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  • 04/29/2020 - jwaddellinteriors 2 Comments
    Best home office design now AND after COVID-19

    So you’re stuck at home trying to work for eight hours (or more) in a space the size of a closet, spread out on the kitchen table, or even the floor! 

    "Regardless of how you’ve set up your makeshift office, you realize WFH isn’t what you thought it would be."  

    It’s cramped, uncomfortable, inefficient and clearly a visual eye sore!  Maybe it’s temporary during the COVID-19 crisis, but possibly a permanent change when things return to normal. Time magazine calls it "the World’s Largest Work-From-Home Experiment" and although many of us were already working this way, the rest of us just weren’t prepared. 

    Gallup analytics found that 43% of US employees work remotely some or all of the time.  Forbes recently reported that it’s become "the standard operating mode" for at least 50% of the US population to work from home. And these stats were BEFORE the COVID-19 outbreak.

    "Forced quarantine could become the catalyst for even more companies to embrace this style of working, particularly with the uncertainty of possible virus outbreaks in the future."

    "The writing’s on the wall. Whether by personal choice or company mandate, your home office is here to stay so it’s worth considering a more permanant investment in this space, rather than a temporary stop gap.

    "A well designed home office will pay big dividends in the long run, in terms of your productivity and general happiness."

    Regardless of whether you can do it all at once or need to phase over time, it’s essential that you approach it holistically, rather than piece meal..A thoughtful design plan will insure that whatever your timing and budget permits, the end result will be a comfortable, efficient and inviting space that motivates you to get things done! 

    A great home office starts with the basics and builds from there. So I’ve put together my top 5 design tips to help you put it all together.  This plan gives you what you need right now during the quarantine, but will also carry you through the next phase of WFH.









    "Before ordering the first thing, make sure you are designing the space to match your most productive work style."  

    Do you typically stand or sit at a desk? Or is it a combo of desk work and lounging?  What time of day are you most productive and how does the lighting affect you?  And finally, what motivates you when you’re working? A beautiful desk that is well organized, interesting artwork, or maybe just a good view?




     Choose a space that is condusive to your work style. If you crave natural light, avoid an area that is dark or windowless. Move around alot?  Even If square footage is a premium, it may be worth carving your office out of a seciton of your living room or a bedroom where you can spread out. For a more cohesive look in shared spaces, think multi functional pieces that blend with your decor.

    "If you are lucky enough to have a dedicated room for a home office, you probably haven’t changed it up in a while so it’s a good time to reaccess how functional it is for you now."

    You may find that you are using this room more than ever during the pandemic. Besides being your office, has it become your hideaway for reading or catching up with friends by phone? Look at the space with a fresh perspective and design it accordingly.

    The next step is to pick the type of furniture that works best for you. For example, you’ll want a work surface of some kind, a task chair and maybe a sofa, end table and reading chair. Use standard dimensions and drop them in a scaled layout of your space. If you find that it doesn’t all fit, adjust sizes or eliminate. This provides a general guideline for dimensions when searching for specific pieces.




    "Ask me what piece to start with, and I will always say the task chair!  It is the best investment you can make to improve productivity. And at the end of a long day, you will be a much happier person! "

    Steelcase says the Gesture (above left), is "the first chair designed to support our interactions with today’s technologies". Other chairs may look pretty but how are they supporting your body through different motions during the day? If you want a more residential look, there are many other options that still give you good back support. 


     "If the task chair is the YIN, then your work surface is the YANG.  They go hand-in-hand and each is essential to the function of the other."

    For sitting, your desk height should be around 30″, with a task chair that is adjustable. The idea is to position yourself so that you are looking straight at the computer screen, not bending your neck up or down, which causes all kinds of aches and pains. For the best stand up desk, look for one that adjusts up to 46″, to give you maximum flexiblity.  Or opt for a L-shaped combo, like my favorite one above, that provides multiple work surfaces and two different heights. Perfect for video conferencing!

    The other furniture is not as critical as the task chair and desk, so you have more latitude to pick pieces that express your personality.  Have fun with a colorful reading chair your can curl up in, or lounge on a sleeper sofa that works double duty as a bed for weekend guests.




    "Your home office should have three different levels of lighting to support all the things you will be doing." 

    Task lighting is the most important of all, to prevent eye fatigue when doing long periods up-close work. But don’t ignore the other two.  General lighting, such as recessed or flush mount ceiling lights, illuminates the entire room so you can move around safely and is considered the best for computer work because it’s diffused rather than concentrated light. Natural light is also considered general lighting and can be a big boost to a room during the day. Accent lighting, like floor and table lamps, is less utilitarian but adds more ambience and character to your space. 



    Now that you have all the functionality worked out, it’s time to add the "personal" layers.  This is where you need to do some soul searching to hone in on what makes you happy and energized when you’re in your office. Think of the room as a shell and pay attention to each surface, from floor to ceiling.

    "Only bring in things that will lift your spirits, not bring you down. The goal is to create a unique space that speaks to you."

    My suggestion is to start with the color.  You may already have a favorite but if not, do a little research on color psychology to find your best match.  You may be surprised.  Also think about different ways to apply the color, to fit your work style.  If you do daily video conferencing, paint one wall a neutral gray or beige for the best backdrop.  Or consider a dry erase wall paint  in white or clear if you like a big canvas to scribble out your thoughts. Maybe you do your best thinking when lying down so paint the ceiling a vibrant yellow to stimulate creativity. 


    Floor coverings serve so many purposes, like sound and temperature insulation.  But they can also be a focal point in your office.  I love to add a very colorful rug and then keep the walls neutral, such as a soft blush color, so that the space feels calm, yet interesting.  Your line of vision is above all the color in the rug most of the time but then you get a glimpse of it when moving around – just enough to excite the senses without overwhelming. 



    We all know that having plants around can give you a sense of well-being so they are a good choice for your home office.   But did you also know that certain plants act as natural filters for airborne allergens?  One of my favorites, the Chinese Evergreen, is low maintenance and its bright pink and green leaves are an added color bonus!  If you want to stick with green, the Boston Fern, which is considered a natural humidifer, is another winner!


    I finish up with artwork, not because it’s the least important, but because I want to leave you with this thought.

    "Artwork is one of the most personal elements in your office and has the ability to heal so choose carefully"

    You will be staring at these pieces for many hours, days and years ahead so make sure they bring you positive energy.  Explore different genre and media to zero in on what you like. And remember…

    This is your private space. The only person you have to please is yourself! 


    If you find the whole process of creating your home office overwhelming or just don’t have the time, we can help!

    We will work with you to design a space that not only functions properly for the way you work now, but expresses your personality as well.  Get in touch so we can discuss your ideas.




     Joan Waddell, KYCID #0050, Allied ASID, NCIDQ

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  • 03/06/2019 - Joan Waddell 0 Comments
    Senior Living: Interior Design Tips for Downsizing in Louisville, KY

    A client recently came to me for some design advice regarding her parents plans to downsize in the Louisville area.  They were struggling with how to make the process easier and less stressful for everyone. They wanted to insure that downsizing was the beginning of a easier lifestyle – one that provided her parents with a more comfortable, manageable living space surrounded by their favorite things.

    Downsizing, or "RIGHT SIZING"  as I like to call it, is an area of my interior design practice that has grown greatly in the past 5 years! It started when my own mother made the decision to move from her patio home into Miralea, an independent living community here in Louisville, KY. My experience helping her settle into this great community on the Masonic Home Campus allowed me to meet other Louisville seniors and their families, who asked me to assist them in their own downsizing process.

    With the recent opening of The Meadow, the second independent living community on the campus, I have had the pleasure of working with many more families of Louisville seniors who have made the move.

    What I have learned is really quite simple.  Whether it’s family members taking the reigns or seniors themselves handling the move, everyone wants this transition to improve the lifestyle of their loved ones and their family as a whole. 

    "Even though the square footage is greatly reduced, by designing a new home environment that is both familiar and updated, the change can be positive for everyone involved!"

    To give you a jump start on getting things "moving", so to speak,

    I’ve put together my 


    TIP #1 – Listen, listen, listen 

     When I first meet with my new clients, I asked lots of questions.  I want to get a sense of their desires as well as concerns regarding this big life decision. Then I sit back and LISTEN.  This is when I learn the most.  It’s important to understand why they want to downsize and what they envision for their new home in order to create the best design.

    TIP #2 – Put the team together

    Everyone involved should understand that this process is a team effort. There’s always a way to pitch in!  Family plays a key role but there are also senior living specialists who can make the logistics of the move much easier!  Often I am the first point of contact for the family as they consider options. In addition to designing the new residence, I will make recommendations on local, Louisville-based companies who can help with sorting, selling, packing and unpacking, like Smooth Transitions,  or technology specialists who can make suggestions on integrating existing TV’s and computers and then handle all the hook ups. With the right team in place, we help our clients have a positive experience throughout the process.

    TIP #3 – Create a Wish List

    Yes, this is downsizing, but it doesn’t mean everything needs to be discarded!  In designing the new smaller home, I ask my clients which furnishings they hope to take and include these in their WISH LIST. Not everything will fit, of course, but this list provides me with a starting point for the layout of their new home. I try to incorporate as many of their special pieces as possible – sometimes in new, unexpected ways that maximize the functionality. For example, I might place a favorite secretary next to the bed with the top open so that it can be used as a bedside table, desk, and display cabinet!  I also suggest new pieces to fill in the gaps, such as smaller sofas or wall units to house the TV and provide more storage. Often we find other opportunities to customize by switching out light fixtures and bathroom mirrors, or adding wallpaper. Finishing touches, like window treatments and accessories also contribute to the overall warmth of the new space.The finished design is a comfortable mix of familiar and fresh that functions beautifully for their new lifestyle!


    "The most successful downsizing projects are always those that are well planned – months in advance."

     Thoughtful planning insures that everyone is aware of the process and what to expect in the end.  When my clients walk into their new living space, I want them to feel like they are "home"- a place where we have integrated familiar furnishings and new pieces that gives them a sense of belonging as well as a new beginning. 

    Want to know more about our Interior Design Downsizing Services?  Visit our website or give us a call.




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  • 08/14/2018 - Joan Waddell 0 Comments
    Five “MUST HAVES” for your interiors

    Five "MUST HAVES" for your interiors

    Are you ready to graduate from throw away furniture? 

    Are you tired of having to replace things because they break down so quickly?

    Then it may be time to start "investing" in better quality furnishings so you can build your collection over time. 

    I am hearing this common theme with my clients more and more.

    They want to create a home that has layers, a sense of place and looks beautiful…  

    But they are stuck on how to get there.


      Be patient and collect quality furnishings over time – things you love, tell your story, AND are the best quality you can afford. These are the pieces that you will enjoy forever and never want to "throw away".

    So how do you get started?  I’ve come up with FIVE "MUST HAVES" for you to make it a little less daunting. It doesn’t matter which one you choose first, just make sure you ask the right quesitons.

                                                                     1.  Do I love it now and forever?

                                                                     2.  It is the best quality I can afford?

                                                                     3.  Does it tell my story?



       #1   ANTIQUE CHEST

    I have to say I would put this at the top of the list.  There is nothing quite as timeless as an antique chest of drawers. The attention to details and beautiful time-worn patina cannot be duplicated. And as you can see, it can be updated to fit any decor! This piece will move around as you do.  It may not fit in your current foyer, but can stand in as a great living room lamp table, or bedside storage. It will work  equally well with both traditional AND contemporary furnishings. And you will never see a need to get rid of a chest because it’s the one piece that is multi-functional for all phases of your life. Learn as much as you can about the different periods of furniture and then hone in on your favorites.  


    Whether you are a fan of traditional oriental rug patterns or the newest looks, choosing an quality oriental rug means you will have a rug that will last through years of foot traffic, stains, and fleeting trends. Buy from a reputable source who can give you guidance in picking the best option for you. Take good care of it and it will take great care of you!

      #3   BED FRAME

     How many of us ignore our bedrooms in favor of the more visible spaces?  There are soooo many reasons to make your bedroom a santuary. But that’s another blog post   Start with a well-constructed bed frame and you will be on your way to changing the whole attitude of your bedroom.  Not sure you will like the look 5 years from now? There are many beds out there that are changeable – like this one I used in a showhouse.  The canopy can be taken down for a totally different look!  

      #4  CLASSIC SOFA

    I’m a huge fan of Alexa Hampton and her design ethos.  She knows how to pay homage to classics while always keeping her interiors fresh and up-to-date, like the sofa you see here in a Long Island home she designed. Great lines and cushy comfort are sure to make this a favorite spot for years to come. But what’s on the inside is as much a sign of quality as the style and its covering. Beware when you compare. Is the frame kiln-dried dense wood?  Does it have eight-way hand-tied springs? These things add up to longevity in a sofa, which means you can recover again and again, rather than throwing the whole thing to the curb!

      #5  ORIGINAL ART

    There are so many sources now for original art that there’s really no reason to buy mass-produced prints anymore. Since prices are all over the map, decide on your budget and get an education before you buy. If you can’t spring for a well-known artist, visit art fairs and find an artist’s work that appeals to you.  You never know, they might become the next big name!


    I’m finally happily blogging again after a year hiatus! And I can’t wait to share more fun posts with you so come back and visit. Cheers!




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  • 01/17/2018 - jwaddellinteriors 0 Comments
    Site Launch

    Our new website is finally up. We’ve worked hard to get a beautiful new site ready and we’re proud to show it off. Thanks for reading our blog. We have lots of great blog posts in the works. Please check back or contact us now to find out how we can help you.

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  • 05/17/2016 - Joan Waddell 2 Comments
    One on One with Suzanne Kasler!
    One of the biggest thrills of attending High Point Market is
    being able to sit across the table from design "greats"
    As a fellow Southerner,
    I’ve followed her for years.
    drawn in by her traditional sensibilities and timeless style.
    But on this day in the Hickory Chair Showroom,
    I had the opportunity to ask questions, face to face,
    about how she creates and refines her design concepts.


    For me, Market is all about finding the newest and best trends
    and translating them into my own design projects.
    But sometimes this can be tricky.
    So my first question to Suzanne was simple,

    "How do you mix trends with timeless design?"


    I loved her answer!
    She said she starts with a
    "foundation of tradition"
     and builds from there with a mix of new pieces
    and things her client already owns.
    This mix is what makes it timeless.
    She described it as an

    "edited fresh approach that is more minimal"


    Suzanne Kasler for Hickory Chair

    This is one of Suzanne’s vignettes in the showroom
    that is a great example of
    her pared down traditional style –
    everything in its place and intentional.
    The perfect composition.


    Suzanne Kasler for Hickory Chair

    Suzanne’s new scatter tables are as fresh as it gets,
    but they’re firmly rooted in the French Modern era.
    She often taps historical references for design inspiration.
    These versatile pieces
    could easily move from a traditional living room to a
    a hip loft apartment.


    So much to discuss but so little time!
    I had to make a quick decision on my next (and last) question,
    as Suzanne said she had a meeting coming up.

    But first things first, I wanted her to sign a book for me
    before she got away

    Add caption

    So back to our little discussion…

    "What is the one thing that drives your design,
    more than any other?"

    Once again she held true to her classical leanings.

    "I try to get the architecture right"
    so that it doesn’t look new.
    "If you get the space right then 
    you need less decorating"


    And then she was off…

    Hickory Chair Showroom-High Point Market

    This scene made my heart pound!
    Seated around this table are the master minds of
     Hickory Chair’s furniture design and
    some of the greatest interior designers in the business.
    Would have LOVED to sit in on this meeting!!!

    With her back to us is Suzanne Kasler.
    To her right is Mariette Himes Gomez.
    And next to Mariette is Alexa Hampton!
    (see my previous Market interview with Alexa)

    This is truly where is all happens.
    I hit the jackpot today!



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  • 04/09/2016 - Joan Waddell 0 Comments
    Hot on the Trail! Pre-Market Trending
    With only a week before High Point Spring Market begins,
    the pre-market teasers are flooding my inbox
    and I’m pulling out my favorite trends to share with you.
    It’s also a good way for me to narrow my focus
    on what I want to scout out
    I hit the showrooms because once I’m there, 
    "it will be massive sensory overload"
    Make sure you follow along with me on FB and Instagram
    as I hunt down these trends each day. 
    courtesy High Point Market Authority
    Here are my latest finds
    from TrendWatch


    Watson and Company 
    Is this not the coolest???  
    As I mentioned in my last post, metals are big!
    This is just another example of how they are playing out.
    As the company says, it’s an "antique aesthetic with modern sensibilites"
    There’s an edginess to this flower that is very trend-worthy.


    Vertuu Design

    There are other metals ready to play this spring.
    Rose gold, silver and brass fit perfectly together, don’t you think?


    Jamie Young chandelier
    I’m going to see a lot of Pantone’s color of the year, Rose Quartz 
    whipped up into gorgeous confections like this chandelier.


    New Pacific Direct

    But this is just one of many colors moving on up this spring.
    As with past years, there is a direct correlation between
    fashion and furnishings, and the
    Athleisure trend in casual wear
    is having an effect on home furnishings as well.
    With an emphasis on relaxation and comfort,
    there is a whole new color palette to go with it.
    From the palest of pinks to more saturated hues,
    they are intended to mimic the casual, energetic vibe of
    "Life on the go!"



    Wildwood Lamps and Accents

    Urban living is on the rise, not only with Millennials 
    but with empty nesters ready to pair down.
    Furnishings are following suit with small scaled pieces
    designed to fit comfortably in tight spaces.

    Howard Elliott

    Multi-function is high on the list of "must haves"
    but without sacrificing beauty and style.  
    This display cabinet is cleverly clad in mirror,
    which bounces the light around, making it appear weightless
    (a real plus in a small room)
    Ready to house books and your favorite found objects,
    it also serves as a fabulous room divider in an open floor plan.

    Ok, I’m getting excited now…Can’t wait to
    jump into this 
    Creative Playground 
    for 5 glorious days!

    Don’t forget to follow me on Facebook
    and Instagram
    from April 15-19!
    I’ll be digging up the most fabulous intros on the planet!




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  • 03/19/2016 - Joan Waddell 0 Comments
    Spring Market Peek!
    courtesy of High Point Market 
    I will be spending alot of time in this building during the upcoming
    Spring Home Furnishings Market in High Point, NC.


    But it’s just one of many I will visit in search of the best new trends for 2016.
    In fact, there are over 2000 exhibitors in 11.5 million sq ft of showroom space,
    so I will be spending 4 days here, on my feet, to cover as much territory as possible.

    Yes, it’s an endurance test, for sure, but really…
    it’s so exhilarating that none of that matters.

    It’s total immersion in everything related to "Home"
    from furniture to lighting, rugs, accessories and more
    and I’m in creative overload from the time I arrive
    to when I board the flight home.

    Even though Market is a month away,
     I’m already checking out what seems to be bubbling up as hot trends
    so I can put them on my radar when touring the showrooms.

    Here are a few I’m watching…

    John Richard cabinet

    Metals, like brushed brass, are big,
    especially in combination with gorgeous woods


    Currey and Co Galactica Chandelier

    Materials are being re-purposed in the most exotic ways,
    This chandelier uses a mix of recycled glass and silver leaf to create its
    other-worldly vibe!


    Jessica Charles

    "Femme Fatale" is taking its place at the top.
    Covered in Rose Quartz, Pantone’s color of the year, this chair at first seems demure…
    take a closer look…
    This time it’s a little edgier than the past.
    Strong curves pair with angular details in a new interpretation of
    woman power!

    I’ll keep you posted on other Pre-Market discoveries
    so check back!


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  • 03/04/2016 - Joan Waddell 2 Comments
    Bedroom Re-fresh
    We don’t always get to start with a clean slate…
    In fact, more times than not, 
    there are lots of existing pieces in a room that need to be incorporated in a new design.
    "This can be a challenge
    as I like to think of it,
    an opportunity!" 
    This week, I completed a redesign of a master bedroom in a high rise condo
    that was a fresh combination of my client’s own pieces and 
    new ones I chose to mix in.
    The room had all the essentials:  a headboard, rug, dresser and tables.
    But the neutral walls and bedding didn’t relate to the strong red rug.
    And the furniture all matched, making it way too heavy and serious. 
    It needed a facelift – just the right design elements 
    to tie everything together and make it more interesting. 
    Fabricut Fanella linen print
    I started with this fabulous linen fabric and built the concept around it .
    It already feels brighter, doesn’t it?
    Add blue walls and some key furnishings and now the room starts to come back to life!
    Now it has "breathing" room.
    I’ll share the rest of the room with you next time.  
    There’s a surprise element that takes it up a notch!
    Stay tuned…
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  • 03/01/2016 - Joan Waddell 0 Comments
    Penthouse Posh

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  • 03/01/2016 - Joan Waddell 0 Comments
    Parent’s Retreat

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  • 03/01/2016 - Joan Waddell 1 Comment
    Guest Suite Bliss

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  • 03/01/2016 - Joan Waddell 0 Comments
    Neo-Classic Library

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  • 03/01/2016 - Joan Waddell 1 Comment
    Grown-Up Family Dining

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  • 01/30/2016 - Joan Waddell 0 Comments
    FRIDAYfinds! The Hex
    The honeycomb is one of my favorite shapes in nature.
    So perfectly constructed by the honey bee.
    It’s no wonder we are attracted to this hexagon shape.
    It’s such a pleasing geometric form and
    it’s just….well… 
    I’m a big fan of the hexagon because it can take on so many forms.
    Whenever I see a new take, I "beeline" for it (I couldn’t resist…)


    Kravet hexagon high low pedestals
    Check this out!  I’m in LOVE!!!!
    These scatter tables can be configured a million different ways
    which makes them so versatile!
    via  HOUZZ
    I envision grouping eight orange ones together in front of this royal blue super long Chesterfield sofa.
    This NEEDS to happen!
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  • 01/21/2016 - Joan Waddell 0 Comments
    Color deprived? Enter Color of the Year 2016!
    via YouTube
    Are you like me in the winter?  
    Wishing for the bright colors of the "other three seasons"?
    Winter is like a gray scale –  full of stark contrasts and subtle tones
    but void of vivid colors, for the most part.
    Yes, I agree that there is a sophisticated beauty in this monochromatic palette
    I yearn for more saturated color.
    It’s energizing and uplifting – sort of an instant mood changer.
    So to me, this is the perfect time of year to announce the
    via Pantone
    Actually, for the first time EVER, Pantone chose TWO colors for 2016.




    Pantone is describing it as, " a softer take on color for 2016,,,a blending of two shades"
    Leatrice Eiseman, Executive Dir, Pantone Color Institute, explains it this way:

    "As consumers seek mindfulness and well-being as an antidote to modern day stresses, 
    welcoming colors that psychologically fulfill our yearning for reassurance and security
    are becoming more prominent.  Joined together, Rose Quartz and Serenity demonstrate 
    an inherent balance between a warmer embracing rose tone and the cooler tranquil blue,
    reflecting connection and wellness as well as a soothing sense of order and peace"
    What do I think?  Well, I’m a little torn on this combo.  
    At first glance, it seems a bit of an 80’s throwback (the mauve thing…)
    But I admit, the more I look at it, the more progressive it seems.
    The idea of more fluid color – the melding of two opposing colors,
    color movement, so to speak,
    has lots of appeal.
    It feels weightless, not static or heavy – poised to adjust to whatever the new year brings.
    image via Kravet_Pantone
    could this be a predictor of a whole new attitude for 2016?
    I plan to make mine "breezy and carefree"!


    I’d love to hear what you think of the new Pantone color(s)
    Thumbs UP


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  • 09/09/2015 - Joan Waddell 0 Comments
    Restaurant Confidential – And the name is…
    Last time I posted about my new restaurant project,
    I promised to share the name with you 
    how we’re building the design concept around it.
    So here’s a hint…
    The flame says it all!


    which means "bonfire" in Spanish
    is the perfect description
    for this fun new restaurant!
    The owners have years of experience 
    playing with "fire" (or brick ovens, that is)
    at their other restaurants in Chattanooga.
    The owner experimenting with his brick oven chicken
    They are known for creating mouth-watering dishes 
    straight from their 800 degree ovens
    that redefine the meaning of "Comfort Food"!
    So this new restaurant concept is a natural extension
    of their mastery of the flame.
    With a nod to South American roots, this is not going to be
    your typical Latin restaurant.  
    I’ve peeked at the menu and it’s more like a yummy mash up
    of the best Latin flavors and Southern classics.

    "Yes, I’m getting hungry too!"

    Now that we have the great name, it’s time for us to
    conceptualize the setting.  The owners
    describe their vision in this way,
    "We want a neighborhood feel where guests come
    to relax and enjoy really good food.  Nothing too formal."


    I’m a firm believer in a collaborative approach to design and
    we have a great team working on FOGATA  –
    the owners, architect, restaurant manager, and myself.
    Each of us brings a specific expertise to the project that will insure
    a well functioning, beautiful space in the end.

    credit unkonwn

    I found this great exterior shot on line and it became
    the inspiration for our team – inviting from the street
    with a comfortable interior atmosphere.

    After lots of discussion, throwing ideas around,
    and general bantering,
    we’ve zeroed in on the building concept that will make


    THE neighborhood restaurant/bar destination in Chattanooga!

    Special dinner at another success story for the owners, Canyon Grill

    Cheers to that!

    Check back next time for a glimpse of the fabulous finishes
    I’m working on for the exterior and interior.


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  • 08/18/2015 - Joan Waddell 0 Comments
    Showhouse in the making!
    I can’t believe it’s here again!

    Bellarmine University 2015 Show House 

    is right around the corner

    and we are already installing…

    But it didn’t happen in a day…

    This was the "BEFORE" of our guest room – 
    a quiet palette that screamed to stand out!
    Not that there was anything wrong with the space,
    it just didn’t have any visual punch.
    So, we went to work to design a 
    guest retreat that would lure you in
    and wrap around you like a soft blanket.
     Enter the world of 


    This palette combines lavender with chartruese, burgundy and gray
    for a lively mix-up that’s fun and inviting. 
    The key to this bold approach was to balance 
    the color with pieces that grounded the room –
    like the cerused wood canopy bed with its linen insets,
     beautiful antique mahogany chest and leather wing chair.
    And every guest room needs a crowning touch,
    don’t you think?  
    This chandelier did it for me!  With it’s combo of
    weathered wood and chrome, it toned down the lavender beadboard
    just enough to keep it from being too feminine.
    Nothing more exciting than seeing this bed 
    on its way upstairs!
    Close call getting that canopy through the doorway!
    Speaking of a beautiful antique mahogany chest….
    Just what the room needed!  I love the patina of this piece.
    The room is taking shape and I’m itching to add the final touches…
    but that will be another day.
    Check out the complete transformation of our guest bedroom
    during the show house.
    September 12-27
    9204 Norton Commons Blvd
    I’ll be there every Tuesday and Thursday evening  for


    Come see me!


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  • 07/31/2015 - Joan Waddell 2 Comments
    Sweet Dreams “Seaside Style”
    One of my favorite Pinterest boards I’ve created is called 

    Seaside cottage of my dreams

    It’s where I design my imaginary little getaway at the beach.  
    I dream of being there, puttering around the cozy rooms,
    listening to the ocean and,well…
    just being totally content to do nothing.
    But, for those who know me, that’s nearly impossible!
    I don’t "do nothing" very well….
    And that’s OK if I’m wrapped up in the decorating of my little cottage.
    It’s still a diversion from the day-to-day routine.
    After all, it’s at the beach!  
    So it’s going to be relaxing no matter WHAT I’m doing. 
    A lot of the design has already been done.
    Check out my previous post to see some of the great pieces
    Hooker Furniture Fretwork Bed

    But there’s still lots to do!
    I picked this bed because it reminded me of ocean bubbles…
    but it’s really about what’s ON the bed that is going to make the difference

    Sleep is a BIG component of beach living,
    so the bedding is crucial

    "A bed is just a bed……
    without cushy linens to lure you in."

    My wish list for dive-in casual luxury?
    *Super soft to touch*
    *Easy to maintain (no time to be fussy at the beach)*
    *Beautiful to look at*

    Parachute Home Linen blend duvet in Sea 

    Tough list, but this bedding meets the challenge!
    It’s made from a Linen/Cotton blend
    so it’s got great texture and breatheability
    for hot, muggy nights by the sea.

    The best part about natural fibers is that they are cool and lightweight
    enough to keep you comfortable all summer
    and yet weighty enough for the cooler months ahead.
    What could be better than that?
    Oh, did I mention they are machine washable too?

    I’m in a slumber kind of mind
    just thinking about it…



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  • 07/14/2015 - Joan Waddell 2 Comments
    Restaurant Confidential – The mess and the hunt
    As we all know, 
    with any renovation project…

    you gotta put up with the mess
    to get to the good part – the rebuilding.

    But that’s fine with us because it means progress!

    As the old tiles come out, we’re on the other side of town
    hunting down quirky details for the interior

    …like this vintage bar.
    Yes, it has tacky velvet insets now, 
    but oh, how it could be transformed!  
    Maybe the host station?

    I’m lovin’ this mid-century lighting trio!
    Just the right vibe we’re going for – 
    Classy casual with a sense of humor thrown in.

    Great green glaze on this planter and the iron 
    handles give it a nice aged look.  Hmmm….
    patio or front entrance?

    Onward to the salvage warehouse 
    where you can find literally everything from a sofa
    to a kitchen sink!
    They even have this cool lighting section.
    It’s all there, from rustic industrial chic to 
    ultra modern.  
    I’m thinking about stirring it up with a mix of lighting styles
    throughout the restaurant.
    I envision pools of light that create a
    cozy, relaxed atmosphere where you want to linger…

     You’re not going to want to miss my next post!
    I’ll fill you in on the restaurant concept
    the name! 

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  • 06/17/2015 - Joan Waddell 0 Comments
    Restaurant Confidential – The BEFORE
    How do you take an abandoned diner and
    turn it into a waiting-room-only destination restaurant?

     I’m excited to say that I’m now part 

    of the design team that is going to make this happen!


    It’s that kind of project designers dream of…
    fantastic clients who give you the freedom to explore creative ideas
    and a dining concept that is going to knock your socks off!
    From the first day I walked the property on a cold January day
    I knew I wanted to share it all with you…
    from the scary "before" pics to 
    the fabulous grand opening.
    With the project in Chattanooga, TN, I’ve already made some road trips
    to meet with my clients, the architect and others involved.
    In between, we’ve relied on virtual Go-To-Meetings to keep in touch.


    To set the stage for the transformation
    here it is!


    Look somehow familiar?  Originally a Huddle House,
    it morphed into this icky fifties diner somewhere along the way. Ugh.  

    This could be a challenge….

    but never fear,
     there’s always a design solution,
    if you look in the right places!

    Now this is better.
    Continuing our discussion
    at my client’s riverside restaurant.
    This kind of thinking requires brainfood!


    Owners of multiple restaurants in Chattanooga,
    my clients insisted that I sample lots of things on the menu
    as part of my research.  I didn’t argue

    I hope you’ll visit often to see this amazing transition, as it unfolds.
    Even though we are still in the design phase,
    I can already visualize the finished restaurant, full of happy diners,
    kicking back and relaxing with good friends and even better food.



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  • 04/17/2015 - Joan Waddell 0 Comments
    This little piggy goes to market
    J. Waddell Interiors artwork
    I’m headed to High Point Market for a four day marathon.
    Lots to see and do in a very short amount of time…
    but it’s an adrenalin rush like no other!
    So before I go, I wanted to give you a peek 
    at some of my favorite pre-market finds.
    I’ll be checking these out for sure.
    Jonathan Charles Knightbridge Collection
    I love to find new renditions on a classic.  
    This biedermeier-inspired chair is as elegant as it gets!
    Currey Zinnia table lamp
    There’s something retro about this shape
    but the gradient art glass makes it so hip.
    Bungalow 5 Bell Desk
    Royal blue is still trending strong in furniture and fabrics so it’s not surprising 
    to see it pop up again this market.  
    What makes it so fun is seeing how it will be translated.
    I can’t think of a more natural pairing than with this
    Chippendale-style desk!
    The previews are nice 
    but there’s so much more to see once I’m in the showrooms. 
    And the best part is finding the surprises along the way.
    follow me on FACEBOOK 
    during my three days at Market 
    to check out my top picks!

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  • 03/10/2015 - Joan Waddell 0 Comments
    Diva Design for Spring
    Google image
    With all the crazy winter weather we’ve endured,
    I thought it would be refreshing to 
    switch our thoughts to 


    and the anticipation of fresh new looks in the design world!
    With Fashion Week in New York wrapping up in February,
    it reminded me once again that Fashion and Interior Design
    are trending together, now more than ever.
    "We share a passion for creativity 
    and finding new ways to express it."
    So what trends are we sharing this Spring?
    Feminine influences are everywhere.
    Bold and confident, these styles are no "push over".
    I’ve paired some of my favorite Spring shoes from the runway
    with the hottest new look in upholstery – the chaise lounge
    to give you a glimpse of what’s coming our way…
    FAV # 1 
     Valentino Rockstud 1973 ankle strap
    Sweet pastels go high octane with happy mid tone values for a look that’s 
    feminine but strong!  
    Check out the studs…definitely not for the timid, 
    Valentino multi colored sandal
    One Kings Lane Cameron chaise
     With its saturated color palette, 
    this chaise is a new take on a classic recamier, or fainting couch.
    Curvy with an attitude.  
    FAV #2
    Gianvito Rossi Darcy Stiletto
    Bold and glamorous, futuristic and retro all wrapped into one.
    Lines and shapes take center stage in a 3-D version of graphic images, 
    But these shoes don’t shout, they just softly announce who’s in charge… 
    These would be my statement shoes.
    Presotto Chaise Longue Dixie
    There’s no denying this sculptural beauty! 
    It’s pure form and function, designed to command attention in a room.
    A playful counterbalance between feminine and masculine.
    FAV #3
    Manolo Blahnik gold leaf pumps
    Gold continues to dominate in both fashion and furnishings.
    Think opulence, elegance and drop dead glamour.
    A personal favorite of mine, from the palest shades to the intense
    greenish gold on this fabulous satin pump.
    You’ll be hearing fun descriptions like canary, saffron, marigold and amber.
    Just in time to brighten up these never-ending dreary days… 
    Donghia Victoire Chaise
    Is this just to die for? 
    It’s the artful mix of satin and chenille in those luscious shade of gold
     that makes it such a come on.
     It conjures up images of the great movie sirens of the 1950’s. 
    I can imagine Sophia Loren lounging
    with one arm strategically draped over the back, martini in hand.
    FAV #4
    Ralph Lauren Mya sandal
    The gladiator trend has been around for a few seasons, but the newest twist is a 
     more feminine take with higher heels and more refined details.
    The female warrior-
    ready for whatever comes her way…
    One Kings Lane Regeant daybed
    Wrapped, woven and bundled like the sandal, 
    I’m crazy about this chaise/daybed combo!
    The frame is classic mid-century Miami Beach venacular
    reinvented in a cleaner form.
    But the real beauty is in the details. 
    The rattan is finished with leather wrappings to create a fabulous geometric
    pattern across the entire back.  
    Beautiful in neutral, I could also see this played out in one of the new
    electric pastels.
    Hot pink anyone? 


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  • 01/24/2015 - Joan Waddell 0 Comments
    FRIDAYfinds! – Are you a Marsala fan?
    We’re talking about the COLOR
    not the wine…
    Get ready to see a lot more of this lusty color in 2015!
    As Pantone’s Color of the Year,
    Leatrice Eiseman, Executive Director of the Pantone Color Institute
    describes it this way,

    "This earthy yet stylish tone is universally appealing and translates easily

    to fashion, beauty, industrial design

    home furnishings and interiors"

    It’s not everyone’s favorite, but the way I see it,
    it’s gorgeous translated into this rich damask fabric, 
     a quilted Chanel bag….
    via google images
    via Manolo Blahnik
    these to-die-for Manolos!
    But how is this sophisticated hue going to 
    make its way into the interior design world?
    via Surya
    We’re already seeing it woven into lush geometric rugs and accent pillows.
    Use it as the foundation for your color scheme with an area rug, accent wall
    via google images


    Make it the focal point with one singular piece like this sofa.
    I also see it popping up as a small detail…
    Kravet trims
    as a trimming on neutral drapes or
    border on a sofa skirt.
    A little goes a long way!
    My take on this color?
    I’m intrigued.  
    There’s something very familiar about it,
    almost a throwback to the terra cotta of the 70’s
    but much more intense.
    Not quite 80’s burgundy either.
    It’s both new and old, which I find interesting.
    I’m excited to see the newest translations 
    at High Point Market in April!
    I’ll be circling back to this so keep in touch.


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  • 01/16/2015 - Joan Waddell 0 Comments
    DESIGN RADAR 2015 – My Top Three

    Is it 2015 ALREADY?

    Seems like we were just celebrating the turn of the century!

    Think back to the year 2000…
    What would you have predicted interior design trends to be 15 years into the future?
    Some predictions have been fairly, well,… "Predictable"
    but I would say that many more were not even on the radar!


    Yes, we expected technology to play a major role in molding our interior spaces,
    but the big surprise to me has been the
    increasing demand for authenticity within those "high-tech" environments.

