Hello, wow this week has flown! I first want to announce the winner of the Antica Famacista diffuser. Congratulations goes to…. ?#43 Michelle says February 26, 2014 at 5:50 pm (Edit) I would love some of those beautiful flowers but I don?t see them listed on your shop page?.? Would love to win! Michelle Please contact me at email@example.com to provide your shipping details and fragrance choice! All of the products I am carrying from Antica Farmacista? are now online and let me tell you they are AMAZING! In addition many of you have emailed me about the beautiful flowers, they will be up by the end of today!? So please check back in my online shop later on today. I have had fun introducing you to my sponsors…all of whom I am very proud to have an affiliation with through my blog. One of my most recent sponsors, Anna Kucura of Gracious Living by Design is a very talented designer whose work speaks for itself. Based in Alexandria, VA, I love her fresh take on traditional interiors. Fresh, elegant, inviting and cohesive. She has also received a few prestigious awards- Best of Houzz 2014 Winner Voted 2013 Best Interior Designer in Northern Virginia by readers of Virginia Living Lets take a look at Gracious Living by Design in action….. Always a thrill to discover someone new and I am delighted to introduce you to her if you don’t know of her already and show you some of her gorgeous work. There is also a video you must see highlighting her wonderful collection of interiors (shown below) And I was lucky enough to interview Anna, founder of Gracious Living? by Design who talks about her style, trends, what is in and out and her ‘dream client”. Welcome Anna……. So how long have you been in business? I began my career in the interior design field in 2003 and started my own firm, Gracious Living by Design in 2011. What is the focus of your design?work? Residential or Commercial? My primary focus is residential interior design; however, I have completed projects in boutique office and retail spaces.? Homes really are my passion. What is your “signature style”? I purposely don?t ascribe to a signature style because my design philosophy is to interpret a client?s aesthetic preferences and help them bring their style to life.?? By guiding them to experience their surroundings in a new way, what they love about their home is enhanced.? My designs resemble a collage.? For example, I enjoy pairing classical forms with contemporary patterns or layering a variety of textures and finishes to add depth to an interior. Who would your dream client be? And where?? Bill Gates because of his vision and creativity, in addition to his unlimited budget ? I would love to design a home for him on a private island. How did you get started in the design business? Did you love it from an early age? My passion for beautiful interiors began at an early age when I would pour over my parents? Architectural Digests and rearrange my playhouse constantly.? Interior design is a second career for me.? As with many people, September 11, 2001 caused me to rethink the way I was spending my time and I decided to follow my passion. ?What are your inspirations?? Nature, my clients, historical design and the work of other designers.??Do you have a design hero?? Miles Redd is my design hero.? His designs are bold and captivating, yet livable. Tell us three hard and fast rules we should all know when it comes to the basic principles of design? ???? Whether you are designing an entire room or staging a bookcase, balance will be the key to a successful outcome.? Consider the whole and make sure there aren?t areas that appear too heavy or too light. ???? It is important to have a stand-out element.? Placing emphasis on one aspect such as a beautiful architectural feature or a work of art is a must in every room. ???? Variety is the spice of life and is equally appealing in interior design. Do you have a favorite color white paint that is a “go to”?? Benjamin Moore white dove OC-17 Two things everyone can afford and add to their home to give that something special?? Art/Accessories and proper lighting What current trends do you see now that you think have staying power and are worth investing in? Which are two steps out the door? Staying Power: ???? Brass ???? High Gloss Finishes ???? Colorful Interiors Two Steps Out the Door: I think we?ll be saying goodbye to austere rooms composed solely of tone-on-tone grays and whites with linen-covered, bleached wood furniture.? The human brain naturally craves color. And this wonderful video clip? (click on link below) sums up their design philosophy as all that is going on over at Gracious Living By Design….. Gracious by Design- Anna Kucera Fascinating Anna, thank you for sharing your expertise with us! I love brass and high gloss interiors, and am? so happy they are “in” and White Dove has? long been a part of my paint repertoire! How fun would it be to design a home for Bill? He seems like such nice , humble and sensible person…not to mention brilliant. Thank you Anna for this interview and for sharing your work with us. If you want to learn more about Anna click here to visit her website. Thank you again Anna and welcome aboard and to everyone else for stopping in, wishing everyone a fabulous day and start to your weekend. Can you believe we are getting MORE snow? I don’t want to even think about it…….. Many thanks Anna and welcome aboard. Thank you everyone for stopping in and wishing all of you a fabulous day!