Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Derby Fever has hit!

As the festivities of DERBY WEEK gear up...
Photo by Jacob Zimmer - special to The Courier-Journal

I'm winding down.

It's always a big push to make sure my projects come together in time for all the fun.
And now that the fluffing and tweeking is done, I can relax a little and join in too!

Photo courtesy of The Courier-Journal
Horse racing is just part of the story this week.
Tomorrow, a different type of race will take place on the Ohio River,
the Great Steamboat Race 
between the Belle of Louisville and Cincinnati's Delta Queen.
We used to take our kids to this event when they were little.  
Great time for families!

Photo by Sam Upshaw Jr.; The Courier-Journal
I plan to be part of the action on Thursday, when the 
Pegasus Parade
takes over downtown Louisville!
This year will be extra special with the 
NCAA National Champions, our own University of Louisville Basketball team, 
in the spotlight.

Photo by Bill Luster/Special to The Courier-Journal
But for me and many locals, nothing quite compares to the 
The Kentucky Oaks on Friday,
especially when you get to experience a "first" like this!
Last year, we cheered on Rosie Napranik who become the first woman to win the Oaks 
on a horse named (get ready for this)

And this Saturday, Rosie will be the "first" woman to race in the Kentucky Derby!
Wonder who I'll be betting on?


Friday, April 26, 2013

FRIDAYfinds! - The Small House Movement

Just read a great article from freshome.com
about the move toward smaller homes.
I'm not surprised, are you?

via southernhospitalityblog.com

They report that, "since 2007... new homes have shrunk 5%" and
"the average home size is expected to shrink another 10% by 2015".

In fact, when asked what their ideal home size would be, 
over 1/3 of homeowners say they want house plans smaller than 2000 sq ft!

Wow! Have we come a long way!
While this trend has definitely been influenced by the economy,
I prefer to think it's because we are becoming more aware of our "footprint".

We're realizing the cause and effect of living in a large space versus a small one
in terms of the costs of construction and the energy required to maintain it.
Do we REALLY need all that space?

As I've shared with you on a recent post, "Dining Room Dreams" I am a huge proponent
of using every square inch in your home,
making it multi-functional for ALL the activities your family enjoys.
This becomes much more essential in a smaller home,
but is it a bad thing?

I think this movement is a fabulous "correction of the market"!

It's forcing us to concentrate more on need-based design, 
where the end result is total functionality and comfort.

Whether you're staying where you are
considering building your dream home,
I hope you'll rethink what 
really means to 

Now more than EVER...

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Market Pulse - Just in!

Just had to share these new intros from High Point Market with you today!
I'm continually amazed at the manufacturers 
and their talented design teams.
Jonathan Charles Versailles Demilune TV cabinet
This is the PERFECT solution for hiding your TV in a formal area.
Imagine the delight of your guests, when you offer to turn on the game with after-dinner drinks!

This new collection from Studio A
is a testament to the enduring quality of classic forms.
Just beautiful!

Market is wrapping up so these daily emails from my vendors
will soon disappear...
until then, I'll keep sending them your way!


Friday, April 19, 2013

FRIDAYfinds! - Virtual Market

The race is about to begin!
High Point Spring Market officially opens this Saturday
and I'm wishing I was on my way

right here in Derby City!
via downthestretchs.wordpress.com
This is the month leading up to
"the most famous 2 minutes in sports"
The Kentucky Derby is always held on the first Saturday in May 
and I'm racing to get my client's homes ready for it.
Guests, parties, dinners - 
Everybody wants their home to look its best this time of year.
So it's a mad dash for me to make sure everything arrives on time and looks fabulous!

Unfortunately,this flurry of activity keeps me from attending Spring Market every year.
But never fear!

Like my friend, Toby Fairley said in her blog yesterday,
Tobi Fairley
"Anyone can "go to market" from the comfort of their home"

She's referring to all the web sites that enable designers to see what's new and exciting
without buying a plane ticket!

And I'm definitely taking advantage of the technology.
So here are a few of my TOP MARKET PICKS from my in-box this week...
Alexander Julian British Lacquer Bed for Jonathan Charles
This is to die-for!  Alexander Julian says his design for this bed was
 "inspired by my grey flannel blazer from 1976"
The best part?  The customization!  The lacquered panels come in lots of cool colors
and the aluminum frame is available in either gold or silver.


Mirror Image Home Light Horn framed mirror
Is this not gorgeous?  I'm in love with the pairing
of a Chinoiserie-inspired shape reinterpreted in horn.
Like the bed, you're not tied to this combo.
This mirror can be finished in wood, iron or leather as well!

Pearson 215 ottoman
Talk about customization! A designer's dream, this cocktail ottoman
can be personalized from head to toe!
With infinite fabric choices, you can also specify the type of nail heads
as well as the finish on the feet.

