POSTS BY Kelley Walters

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Remember that post we did on Curbed’s Operation Dollhouse? Our miniature garden is finished and being photographed today. Get a behind-the-scenes peek at the project before it goes live:

Our Assistant Editor, Karli, gluing down tiles. She’s putting those interior design skills to work!

The bed, the door, more glue…and binder clips for clamps. Here’s to raiding the office supply cabinet!

Brenna, our intern, with Karli, and the fan that kept the glue fumes to a manageable level.

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Our editorial team has loved Jeanine Hays’ blog, Aphrochic, for years, and we bounced with glee when she launched her home decor collection in 2009. We thought it couldn’t get any better…and then she said yes to our invitation to become our Color + Textiles guru.

Jeanine kicks off her weekly column today with insights for layering color, a simple technique for experimenting with palettes until you find one that fits. Come back every Monday for more of Jeanine’s design vision. I hope you’ll love her modern, soulful style as much as we do.

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In September, we gave Color of the Month status to the bright, beautiful persimmon. It seemed to perfectly epitomize the point between summer and fall and, oh, the delicious accessorizing possibilities! That choice took two meetings and lots of wrangling. Though by the end, it was obvious what the color should be.

For October, the choice was much easier. It was a color our team loved for September, which met all our rules except being available in stores. (Remember, our criteria for picking colors are: (a) it has to be seasonal (b) up-and-coming (c) and easy to find.)

October’s Hue, Unveiled

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Our Color-of-the-Month conversation heated up again when our decorating editors, shopping experts and color gurus met to pick September’s hue. We studied the design and fashion sites, coming up with a variety of options, from Pantone’s Rose Dust to a runway favorite, olive green. You also weighed in with fresh fall colors like camel, wine and cobalt.

To be picked for HGTV’s Color of the Month, a shade must meet three criteria: (a) it has to be seasonal (b) up-and-coming (c) and available in stores. One color we loved, peacock, met the first two but whiffed on the third. (Though I’m hoping it’ll make a strong showing in October.)

See What We Picked for September

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Forty design bloggers came to New York this week for a host of events, from the launch of Rue Magazine to the New York Design Center’s What’s New, What’s Next. We invited them over for lunch, where we piled into a conference room at our Manhattan office, noshed on sandwiches and thumb-sized cupcakes, and finally put faces with the names we’ve known and loved online. Talk about palpable energy —  get 40 bloggers into one room and inspiration pops out all over!

Here we are around the table, making our introductions.

I was thrilled to meet HGTV contributors, the Moggit Girls (check them out on our Dos & Don’ts guides). I also made new friends like Diane from In My Own Style, Jean from Swee10 and Tina from Laidback. Yes, Tina, I will be buying some of your pillows.

Emily Henderson, HGTV Design Star and blogger from The Brass Petal.

Emily Henderson, HGTV Design Star 2010, made a surprise appearance. And can I just say? She’s one of my new favorite people. Sweet, funny and oh-so-creative and talented.

Will and his friend from Bright.Bazaar get the prize for traveling the farthest…they came all the way from London.

Our photographer, Melissa Blemur, uploaded a slideshow of the pictures. Go check them out! And if you were there, give a shout-out in the comments so we can say hi.

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Everybody say hi to our newest blogger, Brian Patrick Flynn from one of our favorite sites, Decor Demon (which he produces, writes and designs all the original content for).

We hope you’ll tune in this week for his fresh take on helping men and women find balance in gender-blended spaces. Then come back every week for Brian’s bloggings about the intersection of lifestyle and design. (Fair warning: His posts are addictive.)

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Here’s the answer to yesterday’s mystery item in What The…?

I liked the “shower curtain rings” guess, but the real answer is Escargot Tongs.

We’ll play again soon. In the meantime, if you see any decor/home items you think will stump your fellow bloggers, email me at: designhappens@hgtv.com.

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One of our favorite design sites is 1stdibs. Every week there’s something new, beautiful and totally out of reach for us mere mortals, which is half the fun, right? It’s why we watch Selling New York and drool over these over-the-top spaces.

