Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Spring is here!

Spring has arrived (at my house anyway). To prepare, I have been doing a little Spring cleaning. Disclaimer: What you are about to see will (at first) be very annoying (in a good way) and make you feel like you must either:
1. Be incredibly unorganized or 
2. Convince you that I have some type of disorder. 
 I blame everything on Martha Stewart. She started this whole damn thing. I stumbled across her (very affordable) selection of labels at Staples while buying some computer paper. 8,000 chalkboard labels later and every glass jar at Homegoods, I tackled my pantry. 
It's so pretty, I have stopped feeding my kids (just kidding). Can you stand it? I thought I was done until I came across a pic of chalkboard painted pantry doors on Pinterest. Of course, I need this. In the photo, the pantry goddess writes grocery lists and menus on her pantry doors. I can't write menus because I don't know what we are having until about 12 minutes before my husband walks through the door, so that's out. I am writing the grocery list on them for now. It works great. I get to the store and can't remember what I wrote so I just buy whatever looks good. My kids have started writing messages to me. Like: Buy candy. Still it's cool. 
Speaking of Spring... my house (on the exterior) was starting to look haunted with all of the dead plants, leaves and spiky dead things coming out of my planters so... 
Ann reminded me that they might freeze and it isn't really Spring. I'm sure I will bring them in when it's too cold out. In the meantime, I'm in denial and must go so I can address my disorders.
Bye bye birdie,

Monday, February 27, 2012

A Blog Chain

Our blog friend, Kathy, from My Interior Life, tagged us in a blog chain. Kathy's blog is a great read and we adore her because she always leaves us comments. Thanks Kathy! We hate chain letters, chain recipes, you name it, but since this didn't promise bad luck -- just fun, we went for it. We decided to answer the questions separately because we are sure our answers will be totally different.

To the blogs we tag for the chain, don't break it and follow the rules:

1. You must post the rules!
2. Answer the 11 questions the tagger posted for you and then create 11 new questions to ask the people you’ve tagged.
3. Tag 11 people and link them in your post.
4. Let them know you’ve tagged them.

Kathy's questions to us:
1. Do you blog daily? Why or why not?
Hooper: I wish. Not enough time in the day. I love to blog and curl up and read other's blogs, but I'm lucky if we can get 3 in a week. Maybe it's the kids, maybe it's work or maybe I'm just unorganized. I so wish I could
Ann: Not daily, I love to blog when inspired our fired up about something I've seen, read or done.

2. Is blogging your day job, just a hobby or an off-shoot of your "real" job (which is what)? 
Hooper: Blogging is an off-shoot of my "real" job. I feel so lucky to be able to decorate people's homes. Blogging keeps me current and updated on trends, but also allows me to showcase my work and friend other bloggers, learn from them and grow as a designer. 
Ann: Def. an offshoot of my real job. I love to blog about things I've seen that I haven't done or used yet.

3. If you could pick one room in your house to have decorated by a famous designer, which room would you choose and why?
Hooper: My outdoor space. I have spent so much time working on the inside, I have neglected the outside. 
Ann: my bedroom.... this is the first room you should pay attention to. Your sanctuary but for me its always the last...

4. Which famous decorator would you choose to re-do your room (#3) and why? 

HooperThat's tough. I love Amanda Nisbet. She wouldn't remember me, but I used to babysit for her when I graduated from college and lived in New York. I didn't know I was interested in design at the time, but remember loving her apartment and could (to this day) tell you all about it. Not in a weird stalker way, but because I was so inspired. She had wall to wall leopard carpet in the nineties. I knew then, she was a genius because her young children would never be able to destroy it. Genius.
Ann: Miles Redd- so different from what I could do but I love how closely he pays attention to art and it is obviously an important component to him in a room! 5. What are your favorite type of posts to write (DIY, sharing new finds, inspiration pics, etc.)?

5. What are your favorite type of posts to write (DIY, sharing new finds, inspiration pics, etc.)?
Hooper: Not DIY, that's Ann. I can't paint, glue, staple or anything of the sort. I wish I could.  I like to write before and after posts about recently done rooms or new finds -- I love a deal and love to share it on my blog. 
Ann: I love junk shop post, finding the old and seeing the beauty within. One of my fave projects was bringing my thrift store artichoke lamp back to life!

