I love to travel – not just to get away and relax, but also to find new energy and inspiration for the interiors I design. I was lucky to travel to India recently. And I was amazed and infatuated with the color palettes, the shapes and tiles of the buildings, and the sights and sounds. There was so much to see and experience in India! Here are just a few of the scenes and people that inspired me.

Artisans and Crafts

india, weaving, rugs, crafts, artisans
Photo by Kriste Michelini

Jaipur is known around the world for incredible textiles and hand-knotted rugs. The color-blocking being created in the photo above is an art form. It was amazing to watch these men work.

jewels, beads, color, india, jaipur, travel
Photo by Kriste Michelini

Hand-made craftsmanship and art in India is stunning. The mix of materials and colors that I found in beads and jewelry like those above was dazzling.

Color and Texture

flowers, burlap, street market, india, inspiration
Photo by Kriste Michelini

The street markets in India are almost overwhelming. There is so much to see and a kaleidoscope of color, smells, sounds, and textures. The combination of natural elements was particularly inspiring, like the flowers wrapped in a natural burlap above.

vegetables, fruits, market, design, india, jaipur, inspiration
Photo by Kriste Michelini

Even in a food market there was inspiration around every corner. The colors from the buildings, the clothing, and the fruits and vegetables made an incredible palette.

Architecture and Design

blue, architecture, room, design, palace, india, inspiration
Photo by Kriste Michelini

I was blown away by the ornamental detail and architecture of this room. It would be an incredible blue in a dining room, or maybe in a showhouse.

3500 steps, architecture, design, ideas, india
Photo by Kriste Michelini

Chand Baori is a stepwell constructed of 3,500 steps. The oldest part is from the 8th century. The inspiration for me was in the geometric pattern created by all of those steps.

bar, color, texture, light, pattern, india, royal palace
Photo by Kriste Michelini

This bar near the Royal Palace showcased an incredible layered look. I loved the mix of rugs, patterns, styles, and colors.

The People and Culture

cremation ceremony, culture, people, ideas, india
Photo by Kriste Michelini

The people I met in India were also so inspiring to me. It was amazing to be able to share in their culture, like the cremation ceremony above.

people, india, color, travel, inspiring
Photo by Kriste Michelini

I may have occasionally felt like a giant, as you can see above, but the people were so warm and welcoming. And look at the gorgeous colors on those saris.

Each one of these experiences inspired me in different ways. Look for these amazing colors and patterns in my future work!

The latest research shows that 8 million people are now working from home. And even if they aren’t working there full-time, most people need a place for their computers, homework, or hobbies in their houses. Whether you have a dedicated room for your home office, or you’ve carved out a spot in another room, you want a space that fits your home’s style, and your work style.

Interior by Kriste Michelini. Desk by Kelly Wearstler and pendant by Circa Lighting

For a dedicated office, one piece that’s most important is the desk. The glass-topped desk in the room I designed above makes a statement in a subtle way and allows the bold black walls to be the star. This style of desk is on-target because it works in modern homes and also more traditional interiors. And it offers a lot of flexibility for your work day.

Catherine Kwong Design

The key to a successfully integrated home office is to be sure the design matches the rest of the house. So if your home is modern, the office should be as well. I like the design of the sleek and chic desk above, and the fact that plenty of storage is offered in the built-in cabinetry and shelves.

Cynthia Hayes Interior Design

In many houses, space is at a premium. You also may not need a dedicated home office, but really just a nook for paying bills and checking email. The desk area above fits in perfectly with the design of the room and provides a great spot to take care of family business.

Riikka Kantinkoski

On the other end of the home office spectrum is a home-based business. If you will have other employees work with you in your house, the space needs to be stylish enough to welcome clients and employees, but practical enough to support the work you need to do. Plan for plenty of seating and desks or tables, as well as great task lighting.

Alicia Design

Sometimes you need a flexible workspace that can serve as a command central for a lot of activities in the home. In the room above, there is plenty of table space and clever storage to create a hub for homework, hobbies, and at-home business. There’s something for everyone in the family.

Jessica De Ruiter

The most important part of creating a stylish place to work at home is not to make it an afterthought. You want to plan this space – whether it’s a room or a nook – as carefully as you do the rest of your interiors. Remember to include great art and accessories to add gorgeous details and to spark your creativity.

Whether you work from home full-time, or you just take care of family business every now and then, keep these ideas in mind for a chic work space of any size.

