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Spring Is Right Around The Corner…

24 Jan

No really. It is!

Night Snow

Never mind that we have almost two full months of winter left, I know that spring is coming because I am booking up like crazy. When the holiday decorations are all put away and people start to look at their homes in their natural state, they often decide it’s the right time to call a designer. After five years of being in business, I am always my busiest this time of year (and in the fall when people start to think about holiday decorations or hosting and realize they want to make some changes). This is also the time of year I head back to the classroom, which is really ENERGIZING. It’s  a nice shift away from holiday-mode to return to stacks of paper on your desk and lots of new projects to tackle.

And though I love crafts, it’s nice to not have to scramble for something to keep little hands busy every single day. Though we did have fun with beet stamping one night a few weeks ago…

Beet Stamping



To shift back to work-mode, one of the projects I’m working on has this fantastic mix of rustic and glam materials: it’s a master bath in a single-family historic home in NW DC. Here is a super messy, in-progress sneak-peek that shows the incredible shower floor. I love being able to see the sleek new marble, the earthy river rock floor, and the original woodwork all in the same frame.

In Progress

Other projects include a bunch of color consultations (blog post to come on my most popular colors of 2013), two new homes, a kitchen renovation, and an institutional commercial project that I don’t have quite enough info to talk about yet.

I’m not sure right now if I’ll ever get back to “regular” blogging, but I’ll do my best to update as I can. It’s good to be busy!

My new year resolution is to take more in-progress and finished photos, so let’s hope I stick to it!


Design consultations for all styles and budgets: JGB Interiors.



Let’s Play Catch Up…

7 Aug

I’m doing that thing again. You know, that thing where I blog steadily for a week then don’t log in for two weeks. So let’s play catch up, which is where I fill you in on some recent happenings that I’ve completely neglected to blog about. 

I hung a bunch of “tree ring paintings” in my living room. My husband is a bit perplexed by the asymmetrical arrangement, but I am loving it. 

Let's Play Catch-Up!


I recently checked in on a client and her sweet little boy’s room, and this is how the oddly-angled ceiling turned out. In my opinion, it’s PERFECT. The blue/gray is my go-to favorite, Benjamin Moore’s Mt. Rainier Gray, and the yellow is a secret and I’m not gonna tell you what it is. 

Let's Play Catch-Up!



I harvested almost all of my tomatoes from my cherry tomato plants, which is surprising, because they usually come later in the year. I’ve even cleared one and planted more herbs in its place.  Those little snow pea-looking things are courtesy of my son’s preschool class: they planted them in stryo-foam cups last spring and since transplanting it, it’s grown tremendously. 

2013-08-07 06.16.25 pm

We made pizza. A lot of pizza. My portion has hot peppers, cherry peppers, and red bell peppers. I like peppers. The boys have pepperoni and mushrooms and red peppers. 

Let's Play Catch-Up!

I re-discovered an old pocket-watch that belonged to one of my grandmothers. I found a chain for it that will work in the short-term, and put it to good use.  (One thing I did not do is invest in better sunscreen, which by the looks of my rapidly expanding freckle-scape, I should….). 

Let's Play Catch-Up!

I started working with four new clients in the past three weeks for what I expect will be fairly small but really fun projects, wrapped up a course at the Corcoran College of Art + Design, signed on to teach a brand new course that I am VERY excited about, and am about to enjoy two full weeks with my son home for a “real” summer –  with no where to be, and with only (if all goes as planned) minimal work to do. Hopefully, I can find some time to blog while August blows by.  I’m looking forward to getting out of town for a bit, relaxing, and sitting back to ponder life and eat some snow cones like this guy:

Let's Play Catch Up!

I look forward to sharing LOTS of finished interiors picks in the fall, but am saving them up as I refine  some projects and keep plugging away for now…

Hope you’re having a wonderful summer!

Design consultations for all styles and budgets: JGB Interiors.

Recently on Pinterest…

7 Jun

It’s been a long two weeks. Between work being busy and tending to a sick kid’s mystery illness (he’s fine…no longer a mystery) I haven’t have much time to blog. One thing I have been doing though, is pinning things to Pinterest. At first I regarded it as another site to demand my time, but now I’m finding it more and more useful. I still feel the same way about Twitter though, which is to say, I find it redundant and pointless and a tedious effort. (Sorry, tweeters.)

Here are five fun things I’ve recently “pinned.” If you like them consider “following me” on Pinterest!


An unconventional, super neat mantle-scape:

Recently on Pinterest...


A kitchen island with personality:

Recently on Pinterest....


A celebration of imagery from the Dutch Postal Service:

Recently on Pinterest...


15 DIY crafts you can make from a paper box!

Recently on Pinterest...


And last but certainly not least, this cake roll:

Recently on Pinterest...


Please follow the links thru for proper image crediting, as well as how-tos and more info on these fun projects.

Have a great weekend! Mine is already filled with clients, swim class, a baby shower, and a TRUCK TOUCH!


