Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Color Makes the World Go 'Round

Remember dancing with a pinwheel on a summer day?   800 colors of window shades look like pinwheels to us----and offer light control, privacy and energy efficiency!

Courtesy of Color Lux by Comfortex

Monday, July 24, 2017

Connecticut Blue

If you think choosing a fabric for a project is difficult, try finding a matching solid for lining and facing.
For our upcoming Greenwich, CT project we have two window treatments. Both designs include a colored facing for part of the treatment.  The fabric above, from Charlotte Moss, was easy.  The client wanted something silky and this faux silk in a rich gold color from Maxwell Fabrics was perfect.

And then we went in search of blue.

You may remember this powder room, also located in Connecticut, that we showed a while back:
The Dana Gibson wallpaper had the most delicious, vibrant shade of blue that turned out to be a challenge to match for banding on a white Roman shade we were making for the window.  We ended up using a Dana Gibson trim, because there was no solid blue to be found!

Now we call this particular shade Connecticut Blue, because it is the exact same blue as before.

We are not ones to give up easily!
We found a beautiful cotton sateen that will work perfectly!
This one from RM CoCo.
Want to use Connecticut Blue in your next design? Bring it!

Blue and white fabric from Bailey and Griffin, available through Duralee.

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

A Little Design Hack

Maybe you remember these sheer draperies from a couple of months ago:
The homeowners decided they wanted tiebacks for this window treatment.  Easy enough.  But they were out of town and wouldn't return until long after the tiebacks were installed.  Which posed a bit of a dilemma.  How to hang the tiebacks. 
The finished draperies extended quite a ways beyond the width of the window.  If the drapes are the same width as the window you can usually get away with a hook or a nail in the side of the wood trim surrounding the opening.  In this case I was going to need to install something in the wall.
I don't enjoy punching little holes in people's walls without their consent, especially in a brand new home.  Then it hit me! Command Hooks!  I use them all the time for Christmas decorations, hanging pictures, etc.  I found some very small, clear hooks and they worked great!  And if the clients don't care for them or want to change the height of the tiebacks, it is easy to remove them.  Magic.

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Play Outside!!

I'm a summer-time girl for sure.  I'd stay outside all day if I could, but since most of my work is in the INTERIOR of a home, I do spend most of my work day inside.
While I have hundreds of ideas for outdoor living, here are lots of ideas from other industry experts.  Thanks to MakeSpace for featuring me in their recent article.
 Here's the link:

And since summer is the biggest season of the year for moving, check out MakeSpace's blog for other ideas for storage, moving and organizing.

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

And You Don't Have to Wave at Every Golfer!

Last week's installation in Williamsburg was interesting because it was the first time I'd every designed something "blind".  I was sent the measurements by the homeowner and she chose her fabric from memo samples I sent her.
This is the room I walked into:
That trash on the chair is mine! 
What a light, bright room with lovely views of the golf course! Which is OK if you are sitting out on the deck, but there was no privacy when you were inside.
The fabric we used was an embroidered linen-look from Duralee.
The sheers were chosen to coordinate with one of the embroidery colors, and were also based on the following phone conversation:
"Are your walls more grey-ish or more yellow-ish?"  "More yellowish."  Talk about your leaps of faith!  I have to say, those sheers were such the perfect color against the walls, I wanted to do back flips.
We used a napped lining which gave the pleats a beautiful roundness:
 The hardware had a bronze finish and we used very simple finials:
And here is the finished design of stationary panels over sheers:

 Isn't that chair in the foreground to die for?  We recovered it at their previous residence.  Feels like I've been working on this room for 10 years.
 And now there is no need to wave to every golfer or neighbor who passes by!
Sheers are from Kasmir.
Decorative drapery rods from Select Hardware.  Traverse rods from Kirsch.

Thursday, February 23, 2017


There is an incredible swatch floating around the studio with peacocks on it.  It has one of the largest pattern repeats I have ever seen (40" vertical, and 54" horizontal!!)
That's the one from the RM Coco website.
Here's the picture of the swatch in the studio:
So you see, you get two peacocks for the price of one!!
(Wouldn't this be amazing upholstered to the back of a chair!)


From the sublime to the ridiculous!

Monday, February 20, 2017

Tony Duquette Wisdom

From a 3-day lecture series given by Tony Duquette at UCLA in the early 1970's


Thursday, February 16, 2017

Designer Luncheon

What a great day yesterday! I attended an event for designers at The Sweetwood Collection and Valerianne, where we had lunch and caught up with friends. 

This is a beautiful spot for shopping.  The girls, Stephanie and Denise, from The Sweetwood Collection, are the ones to see if you are looking for unique finds, accessories, art and repurposed antiques.

