A Very Thankful Designer Custom Source

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It’s a Modern Day friendship. A story of two ladies from opposite ends of the U.S; New York and California. Melinda – a high energy working girl and Anita – a gentle artistic spirit: learning to accept each other, get along, and take comfort in friendship found.

We give thanks to our designers for making DCS a success this year and for our new found friendships. We hope that this coming new year brings you joy, peace and love. – Melinda Merijanian and Anita Winter

Designer Custom Source wishes you and yours a Happy Thanksgiving!

New Fall Fabric Collections from Designer Custom Source

The fall hues are always breathtaking this time of year. The changing trees and leaves are just a small touch of what nature provides for us, yet our homes are also looking to be adorned in this season’s best. Robert Allen’s latest fabrics will help you take a walk with nature and invite you to add these pretty textures and colors to your home’s interior.

Robert Allen Aviary Trellis Citrine

Robert Allen Aviary Trellis Graphite

This season’s home trends are leaning toward floral and animal motifs mixed with mid-century modern geometrics, so this fabric line is right on target. Robert Allen fabrics are also focused on introducing more solid textures to the home, such as chenille, textured wovens, and classic cotton linens.

Robert Allen Aviary Trellis Graphite brings something new and fresh for fall with gray, corn yellow, and mineral blue. But don’t worry! There are more colorways for you to choose from such as Aviary Trellis Citrine and Aviary Trellis Poppy. These are whimsical and lively cotton fabrics that add a slight touch of spring, but great for your interior year round. Try it on window seat cushions, draperies, and throw pillows for a pop of nature to your decor.

RA fabrics

New Robert Allen Fabrics from left to right: Global Lines Amber, Aviary Trellis Graphite, Softknit Lemongrass and Texture Mix Indigo

Combine Robert Allen Aviary Trellis Graphite with Robert Allen Global Lines Amber and Robert Allen Softknit Lemongrass for a warm and delightful selection to your home. Robert Allen Texture Mix Indigo is a new colorway from an old favorite. This soft, gray-blue weave will give interest and texture to your indoor spaces. Texture Mix comes in 10 beautiful colorways!

With so many designs to choose from, you’re bound to find something you’ll love.

Are you a designer? Visit Designer Custom Source and register today!

RA aviary trellis citrine

Robert Allen stepping stones ~ All Photos by Melinda Merijanian

Pretty in Pink Victorian Come Back

I recently watched one of my favorite ’80s films Pretty in Pink, and I must say, Molly Ringwald’s Victorian, bohemian chic style is definitely on its way back. It’s amazing what one movie instilled on the fashion industry back in its day. The older I get, the more I realize that fashion does truly come back around. This season’s looks are floral and feminine; home decor is going that direction, as well. If you are looking to recreate a Victorian style in your home, turn on the TV and get inspired.

pretty in pink floral

Molly Ringwald in Pretty in Pink – Always surrounded by a sea of floral and lace.

 Pour on the flowers

A Victorian shabby chic room needs lots of floral fun. This particular room gives a great example of floral on floral with some restraint. What I like is how they chose the same color pink throughout the room. I think that’s why this mixture of large and small floral patterns works. Choosing similar shades keeps your room from looking cluttered.

floral room fabrics

Floral room from Country Living.com

Lace it up and add on

I really have a heart for lace. It’s completely feminine. This beautiful cabinet  is layered like a cake with icing made of lace. It has such a charming and vintage feel with all the china, cherubs, pottery, and glass. Layering your items throughout the shelving creates a more authentic look since Victorian homes were covered with lots of nick knacks. It just adds to the homey feel.

In Molly’s room you can see the sweet, embroidered table cloth under the pink phone, as well as a pretty lace pillow to add to the decor.

Molly Ringwald pretty in pink

Molly Ringwald’s room is a Victorian touch of romance.

