Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Sneak Peek into an Extraordinary Home!

What happens when an extraordinary person whose creativity and tremendous joy for living is expressed in her home? Well, yesterday I had the pleasure of finding out when I of visited one of the most beautiful and unique homes I have ever seen! Here's just a sneak peak to start with.
Above, lions from Beacon Hill standing guard at this writing desk filled with mementos and treasures.
A pink glass ball, just so, setting off this gorgeous blue and cream striped sofa. I didn't notice it the first time I entered the room so it was unexpected fun to come across it the second time.

Hats on chairs remind the cats where to sit and where not to. Philippe Starck - yes, Queen Anne chair - no. Come back tomorrow for more of this whimsical and joyful home - there is so much more beauty to share. And, thank you to Wanda Crossley of Matthews House & Garden and to the wonderful homeowner for sharing it all with me! It was a privilege.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Reader Request: Ferrules

A reader was interested to know what was the official name for those metal furniture end caps. She's interested in adding some to her furniture and had only been able to find the type with caster wheels. This was a mutual interest for both of us because I'm missing one on my desk that I found via a post by Domicidal Maniac. Here's a pic of a leg with one - before refinishing.

Well after a bit of research I found out what designers probably already know - it turns out they're called ferrules. These examples are from Paxton Hardware if you happen to be in search of some, although I'm sure other companies carry them. Paxton has an informative guide for measuring the size you need here.

I think ferrules give a nice finishing touch to certain types of furniture. Love them on this Sasha side table by Alexa Hampton for Hickory Chair.
On another note, don't forget to plan on going to the DC Design House which is taking place April 10 - May 9th. I've heard from a reliable source that it's going to be terrific!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Room Envy: Light & Dark

Love the contrast here in this bedroom designed by Sara Scaglione - even though it's dark and light the room still feels quiet and relaxed. Sara also happens to be the owner of Shabby Slips in Austin and Houston.

Hope you're having a great week - TGIt' almost F! Is it too soon to say that on a Wednesday?

(Image via House Beautiful, photography by Luca Trovato)

Monday, March 22, 2010

DC Designer Series: Barbara Franceski

The other week while attending the Washington Design Center's Ones to Watch Awards, the portfolio of Barbara Franceski, one of the nominees, really caught me eye. I like the interesting, layered interiors she creates. Comfortable and inviting but with a bit of the unexpected added in - whether it's a bit glam & glitter, an interesting accent piece or an oversized pattern.
Love the fresh spring green accent pillows in this room and the repetition of the oversized nail head trim.

Great pattern!

A bit of whimsy - often reserved for bedrooms this wire model looks terrific here (which I think is in the main living area of the home)
Love Barbara's solution for those very tall windows - it adds to the comfortable scale of the seating area.
What can you say - this is a terrific bedroom! Love how the upholstered element continues from the headboard through the base of the bed.

If you're interested in seeing Barbara's work in person, there's good news. She'll be creating a guest sitting room in the upcoming DC Design House. In a recent email, Barbara mentioned the window treatments have been installed and the furniture and artwork are about to be installed. Really looking forward to it! In the meantime, if you'd like to see more of Barbara's work, you'll find her porfolio here.
(photography by Gunnar Westerlind or Barbara Franceski)

Friday, March 19, 2010

Thomas O'Brien's New Book

Has anyone had a chance to read Thomas O'Brien's new book American Modern?  I just ordered a copy and am hoping it arrives by Saturday's mail. Canadian House and Home featured O'Brien's apartment in their April 2010 issue and some of those images are available on their web site.

Hope you have a great weekend!

(Images from American Modern via Canadian House and Home)

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Happy St. Patrick's Day

Happy St. Patrick's Day!!

Beannacht Dé leat! God's Blessing with You

Rossbeigh Strand, Glenbeigh Co.Kerry, my grandmother's birthplace

Monday, March 15, 2010

DC Designer Series: Liz Levin

After looking through the extensive portfolio of DC based designer Liz Levin, it's hard to believe that her firm was launched as recently as 2004. I like Liz's fresh, clean lined approach to design and her comfortable mix of furniture, fabrics and accents. Every room reads liveable - not an accomplishment as easy to achieve as it might sound. Love the simplicity of this foyer and the very interesting carvings on the black bureau.

I love everything about this bright white kitchen, especially the unexpected modern chrome chairs paired with the claw foot table.

Notice the artful combination of patterns here - subtle zig zag on the sofa, plaid drapes, diamond lattice on the settee and curves on the pillows and rug.
There's a great mix of color and styling of chairs at this dining table; armless chairs in a solid and pattern and Wing back chairs anchoring the ends. Doesn't it make for a very confident and cheerful room?

Liz is also an innovator - after the birth of her daughter she realized how challenging it can be to live stylishly, and in response, launched Liz Levin Nesting. Nesting is a unique collection of custom and high performance furnishings. Case in point is the following Nesting design for a client with children and pets.

