Taking it to the Beach

I’ve always had an affinity for the water. Whether it’s a ditch, a coulee, a lake, the gulf, or ocean makes little difference to me. Of course, as an adult, I try to stay out of ditches and coulees and I much prefer to be able to see my toes in the sand on the bottom. The idea of a beach house sounds divine; even if this beach house is situated in the heart of the Lafayette Oil Center.

So, I can completely relate to this home owner who longs for the seaside now in their new home and then be able to transition to the actual seaside upon retirement. They love the water and want a home that reflects this love. As avid travelers, they need a place to showcase their varied collection of memorabilia. And, as transitioning empty nesters who are prepping for their first grandchild, they want a relaxed, family and pet friendly home with a bit of fancy and fun.

Their home was updated prior to moving in but their current upholstery was solemn and tired. Mismatched chairs and antique casegoods left the rooms feeling worn-out and without spark. The rooms were large, disconnected, and without intent. We needed cohesiveness. We needed purpose. We needed fun.


My inspiration for the rooms was her current dining table. The set is a tile top table with legs painted in a whimsical Alice in Wonderland effect. These colors will easily translate into multi patterned pillows. Solid slipcovered sofa, swivel gliders, and sectional will provide a casual, coastal feel, easy cleaning, and flexibility to change the look in the future.


New tables and lamps give a soft nod to the sea without going “coastal”. The new cocktail is painstakingly crafted from kabebe sea shells that have been carefully inlaid and polished to a satin luster. The faux bamboo octagonal end tables have a penn shell top that is stained emerald green and surrounded by antique brass finials. Mercury glass lamps with burlap shades accented with a chunk of turquoise dangling from a silver chain add a bit of sparkle.

963-150 moth of pearl cocktail960-801 box on standtheobald lamp

Typically, I am against painting beautiful wood pieces; however, the armoire needed a little TLC so it was finished in a worn white with accents of soft blue to accentuate the carving. The armoire will act as a room divider between the conversational and keeping areas.The oriental hand carved end table was the perfect height for an english tea table to go between the two navy and cream checked wing back chairs situated fireside.


The rooms were divided into a more formal conversational area in the front of the house, a keeping area conjoined with the kitchen, and a tv area in the back of the house. These three areas are now linked by color which is tied to the colors used in the dining room. There is a purpose for each area and the rooms feel seaside and are family oriented. Now, its time for a few boat drinks.


The Tale of The Country House and The City House

Our tale starts with a beautiful, sprawling house in the beautiful, sprawling countryside by the beautiful but narrow Bayou Teche. And, while extremely beautiful and sprawling, this house in the country had a very brown past. Brown stain covered the great room’s tongue and groove cathedral ceilings and the open floor-plan kitchen cabinets and island. The walls were a shade of tan and the cement floors were stained a dark tobacco brown. The previous owner’s brown leather sofa with brown chairs and brown wood furniture made the room seem so brown.


The new owner loved the bones of the house but longed for some “happy and fresh” added to her “beautiful and sprawling.” In our initial meeting, she only asked for two things: city sophistication mixed with her country charm and no more brown. Challenge accepted.

Inspiration for this room occurred by pure chance. I was shopping at my local home improvement store and like all shiny things, it caught my eye. Its sparkle and color was mesmerizing. It had everything that I was looking for. It was the perfect necktie to my plain Jane suit. It was my Holy Grail tile for the backsplash. Each square in this multi tile had the color of the wall, floor, countertop and appliances.


With tile sample in hand, I headed into the design room to complete the look and draw out my idea on paper for the painting of the accent wall and staircase. Two shades of turquoise, two shades of cream and graphite grey paint was selected for the walls, island, banisters and cabinets. Typically, I am against painting beautiful wood cabinets but with the sheer amount of same brown tones, something had to be sacrificed.


I wanted a casual elegance in the upholstery and wood furniture. A combination of oatmeal poly linen blend on the sofa, heavy slubbed turquoise on the recliner and deep lagoon velvet on the accent chairs. Accents of chartreuse appear in toss pillows, rug, and leather upholstered counter-stools at the island. This is balanced with a rustic farm table in a darker finish and an ivory painted hutch filled with Royal Albert Country Rose china. The original light fixture was hanging three feet from the apex of the cathedral ceiling. A new fixture which looks like two tiers of flickering candles was dropped to three feet above the dining table. This gives ambient light for dining as well as being a focal point upon entering the room from the foyer. The look is warm and elegant yet relaxed and homey.


The client loves her beautiful and sprawling home along the beautiful but narrow banks of the Bayou Teche and with this, our tale comes to a very “ happily ever after” ending.

CountryHousefinal after 5

He Said, She Said - A Study in Comfort and Contrast

This month’s blog is moving into the bedroom. It should be easy. Right?

Wrong. There are few rooms of the house where both partners will have a definite, varying opinion about everything from sheets to wall color. The bedroom is our place of personal comfort and personal comfort is, well… very personal. Too hard or too soft? Too light or too dark? Too scratchy or too silky? Too masculine or too feminine? Too hot or too cold? And the list goes on. It truly is a study in contrast and comfort.