Know what pieces you love and have to have

As you are scouting around for particular pieces, keep in mind what you really like. It’s true that you may stumble across a great and unexpected find, but you never want it to sidetrack you from the goal you have in mind for your space. If you are looking for a particular fabric or an object, stay focused and know what you need.

floral essentials

Victorian essentials from Country Living.com

Let the details speak for themselves

A pretty kitchen in white needs a splash of color and floral cushions, pillows, and  paintings will bring this room to definite Victorian styling. But more than the fabrics, each furniture piece, chandelier, and item on the table have beautiful textures to add ornate patterns, which reflect Victorian design.

floral fabrics

Floral kitchen from Country Living.com

Upcoming Home Trending Must Haves

Home trends are fun to watch develop from year to year and this coming season you will see even more distinctive themes to room designs that follow the same must-have adjectives: innovative, creative, and imaginative. You will see modern design trends blend traditional and organic materials, unique shapes, bold prints, and great decorating ideas with new products and rich colors to help brighten the world of interior design and your home decorating.

 Wall Murals
But first things first. Wall murals and wallpapering have made a strong comeback. You are now faced with the choice of spectacular prints and designs that will inspire and draw a crowd. Above, I selected this hallway photo from Houzz as an example of subtle wallpaper beauty. This is a far cry from the simple fruit basket wallpaper trims seen in ’80s kitchens. This is sophisticated styling that is nothing more than stunning. Although this is not a bold approach, you can and will find plenty of amazing wall murals to sink your teeth into.
Organic Design
Another great trend is using more organic furnishings in the home. These are usually special pieces of furniture that bring a bit of the outdoors in. This beautiful table is made from salvaged wood that’s the culmination of great woodworking, custom designing, and an Eco-friendly approach to furniture design.

Design Fusion

A little bit of this and a pinch of that. Sounds like a recipe. Well, when it comes to eclectic design, it sort of is. In a room where there are no limits, many can end up creating a hoarder’s dream, but in fusion design, you are selective at choosing what works, as far as finishes, paints, and fabrications, to have a harmonious room. Fusion design is marrying two ideas together rather than many. In this case, we have mid-century modern meets Asian styling. Seems easy enough. But there is some thinking involved. When you fuse two opposite styles together, you want a space that still brings function and fluidity. This does it!



Versatility in Design
Versatility in a room is just another way of saying multifunctional. Sectionals have gained in popularity because they can assemble or disassemble to fit your living space. They also come in a variety of styles to suit your taste. This is an example of where most family designs are gravitating. A mix of traditional with modern furnishings. It’s very livable and comfortable.

Clean Modern Traditional

Here’s another great look at what modern traditional looks like in a kitchen. The seat back on the banquet emulates the restaurant booths of the ’40s. The horizontal stripe on the draperies gives very modern lines, while beautiful Asian-patterned fabric brings an Art Deco vibe.


Nature Design Innovations

As more of us stay connected with friends and family through social media, our imaginations for design will grow as well, with more exposure to different architecture and cultures. This beautiful bridge was made to spark conversation. Not only does it incorporate nature, but it also inspires. As design moves forward, you will see more innovation and upcycling with various materials and fabrics.


Global and Ethnic Design

If you are a world traveler or just like to collect various items from Pier 1 Imports, you probably have a desire to display your love for global goods around your home. One thing is for sure, you love colors – But not just any colors. Global colors are rich and saturated. This raspberry red coffee table is a great anchor to this room. The pop of berry throughout the bookcase and tapestries just adds a unified flavor to the space. I also love the exotic fur placed on the couch.

Pantone Picks for Fall 2014

This fall season has a lot of blueberry and fruity tones that will definitely add a punch to your world. Some colors we have seen before, while others are new and fresh this fall. Meet the latest trendsetting colors of fall 2014!


Fall fashion colors

Fashion colors for fall 2014


Royal Blue – Designer Pamela Roland utilized this jacket for day or evening. This stunning blue is always a classic. Try royal blue on accent walls and home accessories, or choose this color as paint to refurbish a chest of drawers or chair.


Fall Pantone

Royal blue is a must-have color of fall 2014.


