design on the go ::

another of my summer favorites is traveling!  experiencing the new sites, local restaurants, and unique flair of each city makes for not only a great trip, but also a lasting memory!  my family’s weekend trip to overland park, k.s. was no different … with one exception that they’ve learned to enjoy over the years.  while many travelers head for home with a token of their time in another city, my take-homes tend to be of a different variety … a bolt of fabric here, a roll of mulberry paper there {to later be framed and made into wall art}, perhaps a piece of furniture small enough to fit amid the suitcases.  i was happy to get the chance to stop into a new-to-me place on my recent travels …

home decorators collection was filled with wonderful {and reasonably priced} home decor finds!  i drooled over a few …

{emma studio tufted sofa} … i nearly ordered this one for my own home!

{the edwin mirror} … this may be the perfect finishing touch for a client’s great room!

… and came home with a few other treasures like these luxurious towels in grant gray!

also this little tribeka cotton jar!

you can find all of these beautiful home decor pieces {and much, much more} online at!  so friends, what is your favorite home decor item found on your travels?


celebrate summer!!! ::

summer is certainly in the air, and to me that means three things … relaxing with a glass of icy cold lemonade, time spent on the boat with family and friends, and summer entertaining!  with an outdoor party in the works, i turned to one of my favorite sources for inspiration – pinterest!

{source :: cococozy via pinterest}

{source :: via pinterest}

{source :: via pinterest}

{source :: via pinterest}

and one of my absolute favorite ways to entertain – personalize the party!  handmade decor helps guests to feel especially welcomed and special, and makes the party even more memorable … i love the yellow accents on these party straws and wrapped silverware!

{source :: via pinterest}

what are your favorite tips for summer entertaining???  i’d love to hear … and maybe they’ll find their way into my upcoming summer party!

story of a rusty metal cart ::

creative or not, this is absolutely something you can do!  check out my step by step pix as someone’s castaway was transformed into an adorable shelf for a powder bath!  last week i shared with you a photo of a little metal cart that i picked up on a recent 45 minute thrifting spree …

it was rusty and worn, but for $3 how could i go wrong?  my first step was to clean up this little cart before giving it a new life!  off came the dirty old caster wheels, then soap and water – i was amazed how this steel pad removed all of the surface rust!

next, i used a piece of sand paper to lightly rough up the surface for the primer to adhere …

then two coats of primer …

this next step was my least favorite of the whole process, because of course i wanted instant results with this little shelf – or as instant as possible when you’re working with spray paint!  i had to wait 48 hours for the primer to dry before applying the color … as impatient as i was for the final result, i waited … and waited.  then i sprayed two coats of a pretty rustoleum brand metallic vintage copper color paint and a clear gloss coat.  and finally, my little shelf was ready for it’s new use!

my total investment in this shelf was less than $20 including the original rusty cart, two cans of vintage copper spray paint, one can of primer, and one can of crystal clear enamel.  a huge savings from the $300 pottery barn bathroom cabinet that i’ve been eyeing for months!  do you recognize the wooden / metal box on the top shelf?  you guessed it … it was another find from that same thrifting trip and works perfectly to hold lotions or any other needed items in this power bath!  so tell me, what thrifting finds have you transformed and given a new life??



gallery wall love ::

they’re intimidating … overwhelming … often scary or even neglected!  you know just what i’m talking about – big, blank walls, walls in a room with a sloped ceiling, or walls in an oddly shaped space.  what can you do to transform these plain jane spaces into places of beauty in your home?  here’s the solution … turn them into galleries!


{source :: via pinterest}

all it takes is a little creativity, and often times even a few frames you already have around the house, to create a stunning focal point in your home.


 {source :: nicole odette designs – custom project}

use frames you already have {or go thrifting to discover some really unique finds} and fill with your favorite composition of photos, fabrics, or nothing at all, for a work of art right in your home!


{source ::}


{source :: via pinterest}

they can be created in a matter of minutes, can fit into the decor of any room, can work within whatever budget you may have, can tell the story of your family or feature things you treasure … gallery walls are the answer to a major design dilemma!


