Brittany’s Top 5 Tips For a Kid Friendly Space

1. By all means, choose a playful color palette!

2. Choose practical textures- here we selected a hearty stonewashed  linen for the sectional and had the furniture treated with a stain resistant treatment immediately (make haste!) Pillow covers have zippers for easy laundering.

3. Embrace the slash. Carefully consider pieces that have more than one use or could eventually go into another room. In this space- take note of the orange settee that is nearly the size of twin size guest bed and can be covered in sheets at a moment’s notice? Or the Media unit which could be a  cool dining room console? Odds are- as your kids grow their needs/ your spatial needs will change, also.

4.Don’t be afraid to leave some floor space- because kid’s love to PLAY on the floor- so why invest in a coffee table that impedes playing with cars or has to be moved when it’s dance party time?

5. Add a personal touch. In the library framed family photos are displayed. While on the tv wall- my client made fun posters of every place their family has lived- unique to the space and special to the family- something you won’t find in the pottery barn kids catalog.

images by Design Lines

Restaurant Review: Brittany’s Fave Nantucket Grill and Bar

Nantucket Grill and Bar tops Brittany’s favorites – with locations in North Raleigh, Chapel Hill, and Durham, someone can enjoy an elegant dining experience with menus ranging from every corner of the globe.

“Nantucket’s is one of my favorite restaurants – you are greeted with a fresh bouquet of roses in a tasteful pewter pitcher,  in addition delightful and attentive service.”

Just this week, Brittany visited Nantucket’s and ordered one of her most beloved dishes – Pine nut salad with chicken.

“The soba noodles in the salad are always a welcomed surprise.”

For desert, Brittany savors in the delicious choices of the strawberry shortcake, the lemon delight, or the chocolate bliss cake. Check out one of the several locations on Tuesday or Saturday for a half slice of one of their famous mile high cakes with a purchase of a $10.00 entree!

Check out next Thursday for another one of Brittany’s Faves.

images 1. Rick Erwin 2-3. Personal

12 Days of Christmas: Brittany’s Sausage Bites

martha stewart wreath image

The past few weeks, these Sausage Bites have been a quick & easy go-to when agreeing to make a savory appetizer for holiday parties. People even believed I was from the South when these arrived! For the perfect soundtrack while waiting for these to cook- some classic tunes for you:

Alabama’s Christmas in Dixie

The Jackson Five’s I saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus

Elvis’ Blue Christmas

Bon Appetite!


  • 1 pound spicy ground pork sausage
  • 2 cups biscuit baking mix (you may also try Virgina’s Best Biscuit mix)
  • 1 pound sharp Cheddar cheese, finely shredded


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).

In a large bowl, combine sausage, biscuit baking mix and cheese.  Mix well.  If it looks a little dry add a tbsp of water to the mix.  It also helps to have sausage at room temperature.

Form into walnut size balls and place on baking sheets.

Bake in preheated oven for 20-25 minutes, until golden brown and the center is done.

You may also prepare these and freeze them before baking.  Thaw and bake as recommended.  You may also add garlic powder/onion powder to taste to the dry mix. 


image: Martha Stewart

Lee Industries: Brittany’s Perspective of Lee Academy


2010 Lee Academy - Design Lines


Interior designers from all across the country and the extraordinary people who work at Lee Industries  pose for a picture.

Not originally from North Carolina, I still marvel at the fact that beautiful furniture is made right here within the state of North Carolina. Touring the factory was like watching an intricate machine operate, we were able to see each process happening whether that was by hand or with a human operating a machine. Let’s begin with some of the highlights!


Lee Academy Factory Design Lines COM Fabrics


First, bolts of fabric arrive at the factory and are tagged to their respective furniture frame.


Lee Academy Factory Design Lines Lay Out


Next, the fabric is rolled out and inspected, prepared for cutting and sewing.


Lee Academy Factory Design Lines Cuting


The patterns are then cut out of the fabric using a computer aided program. The strips you see on the table are being used to create a welt cord.

We closely observed the sewing department as they sew different pieces together.

Below:A top-stitch is created on leather.

 Lee Academy Factory Design Lines Sewing


Special details like a hidden zipper pocket and jumbo contrast top-stitching make each piece unique.


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Lee Industries president Norman Coley (middle) observes a hardwood frame and nylon webbing.

 Lee Academy Leather Factory Design Lines Frames


Above:  A master upholster begins tying down the metal springs with 8 way hand tied knots, a mark of good quality.

Below:  An upholster finishes an ottoman with covered buttons.

 Lee Academy Factory Design Lines Workers


Have you ever heard the phrase “spitting tacks?”  This experienced upholster (above in green) holds his hammer to his mouth to show us a tried and true quick method.


Below:  A gorgeous Chesterfield sofa.

Lee Academy Factory Design Lines 

Above: A covered welt cord will be applied to finish the edges on this pretty sofa with exposed wood.

  Lee Academy Factory Design Lines Recycling

 After the factory tour Norman explained to us Lee Industries green practices, you can read all about their eco-friendly company culture here. We really enjoyed our experience at Lee Academy and feel great about all the knowledge we acquired while at the factory.

