Friday, December 7, 2012

SH** Interior Designers Say -Ha!

I do apologize for the lack of posts this week. The holiday grind has begun AND my fabulous new assistant started this week, so I've been getting her up to speed as well. You'll meet her in a future post.

It's been a long week, and I thought I'd end it by sharing this cute spoof Traditional Home created called "Sh** Interior Designers Say." It features the lovely Amanda Nisbet, Nick Olsen, Eddie Lee and Carson Kressley. I have to admit that I'm guilty of a few of these!

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Back to the Grind!

It's back to the grind after a relaxing 4 day holiday break, but would  you believe me if I told you I've been sick since my last post Nov. 14!? I finally got over my terrible cold, but got sick again on our way down to NC for Thanksgiving. I won't bother you with the details but my Thanksgiving included watching the entire Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade in a "Heavenly" bed at the Westin coupled with the Mister salvaging our Thanksgiving with a lonely trip to the grocery store on Thanksgiving day in order to make a delightful meal. I was bummed to miss out on the family festivities, but I was able to recoup in my own house in my own bed, and we found some time to get up our Christmas decorations!

So now that the Christmas season has officially begun, I'm trying my best not to stress out about buying all my Xmas presents and making myself sick. Thankfully, I came across a handy dandy guide that makes holiday shopping a breeze! Check out the To&From holiday gift guide created by Katie Anderson of Modern Eve and Meg Biram. I think these girls may be my heroes this holiday season! The guide is broken into themes and makes finding that perfect gift so easy as they have curated a delightful index of items that I would be happy to unwrap on Christmas morning. Enjoy!

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

It's that time of year...

Cold season:(  I'm laid up in bed today trying to work, but through the sneezing, runny nose and little to no voice, it's been difficult. With several projects underway, this is when I wish I could call my boss and take a sick day. BUT since I am the boss, the show must go on!

The plus side of having a cold is having a good excuse to indulge in hot toddies! They always seem to do the trick to at least soothe my throat. So I'm leaving you today with a great hot toddy recipe I tried based on Joanna's recipe.

Hot Toddy
½ shot Bourbon
1 tbsp honey
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 cup hot water

Monday, November 5, 2012

A Parisienne Photo Shoot

I told you guys I was a dreamer, and I now have a new dream to add to my list....have a professional photos taken of me and my future offspring in Paris:) I was inspired after seeing these fabulous photographs taken by the talented Doreen Kilfeather of a mother and daughter in Paris. The photos are absolutely charming, and I love Doreen's artistic eye and how she captures the whimsical spirit of that darling little girl. A girl can dream, right?

all photos via

Thursday, November 1, 2012

A thought...

I woke up today and made a vow. A vow to be present. I'm a bit of dreamer, and although I think dreaming is a a necessity, much like chocolate is in my life, I also don't want to miss out on the life happening right in front of me. Instead of wishing it was Saturday when Monday rolls around, I'm going to try and wait in expectation for what that day has in store for me. For better or worse. I'll let you know how this new perspective is working for me next week:)

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

The Everygirl

I only wish The Everygirl site had been established when I first moved to DC nine years ago. I was a bright-eyed, eager college graduate  anxious to see where fate would lead me in this crazy town.  Thankfully, I was able to figure out how to live in an expensive city on a first-job salary, but having a resource like The Everygirl would have given me more confidence.

Nine years, 3 different jobs, a husband, dog and fairly new house later, I have find myself owning my own interior design firm that continues to grow every year. I would never have thought I'd experience so much in a decade, but I'm thankful. Thankful that I can start and grow a company that I firmly believe in, thankful to have found my soul mate, and today....thankful that The Everygirl chose to feature my humble abode on their site. So please, come on in....I'd offer you a cup of coffee if I could!

Monday, October 29, 2012


We are hunkering down here along with everyone else on the east coast awaiting Sandy's arrival! We stocked up on wine, chocolate and other important survival elements. Although I'm not excited to see what Sandy will bring upon us, it was nice to have a slow morning. Cozy is a favorite word around our house, so that is what we will be doing the next few days....getting cozy and riding the storm out.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Drybar Comes to Washington!

