Wednesday, June 30, 2010


If you haven't been to IKEA, (which I had not until this trip) you are in for a treat, and carpel tunnel after you finish putting the furniture together:) I did not realize IKEA = putting a sofa and everything else together, but we did and it was  oh so worth it, and a bit empowering.  IKEA has proven that Design on a Budget is totally possible.  Infusing vintage pieces (ie, bent wood chairs, persian rug, vintage chair and lamp) makes this out of the box furniture much more personal, and less 'out of the box' (literally!) 





Coffee table


Pair of curtains


Side table



high pile

(plus a few other things that I can't find on the IKEA website, ie zebra throw, sheer curtains, and the exact green curtains.)
All loaded onto one out of control cart...



Monday, June 28, 2010

Silhouette Artwork

As part of the Studio in DCity redesign, I wanted to create something personal for my sister to display on her walls.  I only had a small amount of time to create something fantabulous...I didn't really have the inclination nor the talent to paint something.  Hmmmmmm what am I good at?????....GRAPHICS!  AH HA!  I started shuffling thru photos of my sister.  I wanted to show the fun side, the strong side, and the spontaneous side.... my sister all rolled up into one AMAZING package.  Needless to say there was no shortage of subject matter:):)

Bring photos into photoshop, do a little magic, print out on inkjet fabric, find great frames. Et VOILA!

Unique, one of a kind, ARTWORK...

(PS you don't have to have photoshop to do this silhouette artwork, you could easily trace over a photograph with pen...use a window as a lightbox tape photograph, and then tape paper, fabric, etc. over the top and trace.)

More  to come.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Studio in DCity

Recently, I received a Design 911 call from my supercalafragilistic sister Erin who lives and works in Washington, DC. She just moved into a studio apartment and had a small budget to furnish it and shnazz it up. Deadline? She wanted to get it done over the weekend. She need H-E-L-P, and I was up for the challenge. Seriously, offer me a trip to DC by myself (!), with design on the agenda? Yes please! So I put my thinking cap on, and got started. Here's what I think about when given a design challenge.

Every room needs a great rug, and this became the inspiration for the design + color palette, oh la la.
1) I run down to HOUSE OF RUGS to find something gorgeous. I knew they would let me take a few, and we would decide. (check)

Thank goodness I keep odds and ends (and the occasional treasure) stashed in my garage.
2) I look in my garage for anything that might work for the new design.  Going for contemporary/modern with a vintage twist.  2 Bent arm chairs-- Erin will die over these. (check)

Artwork!! But of course.
3) I create a piece of artwork to hang on her walls that is very personal and will make her smile. Personal artwork is the greatest gift of love! (check)

Hobby Lobby-- horrible name, great finds.
4) I take a trip to Hobby Lobby for a few decorative items (check)

5) I fill a box with decorating must haves, hammer, nails, staple gun, paint, glue, measuring tape...etc.  Oh and a space plan....I had her take pictures.

Oh, right, BABYSITTER! Call Grandma and sweat the response. Should be in like Flynn bc she's a sucker when it comes to sister emergencies.
6) Drop off kids, and make my way to DC.

I'm always keeping an eye out for antique stores, et VOILA!
7) I find a HUGE antique store off of I-85 (b.c I can and don't have kids, a luxury)  and pick up 1 vintage cane back chair (it's FABoolous!), and great fabric, to boot.

Ahhhhhh yes, the design is bubbling in my head and I cannot WAIT to get there! I hope she LOVES it as much as I do.

Studio in DCity, here I come.

 Stay tuned...

Saturday, June 26, 2010

All Local Farmers Market...color inspiration

Photos Taken by Your Truly
South Carolina has been awesome at the Locally Grown Food movement (South Carolina Grown), and the 701 Whaley Street Farmers Market is a perfect example.  It is packed on Saturday mornings.  This time of year the produce is AMAZING.  This morning we helped ourselves to freshly harvested new potatoes, purple taters (BTW if you have never had fresh potatoes, I highly recommend you try it, the taste is so much better than what you get at the grocery store) and tomatoes of many shapes and colors for the Little Miss (she is a tomato fanatic)  So Tomatoes and Potatoes for us. YUM!

