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  • The Woman Cave

    We’ve all heard of the elusive “Man Cave” and the things it entails: cigars, game tables, and too much leather. But what about us ladies? Do we get to have a space of our own (aside from our closets, of course!)?

    As someone who loves entertaining and having my girlfriends over for drinks, I would love to have a space separate from the rest of the house to do so. Just like a “Man Cave” is decorated in an overly masculine style, I would like my “Woman Cave” to be feminine, glamorous, and sexy.

    Using this photo from the Rug Company as inspiration I set out to create a space with a similar vibe using some of my favorite colors & textures of the moment. To set the tone of the space, I selected a tortoise Schumacher wallpaper that I have been lusting over for some time now.

    I’m also a big fan of using vintage pieces in my designs, so I headed straight to one of my favorite sources Chairish. It’s an absolute treasure trove of vintage finds and it’s where I found almost everything else for the space. The black leather barstools add a touch of masculinity which I love mixed with the glam antiqued mirror and bright pink artwork.

    And lastly, it wouldn’t be ‘happy hour’ without some chic vintage barware. I am loving these gold rim cocktail glasses, they are classic and perfect for so many different cocktail recipes. Cheers!

    (Click image to enlarge!)

  • Before & After: Aspen Cabin

    This time last year our team was up in Aspen, CO to deck out our client’s new bachelor pad in the mountains. The goal was to breathe some life into this 70’s cinder block house using his impressive art collection and furniture pieces he already owned. Focusing on the upstairs great room, we installed a giant gallery wall above the spiral staircase and tried to create different seating arrangements that would be good for entertaining. The result was a funky space perfect for lounging with friends & family after a long day of skiing.

    In honor of the massive snow storm hitting the East Coast right now, we decided to revisit this fun project which was originally featured here on MyDomaine. Enjoy & stay warm!

    living before





    dining before




    master before








  • Happy Everything!

    It’s been another wonderful & exciting year at Hillary Thomas Designs. Thank you so much for all your support. Wishing everyone a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!










    Hillary, Kristan & Lexi

  • Artist We Love: Rachel Rogers

    The stars aligned the day we discovered the work of San Francisco-based artist, Rachel Rogers. After ooh-ing and ahh-ing at her website portfolio, we were officially head over heels for her custom crests, stationery & invitations. Her whimsical & playful designs are simply irresistible – so it’s no surprise that her work has caught the eye of heavy-hitters like Vogue and Town & Country.

    As it just so happened, Hillary was a week away from throwing a dinner party and was in desperate need of beautiful place cards & menus to complement her table. Working with Rachel was such a fun process and the results were picture perfect.

    We recently caught up with Rachel to find out more about her process & what inspires her. Enjoy!

    How did you first get into illustration and paper goods?

    My background is in book cover design. As a professional book cover designer, I was constantly experimenting with the composition of graphics, lettering and illustration – on paper. I also did a lot of painting on the side. Eventually it seemed only natural to connect my professional skills with my personal artistic style and thats how Rachel Rogers Design was born.


    What is your favorite part about working with your clients?

    I love that my client’s interests, passions and personalities bring me down creative roads that I wouldn’t necessarily think of on my own. It makes every design such an adventure! In creating bespoke work, I get to incorporate personal details that truly represent the recipient, which means I’m always on my toes and constantly inspired. The most fun element of my work is its bespoke nature, and working with clients is what makes this possible.


    In your opinion what are the essential paper goods needed for entertaining? Such as a dinner party…

    Oh boy…well…an amazing invitation sets the tone for everything. That’s the most essential element. Placecards can add such beauty and a stunning menu is an absolute treat.


    The menu & place cards Rachel designed for Hillary’s dinner party.


    What inspires you most? How do you come up with your creative ideas?

    My childhood in San Francisco, my summers spent in Stonington, CT and Martha’s Vineyard, my fulfillment by the outdoors and my love for all things summer certainly fosters my imagination. And then things at random…recently I felt very inspired by my grandmother’s wallpaper! I have a pretty active imagination so as a visual person, my designs often reflect how I take in the world around me. By the same token, my whimsical style speaks to how much fun I have creating work.


    Tell us about one of your favorite projects?

    Crest commissions for weddings, babies, birthdays etc. are so fulfilling to work on. Every time I finish a custom crest, I think it’s my favorite (seriously!)…until the next one comes along! For me, it never gets old. There’s so much joy and beauty in each custom crest, from the details of the design to the magic of the watercolors.Crest

    Whether it is a dinner party, social gathering or wedding what would your advice be when choosing your paper good style?

    My advice is to go with something that reflects your personality while still letting the beauty of the mediums (paper, ink, paint, etc.) shine through – that’s what makes any style extra special. Careful consideration will always result in something beautiful. And don’t get intimidated – there are lots of options out there, but it’s hard to go terribly wrong if you’re happy with your choices.