     We want our gadgets and toys with us at all times, but
    we want to enjoy them in a space that feels connected to the natural world.
    Our love of organic materials is emerging as an interesting counterpoint to
     the technology we’ve come to depend on everyday.
    Could it be that opposites attract?


     design trends 

    promise to energize the spirit,
     soothe the soul

    and complement our ever-changing 



    With that in mind, what’s on my radar for 2015?


    Arteriors Kazu dining table

    The organic trend has been with us for a while, but
    what’s new is that it’s being stripped down to its purist form.
    Instead of stylized replicas of wood and stone,
    we’re now seeing the "real deal" being played out in furniture and accessories.
     "One of a kind" pieces draw us in to take a closer look;
    to explore and admire their uniqueness.

    Emporium Home Agate Chandelier


    Jamie Drake for Soicher-Marin

    Phone snaps, Pinterest, and the world of social media
    has created a whole new level of visual awareness.
    We love capturing the "essence" of an event
    or a fleeting detail in the landscape with our phones, and
    we want to immortalize these images for our homes.
    Enter technology!
    With advancements in digital printing, we can reproduce almost anything,
    in any size, in any variation.
    The image can be manipulated to give you a micro close up view
    like the artwork above, called "Orange and Green Monarch"
    or blown up to cover an entire wall.

    bamboo grove wall mural via


    Lillian August for Hickory White

    A far cry from your grandmother’s version,
    the new traditional is modern and full of surprises!
    It’s timeless in reference but has been reinvented in a way
    that excites the senses.
    There’s a comfort in seeing familiar shapes, patterns and colors,
    The difference now is that designers are amplifying the familiar to
    create totally updated furnishings that respond to our current lifestyles.
    Even the four poster bed is enjoying a revival.
     But the Celerie Kemble bed below is definitely a new take
    on the classic.
    It’s the perfect mix of luxe and high style!

    Celerie Kemble Ferrus bed for Henredon

    It’s a new year and it’s looking bright!
    The spirit and creativity of the style makers in the design world
    are making our living environments even better.
    With each new introduction, we are given more fabulous choices
    to create our perfect "nest"

    So here’s to 2015…
    May it energize, 
    your life today.


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  • 12/14/2014 - Joan Waddell 0 Comments
    Special Delivery – Holiday Decor Tip #2
    With the holiday revving up and time slipping away
    I think the best strategy to successful
    decorating is to
    "Keep it simple!"
     The most elegant is often the least overworked design.


    So with that said, I bring you…


    via Pinterest

    I Love this idea!
    I’m talking about the fresh evergreen swags
    casually draped over the drapery panels.

    It instantly sets a festive mood without being too fussy.
    The bows are a nice touch,
    but I think I would play up the natural theme with
    pinecones and berries.

    The goal is to create the holiday atmosphere
    with minimal effort.
    The affect is fresh and uncontrived.

    Go for it!


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  • 12/03/2014 - Joan Waddell 0 Comments
    Special Delivery – Holiday Decor Tip #1

    With the holidays in full swing, 

    I’m thinking about my blog friends.



    I know you are ALL as busy as I am, 
    trying to shuffle work and pleasure,
    decorating and entertaining,
    and the often miserable weather outside…
    So I thought, 
    "What would be a nice little "cyber" gift 
    I could share with you to make the season just a bit more enjoyable
    and less hectic?"


    A couple of years ago I posted
    The Twelve Days of  Decorating Design Tips
    I included tips from my own home as well as
    great ideas from some of the best in the business,
    Scot Meacham Wood
    Katherine Greeley
    the Hable Sisters

    courtesy of Scot Meacham Wood


    It was such a hit that it just seems natural to
    offer it up again, with some new ideas
    mixed in.


    So here’s to you, my friends…
    some fresh ways to add holiday glamour to your home!



    Bring out your old silver 
    and create a winter garden tablescape

    via Pinterest

    Mini evergreen trees are so cute
    cropping out of this silver tea set

    via Pinterest

    A Silver bowl makes the perfect container forPaperwhites.
    And the green and silver balls make it so updated! 

    via At Home in Arkansas

    Elevated drama! 
    Can you think of a better way to 
    repurpose your hand-me-down compote? 

    I’m not one to stash away family heirlooms.
    I want to use them as much as possible.
    It’s so delightful to see how they can be transformed into
    something totally fresh and unique,
    especially during the holiday season. 

    So go on a little scavenger hunt and uncover
    some hidden treasures of your own to embellish.
    Whether it’s tarnished silver, or a set of tea cups,
    use your imagination to make them shine this Christmas!

    I’ll be back with a few more decorating tips
    so keep in touch.



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  • 11/09/2014 - Joan Waddell 0 Comments
    Color track – Pear!
    It’s coming!  
    I know it’s still Fall out there but we’re already seeing 
    the Spring lines from our fabric reps.
    And the hot color that’s emerging is 


    It’s a cool mix of citron with a little neon thrown in.
    Not quite yellow….OR green
    but a energetic kind of color that makes you look twice!
    Following the current trend of all things organic,
    it’s hard to imagine this high octane color really exists in nature…
    via Color World trend report
    But clearly its abundant!  
    Think luscious fruit and the vibrancy of the rain forest.
    And as you can see, teamed up with these other saturated colors,
    "Pear" can play a leading role or take a back seat.
    Global Views ice vase-Limeade
    This gorgeous art glass even mimics the shape of a pear!
    Lorts showroom
    I’m crazy about this combo!  What could be better than a jolt of "Pear" 
    in this soothing neutral room?  
    It takes it to a whole new level of sophistication.
    Note the touches of this color carried around the room.
     Thibaut Novia fabric
    But I have to say this is my favorite mix.  
    Blue and white just got fresher with the introduction of Pear!
    Looking towards a fun spring palette
    to brighten up our dreary days ahead.


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  • 10/25/2014 - Joan Waddell 0 Comments
    FRIDAYfinds! – Furniture as sculpture
    Does it get any more beautiful than this?
    Greg Klassen table
    The perfect melding of organics and technology!
    This furniture designer has introduced a line of tables incorporating hand-cut glass
    running through the center of wood pieces salvaged from decaying trees.
    His inspiration?  The rugged land and sea of the Pacific Northwest.


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  • 10/03/2014 - Joan Waddell 0 Comments

    With High Point Market 

    just around the corner…

    Natural Curiosities "Daedalus"
    I’m getting a taste of some of the great surprises that await!
    Several trends are bubbling up that will guide the direction
    of design for the coming year.
    Some are familiar and lasting.
    Can you think of a more striking image than the Daedalus artwork above?
    It’s made up of 3000 hand painted feathers arranged in concentric circles.
    "What makes is so "New" 
    is the redesign of a simple organic form like a feather."
    By itself, a feather is just a feather, 
    but in aggregate a single feather becomes an integral
    part of a powerful, dynamic whole.
    We are going to see a lot more of this 
    "REinvention of nature" trend-  
    taking beautiful forms from nature and 
    recreating them in totally fresh ways.
    Hancock and Moore Deco chair
    There’s something else going on that almost "defies" the nature trend.
    Rather than emphasis on organic, it showcases the triumph of modern technology.
    I’m talking about production capabilities that allow designers to dream the impossible.
    No longer are furniture designs dictated by manufacturing constraints.
    If the concept is there, it can be reproduced.
    This beautiful yellow leather chair is a case in point.
    Full of curves, it’s high style!
    Yes, it’s still a "wing" chair, but not like the past.
    Technology makes it possible to create this sinuous shape.
    "The Sillouette" trend
    is gaining ground in furniture design 
    as more attention is given to
    the "form" as well as the "function"
    Regina-Andrew Sea Fan Chandelier
    If you’ve kept up with my blog, 
    you KNOW how much I love lighting!
    I just couldn’t resist including this gorgeous piece
    in my Fall lineup.
    "Lighting as sculpture" trend
    is here to stay.  It’s been around for a while
    "It just keeps getting better!"
    Just when I think they’ve exhausted the creative think tank,
    another beauty like this Sea Fan chandelier makes it’s debut.
    Imagine seeing THIS as you walk through the front door!
    Show stopper, for sure.
    So much excitement is building around Fall Market
    and I’m here to pass along the hottest trends that will be there.
    There’s more to come so check back.
    Happy Friday!


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  • 09/10/2014 - Joan Waddell 1 Comment
    Cabinet of Curiosities


    courtesy of Berlin-Naturkundmuseum

    This term has always facinated me.  Maybe it’s my passion for
    that draws me to the concept.
    I even have a Pinterest Board called "Collections"!


    Originally borne in Renaissance Europe, cabinets of curiosities, or
    cabinets of wonder, were encyclopedic collections of objects yet to be defined.
    They were regarded as a microcosm or
    "theater of the world"
     according to Wikipedia.

    Just the description conjures up images of strange and wonderful oddities
    waiting to be examined and admired.

    I can’t help imagining the "cabinet" being updated for our lifestyles today.
    But first you have to have a collection of something to display…
    Start with an object that intrigues you enough to want more,
    then build on that theme
    until you have a curated collection of
    similar,yet unique, items to showcase.

    Your collection can be anything, really.
    Maybe it’s not from the natural world,
    as was the case with the originals,
    " You can still create the same curiosity with your own version" 

    Part of the fun is searching for additions to your collection,
    but the best part is seeing them all together in a cabinet!

    Currey and Company 

    Make the cabinet as unique as your treasures.
    This "Tramp Art" style cabinet is the perfect backdrop for highlighting
    a collection of Majolica.


    Maybe you need a case that allows you to view your collection from all sides!

    Blue Ocean Traders curio cabinet

    I see a model car collection reigning supreme in here.



    Want something more elegant?
    This regency-style cabinet is regal enough to house
    your most precious collection…

    Sarried Grafton Cabinet

    of rare books.
    Envision how beautiful these old leather bindings would look
    against the cream painted interior.
    Instant patina!


    Bring out your own personality with a great collection
    and build a
    "Cabinet of Curiosities"
    around it.
    It’s not only an interesting conversation piece,
    but it serves as a unique focal point in your home.
    Talk about a

    (Check out my Style Booster posts for more tips)


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  • 07/15/2014 - Joan Waddell 0 Comments
    Magnificent Homes of America – The Biltmore House Part Two
    Aerial shot – via Flickr

    In Part One of my tour of the incredible Biltmore House
    I wandered through the public rooms on the main floor.
    These are huge spaces,
    built on a grand scale with soaring ceilings, ornately carved surfaces,
    and priceless furnishings – all meant to impress…
    and they do!

    Grand Staircase – via Biltmore Estate


    But, seeing the private spaces on the upper and lower levels is even more intriguing to me.
    It’s gives a closer look at the facinating people who called Biltmore home,
    from the Vanderbilt family and their friends, to the many servants who made life so luxurious
    for the few.


    What I didn’t realize was how special it was to be able to
    tour these private rooms at all! The suite of four bedrooms on the second floor
    were not open to the public until 2009, after being closed off  for 100 years!

    Restoration was tedious and time-consuming. Each room had unique issues.
    For the renovation of  the Louis XV Room below
    a team of curators and conservators traveled to France to collaborate with
     Tassinari And Chatel in Lyon
     to insure the exact replication of the gold and red silk cut velvet that adorns the windows and the walls. Meanwhile,
    tradespeople took on the painstaking task of cleaning, repairing and restoring what was worth saving.


    As I’ve discovered in other "Magnificent Homes" I’ve visited,
    it takes a lot of  skill, patience and detective work to uncover the original finishes.
    At the Biltmore, they found clues under door mouldings and drapery brackets,
    which lead to the fabulous paint colors and fabrics you see here.

    Louis XV Room – via Biltmore Estate

    This is my favorite of the four refurbished bedrooms.
    It is a classic example of  the Louis XV period, with the delicate curvature in the furniture
    and lavish use of gold in the fabrics and finishes.

    But there is a lot more to this room than it’s opulence…
    It is considered the "True Heart of Biltmore", according to Romantic
    It was Edith Vanderbilt’s special room and where she chose to give birth to her only child,
    In the tradition of her mother, Cornelia delivered both of her sons in the same room!

    It is said that the wonderful lighting that filtered through the windows
    reflected off the gold silk fabrics and created a radiant shimmer that was captivating
    to both Edith and Cornelia.
    It was definitely mesmerizing the day I was there!

    Tyrolean Chimney Room – via Biltmore Estate

    The Tyrolean Chimney Room is my second pick on the second floor.
    Named for the overmantle constructed from Tyrolean tile
    I like it because it has a unexpected simplicity and "charm"
    not seen in other parts of the house.

    What’s interesting is that George Vanderbilt was drawn to this tile at all,
    given the lavishly ornate style he was known for.

    He found the tile stove on one of his many trips to Europe and
    was determined to find a way to incorporate it into the Biltmore.
    By making it into an overmantle, he repurposed his treasure in a very effective way.
    It’s now the focal point of the room.
    I could definitely stay here for the night!

    Downstairs is a story in itself!
    Armed with vivid imagery and drama from Downton Abbey episodes,
    it is easy for me to imagine the lives of the many caretakers
    who lived and worked in the basement of the Biltmore House.

    servants quarters – via Biltmore Estate

    Servant bedrooms are a stark contrast to those upstairs.
    Note the light on the wall above the bed – a constant reminder that
    they were on-call 24/7.

    Basement main kitchen – via Biltmore Estate   

    Mr. Vanderbilt made sure the main kitchen was equipped with latest
    inventions in food preparation. But for the staff, it was still a very labor intensive process
    to create the lavish meals that were served every day upstairs.

    From a design perspective, there is so much to look at here!
    I love the utilitarian aspect of the kitchen that made it so functional,
    but it’s the craftsmanship that gets my attention!
    Check out the patterned tile floor and and the turned legs on the work table.
    Even the large oak door is beautiful with its six pane divided glass.
    And what’s not to love about the hanging light fixtures! " Industrial Chic" in its original form!

    bowling alley_via Pinterest

    The basement wasn’t just a working environment for the staff.
    It was also a place for the family and friends to play.
    The bowling alley, built by Brunswick-Balke-Collender Co. in 1895,
    was a favorite with guests.
    Great utilization of typically wasted space in a basement, don’t you think?

    Indoor swimming pool_via Pinterest

    But the indoor swimming pool is the shining star, in my opinion.
    It was considered an engineering feat in its time, with an elaborate system
    devised to pump in the water and then heat it.
    I love the tile work that covers the entire space.  It too required a highly sophisticated design
    to create supports that could carry the weight of the tiles on the arched ceiling.
     With the pool empty, you can see the underwater lighting,
    which was truly innovative considering that very few homes even had electricity at the time.
    Imagine the delight of guests when they saw this engineering wonder!
    You can almost hear the laughter…
    In fact, there have been reports of  hearing strange sounds in the pool and even
    seeing a dark figure swimming under the water.


    I know I’ve only skimmed the surface of this magnificent home,
    and as I write this, I’m reminded that I need to go back yet again
    I’ve already mapped out it out – a roof top tour, although considered a little scary
    if you’re afraid of heights, and then a Christmas Candlelight tour through the house to
    see it all dressed up for the holidays.
    Can you tell I’m enamored with this place?
    Don’t be surprised if there’s a Biltmore House – Part THREE!


    Read More
  • 07/02/2014 - Joan Waddell 1 Comment
    The Learning Never Stops
    I know I’ve been out of touch lately, and I miss connecting with my 
    Blog Friends!
    "But in this business there’s never a dull moment" 
    I’ve been all over the place lately, 
    which means I’ve had little time to fill you in on what’s going on
    in the design world.


    But I’m now back for a while and want to share a little of
    what I’ve been up to…


    "There’s a whole other side to being a designer."
    It revolves around our commitment to making ourselves better practitioners
    through continuing education and involvement in our professional trade organization.

    The American Society of Interior Designers or


    represents the interests of its members in the interior design field.
    I am currently serving on the board of our regional chapter as
    Communication Director. As part of the training for this position,
    I was asked to attend the ASID Leadership Conference in LA in June.

    All I can say is WOW!!!


    It was a intense three days of group presentations and break-outs,
    all centered around making ASID a stronger voice for its members
    and promoting best practices in interior design..


    This is our regional board brainstorming during one of the sessions.
    Some great ideas bubbled up that we plan to implement on a chapter level very soon!


    In the meantime,
    while ASID was meeting on the third floor of the convention center…


    trade show
    was taking place on the main floor.


    Talk about being in two places at one time!!!

     I was taking full advantage
    of the proximity of this trade show to our meetings upstairs.
    During breaks, I was "running" through the aisles checking out all the great products
    knowing I would land on something truly remarkable in the process.
    I wasn’t disappointed!


    It was all there…

    Fresh, never-seen-before products mingled with
    some of the more recognizable names in the industry
    to give the design community a glimpse of what’s coming down the path.


    I just loved this chair duo.  Some things are just better in pairs!


    And then I spotted the "Something Remarkable"!

    I recently posted about the NEW ANIMAL TREND
    and how they are freshly interpreted this time around.
    These animal trophies were the perfect example,
    Created from the metal straps on wine barrels, their exaggerated forms are bent and twisted
    in a way that is both powerful and graceful at the same time.
    Definitely on my mental list for a future project!


    After being sequestered inside for three days, I was in major need of some R and R.
    After all, I was in sunny California,

    and the vineyards awaited…

    I have some other great things to share from this trip, so check back!


    Read More
  • 05/30/2014 - Joan Waddell 0 Comments
    FRIDAYfinds! – Tracking the NEW Animal Trend

    have always been a big player in interior design…

    Lillian August for Hickory White
    …especially on upholstery.


    but LATELY…
    animals in all forms have been  leaping to the forefront.
    Esparto Grass Animal Heads

    This time around they’re much more playful.  I’m lovin’ these grass woven animal heads.
    Handcrafted and whimsical, they are much more fitting than the real thing!

    Natural Curiosities


    Natural Curiosities
    Natural Curiosities

    This new collection of art prints from Natural Curiosities
    gives a fresh perspective on familiar animal themes.
    Unusual angles, isolated features, and scale
    all add to the novelty of these images.

    "I can see the wing detail floating above a velvet tufted sofa 
    in a cozy little den."

    Global Views

    Animals are being re-imagined in more abstract ways, too.
    This little bird vase has a undeniable 60’s vibe that is definitely on the "cool" side!
    Cute in multiples on a kitchen table, or maybe in a home office?

    Arteriors Hugo ottoman

    Not your typical leather ottoman!
    This hide is much more fun in a patchwork pattern.
    You get a sense of the upholsterer’s personal handiwork
    rather than something that’s mass produced.

    Photo courtesy of Thibaut/Etosha embroidery fabric

    Animal prints are climbing up the walls, too!
    It this a chevron pattern or zebra print?
    What makes it outstanding is that it’s both!
    The classic chevron is transformed by way of the zebra…
    And it’s even more attention-getting in this
    saturated royal blue colorway.

    Currey Cyrano

    Watch out for this rhino…he’s a heart throb, for sure.
    All wrapped up in cotton Chindi, I love the artisinal quality about him.
    This guy would be the perfect greeter in your foyer, don’t you think?

    This new crop of  "animals" is very different from the past.
    They have ‘SOUL"
    And they possess a certain panache and playfulness that draws you in.
    So try your hand at this trend and enjoy the hunt!


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  • 05/06/2014 - Joan Waddell 1 Comment
    Kentucky Derby Experience – The Oaks
    Photo courtesy of

    "The greatest two minutes in sports"
    is really the greatest two DAYS in sports!

    Although Derby Day is the quintessential racing experience,
    for many locals like myself,


    which is the day before the Derby,
    is the preferred time to visit the track.

    It’s the perfect way to take in the sights and sounds of Churchill Downs
    without the crazy crowds that come on Derby Day.
    And what fun to enjoy it all with my girlfriends!

    Photo courtesy of Churchill Downs

     I really love coming on Oaks Day for


    In support of Churchill Downs partnership with Bright Pink and Horses & Hope,
    everyone at the track is encouraged to wear pink.
    This is such a great way to bring attention to early detection of breast and ovarian cancer!
    Even the horses and jockeys get in the act.
    Did you notice the pink draped clubhouse?

     Photo courtesy of

    Everything is "in the pink".
    The official flower of the Oaks is the
    Pink Stargazer Lilly,
    which is woven into a blanket that is draped on the winning horse.
    And the official drink for the day is the "Lilly"!
    "Personal note:  I’ve tried it but I’m still more of a Mint Julep fan"

    Photo by Joan Waddell

    One special treat is getting access to the Paddock.
    This is where they parade the horses for the upcoming race.
    It’s a chance for trainers, owners, and a few spectators
    to see the horses up close and personal.
    It’s a spectacular sight to see these beautiful animals and their riders
    all dressed up in their colorful silks!

    And the celebrity sightings are just as exciting.
    I caught this shot of Bob Baffert (second from the right with the yellow tie)
    as he was checking out the horses.

    Sometimes the colorful attire outshines the jockey silks!
    I couldn’t resist this one.

    My outfit seemed so demure in comparison…
    But I just had to get this shot in the stall of a horse named
    Isn’t that great!

    Photo by Joan Waddell

    After the horses parade around the Paddock,
    they make their way through the tunnel to the track.
    This is the vantage point we had from our box seats.
    I love the "pink" dressed horse and rider awaiting the arrival of the thoroughbreds.

     Photo by Joan Waddell

    Isn’t this crazy! Even the tractor was pink!

    Awesome view from our box!

    Photo courtesy of

    What could have been more appropriate than for
    this fantastic jockey, Rosie Napravnik, to win the Oaks.
    After all, this was a day to celebrate women and fillies!

    And thank God for a different kind of "horse power".
    This great guy pedaled all three of us back to our car in style!



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  • 04/30/2014 - Joan Waddell 0 Comments
    Magnificent Homes of America – Biltmore House – Part One

    "My little mountain escape"

    George Washington Vanderbilt

    George Vanderbilt first described his summer retreat, the Biltmore Estate,
    in a very unassuming way, to say the least.  His "Gilded Age" mansion is anything but!
    In fact, Biltmore is THE largest privately owned home in North America.


    I’ve visited this grand estate many times but it never ceases to amaze me.
    Pulling up to the front entrance is always a thrill!  The sheer size and grandeur is breathtaking.
    Through his numerous European tours,
    Vanderbilt crystalized his vision for the Chateauesque-style mansion,
    using several Loire Valley chateaux as reference.
    Richard Morris Hunt, noted architect to the wealthy, formalized the design into reality.
    And in 1889, construction finally began on the Biltmore.
    Six years later, the doors opened for the first time
    to Vanderbilt’s new bride, Edith Stuyvesant Dresser, on Christmas Eve.
    Can you imagine her "gasp" moment?

    Considered today as one of the most prominent remaining examples of the


    the Biltmore exemplifies the extreme excesses of the super rich during this period in American history.
    The main house, with over 178,000 total square feet, contains 250 rooms, 43 bathroom, 85 fireplaces,
    3 kitchens, an indoor swimming pool and a bowling alley!

    Needless to say, with its massive scale, finding my "design take" on the interiors, was not easy!
    So much material to choose from…
    But as I moved from room to room, it became more clear.

    "The magnificence of Biltmore from a designer’s perspective, 
    is the attention to details"

    So follow me on the tour as I point out some of my favorite design hot spots…

    The Winter Garden says it all. This is my favorite room in the house.
     Who wouldn’t want to spend time in here, especially when it’s cold and snowy outside.
    The details are everywhere!
    With the soaring 34ft glass ceiling,elegant lanterns punctuating the space,
    exotic orchids and ferns, and combination of limestone, mahogany and iron,
    it’s a spectacular visual feast of proportion and texture!


    Designed to impress and intimidate, the Great Hall certainly has the credentials.
    What I love about this space is it’s gigantic scale.  It’s 40′ x 70′ with a ceiling that is 7 stories high!
    But what’s even more amazing is that the acoustics are so perfect
    that two people sitting at opposite ends of the banquet table
    do not have to raise their voices to be heard.
    Notice the size of the fireplace. It spans the entire wall and is in perfect proportion to the space,
    as are the windows, arched openings and those fantastic chandeliers.
    Every element is in harmony, even on such a grand scale.

    In the Family Dining Room, which was considered more "casual" by their standards,
    my attention focused on the elaborate ceiling detail.  Incredible isn’t it?
    Add the Jasperware mantel and Spanish leather walls, and you see why this room is a jewel.

    Design Hot Spot: gorgeous silk cut velvet damask on the chairs, which was
    custom woven specifically for the Vanderbilts.

    As I listened to the description of the loggia,
    I got a better sense of why this site was chosen for the Biltmore House.
    This view must be spectacular every season!


    I caught this detail on the opposite end of the loggia.
    A simple entry door became magical with the addition of elaborate ornamentation.


    Once again the ceiling takes center stage -this time in the library!
    "The Chariots of Aurora" ceiling painting by Giovannie Pellegrini (1675-1741)
    was brought to America by Mr. Vanderbilt from the Pisani Palace in Venice.
    He is actually credited with saving this important 18th century masterpiece
    since most of Pellegrini’s works were destroyed during World War II.

    I can’t leave this room without pointing out the clever passageway.
    Tucked behind the fireplace on the second floor, it provided access for guests to
    discreetly enter the library to select a favorite night time "read".

    Design Hot Spot: the large blue and white porcelain urn in the foreground.
    This is one of pair from the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644) that now stand in the room.


    The Biltmore House is a huge treasure trove for design inspiration.
    The architecture, furnishings and decorative arts are all noteworthy,
    which makes it that much more exciting for me.
    But because of this massive amount of inventory,
    it takes more time to soak it in.
    So, I’m stopping here on the first floor, for today.
    Check back for PART TWO
    as I head upstairs and then into the lower level where
    the design details are even more facinating!


    Read More
  • 03/28/2014 - Joan Waddell 0 Comments
    FRIDAYfinds! – Food for thought
     I’m once again reminded of the cross-over in design disciplines.


    said it so well in this quote I found in REAL SIMPLE magazine.




    Read More
  • 03/21/2014 - Joan Waddell 0 Comments
    FRIDAYfinds! – Red Hot Spring Fabrics and Papers
     Dana Gibson for Stroheim
    Spring is here, for sure, when I get to see the new,
    fabrics and papers from my reps.
    And these fabulous new intros from


     are destine to be top sellers in my book!
    Why?  It’s the perfect formula.





    You know what a fan I am of pink and orange! This "Canton" fabric
    will be going on my Pinterest board for sure.  Check it out if you like 
    this color combo, too.
    Dana Gibson for Stroheim – Trot in Persimmon Brown
    Isn’t this adorable???
    With a name like "Trot", what’s not to love?
    And the leopard background is the fitting classical tie-in, don’t you think?
    Dana Gibson for Stroheim
    Even the coodinate fabrics have a definite "attitude" to them.
    In any colorway, the applications are endless…
    Baby’s room, anyone?  How sophisticated would that be!
     Dana Gibson for Stroheim

    You saw it here first!  

    A sneak peak at the fabulous wallpaper book
    we will be getting soon.
    Look at how that fabric updates the Louis XVI settee in the photo.
    Set against the cherry red paper, it jumps off the page!


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  • 02/24/2014 - Joan Waddell 0 Comments
    Russian Olympic Style!
    Courtesy of theguardian.com_photo by Itar-Rass Bancroft
    I’ve been glued to the Winter Olympics in Sochi for the past two weeks
    and find it hard to think about not seeing the sights and sounds on a daily basis.
    Everything about this grand event was exciting but as you might expect,
    I was particularly focused on the design elements involved.


    "From beginning to end, 
    there were so many reminders of the rich heritage of 
    Russian design."

    In my mind, there’s no image more iconic than the Onion domes.
    Tracing back to the 13th century, the domes are an enduring symbol of the Russian Orthodox church.
    In their many fanciful shapes and colors, 
    they are also an often-drawn-upon historical reference for design inspiration.
    I’ve always loved the form, and I’m amazed at the uniqueness of all the different patterns.

    But there’s so much more to explore in Russian design…
    "With the growing trend towards 
    "Global Influence" 
    in the home,
    Russian themes have surfaced 
    in furniture, fabrics, accessories and even lighting!"


    Catherine Palace

    Located outside of St. Petersburg,
    The summer residence of Catherine the Great is the epitome of opulence associated with


    As excessive as this seems today, there are new interpretations
    I’m seeing that would fit perfectly in today’s interiors.

    Currey Rainhill Chandelier

    Drippy and cool,
    These new intros from Currey draw on the elegance associated
    with Russian royalty without being over the top.
    Give them a "place of honor"
    in your own dining room or entry and elevate your style instantly!

     Currey Buenos Aires Chandelier

    Obviously the chandelier has deep roots in Russia.
    They chose to feature it in the closing ceremony!
    It took my breath away when I saw it…

     Photo by Daniel Karmann/EPA

     There is nothing more beautiful than the traditional Russian folk art headscarves!
    First developed in the latter half of the 19th century,
    it is believed that different design elements in these patterns
    serve as symbols to protect from evil forces and will bring
    wealth, health and love.

    photo courtesy of

    These vivid colors and intricate motifs are finding their way into
    modern fabrics, as well.

     Scalamandre Hudson 

    With the movement towards bringing
    more "meaningful" objects into our homes, it’s no surprise that
    designers are drawing on cultural themes for inspiration.
    And Russia is a treasure trove!
    There is a sense of the past in these
    beautiful prints but yet they’re totally fresh and up-to-date.
    Use in small doses as pillows or
     embrace the exuberance with window treatments and matching upholstery!

    Brunschwig and Fils Nisiotiko



    I love gilded and painted furniture so its resurgence is fine in my book!
    The originals were from the later half of the 18th century, as demand grew for
    ornate furniture to furnish the grand palaces being built throughout Russia,.

    Courtesy of

    This is definitely a signature look, but handled with restraint,
    it could be drop-dead gorgeous in a special space.

     Theodore Alexander Moonlit Masquerade Mirror

    This new mirror is all about the decorative detail.
    Hand-carved swags seem to lift off the mirror itself,
    a trait often associated with the ornate styling of the Russian originals.
    Not a safe choice, for sure,
    but who wants to be stuck in the land of "sameness"?

    Be an original and express your style!
    Explore new cultures and find the nuggets that speak to you.



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  • 02/01/2014 - Joan Waddell 0 Comments
    FRIDAYfinds! – Springy Fabrics
    one good thing about January is that
    we get a glimpse of the fresh new Spring fabrics
    that are coming our way!
    And the visit from our rep to our studio this week didn’t disappoint.
    Take a look…
    Bailey and Griffin for Duralee
    Isn’t this a breath of 


    Bright, crisp blues and reds on a cream ground seems familiar in a way, 
    but this version is totally NEW with the addition of the graphic stripe.
    "The iconic Tree of Life motif meets Moorish mosaic"
    Tilton Fenwick for Duralee
    But this was the big surprise!
    the young, trendy design firm headed by Anne Foster and Suysel Depedro Cunningham
    unveiled their first licensed fabric collection for Duralee.
    Known for their distinctive color combos, they aren’t afraid to mix it up in unusual ways.
    I LOVE the tangerine stripe paired with that random little teal dot.  
    And the floral is exuberant…and so Springy!
    Tilton Fenwick for Duralee
    Check out this colorway of the same pattern.  Can anyone say… 


    For many of us, it’s just too soon to see this color again,
    but recreated with the addition of rich navy and fuschia, 
    it’s much more fun than the 80’s version, don’t you think?
    Tilton Fenwick for Duralee
    And then there’s this one!  
    They call it


    I call it "Abundance"!
    So much you can do with it – beautiful drapes or Romans for sure,
    but the real creativity comes in the way you incorporate those stripes.
    Cut apart, they would make fabulous borders for the drapes or better yet,
    in the gusset of a box pillow! 
    Tilton Fenwick for Duralee
    How fun are these!  Another great floral print, but the real stand-out for me is the
    lipstick red upholstery fabric.
    I can’t wait to get my hands on this…already envision it wrapped on a set of entry hall chairs.


    And as always, a reminder to…
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  • 01/28/2014 - Joan Waddell 0 Comments
    Style Booster – Fireplace Envy
    via James Bruggers-Courier Journal

    With the frigid day we’ve had today,

    I’m really in the mood for a cozy fire.
    photo by Joan Waddell
    And it reminds me of just 
    how appealing a fireplace can be…
    or not…
    It’s so easy to think of it as
    "just a place to burn the wood",
    and a collection point
    for random candles, photo frames and mismatched tools.


    But with a little attention, a fireplace box, mantel and hearth
    can become a beautiful focal point in your room.

    Design by John Stefanidis

    OK. So this is over-the-top, but what a focal point it is!
    The designer didn’t miss an inch.  Every element is considered –  brass firebox insert,
    mirrored surround, faux malachite mantel, a collection of Chinese urns,
    and the spectacular wall mural by DeGournay!
    It all adds up to a fireplace with memorable style.
    "which is the point here – make yours a personal style statement, too"

    Ina Garten’s barn

    Is your style a little more down to earth?  In Ina Garten’s converted barn,
    her mantra was "Less is More"
    "There was a temptation to put a mantlepiece around the fireplace,
    but it would have been too decorative. This is a masculine room"

    Simplicity is the name of the game here.  A grouping of well-placed candlesticks
    and one signature piece of art is plenty for this mantel.
    The iron tool set and grate complete the look.
    "Do you know when to STOP?  It’s sometimes harder than it seems.
    Tip:  Take everything away from your fireplace and then put back one piece at a time
    until it looks balanced and interesting"

    Design by Joan Waddell

    Sometimes it’s more about what surrounds the fireplace
    than the fireplace itself.
    In the Bellarmine Showhouse last year, I was fortunate to have a room with
    a great marble mantle, but the coal burning firebox was anything but inviting.
    So, I played up the assets by bringing the eye upward.
    The mantle arrangement was an eclectic mix of found objects,
    as I imagined the homeowner would love.
    "Mix and match your own personal timeline on your mantel.
    Create a landscape that will intrigue"

    As I return to my


    posts, I’m reminded of a recurrent theme
    that seems to run through every style booster I’ve shared…



    Read More
  • 01/15/2014 - Joan Waddell 0 Comments
    Winter RX
    Artist unknown via Flame Run Gallery
    When I spotted this retro poster at a favorite gallery, I couldn’t get it out of my mind…
    Always a fan of hand-drawn sillk screen prints, it drew me in,
    but it was the wording that really struck a cord.
    On these dreary winter days and nights of January,
    it’s a gentle reminder to


    There’s nothing that will transform a room quicker than good lighting.
    You know what I mean.  
    Walk in to someone’s house where they don’t turn on the lights.
    How do you feel?  
    If you’re like me, your first instinct is to FIND THE SWITCH!
    I just don’t function well in dimly-lit spaces.  It pulls me down,
    especially when I don’t get a good dose of natural sunlight during the day,
    which is pretty common around here in the winter.
    So to brighten up your winter day, 
    I’m sending you some of my current favorites in lighting
    Ro Sham Beaux Carmen Chandelier
    This would light up any room!  Made from recycled Coke bottles, it gets my vote
    for fresh design + sustainability.
    Wildwood Romulus lamp
    I’m a big fan of mixed elements! It keeps things a little "curious".  
    Love the classic urn shape
    combined with a squared, acrylic base and drum shade.
    Hard to tell the decade this draws from, which is the whole point!
    Worlds Away Harper lamp
    Sometimes simplicity is the most elegant choice.
    Texture (green lacquer, brass and linen shade) and clean lines
    make this truly special in my book.
    Take a little time to look around your rooms.  Do they "glow" at night?
    There should be pleasing little pools of light throughout the room,
    created by layers of illumination.
    From the ceiling fixture to the lamp on your table, there are opportunities to improve
    your environment with the "flip of a switch".


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  • 01/04/2014 - Joan Waddell 0 Comments
    FRIDAYfinds! – Ring in the PURPLE!
    It’s official!
    The Pantone Color of the Year for 2014 is…
    courtesy of
    And it’s all about expressing joy, optimism and creativity.
    Leatric Eiseman, executive director of the Pantone Color Institute says,
    "An invitation to innovation, Radiant Orchid
    encourages expanded creativity and originality,
    which is increasingly valued in today’s society."
    You can almost feel the energy this beautiful color emanates!
    A mix of fuchsia, purple and pink undertones, 
    it’s inspiring just to look at it.
    But it’s also exciting to see how it’s being integrated in world of design.
    Suzanne Kasler for Veranda Magazine
    I’ve been watching this color for a while on my Pinterest board,
    so I’ve gotten a taste of some pretty cool applications.
    But this is just the tip of the iceberg!
    You’ll see variations of this color cropping up in all sorts of things,
    from fashion to accessories.

    There’s also a more mysterious side to purples
    that intrigues me.
    From soft lavenders to neon fuschia, the variations in this rug make it a stand-out!

    Champalimaud SF Fairmont penthouse via

    Or, in the case of the penthouse of the Fairmont, a direct shot of purple
    is all that was needed to take it from fine…to FABULOUS!

