'Some Like It Hot' Inspired Tropical Bedroom

Miami interior designer Leta Austin Foster established Leta Austin Foster and Associates more than thirty years ago with two objectives in mind. The first being that one job should never look like another, and the second being that attention to detail should be her trademark. In order to guarantee her first objective she insists that every design project begins with the client’s vision. The ideas of the client  engender a working collaboration, so that the finished product is a distinct reflection of themselves rather than a mere showcase. Such a process  has lead her into some unexpected directions, such as reconstructing a baroque Italian villa, complete with grotto, on an empty Texas hillside. Her touch for modern, traditional, French and English decors is evident throughout her designs. Take a look below at her tropical bedroom design from the 2011 DCOTA Designer Show House and what she had to say about the project!

“Our movie was ‘Some Like It Hot’. We were not actually trying to do a room based on that movie, (Most of it took place in a Pullman train Car) but rather the feeling of Miami back before the days of high rises and air conditioning. Thus the filmy white curtains and the ‘woven raffia’ looking design style in the fabric and the wallpaper (petite zigzag) from China seas. We used lots of vintage rattan and an iron bed with cool white linens. The prints on the walls are 1940’s grant wood lithographs from the series A Day on the Farm. Their orange backgrounds made great juxtaposition to all the blues in the room.”

Palm Beach Tropical Bedroom Design By Leta Austin Foster and Associates

This beautiful wrought iron bed is accented by cool white linens

Note the rattan chair and white China Seas fabric

All furnishings from Jerry Pair, John Rosselli and Objects in The Loft (West Palm Beach)

Palm Beach Tropical Bedroom Design By Leta Austin Foster and Associates

This very casual and inviting siting room is defined by it's tropical themed decor.

Blue and white flows throughout the bedroom design for an airy feel.

If you are short on tropical design ideas, or just want to check out more of Leta’s work, then don’t forget to check us out here!

Modern Kitchen Remodel in Tustin, California

Since 2007, brothers Edan and Aviran Bar-Lev of Do it Right Remodeling have extraordinary interior design ideas as well as exterior decorating ideas.  These brothers are known for making state of the art kitchens and bathrooms, quality renovations, resort-like outdoor spaces, stunning additions with attention to detail, an honest approach and impeccable results.

Edan and Aviran have also managed to establish close friendships with their clients by being very responsive and reliable from start to finish. Their loyalty and commitment comes from designing their clients every need, offering creative ideas and solutions, executing flawless outcomes and by going above and beyond expectations.

They have a true passion for design and for satisfying their client. They are  innovative and motivated.

Below are some of the marvelous work they’ve created from their Costeau Project and here is what they have to say about it!

Tustin Modern Kitchen Design by Do It Right Remodeling

Looking great in photos and actually living in the home are two completely different things. Being contractors and designers, we try to make our designs as functional, maintenance-free, and cost-effective as possible. The inspirations behind every one of our projects always begin in getting to know the client. We learn as much as we can about their lifestyle and design tastes. When you mix those details with an extremely friendly and liberating client, a beautiful outcome is guaranteed. Our goal was to create a modern yet warm environment that was still functional and livable.

By removing the old U-shaped peninsula kitchen design, the flow of traffic from either children running around or hungry guests trying to peak at “what’s cooking” in kitchen has changed from stressful and annoying to welcoming and pleasant. Being a family that enjoys entertaining we also installed ceiling speakers throughout the house with an in-wall IPod docking station.

The integrated refrigerator drawers on the other side of the island allow the girls to access drinks and snacks without the constant opening (and sometimes forgetting to close ) the large refrigerator doors. The microwave drawer, having been installed in the island as well, frees up the counter space where the typical microwave lives and eliminates any spills of food or breakage of dinnerware due to its lower location and accessibility for the girls. We used two different colors of Caesarstone to hide the areas where cooking was involved and illuminate the areas where homework would be done.

Most importantly, our clients are happy with the project and absolutely love their home. It warms our hearts when my brother and I stop by the house to say hello occasionally and we see the three girls doing their homework on the kitchen island while their parents are preparing dinner. We suppose that a contemporary and photo-worthy home and kitchen can be enjoyable to look at and live in after all.

