Monday, July 29, 2013

If it ain't broke...

We hope that you had a great weekend. Hmmm... let's see what's been happening around here? Well, last Monday Hooper texted me this picture...

Yup, that's Flanner with a broken arm. So the next day I got to text her this pic...

Yup, that's Molly with a broken arm. Wow... not only can we decorate but apparently we are stellar moms as well. While Molly was at the orthopedist she ran into one of the Hammerhead soccer players (Wilmington's Professional Soccer Team) and he told her to find him after Friday nights game (we always go)and he would make sure all the players signed her cast. So we did, and he did. Molly had very clearly drawn a line down her cast that was reserved for their signatures alone. So thank you Paul (because I am sure you read our blog) You made Molly's night!
In more exciting and less traumatizing news... My chair slipcover is done...
And yes, It is all I dreamed it would be. I think the bold b&w striped fabric is  the perfect juxtaposition with my great grandmothers chair. Oh... it does make me happy.
And in Hooper world (yes it is a real place) she scored this insane in the membrane chair on CL. Never underestimate the power of Craigs's list. Isn't it killer?

Doesn't it kind of remind you of Red Egg's Indochine chairs?

I was def a little jealous... I can't wait to see where it ends up! Might even be your room!
Have a very happy Monday! -A
Bye ,bye Birdie

Friday, July 26, 2013

I get to work on my grandmother's childhood home!

My great-grandmother, Nanny, died when I was six. I remember bits and pieces of her -- she had red hair and lived in a beautiful house that felt like a fairy tale. I was named after her, so I have a feeling we spent lots of time together. From age 6 to present, I have always loved her for the simple fact that she was the mother of my precious grandmother, Mimi. My Mimi and I are very close. I am the oldest of twelve grandchildren and I simply adore her. She was the one that took me out for ice cream after school and took care of me when I was sick and my mom worked. She taught me how to scour the beach for shells and she was (and still is) beautiful. Last week, she turned the ripe old age of 85 and I am thankful for every minute I get to spend with her.
I found this picture recently and love everything about it. Her timeless beauty, her style and the fact that in this picture, at that very moment, she had no idea of the profound impact she would have on all of our lives. 
Today, I spent my morning with a new client in an old space... riddled with memories, elegance and style. I was called in to renovate a (very) old bathroom in my Nanny's and my Mimi's former house. 
When my grandmother was fourteen, my Nanny and my great grandfather, Heide, bought this home in which to raise their three girls and one boy. They bought it from an English sea captain and his wife. They did not have any children and lived there alone in our port city with their maid, Ceiley. When they bought the tudor, it came with their British maid. I find this fascinating for so many reasons, but mostly because my grandmother speaks so fondly of Ceiley who worked for my great- grandparents until she died.
 My grandmother, the oldest of the four, lived in this house from the age of 14 until she was 17 and went away to Ashley Hall for school. She got ready for her wedding in this house and told me that she remembers leaving in a "smart" going away suit from the very door you see here. 
As a little girl, I remember this staircase. I love the original hardwoods and am thankful that over the years, various owners didn't paint the wood trim. 
One of the original chandeliers still adorns the dining room. Look closely and you will see domes that light up from underneath. I have never seen anything quite like it. The homeowners said that when they moved in, many of the crystals were missing. As they continued to update the heating and air systems, they uncovered many of the original pieces and were able to restore it to its glory. 
When the current home owners, wanted to expand storage in the kitchen, they found an area behind the pantry that led them to a basement area perfect for expansion. There, they found (literal) blue prints for a "renovation" to the current structure. An architect from Richmond, created these plans for my great-grandmother and great-grandfather. I loved pouring over these, trying to figure out how my ancestors wanted to improve their home for their family of six. 
Check out the allowances for changes... $75 for finish hardware and $120 for electric fixtures. Note, these changes were dated May 1946. 
I particularly love the part about the owner's responsibility to install "wall decoration". 
I wonder at what point this magnificent fireplace was added. It could have been part of the original design and selected by the captain and his wife or part of my family's alterations. It is stunning. I wonder if my grandfather asked my great-grandfather for my Mimi's hand in marriage in this very room? Oh, the history. So thankful it's mine.

While I was so honored to be asked to help renovate a bathroom and do further work on this tudor beauty, I couldn't help but feel nostalgic about the fact that I am about to rip out a the very vanity at which my Mimi applied her make-up.  
Perhaps, she primped for dates with my grandfather in this house and in a bathroom that I am about to change drastically to fit the needs of the current homeowner. It's time. Time marches on and the functionality of this bathroom is in question. I am honored to work on this home. It's a home that was once filled with the love of family and decades later, it still is. 

bye bye birdie...


Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Welcome to the World Little Prince!

The prince has arrived! 
I couldn't be more excited -- strange I know, considering I will never meet this child or his parents. We are all taken by this little heir because it is a real life fairy tale. 
While I am antsy to see his little face and his glowing parents, I am also dying to see his new digs. 
Kate and William seem so down to earth, that I envision something classic and beautiful and not overdone (by palace standards).
Most of us decorate quaint small spaces for our baby's rooms. Imagine if you had a wing "room" in a palace? What to do.... 
 Classic and lovely just like Kate? This room has royalty painted all over it. 
I love the modern twist on this classic nursery. It has simple clean lines mixed with traditional elements. 
Here is a peek into the past... 
Queen Elizabeth admires baby Charles in a very opulent bassinet. I suspect Kate's will be slightly less frilly.
No doubt there will be a rocking horse. I love this picture of William and Harry in their nursery as little boys. Here's hoping that today is the day that the world is introduced to his Royal Majesty, the prince! 