I kept reading updates on blogs and various local websites touting that the well-known Drybar would be putting down roots in DC this fall. However, an opening date was never mentioned. So when this little photo shoot I had yesterday was booked, I prayed that the Drybar would be open as I now had a great excuse to try it out:) Lucky for me, they debuted last Friday.

If you have been living under a rock, and haven't heard of Drybar, its goal is simple. Blowouts for $40. That's it.  You can select from 8 different styles, and they will wash, dry and style your hair. Brilliant!

 Their studio is sleek and chic in design, and as I sipped my Starbucks and watched The Devil Wears Prada while simultaneously reading the details of the awful break up of Jef and Emily in the latest US Weekly, I thought to myself...I could get use to this!

You can get an appointment as early as 7 am. My appointment was at 7:45 am and I walked out about an hour later. I was running a bit late as my appointment was scheduled to be over at 8:20 am, but I couldn't get testy because it was worth the extra 25 min to finish reading my article....

Monday, October 22, 2012

MANIC monday!

I only WISH I looked this put together, calm and graceful today. Instead, I'm running around like a chicken with my head cutoff!!!!! If I had this outfit on, I'd have a long, coffee drip on the front of that beautiful white shirt by now...

I've been rushing around all day to prep for a photo shoot at Chez Ivey tomorrow!! Details to come soon, I promise ;)

Monday, October 15, 2012

Think Outside the Box

There are definitely rules to follow in design such as don't push all your furniture up against a wall, ambient lighting is always a good idea over harsh overhead lights and balance, scale and proportion are elements that cannot be overlooked.

However, there are rules you can and sometimes should break such as everything does not have to be symmetrical (try using odd numbers 3,5,7 etc), negative space can be as powerful as positive space, and the one rule I want to talk about today is that a space doesn't always require a sofa.  I'm a firm believer that a room will often tell you what it just have to listen to it, and a room should function based on how you and your family live in it, not based on what all the blogs or magazines are showing.

So to exercise my point, I want to share a project I finished up last year. My clients had just relocated from a loft in Chicago to a row house on Capitol Hill-two very different spaces. As much as I love the patina, character and quirks of old row houses, they can also pose some challenges to modern day living like really small rooms and off-centered fireplaces.

Exhibit A: The Before

EEK! The house had been "flipped" by a developer, and my clients loved the house except for this front room. Don't let the floor to ceiling bathroom tile around the fireplace charm you, because we ripped that sucker out. It was like a huge, ugly wart that "welcomed" you into the house. Apparently, the said developer was very proud of this masterpiece. I wish I had a picture of the "fireplace" in use as it was basically a mirror that reflected an orange light when the switch was flipped. Are you kidding me??? My clients and I had a lot of fun laughing over that one.

Besides the fireplace, the room was also a bit challenging because the fireplace was in the corner, a radiator sat between the windows on the opposing walls, and the other four walls were open to the hallway and kitchen. Thus, leaving us no suitable wall to place a sofa or even float a sofa as we'd cut off the entrance to the other adjoining rooms.

My clients said this room would be for entertaining as they used another room as their  TV/family room. So the solution....

Exhibit B:

We used four, comfortable chairs around a fabulous coffee table instead of the usual sofa and chair combo. This round floor plan maximized the space in the room without making the room feel crammed. I'm sure you also noticed the wart is gone and replaced with a custom, traditional mantle and stone surround. We added a console along the back wall and tucked two small storage ottomans underneath that can serve as additional seating if needed.

 I don't have a great shot of their small hallway, but if you look through the mirror above you can see that we used a fabulous printed Phillip Jefferies wallpaper that really makes that area sing upon entering the house.

So if you are stuck on the layout of a room, think outside the box a bit. It's more fun to break the rules anyway:)

Friday, October 12, 2012

Happy Friday!

I'm loving these new bowls from Ikea!  With it's dark, glamourous finish, they look like something Zara Home would carry.  These would be fantastic to use for a fall table setting as the warm brass interior would warm up any tablescape!

So sorry for the lack of posts this was a busy one! I'm working on some exciting new projects that I hope to share in the coming months. I also have a fun surprise to share in a couple of weeks.....hang in there. Happy Friday!

