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Providing interior decorating services in Bonita Springs, Fort Myers, Naples, Estero, Sanibel and Captiva islands, Cape Coral, Orlando, Winter Park and surrounding areas of Central Florida. Contact for details!

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Simple pleasures: Antiquing in Mount Dora

Photo of blue antique tableThis past weekend, I tromped over acres of antiques and vintages treasures in Mount Dora at the Renningers Antique Extravaganza. The first of the season, it is one of my favorite fall activities.

In Florida, we don't have much in the way of seasons but this show always makes me think of the coming holidays, cooler days and the thrill of finding a great treasure that someone has discarded and is just waiting for me to repurpose! I have found many of these over the years and the fun of it is not knowing what you might bring home.  And even if you don't find anything (rarely does that happen), it is just fun to look. And then there is a trip into the quaint little town of Mt. Dora and a visit to all of my favorite little shops. Bliss.  

No matter what your decorating style may be, every home needs a vintage or eclectic piece. As an interior decorator, I love to mix and blend old with new. It's what makes a house a home.

Best wishes to all for a wonderful thanksgiving. 


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The developer and the voodoo priestess: A sense of place in New Orleans

Have you ever thought about all of those beautiful homes in New Orleans that you would love to visit? Photo of Pres Kabacoff and Sallie Ann Glassman at their New Orleans homePres Kabacoff, Sallie Ann Glassman and Ayida at their Bywater home. I was lucky enough to go into a few and this is my favorite. And I didn't have to look in the windows. I was invited in! It was a very good day.

The home is owned by a couple who have been very involved in helping post-Katrina New Orleans. I had the impression that I could have just knocked on the door and they would have welcomed me in.

Exotic. Sexy. Magical. Spiritual.

In New Orleans on a tour with 15 interior decorators, I had the opportunity to visit the Bywater home of well-known developer Pres Kabacoff and his artist and author wife, Sallie Ann Glassman, who also happens to be a renowned voodoo priestess. Pres, among many other projects in New Orleans, is known for his historical restorations and mixed use projects, many for artists.

In addition, the couple co-chair the NewPhoto of New Orleans home Orleans Healing Center, consisting of a grocery cooperative, street university, cooperative bank and micro loan institution, green business incubator, performance hall, healing arts collective, interfaith center, organic food restaurant…to name just a few of the current tenant businesses. But more importantly, what really sets the New Orleans Healing Center apart, are the carefully selected ongoing community-focused programs, services, and activities – all designed to help revitalize and restore neighborhoods and bring them together.

Photo of New Orleans homeThe tour (seriously, can you imagine having 15 designers in your home at the same time?) was arranged by Jeanne Nathan of the Creative Alliance of New Orleans. She has friends in all of the right places and knows anyone who is anyone in the New Orleans cultural world. But that is for another story.

So, Pres and Sallie invited us into this incredible home and we met their sweet, 6-month old Akita puppy, Ayida. The house is a double-gallery Greek revival design and Pres describes it as "front-loaded" with two stories in the front and one in the back. Front porches, columns and lots of shutters. Tropical colors: orange, purple, magenta. The double front doors include tarot cards.  And then you enter. This is where the wow factor begins.

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Travels: Indulgence in the City of New Orleans

Having some fun in New Orleans this week at a design conference.

I have been touring the amazing homes of art collectors, architects, artists and have met some of New Orleans' most interesting characters.

Writer and designer Wrenda Goodwyn in New OrleansNew Orleans gets into your soul. I always think of Harry Connick Jr. singing  "Missing New Orleans."

Moonlight on the bayous
Creole tunes fill the air
I dream about magnolias in June
And I'm wishing I was there

This week, I am indulging in everything that the city offers...the French quarter, architecture, historic neighborhoods that are being rescued, mansions, cottages, shotgun houses, steamboat houses. A visit to the lower 9th ward. Walking on the levee with great views of the river and city. Amazing food. Jazz. New green-based architecture and design. Brad Pitt's neighborhood of almost 100 cutting-edge homes built since Katrina. Traditional mansions. An eclectic artist's residence on the Esplanade Ridge. Antiques. Jackson Square. Julia Street galleries. I met a voodoo priestess and toured her beautiful home. 

Masks in Jackson Square in New Orleans.New Orleans has a ghostly allure. The winding alleyways lead to the past and when you follow them, you never know what you will find.

The light is glorious and the sensory pleasures are almost overwhelming. I am still here and I already miss New Orleans.

And did I mention that the city is totally immersed in Halloween? Perfect.


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Dorm decorating tips: Back to college with style! 

If someone in your family is heading back to college, you may be looking for a few last minute, helpful tips on dorm room decorating or for decorating a teen's room at home.

Photo of dorm room desk area from Pottery BarnFind lots of ideas at Pottery Barn Teen. Click photo.Be sure to check out my Home Sweet Dorm article with affordable suggestions for transforming a plain room into a functional home away from home  for the coming year.  And it doesn't have to cost a fortune to add a touch of glam or drama...whichever you prefer!

And you won't want to miss Lindsay Downey's article in today's Fort Myers News-Press on trendy dorm decor ideas for personalizing your space: making the grade and then some. It is packed with great ideas from myself, HGTV's Sabrina Soto and Madalyn Musser, UCF sophomore and one of my favorite young clients!

As a Fort Myers Interior decorator, I find that decorating a dorm room or apartment is exciting because it is a student's first interior decorating experience. While a few basic tips will be helpful, the bottom line: Use what you love and make it all about you!

Welcome back to school and happy decorating! 

Want to turn plain rooms into Spectacular Spaces? I can help. Contact me!

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