Spitting on your finger to hang the perfect artwork? Stuffing pillows that are too big into covers for the perfect fit? Stacks on stacks on stacks of coffee table book? Yes, yes and yes! These finishing touches make the room! Over the past 20+ years, I’ve collected seven of my favorite and today I’m revealing them to you. 


1. Buy Coffee Table Books You Love

One of the very best tips I have is to splurge on coffee table books you’re drawn to. They are super useful for adding dimension and height to coffee tables, console tables and bookshelves. Stack them, lean them, even open them and you’ve instantly elevated your design. Using topics you love (gardens, photography, you name it) or places you’ve traveled is the perfect way to inject a bit of personality into your room. Want to really take it up a notch? Have some of your favorite family photos made into a custom coffee table book.

perfect tabletop vignette with books {pursuit of style}


beautiful coffee table styling {the zhush}


these books help ground smaller brass items {swoonworthy}


two books stacks {ceresbr1}


the more the merrier {domino}



2. Create Your Own Paint Color

Can’t settle on the perfect color for your room? Love your sample but fear it’s too dark? Create your own color by having the paint store cut the color you love by half or a third. It will give you the same color, but with less intensity. Bonus, no one else will have it and you can name it whatever you’d like!

benjamin moore “sleigh bells” at 50% {studio mcgee}


sleigh bells sample {benjamin moore}


sleigh bells at full strength, maybe a little darker than you want {your design nest}



3. Layer Rugs

Rugs can be expensive, like super expensive. A perfect alternative to breaking your budget is to layer a smaller version of the pricey rug you have your eye on, ON TOP OF a less expensive rug. A basic sisal rug can be found very moderately priced and serves a a rich, textural backdrop for a more “statement” piece. Think large, solid, inexpensive as the base rug and smaller, richer, even trendier as the top layer. The result is stunning and something you don’t see everywhere.

this inexpensive dhurrie rug looks great overtop of an inexpensive sisal {decorpad}


a rich zebra painted cow hide stuns overtop of a basic sisal {kate jackson}


a natural cowhide livens up this basic seagrass rug {domino}



4. Buy Your Pillow Inserts One Size Larger Than Your Cover

No one wants a wimpy pillow. You know the kind; lifeless, pathetic and downright distracting. Purchase the pillow insert the next size up and you’ve instantly given the pillow (and room, really) a makeover. For example, for a 20″ pillow cover, I use a 22″ insert. A 18″ cover gets a 20″ insert and so on. While your at it, splurge on a down or synthetic down fill. Full, down pillows are one of the easiest ways to revive a room!

the proof {domestic imperfection}


plump pillow perfection {dimples and tangles}


perfect pillows {lynn morgan}



5. To Hang Artwork, Use Your Eye and Hand Height

It can be scary to hang the piece of artwork you love on big, bare wall.  Hanging it over a fireplace or a piece of furniture you love isn’t any easier. Too high or too low really cheapens the piece and the room overall. My rule of thumb, if hanging on a bare wall, is to hold the piece in front of you so that the CENTER of the art is AROUND your eye level, then go up just a smidge. Scientific, I know, but it works every single time. 🙂 The rule of thumb when hanging over a piece of furniture or fireplace is to use the WIDTH of your HAND(S) for the correct spacing above. Just place your hand sideways, then place the other on top (sideways) and you have the perfect spacing somewhere in-between the first and second hand. No measuring! Once you’ve settled on the height, lick your finger, slide your hand up, feel for the wire behind and tap on the wall where you want the nail to go. Gross, I know, but it saves a whole lot of measuring. Just don’t tell anyone what you did, it’ll be our little secret.

hung at eye level center and looks perfect! {the decorista}


another center eye level {better home and gardens}


umm, this is too high {social survival}


hand width above a fireplace, works for mirrors too {traditional home}


tory burch’s home, art hung perfectly above the mantle {tory burch}



6. Keep High, High and Low, Low

When you’re putting together the perfect tabletop vignette, it’s hard to know what to put where. Stacking items on books and choosing frames to use? It’s overwhelming. Keeping the taller pieces “high” and the shorter pieces “low” will create an interesting, layered display. For example, start with a tall lamp, then keep your books low, add a frame in the middle and you have an interesting flow. If you had chosen a shorter lamp, stacked your books up too high and selected a frame around the same height, you’d end up with one level throughout, which isn’t nearly as interesting.

nice flow, high to the sides and low in the center {the pink clutch}


vignette perfection! high to the left, low to the right {mimosa lane}


all one height, could look much better with varying heights {vanity fair}



7. Add Dimmers EVERYWHERE

What’s cheap and will instantly transform your entire home? Dimmers! I don’t want to oversell this, but they are literally life changing. Literally. 🙂 Adding dimmers to your main living areas will completely transform the space, I promise. Harsh, overly lit rooms suddenly become soft, candlelit looking spaces. I actually suggest having them everywhere, like in every single room.  Don’t believe me? Try just one and see what you think. You can go with a basic version, fancy smart versions, or even one made just for lamps. It’s super easy to switch out your current old-school switches for new dimmers. You can get them at Lowes, Home Depot or even order them online and it takes under 10 minutes. Home Depot has a quick tutorial here.

warm ambience in this dining room {ownby design}


dimmers allow for softer lighting here {leviton}


what a dimmer looks like, in case you didn’t know 😉 {elemental led}

And a handy dandy pin for your Pinterest boards!


