Friday, March 27, 2015

Next Stop on the Tour: My Living Room

I think you get to a place where you know what you like and if you pick good pieces along the way, new fabrics or simply rearranging can mix things up and give you a new look. People ask me all the time if I am constantly redecorating my own house. The truth is, I really don't. I have had the same chairs and sofa for the last several years and just recently recovered my club chairs. I love my Oriental rug because it has so many colors and it holds up to everything. It has made it through three kids, spilled wine (kids drive you to drink) and a three year old that wanted to paint her nails. 
 Mixing in patterns in unexpected places are always a fun way to ad texture. This upholstered table with railheads serves as the perfect console for keepsakes, art and lighting. 
 These chairs were our first dining chairs (14 years ago). I love the lines of them and recently had them recovered in a cream linen I added a band of fabric for interest right down the center.
 Fresh flowers are a must whenever you can...
 Our living room gets so much light and I love the airy feeling. In rooms with vaulted or high ceilings, it can be challenging to make it feel cozy. 

I love the use of a lucite table in a space because everything you add to it pops. 
My book collection is growing and gives me a daily dose of inspiration. 
In other news... 
It's Spring Break! We are headed to Bald Head with the family for the week and I can't wait! After a bad cold and tons of work and, I'm excited to relax, unwind and recharge. I'll see you when I get back!
bye bye birdie..

photos via: BJB Photography

Monday, March 23, 2015

My House Tour... Dining Room

My house evolves. I wouldn't really say it is a big work in progress because I really have settled into what I love. My living spaces, dining room and kitchen have remained the same for the last few years as far as fabrics and color/pattern, but I am always changing it up a little. 

When Spring approaches, I ditch some of the heavier throws for light weight ones, switch dark pillows out for linen and a lighter look and shift my art work around for a fresh palette. 
I clean the windows, fill my vases with evidence of Spring and brighten things up. 

After a long, cold winter. I am ready! We all are. 
Recently, Bonnie-Jeanne Berg of BJB Photography, took some beautiful photos of my home and I wanted to take you on a house tour (at least of the rooms that are clean). You saw my bedroom last week --- check out my dining room! 
Oh, and Bonnie-Jeanne, it's even prettier in pictures. Thank you!
 My chairs are Oscar de la Renta for Century and I have had them for almost ten years. I love them just as much today as I did when I bought them. Invest in pieces you love because they will stand the test of time. I have some scattered around my house for when we need to add the leaves to the table and host a larger group.  
 Mix in the affordable every chance you get. Can you spot it? The sunburst is Martha Stewart for Home Depot. Yes, I said, Home Depot. It was $30. Go. get. one.
 Ann convinced me to hang my very first Christmas gift from Read in our dining room. It is an original oil of Banks Channel. I love the pops of color against the muted wallpaper and now has become a new focal point where we can enjoy the view. 

Remember, I had a piece of glass cut to fit my grandparent's dining table to bounce light around the room and protect the surface of my favorite heirloom. 
 Never forget the ceiling. It's the 5th wall and painted in a pale hue of pink, peach, blue or even a metallic, it adds another dimension.
 I found this tureen at a junk shop in Southport. It never made it to the shop and showcases my favorite animal print.
My Mimi gave me a beautiful antique chest as a wedding gift. For the last 14 years, it was in my bedroom. Recently, I relocated it to my entry and it makes me smile and think of her every time I walk in the front door. I love how it adds warmth, storage and a drop zone for my keys and sunglasses. Don't be afraid to add big pieces to small spaces or a large rug. While they may be a tight fit, they can visually expand a space. 

Happy Monday, and stay tuned for more of my house tour compliments of BJB Photography. 
bye bye birdie....

Sunday, March 15, 2015

My Master REVEAL, a grown up space!

Read has been asking me to change up our bedroom. Guessing he was tired of the pink?
 It's not a place we often retreat to, but need a space away from the kids to unwind. 
I wanted to create a space that as more sophisticated and after 10 years of the same bedding and furniture, I agreed, it was time for a change. Here's how it went down:
On a Sunday....Read: I'm kinda over our bedroom. Do you think you could change it?
Me: Sure, what were you thinking?
Read: Nothing major, and definitely not something we need to do anytime soon. Just think about it.
Me: Sure, I'll be thinking.
(What exactly did he mean by "not anytime soon?" I'm taking that to mean: Not the same day. A week is surely plenty of time to think on it. Right?
I got to work. Yep, I had some ideas which involved some simple changes (and not so simple), but Read doesn't have to know that part. And.... viola! It's finished and spa-like and yes, 
the perfect retreat for us. 
I painted the walls Benjamin Moore, "Slip" and had the 
bed wall papered in a Phillip Jeffries jute for texture. 
Any time, you can add a large rug (and go as big as you can), the room will feel much bigger. 

