Circa Who & Product Resources

I am mildly obessed with finding new product sources. I just am.

I don’t relax and enjoy the images in shelter mags. That’s not to say I don’t enjoy the images – I do. What I don’t do is relax. Pen in hand, I obsessively write down every website or manufacturer that catches my interest.

So, I was flipping through House Beautiful several months ago and paused to read the feature article, The Next Wave of Designers to Watch. (I realize this is old news, but I cannot get to my point without starting here.) The article includes brief interviews with the chosen designers and each are asked a series of questions. The one that most intrigued me:  “Tell us one of your secret design sources.”

Paydirt. Here are the country’s best up and coming designers and they are going to tell us where they get their stuff. Sweet.

One of the featured designers  is a DC local and someone I admire a lot, Sally Steponkus.  Her secret source?  Circa Who, a West Palm Beach vintage resale shop. Here is what she says:  “Last year when I was doing a condo in Bal Harbour, Fl, I drove over  to Palm Beach to check out some of the vintage shops. I fell in love with Circa Who and continue to visit the website and e-mail Tracy to ask her to keep her eyes peeled for certain pieces. She’s always got affordable, funky, cool, vintage furniture and lighting. I love bringing a little ’60s West Palm to conservative, serious DC!”

Quick as a flash I was on that website.

And here is what I found:

8 Century Furniture dining chairs!
Look at that greek key detail on the arm chairs. Stunners.
Yes, these are sitting in my dining room right now. More on the transformation of these chairs and the room in a future post.

A few weeks later I find this Century Furniture (do we detect a theme with me?) king headboard. And, yep, it is now in my guest room.
I tell my husband I purchase these things to use in future projects. I mean it when I say it. Really, I do.

I guess I would consider parting with it….Maybe.

Acrylic nesting tables. Living in my sunroom.

And here are a few items currently available at Circa Who.

(Yes, more Century Furniture dining  chairs like mine)

(all images of currently available items via Circa Who)

Hurry on over if you are in need of a vintage fix. It is a great resource and the good stuff goes fast! Sally, my husband says thanks. Not.


If you want help fitting a bit of West Palm glam in your home, get in touch. I’d love to help!

Inspired by the 1940’s

Getting a design concept across to a client can be tricky sometimes. So lately I’ve been trying to sketch more. It is not award-winning stuff, but when I have a vision in my head for transforming a client’s space, pictures are way better than a verbal description with lots of pointing and gesturing. (And no, I cannot talk while sitting on my hands)

This sketch is for a client who would like a 1940’s inspired living room and foyer and I am showing it to her today. She and her husband love swing dancing, vintage lamps and clothing and all things 1940’s. AND, the husband is an ARTIST. Can you imagine showing a professional artist this sketch? Eeekkk!

Though I know the basic look and characteristics of Edwardian style, a refresher was in order. Taking inspiration from any bygone era can be tricky. It is important to capture the essence of the period, but then it needs to be interpreted in a contemporary way.

Here is how the foyer looks now. (I’m not sharing the ‘before’ pic of the living room because my client hated the pictures when she saw them in her file and I don’t want her hating me!)

♦ SIDE NOTE:  If you want to see your home the way others do, take a picture. It’s a whole new perspective! ♦

The family has two adorable young children and a dog, so the rooms are hard working. The foyer needs to store shoes and seasonal coats and provide a place for little ones to sit down as they put on shoes.  You can see the green front door in the picture above. When you step in, the living room is immediately on your right and even though there is a cased opening to separate the two spaces, it needs something more.

So back to the sketch….The plan addresses these needs with a built-in storage bench under the window and a shallow closet with coat hooks near the front door.  To give it a hefty dose of 1940’s style,  I want to install tall faux paneling. Above the paneling is not what you think; it is fabric! The same fabric used for the window treatments to be exact. There are companies who back fabric with paper, and voila! Fabric as wallpaper!

