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August 2013

» 04 August 2013 » In Decorating » No Comments

Ahhh, the month of August brings mixed emotions for me…the end of summer, the beginning of school, schedules, books, fees and my birthday (to which I have decided to ignore).  It also brings about change: some bittersweet, some stressful, but mostly good!

I had the recent opportunity to visit my oldest, Caitlin, and her Decorating with Mirrorsroommate Brigid, in Birmingham, AL to see their latest apartment; it’s Caitlin’s fifth move by the way, and hopefully her last for a while.  They moved from University Housing (which is basically a glorified dorm) to a much nicer apartment downtown, not too far from where both will be working.  It was so much fun to watch and see that these two twenty-somethings come up with creative ways to make this apartment the chic place they deserve.  The beginning of a new chapter in their lives, it is a learning curve in finding out how much things cost as well as how our real world can sometimes operate (Electric Bill?  Lease?  Renter’s Insurance?).  I have to say, so proud of both of these ladies.  Their hard work in school is definitely paying off and I hope they enjoy their twenties as they have a lot of great experiences ahead of them.  Though my visit was too brief, we got a lot completed.  One of our stops was a fabric store that was abuzz with many mothers and their daughters.  Come to find out these Decorating with Fabricladies were in full swing in preparation for college move in day.  Things were monogrammed, window treatments made, bed linens coordinating with window treatments, etc.  In the store (Sew Shari Designs), we came across this interesting business/service –  www.dormsuitedorm.com that will help get your dorm room ready!   I thought this was an interesting service for all those college girls along with their mothers to help relieve the stress of more decisions. Check it out…the service was excellent and the employees and the owner were lovely.

More changes…onto my son, Luke (boys are so different) who is preparing for his second year in college. His purchases include a TV, finding his game cube and maybe a coffee maker and a couple of posters.  He’s moving into a QUAD only to discover that they will have to clean their own bathroom this year (much to his chagrin, haha)…baby steps.  Too funny the differences in boys from girlsJ

Next is my senior in high school, Chris.  We are busy with the process of senior pictures, college choices, paperwork and the ACT.  It’s going to be a great, yet busy year for this guy, lots of decisions ahead, but all good! 

Finally, my youngest, Maggie is now officially not at the bottom of the high school food chain.  Sophomore year, I think can be difficult on many levels, both academically and socially, still growing and learning…she is busy with sports, school, and social life (not necessarily in that order).

So with the rest of August, I wish you patience, comfort and happiness as we get through these next few weeks of the beginning of a new school year or a new routine as the autumn season approaches.  As for my husband and I, once we have everyone settled into their routines, we will be pulling a truck up to the back of the house to begin the cleaning out and organizing process of the attic and closets, mattress flipping on day light savings time (thanks for the idea to my friend Laura Clements who left us too soon), getting ready for the cool weather, and enjoying what time is left of our younger two before the house is completely empty…

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July 2013

» 10 July 2013 » In Decorating » Comments Off on July 2013

Unique Doors in the HomeFront Door ColorOn a recent trip to Europe, I became v ery interested in entryways and doors or portals.  While walking through streets of many cities that were rich with so much history (I definitely needed to bone up on my French history, keeping track of the “Louies” was next to impossible!) each door and/or entryway made a statement.  Whether subtle, extravagant, or with the simplicity of color and plantings, the shapes, sizes and hardware were ALL unique.  Something we tend to NOT find here in our YOUNG country, which just celebrated her youthful 237 years this month. 

 The cities and countryside ALL take pride in cleanliness (out to the streets!) constantly sweeping and WASHING sidewalks, etc.   I never saw a cigarette butt, piece of gum, or wrappers on the ground. I could go on, but back to the doorways. If you have the opportunity when building a home, this may be a place where you need to pause, give your front door some thought and make the entryway special.  Yes, it may be a bit more of an investment, and yes, we may make our contractor scratch his head a bit, but the end result will be well worth it.  The choices are endless. I, of course, LOVE the unique hardware in the CENTER of the doors.  The doors I passed through were very heavy and oversized, but gave that unique look for every entrance.  If you are remodeling an older home, chances are, you will not be able to find the exact size for doors, trim, etc., due to the fact that a lot of items were made on the job site.  So, yet another opportunity to create something unique that fits with the look of the home. 