    Leander Wiseman photo via

    But for me,
    nothing compares to the sheer beauty of purples
    in nature…


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  • 12/14/2013 - Joan Waddell 0 Comments
    FRIDAYfinds! – My Top Five Holiday Gifts
    During the holidays,
    I like to think of memorable ways to say
    to my friends and family.
    Since I’m in the design world,
    my favorite gifts are those that bring "comfort and joy" to the home in some way.
    They don’t have to be expensive, 
    "They must be the best of their category."
    So as a little cyber gift to my followers, I’m sharing my


    1.  Rosemary Topiary
    What IS it about this little miniature tree that is sooo captivating?
    Maybe it’s that you get two gifts at once…
    a great accent in your kitchen or hallway, but also
    a great cooking companion when only the freshest ingredients will do!
    You can dress it up in a classic urn, or leave it more natural in burlap wrapping.
    2.  Florentine Frames

    There’s nothing more elegant than Italian Florentine frames,
    which are hand-crafted in wood and gold leaf.
    Using a time-honored process that has been handed down for centuries, these frames
    are gorgeous and destine to become heirlooms.
    What better way to "capture the moment" of family, friends and pets!


    3.  Cashmere Throw
    I think about what I would love to receive and this is right up there at the top!
    Beautiful to look at, thrown over a chair, but more importantly,
    fabulous to snuggle in on a cold winter night!
    (Hint:  Your best bet?  Go neutral)

    4.  Design Books
    I can’t get enough of them!
    Although my library is getting pretty full,
    there’s always room for just "one more". When I’m at Market,
    I make it a point to meet the authors so I can get some insight into what inspired them.
    My favorites this season?

    Alexa Hampton’s newest is classic Hampton style, but this time she gives us
    a closer look at the details that make a room come to life.
    (check out my recent interview with Alexa)

    Jennifer Boles is well-known as the "Peak of Chic" blogger.
    She is also the author of an important new book on the history of design in the 20th century.
    Compiled as a design encyclopedia, it defines some of the most influential
    decorating details from design legends like
    Dorothy Draper (a personal favorite of mine), Billy Baldwin, and Sister Parish.

    These two books would make great companions on a coffee table,
    if you can put them down long enough, that is…

    5.  Terres et Senteurs Room Diffusers
    In my personal quest for the "Perfect Room Scent",
     I discovered this line several years ago.
    I’ve been stocking them ever since!
    Ordered directly from a small factory in Aiglun, France, I love the fact that they
     still make all their scents with natural essential oils and beetroot alcohol.
    The result is an absolutely heady aroma that will fragrance a room for up to 3 months.

     Last minute shoppers, never fear…
    the magic of design is here!


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  • 11/27/2013 - Joan Waddell 0 Comments
    In this business, it takes a whole lot of folks 
    to create beautiful interiors.
    When I started thinking about it,
    I realized JUST HOW MANY…
    Furniture makers
    Design assistants
    Rug weavers
    Manufacturer’s reps
    Flooring installers
    Truck drivers
    Window washers
    Metal craftsmen
    Fine artists
    Cabinet makers
    Stone masons
    Drapery fabricators
    Tech support (yes…probably THE most critical one)
    Delivery crews
    Silk Worms (not people but sooo HARD WORKING!)
    I have the fun job of dreaming up the design
    nothing would ever be realized without the technical expertise and dedication
    of my wonderful vendors, contractors and behind-the-scenes support staff who make it happen!
    So this Thanksgiving,
    I am sending out a 
    to all of them…
    I hope all of YOU enjoy the warm presence of family and friends
    on this very special holiday.
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  • 11/20/2013 - Joan Waddell 4 Comments
    My Interview with Alexa Hampton
    Alexa Hampton_ Hickory Chair showroom
    You can tell just by looking at her
    that the creative energy is rapidly boiling right below the surface…
    That’s the feeling I had throughout our interview!
    Both introspective and spontaneous,


    is a star in the interior design field for a reason.
    Yes, she is the daughter of one of the 20th century’s greatest design icons, Mark Hampton,
    Mark Hampton
    so she has the design gene in her blood.
     Alexa has developed a unique aesthetic that is truly her own.
    I would describe it as… 
    "One part Mark Hampton….1000 parts Alexa Hampton!" 

    And her gallery in the Hickory Chair showroom at Fall Market 
    was living proof…

     "I use Market as a laboratory"Alexa Hampton

    Alexa Hampton for Hickory Chair
    She described her spaces in the showroom as "ENTERTAINING"
    And there’s no doubt about it!
    Riotous pattern, layered with saturated hues
    created a energetic backdrop for her 
    Modern Traditional furniture.
    As she said, her approach was to
    "MAKE IT FUN!"

    I’d say she was successful, wouldn’t you?  It was sophisticated and elegant,
    but not too serious.  There was definitely a sense of humor about it that made me smile.

    Alexa Hampton for Hickory Chair

    She carried this playful theme throughout the showroom
    Alexa described her philosophy this way,
    "I wanted a lot of pattern this time…
    more than one color…
    pretty and decorative"
    I loved her choice of  lime green velvet on the transitional sofa.
    She has a unique talent of finding ways to update classic elements.
    There’s always a reference to the past, but it’s always "new" at the same time.
    Did you notice the floral chintz pillow? She made it totally modern by mixing this classic
    pattern with bold graphics and Indian block prints.

    Alexa Hampton chair with Cowtan and Tout chintz 

    I was curious…  "Why was it important to integrate this chintz in your collection?"
    "It’s my fulcrum"
    In true Alexa Hampton style,
    it grounded the collection in the classics
    and provided the springboard for creative deviation.
    That’s why her designs have such broad appeal.
    We see something familiar that is comforting yet we’re energized by the
    modern interpretation.

    Alexa Hampton for Hickory Chair

    In this vignette, Alexa went for the richness of Claret on her sofa
    which keyed off the large scale paper.
    The fun came with the unexpected shot of green in the club chair.
    She toned down the rest of the room so that these two colors could take center stage.
    Perfect balance!

    It was such a treat to explore design philosophies with Alexa, to get in her head
    on how she approaches a new project, and just learn about what motivates her
    as a person.

    What struck me the most was how pragmatic she is about the creative process.
    I asked her, "When you get ready to design a new group, what are your building blocks?

    To my surprise, her response was very grounded and practical.
    She explained that her best designs bubble up from "need".
    When working on a project, she described not being able to
    find the appropriate light fixture or perfectly proportioned chair,
    so she created it!

    "Sofia" by Alexa Hampton for Visual Comfort

    This is how her fabulous collection of flush mount lighting came to be.
    She’s a master of  "EVIDENCE-BASED DESIGN"!

    Alexa summed it up by saying this about her creative process,
    "I must DESIRE it"
    After a thoughtful pause, she looked at me and added,

    "Couture Moments!"

    Can you think of a better way to describe her style?

      Decorating In Detail by Alexa Hampton

    Thanks for the insights, Alexa!


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  • 11/13/2013 - Joan Waddell 1 Comment
    My Trend Report – More Top Picks!
    It was like a game of HIDE AND SEEK…
    finding the best examples of the hottest trends
    from High Point Market!
    Not an easy task considering that it’s
    the largest home furnishings market IN THE WORLD
    and covers 10 million square feet, with over 180 buildings!
    Obviously, I’ve narrowed the field over the years,
    returning to favorite showrooms.
    But I’ve also made a point of seeking out NEW sources each time I’m there
     so that I have the freshest options to choose from when working on a project.
    It was so much fun discovering the "real life" versions of 
    the trends I talked about before going to Market!
    I’ve already shared three of these trends with you since returning from my trip
     But I can’t forget the other three that I was scouting,
    especially the last one…




    All varieties of neutrals cropped up, from painted finishes to textural fabrics and blonde floors.
    Even the mirror glass added to the "ethereal" look!


     I was immediately drawn to this chest…
    the combination of the creamy finish and bronze hardware
    gives it an updated Asian feel.

    Celerie Kemble for Henredon

    Well this was my "GASP" moment at Market!
    I can’t tell you how gorgeous this gallery was by Celerie Kemble.
    And to my delight, when I walked around the corner – there it was…
    She translated this trend in the most creative way.
    The red interior makes the geometric patterned bookshelves pop!

    Lillian August for Hickory White

    Another one of my favorites, Lillian August caught the
    This time it was overscaled on the floor.


    William Yoeward for Jonathan Charles

    Meeting William Yoeward was a treat in itself.
    But hearing the story behind his "Fox" theme was even better!
    (but that’s for another day).
    The carved detail on this console was remarkable.
    Evidently, Mr. Yoeward challenged even the most patient
    furniture makers at Jonathan Charles with his insistence on perfection.
    But look at the results!

    William Yoeward for Jonathan Charles console detail
    Chelsea House

    As I predicted, the Fox is creeping in to the mainstream.
    A little bit here, a little bit there…
    In small doses at the moment, but watch for a big surge in the coming months.

    Until next time…



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  • 11/06/2013 - Joan Waddell 1 Comment
    My Trend Report – Fresh from High Point!
    Since back from Market,
    I’ve been doing a lot of sorting, reviewing and digesting 
    all the great finds and discoveries!
    There’s so much to think about…
    New vendors I want to add to my library,
    cool ideas to incorporate in to future projects,
    culling through all the pix I took to decide on my
    Before I left, I gave you some of my Pre-Market trends that I would be watching.
    And now I want to share how those trends popped up on some of my favorites pieces!


    Lillian August for Hickory White_Photo by Joan Waddell
    From deep, velvety grape to the palest lavenders,
    purple was a major theme song for the "Queen of Color"
    Lillian August 
    I always beeline for her showroom
    for the latest inspiration in color and 
    what I call her "Uptown Classic" furniture designs.
    It’s so "me".
    Lillian August for Hickory White_Photo by Joan Waddell


    Hooker Furniture workwell E-Charge Center

    The detailed scroll work on the door of this cabinet is so fun!
    But the REAL detail is on the INSIDE…

    Hooker Furniture workwell E-Charge Center

    From Hooker Furniture’s workwell group,
    this E-Charge Center has everything a family needs for
    "Stylish Organization"
    and you know I’m all about that!!!
    I’ve already placed this mentally in one of my client’s homes.
    What will they think of next?  


    Global Views_Dwell Studio 

    I’m lovin’ these decorative boxes from Global Views!
    They "Fool the eye" with a play between one and two dimensions.
    Are they folded paper or wooden boxes?
    And I just couldn’t resist the stylized giraffe.
    I’m seeing this little guy in a nursery, for sure!

    PART II 


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  • 10/26/2013 - Joan Waddell 1 Comment
    Fridayfinds! – Inside the madness at High Point Market
    All I can say is,
    I just got back from
    four days at High Point Furnishing Market 
    and it was more exciting than ever!
    Typically I’m on my feet for the majority of the 12 hour days, walking from building to building,
    and through the showrooms.
    but it doesn’t really bother me because I’m so focused.  
    "It’s total VISUAL IMMERSION!"
     The moment your hotel bus pulls into the main terminal at the IHFC building
    you feel the electricity.
    This is the convergence of the entire furnishings industry, from furniture to accessories.
    And it’s the time when each manufacturer introduces their newest designs.
    Imagine that for a minute…
    Each showroom pulls out all the stops to highlight their top designs for the season. 
    It’s a massive undertaking that takes months of planning – 
    from R and D, to building prototypes and then designing their showroom spaces
    to present the new pieces in the most impressive way.
    All in hopes of catching the attention of the buyers!
    Bernhardt showroom

    With the large showrooms, you can eat up an hour, easily, so staying on schedule is mandatory,

    if you want to visit every manufacturer on your list.
    I average about 10 showrooms a day for four days. And that doesn’t include the smaller booths
    I like to visit along the way…
    And it continues into the night…
    This was the scene as we listened to the BEACH BOYS perform down below.


     On top of that,
    there are soooo many seminars, celebrity designers and
    book signings available during Market that it’s really
    difficult to pick and choose.

    But I have my favorites and this market, I was lucky enough to spend some time
    with one of the best…

    Alexa Hampton for Hickory Chair

    I have to say, this was probably the highlight of my trip!
    Watch for my upcoming post on the interview with Alexa.
    It was very insightful.


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  • 10/10/2013 - Joan Waddell 0 Comments
    More Pre-Market Trends
    I leave for  High Point Fall Market in a little over a week.
    That means I’ll be on the hunt for the freshest, most exciting 
    the minute my shoes hit the pavement.
    And I’m going to post real-time reports via
    so I want to share a few more trends I’ll be watching so 
    you can follow along with me while I’m there.
    I’ve already shared some of the top trends
    I think are coming down the path…


    But there are others I’m going to seek out…
    Some already gaining traction
    some more obscure.

    Julian Chichester Virginia Chair

    Reserved strictly for royalty in centuries past,
    Purple’s revival is for all humankind!
    It’s allure is timeless through association,
    but the new breed has an playful, irreverent side, too!

    This chair is anything but stuffy.
    A cool combo of fun curves and purple velvet
    makes it both inviting and "Regal" in a tongue and cheek way.

    Maria Yee Hattori sideboard

    It’s all about the finishing touches, as seen in this contemporary sideboard.
    Simple lines of the cabinet marry perfectly with the signature "bow" hardware
    for a stunning presentation.
    A big part of this trend is the idea that…
    Each element is important to the whole.

    Maitland-Smith Fox and Frog



    I’ve been watching this "just below the surface" trend
    for a while on my
    Pinterest Board
    But it’s still so new that not much is showing up…YET!
    Mark my words,
    and you will see it translated in fabrics, pillows,
    wall art, faux furs and everything in-between.

    Just think, the OWL wasn’t even on our radar a few years ago
    but it’s red hot now.
    Watch out….
    the FOX is on the move!!!

    Don’t forget to check my FACEBOOK page for
    starting next Saturday, Oct 19, when I arrive at Market.

    It’s ALL THERE, waiting for our arrival…
    so come along with me and get the first glimpse of
    what’s to come!



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  • 10/05/2013 - Joan Waddell 0 Comments
    FRIDAYfinds! – UVa Garden Gate Photo gets published!
    Social media is so intertwined! 
    I was reminded of this recently when I got an email from someone
    in Career Services at the University of Virginia.
    She said she was perusing the web and found my 
    Blog post
    Pinterest Board called
    Turns out she was looking for a photo to put on the cover of the
    Hoos Career Guide
    which is for students to utilize as they explore career choices.
    In her words,  "I try to find unique and creative pictures to put on our cover
    and yours stood out to me since they include some viewpoints not
    typically captured by the U.Va. photographers!"
    She asked me to send three different pix of my garden gate tour
    for consideration.
    Photo by Joan Waddell
    Photo by Joan Waddell
    Photo by Joan Waddell
    I didn’t know if any of these would pass the test until a few weeks ago.
    That’s when she contacted me and requested permission to publish.
    How exciting!!!


    So which one did they pick?

    Cover photo by Joan Waddell
    My small moment of fame




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  • 10/03/2013 - Joan Waddell 0 Comments
    Style Booster – Refresher Course
    It seems there’s a recurring theme in my projects right now.
    My clients are on a mission!
    In various forms, each one is searching  for a magic formula that will inject their home with…
    But as we all know, it takes more than adding a few accessories here and there.
    That’s one reason I started my series on 
    My hope is to give you a little bit of a design road map…
    to inspire you as you navigate each room of your home…
    and help you create a blueprint that expresses "YOU" and your personality.
    So with that in mind, I’m circling back with you 
    to check in on your progress.
    Have you taken the leap?


    "Even one small change can be a step in the right direction 
    towards putting your personal stamp on your home."

    We’ve walked through the key rooms in your home,
    starting in the kitchen where I gave some easy tips for
    adding your personal style without major changes.

    From there we took a hard look at the room where you spend all your time,
    the family room,

    Design by Joan Waddell

    and the rooms where you should spend MORE time –
    your dining room and living room.

    Suzanne Kasler for Hickory Chair
    Thomas O’Brien design

    We also talked about first impressions, inside AND out!
    What does your front entry say about you and what’s inside?


    My foyer was the first project I tackled when I bought my house 18 years ago,
    even though there was a long list of needed renovations!

    Joan Waddell’s foyer

    What was my second?
    My bedroom!
    For me, knowing I had a cozy, inviting cocoon to return to each night,
    was all I needed to be able to tackle the world the next day!
    On our tour of your bedroom, I encouraged you to explore colors that make you feel
    happy and content.

    Todd Romano design

    After all, the bedroom should nurture and rejuvenate – and to me,
    color is the key ingredient.

    As I write this,
    I’m thinking it’s time for me to evaluate my own rooms!
    So I guess we’re on this journey together.
    And it can be both fun…….and cleansing
    if we have the right attitude

    I’ve added links to past posts on
    so check them out for a refresher course.
    Here’s to much needed change!


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  • 09/27/2013 - Joan Waddell 0 Comments
    Pre-Market Trending
    With the Show House wrapped up, I’m turning my thoughts towards my trip to
    which is just around the corner!
    So much to think about – planning my packed 12 hour days,
    visiting favorite showrooms, and finding new inspiration.
    But as always, I’ll be putting together my
    It’s my personal prediction of what’s going to "take off"
    in the coming year in the world of design.
    There are already some cool trends bubbling up,
    even before Market is in full swing.
    So I’m sharing a few that will be on my radar
    once I’m on the ground and "running" in High Point.



    Worlds Away Werstler dresser
    We’ve seen fashion runways embrace the neutrals with the 
    palest of blush pink, ivories
    and taupes
    And now, even with the dominance of COLOR everywhere,
    these demure shades are gaining strength in "Home Fashion".

    Like your favorite nude patent leather heels, these shades are
    and they’re being translated in all varieties of organics like this
    Kelly Werstler designed limed oak dresser.


    Celerie Kemble for Henredon Ravenel Bookcase

    A no-fail way to top the trends?
    Take your cue from the architects in nature,
    the honey bees.
    We humans like familiarity and gravitate towards certain natural forms, like the honeycomb,
    which makes us feel safe and comfortable.
    It’s a classic that’s making the rounds again
    in a fresh, modern way.


    Leif Petersen Flux chair

    As if it’s been folded, bent and manipulated by human hands,
    this trend speaks to our yearning for

    cultural connections and their
    unique brand of hand-made goods.

    Nothing embodies these two ideas better than the
    art of Origami, the traditional Japanese art of paper folding.
    Taking form as a chair, the ORIGAMI EFFECT is evident in this
    perfect fusion of far east and  made-by-hand aesthetic!


    I’m excited to hunt down all of these trends once I get to Market,
    and will be taking lots of pix, for sure.
    But this is just the tip of the iceberg!
    More trending coming your way before I leave
    so keep checking back with me.



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  • 09/21/2013 - Joan Waddell 0 Comments
    FRIDAYfinds! – Show House chairs steal the show!
    When I envisioned the
    for the Bellarmine Show House
    I wanted a "wow" statement
    that would stand out in a exciting, elegant way.
    On my concept board, I included a fabulous red chair fabric 
    with aqua, gray and yellow in it  This became the signature of my room
    and the "springboard" for the rest of the design.
    The idea for this space was to create a cozy sitting area
    for long tete-a-tetes between good friends.
    So the chairs became the most important design element in the entire room!
    My check list?  They had to be inviting, fun to look at,
    and SUPREMELY comfortable.
    This red fabric was the perfect choice to cover my big, luxurious lounge chairs.
    When I saw my chairs on Pearson’s Facebook page, my heart skipped a beat!  
    They had just been completed in the factory and were ready to ship.
    THAT’S when I knew I had a winner (or two)!
    They turned out to be even more stunning than I had dreamed.
    Who could resist their allure?
    If these beauties didn’t invite you to "take a seat", I don’t know what would.
    I was sooo excited when we finally had the chairs in the room!
    With the walls painted that luminous shade of Aqua
    the backdrop was set for the unveiling of the 
    The aqua paired with red was so energizing and dynamic…
    I was thrilled with the combo!
    Everything else just fell into place after that.
    I keyed the decorative border on my drapes 
    to the gray and yellow accent colors in the chairs.
    And the red was carried around the room in little touches
    like the coral on the mantel and cocktail shaker in the secretary.
    But the best part?  
    Sharing this happy space with all my friends who have come to see it!
    And I had a very special guest of honor last night during Designer Night…
    My good friend, the rep for Pearson, stopped by to see these beautiful chairs her company
    created just for me!
    There’s still time to catch the show.
    The Bellarmine Show House runs through this Sunday, Sept. 22.
    Don’t miss it!  A fantastic tour awaits.


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  • 09/14/2013 - Joan Waddell 0 Comments
    Pantone, the global authority on color, 
    unveiled their Spring Color Report recently to coincide with 
    New York Fashion Week.
    Why am I interested in this?
    As I’ve talked about before, 
    What we see on the runway now, will  make its way 
    to the world of interior design in the very near future. 
    In fact, much of this Spring palette is already showing up 
    on fabric lines I have seen from my reps.
    Leatrice Eiseman, the Executive Director of
    Pantone Color Institute, described the Spring colors like this,
    "This season, consumers are looking for a state of thoughtful, emotional 
    and artistic equilibrium"
    And the designers are having some fun mixing it up, pairing the soft pastels
    with vivid brights to create a colorful balance, or "equilibrium" of their own.
    Courtesy of Pantone Color Institute-Whitney sketch
    Just reading the color names, conjures up images of blooming flowers,
    and travels to exotic places…
    Placid Blue
    Purple Haze
    Celosia Orange
    Magenta Purple
    Dazzling Blue
    Courtesy of Pantone Color Institute-Sachin+Babi sketch
    Courtesy of Pantone Color Institute-Rachel Roy sketch
    Courtesy of Pantone Color Institute-Emilio Sosa sketch
    How will these refreshing new colors show up in my industry?
    It will be fun to discover…
    and I’m sure they will be up front and center 
    at High Point Market in October!
    So stayed tuned for the latest, 
    as I dig a little deeper into this color trend.


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  • 09/12/2013 - Joan Waddell 1 Comment
    Magnificent Homes of America – Robie House by Frank Lloyd Wright
    It’s been called 
    one of the most important buildings in American architecture.
    I call it…
    A Game Changer!
    designed by Frank Lloyd Wright in 1908,
    is a masterpiece of the Prairie Style.
    But more significantly,
    it is considered to be the forerunner of 
    contemporary architectural design.
    It was THIS house that started a revolution…
    and I can see why after I experienced it for myself.

    Mr. Wright created this unique residence
    for Frederick C. Robie, a 28 year old businessman who
    was assistant manager of his father’s company, Excelsior Supply Company.
    A progressive thinker,
    Robie couldn’t wait to put his mark on the Hyde Park neighborhood
    where he and his wife, an alumnus of the University of Chicago, planned to live.
    And he certainly wasn’t disappointed with the plan Wright came up with!

    Low slung and linear, this design is the best known example of Prairie Style,
    a term coined by architectural critics who saw a correlation between the buildings and
    the landscape and plant life of the Midwest prairie of the United States.

    Wright mimicked this vision of never-ending fields and sweeping vistas
    with strong horizontal lines.
    The cantilevered roof eaves,
    continuous bands of windows, and even the unusual size of Roman brick,
    which was longer and narrower than standard, all worked together to symbolize the landscape.

    He went so far as to dictate how the mortar was applied:
    the horizontal joints were filled with cream-colored mortar and the
    small vertical joints were filled with brick-colored mortar
    so the eye saw more of a horizontal orientation.
    Talk about DETAIL!!!

    And his obsession with detail didn’t stop there.
    He insisted on controlling every aspect of the interior design, including
    all the windows, lighting, rugs, furniture and textiles.
    During the project, Wright wrote,
    "It is quite impossible to consider the building one thing
    and its furnishings another…They are all
    mere structural details of its character and completeness."


    I love the custom art glass throughout the house.  Reminiscent of sheaths of wheat,
    this design again reminds us of the prairie lands, but in a much more graphic way.

    Courtesy of

    The art glass is one of many design elements used to
    create continuity and flow from space to space.
    But Wright also knew when to throw in a "curve ball"
    as you see in this entrance hall.  The circular cut-out in the ceiling
    is the ONLY curve in the entire house!
    Why did he do it?
    He wanted a visually appealing way to lead you to the stairway
    which goes to the main floor. It also creates a pool of natural light to illuminate the stairs.

     Courtesy of

    The Robie House represented  many "Firsts" in architectural design,
    but one of the most important was the
    Consider this.
    Before Wright conceived this design,
    there was no such thing as a floor plan with continuous, free-flowing space.
    Rooms were specific and divided.
    Wright had a different idea!
    What you see above is a view of the living room looking towards the dining room,
    (Notice the cut-out above the fireplace, which allows more light into both areas)
    The two spaces, which run the length of the house, equal 60′ total!

    Courtesy of Google Images

    Walk around the fireplace and you enter the dining room,
    which incorporates the same design elements as the living room, such as the globe lighting,

    What is facinating to me is the way Wright created a
    "room within a room"
    for a more intimate dining experience.
    By placing electrified built-in lamps on each corner of the dining table
    and chairs with exaggerated backs,
     he created the illusion of a walled-off area, within the open floor plan.

    The Robie House has survived several attempts to have it demolished.  Over the years
    it’s served as a personal residence, dormitory and dining hall, and a developer’s office.
    Hard to believe, but it wasn’t until 1997 that this treasure was
    handed over to the Frank Lloyd Wright  Preservation Trust,
    who is overseeing the on-going restoration.

    Next time I visit, I look forward to seeing more of the original furnishings
    returned to their proper place!
    But in spite of the sparse interiors, this house tour seemed
    complete to me.
    Maybe it was the absence of the furnishings that allowed the true spirit of
    his genius to come through.

    Courtesy of




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  • 09/07/2013 - Joan Waddell 2 Comments
    FRIDAYfinds! – Show House Chandelier REVEALED
    Last night I attended the 
    and it was FABULOUS!
    It’s the kick-off for the opening, which is this Saturday.
    It’s hard to believe that it’s finally here, 
    after so many months of "sweat equity" we’ve invested.
    But now that our room is totally put together, down to the tiniest detail,
    I can say it’s been a 
    "Labor of love"
    And it’s probably one of my favorite rooms I’ve ever put together for a show house.
    "It’s the perfect mix of great antiques, lively fabrics, 
    and colors that SING!"
    There was a record crowd at the Preview Party,
    eager to get the first glimpse
    of this incredible renovation of a classic Gothic Revival home.
    Placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1980, 
    the "Anchorage" has finally been restored to its original splendor,
    both inside and out!
    It was really my first chance to tour the entire house 
    (I’ve been so consumed with finishing my own space I haven’t had the time) 
    And it was so fun!  It’s great to be part of something this grand.
    My congratulations to all the designers involved.
    Early on in the process of designing my room
    I posted three choices for a chandelier
    and asked what you thought.
    You may have noticed that none of the pics on
    subsequent posts about the Show House ever showed the chandelier.
    I wanted to keep it a secret to be revealed tonight…
    on the eve of the Show House opening.
    So, for my loyal followers, YOU are the first to see which one I picked
    Design by Joan Waddell of J. Waddell Interiors
    You have to look hard but it’s in the reflection of the mirror.
    I’m crazy about this choice!
    It’s absolutely perfect for the space but a photo just doesn’t do it justice.
    You’ll have to see it in person to get the whole effect.
    I’ll post more pics of the room as the Show House progresses
    so keep in touch.


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  • 08/30/2013 - Joan Waddell 0 Comments
    Show House Update – SIGH OF RELIEF!
    We’ve been through a major transformation of our room this week!
     Thanks to the cleaning crew who was there all weekend,
    we have been able to start moving things in without tracking dust everywhere.
    One of the key pieces in the room is this beautiful antique secretary
    which I’ve repurposed as a bar. I’ll show you how I set it up in a future post.
    You can see our fabulous red chairs here, all wrapped up in their blankets!
    I’m sooo thankful for my skilled contractors!  
    I couldn’t do any of this without them.  We truly are a team.
    My windows were tricky, and I wanted to correct a problem
    of one window being shorter than the other.  I discussed my solution with 
    my workroom and they helped me figure out how to make it work!
    Even so, I always hold my breath during installation…
    It was amazing to finally see the whole window treatment design come together!
      Once the big pieces were "safely" in the room,
    we were able to work on the details like hanging the artwork
    …this fabulous antique mirror above the fireplace.
    I’m really excited how all the elements have come together in my space.
    It’s a room made for comfort – long conversations with friends,
    writing a letter, or curling up with a book.
    The eclectic mix is both familiar yet unexpected. 
    And that’s JUST the way I like it!
    If you’re in town, please come see me in the room during 
    Designer Nights
    every Tuesday and Thursday from 5-7pm.
    for the run of the show.
    SEPT 7 – 22
    Hope to see you there!


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  • 08/24/2013 - Joan Waddell 0 Comments
    Show House Update – 5 days and counting…
    "Good things come to those who wait"
    I’ve adopted this motto in the past week
    as we’ve attempted to install our room, the
    amongst the paint, hammers and never-ending DUST!
    First of all, let me say that this show house
    is going to be the most magnificent in recent years
    with its incredible historic architecture and enchanting grounds.
    the road to opening day has been rocky.
    It’s a given that undertaking a historic renovation has it’s risks.
    You never know what you will run in to.
    And this house has been no exception.
    But every time an issue comes up,
    it’s the snowball effect 
    and everyone’s schedule has been pushed back.
    But we all understand that "Great things don’t come easily".
    It’s been an ambitious project, on a short timeline
    and everyone involved has had to work together to get it done by our deadline
    A case in point…
    One day, when I was bringing things to the house, I noticed this area under the eave
    that had been totally removed.
    The reason?
      A BEEHIVE!
    A beekeeper had to be called in to move the Queen Bee to a nearby roof
    so the colony would follow.
    Who would have anticipated something like that?
    This is just one example of the "surprises" that come with renovating an old house.
    But it’s also a testament to the care being taken to insure issues in this house 
    are addressed and corrected  in the appropriate way.
    There are no shortcuts allowed!
    The result?
    This will certainly become a jewel in the crown for the Bellarmine Women’s Council
    as they celebrate their 40th anniversary of the Show House! 
    But long after the show house closes, it will remain as a wonderful
    addition to the historic treasures of Anchorage, KY
    And that’s worth waiting for!


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  • 08/16/2013 - Joan Waddell 0 Comments
    FRIDAYfinds! – Tassels and Timelines
    I’m often asked what a 
    "TYPICAL" day is like for me as a designer.
    Honestly, I don’t think there IS such a thing as a "typical" day in the design business.
    But that’s really what I like best about what I do!
    Each morning when I unlock the door to the studio, 
    I know there will be variety in my day.
    I’m not saying that it’s always fun and creative,
    but at least it’s a change-up from the day before.
    I took this picture of our work table today to give you a glimpse of the action.
    There are probably five to six projects represented here, in various stages.
    We’re working on a furniture layout and specifications for one client,
    while searching for the perfect grout color for another (the tile installer called and needed it asap).
    In between, I’m out on appointments or meeting my contractor to go over a renovation.

    It may appear a bit unorganized, but not really.
    Each client  has their own wire bin where everything goes at the end of the day.
    It’s a great system for storing all the different types of samples we need to put a design together.
    When we want to check a fabric, tassel trim or tile sample, it’s right at our finger tips.

    The biggest challenge as a business owner?
    Managing projects so they keep moving forward on a timely basis, 
    while juggling all the administrative "stuff" that comes up.
    My real love is DESIGN
    so I try to keep the business side under control
    to give me more time for the "CREATIVE PROCESS".


    When I’m developing a design concept, I separate myself from distractions
    by going upstairs in my studio.
    It’s my "QUIET ZONE"
    and it’s where I do my best creative work.


    As the day winds down, I move in to my office and check emails.
    After being on my feet all day, this a welcomed break!

    But the real treat at the end of the day is
    writing my blog!
     It’s energizing for me to write about the many facets of interior design
    and I love to share my experiences with



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  • 08/14/2013 - Joan Waddell 0 Comments
    Bermuda – The Sky Club Mural’s Journey
    I’m facinated with wall murals!
    I love the sheer beauty of them – the interesting details, vivid colorations, 
    and the fact that they tell a story.
    And I’ve featured them on my blog from time to time…
    Maybe I subconsciously seek them out where ever I happen to be
    maybe they seek me out..
    I don’t know, but our paths have crossed once again!
    On my recent trip to Bermuda, I made reservations at 
    The Point Restaurant  at Tucker’s Point Resort to celebrate my husband’s birthday.
    Little did I know that there was a fabled mural waiting to greet me!
    Sky Club mural at The Point Restaurant
    This mural has had quite a fateful journey to get here.
    It started its life in 1965, gracing the walls of the Sky Club  
     in what was once the Pan Am Building in New York City.
    To me that’s enough of a story in itself.  I’m obsessed with 60’s lifestyle!  
    Did anyone catch the short-lived ABC period drama called "Pan Am"?
    It was all about the pilots and flight attendants who made Pan Am Airways so glamorous.
    Sorry for the digression…Back to the story
    Commissione by Juan Trippe, the founder of Pan American World Airways,
    the original 80 ft mural was the work of Gerard D’Alton Henderson.
    It depicts the various ports-of-call visited by early Clipper ships in the 1800’s .
    Facinated with Clipper ships, 
    it’s not surprising that Juan Trippe wanted to glorify them in this mural. 
      He even named his aircraft after them!
    The mural was completed in 1966 and remained in the Sky Club for 45 years.
    Fast forward to December 2005…
    The Sky Club closed and the mural was put up for auction.
    Ed Trippe, son of Juan Trippe, was there, hoping to save the mural from an uncertain future.
    He had an ambitious plan – to bring the mural to Bermuda 
    to adorn the restaurant in his new venture, a luxurious resort called Tucker’s Point. 
    But he was OUTBID!
    If it hadn’t been for the winner withdrawing his bid, 
    this fabulous mural would have been hidden 
    forever from public eye.
    It certainly has the attention it deserves now!
    This is my one and only photo of the mural.  
    I took it on the sly as we walked through the crowded dining room to our table.
    But during dinner, 
    my eyes kept wandering 360 around the room to catch all the different 
    views of this incredible work of art.  Believe me, it was breathtaking.
    This is the same view of the Port of London and Gouchester Seaport as seen on the artist’s website
    Another port-of-call, Rio de Janeiro 1850’s
    And my favorite, Victoria Harbor, Hong Kong 1860’s
    Needless to say, it was a very "glamorous" experience for me.
    After learning the story of the mural’s connection to Pan Am, the 60’s
    and the precarious path back to its rightful owner, I was mesmerized.
    It has all the intriguing ingredients for a great movie, don’t you think?


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  • 08/10/2013 - Joan Waddell 0 Comments
    FRIDAYfinds! – The GEO trend
    Where they were seen as quirky accent pieces in the not-so-distant past,
    are now out front and center.
    And the design world is mining deep for inspiration!
    Arteriors Agate accent lamp
    In their natural form, they are certainly worthy of special treatment,
    And this lamp artfully gives an Agate fragment a place of honor.
    the trend isn’t just about the "real deal".
    It’s also about creative interpretations.
    Hickory Chair Serge Ottoman with Hable Construction Marble fabric
    The marriage of shape and pattern on this ottoman
    tells an story of the earth’s layers being compressed under 
    tremendous pressure for thousands of years…
    and the resulting design. 
    Made Goods Vega mirror
    I’m lovin’ this! 
    Abstract as it is, there’s no denying its roots…
    Pebbles in a creek bed are the perfect inspiration for this fantastic sculptural mirror.
    Vaughan Zaragoza lamp
    Sometimes the simplest interpretations are the best.
    This lamp is the perfect homage to nature, don’t you think?
    Why is this "GEO" trend gaining such popularity?
    My guess is that we all crave a deeper connection to our earth
    in our hectic everyday lives and through design, we can get a little closer.
    A simple agate hung from a lamp or a swirl pattern wrapped around an ottoman  
    can act as reminders to "reconnect" and enjoy our planet each day.
    I’m particularly fond of Amethyst,
    Maybe it’s because it’s long been associated with


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  • 08/06/2013 - Joan Waddell 0 Comments
    Show House Update – Special Delivery
    I know my posts have been somewhat "sporadic" lately…
    With summer vacation, moving my daughter (twice)
    and helping my clients get ready for Fall, it’s been CRAZY!!!
    But one thing’s for sure – 
    "The show must go on!"
    (the Bellarmine Show House, that is)
    And so in the midst of all this chaos of a summer,
    I’ve been finalizing design details for my 
    Private Ladies Parlour
    and I have to say, it’s coming together very nicely!
    So far, so good.  
    I know fully well from past experience, that as much as you plan,
    you can never relax until you know everything is fabricated,
    in your possession, and received in one piece, with no damage, on schedule.
    And today, I was able to check a big one off my list!
    Probably THE most important design element in my space,
    these beautiful Pearson chairs arrived at the studio 
    in perfect condition!
     This company never ceases to amaze me.  
    They pushed these chairs through production in record time, 
    which was even shorter due to their annual summer plant closing.
    And they shipped them AHEAD of schedule!
    One less thing I have to stress over.
    Thanks PEARSON  
    It’s just four weeks from OPENING NIGHT
    so I’ll be sharing more details as we move into the final phase 
    and start to put our room together.
    I love this part.  
    After months of planning, it’s such a rush to finally see the design in 


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  • 08/02/2013 - Joan Waddell 0 Comments
    I have to say…
     if I was going to suggest the BEST way to define
    "STYLE" in your home, it would be to start a 
    "There’s nothing that speaks more about who you are 
    than a personally curated assembly of like objects"
    It’s not only about the collection itself, but the story behind it.
    One of the things I collect is 
    Herend porcelain figurines.
    I got my first one on our honeymoon at the beach.
    And then I was hooked!
    Now, every time we go on a trip, we pick out a new piece to add to the collection.
    Over the years, we’ve built quite a story of our travels through these exquisite figurines.
    What you see here is just a sampling.  I like to change it up, with my mood, so it remains fresh.
    And I love mixing with other objects like the Limoges tasseled box.
    Part of the fun is rearranging.  
    My latest find, the black Chinoiserie jewelry box 
    became the perfect perch for my Herend monkey!
     William Bluck and Co, Ltd.
    So as you know, I recently went to Bermuda on vacation.
    One day when I was wandering around the city of Hamilton, 
    I stumbled upon my "Herend Heaven"!
    Bluck’s of Bermuda is a fabulous gift store that has been in business for 160 years
    and they specialize in Herend china.
    When I walked up the stairs to their Herend gallery, I just gasped!
    I’ve never seen a more extensive collection!  It was striking to see this many pieces together.
    And then these fish plates caught my eye!  
    The hand painted details and color combinations were absolutely stunning.
    I learned the story behind this collection from the sales associate…
    Bluck’s commissioned Herend to create an exclusive line for their Bermuda store.
    "The Reef Fish Series"
     features 12 different fish found along the shores and reefs around the island
    like the Stoplight Parrotfish, Spanish Hogfish, and my favorite, the Seahorse (of course).


