Monday, January 31, 2011

Light and Wispy Monday

Just some pretty stuff to look at for this busy week ahead.

Please bear with me this week as things will be a bit light on here...light and wispy. I have a packed week and didn't get a chance to set up some posts ahead of time (still trying to get better at that). I hope everyone had a wonderful weekend! I had a great one but it went by way too thing I knew it was 8pm on Sunday. The weather here in Atlanta was amazing! It reached 70 degrees on both days and the sun was shining bright. It was a nice break from the grey winter sky and coats. The client meetings went great and we got my sisters drapes hung in her apartment. Unfortunately no delicious Sunday dinner happened....maybe next weekend.

Here is to the week ahead.....may it be carefree and wispy!

Images: Via Mary Ruffle

Friday, January 28, 2011

Weekend Wishes 1.28.11

This week has been busy as usual and boy am I glad it's almost over. We have had some big projects in the office and news of some new ones this week as well. Hopefully we can all pull together as an office and keep each other sane.

For this weekend the main task at hand will be client meetings. I have three meetings with clients and potential clients at all different stages of projects. I am excited about the projects I am working on so far and hopefully two of these meetings will result in more.

Other than that it's the usual. Rest, cleaning, and packing for the move at the end of can't get here soon enough. I am ready to get started on the new space! And, I have some DVR I need to clean out. All cooking shows that I have wanted to watch and just haven't gotten around to it.....maybe it will result in a new recipe to try for Sunday night dinner.

Hope you all have a wonderful weekend also! I can't believe January is over and February is next week. Is this going to be another year that flies by? I hope not too fast....2011 is gonna be great and I'd like to live it for awhile. Have a great one!

Images: Lonny Magazine - Celerie Kemble

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

They Would Live Here - Alicia (Intro)

I am adding a new series to get my creative juices flowing and to give you guys a look into what I can do. Over my blogging break last month I spent time thinking of ways to get more of my design work on this blog. Since all the projects I am working on now are in the super early stages it was starting to look like it was going to be awhile before I could get anything concrete on here.

So, I decided to make up clients instead. The series, called "They Would Live Here" will be comprised of me finding a photograph of someone (someone I don't know) and then designing a space based on the way they look. Fictional client, but still somewhat of the process I would go through after meeting a client except I can't talk to them. This would also be similar to an online design client as well...but maybe the opposite of speaking with them and not seeing them.

So, my first client is here:

I decided to give myself a bit of a running start on this one since it's the intro and had Crate & Barrel begin the design for me. Their add campaign - It's So You (which I love love love), has paired a person with a piece of furniture in their line. The photos were taken by Scott Schuman himself and Crate & Barrel has done a great job pairing the person with their furniture.

So, without further ado here is the room I came up with for Alicia (yep, had to give her a name):

So, Alicia looks tough but she loves feminine objects and colors as well. Living in NYC, Alicia wanted her living room to be calming and serene...but also have an edge. She loves to juxtapose the look of sleek pieces (the leather chairs) with somewhat feminine pieces. She loves modern art. The more freestyle, the better. She also loves black but wanted to soften it with calming pastels that let out a bit of her feminine side. Overall she wanted a pulled together room that reflected the opposites in her personality and didn't appear too stuffy or stale.


I am hoping that I can get one of these done every other week. If anything it will keep me on my toes and using my designer brain. Let me know what you guys think. Yay? Nay? Everyone else is already doing this? I would love to hear your thoughts.

Images: Crate&Barrel, Board Design by Lissa Pierce

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

7 Basic Ways to Achieve a "Designer" Looking Room

Over the years I have compiled a list of the most frequently addressed problems when friends, family, and clients ask for my help with their spaces. The following is a list of seven basic "design 101" principles that will have your space looking like a designer was there in no time.

1. Pull Your Furniture Away From The Walls

This is probably one of the biggest things I see when people ask what they can do to make a space look better. It's the first thing I say when I meet them, and often on the first consultation for a project. Too many times I walk into a space and the furniture is pushed all up against the walls.....and some people even have huge rooms! How are you supposed to have a conversation with someone sitting all the way across the room? Pull out your furniture and create a seating group.

