Demystification of a Design Collaboration

Today I’m sharing a behind the scenes of the designer/client collaboration.

Soooo, how does working with us REALLY work?

1/Good designers are not out to exploit you. They care. They have a strong work ethic and they work very hard.

2/Hiring a designer requires a budget, and you can’t hope for a total redesign on a $1,000 budget on designer fees for your living room. That is, simply put, unrealistic. Imagine how many hours it takes you to select one wall color when you go to the paint store! Now multiply that task by 50. Imagine selecting furniture, lighting, rug, at, accessories, wall color, tile, flooring options for a project. Add to that the hours spent meeting on site with you and or the builders, the preparation of powerpoints and budgets, the travel time and the custom selections of fabrics and design of bespoke items, communication with vendors, orchestrating deliveries, creating designs and drawings. Designers easily reach 30 hours + on a room design depending on the scope of the project.

Inspiration Board by Elza B. design, Inc.Inspiration board section detail by Elza B. Design, Inc. This board helps the client and designer make sure the client is on board with the vision for the project. Each board takes several hours to research and put together.

3/A good designer will be super organized, prepare a contract, and take time to go through important steps of preparation. Tip: Never work without a contract.

Contract-Elza B. Design, inc..Extract of a contract from Elza B. Design, Inc.

4/Preparation: Designers need to build the backbone of the design project before you can even start designing. CAD drawings, vision plan, color schemes, measurements, photos.

Example of an Elza B. Design Package.Example of the type of work we prepare at Elza B. Design, Inc  before even starting any research or purchasing for our clients. This can take 15 to 20 hours prep work.

5/Trust: Once you select a designer (and we recommend you do your research), please trust they know their craft.

6/Hire someone with excellent client satisfaction reviews, a great portfolio, strong communication and organizational skills. This person should be someone you can relate to and trust to listen well : after all, they are helping you create a space YOU will love.

Designer's Office board for a Project. Elza B. design, inc.Back in the office, each client has a board with all the items, colors, fabrics, info on hand. Elza B. Design, inc.

8/It may seem scary to entrust us with your home or space, but we will do everything we can to make you happy with the outcome. We wear multiple hats, including overseeing shipping and custom fabrication : we are problem solvers and our goal is to deliver.

Elza B. Design Sketch for Custom Pillows.Sketches by Elza B. Design, inc.Custom sketches like these are prepared to communicate with you and the specialists who work with us to ensure a seamless production and installation. Elza B. Design, Inc sketches.

9/Yes, there can be issues but we will solve them! Like when the fabric comes in from the mill at the workroom and it’s defective. We’ll take care of returning it. Or when that glass lamp shade arrives broken. We’ll organize the exchange.

Elza B. Design, Inc | Chez ElzaExample of resolutions we take care of at Elza B. Design, Inc.

10/If you can trust us, great things will happen, and both parties will enjoy the collaboration. If you hold back, and begin to see us as the enemy, a good partnership cannot flourish. Please express your concerns. But please trust you have hired a professional who will steer you in the right direction.

11/Collaboration is KEY. A good designer will want to communicate. He or She will love it if you can say “I don’t like that because…” “I really like that color but I would prefer…” Your constructive input is needed and appreciated.

12/Please let us know when you are happy. Do send photos of the space to share your excitement when the sofa has been delivered or when the kids are happily enjoying the new family room! We love it when clients share the joy! Makes our day!

13/Budget? Why are we asking about your budget before the contract is signed? It’s very important for a designer to know beforehand if the budget is realistic. Our goal is to meet the client’s wishes: if we know what the budget is, we will know if we are a good fit for you, what solutions to come up with and which stores to shop.

14/Do designers work on weekends? Would you ask your electrician to come during the weekend? Probably not unless it was an absolute emergency. Designers take weekends off like everyone else. I will occasionally do a weekend visit but there is an extra fee for that.

Elza B. Design Board of Design Elements put Together.Here is an example of how all can be decided prior to any purchase. We are able to show clients what they are buying with the help of new technologies. Board by Elza B. Design, Inc.

