I work primarily as an e-designer and I want to show you the latest project I’ve been working on: An outdoor deck!

Colorful Outdoor Deck by Jennifer Terry of Calm & Collected


My client wanted a bright colorful outdoor sitting area on her deck. She had already picked out these Acapulco Papasan chairs and she knew she wanted an outdoor sectional.

I started with the sectional. Since I knew she wanted the space to be colorful, I wanted a neutral sectional to be the backdrop.  I found this one at AllModern.com. It comes with a matching coffee table. The client didn’t want a matching coffee table, but the set was such a great price, we got it anyway! I wanted another out-of-the-ordinary chair and began looking at hanging chairs.  I chose a white one to match the papasan chairs.

Now that I had a neutral seating base it was time to add color. We looked at a LOT of rugs! We wanted lots of bright color, an 8′ x 10′ size, a somewhat tribal pattern and of course, it had to be an outdoor rug. This rug met all the criteria except the 8′ x 10′ size. We really liked everything else about it, so we opted to use two 5′ x 8′ rugs and just butt them against each other. Obviously the acapulco chairs would face the sectional. I have them turned here so you can see the pillows on them.

I added some colorful throw pillows in purple and a couple shades of orange and some planters and ta!da! On the other side of her deck she wanted a small dining area.Colorful Outdoor Deck by Jennifer Terry of Calm & CollectedAcapulco dining chairs pull up to the ends of the outdoor table and tie in to the chairs in the sitting area. The side chairs are Bertoia-style. The glass rooting vases pull in the color from the other side of the deck!


Sectional Sofa | Acapulco Papasan Chair | Rugs | Pouf | Two-tone Orange Pillow | Purple Pillow 

Dining Table | Acapulco End Chairs | Bertoia Side Chairs | Glass Rooting Vases | Globe String Lights

What do you think about the color scheme? Is this a combination you’d be willing to try in your backyard?


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So, I’m driving to my doctor’s appointment on Thursday when I get this niggling feeling that my appointment was changed from Thursday to Friday. (Yes, I do things like that… with scarily increasing frequency!) I call my husband and ask him to double check this thought for me and yes, my appointment was for the next day. Luckily, I realized this when I was right near the exit for our closest Goodwill store. Of course, to not waste the whole trip, I decide to check out Goodwill. I walk in the door and right there, right inside the door looking at me is an old classroom type chalk board.  I look around the room thinking someone must have set this here while they shop. I tentatively pick it up waiting for someone to holler, “Hey that’s mine!” No one yells as I carry it to the counter and ask them to set it aside while I look around. It was mine! Oh, and did I mention? The price was $6.97! SCORE!

I knew right where I wanted to put my lovely new chalk board: on a blank wall in my kitchen.Kitchen Refresh Before PhotoI know- it’s really messy. I thought that would add to the dramatic “after” photo. I could have just hung the chalkboard here, but that brown paneling has annoyed me since we moved in 7 years ago. I kept saying I would change it, but not until I had a plan.

Now, I had a plan! I wanted to hang the chalk board and paint the wall. I looked into chalk painting the wall because you can supposedly paint over anything with chalk paint without using a primer. But when I saw the price of chalk paint and how much it would cost to paint this wall? Um, no. I knew I’d leave the chalkboard as is- green with a natural wood frame. My cabinets are white and I’ve been thinking about painting this dresser a different color for a little pop in the kitchen. I needed a paint color that would lend itself to that. In my head I decided on yellow before heading out to the paint store. A creamy yellow, no more specific than that. I’m pretty careful and cautious when choosing paint for a client, but I’m pretty rash about choosing color for my own home! I didn’t even bring a paint chip home. I just looked at all the yellows and thought, “That one!” It is called Rise and Shine by Clark & Kensington. So I bought it and brought it home and got to work with my 6’4″ son who can pretty much reach everything without a ladder! I have to say- it took a coat of primer and 2 coats of paint to cover that terrible paneling. We also had to touch up some areas 2 or 3 more times before it was really and truly covered.

Our kitchen looks so much brighter! I love the chalk board. I’m no chalk board artist, though! I picture this as a great place to leave phone messages, reminders and notes to each other. Now I just have to spiff up that dresser!

