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11.29.2016

Master Bedroom Makeover - New South Home

It always makes me feel vulnerable to put my own home out there for the world to see.
I charge others for my design services after all.  
It feels like I have to do lots of explaining about my nostalgia
for favorite items, my small budget due to other expenses like
school tuition and teenage girls (need I say more?) my eclectic, if not
quirky taste in my own home which I attribute to my profession......

I hardly fit in this new world of blogging where bloggers seem to just cycle around their
 homes re-doing rooms in some sort of order - "if it's spring, I must post a
mudroom re-fresh"......don't get me wrong, that's awesome for them, it's just not 
super realistic for us in this current 'season' of life.

I was recently contacted by a wonderful online provider of custom
drapery and pillows, New South Home, asking if I was
interested in trying their products.  I went to their easy to navigate
website and was overwhelmed with the amazing choices!

New South Home offers beautiful drapery, fabric and pillows for your home, 
like the best custom workroom quality!

New South Home's offer was just the 'kick in the pants' I needed to
pull off a much needed re-do of our very own master bedroom.


New South Home provided the gorgeous black linen custom drapes in my space! 
Yes, we have a bay window in our bedroom - they can be tricky.  I chose panels
to frame the entire expanse and installed them as high as possible.  
The bamboo shades are used for privacy.

I only do white bedding - it just works for me.  The pillows rotate....
because I am a crazy pillow lady.....Yes, I know the rug needs to be bigger 
because design 'rules' have told me so.  But until I find that gorgeous 
vintage Persian stunner, this one from my stash is doing okey-dokey 
as a placeholder.

My vintage French chandelier might seem out of place here 
but I love it and it is a nostalgic piece - originally purchased 
for our dining room in Minnesota, it stayed. I actually really
like the juxtaposition with the modern sconces.

I have a thing for dark colors in bedrooms - I like the cozy feel so the 
walls were painted Behr 'Alpine Trail' - this was a brave move because
all I could think about was the Ralph Lauren 'hunter greens' of the 90's and 
I just didn't want to go there...thankfully, there is nothing 90's
about 'Alpine Trail'.....


Yes, I did a juju hat over my bed.  I love the texture it provides.  The best
(and most affordable) juju hat source I have found is Oldworldshoppe on Etsy. 
If you purchase, please let Sonia know you found her via me!

The throw is from Anthropologie.  I have been known to work from my bed
mid-day and I am a bedmaker, so the throw is what I cover up with  - design clients, 
just keep that image in your mind when you think I am working from
some swanky office - ha!


The photo above is a partial view of the wall opposite the bed - it was 
challenging to photograph with our dark days - this was the best I could get.
I love my vintage European pine dresser that was a gift from my husband.
I have collected new art from many contemporary artists and mixed
in some favorite vintage pieces.  For us, a tv in the bedroom just works -
how else would I watch The Real Housewives??


I chose to style the bed more organic/informal.
  But if I wanted it to look more 'designed',
I would choose some of these great options from New South Home.







Is our bedroom a 'perfectly' coordinated designed space?  No.  That is not so
much for me in my home - this room feels like us, mementos and art from travel, 
a special chandelier from a previous home, a furniture gift (my love language
is European pine), crisp white bedding and bamboo shades - two design 
elements that are winners in my book.

As a designer, I know how special custom finishes are for a space - 
New South Home will bring that to your home, easy-peasy from the internet!
No snooty designer needed!  
Their fabrics and drapes and pillows all coordinate
and make choices easy for even the most indecisive person!
But if you need their help, they are super friendly and 
more than willing to help!

I will be back soon with some 'before' photos of this space.


9.06.2016

Recent Design Work.......


First, I must say THANK YOU for all the love you shared in the comments section both on my last post and Instagram.  It's always a bit scary to hit the publish button on posts like that - but I am sort of an open book kind of person and figure if I am going through something, someone else must be too.  Writing is something I really enjoy and don't do enough anymore - so it really felt good to pour my heart out in that way.

Moving on to what you come here for......I have been busy with so many clients over the summer.  I find it especially fun to work with longtime clients in different spaces in their homes over months and sometimes years.  Yes, lots of people don't decorate their homes all at once.  Budget and time often require the work to be spread out.  I consider it to be the best 'review' of my work when a client calls me after some time and asks me to help with a new project/space in their home.
 The first design is for a basement playroom/adult hangout space - a client who has their only TV in their basement so this is where adult may watch a movie and their two young kids play, do art and read.  The space had to be functional but aesthetically pleasing too.  I took into consideration the colorful toys that would be included in the space so tried to keep the space pretty neutral.

