Design Defined: Millwork

Design Defined: Millwork



Millwork consists of items such as doors, cabinets, banisters, and moldings.

This is important as you design your space because you will want to find someone who specializes in millwork to add those customized touches every home needs.

Millwork adds immense amounts of character to a space.

Here are a few examples: The Old World Door Collection The Old World Door Collection The Old World Door Collection The Old World Door Collection Staircase Staircase


You can see custom millwork in the crown molding and ceiling in this space I designed.


(Designer: Minhnuyet Hardy, Photographer: Mali Azima, Stylist: Eleanor Roper)

Here is short video showing how millwork can completely transform a home:

by CTLivingSpaces

Millwork goes a long way in a space.  It has the ability to transform a room from a generic box into a customized, one-of-a-kind space.  I highly recommend incorporating it into your next project.

For interior design inquiries, please email us at

Have a great day!

Modern Parisian Bungalow

Modern Parisian Bungalow

I am thrilled to share some of my latest before and after work with you.

Inspired by the City of Lights and their frequent travels to France, these Brookhaven doctors wanted to transport themselves from traffic-jammed, bustling Atlanta to the romantic streets of Paris every time they opened their front door.



(Designer: Minhnuyet Hardy, Photographer: Mali Azima, Stylist: Eleanor Roper)

We started the transformation in their once traditional living room.  We chose contemporary furniture with rich fabrics fit for the Palace of Versailles along with a lush, blue, low pile rug to add depth.  The white, brick fire place with a custom gold fire screen exudes a warm glow while the pops of lavender make the room feel playful and inspired – like the artists dwelling in Montparnasse in the 1920’s.


(Designer: Minhnuyet Hardy, Photographer: Mali Azima, Stylist: Eleanor Roper)



(Designer: Minhnuyet Hardy, Photographer: Mali Azima, Stylist: Eleanor Roper)

The dining area and kitchen were kept simple, yet sophisticated, so the food served would be the real pièce de résistance.


(Designer: Minhnuyet Hardy, Photographer: Mali Azima, Stylist: Eleanor Roper)


(Designer: Minhnuyet Hardy, Photographer: Mali Azima, Stylist: Eleanor Roper)



(Designer: Minhnuyet Hardy, Photographer: Mali Azima, Stylist: Eleanor Roper)

In a home office fit for Hemingway himself, a gallery wall of gold-framed pieces of an old Parisian map, plush seating, and a simple gold lamp create warmth, comfort, and inspiration.


(Designer: Minhnuyet Hardy, Photographer: Mali Azima, Stylist: Eleanor Roper)



(Designer: Minhnuyet Hardy, Photographer: Mali Azima, Stylist: Eleanor Roper)


(Designer: Minhnuyet Hardy, Photographer: Mali Azima, Stylist: Eleanor Roper)



(Designer: Minhnuyet Hardy, Photographer: Mali Azima, Stylist: Eleanor Roper)

The Arc de Triomphe of the home, however, is the palatial master suite that could easily be mistaken for a room at the famous Hotel Ritz Paris (Coco Chanel, Princess Diana, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Winston Churchill, Simone de Beauvoir, Duke and Duchess of Windsor and many other influential figures frequented the hotel).  Heavy curtains and satin bedding beckon restful sleep while the the glass mirrored desk and the velvet, open back chair resembling a beautiful woman create the perfect seating area for the lady of the house to sample her extraordinary collection of French perfume.


(Designer: Minhnuyet Hardy, Photographer: Mali Azima, Stylist: Eleanor Roper)


(Designer: Minhnuyet Hardy, Photographer: Mali Azima, Stylist: Eleanor Roper)

This piece of Paris in Brookhaven is a delicate blend of old world charm and new world functionality – and just like the masterpiece of the Mona Lisa or the perfect glass of Bordeaux Merlot, it will just get better with age.

What do you think?  Do you like Parisian inspired design?

For interior design inquiries, please email us at

Have a smart, stylish, & absolutely fabulous day!

