Posts Tagged ‘accessories’

Introducing the Latest “It” Accessory For Your Home: Houseplants

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Recently, I stayed at The Adolphus Hotel in Dallas. From the moment I walked in the door I was keenly aware of the accessories. Or, should I say how many of one particular accessory they had on display. Any guesses? Whoever said plants, you’re the winner!

Friends with benefits

Biophilic design is a hot topic in the design community. Essentially, it’s the practice of connecting design with nature. The one way to do this – and what I recommend – is to add houseplants to your accessories, just like I saw at the hotel in Dallas.

There are many benefits to incorporating plants inside. Houseplants have an abundance of homeopathic benefits. Incorporating a plant into your home adds a living organism in your room. They instantly bring in life, color and texture all of which can enhance and boost your mood.

Plants also give off oxygen, which can improve air quality and soak up volatile organic compounds (VOCs). We often think of VOCs coming from paint, but they can also be emitted from something as simple as your home printer’s ink and tone.

My Recommendations

To find houseplants in Tulsa, Southwood Landscape and Garden Center and Ted and Debbie’s Flower Garden carry some of the best houseplants out there. Both shops usually offer an exotic variety, too. If you’re using a plant as an accessory, often you need some visual interest, something really striking and different whether in shape or color.

Here are some of my favorite houseplants that are easy to care for and add visual interest. Click each plant name to see what they look like and start pinning ideas and inspiration for your next houseplant.



A couple of tips when it comes to using plants as accessories: First, before you pick your plant, find a nice cachepot you like the look of. Then find a coordinating size of plant. Remember you do not have to plant the plant- just keep it in the container it came in (that 4-to-6 inch pot you bought at the store).

Secondly, you may need to move your plant around the house from time to time. Perhaps you want the plant as an accessory for your bookshelf but it doesn’t get enough light there? That doesn’t necessarily mean you can’t have it where you want it. You just may have to let it spend a little time in a more sunlit part of your home.

Pro Tips

Most people know to water plants and perhaps even feed them, but were you aware you need to clean them, too? The leaves give off oxygen so if they are dusty, they won’t be able to get the CO2 they need. Don’t use a fancy cleaner. Simply take a wet rag and wipe them off. Or, if the plant has a very fine leaf you can even take it outside and use your blow dryer or leaf blower to dust off the plant.

Additionaly, if you’re going to be gone for a week or two, fill your sink with an inch or two of water and set your plants in it. They will self water as needed for the duration of your trip.

Surviving and Thriving

Not only will local plant nurseries help you find the perfect plant for your lifestyle, they can also be somewhat of a plant doctor. Take in a plant on its last leg and they can tell you exactly what’s wrong with it.

However, if you’d prefer to troubleshoot at home, there are several apps that can help you identify what could be wrong. We’ve used Planty, PlantSnap and Planta and had good results.

Above all else, don’t fret! Don’t overthink your next plant purchase. There’s nothing wrong with a good old five dollar plant from Trader Joe’s. If you kill it, you say goodbye, move on and buy another! The main thing is to enjoy the many benefits of bringing nature inside – one beautiful houseplant at a time.

We would love to help with your next home improvement project – no matter how big or small. Submit a design request.

10 Timeless Accessories You Should Add To Your Home

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The holidays are over and the decorations are all put away (or will be soon!) and your house feels a little blah, right? Understandable. January is always a month we want to give our interiors a little refresh. So, let’s talk about my favorite way to do this with accessories.  I’m willing to bet you already have quite a few of these.
1) Conversational Pieces
The best accessories are the ones that define your own personal style and tell the story of you and your family. Using decorative pieces that have been passed down through a family for generations can add a unique and personal touch to a space. These items often have a rich history and sentimental value, which can make them great conversation starters when people see them displayed in a home.
Pro tip: Don’t worry if you don’t have any family heirlooms.  Explore estate sales and flea markets for unique conversational pieces that have interesting histories or uses. As a rule of thumb, if you come across an item that you are drawn to, consider it a keeper.
This vintage horse head lighter and antique ashtray are great conversational pieces.
2) Vase or Bowl
Vases can be filled with fresh flowers to add a pop of color and bring life to a space, or they can be left empty as a statement piece. Bowls can be used to hold fruit, serve as a catchall for keys and other small items, or simply be displayed as a decorative element. Mix and match different sizes, shapes, and materials for a cohesive yet eclectic look. Grouping vases and bowls together can also make for a visually interesting display. When decorating with vases and bowls, consider the style of the room and choose pieces that complement the overall aesthetic.
Large wooden bowl with fresh flowers adds a decorative touch to this cream colored kitchen with green granite countertops
White vase with gold stand filled with fresh flowers sits on a mid century modern console
3) Small Art
Perhaps you have an artist in your family (lucky you!) but if not a great place to find art and make it memorable is to pick up pieces along your travels. It doesn’t even have to be a large piece. Get in the habit of picking up little 8x10s when you travel. They can be unframed prints or canvases and they make great little pieces to prop up in bookshelves to add texture and color.

