Saturday, December 29, 2012

Letter to a friend about #Hope4Haiti2012 mission trip

(I received a note on Facebook from a trusted friend wanting to know more about Haiti; as He & his family are considering a trip... I am using my response as a base for and the beginning of the first online digital account of my trip to Haiti. I am sharing the truth as I see it and would tell any friend. I hope you can see through my words how grateful I am for the life changing experience I had in Haiti! Bon Dye Bon Tou tan! (God is good all the time!)

Dear Friend,

What an awesome thing to think about! A trip to Haiti is an experience you will never forget!!!
Our team plans to go back & help build the orphanage on the new site in Onaville. We hope very soon... We only need to raise 100k to build it & furnish it... Only!
You are right about so many words! So many experiences... I can briefly tell you that I will never be the same & I'm so thankful for the way God opened my eyes while I was there.
We learned so much about what to do & what not to do and found each person's strengths to benefit the team in a way we couldn't have really imagined before hand... We talked about a team of 50 coming back of all ages... Our thoughts were anyone from 12-13 and above... There are things there I'm not sure a 9 year old needs to see... Openly happening on the street as you drive by. As a parent you know your child & perhaps he/she is mature enough to handle it... But I'd strongly caution you to think about it before seriously considering bringing a kid under 12. I'm 37 and I thought I had walked a wild side of life once a long time ago... But there is absolutely nothing in America that will prepare you for this....
There is a beautiful tourist side of Haiti and its like being in Puerto Rico resorts after landing in San Juan... You can go to the beaches for a fee... But after you get to know the people of Haiti you see beauty in every face & on every street & corner in Haiti...
God made us all! He loves all the little children of the world!
We stayed with Pastor Estecuer Olistin that my father knows and has worked with since going right after the earthquake. We sang in the church my father helped rebuild the foundation for (one bucket bucket bucket at a time) every night that we were there! Yes worship every single night!
My first journal entry read something about how awful dirty & filthy such a beautiful place had become on earth... Why did God let any of us live... Least of all anyone who could destroy paradise.... By weeks end I wanted to run & not get on the plane. I wanted to call my husband & have he and my 12 year old son move there... I saw the people of Haiti through Christ's eyes... First hand getting to know the people kind of seeing...
Onaville, Haiti (the foundation of the new orphanage has just begun)
My eyes were opened and I saw myself no better than the dirtiest beggar in Haiti... I was awakened in a way that is hard to describe. I honestly pray I will never ever return to who I had become because of hurt & failure... I really became a daughter of the King of Kings in Haiti... I see those children like one of the songs I heard on 104.7 the fish that inspired me to finally make the decision to start raising money and go to Haiti "Kings & Queens by Audio Adrenaline"
I haven't even begun my first blog yet so I may use this as my first post... I'll call it Letter to a friend about #Hope4Haiti2012
I am now a Haitian American. And if you choose to go and see for yourself you Will See!!! You will understand God's love in a whole new way... I went to give love & hope to orphans before Christmas. I received the greatest gift I've ever gotten!!! Real joy & love found in the faces hearts and kindness of the people I met in Haiti... And how Christ can help us to show love in extraordinary ways we didn't think possible...
Hope I didn't go on & on but there is so much more.... Ill share my blog once I finally get it written.... I hope to write a series of blogs about my experience. With every post I hope to gain awareness about the needs in Haiti & spread hope to those there by continuing to give & have others join our team!
Hope you have an amazing 2013!
Blessings & Love,

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Help 4 Haiti December Mission Trip 2012

