Tuesday, September 27, 2011

One More Reason to Go Shopping

Decorate your home. It gives the illusion that your life is more interesting than it really is.
-Charles M. Schultz

Photo from last year's Homearama. Designer unknown.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Find Your Center

No, this isn't a post about finding your spiritual center. A recent question on Facebook was about centering artwork on a wall in relation to furniture. Although I chimed in, I agreed with everyone else who chimed in that you should center large artwork over the furniture - in this case a sofa - and not on the large wall in general.

I happened to run into this on a project we recently completed in Virginia. The large lovely painting was centered on the wall when I got there. It had been hung in relation to the old sofa and draperies. We had installed a smaller sofa and new window treatments, but waited to move the picture until the end. With two large brass floor lamps from Restoration Hardware providing the symmetry, we moved everything down, or to the right a little. We could have moved it all further, but when we did, a very unsightly outlet showed to the left of the sofa. Upon entering the room that's all my eyes saw! Ugh! So rather than strictly following the exact measurements, we fudged it a little and it looks so much better. Sometimes it is better to make your rules up as you go.
I will post more pictures of this project later. There are some beautiful silk window treatments and red velvet chairs that you have got to see. We are also about to change the rug, the coffee table and add a settee.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Design Aphrodisiac


I run across design aphrodisiacs all the time. I suppose it is one of the hazards of my job. Or maybe I am just easily sidetracked. Whatever. I just love a good design idea, a pretty little something, or crazy creativity.
Here's something to jumpstart your designer brain. I happen to own a lot of books, the kind you like to curl up in a chair with, by Mary Carol Garrity.
She is the owner of 3 stores in Kansas, the most famous of which is Nell Hill's. Her style is a mix of classic and vintage looks. Mary Carol is a master of display.
Every time I thumb through one of her books, I want to rearrange a tabletop or create some kind of floral arrangement. She is the queen of the tableau or tabletop vignette. Whenever I am creating a little scene, I say that I am vignetting. This is a great way to use some of those smaller decorative items you might have. Another thing you will notice from the Nell Hill library is her love and use of books in decorating.
There is also a to-the-trade collection of accessories that I have used extensively for clients and gifts. You can see these items on her website, but please know that we sell them, too. In fact, if you have ever been to my home, you will recognize more than a few of these items.

As you peruse the website or one of the books, be on the lookout for the following:
Mary Carol's dark navy blue dining room, the video of the Christmas tour, beautiful table settings, multiple uses and holders for candles, great entertaining ideas, bouquets of branches and foliage, and so much more.
She is a kindred spirit. Did I hear someone shout "Field Trip!" ?

Wednesday, September 7, 2011


Well it had to happen sooner or later. My beloved Parisian tearoom has opened new doors in one of my other favorite cities, New York.
I was at the Business of Design '11 conference in NYC last week and took a long walk up Madison Ave. to see the new Laduree and buy some of their fabulous macaroons. Lo and behold - and I SHOULD have expected it - there was a line out the door, as is often the case with cool places in NYC or cool places anywhere. As I was to meet a friend shortly for cocktails, I couldn't wait. Boo hoo, I didn't even get to peek inside to see what the tearoom was like.
Which was probably good as I would not have been able to handle the disappointment. There is no tearoom, no comfortable place to put up one's feet (as if you would ever put your feet up! on what?!)You can only buy your goodies retail, like a bakery. But Laduree is currently looking for a space for a tearoom. I learned all this from another dear friend who DID wait in line, and DID buy me a box of macaroons. Now that is a good friend indeed! Check out the beautiful box I was able to add to my collection. And I would like to confess that the caramel flavor was close to a spiritual experience.
For more information about Laduree, go here