Design Defined: Hand Tufted

Hand Tufted

Hand Tufted:

A hand tufted rug is made by punching strands of wool onto a canvas which is then stretched on a frame. Hand tufting is completed with the help of a hand operated tool and does not require the same skill level as hand knotting.  Generally, hand tufted rugs are cheaper than hand knotted rugs.


Watch as artisans create a hand tufted rug in India.

Art Of Creating A Tufted Rug By Company C by CompanyCInc:

Here are a few examples of hand tufted rugs. Safavieh Handmade Bella Winter Taupe Wool Rug Safavieh Handmade Bella Winter Taupe Wool Rug Serena & Lily Charing Cross Hand-Tufted Rug Serena & Lily Charing Cross Hand-Tufted Rug Surya BST529-23 Pink 2 x 3 Bombay Hand Tufted New Zealand Wool Rug Surya BST529-23
Pink 2 x 3 Bombay Hand Tufted New Zealand Wool Rug


Hand tufted rugs can be incredibly beautiful. I’m still inspired and surprised by the skill and artistry required to create handmade rugs. I think this skill makes them all the more special as each rug has a unique story.

Do you have any hand tufted rugs in your space?  I would love to hear from you!

For interior design inquiries, don’t hesitate to email us at

Happy, Happy Holidays!

10 Tips to throw a Smart and Stylish New Year's Eve Party

smart and stylish NYE

As the holiday season comes to an end, what better way to bid it adieu than with a big New Year’s Eve bash?

I love starting fresh.  I liken it to walking into a space that is completely blank, providing me with endless possibilities for interior creativity.  Its pretty exciting when you think about it, and when it comes to the new year, I like to happily welcome it in surrounded by my family and friends.  No matter the size or scale of your New Year’s Eve bash, these 10 tips will help make it smart, stylish, and stress free.


10 Tips for Throwing a Smart and Stylish New Year’s Eve Bash:

1. Set your intention.


I find that it is so easy to get carried away and stressed out around the holidays.  That can be further exacerbated by hosting a party. So, to avoid anxiety, set an intention for your gathering.  An example would be: Perfection is not important.  Ringing in the New Year with the ones I love is my only goal.

When you keep this intention in the forefront of you mind, it will be much easier to let go of the small aggravations that inevitably arise when throwing a party.  Don’t allow anything to get in the way of you enjoying yourself on this special occasion.

2. Create a thoughtful guest list.


Write up a guest list that coincides with your intention for the party.

Do you want it to be peaceful and intimate?  Maybe keep the guest list small and only invite people you feel really comfortable around.

Do you want it to be a theme party with costumes?  Invite the people you know who love to dress up and get out of their comfort zone.

Do you want it to be a lively-slightly-unpredictable-talked-about-for-years-partay?  Invite the people that make you laugh the hardest and tell them to bring a guest of their choosing.  This will ensure lots of belly laughs and the making of new friends.  Short cut: Add alcohol. 😉

Do you want it to be a family centered event?  Simply invite your family and call it good.

As far as invitations go, I recommend Paperless Post for last minute, lovely email invites or Minted for artist created and customized traditional invites.

3. Set a budget.


As we are all keenly aware, the holiday season is a budget buster.  So, to avoid added anxiety around your New Year’s Eve party, set a reasonable budget.  And by reasonable, I mean well thought out within the confines of your monetary ability.  You want to hit a sweet spot where you are able to get the supplies you need without going overboard and going into debt.

Example: Instead of buying expensive champagne and blowing your budget, purchase it in bulk from Costco.

Your guests will probably not remember what kind of champagne you served them or what cut of meat you purchased, but they will most definitely remember how you made them feel.  So focus on the ambience of the party, and don’t stress yourself out purchasing expensive things you don’t need.

Speaking of focusing on the ambience of your party…

4. Create a fabulous party play list.


Music will set the tone for your bash, so create a playlist that fits the atmosphere you want to achieve.

