Erin Paige Pitts Interiors

"It's all in the details……."

“It’s all in the details… from design boards to reality. How to effectively communicate design concept to a client.”

One of the most difficult aspects of what I do is taking what is in my head and communicating it to a client.  Most designers have honed their visualization skills to the point that they can see all spaces not only in 3-D but completed, down to the last detail.  All to often, clients do not have this ability and it becomes the designer’s task to demonstrate and communicate the concept to their client. 

Design boards are one of the main ways to “demonstrate” a concept, along with a lot of images (from either magazines or past projects), floor plans and rendered elevations.  Some designers also provide rendered perspective drawings.  I do perspectives if  it is requested by the client.

In this post, I am going to share with you some of my design boards  and elevations for these spaces.   I am constantly trying to improve my demonstration skills of interior concepts to a client. I would love to hear your suggestions!

This particular board was for a Cabana for a client in Vero Beach Florida.  The client wanted a very clean white interior.  To achieve that look and keep it cleanable, we used mostly sunbrella fabrics.  To keep it beachy keen, we incorporated many items out of natural fibers. 

The next board is for the main home in Vero Beach.  The directive from the client was clear.  A very clean, contemporary aesthetic.  Minimal but not cold.  Neutrals but not all white.   Masculine but with enough softening to please the wife. 

This board, also for the same house was for the foyer and the master bedroom.  Often on large projects, you can’t do a single board for each space because you simply don’t have enough boards to do that.  This project filled every inch of all 5 of my boards and then there was still remaining areas to do!

Unfortunately, I don’t have installed photos of this project to show you just yet but I hope to in the near future.  If you are considering hiring a designer for a project, I’d love to show you the talents I bring to the table!


“It’s all in the details… L.A. Day 3 and 4… Getty Villa…San Ysiedro Ranch…dinner with Marc Appleton…

I got the L.A. bug and got a little lazy and unfortunately sick… so I am reporting on my L.A. travels of Day 3 and Day 4 together, and upon my return back home to the east coast.  I must say returning was bittersweet.  On one hand, I missed my children and the comfort of my own home.  On the other hand, there is nothing like California and it is a place that hold my heart until I return again….

On Day 3, we drove from West Hollywood to the Getty Villa in Southern Malibu.  The Getty Villa was a point of inspiration for the clients of a recent project of mine.  The villa and it’s gardens are something worth visiting.  Here are some pics to show the highlights…..

We then continued north to one of my all time favorite lunch spots in Malibu… Paradise Cove, the Malibu Beach Cafe.  It is truly a barefoot on the beach dining experience.  Here is a pic of the beach front by the restaurant.  

And the restaurant itself….

We then continued north to Santa Barbara where we retired for the night.  Santa Barbara, often referred to as “America’s Rivera” is really a place of sheer beauty.  My husband who had been to California many times before, had never been to Santa Barbara was instantly smitten.  After a relaxing afternoon of bicycle riding, we dressed for dinner with some new friends for us… Marc and Joanna Appleton.  You may recognize Marc as is he among the esteemed group of AD 100 Architects.  Here is a recent project of Marc’s that was published in the April 2010 Architectural Digest.

If you love what you see in this project,   be sure to check out Marc’s website.  I hope to have the opportunity to collaborate with Marc on a project in the near future!

After drinks at Marc and Joanna’s new house, we went with them to the San Ysidro Ranch.  Marc designed the interiors of this incredible inn and restaurant, of course.

I’ve recently been asked by some professional consultants to better define some of the goals of my interiors practice.  I have decided that one of my goals is to develop my interiors practice on both the east and west coasts so some day, I will have the flexibility to live in California!!!!

“It’s all in the details… L.A. Day 2… Newport to Santa Monica….and Gehry and Partners….

Day 2 in LA turned out to be a the best day yet!!!  I started out early on my drive south to Newport Beach to meet with a new client.  I am very excited to be working on this project in Newport Beach! The client, is an amazing lady, who 30 years ago when visiting LA from the East Coast, driving on PCH decided she was finally “home”!  I think we are kindred spirits because I have felt that way my entire life.  Unfortunately, I have yet to live out the dream of living on the west coast, but Gail has, and I look forward to working with her on this project.

