Christmas Timing

Hi Friends!
Time does get away with me, but never like this year. It is a wonder to me how working moms find the time to get it all done, and decorate the house for the holidays. With two weeks to Christmas, we are still without a tree, and most of the gifts. A big project in Florida has kept me busy up until the bitter end, but the presentation on Sunday went well, yay!  Today I plan to find a tree (are there any good ones left?), and transform this joint, which up until a week ago, still had a pumpkin by the front door (have I no shame?).

Blogland is full of pretty holiday tours this time of year. I hope to share what I cooked up this Christmas very soon, but in the meantime, here is a taste of our home last Christmas, shot by Lauren Rubinstein for The Cottage Journal. This special edition called Holiday Cottage, has been on newsstands since October.  I have not seen any lately, so I think it's safe to share for those of you who have not seen the magazine yet. 

Homemade stockings.

 The family room.  That was our biggest tree ever!

 The breakfast area. Changes have been made, so check back!

 Fresh greens and a burlap bow added to a store bought garland.

 Dixie loves attention.

The foyer with birch branches in an orcio from my husband's family in Italy.

Living Room- the paining was a wedding gift from my parents.

 I love bling, even in a rustic surrounding.

 The dining room.

 Guest room. 

 Luca's room.

Bianca's room.

Master Bedroom

Thank you for sticking with me during my long absence. I love blogging and am looking forward to sharing with you more consistently in the new year. There are many new projects to reveal, and I can't wait for you to see!

Enjoy the holiday season with family and friends, and don't forget the little decorating the house...which add so much to the joy of the season...

....I'm off to Pike's for our tree:)

Warm Hugs-


Party Girl....And a Fabulous Giveaway!

Who doesn't love a party?  I, for one, used to be a BIG party girl....not in the wild and crazy sense (usually), but rather in a more Martha kind of way.

Curating the menu, the music, the decor, and cooking all the food was such a joy. Dancing and the right outfit were also a must. Sadly, the last party I threw was over TWO years ago. (Scratch that, I also had a designer lunch last Christmas.)

These days, busy work, busy kids, a traveling husband, ...aka LIFE, have turned me into a bit of a party-pooper. Is it just me, or does it seem like too much work to host a party these days?

Granted, I have never been one to take the easy route....I kind of don't even know how to do that! To me, simple just seemed boring, not creative, no fun. That was until I read Annette Joseph's new book, Picture Perfect Parties. 

photo credit Rizzoli

For those of you who do not know of Annette, she is one of the country's leading photo stylists,and now author. This pretty lady OOZES with style, creativity and personality.

photo credit Rizzoli

The two of us met while working on Room Service Atlanta, and I have been a fan ever since. Here we are at her recent book launch hosted by Room & Board. (You can also read her interview of me on her blog, here.)

photo credit Frank Joseph

At the book signing event, Annette gave a demo of how to make mini tiramisu's in demi-tasse cups. As a food stylist, Annette explained that she first plans what sort of vessel she will use to contain the food, then plans the dish. I found this perspective so interesting!

Her entire book is inspiring and full of mouth-watering, gorgeously shot and styled pictures like these:

Photo credit Rizzoli

Photo credit Rizzoli

I love how the book is divided into party chapters in which Annette gives tips and recipes on how to create a theme event with ease and style. Her recipes are simple, yet creative and healthy...exactly the way we love to eat!

Photo credit Rizzoli

Some of her party ideas include "Retro Riviera Party" and a "Palio Celebration"...which are so exciting to me because both are RIGHT up my alley. Seasonal menus, comfort food, and ideas for family gatherings also fill the book. Even if you don't love to cook, the decorating, styling and organizational tips are out of this world cool. I know I'm inspired to plan my next party!

photo credit Rizzoli

 Now for the giveaway...I am very excited to announce that Annette has generously donated a signed copy of Picture Perfect Parties to one lucky reader! 

All you have to do is subscribe to my blog and leave a comment below. The lucky winner will be chosen on Saturday, October 19th.

Thanks Annette for the giveaway, and thanks to all of you for following.

Buon Appetito!

At Home with Paisley

Ciao Amici!

The sunshine is back in Atlanta. Too bad for all of those Music Midtown fans (my daughter included), who sat in the rain yesterday for HOURS to hear the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Journey, and many others.  I hope you have grand plans to get outside today and soak up the sun. We sure do, so here is a quick post just to share our radio podcast link with you.

You may have read in my last blog post that my dad and I were guests on the At Home with Paisley radio show. We had so much fun talking shop with Paisley McDonald and her co-host Krisztina Bell.  If you missed the live show, you can still tune in to the segment by clicking on the link below:

Thank you to our darling and talented hosts Paisley and Krisztina for the invitation, and thank you to America's Web Radio for the air time.  

Most of all, thanks to everyone who takes the time to read this blog and for your support as we build our businesses. We hope you enjoy the show!

Lisa and Gabby

On Air

Ciao a tutti!

Thank you for all of your support and feedback this past week.  It has been an eventful one!

And the fun continues... this Thursday please tune in to hear my dad and me as guests on At Home with Paisley, a national radio show on America's Web Radio focusing on interior design.

For those of you in, or near Sandy Springs, you can tune in to AM 1620 from 3:00-4:00 PM this Thursday, September 19th.  The rest of you can listen via the web by going to and clicking the "LISTEN ONLINE" tab on the homepage in the link.

We are sure to provide lots of laughs and stories about how the two of us got started in the interior design, antiques, and wood working worlds!  If you've ever heard Car Talk (the most hilarious radio show ever), that's kind of what I am envisioning. Not that I consider myself even remotely funny, but with my dad in the mix....well, you NEVER KNOW....