The best part is that their clients are happy with the project and love their home! To view more from Do It Right Remodelling, visit their other albums here.

Contemporary Waterfront Residence With Panoramic Lake View

Talented Austin Architect J.C. Schmeil and his team at Merzbau Design Collective bring us today’s daily shuffle. When their clients, a couple with young children, approached the team about the project, they were living in a cottage at the top of a ¾-acre lakefront lot.  They wanted to build a new home at the bottom of the property near the existing pool, and retain the cottage for his mother to live in. What a great family!  Due to the intricate topography of the site, the design of the new residence resulted from the bisection of the sloping land with a 14’ high concrete retaining wall. This way, the original cottage was able to retain its views of the lake, while providing a procession to the new house below that embraces the intricate topography of the site. Talk about architectural mastermind!

Much to our surprise, the clients were the ones to contract the project and did much of the work themselves over the 3-year construction process. The straightforward, rectilinear plan you see below was dictated by budget, and many details were worked out on site. Materials including scrap steel sections, waste concrete blocks, and structural decking were specified and sourced for economical construction; structural insulated panels and steel grating were internet finds. All were combined for the perfect look of their beautiful home. Today, the clients enjoy introducing visitors to their “Craig’s List House,” and are justifiably proud of the home they have built on the lake.

If you’re wondering more about the concrete retaining wall, it appears as interior finish on the ground floor, registering the passage of the day through a constant play of light and shadow; its ponderous form stands in stark contrast to the glazed wall opposite it, increasing one’s awareness of the building’s place in the landscape.

Such artful design could not have been completed by any other than Principal J.C. Schmeil who spent his itinerant youth as a well-rounded kid in Geneva, Stockholmd, Abidjan, and Tokyo. Upon graduating from the American School in Japan, he enrolled at Stanford University and graduated with a B.A. in International Relations…skip forward a couple of years and he finally pursued his Masters of Architecture degree at the University of Texas where he now resides.

Stay in touch with Merzbau Design Collective as they will be uploading new projects in the upcoming weeks!

Modern Master Bedroom Design by Merzbau Design Collective

Master bedroom cantilevers over the patio toward Lake Austin

Modern Entry Design by Merzbau Design Collective

A 1000 pound steel door stands at the entry, opening with the touch of a finger

A lovely turquoise blue complemented with the light wood brings the kitchen to life

Modern Kitchen Design by Merzbau Design Collective

Kitchen to stairs view

Modern Architectural Design by Merzbau Design Collective

Steel grating stairs lead from the guest house to the main house.

Modern Architectural Design by Merzbau Design Collective

Exterior view with pool

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Interview with Connecticut Interior Designer, Cindy Rinfret

As principal designer of Rinfret Ltd., Cindy Rinfret runs one of the leading design firms on the East Coast along with her home furnishings and accessories shop, Rinfret Home & Garden. Cindy’s style can be identified by the perfect combination of beauty and luxury with comfort and family life. She achieves this by blending classic antiques with transitional pieces. Cindy has also authored a book, Classic Greenwich Style, and won numerous awards from the Andrew Martin Interior Design Review to the Connecticut Cottages Innovation in Design Award, and more. Join us today as we feature this outstanding Greenwich Interior Designer.

1. What informs your design aesthetic the most?

Traveling is a great influence for me, inspiration from great architecture, gardens and the colors in different locations. My clients also inspire most of my designs by the way they live. For example, are they casual or formal? My client’s lifestyle inspires all my work.

2. Share with us what you LOVE right now….what do you consider hot?

I always love transitional interiors with mixes of old and new pieces. Most of all I am loving Holland and Sherry’s fabulous embroidery for window treatments! That’s my very favorite thing right now!

3. Transitional is so popular! In that case, what do you consider not hot?

I am very tired of seeing Venetian plaster everywhere – restaurants, homes, etc. It is overused on wall surfaces and usually not a complete thought. By that I mean someone spends all the time and money to do their walls and then leaves the ceiling or trims plain. Leave Venetian Plaster in Venice where it belongs!

Transitional Greenwich Design by Cindy Rinfret Ltd.

4. Good tip for our design enthusiasts. What is important to you as a professional when selecting your designs? The designer, look, style, or substance?

