Friday, March 27, 2009


I am loving all of the bright colors I am seeing this spring/summer. I feel like it is done strategically because people are generally feeling down about our whole economic situation. Regardless, I heart what I am seeing and if it's intention is to brighten my day, then it's working. I have to say right now my favorite color is a fresh mint green. The photo above is of a kitchen that MWDA designed for a private residence in Atlanta. We went with this amazing bright mint green for the back splash. We chose do use sheets of back painted glass to create a very smooth and sleek effect while still adding a punch of vibrant color. We recently were awarded Atlanta Homes & Lifestyles Magazine's 2009 Kitchen of the year for this kitchen and we are very proud. Here are some more examples of this fantastic color and how to apply it.

The Prince Charles Chair from Modernica. The chair alone is brilliant, such a great combination of two classics. The chair is beautiful, obviously, but I l.o.v.e. the color. This fresh green makes me so happy and I now want it immediately!

I love pretty hardware, it's such an easy fix to update any piece of furniture or cabinetry. I am desperate for this mint green knob. Anthropologie has really great finds for the home. Fun linens, dishes, accessories, all sorts of great stuff. But I love that they have these fantastic vintage inspired hardware collections. Really beautiful pieces that can make a huge impact on some less then amazing furniture.

I always say that accessories are a great way to introduce color into any space. It's much easier to move them around and trade them out when you get bored or need to refresh your space. Mark and I have been in love with Baccus bottles lately. Their color and shape is fantastic but they can be expensive. But these great little bottles from West Elm are a great way to get a similar effect. Beautiful mint green color and adorable shape.

If you aren't familiar with SMEG then you need to be. They make these delicious 50's style refrigerators. They come in a variety of colors and have such a petite scale (60"x24") you can't help but want to crawl inside one. Again their colors are so yummy, I want to lick them. They aren't inexpensive but the amount of personality they can add to any kitchen is phenomenal.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Greek Independence Day!

In honor of Greek Independence Day I wanted to clue you in on something really spectacular (love that word) in modern Greek culture. The New Acropolis Museum has become a beacon in Athens, just as the Parthenon has. It's official opening will be on June 20, 2009 but already it has quickly become a source of pride for the Greek people. It's incredible architecture and stunning design are not only surprisingly modern but the new building has so many subtle details that reference Greece's most prominent architectural masterpiece.

The design by Bernard Tschumi was selected as the winning project in the fourth competition for the design of the New Acropolis Museum. Tschumi's design revolves around three concepts: light, movement, and a tectonic and programmatic element, which together "turn the constraints of the site into an architectural opportunity, offering a simple and precise museum" with the mathematical and conceptual clarity of ancient Greek buildings.

The museum's website is fantastic. You can see pictures of the transport from the previous museum (which sat atop the Acropolis behind the Parthenon structure--all works were carefully packaged in specially made crates and moved by crane over the city to the roof of the new building.) There are amazing design elements and concepts that were taken from the Parthenon structure and carried throughout the new building (my favorite is the top floor of the new museum, where the Parthenon Marbles are displayed, sits on the same axis as the Parthenon on top of the Acropolis.) The use of natural light and the layout and display of artifacts is unlike an other museum in the world. My father was fortunate enough to take a private tour this past summer and he described is as "breathtaking." I can't wait to see it for myself!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

recessionista revamp

Question Time! So we all know the economy sucks, but that does not mean we can always harness our desire for good design. Sometimes we have this undeniable urge to spend & spruce. So if you are in a pinch but can't stand being in your bedroom/kitchen/bathroom/general space anymore, take your piggy bank to Coinstar and lets get started!

"In a bad economy, what is the cheapest way to upgrade the design of your home?"

Sort of a broad subject but I think we are going to break it down space by space. Let's focus on a couple of key areas and hit some bullet points for each.

