My Favorite Martian

Why My Favorite Martian? Well, it’s just silly, that’s why. And if you don’t know what My Favorite Martian is, Google it. You must be very adorable.  (For the record, I only watched the reruns.)



Anyhoo, I wanted to talk today about my favorite designer(s). I think those that know me well might be very surprised about my answer to this. Of course, it is no secret that I LOOOOOVE Joanna Gaines. But I love her not for the reasons that you would think.



I’ve been a fan of the Gaines’ show, Fixer Upper, on HGTV, since season one. I admire her style and taste very much. Like all of the other fans, I long to visit The Silos and stay at The Bed and Breakfast and eat one of those darn cupcakes. I look forward to every episode, and watch and re-watch (over and over and over) every episode happily.



Though all of this is wonderful and lovely, I’m a fan of Joanna and Chip Gaines, not so much for their interior designs, but for how they have designed their lives. I’m moved by their love of God and family. They display a beautiful example of kindness, admiration and support for each other and their children, and show integrity and quality in their work. They genuinely seem to care about each other and every client. They have made “blooming where you are planted” cool and attractive. (I mean, truthfully, show of hands, who knew much about Waco, TX, before these two hit the airwaves? For goodness sakes, we all now know to go to Common Grounds for coffee at this point.) I digress….. These are the reasons that I love them and how they inspire me.



I have tried, sometimes desperately, to embrace the monochromatic stylings that are sooooooo popular. The white walls, the gray everything, with a pop of …cream. ??? I…just…can’t. Although I love to look at it on TV or in magazines and Instagram, I cannot LIVE in monochrome. I don’t know if my smidge of Puerto Rican heritage, or the larger portion of Italian influence is to blame, but I must have color. Saturated color. It energizes me and makes me überly happy. I’ve been following celebrity designers for years and years. From way back with the likes of Candice Olson (Divine Design circa 2003) and Nate Berkus (first introduced to me by The Oprah Winfrey Show!); the list goes on. All with what most would consider, sophisticated, subtle pallets that I admire, but just can’t bring myself to fully embrace.


monochrome room

I’ve been a big admirer of Mackenzie-Childs as far back as college (which was way back when Grunge was a household word.)  You’ve even seen the Mackenzie-Childs influence in the custom curtains that I made for my mudroom (See “Color” post from 6/11/17). It wasn’t until very recently that I have finally found other designers that speak to me and my color-craving soul. The designers that make my heart soar and inspire me as a designer are Eddie Ross and Alison Kandler.


mackenzie-childs living room

I first discovered Eddie Ross last summer (2016, I know, right?!?). I received my early summer issue of Ballard Designs Catalog in the mail. The room on the cover literally took my breath away. Seriously, I gasped. It was an amazing eclectic collection of color, prints, and LIFE! It was so exciting for me to finally see ME; MY STYLE, in print! Totally blew me away. I immediately began researching this guest designer and promptly bought his book, Modern Mix (because I also love collecting design books, surprise!).



I had a similar reaction and connection to my discovery of Alison Kandler. I fell in LOVE with a California home redo featured in the April 2017 issue of Country Living magazine (The Joy of Color! issue ..insert hands making a heart here). The designer filled the home with explosions of color inspired by some amazing wallpaper from Schumacher. Again, totally blown away. I have looked through these pages no less than 10 million times. It is true love for me.



I Googled her name and clicked the images link. I was astounded to find so many of her designs that I recognized from other magazines. I even found the picture from the April 2016 issue of HGTV Magazine that served as my inspiration for how I would have my kitchen cabinets painted for our own redo. Mind blown.


Alison Kandler kitchen inspiration

It wasn’t until I was putting this blog post together that I realized how well the style of Mackenzie-Childs, Eddie Ross and Alison Kandler work together!  Having found these two (new to me) talents has inspired me to fully embrace my unique style and decorate with confidence in a manner that makes my heart sing. I no longer feel like following the subtle crowd (although I love you all). I will live in color confidently and will LOVE it.


turq chair with lemon pillow

I challenge you to discover your own favorite designer. I LOVE learning who other people admire. It fascinates me and helps me help others to find design elements for their homes that make THEIR hearts sing. Who inspires you?


1  Full series of My Favorite Martian available on Amazon.

2  Photo from – Say what now!?  Shiplap wallpaper?!

3  Photo from

4  The Magnolia Story available on

5  Photo from Better Homes and Gardens on Instagram.  Room design by Meeghan Aimone.  Barn painting by DeAnn Designs.

6  Cutting Garden Accent Chair from Mackenzie-Childs.

7  Photo styled by Eddie Ross, guest designer for Ballard Designs 2016 summer catalog.

8  Photo of inspiration Chiang Mai wallpaper from Schumacher from

9  My inspiration for my kitchen redo.  Photo by David Tsay for HGTV magazine.  Design by Alison Kandler.

10  My first bold color leap!  Turquoise chairs in my family room.  Chair fabric:  Birkly – Aqua by Better Homes and Gardens, Pillow fabric:  Watercolor Lemons by Dariara

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