The Year in Review

I love a good year in review.  These are the Carrie's Design Musings top posts from 2017 in case you missed them or are interested in seeing them again.  What is most interesting is... many of the most popular posts have something to do with mindfulness.  This is a conversation I have been spending some time talking about this year.  What energy, literally and figuratively, are we dwelling in?  It confirms that my new found interest is resonating with you as well.  I am happy that is the case. Thank you.

A Clean Slate ~ I am thrilled this story's popularity allowed me to republish it because it's a point I could talk about again and again.

 Energetically Speaking  ~ My love of crystals and talk of energy will certainly continue into 2018

Pied-a-Teardown Addendum ~ This story brought with it a lot of attention.  Emmy Rossum has moved on, but her actions will live on in infamy

Incorporating Antiques ~ is always a good idea

An "I Can Do It" Attitude ~ my girlfriend will be quite pleased she made it into the top posts story.  It's a tale as old as time.  We can do anything if we set our mind to it!

Cube Formula ~ This story had legs. I was out and about talking to  a woman I had never met before.  I was telling her I was obsessed with decorative ice cubes.  She said, that's funny, I just read a blog post about that.  Guess who's blog she read?  We screamed in unison.

A Neutra in the Neighborhood ~ I loved that it was a little surprise that I did not even know existed in my hood, Oh I could be so happy here!

The Ibu Movement ~ Shopping for fabulous crafts by talented women from around the world coupled with philanthropy is a win/win always.  Plus, meeting Ali McGraw and hearing her speak passionately about her ambassadorship was thrilling.

The Language of Flowers in Feng Shui ~ this was a blog post and a Facebook Live discussion. People are passionate about their flowers and how to display (or not display) them!

I am eternally grateful for your readership.  May we continue together in 2018!  Good things are

Lit Up

Have yourself a merry little Christmas  ~ sparkle on



Walking a Tight Rope

  We often say interior design is a game of smoke and mirrors.  We don't necessarily need to share with our clients what goes on behind the scenes, the chaos and mayhem, that inevitably ensures on the road to creating a beautiful, functional environment for them.  Things come in wrong, there are issues with contractors, a myriad of problems can and do occur from time to time.  We fix them! We're fixers.  I always have a plan B.  A good designer is a good listener.  Clients should feel assured "we have got this" and things are moving along seamlessly.  All that matters is the beautiful outcome, not the road to the reveal.  Unless we become friends with our clients, like any professional, we don't necessarily open up about our personal lives.  We have a job to do and we do it, with passion and pride.

Alternatively, as a life coach, everything is about authenticity, transparency and honesty.  You have to live it to give it is a phrase used often.  It makes you an authority of sorts.  If I have worked through something myself, I am in a place to help others going through the same or a similar scenario.  There are lessons in the mess.  Sharing your story may help someone else.  The intention is to be of service and hold space for someone struggling.

 With that in mind ~  I have felt like I have been walking a tight rope over the past many months.  On one hand I have been trying to juggle all the responsibilities of a designer, blogger, coach and now secretary for my husband's new business endeavor with the fact that I don't feel well!  I haven't felt well for more than a year.  I haven't consciously been hiding it but I haven't been talking about it either.  Chronic pain has kept me from some of my normal activities and has made me feel isolated and depressed.  There, I said it and I can't fix it (thus far) or control it.  I have been to as many doctors as I have fingers.  I have been poked and prodded,  I have been made to feel crazy and I have also felt heard but still... no answers.

I tell you this now because "I'm tired."  I'm tired of trying to look like I am keeping it all together when I feel like I am falling apart.  I must remind myself to be kinder, to be gentler with myself.  Not everything is getting done and that it is OK.  Self care is more important than ever when you are dealing with a situation such as health.  Our minds create a lot of judgments around pain and that fuels anxiety and fatigue.  Thoughts can get so big and scary.  So, like with anything, you have to break them down into bite size thoughts or take action in baby steps.  That way the overwhelm is kept at bay.  We can be in pain but we don't have to suffer.  That is a BIG statement and one that is not easily achieved.  To be mindful around any chronic condition is to be aware.  Be aware of your thoughts and  be aware of patterns that surface.  

One of the things I do is, ask myself, "what would my future self say to me looking back on this?" The voice inside my head says, "this too shall pass" and I feel better.  Feeling empowered and educated is much more productive and gratifying than feeling depressed and anxiety ridden.

 I think instead of suffering in silence I'll be more vocal because maybe someone else is going through the same thing. 

FYI ~ it feels scary to put this out there, but I am doing it anyway, then I am going to coach myself on what the scary feeling is all about.  It never ends : )



The Art of Travel

Designs through the ages. 

From 1854 to the present day, Louis Vuitton, his son and grandson, and now LVMH, have ensured the success of this iconic company who have based their  principals on French style and the importance that the beauty of an object be equal to its functionality and mobility.  The trunks above represent 4 generations of the LV style.  The LV monogram was created as a way to pay tribute to Louis Vuitton in 1896, four years after his death. 