Want your guests to feel relaxed? Think Michael Buble, Dean Martin, Frank Sinatra…

Want your guests to dance?  Google the best dance songs of the last 20 years and place them in a random order…

Want your guests to talk and really get to know one another?  Play some instrumental holiday and classical music… Enya is also a great, easy listening choice…

You get the idea.  Create a playlist that sets the tone you are trying to achieve for your party.

Short cut: iTunes Radio has some fabulous playlists all ready to go.  Simply add them to your iTunes library and plug your phone into your sound dock… instant ambience via music.

5. Create a theme for your decor.

It doesn’t all have to be black and gold.  You can create your own custom theme.  My recommendation would be to choose a couple colors you love and stick to them.

Examples: Black & White, Red & White, Gold & White, Silver & Gold, Navy Blue & Gold… you get the idea.

Who better to give you some additional decor inspiration than Martha Stewart?  Here is an article she created with all kinds of different ideas on how to make your home New Year’s Eve Party ready.

Martha Stewart not your party go-to guru?  No problem.  Check out this fabulous NYE DIY decor from WooHome.  These 32 DIY decor projects are creative and fun and won’t bust your budget.  These decorations would be an especially fun way to get your children involved, as well.

Still not feeling it?  Check out and for hundreds of New Year’s Eve Party tips and tricks.

6. Set a menu.



It goes without saying that you need to keep your budget in mind, but this is one of my favorite parts about a party… the FOOD.  There are several approaches you can take here…

One. Do it yourself.  Create and cook recipes that you love and want to share with your family and friends.  This is the most work, but your guests will surely appreciate the time and effort you put into creating food filled with love.

Two. Make a potluck menu and request that guests bring either an appetizer, main course dish, or a dessert.  If you are really organized, you can assign courses to guests more specifically.  Example:  “It would be fabulous if you would bring an appetizer.  Thank you so much!”  Guests generally love to get involved in the party, so this is a great way to allow them to lend a hand AND its a great way for you to save money.

Three.  Have the party catered.  This is obviously the easiest choice.  If it is within your budget and you prefer not to have to cook, then have it catered by a restaurant or catering company you love.  Easy as pie (maybe quite literally).

7. Create a DIY Bar.


This is one of my favorite ideas.  Create a custom cocktail list for your party with two or three different cocktails.  Set up an area for your guests with all the ingredients and the recipes displayed beautifully in the colors of your theme.  This is a fun way for your guests to break the ice with each other and grab drinks as they please throughout the night.

Here is an example for some festive cocktails from Giada de Laurentiis:

Bellini Bar Recipe

Moscow Mule Cocktail

Gingerbread Cocktail

Jam Cocktail

9. Play some games.

This is a great way not only to break the ice amongst your guests, but to get everyone in the party spirit.  Real Simple Magazine suggests:

Make light of New Year’s resolutions by turning them into a guessing game. Give partygoers cards (download the New Year Playing Cards) and have guests finish the sentences with hopeful wishes―or tongue-in-cheek witticisms. Gather the cards, read them aloud randomly, then let the gang try to figure out who wrote what.

Print cards with these fill-in-the-blanks: “The bad habit I want to kick this year is ―――.” “The good deed I want to do this year is ―――.” “The person I want to be more like this year is ―――.” “The skill I want to learn this year is ―――.”

This is also a great way to get everyone thinking about the new year fast approaching!

9. Create Photo Booth Props.


You don’t need to rent a photo booth (though that would be fabulous) but you do need to create an area where guests can take photos to remember the celebration.

Why not set up your camera on a tripod (make sure your camera is securely fastened) and create a fun backdrop with DIY Photo Booth props?  Guests can take pictures of other guests and at the end of the party you will have dozens of photos to use on social media, or for a scrap book, or as prints to use as a thank you note for attending your celebration.  Pictures are ALWAYS a good idea.

Tip: If you don’t want guests using your camera, then ditch the tripod idea and encourage them to use their smart phones.

