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What’s Your Theme for 2015?

» 22 January 2015 » In Decorating, Organization, Planning, Style » Comments Off on What’s Your Theme for 2015?

Well, I don’t know about you, but the end of 2014 went by with a flourish.  So here we are, January of 2015, a new year, new beginnings, new promises, new resolutions.

New Years ImageYes, it’s the month of People Magazine’s biggest losers. I’ve posted articles about organizing, staging, and new design projects.  As I have been researching new trends for 2015, I came across a great article from Forbes by Kathy Caprino.  So for this blog, I’m adding her seven questions to ask yourself for your theme you would like to focus on for 2015 (myself included).  Other than eating healthy, diet and exercise (which is a given and a struggle for me every year after coming down from a sugar coma over the holidays).

Not that I consider myself a “deep thinker”, but no matter where you are in your life, age, etc.  I don’t think it hurts to have a plan (for those who know me, I’m all over plans!).  This especially hits home for me as I watch our children moving forward onto different phases of their lives:  first jobs, grad school choices, under grad choices, major choices, (can you sense a theme here?) and lastly our “Empty Nest Syndrome”, which is getting closer.  Whether it’s your career, where you are in life, family, etc., I think these are great questions to come up with a great theme/plan for the year.

Here are seven critical questions to ask yourself that will help you choose the best theme for your life going forward and identify clearly what you want to focus on in 2015:

1. What do you care about the most in life – from everything you read, hear, watch and attend to?

2. What agitates you most in the world that you desperately long to transform or improve?

3. What do you want to accentuate, amplify and build on in your life?

4. What key words describe the people you find most inspiring, impressive, compelling?

5. What do all your dreams for the future have in common – the critical threads and recurring patterns?

6. What is the most outlandishly wonderful fantasy you have for your life, and why would that bring you so much happiness?

7. Now, who do you really want to become in 2015?

http://www.forbes.com/sites/kathycaprino/2014/12/30/whats-your-new-theme-for-2015-these-7-critical-questions-will-tell-you/2/

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What’s Your Fall Color Palette?

» 20 October 2014 » In Decorating, Planning, Style » Comments Off on What’s Your Fall Color Palette?

color-palettes-for-home-010

I don’t know what happened to September, and now it’s mid-October!  The crisp mornings and colorful foliage are a welcome sight.  To me, it’s also the beginning of the holiday season.  As I cleaned out my closet and moved my summer clothes in storage and my winter clothes in, I took a look at my color palette. 

I was heading for an out of town wedding and wanted to see what I had to wear for a fall wedding.  However, most of my winter clothes are 50 Shades of Black!  I decided that I needed to add color to my wardrobe!  With the grey days of winter ahead, I feel it’s necessary to add a pop of color to my basics.  It’s just that one small pop that can change your mood, and make you feel a little better with the winter months ahead.

fall trees

Just as in your wardrobe, I feel a little pop of color is necessary in your home.  Whether it’s a new throw, colorful dishes for the holidays or a fresh arrangement from the grocery to add to your color palette.  Thoughts go directly to the colors of autumn:  Various shades of orange, red, yellow, green, brown and even purple!  Simple ideas for arrangements for the holidays can brighten up any grey day ahead.

As we begin our fall and winter season, changing out our clothes, mattress flipping (don’t forget!), preparing our yard for winter, enjoying the last bit of warm days to breaking out the evening wood fires, crock pots and our comfort food recipes, all involving glorious shades of color…What is your favorite fall color palette?

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Happy Summer!

» 24 June 2014 » In Decorating » Comments Off on Happy Summer!

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Well, it’s late-June here in Kentucky and a full moon tonight.  Usually it is a now sweltering 90+ degrees outside, and the air is so heavy with humidity it’s too hot even in the evenings to sit out on your porch.  If you do, any little air movement is greatly appreciated.

After our brutal and miserably frigid winter, I swore I would not complain this summer when I have sweat dripping from my elbows and down my legs and my hair looks like I stuck my finger in a socket.  But I digress…this has been a beautiful June so far.  As I am sitting out on my back porch (one of my favorite spots in my home) during this perfect temperate, humidity free evening, smelling my fragrant trees, I cannot help but write the importance of a back yard oasis.

Our porch is one of my favorite spots of our home (oh yeah, I mentioned that already 😉  ).  It’s a place where we can have nice conversations, listen to music, read, eat, nap, and enjoy some peace and quiet as our kids run through the house looking for us.  It’s a place where we like to entertain, cook and use most of the year until it’s too cold to stay out.  I also love our backyard, where I’m always tweaking, opting for trees and greenery instead of a fence for privacy. After 11 years I think it’s finally filled in with enough color and privacy to enjoy.  We put a lot of thought and planning into our backyard, making it an extension of our home.  Even our teenagers bring back their friends, hang out, talk, listen to music, build a fire and of course roast marshmallows or make s’mores any time of the year.

The trend today as in the past has been making your backyard an extension of your home.  Outdoor furniture choices have improved 1000% in both style and comfort, some of it so nice that you could use it indoors as well!  Covered patios, screened in porches, outdoor speakers for soothing music and yes, even TV’s (although this is one area I have put my foot down on!) have made outdoor living even more enticing.  Outdoor lighting is important as well.  There are now a plethora of options available.  Be creative when thinking of an outdoor bar space and eating area.  What is the feel you want?  Do you want to include a vegetable garden or an herb garden or simply potted herbs?  How much maintenance do you want to deal with all year?  What materials would you like to use? 

Whatever you decide you want to create in your backyard, it will be a reflection of your lifestyle…meant to be enjoyed!  So I wish you many more summer nights to enjoy outside with whatever beverage of choice, a good book or company, and fabulous conversation. Happy Summer!

