Tuesday, June 4, 2013

BEFORE & AFTER: Two Day Transformation

I am generally a one-man operation on any interior design job, aside from my movers and contractors.  I'm a believer in that old "too many cooks in the kitchen" saying, but last week was a little different.  My friend, V, and I traveled to Charlotte to transform a dated two bedroom model apartment into a sophisticated space sure to wow and dazzle future residents.  Knowing I was going to make this transformation in just two short days, I decided to enlist the help of my dear friend V.  The only items done ahead of time were the painting and moving of old furniture.  In just 48 hours, we assembled and made beds, hung and steamped drapery, stuffed pillows, mounted pictures and placed accessories as fast as two of the slowest ladies in the Southeast could have done.  Probably also didn't help our time crunch that neither one of us can deny our weakness for a good linen(drapery, bedding, pillows, you name it), so it was hard to avoid that occassional stop, look and feel.  I couldn't have done it without her in that short amount of time, so what you are about to see is what I will refer to as the work of "V & V" ;)   

Living Room Before

Living Room After

Patio Before

Patio After

 Dining Before

Dining After

 Bedroom Before

Bedroom After

 Bathroom Before

Bathroom After

Bedroom Before

Bedroom After


As you can see, we were not focused on professional photography, only getting the job done.  I was flying through taking pictures as we completed each room, so half of the photos were taken in the daylight and the other half at night.  That's one of those things you look back at and think 'Damn! Why didn't I put more effort into those pictures?'  Anyway, teamwork really helped pull this one together!  I loved one of the things V said as we were finishing up the install - "I always thought they were being dramatic and making it up on those shows when the designer is going crazy on install days, but now I know that's really how it is!"  So true, and so goes a day in the life of a designer!

Friday, March 15, 2013

Before and After: Ottomans

Remember those Mary McDonald for Schumacher trims I shared with you the other week?  Remember that gorgeous black one I was determined to use somewhere? 

I decided to recover 2 ottomans I had, and use the bold 6" trim along the bottom of each one.  I have had a love/hate relationship with these ottomans in the past.  I bought them a long time ago, and loved the giraffe print at first, but oh so cheesy now!  Do you ever wonder "what the hell was I thinking when I chose that?".  That has been my thought for the past few years about these things.  I gave the ottomans the boot for awhile.  The problem is they are so darn functional and comfortable I just couldn't part with them, and one managed to sneak its way back into our living room as my permanent foot rest, coffee table, and semi-desk on the weekends.  After much deliberation over the right fabric to compliment this trim, the pair of ottomans are back in the living room full time and looking much better!  Check out the before and after below...



I decided to do slipcovers for these ottomans, so the covers can be taken off and dry cleaned if need be. 
After all, this is still a place to rest your feet! 

Happy Friday Everybody!

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Hello Out There - I'm Back!

I'm back, after too much time away from this blog that I love so much!  Literally since January One, it has been non-stop, working on projects round the clock.  I'm sure some of you have given up on me, and started following other fabulous interiors blogs who actually post on a regular basis.  But for those of you still following me, thank you, and I do have something so very fun to share.  Over the past two months, I have scoured hundreds, probably thousands, of fabric samples, swatch books and cuttings for various projects.  In the midst of all that chaos, Schumacher launched its Mary McDonald collection!  This was such a refresher and a nice little break to see something new, creative and fun.  For those who watch Million Dollar Decorators on Bravo, you know Mary well I am sure, but for those that don't, Mary is an incredibly talented designer and a favorite of mine.  Just like her work, this fabric line does not dissapoint.  The price point is great, and the range of patterns and colors offered is perfect (not too little and not too much)! 

Check out these gorgeous 6" trims that would be a perfect detail on drapes or the skirt of a chair or sofa.  To trim out a bedskirt in one of these would look amazing as well!  That one just popped into my head, and is now another way I would love to incorporate these borders into my scheme at home. 

A sampling of some her amazing prints below. 

Her collection includes these appliques, below, that could be a great way to add some oomph to a pillow, or anywhere else that needs another level of detail.

 photo courtesy of Schumacher

photo courtesy of Schumacher

photo courtesy of Schumacher

photo courtesy of Schumacher

Check out all these wonderful fabric combinations the line offers.
There is something in this collection for everyone!!!

photo courtesy of Schumacher

photo courtesy of Schumacher

photo courtesy of Schumacher

photo courtesy of Schumacher

photo courtesy of Schumacher

photo courtesy of Schumacher

photo courtesy of Schumacher

photo courtesy of Schumacher

photo courtesy of Schumacher

photo courtesy of Schumacher

photo courtesy of Schumacher

I'm going to have to do something at home in this black and white combo above, so don't be surprised to see a post down the road showing off this sophisticated border.  Don't you just love this new collection?