The second space is for a energetic, young, modern family who LOVE color!  The wife stated she wanted to walk in her home and feel j-o-y.  She also has a plant business so I took into consideration their would be lots of those in the space.  Because they have three young active boys, the clients didn't want to invest a lot into furniture but needed stylish pieces that would stand up to family life.  The rug tiles from FLOR make such a fun statement rug and definitely bring JOY to the space!
 Finally, I very recently worked on a bedroom for a 5th grade girl.  She has outgrown the bright colors that so many young tweens like and wants a space that can grow up with her as she will head to middle school in just one short year.  I LOVE the modern/feminine touches.

Fall is shaping up to be another busy design season - I am looking forward to sharing new projects more frequently on the blog.  And I am photographing some past projects for my portfolio so will post those as well.

Hope all your back-to-school days have been successful!

8.29.2016

Embracing 'new beginning's.......mostly.

I am writing this on a Saturday night.....this blog has been neglected but it is here that I come to pour out what is on my heart as I often did long ago in the early days of this blog.....I feel like this post should begin 'Dear Diary'......

Lately, I have been feeling all sorts of weepy/'ugh' and really unable to put my finger on what exactly is the cause.........It is very unlike me to be so emotional.  Life has been busy, and not so much in a good way, but in a rushy, many balls in the air, not paying attention to the life that is leaving kind of way. When I took some time this week to really THINK about what might be causing my emotional instability (whilst on a spinning bike where I do my best thinking),  I remembered LOTS of big things and little things......life's important events and the insignificant....each creeping their way into my life and in my thoughts - whether I wanted them there or not (mostly not)......

First, my first baby, the girl that made me a mother when I was 31-years-young is turning 18 frickin' years old this week!  Seriously.  Let us just take the time to let that soak in.  I birthed a human who will soon (technically, because if you knew her in real life you would think otherwise) be an adult.  Like an adult that will HAVE to vote in this crazy-ass Presidential election we have coming up in November (don't even get me started)........an adult that can buy cigarettes and get a tattoo without my consent (she reminded me of this).  And if you knew her in real life, you would know she would do neither - I have done something right.



And in addition to turning 18, this 'baby' of mine will be a high school senior as of Monday.  Having a senior, I am finding, brings about all sorts of panic in me.......WAIT! - we never took her on that RV road trip we talked about,  or on that European vacation.   Did I teach her enough about life? Cooking? Hygiene? Good manners? How to do laundry? Balance her checkbook? Navigating an airport? Personal safety? Being a good friend? Have we had the important 'talks'?  Made enough good childhood memories to last a lifetime?  Will she have favorite foods to request when she comes home at breaks? Have I listened enough? Been the best kind of strict and supportive?

This big girl of mine is on to do big things and has already fulfilled some dreams - but her biggest awaits.  She will play division I soccer in college.......many hours away from home.....I am SO happy for her, proud of her, but facing her leaving the nest is something I just can't......right now......

In addition to all that, my baby-baby girl will be a freshman in high school as of Monday.  That my friends is a heartbreaker......My girl is an introvert like her momma - she is an old soul, a creative, and mature for age and jeez, high school can fill even the most confident girl full of self-doubt. I pray she finds her tribe.....that they love her for the wonderful, amazing soul she is........My baby has dreams, goals and unlike her sister, knows what she want to be 'when she grows up' and I have NO DOUBT she will do just that (a career in fashion).  I know these next four years will speed on by, her sister demonstrated that well, so I intend to be more present, not sweat the small stuff and just enjoy....at least that's the plan.

Finally, I myself will celebrate have a BIG birthday in April.....a number that looks like ___0.  I am not feeling it like I was the last one......crap, that decade went so fast!  I am feeling all kinds of 'eh'....'cause really lots of what filled the last 18 years of my life will change significantly in this new decade.   Sure, I know I will always be needed as a mother, that parenting never really ends, blah, blah, blah....but it's the little stuff, the school meetings, cheering on the sidelines or in the audience, guiding, the laundry, making lunches, the talks at the dinner table each night, hearing the car pull-in and breathing that sigh of relief......all THAT ends.....and truthfully, I am sad about that(who knew I would miss making lunches?).  I will miss it immensely - for as scared to death of the teen years I was when they placed my babes in my arms, they have really been the best part of this journey.