Next on the list was an appointment with my husband Gregory at the offices of Gehry and Partners.  In my career, I have been in hundreds of architectural offices.  NEVER in my life, have I had an experience like being in Frank Gehry’s offices.  Their offices are not office like at all, rather, it is one large model building shop with models of buildings that I could physically walk in!!!!   Among the most impressive models was of the Guggenheim in Abu Dhabi.  The model was as large as my living room.  Unfortunately, photos are prohibited but I was able to take some pics in their reception area.  The artwork there and some of the smaller scale models are impressive as well.
Our dinner plans were at Ivy on the Beach with two of my new favorite people, Brooke and Steve Giannetti.  As many of you my know, Brooke is the author of the blog Velvet and Linen.  Brooke and her husband Steve are partners in Giannetti home, a firm that has a beautiful store and does both architecture and interiors.  I don’t think there was more than a split second without conversation as we had so much to talk about.   As it turns out, Steve is from Maryland, not far from where we live.  We look forward to many more fun times ahead with Brooke and Steve.  Btw, in the table next to us at dinner was Maria Shriver and her children.  Greg kept hoping Arnold would join them but no such luck!

Day 3 will be a visit to the Getty Villa, then north to Malibu to my all time favorite spot, “Paradise Cove, Malibu Beach Cafe” and then on to Santa Barbara.  Have a great day!

“It’s all in the details….L.A. Day one…. La Cienega Design Quarter…and lunch with Keith Granet at Lucques..

Today was a fabulous day to do the LA La Cienega Design quarter.  I followed in the footsteps of Elle Decor’s  “The Legends of La Cienega” which was here last week.  We started off with a bang with Marge Carson, Hollyhock and Mecox.  No matter how much you live design, it is always fun to go in these types of showrooms and see how they pair things together… either similarly or differently than I would have.  I was so impressed with the embellishments at Marge Carson

At Hollyhock,  I just loved some of the vignettes.  The groupings were well balanced and pleasing to the eye….

The next stop was Mecox.  Even though I have been to Mecox’s other locations, it was fun to see them with the California vibe…

Just down the street was Paul Marra… what a great visit.  I have been admiring their lighting for years and now I love their bone tables and klismos chairs by Sylvan… So beautiful!!!!

One last stop before lunch took us to the new flagship showroom for Rose Tarlow.  Not only is her furniture amazing but the building is spectacular and the work of an architect I am meeting with on Saturday, Marc Appleton!

We finished up our morning and then had  lunch with Keith Granet at a fabulous restaurant, Lucques on Melrose.  We so enjoyed our meeting with Keith.  It is always fun when you spend time with other “design heads” and talk “shop”.   Keith has been a driving force behind so many design “giants”.  It was an honor to meet him and get to know him.

That’s all for today…. headed to Newport Beach tomorrow and then to Santa Monica for dinner.  Until then….



It’s all in the details… the ultimate kitchen appliance… the Miele refrigerator and freezer…”

I was with a client selecting appliances for a kitchen project today.  I am always interested in seeing what is the latest advancement in kitchen appliances.   Today, when reviewing all the refrigerator options, my heart stopped and I feel in love.  The new Miele refrigerators and freezers are not only beautifully designed but they are well designed from a functional point of view. 

the refrigerator unit…..

the companion freezer unit…..

The most striking difference, which these photos don’t allow you to appreciate, is that the compressor unit is on the bottom of the unit, not the top of the unit, like Sub-Zero.  Therefore, the compressor is where the toe tick area would normally be and is wasted space anyway.  This allows the doors to be taller and the crisper drawers to be at a height that allows you to open them without having to bend over! 

In addition, the metal baskets in the freezer are just the most  beautiful design, too pretty to hide!

Both my client and I were in awe, and no other refrigerator we looked at could compare to the beauty and function of the new Miele!   If you are in the market for a 48″ wide refrigerator/freezer, you must check this out!

