Monday, January 31, 2011

Skirt and Pillow talk...make it all better:)

I have been project slacker lately...just trying to keep up with the day to day.  Well, knowing that you have a few  old friends coming over for lunch, always puts a little pep in my project step.  So, I decided to do a couple very simple things to make the house feel a little better (to me anyway:)

First, was a little skirt on my desk.  I am tired of looking at the junk and wires underneath, and unfinished baseboard...So instead of cleaning it up, I decided to hide it!  I made a little skirt and attached it to an spring rod, with clip on rings.  (this way, I didn't have to be exact with my measurements, and could adjust the length....did I mention I was a lazy project doer too:)  I used left over drop cloth, and fabric from the upholstered inserts of my dining room chairs (I don't think I ever posted that project....will have to do that to:)

Here is the result.

Before, when you look down the galley into my little office.

After the skirt.... Forgive the photography, I snapped these this morning before good "light".

much better...notice the skirt is gone on the chair..I destroyed it in the wash (oh, vell:)
Love my new hiding place for junk:)  And hides the fact I haven't painted the baseboard:) Oh, and that painting, is another masterpiece of my mother's.  I love them over my desk.

And the other project was new pillows for the living room...pillows make it ALL better:)  Seriously, this took me like 10 minutes.  The lazy pillow I call it....the "I need a pillow STAT"....pillow.  The "I am going to sew this standing up pillow, because I have dinner cooking downstairs but have to have some pillows!".....pillows.  That is why they might be a little overstuffed....the measurements were shall we say.....fuzzy at best!!!  Did I mention I was lazy....

very sad.

Much better....the chair is much happier.  (Mr. O and My little man might think otherwise...they think pillows have a special place on the floor!
I had some left over dupioni silk hanging around begging to be used....I think this view is pretty too, no?
There you have lazy projects.  These little projects took me maybe 30 minutes total to do....and make me oh, so happy.  Now I am off to cook for my little luncheon, more on that tomorrow:)

Happy Monday.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Bring the Sunshine in....

via Remodelista
The Queen of Yellow Mary Douglas Drysdale

via design sponge Lori andrews

via decorpad
Via House Beautiful  Gideon Mendelson
via Country Living
via Country Living

Thinking that it is the weather that has me wanting more of yellow in my house...unfortunately for me, Mr. O does NOT like yellow (this is fairly new news to me) so I want to keep him happy.  For now I will just dream, and maybe a bowl of lemons on the table will suffice.

via country living

Thinking about all my blogland friends and family up north that are neck deep in Snow. 
I Know you are making lemons into lemonade...only a couple more months....


Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Color Charts make me happy!

I don't know about you, but I can pour over color fan decks, and color charts for what seems like hours.  The day I got my Pantone Color Decks and Benjamin Moore paint decks were highlights of my design career:)  It just makes me happy.   This arrived in my mailbox yesterday...via Spoonflower.  1 Yard of a Cotton/Linen blend with all of the Pantone Colors on it.  NOW, I can look at my Pantone fandeck, (a graphic designers necessity) and see how it translates onto the fabric...YIPPEE!!! I am thinking this fabric itself would look great as a pillow...hmmmm.

Do you all know about Spoonflower???  It is a company that prints on demand your own textile designs on a digital printer...the possibilities are endless.   You can also peruse designs that other unknown designers have created.  A fun source for new and unknown textile designs. 
designed by Tammikins

This Color Chart was designed by another graphic designer Tammikins who has the Blog Art, Alphabets and Adventure from Minnesota.  You an see her textile designs here. Above is one of  my favorites of her designs..I love letters and numbers too!

I designed and ordered some about a year ago, but wasn't happy with the color matching. 
SOOOO,  I decided it do it the "right" way this time. 
Let the designing begin!!!!  I have been sketching up a storm, and can't wait to get something to Spoonflower to make into a project.  Pillows, curtains, ....thinking I might infuse my own designs into the fabric choices upstairs in the bedrooms.  Ambitious, but I think it will be fun and worth it.

Have you all heard that Lauren from the Pure Style Home Blog is coming out with a fabric line?  Her moxi to just go for it, and make it happen,  has been truly inspiring.  I can't wait to see what she has come up with!

I would spend all day designing, BUT I have a client meeting, to start picking out the finishes for the kitchen renovation.   Which is just another kind of design. These days make me super happy, and makes me think I am doing the right thing.

Stay tuned.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

The "Ultimate" Home Office

cool floor, really like the chair, the metal on the turned leg desk...hmmmm...notice anything?

My mother in law did her Magazine drop off yesterday on their way thru town.  (I am lucky that she gives me many of her old issues to peruse) I was happy to find a Martha Stewart with "The Ultimate Home Office" as the cover. Since my home office/guest bedroom is another room that I am in great need of decorating.

