The Creative Call|Life Lesson #9 From Iris Apfel

Show your creativity in your home through a favorite color, personal accessories, art and other collections that tell a story.

For the longest time, I’ve fought with this ideal in my mind that my home should look like something out of the pages of a Pottery Barn book or a top interior design blog. But this recent blog post on The Coveteur: 10 Lessons to Live By From Iris Apfel helps me shake that notion. I’d like to say that Iris (the Mr. T of Statement Fashion Jewelry) can get away with anything because, well, she’s old and old people can do whatever they like. But I love her boldness and one of my life goals is to amass a collection of jewelry just like hers and have the BOLDNESS to show it off.

— Lesson 9 —

Let your personality shine through

I digress, so back to the point of this blog. The gist of Lesson 9 is that modern decorating all has started to have the same look, like they belong in a very expensive hotel. Gorgeous, but impersonal and they don’t tell you who lives there. I couldn’t agree more which is quite the dilemma for the Taurus in me that wants everything beautiful and just right, like a gorgeous hotel room.

Our home over the last few years has morphed from a home that I tried desperately to make it look a Pottery Barn spread to a home bursting with the personality of the people that live here. And I love it. Yea, maybe the change has developed because it’s hard to run after a kid that’s like a tornado picking up toys and depositing them in different places all over the house. I decided that I might as well embrace it and incorporate his toys in the decor. And when he started creating art I had to put it on display. In the last few years, I’ve been about really making our personalities shine in our home. When I read this post it just reinforced for me to stay committed to let our personalities shine through in our home. And that’s just what I intended to do. Take a look for yourself.

You’ve already seen my son’s room, our master bedroom and I’m working on updating the master bathroom. My husband and I love mid-century modern but we’re not married to it. We both love color. He thought that I was losing it when I said that I wanted to paint most of the house white but when he saw how the colors now popped, he got it. We just want to be comfortable in our home and with comfort sometimes comes a little messiness and a lot of imperfection. Our home is lived in and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Are you looking for ways to personalize your home? Here are a few tips!

  1. Paint your wall the colors you love. I know that I went with white but that was because I wanted a clean palette to showcase all the colors that we love. You do you!
  2. Collect an interesting yet personal mix of furniture. Like I said my husband and I love mid century modern design and we do have some vintage and modern pieces representing that style but we also have vintage sewing machines and a child’s rocking chair too.
  3. Incorporate your treasures like your child’s drawings, your childhood rocking chair and mom’s old hot comb heater. Display meaningful heirlooms and incorporate a few important pieces that document your families history and that remind you of the places you have been and the memories you have made.
  4. Add distinctive artwork. Paint your own pictures and hang up your own drawings. I hung a group of my son’s art on a single wall and I have it peppered throughout our home. One sure way to make your home your own is by displaying what you create.
  5. Integrate your hobbies and recreation into your decor. My husband loves the Reds, Ohio and the Cowboys and that’s part of what you’ll see in our home.
  6. Lastly, forget about what others may think. You’re home shouldn’t be a museum, it should be lived in. Our homes are a reflection of the life we live. They should be joyful and at times a bit messy but always filled with love. Maybe your home won’t appeal to everyone, but that’s their problem. It’s your house, and you live there. In Spanish “En my casa, y yo vivo aqui. – Eddie Murphy, Delirious. Point being, they don’t live there — you do. Let your life shine in your home.

How do you express yourself in the way that you decorate your home?

Happy decorating!

Katrina signature

Behind the Scenes|Marriott International


Last month, I had the great pleasure of visiting Marriott International Headquarters in Bethesda, MD. A coworker introduced me to her neighbor, Linda Milburn, a buyer for Marriott International and she graciously gave us a tour of the design department.

Let me just tell you that I felt so alive in that environment. If only there weren’t so many miles and so much traffic in between me and Marriott International, I’d be applying today.


Linda, studied home economics (family and consumer sciences now for you youngsters) and she worked various jobs before coming to Marriott International. She has worked for Marriott for 34 years. What I learned from her that day was that hotel furniture does not come off the shelf. The pieces you in see hotel rooms are all custom made. As a buyer of wood products like any wood table, chair, cabinet, headboard, dresser, nightstand, or TV mount, she translates the designers ideas along with the manufacturers. As a designer, I know that we can come up with some pretty crazy ideas and for Marriott, Linda and her fellow buyers are the ones that help make those ideas a reality.

Linda works with all the hotels brands which include the new Moxy Boutique Hotels. That day we got to take a look at a mock up of the new brand, Moxy. We also got to tour the “Underground” where Marriott has actual rooms set up in the style of each hotel brand like Residence Inn and AC Hotels. We got a look at some prototype rooms (the yellow one) that were just FABULOUS! My favorite part had to be the Willy Wonka quote on the wall, the design workroom, the sheep and a long wall display of inspirational quotes. There were even inspirational quotes on the elevator doors. There was just so much to see and fabulous furniture and accessories and design. Even the cafeteria was gorgeous and beautifully designed. This trip was amazing and I could just feel my creative energy about to burst. I LOVE a great hotel room but I never put much thought into the design until now. I’ll never look at hotels the same way.

Thanks to Linda and Wendy for giving me this opportunity.


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Stay classy and stay Marriott!

Weekend Room Refresh|A Soothing Coastal Mod Inspired Bedroom

MB 2

Last weekend, I took some time to give my master bedroom a little island facelift. Maybe because I’m tired of the cold or I’m long over due for a return trip to the Virgin Islands. That’s where I went on my honeymoon. Ahhh. Anyway maybe this will inspire you to give your space a facelift or maybe book a tropical vacation.


Poster, Print, Greeting Card illustration
St. Thomas Skyline Print via Loose Petals

Next up the master bathroom.

Keep island dreaming!


Artist Love| Irises in the Home

“What would life be if we had no courage to attempt anything?”-Vincent van Gogh

Image from Wikipedia
Irises (Les Iris)

Irises (Les Iris) was painted while Vincent van Gogh was living in an asylum the last year before his death. Van Gogh studied the flower that was in the asylum garden. Every iris in the painting is unique.

Continue reading “Artist Love| Irises in the Home”