Aimee, from Valerianne, carries gorgeous high-end bedding and other textiles. 

When I got home, I removed the bow from my little giveaway, and it landed right on a paint swatch on my desk.  It looked so pretty there.  It made me smile. Sort of life imitating art.

Then I noticed that it looked good with a citrine stone that my son had given me for Christmas and told me to keep on the corner of my desk to attract prosperity!
 Valerianne and The Sweetwood Collection
295 Sunset Park Dr.  Herndon, VA 20170

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Be Mine

This bit of divine lusciousness showed up today without a card. The box says these were fresh from "the farm" . They came wrapped in brown paper! I love the addition of succulents, the loose branches, the barely there color, the unstudied look.
but who sent them?

Text to my daughter, Skylar:
Me:  Did you guys (Skylar and her brothers) send me flowers? Because there is no card.
Sky:  Yes! There should've been a card that talked about how pretty your are, but oh well
Me:  Wait! I found the card, but it doesn't mention my looks or anything.....
Sky:  It's implied.
Me:  I knew that.

Happy Valentine's Day to you and those you love!

Monday, February 13, 2017

Winter Poetry

The font of this poem looks like it has been outside in today's high winds - all whipped and wispy.

"While the slant sun of February pours into the bowers a flood of light.  Approach! The encrusted surface shall upbear thy steps, and the broad arching portals of the grove
Welcome thy entering."
 - - William Cullen Bryant

Saturday, February 11, 2017

How Pinteresting !

Just like you, probably, I love Pinterest as a way to save ideas for future projects (and for the funny pet photos).
My "Windows" board is a place for me to file away great window treatment ideas for myself and for clients. I have over 3000 pins on that board, so I guess that makes me just the slightest bit obsessed.
This photo caught my eye:
 Something I've never seen before: a swagged tieback on a drapery panel.  Very fancy and what an opportunity to use multiple kinds of trim! I count at least three!  Oooooo, and that beautiful rosette.  I miss the days of employing so much detail and really expressing your artistry.  Now it's just plain drapery panels and Roman shades. Let's hope the tides turn soon (and they usually due) and we see a return to touches of luxury in our homes.
Pinterest credits this photo to Donna Hovis Interiors.  I'd like to meet Donna Hovis.  I bet she's a doll!

Friday, February 10, 2017

Seeing Stars

Isn't this cabinet with inlaid stars from Jonathan Charles amazing?
My rep told me (and I hope I remember this correctly) that it takes 7 men 7 days just to lay out the stars.  Each star has 8 pieces to it. Can you imagine?
This closeup isn't great because I took it from their website.
As if the beauty of this piece isn't enough, there is another reason why you want this cabinet -
Use it as a bar or anywhere you want a little storage with style!
See lots more stellar goodness at  Jonathan Charles

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

One Girl's Trash another girl's treasure!
 While sitting in our library last night, sipping wine and waiting for dinner to be ready, I was struck by the beauty of this floral arrangement in the semi-dark room.
The container was sitting on my friend's garage floor. "I'm throwing that out," she said. "You can have it if you want it". I drove seven hours with it between my feet.
So glad it has a new life!

Floral by CPK Floral Designs

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

More Miss Mix-a-Lot

Although it looks like we are mixing it up in the studio again, we are actually searching for a finish for a custom furniture piece.  And then it hit us! We could recolor our driftwood shutter to match (or mix!)
These are the most amazing shutters - available in any color your little heart can dream of! And made in Virginia. We love that.

Which color would you choose?

Monday, February 6, 2017

Sunday, February 5, 2017

What Every Girl Needs for a Football Game

There are two things you will need for the game tonight:
A lucky beetle, and......
A Komboloi necklace. The beads were originally designed to aid in the saying of prayers (can I get a Hail Mary?!) or just to help you chill, like worry beads.
Anyway, good luck to you and your favorite team.

Check out the rest of the India Hicks products designed to make you look and feel SUPER this SUNDAY.

Saturday, February 4, 2017

Stone Tower

Friday night was full of nice surprises.
Stone Tower Winery, here in Loudoun County, Virginia, had it's wine pick up night for Tower Cru Club Members.  They promised a couple of food trucks and music by Gary Smallwood, but they WAY over-delivered in terms of ambience and fun!  Every room of the large facility was full of people enjoying wine and having a good time.  It was a really cold night, so it was surprising to see so many people willing to drive to Leesburg.
We met some really friendly people while we listened to Gary Smallwood!


