Decorating for Christmas with …

I know I am a lucky boy to have a garage (aka ample storage) in the city.  Walls lined with shelving is what helps me to keep my hoarding…errr collecting tendencies in check.  It also allows me to keep a nice little stash of holiday and other seasonal decor at my finger tips.  However, what happens when storage is at a premium and the thought of sacrificing precious closet space for Christmas ornaments is too much to bear?

Well that is exactly what we are talking about this month for my column…..


Matter of fact, what would you say if I said with some smart shopping, thoughtful planning and upcycling your year-round home decor, you could fit everything you need for Christmas into one box, including the a tree? Honest!  To get everything to fit into a box, think outside the box…..



And what if I told you to forget about holiday florals?  Don’t want to waste the money on temporary arrangements?  I am all about ditching the poinsettia for something more hip and perhaps even permanent…..


So are you tempted to learn more about my Christmas decorating secrets?  Well go visit to find out how you can have a fabulously decorated Christmas that won’t burst your bank or leave you bursting at the seams!

[photo credit: photo by adza//art direction & styling: courtney lake ]

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Three Is The Magic Number….

Sometimes  minor tweaks to a design can mean the difference between a client loving or hating a design.  For example, my Calvert Court client recently signed up to have me help update their guest room on a tight schedule and an even tighter budget (like Kim Kardashian in her Spanx tight…).  I literally showed the client about five different furniture pairings and each got rejected for some version of what I call the “Goldilocks Design Syndrome” – a client becomes fixated on one aspect of the design and therefore vetoes the whole concept.

So I used this to my advantage and created three concepts using the same paint and art scheme….dark charcoal walls offset patterned drapes, a sleeper sofa and quirky lighting.  Vintage paint by numbers hung gallery style provide a fun backdrop for guests and incorporates the client’s unique sense of humor….

Typically, I don’t like setting this many options in front of a client at once, but I literally had nothing to lose at this point since the clock was ticking.  The client initially started to nitpick but then became distracted by elements of the second design and by the third design, she was pretty much onboard with the overall concept.  Maybe it was “design muscle confusion” (totally stole that from the P-90X commercials…) but the trick worked and we went shopping yesterday to make selections.

So which design concept do you think the client chose?  Or even better, which do you like?  Today, I am working on a challenging design for a client in the morning,  sourcing rugs in the afternoon and drinking heavily in the evening.  Why you ask?  Because it’s Wednesday….do I need another excuse?

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Life & Style Shoot….

I am officially back in the States from 3 glorious weeks of food, fun and frolicking. I can’t explain how amazing and wonderful this vacation was, not only because it was my longest to date, it involved the wedding of a dear college friend but it also marked the first time one of my projects got published!

Woot! I can officially say that one of my projects has been published! I was lucky enough to work with Ben Flajnik of “The Bachelor” fame to pull together his San Francisco apartment. The process was documented by Life and Style magazine for its current issue on stands (the one with Robert Pattinson on the cover). I can say I can officially start to enjoy seeing my company’s name in print…

However, I would be remiss not to thank Erin Hiemstra of Apartment 34 fame for brokering the project and serving as stylist for the shoot. Her keen eye was essential for pulling all the pieces I had chosen together for the shots. I also must give a shout out to all the vendors who worked tireless with our immensely short deadline to pull the room together. Major thanks to Z Gallerie, HD Buttercup, Big Daddy Antiques, Milk Glass Vintage Rentals, Ron Kisling Photography, CB2 and Crate and Barrel.

Who would have thought that when I officially launched Courtney Lake Interiors this year, that I would have such amazing tales to tell by year’s end. I feel truly blessed and encouraged. Sadly, the one thing I don’t feel is energized at the moment – jet lag is a mutha! However, I have no time to complain – I just booked two more gigs for Fall and am pulling together a tablescape for a photoshoot – yuppers folks, one of my tablescapes is being photographed for publication. As I said, it is raining over here and I am positively giddy that I am being drenched!

So tell me, how is August shaping up for you?

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