Moving to the adjoining living room, here is the rest of the plan:

The yummy floral is for the window treatments and 2 fab stools, or poufs as they are called by The Charles Stewart Company.  The golden chenille is going on the Sherrill sofa, and the super soft velvet on the amazing tufted Charles Stewart chairs. The puckered silk is for the soft roman shades layered under all 3 windows for privacy. The sweet stylized stripe will go on pillows.

The living room window treatments:

Floral print fabric with the solid red linen on the button detail at the top and the banding of the leading edge and bottom hem.

In the foyer, this valance will also be in the floral and the solid red linen lining will show in the folds.

Puckered ivory silk for the roman shades.

The Sherrill sofa, done in golden chenille.

Two Charles Stewart Chairs in green velvet.

Two poufs, covered in floral with solid red contrasting welts and buttons and also peeking out from the pleats.

Stay tuned for more updates as this project progresses. The first pieces of furniture are due in just a couple of weeks and then we can add occasional tables, lighting, accessories……

♦ UPDATE:  My client LOVED the foyer proposal! Looks like this will be added to the job list! Sketching pays off!


If you want to see one of my brilliant (riiiight) sketches for your home, just shout!

Inspiration: Published Vintage

So way back in December I stumbled across an Etsy store that had two 1960 interior decorating books for sale, which I quickly scooped up. A few of the images have been tumbling around in my head. Let’s see what you think….

Copyright 1965 (I was 3),
And authored by Albert Kornfeld, editor-in-chief of House & Garden magazine for 9 years and a New York decorator.

Sunken bath tubs. When was the last time you saw one of these?? Did you notice the side table?
It reminded me of this one from Worlds Away.

Good design never dies!

The above image reminded me of this one from DecorPad…

….sans the cafe curtains.
Cafe curtains certainly are a reoccurring theme in this book.

I love this clever use of open shelving for storage and as room divider. It would be terrific in a child’s room, as shown here, or perhaps in a basement redo when you need to deal with those pesky support posts. Did you notice the wallpaper on the ceiling???  The flourescent task lighting?? The typewriter (yes, that is what one looks like). And the rotary dial phone?  How many of you gave your finger the free ride back on yours?

This room is so timeless, the photo could have been taken in 2011. Aside from the quality of the photograph, one might never know. I LOVE the pattern & color combinations. It is also a wonderful illustration of how a round rug can create an intimate feel in a spacious room.

Are you feeling the upholstered screen? Check out the detail at the top.

And finally…. Sledge hammer anyone?


But I Digress….

And so today, a departure from interiors.

I may have developed a new addiction.

This watch.

Or perhaps this one.

From ToyWatch.

Where have these been all my life????



Am I so out of it? Have you all known about ToyWatch for AGES?

Quick! Click over to ToyWatch. There are ohhh soooo many more to see!!!

…and would someone tell my husband. Hmm?


Newly discovered from Gap

And I got ’em!!
And they look goooood!

I was tickled to read a review on the Gap website where one disappointed customer lamented that the jeans completely covered her size 12 foot  “and the bottoms not only cover my entire foot but they go past my big toe by an entire inch. They’re almost laughable.” She made my day!

Come on now….Those of you of a certain (ahem) age know that covering the entire foot IS the point!

When I wear these jeans I am transported back…..
…to Skateland. ‘Elephant leg’ jeans -as we called them- HAD to completely cover our skates or it was NOT cool!

These are a different style from those shown above, and I hear them calling to me…

Roxanne (your elephant leg jean wearing friend)
PS:  I need to add (after seeing the kind comment on this post from The Zhush) that it is because of Sue at The Zhush that I am now experiencing this ToyWatch obsession. She posted about it here. Thanks Sue!

Crave Cozy?

Brrrrrrrr! It’s been miserably cold here!  Granted we are not suffering like Atlanta, but still! This is Virginia and we should not be so, I don’t know, COLD.

We have been having lots of fires in the fireplace  at our house – sometimes all day long! And flanking the fireplace in our family room are two inviting window seats where the kids like to curl up with a book and a snugly throw.