    I can imagine a collection of these plates gracing the wall in a dining room.
    How fabulous would THAT be…

    I love fine porcelain and that’s why I am so attracted to Herend and wanted to collect it.
    But your story is going to be very different from mine.
    Whether you love vintage hair pins or old movie posters,
    there’s a collection just waiting for you.
    Think about the things YOU are drawn to
    and expand on it by starting your own collection!


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  • 07/25/2013 - Joan Waddell 1 Comment
    Bermuda – Stunning Exteriors
    Ok, I know I’m obsessed with this place, but honestly,
    can you blame me?
    It’s a designer’s dream to be surrounded with all this charm, both inside and out, 
    and I just can’t resist sharing another post with you
    So today I’m taking you on another little tour around the island. 
    But  this time, I’ve narrowed my focus to 
    because they truly are exceptional…and oh so unique.
    Just look at this adorable little cottage.  
    It looks like something straight out of Hansel and Gretel! 
    Right in the middle of Hamilton, it’s tucked between an office building and a park.
    Notice the Bermuda Cedar door and gate. 
    The Bermuda Cedar tree covered most of the island when British settlers arrived in the 1600’s
    and it was used for everything from building churches and ships to a cure for toothaches!
    Loved for it’s exotic aroma, it was also found to repel moths and prevent mildew and rot.
    But in the 1950’s a scale wiped out almost 90% of these beautiful trees.
    Now, because of its rarity, Bermuda Cedar is a status symbol – 
    seen only in the wealthier homes on the island.
    And its aroma is considered a smell of affluence.
    I would guess that this residence on the water has its share of Bermuda Cedar, wouldn’t you?
    Bermuda has a long history of ship building…and ship WRECKS!
    I discovered this beautiful tile mosaic discreetly placed on a side wall of a shop in Hamilton.
    "Bermudians seem to enjoy any opportunity to beautify their city 
    with visual surprises in unexpected places."
    One of my favorite places is the town of 
    It is claimed to be the oldest continuously inhabited English town in the New World!
    And the historic building are everywhere.
    The amazing thing to me is that they are in such perfect condition.
    The Town Hall is so pristine!

    I’d be hard-pressed to find a more elegant post office!

    Notice the Cedar windows?  Gorgeous combination of plaster and wood.

    That’s a drug store tucked in the courtyard. Wow!

    St George street corner.
    Check out the color scheme here – coral pink, green and blue with crisp white accents.

     I was particularly drawn to the deep balcony on this building.
    You can just imagine the conversations that have taken place through the centuries on a hot summer day…

    But THIS is the most stunning view, in my opinion.
    The Fairmont Princess in downtown Hamilton is one of the crowne jewels of Bermuda!
    Built in 1885, it was fondly named after Princess Louise, the 4th daughter of Queen Victoria,
    who visited the hotel as a winter retreat and called it "a place of eternal spring".
    I agree!

    And yes, that’s my yacht docked in the harbor…
    One can always dream


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  • 07/20/2013 - Joan Waddell 0 Comments
    FRIDAYfinds! – Bermuda Interiors
    I’ve always loved 
    British Colonial Style
    with it’s breezy kind of elegance.
    So taking a peek at Bermudian interiors,both old and new, 
    was a real treat for me when I was there on vacation recently.
    Tucker House, St. George, Bermuda
    A must-see on my tour was the President Tucker House,
    which is considered the most typical of early Bermudian house construction.
    Tucker House dining room via
    Inside was an very clean aesthetic so prevalent in British Colonial Style…
    light walls, bare floors, and a decidedly civilized collection of silver, china and crystal
    Bermuda became a colony of the Kingdom of Great Britain in 1707
    and with it the came the refined tastes of British nobility who settled there.
    But the interesting part of this story is that once they arrived
    and experienced the tropical weather, their lifestyle had to adapt,
    which is where British Colonial Style was born!
    Tucker House bedroom via
    They became very inventive in the way they integrated their love of elegant interiors
    with a necessity to STAY COOL!
    While their counterparts in England were embracing heavy adornments like 
    velvet drapes, oriental rugs and excessive decorative accessories
    the Brits of Bermuda were embracing lighter fabrics, clean surfaces
    and cane-backed furniture that would "breath".
    Tucker Point Lobby
    And the aesthetic lives on!  
    We had dinner at the glorious new resort, Tucker’s Point
    where they have successfully mixed traditional British style
    with laid-back island charm.
    Tile floors (just a few rugs), creamy walls and rich woods
    set the tone while traditional floral drapes finish this unique look.
    And our greeter, decked out in his Bermuda shorts, was picture-perfect, too!
    Fairmont Southamton lobby
     Our hotel lobby was much larger than Tucker’s Point but the 
    British Colonial Style was still very evident with the
    bright, colorful carpet, 
    mahogany center table 
    and those cute cloverleaf ottomans tucked in so perfectly.

    But I’ll leave you with this view that is far more spectacular than ANY interior space could ever be!  
    Until next time,


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  • 07/17/2013 - Joan Waddell 0 Comments
    My Liebster Award
    Part of the fun of being a blogger is searching out other bloggers 
    and sharing ideas.
    Recently LESLIE of PILLOW LOVE
    sought me out to bestow the
    which is given by bloggers to other bloggers
    to "share the love" and maybe share some readers, too!
    It’s all in fun, but it’s also nice to know that your blog is 
    catching the attention of a blogger like Leslie,
    who has far more experience than I do.
    So here’s what I have to do, if I choose to accept my "Liebster":
    1.  Answer the 11 questions posed
    2.  Post 11 facts about myself
    3.  Nominate 5-11 bloggers for the award
    4.  Tell them that they have been nominated
    5.  Create a list of 11 questions for the nominees to answer
    Now for the 11 questions given to me:
    1.  What inspires you in your work?  I’m such a fan of nature.  But you have to look at the details to really get it.  The gradation of color in a butterfly wing or the texture of sheep’s wool can be a spring board!
    2.  What is your best accomplishment that is work related?  Being the owner of my own firm, surviving the ebb and flow of the design business for 19 years.
    3.  When do you find time to blog?  After hours when it’s quiet around the studio.  Love this time to connect to readers!
    4.  Are you super computer savvy?  Or are you just winging it when it comes to blogging?  Hmmm.  Good one.  Have to say it’s getting better the more I do it.  Let’s just leave it at that.
    5.  What are your favorite color combinations?  I’ve always gravitated towards clear saturated color combos like aqua and coral, or pink and navy
    6.  If you had a do-over, what would you choose?  Erase all the worry I’ve accumulated over the years.  It really serves no purpose.
    7.  Have you ever lived outside of the United States?  Yes.  My family lived in Korea when I was 4 and 5.
    8.  What are you still ‘dreaming ‘ of doing?  Oh that’s easy!  I have this long "basket" list but at the top is
    my quest to visit as many "Magnificent Homes in America" as I can. 
    9.  Do you have any regrets?  I wish I could have spent more of my adult life getting to know my Dad who died in 2000.
    10.  What makes you happy?  In order, watching my grown children reach milestones in their lives;  using up all my creative energy on a project and then seeing the results that come out of the process- exhilarating!
    11.  If you could have two dinner guests from history (if they are deceased, let’s just pretend they could still attend), who would they be and why?  You definitely saved the best for last, Leslie!  
    1. Jesus Christ – not only for his universal love and wisdom but also to hear how He would handle current world conditions
    2. Thomas Jefferson – Genius in so many fields, it would be facinating to learn how he crafted the Declaration of Independence with so little to guide him. Consider the relevance that document still has in 2013! 
    Whew!  Lots of soul-searching in those questions. . . but fun to think about. 
    Now that I’ve accepted the challenge and answered the questions from Leslie,
     it’s my turn to share 11 facts about me…
    1.  I live in a highly-regarded Foodie town, which is a good thing, since I LOVE FOOD!
    2.  I like to design jewelry with vintage pieces.  Still a work in progress. . .
    3.  I’m a sucker for mid-century modern furniture.  Maybe it’s the "Leave it to Beaver" thing.
    4.  Nothing calms my spirit more than hugging my cat, Derby.
    5.  I love ALL animals.  I’ve lived with them my entire life and I’m continually amazed at their beauty.
    6.  My favorite composer is Claude Debussy.  My favorite piece is Clair de Lune (take a listen)
    7.  My favorite artist is Claude Monet.  My favorite painting(s) are the series of  
    8.  I’m a Francophile (could you guess???)
    9.  I’ve always wanted to design furniture.  Could it be in my future?
    10.  A secret dream when I was growing up was to be an Olympic ice-skater.
    11. I thrive on a challenge.  Give me a difficult space to design and I’m in heaven!
    This must be the longest post EVER!
    But I have to be true to my promise to nominate other bloggers to receive the
    But this has proven to be more difficult than I thought!
    There are soooo many great bloggers out there but I have to narrow my choices
    so "Here’s to you, Scot, Ronda, Traci, Kathryn, Shari and Coco"
    I hope you accept the challenge and share the love…
    1.  Scot Mecham Wood of  the adventures of tartanscot
    2.  Ronda Carman of  All the Best
    3.  Traci Zeller of  Traci Zeller Designs
    4.  Kathryn Greeley of  The Collected Room
    5.  Shari of  Little Blue Deer
    6.  Coco of  Cococozy
    Nominees, if you think this is cool and want to accept this prestigious award, answer my questions for you and post them on your blog.
    (Don’t forget to finish the other requirements I’ve listed above.  After all, we must keep the 
    spirit of LIEBSTER alive!)
    1.  How would you describe "Design" in one word – and why?
    2.  What was the tipping point that made you start blogging?
    3.  Who is your design idol (anyone in history)? Explain their appeal to you
    4.  If you had one day to do anything you could imagine, what would it be?
    5.  My instant pick-me-up is…?
    6.  Put "x" in front of me and I can’t resist!  Fill in the "x"
    7.  What path did you take to enter the World of Design?
    8.  What is the most frustrating part of blogging?
    9.  Are you a color fanatic or neutral groupie?
    10.  Where do you want to be in 10 years?
    11.  What’s your idea of a "Random Act of Kindness"?
    If you’ve made it to the end of this, CONGRATULATIONS!!!  
    I can’t wait to hear from my nominees. 
    Check out their blogs for responses to my questions.  
    Bloggers have such a way with words, so this should be really interesting!!!


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  • 07/12/2013 - Joan Waddell 0 Comments
    BERMUDA – Design Style
    If you caught my last post, you probably guessed I was headed to
    for a little R and R.
    As promised, now that I’m back 
    I want to share my design perspective on this
    And I’m hoping I can inspire you 
    to translate some of these insights into your own homes.
    I want to start with COLOR
    because that’s what instantly comes to mind when I think of Bermuda.
    It’s everywhere, and it’s embraced by the island.
    In fact, locals are encouraged to paint their homes and shops bright colors
    in keeping with Bermudian tradition.
    But the color isn’t just on the houses…
    The bursts of pink, green and yellow pop up everywhere you look.
    I just can’t help but think of Lilly Pulitzer when I see these combinations.
    Could this island have been her inspiration, as well?
    Lilly Pulitzer Spike the Punch fabric 
    Did I mention AQUA?
    One of my all-time favorite colors is seen in every imaginable shade.

    But the most beautiful is the translucent aqua of the water.
    (that’s me floating around taking in the incredible view)

    Does it get any more gorgeous than this?
    Aqua and pink makes a striking pair.
    Believe it or not, it’s on a warehouse!
    Who says you can’t dress up a utility building?

    And the same goes for your home. Take a cue from Bermuda
    and add a shot of color into your rooms for an instant mood changer!

    I’ll be back next time with a peek at Bermuda interiors,
    both historic and new
    so stay in touch.


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  • 07/01/2013 - Joan Waddell 0 Comments
    Pink beaches, Blue water
    Courtesy of
    Here I come!
    Leavin’ on a jet plane for this little island of paradise…
    and wanted to let you know.
    Anyone guess where I’m headed?
    No cheating!
    Be sure to check back next week for my
    Travel Log – Design style 
    Until then, 


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  • 06/28/2013 - Joan Waddell 1 Comment
    FRIDAYfinds! – A solution to my Show House drapery dilemma
    When I design a show house, 
    I want everything in the room to be very special.
    Whether it’s the quality of the furniture, a unique upholstery fabric,
    or the look of the windows,
    and so it’s been with my design of the window treatments…
    I’ve fiddled with this off and on for weeks.  
    Churning different ideas around in my head to deal with a real challenge with these windows.
    The dilemma?
    Two windows, two different heights, in a very small space.
    Not a good equation.
    The windows need to look the same to create the continuity and flow.
    There are sure-fire ways to solve this issue,
    but it’s a show house and I want it to be drop dead gorgeous.
    London shades would do the trick
    but I just can’t get the idea of 
    "Ball Gown" drapery panels
    out of my mind.
    There’s something so very elegant and extravagant about window treatments done this way,
    and they would definitely add the drama I’m after.
    I’ve been determined to find a way to make it happen…
    So I worked with my talented workroom staff and 
    literally "Pinned out the details".
    We made a mock-up to get a better idea of the pleating I wanted
    and when I finally saw it all  put together I said,
    "THAT’S IT!"


    Combined with other key elements of my design, the windows will now appear to be the same height,
    and I don’t have to sacrifice my vision for the "Ball Gown" panels!

    Where there’s a will there’s a way!

    I can’t wait to see these beauties hanging in the room.



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  • 06/26/2013 - Joan Waddell 0 Comments
    Summers are for tomatoes and the color RED!
    Sarah Trefny – Heirloom Tomato no.2
    As I munched on a super fresh tomato salsa and blue corn chips today, it occurred to me…
    I’m obsessed with these beautiful juicy gifts from nature!
    But it’s more than their tasty flavor that keeps me coming back.
    It’s the 
    How alluring it is, in it’s many shades.
    And as is often the case, 
    "The design world has once again taken its cue from nature
    and pushed this fabulous color to the forefront."
    Martyn Lawrence Bullard wallcoverings for Schumacher
    Martyn Lawrence Bullard put a fresh spin on his new wallpaper design
    by grounding it with this shock of red.
    Both energetic and calming, 
    he effectively uses red to balance the strong pattern in the wallpaper.
    Via High Point Market on Pinterest
    Red was popping up everywhere this spring
    at High Point Market.
    I particularly love the faux Malachite secretary with it’s racy red interior!
    Global Views 
    And these organic glass bowls would look right at home with 
    a big pile of just-picked tomatoes in them!
    Design mimics nature…
    We’ve come full circle, haven’t we.


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  • 06/22/2013 - Joan Waddell 1 Comment
    FRIDAYfinds! – Ottoman Envy
    Pearson Star of India Ottoman
    What’s your idea of an ottoman?  
    Whatever it is, think again!
    Ottomans are taking center stage in design these days
    There’s really no limit to the design options
    and designers are taking advantage of 
    the customization available to them.
    This show stopper from Pearson is a perfect example!
    Custom-sized at 60″, it’s not the shy, little ottoman of the past.
    This shot was taken in the High Point factory right after it was finished.
    Check out the attention to detail… 
    Not all ottomans are created equal.  It takes tremendous skill and experience to create
    an upholstered piece like this. 
    Perfectly flow-matched, the fabric turns into this fantastic radiating pattern on the top.
    And the black piping defines it like a well-executed line drawing.
    Intrigued?  This should start your creative juices flowing.
    A place to perch, set a tray and put up your feet – 
    what more could you want?
    An ottoman has a place in every home


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  • 06/17/2013 - Joan Waddell 0 Comments
    Style Booster – Discover your style at the flea market
    One of my favorite past times is 
    wandering through flea markets,
    especially when the weather is as pretty as it was this weekend!
    We were up in Cincinnati visiting our daughter
    having brunch at a cafe in an area of the city known as "Over the Rhine".
    I overheard someone talking about… 
    a curated urban flea market on the grounds of the historic Music Hall 
    Well…..that’s all it took for me to make a beeline 2 blocks away!
    And this was some of the scenery along the way.  With the University of Cincinnati Design School
    just up the hill, the artistic influence is everywhere. 
     I particularly like this wall mural of an interior scene.
    What I find most exciting about flea markets is the
    Moving from stall to stall, everything is there to be discovered.
    And it feeds my artistic soul.
    "I’m always thinking about how to use something 
    in a new and creative way."
    And that’s the whole point of this post…
    Start looking at things with a fresh perspective
    and let your mind wander.
    What are you drawn to?
    I love graphic images like the ones above, because they’re fun, unique
    and most of all…ORIGINAL!
    My take on these would be to pick out 8 or 10 favorites, frame them up
    and stack the collection on a wall over a sofa.
    Instant drama and style…and it tells a story about YOU!
    You’ll never go back to generic art again.
    This vintage purse spoke to me.  I envisioned 
    repurposing it as a cross-over bag.
    One-of-a-kind and full of panache!
     Ok, so what did I see in this???
    First of all, I’m obsessed with vintage images (see my Vintage Vibes board on Pinterest)
    And this one had sooo much potential!
    I love the saying – a great little pick-me-up for children AND adults.
    I would frame this for a child’s room 
    hang in a mid-century inspired kitchen.
    Speaking of vintage.  
    Maybe these become the inspiration for the kitchen renovation I’m working on…
    Great ideas are around every corner at a flea market!
    And it’s a wonderful way for you to discover your personal style
    What am I holding?  It’s a metal art lobster
    and I’m already thinking…
    he’s going on the kitchen counter in my little cottage by the sea.
    What are YOU going to find?


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  • 06/13/2013 - Joan Waddell 0 Comments
    Petite but Powerful – Powder room Project
    Sometimes the smallest projects 
    are the most CHALLENGING!
    When my clients called me and said they were ready to "fix up" their little powder room
    none of us had any idea it would turn into a major overhaul.
    As you can see, there were obvious issue with this tiny space that needed correcting.
    To be fair, when the house was constructed in the early 20th century,
    this was a utility bath 
     intended for use by the staff, not members of the family.
    Fine and dandy then, 
    but now the homeowners wanted to create a more elegant powder room for guests.
    So we got to work and developed a wish list for the "new and improved" space.
    *More head room
    *Updated fixtures
    *Classic finishes 
    *Safer entrance
    But what we discovered during demolition, was that certain things could be changed,
    and certain things COULD NOT.
    The good news first.
    We were able to lower the floor to gain 3 more inches of head room!
    The bad news?
    There was no way to correct the curved ceiling, as it was the underneath of the staircase.
    But I did find a hidden jewel tucked in there.  See the area to the right?
    Perfect for the new custom storage cabinet I designed.
    Did you notice the height of the original tile wall?
    It was way out of scale so I designed a wainscoting instead
    and curved it down to room level.
    This was a bit tricky to construct but not in the hands of our skilled trim carpenters!
    I’ll show you the results of this beautiful renovation
    next week when we finish up.
    How do you create a successful space like this?
     I’ll leave you with my opinion…
    "It’s all in the details!"


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  • 06/12/2013 - Joan Waddell 0 Comments
    Show House Update – A, B, or C?
    I was talking to a client today about the progress on the show house
    and telling her that we got an unexpected surprise last week!
    When I first saw my space, I envisioned a cool chandelier hanging in the center.
    Perfect way to enhance the feminine elegance of my
    Unfortunately, by the time this was relayed to the "powers that be"
     it was too late!  
    The drywall had already gone up so they couldn’t run the wiring.
    "I was disappointed, but hey, I know the rules of the game."
    It’s a show house and nothing is assured until they open the doors. 
    But I’ve also learned that things can change quickly.
    Needless to say, I was ecstatic when they informed me that 
    the electrical box was now in the ceiling!
    So, here I am looking at three great options for the chandelier
    and trying to decide which one.
    What do you think?
     Visual Comfort
     "A" is a Regency-style chandelier that definitely has an updated vibe,
    much like the mix I’m going for in the room.  And I LOVE that Sheffield nickel finish!
    Visual Comfort
     "B"  has all the classic elements of a crystal chandelier without the "fuss"!
    Clean, refined, and soooo timeless.
    Currey and Company
     And then there’s "C".  
    What can I say other than, 
    "I can’t take my eyes off of you"
    The winner will remain a secret until Sept.7, when the show house officially opens.
    Gotta keep a few surprises up my sleeve


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  • 06/07/2013 - Joan Waddell 0 Comments
    FRIDAYfinds! – Opposites
    My vendors are always shooting me emails 
    with cool new inventory.
    So of course, when I see something that catches my attention 
    I want to share it with you!
     Today I got two noteworthy items that couldn’t be any more opposite in style and attitude.
    But that’s what  is so fun about interior design.  There truly IS something for everyone
    Tara Shaw Gilded Barometer
    I’m such a fan of sunbursts and gilded anything!  
    And this fabulous antique barometer is really speaking to me right now…
    Where would I put it?
    Oh yes, I definitely see it hanging in a hallway or foyer above a cane-backed bench.
    Pieces like this are so unique and hard to find…but that’s why we love antiques, isn’t it?
    And then there’s this…
    Guild Master 4 drawer sideboard
    Isn’t it crazy?
    I’m lovin’ the strong color thing going on here.
    So cheery and happy…and a far cry from the seriousness of an antique!
    They call it a sideboard, but when I saw it, the first thing that came to my mind?
    It offers so many jumping-off points for a great color scheme.
    Great storage for clothes 
    and did you notice the pull-out shelves? 
    They’re intended to be use for serving but I see it a little differently – 
    Great for holding jewelry or makeup when you need a little extra room.
    Hope you enjoyed my 
    FRIDAYfinds! "Opposites" 




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  • 06/07/2013 - Joan Waddell 0 Comments
    What happened to ENTERTAINING?
    Something happened along the way…
    I’m not sure if it was a gradual decline
    more abrupt with the recession,
    but somehow many of us lost the desire to 
    This revelation came to me after a day that was less routine, and way more fun!
    A good friend and I took some time away from work 
    to attend a fundraising garden tour in our community
    and then a luncheon and silent auction by the pool.
    It was so great to reconnect with friends I hadn’t seen in a while,
    not to mention the gorgeous gardens, homes, and food! 
    This was entertaining in a big way, with lots of interesting people and a great cause.
    Kudos to the joint garden clubs who put on this fantastic event!
    Everyone left with smiles on their faces…
    Fast forward to a late appointment I had with a wonderful client of mine.
    We talked for a while about her home 
    and how beautiful the renovation turned out. 
    They added a new den, kitchen, bar,screened porch and patio area.
    It was all designed for…you guessed it…
    But here’s the kicker…my client said,
    "We just don’t entertain much anymore"
    I had come full circle in one day –
    from a huge entertaining event to
    meeting with a client who admitted that she hadn’t entertained in a long time.
    That’s when it hit me.
    I got a unique perspective today, which was a big wake-up call.
    I was reminded that it’s really very simple…
     If we all would remember WHY we entertain, then maybe we would do it more often.
    It’s about friendships, sharing commonalities, and building relationships.
    Whether you’re living on an impressive estate or
    in a tiny apartment, it really doesn’t matter.
    The point of entertaining is to connect with people you enjoy.
    And the more you give of yourself, the more you will receive in return
    We’ll talk more about this, especially since it’s a great way to express your "Style"
    There are soooo many ways to entertain in and around your home so stayed tuned.


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  • 06/05/2013 - Joan Waddell 0 Comments
    Show House Update – Peek at the Concept Board
    J. Waddell Interiors Bellarmine Show House 2013
    Now that my concept has been approved 
    I can share some of the details with you.
    I’ve named the room, 
    Being upstairs near the bedrooms, 
    I thought it was fitting to create an intimate area for the women of the house to relax.
    A nod to the past for sure, but it’s definitely designed for today’s lifestyle.
    This is a historically significant home so it seems appropriate to 
    include antiques.
    But as you can see, I’ve mixed it up with strong color and graphic wallpaper (for the bath)
    to keep it from getting too "museum-like".
    Pearson fabric 8083-72
    I’m a huge fan of color 
    so this Pearson fabric I found really spoke to me! 
    It has everything I was looking for – classic motif but fresh, new colors. 
    It’s no wonder it  became the starting point for the whole color scheme.
    I can’t wait to see it on two of Pearson’s big, cushy lounge chairs.
    Against a backdrop of aqua walls, they’re really going to stand out!
    Still a work in progress right now.
    Will get back with you


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  • 05/31/2013 - Joan Waddell 0 Comments
    Style Booster – What’s outside?
    What’s outside your house says
    as much about you as what’s INSIDE!

    While we’ve been concentrating on ways to boost your "style" inside your home,
    with the warmer weather, I thought it was time to take a closer look at the outside.
    The best way to be objective about this exercise is to actually 
    go through the motion of approaching your front door
    as if you have never seen it before.
    What do you see?
    Is it cluttered with mismatched pots, neglected plants or 
    worn-out wreaths?
    Or is there organization and harmony?
    While your entry may not be this grand, the principles are the same.
    The potted plants are carefully arranged to lead you to the front door.
    And the harmony comes from everything in a singular color scheme.
    Even the stone pavers echo the green!

    Simplicity is often the best treatment for your front entry.  
    No fussy ornamentation here.  Just well-placed planters,
     iron lanterns, and a fabulous bright green door!
    (I love the shape of the mullions on the door and side lights – so unique)
    It’s everything you could ask for…
    interesting, pretty and an invitation to come inside.


    So, here’s the question – how do you put your
    on the front of YOUR house?

    (Super tip #1:  Pinpoint the best architectural features of your front entry and play them up!) 


    All eyes are focused on the door and side lights in this beautiful entry.
    Everything is placed strategically to frame the door…
    And the hanging lantern creates an exclamation point!

    (Super tip #2:  Edit, edit, edit.  Less is more when it comes to this area of your home.
    Pick one or two signature elements that speak to your style and then stop! 
    You want your guests to be intrigued by your entry, not overwhelmed.)

    Maybe it’s as simple as adding a stunning door knocker!
    I love this antique one so much I’m seriously considering reproducing it…
    It could definitely be a "signature" piece for my front door.

    Now it’s your turn.  Take a walk up to your front door and ask yourself,
    "Does this say something about ME?"


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  • 05/29/2013 - Joan Waddell 0 Comments
    Mid Century Modern Lives On!
    I’m happy to report 
    what this Spring Furniture Market confirmed…
    Thayer Coggin Origami Lounge Chair

    Mid-Century Modern 

    is here to stay! 
    But the new interpretations are far from the stereotypes you associate with the originals.
    They’re updated in look and comfort –
    designed in a fresh way that’s ready for today’s lifestyle.


    I’ve always had a thing for the clean-lined aesthetic of Modern furniture.
    Like a well-edited room, every inch of this furniture is well-conceived.
    There’s no place to hide bad design elements.

    Hickory Chair Artisan Grand Credenza

    Whether credenza or lounge chair, all the lines are in complete view
    and ready for inspection. You can easily spot design flaws.
    Unfortunately, this has not been the case with many furniture styles that have
    emerged in the marketplace over the years.

    Maybe that’s the why Modern design has become iconic.
    It’s the perfect blend of form and function.

    Baker Friso Bench 

    And yes, you CAN integrate this fabulous style into your own living space.
    It’s all about the interesting mix, isn’t it?
    GO FOR IT!


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  • 05/25/2013 - Joan Waddell 0 Comments
    Russian Kale, Peonies and Market Baskets
    Every May, 
    a wonderful thing happens across the street from my studio…
    The farmer’s market comes to life and I’m ready and waiting to dig in!
    I really think they should change the name to 
    "Gourmet Market"
    It’s so much more than just baskets of veggies.
    There are omelette stations, artisan cheeses, and even gnocchi!
    (I just had to have the spinach gnocchi stuffed with gruyere)
     Aren’t these peonies gorgeous!  And in my favorite shade of pink, too.
    How can you NOT smile looking at these  
    fresh florals bundled together in mason jars.
    As I was leaving, I caught a glimpse of these fabulous market baskets.
    Made by hand and signed, they are the perfect carry-all for all my goodies!
    What a wonderful way to start my Memorial Day weekend.
    Hope all of you have a great one too!
    Remember to fly your flag 
    in memory of those who gave the ultimate sacrifice for our country.


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  • 05/22/2013 - Joan Waddell 0 Comments
    Show House…In Progress
    Checkin’ in with you
    on the latest for the 
    Even though the show doesn’t open until September,
    the designers have to submit their concept boards to the design committee this week
    for final approval.
    There’s so much to do between now and then!
    For one thing, there’s major renovation going on at the house 
    and it will take every bit of three months to complete it.
    As for the designers, once our boards are done, 
    we then have to fine tune our designs and work on the details,
    like finding the perfect lamps, mirrors and other accessories.
    It also takes time to get things ordered, shipped and received by our deadline.
    I can’t tell you how many times over the years I’ve been stressed out about deliveries!
    But today I checked one important detail off my list… 
    Anabel’s Oriental Rugs 
    A rug can truly transform a room, don’t you think?
    And this one that I picked out from my friends at ANABEL’S ORIENTAL RUGS
     is GORGEOUS!
    Just the right balance of grayish blue and cream, with a hint of orangey red.
    It’s going to look awesome with my chair fabric!
    Can’t give away too many secrets right now, 
    since my concept board is on its way to the committee.
    But stay tuned,  I’ll be able to show you more in a few days.
    Until then, 


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  • 05/18/2013 - Joan Waddell 0 Comments
    FRIDAYfinds! – Show House Sneak Peek
    Hard to believe… but it’s that time of year again when 
    unveils its location for their annual Show House.
    And I have to say, this year’s house is going to be a fabulous tribute to
    the Women’s Council who is celebrating their 40th Show House anniversary.
    Located in Anchorage, KY (my little community)
    "The Anchorage" was built in 1872 as the home of James W. Goslee, 
    a retired riverboat captain.
    Designers were invited to tour the house last week during a 
    Wine and Cheese party.
    This is when everyone had a chance to wander around 
    and decide which spaces they would like to design.
    The committee met the next day and
    poured over the selections to decide which designers would participate this year
    Not an easy process, especially when so many vie for the same spaces!
    I was really excited when the call came from the committee and they offered me 
    the upstairs sitting room!
    It may not look very appealing right now, but oh…how the wheels are turning!
    I’ve got so many ideas for this cute little space.
    What do you think?  Should I keep that yellow valance on the window? lol

    The fireplace wall has so much potential…

    We are working overtime to get the concept board together
     by next week so it can be submitted to the committee for approval.

    I’ll keep you posted on our progress as we create this fun room
    so check back with me.


    I Love Show Houses!


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  • 05/15/2013 - Joan Waddell 0 Comments
    Walking the halls…
    My Mother’s Day was just that – 
    a day when I could create my very own "day"!
    And what fun I had visiting my daughter in Cincinnati.
    What else was on my agenda, you ask?
    Something was pulling me to return to my "Design Roots"!
    This is the place where I spent my college years and MANY LONG HOURS,
    or DAAP as it’s called (Design, Architecture, Art and Planning)
    I have a love/hate relationship with this place, 
    as I’m sure many of you can relate to with your own college adventure!  
    It’s the place that challenged everything I knew (or thought I knew)
    and pushed me to the limit,  both creatively and intellectually.
    The teaching style was based on critiques,
    a grueling process of design development that usually lasted a full 3 months 
    and culminated in critical assessment of your project by all of the department professors.
    I was beaten down, encouraged, beaten down some more
    until the final project was something I was truly proud of.
    This was my life for five years.
    And this is where I spent it – Studio class.
    Sitting on one of those very uncomfortable metal stools  brought back so many emotions…
    tears, sleep deprivation, laughs and elation all wrapped together.
    But in the end, I must have been smiling in this shot for a reason.
    I was pulled here on Mother’s Day for a reason – 
    It was a sweet reminder of how my life has unfolded, from design student 
    to mother of two beautiful, bright children.
    It truly was a " Mother’s" day for me
    Thanks to my wonderful family.


    I certainly have.
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  • 05/10/2013 - Joan Waddell 0 Comments
    Style Booster – What are you clinging to?

    Is your living room turning into THIS???

    It seems things come in spurts.
    Lately, I’ve heard the same concern from many of my clients,


    Since we’ve been working so hard on making your home
    I just couldn’t go another week without talking about this issue.

    We’ve all been given family "heirlooms" with the expectation that we will
    preserve and protect for the next generation.
    The "issue" becomes when our heirloom stash starts to dictate the decisions in our homes.
    This is so counter to the nurturing environment we are trying to create!

    Are you guilty of moving all the furniture around in your living room
    just to accommodate Aunt Gertrude’s Victorian settee and matching chair?
    Are you lining pieces up against the walls because there’s no more room?

    You get the point.
    Sometimes these old pieces, are just that…

    It’s time to take a hard, objective look at your accumulated family treasures
    and decide which ones are truly important to you
    and which ones are NOT.

    I’m not suggesting that you get rid of all your family ties,
    just that you make a very conscious decision of what comes in to your home.
    Ask yourself, "Am I taking this piece out of guilt or obligation?"
    "Do I really love this now and forever?"
    There are diplomatic ways to decline a well-intentioned gift.
    Offer it to a sibling or close friend – someone who will truly enjoy it.

    Charlotte Moss design – Courtesy of Traditional Homes Magazine

    Imagine your home with ONLY the hand-picked, precious pieces that speak to you.
    I love this room designed by Charlotte Moss
    because it’s the perfect blend of edited antiques, updated accessories
    and comfortable upholstery.

    Maybe you didn’t have the good fortune to inherit a timeless coromandel screen like this one,
    but the concept is still the same.
    This room works because it’s a finely tuned mix of new and old,
    fresh and historic, colorful and muted.

    Your home can be just as inviting.  Really!
    It starts with a decision –
     "I’m only going to live with things I love!"


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  • 04/30/2013 - Joan Waddell 0 Comments
    Derby Fever has hit!
    As the festivities of DERBY WEEK gear up…
    Photo by Jacob Zimmer – special to The Courier-Journal
    I’m winding down.
    It’s always a big push to make sure my projects come together in time for all the fun.
    And now that the fluffing and tweeking is done, I can relax a little and join in too!
    Photo courtesy of The Courier-Journal
    Horse racing is just part of the story this week.
    Tomorrow, a different type of race will take place on the Ohio River,
    the Great Steamboat Race 
    between the Belle of Louisville and Cincinnati’s Delta Queen.
    We used to take our kids to this event when they were little.  
    Great time for families!
    Photo by Sam Upshaw Jr.; The Courier-Journal
    I plan to be part of the action on Thursday, when the 
    Pegasus Parade
    takes over downtown Louisville!
    This year will be extra special with the 
    NCAA National Champions, our own University of Louisville Basketball team, 
    in the spotlight.
    Photo by Bill Luster/Special to The Courier-Journal
    But for me and many locals, nothing quite compares to the 
    The Kentucky Oaks on Friday,
    especially when you get to experience a "first" like this!
    Last year, we cheered on Rosie Napranik who become the first woman to win the Oaks 
    on a horse named (get ready for this)
    And this Saturday, Rosie will be the "first" woman to race in the Kentucky Derby!
    Wonder who I’ll be betting on?


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  • 04/26/2013 - Joan Waddell 3 Comments
    FRIDAYfinds! – The Small House Movement
    Just read a great article from
    about the move toward smaller homes.
    I’m not surprised, are you?
    They report that, "since 2007… new homes have shrunk 5%" and
    "the average home size is expected to shrink another 10% by 2015".
    In fact, when asked what their ideal home size would be, 
    over 1/3 of homeowners say they want house plans smaller than 2000 sq ft!
    Wow! Have we come a long way!
    While this trend has definitely been influenced by the economy,
    I prefer to think it’s because we are becoming more aware of our "footprint".
    We’re realizing the cause and effect of living in a large space versus a small one
    in terms of the costs of construction and the energy required to maintain it.
    Do we REALLY need all that space?
    As I’ve shared with you on a recent post, "Dining Room Dreams" I am a huge proponent
    of using every square inch in your home,
    making it multi-functional for ALL the activities your family enjoys.
    This becomes much more essential in a smaller home,
    but is it a bad thing?
    I think this movement is a fabulous "correction of the market"!
    It’s forcing us to concentrate more on need-based design, 
    where the end result is total functionality and comfort.
    Whether you’re staying where you are
    considering building your dream home,
    I hope you’ll rethink what 
    really means to 
    Now more than EVER…


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  • 04/23/2013 - Joan Waddell 0 Comments
    Market Pulse – Just in!
    Just had to share these new intros from High Point Market with you today!
    I’m continually amazed at the manufacturers 
    and their talented design teams.
    Jonathan Charles Versailles Demilune TV cabinet
    This is the PERFECT solution for hiding your TV in a formal area.
    Imagine the delight of your guests, when you offer to turn on the game with after-dinner drinks!
    This new collection from Studio A
    is a testament to the enduring quality of classic forms.
    Just beautiful!


