Million Dollar Decorating

Paloma-Contreras-Feature-ImageI recently had the opportunity to speak with James Swan when he interviewed me for his wonderful podcast, Million Dollar Decorating. It was so fun chatting about design, discussing the beginning and evolution of my blog, as well as my design business and philosophy. If you’ve ever wondered how La Dolce Vita came to be what it is today, nine years after its inception, or have ever been curious about what inspires me as a designer, I hope you’ll listen to my Million Dollar Decorating interview. After getting to interview so many inspiring people for my series, The Style Files over the years, it is fun to have the tables turned and be the one answering the questions this time around.

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Dissecting the Details: Bunny Williams

Hello everyone! Nancy of Marcus Design blog here today, bringing you an installment of the Dissecting the Details series. We are delving in to the work of one designer, and deconstructing how they create spaces that sing. Celebrated tastemaker & interior designer Bunny Williams does just that, and she is a seasoned professional at creating a lust-worthy library. Let’s break down 4 key elements Bunny uses when designing these reading rooms.
Nothing says reading nook more than a rich, masculine color palette. Whether dark tones on the walls, or deep wood furnishings, it’s these details that create a library feel in Bunny’s designs. She often adds a high gloss or lacquer finish to elevate the space.
Every space pictured here contains ample reading light – via scones, table & desk lamps, bookcase lamps, and even a candle or two! And often the fixtures are in a gold finish, which is perfect for creating that warmth and glow in the room. Bunny herself states that, “every room should have some gold in it. It reflects light, and to me it’s not formal – to me it’s happy.”
Forget Wikipedia, in these libraries it’s all about the time-honored encyclopedia! You will find matching volumes in each of these spaces, and it really adds a touch of days gone by. I love the scholastic appearance of sets of encyclopedia’s or similar volumes, so much so that I’ve begun to hunt for the perfect set on eBay. You could also create the look with fabric or paper covered books.
Perhaps my favorite on this list, I adore how Bunny creates reading rooms with many functions. First a dining room turned guest bed, or perhaps a home office fully stocked with bookshelves:
Or how about the kitchen? Clearly Bunny thinks there is a place for piles of books no matter what the rooms main function is. And I think you will agree that the library-look adds so much character to each of these rooms.

So there you have it, 4 elements Bunny Williams utilizes to create the perfect library. To see more from her extensive portfolio hop over here, and follow Bunny Williams Home on instagram here. Au revoir, until next time!


The Townhouse


If you work in the design trade, have hired a design professional for a project, or have taken on a project yourself, you know that good design takes time and that it is all about the details. In a time when TV shows on a particular network are designed for entertainment rather than for actual good design and perpetuate a falsehood that design of quality can be fast and inexpensive, it is refreshing to see a film expressing the truth, which is the exact opposite. It is not possible to renovate an entire house in three weeks for $20,000. It just isn’t. As we are in the midst of our move to our new home, I keep having to remind myself to be patient about the renovations we will be doing over time. Of course, I would love for it to have all been done yesterday, but as a designer, I know that designing my home and getting it just the way I envision it will take time. Rushing things will only attract problems.


Have you heard about the wonderful short film, The Townhouse? It showcases the renovation of an exquisite turn of the century townhouse in Manhattan. The renovation took several years, but the final result is stunning and I am sure the owners must have felt it was worth the wait. The design team consisted of interior designer Sarah Magness of Magness Design, architect Brian E. Boyle, and Silver Lining Interiors for the construction.


“On a beautiful tree-lined Upper East Side block, rests the stunning row of beaux-arts brownstones built in the early 1900s, in an area originally designed for the well-established and cultured New Yorkers (Andrew Carnegie and Vanderbilts lived nearby). The current owners purchased the property with plans for a complete renovation and restoration of the facade, including the addition of the original designed stoop that was sadly demolished in the 50’s. In 2011, schematic design started with all areas surveyed and designed with the utmost care and detail. The conversion back to a single family home gave way for new ideas and modern amenities while maintaining the historical character. The most prominent interior feature is the central elliptical stair with dome skylight. Schematic design to post-construction was four years.”


The film is only 10 minutes long and is definitely worth watching. It’s funny– clients always want things to happen so quickly and I find myself guilty of the same. The Townhouse has reminded me that some things are definitely worth the wait.

Townhouse from Build Pictures on Vimeo.

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{Photography Courtesy of Magness Design}

In Case You Missed It: LDV’s Guide to the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale


Nordstrom’s eagerly anticipated annual Anniversary Sale has just begun! This is one of the best sales of the year because instead of discounting merchandise at the end of the season, you get to scoop up new fall and winter items at great prices. Could this be where the term “Christmas in July” comes from?

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I’ve scoured the sale and have pulled together what I think are the best items in the sale. Nearly $300 off Stuart Weitzman boots? Yes, please! Chic Tibi tops for $100 off? Sign me up! More than $400 off a stylish Phillip Lim handbag and over $100 off Rag and Bone Booties? There is no better time to buy. Seriously, if you’ve been thinking about purchasing some of these investment pieces, you can save hundreds by buying during the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale, but I have also included some more affordable picks like a great pair of lace-up flats for less than $60 and one of my go-to hostess gifts, an Antica Farmacista Fragrance Diffuser for more than $20 off the regular price! The sale is on until August 8th, but if you see something you like, act fast because at these prices, everything is flying!




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