Thursday, December 22, 2016

Mark McDowell for John Richard

 I got an early gift this morning when John Richard posted the video that was made during High Point Market with one of my favorite product designers, Mark McDowell. 

If you haven't had a chance to see the video, be sure to take a few minutes and watch it as well as the other videos made which include other designers in the John Richard Showroom.  

Now let's discuss Mark McDowell who I think is amazing.  If you are not familiar with Mark, his products range in looks from MidCentury Mod to what I like to coin "Organic Glam."  Mark is honestly an artist first and a product designer second.  I met Mark a few markets ago and had the opportunity to have lunch with him and his wife, Kelly.  We all decided that it was probably best that Mark and I limit our exposure to one another because we wouldn't work at all if together.  We would be playmates.  Our time together would totally be creative play time because we enjoy the same passions.  Mark and I share a love of nature.  Sticks, stones, geodes, and other items found in nature are as precious to us as beautiful jewelry.  The calm, peaceful Zen found in nature lures our desires to create.

I wanted to share some of my favorite pieces from Mark's collection with John Richard, as well as give you an inside view of the man, whom I think you will fall instantly in love with as I have. 

Meet Mark McDowell, artist and designer extraordinaire.
This talented man is down to earth, has a great sense of humor and is one of the nicest people you will ever meet.  His skill, product design knowledge, and talent know no boundaries.  

When I met Mark during High Point Market in the John Richard showroom, I asked him to pose by this chest because his attire worked so well with the color story.  We all had a good little laugh when I was told these are some of the few pieces in the showroom that were not designed by Mark.   He good-naturedly continued to pose and didn't say a word about it.  It was Sarah Young, Marketing Director for John Richard who actually told me.  Mark laughed and said, "hey I don't mind, let's do this."  I quickly knew Mark a rare breed, a product designer who was comfortable in his own skin and not ruled by his ego.

As we continued to work through the showroom and chat about Mark's designs, I was able to see his thoughtful approach, passion for design and functionality as hallmark elements in all of his work.

Mark's approach to design is simple, he believes in creating
 pieces for longevity.  That is one of the reasons he looks to
nature for his inspiration.  Mark also likes to look back in
history for inspiration and then adds his creative flair to
design updated pieces with strong lines and simple details.

Mark designs furniture with the greatest attention to detail.  Many times he chooses to custom design hardware for his furniture like the twig hardware above.  John Richard should start selling the hardware too, don't you?  Sign me up!

Let's take a look at some of Mark's stunning designs...

This Hallwood cabinet was one of my favorite pieces.  The branch hardware on this cabinet is stunning.  Tiza gesso doors are set in a golden oak cabinet. I can picture a wall of three or four of these in a back hallway for a mountain house?  

Sleek, sexy bench for a hallway, foot of the bed or as extra
 seating by the fireplace. 

Kelso Hen and chicks table with pewter finish and calcite top are stunning and another favorite of mine.  

The beautiful solid crystal table we talk about in the video below.  Simple, elegance in furniture design at its best.  This is a piece that will withstand the test of time.  This table also passes by three room test which I mentioned in the video.  (If you want to know what that is, watch the video)

The beautiful Brancusi inspired solid alabaster chandelier we discussed in the video link below.  This chandelier measures 26''H X 38''D.  A modern and sculptural six-light chandelier with alabaster arms and body and a coffee bronze finish.   This piece is carved from a single piece of Alabaster! Isn't it amazing?

Hopefully, I whet your appetite to see more?  What I'm sharing today is just the tip of the iceberg in beautiful pieces from Mark McDowell for John Richard.  Visit the John Richard Website to see the entire collection!

Interested in purchasing any of the pieces you have seen?
  Please feel free to leave your contact information or email me at

Please take a few minutes and watch the video! I'm off to get
some exercise and burn the top I have on in the video which makes me look as big as a cow!  (Wink Wink!)

Please enjoy!!!

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Sunday, December 11, 2016

Gifts Sure to Please Everyone On Christmas Your List!

Hands down one of my favorite gifts to give and get is a pair of Uggs.  Whether the gift is a pair of slippers or boots, I find myself gravitating to my Uggs when I want comfort.  The line has grown so much there are so many different styles and options for the entire family.