Dear Family and Friends,

We are excited to announce that we have an amazing opportunity to go and serve over 175 orphans in Haiti this December during our upcoming Christmas season mission trip! Right now we are in the process of planning some back-yard bible club type of activities for the kids each day, encouragement studies for the local women and assessing some future construction plans for the orphanage. The orphanage has been given property by the city of Port Au Prince to build new spaces to give refuge to even more of the 750,000 orphans that still remain in Haiti after the 2010 earthquake.
This past year the Chalmers Family has been raising funds for the orphanage by promoting individual sponsorships of children that are currently housed there. We look forward to finally going and seeing so many of the children that are currently being sponsored by some of our family and friends! One of our main goals is to bring hope to the orphans and the surrounding communities by sharing with them the love of Jesus. We hope to reach not only their physical needs by providing christmas presents to each child and giving out food in tent cities but to also meet the much deeper spiritual need that is represented in the devastated nation of Haiti. We feel called to not only send things to the orphans but to also “visit orphans... in their affliction” as it says to do in James 1:27.
Please consider prayerfully joining us in this endeavor however God may lead you. We would love to acquire a team over these next two months that will commit to pray for us as we prepare for this trip. Feel free to contact Nancy at for more information on joining our prayer team. Feel free to contact Louis at for more information on giving a financial contribution. Be sure to put Haiti Relief Trip in the memo line of any checks. Our financial goal is to raise over $5000 for this trip. Let us know if you can help in any way!!!

God bless,

Louis, Nancy, Andrew Chalmers and 
Olivia Millwood

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Please vote for me to become the 9th Style Spotter for #HPMkt

Remember you can help me become the 9th Style Spotter for High Point Furniture Market this fall by voting once per day on
#HPMkt Be the 9th #StyleSpotter Retro Modern Chic
 Please vote for me! The Contest to become the 9th Style Spotter for this Fall’s High Point Market in NC has begun and will run through August 22. I will need daily votes to stay in the top 8! I’m thrilled to even have made it into the contest, but to be on the front page of an olioboard designer challenge after the first day of voting is awesome! A very first for me as well on any contest I have entered on olioboard so far. So let me thank everyone who has already voted for my board! It means so much! This is a tough contest filled with other talented designers. We all want to win, but I hope that you my friends and readers will help me make it to the first spot by the end of this contest. Thanks for all the support and I hope you won’t get burned out with me asking for votes on twitter, facebook, pinterest and google+


Monday, July 30, 2012

#MomHop #OlioHop Spots for Mom to escape to using Olioboard

Good morning! I hope you've grabbed your coffee and are ready for a little fun with #MomSpots for our Monday #OlioHop.

I have an active 12 year old son so I understand the desire to have a space of your very own. When you are a mom, it can be difficult to even begin to find a serene spot in your home to enjoy just the things you love or just unwind. Here are a few dreamy moodboards I've created on olioboard that I think any mom (especially me) would love to escape to! The first one is a recent creation. I designed it to be a multi-purpose office/craft room.

"#MomHop #OlioHop Serene Craft Room and Office"#MomHop #OlioHop Serene Craft Room and Office

I thought with enough storage and organization one room could be used for both. I love beading, creating custom jewlery and making glass pendants for necklaces. If you are into crafting, then you already know that with this hobby comes lots of little things that need to be available to use to make your creations. I fell in love with the Bella Display Cabinet from Old Biscayne Designs on this moodboard right away. The glass lends itself to making it easy to see what you have stored and yet create a way to put away all those things in a gorgeous piece of furniture. I can just imagine the shelves lined with my beading supplies arranged neatly in separate storage bins. If you'd like to check out more of the items on this board once you click on the moodboard, you can see a list of the items below to discover what other designer brands I used in this and my other boards. 

"Client Living Room Board"

Client Living Room Board
 The moodboard above was inspired from an actual client's living room. We designed this room for our client with the special intent of making it a room in the house just for her. Every other room in her home needed to be child friendly as she has two small little boys under the age of 4.

From the initial concept all the way to the finishing touches; the main specification for us as designers was to create a little haven for our client. We told her, this is one room you get to say is off limits to your boys. This is the one room you can escape to when you want a moment of peace and quite. Every time we go back and visit with her she tells us that this is her favorite room in her home. The wall color is even a relaxing favorite from Benjamin Moore paints called woodlawn blue.  

This next moodboard I created after reading Jennifer Duchene's book "Le Chic Cocoon" If you are looking for ways to create your very own #MomSpot then you should definitively read this book!  Even if you aren't a mother it's a wonderful inspirational book with pointers on how to get started creating your own "selfish space". It also makes it very clear that it is okay to want and need a spot of your own. I think we are so often taught to be unselfish as women in general.The book really opened my eyes and explained why having a "selfish space" is vital for everyone in the family, not just me! 

