Organizing Tips for a Fresh Start in ‘22: 3 Things You Need to Start Doing Now

New year, new you… or at least that’s always the plan, right? There are always things that get in the way of all those resolutions, like when you say you’re only going to have a glass of wine on the weekends, but when your friends have so generously gifted you a million bottles of wine you really need to make sure you try them all. Or, hello… can you really leave those holiday leftovers in the fridge? Heck no, that’s wasteful! Some resolutions just aren’t meant to be. But you can start fresh in 2022 with a freshly organized home. And we’re here to help! A wise woman once said (that wise woman being our magical Debbie Pratt, designer extraordinaire) “luxury defined is a well organized closet.” So let us break it down into three easy to follow steps so you can make all of your ‘22 dreams come true… as long as your dreams include a fabulous, put together home that you love. 

  1. Plan Your Plan of Attack 

First and foremost, mental preparation is a must. Make a list of each space that needs attention. Then, prioritize your list and jot down how long you honestly think it will take to knock out each of these areas. Keep your list with you as you work through your home, so you can come up with a customized routine that will help you stay organized in 2022. Document tasks that you think need to be done daily, weekly, and monthly. Add these tasks to your calendar. If you’re the kind that likes to handwrite things on a calendar You should already have a calendar for the new year. Whether it is on your phone, in the workspace, or in your home, a calendar is the most effective way to keep track of events, plans, and meetings. And it’s just a good idea to write down goals and deadlines. You don’t have to do it all at once. If you have time to clean one room each day, then start with the one that needs the most attention. But, if you can only squeeze in one or two areas a day, like those two overflowing kitchen drawers, or the front hall closet, that works too. 

Make it Easy on Yourself

Of course, the best way to be organized is to stay organized. While you’re developing a plan and later when you’re doing all the 2022 organizing, be on the lookout for ways that you can easily stay on top of things. Don’t overcomplicate the matter with complex systems and trying to get the whole family to follow an entirely new set of organizational rules. Keep it simple, it’s the only way to make sure everyone can play along!

2. Declutter // Pile it Up

Some things just have to get worse before they can get better. In small areas where clutter tends to build (ahem, junk drawers) a big mess is a must. Dump. It. All. Out. Then, throw away anything that you don’t need. There’s always a little bit of a guilty feeling when it comes to throwing things away, especially clothes and used toys. The solution here is easy, donate! There are plenty of organizations that’ll pick up donations. So, make three piles….

  • Keep
  • Toss
  • Donate

Keep in mind you’re going to have to find a new home for each and every thing that survives this major purge.  

3. Get Down to (Organizing) Business 

Now that you’ve officially purged your space of anything you can live without, it’s time to put things back so you know where they are. Everything. Must. Have. A. Home. All the things, from something as small as pens to bigger things like the vacuum cleaner. It all has to have it’s own space where you can access it the second you need it… just imagine all the time you’ll save when you don’t have to think “now where did I put that?”For more on chic storage and organizing for the fam, check out this blog post on maintaining a stylish home, even when the kiddos are thwarting all your efforts. 

Bins and Baskets

To create a fully functional space, you need separation. This is where those fun and fabulous bins and baskets come in. You can go out and buy all new ones, but there are inevitably a few already fabulous containers not being used in your home. More than likely you’ve uncovered some of these during the great end-of-the-year throwaway of 2021. Debbie loves to include bins in bigger spaces like closets because you can toss things inside, you don’t necessarily have to fold everything to make it look neat!It’s easier to tell what kinds of stylish storage you’ll need as you go, so use what you have for now, and keep a list of what you’ll need to source later. There are new organizational tools coming out all the time, especially at the beginning of the year. Start searching now to find and create new storage solutions. Let’s be honest, it’s a fun adventure, so get out there and start shopping… feel empowered by your brilliant efficiency! Here are some of our tried and true organization staples:

  • Dream Drawer Organizers: use these in any drawers where you need to create individual spaces. 
  • Hanging Shoe Storage: this doesn’t have to be used just for shoes, it’s great for handbags, hats and gloves, and even crafting supplies that may or may not be hiding out in a back corner of the basement. 
  • Natural Seagrass Basket: these baskets are brilliant, since they collapse when they’re not full of stuff. Easy to store when not in use AND stylish while catching your (well sorted, of course) things… #winning. 

Where to Shop

Since we’re spilling all the beans here, we’ll let you in on a few of our favorite places to shop for organizational things. When you’re ready to start shopping (as if you need an excuse anyway), keep these hot spots in mind…

Group it Up

Sort your items according to use. First, according to general use, and again by situational uses if necessary. Give prime real estate to items that are frequently used or worn. For example, you more than likely have a few (hundred) handbags. Yes, you need to have them all displayed in your closet, but the five that you keep in constant rotation should be on an easy to reach shelf, while they others can be hanging or in a less accessible location… still in plain view, of course. Important papers are a whole different animal, but still important. And many of these important documents are things you need to have on hand, and easy to access. Stacks of papers serve zero purpose, so sort your files into groups and store them in a filing cabinet. It helps to keep a list of files inside the drawer so you know exactly where they are. 

Find a Home for Things You Can’t See

When we said we were here to organize for a fresh start in 2022, we meant all the things. That goes beyond the tangibles, into things you can’t exactly see, like finances. So while we’re organizing, let’s make life easier on the financial front, too. To get started, ask yourself these questions…

  • Have you recently paid a bill late because you misplaced it?
  • Do you have a list of all accounts, numbers, online IDs and passwords?
  • Do you have a recent copy of your credit report?
  • Do you need a financial organizer, planner, or similar professional to get on track?

Make a dedicated space in your home office where you’ll always be able to find the necessary information you need. This might be a safe or lockbox with important documents or a password to files on your PC.Speaking of passwords, it’s time to do away with password drama. It’s 2022 people, how are we still having to click the “forgot password” button multiple times a week?! It doesn’t have to be this way… promise. Always keep your passwords in a safe place.  LastPass is a great tool to securely store passwords, and avoid the last minute panic of not being able to login to an account (and it’s our team’s personal fav). 


