How To Decorate A Mantel

Fireplace Mantels are usually the focal point of any room, which for a lot of folks presents a big challenge with decorating them.

As a designer, I have gone into many homes and have seen that people have just given up when it comes to decorating their mantels. They are aware that it is a place reserved for items that have special meaning or sentimental value – like family photos and awards etc. What they don’t seem to know is that it doesn’t have to be every special item they own.

Choose a few items that are absolutely special, and are conversation pieces to display – editing  will be your best friend.

There are some simple ways to get your mantel looking fabulous and still display the most special pieces you want to showcase. These examples also apply to decorating your mantel seasonally. Depending on your decorating style, you may like clean and simple (contemporary or transitional) or you may like a layered look (traditional). See the examples below and see which would work best in your home.

This sketch simply shows how best to hang art above a mantel. Keep in mind that scale, balance, proportion and symmetry is key to an uncluttered look, so choose the size of your artwork carefully.

In this sketch, we are going for a layered effect. This is great for a more traditional look.
Here are a few tips to follow if you like this look1. Start with one big piece that is centered- example above is the large mirror in the background
2. Create movement – example above would be the candlesticks. They are similar objects but varied heights
3. Add visual weight – example above would be the ginger jar. It is large and visually heavier than the other pieces
4. Layer art and photos – Vary the sizes and heights
5. Add accessories of varying heights – example above are the wooden boxes behind the ginger jar

In this sketch we are going for a grid layout of the art on the wall. This look is appropriate in contemporary or transitional decor. If you like this look, keep in mind that you will need to keep the objects on the mantel fairly clean and simple. Don’t add too many layers. Here we just added a couple of ginger jars. Varying the sizes is very important to add movement. We also added a wooden box in the center to anchor the art work, otherwise they will seem to visually float on the wall. And finally we added a floral arrangement – faux orchids work very well for this purpose. They are clean and simple and a good quality faux arrangement look very real.

In this sketch, we are going for a cleaner look as well….not alot of layering. Here we added a mirror, hung horizontally and a smaller round mirror for visual appeal. Then we added a small box and a faux floral arrangement.

In this sketch, we are going for a salon style of hanging art and photos. This is a great look for an eclectic, traditional or shabby chic decor. Salon style should have a “collected” feel and very casual. There should be various heights, sizes, frames and finishes to make this look authentic. It should still have order and symmetry. Not much else is needed on the mantel with this look.

A lot of folks like to use family pictures on their mantels, which is great, as long as you vary the sizes and add other objects. Limit the pictures to just a few. Pictures can be framed and hung above the mantel if you must display them all

Here are a few examples taken from various sources on the internet

The decorating of your mantel should represent your style, so go with what you love and things you enjoy looking at all the time.

Here are some fun accessories that are definitely mantel worthy.

Hope you have been inspired to take on this challenge. If all else fails, then contact us and we can help you get your mantel model home ready!
Wishing You Beauty and Inspiration!
Veronica Solomon, IDS, CID

How To Style A Bookcase

Styling and accessorizing is often one of the biggest challenges that my clients state that they have with having a space that is well pulled-together and cohesive.

Styling a room is what gives it personality and charm. It is the finishing touch – like jewelry and makeup complete an outfit

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Whether your style leans more towards minimalism, or luxe and cozy…here are a few tips that you can use to style your bookcases like a pro!

  • Ty to use items that have special meaning to you. Things that you have collected over time. You can always update them by painting or wrapping etc to give them a new look
  • Add a few pieces that are on trend. That will help to give the bookcase a more up-to-date feel. Keep trendy items to a minimum as trends fade fast.
  • Decide whether you want to go with a monochromatic color scheme or adding pops of color.
  • Start with the larger pieces first and fill in with smaller. I usually start from the center and move side to side.
  • You can use one shelf for a feature item that you want to draw attention to
  • It is ok to leave some negative space. Not all shelves have to be completely full with stuff. It can become cluttered fast! I personally love the look of full shelves in my home, but I don’t always do that for clients.
  • Always use books. Books always add warmth and soul to a bookcase. If your color scheme is monochromatic, you can add book covers in varying tones of the same color.
  • Stack books with accessories on the same shelf.This will create some interest and a bit more dimension. When I stack books, I usually add an item on top. You can also line up books. I do both, using a stack of books as bookends
  • Add visual texture with the accessories you choose. Vary textures – from shiney to matte, rough to spikey
  • If you decorate with color….evenly spread the color throughout the bookcase for balance.
  • The shelves do not have to be symmetrical, but they should have proper balance and proportion
  • Group similar items as much as possible to showcase them as a collection
  • Don’t get carried away with adding too many photos in frames. Mix a few special ones in
  • You can add small pieces of framed art for some interest and variety.
  • If you have kids, add baskets or decorative boxes on the bottom shelves where you can place their books and even small toys. That will allow them easy access, and keep things organized
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Via Read Breathe Relax

