Tuesday, January 31, 2012

A little Chandelier "how to" ...

Do you know the best trick in determining the perfect size chandelier or lantern for your room?  It is so easy and will make your decision process so much simpler!

Take the dimensions of your room ... 20" X 15" ... add those together ... 35" ... that should be the "perfect" diameter size for your room.  Now, this is not hard and fast ... you can go a little smaller or a little larger.  It depends on the look you are after.  But this is the starting point for your hunt!

This week for the One Room Challenge we are working on several details in the room.  One of which is choosing the overhead lighting.  There are already 4 can lights.  We have put them on a dimmer switch and now we need to replace the White Fan!!

Here is our Lantern inspiration:

But at $1,050 ... we are looking for something similar.  The four lights, the "openness" of the sides and the bottom so it will cast light. 

Okay, but a little too "gothic" and only two bulbs ... 

Ballard Designs
The Winner!  From Ballard Designs.  Softer lines, 4 bulbs and open!

Check in tomorrow to see this lantern in place ... and a few more improvements!



Monday, January 30, 2012

Urban Walls!

Found these fun Wall Decals on Etsy ... if you are feeling a little shy about testing your own artistic abilities, then head over and look at these.  A bolt of fun or whimsy if you are feeling a little bored this winter ... for the right space ... just might perk up your spirits!

You know how I love a good gallery wall!

Kind of Alfred Hitchcock-ish!

I prefer my birds in a cage!

All Images

Have a great week ... and do something artsy!!



Friday, January 27, 2012

Bluebonnets go Shabby Chic!

One of my dearest friends is a gardener, a lover of fairies and all things beautiful!  When I think of bluebonnets, I think of Heather.  She lives in Austin and we were lucky enough to visit with Erin and Callie were younger.  Here they are at the Austin Botanical Gardens ... the bluebonnets were absolutely breathtaking!

Fast-forward and I am reading in my new favorite magazine Garden & Gun.  The "Travel and Adventure for the Southern Soul" Section was particularly personal this month!  Rachel Ashwell of Shabby Chic has not only opened a shop, but a bed and breakfast in Round Top, Texas!  

There are several different cottages on the property you can choose from.  For obviously sentimental reasons ...  but also for the simple beauty ... my pick is the BlueBonnet Cottage! 

And did I happen to mention the Round Top Antique Fair ... and the Junk Gypsies.  I have so many things to accomplish here.  Three for the Price of One!

Looking forward to a Texas trek ... sometime soon, I hope!!

Have a wonderful weekend!



Thursday, January 26, 2012

Louis Jadot 2008 Meursault

What a fabulous wine Kim and I enjoyed last night. A Chardonnay from the Cote de Beaune region of Burgundy, the 2008 Louis Jadot Meursault. Unlike the typically extracted California Chardonnay, this beautifully balanced white is teeming with honey, clove, citrus and mineral. It envelopes your entire mouth and has a finish that lasts almost a minute, it’s simply wonderful. A little on the pricey side at about $38.00 but compared to a similar quality California based Chardonnay it’s a deal. On the off chance you were wondering, Meursault, is just a bit further north in the Cote de Beaune region than it’s more famous neighbor Puligny-Montrachet. There are no Grand Cru Vineyards in Meursault which is probably why they can sell their wines at a significantly lower price point (add $30-$300 more per bottle for the Grand Cru’s). But do not worry, you do not give up much if anything in quality. Meursault almost exclusively produces whites so you are always assured of a pretty good bottle. If you have not tried one, do it, you will not be disappointed and you may become a white Burgundy fan for life.

Enjoy the wine.


Wednesday, January 25, 2012

It's All About Personality!

Here We Go ...  Week Two of the One Room Challange!

Creating a custom room and design doesn't mean you have to break the bank or be rolling in the dough!  I encourage all my customers to work with me to be creative in their space.  Let's not go to the big box store and buy the catalog cover room ... yes, they are pretty, and soothing and pulled together.  But they aren't "you" ... it is someone else's personality ... we MUST have your personality ... or it will never feel like home!

Remember our room is taking a double role of family room and living room ... we want the furniture to speak to both. I happen to love sectional sofas.  But they aren't right for the role of this room.  We want it to be comfy and inviting ... but keep a level of sophistication for entertaining.

When we left off last week, we had made a decision on our inspiration fabrics:

And we added a rug!

