventually knew I wanted it to be a floral. I love this inspiration image of a room with similar attic like ceiling lines to ours. I was having trouble settling on a print. Should it be large scale or small, spread out or tight, bold or softer? During my search I discovered that Farrow & Ball just launched three new florals as their 2017 Wallpaper Collection!

Wallpaper Application Inspiration:

modern baby girl nursery with wallpaper

Via CountryLiving Inside A Mississippi Farm House.

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Design School: Brynn Olson Design Group

November 27, 2017 Interviews 0 Comments
brynn olson design group

Welcome to DESIGN SCHOOL! A monthly series into the minds of our favorite interior designers across the country (and hopefully world soon!).

This month’s interview is with the Chicago-based firm, Brynn Olson Design Group, but if you follow Brynn on Instagram you’ll know she’s often jet setting all over the world. I’ve included a few of her recent travel snaps, as I’m living vicariously through her and I think you’ll want to as well! This hard working and incredibly kind lady has been working in the interior design industry since 2008, where she started at Nate Berkus Associates (I interned for NBA in 2015 and a lot of the same folks are still there).

Brynn and I connected in Chicago, and then again at the Design Bloggers Conference in LA last year. I’m a huge fan of her refined urban style, and love watching her company grow to new heights. Enjoy the interview with Brynn!


Every home needs:

A timeless foundation to withstand the test of time, a worthy return of investment, and provide an amazing canvas to begin layering your own personal style and flair upon…

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Chicago Design Studio Reveal!

We are SO DANG EXCITED to announce the opening of our design studio and cabinetry showroom in the Lakeview neighborhood of Chicago! If you are local please stop by between 4pm – 8pm this Friday at 2946 N Lincoln Ave, Chicago, 60657. There will be refreshments, gift bags, a ribbon cutting ceremony and lots of good cheer, as my studio partners, Studio 912 and I have worked hard to bring this sweet little storefront to life!

We also have many fabulous sponsors to thank and lots of pretty pictures to show you:

Our front room and communal work and meeting space. Cabinetry is from the Europa and Starmark lines carried by Studio 912. Lattice Gold Wallpaper by Unison Home. Sisal rug with black border, custom order from STARK carpet. And we LOVE our Duda Stools by Sossego.

chicago interior design studio

Custom drapery available through my workroom and that vintage curio cabinet is another amazing MegMade find. We love MegMade for vintage furnishings, and we’ve got lots of door styles on display to create your dream kitchen, bathroom or built-in!

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Baby Shower Highlights

baby shower brunch ideas

Pregnancy is such a time of anticipation, with both wonderful moments and stressful ones. For lots of women and couples, I think the baby shower is one of the most magical moments. Surrounded by those who love you, and who have either done this whole parenting thing already, or the friends not there yet, but ready to cheer you on. SO MUCH LOVE! I wanted to share a few moments from my shower (sadly it got too hectic to get a group photo!) but my sister Carly, hosted at my house and it was really special to have so many women I love in my home together. Here are some baby shower ideas from florals, to food, to my favorite books and baby gifts:

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Studio Grand Opening + Powder Room Giveaway!

What started as a small sub-lease on little storefront this spring has now become an official INTERIOR DESIGN STUDIO! I am so very excited for all that this new space holds! My partners in the space, Studio 912, are Wendy and Randy (Wendy and I actually met in design school) and R+W have been working in the kitchen and bath industry with their company since 1995. Wendy is a huge asset to all my kitchen design projects, as her knowledge of the ins and outs of cabinetry orders greatly benefit my clients, as does Randy’s extensive contracting knowledge. Our storefront will serve as my interior design office and studio, and Studio 912’s cabinet and countertop showroom and city location.

We are hosting a Open House to celebrate and show off the spruced up studio and we’d LOVE for you to pop by and say hello. Please join us on FRIDAY, NOV. 17th from 4pm – 8pm.

We also have a FABULOUS contest as part of the opening. We are GIVING AWAY a full powder room makeover courtesy of our sponsor Ferguson Bath, Kitchen & Lighting Gallery. I had a wonderful time with Traditional Home and Ferguson last March at the Design Bloggers Conference, and was thrilled when this opportunity came up. I jumped at the chance to give away this makeover – b/c what is better than a sponsored makeover for someone in need?!

For all the contest / giveaway rules read on to enter:

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The Warwick Reno: Master Bedroom Design Plan

October 25, 2017 Interior Design, Warwick 0 Comments

It’s time for an update on #thewarwickreno and I’m very excited about how far we’ve come upstairs! We are nearing the finish line and this will be our first “master bedroom” — complete with things we really love like a window seat (me) & coffee bar (Luke)! I’m also sharing a little bit about dormers as they can prove challenging to design around, but can become very useful spaces.

Remember where we started? Ugh, I can’t handle the paneling and the yellow:

Here is where we are at today: drywall went up over the paneling, new baseboard, faux wood floor removed (carpet going down), fresh coat of paint, radiator replaced, electrical moved/added and the beginnings of the window seat! The coffee bar will be outside the french doors, to the left, bathroom is to the right – more on those in another post.

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