Click to see my favorites for everyone on your list....

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Thursday, December 8, 2016

Pantone Announces "Greenery" as The Color of the Year 2017

By now you have heard that Pantone has announced The Color
of the Year 2017 as "Greenery" Pantone 15-0343.   I saw this color quite a bit at High Point Market in October.Various shades of blue from teal to peacock continued to be evident, but green was making an appearance in many showrooms. 

Leatrice Eiseman, Pantone Color Institute executive director, told the New York Times that "this is the color of hopefulness, and of our connection to nature.  It speaks to what we call the "re" words: regenerate, refresh, revitalize, renew.  Every spring we enter a new cycle and new shoots come from the ground.  It is something life affirming to look forward to."

Click Here to read what I think about the color and I'll share with you
a couple of paint colors I have used in this color....

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Saturday, December 3, 2016

Be Powerful: Find Your Strength At Any Age by Liz Hillard

I first saw Liz Hillard at a party in Charlotte.  She was hard to miss in the crowded room, standing stately and elegantly, in a flowing orange gown.  Her body was slim, but sculpted and fit.   She had a glow that most of us would kill to obtain at any age much less when one is over 50.  I asked another guest present, who she was and they replied, "Oh, that's Liz, she is a personal trainer and owns a killer exercise studio with her daughter, Clary Hillard Gray."  I immediately signed up at Hillard and continued working out there three times a week for about a year, until I fell in London and broke two ribs while walking and instagramming photos of London's architecture!  (Yeah, I'm that girl)   Anyway, I got off track with Hillard and have since gained more weight and had some health issues, so I haven't to return to their studio, The Hillard Method is located in Charlotte, NC with The Hillard Studio which I did and also another program called HSM/Core which utilizes the core-centric Lagree Fitness revolutionary M3S megaformer.

   I have been thinking lately of returning The Hillard Method.  No, I have promised myself that come January 2017, I am going to get back to Hillard.  It was the best, most intense exercise program I have ever taken. Live in Charlotte and wondering about Hillard?

Click here to continue reading and learn more about 
The Hillard Method and the book.....

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Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Christy Kinard Painting for Sale!

Bing, Bang, Boom mixed media painting by Christy Kinard
48 x 48

This beautiful mixed media painting by Christy Kinard is available.  I bought it to use in the Atlanta Home and Lifestyle Magazine Southeastern Showhouse this year and it is now available for sale.  The painting measures 48" x 48" and is more beautiful in person than in this photo.  Interested parties please contact Lisa at (704) 964-3880 for pricing or email     Christy's work is so well known, I'm sure it won't last long so if interested contact me soon!  This painting would make a great Christmas gift.  

To read more about Christy Kinard please click here to visit her website

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Wednesday, November 16, 2016

How to Make Thanksgiving More Festive!

Turkey Day is almost upon us!  Are you ready?  I always love spending Thanksgiving at our cabin with family.    I like to get up on Thanksgiving morning and watch the Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade while I cook.  It is a relaxing time for me and marks the kickoff of the holiday season.  I'm not much for Black Friday shopping in malls but love it from the comfort of a big cozy chair but there are always amazing deals, so stay tuned for some I will share.  In the meanwhile, here are some items I think would make Thanksgiving more festive!

Click here to continue reading....

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Thursday, November 10, 2016

Bunny Williams " A House By The Sea" Review & Giveaway!

 Mondays are when I typically post reviews on books, but I must admit that I got lost among the pages of Bunny Williams "A House By The Sea" and just finished reading it.  I have been a long time admirer of Bunny's work, and I am a self-professed lover of the sea, so the combination of those two elements held me captive for much longer than I had planned. 

Interior Designer Bunny Williams and her husband, Antiques Dealer, 
John Rosselli built their home, named La Colina in the in the Dominican Republic.  La Colina is a colonial villa along the Carribean sea, tucked away in lush tropical gardens.  Bunny and John chose architect Ernesto Buch, a Cuban-born classicist who works between New Haven Connecticut and the Dominican Republic, to partner with them on this southern style raised cottage which borrows design details such as the roofline of the main house from Drayton Hall in Charleston, and oversized windows from Thomas Jefferson's Monticello.  Ernesto also designed Oscar de la Renta's home in the Punta Cana.  Described by Gil Schafer III as a modern day Palladio, Ernesto was the perfect partner with Bunny and John on this house.   