This Blue, Tomato Red, and Brown is an inspiration, I see a Room Design inspired by this pallette.
 Image: Holly Dyment, photography by Michael Graydon

In the Mornin,

Friday, June 25, 2010

Dingy to that is

I have had these old chairs for a looooong time. Set of 4 for $30 at Goodwill. I fell in love with the bent wood, and I knew that someday I would have a use for them. Not sure when or where but I just KNEW! Well some time this past winter I had a reason to bring them out, for an studio apartment design in the city. I had to split up the 4...which is not a problem because they look better as a pair. They were really easy to re-upholster myself. (I will do a tutorial at a later date, as I only had the where with all to take before and after photos!) Drumroll..........................................................................


I will be posting the before and after photos of the apartment design. so stay tuned.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Designing in a vaccum...

Painting by Kelly Reemsten

(BTW I am in LOVE with this artist,you have to visit her website to see her other paintings, SOOOO GOOD!)

Do you ever feel like you are designing in a vacuum?  I feel like that all the time.  Whether it be my graphic design work or interiors, I often wish I had someone next to me to bounce ideas off of.  Someone to say things to you like "that is really terrible" or "that is a fantabulous idea! or "EUREKA you are a genius!".

I want a Tommy as in Tommy Smythe from Sarah's House HGTV fame.  Sarah Richardson is one of my new favorite designers.  I love her use of old and new, flea market finds along side high design.  I think one of the reasons her designs are so great is b/c she DOES have a sidekick to bounce the good bad and the ugly ideas off of.

Here are a few of their collaborations.

Love the wingback chairs

The pink is just enough in this living room...I loved this episode and Tommy was right!

Oh WHITE how I love you...

I WANT that teaset on the end of my bed:)

Far to often I am second guessing myself.  I think the best design is always a collaboration.  Whether it be with a client or someone in the biz, it really helps to have another point of view.  I think my best designs have been with collaboration and collaborators. It forces you to look at things from another perspective and it pushes me to be better than I was to begin with. 

So I think this is one of the reason's why I feel compelled to blog.  The good, bad, and the ugly.  I am putting myself out there to be complimented AND criticized...but it is only going to make me a better designer.  RIGHT???

In the morning,

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

I LOVE the color GREEN.

I LOVE THE COLOR GREEN.  It has been my favorite color since childhood.  I think it is such a calming and happy color.  If I could do my WHOLE house in green I would!  I am definitely working the color green into my living room/dining room design, which is in the works:) But what COLOR of green is the problem???, choices, choices...

Do I go with,


Toby Fairly Living Room



Photo courtesy of Domino Mag
(oh Domino so sad you are no longer:(:(


Courtesy of DecorPad
I Die over those striped Floors!


Courtesy of DecorPad
So simple yet so AMAZING!

Oh, and I am thinking I will surely get some delicious APPLE GREEN  velvet chairs. 

The thing about green is that it is the perfect foil to so many other colors.  It is the most vibrant neutral...  Think about these color combinations and how well they go together.




Courtesy of DecorPad


Courtesy of DecorPad



Courtesy of House Beautiful


Courtesy of DecorPad

They ALL go together. 

The ONLY combination I would stay away from is Green and Red.  I grew up in a family room with a Red checked couch and Kelly green carpet....Christmas all year round! 

But even IT can be pulled off!

Notice that there are other colors that  help to offset the green and red.  This is a HAPPY room!

That is all of the "greenspiration" I can come up with this evening, hope you aren't sick of it yet, I surely am not!

In the morning,

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Happy Father's Day!

Image courtesy of RH Lee Auctioneers.
(don't want to take a picture of it in the office until it is completely done!)
Happy Father's Day!

I have been looking and looking for the perfect desk for my wonderful Husband, and best father I know! Wouldn't you know that the week before Father's Day I found one!  With the right look and right price.  A beautiful 1940's Burled Walnut Executive Style Desk, scored at my FAV auction house RH Lee Auctioneers in Ridgeway, SC.