Design consultations for all styles and budgets: JGB Interiors.

Happy Birthday, Neuman!

23 May

Our sweet cat is 12 today.

Happy Birthday, Neuman!

He’s gentle and furry and smart and very large for a cat at 18.5 pounds. This is where my husband wants me to point out that he is not fat; he is just a big cat. Really, he is. Let’s call him “majestic.”

Happy Birthday, Neuman!

We made cupcakes in his likeness, because who am I to decline buying 6 kinds of candy in order to make a food creation that looks like a cat. His eyes are different colors (green and brown) because in real life they’re two different colors.

But before we made the cupcakes, I made a watercolor sketch of how I’d construct them. Because I do things like that.

Happy Birthday, Neuman!

They look pretty good, I think (despite having to forgo pretzel stick whiskers for blue-raspberry sour gummy whiskers…don’t ask).

Happy Birthday, Neuman!


Happy Birthday, Neuman!

Happy Birthday, Neuman! We love you very much!


Design consultations for all styles and budgets: JGB Interiors.

I’m Just Going To Brag For A Moment Here…

14 May

On the first ever Mother’s Day I had as a mom, my husband set a pretty high bar. We’re not much for giving big gifts to each other, but we do make small, meaningful gestures and get a little crafty when the time calls for craftiness. Naturally, when I was allowed to sleep in until the luxurious-to-a-new-mom hour of 8am or so, I was bowled over with love and laughter to see this sitting in the living room for me:

Mother's Day 2013

Don’t worry: that’s infant-safe tape adhering the flower to his hand. At least that’s what my husband told me…

I look at this picture every few weeks and laugh-cry at how sweet my husband and son are.

Now, four years later, we are veterans of all the holidays-you-do-with-a-kid. I don’t expect too much.

But this weekend I was pleasantly surprised when my son crawled into bed with me – at the ever-so-luxurious-to-a-mom-of-a-four-year-old hour of 7 am – told me “Happy Mother’s Day,” handed me my phone, and told me to check my email. I found a link to this, my “card” for the day:

My favorite part is when he throws the mulch at me. True life, you guys.

Sunday was a beautiful day. It’s always nice to spend time to reflect on being thankful for my kid, my own amazing mother, and all the moms who help make your and my life brighter.

(Hey – don’t forget to enter my $75 Novica GIVEAWAY – you have until Friday!)

Design consultations for all styles and budgets: JGB Interiors.

A Pretty Great Weekend.

29 Apr

This weekend was pretty great.

We made clover necklaces.

Great weekend.

We found about 50 “wishing flowers.”

Great weekend.

I had a nice relaxing day at Spa World with good friends (no pics of that, sorry).

Went to H-Mart, which is always exciting.

Great weekend.

Got to spend a lovely, long evening with my husband because our little guy was exhausted from a big hike and went to bed very early.

Great weekend.

And got to bake some treats, which is always a good ending to a nice weekend.

Great weekend.

Hope your weekend was fun and your week is wonderful!

Design consultations for all styles and budgets: JGB Interiors.

Pinata Cake!

26 Mar

My son turned FOUR yesterday, which is a big deal if you didn’t already know that about turning four.

It’s also a big deal to me, because I feel like this:

Pinata Cake!

Pinata Cake!


…turned into this overnight:


Pinata Cake!

And I guess it kind of did. I guess that’s just how it happens.

His cake of choice was a “Pinata Cake” which I found here at A Subtle Revelry. If you want to make this for yourself, I definitely encourage you to try via the tutorial: it wasn’t too difficult, and the end result was awesome.

Pinata Cake!


Basically, you bake two “layers” in pyrex bowls. After a thorough cooling session, you carve the insides out (to make each half like a scooped out melon). Then you fill one of the “bowls” with candy, top it with the other to form a sphere, and frost it.

It looks like this from the top. Just like a regular cake.

Pinata Cake!


And when you cut into it, it looks like THIS:

Pinata Cake!


So fun. So good. So easy. Give it a try for your next 4th or 5th or 35th birthday – I bet you’ll like it!


Design consultations for all styles and budgets: JGB Interiors.

Beautiful Details.

8 Feb

My week has been filled with lots of little tiny perfect details.

For example, I visited a client this morning whom I have been working with on small projects for quite some time, and I just had to take a picture of the gorgeous architectural detailing in her Logan Circle row house.

This is the top of the beautiful built-in mirror above her mantle.

Beautiful Mantle

I don’t think I’d noticed until I looked at this photo that it has an “M” on it before! It’s very high up.

Here is another view of the whole thing. It makes me so happy.

Beautiful Mantle


Yesterday evening, when I was playing with my son, I decided to take on a quick but very gratifying 2-minute craft project. I found myself sitting on the floor with his (formerly mine) little tiny wooden rocking chair and a few rolls of washi tape. Wheels started spinning, and a few minutes later this is what I had:

Rocking Rocking Chair

I kind of love it. Such a small change and easy but it created a big impact.


