Monday, November 21, 2011

Transformation Sneak Peek

I'm so excited for a short week and for Thanksgiving! I'm headed out of the office on Wednesday to spend the holiday with my family in NC, and I'm a bridesmaid in one of my best friend's wedding this weekend. Celebrations abound!

To start off this fantastic week, I wanted to share with you a sneak peek of one of my projects. My clients relocated from Chicago and bought a row house that had been flipped by a developer. The developer did a pretty good job with his material selections, except for this ol' eye sore you see right when you step into the house:

My clients told me the fireplace was the developer's most proud accomplishment. I beg to differ, and so did my clients. It literally looked like he had applied bad bathroom tile from the 1980's from floor to ceiling. Seeing that this room would be a guest's first sight upon entering, we knew this room had to be priority. So for the past few months we've been transforming this space into this:

So we demo-ed the fireplace, put in a custom mantle with a beautiful stone surround, painted the room, added four chairs around this Oly coffee table, put up a gorgeous grasscloth wallpaper from Philip Jefferies (my favorite!) and added window treatments. My clients wanted a soothing, spa-like atmosphere so we chose a color palette of soothing grey-blues and taupes in a variety of textures to keep the room from looking one-dimensional. We are about 90% done as we still need a few things i.e. mirror, window treatments installed, console table, art and accessories. I hope to have this room professionally photographed in the next few months so you can see the room in its entirety. I literally just got back from checking on the wallpaper installation and shot this photo with my iPhone.

Seeing drastic transformations like this project is one of the most rewarding parts of my job. Plus, my clients are the most delightful and fun couple to work with...I feel spoiled!

Friday, November 11, 2011

Happy Friday!

Every Friday is a good day! So happy for the weekend. I plan to relax in front of the fire this week and maybe take a few strolls among the leaves with the Mister and Max. Ciao!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

The Perfectly Imperfect Home

"What is the goal? A house that is like the life that goes with it, a house that gives us beauty as we understand it- and beauty of a nobler kind that we may grow to understand."
- Elsie de Wolfe

I was excited to attend a book signing last night at Room and Board for Deborah Needleman's new book, The Perfectly Imperfect Home. Deborah, the former founder of the beloved Domino magazine and current editor-in-chief of the Wall Street Journal Magazine, was incredibly delightful. The wait to meet her and have her sign my book was long, but it was worth it when I realized what was taking so long. Deborah was taking the time to engage with each person, asking them questions about themselves and having fun. I was impressed. I've been to other book signings where I felt it was all about moving the line along. After conversing with the down-to-earth author, I couldn't wait to dig into her book.

First, the physical book is a work of art. The pages are filled with water color paintings of familiar rooms you've probably seen published in magazines. The talented illustrator, Virginia Johnson, has captured these rooms and vignettes in such a charming way that I want to rip the pages out and frame them all around my house!

(bedroom designed by Jacques Grange)

(Rita Konig's Living Room)

(an inspired vignette)

Deborah has also scattered throughout the book fabulous quotes by renowned designers such as Elsie de Wolfe, Albert Hadley, Dorothy Draper, Billy Baldwin, etc. All of these carefully collected quotes are reminders of what I consider the true, real rules of design - your home shouldn't look or feel like a museum. I love how Albert Hadley puts it, " Make your home as comfortable and attractive as possible and then get on with living."

I haven't finished reading the book, but I highly recommend purchasing it. Deborah has created not just a practical guide to a furnishing an perfectly, imperfect home, but an entertaining read on not taking our ourselves and our homes too seriously!

Monday, November 7, 2011

To Market, To Market....

It's taken me about a week and a half to catch up on work since I've returned from market. I usually go to the High Point Market in the spring as it occurs twice a year, but I decided to go this fall to see if there was a difference. I found some wonderful new items and vendors, but I felt the energy was a bit lower at market than typically in the spring. I'm sure the economy has something to do with it (you can blame the economy for most things these are having a bad hair day? Blame it on the economy:). However, I still came away feeling inspired and excited about incorporating some of these new furniture items into future projects.

I thought I'd just let the photos do most of the talking with just a few remarks from me:

The BeeLine Home showroom was probably my favorite discovery this market. The renowned designer of this furniture line, Bunny Williams, is a true artist. Every piece in her collection is unique and has a successful combination of sophistication paired with whimsy.

I love the base on this table. This would be perfect for a banquet/breakfast nook.

Love the scale and smart personality of this stools.

This small side table is a great balance of masculine and feminine. I'd take that rug too!

I have long been a fan of Bobo Intriguing Objects since they hit big on the market scene a few years ago. I always look forward to seeing what treasures have been discovered on their European expeditions.

I can easily picture a pair of these fabulous chandeliers outside on a loggia or sun room.

I was captivated by these chemist beakers turned into pendants and the way the natural light made them sing!

This carved Indian door would be amazing in a specific-project. I could see a pair of these mounted on rollers (similar to the barn doors we've seen all over the magazines) that would lead into a dining room. If you have a house that fits the bill, please call me!!!

If I could fill my entire house with art from Natural Curiosities, than I would have died and gone to heaven. The masterminds behind this company have mastered the concept of object d' art. Every year, I literally run to this showroom to see what creative new pieces they have found to portray as art. This year did not disappoint.

I stopped dead in my tracks when I saw this pair of preserved moss panels. The texture and color just burst off the wall. I overhead one of the sales reps explaining it took years for them to figure out how to preserve the moss so that it didn't turn brown. How awesome would these be in an large, glassed-in sitting room? It elevates the idea of" bringing the outside in" to a whole other level!

Again, a diptych of an over scaled botanical. In this case, go big or go home, is the way to go. I want these for my dining room!

I kept hearing wonderful things about Duralee's furniture line, but I was not familiar with it. After taking a tour through their showroom, I cannot wait to use this line. Duralee has found a way to offer wonderful upholstery pieces that are quality-made at a reasonable price.

This ottoman isn't just a looker, but watch what it can do. Wait for it...

Bam! You've got a twin size bed ready for guests! This piece is perfect for small, city-living.

Wright Table Company is a family owned company that exudes the pure spirit of American-made furniture. Their designs are beautiful in their simplicity.

I fell in love with this gorgeous coffee table. Wait until you can see what it can do...

By lifting the table up and towards you, this coffee table turns into a dining table! Perfect for a bachelor pad. I love how they have made the weights below look industrial chic so it doesn't take away from the overall design, but rather it's part of it's beauty.

This company has found a way to create furniture and accessories that are glamorous but still feel accessible.

Love, love, love. Reminiscent of mid-century modern, this coffee table is not only functional but it's sculputural in its design.

These pendants are just flat out amazing. What a statement piece!

Hermés orange was a huge color at market this year.
Love the fresh take on this classic chair.

Talk about furniture with personality, Oomph has created a line of fun, preppy furniture that can be customized in more colors than you can imagine!

"THE" Gossip Chair by Oomph. If you have a large, long living room, using a chair like this would be a great way to break up the room into two conversational spaces. I could also see this in a child's playroom in a little reading nook.

*All the furniture highlighted above is available only to the trade. If you are interested in any of these pieces, please contact me for pricing.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Post Chat Published

If you missed my live chat last week with the Washington Post, you can check it out here or find it in today's Living Section. Happy Thursday!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Well, hello there, November!

(via Pinterest)

"November comes
And November goes,
With the last red berries
And the first white snows.

With night coming early,
And dawn coming late,
And ice in the bucket
And frost by the gate.

The fires burn
And the kettles sing,
And earth sinks to rest
Until next spring."

- Elizabeth Coatsworth