Let everyone else in the home know where things go. Sure, they won’t always pay attention, but at least you can sleep easy knowing you’re doing your part. But we’ll let you in on a little secret, the actual process of label making is really kind of a bonus here. It’s fun and therapeutic. If you like the idea of making labels on the fly, a smaller, portable label maker is for you. We like this one. It’s easy to use and efficient, so you can print labels on the spot and slap them on your containers as you go. For baskets, you can stick the labels on a tag, tie them to a handle and tuck them inside, so you don’t have a label flapping around in full view. These labels are pretty sticky, so you should be able to stick them on the inside of bins near the top, so their still visible to anyone that’s about to throw something in the bin (no excuses for those that ignore the “socks” label and use it for underpants), but your guests don’t have to see that your family needs directions to put things away.  But, if it’s fancy labels you’re after, and you want to add a little arts and crafts to your organizing project, you can make your own decals with one of these bad boys. You can design your own labels in any font imaginable using the design software, then print or cut labels using vinyl. And, if you want iron on labels, you can print them on heat transfer vinyl. This is definitely a commitment, but it’s well worth your time… i.e. you’ll be forced to lock yourself in the office for a few hours to get this done, and you may or may not require complete peace and quiet and a bottle of wine. 

The Last Word

Hopefully, now you have all the inspo you need to dive in and get your house into tip top shape for the new year. Because really, doesn’t it feel SO great to have everything right where it should be? And even better… won’t it feel better knowing you’ve set yourself (and the fam) up for success in keeping things organized? If you’ve done all you can with the space you have, and you’re feeling like it might require a little restructuring, revamping, and/or a redesign, we are here to help! Design is what we L I V E and we’re pretty dang good at it. Give us a call and let’s chat about the dreams and goals for your home and your family. 

Want to maintain a stylish home with kids? Read on for our expert tips!

If you have kids or teens at home, the thought of maintaining your stylish and organized home has crossed your mind at least one or two million times… am I right? Finding the balance between allowing your home to be lived in and keeping the kiddos happy, without compromising the design you’ve worked so hard to keep, is tricky, but not impossible. 

When school is out in Dallas-Ft. Worth and kids are home for the entire summer (or holiday break), it feels like there’s a lot MORE chaos and a lot LESS organization at home. With the constant traffic, plus trips to the pool, the Dallas Zoo, summer camp(s), and general transportation to and from friend’s houses, life is BUSY during this season of life!

While it’s definitely a shift in routine having your kids home all the time, it doesn’t mean you can’t keep your space well-designed and organized! We’re serving up our tried and true expert tips and solutions to keeping your home smart, stylish and fun, even with school-aged kids at home.


Create Dedicated Kid Zones

Kids will be kids, as in they’re done with school and ready to be free for the summer. Chances are they’ve had enough rule-following and structure for a while, so the only thing on their radar is to let loose and have fun. 

Creating a designated space in your home that is kid-friendly gives your children the freedom they need to do all of the kid things, without creating chaos around the entire house. For example, at our Dallas interior design project, Living La Vida Lokar, the library was a designated space in the home used for music lessons, playtime, and gathering with family, but was completely separate from the family living room.

Stylish storage with kids

It may seem simple, but for a lot of us, we’re just struggling to get someone to pick their shoes up off the floor, so a dedicated space may feel like a delusion. Sure, your kids have rooms where they can have their own personal space, but an actual area outside of that gives the idea of having even more freedom to roam… so they’re less likely to attempt to take over the entire home. 

Whether you choose an entire room or a designated part of the house, creating a dedicated kid-friendly space helps maintain organization and contain the mess. It’s all about the boundaries! And if you approach them with a “this is your very own space” instead of a “quit destroying my space” mindset, children will be more likely to get on board with your plan, instead of rebelling against your attempt to enforce any kind of structure or rules, you know how much they hate that. 

Incorporating storage into this space will help keep all the games, loose parts, art supplies, and who-knows-what-else tucked away in style, while blending in with your existing design. It doesn’t have to be a super complex storage system with labels and whatnot, unless that’s your thing. And if labels are your jam, then by all means, DO IT! But don’t stress too much about storage right now, we’ll dig into specifics next. 


Find Unique Storage Solutions

Storage is important, of course, but the RIGHT storage is what will really bring the organization and order.  The solutions that fully cater to your family’s needs are where you’ll find that happy medium where style and design meets mess-free living.  

There are two ways to accomplish this mission: furniture with storage space or creating your own custom designs. Choosing furniture with storage is an easy way to integrate a function piece, such as side tables with drawers or ottomans with hidden storage. If you have extra shelves, you can incorporate storage space by adding baskets. 

While kid-dedicated spaces are essential, having custom storage options for kids in areas that the family regularly hangs out, like the living room or dining room, creates style in an organized manner. 

For example, in our interior design project, Mockingbird Lane in Park Cities, custom storage was a must. A large scale built in cabinetry was made to house all of those small pieces that nobody wants to see (or step on), without much effort. Again, you can organize within the storage and go buckwild with labels and specifics, but it also works great on it’s own with just simple baskets and bins inside. 


Playroom cabinet storage


Choose Durable Furniture for Your Home

Being intentional in the furniture you choose can go a long way in maintaining a stylish home. Let’s be honest, kids don’t mind messes, they can throw their shoes on the ground and step over them at least 16 times before picking them up and putting them away, and even then a prompt is usually required. And, hello, snacks: kids and snaccidents go hand in hand! No matter how many times you say “please eat that in the kitchen,” you’re still going to find the random spill or trail of crumbs. 

For example, selecting leather couches are fashionable, easy-to-clean, and long-lasting. If that’s not your style, distressed furniture adds a stylish touch and will last beyond any kid-related messes.

If you prefer a lighter-colored fabric, such as white or bright blues, using kid-friendly washable covers can not only prevent permanent damage to your furniture from accidents and spills but is also easy to clean up. 

One of our best examples of a smart, stylish, and fun space that embraces kid-friendly living with style, Builder Blah to Home Sweet Home, showcases white sofas integrated into the space, creating a perfect balance of neutral colors to reflect the family’s aesthetics. Yes, white fabric and kids CAN work! 

With the performance washable cover couches, this family’s Midway Hollow Neighborhood home in Dallas now offers the flexibility for their kids to play and clean with ease. Plus, we treat all of the fabrics in every interior design project with a stain treatment. Adding this to any of your furniture will help to extend the life and beauty of your purchase. 

Performance Fabric

Work Together as a Team

While you may maintain the house normally by yourself, it can be a team effort during the summer. Take turns having your kids help to declutter or clean the space around the house. When you do this consistently, you’ll be able to maintain the style of your home. For example, one way we integrated working together as a team for Project Grayson on Mockingbird Lane was to add a chalkboard wall between both kids’ bedrooms to create a chore list so the kids could stay organized and know precisely what was expected of them. 

Less Is More 

Instead of trying to fit every corner of your home with design, do more with less in the house. Not only is this easier to clean and maintain on a daily basis, but it helps create open spaces and areas for movement without something breaking. Again, being intentional is key,  in the items you put into the room to create more style with less. 

