Some of you followed my vacation to South Africa on instagram & facebook this September. (Thank you for all the excitement as I journeyed there!) It was truly such an amazing experience! I decided to break apart the adventure into different segments, so you can see more details (and tips!) of my time spent there.

Up first, Bo-kaap.

So here is the deal. I got to Cape Town late Saturday night, if I can recommend anything to you, do it that way - arrive late and get to bed ASAP! If you can get the first night of sleep in, I think you will be set on your trip and beat jet lag. So I did just that, got in a full night of sleep (yay!)

When I woke up Sunday morning, I just really couldn’t believe I was actually in South Africa. My heart was fluttering with excitement for what my first day would hold.

It wasn’t a 27 hour dream - I was actually spending Sunday morning in South Africa!

My hotel Protea Mowbray, was just outside of downtown Cape Town, which I really loved. It was quiet and calm and not overwhelming at all. It was a really great place to rest and rejuvenate and the staff was incredibly lovely. When I walked out of my room to start my adventure, this was the first view of my day. Quickly, I was smitten.

View just outside of room, looking over toward Table Mountain

I will definitely do another blog entry on the actual hotel, the design was the best. For now, I want to focus on other areas of the day!

So, after some coffee, off I went to the colorful streets of Bo-Kaap. I knew I was in for a colorful treat, thanks to some trusty instagram sneak peeks, but I had no idea it would be this colorful! Every corner I turned there was some kind of magical color blocking moment happening - and bonus points, even some funky vintage cars that just completed the whole vibe.

If Lisa were to have a house in Bo-Kaap. It would certainly be the green one!

All you need is love.

After exploring all the colorful eye candy and walking the streets of Bo-Kaap, I found my way to the cutest and most delish little cafe for a bite to eat and a latte.

My heart skipped a beat when I walked into this vibrant but airy space. It had so many natural elements and the plant life suspended from the ceiling - genius! I am definitely remembering that for an upcoming project!

And, can we just talk about this glorious little hand painted moment? Swoon.

After my lovely stop at Batavia Cafe, I headed over to Table Mountain, in hopes of some great views. Well. It didn’t work out in my favor. While the view up was amazing, the very top was completely covered in clouds! Still, it was a fun experience.

I ended my first day over in the Camps Bay area. It was truly breathtaking. The waterfront views, the teal blue water, stunning architecture and an eery view of the clouds rolling in. It had this very moody feel to it, that I couldn’t get enough of. To top it off, quite the array of restaurants to choose from as well!

So there you have, day one in South Africa. Stay tuned as I share more elements from this amazing trip!

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Conversations with clients about drapery, sometimes go somewhere on the lines of this: "I just think I want to save money and not do custom drapery." ; "I'm afraid it will take away from my amazing view"; "What really can it do for a space?"

- well. Why don't you just stab me in my interior design heart, and as I'm slumped over on the ground, go ahead and tell me that there are a bunch of gremlins eating all the wallpaper in the world. 

Okay, yeah. So maybe that was slightly dramatic... BUT that is seriously how much I can get behind drapery in your space. It REALLY makes a huge difference. And wallpaper, we will save that for another journal entry, trust me, it will be worth it. 

Alrighty, focus Lisa - back to drapery!

So, here is the deal about drapery. It's fantastic. It's plays a huge factor in the interior design world and will do a ton for the space. Room feeling short, don't worry - we can lengthen you out with that drapery optical illusion. Honestly, that's just a small piece of what drapery can do. 

Here are a few projects that show the many reasons why I adore custom drapery. 

  1. SYMMETRY & BALANCE:: In this space we were able to really balance the room by using drapery. With vaulted ceilings and a lot of open space, the drapery really added some visual weight. The contrasting navy greek key trim added just enough to really pop the drapery and not be overwhelming. 

