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I’m not one to live in the past, but oh my do I love lots of old things. I have peppered my home with collections of vintage treasures, family heirlooms and a few antiques because they fill my heart and just make me happy. The secret to decorating effectively with old things, I’ve found, is to use them sparingly and to mix them with fresh, new pieces so your interior doesn’t feel stale or stuffy. Here are seven of my favorite old things to have in my home:  (more…)


Beautiful wood furniture is an essential ingredient of a well-decorated home. But for too long, the old rules of how to decorate with wood pieces have hampered our creativity when we are curating our living spaces. Ask any of the nuns who had the misfortune of teaching me in high school: I love to break rules. So in celebration of our huge Wood Furniture Sale (July 15-August 15, all the wood furniture at Nell Hill’s is 20% off!), here are three long-held maxims we can tell goodbye:  (more…)

A New Kind of Open House

When we lived in our historic Greek Revival home in Atchison, I loved to have seasonal open houses, welcoming guests to tour my home and garden. Nell Hill’s visitors have told us they miss the home tours and have asked if we will do them again at my new cottage on the lake.

Since my little nugget of a house is suited more for intimate gatherings, and my new neighbors would begin to hate us if we held an event of this kind in our sleepy community, I’m going to invite you into my home in a new way.

Once a month, join me in my cozy cottage, to linger for a while as we talk about decorating, entertaining, life. I’ve named this special feature “Welcome to Innisfree: My Cottage on the Lake,” after our home, which we call Innisfree, inspired by Dan’s favorite poem by W. B. Yeats, “The Lake Isle of Innisfree.”  I hope you will join me, and share our quiet life on the pond in the coming year.  (more…)

A favorite part of my job at Nell Hill’s is helping customers turn their houses into homes, truly unique dwellings that reflect their personality. So when Ann arrived at Nell Hill’s scouting for furnishings and inspiration to put her stamp on the historic home she and husband Wally had just bought, we were excited to help. I want to invite you into Ann and Wally’s beautiful library because it is a great illustration of a Nell Hill’s credo: Make your interior design personal. Here’s how these homeowners did just that, and the results are stunning. Come on in … (more…)

Every gourmet needs a groupie, someone who will give their culinary masterpieces the adulation they deserve, who will oohh and ahhh their way through each delicious mouthful.

My friend Cheryl is my Top Chef, and while we were together in Provence, France, she lovingly prepared for us cuisine so marvelous it would bring tears to my eyes. As we spent many hours dining together, I learned that a wonderful meal isn’t just about well-prepared food. It’s also about the experience.  So, I asked Cheryl to share with you her secrets for turning a meal into a moment to treasure:   (more…)

There are several spots in our homes where we “do life”. Our sofas are one of them. This is where we melt in after a long day and read or watch TV (my guilty pleasure is old movies!). It’s where we sit, face to face, with our girlfriends or family to talk about BIG stuff or just laugh until our sides hurt. It’s where we invite guests to come in and share our lives.

(And, it’s where our pets sleep when we aren’t looking! Our dog Lyric, caught in the act!)

Our sofas need to not only be welcoming and wonderful, they also have to look amazing, since they are often the focal point of the room. One of the most powerful, and simplest, ways to get a look that sends you over the moon is to finish your sofa with the right mix of accent pillows. It’s the perfect way to give an old sofa new life, too. Kristen and Nichole, who head our fabric design team at Nell Hill’s, played with pillows to create three distinct moods to inspire you.  (more…)




Buying a sofa feels a little like getting married – there is so much to consider before you pick the one you want to settle down with, isn’t there? Which one has the arms, leg, seats you’re attracted to? Which one will give you a safe place to land when you’re plum worn out by life? Which one do you want to show off to all your friends? In a few days, we start our hugely popular Upholstered Furniture Sale at Nell Hill’s, and all sofas will be 20% off, so we will be helping lots and lots of people find their perfect match … in sofas, that is! Here are the four most important things to consider when looking for true love in a sofa:  (more…)

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Every year or so, Dan drags me on vacation. I’m a go-go girl who wants to work just about every hour of every day, so I’m always reluctant to carve out time to get away. But this year I said yes to a trip with Dan, my siblings and some good friends to the Provence region of France. I’m just back, inspired to weave these life-lessons-learned into my daily life:  (more…)


As the seasons change, I can’t wait to refresh the look of the displays on my coffee table. Through the years, my coffee table bliss has changed. Years ago, when Kelly was really young, I put so much stuff on the coffee table in our study that Kelly and Dan complained they couldn’t see the TV over it. Every night, they took everything off the coffee table. In the morning, I’d see my carefully constructed tableau on the floor, and I would load it all back up. We went on like this for years!


Today, my style is simpler, cleaner and, to Dan’s relief, lower profile. Ready to create a lovely summer display on your coffee table? Here’s how to use my six go-to design tools to create beautiful displays like these:  (more…)

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After a long day at work, my bedroom is my retreat. I snuggle up in bed and lose myself in a good book or the latest decorating magazine. The key to turning your bedroom into an oasis that fills you up is to start with a dreamy bed. Too often, when we decorate we spend all our time and budget making the more public spaces in our home lovely, but then short change ourselves when it comes to decorating our own bedrooms. But I’ve found that waking up in a beautiful bed is the ideal way to start, and end, your day. Here, the Nell Hill’s team will show you the four steps we always follow when we make our dream beds:  (more…)