Welcome, 2019…


Welcoming a new year always means ushering in new design directions for the home.  Many feel that trends are of no interest to them.  I can completely understand that point, in fact, in my home, cozy, comfortable, and welcoming will always take precedent.  Of course in an orderly and stylish way!

I have witnessed how even staunch traditionists like adding a piece or two of new fashion flair to their homes.  Just to keep it feeling fresh.

No matter what our chosen style is, we must create a home that makes us feel comfortable and of course liveable.  And sometimes liveable or in this case, function overrides form.

Seeing how “liveable” spaces are the priority in home design, we have been seeing the disappearance of many “classic” elements that no longer fit our modern lifestyle.  Such as the formal dining room. I’m not saying if you have a formal dining room, that your home is not designed properly or outdated.  Absolutely not.  All that I’m stating is that the consumers are tired of wasted space, and they want their home to reflect them.  So, no matter what the trend reflects, everything is a personal choice.  Now with that disclaimer, bring on what is hot and what is not as the design stalking continues.



Wallpaper, you will see this continue to grow stronger and stronger in the coming months.  People are growing tired of plain walls.


Color has been in the marketplace for years and it’s only getting stronger.  People are bored of safe tone on tone interior reflections.  Even if the consumer still cannot create an entire room filled with color, they certainly feel comfortable adding a few more bright and colorful accessories.


Though this room reflects a neutral vibe, the art is what makes the space.  It pops, it’s bold and it’s round (so out-of-the-box in not a pun kind of way). LOVE!

And people, please stop trying to match your art to the furniture.  That’s not design, that’s Grr Animals.


Loose the gray or beige sofas go for the green, purple or even teal.  Jewel tones are killing it.  In fact, if you’re really smart, buy a jewel-toned printed sofa.  Okay, we’re getting crazy in here!


Keep the organic touches coming, anything made from jute, hemp, or a major player pottery.  Think sustainable!


In fact, fill a mantle or a console table with these curated lovelies.  Mix heights, styles, and colors.  Homes are crying out to be layered, styled in mixed patterned fabrics, mix modern and vintage…create drama!

Now…for what we’re growing tired of.


Granite countertops and cherry cabinets…gee really?


Accents walls!  I was tired of that 18 years ago.


Ikat..or any version of!


Fiber arts…thank goodness that should have stayed in the 70’s and never came back!


Everything the same vibe, in this case, mid-century.  Way too cold and stoic.


Mudcloth prints.


Minimalism…thank you!  Goodbye to rooms without color and texture, or spa-like rooms.


And the last “not” for this post…Terrazzo floors!  Which I never thought they were stylish, too commercial for homes.  But perfect for the restaurants, hospitals, office space!

Well…I hope your 2019 is even more fabulous than what you envisioned, Happy New Year!



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Together Again…At Last!


Joan C. Kueker

November 3rd, 2018


                      Richard W. Kueker 

                        August 2nd, 1980

Design Stalking…

CB 2 has been Gooped!


Being from Chicago the birthplace of Crate and Barrel and it’s offshoot CB 2, I always enjoy watching the visual presentation of their product development.  Plus, CB 2 appeals to my frugal side for great interesting finds.

With that said…welcome to the latest collaboration of CB 2 and Goop.  This one I’m not so excited about.  Though the lines of the products are great, very Parisian salon or London loft “vibe”.  It’s the price points where they lost me.

We’re constantly being presented with newer, cheaper, more…concepts from every angle.   This collaboration of CB 2 is nothing new in the importance of always needing to keep fresh and relevant in the marketplace.   But this tried and true blogger just loves to keep it REAL and simple no matter what the “marketplace” is stating as the new must-have or best direction.

CB 2’s other designer and artists I find much more interesting and with realistic price points too.  Such as Bryn.


My favorite aspect of the CB 2 site, besides great new products.  Is when they interview the designer asking them simple questions on their inside perspective.


LOVE that…it’s a little like driving around at night and looking into people’s houses to see how they decorated.


I will always be heading to CB 2 for major basics like this mirror.  But the Goop collection?  Here is one of the products, a fantastic black basket.  I’m sure that it’s made from the finest abaca hemp.  Very Goopie!Goop

But sorry Gwenth, not for $299.00 for one!

Design on people,


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Desiring a Touch of Gold? These Are a Must Have…

 Gold Planter

As a designer I see trends come and go.  And with the alchemy of metals occurring now in home trends, gold will be here to stay for a while.

Many are not comfortable doing any type of permanent fixturing in gold!  But, I would totally do it in a pop of an accessory here and there to freshen up a room.