Friday, February 3, 2017

Today's Installation

Remember the throw swags of the 80's and 90's?  If you ever tried it, you quickly realized that you couldn't make one long piece of fabric dip and dive and swag and come out even like you wanted.  If you were successful it was because you used an entire box of pins, AND velcro, AND a glue gun AND there was a lot of swearing involved.
I learned quickly that you could fake the whole look, and actually improve it, if all the sides of the window were treated with separate pieces.  It is SO much easier to control this way!
Today we started with a blank window. We added a cordless honeycomb shade for light control and privacy.
Prepare yourself - the rest of the pictures are just about this dark.  I sent a phone in to do a camera's job!
Since this was a traditional living room, we went with a slightly more formal pole swag to mimic the style that looks like it's just been "thrown" over the rod. The three pieces we used were a rodpocket panel, a pole swag and a double cascade on a tack strip. We chose a wood rod so we could staple the swag and the cascade to it.
Wonder why it's asymmetric? It's because it's one of a pair!
And here's the look with the blind raised:
All this - and NO swearing!

Damask fabric by Duralee - #D161328 in Pearl
Drapery hardware from Graber with Urn finials.

Thursday, February 2, 2017

Groundhog Day

Seeing as it's Groundhog Day AND #TBT, I'm tempted to reuse a quote from the past.  But I'm a creative person and I do not like to repeat myself, so here is a new one.

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Pattern on Pattern

What's your pattern threshold?
It's a question I ask a lot. It really means; How much of a mix of patterns can you have in your space without making your eyes go crazy?
Some people have such a low threshold that they don't care for ANY pattern.  They want everything to be solid.  Others, like me, have a "Too much is not enough" attitude.  I once had a kitchen that was a mix of NINE different patterns.  I loved it!
There are times when you have such a brilliant focal point, like a great piece of artwork, that you want everything subtle around it, so it can shine like the star that it is.
Here's an example of how I like to mix it up.  My India Hicks tropical leaf scarf paired with a totally different print sweater. Trying to mix my seasons!!
What do you think? Would you wear this combination?
This scarf, with all it's shades of green, looks great with a plain white T-shirt or a little black dress. No one will force you to wear it with another pattern!  You can buy it at India Hicks.

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

I'm Blushing

Actually, the new Jan Showers collection from Kravet is blushing.  Isn't this gorgeous?
Equally attractive with gold accents......
...or silver!
That embroidered linen is so gorgeous I can't handle it.
The Jan Showers collection comes in other colorways as well.
Check it out at Kravet

Monday, January 30, 2017

Colorful Stories

I had a very colorful childhood.  It was a good childhood, don't get me wrong.  I have a huge list of relatives and I spent every weekend with one group of cousins or another.  I remember complaining, as a teenager, "Ugh, I can't go do such-and-such, because my relatives are coming over!"  To which my friend replied, "I wish I HAD some relatives".
I had an Uncle Bunny, an Aunt Peachie and an Aunt Baby Sister.  Baby Sister hated her siblings calling her that, so they shortened it to B.S.
I have a house full of treasures handed down to me from my extended family. I call them Grandmotherly Things. Recently, my cousin gave me this antique crib:
You see it here, in my sunroom, or as I refer to it, the Room Where Old Furniture Goes to Die.  I haven't planned how to decorate the sunroom yet, and every old hand-me-down seems to land there.

Anyway, back to the crib.  It was in my grandmother's house forever, long after there were any babies to sleep in it.  It would be completely illegal to use it now, but somehow we all survived. (There were 16 grandchildren on that side of the family.) We used to play in it every chance we got.  When we spent the night, we'd sleep in it, even though we were well into elementary school.

My cousin had it stripped and repainted and it is beautiful.  Look at the detail of the side latches.
Notice the side rails are both down.  If the side latches were to slip, that rail drops quickly to the ground and it is heavy as lead! It would take your foot off! My cousin used a strap tie to make sure they stayed up.
I don't have any grandchildren yet, and I'm not sure what to use this for. A friend said to use it for display.  Display what?
It's a little too big for my studio.  What would you use it for?  Please leave me your suggestions in the comments below.

Monday, January 16, 2017

The Dana Gibson Powder Room

Awhile back, I showed the beginnings of the coolest powder room, with it's bright blue Dana Gibson wallcovering.
Well, the window treatment was finished and installed and we all couldn't be happier.
Remember the Before?

Look at it now with it's Roman shade valance in bright white linen:
 The trim is also from Dana Gibson and is called Tra La La.
 The trim reminds us of the icing on a Hostess cupcake!
 Drapery workroom:  Fabrications
  Dana Gibson collection of wallcovering, fabric and trim available through:  Stroheim
  Installation by:  Rob-0's Superstar Installations