I have loads of inspiration photos saved. Wiith no specific theme in mind, here are a few….
I have loads of inspiration photos saved. Wiith no specific theme in mind, here are a few….
Recently our family stayed at The Gaylord at National Harbor in D.C.
We had a great time and the place is amazing. Go if you are ever in the area.
When we entered our room, this is what we found:
So here is what I was struck by; the room’s decor was predictable given our location in the Nation’s Capital. Traditional. Dark leather and heavy upholstery. Very conservative.
Pretty, but just a bit tame.
Then we walk into the Old Hickory Steakhouse, located in the atrium, for dinner and are greeted by this eye candy!
See what I mean about the split personality? These spaces are all at the Gaylord National Harbor.
This would be more ‘wow’ if I had taken the photo when the bar was actually open. But still, can you see how amazing it would be to sip a cocktail here?
(I came back the morning after dinner for better lighting and to be certain there were no customers.)
Oh yes, and the food was pretty darn good too!
It is exciting yet a little melancholy to bring a project to conclusion.
My client, T, and I worked hard together for more than 18 months.
I am excited to share the result of all that hard work.
Here is T’s living room.
The upholstery is all custom.
Our jumping off point was the red and ivory floral on the chairs. Everything else flowed from there.
The sofa is covered in a very textural velvet-like chenille. Yum!
In the background, you can see just a bit of the new stair runner we had installed. Luscious!
I’m gonna miss working with you T
It is, perhaps, a little known fact that most interior designers have a near impossible time decorating their own home.
Sadly, I am not an exception.
For nearly 6, yes SIX, agonizing months I’ve done my darnedest to come up with a fabric and color scheme for our family room.
Here is what it looks like now:
(longer, deeper sigh) BTW, there is plywood under the cushions. (another sigh)
Designers have no difficulty making wonderful selections for our clients. We ask questions. Do lots of listening. Then execute a beautiful plan.
Not so for ourselves.
We are PARALYZED BY THE POSSIBILITIES.
We get distracted by the next new shiny thing we see. We LOVE so many different fabrics. Looks. Styles. Colors. Actually, this is part of the reason we are good at what we do. If a client wants a style that differs from our personal preferences, we still get excited about it and have a great time putting it together.
But back to my dilemma….
The compter armoire (yes computer armoire – how sad is that) currently housing the TV will go. The TV will move to above the fireplace (the room is TINY & I need the floor space). Everything in the photo will go – except the TV remote. Did I mention how much I hate this room?
Weeks ago I started sorting through fabrics. Memo after memo of yummy beautiful fabric.
Still not it.
Time to seek help.
Anne from Dwellings By Design offering her professional opinion.
And Michele from My Notting Hill working a little magic.
Still, no decision.
I finally decided to go back to my favorite inspiration photos to gain new focus.
What I love most: oodles of texture, soothing neutrals, interesting yet subtle patterns.
So finally, the fabrics for my new family room:
They are all very tactile – raised velvet detail on all but the sofa fabric. For the sofa, a textured velvet with lots of shine and movement. Add to all of this some shiny nickel nail head detail here, a contrasting welt there and exposed wood trim on the upholstered pieces in a soft white painted finish. New occasional tables, lighting, rug, built-ins (gee, I sure hope my husband is not reading this – he thinks we just need furniture).
Next up: choosing the furniture. Ugh! See you in another 6 months. But seriously, I hope to have everything ordered within the next week and will be back to you in 6 – 8 weeks with an update.
If you would like help choosing the perfect fabrics for your project – which really can be done in a more speedy fashion – send me a note!
I am mildly obessed with finding new product sources. I just am.
I don’t relax and enjoy the images in shelter mags. That’s not to say I don’t enjoy the images – I do. What I don’t do is relax. Pen in hand, I obsessively write down every website or manufacturer that catches my interest.
