Entries in interior design blog (9)


seeking CLARITY in the new year........


acrylic pieces add a touch of modern, clean simplicity, and a hip factor (like being in with the cool kids,...) not to mention functionality (easy care)!

but what i like most about acrylic pieces is the statement-making see-thru-ness that allows the other furniture pieces to have their moment. ohhh,.... and it's perfect for small spaces--light and airy, no congestion! ohhh,... there's more-- it doesn't vie with your color scheme........ 

 has your mail box been stuffed with all the shiny new home catalogues yet? mine has, and acrylic pieces abound for the 2016,... even though the origin lies back to the past (1930)-- so that makes it a classic!

some affordable and accessible pieces from the mainstay design catalogues (hover over picts for links),..........

ballard design.........

...not at all competing with that-beauty-of-a-rug, yet still a wow piece in its own right!


pottery barn (branchin' out a bit, kind of a new look for them),........

...this drinks table is anchored with a gutsy black iron base, if you can't do the all-acrylic-thing, this is perfect! 

...too fun, love the citrusy, preppy pops of color! perfect at the end of a bed, or--

...a simple clean waterfall-edge side table 

west elm....

...this pendant is perfect if you don't want to obstruct your sight line & bonus points for the pretty reflection on your ceilings when lit at nite!

...for that new year organized and uncluttered feel in your home office, i strive!

trays trays trays, can't have enough on hand, ever!

...an interesting shelf


...love his console for a narrow entry, esp if you have abeautiful wall papered wall that you just don't want to hide (btw: saw the same console at HG just this week!)

...another interesting shelf, a ledge actually, lean your art work or photos on for maximum wow.

...for those sunday morning breakfasts in bed prepared by your loving partner (think valentine's day coming soon!)

wisteria (a unique home decor catalogue)....

...love love LOVE these ghost columns (and columns in general), great for showcasing a special object-- these would be super in front of & centered on a window!

...a functional storage trunk, stuff pretty pillows or throws inside or..., could also be used as a side table showcasing a few fab finds...rope handles add an organic touch to the modernity!

...these acrylic stools are just perfect in this narrow kitchen space and add to the somewhat contemporary feel!
seeking CLARITY is easy,..... WHY NOT RING IN THE NEW YEAR WITH it?

summertime back-porchin'...........

  at our house~


...nothing fancy here at chez mcbride, just what we have on hand & a little help from Pier 1, Homegoods & my frequent honey-holes!

becuz i was asked to do a post on porches: the how-to, what-to-do-with, i'm-lost-on,...

the concept is just about the same as outfitting your interior spaces, right? it's simply an extension of your indoor living space-- just make sure that the pieces are weather-resistant........ we were cloistered for too long with NH's long, cold, snowy winter; let's-get-to-it, the warm july weather is awaiting!

~the essentials:

#1-- a back porch (yah),.....

"is a construction external to the walls of the main building proper, but may be enclosed by latticework, broad windows, screen, or other light frame walls extending from the main structure." thnx, wikipedia

if you do have one of these defined spaces, you could always make-shift, right? with a little imagination and muscle, you can create your own spot, like...... 

#2-- furniture,...


a cushy place to sit, rock, eat, relax, commune...

~outdoor cushions: Pier 1, furniture: my own, poodle: my own boston~

#3-- lighting, for those quiet warm evenings,........

i keep it real simple, once again: entry: electrified (vintage) chande, over table: candlelite hanging lantern  (my own), on column: vintage kerosene hurricanes, candles in hurricanes-- all contribute as layered lighting options, yet really only use the lanterns for ambient low light!

#4-- reads,..........

magazine-a-holic I AM; yet planning on reading this hyped-up novel asap!

#5-- wall "art", something pretty to look at,...........

a large, framed oil painting on canvas -again, vintage- that spoke to me (love a floral still-life) long ago at a neighborhood yard sale that set me back $5.00!

a large vintage mirror that i have painted too many times-- i love the black lacquer, this time around! you all know that decorating with mirrors is a big-one in my design arsenal......

fun printed paper flowers from Pier 1 in an old wine basket (lovingly gifted to me by an old friend) on our door...

