I know retail shopping can be daunting.  You don’t feel like you know what you’re doing (or maybe you do under false pretenses).  I’m here to shed some light on where to go and where to avoid.

UPHOLSTERY

If you’re willing to spend some money, Crate and Barrel is definitely my favorite.  The line they sell is very reputable and will last.  It’s a good investment (and in my mind not overpriced). Places to avoid are Restoration Hardware and Pottery Barn.  I think they are wildly overpriced for what you’re getting.  Sorry, I’m not sorry.

CASEGOODS

If you’re searching for casegoods, I love Crate and Barrel and West Elm for this one.  I think they have great choices at both stores.  Very different looks with varying wood finishes. If you’re looking for cool reclaimed wood looks, West Elm is for you. I would avoid Pottery Barn on this one.  Sorry PB, but they’re too plain for the price tag.

ART & ACCESSORIES

For art and accessories, I would run to Zgallerie.  I love ZGal.  Some people in the design community are snobby about it, but I’m a fan.  I think they have great (different) accessories and fantastic art choices. They also have great mirrors. It’s also no secret I’m a sucker for the Nate Berkus and Threshold Collections for Target. Talk about great accessories for the price point. Style it up and no one is going to know you only paid $20 for those accessories.

BEDDING

For bedding, I LOVE Pottery Barn and West Elm on this one.  Fantastic quality for the price, especially their quilting.  Don’t buy the fillers from there.  Buy those at Target. If you’re really on the cheap, check out Homegoods.  They have some great options.  I got a Ralph Lauren quilt for our basement bedroom last week for $24.

TOWELS

For towels, I would go to Target or Homegoods. Fieldcrest from Target towels are my jam.  I think they are just as good as the PB towels but at half the cost.

Where do you like to shop?

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#GiveKind

December 16th, 2014

Hello and Happy Tuesday! I’m currently on my last work flight for 2014.  One more install in Charlotte, North Carolina.  I’m really excited to finish this project.  It has quite a bit of unique finishes and it’s always exciting to see it installed.

If you read this blog regularly, you’ve heard me mention The Kind Campaign.  It’s an anti-bullying program for girls in schools, headed up by Lauren Paul and my friend from Dallas, Molly Thompson.  It’s such a great program and they are currently fundraising for the 2015 school year.  This year they were able to do an extensive country wide program free of charge thanks to the Breaking Bad finale (Aaron Paul is Lauren’s husband).  This year, they are raising money with #GiveKind, which calls participants to donate (minimum of $1o) and do a random act of kindness.  Yesterday, Aaron Paul delivered flowers to elderly and strangers on the street.  It’s the perfect time to share some kindness.

I donated yesterday and have been racking my brain on what to do.  I have flown so much and one thing that’s for sure is that flight attendants are mistreated on the regular.  I have seen them get chewed out for ridiculous reasons on countless occasions.  I grabbed some M&M’s at DIA and passed these out to the attendants on the plane and the ladies who took our boarding passes.

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I overheard the last attendant say, “Oh man, I need this so bad today.” I challenge any of you to get in on the action.  Especially if you are feeling down this holiday season, the best way to help yourself is to help others. Find out how you can get involved here.

***UPDATE: Right before landing the flight attendant asked for the “M&M’s Girl” and thanked me as she cried.  Totally overwhelming (and all over a $1.50 bag of candy).  Do it, I dare you!

Happy Tuesday! Give Kind.

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Geometric Tile

December 15th, 2014

I am pulling for some upcoming projects at the moment and am dying over all the fun geometric tiles out right now.  Sometimes a bold pattern becomes a gorgeous neutral.

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PRIVAT APARTMENT

Hope your Monday is off to a great start!

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Imagery Sourcing: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7

Catch Up Friday

December 12th, 2014

Whew this week has been nuts.  Thank you so much for all of the kind comments.  I appreciate them more than you know.  In case you missed it, here’s my spot on GoodDay Colorado on how to style your coffee table.  Kirk and Brooke are always so nice and I’m honored they allow me to go on.

Have a wonderful weekend!

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A Note To My Post Graduate Self

December 11th, 2014

Several friends are graduating this week and I was asked to share my thoughts on what I would tell my post graduate self. Oh where to begin…

FIRST OFF, STOP FLIPPING YOUR HAIR LIKE THAT. It’s not a good look.

DON’T START WORKING RIGHT AFTER GRADUATION. I was SO excited to start my new job. The VP encouraged me to take a few weeks off in between graduation and starting, but I told her I was ready to work. Well, YOU WILL WORK YOUR WHOLE LIFE. Ha. Take the time off if it’s presented to you. It will be an opportunity you won’t get back.

SHOW UP EARLY, READY TO WORK. Do not be late. Ever. I flipped my car once on the way into the office and still managed to make it there by 9am (we were on a deadline). Be there ready to work and never be the first one to leave. You are low on the pole and there to help.

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I’M SORRY, BUT YOU KNOW NOTHING. I wish I could go back and change this, but I had a big head when I started working. Let me tell you, you may have aced your capstone project, but that doesn’t matter.  You are new to the company and have yet to prove yourself. Work hard and take all advice/direction from your seniors.  They will make you a better designer/employee.  Don’t be too proud to miss out on these opportunities.

DRESS FOR SUCCESS. I know that’s cheesy, but it’s true.  If you want to be taken seriously, you need to put you best foot forward, which means the obvious.  Don’t show up with wet hair and last night’s outfit. You are representing your company, so always, always give it your best.

