Friday, January 29, 2010


Hello Loves,


As most of you probably already know I’m back from vacation! Yesterday was insanely busy trying to prep for a client meeting, catch up on my emails and of course sneak in some blog reading! I missed you all!


Always the faithful blogger I made sure to take lots of pics in order to share some of fun in the sun.


So sit back, relax and enjoy a day in the life of me with a sunny background instead of the snow that I came home too!


Here is a little peek into where we stayed. This was right outside our room:

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This was the hallway leading down the breakfast area and the beach!

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The beginning of my mornings always started with a trip to the beach. I would settle into my lounge chair and just sit. It was delightful!

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Usually while I was doing that Jon would venture off in search of a good fishing spot among all of these rocks.

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Tamarindo, Costa Rica is a huge surfing community so the majority of the shops on their main street were surfing related.

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Part of our Christmas gift was also a kayaking trip! It was lots of fun, but my arms are still sore from it!

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{Jon asked me to turn around for a picture and apparently I thought this was the best way to it! :) }


During our kayaking trip we got to see some baby crocs, which I stayed far away from and Jon actually got to fish as well.

costarica 028 {Don’t worry he always catches and releases so this little guy went right back in the water.}


During one of our lunches in town at a place called, Nogui’s (Totally recommend if you are ever there. So yummy. I’m still dreaming of their pineapple pie. We ate their twice!) we saw Monkeys!

costarica 035 {The tree was full of them! There were even three little baby monkey’s playing around jumping from branch to branch.}


The restaurant was right on the water so instead of getting  back to the B&B through town we took the beach route.

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I know this is only suppose to an IN HER SHOES for one day, but I have more to share and since I’m the boss so to speak I’m going to add a few more pics! Hope you don’t mind.


On on last full day before we had to fly home we went to Rincon de la Vieja a park with four volcanoes and a waterfall. It was about 2 and half hours away, but totally worth it.


It was a day full of the things that Jon loves and terrifies me. We first went horseback riding (No pictures of this. It was an hour long and I’m pretty sure I just kept muttering OMG the entire time. It was a bouncy ride!)


The next thing was a sauna with the steam from the volcanoes and then a mud treatment. Sounds relaxing right?


Not when you are the one applying the mud yourself:

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Then we got to sit by the sun and wait for it to dry. Of course what comes on must come off…

costarica 052 {There are showers with freezing cold water to take of the mud and if that’s not working they get with the hose! The more you scream the more cold water comes your way. I was soaked!}


After that we went down a 450 meter water slide. I hate water parks, amusement parks, because I’m a big scardy cat, but I figured when am I going to do this again so I said yes to everything! Sorry, but no pictures of this since both me and Jon did it so the camera did not come with.


Lastly was a zip-line tour. I had never done this before and I was under the impression that it was just a one time thing. You go up real high, get attached, zip down and done in minutes.


As I was getting geared up I asked the guide about how long it would take figuring 5 mins and I was met with an answer of an hour!!!! Duh Camila it is a zip-line TOUR meaning multiple stops. (10 to be exact!)

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I still decided to do it because I’m all about being a DO-ER. Totally forgetting that I’m a bit scared of heights!

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A little after an hour I was safely back on the ground and had to take a picture with my two guides that saved the day and caught me at each stop.

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This trip was a lovely little get-away and one that me and Jon needed badly! Thanks again to my Mom, Dad, Ximena and Daniela for making it all possible!


Hope you all have a great weekend! I have loads more catching up to do and a trip to the Gift Fair this weekend! I’ll post pics of that on Monday!




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Thursday, January 28, 2010

You like me, you really like me

I totally had my own Sally Field moment this morning when I realized my zebra stairs were featured on Apartment Therapy!




Total woo hoo moment! Jon thinks we should go away more often in the hopes that it will lead to more AT posts!


A big thank you to ReginaYunghans!

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Look for less: Chase Booth Bathroom

Since we’ve already gone over a bedroom,dining/living area combo and a kitchen revamp I thought it was fitting to go with a bathroom today that won’t break the bank on the official day that all the Domino’s fell (a tear).

Chase Booth’s {Domino Set Producer} Bathroom:


I think this bathroom has so many great bones that be can tweaked and customized to a bathroom in your own home.

I know many people complain about having a new construction home without any charm and character. Adding bead board/wainscot/tongue and grove like in the image above is a good way to make your home look a little different.

On a budget I would head to my local Lowes and pick up some bead board paintable wallpaper! One roll covers 56 sq ft and is only $14.97.

Graham & Brown Beadboard Paintable Wallpaper

To achieve that amazingly chocolate brown look I would pick up some Benjamin Moore Clinton Brown.

I have it in my living room and I love it! It’s just dark enough without being too overwhelming.

Copy of DSC02944

Now on to the floor!

For a look very similar to penny tiles I would go for these: They are available at Home Depot. I can’t seem to find them online, but I saw them the last time I was there and are around $2.50 a sq ft.

