October 2015

Beware of bad style this Halloween.  Reverse the curse of unfortunate design choices by implementing the spells below.

1.  Ghoulish Green. Green is a notoriously tough color to use on walls--generally it casts a zombie-like glow on skin.  Avoid using this color in bathrooms, vanity areas, and bedrooms, i.e. spaces where a lot of skin is exposed.  If you are dead-set on using this color, go for a subdued shade like sage.  

2.  Witchy Wall-Huggers. Lining your furniture on the walls might seem like a good idea because it gives you space in the center.  But it actually makes your room feel smaller and claustrophobic.  Instead, keep a couple inches between the wall and your piece.  With smaller items like armchairs and bookcase, put them on a diagonal so air can flow around them and visually open your room.

3.  The Phantom Valance.  Clients often ask me if they should put a valance or topper on their window.  This is not 1983--no, you should not have a valance.  Two panels resting on either side of your window box with perhaps a blind inside it is as fully dressed as your window needs to be.

4.  Pattern Paranoia.  Too much of a good thing is a very bad thing.  Be cautious if you plan to use a variety of prints in one room.  When mixing and matching patterns, be sure they are cohesive with the room's color palate and that each print you introduce is of a different size (i.e. small check, medium stripe, large floral).

5.  A Dark and Stormy Space. The worst offensive in home design is horrific lighting.  Overhead light is not flattering as it casts harsh shadows on the people below.  Instead opt for lamps.  Three lamps in every room is a must:  one on each nightstand and one on the dresser in a bedroom.  In a living room, make sure you have a table or floor lamp in wherever you have a chair or sofa.

6.  NO MORE PLASTIC FLOWERS!!  If I walk into one more apartment and find silk plants, I may commit harry carry!  It's real or nothin, folks.  If you've got a tendency to kill live plants, go for bamboo—put it in water, and it grows forever.  Or opt for dried plants which are so low maintenance they only require dusting.  I have a soft spot for willow fronds, dried pomegranates, and artichokes. 

7.  Scary Sets.  They're hereeeee... All three of them:  the matching sofa, loveseat, and ottoman.  Buying furniture sets is the fastest way to suck the lifeblood out of any room.  Choose pieces from different stores that "go" together but don't match.  Your space should look like a home not a Zombie Showroom.  

©Affordable Interior Design

Another Round!

Right about now, I am at the all-you-can-eat buffet enjoying sushi and wine.  Yes, I am still on vacation on the high seas.  But I still take time to find great sale items even on my days off.  Today I am loving Urban Outfitters Chester Wine Rack ($79, was $129.)

Gone Sailing...

If you are trying to reach Affordable Interior Design, we are on vacation.  I am hopping the next cruise ship for Mexico and won't be back until April 5th.  Until then, Kelsey and Antoinette will still be designing.  But I will be laying on the deck poolside with a pina colada.  No voicemail or email until we dock on April 5th!

Cushy Kushi

I'm digging Pier1's Kushi Border Rug ($299, was $349).  First of all, teal is my new favorite color.  Second of all, that price for something so plush.  Yes and yes!

Kelsey Likes to Store More

Everyone could always use more storage.  The trick is to add it in an attractive way to enhance the look of your space, not diminish it. These wall mounted shelves from CB2 add the perfect amount of color while still giving you a practical storage solution. Even better, the peach color is currently on sale for $129, previously $149.

So Salty!

It's no secret that I am a Jonathan Adler fan.  Everything Adler is okay by me.  But I can't afford his brand of fun unless it's on sale.  Good thing his Horse Salt and Pepper Shakers are ($39, were $48.)  I'm so ready to season!

Kelsey's Cuties

A lot of spring babies right around the corner which means a lot of nurseries to be designed! Don't let those ugly plastic toys be the only elephant in the room... am I right? This little guy is the perfect place for some extra storage for as little at $69 from Home Decorators.

Spring Nesting

Spring is in the air.  It's giving me hope and making me want to nest.  I am cleaning out closets, adding more storage, hanging new pictures, and buying a few new furniture pieces.  Maybe now that they are on sale for $399 (were $499), I will add Pottery Barn's McKinley Nesting Tables to the mix.


Okay,, how do you only charge $199 for this cute chair?  What's the catch?  Your Flynn Chair is so stylish and comes in 4 colors and could look chic with lots of different styles.  I'm a believer!

Kelsey's Picture Perfect

There is no better way to show off you favorite memories and adventures than in a beautifully laid out photo wall. In this design I found a place to incorporate my favorite mirror from Ballard Designs (currently only $39) as well as this amazing wine bottle wall vase from Etsy ($20). Let the fun begin! 

Our Podcast Needs YOU!

We need your help!  We start taping our interior design podcast, Big Design, Small Budget, next Tuesday, and we need some questions to answer.  Do you want to know how to maximize your storage, find affordable art, mix and match patterns, find the perfect wall paint?  

Email a voice memo asking me your burning question to, and you will be featured on an upcoming episode!

Kitchen Therapy

I am a big fan of, and most of my clients have little kitchens.  So when I saw this article on their site, I knew my fans could benefit from it.  Hope these tips are a help for you and your cuisine!

Diamonds Are My Best Friend

Let's keep it real.  Mama can't afford diamonds, and I can't afford almost everything at William Sonoma Home.  But I CAN afford their lovely Ikat Diamond Pillow now that it's $49 (was $59).  Maybe I'll go crazy and get myself 2?!

WTF Friday: Kelsey Finds Plastic Promblematic

Plastic plants are a no. They can go in the dumpster right next to your Van Gogh poster. The description of this green, plastic, and grass star reads; "Oversize design ensures this piece is a standout." Well duh... please take a look at this piece as a #1 example of what NEVER to buy. Whoever gave this $64 (now only $35.99) purchase a 1 star rating learned very quickly that they wasted their money. Sorry, Home Decorators, not your best. 

Kelsey Finds Magic in the Middle

Coffee tables are the centerpiece of your living room. Yes, you need one and, yes, it should be amazing. The Clover Table from West Elm is not only gorgeous but it comes in two different colors. AND it's on sale. BONUS! It's time to get your mid-century modern on (was $189, now only $151.) 

We Love You!

I picked this Valentine just for you because there is a little house in the background and that seems interior design related.  But really I just wanted to have a reason to post on one of my favorite holidays.  Celebrating love is a really fun thing to do and getting chocolates and flowers while celebrating love is even better.

I wish you all a very love-filled day of design--and chocolates.  Happy Valentine's Day!

Cool Cubbies

Stylish storage is often an oxymoron.  But I am crushing on World Market's Colton Cubby Wall Storage ($63, was $79.)  For a rustic or industrial style space, this piece would be so special!

Let's Launch!

I am launching an interior design podcast at the end of this month. I will answer design questions, give advice, and share my designer secrets in my trademark sassy style.

Do you have an idea for my podcast's name? Please give your ideas below!

Do you want to be featured on an episode? Send your design question via voice memo to I can't wait to get started!

How Low Can You Go?

Wanna get the BEST price on Betsy's hardcover design book, "Big Design, Small Budget"?  In it she reveals her favorite design tips and tricks.  It is THE place to learn how to design like a pro--on a budget.

We just reduced the price to be lower than Amazon--we are selling it for $6 off the retail price here.  Get your (signed!) copy while they are still in stock here.