{source :: via pinterest}

add a little more design to your corner of the world today!

confessions of a “decoraholic” ::

i have a confession to share … actually, it’s a bit of an obsession!  i’m sure there are others of you out there with this same addiction, and it tends to show its face even more this time of year.  it all begins with a small sign, often homemade and hard to read … street corner after street corner they pop up each spring.  no matter the place {yard sale, garage sale, thrift shop}, there’s a soft spot in my heart for the neglected accessory or tossed aside shelf.  i can envision the potential that each formerly loved item has, perhaps with a bit of elbow grease and paint!

and so the weekend hunt began …

my first find was this darling set of counter height stools … imagine them with a hammered silver finish on the seats and metallic dark bronze legs.  perfect next to the modern ivory leather / espresso wood kitchen stools seated at my table!  these have already been sanded and are on their way to a drastic makeover!  check in later this week for the reveal!

my next score was this beautiful basket!  i usually shy away from baskets at thrift sales, but this one couldn’t be passed up!  it’s large size and sturdy wire frame {and $5 price tag} made it an ideal candidate for storage by the front door!  just a quick clean up needed and it was ready to use … perfect to store outdoor accent pillows when not in use!

my lucky streak could have ended there and i would have been perfectly happy, but no … more thrifty luck was to be had!  i’ve been in search of a small cabinet to be used in a bathroom for months.  the best option i found was $300, but still not just right.  so when i ran across this little metal cart, i kept walking …

… all the way to the car, and then i turned around and went back.  this little guy has already been sanded and primed.  picture it in a metallic copper with art glass on the top shelf and a monogrammed hand towel hanging from one of the sides!  yep, that’s the plan … to be finished {and photos posted} later this week!

my 45 minute spree ended with the find of a few darling accessories.  their new homes are uncertain, but i’m sure they’ll be incorporated into a great design soon!  thanks for stopping by!

two for tuesday ::

my plan for today’s blog was to talk about how important budget is to the completion of a room {part 3 of our design direction series} … but you know that already, right?  so here’s the quick version :: have a list of what is needed to finish the room and a budget range that you’d like to stay within when you go shopping.  put more of your budget into the larger pieces that you intend to keep for a period of time {for instance, don’t put a smaller percentage of your budget into a new chair that you hope lasts for 10 years, while placing a larger part of your budget into trendy accessories that will go out of style in 2}.  take a little common sense with you, along with your inspiration board and floor plan when you go shopping, and you’re on your way to a completed room!

{kid friendly family room by nicole odette designs}

and since i promised two parts to today’s post, i wanted to give you a little glimpse of what’s been on my mind lately.  the beautiful sunshine and warm breezes that we’ve had lately lead me to think of one thing … outdoor entertaining!  how better to entertain than by bringing the indoors out with color, color, color!

{outdoor cushions from the nicole odette designs studio}

{indoor cushions from the nicole odette designs studio – but why not take them outdoors?}

{more outdoor cushions from nicole odette designs studio}

tell me, what are your favorite “go to” tips for entertaining outdoors?  i have an outdoor get together on the calendar and would love to hear your ideas for a great evening outside!  have a lovely day!


design direction 2 {the floor plan} ::

i learned my first lesson of blogging … don’t plan to blog on the weekends!  with the chaos of kids and family activities, i can’t explain to my fam why i’m sitting at the computer when they’re all ready to run out the door!  but join me each weekday and i’ll be sure to fill you with the inspiration you’ll need to bring better design to your corner of the world!

so back to our little “series” on design direction.  once you have your design inspiration board {or file folder of ideas}, it’s time to decide how to arrange the pieces you would like into your room, also known as a floor plan.  remember that this stage may require a bit of editing as well – for example, you may want to add another chair or side table in the room but find you’re restricted by the space available.  what you’ll need for this part of the job :: a tape measure, pencil, graph paper {or a really cool app if you’re a techie}.  measure the length and width of your room and draw a box that represents the room on your graph paper.  an easy rule is 1 box on the graph paper = 1 foot.  be sure to make note of the position of the windows, doorways, and any other architectural elements like a fireplace or built in shelving.


then cut shapes to scale that represent your furniture {for example, if your chair is 36″ wide x 36″ deep, you’ll cut the “chair” 3 blocks of the graph paper by 3 blocks.  position them in the room to create a conversational area with the sofa(s), side chairs, and tables.  remember to leave space for walkways between rooms {at least 3′ but preferable 4′ or more}, and space around the furniture so your family and guests feel that the space is welcoming and relaxing.


next, move the pieces you have to the places you think they’d work best.  take a look at the room to determine whether any additional seating or table space is needed.  are their any seats in the room that cannot easily access a table {coffee table or side table} on which they can set a drink?  is the furniture balanced in the room {are all the bulky pieces on one side and the other side of the room too open – this usually won’t provide the finished feel you are striving for}.  take a look at the “shopping list” you created in step 1 – are those items still needed to complete the room?  is the color and pattern balanced nicely throughout the space?


once you have the existing pieces in the places that work best, it’s time to shop … but not until you first establish a budget for the completed room!  tips on that tomorrow!