A Modern Deco Contest.

Our Polyvore contest is almost over! You have one day left to enter and win a  $500 Burke Decor gift card.  We selected some of our new favorite items, all with a deco twist. Clean lines, bold curves and a touch of glamour define Deco, but when paired with some modern prints and a mid century twist, we love the “modern deco” look for the new century. Clean, sophisticated, and luxe.  Here are a few of our favorites sets from Polyvore –  have you made yours yet?



Modern Deco with Burke Deco

The Garbo Settee  is a such a chic anchor to this glamourous and sophisticated set and the Eskayel Wallpaper really ties the modern to the deco in a refined way.
I love this set because of the masculine take. The dark wood from that fab antique piece and the strong accessories – like the Abraxas Horse Head sculpture  and the deco lines of the Galaxy Wall Sconce   make this a bold set that stands out.
Modern Deco With Burke Decor
I’m always a sucker for white on white with metallic accents.  Chic, modern, lovely, plus the Diva Chaise and the Rico Espinet Floor lamp ? Divine.

Kelly Behun in Elle Decor

I posted about Kelly Behun before, but seriously, this woman may be the best designer working today. She has such a clarity of vision and a clean, bold rhythm to her work. I am completely in awe. You should go over to Elle Decor and read the whole article about her vacation home but these are a few of my favorite images from the slideshow.

all images via Elle Decor

living room inspiration

Just starting a living room project for one of my favorite clients – We started with his bathroom,

then did the bedroom,

and dining area

and now we are working on the living room. Here are a couple of the rooms I’ve been pulling as inspiration – looking to do something luxe and modern with a relaxed organic edge:

via loveisspeed.blogspot.com


via thedesignfiles.net
via dailyicon.net


via missmoss.co.za

Tempaper DIY !

We’ve been really excited about the Tempaper line, a re-moveable, self-adhesive wallpaper that is perfect for renters or  those who are just scared of commitment.   I thought, “wow, I wish this had been around when I was a renter,” but since I own my house now no one can stop me from putting up wallpaper, (except, of course, my highly textured plaster walls.) So, as great as it is, I thought I didn’t really have a use for it.

And then I remembered. I’ve had a roll of Graham and Brown Wallpaper  in my laundry room (which also doubles as a storage and work space next to my office). I’ve been meaning to use that roll to wallpaper these ugly plywood shelves we put in nearly 2 years ago.  I’ve never gotten around to actually wallpapering them, though, because it seemed hard and not really worth the effort as I am about to start work on converting my garage into my office and will eventually demo the whole room and extend my kitchen. But, Tempaper seemed the like the perfect solution. Because, man, were those shelves ugly:

also, it was a huge mess.

So I thought I’d try to cover the shelves with Tempaper and hoped I could do it all in about 1.5 hours. It wasn’t that easy.

Not really the Tempaper‘s fault, though.  I might have a slight tendency, on occasion,  to dive into things headfirst without doing the proper amount of prep and planing. This may have been one of those times. But eventually, I did get it done and I’m rather pleased with the results:

And if you are interested in using Tempaper for something other than walls – maybe you can learn from my mistakes.

First, the tools:


*Exacto knife

*measuring tape

*some sort of burnishing tool (something with hard smooth surface for flattening out air bubbles/ wrinkles ) I didn’t prepare so I used the laundry detergent containter, but you can do better than that!


Putting down the first pieces was EASY. I thought I had this nailed – so fast, so quick:

then I had to do the match – that was more difficult but not too bad. The nice thing about Tempaper vs. something like contact paper for this is that it is easy to pull it up and put it back down in case you make a mistake. Even when it sticks to itself you can pull it apart and smooth it out without too much trouble. Tempaper was made for people like me.


So far so good! But then, the challenging part came putting it overhead. Let’s just say that took the most time – and having a helper and measuring precisely would have been a BIG help:

When applying the Tempaper overhead if you can have another set of hands to hold it straight that would be a huge help. The other thing I learned is that it stretches. Which can be really helpful but if you are trying to pull it taut get a clean application on a flat surface, but pull too hard on one side while using your head to hold the middle up and your foot to hold one corner and trying to affix the other corner with your hands (I’m very flexible)  – well, you just might pull it too tight.  I had a bit of frustration at this point. So I did what any master DIYer does. I took a break and went to get a coffee.

