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10 Things for the Home We Can’t Live Without

By Nathan Coker
In Bayou Home
Sep 29th, 2014


Tish Miller’s merchandising background comes through in her efforts to create classic spaces for her clients. She’s all about fulfilling needs within the constraints of the space–and the budget.

A self-taught interior decorator, Tish strives toward a classic modern aesthetic, with a healthy emphasis on organics, with an ultimate goal of delivering the client’s vision. “The perfect room is clean, balanced and cohesive,” Tish says. “It has a thoughtful mix of the old with the new and is comfortable, livable and emotionally pleasing.”

To make these thoughtful spaces, Tish combines function, light, color and texture, combining them
in a way that fits the budget and reflects the client’s personal styles and their needs, all from a client-centric approach. “My job is to assist the client in accomplishing their design goals,” Tish says.

1/ Music. I have it playing even if it’s just low in the background.  It relaxes me;I don’t like quiet.

2/ Candles. I always have them and always burn them. Diptyque’s  Feu de Bois, Baies, and Figiuer my all
time favs

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3/ My art collection.  Each piece was individually chosen and means or represents something special to me.

4/ My brown vintage velvet barrel chairs.  I stumbled across them years ago in a little shop in Dallas. I just love them.

5/  Bella Notte Bedding.  Comfortable, versatile, washable and worth the investment.

6/  A nice bottle of wine.  Or two:). Schugs Pinot Noir is a usual go to, but Viansa’s Sangiovese is another good one. Great taste and brings back fun memories, and I just like hearing my friend Sue say it.

7/ Wireless Internet.  Need I say more?

8/ My “things.” An old garden sculpture, a little bronze statue, glass vases filled with shells, pieces of old driftwood.  Architectural remnants.  A collection of vintage brown transfer ware.  A spiked sphere.  My grandmother’s lamp.


9/ Cartier Eau de Cartier. My favorite fragrance- perfume of choice.  Just wish I could make it last longer:)

10/ Pillows and throws.  They are not only visually pleasing – but an invitation to sit down, get comfortable and stay a while.


Gregory Hudgins has been on the design scene for more than 20 years and has worked on projects for clients in some of the most demanding markets, from Boston and New York, to Denver, Baton Rouge and New Orleans. The Louisiana Tech graduate says building a rapport with each client is of paramount importance.  “Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others and maintaining them over time is, in my opinion, the largest component of designer/client relations,” Gregory says. Through this relationship, Gregory believes it’s his job to maximize the inherent beauty found in our daily lives. “It’s my goal to make each home and space completely customized to fit each individual client project.”

He seeks design and flow in spaces conducive to living. “The perfect room is one that is not only beautiful to look at and experience, but a place that is enveloping, enchanting, and exotic,” Gregory says. Through these spaces, Gregory believes the intimacy of friendship and family comes through. “No well-designed space is complete without your friends and family.”

1/ Surrealism Art. I personally own a piece by Ghislain Fernando that I purchased from a Belgium auction house. Each day, I see it and am inspired by the incredible power of the piece.

2/ Books.  I currently have over 1,700 titles in my personal home collection. My books have the power to transport me to places, transform my thinking and transfix my place in time.

3/ Music. My current obsession is a technological wonder, Sonos whole house music system. Life alterering in its simplicity, the sytem fills each room of my house with deep, rich music perfectly suited to whatever mood I’m in.

4/ Well Stocked Bar. I never ever want to have friends and guests over and not be able to offer libations. My perfect bar would be a Jacques Adnet bar trolley, excessively stocked with exotic liquors and spirits. You never know when you may need to pour a round of Lithuanian Krupnik.

5/ A Quiet Cool Bedroom. My bedroom is home to a rather grand bed, that is piled to the ceiling with soft pillows, firm pillows, pillows filled with feathers and down, and duvets and blankets in varying weights and thread counts. A must for me are oversized night stands that I fill the tops with books, catalogs, lotions, potions and candles.

6/ Incense. I burn it all the time and usually a different scent in each room. I only burn incense from the Prinknash Abbey. This abbey is situated on the edge of the Cotswalds with views over the vale of Gloucester. My current obsession scents are Cathedral and St. Michael.

7/ Mechanical Clocks. My personal favorite that is on my bedroom mantle is a c. 1900 Napoleon III French black slate clock.


8/ Textiles. I love them all. Love them for seat cushions, drapes, pillows, blankets and upholstery. My favorites are from Turkey and Morrocco, Kanthas from India, Kente and Mud cloths from Africa, Zeng cloth from Vietnam and Suzanis from Uzbekistan.

