Tag Archives: Interior Design

Pork Chops and Applesauce (or Pork Tenderloin with a Sassy Cucumber and Mango Salad)

As the More is More Mom®, I’m all about…….more sharing meals together as a family! May was just the busiest month; chock full of exciting Interior Design projects and presenting my Life Style & Entertaining programs. While work is hugely fun, May brought me the happiest of moments…..my Nick came home from college. In fact, my mom accompanied me to College Town USA, where we loaded up all of Nick’s personal belongings; clothes, clothes, golf clubs and more clothes. Rather than race home, we took an overnight detour to Charleston, IL, where Amanda made it to the State Track Meet in the 100m hurdles. Yay!

While everything about Nick being home is awesome, I love when we are all together for dinner. It just feels like everything is right with the world.

As one of our first family meals, I decided to make a fabulous Pork Tenderloin with a sassy side of Cucumber and Mango Salad. Peter Brady was on to something with his, “Pork chops and applesauce.” Pork is absolutely delicious with a side of citrus.

Pork Tenderloin with Cucumber and Mango Salad

Serves 4-6

3 Tbsp brown sugar

1 tsp All-spice

½ tsp salt

2 – 12 ounce pork tenderloins

4 green onions – white parts chopped and green parts sliced

2 mango’s peeled and chopped

1 seedless cucumber, very thinly sliced

1 jalapeno pepper, finely chopped…..how much you use depends upon how much heat you can take!

Pre-heat oven to 425°

Line a shallow roasting pan with aluminum foil

In a small bowl, combine;

Brown sugar



Set aside 1 tsp of the brown sugar mixture for the salad

Rub the brown sugar mixture all over the tenderloins and place in the roasting pan

Roast for approximately 20 minutes, or until a thermometer reads 145°

Remove and tent with foil until ready to serve

In a medium bowl, combine;

Green onions (as many as you like)



Jalapeno (I used about 1 tsp)

1 tsp brown sugar mixture

Stir well

Serve with a savory side of brown rice

More tasty pork and citrus, more having Nick home from college, more sharing family dinners together again……

Please visit me at http://vanessanunleydesigns.com to learn more about my Interior Design services.

To schedule an Interior Design or Life Style consultation, and for any questions or comments, please email me at moreismoremom@aol.com

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In the Red…..

 As the More is More Mom®, I’m all about……more seeing RED! Color inspires an amazing visual and emotional experience. For me, I am simply a red girl. Valentine’s Day is the perfect time to celebrate this fabulous scarlet hue…..





The toile pattern is an absolute classic; always beautiful in all of its incarnations. While pastoral and oriental themes are to die for, I love the nod to nature featuring birds and butterflies (another of my favorites!).





What a YUMMY chair! This would be fabulous tucked into the corner of a Living Room, a Foyer, or as host and hostess chairs in a Dining Room…..how glam! I would even sit on it while eating Green Eggs and Ham!


Throw pillows can add an inexpensive pop of personality! While they are at home on a sofa, chair, bed or bench, I love them in a more unexpected place, like a Dining Room chair; comfort, color and interest!




I am a sucker for Chinoiserie and anything red! Wouldn’t this be fabulous tucked in a Powder Room, Hallway or over a bureau?



The chandelier is a total statement piece. This would be a bold choice in a Dining Room, Bedroom or fantastic in a Bathroom.



What is more stately and elegant than Lalique crystal? While the iconic Lalique fish is delicate in stature, it packs a big punch!


The classic urn is an interior style icon. It is at home inside and out, filled with plants, firewood, towels, magazines and anything else you can imagine



Monkeys and elephants are amongst my favorites. They are so playful! Here they are paired in a beautiful, whimsical lamp, which would be perfect bedside, on an end-table or in a Foyer.



Picture frames provide the perfect backdrop to family moments, adding a pop of personality!



A pair of love birds would be adorable nestled on a book shelf, mantel, in a centerpiece or outdoors.


Speaking of the outdoors, while a garden bench is a welcome addition to……a garden, it’s also an adorable appointment in your home as well.


More scarlet hues, more inspirations, more home décor, more beautiful spaces…..  


