Monday, November 30, 2009

Christmas Wreaths & More: Beacon Hill Style

After Christmas last year we went to Boston and I spent a fun afternoon in Beacon Hill photographing Christmas decorations. I especially love these wreaths with the multi-colored ribbons. Look closely through the window and you'll see deer antlers. I have a feeling this home is as stylish inside as out.This would be easy to do - spray paint branches red and place in containers w/moss.

Love this creative peace sign wreath!

Even the post office gets into the act.
More branches - simple and doable.

Love the pattern on the containers outside this venerable home in Louisburg Square. Happy Monday!

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Thank you Washingtonian!

Thank you Washingtonian for featuring Annie Elliott of Bossy Color Blog and myself in the Turkey Day Decorating Tips feature!
Annie and I gave some tips for decorating on the cheap. One of my suggestions was to use a canvas drop cloth for a tablecloth. But now that Christmas is coming, I can think of a second use - a Christmas tree skirt that you can let your kids draw on with fabric markers. Each year they can add to their art work so you'll end up with a homemade tree skirt that marks the passing years with their drawings. I wish I had thought of that 15 years ago...

EZ Permanent Fabric Markers

Saturday, November 28, 2009

4 DC Designers gain National Recognition!

House Beautiful editors recently named DC based designer Sally Steponkus to their top 20 Next Wave to watch in 2010! Congratulations Sally for this well deserved recognition!

I'm a big fan of Sally and featured her in my DC Designer series back in May. To see more of her fresh & stylish work, click here.

Recognition for DC designers continued with the inclusion of Joseph Ireland and Julie Weber of J.D. Ireland in the top 20 Next Wave. Congratulations! Love the elegant and timeless quality of their designs. They appeared in my DC Designer Series back in March, go here to see more.

More terrific news - DC designer Paul Corrie was selected by Metropolitan Home as one of their Top 20 favorite "Young Designers" for 2009 - another well deserved recogniton! (so happy that was published before they closed) Paul was the second designer I featured in the DC Designer Series and "restrained, elegant and intriguing" were the words that came to mind when I wrote about his work. To see more of the work featured in that post, click here.
Dining room designed by Sally Steponkus, photo by Angie Seckinger.
Design by J.D. Ireland, photography by Scott Henrichsen
Design by Paul Corrie, photography by Michael Crosset of District Creative

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Over the River...& Congrats to Turkey Trot Winners!

Over the river, and through the wood, to Grandfather's house we go;

The horse knows the way to carry the sleigh through the white and drifted snow.
Over the river, and through the wood -Oh, how the wind does blow!

It stings the toes and bites the nose as over the ground we go.
Over the river, and through the wood,To have a first-rate play.

Hear the bells ring, "Ting-a-ling-ding",Hurrah for Thanksgiving Day!

Over the river, and through the wood Trot fast, my dapple-gray!

Spring over the ground like a hunting-hound,For this is Thanksgiving Day.
Over the river, and through the wood -And straight through the barnyard gate,We seem to go extremely slow,It is so hard to wait!
Over the river, and through the wood -Now Grandmother's cap I spy!
Hurrah for the fun! Is the pudding done? Hurrah for the pumpkin pie

and Congratulations to my son and daughter who each placed 2nd in their age category in the Christ Church Arlington Turkey Trot! Great job R & J!!

Happy Thanksgiving!

(This Thanksgiving song originally appeared as a poem written by Lydia Maria Child in Flowers for Children, volume 2, in 1844. The painting is by Anna Mary Robertson Moses, "Over the River to Grandma's house", 1947)

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Mirror over Mirror

Last July I was in Stacy Hyde in Dallas and was taken with the simple gesture of hanging a mirror over a mirror. The addition of this convex sunburst mirror adds interest and texture to what is otherwise a standard.
Here DC based designer Kelley Proxmire hangs a large, round convex mirror over a mirrored wall, reflecting light and expanding the space. This dining room was part of an Eastern Shore Decorator Showhouse from a few years ago. I happened to go to this showhouse and loved this room. The simple centerpiece would be great for a Thanksgiving table setting. For more - go to Kelley Proxmire's website here.
The mirrors in these two pictures are hung over antiqued mirror for a nice effect. (above Elliott Puckette's home, American Vogue, May 2003, photography by Francois Halard via Style Court)
Home of Dana Slatkin, California Style Magazine, Jan/Feb 08 via Girl Meets Glamour
Tricia Huntley layers a Venetian mirror for a glamorous, custom look. (photography Kevin Allen)

After spending an inordinate amount of time searching for more pictures of mirrors over mirrors and running dry, I wondered about layering Art over a Mirror?
What about hanging a print that is framed with a surround of glass (like below) over a mirror? You could use ribbon to hang it - maybe even doing something just for the holidays... (pictures from my visit to And George in Charlottesville, VA)
Or, as Kelley Proxmire did here, hanging a Mirror over a Window?
(image from Kelley Interior Design here)

If you're interested in more on layering mirrors, go to Apartment Therapy DC here. I discovered Leah did a terrific post after I stayed up way too late looking for more pics!