I have a desk in the kitchen where I do most of my day to day work...but when I need to spread out, I have all of my STUFF in the guest bedroom.  With my recent discovery of how I like to draw and sketch, I have been thinking that I need to make the room a a bit better...more functional.

Back to the magazine you notice anything?  I was really happy to find a cover with "The Ultimate Home Office" on the cover, and have always been a fan of Martha's Ideas. (although rarely implemented in my house:)  I was immediately drawn to the cupboard above the desk, and the desk itself....but it seemed a bit clutterered...WHY?  Hmmmm, 'funny, they have a vintage computer on the desk I thought to myself.'  Who would do that???  Is that the new trend?   Then I realized I was looking at a magazine from November 1993!!!!  Almost 20 YEARS ago, I was still in high school!!!...Some good design never changes.  Just goes to show, Vintage NEVER goes out of style....Martha was really on to something:)

Here are the other photos from the spread.  Enjoy the blast from the past.

Nice shelving design...thank goodness our computers are now smaller!

Oh look, this person is super lucky with a LAPTOP! 
Vintage chairs, desks, fresh flowes NEVER go out of style!

Look at that nailhead desk...I think I have seen one of those recently....

Just in Southern Living this past month....Heather Chadduck's Restful retreat. 
Maybe she has been perusing the old magazines for inspiration too:)  Oh, and the fabric...that is Victoria Hagan too!  Much better with out that honker of a computer on the

Seriously, I am really lucky to have a mother-in law that has kept all of these magazines in pristine condition.  I even have one of Martha's first issues.  There is some good stuff, timeless design....Vintage NEVER goes out of style!  

Have a great is supposed to be rainy and cold today...hmmmm MAYBE I could just sit with my coffee all day and just peruse the old back issues...

Monday, January 24, 2011

Learning from Osmosis

My new pillows for the bedroom!

 It is no secret that I love the color green.  It finds its way into many of my projects...just look at my blog design and you can see a trend!  I have been wanting to start my master bedroom design, (among MANY other things) it has been stewing around in my head for a while...white walls, white linens, with green accents...but the green has to be JUST RIGHT.  Well, the other day I came across these pillows done in a linen fabric designed by Victoria Hagan in early spring green! THIS is the color I have been looking for!!!  So of course I bought the pillows (something that I NEVER do, because I normally make my own...) but I just HAD to have that green.   So now I have my jumping off point....and can't wait to get started on the rest.  Now that I have these pillows, I started reading into the designer behind the fabric...I had heard of her before, but not looked into her website.

On to Victoria Hagan....a interiors super star, having been inducted into the Interior Design Hall of Fame to name just one of her accomplishments.   You can read more about her here.

Her rooms are just gorgeous....the way she uses a very clean backdrop for her designs, using white on the walls in most of her work.  However, you don't notice the walls are "just" white, or "just" woodwork because the rooms sing with what  really matters which is the fabrics and furniture and artwork.   

"I strive for graphic, elegant and appropriate interiors," says designer Victoria Hagan. 

I would say she accomplishes that!  NOTE: I did have many photos from her portfolio but the links are all broken....To see her portfolio go here.

I am going to try to channel her with my bedroom design....
Maybe I can learn from osmosis with my head on my  new pillows:)  I can try anyway:) 
Or I can buy her NEW book...

Happy Monday!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

I am a Graphic Designer afterall....

I love colored pencils all nice and sharp! The possibility that lies on their tips...endless!
I have been needing to tap my artistic side know the old fashioned kind, where the pencil hits the paper...and you just create.  Sometimes I get to stuck on the computer, and forget how much joy it brings to start with an idea and see where the pencil takes you.  I love print and pattern, and find inspiration everywhere.....Especially in vintage and antique textiles, china, and embroidery. Yesterday, I went up to my sewing/guestroom/studio (trying to make it more of a studio...that is another one of THE projects:) and was inspired by a vintage pillowcase that I have. 

vintage pillowcase

Funny, how a little inspiration can take you in a whole different direction.  I turned on the newest installment of The Skirted Roundtable with Suzanne Reinstein and just drew and colored.  There is a little part of me that would love to design my own textiles someday...I am a graphic designer after all:)

pulled into photoshop and moved components around...just for fun:)

pulled out a part of it and made a pattern.

Now that was fun.  I have to do more of this:)

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Please Dim that Light!

Something is just a little off in this photo...might it be the lighting...??? 
A bit harsh, and the blemishes of everything stick out like a sore thumb!

veryone has pet peeves....things that drive them crazy.  ♠I have many!  One of which is overhead and harsh lighting.  I HATE lights that are harsh, preferring lamps to overhead lights any day of the week.  It drives me crazy when people flip on overhead lights, when they have perfectly nice lamps around.  I am known to have lamps on in the middle of the day (which my husband hates!), I know, I know energy savings and all:) Our upstairs is actually kind of dark at the moment, for lack of lamp lighting.... During the renovation, I deleted overhead lights (my husband wanted fans, what is with the fans? something about air circulation....ugh) and the compromise was to get fans, in certain rooms, WITHOUT lights!!!   Of course there are areas of your home, the dining room for instance, and in the kitchen that overhead lighting is normal and essential.  The only thing that they need are DIMMERS!

