Sara Ruffin Costello

Sara Ruffin Costello

Sara Ruffin Costello

Sara Ruffin Costello

Sara Ruffin Costello

Sara Ruffin Costello


Have you ever thought about who you’d invite to your fantasy dinner party? I was recently asked that question and honestly it had me a little stumped, but after revisiting the portfolio of Sara Ruffin Costello I think I’ve found my first invitee.

I’m sure I’d nerd out a bit because I’m such an admirer of Sara’s style, and her experience as founding creative director of Domino, co-author of The Domino Book of Decorating, and contributor to publications like T Magazine and Vogue is pretty damn impressive.

 I’ve had several of the photos above in my inspiration files for years but didn’t connect the dots that the West Village townhouse belonged to Sara. Amazing how good design always looks fresh no matter how many years have passed, right? Those Roberta Roller Rabbit window treatments paired with the Thonet chairs and pedestal table get my every time.

So, while we’re drafting up invitations, I’m curious: who’s on your fantasy dinner party invitation list?


It’s week two of the One Room Challenge and if you’re just joining for the first time today start here to get up to speed on the ORC and see the space I’ll be transforming over the next five weeks (eek!)

I’m working on a client’s space this time around, and I thought I’d walk you through my design process over the next five weeks in case you might be curious about what working with a designer is like (although of course each designer approaches things a little bit differently!) or maybe you aren’t sure where to start when tackling a project of your own–hopefully this will be helpful!

I like to think of design projects in three phases: Discovery, Design, and Execution. The Discovery phase is all about getting to know the client, the space, and determining the scope of work, budget, and project goals. My ultimate goal is to bring out the personality of my clients in my projects so I love this part of the process and really want to gain insight into their personal style, interests/hobbies, and how they live.

One of the first inspiration images I pulled for the project. Love those nailheads!

When I met with my clients to chat about their bedroom we talked about the atmosphere they wanted to achieve (which we’ll talk about more next week when I share the design schemes I presented) and last week I discussed the scope of work and took inventory of what will be staying and what needs to be purchased.

An inspiration photo my client shared with me.

With all of this information in hand we enter into phase two: Design. As tempting as it is to dive into the fun stuff like fabrics–which is absolutely my favorite part–the floor plan really is the foundation of the room and enables you to maximize space, functionality, and will inform most of your purchasing decisions.

So, let’s chat about the master bedroom’s floor plan. If you remember back to last week’s post this is the view looking into the room….

One Room Challenge Before | The Pursuit of Style

And here’s the new floor plan…

One Room Challenge | Bedroom Floor Plan | Lindsay Speace Interior DesignWith just one small closet in the room storage is definitely a priority. The existing closet system and dresser work well for my clients and for budget considerations it made sense to work with them rather than replace.

Because they are large pieces, our floor plan options were somewhat limited. Initially I did consider replacing the dresser with a second closet system, however, because of the soffit containing the HVAC it would create an awkward unusable corner and block the register.

The biggest opportunity I saw was to replace my clients two small existing dressers with one larger eight drawer dresser which though an investment, will transition with them when they eventually move into a larger home. The elevation below shows how this new piece will be positioned on the wall across from the bed.

One Room Challenge | Bedroom Elevation | Lindsay Speace Interior DesignA large abstract print will be easy on the eyes to wake up to in the morning and the surface area gained from the larger piece enabled us to add two petite table lamps helping solve our lighting issue. Consolidating the storage pieces also opened up floor space for a mirror (inspiration below!) to be leaned against the wall in between the closet and entry to the room.

This brass floor mirror might be a DIY!

Other changes: an 8′ x 10′ rug is a more appropriate size for the room but still showcases the original parquet floors my clients love, and larger nightstands will be in scale with the new custom headboard we’re having fabricated and balance out the adjacent larger pieces.

So that’s where we’re at here in week two! This was a long one so if you’ve made it through you’re a saint! Next week we’re diving into my favorite part and I’ll be sharing the three design schemes I presented.

As always, follow along on Instagram, Twitter, and Pinterest for more behind the scenes peeks in weeks to come!


Trademarked by Calling it Home


Hyacinths | The Pursuit of Style

Good morning! I hope you had a lovely holiday weekend. It seems as though Spring has finally sprung and I could not be more excited to have the windows open, let in some fresh air, and hopefully say goodbye to my sweaters for once and for all. Those awkward transition periods between seasons are not my thing. I’m inevitably over or under dressed. Fashion bloggers, how do you manage to make it all look so chic?! I could probably answer my own question… layers and a little bit of smoke and mirrors.

I picked up some hyacinths this weekend and have been moving them around my house with me because the smell is so delicious. They started out in our living room but have since made the move to my desk. As I’ve transitioned to working from home I’ve discovered that fresh flowers and a jumbo candle (I’m currently burning one of these) are little luxuries that help keep me at my desk and working happier. It really is the little things.

This week I’m looking forward to putting the finishing touches on a few presentations, I think finally being able to share a few of our wedding photos, and of course, sharing the latest updates with you during week two of the One Room Challenge!

Happy Monday!


I am very excited to share that I’ve been invited to participate in the One Room Challenge! Created by Linda of Calling It Home, the ORC is a bi-annual design bonanza where 20 design bloggers document the transformation of one room (in their home or a client’s) over a six week time period, publishing an update each Wednesday until the grande finale–a big reveal–on May 6th.

Six weeks is a tight turn around for a project, but the adrenaline junkie in me secretly loves it and my wonderful clients agreed to join me on this wild ride by entrusting me with the transformation of their master bedroom!

This week I’ll be giving you a tour of the space and sharing the parameters of the project, but the real fun will unfold over the next five weeks!

One Room Challenge Before | The Pursuit of Style

My clients own a beautiful condo that was built in the 1940s and over the past year we’ve decorated the main living space and loft–now it’s on to the bedroom.

So here’s where we’re starting… The wall color–a warm gray–(and pup Zoey!) will be staying, but almost everything else in the room will be updated in some way.

One Room Challenge Before | The Pursuit of Style

Like most DC residents, my clients are fighting the good fight for storage space. For practicality, the wardrobe, dresser, and bed–which contains hidden storage–will stay, but all will receive a little zhushing!

One Room Challenge Before | The Pursuit of Style

Next week we’ll discuss the floor plan and I’ll share how I plan to free up space while increasing storage and functionality.

One Room Challenge Before | The Pursuit of Style

What I’m most excited about is the opportunity this big blank wall below presents. This is where the design magic happens (who can resist a throwback MTV Cribs reference when giving a bedroom tour?!)

One Room Challenge Before | The Pursuit of Style

I’m envisioning a custom headboard in an amazing fabric, larger nightstands, and a pair of swing arm sconces to alleviate the challenge a lack of overhead lighting presents.

Zoey might appear unimpressed by my grand plans, but I promise exciting things are coming down the pipeline for this space.

One Room Challenge Before | The Pursuit of Style

I hope you’ll join me next Wednesday for the next chapter in this design journey, but until then, be sure to check out what the talented ladies below have up their sleeves!

As always, you can catch up with me on Instagram, Twitter, and Pinterest for more design musings and inspiration.


Trademarked by Calling it Home


Artichoke Lamp | Lindsay Speace Interior DesignI shared a peek last week at some of the bits & pieces currently coloring my office, but I thought my latest find was deserving of its own post. Meet the new apple (er, artichoke) of my eye. A playful new shade is in order and I’m thinking the Raoul Textiles beauty shown above might be just the ticket.

The hoarding continues… ;)