Making room for baby…

Sunshine Inspired Nursery
{by Haute Decor Designs}

I’ve been spending the last few weeks nesting and getting our home ready for our little one, who will arrive any day now.  We are super excited, despite not knowing the gender!  I wanted to create a soothing space for the baby, with subtle pops of bright color, so we settled on a soft gray wall color with pops of yellow for the room.  I stumbled upon these cute art prints on Etsy some time ago, which led me to think of Sunshine as inspiration for the room.

We’ve been spending a lot of time putting together furniture and getting shelves up in the room, and it’s almost ready for the baby.  I’m looking forward to sharing photos of the finished room soon, but for now I hope you enjoy this inspiration board which is somewhat of a sneak peek.

{Happy Decorating!}



the sweetest mami~


Spring is in the air…

These days, I’m drawn to all things pastel and longing for a home filled with fresh cut flowers.

Spring is a time for new beginnings, fresh starts, and rejuvenation.  Many of us celebrate Easter, which is a great reminder of all things Spring.  This year is special for me, as I await the birth of our third child this Spring.  I am carefully preparing our home for the arrival of our little one, and am inspired by so much these days, as I try to bring feelings of warmth and joy into our home.

I’ve been collecting a series of inspirational photos via my Pinterest account, which I’d like to share with you here.  I hope these inspire you to embrace Spring, and invite you to share your own thoughts on Spring with me.

Spring 2012 Ad
{Louis Vuitton}


Pretty in Pink..and other pastels...
{via Scrapbook blog by Melissah}


Pink Flowers for every room...
{via Scrapbook blog by Melissah}


Orange Creamsicle aka "Morir Sonando"
(via Dominican Cooking blog}


{Happy Spring!}


~the sweetest mami~

Inspiration Peacock – Chic Home Office

I was asked to create a design board, based on a client’s existing picture of a peacock, which held special sentimental value for her.  I loved the idea of pulling a look together with such vibrant colors.  I was also thrilled when my client said she did not want boring beige walls in the area.

The request was for a space to be used primarily as a home office, with additional seating area.  I provided my client with two color options – aqua and white or teal and chocolate; she chose the rich teal palette featuring jewel tone colors.  We found several basic furniture items in dark brown, to ground the room, and added two comfy armchairs in a soft beige to balance out the room.  Colorful accents and accessories in teal and white brought some life to the room, along with a fun capiz chandelier and aqua ombre area rug for the space.

The total for all items came to about $3,000 which was a bit over the client’s $2,500 budget, but could be adjusted easily by carefully selecting other accessories in person while shopping.

What do you think of this board?  Does it tickle your feathers?  Are you interested in your own design board?  My rates start at $100 for virtual design services.  Contact me for additional details.


  • Paint  by Benjamin Moore (for West Elm) — Aspen Skies
  • Capiz Overhead Chandelier (West Elm)  $299
  • Area Rug in Aquamarine Ombre 5×8 (Z Gallerie)  $299
  • White Sheer Drapes (2 pair) (IKEA)  $10
  • Custom Desk – Craigslist  $495
  • Client’s own chair for desk use
  • Desk Lamp (West Elm)  $99
  • Pencil Holder Bin (Container Store)  $10
  • File/Magazine Holder (Container Store)  $20
  • Sunburst Mirror (Target)  $77
  • Picture Ledge Shelf (IKEA)  $10
  • Tumbler & Bowl – for paper clips  and pens (Anthropologie)  $16
  • Tall Bookcase – Expedit (IKEA)  $70
  • Peacock Feathers (Z Gallerie)  $24
  • Teal Vase (Target)  $38
  • Bookcase, used as console – Expedit (IKEA)  $70
  • Coffee Table – Union St (Cost Plus)  $162
  • Charlotte Recliner (La Z Boy)  $659
  • Sweep Armchair (IKEA)  $230
  • Side Table – Union St (Cost Plus)  $108
  • Peacock  Tiki Vase (Crate & Barrel)  $30
  • Leather Aqua Tray (Z Gallerie)  $30
  • Keep Calm and Carry On Print (etsy)  $8
  • Throw Pillows/Cushions (etsy and Z Gallerie)  $60

Colorful Dining Room

You can’t see the whole dining room here, but I did want to take this opportunity to share this picture because it features our new curtains, which was a major DIY project accomplishment for me.  After looking for the perfect curtains to use, I ended up buying my own fabric and was lucky enough to have my mom around to make these for us.  I know this is an easy project I can tackle on my own in the future, now that I bought a sewing machine, but hey, she offered!

Our dining room furniture is so heavy [table, book cases, and side board are all dark wood] so I really wanted to brighten up the room with a bright color palette.  I thought pops of orange and hot pink would be perfect for the room, and if I could bring in some yellow, I’d hit jackpot!  We love the colorful runner we use on the table, and also brought in a bright orange lamp (from our living room) onto the sideboard that’s against the wall [not shown in this picture], to bring some cheer to this room.  We have two IKEA Poang chairs that we have had for some time, and changed the covers from faded black to fresh ivory [also not shown, these are on either side of the sideboard].  

