Monday, July 17, 2017

Checking in...


Greetings friends!
 I hope you are having a great summer.  We are spending alot of family time in the pool and really have no vacation plans this summer.  We hope to get to the beach before summer's end. The best way to survive these hot, humid Virginia summers is to stay wet!


Alot is happening at PB Interiors.  We are busy with projects as you may have seen on my Instagram account. We have a basement remodel project, a wallpaper/paint kitchen and family room refresh, and a new condo to design from scratch (the clients sold their last house furnished, so they have very little to bring to the new 4 level house!) 

 Our fabulous 'three-peat' client is having their basement remodeled and turning it into a game room, entertainment area, workout room, in-law suite and bathroom.  It will be coming together in the next month and I will get some professional photos taken to show you.  In the mean time, here are the plans and the sneak peaks so far:

The planning phase involves these design boards to paint a picture of the overall feeling of the room. Often a few substitutions are made due to client changes, sale items, or product availability.


The actual sofa, rug and pillow install...
(My iphone photo of installation progress.  I love these West Elm velvet pillows!)

The in-law suite is about 3/4 completed. We're waiting on custom draperies and a few finishing touches.



The game room has been fun to plan.  The wall unit is in place and I am framing their own vintage childhood game boards for a fun and personal touch.




There are assorted backorder and custom items we are waiting on.  This project will take about 3.5 months to complete.

Another project is a new condominium we are helping a couple plan.  I will post that next, so stay tuned.

Take good care!





Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Whats new from Black Crow Studios


While in High Point, NC last month I had the pleasure of catching up with Tracy Hiner, the artist behind Black Crow Studios, who told me about her latest projects.

Series 12


I love Tracy's work.  We often see it at CR Laine during market, and I have purchased some of her prints, and can't wait to use her wallpaper line in our design business.


Here is a sampling of the scale and impressive watercolor 'airy-ness' of her artwork.  First featured is her wallcovering line...

Robbert Passal, designer

Cuffhome Interiors, designer

Tobi Fairley, designer

Her art prints are brilliant and affordable:

Greystone

Teal and Violet
Her latest series is titled "Caliber" and involves immersing paint in large bodies of water and photographing the completely spontaneous affect that happens.  Tracy described the process as using large aquariums filled with water and literally dumping water based paint into the water for random and unpredictable affects.  At first I didn't know what the objects were amidst the clouds of paint.





In this Caliber series, she has taken dismantled gun and weapon parts that she secured from police departments who have taken these weapons from arrested criminals, and rendered them unusable, never to resurface again.  I love that she is making a statement about keeping these guns off the streets, and not putting them 'en totale', but using parts so that it remains an abstract quality in her work.  I think this is a brilliant artistic move, and quite unique.  

I can't wait to see what she creates next.  You can follow Tracy, and Black Crow Studios on Instagram and Pinterest.

This inspires me to make some more art, how about you?





Monday, May 1, 2017

High Point 2017 Highlights


We had a whirlwind trip to spring market in High Point, NC.  It is always a whirlwind, because no matter the number of days we stay, one cannot see it all.  It is both exhilarating and exhausting.  The inspiration is plentiful, and we have so much fun meeting up with our design friends from around the country.  

The highlights of this years market are almost too numerous to summarize.  One of the most pronounced occurrences was the used of mixed metals in everything from accessories to furniture. This doesn't evoke an industrial vibe like it has in years past, but a focus on a marriage of old and new materials.  I loved the mix of metals and raw woods, and natural stones like quartz and even semi precious minerals.


  • Mixed metals, in all finishes, less shiny, more antiqued
  • Clean sleek furniture lines: simplicity and elegance
  • Mixed wood tones, in many raw and natural finishes
  • Geometric shapes in wall paper patterns and textiles
  • Oversized 'statement' hardware on furnishings
  • Bold color, grays are warmer, neutrals have hints of warm color in them
  • Earthy tones, tawny browns- not your 70's earth tones
  • Lucite and glass 


  • Texture in everything including artwork, lighting, rugs-all across the board
  • Natural fibers; raffia, wicker, rattan, leather
  • Mid century modern style
  • 1970's shapes and forms- a bit retro
  • Global influences from India, Africa, Spain, Morocco, Cuba, etc.- gathering cultural vibes
  • Hand block printed textiles and small authentically crafted prints
  • Artisanal creations in all lines
  • Large art and textiles framed as art
  • Found objects and antique finds for accessorizing



This is just a small hint of all that was going on at market. 
                                                                                                                                  
We came back with tons of inspiration and fuel for client projects!
Check out #highpointmarket and #hpmarket2107 on Instagram for more fun snapshots. 
Next post I'll describe the process of the art by the amazing Tracy Hiner of Black Crow Studios. 