15/The big reveal? If you want a custom designed space, please don’t have unrealistic expectations. We simply cannot deliver awhole room redesign  in three weeks when a simple sofa takes up to 12 weeks in production! Expect the project to last months. If you want a big reveal, we can have our receiving warehouse inspect and hold all the items, and then deliver and install all the same day with our assistance. There is an extra fee for that, but some clients say it’s worth it!

16/”I want an IKEA priced sofa!” Imagine a dish (we’ll call it A) made with fresh herbs, fresh mushrooms and a homemade tomato sauce. Now imagine the same dish (we’ll call it B) made with dried herbs, canned mushrooms and a jar of inexpensive store bought tomato sauce. Dish A make look as good as dish B, but A is going to be tastier and pricier if you order it at a restaurant than dish B. It goes the same way for furniture. It may look good but the craftsmanship and quality of components is what you pay for. IKEA is a great place to start when you’re out of college or on a budget, but you will find the quality is not as high. Designers know all about quality and where to get it. Ask us. We’re happy and proud to explain how the items are made.

I hope you enjoyed this behind the scenes and found it educational!

A bientôt!





All About Houzz : The HOUSE Go-To Site, also known as Houzz : you’ve probably heard about this website by now. But WHAT is it?? And why do I like it?

The “Hou” in Houzz is pronounced “How.” Houzz is a combination of the words “House” and “Buzz”.

Houzz is “the leading platform for home remodeling and design, providing people with everything they need to improve their homes from start to finish – online or from a mobile device. From decorating a room to building a custom home, Houzz connects millions of homeowners, home design enthusiasts and home improvement professionals across the country and around the world. With the largest residential design database in the world and a vibrant community powered by social tools, Houzz is the easiest way for people to get the design inspiration, project advice, product information and professional reviews they need to help turn ideas into reality” (Houzz)

Houzz-info-2Infographic from

Houzz-Info-1Infographic from

Clients have been finding me on Houzz for a few years and as a designer, I find it to be a fabulous platform. Professionals who are in the home improvement industry can benefit from a beautiful platform to showcase their work and reviews about their work.

Houzz-My profileAnother exciting aspect of Houzz has been the opportunity I’ve had to contribute articles for which I curate products I want to share with readers. My instructions are to always scout for new products, and try to write about them from an interesting angle. I tend to be bit tight with deadlines, which is actually really good for me as I tend to write better under pressure! Writing in the present also allows me to be very spontaneous, like when I selected items to pepper a mudroom and got to vent about New England’s lovely winter weather:

Houzz-Guest PicksHouzz’s very friendly interface was dubbed “Facebook for Interiors” by  Apartment Therapy in a 2009 article. Time magazine wrote in 2012 :Houzz is “a photo-driven site that’s become the poster-child of the post-recession renovation frenzy”.

The platform (which is also available as an APP for your smart phone or I-Pad) allows anyone to sift through articles on specific home improvement questions, search for inspiration or simply shop for home products.

Homeowners can also create ideabooks where they can file images of designs or products they like. A lot of my clients have worked with me this way when I first start the collaboration. If they are doing a bathroom remodel for instance, they can save images of bathrooms, tile, lighting they really like and send me the whole ideabook for me to review!

Houzz-Ideabook exampleAn example of a Houzz ideabook (I used one of mine to respect my client’s privacy). Note you can put your own comments under images. Pretty cool, no?

Consider as a source next time you’re looking for a home improvement specialist, need to research an article on a specific topic or just want to pop in and read my articles ! Do say “Hi” if you  do :-)


4-The Wonderful World of New Orleans Designers and Antiques

On our first day in New Orleans with BlogtourNOLA, we were treated to a visite guidée* of renowned Magazine Street by local interior designer Shaun Smith, a gracious and most talented young man.

Shaun Smith on magazine Street. Photo Barbara Elza Hirsch | Chez Elza

Shaun Smith walks us through the shops on Magazine Street. Photo Credit: Barbara Elza Hirsch | Chez Elza

Shaun proceeded to take us into upscale antique shop Antiquités d’Europe, owned by Petricia Thompson, an antique shop owner for the past 13 years. Petricia has quite a collection of 18th and 19th Century European antiques. The prices are steep but I recommend you stop by this one. Here are a few snapshots:

Antiquités d'Europe - Photo Drecit : Barbara Elza Hirsch | Chez ElzaAntiquités d’Europe – Photo Credit: Barbara Elza Hirsch | Chez Elza