To schedule an Interior Design or Life Style consultation, or for any questions or comments, please email me at moreismoremom@aol.com

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Ring in the New Year in Style!

As the More is More Mom®, I’m all about……more ringing in the New Year! What better way to celebrate than with beloved family and friends? While a night out on the town is fun, there is nothing like entertaining guests in your home. Last month, I was the featured speaker at the Arlington Design Center where I shared my tips and inspirations for setting beautiful holiday tablescapes. One of my designs was a New Year’s Eve Cocktail Buffet; bold, graphic and sparkly!


After all of the traditional colors of Christmas, I decided to mix it up by developing a color scheme of black, white and silver. With such a simple palette, I decided to shake things up a bit by starting with a base layer with a large scale pattern. When I didn’t find any interesting table coverings, I headed straight to the bedding department at my favorite store, Target (I should be so lucky to be the Target Christmas lady!), and snagged a queen size zebra flat sheet. It was the perfect size to serve as the foundation (and washable too).


Texture is an important element in creating an interesting and dimensional design. I chose a soft, white, fluffy throw blanket as a secondary layer. It reminded me of snow. Now I was ready to really start building.


I love these tall, black iron lanterns. They are perfect flanking your front door or hearth, in your powder room or foyer, out on your deck or patio, or as an anchor to your tablescape. Here, I enhanced the pillar candles with silver sparkling ornaments. Since butterflies are kind of my signature thing, I included a few butterfly ornaments as well. Tying a great big bow on top would have been predictable. When I was a kid, we always watched Fred Astaire and Ginger Rodgers movies at midnight to celebrate the New Year. In homage to Fred, I topped each lantern with a sparkly black top hat.


An organic quality to the table adds an interesting juxtaposition. Instead of fresh flowers, I chose to incorporate these silver leaf branches. They add both height and style as a centerpiece. As a complement to the branches, I snagged two raffia balls from the craft store and spray painted them silver to match. Then, I wrapped battery operated LED twinkling lights around the balls to add a little illumination. I then placed each ball in a black urn at the end of each side of the table.


The focus of my table is, of course, the bar. Trays are a fabulous way to corral stemware. Here I chose one of my all-time favorite pieces; a mirrored tray. It’s so glamorous, yet versatile. I placed champagne flutes, a silver ice bucket and my small apothecary jars together as a vignette. I filled one jar with silver ornaments, another with clear crystals, and then threw in a teeny, tiny cream colored bird bath, which held a few more silver ornaments. The whole scene was absolutely precious!


Now it was time to include a few serving pieces to display our appetizers. Because of the symmetry of the rest of our display, I decided to use an identical arrangement on either side. One of the most important elements is elevation. It’s so much more interesting and appealing than dishes, sitting flat, on the table.


All that is left are a few finishing touches. I found these adorable silver leaf cherubs. They reminded me of Baby New Year. I placed one on each side of the mirrored tray. Lastly, I draped silver laurel leaf garland around the tablescape.


What better way to ring in the New Year than with style!


More sparkle, more graphic pattern, more beautiful tablescapes, more celebrations with family and friends…….


To schedule an Interior Design or Life Style consultation, or for any questions or comments, please email me at moreismoremom@aol.com

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Shades of Christmas

As the More is More Mom®, I’m all about…..more colors of the season! While autumn speaks to warm and earthy tones, Christmas is a time for luxury, sparkle and rich, bold hues. Inspiration is absolutely everywhere! One of the simplest ways to transform your space is through color.

When working with my Interior Design clients, I am frequently called upon to develop a color palette. I’m never without my Benjamin Moore fan-deck!  There are so many wonderful ways to incorporate color; paint the walls, the trim, a light fixture, accessories or a piece of furniture. This season, I’ve been inspired by an array of colors in ornaments, home décor and gifts…..

Christmas ornaments always make me happy! What I love most are the whimsical shapes and beautiful colors. This collection of ornaments is so vibrant; a veritable rainbow. The hot pink, bright blue and happy green tones are fantastic!

1348 Razzle Dazzle

791 Paddington Blue

427 Napa Vineyards

Gingerbread is a Christmas classic! Why not envelop your room in a warm caramel color. Red is a happy and gorgeous compliment.