2. Add Pattern

Another thing I often see is a sea of solids. Solid sofa, solid chair, solid pillows, solid rug, solid...solid...solid. That's not to say all solids won't work, but just adding one pattern would add some interest to a room. If you're brave why not add three or four. The key to mixing them flawlessly is to coordinate with color and then do different scales and pattern types (That's a whole post in itself). Also take into account that texture can read as a light pattern and can add some interest as well.

3. Layer Your Lighting

Nothing kills me more than to walk into someones living room, see no lamps, and the overhead "boob" fixture is the only light on in the place. This is soooo harsh and makes everyone look dead! Cozy up your space with some layered lighting. I'm not saying you can't have a ceiling fixture (but not the "boob") but also have lamps and other forms of accent lighting. A nice pendant to replace the surface mount fixture, maybe some sconces if there is a good place for them, and then lamps. There is no rule here for the amount but I like to say at least three sources of light in a room (for example: In our living room we have one end table lamp, sconces at the fireplace, and a floor lamp that arcs over the sofa). We have a small living room so three sources works for us, but you may need more depending on the size of the room. And yes, even your dining room can have more than just the pendant over the table.

4. Maximize Seating Options

Ever look at a magazine photo of a well done room and notice all the different seating options? Okay, just me? Well take a look again. Designers love to maximize seating options in rooms, especially if it's going to be used a lot.  Maybe you have a small living room where you have a sofa and two matching chairs. Why not add a third chair in a different style, or a bench, or some stools for pull up seating. Playing around with your floorplan is always a good idea to see if you can get in some extra seating (not cramming it in though!). Also, if you happen to have a larger room it's best to add multiple seating groups (this helps with #1 as well).

5. Create A Focal Point

Determining the focal point of a room is usually the first step you do when designing a space. A focal point is the first thing the eye gravitates towards in a space. It's usually a general rule that the largest thing should be a focal point. Like the sofa or fireplace in the living room, the bed in a bedroom, and the dining table or large credenza in the dining room. Some rooms do pose challenges when architectural features are involved such as fireplaces, great windows, or full wall built ins. In this case you can focus on those major architectural features, but if none are present it's usually safe to assume the largest main piece of furniture will be the focal point. After you determine what the focal point that item up. A statement piece of art over the sofa, a knockout pendant over the dining table, amazing drapery on the wall of windows. Whatever the focal point is, do something special to make it stand out.

6. Scale is King

When you work with a designer they always take into account the scale of the room and the pieces in that room. If your room is small and you have the biggest sofa in the world it can take over the space and make it appear smaller. The same goes for a lot of small furniture in a large can make the room appear cluttered and smaller. The best way to remedy this is to draw up a floor plan. See what fits and what you have more room for. Work so the furniture takes up space in the room but doesn't take over. Now, there are always ways to work with juxtaposition of scale and this can also be very successful in creating an interesting room, but for purposes of design basics this can be tricky to explain.

7. Mix It Up

It's pretty rare to have a designer use a matching set of anything these days. Most people who work with designers are looking for a cozy collected look because that is what they can't figure out for themselves. Days of the matching living room suite and bedroom sets are over. Mix and match your furniture pieces and don't be afraid to mix finishes and wood tones as well. Mix styles and's okay to mix that modern console with a traditional sofa. Just find a way to bridge the two and you are set. If you have a gut feeling something is off, then it probably is. No more "buying the room"! It's time to seek out the pieces you love....even if it's one at a time.


Okay, so now I guess you don't need me. Maybe you still do? I hope this list has helped in getting someone started on a space they love. Not everyone has the luxury of working with an Interior Designer and I think explaining some information is not a bad thing. I hope this list at least gets you thinking about ways to refresh your space if that's what you have been thinking about and can't use a designer. I am also always here if anyone has any questions. I would be happy to help with small questions and opinions or "just a second eye". After that, I'm afraid I'll have to charge you....hahaha. No really, if there are any questions on the above list please leave a comment or email me (address to the left). I would be more than happy to answer them.