So, I was flipping through House Beautiful several months ago and paused to read the feature article, The Next Wave of Designers to Watch. (I realize this is old news, but I cannot get to my point without starting here.) The article includes brief interviews with the chosen designers and each are asked a series of questions. The one that most intrigued me: “Tell us one of your secret design sources.”
Paydirt. Here are the country’s best up and coming designers and they are going to tell us where they get their stuff. Sweet.
One of the featured designers is a DC local and someone I admire a lot, Sally Steponkus. Her secret source? Circa Who, a West Palm Beach vintage resale shop. Here is what she says: ”Last year when I was doing a condo in Bal Harbour, Fl, I drove over to Palm Beach to check out some of the vintage shops. I fell in love with Circa Who and continue to visit the website and e-mail Tracy to ask her to keep her eyes peeled for certain pieces. She’s always got affordable, funky, cool, vintage furniture and lighting. I love bringing a little ’60s West Palm to conservative, serious DC!”
Quick as a flash I was on that website.
And here is what I found:
8 Century Furniture dining chairs!
Look at that greek key detail on the arm chairs. Stunners.
Yes, these are sitting in my dining room right now. More on the transformation of these chairs and the room in a future post.
A few weeks later I find this Century Furniture (do we detect a theme with me?) king headboard. And, yep, it is now in my guest room.
I tell my husband I purchase these things to use in future projects. I mean it when I say it. Really, I do.
And here are a few items currently available at Circa Who.
Hurry on over if you are in need of a vintage fix. It is a great resource and the good stuff goes fast! Sally, my husband says thanks. Not.
If you want help fitting a bit of West Palm glam in your home, get in touch. I’d love to help!
Getting a design concept across to a client can be tricky sometimes. So lately I’ve been trying to sketch more. It is not award-winning stuff, but when I have a vision in my head for transforming a client’s space, pictures are way better than a verbal description with lots of pointing and gesturing. (And no, I cannot talk while sitting on my hands)
This sketch is for a client who would like a 1940′s inspired living room and foyer and I am showing it to her today. She and her husband love swing dancing, vintage lamps and clothing and all things 1940′s. AND, the husband is an ARTIST. Can you imagine showing a professional artist this sketch? Eeekkk!
Though I know the basic look and characteristics of Edwardian style, a refresher was in order. Taking inspiration from any bygone era can be tricky. It is important to capture the essence of the period, but then it needs to be interpreted in a contemporary way.
Here is how the foyer looks now. (I’m not sharing the ‘before’ pic of the living room because my client hated the pictures when she saw them in her file and I don’t want her hating me!)
♦ SIDE NOTE: If you want to see your home the way others do, take a picture. It’s a whole new perspective! ♦
The family has two adorable young children and a dog, so the rooms are hard working. The foyer needs to store shoes and seasonal coats and provide a place for little ones to sit down as they put on shoes. You can see the green front door in the picture above. When you step in, the living room is immediately on your right and even though there is a cased opening to separate the two spaces, it needs something more.
So back to the sketch….The plan addresses these needs with a built-in storage bench under the window and a shallow closet with coat hooks near the front door. To give it a hefty dose of 1940′s style, I want to install tall faux paneling. Above the paneling is not what you think; it is fabric! The same fabric used for the window treatments to be exact. There are companies who back fabric with paper, and voila! Fabric as wallpaper!
Moving to the adjoining living room, here is the rest of the plan:
The yummy floral is for the window treatments and 2 fab stools, or poufs as they are called by The Charles Stewart Company. The golden chenille is going on the Sherrill sofa, and the super soft velvet on the amazing tufted Charles Stewart chairs. The puckered silk is for the soft roman shades layered under all 3 windows for privacy. The sweet stylized stripe will go on pillows.
The living room window treatments:
Puckered ivory silk for the roman shades.
The Sherrill sofa, done in golden chenille.
