Animal Print is a Neutral

Animal print is a neutral.  I’ve heard this a lot lately, and I think it’s so funny!  But true!  Jenna Lyons at J. Crew is really the one who has made leopard a mainstay in all of our wardrobes.  That trend has carried into interior design.  Be careful though, it can start looking cheap really quick!  Don’t be afraid to use animal prints with bright colors and other patterns.

January February 2013 Issue - A leopard-print ottoman and wooden occasional chairs surrounding a white mantel

Lonny Magazine Designer Jessika Goranson
leopard chairs and yellow drapes
MMR Interiors
Beautiful beige living room with leopard pillows
Sally Wheat Interiors, entry, leopard stools
Sally Wheat Interiors
leopard print chair with nailhead + coral pillow
Suellen Gregory Interior Design
Leopard chair.
a little leopard.
This look can be so sophisticated or really cheapy!  It’s tough to pull off, but when done right it’s so chic!

Why It Works

Let’s break it down…What makes a room work?

Let’s discuss this room.  I love this room.  Even though it might not be specifically your style, I think everyone can take the different aspects of this room and apply it to your own.

Room by SJ Interior Design

Pinned Image

Like I said, don’t take this room at face value.  Try to imagine your style  with these aspects:

1.  Balance.  The room is centered around the focal point, the fireplace.  Do you have a focal point?  A fireplace, a TV? In this room, they have two chairs on one side and a sofa on the other.  The sofa is “heavy”.  It takes up a lot of visual space.  They chairs not so much; however, there is a large buffet behind the chairs to balance out the visual weight of the room.

2. Texture and prints.  Notice that the chairs do not “match” the sofa.  They are in a different fabric with great natural texture. If the chairs had been in the same fabric as the sofa, it would not look nearly as expensive or put together.  You never want a room to look like you’ve gone to a big box store and picked everything off the floor.  Subconsciously, people think the room looks more expensive if everything compliments each other.  I did not say MATCH.  It’s not about matching, it’s about complimenting.

The throw pillows also add great interest.  They look like they’ve been “collected”, not purchased off the shelve.  This also adds that richness.

The rug also adds excellent pattern.  Your eye is naturally drawn to the rug because of the color and busyness of the print.  The busyness is a good thing.  It keeps the room from being boring.  It’s fun and adds something unexpected and whimsical.

3.  Proportion.  This kind of goes along with balance.  I just want to point out the lamps, art, and floral arrangement.  The lamps on either side of the sofa just so happen to be identical.  They don’t have to be.  But the do have to be the same height.  They are like bookends for the sofa.

I love the visual height the greenery arrangement adds to the room.  It fills the wall and compliments the tall windows and art.

The coffee table is just the right size and shape in front of the sofa.  Not too big and not too small.  I like how the coffee table is within reach of both the chairs and sofa.

The art might not be your style, but it adds the personal touch that reflects the home owners personality.  It makes the room feel homey.  The portrait above the fireplace is a little small, but I think that’s okay.  It brings an unexpected quality to the room.

On a personal note, I love the lightness of these walls.  I think they are a canvas for the furniture and art.  Sometimes, I said SOMETIMES, I feel like color on the walls can take away from the elegantness (not a real word) of a room.

There are many ways to arrange a room.  I did this post as an example of how you can look at pictures, and emulate that magazine quality in your own home.

*I’m having a little bit of trouble making the entire picture fit.  If you click on the SJ Interiors link, there is a great picture.

Texas Hill Country

We made a trip to San Antonio last week with our 22 month old.  We had a great time relaxing and enjoying our hotel.  We even survived Sea World!

In many ways Texas hill country reminds me of New Mexico and Arizona, but it definitely has its own unique characteristics.  My husband and I both love this area.  The majority of the buildings and homes are constructed of stone.  It’s usually white, gold or cream or a combination of those three.

Our favorite is the white or cream.

Homes often have metal roofs and very rustic interiors.

Cream, Hand Chop

Special Blend, Hand Chop: Gold/Cream/Blue

Gold, Sawn Chop: 8 Inch Coursed

Gold, Sawn Chop: Smear Joint

Gold, Sawn Chop: Smear Joint

White, Sawn Chop
Gold, Sawn Chop: Smear Joint



We stayed at the Hyatt Wild Oak Ranch on the west side of San Antonio.  It was a great place for families.

The hotel had a very industrial rustic feel. As you can see the hotel is constructed of the famous hill country limestone.

Our award-winning golf course is just steps away

This the exterior of the condos we stayed in.