9/ My Speakman Showerhead. The Speakman showerhead is a staple in luxury resorts and hotels, and the only one you will find at any Ritz Carlton and in my shower. This bad boy can produce powerful, forceful, morning altering jet streams of water for an unforgettable shower experience.


10/ White Wooden Morroccan Screens. I have stacks and stacks of them and use them instead of shutters on my windows. The dappled light light  that pours in through the pierced screens is positively mesmerizing.



Sandy McMillan Gimber is a design chameleon, shifting her tastes delicately to match the needs and desires of each client. That’s not to say she’s without a guiding aesthetic philosophy, though. Instead, she sees her role as an interior designer more as a guiding vision. “It is a vision formed by listening carefully to the client’s requests and needs to create a beautiful living space whether their taste is traditional, contemporary or transitional,” Sandy says.
A traditionally trained designer, Sandy holds a Bachelor of Interior Design degree from Louisiana Tech University. She’s also a member of the American Society of Interior Designers and is a licensed Louisiana interior designer. Ultimately, her goal is to create ideal spaces for each client.

“A well-designed room is timeless and reflects the unique personalities of the owners. The best room design is one that a client loves sharing with friends and family,” Sandy says.

1/ Grouping of Family Photographs. Family pictures hung together in a place where can enjoy them everyday.

2/ Peacock Alley Sheeting. I love cool, crisp sheeting. One of my favorites is the Peacock Alley Lyric Sheets.  They are 100% Egyptian Cotton and imported from Italy.

3/ Down Comforter with a Soft Duvet. A plush – but not too heavy – down comforter is a must for me. I love it paired with a luxurious duvet like Matouk’s Nocturne in a neutral color.

4/ A great pair of bedside lamps. I love to read in bed, so ample lighting is a must.

5/ Nest Candle in Grapefruit. This is a scent that is always fresh.


6/ A Collection of Reclaimed Architectural Elements in my Bookcase. These pieces were salvaged from old buildings that were torn down in my hometown of Vicksburg, MS.

7/ A Large Sisal Rug. We have hardwood floors throughout, so the natural feel of a large sisal rug is a great choice for our home. And my dogs would tell you it is their favorite place in the house.

8/ Fresh Flowers and Greenery. I love to bring the outside in with small flower arrangements throughout my home.


9/ Pandora App on my iPad. Great music fills all my downtime. I love a variety of artists, and Pandora always seems to introduce me to new ones.

10/ Beautiful Stationery. I think writing notes is still so important in this day and age. A collection of beautiful paper in my desk always encourages me to write more notes.



In the years that Peggy Gonzales and Joyce Sims have been working together, they’ve forged the kind of creative partnership that many decorators can only dream about. Ask a question, and chances are they’ll finish one another’s sentences.

Joyce calls their design style “eclecticism,” and suggests what makes design work for a home is a good combination of the things that make people the happiest. Peggy puts it another way. “A room comes alive when decorated with different styles of furniture-both old and new,” Peggy says. “It makes for a more interesting space.”

They’ve been working together since meeting on the job in a fabric store five years ago. Joyce and Peggy say they both hit it off immediately, and that’s when they decided to start working to bring their vision to clients in need of good design advice. Together, they work to bring about the perfect space for their clients. “The perfect room would be one that brings together things in your home that mean something to you, but that also has a welcoming feel to everyone that enters,” Joyce says.

1/ Good Lighting. Whether you choose antique lighting or new fixtures, lighting can make the room.

2/ Artwork. Mix traditional and contemporary artwork to make a statement.

3/ Tasteful Window Treatments. Beautiful fabrics bring warmth to a room and can make a difference.

4/ Family Photographs.  Add a personal touch to any room by decorating with family photographs in various size and color frames.

5/ Fresh Flowers or Live Plants. Brighten up a dull room by bringing nature into the space.

6/ Clear Glass Anything. Clear glass (especially vintage) is a favorite. Use beakers, battery jars, etc. and reclaim for a different purpose.


7/ A Signature Scent. Relax and rewind with a signature scent like the Embers candle by Aquiesse.

8/ Organic Belgian Linen Sheets. Our favorites are Pom Pom at Home by Hilde Leiagh at (they only get better with age).

9/ Decorative Boxes. We love the Italian Florentine look (these boxes hide a multitude of sins).


10/ Books, Books, Books. Read them and then use them for home décor. It’s a multipurpose item that can’t go wrong.