 ...may Kate, Will and their new baby live happily ever after. 
photos credit to: Hello! Magazine

Friday, July 19, 2013

Get yo bid on...

Ok, so sometimes we see great stuff that we just don't have clients for or room to store. (a very large campaign desk has taken up residence in my garage as we speak)  But we can not bare to see it just sit on CL or at auction unappreciated. Will someone please go buy and love these items we can not...
At Big South (auction on Sunday)...
I am loooving this little desk... you can stop by and preview and even place a silent bid if you are too competitive to actually be there on Sunday with paddle in hand.
This little lithograph has a sister print and reframed the pair would be gorgeous. I'm diggin the colors.
Ok... so Hooper is not one for red but neither of us could resist this vibrant rug. I love an old rug tossed in a hallway or thrown in a kitchen for an instant collected boho vibe.
I must be into toile chandy's these days... This could stay as is or be painted any color you choose. Imagine this traditional piece in a chartreuse, coral or bright yellow?
And on Craigslist....
Why do I not own this yet? I love this coffee table and want it to be mine but it just won't fit in my space sooooo if it will fit in yours please get it and tell me you did! Oh and... replace the glass with clear round!
This little outdoor set has been on CL for some time now and is still available. At $1000 it is a great price for the real world but probably a little pricey in CL land. I have sent it to everyone I know and still no takers. I guess it doesn't make that much sense to add on a screened in porch to house it, but if you already have one... this is the piece for you!
And the final CL find...
There are 2 of these vintage iron handrails just waiting to be owned. I'm pretty sure a small child could fall through or at least get their head stuck (I know this from experience... but that's another story for another day) BUT... imagine these outdoors as a trellis or an architectural piece in an outdoor space... I'm just really liking them. Are you? Seen any good finds we missed?
Happy bidding and have a great weekend!
Bye, bye Birdie,

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Baby Ruth(ie)

We are so excited to share some wonderful news with you... You have heard us talk about cute Jen from fotojenik (here) and her and her husband Hal's adoption journey. We are so pleased to introduce you to....

Ruthie Mavis

Jen and Hal blazed out of Wilmington on Monday to welcome the arrival of their beautiful, healthy baby girl.  We are so happy for them and can not wait for the family of 3 to return home so we can get our hands on that baby! (and squeeze those cheeks!)
Jen is our amazingly talented friend. She not only owns Remnant Handmade, she is a photographer (nice baby pics) and has started KIN campaign (with Hal) to help fund adoptions for others.  Learn more about KIN here
Welcome Ruthie! We have anticipated your arrival and love you already!
(Oh and did we mention Jen and Hal have great taste and we can not wait to show you Ruthie's nursery they have been working on for months!) See their house here.
Have a very happy Wednesday!
Bye, bye Baby Birdie,

Monday, July 15, 2013

Chic Chinoiserie - Part 2

So you know that I moved my chrome and glass bookcase into my master bath for more storage. Sigh. That left me with a need for more storage in my office.... 
 Of course, I scour CraigsList daily, but my new addiction is Facebook. Not for stalking but for shopping! I "like" all kinds of pages so that I get updates on what local (and not so local) vendors have for sale. Check out the newest addition to my office! I found it on Southern Distinctions and her stuff is amazing! 
 I now have even more storage than I had before and here is the best part -- it's hidden! 
 I filled it with pretty design books, but from a functional standpoint, it houses my Ikea grasscloth bins full of fabric swatches and organized by color. 
 Don't you just love the hardware? 
My pretty desk rarely gets used because I am always on the go. However, my office/resource room is a pretty/functional retreat. Did I mention it's the first room you see when you walk in the front door? It's important that things stay tucked away... 
Just don't open the closet...
bye bye birdie

Friday, July 12, 2013


What is it about crisp black and white in a room? I am drawn to it every time... In fact, I have high hopes for my great grandmother's wing back chair that will soon be slip covered in a bold b&w stripe.
This is not the chair... My chair is way cooler and my stripes will be horizontal! Oh... my chair is going to change my life or at least my living room. I can't wait to show you!
A little b&w goes a long way... I love David's (we are now on a first name basis with all the HGTV stars...even if they have no idea who we are...) bold drapes with the bright yellow chairs. Hooper and I had fun redoing G & L's rooms in a b&w color pallet. See here and here.
But I also love b&w with more subtle pallets like blue...
Hmmm... did I say subtle? Well the color pallet is but the art is bold and amazing! And... a room by another design star fave, Em. (Emily Henderson)

I love the b&w art reflected in this mirror and I really LOOOOVE
 the wallpaper and brass mirror. Styled to perfection indeed!
And in other news... my sister and her family have been here for 2 weeks from Chicago. I have been a little crazy busy but it has been good. We have been so worried about her living in that big city north of the Mason Dixon  we had to take the whole family to the farm for a little skeet shooting...
My sweet niece Nonie is getting expert instruction from my Dad 'Pops'.

Nonie hangs with my 3 girls as they wait their turn to shoot.
Pops is in his element helping my sister. She might not live around these parts but she sure is a good shot...

 Hmmm... I wasn't the best shot but I did have fun and was having a good ponytail hair day despite the heat. (It's the little things)

I love this shot of Addie... she was so proud of the target she demolished!

 But the picture of the week ...
Jackson (now 13) and Thomas (11) were way to cool for the 4th of July festivities at the Seaside Club and completely annoyed at my paparazzi self. Let the fun begin!  
 Have a great weekend and cross your fingers that I can show you my b&w chair next week. I'm DYING to get it back!!!!!...-A
Bye, bye Birdie,
Ann & Hooper 
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