Wednesday, January 30, 2013


When Hooper took her kids to the Bieb's concert and somehow managed a shopping spree ride home by herself all the way from Greensboro she made a few stops along the way. She picked up her new antelope runner, a console as well as this book...

Her book is a 7th, 10th whatever addition but who cares...It's a cool book. Mine however, is a first edition. Oops, did I say mine? Actually it's my Dad's. Over Christmas I spied with my little eye this book sitting on his book shelf. Had I never noticed it before in all its beautiful brown and cream zebra fabric glory? Or was it hidden amongst the 1,000 other cool books he collects. I flew across the room and grabbed it off the shelf proclaiming the book was going to be mine. Did I mention I did this in front of my siblings? Dang it. My Dad was thoroughly amused as my brother quizzed me about the content of the book. Content? Let's talk cover. I stammered and could not recall the first thing about the book. So I simply replied...Everyone covets this book in the design world because the cover is so pretty. Pretty?  Would that be enough to secure my inheritance? My attempt at coming across intelligent so everyone would know how much the book meant to me was lost. Coming off vain won't get me the book. Meanwhile my sister in law googles and finds an $800 first edition on eBay. DRATS... 

I wasn't lying... the book is a decorators dream

Would of helped if I had mentioned the book was about Osa and Martin Johnson's time in Africa. Coolest couple ever! They lived among different tribes taking several trips to Africa documenting their adventures through photography and film. Oh... in the early 1900's. The pictures are phenomenal! Did that come out of my mouth? Of course not.

It adorns coffee tables across America... Kate Spade even made an 'I Married Adventure' zebra handbag. (glad I didn't mention that)

This table scape screams adventure!
Isn't my coffee table begging for it...
Wouldn't it look great in my house AND provide an educational reading experience that would benefit the whole family?

So in conclusion... The book is not in my possession... (yet)... However, I did ask my Mom to rig Christmas next year and have my Dad draw my name. Surely he would want me to have it. I mean after all, I think it's so pretty.... ughhhhhh!!!

How about you, anyone got the book?
Bye, bye birdie, 

Monday, January 28, 2013

Who knew about this?!?!

Shades of light is a go to source for us for lighting .. We love how they have a little bit of everything and yet stay so current. So the other day (not sure how long it's been since I've been to the site) I came across this:
What?!?! cool lighting for under $100... you mean I just painted my kitchen fixture myself (3 coats, 2 days) when I could have ordered this for $69 IN TEAL!
or this for $99... ALSO COMES IN TEAL!!!!

I know, I know...there is a sense of accomplishment that I got one more DIY project under my belt but SERIOUSLY at some point my sanity has a price. I'm thinking I'll be all over these next time for $99 and under. Oh! And this one!
Did I mention they all come in an array of colors. Eggplant, lime, sunshine, gold, pink, teal, gray....blah, blah, blah...
So I had to stalk these YOUNG HOUSE LOVE self proclaimed DIY husband/ wife team bloggers. Could they really be as cool as these fixtures?

While cruising their blog, I came across their house filled with affordable, clever, DIY design. soooo...yup, they are as cool as their light fixtures. 
I am diggin the 70's barrel table with the patio chairs (a target clearance find)
THOSE GREEN CHAIRS?!...From a thrift store. I really need Goodwill to step it up and get those bad boys. They blog in this office and design cool lights, and  write their book, etc...I think I could accomplish lots if I had a space like this! (er, um, maybe...let's be realistic though, for me it's just more horizontal surface to stack laundry on...sigh...)

This is their living room. I love one big sectional that the whole family can flop on for hanging out time! Also noticing and liking the beams painted charcoal.
This is the perfect master retreat for a young fam. I spy with my little eye something from IKEA. Another great affordable lighting option!

See more of these cool peeps house here.

What about you, did you know about YHL's new lighting collection? Do you love it? Don't forget to leave a comment or like us on FB for a chance to win  Amanda Nesbit's new design book.

Happy Monday!
Bye, bye birdie,
credit to: Young House Love , & Shades of Light

Friday, January 25, 2013

Doctor's Orders

I love my vet. 
Teddy fell down our hardwood stairs. They are steep and slick. I know what you're thinking. Time for a baby gate. Sure, that is everyone's suggestion. My vet, however, thought nothing of my solution: We'll just get a carpet runner. Easy peasy. Plus, sooooo much safer for the kids and Read (with his artificial hip). Clearly, this is the only option. She didn't bat an eyelash. 
My vet, in her professional opinion, agreed this would be the perfect solution. 
Doctor's orders...

