Fruit with Punch: Cranberry Style

It’s that time again- another round of the Fruit with Punch series. It’s a Christmas miracle I can get anything done these days, but who can resist a little calorie free fruit-as-design inspo? This week I’m covering all things Cran-tastic. So what do I love about cranberry style? For one, cranberry is much more lively than her Marsala sister, even though she is currently holding the crown as the Pantone Color of the Year for 2015. I am still convinced the votes were rigged on that one, you can read more about my thoughts here. Cranberry is also top of mind because it’s seasonal and captures the spirit of the holidays. I love that the fruit itself is beautiful, shiny, fresh and surprisingly tart. At face value, it seems like it would be nice and sweet and then BANG! So yeah, cranberries pretty much sum up my interior design goals; to create a space that’s enticing with a twist!

But since we are not actually using fruit to decorate, just color inspiration, here is how you can work with cranberry in a living space. When working with a bold color, it is important to keep balance in mind so as not to overwhelm. You can go big, but it must be done right. Since it is a vibrant, rich color, it must be carefully integrated.

So let’s indulge this cranberry crantasy, shall we? Here are some of my favorite cranberry-hued rooms to get your juices flowing (pun intended).


Here the bold cranberry wall makes a big impact, especially with it’s high gloss finish. It’s rich and seductive, but this hue can be a great choice because it’s not either too masculine or too feminine.


Cran adds quite a bit of drama to this spa retreat. The chandelier adds the right touch of glam it needs to balance the wall color and otherwise modern and sleek bathroom fixtures.


This red bathtub accented with red wallpaper is a more subtle approach, but an effective balance. Clean without overwhelming.


The office desk takes center stage as a cheery pop of color as the red tones are also reflected on the wall art to keep it all in balance.


I particularly love this cranberry lacquered dresser. Note the subtle soft blue accents that keep everything in balance against this bold statement piece. It works in perfect harmony and although it’s a very bold furniture choice, it doesn’t feel shocking, it feels bright, fun and maybe a bit unexpected which is the goal.


And speaking of blue, these lovely walls adds a perfect contrast to the red-toned curtain treatments and accessories.


So now that you’ve seen some of my favorite uses of cranberry from around the internet, here is how I would use cranberry in a living space. I give you, the Crantastic Bath…


First of all, I love the gold fixtures with this color! Ok, well duh, I did pick them. But they do add warmth and shine to enhance our fave seasonal hue. By using subtle accents like the red accented wallpaper and accessories, it compliments without taking over the space. You are left with a clean, chic powder room that is not the least bit short on glam, yet not too dramatic either. All about balance, right?

So go for it and gussy up your space… or keep the Crantasy alive and dream about it some more, I won’t judge. Happy Holidays!




White Christmas Style

There’s something magical about a white Christmas. Maybe it’s because I live in SoCal and the odds of having one are… well, zero. But, this year, I have been lusting after holiday decor that is primarily white. By that I’m not referring to the flocked trees we Californians are coerced into purchasing by opportunist lumberjacks at the local tree lot. Fun fact: flocked trees aren’t sold in other states because citizens of the snow need not see it in their living room all holiday season! So yes, for all you non-Californians, we are officially nuttier than fruitcake with our faux snow! I mean seriously, what the flock?

White goes with everything, obviously, which makes it an easy color choice. Christmas is always so traditionally red and green that for me, it’s a bit ho-hum and not enough ho-ho-ho. So in the spirit of white christmas style, here are some of my favorite living spaces from around the web that enliven the season in a new and inspiring way.

Cottage chic…

The whites are fresh, chic and dreamy, and the vintage vibe makes this room one cozy retreat. Simple yet elegant without being fussy.


Here is a similar white christmas dining scape that has rustic cottage style. This space has a very organic feel, using natural textures to bring the outside in while adding a subtle dose of metallic sparkle.


And this kitchen is slightly more elegant, yet still rustic and organic with that cozy cottage vibe with the beamed ceilings and natural cabinetry.

