The Queen of Halloween

If you didn’t guess who I am speaking of when I say “Queen of Halloween,” you clearly were born in the post- insider trading era. Martha, Martha, Martha. If there is ever anyone to do everything right and everything tasteful regarding Halloween (or any special occasion), Martha Stewart surely reigns for this lifetime. Martha is the ultimate hostess with the most fabulous decorations and DIY ideas that are fit for any skilled handy-man.

Martha Stewart‘s name is synonymous with good taste, tasty recipes, and clever ideas for those that celebrate holidays in full force. While I could share my strategies for halloween decor (velvet pumpkins and white pumpkins stuffed with beautifully dried flowers), there are some things that Martha can explain and share so much more thoroughly.

Here are just some of my favorite Halloween ideas from the Queen of Halloween! Have a Happy, Spooky, and Tasteful day!

All images from Martha Stewart.

For Halloween Decor Tips

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The Purfect Accessory

A year ago today, I brought home a very tiny and furry friend. Since then, my black pug Emmie has made life all the more interesting! I have always loved pugs. They are quirky and inject immense personality into any room they enter. I also believe they are the ideal accessory to any home (hear me out!). From the Duke and Duchess of Windsor to Valentino, pugs tend to find themselves in chic places all over the world.

Why is that? After all, they shed like crazy and have sneaky habits that aren’t fine furniture friendly. I think it is due to their combination of stubborn whit and fearless personality. They are a breed whose origin is first traced to the the Chinese Prince of the House of Orange and that spread to France and other European royal families.

Pugs tend to find their way into photo shoots of design and in homes of famed designers. As a tribute to Emmie’s first year with me, here is a glimpse of her purfect breed in design.

Emmie The Potted Boxwood Pug at home

Emmie (destroying a green crocodile tray). Typical.

Katie Lee Joesls West Village kitchen by Nate Berkus in Domino

Nate Berkus designed this West Village kitchen for Katie Lee Joel and her sweet pug. Photo source: Domino

Older Pug in dining area by Albert Hadley via Elle Decor

A white dining area with a very white pug. Photo source: Elle Decor

Cecil beaton and pug via Mark D Sikes Blog

Cecil Beaton with a chic pug in this garden room. Photo source: Mark D. Sikes

Cheerful room via House Beautiful

A cheerful room and a playful pug. Photo source: House Beautiful

David Hicks with his pug

The legendary designer David Hicks with his pug.

Pug in A Closet by Natasha Esch via Elle Decor

A pug in a fashionable and stylish closet by Natasha Esch. Photo source: Elle Decor

Duke and Duchess of Cambridge with her pugs

The Duchess of Windsor with some of her chic pugs.

Duke and Duchess of Windsors Home

The Duke and Duchess of Windsor really did love their pugs.

Pug and Potted Boxwood

A pug and a potted boxwood.

Pug in a room featured in Elle Decor

A casual and relaxed living space. Photo source: Elle Decor

Pug in a room of colored books

A pug enjoying  the company of some very colorful books.

Ralph Lauren Fall 2013

Ralph Lauren even enjoyed the presence of pugs in his 2013 ads.  A timeless accessory with classic furniture.

The Pug on the window bench makes this blue and white better

While the blue and white, as well as beautiful views may distract you, be sure not to miss the sleeping pug by the back right corner. What a life!

Valentino with one of his pug in AD

Of course, no pug post would be complete without the fashionable Valentino. He is known for his love of Pugs. Photo source: Architectural Digest

Valentinos Home in Rome

Valentino with more of his pugs outside of his home in Rome.

Emmie The Potted Boxwood Pug 2

Of course, none are cuter than this sweet Emmie girl.

Full of Drama

With a slight drop of temperature in Dallas, I am certainly ready for Fall to arrive and to stay. I suddenly find myself resisting sunny images with light colors and lush landscapes. Instead, I want more earthy tones and plush fabrics, as well as spaces full of dark colors and dimension. With this description, I realize that what I am longing for is rather boring and safe (although often necessary). Instead of predictable Fall decor, why not explore something a little more daring. Who better to add some drama to a space than interior designer Jamie Drake.

Drake’s design is colorful, bold, and dramatic. This apartment below fits my current mood of unpredictable. It adds shots of surprise at every corner, from the texture of the walls to the eye-pleasing contrast of color. Let’s have a little fun this Wednesday. After all, we can wrap ourselves in fur blankets on neutral sofas come December.

Photos by John Valiant for House Beautiful. To see more of Jamie Drake’s design visit his website.

Wallpaper in this entry by Jamie Drake via HB

Glamorous black and white zebra hall wallpaper. I especially love the gold and black mirror against it!

Black Sofa and window sil in NYC apartment by Jamie Drake via HB

A living room of Salmon Peach in Benjamin Moore Aura. So unexpected and yet it plays so well and effectively with the black sofa and black interior doors.

Jamie Drake Dining Room via HB

A dining room full of fabulous elements including a packed bookcase and exposed marble fireplace. Also, notice how the black and white lamps really pop against the salmon walls.

Screen and Blue room in NYC apartment by Jamie Drake

A fantastic use of blue walls and a patterned screen.

Sara Sosnowy painting in apartment by Jamie Drake via HB

Venetian plastered walls in the bedroom hallway allow for glossy texture and a perfect backdrop for modern art.

Yellow bed pops in this room by Jamie Drake via HB

 

Everything looks dramatic against these walls. What a bed frame!

Dramatic lamp and sitting area by Jamie Drake via HB

Moody and plush. The corner in this bedroom is full of strong gold and glossy black.