For example, in our Southcrest interior design project, our goal was to transform the upstairs game room from an unfinished, unused space to an area the whole family could enjoy. One of the most important parts was planning out the furniture and creating space to play games without bumping into each other. By using minimal furniture and game additions, we were able to create a functional space that worked well for the entire family.

Maintaining the Perfect Kid-Friendly Space

You don’t have to reinvent the wheel when it comes to keeping your stylish home in shape while the kids are home for summer. Use what you already have in place, and make it work for you. 

While the tips and tricks above are certainly going to help you on your way to organizational bliss, it’s possible that enlisting a professional might be the way to go. Especially if the mini-humans have already invaded your space and made their presence known, then it might be time to call for backup. Don’t panic! We’re here for you. 

We’ve had years of experience designing homes to be happier and more efficient throughout the Dallas-Ft. Worth metroplex. You can feel confident that our team will create a space that accurately fits your style and provide the solutions you need to make your life even easier. If you’re ready to take action on your space, contact us today to get started.


Achieving the Outdoor Living Space You Actually Want 

The recent Dallas-Ft.Worth winter snowstorm left us with a new appreciation for our “normal” Texas winters (and a whole lot of doom and gloom scattered around the exterior of our homes). What’s the bright side here? Mother Nature has officially granted you permission to go for it- it’s time to create the outdoor living space you have always wanted. After all, recent events have clearly proven that the real parties happen outside.


As you’re looking out the window, watching the beautiful, crisp white snow hit the ground, your first thought might have been, “Surely this isn’t going to stick,” and then maybe, “It’s mid-February, how much longer can this snow last?” Mother Nature answered with several inches of snow in and around our Dallas-Ft.Worth area and more snow than most of us have ever seen at once, or ever care to see again. And that’s not even including the record breaking streak of below zero temps… yuck.

During a time when outdoor spaces are a must, there wasn’t much of a silver lining in sight… until now. NOW is your chance to create a functional space for relaxation, fun gatherings, hosting, and entertaining with style and intention. But where do you start? What do you need to consider? Read on for our recommended first steps in achieving the outdoor living space you’ve always wanted. 



The design of your outdoor space is just as important as the design of your home interior. The style of your outdoor living space should complement the design style of your home’s interior AND architecture, in order to create a feeling of continuity between the interiors and exteriors. 

In addition, and well before selecting styles and color, it’s important to consider the functional needs of your outdoor spaces to achieve the goals of these areas. What’s the intended use for your outdoor space? What activities do you, family members, and/or your guests enjoy the most? Is this space meant to entertain or be a place for rest and relaxation, or both? The way you intend on spending your time in your outdoor space, will guide the design. You’ll begin to better understand your needs and overall have more clarity (and who doesn’t LOVE clarity? This team certainly does!). 


What Kind of Space Are You Working With? 

Our firm creates beautiful outdoor living spaces for homes all over the Dallas-Ft. Worth area from large estate homes to urban high rises and lake homes and everything in between. Each home has beautiful one of a kind potential and it’s our job to discover it and bring it to life for our clients. 

Estate homes offer all sorts of exciting ideas for creating outdoor spaces. The challenge becomes effective and efficient use of space. It’s important to first designate living areas or zones to achieve the goals of your space. Once you do, the opportunities are endless. Build in a cozy fireplace or a fire pit – outdoor living is made more special near the glowing ambiance of a fire. Bring the kitchen outdoors with a professional outdoor cooking space. Add bar style seating to create a gathering space, bring in the house chef’s selected outdoor kitchen appliances, and watch the joy ensue! For those that have a little extra space, freestanding retreats are popping up in many backyards. This type of “patio” is nice because it’s separated from the home and gives off the feeling that you’re truly on vacation! Design a pool that aligns to your home and achieves your family’s goals of rest, relaxation and activity. Lastly, with the right landscape design, you can create an outdoor oasis that is full of natural foliage to promote relaxation. 



Urban Dwellers 

If you’re one of the lucky urbanites living the high rise life, you may be working with limited outdoor space, but that doesn’t mean you can’t add beauty and function. Even a few feet of space can be adequate for a cozy outdoor seating spot! Larger rooftop terraces and smaller balconies alike can both benefit from creative design selections from floor to ceiling windows or bifolding doors, outdoor kitchens with beautiful modern appliances, pergolas, beautiful flooring, the right plants and decor, and intentional lighting. 


Lake Living 

There’s something so tranquil and soothing about a lake house. Perhaps it’s the peaceful sounds of lake water and nature just feet away from your own front door or maybe it’s the nostalgic memories of summer days spent by the lake with family and friends. Whatever that feeling is for you, the lake is an ideal focal point for any outdoor design. A large screened-in porch (with retractable screens) paired with outdoor dining allows ample room for lounging and entertaining. Multiple-level decks allow additional vantage points of the lake as well as more livable areas to enjoy, and of course a chef-inspired outdoor kitchen helps you soak up all those lovely summer nights over delicious food and conversation.



… And Finally, Decorating

Yes, now you get to put the icing on the cake. Making selections for windows, lighting, furniture, flooring, appliances, foliage, and accessories are the finishing touches that everyone looks forward to. This is when you get to put your own personal stamp on the project. And of course, there’s the whole shopping component. Who doesn’t look forward to that part of a design?!



Putting all of these pieces into motion is when the magic starts to happen. But, it can get a little overwhelming. If the thought of pulling all of these thoughts together feels a bit overwhelming, enlist the help of a professional. We are here to help. 

We’ve designed homes all over the DFW metroplex, including University Park, Highland Park, Preston Hollow, Midway Hollow, North Dallas and Frisco, Westover Hills, Rivercrest, and Crestline in Ft. Worth. We believe that your house should reflect your style, make your life easier, and become the perfect backdrop for your family’s memories. 

If you’re ready to take action on your new outdoor space, give us a call. We would love to help you reimagine your space, design a beautiful outdoor environment, and set the stage for happy gatherings and fond memories for years to come. 


Michelle Lynne


Choosing the Right Kitchen Backsplash

Choosing the right kitchen backsplash can be overwhelming.

Remodeling a kitchen is a difficult and highly detailed project. There are so many decisions to be made, some of which are aesthetic, while others are purely functional.

There are so many kitchen styles to choose from, how do you narrow your selections down?

I wrote this article for Texasliving Magazine almost two years ago but with all of the kitchen renovations happening today, I thought it was a great time to share it again!

If you need help with selecting a kitchen backsplash, making selections for your kitchen refresh, or a full-blown kitchen remodel, we are here to help. But call NOW because the process takes longer than you would imagine. CONTACT US to get on the schedule.