And this got me thinking about window seats in general and what makes them so appealing.

Ignoring the Christmas theme (aren’t you completely OVER it?) imagine curling up with a book and a cup of tea (or glass of wine) here. Add a small cigar table –

like this one from Worlds Away

and a couple of sconces from Circa Lighting – (Divine!) – and one might never leave.

So as I was going through my inspiration folder selecting images of window seats to share with you, I started thinking about what drew me to some and not to  others.  For example:

I absolutely LOVE this cozy bed. Although I have no way of knowing for certain, I would guess this was a room without closets. Add them, and you end up with a space just begging for a window seat – or in this case, a built-in bed! What child would not want to sleep here? Heck, I want to!

But then I came across this one. And as cute and happy as the colors are, that is all this room has going for it. That long seat is pointless. Not cozy, not practical. I’m sure the children who play here love sitting on it – or dancing, or using it as a stage. But then what?

See the difference? This window seat makes sense. It is tucked into a confined space, feels and looks cozy, and offers (presumably) some storage. There is context to this seat.

And you may disagree, but I don’t see a point to this one either. Beautiful as this room is – and it is – so much more character and interest could be added by using an actual bench – or small upholstered accent chair.

Very creative use of a small space. It almost looks like it is at the top of a staircase. Love! Love!

Wow! Look at the beautiful panels flanking this darling seat. Note the wall color and how it lends depth and warmth.

And here is a close-up of this. I believe that may be an upholstered wall. See the trim along the edge? Swoon.

As you can see, there is a matching window seat on the left side of the fireplace too.
(Are 3 photos of the same room too much?)

How sweet is this?? The whimsically painted wooden valance creates architectural interest in a room which seems to have none. Add panels with Alice in Wonderland size tie backs and the fringe trimmed pillows and you have a sweet princess hide-away.

Loving the wall of storage softened by those puffy down-filled cushions and simple unlined panels. Oh la la!

It is clear the window seats holding the most appeal for me are those tucked into small cozy spaces, or at least those made to feel like small spaces.
The use of fabric and texture and color also lure me in.
So what about you? Which window seat do you covet?

Hugs, Roxanne

If you would like help crafting the perfect space for your home and you live in the Washington, DC area, please contact me.

Put On Your Big Girl Panties

As each day passes and I’ve not posted here, the pressure mounts. I have so many things I want to share but they all seem so lame as I surf around reading scintillating, imaginative and creative blogs. How will I ever be able to find my place beside My Notting Hill, or Pure Style Home, or  House of Turquoise, or Cote de Texas? As much as I hate to admit it, a teeny tiny bit of self pity had set in.

Then this morning I was having a sweet and (I hope) inspiring conversation with my daughter about the challenges of friendship and how sometimes it seems easier to get mad, or be sad, or assume the worse in those challenging moments. We talked about how we, and only we, are responsible for our happiness, or success, or mood, or (fill-in-the-blank). Excuse-making and blame-placing not allowed. After she gave me a very sweet hug and skipped off, I turned my attention to my to do list.

And there it was, just where I left it:  ◊Write blog post.  Ugh. Still no √ in that box.

Then it hit me…..time to apply a little of my own advice. No excuses. No self-pity.

Put on your big girl panties, Roxanne, and get on with it.

And so I will.

Here are a few images I found recently after discovering Houzz.

I’m helping a client transform her VERY large home office space into a serene, well organized oasis where her productivity will soar. And where, tucked away in a corner, will be a cozy reading nook with comfy furniture. A space designed to lure her children in. She loves reading with them and wants her office to be as much a productive work space as a cozy retreat.

This is one of her favorite inspiration photos. She loves the clean white organized feeling of this space – and so do I! Notice the inspiration wall on the left full of found treasures?

Here is one of my favorites. I love the glass shelves behind the desk. The things perched upon them seem to magically float. The gold floral wallpaper relates beautifully with the simple cork board and vintage trophy lamp. The wall color  is soothing and the dark floor grounds it all. Throw in the unexpected faux hide rug, and surely only brilliant work emerges from this space!

