Please read the previous post to know I was accused of being... practical. Oh dear. Is that good or bad? I guess this week it was bad. I missed out on 2 pair of (insane in the membrane) killer lamps. Yes, they were THAT good. I can neither confirm nor deny whether or not I saw the natural curiosities octopus the day before Hooper missed out on it.
I do find myself in a bit of a practical dilemma- you see, the carpet upstairs in our house HAS GOT TO GO. I want to replace it with the same wide plank pine wood floors we have downstairs. Only upstairs I want to paint them.... gray.
So light, airy and classic. (the light part def makes them impractical)
I am really liking this dark one and if you know you are going to paintyour floors you can get away with a cheaper grade wood (I know this because we did this in our kitchen). SO here is the dilemma... I have had a painted kitchen floor for 7 years. It was pretty the first time I painted it for a month and then it was pretty the second time I painted it for... a week. It's not the floors fault. It's my fault. We live in our house. If it's raining the kids might roller blade downstairs. ( I hear some of you gasping). We do not always take our shoes off by the door. There are days I need every inch my wedges provide to feel better about the fact that I might be getting a little short for my weight!
Hmm... looks good...right? Now, it looks like and old porch floor that's seen better days. What's a girl to do. In my head gray floors would be stunning. But, I need to face it, I am not a meticulous housekeeper. Sob, sob... I remember the time I asked y'all if I should have open shelving in my kitchen. A few of my dearest (Hooper included) staged an intervention and talked me down from that delusion. So, I know what you might say... no painted floors upstairs. I will still be happy with the stained pine... anything is better then my petrie dish carpet situation. What do you think? Should I paint? Shoot it to me straight, I can take it... maybe.
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Lately, HomeGoods has been a little picked over here in Wilmington. Promise it wasn't by us (in case you are feeling the same way). It's still one our fave spots to shop for accessories, but we just haven't had any luck. Until this week... when our luck totally ran out.
Ann texted me these lamps. Ann lives in Annland (practical). Almost everytime she sees something fabulous, she works through it (where I give it no thought and impulse buy even if I don't have a client). Thought process.... Ann: Do I have enough money to float it? Hooper: Could I sell a kidney? Ann: Do I have room in my car because I have kids to pick up? Hooper: Can kids spend the night at school? Ann: Do I have a client? Hooper: Who cares? Will one day. Once she rationalizes not to buy it, it always sells immediately to someone else. Hence, we missed these killer lamps.
And these killer lamps.
I buzzed through yesterday only to have a small nervous breakdown when this girl and her boyfriend picked out a heart painting and this CLEARANCE ($199) Octopus from Natural Curiosities.
The girl actually said to her boyfriend:
It's so ugly it's cute.
Boyfriend: You are so strange I love it.
I threw up in my mouth. How could this find go to a home where it's not going to be appreciated and hang beside heart art?
Sooo... After Hooper and my jam packed install in Athens, I met the hubby for a little Charleston getaway before heading home. Yes, I was just jet setting in the south. If you have never been to Charleston, S.C. plan your vacay now! We stayed at the Elliot House which just so happens to be next door to Husk which just so happens to be Bon Appetit best new restaurant in America in 2011. I am no foodie BUT my food was darn good and the waiter talked us into pig tails (yup, you read that right) and with my life long exposure to redneck southern fare, I found them divine.
Who wouldn't want to eat in a beautiful old home turned into a restaurant? The atmosphere was amazing.
Anyhoo... Enough about that! Before leaving for Charleston, Hooper and I were sent a few products from Erie Drive (see here)to try out and review. Erie Drive is an online shopping site full of unique, fun items. We chose to try out their Bazaar bag and give away their Thomas Paul sea urchin plates. (we promise we didn't try those first!)The bag arrived just in time for me to take on our trip.
How cute is this bag! At first I was going to carry it for additional stuff (toiletries, hair dryer, etc...) BUT, I quickly saw the value in the size and dumped my purse into it. I got lots of comments and was able to throw small purchases inside as well. (save a tree)
While shopping on King Street, Jeff and I popped into Scout and Mollys where we met the husband and wife owners. They were the nicest couple ever and Sarah not only asked about my bag but she gave it the thumbs up. Considering their store is full of great clothes, jeans and accessories I'd say that was a good review.
(I bought the cutest clutch for the fall... and threw it in my bag!)
(Sarah of Scout and Mollys. Charleston, S.C.)
Oh look, my bag fit nicely in the bike basket and held my camera while Jeff and I rode around downtown Charleston picking out which house we'd like to own. If Jeff and I ever moved to Charleston we would def be friends with the Scout and Molly people!
The only negative is I have no pics of Jeff with the bag... He was not willing to pose with a large pink and yellow bag with Ganesh on it... hmmm? Don't know why?
And... no you can not have my bag (get yo own bag here) but we are giving away these Thomas Paul sea life dinner plates. (Which we also LOVE!!)
With labor day right around the corner, these plates are the perfect addition to any outdoor par-tay!
You know we love an outdoor space (see here and here) and with cookouts being the going thing for celebrating Labor Day these plates would be perfect on a picnic table!
It's Friday! I wanted to share the powder room with you that Ann and I worked on in Athens. I love how the Thibaut paper turned out. The tops are marble and the pretty polished nickel faucets are Kohler.
