interior decor

Outdoor Patio Design: Relaxing Tangerine by Kevin Twitty

Being outdoors is on the top of my "list of loves" in life. It makes me so happy to breath in the fresh air and take a pause from the four walls that envelope most of my day. Over the past few years this sentiment towards being outdoors has been shared by more and more people and because of this, indoor/outdoor living spaces in homes have been raising in popularity and manufactures of outdoor safe furnishings have kept up with the pace. In honor of the summer season coming to an end and beautiful Autumn weather rolling in, here is a design you could easily do for your own outdoors. I call it, Relaxing Tangerine: A relaxing casual style with clean lines and natural textures.

  1. Arrow Accent Pillow - Pillows are some of my favorite ways to update a space. This charcoal arrow on a cream background has a fantastic modern casual vibe. $60

  2. Tone on Tone Striped Pillow - These contrast against the charcoal, of the other pillow and add structure to the space. - $79

  3. Natural Trellis Pillow - I love how these bring in the mid-tone of all of the neutrals. $98

  4. Tangerine Bohemian Style Rug - Adding just a touch of color is perfect to give your outdoor patio just enough color without overwhelming. $629

  5. Woven Natural Stools - These wicker stools add visual texture and an extra place for guests to sit when you are entertaining. $250

  6. Copper Bowl Planter - Adding a little bit of shine plays well against the softer tones of the design. I love the warmth in the metal. $175

  7. Copper Cylinder Planter - This is the sister planter. It has all of the same material elements, but allows for something a little different. $175

  8. Outdoor Safe Table Lamp - Electric lamp outside? What! That is awesome. This outdoor lamp will keep the mood casual. $279

  9. Antiqued Side Table - Everyone needs a place to put a drink down, and this small antiqued side table is perfect for that. It also connects well with the planters and cocktail table. $199

  10. Gray Sofa/Chaise with Casual Washed Wood - Upholster is where you splurge! These well constructed pieces are going to last you a lifetime. They are the perfect classic high end look for your outdoors. $3579

  11. Gray Chair with Casual Washed Wood - A perfect compliment to the sectional above. I love how this chair is oversized. Makes me want to curl up with a cup of coffee and a good book. $1125

  12. Rusted Top Round Coffee Table - A show-stopper of a cocktail table. The simplicity in the shape is lovely and the rusty top is a worry-free way to live outdoors. $855


Learn to hand render like the pros! by Kevin Twitty

Have you ever seen a hand rendered design and thought, "WOW, how do they do that?" or, "I'll never be able to hand render like that." I am an interior designer and I also have those same thoughts. In college I had to learn the skills of hand rendering, however, with such a fast paced world, it was one of the skills I let slip. 

I recently reconnected with a friend from university, Shannin Williams, and she absolutely  amazed me. Shannin has fine tuned her hand rendering skills since our time as Lumberjacks at SFA in Nacogdoches, TX.  "My goal is to help you learn the basic techniques of hand rendering and sketching and apply those to your client presentation boards in a creative way so you can sell your design proposal." Shannin says. I love how she inspired me to get back to the basics by putting pen to paper and immerse myself into my designs on another level. Here are some of the tips she gave me for sharpening my hand rendering skills that will help you too.

Sannin Williams hand rendering interior design

Tip 1 - Use good quality paper.

Using good quality paper can change the way the final rendering can look. I’ve used several types of marker paper and I discovered the ones I like the most. If I want my hand rendering to have a softer look I use Bienfang Lightweight drawing paper. This paper allows the marker to bleed perfectly for me. If I want a sharper look with defined strokes and marks and no bleeding I use x-press it blending card. Others I use are Canson pro layout marker paper, and Borden& Riley #234 bleedproof paper. I suggest trying a variety of papers until you find the one you like and achieve the look your aiming for. See more of my favorite tools in the link here

Canson marker pro rendering

Tip 2- Use a straight edge when you hand render or draw. 

I always use a triangle that has an inking edge when I draft floor plans or hand render. The purpose is to keep your marker lines straight. I like seeing crisp, straight lines in my illustrations. A crooked line makes me nuts which is why I own several adjustable triangles in different sizes. My favorite is the Staedtler Mars 8” adjustable triangle. I even keep a smaller one in my purse when I travel along with a sketchbook, pen, and pencil. 

Sketches of architectural and design rendering tools

Tip 3 - Use good quality markers. 

I use Copic Sketch markers due to the 380 + colors they offer. I also like Copic Sketch markers because you can refill them and change the tips when they get bad. Buying a $6 marker seems outrageous but I look at it as an investment since I have the ability to refill them when needed. That beats buying a whole new marker like you would with other brands. If you want to start with a set of markers I recommend purchasing any of the Copic Sketch cool, toner, neutral, and warm gray markers first. You can achieve a lot of colors with a range of grays. And don’t be afraid to layer and mix your marker colors to create a new color. 

Markers and Ink rendering


Tip 4 - Define your own style of hand rendering. 

There are several architectural illustrators out there that have different hand rendering techniques. I have learned from them all and developed my own rendering style that portrays the look I want to achieve. My style includes a loose and quick mark that is not perfect allowing my final hand rendering to be natural and not forced. It took me months of practice to achieve the style I wanted and I recommend you doing the same. Your style of hand rendering needs to stand out amongst others to get gain attention. 