Aluminum – This pretty, soft gray is one that complements virtually any color of the rainbow. It will look a amazing paired with a misted yellow as Ella Moss designed below.  Aluminum is a perfect back drop for bright and bold colors.


pantone fall colors

Aluminum and misted yellow make a stunning fall combination.


Sangria – If you’ve ever tasted sangria, you’ll know instantly why it’s a pop of fabulous to any wardrobe or living space. This is rich, berry color marries deep burgundy and bright orchid hues to make a perfect combination of delicious. A taste worth trying.


sangria fall color

Pantone 2014 fall loves sangria…and so do we.


Cognac – This soft, brown has a slight touch of burgundy to give it a beautiful undertone that looks amazing on any skin tone. Try adding this decor to your fall rooms. Emily Saunders creates the duxford bomber with a rose, copper-treated faux fur body and black lambskin sleeves.


Pantone Cognac fall 2014

Pretty cognac is a subtle and elegant color that will dress up a sophisticated space.


Misted Yellow – Not everyone can wear yellow, but this subtle touch will look great in rooms, kitchens, and on a fabulous designer dress! This color features hints of wheat and oatmeal, which will warm up walls, windows, and seating areas.


pantones misted yellow

Misted yellow is a subtle yellow paired with this black, aluminum, and cognac combo from Biphu Mohapatra.


Cypress – This muted, forest green comes as a nice surprise. It’s not always a color that most people would wear, however, it will work nicely in a den or man cave space. Cypress is a softer army green that can be used as a neutral base of an outfit. Designer Christian Siriano creates a crepe cape overlay pant in cypress and black stain wrap jacket.


Pantone Fall Cypress

Cypress adds an intriguing and earthy look paired with classic fall colors.


Bright Cobalt -Rachel Roy is anything but an ordinary designer, judging by this well put together jacket and pant combo. She says, “The bomber jacket in Japanese Ink, Venetian Red, and Nightfall is an easy, yet chic and sporty silhouette – my favorite piece from the collection.”


Pantone Bright Cobalt

Bright cobalt blue is electric.


Radiant Orchid – This hue has transcended through the spring, summer, and fall months. It’s been all about purples, fuchsias, and hot lilacs since the beginning of the year, so it makes sense that this color keeps reinventing itself. Pairing it with sangria and bright cobalt will invite great color to your wardrobe and living space this fall.


radiant orchid pantone 2014

For a new twist on radiant orchid, pair it with sangria for a rich fall look.


Mauve Mist – Mauve mist is a softer version of radiant orchid. It’s a color that will look great on a statement piece of furnishing or accent wall.


Pantone color Mauve Mist

A romantic and elegant purple shade, reminds us of the deco era and stimulates a sense of femininity and empowerment.


Aurora Red – This rosy, antique red color is “the desire for red in a gray world,” says designer Yoana Baraschi. This raspberry pink is the perfect touch to a Victorian or art deco decor. Paired with this grenadine bright jacket, you will be ready for any party. This is also a new spin to kitchen nooks and other areas of the home.


Pantone Aurora Red

Yoana Baraschi makes a lovely outfit with a gently oversized cocoon coat in bright, red-orange mohair.

For more than 20 years, Pantone, the global authority on color, has surveyed the designers of New York Fashion Week and beyond to bring you the season’s most important color trends. This report previews the most prominent hues for fall 2014.

A Texas Treehouse of Dreams

Most would agree that children have vivid imaginations. Whether they create giant castles using pieces of cardboard and duct tape or use an old, rusty wagon to impersonate a pirate ship floating on dangerous waters, a child’s imagination dreams big and never has limits. As we get older, our experiences tend to alter those dreams, but, if we are lucky, we hold onto them with a child’s spirit until, hopefully, it one day comes to fruition.

mikes treehouse 2

The Winter treehouse

After purchasing a large ranch in 2000, recently retired Mike Winter of Bonham, Texas discovered that it wasn’t too late to see his dream of having an enchanted treehouse come to reality. Mike recalls, “Growing up I always had a fort of some type out in the woods. I discovered that there was nothing more magical than hearing rain fall through tree leaves. I had dreamed of building a cozy retreat in the trees ever since.”