This spring, I’m planning a refresh of my own home. At the top of my list is to take stock of the bedroom rugs. I love a rug in the bedroom, to have that feeling of warmth and comfort underfoot. Here are some tips for how select the right one for each of the bedrooms in your home:

Kriste Michelini Interiors

1. Chic and Functional

In a master bedroom, you want to make a stylish statement but still have a rug that will stand up to wear. I like to ensure that the rug is also large enough to extend out from both sides of the bed, to give you a great “landing spot” in the morning when you rise.

Stark Carpet

2. Go Big

Choose as large a rug as you can for any bedroom. It helps add a softness to the space and creates a more luxe look. You can even create your own rug out of a carpet that you like. Just have the edges bound by a professional, like a local carpet source.

Bedroom by Kriste Michelini Interior Design
Kriste Michelini Interiors

3. A Cozy Welcome

In a guest bedroom, be sure the rug is as inviting and cozy as the bedding. Nothing says “welcome” to a guest more than a soft and sumptuous rug when they step out of bed.

C&C Milano

4. Make It Work

In a child’s or teen’s bedroom, you want something that will stand up to a lot of roughhousing. Whether you choose a rug or carpet, be sure it’s easy to clean and has been treated for stains.

Amanda Nistor Designs

5. The Layered Look

For any bedroom, don’t be afraid to layer rugs. You could have a sisal or a carpet as your base for its wearability, and then place a softer-pile rug on top for comfort. Layered rugs create a luxe look in any room.

Kriste Michelini Interiors

Use these tips to find the perfect rug for any bedroom in your home.

The first of the year is always a great time to make predictions for the coming months. So I was excited to be featured in Better Homes & Gardens with my take on bathroom trends for 2019. Bathrooms are one of the top two most popular requests for interior renovations. And they’re one of my favorite rooms to design, too. Since I was only able to share one idea for BH&G’s article, here’s my take on the top 5 bathroom trends we’ll see this year:

Kriste Michelini Interiors

1. Wood Vanities

As I said in Better Homes & Gardens, I definitely see a trend toward warm woods for vanities. It offers a natural and organic look that keeps the room from feeling too sterile. In the bathroom I designed above, the wood tones balance the white walls and tile backsplash.

Kriste Michelini Interiors

2. Colorful Cabinetry

Last year at the Kitchen & Bath trade show, cabinets were displayed in every color of the rainbow, from blue to red to hot pink. So this trend will start appearing in bathrooms this year and beyond. The great thing about color on cabinetry – as in a kids’ bathroom I designed above – is that it’s easy to change out as your kids get older.

Kriste Michelini Interiors

3. Open Showers

Europeans have used an open shower design for years, but we’re finally starting to see this trend emerge in the U.S. Some bathrooms have a glass wall partition, and others are wide open to the room, like the one I designed above. This “wet room” trend takes advantage of every square inch of space. And it offers the look of a fabulous luxe spa.

Kriste Michelini Interiors

4. Statement Wallpaper

Another great bathroom trend is bold wallpaper design. Wallpapers have come a long way, and today’s offerings are more durable and easier to clean or remove. Big, bold patterns are coming into their own this year in florals, geometrics, and abstracts. Powder rooms and bathrooms are a great place to experiment with a little more drama in your home’s design.

Kriste Michelini Interiors

5. Seamless Transitions

Tile has always been a popular material in a bathroom because of its durability. But in a twist on that look, I’m seeing more seamless transitions with the floor and walls covered in the same marble or stone. As you can see in my project above, the gorgeous tile flows from the wall to the floor. That’s a perfect look for a room known for using lots of water.

Keep these trends in mind as you plan your own bathroom remodels for 2019.

Luxe Magazine is hosting its annual Luxe RED Awards, and I’m proud to say that we’re up for a Readers’ Choice Award. For this category, anyone can vote on the Awards site (yes, that means you!). I’m so excited to be in contention for the Classic Interior Design Category.

Voting just opened and you can vote through January 25. Click here to see my entry and to cast your vote. The Luxe RED Awards honor excellence in residential design and I entered an elegant project in Danville, right outside San Francisco. Let’s take a look at the home, and why I think it’s special.

The home was designed for a newly blended family of six, including four teenagers. The subtly elegant kitchen features a Calacatta Oro kitchen marble island with art glass pendant lighting. I love the way the crisp white cabinetry complements the warm hickory floors. And the silhouette of those barstools adds great shaping.

