I had the pleasure of attending the Ann Sacks VIP experience this week in Portland.  Monday night I sat next to the head of product development at dinner.  She works closely with Martyn Lawrence Bullard and was raving about his latest project with Tommy Hilfiger. Being a huge fan of MLB I made note to look it up.  Per usual, it did not disappoint.









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I think my favorite thing about Martyn’s style is his willingness to take major risks.  Life it too short to play it safe, and he always manages to make a bold space without getting cheesy. Make sure to check out the article in it’s entirety on Architectural Digest.

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All Imagery via Architectural Digest

Basement Bedroom

October 27th, 2014

We’re hosting my husband’s entire family for the holidays.  We have two nicely finished guest rooms, but someone will need to stay in our basement.  It’s current state would mean someone is sleeping on an air mattress sandwiched in between two sofas.  I liken it to the Home Alone basement. It needs some love.  My parents have an extra bed now (thanks to this project) so I’m thinking of Craigslisting the sofas and turning the basement into a more comfortable guest space.  There’s already a TV and pretty chaise lounge in there.  All it needs is some pretty accessories. It currently houses our computer and washer/dryer, but there is a perfect break in the room to add dividing curtains like this:


From there I think I would paint the space a warmer taupe color and add a striking headboard, some pretty bedding and fun art. The art above the nightstand is a San Francisco print.  My husband’s grandmother currently lives in the Bay area, so it’s an homage to her.  One key rule to always follow in design: never invest in impersonal decor.  Make it meaningful.

Basement to bedroom

Shop the basement: Headboard, Nightstand, Bookends, Rug, Chair, Pouf, Art 1, Art 2

Stay Tuned.  I think I’m going to make this happen. Hope your week is off to a great start!

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Imagery Sourcing: 1, 2

Ohana Yacht

October 22nd, 2014

Has anyone else been watching Bravo’s Below Deck? I mean, me neither.  How stunning is this yacht from the show(and what an amazing vacation)?

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The bathroom is a little cheesy, but overall, how beautiful! I would love to stay on a chartered yacht.

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I am currently in Dallas installing my Amesbury Park project. Installing is my favorite part of the job.  It’s exciting to see a project you’ve been working on for sometimes two or three plus years come to life.  It is, however, grueling. We work long hours moving boxes and furniture, hanging art, assembling, etc etc etc.  It is not what you think.  We don’t show up in our Louboutin’s and point, bossing around installers.  We are sweating and getting our hands dirty.

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Yesterday was the first day where I REALLY felt like we should have had on hard hats.  I usually make up any excuse not to wear one, but we had a construction cat pulling boards over our heads as we were unloading the truck.  It was insane.  I did overhear the head installer tell his boss on the phone that “these girls actually work.” HA . YES we do. Make sure to follow @designsbykaty on Instagram if you don’t already.  I’ll be posting updates!

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all imagery personal to DBK

I’m currently loving painted concrete tile floors.  They add such a depth to design schemes. But don’t be intimidated.  A bold pattern doesn’t have to take over.  Sometimes a busy striking pattern can become a neutral.

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Wondering where to shop? The Eastern Promise Collection for Ann Sacks, designed by the fabulous Martyn Lawrence Bullard is beyond perfect.  I have placed it in a few projects and cannot wait to see it installed. If you’ve never shopped Ann Sacks and you’re currently renovating/designing, put it on your list.  It’s the Rolls Royce of tile and will set off your project.

Painted Concrete Tile AnnSacks

View the entire Eastern Promise Collection here.  Have a wonderful Monday!

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Imagery Sourcing: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5

Yesterday’s post led to the discovery of Meredith Heron. interior designer and TV personality in Canada.  She has made the rounds with various HGTV appearances and shares my obsession of color.  As you can see in her Spruce 1 project photos below, she does not shy away from design risks.  My favorite type of designer.

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Do you love it as much as me? Make sure you check out more of her work here.  Have a lovely weekend!