REAL plants are the rage again, so these planters at WEST ELM, are so beyond fabulous especially for the price!

Gold Planter 2


Don’t have a green thumb?  No worries.  The planter above is a great place to store birch logs by a fireplace (or in a non-working fireplace).

Design on people,


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I’m Obsessed with Outdoor Living Spaces…


Outdoor living spaces are mandatory now!  No matter how large or small your outdoor space…not using it to its fullest is tragic!


It really is all about the vibe and the environment that you’re setting up!

Gone are the days of outdoor furniture being portable and possibly collapsing upon sitting!ODSeat2

Now it’s about the experience of lounging!


From sailcloth canopies to firepits,

to full-on entire outdoor areas for dining and watching TV.


Make the most of whatever space you have!  From just 2 chairs to an entire room…just make it inviting!

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Another New Normal…


I have experienced difficult moments in my life, like so many of us have. Unfortunately, nobody leaves this earth unscathed.  But, July 9th, 2018 was a day that crushed my heart.

That was the day that I needed to put down my Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier, Henri. No poetic words of wisdom or insight here. Just rant…my blog my rant!

I always hated the word “companion” dog. No, he wasn’t my companion. We didn’t hang out and go to movies, or go out for drinks. He was a beautiful animal entrusted to me, to take care of him and I enjoyed all 13.5 years of it.  Yes, I did try to take him with me to as many places as possible. He loved to go for car rides and he loved people.

If I could somehow have a magic wish that would allow him to live with me my entire life, I would have done it without a moment’s hesitation.

Fav Car

Henri, a furry, bark-free (yes, hard to believe…but I think he barked maybe 20 times his whole life), shed-free, gentle spirit.  Who also was so wonderful around children, was a complete gift to me.

Watching people with animals and how they TREAT them screams loudly, of not only how they see themselves, but how they view the world. As a pet owner and a dog lover, I’m very aware that not every animal is a lap dog or highly social. But treating animals inhumanely by housing them outside in extreme temperatures is beyond my understanding. Keeping them in cages for more than10 hours? How about you sit in a cage for that long and see how you like it (I believe we call it prison).

Please, just find an area of your house that can be secured to put your animals in until you get home. And for those that choose to write me and say dogs like their cages. Yes, some do. So why not put the cage in that secured area too. So, that the animal could crawl in when it feels like being there and then come out to stretch their legs. I also have a very difficult time with pinch collars on dogs. I always had this desire, that the owner should have to wear it for a week before they can place it on the dog. Perhaps they would have second thoughts.

There is a certain type of person that disrespects animals. By disrespect, I’m referring to the those that feel that dogs or any animal for that matter. Need to be concurred, controlled, and disciplined for a being an animal. If you choose to have a “family pet,” why can’t you treat them like a family member? TEACH them correctly, just like you teach a child. I have no sympathy or understanding for those that mistreat animals.

Henri was under my care. I choose to make sure that he was safe, clean, feed, and in good health to the best of my abilities. Where their times I could have played with him more, yes. But, I know that he was happy, and enjoyed just being around me and other people.

I found a sense of enjoyment knowing that I needed to be home by a certain time so that he could go out, or needed to be feed. I will never understand a dog owner that leaves their pet home alone 15 plus hours a day alone, or worse yet, not come home at all one night, leaving them unattended. Why do they choose to have an animal? That animal is not a stuffed “element” that makes your room look cute and cozy. This is a being, it lives and breaths for love and attention too. Just like us “human” beings do.

I know that it was the right choice to let him go. But it’s how it occurred that will haunt me forever. December of 2017, was the last time he really played and was typical Henri. He was slowing down, almost daily. Suffered some health issues, the vet explained to me, that his time is coming to an end. Parts of you understand and believe what he is saying, while other parts (my heart) did not.

So, within these last 6 months, I would manage to care for him with complete love. Never dreading the different food, or giving him freshly laundered towels daily-to protect the floor.  We took very slow walks, that’s if we even went on one, to begin with. The few that we did go on, he didn’t need a leash. That was his favorite thing to be free, untethered. He liked to take his time to smell the flowers, while I tried to rush him.

His sight was going and it was getting harder and harder for him to get up, arthritis was really setting in. I researched some natural things but eventually asked the vet for meds for days I thought it was too much for him. The last month’s routine, was food, bathroom time, and lay on the bedroom floor. Never whimpering, never crying…just being!

It was Sunday night July 8th, and we were both restless, something in me knew. I knew that his quality of life was going if not gone. But he was eating and drinking water? This first-time dog owner was scared and sad. There was even a moment where he walked up to the edge of my bed and looked at me. I stated, “Is it time to go now?”