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Via Caribbean Living

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Via The Suite Life Designs

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Via SAS Interiors

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Via Satori Design For Living

If you still need help with styling your bookcases or any other areas in your home, our “Pull It Together” Design Service may be just what you need. Click here to find out more

Wishing You Beauty and Inspiration!

Katy Interior Designer

Veronica Solomon
Casa Vilora Interiors
Owner/Lead Designer



One Room Challenge: Resources and Behind the Scenes

Now that the One Room Challenge Fall 2014 Big Reveal has come and gone, things are pretty much back to normal here at Casa Vilora Interiors.

I was pretty pleased with how my Small Swanky Sitting Room turned out, and I just wanted to share with you some of my resources, and even some of the blunders that happened behind the scenes.

Incase you missed the big reveal from last Thursday, you can check it out here

This is how the room turned out

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Katy Interior Designer

View of the other side of the room

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Katy Interior Designer

It all started with the wool area rug from Surya that I ordered over a year and a half ago. When it arrived it was a lot more gold than it was pictured on their website. In fact, I thought it was a gray/taupe color when I ordered it. I still loved the worn, antiqued look of it and decided to keep it. It stayed rolled up for a long time and when I finally unrolled it, there were two red stains on it. I still haven’t been able to get the stains completely out, but they are somewhat hidden. Surya is a wholesale vendor that only sells to the trade, but online sources such as One Kings Lane and Joss and Main may carry some of their collections

I used the rug’s color scheme to build the room’s color palette and “collected” feel

The paint color is Benjamin Moore Pewter. I changed my mind from the original color because it seemed more blue than gray after all. I like this option alot better

The hutch/bookcase was a piece I purchased about two or three years ago from another wholesaler (Stanley Furniture). I do know that piece is no longer available. Some online retailers also carry Stanley Furniture

The desk was also a piece I bought from Stanley at the same time I bought the hutch. It is actually a flexible piece that can also work as a console or even a dining table. The leaves fold over onto themselves to make it smaller

The loveseat was a recent purchase from Ashley Furniture. As much as I loved the houndstooth pillows it came with, I didn’t use them for this room. It is a nice piece for the price, and is great for an area like my sitting room that won’t get abused by kids.

The bombe chest is a piece that I purchased with my late husband Sacky over 12 years ago (El Dorado Furniture in Florida). When I downsized from a 4300sf  to a 2650sf house over a year ago, I sold most of the traditional furnishings that Sacky and I had purchased together. They were just too big for the smaller rooms in this new house. the bombe chest was one of the few pieces I decided to keep, and it has been sitting in the unfinished guest bedroom ever since we moved. I didn’t expect to use it in this room, but I decided to help out my budget and use some of what I already owned. I think it works great.

The small gold-ish chair (actually topaz) is from World Market. it is actually a dining chair but it was the perfect scale for this small room.

The desk chair was also from World Market. (I am not sure if the black is still available but I linked to the blue)

The chandelier was also from World Market. (I think that’s it for World Market) :-)

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The gorgeous fabrics were from the Charles Faudree collection for Vervain and the one fabric at the very top (the geometric) was from Fabricut. Vervain is the really high-end line of Fabricut, so these fabrics were not cheap. I only needed a few yards for the drapery and a yard each for the pillows. I didn’t even end up using the pillow I made from the geometric fabric in the room :-( As you all can see, I ended up using the cream leopard even though the blue was my favorite. The drapery hardware (not shown) was from House Parts

The solid amber pillows were also from World Market and I added some greek key trim from Hobby Lobby using fabric glue. That definitely added a more luxurious and custom touch.

The two gold ceramic garden stools were from Imax Corp. They are also a to-the-trade only wholesaler, but some of their pieces are available from online retailers

The London Maps were from Paragon Picture Gallery – another wholesaler

The side table (that is hardly visible) is from Target

The architectural frames next to the sofa are also pieces I purchased with Sacky over 12 or so years ago. They were from a company called Bombay. They closed down their brick and mortar stores, but I believe they still have an online presence.

