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The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats.

24 Oct

This post is actually about interiors…so bear with me.

Really. It is. You’ll see…


Sometimes I try to be a supermom and selectively arrange my son’s books on a shelf to highlight the season. Just like a librarian. This means I choose a few for display that have themes which reflect the current holiday or time of year. Now, that’s pumpkins and Halloween. But my favorite time to do this is when it gets really cold and I can put The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats on his special shelf. You must know this book, right?




Any parent knows reading to your child can be amazing and calming and often times fun; but with a bad book, it’s torture. This book is one of the ones that is always a joy to read, partially because the story is simple (and short!) and flowing, and also because the illustrations are just gorgeous. I am particularly fond of cut paper, collage-type illustrations in childrens’ books, and this one is no exception.

I love the patchy, boldly colored collages that make snow look anything but ordinary and white. It almost glows. And the composition reminds me very much of the photographs of Matthias Heiderich, whom I wrote about a few years ago; I wonder if he knows the book?



The one page that I always stop and marvel at is at is the one with the little boy sitting on his bed looking out the window. Why? Because I LOVE THE WALLPAPER. And by that I mean so many things beyond superficially liking the wallpaper: I like the way it looks, I like how it reminds me of something my grandparents may have had, and I like the sense of coziness and home and warmth it conveys. I feel like I’ve been in that room (and through reading, I have…many many times). It’s the kind of experience that I love to help create or re-create for my clients; a space that feels like home, that you never want to stop looking at. If I could find a wallpaper like it, I would buy it instantly. But I can’t find it!



Farrow and Ball’s Vermicelli Papers come sort of close…but aren’t quite right.



Guess I’ll have to keep searching…


P.S. – it feels GREAT to write a thoughtful blog post for the first time in, oh, about two months!


Design consultations for all styles and budgets: JGB Interiors.



Find of the Week: Beautiful Bookcase!

15 May

I can’t even…

I don’t know…

Nothing to say about this piece except that it’s incredible.

The Kitamura Cabinet from Anthropologie is $1,598, and measures 82” tall x 40” wide x 17” deep. It’s a casual distressed dark brown on the exterior, and has vibrant – almost yellow – gold leaf in the interior nooks. Simply put: it’s stunning!

I’d style it like this..

Items on the shelves are from here, here, here and here.

Do you love it as much as I do?


Design consultations for all styles and budgets: JGB Interiors.

Books That Match Your Style.

21 Feb

Admit it: you judge books by their covers.

It’s ok. Here are three that will complete your coffee table and epitomize your design aesthetic: like the cherry on top of a well-designed table!

If your style is graphic, bold, and you like your colors monochrome and your fonts sans serif, try Creature by Andrew Zuckerman. The images are stunningly simple, and the layout is strong but serene.

Creature by Andrew Zuckerman (image via NotCot)

If your style is vintage, quirky, and your colors are straight out of a 70s palette with a little rainbow thrown into the mix, try Charley Harper: An Illustrated Life.  It’s small, so prop it up in a bright lacquered tray and you’re all set.

This image via JustinaBlakeney captures Harper's style perfectly. I love it! (image via

If your style is feminine and flirty and places a high value on pinks, purples, and shimmer, then you’ve got some flexibility. Scour vintage fashion tomes, look for lovely fonts, and if you’re super savvy, match the spines to your decor.  Just like this image from Unidentified Lifestyle – a perfectly curated collection!

(image via Unidentified Lifestyle by Maria Matiopoulou)

More books for your style to come…

Design consultations for all styles and budgets: JGB Interiors.

Find of the Week: Penguin Hardcover Classics!

23 Aug

I am completely, 100% guilty of choosing a book by it’s cover.  When I have the luxury of going to the library alone, I will stand there for what seems like an hour picking up book after book after book based on whether or not it catches my eye. Somehow the right one always lands on my nightstand. If you’re as much of a book snob as I am when it comes to jacket design, then you will love these Penguin Hardcover Classics, my Find of the Week this week!

(images via Penguin)

They’re part of a series of re-releases that Penguin has been doing, featuring many of their beloved editions. The gorgeous books are designed by Coralie Bickford-Smith and have stamped linen covers and ribbon markers, and come in eye-popping brights that are just the right combination of sophisticated and playful. They’ve recently released four “new” novels: Dracula, Middlemarch, A Tale of Two Cities, and Gulliver’s Travels. Each is $20, and available from Penguin’s website. Wouldn’t you just love to line up a few dozen of these in a row…or collect one a month forever? Keep them coming, Penguin!


Design consultations for all styles and budgets: JGB Interiors.

Everyone Loves Letters!

3 Aug

I have a thing for typography and I adore letters and numbers in decor.  Lately a few alphabetic pieces have caught my eye, so I’m going to share a few with you! It just so happens that all of these are neutral in color, which I think is a nice subdued offset to the whimsy of the neat patterns and lines that letters create.

If Rocks Could Sing, by Leslie McGuirk (image via

If Rocks Could Sing by Leslie McGuirk is a children’s alphabet book, featuring letters and representative objects that are made exclusively of found objects — imagine searching for a rock to represent every letter of the alphabet! It’s available at for $9.


Pilosale Pillows, about $45 (images via Etsy)

Pilosale has a few wonderful pillows featuring characters, and I recently spotted one that resembles notebook paper for a client’s playroom. What fun! Who wouldn’t love these? They’re available at Pilosale’s Etsy store, or if you’re in DC or Baltimore you can find them at Trohv.


A to Z Bangles from Anthropologie (image via Style Hive)

I just came across these A to Z Bangles from Anthropologie, which are unfortunately from a few years ago. I’d love them just to wear, but I’d also be thrilled to put a bunch of them in a huge clear vase for display.


And I’ll end with a “sort of” art project that I did with my son this morning. There are tons of fallen crepe myrtle flowers on the ground in our yard, so we decided to collect them (his job) and arrange them into the letters of his name (my job…a challenge considering his destructive instincts).  These are the results; I even got some that are perfectly suitable for framing! He’s enjoying the installation…and the last few drops of my coffee.

I guess you’re never too old to play with letters…or at least I’m not!


Design consultations for all styles and budgets: JGB Interiors.

Must Read: Seventy-Nine Short Essays on Design

18 May

Nerd Alert!

Here’s a book that design lovers won’t be able to put down, and others might find just a little interesting. It’s called Seventy-Nine Short Essays on Design and it’s by Michael Bierut, a writer for the popular, often-but-not-always-very-design-industry-specific blog, Design Observer.

I am happily and excitedly going to be teaching a graduate studio in the fall that focuses on conceptual development and communication, and this book is a wonderful companion for that class.  Though it talks a lot about graphics (as Bierut is a graphic designer himself, and at the famed Pentagram, no less)  it is effectively interdisciplinary in its discussion of client relationships, concept generation, public perception, and it even touches directly on architecture for several essays.  I can’t stop myself from going back to it for inspiration for studio exercises. 

A fun bonus that makes this book even more appealing: each essays is set in a different font. What a great detail that almost anyone can appreciate – there’s even a legend for the different types in the back of the book.

If you’re interested in picking it up I encourage you to do so and browse some of the essays: none is longer than three pages, and though you may find yourself googling lots of graphic designer’s and architect’s names, it’s well worth the read. You’ll find yourself learning about everything from how product posters actually get made, to what happens when an architect makes a grave mistake that means a skyscraper has been constructed in a structurally unsound way. 

…and while you’re browsing the book, there’s no better coffee mug to be your companion than this one:

Pantone Mug (image via

Design consultations for all styles and budgets: JGB Interiors.