Mary Etta Designs Interior Spaces Blog
Happy New Year from Mary Etta Designs! I can’t believe that it is 2018. Seems like we were just talking Y2K. And now we are nearing the end of the second decade of this century. This note is to give you an update on reaching Consumer Support for Hunter Douglas. But first, I’d like to share a bit of news about Mary Etta Designs.
Many of you have been faithful clients of Mary Etta Designs over the years. And I would like to personally thank you for using us as your interior decorating company. Last year, Mary Etta Designs expanded quite a bit more from specializing in just custom window treatments into including more interior design consultation services. This new year brings news that Mary Etta is now a certified True Color Expert, trained in the specialty of undertones in color selections you use for your homes and offices.
Why is this important? Let’s look at one task of choosing a countertop. Should you choose a Carrara marble countertop in your kitchen, the undertones of the marble’s color will be a blue-gray.
Knowing that informs your choices in paint, flooring and many other choices you make in finishes. Granite countertops, on the other hand, takes color from the many different minerals that give each lode contains. Shopping for granite countertops, the range of colors and veining makes the task of matching the right shade and stone appearance to your design scheme not only fun, but very important.
Another change in the new year is that Mary Etta Designs has rebranded as “Your Southern Gal in The SoCal.” Why did I choose this tagline and all of the services that I now offer to you on the attached information sheet on my company. Timeless, classic designs with Southern Styling in mind is the reason. Want to know more?
Give me a call for interior decorating consultations and ask about my existing customers discount that is good until February 1, 2018.
Finally, I want to make sure that those of you who have purchased Hunter Douglas products from me through Costco will want to jot down the revised customer service number. Already in the new year I have gotten a few calls from those wanting to contact Hunter Douglas for parts and repairs. The new contact info for Consumer Support at Hunter Douglas is 1-800-789-0331. You can reach us for all your decorating and window treatments at our office number 714.340.3214.
I was approached recently by VoyageLA, a web-based magazine to have an article written about my interior decorating company. Technically, Orange County is not a part of Los Angeles. But honestly, we are so close (35 to 45 miles depending upon exact locations) that it is the best way for me to tell friends and family back east about where we’re located.
Of course, I was and still am flattered to be featured. VoyageLA is how Voyage Media got its start. With over a million page views about all things happening in Los Angeles, they spread their wings by using the same approach to publish info on other city centers. What made me say yes was how their approach to sharing info about the greater L.A. area read like a comfortable conversation.
That approach spoke to how I function at Mary Etta Designs. Mary Etta Designs is all about hospitality if you haven’t noticed. As your Southern Gal in the SoCal, the pineapple a sign of welcome and seen repeatedly in the southern states, is central to our logo. In case you missed our logo introduction earlier this year, I wrote about it here.
With permission from VoyageLA, I am reprinting our featured article in its entirety because it gives you a look at who I am and why I love being the owner of Mary Etta Designs Interiors. Enjoy!
Today we’d like to introduce you to Mary Etta McCurdy.
Mary Etta, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
Born in Georgia, raised in Cleveland Ohio, I now call Southern California my home. Living in Orange County with my husband, Al and our dog, Cocoa, I love the design aesthetic of places like Atlanta, New Orleans, Savannah and other southern cities. Just call me your “Southern Gal in the SoCal.”
I had a very large home that needed to be decorated and my friends and family loved my taste. I started helping my neighbors in Cincinnati, Ohio’s West Chester suburb decorate their homes back in 2000. I was so busy that I thought, “I need to start charging.” The one area that I noticed was most challenging for them was creating window treatments. So for many years, I concentrated on that. In the area’s colder climate, where you are inside for 9 months out of the year, window treatments are a focal point many times.
In 2003 we relocated to Orange County, CA and in a couple of years, I was up and designing again. But the recession and the end of a decade has moved me to shift my focus back to interior decorating and added color consultations as a secondary focus.
We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
My struggle was trying to fit into the California pared down design vibe that I thought was the only way I would succeed. I participated in trade shows, networked as the newbie in town. And I thought I would move my business in that direction. It was not working for me trying to fit my brand into a direction that my heart was not feeling. And then the recession plus internet shopping slowed me down. In fact, I worked for other companies for a few years.
But the clients that I serve are like me in many cases. They are either transplants from back east or baby boomers. We like our stuff! So I finally rebranded and am moving forward with a new look which includes the pineapple as a nod to southern hospitality.
So let’s switch gears a bit and go into the Mary Etta Designs story. Tell us more about the business.
My mission at Mary Etta Designs is to give your home a look and feel that is warm and welcoming. I feel very strongly that our homes are meant to rise up and welcome us.
And why not welcome everyone that we invite into our personal spaces? I love the approach to decorating often found in southern homes. Look at the great way that homes in the south use layers of textures, fabrics and color that are not too stuffy.