"Stanford Furniture Julie Browning Bova Collection" 

Stanford Furniture Julie Browning Bova collection

I hope you've been inspired by some of my moodboards to create some of your very own dreamy moodboards on olioboard. Please make sure to #OlioHop on over to these other fabulous design bloggers for our #MomSpots #MomHop. We all heart comments! Thanks and Happy #OlioHopping...


Kate of Dabble In Chic

Marilyn of Design Magnifique

Julie of Simply Savvy

Colette of Frugal Finds

Joanne of Home Styling 101

Antoinette of Push Interiors 

Katrina of Seaside Interiors

Monday, July 16, 2012

And the Winners Are: All of us! Thanks to olioboards Get Organized Contest

Head over to and vote for these fabulous organization themed mood boards! There is only a few hours left to vote so get to it! Plus you might just pick up a few ideas to organize your own space while voting! I have my favorites voted for and found some amazing ideas for my closet as well as my living room and the rest of my house!
Have a great week! I hope to join in the next #OlioHop so stay tuned for my next entry! 

Thanks for reading and Happy Voting and Organizing!

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Chalmers Construction and Niche by design Video Audition

We were contacted by an entertainment on Tuesday of last week. They sent us an email and said they were looking for a family business that was based on construction or interior design. We happen to be both. We thought what the heck! You never know what could come from an opportunity like this. So we gave it a try! This is the video we created to send in. We spent two fun days creating and then editing this film. We are by no means professionals but we sure had fun! We hope you enjoy our little video! Wish us luck! We still haven’t heard back from the entertainment company yet!

Monday, June 11, 2012

Moodboard Monday Blog Hop Children's rooms and Playrooms

I'm pretty sure I've been a dreamer all my life. Even as a child I liked to use my imagination to dream of distant places or fun exciting adventures. I suppose this is why when I create children's room's on olioboard, I can't help but let my imagination soar. I think all children should dream, and dream big. If their room is a place where creativity can thrive I believe "the sky's the limit" for what they can accomplish as adults. 

This was my first attempt at a children's room moodboard. I had so much fun compiling this visual dream room for a contest that was held on olioboard. I found the room in a set on and began dreaming up the room right away. I wanted it to be different and speak to the dreamer in all of us. I wanted it to feel as if you were walking into a story book of a room. The bed is from Posh Tots and since my son's name begins with an S I just had to have it for my room. I loved it as a simple backdrop against a very wild and adventurous room. At bedtime it is nice to just sleep. The rest of the room is meant to make imaginations grow and explore. It's more of a fantasy room, but if I had the chance I would live in one just like it. My son said he'd love to live in there, and when I showed it to him, he began explaining how he'd love climbing up after all his favorite books. As a mom, I must say this made my whole week! 

Both the green chair and love seat area also from Posh Tots. One of the fun things about creating with olioboard is that you can either choose products directly from the website or capture products from other favorite brands that aren't listed on olioboard.

It's a Big world Dream Big            
The bright primary color scheme I chose for this room promotes learning and imagination. I wanted the child in this room to love reading, dreaming, exploring, and using his or her imagination. I just love how shopping online and placing items in a room can turn into something like  the image above. Olioboard can be a great tool help a client (or you) see your ideas in  3D. It gives them(& you) a sense of what the room will really feel like once your interior design project is complete.

The next moodboard I created for inspiration and ideas for a client who wants to remodel her basement and turn one room into the children's playroom. I used the ikea shelving because she requested that I help her figure out how to arrange them. It was a great way for me to get a visual of what they would look like in a space similar to hers. 
The color scheme was inspired by a children's table and chair set that my client already purchased. Tangerine and bright green for bright pops in accessories and accents. Adding in some fun blues and then neutrals for wall and floor colors. 

