November 22, 2017

Gift Guide 2017: Her

it's that time of year, can you believe it?! gift guides are out and this year marks 5 years of them here on vfmh! i'm posting them with the thanksgiving sales this time around - i feel strangely prepared compared to my usual scrambling self! first up, the ladies. you know i had to include some #activewear 😉

and these. i almost forgot. for $1,240 these could be yours.

November 21, 2017

Thanksgiving Table

helloooo! i have thanksgiving tables on the brain for obvious reasons. truth be told there are a lot of tacky table settings out there but i gathered up a few that are simple and elegant and provide some great inspo!

if this doesn't make you want to move to california, i don't know what does.

andee layne

love the little succulent and the ragged edge menu.

lark and linen

i posted this on my instagram but it deserves another look!


the candlelight here really steals the show.

via lonny mag

if you don't live in a cold climate, this seems lovely. otherwise, fairly hellish!

via domino

i just love the color of these skinny candles, especially with those centerpieces.

via domino

perfectly simple. this palette of green, white, and black most closely matches what i have planned!


are you hosting? what are your plans for your table?!

November 9, 2017

Designer Trick: Layered Rugs

i posted on instagram today about a favorite designer trick - layering rugs. as i mentioned on instagram, there are so many benefits to layering. 1. it brings in depth and texture. 2. so often standard rug sizes don't fit in a room but by layering you can still use a rug you love. 3. sometimes that rug you have your heart set on breaks the bank am i right? with layering you might be able to get away with using a rug that's on the pricey side because you can buy a smaller size.

case in point, my family room. this space just doesn't work with a regular 9x12 which is what we used to have that i was trying to make work. in reality it was just too narrow. but even if that size did work, the rugs i love in that size are bank breakers. so i invested in a great base rug that was 10x14 and i had it cut down to the odd size i needed - 10x12. the base rug has a woven diamond pattern in beige and off white. i love it but when we laid it down, it felt like this vast expanse of white and beige.

i wanted to break it up and realized that a rug i've been lusting after for about forever would be the perfect way to break it up. in this smaller size the rug is affordable (and it also helped that i found it on mega sale - find it HERE!). now truthfully, this one is a little small compared to the bottom layer. a rule of thumb is 12-18" of the bottom layer should show depending on furniture placement. ideally on my 10x12 base i'd layer a 7x9 on top but 7x9 doesn't exist without going custom. the goal is to see enough of the bottom rug but not have the top rug so small that it looks like a postage stamp. there are of course caveats to this guideline but it's still a good one to keep in mind.

let's take a look at a few other examples and then i'll give you some good options for base layers and top layers.

jenny komenda

jake alexander

amber interiors

studio mcgee

chris loves julia

hanley development

ok so here are some readily available room fillers (the bottom layer) and some pretty top layers!

top row (i've used ALL of these in client homes): one | two | three
bottom row: one (custom sizes and in a client's home) | two | three

the pretty layer!

top row: one (comes in 4 colorways!) | two | three
bottom row: one | two | three


November 7, 2017

Interview With Ivy

i realized that i never shared the interview i did with my designer software company here on the blog and, well, that was dumb. ivy kinda sorta basically changed my life when i discovered it through a google search! i had outgrown my beloved excel (i know i've mentioned here before how much of an excel nerd i am) and was looking for a better way to manage my business. like how to bill for hours worked or create a lighting proposal. our accountant suggested quick books which is lovely for numbers but doesn't handle the specific needs of designers. when i found ivy it was like choruses singing, no joke.

the full interview can be found here:

Ivy Designer Spotlight: Meredith Rodday of View From My Heels

Meredith – how did you get where you are today?
I’m originally from Baltimore and met my husband in college at Richmond. He made a New Englander out of me and we now live in the Metro West suburbs of Boston with our twin boys. It’s a great place to be (minus the winters). Originally, I majored in Finance and Marketing, but I ended up in the Human Resources field. Meanwhile, I spent a lot of time daydreaming about design and was helping friends on the side. So, in early 2015, I left my career and ramped up my design business, which was such a scary decision! I’m so happy I took the leap; it has been so fulfilling.

What’s your favorite part of the design process? 
My favorite part is seeing a design come to life in a space. Creating design boards is a close second though!

Which colors, textures and materials are you particularly into right now?
I’ll always be into blue, that will never change! White has also become a very good friend of mine. You can’t go wrong with the classics. Leather and rattan are my favorite textures/materials of the moment. I’m endlessly inspired by the different uses for both.

Tell us about your recent collaboration with Serena & Lily?
I was so excited when Serena & Lily reached out so I can be included in their fall campaign. They are one of my favorite go-to sources and I’ve been a customer since the beginning. I chose some of their beautiful bedding for our master bedroom, styled it, and shot it with our “good” camera (i.e. not my iPhone). Over the last year, I’ve been forced to get comfortable with taking photos and setting up shots. It’s a great skill to learn and continue to hone.

How does designing make you feel?
Designing makes me feel creative, productive, and helpful. It’s such a great combination! Of course I have days when I feel like everything is going off the rails, but most of the time, I find that it’s such a great way to connect with people.

What’s your business mantra?
Don’t be afraid of change! This is easier said than done for sure, but also, so important.

Where do you spend most of your time working? What’s your workspace like?
When I’m not with a client, I work from home where we have a dedicated office space. I think it was intended to be a formal living room, but that’s not how we live, so it was the perfect spot for an office. The bonus is that it’s big! Ultimately, I want to add built-ins and create beautiful storage, but until then, I added Ikea bookshelves and a parsons table that serves as a desk. I recently added a beautiful pendant and it makes me smile every time I see it. I do believe that working in a pretty space makes me more productive.