Stay tuned for more updates as this project progresses. The first pieces of furniture are due in just a couple of weeks and then we can add occasional tables, lighting, accessories……
♦ UPDATE: My client LOVED the foyer proposal! Looks like this will be added to the job list! Sketching pays off!
If you want to see one of my brilliant (riiiight) sketches for your home, just shout!
So way back in December I stumbled across an Etsy store that had two 1960 interior decorating books for sale, which I quickly scooped up. A few of the images have been tumbling around in my head. Let’s see what you think….
Copyright 1965 (I was 3),
And authored by Albert Kornfeld, editor-in-chief of House & Garden magazine for 9 years and a New York decorator.
Sunken bath tubs. When was the last time you saw one of these?? Did you notice the side table?
It reminded me of this one from Worlds Away.
Good design never dies!
The above image reminded me of this one from DecorPad…
….sans the cafe curtains.
Cafe curtains certainly are a reoccurring theme in this book.
I love this clever use of open shelving for storage and as room divider. It would be terrific in a child’s room, as shown here, or perhaps in a basement redo when you need to deal with those pesky support posts. Did you notice the wallpaper on the ceiling??? The flourescent task lighting?? The typewriter (yes, that is what one looks like). And the rotary dial phone? How many of you gave your finger the free ride back on yours?
This room is so timeless, the photo could have been taken in 2011. Aside from the quality of the photograph, one might never know. I LOVE the pattern & color combinations. It is also a wonderful illustration of how a round rug can create an intimate feel in a spacious room.
Are you feeling the upholstered screen? Check out the detail at the top.
And finally…. Sledge hammer anyone?
And so today, a departure from interiors.
I may have developed a new addiction.
Where have these been all my life????
Am I so out of it? Have you all known about ToyWatch for AGES?
Quick! Click over to ToyWatch. There are ohhh soooo many more to see!!!
…and would someone tell my husband. Hmm?
AND FOR MY NEXT DIGRESSION:
Newly discovered from Gap…
And I got ‘em!!
And they look goooood!
I was tickled to read a review on the Gap website where one disappointed customer lamented that the jeans completely covered her size 12 foot ”and the bottoms not only cover my entire foot but they go past my big toe by an entire inch. They’re almost laughable.” She made my day!
Come on now….Those of you of a certain (ahem) age know that covering the entire foot IS the point!
When I wear these jeans I am transported back…..
…to Skateland. ‘Elephant leg’ jeans -as we called them- HAD to completely cover our skates or it was NOT cool!
Roxanne (your elephant leg jean wearing friend)
PS: I need to add (after seeing the kind comment on this post from The Zhush) that it is because of Sue at The Zhush that I am now experiencing this ToyWatch obsession. She posted about it here. Thanks Sue!
Brrrrrrrr! It’s been miserably cold here! Granted we are not suffering like Atlanta, but still! This is Virginia and we should not be so, I don’t know, COLD.
We have been having lots of fires in the fireplace at our house – sometimes all day long! And flanking the fireplace in our family room are two inviting window seats where the kids like to curl up with a book and a snugly throw.
And this got me thinking about window seats in general and what makes them so appealing.
Ignoring the Christmas theme (aren’t you completely OVER it?) imagine curling up with a book and a cup of tea (or glass of wine) here. Add a small cigar table -
like this one from Worlds Away
and a couple of sconces from Circa Lighting – (Divine!) – and one might never leave.
So as I was going through my inspiration folder selecting images of window seats to share with you, I started thinking about what drew me to some and not to others. For example:
I absolutely LOVE this cozy bed. Although I have no way of knowing for certain, I would guess this was a room without closets. Add them, and you end up with a space just begging for a window seat – or in this case, a built-in bed! What child would not want to sleep here? Heck, I want to!
But then I came across this one. And as cute and happy as the colors are, that is all this room has going for it. That long seat is pointless. Not cozy, not practical. I’m sure the children who play here love sitting on it – or dancing, or using it as a stage. But then what?