Getting the “shell” of the house right. By that I mean the bones, the walls, lighting, hardware, paint and flooring. If you have a great backdrop the rest of the decorating stands the test of time. The scale and understanding how to mix different pieces, collections and styles, is what makes a room interesting and not just like a staged “show house”.

Greenwich Bedroom Design by Cindy Rinfret, Ltd.

5. Stick to the basics, then start mixing- got it! Who is a mentor of design to you personally?

John Rosselli who has a fabulous showroom and shop. He has had a lifelong influence on my decorating. He has such a great eye and his pieces always have variety and timeless style.

Thanks for joining us this month Cindy! Your work continues to stand out, and we’re glad to have you as a member.

Cindy continues to inspire with her transitional interior design ideas, all of which can be found in her albums here.

If you would like to be featured in an interview, let us know! Our targets are design professionals including designers and architects everywhere who feel they have something to share. If you are one of them, feel free to contact us at contact@designshuffle.com.

Style Guide: Country Style Around the World

Country style is an amalgamation of styles from around the world. Inspired by the provincial style of France and Italy, English country homes, seaside cottages, mountain lodges and American farmhouses, country is a casual, liveable style. It is a blend of functional practicality and a nod to vintage and heirloom pieces that tell a story through their imperfections. Textiles and fabrics can range from simple solids to antique quilts, gingham, plaids and ticking stripes. Country style mixes upholstered and wood pieces that are more than likely pine, walnut or painted. Country style is not about perfection; it is about simplicity. Country style invites you to sit and linger.

English Country

Similar to traditional style, country style gets some of its inspiration from English country homes. A love of florals, seen above in the framed prints, and botanical inspirations bring the garden inside. Mixing formal shapes like a chest of drawers with casual, natural elements like rattan shades, is classic English country. Pale colors and painted furniture keep things from feeling too formal. Classic English country style can be seen in the designs of Mark Hampton and Charlotte Moss.

French Country

Another strong European influence on country style is French country or Provencal style décor. This dining area, with its wood beamed ceiling and rustic tile floor, is a warm, casual, inviting space. The rooster on the dining table is a classic country accessory. Natural materials like the wicker seating, distressed wood tables and antique rugs give the room a lived in and comfortable feeling— the essence of country style.

American Country

Farmhouse style has its roots in the American heartland. Comfortable furnishings combined vintage and folk art accessories create casual, cozy rooms. Pulled together from family heirlooms or flea market and estate finds, these unique accessories are cornerstones of the farmhouse style of country décor. Vintage and heirloom textiles, such as quilts, needlepoint rugs and vintage blankets are additional ways to add farmhouse style to a room.

Country style includes lodge and rustic styles, as well as farmhouse and cottage. Rustic lodge and log cabin styles have a quintessential American feel to them. Warm rooms predominated by wood, mainly pine, and accessorized with outdoor and sports themed décor create cozy, family-centric rooms. Seasonal outdoor activities like canoeing, skiing, fishing, snowshoeing, hunting and hiking focused accessories can bring rustic country style to any room. High end lodge interiors inspired by Aspen living are anything but rustic yet retain the connection to nature and the outdoors.

If lodge style feels more masculine, cottage style country décor leans towards the feminine. Shabby Chic, the design movement created by Rachel Ashwell, is known for its white cotton slip covers and pastel painted furniture mixed with French lines and accents. Cottage style is inspired by lakeside and beachside living. Casual, clean line furniture, classic materials like wainscoting and warm woods combine to make a homey interior. This kitchen’s palette of soft whites, rich woods and pale sky blue is a classic cottage interior. Earthenware bowls and wicker baskets add country style. Images 1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5

Share your input with us! Feel free to let us know which style you’d like to see on Style Guide Fridays here at contact@designshuffle.com.

Which style would you like to see on Style Guide Fridays? Let us know by e-mailing us at contact@designshuffle.com.

While you’re here, check out our other style guides below:

Win An iPad 2 by Showing Us Your "Most Luxurious Getaways" themed Faves

Help us get the word out about our new Faves feature by creating a Faves full of your favorite designs of the most luxurious getaways you can find. Winner wins a 16GB iPad 2!


