Monday, December 31, 2012

2012 Highlights Reel

Here is a look at the posts from this year that gained the most traffic:

5. Little Houses:
Our trek through the South was almost as much fun for you to read about as it was for us to take! The variety of houses and the colorful, textural notes of New Orleans were so appealing!

4. Colours with Sherri:
The details of an awesome color consult with an awesome client. (She is Canadian, if you couldn't tell from the spelling of "colour.") This space, filled with it's new colors, will be light and cozy-the perfect place for this client to relax once it's finished. Can't wait to see how the colors come together when it is all painted!

3. Under the Sink: Doesn't Cut it:
This one surprised me, but I guess y'all have tiny bathrooms that are also in need of maximum storage!

2. Couch Contest:
You guys were either very excited to find out what sofa we ended up with in our place or very eager for prizes! Either way, it was a fun contest, and we are still loving our sofa.

1. In Need of a Floor Plan:
Hardwood floors are not a new trend in homes. In fact they have been around for ages. However, when you change over to hardwoods from carpets, you realize that the carpets had their benefits. So here we talked about the different types of carpet: fiber quality, what is the weave style, etc., and hopefully you learned from this space, which rug would be most suitable for your space.

In other DBK news, we have opened several social media accounts, (Twitter, Facebook and Pintrest) gained a handful of friends and followers on each and have updated some aspects of the website.

Goals for DBK in 2013?

To have enough time to continue posting twice weekly, and hopefully bring that up even more; to grow followers on all fronts--we do try to share useful tips, as well as random design-related thoughts, and I try not to overlap content too much, so if you follow on all fronts you won't have as much doubled or tripled content being blasted at you; and to continue to pass along what we hope is useful info.

Thanks for sticking with us, and we hope you will continue to come back for more.

It has been fun designing in 2012... Happy Designing in the year to come!

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

The Holiday Season

It is coming to an end...

...but not until we ring in the New Year!

But, before we get ahead of ourselves, how was your holiday? Whether you celebrate Christmas or Hannukah, I hope it was filled with joy and spent with those you love. :)

Here are some of the sights from our holiday:

Brown paper packages, tied up with string...A cozy fire (on tv, but apparently the Yule Log is a tradition to watch)...Polar bears in the yard...and my advent calendar, made with love by my Mom.

P's family Christmas Tree

Puppy and the reflection of the lights. 

And even a romp in the snow!

Here's to a fabulous New Year! Hope you enjoyed all of your traditions through the season.

Happy Designing!

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Our Old Hollywood Holiday

This year we themed our Christmas "Old Hollywood Glam" style! Here are some of the details of how it came together. See how you could easily recreate the scene in your home.

First we had to find the tree...
P cut it down & dragged it home!
Dining room before...
Dining room after!

 Here is the spread from our party:

The dessert area: apothecary jars with ornaments & candy, cookies and more.

The Amuse-bouche. 
Champagne/Sparkling-cider bar

A close up of some of the details:

The piece de resistance:

Our 9' Christmas Tree with almost 1,000 lights and strands of cranberries

And the hosts (P & I all glammed up!)
I hope you all have a Merry Christmas, and, to those of you who celebrate Hanukkah, I hope you enjoyed it!

Happy Holidays & Designing!

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

The Big Bad Blogosphere

How does a blogger gain enough popularity to grow their passion into a sustainable profession?

You need to build your audience.

A few months ago, P encouraged me to join Twitter with the goal of doing just that. I'm not sure how much of an audience I'm growing, but I have found myself inspired on a daily basis by those I follow.

Let me share some of my newly discovered blogs to check out:

Decor8 by Holly Becker (@decor8)
Holly Becker is a crafty decor blogger who is currently living in Germany. She has written 2 books, and has good topics, tips, and projects on a regular basis.

Apartment 34 by Erin Hiemstra (@Apartment_34)
Erin Hiemstra lives in a chic little loft in Cali, where she shares tips from what to wear to work or a party, to how to deck out your reading nook. 

and last, but certainly not least: 
Design*Sponge by Grace Bonney (@designsponge)
Design Sponge is comprised of several contributors tips and tricks. The have constant fun and inspiration tunneling through.

I hope you check some of these gals out, and don't forget to follow DBK on Twitter @DesignbyKrystle and share our stories with your friends and followers, (We appreciate it!)

Happy Designing!

Sunday, December 16, 2012


Here is the G Family's living room post-inspiration:

Wall opposite the window. Sofa with new chocolate slip cover, mirror/photo arrangement above.

Window wall, with chairs flanking a console table in front of window and art arranged above.