“It’s all in the details….tranquil master bedrooms… and baths…”

The one thing that can really lower your blood pressure after a long day, is coming home to a master bedroom that is a really tranquil, restful retreat.  I am often amazed that many people put the master bedroom off and finish the rest of the house first.  If there is any place in your home that you should really be able to call a retreat, it should be your master bedroom.   I am sharing with you today some photos that were recently taken of my master bedroom.  I wanted my master bedroom to be a place that I could escape the chaos of life with three children.  A place that I could close the door on the world.  For, myself and my husband, I think I achieved that.  I hope you enjoy these new photos. 

My master bath vanity……

My master bedroom … classic boudoir shot….

And my master sitting area with a beautiful view of the river….

So, whatever you do… don’t put off your master bedroom retreat!  Enjoy!

“It’s all in the details… transformations…”

A few weeks ago, I did a post on beamed ceilings.  One of the houses I showed was very much under construction at the time.  That room is now complete and I want to share with you the transformation that room under went. 

The client has been in this home for over 20 years.   They are now empty nesters and wanted to actually “use” their living room.  The directive was to make the living room into a sort of  “reading” room.   I needed to make them want to use the room, not due to guilt, but because it drew them to it.   This is a rather standard living room in a two story colonial style home outside of Washington D.C. 

Here is what we started with….

This is where we ended up…. (please keep in mind these are “just installed shots”, not professional shots)

The moral of the story here is almost any room can be transformed into something wonderful with the right vision.  The client knew what they wanted but didn’t know how to achieve it.   They believed in their designer’s ability to transform this space into something beyond what it had been before.   Clearly, we still have items to add, and professional shots would make it look even better. 

Thanks for allowing me to share this recent installation and to the clients who believed in my vision!


“It’s all in the details…. outdoor rooms (a.k.a. veranda, loggia …)

I figured a good time to do this post was April 1st.  In Maryland, March can still be a bit cold but usually by April, we are starting to slowly warm up and we are feeling energized to be outside.  When Gregory and I were designing our home, one of the things that was most important to us, was our outdoor rooms.  Once the weather gets warm enough, we do everything outside and I do mean everything.  We usually eat all meals on our screened porch, we take naps on one of our porches… you get the idea.  I believe an outdoor room can be just as cozy and inviting as any indoor space with the bonus of a fresh breeze.  You also have so many amazing products that are designed to be either outside or in covered outdoor spaces, that there really is no limit to what you can do.  Again, in my usual style, I am going to share with you some “outdoor rooms” that I have done, as well as some outdoor rooms that have provided me with inspiration for projects.

This is a clients veranda that overlooks a large pond.  It is elevated so the view is excellent and it catches a lot of breeze.  The furniture was existing and all we did was amp up the aesthetics with a great fabric on the cushions and pillows and some outdoor accessories and fan.

The three pics above are different outdoor spaces at my house.  Once the temperature rises above 65 degrees, we eat all our meals at this table.

Now on to my all time favorite Loggia spaces by some of the best names in design.  The following two images, one by Robert Brown (HB, August 2009) and the other one by the grand diva of decadent design, Charlotte Moss Veranda August 2008).  If you took elements from both of these spaces, I have designed a loggia for a client in the D.C. area that has the best of both of these.  It is just starting construction so I can’t wait to show you the photos of the project when it is complete!

The next image is another amazing space that McAlpine, Booth, Ferrier created for a Nashville Family.  To this day, this image captures me in a way, few do.  If you look closely, it looks a lot like the spring catalog from Restoration Hardware???? I think they were captured by this project too.

I hope this beautiful spring Easter weekend gets you thinking about your outdoor rooms or how to add outdoor spaces to your home.  Enjoy!

“It’s all in the details…kitchens… making them highly detailed, beautiful and super functional…”

I am sure most everyone will agree that the kitchen is in fact, the most important room in the house, right?  In my house, it is command central.  We have our meals there, the kids do their homework there, we even host most of our cocktail parties from there,  so why not make it the most smashingly beautiful space possible and make it ubber functional?  One of my favorite areas to go crazy with details on is a kitchen.  There are so many opportunities to add detail.  I am currently working on two such kitchens for clients, both are renovations of existing kitchens and both clients want the ultimate kitchen.  In today’s post, I will share not only details from kitchens I’ve done and am doing, but details from kitchens by other designers that are very clever and worth “stealing” their ideas!  Btw, I love all kitchens, but I mostly love white kitchens!

