Bloggin’ from Barcelona 2016

Hubby and I have just returned from our annual trip from Barcelona. For the past three years, I have blogged about our trips there and all of our adventures. Because he goes for business, our time there is very short. Something new and different we did this year was go to the W Hotel at the very far end of the coast.


The inside is very hip and fun.


My favorite place was the ladies room which had a really well done grey Venetian Plaster. It had so much depth to it!


The other thing we did was walk to the rooftop of the newly refinished Catedral de Barcelona.


360 degree views of the city were spectacular!


The never ending work on the roof of the Familia Sagrada is visible


Also this  year, we had an added feature after our visit to Barcelona.

Previously cancelled plans left us with airfare, hotel and car to Rome, Italy, so we decided to go to Assisi and Florence via a very small manual shift car.


Fortunately we had a GPS system so we entered the address of our destination in Assisi and two and a half hours later we arrived at our hotel.


Assisi is built into the side of the mountain and has many points of interest.


The best way to navigate is to park at the top, walk all the way down, then take a shuttle back up. Walking maps are available everywhere and are easy to follow. The most beautiful part of the town are the private homes in the village and the way they garden. Masons put many iron brackets into the grout of the stonework of the facades so that planters can be hung. Geraniums, hydrangeas and honeysuckle are the most popular plants used. Each entry is like a beautiful painting!


After spending three days in Assisi we got back in the car and drove another two and a half hours to Florence, or as the locals say, “Firenze”.

Very similar to the Gothic Barrier in Barcelona, Florence is an abundance of art and history. It was very crowded, but easy to negotiate. The only must is a VERY comfortable pair of shoes as all is seen by walking…. Boboli Gardens, Il Duomo, and many museums are the most popular things to see. I took a LOT of photos but the one thing that stood out most was the ceilings of every building we went to.

In design, ceilings are one of the most neglected features in a room. That certainly is not the case in Florence. Everywhere we went, some of the most beautiful artwork was on the ceiling. Whether it was a cathedral, museum, public space, or even a restaurant the place to look was…. up!

The next set of photos is a slide show of all the ceilings I was able to capture over our four day stay. They don’t even need explanations as they speak for themselves.



My New Website

I am excited to announce that I now have an official website for my new retail location in Tuxedo Park, NY. The link is

It is right off the press and will be constantly updated, but I am extremely pleased with the outcome and would like to thank Joseph Ng for his incredible patience and also his beautiful photography of The Money Pit.

I am happy to be serving Orange, Rockland, Westchester,Sullivan and Bergen Counties.Thank you in advance for your continued support!


The 2016 Country Living Fair

LOTS of eye candy today!

The first bunch of photos are from the garden. After having over 1000 bulbs planted last year, it is fun to see what is growing all through the rock garden. I had no idea what was going to emerge; all I know is that I told the landscapers no red and orange. Here is a sample of what I got…

Quite a difference from last year!


I have officially given up yard work for this summer so now that I have time, this weekend I decided to go to Rhinebeck, NY to the annual Country Living Fair. After my weekend at Brimfield for Flea Market Flip, I thought I had just about seen everything but I was wrong.



This year’s fair did not disappoint! Even though the fair has a lot of vendors that come back every year, there are always new ones that have a lot of fun and new things to show.

Hubby and bought extra large lemonade and spent the day walking up and down the aisles.

I wanted to buy these for the Money Pit..the housing police would have LOVED them!!!

Every yard must have pink flamingos…


Enjoy the walking tour!

A touch of Christmas in June..


This is a cute idea..


Are you old enough to remember these?


or how many of these did you make?


Tromp L’oiel


My grandmother had lots of these!


Table for 12?



A greenhouse made from salvaged windows




On the way home, I noticed this “Tiny House” for sale in someone’s driveway


Quite a change from the Money Pit, but I wouldn’t mind owning it!!!

