Get Rid of Your Boring Living Room Once And For All


Design Within Reach has paired with one of my favorite home decorating on-line inspirational magazines, Houzz.com to bring you an opportunity of a lifetime.  If you love modern, transitional design styles, sign up to WIN a modern living room makeover – it’s EASY! Get the details here.


$40,000.00 in Services and Products? How can you resist?!

3 On-The-Spot Designer Tricks You Can Do Immediately to Literally Change Your Formal Living Room and How You Feel About It!!!

1.     Move furniture pieces away from the wall. Come on Nibbles, it’s a living room, not a middle school dance-off. Place pieces so that the conversation will flow naturally, by grouping seating around a coffee table in a circular pattern.  Imagine guest sitting down – will they have to turn awkwardly to talk to one another or will there be fluid movement for all?

2.     Use an area rug to anchor the seating, make the conversation the focal point, soften the echo that hardwoods tend to make, add warmth, color, texture and pattern to the room.  Mimic the rug shape to the room shape. Square room = square or round rug. Rectangular room = rectangular rug (tip: the longest side of the rug MUST face the longest wall – otherwise, you risk throwing the proportions of the room design off)

3.     Place multiple levels of light throughout the  room. Don’t be afraid to have a pair of wall sconces, 2 table lamps, a floor lamp and an overhead fixture in your formal living room.  This prevents shadows, offers task as well as mood  lighting and provides the opportunity to add a variety of finishes and bling in to the space.

When you’re all done – invite some friends over, mix some martinis, sit back and laugh the night away while they marvel at the changes you’ve made.

ABOUT Design Within Reach…if you fancy modern design and are happy to make the investment for furniture you can absolutely pass down through the generations, you have to put DWR in your catalog of home furnishing stores.  There amazing designs, superior service and standout quality ranks high on my list of industry leaders.  Here are a few of my favorite pieces.

imageLine Credenza

Isn’t it beautiful!!!  The warm, rich horizontal lines add so much detail and character to what could have been an ordinary boxed storage console.


LC4 Chaise Lounge

Just look at it – a piece of work. Stunning. Artful yet practical and comfortable.  It was designed by Le Corbusier, Pierre Jeanneret and Charlotte Perriand and produced by Cassina.  It is the classic modern design.


Rubic Service Coffee Table

I call it a martini table – yes, I can appreciate a good martini. So when you and your friends are chatting it up in your new living room, listening to music, while enjoying your favorite martini, there’s no need to strain your arm or back reaching for the side table or coffee table to place your drink. B-e-c-a-u-s-e this baby slides underneath your sofa so the top will rest above your seat cushions, in easy reach.

Good luck with the CONTEST Nibbles – REGISTER TODAY!

Dressed To The Nines Bedrooms

I’m excited to have Susi with Design Shuffle contributing to my blog today! Design Shuffle is a fabulous go-to site to get your design groove on! There are tons of designer rooms, informative articles, how-to tips, product recommendations and so, so much more. Enjoy and thanks Susi!

Hi, I’m Susi, a writer at Design Shuffle, a fantastic social media site where design professionals and design lovers can share inspiration, showcase their projects and network. One of the best parts of my job is visiting fabulous blogs and seeing what everyone is excited about. So I’m so happy to be visiting The Design Bistro today to write about gorgeous bedrooms that are dressed to the nines. Thanks Penny for inviting me and Design Shuffle to guest blog. Hope you enjoy these fashion inspired bedroom decorating ideas!

Bedroom Design

Silvery hues and rich fabrics dress this bedroom to the nines. A mix of shiny mirrors, Lucite and gold sparkle in this sophisticated room.

Bedroom Design

Fine tailoring is all about attention to details. The monogram on the headboard, the green piping that coordinates with the curtains make this bedroom feel like a well tailored ensemble.

Bedroom Design

Like a chic outfit, this room is dressed in crisp white and black with colorful accents of green and pink. A sparkling chandelier adds a touch of bling.

Bedroom Design

Bright blooms of color and bold fabrics make for a lively décor in this feminine bedroom design. Love the vintage feeling to the pattern on the curtains and the oversized pattern on the headboard.

Bedroom Design

Camel and gray are a classic fall color combination in fashion. They also look chic in a bedroom mixed with white and darker accents.

Bedroom Design

Animal print makes a bold statement in this bedroom. The graphic pattern is balanced by the white upholstered headboard. Love the poppy red lampshades against the black and white.

Bedroom Design

Attention to details makes for a well dressed woman and room. Button tufting on the headboard offers a subtle pattern against the stronger patterns on the curtains and painting. Lovely bedroom design ideas to share or save.

Bedroom Design

With fashion, sometimes it is the unexpected accessory or accent that makes the outfit. The unexpected shaggy green pillows add texture and a spot of bold color to this chic bedroom. Images ( 1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5 / 6 / 7 / 8 )

Do you want to dress the rest of your home to the Nines? Head on over to Design shuffle, where you can get inspiration from many interior designers, including San Francisco interior designers and New York interior designers!