Floating gold shelves and gold-framed art displayed above a black and gray bar station

4) Table Top Pieces
Every family has that one dish that is always used when a certain recipe is served. Maybe it’s the family turkey platter. Why not make it a display piece? Sometimes that platter can sit up in your kitchen and become an accessory rather than be stored in a cabinet only to be used once a year. Rethinking these pieces as accessories gives them a whole new purpose.
Table top pieces like cutting board and fruit platter are displayed in large white kitchens with tall cabinets
5) Cookie Jar
Special treats are naturally going to elicit special memories. My aunt has a large commercial sized mayonnaise jar that she always stores her homemade cookies and treats in. It’s nothing special, yet it’s still proudly displayed in her beautiful kitchen. These are things that are more sentimental. You can buy accessories anywhere, but using things that mean something to you makes your house a home.
6) Books
With more and more people switching to Kindles and reading on their iPads, book purchases have been on the decline. As a result, we’ve been seeing fewer books in people’s homes. But I’ve noticed a trend of people starting to buy books again, and I’m really happy about it. I think having actual books, even cookbooks, can add such a personal touch to a home. We often put a couple of really pretty cookbooks on the kitchen shelf when we’re styling a space. It fills it up nicely, adds some color, and gives a sense of the homeowners’ interests or travels.
Pretty books and decorate box sit on top of a gold rimmed glass coffee table
7) Handmade Items
Handmade items often have a special meaning or story behind them and make a meaningful addition to your home.  I have many beloved items in my home – one of them being a pig-shaped cutting board that my husband made as Christmas gifts for us and our siblings when we were newly married. Most of our siblings still display them in their kitchens. Recently, I visited a client’s home and saw that she had a similar pig-shaped cutting board. She told me that it was her most treasured item in her kitchen because it was so unique and well-loved. By seeking out local artisans, you can find one-of-a-kind pieces and support the local community. There are many ways to find great handmade home accessories. By seeking out local artisans, you can find one-of-a-kind pieces and support the local community.  Local markets and art crawls are a great place to start, as you can often meet the makers in person and learn about their process and techniques. Online marketplaces and social media platforms, like Etsy and Instagram, are also excellent sources for finding handmade items.
8) Picture Frames
Picture frames are a great and personal accessory! I don’t know about you but I sometimes get tired of seeing the same frame and image sitting there. So, I have a box filled with framed pictures and I rotate them with each season or sometimes each holiday. It’s fun because my family enjoys them more that way, too. Even my two-year old granddaughter recognized her uncle from his senior picture–how fun is that? Printing pictures anymore is a novelty, so don’t forget to print your pictures and display those memories.
9) Blanket/Throw
A few months ago we were styling a client’s whiskey room and it was just missing something. Everything was dark, with clean, modern lines and so we added a soft throw over a leather chair and that was it! The texture and softness was exactly what the room needed to pop. We all use blankets so why not make them part of your decor?
Cream colored blanket is draped on the arm of a leather chair in sitting room with fireplace
10) Family Clock
This may be showing the old-fashioned Julia, but for years (during our grandparents’ generation) clocks were frequently given as gifts–perhaps for a wedding, anniversary or retirement. Sometimes they were mantle clocks or brass clocks under a glass cachet or even pocket watches. When I can find a clock in a client’s home I always use it. It’s just a great reminder of how precious time truly is.

Modern Ranch Reveal

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We’ve been teasing photos of this home for more than a year and now it’s finally time to share this project in its entirety! It’s always fun to reveal a whole house because you get to see the end result as it’s always been imagined and intended by our team.
This particular project originated when our longtime clients came to us with the idea to build a weekend home. Already owners of vacation homes in Florida and Wyoming, they purchased approximately 90 acres just north of downtown with the intent to build a ranch home to entertain family closer to their primary Tulsa residence.
After a couple of months weekending at the new house, they love it so much they have decided to make it their permanent Tulsa residence and sell their home in the city. As a designer I don’t know if there is any greater compliment. Let’s take a look!