The Bedroom/Living Room
  1. If you have any sort of sheet, craft paper, garbage bag, or fabric being held up by tape, nails, or hot glue over your window and you are calling it "drapery" please, I beg you, TEAR IT DOWN! Drapery doesn't have to be expensive although it isn't cheap. West Elm is a great source for drapery. Their hardware is good looking & substantial, plus their panels are good quality. Please, remember to measure carefully. But starting with drapery can add a great softness to your room along with adding some vertical interest. If you have low ceilings it will help the ceiling feel higher then it actually is. If drapery isn't for you, keep reading, but please please rip down that damn sheet.
  2. Lighting. Places like Ikea, Z Gallerie & West Elm have made is so easy for you to get good looking, good quality, and affordable lighting. You will be amazed at how adding something as simple as two new reading lamps will make a difference in your space.
  3. If you are anything like me I always love buying new bedding. I am so indecisive sometimes I want something very boho chic with a vintage floral pattern and sometimes I want a sleek hotel look of simple clean white linens. Anyway, I am always up for changing my bedding and with fantastic companies like Dwell & Thomas O'Brian coming out with collections for Target you can't go wrong.
  4. If you want to update your living room, get yourself some new fluff. Meaning, get a slipcover to go over your old plaid college sofa (because buying a new sofa just isn't an option) and look for some really lovely throw pillows. West Elm has great pillows and throw blankets to beautify any sofa or seating group.
The Kitchen/Bathroom

  1. Start with the walls. Taking the weekend to throw up a coat of paint is the easiest and fastest way to make a change, it's also the least expensive. A couple of things to remember: 1. if you are going to add a bold color, try and keep clear starting and stopping points--meaning, make sure the color has a place to die into (preferably a corner) 2. get good paint and try to get low VOC paint, it's better for you and the environment! 3. remember if you don't like it, it's just paint so take a risk!
  2. Update your fixtures. If an entire remodel isn't the in cards (or wallet) for you, try updating your faucets, hardware, lighting, etc. It doesn't have to be expensive and you can find great deals on everything you need. Expo is going out of business and they have some really lovely faucets/shower heads/etc. One thing to remember, if you are changing bathroom sink or bathtub fixtures, make sure you change the drain hardware too (you don't' want a lovely new polished chrome faucet with an old brass drain--not cute) You can find really pretty hardware at Anthropologie, Target, and Home Depot and it's really easy to install yourself. If you are going to change out your lighting or plumbing fixtures I do suggest getting a professional to do that.
  3. Everyone knows the fastest way to make a change is with accessories. Which is why typically we at MWDA like to keep our broad spaces pretty neutral and hit it up with pops of color. So change out your shower curtain, bath mats, and towels (you probably need new ones anyway) and update your kitchen in the same fashion. Get new kitchen towels (help out the environment and stop using paper towels people!), and accessories (I for one would love a bright orange toaster)
  4. If you are feeling a bit more ambitious paint your kitchen or vanity cabinets! Everything looks great with a fresh coat of high gloss paint. If you are so over your 90's cherry kitchen cabinets and your builder standard white bath vanity, then change it! Make sure you sand and prime and all of that (I would hit up google for some formal instructions.)

To sum it all up in a couple sentences: Paint is inexpensive, so use it to your advantage. The entire world is having a sale, again, take advantage!

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Meg Perotti - Fab Photog!

So Meg Perotti is a friend of mine from high school and an amazing photographer. She did me a huge favor by taking some head shots of me for an article that Better Homes & Gardens Decorating Magazine is doing about my work and some of my tips & tricks (coming out this summer, I'll keep you posted!) It was great to reconnect with her and be able to work together. I have to say, it's VERY strange being the camera's subject. I love photo shoots--I love photographing my projects, it's my favorite part of the process. But it was very weird for me to be in front of the camera, I got used to it eventually, and I am thrilled with all of the shots she got. I am also ultra in love with Photoshop! I am now demanding that all photos of me be re-touched! Anyway, you can see some photos from our session on her blog and check out her work, it's really fantastic!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Things I Heart <3 <3 <3

It's time for another installment of things I heart right this very minute. I am heart-ing quite a few things right now but these are the ones that are currently making me happy! Be sure and leave a comment with the things you heart right now!

#1. Charley Harper's ABC's & 123's. I think these books are just fantastic. I love the style and simplicity and killer mid-century modern feeling. I also love that "P" is for Penguin! I would be happy to give them as a baby gift but I would be even more excited to get them for myself! He has a fantastic collection of all different books that you can easily find on Amazon...right here.