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Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Antonio Moro: Artist Portifolio

This morning on instagram I discovered a new Polish designer, Johanna Majewska.  Her work is so beautiful I got lost in her feed.  As I looked at her designs I discovered the art was so moody and exciting so I sought after the artist.  The art is the work of Antonio Mora

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Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Lisa Mende Design in The Wall Street Journal "Honey I Shrunk the Fridge"

Recently, Ellen Byron, a reporter with the Wall Street Journal, interviewed me about the evolution of appliances.  I don't know if you are aware, but high-performance appliances in smaller sizes with versatility is the latest trend in appliances.  Consumers who want quality, high-end appliances in smaller sizes can finally get their wish.  Smaller appliances have long been a trend in Europe.  Americans are  realizing the benefit of the smaller appliances.

Companies attuned to consumer needs like Thermador Home Appliances have recently unveiled appliances such as a 30" professional range, a compact steam oven, and a variety of appliances that offer options for smaller kitchens like wine columns, refrigerator/freezer columns, and refrigerator drawers.  

What need do these newly sized appliances offer the consumer, you may ask?  The trend to downsize appliances is being driven by two major shifts studied in U.S. households: 1) More people are downsizing to smaller dwellings, and more consumers want appliances in auxiliary rooms in their homes beyond the kitchen such as the media room, master bedroom or guest quarters.  When bought for spaces such as the master closet, mother-in-law suite or other areas, consumers don't need the full-size appliance in several locations in the home, so the smaller appliance fits the need without taking up so much space.

Smaller appliances offer the same quality functions as their larger counterparts and are perfect for apartments, condos, smaller homes or auxiliary spaces in larger homes.   In Metropolitan cities where square footage is at a premium, city dwellers often have tiny kitchens but often still want to be able to prepare chef quality meals.  The advent of the smaller appliance with multiple options allows the person with the small kitchen the same cooking, prepping and storage options as those in larger homes.  Studies show this trend isn't just in New York city but in towns across the country like Austin, Seattle, San Francisco, Toronto and Vancouver. 

"Thermador prefers the term “compact” over “small,” says Beatriz Sandoval, the company’s director of brand marketing. “They’re looking for big impact in a compact space,” she says."

"Giant homes also propel demand for diminutive appliances, Thermador says, especially for the company’s under-the-counter refrigerators and wine reserves, including some  are hidden inside custom-paneled drawers. “Pool houses, auxiliary bars, man caves, pantries and secondary kitchens —these [appliances] are so compact they can fit anywhere,” says Ms. Sandoval. “Some very high-end makeup needs refrigeration in the master bathroom, and you can put in water, juices, and some medications, too.”

Let's look at some of the smaller options I love from Thermador Home:

Photography by Christina Wedge

In this guest cottage I designed along with Shaun Smith Home in New Orleans, we placed the 30" Thermador range. 

The Thermador 30" Pro Harmony Range gives you the same great cooking options with the Star burners with QuickClean Base and allows easy access under the burner for effortless cleaning. Available in all gas, dual fuel and available in 24 standard depth.

Photography by Dustin Peck Photography

The first item of business when choosing appliances is to decide how you function.  Perhaps you are not a cook, but would like to reheat take out leftovers.  The microwave door from Thermador Appliances is a great out of the way items when tucked into cabinetry as shown here.  

Thermador fully flush microwave drawer offers open and close touch option, 1.2 cubic feet cavity and will accommodate a 13"x9" pan.  

For compact refrigeration options:  

 Thermador fully flush double drawer refrigeration models integrate seamlessly into 24" depth cabinetry and feature exclusive SoftClose hinges and slides. Choose from Professional or Masterpiece stainless steel options or design a custom panel.  In addition to larger appliances in kitchens for added storage or in guest suites, pool houses or master suites where added refrigeration is desired without full-size appliances.

