Friday, June 29, 2012

FRIDAYfinds! - Seaside Cottage of my Dreams

As I get ready for a few days at the beach, 
I've been thinking about the many benefits of a ocean side cottage. 
And the potential it holds for laid back design. 
So here's my first picks for the "cottage of my dreams"
It starts with a comfy sofa like "Emma" from Sam Moore. The rolled arms are a must for nap time.
Notice the detail of spaced nail heads on the deck.  New look to watch!

I love the strength and scale of this piece from Hooker's Melange Collection. 
And the contrast of the light sofa and ebony finished cabinet is a play on the bright sunshine in the day versus the inky darkness of the ocean at night.  Even the wavy glass looks fluid and watery.
Gotta have a pair of these flanking the flat screen mounted on the wall!

Beautiful and durable, this substantial cocktail table has what it takes to
 handle drinks, dinner or a dinosaur puzzle.  It's also the place for my future sea glass collection. 
Hooker Seven Seas Collection

Great looking end tables for the sofa.  Love the mix of bronze and marble.  So organic yet edgy!
Global Views Runners side table

Top them off with a pair of these Mimi lamps in "Breeze" from Wildwood.

 I'm crazy about this Rafferty Console from Hooker. 
A must for the foyer, it looks like a relic from a capsized ship!

This is just a start! I'm sure I'll have lots of inspiration once I'm at the beach so stayed tuned.


Thursday, June 28, 2012


Today's Woman Magazine really put on a show Tuesday night 
to honor the 12 women who won "Most Admired" in their category!
My sincere thanks to everyone at Today's Woman for making us feel so special.

That's Cathy Zion, publisher of Today's Woman on the stage with me.  If it wasn't for her great leadership and vision, none of us would have been recognized.  Thank you Cathy.
Each one of us was asked to speak about a woman
that we admire the most.
There were many heartfelt testimonials that spoke to the spirit and determination
of women today and throughout history.
I chose to talk about Dorothy Draper, a pioneering interior designer from the early 20th century.
(See my blog "Dorothy Draper Revisited" for more on this amazing woman)

Many of my closest friends and family were able to attend the celebration.
Krista Newton, my able assistant, is my bedrock...and close friend.

Some of the "girls" in my family. 
I'm so glad they were there.

So lucky to have my own family together for the event.  It's rare these days!

The biggest surprise of all was this group of ladies!  
All wonderful friends from our little community of Anchorage.  
What memories we share of our kids growing up.
All of you created a new special memory for me by being there.

Sometimes design takes a very personal direction, away from the creative process.
This was one of those times.  And I'm grateful.


Friday, June 22, 2012

FRIDAYfinds! - Color of the Year

My days - and evenings are filled with searching for the best and coolest "things" for my clients.  
I thought it would be fun to share some of these fabulous discoveries with you so I'm launching my 
You'll see everything from the smallest detail to a total room design. Whatever hits a chord with me.
So tag along and enjoy the hunt!

Pantone, the leading color authority, named Tangerine Tango as THE color for 2012. 
They refer to it as a 
"spirited reddish orange (that) continues to provide the energy boost we need 
to recharge and move forward"
Its influence has been seen everywhere, especially in fashion and interior design.
 Here's my take on it... 

This clean-lined club chair from Lillian August would certainly take center stage in any room.
Complement with a neutral sofa and textural sisal rug and pop the color again with edgy pillows.

Or take it in smaller doses.  Love the name of this vase! 
Molton Jewel Vase - Global Views
Activate it with a single Elephant leaf and you're done.

Think this color is too strong?  Nature didn't think so...
Madegoods coral on base

Sometimes less is more. John Robshaw got the color balance "just right"!  
Seeing this on drapery panels in a family room with navy upholstery.  Cozy but updated.
John Robshaw for Duralee - American Beauty  #21037-92


Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Dorothy Draper Revisited

I can't wait to show you the photos from my recent visit to the Greenbrier.  What a tranformation from the last time I was there! The entire resort has been revitalized with new ownership and casino.  Originally designed by Dorothy Draper, the renovation remains true to her vision with Carlton Varney at the helm.