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Star Wars Home Office Designs for adults by Jennifer Terry of Calm and CollectedI actually had a client (a grown man and his wife) ask me to design a Star Wars home office! As a Star Wars fan, I was actually quite excited about the prospect! Excited and a little daunted. How does one design a Star Wars home office for adults and not have it come out looking like an 8 year old boy’s bedroom?!?! Well, I started with some inspiration photos.

I like to give my clients two concept boards showing two different ways we can take the room. I thought we could do a “dark side” and a “light side”. For the “dark side” I used an image of the Chancellor’s office from Star Wars II (or the 5th movie if, like me, you go by when they were released). I’m using “dark side” strictly in the sense that the walls and furniture in this photo are darker than the ones in my second photo. “Dark” is not a commentary on the Chancellor as I *gasp* did not care too much for the second run of three Star Wars movies and don’t have much memory of the scene below. My apologies to you, die-hard Star Wars fans. Let’s just look at the walls and furniture below.
Inspirational image- the Chancellor's office used to design a home office

My second inspiration photo is a “light side” photo of the interior of *swoon* the Millennium Falcon, from the REAL Star Wars movies. Kidding! Just kidding! Sort of. Anyway, you can tell this is an artist concept because it looks a lot cleaner than I remember the Falcon being in any of the movies!Inspirational image- the Millenium Falcon used to design a home office

So- how do we take these inspiration images and turn them into Star Wars Themed home Office concepts for adults?  Let’s see…

"Dark side" Design concept for a Star Wars themed Home office for adults! designed by Jennifer Terry of Calm & Collected

The client wanted desk space for himself and his wife, a table where they could hold family meetings and their kids can do their homework and a seating area to relax and read. For the “dark side” concept, I took the burgundy wall color from the inspiration photo and dark, modern, angular furniture. I also sparingly used some actual Star Wars products like the Han Solo Trapped in Carbonite Rug, an R2D2 trashcan and “blueprints” of an x-wing bomber, a tie fighter and an AT AT.

"Light side" Design concept for a Star Wars themed Home office for adults! designed by Jennifer Terry of Calm & Collected

For the “light side” concept, I used a lot of whites and grays. I don’t know if you can actually buy a mural of the Millennium Falcon going into light speed, but someone should make one! It’s too cool of an idea to not be out there somewhere! I kept the Han Solo rug because …well…I think it’s clever. I also kept the light saber room lights. The industrial concrete stools really drive this concept home.

I’ll put the inspiration photos directly above the concepts so you don’t have to keep scrolling to compare them:

Inspirational image- the Chancellor's office used to design a home officeInspirational image- the Millenium Falcon used to design a home office"Light side" Design concept for a Star Wars themed Home office for adults! designed by Jennifer Terry of Calm & Collected

I want to show you one other way to include Star Wars in an adult home office. This design is one I did for a client’s dining room, but it could just as easily be a home office. Here I just swapped out the dining table for a desk and rolling chair:

Retro Star Wars posters in a Design concept for a Star Wars themed Home office for adults! designed by Jennifer Terry of Calm & Collected

On the wall are two sets of retro Star Wars movie posters found on Etsy. Do you want some of these items for your own home office? I can link to some of the products below. I do not make any money from these links. I just want you to be able find what you need!

Click on the photos below to go to the pages where they can be bought:





















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Pantone announced their color of the year for 2017: HGow to use Pantone's color of the year: Greenery--in your own home!

What do you think?

Pantone describes the color as “a fresh and zesty yellow-green shade that evokes the first days of spring when nature’s greens revive, restore and renew.” I certainly love the description!