    How do you make each piece cohesive with the overall event style?

    When I start working on a project, I begin by identifying any specific styles I should lean towards. References are always helpful! I often request images, photos, color swatches, etc. — anything from wallpaper to a burgee flag to an image of a wedding bouquet. As long as my designs truly feel like they fit in with the references and over-all themes, cohesion happens naturally.

    RR1__317 Logo
    Check out Rachel’s website to see more of her work, or contact her to commission your very own design!

  • Holiday Wrapping with Style

    In order to have a beautifully curated holiday one must find the perfect gift wrapping. A thoughtful and well sourced gift must be wrapped with a high level of care. Choose a color scheme to which you would like to follow. Find various options for wrapping paper, ribbon, and gift boxes. This year our friends over at the Guildery have launched a playful collection of gift wrapping to give your gifts that extra bit of style. Don’t be afraid to mix and match pattern within your color scheme or go for different shaped boxes and ribbon.

    Here is a beautiful grey scheme that would be lovely with dark red and gold ribbon:

    greyAnd don’t forget to shop the Hillary Thomas collection!


     Some great online resources are Paper Source, Minted, and Sugar Paper,  One Kings Lane, and Target.



    If you live in San Francisco be sure to stop by our local favorite spots The Ribbonerie (featured below) or Bell’occhio.


    For fun new supplies to add to your gift wrapping cabinet, go for fabric scissors from Spartan.


    Or a fun and more modern tape dispenser.

    tapeHave fun with your holiday shopping, wrapping, and decorating!



  • My Colorful Napa Dinner Party

    It’s no secret I love to entertain…so I was beyond excited when my dear friends, Annie & Benton, launched Set Sip Serve – a website designed for the hostess-with-the-mostess! It offers everything from tips on arranging beautiful tablescapes to delicious recipes you can whip up in a flash.

    I’m so honored that they’ve chosen to feature a recent dinner party I held in Napa. Inspired by a boldly patterned blue floral tablecloth I designed a table that was fun & welcoming to all the guests who came. Check it out here to find out how to get the look & the recipes served…and don’t forget to check out all my entertaining must-haves on my Style Expert page!





    Conte_0172X(Psst…you can purchase the tablecloth fabric here!)






    Photographs by Keith Rosenthal

  • Color of the Moment: Yellow

    We’re unabashedly obsessed with color & it seems we have a new favorite every week. Normally yellow isn’t something we gravitate to but lately we’ve been seeing it pop up in unexpected and chic ways. Like the cheery Presidio Heights breakfast nook designed by Palmer Weiss (see below) or the abundance of daffodils flooding the supermarkets right now. We’re hooked!

    Not only is it the perfect complement to some of our other favorite colors like teal & pink but it just seems to exude happiness. So here’s a round up of our favorite yellow moments that are anything but mellow!


    Breakfast nook designed by Palmer Weiss.


    Beth Blake and Corbin Day’s colorful Sag Harbor home.


    The powder room at Swanson Vineyards in Napa, CA.


    Todd Alexander Romano‘s NYC apartment.


    Paris duplex owned by the Stefano Pilati.


    Who knew there were so many types of forks? Love this adorable guide!


    A vintage bench upholstered in yellow velvet. Design by Hillary Thomas.


    A spring floral arrangement with tulips & peonies.


    “Mellow Yellow” finial from our new Spring collection! Pre-order here.

    (all images via Pinterest)

  • Vibrant California Cottage: Before & After

    When my dear pal Ali Pincus of One Kings Lane approached me about designing her little sister’s brand new Beverly Hills home over a year ago I naturally jumped at the opportunity. But I jumped even HIGHER after seeing the space in person! With it’s darling Nantucket style architecture, dark wood floors, high ceilings and luxurious moldings I knew it would be the perfect canvas for a little Hillary Thomas juju.

    Ali’s sister, Lauren, and her husband Matt, wanted a space that was unfussy & family friendly yet full of color and style. So first and foremost, I knew we needed some fun Meg Braff wallpaper to make a statement in the entryway and connecting dining room. From there I stuck to a soothing palette of turquoise blues, greens, and navy.

    The project, now complete, got some love in the April ’13 issue of C Magazine as well as on One Kings Lane’s blog – but more recently was featured on NBC’s “Open House”. I was so thrilled to give a whole tour of the space, calling out sources and little designer tips along the way. Check out the clip here!


























  • Hurry Down the Chimney Tonight!

    It’s the most wonderful time of the year! Who doesn’t LOVE the holidays? Sure they can be a tad stressful but in the end it’s all about spending time with family, relaxing, and of course decking the halls with all sorts of festive decor.

    One of my favorite parts is shopping for chic gifts for the ones I love – I always try to find something unique and personal to give. But I also believe in treating yourself for the holidays (one for you, one for me!) – so I’ve rounded up a few things on my wish list this year. Santa, can you hear me?!

    dear santa


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    xo hillary