Monthly Archives: June 2010

Giving You My Personal Best

For a long time my secret wish was not for a personal trainer, but a personal hair stylist so I would never have to suffer a bad hair day.  These days I have a new more urgent desire and that is for a personal IT person to help me move beyond computer kindergarten. When I am at Decorating Den’s office in Easton, MD I can call on our 19-year-old whiz CJ for assistance, but I have already taken up too much of his time establishing my Blog.

Yesterday in my home office in Chevy Chase I had a session with a local IT expert. I am practicing with this entry to see if I have retained the steps she taught me to do to place this word document on my Blog.  I think I can handle a text only entry.  The real test will come when I try to download a jpeg.

I also want to beg your indulgence and not be too critical about mistakes in spelling and grammar.  In my attempt to keep my Blog constantly updated and without an in-home person to edit my copy, there will be the inevitable errors in construction and choice of words.  Remember, “The woods would be very silent if no birds sang except those that sang best.”  I promise to give you the best I have to offer.



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Our getaway on the Eastern Shore of Maryland, aptly named Poverty Point since colonial times, has been the site of many celebrations with family and friends, but none has given my husband Jim and me more pleasure than hosting the wedding of Joy Siple and Jason Burr.

 We first met Jason when, along with other military men recuperating at Walter Reed from injuries suffered in Iraq and Afghanistan he came to PP to hunt and fish as a result of Jim’s involvement with the Yellow Ribbon Fund.  Then one day he introduced us to his lovely Joy.  They became as dear to us as our children.  We were the first to know after they became engaged in a duck blind, and Jim and I were thrilled when Jason asked us that day if they could be married at Poverty Point.  Joy and Jason wanted to exchange their vows on the beach in front of our house.


On Memorial Day weekend their family and a few friends came to stay at PP and be there to witness an authentic love story.  What I observed was that while Joy did not miss a detail when it came to the wedding and the reception that followed, it was not the overwrought affairs that one is used to seeing on TV reality shows.

 I noticed the subtle ways Joy and Jason exhibited their love.  Joy was the essence of simple elegance in her ankle-length white wedding dress, but unconcerned that her hair was blowing in the wind.  Her only care seemed be that their Labs Gunner, and Brandi with the gossamer wings holding the rings, would behave during the ceremony.  Jason, a casual kind guy honored his wife by remaining throughout the evening, perhaps a bit uncomfortable, in his tan suit and blue tie. 

 Capping off the day Jason spoke about the true meaning of Memorial Day and arranged for a 21 Gun Salute to honor all those men and women who given their lives in war.  We never had a better day at Poverty Point, and to boot, we were blessed with ideal weather, a glorious sunset and no mosquitoes!

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Around the globe at home furnishing markets, museum exhibits, color conferences, and in design magazines a prime color story is blue…from “now” pale tints to “next” dark navies.  


A Dec Den Dream Room using CMG blue

According to CMG, “blues are tracking both cleaner and grayer. Gray blue evokes the soothing comfort of worn denim.”  CMG’s Navy Yard is a versatile, safe reliable color not as harsh as black, navy is the true blue that pairs with all color families.  This shade is barely on the horizon in home furnishings.


 “The term peacock is currently used to describe a broad family

of blue-greens with variations on the amount of blue or green used.  This reflects the wide range of colour within the bird itself.  Peacock blue in all of its forms tends to sit well with purples, mid-greens and golds, or newly popular bronze and copper, reflecting the iridescent quality of the peacock’s feathers. For more about Peacock go to


Pat Bouley writing on the website said, the big color story (Maison et Object in Paris) was in the blue family.  Pale blue to deep shades of indigo indicated cooler directions for spring/summer.  Turquoise has made a strong come back ranging in soft shades of robins egg blue seen on Sonia Rykiel bedding to deep saturated turquoise on woven upholstery.”