How To Take Home Staging to a Whole New Level

So who would want to pack and unpack  just to pack and unpack again and again? Meet Shelia and Peter Potter!  They take the notion of Home Staging to a whole new level.  AND I LIKE IT! I want to be just like them when I grow up. Ha!

Mr and Mrs Potter "The Ultimate" Home Staging couple in Charleston, SC

Their recent story in The New York Times article, Creating Instant Old-Money Patina, really caught my eye.  They are well known in Charleston, South Carolina for staging properties to sell.  In fact, you could say they are also the care takers of the homes they stage.  Not only do they have the skills for designing homes with their traditional flair, they also reside in the homes they decorate using all of their own furnishings!

The gilded shield mirror on the top right was purchased for 50 bucks in a consignment store.  That’s another prime example of how you can mix reproduction designs with antiques and no one (other than a trained eye) would be the wiser.

What makes this a perfectly staged room? First, it’s light and airy with a restful vibe, 2/ it has neutral tones with just enough color to keep your interest, 3/ there’s absolutely NO clutter and 4/ the furniture is cleverly placed for a spacious appeal.

The black and white mirror was purchased for $75.00 at a thrift store in New York

There are three condo units within this building and the Potters moved into the 2nd floor. It sold after 4 months.

I think this building has true Charleston charm!

The building below is my favorite exterior home the Potters occupied.  It was actually owned by a friend going through a divorce.  I like how the hedges are part of the gate.

Below: Outside of the bitter sweet history of plantations in Charleston, SC, this Greek Revival antebellum home is decidedly stunning.  It was built by a planter in 1853 and it had 2 guest houses, a pool, and a maze of fish ponds.  The Potters lived in it for 1.5 years until it finally sold for 4.5 mil in 2005.

Care to read their full story and view more interior photos and homes that the Potters have staged over the last 14 years? Check them out here!

Discover more images of the beautiful homes of Charleston.


Now That’s Living: Will and Jada Pinkett Smith’s Abode

They had me at the DOOR!!! I cant wait to see the rest of the home. Get a copy of Architectural Digest September issue for more pictures, or you can take a look at Zavvi Rodaine’s blog for a couple of extra photos.   A big thanks to Charlotte’s UPTOWN magazine for my first peek at the article.

I could fall in love…it’s only 25,000 sq feet.  I could handle that.

With views like this who needs a vacation home? Well Will and Jada of course!

By the way, did you know that their daughter, Willow, will play the title role in the remake of Annie. Don’t run to the theaters too soon, this may be a year or two away.

So who designed this incredible home?  Stephen Samuelson of Plan A Architecture who also designed Gene Hackman’s home in Sante Fe. Will admired his home so much he was inspired to create his own earthy dwelling.  Will and Jada have certainly done their part to stimulate the economy.  You better believe everything was built by hand with a myriad of talented artisans.

As for the Interior Design, Judith Lance is responsible.  Apparently she’s not designing for just any old homeowner.  Looks like that nut is tough to crack unless you’re swimming in the dough.

STOP THE PRESS! I FOUND A VIDEO OF THEIR  HOME thanks to Good Morning America!!!

Satisfy Your Decorating Book Fetish at PaperSkyScraper

Last week I was in search of a specific post card holder to display my portfolio cards at an upcoming exhibit.  I stopped in PaperSkyScraper because not only do they normally have trendy, stylish items for sale; but from the moment I walk in I immediately surrender all my concerns, worries and cares behind me!  Who knew a gift shop could be such an experience. This place quietly but urgently makes you want to just buy something!!  Honestly, whether you need it or not.  i constantly find myself saying, “Oh, I need one of these.” Or, “How cute is this!”

They are one of the go-to shops in Charlotte for fun items like greeting cards, wrapping paper, photo albums, cosmetic jewelery, spa and bathroom products, kitchen gadgets and all sorts of other gadgets and what-not’s.  Oh, and how could I forget…BOOKS!  It’s the first thing you see when you walk in. Lots of BOOKS on Interior Design, Garden Design and Decorating in every style imaginable. Someone was in h-e-a-v-e-n…

This is one of many reasons I  XOXO PaperSkyscraper so much.  I flipped through a BOOK or two while I was there.

Book #1

Texture, color, and strong silhouettes are Hagan’s established trademarks.

Book #2

It’s all about Style with Emily

Book #3

Wood’s reinvents his homestead in New Farmhouse Style

Book #4

Book #5

Book #6

Book #7

You can find all of these books when you visit the Charlotte store or you can purchase through PaperSkyScraper’s On-Line site.

Amazingly, I did not find what I came in for but the staff, always on point, did everything they could to help me in my search.  But don’t feel sorry for me, as usual I did not walk out empty handed.  I bought some scrumptious velvety wrapping paper and 3 magazines that I have NEVER seen on the mainstream magazine racks (at least in the Queen City);

Atomic RanchMidcentury Marvels

Living etcThe Homes Magazine For Modern Art

WallpaperDesign, Interiors, Fashion, Art and Lifestyle

I give PaperSkyScraper 5 Stars for satisfying not only my interior design book fetish, but always delivering a warm and inviting place to escape!