HIGH POINT – Disneyland for Designers

High Point NC Market 2013

The High Point Market is the largest furnishings industry show in the world, bringing more than 75,000 people to High Point every six months and I was lucky to be one of them. For years, I have heard plenty of buzz about this design market but last month was the first time experiencing being in the center of the “furniture capital of the world.”

High Point Designer Disneyland

The High Point Market 2013 demographics boasts the following facts: 180 buildings, more than 2000 exhibitors, 100+ countries represented, tens of thousands of new product introductions and 11.5 MILLION square feet of showspace. With Disneyland being 392,040 square feet, I might more accurately compare High Point Market to the much larger Disney World Resort. It was impossible to cover it all in just 6 days. However, I was able to do plenty of shopping while taking notes of the new design trends between attending various seminars for continued education for designers.

High Point Trends

Trending Now – the color “minty green” is on a comeback along with a serious nod to “relaxed – nature” for a design style.

High Point Feather Frenzy

Feather Frenzy - It was clear to see horses are on their way “out” with many showrooms showcasing feathers. Who knew I was so in-style with my new feather headband worn in High Point at the Interior Design Society Awards Dinner.

High Point Moody

Smokin’ Hot – trend is dark and earthy with a lot of hair-on-hide furniture.

High Point All About Wood

All About Wood – I am now a fanatic of the live edge natural wood tables.

High Point Lighting

Mood Lighting – the jewelry of any room is always my favorite part of shopping.

High Point The Good, Bad & The Ugly

The Good, Bad & Ugly – all I can say is that some things stopped me in my tracks – some being good and some not so good. You can decide…

So that is my High Point Spring Market Design Recap. My experience has left me in awe of appreciation and exhaustion much like a week long vacation at an amusement park. Like a child, I will be dreaming of all the delights of the week in North Carolina counting the days until next time…



I’ve got music on my mind. The Coachella and Stagecoach Music Festivals are right around the corner and take place just a few miles from my home. Both venues celebrate an eclectic mix of artists that come together to create a true sensory experience for the attendees. The fans are treated to their favorites while often discovering new music and artists along the way.

It is rare to like only one particular category or style of anything – whether it is music, food, or fashion. The same can be said for Interior Design. The key to success is in the “mix” of high end and lower end objects, art, and furnishings. And much like the music festivals, the goal is to create a sensory experience for the homeowner.

Here is an assignment if you are unsure about your design style. Make an inspiration file with torn pages (or copies) from your favorite design magazines or catalogs. Search the Internet for photos of rooms that you admire. Make a list of the design shows or designers that you enjoy. Include photos and a list of favorite objects, colors, etc. This file will guide you in the right direction to create a relationship between the meaning and feeling you desire for your home. This is your Design Playlist.

Discovering a design style is one thing – overdoing it is another. For instance, you don’t have to live in a nautical-themed house filled to the brim with anchors and seashells if the beach is a place of significance for you. You can have a traditional colonial home or modern high-rise apartment and still incorporate elements representing the beach in your space. You can use ocean-blue color towels in your bathroom or a piece of coral on your bookshelf. Remember, the subtle touches can be just as powerful as the obvious.

Your Design Playlist may be as eclectic as the music on your IPod. That is OK. Don’t be afraid to stretch conventional design rules. Strive to surround yourself with inspirational decor in your own unique design style.



Palm Springs Modernism Week hosts a plethora of events, lectures and tours each year celebrating all things Modern in our local desert community.

For this local gal, I was lucky enough to attend a few…

PREFAB SHOWCASE – where one can covet everything from a deluxe Airstream trailer to a shipping container transformed into an outdoor bar.

THE 2013 MARRAKESH DESIGNER SHOWCASE – booties optional. Truly an outstanding presentation of the marriage between architecture and design. The big photo opportunity was sitting at the white piano once owned by ELVIS.

MARRAKESH – a beautiful sampling of rooms from local designers.

MARRAKESH – a sampling of work from designers outside the Coachella Valley. This includes one home in the tour that was designed decades ago and preserved like a museum time-capsule of design in the 70′s.

FASHION SHOW – A Vintage Clothing Retrospective where some of the costumes in the audience rivaled the ones on the runway. This was a fun and cheeky show and hope they do it again next year.

NEW, BETTER, DIFFERENT – our very own Desert Design Authority Blogger, Jeffery Jurasky sharing his expertise through a wonderful presentation of how interiors should make architecture better.

LOVE AFFAIR WITH THE CALIFORNIA DESERT – again our very own Desert Design Authority Blogger, Christopher Kennedy sharing how mid-century modern architecture and design has influenced his work.




Top Left – Patricia with Greg Davis, Right – Patricia with Huell, Bottom Left – Huell photographed in his LA home years ago.


