Holiday Gift Guide 2018

December 13, 2018 Tips + Resources 0 Comments

Hello friends, happy holiday season!

It can be tough to find fabulous gifts and new trusted brands, so I always turn to my favorite bloggers for ideas. I realized I’ve done a bit of research this year too, so I want to share a quick sampling of what’s on our family list this year.

It’s been really fun shopping for Willa for her first Christmas! She loves music, colors, anything that lights up and I’m getting her a first baby doll. Check out the fabulous German brand I linked below, they have wonderful dolls for all ages. Old school Nintendo is back and Luke can’t wait to relive the old days! I’m always looking for things that are pretty, comfy and smell great – total product junkie right here. Do not miss picking up that brown sugar body polish, it feels so good on your skin. Added a few of my favorite new books and holiday home decor too! You can easily shop this post by clicking on any of the pictures – it will take you direct to the product.

Don’t forget your animals! Our kitty Izzy might be getting some amazing cat furniture from this new brand I discovered, Tuft + Paw.

Affiliate links are used, and help keep the blog running! Happy Shopping!

Lead photo credit: Camp Wandawega

ON CLAIRE’s LIST: Faux fur coat, moto boots and body polish

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Design Blog Hop Holiday Cookie Swap


Get ready for a serious does of delicious my friends. Today I’m sharing how to make mini tea cakes for your next holiday party. I was invited to participate in the sweetest virtual idea I have heard of in a long time. A design blog hop cookie swap! Say that 3x fast : ) Some wonderful design bloggers (all linked below) have each shared a standout recipe for your holiday eating pleasure.

I encourage you to click through as there are so many beautiful cookies shared. I should also admit upfront that I did not ACTUALLY make these mini tea cakes you see displayed. An incredible food blogger, whom I worked with on a recent holiday table decor shoot, Paige Adams of Last Ingredient baked the tea cakes and is sharing her recipe with us. It’s so easy and professional looking that I promise I will make them, as I am hosting my first Christmas Eve for family this year.

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This Chic Holiday Brunch is Beautiful and Delicious

chic holiday table decor

Happy Holidays friends! Christmas music starts playing in my head just looking at these gorgeous images. It was so much fun creating this chic holiday table setting, complete with eclectic textiles, floral centerpieces and delicious recipes.


I’m going to give you the rundown on how to recreate a similar chic holiday table. In this post, we will cover:

  • How to mix traditional holiday prints with non traditional fabrics.
  • Easy floral centerpiece ideas and my new favorite flower that looks especially gorgeous on a holiday table.
  • Why WHITE dish ware always wins…
  • RECIPES! I’m not the best cook or a food stylist, so I called in expert Paige Adams of Last Ingredient to share her amazing fare with us.
  • Paige graciously let me look like the hostess with the mostest! First tip of holiday hosting, outsource a few things to make it easier and more enjoyable.

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“Metropolitan” Color of the Year 2019


Benjamin Moore, my personal go-to paint company, just announced Metropolitan AF-690 as color of the year 2019. I usually don’t pay a whole lot of attention to these “so called” colors of the year, but our dining room happens to be Metropolitan! I thought it would be helpful to show some views of the dining room, and link back to a post from last year with my favorite gray paint colors.

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william morris wallpaper 2018

“Think first of the walls, for they are that which make your house a home.” –  William Morris (1832 – 1896)

If you’ve never heard of William Morris, below is a brief history lesson. A central figure in the Arts & Crafts movement William Morris wallpaper, fabric and his iconic prints live on today through an extensive archive managed by Style Library.

william morris fabrics

william morris original block print

Original William Morris wood block print from the Style Library archive.

william morris wallpaper collection

Morris & Co. / Style Library recently partnered with clothing giant H+M to launch a line of H+M clothing with a selection of iconic Morris prints. I was SO EXCITED when I was contacted to be a part of the launch! I have forever loved the romantic folk art quality of W. Morris prints AND to be able to wear them – how cool.

I chose the Trumpet Sleeve Dress based on original William Morris wallpaper print Pimpernel. I love so many pieces from the collection and they are very affordable! This dress retails for $34.99. As a side note, I think H+M does an amazing job with prints. I wore an another H+M dress I found at a consignment store for our maternity photos, which got SO many positive comments! I’d never seen anything like it before.

claire staszak interior designer

Here’s the Trumpet Sleeve Dress based on William Morris wallpaper – Pimpernel

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DESIGN SCHOOL: Lauren Nelson

Welcome to another edition of DESIGN SCHOOL. If you are new to the blog DS is a question and answer interview series with design firms and artists I find particularly inspiring. I ask them to share sound bites of advice, the kind of tips you don’t always get in design school. The type of tips that only come from years of experience!

This month, I am featuring Lauren Nelson, a Bay Area interior designer, is known for her clean, curated interiors that reflect California ease. She is guided by the philosophy that when our surroundings are sources of comfort and inspiration, we lead happier lives. I came across Lauren’s work, more than a year ago, on Instagram and was drawn to her down-to-earth sensibility. Her account wasn’t filled with over the top, highly decorated spaces. She showcased gorgeous, but livable textured rooms with warmth and a chic aesthetic. I was hooked, plus she has two adorable girls and lives in beautiful CA (the nature photos always get me!).