Images: House Beautiful, Atlanta Homes Magazine, Unknown*, Unknown*, Elle Decor, Palmer Weiss, Jennifer Dyer, Unknown*, Bunny Williams, Domino, Miles Redd, Unknown*, House and Home, Elle Decor, Unknown*, Albert Hadley
* If you know any of the sources of the above listed unknown images please let me know. I would like to give credit where credit is due. Thanks.*

Monday, January 24, 2011

Must Have

So, I did get my nap this weekend. Two actually, and long ones (about 2 hours each). Thank You, Thank You, for all of your sweet comments from this was great!!!! I hope all of you had a wonderful weekend as well.

And speaking of naps.......I also got a chance to do a little on-line browsing and found the bed I want for the new place, since we are getting rid of our old one.......

I am still unsure of the color we want but I love the shape, and the price isn't too bad either. And another bonus...husband approved! Love it and can't wait to get this puppy ordered.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Weekend Wishes 1.21.11

Whew, what a week. It was smooth sailing at the beginning and then..bam, it exploded. Deadlines at work are proving to be way to stressful right now! I need to decompress and figure out the best way to go about my work week without being a zombie by the end of it..or on medication.

My number one wish for this weekend is to get a nap in! That's it, just a nap. For one hour. All I can think about is my nice cozy bed!

Other than that we have some fun plans and some things to get done around the house.
Tonight we are having a going away party for a dear friend that is moving to NYC. He will do amazing things there and we are all sad to see him go. It should be a good time to get everyone together.

My sister takes possession of her new apartment this weekend so we will be shopping for a few small things that she needs. My mom is coming into town to help her move on Monday so, I get to see her this weekend as well! The main thing on the list is a TV stand so we will be hitting up the local thrift stores in hopes of finding somethings great. Hopefully we will also have a relaxing dinner on Sunday night with Mom.

Other than that there is some blogging to catch up on, laundry to catch up on, and possibly some movie watching thrown in there somewhere. Hope everyone has a wonderful weekend planned even if you have nothing planned at all...those are actually the best kind. Have a great one and I'll see you next week!

Image: Living Etc.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Mental Break

Just look at these calming spaces.

Don't they just provide the best mental break?

I needed a nice mental break today even though I will be busy busy busy. I always benefit from looking at inspiring spaces when I am overwhelmed with what I have to do. This has been one of those weeks and when it seems like it will never end I pause and take a mental breather.....and look at beautiful spaces.

Sometimes when the project list is so long and you have a million things to do, it helps to stop, and take a look at the end result. Look at beautiful design and remember what it's all about.

Hope everyone is having a great week. If you happen to be having a crazy one like me, I hope this little mental break works for you as well. I also wanted to say thanks for all of you who stop by, and also all of you who leave me sweet comments. I have been trying to stay on top of those and answer back, but alas, time has gotten away from me. I promise to get better at answering comments so that we can keep the dialog going. Also, I have started to get going on twitter so please hop over there as well.  Until next time!

Images: Atlanta Homes Magazine, 54 Bond Street, Dominique Vorillon, Unknown

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

How To Make Store Bought Drapes Look More Expensive

Want to get a custom drapery look for the price of store bought drapes and hardware? Don't thread the rod through the drapes pole pocket!!!!

Not A Custom Look Here!
 Most store bought drapery (I'm talking store bought like Target, West Elm, etc.) typically come with either a pole pocket top or a grommet top. My advice is to get the pole pocket style in the desired length. And instead of threading the drapery rod through the pole pocket use rings and drapery hooks instead......

Drapery Hook

The result gives you a custom drapery look for a super low cost!

More custom look here!

You place the drapery pins in the backside of the pole pocket being careful not to break through the front. Then you take the backside of the pin (with the hook) and hook them onto the small ring connected to the drapery ring that then goes on the rod.

Sorry to not have good pics...mine turned out so dark. Thanks to So Haute and Isabella&Max Rooms for having some pics on the ready.

Easy as pie and a much more custom look than the using the pole pocket! Let me know if anyone has any questions. I would be happy to attempt better pictures if you need them. I have all of the drapery in my home installed this way so I have done it many times.

