Saturday, April 17, 2010

Every room needs a smile....

via flickr user decor8 original source unknown.
via flickr user deardaisycottage

( via decor8 ...I am seeing a LOT of these plate collages and am dying to create one for myself!)

via flickr user missJJj
via decor8

For your smiles.
I go into a lot of homes. I mean a LOT of homes. Really, really nice ones too.
It's not the grandness, the fanciness or the formality that pleases me. No, it's the delightful unexpected touches....that thing you wouldn't expect. I like to be caught by surprise by these little touches , and it happens more often than not. Everyone has a sense of humor, but only some decorate with it.
Even if it's just a small touch, a turquoise door frame set against a black wall.
A spray painted, formerly ugly chandalier...plates or sheet music layered on a wall--
Every room needs a touch of whimsy, humor and laughter! And obviously, it doesn't have to be expensive.
These ideas were gleaned from of my favorite sites to find inspiring ideas.
I've recently come to terms with my whimsical side so I see nothing wrong with a pink rhino head in the mudroom. In fact, it makes me smile.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Crust and Crack

I'm a Gemini. Meaning, there are two of me in here! One of me adores bold, clean lines and a lack of clutter that is the very essence of chicness. The other me, however is still in love with Olde World....aged, crumbling antiquated things that have history and mystery. Especially wall finishes. As a surface designer, Olde World finishes will ALWAYS excite me because they typically employ the use of plasters and layers and textures and good smelling's much more of an event than say, painting row after row of crisp stripes, which is more of a task really.
But 'Olde' can be chic, of course! Chic wasn't invented this morning after muffins!
Yesterday in the mail, Gerard Butler arrived via Architectural Digest. His NY loft is a triumph! Who knew Gerard had such a soft underbelly? A man with cherubs on the ceiling of his foyer! He's got a crystal chandelier in his kitchen for goodness sakes! To die for. Very Olde World and very intriguing.
I guess that's how I feel about it, if it's already withstood the test of time, why would anyone think it's going away tomorrow? My eye keeps going back to that photo of the kelly green does that color ever excite me. But so to does the beat up wall and the well loved upholstery and the oddly out of scale wall sconces, that turn out to be not wall scones at all but little, plaster, Asian ,lady heads.
I've been spending a lot of time lately trying to define my own personal style and I am delighted to say that it's a happy mix of the two 'me's...the sleek and the crusty. I once read a quote by some artist long forgotten...that it doesn't matter if what you like doesn't seem like it will go together...something about your individual eye draws you to an object, and when placed amongst the other things you truly love, it all makes sense.
Don't worry about labels, just love what you love.

photo credits:;

Friday, April 2, 2010

Bold use of color -inspired by boutique hotels

My dream job would be to travel around the world, staying only in boutique hotels, photographing them for others to see. ( There appear to be people blessed by such a profession....I've seen their work on the internet...lucky ducks! ) While I'm dreaming, I might as well wish that this particular profession allowed me to eat in the lobby floor restaurants without gaining a pound. A girl can dream, right?
I am so often inspired by the unique and bold styles of the smaller hotels-the one, or few of a kind hotel.
The designers of these hotels aren't bound by the laws of appealing to the masses and are free to design for a more quirky yet well travelled clientele.
Today I am seeking interesting color combinations and find maroon and hot pink, deep purple and black and true teal and lime to satisfy my craving.
If you are like me and travel is a few times a year kind of event, try out this website for an armchair vacation. (photo credits

Thursday, April 1, 2010


all photos via flickr

I love stripes. I have always had at least one striped room in my home. Currently I have no stripes, and it makes me frown. But I won't be frowning for long!
My family room is painted Candy Apple red on 3 walls and black on the 4th wall. There is gold metallic dentil moulding running around the entire room. It's like Vegas, baby.
I want to lighten up a bit, and add a bit of whimsy and I am planning to mark off wide stripes in raspberry with the existing Candy Apple red.I cannot wait until summer to complete this project! The only question is should I go vertical or horizontal?

Anyhoo...Stripes are so crisp, preppy, fun, summery. What's not to love?
I am loving these eye candy shots of some fabulous stripes! Painting the navy and white bathroom would require the patience of Job, but what an effect!
Even one wall of stripes, applied in almost a headboard fashion, is fiercely bold, but not overwhelming.
Let's not forget the 5th wall, the ceiling! What a lucky baby to look up and see such sunshine!

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Mirrors....the cruddier the better

via (mirror no longer available)


Brand new mirrors just seem to be to be soo......shallow. I like a mirror with a story to tell, a mirror with a bit of age to it. Did you know that decorative artisans can make a mirror appear antique and fabulous using a series of chemicals they have been trained to use? Click the link to my friend Regina's awesome site to see a boutique treated to the antique mirror treatment. Wow!!!
A rudimentary version of this ( but not nearly so cool) can be created by dabbing the back of a mirror with toilet bowl cleaner ( use your brains, wear eye and skin protection and work in a ventilated area). I also found this charming version of how to antique a mirror at

And while we're on the subject of very cool ideas....why not mirrors in the kitchen????
Especially a small kitchen, that would really open up the space. Here, simple mirror tiles were antiqued to create a simple yet intriquing backsplash.

It's Spring!

I'm really into butterflies lately, and there is no shortage of butterfly stuff to be found.
The past couple of years of my life have marked incredible change for me in every way; I barely recognize myself anymore sometimes, but I like who I see! Somedays I feel like my past was the big cocoon from which I have emerged fresh and clean and different.
Butterflies are a symbol of rebirth and change...and spring!

In my daughters' bedroom I have a similar version of this, but with white butterflies on a pale aqua wall. I have another 'butterfly explosion' in my kitchen. (Oh, that sounds kind of bad, doesn't it!)
There is a lot to love about this room ( taken from Traditional Home Magazine) aside from the butterflies. I love the indescribable shade of gray on the bed. I love the 'granny sofa' look of the headboard and footboard.
I am finding myself drawn to rooms that are really light and airy now, too. I'm always going to be crazy over color, but I am seriously considering painting my own bedroom a pale shade of gray. Possibly in a Venetian Plaster finish.