Saturday, March 20, 2010

Decorative Screens for the Home

Charlotte, NC:  As a child of the 60's, I grew up watching Gunsmoke, Bonanza, and Maverick.  I was always enthralled when the lovely leading lady stepped behind a decorative screen to change into a magnificent gown!  There was something so magical about the screen, watching her throw her old garmet over the top, then coming out like a butterfly emerging from a cocoon.  Heady stuff for a little girl who dreamed of doing the same thing.

Decorative screens are a part of history.  They orginiated in China and, originally, were hand carved works of art, and, very heavy.  When the Japanese started using screens they were constructed from lighter material and this made them movable.  There, they were used to create rooms within a room.  With the advent of European travel in Asia, screens were introduced to the world.

Today, screens can offer an interior design client may different functions. In a loft-style home, or one without a defined foyer, the screen can be used to define the space


.                               They can also provide a backdrop for a seating area, as pictured here.

On a long wall, screens can be used as artwork and help draw the eye upward.

The use of this open screen helps define the division between the living room and dining room without losing any of the lovely natural light that streams in the window.  A solid screen would have been to heavy for this light and airy space.

An awkward corner niche becomes interesting with the use of the screen.

I am a sucker for old ceiling tins, the patina on these and the texture make a stunning backdrop for this table for two.  This is most likely a DIY project.

Today, we use screens in many different ways, I have used screens in the ways already mentioned, as well as, to hide workspaces, treadmills, weights, and play spaces for children.  How have you used yours? 
Thanks to Veranda for the images.      

Monday, March 15, 2010

Inspiration from the movie, Alice in Wonderland...

What a visual feast is the movie Alice In Wonderland!  From the sets, which are creative, detailed, a little dark, and wonderfully imaginative to the costumes that are equally so!  This movie inspired me with the use of color, texture, scale and out of the box thinking.  In this post, I am going to share some screen shots that are a visual treat!  Yum!
The color, scale and detail in this shot is spectacular.  Tim Burton loves curly Q's and you see them here above the door.








Notice the beautiful iron gate, but it completed with the dark touch of Tim Burton by twisted gates that somehow seem sinister in the midst of the garden








I wonder if the popularity of animal topiaries will increase because of the beauty of this garden scene.







This shot has it all!  Iron works, topiaries, curly Qs, a fabulous costume and a rich and lovely color pallet to boot!








You can't watch the movie without being awed by the costumes.  Alice changes clothes at least six or seven times.  Everything in the movie was layered, detailed and sumptuous lending to the Wonderland of it all.







The White Queen's Castle...don't you love the checkerboard yard?













The ethereal nature of the White Queen is expressed with Pantone's color of the year, turquoise, soft white and silver accents.  Love the chair!







The Red Queen is surrounded by grey, gold and red.  She wears her hearts like trophies from battle.  The colums are quite lovely and the black and white tile floor adds a graphic element to the room.







This is a tea party that I would want to attend!  Notice each chair is unique as are the different tables, table cloths, and china pieces.  Notice the lace like details in the table cloths...
Brilliant!














No post on Alice in Wonderland would be complete without a shot of the beautiful Johnny Depp as the Mad Hatter!  How can a man sporting red fuzzy hair, a gap in his teeth, and chalk white skin be so gorgeous???  His costume is amazing as well.  There are several times in the movie where the pattern on his ascot looks like skeleton heads...eerie, and, just like Tim Burton to have a costume illustrate the madness.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Design Solutions - Another High Point Visit

Recently, I have been sharing visits that I enjoyed when I attended the Unity in Design event in High Point. Just before heading back to Charlotte, I went to see Design Solutions. They create dream kitchens and baths. There, I met Pamela Merritt, furniture designer and cabinetry wizard! Pamela designs kitchens and baths that are made up of individual furniture pieces, she calls them unfitted. Each piece of cabinetry is made individually, and then slides into place. Theoretically, you can re-configure your kitchen, or bath, at will, if the plumbing and electrical allows it. The design process is amazing. Pam works with clients from floor plan to completion, customizing the design every step of the way. Pamela says it best, “At Design Solutions™ we do not make cabinets; we are furniture makers." This company does not use any particleboard or fiberboard (MDF) or use any materials with formaldehyde; they use only sustainable wood resources, biodegradable and edible glues and low VOC finishes. The next time a client asks me to be involved in the building of their custom home; I will be referring back to Design Solutions. Check out these beautiful photos of their work:

Furniture pieces create a fabulous kitchen

Beautiful hutch

The details on the cabinet fronts are exquisite!