This is a kitchen I love and it isn’t on the Southern Accents website any longer.  I used this kitchen as the inspiration for a kitchen I did for a family on Gibson Island.  Some of the details that we incorporated were having the base cabinets recessed under the sinks.  We used a similar upper cabinet mullions detail.  We didn’t go with a yellow painted finish,  we used a whiter finish but you will notice some similarities.  See the kitchen this picture inspired below.

Another kitchen I loved for years, with great detailing was in Southern Accents as well, years ago.  Forgive the scanned images but when they are no longer available online, this is the only way to share them.

Here is the kitchen the above pics inspired…

Here is a kitchen inspired by details I have admired in kitchens by Barry Dixon. This kitchen is just starting construction, I will show you pics when it is complete. See attached elevation of kitchen under construction.

Lastly, my favorite the white kitchen… with some blue accents.  No one does it better than my all time favorite designer and the designer I most relate to, Victoria Hagan.  Here is a kitchen of hers I have admired for years.  One of the kitchens I am currently working on is strongly influenced by this kitchen.

I can’t finish a post without a picture of my kitchen, one of my favorite places on the planet.  It too is blue and white, in my own way. 

Each client is different and has different requirements.  Some are into the gadgets, such as the built-in Miele coffee maker or a pot filler, or an organic shaped sink.  Some clients just want their cabinetry to look like furniture with fine craftsmanship and details and some want a combo of both.  Whatever you prefer, don’t go for “status quo” or an average kitchen if you spend as much time in your kitchen as I spend in mine.  Make your kitchen special and if you don’t know how, consult someone who knows how to incorporate these details and make it special for you.  (photo courtsey of Traditional Home, June/July 2009 by Gordon Beall)

It’s all in the details…. beamed ceilings!

Ceiling details are a great place to add architectural interest, depth and drama to a space.   Too often, ceilings are overlooked as a potential opportunity to add detail to a space.  In some cases if the ceilings aren’t high enough(over 9′) homeowners think that there isn’t anything that can be done to them, other than paint them- this SO isn’t true.  Just like you stare up a the sky on a beautiful day, admiring the cloud formations, you can create a ceiling detail that you will admire and enjoy looking up at. 

I am going to show you some of my favorite ceiling details shortly but first, I am going to show you a ceiling that was just installed in one of my client’s homes.  It is not finished being painted yet, but it will dispel your thoughts that you can’t install a boxed beam ceiling in a home with 8″ high ceilings. The home is a nice but rather typical two-story colonial.  The client’s were referred by another client of mine who has a home with incredible architecture and beamed ceilings.  Although the two homes, don’t have anything in common architecturally, I wanted to bring some architectural detailing to the colonial that would make my clients feel like they had some of the details they loved about my other client’s home.  I decided to design a shallow box beam ceiling for their living room.  My goal was to make this room cozy and enveloping.  Here are some iphone pics of the ceiling just after the carpenters finished the ceiling..


 Now I am going to show you the client’s home with the great architecture that inspired the new boxed beam ceiling above.  These beams are so magnificent that we wanted everything else in the room to compliment them.  The custom chandeliers are by my favorite custom metalsmith  John Phillips.  This is a space that you really do look up at the ceiling with awe.


The space above,  was inspired by this Suzanne Kasler space.


This is another project where the house had existing beams that we lightened because they had darkened over the years.  We then had a faux finisher, stencil a beautiful italian scroll design on the beams.  unfortunately, it is difficult to see the stencil in these photos, look closely.


One of my favorite ceiling details which I am currently using on a ceiling in a kitchen under construction is the “Union Jack” ceiling detail.  This is a tricky ceiling to layout but well worth the trouble.  I’ll share pics of this ceiling when it is complete.

Here is an image from Southern Accents that has a beautiful ceiling detail. 


This pic is of Barclay Butera’s home.  It is an excellent example of how you can add warmth to a space with wallcovering on the ceiling, even when the ceiling has beams.  I just love this space, it is so cozy!

The pic below, is of course my living and dining room with a very classic boxed beam ceiling.  There isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t stare at it.  It is one of those details that not only makes the room but makes me happy.

If you have a ceiling detail that inspires you, please share!  Look for my next post, it’s all in the details next week!