The Yoko Factor or BoHo in SoHo

Boho Chic is a style of design that fits perfectly with the just graduated, don’t have much money, can use a paint brush, addicted to Pinterest kind of gal.  The vibrancy of colors, the play on fabrics, the mix of textures, the wind chimes…….Boho tends to be a jumble of mid-century modern, hippi dippity,  shabby chic , cottage, flea market, Middle-Eastern, with a nod to Mary Quant kind of look.

The Bohemian Style embraces a sense of freedom from conventional design and infuses what we picture to be the European Gypsy look.  Usually referring to an unconventional and certainly artistic life, one thinks of free spirits who love this genre.  Anyone with a good case of OCD may want to skip this unconventional approach to living but for those that love those 64 box crayons…Fill your space from top to bottom with a bold and energetic palette.

 To achieve this style, one must mix old with new, vintage with modern, lacquered with weathered.  In other words, throw everything including the kitchen toaster into the pot.  The idea of achieving variety and diversity in color and form requires thinking outside the box (and drilling a whole lot holes in one’s walls).  Use books, fabrics, braided rugs, funky lighting, pillows, throws, plants, lamps, and sculpture to express your individuality (and don’t forget the handmade).   And as a nod to Mother Nature never hurts with REAL plants and herbs playing a central role.

I find the eclectic look works best in small spaces, cozy nooks, and tiny apartments where young people travel to after their formative college years.  BoHo is also a great way to avoid cleaning as it’s expression usually involves a great deal of clutter.   For me, I visualize a budget friendly indie recipe with a smattering of charm.  Think Yoko Ono.  Break it up, hold a love-in, and screech out a few records.



11 Way to Little House on the Prairie Style

Prairie Style is a bit rustic, a bit shabby, a bit mod, a bit vintage, a bit organic, and a whole lot of gorgeous.  To achieve this design aesthetic, one must incorporate the fusion of elements and textural accents that blend into a comfy and livable home.  Effortless and timeless, always emphasize those items that make you feel harmonious.


Meaningful objects whether from family or a thrift store.  Something that tells a story about you and your family.

Stick with a color scheme that defines rooms or areas but blends hues that compliment one another.

“Feather your nest” or simply purchase accessories that create a feeling of warmth and comfort that highlight the structure and style of your dwelling.

Paint, the secret weapon of most interior designers, adds the base for all creative impulses.

Reclaimed wood used as open shelving for a kitchen, a much needed bookcase, or a surprising accent wall unifies spaces and brings a sense of history to a house.

Repetition can be useful in decorating a room.  Collections often represents prized possessions that truly infuse your personality.

Throwing in a twist, whether a vintage item, a boho rug, or a collection of guitars add variation and contrast.

Always start with one large statement piece, an armoire, a sofa, an architectural buffet.  Then build around.

Limit the number of bric n’ brac instead favoring old-fashioned scales, antique clocks, farmhouse wares.

Emphasize lighting by making it a focal point in the primary rooms.

Utilize inexpensive wall treatments such as tongue and groove boards, shiplap, weathered beams, or galvanized pieces.



7 Quick Ways to Spice Up Your….Gallery Wall

Gallery Wall


  Think about shape and size.  Mix and match to create a coordinated feel in the most haphazard way.  I DO LOVE AN OXYMORON!

    Space things evenly

  Reflect the room by using mirror(s)

Add a vintage piece.  A little rust never hurt anyone except my son’s 10 year old car.

Insert your personality and your reflect your chosen interior design scheme.

Color; a pop here and pop there.  It draws the eye and adds an element of surprise.

Signage, letters, and hand-painted odes to the family make wonderful features on a wall and cost-effective.

So run to the nearest Hobby Lobby, World Market or Kirklands.  Be frugal in the right places (example: Target tank top under Dolce Gabbana jacket).   A successful wall grouping could include old comic books, sheet music, collectible postcards, clocks, and organizers.  So be creative and send me any examples of the many things I overlooked in the World of Kansas interior design.