Huell Howser sadly passed away yesterday. He was best known for hosting the long running “California’s Gold” series which ran on PBS stations. This show had Huell traveling throughout the Golden State introducing the viewers to unique locations and locals. His native Tennessee twang and easygoing demeanor made you think of him more as a friend than a TV personality.

I had the opportunity to meet Huell on a few occasions in 2006. My friend (client and colleague) Greg Davis knew Huell well enough to be invited to his home for cocktails before going out on the town for dinner. I gladly accepted the invitation to accompany Greg for the evening. Once we arrived at Huell’s home in Los Angeles, we were given a tour along with stories of this famous landmark building. One fun little fact was Huell’s apartment was once home to the actor who played Fred Mertz on the I Love Lucy Show. But the real treat was to get a peek at his amazing and quite eclectic art collection. Huell was an avid collector and his home looked more like a corner of a quirky, yet well-appointed museum, than a small apartment above a bustling city.

Around the same time, I was lucky enough to attend one of Huells’ parties at his Joshua Tree home. Huell was again a gracious and captivating host. His quick wit and funny observations made everyone feel special and “in” on a private joke. Not surprisingly, Huell’s desert home was the epitome of amazing style and art. As a designer, I truly appreciated being surrounded by greatness – the personality of the host, as well as, his spectacularly decorated home.

Unfortunately, I didn’t have the chance to socialize with Huell Howser again. However, from that time on, I counted myself as a true fan. Much like many of you, I feel like I lost a beloved friend with his passing.

Rest in peace Huell. You will be missed by all that you touched in both your personal and professional life.



The best and biggest dog show in the country, Kennel Club of Palm Springs, will start on Thursday Jan 3rd, Friday Jan 4th with specialties and then the big weekend Saturday and Sunday the 5th and 6th. It is held at the gorgeous El Dorado Polo Fields outside of Indio just past Ave. 50 and Monroe.  Parking is just $10 and with no entrance fee – it’s quite the bargain. Come watch your favorite breed and shop the day away with the outstanding vendors who have everything for your pooch.

I attended this show last year for the first time after being invited by a gal named Cherryl who has several miniature schnauzer show dogs. My eyes were opened to a whole new world. Previously my only experience with dog shows was the classic and hilarious movie Best in Show. After seeing Cherryl’s dogs competing, I quickly understood when Cherryl had met my little precious mini schnauzer all she could say was she’s a “good house pet.”

Even so, I love my little dog Poppy as a perfect little hairy angel. Being a designer, I thought it was time to do a quick search online to see how others show their love of canine family members and here are my favorite design finds.

GREAT INDOOR DOG DESIGN - wallpaper (Madison Humphrey), slipcovers, dog shower in mudroom (Pinterest), dog stations (Canadian House & Home), modern dog shower (Pinterest), and built-in bowls (Pinterest).

GREAT OUTDOOR DOG DESIGN – custom dog houses (Bestfriendshome.com and Bornrich.com), fence looking glass (Pinterest), doggy doorknob (Tailgate.blogspot), and the cutest little bone-shaped cooling pool (Amazon).

MORE GREAT DOG THEME FINDS – dog theme window decal (Etsy), leash hooks (Cubeme.com), signs (Etsy), and the Cougar Vineyards & Winery Wine Dogs (Temecula.)



They say confessions are good for the soul.

Being an Interior Designer comes with the expectation that I love all kinds of decorating. I finally admitted last year that I absolutely dread decorating for the holidays.

I know the motivation of this tradition is to evoke (or force in my case) the warm and fuzzy feelings that go hand-in-hand with the season. One hurdle standing in my way is that my home is just the way I like it – without the clutter of Hallmark décor. The abundance of knick-knacks in red and green are a disruption to my year-round peace and serenity.

Before you judge me too harshly on my admission, I should add that I admire others who joyfully pull-together the magic of the holiday spirit. Im just not “crafty” and I wouldn’t be caught with a glue-gun under any circumstance. I can barely wrap a present or tie a bow. I walk into those big-box craft stores and my world goes into slow motion. I instantly feel overwhelmed and inadequate while I see those Martha Stewart types frolicking in the aisles as if they were at Disneyland. My eyes glaze over and I feel like running for the door but my body is frozen in place. I’m out of my league and know it.

Over the years I have come to accept that my creative talents are better suited to interior design rather than holiday design. So last year, I took the challenge to leave my comfort zone and said goodbye to my Bah-Humbug ways. I edited my twelve boxes of decorations down to four boxes (saving only my favorites). I found a clever way to display the photos of my family on the mantle with new wine bottle candles that I simply adore (and represent my love of red wine). I decorated the tree in white and gold and even got a little “crafty” and made the tree topper myself (thankfully, without the use of a glue gun). I created the most spectacular Holiday Home which I am enjoying again this year.








for dining in style this Holiday Season


1.   I love the new trend of painting the ceiling a darker color than the walls Benjamin Moore Lenox Tan is the perfect shade of beige.

