Tuesday, May 29, 2012

A Ha!

During Blogfest, House Beautiful's panel discussion centered around "Aha!" moments in design. They encouraged us to think about our own "Aha" moment and blog about it.

I think my major "Aha" moment in designing my own home is when I took the plunge and painted my dining room cobalt blue. I had been thinking that I needed a rich but bright color to set off my white pagoda mirror and abstract art, and finally summoned the courage to do it last year . . .
I couldn't love it more, and it makes me happy every day when I walk through my front door. My "Aha" moment was realizing it's sometimes the small things like a paint color that can make all the difference in a space. 

What has been your "a-ha" moment in design?

Blogfest Recap

As I mentioned in my last post, I ventured off to NYC last Monday to participate in Blogfest 2012. Sponsored by Kravet, one of the oldest and most venerable fabric houses in the country, the event brought over 160 interior design bloggers together and immersed us in the world of interior design as only New York can. It truly was a whirlwind experience beginning with a tour through the Kips Bay Show House . . .
Who wouldn't love a gigantic brass giraffe on their dining room wall?

A little Corbusier in the living room inspired by and dedicated to Albert Hadley's memory.
A snippet of the beautiful kitchen. Loved the brass hardware.

The oversize mural was quite eye-catching.
Loved this enveloping and beautiful bedroom by Alexa Hampton.

This room was one of my favorites but I was so busy gawking this is the only photo I took. Sidenote: my dad has a very similar shield. May have to steal it one day.

Oversize photography trend is going strong, and I'm glad.
On Tuesday, we had the honor of visiting publishing legend Hearst's headquarters for breakfast and  talks by the editors of Veranda and House Beautiful and panels with some established interior designers (Daryl Carter and Timothy Whealon) and some up-and-comers (including Jon Call - loved him). I ate it all up. Including the pastries.
That's Newell Turner, Editor-in-Chief of HB, seated on the left and Mr. Call on the right - too adorable.
Next, we hit up Elle Decor's Modern Life Concept House which was nice but it was so tight in there with over 160 people, I didn't get many good photos. Here are some I did snap . . .
Need an agate tray in my life.

And a tiger-striped velvet bolster. This was on the patio, by the way.

Make a wish.

The brass sea urchin wall compliments of Pieces.
Dark grasscloth + super cool lamp = good

Katie Leede discussing her yummy macaroon-colored room.
We spent the rest of the day at the New York D&D Building which was sensory overload for a fabric-loving girl like myself. 

That's Alexa Hampton on the left speaking with Ann Maine, the Editor of Traditional Home. Alexa was hysterical.
And finally, on Wednesday (the final day) we got the pleasure of touring Kravet's workroom/headquarters aka where the magic happens. Kravet owns Lee Jofa and more recently acquired Brunschwig & Fils. They let us peek behind the curtain, so to speak, and see what it takes to come up with these gorgeous designs, get them produced and into the showrooms. Quite the task. Fascinating, truly. It is a labor of love and they are masters at it. Here are some snippets of fabric heaven:

Whew! And that's not even all of it, but just some of the highlights. I had to leave early on Wednesday so I missed a couple of the afternoon events unfortunately. Along with all the visual stimulation and design information overload, the icing on the cake was getting to meet some fabulous ladies who I've long admired including Danika from Gorgeous Shiny Thingshttp://gorgeousshinythings.blogspot.com/ and her O'verlays business partner, Cheryle.
Sorry for the poor quality. Danika and I right before I left on Wednesday.
And some new blog friends from D.C. like Daniela from Aesthetic Oiseau and Barbara Franceski (whose townhome was featured in last month's Traditional Home, by the way). These ladies could not have been friendlier . . . loved hanging out with them! So many great people, so little time to chat.
Barb and I with Cheryle peeking in.
A huge thanks to the Kravet family and company (one in the same, as they are a family-owned business) for hosting such an amazing event. I had a wonderful time and am still recovering, but it was totally worth the exhaustion.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Blogfest Bound

