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I want to share ways to create a signature style in home design for others by offering ideas and pictures as examples.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Christmas Wreath Reinvented

With the weather going from good to bad and my chemo making me feel, in a word, lousy I finally managed to complete one of my two DIY projects.

So lets look at my before pictures.

OK. I know he is not much to write home about, but I bought him at Wally World for my grandson to have at my house so he could be remembered too.

I know he looks mutilated. But what's a person to do? I would like to say I saved the trimmings but I would not be telling the truth. So let the cycle of good and bad weather and me trying to spray paint the wreath with $1. white paint begin!!!!!!!

After going through 2 cans of spray paint on the wreath and my artificial artichokes my sore finger gave up the fight. Everytime I sprayed the can would stop on me and I realized I was only able to get and utilize about half the paint out of each can. The little banner at top, would always dry a pale pink not white.  

So I finally bit the dust and went back to Wally World and came home with a quart of white enamel paint and a cheap brush. I slathered that wreath with white paint using my brush. No more pink. But before I could do all of this, I had to stuff an artichoke into the can and it was stuck and would not come out. Why, you ask would I feel compelled to stuff an artichoke into a quart size can of paint? Well, you have to remember who you are dealing with...a chemo, pea brain!!!!!!!! So I had to pour the can of paint into a bowl in order to access it.

Looks like I am ready to rub the peel and stick letters on the banner of the wreath.
The after pictures were taken in the daytime with light flooding through the window. Not the best time of day to shoot pictures. 

Now I have a little more of France around my home!

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Three Showhouse Room Makeovers

Traditional Home Magazine, November 2008, featured two showhouses, the Lake Forrest, Illinois Showhouse and the Orchard Hill Showhouse in Old Westbury, New York. The article pointed out that,"showhouses are meant to inspire". The photos were taken by Edmund Barr and Bruce Buck.

The room Liz McEnaney decorated, overlooked the home's gardens and she loved to garden so this was perfect for her. If you look at the picture below, you can see how she covered the walls with a hand painted mural of trees.

In the same room, there was a wall of ivory stone with arched windows that were left bare so one could easily see the gardens. She used a gray-blue color palette.


Annika Christensen covered the walls above with gray grasscloth. And she hung a Swedish painting. She used a blue and white seersucker to upholster a Swedish antique sofa and chairs. An organically shaped lamp created movement and a clear Lucite coffee table kept the room airy.


Kate Singer created a master bedroom in silver, gray, lilac and green. There was a vine motif hand-painted on the gray wall. There was a mirrored coffee table, a vintage settee, and pictures of women hanging on the wall.


There are two slipper chairs covered in silver silk velvet although to me they look lilac, and a tufted gray ottoman.

Monday, January 25, 2010


I found my lamp shade at Pottary Barn and it was love at first sight! I had a beautiful mercury glass lamp with a plain shade and had enough Ballard Design "document" fabric left over to cover it. So before I could even manage to take a before picture of it, I manage to break it into a million pieces. On my b-day, my best friend bought me a $20. can (on sale for $10.) of what I thought was fabric spray because it was sitting on the shelf at Joann's beside the tiny, peel and stick lamp shades. Not to be defeated, I went to Wal-Mart and bought a $20. lamp for my shade. Back in the game right? I was still going to have my lamp with a shade similar to the Pottery Barn one for $20. as opposed to the lamp at PB for $80. and a $39. shade.  Joke's on me again!!!!!

I cover the shade with my fabric and it is looking pretty good and something just told me to contact the folks that made the glue to assure it could stand the heat of a light bulb. I still forgot to take a before pic of the plain shade but no problem, I mean we all have imaginations don't we? The answer came back saying, "I am not comfortable with this application".

Well here is my beautiful lamp that is non-functional and I pray someone out there has a sense of humor because I sure don't!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Here is the glue and the lamp.


                           Here is the finished product that I do not dare plug in and turn on!

I think God is trying to tell me with "subtle hints" that DIY is not in the cards for me.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

"Refined Refuge"

Even though I truly am into the "no color" theme from SGG, I just keep finding these beautiful homes that are decked out in lush, saturated color and I just go crazy for them. In the Traditional Home Magazine, November 2008 issue, a story appeared about a couple living in Dallas, Texas and the photos were taken by Emily Minton-Redfield.

The lady of the house, Laura Miller had just finished serving two terms as Dallas' mayor and another on the city council and her husband, Steve Wolens,  served in the state legislator for 24 years, so to say they were ready for a rest, ready to finish raising their three children and recharge was an under-statement. 

They really did not enjoy entertaining all that much but had the room to do so if they needed too. The house they bought two years before, was a 1940's style Tudor home. They chose Julio Quinones as their interior designer. Metropolitan Home Magazine named him one of 28 of the "worlds's best talents".

This couple wanted their home to be a comfortable, traditional sanctuary.
Their designer re-worked many pieces of furniture they already had.  He was   was not afraid to go to Restoration Hardware when needed.  

The designer found a Chippendale-style, camelback sofa in a used furniture store and completely re-did it for the living room.


The marble fire place in the living room was beautiful.


The curves of the green silk settee were set off by the sharp edged forties era coffee table.

The dining room was a mixture of new, old and antique pieces of furniture.  

The couple collected art work that could be seen through out the home.

The master bedroom was kept quiet, relaxing and peaceful.