The juju hat was a DIY craft project. I will be doing a tutorial here on the blog very soon. I actually need more feathers to finish it. :-(

The fauxdermy (animal heads) are from ZGallerie

The lamp is from HomeGoods (it was pretty scratched and soiled but I had to have it. I scored 10% off because it was dinged up)

The faux florals are from NDI and from what I already owned

The accessories I already owned for the most part….some are DIY projects like the urchins, some are from Home Goods and Hobby Lobby. The Aphrodite bust is from Museum Store Company. The lucky dragons are from eBay. The desk accessories were spray painted white (they were once bathroom accessories), so are a few pieces in the bookcase. All the books and magazines I already owned except for a set of Illustrated World History Books (24 volumes) that I scored for $20 at Katy Budget Books. I am still pretty proud about that one :-)

The sheepskin rug/throw is from Ikea.

The pair of small pillows with the damask print is from Imax Corp.

The blue ginger jars are pieces that I already owned (They were a gift from a client) :-)

I think I have everything covered in the room. If I have missed anything that you are curious about, feel free to email me

I will be covering some of my DIY projects in future posts, so check back for more.

Alot of crazy stuff happened during this 6 week challenge

  • The London Maps were a beast to hang, and I almost broke one of them. It literally fell off the wall. I was up until past midnight hanging them. Now no one is allowed to even breathe on them until I can get my handy man to redo them. Lol
  • Some of my DIY projects were a flop. I tried spray painting a box for the bookcase and it just did not turn out so good
  • I didn’t order enough feathers for my juju hat….even after 3 separate orders. I still need to order a few more packs to finish it.
  • The drapery hardware arrived a bit late and I literally had to finish hanging it myself. My installer hung the brackets for me days before the rod arrived; which is the hard part. While trying to get the rod up on the wall, I almost knocked off one of my priceless architectural frames off the wall. Good thing my daughter was standing right there and caught it just in time. Whewwww! :-)
  • Two of the fauxdermy arrived damaged. I literally had to glue them
  • One of the ceramic stools arrived damaged, so a new one had to be sent.
  • Towards the end it was a major time crunch and I had to forego a few things that I wanted – like a desk lamp and a fiddle leaf fig tree for the corner near the desk.

As a Decorator, we always have to be creative and work with what we have, and I did just that in this room. I didn’t have an unlimited budget, so I incorporated alot of my own pieces, my DIY projects and new pieces for a beautiful, collected feel

Katy Interior Designer

Welcome To My Small Swanky Sitting Room

I have already spent some quality time in this room. It is just so cozy and inviting. Not that I needed anymore inspiration, but I am so ready to finish up some other rooms in my home.

I will totally be doing the Spring 2015 installment of the One Room Challenge…..I am just not sure which room it will be yet.

maybe I’ll have you guys vote next time!

Thanks to you all for following my progress over the last 6 weeks and for your positive feedback. Thanks to Michael Stolte for the great shots of the room. Thanks to Mary my seamstress for always being there for me. And thanks to my kids for putting up with my craziness (and for not eating popcorn in my new room. Lol)

Wishing You Beauty and Inspiration!





Master Bedroom eDesign Inspiration Board

One of the great tools that we use here at Casa Vilora Interiors to present our design concepts and ideas to our clients is presentation boards.

Because most clients are very visual, they really appreciate a glimpse of the room before work even begins on it.

Here is a presentation board that I put together for an eDesign aka Mail Order Decorator client who found us through a Google search a few months ago.

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Mail Order Design by Casa Vilora Interiors

When she first contacted us, her main request was a bedroom that both her and her husband would enjoy being in…..not too masculine, but not too feminine. She wanted something a bit dramatic but still relaxing for a restful retreat.

After sending us measurements and pictures of the room, we were very excited about the really tall ceilings – Perfect for a canopy bed and a fabulous chandelier.

We decided on a neutral base with the walls and furnishings and added color through smaller accents like the pillows, throw and the small ottomans at the foot of the bed.

The zebra rug also adds a bit of drama to the room, but because it is small in scale, we layered it on top of a sisal rug.

Matching nightstands, mirrors and lamps and a seating area completes the main pieces of the room.

No dresser was needed in the room since we designed a built in closet system and a built in bookcase on the other side of the room.