The living room highlights a mix of neutrals, while the concrete fireplace serves as an architectural focal point in the room. The art brings in a bit of color, but keeps the feeling serene.

A grand staircase gives drama to the entry, while the white-painted risers and balusters contrast the dark wood treads and hand railing.

Custom box-grid millwork provides a creative backdrop for the abstract art in the dining room.

The mudroom keeps everyone organized and the house tidy. There are wicker storage bins for each member of the family. And even the dog has his own feeding station. The apron sink is routinely used for gardening and indoor/outdoor projects.

I love this classic contemporary design and can’t wait to show you more soon in my portfolio. In the meantime, I would appreciate your vote in the Luxe RED Readers’ Choice Awards by clicking through here. And thanks in advance!

The New Year is the perfect time to reflect on what we accomplished in the last year, and to sketch out ideas and projects for the next 12 months. One plan I have for the new year is to include even more design collaborations in my projects. And in 2018, I was lucky to end the year with a media showcase for my partnership with a modern and forward-thinking company.

YDesign lobby designed by Kriste Michelini

Dwell magazine featured the office headquarters I designed for YDesign Group, parent company of YLighting and Lumens. They’re based in Walnut Creek, right outside of San Francisco. It was one of my favorite projects of 2018, and the feature gave me a great kickoff for the new year. The YDesign spaces are open and energetic, filled with color and creative gathering spaces.

Open workspaces at YDesign, created by Kriste Michelini
Open workstations include Herman Miller Sayl Task Chairs and Kartell’s Mr. Impossible Chairs.

When I work on an office – or even a home project – collaboration is really key to ensuring that the space functions perfectly for how people will use it. The YDesign team knew they wanted open spaces and combinations of bright colors with gray and black.

A bold and colorful kitchen at YDesign, created by Kriste Michelini
One of two kitchens in the space includes the Bontempi Casa Lez Barstool.

The 20,000-square-foot headquarters operate as a showcase for YDesign’s brand, as well as a creative incubator. One key to that was the inclusion of writable surfaces, from tables to walls. Now staff can design anywhere and anytime.

A table with a writable surface at YDesign
Turnstone’s Campfire Table has a rotating top loaded with a giant pad of paper.

I love modern interior design – form follows function and there is structure to the design. And that style was a perfect fit for YDesign, too. We made sure to include a playfulness to keep things from being too stuffy and formal. Pieces like a ping-pong table that also operates as a conference table help spark creativity within the team.

Modern interior design for YDesign offices, created by Kriste Michelini
Kartell’s Eros Swivel Chairs offer great pops of color.

What do you think of these colorful spaces? Let me know in the comments section below. Thanks again to Dwell for featuring this fun collaborative project.

The anticipation of the holidays– with family gatherings and holiday parties –always puts me in a creative mood! I love this season. In advance of hosting and the joys of gift-giving, I get excited to set a theme and look for new design ideas for the holidays.

This year, I’m craving calm and simple. I’m looking to nature and my backyard for inspiration. A small tree in a woven basket and simple swags of garland are at the top of my list. I’m loving the fresh greenery I spotted at the nursery– especially the eucalyptus and pine. They blend together perfectly for a table runner for my dining table.

Every year I also decide on a theme for my gift-wrapping. This year is going to be kraft paper mixed with natural elements from my garden. Having a theme that ties into an overall palette helps bring order to the chaos. It feels good to be keeping things simple this season. Here are a few ideas to inspire your own beautifully simple (and hopefully) stress-free holiday.

Try a live Christmas tree that comes with the soil and roots. Keep the look simple by not adding ornaments. The tree can later be planted in the yard to enjoy for years to come.  (The Merry Thought)


Hanging garland over the windows is a perfect way to add a touch of holiday magic to the your kitchen. It helps frame this room which is a lovely mix of contemporary design and traditional furnishings. It sets a beautiful backdrop for cooking and conversation.  (Maisondepax.com)


Doors, mantels, and windows are all great places to hangs wreath. I always decorate my front door with a simple, natural wreath with a beautiful ribbon. (the-unrefined-christmas-decoration-guide-myparadisso)


My gift wrapping station (in my garage) is fully stocked with kraft paper and lots of twine string. I cut sprigs of rosemary and pine from the yard to dress up the packages. The wrapped packages coordinate nicely with the natural look of the uncluttered tree. There are many different ways to incorporate your gift wrapping into your design ideas for the holidays. (Musings On Momentum -Simple Holiday Decor)


Decorating the dining room table is always great fun and a favorite tradition of mine. I’m going for a minimalist, modern design with a mix of fresh garlands down the center and white table linens.  (ebay/pinterest)

The holiday season is officially here and we are excited to share our favorite picks for gift giving this year!  Below are our most popular choices and we think you’ll find something for everyone on your list.