Saturday, January 23, 2010

Follow Up On Things That Cannot be Mended

Boy did I think I was hot stuff! I had a beautiful mercury glass lamp with a plain lampshade and I had some leftover document material from Ballard Designs and I was going to use my $10. spray adhesive to turn the lamp into one that looked just like the one at Pottery Barn. The joke was on me. Before I could even  take a picture of the lamp I managed to shatter it into a million pieces. Guess it is back to Big Lotts and Goodwill to find a lamp for my project. I am so mad at me I don't even want anyone to wish me luck.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Not All Things Can Be Mended But Some Can

My favorite little rooster fell off the fridge and broke into a million pieces and I don't know why but I thought I could put him together again. I guess that is because I have done it so many times before and it has usually worked.

Sure did hate to hold a funeral for the rooster and the sad thing is, I never named him and he even had a bell!

But then I had a pitcher that was handpainted and when it broke it didn't occur to me to take pictures before I glued it back together.


I purchased some more green roses with baby's breath and little orange flowers because I just cannot seem to get enough of them. So I filled that pitcher up.

I'm not sure I can be mended. The cancer news I got yesterday was not good. My tumor in my lung is not shrinking and a small new cancer has been found. So in 3 weeks they will start me on a stronger chemo than I took this week. I will take it once a week for 3 weeks and then I will repeat the cycle again and then have a PET Scan so we will see what we will see.

Monday, January 18, 2010

A Jamaican Villa

In Coastal Living magazine, February 2010, designer, Meg Braff shares her ten essentials to creating an island flair. The photos were taken by J. Savage Gibson. Below, are 2 wooden benches upholstered in faux-croccodile vinyl.

 Inspired by photos of the villa in the 1950's and 1960's Meg tried to make the villa glamorous but understated.

Gotta like the white loungers.

Without a doubt, this is my favorite room. Why, well to start with, there are lanterns. Next, are the white enameled bamboo chairs and the animal prints used in the table linens, what is not to like? What about the 10 essentials....#1 cabana details....#2 sugar white walls....#3 a preppy palette....#4 rattan furniture....#5 a little patina....#6 striped rugs....#7 shutters.....#8 well mannered pairs.....#9 Batik-style prints.....#10 embroidered bedding.


Gotta have those striped rugs.

Another lantern, and beautiful piping on the dining chair cushions.

Pairs and symmetry and shutters play an important part in the decor.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

"COASTAL LIVING'S" Current Shore Things

The COASTAL LIVING magazine, February 2010 issue featured, courtesy of manufacturers, great things that can be used to make your home have that wonderful beachy feel from great neutrals like in the Hamptons home in SSG to wildly colorful things to brighten up your day.

Who wouldn't want the coral table lamp from seasideinspired.com or the burlap pillows with an applique motif from squarefeathers.com.?

Who wouldn't love the intricate Syrian table from danmartydesign.com, the Agadir Poufs or the assorted demijohns bottles from Ballard Design?

I can picture the Driftwood Leaf Platter from shoestringhome.com, the Medium Palm Leaf Bowl in black from pelaggogifts.com, the Venini Gold Leaf Chandelier from worlds-away.com and the Frond Eco-Art Pillow in Lime/Slate from cottageandbunngalow.com, all in my home. I also like the Palmetto Guest Towel in Robin Egg linen from anali.com for retailers.


Where to start and where to end? I am crazy about the Ikea Leran pendant lamp, the Mindanao pillow in Kochi Vista for the cover. The Rotunda decoative birdcages from greatroomsdecor.com remind me of my love of lanterns. The Cowry shell ball from seasideinspired.com and last but not least is the Ikea.com Stockholm Rand black and white rug are to die for!


And what better way to end this post than with a punch of colors. Starting with the Turquoise Chelsea Garden Stool from islandhomepalmbeach.com that can be used indoors or out as a spot beside the pool or in front of a sofa as a coffee table.

When the weather is pretty I still plan to get a can of spray paint and spray my artichokes I bought the day after Xmas at Hob Lob white and put them in an apothecary jar. The Bahaman Sea Blue Artichoke Lamp is so fantastic from straydogdesignscom. Since orange is my favorite color I love the orange tray and the Fish Hook Accent Pillow from seasideinspired.com

Sure does make me wish for warm weather!

Friday, January 15, 2010


Tomorrow, I am going to be listing 3 pieces of furniture with Craig's List and also hopefully with Ebay. I feel so stupid because the furniture is being stored at my son's home and when I took pictures today I forgot to take measurements, duh!

I am going to post them so that if anyone is interested they can place a bid tommorow. 

First, I have a pegged butcher's block...not a nail to be found.

You can place your pot lids between the slats.

The dark spots are pegs. The hooks hanging down hold your pots and pans.


Next is a hand carved Scandinavian plate rack. I just put a few plates on it to give you an idea of what it could look like. It looks pretty with dainty cups and saucers, and or pitchers on it. It would be a great way for someone to display a Majelica collection.

This is a heavy plate rack and requires the use of a stud finder and molly screws and a level.

And  last but not all, I have a gateleg table that came from Georgia and was 100 yrs old when I purchased it. It has only belonged to 2 families. Mine is the second and I have had it 30 yrs.


The table has cracks in the wood, two cigarette burns that need to be sanded out.

It is sturdy with classic, simple spindle legs, but it is not level because one of the hinges needs to be tightened. You can see on top of  the table how it is not level.

You can see the cracks/slits in the wood and the cigarette burns.


Above you can see this unlevel top due to the loose hinge.


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