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Ready for Warmer Weather Yet?

It's been a crazy couple of weeks.  Some of it crazy good and some of it crazy bad.  The good stuff includes hosting a dinner party for 25 (12 of them kids) in honor of a good friend and her family who are moving out of state.  These were high school friends I've known for over 20 years!  There's always lots of laughs when we get together. Plus somehow we've convinced ourselves that we look as good today as we did the day we met!   The husbands are smart enough to just smile and nod.

Also on a good note my family and I just celebrated by mom's 65th birthday by spending the weekend in western Maryland cross country skiing with her and her good friends.  My mom and her friends are amazing.  They are so much fun to be around and so passionate about life.  They eat well, travel well, have lively discussions about everything under the sun and love the outdoors.  Plus they politely listened to my 6 year old tell over 100 jokes in one evening (this is not an exaggeration!).  They truly are an inspiration!

On the flip side, the whole family came down with the stomach flu.  And on top of that they are calling for more bad weather in Maryland!  We're not getting the nice snow you can ski on or sled on or build snowmen with.  No, we're getting more ice which means no power for many and no school for most which will put me further behind on client projects!  Ugh!

So in an effort to bring up my spirits this picture is now my screen saver...

This picture was taken last summer on a family vacation in Anguilla.  We took a boat to a very tiny island (I'm guessing about 1/2 acre long) surrounded by the clearest bluest water you've ever seen.  The only thing on the island was one hut with some hammocks and 2 cooks that served grilled spinney lobster.  It took them forever to cook our lunch (I think they actually had to catch the lobster first) but we didn't mind a bit.  It was like our very own slice of paradise that I will never forget.  

We're not going to the Caribbean this year (still paying off the renovation I've mentioned in previous posts) but we do plan on having lots of summer fun in our own home which will include having more get togethers during the warmer months.  When I look back at some of our happiest moments in life they mostly have to do with getting together with family and friends.  So naturally I've been thinking about creating a really pretty outdoor space that will be inviting and comfortable to hang out in.  Here are my inspiration pictures that will help you think of the warmer weather to come!  Enjoy!

I love the lantern style light, chinese garden stools and fun fabrics...

 Gorgeous mosaic table!  What a great way to introduce color.

Jonathan Adler
 Great fireplaces!

Country Living

 Having fun with pillows...


Southern Living
 So simple...
Southern Living

 Love the mix of colors...
Southern Living


Country Living
Can't get enough of the suspended beds and couches...



Country Living

 Classic blue and white look...
Canadian House and Home
Country Living
 Let the garden be the decor!
Canadian House & Home

 So cool...
Canadian House & Home


 With colors that relate to the outdoors...

Country Living

House Beautiful

Country Living


Country Living

 Great red lacquered chairs...

House Beautiful

Please contact me if you would like help creating beautiful and unique spaces for your home!


A Couple of Projects plus Outdoor Fabrics

My head has been swimming with ideas on what to write about next...outdoor inspiration pictures, decorating with plants, wainscoting and paneling, highlighting a great new artist I just discovered, or showing you who helps me out behind the scenes...the list keeps going.  Just wish there was more time in a day!  Well, one of my New Years resolutions was to complete some projects around the house and it looks like a couple of these projects are officially underway and I couldn't wait to share.

Project #1 - Dining Room Drapery Treatment

I recently designed a treatment for my dining room window and selected a fabric for the valance and panels.  I was torn for a bit on whether to install a shade under the valance or select a second fabric for a second set of panels that would traverse to the center.   Both the shade and the panels would provide some privacy or at least give the impression of privacy from inside the house.  I finally decided on the panels because I like the idea of using more layers and fabric in a room that currently has a lot of hard surfaces.  I think shades have a bit more of a casual feel and decided I wanted a more elegant look.  It was not the cheapest option but a solution that we will enjoy for many years to come.

I chose this Schumacher linen fabric for the valance and stationary panels.  It will bring in color and pattern to the room plus a touch of my favorite

Kelmscott Manor Print Schumacher Fabric

The traversing panels will be a super sheer linen by Pindler.  Once pleated it will provide a little privacy but I didn't want the fabric to be solid so it wouldn't make the space seem smaller when closed.

I think the fabric goes well with my furniture and chandelier.

Here's the window the drapery will go on.  You can see the window has lots of horizontal and vertical lines so the last thing I wanted to do was add another piece of hardware above the window adding another vertical line.  Instead I'll have a inverted box pleat valance that starts at the top of the ceiling and covers the top moulding of the window.  This should help make the ceiling look a bit taller too.

It should be installed in 4-5 weeks.  

Project #2 - Outdoor pillows

I have not been enjoying Maryland's cold weather at all!  So it's been fun to think about warmer weather things such as designing cushions for my outdoor furniture.    Over the summer we stained our house green.  We used Cabot stain that was custom colored to look like "Urban Nature" by Benjamin Moore.   The window trim was painted in an off white color to match the new windows we had installed.