Parisian penthouse…


If your style is a bit more romantic and antique chic, then this tablescape is sure to delight! I love that they used ivy as garland and really let the grandeur of the space speak for itself. Beautiful!

Modern farmhouse…

Farmhouse Christmas style


Venturing into a completely different look is this modern farmhouse Christmas. It’s still mostly white with traditional brick fireplace, yet those pops of red make it look clean yet rich. The pillows feel a bit Scandianvian in design, and I love the large pom pom fringe. And ohhh, those white paper trees on the mantel, soooo purdy!

And speaking of Scandinavian, well, it wouldn’t be a white Christmas without these lovely contributions…


I don’t think I’ve made a paper chain since I was a kid, but what a welcome way to bring on the Christmas count down!Scandinavian-Christmas-Decorating-Ideas-01-1-Kindesign

I love the use of sheepskin as chair covers here.  It adds coziness to the otherwise minimalist vibe that is oh-so Nordic.

Modern Minimalist


Dreamy dangling white prisms, aka, modern snowflakes!

Boho-ho anyone?

Scandinavian Bohemian White Christmas

With a slightly more bohemian flair, this room adds a healthy dose of free spirited color against the white walls and flooring.


I love this twig tree! It nearly looks like driftwood, which would be a great addition to a coastal christmas home. This one is still bohemian with almost a modern cabin flair. Which brings me to….

Modern Cabin…


Now this is an A-frame I could live in while soaking up all that winter white.

And finally, some transitional takes on Christmas for you, chock full of mid century influences… my fave!


How about these gold prism ornaments made out of pipe cleaners? Get the clever and easy DIY tutorial for them, here.

I’m loving the white, black and gold glam Emily Henderson recently posted for TargetStyle. And that magical touch of teal really livens up the space. Just enough glitz and glow and still feels like coming home for christmas.



….And may all your Christmases be white….




Holiday Gift Guide

I look forward holiday gift buying like a turkey carcass looks forward to getting stuffed! That little inner Emily will get in my head sometimes and say “they probably already have one of those” or “is this too tacky/flimsy/fragrant?” It’s enough to make me bird brained! Fortunately, a friend shared with me a little gift giving guidance so I’m sharing it with you along with a hit list of my top holiday gifts. Here’s how to buy your gifts this season:

* Something you WANT…

* Something you NEED…

* Something to WEAR…

* Something to READ…

So organized and clever and… duh!! Brilliant. Check out my roundup. I sure hope Santa delivers this tall order!


WANT- coasters // art

NEED- Meet Bobi, the fabulous floor cleaner, for all that post holiday clean up //  mobile back up charger…. your phone won’t go deadski with this chic and handy accessory!

WEAR- Amethyst necklace // Hibiscus pompom scarf

READ- Sense & Sensibility by Jane Austen // Charlie Harper’s Animal Kingdom by Todd Oldham

These are my faves this season, but depending on your recipient you can change out the gifts according to their style yet still stick to the same theme. Fab, fab, fab is the new ho, ho, ho! For more of my holiday pics, please visit my Holiday Gift Guide board on Pinterest.

But before I get back to my bird basting, let’s discuss the infamous white elephant, shall we? Here’s my rule- you can never go wrong with anything that’s cat or bacon related! And since most of these gifts are either hilarious or hideous, or both, here is a list of awesome and amusing white elephant gifts.

Happy Holidays!



Fruit with Punch- Watermelon Style

Welcome to Round 2 of my Fruit with Punch series. If you are just joining in, you can find my take on pineapple style right here. This series is all about designing a room using fruit as inspiration and this week is all about watermelon style. A girl’s gotta flex her creative muscle every now and then, and since this is Design Dish, it’s only fitting we use food to inspire!

