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:


So, I knew I wanted to make our Christmas cards on I also knew that even though I really like to do a collage of photos, this year I wanted one simple unique photo. We were going to visit my dad in Maine for Thanksgiving. They have a big field behind their house and beyond that is a lake. I thought it would be fun to have my dad and stepmom take a photo of us in the field with the lake in the background.

First my middle child, step mom, and I scoured the garage for different levels of things to sit on. (I think I could have convinced them to let me take their sofa outside if it hadn’t been kind of muddy!) So we found some foot stools, went out to the field and I lined everyone up for a test shot:

Notice the red everyone is wearing…it will become important later on…


Ummmm, where’s mom?


Pretty good, but dad’s eyes are closed.


I think we’ve found a winner!

Next I just needed to make a little adjustment…like removing all of the color from the photo except for the red…_0005Then I started to play with the photo on Minted!  Here are the card selections I narrowed it down to and how they look with my photo:mintedUltimately, I liked the one on the left best and here it is!minted final

And here is a photo of the photography crew with their grandchildren:_0006Incidentally my dad writes a blog, too. It is about his life since he was diagnosed with Multiple Myloma, an (as yet) untreatable form of cancer.  If you want to check that out here is a link:

Those of you who know me know that I love Christmas cards.  I especially love giving and receiving photo cards!  I actually place all the photo cards that our family receives in an album. It’s fun to see how my friends and family have changed over the years.

Last year I made our Christmas cards on  Here is how they looked online:

card 2014I think they turned out gorgeous in person (though my photo doesn’t do it justice):


I was so happy with the whole process.  It was fun and easy to add my photos and personalize my card.  The hardest part was choosing a design!

I’m using Minted to make my cards again this year and I have to say…choosing a design is still the hardest part.  There are so many to choose from!  I do like that I can see a preview of my photo in several cards at once:

card 2014 2

I’m excited to get the jump on Christmas this year!  It’s not even Thanksgiving yet, and I’m already finishing up my Christmas cards!  AND this year I’m going to take advantage of Minted’s feature of Free Recipient Addressing.  They have lots of designs to make the outside of the envelope match the inside.

Stay tuned to see my chosen design!

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

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

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!







_0001Guess where I went on Monday!  If you read the title of this post, then you know:  I went to the Blogger Block Party hosted by HGTV Magazine!  Since my middle son, Matthew has been functioning as my assistant in some of my DIY projects, I brought him along.  (It is surprisingly cheap to take a bus from Philadelphia to NYC!  Both of us got there and back for about $24 each!) Being at the mercy of the bus schedule, we arrived a little bit early and were the first ones there!  So we had time for a few photos in the lobby.


We got our picture taken when we got in and that photo made it onto the big screen where it rotated in and out all day._0003_0004There were stations set up on three floors and speakers/demonstrations every hour. There was a Flea Market Flip contest between Brooklyn Craft Company founder Brett Bara and HGTV magazine lifestyle editor Jodi Kahn.  We were welcomed by Editor in Chief, Sara Peterson:


Laurie March demonstrated a DIY art project using burnt matches similar to some art projects she did in the DIY Network’s Blog Cabin:_0006

Jason Cameron’s talk was a bit more of an infomercial for Wagner paint’s spray gun, but he’s pretty cute, so it was easy to watch!_0010

I actually got invited to the stage with Stephanie Marchetti of the blog Sandpaper and Glue to help Danny Seo make an upcycled home version of Candyland using scrapwood and Wilsonart laminate sample chips.  _0011

We both got a copy of Danny’s book Upcycling: Celebrations and Stephanie got to keep Danny’s pre-made version of the game:_0016

We saw season 7 Design Star winner, Danielle Colding._0013

Matthew and I did the Chinet Challenge where we had 1 minute to do a pretty table setting.  The photos were tweeted or Instagram’ed and printed out and Sara Peterson & Genevieve Gorder judged the best one.  I’m pretty sure we came in second place. 😉
tableGenevieve Gorder shared her thoughts on coming design trends.  For 2016 she thinks we’ll be seeing more of a Scandanavian influence with black and white contrasted and timeless tribal print patterns with an emphasis more on triangles and less on circles and squares. For 2017 she thinks we be seeing a big Cuban influence with tropical green colors and bold leaf patterns with pops of coral-ly pink.

