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5 Years of Gina Sims Designs

As my 5th anniversary of the creation of Gina Sims Designs approached, I knew that I wanted to do something to thank my amazing clients, my family, and vendors who have made this job an absolute joy every day.

The open and bright space of steve mckenzie’s was the perfect setting for the anniversary party. Steve and Jill McKenzie opened their interiors and lifestyle store in September 2012. While we enjoyed drinks, hors d’oeuvres, and macaroons (because that’s how I roll), we were able to enjoy the store and its beautiful selection of home goods, furniture, art, and my personal favorite: textiles designed from the canvases of Steve’s artwork.

Above all, I wanted this evening to be an event where I could express my gratitude to all of those people who invite me into their home: their most sacred space. To be able to partner with such fun, creative, and energy-filled people to recreate spaces that express their personal and family cultures is life-giving to me.

Here’s to many more years of Gina Sims Designs! Thanks, everyone!


Fantastic group of friends, family, and clients that closed out the celebration!

Jenny, my design assistant (without whom I could not survive), and Meredith, my GSD marketing assistant.

My supportive family and parents!







Out of this World Surprise

This little girl was turning 9 and her family wanted to surprise her with a brand new room. As I began the design process with her family, I learned that she loves the color purple and outer space: but I’m not one for theme rooms. Maybe for kids, but even then, theme rooms get old quickly. (My kids change what they like every other week. If I had done that Pokemon room my son wanted, he would be crying that it was “too babyish” right now and I’d be out some serious dough.) Good room decor should last. It should be able to grow with you. I like to use awesome, but not “kid-specific” patterns and colors that can grow with the child but also reflect what he or she loves. I like to do that through accessories – art, an accent pillow, etc.

She likes purple and space? GREAT! Let’s let those themes INSPIRE the design, but not dictate it to the point where there’s a spaceship-shaped bed in her room.

We painted her walls a bright white, the ceiling a fabulous blue and replaced her tired old ceiling fixture with a light and airy celestial looking fixture. Bedding and a rug were where we punched up our color and pattern and crisp white window treatments with a turquoise pompom accent gave the windows new life.

Now let’s take a moment and honor that light fixture of the big dipper on the wall. Moment of silence and mad respect for the good people of West Elm who created that wicked awesome art perfect for this room.

The vanity was a family piece. It was dark and chipped but they still wanted to keep it. We refinished it and painted it with gray chalk paint, swapped out the hardware and now it’s the perfect desk! The cork board will fulfill her constant desire to pin her favorite things all over her walls and we surrounded it with space-inspired art. Another nod to the person who created that cat astronaut (catstronaut?) art.

The bathroom got a coat of lavender paint and a new shower curtain showing the phases of the moon (so cool)!

Oh, and the reveal! She went to school on her 9th birthday without a CLUE that her room was her present. “Go put your backpack away” …..

Happy Birthday, Sweet Girl! You (and your room) are out of this world! It had to be said.




Eclectic Color

Our neighbors moved. They were the kind of neighbors who you passed your kids back and forth over the fence and contemplated just putting in a gate. The kind of neighbors with whom you spent every second of snow days and happy hours and dinners on the regular. When they moved across town I was tickled pink (I’m apparently southern enough to say that now) to be asked to do their house.

They doubled their space so we had a blast starting from scratch on many of the rooms. Like any young family, they were budget conscious and the main objective of the new house was that it be grown up, but not serious. The kind of house that is thoughtful but not too precious to feel anything less than at home.


We pushed the envelope with colors and patterns in different ways in each of the spaces. In the family room, we were all about playful colors – red, navy, gold and teal. We kept the same color palette throughout the house but played them up in different ways. The living room had more grays, with navy and gold as the primary accents.

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The bedroom boasted that amazing navy wall with leather, gray and white linen window treatments and gold with slashes of color in pillows and art. It flows without looking the same. Who says grown up can’t be fun? (Save laundry for another day).


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An Angular Obsession

It’s normal to lust after angles, right? Recently I was thinking about artistic images I am drawn to and I realized that I have always loved art deco, southwestern art, menswear inspired prints like herringbone, and arrows (before they were uber trendy, thank you very much). I mean look at my header. I realized that all of these have a common denominator. They are beautifully angled. I think I speak for America when I say we loved chevron but it’s time to move on (or back) to a classier, varied interpretation.  This is what I mean….

Art Deco inspired tumblers

art deco inspired tumblers

Southwestern Pillows via Etsy

southwestern pillows

Arrows from an Anthropologie floor display (via my Instagram)

Anthropologie floor display via my InstagramThese amazing triangle inspired wall treatments

Triangle Wall Design

Black and white triangle wall design

And last but not least….ah, herringbone. You naughty, beautiful thing, you.

Herringbone in fireplace

Are you obsessed with an angular pattern? Which one am I missing in my roundup?

All of these are happily collected on my Pinterest page. Follow me there!


7 Great DIY Gift Ideas from Gina Designs

For as long as I can remember, when the holidays come around, I get to crafting for family, friends, colleagues and teachers.

Here are some of my favorite gift idea DIYs that we’ve done on the blog over the past year. Check them out, Pin them and show your loved ones some DIY love that they’ll actually like!

These Birds Nest Necklaces are great for moms (match the number of beads to the number of kids they have) and look equally cool with one awesome bead.

Wrap beads in wire loosely and slide on to leather necklace.

Wrap beads in wire loosely and slide on to leather necklace.

These Photo Magnets are only limited by your imagination! Use craft paper, newspaper, photos of kids or even a cool skyline and you’ll be done in minutes!

Photo Magnets DIY Gift Idea

Glue tiny photo to craft store glass “rock” and glue to magnet!

And these Sweet Silhouettes are a great gift for kids but would also look cute with adults or pets!

Silhouette Materials

You’ll Need: origami or scrapbook decorative paper, scissors, acid-free black or colored paper (try something fun and bright!), blown up photo and frame.
How to Make: Cut out the photo and use as a stencil to cut out the black paper. Tape the silhouette to the decorative paper (I used origami paper taped together). Use patterned or bright paper as the silhouette on a solid background. Mix it up!

We ladies can always use Hair Ties & Colorful Bobby Pins. For the ties we used wooden beads and buttons and we painted the bobby pins with nail polish!

We decided to package our creations together. A chevron stamp and "Made with Love From," made our project gift giving ready. That said, we were sure to make enough for ourselves. (I'm wearing my bead tie as I type). Fun & easy project. Give it a try!

We decided to package our creations together. A chevron stamp and “Made with Love From,” made our project gift giving ready. That said, we were sure to make enough for ourselves.

We’ve all seen these Mustache Mugs but they are still cute. We tried other designs but quickly learned that these will look as good as you can draw and/or print on a curved surface. Mustaches were easy enough for us all to do. Mugs done with Sharpies and porcelain markers should be hand washed.

We liked our mustache mugs the best!

We liked our mustache mugs the best!

I use my fabulous Brightly Colored Spoons everyday. You do need to note that they should be hand washed. But then again, you should hand wash your wooden spoons anyway, so there!

The final product:  Spoons get Prettified!

The final product: Spoons get Prettified!

We made these great Totes and Napkins (napkin photos on the link) with stamps and stencils. So much fun!

my hand stamped tote

Next week we’ll look at some great holiday garland ideas! Get to craftin’!


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