Vignette near the stairs is in a stepped arrangement to mimic the stairs. 
I like the peaceful color of the green walls, balanced with the dark color of the sofa and leather chairs. I like the colorful pops and focal points that the Tiffany lamps and the floral art works provide. I am very pleased with how this space turned out, and I know that the family is too :)

Happy Designing!

Friday, December 14, 2012


As promised, here is the G family before:

Living Room

The wood paneling from the back room.

The paneling piling up!

The back sitting room, post panel removal.

The covered the painting of the whole house but the living room and back room were two with the biggest transitions.

The "after" will come Sunday! Any fun weekend plans?

Happy Designing!

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Inspired Colors

Over the summer, we had a whole month of inspiration on the blog. Where it comes from and when it can strike. But, how do you funnel that inspiration into a productive use in your life? "Inspired Colors" will become a monthly feature, where you can email me a photo of what is inspiring you, and I will help you figure out how to break it down into a useable color scheme in your home.

Do any of you remember Mrs. G's inspiration fabric?

From her fabric, we were able to not only pic paint colors for the entire home, we were able to discern whether or not to use a light or dark floor stain, what styles/colors of furniture to add where needed, and what direction to go with the accessories in the spaces. 

Here is the scheme that we went with for the colors:

Do you see how they came from the inspiration?

The G's before and afters will be featured this weekend, so be on the lookout to see how all of these suggestions panned out!

And, if you have a photo, outfit, piece of fabric, etc. that inspires you, but you don't know where to go with it, use the email button in the top left, and send it to me. I'd be happy to feature it in a future post!

Happy Designing!

Sunday, December 9, 2012

2013 Color Of the Year!

Have you heard? Earlier this week, my Twitter feed was buzzing with non-stop tweets and retweets of Pantone's 2013 Color of the Year announcement. So here it is:

Emerald Green (17-5641).

What do you think? Are you an immediate fan, already brainstorming ways to use it in your home and wardrobe next year? (That assumes you aren't using it already. After all, it is a jewel tone, which have been all the rage for the past year-plus.)

How does color, or more specifically the colors of current trends, play a role in your day to day life? Do you notice the colors people are wearing or decorating with?

If you look through the above link to Pantone's site, you will see the suggested uses of Emerald in your wardrobe and home accent pieces. Pantone describes the color as energizing & radient, and I agree, it is a beautiful shade of vibrant green. Of course, being from the "emerald city" I may be partial.

Here is a look at this year's color: 

Have you seen a lot of tangerine this year? 

Over the last few years, here is what Pantone has deemed their colors of the years:

I personally like "mimosa" and "blue iris," but they are all very rich beautiful colors. Do any stand out to you? Have you noticed these colors in their year, before or after? Do you pay attention to the presented colors of the year by Pantone, or other color professionals?

*all photos in this post comprised from Pantone. (This is not a sponsored post.)

Happy Designing!

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Fashion :: Interiors

What is the correlation between fashion trends and interior design trends?

This is something that I have often wondered. I wouldn't necessary consider myself a fashionista, but I do follow a few fashion bloggers, and pay attention to their trends.

Fashion trends lead interior trends by a year.

This correlation is something that has always piqued my interest. I want to explore this relationship more through a monthly fashion:interiors post (what do you think about that?). I know some of my dedicated readers follow trends more prominently than I do, what fashion blogs do you follow?

Let me give you an example that you can see now in homes. Last fall and winter, jewel tones became big in the fashion trends. (In fact, I think they are still trendy in some areas of fashion.) Here is an example courtesy of The Style Mogul:

Courtesy of The Style Mogul

Now we see this more and more in this fall and winter season while we swap out throws and pillows to spruce up our home environments. Here is a home example from Rachel Clark Designs:

Courtesy of Rachel Clark Designs

I also wanted to show you this great picture of jewel tones being applied to the holiday scene, courtesy of decoist (Check the decoist link for more holiday scenes!):

Courtesy of decoist

Even in my own living room, we have been implementing more jewel tones. Example: the pop of purple from the bar cart reno, and the new pillows on the sofa. Have you found yourself implementing any fashion trends into your interior space?

Our living room accents: refreshed bar cart (inlaid) & jewel tone pillows.

Happy Designing!

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Work Spaces

Do any of you have a home office?

I have an office space that I do work in from someone else's home, and I have an office space in my home too.

How do you put together a functional office space at home that you can use when you need to, but keep it organized and clean when you don't?

Here is my work space at work:

Here is my work space at home:

I like to have a long, clean work space that I can spread out on when I need to. I like to see everything in my view. But then I like it to neatly come back together and look like a nice clean space otherwise. (Although sometimes it doesn't last for long!)

Things that are important to keep in mind in a home office space:

  • Have a nice work space that is the right size for the work you need to do there.