#2. So this isn't entirely related to interior design, but it's hysterically fabulous none the less. It's my chicken purse!!! Praise be to my friend Steve who discovered this little treasure! I am in love with this purse and he loves me back. Totally not practicle because it really doesn't hold much and the zipper is only like 6" so getting my hand in and out is enough of a challenge, but he's just so fantastic. I think he needs to be studded with swarovski crystals immediatly.

#3. I was pretty devastated that I was unable to go to the famous Scott's Antique Market this past weekend but I was just too sick to go, plus the weather really wasn't doing me any favors. But I swear I am going next month, it's not an option. One thing I love about events like this is you can find the coolest stuff. Here are some antique chemist's bottles that we somehow came into our possession and I just love them!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009


Typically this term is mostly reserved for the mixing of cocktails--in my world, that makes it all the more appropriate for the mixing of furniture. To me the sort of go hand in hand, I think that's the case for most designers. Different pieces sometimes just speak to me as far as what cocktail needs to be had when you are lounging in different types of seating. Some of the best times and my favorite memories have been over a great bottle of wine with friends, too many cocktails on a girls night out, or toasting a momentous occasion. I am by no means a raging alcoholic nor am telling you to go get these chairs and sit and drink in them.

To me design is all about mixing. I don't like it when things all look shiny and brand new, it looks too much like a furniture showroom when everything is fresh out of the box. It's the mix of elements that is important. Mixing color, texture, materials, that is what makes design interesting and fun. Mixing the unexpected is what keeps it unique and fresh. So that's what this post is about, mixing the unexpected.

The Beverly Chair by Oly Studio ( This chair is just stunning. Beautifully delicate and to me it just calls out for a glass of Champagne & OJ. I would just want to perch here and toast something fabulous while noshing on an amazing brunch. Brunch is my favorite thing to do with my amazing friends and Mimosas are the best part!

Bloody Mary
One of my favorite things to do in the summer is sit on the patio with the girls and have a nice spicy Bloody Mary. The Supernatural Chair by Moroso ( comes in a million fantastic colors, can be used outdoors, can stack for easy storage when not in use, can be wiped clean with Clorox wipes (my personal favorite), and it is extremely comfortable. Please pass the celery.

Dirty Martini
The classic Platner Lounge Chair available through Knoll Studio ( This chair to me just looks so glamorous and makes me wish I had lived in the 60's. This chair is an icon, most commonly seen is the classic dining chair version, but the lounge chair, fully upholstered is just an amazing mix of steel and whatever fabulous fabric your heart desires. A classic dirty martini in my opinion is most appropriate.

Scotch on the Rocks
To me this chair is so wonderfully masculine I feel like it deserves a real man's drink. The Tirup Chair from Ikea ( just has this great shape and weight to it. Visually I can see it in an office or study next to a bar cart that has an amazing scotch collection. Maybe I am just responding to the color but despite the curves there is something about it that is just sexy, like a hot man who knows a good scotch.

Red Wine
Great read wine and a good book (or design magazine) is all I want when it comes to this chair. I am loving the Briar Chair from West Elm ( I just love that the subtle wings and the high back give you a bit of privacy. I must confess I'm not a big reader, but if I were I would sit here. I can imagine resting my head in the corner where the wing meets the back, with an amazing cashmere throw blanket and a great Pino Noir.

Tequila Shots
This is amazing--it's totally unexpected, just like the things that can happen when drinking tequila. The Miss Rio Ottoman available at Design Within Reach ( is all around fantastic, and the fact that it's made from recycled flip flops just makes it even better. I can just see a line of shots, lots of salt and lots of lime, all which would seem totally appropriate!

*Please Drink Responsibly
*None of the above vendors listed support these statements in any way

Monday, March 9, 2009

Salon Style

I have asked several friends to e-mail me with their design questions and dilemmas, thinking this would be a great place to start with this blog. All I have to say is I got some really good questions! Thanks people--and please keep them coming!! Today's question comes from my fantastic friend Bessie and I chose it because I think it's something people always struggle with when they want to hang something on their walls.

