Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Stairway Inspiration

Do you ever have one of those moments when you are surfing the blogs and you find a picture that adds a little spring to your step?  A couple of weeks ago I discovered the blog, Johns Journal.  And while there is lots of inspiration there, this image makes my day a bit brighter. 

I love what she has done with this stairway.  The gallery, the lantern, the Greek key runner, and the super large image on the opposing wall.  Be still my heart.


Here is my stairway.  Almost identical no?  Never did I consider hanging a lantern there.  Our upstairs has low ceilings and at the top of the landing there is a builder grade flush mount fixture.  Yuckola.  Good news...Mr. says that when it gets cooler that he can move the box over the stairs and we will be able to hang a lantern.  We have tons of photos that I would love to add to this space and I want to find the perfect one to enlarge on the opposing wall. And I'm on the hunt for a runner.  Any suggestions of where to look for budget friendly runners? 

Recently the trend has been to paint the rail black.  What say you...black or white?

Monday, August 30, 2010

Where Do You Blog? Party

 
Kate, from Centsational Girl is having a "Where Do You Blog" party.  Lots of bloggers are sharing where they spend their time blogging.  I have never shared this space before so I thought it would be fun to join the party.  This is where Mr. and I spend the mornings, me on the computer, Mr. reading the newspaper.  Here we are informed.  He shares with me the benefits of running barefoot and I show him my new favorite before and after.

Things I love about the office:

Tall lamps 
White storage boxes
Pretty bowls and containers for supplies
Flowers
Leaning floor mirror to make the most of this little room


When evening approaches and everyone piles into the living room, I sometimes find a cozy little spot on the sofa to catch up on blog reading.

So do you have a special blogging spot?  Join the party ...it will be open until September 1. 

Sunday, August 29, 2010

FAQ's

    Where did you purchase the drum shades in your kitchen?


    Our drum shades came from came from Uttermost  and we converted canned lights with this kit.

    Are you a designer?  Do you have a design background?

    My background is actually in clothing and textiles where I spent several years working for a designer jeans company designing/merchandising shirts for men and boys.  Then I moved on to a large manufacturer of synthetic fabric where I designed story boards for the Junior fashion market.  Once our oldest son was born, I began working part time and quickly realized that part time work came with full time demands - only in less time.  My husband and I made a few adjustments and I have been home with our boys ever since.

    I need help with my house.  Do you ever do that sort of thing?

    Yes, occasionally I consult people locally with spaces in their home.  Interior design is something that I have enjoyed since I was a wee little girl and it is my passion.  While my training is in apparel/textiles, the two are very similar.  You can read about my services here.

    I love your front door!  Can you tell me the color?


    Ever since I painted the front door blue, I have gotten so many emails and comments about it.  Recently a neighbor was researching front doors online and came across my blog.  She recognized our front door and instantly knew who the blog belonged to so she contacted me for advice on her front door color.   Small world isn't it?  Anyway, our front door is BM Whythe Blue.  I love this color and have used in as an accent throughout our home.


    Friday, August 27, 2010

    Happy Weekend!


       My little pillow arrived and I love it.  The sale is still going on in case you missed it.


      Happy weekend!

      Thursday, August 26, 2010

      Hello Red


      Mix Art + Interiors

      As much as I have been digging all shades of blue and green lately, red is beginning to look new to me again.   Red rugs seem to add a little "bam" to a space, especially striped ones - something I can't seem to get enough of.

      My Home Ideas

      Does the zebra ottoman look familiar?  The makeover will be complete soon. 

      Now it's your turn.  How are you feeling about red these days?  Do you miss it, or did you never say good-bye?



      Wednesday, August 25, 2010

      What's Your Style?


      Lonny

      Have you ever taken the quiz to find out your decorating style?  My Design Guide is a room design website that helps you determine your style.  You can even upload pictures of your home and a designer will make recommendations complete with styling tips.  I took the test several months ago and found out that my style is mostly Asian with equal amounts of traditional, romantic, and modern.  Hmm.  You go through a series of questions and choose images that appeal/apply to you.  The lighting question stumped me because there really wasn't a light that I liked in the offering - I just held my nose and picked one.


      Decor Pad

      My dining room is boring and I know that, so just out of curiosity I uploaded a photo of it.  Here is what they had to say:
      To freshen the dining table, remove the full sized table cloth and replace it with a table runner that coordinates with your new rug or chair patterns. Every room should have about three different pattern fabrics a solid (easy), a geometric (circles, stripes etc…) and an organic pattern (leaves, flowers, etc..). Introducing pattern in pillows, drapes, carpeting or even throws is inexpensive and safe. You've done a great job on solids and organic patterns - consider adding a geometric that can give the room a more modern look.
      Add a display of crystal candlesticks for glitter and reflection and to build on the beauty of your chandelier.

      The recommendations were as I would have expected: the room needs texture, contrast, and pattern through window treatments, upholstery for the dining chairs, and rugs.  I did start small by adding the candlesticks to the center of the dining table and liked the result.  Now for the winning lottery ticket....

      So have you taken the quiz?  What's your style?

      Tuesday, August 24, 2010

      A New Rug


      I recently picked out a new rug from ATGStores.  It was tough to decide because they have so much to choose from.  We really needed a rug for our sun room so, lucky for me I found this gorgeous indoor/outdoor rug by Loloi from the Zeina collection.  We have had outdoor rugs before, but weren't completely thrilled with the quality so choosing another one felt a bit risky to me.


      Let's just say that the quality of this rug far surpasses any that I have had in the past.  Often indoor-outdoor rugs have a shiny synthetic appearance, so I was pleasantly surprised. It has the look and feel of a soft cotton and is perfect for bare-feet.  My sister-in-law was here over the weekend and she even loved it and was considering ordering one for herself.  The colors and pattern were exactly what I was looking for. 