After buying the land, he immediately built a weekend home; one that he, his wife, and their boys could enjoy. He explains, “Denise and I both grew up in small towns and wanted our boys to experience something other than the big city. In fact, we didn’t even have a TV when our boys were growing up. We’d visit the ranch about every third weekend with our four boys, and, at times, invite enough friends to completely fill two large SUVs.”

Judging by these photos, you can see how much love was poured into the layout and construction of this quaint creation. Sitting inside the treehouse with the windows and doors wide open is one way Mike enjoys this charming abode. He continues, “I LOVE sitting in the treehouse with the windows and back doors open and feeling the breeze against my face while watching the tree limbs gently sway back and forth.”

The porch area is another great place to relax and be one with nature. It’s just a small extension from the living area but adds that real treehouse feel that kids and adults love. Not only is the porch a great spot to lounge and converse, but the breathtaking view of the lake is one of the reasons Mike chose to construct the treehouse facing it.

mikes treehouse 3

This treehouse exterior is made from board-on-board cedar plank. A beautiful look for this charming house.

The interior walls are made of an unfinished tongue-and-groove knotty pine that looks organically gorgeous while adding to the character of the space. As far as the decor goes, you will find a perfectly lovely setup for any family vacationing or visiting for a weekend: a comfy sleeper sofa, a bathroom with shower, a refrigerator, and wicker seating…all in an acclimatized room. Nice!

mikes treehouse 7

The interior is filled with all the comforts of home; sofa sleeper, refrigerator, full bathroom with shower, and a ladder that leads to a queen size bed.

Some of the unusual furnishings are those which Mike himself upcycled into functional pieces. When asked what is the most unique piece in the room, Mike couldn’t seem to settle on one particular item. He said, “Again, hard to say… my favorites are the antique six-panel bathroom door (with its 50+ year peeling but stabilized paint) hung on black barn door hardware, the bath vanity made from another old, six-panel door, the coffee table made from thick, heavily weathered lumber and rusty metal straps. Also, the eight-foot wooden doors and windows, which give the treehouse a warm and natural look inside and out while providing a unobstructed view outside. It’s worth noting that the first three items, like so many others in the treehouse, came from materials found on the ranch or in its old barn.”

After a long, hot summer day, take a break on this simple wooden rope swing to ease your mind. I’m sure many children and adults will enjoy this little treasure located directly below the porch deck facing a lakeside view.

mikes treehouse 9

Every treehouse needs a swing

Mike and Denise are looking forward to enjoying their retirement years and undergoing their next creative project. With their oldest son getting married at the ranch in September,  they have their hands full making all the preparations for that special day. In the meantime, Mike continues to dream up the next big building adventure. Maybe zip lining? Or a pool? …Stay tuned!

Winter treehouse

Denise and Mike Winter

Beachy Interior Themed Spaces

Summertime reminds us that vacation is right around the corner and much needed R and R is beckoning. What better way to relax than to go to the beach, right? However, if you don’t get to enjoy sea and sand often, why not bring the beach to your living spaces? Be inspired this summer to create your own personal seaside abode.

Polyvore board

Start off your beach themed room with color inspirations from the sea and sand. (All products and items from Polyvore)


There is no question that a room of sea green, blue, and sandy beige are calm and soothing tones. I love the play of patterns in this room (below) brought out by the many striped, ikat pillows, and tasseled cushions. The central theme is beachy with cool mid modern white wicker furnishings with custom cushions and a whimsical seahorse credenza for subtle mentions of the sea without going overboard.