GET INVOLVED IN A YOUNG PROFESSIONALS GROUP. Hopefully you didn’t skip too much chapel, because you will miss it. Having that daily devotional was something I took for granted and didn’t realize how much I enjoyed.  Get involved in a young professionals group.  I joined BSF (Bible Study Fellowship) which was a great way to make friends while keeping myself challenged. Surround yourself with Christian friends.  It will keep you grounded and remind you what’s important.

DON’T TAKE YOURSELF TOO SERIOUSLY. Work hard and have fun.  Make new friends, try new things and travel as much as possible. Those first few years out of college are amazing.  You will grow more than you can imagine.

Congrats on graduating! The best is yet to come.

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ClassPass

December 10th, 2014

Good morning! I don’t know about you guys, but I am really needing to get a jump start on my fitness plan.  Being sick and out of town for the past two weeks has translated into no workouts, which is terrible.

Lucky for me I just found out about ClassPass. Unlike a typical gym membership, ClassPass gives you access to boutique fitness classes all over the city.  Denver’s ClassPass features great studios such as Kindness Yoga, Pure Barre and The Bar Method. For $99 a month, you can visit any studio in the network three times a month.  Any class. Simply login in to the network and reserve your spot in the class.  Easy enough!

I’m so excited to try this out.  Give ClassPass a look.

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What’s Happening

December 9th, 2014

Hello! If you saw my nerdy Instagram photo, you read that I will be a part of Harding faculty this spring.  I’m teaching professional practice for the Interior Design Seniors and I could not be more excited.  I will be teaching via Skype and am very thankful to my always generous boss for allowing me to sneak this in the schedule.  Hopefully I can shed some light on how to hit the ground running upon graduation.

I will be on FOX 31 on Thursday this week discussing how to style your coffee table.  I am using one in their studio that I’ve never seen, so it should be interesting! Tune in at 8:45am on GoodDay Colorado.

I am working on a nursery design for one of my favorite fashion bloggers (eeeek!). Stay tuned on that.

Suffice to say, things are crazy per usual. I’m so grateful for all of you that read this blog.  I hope it’s a great week!

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Luxury Mountain Home

December 9th, 2014

Winter time for the Byrnes means lots of time in the mountains.  We are skiers (although I am more of a lady of leisure while my husband could be an Olympian) and spend quite a bit of our weekends driving to and from the mountains.  It’s an hour and a half with no traffic, although we’ve had trips that have taken four hours plus.  Such time in the car always leaves us dreaming of owning mountain property.  Doing a little research tonight lead to this amazing modern home designed by Len Cotsovolos of LC2 Design.  Located in Big Sky, Montana this incredible chalet has a modern feel with a touch of rustic.

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How insane are those views?! I’m not going to lie.  If we owned here I’d be much more tempted to stay snuggled in front of those mountain views with a good book rather than killing it on the slopes.

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Imagery Sourcing found here and here

Dreamy Bath & Week’s End

December 5th, 2014

Sharing a little sneak of a beach house project I’m working on that should be complete in April/May.  It is going to be amazing.  This is the master bath and may be my favorite part.

I spent a majority of the week installing a model apartment for our clients that my former Junior designed  in San Diego.  I felt funny on Monday but tried to ignore it.  Flying Tuesday morning was ROUGH.  Well, turns out I have a double ear infection.  The doctor shot back when he looked at my ears.  Tremendous.  Tim and I are going to the mountains and I’m hoping these antibiotics will kick in so I can ski. Here are some install shots:

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I worked a full day yesterday (despite my diagnosis) and went to the Nordstrom Christmas party with my sister.  We go every year and always have a great time.  Several people asked where my dress was from.  It’s this plaid dress from GAP and is currently on sale! Getcha one. I wear it probably too much with my brown Sam Edleman boots and manage to look cute while feeling like I’m wearing pajamas in public.

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Hope everyone has a wonderful weekend! Stop by the Zhush today for my guest post on great stocking stuffers from her store.  If you haven’t shopped the Zhush you’re missing out!

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*All imagery personal to DBK

You Might Need A Designer If…

December 4th, 2014

The #1 question people ask me is if I judge someone’s home when they have me over. The honest answer is no.  I’m doing design work for a majority of the week, so in my free time I turn it off.  But if you’re wondering if it’s time for some design help, here’s a few thoughts.

YOU MIGHT NEED A DESIGNER IF…

You still own a futon

You have popcorn ceilings

Your favorite home furnishings store is Ashley Furniture

Your bed is a mattress on the floor

Your favorite color is beige

You assume great style is only achieved with expensive pieces

You think tacked posters count as artwork

You have more than five paint colors in your home

Your draperies don’t touch the floor

You think Pottery Barn is the end all be all

You have carpet in your bathroom

You own a wavy mirror

There is a fluorescent light box in your kitchen

You have melamine cabinets

Your sink bowl is shaped like a sea shell

You have medium wood toned trim

You have tab topped curtains

There is forest green carpet in your home

Your nicest light fixture is a ceiling fan with a light kit

You love some fake ivy

You still have a piece of furniture from college

You have 500 things shoved above your kitchen cabinets

One of your main interior finishes is in the laminate family (counter-tops, floors, etc)

You think everything should “match”

You have vertical blinds

You have no blinds

A folding table or chair serves as a permanent furnishing

How’d you do?

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