    Market is wrapping up so these daily emails from my vendors
    will soon disappear…
    until then, I’ll keep sending them your way!


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  • 04/19/2013 - Joan Waddell 0 Comments
    FRIDAYfinds! – Virtual Market
    The race is about to begin!
    High Point Spring Market officially opens this Saturday
    and I’m wishing I was on my way
    right here in Derby City!
    This is the month leading up to
    "the most famous 2 minutes in sports"
    The Kentucky Derby is always held on the first Saturday in May 
    and I’m racing to get my client’s homes ready for it.
    Guests, parties, dinners – 
    Everybody wants their home to look its best this time of year.
    So it’s a mad dash for me to make sure everything arrives on time and looks fabulous!
    Unfortunately,this flurry of activity keeps me from attending Spring Market every year.
    But never fear!
    Like my friend, Toby Fairley said in her blog yesterday,
    Tobi Fairley

    "Anyone can "go to market" from the comfort of their home"

    She’s referring to all the web sites that enable designers to see what’s new and exciting
    without buying a plane ticket!

    And I’m definitely taking advantage of the technology.
    So here are a few of my TOP MARKET PICKS from my in-box this week…

    Alexander Julian British Lacquer Bed for Jonathan Charles

    This is to die-for!  Alexander Julian says his design for this bed was
     "inspired by my grey flannel blazer from 1976"
    The best part?  The customization!  The lacquered panels come in lots of cool colors
    and the aluminum frame is available in either gold or silver.


    Mirror Image Home Light Horn framed mirror

    Is this not gorgeous?  I’m in love with the pairing
    of a Chinoiserie-inspired shape reinterpreted in horn.
    Like the bed, you’re not tied to this combo.
    This mirror can be finished in wood, iron or leather as well!

    Pearson 215 ottoman

    Talk about customization! A designer’s dream, this cocktail ottoman
    can be personalized from head to toe!
    With infinite fabric choices, you can also specify the type of nail heads
    as well as the finish on the feet.

    I’m wishing all my designer friends a fun and fruitful Spring Market!

    As for me, it’s

    "Embrace the joys of good design!"

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  • 04/17/2013 - Joan Waddell 2 Comments
    My Basket List
    I have one of these gathering baskets hanging on a wall in my den.  
    I fill it with flowering branches or holly leaves….really whatever I find outside at the time.
    It reminds me to stay in touch with the rhythm of the seasons.
    But lately this basket has reminded me of something else,
    Yes I know most call it a "bucket" list,
    but I’m not the "bucket" type. 
    So I decided to coin my own phrase.
    A basket seems so much more refined than a bucket
    and for me, it symbolizes the thought more creatively.
    Now that I have a basket to fill up, 
    I’m "gathering" my ideas on what I want to put in it.
    People I want to meet
    Places I want to go
    Things I want to experience
    There are soooo many wonderful things to do in my own city
    that I’ve decided to start right here.
    And I’ve already done one of them!
    An old bridge has recently been redesigned for walking
    so my daughter and I took the hike from Kentucky to Indiana.
    (which only takes about 20 minutes)
    One down, a hundred million to go…
    I’ll share more with you as I check things off my list.
    What’s on YOUR basket list?


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  • 04/12/2013 - Joan Waddell 0 Comments
    FRIDAYfinds! – Repurposing hits High Point!
    Butler Aviator Collection
    When I pulled up this new introduction from a vendor today, I had to take a second look!
    Is it a bird? Is it a plane? No it’s……..not superman.
    It’s an airplane wing re-purposed into a cool desk.
    And what style it has.  Something very quirky and retro about it.
    "I love the idea of owning a tiny chunk of aviation history"
    It seems the manufacturers can’t get enough of this trend at High Point Spring Market.
    And I’m glad to see it.  
    It speaks to our growing desire to recycle, reuse, and re-purpose
    whenever possible.
    What’s amazing is the totally creative products that are emerging
    as a result of this high demand for "greener" furnishings that have some form of "historical reference".
    Re-purposing is the logical path.  
    Whether its a table or lamp, it instantly feels more grounded and important.
    when something "old" is part of the design.
    Maybe that’s because we love to trace the roots and imagine a great story line.
    Seriously, can you think of a more unique conversation piece than an airplane wing?


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  • 04/12/2013 - Joan Waddell 0 Comments
    Choose with care…
    Suzanne Rheinstein design


    "Have fewer things but better things"
    This quote from Suzanne Rheinstein 
    has stayed with me since I read it in a recent issue of  HOUSE BEAUTIFUL.
    Such a simple concept
    when it comes to our own homes,
    not so easy to implement.
    As we’ve been talking about 
    I can’t help but think about the importance of making good choices along the way.
    We all strive to live in a simpler, more fulfilling way,
    by surrounding ourselves with meaningful possessions
    and eliminating unnecessary clutter.
    This means we have to be the "editors" of our own spaces
    by only allowing those things that 
    stay true to our personal style,
    and contribute to the overall ambiance of our home 
    To me, each design decision should be based on these three questions:
    *Does it give me joy?
    *Does it have a place and purpose?
    *Is it the best quality I can afford?
    Ask yourself these questions next time you get the 
    urge to buy
    something for your home.
    I guarantee if you stick with this
    the results will be astounding!
    One day you will look around and be able to say,
    "I love everything about my home!"
    And isn’t that the whole point? 
    From Joan Waddell’s personal collection


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  • 04/10/2013 - Joan Waddell 0 Comments
    Style Booster – Bedroom Bliss Part II
    Last week our personal house tour took us to your bedroom.
    We talked about wall color and how important it is to pick one 
    that makes you feel calm and nurtured.
    Maybe you didn’t finish it…but did you take a stab at it?
    I’m confident you will find the 
    that speaks to you and gives you that sense of well-being. 
    And as promised, I’m back this week to give you some 
    tips on making your bedroom supremely comfortable.
    It’s all about choosing the appropriate furnishings…
    Lillian August Landon King Bed
      Of course you need a bed, but there’s so much more to it than that!
    (Super tip #1:  First, find a mattress that gives you the best support.
    Then choose a bed frame that fits your mattress and your personal style.) 
    This one is a clear winner for me.  
    The updated canopy has a traditional reference without being predictable
    and the tufted headboard is cozy. Just right for reading in bed!
    Hickory Chair Murano Chest
    The next most important purchase is a chest.  Bedside or across the room,
    it is the most versatile piece you will ever buy.
    You’ve heard me say it before…A chest can move anywhere in your home –
    from  foyer to den to bedroom.  
    It’s one of those investments that just keeps giving!
    This is a favorite of mine with its trellis overlay on the drawers.
    It would look fabulous next to the painted canopy bed!
    (Super tip #2:  Make sure you get the height right!  There’s nothing more annoying 
    than a bedside table that is too short in relation to the bed.  
    Everything should be within easy reach.)
    Arteriors Hastings Hand Carved Lamp
    And that brings me to your lamps.
    They will have a bigger impact than anything else in your bedroom!
    Trust me on this one. 
    (Super tip #2:  Remember what a lamp is there for.  Good lighting is 
    essential not only for overall affect, but also for reducing eye-fatigue when reading in bed. 
    I like tall lamps that give good illumination and have a sense of drama.)
    Sam Moore Kamea Chair
    We’re talking creature comforts. Right?  
    Gotta have a place to perch…to take off your shoes
    or snuggle up with your pet.
    (Super tip #3:  If you have the space, I prefer a chair over a bench.  
    It’s just more versatile and adds another layer of comfort to your bedroom.)
    It’s also a great opportunity to add another texture or pattern.
    I’m definitely about comfort first, but this chair has it all
    with a cushy seat and elegant lines, too!
    Lots to think about, I know.
    But I have faith!!!!
    With some patience and a little soul-searching,
    you can create a bedroom that 
    lulls you to sleep and wakens you softly.


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  • 04/05/2013 - Joan Waddell 0 Comments
    FRIDAYfinds! – Pinterest Fever
    It’s surprising what has developed for me through social media.
    A simple tool like this blog has introduced me to so many wonderful people,
    both on the vendor side and the client side.
    I’ve also reconnected with lots of friends from the past who I now keep up with.
     Facebook and Twitter gives me a chance to stay in touch on a daily basis and 
    the bonus of tracking birthdays too!
    And then there’s Pinterest
    OK.  I’m admitting it now.
    I’m addicted and showing no signs of withdrawal!
    Why is this site so mesmerizing?
    Well…let me count the ways.  There is nothing more exciting to a designer
    than VISUALS!!!
    And Pinterest offers up a infinite number of images to view 24/7.
    Who needs sleep???
    Customizing your own boards with everything you love is a dream come true.
    And now I’m finding that it is a fantastic design tool too.
    Great search engine for finding inspiration, or just a cool door knob.
    And it’s becoming indispensible when working with my clients.
    We shoot pix back and forth on secret boards as we develop our projects.
    Which brings me to the newest, exciting thing I’m involved with on Pinterest.
    It’s a Pinterest-inspired contest 
    for ASID (American Society of Interior Designers) members across the country
    to show off their talents.
    we are asked to build a board with a specific color theme and fabrics
    that expresses our design philosophy.
    Then the pinning begins!
    Anything that inspires that color theme can be pinned on our board.
    Oh wow!!!! How fun is this?

    My board started with this fabulous painting I found on Pinterest
    by James Nares.

    James Nares

    I started pairing it with different SW colors and
    came up with a combination that is really exciting and fresh.

    Sherwin Williams 6597 Hopeful
    Sherwin Williams 6966 Blueblood
    Sherwin Williams 6127 Ivoire
    Sherwin Williams 6585 Coming Up Roses

    I imagined working with this color scheme in a historic garden folly by a pool
    similar to this one.

    McIntire Garden Folly at Peabody Essex Museum

    From there I designed a mix of traditional upholstery covered in
    outdoor fabrics from Sunbrella to make it easy and worry-free.

    Sunbrella Luxe Indigo

    I had so much fun creating the interior of my imaginary Pool House!
    It’s really does reflect my design philosophy…

    "I love stirring up the pot with a blend
    of classical references and modern interpretations
    and throwing in a few unexpected surprises
    along the way."

    Follow me back to Pinterest to see my entire board…
      I’ve pulled together some fantastic lighting, tables and accessories
    to create a space that
    is respectful of the historic structure, yet lively and updated!

    Now it’s a waiting game to see if I will be one of 10 winners
    who will participate in the Pinterest Pavilion
    at Dwell on Design in June in LA!

    Wish me luck!


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  • 04/03/2013 - Joan Waddell 1 Comment
    Style Booster – Bedroom bliss starts with color
    If you’re following my series on how to

    you know I’m on a mission!

    "I want to help you create a home that 
    really expresses your true personality and tastes." 

    We’ve been walking through your house, one room at a time,
    so I can point out ways to put your signature on each space.

    And now we stand at the doorway of your bedroom…
    Before we enter, what’s your first impression of the space you’ve created?
    Does it beckon you?
    is it so scary you’re afraid to step inside???

    We’ve all heard it enough.
    We know that our bedrooms should nurture, protect and re-energize.
    But, if you’re like most of us.  It just hasn’t worked out that way.
    The one place that can have the greatest impact on our daily lives
    is often ignored to the point that it is actually an irritation, rather than a pleasure.
    "What are you going to doing about it?"

    It starts with a better understanding of YOU,
    and what makes you feel good.

    And the answer is different for each one of us.
    But there is a way to get the ball rolling…

    One that gives you a sense of well-being and security

    A recent survey in House Beautiful magazine
    indicated that Blue is the favorite among readers for the bedroom.

    Todd Romano design

    But it may be different for you. Blue could be at the bottom of your list.

    Meg Braff for House Beautiful

    Are you more of a Green fan?  What shade?  Cool or warm, vibrant or muted?

    Sherwin Williams Urbane Bronze walls via Houzz

    Or do you prefer a dark rich color that wraps around you like a cocoon?

    "It’s so important to get it right."
    It may be trial and error to zero in on the perfect color or shade.
    Don’t be shy about testing your paint options on the wall.
    You’ll get a much better sense of what works after seeing it during different times of the day
    and after dark, when the lamps are on.

    I’m going to leave it at that, for now…
    in hopes that you’ll take the time to discover your signature bedroom color.

     Next time, we’ll talk about what goes in your bedroom…
     and more importantly, what DOESN’T!


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  • 03/29/2013 - Joan Waddell 0 Comments
    FRIDAYfinds! – Good Friday Inspiration
    It starts at 12:01 on Good Friday – 
    the step by step ascent to one of the highest points in Cincinnati,
    Holy Cross Immaculata Church in Mount Adams.
    Catholics line up at the bottom of  the very long, and very steep staircase
    to wait their turn to climb up to the church, praying and reflecting on each step.
    A tradition that started over a hundred years ago, is still going strong
    with an anticipated gathering of 8-10,000 Christians from around the world
     expected to make the pilgrimage to the top,
    It is a beautiful sight, as experienced by my daughter this morning
    when she made her way down the steps as she walked to work
    from her apartment in Mount Adams.
    It must have touched her as much as it did me – 
    she texted later in the day and said she was headed back up the steps,
    this time, praying, every step of the way. 
    Have a joyous Easter!
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  • 03/28/2013 - Joan Waddell 0 Comments
    Spring Market Preview – The Legs Have It!
    The Spring High Point Market teasers are starting to trickle into my email
    and I’m lovin’ it!
    As with recent past markets, the offerings are all over the map
    and at first glance
    it seems like there’s no major direction emerging.
    you know me, 
    I’m always digging a little deeper 
    to extract the common denominators in the showrooms
    that establish the coming trends,
     both obvious and obscure.
    It’s my version of a treasure hunt…
    Worlds Away Debra table
    What I’ve discovered is an obsession with legs!
    In every form, every period of history, on everything 
    you sit on, eat on or sleep on.
    Legs have become the defining point of furniture design.
     Jonathan Charles 50’s Americana side table
    And Mid-Century is leading the pack with spidery tapered legs
    reminiscent of outer-space satellites.
    But I’m also seeing a totally different trend in legs that is both
    bohemian and ancient.
    Pearson bunching table with black agate stone
    These legs are a sturdier variety than their celestial cousins.  
    Chunky and substantial,
    the pieces take advantage of earthy materials like agate stone and shagreen to soften the bulkiness.
    Hickory Chair Marais bench by Suzanne Kasler
    The look of a solid piece of carved stone,
    this bench conjures up images of king’s throne from a lost civilization.
    Hooker Furniture Bohemian Black Croc table


    Hickory Chair Nadine chair side table by Alexa Hampton
    Just as alluring are the elegant, CURVY legs I’m seeing.
    These fun interpretations of cabriole legs, a style that was popularized in the 18th century,
    are much more exaggerated and playful than the originals.
    Hickory Chair Jones footed table by Thomas O’Brien
    This table is a perfect example of the exaggerated styling.
    You see classic elements, like the cabriole curve, acanthus leaves and paw feet,
    but it’s almost a tongue-and-cheek parody.
    Not to be taken too seriously
    Hmmm….kindof  how we want to live in our homes today.
    Worlds Away Conrad table

    The Asian influence has always been a favorite
    but this market, it’s showing up in a more whimsical way, particularly on the legs!
    With a twist here, and a bend there, you get the sense of its origins
    without being too literal.
    A colorful top in Emerald Green, Pantone’s color for 2013, also keeps it from being too serious.

    HIckory Chair Ceylon M2M table/ Atelier Collection

    I’m crazy about the subtlety of these table legs.  So versatile, too!
    The styling works with any setting.

    Keno Torque chest for Jonathan Charles


    Some pieces, like this contemporary cabinet from Keno,
    can’t be described as easily.
    The designers drew inspiration from somewhere other than history…
    They are truly works of art and as unique as you can get!
    I love the way the brushed steel legs play against the wood fluting.

    And speaking of "whimsical".
    This occasional table is the cutest little thing.
    With a tripod of "needle" legs,
    it’s topped off with a "button", of course!

    As I get more Spring Market intros from my vendors, I’ll pass them along to you.
    Who knows what other quirky trends I’ll unearth???


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  • 03/23/2013 - Joan Waddell 0 Comments
    FRIDAYfinds! – Flame Run
    Is this not the most beautiful glasswork you’ve ever seen?
    Sometimes the "Best of Class" is right under your nose!
    I made a visit recently to 
    which is a world-class  glass blowing studio and gallery
    located in my own hometown!
    You know how it is.  You hear about all these wonderful local jewels
    that you "plan" to visit, but because they’re so accessible,
    they continually get pushed to the back burner.
    Well, I’m truly thankful I finally made my way downtown to see this incredible place!
    The owner, Brook White, is the creative and business guru behind Flame Run.
    And he’s on a mission to expose ALL of us. from school children to grandmothers,
    to the art of glass blowing.
    His venture is a combination of a working studio and gallery.
    On any given day, you can tour the plant and see the transformation of glass balls into works of art.
    I had the best time walking around the gallery!  
    Beautifully displayed with drop-dead lighting, 
    each glass piece seemed to float in space. 
    But obviously I had my favorites
    Is this REALLY glass?  Reminds me of chess pieces.
    And grouped together, they would be gorgeous on a coffee table!
    But my absolute favorite was this display of perfume bottles.
    If I had to pick just one, could I?
    My hat is off to Brook White of Flame Run!
    Not only is he an accomplished glass artist,
    but because he made his home right here is Louisville 
    we can all enjoy the fruits of his creative labors whenever the mood strikes!
    I know I will be back often.


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  • 03/22/2013 - Joan Waddell 0 Comments
    Spring (Mind) Cleaning
    I’m feeling fresh and new…
    Spring does that to me.
    It’s a time of renewal, yes,
    it’s also a time to reflect.
    And that’s what I’m doing right now in my design practice.
    Looking at what has worked…and what hasn’t 
    so I can continue to grow in ways that make me a better designer.
    I’ve had this little quote stuck on my desk top for years,
    as you can probably tell…
    And there’s a reason it’s still there.
    It gives me that little nudge I need to remember that 
    change is good!
     It forces me to think in new ways – 
    to rediscover things I’ve been missing
    and create totally fresh ideas I’ve never considered before.  
     This Spring (Mind) cleaning, as I call it, 
    has been my main focus for the past 4 days
    which is why I’ve been missing from my blog.
    But it has paid off in big ways!
    I am sooo excited about the ideas and plans that have bubbled up
    in the creative sessions I’ve had with my business advisers.  
    I’ll be sharing them with you as they come to life…
    just like Spring!
    So keep in touch with me and check back often for the latest update.


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  • 03/16/2013 - Joan Waddell 2 Comments
    FRIDAYfinds! – Sneak Peak at Fall Trends
    I love getting the latest scoop on what’s trending next!
    Courtesy Gretchen Aubuchon of Fashion + Decor
    Gretchen Aubuchon, founder of Fashion + Decor 
    just came out with her watch list for Fall 2013 and I couldn’t wait to share it with you!
    As in past seasons there is a direct link between the runways and the hallways.
    Home decor is taking its inspiration from the fashion world
    and it’s full of great crossovers.
    Pearson 1914 banquette
    They’re definitely making a comeback 
    but SO much more edgy than what you remember.
    Plaid pairs with purple on this banquette from Pearson.
    Brunschwig & Fil Chinese Leopard Toile Multi cotton
    TREND two>>>>>>LEOPARD
    I’ve always been a fan!  
    But oh how I LOVE this pairing from Brunschwig & Fils.
    Toile and leopard make such a nice couple
    And so fun with the royal blue spots!
    This could end up in MY house…
    Global Views Leaf Pendant 9.92043
    TREND three>>>>>>METALLICS
    Not for the faint of heart, there’s a certain aggressiveness to the new metals
    that takes them to a whole new level.
    I see an obvious crossover to the trend in womens shoes with spikes and studs!
    MadeGoods Aniche boxes
    TREND four>>>>>>JEWELED
    MadeGoods Cooper boxes
    With colors like turquoise and scarlet, 
    we get a sense of the rich depth of these new jewel tones.
    TREND five>>>>>>FUR
    This Russian Lynx faux fur pillow is just the thing 
    to add a jolt of texture to a sofa.
    We’re going to see a lot more of this trend.
    It speaks to our need to stay cozy and warm.


    I know it’s almost Spring out there, but
    it’s still fun to look at what’s coming this Fall!

    Keep watching for how these five trends start cropping up
    on other great furnishings for the home in the coming months.
    And remember, you heard it here, FIRST!


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  • 03/12/2013 - Joan Waddell 0 Comments
    Happy “Troll” Tuesday!
    We all have things on our desk that 
    keep us motivated…
    I’ve loved Trolls forever.  They just make me smile.
    So when I came across this little guy in a drawer I was cleaning out
    I just HAD to put him on display.
    Playing with his hair is such a great stress reliever!
    What’s on YOUR desk?
    I’d love to hear about the quirky, silly or truly motivational things
    you have sitting around.
    Who knows, yours just might end up on a future post


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  • 03/09/2013 - Joan Waddell 0 Comments
    FRIDAYfinds! – Outdoor fabrics go Inside
    Brunschwig and Fils Gaston Y Daniela Lisboa
    I love what technology has done for our industry-
    specifically, the advances in High Performance fabrics.
    Stain, fade and mildew resistant, these miracle fabrics 
    have changed the way we use our outdoor spaces,
    making them more like outdoor "rooms" 
    with fully upholstered seating, accent pillows and even drapery panels.
    We’ve seen this trend continue over the last decade
    but the real news 
    is the cross-over these fabrics have made
    INSIDE our homes!
    In fact, FURNITURE TODAY says that in the 35-44 demographic,
    36% say they have bought furniture with High Performance fabric for indoor use
    They’ve come a long way since the days of shell patterns and awning stripes!
    The newest generation is sophisticated and elegant
    with the look and feel of many of our "indoor only" favorites.
    Combine that with ultra stain resistance and durability
    and you have the perfect choice for an active household!
    Courtesy of  FURNITURE TODAY
    I often turn to acrylic fabrics for seat cushions at the kitchen table or bar counter
    but with the fabulous choices being introduced I’m rethinking
    what I specify for the family room sofa and club chairs, as well! 
    Duralee 15510-171 blue
    This pattern from Duralee is so updated and fun.  
    I wouldn’t hesitate to cover a comfy chair in it.
    Highland Court Perrine Papaya
    And look at this faux raffia!  Finally, all the appeal 
    of  a natural fiber without the worry!
    It’s a new world out there…
    at least in the "world of fabrics"
    and I’m ready to leap in!


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  • 03/08/2013 - Joan Waddell 1 Comment
    Winter blahs? Light it up!
    This is my dreary view from the conference table in my studio.
    We haven’t had sustained sunshine in weeks
    and I’m definitely feeling the winter blahs.
    How ’bout you?
    But there’s hope!  Spring is not far away…
    and in the meantime, we can cheer up our interiors with some 
    artificial "Sunshine".
    I’ve always been a big fan of lighting.
    I think it’s because it has such a dramatic impact on a room.
    Not only does it cast its magical glow, but the style of lighting can
    really create a focal point.
    So, on this very overcast day,
    I’m sharing some of my favorite new lighting from sconces to chandeliers,
    to create a little brightness for us all!
    Global Views Flying Wall Sconce
    Sooo cool!  Both modern and retro, this Global Views sconce is sculptural art!
    And because it’s wall mounted it stays out-of-the way.
    Made Goods Arron lamp
    Made of metalized stones that are stacked, this Made Goods lamp is a real a statement piece.
    It would make ME very happy to see it every day
    Ralph Lauren for Visual Comfort Montauk Search Light

    Functional art that’s beautifully crafted in oak and polished nickel,
    I love the idea of placing this fab floor lamp from Ralph Lauren in a dark corner and illuminating the walls.
    Instant mood lighting!

    Thomas O’Brien for Visual Comfort Silouette Fretwork Library Light

    I’m always looking for small scaled lamps to tuck in a book shelf.
    This little bronze number from Thomas O’Brien is a mere 21″ high,
    but it’s a huge winner in my book.

    Ro Sham Beaux Fiona chandelier

    The Fiona chandelier is so pleasing to look at.
    Maybe that’s because the shape is so familiar.

    What’s really special about this piece is that they’ve referenced
    the classical French Empire-style chandelier in its shape
    but not in materials.
    Using more organic elements like hemp and faux-bone beads,
    it feels more comfortable for our lifestyle today.

    This is one of those pieces that I would have a
    hard time deciding
    which room to put it in…
    Foyer, dining room, powder room…
     and oh-so-chic over a soaking tub!

    Do you feel a little better?
    I know I do.
    Just thinking about these beautiful lighting options
    reminds me that Spring will return,
     as it always does.

    Here’s to sunny skies, or until then, beautifully illuminated interiors!


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  • 03/05/2013 - Joan Waddell 0 Comments
    Style Booster – A true “Living” Room
    Many of us, including me, live in older homes that have a traditional layout…
    The rooms are separate and distinct, 
    with a foyer, living room, dining room, den, etc.
    Plan by b & m homes

    With our very active, non-traditional lifestyles today,

    this type of configuration often presents a dilemma,
    "What do I do with this room?"
    In my recent Style Booster post "Dining room dreams"
    I talked about re-evaluating your dining room space
    and making it more functional for you
    every day of the year instead of just occasionally.
    The same holds true for your living room!
    It’s no longer a space reserved exclusively for guests or adults only.


    So, today we’re going to walk through your living room
    to see what we can do to bring it up-to-date and make it more user-friendly.

    Design by Thomas O’Brien

    To me, the living room should be a peaceful retreat
    where all members of the family can come to get away from the noise of the household.
    It should be designated a
    for more personal pursuits like reading and having a meaningful conversation.
    No distractions, just peace and quiet…

    Imagine that for a moment.

    Sounds pretty enticing, doesn’t it?
    When I was growing up, my dad could always be found in the living room
    after dinner, reading his latest book.
    I would often go in there and just sit with him…quietly.
    It’s an image that has stayed with me to this day
    because it was such a calming influence on me.
    You can create that same sense of calm in your living room, too!

    Joan Waddell’s living room

    This is my living room where I read the Sunday paper, talk to my husband and kids (when they’re home)
    and where I create.
    The big bay window allows me to gaze…and dream.
    I love this room because there’s no TV and I know the view is always there for me to enjoy,
    every day, every season.

    The key to making your living room a place where your family will want to come
    is to make it comfortable and inviting.

    What does "comfortable and inviting" mean to you?

    For me, it’s about being surrounded by color –
    yellow glazed walls, a oriental rug with aqua, pink and red,
    and lively accessories that remind me of my travels.
    The upholstery is extremely comfortable – not too buttoned up.
    And the lighting is interesting and fun.
    I keep that wonderful wool throw on the sofa so I can grab it when it’s a little chilly.
    These are all things that make me want to wander in to my living room
    to take a break from the

    Are you starting to rethink your living room now?
    Honestly, I think there are some real advantages to separate rooms,
    rather than an open floor plan.
    If you live in a home that has a separate living room,
    consider yourself lucky and make the most of it!


    Read More
  • 03/02/2013 - Joan Waddell 0 Comments
    FRIDAYfinds! – Why we love beautiful things
    There is a definite revolution taking place in the science of design 
    and yet its rare when I find a really thoughtful article about it.
    So when I came across this in the New York Times
    I wanted to pass it along to you.
    We all instinctively reach out for attractive things
    and yet we’re just beginning to understand why.
    Color is one example.  
    According to recent research in Germany, just glancing at shades of green
    can boost creativity and motivation.
    It’s because we associate green with food-bearing vegetation
    and the promise of nourishment and the comfort it brings.
    We have long known that color moves us but now, armed with the "WHY"
    designers can apply this knowledge in ways that will have a more profound effect on 
    people and their environments.
    Think about the hundreds of situations where color can create positive emotions. 
    Hospitals, daycare facilities, classrooms, the workplace and our homes 
    can all reap the benefits of this research. 
    But color isn’t the only breakthrough in the science of design.
    In 2009, a professor at Duke University demonstrated that our eyes
    can scan an image fastest when its shape is a
    (Subtract a square from the golden rectangle, and what remains is another golden rectangle – into infinity)
    He found that this shape was the ideal layout for a paragraph of text,
    which made for easier reading and retention.   
    The unique properties of the golden rectangle, or Magical Proportion (about 5 x 8)
    have been a source of inspiration
     for philosophers, mathematicians and artists for thousands of years.
    It provided the underlying structure for the facade of the Parthenon and Notre Dame
    as well as the shape of something we are all familiar with…
    There is no doubt that Apple understood the power behind the 5 x 8 proportion!
    I think the best way to sum up this rather complex concept
    is to share a direct excerpt from the article,
    "We think of great design as art, not science, a mysterious gift from the gods,
    not something that results just from diligent and informed study.
    But, if every designer understood more about the mathematics of attraction,
    the mechanics of affection, all designs from houses to cellphones
    to offices and cars – 
    could both look good and be good for you."


    Read More
  • 02/27/2013 - Joan Waddell 0 Comments
    To my loyal readers out there, sorry for the little blip in activity last week.
    I was at the Atlanta Merchandise Mart scouring for unique accessories for some of my projects.
    I found some fabulous pieces…
    but in the process, I noticed a trend that really got my attention.
    It kept popping up in every showroom
    and I couldn’t WAIT to get back to share it with you!
    Best Slipcover Company


    Ro Sham Beaux 

    It’s cropping up on all types of furnishings
    like this fabulous blue and green beaded chandelier

    Ro Sham Beaux
    And this great new lamp style from one of my favorite showrooms.
    I could so… see a pair of these on a sofa table in a large greatroom!

    I saw the full range of trendy greens from "MINT" to "EMERALD",
    mixed in with classic blue and white.


    And these vibrant hues weren’t just on the furniture and accessories.
    How beautiful is this whitewashed demilune against a wall of grassy green?

    Sochier Marin

    Art is showing up in this color combo, as well.  I’m drawn to the abstract pieces like this one.
    So full of life!

    Lacefield Designs

    Isn’t this crazy looking!!!  Tribal and contemporary at the same time.
    I think we’re going to see a lot more of this kind of mixed-up feel.
    It speaks to our desire for interesting juxtapositions in our homes.
    We love all sorts of looks and see no reason not to throw them together in our own signature style.

    J Douglas Showroom

    Green and blue have been a go-to combination for years,
    but this time around there’s a different energy and excitement to the palettes.
    Combined with fresh patterns, interesting shapes and gold metals
    the new look echos our renewed sense of optimism.

    Here’s to a fun year of exploration and laughter


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  • 02/14/2013 - Joan Waddell 0 Comments
    Style Booster – SHOW THE LOVE
    I interrupt our little tour of your home with this special announcement:
     A day of showing your love…
    for your family, your friends
    your home.
    It just seems appropriate to weave this lovely little holiday into our discussion on
    finding your style.
    After all, your home is your cocoon – it provides comfort, beauty and nurturing
    and should reflect all the "tender loving care" you’ve put into it.
    It starts at the front door and flows through each and every room.
    You know when you’ve put your "Loving" touch on a room
    and when you haven’t….
    "let all the love that pours out of this special day 
    enter your home and make it full of love – today and every day!"
    Valentines Day is also about sharing 
    and I’m excited to share 
    this great blog post from my friends at 
    It’s full of fun ways to bring the spirit of Valentines Day
    into your home year-round.

    Hooker Melange Alexandra Console


    Read More
  • 02/12/2013 - Joan Waddell 0 Comments
    The Year of the Snake
    courtesy of The Irish Times
    officially began on February 10th
    In the Chinese zodiac, the snake represents mystery and passion
    which made me start thinking…
    Schumacher Cody Snakeskin 5006230 Malt
    In the world of interior design, snakeskins, 
    and all other forms of animal patterns for that matter
    play a pretty significant role.
    It’s hard to imagine developing a project without one or two of these patterns 
    woven in to the scheme.
    And like the traits associated with the snake,
    animal prints also evoke a sense of mystery and passion in a room.
    They are integral to the layering process, 
    whether expressed in small details like this great zebra cocktail ottoman
    as the main focal point.
    Thibaut Natural Ostrich wallcovering

    This ostrich wallcovering adds an interesting textural dimension to the walls
    Even in the subtle colorway, it grabs your attention and begs to be touched!

    Hancock and Moore 5364 Artist Chair

    The possibilities are endless.  Skins work beautifully on their own
    but also as a complement to other coverings like this luscious red leather.

    I’m hard pressed to think of a surface that doesn’t benefit from
    the beautiful patterning of animal skins…

    so embrace the YEAR OF THE SNAKE
    with your own touch of the exotic!

    and as always –


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  • 02/09/2013 - Joan Waddell 0 Comments
    FRIDAYfinds – Chests with Impact
    In the last couple of weeks, I’ve been sharing tips on finding your personal style in your home.
     So for FRIDAYfinds! 
    I thought it would be fun to show you
    some of my favorite new chests from Market
     that can define your style in a BIG WAY!
    A chest is the perfect choice for making a strong style statement
    because it’s a stand alone piece that commands attention.
    Find one that speaks to you…
    Hickory White Greek Key Chest 245-61
    This is so gorgeous!  The lines are mid-century modern
    and the Greek Key pattern is classically updated.
    Imagine the statement this would make in your foyer or living room.
    Stanley Arrondissement Rond Media Chest 222-25-11
    Couldn’t resist showing this one from Stanley.  
    Great casual look but oh-so-functional!
    It’s a hidden media cabinet, complete with a fold down drawer front and electrical outlet.
    So stylish and clever too!
    Moissonier for Decorative Crafts Louis XV Bombe Chest

    Ornate? Yes.  But what a beautiful reproduction piece.
    Produced by one of the premier furniture makers in France,
    this would definitely stop people in their tracks!
    I would pair with a contemporary piece of art and a sleek lamp to keep it current.

    Keno for Theodore Alexander  Symmetry Chest
    With the beauty of the book-matched veneer,
    this chest needs little else to stand out.
    Is this one…you?
    I believe that a chest is one of the first investment pieces you should buy.
    So listen to your heart and make it your signature!


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  • 02/08/2013 - Joan Waddell 0 Comments
    Style Booster – Dining Room Dreams
    I have a feeling that you’re getting the hang of this "Style" exercise.
    It’s all about using your personal style to 
    create harmonious continuity from room to room.
    What have you discovered about your preferences?
    And how can they be integrated in your home?


    Let’s work on the
    I have some questions for you.
    How are you using this space?
    Is it off-limits most of the year?

    This is what I hear most often in my practice.  Not trying to put you on the spot
    really, why do we have a room that is so under-utilized?
    Especially now when we are ALL staying in our homes longer
    and trying maximize the living spaces we have.

    Is it more your style to have a big, comfortable farm table
    that can handle the abuse of an active family?

    Piedmont dining table by Suzanne Kasler for Hickory Chair

    If so, maybe this should be the look of your "dining room"
    No longer are we relegated to formality in this space.
    It’s now YOUR choice!

    Or to take it a step further.
    rethink the room as a whole.  Does it need to be JUST for dining?
    You know how I’m all about multi-functional spaces!
    What about making it a combination of a study/ homework station/ dining room
    that will put it to work 365 days a year!


    Isn’t this inviting?  I can see this being a favorite spot from breakfast into the wee hours.
    Filled with all your favorite things….books, a special collection, comfy places to perch,
    what’s not to love?

    Your dining room can be a beautiful space but here’s what you need to think about –
    Do you want a little quick fix to put your signature on it?
    do you want to totally revise the functionality to better fit you and your family?
    Like the other rooms we’ve explored, remember this,

    "Your dining room should be an inspiring space that you love to spend time in"

    What’s next on my agenda?  Are you "living" in your "living room"?


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  • 02/06/2013 - Joan Waddell 0 Comments
    Style Booster – First Impressions
    So we’re taking the tour through your house
    to uncover your 
    Are you still with me?
    So far we’ve looked around your kitchen, family room and powder room
    and I’ve given you some "food for thought"
    to help you find out what you like, and how you want to live.


    Which brings us to the first room everyone sees when the front door opens…
    What is your foyer saying about "YOU"?

    Design by Joan Waddell 

    If first impressions are lasting, then why do we tend to ignore the one space that creates them?
    Whether it’s the drama of contemporary minimalism or a more traditional feel
    your foyer should instantly tell your guests who you are.

    There’s no doubt about this client’s style!
    They both love abstract art and sculptural furniture.
    They wanted everything in their foyer to have equal importance –
    no clutter to interrupt the site lines or interfere with seeing their beautiful pieces.
    Anyone walking through their front door knows they’re in for a visual treat!

    This may not be your preference, but the point is that this foyer
    clearly defines the tastes and personalities of its owners.
    And not in a timid way, either!