Why You Need To Hire An Interior Designer For New Construction

Recently, my sister-in-law and her husband built a new house. Of course, I advised her when she asked, but I wasn’t going to “insert” myself and tell her all of the reasons why you need to hire an interior designer for new construction.

She has great taste and strong opinions (kind of like her brother…my husband…haha). Plus, she’s Type A and can get stuff done quickly and effectively, so she was ready to take on the task.

As she was finishing the project and had already moved in, she texted me this:

You need a designer for a new build


Obviously, I’m the one writing the article, but it brought up some great points about why you should hire a designer for new construction. All of the points noted are applicable whether building a whole house, creating an addition, or remodeling your space altogether.

First, let me start by saying that most builders are great people, working from the heart in an industry that they love. They are similar to interior designers…we do what we do because we love it. That doesn’t mean that we all have the best business practices.

More often than not, our industries muddle through the process and patch things together as they go. I know this because I work with interior designers, architects, and landscape professionals via my Designed for the Creative Mind division that provides education to business people in the creative space and have seen it first hand.

If you’re thinking about any sort of new construction, whether a new house or a remodel of your current home, here are some key reasons why you need to work with an interior designer:

Your builder may have a designer on staff, but do they simply take what you want and say yes to it? This is what happened to my sister-in-law, and her selections didn’t fit on the wall in her powder bath. The selections she made were beautiful, but when installed, they didn’t fit on the wall so they hung the sconces too high in order to accommodate. Does anybody else see Mickey Mouse in this image?

Powder bath don't

Why you need to hire an interior designer during new construction: so you don’t end up with Mickey Mouse ears above your bathroom mirror.

Another question about the builder’s designer is whether or not he or she is qualified, or just a family member with good taste?

A professional designer works with construction details regularly, and will often have the room dimensions in front of us when making selections. When in doubt, we can drop the details into our software to confirm they will fit and SHOW the client what will and will not work.

We are your guide through the construction process.
An interior designer provides measurements and elevations to confirm accuracy.

Know exactly what will and what will not fit in your new construction.

Often, we simply provide an “elevation” such as the image above that shows the dimensions of EXACTLY what will fit on the wall (and where) while also showcasing the design details. This saves time and money for the client and headaches during the new construction phase.

Your builder (or contractor if you’re remodeling) wants to please you and may not have the confidence, experience, or diplomacy to push back on some of your (ill-thought) requests. We currently are designing a kitchen for a client who did not enlist a designer for their master bathroom renovation. They now have to sit on their bathtub in order to brush their teeth at their vanity because the contractor did exactly what they asked for. Seriously.

Many builders or contractors operate on low pricing + high volume and want to get through your project as quickly as possible and may overlook details or provide less than stellar craftsmanship.

When you hire an interior designer, we are your advocates throughout the construction process. If your builder is not meeting timelines, switching out selections without your permission (yes, that also happened to my sister-in-law), or installs the backsplash with the wrong grout color, a designer will act as the intermediary to ensure the difficult conversations are not a distraction to your already busy day.

An interior designer will provide the builder with all of the selections in advance so there is plenty of lead time for ordering, shipping delays, and so forth.

When you work with an interior designer, we are looking at your house as a whole to ensure cohesiveness and consistency throughout the new construction. You don’t want your home to feel like Disneyland with various themed (i.e. styles) rooms.

The above are just a few of the key reasons you want to hire a designer for new construction. Any construction.

A designer is an extra expense but will benefit you before, during, and after the actual construction process.

A good designer will also know how – and where – to mix and match high and lower-end finishes so that your new construction doesn’t bankrupt you or not provide a return on investment, should you need to sell sooner than you anticipated.

Many clients have called once they realized how many hundreds of decisions need to be made when building a new home. Everything from the fun and sexy kitchen backsplash, countertop material, and gorgeous lighting, to the not so sexy plumbing valves, countertop edge, bathroom paper holder, and more.

If you are busy, do you have the time to be running all over town mixing and matching all of these details? Do you feel comfortable mixing and matching your metal finishes so your entire house isn’t “gold” or “silver”? What about black or pewter or brushed finishes? All of these details add character and beauty to a home.

Even if your builder sends you to a design center, don’t you want an advocate who isn’t getting commission and has more than a few hours to spend with you?

And finally, we’ll catch design details that builders don’t notice…they build…we design…it’s a team effort!

Don’t wait until you’ve already started the process. Call today and let’s discuss how we can make your new construction project fun instead of frustrating.


p.s. Wondering how to consider an interior designer? I’ve compiled some questions to ask an interior designer that may help you.

Better than Basic – A Guide to Modern Built-Ins as Office Shelves

With so many of us working from home these days, maximizing the space in our home office is more important than ever and an easy way to do that is to create modern built-ins.

If you caught the recent blog post on How to Design A Home Office that works as hard as you do, we discussed the overarching details that go into creating a home office. The where the what, and the how-to personalize it was key “ingredients” to creating a home office instead of working from your dining table but we didn’t talk about modern built-ins…a potential must for many who need ample storage.

I have recently relocated my own workspace and found that storage was integral to my productivity. Not just within my desk, but also for stationery, copy paper, the copier, banking supplies, reference materials, file folders, extra binders, hole punchers, extra batteries, and on and on and on. All the things that you don’t want to put on display, but all the things we need at our fingertips. Ideally, most of this can go into a closet with the room you’ve designated for your office, but that isn’t always an option. Office shelves can add beauty and function when planned and implemented properly.

Don’t settle for basic.

Often we find clients who ask their contractor to “build them some office shelves” and this is what they get:

Previous custom built ins lacked style.

Project Southcrest Study Built Ins BEFORE

Functional, right? But when we opened the doors and drawers, the client didn’t have anything inside them. They’re fortunate and have a large closet that provided ample storage. Basically, this solution was to house his television and the decorative items that had sentimental value. When we measured it, this built-in unit, “ate up” 26 inches of depth. That means there were more than 2 feet of space that was not able to be included in a floor plan, which decreased the size of the desk that would fit into the office space – and almost completely eliminated any additional seating (the Mrs. enjoyed coming in and keeping the Mr. company).

Determining WHAT sort of solution you need is the first step in creating shelving that is more stylish AND functional for your needs. Why create a basic shelf solution when you can have a modern built-in?

Sophisticated and masculine home office design created by Dallas based interior design firm, ML Interiors Group.| Includes mid century style desk, hide rug, and custom, modernized built in shelving.