The mix of dark neutral walls with the vibrant orange really appeals to me. Likewise, the mix of  the traditional print of the window treatments against the geometric rug. Any idea how to use an abacus? Anyone?

And finally…….What I REALLY call a fantasy office! Who are they kidding? No way any meaningful work comes outa here.

My client and I are just getting started on her project and only at the floor plan stage. As soon as I have more to share, I will!

So, big girl panties firmly on, I’ll say bye for now.
And I’ll be back soon!


Neither Frumpy nor Pedestrian

I am decidedly NOT a techie and am known to stubbornly resist change in this area.
I mean, what was wrong with the 8 Track, right?

An iPad? I just rolled my eyes.

However, after watching my friend, Lauren from Pure Style Home perform seeming miracles using her new iPad, I reconsidered (I’ll post another time about the app – Moodboard – that had me so giddy).  The very next day found me purchasing my shiny new iPad and inquiring about a fun cover.
Blank stare from Verizon guy.
I was led over to a small rack with black, black and black choices. Huh? I took black.

Perfectly functional and right for some, but just not for me.

But this could not be the end of the story. What was the problem? This is Apple right? Purveyors of Cool. So where was the iPad cover for ME? I need style, function, pizzaz. Honest to Pete! Could no one produce an iPad case with personality or a place to put a stylus?

MacBook Pro on my lap (“never” I remarked when asked if I wanted a PC all those years ago) I started my search for an iPad cover.

Happy Owl Studio!!!!!!

Ta da!

Meet The Clutch, one of 3 styles the folks at Happy Owl Studios created for the rest of us.


A place for everything, and everything in its place. Ahhh.

To be fair, another friend, Rachel James from RJ Interiors, has a beautiful iPad case from Twelve South.

First glance, a vintage book. Quite lovely.
But alas, no place for that stylus. Sorry Rachel.



Music for the Eyes & NORAD’s Santa Tracker

Oh how I love to soak in everything Christmas – and like a child, wish it would not end.

Every photo here speaks Christmas clear as Silver Bells, but each in different keys.

Sit back and enjoy the music….

And at the end, look for the NORAD Santa Tracker link.

Southern Living

Toby Fairley’s Blog

Tobi Fairley’s blog


Country Living

Party Resources Blog

Traditional Home

Party Resources

Ritz Carlton Chicago

Country Living

Party Resources

Country Living

Traditional Home

Traditional Home

House to Home blog

Country Living

Tobi Fairley’s blog

“Mommy’s tree”, as my children say.

When I reflect on why we have 2 trees; one I decorate exclusively  (all by myself – no, you cannot help – step away from Mommy’s tree)  and one the girls and my husband can decorate any way they like (the one that lives in our sunroom – the room we use the most but that is tucked away at the back of the house) – I can only conclude one thing:   I have control issues.

Our daughters’ tree – the one they decorate. If you look closely, you can see an ornament my 10 year old made with her preschool photo many years ago. This tree is full of those sentimental handmade ornaments. You know the ones; brought home crushed in the bottom of a backpack or carried oh-so-gently off the bus,  and sweet little faces beaming with pride. This tree, in all of its down-to-earth sentimental beauty, really is my favorite. Control issues aside.

And finally, my husband is a retired Navy pilot (Go Navy!) and is dedicated to all things military. It has become a tradition that he gather the girls around the computer on Christmas Eve, early in the day, and together they track Santa’s progress with NORAD’s Santa tracker.

The brave U.S. and Canadian military men and women at NORAD, North American Aerospace Defense Command, stand watch over Santa on Christmas Eve and over the rest of us 365 days a year. Read more about NORAD here.

And if you have the chance, take a moment to thank a member of our Armed Forces and say a prayer for those spending the holidays away from family.

Hope you enjoyed the eye music.

Merry Christmas!

