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Store Design Love

I was recently told by a friend that I had to check out the new Hobo flagship store in Annapolis.  So, on my next visit to downtown I made a point to stop in.  Well, let me just say....the store is super cool!  Next time you're in Annapolis, I highly recommend you stop by, not only to see the gorgeous purses but to see the store's design.

"Cool is when vintage meets modern" is Hobo's motto.  The motto is perfectly translated to their store design.

Outside it looks like many of the stores in downtown.  I'm guessing they were limited to the changes they could make to the exterior but the bold contrast of the red and white paint give a hint to what you will find inside.

You are met by an eclectic combination of beautifully crafted purses, polished concrete floors, back painted glass walls, exotic Matumi live-edge wood shelves, large black pendant lights,  and custom sculpted metal wall fixtures.


The center displays include their wallets and clutches.

Here's a closer look at live-edge wood shelves and sculpted wall fixtures.

Next you head up the stairs with great words to live by!

On the second floor there is a mix of sisal carpet, funky wallpaper and a real tree painted red.

The little red bird was painted by hand after the wallpaper was installed.

I love seeing a great example of translating a company's brand to their store design and giving a their customers a hip and fun place to shop!

The next set of steps tells the story of the company.  

An office on the top floor has a work table and inspiration boards.

Great girls night out alert!!!  Next Thursday, March 7th, you can sip some bubbly while you shop Hobo's new spring line.  Plus all profits on their new spring merchandise will be donated to a good cause...Foodlink!  Who's in?!?

Have a great week!


100th Blog Post, Darryl Carter, Ottoman Empire and more

I just realized this is my 100th post!  Hard for me to believe...growing up I never enjoyed writing and here I am writing my 100th blog post.  It's funny how life can take you in unexpected directions.  Speaking of the unexpected, I met Darryl Carter at his new store last weekend.  You may remember that my very first blog post (seen here) was on Darryl, and now 100 posts later, I'm writing about him again!  From the beginning of my career, I've loved his design aesthetic...traditional made fresh, mixing the old with the new, and his artful composition of spaces.  But I've also appreciated that he was a lawyer who followed his heart and became a world famous designer.  And did I mention, he also likes to wear worn jeans and white shirts and is often photographed hanging out with his canine friends.  Now, after meeting him in person, I can also say he's very kind.  I took a handful of pictures of his gorgeous store in DC, which I've graciously been allowed to include in this post.

Reid and I started our wonderful day in DC at Hank's Oyster Bar for lunch.  The atmosphere was lively and the oysters and beer (I'm now a fan of Dales Pale Ale) were fantastic.

Next stop was the Textile Museum.   Reid really enjoys museums but I'm sure this was not his first choice but he was willing to check it out.   

They were having an exhibit on the carpets and fabrics of the Ottoman Empire made in the "floral style".  So many of the stylized floral motifs popular today were inspired by these gorgeous fabrics from the 16th century.  The museum is currently in this pretty building but they won't be there long.  In March, the museum is closing temporary and moving to George Washington University.  So if you have a small fortune, you can purchase this pretty building soon.

Below are a few of the fabrics that caught my eye.  

This embroidered cover made of linen, silk and metallic wrapped thread, alternates large red tulips with blue palmettes with serrated edges.  It is said the movement of the flowers and palmettes to right and left implies the presence of a vine, even though it is not visible.  A very playful and fun design.

The intricate detail on this embroidered coverlet is amazing...

This linen and silk embroidery is an ogival lattice design with palmettes framed by large serrated leaves and pomegranates framed by large leaves.

This embroidery has the tulip and carnation as the key motifs but they are surrounded by rosebuds, flowers with six petals and palmettes.  

This rich velvet includes carnation blossoms.  This fabric was a favorite for making gorgeous bolster pillows for their sofas.

The influence of the Ottoman empire spanned over seven centuries.  These gorgeous stylized flowers become the brand of the empire and represented it's wealth and power.  Amazingly, this floral style can be traced back to one artist, Kara Memi, who worked in the royal arts workshop in Istanbul during the 16th century.  

Next stop...Darryl Carter's new store located in a renovated brick building in the up-and-coming Shaw neighborhood.  

After being buzzed in, my first stop was to the ladies' room.  Loved the old sink and black door with old brass handles reflected in the mirror.

This store looks to be set up for fun parties with a great kitchen area.  

I found my dream pendants for my new kitchen....

 This interesting piece of furniture caught my eye.  It looks like a seat but I'm curious as to why it reclines.

Intriguing art and sculpture were found throughout the store.

I also spotted this wonderful sofa that would look perfect in our fireplace room! 

Darryl's store offers many more sofa frames and fabric choices.

Thanks to Charles, who has worked for Darryl for many years and just happened to be from our home town, I was introduced to Darryl.   I, of course, gushed about how wonderful I thought he was and he thankfully, humored me!  

Next, we checked into our hotel, then off too a good friend's house for yummy food and wine.  After a very quick and fun hour, we ran off to make our dinner reservations at Proof, where we had a fantastic dinner.  For desert, we had the best cheese we've tasted.  Reid just ordered the cheese in bulk, which I hope will keep for awhile!

Thank you Reid for a wonderful day in DC!  And, also a big thank you to my mom and Barry for watching the kids so we could get away!

