Today's Inspriation

Early this morning with the sun dappling through the trees and filtering through my kitchen window, I came upon this photo of Aerin Lauder’s country home kitchen.


It spoke to me.

As a designer, I’m often asked what inspires me… what “informs” my work.

And my first impulse is to say,” Just about everything my eye catches!”  ( My daughters, my close friends, and my associate, Tasha, will attest to this…ha!)

I think a designer’s eye..

TAKES IN something



And hopefully, ( and this is the best part)…


This is the artistry of the creative process, I think, and ranks right up there on my thrill list! And when I am able to translate this into a client’s space echoing their dreams…PURE JOY.

From this photo, I “saw”…

-          A pretty blue for the walls of my daughter's freshly painted white kitchen in her first “fixer upper” home against the white framed window, white drifting sheers on tiny black rods and rings ,a Saarinen “copy” table for two from IKEA and perhaps woven bistro chairs( can’t resist  all the tag sales happening on sites right now! One King’s Lane, Serena and Lily…)

-          The light-filled area in a prospective client’s kitchen and the two in tandom sink idea…perfect!

-          An affirmation I love great art in a kitchen amidst all the beautiful functional “stuff” adding a touch of true exuberance!

-          My penchant for one of a kind bouquets of flowers.. smashing…and looking as if they were just brought in from the garden

-          A brunch “thought” I HAVE to seize the opportunity to use my favorite white crockery and a menu of favorite foods from years ago my daughters and I texted back and forth just last night!

Eggs Benedict (with a thick slice of country ham and my Mother’s hollandaise )

Grilled asparagus and sauteed cherry tomatoes

Wedges of ripe cantaloupe with a mound of strawberries in the middle with a dusting of powdered sugar and drizzle of honey dressing over all

“Knudsen” pound cake with filling of cinnamon sugar , cardamom and ground pecans


Ok….off to my day’s appointments and activities! I do hope to show in this journal the efforts of my “mind labors” in the coming weeks!

Which of these thoughts will come to fruition? Stay tuned. The mind is at work! 

My best,


And So To Bed...

Mary Hickey Interiors

C.Z. Guest, a famous gardener and arbiter of good taste,  once said all a wonderful bedroom needs is a "divine" bed.

When it comes right down to it, I agree. Although we tend to add books, papers, carafes for water, chairs and the ubiquitous flat screen television, it really is about a good night's rest! A beautifully made bed, a sense of order, and the job is done.

Take notice, though C.Z. uses the word "divine- a word defined as "heavenly, surpassing excellence".

A luxurious bed is the centerpiece. Here is where our design thoughts reveal a glimpse into our personal preferences. When one thinks about it, this should be the most personal space in our home. To me, this means the best linens I can afford, and I prefer white with lovely colored border details. I like cotton blankets and a duvet at the end of the bed waiting to be used on chilly nights. And  I love old-fashioned blanket covers in seersucker or plisse. That is everyday luxury. There is nothing better than the first night of clean sheets. 

As for a bed covered in pillows, it becomes a matter of personal taste. If it doesn't suite you to have layers of pillows, try placing two sets of sleeping pillows flat on the bed and use one larger pillow between the sets in a great print or accent solid hue. Simple and great-looking. 

Mary Hickey Interiors
Mary Hickey Interiors

Good night! Sleep tight!

My best,


A Message From...

At the risk of sounding too sappy or “poetic”, I’d like to share with you an insight I gained this morning.

Mary Hickey Interiors

I was hurriedly dashing off an email to a friend on my phone and typed in what I thought to be LOVE, m….it turned out to be LIVE,m as it so often does…the O being next to the I on the keypad.

I was annoyed…darn..have to “correct”. This happens all the time with this word!

Light glimmered…



Was the universe trying to tell me something?

Mary HIckey

That's all.

Have a great holiday weekend!

Mary and Tasha

Let's Talk Polka Dots...

I'm a polka dot gal...  there are few, if any prints that I love more.  Here are some DOTTIES I'm currently coveting. 

Pair of Mid-century lamps from one of our favorite San Francisco sources, EPOCA.

Epoca Lamps

A subtle dotted sheet set and geo quilt from Serena and Lily. Finding a little inspiration for my own bedroom here.

Mary Hickey Interiors

One of my favorite fashion bloggers,  Blair Eadie of Atlantic- Pacific dressed in double dots. 

Blair Eadie

An Australian ceramicist , Susan Simonini that I've recently discovered.

Susan Simonini Mary Hickey

This headboard we recently specified for a client's daughters room. 

Headboard Mary Hickey Interiors

The Linden table lamp designed by Kelly Wearstler for Circa lighting. 

Circa Lighting Mary Hickey Interiors

The perfect weekend shoes!