Roxanne, proud Navy wife.

ABC Carpet & Home, Part II

More Eye Candy from ABC Carpet and Home

Sit back, relax and enjoy…

Ahhhhhh, tufting! One of my favorite design elements. And I love seeing it presented here  in muslin. My imagination is running wild!

Here is a perfect example of how fun and unexpected it is to pair modern with traditional. It really does work putting this chair with the contemporary metal and mirror table.

Cisco Brothers Chair

Ok, there are so many things I love about this Cisco Brothers chair!  Who would not want to curl up in this men’s suiting inspired pin striped upholstery? So soft and inviting. And the white contrasting welt & nickel nail heads! Again, mixing traditional and contemporary elements adds such interest.

And another important thing about Cisco Bros, they make 100% sustainable furniture.  I recently placed two Cisco Bros chairs in a client’s home and a few days later  she sent an email raving about not only how perfect they looked, but that they are so amazingly comfortable. (Thanks Sheila!)

Note the legs and stretchers on this Dwell Studio chest. It could live anywhere:  foyer, hall, bedroom….(excuse the poor picture quality)

The beautiful inlay of this chest stopped me in my tracks. Again, an argument could be made to place this treasure in any space. What about a small dining room? A guest room? A living room side table? A nursery?

I cannot get this cocktail table out of my head. I never did figure out the manufacturer (help anyone?), but I  L*O*V*E  it! Poor quality photo once again, but this thing is really stunning.

What about bedding, you say?  Feast your eyes…..

From Dwell Studio, the mix of pattern and color is really wonderful especially on this great upholstered bed.

This close up is a much better image of the vibrant colors and textures.

Pillow Love.  I want these bird pillows scattered around my sun room!  But, oh how they pull this ensemble together.

My daughters would like me to magically transport this bed to each of their rooms.


And now for some FUNKY – and there was lots of that to be found….

How about this whimsical vanity?

Are ya ‘stumped’?  Yup, it’s a chair!

This bed!  Too bad it is dressed in these sloppy looking linens in an unflattering color. Imagine crisp white, or  steel blue….

Fun interpretation of the Ghost Chair.

Can you make this out?  A desk! fashioned out of a single mold – seat and all.  And below is the tag…

If you hurry, perhaps it is still there. Now if this is not a gift for the person who has everything….


Lest you think I overlooked the ‘carpet’ part of ABC Carpet and Home.


Gorgeous, sculptural rug. Not for the klutzy with that hi-lo stuff going on.

Can you tell how this rug undulates?

The famous ABC basement, right this way!  And and then you are greeted by this crazy space full of more rugs than one can imagine!

So many rugs, too few rooms.

And there you have it. I was able to capture only a fraction of what ABC has to offer and I cannot wait for an excuse to visit them again.



If you would like my help in creating your perfect home, just whistle – or click here.

What Does It Cost To Do A Room??

What Does It Cost To Do A Room?

My lovely friend, Lauren Liess at Pure Style Home, posted a blog about just this topic. She said it in a way that is so eloquent and open and friendly that I just have to share it with all of you. Take a moment to click here and enjoy her thoughts.

What is YOUR Style?

As designers we really, really want to give our clients rooms that take their breath away. Rooms that feel just right to them and that they cannot wait to share with friends and family. Doing this takes time and effort and energy and loads of communication and patience! It is what I love best about my job. I love the first few meetings with a new client where I get to discover what they love. Sometimes they know exactly what they want, and other times they don’t. But always, ALWAYS, every single client has a style. They may say they don’t, but they sure do. What a joy it is to help them discover just the look that makes their toes curl, that trips their trigger, that gets the juices flowing! Boy, oh boy do I love what I do!!!

So what is your style?

Are you traditional?

(photo from Traditional Home Magazine)

More Modern?

(photo from DTI, Modern Love)


Or perhaps something in between?

(photo from

If you want help fine-tuning your style, just let me know. I’d love to help! Contact me.

Stylishly Yours,  Roxanne