I'm wishing all my designer friends a fun and fruitful Spring Market!

As for me, it's

"Embrace the joys of good design!"

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

My Basket List

I have one of these gathering baskets hanging on a wall in my den.  
I fill it with flowering branches or holly leaves....really whatever I find outside at the time.
It reminds me to stay in touch with the rhythm of the seasons.
But lately this basket has reminded me of something else,


Yes I know most call it a "bucket" list,
but I'm not the "bucket" type. 
So I decided to coin my own phrase.
A basket seems so much more refined than a bucket
and for me, it symbolizes the thought more creatively.

Now that I have a basket to fill up, 
I'm "gathering" my ideas on what I want to put in it.
People I want to meet
Places I want to go
Things I want to experience

There are soooo many wonderful things to do in my own city
that I've decided to start right here.
And I've already done one of them!

An old bridge has recently been redesigned for walking
so my daughter and I took the hike from Kentucky to Indiana.
(which only takes about 20 minutes)

One down, a hundred million to go...
I'll share more with you as I check things off my list.

What's on YOUR basket list?


Friday, April 12, 2013

FRIDAYfinds! - Repurposing hits High Point!

Butler Aviator Collection
When I pulled up this new introduction from a vendor today, I had to take a second look!

Is it a bird? Is it a plane? No it's........not superman.
It's an airplane wing re-purposed into a cool desk.
And what style it has.  Something very quirky and retro about it.

"I love the idea of owning a tiny chunk of aviation history"

It seems the manufacturers can't get enough of this trend at High Point Spring Market.
And I'm glad to see it.  
It speaks to our growing desire to recycle, reuse, and re-purpose
whenever possible.

What's amazing is the totally creative products that are emerging
as a result of this high demand for "greener" furnishings that have some form of "historical reference".

Re-purposing is the logical path.  

Whether its a table or lamp, it instantly feels more grounded and important.
when something "old" is part of the design.
Maybe that's because we love to trace the roots and imagine a great story line.

Seriously, can you think of a more unique conversation piece than an airplane wing?


Thursday, April 11, 2013

Choose with care...

Suzanne Rheinstein design

"Have fewer things but better things"

This quote from Suzanne Rheinstein 
has stayed with me since I read it in a recent issue of  HOUSE BEAUTIFUL.

Such a simple concept
when it comes to our own homes,
not so easy to implement.

As we've been talking about 
I can't help but think about the importance of making good choices along the way.

We all strive to live in a simpler, more fulfilling way,
by surrounding ourselves with meaningful possessions
and eliminating unnecessary clutter.

This means we have to be the "editors" of our own spaces
by only allowing those things that 
stay true to our personal style,
and contribute to the overall ambiance of our home 

To me, each design decision should be based on these three questions:

*Does it give me joy?
*Does it have a place and purpose?
*Is it the best quality I can afford?

Ask yourself these questions next time you get the 
urge to buy
something for your home.
I guarantee if you stick with this
the results will be astounding!

One day you will look around and be able to say,
"I love everything about my home!"

And isn't that the whole point? 

From Joan Waddell's personal collection


Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Style Booster - Bedroom Bliss Part II

Last week our personal house tour took us to your bedroom.
We talked about wall color and how important it is to pick one 
that makes you feel calm and nurtured.


Maybe you didn't finish it...but did you take a stab at it?
I'm confident you will find the 
that speaks to you and gives you that sense of well-being. 

And as promised, I'm back this week to give you some 
tips on making your bedroom supremely comfortable.
It's all about choosing the appropriate furnishings...

Lillian August Landon King Bed
  Of course you need a bed, but there's so much more to it than that!

(Super tip #1:  First, find a mattress that gives you the best support.
Then choose a bed frame that fits your mattress and your personal style.) 

This one is a clear winner for me.  
The updated canopy has a traditional reference without being predictable
and the tufted headboard is cozy. Just right for reading in bed!

Hickory Chair Murano Chest
The next most important purchase is a chest.  Bedside or across the room,
it is the most versatile piece you will ever buy.
You've heard me say it before...A chest can move anywhere in your home -
from  foyer to den to bedroom.  
It's one of those investments that just keeps giving!
This is a favorite of mine with its trellis overlay on the drawers.
It would look fabulous next to the painted canopy bed!

(Super tip #2:  Make sure you get the height right!  There's nothing more annoying 
than a bedside table that is too short in relation to the bed.  
Everything should be within easy reach.)

Arteriors Hastings Hand Carved Lamp
And that brings me to your lamps.
They will have a bigger impact than anything else in your bedroom!
Trust me on this one. 

(Super tip #2:  Remember what a lamp is there for.  Good lighting is 
essential not only for overall affect, but also for reducing eye-fatigue when reading in bed. 
I like tall lamps that give good illumination and have a sense of drama.)