P.S. One word of caution though. Depending on the material used you must be careful if you plan to use these as operable drapes. If you have a lightweight linen or silk the drapery pin could rip through if tugged at too hard. One way to work around this would be to have them lined or have the top hem(pole pocket) reinforced with lining or drapery tape....then the pin has more beef to stick into. I always use this technique on decorative side panels that are not expected to be operable.

P.S.S. Some retailers (like west elm and ikea) have added the option to get panels with hidden tabs at the back. This will give the same look but still doesn't look completely designer to me. 

Images: West Elm, Restoration Hardware, So Haute, Isabella & Max Rooms

Monday, January 17, 2011

Organization On The Brain

Okay, so I know that everyone thinks about organization in January and hoping that this will be the year they can actually pull it off. Anyone else hoping this is their year? It's all I can think about right now. I have been looking, looking, and re-looking at images of clean organized spaces trying to get myself jazzed up to make the new place amazingly organized!

The place we are in now never, I mean never, got organized! We tried, but when we didn't start out that way it just didn't happen. We vow to start from the moment we move in the next place to get it done! It's been stressful being unorganized. We love to entertain which means we love having people over to our house. Being unorganized has caused us to panic every time someone is coming over and moving things around (hiding things!!!) so that people will not know. I am soooo over that!

This time we will have a place for everything and everything in it's place. We will only have the amount of things we have room for. We will be organized! And our place will look and feel so much better. There, all we have to do is move. :)

Images: Domino, Thomas O'Brien, Apartment Therapy, Samantha Pynn

Friday, January 14, 2011

Weekend Wishes 1.14.11

As a new addition to the blog I will be stating my wishes for the upcoming weekend every Friday. Projects I would like to complete, things we have planned, and things I would like to do even if not planned.

The main event this weekend is the wedding of some dear friends on Saturday night. I am super excited to get all dressed up and celebrate with them. Cocktails, dinner, and dancing. It should be an amazing party.

I will also be meeting with a client to discuss lighting options for the home they are renovating. We will also have to talk about a way to visually divide the den and kitchen all while keeping it as open as possible. We have to discuss the options with the contractor before they start framing.

The end of the weekend will be spent finalizing the move. We will be taking one last look at a couple of places and getting all that pinned down. I can't wait for all that to be done.

Other than that we hope to get some more organizing/purging done with our stuff and relaxing.

How about you guys any big plans for your weekend? Anyone going somewhere fun or have some home projects they are working on? No matter what is going on I hope that everyone has a great weekend!!!

Oh, and a little update on my office organizing project. Well, it's been delayed. I had made progress and then the snow/ice kept me home this week. So, progress came to a screeching halt. I'll have to postpone the reveal till next week. 

Image: Haute Design

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Inspiration for Our New Home

Since we are moving soon I have been spending time looking through all my image files for "new place" inspiration. Just like a new project, I start out getting myself inspired on what I want the space to feel and look like.

I definitely am inspired by bright and colorful spaces this go around (maybe because the place we are in now is a bit too dark for my taste). And since we are selling/donating the majority of our furniture before we move, this leaves us with a somewhat blank slate to start with. Yeah, new stuff! I haven't really honed in on specifics yet, but these images get me thinking about the style we want for the new space.

I can't wait to get moving and start with projects in the new house. I have some ideas I still want to use from the old place that never got completed and also a whole slew of new ideas! Right now though we are busy organizing, packing, and getting rid of all the unnecessary stuff we don't need/want to move. That is enough to keep us busy till moving day!

Images: Lindsey Bond, Unknown, Kimberly Cornelison via Design Sponge, Carrier & Company Elle Decor, Timothy Whealon Elle Decor, LaSeur Interiors

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Thanks! But How Did This Happen?

Earlier this week I got a sweet email from Sherry over at Design Indulgence telling me she had bestowed me with the Stylish Blogger Award. What???? That can't be right. If you could only see what I was wearing when I opened the email...let's just say. Not Stylish! Ha ha. (Sorry that's snowed in cabin fever talking). Thanks so much Sherry for thinking of me.

So, the gist is that I am supposed to tell you 7 things about myself and then nominate/pass this on to 7 other bloggers. Good, 7 is my lucky number so here goes.......