Pantone's color of the year: GreeneryWhile I wouldn’t want a whole room this color,there are plenty of ways to use it. It would make a striking accent wall in a mostly white kitchen like this one found on WB Tourism:  Fabulous White Kitchen Lime Green Accent Bethesda Contemporary Homeor in this bedroom by Panache Interiors:by panache interiors

You can bring greenery into your home through bedding or a bench like these from Casanova Design Group: bedding

Or maybe just a few accent pieces like Ann Hepfer Designs used in these pillows and the back of the bookcase in this living room: accents

Greenery is a great color for bringing the outdoors inside, but it would also look great on the outside! door

Leatrice Eiseman, Executive Director of the Pantone Color Institute, said, “Greenery bursts forth in 2017 to provide us with the hope we collectively yearn for amid a complex social and political landscape. Satisfying our growing desire to rejuvenate, revitalize and unite, Greenery symbolizes the reconnection we seek with nature, one another and a larger purpose.”

I won’t argue with that!

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Create a Gallery Wall in 6 easy steps-all by yourself with no measuring! calmandcollected.us

I’ve taken on the moniker “Gallery Girl”.  It started as sort of a joke and now my clients actually call me “Gallery Girl”.  I have created a lot of gallery walls in the many homes we have lived in over the years.  I have helped clients both locally and up and down the east coast (via the internet) create gallery walls in their homes, too! These are the instructions I give my clients.  You can do this all by yourself, with no measuring!

First of all, I would like to state that there is no right or wrong way to put together a gallery wall.  There are no “rules”, but there are some tricks to making them cohesive and pleasing.

You can make them cohesive using matching frames and mats or using mats and frames that are all the same color even if they don’t quite match.  This is what Emily Clark did in this home office by Emily A. Clark Interiors:

Gallery Wall with white mats and mismatched black frames.

Gallery Wall with white mats and mismatched black frames.

I’m a big fan of an eclectic gallery wall where all the frames are mismatched and there are objects besides photos.  I wanted a casual beach theme for my bedroom and I believe what makes my gallery wall cohesive is that all the items fit the beach theme.  Note that a gallery wall is also the best way to deal with this bend in the wall which would have made using one large piece of art very awkward.

Create a Gallery Wall in 6 easy steps all by yourself! All items on this wall and dresser have a beach theme. Calmandcollected.us

All items on this wall and on the dresser have a beach theme.

So here are six simple steps to creating a gallery wall that you can hang all by yourself:

1.  Gather your items.  You could do this on one shopping trip or over the course of several years.  It took me about a year to compile the items for my wall.  I had been waiting for one last large piece to anchor the wall when I came across the painting of a girl playing in the sand in the center of the photo.

2.   Lay your items out on the floor in front of the wall where you will hang them. Play with the configuration until you are happy with it.

Lay your objects out on the floor. (Pay no mind to not-so-pleasant carpet. It came with the house!)

Lay your objects out on the floor. (Pay no mind to the not-so-pleasant carpet. It came with the house!)

3.  Trace each item onto a piece of newsprint. Be sure to trace the placement of the hangers.  This is how you get away without measuring!

4. Use painter’s tape to tape each piece of newsprint on the wall in the desired configuration. Step back and make sure you like the overall effect. Adjust if necessary.

Gallery Wall layout made with newsprint

5.  Hammer a nail into the newsprint in the spot where you’ve marked the hanger.

6.  Hang the picture, remove the newsprint, repeat.

That’s it!  That’s all there is to it!  These are the actual instructions I give my e-design clients.  If you enjoyed this post, I’d love for you to click the follow button in the lower right corner of your screen or follow my blog with Bloglovin.


The Characteristics of 6 Popular Design Styles & Where to Buy ThemOften when I am working with clients, they say they like a certain design style.  I always like to make sure that their idea or definition of that style matches up with my idea.  I thought it would be fun to nail down my own definition of some of today’s popular styles and show examples of what I think are some of the defining characteristics.  I’ll also put some links to good places to shop for each style!

1. Bohemian
Bohemian design style examples

To me, Bohemian style is characterized by an eclectic mix of rich textiles with vibrant patterns that might be described as “Southwestern”, “Tribal” or “Moroccan”; flowy fabrics; bold colors.  In Bohemian design or Bohemian Chic, as some say, you’ll see tie dye living with macrame and animal hides.  This is a free spirited, mismatched design style.

Look for Bohemian design elements online at Anthropologie, Urban Outfitters Apartment and World Market.

