The Gentle Lion with sweet blue eyes was created in memory of my beautiful sister. She was a Leo and collected many lions. She was also very generous in her donations to help people and animals. In the spirit of Paying It Forward in her name, Louise Monforte, all the proceeds from this print will be donated to The Central Coast Feline Network. Please visit their website FelineNetwork.org and consider making a donation to this wonderful organization that is entirely run by volunteers. You can purchase Blue Eyes here. The biggest feline of them all! :) One check has already been mailed to them, please consider helping me to do it again! Thank you from the bottom of my heart! xo
Lately I've noticed that my shoulders are literally up in my ears! The stress and tension of caring for a big family, mixed in with some health scares from someone I love deeply, is enough to make me clench my jaw 24/7 but then add into it the holidays and it's so easy to feel overwhelmed!
So, I took a little of my own advice and made myself a self care list of things I plan on working into my daily schedule. It starts with a quiet moment in the morning and my journal. I write down my Intention for the season. It goes something like this: I am present in the moment of every day and choose to be surprised by joy. I notice all the special moments without rushing to get through my never ending to-do list and I am ok if it doesn't all get done. I remind myself to breathe deeply!
Even the simple task of writing in my journal ten minutes in the morning makes me feel more grounded and ready to experience each day. Carving out a little extra time to do some morning yoga then have a warm cup of tea with lemon is worth waking up the extra 20 minutes. When the days get tough I just remind myself to breathe deeply. Squeezing in a walk in nature and a good nights sleep also does wonders! I've illustrated a few other ideas here too. May your holidays be full of love and blessed with beautiful moments and may we all be able to drop our shoulders and enjoy every moment!
What another wonderful collaboration! I adore the charming boutiques of TOSS Designs and feel very honored to have collaborated with them to license my little Cheers Chimp on such a fabulous new product! I mean, who doesn't want a Martini while lounging in these super comfy sateen jammies?!? Group them as a set with my Cheers Chimp Note Cards and Print for a unique and distinctive holiday gift! Cheers!!
I'm finally able to share some exciting news with you! Last summer I was approached by a couple of wonderful companies to collaborate on some super fun products! The first one is Eccolo. Eccolo makes journals, stationary, travel accessories, and home goods. I'm so excited to finally receive the samples that will be showing up at HomeGoods, HomeSense, TJ Max and more this holiday!! Keep a look out for my white lion logo!
Now for some really exciting news! I’m offering my first hands-on workshop on Interior Design Sunday, Sept 17th at the Home Expo from 12:00 – 1:00 pm! I am Soooooo excited about this class! Ever since I wrote Charming & Pretty – The ART of Home, I always saw how it could be a fun addition to create a Guided Home Journal packed with all my years of design experience into a course that is intended to spark your creative side in a simple step-by-step format. During the one hour, jam packed class, you will creatively define your design style and leave with the important basics you can use to create the home you have always wanted!
I will specifically be focusing on the Family Room with guided worksheets that you can re-use and apply to the other rooms in your home. You will receive a fun goodie package and your own binder full of guided prompts and design information AND are you ready??? This class is only $30!! You can sign up here. Space is limited so I wouldn’t wait until the last minute on this one.
My workshop is part of several creative courses going on that day presented by some of our towns most inspirational and gifted entrepreneurs. You can sign up for all of them at a discounted rate here. So much FUN! I hope to see you there!!
Live Charming & Create Pretty Every Day! xoxo Mari
The new Living Lavishly magazine is here! I’m so impressed with how this magazine has grown over the past couple of years. I still remember the conversation over coffee with the publisher on how our town was in need of a fun shelter magazine. The next thing I knew Living Lavishly was born. It’s been a pleasure to write and illustrate for the magazine on what I love, DESIGN! Pick one up today or read it on-line here!
Yes, it's true. It has been a long time since I've posted anything. Honestly, there has been a lot of things going on in life some happy, some very sad. It's just been one of those years that has made me pause and take a step back to really think about the direction I want to go with my life and my business. Which is a good thing but now I'm ready to get back into the game.
When I asked myself what it is that I really, really Love to do I have found I love to illustrate and create product for the home decor industry. I also love to write and to teach all things about the home.
So when I was recently approached buy a couple of companies to license my designs, the timing couldn't have been more perfect. The good news is next year you'll be seeing my product pop up in many fun places and with that new adventure underway I've also decided to give my on-line shop a big remodel! I will be discontinuing most of my pillows and focusing more on paper goods, prints, books and workshops! (I'm super excited about the workshops and I will share more on those soon but the first one will be at the San Luis Obispo Home Expo this September!!)
