Trend alert! How you can use those sheepskin rugs you see everywhere

Do you feel it?  There is a definite chill in the air, even in sunny southern California.  What better time than now to cozy up your home so you will be ready when the real cold weather sets in.  And there is no easier way than with the addition of sheepskin.

This throw pillow is the perfect partner for all your patterned accent pillows.  Toss one or two of these babies on your sofa or chair and you will find it difficult to stay awake on a wintry afternoon.

sheepskin pillow from room and board

sheepskin pillow from room and board


I am in love with these fur covered chairs from Mitchell Gold.  Just the right amount of funk paired with a warm metal frame.  Flank that big stone fireplace in your mountain cabin with a pair or just pretend you have a mountain cabin by adding one of these chairs to your living room during the winter months.

design fur covered chairs ansel chairs from mitchell gold via dc by design blog

Top your wall to wall carpet with a sheepskin rug and create a comfy and warm spot for your feet during those late night feedings in the baby’s nursery.

ellas room from floor showing crib, windowtreatments, rocker, rug and paint

Nusrsery design by DH Design

The rug used in the nursery was the very affordable version from Ikea.

sheepskin rug from ikea

sheepskin rug from ikea

And who doesn’t love a pouf?  This sheepskin version from West Elm can be moved from room to room.  Slide one up to the fireplace or use it as an ottoman in front of your favorite chair…I promise it will become the favorite spot for your family and guests.

sheepskin pouf from west elm

faux sheepskin pouf from west elm

I have a small sheepskin rug that I toss over a leather ottoman in our family room and it immediately ups the cozy factor both visually and physically.  Is there a spot in your home for sheepskin?

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10 things that made me happy in October

Time spent with this curly haired munchkin makes me happy all the time.  How much do you pay your hairdresser for hair like that?

Time spent with this curly haired munchkin makes me happy all the time. How much do you pay your hairdresser for hair like that?

While I am not a big fan of Halloween, much to the dismay of my daughter when she was younger, I do love the month of October.  It is filled with changes and anticipation and somehow seems a bit more relaxed than the previous months of summer.  Like all of you, my October was busy and full of big things and little things and these are some of those things that made me particularly happy:

  1. Working with my old friend, John, on a staging project.  He is a dream to work with and someone I personally admire.  If you live in the San Diego area and need furniture built, a house painted, light fixtures hung or any of the myriad of small things I ask this very patient and talented man to do, let me know and I will put you two in contact.
  2. Wednesday night wine with my bestie, Sandy.  We pop open a bottle of chardonnay (ok, maybe two) and solve all of the world’s problems in three or four hours.  The U.S. Government could sure use us!
  3. A long weekend in Lake Tahoe.  I spent a lot of time there growing up and it was nice to return to smell that fresh air, look at that beautiful lake and see new areas through the generosity of our friends who so willingly showed us around.  Not to mention, allow us to spend one of our nights in their beautiful family home that is so warm and inviting.  Thanks Mike and Nancy, Ali and sweet Cameron!
  4. Carving pumpkins with my two little grandsons.  I do not get to see them often so it was fun to spend some time with them even though, if truth be told, we did most of the carving while they ate sugary snacks and watched a movie.
  5. Going to a Saturday matinee of Jersey Boys with my husband.  Fun music with my favorite date was the perfect recipe for a fun afternoon.
  6. Picking up my 2 and 1/2 yr old granddaughter from pre-school.  Does anyone ever get tired of seeing a young one run to them and jump into their arms and give them the biggest hug as if she has not seen you in years when, in fact, is has only been a few days?
  7. Changing leaves.  If you look hard enough you will find plenty of colorful leaves on trees scattered throughout San Diego.  The glorious shades of red and gold always make me smile as I remember chilly fall days walking to school.
  8. Great news from my husband’s doctor.  This made me happiest of all.  We had a bit of a cancer scare and a rough week or so until the results came in but all was clear and we were, obviously, thrilled to hear the news.
  9. Lunch with girlfriends.  There is nothing quite as delightful as a mid-week lunch with an old friend, just catching up, laughing and making plans to get together again soon.  I am fortunate that my schedule allows me to enjoy this treat a couple of times a month with various friends and it is something I always look forward to.
  10. The obvious…trick or treating with the scariest 2 month old pirate and the prettiest Serena the pirate witch I know.  While I enjoy holidays, they are always so much more enjoyable through the eyes of a child and it renews my faith in just about everything when I see the world through their eyes.

What made you happy in October of 2014?


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Reliving childhood dreams through the set of Scandal

When I was younger I, like most young girls, had so many dreams for the future.  One in particular was my dream of becoming a translator for the United Nations, fueled by my love of the french language.  I fancied myself living a very sophisticated life in a high-rise apartment in NYC, far from the small town of Pacific Grove where I lived.  Fast forward more years than I care to count and my life in no way resembles that dream other than my continued love of the french language.  (check out french word a day blog where you will receive a new word each day if you, too, enjoy this beautiful language).