Ahhh, much better!
(Now, if I was a better photographer, I could have probably done a better job at translating
the difference, but I hope you get the picture!)
Well, I wanted dimmers, but the electrician for some reason didn't put them in, and at that point I just wanted to be IN the house, so I said, fine... Mr. O can do that later. (thinking it would be a month later).... 8 months later, we finally got DIMMERS!  What a difference it makes.  I walked around all evening last night, adjusting the dimmers....this will be perfect for dinner, this will be perfect for after dinner, this illuminates the artwork nicely, you get the picture:):) Dimmers on, lamps on, oh that is vera nice:) What IS for dinner???

Dimmers are actually fairly easy to install yourself (or so it seemed, Mr. O did 3 in about 30 minutes).  They range in price from $15 to $35 at the local hardware store.  And they are a must have in my opinion.  Especially in areas where you entertain.  There is just something about soothing, soft light that makes you want to linger over dinner....converse a little more....whose skin doesn't glow in the dim light, blemishes just melt away!   And they (dimmers) aren't just for overhead lights, you can add them to lamps as well.  

Oh, and the bulbs make a huge difference too, Use 40 – 60 watt soft white incandescent bulbs (get them while you can, because they are being banned by 2014, you know for efficiency) for a cozy, nice, warm light.  I also love the Edison bulbs from Rejuvenation .  We chose those for our pendants over the sink (which I need to order more). BTW: I LOVE Rejuvenation as a lighting source.  Beautiful period lighting.

I am all for being green, but please don't take my beautiful lighting away....and don't tell me to just use candles!!  I really didn't mean to "make a statement" in this post, and call me "old fashioned" but I love my old bulbs.  I contribute to the green movement in other ways, I recycle furniture for goodness sake!!!, I am sure there is some sort of carbon footprint analysis that says a piece of furniture is = to a certain # of incandescent bulbs !!)  I know there might be some alternatives, like the Philips AmbientLED has a a bulb that can replace incandescent bulbs...but, still, not the same.  

As far as I know, there isn't a ban on dimmers so if you have to have green bulbs you can get DIMMABLE BULBS...something I didn't know, is that you must buy a bulb that's specifically made to work with dimmers (check the package). GE makes some dimming compact fluorescent light bulbs (called the Energy Smart Dimming Spirals) that are specially designed for use with dimming switches.

So go out and get yourself some dimmers (if you don't already have them) I promise your guests will thank you!

Anyway, I am so happy to have my dimmers, especially since it has been dreary outside...dim lights, rainy days, a nice ambiance in the happy!  One project down, 100 more to go!

Monday, January 17, 2011

Interiors Reflected.

via Dreamy Whites
I was doing my normal searching around for inspiration the other day and came across a new blog (to me) Dreamy Whites.  She has actually been blogging for a while, and has just opened an Online Shop. My first introduction to her decor was via a reflection in a mirror. INGENIOUS!  Have you ever noticed how your decor is reflected in a mirror?  I did some searching and found many photos of interiors reflected.  Enjoy the reflection inspiration!

via Dreamy Whites
Dreamy Whites eclectic living room
Via Dreamy Whites
I love that you can see so much of her home thru the reflections!

Via the New Issue of Lonny!  Gorgeous!

via House Beautiful
Have always loved this room!
via House Beautiful
Via House Beautiful
This just aludes to what is in the room....I imagine a worn and beautifully patinaed room.
via Houzz
via windlost
(Windsor Smith I think)

Soooooo, I had to include a couple of my interior reflections...

My little foyer table and staircase.

My living room.

And I would also like to thank 2 VERY stylish bloggers for including me in the Stylish Blogger award...(you will thank me that I spared you my reflection in this post:)  Off to the side I am still in my robe, with hair a mess, no get the picture:) 

So I am going to stick with my policy of THANKING those that included me, but breaking the rules and not posting 7 things about me, and passing it along (if your wondering why you can read here.)

Jill Sorenson from Live Like You Blog and Marmalade Interiors.  When you see her bio and interiors she is totally the poster girl for Stylish!  AND she has a shop opening up soon!  SOOO Excited to see what great things she has.


My friend, Elizabeth, from Pretty Pink Tulips,  a vera stylish blogger that has been incredibly supportive of me and my blog.  She has an amazing style and beautiful home.

You MUST check both of them out!

Happy Monday, and Martin Luther King Day!