Favorite Book Friday: Inspired Styles by Assouline

Happy Friday! I’m starting a new series which was inspired by my affinity for Interior Design books. Although I have thousands of inspirational images on my computer, there is something about a tangible book I adore. I’ll share my favorites and a few excerpts from each.

Inspired Styles was a swag gift from Kravet’s 2011 Blogfest. The book features a compilation of inspired works by 17 designers including Barbara Barry, Alexa Hampton, Thomas O’Brien, Candice Olson, Windsor Smith, Vicente Wolf and more! The book is a tribute to Cary Kravet’s curiosity of what inspires artists. You will get a sneak peak inside each designer’s mind as they feature their artistic approach to creating unique environments.

Below are works from Allegra & Ashley Hicks

Outdoor Spaces

Speaking of courtyards…a client called needing help with her outdoor space. It was basically a huge empty space, 40′ x 30′.  The challenge was to fill the large space with adequate seating for entertaining. To accomplish this, several things were required:

1. Multiple seating groups

2. Large vertical planters as fillers to avoid clutter and too much furniture

3. Vignettes for symmetry and balance

4. Rugs to define the space

5. Drapes on the cabanna to add a soft texture




Are you able to see the space a little better now? This is simply the scaled elevations next to the floorplan.

In addition to new pieces, we were able to repurpose a few existing furniture pieces! (which is always a plus!)

If you need help with your outdoor space, email us at: stacynaquin@cox.net or visit the website.


Courtyards of Beverly Hills

Spring is here!  I adore beautiful outdoor spaces and thought this would be the perfect place to start my Los Angeles tour from the Design Bloggers Conference. There is nothing like having a tour guide that knows all the hot spots. Thank you Brad Clifford for showing my friends and me around! He introduced us to Formations on Melrose Ave., Jean de Merry & Therien & Co. to name a few.

Notice the scale below…although the courtyard is small, the grand height makes it feel like a massive space.

Even the parking lots are beautiful in Beverly Hills!

If you are looking for more Spring influence for your home, check out these blog posts:  First Signs of Spring, Sail Into Spring, Springtime in Paris, and Spring In Full Swing.

Join me tomorrow for an outdoor space I’m working on!



“A foyer sets the tone… it either builds you up or lets you down.”  -Robert Kime

Coco Chanel Suite at the Ritz Paris

West Hollywood Chamberlain Hotel

During the Design Bloggers Conference, the question was posed: “If you could meet one person dead or alive, who would it be?” Kelly Wearstler was my response. I admire her daring design and attention to detail, and it looks like her protégé, David McCauley, is just as savvy!

My first year out of design school was very challenging, to say the least. I hadn’t traveled much at this point, and Louisiana was painfully traditional (heavy, dark fabrics and furniture that covered every inch, it seemed, of any surface that could possibly be adorned.) I wondered how long I would have to bear these things I secretly detested!? Thank goodness the internet was starting to come into its glory because my date with destiny and introduction to Hollywood Regency would soon follow! At last! A style that was exhilarating and unexpected (and didn’t involve roosters!).

During my visit to L.A., I found so many inspiring stores, landscape, and architecture, that I decided to extend my trip and check-in at the fabulous West Hollywood Chamberlain Hotel. I was enamored with the way David McCauley effortlessly layered bold geometric patterns, mirrors, and pops of color throughout.

Successful design requires repetition of shapes, patterns, and/or color. You can see how he has carried the geometric pattern throughout.

Even the ceiling didn’t go unnoticed.

Notice the repetition of small artwork creating a large impact.

Column details…

I love a beautiful vignette.

Here’s our room:

What a great way to divide the space!

There is only a 1-2 inch step down in the shower. It is subtle but functional, and makes the flooring into the shower look seamless.

Chamberlain’s Bistro designed with Old World Glamour in mind.

The canopy detail diffuses light.

I was able to get a little work done think about which Hollywood celebrity I would run into next on the rooftop pool deck.

I believe the outdoors should be as beautiful as your interiors.

The monogrammed lounge chair covers can be easily removed. Can you see why a designer is never really on vacation? Our minds never rest…I’m taking pictures of terrycloth!

Even our tray paper was glamorous!

What do you think? Are you ready to add a little glamour to your home!?

Thank you Lisa FergusonJennifer Brouwer for so graciously sharing your room!


Design Bloggers Conference 2012 – Los Angeles

Last week I attended the Design Bloggers Conference hosted at the Millennium Biltmore Hotel in Los Angeles. Our meeting room looked like a stage set for The Phantom of the Opera.

Below is the stage that Currey & Co. created for the guest speakers and panelists. They used Tangerine Tango fabric for the settees and gold accents for a luxurious vibe.

There were so many take aways and consistent themes throughout the conference. Here are my top 5:

1. Be unique and laser focused. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard this message in the past year. If you look like everyone else, you simply blend in. Brand yourself, have a message, original content and take a stand! Be authentic – people see through you.

2. Collaborate with people that compliment what you have to offer. Lisa Ferguson of Decor Mentor introduced me to a book titled Strengths Finders 2.0. The author found that many people focus on their weaknesses instead of their strengths. For example, you may be a visionary, but it is merely a dream unless you implement your ideas. This personality trait could benefit from an Activator personality type. You can go to their website, take a 20 minute quiz, and be well on your way to finding the perfect compliment to your life, business, and dreams! Here are my top strengths: Individualization, Activator, Woo, Positivity, Communication. I would love to hear yours!

3. Connect with people through experience, emotion and videos. Harty Wallace of Dirty South Wine tells it perfectly – “If you are making a video about your restaurant, it’s not about the food, it’s not about the place, it’s about the experience in the space.”

4. Be ready and available at a moments notice. Kelley Moore is a celebrity event planner who has been featured on numerous tv shows and published in several magazines. She told us a story that would launch the beginning of her celebrity status career. She went with her intuition, bought a next day plane ticket, and as they say, the rest is history!

5. You have to go out to see things. Bunny Williams started out as a secretary for Parish-Hadley Designs, and continued there for 20 years! She explained how she was able to learn the business side of design and gave aspiring designers the advice I wish someone would have told me a decade ago: Find a designer that you admire, and work for them for many years. From this experience, she was able to meet the best artisans, contractors, workrooms, etc. As for most things, the 80/20 rule applies to our business as well. You only spend a fraction of your time designing, the rest is organization behind the scenes.

The more I travel the world, the more exposure I have to think outside the box. So, in the next few days, I’ll take you on a tour behind my camera lens to see the beautiful things that stop me in my tracks and make my heart sing! Won’t you join me?