writer and editor

Bangkok, New York, Pittsburgh



Let Your Home Tell Your Story

Your home is your oasis, but it's also a spectacular canvas to celebrate your history. Carrie Nardini chose the soft shade of turquoise for her Brookline kitchen for more than just its beauty. It’s the iconic color of a range of Pyrex mixing bowls used by American moms — including Nardini’s beloved grandmother, who died in 2008 — since the 1950s.
Pittsburgh Magazine Link to Story

ASK A DESIGNER: Finding a look you love in outdoor decor

For decades, "outdoor decorating" meant arranging a few nice chairs and a table near a barbecue grill, then adding an umbrella to block the summer sun. But as patios and decks have morphed into "outdoor living rooms," the bar has risen for outdoor style and comfort. "HGTV Design Star" judge Vern Yip says he knew we'd reached a new level of outdoor decorating this year when he discovered a fully upholstered, tufted, Chesterfield-style sofa designed for outdoor use.
Yahoo! Link to Story

Rethinking the basement for spring

Basements can be cold and dark, and often get much less decorating attention than the rest of the house. But you can gain new, useful and stylish living space by upgrading that subterranean space. Step one is addressing any risk of flooding or water leakage. Bring in a professional to assess the risk and recommend safety measures.
Associated Press Link to Story

Ask a Designer: decorating indoors with plants

From kitchen herb gardens to miniature indoor trees, interior designers are increasingly bringing plants into their home design projects. And so can you.
The Washington Post Link to Story

Ask a Designer: designing a functional yet stylish mudroom

Once a staple only in larger houses, mudrooms have increasingly become essential elements even for apartment dwellers and those with small homes.
The Washington Post Link to Story

Ask a Designer: Simple Ways to Cheer up Your Home in Winter

During these chilly and gray days of mid-winter, many of us look to our homes as sanctuaries. The standard advice for cheering up your living space is to add a few splashes of bright, happy color, says designer Maxwell Ryan. But while that may seem like an easy solution, he says, it's actually not very effective. Link to Story

Gorgeous & Affordable: Painting A Hardwood Floor

Homeowners and DIY enthusiasts update a traditional approach to personalizing and brightening up a room. Chuck Stockdill is manning the counter at the PPG Paints shop in Hampton Township, where I’ve come for advice. He thinks I’m crazy, speaking over me as I try to explain. Painted floors are a hot topic on design blogs these days, I tell him.
Pittsburgh Magazine Link to Story

How to Use K-Cups, Guilt-Free

Maybe it happened over the holidays: Someone gave you one of those coffee makers that take single-use pods. Before you know it, you’ve got an entire kitchen drawer filled with tiny plastic cups that turn into caramel lattes, peppermint mochas, or steaming cups of espresso at the touch of a button.
TakePart Link to Story

ASK A DESIGNER: Kitchen trends and innovations for 2017

Americans briefly scaled back the scope of home renovation projects after the recession began nearly a decade ago, says interior designer and "HGTV Design Star" judge Vern Yip. But even during the peak of that focus on smaller, more sustainable living, the size and complexity of kitchen designs continued to grow.
Houston Chronicle Link to Story

How to convert a spare room into a dream closet

Remember that rooms in your home don’t have to be used the way they were originally intended. Get creative and convert a small room into the ultimate walk-in closet, says Egypt Sherrod, host of HGTV’s “Flipping Virgins” and “Property Virgins.”. “Homes built before the ‘80s just didn’t have the room size that today’s buyers have become used to, or the walk-in closets we’ve been trained to expect,” she says.
The Post and Courier Link to Story

Store Wars: Make It Easy with a Mudroom

What once was the most utilitarian room in any house has become the new darling of design. Forget cool kitchens and elaborate master baths: In this season of snowy boots, it’s all about the mudroom. Here in western Pennsylvania, mudrooms always have been a welcome feature. It was a treat if your new home included one and a popular addition if it didn’t.
Pittsburgh Magazine Link to Story

Five apps to help families stay in touch and on task

CONTRIBUTED PHOTO We hear a lot about families spending too much time distracted by digital devices. But screens do have some family-friendly benefits: New apps can help family members stay connected and coordinated. Here is a handful of Apple- and Androidfriendly apps that might help keep your little group in touch and on task:
The Times Record Link to Story



Melissa Rayworth is a freelance writer and editor exploring the building blocks of modern life, including parenting and marriage, the myths and realities of modern suburbia, work/life balance and beauty/body image issues. She frequently writes feature stories for The Associated Press and, among other clients. She has also contributed to several anthologies, including the SmartPop book series.

Melissa currently splits her time between Pittsburgh, New York and Bangkok, Thailand. She tweets at @mrayworth.