DIY Photo Booth Props from Kendall-Jackson

10. Send them off with a kiss.

Screen Shot 2015-12-18 at 4.01.34 PM

A Hershey’s kiss that is!  Party favors are so much fun and what is more appropriate than these easy NYE themed kisses?

Simply download the stickers, place them on the kisses, and put them in a cute goodie bag.  Not only is this party favor adorable, its affordable, and your guests are sure to love the added touch of a parting gift.

2016 New Years Eve Hershey Kisses Printable Labels from Glitter ‘n’ Spice.

I hope these 10 smart, stylish tips help you throw the best New Year’s Eve party yet!  Happy New Year to you and yours!

For interior design inquiries, please email us at

Thanks for stopping by!

Design Defined: Hand Knotted

Hand Knotted

Hand Knotted:

The quality of a hand-knotted rug is determined by the number of knots per square inch, and a higher density means a better quality.  Weaving a hand-knotted rug requires immense skill and often a lot of time.  Hence the reason hand knotted rugs are usually expensive.

Watch as artisans in India make a hand knotted rug…

Hand knotted rug making in India by Greg Elzinga:

Here are several photos of hand knotted rugs. Surya WAT5003-58 5 x 8 Rectangle Watercolor Hand Knotted 100% Wool Rug Surya WAT5003-58
5 x 8 Rectangle Watercolor Hand Knotted 100% Wool Rug nuLOOM Hand-knotted Moroccan Diamond Trellis Blue Shag Rug nuLOOM Hand-knotted Moroccan Diamond Trellis Blue Shag Rug Surya PZR6000-3656 Rectangle Pazar Hand Knotted 100% Wool Rug Surya PZR6000-3656 Rectangle Pazar Hand Knotted 100% Wool Rug



I personally LOVE hand knotted rugs.  The quality is hard to beat – both in the way the rug looks and the way it feels under your feet.

Do you have any hand knotted rugs?  I would love to hear from you!

For interior design inquiries, please email us at

Have a smart, stylish day, Everyone!

Bookcases for Every Budget & Style

bookcases for every budget and style

As the title of this post suggests, today we are talking bookcases.  I absolutely love to read and I also love displaying my various bespoke treasures collected over my lifetime.

Bookshelves are the perfect place to showcase a little bit more about yourself through the literature you are reading and the accessories you have displayed.  The bookcase itself also speaks of the kind of style you posses.  Are you modern?  Contemporary?  Maybe a bit rustic?  Hollywood glam?  – All of these styles are represented below along with a price point.  So no matter your budget, there is a fabulous bookcase below for you.

Additionally, for bookcase styling, visit my post 5 Tips for Styling a Fabulous Bookcase.


This modern ikea shelving is great for someone who likes a stream lined, modern look and a thick wallet.  These are so clean and chic, yet only $200.  The drawers also provide some great extra storage and who doesn’t need that? FJÄLKINGE Shelving unit with drawers FJÄLKINGE Shelving unit with drawers

Under $400

Do you like a rustic, just-chopped-and-nailed-together-this-morning look?  Then this just might be the bookcase for you.  It is rustic and woodsy and definitely has a masculine flair.  I would love to see this bookcase in white room with very light accessories.  The differing elements of light and rustic go so well together. Rustic Wood Book Shelf Rustic Wood Book Shelf

Under $500

These contemporary shelves are open and airy.  I can picture them in loft with exposed brick and high ceilings.  They will display your books and accessories beautifully without taking up a lot of space or obstructing any views.  There are also three different colors to choose from – options are always a bonus. STUDIO WALL SHELF STUDIO WALL SHELF

Under $1000

This bookcase feels more traditional to me.  It resembles an antique and if you have a more traditional or transitional space, this just might be perfect for you.  The closed doors also decrease the need for dusting if that is something that is important to you. Morris Bookcase Morris Bookcase

Under $1500

These rustic shelves are fabulous.  They are perfect for contemporary spaces and even cross over into bohemian and eclectic spaces… I love it when a piece fits in multiple settings.  Their combination of cabinets and shelving make them perfect for displaying books and accessories while also hiding the clutter you don’t want anyone to see.  Win, win! Industrial Modular 49" Open + Closed Storage Industrial Modular 49″ Open + Closed Storage