If you don't know what I'm talking about, it's because I don't usually reference things in the future (I'm a bit superstitious although I pretend not to be). But, the time has come and on Monday, I'll be rising before the sun and flying off to NYC for a little event called Blogfest. Sponsored by Kravet/Lee Jofa/Brunschwig and Fils, Blogfest will include an amazing design-filled whirlwind tour of major design venues and publications for interior design bloggers. In short, it is my heaven.
Trying to get ready to leave my family for three days at the end of the school year is a bit, okay a lot, chaotic thus my inexcusable lack of blogging. I'm not sure if I'll be able to blog while in New York but I will try and do a little tweeting (although I'm admittedly horrible at it) and possibly use Instagram (which I'm a bit better about). Excited does not even begin to describe how I'm feeling (and maybe just a little nervous). My main concern is wardrobe as we'll be on the go from morning till night. I believe I have more angst about what to wear on this trip than I did my entire high school career - oh how I miss uniforms.

I will of course be back with a full report but will be signing off for now. So until then, I leave you with a little find from my early morning shopping excursion.  
I love the shape and detail on this mirror even if I'm not thrilled with the green color. I'm not sure if I'll be keeping it or using it in a client project, but I just couldn't pass it up.

Have a great weekend!

Friday, May 11, 2012

Mojo Restored, Part Two

I knew if my mojo came back good things could happen. This morning on a tip from my friend and neighbor Becky I darted out the door to an unadvertised estate sale (well, not advertised where I usually look anyway). I had to hurry because I was meeting a door salesperson at my house for an estimate around 10. I left my house at 9:38 and returned at 10:10 (no worries, I alerted the door guy I might be a few minutes late). I shop fast! I returned with this . . .
Yes, it's another chair. I know, my husband might kill me but I was drawn in by the x-bench. I mean, come on . . . it's an x-bench, people. 
They were selling it as a set so I just had to get both. Like I said, the bench pulled me in, but I like the size, shape and scale of the little club chair too. And it has cute little casters. 
Please ignore the dog hair on the rug. It's ever-prevalent right now as Zoe is shedding like crazy.
The upholstery while not horrible is not exactly what I'm going for and despite the photos where it looks almost pink and close to my rug color, it's actually more of a burgundy/garnet color. Oh, but where to put it? What fabric? Should I split them up or keep them together? Oh, such fun decisions!

Now, on to a little DIY project I've had going on over here. Behold, my new gold-leafed cabinet:
Just to remind you, here's what it looked like before:

As you may recall, I have been going round and round about what to do with this cabinet. I've always hated the red-toned wood stain especially against our orange-stained floors (which I will re-do at some point, mark my words). At first, I was going to paint it black, but then I thought I might paint my mantel black (which I'm still planning on doing, but wanted to do this first) so I didn't want them both to be black since they're in such proximity to each other. Then I thought about a creamy-white to match my molding but I wasn't sold on that idea either. Then, inspiration struck in the form of Worlds Away. Here's a photo of one of their cabinets . . . 

And my cabinet again. I'm really liking it!
Please don't look too closely as it is far from perfect, but I was kind of going for an aged gold look anyway. Not a fan of distressing or antiquing anything usually, I put a glaze on after I gold-leafed the whole cabinet (quite the ordeal, I assure you) and doors. Maybe my favorite part is how I took the glass out and sprayed it with this which I FINALLY found at my local Ace Hardware store:

It took it from clear glass to a mirror-like finish which conceals all the ugly components in my cabinet (see above). Brilliant. 

I hope everyone else's mojo is intact, and Happy Mother's Day to all the moms out there!

Wednesday, May 9, 2012


I thought I had lost my shopping/treasure-hunting mojo, which in turn affects my blogging mojo. But sometimes it just needs a kick-start. You see, my estate sale/thrift-store/Craigslist-hunting forays have been turning up absolutely nothing. Nada. Dejected and sad, I didn't feel much like blogging. Ridiculous, I know. But, today, during a quick trip to Homegoods, I grabbed a little (well, not technically small) vase that was actually very heavy and my faith was restored. Here it is . . .
Yes, it's got some large chips (on the backside out of view), but the Homegoods people were nice enough to discount it for me. This is an Instagram photo from my phone, and while the color is not spot on, it's pretty close. I think it will add a nice jolt of emerald green somewhere (I haven't decided where it will live yet). It's currently hanging out on my mantel. It reminded me of a vase that Hillary Thomas used in a home featured in Lonny last year . . . 

