thursday thoughts: the psychology of design

Being a designer is my dream career field. When I tell people I’m a designer, I usually get one of a few similar reactions:

“Oh that sounds so fun!”  (It can be, but it is also hard work.)

“You can come help me pick paint colors!”  (Great. Sounds like a plan. But don’t forget we do soooo much more than just that.)

“Your home must be AMAZING!”  (Being a designer does not mean my house is automatically amazing just by default.  To have a beautiful home, you must have the money and time – you are lucky if you have both.)

Sure we are creatives and project managers.  But we are also a bit like therapists.  Clients come to us because they want guidance, advice, and/or reassurance.  They have a problem they are unable to solve on their own.  Or maybe they just want to talk it out. They have a list of wants and needs and are hiring us to fulfill them.  (No pressure, right?)  It is up to us as designers to decipher these conversations and ideas into tangible results.  And how does one do that?

The secret to success of being a designer is to “get” our clients. To truly understand them and deliver a design they never thought possible.  We must listen to what they say, and what they don’t say.  Give them a beautiful space or home that is also functional and reflection of their life and what they love.

You can see why I say I have a dream job.

This quote by Barry Dixon is what inspired today’s post:

Barry Dixon Quote

Hope everyone has a great day!  If you are a designer, take a moment to realize how amazing your job is.  For everyone else, be true to yourself and make your home a reflection of you.  Fill it with things you love and that bring you joy. If you need help with that, hire me.  🙂



50’s inspired hillside home

Tomorrow is the day that I’ve been looking forward to for quite some time now.  We get to hop a plane and escape to Philadelphia for Nate’s bro’s wedding! I can’t believe Memorial Day weekend is already here.  (Time just flies when you are remodeling and unpacking.)

In honor of our getaway to the East Coast, I’ll leave you with this dreamy hillside home tucked in Pennsylvania’s Blue Mountains .  Featured in AD, this home was designed by Peter Bohlin of the Pennsylvania-based architectural firm, Bohlin Cywinski Jackson. (I’ll have you know that Peter was a graduate of Michigan’s Cranbrook School of Art. REPRESENT!!)

exterior of hillside 50's revival home

50s style home

rustic modern living area

In the article, Peter described the client’s desire for a timeless space.  I think I fall in love with the idea of something being “timeless”…that time can pass and it remains just as true, believable, and fabulous as day one.  It’s such a hard concept to achieve with all of the trends in the design world.  It really makes you think hard about what will withstand the test of time vs. what is a fad.

rustic modern fireplace and dining

For me, what makes this home so special is the use of materials and furniture pieces that aren’t fussy or easily dated.  This must be why mid-century furniture holds a special place in my heart :).

modern living room


exterior of home

rustic home with modern doors


Bon Voyage! I gotta go get ready for this trip!  You will hear more from me when I return. 🙂 Happy Memorial Day weekend!


(all images link back to their original source)

belgian chic with a dose of color

Believe it or not, I’m finally going through my insanely huge stack of magazine subscriptions from 2012… and I just came across this project in the September Color Issue of House Beautiful.

I’m loving the large light fixtures, crisp white, natural textures, and pops of color.  I’m also loving the fact that my Verellen Thibaut sofa is center stage in this shot.  (Mine is a much smaller size!)


Verellen is like the Mercedes-Benz of slipcovered furniture.  It just doesn’t get much better. I’m talking quality linen fabrics straight from Belgium. Each frame is handcrafted in a way that is stylish, comfortable and “sexy” as owner Tom Verellen would put it. (I met Tom a couple of years back when I was at Pizitz, and he’s a character!)

living space

  When I lived in Florida, I worked in a shop in Seaside that looked practically identical to this pic.   That being said, if you ever go to Seaside,  you have to stop in Pizitz Home & Cottage!

Verellen chair

I’m a fan of the bold orange.  It gives the space life.




DIY idea:  stitch a large square of fabric and either drape on a wall or wrap a canvas with it to create a simple yet striking piece of art.


Adding darker tones gives this space a more formal feel.


This palette is soothing.  Ahhh I could totally relax here.


This awesome project was designed by Kay Douglass, who owns the lovely  South of Market design shop in Atlanta.

(Image Credit:  House Beautiful)