The walls will eventually be painted in a cool bluish gray, and will complement the soft buttery yellow we are using in the adjacent kitchen.  it will take us some time to finish the look completely, and I look forward to sharing more pictures as it all comes together.

{Happy Decorating}

ps I bought the fabric at Jo-Ann Fabric store.  It is from the Waverly Home Decor Modern Essentials collection.  I used two and a half yards @ $19.99/yard.  {This particular fabric is not featured online, but there are many other great patterns I already have my eye on for future projects.}

Easy Meal Planning

Lately, I’ve been trying to stay one step ahead of the game when it comes to our weekly meal planning for weeknight dinners.  My husband does most of the cooking at home, and I have been thinking of ways to alleviate the burden as much as possible.  Since I work full-time, I don’t have the flexibility of making dinner during the week, unless it’s just a matter of finishing something up or making something super quick.  Another factor is accommodating our twin toddlers.  At 21 months old, they are starting to show their independence by voicing more of what they like and don’t like, and they are unpredictable at best.

I’ve been trying something new the past few weeks.  I’ve started to prepare foods on Sunday for storage in the freezer, that we can use during the week.  I only wish I had documented this along the way, in photos for sharing.  I’ve also started freezing breads and doughs for use at a later time.

Take a look at what’s currently in our freezer, along with our meal plan for this week:

  • Home made ravioli, filled with lump crab and cream cheese
  • Home made pizza dough
  • Home made banana nut bread
  • Home made crab won tons
  • Home made meat lasagna
  • Home made cookie dough – oatmeal raisin with chocolate chips
  • Store bought frozen baguettes
  • Store bought frozen garlic toast
  • Frozen chicken breasts (marinated already — jerk sauce, BBQ sauce)
  • Frozen vegetables

This week’s meal plan:

  • Monday:  Jerk chicken with sweet potatoes and veggies {for the kiddos:  grilled chicken without the jerk sauce, and veggie mix with regular boiled potatoes}
  • Tuesday:  Vietnamese chicken sandwiches — sauteed chicken on a french baguette, dressed with wasabi cream sauce, and garnished with fresh cilantro, cucumbers and carrots  {for the kiddos:  sauteed chicken, baguette slices, tater tots}
  • Wednesday:  Crab ravioli and shrimp in vodka sauce, with garlic toast and green salad {for the kiddos: plain pasta tossed with chicken and red pasta sauce}
  • Thursday:  Grilled BBQ chicken with corn on the cob and green veggies {the kiddos will have the same menu}
  • Friday:  Pizza topped with fresh basil, mozzarella and pepperoni, with green salad {for the kiddos:  pizza and steamed veggies}
  • Saturday:  Meat lasagna

Sunday, we will start all over again.  Last Sunday, my husband made Fish Tacos with fresh tilapia and a baja sauce (chipotles and sour cream).  They were great for lunch!  After lunch, while the girls napped, I made the meat lasagna and cookies, and froze the lasagna and half the cookie dough for later.  We had a light dinner and took it easy the rest of the day, knowing that meals for the week ahead were mostly taken care of.

I hope you’re inspired to prepare in advance and make the most of your weeknights, since they are the shortest in the week.  Happy cooking!

Inspiration for even the smallest of spaces

I wanted to share this feature I read a few months ago, in what has quickly become one of my favorite magazines ‘Lonny’.  It showcases so many great ideas we can all incorporate in our own spaces, from decorating with unique art work to organizing even the smallest Manhattan closet.  I love the sky blue color on the walls, and am also loving how she wastes no space in her small apartment — her nightstand doubles as a bar!  Genious!

I hope you enjoy this and are inspired to make your own space your own, whether it is your bedroom, living room, or even your work space.

Remember:  Keep it simple! Make it pretty! {Happy decorating}

Everything in its place, and a place for every thing…

Since we’ve moved into our new home, we are still struggling to find order in the everyday tasks.  With two toddler twins running around, it’s hard to maintain a sense of order amid the toys and chaos.

We are taking it one day at a time, though, that’s for sure.  I like to focus on the ‘hot spots’ when tackling organization.  Our hot spots are our pantry and closets.  What are yours?  It seems that it’s easy to let things go when they’re behind closed doors…but it’s these areas that we frequent the most in our homes, and that can bring us the greatest satisfaction once organized properly.

Here are some tips I’m looking forward to using in my own home, and hope they inspire you too.

Beautiful ideas for an orderly pantry, maximizing every little nook and cranny…
{Courtesy of “House of Fifty”}

Great tips for organizing your closet, no matter how limited your space is…
{Courtesy of “Lonny”}

{Stay tuned for update on one of my upcoming projects — organizing my own walk-in closet}