Friday, August 4, 2017

Designer Tips That make Up a Well Styled Bed

With summer nearing an end, the children and grandchildren have gone off to school or back to their homes and you are about to feel a quiet calm in your home that perhaps had not been there these last couple of months. Peace and quiet!  What a nice time to give your master bedroom a quick re-styling! There is no better place to make the biggest impact than the bed! So here are some of my best tips on how to make it look absolutely gorgeous!

THE ANTOINETTE HEADBOARD by Eastern Accents Luxury Bedding  available through designers only

The Headboard Is Essential
A headboard doesn't only add an aesthetic appeal to your nocturnal retreat, but also adds structure and a certain sturdiness to your bed. They also act as a back rest for when you've got that novel you just can't put down, or the reality TV show that you just can't enough of!

THE VIONETTE BEDDING by Eastern Accents  available through designers only
A Euro Sham Is Significant
Euro shams might seem like a waste of money to some of you, but fear not, it's truly an important element to your bed design if you want your bed to look like the ones in the magazines. Euro shams help add layers to your bed, which can hide your favorite pillow to sleep with as well as adding depth to your bed.

Quick Tip: Generally you'd use 3 european shams for a king bed, 2 for a full or queen bed, and one for a Twin.

CUSTOM PILLOWS Beacon Hill Fabrics available through designers only 
The Decorative Pillows Or Shams Are Vital
Similar to euro shams, decorative pillows or shams also add depth and a certain luxurious appeal to your bed, but they also add texture and pattern. Decorative pillows can help tie together other elements in your bedroom for a cohesive design and can vary is patterns and colors.

Quick Tip: You can stack decorative pillows for more of a contemporary feel, or prop them upright for more of a traditional feel. They are not for sleeping on and are typically pain points for anyone with no understanding of design. 

Cornice Lunetta Collection Di Medici Collection by Eastern Accents Luxury Bedding available through designers only
The Flat Sheets Are Important
Sheets are important and not a place to cut your budget, because you curl up and sleep between them for hours of your life. I personally love the heavy linen monogrammed sheets I inherited from my Italian grandmother! High end sheets of cotton or linen very important for tying your entire magazine worthy bedroom together.

Quick Tip: Staying neutral is the way to go for those that like bold colors, because you can infuse textures and patterns in the pillows and duvet covers. If you like your neutrals, feel free to add some pattern to your sheets as they only peep into your overall bed design.

Why Duvet Covers Are Imperative
I can't remember how long ago or who it was that told me this tip, but having a duvet cover spares you from having to replace or ruin your actual comforter. From the day I heard this I purchased a duvet cover to spare me from having to replace my comforter or bedspread! A duvet cover (even if you don’t insert a duvet in it) is also a great way to add color and pattern to your space.

Quick Tip: Tuck your duvet cover under the mattress so you can bring a clean, modern hotel feel to your room.

The Bed Frame Is Central
Similar to the headboard, a bed frame adds aesthetic, elegance and a structure to your bed. It also helps make it the centerpiece in your bedroom! If you have a bed with side rails please let them show! They too add a dimension to the room’s style.

And Throws Are Important
Throws add a comforting and welcome appeal to your bedroom. They also act as yet another way to add a layer to your bed design, but tend to be cozy and soft. It's also a secret weapon to invite you to just relax on the bed for a spell. We make custom bed throws in fabrics that coordinate with the other bedding….Perfect also if you have a furry friend that likes the bed!

Interested in working with us to having the bed in your room made a new? Call or email now for an appointment!

Saturday, July 15, 2017

The Skirted Table or Console....All Dressed Up

All dressed up and no where to go but right there in your home!

I have always love fabric and if at all possible I will use fabric creatively to drive color, texture and the much needed style factor called "WOW" into many of my designed and decorated rooms! Here's four of my favorite skirted table or applied to four different rooms!

I'll bet this little dressing table/vanity is the jewel in the room! Think Kate Spade!  Wearing a beautiful smart 2 1/2" black applied banding trim at the hem line she's looking pretty smart! The glass surface top keeps dust and makeup from staining the fabric and the side kick pleats give it a real flare!

This is genius if you ask me!  This handsome fellow is backed up to black enameled passageway doors, creating no visual distinction of the TV monitor! The linen skirt has a black band that ties into the black doors, TV, lamp shade and picture frames seen on the left. They even added a beverage tray, I'll take a Martini please!