Well, there you have it. Seven designer secrets that I just had to share. Do you think you might try one? Do you have any tips or tricks to share? I would love to hear them, please comment below!



Mother’s Day is right around the corner (May 9th) and brunch is always a big hit with the Mom crowd. Steal one of these seven amazing looks to impress. Using basics you already have (white plates, clear glasses, etc.) you can easily add a few pieces and mimic these stunning tabes. Many use fabric right from the store as tablecloths…not even hemmed…shh, it’ll be our secret. 🙂  Be sure to click on the links below each photo and go directly to the items!


1. This hot pink and orange ikat tablecloth, offset with light blue glasses, looks amazing!

source | tablecloth fabric | light blue glasses | fabric napkins | pink chairs


2. Blue and white creates a fresh, clean look for this Mother’s Day brunch, paired with rattan.

source | rattan charger plates | bamboo silverware | rattan wine bottle holder | fabric for tablecloth



3. Does your Mom love Lilly Pulitzer? She’ll fall for this Palm Beach inspired table!

source | gold charger plates |Lilly Pulitzer fabric for tablecloth | green salad plates



4. Tory Burch’s table is a classic in white and blue, mixed with dark wicker.

source | chinoiserie fabric for tablecloth | centerpiece | blue hobnail glasses | plates



5. Magenta, orange and blue work together in this perfect Chinoiserie table

source | oval placematspink chinoiserie fabric for tablecloth| plates

pink & gold polka dot fabric napkins | centerpiece ginger jar



6. Blue and white are classic for a reason! This table setting is gorgeous.

source | royal blue & white striped fabric | blue hydrangeas

blue & white plates



7. I saved my favorite for last! Kelly green, navy and magenta create a vibrant table here.

source | napkins | glass vase | large blue ginger jar | cobalt blue glasses | green fabric for tablecloth


There you have it! Seven beautiful tables you can recreate for your Mother’s Day brunch this year. Do you think you’ll try any?

Here’s a handy dandy pin for your Pinterest boards!


As promised in my Selecting Cabinets blog post, next up is Selecting Countertops! After all, our gorgeous cabinets would be nothing without something equally beautiful to sit on top of them!

I knew from the start that I wanted marble in the Kitchen…crisp, fresh, white marble.  I know, I know…marble is “challenging”, but I want what I want. With all of the options out there, let’s take a look at them.

Not what we selected, but isn't this GORGEOUS?

*If you’re just joining us, this is another installment of a series documenting the building of our personal dream home.  So far we’ve tackled: Inspiration | Floorplan | Location | Breaking Ground | Roofing | Windows | Insulation | Sheetrock & Plaster  | Selecting Paint Selecting Flooring | Selecting Bathtubs | Selecting Lighting | Selecting Fans | Selecting Cabinets | Powder Room Reveal

Considering Materials

First up, let’s consider all of the different materials available. If you’ve recently undergone a bathroom or kitchen reno you will understand what I mean when I say the choice is VAST. There’s so many different options and even when you’ve decided on the material itself there are even more options to look through. The choices are typically between: granite, marble, solid surface (like Quartz or Quartzite)


Granite countertops are very common and generally very hard wearing. It’s very hard to make a scratch or dent in granite countertops and they basically last forever. From a cost point of view granite countertops are a good middle ground depending on the fabricator you use. Here, in Florida, they are EVERYWHERE and I know I wanted something different. I use Absolute Black granite a lot for clients and it’s my go to if using granite.


Gorgeous and hard to maintain…that’s marble. Marble is more expensive than granite countertops but the natural veining of the material really adds a “wow factor” to any space. You can’t fake it with a faux version, so don’t even try in my humble opinion. Marble countertops are less durable than granite so they can be scratched, etched and stained more easily than granite if it’s not sealed correctly. Acidic substances like red wine and oils can stain the material easily if the seal is worn off or done incorrectly. It’s not easy to live with, but it’s worth it…kind of like me!

Solid Surface

Solid surface countertops (Quartz and Quartzite) are still relatively new to the industry. They are made from bonding natural stone together with resin or acrylic. Quartz itself is one of the most durable materials on the planet so these countertops are fantastic for professional chefs and those with busy families. Often solid surface countertops come with an extremely long warranty (some products are lifetime warranties – always check before investing!) and that coupled with the durability of the material makes them very expensive!

I love you, but I can't afford you

Making a Decision

I knew I wanted white marble in the Kitchen and then work everything else off of that. I know, marble is tricky…it stains, it etches, it scratches…but as I’ve said, I want what I want.

Considering 3 of our 5 kids have moved out, things are quieter and the need for a “hard as nails” countertop material isn’t as high of a priority as it was in the past. The open Kitchen of this home is the center where everyone will gather. I’d rather live with a little etching and get to have what I love each and every day. Granite and Quartz just won’t give me that and I’ll use them elsewhere in the home. The Kitchen calls for white marble.

Now it’s time to select them! Time for an 8 hour round trip drive to the stoneyard!

Stone Yard Visit

I cannot stress the importance of a stone yard visit enough! 4 hours  south to Naples to select? No problem! We also went north 2 hours to Jacksonville. All totally worth it!

Photos online are just not the same as seeing a slab in person at a stone yard. When you go to a stone yard you can choose the exact slab that will be put in your kitchen or bathroom, not to mention that it’s a fun trip out!

My daughter came with me to the stone yard, along with some samples from the house so we could have a look at multiple finishes side by side to make some decisions.

Following on from the decision on marble, I knew that if marble was the choice then it would have to be a Carrara or Calacatta marble but I needed to see them in person to check the tones of the veining details.