Monday, October 8, 2012

It's Coming...!!!!

Zara Home is coming to the US TOMORROW! I first walked into a Zara Home years ago when the Mister and I were in Rome. I could have bought everything, but we were on a back-packing trip so while I did entertain the thought of finding a way to stuff blankets, bowls and other what-nots into my bag, I decided to pass. However, I emailed their customer service asking if a USA location was in the works, and I got a big fat no. So you must understand how thrilled I am that we will have online access beginning tomorrow.

If you aren't familiar with Zara Home, it's similar to Ikea but with a more chic, European influence rather than the clean-lined, Scandinavian vibe Ikea offers. So please go check it out so you don't miss out!

Friday, October 5, 2012

YEWOW! It's the weekend!

I love my job, but I love 5 o'clock on Friday evenings too:) It's been a long, full week and I'm looking forward to our weekend routine of sleeping in, taking Max to the park armed with pastries and coffee from P&C Market!

I see that it will be chilly on Sunday, so I'm begging the Mister that we have our first fire of the season...Have a great weekend!

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Healing Interiors

I'm sure most of us all have a space in our home where we retreat to...whether it's to read a book, enjoy a cup of tea, pray, catch up with friends on the phone, etc. It's the space that calms us, makes us feel safe and revives us.

Of course I dream of having this type of room be a beautiful sun room with lots of light and a garden vista...but maybe in our next house:) For now, this space for me is in my bedroom, which does boasts a wall of large windows that warms the room in the mornings with the sunrise. It's a space that instantly switches my internal clock to a slow, steady ticking.

One of the reasons I have always been interested in interior design is the way an environment can affect a person mentally, emotionally and spiritually. We have all experienced this affect whether positive or negative whenever we walk into a space. Walking into a spa, a beautiful park or just surrounding yourself with your own personal things can bring us to an instant "happy place." I've written about this same topic in the past in regards to the work place.

Interior design is so much more than just "pretty things" in a space. It's really the culmination of all those elements that you deem beautiful and/or familiar in a single space that create those feelings paired with the spirit of the space, or what I like to call the "soul." I've been in some beautiful places but with no soul, and I've been in spaces that may not be visually impactful, but the space carries a beautiful spirit and soul that makes it appealing. You don't have to live in a palace to experience a beautiful space...

I strongly feel that a well-designed space can have healing properties. It can change our attitude, our outlook and science has proven, even our overall health! I recently listened to a podcast on this very subject the other night that scientifically proves this theory. A study was done with patients in a hospital where the only variable between their experiences was the view out their window. Those patients that had a window overlooking nature resulted in a more positive response to their care and overall attitude.  Conversely, those patients that had a window overlooking a brick wall or with just no "view" at all had a negative response to their care and overall attitude. I would highly recommend listening to this fantastic interview.

Another great source to find out more about the intersection of environments and human behavior is one of my all time favorite books, A Pattern Language. It's a tome, but a fabulous resource in understanding great design.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Knock, Knock...Anyone out there?

It's been a longer hiatus than I imagined! If you are reading this blog, I'm very grateful as I clearly haven't been the best at blogging the last 3 months! Why do you ask? I'm not sure...of course I can give you a few excuses: it was summer, travel, busy at work. Although many of these excuses were partly true, I think the main reason was I just didn't feel like it. Not a good excuse, I know.

I admire real bloggers...not just convenient bloggers, like myself. However, I truly want to turn over a new leaf. I do enjoy blogging when I sit down to do it and when I have some fantastic news to share or a drool-worthy interior to post, but I'm going to try a new formula. Rather than wait for something to post I deem worthy, I want to try and post more frequently by giving every day, and at times mundane experiences blog-worthiness.

I think the ushering in of fall is a perfect time to turn over this new leaf :)

So I'll start with the changes happening at Haddon Interiors! I've been working on some exciting projects, and business has been keeping me happily employed. So much so, that it time to hire an assistant! It's a scary step, but rather than turn down new projects or put clients on a waiting list, I am needing a right-wing person, and extra set of hands!

