Month: March 2016

Designer Spotlight – Brian Paquette


I first came across Brian Paquette, a Seattle-based interior designer, on Instagram. After doing some research, I quickly fell in love with his style.

His eclectic style and combination of pieces shines a spotlight to furnishings – something I highly admire – and he can work around bad architecture – or complement good architecture!- flawlessly, like what he did in the Mercer Island rental by painting walls and trim and changing the look from a 90’s orange look, to a modern, crisp look.

He also combines patterns in such a unique way, it makes it look natural. As a design enthusiast, I am always impressed by the combination of patterns and mix of styles that result in breath-taking products.


I also love, love, love that he uses Michelle Armas pieces for his projects!


His use of moody tones, like blues, grays and blacks, complement perfectly the Seattle weather. And although it does get sunny in the city during the summer, these colors make interiors cozy and comfortable for the residents.


This project, for a young, tech-company executive, mixes masculine touches with more classic furniture for a stunning end product.

I day dream about living in a space with velvet everything, but with a fluffy cat, this idea will take me nowhere but directly to cleaning all. the. time.



To me, his style reads young and relaxed yet seems sophisticated and fresh, something that, according to my eye, is a welcomed combination.He is great at creating spaces that cater to families, too, and that combine style with function, like what he did for this transplanted family.



Source: 1. Brian Paquette Interiors; all others My Domaine.


Winter blues


It’s been such a long, long Winter here in Seattle. I can’t seem to see the light at the end of the tunnel. I find myself unmotivated to do anything. No ideas on what to paint! It’s been tough.

Hopefully, Spring will be here soon (at least the trees at UW got the message!) And with it, more ideas and creativity will flow.

Photo © Maria Rigou for Groundhog Design

Linked and Loved


It’s been a rainy week in Seattle that is making me daydream of moving to the desert. Maybe I could do what retired people do when they move to Boca Raton for the winter but instead I move to the desert during rainy season in Seattle and then move back once the weather picks up. Is that a thing? I’ll make it a thing.

My favorite things on the internet:

  1. Can I go to all these places? Take a leave of absence from work and just travel the globe. I bet they are not on your bucket list!
  2. Loving this small house in Ballard, right here in Seattle.
  3. Nice-looking and affordable pillow covers for all your pillow needs.
  4. Wouldn’t these stools be super soft under your feet while Netflix-bingeing?
  5. Love Poppy Talk’s free botanical prints download. Thank you for putting this out there for us.

Have a great weekend! We will probably go skiing and then sleep in on Sunday.

Source: Our Aesthetic by Rolling Greens

Travel Guide: Milan


Almost a week ago I came back home from a short – but sweet – trip to Europe. My husband had to be there for work so this time I decided to join him. We visited Munich, Germany; Zurich, Lucerne and Davos, Switzerland; Udine, Italy, and ended the trip with a short visit to Milan.

I had never been to Milan before and I was surprised to find it extremely similar to some parts of Buenos Aires. We sure do have a heavy European influence!

I was there for just one day and it was definitely enough to visit the ‘typical’ tourist attractions as well as eating delicious food and mingling with the locals.

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Taverna Del Borgo Antico in the Brera neighborhood. The pizza + pasta combo was delicious and they have an expansive menu to feast on.
La Magolfa in Navigli was a super cheap and super delicious place where we had dinner. It seemed like this place was more for the locals, which was great with us! I highly recommend their Antipasto della Casa, which includes different cheeses, cold cuts and croquettes.
Rinomata Gelateria for some delicious and creamy gelato. I only had gelato there once and I highly regret this decision.
Mercato Metropolitano in Navigli

Potafiori Cafe
Mag Cafe (an impressive Happy Hour menu)
Bar Luce

Il Duomo, for obvious reasons. You can purchase a pass that takes you to the terraces and to the inside of the cathedral, or also use the side entrance that is reserved for the faithful to pray or attend service and confession.
Galleria Vittorio Emanuelle II – all of the heart eyed emojis for this place
The Brera District, home to the Brera Academy of Fine Arts and the Brera Art Gallery, which has contributed to the ‘reputation’ of Brera as an artists’ neighborhood and a place of bohemian atmosphere, sometimes referred to as “the milanese Montmartre.” It is also filled with tons of little restaurants and cafes that are bustling with energy at all times.
The Navigli

And of course there are many, many more things to do. This is just a snapshot of what I did!

Source: Potafiori Cafe in
All other photos © Maria Rigou for Groundhog Design