Olivia’s room: part I

{photo by Kera Thompson}

Creating Olivia’s room was a very special project for me. My first baby, Reese, was stillborn at 28 weeks… so when I got pregnant for the second time, I had a hard time believing that I would ever actually have a baby. When I finally held Olivia in my arms this past July, I was so relieved, so grateful, and {as you can imagine} overjoyed with the thought of finally being able to design a space for my baby.

The process was not only joyful but very therapeutic~ my husband and I painted the walls ourselves, looked for bargains & treasures high and low, and chose each item for the room thoughtfully. I wanted it to be warm, feminine, and sweet but unique. I wanted it to be a place where we could laugh, cuddle, sing, and rest… where we could display fun pieces we find on our adventures as expats. I wanted it to be a place where she could see and feel the overwhelming love that we have for her. Every day & night as I change her, feed her, sing to her, rock her ~ in this room, I feel such peace. And I think she likes it too.

Olivia’s room: part II


OLIVIA letters- Pottery Barn Kids
Duvet- IKEA
Pillow fabrics- center pillow by Osborne & Little, mini pillows by Raoul textiles, green & white pillows by Index living
Sockmonkeys- BlaBla {gift from friend Liz!}
Crib- Mothercare {UK}
Baby Bedding~ Rikshaw Designs
Bedskirt~ Sewn by me!
Floor lamp- IKEA
Gourd lamp- The White Company London
Dresser- IKEA
Knobs- ZARA home
Purple Mirror- IKEA painted purple {comes black}
I am a child of God print- persimmon&pink {gift from friend Nicole!}
Foo dogs- Indigo home {Dubai}
Baby announcement- paper source
Rocking Elephant- global village {local market}
Indian pouf- local market
Moroccan leather poufs- global village {available from serena & lily}
Indian Kashmir elephant rug- global village
Butterfly mobile- Pottery barn kids
Oil Painting- Artist Laurence Schneider purchased at Bonpoint
Victoria Ghost chair by Kartell
Velvet bunny- Giggle
Rock & swivel chair- used & reupholstered
Elephant pillow- Rikshaw designs
Side table- IKEA
Tate Man- Tate Modern {London}
Glossy frame- Index living
Embroidered frame- Anthropologie
Nursery style book- Serena & Lily

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love the color combinations!

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The fabulous Nate Berkus does it again.

Speaking of obsessed…I’ve been seriously dying over the March Elle Decor. Especially the fabulous work of Anne Coyle & Nate Berkus- one of my favorite designers {after all, I’m pretty sure he’s the man responsible for bringing back the sunburst mirror from the 70s!} This is Oprah’s producer’s home in Chicago. Amazing.
Is this room not to die for? Love the navy blue paint {Peace and happiness by Benjamin Moore}, love the coffee tables, love the madeleine weinrib pillow, love the art, love that it’s squished in the corners, love it all. I’ve been wanting to do that in Olivia’s room and now I’ve got the courage. If Nate does it…I’ll do it. He’s so fabulous.

*CORRECTION- the navy blue paint is Off-black by Farrow & Ball, the ceiling is Peace and happiness by BM) oops!

Love her son’s room too. Bedding from WS Home, one of my frequented sources for monogramming.

Living Room paint is Blue Gray by Farrow & Ball.

That lucite coffee table is so delicious.

Bathroom paint is Cliffside Gray by Benjamin Moore {one of the few grays I have yet to use}. gorgeous.

Which reminds me…if you don’t already have this book, you should get it.
It’s semi-old but it’s still a great guide to help you define your style and learn to design & decorate your own home with personality. I wish I could browse through mine right now…but no, it’s in the states in storage. For now, I’ll just have to peruse his website and look at Elle Decor a few more times. Oh Nate, you’re so good.

schumacher for dempsey & carroll

So today I splurged and bought Elle Decor for 46 dirhams (around $12) and as I was anxiously flipping through the pages (and loving every image) all of a sudden… I SHRIEKED!!!
My favorite fabric source, Schumacher, has teamed up with Dempsey & Carroll- to make stationary in my 2 ALL-TIME favorite patterns.
Recognize this?

and this?

Yep, it’s Chiang Mai Dragon.

and Kelly Wearstler’s Imperial Trellis.

Schumacher in the form of stationary? What more could a girl want?

8 great rugs

I’ve been searching for a fabulous rug for a client…and saw that Ballard Designs is having a sale on their rugs. 20% until March 1st! Here are my favs:

Hurry cause they’re running low on certain sizes and colors!

good morning sunshine.

today’s daily dose is… the dining room.

Table & Infinity chairs from INDEX living
Moroccan rug from Global Village

Victoria Ghost Chairs from ZARA home {made by Kartell} They were display pieces so I got them for a steal~ $50 each!

I love the juxstoposition of old & new…so this flat Moroccan rug was the perfect compliment to my modern, laquered table & chairs.