1. I am from Richmond, VA originally and grew up there till I went to College in Raleigh, NC. I studied Interior Design at Meredith College and then moved down to Atlanta for a job....still here to this day.

2. I used to be a ballet dancer. I danced at the Richmond Ballet from age 3 till age 20. I was a trainee with the company but it all ended when I fell in rehearsal and twisted my knee. After surgery I decided it would be better for me to go to college...long story. People still point out that I stand like a ballerina to this day!

3. I met my husband out at a bar here in Atlanta celebrating my birthday. He just so happened to be celebrating his birthday too! We are a day apart (well, 4 years and a day). We went on our 1st date the next weekend and have been together ever since.

4. My favorite food is chicken nuggets. Yep I have a pallet of a 4 year old. I love kid foods. My husband is a major foodie and this drives him crazy sometimes when all I'm in the mood for is chicken nuggets or grilled cheese. I do like adult food as well though.

5. I can sleep. And by sleep, I mean 12-14 hours at a time. I often enjoy 12 hours of sleep on weekends and then also take naps during the day....I don't get alot done.

6. I am having trouble adding color to my life. Our house is pretty neutral as well as my wardrobe. If you see me wearing something colorful it's because I have borrowed it from my sister. I tried really hard after Christmas to get some color into my daily wardrobe. Good sales had me buying tons of stuff. Got home and realized it was all grey, black, and brown. I did get out with a muted purple sweater steps people.

7. My favorite color is green...whew, that was a hard one to admit. I hope people don't judge me too harshly (again....cabin fever  here)

And the 7 bloggers:
These are some blogs that I have been reading for awhile and love, and some that I have just recently started reading and am hooked. Some you may know and some you may not. Either way they are all amazing blogs and bloggers.

Jade @ Flip Flops and Pearls Design
Andrea @ Andrea Reh
Paula @ Two Ellie
Emily @ Senseless Sophistication
Anita @ A Dreamer's Den
Capella @ A Curated Lifestyle
Kate @ Centsational Girl

So that's it. Hope you learned a bit about me and if anything got some new blogs to look at. Thanks Again Sherry! Hope everyone is having a great week. As you can tell from my unhinged state above we are trapped at home because of ice and I can't wait to get out!

Adding Life To Your Space

Wanna add some life to your space? The best way to go about this is to actually add something living! And by this I mean live plants.

I know, I know, some of you may be thinking....but I kill plants! Well, there are tons of easy and indestructible plants that are hard to kill, and if you do happen to still kill those, you can always get another one! Just don't give in and use fake plants!!!! Doing a little research on your area and also plants that are low maintenance is easy and just look how it adds that extra something to these rooms.....

As I was taking a look around our house earlier I noticed that we don't have enough life in here. We only have one plant in the dining room and that's it. So, to add some more life during this dreary time when even the green outside is lacking I am going to add some plants through the rest of the house (just a few...I don't want to live in a jungle!). I'm thinking a small fern would be great in our dark living room and maybe a succulent would add some life in the kitchen and guest bathroom. That should do it...just a few small plants to add to our large one in the dining room.

How about you...Do you like plants in your home? Have you noticed them adding a little something extra to your space?

Images: Jessica Helgerson, Paul Costello Photography, Mark Burstyn Photography, Markham Roberts, Tommy Smythe

Monday, January 10, 2011

Snow Day

The snow started falling here last night and quickly blanketed Atlanta within a couple of hours. I love snow and I haven't ever seen this much in Atlanta since moving here six years ago. It's divine. I can't stop looking out the windows at the sea of white.

The city has come to a standstill and all is quite and relaxed. It's the perfect day to sit by the fire, drink tea, and catch up on some reading. It's the perfect time to take a much needed rest and stay bundled up inside. But, if you're tired of that then snow ball fights are always fun too.... How about you? What's your favorite way to spend a snow day???

Hope everyone had a wonderful weekend. We spent the weekend back home celebrating a family members milestone birthday and had a blast! Made it back in town just in time for the snow to start...whew.

Here's to a great week ahead and to staying warm!

Images: Jenni Penni via Two Brunettes, Unknown
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