Hello again! I just wanted to let you know that I've decided to dial back on my design business for a bit. I've been dealing with neck issues for more than a year and I'm finding that my workload is getting in the way of my therapy and healing process.
I've recently discovered something that I think will get me to a better place. I'll share once I've tested it out and proven my hunch. I hope to come back as a new woman with a bionic body!
At this point, I won't be taking on any new projects.
I'm just started working with a client who is renovating an older house to make it the perfect home for her and her family. It's what you might call a right-sized house for her newly empty-nest status. I'll be helping her with picking finishes, paint colors, tiles and furniture layout.
First on our list is finding inspiration for built-ins that will flank her fireplace. I absolutely love built-ins surrounding a fireplace and what I love even more is the fact that there are windows that will be part of the mix. Here are some examples of built-ins done right!
One more thing to add - all of these examples have built-ins that go right up to the window molding. I think this is key. It looks custom and original to the house. Okay, let's take a tour!
What I love about these built-ins are the doors. This is something from the Gaines powerhouse couple (from Fixer Upper) so I wouldn't be surprised if they salvaged these doors from another house and used them here. Regardless, they look amazing! They add some architectural interest while also being practical. No dusting the bookshelves!
Okay these built-ins are my favorite. A mix of open and closed - the best of both worlds. I also like that the TV is not above the fireplace. Unless your fireplace is low, you'll be craning your neck to watch TV if you have the TV over the mantel. I also love the stone surround on this fireplace as well as the windows. So charming yet also refined.
Here we have very basic built-ins but they work because they're fitted close to the bottom of the window and extend all the way to the corner of the wall. Also they're finished with some nice crown. A mix of objects and books make these shelves interesting but edited.
Here we have totally closed storage, which makes the room look so serene and clean. Not very personal but so calm. I could never live like this (I have too many treasures that I like to display) but I'd sure love to visit!
Are you lucky enough to have built-ins surrounding your fireplace? I'd love to hear about them!
Until next time!
I recently received a catalog from Garnet Hill and had to share my favorite rugs. I know you wouldn't expect to shop for rugs at Garnet Hill, but they have a great variety at nice price points. Here are my picks. Click on the image and it'll take you right there!
Tata for now!
Snow is in the forecast for tomorrow which means many of us will be housebound and twiddling our thumbs. The Christmas tree is on its way out and the holiday decorations are being put away. So I say it's the PERFECT storm - an opportunity to redesign your home! Pick a corner, a table, a room, the whole downstairs! The world is your oyster and the best thing is that this activity is free but makes such a DIFFERENCE!
Here are three easy steps to tackling your redesign project!
1. Assess what you don't like about your space. Is it the way it feels? Is it the way it functions? Or are you just getting tired of things? Dig deep here and ask your family what their thoughts are. It's amazing what you find out when you ask your family members their opinions on things. And if you make it a group activity, everyone is part of the solution! If you're not sure what's wrong with the space, take some pictures. It'll make things more obvious to you.
2. Once you've established what's wrong with the space, it's time to tackle it. The first thing I do when redesigning a client's space is determine what the function of the space should be. Don't get pigeonholed into what a space is supposed to be. For example, if you don't use your dining room for eating, you could use it as a library or office. Or a play room for the kids.
3. Once the function of the space is determined, you can spring into action. Take an inventory of what works in the space and what doesn't. Shop your house to see what you can move around. Don't ignore your walls either. Sometimes the wrong piece of art on the wall is enough to make a space feel blah. Find something else to put there. Or sometimes less is more. Be a fierce editor! Also, look at scale. If a really small table is next to a big chair, it's not going to look right. Another common decorating hiccup is space flow. You want to make sure furniture is easy to get around. A quick way to make a big difference in a room is to re-work the bookcases. Sprinkle objects in with the books, along with a stack of games and there you have it - a whole new look!
One piece of advice - measure before you move!
One of my favorite redesigns was when I helped a client create a home office in her living room. We moved some chairs to another part of the room to make room for a desk under some windows. Then we took a bookcase from another part of the house and brought it into the space to store books and files. We brought in a spare Louis chair from her dining room to use as a desk chair. The finishing touch was a pair of lamps from her guest room that we placed on the desk. Voila - we added function to her otherwise rarely used living room.