    Joan Waddell’s Foyer

    In contrast, my foyer is very traditional –  an eclectic mix of things I love.
    I use this little corner to display "My Story"…
    My wedding photo along with baby pix and tiny silver boxes I’ve collected,
    a special silver biscuit barrel my husband gave to me that holds fresh flowers,
    the framed engraving I found on a trip to Paris,
    and even the lamp, which was made from a beautiful yellow porcelain vase.
    All these things are insights into my personality, my life.

    Although our personal styles are very different, there is one thing in common
    between my client’s contemporary foyer and my traditional one.
    Everything in the space is intentional!  
    No clutter in either case, just interesting things that are important to us,
    displayed in a pleasing way.

    OK.  Let’s get down to business!
    Stand in your foyer and think about it…
    Is it telling your story?
    If not, it’s time to make some changes so that it does.

    It really makes no difference whether your foyer is huge, or
    the size of a postage stamp!
    There’s no excuse for not making it a personal statement.
    So here are some great "Game Changers" for you to consider…

    Pearson Demilune Console 9832

     Start with a place to drop your keys.
    I love the curves of a demilune like this one from Pearson
    because it doesn’t gobble up as much space as a rectangular chest.

    Frederick Cooper Blue Eden 65251

    Lamp light is always welcoming
    Be expressive with your choice!
    My pick is from Frederick Cooper with its fresh color and classic details.

    Mirror Fair Venetian Oval Ribbon Mirror

    For me, a mirror is a must in a foyer.
    We’re talking major drama here!  Imagine this fabulous Venetian mirror
    above your demilune?  Definitely not ordinary, nor should it be!

    So have you thought about your floor?  There are certain considerations when it comes to
    any type of floor covering in a foyer.  Of course it must be durable,
    but it also needs to absorb water and hide the dirt, too
    My choice?

    Surya Tamira tam1000 area rug

     I love the relaxed yet elegant look of this Surya rug.

    As you know, the options are endless.
    The key is making choices that create your personal story.
    Start with your foyer and see how it flows from there!

    Stick with this…It’s a great way to re-energize your home in the new year.
    We’re going into the dining room next!


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  • 02/02/2013 - Joan Waddell 3 Comments
    FRIDAYfinds! – Mary McDonald for Schumacher
    Each season, I have the pleasure of meeting with our reps
    in my studio to view the newest fabrics in their lines.
    Mary McDonald for Schumacher – Chinois Palais/Lettuce
    And every once in a while, I see something that is a complete surprise…
    an absolutely gorgeous, take-your-breath-away line that makes my heart flutter!
    This was the case yesterday when I saw the new Spring line from 
    Mary McDonald for Schumacher – Chinois Palais/ Lettuce
    This luscious linen print is designed to use as drapery panels or on upholstered walls.
    It’s classic chinoiserie, a favorite of Mary McDonald, but in the fresh color palette,
    it is so new!
    Reminiscent of a Gracie wallcovering, it tells a story from top to bottom. 
    More of a mural than a fabric,  it is so much more intriguing to look at.
    And the rest of this Spring introduction is equally intriguing…
    Mary McDonald for Schumacher
    with coordinated fabrics in colorways like
    Blush Conch
     Mary McDonald for Schumacher Malmaison tape in Tangerine
    But the best part is the line of trims she designed!
    Each one more beautiful than the other, these tapes and appliques open up a world of design possibilities/
    Mary McDonald for Schumacher Madame Wu  applique  
    With names like Madame Wu, Shanghai and Brighton, these appliques conjure up
    images of exotic travels to far away lands.
    Mary McDonald for Schumacher room setting
    Look how fabulous the applique looks on this pillow!
    Even more stunning when paired with the "Park Avenue Python" chair fabric.
    or for a totally different look, create a softer tone-on-tone palette
    with the dramatic backdrop of the Chinois Palais panels!
    Notice the embroidered tape on the edge of the drapes. So edgy and fun.
    This exciting line is described in this way, 
    "Blending her love of chinoiserie, color and bold patterns
    Mary reinterprets traditional textile designs 
    in a clear and graphic style"
    All I can say is…


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  • 01/30/2013 - Joan Waddell 0 Comments
    Style Booster – Powder Room Potential
    One of the smallest rooms in your house 
    the one with the greatest potential!
    Because of it’s small size, it offers a unique opportunity to break out of the box
    and express your style in a way you may not want to do in other areas of your home.
    It’s a chance to do something a little more daring and dramatic…
    Design by Joan Waddell
    Pink in your family room?  Probably not, 
    but how elegant it is in this powder room!
    You can afford to ramp it up in a small space.
    In this case, my client loved "girly glamour" but had to consider her three boys in the equation.
    Our solution was to segregate the glitz to the powder room 
    where it becomes a real STYLE STATEMENT!
    Look at the details in here. Fabulous, shimmery wallpaper anchors the space
    while the crystal chandelier and faux painted ceiling creates a glowing canopy.
    The Venetian mirror is a natural complement to the look.
    And the wood etegere adds dimension to the space, not to mention handy storage.
    The framed art pieces are simple architectural drawings
    that don’t compete with the patterned paper.
    The finishing touch is the set of monogrammed linen hand towels –
     which always make a guest feel special!


    Ok, you say.
     How do I make my powder room into a personal STYLE STATEMENT?
    It’s pretty easy if you let your imagination flow.
    Think about the things you love and exaggerate them.
    Remember that you have more creative license because it’s a small space
    tap into that inner voice and let it shine!

    We’ll be dissecting the FOYER next time so
    come back for more inspiration…


    Read More
  • 01/26/2013 - Joan Waddell 0 Comments
    FRIDAYfinds! – Monograms
    Courtesy of  Southern Accents
    As I say on one of my Pinterest boards
    Monograms are just one of those fabulous details I return to again and again
    with good reason!
    They can be used in so many ways.
    Always a classic on a chair back, they’re equally enchanting on a throw pillow
    I’m always inventing new ways to update a monogram.
    like this one that I designed for a client’s sofa.
    The geometric "C" looks great with the crisp white frame around it.
    Courtesy of Southern Accents
    But it’s hard to beat the timeless look of a hand-embroidered monogram on linen.
    It’s no coincidence that I shared these with you today,
    After all, what better way to 


    Read More
  • 01/25/2013 - Joan Waddell 0 Comments
    Style Booster – Does your family room work for you?
    I’m hoping you’ve done your homework
    from my last STYLE post
    and discovered the "Style Diva" within you!
    Have you found the common thread that defines your style preferences?
    Are you beginning to notice how you gravitate towards certain colors and shapes?
    Are you a pattern fan or craving soft neutrals?
    What does the artwork on your walls say about you?

    Find the spark that lights you up and you’ll be on your way 
    to a brand new YOU!
    And a brand new HOME, too!


    As promised, I’m moving through your house with you
    room by room
    to help give you inspiration and some simple tips
    for implementing your new-found style

    Which brings us to the most used and abused room in the house…
    The Family Room

    Design by Joan Waddell

    The couple I designed this for are empty nesters, but not very often…
    It’s a busy place when their kids come with the grand kids,
    (not to mention the large extended family)
    Like you, they are in here constantly, throughout the day and night
    so I designed it to be durable, yet comfortable and inviting.

    Multifunctional is the key word!

    With an open kitchen on one end and the family room on the other,
    this space is used for everything from breakfast to informal dinners with friends.
    How do they do it?
    For one thing, we chose pieces that work double duty.
    Do you see the trestle table on the left?
    This folds out to accommodate 6 for dinner
    or holds a full buffet for a bigger crowd.

    Design by Joan Waddell

    From here, you can see the antique trunk that doubles as a great coffee table
    and toy chest for the grand kids toys!

    How do you use YOUR family room?
    Are you really maximizing the space you have?
    Maybe it’s time to rethink the furniture so that it
    serves your purposes better.

     Hooker Chic Coterie Collection decorative lateral file

    There are many pieces available today
    that are multi-functional.
    This chest from Hooker’s new Chic Coterie Collection
    is a favorite of mine.
    Great storage, yes, but did you know it’s also a file cabinet?
    Instant office in the middle of your family room!

    On to the powder room next…
    See you then


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  • 01/19/2013 - Joan Waddell 0 Comments
    FRIDAYfinds! – The Power of Yellow
    I don’t know about you but


    right about now.  Winter blahs have set in and I need a boost.
    My guess is that you’re in the same boat so I’m sending some your way…
    Just looking at this photo energizes me
    and makes me think about 
    the power of YELLOW in our homes.
    Joan Waddell’s living room
    I can certainly attest to its affect.  
    My own living room is a strong golden shade of yellow 
    that lifts me up even on the most dreary days.
    And yellow daffodils can be an instant mood changer.
    Global Views Sunburst Light Fixture
     Want a more permanent solution?
    Install this fantastic "Sunburst" fixture and bring-on -the-sun with the flip of a switch!
    We’ll all get through this together…
    Spring officially starts March 20th
    keep the faith and watch for this little guy to pop his head through the snow.
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  • 01/16/2013 - Joan Waddell 0 Comments
    Style Booster – Kitchen pick-me-ups
    With the new year,
    I’ve been talking about defining your style in your home.
    (See my last post:  Style – What’s Your Thread? for some tips)
    Because once you know your style, you can make the best decisions
    when it comes to furnishing your home.
    There will be a sense of order and harmony from room to room
    that truly speaks to who you are, 
    instead of a mismatched collection of mistakes.


    No more buyer’s remorse!
    Just  the confidence to move forward and create the home you’ve always envisioned.

    So let’s do it!
    Take some time to think about the rooms that need the most TLC
    and prioritize.
    I’m going to start in the kitchen and give you some quick
    that will hopefully motivate and encourage

    via Pinterest

    For starters, I’m lovin’ this cute little mini herbal garden.
    Keeps something "green" in your kitchen all through the dreary days of Winter.
    And it will spice up your favorite recipes, too.

     via Pinterest

    Do you have a potential collection hiding in your pantry?
    Maybe it starts with just one special platter that was handed down to you.
    Start acquiring more and give them center stage in your kitchen.
    It’s a guaranteed personal "Style" statement!

     House Beautiful via Pinterest

    Find a place to paint a fresh splash of color.  It can be
    the interior of your cabinets
    or an accent wall.
     This is particularly effective in an all-white kitchen
    and adds an unexpected touch that says
    "I like to have fun!"

    Are you energized yet?


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  • 01/15/2013 - Joan Waddell 0 Comments
    STYLE – What is your thread?
     Joan Waddell’s foyer
    We all want our homes to tell a personal story…
    about who we are, our families, our journeys
    and our hopes and dreams.
    sometimes its hard to see this story with all the clutter and confusing "stuff"
    that is scattered about.
    How can we ever define our home "Style" 
    with all these things getting in the way?
    My answer comes from the title of a wonderful little book I read as a teenager
    That title has stuck in my memory bank for all these years
    because it perfectly describes a basic design principle of
    that is so integral to good design.
    It’s also a terrific way to define your personal style.
    There is a "thread" that runs through the choices you have made
    in your home.
    From the colors that appeal to you
    to the kind of art you hang on the wall.
    Take a walk around your house – room by room
    and look for clues to your  "thread".
    Try to dig beneath the clutter to uncover similarities between spaces.
    Do you consistently gravitate towards a certain color or combination of colors?
     What about pattern?
    Are you layering different patterns together with pillows or upholstery fabrics?
    design by Mario Buatta
    is everything more subdued and monochromatic?
    design by Joan Waddell
    Check out the accessories you’ve chosen through the years.
    There will be a "thread" here, as well.
    Whether in the family room or master bedroom,
    you will start to notice that certain types of accessories are repeated again and again.
    Maybe it’s an abundance of books or cluster of tabletop photo frames.
    Regardless of your preferences, they each provide clues to your personality.
    Once you’ve taken an inventory of your key style indicators
    take a break and read the list back.
    You’ll be surprised at all the common denominators!
    These become the building blocks to create a unique style in your home
    that truly tells your "story".
    Have fun in your discoveries 


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  • 01/11/2013 - Joan Waddell 0 Comments
    FRIDAYfinds! – God’s Designs, Inc.
    Leave it to one of my wonderful clients to keep me informed
    of the great volunteer work being done right here in our city!
    I was so touched with her email that I wanted to get the word out ASAP.
    FRIDAYfinds! is the perfect way to let all of my blog friends know about this
    outstanding effort to create comfortable shelter for those in need.
    Here she is – the 82 year old founder of 
    Look at that smile on her face!  
    The description I received in my client’s email said it all.
    "I wanted to let you know about a new organization I’ve become involved with.
    It is God’s Designs, a charity captained by an 82-year-old dynamo,
    who provides furniture, accessories, even kitchen utensils, to deserving local residents.
    With a volunteer crew, she turns a near empty residence 
    into a warm and inviting home."
    So I am asking for your help.
    Open your hearts…and your closets!
    Let’s clean up, edit down, and help make a difference, one home at a time.
    Imagine the delight of this lucky little boy when he sees his
    "New Room" 
    Call to Action!
    You can call/email me to coordinate the pick-up
    or contact God’s Designs, Inc. directly.
    Here’s to sweet dreams!


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  • 01/10/2013 - Joan Waddell 0 Comments
    Jackie Kennedy – The First Lady of Style
    Jackie Kennedy – Courtesy of John F. Kennedy Library
    In defining style, I could think of no better example than
    Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy.
    She epitomized style in everything she did
    but for me, 
    the way she restored the White House as a living museum 
    is her greatest style contribution, by far!
    When she visited the White House before her husband’s inauguration,
    she referred to it as 
    "that dreary Maison Blanche"
    Her vision was to make the White House
    "the most perfect house in the United States"
    She believed that it should be furnished with antiques
    that reflected the lives of past presidents who lived there.
    Courtesy of the John F. Kennedy Library
    An unattainable wish for most, 
    Jackie Kennedy made it happen by enlisting the most notable authorities in the
    fields of interior design and American antiques.
    Just weeks after she moved in to the White House, she met with the famed decorator,
    Sister Parish 
    and asked for her assistance in the restoration effort.
    Her other lieutenant was none other than 
    Henry du Pont, 
    considered the most qualified expert on the subject of American historical decoration at the time.
    Courtesy of the John F. Kennedy Library
    When the renovation was complete,
    she capitalized on the media fervor by inviting CBS to televise her personal tour of the 
    beautifully restored rooms.
    Viewed by more than 80 million people, 
    it captured the hearts and imaginations of the whole nation. 
     Courtesy of the John F. Kennedy Library
    Her style was legendary.
    Through her sense of confidence, she became a true visionary 
    who used her talents and position to create the "People’s House".
    In her words…
    "The White House was not only a place for the president to work and live, 
    but also as a destination for every American who visited Washington, D.C.,
    a showcase for art and culture, and a place of national pride.

    I can testify to that!
    When I toured the White House in December, I was in awe.
    And to think it all started with Jackie!


    "Embrace the joys of good design!"

    Read More
  • 01/09/2013 - Joan Waddell 0 Comments
    Define YOUR style in 2013
    The butler said it best…
    Downton Abbey Wait Staff

    Season Three premier of
    Downton Abbey 
    on Sunday night captured 7.9 MILLION viewers!

    All of us who are big fans watch the show for a host of reasons.
     I’m facinated by the intertwined plots
    I’m also intrigued by the physical surroundings and mannerisms of those who
    live in this caverness, forboding "house"

    When I heard MR. CARSON, the head butler, express his opinion on style,
    it hit a cord with me.

    He is so right!
    and it should be reflected in all aspects of our lives.
    Whether in the clothing we wear or
    the way we decorate our homes,
    "style" is the unique stamp we put on every choice we make.
    But the best part?
    It’s empowering.
    With a sense of style comes a certain confidence in knowing who you are,
    which, in turn, creates the energy to branch out and explore new things.
    And THAT’S the secret to staying young!

    I’m challenging all of YOU to

    Design by Joan Waddell/J. Waddell Interiors

    I’ll be sharing fresh new ways to create STYLE in your home
    in upcoming posts so keep in touch and


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  • 01/05/2013 - Joan Waddell 1 Comment
    FRIDAYfinds! – Color of the Year
    is the Pantone Color of the Year for 2013!
    This selection is the result of extensive research conducted by the Pantone Color Institute,
    who has been considered the world’s color authority for nearly 50 years.
    Their team combs the world looking for color influences which can include 
    every thing from the entertainment industry to art collections and popular travel destinations.
    And their reach extends into multiple industries where color plays an important role
    such as fashion, interior design, architecture, product packaging and graphic design.
    Pantone describes their pick,
    "Lively. Radiant. Lush…
    a color of elegance and beauty 
    enhances our sense of well-being, balance and harmony"
    I’m excited about the potential of this vibrant color.
    Whether it’s a bold statement like a stair runner
    in smaller doses…
    Surya AR-114

    like this fabulous pillow from Surya,
    there a lots of ways to energize your home with EMERALD!

    After all, this should be quite a familiar color to those of us who followed
    Dorothy, the Tin Man, and the crew to Emerald City.



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  • 01/03/2013 - Joan Waddell 0 Comments
    New Year, New Home, New YOU!

    For me, the new year brings opportunity.
    Opportunity to rethink
    Opportunity to change
    the opportunity to GROW!

    This applies to so many areas of my life
    but as a designer,
    it particularly holds true for how I assess the physical environment that I live in every day –
    my home, my office, and even my car.

    It’s a chance to take a fresh look at the rooms I spend time in
    and make positive changes that will create a more functional…and pleasing environment.

    This is never more apparent than when the Christmas decorations come down
    and I’m staring at the bare bones of a room.

    Interior design by Joan Waddell of J. Waddell Interiors

    So as I take a hard look at my own home, I’m sending a special
    New Year’s wish
    to all of my blog friends
    who are
    frustrated, undecided or generally "stuck"
    about what to do with the rooms in your homes,


    We all go through life stages
    and our homes should reflect those changes in a way that makes our environment more
    functional and enjoyable.

    Now more than ever,

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  • 12/27/2012 - Joan Waddell 0 Comments
    Magnificent Homes of America – White House Christmas
    I can’t think of a more thrilling time to tour 
    the White House 
    than at Christmas when every inch is adorned 
    with the most incredible decorations I’ve ever seen!
    But getting in wasn’t easy….
    The security clearances necessary to even be considered for an invitation are quite lengthy. 
    And you have to start the process early in the Fall!
    First you are required to contact your state senator, who then sends your request 
    to the FBI, who runs a complete security check.  
    If you clear that channel, then your name goes into a lottery with no guarantee that you’ll receive an invitation.
    Obviously I was excited when I found out I made the cut!
    On the day of the tour, we were told that we could not bring anything other than a cell phone.
    (no purse, no camera, no bag – Nothing!)
    I went through three security check points, 
    each of which verified my license against the list before they would let me proceed to the next. 
    The last one was a concealed machine that scanned you for explosives…..
    I asked one guard if I could take her picture and she denied my request
    I’ve been so anxious to share this post with all of you!  I have to say it tops my list of all 
    I have visited so far.
    So bear with me if the photos as slightly blurred (cell phone pix aren’t the best)
    because I think you’ll still find it to be a real treat!
    Finally at the East Wing entrance, 
    I was already enthralled with the decorations, even before stepping inside!
    Look at the scale of this spectacular urn with greenery!
    The archways inside were accented with lighted garland.
    And flanking this hallway, 
    are several rooms like the Library that houses more than 2700 books.
    Prior to 1935, this room served as a laundry room and gentlemen’s waiting room.
    Next door is the China room
    where the Truman china is set out for a holiday dinner.
    This was the first state china service to feature the Presidential Coat of Arms.
    The East Wing Hallway displays photos of past First Families
    enjoying the holiday season.
    And holding court in the East Garden room is this 
    life-size image of Bo, the First Family’s Portuguese water dog! 
    On the other side is this gorgeous color-spectrum tree.  It looks like Abe agrees!
     Presiding over The State Dining Room is the famous portrait of Lincoln by George P.A. Healy.
    If only I had a better way to record all of this…….
     When we entered the State Room, this lovely hand bell choir played carols for us.
    I love the Nativity scene behind them.
     And the yellow silk drapery treatment is stunning!
    At the end of this massive room is the crown jewel of the White House Christmas
    the 300 pound Gingerbread House!
    Lighted from within, Bo guards the front lawn while Santa’s sleigh arrives on the rooftop!
    (LOVE the topiary bows that adorn the sconces, too)
    The theme for the Green Room is Wintertime’s Serene Splendor
    On the tree, tiny glass terrariums dangle from the branches.
    (look in the left hand corner)
    Can you imagine planting each one? 
    I was amazed at the attention to details.
    The famous Red Room in all its splendor!
    In the early 19th century, Dolley Madison used this room to receive visitors
    during her famous Wednesday-evening receptions.
    Red Room drapery detail with the Della Robbia garland
    In the Blue Room 
    stands the Official White House Christmas Tree, an 18 foot fraiser fir from Jefferson, North Carolina.
    Adorned with ornaments made by military children around the world
     this magnificent tree pays tribute to our troops and their families who serve our country.
    (Notice the gold-leafed ceiling medallion and faux swag wallpaper border)
    The Cross Hall leading to the North Entrance is a spectacular sight 
    as you get a glimpse of the State Room from afar!
    To the right in the Cross Hall is a familiar room,
    the Oval Office.
    They gave me special clearance to get this shot!
    (Just kidding.  Actually I had it taken at the White House Museum Shop but I thought it was fun)
    As we exited to Pennsylvania Avenue, I took one last photo of the Grand Staircase,
    which leads to the First Family’s private residence.
    I can just envision Jackie and Jack descending these stairs in all their formal finery!
    I didn’t want to leave…but all good things must come to an end.
    Hope you enjoyed my personal tour of
    Most Magnificent Home in America!


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  • 12/23/2012 - Joan Waddell 0 Comments
    Twelve Days of Christmas Design Tips – RELAX!
    I’m my own worst enemy when it comes to this advice
    but having my family over for our annual Christmas dinner last night
    reminded me of why all of us put so…much…effort into decorating for the holidays.
    It’s about reuniting once again around the comfort of good food and familiar company
    to celebrate the birth of Christ and the blessings he gave us.


    So for my last tip, I share this reminder with you

    in hopes that you will have the opportunity to relax and enjoy your own special blessings.

    From my family to yours,

    I just had to add these special blessing of my own.
    Clean-up with a smile!
    Could you ask for anything more?

    I’m back next week with my personal tour of
    the White House at Christmas
    so check back with me.


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  • 12/20/2012 - Joan Waddell 0 Comments
    Twelve Days of Christmas Design Tips – Sweet Surprise
    I decided today would be a good time to share a very special treat with you 
    since I know so many of you out there are already in the kitchen baking up a storm!
    And besides, 
    what is a beautifully decorated house without the heady aroma of baking cookies?
    The recipe came from THE most "Magnificent Home of America"
    The White House!
    This little booklet was handed out to those who toured the White House this year
    to see everything decked out for the holidays. 
    (Yes, I was there…and next week I plan to give you a personal tour of all the fabulous rooms)
    I just love the water color images!
    Each page illustrates a room in the White House and the special significance of the decorations.
    The Red Room and State Dining room are shown here.
    But here’s the real treat!  
    In the back of the book is this yummy cookie recipe from the 
    White House Pastry Kitchen.
    I have no doubt these Ginger Crinkles have passed rigorous taste testings
    which is proof enough for me to give them a try.


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  • 12/19/2012 - Joan Waddell 0 Comments
    Twelve Days of Christmas Design Tips – Wrap it up!
    So we’re getting down to the wire
    and still lots to do…
    which is why I’m making this tip super simple today.
    Want an instant way to ramp up the "Wow" factor with your tree?
    (Super tip:  Coordinate the style and color of your wrappings with the look of your tree)
    It’s so much more effective when everything UNDER the tree 
    looks as gorgeous as what’s ON the tree!
    If your tree is the "REAL DEAL", 
    play up the natural theme with brown craft paper tied with raffia, cinnamon sticks and orange slices.
    How pretty is that! 
    I love this idea!  
    Bowless wrapping with cute labels instead.  Great for shipping, too.
    Imagine a tree with all green and red ornaments.  
    There’s something about "All White".
    I see these elegant packages nestled under a tree with all types of silver ornaments.
    Maybe under my own foyer tree with mercury glass ornaments?
    But I wouldn’t complain if everything under the tree came in this signature color


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  • 12/18/2012 - Joan Waddell 0 Comments
    Twelve Days of Christmas Design Tips – Build a Collection
    I admit it, 
    I kind of go crazy with Christmas decorating….
    especially when it comes to my collections.
    But it’s 
    to search for new pieces throughout the year,
    anticipating the next holiday when I get the see them all together.
    And so it is with my Christmas hutch
    Although I love my collection of Quimperware that is normally displayed on my hutch
    it takes on a certain magical quality at Christmas.
    It all started with my first nutcracker, which was a gift from my mother many years ago.
    My kids loved it so much, I decided to add another one the next year and then another
    until my collection grew so large it took over the hutch!
    At the same time this collection was expanding, 
    I was gathering vintage Christmas items to adorn the shelves. 
    There were the tiny knit stockings, and the tin houses…
    and then I found a musical Santa train.
    And one of my favorite pieces,
    a first edition, Miracle on 34th Street" .
    Before I knew it, the shelves were brimming with all my found treasures.
    My hutch became a menagerie of nutcrackers and Christmas memorabilia!
    The result is what I call
    (I’ll explain in a minute)
    Out with the Quimperware, in with the Christmas goodies!
    Part of the fun is opening up everything that’s been tucked away for a year…
    …and then seeing it arranged in a whimsical way (Each year it’s a little different).
    But wait!  There’s still more to come.
    Joan Waddell Christmas Hutch
    It’s not complete until the nutcrackers come out of hiding!
    As for the "I Spy Christmas"…
       When my kids were young, I would play the "I Spy" game with them
    after arranging the hutch. 
    "I Spy Three Teddy Bears"
    "I Spy a Circus Lion on Wheels"
    "I Spy Four Tin Soldiers"
    It was sort of a precursor to "Elf on a Shelf", in my mind.
    What wonderful memories are lovingly preserved in these shelves!
    And now, the game continues with all the little ones that come over for our family Christmas dinner.
    Create your own living memories with a holiday collection and see the magic happen!


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  • 12/18/2012 - Joan Waddell 1 Comment
    Twelve Days of Christmas Design Tips – Scot Meacham Wood in Person!
    "I believe in beautiful spaces and gracious living
    without the velvet ropes."
     – Scot Meacham Wood
    Scot Meacham Wood
    This is such a special treat for me to have Scot Meacham Wood here today
    to share his favorite Christmas design tip!
    With a background at Ralph Lauren and a very successful design practice 
    in San Francisco, Scot’s expertise is highly sought-after.
    He interjects a sense of style into his projects that is both timeless and very livable.
    He also writes a fantastic blog that I follow
    which he describes as
       "images that inspire me, events that delight me, and anything that brings a smile to my face."
    And it is oh…so…true!  I love to check in to see what he’s up to.  
    Right now he is wrapping up his annual Holiday decorating contest (which I entered)
    and has posted lots of great entries for everyone to enjoy.
    What is amazing to me is that, 
    in spite of his busy schedule as a designer, event specialist and a well-known blogger,
    he still has taken the time to send me his Christmas tip.
    You’re the best, Scot!
    Scot Meacham Wood
    "If you’re looking for the easiest way to give your home a certain magical feeling this holiday season – you only need two things.
    Dimmers.  And candlelight.  
    Firstly, I always find it good and proper to have dimmers on all of my light fixtures.  
    Nothing can change a room faster than changing the light level.  
    And for the candle portion of the advice – everyone looks better in the soft glow of candlelight.  
    Food tastes better.  Wine is richer.  
    And conversation flows more easily in the intimacy of flickering candles."
    -Scot Meacham Wood 
    Such a simple concept that can make the difference between a ho-hum evening
    and one that lingers in your memory bank!
    And look at his table setting.  
    Black and silver is a recipe for drop-dead glamour.
    Wonder what he put in the little beribboned boxes?
    Scot Meacham Wood
    Don’t you just want to crash his party?  
    The ambiance is certainly heightened by the pillars candles in hurricanes 
    but also by the portrait light over the painting in the background.
    Soft and subdued, different levels of lighting make for a relaxed, yet elegant setting.
    Scot Meacham Wood
    No doubt Scot has "just a little" experience in this entertaining game.
    From the fresh roses to the twinkling light of the Christmas tree,

    he knows how to create a magical setting that will cast its spell on the lucky guests!

    To one of the best bloggers I know, thanks and
    "Merry Christmas"


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  • 12/14/2012 - Joan Waddell 0 Comments
    Twelve Days of Christmas Design Tips – Candlelight
     Is there anything more alluring than candlelight?
    My tip today is one I would never do without during the holidays.
    Candles add so much drama and atmosphere to a room,
    especially at Christmas when you can dress them up!
    Of course, I’m partial to silver "anything", but the beauty of the arrangement above is its simplicity,
    An elegant tray, white pillar candles wrapped with a fresh garland of greenery and silver balls.
    Set it on a foyer chest as a warm welcome for your guests and watch the complements come in!
    What a  fresh take on hurricanes.  Note the staggered heights.
    This would look fantastic on a table set with Calvin Klein china – all white 
    …and oh so chic! 
     Not everything needs to be large.
    The small scale of these votives looks "just right" with the flocked reindeer.
    I love the "Winter Garden" affect of this candle arrangement.
    I see this in a sun room or clustered on a hutch in a kitchen.  Charming!
    Although "like" items are a safe bet when decorating,
     it’s nice to change it up with different types of candlelight. 
    There’s a mixture of pillars, votives, and even a tiny candle lamp.  
    But the element that ties this beautiful mantel together is the 
    greenery that tumbles gracefully around each piece.
    How fresh and colorful!  I love the use of fresh fruit tucked in the greenery.
    (Super tip:  Group your candles together on a tray or along a mantle 
    and use greenery to tie the arrangement together visually. 
    Mix in fresh fruit or some other festive element to add additional interest )
    Be sure to check out my next post for another all-star guest blogger
    who’s known for his party style!


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  • 12/14/2012 - Joan Waddell 0 Comments
    Twelve Days of Christmas Design Tips – Embellish Your Assets!
    Ok, I know 
    everybody is scrambling to get the house decorated this week
    so I’m sending my Christmas design tips to you in record time!
    Here’s a little inspiration to get you moving…
    Joan Waddell’s Dining Room Christmas Garland
    My Adamesque mirror is almost completely covered by the 
    sugar-encrusted Della Robia garland I hang in my dining room at Christmas.
    It’s elegant, classic and over-the-top opulent, which is the whole point!
    And the Girondole candelabra, a cherished piece from my grandmother,
    really comes to life with the garland frame around it. 
    (Super tip:  Find a signature piece in your room, like a mirror or large framed artwork, 
    and embellish it with a theme-inspired garland)
    Joan Waddell’s living room Christmas garland
    I carry the Della Robia theme into my living room 
     with this coordinating garland that graces the top of the etagere.
    Notice the different ribbon and fruit? 
     It still ties in nicely with the dining room without being an exact duplicate.
    More fun tips to come as I finish up my own decorating…
    We’re all in the same boat so hang in there!


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  • 12/12/2012 - Joan Waddell 0 Comments
    Twelve Days of Christmas Design Tips – Kathryn Greeley Elegance!
    What could be better?
    I’m thrilled to have one of the most highly acclaimed tabletop designers as my guest today
    to share her favorite Christmas design tip!
    Kathryn Greeley
    is not only a talented designer, but an authority on antiques and collecting.
    Her book, The Collected Tabletop, is her way of sharing over 30 years of experience
    and knowledge in the design and entertaining field.
    It’s a wonderful guide to implementing her design philosophy of
    "collected, not decorated"
    I can’t think of a better Christmas gift for anyone who loves to entertain!
    With all this talent and skill, you can see why I’m delighted to have Kathryn as my guest blogger.
    Take it away, Kathryn…
    Kathryn Greeley’s Christmas Design
     "One of my favorite holiday design tips is for "dressing" up your favorite chandelier and lighting up your holiday table!  Each year at Chestnut Cottage, I dress up my antique wooden barley twist chandelier in its holiday best by adding a silk plaid canopy and cord sleeve. I also custom cover chandelier shades in the same silk taffeta and then add lots of fresh greens.  I twist several pieces of strong floral wire around the wooden arms to make a form for adding the greenery. Lastly I add several mercury glass ornaments by hanging them on the greenery or to the floral wire.  This has become a lovely and fun tradition to our holiday decorating at Chestnut Cottage."
    How gorgeous is that!  
    You know I’m a big fan of using things you already own in your Christmas decorating
    and Kathryn shows you how.  
    From the fresh greens on her chandelier,
    to the use of her silver collection, she is a master at creating an elegant table!
    Did you notice her silver biscuit barrel?  We seem to love the same things…
    A big "Thank You" to Kathryn for her 
    truly inspirational Christmas design tip!


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  • 12/12/2012 - Joan Waddell 0 Comments
    Twelve Days of Christmas Design Tips – Collective Impact
    When it comes to Christmas decorating,
    the most common question I hear from my clients is,
    "How do I get a more cohesive look with my decorations?"


    My advice?
    Choose a theme for a room.
    Then find decorations that fit your theme and use them throughout the space in different ways.
    If you have a collection, arrange it in a grouping to create more impact and drama.

    Joan Waddell’s foyer

    In my own foyer,
    I have a silver theme that plays well against the black and white Pierre Deux toile paper
    and my silver Wedding Cake chandelier.

    On the mirror, I use glittery greens intertwined with drippy antique glass beads and black and white ribbon.
    The theme is repeated on the chest with my collection of antique mercury glass vases.
    Even my silver biscuit barrel gets in the act, filled to the brim with mercury glass balls.

    Joan Waddell’s antique mercury glass collection

    A little later, I’ll share some pix of  the other side of my foyer,
    where my 12 ft. tree is covered in antique mercury glass ornaments.
    So be sure to check back with me!


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  • 12/10/2012 - Joan Waddell 0 Comments
    Twelve Days of Christmas Design Tips – “Hable Style”
    ‘Tis the season…..
    for rushing around, adding layers to my already packed days, and generally trying to do too much!
    …which is why 
    I came up with these fool-proof Christmas design ideas in the first place.
    But I’m certainly not the only designer who creates simple, yet beautiful Christmas shortcuts.
    In my last post, I mentioned that I had a few surprises lined up for you.
    Today, I’m so excited to share Susan Hable’s tips for the season!
     Susan is the creative talent behind Hable Construction, a fabulous US-based textile company
    that produces fabric lines and other products for the home.
    Check out more about Susan on my recent post
    Susan Hable of Hable Construction Glitter Houses
    Look at her incredible display of "Glitter Houses"!  
    This is what she says about it,
    "My foolproof decorating/design tip for the holidays 
    starts with my collection of glittery houses that I add to each year.  
    My children love them and especially sprinkling the snow around…
    It’s fantasy and magical and usually I light them with LED tea candles at night 
    tucked in tiny spots around the houses.  This year they are on a fun round marble table
    under a chandelier covered in seeded eucalyptus.  
    Quiet dreamy indeed!
    We spend the majority of our holiday in Texas with my family 
    Isn’t her wallpaper awesome?  So festive.
    Susan Hable of Hable Construction Christmas Front Door
    Susan also told me about her decorating choice for her front door this year.
    "Fresh greenery around the front door is a must…
    Each year it’s different but this year I have a magnolia garland 
    that extends around the door – Very simple and basic
    Hable Construction Reindeer Stocking for Garnet Hill
    I just had to add one of my favorite designs from Hable Construction’s
    holiday line for Garnet Hill
    Rudolph would definitely add a "hip" factor to any Christmas decor this year!
    Thanks, Susan, for your thoughtful tips to help us 
    simplify…and beautify 
    our homes during the holidays.
    If you’re like me, there’s still lots to do 
    so keep in touch 
    for more handy Christmas design tips from some of my favorite bloggers!


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  • 12/04/2012 - Joan Waddell 0 Comments
    Twelve Days of Christmas Design Tips – Make it Personal
    I’m a firm believer in using your own things in a special way during the holidays.
    Super tip #2 – take your collection of  tabletop framed photos
    and switch out the photos to ones from past holidays.  
    Make a statement by gathering them together on a pretty tray 
     or intersperse them randomly in your bookshelves for a more subtle affect.
      Here’s a peek at my own bookcase with a photo of the family with Santa at Churchill Downs.
    It’s a tradition for us to spend a day at the track the day after Thanksgiving.
      Create your own theme of holiday photos that has special meaning to you.
    Maybe it’s the kids with Santa or the
    annual family portrait that you have always taken in front of the tree. 
    Everyone LOVES to be reminded of good times they’ve had together, 
    and we all have photos of past holidays stashed in a drawer.
    So why not get them out and put them on display for everyone to enjoy?
    After the season, return them to the drawer for safe keeping until next year.
    You’ve just created a new tradition the whole family will look forward to for many holidays to come!
    I have a few surprises up my sleeve for more design tips so stayed tuned…


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  • 11/30/2012 - Joan Waddell 0 Comments
    FRIDAYfinds! – Woof Patrol
    Pearson custom dog portrait pillow
    Is this adorable or what?
    Market always has some totally unexpected surprises to discover if you keep your eyes open. 
    When I found these pillows gracing the upholstery in the Pearson showroom I knew they were 
    Best of Show!
     Pearson custom dog portrait pillow
    Each face was more engaging than the last.  
    Pearson custom dog portrait pillow
    I had the chance to talk with the artist who creates these one-of-a-kind gems.
    She is actually an employee of Pearson and does this as a hobby!  Wow…
    What I love about her work is that she really captures the "essence" of each dog’s personality.
    These would be fabulous Christmas gifts!
    But I just had to ask one question….
    "Do you paint cat portraits too?"
    She replied, "Send me a picture."


