Thursday, August 29, 2013

Show House Update - SIGH OF RELIEF!

We've been through a major transformation of our room this week!

 Thanks to the cleaning crew who was there all weekend,
we have been able to start moving things in without tracking dust everywhere.

One of the key pieces in the room is this beautiful antique secretary
which I've repurposed as a bar. I'll show you how I set it up in a future post.

You can see our fabulous red chairs here, all wrapped up in their blankets!

I'm sooo thankful for my skilled contractors!  
I couldn't do any of this without them.  We truly are a team.

My windows were tricky, and I wanted to correct a problem
of one window being shorter than the other.  I discussed my solution with 
my workroom and they helped me figure out how to make it work!
Even so, I always hold my breath during installation...

It was amazing to finally see the whole window treatment design come together!

  Once the big pieces were "safely" in the room,
we were able to work on the details like hanging the artwork

...this fabulous antique mirror above the fireplace.

I'm really excited how all the elements have come together in my space.
It's a room made for comfort - long conversations with friends,
writing a letter, or curling up with a book.
The eclectic mix is both familiar yet unexpected. 
And that's JUST the way I like it!

If you're in town, please come see me in the room during 
Designer Nights
every Tuesday and Thursday from 5-7pm.
for the run of the show.

SEPT 7 - 22

Hope to see you there!


Friday, August 23, 2013

Show House Update - 5 days and counting...

"Good things come to those who wait"

I've adopted this motto in the past week
as we've attempted to install our room, the
amongst the paint, hammers and never-ending DUST!

First of all, let me say that this show house
is going to be the most magnificent in recent years
with its incredible historic architecture and enchanting grounds.

the road to opening day has been rocky.

It's a given that undertaking a historic renovation has it's risks.
You never know what you will run in to.
And this house has been no exception.
But every time an issue comes up,
it's the snowball effect 
and everyone's schedule has been pushed back.

But we all understand that "Great things don't come easily".
It's been an ambitious project, on a short timeline
and everyone involved has had to work together to get it done by our deadline

A case in point...
One day, when I was bringing things to the house, I noticed this area under the eave
that had been totally removed.
The reason?

A beekeeper had to be called in to move the Queen Bee to a nearby roof
so the colony would follow.
Who would have anticipated something like that?

This is just one example of the "surprises" that come with renovating an old house.
But it's also a testament to the care being taken to insure issues in this house 
are addressed and corrected  in the appropriate way.
There are no shortcuts allowed!

The result?
This will certainly become a jewel in the crown for the Bellarmine Women's Council
as they celebrate their 40th anniversary of the Show House! 

But long after the show house closes, it will remain as a wonderful
addition to the historic treasures of Anchorage, KY

And that's worth waiting for!



Friday, August 16, 2013

FRIDAYfinds! - Tassels and Timelines

I'm often asked what a 
"TYPICAL" day is like for me as a designer.

Honestly, I don't think there IS such a thing as a "typical" day in the design business.

But that's really what I like best about what I do!

Each morning when I unlock the door to the studio, 
I know there will be variety in my day.
I'm not saying that it's always fun and creative,
but at least it's a change-up from the day before.

I took this picture of our work table today to give you a glimpse of the action.

There are probably five to six projects represented here, in various stages.
We're working on a furniture layout and specifications for one client,
while searching for the perfect grout color for another (the tile installer called and needed it asap).
In between, I'm out on appointments or meeting my contractor to go over a renovation.

It may appear a bit unorganized, but not really.
Each client  has their own wire bin where everything goes at the end of the day.
It's a great system for storing all the different types of samples we need to put a design together.
When we want to check a fabric, tassel trim or tile sample, it's right at our finger tips.

The biggest challenge as a business owner?
Managing projects so they keep moving forward on a timely basis, 
while juggling all the administrative "stuff" that comes up.
My real love is DESIGN
so I try to keep the business side under control
to give me more time for the "CREATIVE PROCESS".

When I'm developing a design concept, I separate myself from distractions
by going upstairs in my studio.
It's my "QUIET ZONE"
and it's where I do my best creative work.

As the day winds down, I move in to my office and check emails.
After being on my feet all day, this a welcomed break!

But the real treat at the end of the day is
writing my blog!
 It's energizing for me to write about the many facets of interior design
and I love to share my experiences with


Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Bermuda - The Sky Club Mural's Journey

I'm facinated with wall murals!
I love the sheer beauty of them - the interesting details, vivid colorations, 
and the fact that they tell a story.
And I've featured them on my blog from time to time...
Maybe I subconsciously seek them out where ever I happen to be
maybe they seek me out..
I don't know, but our paths have crossed once again!

On my recent trip to Bermuda, I made reservations at 
The Point Restaurant  at Tucker's Point Resort to celebrate my husband's birthday.
Little did I know that there was a fabled mural waiting to greet me!

Sky Club mural at The Point Restaurant
This mural has had quite a fateful journey to get here.
It started its life in 1965, gracing the walls of the Sky Club  
 in what was once the Pan Am Building in New York City.

To me that's enough of a story in itself.  I'm obsessed with 60's lifestyle!  
Did anyone catch the short-lived ABC period drama called "Pan Am"?
It was all about the pilots and flight attendants who made Pan Am Airways so glamorous.
Sorry for the digression...Back to the story

Commissione by Juan Trippe, the founder of Pan American World Airways,
the original 80 ft mural was the work of Gerard D'Alton Henderson.
It depicts the various ports-of-call visited by early Clipper ships in the 1800's .
Facinated with Clipper ships, 
it's not surprising that Juan Trippe wanted to glorify them in this mural. 
  He even named his aircraft after them!
The mural was completed in 1966 and remained in the Sky Club for 45 years.