 Thermador under the counter wine reserve integrate seamlessly into 24" depth cabinetry and feature exclusive SoftClose hinges and slides. Sleek touch controls keep a variety of food and beverages at the ideal temperature for serving and storing. 

One of my favorite space saving products is the 18" Wine Column which can be tucked away yet stores 56 bottles of wine. 

The wine column has dual independent temperature and humidity controls which allow you to adjust each zone separately and guard every bottle against moisture, truly amazingfrost, and light.

Last but certainly not least...

The Thermador Steam Oven!

Steam ovens have been used in Europe for years.  Americans are just now being introduced to the value of the Steam Oven.  Thermador offers a steam and convection oven combo.  This oven helps your food retain more of its essential vitamins and nutrients.  You can cook a  turkey from frozen to ready to serve in 90 minutesamazingThis is a oven which will defrost, steam, proof, bake, slow cook and reheat!

Thermador Home makes life so easy!  Make sure to visit Thermador Home website to see these products and learn more about them or visit your local Thermador dealer to see them in person!  In Charlotte, Thermador Home Appliances can be seen at Ferguson at 5025 Sunset Road.  Just ask for Dennis the appliance specialist!

Thank you Again to Ellen Byron and the Wall Street Journal
 for the interview!   If you would like to read the article in its entirety and have a subscription to The Wall Street Journal
 click here.

Do you live in a small apartment or have you used smaller chef quality appliances?  What are you must have's and favorites?  Please share!

Disclaimer: Lisa Mende Design is on The Thermador Design Council.  All opinions are my own and I only write about products I specified for clients, use myself and believe in, or think will be of interest to my readers.

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Monday, October 31, 2016

"Wanderlust" by Michelle Nussbaumer

photography credit House Beautiful

I spent the weekend perusing the pages Michelle Nussbaumer's newly released book, Wanderlust and I must say I got lost among the pages of beauty created by this amazingly talented designer.  If you don't currently own this book, run, don't walk to your local bookstore and purchase it immediately or if you rather, sit tight and order online here.  For the price of a book, you will feel as though you have traveled to foreign lands and experienced the drama and discovery of the finest interiors filled with exotic furnishings and fabrics artfully curated and guaranteed to delight.   Michelle transports us to places only she could dream and imagine through her honed eye.

The entre' into the book is the foreword written by another tastemaker, Hutton Wilkinson, known as Tony Duquette's protege and a fascinating person himself, entices the reader from the onset with his a vivid account of his friend, Michelle.  

Her mother claims Michelle was born under a wandering star, and perhaps that fate is what marked her destiny as a designer who travels the world and brings home interesting artifacts and antiques for her herself and her clients.  We are so lucky she has chosen to share her journey in this magnificent book so that we may partake from afar. 

Based in Dallas, Texas, Michelle is also known for her store, Ceylon et cie where she offers her globally-inspired wares to inspire and delight all who visit.  A trip to her shop is on my bucket list!

The book includes photography of the designer's homes in Texas, Gstaad, Switzerland and San Miguel de Allende as well as client's home across the country.  Each project touts Michelle's signature style of multilayered rooms with global pieces found in Michelle's worldly travels.
She has an eye for the unexpected and often incorporates unique furnishings in her interiors.  Her travels have taken her around the world.

I would be remiss if I didn't tell you that I think Michelle Nussbaumer is one of the most sincere, kindest designers in our industry.  When I was at High Point Market, I ran by to see her new collection with Design Legacy and found Michelle scurrying off to the airport.  Although she was in a hurry, she paused to sign a copy of her book for me and took a minute to chat.  Michelle is quick to remind, that as a mother of four, is like the rest of us managing the juggling act between home and work.  Ahh, yes...the art of the balance which she does so beautifully! 

If you haven't seen her collection with Design Legacy, please call your rep and see it asap!  The collection is well priced and includes beautiful fabrics, furniture, and art designed by Michelle.  

Here are a few of my favorites from Michelle's new collection
with DesignLegacy

Globally inspired fabrics 

Masterfully mixed patterns

Michelle's art, as shown above, top left, was a favorite of mine.  She creates these colleges on airplanes.  