Photo Credit  Barbara Elza Hirsch | Chez ElzaAntiquités d’Europe- 19th Century French Tole Bed Corona Canopy – Photo Credit:  Barbara Elza Hirsch | Chez Elza

Antiquités d'Europe- Phot  Credit : Barbara Elza Hirsch | Chez ElzaAntiquités d’Europe- 18th Century Spanish Dining chairs – Photo Credit:  Barbara Elza Hirsch | Chez Elza

Photo Credit:  Barbara Elza Hirsch | Chez ElzaAntiquités d’Europe- Vase of April, A French creation, one of my favorites, even if more contemporary.  Photo Credit:  Barbara Elza Hirsch | Chez Elza

Next stop was Empire Antiques:

Photo Credit: Barbara Elza Hirsch | Chez ElzaPhoto Credit: Barbara Elza Hirsch | Chez Elza

Photo Credit: Barbara Elza Hirsch | Chez ElzaContinuing on Magazine Street we passed Julie Neill‘s Designs, as Julie herself greeted us in front of her storefront. Unfortunately we were headed to another destination, but I could not resist taking a few snapshots of her stylish vitrines**:

Photo Credit:  Barbara Elza Hirsch | Chez ElzaJulie Neill’s unusual storefront window with the street reflection- Photo Credit:  Barbara Elza Hirsch | Chez Elza

Photo Barbara Elza Hirsch | Chez ElzaJulie Neill’s unusual storefront window with the street and myself reflected- Photo Credit:  Barbara Elza Hirsch | Chez Elza

Malachite Home was a big favorite with our group: Shaun Smith introduced us to the designer and her fabulous shop, filled with unusual juxtapositions and brimming with art and sculpture:

Photo Credit: Barbara Elza Hirsch | Chez ElzaMalachite’s. Credit:  Barbara Elza Hirsch | Chez Elza

Photo Credit: Barbara Elza Hirsch | Chez ElzaBunny Williams Table with turned legs and assortment of candy colored glassware. Photo Credit: Barbara Elza Hirsch | Chez Elza

 My personal favorites:

Photo Credit: Barbara Elza Hirsch | Chez ElzaMalachite Home unusual mid century sculptures- Photo Credit: Barbara Elza Hirsch | Chez Elza

 Photo Credit: Barbara Elza Hirsch | Chez Elza

 Gorgeous dragons and floral details enhance these gilded sconces- Photo Credit: Barbara Elza Hirsch | Chez Elza

Shaun Smith then invited us in his own shop and regaled us with little canapés of goat cheese decorated with fresh strawberries and other canapés topped with charcuteries***. We welcomed the break and admired his elegant and whimsical style:

Photo Credit: Barbara Elza Hirsch | Chez ElzaPhoto Credit:  Barbara Elza Hirsch | Chez Elza

Religious symbols abound in New Orleans, a town with a strong Catholic history and culture. One has to keep in mind Louisiana is the only state to be  divided into Parishes rather than Counties.

Photo Credit: Barbara Elza Hirsch | Chez ElzaPhoto Credit: Barbara Elza Hirsch | Chez Elza

Photo Credit: Barbara Elza Hirsch | Chez Elza

Photo Credit: Barbara Elza Hirsch | Chez Elza Photo Credit: Barbara Elza Hirsch | Chez ElzaPhoto Credit: Barbara Elza Hirsch | Chez ElzaPhoto credit: Barbara Elza Hirsch | Chez ElzaThese chairs might be the ones that belonged to my French grandparents. In fact, they are so eerily similar I am a bit taken aback. Chairs on which grandchildren sat to eat tartines de pain de campagne au miel**** dipped in hot chocolate. Chairs on which my family sat next to the free standing 1950’s first fridge and played bridge. Photo credit:  Barbara Elza Hirsch | Chez Elza

Photo credit: Barbara Elza Hirsch | Chez ElzaAnd then there is this Louis Philippe commode*****. Surely this has to be the one that was in the guest bedroom in my grandparents’ home?! Feelings like this overcome me throughout my trip in new Orleans. It’s as if the city lends itself to travel into time and pulls me back to Europe…Photo credit:  Barbara Elza Hirsch | Chez Elza

Next stop was Gerrie Bremermann’s fantastic shop with Gerrie herself! Gerrie is a lovely and energetic octogenarian interior designer who left her career as a seamstress to become an interior designer in her 40’s. She was voted Vogue Magazine’s top interior designers in 2004. Her boutique/office is refined and personalized. Gerrie is also represented on 1st Dibs.