But you will find a feeling of casual elegance. I believe that living well is within everyone’s reach. Everyone has a budget that they need to stick to no matter the income level. My job is to help you live in casual elegance within your budget.
I use a timeless and classic approach to design. This approach allows my clients to have a newly decorated home that will not feel dated as trends come and go. Known as the window treatments experts among my peers, I am the only interior decorator in Orange County, CA that is known as Your Southern Gal in The SoCal.
Has luck played a meaningful role in your life and business?
Bad Luck = 1) a move from Ohio to a new state only 3 years after I started the firm.
2) Finally up and running in 2005 and right around the corner was the recession.
Good Luck = 1) Facebook Groups! Thank goodness that there are communities of interior decorators and designers to help keep our morale going, share info and continue to educate our clients that even though they have access to items on the internet, there is still a need for help from a professional. 2) As I geared back up to being a solo-preneur, I am now an empty nester. I have so much more time to focus on the business.
- Website: www.maryettainteriors.com and https://maryettadesignsinteriors.com
- Phone: 714.340.3214
- Email: Info@maryettadesigns.com
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/maryettadesigns/
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/MaryEttaDesignsWindowCoverings/
- Twitter: https://twitter.com/MaryEttaMc
- Yelp: https://www.yelp.com/biz/mary-etta-designs-yorba-linda
- Other: https://www.houzz.com/pro/maryettadesigns/__public
Southern Gal in SoCal
How do you like Mary Etta Designs’ new look? We have a new website and a new logo. Make sure you scoot on over to our re-vamped website. I can’t wait for you to see what new things we offer to you all. There’s a new service offering that allow you to get help from me no matter where you are in the world. We have joined the world of virtual design, or e-design, as it is more commonly know.
So what is the deal with the Pineapple? I’m so glad that you asked. I will explain in a moment. But first, many of you know that our family relocated here from Cincinnati, Ohio in 2003. Ohio is a Midwestern state in America. It’s northern border is mostly Lake Erie. Kentucky, West Virginia, and an itty bitty part of Indiana make up Ohio’s southern borders. That’s a lot of southern influence. In fact, when you land into what used to be called the Cincinnati Airport, you are not greeted as arriving at the Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport. The nearest city is actually Covington, Ky.
Cincinnati, is across the Ohio River, is sometimes referred to by locals as “up south”. The ‘Nati is loaded with southern charm. You will hear “yes sir” and “yes m’am” more often than not. And the very polite, “please?’ is not a request for a favor. It is a request for you to repeat yourself. And Cincinnati is where Mary Etta Designs was founded. And my aesthetic lends itself to the layered, (updated) traditional look of southern stylings. I wrote about my obsession with southern interior styling in this recent blog post.
Wrap around porches, all things monogramed, florals, all lend themselves to the southern aesthetic. The one constant among southern living is hospitality. If extended to you, friend or neighbor, it is genuine. So much so that the pineapple, a decorative symbol for hospitality, will very often be on display on a door, gate, or somewhere in the home. I decided that’s what Mary Etta Designs does for you, our clients. We create homes that welcome you and all who enter.
So the pineapple is the symbol of Mary Etta Designs’ new look. It fits with our new identity perfectly. Our mission is to help to make your home elegant, yet comfortable and inviting for you and any guests you wish to entertain. I believe that you can live elegantly and comfortably, right here in Southern California. Your home deserves a fresh new look. Contact Mary Etta Designs to get started. firstname.lastname@example.org. Your Southern Gal in The SoCal
This room is so beautiful that I had to include it. As the title promises, we’ll l cover 3 ways to hang draperies on angled windows. In the picture above I love the way the interior designer followed the angle of the ceiling. And I especially love how the window treatment is “outside of the box,” giving the room a designer touch.
Follow The Angle
Hanging draperies as high as possible looks best and it is especially true with angled windows. One rule of thumb is to have all drapery panels in a room at the same height. It is generally more pleasing. If an angled window is also on an angled wall, I like to follow that line like interior designer Jennifer Scully did here. Of course, that is breaking the rule above. But by using the same fabric, Jennifer makes it work beautifully here.
This soft treatment hits the right mood in a teen room. Easily changed out in the future, sheers are great when you follow the lines of an angled window. They don’t look too heavy in what is already an awkward window.
Think Outside of The Box
Of the 3 ways to cover angled windows, this is by far the most popular. Working with a square window is a lot easier than trying to get fabric to drape on an angle. But that doesn’t mean that those window treatments have to be boring. Look at how elegant these treatments look.