 Why on Earth would I opt for a simple solid carpet? It seems the patterns in my house are getting a little crazy, but I love the antelope. It won't show dirt and yes, it was inspired by Amanda Nisbet's wall-to-wall leopard. Remember when Ann painted hers?

Would you do something daring on your stairs? It's often a forgotten surface, but makes such a big impact. 

And don't forget our give away! You could be the lucky winner of Amanda Nisbet's new book, Dazzling Design. Be sure to comment on any post between now and next Friday or like us on Facebook.
Have a happy weekend!
bye bye birdie...

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Interview with Amanda Nisbet and a giveaway!

I have admired Amanda Nisbet's work for years. When I lived in New York City, I babysat for her kids. She was just getting started and I was inspired by her amazing apartment and wall-to- wall leopard. In my recent interview with this published author and talented designer, I got to find out if she still has that leopard carpet. They have expanded their apartment and it is still in the hallway. She kept it! Does she know that it was that wall-to-wall leopard that made realize my love for interiors? 
We got to catch up before Christmas...
BOF:I know that as a child and prior to trying your hand at acting, you had a passion for interior design. At what point did you realize that you could make a career of it?

AM:It evolved. I put together my first apartment and loved it. I had no money but had so much fun styling it. People would ask for pointer. It was working better for me because it was much easier to be a mother and do this. I could see a finished project where as an audition, I wouldn’t hear a thing. So I hung out a shingle.

BOF: One of the things that I remember most about your apartment is the use of texture and unexpected color. Even in the early days, you put that to practice. I still see that in everything that you touch and love it! Is that something that strive for with each job or does it come naturally?

AM: Im very lucky that it comes naturally. It comes innately and I don’ t have a method to my madness. Juxtoposition of textures and styles are so important, a room can be really  layered which is very important. 

BOF: When did you get your “big break” -- was it a certain project? Recognition within the industry?

AM:I was an overnight over 14 years. A lot of hard word and it was a slow evolution. First published by traditional home. I sent them pictures and pictures and you don’t hear from them and then one day, I finally heard from them. Once you get a little bit, you are on people’s radar and that helps. Never be discouraged because they have so few projects they can put in a magazine -- they move things around. Never be discouraged. We aren’t just designers, we are own PR people. It’s a lot of work. There is no one big break, it look that’s way to the public. It takes a lot of work. 
(Looks like it paid off, she now has a beautiful new book!)
BOF:How do you find the balance between imparting your design direction/ideas and those of the clients? Or do you find that clients trust you completely?
Do most of them trust you completely: No

AM: If i’m lucky enough to get a repeat client, they will. I want it to look like them. It’s me giving them the best of themselves. I wouldn’t do anything I wouldn’t believe in, but am very passionate about it. There is a give and take. I’ve never had client give me a check and say: i’ll see you in 6 months.

BOF:What do you tend to use as a jumping off point for your designs when starting on a room? Do you tend to start with the rug? Fabrics? Where do you begin?

AM:It depends on the space. I love textiles. They say they love “orange” and I’ll start there. There is always one thing that dictates the direction of the room and it’s usually fabric. 
BOF:Your spaces seem to evolve. How do you know when a room is finished?

AM:A room is never finished. I still have the same living room that I have had for 12 years. I am always re-tweaking it. A well-designed room is one that you can change around, but never start from scratch. It evolves. 

BOF:I know you work a great deal in New York, The Hamptons and the country. Those types of spaces have such a different feel from one another. What is your favorite type of space to design?

AM:It’s like your favorite child, you can’t pick one. I love have a new option/space to design. It’s always fun to be able to work on ground up design. That is the ideal. But I love all of the projects because I love a challenge.

BOF:If a client gives you full creative freedom and they don’t know what their tastes are, how do you put their stamp on the room?

AM:It’s really important to try and eek it out of them so you don’t go in circles. Sit down with shelter magazines. By getting visual cues, I am able to interpret what they want. They may not know what they like or don’t know about it, but press them.

BOF:We love your lighting line for Urban Electric. The pieces have such modern lines. We have heard you say the lighting is like the jewelry of the room. Where do you draw your inspiration to make the lighting have such a big impact? 