Photo credit: Barbara Elza Hirsch | Chez ElzaPhoto Credit: Barbara Elza Hirsch | Chez ElzaPhoto credit: Barbara Elza Hirsch | Chez ElzaSoothing palette for this ethereal and elegant bedroom by Gerrie Bremermann. Photo Credit: Barbara Elza Hirsch | Chez Elza

Photo credit: Barbara Elza Hirsch | Chez ElzaFun fact: Gerrie says because the ceilings are so tall in her offices, she selects very tall staff, as she herself is quite petite. Note the stunning -I assume- Italian Murano glass chandelier. Photo Credit: Barbara Elza Hirsch | Chez Elza

Photo credit: Barbara Elza Hirsch | Chez Elza

Art holds a big place in Gerrie Bremermann’s designs. I can see why! Photo Credit: Barbara Elza Hirsch | Chez Elza

Photo credit: Barbara Elza Hirsch | Chez ElzaWith Gerrie :-) We had a good laugh at how New Orleans affected our hair!!!  I so enjoyed my visit with her!

We finish our street tour at Ecru, a tasteful antique shop owned by a darling mother and daughter team:

Photo Credit: Barbara Elza Hirsch | Chez ElzaPhoto Credit: Barbara Elza Hirsch | Chez ElzaPhoto Credit: Barbara Elza Hirsch | Chez ElzaPhoto Credit: Barbara Elza Hirsch | Chez Elza

Photo Credit: Barbara Elza Hirsch | Chez ElzaPhoto Credit: Barbara Elza Hirsch | Chez Elza

Photo Credit: Barbara Elza Hirsch | Chez Elza

Photo Credit: Barbara Elza Hirsch | Chez ElzaIf you love whites, greys and greiges, this is the shop for you! Photo: Barbara Elza Hirsch | Chez Elza

The day ended at the Ogden Museum with a presentation and book signing with interior designer Miles Redd, author of a book called The Big Book of Chic:

Photo credit: Barbara Elza Hirsch | Chez ElzaTwo design legends, Gerrie Bremermann and Miles Redd enjoy a quick chat minutes before the book signing. Photo Credit: Barbara Elza Hirsch | Chez Elza

*French for guided tour
**French for storefront windows
***French for prepared meats usually made of pork, using methods such as curing or smoking, which were methods developed to preserve meat in times when refrigeration was not an option (jambon, saucisson, etc)
****French for buttered peasant bread slices with honey
*****French for chest of drawers

Fireside Beauties in Time for January!


I don’t know about you, but January feels like the l.o.n.g.e.s.t  month of the year in my view. Yes, I know, it’s not.

Can you believe mathematically March, May, July, August, October and December are just as long? January just seems to drag on and on here in New England. it’s cold. The trees are bare and stand like spooky shadows in the night. The sidewalks are treacherous, covered in grey slippery patches.

The good things, that make January bearable (because I have to find something positive in all things) are:

-fresh snow

-cross country skiing

-Being in my bed

-A warm meal and intense winter cooking (Boeuf Bourgignon, anyone?)

-Sitting next to a roaring fire

And that brings me to today’s post topic: FIREPLACES!!

I love them and truly could not live without them. Wood fires add joy and color with pops of yellow and crackling sounds. Gas fireplace designs are becoming more and more attractive and look great in more modern interiors.

They bring people together, encouraging intimate conversations with glasses of wine or hot cocoa cups, legs up on ottomans and bundled under fuzzy throws.

Here is a selection of a few fireside beauties for you to enjoy:

Concrete fireplace detail - simple color scheme.

I find this clean, rustic and sophisticated fireplace from Architectural Digest (unfortunately, I cannot locate the designer) arresting. The concrete mantel and what appears to be aged iron surround is unusual and gorgeously designed.

This Greenwich 19th century townhouse decorated by Christine Markatos and published in Architectural Digest is a stunner. Cozy, soothing and so inviting! The classic wood painted mantel has been preserved.