I love the way this tight area around the fireplace becomes a cozy space with the right decor. The draperies play a large part. This one of the 3 ways to cover angled windows is dictated by the lack of space on the side of the angled windows. And safety is a large factor with a fireplace. Keep fabrics at least ten inches away from the hearth.
Hang on Medallions
Medallions for hardware instead of drapery rod is a smartest way of the 3 ways to cover angled windows. Make sure that the drape is long enough to reach the desired length, but not too long, You don’t want excess fabric puddling on the floor. Custom is a good idea with this drapery treatment.
Whether you use medallions above or below the angled windows, you will get a designer look if done properly.
Angled Windows Got You Stumped?
Do you have a room that could use help with window treatments on an angled window? Draperies are our specialty. If you live in the Orange County, California area, schedule a consultation with Mary Etta Designs. Call 714 340-3214. We love to help.
How’d you like a free decorating consultation? Yes F-R-E-E. Pretty blooming May flowers are Mother Nature’s sweet reward after April showers. Mary Etta Designs wants reward you with a 30-minute free decorating consultation. All that you need to do is book an available time slot in May. All consultations are available by phone or in person. On location free decorating consultations are for those of you living in the immediate Orange County, California area. I want to gift you the start of something beautiful during the month of May. This would make a beautiful Mother’s Day Gift for that special Mom in your life.
Email Mary Etta Designs at email@example.com or call our office at 714-340-3214 and schedule your 30-minute FREE decorating consultation while slots for these appointments are still available.
This season, all you need are 5 Quick Decorating Updates to make your home feel brand new to you!
Ok, ok, that is pretty drastic. But it does happen. There is no better reason to update your home with things you already own than moving. In November, we moved to a smaller home. It was a great decision. But ooo wee, we had to get rid of a lot of our stuff. I was really excited to update my colors, furnishings and fabric. It’s no secret that my love of timeless southern styling in home decor is still alive and kicking. But a home refresh was way overdue.
2. Combine Room Furnishings
Our new home is smaller in square footage and in number of rooms. There isn’t a formal living room but there is a formal dining room. Like most of you, we only use both of these two rooms just a few times a year. We liked the idea of making the dining room into a living room since it is right off the entry. And, it’s a great place for our piano. The dining room table and most of the chairs are in storage for now. This easily made tip #2 of my 5 Quick Decorating Updates.
Did you notice in the picture above that the two chairs from the family room above are now in the living room? Maybe not, because they got a jolt of the color red. I love red and the move gave me a great excuse to play with this passionate ruby red fabric and with texture. The tone-on-tone rose pattern lends a touch of femininity without shouting floral pattern. Works wonders with the black baby grand. This is one of my favorite decorating tricks. You might remember the bar stools we updated with new upholstery last year. Combining the two rooms was a fun challenge. Thankfully the sofa (next to visit the re-upholstery doctor) is curved and was a little more forgiving of the tighter floor plan. Quality furniture pieces will last for years. Reupholsterd pieces that you love will update your home’s vibe.
Accessories are the sprinkles on top of my decorating sundae. Good design is timeless, functional and personal. I like to use books as one of my many accessories. They are very personal and let you re-live memories. Oh I don’t know. Maybe you can relive that time you attended an event and were fortunate to have the author who gave a talk autograph it for you. If you have a chance to pick up Ken Fulk’s Magical World book, you will delight in the imagery and fun of his design and events firm. Every design is a full on event!
5. Create Moments
One easy and quick update you can make is to carve out little spaces within your home where you can escape, if only mentally. Do you need a place to read, meditate, craft? Even when space is at a premium, there is a corner that can be found to “get away” in your moments that are special to you in your home.
Do you have ways that you like to update your home this time of year? Leave a comment and share with us your 5 quick decorating updates. I would love to hear about them. If you need help in updating your decor, contact Mary Etta Designs at firstname.lastname@example.org.
It’s confession time. Well, actually, to myself. Southern interiors are my obsession. When I say obsession, I mean like if my husband would agree, I would pack up and move to Atlanta or Charlotte, or Louisiana. Well, maybe not the bayou. Love their design, but I’m more of a southeastern girl. But I am totally obsessed with all things southern when it comes to interior design. Why? The homes in the southern regions of our country make me feel like I could walk right in and “set a spell.”
Just take a look at that antique chest in the picture above for starters. There is always a collected piece of furniture or two or three in every room. What I love about antique pieces is that they don’t always get stripped and refurbished to perfection. Southern interiors are collected over time or at least made to look that way. You get the hint that there is some heritage there. My husband’s great aunt would say, “Child this stuff is so old.” And I would just drool over the beautiful fine woods . The craftsmanship showed pride. Not typical of furniture you would get at a chain store or at the mall.
