Eclecticism: A Liberating Approach to Design

I loved interviewing Elle Greene for this article and getting some great advice from a pro on a more liberating approach to design:

“The cool thing about Eclecticism is you don’t need the giant apothecary jar of lemons to be living the well-decorated life.” So says Elle Greene, owner of Austin Modern (, a very hip online collection of Mid-Century modern furniture, art, lighting and accessories. She practices Eclecticism, and freely mixes genres to achieve a refreshingly original look. Instead of pigeonholing your home into one rigid style full of catalogue clichés, simply introducing a few affordable accents into your current décor allows you to customize your living space. Following are several of Elle’s imaginative design suggestions on how to do just that.

The main question you should consider before you spice up your place is “What kind of lifestyle do I lead?” Many of us have flipped through home-style magazines and felt envious of the gloriously staged photos; sure, a sparkling, sun-soaked room boasting plush white furniture IS beautiful. Add an animal, child, or Cheetos® into the mix, let alone all three, and the idyllic vision quickly implodes. Taking into account practicality makes any space more enjoyable. (more…)

Getting eco-friendlier

Re-purposing furniture is an easy, creative way to get eco-friendlier while decorating your home.

Check out Ways to Repurpose Old Furniture, a recent blog I did for Core Architect.

A jaunt into Asia

One of the parts I dig most about writing for Core Architect is the research involved. I am learning so much about interior design and architecture, and find myself personally inspired to create a more aesthetic space in my own home.

Check out today’s article entitled Japanese and Chinese Design Style and see how to design your home with Asian-inspired elements by following a few general rules. Or, break the rules and create an Asian fusion interior!

Project-ing into 2011

I am starting 2011 with some exciting new writing projects.

One is a regular blog for UK-based website Core Architect, which focuses on interior design inspiration and resources. Check out some recent posts:

“Building On A Budget”

“Lighting Up Your Home”

“Inspirational Loft Conversions”

“How To Make Any Room Feel Cozy”

“Decorating A Home For Children”

More articles coming, and many more projects in the works! (Visit Articles by Jessica Rounds to see most current posts)

Hill Country Estate: People’s Choice Award-Winning Home

This home shows what happens when a team of eco-minded pros get to work. I wrote this article for Austin/San Antonio Urban Home Magazine on the 2009 San Antonio Parade of Homes Peoples Choice Award-winning home. The coolest part is that the entire home is green certified by the Build San Antonio Green program.

EXCERPT: “When builder Kevin FitzGerald initially saw the terrain, he knew he wanted to modernize without sacrificing traditional Hill Country style. He decided on what he calls “transitional”, meaning it could go either way. Moving from room to room, the home quietly surprises you; from old ship laps along the wall that create intriguing shadow lines, to a floating mirror replete with backlighting, the style is original, and even refreshing.”

To download a PDF and read more click HERE.

The Ong Jar: A New Way to Capture an Old Tradition

“Ong” is a Thai word that refers to the large handmade concrete urns used throughout Thailand to collect rainwater. I wrote this article for the summer 2009 issue of Urban Home Magazine for San Antonio/Austin.

EXCERPT:“Collecting rainwater for landscape irrigation is one of the oldest methods of recycling natural resources. With groundwater supplies rapidly depleting, most residential homeowners are looking for ways to conserve water while still sufficiently hydrating their gardens. By simply harvesting the rain via any catchment surface into a container…”

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Shizen: Japanese for Natural Beauty

I wrote this article about sustainable decorative art finishes for the 2009 fall issue Austin/San Antonio Urban Home Magazine.

One thing I love about writing articles on green design is how impassioned the interviewees are about the product. I never knew I would care so much about decorative wall and floor finishes until I discovered Shizen. Having said that, I promise I do have a life.

EXCERPT: “Shizen, the Japanese word for “natural beauty”, aptly characterizes the four different decorative textures composing the line: 1) KAI™, meaning “seashell”, is a soil, sand, stone, and seashell combination effecting a pearl-like shimmery finish. Its watery look makes it ideal for a waterfront property or a cabana on a seaside resort area.”

TESTIMONIAL: “Thank you so much for producing such an accurate and beautifully written article about “Shizen: Japanese for ‘Natural Beauty”… My business has certainly benefited by your work. From her great investigation and thoroughness, Jessica just got it right. Did I say, I love it.

– Lu Goodwin Mark, Owner Austin School of Faux Finishes

To read full article click Shizen.

Garden Roofs: A Breath of Fresh Air

This article ran in the Summer 2009 issue of Urban Home Magazine for Austin/San Antonio. I got the idea for this article when my “eco guru” friend Bo walked into the office one day and announced that he wanted to plant vegetables on his roof. Intrigued by an outrageous visual I got of my roof sprouting a giant salad, I had to check it out.

EXCERPT: “Picture this: It is summer in Austin and you are lounging amidst a flourishing garden… on your roof! Whether you live in a house in the suburbs or a loft downtown, if more greenery, improved air quality and a view of the city from your rooftop conjure an appealing image, then a roof garden could be the perfect addition to your life…”

TESTIMONIAL: “Jessica has continued to impress me with her enthusiasm, professionalism and quality writing for Urban Home Magazine of Austin-San Antonio for the past year. Many of our clients write me with unsolicited ‘thank yous’ for the time spent with her doing interviews.”

– Derek Hall/Publisher