See the difference? This window seat makes sense. It is tucked into a confined space, feels and looks cozy, and offers (presumably) some storage. There is context to this seat.
And you may disagree, but I don’t see a point to this one either. Beautiful as this room is – and it is – so much more character and interest could be added by using an actual bench – or small upholstered accent chair.
Very creative use of a small space. It almost looks like it is at the top of a staircase. Love! Love!
Wow! Look at the beautiful panels flanking this darling seat. Note the wall color and how it lends depth and warmth.
And here is a close-up of this. I believe that may be an upholstered wall. See the trim along the edge? Swoon.
As you can see, there is a matching window seat on the left side of the fireplace too.
(Are 3 photos of the same room too much?)
How sweet is this?? The whimsically painted wooden valance creates architectural interest in a room which seems to have none. Add panels with Alice in Wonderland size tie backs and the fringe trimmed pillows and you have a sweet princess hide-away.
Loving the wall of storage softened by those puffy down-filled cushions and simple unlined panels. Oh la la!
It is clear the window seats holding the most appeal for me are those tucked into small cozy spaces, or at least those made to feel like small spaces.
The use of fabric and texture and color also lure me in.
So what about you? Which window seat do you covet?
If you would like help crafting the perfect space for your home and you live in the Washington, DC area, please contact me.
As each day passes and I’ve not posted here, the pressure mounts. I have so many things I want to share but they all seem so lame as I surf around reading scintillating, imaginative and creative blogs. How will I ever be able to find my place beside My Notting Hill, or Pure Style Home, or House of Turquoise, or Cote de Texas? As much as I hate to admit it, a teeny tiny bit of self pity had set in.
Then this morning I was having a sweet and (I hope) inspiring conversation with my daughter about the challenges of friendship and how sometimes it seems easier to get mad, or be sad, or assume the worse in those challenging moments. We talked about how we, and only we, are responsible for our happiness, or success, or mood, or (fill-in-the-blank). Excuse-making and blame-placing not allowed. After she gave me a very sweet hug and skipped off, I turned my attention to my to do list.
And there it was, just where I left it: ◊Write blog post. Ugh. Still no √ in that box.
Then it hit me…..time to apply a little of my own advice. No excuses. No self-pity.
Put on your big girl panties, Roxanne, and get on with it.
And so I will.
Here are a few images I found recently after discovering Houzz.
I’m helping a client transform her VERY large home office space into a serene, well organized oasis where her productivity will soar. And where, tucked away in a corner, will be a cozy reading nook with comfy furniture. A space designed to lure her children in. She loves reading with them and wants her office to be as much a productive work space as a cozy retreat.
This is one of her favorite inspiration photos. She loves the clean white organized feeling of this space – and so do I! Notice the inspiration wall on the left full of found treasures?
Here is one of my favorites. I love the glass shelves behind the desk. The things perched upon them seem to magically float. The gold floral wallpaper relates beautifully with the simple cork board and vintage trophy lamp. The wall color is soothing and the dark floor grounds it all. Throw in the unexpected faux hide rug, and surely only brilliant work emerges from this space!
The mix of dark neutral walls with the vibrant orange really appeals to me. Likewise, the mix of the traditional print of the window treatments against the geometric rug. Any idea how to use an abacus? Anyone?
And finally…….What I REALLY call a fantasy office! Who are they kidding? No way any meaningful work comes outa here.
My client and I are just getting started on her project and only at the floor plan stage. As soon as I have more to share, I will!
So, big girl panties firmly on, I’ll say bye for now.
And I’ll be back soon!
I'm an interior designer living in McLean, Virginia. Creating fresh, stylish, livable spaces is my specialty.
Recently I've developed this crazy desire (my mid-life crisis?) to make some changes in how our family eats, plays and lives, and this blog is my secret weapon.
A little like the whole "if you build it, they will come" thing. If I write about it, it will be. Right?
I'll get a little designing done and share the adventure here.
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