2. Coastal

Coastal Design Style examples

The characteristics of Coastal style are warm, weathered woods; natural neutral fibers like jute, seagrass and sisal and lots of natural light.  The color palette is mostly grays, blues and beiges, but may include a pop of color (usually just one per room).  This is a casual design style with clean lines. Coastal, to me, is beachy, but a little moodier.

Some great places to find Coastal design elements are Pottery Barn and Pier 1 Imports.

3. Farmhouse

Farmhouse design style examples

I think Farmhouse is the evolution of what was once “country” or “French country”.  It is less kitschy and cluttered.  The base of this design is beige and white.  It’s close to “coastal” if you take the rope and sand of it and put in metal and repurposed old items like baskets, mason jars and old farm tools.  Farmhouse is painted kitchen cabinets (mostly white), Shiplap walls (Hello, Joanna Gaines!) distressed woods and barn doors.

Good places to look for Farmhouse Decor are Birch Lane, Pottery Barn, and the slightly more pricey Arhaus.

4. Industrial/Urban

Industrial Design Style examples

Industrial/Urban design is probably my favorite!  Think high ceilings and open floor plans since this design style is often found in city lofts and converted warehouses and manufacturing plants.  It is bare bones (exposed brick, concrete, steel) often with a hit of something softer or more elegant.  It is both organic and utilitarian.  The basic palette is gray and metal with salvaged accents.

Look for Industrial/ Urban design elements at West Elm, CB2, and the higher priced Restoration Hardware.

5. Mid-Century Modern

Mid-Century Modern design examples

Mid-Century Modern design is a call-back to the designs of the middle of the 20th century, roughly the mid 40’s to the mid 70’s. Think Brady Bunch or Mad Men. Mid-Century is when we really began to see mass produced furniture made from plywood, molded plastic and aluminum with straight , clean lines and no ornamentation.  The Mid-Century palette was pretty much natural woods paired with bright bold colors: orange, avocado, turquoise, gold and strong, graphic patterns. Mid-Century Modern is a combination of any of these Mid-Century elements mixed with some elements from today- any elements from any of these other design styles.  Without the addition of current elements you just have Mid-Century and that can look dated.

Great places to find Mid-Century Modern pieces would, of course, be flea markets and vintage stores or online at West Elm, DWR, Design Public.

6. Scandinavian

Scandinavian design style examples

Scandinavian design is extremely close to Mid-Century Modern since this minimalist, simple style that focused on functionality emerged in the mid 20th century.  I think of white and gray as the basis for this style layered with natural elements and maybe some pops of color.  This style is cozy and has lots of natural light with white or light window treatments (a necessity for long Nordic winters with short days).

It will not surprise you to hear that the best source for Scandinavian design is Ikea.

What is your favorite design style? Share with me in the comments and don’t forget to hit the “follow” button on the far right bottom corner of your screen!The Characteristics of 6 Popular Design Styles and Where to Buy Them

When it comes to design, I love textures!  I think I’m drawn to Industrial Design elements because I feel they are often very textural.  One thing I am drawn to repeatedly is pipe shelves!  Pipes and wood!  I’m going to make some for my living room.pipe shelves 1

Pipe Shelves found on the Nerd Nest

I’m having a hard time finding ones out there like the ones I want to build.  I really like the look of this library above  from Nerd Nest, but I don’t want to drill through the boards like they did.

I like the look of the unit below from Joanna Gaines, but I don’t want to attach every shelf to the wall.

pipe shelves 2

Pipe Shelves found on Magnolia Market

Finally, I found these shelves where they don’t drill through the boards or attach every shelf to the wall.  These are what I plan to base my own pipe shelves on:


Just right shelves from Constellation and Co.

Click the Follow button on the bottom right hand of the screen to follow along with me and be notified when I’ve built my own pipe shelves!

I love Meg Ryan.  I think I have seen all of her movies.  She seems like she’d be the same friendly, regular person in person as she plays in the movies.

When I was looking for a photo for this series, I stumbled across a photo tour of Meg’s home on Martha’s Vineyard.

Dining room in hamptons

Look at this little dining area!  It is so sweet and simple, we don’t even have to boil it down to get its essence. We can duplicate it literally.  What do we need?

