Christmas Decorating: Tartan Edition

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.

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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.

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

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2020 Brizo Luxe Gold – Cheat Sheet


If you’ve been in the market for plumbing fixtures lately, you’ve likely seen the newest and most beautiful finish out…”Luxe Gold” by Brizo. It will stop you in your tracks! See below for the Cheat Sheet with links.


It stands out in a sea of Brushed Nickel, Chrome, Oil Rubbed Bronze and (now) Matte Black. It’s the perfect warm-gold.  It’s not bright brass from the 80s, not even close. They have everything you need for your Kitchen or Bath.

Here’s just a very small sampling…

So, let’s say you’ve decided to use this lovely combination in your home. Amazing! But… you need some things to coordinate with it. Knobs…lights…mirrors… What goes with this gorgeous finish? Brizo makes a few things to coordinate but not much….like one light…seriously.

What coordinates?

You can MIX the finish with other finishes…maybe matte black? That’s a valid option.  But, let’s look at what will actually coordinate with Luxe Gold from other brands. Here are a few of my favorites. Don’t worry, all the links are down below at the bottom of the post.

But wait…

Is This The Same As Delta’s Champagne Bronze?

Before we dive into each of these items above( links are below) let’s address a mistake I almost made.

Is Brizo’s “Luxe Gold” finish interchangeable with Delta’s “Champagne Bronze”? I mean Delta OWNS Brizo…they look similar…they’re probably the same right?

No…no they’re not.

Brizo’s Luxe Gold is lighter, less “gold-y”. Delta’s Champagne Bronze is deeper and would mix easily with standard brass options. (Maybe we’ll cover that in the future!) But for now, let’s stick with

So let’s breakdown that Cheat Sheet. Scroll down for the all the links below!

Mirrors and Accessories

Probably the most important item to coordinate…


Lights for the Kitchen, Bath and Common Spaces

Or…Screw it and paint anything you want 😉

Just kidding, please don’t do that!

Cheat Sheet

So now we have a BUNCH of options to coordinate with the amazing Brizo Luxe Gold line. Here is a handy dandy Cheat Sheet for you, with links, along with one perfectly formatted for your Pinterest page.

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Pin this one to Pinterest!

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So, what do you think? Will you try this new finish? I am!



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Need a little help? No problem! Let me help!

E-Design is an affordable alternative to traditional interior design services. Let us help you create a custom room design for you!

You can follow along with a real life example here


First Look – A digital mood board depicting the overall look and feel of the space, with revisions, as needed
Furniture plan – All furniture, to scale, shown in your exact room layout
Source list with direct links to purchase items yourself
Paint colors and fabric selections
Design notes and instructions to pull it all together

$299+ Entryway or Half Bath

$499+ Living Room, Dining Room or Bedroom

$799+ Kitchen or Bathroom


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Three complete paint schemes of at least three colors for your space delivered right to your inbox.

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Building Our Dream Home – Selecting Lighting

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!

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.

Daughter's Room

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

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


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

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

Pool Bath

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

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…

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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Designer Crush: Mark D. Sikes

Do you ever see a picture that just stops you in your tracks…like, literally? A few years ago a came across Mark D. Sikes’ work on Pinterest and quickly became obsessed. Classic blue and white…but not prissy or boring. Black pieces mixed in…but not heavy. Stripes sat alongside gorgeous Chinoiserie wallpapers. It’s perfection.

I couldn’t get enough and I began scouring his website and analyzing his rooms. I researched the pieces he used and quickly realized he had beautiful lines of furniture and accessories with several companies. So, then I researched those. Rugs, yes. Furniture, yes. Accessories, lights, you name it. I was obsessed!  He’s lucky I didn’t fly to California and visit him in person. Just kidding, well sort of.

Then I hit the mother load…he wrote a book! A book! 185 pages of beautiful rooms and endless inspiration. It quickly became my go to and the wear and tear on the book is proof of that. 🙂


I recently found out he is writing a second book, due to come out in September. I am literally counting down the days!

So, in honor of that, let’s take a look at some of my favorite rooms and vignettes from Mark D. Sikes. All photos are from his AMAZING website.


House Beautiful HD #42 1108_AN_HouseBeautiful
House Beautiful HD #42 1108_AN_HouseBeautiful
House Beautiful HD #42 1108_AN_HouseBeautiful
House Beautiful HD #42 1108_AN_HouseBeautiful


What do you think? Do you love Mark Sikes as much as I do?



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Hello there! I’m Lori Evans, Interior Designer and co-owner of Evans Construction & Design. Welcome to my world! I created this blog to share all the projects, tips, ideas and inspiration that I have. My goal is to help you make your rooms look even better than your Pinterest boards!

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