Have a great week!


Recent Project: Master Bathroom Renovation

Before I share my most recent bathroom renovation...I have to confess something!

I've become obsessed with Pinterest!  I've been dabbling with this site for a few months now but lately I've been using it as a great tool to save pictures of architectural elements and interior spaces that catch my eye.  Before Pinterest, I would save images to my hard drive which was a memory hog.  I was also doing a subpar job of documenting the pictures' source.  Now my pictures on Pinterest link back to the source.  I can also direct clients to these pictures to see what they like and dislike about these spaces...a great way to further define the client's wants and needs for their own home.  So, check out my Pinterest boards here.  If you "follow all" my boards you'll see everything I pin.  

Master Bathroom Renovation

Below are before and after pictures so you can see the design decisions that were made along the way and the resulting transformation!

Here's the before picture...

After the new layout, functionality, and look and feel of the bathroom was determined, then the fun part of selecting the materials came next.  Below is a sample of the items to be used. 

Here is the after picture.  The toilet was moved further down the wall to allow room for a vanity with double sinks.   The window treatment references the color of the "wood-like" porcelain tiles.  The use of a handmade oriental rug is a favorite look of mine for a bathroom.

Here's the before picture of the shower which was in desperate need of replacing...

Here's the after picture...

Before picture...

Here's the after picture with painted wood cabinet with inset doors and drawers, Corian countertop with small ogee edge, and upper cabinet for extra storage.   Recessed medicine cabinets also add extra storage.  A pocket door was installed to further open up the space.

Here's one more before picture...

The vanity above, was replaced with a linen closet...

I've helped the same client with several projects throughout their home.  Here are a few more before and afters...

Their son's bathroom used to look like this...

And now looks like this...  The shower curtain fabric is from the talented local fabric designer Victoria Larson.  You can check out her beautiful fabrics here.

Here's a before picture of their living room...

The gallery of the client's travel photos are now hung and chairs were given a fresh redo...

Here's a before picture of their nook...

Below, the custom roman shade completes the look.  Another great website for inspiration is Houzz.  The picture below was featured by them, here.  

Stay tuned for my next post which features the super cool Hobo store in downtown Annapolis!

Have a great week!


Aruba and Pretty Guest Bedroom Redo

I took a little break from posting due to a family trip to Aruba last week.   So much work needs to be done before you leave for vacation and then there's catching up when you return but the trip was well worth the extra work!  Below I share some pictures from our trip plus our recommendations in case you are planning a trip to Aruba.

Also, I recently helped my mother-in-law with updating her guest bedroom, that's right my mother-in-law!  Luckily, I married into a super nice family, so I was more than happy to help out.  I've worked with her on several projects in her home and she keeps asking me to help out I must be doing ok!

Here's a before picture of the bedroom.

Before the room felt cold and uninviting.  I wanted a deeper color on the walls to make it more cozy, replace the smaller rugs with a one larger rug to help anchor the bed and add texture, and soften the room with more fabric by adding an upholstered headboard and long panels on the windows.  My in-laws already had a couple of great old dressers and a rocking chair for the room so we kept the style of the room more casual and rustic with a homespun feel to go with these pieces.

The bedding is always a great starting point for a bedroom.   The paint color can be found in the quilt.  The window's woven wood shades tie in with the wood tones from the dresser and chairs.

New furniture, lighting, rug, and bedding was obtained from a variety of sources...Pottery Barn, Somerset Bay (trade only), and Sundance Catalog.  Window treatments and accent pillows are custom and we used existing artwork and accessories.  

I think guests will enjoy staying in this room!


Between our veterinarian and our taxi drivers we were given great advice on things to do and places to eat in Aruba. 

We stayed on the "high-rise" part of the island.  We had a great view from our room....

Walks along our beach were very pretty. 

But due to lots of water sport activity near our hotel, the water was cloudy.  So all our beach time was spent at other beaches, such as Baby beach and Arashi beach.  These beaches had beautiful clear water and great snorkeling.  

Restaurants were fantastic including Driftwood offering local seafood, El Gaucho offering argentinian steak, Madame Janette had great outdoor seating, and Le Trattoria el Faro Blanco at the lighthouse was a great place to have a cocktail at sunset.

We enjoyed a couple fun excursions.  The first was visiting snorkeling sites by catamaran.  The snorkeling was great but watching the crew with Charlie, the very friendly pelican was fun too...

The second excursion was to De Palm island, a great family place because of the activities it offers such as a waterpark, tubing by boat, and the easy snorkeling site.  Here's our kids waiting for the boat to take us to the island.

If we had an extra couple of days we would've added Eagle beach and a tour to the natural pool on the rocky side of the island to our agenda.

The taxi drivers loved to talk so we learned a lot about the island's history, politics, their favorite sports (soccer and baseball), and their favorite US destinations (Chicago and NYC).   Dutch influences could be found everywhere, especially in their architecture...

But the most common house, or cunucu, was built with geography and climate in mind.  Slanting roofs allowed the heat to rise and small windows helped keep the air cool.  The one below is more traditional but more recently built cunucu houses include narrow but elongated windows, bright roof tiles, patios and ornamentation like the second one. 

Next week I'll be highlighting another recent project, a master bathroom renovation!

Have a good week!