Fellow Ivy Designer Claire Staszak of Centered by Design recently covered your home tour in her blog. Walk us through the design process of your own home…
Claire is so great and we met through Instagram! A group of us banded together to take a virtual tour of our homes. We found our home five years ago as nearly-finished new construction which was awesome in so many ways, but the designer in me cried a little. As crazy as it may sound, we’ve done some renovations to what is basically a brand new house to infuse some personality and character. We’ve painted or wallpapered nearly every surface, changed out tile and counters in the kitchen, added shiplap to the family room and entry, installed built ins, and changed out almost every light fixture –some more than once! My home has always been a test kitchen as well as a marketing tool for me. I love changing things up and trying out new ideas (this doesn’t drive my husband crazy at all). My design process is a little all over the map, and I’ll never be done, but my vibe of coastal casual with clean lines can be found in every room.

How has your blog View From My Heels evolved over time?
My blog has evolved immensely over time! When I started View From My Heels, I didn’t know what it was going to be about, hence the very general name (and I wore a lot of heels back then). I actually wrote a blog post about why I started my blog and it’s a super personal subject – you can read more about it here. I quickly realized my passion for design so I started finding anything and everything that inspired me, and then started to post about it. I was posting religiously five days a week. I don’t know how I had that much to say! It has been a place where I chronicle my home projects, fashion wants, and of course, client interiors. In the last few years, I’m posting less often than I’d like to, but between a busy home life with twin boys and a wild dog, and a busy work life as a one-woman show, I don’t have a ton of time. However, I still find that the blog is a great platform to reveal projects and drive traffic.

@viewfrommyheels on Instagram has a huge following – what’s your secret? How much time do you dedicate to social media marketing?
I’ve built my Instagram following up the old-fashioned way and it has been a slow burn. I don’t pay anyone to help me get followers. I work hard at Instagram and study what my followers like best and what flops. I stay true to myself and I don’t post anything that doesn’t feel authentic to my aesthetic. My number one piece of advice is to take pretty pictures. I know, duh. But, pretty pictures get the re-grams, and re-grams bring the followers. Take time to get the right angle and setup the shot as carefully as you can. Also, play around with the filters and learn how they work together. I think being extremely diligent (read: anal!) with my photos has helped. Also, tag and hashtag – it’s important and it works.

I spend a lot of time on Instagram, but the amount of time differs each day. It also has to fit into my life. I’ve found it to be a truly wonderful marketing tool and source of inspiration.
Why did you join Ivy?
I am a major excel nerd – I love it. However, as much as I love formulas and pivot tables, it was getting to be too much to manage as my business grew. I found Ivy through a Google search! I trialled a couple of other accounting-type systems, but nothing compared to the ease of use and the comprehensive features that Ivy delivers to designers.

What have you learned from the Ivy Designer Network?
I’ve learned that there are a bunch of designers out there with the same questions who deal with the same issues as me! I’ve loved finding a place where I can connect with such a large group of people in my field. The Facebook group can also collectively help identify a source for a piece of furniture or fabric, sometimes within minutes!

How does Ivy help streamline your day-to-day workflow as an interior designer?
I love that I can go to one place to find everything I need. I also like any online-based tool where I can communicate with vendors and clients alike.

What’s an Ivy feature you can’t live without? 
Again, super nerdy, but I like the reporting! I also appreciate the small things, like being able to input a fixed amount for the markup, and the system calculates the percentage on its own. Or, the quick view for invoices and proposals to be able to quickly and easily see what’s included.

October 30, 2017

Kitchen Styling

happy halloween friends! everyone ready for that crazy sugar high?! 😉 i’m going to have one Spider-Man and one Batman this year which doesn’t exactly excite me. woes of a boy mom. this is all subject to change of course because not too long ago we had one policeman and one hockey player! 

last week i helped a client style her kitchen for a photo shoot that a friend of hers, grey from @ashgreyproperties, was doing as part of a home tour series that she started. you may have seen some videos on my insta stories last friday. grey is a realtor and real estate marketing expert and looks for pretty homes to shoot to share on her website. my client brought me in to style the space for the photos. so while i was there i took some of my own because who doesn't like seeing a pretty kitchen! (scroll to the bottom to shop the post)

*just to be clear - i had nothing to do with the design of the kitchen. i came into the picture after the house was completed to work on other spaces.* the kitchen is gorgeous though and photographs beautifully. it does come off a little cold so my main goal with the styling was to warm it up! i brought a ton of accessories and probably should have brought even more. it’s always amazing how spaces gobble up accessories. the biggest change i made was the counter stools. again to bring in warmth, i ended up lugging my leather stools from home! 😂 it made a huge difference (the other stools were acrylic and chrome and added to the cold feeling). another change we made was the runner and actually this one is a permanent change. i wanted to bring in more texture and a jute rug always does a good job of that.

simple greenery and a farmhouse bowl do the trick every time.

there is also a great desk space/command center and i layered in some of erin clark's art with some wood and ceramics to keep it fresh.

i love how simple this space is yet interesting and with the bit of blue, everything works together so well. now let's get to the good stuff...sources!

counters: london sky by zodiaq
cabinetry color: these were colors from the cabinet maker and not specified to match a paint color
floors: dark walnut stain
art: erin clark

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