So, yes my reality and intuition were screaming at me.

The next day I called the vet, to see if we could change our Thursday appointment to Monday. She said, “No!” That Thursday appointment was for shots, but I didn’t want to wait. By now I’m really frustrated. So, I grabbed my wallet and told Henri, “We’re going bye-bye!” Henri didn’t want to get up, and I needed to leave now.  So, coupled with frustration that was already occurring, the difficult energy was just intensifying.

Henri had a harness…and I would grab the back of it help him up, by pulling up on the harness. Well, I pulled and he wanted to stay. I did get him going, with a little force (not what I wanted). I got him to the stairs and we took one stair at a time. When we got to the bottom, he waited at the threshold, as I opened the rear passenger door of the car. I remembered, turning back to look at him. I got a direct look into Henri’s eyes. He looked scared.

We arrived at the vet, and I explained to the receptionist that I wasn’t leaving until I saw the Doctor. Well, that didn’t really go over very well. But that’s okay, an hour later we were in the with the Doctor.

Then a complete reality shift happened.  In fact, my heart is pounding while I write this. Henri is now in the examination room in the back. About 10 minutes later the Doctor, comes in. Sits down and starts talking very quietly, “Henri is in really rough shape.”

I said, “It’s time isn’t it?”

“Yes, you can bring him home for one night in order to have your good-bye’s.”

“We had that last night.” I started to cry even harder now, with no care or thought of how it looked.

It was horrible and it just spiraled down from there.

While typing this, I remember the complete and utter shock that came over me. I just wanted a do-over. Yes, that’s it a complete do-over. I came here for help and now this is the end?

I go over so many details in my head, over and over again. Second guessing myself, I’m plagued with guilt, loss, and emptiness. Filled with fear of him not knowing what was happening to him. Hoping and praying that he forgives me and that he knows how much I loved him. Now looking back, I would have wished the ending to be more like the beginning, hugs and rejoicing his life. Not filled with tears and scared looks.

When Henri was a puppy I got a night light, mostly because I had to get up in the middle of the night to care for him. In the final months, I bought another one, because he needed to go out in the middle of the night.

Henri came into my life the weekend after the 4th of July and he left my life the weekend after the 4th of July.  We have come full circle now.  Henri is gone, but that night light will remain on.

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Naps Are So Underrated…

So are our beds!


As a designer, I have seen so many different styles and types of beds and bedrooms.  The good, bad and the downright sad.

I might have done a post on this already…but it’s worth repeating!

I LOVE MY BED…and so should you!


I feel that beds are a reflection of not only our style but also an expression of how we see ourselves.

They should never be too overdressed or pretentious.  Never sloppy or unkempt.  But, somewhere in the middle of not being too uptight or too utilitarian.


If beds need to have a system of placed perfection…that’s way too uptight for me.

A militant stance of organized and untouched stacked pillows.  Constantly on guard in fear that if someone sits on the bed, it would ruin the whole presentation.

Don’t get me wrong I do enjoy a well-presented bed.  I just prefer a more casual elegance presentation.  A un-maid (pun intended) bed.

And yes, I do enjoy that it’s made daily.  I just prefer it to resemble the look and feel as though the turndown service was completed. And it’s ready to climb into, it at a moments notice.

And on the days of freshly washed sheets.  Simply sublime!

In fact…I can’t even seem to climb into my bed unless that fitted sheet is pulled tight again every time it’s made.  Reinsuring a wonderful nights sleep.


Bedrooms like all rooms should be admired.  They should entice and draw you into them, like a great seduction.  Welcoming you every night or day.    Perhaps even in the middle of the day.  Being available for those moments when you just need a minute.


Then there are those days…when you just don’t feel like getting out of bed at all.  Bed3

Or worse yet, those days when you have to get up at the crack of stupid.  And just the thought of separating yourself from the warmth and comfort of that blanket fort of safety…is way to painful to handle.

Or how about those moments where the bliss from your dreams are still playing out in your mind’s eye.  And that stinging factor of knowing that the moment your toe touches the floor…reality begins again.

Or how about the most terrorizing times of all getting out bed in the winter or in extremely cold climates.

Stop the madness! That’s way too much handle.  That’s when the blanket has come with you from room to room!

Ah, beds!


There are glamour bedrooms.


 Primitive…purposeful bedrooms!


Even some that others would find cheesy!

But our beds like our homes should be our sanctuaries.  Open, welcoming and filled with joy and especially peace!

Namast’ay…in bed!  Especially on a random Sunday just because you want too!




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