Skirted consoles or tables are always made more interesting by using the design element of trim at the bottom. This trim has two purposes, it ties the color and pattern into the space and most importantly, it adds a stiffness to the body of the skirt making the inverted kick pleats stand away and flare just enough to say, "hey I'm tailored"!


This is one of my favs! If your space it limited, this skirt acts as a storage spot for all those little items that need to be hidden away! This one is made with tent like flaps that open easily by just pulling them to the side. The banding trim tape is smaller but used in a more casual way making it perfect for the family room, child's room or any room really!

Our exquisitely made custom console table skirts are always designed with your room in mind! Give us a call to book your in home decorating session today!

With lot's of decorating love,

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Custom Drapery Rods Do Matter

We know in creating a Custom Window Treatment that “it’s all in the details.” And every detail of your window treatments matters, from the fabric to the lining to the trim. Often overlooked is another important detail, the type of rod used to hang your drapes. Yes, even the drapery rod matters!

Beautiful Lead Crystal from Switzerland by Orion! Stunningly attractive!
First and foremost we don’t like using rod pockets drapes in our designs because they don’t allow for structure and shape. When closed, your drapes end up looking like bed sheets because there is no pleating. The gathered look of a rod pocket drapery can be fussy, messy and doesn’t work well with more modern or contemporary styling. Drapes hung with rod pockets are also difficult to open and close, because they drag on the rod. We prefer our draperies to be pleated and that design element exposes more of the beautiful rod and for that reason we love these beauties pictured here.  

The Wrought Iron Collection by Kirsch, strong and timeless!
Secondly, we are not fans of adjustable rods. We’ve seen many drapes end up ripped because they caught on the overlap while being opened. The rods also have a tendency to sag in the middle, especially when they are extended all the way out. A custom-fitted rod presents a clean line, with no lip to disrupt the length of the rod. We use proper supports based on the weight of the drapery and  they work seamlessly with ball bearing gears and they are quiet!

The Cube Collection by Brimar, totally modern and glamorous.
We also say, “it only hurts once”, but if you’re working within a reasonable budget (and we understand that fully), focus on high-quality drapes and opt for lower-cost (but still custom) rods. We offer rods like the one pictured below that are very economically priced and do not compromise the design.

Wood Trends by Kirsch, classy, simply and urban!
Marie Antoinette Interiors can help you choose every detail of your window treatments, from the aesthetic to the functional. We’ll over see each step of the process, including measurement and installation, so you never have to worry about how your drapes will work in your home. Schedule a design consultation with us to learn more about our process and how we can help. We will put together all the right details to create your beautiful finished window treatment.

Silvery Metallic by Fenestra, it's all about the finish with this line of hardware!

Monday, June 5, 2017

Home Decorating, No Need To Water These FLORALS!

Fashionistas say, “if you’re wearing a hot fabric trend today, in about a year or two you’ll have it in your home”. I know this to be true and unless you’ve been living under a rock surely you too must know that BIG LARGE VOLUMPTIOUS FLORALS are trending in home fashions and ready to wear right now! My Goodness even Lowe's Hardware Stores are selling floral patio pillows! 

Not your Granny's Bedspread, these ladies are wearing sophisticated "Florals" and they probably have them in their home décor as well!

Popular in the 90’s when I first started practicing Interior Design and Decorating, we loved and adored them! I mean we really loved them! Rose Cummings had the best ones and they were beautiful. Waverly Fabrics also had hundreds of them; all for the picking (play on words here)!

Presently I'm working with a client's new guest bedroom design and wouldn't you know....she adores florals! Not wanting the pricey expense of going with "custom bedding" I found this set from  Eastern Accents. Well she LOVED it! But who wouldn't? The key to this floral ensemble and what makes it so totally new and fresh is the fashionably tailored bed skirt, shams and pillows. I'm not wild about this brown leather French Provincial Headboard but hey, it does work in this studio setting shown below.
Available through designers and luxury retailers, give us a call at 925.862.9064 or email me at for  10% off retail today!

Vivid shades of raspberry and grass pair beautifully with vivacious floral, evoking a colorful English garden scene for a bold, editorial style. Truly one of a kind, this collection will bring an exclusive, designer feel to any space. Pair with crisp, white linens or a luxuriously textured coverlet for a glamorous take on summertime charm all year round. And you don’t even have to water these beauties.

Via Pinterest ~ See the connection to the Drapery Panels below!
Anchored by a handsome, clean lined sofa and steel grey walls these Floral Drapery Panels below are a perfect way to add an informal twist on the living room.

via Pinterest

We carry Greenhouse Fabrics as well!
Using a floral fabric in pillows, on seating, at the window, on the floor as an area rug or dare I say on the walls.....will pump up the fun and you can't but smile!