Here’s what we saw!

Pretty, but too swirly...
Too gray
Carrara...pretty but too gray
Nice to see 2 options side by side

Seeing this photo above from the trip really emphasises the importance again of going to see stone slabs at a yard – you just wouldn’t see the natural beauty of this slab from a photo online!!

Are you ready to see what we selected?!

The Chosen Slabs!

So with Carrara or Calacatta being the top two to look out for in the stone yard, unfortunately most of the Carrara slabs we saw looked far too gray and didn’t really work with the samples from the house. They were all beautiful slabs but I was looking for something with warmer tones to it.

We then came across this Calacatta Gold slab… And I instantly fell in love! It’s the perfect marble with all the veins and detailing that I was looking for, and the warmer tones of the veins is perfect for the house.

Calacatta Gold in the warehouse with the selections

And then I was able to choose the slabs for the kitchen… The biggest area we need stone for as we have the large island. I needed 4 slabs for the Kitchen and Master Bath and they had it. Perfect!

The slabs used for the kitchen

Kitchen Install

Once the slabs were chosen at the stone yard I booked the guys in to template the kitchen and bathrooms for the marble. This step in the process can seem quite slow but it’s crucial to getting the perfect fit!

I am so in love with our kitchen island now we have the amazing marble countertops!!

Some detail shots of the corner detailing to match the furniture style cabinets…

Bathroom Selections

For the bathrooms I kept the same Calacatta Gold marble for our Master. It’s an ideal way to save a little bit on the slab cost.  I then used a remnant of Carrara for my daughter’s bath. We mitered the edge to create  a thicker look.  All of them are relatively neutral and this marble works really well with these finishes that have been selected already.

Here’s an install photo from my daughter’s bathroom.

For 2 bathrooms I chose to use Quartz for the countertops…the pool bath and my son’s bathroom. The reason for this is  two fold….durability and color. The pool bath will be used heavily during the Summer, and my son is still relatively young so it’s better to go for a material with a great deal of durability! Plus quartz offers a solid white-white option, which is what I had in mind for both spaces. The Pool Bath will have some crazy wallpaper and I wanted a solid white to offset it.



My takeaways for selecting countertops are this:

-Research online to see what you like. Look closely at all of those pretty Pinterest boards you’ve made and I’ll bet there are some commonalities

-Be really realistic with yourself about what’s important to you. If etching and staining will drive you crazy, marble is not the choice for you. If having a natural material is important to you, quartz is not the choice for you. Accept the materials for what they are.

-Narrow down your options, get a quote and then visit some stoneyards. Yes, they are probably far. Yes, it will probably take up your Saturday. Yes, you will probably end up making a few trips. But it’s TOTALLY worth it, I promise.

I hope this post has given you an insight into the decision making process of deciding on the countertops for our dream home! I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments!

It’s here!! The first reveal for our dream home! I’m starting the reveals small, and we will build it up as more of the rooms get finished but today I’m going to share with you my new Powder Room and how I designed this small, yet beautiful space. It all started with a piece of art I loved and no windows. All of the items I used are linked at the bottom of the post.

*If you’re just joining us, this is another installment of a series documenting the building of our personal dream home.  So far we’ve tackled: Inspiration | Floorplan | Location | Breaking Ground | Roofing | Windows | Insulation | Sheetrock & Plaster  | Selecting Paint Selecting Flooring | Selecting Bathtubs | Selecting Lighting | Selecting Fans | Selecting Cabinets | Selecting Paints

Inspiration for the Design

The bathroom is small, like super small, and has no windows. Bummer. I knew it would be dark and decided not to fight it.  I wanted to do something really bold here… so I decided to embrace it all and go dark with a rich color, like a little jewel box.

So with a dark aesthetic in mind, I actually found a painting that I fell in love with and based the whole design around it…

From this beautiful deep blue horse painting I decided to go for a deep navy paint color and settled on Benjamin Moore Hale Navy. It’s a rich and deep dark navy that is sophisticated and striking making it perfect for the powder room!

The paint was used on the walls, trim and even the inside of the door to really highlight the fact that the powder room is a jewel box!

The Design Details

With the base color decided I then started looking for a vanity unit that would work in the space. There wasn’t much out there as stock items that I really loved, so I ended up buying an inexpensive nightstand and cut a sink into. I love how this looks in the space because the curves of the nightstand offset the straight lines of the wall paneling.

For the faucet, I wanted to make the rest of room color “pop” so I chose brass classic style faucet. It was super cheap and looks super amazing! I matched the toilet paper holder and towel bar to it as well.. Gotta love Build.com!

The light fixture was a major player too! It’s stunning and gives the whole room a richness. Hudson Valley really makes the most interesting and impactful fixtures. I love the slightly oversized scale in this room.

Hudson Valley's LATHAM fixture

I also decided to mirror the whole wall above the vanity instead of a wall mounted one because the space is SO small! It made sense to mirror the whole width of the wall as a focal point and to make the room feel bigger.

The flooring is an inexpensive stock option… I knew I wanted something funky in here on the floor so patterned tiles was the best way to go!


To finish the space off with styling pieces, I went with a potted orchid to add a fresh and light accent. This dresses the vanity nightstand perfectly, alongside one of my favorite candles and a monogrammed towel the other side of the sink. Anything more in this space it would have looked too crowded because of the size. Keeping it simple in small spaces goes a long way.

The Finished Space!