_0014After she spoke, Genevieve posed for photos.  She was very gracious and took the time to chat with everyone in line.  I hate to post this photo because she looks like Barbie and I look like…Mrs. Potato Head, but here it is…

_0015We did some fun activities throughout the day.  We created mini terrariums and painted tiny canvases with stencils.  Matthew won a Snuggle teddy bear by spinning a wheel and naming the flower that the spinner landed on.  We had some fun designing a shopping board on a giant smart board using products from  The event ended with a reception during which Matthew and I hung out in the lounge.  Quite a fun day!




So…here is something we haven’t talked about on this blog yet.  In addition to my design business, I own a retreat house.  You can find it here:  Legacy Retreat House, if you care to take a peek.  IMG_5448

It started out as a weekend retreat house for scrapbookers, quilters and other crafters and has begun to take on vacationing families.  When we furnished it, we put in a luggage rack for every bed figuring no one was staying more than a few nights.  Now with our vacationing families, people are beginning to stay for a week or two at a time.  As I was out running errands one day, I thought, “I really need to start looking for dressers for the retreat house.”  No kidding, on my way back home, there was a dresser on the side of the road with a big “FREE” sign on it!


Of course, I stopped and put it in my van with the help of a nice teenage boy who was riding by on his bike.  It’s an interesting little dresser.  There were originally four knobs on each of the three drawers, but many knobs were missing.  There were three left on the top drawer, one on the middle and three on the bottom.  I really didn’t want to invest in new hardware… and four pulls per drawer seemed excessive, so I decided to redistribute the hardware I had and fill in the holes where I was not going to replace the pulls.

See all the holes for the missing hardware?

See all the holes for the missing hardware?

Let me tell you… this is a really nice, high quality, much-heavier-than-it-looks dresser! Look at the stamp in the drawer and the dovetail joints!

Ethan Allen!

Ethan Allen!

Dovetail Joints

Dovetail Joints











So here is what it looked like after I filled in the holes:


I sanded the drawer fronts and spray painted them with Rustoleum Ultra Cover 2X Spray in gloss white.  The dresser top was looking a little beat up, so I decided to sand and spray that, too.

_0013_0005While the paint was drying, I tackled the hardware.

With salt and lemon juice...before adding the Bon Ami. Compare the top three to the bottom one.

With salt and lemon juice…before adding the Bon Ami. Compare the top three to the bottom one.

The knobs are real brass.  The pulls are brass plated.  Not that it matters, you clean them the same way.  First I tried a little Bon Ami, a natural cleanser that we use for cleaning our copper bottom pots and pans.  That didn’t really do much.  So I tried a mixture of salt and lemon juice with a tooth brush.  That did a pretty good job. THEN…I added the Bon Ami to the salt and lemon juice…score!








Look at that hardware shine in the photo below!





And lastly, a photo of the dresser in it’s new home:

photo 1 (2)Here’s a before & after side by side:





What do you think?

Want to know a cool and perhaps unexpected perk to having a blog?  You can use it as a portfolio to show off some of your work!  Want to see what I’ve been working on?

Jennifer Terry The Everygirl Mood Board -min

This design is for a company I’ve done some work for. The company will be featured on a well-known blogging site in the near future!  I can only hope that my design is front and center! They asked for a living room for a young, urban woman interested in hip, chic design. Here’s a 3D view of how the room will look:

roomI just did a nursery idea board for a woman who asked that the room feature an elephant.  She already had the rug and the crib and she really liked a $4000 version of this chandelier (this one is only $380!):

Odalis nursery - Page 001-minHere is a living room for a gal in NYC looking for a bit of contemporary design.  The white cabinet is her existing TV stand:

Calm & Collected Mood Board for Michiko -minWhat are you looking for?  I can do a mood board for you, too!  We’ll discuss what you are looking for, what you like and don’t like.  Then I’ll make you a board similar to those above.  We’ll tweak it until it is exactly what you are looking for.  Then I’ll provide you with a floor plan (so so know where to place everything) and shopping list and you’ve got yourself a new room all at a budget that you set before we begin!