The office has gotten a bit of a makeover to welcome this new person in, and now I just have to find this fabulous, new assistant. If you, your roommate, best friend, second-removed cousin is interested, please contact me!

Below are the details:

POSITION: Part-time design assistant
COMPANY: Haddon Interiors 
LOCATION: Washington, DC
HOURS: Tues. & Thurs. (10am-3pm) with potential to grow

DESCRIPTION: Haddon Interiors is looking for an enthusiastic  and hardworking design assistant to join their team!  Applicant must be responsible, detail-oriented, proactive, flexible and able to take direction well. A dog-lover is preferred, as Max, the schnauzer, is part of the team as well. Proficiency in Word, QuickBooks and social/media is preferred. Design background would be a plus, but not required. A car is a must as many tasks require dropping and picking up samples, returning fabric memos and meeting with contractors. 

*Sourcing and pricing  furniture and fabrics
*Creating estimates and processing project orders
*Communicating with vendors and clients
*Attending client meetings with designer
*Running errands
*Writing/posting blog entries
*Making sure nothing slips through the cracks!

If interested, please send cover letter and resume to

Friday, June 8, 2012

Happy Friday!

                                                     Source: via Kathryn on Pinterest

Happy Friday! This week has been a long one, and I'm welcoming Friday into my arms with a large embrace. 

Also, I wanted to say thank you to Toast and Laurel for sharing our recent project together. Megan was a delight to work with, and I highly recommend her if you have any graphic design needs! 

Monday, June 4, 2012

Sneak Peek!

Here is a little sneak peek of this project I collaborated on! We are in the midst of renovations, and should be done later this summer. Sadly, we had a bit of a set back due to a water main break that caused major issues for the entire building, but it will be worth the wait in the end!

 The company's name, The Clearing, just begged for a little design humor with this Cole and Son wallpaper. So, I pushed for this wallpaper to be a part of the design, and thankfully everyone agreed to go for it! Wallpaper, lighting and art installations are a great way to give an office personality so it doesn't feel like a Dilbert comic strip!

I look forward to showing you the finished project later this summer!

Monday, May 21, 2012

Freshened Up!

Over the past several months, I've been working on a new logo and new website for Haddon Interiors. It was about time to freshen things up around here! Portfolios take a long time to create as most projects can take up to a year to complete before they are ready to shoot. I'm very appreciative of the amazing clients who allowed me to photograph their spaces.

For the logo, I worked with the wonderful, lovely and very talented Megan of Toast and Laurel. I had come across Megan after seeing the beautiful work she did for the west coast designer, Amy Meier, and I knew I had to work with her! We collaborated via email and phone, and we started the process with an inspiration board I sent her of random images/fonts I had collected over time. I love how a logo, which is mainly text, can be inspired by images - or at least that is the why I work best! Megan worked with me to create a beautiful, clean and classic logo.

My inspiration board

Using the inspiration board as a jumping off point, we finally came to this final design:

Now that I had the new logo finalized, the website was next, which was a much larger undertaking. I knew I wanted a very simple website so that my photos would be the focus. I decided to use the website company, Big Folio, because they were not only priced right, but had some wonderful templates that looked professional. They were incredibly easy to work with, and help was just an email away if needed.

I also worked with the talented photographers, Stacy Zarin-Goldberg and Amy Free to capture the projects and page photos for the site. Hiring a professional photographer is worth every penny!!!

I hope you take a minute to poke around on my site. My portfolio is a "working" portfolio as I always have projects in the work that will eventually be photographed and added to the site.

Thanks again to all the wonderful, professional women who helped me with this face lift. The blog is next on my list...

Monday, May 7, 2012

A Beautiful Weekend

Why are weekends so short!? We returned last night from spending a beautiful, relaxing weekend in southern Delaware and Kennet Square, PA with some dear friends. The weekend consisted of lazy mornings paired with a visit to the famous Longwood Gardens, a chef's tasting dinner at Terrain and then we topped off the weekend by attending the horse races at Winterthur's Point-to-Point.