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If you heart is set on penny tiles then for some additional pennies I would get these:

At $4.95 a sq ft this is the cheapest option I’ve been able to find. If you have a great source with a better price please share!

Of course since we are in the bathroom we can’t forget about the sink.

For $199.00 you can pick this up:

If you don’t mind what shape your pedestal base and sink have then there are many more options available at local Home Depots and Lowes that are cheaper and cash and carry so now delivery fees for online orders.

I love the contrast of light and dark in this room. To add to the white Chase went with a classic subway tile for the shower.

For 24 cents a tile you can get you a subway tiled shower. I used them in my kitchen and love them! Yes, we see them a lot in design, but I think it’s a classic and in no way a trend.

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The shower curtain was one of the first things that screamed out me for my Look for Less look. The texture and color in the shower curtain above reminded me of DROP CLOTHS of course!

I used them myself for window treatments with my own custom window hardware. Check out the DIY here to modify for a shower curtain.


For the lighting I would switch it up just a little bit and go for one of these:


They are from DK LIVING a to the trade company and run from $85-$120. If you are interested in a to the trade product remember you can order items through me!

Another option from DK LIVING that I enjoy is this:


This is more budget friendly and come in at around $40.

Mirror, mirror on the wall. If you live by the beach and have an ample supply of drift wood then this is a super easy DIY project. I would search local thrift stores for a mirror I like and then go to town with my drift and glue gun. Voila you are totally finished.

Now if you don’t have driftwood for free we run into a snag. In my research purchasing driftwood online tends to get pricey so lets tweak things a bit and get some ok probably a lot of bare branches from outside. After a quick white wash on them. Just mix some left over white paint with water and brush away to get the branches a lighter shade we are back to simply gluing away to get the look we require!

If you don’t have an ample supply of thrift stores near you full or mirrors that you can re-vamp you can find options at TJ MAXX, Marshalls, Home Goods, and online JCPENNEY has great picks such as this and this.

If you have room in your bathroom for a stool. I would go for something like this:

It’s teak, which is the same material Chase used, but on a budget for around $40-$60 on ebay.

I would then hit my local home stores and scour the clearance aisles for additional accessories.

This is a total budget re-vamp that would be very easy to recreate. If you are not feeling darling enough to do it in a main bathroom it would add a great bit of charm to a half bath!

I’m so happy every one is enjoying the LOOK for LESS. If you need any help decorating help in your own home or know anyone who does I’m available to help either virtually or in the NY area! Reach me at


*Just got in last night from Costa Rica. We had a blast! I will post pictures this weekend. Just trying to get back on track with work! If you emailed me while I was gone I will get back to you by this evening.

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Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Look for Less: Ruthie Sommers Kitchen

I constantly see this picture pop up on blogs.


Why exactly? The kitchen doesn’t look massive, it doesn’t look very expensive full of marble, tile and high-end appliance yet I have kitchen envy.

The simple answer is because it looks like it’s full of personality and charm. I feel like the second you step in that kitchen you feel like your home. With pops of bold color designer Ruthie Sommers made quite an impact.

Another main key to it’s success is that the major impact is done with paint! It’s a low-cost revamp that people can do in their own spaces.

So how do we get the look for less? We start by painting the town black!


Ms. Sommers used Soot by Benjamin Moore. Now BM paint is on the high-end so I would take my paint chip to Home Depot and them make it for me in Behr. I’ve used both brands and both work well. If you choose to prime the walls I would make sure to get a primer with a dark tint. This should prevent the need for many, many coats of Soot.

Don’t forget to raise the roof with this paint job and paint the ceilings!

If you don’t already have a French Door I would try to search for one on craigslist. They are available at local home improvement stores, but are a bit pricey.

ReliaBilt 30

* Not sure if all states have them but we have a Home Depot clearance outlet! Also a good place to check first when starting any home project.

** Another place to look is at Habitat ReStores it’s a shop full of home improvement donations from local contractors and the profits go to Habitat for Humanity!

Of course we need to paint that as well with a pop of color!

I would go with either: BM 733 PALM COAST TEAL

Benjamin Moore 733 Palm Coast Teal


Benjamin Moore 741 San Jose Blue

The must go place for a Tole Chandelier has to be ebay! This one was going for $40 and most of them range from around that to $100. A new coat of white paint and up it goes on my black ceiling!

For the artwork I would head right to my local thrift shops for sailboat/ocean scene oil painting. I tend to find them most times I go!

The fish prints are even easier. No need to leave home. A quick google search and I can copy and print all the fishes I desire.

* The images on this site are for sale, but all of them have images without watermarks so print away!

Now we just need to add a Lack shelf and head to Home Goods for blue/white ginger jars.

LACK Wall shelf

I love the little canisters with french writing on top of the refriderator.

I couldn’t find those exact ones, but I think this is a good start:

Depending on whether or not you need a French door this look can be done for around $150-$200.

