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Q. Monique Allen is a Washington, D.C. based residential interior design and lifestyle blog dedicated to capturing and chronicling my experience as a first time custom home builder, consultant on design projects, and consumer of all things "mountain modern" including furniture, fabric, accessories, lighting, and more.



I confess...I agonize over making decorative choices sometimes. There are just so many pretty options for everything from silverware to bed linen...it makes it tough to put a stake in the ground and say, YES, this is the one. But, alas, I do it all the time. After researching my options (sometimes exhaustively), I do end up making choices that I love with my whole, entire heart.

Recently, I had to outfit our vacation rental with exterior lights. Wow, did I come across some...

A year and four months we signed on the dotted line to purchase a rocky lot with a questionable view in the Wintergreen Resort, much to our delight we finally have a house! We were originally told that the process should take about 9 months. Due to weather and major foundation issues, the building process was extensively delayed. I really wanted to spend Christmas in the house, but we received the certificate of occupancy on the Friday before so it just wasn't feasible. We...

I know, this #RusticRoundUp is probably my least relatable yet...BUT, we can all dream right?! Who doesn't want a suspended bridge walkway to their front door or an interior catwalk high above the main living area? It's ridiculously cool and adds a modern feel to any decor.

When we decided to build a vacation rental in Wintergreen, VA we were looking for an interesting lot with good views (we did not have "great views" money). After looking at a bunch of lack...

I wish we all had free access to the awesome software that Joanna Gaines uses in Fixer Upper. It would be amazing to see 3D images of a space before making any changes or buying furniture. But, that's just not an option for design enthusiasts like me. I'll bet it isn't for you either!

I have loved design forever. I didn't want to choose it as a career but I've taken my fair share of classes. Many years ago, I moved into a hip, newly renovated condo in Atlanta on t...

When you see a house, one of the first things that you see is the front door! To maximize curb appeal and create an enticing entry, a grand front door is vital. If you've been following along, you know that my husband and I are building a vacation rental in Wintergreen, VA. Since the windows and doors had to be ordered pretty early on, we were asked to choose a front door as one of our early design decisions.

We really wanted a 4 or 5 panel door with frosted glass encased i...

Nothing says rustic glam or mountain modern like a statement making fireplace. Anchoring the living room, recreation room or the master suite, fireplaces are essential for vacation homes in cold locales. It's a practical and beautiful addition to any mountain home.

Right now, I am in the process of designing my own fireplace for our vacation rental. It's going to cover an entire wall in the main living area. So, it needs several key features like mixed materials, rustic but...

The 10 Most Beautiful Rustic Kitchens Ever

New feature! On the blog each week, I am introducing a new feature #RusticRoundUp! I am also happy to introduce you to my new hashtag #IAmRusticChic.

The new feature gathers the best 10ish examples of rustic decor in a given category Iike kitchens, baths, exteriors, etc. Those images will be featured in a collage and posted on the blog. I will include the photo, source if I have it, and one or two things that I love! 

So, l...

I used to go to church a lot more than I do now. Over the years, I have heard one of my favorite sermons preached on 2 separate occasions by 2 different preachers. While it makes me wonder if the sermon is downloadable on the internet somewhere, I have to give credit where credit is due. It's a heck of a message. The title, in both cases (he he!), was "Thank God for Closed Doors." The premise was simple. There is a reason why we don't get what we want in the world. Because...

What an exciting time! Many families dream of a second home by the water, in the mountains, on a farm or a location that is simply away from it all. However, a second home is a major investment of both time and money. To make owning a second home more affordable, many homeowners, like me, buy or build a vacation home with rental income as a secondary priority. If you fall into that category, here are 4 easy steps to improve your income and secure your investment. 

1 - Choos...

This holiday season I have devoured photos of mountain and lake retreats all decked out for the holidays. Most homes were decorated in a minimal but tasteful style. This makes perfect sense to me because I can't imagine having to haul holiday decorations to a second location or attempt to store boxes upon boxes of bulbs, lights and bows. Nope. Simple is best.

The team that is working on the house just updated me on its (somewhat) slow process. Apparently, the engineers...

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Q. Monique Allen

Have you ever felt like there is something really special that brings you joy that you simply don't do enough of? I'm not sure what that might be for you, but for me, it's feeding my passion for interior design, furniture and the arts (all of them - visual, performing, culinary...). With a full time career in financial services in Washington, DC, a bustling family, a demanding schedule (and the list goes on), it's tough to find time for things that you love! But, I've committed to MORE. More inspiration...more hands on expression of my own creativity...and more beauty in my world. As I explore and expand my own space and fill it with chic "mountain modern" design, experiences, and ideas, I look forward to using this lifestyle and design blog to share them with you.

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@2015 Q. Monique Allen

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