Home makeover by interior designer Thom Filicia!


Home Makeover

This post is an oldie (but a goodie).  Being that I’m insanely busy right now I felt a throwback was in order. Real Simple and Chase Blueprint awarded one very lucky winner a $20,000 home makeover by the wonderful Thom Filicia!  That lucky winner of the contest, “Blueprint to a Beautiful Home” was Stephanie Gayol Phillipou of Mountainside, NJ.

The Philipou’s moved into their home December 2011 and had to start preparing for new baby, leaving no time to add their personal style to the home.

Check out her home’s amazing transformation!


What’s amazing to me is how their home looks barely lived in, it was in major need of some character!


The blue paint is so refreshing.



I’m really loving upholstered dining chairs these days, it makes the space elegant and comfortable.


The bedroom and living room are a great study in how to mix patterns. The rug and comforter are in a neutral gray, which makes it easy to add pattern and color without worrying about clashing. The smoky lavender walls are restful, and the global accents remind the Phillipou’s of their safari honeymoon in South Africa.
As always, Filicia did an amazing job.  What do you think of this transformation?

You can see and read more about the transformation in the December 2012 issue of Real Simple.

Small bathroom ideas: Make your tiny bathroom gorgeous AND functional!


Small bathroom ideas

I think it’s just my fate to always have a small bathroom.  Even the master bathroom in our home is small, even for a regular bathroom….  We make do though, and the best solution I’ve found is to use vertical space to create storage options.  We have a cabinet installed over the toilet, and the towel rods are installed on the back of the door.  Here are some more small bathroom ideas :
You can find cubbies and shelves in all sizes nowadays, and don’t overlook even the narrowest sliver of wall as a possibility for storage. If you can maintain a clean organized look with your items out in the open, open shelves will be fine.  If not, look for cabinets with sliding doors or drawers.
If you have a little extra space that you can put in a built in, that’s always the way to go if you can  swing it. This space looks especially sophisticated because the crisp lines of the toilet really matches the style of the moulding and shelves.

I really like all of the artwork in this bathroom. The shelves our great too – just make sure they aren’t deeper than the toilet tank or it could make visits to it a bit uncomfortable!
I wouldn’t use the built-in shelves in this bathroom for books – but the bathroom sure looks cute!

LOVE the perfume shelf!

Bathroom storage
Making use of the storage you already have may be the best solution! adding a shelf to your door and finding the right storage accessories for your under the sink space can add a ton of storage solutions if you are lacking any extra square footage.
Organizing junkies will love these little stick-on bins…myself included!
Do you have any tricks up your sleeve for creating storage space in a small bathroom?

via Ikea, via Pinterest via myparadissi.com, via Cuded, via Pinterest, via Cuded, via Pinterest, via Buzzfeed

Wall Inspiration: Walls that Make A Statment


Wall Inspiration

Lately my eyes have been drawn to some great rooms that are making a statement and I am loving it! Whether they are bold, classy, or just downright elegant, it is nice to see someone take a chance and make something beautiful out of it.

This wallpaper would not be an immediate first choice for me but it definitely does make you stop and stare! Seeing it in this room really makes me love it more!
A wall of windows is always eye-catching. The bold choice of black makes it stand out even more and I think it was a great choice.
Another non traditional wall paper in a room you wouldn’t expect! Since bathrooms are small I tend to do with less is more in these areas but since the wallpaper has a lot of white space it really works here! I also like the simplicity of the color scheme.
stunning headboard / eclectic bedroom
via houzz
Upholstery tacks are often seen on furniture, seeing it as a wall decor statement is something I’ve never considered.

What about painting the trim to match the walls?
via Pottery Barn

Or making a small space really pop with a graphic wallpaper?
via Martha O’Hara

Do you have a different idea for a wall statement?

Light airy house: Tour this home full of gorgeous antiques


House Tour

This light airy house is so subtly glamorous and elegant, but the classic furniture in tougher textures keeps the place kid friendly…



The desk and chair are such a great pair but I never would have thought of putting them together


so pretty…


Event the breakfast table is elegant, but doesn’t look too fragile or dainty


The table and chairs are perfect


This home was designed by Sasha Adler and Lauren Gold of Nate Berkus Interiors.
via Trad Home

Handcrafted furniture – beauty, quality, and history


One of my favorite local artists is furniture maker Scott Alan Ewine. I was lucky enough to find him years ago when I was looking for a handmade, live edge coffee table.  He’s still busy in his Frederick, MD studio making gorgeous tables from locally-sourced wood.  Check out his latest masterpiece below.

Isn’t this white oak table gorgeous?  Another great aspect of his work it that he knows the story behind the wood that he uses.

About the table

This large white oak tree, almost 200 years old, had to come down as part of the new overpass being built on US 15 on the north side of Frederick.  The tree was taken down in July 2015 and has since been cut into slabs and kiln dried and has yielded over 30 nice slabs up to 40″ wide and over 11″ long.  I have started working through the stack and have made some large dining tables with turquoise inlaid in the natural voids in the wood.

You can see more of Scott Alan Ewine’s work, as well as contact him, on his website.