A Busy Weekend

Recently, my design partner in crime, Ericka and I entered to be contestants on the HGTV show “Flea Market Flip”. We actually made the cut and will be competing in season 8 of the show. The legendary market at Brimfield, Massachusetts is the setting for all of the purchasing.We had to go up Thursday, filmed all day Friday and stayed until Saturday so we could have time to also shop for ourselves.


I cannot go into detail yet, as the show will not air until the fall, but I promise it will be a fun story!

Shopping at Brimfield is fun, but very overwhelming and tiring because it is acres and acres of vendors and a LOT of walking. I brought Buddy along for the trip and he happily browsed with us the entire time. He even made friends with a Spuds Mackenzie statue that was for sale.

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I only made one purchase; a metal and tole painted wastebasket that goes perfectly in the powder room…


The only other thing I had to resist from buying was this…


We came home to an unusually cold and rainy day on Sunday. With our plans to work in the yard cancelled, hubby and I decided to take a ride to the New Jersey Botanical Gardens at Skylands Manor. For anyone in the Orange/Rockland/Bergen county area this is a wonderful day trip worth taking.

It is part of the New Jersey park system, officially opening Memorial Day with an entrance and parking fee, but is still accessible throughout the year. The walking tour begins at this charming cottage which inside is a mechanical station.



A 1600 foot alee of crab apple trees span the entire length of the grounds.


At the far end of the alee are four statues


Each one represents a continent


The hosta garden has 103 varieties


Mature azaleas


These were the largest and most fragrant lilacs i have ever seen!



There is a large perennial garden, meant to bloom until the first frost



Parterre garden




Statuary throughout


Even Buddy had a good time. He came home with a pine cone.



On May 23, 2016, My dear friend, Diana, will be honored by New York’s well known pet adoption service, BIDAWEE. Diana is a long time patron of Bideawee and owns a very special long haired dachshund named “Stanley Sweetheart ” whom she adopted through them.


“For more than 112 years, Bideawee has been the leading pet welfare organization serving metropolitan New York and Long Island. Through a vast array of services Bideawee cultivates and supports the life-long relationships between pets and the people who love them. Please explore the site and get to know more about how Bideawee can accompany you and your pet through your life-long journey together.”

Read more about them at

My husband and I are excited to join Diana and her husband, Peter at the 2016 Bideawee Ball as she gets recognized and honored for all she has done for the organization.

Since I have been having so much fun making my pet beds, I decided to make one for Bideawee to put into the silent auction at the upcoming event. I went to the junk shop and bought an old drawer that was perfect for the new project. Four bun feet and a coat of primer later, the new bed was in the works.


I bought a blanket from the Bideawee shop and used that for the cushion.


I used their colors of brown, pink and white for the theme of the bed and also incorporated the dog and cat logos into the design.



Of course, I had to use the same knobs I put on Buddy’s bed because they are so cute!


A fun pattern finished up the other three sides…


And when it was all done Stanley  had the honors of being our model!


To make a donation, bid on the bed, attend the event, or if you are considering adopting a very special pet, please visit the Bideawee website at

Stanley thanks you!!!


Susan M Niblo Ltd.

The store is 90% done and ready for business. The response has been overwhelming and I am so excited by all of the positive feedback of my new design studio. All of the years I worked in Rockland County were a pleasure for me and I am now looking forward to also serving the residents of Orange and Bergen Counties. I have had so much fun turning my new space into a beautiful showroom. I also have thoroughly enjoyed meeting all the new fabric, wallpaper and furniture reps of the companies I have used for many years. I have not had an official opening yet, but I am pleased to share the BEFORE and AFTER with you. Before I rented the space, it was a barber shop and before that, a florist. I had to take a very simple space..

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and plan a design showroom


and turn it into reality




I would like to extend a HUGE thanks to my husband, Kevin for supporting me through all of my ideas and dreams and to all of my past and future clients who believe in my visions and talent and know that they can trust me to create the spaces they call HOME.