Category Archives: Build a Room

(Re)Treat Yourself!

As the lazy days of summer come to an end, and things seem to get busier and busier, we all need a place to retreat to at the end of the day; a sanctuary where we can relax, de-stress and treat ourselves to some creature comforts. Here are a few simple ideas for creating your own at-home refuge.

If you have limited space a comfy chair, reading lamp and ottoman should do the trick. Add a soft, warm throw and a few pillows to up the cozy factor. For more privacy add a floating bookshelf or even a single curtain panel hung from the ceiling.

At-home retreat | Chicago ReDesignTassle pillow| Orange Pillow | Throw | Bookcase | Chair | Side table | Lamp | Ottoman

For a luxurious retreat mix opulent materials, interesting textures, plush fabrics, and plenty of shine. An interesting basket keeps reading materials close at hand while a laptop table provides a convenient spot to perch a glass of wine or warm mug of tea.

At-home retreat | Chicago ReDesignHandled basket | Side table | Chaise | Pillow | Throw | Lamp

If your idea of bliss is curling up with a good book while soaking up the sunshine, add a daybed underneath a window. Keep the feeling light and airy with sheers, plenty of white, and pops of bright, cheerful color.

At-home retreat | Chicago ReDesignDaybed | Pink Pillow | Petal Pillow | Side table | Curtains

Do you have a favorite spot in your home to retreat to at the end of the day? I’d love to hear all about it in the comments section below!


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Build a Room: My Own Outdoor Oasis

side deckHave you heard the phrase “The shoemaker’s son has no shoes”? Well, in my case I often feel like “the designer’s house has no design”. Let me explain… we bought our condo two years ago, and I got pregnant 6 days after we moved in. I worked full time up until I was 9 months along, and then I decided to give it a go with my own business. So on top of being a stay-at-home mom, I was also trying to launch Chicago ReDesign. Needless to say, there was never much time (or money) for decorating my own house, so many areas still remain neglected as I (very) slowly finish each room.

One of the many spaces in our condo in need of a little decorator TLC is our side deck. Although this space isn’t huge, we spend a lot of time here during the precious summer months, relaxing and entertaining friends, so it’s become a priority in my mind.

Now it’s time to get inspired and start thinking about transforming this boring deck into an outdoor room I can be proud of.  A few caveats: Because this is a condo building, I can’t do anything to the exterior walls. And as always, I’m on a budget, which means the sort-of-too-big-for-the-space table will have to stay.

Dreamboard #1

Outdoor room decorating | Chicago ReDesign

Garland Rectangular Patio Rug – Green/Sand Floral | Norcal Pottery 10.5in Blush Terra Cotta Ribbed Egg Pot | Norcal Pottery 7 3/4in Terra Cotta Deco Pot | World Market Green Battery-Operated Lanterns | Ikea HYLLIS Shelving Unit

I like the idea of bringing fresh greens into the space to play off of the cedar-color deck and the light putty gray split-face brick. I would add two Ikea shelving units (only $14.99 a piece!) against the back wall and stack them full of inexpensive, but interesting clay pots. And to fill those pots, I was thinking hardy petunias in pink and yellow, as well as the incredibly prolific mint herb. Not only is the mint fragrant, but it’s great to be able to step off onto the deck and grab some leaves for Moroccan mint tea or even mint juleps.

Dreamboard #2

Outdoor room decorating | Chicago ReDesign

World Market Carved Wood String Lights | Ikea OSTLIG Plant Pots | Mali Geometric Patio Rug | Ikea SOCKER Hanging Planter

I also like the idea of incorporating into the space a quatrefoil pattern and the color blue, both of which are favorites of mine, and both of which happen to be trending right now. The blue and white palette is accented nicely by the earthy elements of the wood string lights and dark bronze-colored clay pots. And again, I would plant petunias, this time in blue, in the hanging and clay pots.

Both boards would cost right around $200 to implement, and I really like both for different reasons. What do you think? Which dreamboard do you prefer? I’d love to hear your thoughts!


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Build A Room: French Nouveau Study

French Decor Board

This is the first in a series of monthly posts I will be making titled “Build A Room”. My goal is to provide inspiration for creating rooms in varying themes, using budget finds from around the web. Of course I encourage you to search Craigslist, Ebay, your local thrift stores, flea markets, and garage sales, and any other source you might have to find similar items at a discount. And anything you can DIY – go for it!

So here it is – My French Nouveau Study. I was originally inspired by the set designs from the movie Bel Ami, which is set in turn-of-the-century Paris. I absolutely fell in love with the sumptuous interiors of the high society apartments as well as the more humble abode of the main character. The room I have created here is a mix of styles and genres (french country, Louis-style, etc) but it all works together to create a casual, chic space befitting a vintage Paris apartment.


1. Wall color – Benjamin Moore Mount Saint Anne CC-710. This beautiful “French Blue” (blue-gray) is the perfect base from which to build our palette. For extra drama (and to create the illusion of height) paint the trim the same color but in a semi-gloss. Add furniture and accents in buttery yellows and soft, warm grays.


2. Erin Cute-as-a-Button Loveseat $449.99 3. World Market Campaign Desk – $229.99 4. World Market Campaign Chair – $129.99   The whimsical loveseat and pared down campaign style pieces are modern twists on more traditional styles. Okay, so campaign furniture is more British than French, but the updated look of the desk and chair help bring a contemporary edge to our study.


5. Mist Blue Toile Fabric 6. Suburban Home Embroidered Rico Yellow $20.98/yd 7. 44″ Ticking Stripe Yellow $7.98/yd.  Both toiles and ticking stripes are classic French fabrics, but with very different price points. Use the pricier toiles sparingly (throw pillows, or easy DIY framed wall art) and the more durable, utilitarian ticking striped fabric for everything from draperies, to couch covers, seat cushions, and throw rugs and pillows.


8. Set of Two Cream Round Metal Bird Cages (18″ & 15″) $25 9. 18″ x 24″ Eiffel Tower Photographic Print by Manuela Hofer 10. Room Essentials Velvet Ribbed Toss Pillow (18×18″) $14.99 and Xhilaration Yellow Sequin Tile Print Pillow $19.99 11. Metal Sunburst Mirror – Gold  Have fun with your accessories and don’t be afraid to add in bits of whimsy (the birdcages), luxe details (the mirror), or even literal interpretations of your theme (the Eiffel Tower print). As long as the pieces you choose fit into your color scheme and overall theme they will work together to create a pulled-together, complete room.


12. Wall Sconce in Polished Brass $45.50  I love the sophisticated look of these brass sconces. They have a vintage feel to them that fits in well with our French Nouveau theme.

I would love to hear your feedback on my first “Build a Room” post. Let me know your thoughts and ideas. And if you are interested in a heads-up when the next “Build a Room” post is published simply sign up to receive my blog posts via email. Thanks so much for reading!


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