  1. 1 entry for creating a “Most Luxurious Getaways” themed Faves with 8+ photos, and for pasting your Faves URL to the bottom of our Contest page on Facebook here.
    (Begin browsing: http://www.designshuffle.com/design_gallery)
  2. 1 entry for each extra Faves you create (Limit 1 per day, each Faves must contain unique photos not found in your other Faves)
  3. 1 entry per each legitimate comment that says what the commenter likes about your Faves.
  4. 1 entry per Facebook “Like” that your Fave+s receives (top of your Faves page).

Winner’s name will be selected at random and announced on August 5, 2011. Stay posted!


  1. Browse tens of thousands of designs from designers around the world.
  2. Click on the “Add to Faves” button which appears when you mouse-over your favorite photos.
  3. To view your Faves, go to “My Faves” next to “My Account”…don’t forget to paste your Faves URL to the bottom of our Contest page on Facebook here!


  • US + Canadian participants ONLY.
  • IMPORTANT: MUST remember to paste your Faves URL as a comment on our Facebook Contest page!
  • No purchase necessary to participate in this contest.
  • There will be one winner.
  • Winner will be notified by e-mail.
  • All decisions made by Design Shuffle regarding this contest shall be final and binding.
  • Hurry! The contest officially ends on: Friday, July 29, 2011. Winners will be announced in 1 week (8/5/11).
  • Everyone may enter with an equal chance of winning no matter where your entry is placed.

Delux Downtown Dallas Bachelor Loft

The talented and young Dallas interior designer, Abbe Fenimore is back on the scene to grace us with a delux downtown Dallas apartment in the sky built for her favorite bachelor! …..only it’s in downtown Dallas instead of the East Side this time! According to Abbe, the consummate bachelor loves to entertain and his downtown loft fits right in with its number one purpose to serve as the ideal urban social location.  With a primary residence leaning towards the sophisticated traditional side, claiming an address in this downtown loft location was his opportunity to have it all.

Hear what Abbe has to share about it…

When it came to decorating this 1,500 square foot loft, he knew exactly what he wanted –  a hip and modern feel with edgy yet comfortable pieces to lounge around on. The bedrooms are minimal yet comfortable and provide a nice place to crash after a late night on the town. But the crowning glory of this loft is the high-tech toys, a pool table, arcade area with Mrs. pac man no less and an in home recording studio that resides in the master closet.

Since it is typical of loft apartments to be bare and industrial, I wanted to provide more texture, color and interest. I combined a variety of different wood tones, bright fabrics and colorful accessories. The effect is warm and trendy, and it avoids the predictable and uninspired look of a matching suite of furniture. By designing a few custom details and evoking a feeling of the great urban surroundings, we softened this loft’s hard edges, brought in tons of color and created a space that has both good looks and the details for an urban social getaway. All I want to know is….Can I be added to the guest list at your next house party?

We want to be added to the guest list too! Thanks Abbe for sharing this perfectly done project with us. Enjoy the views below!

The rug really pulls the room together; textured gray pillows are a perfect match against the orange

Pool table adjacent to the living room..perfect for entertaining guy style

Simple and restful bedroom design

We like that the purple is not an obnoxious purple so that and orange intertwine perfectly.

Orange soundproof padding work to dress up the otherwise white walls as well

The orange pops through this Coi fish canvas painting

Be sure to check out her latest projects…her work at Lash Maxx, a chic  uptown lash salon, and her Turquoise and Yellow Master Bedroom

Remodeled Modern Austin Kitchen and Baths

Austin interior designer Laura Britt is back on the scene with her and her team’s (Jen Murrill and Beth Taylor) latest project, the Treemont project!

The studio was put to work by an active family living nestled in the hills of the outskirts of downtown who were also deciding whether they should move or stay put. Though the appeal of downtown living was enticing, you can guess that they decided to stay put as they undertook a home addition/remodel with modern design which included a new bedroom suite, major kitchen remodel and 3 bathroom remodels.