Hand rendered interior design. Tropical boho style design.
Hand rendered entry design by Shannin Williams
Hand rendering interior architecture and design

To see more of my work visit my website at or follow me on instagram @shannin_williams. If you want to practice hand rendering jump on my website and sign up for my mailing list and download your free line drawing or you can see try out my hand rendering course here.

Shannin Williams Interior Designer

Incorporating old finds into your design by Kevin Twitty

Designing with vintage finds and antique heirlooms are a great way to add interest into your home. It is such a treat when you walk into someone's home and see a unique piece of furniture, one of a kind vintage art, or upcycled accessory.

One of my best friends and fellow designer, April Williams, is an expert in hunting down pre-loved finds and bringing new life to them, so I asked her to guest blog about the questions she asks herself before incorporating fabulous finds into her design. Here are the questions April asks when incorporating old finds into your design.

Does it bring you joy?

Do you feel happy or at least have fond memories when you look at or hold the piece?!  You should—if not, get rid of that thing.  There’s no reason to keep it otherwise.  If it’s been passed down in your family and you no longer, or maybe never did, enjoy this “thing” then offer it up to the rest of the family.  If there aren’t any takers, that lets you know it’s surely okay to let it go. 

This piece of gravel art was always hanging in my grandmother's house, made in the 60's by my great-grandmother. I loved it then and even more now. 



Does it add Character?

If you feel your space is a bit lackluster and boring, try adding a little character.  It’ll make your environment much more inviting and so stagnant, as if you’ve walked into one store and purchased everything at once.  This is a pet peeve of mine in regard to design; your home should not be a collection of items that personalize and enhance, not just fill, the voids. Incorporate you and your history into the design. 

Reupholstered tufted sofa before and after

My style is more eclectic than most, so it’s no surprise that I wanted a classic tufted velvet sofa.  I knew I wanted a camelback sofa, so I searched high and low, then found an old inverted camelback (even better!) for only $250! As you can see in the before picture, it needed some love, so I found upholstery services in the area that would allow me to customize it to my desire.   Better yet, a dear friend got me a sweet discount on some high durability faux velvet. I ordered the fabric and some new spindle legs, and watched my dream come to life. This show stopper added so much character to my home. 

Is it unique?

If it’s just a random, on-trend item, consider finding something more special that will stand the test of time—think classic.  Trends come and go and come again, so if you like the idea of what you’re considering purchasing, maybe look for a vintage or antique one instead.  The hunt is one of my favorite parts of finding special décor.  Take time to drop into a few estate sales or a trip to a flea market; you never know what you may find!  Even Etsy or Ebay will do, just look for something that strikes you—the item should evoke emotion.

Wall decor can be that unexpected touch in a room. I like using old frames in lieu of new.

Wall decor can be that unexpected touch in a room. I like using old frames in lieu of new.

Does it have a story? 

Maybe it’s an heirloom or something you bought at a garage sale, but you got to hear about its life before you owned it and the story intrigued you.  If so, it will likely be a great conversational item that company will enjoy learning about, too. 


I have wanted one of these tables for several years now, but was certainly not willing to pay the hefty price.  However, I stopped at an estate sale on my way out of town (like I had room to be hauling extra stuff around) a few weekends ago, and scored HUGE.  Do you hear me, huge?!  These bad boys are way out of my price range, but this particular day, I found one originally marked $300, it had been slashed to $150, but everything was an additional 50% off so I grabbed it and didn’t think twice about spending a mere $75 bucks when the one you see above would run you $2,800 on 1st Dibs. The lady that had owned it was a world traveler and brought it home from Pakistan. I loved the story behind this table, and, not to mention, it is unique, has character, and brings me joy!

Is it functional?

Always consider the functionality of the item.  Will it serve a purpose or will is simply be beautiful and fill an empty space?  Will it have an immediate home when you take it into your house?  Will you actually use and enjoy it?  These are few things to consider when debating adding to the place you love and spend your quality time.

Upcycled mason jars used as flower vases

And lastly, upcycling can be as simple as using an item differently than its original intended use, like the old Mason jar as a vase above. Not to mention, flowers always add a special touch to any room. 

April Wiliams, RID, NCIDQ

About the author: April is a Registered Interior Designer in the great State of Texas, mother to a volleyball loving, soccer playing, country dancing teenager, and she dabbles in wire wrapping jewelry in her spare time.  She’s got a thing for giving old stuff new life!  Follow her on IG at aprilchiree83 for more design, upcycling, and DIYs.

Color Crush: Shades of Pink by Kevin Twitty

Pink is in the house! I haven't seen an interior color trend take over so quickly since shades of grey and I have to admit, I am on board! Shades of pink even made me Top 5 things I just can't get enough of for Spring. Here are some of my favorite examples of pink being used in todays interiors.

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12 indoor plants for people with brown thumbs by Kevin Twitty

Ask my husband... I am the plant killer. I once killed one of those little stocks of bamboo from Ikea. How does that even happen? I thought they would make it through the apocalypse. I am a huge fan of a really good fake floral or plant, however, while they provide visual texture and a pop of natural color, they do not provide the same benefits as a living plant does.

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