6. What have you learned/what have you gained from blogging?
Hooper: I have learned so much from other bloggers, but it has also helped my design business. It is a evolving portfolio and I'm thrilled people like to read it. My husband is convinced that Ann and I are the only one's that read our blog, but I'm telling you, traffic is picking up!
Ann:I love seeing others creativity and I love being able to share my passions. I have learned others like when we share our passions too!

7.  For someone just starting out in the blogging world, what advice would you give?
Hooper: Write about what you love -- don't write about what you think people want to read about. Just express yourself and don't take it too seriously.
Ann:Don't stress... blogging should be fun.

8. What is your biggest decorating pet peeve?
Hooper: Ann would say fake flowers. I'm going to have to say karate chopped pillows,
Ann:Hooper's right...karate chopped pillows are a close second.

9. What is a little-known fact about you that your readers would be surprised to learn?
Hooper: I have a gluten allergy and my real hair color is dark brown (mousey brown).
Ann: I was to scared to take painting classes in art school so I never did... (wish I had)

10. Who do you most admire in the blogging world and why?
Hooper: Sissy from My Blue Hydrangea is a friend of ours. She told me about her blog one day and I was hooked. She is the one that turned me onto the whole blog world and convinced me to start a blog. I don't know that I would have done it otherwise. Oh yeah, and also Ann. She is a great blog partner:)
Ann:Love Sissy! Love her blog... def always inspiring. And Hoop- she too is a great blog partner!

11. What is a trend you still love (even if it's overdone, you just can't help yourself)?
Hooper: Geometrics and zebra. Love it, can't get enough.
Ann: Lucite... I consider it timeless.

Thanks so much Kathy for thinking of us. Now it's time for us to tag our favorite reads:

Now fellow chain bloggers: Here are your 11 different questions:
1. If your house was on fire (depressing I know), and you got your loved ones and pets, and sentimental stuff to safety (slow fire), what one piece would you take with you?
2. What is your favorite paint color?
3. What is the most favorite post you have ever read on someone else's blog (we won't get mad if it's not ours).
4. What made you want to start blogging? 
5. How often do you post and why?
6. Do you find, when reading other blogs, that you prefer to see the work they have done or inspiration photos?
7. Do you write the post the night before or do you write them in advance of when you plan to post them?
8. What "hot item" out there are you most drawn to at the moment? It can be a color, piece of furniture, style...
9. What is the biggest design dilemma you have ever encountered?
10. Anyone want to guest blog?

Check out these sites -- you will be inspired!
Happy Monday...
Bye bye birdie,

Friday, February 24, 2012

A Chinoiserie Before and After

The room I have been telling you about is finally finished! As much as I adore color and fun wallpaper, I absolutely love a client who totally trusts me and is willing to take risks. This client did just that! I'm starting with the "after" picture because when I showed it to my husband, he thought I had done the before ( hand-me-down pink chairs and floral sofa). 
Needless to say, it will all make sense if you read on...
Here is the BIG REVEAL...
This is what it looked like BEFORE...
I opted for a new sofa and coffee table, but kept the rest of her pieces. See the lamp in the far right corner? He was my inspiration for the room. 
 She got a pair of them as a wedding gift and we instantly hit it off:
Dear cute Chinese man, you helped me design one of my favorite rooms. I know you will feel right at home here. 
 The wallpaper is "Summer Palace" by Osborne & Little. It's divine in person.
 The secretary was moved to the wall opposite the sofa and we added two new chairs on either side, plus a cool gold sconce I stole from a friend's garage.
I love the detail. I added a little zebra (I'm thinking it should be my trademark??)

 The coffee table is an Indonesian bed. I just loved the color and the woven top. It adds another texture to the room (bonus: it can hold a small person). 
The Kensington goose neck chairs got a total make over with a Vervain fabric I found as a remnant (SCORE!). 
I love how they turned out. They are much prettier with a pattern that plays off of the curves of the chair (an improvement on the solid rose fabric).
I mixed in custom pillows with store-bought. Can you guess which one came from World Market? 
 Accessorizing was easy with her pretty things and silver tea service. 
 I added cobalt blue silk to the base of graphite gray draperies to add a punch to the windows. 

