Have you noticed how fresh the new Woman's Day looks?


In the short few months she's been at the helm, editor in chief Elizabeth Mayhew has been making smart changes to update the look and feel of the magazine, while still respecting its venerable history at the go-to guide for women's nutrition, fitness, beauty and fashion since the 30s. Elizabeth I met years ago during my first interview at House Beautiful. Since then, she's gone on to serve as style director of Real Simple, make guest appearances on the Today Show and even write a book! Her philosophy on decorating and entertaining is refreshingly down to earth, and I echo it here, in these pages. Simply put: You don't have to spend a lot of money to live a beautiful life.


Take, for example, this story I shot for the August issue, a kitchen redo by San Diego-based designer Amy Meier. If you want to talk about clever, up and coming designers to watch working with real-life budgets, bookmark her.


Amy we met at a party in L.A. for WestWeek back in March. I was obsessed with liked her shoes, so I complemented her on them and we began to talk. Who knew someone so fun and engaging could also be so talented? Check out the makeover she did for a newlywed couple's kitchen without breaking the bank. Click twice to enlarge.


Faux painting can go really bad, but in Amy's case, it was just the right solution for updating the cabinets without having to replace them altogether. If you ask me, the faux striae she achieved is pure genius. Read on for more money-saving tips…  


And finally, the elements: a subtle, sophisticated mix of finishes, furniture and flooring.   


Huge thanks to designer Amy Meier, her clients and photographer Coral Von Zumwalt for making the shoot such a success! Now, for a sneak peak of everything that went on behind the scenes, check out Amy's post!