Our inspiration room is classic, graphic, bold, and soft. It’s the comfy, relaxed room with a powerful punch in the gut design that pleases both partners. It’s fussy when it needs to be and minimalist the rest of the time.


The walls of this room are Benjamin Moore’s Edgecomb Gray (HC-173). This “white” has a bit of black in it so it’s warm and not depressingly “gray”. The draperies are of the same color saturation but are sheer. It’s as if the hard sheetrock walls turned buttery soft around the frame of the windows.


The tufted sofa from Wesley Hall has clean modern lines with a wink at its more traditional cousin and is wrapped in a winter white velvet for softness. The pillows are graphic and bold in velvety textures, slubby fabrics and patterns. The hues of the toss pillows stray from dark to light grays.


The Precedent bed is part of their Nocturne line. In addition to the fabric, you choose the size, height, shape, tufts, welts or nailhead trim. Graphite grey velvet counterbalances the white velvet of the sofa and is repeated again in the tufted ottoman at the foot of the bed.
Just when we are getting a bit tired of the monochromatic whites and grays, along comes a great warm stained chest to shake up the mix. With a herringbone inlay and neat little brass handles, The Greenwich chest from Woodbridge is like a guard at the gate. He’s all buttoned up with a touch of the wild side.


Stark, clean, bold, graphic, modern, tailored are words to describe The Abernathy Collection from Eastern Accents. This bedding does it all.


Now, to wrap up this study in contrast, I present a spark of light in the darkness. This faceted cut glass lamp offers a bit of polish and shine to enliven the space. Elegant and understated enough for day or night.
The perfect room for him. The perfect room for her. And, here is where we turn down the sheets and say good night.

Recreate the Look - Southern Charm

How many times have we looked at beautiful homes on Pinterest, pinning rooms that we love, rooms that speak to us somehow. We’ve all done it! We want our rooms to look, or at least feel, just like that picture. Then comes the task of moving that room from the computer screen to your home. At Albarado’s, we have a knack for recreating rooms; bring us your inspiration and we can make it a reality.

Southern Charm Blog Inspiration
What is it about this room that we love? It has a fresh, traditional Southern charm. I can imagine that it overlooks a lake in one of the Gulf States. The wall of windows and doors opens to the patio, allowing a seamless transition from exterior to interior…without the mosquitos. So let’s pull apart the design elements, and bring this picture to life.

Ambella Home 99 inch dinning table
We’ll start with the largest pieces, because they have the most impact. Ambella Home offers a lovely 99” table with a dark driftwood finish. Even though it is large, it almost disappears into the floor because it is the same color and texture.

Design Master Button Tufted Chair
We use eight of Design Master’s button-tufted chairs. The rounded back gives a comfortable sit. It hugs your back ever so slightly. It is pictured in velvet, but we change that fabric to light, creamy linen. The linen brings another natural element that feels cool to the touch.

Antiqued Mirrored Server Lillian August
I found this antiqued mirrored server by Lillian August. The rustic driftwood finish has a slightly painted look, pulling together the light painted walls and the dark stained floor. The color mimics the stone façade of the exterior fireplace. Its vintage industrial details include antiqued metal top, weathered wood base, and aged mirror door panels. The X design references the kitchen cabinet glass detail, creating cohesion between the rooms.

Artistica Mirror
I couldn’t pass up this organic mirror. It’s an Artistica piece, with cross grain cut wood in its natural finish. The large scale anchors the room on one end and brings a rustic, natural outdoor feeling which balances the more formal elements of the room.

Now, for the details. A room isn’t complete without its jewelry! These John Richard candle holders will go on the credenza, with a large orchid from Tree Masters. The mercury glass bottles add height to the credenza and accent its antique metal top.

Visual Comfort Chandelier Hanging above the table is a simple, elegant crystal chandelier by Visual Comfort. It is called the George II Chandelier and I love the sparkle that the crystal and polished silver brings to the room, like a crown over the table!

John Richard has eye-catching accessories for the table. The silver plated bowl with hand-hammered texturing adds glow to the table. And the wavy glass and iron triple candleholder gives a soft glimmer of light.

Hand Carved Counter Stool
To complete our dining room, we have additional seating at the island. The contrast of woven rattan backs and neutral linen seats pairs beautifully with the soft dry-brushed gray finish of these solid oak, hand carved counter stools, adding a rustic element to this traditionally carved frame.

Comfort, style, food, and family are things we cherish here in the South. This room displays all of that. Seamless living spaces inside and out with both elegant and rustic features that say, “Welcome, you are home.”

Recreate a Look with Albarado's

The Inspiration.

Inspiration Photo for blog
Ask anyone who has remodeled or redecorated and they will agree with Thomas Edison that genius is 1% inspiration and 99% perspiration. But, that 1% is needed to keep a successful design from ending up way off base and way off budget.

Successful designers and homeowners often times turn to shelter magazines for this inspiration and then ask important questions about these pictures. What about it specifically do you like? Is it the feel? The colors? The style? The placement of objects?