Main Living
How a client will use a space dictates our design of it. The number one purpose of this home: hosting family. So, we designed it to do just that! From the fireplace to the kitchen, we designed the home with gathering in mind.
The house is about 4,000 square-feet and every room is large, so the furniture needed to match that scale. It also needed to accommodate plenty of people, which is why you will find so many seating opportunities throughout the open-concept kitchen, living and dining areas.
Our client is a “black-and-white” girl, but in this home she wanted to bring in color to evoke happiness and create a cheerful environment. We found a one-of-a-kind rug at market, which set our design in motion. From there, we chose the sofas and introduced subtle colors and patterns throughout the home that would play off each other. Of course, we kept the background neutral to keep that familiar black-and-white element and to let the colors shine.
The living room’s soaring ceiling features reclaimed wood beams from Timber and Beam, and is adorned with a massive 66-inch-wide Ralph Lauren chandelier. We flanked the black granite slab fireplace with two large sofas and club chairs. You’ll have to look closely to find the TV in this room– we specifically chose the black granite as a way to disguise it above the fireplace.
Coffee Bar
A coffee bar between the living area and kitchen offers an intimate space to gather with four swivel chairs that allow views into both rooms as well as the outdoors. This home may be for large groups of people, but we wanted to create intimate moments too. Any time you can gather chairs together into two to four directly across from each other you tend to have more direct conversation. It’s a great little spot to have a cup of coffee and read the paper or your iPad while enjoying the amazing scenery outside.
In the kitchen, she wanted views out of both sides of the home. The kitchen sink faces the front of the property while the dining area overlooks the back of the home and the pond. The large dining table offers seating for the entire family with a built-in bench seat for grandkids on one side and chairs for adults on the other.
To break up the large space, we chose San Benedicto leathered granite for the perimeter countertops and a durable Bianco Statuario Quartz for the island, which features even more seating opportunities. As the workhorse of the kitchen, and the home, the island is lit with Hudson Valley pendants and painted Sherwin Williams Tricorn Black. The rest of the cabinetry is painted Simply White while a barn door painted Benjamin Moore’s Courtland Blue hides the generous pantry.
The homeowner had beautiful heirloom dishes, so we lit the cabinet shelves and carefully lined up the collection so that each piece would be visible between the cabinetry mullions. We never want our clients to walk into a home that feels like it’s out of a magazine. We always want them to walk into a home that feels like it’s their personal signature. Creating moments like this is what our design is all about.
Choosing high-performing yet attractive materials was imperative. The light wood flooring is actually engineered wood, which makes it really durable for all the in-and-out traffic as well as the family’s large dogs. The dining bench seat is a “pleather” so it’s easy to wipe up spills.

Primary Suite
As with all my designs, the primary suite is meant to be a restful retreat for the homeowners. The oversized room features a stunning four-poster bed at one end, while the opposite end offers a seating area where the couple can relax and watch TV away from the main living area.
The home may be in the country, but we had to include all the modern amenities for comfort such as the remote controlled shades and black out curtains. Imagine waking up, pressing a button and seeing llamas and horses outside—such a dream!
The owners’ bath is spa-like with a large soaking tub, walk in shower and double vanities. We kept the colors muted in here and let the tile design take center stage.
The floor is the star of the show with a stone hexagon pattern and Carrara subway border.  A linen closet with antique mirrored fronts adds a touch of glamour and hides necessities.

Guest Suites
The owners have three granddaughters and one grandson, so we planned the guest rooms accordingly. The larger bedroom became the girls’ “bunk room” and the smaller was dedicated to the boy.
We had so much fun designing the girls’ quarters. Four custom made beds line the walls between individual window seats at each dormer window. It’s a precious room that reminds me of the story Madeline where they’re all lined up in their beds.
We chose a rosy pink as the predominant color. From the Pinecone Hill bedding to the custom pink sconce shades, everything is soft and subtle, but still very colorful and cheery like the client wanted. The carpet is neutral with a window pane pattern that really helps it stand out. The patterns all play so well off each other.
A barn door painted in Benjamin Moore’s Eraser Pink opens to reveal a secret hideout with a sectional and TV. For now, the girls use it to play and watch movies, but it is large enough to accommodate air mattresses for even more guests.
In the girls’ bathroom, we did the opposite of the primary bath. While the floor is black and white, we added color all over the walls with Caitlin Wilson’s ultra-cheerful Penelope wallpaper.
The same soft pink of the bedroom is repeated in the tile for the “princess bath” shower/tub combo. Instead of one glass partition we used two shower doors atop the tub so you can open both when bathing and not feel totally enclosed.
The grandson’s bedroom has a distinctly masculine tone. It’s arguably the most neutral room in the house with black, white, grey and taupe comprising the color palette. A wooden chandelier hints at a rustic element, while the oval metal nightstands add an industrial feel. The showstopper of the room, however, is the bed, which features fabric stretched over a wood and pipe frame.
The en suite bath echoes the neutral theme with grey being the predominant color. While it may be monochromatic, we still managed to add visual interest with a mosaic penny tile on the shower floor as well as a vertical accent stripe on the shower wall.