Even if you wanted a quick and easy DIY project, you could order 2 appliques and put them on a pair of plain pillows for a little pop!  That sort of detail will completely change the look of a plain sofa/pillow combo.

(All fabrics shown above available through Vivere)

Monday, November 26, 2012

The Most Wonderful Time of the Year!

Thanksgiving is over and the Christmas season is officially upon us!  The tree is up, and I have finished my wreath for the Festival of Wreaths.  We went to Raleigh for the Holiday weekend, and found a North Carolina Fraser Fir we just couldn't pass up.  In all our excitement about finding the perfect tree, we failed to put any thought into the logistics of getting an eight foot tree home in a 5 Series BMW.  Let's just say there were a lot of stops, including one at a Food Lion in small-town North Carolina where string from the butcher counter was used to secure the tree again.  It's laughable now, but not really that funny at the time!  After the roughly seven hour car ride, the tree made it with plenty of needles intact, and it is now standing tall in the living room. 

But first, here is my wreath, "Yuletide Eucalyptus", temporarily hanging on our front door.  The fresh Eucalyptus smells amazing and the bow was fashioned out of Schumacher's "Caribou Embroidery" from the new Luxe Lodge collection. 

Behold our tree!  The house smells of Fraser Fir, and I love it! It feels so cozy in the living room now, and of course, I love the furniture arranged better this way.  Now, when the tree goes down, I'm going to have to find something to put in that space, so I can leave the furniture this way.  Go figure! 

As I mentioned, there was quite a bit of shifting and rearranging pieces of furniture.  One chair was moved into the kitchen, and I didn't think its pink velvet was quite the right look, so of course that had to change.  I quickly recovered that chair earlier today, and am really pleased with the outcome!  I love to move pieces around the house for this very reason - keeps things looking fresh!

While in Raleigh, Boyfriend's Mom and I took a trip into Chapel Hill to visit South, a shop I have mentioned on the blog before.  Look how fabulous and festive the seating arrangement is that greets you as you walk in the doors of the shop!

There were so many gorgeous items, and an incredible selection of holiday candles, which are always a favorite of mine.  I caved and bought myself one of the NEST candles, and even some for gifts (great gifts by the way!).  Look at the gorgeous collection of NEST red velvet and gold boxes on display above.  Below, is the candle that I just couldn't resist.  If you are looking for the perfect pine scent, search no more!

And I have to show off this gorgeous decanter.  I love decanters for the bar, and I have recently started a collection.  This is random, I know, in relation to decorating for the Holidays, but the boyfriend's Mom gave this to me while we were in town.  She had mentioned to a friend that I was starting a collection, so her friend picked this one up at an estate sale with matching glasses.  How sweet was that?!  (Thank you Julie!)

I hope all of you had a nice Thanksgiving as well! 

I would love to see your Holiday decorations, so send them my way.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Festival of Wreaths

The Holidays sneak up on me every year.  November seemed to fly by and here we are, the day before Thanksgiving!  This month evidently flew so quickly for me that I forgot my obligation to make a wreath for this year's Festival of Wreaths at the Charleston Place hotel.  Each year a handful of local Charleston designers put their talented design efforts into making a wreath for the annual Festival of Wreaths, which are then auctioned off at the cocktail party.  However, they are due in November so each one can hang on a door of one of The Shops at Charleston Place to be on display for a couple weeks.  I completely forgot that they were due last week, and now I have to create some wondrous masterpiece of a wreath ASAP.  So yesterday I thought I would go take a sneak peek at the other wreaths that are now hanging.  My aplogies to the lonely store that doesn't have their wreath on Black Friday because of me!  I didn't get photos of every one, but I got shots of quite a few and they are all super original and amazing!  It's interesting to see each designer's style present in their wreath.  Oh, and the other part about the wreaths in this festival is it has to have a theme, whatever you like, but it has to have a theme and a title to go along.

Look at the gorgeous detail of how this wreath hangs!

Now the hard part - figuring out the design for my wreath.  I have my work cut out for me over Thanksgiving!  Stay tuned for photos of mine.  I will post as soon as I finish.

Also, if any of you are interested in attending this fabulous holiday cocktail party and auction, here is the link for info and tickets.

And lastly, I hope all of you have a wonderful Thanksgiving Holiday, and hopefully these fabulous wreaths were a nice little dose of Holiday spirit for you.  I always need something like this to jumpstart the Holidays for me, which is why I enjoy designing a wreath for this event (that is, if I can remember).