Do you have a go-to print or pattern-  Indulge daily!




A Room With Two "Faces"

5:30am today

Yes, anyone who knows me well knows the early morning hours are my “dream time”… It’s been that way since my children were babies many years ago!

No lists. No Facebook. No Instagram. No pinning!

I write…I envision spaces…I sketch …and I read. It’s the best. It’s what makes Mary “merry”.

This morning it led me to paging through the new May/ June VERANDA…the cover story being about a Malibu home designed by Martyn Lawrence Bullard. I must admit I’ve been taken with the West coast design vibe lately after helping with homes this past year in Palm Desert and San Francisco and visiting the Pacific Design Center and surrounding shops. In  Minneapolis, Tasha and I indulge ourselves  in California sources at Scherping-Westphal and Holly Hunt!

So…this morning ( in Fun Friday tradition at MHI ) Tasha and I investigated sources used in this wonderful cover story home… Tobi Tobin and Lucca Antiques. We are in instant LOVE!

Look at this lighting fixture from Tobi Tobin found in the dining room – 

Mary Hickey Interiors

Can you imagine a dining room using these pieces we saw on Lucca Antiques’ website?

Mary Hickey Interiors
Mary Hickey Interiors
Mary Hickey Interiors

Mmm… we can see the room in our heads-

For a MODERN home, these pieces would take on an almost sculptural look-

  • Benjamin Moore Super White walls and trim- an uplifting bright white favorite
  • bare bleached out white oak wood floors with 5-6” wood planking/ no rug
  • linen scrim sheers on the window ( sandy driftwood color)  with stainless steel rods bringing the feel and color of the floor onto the walls
  • a collection of modern ceramics as centerpiece with a fern frond or two as a “floral arrangement”
  • a Lucite pedestal with a piece of sculpture
Mary Hickey Interiors Moodboard

For a more layered TRADITIONAL home-

  • Benjamin Moore Bone White ( or possibly stained warm mid-tone ) trim
  • a rich hand-planed herringbone floor …hand-waxed in appearance
  • a vintage blue and white rug “grounding” the blue of the overhead fixture
  • a woven wallpaper in a “greige” color adding texture and a cool tone to the layers of warmth
  • and of course, the same Italian abstract because even the most traditional of rooms needs a touch of exuberance and grounding in “today”
Mary Hickey Interiors Moodboard

What do these two spaces have in common other than wonderful “investment” pieces?

I’m often asked what my “style” is or what “look” I like to do…and my answer is ( after saying I like to “do it” all!)-

I enjoy paying attention to the architecture and bones of a space, a “space for space sake” I call it, the needs and loves of our client, coming up with a vision of everyday life in that space…establishing a viewpoint ….and in  great collaborations the space becomes elevated. There is a catch in the breath, a thrill, a feeling of “rightness” when entering the room.  THAT is the very best moment.

Have a wonderful weekend!

Mary and Tasha

Being A Mother...

I've always thought FLEXIBILITY was one of the necessary qualities of being a full- fledged mother (and now a grandmother).

Mother's Day 2015 was a study in "flexibility", and it was a wonderful day!

The saga all began with Cinco de Mayo. On that day, I got in the mood for Mexican food and decided to center my plan for a Mother's Day lunch at my home with my two daughters, Anne Marie and Elizabeth, and two grandchildren, Jay and Alice around that fare. I should explain golf pro Jack was working and Steve was in a wedding out of town (both good "reasons").

Mary Hickey Interiors Mother's Day

I'm going to try to make a looooonng story short. 

  • I planned the menu... chicken enchiladas, the girls' favorite guacamole, salad with fresh oranges and ice cream with hot fudge and Mexican tea cakes. 
  • I made the grocery list
  • I shopped
  • I ordered two rotisserie chickens from Kowalski's to be picked up on Sunday a.m. because they truly are the best I've ever had. A good short cut!
  • I picked up the chickens early Sunday morning... ready to create my fiesta when...
  • I received a text from Elizabeth saying she had been sick all night long.
  • I realized the menu didn't really "speak" to a lunch with one other "grown-up" and two small grandchildren.
  • I revised (see ingredients) from my pantry cupboard and ended up make the best chicken soup I have ever made. Yes, lemon is the SECRET ingredient. 
Mary Hickey Mother's Day
  • Set a simple table for four and thoroughly enjoyed  a special afternoon of a "yummy" lunch  (at least that's what Alice said!), played games, colored and looked at long ago  photos of my grandchildren's mother and grandmother when we were their age. 
  • Sent a "care" package of soup and cookies home with Anne Marie to drop off at Elizabeth's

True bliss... based on " flexibility" and seizing the moment! 

