Author: mariarigou

Dreaming of Summer – Florida Room

It’s been ‘officially’ Summer for two weeks now, but unfortunately, it hasn’t really been Summery here in Seattle.

Temperatures are -slowly- rising now, but it has me day dreaming of warmer climates, like maybe even moving to Florida where it is almost summer all year long. A girl can dream, right?

Because I’ve been daydreaming about living in a warmer climate, I started thinking of what I could do, in terms of interiors, Florida home, and the ocean is not in sight. So I came up with this mood board for a coastal, Florida room, that will transport me to another state – geographically – and of mind!

Florida Room


In my head, Florida has always been an synonym of warmth and beach. It is, after all, a multicultural state, sometimes referred to as “the capital of Latin America” due to its diversity, so I wanted to reflect this on my design.

I wanted to showcase a lot of natural fibers (the jute rug, the coffee table and the chair) but keep it clean and modern without looking too rustic. Of course, a coastal room is always associated with blues and teals, but I wanted to kick it up a notch and mix in some fire in there that would better describe the vibrant nature of the state.

So here you have it. This is the Florida living room of my dreams. Maybe I can implement some of these items in my own decoration, and have summer year-round?

*Thanks to Douglas Elliman for encouraging me to think about my ideal “Florida Room” that I can enjoy even when the weather is not perfect.



A/NT Gallery – Commercial Project!

For about six months now, I have been a board member at A/NT Gallery, a local artists’ collective founded in 1988 that works with under represented and under served artists in the community and provides them with a space to show their art.

After many years at a location close to Downtown Seattle (and right next to the new Amazon campus), A/NT Gallery was able to secure a space at Seattle Center, home of the famous Space Needle and many other resident organizations that do amazing work and have incredible missions and vision.

Because the new location will see a much larger amount of traffic – especially during summer months – the board has decided it is time to amp up some of the operations and give the gallery a much deserved face lift.

I have been brainstorming some ideas, especially around the decoration and functionality of it all, and have been looking endlessly for ideas that inspire me in this endeavor. This cause is very close and dear to my heart, and although I am approaching this project as if it were a client, it is very low-budget and will take months to accomplish. Not necessarily a bad thing…

The space is huge and very apt for a gallery: lots of wall space and compartmentalized areas that make it great to have special exhibits or themed or juried shows. At the same time, it has a main lobby area that is ideal for a reception desk, modern storage options and a large conference table that could double (triple?) as work shop space and event setup options.

This reception space alone is about 400 sq. ft. which gives us many options in terms of layout and functionality.

Some of the images that have been inspiring me these past couple of weeks:

I don’t think that all of these spaces have things in common, but what I am drawn to is the simplicity in the design.

When you walk into the gallery through the main doors, you see a recessed nook that could potentially house a reception / greeters desk with our devices (computer screen, cash register, printer, etc). The wall is a little over 18 feet so it has potential for many things, but I am envisioning either a planked wall or some fun and modern wallpaper (like what Emily Henderson did in her studio refresh.

I came up with this mood board with some ideas, and will tackle some projects in the coming weeks.

A/NT Gallery - Commercial project

Stay tuned for more!

Sources: 1. Saville & Knight 2. Studio refresh by Emily Henderson 3. 4. H2 Design + Build Before and After office reveal on MyDomaine. 5. Potafiori Cafe in Milan (again! the space is too beautiful and so inspiring) 5. H2 Design + Build Before and After office reveal on MyDomaine.

Trend alert: Rugs in kitchens


I’m pretty sure that this topic has been blogged about and talked about ad infinitum, but we continue to see more and more kitchen with rugs in them.

Having textiles on the floors of kitchens can be tricky – although they look beautiful and can add pops of color and liven a space, it is also a potential attraction for crumbs, stains of all kind and, in my case, use and abuse.

There are many options for rugs for the kitchen, ranging from neutral, natural materials to more fun and funky. I personally do not have a rug in my kitchen, but it’s because I haven’t found the right one just yet.

Here are some of my favorite uses of rugs in kitchens (sources at the bottom of the post). They definitely do make the space!




Transitional Kitchen
Processed with VSCOcam with a5 preset


Sources: 1. Lauren Leiss’ kitchen 2. Domino 3. Mallory and Mike’s IKEA kitchen 4. Simone LeBlanc’s home on Paige Jones 5. Barbara Purdy Design via Houzz 6. Honestly WTF  7. Playa Vista Residence by Veneer Designs

Would you use a runner in your kitchen?

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

Linked and loved


Happy Friday! I’m very excited it’s finally the end of the week and I can sleep in tomorrow, no alarms necessary.

Some of my favorite things from the inter-webzzzzz this week:

  1. How cute is this Ikea rocker hack? Sarah Sherman Samuel sure makes DIY look easy!
  2. Obsessing over this 15 year-old’s Instagram account. He is Munich-based and it makes me daydream of Europe.
  3. I have a very big black thumb and the only plants I can keep alive are fake ones. I’m going to adopt these tips, especially because I am eyeing some snake plants for my place.
  4. Thinking of visiting these cafés soon.
  5. Target has been stepping up its game recently when it comes to home decor. Loving this lounger + ottoman set (I think intended for outdoors?) and picturing it in a cozy reading nook by a window.

Have a happy weekend! Days are getting longer here, anticipating the arrival of Spring.

Source: Jannik Obenhoff‘s Insta.

Happy Groundhog Day!


Today is Groundhog Day and it is also an opportunity for me to explain the reason behind the name, Groundhog Design.

According to folklore, if it is cloudy when a groundhog emerges from its burrow on this day, then Spring will come early; if it is sunny, the groundhog will supposedly see its shadow and retreat back into its den, and Winter will persist for six more weeks.

Today we also remember the infamous Bill Murray movie, where his character relieves the same day (Groundhog Day) over and over again.

So why Groundhog Design? Two reasons: 1) Don’t you wish that you could relive certain days / moments more than once and not just rely on your memory? Examples of these days are my wedding day and the day we bought our condo (which is our first one!) I’m also pretty sure that whenever I have a child, this will be right up there in the top 5 of my ‘best-days-ever.’ And 2) Groundhogs are homebodies! I am an extremely extroverted extrovert, but I really love my home, and I want this home to be my burrow, just like a groundhog’s.

Happy Groundhog Day to everyone. Apparently Punxsutawney Phil did not see his shadow, so we are well on our way to a happy, happy Spring!

Illustration by Andrew Ellis as part of a Bill Murray tribute postcard pack.