Monday, December 12, 2016

How to Set a Festive Table

I was recently asked to decorate some holiday tables for an Open House at Picket Fence Homes in Leesburg, Virginia.
The first was a snowman-themed table for four starring a jolly fellow perched atop a bed of marshmallow snowballs.  Completing the scene were snowman mugs and whimsical paper placemats.
The "tablecloth" was actually a chalkboard paper runner with a message on the front written in chalkboard marker.
The second table was a romantic setting for two, decorated with an intimate New Years Eve in mind.
Gold chargers, glittery silver ferns, beaded gift boxes and martini glasses full of treats created a festive, sophisticated mood.
Inspirations, instead of names, were in the placecard holders.
And a little Picket Fence wine doesn't hurt, either!
Our last table had a natural, woodland theme and featured a tree branch suspended from the ceiling, resplendent with old fashioned tinsel. (Use your imagination - it IS a conference room, after all!)
A carved wood stag sits as centerpiece among white pine table runners and glittered pine cones and leaves.

Cranberry colored chargers and plates featuring birds complete the picture.

Here are my guidelines for Setting a Festive Table:

Theme - choose one, however subtle it may be
Layer - texture, color or pattern
Shine - add metallic accents for some shimmer
Surprise! - use an accessory in an unusual way (like the marshmallows)
Glow - soften the light with candles or a dimmer switch
Remember my mantra:  Pleasing, not Perfect!!

Many thanks to all the fun people at Picket Fence Homes - 212 S. King St., Leesburg VA 20175
They were expert hot chocolate makers and also provided the holiday recipe cards that we gave away.

Thursday, December 8, 2016

How Cool is This?

Cellular Motorized

Never change a battery again!
Check out this video from Comfortex.
Leave a comment if you are interesting in learning more or need a quote.

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Now I Have Shoes!

The cobblers children have no shoes!
I'm sure you have heard this saying, and it most certainly applies to most designers I know.
We never take the time to finish our own projects.
I have a sofa in my bedroom that has needed to be reupholstered for, oh, about 2 years. (Really longer than than, I have just owned it for 2 years.)
And today I saw this:
This is it!! This is the fabric I didn't know I was looking for!!
It's from the Torca collection by William Yeoward for Designers Guild. 
It is mostly blue with some green in it. The pattern is Luisa.
Check it out in the Rose colorway.
Luisa comes in 7 colors.  See them all at Designers Guild.
Photos are from their website. 

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

It's the Mix, not the Match

Photo courtesy of Tillys

"I'd like it to be kind of Glam", she said.
"Glam?  Hmmm. Not so much", he said.

And so it goes. Trying to find the mix, not necessarily the match. As much as I am so drawn to crystals and lucite and sparkle, I realize that there is a man to please.

Photo courtesy of Tillys

When I spotted this hardware from Tillys, a British company, with it's lucite pole with metal brackets and rings,  I had an idea.
Having recently finished a project with rustic wood drapery hardware, I thought, "Why not use wooden rings on a lucite pole?"
Here is the ring I previously used:
Photo by Antonia Korby Design
It's a splendid mix!  What do you think?
For more information on Tillys, click HERE


Friday, September 23, 2016

Really Beautiful Homes - #5

Some people are just born organized.  I have a lot of friends like that, whose homes look photo-ready any day of the week and any time of day.
That's the kind of person you want to buy your house from, because you know it has been so well maintained.
This is a picture of a house for sale in Leesburg.  It is really lovely inside, with a great floorplan and everything looks new, which is close to the truth, because the house is only 4 years old. You really have to see the master bedroom closet to appreciate how peaceful such organization can make you feel.
The 2-story stone fireplace in the family room was awesome, but I think the backyard is the real showstopper.  The owners hadn't seemed to touch that space but this extra-large open space is waiting for some creative person to put their mark on it.  I pictured a deck and a patio with an outdoor fireplace to sit beside to take in the gorgeous sunset views.
There is no open house planned for this home so you'll need to contact the realtor, Chrissie Goodrum, to see it.  Hurry, though, as they just lowered the price......
Here's the listing:

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

A Kitchen Valance

Seems we are seeing fewer and fewer valances these days.
I love a good valance that preserves your view and gives you the opportunity to introduce color and rhythm to a space.
Following are some terribly dark photos of a valance we did in a kitchen - actually three valances.  We had to match the proportion on the two side windows that flanked a large double door.  The cute ball fringe kept it from being too formal.
The inspiration for this valance was found on Pinterest!

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Really Beautiful Homes - #3 & #4

Hot as it was this past Sunday, I toured a few homes before heading to the pool.

This first home was in my own neighborhood of Raspberry Falls in Leesburg.  I had always admired this house on my walks, as it has amazing curb appeal.  This inside didn't disappoint either!  Currently listed at $1,029,900, this home has an amazing amount of upgrades;  a butler's pantry off the kitchen , numerous fireplaces, a wet bar in the lower level with a beer/wine fridge, a sauna and a private wine cellar.  All the rooms are large and spacious and the large yard is about .78 acres.  But the feature you simply have to see is the 3rd floor loft that has been modeled after a Chanel boutique with custom shelves and racks.  Click here to go to the extensive virtual tour.

The listing agent is Chris Antonelli of the Antonelli Team at Long & Foster.  Chris was very friendly and quite helpful in pointing out features on our tour.  Find Chris here.

If you are looking for a home smaller than the first one, I found a charming one about a mile away. This "farmette" sits on 6 fully fenced acres, with AMAZING views out the back.  Even though this is an older home, the kitchen has been completely remodeled and is really lovely.  The lower level is large too, with so many built in bookshelves. There is a screened in porch that I would absolutely live in if this was my home. It overlooked the private pool! There are 4 bedrooms and the house is listed for $749,000.  This is country living with all the conveniences of nearby Leesburg and only 20 minutes from Frederick, MD. Here's the listing .
For more information, contact the lovely and knowledgeable, Tamara Harrison of Sotheby's.

Thursday, August 11, 2016

Monday, August 1, 2016

Really Beautiful Homes - Part 2

I have been to a lot of open houses, and even more model homes.  But when I asked my husband, who is usually with me and such a good sport, which house we've seen lately was his favorite, he said this one. I agreed with him. It is older than some we've seen, and perhaps not as grand in some ways, but it had a wonderful homey, family feel.
This home had the greatest wrap around porch - on 3 sides!!  The back portions were covered, with multiple seating areas that had lighting and ceiling fans.  All this overlooking a really lovely heated pool with a spa and a custom putting green. 
Note the pretty stonework on the exterior.  The inside boasts very large rooms. The home office was a favorite as it was light and bright and looked like a great place to work, especially if you work at home.  To see the listing, click here.
The listing agent, Jill Adler was delightful. Contact her if you want to see this crowd pleaser!

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Really Beautiful Homes

I love to tour really beautiful homes so on any given Sunday, you might find me at a real estate open house.  The house above is located nearby in Creighton Farms which is a lovely gated community.  Although the home was completed a couple of years ago, it has never been lived in.  The craftmanship of this home is impeccable!  You had me at Habersham kitchen!!   When I asked the listing agent, Lisa Thompson (super friendly, by the way) what she loved about the house, she said there were too many details to list, but that the five fireplaces and multiple outdoor living areas were really what set this house apart. 
This is a golf course community.  The Jack Nicklaus signature golf course is recognized as one of the the premiere golf courses on the Eastern Seaboard.
Even if you can't travel to Leesburg, VA, you can take your own virtual tour here.
Contact Lisa Thompson if you want your own personal showing.
As of today, the home is listed at $2,999,999.

While I was in Creighton Farms, Lisa told me about another listing she had that was a little older but just as beautiful.  This one was in the neighborhood of Beacon Hill, which is also in Leesburg but at the opposite end.