This kitchen island is a showpiece!

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Versatile Garden Stools

A Charlotte client of mine needs a new table to go between two chairs.  The space is small and needs a pop of color.  I am planning to bring in a garden stool.  These small jewels offer color, texture, whimsy and  are just the right size to hold a cup of tea for a visitor.

Garden stools are great, in a group of three, as a coffee table alternative.  They can be used as a plant stand, in the garden as furniture, or on a sun porch as a table base for a glass top.  They would even work as a bedside table for a small room with a low contemporary bed.  Also, they are great to store under a console table to be pulled out and used as additional seating when needed
The price point on garden stools has a huge range.  Antiques and Designer stools can start at $500 and go up from there.  Today, I thought I would share some great ones at a much lower price point.  Enjoy!


                                                        This one is from Gumps for $375

This fabulous zebra print stool is from Tonic Home for $280

This traditional garden stool is only $139.00 from Wisteria














Monday, March 1, 2010

French Heritage...

On February 18th, the Design Center in High Point, NC put on an event called Unity in Design.  This event was open to all the different design organizations as a way promote untiy, offer continuing education units, and entice designers to come shop the year round vendors the maintain showrooms in High Point.  Each organization, had a part in this event.  The organization with which I am affiliated, the Association of Interior Design Professionals (AIDP) put on the first breakfast/workshop.  This event coincided with a need that I had, to shop for some very specific client items.  As much as I would've loved to have participated in the event, I was on a mission!

This mission of mine was to find, among other things, some items that had a French flair.  A client that I am working with has origins in France, and we are incorporating that heritage into the new pieces that we are adding to her home.  Tops on my list of places to visit was the company, French Heritage.   While I was in the store, I met Hennesy Wayser, the owner of company.  She was preparing to speak to the design community during a Unity in Design lunch event.  We had a lovely visit and a rather lively discussion about social media, the direction of marketing, and the future of our industry.  She is a remarkable woman, a former fashion model turned astute business leader.  She has brought her sense of fashion and creativity to the sometimes stodgy world of furniture.  It was great fun to meet her and have a sneak peek into what she sees for the future. 

The showroom offers furniture from case goods to upholstery, as well as, accessories and lighting.  Here are some shots I took while visiting...enjoy!
This darling settee caught my ey.  The button detail gives it such character!

Beautiful Accessories!
Fabulous Lighting
A modern take on Paris chic


Paris chic

Calgon Take Me Away...

Calgon Take Me Away...
soak your troubles away in this stone beauty

Bathtub becomes fountain... fabulous!

cottage charm!

perfect for your mountain retreat!

Where I belong...

The AIDP Charlotte Chapter Board Members

The AIDP Charlotte Chapter Board Members
Seated from left, Davetta Moore, National Board Member, Wanda Horton, Vice President of Communication, Jane Ann Maxwell, President, standing from left to right, Nancy Martin, Vice President of Membership, Mary Santini, Secretary/Treasurer, and Marianne Parker, National Board Member

Emily's New Room

Emily's New Room

This desk was the inspiration for the room

Decorating for Christmas in Adult and Kid Zones...

Decorating for Christmas in Adult and Kid Zones...
Adults will love the beauty of the luxe mantle

This bright, bold mantle is kid friendly

This lovely arrangement is sophisicated and elegant

Kids tables need centerpieces too and these serve as favors to take home afterwards!

The Holiday Table...

The Holiday Table...
This table setting would make a beautiful Thanksgiving breakfast table

Greenery - simple and elegant

These pictures illustrate the idea of using what you love...

These pictures illustrate the idea of using what you love...
One home owner loves classic traditional decore, the other mid century modern. Look at what they created using the things they both loved!!!

Grouping beloved collections create impact

Two collections united by color

Pictures from the Coastal Vibe Project

Pictures from the Coastal Vibe Project
The chair fabric was designed just for this client and then made into yardage just for these chairs!

The living room seating area. The client wanted it elegant and yet relaxed, with the idea of being at a house on the beach.

We added the built-ins and had the paint changed before the homeowner moved in. A cozy seating arrangement and momentos from world travels warm the space.

another view

These pictures illustrate "staging" principles

These pictures illustrate "staging" principles
This beautiful room was designed to be cozy and full. This room is an example of NOT staging to maximize the square footage. Thanks to House Beautiful for the image

This serene room is designed for maximum spaciousness! Notice that you see lots of floor through the legs of the coffee table. Lots of breathing room in this space. Thanks to House Beautiful for the image.