I hate to say it, but sometimes your design dilemma is bigger than a one day project. But the good news is that I can help! I offer Design Therapy consultations where I help you figure out what's wrong with your space and what your next steps should be. It's amazing what we can hash out in a couple of hours!
I also offer Paint Color Consultations where I provide you with paint color suggestions for your space, taking into account your lighting, furnishings and how you want your space to feel.
Lastly, I offer Design Workshops on a regular basis where I provide you with tips and tricks to make your house into a home DIY style! The next workshop is on January 30th. Stay tuned for details!
I'll leave you with some image of some of my favorite rooms for inspiration!
What I love in this room is the simplicity but also the contrast in textures and dark and light.
Hello gallery wall! This is successful because even though the frames are all different, the composition is mostly black and white.
What I find inspiring in this room are the prints hanging vertically above the sofa, the cozy seating arrangement, the stacks of books and the vase filled with greenery.
This is one of my all time favorite bedrooms. The blue on the walls looks smashing with the orange. And notice how the side tables don't match but still look coordinated.
Local friends!!! I don't know about you, but I'm always looking to learn from other women on how they've managed their careers with kids and other life changes. Well, here's our opportunity! Join me next Wednesday, January 10th at 1:00 at the Little Silver Library to hear from local women on how they've re-launched and pivoted their careers. Girl power!
Happy New Year! I'm pleased to announce that I have some exciting new plans for my business in 2018!
I believe that everyone has a design eye. You just have to find your point of view. Decide what you like and don't like, and then see it through. You have to be patient, but anyone can create a home that feels good and reflects who they are.
My ultimate goal for 2018 is to help everyone achieve this. As usual, I'll be offering advice on this blog, providing design therapy sessions for clients in their homes and customized paint color consultations.
But what I'm most excited about is hosting several design workshops in the Little Silver area. Here are some topics that I'll be covering (in no particular order)...
My first workshop will be held on Tuesday, January 30th. Stay tuned for more details!
If you have any suggestions for design workshop or blog topics, please click here to let me know!
One of my favorite parts of my job is hosting workshops. I love empowering homeowners to make their house into a home. I'm gearing up to host several workshops in the coming year (with lots of partnerships)! I'm asking YOU to please let me know what you want to hear about. If you could click away below, I would appreciate it!
This Friday is Riverbank Antiques "Sip, Shop & Mingle" event. There are tons of new dealers so it's an event not to be missed! Some of my favorite dealers include Dust & Rust (my opponents from Flea Market Flip) and Recycled Relics and Antiques Chic!
Hope to see you there!
I've been vacationing in Maine for about forty years now and a big part of my Maine experience has been visiting L.L. Bean. I remember when it was literally a barebones store - so different than what it has become today. It reminded me of a factory with huge multi-paned windows and fans everywhere. It was a place my family visited annually and always turned to for our New England essentials. The classic hunting boot, warm wool sweaters, wicked good slippers, and classic ragg wool mittens and gloves. Also blankets, canvas totes and the occasional L.L. Bean towel. I still turn to L.L. Bean for those classics after all these years. In this post, I'll run through my favorites - old and new.
But first I have a confession to make. I want so badly to work for L.L. Bean. Whenever we drive by the corporate offices on our way to the store in Freeport, I long to work there. I love what they stand for - quality, dependability and honesty. I think I would be a great employee. I'm friendly, believe in the product and can rock the L.L. Bean hunting boots (I still wear my pair from high school). Here's the good news - an alumni from my college, Steve Smith, is now the CEO. He was actually my husband's classmate. I don't think he knew me then - except for maybe as Sleepy's girlfriend (yes, my husband was nicknamed Sleepy and people STILL call him Sleepy). So I have this dream that my husband will give him a call and ask if we can pop over to his corner office. He'll offer me a job that I can't refuse and the rest will be history! I'm secretly hoping Steve will read this and my wish will come true.
Until then, here are my absolute favorite L.L. Bean picks....
All of these would make great holiday gifts. I've tried most of them out myself and can vouch for their quality and good looks.
Do you have any tried and true L.L. Bean products that you swear by?
Until next time!
I'm all about sharing ideas in home design, gardening and living so we can love our homes. I'm joined by my dog, Boomer, who is always by my side.