Eventually I came back, too my time and stared at one end and used the laundry detergent bottle as burnishing tool to help smooth everything out and i went slowing and carefully along the length of the shelf.  It ended up looking pretty good:

Because it streches and is so durable I did the rails in one piece by wrapping it all the way around – it was MUCH easier than I thought it would be and looks nicely finished with the match.

I’d say I spent about 5 hours total on this project – and 1 of those was on cleaning up beforehand, and 1.5 was just on doing the overhead part. Cutting and trimming was super easy and would have been even easier if I has had an exacto knife with a proper blade.

I am so glad I did it, I think if i wanted to re do it – like in another pattern -  what I would do differently would be:

*Measure and cut everything EXACTLY – not just eyeball and trim later – which is how I did this time.

*Get a helper – at least for the overhead part – if I had had a helper for the whole thing I could have easily done it in less than 2 hours.

I pretty happy with the result. It is so much cleaner and nicer than the raw plywood and a great place to store sewing and photo projects. Before I did this I didn’t want to but anything up there that I wanted to keep nice, but now I can and I can even wiped own the Tempaper! it is really a great product.

I used the Zee Paper in Gold.









Basement Makeover for HGTV’s Room Crashers

I can finally post about the last Room Crashers episode I designed! We did this room over a year ago, so it’s been a little bit of a wait.

Basically, what we were working with was a family of four with another baby on the way, they had a great house with a huge basement that was just being used as storage. My plan was to split the room and create a guest room for Grandma to stay and a sort of “rumpus” room that would be a super kid friendly space for the twins to hang out and have slumber parties or playtime, BUT also be cool enough to function as adult space in the evenings for drinks and foosball, and have enough storage for their exercise equipment.


Additionally the ceiling was low and the floor joists were already exposed, so that would have to be dealt with. Covering the joists with a ceiling would mean and even lower ceiling so I want to lighten it up and use the joists as beams.

The clients are also the owners of a business called Novica which sells the work of artisans from all over the world so they had a great collection of textiles and objects in their bright, light-filled home.  The basement, on the other hand, had almost no natural light and the ceiling was just the bottom of the floor above. Because they had such an eclectic collection of pieces from all over Asia and Latin America,  I started looking for  Moroccan inspiration that didn’t rely to heavily on windows or natural light. I was also having an indigo moment.


The plan:

A painting test I made to show the faux painters what we were hoping to achieve. 

Living room Board


Guest room board


Built in seating that opens to become storage, The cushions are twin bed size, perfect for kids slumber parties and TONS of throw pillows. The coffee table is West Elm and the darling little stools I found at the rose bowl flea market.
The sconces were made from decorative sheet metal, electrical pieces and wood you can find at home depot, and the clients foosball table was modified so that it can be stored against the wall and brought down when needed.
Foosball table in the upright position, and one of the homeowner DIY projects – make a door design with sisal rope and hot glue.

a little “behind the scenes” of the shoot

We also made screens or jalis for the windows using some old lead grilles painted copper.

It was a fun project and I think the homeowners were pretty happy. What room in your house are you not using to it’s fullest potential?


lamp shopping

There are two items that I really enjoy shopping for: chairs and lamps. There are so many possibilities! Usually when I am putting a room together I find that those are the two items where you can really pump some personality into a design. If you think of a room like an outfit, lighting and accent chairs are like jewelry.  Anyway, we just scored this fab book-matched burl credenza (from the amazing  Sunbeam Vintage which is awesome and right in my hood) for the stereo and finally replaced my armoire that I NEVER wanted in the living room.



(omg my staghorn looks so sad now :( )

and here are some of the lamps I’m considering

Jonathan Adler Canaan Collection Table Lamp

Athena Collection Table Lamp in Multiple Colors

Ibis Table Lamp with Black Satin Shade

Sofia Collection Table Lamp

Burl Table lamp from Currey & co.

Aldo Tura Goatskin lamps

Far and away my favorite are these from 1st dibs. They are from the 1970′s and are made of plexiglass, brass, and RED goatskin. The price? “available upon request” which means, in antique dealer speak, “if you have to ask you can’t afford it,” so I’m gonna go ahead and assume those are off the table.

Or maybe I’ll just make them myself – something like this copper light that looks like something you could do with hardware store pipe fittings…

Which ones do you like best? Let me know in the comments… i’m still trying to decide…