Here I am with my dad (aka The Pied Piper) and kids...just a few years ago...

If you are unable to listen to the live show, I promise to post it on the blog as soon as I have the link.  Here is a little bit about our co-host, Paisley:

At Home with Paisley

Paisley McDonald

Born and raised in Georgia, Paisley McDonald is one of Atlanta's most sought after interior decorators. Growing up in the industry; Paisley's passion for color, furniture and Interior Design was cultivated at a young age. Her early start in the Trade has allowed her much success and has given her an edge on today's trends.

Paisley's unique vision and fearless, eclectic style appeal to a broad clientele. Her ability to balance old with new, bold with bland and her impeccable sense of color, has established her in the industry. She believes rooms should be “Simple but Significant .

We are SO honored to be invited to chat with Paisley and Krisztina.  Hope you will join us too:)

A Giovedi'-Until Thursday,

Press Release - Holiday Cottage

I am very happy to announce that the Holiday Cottage magazine featuring our home has just hit the newsstands!

This is a special holiday edition of The Cottage Journal published by Hoffman Media.  It is available now at Barnes & Noble, and should be at nationwide grocery stores too, through December 16th.  Infinite thanks go out to photographer Lauren Rubinstein, who scouted and shot the feature.  She made our home shine in a way it never has before! Thank you, too, to The Cottage Journal for your interest in the story, for putting us on the cover, and for the beautifully written article by Karen Callaway.

In case you are wondering, we actually shot the pictures last January!  Lauren was at our house for a Christmas party in early December, but we found out that the magazine was interested in shooting it while we were out of the country on winter break.  As I am not one to take down Christmas on the 26th, the decorations were still intact and the tree was still standing, and ALIVE upon our return after New Year's! The Cottage Journal graciously gave me an allowance to freshen up the greens, and the photos were shot mid-January. How's that for getting the most out of your holiday decor? 

A few interesting side bits on the shoot... 
The cover shot was photo-shopped to make it look more festive.  They changed the color of our chair and pillow from blue to red, and added the holly berries to the greens on the table so it would pop on the newsstand.  Another fun detail is in what turned out to be my favorite photo.  Dixie, our Golden Retriever, still loves a party and would not leave the photographers alone. Lauren, a dog-lover herself, decided to embrace the situation by putting a bow on her. There she sat, the star, all poised and pretty for the duration of the shot.

Although they ended up using seventeen images from front to back cover, a couple of AWESOME pics did not make the cut.  Here they are for you to see....

That's all, folks! If you should need help redesigning your family home, or simply decorating for the holidays, I am booking clients for October and November now.  Please email me at to discuss your needs. I am happy to help and can't wait to hear from you!

As always, I am so grateful for your readership and support. And although it's a bit early....Happy Holidays to all.

Cose Cosi'

Otherwise known as, a little bit of this and a little bit of that. Sorry for my absence lately. Some of you have told me you miss my posts, and I appreciate the feedback. Today, I am home recovering from surgery.  I am doing fine, but forced to stay put....WOW, what a concept. It almost makes me feel guilty. Yesterday, I had my fair share of cooking shows and couch time. This morning, Lorenzo and I ventured out to the corner at a snail's pace. The beautiful fall weather has inspired a blog post on what I'm looking at, working on, and dreaming of these days. Here we go....

But first, a little confession: I have the seven year itch. We have been in our house seven years now, and I am dying to move. For a variety of reasons, that is not happening anytime soon, like not even in the next decade. To appease my itch, inch by inch I have been whitewashing the walls, and have finally decided to take the plunge and do the family room too. In a perfect world (with no medical bills), I would also add beams and planks like this... walls and Paris grey bookshelves, just like the mirror finish below.  Those are our sofas the pillows, but these are too bedroom-y for our family room.

My office would go from light to dark, yet warm, clean and classy (below):

In the kitchen, I am on the lookout for new-old pantry doors, below...

The guest room would get a tiny makeover too, with a new striped headboard and touches of blue again.  I already have the pillows below (a total fluke), just need to recover the headboard.

How about cocktails on the chevron terrace in front of this spectacular fireplace?

And dinner under the Virginia Creeper pergola...

Here's what I'll be wearing this fall...

With grand plans of a client's bonus room looking something like this...

I also adore the vintage, yet modern look of this husband would hate it, I'm sure.

Once my swelling goes down, I am breaking out the belts.  I can't wait to try this Hermes version with a horse bit I have sitting around.

Add this to the wrist....yummmm!

At a client's we are adding striped panels tied with ropes to the basement windows...

 Their stairs are getting a make-over too...

(All images above via Pinterest)

Another couple got a new bedroom last week.  I will post before and afters once the back-ordered rug arrives.

Lunch break. I am on the look-out for iron rich meals, and am not really a huge fan of red meat, although the sugo bolognese tasted pretty good today. Please feel free to share some of your favorite recipes!

On another note, check out my Dad's recent blog post. He puts those cute little twenty-something DIYers to shame!  Here is the link to his blog.  Also in the news, the two of us will be guests on a local radio show next Thursday, September 19th from 3:00-4:00 pm. I will send details ahead of time if you care to tune in. This is a first for me, so I have mixed emotions of excitement and fear. But as my lovely son so bluntly put it:

"You can't be a wimp if you want to succeed."

                                              -Luca G. Russo

OK then friends, let's forge ahead. Thank you so much for following. You absolutely MAKE MY DAY!