Three Top Twos for 2019


As 2019 gets underway and we all take stock of who we are, what we love, and what we want to improve, our homes inevitably become part of the conversation. We all want to live in spaces that we love. We all want to Love Life at Home.

How to get started, you wonder? To get a jumpstart, we went straight to the source.

Do designers practice what they preach? Well, it just so happens to be the case when it comes to Ili Hidalgo-Nilsson. It does beg the question how the keeper of the shop key here at Terracotta has any time to make architectural design decisions about her townhome in Decatur. But indeed she does! And here’s a glimpse at what inspires her and can inspire you. She’ll tell you that it starts with a lifestyle, and things you’ve collected, edited and curated. In her words, “you have to rub some of yourself onto the walls.”

We had a sit down and kicked around her 3 Top Twos, thus shedding some insight into her “design guru-ness” and giving you a springboard of ideas,  but watch the video to get the full lowdown and hear it in her own words.


Red Papaya: What are two top design elements that you love about your home?

Ili Hidalgo-Nilsson:   1. Crisp white walls! Bright white gloss walls are luminous and amplify space. They also provide the perfect canvas for unexpected punches of color on the cabinets,  furniture and artwork. I like to go light on drapery and let the windows pour in gorgeous sunlight that highlights my favorite pieces of artwork.     2. Statement details.  Search for unique lights and artisan hardware… both are game-changers when it comes to integrating personality into any space. Details like our “spider” light (below) can command the living room. I also love to add hardware like it is jewelry. Pair metals and bold finishes, such as the green gloss vanity, for a chic and daring transformation. 


RP:  What are two top favorite things you love to do at home?

Ili:  1. Indulge in small luxuries. I love to curl up on the sofa with my dog Ziva (pictured below) on a Saturday morning for a Netflix marathon. My bedroom sofa includes a chaise for lounging. Make sure the cushions are structured but comfortable and the throws and pillows abundant!     2. Make your bedroom your sanctuary. I always look forward to unwinding at the end of the day with soft music and a good book. Treat yourself to quality linens, a good sound system, and smart nightstands that hold you favorite reads. Pick colors that soothe your soul. Dusty shades of blue, green and pink are my go-to zen palette after a crazy day. 

RP: What are two top favorite recipes you prepare for your house guests?

Ili:  1.  Oh, definitely the triple blue-cheese olive gin martini to accompany a lavish charcuterie board! I keep a well appointed butler’s bar just for these occasions. It’s just fun to mix a drink and get the evening started.     2. The biggest, most spirited Spanish omelette I can make, chock full of onions, garlic, potatoes, and chorizo. Food made with love as guests gather in the heart of the house, hanging out to help me prep, taste test or chop… but mostly sipping and gabbing, which is awesome. There can never be too many cooks in the kitchen, so I intentionally designed this space to embrace the phenomena that everyone always gravitates to the kitchen. 

So it’s YOUR turn now!

At the beginning of a brand new year, we invite you to take stock of what you love about your home and what you would like to change. Let the Terracotta team help you love life at home in 2019.

Love life at home. ❤


Many thanks to Jeff Herr, michellefreed blog spot,  weight watchers, and HGTV for inspiring imagery.













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