This is an example of Benjamin Moore Aura paints to go with the About Paint post

This is an example of Benjamin Moore Aura paints to go with the About Paint post
One of the many beautiful colors in the Aura collection

Aura paints have low VOC's which means it's healthier for everybody!

To illustrate the post "Art For Your Walls"

The following pictures are artwork from some of my favorite local artists. The fabulous thing about these folks is that they will do commissioned pieces especially for you! Enjoy...

Local Artists...

Local Artists...
Richard Anderson

Celia Flock

Sany Seipert, an older work, her newer stuff is better, this was the only image I had...

The following pictures are from the October High Point Furniture Market.

These are some of the showrooms and displays that I thought were terrific.

Bella Luna was one of my favorite showrooms!

Bella Luna was one of my favorite showrooms!
everything on display was quirky and elegant

One of my favorite finds, this mirror is a piece of art!

These sassy stools help tell the Bella Luna story

Cyan design always has unusual and neat things

Hot Color Trend shown at the Spring Market in Highpoint!

Hot Color Trend shown at the Spring Market in Highpoint!
black and white and malachite!

Luxury Lighting!

Luxury Lighting!

Favorite New Accessoires...

Favorite New Accessoires...
Contact us for more information or to place an order...

love this!

simply elegant!

fabulous silver platters that are even better in person

These make such a great centerpiece for a dining room table

FALL MARKET 2008 - GORGEOUS COLOR, FOCUS ON "GREEN" DESIGN, FUN WITH LAQUER...

FALL MARKET 2008 - GORGEOUS COLOR, FOCUS ON "GREEN" DESIGN, FUN WITH LAQUER...
New color combo that was everywhere, butter and pewter, so pretty, soft and fresh!

Gorgeous Global Views - always my favorite venue

Gorgeous Global Views - always my favorite venue
soft butter and pewter

"GREEN" in both color and sustainablity is a beautiful choice...

"GREEN" in both color and sustainablity is a beautiful choice...
These pillows made from abaca leaves and coconut beads are eco-friendly and good for the workers of the developing country in which they are made.

Old favorites are still in play...

Old favorites are still in play...
aqua, teal, peacock are still popular-- note the laquered mirror!

Before and After pictures are always fun!

Before and After pictures are always fun!
This is a "before" picture of a recent project.

After #2!

After #2!

Before #2

Before #2
same room, different view

AFTER!

AFTER!
new carpet, upholstery, paint, window treatments...

More from the High Point Spring Market My Favorite Overall Venue - Global Views

More from the High Point Spring Market My Favorite Overall Venue - Global Views
terrific accessories, uniquely displayed

black, white, red, silver punch!

note the male figures at the bottom of the ropes climbing out of the vases!

Favorite Find at the High Point Spring Market

Favorite Find at the High Point Spring Market
Pablo Mekis Artisan Pillows

the hand stiching is fabulous!

more Pablo Mekis

A designer is as good as her team...

Every designer relies on a team of people to help execute her design vision. I have worked very hard to assemble a top notch team of craftsmen and professionals to rely on for excellence in execution and customer service. I have nick named them "The "A" Team". This name is so appropriate because this group brings their best effort to each task. There are many folks out there that will give you adequate, we strive for exceptional.

The following pictures will introduce you to some of the work done by these guys...

Introducing...

Introducing...
Marilyn Croteau - the BEST window treatment workroom on the East Coast

Introducing...

Introducing...
Heavin Woodworks - beautiful trims and built-ins

Introducing...

Introducing...
G.Richard Anderson Faux Finisher. He does fabulous work!

Oeco Textiles

Oeco Textiles
all natural and all green

A staged breakfast room

A staged breakfast room
We recovered the chairs to co-ordinate with the area rug and added a fresh bunch of flower from the grocery store!

This week...

This week, I am working on two interiors that are either on or are near Lake Wylie, SC. Both homeowners are interested in incorporating a coastal "vibe" into the design for their homes. Working on two homes with the same design direction has never happened in my business before. It will be fun to see just how differently we approach each home. They will be as different and unique as their homeowners and we will be sure to include some after pictures in about 3 or 4 months!

Something's Gotta Give

Something's Gotta Give
from the movie "Something's Gotta Give" the set design for the Nantucket living room is inspiration for a coastal interior that I'm working on right now...

Coastal Inspiration

Coastal Inspiration
another coastal inspiration

this rug from Aspen Carpet Designs is very close to the one in the movie!

BVI's Virgin Gorda - beautiful!

great garden bench