Friday, May 27, 2011

I'm Back..

Sorry I took a break from posting.  I had to go out of town and
when I returned found neglected work obligations not to mention it is
the  last week  of school for my kids.  
Today we are leaving for our beach house for Memorial Day weekend
Here are some pictures to set the mood for summer...

Great porch on author Mary-Kay Andrews house on Tybee island. 

Love this coral pillow!

Beach cupcakes!  

Stenciled door by Chicago designer Allison Cosmos.  This isn't a beach house
but I think I would like it on my interior beach house doors....think I feel 
a project coming on....
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Saturday, May 21, 2011

No Boys Allowed

Girls Dream Bedroom - No Boys Allowed eclectic bedroom
The note on the door says it all....No Boys Allowed!!!
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Friday, May 20, 2011

Friday Fantasy...

It's fantasy friday...
If I could be anywhere right now doing anything,
I would be lounging here...


I'll take you with me!  We can take turns on the chaise....
Don't you love, love, love?
What's not to love?  The lush navy blue chaise, the pops
of turquoise,
against that crisp background of white or the awesome chandelier? 
I vote for the white console with the swirls...
All from Shine Home.  Can't you picture yourself lounging here with a good
book and a tropical drink?  While you are lounging here, I'll take a little
 nap on the hammock on the screen porch.  
Later in the day, we could walk outside to this.....

St John
Of course we would stretch out on these....

Janus et cie
Soaking up the rays on my favorite leaf chaise from Janus et cie.  
I have dreamed about owning one of these
for years... They are so lightweight, you can pick it up with one hand and when you aren't 
lounging, it can stand up on the wall and become a piece of sculpture.  Very organic!

Of course I would be wearing this....

Trina Turk
Casablanca Halter $93.  Of course I will look just like this in it!

When I go back to the house I will wear this over my bikini...

Trina Turk

Casablanca Tunic 137.00
Yes, I will be so stylish....
I'll let you pick your own suit and coverup...

It is Fantasy Friday and a girl can dream.....

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Thursday, May 19, 2011

Let's Have a Party!

I love this Kazak Fabric by Quadrille, designer, Eddie Ross used to
 create  this fab table!  Just makes me happy!!  

Really clever to use four fabric runners on the table rather than one down the center. 
 Don't you love,love these hot pink chivari chairs?   The accents of blue
napkins, candles and glasses really makes this look pop!  
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Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Quilt Love....

  Quilts have long been considered works of art, so why not make it the focal point of your bedroom? Here are examples of ways to create a unique bedroom by using quilts in place of a headboard. Do you have one hiding in your linen closet that you would like to display?

Add caption
 This beautifully embroidered black and gold quilt anchors the bed and 
gives the room a focal point as well as a coziness 
that a wooden or iron bed could not achieve.   

This suzani quilt adds a playful nature to the room.  I can picture this in a guest room of a 
mountain house or in a child's room.

Here is an interesting way to hang a quilt without damaging it...

Very clean, fresh look that could be created with a family heirloom quilt.
To hang a quilt this way, Click Here

While we are on the subject of quilts, I would like to share with you the story of 
Joanna Rose of New York City.  Upon approaching her 80th birthday, her husband
 asked her what she wanted and she replied " something I've never seen and a gift to 
New York City".  She had been an "accumulator", not a collector she so aptly put it, of
 red and white  quilts since the 1950's.  She wanted to see her quilts displayed in one place.  
When asked how many she had,  she said "oh, probably about 70".   
Once the quilts were counted the total was 651!  The only place she thought  
she could display  them all was the armory.  Here are some photos below of the exhibit. 


 Read here for the complete story in the New York Times

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Tuesday, May 17, 2011

The War of the Kitchen....

We are in the process of  renovating our kitchen.  We have been
in this house for 15 years and it waaay past time for this kitchen update!
 I'd like to share the history of this project with you, just so you know that interior
designers have personal decorating issues as well....

All Started with this....

Don't we all want to be Martha Stewart?
Or at least have a "Martha Stewart" Kitchen?

So I went out got all new appliances...

Here they are installing the refrigerator.....
Little did I know the havoc this would cause...
This guy mentioned as he was installing that it was his last day
on the job, umhhh, wonder if he was as careful as normal...

My cabinet guy removed the cabinets....

We took out the cabinet over the peninsula and the soffit over the sink....
Original plan was to remove all upper cabinets and replace with cabinets to the ceiling,
paint the lowers, change out the doors and get new countertops and backsplash.
After all, we had planned to move several times and it could happen this year,
 didn't want to put a ton of money in a kitchen we would be leaving, right?
 A facelift would suffice!  Notice the way the left cabinet is ripped out?
(True confession, it is still this way!)

Here's What happened next....
Things were not moving as swiftly as I had hoped.
Summer came and it was beach time, so I packed up the kids
and decided I would deal with the kitchen when I got back in the fall.
We had a lovely summer at the beach house!