The Anticipation of Brittany & Lauren’s Review of the 27th Annual Lee Academy

Design Lines 2010 Lee Academy (1)


Lee Industries, one of North Carolina’s high-end furniture manufacturers, invited Lauren and Brittany to a two day Academy in Hickory, North Carolina.  By educating interior designers, they in turn are more knowledgeable when hand selecting furniture for their clients.

We are still going through all of our wonderful pictures from the 27th annual Lee Academy .

 Design Lines 2010 Lee Academy


We promise though Brittany and Lauren will give you, our readers, their personal perspectives on all the behind-the-scenes details of the factory tour and the academy, coming up next week!

One of the highlights from the Academy was watching this fabric below being woven on a jacquard loom. Watch the toile pattern appear as the weft yarns are inserted into the warp yarn.


Living the Mission Award for June Goes to Brittany Ruch

Design Lines Living the Mission Graphic copy

Back in February of 2010 Design Lines established the “Living the Mission” award, which is awarded each month to the employee who embodies our company principles and values. The award is passed on from one employee to another employee and is accompanied with a $100 bonus.

This past Monday, Hilaire passed the award on to Brittany for her continuing efforts in furthering the company brand and client experience by introducing a new method for presenting during our design presentations. 

So far our team has recognized Lauren, Hilaire and Ashley.

Designer Profiles: An Interview with Brittany Ruch

 Brittany Ruch, Allied Member ASID


How would you describe your professional style?

I lean towards a collection of styles; a touch of French here, mid century modern there, and a mix of neutrals (usually grays) paired with vibrant color.

How has your aesthetic evolved?

 I’m past everything being so matchy-matchy. I don’t love it when things are too “done”. 

What are your inspirations?

My environment- be it a new town, or my favorite restaurant, I love design mags, and I think a lot of what I love is rooted in my heritage and my past living in three time zones. 

What is the essential element of any room?

 Mirrors! They can transform spaces making them appear larger, brighter, or more interesting. 

What is your design philosophy?

 You can’t afford ugly

What are your three must-haves?

 Vintage dresses, a sketchpad in my pocketbook, and my best girlfriends.

What is the last place you saw that made you think, I wish I’d done that?

 Alpine house restaurant at the Canyons resort in Park City, Utah

What are you reading right now? What’s on your DVR?

 The Tall Book by Arianne Cohen, Oprah

If you weren’t in interior design, what would you be doing?

I would be a floral designer.  My favorite flowers of the week are pink peonies and the best florist in Raleigh is the English Garden

Favorite paint color and why?

 ICI’s Scroll Beige – the perfect griege (gray+ beige) goes with everything!

How did you get started in this field?

My father is a home builder in Illinois- I loved seeing how you can directly affect people’s lives by shaping their spaces.

Where’s your favorite place that you’ve traveled?

 Vienna, Austria. The people there are blissfully happy.

In your eyes, what are the biggest trends for 2010?

 Gold accessories and beachy colors like coral & lilac.


To see more designer profiles click here. We still have Lauren and Hilaire to interivew in the coming months stay tuned!

Brittany’s Favorite Paint Selections for the Summer of 09

I’ve selected the palette below as my favorite paint colors for this summer’s Color Event


A play on traditional Americana red, white, & blue,
I could see these colors ending up inside or outside of a Loire Valley Chateau,
here perhaps:
Janus Et Cie Bench
bench by Janus et cie
Outside the chateau or your house- I love the idea of eating al fresco with these beautiful table linens or bistro dining chairs (for sale at our studio)
The paint color combination of pale grayish blue, deep red, steamed milk, and a brown so dark its almost black becomes more invigorating when energetic stripes are added in-
Chocolate and Cream Striped beach umbrellas are to me the equivalent of summer on a stick.

Mariette Hines Gomez Photography- Umbrellas

The gorgeous photograph above is from the Mariette Hines Gomez collection for Soicher Marin

What colors make you think of summer?

See Ashley’s summer selections: here

P.S. I’ve selected these paint colors from Sherwin Williams, be sure to check out some of their color resources: like the cool ColorSnap app for your iPhone

Spring is The Time For Plans & Projects

We are very excited to introduce Anna Eaves of Arrow + Sage (below pictured with Hilaire) as a guest blogger and resident plant enthusiast!

 Design Lines.Arrow Sage Interior Gardening Raleigh 6

For our first collaboration, we shot a few of Anna’s products  on Brittany’s front porch to (finally!) welcome the Spring.

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Brittany admits herself that she has a black thumb- but the addition of plants was key to bring to life the porch of her home in Raleigh’s historic Glenwood Brooklyn.  Enter- Anna Eaves and succulent plants= LOW maintenance beauties.  We loaded up the front stoop with plants and hung our favorite A+S product- a beautiful succulent wreath (pictured below).

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Next up was serving fresh beverages and some allergy medication (darn this pollen season!) and a spring project had been tackled! Brittany’s porch is ready for friends and evening entertaining.

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 Design Lines.Arrow Sage Interior Gardening Raleigh

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In the kitchen- potted herbs received some character with Anna’s herb markers- each made by hand.

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These cylinder bud vases looked so fresh and would look beautiful lined up on a fireplace mantle.

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Leave a  comment mentioning why you are looking forward to spring for your chance to win a bud vase from Arrow & Sage!!