P.S., I left out the obligatory family portrait where outfits are cordinated, hair sprayed to perfection, and the “group is trying to forget about the fight that occurred in the car on the way to the photographers.


Free to Be You and Me or Why the Bohemian Look is So Popular

The days of Hendrix, Joplin, Morrison, Flower Power, Make Love Not War, Woodstock, Haight-Ashbury, Hanoi Jane, the March on Washington, the death of Camelot, Twiggy, the miniskirt, Marlo Thomas, The Muppets, Psychedelic drugs, the Summer of Love, sexual freedom, and of course, the Beatles, and the Stones.

Today we call the “hippy craze” Boho Chic in it’s fabulous.  A few pointers for those who wish to achieve that aesthetic (though the potential to change it up in a few years far exceeds it’s current appeal) but what a great money saver for those downtown chicks living close to the big city.  You know, the kind of young woman drinking Starbucks, going to outdoor art shows, and dissecting Etsy for good buys.

Paint old food cans a cool metallic and pop something from the earth into your handmade vase.  Use filler flowers such as carnations or daisies to complete your out of this world statement.

Layer rugs.  Use complimentary patterns.  Try the same with dinnerwear and linen.

Group prints.  Mix it up using color, scale, pattern, and texture (I bet you never heard that before).

Use hand made pottery, blown glass, and artistic touches.  Might require a trip to Taos or Sedona, darn it!

Little tribal influence never hurts (think Cher in the 90s).


Poufs!  Those little Middle East treasures come in a variety of fabrics and work well to achieve that Bohemian looksee.


Funky wallpaper in just one area.  Use a big loud floral patter or a bold geometric.  If daring enough, think graffiti baby!

Rattan mirror(s), of course

Straw baskets or floppy hats on hooks, mount on wall and hung above a bench or chest.

Postcards detailing your travels or wanna travels.  Bulletin boards are inexpensive and Hobby Lobby carries a great selection.


Tickle Me Pink Elmo or Adding a Bit of the Girly to Any Room

In the last five or six years, leather, cowhide, slipcovers, and galvanized steel has surrounded my home life, limited primarily to the colors of white and more white with a touch of brown.  But lately, the though of pink creeps into my dreams.  All a bit disturbing as I never considered myself the Ann Margaret type, wearing a silk slip with ostrich feathers and 5 inch heels just to entice my man.  Also, cotton candy never much appealed to me.  But perhaps I have misjudged this statement of fashion and design.  Granted the color evokes images of romance and gender but I’m comfortable in my own skin and it only took 40 years.  So perhaps I can utilize all my magical styling powers to infuse a touch of pink into my living quarters.

I could do a statement piece such as a couch.

Accent pillows to give that touch of WOW

Flowers; simple, elegant, disposable

   Paint the walls

Add an unexpected surprise into the kitchen

Perhaps Hollywood Glam

Maybe I’ll start with a Pucci scarf or some glorious Chanel handbag.  Might be best considering I haven’t wore any color but black since the 1980’s.  Elmo, tickle me pink.

Mixologist or the Art of Blending Fabrics

This may shock readers but there may actually be a few tricks in mixing and connecting threads (who would guess from the 1,243 articles written about the subject).  I narrowed my advice to just the necessary (your welcome).  Mixing hues, textures, and colors, add depth, interest, and always give that custom look.

The theory of 3.  An old home design maneuver, working in odd numbers adds an automatic focal point.

Use varying sizes of pattern but be careful that the prints don’t compete.  For example, a large floral, a geometric, and or a combination of solids flow well together.

Large patterns work best on larger pieces such as walls (paper), area rugs, sofas, chairs, and window treatments.

The anchor fabric (as discussed above) should dominant.  Incorporate other colors that fit with your scheme or pull secondary fabrics from a larger piece.

A monochromatic look can also use patterns.  Solitary colors work best and play off the different shades and scales for a cohesive feel.

Always add a solid to any mix.

Group together patterns with similar styles.  For example, funky patterns work well with funky patterns.

Balance your space.

   Stick with a consistent tone or hue; pastel with pastel, bold with bold.