It has been fun watching her design firm grow. Lauren was recently part of the Sunset Magazine Idea House 2018 team and the finished home looks STUNNING. Here’s the Q+A with Lauren Nelson Design (all photos provided by Lauren Nelson Design).

Kitchen from Sunset Idea House 2018

My secret styling trick:

  • Off-setting art in a room. Don’t place it perfectly centered above a couch or console.  Place art off-liter and allow for beautiful ceramics or negative space to give it purpose and interest.

My childhood bedroom would have this:

  • Snoopy paraphernalia. I grew up in the age of The Peanuts – the BEST!

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How to Baby Proof Your Home with Style

how to baby proof your home with style

How To Baby Proof Your Home with Style

Hello friends, it’s been awhile since I’ve written a personal post or house update. And that’s because having a baby is FULL ON. Willa is 9 months old and as busy as can be! We think she’s going to walk soon and baby safety proofing the house has been top of mind. She is already opening cabinets, sticking fingers in outlets and falling over daily.

This is a stage of life many young families go through and it can feel extra chaotic at home with all the additional baby items and safety gear. I thrive when my environment is clean and organized, plus you can help your kids develop good habitats with some forethought on how to keep the house in tip-top shape, even in this CRAZY phase of life.

I’ve listed and linked to several of my favorite resources on baby proofing your home below, but first a few pictures of our living to demonstrate one nice update we’ve made with the help of PERIGOLD. Prior to baby Willa, we had a beautiful marble and brass coffee table. That thing is rock solid and weighs 200 lbs! We were both freaking out about the idea of Willa falling head first into that table. I was personally not in love with the idea of an ottoman, which can often look masculine and stodgy. 

Then I came across this option, The Sydney by Duralee for PERIGOLD and I thought, “okay this might work!” What really sold me was that we could customize the fabric (I chose a wipeable faux leather) and it has soft close hinges and storage. The ottoman is well made and looks great in person! Willa is honestly in love with it. As an added bonus, it happens to be the perfect height for her to reach in and get her own toys.


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CS Magazine | Modern Luxury Feature October 2018

We are thrilled to announce our latest press feature in CS Magazine | Modern Luxury, Om Home, is an article chronicling the renovation experience of a truly wonderful client we had the pleasure of working with here in Chicago.

“Interior designer and yoga instructor Claire Staszak helps a stressed out client turn her busy, overdecorated house into a peaceful home.” You can read the full article by Tate Gunnerson – HERE or pick up CS Magazine at local design shops, Starbucks and the Merchandise Mart! For a closer look at the design details, view our PORTFOLIO of photos from this project.

If you are interested in creating your own version of personal sanctuary at home, you can begin the design process by filling out our CONTACT FORM. We would love to hear from you!


DESIGN SCHOOL: Josh Young Design House

September 11, 2018 Interior Design, Interviews 0 Comments

Happy day design lovers! I’m thrilled to have Josh Young Design House on the blog today. Josh is a recent Chicago transplant, but developed his keen sense for blending the Old World with a more modern sensibility during six years of university in Milan, Italy. Of course, Josh’s work caught my eye on Instagram. We have a mutual friend in the talented photographer Aimée Mazzenga, which is how I first discovered Josh’s fabulously funky portraits and bold graphic artwork.

Several other editors have discovered Josh Young Design House recently too! Josh’s portrait collection was recently featured in O’ The Oprah Magazine and his home tour will be up on MyDomaine soon (congrats Josh!). I’m thrilled for him and this recent wave of press, he’s truly putting himself and his work out into the world, trying to continually improve and reinvent the work (as he mentions below). I hope you enjoy the interview with Josh and the gorgeous phots of his home, studio and artwork. Also, don’t miss our giveaway on Instagram. Josh Young Design House is giving away one 8×10 piece from his signature portrait collection, Emma


The most difficult aspect of my job:

Honestly? Always trying to reinvent myself and my work. Of course it’s always amazing and an honor as an artist be recognized for a signature look which my avant-garde portraits have provided me with, but it’s also crucial, in my opinion, to challenge yourself to reinvent. There isn’t a day that I don’t wake up, walk into my studio and think, “what’s next”?

My secret styling trick:

Edit, edit, edit. Whenever I feel like a space is perfectly styled and complete, I remove one thing. I’m not a minimalist by ANY means, but, I find it’s crucial to allow the beautiful objects in your home the room to breathe and have their own moment in a space.

If I could design anyone’s home it’d be:

I’ve sat and pondered the answer to this question for the last 15 minutes but the honest answer would be to actually design my own dream home. It would be a toss-up between a classic canal home in Amsterdam or a brownstone in New York’s West Village. I love the historic charm both have to offer and the juxtaposition they provide by remaining quaint and removed while nestled in a large city setting.

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Design Chicago 2018 – Save the Date

September 5, 2018 Interior Design 0 Comments


I’m honored to be speaking at the Midwest’s largest residential design conference, Design Chicago, which takes place this year over October 3rd and 4th. The conference is at the Merchandise Mart and there are 44 presentations and 57 new product release and lots of open houses!

I’ll be joining two other fabulous Chicago designers/bloggers to talk about social media with the Vice President of Digital for SANDOW, Pam McNally. This conference is to the trade only. Please join us at Artistic Tile on October 4th at 10:30am for the presentation with lunch to follow.