Big Surprise in Pantone’s Color of the Year for 2015

Wow…Pantone did it again and caught us all off guard by announcing this years Color of the Year as…..(wait for it)  MARSALA!

Pantone color of the Year for 2015--Marsala

Pantone color of the Year for 2015–Marsala


This hearty, yet stylish tone is universally appealing and translates easily to fashion, beauty, industrial design, home furnishings and interiors.Leatrice EisemanExecutive Director, Pantone Color Institute®

I, personally, am thrilled with this choice.  As everyone in the design industry was expecting to see some shade of blue, I am not a real lover of blue.  But I am a BIG lover of red in any shade and this earthy red with a hint of brown will be such fun to use in upcoming interiors.  Think about it—it can be combined with many colors to create different looks.  For example:

  1. Navy blue and Marsala will update those traditional interiors and really highlight beautiful wood tones.
  2. Gorgeous with mustard yellow (my current fave)
  3. Crisp and modern when combined with shades of gray and will warm up all those metals.  Throw in a few men’s suiting fabrics and you have a very masculine den or library.
  4. Pink grows up when it is placed next to Marsala and that combination will result in a very sophisticated nursery or little girl’s room.
  5. For a moody look consider a combination of black and marsala with a touch of cream to lighten the mood.  Might make a very romantic master bedroom….I’m just sayin’

So what do you think?  Was this a good choice and/or how would you use it in your home or project?

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10 things that made me happy in November


Or should I say 10 things that made me “thankful” since it is, after all, Thanksgiving.

  1. Gas prices dropping below $3!!!!  I cannot remember the last time we saw these prices.  My real question now is whether we as consumers will begin to see lower prices because transportation fees are less and/or lower air fares?   Somehow the cynic in me doubts those savings will be passed down.  Oh well….it is nice while it lasts.
  2. Christmas movies all day and all night on The Hallmark Channel!!  I am in heaven, especially on those nights when I wake up at 3:00 a.m. and cannot get back to sleep.  It”s beginning to look a lot like Christmas…..
  3. A thank you card from my daughter.  Just a quick email while she was waiting to catch a plane but it made my day, my week and my month.  When we are raising our kids there are years (think teens and early 20’s) when we wonder if we have done it right.  But I am here to assure you that there is nothing more wonderful than to have your 20 something “child” begin to live his/her life reflecting things you taught her and, even better, actually voice their appreciation for no reason, just because they want to tell you what they are thinking.  Melted my heart, brought tears to my eyes and all those other things Moms do when they are just so damn proud of their kids!!!!
  4. Design always makes me happy and this month was full of it.  I updated a master bedroom and rescued it from the outdated eggplant and gold and into a softer sage, purple and cream color scheme just in time for my client to undergo knee surgery and rehab in her new bedroom.  I also made a few small changes to my own dining room with a new rug and I love this understated but oh so comfy border rug in neutral shades from Pottery Barn.  Really brightens the space and I like the unusual square shape.
  5. A hint of rain in San Diego, with more to come.  California is suffering a major drought but, believe it or not, too much sunshine can get awfully boring.  Our temps have been warmer than usual and you can hear mumblings from people, especially women, that we are very tired of wearing our summer clothes!
  6. The San Diego Chargers!!!  Their games are truly never over until that final second ticks off the game clock.  Can you spell Super Bowl?
  7. Gymnastics class with my delicious Ella Bella.  Our almost 3 year old granddaughter has started gymnastics class and while she is no Olga Korbut (yet) just to witness her unharnassed joy in running around on rubber mats and cross bridges and balance bars with no fear brings joy to me.
  8. An organized garage.  We finally emptied out a storage unit that we have had for over 20 years.  Not only a big monthly $ savings but there is something fulfilling about reducing the amount of “stuff” we own.
  9. The opportunity to get to know our nephew who has recently moved here from Arizona.  My how they change over a 20 year period!  As we get older we are reminded more often of the importance of extended family.
  10. Attending a Toys for Tots fundraiser at Camp Pendleton.  I am always happy when I am on a military base.  Not only am I so proud of our service men and women but being raised as a Navy junior (as opposed to an Army brat) it brings back so many childhood memories and I am so grateful to be included in this annual event.

So what made you happy in November?

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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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