Longwood was originally owned by Pierre du Pont, of the du Pont empire, who proved to be one of the more gifted gardeners in the du Pont family. The land was originally a farm, owned by a Quaker family until Pierre purchased the farm and turned it into what is now today. In 1946, Pierre turned the gardens over to a foundation, and after his death in 1954 the first director was hired so that future generations could come and enjoy the immaculate expanse of flora.

Perfect symmetry

Secret Garden

Justin hitching a ride from his bud, Watchman

Roosting goose
Tree house!


There are miles of walking trails within these meadows

Smelly Ian, as the kids call him, giving fun stroller rides

Inside the conservatory 
Walking through the gardens is truly a magical experience. The morning we were there, there was a mist in the air, and I felt as though I had been plucked and dropped into a story book. Paths take you along small ponds filled with geese, through a field of rainbow colored flowers and a court of whimsical topiaries where  Alice of Alice in Wonderland could have easily jumped out behind one of the arbor creations. I highly recommend a visit!

I'm sure many of you are familiar with the shop, Terrain, that is owned by Anthropolgie/Urban Outfitters. Visiting this shop has been on my bucket list for a long time, and when I learned that our friend Ian had set up a dinner there for us, I had died and gone to heaven! First off, the shop is really more of a nursery but the non-plant items they have there are beautifully curated. I felt like my brown thumb was turning green on the spot as I walked through the beautiful displays. The Mister asked me if we could make our house look like this and of course my reply was, "Well yes! Just give me the credit card."

Sorry for the poor photos...I only had my iPhone with me!

Inspiration for our backyard

I had no clue that there was a restaurant at Terrain, and I died and went to heaven twice that night!  Our dinner reservations were for a chef's tasting menu, which meant rounds and rounds of delectable food continued to pour out of the kitchen. We passed plates and ate our meal tapas style as we all tasted the various dishes. We enjoyed everything from steak, duck, squid, soft-shell crab, lentils, fiddle head ferns, to pecan pie, strawberry rhubarb pie, and cappuccinos. I literally rolled out of my chair...All the food was local and organic, and we had the chance to chat with chef at the end of dinner in hopes of stealing some of his secrets!

Dinner in the greenhouse
Our beautiful table setting

(Brownie points to you if you are still reading) On Sunday, we got all gussied up in our hats, bow-ties, and preppy-wear for the Point-to-Point races at Winterthur. The Mister and I went two years ago and had a blast although it was a whopping 98 degrees that year. Thankfully, we were greeted at the races with a breeze in the air and slightly overcast skies that made the afternoon perfectly pleasant.  I'm an animal lover and loved being around the horses and dogs, but the best part was the people watching...seriously. On so many occasions I wanted to snap some photos of what-not-to-wear sightings, but I had brought my manners.

Here's our motley crew...we tried out best to not end up on the "not-to-wear" list!

Here is a taste of the action:


It was an amazing weekend!!! Here's to next Friday!

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Artistic Happy Hour

Hello! Sorry for the radio silence. I've been working on rebranding Haddon Interiors, which I'm excited to share with you in a few weeks, and I've been starting on some fun, new projects. Things around here have been busy, and so I was excited to be invited to a little happy hour hosted by my dear friend, Lisa Shirk.

Le Artiste!

Lisa is an amazing artist who has recently launched her new website. She is also passionate about getting people to think creatively and take artistic risks regardless if you deem yourself an artist or more of a can't-draw-a-straight-line type of person. Lisa invited a few of us together last week to do a test run on an idea she hopes to get momentum behind - an artistic happy hour! About 8 of us gathered after work last week, and while noshing on wine and delicious appetizers, Lisa taught us the basics of creating art. She went through the various mediums (watercolor, acrylic, charcoal, pen + ink) and had us do few warm up exercises. Then....she let us loose. We each received an 8x10 blank canvas where we could experiment with any type of medium and paint anything that inspired us.

I had come across an amazing piece of artwork the other day through a blog, however it was too steep for my pockets to purchase. I figured this may be an opportunity to try and recreate it....

not too bad, but I'm no Lisa Shirk!

The evening was such a great way to relax post-work, and everyone left with an original piece of art. It was a win-win evening for all!

Please check out Lisa's work, and she is available for commissions as well!