Freestanding Cast Iron Tub by Jamie Drake via HB

A serene bathroom with a free-standing cast iron soaking tub. A fresh splash of neutrals within the colorful home.

Watercolor wallcovering in room by Jamie Drake via HB

A watercolor blown-up onto the wall covering adds movement and serenity to this multi-shaded bedroom.

 

Classically Carter

I am happy to be back with you all after a wonderful weekend in Atlanta celebrating my close friends’ beautiful wedding. Not only was the city chic and sophisticated, but it was abundant with hospitality and stylish residents (as well as residences!). Speaking of hospitality, the mother-of-the-bride was so incredibly thoughtful that during the midst of all of the wedding activities she handed me a personally signed coffee table book by interior designer Darryl Carter.

I have known of Darryl’s work, but the book gave me a chance to explore more of his stylish interiors in depth. Carter’s decor is classic and current combined. Each room is serene with a sense of composure and history. His traditional aesthetic, as well as his use of clean lines, make for a home that will never look dated. It is no wonder that Darryl entitled his coffee table book, The Collected Home.

And…. in case you were wondering, the wedding was a classically chic affair. Best wishes to my friends Sara and Andrew, who are most likely basking on the beach in the Caribbean right now. For the rest of us, Happy Tuesday!

 

A home by Darryl Carter via Mark D Sikes

A stunning home with interior design by Darryl Carter. Love the boxwoods out front! Photo source: Mark D. Sikes

A traditional and modern room by Darryl Carter

Traditional and historical pieces incorporated with more modern coffee-tables.

A Washington DC Bathroom by Darryl Carter via AD

A light-filled and fresh bathroom. Notice the placement on the window within the shower, as well as the iron work around the free-standing tub. Photo source: Architectural Digest

Bathroom by Darryl Carter via Veranda

I adore the simplicity and cleanliness of this all white bathroom. Photo source: Veranda

Kitchen by Darryl Carter via AD

Speaking of white. A beautiful kitchen to display blue and white china. Also, the wood beams and wood floors really pop! This kitchen will never be out of style. Photo source: Architectural Digest

Current and Classic Bedroom by Darryl Carter via Elle Decor

More modern touches are visible in this Miami bedroom by Carter. I love his ability to make a white room have so much depth. Photo source: Elle Decor

Darryl Carter chic kitchen via Mark D Sikes

The light fixture as well as the Macau bar stools are just some of the  wonderful aspects of this kitchen full of contrast. Photo source: Mark D. Sikes

Darryl Carter via AD

I have a slight obsession with this room of neutrals and texture. So well done! Photo source: Architectural Digest

Darryl Carter via Elle Decor

This kitchen shows just how versatile Carter can be in his design. From the exposed distressed wood shelving to the more classic marble top, this kitchen with painted floors is truly designed to inspire. Photo source: Elle Decor

Darryl Carter via Veranda

An outdoor living area by Carter that is both effortless and inviting. Photo source: Veranda

A Washington DC Home by Darryl Carter via AD

A divine and sophisticated entry with lots of architectural character. Photo source: Architectural Digest

Darryl Carters DC Kitchen via Elle Decor

If I was forced to pick favorites of Carter’s design work, his kitchens would be my top choices. No one does them better. Between the glossy painted wood floors to the fireplace and open shelving, this kitchen is the epitome of chic and collected living. Photo source: Elle Decor

Darryl Carters DC townhouse via Elle Decor

Herringbone floors and beautifully black shuttered doors add just the right mix of classic design to this bathroom.

 

Landscape Of Atlanta

Atlanta is a city that has wonderful curb appeal. Whether it is a charming tudor or an elegant home in Buckhead, residents understand the importance of good landscaping. A name I often come across when researching Atlanta homes is the landscape firm of Howard Design Studio. On each project, John Howard creates a masterpiece oasis full of potted plants, lush texture, and grand dimension. While his landscape design is tasteful, it is often happily unexpected.

I can’t wait to share more fun Atlanta design when I return. Per usual, check my instagram for up to the minute pictures!

A classic and elegant landscape design by Howard Design Studio

An exquisite pergola with potted topiaries and beautiful hedges. Stunning!

Boxwood perfection by Howard Design Studio

Symmetry and beautiful boxwood elegance. I love that off-white brick color!

John Howard Boxwood Home via TTI

A glimpse of the boxwood house in Atlanta, formerly owned by Danielle Rollins. So classic enchanting. Photo source: Things That Inspire

Howard Design Studio landscaping and sundial

Another glimpse of the Boxwood house. This sundial centerpiece is as timeless as the home.

John howard crates a lovely walkway via Litchfielddesigns

A lovely pathway lined with hydrangeas and ending with a chic black bench. Photo source: Litchfield Designs

John Howard Landscape via TFDAMH

Often people place fountains in the center, but this wall fountain is superb and sophisticated. I love the different tiers of plants and mix of texture and color. Photo source: The Foo Dog Ate My Homework

John Howard Landscape via Elle Decor

A more contemporary exterior with oversized circular boxwoods framing the home. The circular boxwoods really add a sharp edge of current dimension. Photo source: Elle Decor

John Howard pool and boxwood landscape via TTI

Potted boxwoods perfected in contrasting white planters. Photo source: Things That Inspire

John Howard landscaping in Atlanta

I love the rows and layers of greenery around this home’s exterior.

Pool landscape by John Howard via AHMag

A classic and current pool area created by Howard Design Studio. Photo source: Atlanta Homes & Lifestyles