#6-- potted plants, flowers, cut greens-- bring them on,............


last, but def-not-least-- refreshing drinks, apps,........

here's a fruity, cool summer sangria-- give it a try-- it's super simple (a key back-porch theme):

1 lime, cut into wedges

1 lemon, cut into wedges

1 orange, cut into wedges

1 granny smith apple, cored & cut into wedges

1 bottle of dry red wine

1 12 oz can of lemon-lime carbonated beverage

garnishes: orange wedges, lime slices, sprig of mint or basil

fill pitcher with lime & lemon wedges; press fruit w/back of spoon to release juice. add apple wedges & wine. chill until ready to serve. just before serving, stir in lemon-lime beverage. pour into festive ice-filled glasses & garnish

                                                                                                                                      recipe, image

~CHEERS,...... drinks are tastier sipped outdoors!




out with the old and............

in with the new,... happy 2015!

well, new-ish.......

my first post of 2015, i love a chance at a clean-slate. throughout the year i've brought you design trends, updates,...

my top five for 2015 and longer.............

#1-- bullion fringe.......


i love my trims, tapes, braids...! they add so much ooomph to soft treatments, it's that one-of-a-kind, no-one-else-has-this, touch (details designers love). bullion fringe is making a come-back! i like this trim in a more natural & less shiny fiber AND mostly on furniture,...

not-so-much on draperies.........

...just NOT seeing this type of heavy window treatment~

~in lieu of a skirted sofa or chair~

...insta-elegance & just grazing the floor~

...very french-chic, super long~

...love a natural fiber bullion~

...pretty much perfection in all aspects~

...a plush finishing touch on a pleated table skirt~

...well, as soon as a stylish family is shown all cozy & happy, then it becomes "real" *(note: ginormous art canvas behind sofa-- see below)~

...no doubt about it, when the beautiful liv tyler is lounging upon, it's definitely an "IN"~

#2-- wall art, as in a monster-BIG size,.........


what a major impact this super-sized canvas makes!

...AND, more bullion & fluffy shag carpeting (still going strong)~

...unframed canvas keeps it less fussy not to mention, less costly~

...another "leaner" this time a photo (yes, a gorge one at that from here), also note that flooring~

no need to worry about navigating placement as in a gallery wall, right? in that respect it is super easy, although a large canvas can cost (if you are a creative, paint your own!).

#3-- herringbone and more herringbone,......

on the floor, on the walls~

...the classic pattern in a stair runner, black & ivory, in a natural sisal fibre (extremely durable)~

..the contrast of a darker-stained wood floor against white walls is pure drama~

...glazed brick indoors is a yes~

...look up as well: great bones~~~

...in a narrow hallway a herrigbone pattern breaks it up diminishing the bowling alley feel~

...floor & wall tile in this bath, beautiful, practical & draws your eye to the focal point~

...colored: stella mccartney's london store~

...herringbone lineage, & sooo so clean~

herringbone pattern (aka parquet, chevron, basket weave, fish-tail,...) is a bit more pricey due to the labor-intensive installation, yet it adds architectural & old-world panache!

#4-- barn doors: yee haaa,............


..a fresh take on the old barn door in a lacquered orange (note: herringbone runner!)~

...a more rustic feel in natural wood, yet the area rug gives the space some color~ 


...in seeded glass,... provides natural light to shine thru yet also privacy~

...not as much wall space? a single door also does the trick,... love how they recycled this old office door & left the signange~

...another single door-- get a load of the hardware, simply jaw-dropping!

#5-- wallpaper in all its glory,...........


...a colorful, stylized schumacher classic~


in the powder room: open the door and ahhh a special little gem of what otherwise could be a very utilitarian room-- guests will love~


...one of my faves-- a farrow&ball lotus pattern~

...for an exotic feel~

...sophisticated in a carrara marble paper~

in the entry/foyer: for the initial welcoming impact (sets the tone for your home)~

...neutral quiet elegance~

...a bold, red-white-and-blue yet it doesnt feel 4thof july a smashing impact in a smaller entry~

...this trellis pattern feels smart (geometric) & country-ish (mossy green), it also cleverly plays off the diamond-paned windows~

wallpaper in a bedroom, my other fave room, for a cozy, enveloping feel~

...a touch of black in the background, yet doesn't feel stark nor cold~

...wrapping the ceiling with it, ramps up the cozy-factor (another fave, classic from schumacher)~

