Tuesday, October 30, 2012

The Everygirl

I only wish The Everygirl site had been established when I first moved to DC nine years ago. I was a bright-eyed, eager college graduate  anxious to see where fate would lead me in this crazy town.  Thankfully, I was able to figure out how to live in an expensive city on a first-job salary, but having a resource like The Everygirl would have given me more confidence.

Nine years, 3 different jobs, a husband, dog and fairly new house later, I have find myself owning my own interior design firm that continues to grow every year. I would never have thought I'd experience so much in a decade, but I'm thankful. Thankful that I can start and grow a company that I firmly believe in, thankful to have found my soul mate, and today....thankful that The Everygirl chose to feature my humble abode on their site. So please, come on in....I'd offer you a cup of coffee if I could!

Monday, October 29, 2012


We are hunkering down here along with everyone else on the east coast awaiting Sandy's arrival! We stocked up on wine, chocolate and other important survival elements. Although I'm not excited to see what Sandy will bring upon us, it was nice to have a slow morning. Cozy is a favorite word around our house, so that is what we will be doing the next few days....getting cozy and riding the storm out.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Drybar Comes to Washington!

I kept reading updates on blogs and various local websites touting that the well-known Drybar would be putting down roots in DC this fall. However, an opening date was never mentioned. So when this little photo shoot I had yesterday was booked, I prayed that the Drybar would be open as I now had a great excuse to try it out:) Lucky for me, they debuted last Friday.

If you have been living under a rock, and haven't heard of Drybar, its goal is simple. Blowouts for $40. That's it.  You can select from 8 different styles, and they will wash, dry and style your hair. Brilliant!

 Their studio is sleek and chic in design, and as I sipped my Starbucks and watched The Devil Wears Prada while simultaneously reading the details of the awful break up of Jef and Emily in the latest US Weekly, I thought to myself...I could get use to this!

You can get an appointment as early as 7 am. My appointment was at 7:45 am and I walked out about an hour later. I was running a bit late as my appointment was scheduled to be over at 8:20 am, but I couldn't get testy because it was worth the extra 25 min to finish reading my article....

Monday, October 22, 2012

MANIC monday!

I only WISH I looked this put together, calm and graceful today. Instead, I'm running around like a chicken with my head cutoff!!!!! If I had this outfit on, I'd have a long, coffee drip on the front of that beautiful white shirt by now...

I've been rushing around all day to prep for a photo shoot at Chez Ivey tomorrow!! Details to come soon, I promise ;)

Monday, October 15, 2012

Think Outside the Box

There are definitely rules to follow in design such as don't push all your furniture up against a wall, ambient lighting is always a good idea over harsh overhead lights and balance, scale and proportion are elements that cannot be overlooked.

However, there are rules you can and sometimes should break such as everything does not have to be symmetrical (try using odd numbers 3,5,7 etc), negative space can be as powerful as positive space, and the one rule I want to talk about today is that a space doesn't always require a sofa.  I'm a firm believer that a room will often tell you what it wants....you just have to listen to it, and a room should function based on how you and your family live in it, not based on what all the blogs or magazines are showing.

So to exercise my point, I want to share a project I finished up last year. My clients had just relocated from a loft in Chicago to a row house on Capitol Hill-two very different spaces. As much as I love the patina, character and quirks of old row houses, they can also pose some challenges to modern day living like really small rooms and off-centered fireplaces.

Exhibit A: The Before

EEK! The house had been "flipped" by a developer, and my clients loved the house except for this front room. Don't let the floor to ceiling bathroom tile around the fireplace charm you, because we ripped that sucker out. It was like a huge, ugly wart that "welcomed" you into the house. Apparently, the said developer was very proud of this masterpiece. I wish I had a picture of the "fireplace" in use as it was basically a mirror that reflected an orange light when the switch was flipped. Are you kidding me??? My clients and I had a lot of fun laughing over that one.

Besides the fireplace, the room was also a bit challenging because the fireplace was in the corner, a radiator sat between the windows on the opposing walls, and the other four walls were open to the hallway and kitchen. Thus, leaving us no suitable wall to place a sofa or even float a sofa as we'd cut off the entrance to the other adjoining rooms.

My clients said this room would be for entertaining as they used another room as their  TV/family room. So the solution....

Exhibit B:

We used four, comfortable chairs around a fabulous coffee table instead of the usual sofa and chair combo. This round floor plan maximized the space in the room without making the room feel crammed. I'm sure you also noticed the wart is gone and replaced with a custom, traditional mantle and stone surround. We added a console along the back wall and tucked two small storage ottomans underneath that can serve as additional seating if needed.

 I don't have a great shot of their small hallway, but if you look through the mirror above you can see that we used a fabulous printed Phillip Jefferies wallpaper that really makes that area sing upon entering the house.

So if you are stuck on the layout of a room, think outside the box a bit. It's more fun to break the rules anyway:)

Friday, October 12, 2012

Happy Friday!

I'm loving these new bowls from Ikea!  With it's dark, glamourous finish, they look like something Zara Home would carry.  These would be fantastic to use for a fall table setting as the warm brass interior would warm up any tablescape!

So sorry for the lack of posts this week....it was a busy one! I'm working on some exciting new projects that I hope to share in the coming months. I also have a fun surprise to share in a couple of weeks.....hang in there. Happy Friday!