Through the holiday weekend if the pillow isn't already sold out it will be only $10!! 75%OFF!! Woohoo!! Have a safe and Happy 4th of July Weekend!! xo Mari
If you are local to the Central Coast check out the latest edition of Living Lavishly Magazine. I had fun writing and illustrating my thoughts on Pantone's Color of the Year - Greenery as well as my Design Tips on how to style your bookshelves. If you're not local, you can read the magazine on-line. Happy designing!
The New Year has kicked off rather slowly for me, absolutely not the usual, but my family and I had some challenges to go through with the loss of someone very special in our lives. When I would normally be multitasking on several projects I felt I needed time to go within a bit and re-evaluate everything in my life. So I gave myself some Time...which was really hard because I'm always going a million miles a minute. Then recently the California storms hit and our power went out for five days. Now I had no choice but to unplug and live "off the grid". As challenging as it was to not have power and internet and TV for five days, I actually secretly enjoyed having an excuse to do what I needed to do; be still and in the moment. I had great conversations with my daughters and my husband, read a terrific book, and painted. It allowed me the time to finish this painting; The Princess. The Lioness represents quiet strength. She is majestic and magical. She is also a fierce protector of her family. I think a lot of us women love so deeply that we would do anything for our families and this painting represents that strength.
The power is back on and the sun is shining once again. I feel like I had a good nights sleep and I'm ready to get back to work but in a much more mindful way. I have some exciting ventures on the horizon which I will be looking forward to sharing with all of you but until then, I wish you quiet strength, grace, and beauty in all that you do...like The Princess. May you live a life that is Majestic & Magical & Full of Color!
Happy December! Boy-Oh-Boy! This month kicked off with a bang! It's been so busy at the studio that I'm finally taking a moment to post a few updates. First of all, WOW! Thank you so much for the amazing support I've received from so many of you about my New Book, Charming & Pretty - The Art Of Home! It's been a little nerve racking putting my "baby" out into the world so my heart thanks you for all your kind words!! Last week I had two really fun events with a book signing in Camarillo at my friends gorgeous home boutique and then a super fun book launch party last Friday at Shell Beach Floral!
So what's next?? For those of you in the Santa Barbara area, I will be signing my books at the Santa Barbara Makers Boutique Dec 11th, 1:00-5:00pm. I will also have my 2017 Calendars, prints & stationary available! The event is held at the home of K-Nine Solutions and 10% of the sales will go to Train Me Home, a non-profit dog rescue program providing training and placement for hard case pups who have been in and out of shelters. Come help a puppy out and finish your holiday shopping!! 126 East Haley Street!
Also I will be signing books with our new shop partner Contessa S in downtown, San Luis Obispo on Saturday, Dec 17th from 1:00-3:00! Who knows I may even whip up a fun little design workshop to share with you too!
Thank you for popping by! Happiest of Holidays to you and yours! xoxo Mari
I never imagined how many pieces of the puzzle there are when putting together a book! First of all writing it and illustrating it now seems as if that was the easy part. I had no idea how long the editing process would take. Even with four of us looking at it, I know there there must be typos hiding in there! Then there was uploading all the images in Photoshop and into the final program called InDesign. I spent a few hours watching online tutorials for sure! So now it is off to the printer and I was so excited when they told me the shipping date (to my studio) would be 11/11, which are lucky numbers to me. Yay! The next part of the process is to spread the word. Self publishing and printing requires a certain amount of that good old green stuff - money, so all of you who have pre-ordered already or are thinking of pre-ordering, I can't thank you enough! (Although I do include some fun goodies to show my gratitude!)
Then there are wonderful people who come into your life and help you with your dreams. Enter, Justin Stoner - photographer, videographer, story teller, hand holder, who has the gift of sharing the stories of others through his art. He gained some serious gold stars in heaven for how patient he was with me in creating this video! Thank you Simply Clear Marketing and Media www.inspiredexpos.com !!!!! Justin, you and Lani are the best!
Check out the trailer & let me know what you think!!! xoxo Mari
This is a big moment for me and I so appreciate you popping over to read about my latest project, my new book! I’ve been working on this book off and on for the past few years and it’s now in it’s final stages of editing. It will go to print October 1st! Pre-orders are happening now!
So what’s it about? Here goes.