Source: Uploaded by user via Olivia on Pinterest

I really do enjoy creating children's rooms and spaces. My imagination gets a chance to come out and play. I was able to pull together paint colors, window treatment ideas, rugs, lighting, pillows, and even toys from olioboard and other online shopping resources. It's almost like magic when you complete a board and post it. I love the community on olioboard and all the encouragement and feedback that is shared. It really does help my creativity to have such support from an amazing set of designers and bloggers online. 

I hope you've enjoyed blog hopping around this Monday and found some inspiration to begin your very own moodboard. There are great tutorials on the site explaining how to create your own moodboard. It's such a fun way to imagine how a room can look and feel. What will be  your first design? A playroom, nursery, or children's bedroom perhaps? Maybe you're dreaming of redecorating your own bedroom or living room. There are endless options on olioboard. Have fun!~ 

In case we haven't met online or otherwise, I'm Olivia Millwood interior designer and social media marketer for  I'm also known as @swaygrl on twitter, which is where the name of my blog comes from. I love to hear from my readers, so don't be shy leave me some comments here and on twitter.... 

I'd like to thank Leslie Carothers of The Kaleidoscope Partnership  and her client for including me in this #OlioHop Blog Hop! What an amazing group of interior designers and bloggers to be included with, I'm truly honored! 

Please also enjoy these fabulous blogs written by the best of the best in interior design for our Monday Moodboard #Oliohop Blog Hop:

Jennifer Reynolds Interiors

Selma Hammer Designs

Stacy Naquin Interiors

Monday, May 21, 2012

Mad for Mid-Century Modern olioboard room design

Mad for Mid Century Blue days

My latest creation. "Mad for Mid-Century Modern"

Mid-century Modern is my personal favorite interior design style! This room was inspired from watching Mad Men on AMC and I started it to enter one of the fun contests on I dream of being a set decorator for a show like that! Wouldn't that be such a cool job! As an interior designer in the suburbs of  Atlanta, I've yet to come across a client who will let me go all out mid-century modern. I've been lucky to add a few touches here and there with some of my clients who would be considered transitional in style....But as a whole, it's not as hot here in the south as I imagine it must be in NYC.

I used the wallpaper because it just felt retro to me. The sofa just screams mid-century and reminds me of one I've seen on Mad Men. I would love one just like it in my own dream home! The tea cart is just so sweet and I can imagine the fellas in the office at Mad Men gathering around and getting their drinks and toasts going for the latest successful client deal they signed. The lamps are just a perfect touch with that sofa. And who wouldn't want to try out those crazy modern looking chairs! My color pallet is very retro in it's nature. Turquoise, yellow and gray are hot combinations now, but they are from back in the 60's too!

Do you  ever notice in fashion and interior design the way trends come back around? My mom Nancy of and I have had some great conversations about this very subject.  We haven't come up with the exact number of years that we think trends come back around, but we have had a lot of fun thinking about it. What if you kept all your stuff for 25 years? Would it be back in style again by then? Would you still love it? I think unless you had some great storage or a lot of  money  that keeping your furniture and accessories for that long would be difficult. I know I'd be sick of my stuff after a few years... Unless it was something that wasn't trendy, a piece of forever furniture. Where do you get forever furniture? I have a few ideas. If you'd like to find out contact us at Niche by design, and I'll be happy to share them with you!

Would you like your home filled with treasures like these?

I'm thinking of updating my board and adding more items on

What do you think of it so far?  Please leave me a comment below! As always thanks for reading!

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Baseball Mom yeah that's me!

My son is playing little league baseball this year. He's 12 so this is serious! I'm more excited about this year because he's so excited. The first couople of years he was out there but not really into the game.

This year is completely different! He can't wait for practice. Can't wait for game day! He's always talking baseball with his dad( & coach) and trying to soak up every bit of knowledge he can about it. Sean has even played infield positions this year. 2nd and 3rd so far.

To say I'm a proud mama is an understatement.... Whether his team looses or wins this year, Sean is winning every game because he's more focused, he's learning new positions and really enjoys playing the game! Let's go Phillies!

Practice game

Monday, January 30, 2012

Super Bowl Man Cave dreams using Olioboard and Spirit of Sports art

Man Cave the Super Bowl is coming! Would your husband like this room? I began my olioboard in a 2D room.