Here are some more photographs of the finished space… I’m so happy with how it’s turned out!

And shop the items below:

Painting | Paint Color | Flooring |Nightstand/Chest | Ceiling Light | Faucet | Orchid | Candle | Monogrammed Towel

Painting | Paint Color | Flooring |Nightstand/Chest | Ceiling Light | Faucet | Orchid | Candle | Monogrammed Towel



Choosing paint can be one of the trickiest things to do in any home! Color, type, finish, brand… there are a ton of things to consider. When it came to selecting paint for our new dream home I knew it wasn’t going to be easy.

Luckily, I’ve always preached a little system I created years ago, for a fool proof way of selecting paint! It’s an 5-step process which I’m going to share with you all today in the context of how I chose the paint colors for my new house.

*If you’re just joining us, this is another installment of a series documenting the building of our personal dream home.  So far we’ve tackled: Inspiration | Floorplan | Location | Breaking Ground | Roofing | Windows | Insulation | Sheetrock & Plaster  | Selecting Paint Selecting Flooring | Selecting Bathtubs | Selecting Lighting | Selecting Fans | Selecting Cabinets

My Paint Color Selecting System

So this is my infamous paint color selecting system for selecting a main interior color.

  1. Inspiration – Find your inspiration and research it
  2. Chips -Narrow it down to a handful of colors and grab some chips from the paint store
  3. Actual Paint – Buy sample cans of your favorites and put them up on the wall
  4. Live With It – Narrow it down to 2 or 3 and paint a large area of each
  5. Commit – Make your choice and never look back!

Now we can have a look at each of these points in relation to my home so you can see it happening first hand.

Step 1: Inspiration

I knew what I wanted, I just wasn’t sure how to get there. I wanted fresh, clean, light and bright…but not white. We have a ton of beautiful moulding and trim work that I wanted to showcase with contrasting wall and trim colors, so white-white wasn’t going to cut it. I already had a ton of images saved on my Pinterest boards. A quick look shows some commonalities.

A snapshot of my ever-growing Pinterest boards for inspiration

So, then I narrowed it down and looked at a few rooms to dig into and a few colors to consider. Yes, screens alter the color, but you can get a sense of how it will look overall before you dive into the actual samples.

Step 2: Chips

Next up, let’s look at a few actual paint chips.


In my practice I use large foam paint boards for clients, so I pulled out those that corresponded, also.   I put them in one of the rooms to look at, then switched up their order.

Paint Colors Considered

These are the paint colors I considered for the house…

  • Natural Choice SW7011 by Sherwin Williams
  • Shoji White SW7042 by Sherwin Williams
  • Classic Gray OC-23 by Benjamin Moore
  • Oyster White SW7637 by Sherwin Williams
  • Heron’s Plume SW6070 by Sherwin Williams
  • Ivory Lace SW7013 by Sherwin Williams

Step 3: Actual Paint

I then narrowed down my choices, bought some little sample paint cans from my local store and put them up on the wall. This is a really important thing to do because the lighting in each house can vary a lot due to sunlight.

Then, I put them on an adjacent wall to see how the light changed them.

starting from top left to right, then bottom left to right

  • Natural Choice SW7011 by Sherwin Williams
  • Shoji White SW7042 by Sherwin Williams
  • Classic Gray OC-23 by Benjamin Moore
  • Oyster White SW7637 by Sherwin Williams
  • Heron’s Plume SW6070 by Sherwin Williams
  • Ivory Lace SW7013 by Sherwin Williams

From seeing the different paint colors in various lights (from painting squares on two different facing walls) I could start making decisions to narrow the selection down even further.

Step 4: Live With It

I’m starting to see a few favorites here, so let’s dive in a little deeper to those. I painted an entire corner out in one and added the flooring selection (which is GORGEOUS) and the cabinet and tile colors. It’s looking good!

Make sure you buy sample paint cans in the finish you intend to use if you can. Believe it or not – the color of the paint can change depending on the finish you choose. Don’t believe me? Check out my previous post on Why Sample Cans are Probably Messing You Up.

I think you have to be very aware that that the little sample cans are likely NOT what you are going to be painting in. It’s totally worth it to go ahead and buy a quart or even gallon of the EXACT paint you plan to choose, before you decide on the final color. Most people do not use Satin for walls, so you will likely need to do this.

This is the larger paint can vs. standard sample paint…

I couldn’t believe how different the paint color looks with the two different finishes!!!

Let’s Talk About Finishes

Now that we’re talking about finish…what exactly are the finishes available?

Flat (Matte): No shine at all. Perfect for for low traffic areas like living rooms and bedrooms, as well as ceilings. It’s my go to every time.

Eggshell: Has a tiny bit of shine and is a good choice for moderate traffic areas such as living rooms.

Satin: Has a bit more shine and works well in high traffic areas. It is also super wipeable which is why it is perfect for kids, kitchens and bathrooms.

Semi-Gloss: Shiny but not glass-like. This is what you should use on cabinets and trim.

Hi-Gloss:  Shiny! This gives an almost glass-like finish and is perfect for high use surfaces or furniture.

I stick with FLAT personally because I love the matte finish.

Step 5: Commit! Our Final Selection

What did we ultimately decide on? We decided to tweak some of the standard colors and create a “custom color”. I like to call it Evans Greige. It’s the perfect balance of gray and beige without any harsh blue undertones. It’s the perfect warm neutral. It’s very light, which will be new to us in our personal home, but is just what I want. The white cabinet door contrasts with it nicely, which is perfect! What do I use for trim? I’m using white cabinets in the Kitchen and I typically color match them for the trim throughout. This is going to be perfect!

