Friday, June 28, 2013

1 year until my Golden Birthday

Happy Birthday to me.... and to Decrospective!  
Today is my 27th birthday and marks Decrospective's 1-year anniversary!

This 1-year milestone took me completely by surprise; this year has been full of amazing experiences and I thought I should take a moment to reflect.  Or, as you may say, give a little retrospective! 

Fun facts about Decrospective:
1. Most of this blog's page views are coming from the U.S. (not much of a surprise) but look at those light shades of green. That's right, Decrospective is getting page views from Germany, Russia, Latvia, and many more :)Graph of most popular countries among blog viewers

2. People are viewing old posts almost just as much as current posts.  That post about the giant stink bugs is one of the most popular!

3. By the time this post airs, Decrospective will have had over 150 blog posts and around 7500 page views! 

Fun Facts about E
1. If you have a lot of friends, you're going to be invited to a lot of weddings!  
Since Decrospective's inception a year ago, my romantic interest and I have been to 4 weddings and have another 6 to go before the end of 2013.  Suffice it to say, this is going to be a very expensive year!  On the bright side, my shopping cart, electric slide, and Saturday Night Fever dance moves are better than ever!

2. I gave up buying clothes and shoes for the year 2013.  
I came up with this challenge after realizing that there's not a lot keeping me in check when it comes to self-restraint.  I don't have to ask anyone's permission to do anything anymore.... What better way to practice self control than to take away one of my favorite things.

Admittedly, it sucks.... terribly! Six months through my challenge I have only cheated once (I need a formal dress for a friends wedding.....). 

3. Don't discredit the small stuff!
While not spending my money on the usual things... I'm learning to appreciate all the small things (which really are the best things)!  Photos booths, fake mustaches, ice cream before dinner = yes, please!  Stopping to smell the flowers... of course!

Thank you so much for tuning in to Decrospective every once-in-awhile - the good, bad, beautiful, ridiculous, and fun! Get ready for another fun year of design, food, laughter!!!

Please don't hesitate to comment or contact me! :) 

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Romda Rice Carmen - All the Best

A few weeks ago, famed blogger Ronda Rice Carmen visited Houston during her book tour.  In a nutshell, her blog called All the Best, includes all things she deems to be, quite simply, 'the best."  

Much to the industry's happiness, interior design is one of her favorite subjects.  Very often, she interviews interior designers, decorators, and arbiters of style and very recently just completed a beautiful book called "Designers at Home."  
Designers At Home
"Designers at Home: Personal Reflections on Stylish Living presents the personal living spaces of fifty distinctive design leaders...."

Here's Ronda describing how she started her blog and how it has transformed throughout the years.  After moving to Scotland, Ronda was searching for a way to reconnect to the US and blogging opened to the door for her.  You know what her very first blog post was about....
Champagne :)

Here's fellow BDI lady, Amber and I listening to Ronda :) 

Now she travels throughout the world documenting some of the best interior design and stylish living!

Ronda was so gracious to sign books and talk with each and every person for a few minutes!

Monday, June 24, 2013

Behind the Scenes - Photo shoot

Designers are often depicted as glamorous, high-heel wearing, antique-loving, iPad-wheeling people. 

Truth is, there's a lot that goes on behind the scenes that is a lot dirtier, trickier, and heavy-furniture moving difficult.  The ladies at By Design have a new mission - to bring you some of the off-the-wall things that go on in our crazy world.

Earlier this month, I had my cowgirl's home professionally photographed by my favorite photographer, Brad Carr. (Check out his website here!)

Photo shoots can be really tricky.  More often than not, a photographed space is not at all how the space is lived in. In addition to taking over someone's personal space for awhile, camera lenses often skew what you see and furniture/accessories have to be placed accordingly.

Anyway - here are some amazing behind-the-scenes shots.  Can't wait to show you the professional photos once they're finished!

Who was ready for her closeup? 
Jesse. Pets are great things to have in interior photos; Jesse was gracious enough to model in a couple of shots!

How do you get a great photo of a fabulous powder bathroom? 
Yup! Squattin' on the toilet!

Brad's computer is directly linked to his camera.  This way, we can see exactly what is going on with lighting, exposures, and get a general idea of how everything looks.