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  • 11/30/2012 - Joan Waddell 0 Comments
    Twelve Days of Christmas Design Tips
    Project Decor board by Joan Waddell
    Creating this board for my design shop at Project Decor  got me in the spirit.
    It also sparked an idea…
    I know I love reading tips for making Christmas decorating beautiful…and simple.
    (I’m especially fond of  "the simple" part)
    so I thought I’d share some of my own tried-and-true favorites for you to try.
    Here’s to a richly adorned, but carefree Holiday Season! 
    White Flower Farm Ziva Paperwhites
    Keep it "REAL" whenever possible.  
    I always try to plan ahead and force Paperwhites to bloom in early December 
    so we can enjoy them throughout the season. Their aroma is heavenly.
    The container is the key to making it a showy display.
    I love to use Chinese porcelain bowls to plant them in.
    (Super tip #1 – scour antique markets for vintage oriental bowls that are less than perfect. 
    Not only are they charming with all their flaws, the price is usually charming as well!) 
    Cluster several on a coffee table at different heights to add drama.
    More Christmas design tips ahead.  So keep in touch.
    "Embrace the joys of good design!"
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  • 11/27/2012 - Joan Waddell 0 Comments
    Creating the magic
    It all started with a chance meeting at Fall Market…
    I was in the Arteriors showroom and spotted Scot Meacham Wood
    Interior Designer and blogger Extraordinaire!
    is one of my favorites.  
    He has a way of inviting you into his little corner of the world that is both engaging and informative.
    when I read on a recent post that he was having his 
    Second Annual Holiday Decorating Contest
    I knew I just couldn’t resist a good competition!
    …especially when it has to do with Christmas.
    Boxes are pulled from the attic and I’m ready to go!
    I love my black and white foyer,
    especially at Christmas when I play up the theme with lots of silvery glitz and glitter
    Design by Joan Waddell/J. Waddell Interiors

    The inspiration for the decorations is my antique silver wedding cake chandelier
    which I purchased BEFORE we ever bought this house!
    Must have been a premonition because it looks like it "belongs" there, don’t you think?

        This is just the beginning…

    Wait till you see my 12 ft. tree with antique silver ornaments!


    Decorating my own home for Christmas is truly a labor of love.
    It’s my special gift to the family that we all look forward to year after year.
    And I think Scot summed it up so well when I asked him about the holidays,

    "The holidays for me have always been a season of magic – in the way that the ordinary gives way
    to the magical.  The boundaries of time and space – of friends and family – all melt away and we
    can once again see the world through the eyes of delighted children.  So for me
    holiday decorating is all about creating the place for these reconnections to happen.
    Setting the stage for magic."

    I’m setting the stage in my corner of the world and hoping it creates the "Magic"!


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  • 11/20/2012 - Joan Waddell 0 Comments
    A Reminder

    With Thanksgiving just a few days away, 

    I’m thinking about what I am most thankful for…
    And the answer is easy –
    Both immediate and extended, they all play an important role in my life.
    I was reminded of just how much this past week
    when my siblings, from far and wide, descended on Louisville to
    move our mother into Miralea, a fabulous new independent-living community.


    Each one of us had a role to play and we did it well.
    My brother came from Atlanta and turned into our "Tech Guru",
    My sister from Tampa tackled the master bedroom and closet and brought a sense of order to it all.
    She was also our comic relief (a fairly significant contribution during a few intense moments)
    My other sister and her husband were the designated contractors
    in charge of building, hanging, repairing whatever we needed
    And I was given the task of  designing a new home for my mom that would
    feel as good as the one she just left…

    I think we succeeded
    Welcome home, Mom!


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  • 11/16/2012 - Joan Waddell 1 Comment
    “Gotta know the rules to break them”
    Candice Olson at Surya showroom
    You would have to live under a rock not to know this iconic designer!
    As soon as I arrived at Market this fall, I made a beeline for the Surya showroom to see
    She gave a fabulous presentation on how she approaches her design work.
    Using her trademark look of mixing traditional with modern, she artfully balances the two
    in unexpected ways.
    But she is quick to point out that it’s not easy to pull off
    and that all of her work is built on a firm foundation of the basic principles of design.


    Here are three of my favorite new rugs from her collection for Surya Rugs

    Candice Olson Surya can1901
    Great mix of color.  Look at the depth you get with this combination of gold and gray
    Candice Olson Surya can1914
    When asked where she gets inspiration, she said,
    "Nature – a nature inspired palette brings comfort"
    Beautiful shade of green in this rug – so calm…
    Candice Olson Surya can1935
    I couldn’t resist this one.  Animal print reinvented!

    So glad I had the chance to meet Candice.
    She’s a great designer for a reason.


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  • 11/13/2012 - Joan Waddell 0 Comments
    High Museum Calder Sculpture 
    Recently I’ve introduced you to some of the wonderful people who have given me inspiration
    like Amy Howard and the Hable sisters of Hable Construction.
    But on a trip to Atlanta last week to visit my son, 
    I was reminded of a dear old friend who had inspired me for many years when I was living there
    It’s a special place where fine art and design share a common bond
    We took in the current exhibit, FAST FORWARD, MODERN MOMENTS 1913-2013
    and Wow…from the moment we entered the building, 
    it was a contemporary art "rush"! 
    I am particularly drawn to the earlier pioneers in contemporary art
    and this exhibit did not disappoint.
    In collaboration with MOMA in New York City, the exhibit explores the many facets
    of contemporary art as an expression of key events in modern history.


    Here are my top picks.  I hope they "INSPIRE" you, too!


    Giving my son, Emery, an little education.  Think he’s interested?

    Jackson Pollack made it look so easy. 
    A pioneer in Expressionism, he evoked his artistic gestures by pouring paint across the canvas
    in a very calculated way to create this intricately wrought composition.
    I love the energy that emanates from this piece!
     "The Chariot" by Giacometti was his attempt to show 
    perspective in sculptural form.  The stretched out figure
    visually seems to loom in the distance, rather than in the foreground.
    With the resurgence of everything mid century, 
    this type of art would be right at home in today’s interiors.
    I’m a colorist at heart so being up close and personal with this
    deKooning was a highlight for me!
    This was just the thing I needed to get my creative juices flowing again.
    Kudos, HIGH MUSEUM, for a job well-done.  I’ll be back for sure.


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  • 11/08/2012 - Joan Waddell 0 Comments
    Do you know Hable Construction?
    High Point Market is all about seeing new products…
    but it’s also about meeting the talented designers who create these fabulous pieces.
    Hable Construction for Hickory Chair
    the dynamic sister team of Susan and Kate Hable, created a line of  luxury fabrics
    for Hickory Chair that embodies their organic, made-by-hand aesthetic.
    I was instantly drawn to their bold, graphic patterns
    that were wrapped around comfy chairs, pillows, screens and even cabinets!
    They are known for their all American-made craftsmanship, which is a big plus for me.
    But what is also very interesting is that, even as they’ve grown through licensing with companies
    like Garnet Hill, Neiman Marcus and Pottery Barn 
    they continue to put their personal stamp on everything they do.
    The company still uses traditional screen-printing methods to create their hand-drawn fabrics
    in an old New England factory. 
    Hable Construction at Hickory Chair
    It was so fun to get a glimpse of their tools of the trade.
    I took this photo of Susan Hable’s desk in the showroom.
    Susan Hable (right)
    And talking with Susan, the creative genius behind the line,was a highlight!
    She is responsible for all the fabric designs 
    as well as the fabulous artwork scattered throughout the showroom.
    Notice the concept board behind us?
    Every design starts with the simplest thought and evolves into something truly magical…
    Hable Construction for Hickory Chair
    I love this Hable vignette that was in the showroom,
    especially the rug with its updated greek key design!
    Hable Construction artwork at Hickory Chair
    Obviously I’m attracted to the Hable "look"…
    My jacket complemented Susan’s artwork perfectly!


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  • 10/31/2012 - Joan Waddell 1 Comment
    Would I put this in MY home?
    I saw lots of goodies at Market, but the question I always ask myself is…
    This is the litmus test for whether a product makes it into my resource library.
    So today I’m sharing my top picks and why they "passed the test"
    Alexa Hampton for Hickory Chair

    This vignette designed by Alexa Hampton using her signature pieces
    is the epitome of updated luxury.
    I love it because it’s traditional but definitely not expected.
    It has a clean aesthetic that speaks to the way we live now – uncluttered, comfortable and elegant.


    This petite chandelier has so much going for it.
    The overscaled frosted glass beads create a luminous glow that would be killer in a powder room!
    It made my list because it’s a fresh new take on a classic design.

    Pearson 9845 Cabinet

    My third pick is a Deco-Inspired chest from Pearson that’s wrapped in faux Shagreen.  Why?
    Just look at the attention to detail.
    Beautiful lines and impeccable craftsmanship add up to an heirloom-in-the-making!
    And I have to admit I’m a big fan of Deco…

    Van Thiel Map Room

    I’ve always been drawn to the art of printmaking and having a source like this is

    my equivalent to being a "kid in a candy store"! 
    Not only are there thousands of antique maps in here, 
    but the other engraved images are equally unique and engaging.
    I selected this because I believe that what’s on your walls should be as fabulous as the
    furniture you place in a room.  And antiques add a layer of patina that you can’t get any other way.
    Hooker Chic Coterie Home Organizer
    I’m the mother of two grown children 
    so there’s always a practical side to my design.
    This Hooker piece gets my vote for successfully blending function with beauty. 
    And oh how I wish it had been available when my kids were young!
    It is actually part of the first furniture collection inspired by
    Who better to guide functional design than the online pinboard that is dominated by women?
    Enough said.



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  • 10/27/2012 - Joan Waddell 0 Comments
    FRIDAYfinds! Amy Howard at Market
    Once in a while you meet someone who you have an instant connection with…

    This was the case when I met
    at High Point Market last week.
    She gave the most heart-felt talk
    to a small group of us who visited her in the J. Douglas Showroom.
     She is the founder of Amy Howard Collection and Amy Howard Home,
    two incredible lines of furniture that she personally designs and builds
    in her own factory in Memphis, Tennessee.

    Amy Howard 

    As it states above, she believes every piece "starts with passion".  That is also her mantra for life.
    The beauty of her furniture comes from the unique way she translates
    inspiration she finds in her frequent travels to Europe.
    As a designer herself, she says,
    "An interior that has a sense of history and collection is the most successful"

    In her showroom at market, the new introductions for Amy Howard Home were
    both modern and timeless.
    Although a deviation from her line of  antique reproduction furniture she is known for,
    these new pieces had the same signature of quality and attention to detail as her classics.

    I’m sitting in Amy’s favorite new chair, Klismo.
    This style dates back to ancient times,
    but her interpretation is so very cool in the Toscana Black finish with caramel colored leather.

    Amy Howard Punti Sconces

    I’m drawn to these Punti sconces.  

    They exemplify what Amy Howard is all about…
    She said about her new introductions, 
    "Enjoy these new pieces and we do hope that you feel the love and compassion
    that goes into each and every piece of our furniture that we proudly make 
    in this amazing country of ours."
    Thanks, Amy, for giving me inspiration to "be the absolute best at what I do"


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  • 10/22/2012 - Joan Waddell 0 Comments
    I’ve certainly been missing in action on my blog for the past week
    but definitely not "Missing the Action"
    Last week was my annual trip to High Point Market and it was non-stop adrenaline
    Currey showroom
    My charge? 
    To seek out the newest trends and returning favorites.
    Both give me an idea of what manufacturers think are
    winning bets for the coming year. 
    Design is not static – and this process keeps me fresh and current.
    Pearson 165 Ottoman
    This market had so much variety but one common thread was
    in all shades from pale aqua to peacock!
    I love this curvy bench from Pearson with it’s tie-dyed 60’s vibe.
    Bernhardt aqua vignette
    There’s a certain quality of elegance to these shades of aqua.
    They’re both exciting and soothing…
    Maybe that’s the intent?  Home is a place that should nurture both.
    Hooker Regatta Blue Bombe
    This updated Louis XV chest from Hooker is so "Now"
    Painted in MONACO BLUE, one of Pantone’s top color picks for Spring 2013,
     it’s a standout!
    Arteriors vignette
    And the accessory lines followed suit.  
    Blue was the new AND the old as seen in everything from contemporary art glass lamps…
    Chelsea House vignette
     …to classic blue and white porcelains.
    So much more to share with you so check in later this week for my next Market post!


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  • 10/12/2012 - Joan Waddell 0 Comments
    FRIDAYfinds! -Final Pre-Market Peek!
    I’m on my way to Market early tomorrow morning (not my favorite time of day…)
    So before I go
     I thought I’d share a few more Pre-Market email pix I’ve gotten from my favorite vendors
    Sam Moore navy chaise
    Great new take on a classic chaise. I’m really lovin’ NAVY right now. 
    Notice the assymmetrical arms?   
    Easy to slide in and out and "OH SO CHIC!"
    Pearson parchment-gilded cocktail table
    Cubists and Beautiful.  What form!  Can’t wait to see this one in person.
    Global Views Market Vignette
    Wow!  Let YELLOW reign.
    Currey Market Vignette
    Lots to see in Currey’s wonderful showroom. And the food is awesome!
    See ya next week with all my 


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  • 10/10/2012 - Joan Waddell 0 Comments
    Four Days to Market!
    There’s this crazy event known as 
    when the whole world converges on the little town of High Point, NC
    to see the newest and greatest designs for the season.
    I call it "CRAZY" because that’s how I feel in the hectic days leading up to it 
    and when I’m finally there putting in 12 hours days, 4 days in a row!
    Very little glamour…..and a lot of stamina.
    But I won’t trade it for anything!
    This Market is shaping up to be one of the best in recent years.
    They’re calling it 
    With the growing crossover between fashion and interior design, 
    it seems appropriate to promote this viable connection.
    I’m excited to see how it’s played out in the showrooms.
     One place I plan to hit is SALON
    where you find the hip and the cool.
    Unlike the large, established showrooms, the vendors here are fresh on the scene
    and they’re launching entirely new lines.  
    The IHFC BUILDING is so big we could spend our entire four days here…easily!
    But there are many other showrooms to see so we have to stick to our schedule.
    That’s what I’m working on now….as I think about my favorite vendors I want to see 
    and new ones that have caught my eye.  
    It will end up being a mixed bag of appointments that is anything but predictable
    and that’s what I love about it!
    Next week I’ll take you along on our appointments so you can see the showrooms for yourself!
    Until then…


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  • 10/05/2012 - Joan Waddell 0 Comments
    Professional Jumpstart
    Last weekend I had the pleasure of spending time with
    my mentor and good friend
    one our industry’s most respected authorities on interior design.
    She is the founder and president of two successful design firms 
    and has authored eleven books on the business practice of interior design.
    A highly acclaimed speaker and consultant, Mary has devoted herself to sharing  
    her vast knowledge and experience with designers across the country.
    She currently resides in New York City but was here in Louisville
    to present a day of continuing education for designers from across the region.


    Since Mary was staying at 21C, I met her there on Friday night before going to dinner.
    We had so much fun touring the contemporary art gallery that’s built in to the hotel.

    I thought this metal sculpture was fantastic!
    It simulates a tornado and the random collection of common every day things scooped up in it’s path.
    Both fanciful and terrifying, it captures a powerful moment in time.

    replica of original LOVE sculpture by Robert Indiana

    This sculpture is iconic today
    but did you know it was originally designed in 1964
    as a Christmas card for the Museum of Modern Art?
    A replica sits in the lobby of 21C.

    21C Hotel roof

    I love this hotel. It’s so funky!
    The exterior serves as a revolving art exhibit
    that’s even more thought-provoking than what’s inside.
    The penguins are the unofficial mascots so you never know where they’ll show up next.
    Rooftop party anyone?


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  • 10/01/2012 - Joan Waddell 1 Comment
    Floral Remix
    Just when we thought Geometrics rule….
    enter the Modern Florals!
    Pearson pink and floral vignette
    I frequent the blogs of my favorite vendors to keep up with the newest and greatest trends
    and I’m always finding interesting tidbits.
    Thanks to Pearson for their recent post on "Minimal Opulence" 
    where they talk about a resurgence in floral prints.
    What makes it exciting is the new way that florals are hitting the scene.
    In the room vignette above, the floral arm chair takes center stage, but in a very restrained way.
    The idea is to energize a room with an interesting pattern, not take it over.

    Notice the modern, sleek look of the rest of the upholstery. 
    It’s all in the balance!
    Schumacher Khantau Tree 173910
    This floral looks so fresh and new,
    you wouldn’t guess that it’s from Schumacher’s archives.
    With updated colors, it’s current once again.
    I loved it so much I built my room around it in a recent show house!
    Design by J. Waddell Interiors for Bellarmine Showhouse 2012
    This fabric is the perfect "GLUE" to hold the room together.
    Both casual and elegant, it begs you to take a seat!



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  • 09/27/2012 - Joan Waddell 0 Comments
    Gold Glam
    I love all the metals but I’m particularly fond of 
    It’s magical in the way it casts its glow on a room.
    Whether in small doses or as a focal point, gold has the power to make everything else look great!
    Currey Nefret Chair
    New introductions coming out of High Point are all about the gold.
    Everything from exotic to contemporary is getting the treatment.
    This chair will definitely find a home in one of my projects.
    One is enough but imagine the impact!
    Lillian August room scene
    Let me COUNT the ways I love this vignette! The gold starburst mirror has my name all over it.
    And the plum slipper chair with gold nail head trim is so of-the-moment.
    See my recent post "Trending the Purples"
    Global Views deep pockets vase
    This reminds me of a rare amber artifact.
    I’m seeing it displayed on a fabulous pedestal with directional light to bring out its inner glow.
    Currey Confetti Cube Pendant
    Perfect marriage of handmade craftsmanship and edgy drama.
    A mere 12″ in diameter, it’s small but spectacular!


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  • 09/24/2012 - Joan Waddell 0 Comments
    FRIDAYfinds – Bobo Wrapping Scarves
    Today’s weather reminds me that Fall is almost here.  
    And I love all that it brings – especially when it comes to entertaining!
    Getting an invitation to a gathering at a friend’s home is the best, in my book.
    But if you’re like me, you’re always searching for the perfect hostess gift.
    Maybe it’s not so much "what" you bring, 
    but the loving care that goes into the presentation.

    How beautiful is this!
    I recently discovered the Bobo wrapping scarf on-line and I’m a huge fan!
    Not only because it’s so gorgeous, but because of its history and relevance today.

    The wrapping scarf is not a new concept.
    It has been a part of Asian culture for centuries.
    Originally known as Bojagi,
    it is the perfect "GREEN" solution to gift wrapping.
    No more tossed paper and ribbon.

    What hostess could resist this little gem?
    And I’ve got the neatest gift to tuck inside…

    I’ve been selling these fabulous diffusers for several years now in our studio.
    And they lend themselves so well to the art of fabric wrapping!
    Manufactured in a small factory in Aiglun, France
    they are still made using only natural essential oils and beetroot alcohol.
    The result is a captivating aroma that will fragrance your room up to 3 months.

    I can’t wait to present my Bobo gift to a good friend!
    Hope you ‘re inspired to do the same.


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  • 09/18/2012 - Joan Waddell 0 Comments
    Magnificent Homes of America – James Madison’s Montpelier
    I can’t decide what I love the most about this incredible property,
    the rolling landscape around it or the classical proportions of the house itself.
    What a beautiful drive it was through the winding roads of hunt country in Virginia.
    And the weather was beautiful too.  In fact, our guide told me, 
    "There are about 10 days out of the year when the weather is just perfect here
    and you’re lucky enough to have one of them today!"
    This is the view that James Madison enjoyed 
    while writing the Constitution in his study on the second floor.
    It would definitely be inspirational to me!
    Inside, a facinating glimpse of the restoration in-progress, which began in 2003.  
    In the closet, they discovered a small piece of the original wallpaper.  I love detective stories!
    Much of the house still remains unfurnished. 
    The major concentration has been to return the structure to it’s original form,
    which was completed on Constitution Day , Sept.17, 2008.
    Since then, efforts have been made to find and acquire the original furnishings 
    The Cockburn side chair is one the the few pieces that has survived.  
    I was intrigued with the heart motif and asked the guide about it .
    It was typical of venacular carpentry work in the 1700’s and a signature of 
    Robert Walker, who was the mentor of the chair designer, Robert Cockburn.
    Outside, I enjoy a teachable moment with James and Dolly!
    But I saved the best for last – Madison’s Temple.
    Situated on the north yard, it is a fitting symbol of Madison’s genius.
    "He chose the architecture of the ancient republic of Rome 
    to symbolize his dreams for the new american republic"
    Montpelier Foundation


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  • 09/15/2012 - Joan Waddell 0 Comments
    FRIDAYfinds! – Pre-Market Gems
    The excitement is mounting as we approach High Point Market in October.  
    I’m sensing a new optimism in the air 
    with each email I receive from my favorite manufacturers as they prepare to roll out
    fabulous new introductions in their showrooms.
    Here’s a look at some of my top Pre-Market picks!
    Jonathan Charles Luxe collection

    Two trends combine in this gorgeous collection – Minimalism and Gold.
    I love the organics of  walnut mixed with sleek frames!

    Global  Views Intaglio vases

    Mid-Century design is hotter than ever!
    Reinterpreted for today’s interiors with bold graphics and vivid orange,
    Pantone’s color of the year.

    Pearson room setting with #306 chair and ottoman

    Well stated, Pearson!
    We continue to crave our "cocoon" as a place to rest and renew
    and this cushy wing answers the call.

    Chelsea House 68037 Chandelier 

    How chic is this?  Lighting has evolved into an art form.

    Hooker Mirrored Plaid Chest

    Mirrored pieces are as popular as ever.
    Manufacturers are responding with fresh takes on this favorite trend.
    I’m lovin’ the subtle plaid pattern on this transitional chest from Hooker!

    More to come in October when I’ll take you "BEHIND THE SCENES" at Market.


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  • 09/08/2012 - Joan Waddell 0 Comments
    J. Waddell Interiors 2012 Bellarmine Showhouse  
    With the elegant Preview Party on Thursday night, 
    the show house was officially opened and ready for viewing.
    I know I look calm and collected here 
    but up to the last minute, I was tweeking the room…
    Ferns to be watered (yes, they’re the real deal), glass to be cleaned
    and repositioning the chairs so that they were angled "just right"
    You’ve heard me say it before, but I’m obsessed with details.
    They can make or break a room.
    A wonderful mentor of mine from a show house years ago 
    gave me this advice, which I religiously follow,
    Thanks Alice.
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  • 09/08/2012 - Joan Waddell 0 Comments
    FRIDAYfinds! – Trending the Purples
    With High Point Market just around the corner in October, 
    I’m placing bets on the staying power of
    Kravet 3127
    It’s already showing up in great geometric fabrics like this one
    but I predict we will be seeing it in everything related to the home,
    from artwork to lamps and beyond.
    YSL Tribute Platform T-strap

    As usual, we’re taking our cue from the fashion runways.
    I’m lovin’ this plum and gold combo from YSL.

    Pearson showroom setting

    Restraint is sometimes the best choice, as seen in this room setting by Pearson.
    The fuschia flowers offer the perfect counterpoint to the neutral upholstery.

    Lillian August showroom setting with lavender chairs

    Purple is the color of royalty.
    What could be more elegant for your dining room?

    I’ll be searching for more of this cool trend when I go to market.
    Check back with me.


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  • 08/31/2012 - Joan Waddell 0 Comments
    FRIDAYfinds! – Blue and White Porcelain
    Sarried #26012 Ming Dynasty porcelain jars
    Maybe it’s because I’m using them in a BIG way in the dining room I designed for the 
    Bellarmine Show House which opens Sept 8.
    But I’m also reminded of the timeless appeal and vesatility they offer.
    I love them in pairs as I did here in the show house dining room.  
    Twice the impact
    Twice the drama
    Wildwood #5294 Blue White Heralds lamp 
    But I also adore the beauty of one on it’s own.  
    How striking would this be with a lavender sofa?


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  • 08/29/2012 - Joan Waddell 0 Comments
    Show House – Down to the wire
    We’re in the final stages of installing our dining room at the Bellarmine Show House 
    and it’s definitely crunch time!
    It takes an army to make this happen.  
    I’m so thankful for the skilled hands of our contractors.
    That mirror weighs a ton!
    Meanwhile, on the other side of our space…
    You know how I love original artwork.
    Details make…or break a room.
    Visit the Show House to see what I’ve chosen for this gorgeous sideboard 
    Designed with a family in mind, each piece is intended to make dining easy and fun.
    This room is so approachable.  No pretense.
    A modern take on the timeless idea of breaking bread together.
    Come see me at the show house on Designer Nights 
    each Tuesday and Thursday evening from 5-7pm during the show.
    "The Wilkinson House"
    1701 Evergreen Road, Anchorage, KY 40223
    SEPT 8-23, 2012


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  • 08/24/2012 - Joan Waddell 0 Comments
    Show House Installation Day – PART ONE
    Like little soldiers lined up and ready to march in…
    my furniture stands at attention in the foyer.
    The fabulous blue hostess chair and bench are in the foreground
    awaiting their place in the dining room at the end of the hall.
    What a crazy day this is with designers and installers everywhere!
    I always hold my breath when  window treatments are installed, especially in a show house. 
    Accurate measurements are sooo important.  Looks like these are a winner!
    I LOVE THE PATTERN… Just what I envisioned to frame the great french doors.
    The rug and table have arrived!  But where is the chandelier?
    The deliveries have to be synchronized like clockwork.  
    Chandelier first, then we can roll out the rug and arrange table and chairs.
    It’s here!  
    Gotta check that measurement one…more…time.
    I promise we didn’t plan the color coordinated attire to match the room 
    but what a coincidence, don’t you think?
    More to come as we put the room together… so keep in touch.


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  • 08/18/2012 - Joan Waddell 1 Comment
    FRIDAYfinds! – The Future of Wallpaper
    I see a lot of new products every day!  From reps who bring their lines to the studio to
     my searches on the internet.  
    But it’s rare when I discover something that stops me in my tracks!
    When was the last time you thought about wallpaper?
    It’s coming back in a big way but not like you remember…
    Trove Chroma wallpaper
    Have you ever seen anything like this?  
    You are looking at the future of wallpaper!
    This line is the brainchild of a pair of Chicago Institute of Art graduates, Randall Buck and Jee Levin.
    They are turning the industry on its head with their innovative designs.
    The Chroma wallpaper above, with a 6′ by 12′ repeat, is based on photographs that have been
    enlarged and manipulated to the point of abstraction.  
    These are actually photos of people on a busy New York street.  
    The images are configured in a helix pattern reminiscent of DNA.
    What makes the paper so intriguing is that it captures real-time human activity in a totally new way.
     The more you look at it the more you become connected to the imagery.


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  • 08/16/2012 - Joan Waddell 0 Comments
    ZigZag MANIA
    I get the question all the time,  "Do home design trends follow fashion?"
    There is a strong link that is undeniable. 
    New fashion directions are unveiled each season during Fashion Week.
    In the home furnishings industry, our unveiling comes during High Point Market,
    which happens twice a year in High Point, NC.
    From color trends to fabrics and furniture designs, you can see the cross-over.
    Ottavio Missoni
    I can think of no better example of this close relationship 
    between fashion and furnishings than Missoni.
    This husband wife team created a fashion empire based on a colorful
    zigzag patterned knit that is as fresh today as it was in 1958 when their first line was introduced.
    Look familiar?  
    Although this iconic pattern has been around for over 50 years,
    it’s seeing a resurgence like never before! 
    Not only in the fashion world, but in the furnishing world as well.
    Both industries are obsessed with Mid-Century design

    and Missoni represents the very best of this genre.

    Hickory Chair fabric #3819-93

    New for Hickory Chair is this great interpretation in smoky shades.
    Would be fabulous on the trestle bench from their Thomas O’Brien collection.

    Hickory Chair Thomas O’Brien 2009-88 Trestle Bench


    Global Views Jerry Pillow

    Get a small dose of this trend with a zigzag pillow…or two.

    Carlton House Mission Stripe – Fiesta

    Or go all out with a bold statement!
    I’m lovin’ this colorful faux suede version.
    Can’t you see it on a drum shade?


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  • 08/13/2012 - Joan Waddell 0 Comments
    J. Waddell Interiors – Pearson 485 Wing with 4591-73 Fabric
    To me, a wing chair is the perfect blend of comfort and drama.
    It gives you the back support you need to read that fabulous novel from cover to cover 
    Or in pairs, wings wrap around you and create a cozy place to chat with your best friend.
    And if your vision of a wing chair is one you remember from childhood, read on.
    The two that I chose for my client in the photo above are a far cry from wings of the past.
    Their shapes are exaggerate and whimsical and the colorful Ikat fabric gives them a happy vibe!
    Pearson 527 Wing Chair and 527-5 Matching Ottoman

    This is a favorite of mine.  The angular lines have a certain masculinity, 

    especially with the simple exposed-wood base.  I see it in a home office, 
    covered in butterscotch leather with chrome nailheads. 
    Great for after hours, too. 
    Definitely a go-to chair for relaxing with your favorite cocktail and newspaper. 
    Pearson 41-60 Upholstered Bed and Room setting
    Wings aren’t just for chairs.  They make a big statement in the bedroom, as well.
    I’m crazy about this upholstered bed with its modified wings.  Talk about comfort zone!
    Paired with the great mix of fabrics, it’s a show stopper.  Thanks for the inspiration, Pearson.
    See you at market.


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  • 08/08/2012 - Joan Waddell 2 Comments

    I’m a huge advocate of original art.  Every home should have it.  Whether it’s a highly valued piece or not is really not the point.  Fine art is a relative term and in my book, it’s "fine" if it speaks to you!

    There are so many sources for original art that it’s not difficult to stay in budget.  I love to roam through local art galleries but roaming the stalls of an art fair like Saint James is just as much fun.  With the variety of art on display, it’s a great way to fine tune your style.

    J. Waddell Interiors

    In this kitchen and den that I designed, the art takes center stage.  My clients love to hunt for pieces that inspire them.
    From wall art to sculpture, each piece hold special meaning.  They talk to the artists, learn about the concept behind the art and make their decisions based on that connection.

    I always enjoy visiting their home to see the new additions to a growing collection.  Note the hand-blown pendant light over the island that I found for them.  It has the same artistic vibe as the artwork!

    J. Waddell Interiors

    I am personally drawn to impressionist art, such as this wonderful piece in my client’s dining room. When building the house,  we made sure there was a special place for it to hang.  The sconces were also selected to complement the art and provide soft illumination.

    J. Waddell Interiors

    A playful mix of media adds excitement to this
    redesigned corner of my client’s home office. The selection of each element in this small space was critical but until I found these three pieces of art, it wasn’t energized.  Imagine no art on the walls….then you understand the impact!


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  • 08/04/2012 - Joan Waddell 0 Comments
    FRIDAYfinds! – The Perfect Picnic
    Did you know that July was
    That’s enough of an excuse for me!  
    But I have to put my stamp on it 
    so for FRIDAYfinds! I am sharing my version of the perfect picnic.
    It starts with a beautiful blanket.  The one above is fine but I’ve got a better idea…
    Kravet Outdoor Fabric    Torboli – Surf #31700-13
    What could be more festive than this cool fabric made into a custom-sized blanket?
    And it’s totally practical since it’s acrylic and polyester yarn!
    Kravet  Outdoor Fabric   A Poi  – Lime #31702-303
    This is perfect for the reverse side finished with a neutral acrylic fringe.
    After the picnic, just hose it down and let it dry.
    My favorite picnic time is late afternoon into evening so a candle is essential
    Avron Hurricane from The Natural Light
    I love the simplicity of this hurricane.  It sets the mood without being too fussy.
    What’s missing?  My choice of food would be an assortment of wonderful French cheeses,
    fresh fruit and a baguette from Blue Dog Bakery.
    You didn’t think I’d forget the wine, did you?  
    I love a crisp Sauvignon Blanc or unoaked Chardonnay to keep it light.
    Glass, rather than plastic, thank you.
    Here’s to a month of fun-filled picnics!


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  • 08/03/2012 - Joan Waddell 0 Comments
    Magnificent Homes of America – SWAN HOUSE
    A while ago, I told you about my personal quest to visit the 
    This one is dear to my heart – a memory from my past when I lived in Atlanta years ago.
    The Swan House
    centrally located in the Buckhead area 
    is a little oasis that I used to visit when I needed a breather from city life.
    There’s definitely not a shortage of secluded spots to renew your spirit 
    on the grounds of this beautiful property!
    But the shining star is actually the back side of the house, 
     with its double winding staircase and cascading fountain that leads to a grand lawn.
    The Swan House was built for Edward and Emily Inman in 1928, heirs to a cotton brokerage fortune.
    It is considered one of the finest works of Atlanta architect, Phillip Trammell Schutze,
    who adapted Italian and English classical styles to accommodate 20th century living.
    The interior is just as breathtaking.  
    I’m in love with this black and white floor with yellow accents 
    The library is a lesson in how to bring a large space down to scale.  
    Paneling is the key.
    Beautiful in it’s simplicity, the kitchen is loaded with classic design details that are on-trend today.  
    Check out the cute little work bench and those great chrome hinges on the ice box! 
    And the original minty green color is once again making a comeback.

    It’s all in the details.  This is why I love touring historic homes.
    They offer a glimpse of the past but more importantly, they give me a blueprint for the future.

    Until next time…


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  • 08/01/2012 - Joan Waddell 0 Comments
    The Clock is Ticking…Show House Countdown!
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  • 07/27/2012 - Joan Waddell 0 Comments
    FRIDAYfinds! – The Written Note
    When was the last time you received a handwritten note in the mail?
    A WHAT???
    Yes, I know it is practically extinct but not yet…
    I’ve always been a fanatic for beautiful stationery 
    It’s such a civilized detail that says so much about who you are.
    And there is nothing like opening an envelope that feels good in your hand.
    Quality paper and a well-written note makes a statement that you care.
    So I decided to share a few of my favorites with you
    in hopes that it might inspire you to find your OWN stationery style. 
    Crane gold shell notecard
      I love Crane stationary.  My wedding invitations were Crane.  
    So were both of my childrens’ birth announcements.
    And I was not surprised that I was drawn to this conch shell notecard by Crane.
    I think I’ll adopt it for my dream Cottage by the Sea!  Great color, too.
    Kate Spade vibrant green flat card
    Isn’t this the cutest?  The peacock is absolutely adorable in red 
    and the Kelly green liner is the perfect complement.
    Bernard Maisner easel and canvas note cards

    I’m in love with these hand painted pieces!
    Good choice if you like to mix it up to match your mood.

    Smythson Bunting card
    In the spirit of the Summer Olympics, why not show your loyalty to all things British
    with this sophisticated note card the bears the host country’s flag.
    I plan to follow my own advice and send out a personal note to a good friend this week.
    So who will be the lucky recipient of  your mailing?
    Here’s to SNAIL MAIL!


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  • 07/25/2012 - Joan Waddell 0 Comments
    Small Spaces… Great Places
    They offer the greatest opportunity for major impact in a home.
    Rather than shying away, I embrace the challenge.
    Maybe it’s the limited size.  Maybe it’s the intimate nature of a small space.
    And maybe it’s because when you’re in a small space that has been well designed,
     it wraps around you like a warm blanket.
    J. Waddell Interiors
    All glitter and glam, this elegant little powder room I designed for a client 
    is the height of luxury.  The shell pink paper casts a flattering glow, while the
    crystal chandelier and metallic ceiling add to the shimmer. 
    J. Waddell Interiors
    There’s nothing timid about this small space!
    This Show House study, exposed on two sides, was located in the center of the apartment.
    My challenge was to create a cozy retreat in spite of its open location.
    Paneling set the mood instantly while comfortable upholstery invited you in.
    I custom designed the iron and glass desk to keep the scale in check.
    My favorite find….the antique blue mercury glass butler’s ball by the striped chair.
    J. Waddell Interiors
    You can’t get a smaller space than a closet!  
    Instead of housing clothes, I designed it to work as an office by day and entertainment area by night.
    Everything is exposed but looks great.  
    File drawers marry happily with the flat screen tv and martini bar below it.
    And on the other side of this tiny room…
    J. Waddell Interiors
    I designed a custom Murphy Bed for the unexpected guest that rings the doorbell.  


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  • 07/20/2012 - Joan Waddell 0 Comments
    FRIDAYfinds! – Virtual Design
    Have you heard of it?  
    It’s the hottest on-line design tool I’ve discovered!
    Not just for the pros, 
    this cool site allows you to create "Mood Boards" using the Olio library 
    or by uploading your own images. 
    It’s a virtual cut and paste for interior design junkies and I’m crazy about it.
    Here’s my first stab at it.
    Remember the pieces from my Seaside Cottage posts?
     A bit rough around the edges,  but you get the idea…notice the flying lamp on the left?
    A little glitch on my part…
    Though I have lots to learn, I can see that this is going to be a fantastic visual aid.
    My pick of a few Olio boards that are distinctive and fun
     Jewel Tones by lfeliciano5


     Awakening by pinecone


     …..dinner…!!! by konstandina


    yellow room by estefien
    Explore the site for yourself and start creating!