If you just need a place to sit and use your computer, you can fit your desk in a nice little niche. If you are just going to be paying bills, a small surface will suffice. You may need a larger surface if you are working on drawings, or doing something that requires you to spread out.

  • Have a place to file your bills, paperwork, etc.
  • Give yourself a view, whether it is a view out the window, or an inspiring work of art, you need to have something you like to see at your desk.
  • Personalize your space with family photos.
  • Keep organizational options in your space.
If your office is in a large great room, use a cubical bookcase that extends from floor to ceiling or floor to 6'. Fill the first 3' from the floor with your office things, and the next three feet with nicnacs, photos, etc. This will give you the organizational function that you need while still allowing the room to feel open.

If your space won't allow for shelving around, have other options. Our filing cabinet has one drawer for files, and then 3 smaller drawers for storage. Most desks will also have a drawer or two below the surface space that can be utilized for your office accessories. And in our office space at home, the cabinet that holds our printer, has ample space for storage in it. 

Don't be afraid to use a fun upholstered chair instead of your traditional office chair but make sure it is comfortable for you to sit in for longer periods if you are someone that uses your desk all day.

Do you do any work from home? What key features of your space could you not live without?

Happy Designing!

Wednesday, November 28, 2012


Welcome to the first of many Q&A's with DBK. If you have a design problem you would like to submit, I will post on reader questions, or questions that people ask me while I'm out and about. I hope that this series helps get you some answers and makes you feel more comfortable submitting comments and questions on the blog.

Since we just talked about holiday parties on Sunday, I thought I would take this question on hosting a gingerbread house party:

I'm hosting a holiday party as a community event in one of the community buildings. The party will be to make and decorate gingerbread houses, and as it is in a community building we won't be able to put anything up on the walls. How do you suggest we decorate to get people in the holiday spirit, while still allowing ample space for food and making the gingerbread houses?

After a few email exchanges, I learned that the space has some chalk boards and will have a long row of tables with food set out buffet style. There will be tables in the middle for gingerbread house work-stations. And there will be a table with extras to decorate the houses, etc.

Here are some suggestions to add to the festive environment, while getting across the theme:

1. Use big block letters, to write "How to make a gingerbread house" on the chalkboard, with a few simple instructions below to get people started. (i.e.: using the icing, connect the pieces of your house, and give them a layer of "snow"; using the various pieces of candy, create shingles, windows, doors, a walkway or other festive decor...etc.) Make a simple depiction of a house and a gingerbread man & woman below.

2. On the extras table, put down a layer of quilt batting below the the bowls of toppings to make it look like a snowy winter wonderland. Doing this on the food table or the work-station areas will get in the way of the function of those tables, so just a plain white table cloth will do on the other spaces.

3. Using a 3" wide ribbon in silver/white with sparkles, tie a ribbon around the base of the back of the chairs where the back meets the seat. Measure the distance from the seat to the floor, and multiply by 4, then tie a bow with this length. You don't want the ribbon to drag the ground, but you do want it to hang just above the floor.

Using things such as a white or silver ribbon, and white quilting batting & table cloths will help with a winter/holiday theme, without being too specific to any religious holiday.

What do you think? Will these ideas make a cold space feel more festive? Would you want to attend this fun gingerbread house party?

If you have a question you would like to submit for a future DBK Q & A, click on the email link on the  right side of the page (the orange button with the envelope) or comment on any post.

Happy Designing!

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Holidays with an Old Hollywood Glam Twist

This year, P and I are hosting our first annual holiday party for family and friends. I thought it would be fun to have a theme to make it more fun and I came up with Old Hollywood Glam.

The holiday season is one of my favorite times of year. Growing up, Christmas was about being with our loved ones and all of the merriment that goes along with the festivities.

So to add a bit of sparkle and glamor to our season, I thought Old Hollywood Glam would be perfect.

The colors: Black, gold, and red, with hints of evergreen represented in the tree and the garland.

In our apartment, we have a big kitchen/dining/living/great room. so we will divy up the space through the food and beverage areas to help spread things out. Instead of having everything buffet style on the dining table, we will have the hors d'oeuvres on the dining room table, the drinks set up on the kitchen peninsula, and the desserts laid out on the desk.

I wish I could draw you a map to make it more clear, but imagine our great room shaped like an "L." The front door is at the far end of the L so you would walk right into the kitchen peninsula, then take a left by the dining room table and a right to go to the desserts at the top of the L. Spreading the different foods out will help circulate the guests throughout our space.

Each area will have a few pieces that give a nod to the Old Hollywood Glam theme. Another idea someone suggested that will help move the guests through the space is give them an ornament as they walk in to let them hang on the tree. It's a nice idea to let your guests help decorate, and it adds to the holiday cheer.