Dorothy Draper, one of the great design icons of the 20th century, displayed an exuberance in her designs that shocked the world.  She was never swayed by the resistance to her bold color combinations. To the contrary, it fueled further experimentation in the things she instinctively knew were the key building blocks to her distinctive style.

In addition to mixing unlikely colors, 
she exaggerated scale to create drama.  Those lamps are 45" tall!
And yes, that's a clock on the wall.  
But it's far from typical with the heavy ornamentation that makes it a statement piece

She understood the power of exciting the "eye" as you move through one space to another.
Every turn creates an opportunity to surprise and delight.

Descending to the casino level presented a design challenge in itself.  With no natural light and a perception of going down to a basement, masterful use of  visual tricks added up to a stair well with star power!

The casino lobby definitely puts you in the mood to gamble!  
Dorothy Draper loved to create framed vignettes to intrigue and entice you to move toward a new space.
Notice the use of color to pull the eye from the blue sofa to the blue wall in the casino.

Nothing is left to chance. Every detail is well thought out.  This incredible crystal chandelier is one of a dozen that hangs in the main dining room.  I couldn't take my eyes off of it!

Whats not to love!  

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Beach Bound!

I see myself under one of those umbrellas...
The Ritz Carlton in Naples, Florida
 is famous for pampering so it seems like the perfect destination 
for our short getaway.

But first....

my picks for the beach...or pool.  
This Milly cover-up fits the bill with just the right balance of color and comfort

Gotta have this beach bag!!!  

Pair with these fun Dolce Vita sandals for a little glamour.  Love the snakeskin detail!

Sun is fun....under a chic hat like this one.

On location in a few weeks!  
And of course, I plan to check out the great beach houses while I'm there.
I'll keep you posted.


Friday, June 8, 2012

Show House Sneak Peak!

Nothing stokes my creativity more than a show house!  

I love the challenges and the freedom to think out of the box.  
And I'll get my chance at this year's Bellarmine Women's Council Show House. 
Selections of rooms were made last week and I'm excited to say that 
I will be designing the dining room in this beautiful Jeffersonian-style home. 
 I thought it would be fun to give you a sneak peak at work in progress... 

Measuring day took a little imagination since there were no walls, ceilings or floors!
But don't our bags look "marvelous"!

The fireplace without the mantel is a interesting vignette on it's own. 
It's a rare look at the layers of life that have been exposed.

The cool part of this room is that it is integrated with the kitchen, which is right behind the fireplace.
This dining room will not be your typical formal space.
It will serve as both a family gathering spot for homework and casual meals 
as well as a comfortable entertainment area.

Oh the possibilities...  I can't wait!


Wednesday, June 6, 2012

My Personal Quest

Recently I was interviewed and the question came up, "What would you still like to accomplish?".
One of the things on my rather long list mixes business with pleasure.
What could be better than planning trips around touring the great homes of America?
Learning about the architecture and interior spaces of these magnificent national treasures
is my idea of the perfect vacation! 

I could think of no better place to start than Monticello, home of Thomas Jefferson, located outside Charlottesville, VA,  I've visited this fabulous home on many occasions over the past four years that my son has attended the University of Virginia, another one of Jefferson's creations.

This is where Jefferson's genius came to life!
His personal study was so inspiring to me.  Could have stayed in there for a while, had the tour guide not ushered me to the next room... I was lucky to catch the afternoon light in this photo.

The dining room was recently returned to it's original color
Chrome Yellow.
Perfect choice then ...and now!

Jefferson was facinated by Chinese Chippendale as seen in these three patterns on the railing.
Inspiration for a fabric?

I couldn't get enough of Jefferson's terraced garden!  Perched on the side of his "mountain", 
it's a work of art.

Jefferson built his garden pavilion as a place to contemplate.  I agree...


Friday, June 1, 2012

The Winners Are Featured!

It is such an honor to be in the company of so many wonderfully talented women
Today's Woman Magazine June Issue 
which features the winners of the "Most Admired Woman" competition.

Thanks to all of you who made it happen for me.  
Be sure to read all of the inspiring stories from these great Ladies of Louisville!
join me for a night of celebration on June 26th.  You can register on-line at