It has been hotter than Hades in So Cal. It seems like summer is not going to give it up to fall without someone getting burned… namely, me. Since I am in desperate need of a cool down, I’ve been craving some refreshing watermelon style! Sure, watermelon takes all of us back to childhood summers spent outdoors with it’s sticky sweetness dribbling down our chins. Watermelon is a summer staple and it’s blushing pink color is always appealing. But have you ever thought of using watermelon as style inspiration for your home? Yeah me neither! That’s why it was a perfect challenge for me and proof that you can take something from fruit to fab. No, I am not talking about a DIY door wreath. Gingham and country kitsch need not apply. With our theme in mind, I decided to push the envelope and go big, go bold, make it fun, feminine and glamtastic.

The obvious choice when you think watermelon is something pink and green. Something girly, fresh and not the slightest bit short on fun…. image001 … like this bike perhaps? Methinks all this image is missing is some pigtailed girls with ice cream cones! Or maybe a mama with a foo-foo drink?? Ok, I’ll split the difference!

This is my literal interpretation of what a watermelon color palette could look like…


…and this room would be the result. Watermelon chic in the form of an airstream living space. image002While I do love tiny houses and all things vintage, this is on the extreme. So the challenge is to find a happy medium. Something that pays tribute to this color palette without feeling theme-y. You can take a theme as inspiration, but definitely push the envelope by doing something unexpected. I think we’re ripe for some boundary testing… who’s ready?

C’mon ladies, don’t play with your food. This is a design challenge, not Naked Chef! Back to work, we have a room to assemble…. image003Here are two inspired looks that watermelon style could look like if this fruit took a seat in your space this summer…. emily-lamarque-design-studio-watermelon-style1 The color palette stays true to the watermelon with black accents taken as inspiration from the seeds. These accents can quickly update and pay homage to your home or wardrobe with true summer glam style. And this “I Carried A Watermelon” sign could very well put Baby in a corner! But what if you are a little swankier, more daring and seeking a full fledge fruit-over? Well, here ya go…. ((drumroll))…. Design Dish is proud to introduce to you, a new trend in fruit inspired design. Introducing…. emily-lamarque-design-studio-watermelon-swank Here we’re using colors derived from watermelon, not the literal fruit, yet the color palette pays homage to our magnificent melon! Using bold graphics and vibrant colored accessories with a pop of pizzaz, you can give your room and instant update with this chic look, which is feminine yet still refined. The lighting fixture reminds me of dripping watermelon seeds.  If you can appreciate the notion of creative storytelling with art, you can see how home decor pieces can also serve a similar purpose. All art forms have something to say, it’s up to us to discover and define their meaning on a personal level. This is where the magic comes in; when you spot something in a room that evokes a mood, an experience, something from nature, or something that makes you stop and think in general, this is what it means to design! So let those walls talk!!

Now that fall is arriving, stay tuned as I’ll be putting together more fruit with punch design inspiration, featuring the hautest of the harvest! For now, I bid you and summer adieu with this tasty boozy beverage featuring our new fruity fave! Click the image for the recipe.





Hawaiian Style- The NewMu

Aloha friends! I’m taking a jolly holiday from Design Dish as I escape to the tropical island of Hawaii. If you’re looking to see what I’m taking on my trip, here is a great recap from my Mexico trip on what’s in my beach bag. This time however, since I had all things Hawaiian on the brain, I started thinking about traditional muumuus and whatever happened to them. Are they still beloved enough by the senior crowd to stay on the shelves of every tourist stop on the island? Perhaps. But then I came across this awesome update from Show Me Your MuMu…. yes, that is the name of this awesome site!

Now this is something I could rock. So note to tourism stores in Hawaii- here ya go… the NewMu

The NewMu

Don’t worry, I will be sharing much more eye candy via Instagram while I’m away. Please follow me @emilylamarquedesign for everything from gorgeous Hawaiian sunsets to my pre-schooler shoving mass quantities of macadamia nuts in his mouth like a squirrel.

Until then, it’s only fitting I leave you with a heart shaped blow hole sending kisses all the way from the islands. Aloha, mahalo and Happy Labor Day!

Heart Shaped Rock-900x900


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