Fortunately for  me I am able to relive the sophisticated apartment aspect of my fantasies through Olivia Pope’s antics on the popular new show Scandal.  I love her elegant apartment and I only wish I preferred red wine over my favored chardonnay so I could drink it in a large balloon wine glass with the longest stem I have ever seen.  All this while sitting around my beautifully styled living room in white satin pajamas.  The soft, neutral colors, mix of wood and metal and a combination of contemporary lines and modern artwork paired with traditional moldings and rug really appeals to me and is similar to how I decorate my own home.

Architectural Digest has made it possible for us to take a close look at the “apartment”  and other sets and offers some insight from the set designers as to why they made their design decisions.  You can read that article here and below is just a teaser at the eye candy you will find in the latest issue.


Scandal set--apartment of Olivia Pope photo Danny Feld/ABC via Architectural Digest

Scandal set–apartment of Olivia Pope
photo Danny Feld/ABC via Architectural Digest

Are you re-living any childhood fantasies through TV and/or movies?  Keep in mind, this is a family blog  LOL

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10 things that made me happy in September

I stole this idea from Domino magazine and I love it!  Spend some time thinking of ten things that made you happy this past month.  While it may take some time, it is much better than spending time complaining about the middle east situation, your neighbors dog, the cost of gas, difficult step-daughters or the incessant heat.  So here goes:

  1. The obvious number one thing that made me happy was the birth of our grandson, Brendan Roger Haynie.  While he arrived a bit early he was healthy and everyone is doing fine.
  2. Which leads me into number two which is the time I was able to spend with his big sister, our scrumptious 2 1/2 year old granddaughter Ella Bella.  While exhausting, life through the eyes of a two year old is pretty amazing!

    Granddaughter Ella with her Auntie Jenna  (our daughter) being silly

    Her first selfie!  Granddaughter Ella with her Auntie Jenna (our daughter) being silly

  3. Charger wins!  As any Charger fan knows, it is always a nail-biter but we are on our way!
  4. Saturdays spent with my daughter.  She was gone for two weeks in September for work so what made me happy was her return and a fun Saturday spent shopping, manicures and chicken salad sandwiches at Boudins in Fashion Valley.
  5. I know it is early but hearing Bing Crosby sing “Its beginning to look a lot like Christmas” as advertisement for Hallmark Channel’s upcoming month of holiday movies always makes me happy.
  6. Lunch at Costco in the middle of the week with my husband. Semi-retirement does strange things to you like enjoying spending LOTS of time with your spouse, but I say nothing beats Costco hotdogs, pizza and a swirl yogurt before shopping for t-paper and cereal.
  7. Emails from my aunts in Texas and Florida.  With both of my parents gone it helps me realize that I am not really an orphan, rather that I have extended family that I love and miss.
  8. A new design staging job (will share before and afters soon) that allowed me to spend some time near the beach.  Just the smell is relaxing.  And how fun to decorate in a crisp, contemporary style that I do not get a lot of opportunity to do.  Anyone looking to buy a beach house in San Diego?
  9. Orange sherbet and vanilla ice cream all mixed together in one carton. Tastes like those creamsicles you used to get from the ice cream truck when you were a kid.  What ever happened to the ice cream man?  I have such fond memories of hanging on the fence with my nickel clutched in my hand and trying to time it to run out just in time to catch him before he drove past our house.
  10. Air conditioning!  San Diego had one of the hottest months in history and boy am I glad we installed central air in the spring!  I wanted to do the master bath but am so glad we put that off until next summer.  And we learned that having air conditioning sure makes you popular.

So tell me—what made you happy in September?

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Not just for martinis




You might think that the plump green olive shown above is simply meant to enhance your favorite adult beverage or as a snack to be enjoyed during the holidays.  But I am here to tell you that the color of this delectable little snack is one of the hottest home decor hues for the upcoming year.

Olive green is a yellow based green that, surprisingly, works well with many colors.  It is warm and inviting and can be introduced into a contemporary space just as easily as into a rustic or traditional interior.

Check out these olive green home decor ideas:

This collection of fabrics from Robert Allen show how well olive green coordinates with blue, brown, gray, gold and even eggplant.

Pablos Passion from Larry Laslo collection for Robert Allen Fabrics

Love the earthy look of this lamp achieved by the glazing technique and wooden base.

Urn style table lamp from 1st Dibs

Urn style table lamp from 1st Dibs

Also love the mix of colors in this room featuring an olive green accent wall.  Look closely and you will see just about every color in the rainbow–pink, purple, blue and yellow along with a mix of wood tones and metal.   Such a versatile shade of green!

Is this a color you would use in your home?  If so, please share your ideas with the rest of us.  Now excuse me while I mix a martini–shaken, not stirred and two olives please.
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The five senses of decorating


five senses


Next time you decide to make some changes in your home and get stuck with where to begin, put your five senses to work.  What???? you may be asking.