  1.  Our Favorite Gift for the Home // 2.  Great Gift for the Cook //  3.  Our Favorite Pottery  //  4.  Great Gift for the Guys  //  5.  Our Favorite Wreath  //  6.  Great Gift for the Kids  //  7.  Best Cookbook  //  8.  Great Gift for the Traveler  9.  Perfect for the Hostess

Have fun shopping and warm wishes for a Happy Thanksgiving!

In all of the hustle and bustle around holiday gatherings and parties, I love being prepared with hostess gifts in advance. Everyone needs a go-to gift stash. It helps make life go smoothly. With so many parties, gift exchanges, and spontaneous gatherings, it is smart to have a dedicated spot in your home that houses these goodies. I have my gift stash in our garage. Be sure to stock up on beautiful ribbons, papers, and gift tags which will elevate your gift giving. The wrapping and presentation is half the fun. I like to have a few wrapped gifts ready to go so I am not crazed during such a busy time of the year. Here is a round-up of some go-to finds and timeless, gift-giving ideas to help you prepare for holiday fun.


Aplat makes wonderful, hand-sewn totes and is all about elevating the act of giving when it comes to food and wine. The dish warmer tote is perfect for a friend who loves to bake, or the wine tote with a bottle of bubbly, are sure to please. Gift totes.

You can never go wrong with flowers – they are universally liked.  I like to bring flowers in a vase so your hostess doesn’t have to worry about pulling out a vase with a house full of guests. Even a single bud in a small vase can transform a table or bar. Heath Ceramics offers a wonderful collection in cozy wintery and rich colors. Ceramic Vases.


The perfect addition to any great gathering is a taste of chocolate. I love these artisanal chocolates by Compartres. The 65-year-old, Los Angeles-based company makes over fifty different kinds of bars with themes and designs all done in-house. They are delicious and decadent. A piece of this and a glass of red wine! A perfect pairing. Artisanal Chocolates.


also love bringing a bottle of champagne because it is festive and enjoyable. I think most people love a good glass of champagne. I love wrapping it in fabric. Festive Champagne. And, pairing it with a wine stopper or a bottle opener makes it a luxurious combination. Wine Stopper.


Nothing is more fantastic than giving a personalized gift such as monogrammed cocktail, dinner napkins, or hand towels. The gift could personalized with initials, an address, a special date or celebration. This is a timeless, classic gift sure to make an impression on your hosts. Personalized Cocktail Napkins.


Everyone loves a festive wreath tied in a gorgeous ribbon anytime from Thanksgiving on. The hosts can use it on their front door, over their mantel, or over a mirror in their foyer. We look to Ribbonerie in San Francisco for a wide range of specialty ribbons and trims from around the world. Specialty Ribbons.

Cheers to starting your own collection of go-to hostess gifts!

I love celebrating the 4th of July!  It’s so much fun to be with family and friends enjoying good food, good weather and hopefully some great fireworks!  I think the beauty of preparing for Independence Day is that the decor doesn’t have to be elaborate to be festive.  With a simple touch of red, white, and blue, it’s easy to be in the 4th of July spirit!


As you know, I love white houses and think the scale of this large flag on the white background is spectacular. It’s so simple, yet striking and grand. Image via Pinterest.


In addition to simple decor, your menu for entertaining does not have to be complicated. Beautiful summer fruit is easy to display in these white parchment cones. Image via The Classy Woman.


Farmgirl Flowers red, white and blue bouquet wrapped in their upcycled burlap is the perfect hostess gift to take to any of your Independence Day celebrations.  Not only is it gorgeous, but $10 of the cost of each bouquet will be donated to Together Rising.  Image via Farmgirl Flowers.


What better time than the 4th of July to roast s’mores?!  I came across this packaging idea and thought it was the perfect simple way to give your guests their own little treat to take home with them. Image via KristiMurphy.com.


And if, by chance, you wind the evening down early, here are some of my all time favorite Patriotic Movies you could watch to round out the night. Or you could even throw them on an outdoor movie projector during the festivities and play them while you roast s’mores! Wishing you a safe and relaxing 4th of July!