Bathrooms were uniquely designed to suit the needs of the client as well as having a luxurious “hotel feel”. “Each bathroom has distinctive appeal, allowing the homeowners to experience a Zen-like spa, swanky hotel bath, and feminine salon all under one roof!” says the team. What was once an overwhelming space of dark carved cabinetry, an ominous freestanding cabinet piece and wrought iron pot rack is now an open, refreshing space defined by frosted glass cabinets, enlarged limestone island surface, and a fresh new banquet area. The space is the perfect gathering place for a family who enjoys spending time together.

The design ran the full gamut from repurposing the kitchen, granite in the pool bath, and adding solar tubes in the hall bath, creating vast amounts of concealed storage, and adding flair with a full wall of shiny accent tile…here are the pictures to prove it! Photography by Tom Coplen.

To see more from this project, visit Laura Britt’s profile here! Don’t forget to check out her other projects as well!

Refurbished Dublin 1930's House and Garden

Today Dublin architectural firm, CAST Architecture, graces the pages of our blog with their ingenious Sandymount renovation in Dublin, Ireland. The house is unique in that remains as the last standing house on the road retaining its 1930’s architecture and detailing. Throughout the project, the team at CAST architecture artfully maintained and extended the character of the home. The team adopted to use clear conservation principles to protect the style of this era simultaneously updating the home for contemporary living. See all the intricate details added below…and don’t forget to see more of their creative ideas in other projects as well!

Cedar cladding to as-found kitchen return

Entrance hall with glass corner and garden beyond

Open corner in oak and glass

Cedar window in a plywood wall (Kitchen)

Extension of the home

View from living room to dining room

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Style Guide: Eclectic Not Chaotic

Eclectic style embraces all periods and styles of decorating. But that doesn’t mean all periods and styles need to be represented in a single home or room. Eclectic rooms are unified through colors, shapes, and textures. Layering furniture and accessories from different styles can be a gorgeous, individual statement if done correctly. It can be a jumbled mess if done without thought and attention to the basic design principles of: color, line, texture, form and mass. Tie the room together through paint, fabrics and finishes, feeling free to mix up patterns and finishes. A mix of patterns and textures makes a room interesting but it is important to remember to have a set color palette to ground the space. Eclectic style has its roots in the Bloomsbury group of painters, poets and writers in the early 20th century in England. This group lived in bohemian homes that mixed antiques with objects and rugs bought on trips to foreign lands.

By not adhering to any one period or design style, eclectic style allows the freedom to express your own vibrant individuality. Unexpected twists and a mix of at least two styles, defines eclectic decorating. Eclectic style trends include laying fabrics and upholstery from different eras, including tribal Suzanis, vintage inspired Marimekko, and traditional toiles. A contemporary Ghost chair seated at a painted pine rustic desk or an ornate French antique writing table works for eclectic styling. ABC Carpet & Home is the promise land of eclectic style. Their showrooms artfully mix furnishings and objects from antiques to vintage to contemporary designs with imported fabrics, rugs and objects from countries around the world. Anthropologie is another retailer who balances the eclectic style with a feminine spin.

This dining room blends modern, traditional and country design elements. The wood floors have a casual, French farmhouse feel. The modern Saarinen tulip table and chairs bring in the clean lines of modern styling. And paired with a traditional cabinet, Art Deco sideboard and an ornate chandelier, the room’s furniture is a mix of different periods. The room works because of the color palette and a blend of simple and elaborate lines. Traditional pattern wallpaper mixed with a bright aqua balances the traditional and modern elements with color.

An example of a sophisticated eclectic living room. A transitional style sofa paired with more traditional chairs and a modern coffee table works together with a neutral and soft color palette, highlighted with modern art and accessories.

A white painted room is a balance for the riot of color and pattern in the upholstered furniture. The traditional seating is upholstered in vintage Josef Frank fabrics and topped with a rainbow of patterned and colored pillows. (Also seen in the Scandinavian-style interior design section.)

Designer Diane von Furstenberg is known for her love of color and pattern in her fashion designs and her own home. This room designed for Claridge Hotel in London demonstrates her fearlessness in mixing traditional with exotic, modern color with formal ornament.

When we think of elegant and bold eclectic design, we think of Kelly Wearstler. Her unapologetic use of color, mixed with her exuberant love of scale, pattern and texture in her antique filled rooms are immediately identifiable as Wearstler style. Images 1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5

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