Notice the accessories? Yep, every single one, down to the soap came from HomeGoods. They have such pretty vases, soaps, linens and bath accessories. The mirror was a major score and yep, it's from HomeGoods too! I found it at the Raleigh store and love how the shape plays off the trellis pattern of the paper.
Clearly, my accessory shopping at HomeGoods has gotten a little out of hand, because they have asked me to be a part of their Happy by Design program on Pinterest!
I am so excited for you to check out the boards of 10 designers from across the country. We are sharing pins of our work where we have integrated HomeGoods pieces.
Now that the adrenaline has worn off (crash) and client is happy and settling into her family's new digs, we are finally able to take you on a house tour. The move that took place over 3.5 days was a little crazy to say the least. We also had to renovate and decorate the house in 3 months, so not your typical project... Remember our visit to London? The client lived there for eight years and over time, collected many fun pieces from her travels. It was like Christmas morning when the truck showed up with her art, accessories and furniture that we were adding into the mix. Here is how it all turned out...
I found this antique faux bamboo mirror at an antique store in Raleigh. Ann found the elephant sconces at a local "junk' shop. They look beautiful with the etchings from London hung on brass upholstery tacks.
A large sectional seats guests galore and in this case, one very tiny girl and her baby doll. It's relaxed and comfy with a slip cover (in a dark color) so it can hold up to small kids.
I kept the colors neutral on the walls so the art and furniture would pop.
Decorative sconces throughout the space add softer lighting.
This lucite and glass table was a London find. I love the low surface with the modern lines of the chairs. Notice the fur pillow. It was made from the client's 96 year old grandmother's furs.
This ottoman previously was a simple linen from One Kings Lane. Check out the before...
We added accessories -- from HomeGoods of course! The capiz tray gives it a coffee table-like surface and a faux sheepskin rug (no we did not kill a baby lamb) softens the rug.
We added a game table with Wisteria ottomans tucked underneath.
The pine piece from London, used to grace her kitchen. Now it adds storage to the space and is topped off with the a Ming vase that they bought in Bejing during a trip to China. We wanted it to have a spot front and center (and away from tiny hands). We mixed a little faux and fun with the real deal -- sometimes you just have the splurge on pieces that mean a lot to you.
What a week. Ann and I drove down to Athens on Wednesday for a whole-house installation. Quite scary considering I had to leave Friday afternoon for my cousin's wedding weekend. Also quite scary considering the planning/shopping and renovation of this entire house took place over three months.
We made a pit stop in the most picturesque town of Greensboro, Georgia. It looked like something out of a Nicholas Sparks novel. We stopped here for a snack -- how cute is this place?
It just so happened that there was a an antique mall around the corner. Surprise. We just had to make a run through it.
SCORE! Ann and I both love paint by numbers. Thankfully, these were a Chinoiserie version so they would NOT work in her house (a tad selfish, I know).
At $50 for the pair (FIRM and I was happy to oblige), I was thrilled with our pit stop find.
Moving on... we headed to see the house we were decorating for the first time!
Tyler Davis and crew of Athens Building Co. worked tirelessly to meet the deadline. With kids starting school today, there was no time to waste. This family HAD to move in ready or not... so we did just that. Not sure they were quite ready for us, but we made it work! Here is a sneak peek of the progress over the weekend.
Loads to do on the breakfast room, but the finished space turned out to be awesome.
The dining room is awaiting a massive dining table and killer art to make it one of my favorite rooms in the house.
The living room came together slowly and once we unpacked her accessories and art from London, it was complete!
Little by little, we unpacked
added in large pieces and small... and watched design plan come together.
I left for the wedding just in time to make it to the rehearsal dinner in Chapel Hill.
Ann and crew stayed behind and finished it off perfectly. By the end of the weekend, my sweet cousin and his beautiful bride were married...
and the client's new home was perfect and ready for her family to arrive... just in time to start school. We can't wait to show you the finished product!
Today we are loading 2 trucks (26 footers) to drive them to Athens, Georgia for an install. We are not driving them, but you get the picture. Basically, a client called us in May to tell us that she bought a house and would like to renovate and move in by August 15th so the kids could start school.
Never underestimate the power of insanity. I think and I mean I THINK we may just pull it off. Let's suffice it to say that I have cried three times today and honestly, while I have a BIG picture in my head -- I have no idea what this house is going to look like. We decorated it from afar. Never set foot in it. Never even seen more than pictures or house plans.
We wanted to give you a sneak peek of some of the items going on the truck.
This custom made dining table will seat tons. We are planning on 10. It has a 350lb piece of glass that is moving with us.
Eight dining chairs are covered in this fabric.
Wait until you see the score for the head chairs.
The master is a mix of varying shades of green and gray. This is a lumbar for chairs at the foot of the bed.
The living room ottoman has been redone in this fabric and the main pieces are gray and cream.
We may need a truck for all of the pillows. These are just some of the custom pillow covers awaiting to be filled.
Oh dear. In most cases, we have more time -- way more. More time to order swatches, put together design boards, measure.... you get the gist. Basically, I went online and ordered a BUNCH of stuff. Some of the time, the client and I shopped together and wine was involved.
I so hope my client isn't reading this. If she is...
Dear VERY trusting client:
We totally have a plan. I know exactly what every room will look like right down to the accessories. I know that all of the furniture will look fabulous -- the new and the old -- it will be the perfect mix! I know you are excited for us to arrive and put our organization to work. We aren't winging it. Promise. Thanks for another great job.