...the books add to the warmth (& a boho feel) of this light-filled bedroom~

...a neutral, naturalistic print is soothing & peaceful (a breath-taking chandelier!)~

...and you never can go wrong with a classic chinoiserie toille (tip: use the same print in a fabric on the windows)~ 

as you can see, wallpaper is ab-so-lute-ly a game changer: transform a room one wall at a time!

it is here to stay!


my cardinal rule of design-- you have to love it, trending or not-- if it (wallpaper, bullion, chevron, a door or two, art...) puts a smile on your face, then it's "in", regardless,................

~follow your heart when it comes to your home,...

whether it's "out" or "in"

~happy 2015~



we are headed to the lake-house part 2,..........

if you are fortunate enough to have your own "on golden pond" (we do not, but do have a beach house, tnx mom!) or have relatives/friends to visit up at the lake, i'm curious how you refer to it: "we are headed to",... the camp, the cabin, the cottage,......?????

it's a fine balance between getting the old place ready while also relaxing & enjoying, right? i'm going  to make it real simple-- i believe that's what summer living is all about, and IT'S ALL ABOUT LIVING OUTDOORS!

...starters: that porch, a wrap-around classic beauty~

#1-- color: take out the paint brush-- you'll have to-get-over-it, yup the natural wood shingles on the porch wall (only) are getting some paint in the form of BM # 290/fresh butter,.. this warm yellow is a perfect compliment with natural wood tones & brings the sunshine shrouded by the pines up to the house day & nite!


...a beckoning, happy & welcoming color to all those who enter & gather there~


#2-- porch furniture: all required to be wet-bathing-suit, muddy-paw-print, red-wine-spill-friendly,... & super comfy!


a swinging porch bed fits the bill,...sooo cool!

this one, by the porch swing co, is THE PIECE, THE WOW in this space (always gotta have one). it's a luxe take on the old porch swing and/or glider.  you know i'm pillow-obsessed so this is right up my alley,...pile them on, (preferably in an outdoor sunbrella-like fabric), in fun colors & patterns, make sure they are absolutely squishable (note: a twin mattress, not just a cushion,it's a legit bed)! reflecting the interior color scheme of dark-blackish green, true reds, pale yellows & ivory whites inspired by these really really cool camp vestiges,......


here's why i think this hanging porch bed works on the thayer porch: solid natural wood, thick hemp rope, and the x-crossed side panels--- check to the porch railing below,........

#3-- an outdoor rug:  they are scrub-able, bleach-able, uv-treated, and gives just a little bit of cozy-factor for all those bare feet (btw: these are also inside work-horses for high traffic areas like mud rooms, kitchens,...)



both of these rugs from Dash and Albert would work: the green stripe (ya' know i love my stripes) makes for a bold statement underfoot supporting our green palette and the black diamond pattern provides a grounding effect below,... either is a win win!

#4-- lighting: let there be ambient light, electrified or candle, to warm-up the night in modest style.........

candlelight is about as romantic (ambient,intimate) as you can get,... lanterns are the obvious choice (they are everywhere lately) hang them from the porch rafters or off iron hooks, using sisal roping.....

these from pb feel right to me

or,... votives, here by west elm,  strewn about can do the trick


love, love using string lites, these by crate and barrel, swaged up high are totally fun (yes to black touches)...


these are completely in-the-cabin-spirit from pb

love this simple woven ceiling fixture for a natural look & a somewhat contemporary feel (pacifica by c&b)

the idea of sconces definitely is an option: the old-time accordian lamp is a perfect choice style & function-wise! checkout the cord detailing (the wood base comes w/a red cord -my pik- and the black metal w/a gray cord)~

ah,... nite-time, stars twinkling, loons singing: snuggling up in the swing-bed & this adjustable lamp gently illuminating your summer read,..... that's the beauty of summer~

#5-- wall decor: swap out the canoe but keep the paddles as wall art or even better some real art (not the canvas kind) in the form of hand-made , hand painted artsy paddles up on the wall (maybe give the cliché buoy a rest in the basement),... these by cb2 artisan collection check out the details: leather hanger, hand-painted geometric design,... 