Navy & white family room by Lisa Gilmore Design 

Navy & white living room by Lisa Gilmore Design

2. SOMETIMES YOU JUST NEED TO ADD COLOR:: Guys. This space. It makes my heart happy when I see the fearless use of color and pattern. So with this drapery, we pulled the color guns out and ran with it. Imagine how these rooms would have looked without that connecting color line going up the walls? BORING. That's how. 

Eclectic and colorful living room by Lisa Gilmore Design 

Custom chartruese and magenta drapery detail 

Eclectic colorful dining room by Lisa Gilmore Design 

3. REPETITION:: In design, we often lean on repetition to really nail it. This monochromatic space really benefited from the power of repetition. Personally, I love the way the horizontal lines carry gracefully around the the connecting rooms as well. 

Monochromatic historic home by Lisa Gilmore Design 

Monochromatic historic home by Lisa Gilmore Design 

4. LAYERING:: Oh the power of layering. I realize that not everyone sees as my brain does, and when I try to explain layering sometimes it just comes out confusing and overwhelming. This is a great example of layering and how you can really play with pattern, texture and other elements to add that design goodness that everyone craves. We implemented this with some great wallpaper and topped it off with a beautiful classic pattern on the drapery. 

Master Bedroom by Lisa Gilmore Design 

Custom drapery detail by Lisa Gilmore Design 

5. ONE WORD - GRANDEUR:: Sometimes, a space just needs that wow factor punch, that "Woah, that's amazing." In my opinion, that is what the custom drapery did for this interior. This project is an oldie, but definitely a goodie. Nothing was held back. We were going for a very whimsical Hollywood Regency approach, and to be perfectly honest, without those stunning drapery, I don't think we would have nailed it. 

Hollywood Regency living room by Lisa Gilmore Design 

So, as you can see, I am a huge advocate for drapery. When we approach it correctly, it will add so much to you interior, and I promise, with the proper textile selections, seamstress and other factors - it will not harm your beautiful view, only maximize it. You can add so much personality through trim, color, texture to really bring character to your space - or you can keep it simple and monochromatic which is also quite lovely. 

Below is a gallery of a few more of my favorite drapery installations, all have many different qualities that I love. 

See you at your windows, with my tape measure, 

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As much as we love color here at Lisa Gilmore Design.  We also LOVE a black & white palette. There is something timeless, classic yet versatile about the opposite attraction of black & white.  Whether it’s tile or drapery or vintage zebra print chairs, we have done it all and will continue to. The key to a black & white palette is texture and to not be afraid to go BOLD. 

 Texture and Mixed Metals can make an amazing palette! 

Texture and Mixed Metals can make an amazing palette! 

Living Room Vignette by Lisa Gilmore Design 

Contemporary black and white master bedroom by Lisa Gilmore Design

Black and white formal living room by Lisa Gilmore Design 



I rarely talk about projects on our blog before they are implemented. And certainly not shortly after presentation phase! However, this project has me giddy with excitement and I just have to share some design goodness with you! 

This project in the works is for a local law firm. Currently, their office is a bit dated to say the least, a little sad and dark. So they asked us to come in for an update. We were pleasantly surprised when we were greeted with our clients ahhhh-mazing art collection! (It was actually all created by the owners father, what an amazing artist!) We left feeling so inspired and ready to create a unique environment for our new client. 

Check out what we've got cooking up below:


For option one, we had a vision of saturated blue walls, something that the art will really pop off from. Traditional leather sofas and settees, bold chartreuse drapery paired with a modern take on a classic chinoiserie style fabric on the chairs. All grounded with their beautiful existing antique area rug. 


For option two, we offered the idea of a few more streamlined modern pieces, paired with plaids and more traditional fabrics. The walls would be a dark ebony wood stain, also creating a beautiful backdrop for the stunning modern art work. A lovely pair green velvet chairs will adorn their gorgeous antique area rug.

We are so beyond excited for the possibilities of this space! Either direction they choose, we know will end in the most beautiful results. 

Which option are you drawn too? Which design do you think will be the winner for this law firm? 

With love and design-y dreams,