What’s Your Color Personality?

By Linda Merrill | June 21, 2018 | 5 Comments
Lori Weitzner Ode To Color book jacket and photo color personality

Hey there! I’ve been trying to get in three blog posts a week on Tuesdays, Thursdays and a weekend post – and I’ve been doing pretty well – until today! I did want to do a quick post on a talk I went to today at The Boston Design Center. The talk was on the … Read more

The Tyranny of the Open Floor Plan

By Linda Merrill | June 19, 2018 | 12 Comments
Hingham Church conversion open floor plan foyer with wallpaper blue ceiling

So, a few hours of HGTV viewing, or a perusal of the real estate section, shows that the open floor plan is really hot. Scorching. And, who am I to tell people what they should want? It sounds lovely – the whole family altogether, kids doing homework and craft projects at the counter, Mom or … Read more

Silver Screen Surroundings: Mamma Mia Here We Go Again

By Linda Merrill | June 16, 2018 | 0 Comments

It’s been ten years since the sounds of ABBA have wafted out of the Greek island of Kalokairi and onto the big screen – and here we go again! I blogged about the original Mamma Mia ten years ago, but with one thing and another, the blog post went missing. So, I figured I’d do a … Read more

Design Thoughts: The Psychology of White Rooms

By Linda Merrill | June 14, 2018 | 16 Comments
Vincent Wolf designer at home Editor at Large White apartment

I’ve been thinking a lot recently about why white rooms seem so popular on social media feeds and Pinterest, but not as much in the “real world”.  Have you noticed this? White Rooms of Instagram Instagram feeds that feature predominantly white rooms seem to be unusually popular with thousands, if not tens of thousands, of … Read more

The Allure of a Secret Garden

By Linda Merrill | June 12, 2018 | 0 Comments
Linda Merrill photography Edith Wharton The Mount Massachusetts Secret Garden 3

The Secret Garden One of my very favorite books from childhood is The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgeson Burnett. My fourth grade teacher Mrs. Van read it to us in class and I was just hooked – as have many a little girl since it was first published over 100 years ago. In addition to … Read more

Book shelf: Versailles and other Grand Designs

By Linda Merrill | June 9, 2018 | 2 Comments
Versailles Grand Design header

One of the big perks of being a design blogger is that publishers send me some pretty great design books. Hefty, gorgeous coffee table books. Now, in the spirit of full disclosure, I do receive these books as complimentary press copies, but I only write posts on the books I like. I’ve previously called these … Read more

Design Details: How High Should My Drapery Panels Be Hung?

By Linda Merrill | June 7, 2018 | 4 Comments

Last month, I wrote about drapery panel widths. This month, I’m going to talk about how high drapery panels should be. Using some of the images I used on widths, I can also show the difference the height of the panels make. As you can see, below, mounting panels just above the window molding makes … Read more

Design 101: Create Something Special with Accent Chairs

By Linda Merrill | June 5, 2018 | 20 Comments

It’s no surprise that most designers really hate sets, or suites, of matching furniture. Whether it’s part of a living room, dining room or even bedroom – having things all matchy-matchy is just plain boring. And honestly? It’s totally unnecessary! It doesn’t save money to buy everything altogether in all the same fabric or wood … Read more

Weekend Warrior: Fabulous DIY Paint Projects

By Linda Merrill | June 2, 2018 | 0 Comments
Homeyohmy blog Painted-bottles tutorials DIY paint

I came across a few really great DIY Paint projects that I thought would be fun to share.  I’ve found over the years that doing design work for others or writing about here on ::Surroundings::  it has sapped my energy for rolling up my own sleeves and getting my hands dirty. So, I’m going to … Read more

The Do’s and Don’ts of dining banquettes & settees

By Linda Merrill | May 31, 2018 | 8 Comments
designer brian patrick flynn photographer Robert Peterson house beautiful 2018 dining banquette settee

When this issue of House Beautiful landed in my mailbox and I was struck with how pretty and minimalist the cover was. I also noted the dining settee behind the round table and just love the elegant shape which draws the eye up along the ceiling line of the room. I just love a good dining banquette … Read more