My client was very happy with the eDesign plan and she has begun the process of putting it together

The presentation board is just a small part of what our eDesign clients get with this service

Here’s what you get:

  • A private password protected page on our website that will include all your design concept boards, floor plan of the room, furniture placement drawn to scale, selections for furniture and accessories, elevations (per project) of key details, window treatment design, an organized shopping guide complete with pricing, and thorough instructions on how to implement your design. This page is available for 90 days and can be accessed anytime

  • Two rounds of revision of the original eDesign plan. Additional revisions available at an extra charge
  • A 30 minute phone or Skype session upon request (Available only within the first 14 days after receiving final eDesign plan
  • A sample packet sent via mail of all the fabric and wallcoverings selected for the room.

  • A follow-up email within 14 days.

Our eDesign plan gives you all you need to implement the perfect custom design space for your home

Please check out our website for more information on our eDesign service. Click here to be directed.

Please feel free to contact us if you are interested in a Casa Vilora Interiors designed room. We are now accepting projects for completion in mid December.

Which room in your home could use the help of a professional eDesign?

Wishing You Beauty and Inspiration!

Katy Interior Designer

Veronica Solomon Owner/Lead Designer Casa Vilora Interiors


One Room Challenge: Small Swanky Sitting Room – Reveal Day!

Ok One and All, it is finally here! The big reveal of the Small Swanky Sitting room makeover that I have been working on for the last 6 weeks along with a bunch of other Designers and Bloggers for the One Room Challenge (ORC).

Six weeks went by so quickly, but I am glad we are at the point where we get to showcase the results of our hard work. I can say that I will need a couple of glasses of margaritas or something to calm my nerves – and I don’t even drink! :-)

All kidding aside, it was great decorating this room and I am happy to be a part of the One Room Challenge.

Katy Interior Designer In case you aren’t familiar with the ORC, let me get you up to speed.

The One Room Challenge is a semi-annual (Spring and Fall) design challenge hosted by Linda at Calling It Home blog, where 20 Designer/Blogger participants are asked to make over a room in their own home or a client’s home, and blog about the progress over 6 weeks. The challenge is also open to other Designers and Bloggers (like myself) who choose to participate, and each Thursday we all join a link party to showoff our progress. You can follow my progress here: week 1, week 2, week 3, week 4, week 5

Katy Interior Designer

Well we all know you are here to check out pretty pictures, but before we get to the new room, let’s take a look back at where we started.

The small 10×12 room started life as a dining room with a builder grade chandelier and paint color, a few pieces I already owned and a lot of potential. Since my family doesn’t formally dine, I thought it would be better used as a sitting room/library – a place to relax and enjoy my books.



Ready to see what the room looks like now?

Well minus me that is? :-)

Katy Interior Designer

Welcome To My Small Swanky Sitting Room

Ok here goes!

Katy Interior Designer Katy Interior Designer Katy Interior Designer

You can see in the shot below  that I chose the cream leopard fabric for the custom drapery. So if you were team cream leopard….Yay you! :-) It just worked better with the dark gray wall color (even though the blue was actually my favorite).

You will also see the remaining fabrics made into pillows for the loveseat. These fabrics were chosen as a tribute to the late Charles Faudree, an Interior Designer known for his beautiful french country interiors. I admire his work so much and love his fabric collections for Vervain

Here you will also see the DIY feather project I worked on. It is my version of a juju hat. It’s not perfect, but it adds alot of texture and is a great conversation piece in the room. I will be doing a tutorial here on the blog soon.

If you were following the progress over the past 6 weeks, you may notice that the copper pillows got a minor face-lift. I added trim to give them a more luxe look. Come back to the blog soon for more details.

Katy Interior Designer
The bookcase is styled with my design magazines and favorite books, and some objects that I have collected over time. I have so many books that there is also a couple stacks on the floor to the right of the bookcase. I just love books!

You will see my DIY urchins in this photo as well. I will also be sharing a tutorial on the blog soon.

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Katy Interior Designer

Katy Interior Designer

Katy Interior Designer
You will notice my London maps in this shot. They came in right at the last minute and it was a beast hanging them because of the way the hangers were placed on the back…..but I got it done……late one night :-)

I added the fauxidermy to fill the areas on either side of the bookcase without making them the focal point.

You will notice that although the room is mostly warm colors, I mixed in some cooler tones and made white and accent color. It was all about layering in this space.

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A closer look at the DIY urchins, and my awesome ceramic garden stools. I think I have a thing for the prism shape….you will see it in a couple other places in the room.