"I'm hanging photos/pictures on the wall. I want them to all be various sizes, color vs. black white, etc. How do I do this without looking junky?"

Bessie is talking about hanging artwork/photos/etc. salon style. This is when you take several items and hang them in a large grouping. The desired effect is for it to look like it's happened over time, like a collection of life. It makes a great statement and is easy to do. Here are some of my tips for hanging pieces salon style.

1. Salon Style makes a powerful statement so keep it in an isolated area.

2. For best results keep the frame style, color, or material consistent.

3. Change up the content and color of the subjects. Use photos, pieces of art, black & white or color.

** I personally feel like tips #2 & #3 are interchangeable, as long as there is some element of constancy.**

4. Try sketching it out before hand. It makes the actual hanging a lot easier if you
already have a general idea of where you want pieces to go. (And of course you are not locked into that sketch--just use it as a guide)

5. Not everything has to be the same shape or size, change it up!

6. If you like it, go for it. In the end you are the one who has to look at it every day!

Designer & Architect: Mark Williams Design Associates
Photographer: Lauren Rubinstein

Friday, March 6, 2009

Things I Heart <3 <3 <3

So while I am still figuring out this whole blog thing, I think I want to start a weekly list of things I discover or things I really like right this minute. So for this week's very first installment of "Things I Heart <3 <3 <3" (<--those are hearts) I would like to focus on the following...

Uno - You Don't Know Jacques Nail Polish from O.P.I. I am so in love with all things grey right now it's just awesome. I love this color, it's the perfect taupe-grey-brown-purple mix and it makes me happy. It's Yummy Scrumptious and I have noticed I have been applying that color to a lot of my designs lately.

B - Succulents. I have no idea what species these are or what their real names are, but they are by far my favorite plants. I can kill just about anything. I even killed "Lucky" Bamboo--not kidding--3 stalks, dead in my kitchen. I guess I'm not so lucky. Anyway, I love the colors and textures of these little things. They come in such great greens and purples and sometimes even that great periwinkle blue. These are some that I found and planted in the office. We have had them for about a month now and they are still alive so that's a good thing. I just think they look so good, are so easy to maintain, what more do you want from a plant?

3- Bread? Negative! It's a sponge! I love it! It's hilarious and fantastic, and it totally makes me smile! This is a design by Jaewon Yang and it is available through the MoMa's online store I think it's brilliant and Yummy Scrumptious.

Let me know what you think about the "Things I Heart <3<3<3" this week and maybe send me some suggestions for next week. Have a lovely weekend!!!




I am such a Daddy's girl and totally proud of it! I really miss him all the time because he still lives in California. Today he turns 72, which I think is so crazy! He doesn't look or act his age by any means! He is my best friend and I love him so much. It's been just me and him for almost 15 years now and I feel blessed to have such a wonderful father. I love you Daddy!

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Numero Uno

So I have been thinking about creating a blog for sometime now. I don't know why I decided today would be the day! I feel like the internet plays such a big roll in almost every aspect in my life and I decided that I think I should carve out a little piece of it for myself.

I have been so fortunate and lucky in my career. I have been able to do what I love and make other people happy by doing it. I work at a fantastic firm, Mark Williams Design Associates ( with people I love and work that I enjoy. I have been with Mark for just over 5 years now (for some silly reason he thinks it's only been like 3 years, whatever) and we joke that he is my 9-5 husband. It's totally true though.

My all the time husband is fantastic. He loves me and I love him. He is so supportive of everything I do and he is so proud of me. I am very very lucky. He owns a restaurant in Atlanta, Athens Pizza, which his parents started over 30 years ago. The pizza is so good, it is directly responsible for me gaining 20 pounds when I moved to Atlanta from California. I just can't stop loving it because it's sooo YUMMY SCRUMPTIOUS!

So this is my first blog and that makes me VERY excited! I have also discovered how to add pictures to my blog (so savvy), the one I uploaded today is a picture of some killer orchids that I had in the office a few weeks ago. I love photographing plants & flowers! I am by no means a photographer, but it's something I think is fun to play around with! Anyway, I can't wait to share the things I love and think are really fantastic with the rest of you!