In the old version of our room, I changed up the paint every few years, but for most part, our room hadn't evolved much in 10 years. I made tiny updates, working with what we had. 
My sitting area got a BIG makeover too...
I chose the gray version of an antelope for the rug. I had it custom cut and serged to fit the space. My theory (and I'm sticking to it) is that animal prints are great neutrals and they never go out of style. I have had antelope and leopard in my home for almost a decade and it still makes me happy. This gray hue is a toned down version and makes my room feel cozy and much larger than the previous scatter rugs. 
This show stopper takes center stage and adds romantic lighting (don't tell Read about the romance part, don't want him to get any ideas). 
Beauty is in the details...

 I recently met with a client that asked me how to make up a bed and I wanted to pass along some tricks.  I love to layer with light weight blankets, on top of high thread count sheets, finish off with a coverlet. This particular one is from Overstock! If you shop around you can get great deals. I tucked it in, to give it a hotel feel and then finished it off with a stuffed duvet from Pottery Barn. 
 Oh, and for extra warmth or to curl up with a good book, don't forget the throw! This cable knit is from Pottery Barn and is one of my favorites. It's lined in faux fur. Of course, with spring approaching, change out your throw blankets accordingly. 
 And now onto the pillows. Always, layer and use down (if you can). There are great down alternatives if you have allergies, but down adds a softness that makes a bed look less "made", which I love. I start with a back row of Euro shams. Three for a king size bed and two for a queen. I chose gray linen piped in satin to add another texture. The more textures and layers in a bed, the better! You want to make sure you are mixing it up. I found three different throw pillows (yes, with a little metallic and some more fur) to add some glam.
Add subtle details any chance you can and a pop of unexpected color. I couldn't ditch the pink completely!
Read is thrilled and we are loving spending time in our new retreat. It now feels like a grown up space for, dare I say, grown ups?
bye bye birdie...

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Master Bath Beauty: Before and After

Tis the season for bathroom renovations. I just recently completed this jewel and boy did it need some TLC. The cabinets were peeling off from water damage and years of use. The tile tops had to go, so I gutted the cabinets. Krista Deschamps of Prestige Kitchen and Bath came through with beautiful cream cabinets in a smooth finish and I topped them off with crystal knobs for a touch of glamour. 
The client loved having a vanity area, so we removed her old one and brought in a piece of furniture to mix it up a bit. 
With a bathroom this large, if you can keep the flooring, it is always good (only if it's pretty to begin with). Her marble flooring was in good shape and allowed us to pull in creams, grays and golds for accent. 
 I replaced the tops with a cream marble and love the simple soothing color palette. 
 Always accessorize your bath with beautiful functional things... think soaps, salts, pretty towels, nods to the sea, flowers and candles to turn your bath into a spa-like experience. 
 Always add some stylish reading...
 Collections of perfume bottles, silver cups, frames of loved ones or bud vases add a nice touch. 

With a hidden vanity mirror and large mirrors above each sink, the client didn't need more mirrors, so I chose gold leaf floral elements for above the vanity to add interest and change up the symmetry. 
This bathroom has come a long way!
bye bye birdie...

photos via BJB Photography

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Master Bath Renovation: Before and After

I just finished up a bathroom renovation. Renovations can be expensive (but there are short cuts you can take) stressful for the homeowner, if they are living in the space and always take longer (and are messier) than expected. These clients wanted a fresh look for their large, dated master bathroom. The house is 17 years old. We focused on updating all surfaces. We kept the existing cabinets to save costs and the tile floor. We used the tile floor as the jumping off point because there was so much square footage, hence the hefty expense to replace. 
 Sticking with the neutral floor, we were able to select granite that played off of it an introduce a pale green from the wall. 
 We tore out the backsplash that was dating the large tub and put in a mother of pearl mosaic to add texture and color. The soft grays, greens, blues and pale peach shine through and tie in the flooring. 
Changing out the fixtures and replacing all knobs, faucets and hardware with Kohler polished nickel was a major upgrade and gives the bath a luxurious hotel vibe. 

You won't believe the before. Yes, the green faux finish wallpaper and ivy border came down and was replaced with Sherwin Williams "Sea Salt". 

Quite an improvement and the clients are thrilled! 

photos via BJB Photography
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