Tuesday, December 18, 2012

The Gift of Design

What could be a better gift to yourself then an afternoon snuggled up on the sofa while the children play quietly, maybe drinking a glass of wine, and you flipping through beautiful images of decked decors?? Well, we can all have a Christmas wish:)

If you want to give the gift inspiration here are a few of my all-time fave design books....

I love most everything she does...clean, crisp glamour.

This book is filled with elegant rooms that can give inspiration for even the most humble abodes...

This is the new book by Charlotte Moss...she has such an eye for interesting things...

I have been a fan of Charlotte's from an early age. This is the first design book I ever  owned. My mother gave it to me for Christmas one year and I still treasure it!

Miles Redd does fabulous things with color...lots of lacquered wall....

Classic and Pretty

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

All I Want For Christmas

Lets face it, kids, and really living in general, can be rough on your nest. There are some spots though, that are really immune to the hustle and bustle of life and I think worth a splurge.
Here is a Christmas list of a few goodies for Santa to put under your tree that have a good chance of remaining un-scathed in the New Year!

*Great Bedside Tables ~ I really can't stan a wimpy side perch here. I need lots of room for books, magazines, journals, flowers...

*Lights ~ lamps, sconces, chandeliers...let the light in!

*Collections on the Wall ~ this is a great spot to hang plates, mirrors, objet d'art...and no one can touch!

This is a room I did for a client and I just love the bedside lamps and two tiered bedside tables.

This is great side table from Oomph that you can do in any color of the rainbow and has lots of space for  just stuff!

My latest lighting obsession is this lamp, the Ananas, from a company in Charleston, Ro Sham Beaux. I am hoping to find these under my christmas tree this year!

These fun plates from C Wonder would look great as a collection on any wall.

Here is his cousin the giraffe!

There are so many great lights on which to splurge. I love these from Charles Edwards.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Tis' the Season to be with Family

This is my most favorite time of the year! Not only for the cookies, parties, gingerbread houses and more cookies....but to me Christmas is about family and friends cozy in a warm home with lots of good food and the glow of a crackling fire. Hello Currier and Ives:) I know a lot of people get stressed out about entertaining during the holidays but I think it's a no brainer. Every room in your house will look better with a little Christmas magic in it! Also, a little Christmas~ing is the best way to cover up those "not yet gotten to" holes in your decorating plan. No curtains on the living room windows? Throw up a glistening evergreen and no one will even know the difference! No fabulous wall art? Pin up a wreath with a great red linen bow!

My newest Christmas love....boxwood ~ wreaths, garland, cuttings. It just looks unique in a sea of pine:)

Happy decorating!

Ho! Ho! Ho!

I love wreaths on windows!

Simply beautiful...understated by Mary McDonald

Sugar Plum Fairy's Christmas Dinner table!

Perfect for that spot of above the mantle that has been empty all year!

Simple and glittery

Love this way to bring color into the foyer.
Designs by Kelli

What an elegant welcome
Mary McDonald

Monday, November 5, 2012

Cozy Kitchen

If Family Style decorating had one room to be its poster child, it would be the kitchen. We all know that no matter how big, small, fancy or plain your kitchen is, that is where we all end up. Whether it is a cocktail party, toddler play date or just hanging out with the family, it happens in the kitchen. That is why I think every kitchen should have cozy seating, beautiful lighting and, as long as the only window isn't over the stove, fabric on the windows. You need to counter all the wood, stone and metal that makes a kitchen work with the elegant, chic and completely cozy touches that make it a happy place to be!

My recipe for a cozy kitchen:

~a really cool banquette - upholster it in a great faux corc or snake leather... spaghetti sauce just wipes off! This nook seating can work even in most spacially challenged kitchens.

~a pair of club chairs, or small love seats, and an ottoman - if you are lucky enough to have the space! Can't you just see your husband reading the paper, smoking his pipe while you cook dinner?? ok, maybe not that June Cleaver-ish, but a spot for family members to relax and share while meals are prepared.

~comfy bar stools - again, the wipeable faux leather is the key here....

~window treatments - fabric on the window does SO much to soften a space.

Here is some food for thought....

Family Style in action. I am sure my children NOT would look this neatly ironed, but other then that, perfect!

Sunny and bright....looks like it is ready for a Sunday brunch party!

I love this banquette! Nuff said

So elegant!

Imagine that a beautiful white kitchen is just behind the bench! This would be such a nice counter to all that white wood.
Mary McDonald

Another Mary McDonald that I love!!

I love a big expansive table for people to sit around and chat, nibble, drink....
Windsor Smith

Friday, November 2, 2012

Boo! A Color Treat for you

Maybe its all the Halloween decorations still haunting the halls of my house...my 7 year old asked this morning if we could leave them up till we got our Christmas tree....but I think its nice to have a little "BOO!" in your life all year long....

I love a pop, I mean a really strong pop, of color when used sparingly. I am not a fan of a house that looks like a rainbow, with Roy G. Biv hopping from room to room -- if you have little ones you are probably familiar with that trick of Mr. Biv to remember the colors of the rainbow:) But I do love flipping through design books and seeing those gems of  bold color that just pop off the page.

Color can be tricky....and many people are afraid of it. Afraid that they will get tired of it. Don't be! You can have those spaces that you see in magazines and say "ooo-la-la, if you do it in bite size portions. So that you are sure to smile when you walk by that color statement, instead of feeling like you need your sunglasses, just do it in one concentrated spot. I think it is most effective when really bold colors are splashed in small spaces, like a powder room, a study, the backs of bookshelves or just in an alcove.  Even a bright color like Kelly Green can make a small space feel cozy when it envelops the walls.  Here is some inspiration for your next trip to the paint store!

I would be happy cooking my umpteenth dish of mac and cheese in this kitchen.
by Miles Redd

Lacquer makes any color look better.
another by Miles Redd - a color master

Love this watery turquoise, you can pair it with any color, even zebra!

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Here are a few of my favorite things

Raindrops on Roses....you know the song.  I thought I would start off my new resolution to find time to blog within this crazy three kid, two dog, one husband, sports schedule, pediatrician trip, laundry basket life....with some things I hope to see more of in the second half of 2012!

1. Traditionally tailored glamour

What a glamorous toilet!

2. Parties - any reason to celebrate

Glamor via stylemepretty.com

3. Food - I love to cook it, I love to eat it and look at sumptuous pictures of it...

Yum...I love everything Italian in the kitchen...

Bread, olive oil and salt cold be my last meal...

4. Pretty clothes

I want to design window treatments around the architecture of this dress...

P.S. My three year old son climbed on me like a jungle gym during most of this post...I think I need to see the chiro....

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Need a little inspiration in the bedroom?

Wouldn't it be dreamy if your bedroom was your favorite spot in your home? Your  refuge, your sanctuary? Everyone says it, yet almost everyone I work with says "Lets do the rest of the house first, we are the only ones that will see the bedroom." I say "boo!" Treat yourself. Smile every time you wake up and feel enveloped when you walk in, weary, if your life is like mine, at the end of every day. Here is some food for thought....

Grey and white is my new bedroom obsession
(Mary McDonald via veranda.com)

Love the detail on this headboard and drapes behind the bed. Sumptuous!
(Mary McDonald via peakofchic.com)

(Melissa Rufty via Housebeautiful.com)

(Susanne Rhinestein bia elledecor.com)

(MaryMcDonald mackenziehoran.com)

(MaryMcDonald mackenziehoran.com)