So, in looking at my inspiration photo, I realized that I liked the clean, cool colors and patterns and how these are juxtaposed against the warm, dense woods and solids. Playing these elements against each other creates interest and in turn, keeps the room from being overwhelming or sterile. Additionally, I  liked the opposing scale of the arched window, the cathedral beams, and the arm chairs against the height of the roller shades, the back of the sofa, and the cocktail table. These elements keep the eye moving around the room in a 'W' motion.

The 1% is complete. It's time for the 99%.

Overview Inspiration blog

Going into the Resource Room at Albarado's, I pulled together fabrics and paint colors that would complete the inspiration (neutral but warm walls combined with a variety of patterns both grand and tight) and then turned my attention to the furniture.

Sofa Inspiration blog

This sofa from Sherrill has the right lines. It features English arms and a skirt for that traditional look. By adding a 100% polyester linen-look body fabric and graphic toss pillows, the sofa becomes less formal and more modern and relaxed.

arm chair inspiration blog

I carried over this combination to the high back arm chairs from Designmaster as well. To soften the heavy, wooden features, I added the soft organic flow of paisley in shades of ivory, taupe, and charcoal but maintained the dark, warm stain.

cocktail table

Clean modern lines of this cocktail table from CTH keeps the room from becoming too formal and stuffy. A round shape plays well against the straight lines of the sofa, arm chairs, and drapery panels.  It also creates a conversational area in which the main upholstery can encircle. The glass top allows the room to breath. The metal base of the branch end tables from Theodore Alexander brings whimsy and echoes the organic pattern of both the draperies and the armchair fabric.

drapery fabric and lamp inspiration blog

And, now for the finishing touches. I love this crewel floral patten for the draperies. It is a crisp linen which mimics the sofa fabric but is more refined. Butterfly pleats on rings on a tailored straight panel are a nice compliment to the warm, rugged woven grass Roman shades from the Manh Truc collection from Lafayette Venetian Blinds.
The urn style lamp with hard paperback shade from Visual Comfort completes our inspiration room. It provides angular architecture which balances the whimsy of the end tables.

Modern but classic. Warm and not sterile. Opposing patterns and scale. Our perspiration is done and I'd say this makeover is 100% beautiful.  

Albarado's Tours Lamar Advertising in Baton Rouge

We were invited to experience the beautiful interior design of Lamar Advertising’s Baton Rouge corporate office. This 70’s era building has narrow windows with limited access to daylight. But…wait until you see the inside!


To bring light into the center of the building, a large central open court was carved out of the existing building. The 2nd and 3rd floor views are open to this area. A light well was created in the center of the building in hopes that every employee could experience sunshine daily. See the first floor’s skylight in the glass portion of the landscaping? Beds of blue and green glass reflect the sunlight and sparkle throughout the day.


The interior is expansive and bright. Polished concrete floors are throughout the first floor. Wire grid ceilings highlight an industrial feel to the space. Below is the reception area, with modular seating and laptop tables. To the right is the employee café area, which includes a full industrial kitchen. It served perfectly for the Christmas party last year, complete with music, dancing, and photo booth!


Below is a view from inside a conference room on the first floor, looking into the main lobby area.


Yes, this is an original Airstream travel trailer! The employees use it for impromptu meetings, for down time breaks, or privacy for cell phone calls and conversations.


Remember those mechanical outdoor signs that used 3 sided panels to change the advertisement to 3 different ads? Lamar repurposed these panels as artwork!


Industry artifacts were incorporated throughout the building. Old hand painted billboard panels were placed between office spaces all over the second and third floors.


Below is a staircase built into the large company meeting/announcement stadium, with movable seat cushions.


Here’s the view from the top of the stadium, looking down into the employee café and reception area. One of the 2nd floor conference rooms is to the left, overlooking ancient live oak trees. Doors at the bottom lead to an outdoor area under the trees for lunch or coffee breaks.



A blackboard wall in the creative department’s gathering area changes with the seasons. Last Christmas, the graphic was a fireplace with a roaring fire! The graphic designers love this area.


Throughout the space, Lamar’s commitment to reuse and repurposing is evident. From artwork made from Lamar logos, signs, and sign posts to chandeliers and art installations made from antique light bulbs, Lamar mixes old and new in remarkable arrangements!

Mountainside Retreat

We just returned from the beautiful mountains of Colorado! It wasn’t to vacation though; our designers helped create a tranquil rustic home for two, and we were there to deliver and install. What a fun project this was! It helps that the clients are absolutely wonderful to work with! In just a few months, we were able to create a home that the clients envisioned. It has a mix of modern, rustic, and traditional pieces that were custom ordered, and we were able to use several items from the client’s current home in Lafayette as well.

Isn’t this a great view? This side of the house has floor-to-ceiling windows, and every seat catches this view.

Love this room! What a comfortable space to drink coffee and wine, with the fire roaring in the winter.

The dining room table has a “live” edge, which means it follows the natural line of the tree’s edge, including its bark.