I loved her silver pheasants, so I place them front and center. 
 Look how the wallpaper just glows when the lamps are on. So pretty. I've saved my best find for last. Yes, my friends, this bamboo mirror was the SCORE of a lifetime.
I found it (because I am evidently very lucky) and because I scour Craig's List daily. Met the guy in the Panera parking lot to load it into my car, and paid full price...A whopping $225! It is solid wood and weighs as much as my 8 year old, but truly makes the space (with the wallpaper of course). 
Oh yeah, and it was already this color. 
(I couldn't make this stuff up, plus it annoys Ann so it's fun to blog about my luck).

So what do you think? Please tell me, I'd love to hear. A little wallpaper goes a long way, don't ya' think? Oh how I love a makeover...

Bye bye birdie,

P.S. The World Market pillow is the one in the center.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

My old bedroom

I'm obsessed with wallpaper. I am currently working on a living room that I can't wait to show you. I did the entire room (blank canvas) around some Osborne & Little paper, that you will have to wait to see. 

In the meantime, I was looking  back at some of my favorite papered spaces and wanted to share MY ALL TIME FAVORITE with you. It is my old master bedroom. We no longer live there so it holds an extra special place in my heart. It was also one of the first rooms I decorated almost 8 years ago and my house was my design lab. I took tons of risks. 
I chose this  "Bellvue" paper by Thibaut as my inspiration and did the entire room in green and white. At the time, it was published in a local magazine, Wrightsville Beach Magazine, which I still have a tattered copy of. Hence the sad Iphone photo below...
I do love to change things up, but would have brought the wallpaper with me if I could have. I did keep the bedding, drapes, furnishings and everything (except for the table with the painted geraniums). Did I mention, it was  7 years ago? 
 I still have almost everything from my old room in my new room, but have infused some pinks and corals. 

I stil miss the wallpaper and hope one day, I can do it again. What about you? Do you have a favorite? One you have used or always wanted to? Sometimes, it's a little risky. Stay tuned for the wallpapered living room. It's almost done!
Bye bye birdie,

credit to: Wrightsville Beach Magazine

Monday, February 20, 2012

Amazing Ceramics!

Local Artist, Shayne Greco, see here, has painted some cool pieces for me, but I had no idea he was the man behind these amazing works of art. 
The ceramics sculptor blew me away with his collection at Thrill of the Hunt (Wilmington).
 Thrill of the Hunt, is a treasure trove for refurbished finds and is one of my favorite stops for great deals and furniture with cool finishes (one of Shayne's specialties).
  Linda (left) has cool accessories and one of a kind pieces of furniture that are adorned with Shayne's works of art. I stopped in last week to check out the goods and Linda, proud as a peacock, credited her son with these...

This piece was made into a lamp with a burlap shade (made by Linda). Isn't it gorgeous?
The details are beautiful. 
Stop in to see Shayne's pieces and everything this store has to offer. After all, isn't it the Thrill of the Hunt that makes it so MUCH fun?

Check it out at Thrill of the Hunt: 4317 Oleander Drive, Wilmington, NC 28403

Happy Monday!
Bye bye birdie,

Credit to: Shayne Greco, Thrill of the Hunt, Image from Star News

Friday, February 17, 2012

When it rains it pours...

Hooper's kids have been sick all week. Poor Hooper, I thought, I'm so glad my kids rarely get sick. I should never of thought that... Molly's been trying to hack up a lung since Wednesday and last night Addie barfed on me. Sometimes its hard to work and face the world with a smile when all H- E -double hockey stick is breaking loose at home. I showed up at my boot camp class in tears the other night and really would like to crawl in bed for the weekend except there is puke in it...
(sorry for the whining).
On to brighter things....The March issue of House Beautiful is all about the color green. (Run get it now) I have a love hate with green rooms... Of course, it's Hooper's favorite color.
I love this Miles Redd room.... I love how everything is so simple except the art
I love when rooms just go for it... gold ceiling? love... I would like to visit this room but not live in it. And that's the problem, I do appreciate the saturated color of it all, and I like the freshness of green BUT I think I would grow sooooo tired of it. Hooper would think she died and went to heaven.
unless... it's pops of green (I do LOVE black and white with pops of green...)
Word is, Hooper's kids are back in school. Wish I could say the same for mine. For now, I'll just escape to my House Beautiful. Have a happy, healthy Friday!
Bye bye birdie,

Credit to: House Beautiful

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Happy Valentines!