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  • 07/18/2012 - Joan Waddell 0 Comments
    Seaside cottage of my dreams – Part Three
    As I design my fantasy "Dream Cottage",
    I’m reminded of the references to life by the sea in a bygone era.
    The cupola on this house is a familiar architectural feature of seaside homes everywhere
    but in the past, they served a very important purpose…
    As beacons to sailors at sea, these "roof lanterns" guided them safely to shore, much like lighthouses.
    So many ways to incorporate the beauty of the sea inside my dream cottage, as well.
    While on the beach, I playfully assembled this shell pattern…
    What a surprise when I discovered this new Duralee pattern, Ginori.  
    Not only is the pattern similar to mine, but the color is called "Sand"!
    Perfect for upholstery in the cottage, don’t you think?
    Hooker Fretwork Bed
    This fantastic bed reminds me of bubbles in the surf.  
    Great choice for the bedroom.
    I envision a wall color somewhere between blue and green to play up the water theme.
    Sherwin Williams Tidewater #6477 would be beautiful.
    Imagine this ethereal color popping through the headboard.
    Hooker Seven Seas Antique mirror table
    Awesome flanking the bed!
    Could they have once been in Poseidon’s undersea grotto?
    Currey Peabody Lamp
    Reminiscent of a sea captain’s chart lamp, 
    two of these on the night stands would be ideal for late night reading.


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  • 07/13/2012 - Joan Waddell 0 Comments
    FRIDAYfinds! – An Old Friend
    Amanda Nisbet design on


    Sometimes the best finds are those you’ve seen before. 
    What a surprise when I found an old friend and fellow designer, 
    Amanda Nisbet
    on the Pantone color blog.
    We were in an Interior Design Business Forum together in New York for almost 6 years 
    and her business has exploded since then.  
    With a line of lighting, fabrics and more, she is on the forefront of new design trends.

    What’s really interesting is that she was featured on the Pantone site for her designs using the
    Pantone color of the year – Tangerine Tango- which I posted on my FRIDAYfinds recently!
    It’s a small world, indeed…
    Check it out.



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  • 07/13/2012 - Joan Waddell 0 Comments
    Seaside Cottage of my dreams…Part two
    Once in Naples, my hunt for the "cottage of my dreams" was short and sweet.  
    When my eyes fell on this gem by the sea, I felt like I was home!
    Tucked in a Palm-lined lane, it was everything I had imagined – bright, happy and supremely liveable.
    Having seen it first hand, I’m now inspired to furnish the rest of this great retreat.
    Last week I showed you how I would create an updated casual look for the living room.
    Moving into the dining area…
    My Seahorse table is a must-have!  
    And the glass top seems to float in space.
    The perfect blend of elegance and  practicality.
    Sarried Etruscan Dining Table
    Love the lines of these side chairs 
    and the pendant light!
    This dining group is eclectic and unexpected.
    Just the way I like it!
    Hooker Addison side chair
    Currey Fenchurch chandelier
    I need a little R and R after all this designing!  Notice the shells?  I can’t turn it off…
    See you next time for Part Three!


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  • 06/29/2012 - Joan Waddell 0 Comments
    FRIDAYfinds! – Seaside Cottage of my Dreams
    As I get ready for a few days at the beach, 
    I’ve been thinking about the many benefits of a ocean side cottage. 
    And the potential it holds for laid back design. 
    So here’s my first picks for the "cottage of my dreams"
    It starts with a comfy sofa like "Emma" from Sam Moore. The rolled arms are a must for nap time.
    Notice the detail of spaced nail heads on the deck.  New look to watch!
    I love the strength and scale of this piece from Hooker’s Melange Collection. 
    And the contrast of the light sofa and ebony finished cabinet is a play on the bright sunshine in the day versus the inky darkness of the ocean at night.  Even the wavy glass looks fluid and watery.
    Gotta have a pair of these flanking the flat screen mounted on the wall!
    Beautiful and durable, this substantial cocktail table has what it takes to
     handle drinks, dinner or a dinosaur puzzle.  It’s also the place for my future sea glass collection. 
    Hooker Seven Seas Collection
    Great looking end tables for the sofa.  Love the mix of bronze and marble.  So organic yet edgy!
    Global Views Runners side table
    Top them off with a pair of these Mimi lamps in "Breeze" from Wildwood.
     I’m crazy about this Rafferty Console from Hooker. 
    A must for the foyer, it looks like a relic from a capsized ship!
    This is just a start! I’m sure I’ll have lots of inspiration once I’m at the beach so stayed tuned.


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  • 06/29/2012 - Joan Waddell 0 Comments
    Today’s Woman Magazine really put on a show Tuesday night 
    to honor the 12 women who won "Most Admired" in their category!
    My sincere thanks to everyone at Today’s Woman for making us feel so special.
    That’s Cathy Zion, publisher of Today’s Woman on the stage with me.  If it wasn’t for her great leadership and vision, none of us would have been recognized.  Thank you Cathy.
    Each one of us was asked to speak about a woman
    that we admire the most.
    There were many heartfelt testimonials that spoke to the spirit and determination
    of women today and throughout history.
    I chose to talk about Dorothy Draper, a pioneering interior designer from the early 20th century.
    (See my blog "Dorothy Draper Revisited" for more on this amazing woman)
    Many of my closest friends and family were able to attend the celebration.
    Krista Newton, my able assistant, is my bedrock…and close friend.
    Some of the "girls" in my family. 
    I’m so glad they were there.
    So lucky to have my own family together for the event.  It’s rare these days!
    The biggest surprise of all was this group of ladies!  
    All wonderful friends from our little community of Anchorage.  
    What memories we share of our kids growing up.
    All of you created a new special memory for me by being there.
    Sometimes design takes a very personal direction, away from the creative process.
    This was one of those times.  And I’m grateful.


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  • 06/23/2012 - Joan Waddell 0 Comments
    FRIDAYfinds! – Color of the Year
    My days – and evenings are filled with searching for the best and coolest "things" for my clients.  
    I thought it would be fun to share some of these fabulous discoveries with you so I’m launching my 


    You’ll see everything from the smallest detail to a total room design. Whatever hits a chord with me.
    So tag along and enjoy the hunt!
    Pantone, the leading color authority, named Tangerine Tango as THE color for 2012. 
    They refer to it as a 
    "spirited reddish orange (that) continues to provide the energy boost we need 
    to recharge and move forward"
    Its influence has been seen everywhere, especially in fashion and interior design.
     Here’s my take on it… 
    This clean-lined club chair from Lillian August would certainly take center stage in any room.
    Complement with a neutral sofa and textural sisal rug and pop the color again with edgy pillows.
    Or take it in smaller doses.  Love the name of this vase! 
    Molton Jewel Vase – Global Views
    Activate it with a single Elephant leaf and you’re done.
    Think this color is too strong?  Nature didn’t think so…
    Madegoods coral on base
    Sometimes less is more. John Robshaw got the color balance "just right"!  
    Seeing this on drapery panels in a family room with navy upholstery.  Cozy but updated.
    John Robshaw for Duralee – American Beauty  #21037-92
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  • 06/20/2012 - Joan Waddell 0 Comments
    Dorothy Draper Revisited

    I can’t wait to show you the photos from my recent visit to the Greenbrier.  What a tranformation from the last time I was there! The entire resort has been revitalized with new ownership and casino.  Originally designed by Dorothy Draper, the renovation remains true to her vision with Carlton Varney at the helm.

    Dorothy Draper, one of the great design icons of the 20th century, displayed an exuberance in her designs that shocked the world.  She was never swayed by the resistance to her bold color combinations. To the contrary, it fueled further experimentation in the things she instinctively knew were the key building blocks to her distinctive style.

    In addition to mixing unlikely colors, 
    she exaggerated scale to create drama.  Those lamps are 45″ tall!
    And yes, that’s a clock on the wall.  
    But it’s far from typical with the heavy ornamentation that makes it a statement piece
    She understood the power of exciting the "eye" as you move through one space to another.
    Every turn creates an opportunity to surprise and delight.

    Descending to the casino level presented a design challenge in itself.  With no natural light and a perception of going down to a basement, masterful use of  visual tricks added up to a stair well with star power!

    The casino lobby definitely puts you in the mood to gamble!  
    Dorothy Draper loved to create framed vignettes to intrigue and entice you to move toward a new space.
    Notice the use of color to pull the eye from the blue sofa to the blue wall in the casino.
    Nothing is left to chance. Every detail is well thought out.  This incredible crystal chandelier is one of a dozen that hangs in the main dining room.  I couldn’t take my eyes off of it!
    Whats not to love!  
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  • 06/13/2012 - Joan Waddell 0 Comments
    Beach Bound!
    I see myself under one of those umbrellas…
    The Ritz Carlton in Naples, Florida
     is famous for pampering so it seems like the perfect destination 
    for our short getaway.
    But first….
    my picks for the beach…or pool.  
    This Milly cover-up fits the bill with just the right balance of color and comfort
    Gotta have this beach bag!!!  
    Pair with these fun Dolce Vita sandals for a little glamour.  Love the snakeskin detail!
    Sun is fun….under a chic hat like this one.
    On location in a few weeks!  
    And of course, I plan to check out the great beach houses while I’m there.
    I’ll keep you posted.


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  • 06/09/2012 - Joan Waddell 0 Comments
    Show House Sneak Peak!

    Nothing stokes my creativity more than a show house!  

    I love the challenges and the freedom to think out of the box.  
    And I’ll get my chance at this year’s Bellarmine Women’s Council Show House. 
    Selections of rooms were made last week and I’m excited to say that 
    I will be designing the dining room in this beautiful Jeffersonian-style home. 
     I thought it would be fun to give you a sneak peak at work in progress… 
    Measuring day took a little imagination since there were no walls, ceilings or floors!
    But don’t our bags look "marvelous"!
    The fireplace without the mantel is a interesting vignette on it’s own. 
    It’s a rare look at the layers of life that have been exposed.
    The cool part of this room is that it is integrated with the kitchen, which is right behind the fireplace.
    This dining room will not be your typical formal space.
    It will serve as both a family gathering spot for homework and casual meals 
    as well as a comfortable entertainment area.
    Oh the possibilities…  I can’t wait!


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  • 06/06/2012 - Joan Waddell 0 Comments
    My Personal Quest
    Recently I was interviewed and the question came up, "What would you still like to accomplish?".
    One of the things on my rather long list mixes business with pleasure.
    What could be better than planning trips around touring the great homes of America?
    Learning about the architecture and interior spaces of these magnificent national treasures
    is my idea of the perfect vacation! 

    I could think of no better place to start than Monticello, home of Thomas Jefferson, located outside Charlottesville, VA,  I’ve visited this fabulous home on many occasions over the past four years that my son has attended the University of Virginia, another one of Jefferson’s creations.
    This is where Jefferson’s genius came to life!
    His personal study was so inspiring to me.  Could have stayed in there for a while, had the tour guide not ushered me to the next room… I was lucky to catch the afternoon light in this photo.
    The dining room was recently returned to it’s original color
    Chrome Yellow.
    Perfect choice then …and now!
    Jefferson was facinated by Chinese Chippendale as seen in these three patterns on the railing.
    Inspiration for a fabric?
    I couldn’t get enough of Jefferson’s terraced garden!  Perched on the side of his "mountain", 
    it’s a work of art.
    Jefferson built his garden pavilion as a place to contemplate.  I agree…


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  • 06/01/2012 - Joan Waddell 3 Comments
    The Winners Are Featured!
    It is such an honor to be in the company of so many wonderfully talented women
    Today’s Woman Magazine June Issue 
    which features the winners of the "Most Admired Woman" competition.
    Thanks to all of you who made it happen for me.  
    Be sure to read all of the inspiring stories from these great Ladies of Louisville!
    join me for a night of celebration on June 26th.  You can register on-line at
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  • 06/01/2012 - Joan Waddell 0 Comments
    Seahorse love…
    With the arrival of sunny days and warm breezes, my thoughts are turning to the beach.
    Where I live, the closest body of water is the Ohio River 
    so the surf and sand of an ocean retreat sounds pretty appealing 
     Later this summer, I hope to make it happen.  
    In the meantime,
    what better way to anticipate than with some of my "watery"  favorites from Market! 
     Seahorses are showing up everywhere, 
    but this incredible cocktail table from Chelsea House is,by far, the most unique I’ve seen.
    These navy coral prints from Sochier Marin are a bold reinterpretation of a favorite theme.
    Shell botanicals like this one from Duralee
     conjure up memories of great finds on the beach!
    Currey Grotto Chandelier
    Take me away…
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  • 05/25/2012 - Joan Waddell 1 Comment
    Graduation in Hoosville

    The celebration started on Friday evening with a fabulous party at a private home in Charlottesville.
    I LOVE this Mom/Son photo with all the graduating Sigma Chi’s!

     Lots to get in before the big day, like touring the grounds with family.
    Couldn’t resist another pose in front of the Rotunda.
    It will be a very different scene tomorrow.

    Lovely reception at the President’s home.
    I was SO excited when I saw this Zuber wallpaper in the dining room!

    A taste of what’s to come…
    Dinner at Duner’s with the family.  Awesome!
    The traditional march down the lawn with a few other graduates….over 6,000 of them!
    Congratulations, Emery.  We love you!
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  • 05/16/2012 - Joan Waddell 0 Comments
    Painted Doors Come Inside
    With our new love of color, we’re finding great new ways to apply it in our homes.
    One of my favorites is to paint an interior door.
    And this month, I had the opportunity to explain more on this popular trend in
    Look for the Designer’s Corner
    As a featured designer, I answered a question from a reader 
    on how to choose the best color for your interior door.
    Doors offer a unique opportunity to visually impact a room, 
    either as a focal point, as in the green entry 
    as a transition from one space to another.  
    Notice how the blue french doors not only pull you eye around to the blue chairs, 
    but they also lead you into the foyer space, as well.
    And never underestimate the drama of black. Imagine this neutral room without it.
    Find out more of my tips on creating the perfect painted door in the May/June issue of
    and send me photos of your own painted door!


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  • 05/11/2012 - Joan Waddell 0 Comments
    Market Favs!
    Spring Market at High Point, North Carolina just ended and it was full of fun and surprises. 
    Here are my favorite trends that you can easily blend into your existing decor right now!
    Pearson Furniture is always reinventing classics as seen in this Market vignette. 
    Love the orange chair with aqua accessories.
    With the huge return of color, Worlds Away white coffee table offers a welcomed way to cool things down.
    Prefer something you can put your feet up on?  
    This double-duty cocktail ottoman from Emerson et Cie is a swank way to dress up your sofa.  
    I can’t get enough of lucite!
    Whether you want to recover a favorite chair or spring for a new one, consider an updated floral fabric like these from Sam Moore. The painted frames add a fresh dimension.
    Florals are making a big comeback on window treatments, too… 
    Charlotte Moss stays true to timeless style with this bird and vine print.
    Hand-made goods, from your grandmother or a villager in India, 
    have universal appeal that is hard to deny.  Find a piece that speaks to you and display it proudly.
    60’s, YES!
    Look at this shape!  Flank your sofa or reserve one for a bedside table.  
    Either way, this lamp from Wildwood is definitely not stuck in the 60’s.
    Who says you can’t combine retro with glamour?  
    Jonathan Adler’s "Sputnik" chandelier from Robert Abbey 
    is an instant update to your traditional dining table!


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  • 05/07/2012 - Joan Waddell 0 Comments
    Not Your Typical Derby…
    I love to entertain at Derby time. 
    Inviting friends for a Derby morning brunch is the perfect prelude to an exciting day at the track.  
    But this year was a little different….  
    The first carload arrived on Thursday.
    My son, the one in the middle, wanted his friends from UVa to experience the Oaks and Derby.
    With full stomachs and sunglasses, they were ready to conquer the infield on Oaks Day.
    We joined the fun for "PINK OUT" at the Oaks, honoring cancer survivors.
    Later that evening, the second carload rolled up the driveway, bringing the number of boys sleeping at our house to seven
    Derby Brunch consisted of "Guy" food.  Sausage casserole, hash brown casserole, grilled asparagus,
    country ham biscuits with marmalade, spinach salad with strawberries and Derby pie.
    Feed them and they will be happy…
    Cheers to sunny weather and winning tickets!
    Then the numbers grew again.  Another group from UVa came by to join the celebration 
    before catching the van for the track.                                              
    Tired and hungry again, they needed to refuel before a big night on the town.
    Sunday came and it was over in the flash, just like it started.  What will next year bring?
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  • 04/26/2012 - Joan Waddell 0 Comments
    My Day with the “Wiser Generation”
    I don’t know about you but I’m definitely inspired by the "Wiser Generation". 
    Their zest for life is contagious!  
    Today I had the opportunity to meet with many of these wonderful seniors at the Miralea Vendor Fair at the Olmsted. They were there to learn more about the services available to them during their transition from their current home to their new one at Miralea, an independent living community on the Masonic Home Campus.  
    We set up a room vignette, rather than a banquet table with a few chairs.
    Doesn’t it look cozy? 
    The idea is to demonstrate that you can have a wonderfully comfortable environment even in a small space.
    I talked with many future residents about how I could help them with downsizing – 
    or "Right Sizing" as they like to say.  
    Deciding what to keep and how to integrate it into their new smaller home was the topic of the day.  
    And I would add – how to make it feel as good as the home they’re leaving.  
    Sometimes it’s as easy as putting a familiar color on the walls or grouping family photos together. 
    As you can see, it was well attended!  That’s me in the center having a wonderful discussion 
    with an old friend who is moving into Miralea.
    I look forward to seeing everyone in the months leading up to their move in the Fall. And I’m sure I will since I have a long-standing relationship with one of the new residents – my Mom!


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  • 04/24/2012 - Joan Waddell 0 Comments
    Joan’s Trifecta – The Final Pick
    It’s almost here.
     The greatest two minutes in sports!  And your Derby party has one more key ingredient to make it as memorable as the race itself….
    The menu is perfect and the table is festive. Now the focus is on you!
    So what will you wear for a day at the races and party at home?

    I like to dress up for the occasion.  It puts me in the party mood.
    My choice?

    The weather at the track on Derby Day can be unpredictable so layering is the way to go.
    I love this dress/ jacket combo!  It’s colorful, elegant and easy to transition from day to evening.

    And of course, the hat is the final polish to this fabulous outfit.

    Once at home, wear the dress solo for a softer look

    My secret weapon?
     Ditch the heels you’ve endured all day and switch to these bejeweled sandals.
    They’re classy, chic and best of all, comfortable so you can enjoy the party!

    My trifecta picks for the perfect Derby bash…



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  • 04/19/2012 - Joan Waddell 0 Comments
    Joan’s Trifecta Part Two – Fabulous Tabletop
    My Trifecta picks for a winning Derby party?   In my last blog I talked about the most important one,


    But that’s just the beginning.

    Terrific food deserves a

    Taking my cues from the brightly colored jockey silks, I like to make my Derby table a mix of playfulness and sophistication.

    Starting with a citrus yellow charger, I add graphic punch with this polka dot dinner plate

    And layer with a black and white jockey salad plate.

    This checkerboard place mat is the perfect backdrop for my colorful placesetting.

    With a subtle nod to our polka dot theme this stemware and napkin still remains simple and classic. 

    What’s the third pick in my winning Trifecta?  Coming up in my next blog….


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  • 04/14/2012 - Joan Waddell 2 Comments
    What an exciting phone call 
    when Cathy Zion, publisher for Today’s Woman Magazine, informed me 
    that I had won Most Admired Woman (Home/Style category)!
    Thank you to all my friends for taking the time to vote.  
    It would not have happened without
    Check out the June issue of Today’s Woman for interviews from all of the winners.
    I would love to see you at the 
    Awards Banquet at the Mellwood Arts Center
    Tuesday, June 26th.  
    Get your tickets soon as this event sells out quickly.


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  • 04/10/2012 - Joan Waddell 0 Comments
    Joan’s Trifecta
    In about three weeks, the whole world will converge on our beautiful city when we host the 
    Kentucky Derby.  Eleven months out of the year, Louisville is like any mid-size town.  But, when April comes, the excitement builds as we enjoy the many events leading up to the first Saturday in May.  
    Just a horse race, you say?
    Hardly!  From Thunder Over Louisville, one of the largest fireworks display in the world, to the 
    Great Balloon Race and Pegesus Parade it’s a month long celebration. 
    It’s also a great excuse to dress up and entertain!
    Here’s my first entry in the winning TRIFECTA,  
    whether your Derby gathering is in Louisville or LA.
    Louisville has a reputation for being a  "Foodie" town and our panache for fabulous spreads is no exception. Using the freshest seasonal ingredients I can find, I like to serve traditional Derby fare that celebrates our rich culinary heritage. My sure bet? Country ham biscuits with orange marmalade, oven roasted asparagus, corn pudding and yes, 
    warm Derby Pie!
    It goes with saying, the mint julep is the quintessential Derby drink.  I always serve them in silver julep cups with a fresh mint spring.  Made the old fashioned way, with simple syrup and crushed mint,
     it doesn’t get any better. 
    Watch for my next entry in the winning TRIFECTA!


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  • 04/03/2012 - Joan Waddell 0 Comments
    Through the Garden Gate

    For the past four years I’ve had the pleasure of visiting one of the most fascinating and historically significant places on earth – The University of Virginia in Charlottesville. With my son graduating in May, I wanted to make one last trip before the big day.

    There are plenty of tours of the Grounds, but I’ve been intrigued by a lesser known self-guided tour of the gardens behind the Pavillions in the academic village. Home to college deans and professors, each Pavillion has a secluded garden, which is accessible through a series of garden gates. Although open to the public, these hidden little gems are very private, with an occasional student seen on a bench or lying in the grass.

    What lies beyond each gate is a sight to behold!
    And in keeping with Thomas Jefferson’s love of  Neo-Classical style, each garden gate was designed with classical elements to complement
    the Pavillion behind it. 
    This is my heaven on earth!
    The next time I see my son, he’ll be in cap and gown marching down the Lawn from the Rotunda.  Somehow I don’t think that will be last time I’ll visit UVa……


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  • 03/26/2012 - Joan Waddell 0 Comments
    Grass is Green – Skies are Blue.
    I’m lovin’ these fresh new patterns in the colors of Spring!  They’re perfect for my breakfast room project!  Geometric at the windows and that rich aqua for seat cushions.  Thank you Duralee!

    But I might be wearing them as well!  Can’t decide whether it’s green or blue…..

    Or both!

    I"m so ready for warm weather and these bright colors totally set the mood.
    Spring is the time to refresh your outlook and there’s no better way than with color.
    Have fun!


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  • 03/20/2012 - Joan Waddell 0 Comments
    It Started On a Fold-Out Table…

    I recently pulled this out of Oprah’s O Magazine because it says so much about my own journey since opening my design business 18 years ago.  To me, the message here is to pursue your passion because passion ignites and sustains all the energies inside of you and allows you think in new and creative ways.  The path becomes more effortless as a result, giving you the freedom to expand and stretch beyond what you ever dreamed was possible.

    I’ve been "passionately" growing my interior design business for a while now.  But, I can say that the path has not always been as predictable as I would have hoped.  Luckily, my love of design has been a strong force in helping me find new ways to develop and improve my creative work.  I enjoy coming to the studio every day because I know that there will be plenty of surprises and delights, from finding the perfect fabric or chair for a project, to meeting with a new client and learning more about their lives and how I can help them.

    My first "office", a fold-out table in my bedroom, was where I designed the living room for the Bellarmine Show House in 1994.  The stars must have been aligned because it was the first and only time that a major shelter publication had ever visited a show house in Louisville. Traditional Home Magazine chose to photograph my space for a feature article in their May issue, which started the ball rolling for me.

    Here it is. The photo of my room for Traditional Home Magazine in 1995.

    I’m sure many of you have experienced a special event or circumstance that allowed you to pursue
    your passion.  I’d love to hear YOUR story!  Write and tell me how it all came together for you.

    Embrace the joys of good design!

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  • 03/14/2012 - Joan Waddell 1 Comment
    Perches Aren’t Just for the Birds…
    Large or small, having extra seating really picks up the party!  And the beauty of these little poufs is that they are small enough to stow away when not needed.  But who would want to?
    Classic styling combined with the durability of leather make this ottoman the 
    perfect fireside companion.
    Design by J. Waddell Interiors
    Sometimes things are better in pairs.  I tucked these curvaceous ottomans under a console in a living room passageway.  Available when needed but not in the way.
     Table or perch?  You decide!


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  • 03/08/2012 - Joan Waddell 24 Comments
    I’ve Been Nominated!
    I am asking my fellow bloggers to cast your vote.
    Today’s Woman Magazine has nominated me for "One of Louisville’s Most Admired Women".
    It is a great honor to be recognized and I would appreciate your help in spreading the word, as every vote is important!
    To vote, go to the following link:
    (scroll to the Home and Style category)
    Deadline is March 22 at noon
    Thank  you!


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  • 03/06/2012 - Joan Waddell 0 Comments
    Lions, Tigers and Bears, Oh My!
     I’m seeing it everywhere these days!  Animal prints are HOT this spring and I’m a big fan.
    I love using them in everything from pillows to flooring.
    This fabric would look fabulous on an upholstered ottoman, or two!
    Design by J. Waddell Interiors
    I used an animal print on foyer stairs in an historic home to create a fun yet sophisticated look. It’s a great way to update a serious space. 
     Teal zebra drapes make this bedroom sing!
    Design by J. Waddell Interiors
    Don’t stop there.  Bring the spots to your dinner table too, as I did in this table design for the Humane Society event at Calumet Farm. From table cloth to the party favor leopard figurine, the animal theme reigned supreme. 

    "Embrace the joys of good design!"
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  • 02/28/2012 - Joan Waddell 0 Comments
    Mirror Mirror on the Wall

    One of my followers recently wrote,  "I LOVE sunburst mirrors but I’m not sure where to hang one.  Can you make some suggestions?"

    Think unexpected places and your mirror will take on a new life!  Although sunburst mirrors are classic, they’re no longer confined to formal spaces, thanks to all the new translations of this timeless design element.
     I placed this mirror above a table in a multi-purpose room I designed for the Bellarmine Showhouse.  By day, the room is used as an office with a very functional desk.  At night, it converts to a cozy guest bedroom and the table becomes a great vanity!  Notice the scale of the mirror. A smaller size would not have had the same effect. I often play with proportion and scale to create a more interesting space.  This room was quite small but with bold use of citrus green grass cloth on the walls and key accessories like the sunburst mirror, it became large with visual impact!

    The silver finish on this sunburst is far from stuffy!  How beautiful would it be above a mirrored chest in a foyer?

    I love the use of stained wood and small scale of the mirror glass.
    Consider this your statement piece above a sofa in a den.

    You’re always invited to contact us for further information on purchasing any items featured on this blog.


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  • 02/23/2012 - Joan Waddell 0 Comments
    Color Shock

    A great way to bring your room up-to-date is with a shot of color. It only takes one signature piece to change the whole attitude of a space.  Imagine this screen mixed with a neutral sofa and a pair of chairs.  It’s a perfect room divider too!

    Wouldn’t these little tables just make you smile when you walked in a room?  Think of new ways to use them. Add more seating by sliding a small upholstered ottoman under the aqua coffee table, or bunch two pink tables together in front of a sofa for twice the impact.

    This green chest would really pop in a blue painted room.


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  • 02/21/2012 - Joan Waddell 0 Comments
    It’s All In The Bag!

    Bringing samples to my clients becomes much more fun when I carry everything in my favorite Glenda Gies tote!  Functionality meets bohemian chic with her creative use of one-of-a-kind vintage fabrics that are put together in such inventive ways.

     I picked up my tote (in my favorite coral color) at High Point Market last fall and put it to work instantly to carry all the catalogs and samples I had collected. But what I’ve have found since bringing it home is that this roomy bag is much more versatile than I thought.  I carry it to the gym when I work out with my trainer and then on weekends, it’s the perfect size for a quick trip out of town to see my daughter. It’s handled groceries, flowers, books, and whatever else I’m trying to move from point A to B.
    Once warmer days return, I’ll reluctantly put it away for the season and pull out my Spring bag.  But for now, I’m happy to "weather" the storm with my cheerful tote by my side!



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  • 02/17/2012 - Joan Waddell 0 Comments
    The Creative Process

    As a designer, it is important to know how to mix many different elements together in a space. In developing a new room design, I pull lots of great resources from my studio to help me visualize the concept. With two floors of samples to choose from, the possibilities are only limited by my imagination!

    Samples of  fabrics, flooring, and anything else that provides inspiration give me the foundation to build my scheme.

    My studio, a converted bungalow, is a pleasure to work in with lots of natural light (a critical ingredient in design) and enough space to house many necessary resources.  It’s wonderful to have everything at my fingertips throughout the creative process. How lucky I am to work in such a comfortable environment!

    Follow me in upcoming posts as I explore the world of design, from exquisite products to lifestyle trends that will move you to create YOUR perfect enviroment.

    Embrace the joys of good design!

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  • 02/14/2012 - Joan Waddell 43 Comments
    Welcome Back!

    This is an exciting time as I launch my newly designed blog!  When I first started blogging, it was primarily a way to chronicle my design for the KY Old Governor’s Mansion, from start to finish.  I was thrilled with the overwhelming response from all of my followers and decided to expand the blog to include more design trends, projects and lifestyle features. I hope you enjoy the new format and remember to "Embrace the joys of good design".

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  • 11/29/2010 - Joan Waddell 0 Comments
    From hostess to Aunt Harriet, I’ve found the perfect gift-giving solution for you!  My exclusive room diffusers from Provence are the ultimate scents to give this holiday season.  I am proud to offer the Terres et Senteurs line of diffusers directly from their factory in Aiglun, France, where they still made with natural essential oils and beetroot alcohol.  The result is a captivating aroma that will fragrance your room
    for up to 3 months.  
    You probably wonder how I came upon this wonderful product line.  It was really the result of a very long search for the "perfect room scent" for my clients’ homes.  I personally tested all kinds of products..  None of them had all the qualities I was looking for: an absolutely mesmerizing scent that was long lasting, an attractive container that would complement any decor, and a clean alternative to dust-collecting potpouri or room sprays that irritate your nose. When I tested Terres et Senteurs, I was hooked!  My search was over.
    My choice for the holidays? Cinnamon Amber Orange.  Or choose from a variety of equally fragrant scents.   With Terres et Senteurs diffusers, you’ll be remembered long after the holidays as the gift keeps giving, scenting the room with fond memories of you!
    $56 (250ml bottle with reed diffusers) + shipping and handling  
    Email or call us today at 502-897-6566 so we can get it to you in time for your first holiday party.
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  • 10/26/2010 - Joan Waddell 0 Comments
    This little piggy went to market!

    And what a market it was! It always amazes me how the furnishing industry continues to invent, create and present the most beautiful pieces for their showrooms at market. Twice a year, every year. Imagine the pool of talent that is required to meet this continual challenge! This is why I never tire of going to market. It’s never the same and always an exciting adventure. I get to view the newest offerings of furnishings, from lamps to sofas, that will hit the shelves in the coming months. And the best part – shopping for my clients!

    This year was no exception. I was constantly on the hunt for the perfect table, artwork, chair or bookcase. With so many showrooms to hit and only four days, planning and focus was key. There were certain trends that emerged in one form or another. Take a look as some of the biggest trends I found this season.
    1. Anthropology – A connection to the past through nature encased in frames, repurposing of found objects and science as art
    2. Rustication – Think old with a new coat of paint. Distressing, crustation, layering and any technique to add instant "age" to furniture was prevelant. But these new finishes were definitely not tame! The look was fresh and updated, even whimsical.
    3. Color is King – Pink with brown, gray with yellow, values of purple from the palest lavender to deep aubergine and all shades of green. And then there were the brights! Vivid hues were toned down with the new neutrals like gray and brown, while there was a playful mix of trendy color combinations like chartreuse and lilac. Have you noticed how color trends are never very far removed from the colors found in nature?
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  • 05/05/2010 - Joan Waddell 0 Comments
    Before and after in the Highlands

    What an exciting opportunity to rejuvenate one of the grand historic homes of Louisville! Although there was a lot of work to be done, the bones of this home were in great shape. We decided to brighten up the main floor first and bring it into the 21st century with fresh color and comfortable furnishings, while emphasizing the fantastic architectural details that were original. We will continue to add layers to this new design in the coming months.

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  • 01/15/2010 - Joan Waddell 0 Comments
    The Old Governor’s Mansion Finished Project

    The final design came together just in time for the galas and tours to begin. If I was going to pick one of my favorite elements in the room it would have to be the fireplace that we mirrored and faux finished with wax and gold leaf. We took it from being a non-descript mantel to a unique focal point that is now both classic AND updated!

    Although the Mansion is officially closed to the public and is serving as the residence for visiting dignitaries, I hope it will be reopened from time to time for special tours so that you have the opportunity to enjoy this beautifully renovated Kentucky treasure.
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  • 09/28/2009 - Joan Waddell 0 Comments
    Watch my interview on WHAS this Wednesday!

    Old Governor’s Mansion Celebration Promo. I will be interviewed, along with Donna Borden ( Participant Chairman), on Rachel Platt’s show this Wed., Sept. 30th, at noon. She will show some great photos of the completed project as we discuss the Metcalfe Bedroom that I designed.

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  • 09/28/2009 - Joan Waddell 2539 Comments
    The Design Unfolds

    1. Armed with our chosen pieces of furniture from the State Archives, we were ready to pull the scheme together. Mixing Asian and Empire seemed liked a natural with the fantastic oriental print fabric we found for our key fabric. The design board tells the story as we envisioned it.

    2. Installation day arrived with a few glitches! Since we did not have boxed springs for our mattress, a custom wood frame box had to be fabricated on-site. We crossed our fingers that the bedskirt and coverlet would fit once the mattress was put in place.
    3. The bed came together nicely. It was both elegant and exotic, with the addition of the faux leopard throw.
    4. Nothing was more exciting than seeing the persimmon plaid silk drapes go up. And the cornice boards truly added the finishing touch.
    5. At the end of the day, tired but happy with the results!
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  • 08/13/2009 - Joan Waddell 0 Comments
    Putting the pieces together

    Some choices were obvious – like the fantastic Empire four poster bed that was available (look at the far end of the warehouse photo. My bed was in pieces on a shelf!)

    Other choices were more challenging. I was searching for something that would provide the "color inspiration" for the bedroom. The painting here was a candidate but did it have enough vibrancy? I had a vision for the room that was classic yet updated and a bit unexpected – mixing beautiful antiques with strong colors and contemporary upholstery to lift it above a museum "feel".
    This silouette of Thomas Metcalfe, Governor of Kentucky in 1828, could add an interesting historical note to the room. I need to find a special place for it!
    We found our inspiration! This painting entitled "Kentucky September" by M. J. Weber has beautiful colors – persimmon, lavendar and leaf green. Perfect for our color scheme. It is hanging in our studio for the next few weeks so we can refer to it when selecting our fabrics, trims and accessories. I will miss it when it makes its way back to the mansion.
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  • 07/18/2009 - Joan Waddell 0 Comments
    The search is on!

    Once we were assigned our room, we were given access to the "cages" located in the State archival warehouse, to find the furnishings we wanted to use. Everything from sconces to rugs and all kinds of furniture were stacked up and waiting for someone to pluck. After some rummaging, I found a "jewel in the rough" – two metal cornice boards that would be perfect for my window treatments. Like a crown, they will set off the taffeta drapes beautifully! But that wasn’t all. Behind several large chests, was the real discovery of the day – a fabulous ornately carved chinese cabinet inlaid with marble and ivory. What a great accent piece for the room!

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  • 07/10/2009 - Joan Waddell 0 Comments
    Lorem ipsum

    This is how our room looked when we toured the Mansion the first time. Very tired and screaming for attention!

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  • 07/10/2009 - Joan Waddell 0 Comments
    Kentucky Old Governor’s Mansion Revitalization

    I have created this blog so that you can follow our involvement in the revitalization of the Kentucky Old Governor’s Mansion in downtown Frankfort.

    This project was the brainchild of First Lady Jane Beshear, who wanted to revitalize the interiors of this historic building for use by the State and visiting dignitaries. No state funding has been allocated for this project. Every person involved had donated their time, energy, resources and goods. It is truly a testament to the many talented designers, craftspeople, artisans and contractors who have come together to make this project a reality. For more information you can log in to the official website at

    After an extensive selection process during which we had to present a detailed design board, J. Waddell Interiors was selected to redesign the Guest Bedroom #204. We are honored to be a part of such a historically significant project for the State of Kentucky and look forward to presenting our design to the public when the house officially opens for events and tours from September 15- October 3, 2009.

    The renovation work offically began in June and will continue gaining momentum as we work toward the completion date.

    Join me as I take you from the initial furnishing selections to the faux finish on the walls and the installation of all the wonderful details that will make this bedroom come to life!

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