Katy Interior Designer Katy Interior Designer
This room is my grown-up space – A bit of a getaway to read my design books and magazines. It is certainly filled with a lot of the things I love including pieces with great sentimental value, like the bombe chest and architectural prints I purchased with my late husband over 12 years ago. I even added some of the trends I love.

You can see that the room is an eclectic mix of different styles, periods and trends all tied together with color. It is a wonderful mix of high end and custom, with DIY projects and pieces done on a budget.

Look out for my upcoming blog post with the resources for finding some of these great pieces and learn how to mesh different styles, and get a high end look on a budget.

I think this room is a hit! You may want to stay tuned for the faux pas and the misses….and there were a few :-)

You can check out the main participants and see how their rooms turned out. And be sure to check out the link party going on now

Abby M. InteriorsBecause It’s AwesomeBijou & Boheme/ Chinoiserie ChicThe DecoristaDesign ChicThe Design DaredevilDesign DarlingDesign IndulgenceDesign ManifestHouse of TurquoiseJana Bek DesignJill SorensenMaddie G. DesignsMimosa LaneA Piece of ToastThe Pink PagodaStone TextileWaiting on MarthaThe Zhush

Katy Interior Designer

So if you are digging this space, imagine what we can do with your space. Whether you are local to Houston and would like to schedule an in-home consultation, or you are out of the local area and interested in an eDesign, we can totally help. Contact us here

Special thanks to my seamstress Mary, not just for her amazing work and getting the draperies and pillows back to me in one day, but most of all for always believing in me and for being one of my biggest supporters. Thanks to her husband Jeff for being my part-time installer and coming to my rescue yet again.

Thanks to Michael Stolte at Michael’s Photography Studio for the amazing photos!

That’s it for today!

Wishing You Beauty and Inspiration!

Katy Interior Designer

Veronica Solomon
Casa Vilora Interiors
Owner/Lead Designer


Announcing Our Sweepstakes Winners!

Today is the big day where we announce the two lucky winners of our two Fall Sweepstakes!

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Both winners were randomly selected by Woobox, which is the platform we used to create the sweepstakes.

The first is for $500 towards an eDesign or Mail Order Decorator Service.

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Details of the Sweepstakes

Win $500 Towards eDesign Service by Casa Vilora Interiors! Add style and simple elegance to your home while being family friendly with a $500 credit towards an eDesign service by Casa Vilora Interiors. Our eDesign is a great way to enlist the help of a professional Interior Designer if you are on a budget but still want great style. It is a great way to decorate in stages – one room at a time.
One entry per household. Minimum order of $1000. Kitchen and bathroom renovations not included.


The lucky winner is Donna Salge

The next sweepstake is for a Casa Vilora Gift Certificate for $190 that can be used towards any of our design services

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Details of the Sweepstakes

You could be the lucky winner of a Casa Vilora Interiors Gift Cerificate! This entitles you to $190 off any design service offered by us. You can even use it for a 2 hour consultation with Veronica Solomon. You have the opportunity to get your most pressing decorating questions answered, or your most challenging design dilemma solved by a Professional Decorator. Enter today! Ends October 31

Does not apply to any products offered

The Winner is Rosa Grigsby

Congratulations ladies!!

The winners will also be notified via email and announced on our Facebook Page. You are required to contact us by Friday, November 7th at midnight to claim your prize, otherwise we will pick a new winner.

katy Interior Designer

Thanks to everyone who entered. Please look out for more to come in the near future.

Wishing you Beauty and Inspiration!

Katy Interior designer/ Katy Interior Decorator

Veronica Solomon
Owner/Lead Designer
Casa Vilora Interiors

One Room Challenge: Small Swanky Sitting Room Week 5 of 6

Did I literally just write week 5 of 6? Already? It’s crunch time here on the ORC with just one week to go!! Yikes! I’m not ready! :-)

Katy Interior Designer

In case you missed the progress of my Small Swanky Sitting Room makeover, you can check them out here.

Week 1/ Week 2/ Week 3/ Week 4

So what did I get done this past week? Should I start with the good news or the bad news? Well there isn’t any really bad news, just a bunch of waiting, hoping and praying

My end table came in. Originally I planned on a set of nesting tables, but they were not going to get here in time, so I ended up purchasing this round wire table from Target. It is a great scale for the space, and I really like the light airy feel.