Project Southcrest shelving AFTER

You can see above, we created modern, “floating” shelving that housed the decorative items he loved the most, a few reference books, some art, and of course some greenery. The shelves were different widths and depths so the solution was not only functional but also highly decorative. By removing the over two-foot-deep built-in, we added room for a larger desk, a comfy chair, and definitely more style. See more of this project via Instagram searching the hashtag #ProjectSouthcrest.

Don’t assume your office shelvs have to start from scratch.

In some instances, the built-in office shelves are too magnificent to simply rip out and replace. So what do you do? Add a coat (or three) of paint and transform them into a more modern version of what was original to the home. In this instance, we covered the dated wood with a beautiful black color selection to add richness and depth, while also keeping the masculinity and honoring the architecture of the space. Voila! Traditional shelves become a modern built-in!

Transform your traditional built in shelves into a modern masterpiece.

Before                                              &                                      After


Home Office with black built in shelving, a feizy accent rug, a fabricut upholstered desk chair and mixed metal accents. | ML Interiors Group

Project Tulip Home Office

Don’t be afraid to go bold.

Don’t be afraid to paint over yesterday’s trend.

Just make sure you hire a professional to do the painting so you’re not finding paint chips or missed curves & crevices that will annoy you as you use your home office in the years to come. See more of this project via Instagram searching the hashtag #ProjectTulip.

Wall-mounted shelving solutions still count as cool.

Home office shelves can provide a lot of storage solutions, but sometimes you just want to add a dose of pretty to your space without committing to modern built-ins.  If you don’t need a bunch of reference materials at your fingertips – you just want to gaze at your decor and enjoy the serenity of what surrounds you, adding a wall-mounted shelf may be just the solution needed!  A home office can be a sanctuary for your sanity…getting work done in a beautiful surrounding may not feel like work at all.

Home office decor | Home Office Design | Highland Park Home | ML Interiors Group | Dallas Interior Designer

Project Mockingbird Lane includes a soothing home office.

Shelving Design | Shelving Decor | Highland Park Homes | Michelle Lynne Interiors Group | Dallas Interior Decorator

Display of Pretties

This home office served as the home base for a mom who ran her own business AND the household, so it needed to provide peace and productivity. The gold & white mountable shelving provided a place for beautiful displays as well as adding visual depth to the design. See more of this project via Instagram searching the hashtag #ProjectMockingbirdLane.

Need it all? Hire a professional.

And finally, when you absolutely have to have storage at your fingertips and a dual workstation, identify what you need, what you want, and hire a designer. This beautiful modern built-in wall unit was designed to meet the specifics of the client.  See those drawers? There are hanging files, niches for folders, and one even pulls out with a printer. Plus, they were all designed around the existing windows so the natural light could continue to pour in around the office shelves. Additionally, the client wanted to have the option to turn around from his computer, use his writing desk, AND have room to host a conversation.

Home office shelving

With the wooden desktop accentuating the painted built-ins, subtle shiplap texture on the wall, and accent lighting above the windows, the aesthetic is as purposeful as the storage created with these modern built in shelves. See more of this project via Instagram searching the hashtag #LovelyInLakeHighlands.

If you want a workspace that reflects your needs and your style, give us a call at 972-248-4733, contact us – or simply email at Hello(at)MLInteriorsGroup(dot)com. We would love to help you find your groove as the #WFH (work from home) practice doesn’t look to be going away anytime soon!



How to Design a Home Office that Works as Hard as You Do

When life came to a screeching halt last year, we were all in the same boat. We found ourselves working from home in spaces that were completely unprepared for us. And, because of that, we had to improvise.

Our kids took over the kitchen island, our spouses claimed the living room, and we ended up at the dining room table surrounded by piles of paperwork, computer cords, and a crick in our backs. Sound familiar??

Although the better part of a year has passed since that time, we’ve still had a lot on our plates. From working at home to schooling our kids, navigating this new normal, and doing our best to maintain some semblance of sanity…who has had the time to design a home office? For many of us… it’s taken the back burner.

But… it is a new year and that means a fresh start for you and a brand new beginning in your work-from-home journey. Who’s with me?!

So, today we’re going to dive into how to design a home office that works just as hard as you do. Let’s goooo…




Step 1: Choose the room where you will design a home office

Alright, alright…this might be easier said than done. But before you get overwhelmed by the fact that you don’t have a spare room in your house where you can design a home office, answer these few questions…

  1. Based on the nature of your work, does the home office space need to lock?
  2. Do you need complete privacy at every hour of the day?
  3. Is absolute silence a requirement for you to do your work?

If you answered no to all of these questions, then you’re in luck. Even if you don’t have a spare room, any low-traffic area in your home can become a home office. For example, that cozy nook under the back stairwell that once felt like wasted space? Claim it! Since there isn’t a lot of activity back there, it will be perfectly suited for a home office setup that is semi-private and intentionally designed.

However, if you answered yes to all of these questions, don’t you worry! We will just have to get a bit more creative. So, you might not have a spare room, but any shared space in your home simply won’t do either. Where do you turn?

How about that guest bedroom that only gets used a few times a year? By trading in your standard bed for a Murphy bed built into the wall that is out of sight until needed, your guest room can easily double as a home office. If you don’t like the Murphy bed idea, you could even opt for a smaller profile daybed or trundle that acts as a guest room when needed (and allows you to take a quick power nap without “leaving the office” on those long, grueling days).

See, this doesn’t have to be rocket science. And you definitely don’t need to sell your home and purchase a larger one just to acquire some dedicated work space. A little creativity and a willingness to make your rooms into multipurpose spaces can go a long way.




Step 2: Acquire the essentials for your home office

The Desk

Before you start online shopping for a desk that catches your eye aesthetically, make a list of the features that you want it to have…

  1. Do you need lots of drawers for storage?
  2. Is a large work surface essential?
  3. Do you prefer to sit, stand, or have the flexibility to do both?

If you determined that you need substantial storage and a large work surface, a stationary executive style desk is likely your best bet. Just make sure you either position it so that you’re looking out the window, or have space to add a pretty picture on the wall you’ll be starting at all day long.

If you have a small space and don’t need much surface area, then a writing desk could be perfect for you. These are ideal for placing directly against a wall in tighter quarters. Again, just take your view into consideration.

If you want to design a home office for flexibility throughout the day, opt for a convertible standing desk that can allow you to work from a seated or standing position. And consider “floating” the desk in your space so that you can face the entry (extra ideal for parents who are simultaneously trying to work and keep an eye on the kiddos).


The Chair

While the definition of a perfect desk chair varies by person, one thing that applies to every professional is the need to invest in a great, high-quality chair. Let’s be real here, you’re parked in this baby for hours on end…it needs to be comfortable AND good for your health. Plus, spending more on a chair that supports you now is better than paying a chiropractor to fix your spine later. Ha. A good quality desk chair is worth every dime!