Outdoor Living
Cedar posts, pine ceilings, batten board siding, black frame windows and metal roofing give the exterior of the home a farmhouse feel, but with a level of classic sophistication.
The wrap-around porch is meant for about five different opportunities for outdoor gathering. There’s a fire pit seating area overlooking the pond, a cozy daybed swing for afternoon naps, a huge outdoor fireplace for chilly nights under the stars, a dining and grilling area, and the lounge area just off the primary suite. We even hung some swings from the cedar beams on the porch for the grandkids.
One detail I love is the brickwork on the porch floor, which is laid in a herringbone pattern. We paid close attention to details and worked with the brick layers to make sure that whatever direction you’re walking is the direction the herringbone pattern is laid. Many people don’t know that is the way you’re supposed to install it—almost like a little road map.
This is one home and property that will be explored and loved for many years to come. We are so grateful we were able to help bring it to life—and share it with you!

New Year, New Look

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Simple Ways to Update Your Home

I don’t know about you, but after the holiday decor is all boxed up and put away I am always ready for a little design refresh in my home. I often hear the same thing from clients so I thought I would share some easy tips for breathing new life into your home this month.


The easiest way to make a change in your decor has and always will be with your accessories. But—here is the fun part, and a shift that has me very excited—I am seeing people gravitate towards incorporating family heirlooms and vintage/organic pieces into their homes again.

I’ve had several clients want to keep and display meaningful pieces they have either inherited or come across. For example, one client had three grandfather clocks. We discarded one and kept the other two, saving one from each side of the family. We gave them both a fresh coat of high-gloss paint and now they are the showstopper in her home. With another client, instead of hiding her expansive collection of barware, we chose to display it all in the bar area which in turn created a truly unique design statement. It’s all about finding creative ways to breathe new life into pieces that are meaningful to you. Don’t just keep them to keep them! Instead, update them, rethink them and give them a significant place in your home. The bonus is that yours will have something no other home will have—a truly one-of-a-kind design element!

If you haven’t inherited any wonderful pieces, don’t fret. Antique stores, resale shops and even various online sites can be a goldmine for quality pieces. Being one of eight siblings, I lost the bid for our family cookie jar when it went to my oldest brother. But, that heirloom was so special to me I eventually found an identical jar and bought it so I could incorporate it into my home. I love teasing my brother now and making him second guess who actually has the real deal! Likewise, I recently came across a vintage 1970s lamp that was incredibly well made and fit into today’s design aesthetic beautifully. It had a horrible shade, but I know that is an easy fix. I can’t wait to find the perfect home for it.


Thankfully, the trend over the past several years has been towards monochromatic, somewhat sparse spaces, which makes it very easy to introduce color in small, noncommittal ways. Think pillows, art and small accessories. Benjamin Moore did a great job capturing the color palettes we are asked about most as of late with their 2022 color story. The trend now in color is earthy—terra cotta (I love Benjamin Moore’s “Wildfire”), sage and deep charcoal blues. Benjamin Moore’s “Natural Linen” is a great neutral that is not gray. The neutral trend is here to stay, but it is trending warmer and this color hits the nail on the head. For white, I usually gravitate towards an off-white like Benjamin Moore’s “Wind’s Breath.”  You can find Benjamin Moore locally at Spectrum Paint.


Like I said, the neutral palette is still a strong trend whether it is your total color scheme or a backdrop to the earthy tones mentioned above. The key to making neutral interesting and pleasing to the eye, however, is texture, texture, texture. When it comes to pillows and throws, be sure to incorporate various materials. For accessories, think about layers and juxtaposing elements. Perhaps you have a beautiful bowl on your coffee table…try adding some moss balls. The harmonious blend of opposing materials will make your design pop.

If your home is ready for a refresh and you need our team to be your eyes and ears on the project, fill out a design request form HERE.  We’ll go from there!