2.   Benajamin Moore Cameo White is a warm white that won’t leave the room chilly.

3.   For art – always include an original . This one is “Tree Limb – Scottsdale” by local Artist, Laura Janes.

4.   I can’t resist this small, yet extraordinarily handcrafted design with a perforated surface on the Bliss Studio Pierced Bone mirror.

5.   Aptly named, the cool and contemporary Patricia table lamp by RO Sham Beaux is the embodiment of simple elegance.

6.   Jonathan Adler has partnered Lucite and burled wood to create a masterpiece with his Bond console.

7.   Always on the top of my design “must haves” – handmade wool rug runners.

8.   You don’t need to be a hunter to appreciate this wild chandelier; which is actually a ceramic reproduction of deer antlers by SuperOrdinate. This one is worth the investment!

9.   Simplicity at it’s best is the Axel 48” round dining table with a reclaimed chestnut top.

10. Brownstone Furniture’s patchwork leather Verona dining chair is my newest find which tops my design wish list.

11.   Romantique Stemware is mouth blown at a glassworks in France that has been in operation since 1475 featuring honey-amber glassware with bright blue stems. A bit “pricy” but a gal can dream, can’t she?

12.   And the best for last – City Plates (collection 6) from NotNeutral.com which features Boston, San Francisco, Hollywood and PALM SPRINGS. How fun are these?






We would like to thank our extraordinary sponsors for supporting the Desert Design Authority at our Blog Launch Party. On behalf of my fellow bloggers - let me extend our gratitude for stepping up and helping us hit the “scene” with appropriate flair and style. We could not have done that without you. We really appreciate Betty, Kelley & Brendan for being with us last night.
Here’s to a wonderful way to start the “season.”
 Christopher, Patricia & Jeffrey 





With the holidays approaching, I am looking forward to my family’s tradition of watching Field of Dreams (one of our favorite movies.) The famous tag line for this movie is “If you build it – they will come.” It is a story of taking a leap of faith and trusting the outcome. What does this movie have to do with interior design, you ask? Perhaps I can better explain by sharing my clients’ recent experience and unexpected results with interior design.

This family of four has lived in their home for several years and never liked to entertain because of the state of their home. The decor and furnishings were functional but it showed years of trying to pull it together – one purchase at a time. Their surroundings did not represent their family and left them feeling self-conscious. The plan to host a large gathering for Thanksgiving was the motivating factor to spruce up their home.

This is where I entered the picture. After listening to their wants and needs, a design plan was created to incorporate a stylish and cohesive look with their unique preferences and lifestyle in mind. The furniture, art and lighting were updated. We added color and personal touches along the way to create an environment that defined their family.

When I saw my clients a few weeks later, they shared their experience. Shortly after we were completed, they started “feeling” a positive energy in their home and were amazed to find themselves standing a little taller. They said it was an eye-opening experience to go into a remodel with one goal then benefitting from another.  They are now proud and feel connected to their home.

My clients admitted they were skeptical at first but decided to take a leap of faith and trusted the design process and outcome. Realizing the quality of their lives improved with interior design, they will utilize and appreciate their home for years to come (and not just for a holiday that quickly comes and goes.) They are now believers and THANKFUL FOR DESIGN.





In honor of the 50th on-screen anniversary of James Bond, I am reminded that we have a piece of local Bond history here in the desert to celebrate. The general public knows the Elrod house primarily as the ultimate bachelor pad from the 1971 James Bond film Diamonds are Forever. This iconic Palm Springs home celebrates the emphasis on the relationship between space and nature.

Located in the Southridge enclave of Palm Springs, California, the house was designed by architect John Lautner. A conical dome is the main recognizable structure that most 007 fans are sure to remember and features a futuristic spin of concrete and glass built over giant boulders. The Elrod house has in common with other Lautner homes distinct elements of surprise—even danger—such as the disappearing walls, precarious pavers, and sheer drop-offs.

In Diamonds Are Forever, the Elrod house was chosen as the home for a character named Willard Whyte, the reclusive billionaire who holds a vital clue to the whereabouts of Bond’s archenemy. The house needed to be something that would belong to a visionary, futuristic billionaire who knew design. The result was the architectural work of John Lautner became immortalized with this Bond movie.

An apprentice to Frank Lloyd Wright early in his career, John Lautner died in 1994. Only then did Lautner’s other original designs truly start to receive attention and recognition as an influence on current architecture luminaries. Now, four decades after its birth, perhaps the Elrod house can begin to be considered a true architectural masterpiece in the years to come, if not forever.