      This rug will eventually go in the sun-room once I paint the wicker furniture, but until then, we are loving it in the kitchen.


        Monday, August 23, 2010

        Guest Blogger, Emily A. Clark

        I am so excited to share my very first guest blogger, Emily Clark, with you.  Emily lives about an hour away from me here in North Carolina and while we haven't had the opportunity to meet in person, I always enjoy reading about her inspiring projects.  She has the best luck with Craigslist and today she is going to share one of her favorite finds.


        When I think of a creating a cozy living space, bookcases always come to mind.  There's something about a collection of books and personal objects that makes a room feel so comfortable.


        So, with that thought, I was determined to find a space for some bookcases of my own.  I had planned to buy a couple of Billy bookcases from IKEA when I found these little beauties on Craigslist:


        No, I'm not totally crazy.  They were the perfect size to fit right under our stairs, and when I saw those paneled doors, I knew I was onto something.  Oh, and did I mention they were only $20 a piece?

        Fast forward a couple of  months later (I may have procrastinated a little):


        After sanding through the eight layers of neon paint underneath the brown, they were ready for a few coats of white gloss paint.



        Once they were painted and moved into the house, I painted the backs a deep navy (Stunning by Benjamin Moore).  Painting or papering the backs of your bookcases is the easiest way to give them instant style, and makes them already appear more filled before you even start accessorizing.



        To style them, I used lots of old books (or took the dust jackets off of newer ones) and added in some favorite black and white family photos.


        I had several older accessories that were sitting in boxes in my garage, so I got them out and sprayed them white as well to give them a fresh look.  I like the way they pop against the navy.  If you don't have older accessories to use, one of my best resources is Goodwill.  There's always an abundance of brass candlesticks, trays, bowls and knick-knacks that can be easily updated with spray paint.







        Thanks to Rene for letting me share one of my favorite Craigslist finds.  If you would like to see the rest of this room and more of my furniture makeovers, be sure to stop by my blog.

        Thanks again Emily! 

        Friday, August 20, 2010

        Happy Weekend and Fun Links



        I wanted to leave you with a few pictures of the wildflowers that were blooming in the mountains last weekend.  The cooler climate and frequent showers make everything so much prettier there than at home - another reason I love visiting.  Just as a side note, the blonde horse never takes her eyes off of the co-editor.

        So tell me, do you have big plans this weekend?  This is the last weekend before school starts, ugh, the "s" word.  We have family here for the weekend and have lots to do so I won't be doing much blogging for the next couple of days.

        Inspiring Links:

        Hooked On Houses - Play Room
        Everything LEB - Tres Chic
        Adventures in Renovating a Brooklyn Limestone - A Mod Beach Cottage
        Isabella and Max Rooms - Roller Shades Made Pretty
        Remodeled Cottage - via Green Street


        Have a great weekend!

        I am sharing this with Southern in My Heart.

        Thursday, August 19, 2010

        Everything I Love

        Everything I Love is a great little girlie store located in W. Jefferson, NC.  Picture a feminine boutique with old world styling and modern day touches.  It reminds me of Anthro only smaller and more intimate.  It is located across the street from The Artists' Theater - perfect.
        While Everything I Love has a wonderful selection of dresses, lingerie, and Frye footwear, I am always drawn to the accessories and the decor.
        I actually took this photo last winter of the ever changing window display.  Who knew tulle wrapped around a mannequin could be so beautiful.
         Everything I Love has....just that.

        Wednesday, August 18, 2010

        Queen Anne's Lace


        Being in the mountains last weekend reminded me of how much I used to love the wild flower, Queens Anne's Lace.  When I was a little girl, I would hop onto my bike with a banana seat and blue tires, and go in search of the flowers.


        As much as I favor white flowers now, my younger version preferred colorful flowers, so Mom and Dad taught me a little trick with food coloring.


        Over the weekend, we decided to try it again.  I used basic blue and green food coloring - then red and blue were mixed to make purple.  Simply follow the directions on the box.  1-2" of water was added to the glass.
        The next morning, this is what they looked like.

        This is a fun project for kids of all ages, even old ones like me.  Let me know if you try it.

        Just so you know, blue tires leave very cool blue skid marks on the road when you slam on brakes.

        Tuesday, August 17, 2010

        Ashe County Farmer's Market


        We are fortunate to have family in the NC mountains whom we visit once a month, most months of the year.  This week, I am sharing some of my favorite things about Ashe County, where the bulk of America's Christmas trees are grown - or so I am told.  Today I will share the farmer's market.


        It seems that mountain people have always had the right idea when it comes to growing your own food and recycling.  For generations, they have lived simply.  Every time I visit the Ashe County Farmer's Market, I am reminded of this.



        Can't you just hear Barbara Mandrel singing, "I was country, when country wasn't cool"?  I think that is why I like visiting this area so much.  When we go for the weekend, we unplug.  The simple life, if only for a day or two, is very nice.


        Most farmers have small offerings of hand grown and hand picked, organic produce - perfect in every way.










        Have you ever seen mushrooms for sale that are still on the branch?



        Two retired gentlemen tie flies to fill their spare time - truly an art form.  Fly fishing is big along the New River when the trout are plentiful.


        Another gentleman makes walking sticks and sling shots, a favorite of our boys.  No worries, they don't shoot animals, only each other.  Just kidding.






        Mom has a collection of these pine trees which are almost mandatory in a mountain home.  No two are the same, just like in nature.


        I couldn't resist snapping a picture of this bumper sticker on the way back to the car.  A man snickered when he caught me in action.



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