We decided to go with Sherwin Williams Duration paint in the Flat finish. It is perfect!

If you’re interested in the exact formula I ultimately decided on, please click here where it is available for purchase ($29). 🙂 Feel free to pin.

Let’s talk cabinets! We are nearing closer to wrapping up the building process of our dream home! Last time I shared the selecting ceiling fans process with you, and today I want to share what was a huge decision process for me – Selecting Cabinets. This includes the kitchen cabinets and those being fitted in the bathrooms throughout the home too. So how did we choose all the cabinets for an entire home? Let’s walk through the process together!

*If you’re just joining us, this is another installment of a series documenting the building of our personal dream home.  So far we’ve tackled: Inspiration | Floorplan | Location | Breaking Ground | Roofing | Windows | Insulation | Sheetrock & Plaster  | Selecting Paint Selecting Flooring | Selecting Bathtubs | Selecting Lighting | Selecting Fans


Throughout my years as a designer I have been truly inspired by the cabinetry work by Christopher Peacock. In case you missed it, I dedicated a whole blog post on his beautiful work  and my mildly obsessive design crush…you can go back and swoon over here. I absolutely love how he uses a variety of finishes throughout his work and pairs this with traditional furniture style cabinets. For our dream home there was no question about who I would draw inspiration from for our cabinets.

Amazing inspiration photo from Christopher Peacock

Let’s start looking at the design for our cabinets!

I have always dreamed of having furniture style cabinets – very similar to the work by Christopher Peacock above – and now I have the chance to incorporate this into our new home. Cabinets designed like furniture feel more built-in for me, and I love the classic detailing. They are the perfect mix of traditional and modern!

For the main design of the home, interior and exterior, I have taken huge inspiration from the Hamptons, and for me, getting the cabinets on the same page is important.

We worked with our go to local cabinetmaker, here in Florida, Carson’s Cabinetry & Design. I cannot say enough about them! Their quality and craftsmanship is fantastic and, best of all, they are reliable and easy to work with.

Kitchen Cabinets

First up is the cabinet designs for the kitchen.

Undoubtedly up there as the most important area of the home to get the design right. The kitchen is open to the main double height family room and dining area – this really is the heart of our new home!

So here’s the plan for the kitchen cabinets…

Drawing by Carson's Cabinetry & Design

For the cabinets here, design-wise I want them to look like furniture… The base helps to make them look built in. And having them painted in white were – and always will be – the choice for me. I love the clean and light look because it’s a timeless classic but also looks contemporary.

A 3D view of the kitchen cabinet designs…

I absolutely LOVE the design of the cabinets! A modern classic that will never go out of style. Drawing by Carson's Cabinetry & Design

I knew I wanted to do something different in this kitchen… So in the main run of cabinets – either side of the range area – I decided to stack glass cabinets on top of the countertops. These cabinets will be great for storing glasses, vases and other display-worthy items!

Inset cabinets were also a must-have. They are more expensive (by about 30%) but they’re definitely worth it! They really create that furniture feel.

Another key consideration for these kitchen cabinets is the hardware. The finish and style you choose is like the jewelry you add to an outfit.

So let’s look at some hardware options…

Hardware plays an important part of the overall design for the kitchen so getting it right is key!

To begin with, I considered using brass to really make the design “pop” and would give a modern and trendy look but after careful consideration, I settled with polished nickel. It’s a classic finish that works perfectly with the tones running through the marble of the countertops. I also feel like nickel for the hardware is more timeless than something like brass.

Again I took some inspiration from Christopher Peacock, and I reference this amazing blog post by Willow Decor! They go through each piece of hardware that Peacock uses for his kitchens – including some funny looking latches that actually make the design too! – so it’s well worth the read if you’re a fan.

Here are some of the hardware styles we have chosen…

I have chosen these cup cabinet pull style handles for the drawers as they are really practical and give a farmhouse style feel to the drawers:

And for the main tall cabinets I’ve gone for these slightly ornate style cabinet pulls! I really like these because they’re modern with a slight traditional feel.

I am IN LOVE with these cabinet latches! They will be used for the super high-up cabinets above the glass fronted ones.

And of course, I had to get some standard style knobs!


Master Bathroom

This is another really important room of the house – my sanctuary of course! We have his and hers sinks in the Master Bathroom – an absolute MUST if you and your partner get ready at the same time each morning. It helps to keep our toiletries separate (and gives me more storage for mine…) and gives us our own individual areas.

For the design of the vanity units here, I saved a whole load of images to my Pinterest Board for how I wanted them to look and also the furniture design style for this area.

In terms of finishes here, I love the warmth of walnut timber and how it is paired with a classic white marble…

Here’s the plan for our master bathroom vanity cabinets…

Design by Carson's Cabinetry & Design

The his and hers sinks are actually on opposite sides of the bathroom rather than next to each other… These are the cabinet makers final drawings before they start building.

Similarly to the cabinets for the kitchen, I wanted the vanity units to look like pieces of furniture. Not only does this help increase the storage space for my husband and I it’s the modern classic look that I love! We’re going for a furniture look with extra tall legs that is almost like a server or credenza, and they will be finished in walnut to add warmth and richness to the space.

Design by Carson's Cabinetry & Design

For the hardware of these cabinets we will be using a dark bronze finish to add a modern touch to them.

Other Bathrooms

Next up – the other bathrooms in the house!

