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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We are pretty lucky to work with really great people every single day. Seriously, it's true! What's even better is when we meet the perfect client that allows you to push them out of their boxes. When they trust us to show them truly how fun the design experience really can be! 

When I first met with this client, I knew we would hit it off wonderfully. Their family had recently moved down from NYC and were looking to bring a bit of flavor to their new South Tampa home. She came with inspiration from great sources like Lonny, Rue and Elle Decor.  Color, interesting textures, metals, and key pieces to provide a wow factor -- but a need to keep their growing family in mind. 

So let me walk you through the transformation of this stunning South Tampa residence, but first a little day of installation video for you to enjoy!


As you can see, we got really lucky. Our client let us be really dramatic with black walls and lots of bold colors. Yes, black walls. I was giddy. Honestly, I still get giddy when I think about this space. 

When you walk into the home, on the right is the formal living room and the left is the dining room. While the home is really beautiful throughout, these two rooms are my personal fav! 

black dining room - lisa gilmore design
unique edison bulb dining room lighting - lisa gilmore design

This ended up being a really fun table setting. Our client found these beautiful plates from Bloomingdales that we just couldn't resist. The blush glassware and simple candles make it elegant and whimsical. Then I found this fabric and just had to have them made into custom placemats. I was so thrilled our client agreed! 

colorful table setting - lisa gilmore design

At LGD we really love to find things that need a little love and turn them into beauties. These vintage Henredon dining chairs came to us a bit dated and beat up, but fear not. We took them to our local upholstery master and put a fresh coat of white lacquer and faux (and very kid friendly) leather. We love how they came back to us! 

repurposed vintage dining chair - lisa gilmore design

Moving across the foyer into the formal living room, we mixed beautiful blue velvets, zebra stripe and continued the chartruese green and magenta stripe drapery. You saw that drapery, right? Seriously. Swoon. Can't stop staring at it. 

Here is the hand rendering we presented to our clients on presentation today:

colorful interior design - lisa gilmore design

And this is the final outcome! We really love this part! 

colorful formal living room_black walls_eclectic style_lisa gilmore design

The fabric we found for the throw pillows really inspired this space for a starting point. We loved the different shades of pinks, magentas and greens. 

hot pink_pattern_mixing_pillows_floral_lisagilmoredesign
chic_colorful living room_lisagilmoredesign
eclectic living room_black walls_lisagilmoredesign
eclectic coffee table styling_lisa gilmore design

We have so much love for these spaces and are so happy that months later our clients still do as well. They are always telling us how much they enjoy these rooms. Complete with Sunday morning fancy waffle breakfasts with the kiddos in the dining room! 

Stay tuned for the second part of this home... a much lighter, brighter and airier feel in other spaces! 


OK, we admit it. We can be a little fickle when it comes to our color obsessions. One day we’re drooling over the purity and freshness of creams and whites and the next our Pinterest boards are filled with photos in deep and warm Marsala.

But in the spring and with Easter around the corner, we just can’t help being drawn to pastels. Most people might associate those light hues with a shabby chic style but we like to see them incorporated in a modern room with some livable glamour.

Like this black and white living room with a touch of pink...

Photo Credit:  Mode et Maison

Photo Credit: Mode et Maison

Or this color block wall…

Photo Credit:  Apartment Therapy

Photo Credit: Apartment Therapy

This silver and light blue bathroom…

Photo Credit:  Home Bunch

Photo Credit: Home Bunch

And this entryway that even has some mint easter eggs as table accessories.

Photo Credit:  Laura Ramsey Interiors

This office with matching lilac arm chairs...

Photo Credit:  Pinterest

Photo Credit: Pinterest

Or this feminine living room with a pale violet couch.

Photo Credit:  Yes Missy

Photo Credit: Yes Missy

And if it’s an unexpected use of the shades like these dusty earth tones...

Photo Credit:  Binti Home Blog

Photo Credit: Binti Home Blog

Or a mix of all hues like this flooring, we love it even more!

Photo Credit:  This Old House

Photo Credit: This Old House


Every year, a new color seems to jump out of the color wheel and be everywhere. From furniture to walls, fashion runways to the makeup counter, that color becomes a superstar, a trend setter, the cool kid everybody wants at their party. In 2015, that color is Marsala.

Leatrice Eiseman, Executive Director at the Pantone Color Institute, which determines the color of the year, describes Marsala as “a subtly seductive shade, one that draws us in
to its embracing warmth.”

Call us quick to fall in love but we’re definitely embracing this deep red with brown undertones.

Photo Credits: DigsDigs  and  This Old House

Photo Credits:DigsDigs and This Old House

It adds instant glamour when covering the walls of a room with black and white accents.

Photo Credit:  By Koket  and  Real Simple

Photo Credit: By Koket and Real Simple

It complements neutral furniture, giving it a dramatic twist.

Photo Credit:  The Decorista

Photo Credit: The Decorista

Photo Credit:  The Everygirl

Photo Credit: The Everygirl

Photo Credit:  Design Milk

Photo Credit: Design Milk

It gives otherwise simple furniture pieces like a love seat, ottomans or headboard a sophisticated upgrade.

Photo Credit:  Carolyn Roehm

Photo Credit: Carolyn Roehm

Photo Credit:  Wedding Chicks

Photo Credit: Wedding Chicks

It makes a centerpiece more luxurious.

Photo Credit:  DK Photology

Photo Credit: DK Photology

And last but not least, it’s the color of wine. And we can totally get behind that!

What are you thinking of Pantone's new color of the year? Love it or ditch it?