"The room had a lot to live up to: it needed to be a gallery, a playroom, a cocktail and TV lounge. Before we got started, we confirmed piano lessons were in the room’s future as well." - Liz Levin

Beside the fact that the space is beautiful and kid friendly - it looks so much larger! To check out more great interior designs by Liz Levin go here.

(Photography by Angie Seckinger)

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Thinking About Your Garden?

You may remember a post I did last summer about the garden consultation I had with Kerry Ann Mendez, whom my friend Anne and I had heard speak at the Philadelphia Flower Show. Kerry's business is dedicated to teaching gardeners how to create low-maintenance, ever-blooming perennial gardens and she recently let me know that she as a new book out! Kerry's lecture was chock-full of short cuts, insider tips and money-saving strategies and I'm sure her book will be too. Although looking at the gorgeous gardens she creates, you'd think they were coddled over daily. For more information on her book, go here.
Kerry also mentioned that the 7th Annual Great Garden and Landscaping Symposium is being held again this year at the The Equinox, a world class resort in Manchester VT April 23 - 24. For more info on the agenda and a full listing of all the nationally known speakers, go here.
For Virginia readers who can't make it to VT, the annual Historic Virginia Garden Week takes place April 17 - 25. The Arlington gardens on this year's tour are JUST up the street from my house but I have to work that day so I won't be able to attend.
(please note these are my personal recommendations and I receive no form of compensation for them.)

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Makeover Winner & Something Very "More"

You may remember the generous giveaway Debra of 5th and State offered last month - an exterior makeover of your home. Debra invited myself, Lauren of Pure Style Home and Deborah of Boxwood Terrace to be the judges. Debra had narrowed down the choices to 10 and the winner is Gay of Michigan! At the time, Debra only shared the photos with us but here is a little more about Gay's story:
"We purchased this house in September 2009 after we found out my husband has leukemia. With the chemo we needed to simplify our lives. This 100+ year old Plain Jane does nothing for us on the outside. I would love to see a porch, plantings for birds, and an interesting landscape in winter..... Color? I am open. Personally I am drawn to an urban country style, more hip and updated."

As Debra began to work with Gay, more of her story unfolded. Here is the "more" in Debra's own words:

"But something else has developed that I did not expect, something profound that could be life changing. Her darling husband needs a bone marrow transplant and there are no matches in the data base, not even his children...A curse I possess..........well, maybe a curse.......is that I am a "fixer". Always wanting to jump in and help, to fix, to make-better. And you know what? Maybe I can and maybe YOU can too...As the blogging community we can spread the word and REALLY help...
Joining the National Bone Marrow Registry. Go here to look up and to sign up. I did and it took 10 minutes of my time. You can offer to donate or for free they will send you a test kit containing a swab to rub inside your cheek of which you return.
And...........imagine the magic if we found a match......the best "giveaway" ever. Are you in?
Blessings, Debra"

Friday, March 12, 2010

Kelley Proxmire's Lobby Reno & the Ones to Watch awards.

Update: Thank you to Judith, with Kelley Proxmire Interior Design, for letting me know they recently posted these images. I was having camera problems and these images are so much better. (images posted with permission) You can also see in these photos the custom black sisal rug with the shiny red border - love that. Last night I attended the Washington Design Center's first "Ones to Watch" award and also had a chance to see the recent lobby renovation by Kelley Proxmire. Periodically the design center invites a designer to transform the space and Kelley's signature style infuses the entry with vibrant, contrasting red and black. My camera was behaving very badly last night - so many of these images fail to capture the crisp, fresh look of the space.
A bit of fun - the WDC monogram for the Washington Design Center.
The artwork on either side of the armoire are commissioned pieces from artist Kevin Chadwick.
Kelley used mirror, glass and metal accents throughout the space. I love the focal point created by the framed mirror panels with the roman shade. A series of beautiful black and gold cherry blossom paintings (a nod to spring in DC) bring down the very high ceilings to a more intimate scale.
Four X-base stools were underneath the glass center table. Kelley has a terrific eye for detail - I always fall in love with her trim choices.

Back to the "Ones to Watch" awards and celebration party. Twelve designers were chosen, including Liz Levin of Liz Levin Interiors. Here she is with friends Stuart and Katherine to her left and Associate Designer Heather Safferstone to her right. Congratulations to fellow blogger Annie Elliott of Bossy Color, who was also nominated along with Shanon Munn of Ambi Design Studio, Inc. who I featured, along with Liz Levin, in this post last year. A full listing of the nominees is available here.
It was a fun evening out - eventhough I mistakenly parked in a Tow Away Zone, got a $100 ticket and had to wander the streets to find my car! A sincere thank you to the Design Center receptionist and security guard for all your above-and-beyond efforts to help me! (my apologies for not having your names to give you proper credit)

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Have you heard of MACO?

Coming back from St John a few weeks ago, I came across a thick, glossy magazine devoted to Caribbean living - MACO. The homes are beautiful and the settings spectacular - here's just a few. (photography by Suzy Hoodless)
photography by Suzy Hoodless
photography by Suzy Hoodless
photography by Dale Curtis
For more interiors, go here. photography by Dale Curtis


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