June 6, 2019

Our Room of Requirement & Congrats to Mark Sikes!

We’ve lived in our house for about two and a half years now but sometimes it feels like we just moved in.  We brought over all of our existing furniture and haven’t really purchased much specifically for the house or “decorated” much of it yet.  For the most part, everything fit and I don’t have major furniture purchase plans but there is one room that’s been cobbled together worse than the rest:


The room as it was about a year and a half ago… the rug had to go when we got our puppies last year

It was originally the master bedroom, but we made a new master upstairs to be closer to the kids so we opened this room up to the cozy little fireplace room. (Seen in the from of the image above where you can see one of the four chairs in there.)

It’s off of our  foyer…

Back door on the left


…and looks out onto our back porch/ vegetable garden…

The back porch


The vegetable garden


…and is a great space but it’s been one of those rooms with ever-changing functions/ purposes that hasn’t quite found itself, basically, our “room of requirement.”

It started out as our office when we first moved in and then became a TV/ family room for a little bit…  But the TV died a year ago or so and we didn’t get around to replacing it and haven’t missed it.  I’ve usually pictured it being a library one day and we turned the hallway entry into a mini-library but it’s jam-packed with books and we could use more shelves.  At one point it was a homework station/ art desk type spot for the kids but they kept coming back to the kitchen island and that just wasn’t natural.  Then it was where they practiced on the keyboard…  For a while I thought about it being an eventual kitchen or some type of indoor-outdoor garden-type room with supplies…  We’ve had a sofa in there (three different ones depending upon what’s been out for staging) for years, we once had a random hanging chair in there, and sometimes put Gisele (our now four year old) down for naps in there and she probably has spent the most time in the room.  We keep baskets for the littler kids’ toys in there and they’re in there some days.  It’s got such potential but no true purpose so I’ve done nothing with it. But a few weeks ago when we came across an old French trestle table while antiquing, we randomly decided to try it out in the room.  As soon as we brought it in, I knew I wanted it to be my new home workspace.  I work at our studio in town almost every day but work from home occasionally in our attic office/ project room.  We have a kids’ library and project table and they go up there and start projects and get all crafty (which is yay!) but I realized I was spending 20-30 minutes cleaning up messes every time I needed to work from home which isn’t the most productive thing ever. Aaaaaand… with my desk now I’m the room of requirement, I can look out at the garden and sneak out there (or feel like I can) any time.  It sounds counter-productive (and might be) but I moved the toy kitchen into the corner of the room so the girls are more entertained and have something to do (other than climb on me!!) when they’re in there.  (The toy kitchen “mess”is also a good kind of mess to me- full of cute little wooden pieces of food that can be picked up in 30 seconds) I’ve also been loving having Gisele take naps in there while I work (she’s an amazing sleeper) because I can just peek over at her and get warm fuzzies.

My new spot


So now that our room has found it’s purpose as part-time-office-part-time-playroom it’s finally time begin pulling it together, starting with rug and curtains.   In the midst of all of this in a very kismet-y turn of events, someone from my friend designer Mark Sike’s team reached out to me to tell me about his beautiful new collection with Annie Selke, asking if I’d like to have something for review.  Ummmmm… yes!!!


I met Mark a few years ago when we both did the Madison de Luxe showhouse in Beverly Hills and then the Southern Living Idea house the following year and he is just so incredibly talented.

Photo by Laurie Glenn for a Southern Living


Walking into his rooms is a beautiful, textural, perfectly executed eye-candied treat.  They’re truly special and his taste and attention to detail are impeccable.  I was thrilled to be able to incorporate something of his at home…  And I’ve long been a fan of Annie Selke’s Dash & Albert rugs and have been using them in my houses/clients’ homes since I started decorating over ten years ago so I was so excited to see the two of them collaborating together.  As soon as I saw the rug I knew it was the one:


I wanted something soft, natural and relaxed with a little bit of a graphic design or pattern on it, but not too much.  I want my house to feel “undecorated” but I didn’t want it to be a completely plain rug and this beauty fit the bill perfectly!   (They even styled it with a glass bottle and a snip of wisteria vine so it must have been meant for me 😉 😉


Now that it’s in, the room feels so much softer and lived-in and loved…


I love it but it’s quite possible the girls love it more…



I’m thinking I’ll do unlined curtains in my “Thistle” pattern this summer…

“Thistle” on linen on the left


…for a light, airy, casual feel and will go from there to eventually tweaking the furniture/ lighting. (I’d love to do a pull-out sofa for an additional guest spot!)



The rug also comes in a blue stripe…


… and there are so many pretty pieces in the collection including bedding and pillows.  One of my favorite parts of being in the design industry is seeing friends do amazing things and grow their businesses and brands and I’m so happy for Mark & all of his success!!  To check it out, click here.

And, I’ve posted this on Instagram realized I haven’t posted here yet, but I’m co-hosting a cocktail party in Georgetown tonight (Thursday) with a group of amazingly talented local designer co-hosts whom I’ve admired for years- Barry Dixon, Darryl Carter, and Thomas Pheasant- to welcome Veranda Magazine’s editor-in-chief Steele Marcoux to DC.


The party is from 6-8 tonight at the Shade Store in Georgetown and will be so much fun!! {RSVP   VerandaRSVP@hearst.com to attend.} Would love to see you there!

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