Saturday, July 24, 2010

The Blowing Rock Tour of Homes

For the past 52 years, St. Mary of the Hills Episcopal Parish, in Blowing Rock, NC has hosted a tour of homes. This event has progressed from a local fund raiser to one that draws visitors from as far away as Florida. There were over 1700 folks that enjoyed the tour this past Friday, July 23, and I was one of them. There were four amazing homes on the tour and each one was either recently renovated or brand new. The 4th home, Katydid, was my favorite. The home was a study in exquisite materials. There wasn’t a polyester thread in the entire home. Each room was lovely, understated, but luxurious, just the kind of interior that I love to do. Wool carpets, Brunschwig and Fil fabrics, imported hardware, exquisite antiques and art, custom appliqué on the bedding, all done in with a sense of homey comfort. The cottage style home and interior was perched on the side of a mountain that overlooked a spectacular mountain vista with two lovely decks to enjoy the view. The master closet was an organizer’s dream and was accessorized with about two dozen pairs of drool worthy shoes, most of them Manolo Blahnik’s. Truly, every aspect of this home was fabulous!

The view from the decks of Katydid.

My favorite home, Katydid.  Interior photos were not allowed.

The first home, Stonehenge, was a study in using reclaimed materials. Wormy Chestnut, Mushroom Cypress and reclaimed Hemlock were incorporated into the interior, while old stone steps and other stones found on the property were used in the landscaping.

Stonehenge

The 2nd home, Golden Hill, was the home, of Charlotte interior designers, Ed Springs and Bo Henderson. This home has the charm and warmth of an old English Manor House. The couple’s amazing and various collections took the main stage in this home, while the butterfly gardens commanded the attention outside. When we walked out onto the deck, the entire garden looked like it fluttered from all the butterflies. Each area was planted in different plants and each plant attracted a unique type of butterfly. It was just gorgeous.
Golden Hill
The 3rd home, Green Gates, was warm and inviting with a sense of history, yet all of the modern conveniences. This home had a lovely guest cottage and the most amazing floral arrangements incorporating local wildflowers like Queen Anne’s lace and hydrangeas.
Green Gates
 
If you have the chance to go, I highly recommend it.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Autumn Color Trends...

As a parent of school-aged children, I start getting things in the mail about this time of year reminding me that summer is rapidly coming to a close. This is bittersweet because it has been such funning spending time with my kids, and yet, I must admit that I relish the idea of a predictable schedule. As I ponder the fast approaching autumn with an eye towards interior design, it is always fun check out the Pantone color trends.


Pantone's Fall Color Trends

These color trends tell us a lot about what is going to be available to us as designers. These colors were actually selected several years ago by the industry folks that forecast what will work in the coming market. Manufacturers then take these projections and incorporate them into the goods that they produce. If you have ever looked for a color that wasn’t currently popular, you will know what I mean. Two years ago, I needed a deep coral color to accent a dining room. I, literally, had to make my own fabric because we could not find coral color anywhere! Now it is all over the place, as one of Pantone’s hot colors for fall.

A lovely room in Oyster and Coral

This fall we are see an earthy side of the spectrum with oyster gray, rose dust, woodbine, endive and chocolate truffle. .

An example of Woodbine and Endive

On the opposite end of the spectrum are the jewel-like colors of golden glow, purple orchid, lipstick red, living coral and lagoon.

Martha Stewart does Lipstick Red

Lagoon is the newest variation on Pantone’s color of the year; Turquoise. This version has added a touch of grey and green to tone it down a little. It is still quite vibrant and works well with the other versions of turquoise that Pantone has offered in their spring, summer, and, no doubt, winter offering.

Lagoon mixed with Woodbine

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Southern Porches...

Thanks to Chic Home Blog for the image

What is it about porches in the South? Are porches as popular in other parts of the country, or, am I right in believing that the South without porches is like a Southern breakfast without grits! In the summers of my youth, we gathered on my grandma’s front porch whenever we visited. My aunties would shuck corn or peel apples, the men would talk sports and news, while watching all the grandkids play. We caught lightening bugs, hung from trees, had sandlot baseball games, and made mud pies… all under the vigilant watch of the porch sitters. Time seemed to slow down on the porch. Mine was the rural version, my good friend Jean grew up in town. Her family took to the front porch each evening to say hello to passing neighbors, have family jam sessions, watch the kid’s bike-ride and play hopscotch. Her porch sitting was neighborly; our visits were about family, yet, whether country or city, we all gravitated to the porch. Porches aren’t as popular now with television viewing, internet surfing, and our dependence on air conditioning. Folks rarely sit on their front porches any more. There is hope; however, more and more “village” concept sub-divisions are springing up and along with it, the return of the porch. We have one near us called Baxter Village. Then there are the decorating magazines that show us how to decorate our porches. The photographs make them look so inviting that we have to take a second look at our porches.


Thanks to Carolina Panache blog for the image.

We have a board and batten cabin, complete with a tin roof, in the mountains of West Virginia. Recently, I got to enjoy an early morning quite time on the porch swing while overlooking a gorgeous view. The ceiling fan flapped overhead to keep things pleasant and the birds were in full chorus. I felt like I had woken up in a little slice of heaven. As you enjoy these summer months, I hope that the friendly nature of the porch calls you. I hope that you slow down to the pace of a porch swing, that you listen to the chorus of the birds and that you find that Zen –like state of Southern porch.

This is the porch view from our family cabin

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