 Thomas and Hiller with their friend, Lee, all three decorated with seaweed wigs!

In August, my husband decided we needed to leave the beach early and
 take a little road trip to Chicago before school started.
 I left the beach kicking and screaming and headed to a Cubs game with my boys.

We had a fun time in Chicago, seeing all the sights, but when we returned to Charlotte,
 Our refrigerator waterline had burst and our downstairs was covered in water. My
slight renovation had now become a big one!  Now we had to replace
 flooring and the works, so I decided to gut the kitchen!

In comes Service-pro  and puts down these handy pads all over the place
to draw water out of our hardwood floors to try to save what we could.
It was a very hot, loud and irritating two weeks of this process.   

We finally settled with insurance in December, so we decided to wait til the new year to begin work. When the new year came, so did the snow, ice and rain.  I couldn't imagine new floors, and all of that muck with dogs, so I decided to wait til spring.  Spring came and went in a flurry, so our new date became June when school gets out!  Here we are again with the beach beckoning...This time I am going to face the music and get this job done!  I'm making progress!  Will share the updates with you in another post!

You would think as an interior designer, the process would be easy for me, but it has been quite the opposite!  I have so many ideas running around in my head, it is hard to commit to one look!  It is actually a bit more complicated than that.  I know the look I want, but I have to consider so many things.  First and foremost, I have to consider resale or do I?  We could possibly move! Do I try to design a kitchen that will appeal to the market, or one that appeals to me?  Those are two very different kitchens!  Secondly, I do have a client to husband!  It's funny, but for some reason, a husband who has been married to an interior designer for 15+ years begins to believe that he knows more than me....Oh well, yet another client to win over to my ideas....I love marble countertops, he likes granite....I want a banquette, he wants a chair, I want a wall of ceiling to floor cabinets, where everything is hidden, he likes the catchall desk....So who won?  Time will tell, we are still in the process.
I look forward to sharing with you...

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Monday, May 16, 2011

California Here I Come....

Well, I've been to California and Now I am Back!!!

As well as being an Interior Designer, I am starting a new charity venture 
I am excited to share with you.  It will be called "Reside with Respect".  In Charlotte, NC alone, have over 4,000 homeless children due to so many homeless mothers.  RWR will help these women furnish homes for their families, once they get jobs, get a place to live and get off the streets.   I am so excited about this new venture. I got the idea for this charity from "Dwell With Dignity" based in Dallas. To make this dream a reality, I am working with a new direct sales start up company, called bamboopink!  Owned by Deb Millar, Frances Gadbois and Jude Steele, this California company sells beautifully made designer "fashion" jewelry.  Nothing in the line is over $100.  It was introduced in April 2011.  The company had a leadership conference last week and I was one of the lucky winners invited to participate due to my team building ability.  What a great time!  Corporate really went all out to entertain and train all of us!   I have just returned and want to share some highlights of my trip with all of you...

Photo courtesy of bamboopink
This is the group of amazing women who attended the conference at Big Canyon Country Club.

Photo courtesy of Laura Trevey

Here I am looking at all the beautiful pieces of jewelry!!!

Here we are sporting our bags with goodies with Jude and Frances, owners of bamboopink,
 in front of our limo that took us to dinner!  

Here is the fabulous Rooftop Lounge where we had our dinner the first night!

Photo courtesy of bamboopink

The company gave each of us one of these beautiful pendants in a
 bamboopink brown and pink stripe box. 

 Pictures below of our fabulous "beach shoot" at Crystal Cove Beach...

Photo courtesy of bamboopink

Here is the whole clan getting their pics made in front of the cute little beach hut!
Precious Emily took this picture of the photographer taking our pictures!  Emily works for JudeFrances, but we were lucky to have her helping us this weekend.

Photo courtesy of bamboopink

Here are Deb Millar, Frances Gadbois and Jude Steele, owners of bamboopink
 and the nicest ladies you will ever meet!

Photo courtesy of bamboopink

What a great group of women!  We had so much fun getting to know one another!
See Laura on the far left?  She is author of Bright, Bold and Beautiful blog and my sponsor with
bamboopink!  She is as nice and sweet and she is pretty!  If you don't subscribe to her blog, do so now, you will love reading it!  She is very creative and a very talented watercolor artist!

Photo courtesy of bamboopink
We were all jumping for joy!  We truly had so much fun!

Photo of bamboopink

This is one of my favorite pictures.  Deb Millar, 
on the far left, is one of the owners of bamboopink
Beside Deb is Julie Pijnappels from Los Vegas, 
Joy K of California, Laura Trevey from Richmond and me

Photo courtesy of bamboopink

Here are Frances and Jude with the east coast girls, all of whom
 were freezing because we didn't realize how cold it
was at the beach in California this time of the year!
Also, notice how we all had on bright colors!

Photo courtesy of bamboopink

Here are the west coast girls, all dressed in black and had leather coats for the beach!  Smart!