Mary Hickey Interiors Mother's Day

Hmm... chicken enchiladas anyone? I can be at your home by 6pm. Ha!



My best,



It's Another Fun Friday

Tasha and I had the BEST day yesterday, and today is the perfect day (being Friday) to tell you about it. 


International Market Square

May 7, 2015


Dynamic new showroom with beautifully displayed fabrics,  art by MCAD artists (for sale!) and modern furniture source... managed by  Jennifer Ruis and owned by designer, Christine Frisk. We can't wait to utilize their sources!

Mary Hickey Interiors Fuse
Mary Hickey Interiors Fuse


Inspiring lines of fabrics and wallpapers shown to us by Marcy Russ, owner... from very favorites Pollack, Lori Weitzner, Christopher Farr Cloth to a wonderful new outdoor fabric from Maria Flora, an Italian company.  Also... the BEST lunch from the Wedge Co-op, thanks Marcy!

Mary Hickey Interiors Pollack
Mary Hickey Interiors Lori Weitzner


A true "market" of 8 representatives from their vendors.  What a ball!  From the resurgence of Milo Baughman designs at Thayer Coggin to the traditional beauty of Cowtan & Tout and our oft used "Sam & Sons" trims! Abby Koller, manager... the brainchild of this great concept!


Alison and Chris celebrated Schumacher's 125th anniversary by bringing out archival prints with current colorations!   See the tremendous new blog; where Dara Caponigno,  Schumacher's new creative director , formerly the editor of Veranda shares her favorite patterns.  


Fabulously entertaining and  entertaining Michelle Bradley, opened our eyes to  "possibilities" in her line. She has cadre of talented artisans at her fingertips who interpret her "napkin" sketches and bring them to life.  We love the Lucille fixture we used in our client's home and intend to use this source for more and more!

Mary Hickey Interiors Bradley

Here's to a relaxing weekend!

Mary & Tasha

Flowers Are The Moon!

Flowers are the moon!

                              - Emily Thompson on April 30th 2015

Mary Hickey Interiors Art in Bloom

It was a spectacular afternoon yesterday at the Minneapolis Institute of Art attending ART IN BLOOM... and listening to the poetic Emily Thompson speak and demonstrate . More on this Monday but for now, feast on this arrangement done by Emily, deliver a May basket or plant some flowers and foliage this weekend!

Happy May Day!

Mary & Tasha

Reinventing A Classic

Decorative plates on walls... honestly I didn't have much interest or exposure to them until recently. As Mary mentioned in my interview, we are very different but have a lot in common.  One of my favorites is our love of "vintage" decor, furniture and accessories.   We  continually laugh at my use of the word "vintage". Mary recently left me a note signed; Your vintage boss.  We have lengthy conversations about our favorite vintage furniture pieces and styles; many of which are the same! 

Recently, we have seen the reinventing of decorative plates on walls. Here are a few of my favorites.

Mary Hickey Wallplates

The above  collection is one of my favorites; featuring hand painted plates! Done by one of our favorite local bloggers, Francois Et Moi

Mary Hickey Interiors Plates
Mary Hickey Interiors Plates
Mary Hickey Plates
Mary Hickey Plates
Mary Hickey Interiors Plates

As you can tell, blue and white is a favorite of mine!

Photos: 1 /2




Fun Fridays

Let's face it... Fridays are fun! Tasha and I always seem to have "great" thoughts on Fridays. So for this particular Friday...  CONSIDER COPPER.

Remember our instagram post where I teased the start of our San Francisco project with a photo of a Tom Dixon bowl? 

Mary Hickey Interiors Copper

That bowl was handed to me by my client as she said, " I like this, Mary." That's all she needed to say; we've worked together before ( see on the creek) and have a "symbiotic" relationship. Copper became a force in this space. 

While in the city visiting one wonderful shop after another, she and I stumbled upon Bright On Presidio and spoke with David Bolt. Look at what we found...

Mary Hickey Interiors Copper

to sit on this- 

Mary Hickey Interiors

from Epoca.

More on the wonderful Epoca and Kelly Hartgraves in another post. Suffice to say- a treasure trove!

This is the point. Since that day in San Francisco... copper has been "speaking" to me. 

And now it has found its way into a new renovation project Tasha and I are working on with a terrific young family.  Here it might take a turn into copper patina...

Mary Hickey William Sonoma

To mix with modern pendants.  

Burkelman Mary Hickey Interiors

It will mix beautifully with the brushed nickel hardware and stainless steel. We even found an Ann Sacks tile that mixes the metals together for us...

Ann Sacks Tile Mary Hickey Interiors

Mmm... are we TREND SPOTTING?

I don't think so...

I prefer to think of it as an  UPDATED THROWBACK!


Here's to a relaxing weekend!

Mary & Tasha