Every southern home that I’ve admired always has that guest room where the bed is perfectly made like this one shown in this picture from Leontine Linens designer fabric collection. The interior is always layered with colorful, yet tasteful, linens. Monograms and border details on the linen are usually what makes me feel like the host or hostess went to a lot of trouble just for me. And have you ever noticed that the dining room table is always set with a beautiful place setting? All. The. Time?
This foyer designed by Melissa Miles Rufty is a surprise in tradition all rolled into one. The antique chest and major art pieces on the gallery wall fulfill the expectations of a classic and traditional look. But the print on the corner banquette is an oversized fretwork pattern updates the look. And the of-the-moment lucite table is begging for you to “set a spell” and enjoy a mint julep.
Yes, wallpaper is back in a big way. Let’s be honest. We who love all things southern never really gave up on it. Tastefully done in a jewel of a room here and a powder room there, wallpaper is the perfect way to give character to an otherwise utilitarian space.
This bathroom by Dering Hall shows a beautiful damask wallpaper. The oversized scale in the pattern kicks a traditional look right into today’s fresh new style.
There is, more often than not, a wall of pictures showing cousins, uncles and aunts, grandmas and grandpas alongside various stages of the immediate family. Yep, it’s a bit folksy. It’s also nice to not forget your roots and all the people who make up your family tree. As you can see by the picture below, I absolutely love that.
If you are local to Orange County, California and are obsessed with Southern Interiors as much as I am, let’s talk. We would love to help you bring a touch of southern charm to your southern Cali home. Call Mary Etta Designs at 714 340-3214 or go here and contact us by email.
Staging for an Occasion
My client’s request was to have a warm and inviting entry. It’s not often that I get a direct call from my church pastor. So imagine my surprise when I answered my phone and was greeted with, ‘Hello Sister McCurdy.” True to form, he was on his way to another commitment, But he personally made the time to ask for my help on staging the newly renovated sanctuary’s narthex (lobby).
The occasion was celebration of his 3rd pastoral anniversary. There would be many visitors to our newly remodeled sanctuary. The narthex, an entry where worshippers gather before service, also serves as a holding spot for latecomers to wait during prayer. Before staging it looked like a long hall spanning several sets of double doors leading into the sanctuary. Opposite those doors is a wall of glass and double doors as the entry into the building.
Function is always the first concern when I select furniture for a space. And I knew that it would need to be furniture that would stand up to the traffic of weekly services. But we did not have to sacrifice style. Modular furniture gives total flexibility for changing events. The armless sofas and chairs allow more people to easily and quickly sit while waiting to enter the sanctuary. And they look warm and inviting. A personal touch was to have calligraphy of the church’s mission statement and various bible verses sprinkled on the walls. Some were done by hand and others were pre-printed appliqués.
Staging before you buy is a great way to test the pieces of furniture to see if the investment is good in the long term. “Greeters” hand out the week’s bulletins, flyers, and brochures to worshippers as they leave the building. To that purpose, two credenzas with storage flank either side of the long entry. They are functional and stylish. This piece turned out to be a definite “yes” for a similar future purchase.
And, as always, I am happy when my clients are satisfied. The highest compliment is a testimonial. If you live in the Orange County, California area, contact Mary Etta Designs and let us show you how to warm up the entry in your home or business.
Every April and October for a week, High Point Market is the event to attend. Design professionals make their pilgrimage to High Point, North Carolina to see what’s new and what’s next in home decor and furniture design. This fall I made my way to what I call “fashion week for furniture” and it was exciting, enlightening, and exhausting. And it was eye opening as to why it’s necessary for serious design professionals like me to make the trip.
Being on the left coast, I’ve attended Las Vegas Market where many of the vendors and showrooms show their newest products. But even the suppliers that I met in Vegas kicked it up a couple notches for high Point Market. The three mile radius of endless showrooms and party-like atmosphere could have your head spinning. So a plan is a must.
The goal for me during this market was to see how I could educate my clients on what will work in their designs while they incorporate new styling that they will enjoy for years. One recurring theme I noticed was that coffee tables are getting much larger. In addition, there is a visual play so as not to overwhelm the room with such a large piece.
Look at this beautiful live edge wood table that floats glass in the middle. Visually this gives the eye a rest.
High Point Market is known for showing furniture trends for upcoming seasons. We also get to see future innovations in interior design. This beautiful piece by Noir of Los Angeles was actually two separate wood pieces that could be used like you see it here allowing guests to walk through or pull the tables closer for use. The actual footprint of these pieces give you the ability to have more surface space while entertaining. And it also gives you flexibility. How cool that they can be used as side tables too.
Talk about innovation! Who says that the surface has to be all at the same level. Interesting, functional and fun has to be the theme of this coffee table. Put your personality in your home. Give Mary Etta Designs a call for more ideas on how you can decorate with design pieces that will last you for years to come.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!