Sunday, May 14, 2017

Urban Backyard Garden Party

With this beautiful weather I thought I would share with you a recent event request for a garden party to showcase a recently acquired wall mural and updated landscaping in a backyard in Baltimore City.  I immediately had a vision that included strung globe lights, soft music playing in the background, good drinks, and great company.  Below are some images I found that perfectly illustrate that vision.

Image from The Daily Nest
Image from Pinterest

Image from Pinterest
Once I had a chance to discuss the party and space with the client I set to work on a design board and (very) rough sketch of the backyard.

The mural mentioned above has a flamingo theme which I attempted to highlight with accessories.

I will be sure to take before and after pictures of the set up and post them soon!

Monday, May 1, 2017

Design Show House: The Final Reveal

Im going to be straight with you, the Show House has been a lot of work. A great deal of that work has been growing and expanding my business at the same time as creating the vision and the install of the bathroom space. Designing business cards, figuring out sales tax forms, business insurance, and all the paperwork in between has been a challenge and I've certainly learned a lot.

I guess because of the way it came together I can't really imagine it working out any easier or if there may have been a simpler way.  I really needed this push that participating in the Show House provided. Otherwise I don't think I would be as far along in this process as I am (and I'm still a long way from sitting back and kicking off my shoes).

I couldn't have made this progress without the huge support of my husband and my friend Sarah, who have both spent hours with me figuring out all the small stuff that goes into starting up a business. They both pushed me and inspired me to keep going, all with no complaints along the way; proof that I have amazing people around me.

Thank you to everyone that followed along on this design project. I hope that you stay tuned for more projects as I continue to blog about my business, the design that inspires me, and before and after pictures.

Also, congrats to the winner of the Show House tickets is Bobbie L and her girl Lauren!  Can't wait to see you at the house!



After: Mornings Away Framed Art, Gold Tray, Gold Robe Hook, Orchid, Paint is SW Rock Bottom

After: Chestnut Hill Radiator Cover

After: Light, Faucet, Hand Soap, Mirror, Black Soap Dispenser

Kohler Purist Widespread Faucet

Lux Robe from Phina's for the Home

Custom Soap: Phina's for the Home

PS - If you are just now joining in on the fun, check out the series below:

Monday, April 24, 2017

Design Show House: Ticket Giveaway

The design show house is so close to opening! All this week it will be open to private parties then opening to the public following a ribbon cutting on April 30, 2017. I am so exited to have people experience this house! It has been such a labor of love to go through this process and I cannot thank you enough for following along on this journey.  To show my appreciation I am giving away 2 tickets to the event ($50 value), which can be used any day of the event April 30th through May 21st. Follow me on Instagram (upper right corner of blog) and comment on the Ticket Giveaway post for a chance to win! Winner will be drawn at random.  Good luck!

Additional information about the show house:

The 40th Annual Symphony Decorators' Show House "Mayfair" will be open to the public beginning Sunday, April 30 through Sunday, May 21, 2017. Tickets are not date specific. You may use your ticket any time during normal operating hours.
All proceeds support the educational programs of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra including OrchKidsTM, the Baltimore Symphony Youth Orchestras and Midweek education concerts impacting the lives of more than 55,000 students a year.
TICKETS: $25 in advance / $30 at the door
HOURS:Sunday 12 pm-4 pm
Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday, Saturday 10 am-6 pm
Thursday 10 am-8 pm
PARKING: Parking and a shuttle available with a $2 donation at: Padonia Park & Ride, Deereco Road, 1/2 mile south of Padonia Road

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Design Show House: Bringing the Vision to Life

Once Casa Pena Designs was selected for the space we had a few weeks to get all of the items ordered and installed in the space.  I reached out to a few vendors who graciously offered items either deeply discounted or for free, which is a huge help to a designer like me who is just getting started.  A huge thank you to Kohler, Lamps Plus, Phina's for the Home, and Target for making this transformation possible!

First phase to tackle was painting the wall.  I chose SW Rock Bottom for the dark wall and SW Snowbound for the trim/ceiling.

Painting the dark color on the wall really added dimension and character to this space. I think it was the boldest change we made and I've received a lot of comments on it from the vendors who have been through the house.

Next we (and by we I mean Jeff) hung the light fixture from Lamps Plus.  I am so in love with this lamp! It really pops against the dark wall and makes the bathroom look so rich.

Over the course of the next few weeks I bought lots of accessories and made the curtains and valence for the shower stall and the window. My dining room was quickly transformed into my workroom for sewing and managing design boards, accessories, documents, and everything that goes along with this business. I think I'm going to need more workspace very soon.

Once the Kohler Purist Faucet came in, we installed it right away. I couldn't wait to see it shine in this room.

At the risk of sounding cheesy I've got to say: my husband has been a total rockstar. He installed the light, the faucet (which was no easy feat), and still had energy to help hang art and paint. His support during this process has been nothing short of amazing to me and I appreciate him so much!

Stay tuned for the final reveal and a give away in the next few days!

The Show House opens to the public Sunday, April 30th through Sunday, May 21st.
Sunday: 12:00pm until 4:00pm
Monday: Closed
Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday: 10:00am until 4:00pm
Thursdays:10:00am until 8:00pm

The Cafe will serve snacks and lunch and there is an antiques tent where you can purchase items on display in the decorated rooms.

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Design Show House: The Before

We had a meeting at the house this week, which officially kicks off the date we are able to take over the space and begin the transformation.  I was able to get a couple of pictures of the space before we get started.