i always love a mirror (this designer's best friend) on a porch,..... ideally i would search flea markets, tag sales for a unique, old-ish one that would stand out against the yellow porch wall, yet these are really great

ballard designs wood sunburst (a rustic take on the classic design)


a faux bois mirror by wisteria in white resin,... a fun riff of the usually rustic design


pier1 always has a big selection of mirrors,.. liking this round one in varying shades of brown pear wood

mirrors abound at stores like homegoods & the like,... it's an easy quick piece to find: look for simple, unfussy wood framed-- the goal is to reflect nature's beauty, not to upstage mother-nature with an ornate or intricate designed frame/mirror,..........

other choices for wall art,..........

letters, signage always works for me these are unique and fitting: natural (the green, living accent) moss letters, from pb (or you could craft your own), be creative in your signage choice or stay traditional w/ your fam monogram,........

outdoor wall decor is to your personal preference & should reflect who you are,... my one word of design advice would be to stay away from small pieces & remember that less is more here 

and here 

 and they are,.............. en-joy-ing the day!

happy friday,.....hope you have an opportunity to hit the lake this summer, xo~


lake-side styling and............

i think,... ON GOLDEN POND

one of my fave movies, located right here in nh lake country

  squam lake, nh not far,... like an hour-ish close!

it captured the lakeside look: cabiney, rustic, campy, weathered wood, rope swings, front porches, rocking chairs, boat docks, fishing poles, canoes, adirondack chairs, wicker, hunter greens, deep reds, creamy whites, faded yellows, the smell of pine & the sound of loons.................... aahhh!

the wrap-around front porch, where tippy canoe was stored for the winter.........

a weather-worn gaze-bo over-looking the lake (yes, chelsea (jane f) is gaz-ing)........

fishing, cleaning & cooking trout,........... (shamefully, can't say i ever have done either of the 3 )

the good-old, narrow boating & swimming dock (classic lake gear: khakis, polo, boat shoes, & jane rockin' the bikini)............ 

the kitchen: where??? behind ethel-- teeny, tiny & not really the hub it is today (white cabs in a plain shaker-style door, tho)...........

the upstairs-- a smoothly patinaed stair railing, naturally darkened bead-board wainscoting (running horizontally, no less! love!)........

the simple appointed bedroom,... have i mentioned the curtains as yet (aka window treatments): simple white cotton panels-- a, y-e-s!

the wicker reading chair,... used as indoor furniture: absolutely (fashion comment: why is she so dressed?lakeside living is all about casual & laid-back)..........

the living area, where the residents actually "live"... and, with no tv (whaaaat?), just working on a puzzle,... btw: check out their gallery wall(s), precious! (hey, at least their picts are not stored away in old shoe boxes!).......

the colors (aside from wood-tones): hunter greens, true reds, black, beiges (yes, beige exists aka: straw, sepia, dijon...) , dirtied yellows,........ love the tartans!

boating (in a classic Chris-Craft mahogany beauty) & the smell of gasoline....... weird, but i like the scent of-- reminiscent of summer on the water (candle scent it, someone!)!

picking wild blueberries,... a washed out (aka recycled) tin can, of course-- plop!

... so i'm dating myself, but how many of you were a fan in1981?

the thayer summer lake home has a relaxed & lived-in style--ok, maybe a bit too relaxed-- for my liking! but, what great bones as we say in the biz! 33 years later,...

(ok, you can see where i'm headed with this post)

stay tuned for next week when-- GOLDEN POND gets a much needed update, a la mcbride design style!

count on: no themey-ness, yet a definitive lake-house air!

happy father's day weekend as one of themovie's story lines involves the complex father-daughter relationship --some factoids:

  • jane fonda bought the rights to the play specifically for her dad (he passed away a year later)
  • the father-daughter relationship depicted between chealsea & norman was strife-ridden, much like their real-life relationship
  • by the end, the father-daughter relationship softened-- a happy ending, yes, the best kind!


the pivotal father-daughter talk scene... 

(click on...) 


happy father's day to my dad, our girls' dad, and all the dad's out there in flesh & spirit-- thnx for all you do! xoxo