Chic and Timeless Decorating Ideas to Remember

When looking through photos of beautiful high-end rooms, it can be tempting to think, “If I had that kind of money, of course I could create a gorgeous living room (dining room, bedroom) like that.” But a gazillion-dollar budget doesn’t guarantee a great-looking room. And you don’t need a fortune to design a room that’s inviting and delightful and comfortable to be in.

New York City interior designers Jesse Carrier and Mara Miller’s work for celebrity clients such as Vogue’s Anna Wintour and actress Jessica Chastain has landed them on Architectural Digest’s exclusive AD100 list. But in the foreword to the designers’ recent book Carrier and Company: Positively Chic Interiors, Wintour writes: “These are homes whose high style comes from a very human-scaled sense of warmth and joy.”

The designers have organized their book into six looks, such as tailored, country, modern and traditional, and discuss the concepts they use in creating each style. We’ve highlighted some of their work and design ideas here. See if there are useful concepts you can pull out for your next project.


Kitchen Watch: Trends, Products and Lifestyle Elements

The evolution of the modern kitchen has finally hit a design crescendo. The following design directions reflect a greater desire for control, ease, and environmental sensitivity within the home that appears to be increasingly common among a diverse range of homeowners. Whether any or all of the possibilities below fully develop into future design concepts for kitchens or vary a bit — as many trends do — depend on regional influences and budgetary considerations.

Bring Sophisticated Drama to Your Room With Warm Metallic Tiles

Thank you to Houzz and  for this great information!!!

Use Trim to Modernize a Traditional Home — or Vice Versa

5 Star Bathrooms

Give your bathroom a special finish with a few splurges

Ever looked at a beautiful bathroom and wondered what takes its design to the next level? You’re not alone. Many homeowners want to know how some bathrooms get that mysterious designer je ne sais quoi. I’ll let you in on a few secrets. Because the overall material costs are low in a small space like a bathroom, it’s a great place to splurge a little on a few features. But it also helps to know where to spend and where to save. Here are a few of my favorite tricks for getting a nicely finished look for a lower cost.

Colorado Style

Jake and Christa Rost wanted four core values to shine through in their 1908 bungalow in Denver: family, community, creativity and an adventurous spirit. Partnering with Larry Kagiyama of Diagram C Interior Design, the couple thoughtfully designed and renovated their space with these ideals in mind.
To make the house their own, “We began renovating immediately,” Christa says. “I was pregnant with our first son, Alex, so the project definitely presented its challenges. Our biggest design dilemma was opening up the first floor and removing a wall that was 60 percent of the house load.” The couple then gave Kagiyama a general direction, with their art, travels and children serving as inspiration for the inviting color palette.Houzz at a Glance
Who lives here: Jake and Christa Rost; sons Alex (4 years old) and Henry (6 months)
Location: Congress Park, Denver
Size and style: 3,800 square feet; 4 bedrooms; 3.5 baths
That’s interesting:
The home was featured on HGTV’s Bang for Your Buck.

The Elegance of Experience: Old Pieces in New Places

Just because a house is brand new doesn’t mean it should flaunt its youth. While new homes have their charms – warranties, modern technology, central air – they often lack a certain je ne sais quoi that old homes, for all their leaky pipes and exposed radiators, have in spades.

Fortunately, newer homes warm right up when they’re decorated with interesting older pieces. Furniture with a story. Accessories with soul. I think that there’s a lot to be said for mixing cool old pieces with brand spanking new construction. You start with a clean slate and end up with the best of both worlds.

Here are some great examples of spaces that mix the best of old and new:

Hamptons Style


Hamptons Style - Tara Dennis

The Hamptons, situated north of New York is where the wealthy escape to the beach for summer.

Hamptons style is defined by casual, relaxed beach living but done in a classic and very sophisticated way. The look is bright and breezy, plenty of natural daylight with discreet window treatments to really let the light pour in.

To get this look even on a budget here are some of my tips:


Interior walls are often plain white with just a hint of softness to them – try Dulux Natural White.  Wall panelling is also very Hamptons chic, even in bathrooms.  Buy wooden panelling such as tongue and groove from hardware stores – visit for ideas. I find that by adding subtle panelled detailing to an otherwise plain room gives it so much more style and interest. Paint as you would your doors and skirting boards, I like ‘off white’ enamel in a low sheen finish.
How to create the Hamptons Style in your home.

How to create the Hamptons Style in your home.


Timber floors throughout are all part of the look, either in a very dark chocolate brown or pale and bleached.   For dark, try sanding and staining ordinary boards in the richest, chocolatey colour you can find such as Wenge or Jacobean Oak.  For light flooring, try Porters Wood-Wash in white and finish with a low sheen clear varnish.

Add natural rugs such as sisal or jute or light coloured carpets for softness under foot.

How to create the Hamptons Style in your home.


Linen upholstery is my favourite and a popular Hamptons pick, it always looks great.  Slip-covers in pure linen or else white cotton drill are easy on the eye and cool on hot summer days.  Accesorising is easy with soft scatter pillows.

Wicker or cane furniture is popular too but definitely not too much.  Remember the key to this look is high end and sophisticated, not beachy,  shabby chic.

Look out for smart occasional tables in op-shops and perhaps a nice chair to which you can add new paint and a cushion.  Keep wicker natural or consider painting in pastels such as soft blues and greens or stain dark brown, almost black for a dramatic contrast to white walls.

How to create the Hamptons Style in your home.


A variety of lamps adds subtle ambience to a room.  Look for medium to tall sized bases in ceramic or wood and choose shades in natural fabrics such as linen, cotton or silk.  For overhead lighting consider pendant lighting over tables and island benches as well as to illuminate key areas of your home.

How to create the Hamptons Style in your home.


Keep this look fresh and interesting by mixing old with new. Go antiquing for a few rustic items like old timber dining chairs and pair them with a new plain oak table. Retro kitchen canisters, old shop signs and bottles add charm and fun while contemporary art, lamps and furniture pieces keep things very young and very now.

Don’t forget to include a few natural items such as driftwood and shells and display them in glass jars throughout the house.

Thank you Tara Dennis for the great Information!

A Modern Farmhouse in the Hamptons

An architect’s son brings a lifetime’s worth of lessons into play in this sleek, spacious farmhouse-style home in New York

his Houzz profile shows, Jeff Chmielewski is an architect’s son. Growing tired of what he saw as lackluster design in the Bridgehampton community of Long Island, New York, Chmielewski designed and built the farmhouse he now shares with his family — all without formal design training. He attributes its success to his decades of exposure to all things architectural and, of course, a little bit of help from his father. “I spent months drawing and laying out the residence,” he says, “faxing my sketches to my dad and getting CAD files back in return.”

Chmielewski is proud of his home, a farmhouse perched at the top of a field near Bridgehampton’s Main Street. Built with traditional bones and modern shapes, it’s filled with items that reflect his discerning taste. “I wanted to be very conscious of the surrounding environment — the Bridgehampton Historical Society is located on the other side of the field that the house sits on. But at the same time, I love the light and openness of modern architecture and needed a compromise,” says Chmielewski.

Houzz at a Glance
Who lives here: Jeff and Angela Chmielewski and baby Chase
Location: Bridgehampton, New York
Size: 4,800 square feet
That’s Interesting: Chmielewski is writing a book on home design and building called The 80/20 House.

5 Inspiring Mid-Century Modern Homes