Monday, November 23, 2009

The Voting is On! Velvet & Linen's Brickmaker's Table Giveaway

The voting starts today at 8 am for the fabulous Brickmaker's Table giveaway at Velvet & Linen! There are 10 terrific finalists to choose from and you have until Sunday November 29th at 8 am to cast your vote. One vote per person; the top 3 win. I was excited to be one of the bloggers who participated in the preliminary selection and am very curious to see if any of the 5 I voted for made their way into the top 10. Be sure to head over to Velvet & Linen to cast your vote!

Leading up to the announcement of the final 10, Brooke posted many of the 170 entries she received. The entry above is from James B and my first thought upon seeing it was "Who is this guy and does he have a blog?!" Well, Brooke gave me good news, he does! James has created a blog - Garvinweasel - to document the renovation of his antebellum farmhouse (c 1858) in the deep south. If you're as impressed with his creativity as I am, you'll be sure to become a fan of this new blogger.

To check out the details of the gorgeous giveaway coffee table from BoBo - click here.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Making Greenery Centerpieces

This past Sunday I had a chance to attend a free seminar put on by Pear Tree Cottage in Vienna, VA. Amy Strunk, a landscape designer with Merrifield Garden Center, led a very informative, step-by-step class on the principles of arranging greenery. Check out the gorgeous urn the woman next to me in the white shirt/green sweater used as her container. I'm fairly sure it is one she purchased at Pear Tree.
I brought a vintage, aluminum ice bucket to the seminar. Here are some helpful tips from Amy:(1) There are 2 types of floral foam: wet and dry. (we used wet foam for this project)
(2) Wet foam has small holes on one side and those should be placed face down.
(3) Start with your base greenery first, arranging it so it will establish a good background. Keep in mind that odd numbers of branches, etc, work best.
(4) After you establish the base, begin to add the next layer throughout the whole arrangment. I think in the past I focused too much on sections and not enough on the whole arrangement.(5) Ask yourself, "Where will the texture and interest come from in the arrangement?" As you can see in the pic above, I have two layers in and now need to move on to add some layers of color and interest.
Here are pics of three completed arrangements - I think they look great!
One participant brought a second container, this fab turquoise vase from Crate & Barrel. Amy volunteered to create an arrangement for it.
Here it is; simple and stunning. Keeping in mind the mod aesthetic of the vase, Amy used only 3 types of greenery - dark green evergreen, a chartreuse colored green and the third one, with little pinecones, for interest. My ice bucket is off to the right with red berries and a few other things added to it. A huge thanks to Amy for all the great tips and to Frances Brayshaw, the owner of Pear Tree Cottage, for continuing to offer these great design events! Washingtonian magazine ranked Pear Tree Cottage as one of the best shops in Northern Virginina. Agree!
Also, if you live in the DC area, Tudor Place in Georgetown is holding it's annual Holiday Wreath Making workshop Friday Dec. 4th and Dec. 11th, 10 am or 2pm and Saturday Dec. 5th at 10 am or 1 pm. (the Sat. 10 am class may already be booked.) I'm going to the Dec 4th 10 am session this year - pictured above is the boxwood wreath I made last year. All the greenery is freshly cut and the historic setting is wonderful!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

A Family Vestibule

The Charityworks GreenHouse ended a few weeks ago but the eye candy continues! Designed by Miriam Dillon and Rebecca Foley of Custom Design Concepts Architecture + Interiors, the family vestibule is comprised of a mudroom, laundry room and powder room that are stylish, functional and eco-conscious. The reclaimed wood in a herringbone pattern on the wall echoes the hardwood floors in other parts of the home. I think the pendant lights and the choice of a settee, as opposed to a built-in bench, creates a more furnished feel to this very practical space. (all photography by Gordon Beall, posted with permission)
Love the whimsical touches and those houndstooth checked wellies in the cubby!
In the hallway that leads from the garage into the house, an antiqued mirror is surrounded with bordered sections of wallpaper. There's also a console table in this space and a chandelier made from reclaimed French oak wine barrel staves. (in the left corner of the pic)
The powder room is narrow and I think the inset cabinet solution is very effective - providing ample counter space on either side of the sink. The sink is made from cast iron that is 93% recycled and reclaimed and the tiles are 70% recycled glass.
The laundry room also takes advantage of every inch of space, including a narrow counter that runs behind the sink. One of my favorite features is the lift-up cabinet doors that provide concealed storage for laundry products, household cleaners, etc.
Ok, now after doing this post do I really have to go down to my dark, basement laundry room and put the wash in the dryer?!


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