Next… chair functionality. You may be thinking, “Gee, anything is better than that static dining room chair I was sitting at.” True, but there is so much more than just the movement of the chair to factor in.

  • Do you sit with your feet on the floor at all times? Make sure your chair is appropriately sized for your stature.
  • Do you sit with one leg under and one leg down? Or maybe even criss cross applesauce? Opt for a chair with extra padding so the legs tucked beneath you aren’t constantly in danger of falling asleep.
  • Find yourself doing a combination of all the above? Look for a height adjustable chair that will allow you flexibility in positioning throughout the day.

When asked for my recommendations, I usually suggest swivel or reclining features, as well as chairs with ergonomic benefits, such as lumbar support. And I always, always, ALWAYS, remind people that rolling chairs absolutely require a chair mat to protect your floors and carpeting. This is a non-negotiable. Love your home, and it’ll love you. 😉




The Lighting

Before you go any further, make sure you have the electrical access you need in your space. Obviously if you’re commandeering the guest bedroom, you know you have lighting options and electrical outlets. But if you’re claiming that tiny, precious nook underneath the stairs, this might not be the case.

You’ll need electrical for at least one hard-wired light, plus at least one outlet, but ideally more, to power your computer, printer, lamps, etc. So, if you need to get on an electrician’s schedule, go make that phone call right now. We’ll wait…

With that taken care of, let’s talk about selecting the right lighting or combination of lighting for your space, because it isn’t just about setting a mood. It also minimizes sleepiness, reduces eye strain, and negates fatigue. Lighting is a powerful tool!

Consider natural lighting, overhead lighting, task lighting, table lamps, etc. In fact, go check out our blog post about selecting living room lighting. Much of it applies to your home office as well.


The Stuff

Yep, time to talk storage, because I can’t think of a single work-from-home professional who doesn’t have “stuff.” The best way to design a home office that keeps your mind clear and maintains productivity is making sure every single item has a designated home.

If you have a desk with built-in storage (think drawers and cabinets), you’ve got it made! This provides a place to hide all of those items you don’t need at-the-ready, keeping your work surface clutter-free. My only encouragement here is that you invest in drawer and cabinet organizers so that your entire desk doesn’t become one large dumping zone.

If your desk doesn’t have storage, but you do have some extra space, consider using a sideboard or media console. Just make sure you factor in the space needed to open the drawers and doors. There is nothing worse than a good plan that is poorly executed, creating frustration later on.

If you don’t have space for additional furniture and your desk doesn’t include any storage, then floating shelves or even some floor space dedicated to bins, baskets, and buckets will provide a stylish storage solution. Again, just take the time to create systems that are easy to maintain so that your “stuff” remains organized and easy to locate when needed. Hello, smooth workday.




Step 3: Personalize your home office

Your furnishings are ordered, the electrical work is completed, and you’re ready to start putting it all together. So what’s next?

Color, of course! Before you move all of your furniture, lighting, and office essentials into the space, liven up your backdrop with a brand new coat of paint. And in a home office setting, you can’t go wrong. This is a highly individual matter, so simply choose what makes you feel good. For some, this might be a bright, bold color like orange or chartreuse that is stimulating in all the right ways. For others, this might be a soft blue or light green that is calming (but doesn’t lull you to sleep).

With the walls painted and the furniture moved in, now comes the really fun part…adding homey accents that reflect YOU! I’m not talking clutter. I’m talking about a throw pillow in a fun print that showcases your personality. Or a piece of framed artwork you acquired on an international adventure. Or that “best mama ever” coffee mug your kids painted you when they were little…reminding you daily of your “why” for working so dang hard!

Things like that…things that motivate you, make you smile, and keep you going, even on the toughest days — that’s how you design a home office you love. 😉




When it all comes down to it, every design rule in the book doesn’t matter if it’s not comfortable for you. Period. So, as you design a home office space, the thoughts at the forefront of your mind should constantly be your work style, what you need to be most productive, and what will make you happy.

As long as you’re self-aware and thoughtful about each of these decisions, your finished home office will work as hard as you do, providing motivation when necessary, calm on a daily basis, and a retreat from the loveable chaos that is your home.

If you’re ready to take action on your New Year’s resolution (of FINALLY creating a home office, of course), give us a call. We would love to help you reimagine your space, design a beautiful working environment, and set the stage for your most productive year yet.

Michelle Lynne

P.S. If your home office is going to be in a corner of your kitchen (therefore requiring a bit of a renovation), you can download our Guide to Prepping for a Kitchen Remodel here.

Project Reveal: A Cozy Modern Coastal Design in Southcrest

Dallas Modern Coastal Stunning-and-Sophisticated-Southcrest-Reno_Living-Room

When D. and M. came to us, they had just moved their family to Texas and purchased a builder basic home with blah white walls that were far from their desired modern coastal design aesthetic. Their new abode had zero personality, a complete lack of function, and didn’t represent their easy-going personalities at. all.

They were looking for a designer who could infuse a sense of relaxation and comfort into their space. Someone who could take their personal backgrounds and blend them seamlessly into a design that balanced crisp, clean aesthetics with cozy simplicity.

Now, you might know that we have a few fabulous designers on our team. Depending on the project, we’ll assign the leading lady that fits it best. For this project, I knew that our designer, Megan Fornes (a babe who balances her city lifestyle with her BIG small-town heart) was exactly the lady for the job. She excels at infusing color into spaces and mixing delicious fabrics. We had no doubt she could whip this run-of-the-mill home into designer shape in no time. (Spoiler: She totally did.)

But before I reveal to you the stunning transformation in this Southcrest home, let’s talk details…

The Clients

As I mentioned earlier, D. and M. were the epitome of relaxed, easy-going, carefree, and happy-go-lucky. But, I suppose when you move a family of four (plus a sweet pup named Sailor) from Maine to California to Texas, you have to be flexible.

With two teens involved in a variety of sports, a dog who is an integral part of the family, and a penchant for entertaining, this couple knew they needed a comfortable environment for hosting that was also livable and stress-free. Having moved from coast to coast, literally, they appreciated easy, breezy oceanside culture. They imagined bringing that peacefulness into their home in Texas. And we said, “OH YES, WE CAN.”