Great-Ideas-EDC-08-13-007-lgn         RX-HGMAG012_Patterson-Backyard-113-a-4x3_lg           Great-Ideas-EDC-08-13-003-lgn

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Welcome to Spring!

» 06 March 2014 » In Decorating, Organization » No Comments

Groundhog

mags

bedding

Garage Mess 

After this last bout of crazy weather, I have always been tongue and cheek in going “Ground Hog Hunting”.  Today, as it’s sunny and approaching a heat wave of 50, I decided to Google “Ground Hog Hunting”.  It’s amazing what came up!  I read one blog of a man who gave a detailed description on how to approach and decide where to hunt ground hogs.  There are topics on lock down to where you have to become a member to find out the “How To’s.” As I am sure many of you are just like me, I have a serious case of spring fever.  I am longing for the days of flip flops, sandals, clothes with color, the smell of new grass and the vivid colors of spring trees and flowers in bloom.

 

As I am slowly thawing out, I am gravitating toward the calendar and busy with the countdown to Derby (yes, it’s less than two months away), not to mention Ash Wednesday just started.  I’m giving up as many carbs as I can and soda and trying to get back into an exercise routine.  It’s going to be a long 40 days…

 

On the flip side, we’re now starting to get spring catalogs for clothes, plantings and outdoor furnishings.  We’re also starting to think about our spring and summer projects or maybe even putting a property on the market. Perhaps we are even thinking about creative ways to freshen up our home for the change of seasons or those projects that we have been putting off due to weather.

 

Just like clothes, home design changes with color, fabrics, and textures.  During the winter months, I have been (other than eating) cleaning out, reorganizing, and updating with changes that don’t require gutting a room.  These changes can be as simple as updating new bedding, painting a room, refinishing and recovering some furniture, update some lighting, as well as adding a few new pieces, which can give you just enough of a fresh look without a total redo…

 

All of the above also work toward selling a home and getting the most bang for your buck.  However, the biggie, as soon as it’s warm enough, whether you are moving or not, is to CLEAN OUT!!  We’ve started with our garages and we’re going to hit the basement AGAIN.  If you haven’t used something in the last year, GET RID OF IT!  That box of clothes you are saving to donate, fill it up and TAKE IT!  Those bikes and skateboards the kids have outgrown?  OUT!  This is the time for new beginnings, refreshment, and updates.  It’s a great feeling and you will be glad you did it!

 

So, as we turn our clocks forward this month and count down to the first day of spring (March 20), what’s your plan for the season?

  Adam's barNM Dining Room Newmarket Family Room After

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Add Warmth to Your Space

» 31 October 2013 » In Decorating, Style » No Comments

Area Rug Styles

Area Rug Styles

Coming down from the sugar high of Halloween, November brings many thoughts to mind – cooler temperatures, lots of color, and time change when days are shorter and nights are longer.  It’s the beginning of the holiday season, parties, fabulous food and the gathering of family and friends.

Yes, we have tips on decorating for the holidays, favorite recipes and cheer.  I also think of warmth, roasting fires and how rugs can come into play.

 

Just returning from a trip to Market, I ran across thousands of rug manufacturers…I saw some of the most beautiful rugs imaginable that fit any style of home.  From bright colors, to muted Orientals of various countries, rugs are the perfect accent piece, the icing on the cake, if you will.  

Area Rug StylesArea Rug StylesRugs can finish off a room and completely change the look and feel while adding warmth and color to an area.  There are so many textures, patterns, materials and colors to choose from, your floor is a blank canvas…

 

 

So as we enter this holiday season and you want to spruce up and/or put some finishing touches on your space, don’t forget about the blank canvas you stand on…what piece would work for you?  Let us help…Cheers!

 

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What’s Your Style?

» 09 October 2013 » In Decorating, Style » No Comments

 

White Contemporary Decor What’s your style?  I have been asked that question numerous times and I have to honest, it has evolved over the years.

When I was a newlywed, (1980’s) I was into the opposite of what I grew up with…greys, apricots, sage green and LOTS of brass and glass, white carpets and couches! I was on the verge of contemporary…

As the children came along, brass and glass end tables, white couches and light colored carpet did not bode well with small hands and sippy cups.

 

Jewel Toned Living Room Our home became more jeweled tones with hard wood floors, area rugs, and durable fabrics. I chose darker colors and lighter walls (although I had a Navy living room) to hide spills, finger prints, etc.

 

We have never been a “Formal” family.  Never has a room gone unused for “Special Occasions”.  Over the years, my love for everything French has evolved.  I’d say “Country French” without the reds, blues and yellows.  To me, Country French is more weathered pieces like stone, hardwood floors, muted and earth tones – browns, beiges, terra cotta and muted greens…

 

Country French Decor

I love the weathered furniture.  Not to worry if something gets nicked or scratched a little because it adds character to the piece.  I do love faux finishes…Venetian plasters, textured fireplaces for a stone look, painted and weathered fireplaces, and book shelves to give those pieces a look of their own.  You can mix in some lighting with a little bling in certain areas.  I also bring in color through fabrics and art.

Your style should reflect you and your family.  Yes, the “It” color was Emerald Green, however, trends come and go.  Take a look at your wardrobe.   What pieces are your favorites?  What colors do you gravitate toward when you are selecting clothing?  It’s similar for your home.  What colors make you happy?  Do you like the very bright colors or do you tend to go more neutral?  Do you like antiques or a more streamlined contemporary look?  Do you like an eclectic look?  Mix and match?  When starting a project, pictures are worth a thousand words.  The more Pinterest Boards, Houzz boards or magazine clippings you can pull together…the more you will see your style evolve.

So don’t panic, everyone has their own unique style, and it may take time to find the style that is your favorite.  What matters most is when you come home, you are happy.

*N.B: These are not photos of my actual home.

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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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