French Blue Bedroom


For a treatise on the subject of blue get your hands on a copy of House Beautiful, March 2010. Former Editor in Chief Stephen Drucker said he always wanted to devote a single issue of House Beautiful to just one color.  “Of course it had to be blue, the color people associate with House Beautiful, the most popular of all colors, a color full of good feelings and often prone to obsession…”


Much to the dismay of some readers of The Washington Post, the cover of the Style section on May 25th took up too much space (3/4 of the page) with a detail from Yves Klein’s “Untitled Blue Monochrome.”  Inside there was a full-page review by Blake Gopnik about a current show at the Smithsonian’s Hirshhorn Museum. On exhibit are two hundred works by the intriguing French Artist, Yves Klein who patented IKB International Klein blue, which Gopnik describes as “blissful ultramarine.”

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Monday Morning Quote

“All of the Flowers of all of the tomorrows are in the space of today.”

                                                                       Author Unknown

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Carol Donayre Bugg

WELCOME to my Blog.  My name is Carol Donayre Bugg.  I am the Director of Design for Decorating Den.  Today I am launching my Blog with a bit of past history, a recent event and what’s next on the horizon for me, and my colleagues at Decorating Den. 


This morning I was reading a restaurant review and thought how great is that having a job where you are required to dine in fabulous restaurants.  I am equally envious of film critics who spend their working hours watching movies.  Then I got to thinking about how lucky I am to be spending my days, nights and weekends combining my two loves, writing and interior decorating.

Writing professionally came a little later, but I was raised cultivating an interest in design and interior decorating.  My mother and growing up in New York City were the first contributors to what became my life’s work.  As a youngster I was unaware as we examined the store windows along Fifth Avenue the way her tutorials on color, line, and scale were influencing my future.  Only after I decided to study design and pursue it as a career did I appreciate the impact Mother and Manhattan had on me.

In the same way, I owe a debt of gratitude to the nuns who planted a curiosity in me for books and words and who encouraged my writing ambitions.  This alternate passion has led me to a second career, writing books and articles for Decorating Den. Now like the restaurant and movie reviewers, my work involves the pleasure of writing about the subject I love most.


I find it difficult to respond when customs agents and the like ask if I am traveling for business or pleasure.  My business life is too intertwined with my personal life to make a distinction. 

Twenty-six years ago after an extraordinary time studying with the Parsons School of Design in Paris I was prepared for an anti-climatic period once I returned home.  My husband Jim who had promised to love, cherish and provide me with anything but a dull moment had other plans in mind for the both of us.  While I was thrilled he was coming out of early retirement I was not sure at first that I wanted to give up my Model Home Decorating business to join Decorating Den.  A trip to Puerto Vallarta, Mexico in the company of a group from Dec Den changed my mind.

It was to be the first of many trips that I would take in the company of my Decorating Den cohorts, as Bob Mackie likes to call us.  Our travel excuse is business, but when it is your passion it is also a pleasure. 



Decorating Den's Parade Float

Attendees would agree our recent 41st annual conference in New Orleans was outstanding.   For four days we shared success stories, listened to motivational talks, toured an outstanding supplier market, watched our cohorts be recognized for their business acumen and design talent, dined and danced, and enjoyed just being together.

The conference opened with a fabulous marching band that led us on a parade down Bourbon Street.  Other tourists watched in amazement trying to figure out who were these people having so much fun deserving of their own Mardi Gras Parade.  No matter what city or cruise ship or place we gather the camaraderie and spontaneous fun of a group from Decorating Den is infectious and always elicits the awe and envy of fellow tourists. 

Decorating Den Parading Down Bourbon St.

“This franchise definitely knows how to top its own standards and open up new space for everyone. This is the fourth Decorating Den Interiors conference I’ve attended and I am among the many who agree that this was the most innovative, well orchestrated and forward-thinking conference to date. Just having the event in New Orleans thsi year where it was originally scheduled in Katrina-stricken 2006, mirrored the gumption and resillience of both the city and the franchise.”
Carol Blanchard


One of my honors at conference was announcing the location of our next Grand Destination adventure, a special trip made possible in part by Dec Den’s roster of suppliers. This past decade we have been to Rome, Capri, Venice, Athens, and St. Petersburg, to name a few places. 

For the next fourteen months Dec Den business owners and decorators, and their spouses, will be brushing up on their French, and I will be working out the details of a wonderful tour of Paris, the sight of our 2011Grand Destination trip. What could be better for me than sharing my gorgeous Paris with my Decorating Den cohorts!  As they say in New Orleans…Laissez les bon temps rouler!


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