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All Imagery via Meredith Heron Design

Have  you seen this stunning bath floating around Pinterest this week? Well I’m back with another installment of “How to Get the Look.” Breaking it down, you need a pretty scalloped mirror, shaded bath sconces, a carrera marble like top, some brushed brass fixtures and a great hexagon tile floor.  Easy, right? For the counter tops, per usual I recommend Caesarstone’s Frost Carrina.  It’s a quartz look alike to Carrera marble without the maintenance hassle.  For the vanity, I would paint it Benjamin Moore’s Toucan Black. From there, add your brushed brass fixtures, this amazing scalloped mirror, sconces, and Daltile’s hexagon floor.  What a perfect powder bath!

DBK How To Get the Look Bath

Product Info: Mirror, Sconce, Cabinet Pull, Faucet, Flooring, Counter

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Original image via Meredith Heron Design, artwork proprietary to Designs By Katy

Decorating for Fall

October 15th, 2014

Shop the post: Console, Lamp, Candle, Pumpkins, Mirror, Wreath

I think it’s no secret that I’m a bit of a minimalist when it comes to decor.  Here’s a little confession: I don’t really decorate for the seasons.  Christmas, yes.  We have a gigantic 12′ tree and a million Christmas trinkets.  It was a pre-marital request from my husband.  Other than that, there’s not a lot happening.  With that being said, I’m getting a lot of requests on how to decorate for fall.  My favorite option would be the above.  I love layering a holiday wreath over an existing mirror.  Strategically add some candles and pretty pumpkins and voila! What a perfect entry console to welcome your guests into fall.

Tell me, do you decorate for the seasons?

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How to Decorate a Rental

October 14th, 2014

What if you are renting, and renting in some scary finishes that you are not allowed to change? My job currently has an aspect that lends itself to this directly. We design model apartments to show the potential renter how glamorous you could make that space, hopefully in a way they have never thought of. Here are some tips for decorating in a restricted environment:


Sure, maybe you’re not allowed.  I always paint.   Restricted or not.  Make sure you know the original paint color and paint it back prior to moving out. Yes, I’m telling you to break the rules.  However, paint is such an easy (and cheap) way to warm up a space, especially when  you throw in the sweat equity and do it yourself.


Most apartments have a shaggy carpet called Powerball.  It’s not the greatest, but cheap and easy to replace.  You can ALWAYS throw a rug on top of carpet. No, that’s not weird.  It’s a great way to add pattern and interest, and potentially cover up some gross stains from the previous tenant.



One of my friends in college lived in a cute town home in Searcy when she and her husband were first married.  Unlike me, she was a rule follower when it comes to no paint.  Her solution, however was fantastic.  In the master bedroom, she hung curtain rods and placed some bold drapery behind her bed for a punch of color.  She then placed her bed in front of the drape.  It looked awesome.  Then, all she had to do was throw some putty and touch up paint over the holes upon vacating.  GREAT idea.

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For me, the more the merrier.  Hang away my friends.  This is also a great solution if you’re not brave enough to paint.



What? I can do that? Girl yes.  Store those tacky brass pendants in the basement (or if you’re in the south, your garage) and invest in some pretty lighting.  This is something  you can take with you to your future home, just throw the ugly originals back up before you leave.  None will be the wiser and you will have made an investment.



Just because you’re in temporary housing doesn’t mean you need to go cheap on furniture.  You don’t have to wait for your dream home to buy that Chesterfield sofa you’ve been lusting after for months.  Spending money on low quality furnishings that you are not going to keep is essentially throwing money away. Buy the things you want to keep forever.  This also requires not buying something specifically to fit an environment. If you have a weird living room, consult a designer on how to space plan.  Don’t buy an awkward shaped sectional to accompany somewhere you’re only living for a year.


Let accessories be your trendy cheap purchases and your upholstery always an investment.

What are your thoughts? Go bold my friends.  Rip out the bad lighting and grab your paint brush.

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