Rustic touches create an an authentic feel

Enjoy an evening around a campfire

Across the street is the other Hyatt Hill Country Resort.  It has a traditional hill country design.

Lower Level of the Lobby

Aunt Mary's Porch

Windflower-The Hill Country Spa

Windflower-The Hill Country Spa Outdoor Cabanas

Sorry I’m not posting any pictures from our trip.  Mine were all terrible.  We are having beautiful weather here in Oklahoma.  Fall is my favorite season.  I can’t wait to get all of my pumpkins and gourds!

Antiques de Provence in New Orleans

When we were in New Orleans in April, I stumbled across this amazing store Antiques de Provence.  This is the real deal folks.  Beautiful antique pieces from France.  It is truly amazing, and I could have spent all afternoon day dreaming.  Most pieces are way out of my budget.  A girl can dream…














Antiques de Provence

Cynthia W. Nunez


 623 Royal St French Quarter
New Orleans, LA 70130

(formerly located at 525 St. Louis)
504.529.4342 tel
504.529.4406 fax

Sarah’s House

Sarah Richardson, Canadian designer, has several shows on HGTV.  I enjoy watching her design process on each of her shows.   She can be very brave with her color and pattern choices (much more brave then me!).  Sometimes I like her choices, and sometimes I don’t.  Her newest show on HGTV is Sarah’s Summer House.  The show follows her as she designs every room at her weekend island cottage.  I am crazy about what she’s done in this house.  I love just about every detail.  The show airs on Saturday evenings, so set your DVR.  It’s a fun little treat for your spare time!

Don’t be surprised if I have a lake house some day that looks very similar to this house!

I love everything about this kitchen except the distressed planks on the peninsula.  I love the color of the cabinets.  And the backsplash is gorgeous.

Originally the stain on the wood was very natural and yellow.  She convinced her husband to let her whitewash it, and I think it’s stunning.  This room is incredible.  The blues go beautifully with the color of the water.

This room is so cute.  I love the use of all the quilts, and I don’t feel like it’s too overdone.

Normally I don’t like red, but I think this room is precious.

I love the sleigh bed and the pink and green color.  So cute for kids!

You can really see the whitewash in these two photos.  I love the use of the blues, greys and greens.  This house gives me so much inspiration.  I hope it inspires you too!

A Big Thank You to Cococozy!

I’m sending out a big THANK YOU to my blog friend at at Cococozy!  Coco featured kitchens this week on her blog, and my kitchen is one of four she posted today.  If you haven’t made Cococozy one of your regular blog reads, you should!  She also has a new line of products which include pillows, throws and curtains.  Thanks Coco!

FRIDAY, MAY 06, 2011


Kitchen 1:  Stacy Curran’s traditional colonial home in Massachusetts boasts this high style open kitchen with granite countertops, white cabinetry, and sage green accents. (above)

KITCHEN WEEK is sizzling (…I know…ridiculous pun…but I am at least making myself chuckle)!

So today, I bring you 4 kitchens from lovely COCOCOZY readers. Thank you everyone for your fabulous submissions!  Some of these kitchen owners are design professionals…while others are just regular folk like you and me.

All in all I think these kitchens are quite nice and I am so happy you sent them in for everyone to enjoy.

Here’s a listing of who these kitchens belong to and where they are from:

Kitchen 1: Stacy Curran from Conspicuous Style blog and South Shore Decorating in Massachusetts.

Kitchen 2: Stacy Nance from Stacy Nance Interiors in Oklahoma.

Kitchen 3:  Michelle D. from Littleton, CO.

Kitchen 4: Leslie Goldsmith from Baltimore, Maryland.

Kitchen 2:  Stacy Nance’s timelessly classic white kitchen features, classic glass door upper cabinets, Walker Zanger white glazed terra cotta tile backsplash, Kashmir granite countertops, black glazed ceramic tile floors and wood bar stools (above)
Kitchen 3: Michelle’s Littleton, CO kitchen has a large center island, wide plank wood floors, warm neutral tone granite counters, and a ceramic tile backsplash with copper accents. (above)
Kitchen 4: Leslie’s lovely Baltimore, MD kitchen is in a renovated 1904 home and features black granite counters, Italian pillowed crackled square tile backsplash. (above)

Thank you dear readers!  What amazing submissions.  I adore COCOCOZY readers…you all are so nice, smart and clearly talented in your own right!  True inspiration.

Which of these reader submissions do you like the best and why?  Getting any ideas here for your own kitchen?
Happy Friday!