Monday, February 22, 2010

Family Room Inspiration

I stayed at the Sheraton Delfina in Santa Monica a few years ago and was taken by the relaxed but sophisticated lobby. It's giving me inspiration for my family room redecoration. Love the mix of furniture and fabrics and this leather chair with the nailhead detailing.

This week my posts may be sporadic or all together absent as there's a good chance I won't have internet access where I'm going to be. However, I am doing a guest post on Pure Style on Wednesday so be sure to check that out.
Also, don't forget about Debra of 5th and State's Exterior Makeover Giveaway! For details head over here.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Missing Southern Accents

Not sure why, but I was surprised to see the Southern Accents website was still up. It wasn't House Beautiful or Elle Decor - Southern Accents had it's own unique point of view. I miss it. Do you? (Designer Gerrie Bremermann, photography by Tria Giovan)

(image above, Designer Kim Zimmerman, photography by Pieter Estersohn)

2009 Riverhills Southern Accents Showhouse, photography by Emily Minton Redfield
2009 Riverhills Southern Accents Showhouse, photography by Emily Minton Redfield
2009 Riverhills Southern Accents Showhouse, photography by Emily Minton Redfield
Designer Jeff Woosley, photography by Antoine Bootz
Designer Jeff Woosley, photography by Antoine Bootz
Designer Kathleen H. Rivers, photography by Pieter Estersohn
2009 Riverhills Southern Accents Showhouse, photography by Emily Minton Redfield

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Reader Request: Sources for Wire Grille & Metal Screening

A reader noticed the wire grille in my half-built gray shelves and wondered if I could share the source. Her husband is in the midst of building built-ins and she loves the look. Imagine the red lacquered secretary above without the wire grille - it wouldn't be the same. My shelves came with the grille but after a bit of searching I found an excellent This Old House article full of resources. (image above via House Beautiful here, designer Christopher Maya, photographer not known)
One of the sources mentioned is a company called Rockler. They have two types available, pre-woven wire grill and hand woven grille, in different patterns and finishes.

The This Old House article has a complete buying guide with links for all the screens shown above, including some great patterned metal ones. Love the chain link (C) and mosaic (D) screening. Some of these screens come in 6' and 10' foot lengths and could be used for screens, room dividers or as an interesting window treatment or focal point behind a bureau.
My shelves, before their relocation.
A cabinet from Matthews House & Garden, with a chicken wire grille.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Fancy a Swim? & Thank you to Ragland Hill Social

A few hours passed and I hadn't seen my husband around the house. Just as I was wondering where he was I heard, "Come look at what I did!" Dan had made a replica of himself getting ready to dive into our frozen swimming pool. Just had to document this for posterity...

I'd also like to send out a huge thank you to Gwen Driscoll of Ragland Hill Social for featuring my blog in her It's a Small Blog-World series. If you haven't already checked out Gwen's blog, be sure not to miss it. Gwen is a very talented designer and she posts the most incredible collection of images, including ones devoted solely to a singular color. Pink is next on the list! One of my other favorite recent posts was on the design plan for a client's China Seas playroom here. Gwen - so glad you're blogging!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

DC's Tracy Morris

Back in January '09, I started a series on DC Designers and the first designer featured was Tracy Morris. I recently visited her site and was drawn in by all the new additions to her portfolio and reminded, once again, of her versatility as a designer. Tracy is participating in the 2010 DC Design House; her room is the Artist's Studio and she'll be collaborating with Susan Calloway of Susan Calloway Fine Arts in Georgetown for the featured art work. Really looking forward to that! (all images from Tracy Morris Design)

Love the styling in the photo above with the shawl hanging down.

This last room is from the 2008 National Symphony Celebrations showhouse, which I was happy to have attended on the last day (more here). To see the 2009 DC Designer Series post on Tracy's work, go here.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

A Fireplace in the Bathroom

I'll blame it on Snowmageddon 2010, but wouldn't a fireplace in the bathroom be the best?
(Designer Barry Dixon, Elway Hall, photographer not known)
Image via Country Living, photography Robin Stubbert
image via House Beautiful, designer Peter Dunham, photography by Victoria Pearson

image from House & Garden, via Belle Vivir
If a fireplace in the bathroom isn't in your future (like me), then you can always enjoy Patricia van Essche's beautiful illustration of this charming blue bath. Patricia, thank you for sharing this! (for more wonderful illustrations, go to PVE Design)

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Giveaway - Exterior Makeover of Your Home!

Spring really is, despite all the recent snow storms, just around the corner. The timing couldn't be more perfect for the exciting giveaway Debra Phillips of 5th and State has going on through Feb 24th - a chance to win a customized plan for an exterior makeover of your home. This beautiful Cape Cod style home (above) used to look this (below) before Debra devised a plan to create a welcoming entry and balance the home with dormers and windows in keeping with the architecture and addition of a new wing.

Here is the before of Debra's own 1856 home that previous owners decided to "upgrade" with '70s aluminum siding (above)
and now, with new shingles, trim, landscaping and a completely transformed look and feel. Love this!!
Debra was very kind to include me, along with Lauren of Pure Style Home and Deborah of Boxwood Terrace, as judges for the giveaway. If she hadn't, I would certainly be entering this giveaway. So, don't delay and don't miss out on this chance!