A. Rug from West Elm
B. Stripe from Duralee
C. Butterscotch Ikat from Duralee
D. Pumpkin from Duralee

Here's how they will be used:

We will choose a stock neutral fabric for this Sofa from Mitchell - Gold.
The Charlotte

The Room is large enough, and since we are not going to use a sectional, but want to maximize seating ... we'll take two of these sofas, please!
Boston Interiors has a nice product and great pricing ... and like Ballard Designs (remember the Chair)... will allow you to choose your own fabric to put on their pieces at no extra cost.  Here's what we chose:

The Apollo

We'll take two of these chairs as well!

The Santa Fe
And One Cocktail Ottoman to round out the room!

The Basics are In Place, now we need to make some structural design changes.

Remember the faux grey and peach marble tile fireplace surround ...  

It is in for a change ... A new solid piece of black granite.  This will neutralize and ground the space while looking richer than the tile effect.  We will also lower the mantle. 

The "vaulted" ceiling gives wonderful height to this room ... but my clients and I would like to see it warm up a little.  We will be adding some beams to the ceiling. 

And, guess what?  The TV.  It will go above the fireplace!!

Things are moving over here ... we'll be showing off the New Fireplace Surround and New Mantle in place next week!!

Are you making changes?  I would love to hear about them!



Please check in with Linda at My Crafty Home Life and our other Challenge Sisters as we transform 15 rooms in 6 weeks!!  I know you can find some inspiration somewhere in here!

Saved By Suzy                                                     Dutch.British.Love
Nicole Scott Design                                               Rue De Emily
The Pink Pagoda                                                   Trapped in North Jersey
Refresheddesigns                                                 Nana Moon Shop
Taylor Morgan                                                       Inside Ways
My Crafty Home Life                                             House Four
(a life style thing)                                                   
Living Savvy

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Lilly's Dragon!

Today is the first day of the Chinese New Year.  "The 2012 Year of the Dragon is favorable for the establishment of family, the birth of healthy and smart children.  During this period we should be bold and not humble."  

Lilly Pulitzer takes the meaning to heart and has begun this year Bold ... Not humble.

Hot Pink:

Navy Blue:



All Images - All Lilly

While 2012 is good for birthing smart children ... I'm a little (LOT) passed that.  So I am going Bold ... Not Humble.

How will you go Bold this Dragon Year?  Happy New Year!



Monday, January 23, 2012

The Language of Art

My love for art has changed over the years ... like my design interest.  Like everything else in life it comes from experience and learning.  The only art I was really aware of growing up was what my mother loved.  And while I still truly love her style, I have grown to appreciate more modern and abstract art.  For me, it is the colors and the movement. They evoke a feeling that I really can't describe.  And I happen to believe that is how and why art should be purchased.  Not because you need to match something or find a print that fits your space.  You should buy art because it moves you.  I don't mean to be weird about this or existential ... but just let it speak to you.

Brad Robertson speaks to me ... 

Brad Robertson

It doesn't hurt at all that Brad is a fellowAuburn grad! ... In fact, I didn't know this until I began working on this post about him.  I feel a kindred spirit ... just wish I was as talented as he is.  In the meantime, I will just save my money to bring his art into my home.

The next time you are looking to hang something on your wall ... be moved!



Friday, January 20, 2012

Hide the TV ... yes or no?

Here lies the design problem for many family rooms.  We like to watch tv.  It is horrible, I know ... but it is true!  I have to say that there is a tv on in our house most waking hours.  I even leave the sunroom tv on during the day for my dogs so they aren't lonesome.  I so admire the families that only watch tv on special occasions or for an actual educational experience.  Not real life for my family!

For my One Room Challenge we need to incorporate a television.

So ... for the family room ... the TV might have to take "center" stage ... but it doesn't have to be the focus.  But rather than going through excrutiating pains of trying to hide it ... just go with it and make the rest of the room so fabulous that you don't notice it!

Traditional Home
What do you think?

Have a wonderful weekend ... I will be pondering the television!