1118 Classic Caramel

Stockings should always be hung by the chimney with care, and these Jester stockings are adorable! Red and green is the ultimate Christmas color combination.

1308 Red Parrot

538 Vienna Green

While ornaments bursting with personality are certainly inspiring, why not look to rich neutrals as a way to express your family’s story? This pillow may be simple in design, but its tones reflect a feeling of calm that would be the perfect back drop to any number of complimentary colors.

HC-79 Greenbriar Beige

One of the season’s greatest luxuries is warm and sumptuous shearling. Several of these colors would be fantastic on your walls, but they all lend themselves to being infused throughout your home by way of throw pillows and blankets, artwork and accessories.

1342 Mardi Gras



1117 Guest House

HC 71 Hasbrouk Brown

1588 Gray Pinstripe

1603 Graphite


With so many amazing inspirations all around us, it’s easy to bring a little bit of the season into every room in our homes.

More Christmas inspiration, more bold hues, more rich neutrals, more creating beautiful homes……

To learn more about Vanessa Nunley Designs, please visit me at http://vanessanunleydesigns.com

To schedule an Interior Design or Life Style consultation, and for any questions or comments, please email me at moreismoremom@aol.com

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Beautiful Christmas Urns and Outdoor Decor……

As the More is More Mom®, I’m all about…….more seasonal outdoor décor! The holidays always give me that warm fuzzy feeling. I love hanging our stockings from our mantle (with care, in hopes that St. Nicholas soon would be there), unwrapping our favorite ornaments and trimming our trees. Because more of everything is always better, I love to pay a little attention to our front porch too.


This year Chuck and I made outdoor decorating an event with Christmas carols playing on my iPod while we sipped champagne in our parkas and worked through the night. It was the perfect way to spend a quiet Sunday evening……


I usually start with garland around our front door. This year, I decided to wrap the 22’ of roping with 250 twinkling lights, a dozen red and green ornaments and a great big green leopard bow. I secured it all to the garland using inexpensive floral wire. It looked great and was so easy!

Last year when we filled our urns with winter greens, I was excited to incorporate these fantastic red bamboo stalks and gigantic Christmas bells. To see that design please visit me at


This time around, I wanted to do something a little different. I found some really fun green butterfly ornaments that I wanted to feature in my arrangements, so in addition to a great variety of greenery, I chose tall and willowy Dogwood branches as an elegant anchor.


After a visit to the nursery we came home with a trunk full of Dogwood, cedar, white pine, balsam and, if I were a master gardener, something else that I would know that name of branches.

In a wide mouthed urn filled with tightly packed dirt (or floral oasis), we started by securing the Dogwood branches in the center, along with our base layer of cedar branches around the perimeter of the urn.

You’ll want to have a pair of pruning sheers handy to trim the branches down to size, placing the largest branches on the bottom and reserving the smaller ones for use as filler at the end of the project.

Because we have a pair of urns, we tried to make each arrangement as similar as possible.

The second layer we worked with was the white pine. They have such a pretty and soft texture. Again, we reserved the smaller branches to use as filler later.

Our third layer was the balsam pine because those branches have a lot of structure and they helped our arrangement really take shape.

Now it was time to start filling in with some personality. After a quick stop at the craft store I found a few more embellishments. Ultimately, I used the additional short thick branches from the nursery, the sparkly gold stems, the tall, red glitter, curly-que stems and all of our little leftover pieces. The whole idea was to make the arrangement really full and luscious.

Once we were satisfied, all that was left was to hang the green butterfly ornaments. They were absolutely beautiful!

To complete our outdoor décor, there were a few final finishing touches.

I tossed a few Christmas throw pillows on the bench and had a little something special planned for the side table.

To continue my red and green theme from the garland and the arrangements of winter greens, I filled three lanterns with red and green ornaments and topped the two red lanterns with leopard bows. They were adorable!

Now that the outdoors is ready to welcome a spectacular holiday season, I’d better get moving on the inside.

More welcoming the holidays, more creative and quality time spent with Chuck, more merry making, more outdoor seasonal décor…..

To schedule an Interior Design appointment or life style consultation, or for questions or comments please send me an email to moreismoremom@aol.com

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