It looks great in the space, and Mr. O is really happy with my purchase (whew!).  Sometimes you never know:)  I am now working on a design for the space,   which I will share on a later post.  For now, I must get my self together so that I can prepare a really great afternoon lunch for my Favorite Fathers!


Wednesday, June 16, 2010

A chandelier and a portrait...

ENORMOUS Venetian Glass Chandelier
(look in the bottom left hand corner and you might notice something)
Revealed at the end of post

Isn't this chandalier amazing???  The pictures just don't do it justice.  It was such a wonderful suprise at the top of this art filled stairway at L'enfant Gallery on the corner of Wisconsin and P street in DC.  You just look up and BAM this fine specimen of Italian Venetian Glass.  Every little bit is hand blown, and it had to be about 4 to 5 feet in diameter...I mean, HUGE! 

I had a couple of hours to myself on a recent trip with my kids to DC.  I am still trying to get used to taking pictures of all that inspires (in DC inspiration is everywhere!!!), More often than not, my hands were otherwise engaged in either carrying a child or attending to one, that the camera either A) dangled around my neck or B) was in my bag, or C) was at the hotel just wasn't utilized nearly as it should! I digress....thank goodness I was by myself so I could have my wits about me to snap a shot, and I even had enough where-with-all to notice this...

Doesn't the chandelier in this portrait look familiar???  Well I thought so...

I made my way down the stairs and asked the woman at the front desk about the chandelier and whether it was the same one in the portrait.  She didn't know what I was talking about.  So the answer is, NO, there isn't any real correlation.  But I can't quite get it out of my head that the woman in the portrait is now in the "real" shadow of the light cast from the chandelier in her portrait.  Or maybe there is some sordid story about the chandelier, and she just happened to end up in it's shadow...

I thought about saying, maybe you could do a "BUY ONE GET ONE"sale...You know, if  you buy the chandelier for say $75k you get the painting for $25k instead of $50k.  Thankfully I didn't say what I was thinking b/c it would probably have been construed as I just laughed to myself, and continued my trek up the Wisconsin Hill on a 95 degree day, pushing a stroller with no baby in it (long story), making my way to the Safeway for a nice bottle of vino to share with my wonderful Mom (who made an afternoon antiquing by myself possible) and my sister (who I am so glad lives in the city, and I can live vicariously thru her)

In the Morning,

Thursday, June 10, 2010

The "perfect" rug...maybe not.

Rug in the store.

Close doesn't do the greens justice b/c they are much more vibrant

I recently fell in LOVE with a rug at one of my favorite (if not MY fav) local rug store House of Rugs.  They make it a point to pick out the timeless colors, great quality, just really pretty rugs.   Alot of the work is done for you, so that you don't have to go thru mounds of rugs to get to what you might like.  They are mostly persians, and VERY reasonably priced.  Anyway, a few months ago I was in and found a rug!   I probably wouldn't have normally picked because its base is navy blue, (should have been a clue), but it has a beautiful design and a gorgeous colorway with really pretty greens, and yellows, browns, and coral.  The great thing about House of Rugs is that they let you take a few rugs home with you so you can see it in your decor.  WELL, above you can see the rug in the store

And here it is in the house (remember I have NOT yet covered the couch and chairs, and this is VERY much a work in progress.)


Another rug

I am just not as enamored with it IN the house as I was in the store.  Wipe brow, a crisis averted.  The moral of this story is to really make the effort to try things in your house if you can BEFORE you fork over the denaro.  Especially a rug that you will most likely have to live with for a LONG time. (at least in my family!)   Most boutique stores will let you do this.   I still really LOVE the rug, just not in my house.  I don't think the other rug is THE rug either, but I really like the lighter tone of it.   The room is really light, and I want to keep it that way.  Being able to compare them really helped me narrow it down.  Here is what I think would be great...I just have to find it!

I am thinking something like this....

Found on 1stdibs one of my new FAVORITE places to dream. 
But I love the greens, and pinks, and oranges.

or this

another 1stdibs find...ONLY $33k...

oh well, the search continues...but I know it will be worth the wait!

In the morning,