I'm spending my Valentine's Day with my sweetest Valentine... 
Cute huh? He's home sick today -- recovering from a hospital stay  when he ate something and had an allergic reaction. He's technically fine, but mama thinks keeping him at home and feeding him things I know are safe is much better than sending him to his all you can eat Valentine's party. I little neurotic, I know. By next week, he'll be living in a bubble.

So, I'm spending my morning snuggling with my man and pinning some of my fave Valentine images.
 The little pop of red looks great and I love the Stray Dog lamp.
 Just cute...
 You know how I feel about red, so pinks were calling my name!
So many things I love about this one...
I might have to switch from Pepsi to Coke for these DVF designed bottles. I'm very superficial.
The Made By Girl print comes in tons of colors, see here. So much to love about today...

And last, but certainly not least, today is Lindley's birthday!!!  9 years ago today, Ann got a very special Valentine. 
Happy Birthday Lindley! 
And happy Valentine's Day to you all - have a wonderful love filled day!

Credit to: Made by Girl,, House Beautiful

Monday, February 13, 2012

Go towards the Light....

How many lamps are in your house? I realize I have a bit of a lamp fetish. There are 13 table lamps in my (small) house. Oh, not counting the 3 in my closet, sitting on the floor, waiting for the perfect spot. I can't help it... Check these out that I got at the One Tree Hill set auction...
Don't you love them? Can't you just see them with big white drum shades? Too bad they do not go with my house (yet). These might end up at the barn sale. Yes, we are thinking about another barn sale this spring! See here.

Let me know if you think you must own them... they might be for sale now. (MIGHT)

Happy Monday!
Bye, bye Birdie,

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Splurge vs. Steal

I love a client with a big budget, but often it takes all of the fun out of it. Don't get me wrong, it's fun to splurge, but the hunt for the steal is one of the best parts of my job. 

It's actually the clients with the SMALL budgets that are REALLY FUN! 
I have been shopping for seating, coffee tables and all kinds of accessories for a STEAL in order to stay within budget -- I may even come under. I wanted to share some of my very favorite steals that we can all afford.
The Heddery Chair on is $400. Don't you love the lines?
Hickory Chair makes a beautiful splurge -- the "Halden" is gorgeous, but may break the bank. 
This Zentique Sofa is beautiful, but retails for over $2000. The craftsmanship of their products is amazing, but this client just couldn't afford this baby.
This World Market banquette It's even prettier in person and the velvet in color "concrete" is lush. For $449 it's a steal and add some killer pillows, and you've got a splurge "looking" sofa. I bought one during a World Market sale for $349. That's a deal.

I'm loving this Serena and Lilly Chair, but for $1095 when I need two of them, I can't even show this as an option to my client for her bedroom. But...
I could show her this Robin Egg Linen chair from Overstock. Yes, ma'am. This one is $270.99 with free shipping

OK, this is one of my faves. I have been stalking this chair (just released at Pier 1) for the perfect client. I knew I could find her the most loving home. She needed a home where she could be appreciated for her beauty and lines and the fact that for $379.99 she could be mistaken for...
Any chair upholstered in the iconic "Imperial Trellis" by KW. at hundreds of dollars a yard, that adds up when you need a whole chair. 
This mirrored console would be my inspiration for the entire room. Hoping my client reads it and must have it for her house in CT, she wouldn't go for the $1800 price tag. 
Lucky for me her, I found one today for $1000 LESS. Can't tell you where, because I don't want you to beat me to it.

This cubist table from Overstock is a go-to for me. It's $178 and gorgeous in person. 

Beats the Mandarin nesting tables from World's Away for $960. Yep, you heard me. $960. They are beautiful and there ARE two of them, but still...
Found any good deals lately? Send me your steals! I simply adore a good deal.
Bye bye birdie,

credit to: Pinterest, Worlds Away, Hickory Chair, Decor Pad, KWID, Overstock, Zentique

Site Design By Designer Blogs