I made a point to see the Louis Vuitton exhibit Volez Voguez Voy√°gez, meaning fly, sail, travel.  It does not disappoint!  It is the recreation of the exhibit I had read so much about at the Grand Palais in Paris.  The collection is vast, with many a rare piece.  The set design is spectacular thanks to Robert Carsen, who brings to life the feeling of being in a beautiful train car or being enveloped in rich, deep suede.  The exhibition is curated by Olivier Saillard.  The retrospective takes you on a beautiful journey through time.  Historic pieces combined with modern styles tell a complete story of the house of  Vuitton.

Wood was very important to the integrity of a trunk, and it all began with trunks.  The trunks had to be sturdy and light weight.  The contents must be protected from moisture.  Very dry wood, rubber linings, zinc and copper plates, and an oiled canvas exterior with their patented locking system ensured practicality as well as elegance.  A variety of woods was and is still used in the creation of each trunk.

 There are trunks for hats, trunks for shoes, trunks for linens, a writing trunk, a traveling bar trunk. You name it ~ there is a trunk for it, or there can be.  From their humble beginnings, there was a canvas clad vessel for almost anything!

Shoe Trunk

Linen trunk with ironing board

The advent of travel whether by plane, train, ship or automobile really allowed the company to flourish, manufacturing any, and I mean any, luggage necessary to carry accoutrements around the corner or around the world.  Special or custom orders still hold a special place in the Vuitton program.

Chauffeur's  Kit Case

The fold out bed trunk belonging to Gaston-Louis, the grandson, demonstrates almost anything is possible and portable.

Assorted Monogramed Trunks and Suitcases, 1 holds a bed.

The fashionable woman held a Morocco leather bag in her arms.  This was the prelude to the soft handbag . It often carried lotions, potions, gloves and a hankerchief.

Picnic Trunk

Tea Trunk

Traveling by rail was a more formal proposition.  The inclusion of clothing which came later helped give the exhibition a complete picture of the house of Louis Vuitton.

A Bottles Case

Cane and Shoe Shine Trunks. The monogramed suitcase was owned by Christian Dior

This clothing trunk was made for Paul Poiret.

Top Hat Case

Typewriter and Book Trunk

Each piece of luggage or trunk was made to exacting measurements depending on what it was to hold.

Make up and Hair Care Case

The company prided themselves on their customization program.  Celebrities, royalty and the very wealthy all had their trunks customized.  A file was created for everyone from Audrey Hepburn to Queen Noor.

Lauren Bacall owned

Elizabeth Taylor owned

Traveling with musical instruments?  No problem, there's a case for that.

If you haven't been to the exhibit it is worth the trip, but you had better hurry as it closes January 7th.  It can be an interactive experience if you download the app.  Included are filters for your camera and an audio.
And we know the trunks are still highly prized today but I doubt the Vuitton's imagined they would become hot in the home decor world.


                                                                                                  ~ Louis Vuitton Malletier

                      I think you would be proud of your legacy Mr. Vuitton

Holiday Gift List


I wanted to weigh in on some of my favorite gift giving (and getting) ideas this holiday season.  Some items may be a little more indulgent than others but
  the holidays are a time to be indulgent, right?  If not now, when?

Coffee table books are a great way to inspire, educate, and enthrall.  I think it also says "I get you" when you select a topic that you know the giftee will appreciate.


I went out on a limb with this one. I got Gucci on my mind, but why not ~ 


There seems to be a renewed interest in game playing.  I like a gift that gets shared. 

Moma backgammon set


Home fragrances can help change the mood.  It adds depth and character to a home much like a  fashion accessory in your wardrobe.

Cuteness overload for a party atmosphere.  These little colorful push up cake pops send me over the rainbow.   They're not just for kids, mom's love them too.


For the candles and fires and hearts of loved ones ~ light that fire


I am loving anything Irene Neuwirth right now.


I like Tom Ford's confidence and he does make a fabulous product.  If you have not tried his make up; do.


I did a blog post on these little confections here.  I love them!  Send your message whimsically and deliciously, in chocolate .

Maggie Louise Coinfections

Joe set out to design not just a product, but a ritual.  In collaboration with Neal Feay studio, this wine chiller inspired by wind patterns of cold fronts from around the globe keep your wine cold longer.  A winner!

Joe Doucet Wine Chillers

Come sweet slumber and let me dream of diamonds and rubies and emeralds. Brilliant.  Sharing the gift of good sleep reaps rewards far beyond the hectic holiday season.

Silk Sleep Mask

Bluetooth speakers should be heard not seen but if you must see them, why can't they seamlessly fit into your decor?

Bang and Olufsen

I have gifted these of late.  I love everything about these wine gems.  They keep wine cold without diluting your drink.  The crystals have energetic properties and they couldn't be prettier!

Anna New York Wine cooler cubes

You see where this list went (without me even realizing it), I touched on our senesces ~ a candle, some perfume, chilled wines, a good book, possibly a bath, soothing music, something sweet and a good night's sleep.

If loving these is wrong....I don't want to be right!