Travel back to 5th grade science where you probably learned all about a human’s five senses–sight, touch, smell, hear and taste.  And in design, a sixth sense is also a valuable tool. More on that later but back to our science study:

  • Sight–an obvious plus in decorating.  Take a good hard look at your space.  Maybe even take a photo of it because you will see things in a picture that you might not notice in person.  What do you want the room to look like?
  • Touch—a mix of textures, metals and other surfaces can turn an ordinary space into a beautiful and tactile wonder.  An example would be a room with a glass topped coffee  table (smooth) paired with a rustic end table (rough).  A fluffy throw tossed over the arm of the chair and a couch piled high with pillows in varying fabrics (leather, embroidery, burlap) adds texture (touch) but is also visually (sight) appealing. A colorful woven rug placed atop a rich wooden floor will satisfy those same senses.
  • Smell–we have all experienced an unpleasant smell when we enter someone’s home.  You know what I’m talking about–litter boxes, dog beds, cooking smells etc.  Even an unscented air cleaner can make a difference but, better yet, find a scent that greets you as you walk in the door.  I am not recommending something like Aunt Betty’s overpowering perfume but something subtle, clean and natural that will not hit your guests in the face (nose) as they walk through the front door.
  • Hear and taste–these senses will not really play an important part in your overall decorating process but they are important when you are entertaining so keep them in mind next time you are planning a get together, whether it be a large party or a just another couple who come by for pizza and poker.  I always light a scented candle in the bathroom and place it in the corner of the bathtub when I have friends over.  It not only smells good but adds a little glow that helps guests find the light switch and is very safe in the bathtub next to the tile surround.  (be sure to place the candle away from towels and shower curtains)
  • And last, but not least, is that all important sixth sense.   That feel you get when you walk into a room that something is just not right (“I see bad rooms”) or that same feeling you get when you enter a space that is juuuuust right.  Follow your instincts or hire a decorator, who has that sixth sense, to help you achieve that just right feel in your home.

You can utilize all of these senses when you are trying to determine what your rooms need to make it the home of your dreams.  How do you want your home to look and feel?  The answer could be something as simple as rearranging the furniture or “borrowing” artwork, accessories and small pieces of furniture from other rooms or it could require something bigger like the replacement of an old window with french doors that open the space to the outdoors or an entire kitchen or bath remodel.  Whatever the answer, once you have a plan you can begin to move forward with implementing that plan as time and budget allow.

Do you have a sixth sense when it comes to decorating your home?

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Nautical Nursery for our new grandson and cutest big sister ever!

ella in pink building sandcastles july 2014

My precious granddaughter enjoying a day at the beach

Our family is growing by leaps and bounds.  Our one grandchild very quickly grew to 5 due to the efforts of my two grown step-children.  We recently welcomed a new granddaughter to the bunch and a new grandson is scheduled to make an appearance within the next month.  That brings us to his nursery:

Our son and daughter-in-law live in a three bedroom home where the rooms are large but the bedrooms are rather small.  What was the office had to be turned into a nursery that could perform double duty as a guest room when visitors arrive.  In the before photos you will see a wall of built-ins in a deep mahogany finish, walls painted green and there were dark wooden blinds on the window.

The bedding our daughter-in-law chose (no longer available) was a bit Hampton’s Yacht Club i shades of deep red, navy blue and khaki so we chose that as the theme.  Step-by-step:

  • We removed the built-ins and had a closet created with some built-in shelves added to the side area
  • We painted the walls a soft bluish gray that was matched to the colors found in the bedding
  • We recycled our granddaughter’s crib and rocker and left the teeth marks as evidence of her two years spent in this crib.  (she is now in a big girl’s princess bed)
  • We hung white blinds that allow for light control but look better with the light wall color and white furniture
  • A valance from Pottery Barn Kids was strung onto a white rod fitted with rope finials
  • The existing trundle bed was left in the room but outfitted with a navy blue quilt and an assortment of colorful pillows.  Guests can sleep in this bed but, when not in use it provides a cozy spot for big sister to sit and read a book while baby brother is being fed etc.
  • We stocked the built-in shelves with affordable canvas baskets from Target and added chalkboard tags to identify the contents of each basket.  We also left room for some colorful toys and books and picture frames that can hold photos of the new baby and his family. A large metal basket easily slides under the shelves and holds packages of diapers.
  • A plush navy blue shag rug covers the wood floor and adds comfort and warmth underfoot for those late night feedings.
  • While there is recessed lighting in the ceiling, a torchiere with an attached reading lamp is easier on the eyes.
  • We painted an Ikea dresser and added glass knobs that look like fish bubbles.  A red metal tray placed on top keeps tissues, wipes and diapers within easy reach of the crib.

All of this resulted in this adorable nursery that should be perfect for him for at least a couple of years.  And then Grandma will have to redecorate (oh darn!)

The functional BEFORE

design baby nursery before window wall

design baby nursery before

The precious AFTER

design baby nursery for brendandesign baby nursery whole wall

design baby nursery bed wall light picNow all we have to do is meet him!  Hurry up Brendan!


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