AM:I love jewelry, my first job was at Christies and in the jewelry department. I have been spoiled by being exposed to the most beautiful in the world. Biggest inspiration.

BOF:I remember so much about your apartment when I used to babysit fifteen years ago, according to your book, you were just starting out. What is the mood of your apartment now and how often are tempted to change it up?

AM:My home is my haven -- it’s casually elegant. It’s elegant and comfortable. I always make sure I have comfortable chairs, elegant pieces, good lighting. I’m so happy to come home. It’s better than any hotel.

 I loved catching up and gleaning as much knowledge as possible from this design star. Just days later, look what arrived on my doorstep! 

And one lucky winner will win a copy of Amanda Nisbet's new book, Dazzling Design. It is a great read with gorgeous images but also great design tips. Here's how you win:

Like us on facebook and tell us you did
Comment on a post
Join as a follower or subscribe 
If you already subscribe, follow and "like", then leave us comments on any post(s) and each will count as an entry!
Good Luck and thanks Amanda for the book! I'm loving mine!
bye bye birdie...

credit to: AND, Amanda Nisbet Design, Amazon, Toby Farley, Urban Electric

Monday, January 21, 2013

Bieber or Bust

Big weekend. HUGE.
We took all 3 kids to Greensboro for the JB concert. No. This is not my car. I looked way cooler in my mini-van with three screaming kids rocking it out to the "Believe" album. Wait.
 Is it still called an "album"??
We went on Thursday to catch the snow and met Read there because he was away on business. Translation: I drove 3 kids and puppy in ice snow alone. 
Yes, We are THAT family. We travel to see snow and 3" feels like 6. Teddy was beside himself. The snow was the opening act. I spent two days telling my kids how cool I am. If I was really cool, I'm thinking they wouldn't need convincing. During breakfast, I would do things like the "dougie" dance. 
Say things like: Swag. 
They think I'm a loser. Ok, so maybe I caught just a little of the Bieber fever. My husband would kill me, but he caught it too. If he starts grabbing his crotch more than usual, then I promise, I will never take him to another concert again. I digress. 
Soooo thankful to our friends that hooked us up with AH.MAZ.ING tickets. This was my view. Um, I mean, the kids' view. He looked right at me Graham. I kept saying: Do you realize how cool this is? Seriously, it would be like mommy going to see Michael Jackson in 7th grade. It's epic. 
Graham: Blank stare.
Me: Graham, rock it out!! This WON'T happen again. Dance! you will never be this close to Justin Bieber again. 
Me: I do a little "dougie" and move up closer to the stage. 
Graham: Mortified.
I looked back at Read and the twins. He gave me a thumbs up. Really? A thumbs up? 
Maybe we aren't that cool. Hutson fell asleep.
All's well that ends well. I've still got it. Sunday, I convinced Read that taking all three kids was waaayyy less trouble than me taking his car and the puppy. He fell for it.
Back to work.
Somehow, I forgot to factor in how little you can fit in a sedan.
When I told him I just had to pick up a few things, I think he thought I meant groceries. Oh well. I managed a console and antelope runners (more on that later). Yes, poor Teddy, but he picked that spot.
The console...
It's killer and is going behind my sofa. It's Ron Seff in style and I found it in Greensboro at my friend Melissa Tarleton's "Stuff Vintage". Check her out on Facebook. 
I loved this vintage mirrored side table, but couldn't fit it in the car. I could, however, swing the book.
Afterwards, I HAD to hit HomeGoods. Why is it that the Raleigh HomeGoods is so so much better than ours?
The front is an ivory grasscloth and the sides are lacquer. Hello hardware!!
Check out this Ralph Lauren faux bamboo chest. Not crazy about the finish, but love the lines. Any body need it? I hope you had a great weekend!

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Winners and Fo sale fo sho!

DRUMROLL..... Our BOF par-tay raffle winners are...

Nikki Hawthorne- $50 HG gift card
Lindsay Suggs- $50 HG gift card
Carol Lewis- Exclusive for BOF scarf by Margaret Turner Designs
Jennifer Ring- Design board by Ann & Hooper

The par-tay was a success EXCEPT we were not expecting y'all to want to buy our stuff!... So we compiled some of the items you asked about and decided to sell! (We also added a few things you didn't see but might of loved if you had!) Consider this an online barn sale!
Email us if you see something you want!