The Goals

Our goals weren’t just aesthetic though. The new build production home’s cookie cutter layout wasn’t going to cut it for D. and M. So we had some major changes to make. On the list:

  • Reconfigure the floor plan to incorporate multiple seating areas for their family of four (think schoolwork, parties, game nights, hosted dinners, etc.)
  • Fill the space with performance fabric upholstered furniture in various textures and patterns… to hide stains from busy teens, muddy paws, (lookin’ at you, Sailor), and keep the adults covered when (not if) they spill wine on their light-colored sofas
  • Blend together the family’s love for the beach with tribal aspects from their travels… add some industrial touches for a contemporary vibe… and infuse the warmth of living in the heart of Texas.

Ready to see how it all turned out?

Modern Coastal Living Room Design


Ahhh… now that’s better than a boxy white room!! Touches of coastal materials, tribal patterns, farmhouse-esque shiplap, and modern lighting are the instruments in this masterful modern coastal design symphony! It feels warm, fresh, social, and as welcoming as a hug. A Texas hug, mind you. 😉

We painted the walls in Benjamin Moore’s 1472 Silver Chain, which was darker and more gray in hue than the original Alabaster white (sometimes too white can be a bad thing). Instead, this hue livened up the space and made it feel cool, crisp, and coastal.

As far as the floor plan goes, we actually switched the dining room and formal living room locations, so that when you walk in from the main entry, you see the dining room first. This also meant that the new sitting room could be laid out around the fireplace off the kitchen…which just made sense.

Speaking of that fireplace, its previous two-sided design needed to be revamped. But that was just the beginning…


The unique 3-dimensional wood sculpture that we hung above the white sofa (in performance fabric… good luck, wine!) steals the show… but also blends flawlessly with the rest of the natural decor in the living room.

From the leather chair to the wooden coffee tables to the plant in the corner, the organic nature of this space oozes cozy comfort and beach lifestyle, while also remaining chic, sophisticated, and down-right stunning. Love, love, love.

As you walk through the space with us, you’ll also notice some excellent lighting choices. (Megan Fornes nailed it, right?!) By carefully curating multiple layers of gorgeous lighting in each area, we were able to better define the rooms of the home.

Fireplace Feature


Remember that two-sided fireplace we mentioned? We refinished it with a very light shiplap and dark gray frame that complements the wall color throughout the downstairs.

By mixing textures in each space, adding metal, wood, glass, etc., we were able to infuse dimension and interest into this once builder basic home. And just looking at this simple photo…well, it is living proof that neutral doesn’t have to be boring. In fact, neutral colors can make big, bold, beautiful statements!

Modern Coastal Entertaining Area


Bet you didn’t know there was another side to that fireplace! Ohhhhh, yes, there is. And it is marvellous with this adorable sitting area. With seating for four, this conversation-style layout is ideal for hosting those small gatherings… or even catching up as a family with a glass of Texas sweet tea at the end of a long day.

Notice the modern coastal artwork, real wood mantle, and woven chairs reminiscent of seating you’d find on the balcony of the luxury beachside resorts we’ve all been dreaming about these days…

Modern Coastal Dining Room Design


One of our challenges was making sure the new, and very large, dining table didn’t feel out of place when we transitioned the old formal living room into the new dining room. But we definitely succeeded!

Between the absolutely stunning accent wall (with custom millwork), the oversized woven-shade chandelier (be still my heart), and the live-edge tabletop made from driftwood itself, there is nothing heavy about this room. It begs for a delicious seafood spread, flowing cocktails, and lively conversation.

The warmth of Texas living meets the carefree lifestyle of the coasts.

A Bright & Fresh Kitchen Design


While we haven’t discussed the kitchen, and honestly, that is a different post for another day, it felt remiss not to share this inspired design. Between the color palette that transports you to a sandy beach with rolling waves, the woven textured window treatments, the water-droplet-shaped pendant lighting, and the warm wooden floors and leather chairs… really, what’s not to love?

This heart of the home in the heart of Texas is beachy, welcoming, modern, and perfect for hosting! Which brings me to the final fabulous space in this fresh-as-a-breeze home…

Modern Coastal Outdoor Living Area


Ahhh… couldn’t you spend all day out here?? The gorgeous color palette from inside flows out onto the back patio and beyond, creating a cohesive space for entertaining (complete with more performance fabric, of course!)

Plus, with the basketball hoop in the background and the “SWIM” decor on the wall, you’re reminded that this fabulously fresh home is also family-friendly. Livable luxury at its finest.

Can we pause here for a moment and give it up for Megan? Designing this home was no small feat, and she executed it beyond our clients’ wildest dreams. Way to go, girl… simply stunning!

The Joyful Result

Our easygoing homeowners couldn’t have been happier. We did away with their cookie cutter production home and created a sophisticated sanctuary that is a complete reflection of their lives, their travels, and their personalities.

Organic, carefree, comfortable, and livable, this space embodies everything they hoped for, but never dreamed possible in a home. Every day, they walk through that front door, take a deep breath, and sigh. Ahhh. Complete bliss, pride, and contentment. After all, that is how a home should feel, right?!

If you’re ready to take that leap and transform your home into a relaxing retreat, give us a call. We would be delighted to turn your uninspired house into an awe-inspiring home.

OH – and if the space that needs some love is a kitchen, you can download our Guide to Prepping for a Kitchen Remodel here.

Michelle Lynne

How to Enjoy Your Patio Year Round

It’s Fall, Y’all

Generally, this time of year doesn’t inspire thoughts about outdoor living, but here in Texas, our weather is pretty mild during the winter months, so it’s still a great time to create an outdoor living area that you can enjoy.

It’s fairly simple to extend your patio season well into the winter and make it feel like a seamless extension of your indoor living areas if you use the same style inside and out. Think of it this way: You’re adding extra square footage to your home.

Here are some tips we use when designing an outdoor oasis for our clients:

Divide outdoor living space into zones

Instead of considering your outdoor space as one big area, break it down into zones. You may want a living room, fireplace conversation zone, or outdoor dining space with a separate kitchen and eating area.


Figure out the right furnishings for your needs

Consider an outdoor sofa or two with multiple chairs and stools in the living area that can act as side tables or extra seating. A television is a fun way to relax in the fresh air and enjoy the seasonal shows we all  love.

Set up multiple chairs around a fireplace or fire-pit to make a cozy spot perfect for conversations.

A dining table is also an excellent way to extend your time outdoors and enjoy family meals al fresco.  And don’t forget an outdoor swing: These really add a touch of interest and comfort to the space.

Start with a large rug.

Just like inside, a rug helps define your living space. Today, there are many options on the market that will withstand the elements and create a sense of coziness outside. Ensure you select an outdoor specific rug.  Putting a regular rug outside is a recipe for disaster — and mildew — even if it’s a covered space. There are plenty of options made with weather-resistant materials that repel water and resist fading.

Outdoor living designed by ML Interiors Group | Dallas' best interior design

Choose weather-resistant fabrics and materials. 