Take the virtual tour here.  And see more photos, here.
If you are looking for a house that is traditional on the outside, but with contemporary touches inside, then this is the house for you!
What was truly striking about this home were the 12 foot ceilings! Even in parts of the basement! The dining room was expansive and light.
The pool area, the patio and the loggia were so inviting, especially in the 100 degree heat we had the day I was there.  This home had a very cool hand painted mural in the bar area and the largest home theatre I have ever seen.  You could host a movie viewing for, I don't know, about 75 people in there.  There was also a great bonus room over the garage which was a perfect teen hangout.
The home is listed at $1,699,000.
Contact Lisa Thompson.

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

The Finishing Touch

We added the finishing touch to this room.  A pillow made of Duralee fabric. 
Actually, two pillows did the trick.  This one is a bolster we call a Tootsie Roll.
It looks great on this extra long sectional!
Bolster fabric also by Duralee.

Thursday, July 14, 2016

The Palladian Shelf - my new bff!

My new BFF is not very photogenic.  You will have to wait for the sequel to this story to see her real loveliness.
Have you ever had a Palladian window - a half circle over a rectangle - that needed covering? And then you realized that there was no piece of wood moulding to install the shade to?  Lots of newer Palladians have a mere piece of vinyl separating the top from the bottom.  If you have a window treatment that can't be installed into the sides of the window, you are in trouble.
This has happened to me before and it always seems to be in 2-story foyers or over bathtubs where the installation is more difficult to begin with.
Enter the Palladian shelf!
This beauty comes in several colors and stains or unfinished so you can customize the color yourself.
First you install this bracket horizontally on each side of your window where you want the shelf to go.
You can see where the shelf is notched to go around the bracket.  You just slide it on!
Side view of a shelf that has been slid on to the bracket.

And that's it. The shelf is extremely sturdy.  Now you can install the window treatment to the underside of the shelf.  In my case, I will be installing to both the underside AND the top. Stay tuned!
I think there could be plenty of other creative applications for this shelf.  Let me know what you think!
Shelf is from Graber.

Monday, July 11, 2016

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Wine Shelf

We don't know what to call it, so it has become the Wine Shelf by default.
German made by a former Brit (he Brexited??) out of wine crates from the Bordeaux region of France.  It has a rustic wood top and whisper quiet slide out drawers. 
We started calling it the Wine Storage but we are not storing wine it it - although you could.
Here in the studio we are storing fabric samples. The top is perfect for laying out design schemes.
These wine shelves are available for order in all shapes and sizes. Some are double sided and make a great kitchen island. Some even have wheels. Let me know if you need me.  I assure you, you do!

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Small project - Big impact

Watch what happens when you choose gorgeous fabrics.

This was a very small project that we finished yesterday.  My client needed a finishing touch for her newly renovated basement.  It turns out all she needed were some pillows to tie two seating areas together.
She was befuddled by this mishmash of pillows on her leather sofa. (There, I said it: befuddled.)

An adjoining seating area of four chairs circling a round table looked stark.
We had one blue and brown pillow made from a graphic chenille from Clarke & Clarke and four pillows were created with a chic metallic printed velvet from Kravet. We tied them together using the same Kravet metallic beaded trim in a copper color.We chose copper to coordinate with the trim detail underneath the bar. (see the bar behind the sofa in the first photo) We used down pillow inserts.
 Kravet trim: T30638 - color 66
For the leather sofa we removed all the pillows and simply put two slate blue velvet pillows the client owned back on, topped by the blue/brown pillow. There was already so much symmetry going on in the space so we only used that one extra pillow.
We placed the four lumbar pillows on the white chairs. Voila!  Much more inviting!
Check out the hide rug under the coffee table.  Beautiful!

Monday, June 20, 2016

Pairing Wine with Furniture (huh?)