I decided to keep the same furniture style cabinets for most of the bathrooms so there is a consistent style throughout. But as you will see below, the space is limited for some of them so the design is simplified slightly to account for this.

Teen Daughter’s Bathroom…

For my teenage daughter’s bathroom I have kept with the same furniture style cabinets, but chose a painted gray finish. The plumbing for this bathroom will be a gold finish so we will be using that for the hardware too. This will create a cohesive look.

This 3D view shows you how the style of cabinets work for a smaller space, while still keeping the furniture style!

Drawing by Carson's Cabinetry & Design

Son’s Bathroom…

Again I have decided to keep with the furniture style cabinets for my son’s bathroom… But chose a painted navy finish to flow well from his bedroom and the hardware will be gold to make the color of the cabinets pop! The design for the vanity unit itself is simple yet practical.

Drawing by Carson's Cabinetry & Design

The Pool Bathroom…

Another super simple furniture style cabinet design here. We will be having wallpaper installed to this bathroom so keeping the cabinet design simple will help to ensure the walls do all the talking! I’ve gone for furniture base detailing.

Drawing by Carson's Cabinetry & Design

Powder Bathroom…

We have decided not to have cabinets in the main powder bathroom, and instead we will be using a piece of furniture.


Here are some photos from the installation!

The Kitchen coming together nicely…

I am so happy I decided to add these little niches either side of the cooker area!! It's a great place to keep cooking oils and sauces out of view.
The beautiful glass fronted cabinets in all their glory!

And of course the PERFECT inserts!

These are an absolute MUST for anyone getting custom kitchen cabinets made! I can’t wait to have everything organized in this kitchen – it will make cooking and any preparation in this room so much easier for everyone.

Including knife slots for this drawer was a no brainer! It reduces any risk of injuries because the blades are all facing downwards instead of getting mixed up / upside down in a normal open space drawer…

These slanted inserts will house herbs and other small jars…

I love the separate compartments of this drawer! Perfect for all those kitchen utensils that would previously get shoved into whatever spare drawer I can find!

The final slanted drawer like before! This is so aesthetically pleasing…

FINALLY! Every utensil has it’s very own space! Not only that – it’s so much easier to see what you have in each drawer with these inserts

One of the Master Bathroom vanity units…

I am so over the moon with how the master bathroom vanity units are coming on! The walnut finish here is absolutely beautiful – I can’t wait to get the countertops put on!

My daughter’s bathroom vanity unit…

I love how the warmth of the hardware comes through for this vanity unit and the gray painted finish of the cabinets blends seamlessly with the countertop veining.

And my son’s bathroom vanity unit…

We went with a more industrial style for the plumbing and light fixtures here so it made sense to incorporate this into the vanity mirror and tie all the metal finishes together.

So…what do you think? I’m in love! We’ll dive into countertops soon!


After a very unforeseen hiatus, we are back on job. It’s time to wrap this home building process up! Last time I shared the selecting lighting process with you, and today I want to share another important decision process – Ceiling Fans. So how did we choose all the fans for an entire home? Let’s walk through the process together!

*If you’re just joining us, this is another installment of a series documenting the building of our personal dream home.  So far we’ve tackled: Inspiration | Floorplan | Location | Breaking Ground | Roofing | Windows | Insulation | Sheetrock & Plaster  | Selecting Paint Selecting Flooring | Selecting Bathtubs | Selecting Lighting

Where To Start

Selecting ceiling fans for an entire house can be pretty daunting. The old school fans from the 90’s (with chains and light canopies) weren’t too designer friendly. Well, they’ve come a long way! I live in Florida…we need ceiling fans in every single room…so if we’re going to use them, let’s “make them fashion”. Here is the one I started with. Simple, clean, traditional but fresh.

Just like the other decisions I have made for the new house, I started off by selecting one line as my supplier. It makes things easier and the finishes go together instantly.  Fanimation is my to go every single time…solid fans with a wide range of GREAT styles. You can select different finishes for the blades and the motor individually to fully customize each fan, along with different wall control panels. If you don’t know about them, you should totally look them up. Their Pinterest boards are inspiration enough.  If you want to go down the rabbit hole, you can dive into their boards here and my blackhole of Pins for our new house here.


The concept for this house. Hmmm…what type of fan would go nicely with this?

The design for ceiling fans lie greatly in the style of blades. It’s more about the blades than the motor itself, and choosing between a centrally housed fan (a circular metal ring with the blades within it), or exposed (main motor with open blades coming off it from the center). From previous experience I knew I wanted to have the exposed style ceiling fans throughout the new house as the performance is better. It’s important to decide what sort of style of ceiling fan is applicable and suitable for each room so you can narrow down suppliers based on this if necessary. Next the quantity of blades is a key consideration… Generally this is totally down to personal taste – 3 blades creates a minimal barely-there look and 4 or 5 blades is fairly standard. Most importantly though, the number of blades does correlate to the performance and efficiency of the ceiling fan too. As the number of blades go up, the quieter the fan but circulates less air.



Sticking to simple, tried and true rules I’ve created for myself over the years makes selections much easier. Here are my rules for fans:

-No chains. None. Don’t do it.

-Clean lines. Nothing frilly.

-Dark and as monochromatic with the blades as possible

This is pretty…


OK, now for the logistics. Your fans need to fit in the rooms they’re going in! There are some critical factors to take in to consideration, particularly for small rooms or low ceiling heights. If you install a large fan in a small room it looks silly and equally a small fan in a large room looks weak and isn’t effective!