Under $2000

Modeled after 20th century industrial Europe, these shelves are show stoppers.  Your guests will think they are a piece of history found at a flea market.  The mixed materials of wood and metal feel masculine, yet with some light accessories, these bookcases could easily be used anywhere. 20TH C. ZINC TRUSS DOUBLE SHELVING 20TH C. ZINC TRUSS DOUBLE SHELVING

Under $2500

These Jonathan Adler bookcases just might be my favorite.  They come with a fairly hefty price tag, but to me they are perfect for a Hollywood Glam motif.  The gold and lucite create an eye catching combination that transforms these pieces from mere bookcases to focal points. JACQUES ÉTAGÈRE JACQUES ÉTAGÈRE

I hope reading this post gave you some serious bookcase inspiration.  I know it inspires me to get back to work and to figuring out how to incorporate these fabulous pieces into my future projects.

What do you think?  Do any of these bookcases fit in your style and budget?  I would love to hear from you.

For interior design inquiries, please email us at

Have a smart, stylish, and fabulous day!

Design Defined: Motif



A motif is a decorative design or pattern.


Here is an example of an outdoor motif brought inside.

How to Decorate a Living Room With Natural Outdoor Motifs : Interior Design & Decor by ehowhome


Here is an example of a pattern motif.

Soft and Organic Design Textural Concrete Tiles with Flowery Motifs by Design Ideas:


Here is an example of a diamond motif on a rug. New Modern Diamond Motif Grey 8'X10' Moroccan Hand Knotted Wool Area Rug H8393 New Modern Diamond Motif Grey 8’X10′ Moroccan Hand Knotted Wool Area Rug H8393













Motifs are a great way to create some consistency in your space.  Do you have any kind of motif in your home or work space?  I would love to hear from you!!!

For interior design inquiries, please email us at

Have a fabulous day!

A Whimsical Twist on Traditional Christmas Decor

whimsical christmas decor

Traditional green and red Christmas decorations do not have to be boring!  You can incorporate these tried and true holiday colors in a way that feels fresh, fun, and absolutely fabulous.  Add some sparkle, add some whimsy, add some silver and gold – the only limit to this holiday season’s decor is your own imagination.

Ready your address book because after you’re finished, all that will be left to do is throw a party!

Howard 11

These are holiday decorations I put together for clients of mine.  They live in a transitional style home, which means they have combined traditional pieces with more contemporary ones.  Going really modern with the Holiday decor would feel out of place here, so I chose classic Christmas colors and decorations with a bit of a twist.

Personalized Christmas stockings are my favorite.  I love that 2 of the four stockings do not match.  You want to create an inviting, comfortable look when it comes to holiday decorating, and if things are too perfect, it will be hard for people to relax.  The sparkling reindeer on either side of the green, oversized wreath with a big red bow create a whimsical focal point.  I also placed reflective, silver glass vases in varying shapes and sizes with small red ornaments in them to add some pizazz to the mantel.

Howard 1

Howard 2

Howard 3

The silver owl definitely adds a touch of whimsy to the mantel.  Within a more traditional decor motif, its fun to add a playful element to break it up and lighten it up.  I also placed some large green leaves with red ornaments interspersed throughout them to carry the green and red theme from the wreath right down to the mantel.  This creates a very cohesive look.

Howard 4

Its all in the details, baby!

Howard 7

I stayed with the green and red color scheme (with touches of silver to brighten it up) in the dining decorations.  Again, you want to continue color themes from room to room or your holiday decor will appear disjointed.

The dining table scape is simple, but a lovely focal point for guests to gather around.  It is a great height for conversation as it will not block anyone’s view.  I also added some simple decor on the adjacent table.  Its fun decorating areas that you know are going to be seen from the outside – such a fun and easy way to spread some holiday cheer.