Last week I took a whirlwind 30-hour trip to New York City to attend an event where wine was to be paired with furniture.  Imagine!  I couldn't. So I had to see it for myself.
The event was held at the Flatiron Design Collective on West 21st St. (There was a minor snafu when I received 2 separate email confirmations with 2 separate addresses, but I am not easily beaten by that sort of thing.)  The Flatiron Design Collective is comprised of 3 different businesses that share a showroom.
The first is JLCreate, which is John Lyle's company.  I had to pleasure of meeting and talking with John and learning just a little bit about his design process.  He designs luxury furnishings and accessories and approaches design with a sculptor's eye.
 John Lyle and Cleo the dog.  Fromental wallcovering behind us and in the small office.

It was fascinating to learn the different mediums (media?) he works in:  metal (all kinds of finishes), wood, shagreen, glazed linen in all kinds of colors, tobacco leaves and cow bone.  COW BONE, you say?  Yes, it sounds so strange but John mostly uses it as an inlay.  It looked a bit like ivory.  And tobacco leaves?  I asked him if he was from Virginia, and he said no, Mississippi. The tobacco had the look of veneered wood on table tops.  It was all gorgeous. You've heard of a bed of nails? Well here is a table made of nails:
 JL Create table made of nails.  CL Curated rug.

Underneath the table is a rug from CL Curated, which designs and creates site specific rugs.  I wish I had learned more about CL Curated while I was there.  The samples were beautiful, in rich graphics and saturated colors.
The third collection in the Collective was Fromental, maker of swoonworthy handmade wallpapers and fabrics.  The pictures do not do this collection justice.  Think about silk, which is hand painted and then hand embroidered. After paper backing it, it is applied to the wall.   Some of the embroideries included beads, making a unique 3-D wallcovering that is truly a work of art!

On to the wine pairing!  Adam Japko of Esteem Media led this unique presentation.  Adam writes the blog Wine Zag (click here) He's a super friendly guy whom I've met several times before.  Adam has a open minded approach to wine tasting, with an easy going curiosity.
 Adam Japko discussing a slide.  Fromental wallcovering in the background.  All furniture and accessories by JL Create.

He was sent several pictures of John Lyle's furniture to which he had to assign a wine. So, unlike pairing wine with food, he tried to assign wines that spoke the same language or had a similar quality to a piece of furniture.  His insights were engaging and dynamic. For instance he paired a wine with a specific table because they both "make you think".  (I think he meant they were complex.)  In any case, the whole event "made me think".  So many elements of any art form, be it furniture making, painting, wine making, sculpture, music or food, are similarly described. They conjure emotion.
Elizabeth Ralls, Editor in Chief of Atlanta Homes and Lifestyle magazine was also on hand to show examples from the pages of the magazine for the various styles of furniture.
Here are the wines we tasted:
I wish that I had the slides to show you what was paired with what.  But I wouldn't remember anyway! I was a little preoccupied drinking the wine!
Click on the links to see some truly inspirational people and products.
CL Curated
JL Create

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Barn Wood Shutters

With so much emphasis on rustic finishes right now, you might want to consider these:

                                                    Not shown is a driftwood finish.

We are so excited to carry this new shutter line in the studio! And the best part? Made in America! They are the highest quality but at a competitively appealing price.

Maybe you like shutters but feel that they are a bit too traditional looking for you. Then you will LOVE these!  Contact us if you'd like to drop in to see all our shutter options.  Or, we can also bring them to you!

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Water or Wine? 

Toni said,  "Look at this multipurpose fabric from RM COCO that is water repellent!" 

       Called Piper--this luxurious matte multipurpose retails for less than $50/yard.

Ruth replies,  "Does that mean it's wine repellent too?"

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Cantonese Jars

Look at the Dana Gibson wallpaper from Stroheim in our Connecticut powder
room project --- so thrilled that we forgot to move the ladder! 

Would you put this wastepaper basket 
from Dana Gibson in the powder room?