Portola Court Apartment Homes – Loving Life

Portola Court Apartment Homes – Loving Life

The Portola Court Apartment Homes clubhouse in Irvine recently hosted an event that I attended. In fact, you may have seen the video showing the fun we had on Day 22 of my Facebook Live 30 Day Challenge.  It reminded me of a blog post I wrote about three easy apartment decorating secrets.  Yes, your apartment can be decorated as if it was built just for you.  What a perfect excuse to share more  pictures from the Portola Court Apartment Homes to illustrate that point.

Portola Court Apartment Homes Living Room Mary Etta Designs

Use Color to express your character.  The draperies have a pattern, although they are not too busy.  The vibrant blue chairs and pops of the color orange in this living room gives a clue that this is a high energy, fun loving family. No blah, blah beige life being live here.

Portola Apartment Homes Gallery Wall Mary Etta Designs

Go big and go home!  Your art and accessories need to rise to the life you want to live.  This gallery wall shows the sum total of life experiences in this home’s art collection.  Your art collection deserves the same care and focus as that homeowner who has a mortgage.

Portola Court Apartment Homes Bed and Night Stands Mary Etta Designs

I hope that you are not waiting for a “real” home to buy functional furniture that you like.  These night stands, lamps and bedding are of the moment, though in correct proportion to the size of the room.

Portola Court Apartment Homes Bathroom Drapes.jpg

Yes, I have designed and installed custom draperies like the drapery panel in this apartment home’s bath. Custom drapery panels like this and the ones in the living room and bedroom give an air of luxury to your apartment.  Custom window treatments designed just for you combined with matched accessories are classic luxuries that you and your family deserve.


Living in Portola Apartment Homes affords you additional amenities like that gorgeous pool at the top of the page.  And Friday nights will be  on and popping in a clubhouse outfitted like this.  Loving you life starts now!

Free Birthday Giveaway – And You Get A Present!

Comment Below to Enter and Win My Birthday Giveaway!Mary-Etta-Designs- Birthday Giveaway

Today’s my birthday!  Those who know me know that I take my birthday very seriously.  It kicks off the winter holiday celebrations. And I like to celebrate with everybody.  You also know that I can’t be working for free.  But this year, I will give a gift of a free room Color Consultation for my birthday!  And since this is my 2nd Annual “It’s My Birthday Giveaway,” there will be two lucky winners this year.

Mary-Etta-Designs- Birthday Giveaway-GuestBedroom-Ralph-Lauren

When I help clients decorate a repurposed space, we start with an empty room.  For example, here’s a guest bedroom that I worked on during the month of November.  First things first: the floorpan.  When it was decided that the dresser, chest and bed would stay, we could make a floor plan that would work for guests to enjoy.  Next was the color palette.

Mary-Etta-Designs-Birthday-Giveaway-HC-172 Revere Pewter BM

For flexibility we kept things neutral and light.  The walls are painted a neutral Revere Pewter by Benjamin Moore.  This workhorse of a color will work with whatever bedding changes take place in the future. Since the bed is a lighter wood, Revere Pewter is a great balance in light for the dark, heavy furniture pieces.  That reveal will come in a future post.

Mary-Etta-Designs- Birthday Giveaway Ralph-Lauren-Home-Decor

Hint: the room used to belong to the homeowner’s son.  To make him feel welcome when he is home for the holidays, I thought that the “mad for plaid” by Ralph Lauren theme might soften the blow with a bit of a masculine touch. That way, he won’t feel too much like it is no longer his room (even though it really isn’t).

The painting is done. The color consultation solidified the move ahead to finalize bedding and accessories.  Now we are waiting on lighting and window treatments, which will be installed next week.  The finish line is near and the room will be ready for Christmas visitors (and, oh yeah, the son).

If you want to one of two lucky winners for a FREE Color Consultation from Mary Etta Designs, leave a comment below and I will select a winner by 5 p.m. December 2!  Happy Holidays.

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Three Easy Apartment Decorating Secrets


Sofa with colorful pillows in room


So….some of you noticed that I was MIA for the month of July. I was supposed to be on vacation in Ohio. But I did do a bit of research on three easy apartment decorating secrets for you apartment dwellers . Let’s just say a wedding, a funeral and surgery for one of my daughters wiped out most of the month. What should have been a fun time with family, turned into a longer, less relaxing vacay.

The wedding of hubby’s nephew -wonderful.  An unexpected funeral made for somber family time in my hometown.  That visit was cut short by an unplanned trip to Atlanta.  Our youngest daughter had a long overdue, poorly timed (for me), tonsillectomy.  Let’s just say, as an adult, that surgery is not the fun, popsicle and ice-cream-eating time off from work that you’d expect.  It’s rough and you need a nursemaid.  Mom to the rescue.

Ten days in her apartment, staring at neutral walls, had me dreaming of what I could do if only I could get my hands on paint, accessories, and a day to shop for something other than mashed potatoes, popsicles, and soup.

What would I have done, design-wise, in my young twenty something’s apartment?  Well to start, I would have attacked the walls to give her place some interest, movement and and express her individuality.

Wallpaper for Renters.  A friend who lives in an apartment told me about this and I am a fan.  You can make a statement with wallpaper in an entry or on a feature wall without worrying about how you will take it down.  Companies like Sherwin Williams have washable, eco-friendly Easy Change Wallpaper.  Who knew?

Take it outside.  And then, her “outdoor space” would have been next on the list.  Don’t tell me you have an itty bitty balcony.  Fresh air can be had for the price of that extra dining chair and a piece of fluffy sheepskin.  Plop down a small woven rug and side table and you can sip Starbucks all day Saturday without the “cell yell” environment.


Chalk it Up.   An organized space gives big returns in small spaces.  Maximize a small wall the way that Jenna Burger of SAS Interiors did so well here with her family’s chalk painted wall.  Enhanced with  calendars, file holders, and clipboards, it can prove to be  the hardest working spot in the home.


Source BHG’s Jenna Burger

I’m happy to say that my daughter is doing much better, is back to work, and even managed to move to another apartment since I left mid-July.  It’s a good thing that I didn’t act on any of these fun projects.  But now she has a new place for me to help design.  Sounds like I need a road trip.  Atlanta in the fall?