Front Door StyleFront Door ArchitectureNo, I’m not just talking about entryways to Châteaus and churches, but also to hotel doors, traboules in Lyon (which were secret public passageways that only the locals knew and were used as shortcuts or escape routes during the war) or just personal residences.  I am also referring to using doorways to gardens, or as unique art pieces in your garden.  Whether a doorway to an entrance to your little piece of paradise in your back yard, or creating a unique entrance to hide your gardening tools, doorways are a very important part of your home. Pick up an issue of July’s Southern Living and get some more creative ideas about using gates in your garden! Doorways help set the tone and the look of your home.  It creates anticipation from a visitor as to what lies ahead.

So…as you are out and about this summer, take a look at the front doors/entryways in your area and see what you find…

À bientôt….

 Garden

Article from Southern Living with great ideas on how to use gates in the garden.

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June 2013

» 10 June 2013 » In Decorating » No Comments

Furniture Hardware Accessories Furniture Hardware Accessories Drawer Pull Replacements Drawer Pull Replacements  Bling!

Everybody loves a little bling in their life…whether its jewelry, or an accessory, a little bling can just be the right touch to finish a look.

This month, as I was searching for hardware for a client I came across a lot of “bling”.  Whether you are just updating kitchen or bathroom cabinets, or refurbishing a piece of furniture, the hardware can give you that special finished look you are looking for.

If you want to have some fun in the laundry room, or you are updating an old chest of drawers, fun hardware can add the look and personality you need to spice up your room.

It’s like that last piece of jewelry to complete an outfit.  So go ahead, if you are looking for a cost effective way to update an old look, don’t forget about the bling!!  The choices are creatively endless, but a lot of fun!!

Happy shopping!

Furniture Hardware Accessories

 

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May 2013

» 10 May 2013 » In Decorating » No Comments

Outdoor Dining Decor

 Outdoor Furniture

It is safe to say it’s finally here!  Derby Season is behind us, it smells of freshly cut GREEN grass, lilacs are in bloom and everyone is busily preparing their yards for summer plantings.   

 

This year, as we sit on our back porch (or imagine our Veranda, for us Southerners) sipping on our ice tea (or other beverage of choice), it’s time to start thinking about outdoor entertaining.

 

 

The barbecues and cookouts have come a long way, along with outdoor entertaining décor.  We now have outdoor fireplaces, fire pits, the Mac-Daddy Grills, outdoor bars; the list goes on and on!  Gone are the days of old wicker only to be replaced with a more durable looking “new wicker” in various shades of colors and weaves. 

 

Today, your outdoor space is like adding more square footage to your home.  The options are endless…I’ve attached these photos courtesy of Digs, a local outdoor furnishing store.  One of my favorite places to go for inspiration; for beautiful, fun and unique items.

Can you hear the mariachis playing now?

Outdoor Patio Decor

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April 2013

» 10 April 2013 » In Planning » No Comments

Ahhhh, the signs of spring!  In Kentucky this means a lot of vibrant color and of course, the count down to the Kentucky Derby with all the festivities leading up to the big race!  Whether you are planning a party, trying to find the perfect outfit to wear, squeezing in some home projects before the big day, or finding that famous Southern Recipe for the event, may I suggest turning to Pinterest or Houzz, my new best friends!

For those of you who don’t know what Pinterest or Houzz are, they are addicting tools that save a lot of time (and money) for whatever project you are planning.  They are virtual bulletin boards AND they are FREE!

PInterest for Home Decor IdeasThat’s right, instead of buying all of those magazines and pulling out pages, creating a file and more paperwork, this is a paperless, easy way to communicate what your likes are for any project.  You can make the bulletin boards private (if you just want to share your ideas with certain people) or open for anyone to see your creativity and interests.