Kim Courtney Interiors from houzz

Beach home designed by New York interior designer Kim Courtney

To reenact the colors of the sea in a living space is pretty self explanatory. Although, not everybody knows when to dial it up or down with color. This living room has a spectacular splash of Celosia orange to really give a pop and punch to an otherwise calm serene space. Charleston designs was wise to pick such a vibrant hue to mimic the sea’s coral reef treasures below. Placing just the right amount of these bold items symmetrically on either side of the room provokes balance, harmony, and a well-proportioned room.


Kiawah Beach House from houzz

Beautiful Kiawah beach house living room

The office is often the last place you think to decorate since it typically houses the boring office chair, computer, and obnoxious paperwork. This beach style home office is so much more because it allows for a stream of pretty, natural sunlight, plenty of storage to hide paper work, plus a cool chalk board area on the face of the cabinets to jot down quick reminders. The best part are the  beach trinkets that fill the shelves and add ambiance for a fresh ocean view. The only thing missing is the sound of the crashing waves!
Kellogg Road Residence from Martha O'Hara interiors

Beach designed office by Martha O’Hara Interiors

But that’s not all. Just behind this home office is a darling mudroom area to hang hats, store shoes, and comfortably rest your wet umbrellas and jackets. This clever placement gives true multifunctional use of the office space without sacrificing beautiful design and fashion.

So the next time you are in the mood to vacation at the beach, take time to create your own oasis at home by utilizing all the sights and sounds of the seashore. Bon Voyage!

beach styled office and mudroom space

Beach styled office and mudroom space by Martha O’Hara Interiors


Marrying Rooms for Two

Saying “I Do” is a new step into the  future for many young couples. Planning the ceremony and honeymoon can be a stressful time, as well as working out your plans to move into your new abode. Although it’s an exciting time becoming “one,” it can be difficult joining your decorating styles as man and wife. Masculine versus feminine is a struggle that many new couples encounter after they tie the knot. But there are simple solutions to bring design harmony to a space.

custom bedding
Mix Dark and Light
Let’s face it, men usually go for darker and harder looks in design, such as dark leather, metals, and worn rugged “man cave” pieces. Women look  for pretty, soft, and whimsy items, such as pastel linen and cottons, colorful floral arrangements, and romantic lighting.  They can both work together. You just need to know when to draw the line so that there is a harmonious space that offers the best of both worlds. The diagram below shows one way to compromise on furniture and accessories so neither man nor wife are disappointed.
his and her styles

Marrying his and her decorating styles after tying the knot.

Here’s a great example of a living room interior that is a modern blend of feminine and masculine. The black walls with bright white molding is an eye-popping contrast that really works for this space because of the enormous amount of natural lighting. Modern traditional furnishings are always a good compromise when you are looking to please both sexes.  But it’s the small addition of a curvy sofa table, cool chevron throw pillows, and flowers that stop the room from becoming overwhelmingly masculine. The dark and light hues help to balance out the space.


masculine and feminine living space
Soft versus Hard
Soft and hard combinations is always a fool proof way to create a room filled with a couple in mind. This dining room area shows such rustic and unique finds, as well as contemporary nudges. From the steel edges of the of the table to the beveled glass island light, this dining room has all the hints of a man’s touch. The wall art of photos are laid out in a grid pattern that brings interest to the dark walls. But my favorite parts of this dining area are all the sweet “girlie” additions of pillows, candles, and flowers that make up a gorgeous tablescape. These items are what soften up the tough, heavy furnishings.
Dining Room

As you join together as man and wife remember to always consider your new home as a place to grow in love and respect for one another. My advice to those who will be taking the plunge soon is to love the pool you’re diving into! A great space is one that you love!

Create a Room Through a Child’s Imagination

chidren's rooms on houzz

Home decorating is a fun job for interior designers, unless you are working with the pickiest of clients, which is not always the best experience. But what if your client were a child? As we know, most kids have wild imaginations and love to explore their ideas with every pillow, blanket, and stuffed animal they can find around the house. Whether they build a fort with blankets and sheets or create a tower of pillows stacked so high they lean like the tower of Pisa, children love to dream up great ideas. We’ve seen many children’s rooms transformed on HGTV and other home improvement channels, so we thought we would share a few more clever spaces.