And finally, this is the other small but uplifting detail that I’ve been coming into contact with daily – no, hourly…and sometimes every ten minutes. Cough drops.

Well Designed Cough Drops

Yes, they’re silly. But they truly do make me feel better in the midst of my constant winter cold.

So there you have it: a historical mantle, an old rocking chair, and some drugstore cough drops all have one magical thing in common: great details that are beautiful and inspiring.

Design really does make a difference, and often, it’s all in the details!


Design consultations for all styles and budgets: JGB Interiors.

A Designer’s Year in Review: 2012

2 Jan

2012 has been another year of exciting challenges, joys big and small, and growth for me and my newly three-year-old business, JGB Interiors. I don’t exaggerate to say that I’ve enjoyed virtually every minute of it. 

I’ve had close to thirty new clients this year, with projects ranging from one-time color consultations to full-scale, many-months-long renovations. I’ve continued to see clients mainly in the DC area, with a large concentration of them in Chevy Chase and Arlington, but some have been as far away as New Jersey. Through my clients I met a dozen babies this year, eleven new homes, and a lot of dogs (none of whom bothered me despite all of you being very gracious about trying to keep them in their rooms/outside/off my legs). I was overjoyed to see three previous clients come back for another go-round, and I still work from time to time with my first ever client, which is both comfortable and humbling. 

I continue to use – almost exclusively – Benjamin Moore paint. 

I met this dog (which was fun) and specified these chairs (which I’ve wanted to do for a long time). I did not, however, take the photo. 



My services expanded early in the year to include more purchasing of goods, and though the move has been a good one for me, it quickly changed a lot of things about the ways that I do record keeping, the time I need to allow for administrative tasks, and the types of projects that I can and will take on. I’ve developed some strong and valuable relationships with vendors, and I found a few new homes-away-from-home in the form of showrooms. 

My son began full-day-every-day preschool in August. What a game changer that has been! As I booked my calendar for new jobs in the fall, I overlooked how the administrative tasks tend to mount up quickly when you add just a few more clients to your roster. October and November were, at times, overwhelming, but I came out on the other side with some great work, new lessons learned, and the ability to say “No, I can’t see you now but I will be happy to schedule you in two months.” It’s been a tough experience to have to wrestle with the direction in which I want to lead JGB Interiors in terms of the number of and scope of projects I am willing to take on, and it’s a conversation I am continuing to have with myself and I book for 2013.  

My blog, Paint It What I Tell You, has been viewed a total of more than 1,000,000 times (not to be confused with unique visitors…we’re talking page views here), which is kind of unfathomable for me, especially since I pretty much ceased blogging on any kind of regular basis back in September. I hope to get back to some type of regular blogging schedule in 2013, but I make no promises. Another sign that I’ve reached the technological big-time is that I just happened to notice – literally minutes ago – that my Twitter account, which I have neglected far more than this blog, has been recently hacked. So pay no mind to the side bar that urges you to “Check out theze diet pills! Lose 30 pounds!” That’s just a robot talking…and I don’t urge you to do any such thing. 

I participated in the Washington Post’s “House Calls” column twice this year, an honor that I feel doubly happy to enjoy! Relatedly, I rapidly learned to develop a tough internet-comment skin. I continued to be featured fairly regularly in the Washington Times’ Home section. Write-ups and publicity are trends I hope to continue into this coming year. 

I’m still teaching Continuing Education classes at the Corcoran College of Art + Design, and I even had the fun experience of having a former client join one of my courses this past fall. I am slated to teach a full year in the interior design program this year, and I look forward to all of the challenges and rewards that that brings. 

I enter this new year thankful for all of the little joys that my job provides, and I marvel at how after three years I have yet to walk away from a job not liking a client. I feel extremely fortunate to have carved out a space for myself in the design community where I can do what I love and spend tremendous amounts of time with my family. I am grateful for my clients, many of whom have little children as well, who understand when I have to reschedule a meeting with little notice because my son has a fever or pink eye or gave me one of the above. I am thrilled at the happy coincidence that the majority of the workers at my clients’ job sites keep similar hours to my son’s school day. I am overjoyed that three years into this, I feel like I’m no longer testing the waters, but navigating them with a good deal of confidence and optimism.  

I hope that 2013 brings you health and happiness, and that your home is a place you want to be, whether I had a hand in making it that way or not.


Design consultations for all styles and budgets: JGB Interiors.


Please Consider Making A Donation to the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence.

17 Dec

For the first time in a long while, I have ample time to blog this week. But I’m not really feeling in the mood to recommend lamps, pillows, and headboards for you to spend your money on. Instead, I’d like to encourage you to consider making a donation to the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence.

I hope you have a peaceful week, that you continue to enjoy your holiday season, and that you remember to hug your sweet babies, your devoted teachers, your friends, and your family extra tight.