The Laurel Home Best Of Interior Design Awards For 2015



Is everyone holidayed out? Well… sit back, relax and enjoy—

Welcome to the first annual






Tell me that this was difficult.

No, strike that.

It’s impossible.

But that didn’t stop me. :]

The original premise was to take rooms that were done in 2015, or at least presented in 2015, but since I try to keep most blog posts down to a max spent of 25 hours, that was impossible. Instead, the rooms either came out this year, or appeared in a previous post on laurel home–this year–for the most part. haha!

In addition, yes, this is an autocracy. Just me voting. Maybe another year, I’ll be able to do it differently, but for now, the idea is to have a recap of some exceptional interiors plus other categories pertaining to interior decor and design. By all means, if you have some rooms to share, please feel free to do so. The spam filter might catch you if you do more than one link, however.

So, what made these rooms and sources the best of the best of the best?

That’s not easy to say either because of course, it’s subjective. However, in each category, the winner displayed a creative genius that has something extra special, IMO.

(please don’t say “wow factor” or I will puke in your face.)

And it doesn’t necessarily mean the most opulent. In fact, the word makes me cringe a little.

Ahhh… time is fleeting and the holiday weekend, nearly over so let us begin.

The first Shelfie is for…




Case in point is the The exquisite no-need-to-gild-this-lily of an entrance in the home of CEO of First Dibs Michael Bruno. And the shelfie goes to the brilliant designer, Windsor Smith, via Elle Decor. I adore the simplicity of the white walls, trim juxtaposed against the ebony floors and elegant styling.



Ashley Whittaker Best Living Room Award 2015

Alright, this one was relatively easy. My eyeballs plum popped out of my head when I feasted on this stunner by one of my top 20 interior designers, and by now, in the top three! ~ ASHLEY WHITTAKER.




And the Shelfie again goes to Ashley Whittaker! She’s a symmetry girl, so she definitely needs two!




This kitchen was  not done this year but it’s one of my favorites ever! I think I’ve posted it at least two times before! Architecture by Donald Lococo and interior design by Darryl Carter!


But the real award this year goes to my friend, the brilliant interior designer, Lisa Mende. Please click here to see more images AND the incredibly fugly before pics!



I absolutely adore this fresh white bathroom by Studio McGee! Some of you may recall, I hi-lighted them here in a post about Benjamin Moore’s color of the year, Simply White paint. They know how to do white!


nick-olsen-domaine-brooklyn-home-bedroomNick Olsen via Domaine Home

it’s not exactly my style, but it’s just so very well-done, IMO.



From my very post this year about how your home office can be dangerous to your health. lol

Alright. it’s not really an office and that is precisely why I chose it. Your office can be anywhere and I love the idea that it all gets tucked away in this charming cabinet and then closed up when work is finished, or maybe never!



It’s a tie! Tone on Tone Antiques and Rivers Spencer!

swedish painted antiqueTone on Tone Antiques

I have frequently stolen posted images from Loi’s magnificent blog. He and his partner Tom Troeschel have amassed one of the finest collections of Swedish and European antiques and accessories this side of the Atlantic! I do hope to visit one day!


rivers-spencer-gorgeous-living-room-clarence-house-pillows-ralph-lauren-lampsRiver’s Spencer

If this is where I worked, I would never go home! For more of River’s work please click here.




Interior designer Brooke Giannetti and her architect husband Steve have created an amazing collaboration in their body of work. They also have a stunning online shop filled with their own custom designs as well as fine antiques. Please also check out Brooke’s brilliantly gorgeous blog– Velvet and Linen.



windsor-smith-homefront-photo-Melanie Acevedo

 There are many but the stand-out for me is Windsor Smith’s HOME FRONT



Oh gosh! They’re all wonderful! But, I’ve become quite partial to Lonny. The designs feel accessible and the photography is stunning!

dan-carithers-vignette -pantone-color-of-the-year-2016-serenity






I follow several hundred people on pinterest and I could name at least a couple hundred of them that are superb, but the one that has always jumped out at me is that of the brilliant David Fuller. (TheFullerView) He’s a photographer and stylist with an amazing eye.




I adore Mecox Gardens. They have wonderful vignettes with great ideas for the most stylish styling. And a shamelessly adorable doggie-model!



And the shelfie goes to…



This interior design duo have both been giants in the industry for decades. Yet, they have managed to not only keep on burning strong, but with seemingly more and more vigor each season. And for that alone, they deserve all of the recognition they can get.

Please enjoy a wonderful article that appeared in House Beautiful recently. Their advice is a treasure. I especially love:

How appropriate to remember this as we are about to close out another year.

If I don’t “see” you online before the year’s end, best wishes for a beautiful, peaceful New Year and beyond!