Smith Firestone & Associates created an aviator’s dream room. This is a spectacular example of using every inch of space to let your child’s vision become as realistic as possible. Wall murals are an amazing way to capture the scenery of the theme for your client’s space.

kid's rooms on houzz
Premier Print Fabrics

Need an Aviator themed room? Premier Prints Fabrics are a great kid’s room choice! (clockwise) Vintage Air, Hopscotch, and Alphabet in Mandarin/Natural



What child doesn’t like Legos? We LOVE the Lego cushions! Very clever. The primary colors in this room bounce off the stark white walls nicely and the overall function of this space receives an A+! The chalk board and cool Lego drawers are great for kids’ clothes and toy storage, as well motivating creative play time.


lego kids room on houzz
Kids indoor fabrics

Go primary color! Mix your prints. (clockwise) Premier Prints Zig Zag Lipstick White, RA Latticescape Onyx, Highland Taylor Inspiration, RA Slubbed Weave Lacquer and Highland Taylor Global


Yet another Traditional Kids picture from Wendi Young Design. Any boy would love to sleep in a cool race car! The draperies and valances are adorable, not to mention the clever gas pump bubble gum vending machine. Yum!


automobile themed room for kids on houzz
blue and green boys bedroom fabrics

Premier Print Fabrics automobile themed room. (clockwise)Hopscotch, Wheelie, Retro Rides in Felix/Natural


This subtle princess room is the perfect spot for a girl that loves Barbie, Cinderella, and PINK! So feminine, yet not an overwhelming amount of frills. The mini loveseat at the end of the bed is the perfect little girl touch.


pink girl's bedroom on houzz
Designer Custom Source has created an amazing array of unique custom cushion, pillow, and drapery designs for our designers, so we thought we would challenge ourselves and your imaginations. Tell us about your clients’ kids’ dream rooms on our Facebook page! Let us help make their imagination a reality!
Need inspiration? Try Olio Boards. Let your client play and discover what ideas and inspirations they have!
Olio Boards

Olio Boards are a great way to have your clients dream up their perfect space.

Runway to Rooms: Orange Crush

Recently I’ve noticed that orange has occupied a more prominent role in clothing, makeup, and décor trends. It has been a huge hit on the runway via vivid clothing pieces and distinctive lipsticks. Why shouldn’t orange be the standout color of spring and summer? Orange is a lively hue, warm and energetic. Orange is positive, evoking happiness and creativity. Orange is bright, eye-catching, and easily seen. And no other word in the English language rhymes with orange. This is a truly unique color.
DCS Orange
Believe it or not, orange can look good on anyone as long as the right shade is selected. The same principle can be applied to the home. Because it blends sophisticated red with cheerful yellow, orange is an ideal color for home décor. By choosing the right orange for your décor, you can transform a cold space into a welcoming environment. I found a few images displaying ways that orange can be used in the home.

For my first image, I found a bedroom with an eclectic fusion of styles that merge together to produce an intriguing room. The room features traditional Asian designs that are paired beautifully with modern and trendy touches in vibrant orange. The splash of orange of the accent wall and ikat throw pillows gives life to what could be seen as an otherwise lackluster room.

Eclectic Orange Room

The next image shows a transitional living room with orange accents via throw pillows, ottomans, and window seating. The orange used in this room is not overpowering; however, it used strategically, balancing out the blue of the built-ins, walls, and rug. By adding orange, an inviting living space is developed.

Orange and Blue Room

Orange can also be used in traditional style as well. Traditional décor can occasionally be seen as bland, but by adding a lighter shade of orange, you can create exceptional warmth within the room. The yellow-orange hue in the final image is not overwhelming; rather it flows seamlessly alongside the neutral palette.

Traditional Orange Room

Don’t be afraid to use orange in your home. Remember, as long as you have the perfect shade, you can create a striking space.


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