Howard 8

Howard 9

Who says ornaments are only for the tree?  Rules surrounding creativity are meant to be broken!  I love interspersing gorgeous holiday ornaments throughout my home in creative ways during the holidays.

Howard 10

The mirror on the wall above the buffet table fit perfectly with the “traditional with a touch of whimsy” motif.  I placed a wreath in its center to make it a lovely focal point, and then added gorgeous silver candle stick holders with red candles in them to add a touch of sophistication.  This area begs for holiday cocktails!

Howard 6

Here, I was able to showcase these lovely red and silver ornaments in a crystal bowl on the buffet table in the dining area.  (Note: Do not forget to decorate the buffet table!  It adds so much to the ambience around your holiday dining…)

Happy Holidays and happy holiday decorating from me to you!

For interior design or holiday decorating inquiries, please email us at

Thanks for stopping by!

Design Defined: Repeat



When there is a pattern, a repeat is the number of inches on a fabric before a pattern repeats again.

This is important in interior design so you know where a pattern will begin and end.  Depending on the pattern, it can look odd where you begin and end it.  Also, knowing the repeat length is helpful for calculating how much fabric your project will require.

How to Measure The Pattern Repeat of Fabric for Curtains by The Millshop Online:

Fabric Repeats: Calculating Yardage and Cuts by Storybook Designs:

Have you every measured a fabric repeat before?  I would love to hear from you!

For interior design inquiries, please email us at

Have a fabulous day!

Festive Holiday Decorations on a Budget

festive holiday

The time is upon us!  And the Holiday Season is officially in full swing.  I love this time of year.  The food, the family and friends, the decorations… combined they create the perfect backdrop for life long memories.

However, I also realize that this time of year can be very stressful.  Traffic is often out of control (I’m talking to you, Atlanta… specifically I-85!), there are crowds of people gathered at shopping centers, and your monthly budget gets blown up like a firework on the 4th of July. These circumstances don’t exactly make you feel like this…


But rather, they make you feel more like sad-face-looking-longingly-into-the-distance-wondering-when-life-will-turn-back-to-normal…


That is why, I am here to help!  I want to make your life a little easier, by sharing some of the best Holiday decorations, at multiple prices points, that, drum roll please… you can purchase online!  Easy breezy!

Let’s dive in!

H&M – under $100

H&M knows what they are doing when it comes to Holiday decor.  These decorations start at $2.99!  It doesn’t get much cheaper than that unless its free.  And since “free” is not often a word we hear around the Holidays, H&M is a great place to do your decor shopping.  Here is a small preview of what you might find:


Look at those prices!  I’m still doing a double take.

Pottery Barn – over $100

Pottery Barn just might be the king of Holiday Decor.  The variety is astounding and I love that so many items can be personalized.  Pottery Barn quality is also a force to be reckoned with… pretty much anything you purchase from this company can be used for years and years to come.  Here is a little preview of what you might find:


Pottery Barn has fabulous velvet stockings that you can have personalized.  They are so festive on a mantel and they also make for a very thoughtful gift.  (Tip: Pottery Barn provides GORGEOUS gift wrapping, so if you are in a bind and need to purchase a gift, purchase from PB and add the wrapping.)

Restoration Hardware – over $200

Restoration Hardware is a great resource for unique finds.  They have a way of really upping the ante when it comes to home decor and their Holiday selection is no different.  I mean, where else are you going to find a faux fur Christmas tree skirt and hand blow glass ornaments?  The only downside is that these items are definitely on the pricier side.  Here is a preview of what you will find:

Screen Shot 2015-11-28 at 12.28.57 PM


I could go through their online catalogue all day.  It seems like the styles and combinations are endless!

A few more finds:

Great place for hundreds of ornament options: Macy’s

Chic Holiday entertaining items: West Elm

Festive Holiday scents: Thymes


What do you think?  Will you be doing Holiday decoration shopping online?  I would love to hear from you!

For interior design inquiries, please email us at

Happy Holidays and HAPPY (online) shopping!