Yes, I do have Pinterest boards.  Many.  They vary from personal tastes in clothing, jewelry, wedding ideas (not that I am planning any at the moment), and party ideas. I especially love the accessibilty of Pinterest and that anyone can use it! I can get ideas anywhere from my best friends, family members, or someone halfway across the world! Houzz for Interior Design Ideas

Houzz is geared toward more interior design, staging, etc. Think of Pinterest as the Facebook of pin boards, and Houzz as the LinkedIn. Houzz is more professional in that it deals with multiple aspects of home make-over – building, decorating, interior design, etc. This is where you will find some great ideas from people that know this trade inside and out!

In honor of the Kentucky Derby, I’ve begun a Pinterest board of things I like for the Kentucky Derby festivities.  You can follow me on one or all of my boards, if you wish.

Go on, give it a try!  It’s fun, easy and a great way to communicate what you want for any type of project!

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March 2013

» 11 March 2013 » In Decorating » No Comments

Functional Kitchen DecorToday, the most gorgeous looks in a kitchen sometimes aren’t the most functional when it comes to your family’s needs.  The following is an article I found that I think is incredibly informative on the different types of surfaces used in today’s kitchens describing the pros and cons of each.  Sometimes, the most beautiful surface isn’t the right fit for you regarding durability or cost effectiveness.  A complimentary mix and match of materials can help you still achieve the look you want and gain the most bang for your buck!  Happy Reading! 

Your Guide to 15 Popular Kitchen Countertop Materials from houzz.comKitchen Counter Surfaces

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February 2013

» 11 February 2013 » In Decorating » No Comments

paint swatchesWell, Phil the Ground Hog did NOT see his shadow; therefore an early spring is predicted! Spring Catalogs are beginning to hit the doorstep with the anticipation of warmer weather and the SUN arriving!

Hopefully, we’ve turned the corner! This time of year is the time for planning for Spring! Outdoor projects, plantings, etc., it’s a perfect time to peruse the catalogs and plan. If you are staying in your home or thinking about selling, you definitely need to pay attention to your outdoor details. Your home needs to look just as inviting outside as it does inside. Less is more; it’s amazing how a fresh coat of colored paint on a front door, or a new bench cushion along with a pot of flowers can makeJunk in a drawer an inviting entrance to your home. Sparkling clean windows let the sun in and rid us of the grime of winter. Resealing your deck or driveway is just around the corner!

Bring in the spring season soon by planning color indoor! This year’s color is Emerald Green. A rich color that is vibrant and beautiful against the correct palate. Blues and teals are also fresh, crisp colors, a nice contrast to the winter blues.

I recommend bringing in color and texture through easy things to change: fabrics, accessories, or paint colors. Find your inspiration of color. Whether it’s a favorite painting or a glass bowl, your color palate depicts who you are; it’s your personality!

This month is also a continuation of cleaning out. On those gray days when the weather is either rainy or snowy and you have watched enough television, tackle one room or one closet at a time, making arrangements for the items to be picked up or boxed up and dropped off.  If you have a room in your home that is storage and you haven’t used anything in it for a year, chances are you don’t need it.  Even if it’s an annual clean out your “Junk Drawer”.  Everyone has one, but it’s a great feeling to have it organized, even if it’s just for a little while.

What about that pantry? It’s time to clean that out as well. Check your spices. There are expiration dates, and if you are like me, you think they last forever, NOT! Definitely a different taste with fresh spices! 

bedroom

A simple solution when the weather starts to warm up is to change out your bedding. My Grandmother use to have bedding for winter and summer and changed it on a regular basis. These do not have to be expensive, as it will add years to your bedding switching. It also puts you in a habit of cleaning the bedding. Another tip that a friend of mine taught me is to flip the mattresses when the time changes. You know, Spring Forward, Fall Back. She had her mattresses numbered so you knew which way to flip them, top to bottom and which side. It’s not something I ever thought of doing on a consistent basis, but it does help prolong the life of your mattress and it’s a great memory of her.

So, let’s get cracking! We will be outside enjoying the sunshine and warmer weather sooner than we realize!

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January 2013

» 11 January 2013 » In Organization » Comments Off on January 2013

res·o·lu·tion

– noun

1. formal expression of group opinion

2. determination

3. solution of a problem

 

Most of us make them, some keep them, for awhile…

Now that the holidays are officially over, albeit it was fun, it’s a new year and I am most anxious to put away all of the holiday decorations, new gifts, list making, make any exchanges if necessary and get organized!