Here is the design board:

1. Light, 2. SW Paint Color, 3. Mirror, 4. Shelf, 5. Kohler Purist Widespread Faucet, 6. Radiator Cover, 7. Succulent, 8. Fabric , 9. Mornings Away Art Print, 10. Towels

The homeowner doesn't want the tile walls or flooring to be removed so that created a bit of a design challenge but that soft blue tile coupled with a rich dark charcoal wall will give this room a completely different feel. Switching out the fixtures for brushed gold versions and covering the radiator will give the space more of a finished look.  I can't wait to get started!

To read about the whole process start here:

Sunday, March 19, 2017


The design boards were submitted and it felt so good. The amount of time and effort that I put into both of them was a true labor of love. We were told that designers would hear back if they were chosen on Friday so imagine my surprise when I heard back on Wednesday!  YOU GUYS! I was blown away at the response.  The judges loved my design board for the Sophisticated Bathroom and couldn't wait to see the transformation!  Not only did I get chosen but I also got my first choice room! Most of the designers who bid on the house are established firms who have been designing for years. I'm thrilled to get to work along side them to turn this house into an amazing work of art. I have a feeling I will learn a lot through this process and am grateful you are along for the ride.  

We have a design meeting at the house in a few days, after that we can get in to our space and begin working our magic. 

To read about the whole process start here:

Don't miss updates on the BSO Show House! If you want to see more be sure to sign up to receive updates on the right under subscribe.

1. Light, 2. SW Paint Color, 3. Mirror, 4. Shelf, 5. Kohler Purist Widespread Faucet, 6. Radiator Cover, 7. Succulent, 8. Fabric , 9. Mornings Away Art Print, 10. Towels

1. World Map Wall Mural, 2. SW Paint Color, 3. Telescope, 4. Lego Head 5. Light Fixture, 6. BB-8 Pillow, 7. Bike Pillow, 8. Dot Desk, 9. Floor Cushion, 10. Sailcloth Storage, 11. Sign

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Design Show House: Adventure Awaits Reading Nook

Hello there and thanks for following along as I write about the experience of submitting for the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra's 40th Annual Show House.  You can see previous posts about it here and here.

The second room I felt inspired to design was a small nook on the 3rd floor.  It was barely large enough to stand up but perfect for a small boy and his dog to get away for hours plotting great adventures together. I imagined the boy reading aloud to his dog, scoping out the stars, and dreaming of exotic far away places that only pirates can find.

The nook is the 1/2 circle window at the very top of the house.

Here is an image of the nook (it was hard to get a good image because of the size):

Isn't that huge window dreamy?
Below is the design board I submitted:

1. World Map Wall Mural, 2. SW Paint Color, 3. Telescope, 4. Lego Head 5. Light Fixture, 6. BB-8 Pillow, 7. Bike Pillow, 8. Dot Desk, 9. Floor Cushion, 10. Sailcloth Storage, 11. Sign

I have to admit, I felt inspired by my 6 year old son when designing this room.  Some of the items in the design board above are his favorites.  The letterpress box is an antique and holds all his little treasures from lego men, sea shells found on the beach, to that random robins egg found on a walk. He loves his adventures!

Saturday, March 4, 2017

Design Show House: Sophisticated Bathroom Design Board

The BSO allows each designer to submit design boards for up to 3 rooms. I decided to submit for a bathroom and a small nook on the 3rd floor.  If you look at the picture from the last post of the front of the house, the nook is the semi-circle window at the top.  It's a perfect hideout for a small boy and his dog to daydream about all the adventures they will take together (more about that coming soon).

My first design submission was a small blue-tiled bathroom. The moment I entered this room I had an idea to transform it from it's current condition to something with a bit more wow-factor. The challenge in this space is that the designer is not permitted to change the tile wall or the floor.  I found a way to incorporate them into the design.

The view of the bathroom from our first visit to the Mayfair House:

Here is my design board showing the concept:

1. Light, 2. SW Paint Color, 3. Mirror, 4. Shelf, 5. Kohler Purist Widespread Faucet, 6. Radiator Cover, 7. Succulent, 8. Fabric , 9. Mornings Away Art Print, 10. Towels

This space was envisioned as the spot where a sophisticated woman gets ready in the morning and wants to start her day inspired by her surroundings. Updating this bathroom with a dark wall color above the blue tile along with modern French gold fixtures and accessories melds perfectly with the painting, titled 
Mornings Away.  A fabric roman shade and matching shower curtain would be added to bring diverse texture to the space. 

I am excited for the opportunity to work on this project. Wish me luck!

Monday, February 20, 2017

Baltimore Symphony Orchestra Design Show House

Two years ago I toured the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra's Design Show House compliments of Sherwin Williams and loved every minute of it.  As I was touring, I noticed several of the designers had used fabric I have chosen for projects, paint colors that I have in my own home, and many accessories that I own or have admired from afar (let's face it some of them are pricey).  This gave me a boost in confidence that maybe I do have what it takes to take my love of design and put it out there for the world.

The Guildford House I toured in 2015

This year, I have decided to try my talents and submit designs for this year's BSO Design House, Mayfair.  When the opportunity presented itself, I jumped on it, touring the bare house with my dear friend and partner in crime, Sarah.

This year's Show House: Mayfair

On our way in to check it out

The grand staircase from the Foyer

My plans are due later this week.  I will be sure to share a sampling of what I put together for the three rooms I chose.