We bought our Brown Jordan outdoor furniture (table, chairs and the glider below) 8 years ago and it looks as good today as it did then.

So I picked 2 outdoor fabrics that look nice with our house color, outdoor furniture, and go with the look and feel of our home.  I really like them both but they have a completely different look.  This one is by Fabricut.  It's preppy with a seaside feel.   It coordinates well with the colors inside my house maybe even a little too well.  It's definitely the safer option of the two.

This fabric is by Robert Allen with a funky fun pattern with my favorite two colors.

Decisions, decisions.   

Now is a great time to think about your outside space!  If you get started now it will be done in time to enjoy it on that first beautiful spring day.   Below are some great outdoor fabrics I discovered while looking for mine.  If you click on the images below you can get a much better look at the fabric.  Enjoy!

 Please contact me if you would like help making your home beautiful!  Also, I'll be running specials on outdoor furniture so it's a good time to start thinking about it.


Can I Work There?

Is one of your new years resolutions to become more organized?  What better way to start by revamping your home office or study to keep better organized but also create a space that is so cool you can't wait to work in it!  It just so happens that I'm very excited about a recent opportunity to turn a client's under used living room into a beautiful and functional study.   The project is exciting  to me for many different reasons.  First, the new study will be the first room you see when you walk into the house so we definitely want to make a great first impression.  Second, the space will not only accommodate home office functions but will include space for entertaining and reading...I'm thinking cozy wing chair to curl up to read a book and a beautiful table and chairs for playing cards!  And lastly, I will design the built in cabinetry, wainscoting, and a coffered ceiling!  Wish me luck...still waiting for my client to sign on the dotted line!

While preparing for the first client meeting, I found some wonderful inspirational pictures of studies that I wanted to share.  Enjoy!

Here's a more traditional look with the stained wood cabinetry and trim.  I like how the designer balances the dark wood with the light drapery treatments, wall color and rug.  The light fixture makes a great focal point.  Most great rooms vary shapes.  Adding curves to rooms (in this case to the bookcases) makes it more interesting because most rooms and furniture are either squares or rectangles.

Veranda Ph Credit Thomas Loof
 A more transitional look that is very peaceful with the monochromatic color scheme.

Veranda Charlotte Moss
An all black study with pops of red with lots of glass and natural light.  Wonder what the room is like at nighttime.  Another great light fixture as a focal point and a more contemporary interpretation of a coffered ceiling.

Elle Decor Mark Cunningham
 Great to have a seating area if you meet with clients at your home or just a great place to read with your significant other.  Interesting how they filled the fireplace with wood for decoration.

Elle Decor Malcolm James Kutner

Another seating area with a larger table which can be used for card playing, an intimate dinner, or for after dinner drinks and a cigar!

Elle Decor Madeline Stuart

This room is so light and airy with the all the white.  If you don't need files at your fingertips, it's so nice to have a writing desk in front of the shelving.  Looks like another great light fixture and more curves at the top of the shelves.  Also loving the herringbone wood floors.

Elle Decor Lee Mindel

This is the look my client is interested in...warm, inviting, and masculine!  I like how the oversized mirror reflects the light.
Elle Decor Kerry Joyce

This one has a lighter more feminine feel.  I'm liking the medium stained wood with the crisp blue fabrics.  They went with a shade that filters light versus one for privacy which lightens up the room too.
Elle Decor Jeffrey Bilhuber

 This study could be found in downtown Annapolis 150 years ago but looks great today too!  The curved hepplewhite desk is fantastic.  This room is edited, clean lines, not fussy...a modern feel.

Elle Decor Hugh Newell Jacobsen

Galleries of pictures and art look great in studies.

Elle Decor Jane Scott and Philip Hodges

From one of my favorite designers Darryl Carter.  He makes furniture look "sculptural".  Love the curved desk.  Check out my very first blog post to learn more him...Darryl Carter.

Great campaign desk...
Elle Decor Carlos Aparicio
Great chalky grey stain.  And coffered ceilings.

Elle Decor Jennie Abbott

Very elegant.  I assume the ottoman is for the picture only to show off the cabinetry behind it.

Southern Living Matthew Gleason

A very rich room with great accent lighting.  The layered rug look has been around awhile and I'm still liking it.

House Beautiful Alessandra Branca

Why not paint the cabinetry a fun color?  More great accent lights.

House Beautiful Ashley Whittaker
I like how Barry Dixon placed the loveseat in front of the desk.  Great accessories too.  Doors with glass is a must for a study!

House Beautiful Barry Dixon

Again, I like the light drapery treatments, rug, and ottoman fabric against the dark wood trim.  The accents of light blue are great too.

House Beautiful Markham Roberts
One of my favorites...great light fixture, oversized coffered ceiling, and the room is traditional but current!

House Beautiful Ty Larkins
Thanks for stopping by and contact me if you need help transforming your home!