Sam Moore Kamea Chair
We're talking creature comforts. Right?  
Gotta have a place to perch...to take off your shoes
or snuggle up with your pet.

(Super tip #3:  If you have the space, I prefer a chair over a bench.  
It's just more versatile and adds another layer of comfort to your bedroom.)

It's also a great opportunity to add another texture or pattern.
I'm definitely about comfort first, but this chair has it all
with a cushy seat and elegant lines, too!

Lots to think about, I know.
But I have faith!!!!
With some patience and a little soul-searching,
you can create a bedroom that 
lulls you to sleep and wakens you softly.



Friday, April 5, 2013

FRIDAYfinds! - Pinterest Fever

It's surprising what has developed for me through social media.
A simple tool like this blog has introduced me to so many wonderful people,
both on the vendor side and the client side.
I've also reconnected with lots of friends from the past who I now keep up with.
 Facebook and Twitter gives me a chance to stay in touch on a daily basis and 
the bonus of tracking birthdays too!

And then there's Pinterest...
OK.  I'm admitting it now.
I'm addicted and showing no signs of withdrawal!
Why is this site so mesmerizing?
Well...let me count the ways.  There is nothing more exciting to a designer
than VISUALS!!!
And Pinterest offers up a infinite number of images to view 24/7.

Who needs sleep???

Customizing your own boards with everything you love is a dream come true.
And now I'm finding that it is a fantastic design tool too.
Great search engine for finding inspiration, or just a cool door knob.
And it's becoming indispensible when working with my clients.
We shoot pix back and forth on secret boards as we develop our projects.

Which brings me to the newest, exciting thing I'm involved with on Pinterest.

It's a Pinterest-inspired contest 
for ASID (American Society of Interior Designers) members across the country
to show off their talents.
we are asked to build a board with a specific color theme and fabrics
that expresses our design philosophy.
Then the pinning begins!
Anything that inspires that color theme can be pinned on our board.
Oh wow!!!! How fun is this?

My board started with this fabulous painting I found on Pinterest
by James Nares.
James Nares

I started pairing it with different SW colors and
came up with a combination that is really exciting and fresh.
Sherwin Williams 6597 Hopeful
Sherwin Williams 6966 Blueblood
Sherwin Williams 6127 Ivoire
Sherwin Williams 6585 Coming Up Roses
I imagined working with this color scheme in a historic garden folly by a pool
similar to this one.
McIntire Garden Folly at Peabody Essex Museum
From there I designed a mix of traditional upholstery covered in
outdoor fabrics from Sunbrella to make it easy and worry-free.
Sunbrella Luxe Indigo

I had so much fun creating the interior of my imaginary Pool House!
It's really does reflect my design philosophy...

"I love stirring up the pot with a blend
of classical references and modern interpretations
and throwing in a few unexpected surprises
along the way."

Follow me back to Pinterest to see my entire board...
  I've pulled together some fantastic lighting, tables and accessories
to create a space that
is respectful of the historic structure, yet lively and updated!

Now it's a waiting game to see if I will be one of 10 winners
who will participate in the Pinterest Pavilion
at Dwell on Design in June in LA!

Wish me luck!


Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Style Booster - Bedroom bliss starts with color

If you're following my series on how to
you know I'm on a mission!

"I want to help you create a home that 
really expresses your true personality and tastes." 

We've been walking through your house, one room at a time,
so I can point out ways to put your signature on each space.

And now we stand at the doorway of your bedroom...
Before we enter, what's your first impression of the space you've created?
Does it beckon you?
is it so scary you're afraid to step inside???

We've all heard it enough.
We know that our bedrooms should nurture, protect and re-energize.
But, if you're like most of us.  It just hasn't worked out that way.
The one place that can have the greatest impact on our daily lives
is often ignored to the point that it is actually an irritation, rather than a pleasure.
"What are you going to doing about it?"

It starts with a better understanding of YOU,
and what makes you feel good.

And the answer is different for each one of us.
But there is a way to get the ball rolling...

One that gives you a sense of well-being and security

A recent survey in House Beautiful magazine
indicated that Blue is the favorite among readers for the bedroom.
Todd Romano design
But it may be different for you. Blue could be at the bottom of your list.

Meg Braff for House Beautiful
Are you more of a Green fan?  What shade?  Cool or warm, vibrant or muted?

Sherwin Williams Urbane Bronze walls via Houzz
Or do you prefer a dark rich color that wraps around you like a cocoon?

"It's so important to get it right."
It may be trial and error to zero in on the perfect color or shade.
Don't be shy about testing your paint options on the wall.
You'll get a much better sense of what works after seeing it during different times of the day
and after dark, when the lamps are on.

I'm going to leave it at that, for now...
in hopes that you'll take the time to discover your signature bedroom color.

 Next time, we'll talk about what goes in your bedroom...
 and more importantly, what DOESN'T!