I'm crazy for this kaleidoscope multi-colored fabric
 and cannot wait to use it in a project.

I loved every item in her collection and thought you will as well. 
Make sure to call for samples for your design library.

I hope you have enjoyed our little trip down "Wanderlust" Lane today.  I have a special treat to share....

Michelle so generously gave me one of her books
to Giveaway to one of my readers!!!

Would you like to Win Your Copy of

It's simple!

1) Leave a comment here
2) Go to instagram and follow @michellenussbaumer and @lisamendedesign if you aren't following us already
3) For extra entries tag, a friend whom you think would like the 

Winner to be Announced Next Monday!

One look at her instagram (@michellenussbaumer ) account which she manages herself, gives a small hint of this designer's inspirations.  I highly recommend you follow her on instagram.  She is one of my favorite accounts to stalk!

Now if I could just find a way to get her truck.....

Don't want to take your chances?  Prefer to order your own book now and have delivered to your door tomorrow?  
Click Here to Order!

Winner of Last Week's Book Giveaway
 "A House in The Country" is...


Disclaimer: I received a copy of "Wanderlust" for a Giveaway for readers.  All opinions are my own.  I only post about books that I find of interest to my readers."
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Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Join Us in The Vispring Showroom for "Best In Show" Event At High Point Market

Join Us in the Vispring Showroom 

Market Square Space 272 on 2nd Floor
High Point Market

Sunday, October 23, 2016

"Best In Show" Event

Champagne and Nibbles

As We Celebrate The Bond Between Designers & Their Pets

Come see the dog beds we have designed for our Pets!

Join Jonathan Savage, Andrea Schumacher, Molly Skok, Tami and Krista of Cloth and Kind, Mitchell Hill, Sam Allen and Myself!

It is sure to be a fun event!

While there you can check out these amazing
Luxury Vispring Beds!!!
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Monday, October 17, 2016

A House In The Country: Peter Pennoyer & Katie Ridder

"A House In The Country" by Peter Pennoyer and Katie Ridder is a book about the lovely country home the couple built in Millbrook, NY for their family.  This book is much more than a book about a country house. It is the compilation of creatives who have worked together seamlessly to create an environment which not only speaks to their design sensibilities but creates a place that is so special it seems to breathe a life of its own.  
My hat is off to Peter and Katie for bringing to life their combined vision for their dream home.   I can only imagine how difficult it was for an architect and designer to design for themselves.  As a designer, I find designing for myself the most difficult task of all.

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Sunday, October 16, 2016

Fashion Trend: Ukrainian Clothing!

Ukrainian Blouse
Last year, when Ukrainian designer Vita Kin’s embroidered linen dresses and tops started popping up on every fashion trendsetters instagram feed, a trend was born.  Vita Kin took the vyshyvanka, a Ukrainian blouse which is part of their traditional costume and had scaled it back to perfect proportions.  Kim's designs were originally only available through instagram, but once the trend caught hold, she was quickly swept into the fashion troves of Net-a-Porter, and others. Many other designers have created their own versions of the vyshyvanka but most in dress form not blouses as is traditional.  From March11 to Free People and others, there are blouses and dresses available to suit any budget.  What is really interesting though is the amount of Ukrainian offering found on etsy!  If you enter Ukrainian blouses you will find more like this 
If you click here you can see a vast array of Ukrainian dresses and blouses that can be shipped to your door in a matter of a few days!
I recently ordered a few from etsy and here are my thoughts and favorite shops to buy Ukrainian wear via etsy.  

Ukrainian Dress

When these dresses and blouses were first made available for the US, they required a long lead time for delivery, but now shops are offering in stock options.  While these dresses look fab on tall, skinny people, those  not quite as svelte can also wear the fashion as coats or jackets by unsnapping them.  These fashions are linen and are advertised as summer garments, but in our climate, I think we can wear them in the fall and spring as well.  

LJM Embroidery

 LJM Embroidery has some amazing options like this short embroidered dress.  Remember that these are from the Ukraine so you may have to alter to fit you better.