Room Design by Martha O'Hara Interiors via Houzz

The Pink Floral Tea Dress via Etsy
And finally (last picture I promise), again, if your wearing flowers now, you'll see them in your home very soon! #callyourdecorator

Monday, May 1, 2017

The Holy Grail of Decorating, the Throw Pillow

We decorators are always telling our clients how easy it is to breathe new life into that “beige neutral” sofa simply by switching out throw pillows.

I admit, a group of new fabric pillows in beautiful colors can give your sofa a totally different feel, but that doesn’t mean it’s easy to go through all of the thousands of great throw pillows out there in every shade and size imaginable to find 4 or 5 that will work well for on the sofa. There’s a huge selection out there, which makes the process overwhelming! But I’d like to make things easier for you. Keep these 5 tips in mind while choosing the right throw pillows for your sofa.

Colors in the pillows echo the chair and ottoman and the lamps. Via Pinterest
1. Choose one cohesive color palette and do not deviate from it. You’re going to get the most impact if  your pillows are either in the same shade or in colors that pick up other colors already in the room.

The softness of the art is portrayed in the pillow color! Perfect symmetry! Via Pinterest  
2. Shoot for a symmetrical arrangement. When you’re layering several different fabrics on top of each other, things can get really busy, really fast. I like a symmetrical arrangement because it keeps things feeling orderly and polished. But if your style is Bohemian skip this tip and go for the asymmetrical arrangement, and mix it up.

The asymmetrical arrangement works well in a modern room. Via Pinterest
3. One simple print, one busy print, and one solid. This is a basic formula that’ll help you narrow down your options. Another way to think about it is — one small print, one big print, one solid. Your busy/large print should be on your largest pillows or the pillow that is front and center, as this print will usually set the tone for not just your pillow arrangement but the rest of your room. Plaids and stripes work well as small/simple prints.

Two prints, two solids and one stripe, placed in a fun arrangement. Via Pinterest  
4. As your move towards the inside of the sofa, the pillows should get smaller. Visually, your largest pillows should be in the far corners, and your smaller pillow should be on the inside. But also for comfort, it makes the most sense to add the large 22 or 24″ pillows on the sides, where you won’t need to move them out of the way. A small 12×20″ pillow right in the center won’t make you feel like you’re perched on the edge of the couch because the pillows are taking up all of the room!

The art here is wider and larger than the sofa, so to balance the scale pillows are used to anchor the art and give the sofa a stronger presence. Via Pinterest
5. Although decorative, pillows are really meant to add comfort to your upholstered furniture pieces, keep comfort in mind! We’ve all sat down on that couch that is so packed to the gills with throw pillows that you feel like you’re being shoved into a bag of marshmallows. This is not the ideal situation, so if you have to ask if you have too many, take on or two away!

Pillows are a wonderful way to add new life to your neutral sofa and consequently new life to your  room, be it living, family or bedroom. If you are still struggling choosing the right pillow, in the right size and in the right fabric, I can help! We do "custom" pillows, and we make them in the exact size needed for your sofa or chair and we select the perfect fabric that compliments your room's accessories!

 Call today to get started on switching out your pillows! 

Monday, April 17, 2017

What color should we paint?

Spring is here! Time to evaluate the colors in your home? Do they still work for your lifestyle, or are you ready to do something different?

Call today for your Color Consultation
At Marie Antoinette Interiors, we will choose colors and paints best-suited for your interior and exterior spaces, taking into consideration the room’s dimensions, furniture and lighting.
During your appointment, we’ll assess every room in your home or office and take detailed notes. Whether you prefer soft-spoken colors such as pastels or you’re ready for an onslaught of change with more vivid hues, we will create an appealing and wonderfully personal palette.

We promise to keep the process engaging, informative and fun — as it should be! After finalizing our choices, Marie Antoinette Interiors will provide you with a color schedule listing each room, its respective color choices, the paint sheen, and any other required detail in the design. We also will give you large sample cards of each color. In addition, we will email the color schedule to your  paint contractor on your behalf. Our goal? To ensure the group of colors reflects your personality and is efficiently applied.



Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Exterior House Color or Your Home's Most Valuble Curb Appeal

Beautiful, well chosen exterior color can add significant value to any home investment, not to mention fill its owners with a sense of pride. But finding the right colors through trial and error isn't an any task. A color that looks good on a tiny paint chip won't necessarily look great on your home!