Thursday, January 19, 2012

Forefront 2009 Cabernet Sauvignon

This inexpensive Cabernet, about $14.00, by the famed Pine Ridge vineyards is…well not my style. Not that it’s lousy, it is just not my cup of tea…so to speak. Heavily extracted, with deep, dark cherry and cocoa flavors. Smooth to the point it seems like it has no tannins at all. This wine falls into that “New Age” category where terroir, tannin, delicacy of fruit and craft of the winemaker are replaced by the overpowering, manufactured taste of fruits that have little semblance to the real thing. You can pick up nuances of fruit but they are so over blown that they are hardly recognizable, almost like the winemakers used dehydrated cherries from Chernobyl.

Truly this wine would only work well with the hardiest of BAR-B-Q, or perhaps a Hershey Bar. Beyond that, just too much for me.

Enjoy the wine.


Wednesday, January 18, 2012

One Room Challenge!!

Linda, from My Crafty Home Life, wanted to complete a room.  She sensed that she wasn't the only one out in the real world that needed a little push to get things done.  She reached out, and the rest of us said "YES" get us moving!  We 15 design bloggers have pledged to one another, and now you, it is time to finish a room.  Just ONE room.  And we will report to you on our design scheme, progress, a few lessons along the way ... and a completion in 6 weeks!  Please join us ... be sure to take a look at everyone's site and see what everyone is up to on these cold days of winter!  We will update you every Wednesday for the next Six Weeks! (and maybe some lessons in between!) 

Ready, Set, Go!!
My Room - Living/Family Room

Situation:  Just Moved In, Currently Contemporary and Cold.
Subjects:  Young Family.  Three Beautiful Daughters. One new Lab Puppy named Ruby.
Room: Double Duty ... Family Room AND Living Room.
Desire:  Cozy, Warm.  For Family Movie Night.  For Entertaining Adult Friends.

I am so excited to be working with this precious family ... they have just moved into a new home and we have some work to do.  While the lines of the house are good, everything has a really "contemporary" cold feel.  Cool blues, peach and gray "marble" tiles on the fireplace surround, matching pale blue blinds ... etc., etc.

Here's where we begin:

This was "move out" day of the previous owners.  Thankfully they moved the "built - in's" out as well!  From this shot you might be able to see the one end of a fan blade ... really?  It needs to go! 

We were lucky in that we had a blank slate to work with!

Inspiration: Warmth and Color and Life!

Duralee - Butterscotch - no longer available

When working with a completely blank room, it often makes sense to start with a rug.  This sets the basis for your room.  However, with this young family, we wanted to create the space they love first with fabrics.  Because they have a new puppy and young girls they wanted to purchase a rug that would complement their new furnishings, but be able to have something that they wouldn't worry about little puppy bites and occasional accidents!  And then if need be, they can toss it away in a year or so and not feel guilty!

Join me next week for the next step in turning this cold room into a cozy space for a young family!


Please visit all of our rooms ... and Get Inspired to Finish One Room this year!

Saved By Suzy                                                      Dutch.British.Love
Nicole Scott Design                                             Rue De Emily
The Pink Pagoda                                                   Trapped in North Jersey
Refresheddesigns                                                 Nana Moon Shop
Taylor Morgan                                                        Inside Ways
My Crafty Home Life                                            House Four
(a life style thing)                                                   Living Savvy

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Memories of Kites, Prisms of Today

My memories of the beach every summer with my family was of kites ... I grew up going to Destin, Florida every summer for one week.  This was our summer vacation.   It was the treat that was looked forward to for many months.  Both my parents worked, worked hard, to make certain that we could have this one week every summer to spend with family.

My Father looked forward to his kite.  He would build this "tetra" kite ...  ours was 6 feet high and 6 feet wide.  He would use a deep sea fishing reel to hold the string ... it would go so high it looked like a spec in the sky.  In fact, one year My Dad was on the "wanted" list on that beach, because his kite was interrupting the flight path of Eglin Air Force Base!!  We have had lots of fun with that kite!

Funny how design mimics life ... this week has been one of those times when these life memories have come flooding back.  I haven't thought about my Dad's kites in years.  Then Danika features the  "prism" wall she painted for her home office.  Not only is it fabulous in it's own right ... but it hit a specific "feel good" nerve for me.

I have also been doing some rug shopping this week with clients.  Another "prism" effect.  I could put this anywhere and skip across it happily!

The Rug Company London

I wonder how much our individual design choices are based on what feels good and comfortable ... based on memories of our lives.  I'll take that any time ... don't ever feel like you have to choose something because it is "in" or the trend of the moment.  Go with what makes you smile ... even if others don't get it!!



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