Monday, October 8, 2012

It's Coming...!!!!

Zara Home is coming to the US TOMORROW! I first walked into a Zara Home years ago when the Mister and I were in Rome. I could have bought everything, but we were on a back-packing trip so while I did entertain the thought of finding a way to stuff blankets, bowls and other what-nots into my bag, I decided to pass. However, I emailed their customer service asking if a USA location was in the works, and I got a big fat no. So you must understand how thrilled I am that we will have online access beginning tomorrow.

If you aren't familiar with Zara Home, it's similar to Ikea but with a more chic, European influence rather than the clean-lined, Scandinavian vibe Ikea offers. So please go check it out so you don't miss out!

Friday, October 5, 2012

YEWOW! It's the weekend!

I love my job, but I love 5 o'clock on Friday evenings too:) It's been a long, full week and I'm looking forward to our weekend routine of sleeping in, taking Max to the park armed with pastries and coffee from P&C Market!

I see that it will be chilly on Sunday, so I'm begging the Mister that we have our first fire of the season...Have a great weekend!

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Healing Interiors

I'm sure most of us all have a space in our home where we retreat to...whether it's to read a book, enjoy a cup of tea, pray, catch up with friends on the phone, etc. It's the space that calms us, makes us feel safe and revives us.

Of course I dream of having this type of room be a beautiful sun room with lots of light and a garden vista...but maybe in our next house:) For now, this space for me is in my bedroom, which does boasts a wall of large windows that warms the room in the mornings with the sunrise. It's a space that instantly switches my internal clock to a slow, steady ticking.

One of the reasons I have always been interested in interior design is the way an environment can affect a person mentally, emotionally and spiritually. We have all experienced this affect whether positive or negative whenever we walk into a space. Walking into a spa, a beautiful park or just surrounding yourself with your own personal things can bring us to an instant "happy place." I've written about this same topic in the past in regards to the work place.

Interior design is so much more than just "pretty things" in a space. It's really the culmination of all those elements that you deem beautiful and/or familiar in a single space that create those feelings paired with the spirit of the space, or what I like to call the "soul." I've been in some beautiful places but with no soul, and I've been in spaces that may not be visually impactful, but the space carries a beautiful spirit and soul that makes it appealing. You don't have to live in a palace to experience a beautiful space...

I strongly feel that a well-designed space can have healing properties. It can change our attitude, our outlook and science has proven, even our overall health! I recently listened to a podcast on this very subject the other night that scientifically proves this theory. A study was done with patients in a hospital where the only variable between their experiences was the view out their window. Those patients that had a window overlooking nature resulted in a more positive response to their care and overall attitude.  Conversely, those patients that had a window overlooking a brick wall or with just no "view" at all had a negative response to their care and overall attitude. I would highly recommend listening to this fantastic interview.

Another great source to find out more about the intersection of environments and human behavior is one of my all time favorite books, A Pattern Language. It's a tome, but a fabulous resource in understanding great design.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Knock, Knock...Anyone out there?

It's been a longer hiatus than I imagined! If you are reading this blog, I'm very grateful as I clearly haven't been the best at blogging the last 3 months! Why do you ask? I'm not sure...of course I can give you a few excuses: it was summer, travel, busy at work. Although many of these excuses were partly true, I think the main reason was I just didn't feel like it. Not a good excuse, I know.

I admire real bloggers...not just convenient bloggers, like myself. However, I truly want to turn over a new leaf. I do enjoy blogging when I sit down to do it and when I have some fantastic news to share or a drool-worthy interior to post, but I'm going to try a new formula. Rather than wait for something to post I deem worthy, I want to try and post more frequently by giving every day, and at times mundane experiences blog-worthiness.

I think the ushering in of fall is a perfect time to turn over this new leaf :)

So I'll start with the changes happening at Haddon Interiors! I've been working on some exciting projects, and business has been keeping me happily employed. So much so, that it time to hire an assistant! It's a scary step, but rather than turn down new projects or put clients on a waiting list, I am needing a right-wing person, and extra set of hands!

The office has gotten a bit of a makeover to welcome this new person in, and now I just have to find this fabulous, new assistant. If you, your roommate, best friend, second-removed cousin is interested, please contact me!

Below are the details:

POSITION: Part-time design assistant
COMPANY: Haddon Interiors 
LOCATION: Washington, DC
HOURS: Tues. & Thurs. (10am-3pm) with potential to grow

DESCRIPTION: Haddon Interiors is looking for an enthusiastic  and hardworking design assistant to join their team!  Applicant must be responsible, detail-oriented, proactive, flexible and able to take direction well. A dog-lover is preferred, as Max, the schnauzer, is part of the team as well. Proficiency in Word, QuickBooks and social/media is preferred. Design background would be a plus, but not required. A car is a must as many tasks require dropping and picking up samples, returning fabric memos and meeting with contractors. 

*Sourcing and pricing  furniture and fabrics
*Creating estimates and processing project orders
*Communicating with vendors and clients
*Attending client meetings with designer
*Running errands
*Writing/posting blog entries
*Making sure nothing slips through the cracks!

If interested, please send cover letter and resume to Kathrynivey@haddoninteriors.com