Happy Spring!


Monday, April 24, 2017

A great beach read



I was so thrilled to receive an advance copy of Slightly South of Simple by my friend Kristy Woodson Harvey.  I have known Kristy and her mother Beth through their design blog, Design Chic, for years and have loved watching Kristy blossom as an author, and an award winning one at that! This is her third novel and a really great read.  I flew through her other two books: Dear Carolina and Lies and Other Acts of Love; both engaging stories of strong women that you will finish in one sitting....they're that good.

What I love about these stories is that they are both directly and indirectly related to Interior Design.  
The main character in Slightly South of Simple, Ansley, is an interior designer and a widower of seventeen years who raises three extremely different daughters. Secrets are revealed that will change their lives.  The innuendos and references to the design world are fun and the tales of these girls are truly entertaining.

"Exploring the powerful bonds between sisters and mothers and daughters, this engaging novel is filled with Southern charm, emotional drama, and plenty of heart."

The book launches April 25th and I hope you will support Kristy and order her book here.


Here's a darling video of Kristy explaining her new book.

Congratulations my friend, and can't wait to celebrate the arrival of more books in the future.

Enjoy!



Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Tips for creating a stress free home


 I recently gave a talk at my women's networking group, TEAM Win, about living stress free, inside and outside of your home.

If you're not familiar with the decorating principles of Feng Shui (pronounced fung schway), you might enjoy a recap of my notes to help you round out a feeling of positivity, calm and serenity in your environment; be it work, home, yard or closet. 

There really is something to this, so what ever you can do to de clutter and open up the energy in your  home, the better for you and your family.

Jen Dowell Photography

  • Start with a welcoming entry, bringing good energy into the home.  Fix squeaking doors, wash windows, set plants in the foyer-anything that makes you smile when you walk in the door.
  • Clean windows= clear vision and connection to the outside world.
  • Soften angles, no hard edges (block energy); think curves not corners.
  • Clear any obstacles impeding your path through every room.
  • Mix shapes: oval, round, square, rectangle, triangle.
  • Give light to dark spaces.
  • Display favorite items in a prominent spot.
  • Bring nature indoors through greenery, light, natural objects.
  • Create intimate seating conversation areas that invite interaction.
  • Create a balance of light; task, overhead, accent, table, wall lighting.  Use full spectrum bulbs that mimic natural light
  • Have separate rooms for work, tv, exercise; keeping that out of your calm and serene spaces.
  • Work/office space should conceal 'business' behind doors, a screen or drawers.
  • Symmetry = connection to all.  Single items like a single end table, nightstand, etc. point to solitude and not sharing. Decorate for two.
  • In the bed room, position the bed farthest away from the door, but within sight of the door, for a feeling of safety and well being.
  • Have a favorite art piece opposite the bed; the first and last thing you see in bed that brings you joy and inspiration.
  • No family photos in the bed room. Focus on your self and your partner and renewal.
  • Footboards on a bed frame 'block energy and forward progress in life'.  Drape with a throw or put an inviting chaise or chair at the foot of the bed.
  • Use of essential oils elevate mood and behavior.  Calming oils include bergamot, sage, orange, angelica, lavender.
  • A COOL color palette of colors of water, sky, ice and cold make for a calm environment.
  • Less is more.  Clutter free living allows energy to flow freely.
  • Introduce natural textures, not hard and slick.
  • Engage all 5 senses for a subtle and soothing environment
  • Outdoor curb appeal welcomes you home; add flowers, pots on the porch, things that make you smile.
  • Reduce clutter in your yard to welcome you home and reduce stress.
Jen Dowell Photography

Your environment is a reflection of your life and your conscious connection between people, animals, air, water, and soil.  Breathe, declutter, find joy and create a home that makes you smile when you walk in the door; your haven and escape from the outside world.