As a general rule:

-Rooms 75 square feet or smaller, the ceiling fan should be no bigger than 36 inches

-Larger rooms of 75 – 144 square feet, the ceiling fan should be 36 – 42 inches

-Rooms 144-200 can hold a fan with a 60 or 70″ span

-Rectangular rooms over this size can usually hold 2 fans. Space them out consistently

-Ceilings over 10′ or so will need a down rod… or 2! Read about the sizing here.

This room needs 2 fans and doubled up down rods.


Once you have decided on a style and how many blades you prefer, thinking about the finish of the ceiling fan is another important consideration. Typically the finish of ceiling fans should relate to the lighting fixtures and hardware within each room. This may be different for each area and that’s perfectly ok! So long as the finish works with the room the ceiling fan is in.

I stuck with the Dark Bronze finish from Fanimation because we chose a mix of aged brass and polished nickel for internal rooms and a vintage finish for external lighting. I always knew I wanted darker ceiling fans throughout so they had a strong presence in the spaces and make up part of the overall design to each room. I paired the Dark Bronze finish with Dark Walnut blades for all of the ceiling fans which creates a cohesiveness throughout the house.


So here’s a round up of the ceiling fans I’ve chosen for each key room…

I chose different styles of ceiling fans for most rooms, but kept the finishes the same throughout for consistency.

Scroll down to the bottom for links to each

Family Room

For the family room I decided to keep the design of the ceiling fan simple, as the overall design is very Hamptons chic. We need two fans for this space so opted for the 60″ blades. This is without a lighting kit as we have alternative light sources going in here.

Family Room Ceiling Fan, finished in Dark Bronze with 60″ Dark Walnut blades, without lighting kit, with wall control

The wall control.

A few installed photos from the house:

Master Bedroom

For the master I’ve chosen this classic 5 blade ceiling fan, again because it relates nicely to other aspects of the design for this room specifically. This is without a lighting kit.

Master Bedroom Ceiling Fan finished in Dark Bronze with 52″Dark Walnut blades, without lighting kit and with wall control

The wall control.

Guest and Daughter’s Bedrooms

I chose the same ceiling fan style for these two bedrooms as we needed the same size blades so it made sense to simplify these. This is a really sleek and modern 3 blade ceiling fan which will look amazing with the other furniture and finishes used in these bedrooms! I chose to add a lighting kit to these fans so it provides some of the lighting for the rooms.

Bedrooms Ceiling Fans finished in Dark Bronze with 52″ Dark Walnut blades, with lighting kit and with wall control

The wall control.

Son’s Bedroom

For my son’s bedroom we chose this sleek yet simple 3 blade ceiling fan to keep the ceiling minimal as the room is slightly smaller in size to the others. Again, it actually has a lighting kit with it because this is one of the main central source of light for the room.

Bedroom Ceiling Fan finished in Dark Bronze with 48″ Dark Walnut blades, with lighting kit and with wall control

The wall control.


I’m using the same ceiling fan here as the guest and my daughter’s bedrooms. It made sense to use a sleek design here, and without a lighting kit. 

Playroom Ceiling Fan finished in Dark Bronze with 52″ Dark Walnut blades, without lighting kit and with wall control

The wall control.


The outdoor spaces require three ceiling fans, so we’re keeping it simple but going for two 60″ and one 72″ sizes.

Outdoor Ceiling Fans, finished in Dark Bronze with 60″ and 72″ Dark Walnut blades, without lighting kit and with wall control

The wall control.


I’ve decided on something slightly different for the exterior to the house! I just LOVE this old-style wall mount fan!

Exterior Wall Mounted Fan in Black, without lighting kit and with wall control

The Final Selections

So here it is! The final selection of ceiling fans for the new house below! I am so in love with them, I love how they all relate to each other but are slightly different in blade styles.

1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5

1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5

What do you think? Would you have made the same selections? Let me know in the comments, I’d love to hear from you.

*This post was sponsored by Fanimation, but all opinions are mine, I promise. 🙂



Assistant/Intern for Interior Designer

Part Time 

We are seeking a part time Office Assistant/Paid Intern for the Gainesville area. Candidate will work directly with the owner. Duties will include general office tasks, social media posts, Quickbooks input, research, document handling, ordering, email correspondence, billing and some phone calls. Any interest in Interior Design, Marketing or Construction is a bonus, but certainly not necessary. Professional appearance and a positive, pleasant attitude are required.
Email resume to Lori@TheEvansEdit.com

It’s that time of year. Yippee. Whether you decorate your whole house or just a room, holiday decorations should be fun and no stress. If you’re stressed out, you’re doing it wrong. 😉

Follow these 3 easy steps and sit back and enjoy.


1. Pick a Theme

I love traditional Christmas plaid and tartan decorations. Think Ralph Lauren in Connecticut on Christmas morning. Having this base to refer to makes shopping easy. But it’s not about me, it’s about you. What do YOU like? All white? Modern? Country? Pick a theme and go with it.

Here are my favorite picks for this year.

1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5 / 6 / 7 / 8 / 9



2. Vary It Slightly

Now that you have a signature look, vary it slightly from room to room. I mix different tartans and plaids in different areas. More formal rooms get silver champagne buckets holding mini trees with tartan ribbon. Kids areas get buckets holding trees, tartan blankets and shams. Keeping the same thread running throughout keeps everything working together.


3. When In Doubt, Add More!

This is not the time for subtlety. Your house is only going to be decorated for a month, max. Pull out all the stops and enjoy. It will be gone before you know it.