Before, just a plain little Split Level with lots of
visual breaks and no warm "welcome"!
Such was the case with my clients in Castro Valley, California.  Their American classic “Split Level” home was just crying out for a new look.   Randy and Brenda had a loose idea of what color they might like for the body, but at a loss as to trim, accent, sheen, and “what goes where” had them stumped. So they did what many are doing, they called out for help, suggestions, options, solutions and instruction for paint color selection from a Color Consultant….me.

After, continuity, sophistication, and
soft subtle contrast makes this home
a handsome statement!
After printing a photo of the home in the “Before” stage I could see that it needed a color palette that was strong and would ground the home to the land. I then gave them the address of another home I choose similar colors for so they could actually see it on a large home. This one exercise really helps them visualize the color tone, saturation and application in action so to speak.

In the “color consultation” appointment at their home with the client we evaluated several color scheme options.  I have large 4” x 5” cards of all the Benjamin Moore Paint colors and we simply hold them up in different locations on the body of the home.  We both agreed that using the HC-85 Fairview Taupe by Benjamin Moore was the color that seemed to anchor the home’s body to the land. This rich dark color makes a handsome statement, and with so many of the pale colored homes on the block, it stands out as a 1st place winner.

The trim, which isn’t much on this type of architecture, needs to have a subtle contrast to the body.  We tried 3 different white colors and ultimately choose 855 Cloud Cover a white with a little tint of gray, for eves/overhangs, gutters, window frames, door frame, garage door, and the porch pedestal cap. The right trim color is as important as the body color as it adds charm and sophistication to a home’s overall look.

The front door says,
"Welcome Home"!
The white front door, that matched the old trim color was in great shape, but didn’t say much as a welcoming committee to the home.   I recommended HC-154 Hale Navy; it’s one of my favorite front door accent colors.   And color studies show that a blue front door signals that the homeowner views his or her home as a place of refuge -- calm, serene, and relaxing, the perfect retreat from an often harsh and demanding world. I choose to paint the door frame in the trim’s Cloud Cover to really make it pop against the Fairview Taupe body color.  Voilà…a new look!
Yes, I agree, it’s truly a visual transformation and one that Randy, Brenda and their family will enjoy for years to come. 
Just click on the color names links above to see the colors up close at Benjamin Moore Paints.

Monday, April 3, 2017

Got a Case of Color Paralysis and Anxiety...

If there’s one thing that creates utter fear and panic when decorating, it’s the process of choosing the right paint colors!

100,000 colors to choose from! But which one is right for the space?
THE DIAGNOSIS: Color paralysis - frozen in fear of using paint color inappropriately. But we make color choices every day - and often with confidence. We may be able to dress ourselves, the children and our husbands, but an entire wall of color can be irrationally intimidating. It seems so easy to get it all wrong, so you freeze, right! Breathe easy, don’t panic!

A Color Consultation can make create a feeling and an ambiance in the room that had none!
f you're losing your way in the quest for color, agonizing over countless paint chips that are now looking all the same and overwhelmed at the amount of time you're spending on indecisiveness, then you'd be wise to enlist the help of a color consultant. If you think this might be too expensive, think again. The cost of a color consultation will save you countless hours of time in repainting when you don't like it and find you've made a colossal mistake in the color choice.

A Color Consultant should supply you with color sample cards clearing up any confusion.
THE TREATMENT PLAN: in a little over an hour, the color consultant visits you in your home, takes an overview of your spaces, your lifestyle and your personality. From this discussion, the consultant develops a painting strategy that will tie everything together by:
*enhancing your home's decor through the use of well-chosen paint colors for the walls, ceiling and trim

*creating a beautiful space making the most of your existing furnishings and your homes architectural features
*developing an entire color plan which you can work on room by room over time or all at once 
The family plan!
A simple game plan, uniting the home's interior colors with the family spaces.

At the end of the color consultant’s visit they should leave you with a sample color card of each of the colors chosen.  You will also receive a “color specification sheet” so you and your painting contractor will know exactly where and on what surface each color is to be painted, trim, ceilings, niches, baseboards, windows, the paint sheen, etc. etc.
This knowledge goes a long way in keeping the paralysis and anxiety at a minimum!

Are you paralyzed and anxious about what color to paint your rooms? Have you painted only to be unhappy with the results? Get some peace of mind and CALL to make a Paint Color Consultation appointment. Let me help you choose just the right color that you and your family can live with for years to come! Call 925.862.9064 or email me here at .

