8 Tips for Designing Your Family Room and October in NYC

I've been enjoying myself in Manhattan (Howard is working and I am not :).  Annie from Most Lovely Things and I had a petit déjeuner at Bel Ami (we connected as bloggers when she lived in Orange County and now she has a cool house in Connecticut).
Then we strolled through the exquisite Ralph Lauren showrooms on the Upper East Side.
And on to the Botonical Gardens in the Bronx...and the weather could not have been better!
 Annie dropped me off at the train station and within minutes I was back in Grand Central Station and strolling through Saks Fifth Avenue.

Recently, I completed two custom family room e-designs for families in Pennsylvania and Texas.  Here's what you can use for your decorating plan:
  • Do a floor plan on grid paper to see how your furniture will fit.  Have about 36" for walkways and about 18" to your coffee table. 
  • Start with an inspiration piece like artwork or a rug or fabric (in these two family rooms the first one used a rug the homeowner wanted to buy and the second used an existing rug)
  • Place the furniture in a conversational grouping and mix it up so that it's not all matching.
  • Declutter all your accessories and place in one area.  Then shop from what you own.  When it looks just right, stop and store or giveaway the rest.
  • Fill in with something fresh like plants, flowers or a tree.
  • Choose colors or neutrals that you like (check out your closet)
  • Create a focal point from where you stand when you enter the room.
  • I always like to throw in a luxurious cashmere throw...a gift to yourself.  And remember the importance of pretty new pillows!

Here is the floor plan for the mood board above.  Denise has a two story stone fireplace.
I spied the artwork from photo of her hallway and asked her to try it on her previously bare mantel.  Sometimes is just takes another pair of eyes (ask a friend's help).  Now she has a focal point.
Her sofas and chairs were existing.

This Eva rug from Pottery Barn is a good deal on sale right now--and Denise needed a 10' x 14'!  

In this design, Rose Ann has a local carpenter who will build her media center.  She bought ivory linen curtains with a navy border and wanted to introduce more color.  Again, her colorful rug was the starting point.

We can all use a reminder to be 
kinder in everyday situations...
Nancy's post did just that for me 
(be prepared to get teary-eyed).

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Contact me at madamepickett@gmail.com 
to inquire about making your home a fresh reflection of you.

Thanks for visiting!


  1. Mary Ann these family rooms have come to life thanks to you!!
    Your tips are spot on for refreshing a room as well!

    The Arts by Karena
    Artist Lee Bowers

  2. i'm pinning your tips asap! I gasped out loud when I saw the last room design board. its Friday and i'm in love...there isn't one thing I don't love on that board. and Mary Ann...you are such a love to link to my post about kindness. that too made me gasp this morning :) you are the epitome of kindness my friend. insert the blowing kiss emoji here :)

    1. Wish I had your talent for writing, Nancy.

  3. Hi Mary Ann-I love your designs as always! and that Pottery Barn rug is a steal!-wish I needed one :)
    About that link…oh my gosh! what a beautiful story. You were right about the tears. we've been in our house for about 12 years now-much longer than we ever expected, but I have to say, we've made some incredible neighbor friends as a result. There's definitely something to be said for staying in a house long enough to cultivate relationships that are so special. Thanks for sharing!

    1. That is really what I miss most about moving, Gillian.

  4. Texas?!! Noting to know if I know them!!! What city?

    1. Also, Joni, Nancy the blogger who wrote the kindness post is from Houston--you two should meet. I love you both.

  5. How fun to celebrate your birthday in NYC!! Looks like you are having a wonderful time doing lots of great sightseeing and shopping! Love your "designing a family room" tips, very helpful to get people started. I need to put those tips to work on my upstairs guest room!
    Happy day after your birthday! xoxo Gail

    1. Hope we can get together next time I drive through LA, Gail!

  6. Mary Ann!
    I loved every minute of our day! Thank you! I just read Nancy's post....I cried! Miss you already! Safe travels back to the west coast.

  7. Great tips Maryann...both rooms look so good! Sounds like you had a wonderful trip!

  8. You' ve picked some of my favorite fabrics and colors and I cant wait to see this reveal!

  9. Cindy of Rough Luxe just suggested I pop by. So glad she did!

    Now, much as I love love love NYC any time of year, and those macarons are very distracting... Do tell... The image with the black and white artworks and tbe corner of legs with booties... Are those legs and booties part of a person or a sculpture?

    As one who adores fine chaussures, i do in fact have high heel sculptures chez moi...

    D. A.
    (Daily Plate of Crazy)

  10. As aself taught decorator only for my ,any homes over 3 decades, I always apprecicate advice shared by pros! Thanks for doingthat. Learn something new all the time like the reminder to use art worl ifor inspiration in planning. I usually plan then go through our art to chose!

  11. Happy belated birthday. I'm a Libra, too. A wonderful month for a birthday I've always said. I keep coming back to the photographs. I am smitten by the top one of Bel Ami. I kept asking myself what about that do I love, then I started laughing: I have many similar elements in my new kitchen! Talk about open your eyes!!! When my mini Schnauzer was aging if he came downstairs and food wasn't in his bowl, he'd dash upstairs and come down again to "see" that the food was really in the bowl. It's starting to feel that way. A fresh pair of eyes is always a good thing.
    And regarding Nancy's post, kindness is life affirming. Here's to white pumpkins!

  12. You are so good at those design inspiration boards....I suck. Love them both!


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