The colors work beautifully with my Chiang Mai pillows in the living room & the geometric motif is just the right amount of pattern to allow the main focus be the infinity chairs. I am obsessed with Middle Eastern rugs…I’m dying to go to Syria & Turkey on field trips!

Chilewich table runner is from CB2.

bed…room {the rest of the picture}

Our bedroom is the room that I have spent the least amount of time on. I started with the geometric sheers from IKEA (had them made into pinched pleat curtains for fullness) and added the charcoal curtain. By the way, this is a fantastic sheer (and you can’t beat the price)! I love the pattern and the way it diffuses the light. And it’s especially dramatic when you have it in a floor to ceiling panel like mine.

I thought I would go for the misty blue route to keep it calm and simple {not really me} and not long after I had the pillows made, I fell in love with these hand-painted, Asian silk prints at Global Village. I knew that they would be the perfect scale for our bedroom & add that touch of glamour that I just can’t live without. So I have some plans in the works for a slight change in here. Don’t get me wrong, I love my Hot house flowers…but I’m thinking of a summer palette switch-out. After all, it’s already summer in Dubai! Don’t worry, I’ll let you see the whole transformation!

Lamps from The White Company, London– one of my favorite stores.

IKEA frames (where else do I buy my frames?)

This set of three for the huge price of 28 bucks! Another steal in China.

Duvet & quilt from IKEA also.

Summer switch-out coming soon!


my cute mother-in-law suggested that some of you may want to know the answers to the questions that others have been asking me. i’ve had some questions in the comments section and also in some emails. i thought i’d share:

“I love how you’ve accessorized your kitchen! Where is the rug from? Such a great pattern! :)” Lovely Little Nest
~ I got it for $29 at Bed, Bath, & Beyond! Brought it home from the states!

“BTW, what is that pattern called on the white/black pillows?? It’s my favorite pattern but I have no idea what it is called!” Lovely little nest
~ Riad by Kravet (color: CLOVE)

“Do you sew your own pillows?” Petertammenson
~ I used to sew my own pillows as a young married…but labor is INCREDIBLY cheap here in Dubai, so I have them sewn. And I always use a workroom for clients’ pillows.

“I LOVE your home, and of course your Chevron wall. But what I am really wondering is what fabric/make is your couch? I LOVE white couches but have a two year old and soon to be new baby, and just wonder how practical they are or if there are some fabrics that look as good as yours and are low maintenance=) I don’t like slip covers because I think they look messy. If you could share your tips that would be great! Thanks for sharing your amazing talent!” Heather Lee
~ My couch is from a Thai company called INDEX Living, I believe it’s only outside of the US:( But it is LEATHER…so it is kid-friendly. I wipe it off daily!

“P.s. where did you get your dress? It’s adorable.” chuck & julie brown

~ My striped dress is from Old Navy…I embelished it with some jersey flowers!

“okay, how do you get your orchids so big and full. i constantly buy them and then a month later all of the blooms fall off. everyone tells me that they will re-grow but im not really into displaying a pot with a stick coming out of it. any tips?” chelsea
~ the tip for orchids is to not OVERWATER them…give it an ice cube a week and make sure it has a lot of INDIRECT, bright light. Orchids are super hard! but here’s the real secret…MINE ARE FAKE! They are imported from Holland here and so they cost about $80 per stem…so I resorted to finding really good fakes. Pot the fakes in sand or rocks and cover them with real moss. If you want to make them look even more real…put the sticks in too:) Restoration Hardware & Pottery Barn carry pretty good fakes also!

“i was also wondering where you got your couch? i’m currently looking for a white leather sectional for our basement.” caroline armelle
~INDEX living, Z-Gallerie has a similar one…here

“I love the legs on the table in the entry. suggestions?” the collins

~ INDEX living…but I’m searching to find a similar one to recommend to you! sorry:(

“can you tell me where you got your console and paint color you used?” darleen

~ paint color is ACE HARDWARE, Corner Brook

“Hi Caitlin!
You have no idea who i am, but my name is Abbie and i live in arizona, i have no idea but i stumbled acrossed your amazing design blog! I love your kind of style, i am trying to pick i theme for my room but i cant seem to pick one because i love all sorts of crazy things! my room is sort of vintage, shabby, and modern, and colorful…i want it to look like your kind of design though! Since i dont live in Dubai…haha i dont know where i would find cute stuff! oh and not so expensive! if you could just email me a list of stores or blogs you know of that would be great! oh and i am only 16 but i really want to make my room cute!!! Thanks so much!Abbie

~A few of my favorite U.S. stores that I love for unique, funky accessories are:
Anthropologie, Z-Gallerie, Alice Lane Home Collection, TJ-Maxx, Home Goods, and always THRIFT STORES!

Thanks for all of your questions….keep ’em coming! ~Caitlin