In addition, I think these birthdays, at least for me, cause you to reflect and evaluate lots of things in your life.  Recent friendship 'hurts', disappointments and struggles have been weighting heavy - being a girl can be so hard sometimes.  And while I recognize I am far from perfect, I really try to get it right and when I don't and friendships fade, I am left to wonder what I could have done better, different to have made it right.  I don't handle disappointment well and lately, I have been disappointed in people.  And really, this decade has been amazing in terms of my 'career', I built a business doing something creative that brings me immense joy.   But I am left wondering if doing so made me sacrifice in other areas of my life.....and the answer is, of course it did.  That has me evaluating HOW I do business, with WHO I do business and HOW MUCH work I take on.....it is all good, but stressful too in many ways.

One big sacrifice I have made with working more has been my health - particularly working out - and when I am feeling all kinds of mushy, I feel 'eh' even more.......I fractured my ankle last November and getting into a regular workout routine after I recovered was so hard but that has to change and I really must find a way to get more workouts in for me and my __0 year old mushy self.

So there I was yesterday, all these 'first world problems' weighting on me and a big old pity party happening in my head when I stumbled upon this while scrolling Instagram:



I knew that THIS must be my mantra this year - to not see this year as a year of endings but to trust this year to be the 'magic of beginnings'.  'Trust' is a word I use a lot with my clients and often with my girls - I urge my daughters to trust, to have faith, that what is meant to be will be......With my clients, I work to instill their trust in me because when they do, the process is wonderful and the outcome the best.  But you know what?  Seeing these words on Instagram made me realize that I had not considered taking my own damn advice.  What is happening this year is gonna happen, I can do NOTHING to change it - but I can shape how I approach it, what I do about it, my attitude towards it, how I see it and how I choose to spend my time and with who I choose to spend my time.  And this control freak, is gonna control that, like a BOSS.  The time in my life has arrived.....the start of something new.....and I trust it to be the 'magic of beginnings'.

So if you are still reading, thank you.  I don't mean to unload all my crap on you....but I imagine some of you might be feeling the same feels or have gone through the same.  The blog world seems to be filled with youngish momma's posting perfect parties, perfect homes, perfect children, perfect outfits.....And in my past, I hid my crazy and messy well too (cause you know they are!) but I guess I have learned that vulnerability is a strength.  And Lord knows the blog world could stand a little more perspective from middle aged, mommas of grown kids who are struggling with impending empty nests and getting 'mushy' around the middle.  I knew I wanted to take the time to write this post - to put it all out there, it certainly helped me filter through it all.  So thanks for reading....


8.16.2016

Inspired by a favorite designer.....


My love for Emily Henderson began when she won HGTV's Design Star.
I loved her quirky, collected style.  She designs to the beat
of her own vintage, mid-century drum shade....ha!!  I'd like to 
think that we could totally be friends - or like sisters, with her the 
cooler, skinier, younger sister - with our shared love of vintage
shopping, vintage art, brass anything, quirky objects, the 
color blue, Portland, Oregon......plus we are both blond, so 
we have that in common!

My house hardly reflects her style, however, I have always
said if I win the Powerball someday, Emily Henderson would be the 
designer I would call to work her magic in the new home
I have built (and renovated) in my head many times over......


So when a fun new client mentioned in our first meeting that 
she really liked Emily Henderson's style I knew I would
love this project.  The client is pretty design savvy herself, a pro at finding 
great mid-century pieces on Craigslist, so
working in a true vintage mid-century piece was a definite. 
The client also had the bed, nightstands and bench.

Early on in the process, I found the great vintage
Persian rug on Craigslist which really brought some great
color and pattern into an otherwise pretty neutral space.
The walls were painted BM Simply White.



The bedside lamps are from Rejuvenation and I think they are pretty fabulous.


I worked with the client to choose art for the smallish gallery wall that was installed.
I finished the space by adding some small accessories, fresh flowers and plants,
a mix of vintage and new textiles and a vintage seascape.  


This project is the perfect example of how the best results come from
trusting, brave clients who listen to the crazy ideas from their
designer - who invest in the designer's time to style the space 
after all the 'big' pieces have been purchased.  

This project was FUN!  And really, I would love to work
more in this style....clients?????

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