Monday, July 25, 2016

A Quick Vacation to Chi-town


A few weeks ago I took a quick trip to Chicago to visit my son, who is in grad school at The School of the Art Institute of Chicago, and his long time girl friend.  The morning of my flight I said to Bethany, "I sure wish you were coming with me".  20 minutes later she booked a last minute flight that came in at the same time as mine from a different airport and we totally shocked Michael, who had no idea Bethany was coming. 
 It was the greatest time having my kids with me 'en totale' again; one of those "mom" moments when all is right with the world.  
We literally checked off the entire list of all things touristy in Chicago, within the two days Bethany was there.  I stayed four, and took a slower pace once she left, doing things Mike, Lauren and I love to do, like meandering through art museums and going to see the Cubs at Wrigley Field.

The architecture, the wonderful boutiques, coffee shops and side streets outside the city in Wicker Park were fascinating. I am not a city girl, but enjoy all the sights and sounds of a bustling city, as a visitor and I especially enjoy the cultural aspects and flagship stores!

Here are some highlights and special moments!



 [The view from the 95th floor at the John Hancock building.]

[ Such phenomenal architecture all around.]

[The Art Institute of Chicago was fabulous,
with a Frank Gehry building just across the park.]

 [Loved this painting: The Big Red Ball by Ellen Lanyon]

 [...and of course a Picasso or two]

[The Ralph Lauren store was so dreamy.]

[The Restoration Hardware store was amazing 
as we shopped with Prosecco in hand.  This was the RH cafe.]

 [We took in a Cubs vs. Pirates game at Wrigley Field,
 a venue on my bucket list.]




I had never been to Chicago before and it was really a treat. 

I hope you're doing something fun this summer! 

 Have you been on vacation?


Wednesday, July 20, 2016

The proper place setting


Just checking in from a super busy summer with design clients, to share a funny Instagram I saved.



[This is also a great tutorial for place settings!]

I hope you all are having a great summer. Check us out on Instagram for updates on our whereabouts and project updates.

Take good care of yourself and others!



Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Inspired by...




  Have you seen the work of Betsy Brown, a designer from Alabama?
 Oh my.



"Modernist sensibilities form the foundation while antiquities inform and balance, providing a delicate tension and subtle energy."  Betsy Brown

Done and Done.


Monday, May 23, 2016

Favorite Room Inspiration and a Stencil


Greetings! I am coming out from under a raincloud to share some inspiration.  It has been raining in Northern Virginia for 17 of the first 22 days of May with record cool temps.  We are in serious need of sunshine here!

I'm looking for some dining room chairs for a client and came across this gorgeous room from Anthropologie.  Stripes are ALWAYS timeless.


What do you think?

On another note, I just finished stenciling a powder room for a client in addition to adding 12 window treatments, assorted pillows and a gorgeous grasscloth papered study.  I haven't stenciled in years and this fabulous stencil from Cutting Edge Stencils made my life much easier.  The client opted out of wallpaper in favor of painting the wall, but I recommended a tone on tone stenciled look to amp up the design factor.  I used semi gloss paint over flat paint, in the same color, Sherwin Williams Red Theater.  
It is very sophisticated, yet subtle.


 Of course there was a learning curve and the most tedious part was cleaning the stencil.  I learned that rinsing it with Formula 409 every 3rd use made quick work of the process as opposed to just rinsing with water or letting it sit in the sink for a few minutes while I worked on touching up the wall. Do not let the paint set on the stencil to harden! It is so hard to scrape off at that point. The website recommends getting 2 or 3 stencils so while one is being cleaned, you can keep on stenciling-note to self for future projects!  The cleaning and drying (of the stencil) process added about 30 minutes for every hour of stenciling- adding quite alot of time to what I thought would be a quick project.  This tone on tone affect using the same color paint is very forgiving and keeps you from obsessing over any irregularities.



Are you getting into spring projects?  

I hope you are having a great sunny spring! 

Happy Memorial Day weekend.


Wednesday, April 20, 2016

High Point Market Recap


What a whirlwind four days we had at High Point Furniture and Design Market April 15-18th! Bethany and I drove 5 hours then hit the floor running day and night.  It is something we look forward to all year long.  The cocktail parties, the showrooms, the people and the products are all amazing.  There is absolutely no way one can see it all.  It definitely is stimulation overload. The experiences we had were highlighted with:

networking with our design friends and industry peers,

the latest in product introductions

 and dazzling showrooms!
Kerry Steele's art at CR Laine
Kelly Wearstler for EJ Victor
Studio A
Vanguard Furniture
Universal
  It was exhausting and wonderful.  I loved meeting some of you that I've only known online.  The sharing of this community of creative designers, makers and entrepreneurs is so rewarding.  We listened to a seminar on maverick marketing techniques by Polly LaBarre, of Fast Company,  that struck a cord about how we need to market ourselves today.
Our takeaway included:

Inquiry beats certainty
Invite someone out of your normal circles for coffee to share ideas
See things differently- ask more questions
What would your fiercest critics say?
'Walk in stupid' as if you're starting over every day.
have "fresh eyes" (love this)



As designers we work in our own businesses independently of other peers most of the time, and it's so refreshing to hear the stories of those who are experts in the field! 

       Look for our next post about what's hot at market and the trends we are seeing!
                                               Happy Spring decorating!