I soon found a room that gave my ideas a 3D view. Added panels and moved things around. This is my first entry in the Spirit of Sports Olioborad Super Bowl Man Cave contest.
I used other friends from twitter furniture in this board. @jbint designed the luxurious cashmere chair. @maybelinete 's sofa from her company @snugfurniture. I had so much fun creating this board and dreaming of making my hubby the perfect man cave for the upcoming Super Bowl.

Click here to vote for my first entry:

During a BlogTalk radio with @tkpleslie Leslie Carothers of The Kaleidoscope Partnership ( discussed the upcoming contets on olioboard. She introduced us to a group called Man Cave Worldwide. I found thier facebook page where they featured top man caves. This olioboard is isnpired by one of those photos. Motorcycles in the man cave! What could be more manly! This is my 2nd entry in the Super Bowl Man Cave contest on olioboard sponsored by Spirit of Sports.

Wish me luck and please give me a vote on one or both of my entries. The top two will be featured on the Today Show this February! Imagine that, my olioboard being flashed across my favorite morning show! Dream come true for 2012 I'd say!

Click here to vote for my 2nd entry:

Thanks and please leave any comments or questions below!
My olioboards:

This was inspired from a dear twitter friend's collection Julie Browning Bova @jbint
I love this bedroom! I want that bed from Harden for my house!

My very first olioboard... Harden Furniture pieces with lighting accent furniture and wallpaper

Friday, January 6, 2012

Please pick me for Blog Tour 2012

Tell us you’d like to be considered for one of the BlogTours

I can't think of a better opportunity for someone like me! I love design, have been around interior design my whole life.I have always dreamed of visiting Europe and hanging with the finest of bloggers from around the globe to see it would be amazing! I am connected on many social media sites. I have some of the most amazing friends on twitter and facebook in the design industry. I think by going on this tour I'd be able to accomplish one of my goals for 2012 and turn my blog into something that I've only dreamed it might be!

    1. Let us know which design destination for 2012 would be your favorite
    2. Paris!!! Any of them will be fabulous, but there is something so dreamy and romantic about Paris!!!

    I'm going to pick Paris for the question's sake! What a dream! I'd love visiting all of the locations on the tour, but there is just something so magical and romantic about Paris.

    1. Share in no more than five sentences why you should be selected

    2. I have a stellar following on twitter. I am connected with some of the finest people online because of twitter. I enjoy blogging, even if I need to get better at it. I love social media. I'm passionate about interior design. I've learned so much in the last few years I think my fresh perspective is a plus. I'm excited about taking a trip like this and would do everything in my power to share and make it a huge success. I was a part of a phenomenal group this time last year for #WMCLVMkt helping Leslie Carothers #teamtkp , the moggitgirls and ABCDDesigns teach social media to the attendees of #LVMkt.

    3. Leave a link to your blog and your Twitter handle or other social media accounts.

    I have more available upon request!

    All I can say is this would make my dreams come true in 2012! Please pick me for BlogTour2012~

    I'd like to thank Jenn Brouwer for sharing her post with me and letting me know to enter the contest!

Monday, January 2, 2012

i love Coffee

It's 2012! The first Monday of 2012 in fact! What was the first thing you grabbed when you woke up? Well after your phone I mean... LOL I get my coffee pot going!
This is my blog devoted to my love of coffee! One of my resolutions for the new year is to blog at least once a week about specific topics that matter to me. Perhaps if I write about things I love others will find something to say or just enjoy reading my crazy words. At any rate, coffee is one of my passions! I love a good cup of coffee in the morning and an hour or two with my friends on twitter!
I received an awesome gift this year for Christmas from my parents. Now that I have one I'm not sure how I lived with out it for all these years! As much as I love coffee, you'd think I'd have always had one. A grinder! Yeah! I have fresh ground coffee in the morning! Woot!

Happy New Year... Here's to keeping your goals, resolutions, and may all your dreams come true in 2012~

Let's dream big!

As always, I appreciate your comments & questions below.