If you don’t know this about me, I am a designer (interiors & home decor) but I am also the mother of three beautiful daughters who are growing up quicker than I was prepared for. It feels like a minute ago they were twirling in little dresses and playing with Barbie dolls. They are now 16, 17, and 21. This summer when my oldest daughter told me she was moving out it triggered a mountain of emotions in my heart. Why had no one prepared me for this? I wasn’t ready for her to go. I’m still so deeply sad about it but I’m also incredibly proud of her. It’s darn confusing. She is self sustaining, working, in college and made a beautiful life for herself…but I miss her so much.
You see, it goes like this all day long…happy for her, sad because I miss her.
This is when I realized it was time to finish the book. I wanted to hand her a pretty little book filled with pages of advice on how to make a beautiful home and live a meaningful life. I wanted her to know about family traditions and etiquette, history and design. It felt as if time snuck up on me and I hadn’t had a chance to teach her everything. So I put it in a book and I illustrated every page of it so my girls would know about the special little things we do in our home to build a strong family and how they will be able to create their own charming and pretty nest when it’s time for them to fly.
Then one day I was speaking with one of my design clients. She was excited to share with me some things she had done to her home on her own. I was impressed. She was kind enough to tell me, “See Mari, look how much you’ve taught me.” That was a wonderful moment for me and I realized all these things I’ve written about are helpful for anyone who loves their home.
So yes, there is design advice in the book because that’s what I do for a living but there is quite a bit of mom advice in there too, anywhere from how to iron a shirt to how to throw a party. These are things that were taught to me from my mother, my grandmother, my mentors and my friends. It’s broken down in months and by rooms, not that it needs to be read that way, it’s just that we do different things in our homes during the different months of the year.
I LOVE to illustrate. It’s one of my favorite things to do. I love to create rooms and paint them with sometimes not very realistic color palettes. (I’ve yet to meet a design client that would let me paint their living room walls pink but if you’re out there, call me!) I use illustration as a way to communicate to my clients what I am envisioning their space to look like. The renderings in the book are more whimsical because there I can make-up who the client is and that client happens to love pink. So the book is also a collection of paintings I’ve done over the past two years. If you follow me on Instagram, you have seen many of them but there are quite a few new ones in the book as well.
I also speak about my sweet parents in the book. We built a guest-house for them almost nine years ago. It’s called Peppertree Cottage. You’ll have to read about it to know why. My parents gave me a beautiful childhood and we have traveled this life together through all the ups and downs. They are important figures in my life and they have taught me so much.
I find myself in an interesting time of my life. I am a mother caring for daughters, a daughter caring for parents, a wife caring for my husband and a business woman caring for clients. Truth is, they all care for me too. Life hasn’t been perfect by any means but it has been full of love and I know that I am very blessed. I’ve poured my heart into this book. I hope it will give you some fun ideas that you can use and I hope that my art brings you joy and makes you happy.
That is my intention behind the book, to make you happy.
I will be posting the printing progress & updates here on my blog. I’m offering some fun bonuses for those of you who pre-oder and I sincerely appreciate those of you who do. I’ve chosen to go with a US printer because I believe in supporting US companies. The book will be hard cover and printed on beautiful 80lb paper. This is a perfect gift for anyone who loves their home, design, decor and art.
Thank you from the bottom of my heart. This has been quite a journey for me and I can’t really put my finger on why I’m so nervous about it but I think it’s like having a baby, terrifying and wonderful at the same time about bringing something new into the world.
Happy Friday everyone! Have you seen it yet? The New Living Lavishly magazine is out. I have some fun articles in there to show you how simple it is to design and decorate your home. If your not local, you can read the issue online here.
These are just a few of the fun articles in the latest magazine! Pick one up today! They're FREE. Also, if you like learning these fun decor tips, come see me speak at the Home Expo on Saturday, September 17th at 1:30, Madonna Expo Center! Have a wonderful weekend everyone!
To say 2016 has been a busy year is an understatement. I'm so fortunate to have had many, many design projects to work on. The down side is I haven't had time to even think about taking pictures or posting them anywhere. So I finally set aside some time this morning to share with you a small part of one of my favorite projects with one of my favorite clients. This house has been in my life since 2011 if you can believe that. I remodeled it back then, then a few years later due to change of ownership I did a few more updates and now this past year it finally became complete with every room in the house, including the yard getting an entirely new look. There are many rooms involved (including a fabulous media room with hidden passages and all!) but for today I'm sharing the before and after of the master bath.
There are so many exciting things happening this Fall. I'll be sharing a project that has been very near to my heart Next Week! I'm also speaking at the SLO Home Expo on Saturday, Sept 17th. I'd love to see you there!