Just like rugs, everything you put outside, from pillows to chairs and tables, must be made from weather-resistant materials.

Choose performance fabrics for the outdoor upholstery & pillows. Many also resist mildew.

When it comes to other materials, you’ll want to look for hardy woods like teak or ipe and tables made from concrete or metal that won’t rust.

Final design touches for outdoor living: lighting and accessories.

Just like you wouldn’t leave your inside surfaces bare from any accessories or artwork, you need final touches outside, too. Consider live greenery in decorative pots and other organic materials that will withstand the elements, and can be brought inside as needed.

Adding lighting to an outdoor living room can help it feel like a secondary living space of your home – and make it easier to enjoy the dark winter nights when the sun sets early. Lamps, lanterns, and chandeliers can go outside just like any other element, as so long as the material is weather-resistant.

Having cozy throw blankets handy for colder weather is also an easy way to stay comfortable during the cooler months.

If you’re looking for help designing your outdoor oasis (or your indoor oasis!), contact us to get started.


6 Interior Design Tips for Your Dream Outdoor Oasis

6 Interior Design Tips for Your Dream Outdoor Oasis

As we near the end of these blistering hot Texas days, we start to think about actually ENJOYING our outdoor patios… Even though the pandemic might have changed our normal fall routines, it’s time to make new memories with your loved ones in your outdoor oasis. Is your outdoor living room ready for the long fall nights of firepit s’mores with family and friends?

Whether you’re creating an outdoor living space yourself or we’re creating one for you, the perfect design for your outdoor oasis starts with examining your lifestyle.

What Does Your Outdoor Oasis Look Like?

Ask yourself some questions:

  • How often do you spend time outdoors?
  • Do you enjoy cooking outside?
  • Maybe with more than just a grill?
  • What about watching TV?
  • Do you frequently have gatherings with your friends and family around a fire with a glass of wine to end the perfect fall day?

A stylish and comfortable outdoor living space with great design should feel like an extension of your indoor living areas… That’s why it’s important to use the same style inside and out!

Think of it this way: You’re basically adding extra square footage to your home.

Here are some of our tips for great outdoor living room design:


1. Divide your outdoor living space into zones

Instead of thinking of your outdoor living area as one big space, break it down into zones. You can even think of it as multiple outdoor rooms. You may want a living space, fire pit area, and swimming zone, or an outdoor living room with a separate kitchen and dining area if you plan to cook and eat outside a lot.

Creating these different zones helps maximize your outside space and creates separate areas with distinct purposes: lounging, cooking, eating, activities, and more.

2. Figure out the right outdoor furniture

Once you know what you want in a space, focus on seating. If you’re dividing the area into multiple zones, each area can have different options.

In the living area, consider an outdoor sofa with a chair or two on the side. Around a fire pit, set up multiple chairs to make a cozy spot perfect for conversations. An outdoor dining table is also something you’ll want to consider. And don’t forget an outdoor swing: These really add a touch of whimsy to the space.

If you enjoy watching TV outside with friends and family, you’ll want to maximize seating. One of our clients needed additional seating options for this reason. We created a custom barstool height table made from weather-resistant material that sits behind their outdoor sofa. The height of the table lets people sitting at the bar see over those sitting on the sofa, meaning there’s plenty of room for everyone to watch.

3. Start with a (large) outdoor rug

Believe it or not, rugs are for outside, too. Just like inside, a rug helps define your living space outside.

But there is one major difference when it comes to outdoor rugs: They must be made from the right kind of fabric. Putting a regular rug outside is a recipe for disaster — and mildew — even if it’s a covered space. But don’t worry, there are plenty of options made with weather-resistant materials that repel water and resist fading in the sun.

Don’t go for a smaller size, either. You want a rug large enough to help ground the space just like you would inside.

Patio lifestyle includes loveseat, swinging chair and concrete coffee table | Dallas designer | ML Interiors Group


4. Choose weather-resistant fabrics and materials for your outdoor living room furniture

Just like rugs, everything you put outside, from pillows to chairs and tables, must be made from weather-resistant materials.

Choose only performance fabrics for the outdoors. These are made with a special thread that’s dyed all the way through the fabric, not just the top layer, meaning they won’t fade or stain. They also resist mildew. Some of our favorite brands are Sunbrella, Perennials and Inside Out Performance Fabrics.

When it comes to other materials, you’ll want to look for hardy woods like teak and tables made from concrete, stone, or metal that won’t rust over time. If you choose teak, we suggest treating it once a year as a way to protect the finish and keep the wood looking new.

Outdoor living with television and custom bar. | Dallas interior designer, ML Interiors Group


5. Add a fan and curtains to your patio

There’s not always going to be a pleasant breeze on those hot days (especially here in Dallas!). Adding a fan can make your outdoor space truly liveable by adding that extra airflow.

We also love to use curtains wherever possible. Not only do they provide a resort-like feel, they help enclose your space — making it feel cozier — and keep out the sun. Just remember to use the same weather-resistant fabrics you would use elsewhere outside.

Outdoor living designed by ML Interiors Group | Dallas' best interior design


6. Final interior, er, exterior design touches for outdoor living: Plants, lighting, and accessories

Thought you were done designing your outdoor living space? Not quite yet.

Just like you wouldn’t leave your inside surfaces bare from any accessories or artwork, you need final touches outside, too.

Adding lighting to an outdoor living “room” can really help it feel like a secondary living room and make it easier to stay outside long into those fall nights. Lamps can go outside just like any other element, again so long as the material is weather-resistant. If you have a fan, consider one with a light to really brighten up the space when the sun goes down.


If you want something a little more decorative, use outdoor string lights. These are a great way to not only brighten up your space, but make it feel special and almost magical.

Don’t forget the plants. Greenery literally livens up an indoor or outdoor living area and makes it feel more cohesive. You’re already outside, so outdoor plants are the obvious choice. You can also add succulents if you want plants that don’t need quite so much water.

Finally, there is the artwork. You wouldn’t leave all the walls inside your home completely bare, would you? Of course not. So why would you even think about doing that outside? Adding art and other decor helps tie your outdoor living space together and create that warm, homey feeling that will keep you outside all year long.

As you can see, there’s not a big difference in creating living areas inside or outside, but there are a number of considerations you must take into account, especially when it comes to fabrics and materials that can stand up to all types of weather.

If you’re looking for help designing your outdoor oasis, simply shoot us a note to get started. If you don’t live in the Dallas / Fort Worth area, we have virtual design services available.

Or if you’d simply like to get more great design ideas for your home — inside and out — sign up for our email list here.