So when I was cruising 1stdibs today and came across this vintage Tommi Parzinger cabinet, I had to share:

design-happens-1stdibs-tommi-parzinger-cabinet

I’m la-la-la-ing the fact that it’s $18,500 and instead focusing on the gorgeous color (turquoise? jade? emerald?); the strong, clean lines and those Asian-influenced brass pulls. Please to bring to my bedroom now.

If you’re new to 1stdibs, check out their Saturday Sale. And don’t be afraid to talk price with their dealers; I found some very affordable Chippendale rattan chairs there, similar in style to these.

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It’s September, and in the Northern hemisphere that means the return of crisp mornings, football games and school supplies. It also means our staff is poring over magazines, blogs and websites, and talking with color and shopping experts about this season’s hottest colors.

So what’s the Color of the Month for September?

design-happens-restoration-hardware-beddingIs it the runway-fave camel, translated into bedding, like this from Restoration Hardware?

design-happens-erinn-valencich-gray-bedroomOr this season’s new neutral, gray? (Design by Erinn Valencich)

design-happens-horchow-tufted-sofaOr do you prefer a more traditional autumn color like wine, as illustrated by Horchow’s beautiful, tufted sofa?

Maybe it’s an unexpected hue like peacock, blush or olive?

We’ve got an idea, but before we lock it in, we want to hear from you.

Need a jump start? How about 10 fall color schemes?

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Congratulations, Emily Henderson, on winning HGTV Design Star!

design-happens-emily-henderson-wins-hgtv-design-star

Read the finale recap.

See what David Bromstad thinks about the challenge — and the winner.

Dooce weighs in on the designs and the judges’ decision.

Check out these exclusive pics of Emily’s boho-chic designs.

design-happens-emily-henderson-eclectic-living-roomI love how she freshens up traditional blue-and-white with crisp pink and green.

Watch the premiere of Emily’s show, Secrets From a Stylist, Sunday, August 29, at 10pm/9c.

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In August we’re going to start featuring a color of the month. Our first editorial meeting is tomorrow and we’ve got a color expert, a couple of shopping pros and a group of very opinionated editors ready to defend their colors to…maybe not the death, but the deadline, for sure. Before we pick, I’d love to know what you think. If you had to pick a color for August 2010, what would it be?

Monticello-thomas-jeffersons-home-ed0710-03Chrome yellow like the historically accurate yet oh-so-fresh Monticello dining room?

C’mon, Tell Us Your Fave

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Buzz, Woody and the crew return when Disney/Pixar’s Toy Story 3 premieres on Friday, June 18. To celebrate, we thought we’d invite everyone to jump on the bed with us in the Kids’ Room at HGTV Dream Home 2010, where the Toy Story theme reigns supreme.

DH2010_02-kids-room-bed-pillows-woody_s4x3_lgInspired by Disney/Pixar’s beloved film Toy Story, the children’s bedroom pairs a vibrant color palette with decor that connects the space to its desert location.

Hey, Is That Buzz?

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A couple of weeks ago, our Facebook fans asked Nancy Canestaro of Feng Shui Ladies their toughest decorating questions. Nancy picked her favorite 5 and answered them for us (she also gave us a bonus answer, which includes teaching us to find our personal I Ching Trigrams).

 A true exercise in feng shui, this Lori Dennis bathroom features a balance of natural elements: wood, water, metal, fire (light) and earth (river rock stones).

A true exercise in feng shui, this Lori Dennis bathroom features a balance of natural elements: wood, water, metal, fire (light) and earth (river rock stones).

My daughter lives in Arizona and her yard needs work badly. Does Feng Shui apply outside the home? — Nancy Wagner
Find Out the Answer

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Erin-200Meet our new featured blogger, Erin Loechner of Design for Mankind. She and her husband moved from Los Angeles to the Midwest, where they bought an auction house and are transforming it from a rancher to a Scandinavian cabin. Erin says:

“I should start off by saying that when Husband and I decided to tackle a fixer-upper, we weren’t prepared for a total gut renovation (TGR, if you’re fancy). In my mind, a fixer-upper meant just that: fixing up. In Husband’s mind, it meant the opposite: tearing down.”

Along the way, Erin will share their experience with everything from architects to paint colors to mold remediation (yuck!). And since Erin and I share a love of Suzanne Susanka’s Not So Big House philosophy, we’ll also get her inside scoop on how they used it in their 1,500 sq ft space.

Watch Erin’s Tour

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