Wednesday, March 15, 2017


Still not satisfied with the look of just shutters? 
Marie Antoinette Interiors
Via Houzz and Pinterest

Many of my clients believe that, with shutters on their windows, draperies are not necessary. But shuttered windows with draperies can still function perfectly, and the draperies serve to warm the room physically and aesthetically!

Marie Antoinette Interiors
Via Pinterest and Houzz

When it comes to window treatments I must admit I am a lover of drapery. To me, they finish off a room, make it look tailored and elegant and add coziness that is hard to recreate with other window treatments.
Via Pinterest
Draperies don’t necessarily suit every room of every house or every budget, and they don’t have to be voluminous and puddling all over the floor, but they do have their advantages, and not just for privacy. Not forgetting they are also another opportunity to use a lot of gorgeous fabric.
via Pinterest
Often we assume you have to have one or the other, drapery or shutters. But why not have both? Have you considered combining plantation shutters with draperies in your home? We often have blinds and drapery, but most of the time shutters are used on their own.

Toni Berry IFDA Marie Antoinette Interiors
via Pinterest
If you are concerned about expense, and who isn’t, you don’t have to be able to draw them open or closed, just a hanging panel either side  of the window is enough to get the effect without having the a huge cost.

via Houzz
So, if you decide to use plantation shutters for their functional features, think about using drapery as well, for the aesthetic benefits. In fact, I think draperies are a great way to soften the look of shutters and bring a warmth, softness and cosines to a room. They just finish off the room completely.

Give us a call to schedule an appointment if "you are still NOT satisfied with the look of just shutters"!
925.862.9064 or email

Saturday, March 4, 2017

The Designer Living Room Made Livable

by Toni Berry IFDA
The livable living room, a retreat from the business of living busy!

How long can you live in a home before you realize you’ll never get to make the living room LIVABLE?

For this family of four, the realization came in their 8th year of living in their home! They tried to attempt doing it themselves but they just didn't know where or how to begin! And so after visiting a neighbor’s home and loving what they saw, they asked that neighbor how she did it! After all, they knew the neighbors also both worked long hours, had 2 active children and many family commitments just as they have. And that's when they discovered they hired an Interior Designer to do it! 
Enter the designer/decorator….moi! Upon seeing the space and discussing the needs of the family, the style, the budget, the colors, what stays, and what goes, I came up with a plan that suited their means!

In this case, and this is not unusual, the living room that is clearly the first room seen upon entering in most homes is often ignored and put last in the lineup of rooms to decorate to be functional and useful. In most part because large family rooms and kitchens are now the places families gather. Life is much more casual now than a generation ago. But many still want the living room to be casual, useful and beautiful.  
And so that is how we approached this project….here are the footnotes on each selection of furnishings we used and why!
by Toni Berry IFDA
The living room still had the previous home owners draperies at the windows. With only a loveseat for sitting, the room became a sort of a play room for the children! The transformation, a beautiful yet functional room for all to enjoy regularly because it's not's useful!

by Toni Berry IFDA
 Finding fabrics that complemented the rich brown floor color and the wall color Benjamin Moore's #226 "Twisted Oak Path" was made simple! The sofa is a deep brown tweed, the two chairs have a print fabric that ties the rooms colors and wood elements together!

by Toni Berry
The new Hunter Douglas Silhouettes were a perfect choice for a room that needs light control. This room faces west and the new furnishings need protection from the sun.
by Toni Berry IFDA

Sensibility prevailed! The Bassett Furniture pieces were nicely priced and within our budget. Sofa, tables and two arm chairs were selected for comfort, met the room size restraints and the fabrics durability.

by Toni Berry IFDA

Accessories mean every thing to a room. And in this room we added many but each accessory had a job to do by either adding texture, color, visual interest and a sense of fun to the room. Above, the casual wall art, the fun buttoned pillows, the family pictures and a beautiful orchid arrangement all lend a hand in giving the room it's beauty. And three sources of much needed light were also included!

by Toni Berry IFDA
The mantle, AKA as "the heart of the home" was topped with a round wooden framed mirror and two simple sconces. Perfect focal point to a not too formal room, not too casual room, a just right room for a young, active and busy family. A place to get away from the business of living busy! The livable Designer living room!
Surprise,surprise. Designers are not only for the wealthy. In reality, an interior designer will not only save you money but will also save you hours of frustration and stress. We know where and how to begin and how to see it to the finish!