Here is some of the beautiful jewelry!  Lots more where this came from...
Photo courtesy of Laura Trevey
 Beautiful tray of earrings and rings.  The hoops and charms are interchangeable.

Photo courtesy of Laura Trevey
Stackable rings, earrings and charms displayed on bamboo!

It was a fantastic trip!  Loved Newport Beach!  Love bamboopink!!!
Happy to be back in North Carolina so I can share bamboopink with all of you!
If you are interested in finding out more about bamboopink click here!
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Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Let's Go Powder Our Nose....

Saw this on Material Girls this morning and just had to repost for all of you!
I L-O-V-E both bathrooms by designer San Francisco designer, Tineke Triggs
 and thought you would as well.  

(via Material Girls)
What's not to love about this incredible powder room!
  I'm swooning over the hip colors of the wallpaper and how the
metallic background of the paper makes this small space sparkle!

(via Material Girls)
Here is a close up of the cabinet door!  Love the detail of the woodwork on the cabinet 

(via Material Girls)
If you are a "pink girl" like me, this bathroom is too yummy for words!
Love the pendants, the marble, again the cabinet design,the hardware, the tile 
 and most of all how the pink warms up the room.  Good balance between 
crisp clean white and a sexy color to add a colorful vibe.

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Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Create a family drop zones easily and inexpensively....

One of the common questions I get from clients and friends is how to organize
the family's drop zone and keep it looking neat, yet accessible.  
Here are a couple of options I thought worked well without breaking the bank...

Coastal living
The perfect drop zone at the back door, this functional area
 was created in what most would call dead space.
The addition of a shelf for shoes and a cornice for hanging outerwear
  thwart off any child's comment of "there isn't anywhere to put this".  
The cornice has the dual function of holding straw baskets for
extra things that might otherwise create chaos.

Case Design/Remodeling, Inc. traditional entry

Drop zone created under stairs in space that would typically be unused.
A more expensive idea but anyone with basic carpentry skills could build this.

Here is a contemporary design with simple hooks and cubbies.  This design could
be created with a couple of boards and hooks from Lowes.  The cubbies
could be created by using something like the Expedit bookcase by Ikea
turned horizontally.

Available from the Container store, this Wendel Shelving, hooks, baskets, boot tray work together to
create a workable yet inexpensive entry way for a family.

Anyone can create the much needed "drop zone" for a family.  You first have 
to identify what the needs of family are, what space to create the zone in and then
 the pieces need to create the desired area.  Remember it doesn't have to be custom to work. 
Look in your attic or around your house and find pieces of furniture that
you can repurpose to be used for this area.  Everyone has items that can be used, just be creative in making your area work for you! After you have completed your
new drop zone, you won't know how you ever lived without it!

If you already have a drop zone, look it over...
Does it need some attention?  Perhaps reorganizing because
 your family's needs have changed?
A few pieces like the ones I found below may help....

Campaign bench with storage baskets from Serena and Lily  $375.00
Choose from several fabrics for the seat cushion.

The "Colton Trunks" from Pottery Barn offer hidden storage and are available in three sizes.
They range in price from $39.00 - $179

The cubby organizer from Pottery Barn is another great way to give everyone in the family their own little space and still have room for the ingoing and outgoing mail!  $129

Vintage lockers available in many colors and combinations from Twenty Gauge

Love this guy from The Land of Nod to add a little humor.  Not just for the kids, but how great would he be to hold your bills to mail or reports from school...  $30

Be creative, make it fun and your kids will follow suit!  Before you know it, you will
have everyone in the house organized!
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Monday, May 9, 2011


"The doors we open and close each day decide the lives we live"
-Flora Whittemore

I need to work on my front door.  It's that time
of year for a sprucing up....

Front doors are very important in Feng Shui.  
It is through the front door that your house
gathers "good chi" or universal energy.  

Thinking about painting my front door a color.... 

Our Front Door......
(I'm waiting to plant the petunias til I decide so here they sit by the planters...)

Since my house faces south, according to Feng Shui, 
I should paint my house a fire color like red, orange,
 strong pink or purple, I  can also choose a wood
 element color like green or brown since wood  feeds fire.
Below is my front door ...What do you think?  
Keep it the same or change......

Here are my options....

Door #1

House Beautiful

Wanted to paint it red but my neighbor beat me to the punch... 
Oh well, I would have used a darker red than this...
Is it still an option?

Door #2

House Beautiful

Not sure the neighbors or hubby would vote for this?

Door #3

House Beautiful

Love this color?  Folly Green by Farrow & Ball is a close match.

Would look great decorated at Christmas...

Door #4

Martha Stewart

Repaint it white like it was when I moved in the house?

So what do you think?  Change the color or just refresh the black?  

The main reason I want a different door color is that my neighbor 

moved in and painted their house exactly the same color as ours!  

  Now when someone is coming to my house they say,

   "which cream house is yours?"   I would like to be able to say 

the one with the beautiful bright _________door!

plus I am ready to plan those petunias!

Will let you know what I decide.  Pictures coming....

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