Table, chairs, simple light fixture and  ideally, shiplap walls.  (Any Joanna Gaines fans out there?!?! You know she loves shiplap!) I’ve not done shiplap walls myself, but if you Google it, a ton of info, including some DIY’s, will come up.

Meg’s table is probably custom made.  It looks like a marble top with a wrought iron base.  I think the key to duplicating this table is just copying its simplicity and clean lines.  Add in four slip-covered parsons chairs and an old fashioned  pendant light.

Here’s a pendant light to try:light


Or if you don’t want to wire it, try this one:corded lightDo you have a room that you want me to duplicate?  Go to the contact page of my website and let me know:  http://calmandcollected.us/contact.html


I have a new job!  I will now be working as a designer for Decorsit.com!

decorist site


I’m very excited to be doing design work for people all over the country.  You can request me, if you’d like me to design your space.  Click on the photo above to check out my bio on the Decorist website.  =)

I thought it might be fun to have a regular feature on this blog that lets me talk more about design.  I’m thinking of taking photos of rooms I like from the internet and analyzing them from a design standpoint.  I’ll talk about what elements to copy to achieve a similar look in your own home and maybe provide shopping links for similar items at an affordable price point.

Where to start, though?  There are sooo many great photos on the internet!  How about we start with a celebrity home that looks fairly simple to duplicate?

jlos NYC penthouse bedroom

I love this little beauty!  It is a bedroom in Jennifer Lopez’s NYC Penthouse.  Let’s talk about it!

Before we can start to duplicate this look, we need to look at what elements make this room what it is.  How does this room make you feel and what elements contribute to that feeling?  Your answers may be different than mine!  I see a serene, neutral bedroom.  The tone-on-tone, mostly white palette is grounded with dark brown.  I believe the mix of texture is what makes this room so luxe.  To get a similar feel in your own room, here are the elements I think should be duplicated:

  1. The walls.  Start with a light colored neutral.  White, off-white, pale gray, light beige or even a subtle pink or lilac would give you this same airy feel.
  2. The white. Go crisp white on the drapes and go floor to ceiling if you can.  They should definitely touch the floor and then go as high as you can.  (My home has 10 foot ceilings. It’s tough to find pre-made drapes that would go floor to ceiling and they are super expensive when I do find them!)  Go crisp white on the bedding, too.  Comforter, quilt, duvet cover…it doesn’t matter, so long as it is crisp white.
  3. The textures.  This is super important for a tone-on-tone room!  Here there is a nubby, natural jute rug, a fluffy fur throw, what looks like a plush velvet sofa and the sleek smoothness of the bed, table and desk. And of course, lots of soft pillows!  If you don’t have space or budget for a velvet sofa, try a tufted bench instead.
  4. The dark brown.  You need a dark color to ground all the ethereal lightness of the rest.  The dark bed, the table and the desk chair ground this room and keep it from being whimpy and whispy.  You could also use black or a deep charcoal grey.  You can ground your room with different elements.  It doesn’t have to be the table, bed and chair, but the dark elements to need to spread across the room.  You could use black or oil-rubbed bronze drapery rods.  You could have a lamp with a black base on the desk, rather than a black desk chair.

I suspect that Jennifer’s bed is actually bronze, but here is a bed with similar lines that could ground an all-white room.  Click on the photo for shopping info. (I get no compensation for sharing these links!  I just thought it might be fun to help you shop!)

canopy bed

Modern, four poster bed

That beautiful carved table is probably custom made.  I could not find anything like it on the internet!  Nothing!  I’m embarrassed to tell you how long I spent looking for something similar.  I’m sure it is a dining table.  It appears too large to be an accent or end table.  If you wanted a table similar to this, your best bet would be CustomMade.com.

Let’s look at that white desk in the corner.  It is a white desk trying to balance a black table in the opposite corner.  It is able to do that because it is so chunky and is paired with a black chair. This writing desk is a great match and it’s under $200!


Chunky, white writing desk

What do you think of Design:  Duplicated?  Do you have a photo you’d like me to duplicate?  Please let me know!