Have a lot of windows causing some unwanted shadows? 
Sometimes we have to cover certain windows to get rid of unwanted shadows or brightness. 

How comfy is your bathtub? 
Brad will do anything to get the perfect shot!

Even if it means standing on his car to get the perfect shot of the house!

Can't wait to show you the pictures!

Friday, June 21, 2013

Summer Solstice

Despite temperatures already reaching the mid-to-high 90s, today is the official first day of summer! Summer is the time to sit on the porch, relax and watch the sun go down. Don't worry we have some tips and tricks to get your outdoor space a great place to relax and enjoy the summer.

This is an amazing outdoor space Wamhoff Development and myself collaborated on. Can't overlook the custom Summer Classics furniture!

1) Outdoor furniture doesn't get the comfort of air conditioning

There are a wide variety of outdoor furniture companies that sell products in all sorts of price ranges.  Outdoor furniture and fabrics have to endure much more than just normal everyday wear and tear.  They have to endure rainstorms, hot hot hot temperatures, and chlorine or salt water from your pool or beach. Take a moment to assess what sort of beatings your furniture is going to take and check out different products and their reviews.  What may be great for high heat may not live as well in close proximity to salt water...

Check out Summer Classics for some of my favorite outdoor furniture!

2) Sunbrella, Sunbrella, Sunbrella

If you are getting furniture with cushions, but sure that it is OUTDOOR rated fabric. This will ensure that the color does not fade in the sun, mildew won't grow after a rain, dyes won't run after an afternoon swim and then lounge. Sunbrella is the most popular brand outdoor fabric, and it's my favorite. Their collections have lots of  great colors and patterns to chose from. Plus when they get dirty you can literally just hose them off!

 Gallery: Unassuming Awning

3) Know how to take care of your furniture

Outdoor furniture requires a little different maintenance than your indoor sofas and chairs.  For example, most manufacturers recommend vertically orienting your cushions after a rainstorm or good washing is the best way to dry the cushions.  Make sure to check manufacturers suggestions for cleaning and maintaining your new stuff.

Happy Designing!
Erika and Erin

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Getting ready for Summer

We are so blessed to have wonderful weather throughout most of the year.  I must admit that even though it gets scorchen hot during the summer, I do not miss scraping snow off of my car during the winters!

Clients all over the city have been getting their outdoor spaces and pools ready for some great outdoor living this summer.... including adding some beautiful floral touches. 

The following are some gorgeous outdoor florals - that will never need to be watered!

 A mix of succulents, wooden elements, and rocks create the perfect outdoor pieces with minimal maintenance. 

Monday, June 17, 2013

Awesome Wood Console!

During some point of every project, I find something for a client that I would love to have in my own space.  Some of those items are no brainers, perfect pieces of furniture in my personal style.  Others, surprise me! Like this console.  Check out this one of a kind piece one of my clients ordered from Phillip's Collection! 

You got it - it is a giant hunk of wood :) But it is quite extraordinary!

This is one giant piece of Makha wood, a hard tropical wood. Here's what the Phillips Collection says about their beautiful piece...
"The Makha wood is a rare hardwood, highly prized for its outstanding finish. The wood is hard, heavy and dense and develops a beautiful patina as it ages. Makha is finely figured and typically reserved for use in fine musical instruments and luxury car interiors. The base of the Makha tree is especially valued due to the massive burls that grow in the root system"

Here's the amazing piece in it's new home!

Friday, June 14, 2013

Open House :)

Recently we had a project finish up and the client was so happy with the result that they hosted an Open House to show off their new home.

The job was done with Wamhoff Development, and they did amazing work! The client is so happy and we could not be prouder of the outcome!

  - Erin

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Color Combo's to Think About

There are new colors trending all the time. Emerald Green for example is huge right now! Pantone even picked it to be their Color of the Year for 2013. But there are some other color trends going on right now that you would not expect.

Now we all know that gray and yellow is huge and has been for a while, but what about blue and raspberry like this nursery below.
Or this navy, red and maroon.
Apartment Model Project

And lastly this fabulous light teal and orange

 - Erin

Monday, June 10, 2013

Redesign the Pre-Made Furniture

I have seen as of late, a new trend on Pinterest that is pretty cool. It's called Ikea Hack! It comes from the blog, which used to be

It's pretty cool. It give you way to take Ikea products and change/re-purpose them to fit your own unique needs!