Ukrainian Dress

If you want to order a dress or blouse make sure you check the measurements or ask the shop owner about the sizing.  One thing I have learned the hard way on etsy is to always check their return policy or be prepared to keep whatever you order if they don't offer returns or exchanges.  
Other shops to check out...
Ukrainian Wedding Dress

Sky blue vyshyvanka blouse by FashionbyUkraine
In Stock Black and White Boho blouse $145
Want to see more?  Click here for more options!
Vita Kim blouses are now $1300 and more and dresses are as much as $2500 so why not try some of these options and get an authentic look at a much better price.  
The winner of the book from Monday's giveaway is....
Congrats!  Your Joni Vanderslice " Southern Coastal Living"
will arrive on your doorstep as soon as I have your address!
  Please send your address to  Thank you!!!
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Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Joni Vanderslice: Southern Coastal Living and a Giveaway!!!

Joni Vanderslice's new book Southern Coastal Living arrived in my mailbox last week.  I tried to wait til the weekend before I read the book and perused the pages but my curiosity got the best of me.  I decided to flip through the pages and instantly found myself lost among the pages.
This southern designer expresses herself and her design philosophy so well. I love that she chooses to design for the way her clients live rather than how she wants their houses to look.  

Joni grew up in High Point, NC but cut her design teeth in the trenches of Hilton Head where she currently runs a nationally acclaimed design firm. 
In this book, Joni describes what it means to design for a resort community. Joni's luxury without pretense philosophy is showcased in residential resort homes on and near Hilton Head Island, SC.   From the thoughtful suggestions Joni makes for guest suites to the sage advice she gives for editing interiors, this book covers the gambit on how to decorate a well-designed coastal property.  

This book is filled with beautiful photographs of Joni's work.  Thumbing through the pages of the book makes me want to move to the coast.
(Of course, that's what I have always wanted to do anyway!)

This is a great book that is well written.  Kuddos to Joni!

I cannot wait to meet Joni at her book signing
during High Point Market!  Meet me there!

Joni Vanderslice Book Signing Event
Southern Coastal Living
Sunday, Oct 23 
6pm - 9pm 
Stanford Furniture 

Joni Vanderslice founded J Banks Design Group in 1986. As owner and president, she has built the design company into an internationally firm recognized for the J Banks signature style of timeless design and casual elegance. Vanderslice is a dedicated volunteer with the Hilton Head Boys and Girls Club and the Hilton Head Chamber of Commerce.

Want to win a copy of Joni's book:  Southern Coast Living? 
Go to instagram and follow the instructions on my wall and
tag a friend who you think might like the book, then you both will
be entered to win!  Winner announced on Friday, Oct. 14th 

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Saturday, October 8, 2016

Favorite Metallic Shoes for Fall- Style Files

Metallic shoes are hot!  Have you found a perfect pair for fall? Did you snag a pair last year when they metallic first arrived on the fashion scene?  If not, time to get on the bandwagon!    Don't let Dorothy be the only one known for sparkly kicks!  Whether you chose flats, boots, or Mary Jane's the metallic shoe in silver, gold, pink or any other color are one of the season's hottest picks!  I've chosen some of my favorite styles for you to see.  Guess which ones I bought....

Pink Metallic Horsebit Pumps
Viola Tassel Sandal

Hermione Flats

Beya Bow Shoes

Starman Brogues

No 21 Glittered Pumps

Pink Sequin Mary Janes
Gold Brogues with Lucite Heels

Princeton "Horsebit" slippers

If you are looking for more budget friendly options here are some
Fab choices:

Maggie Flair heel Booties

Kate Loafer
Mercury Block Heel Bootie
Justify Loafer in Gold
Dillon Mule
Cecile Booties

Are you as excited about metallic shoes as I am?  Which pair are your favorite?  The best part of wearing metallic shoes is that they go with everything from jeans to dresses.  I think of them as the woman's answer to traveling with fewer shoes!   Next trip pack a couple pairs of metallics and call it a day!  Metallic shoes will work back with all your outfits, so pick a pair of silver and a pair of gold and be ready to go!

Tell me what you love?

Congratulations to reader Natalie Reddell
 for being the winner of my book drawing this week for
Vern Yip's book "Design Wise"!!!!  

Stay tuned for Monday's Design Book Review and Giveaway!!!

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