      Break every rule I just imparted with my incredible wisdom.  Life is an adventure, go live it!

Elevator Pitch for Interior Design?

When home and not hopping a plane to Bora Bora or yachting to Bermuda, I spend a good deal of my time thumbing through style magazines and outrageously expensive interior design books.  For me, there simply is nothing better than a hot bath, a silent cell phone, a few decor mags, and a Xanax to rid myself of whatever anxiety I have self-induced.   Recently I picked up a book at Calico Corners (a warm, friendly shop that I love browsing in what must be the same way junkers feel at flea show).  Named “Decorate Fearlessly; Using Whimsy, Confidence, and a Dash of Surprise to Create Deeply Personal Spaces” (title is a bit lengthy) and compiled by Susanna Salk.  Full of interiors by top designers, the photographs create a jealousy among us mere mortals as we realize that budgets and taste do matter.  Furthermore, Ms. Salk keeps her comments short and to the point.  This lovely coffee table accessory highlights the principles of color and pattern, expressing one’s personality (as controlled by the home interior designer), as well as the limitless possibilities that decor offers.  Featuring some of the greats such as Jonathan Adler and Miles Reed, I want to emphasize a few of my favorites (shall we say focal points).

The Madcap Cottage, a fairy tale of a design firm co-owned by Jason Oliver North lives by the premise that, “a room should be dynamic and never static.”  And the gentleman, using a Vegas analogy believes in a high-low philosophy and boy oh boy does he draw attention to that blackjack table.

Doug Meyer goes for show-stopping color.  He uses all 64 crayons, creating surprising and magical vignettes of space.

“Your home should be your strength in the world” (not sure what that means) states Marian McEvoy.  A believer that design should be pleasing to not only your family but to others as well, she uses detail in a way few other do while making an impact that many others are incapable of….

Steve and Brooke Giannetti find inspiration from a bold statement.  They prefer natural materials that age over time with beauty and care.


Anyone that knows me well understands my obsession with the Novogratz.  Robert and Cortney create work that defies convention and blends every well-worn decor trick into a delicious strawberry smoothie.

And lastly, the photo that dominates Pinterest, with it’s incredible mix of bold patterns and vibrant palettes.  I admit that I have copied this room in several very sophisticated teen caves (you know, the kind of teenage girls with their own glam squads).  Hats off to Kriste Michelini.


I’m Giving Tips on How To Paint Furniture…but I Oversee, Manage, Hold the Reins

I try to admit my relatively few faults.  I can be impatient, sharp-tongued, overbearing, and inevitably right…but crafty…not so much.  I prefer supervisor, more of a bigger picture kind of gal.  Believe this often creates exhaustion as much as getting on a tall ladder and hanging a 120 pound chandelier or perfectly cutting straight seems on a drapery panel.

One of my faux painters attempted to teach me how to add a few hues to a nightstand.  Words fail to do this piece of crap justice.  She even gave me pointers but I, the supervisor extradinaire, the inevitably right idea gal chose not to listen.  Please note her tips because they sure never applied to my abilities.

First, always clean the piece you intend to paint, distress, or revive.  Dust and apparently oil fails to help primer adhere.  This causes an object to peel and chip (though isn’t that distressing?).

Next, use the proper primer (which is code word for expensive).  Cheaper brands affect paint much like a t-shirt from Walmart clashes with your Louboutins.

Then fill any and all holes and cracks (hey not referring to my face the day before my liquid injections appointment).  She even suggested using a flashlight (I just found out the my iPhone can turn into a shiny object) so that eyes over the age of 40 cannot miss that 1 1/2 inch gap.

Never use an inexpensive brush (note Walmart/Louboutin comment).  Feel the bristles, caress them, rub them against your skin.  The softer the better.

Finally, find that perfect color.  Shading and underlining hues can grab a tone and turn it upside down.  Grab some chips from your preferred paint store or even buy a small jar of the color being considered.


 not my work

Remember life is living regret-free.

(damn, needs some hardware)






(last pic courtesy of Chip & Joanna Gaines, Magnolia House, Fixer Upper, HGTV)