Here are the basics for entering as noted on Debra's blog - go here for all the info:

•email one photo only of the front of your home - debra (at) scentimentalgardens (dot) com
•include a short description of your hopes and dreams
•You can live anywhere, worldwide
•This has a value of $600.00
•Michele, Deborah, Lauren and myself will choose one home to receive a makeover
•Once picked I will send you a five page questionnaire. Included will be email interviews, I will have a load of questions!
•Stephanie Fania, our in-house artist and I will begin the pen and ink rendering with the changes discussed.
•You will receive a completed drawing mailed to you with ornamentation and landscaping suggestions
•Color recommendations
•Included will be a list of sources
•Send your photo, the giveaway ends February 24th!

I'll be in Chicago this coming June and am looking forward to meeting Debra and visiting her Geneva, Il store in person. Here's Debra last June when she hosted a party for Eddie Ross and Jaithan Kochar at Scentimental Gardens.To check out more of her wonderful landscape work, go here.

Monday, February 8, 2010

A Visit from Wanda Crossley & A Transformed Layout!

Quick Summary (otherwise this might be a hard post to follow!): (1) Living Room expands into space that was once the dining room (2) Dining Room relocates to former office/tv den (3) Family Room will become a real family room, with a tv and a small breakfast table for a second place to dine. Credit goes to Wanda Crossley and Kevin Chadwick.

Do you remember the recent feature in House Beautiful where the designer came and transformed the owner's living room while she was gone? Well my experience was even better because I got to stay and observe Wanda Crossley and Kevin Chadwick of Matthews House and Garden work their magic! Originally Wanda offered to help me with my dining room dilemma but after standing in this 10' w X 13' l space, and looking around the rest of the house, she wisely said, "How do feel about this room not being a dining room but rather an extension of your living room?" Answer - That sounds great and then the fun began.

As you can see from the Before floor plan, the former dining room was narrow and essentially a passageway to the rest of the house. Wanda pointed out that using the L shaped space as two rooms chopped the space visually and ending up creating two smaller, cramped spaces versus one larger space that flowed visually. So now the L shaped space is one large living area, with ample space to walk through freely.

That led to the next question: Where will we dine? The original thought was to place a long, narrow farmhouse table to the right side of the family room. This plan was based on the fact that I really didn't want to have a tv in the family room. I only had a few hours with Wanda and Kevin before we headed off to a dinner party but after living in my newly revised space for a few days I began to rethink my self-imposed tv family room restriction, expecially since my kids are older. So now I'm thinking that the family room will become a "real family room" with a tv, new comfortable furniture and a small round table for the four of us to dine at. The office/tv den will become a formal dining room/library combination which I think will take greater advantage of the room's large window and french doors. My writing desk will remain so I will still be able to use it as a work space.
Here's the view from the entry way. The armless yellow sofa that was in the family room is now in the extended living room area, next to the floor lamp that was near the front door. Without any prompting from me, I've found the kids gravitating to it to sit and listen to music or read a book. Artwork is needed for that wall to ease the transition and some color changes may be in the future too.
Here's the view from the kitchen entry side of the dining room looking towards the living room. Notice the round table in the corner - that was my old dining table. I absolutely love it in this corner, piled high with design books! The two Knoll ottomans were moved from the family room into the living room and in the distance you can see the black Wisteria demi-lune table is to off to the side of the front door.
The gray bureau that used to be against the small entry way wall now serves as a focal point when you first walk in. The lamp and mirror were moved in from the family room. This looks so much better in person than this photo shows.

Here's the view from the hallway that leads to the bedrooms. Interestingly enough, that lamp came with a shade that is too small, so it's on my list to replace.
Here's Kevin after we hauled the still-being-built shelves from the family room into the old dining room. (p.s. the glare from the snow really made the yellow appear bolder than it is)
Now the gray shelves face the sofa, anchored by two chairs that can be pulled over for additional seating. The bamboo bar table was pulled up from the downstairs rec room. I really like the simple placement of the artwork on either side of the door to the family room. Somehow Kevin spotted these in a jumble of pieces I had. Recognize the bench off in the distance - it's sitting there temporarily until I purchase new furniture for that space.
A base still needs to be built to give additional height to the piece and the MDF panels are slated to become the doors to the lower half.
I cannot thank Wanda and Kevin enough for envisioning this house in an entirely different way - they are both immensely talented. I'm not sure my photos capture how much better this arrangement looks and feels to me! There are some plans too for adding paneling and molding but I'm still amazed that everything so far was accomplished with what existed in my house that afternoon. My work for the week has been cancelled due to the snow so now I'm excited to start working on my dining room/library and begin an inspiration folder for my family room.

Wanda can be reached at Matthews House and Garden, 9160 John Mosby Highway, Upperville, VA 540.592.7147. Both she and Kevin have some exciting design projects coming up in the next few months. Again - a huge thanks to Wanda and Kevin for breathing new life into my house and for making me feel so included in the process!


Cramped entry with crooked, half-finished gallery wall in the distance. I'll post about the revised version of this entry wall once I reupholster the piano bench I found in my basement. Now the kids finally have a place to sit and put on/take off boots, etc.
Before - this picture doesn't give away how out of balance those two white chairs felt.
Before - dining room


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