  • Carla Aston - January 2, 2016 - 10:15 AM

    Some beautiful choices here. Congrats on your success! Cheers to 2016!ReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - January 2, 2016 - 3:02 PM

      Hi Carla,

      Thank you so much and also for your inspiration as you have paved the way for so many of us! Here’s to your continued success as well! xoxoReplyCancel

  • Dolores - December 30, 2015 - 7:42 AM

    Dear Laurel, thank you for the beauty you bring us throughout the year through this wonderful blog! I just love it so much. You have given us the most generous gift of time and expertise and I couldn’t imagine starting my Sunday morning without visiting with you. How to thank you??
    I wish you a wonderful, healthy, happy, serene and fruitful 2016!ReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - December 30, 2015 - 3:24 PM

      Oh Dolores, It has been such a pleasure getting to know you a little this past year. I so appreciate the support. It’s people like you that make it all worthwhile! Best to you for the coming year as well! xoxoReplyCancel

  • Lisa Mende - December 29, 2015 - 5:41 PM

    Laurel, thank you so much for including me in your wonderful post! I am so honored! Happy New Year! Best Regards, LisaReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - December 29, 2015 - 6:19 PM

      Hi Lisa,

      So richly deserved! I wish I had seen it in person! Happy New Year to you as well! xoReplyCancel

  • Lora - December 28, 2015 - 1:44 PM

    Thank you so much for posting the beautiful-rooms decor. As I build my house and have to choose colors soon, I’m confident that I’m going in the right direction thanks to you. These rooms have energy and lively color – I live life in technicolor and not shades of gray.
    You sure tell it like it is and aren’t afraid to do so; it’s so admirable. Rooms are definitely WOW – Warm, Original, Worthy.
    Always look forward to your blog for inspiration.
    Have a very blessed and healthy new year!ReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - December 29, 2015 - 1:27 AM

      Hi Lora,

      Thank you so much for the lovely comment. It’s very much appreciated! I love the WOW acronym! Best to you for the new year as well!ReplyCancel

  • Mary - December 28, 2015 - 9:44 AM

    Thanks for this fabulous post – I love how you take all the stuffiness out of interior design Laurel – the little fun bits and quotes you tuck in make me laugh!

    As for Loi and Tom and their amazing shop – I’ve been and it definitely is spectacular! You must go. Everything I viewed on my visit I wanted to bring home, including adorable Loi (Tom wasn’t there). Yes, you certainly made the right choice – hurry to DC, with a truck, asap!

    Happy New Year – please keep wowing us!
    Mary xReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - December 29, 2015 - 1:23 AM

      Hi Mary, Thank you for such a sweet comment! For a long time, Loi was the only person reading my blog! I mean, like two years! I had no idea what I was doing, but then I got some good geek help and that made a big difference. I have big plans in the works. Please stay tuned! xoReplyCancel

  • Betsy OShea - December 27, 2015 - 10:34 PM

    Happy New Year Laurel! I’ve come to look forward to Sundays just to read your new post and watch Homeland…lol. I agree with your living room choice done by Ashley Whittaker. She is a huge talent. So original in her unique and fearless pattern mixing and color choices. I loved her signature use of Chinese Chippendale rattan chairs so much I went on eBay and bought myself one this past year! Her work is a study in contrasts……like how in the midst of a pastel spring green and blue room she throws in brown velvet chairs or coral dining chairs. She is also in my top 3! There are just so many talented interior decorators/designers out there. It must have been hard to pick # 1….not a big fan of bunny Williams. Sorry. I never got the Caribbean blue with the red egg chair room. I thought it was horrid. Oh well. Thanks for all the work you do.ReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - December 27, 2015 - 11:04 PM

      Hi Betsy,

      I agree about the red chair in that showhouse room. It seemed to be added for a bit of shock value. But showhouse rooms, at least in New York are often over-the-top.

      I really love Bunny and John’s homes, however. Especially the Punta Gorda home. But I’m also so impressed with all of their collections, products, shops, show rooms, books… on and on… ReplyCancel

  • Lisa D. - December 27, 2015 - 4:45 PM

    Thank you, Laurel…for your eye for beauty, your sense of humor, and your sweet spirit. May you have a serene and joyful 2016.

    Lisa D.ReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - December 27, 2015 - 11:04 PM

      Thank you Lisa, for such a sweet comment and the same to you!ReplyCancel

  • Linda - December 27, 2015 - 12:15 PM

    Look forward to reading your post. Thank you for the inspiration and Happy New Year!ReplyCancel

  • Suzanne Mundy - December 27, 2015 - 10:56 AM

    Wonderful post! I especially liked the advice from Bunny about not waiting to live well. This year has been full of heartaches for our family. Thinking about how to live well this next year is very timely! Happy New Year Laurel. Hope 2016 is the best one yet for you!ReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - December 27, 2015 - 11:22 AM

      Hi Suzanne,

      I’m so sorry for your heartache. It sucks that life has to be full of such pain. But one thing I’ve learned that’s helped me some is that pain is there to teach me something. Something that would not have been learned otherwise. Something that hopefully makes the world a better place. That has been the legacy of my losses and of course, it doesn’t replace my loved one, but it makes me understand that they’re still with me— guiding me in everything I do. I really believe that! Blessings to you as well and prayers for strength and healing!ReplyCancel

      • Suzanne Mundy - December 27, 2015 - 1:47 PM

        Thank you Laurel for such sweet words!ReplyCancel

  • Jon - December 27, 2015 - 7:26 AM

    Laurel, thanks for another great post. I went to Tone on Tone last year and I have to say you should go as soon as possible. Maybe time your trip with the arrival of a new container. Loi was so nice when we met him. We talked for quite a while and he told us all about the places we should visit in Bethesda. When you go be sure to visit Georgetown Cupcakes.ReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - December 27, 2015 - 11:10 AM

      Hi Jon,

      Thanks so much! That’s a great idea! I’ve always joked that Loi and I were separated at birth. But I have a feeling that he has thousands of conjoined “twins” out there. haha.ReplyCancel

  • Kelley - December 27, 2015 - 12:42 AM

    What a fun post!ReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - December 27, 2015 - 11:07 AM

      Thanks so much Kelley! It became more fun for me when I decided that I needed to open up the parameters somewhat.ReplyCancel