Fast forward to December 2005...

The Sky Club closed and the mural was put up for auction.
Ed Trippe, son of Juan Trippe, was there, hoping to save the mural from an uncertain future.
He had an ambitious plan - to bring the mural to Bermuda 
to adorn the restaurant in his new venture, a luxurious resort called Tucker's Point. 

But he was OUTBID!

If it hadn't been for the winner withdrawing his bid, 
this fabulous mural would have been hidden 
forever from public eye.

It certainly has the attention it deserves now!

This is my one and only photo of the mural.  
I took it on the sly as we walked through the crowded dining room to our table.
But during dinner, 
my eyes kept wandering 360 around the room to catch all the different 
views of this incredible work of art.  Believe me, it was breathtaking.

This is the same view of the Port of London and Gouchester Seaport as seen on the artist's website

Another port-of-call, Rio de Janeiro 1850's

And my favorite, Victoria Harbor, Hong Kong 1860's

Needless to say, it was a very "glamorous" experience for me.
After learning the story of the mural's connection to Pan Am, the 60's
and the precarious path back to its rightful owner, I was mesmerized.
It has all the intriguing ingredients for a great movie, don't you think?


Friday, August 9, 2013

FRIDAYfinds! - The GEO trend

Where they were seen as quirky accent pieces in the not-so-distant past,
are now out front and center.
And the design world is mining deep for inspiration!

Arteriors Agate accent lamp
In their natural form, they are certainly worthy of special treatment,
And this lamp artfully gives an Agate fragment a place of honor.
the trend isn't just about the "real deal".
It's also about creative interpretations.

Hickory Chair Serge Ottoman with Hable Construction Marble fabric
The marriage of shape and pattern on this ottoman
tells an story of the earth's layers being compressed under 
tremendous pressure for thousands of years...
and the resulting design. 

Made Goods Vega mirror
I'm lovin' this! 
Abstract as it is, there's no denying its roots...
Pebbles in a creek bed are the perfect inspiration for this fantastic sculptural mirror.

Vaughan Zaragoza lamp
Sometimes the simplest interpretations are the best.
This lamp is the perfect homage to nature, don't you think?

Why is this "GEO" trend gaining such popularity?
My guess is that we all crave a deeper connection to our earth
in our hectic everyday lives and through design, we can get a little closer.

A simple agate hung from a lamp or a swirl pattern wrapped around an ottoman  
can act as reminders to "reconnect" and enjoy our planet each day.

I'm particularly fond of Amethyst,
Maybe it's because it's long been associated with


Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Show House Update - Special Delivery

I know my posts have been somewhat "sporadic" lately...
With summer vacation, moving my daughter (twice)
and helping my clients get ready for Fall, it's been CRAZY!!!

But one thing's for sure - 
"The show must go on!"
(the Bellarmine Show House, that is)

And so in the midst of all this chaos of a summer,
I've been finalizing design details for my 
Private Ladies Parlour
and I have to say, it's coming together very nicely!

So far, so good.  
I know fully well from past experience, that as much as you plan,
you can never relax until you know everything is fabricated,
in your possession, and received in one piece, with no damage, on schedule.

And today, I was able to check a big one off my list!

Probably THE most important design element in my space,
these beautiful Pearson chairs arrived at the studio 
in perfect condition!
 This company never ceases to amaze me.  
They pushed these chairs through production in record time, 
which was even shorter due to their annual summer plant closing.
And they shipped them AHEAD of schedule!
One less thing I have to stress over.
Thanks PEARSON :) 

It's just four weeks from OPENING NIGHT
so I'll be sharing more details as we move into the final phase 
and start to put our room together.
I love this part.  
After months of planning, it's such a rush to finally see the design in 


Friday, August 2, 2013


I have to say...
 if I was going to suggest the BEST way to define
"STYLE" in your home, it would be to start a 

"There's nothing that speaks more about who you are 
than a personally curated assembly of like objects"

It's not only about the collection itself, but the story behind it.
One of the things I collect is 
Herend porcelain figurines.
I got my first one on our honeymoon at the beach.
And then I was hooked!
Now, every time we go on a trip, we pick out a new piece to add to the collection.
Over the years, we've built quite a story of our travels through these exquisite figurines.

What you see here is just a sampling.  I like to change it up, with my mood, so it remains fresh.
And I love mixing with other objects like the Limoges tasseled box.
Part of the fun is rearranging.  
My latest find, the black Chinoiserie jewelry box 
became the perfect perch for my Herend monkey!

 William Bluck and Co, Ltd.
So as you know, I recently went to Bermuda on vacation.
One day when I was wandering around the city of Hamilton, 
I stumbled upon my "Herend Heaven"!
Bluck's of Bermuda is a fabulous gift store that has been in business for 160 years
and they specialize in Herend china.
When I walked up the stairs to their Herend gallery, I just gasped!
I've never seen a more extensive collection!  It was striking to see this many pieces together.

And then these fish plates caught my eye!  
The hand painted details and color combinations were absolutely stunning.
I learned the story behind this collection from the sales associate...
Bluck's commissioned Herend to create an exclusive line for their Bermuda store.
"The Reef Fish Series"
 features 12 different fish found along the shores and reefs around the island
like the Stoplight Parrotfish, Spanish Hogfish, and my favorite, the Seahorse (of course).

I can imagine a collection of these plates gracing the wall in a dining room.
How fabulous would THAT be...

I love fine porcelain and that's why I am so attracted to Herend and wanted to collect it.
But your story is going to be very different from mine.
Whether you love vintage hair pins or old movie posters,
there's a collection just waiting for you.
Think about the things YOU are drawn to
and expand on it by starting your own collection!