Here are some of the decor items that I have purchased already to emphasize the theme:

Tree & clear apothecary jar from HomeGoods; Candelabra, gold tray & amber apothecary jar from Pier 1.

Festive ornaments will fill the apothecary jars, there will be candles glowing in a multitude of clear and gold holders throughout the space, flutes of champagne and sparkling cider will be served on the gold trey and the gold tree will be adorned with wine charms for people to mark their glasses with.

The holiday season is officially upon us! Are you throwing or going to any holiday parties? Need help with the festive decor, let me know, I'd love to be of assistance!

Happy Designing!

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

How to Trim Your Tree, Like a Pro

Thanksgiving is tomorrow and a lot of families will cut down their trees this weekend. It's a great tradition: while you are in family mode for Thanksgiving, just go get your tree to kick off the holiday season!

When do you guys start getting out your holiday decorations?

There are ways to decorate your tree to make it look look more dimensional and full, so here are some tricks from Martha Stewart that might help.

Photo courtesy of Martha Stewart.

Once you get your tree to stand up straight, add the lights, then ornaments and finally the topper. Here is how to add the lights Martha Stewart style:

1. Starting at a bottom bough, string lights along the underside of each branch. When you get near the end, loop lights around the top of the branch.
2. Work back to the tree trunk, winding around branch and light strand. Continue around the tree. Reverse the procedure on upper branches (or those above eye level of an average adult), stringing lights first along the top, then back around bottom.

Adding the lights in this fashion will show the depth of your tree and make it look more full.

The next trick is how to get your ornaments to stay on the branch so you don't have to deal with them slipping around and falling:

Suspend ornaments from tinned copper wire instead of manufacturer-provided hooks, which can slip off branches, causing breakage. To make your own hangers, thread a 5-inch piece of wire through the ornament loop; twist the wire around itself several times to secure. To hang, wrap the other end of the wire around the branch until the ornament is secure.

This is a little more complicated than just putting them up, but it will guarantee that your ornaments will stay in place!

Now you can also come up with a theme for your tree and put out ornaments that coordinate with that theme. However, sometimes it is fun to have ornaments from trips that you have taken, or that your kids have made, etc., and in that case, keep it simple and don't worry about a theme.

If you click on the above link to the article, you will find a lot more on how to not only decorate your tree like a pro, but also how to photograph it, so check that out for some more great tips.

It is getting to be that time of the year, what are your holiday traditions?

Happy Designing and Happy Thanksgiving!

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Colours with Sherri

A few weeks ago, I met with Sherri at her new home to discuss painting over the colors.

During the color consult (or as Sherri would write, colour consult), we talked about the flow of the space, went over some inspiration photos, and discussed Sherri's overall style.

Sherri felt that her space was very disjointed and she wanted to pull it together to make it feel seamless. Like the rooms were really supposed to flow into each other. But most importantly she wanted to make it feel like she was living in her home.

So what did we do? I loved working with Sherri, she was actually a very easy client. She didn't know where to start, but with some guidance, she discovered what style and colors really spoke to her. After discussing her inspiration images from her homework assignment, we got started with her space.

The colors were bold, and varied wildly throughout her home. Here is a look at the "problem areas" inside:

Kitchen in red.

Dining room in shades of sea-foam green.

Bathroom in buttery yellow.

Main Bedroom in white-washed blue undertones
Sherri seems to favor shades of blue and green, in serene spa-like tones, she likes simple, yet classic furnishings. I would say her style is sleek-traditional-cozy.

She spent the last week painting swatches on 12"x12" foam core boards, and viewing them throughout the space. Here is the suggested scheme (all Benjamin Moore Paints):

From Left to Right: The Kitchen will be the third color down on the first strip, Harbour Town #493.

The Dining Room wainscoting will be painted the top of the second strip, Polar Frost #1506, with the rest of the room accented in the fifth down on the third strip: Baffin Island #243.

The Bathroom will be the third down on the forth strip, Grecian Green #507.

The primary bedroom color will be third down on the fifth strip, Pleasant Valley #696, with an accent wall in the 4th down on the last strip: del Mar Blue #704.

All of the painted trim in Sherri's home will be refreshed with Super White white.

I think the colors will flow nicely into one another and will give Sherri's space the makeover that will really feel like home.

Here is a close up of the swatches Sherri has painted and taped up on the walls:

Kitchen: Harbour Town #493

Dining Room: Baffin Island (#243) & Polar Frost (#1506)

Bathroom: Grecian Green (#507)

Bedroom: del Mar Blue (#704) & Pleasant Valley (#696)
What do you think? Are you a fan of Sherri's new scheme? I can't wait to see it when it is finished. In the meanwhile, Sherri and I will be working out furniture plan for her living room, and finding new pieces to fill in where need be.

Happy Designing!