Wednesday, November 30, 2011


Today marks the first time I've felt cold enough to want to cozy up to a fire, and tomorrow just happens to be December 1st, so what better to feature today than festive fireplaces?  I love decorating for the holidays, and I've always loved the mantel more than the tree.  Natural is the way to go!  Magnolia leaves, Boxwood, fruit, pine cones, Rosemary, cinnamon sticks, anything fresh - it all makes for a beautiful mantel. 

Traditional Home

Have you done your holiday decorating yet?  I did mine this past Sunday.  I like to have mine done so I can enjoy it the whole month of December.  What do you like to use to decorate your mantel?

Monday, November 28, 2011

FABULOUS FIND: Studio 123 in Raleigh

I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving and enjoyed some time off!  I had a nice Holiday in Raleigh, NC with the Boyfriend and his family.  After a delicious Thanksgiving dinner and lots of cocktails Thursday evening, I was given the grand tour on Friday. I hadn't spent much time (actually none really) in Raleigh, so I did some major exploring. I found this great interiors shop, Studio 123, that sells both refinished and new furnishings. Studio 123 is in Seaboard Station, an old train station turned into retail, and it is now on my list of favorite shops! Can you tell from the pictures below that I was loving all their pink upholstered pieces?  

Exploring the neighborhoods to scout out favorite houses was also part of my Friday agenda.  I love an eye-catching front door, and I saw quite a few, but there was one in particular that we had to do a second drive-by for.  Check out this fabulous chevron door below!  The house was undergoing a total renovation, but the door appeared to be original to the house, making it that much more chic!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

A Client's "Relaxing Retreat" - Part 1

The home I am featuring today is a project that is very special to me.  I have been working with my client and her husband on their home for a little over a year now.  It's special in a couple ways.  First off, I gained a client and friend who has been a joy to work for and spend time with, and that is priceless.  Like her husband said the other week "I feel like you are part of the family now".  I couldn't agree more.  It's also special because I was able to create a space that my client loves and refers to as her calm and relaxing space.  Her love for the design and the happiness it has brought her and her husband is what makes my job so wonderful.  We have spent the past year putting thought and care into every detail of the home.  Like I've said before, good design is a process.  We are still working on other spaces in the home, so this is Part 1.  I will do a Part 2 post soon.  Without further ado, welcome to my client's home!

Levels of lighting were very important, so we placed candles thoughtfully throughout.  For those South Carolina locals familiar with Ernest Lee, also known as The Chicken Man, he did this custom painting for us. 

Notice the greyhound statue in the background?  My client, knowing my love of Greyhounds, thought it would be special to have one in her home as a signature of my work.  Also, I used the ottoman as a place to put some of their beautiful art books on display.

The ottoman was upholstered in a luscious ribbed mohair.  I wish all of you could feel this wonderful fabric!  Amazing!

The picture below is a better representation of the actual wall color.

The wall between the living room and dining room was knocked out, opening up the 2 spaces.

Hardware was incredibly important in the finished product of the window treatments.

The backsplash tile was installed beautifully.  The accent strips are made of a sparkling crushed glass. 

And, just to get a feel for the transformation, here are some "before" images.

I hope everyone has a happy Thanksgiving! 
I am thankful for all of my wonderful clients, my supportive family and friends, and for all the opportunities I have had and will have in my life and career.  I am also thankful for each and every one of you who read my blog and your encouraging words!

Monday, November 21, 2011

THIS PAST WEEKEND: Football, Family, Friends and a Wedding

As promised, I'm featuring our tailgate spread from the South Carolina/Citadel game this weekend.  The trip to Columbia was for a wedding, but I couldn't pass up a home Football game, especially since I haven't been to one all season.  Some good friends were coming in town for the wedding as well, so we decided to go big and do the Football game too.  Long day, but we had the best time! 

Here's the spread.  Lots of delicious food, champagne, mimosas, bloodies and beer!  The fabric table runner is the fabric I used on the barstools in the private Stadium Suites.  I saved some sample cuttings for me ;-)

Great times with friends and family!

Also, I had to slip this picture below in.  One of our tailgating "neighbors" has just launched a line of spirits that you can get Gamecock-themed (or Clemson-themed, booooo).  This would make a perfect stocking stuffer or great hostess gift.  Honestly, it's some of the best tasting vodka I've had.  It was so smooth, which is evidently because of a process where all the free radicals that cause the dreaded hangover are removed.  I was told that Morganelli's in Columbia, SC and the liquor store in Town Centre in Mt. Pleasant, SC carries it.  Such a great idea!

After the game, we rushed back to my parent's house to quickly change for the wedding.  Since I neglected to take any pictures of us at the wedding in Chapel Hill, I had to get one of us this time.  Notice the pendant light behind us.  I helped my mom select this to replace their traditional shiny brass chandelier.  The brass chandelier had a good run, but it was time for a little update.  It's amazing how this pendant has beautifully transformed the dining room!

Hope everyone had a wonderful weekend!

Friday, November 18, 2011


A staircase is usually one of the first elements you see when you walk into someone's home.  Why not make a statement with your stairs?  Here are 10 beautiful ways to do just that.

Steven Gambrel

Alex Michaelis

Jay Jeffers

Victoria Hagan

Hope everyone has a nice weekend!  I'm off to my first Gamecock Football home game I've been able to go to this season and then a wedding.  Gonna be a loooong, but fun Saturday!  If my tailgate set-up turns out to be smashing like I'm planning, I will post pictures Monday.