The gas fireplace nestled in a luminous family room style space via California Home Design is begging for company! The horizontal wood panels on the fireplace column create a wonderful focal point.

This is probably on of my favorite rooms of all times. Actress Meg Ryan’s home photographed for ELLE DECOR and decorated by Marsha Russell of Satinwood. The wrought iron grid fireplace cover juxtaposed with a slab of grey stone acting as a visual mantel shelf is simply brilliant and so clean! Note how the seating conveys warmth and invites one to sit by the fireplace.

What could have become a dark, overly rustic room is lightened up by white and organic textures, setting all eyes on this stone fireplace. Design by Michael Angus. After skiing this morning, I recommend meeting for a cup of hot chocolate right here!

This metal surround has shifting tones which almost look like brushstrokes: I love the visual interest they add to the fireplace. Note how the dark charcoal color is echoed with the seating. Via House Beautiful, designed by Erin Martin and Kim Dempster.

Colette van den Thillart's London home is a reflection of her signature style: edgy, witty and utterly fearless.

Colette van den Thillart’s London home is a reflection of her signature style: edgy, witty and utterly fearless. The classic fireplace is contrasted with fabulous pops of green and teal, via pattern and solids. Tea, anyone? via House and Home.

Enjoy, my friends! And do let me know your thoughts! Which of these fireplaces strikes your fancy?

A bientôt!!!




Boston’s Very Own Junior League Show House

I recently had the opportunity to visit  the Junior League of Boston Show House in Newton, MA.

A bit of history: the JLB was created in 1906 by women wanting to make a social difference in the Boston Metro community. They built their structure on the model of New York’s Junior League and went on to create diverse committees of interest (help to the poor and sick, entertainment for children, etc) and raise funding to assist charities and people in need. The Junior League has aligned itself with women’s changing roles over the years. It is composed of modern women who work but also want to volunteer and show initiative in diverse areas: education initiative, wellness, diet, etc.

The Show House runs from October 16th till November 18th at the Potter Estate, an 1867 property located on the grounds of the Jackson-Walnut Park Schools in Newton. The estate grounds and interiors have been updated and completely re-designed by 35 prominent local design firms who have donated their time and materials. The proceeds from the Show House will go towards the mission of the Junior League.

Potter Estate in Newton, home of the Junior League Show House 2012

Getting through Newton is always tricky for me: all that meandering, u-turning to get on the right direction of traffic, I just can’t seem to orient myself! I have to tell you, this Show House was well worth the detour! I was simply amazed at the hard work and creative genius and variety on display. I am proud of my Boston design peers!

Let me share a few photos I took of designs from local designer friends:

Elizabeth Benedict of Elizabeth Home created The Green Room, “a behind -the -scenes space for a mother to decompress…and recharge between tasks”. Creating a very organic feminine decor with soothing harmonies of greens and mauve, Elizabeth nailed the space, making it inviting and cozy.

Elizabeth Benedict‘s Green Room with framed Manuel Canovas fabric (doubles as a headboard if needed!), Stray Dog fixtures, custom paneled walls and ottoman.

More detail from the Green Room with beautiful rug by Landry and Arcari and chair upholstered in one of my personal favorite fabrics by Brunschwig & Fils.

Designer Kristen Rivoli, owner of Kristen Rivoli Interior Design smartly decided to create a romantic bedroom for an imaginary client: a well traveled couple that wishes to bring into their home design aspects from their travels to Paris and Morocco. A sumptuous canopy was created over the bed with a Moroccan lantern hanging from its heart.

Master bedroom by Kristen Rivoli with Poliform Arca Bed.

Facing the bed, was an inviting daybed with an array of pillows covered in Mally Skok textiles, and gorgeous side tables from Montage:

 Note the wallpaper with “hammered nails” effect by Phillip Jeffries, the soft grey purple velvet covering on the French bed by Charles Spada and the fabulous blue hide rug by Kyle Bunting.

Speaking of Mally Skok, she created a spunky and lively Young Woman’s Bedroom using a plethora of her very own gorgeous line of fabrics Mally Skok Design:

Mally shows her sense of humor with this warm and colorful interior. Love that window treatment! Wallpaper and all fabric on the bed are by Mally Skok.