There is just no way that it's already July! I can not believe how fast this year is flying by. I've been working non-stop with new clients and developing new product (wallpaper!) so excited about it, as well as finishing up my new book; a fully illustrated book about the Art of Home and in between it all, I've continued to be a contributing writer & illustrator for Living Lavishly magazine and the Tolosa Press. Anyone else tired?
This is the link to my recent article in the Home & Garden section of the Tolosa Press. You can check out my 10 Tips for entertaining outdoors here.
I hope you'll stay tuned for what will be a very exciting Fall! For now I'm buckling down on all my projects that need to get done but come Fall... so so much fun! I can't wait! Happy Summer!
As you can see it's been crickets over here on my blog! The year started off incredibly busy and is still going strong with collaborations, new clients, and personal projects like the 100 Day Project. I just completed round 2 of the project which was a painting a day for 100 days. If you follow me on Instagram, then you saw all 100 of them! This was the last of the 100, although I'm still painting and posting and will continue while I travel through Italy!
So soon I'll be off on the biggest adventure of my life with my sweet husband, Bill. The girls, my parents and my big brother are all holding down the Robeson compound while we travel through Europe. My businesses will be closed until Mid-May. If you've popped over to my Shop you'll notice I'm doing some remodeling and I'm so excited about my upcoming projects that will unfold later this year.
I have my paints and sketchbook all packed! I hope you'll follow along on my Instagram, @MariRDesign! xoxo Ciao!!! #MissMariTravels
I've teamed up with one of my favorite designers and friend, Kerry Kelly, to GIVE AWAY two of my 2016 Desk Top Calendars!
Here's the details from Kerry's feed on how to enter! Good Luck!!! xoxo
Happy New Year!! We are headed into #2016 in the only way we know how: with a fantastic #InstagramGiveaway! We’ve partnered up with our design pal @marirdesign to bring you a lovely gift for yourself or a friend. If you’re in need of a gorgeously crafted 12-month calendar for the New Year, follow the directions below:
2. Repost THIS image w/ the hashtag #2016CalendarGiveaway
3. Tag 3 friends in the comments below who LOVE interior design
Giveaway will run from now until Thursday, 11/7 at 11:59PM, winner will be announced Friday, 11/8! Per Instagram rules, entrants agree to all rules and conditions and understand that this giveaway is not sponsored by or affiliated with Instagram. Entrants must be 18+ and have their profiles on PUBLIC view.
You may or may not know that I participated in a very fun 100 Day Challenge over on my Instagram recently. It was so much fun and I had the greatest support from so many in that wonderful community. I will definitely participate in it again in the new year.
Because I had so many renderings I decided to create my first ever desktop calendar of my favorites. There were friends in the design world that were a tremendous inspiration for a few of my illustrations; Michelle Nussbaumer's incredible Pagoda Daybed for January, Parker Kennedy Living's gorgeous Show House Room for March, and the fabulous chairs and ottoman from Taylor Burke Home for May. The rest of the paintings I just had fun making up.
I hope you enjoy it as much as I did in creating it! They make super stocking stuffers, hostess gifts & teacher or office mate gifts too! They come with an optional acrylic easle or you may choose to frame yours in any standard 5" x 7" frame. Happy Holidays!! xoxo
Last week over on Instagram, Interior Design Community & I held a little contest looking for Inspirational Interiors. Many of you posted gorgeous pictures of your rooms & hopefully I'll get a chance to paint of few of those too! We chose the winner last week. She is Interior Designer, Shay Geyer and this is her Beautiful study!
Above is my rendering of it which was so much fun to paint. I love all the architectural details, her mix of fabrics and her fearless choice to paint her walls black. I just thought it was so pretty, I had to paint it.
Have a wonderful week everyone! I'm putting the finishing touches on my 2016 Tabletop Calendar. I can't wait to share it with you! xoxo
Over on Instagram, Interior Design Community & I have put together a Give Away of a Free Room Rendering by Muah! I've been participating in the 100 Day Project, a painting a day, and I was looking for some inspiration when my friend Laurie said we should make it a contest. Thank you everyone who shared your home pictures with me, it was really, really difficult to decide! We did pick a winner. The very talented Interior Designer Shay Geyer. I was inspired by so many of her interiors! However, I was also inspired by many others and if it's all OK with you, I'd love to paint them too in my last 20 days of the this project! So stay tuned on Instagram & Facebook and I will tag the ones I choose to paint. Thank you all for participating and Inspiring me!!