Boom, mojo restored for $15. Not a bad deal. Plus, there are more estate sales starting tomorrow so there's always hope for future treasures. And, I've got a new client meeting tomorrow which always gets my creative juices flowing. Oh, and there are a couple of home projects I will hopefully be sharing in the near future, so stay tuned!

Thursday, May 3, 2012

I'm Having a Moment

A blue and white moment, that is. Well, it's probably more than a moment. Maybe I should call it my "blue (and white) period." Whatever you want to call it, blue and white pottery/china/ceramics have always been a classic and traditional decorating staple, but now they're starting to show up in more modern interiors which I love. My most recent additions are two jars/vases from a local antique shop that were 50% off - so, I got these two rather large pieces for just $25. Not bad, I thought.
The smaller jar holding the tulips I got during a trade with my sister. You can see the details here.
Obviously, the Champion Cobalt blue of my dining room is a nod to these lovely Asian ceramic pieces. And, can we just talk about the elephant in the room? No, really, there's actually an elephant in my living room now . . . 
Isn't he cute? I just couldn't resist. Picked him up for $6.99 at another little antique mall. Oh, yes, more blue and white. Oh, and did I mention there's a big estate sale tomorrow just loaded with the stuff? I wonder where I'll be come 9 a.m. tomorrow?

If your house needs a little sprucing up, just shoot me an email, and I can help you find the perfect pieces (that won't break the bank) to finish off your space! Want more details? Check out the Services tab at the top of my blog.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Teasing is Cruel

Teasing? I'm not talking about taunting or bullying of young children here - no - that's not just cruel, it's unacceptable. I'm talking about flea market vendors who have things like this sitting around their booth, are nowhere to be found and when they do finally return (after I've circled 50-leven times), tell you it's not for sale . . .
What the what?? Are you kidding me??? It should be illegal. Yes, that is Sun Drop just sitting in the chair and a dish of dog food under the chair. If you're not from the South and thus unfamiliar with Sun Drop, I will liken it to Mountain Dew - full of caffeine and sugar. Which explains the state of the vendor's few remaining teeth, all of which I wanted to punch out when he told me the chair was not for sale. Sorry, that was unkind. But I did feel that way. I own it. I realize this chair is not to everyone's taste, but I've been secretly wanting a piece of gilt rope furniture ever since I saw Angela's guest room settee . . . 

Then more recently, when I spied this rope bench in a nursery . . .

Love. And truly, I was just looking for a little bench like this when I saw the chair, and my jaw dropped. Of course, I would have reupholstered the red chair to something more sedate like black or cream so it didn't look like I was living in a bordello. When the chair vendor finally decided to make an appearance (after I had left my card with the good-natured Mid-Century vendor across the way and asked him to share it with the guy if he ever returned as I was interested in the price), he told me that he had just purchased it that morning from another flea market vendor who had cleaned out the estate of a former decorator. Which made me even angrier . . . this time at myself for not having arrived earlier at the flea market. Oh well. The whole moral of this story is that there should be a code of ethics at flea markets, etc. If the chair wasn't for sale, don't leave it out for everyone to see and then leave your booth unattended. Rude. At least have the decency to put a sheet over it or simply put a sign that says NFS on it or something. Also, cliche but true, the early bird gets the worm. Or the rope chair.

What else did I see at the flea? These cool Kelly Wearstler-esque chairs . . .

I've never seen anything quite like them. The brass detail running down the middle was so unique. Of course, I have nowhere to put them, so I texted a photo of them to my friend Bri, and of course, she wanted them badly. So, she met up with me soon thereafter, and they were hers. I'm sure she'll be posting about their new home in her basement soon!

Other than that, I saw a couple of cool lamps, but didn't buy anything. However, remember Anastasia of the tortoise shell sconce fame? I actually got to meet her in person. She was so sweet, introduced me to her dad and then actually gifted me a very cute vintage ice bucket from her booth with . . . wait for it . . . Greek Key on it. 
How sweet is that? So, the flea wasn't a total loss after all, and Anastasia restored my faith in the goodness of flea market vendors. The end (well, until I find a rope bench/chair/settee, that is).