Laurie Gorelick of Laurie Gorelick Interiors created a little jewel box she called “Inner Sanctum”. A “restorative space” for busy women, where one can meditate, refresh and enjoy. A earthy palette of greens and oranges grounds this small room and makes it extremely inviting:

I loved the Raoul Textiles lambrequin adorning the window as well as the built-ins and the desk area. Indirect lighting from a dropped ceiling creates softness throughout the space.

Another angle of the room with a custom daybed and lovely Schumacher and Seema Krish fabrics. The grasscloth wallpaper is by Schumacher. The rug is by Landry and Arcari.

Cecilia Walker of Cecilia Walker Design dressed up a very challenging back entrance and hallway with lovely little vignettes, bold wallpaper and light fixtures:

On site, I had the pleasure of meeting a few designers I did not know and who gracefully allowed me to photograph their work:

Janet S. Gaffey of Santini & Co created with the help of muralist Natalie Gardener a lovely tree-lined wall with accents of gold, copper and silver to showcase the very high second floor stairway. Note the incredible marbled like design she installed in the diamond shaped window:

Here is Janet in her space:

Frank D. Hodge of F.D. Hodge Interiors created a calming room he called Frank’s Study. I enjoyed the layering process he used, mixing both antique and modern furnishings:

Venetian plaster walls contribute to the taupe color scheme derived from the damask fabric.

Finally, Gerald Pomeroy of the Gerald Pomeroy Design Group designed a Conservatory in collaboration with Dessin Fournir, which gave him access to furniture pieces and fabrics from the same showroom:

I enjoyed the classic composition of this console table skirted by Gerarld in a Rose Cummings fabric:

This Show House opportunity should make Newton and Boston very proud!

Congratulations to my Boston Designer Colleagues!




Getting Ready for my Spring Intern!

Such an exciting weekend for me! Getting ready to greet my new intern this Monday! Last fall, I volunteered at the local High school to speak at the Job Fair about my job as an Interior Designer. I had a wonderful time. What a joy to share my passion with eager students wondering if this could be the field for them! Little did I know that the school would ask me if I would be open to welcoming an intern in the Spring! Of course, said I. What business owner does not need an intern? And what a wonderful opportunity to mentor a young student, set the right example and show her what an exciting profession this is! Today, the office is all abuzz with lists of ideas and tasks for the internship, fun things to do together, but also more menial tasks that are part of having a business.

My office is a bit tight and I was in dire need of a comfy desk for my temporary assistant. It could not be too big. It could not be too expensive. It had to be hip. Found it! This weekend, I am going to West Elm to get this lovely mango wood bistro table:

West Elm Turned Pedestal Bistro Table

I can’t wait to set it up. Now all I need is a nice chair to pair it with.

Something like the Hans Wegner Wishbone chair could be a nice contrast, but, yikes, it’s pricey :

Hans Wegner Wishbone chair at Room and Board

Or maybe a simple modern Windsor chair such as :

Modern Windsor Chair by West Elm

Mmmh, this one by Pottery Barn is fun! but is is it comfortable? :

Soleil Chair by Pottery Barn

This Louis XV inspired design would be perfect, if only I did not need to fly to France to purchase it :

I will keep you posted! Choices abound! The most important is that the intern feel welcome and that we get down to business! Because this design firm is busy and ready to share the magical, exciting, exhausting world of interior design!

Bon weekend!

The Formidable World of Kelly Wearstler

Kelly Wearstler is a big name in the Design Industry. But who is Kelly Wearstler?


An interior designer, textile designer, and now, since the fall of 2011, a fashion designer, Kelly Wearstler is the new “chouchou” of the design world.  Born in 1967 in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, she obtained her BFA from the Massachusetts College of Art. In 1994, she moved to Los Angeles, CA thinking she would work in the Movie Industry. Deciding it was not for her, the slim and graceful Wearstler posed under a pseudonym in Playboy Magazine and used the proceeds to pay off her student loans and start her Interior Design Firm in 1995.  She was hired for a decorating project in the late 1990s by Brad Korzen, a real estate developer, whom she later married. She went on to provide Interior designer services for some properties Korzen and his Kor Realty Group owned, including the AVALON, a Beverly Hills hotel. From that point, her career really took off and she became renowned for her Hotel Design projects, Residential work, tablescapes and textile designs. Her style has been described as “Retro-Theatrical” by the New York Times but also as  “Hollywood Regency”-a glamorous, over the top style started in…you guessed it, Hollywood in the 1930s’. I would describe her style as extremely vibrant and layered, with a sense of grandeur and whimsy.