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Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Look for Less: Sara Ruffin Costello’s Kitchen


Nice kitchen, right? It’s massive! The actual kitchen with the actual appliances is to the right of the those stools, but I’m just going to concentrate on the sitting areas.

I think one of the things I love most about this room are the window treatments. It looks like it’s by Roberta Roller Rabbit so for a less expensive option I would go with this:


I think it gives a similar effect and it’s only $20 a yard.

Moving on to the dining area I would get these chairs:


They run $93 per chair and you can them in a black finish like the ones in our inspiration shot for an additional $3 per chair. Not bad!

For our pedestal table I would hit Craigslist. I always see many models being sold. I think you would have your pick.

Another option would be to get an unfinished pedestal table. This way you don’t have to deal with sanding in order to get the limed affect our inspiration shot has.


Liming wax can be ordered here along with some DIY steps.

To the left of the dining area there is a console table, topped with a mirror that steals the show for me!

Console Table Look a-like:

sofatable Yes it’s not the right color, but for $142.00 it has the good bones that mimic our inspiration all we need is a quick coat of white!

The table is filled with a variety of topiaries and paints. They add a lovely touch of nature and can be picked up at local nurseries.

For an inexpensive ornate mirror I always head to Ebay and search for SYROCO. It gives you the look of something ornate and normally faux gold, but it’s plastic meaning a low price point for us.

This mirror was going for $82.00 again just an addition of white paint and we are almost finished!


In this picture we see a bit of the sitting area as well.

The settee used in our inspiration piece was a vintage find. Now if you have the time you can hit your local thrift shops, ebay, and craigslist to snag one as well. I did a quick search and came up empty handed.

For immediate gratification I would pick this up:


It’s only $349.99 with the trim pieces all painted in a white/cream and then with a bit of wood stain to rub on for an antique looked I think it would work nicely in the space.

For our toss pillow I would get a yard of this for $16.99


To finish it up we need our token sea grass rug. For $76.00 I think it works well with our budget.


Just perfect! Now all we need is the rest of Sara Ruffin Costello’s stylish home.

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Monday, January 25, 2010

Look for Less: Domino Favorites

The 28th of January marks the one year anniversary of our beloved Domino being snatched from our hands! Can ya tell I’m still a little bitter? In order to keep Domino’s memory alive I thought it would be fun to showcase one of my favorite rooms every day this week with a little recap on how you can get the look for less in your own home!

Hands down all time favorite room to be featured in Domino is:

miles redd domino

I bow down to Miles Redd.

Seriously the room is a perfect mix of traditional, modern, glam and a bit of feminine touches. Of course with all those perfect touches comes $$$$ dollar signs so let’s try to get it on a $ budget.

For the bed while Anthropologie has an amazing look alike it is still in the $1,000 + range so I went with another option.

For the $229.00 price tag I would disregard the manly accessories in the photo below and just see the good bones in the piece. A little bit of Matte Nickel spray paint and we are set to go!

metal canopy

Another option would be to go with this designer favorite from IKEA, which I would also spraypaint:


Now what really makes the room above is the wallpaper. It is by De Gournay and hand painted, which makes it way over are $ budget.

One option would be to use some less expensive wallpaper such as this, which comes in at $43 per double roll:


An even more budget friendly option can be seen here.

If you are a renter and you are not allowed to paper your walls another option is to use fabric. If you apply fabric onto the walls with liquid starch it be removed later on with water and leave the walls in perfect condition! DIY instructions found here. (I’m going to be doing this in a client’s home in the coming weeks and I’ll be sure to take pictures and make my own DIY post so stay tuned for that!)

My favorite fabric pick was this:


Ok so yes it’s not birds, but I think it gives the same effect as the look we are trying to capture with the green foliage and then pops of color with the flowers and butterflies.

Next up is bedding: For only $47.99 I think it’s pretty close to our inspiration pic!

overstock bedding

End stools by bed: IKEA to the rescue! Due to the surface of IKEA products I recommend a light sanding, primer, sanding again and then spray paint with the color of your choice!

LACK Side table

DIY instructions available here.

Flooring: Depending on what size you may need this West Elm beauty may be the most expensive list, but it’s still much less $ than the Madeline Weinrib rug in our inspiration shot.

Zigzag Rug, 2'x3', Ivory/Espresso/Flax

Lamps: I would hit your local TJ MAXX, Marshalls or Home Goods to find something Domino worthy. On recent trip there I spotted these for only $40:

Window Treatments: For budget projects I always check out JC PENNEY's first. They have a lot of great price friendly pieces that are still lined and good quality. It’s a win/win.

These blue ones reminded me of our inspiration shot. Now all the need is a touch of ruffle, which you can add yourself! Learn how here.

Linden Street Thermal Back-Tab Twill Panel

Voila we are all done! Depending what what wallpaper or fabric you use for the walls I would vary my choice of color for the lamps and end tables.

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