After a whirlwind few days of flea market shopping trips, book parties and design events in D.C. and New York, Jaithan and I have about 2.5 seconds here at home before we're off to shoot another HGTV special, this time for the holidays! That doesn't leave too much time to catch up on posts, but for now, here's a quick recap of the decorating workshop I did at Calico Home in Westport, just in case you're looking for a little Transformation and Inspiration in your home.


The first makeover came courtesy of Teresa, whose biggest challenge has been
how to deal with all of her bedroom's awkward nooks and crannies so
common in a Cape.


As a former decorating editor, I wanted to create beautiful, magazine-quality makeovers with an eclectic mix of new and old, modern and traditional, all in close harmony with how the owners truly lived. In Teresa's case, that meant a light, airy retreat with clean lines and soothing colors, inspired by sea glass.


My first move was to rotate the bed, replace the dated upright dresser with a sleeker, more glamorous antique, then hang a flat screen TV above. The mirrored finish opens up the space, giving the room instant wow. Two next-to-nothing lamps from here I'd paint white—love the bamboo; hate the dark wood—then add Chinoiserie bases like these. The way I see it, you have to know where to splurge—and where to save. In one nook, more for reading and relaxing, I liked the clean, modern shape of this chaise, especially in this unexpected faux bois. Then, in another nook, I added a modern vanity that doubles as a desk for writing letters. For the full scheme (with sources!), click twice.


Of course, a room isn't complete without all the personal objects and accessories to give it life. Here are a few from my own collection with a mix of materials I thought worked well in this space, including vintage art pottery, silver, glass, and quartz.


For the second makeover, I had the great pleasure of working with Robin to transform her living room into a comfortable but sophisticated place to entertain guests. In general, I thought the layout of the furniture was good but the pieces themselves a bit dated and overstuffed.    


Robin tended towards a warmer palette than Teresa, especially in adjacent rooms, so I began with this modern ikat on a tufted ottoman with nailheads, then added fabrics in a mix of textures, like linen, velvet and corduroy, together with a silky burlap on the windows. 


The brick fireplace surround I suggested painting the same warm neutral as the trim, then mounting a flat screen TV above. To update the upholstery, I added a new sofa with cushions in a contrasting fabric that can be changed seasonally, along with twin wingback chairs in a plush melon velvet. Two X-benches under the console provide extra seating around the ottoman for all that entertaining Robin's going to be doing! For the full scheme, click twice.


Did you catch that gorgeous pair of faux marble ceramic lamps for either side of the sofa? As pretty as it all is, 1st dibs is not for the faint of wallet, so check out this lucky luminary Jaithan spotted at the Goodwill right across from Calico Home in Westport just moments before the presentation. Not bad, right? 


Vintage objects in rich materials like walnut, brass and cork add instant charm.


Finally, a huge thank you, first to Jan Jessup and everyone at Calico for organizing the workshop and, of course, to all those who braved the rain that night to come and see me!  


Now, speaking of transformation and inspiration, what changes might you be planning this fall? I'd love to hear about them…