Take a look at these awesome makeovers!

 - Erin

Thursday, June 6, 2013

How to Hang Curtains

There are all sorts of different types of window treatments out there. Some very good, and some very bad. But how do you avoid the bad ones. Well with a few tips and tricks you can get the best looking window treatments you have ever had.
Home Remodel Project

1) The higher you mount the curtains the taller your room will look.
High ceilings have been though to be a luxury. To make you ceilings look taller, you should mount your curtains as high as you can. This will draw the eye up. About 6"-12" under your crown molding is good, but remember if you think it is going to look funny don't do it. It's your house afterall.

Townhome Project
2) Don't go too short.
Premade panels only come in certain sizes, while custom can be whatever. When mounting premade panels be sure not to go to short. Yes the higher you mount the curtains the taller the room looks, but having curtains that stop a foot short of the floor, kind of defeats the purpose. If you are doing premade be sure to mount them so that they are about .5"-1" off the floor.

Girl's Room
3) Don't go overboard.
Curtains can soften and add warmth to a room, but remember like with all things not to go overboard. For instance, if you have a lot of patterns in your room already, think about doing a neutral curtain with a fun trim. Or if you have a lot of neutrals think about doing a fun print to spice up a room.

Semi Custom Home Project
  - Erin

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Traditional Texas Charm - Part 2

I can't wait to compare before and after photos of this space; the transformation was tremendous and turned an feminine antique filled space into a rich, elegant and manly home. 
I wish I could say the fish tank is the highlight of the space, but there are so many amazing focal points to this home.  Pre-remodel, the fish tank was a fireplace that was never used. Now, it houses a beautiful collection of salt water fish, coral, amoeba, etc. 

Every time I stop by the house, I spend a few minutes mesmerized by the shrimp, starfish and especially the Dori fish :)

It's starting to come together; this custom Harden sofa is one of the most comfortable sofa's I have ever sat it!

The stone archway leads into the media room and a companion archway to the right of it leads into the cave-like wine grotto.

Wine tasting room - that's what this room is going to become!

Looks quite different with furniture.... the backs of the dining chairs are upholstered in patterned fabric while the seats and fronts are upholstered in a highly durable, stain resistant fabric.  Wine spills - not a problem!

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Traditional Texas Charm

One of my favorite and long-term client's projects is finally wrapping up. This homeowner is one of the most honest people I've ever met and when he says something to you, you should listen. He's very forthcoming and isn't afraid to tell you what you're doing wrong - not to embarrass you or belittle you - but to help you do better and get it right. 

It actually took me a few months to learn how to work with him. See, some clients don't know how to vocalize what they want, but they can show you pictures.  This man didn't have pictures, but he would very simply state, in as few words as possible, what he wanted.  I was profoundly confused at first over-thinking this man's style.  I would ask him a zillion questions, show him pictures, compare and contrast different styles with what he already had.  

But his answers wouldn't afford any additional insight than what he had originally told me he wanted and we would both end up a bit bewildered.  I'm not exactly sure when it happened, but finally the light bulb lit up and I figured out how to listen to him.  Because he wouldn't say much, everything he would say and how he said it was extremely important.  

In a statement as simple as "coordinate with my rug and don't make it girly" I could design an entire room that he loved.

  When I would show him something and he would say 'no'..... it meant no and I would never show him that item again.  But if he said 'yes'... I would take that piece and run like hell with it!  

This project has been very rewarding in the fact that I was given an immense amount of creative freedom... but of course that came with learning how to decipher verbal code that CIA would have problems with!

Anyway - enjoy these images and come back in a couple days to see the spaces with furniture :)
After eight long months, the first floor renovation is about complete. Here is the new living room sans several pieces of furniture and art. 

Another shot of the living room; this client wanted a space free of electronics, a comfortable and cozy space to sit and enjoy a glass of wine with friends and family. 
Soon to be dining room. I wish I had taken a closeup picture of the rug without furniture because it is quite beautiful!

Check back in soon for more pictures!