Now that we have a few guidelines, let’s see some inspiration images in my favorite look. Several are from my home. Enjoy! Sources and buying info at the bottom.











































Evans Construction and Design






Here’s a couple handy graphics for your Pinterest boards with links below!

1 Blue pillow

2 White pillow

3 Red pillow

4 Stocking

5 Square wreath

6 Tartan throw

7 Blackwatch plate

8 White tartan plate

9 Red tartan plate

We’ve been working on our new home for what feels like a lifetime, but we’re SO CLOSE to the finishing line I can smell it. 🙂  We’re just wrapping up selections and it’s time to look at lighting. Yippee! Lighting can make or break a space and there are just so many good things out there nowadays. So how do you choose lighting throughout a home? Let’s walk through the process together!

*If you’re just joining us, this is another installment of a series documenting the building of our personal dream home.  So far we’ve tackled:

 Inspiration | Floorplan | Location | Breaking Ground | Roofing | Windows | Insulation | Sheetrock & Plaster  | Selecting Paint Selecting Flooring | Selecting Bathtubs 

A Starting Point

When it’s time to make selections, I like to start by looking back at any inspirational images I’ve collected. This has been my go-to board and although it doesn’t show lighting in particular, it shows the overall theme and look for the home. It’s always nice to remind yourself, so you don’t get off track.

Next, look at the interiors you love or have pinned on Pinterest, then notice more of the lighting fixtures that have been used, to start narrowing down what you do and don’t like. There’s some sort of consistent theme, I would bet.

Inspiration image from the AMAZING Mark D. Sikes.
Gorgeous Kitchen via Decorpad

You can dive into my blackhole of Pins for this house here.

Then, dive in little further and start noticing actual fixtures you like. I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE all things Hudson Valley, so I immediately went to their Pinterest boards to see what they had. The had a board that seemed like it was made just for me! East Coast Inspo? Yes, please.

HVL on Pinterest...they have the BEST boards for inspiration!


So from these inspirational images I have previously saved, I narrowed down the following points:

  • I love simplistic and uncomplicated fixtures, but not boring
  • I like a mix of finishes. One finish throughout can look flat and I like to mix it up. Think layers!
  • Nothing too glitzy or sparkly
  • A feature pendant above the bathtub is a must
  • I love how wall lanterns look against cedar shakes

How to Choose

Selecting a whole houseful of lighting at once can seem overwhelming. You don’t want to get a “set” that all matches…I mean we’re better than that, right? But, you also don’t want it to look like a mess of things that has no correlation. There’s a fine line and I like to walk it!

  • Start with something you LOVE…something that gets you all fired up
  • Then, complement that showstopper in the other spaces of the home
  • Keep layers in mind…think of the whole home as a balance of different layers running throughout
  • Mixing finishes is more than OK, it’s encouraged
  • I keep it to a max of 3 lighting finishes throughout the home
  • Keep your doorknob, plumbing and cabinet hardware finishes in mind to make sure everything plays well together


So here’s a round up of the light fixtures I’ve chosen for each key room. I can’t wait to see them in the actual space!

Kitchen Lighting

This was my feature. I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE this classic polished nickel pendant. It looks good everywhere, every time!

Kitchen Island Pendants, finished in Polished Nickel

Here’s a reminder of the overall floor plan, with the living room.

Design by Evans Construction and Design

I wanted to make a feature of the lighting above the island, whilst making it practical and providing a good amount of task lighting for food preparation.

Master Bed & Bath

As I’ve mentioned before, a feature chandelier above the bathtub in the master bathroom is an absolute must!! This fixture actually differs in finish from the vanity wall lights because I wanted to emphasize that this is a feature. I also absolutely love it, so why not? Following my own advice, I started here then worked to support it.

Master Bathroom, bathtub feature chandelier, finished in Aged Brass.

Master Bathroom, wall lights for above the vanity units, finished in Polished Nickel.

Master Closet pendant, to be hung above the island, finished in Polished Nickel.

Daughter’s Room

My daughter loved this from the start, so we worked off of it.

Olivia’s Room ceiling light, finished in Aged Brass.

For her bathroom, I have gone with a similar design to the bedroom light to keep it consistent throughout these two spaces.

Olivia’s Bathroom Vanity Light, finished in Aged Brass.


I wanted something “snazzy” here, as I work from my home office and open a lot of time here.

Office Chandelier, finished in Aged Brass.


Powder Bath

This bath is going to be all dark navy blue and very “moody”. I wanted something bold, but clean to compliment the look I have in mind. I love this

Powder Bath light, finished in Aged/Antiqued Distressed Bronze  

Pool Bath

We decided on a flush mount ceiling fixture for the Pool Bath. This bath will have some crazy busy wallpaper and I din’t want to fight it. This is clean, simple and rich looking…a perfect complement.

Pool Bath ceiling light, finished in Polished Nickel.

Exterior Lighting

From the inspirational images I have gathered over the years leading up to this project, I settled on using these two lanterns from Hudson Valley Lighting…

Exterior Garage wall lanterns, finished in Vintage.

Exterior Back Porch wall lanterns, finished in Vintage.

The Final Selections

So here it is! The final selection of decorative lighting for the new house below! I am so in love with how they all look and work well together!

What do you think? Do you love these as much as I do? Let me know in the comments, I’d love to hear from you.


*This post was sponsored by Hudson Valley Lighting, but all opinions are mine, I promise. 🙂

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