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End Table

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End Table In Place

I started to style my bookcase, but I have to go shopping for a few more accents. I scored a set of  24 Illustrated History of the World books for just $20! (not shown) and my bust came in! This one of Aphrodite. I have always wanted one – strictly as a decorative piece.

Katy Interior Designer
The custom draperies and pillows are all complete, and will probably be installed this weekend. My seamstress called to tell me how awesome the draperies look. I haven’t seen them yet, but I am super excited!

Katy interior designer

You will see which color of the silk leopard prints I chose during next week’s big reveal. Is it the blue or the cream leopard? I’m not telling just yet :-) You will have to come back next week to find out

Remember the feathers I showed you last week? I began working on my DIY project using them.

Katy Interior Designer

Katy Interior Designer

Can you guess what it is? If you can’t tell you will hopefully see it in all its glory on reveal day. I actually didn’t order enough feathers, so hopefully my new order arrives in time. I will also be doing a tutorial here on the blog very soon (if it comes out looking good. It is my first time working with feathers).

My beloved London Maps were shipped today, so there is hope that they will arrive by next week. They arrive via freight, so it is not really a guarantee. I won’t be able to relax until I see them here in one piece (well six pieces. Lol)

katy Interior Designer

There is so much still left to be done and so I am really nervous:

  • Hanging draperies and art
  • Shopping for lamps and accessories
  • Finish styling the bookcase and the rest of the room
  • Maybe spruce up the foyer which is quite visible from the sitting room
  • Finish DIY projects (and there are a few)
  • Shoot room (hopefully with a professional photographer)

At least the room is slowly taking shape.

Katy Interior Designer


Maybe my lucky dragon has something to do with it? Nah. Just kidding :-)

Katy Interior Designer
Well that’s all for this week. I am heading over to calling It Home to check out the progress of the other rooms. Be sure to join the link party going on now.

Abby M. InteriorsBecause It’s AwesomeBijou & Boheme/ Chinoiserie ChicThe DecoristaDesign ChicThe Design DaredevilDesign DarlingDesign IndulgenceDesign ManifestHouse of TurquoiseJana Bek DesignJill SorensenMaddie G. DesignsMimosa LaneA Piece of ToastThe Pink PagodaStone TextileWaiting on MarthaThe Zhush


Wishing You Beauty and Inspiration!

Katy Interior designer/ Katy Interior Decorator

Veronica Solomon
Owner/Lead Designer
Casa Vilora Interiors

What’s In My Bag?

My work bag that is! trust me…….you don’t want to see what’s in my handbag :-)

So, in case you’ve ever wondered what an Interior Decorator drags around all day long, from consultation to consultation, today’s your lucky day. Lol :-)

Well I don’t know that too many people wonder, but I will share anyway about what’s in my bag, ’cause it’s my blog and I can write what I want to :-) Haha! Just kidding. I have actually been asked this before, so I thought I’d make a blog post out of it.

Before I get to what’s in my bag, check out some of the bags I have my eyes on, since I am between bags right now :-(

Katy Interior Designer

Notice the common thread is that they all have wheels? Very necessary when you tote around as much stuff as I do. Because like a boyscout…..I am always prepared

Ready to see what’s in my bag?

Here goes!

katy Interior Designer

  • A Tape Measure - A strong sturdy tape measure is essential to take all the precise measurements needed of the space and the windows. It’s the absolute worst using a slinky tape measure that can’t stand firm when you reach for those tall windows.
  • A Laser Measure – A laser measure makes life a lot easier when I’m faced with 20′ ceilings. Just place vertically on the floor and point to the ceiling and the laser takes an accurate ceiling height
  • Graph Paper – This is essential to draft the shape of the room and record the measurements. This is later transferred to my drawing software.
  • A Note Pad – I am still old school, and it is easier for me to write notes down when talking to my clients about their design needs versus typing it in notes
  • Pens and Pencils – It actually feels really unprofessional to me if I ever forget to bring a pen or pencil to a consultation, so I always keep a few in my bag
  • A Calendar – Even though I use Outlook for recording my appointments – I still add them to a regular old school calendar. Often, I am taking notes as I am scheduling an appointment with a client, and it is just easier for me to write in my calendar
  • A Camera – I am not the best photographer on the planet, but a great DSLR camera makes it a bit easier to capture great before and after photos
  • My Paint Fan Deck – I have every paint manufacturers fan deck, but I always bring my Benjamin Moore Classic palette on appointments.
  • My Window Treatment Directory – Because sometimes clients need a bit of visual aid when I am trying to describe an idea for a window treatment
  • My iPad – I sometimes use it for taking pictures. It is a great way to help clients visualize ideas with the various apps I use
  • A Picture Hanging Kit – Just because I use them all the time…..not necessarily at consultations, but it  is good to have them just in case.