This is a great time of year!  As we are making room in our closet for the new sweater we just got as a gift, go through our closet and PURGE!!  Get one of those boxes out of the garage, or better yet, a Hefty Garbage Bag, SEVERAL, and take a good hard look at your closet.  I go by these few simple rules that I am sure you have read time and time again, next to the January People Magazine showing how much weight a person has lost, but they have proven to work for me.

1. Go through your winter coats, jackets, etc.  If you have not worn them in the last 2 years, it’s time to donate!  I LOVE coats, hats, scarves, but you can only wear so many.

 Donate winter items not worn in last two years2. Pants:  If you did not wear them   at all, or if you are like me, have a plethora  of sizes (Fat pants, skinny pants, and the pants you can wear today), DONATE the pants you have not worn.  Chances are, if you are like me, by the time you have lost 10 lbs. to fit into those pants you LOVED, they are out of style.

 3. Everyday work out clothes:  By far, a classic white t-shirt is my favorite along with sweat pants.  I live for comfort.  However, take all of your workout (or lounge clothes) and take a GOOD LOOK.  Yes, I know, it’s your favorite shirt, but so what if you can see the armpit stains before you put it on!  TOSS it OUT!  Anything with holes, bleach stains, etc. TOSS! You can’t even donate that nor do you even want to use it as a rag!  We can get new t-shirts at many cost-effective stores. 

4. Undergarments…let’s not forget about those…even if on a whim we bought “something special” that still has the tags on them, or they wear out or don’t fit anymore!  It’s time to say good-bye to those!

5. SHOES:  My friend Kim will tell you, I have a very difficult time parting with shoes. ThisDonate shoes that  pinch, blister or don't fit correctly summer I had two pair of silver sandals that I had fixed twice  (2 times, each pair) because I wore them ALL THE TIME!  As much as I hate to say it, they will need to be tossed.  Along with donating those shoes that pinch my toes, leave blisters and maybe even smell a little even though they are broken in perfectly.  I’m all for shoes looking fabulous, but they do need to fit correctly, or let’s be honest, we won’t wear them!

While we are at it, let’s repeat this process with our summer clothes as well.  Yes, go to that bathing suit drawer and check out how faded our bathing suits are, toss out those three summer dresses that you wore all summer and do the same for those ill fitting shorts.

When we are finished with our closet, let’s move onto other storage ideas: 

What about our attic when we put our holiday decorations away?  As we box them up, we are going to purge as well.  Gone are decorating to the max for Halloween, we don’t have trick-o-treaters anymore (although I still do keep the dress up box with costumes because they still come back from college looking for something!)

How beat up are your other holiday decorations?  If you can only glue that nose or dangling arm back on one more time, it’s may be time to let go.  My children (not so much children anymore) have had a collection of ornaments from their grand and great grandparents since they have been born.  One year, I bought each a bin and separated all of their ornaments.  Of course, with four, we have enough ornaments for several trees.  Although we have one central tree, I have saved my “Special ornaments” that were for the kids and my husbands and my collection over the years separately.  When they move, they will have a good start for their own tradition.

Plan, organize and purge to keep an organized homeTo some, this might sound a bit overwhe lming.  However, when you plan your time and stay focused on meeting one goal at a time, and, depending on the project, recruiting family and/or friends, it goes smoothly and it’s definitely a great feeling to look at the newly organized closet and plan for the upcoming season. For those Sex in the City fans, remember when Carrie was purging her closet? She and her girlfriends had a lot of fun. Just as in a workout, it’s amazing what some good music, friends and a little nosh can do when cleaning out!

This month is all about cleansing, starting new, fresh.  This is the time to plan, organize and purge as we wait for the signs of spring.  Starting new and fresh is always a good feeling.  Whether it’s cleaning out a closet, or a new coat of paint, it’s definitely a pick-me-up when the weather is cold and gloomy.

So along with the usual resolutions (mine includes drinking more water), this winter is all about purging our “stuff”.  Good luck!!

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