Here are a few examples:

Viceroy Hotel in Anguilla, in the Carribean by Kelly Wearstler
Residential Work “Pied à Terre” by Kelly Wearstler
Residential Work “The Doheny Estate” by Kelly Wearstler

I discovered Kelly Wearstler through her fabrics at Lee Joffa a few years ago, and used some of her fabrics in the Red Master Bedroom as well as in my home. What strikes me in her creations is her wonderful ability to play with color and textures. Kelly Wearstler puts in incredible research in her designs, and their level of refinement is masterful. One can imagine her with a pad and pencil in hand taking in everything that surrounds her: nature, art, travels, etc.

I recently went to the Boston Design Center and visited the friendly Lee Joffa showroom with the intent of checking out Kelly Wearstler’s new Spring Textile Lines. I was not disappointed!

Here are a few close up photos I took:

Okay, that first one is really just a teaser! Hard to see in detail. Now the one below is a close up I took to show you the intricate detail of this textile design:

Water Stripe EMB in Raisin /Rose Colorway by Kelly Wearstler. Linen with Rayon Embroidery
Feline in Ebony/Rose by Kelly Wearstler
Agathe in Ebony/Beige by Kelly Wearstler. Linen.
Currents in Ebony/Gold by Kelly Wearstler. Linen and metal.
Tempest in Truffle by Kelly Wearstler.
Currents Silk- Ebony by Kelly Wearstler
Serpent in Ivory by Kelly Wearstler -Linen,cotton, polyester
Bengal Bazaar in Graphite/Rose by Kelly Wearstler. Linen.
Currents Linen-Rose by Kelly Wearstler
Water Stripe EMB- Plum by Kelly Wearstler

I hope these images make you want to run out and discover more about Kelly Wearstler. She is quite a talented creator! Don’t forget to check her fashion, accessories and home lines at

Bonne Journée!

Boy, Oh Boy, New Interior Design Photos Are In!

Last post, I discussed the process of working with a designer. But how does a designer showcase his/her work once a project is completed?

Interior Designers depend on good photographs to be able to show their hard work. We could not work without qualified and talented photographers. They are the window to our work! I personally tried to take my own interior design photos years ago when I started in this field, but I had to give up. My photos were frankly ugly and dark. They did NOT do me a service :-)

One of the most exhausting and rewarding part of our profession is getting those photos made. I say exhausting because photo sessions require a lot of work, involving staging the photos. One has to make sure no lampshade is crooked and no kleenex box has been forgotten on the window sill. Fabric on upholstery and pillows needs to look plumped up and not crumpled. The space has to  feel inviting and not too busy.

Last week was one of those weeks. After months and months of fine-tuning two rooms, making sure the client and designer were satisfied with the end result of the designs, I was ready to come in and shoot with my photographer, Boston based Dan Watkins.

On a sunny and unusually warm March day, we met on site to get started. I brought in props (flowers, vase, trays, throws, etc) and started prepping the rooms while Dan tested them for light. It is not unusual for use to move furniture around: dog beds and extraneous items need to be temporarily removed. Dan takes multiple shots with shades and curtains opened and closed so to photoshop the rooms later and edit sun spots, shading, light, window views.

Paying attention to so many little details is very trying. I get very tired and can’t wait to be done after 3 hours of constant vigilance. We wrap up and go for coffee. A week or so later, we agree on the right shot selections to edit. I am always overjoyed to see the results! All that hard work payed off!

Below are a few selections:

Media Room designed by Elza B. Design and photographed by Dan Watkins.


Media Room-Back detail of Wing Chair. Design by Elza B. Design, photo by Dan Watkins.

And another space:

Sitting Room designed by Elza B. Design and photographed by Dan Watkins.
Sitting Room designed by Elza B. Design and photographed by Dan Watkins.


For more photographs, make sure to visit our website at

Thanks for visiting, hope you enjoyed :-)