And here’s one more big thing that is always in my bag

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  • My Square Card Reader & iPhone – Well, this is the best invention since sliced bread for me. This is how I typically collect my consultation fees. Quick and easy! And clients love it too.

So there you go, a glimpse inside my bag.

What about your bag? Share some of the stuff you tote around.

Wishing You Beauty and Inspiration?

Katy Interior designer/ Katy Interior Decorator

Veronica Solomon
Owner/Lead Designer
Casa Vilora Interiors

One Room Challenge: Small Swanky Sitting Room Week 4 of 6

Well it is crunch time on the One Room Challenge. This is the week where you begin to truly evaluate whether or not you can get all the goals for the room accomplished.

Katy interior designer
I made some more progress…..most of the pieces arrived – the chair, the ceramic garden stools and the fabrics came in just yesterday. I am so excited and can’t wait for you to see whether I went with the blue or the cream leopard :-)

You can check out my progress for the last three weeks:

Week 1, Week 2, Week 3

Katy Interior Designer

I am pretty nervous that the London maps that I ordered may not make it here in time. They are made to order and take about 6 weeks to arrive. I am keeping my fingers crossed.

These are for the wall behind the desk. It will be the focal wall, as it is the first wall you see as you walk through the front door.

katy Interior Designer
I have had these two architectural framed pieces for about 12 or so years, and they have been in storage since we moved over a year ago. They may end up in the room as well – maybe one on top of the other on the wall next to the window. These are a couple pieces that I purchased with my late husband as well, and they hung in our dining room.

Katy Interior Designer
The room is really starting to take shape. I am really loving the geometric ceramic garden stools. They are a great mix of the contemporary with the traditional elements of the room.

Katy Interior Designer

You can really see just how tiny the room is in this picture.

katy Interior Designer

So I will be attempting a DIY project using these feathers. I will disclose what that project is in a future post, but I am hoping that I can pull it off :-)

Katy Interior Designer

Hopefully I will have draperies and the custom pillows done by next week.

Heading over to Calling It Home blog to check out some of the other rooms. You can check out the linking party going on now!

 Abby M. InteriorsBecause It’s AwesomeBijou & Boheme/ Chinoiserie ChicThe DecoristaDesign ChicThe Design DaredevilDesign DarlingDesign IndulgenceDesign ManifestHouse of TurquoiseJana Bek DesignJill SorensenMaddie G. DesignsMimosa LaneA Piece of ToastThe Pink PagodaStone TextileWaiting on MarthaThe Zhush


Wishing You Beauty and Inpiration!

Katy Interior designer/ Katy Interior Decorator

Veronica Solomon
Owner/Lead Designer
Casa Vilora Interiors


What Is Your Decorating Style?

First, I just want to say thanks to everyone who took the time to complete the survey in my last blog post. It was an overwhelming number of responses and I am still in the process of analyzing the results. I will be addressing the questions and responses in a future blog post, so please be on the lookout for that. You can still take it here if you missed it.

Katy Interior designer

A recent addition to our website is the CVI Style Guide. I Thought it would be a fun idea to help clients during the “exploration” stage, before they make that first contact with us, try to identify what decorating style resonates with them.

While it is not necessary or a pre-requisite to know your decorating style before calling us, it does help clients communicate their needs and ideas with us. Clients usually come to us with no clear understanding of how to define their decorating style, but they often know what they like and what they don’t like.

Your style can be anything you love and enjoy having in your home- things that mean something to you, and doesn’t have to have a label attached to it.

Katy Interior Designer

We want to make finding your style easy without the guessing game. When you hire us for your project, our goal is to provide guidance and help you make your home uniquely yours – fitting your style, budget and lifestyle.

We even included a Style Quiz that you can take to better define your style. Click here to take the style quiz

Your taste in fashion can also be a great indicator of your decorating style. See a previous blog post explaining how.

Check out our style guide here and have fun finding your decorating style!

Wishing you Beauty and Inspiration!

Katy Interior designer/ Katy Interior Decorator

Veronica Solomon
Owner/Lead Designer
Casa Vilora Interiors