Vintage Sailboat (oil on canvas). Framed in barn wood. 22x18 
framed. $125 SOLD
Crystal Lamp. $150 (Hooper is willing to part ways...)
These AMAZING sconces are available at Maran Home! There are 2 and they are $240 each. Wouldn't they be amazing as bedside lamps?!?! ...I want them...BAD!

2 of THESE!!! Emerald green (color of the year) vintage lamps. 2 for $130.
Zebra bench. $150. This is a great size for an ottoman or under a window.
Great vintage cloisonne lacquered lamp with FUNKY shade. $75.

2 of THESE!!! Great for a sun porch... 2 for $30
(and it's not doubled up like that- weird shadow)

I am soooo sorry BUT the pink console (the 80's called and they want their table back- you know the one) is NFS though I could have sold it for mucho dinero the night of the party. Y'all wanted that thing! And the glass coffee table is NFS as of now... I might consider if I can find a good replacement. (I really love it) It's the only glam thing in my old farmhouse and I kind of like it. Hooper might be rubbing off on me!

Congrats Winners!
Bye, bye birdie,

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Party Rockin' in the House Tonight...

 We pulled it off. I think we really brought our blog to life. She showcased our different styles, decorated an empty house and invited readers, friends and family to celebrate our love of design. 
On Million Dollar Decorators, the designers spend hundreds of thousands of dollars to decorate a room in a Show House. Sure the press is better, but I doubt they had as much fun as we did. Plus, who needs hundreds of thousands of dollars to decorate? Especially when you have amazing sponsors of attainable design?

We are so thankful...Southern Living sent tons of January issues so guests could take home a copy. HomeGoods gave us gift cards to raffle off... more on that later. Maran Home (our fave local spot) let us borrow accessories, lighting, the works! Stevens Hardware loaned us a moving truck -- keep in mind, everything that we moved in, got moved back to it's real home today...sniff sniff. We were kind of hoping to keep a few pieces. World Market gave us all of the wine (yes, there was lots) and our friends and readers showed up in droves. Honestly, we were blown away by the turn out and the enthusiasm by our guests. Perhaps they were truly inspired or will do anything for a HomeGoods gift card?
 Even Laura, our (graduated) intern, came into town for the event. We were sure missing her during the installation. 
Our friends had a lot of fun taking it all in...

 Everyone was talking design.
 We had tons of food -- the room we styled together was filled with amazing desserts. 
 Thank you to my dear friend, Nikki, for the amazing cupcakes. They were a hit!

 Check out these glass decorations. We found the glass globes at Michaels and added the moss and nest. We hung them from a standard brass chandelier (you know, the type everyone has at some point). 

 Wrapped in moss and decked in greenery, it became a focal point of the room. Always, always change out chandelier bulbs to simple round ones for a more modern look. 
 Ask us about this wall.... It cost $50. Yep, 50 bucks. Each tray ($1)  was hung with glue dots -- we covered the wall for impact. 
 Guests were given a scavenger hunt, Birds of a Feather style, when they arrived. They had to answer questions to enter our raffle. Sample question: Which piece in Hooper's space did Ann find at a junk shop for $60. Hint: It is killer and everyone at the party wanted to buy it. NFS. 
 With no overhead lighting, we lit up the mantle with some Worlds-Away lamps. Maran supplied us with tons and tons of decorating books that we stacked throughout the spaces.
 Thank you Maran for this statement piece! Isn't he gorgeous?
 The beauty is in the details. We loved this pesto/goat cheese birds' nest. 
 We added design tips throughout on our $1 trays painted with chalkboard paint. 
 Ann came across these old stamps in my grandfather's office. It made me miss his sense of humor. 
 We had tons of cakes with mango salsa, marinated shrimp, ham and cheese puffs -- all very Southern. 
 Guess who bedazzled this arrangement with peacock feathers?
And this wall with an "S" from the scrap yard? 

When the last guest left, we sat down to rehash and talk about our next event. It's kind of like childbirth -- a little too soon to start talking about another, but ask us in a few months. Next time, we might just add some price tags to the mix.

Also, many thanks to Blythe Cross for taking such lovely photos of the evening. To Patrick and Kim Shovlin, we couldn't have pulled this off without you. 
Stay tuned... later in the week, we will announce the winners of our raffle! BTW... Ann was at the party, she just vetoed all the pictures- she's not one for being in front of the camera!

Bye, bye birdie,
Site Design By Designer Blogs