July 29, 2011

living large in a small backyard

I love small spaces that are smartly designed, and outdoor spaces are no exception. I'm blown away by the clever, beautiful, efficient design of this miniature backyard, filled with pool, tree and boxwood landscaping, ledge-like deck, and brick patio. If you ever thought your backyard was too small for a pool, this design is here to prove you wrong. Actually, with the fountains, I'm not sure if this pool is just a water feature or for real swimming, but does it matter? It's stunning! Even if it's just for looks, you could certainly dip your feet in and walk around. Needless to say, I would love to be in this very spot this weekend, including with candles and wine ;-) And will be envisioning my backyard quite differently now. Watch out!

July 28, 2011

my art has arrived!

Well, I did end up going shopping on Etsy last weekend, and my treasure arrived in the mail yesterday. I couldn't be happier. The colors and the level of detail of this watercolor art are even more incredible when you can appreciate them in person. Thanks, Michelle! Go to United Thread to see more of Michelle's work. I know I will be visiting, because one is now not going to be enough for me.

I now need to head to Michael's for a frame (with a very large mat, I think, to show off this heron even better). And which room will he live in? Stay tuned.

July 27, 2011

great idea: grasscloth panels

via centsational girl


Would this be an easy diy project? I'm not sure, but I think it might be and I'm willing to give it a shot. How awesome is grasscloth in dressing up a just-average piece of furniture?!

You can find grasscloth wallpaper very affordably from Lowe's or get it from the master of natural fiber, Phillip Jeffries, in almost any delicious color you can imagine.

July 26, 2011

structure in the garden

I spent lots to time in the garden this weekend, trying to get things looking good after a few weeks of neglect! That meant lots of mulch and lots of pulling weeds. I also added some more stones to our pea gravel drive and thought I should have bought more to start making a path in our side yard. This got me thinking about how important the big stuff and the hardscaping is in the garden—the large tree, the beds and boxes, stone walls and paths, whether simple or ornate, in creating definition and bringing structure.

wendi young

I need more of this in my yard. It's like the furniture defining a path through a room. My yard still could use some structure to feel really complete. And I need some inspiration to get me there...



melanie acevedo

via pinterest


fine gardening

gilberto elkis paisagismo


The thing about gardens is they usually take years of hard, hard work to mature and come into their own. But when they finally do, and feel full and defined and comfortable, it's priceless having these outdoor rooms to enjoy year long.

July 25, 2011

a room i'd like to start the week in

martha stewart

I think I could be very happy to start the week in a stylish, serene room like this—it's so orderly yet comfortable and warm, like a very chic and inviting hotel room, but better because it has some personality with a yummy paint color, planked walls, beadboard ceiling, and patterned pillow. I imagine throwing open those shutters (those floor-to-ceiling shutters!) and haveing this happy pup greet me, all raring to get outside and enjoy the day. Happy Monday, everyone!

July 22, 2011

some things i still want from etsy

Let's go shopping this weekend, shall we? Here are some things I've been wanting from Etsy for a long, long time.

I adore this pretty ring.

Schumacher pillow, of course not available anymore but maybe she would make another for me?

How gorgeous are these porcelain cups? I would put ice cream in them ;-)

I'm really crazy about all United Thread's art, but this one is my current favorite.

I need another bag. Not. But this one is so sweet and the perfect size for taking out on a summer night. What are you shopping for?

July 21, 2011

headboard alternatives

So this is the headboard I had my heart set on for a client project, an attic guest bedroom, I'm working on.

Isn't she lovely? Well, it's affordable too. And so textured and interesting that it would make a great focal point for the bedroom wall. The problem is, the headboard is tall (why I chose it!). And wide (also great!). But it's absolutely too large to fit up and around the tight turns of the small attic stairs to the third-floor bedroom. So, what's our alternative?

We could do one of my favorite outside-the-box headboard options—a door or shutters. The shutters fold up or come apart to fit easily into tight spaces. And we can do a single door (which is okay because it'll be the background for a twin bed, not a queen) instead of a double door or two doors. What would you choose? Looks like I'll need to head to the flea market or salvage yard to see what I can find...


via dreamy whites


hus & hem

house and home

sherry hart

July 20, 2011

my favorite room at cottage & vine


Today I'm over at Cottage & Vine where Rene has asked me to show you my favorite room—and I'll talk specifically about my favorite space in my favorite room. Does this look familiar?!

Come see where I'm spending lots of lazy afternoons this summer...

July 19, 2011

another guest room design, feeling summery

Does the season when you design affect the final mood/feel/look of the room? For me, I know it does. If I'd been putting this room together in the winter, I'm sure my choices for it would be a little deeper, heavier, cozier. But, as it's the height of summer, I am drawn to lightness all around, and decor that feels like it'd be at home in a beach house.

I just finished this plan for a teeny tiny, third floor (read: attic) guest room. I'm especially into light-colored walls and bedding to keep this cozy top-of-the-house room from feeling too claustrophobic. And I don't want to clutter it up with a lot of pattern, or furniture for that matter. Patchwork on the bed is enough, and from there, I'll bring interest in with lots of texture, but very few other furniture pieces besides an antique dresser the client already has. It's going to be a cool, relaxed, collected-feeling retreat. The client's excited to use this as her "getaway" in the house when guests aren't in it. Now let's see if we can finish the room before summer has passed us by...

Looking to transform a space of your own? Get design help in person or by email. Have a look at my portfolio and then visit my design services page for more info.

July 18, 2011

pure summer inspiration

I always drawn to light and airy images but am especially so now that the seaon is in full swing. Here are a few completely random summery spaces that are inspiring me right now. I can't think of a better way to start this summer day! What do these rooms have in common? From what I can see, just lots of white, and lots of light. Has your home put on its summer look yet?

sid bergamin

house beautiful

jessica helgerson

via pinterest

architectural digest

via ohdeedoh

su casa designs

July 15, 2011

friday food: farmstand vegetables on the grill

Summer food for me is all about freshness and ease, and nothing's fresher than farmstand vegetables and nothing's easier than cooking on the grill. I could eat this grilled veggie mix over bulgur every night of the week. It tastes delicious, and it'll help you feel virtuous in between all your burger and hot-dog grill nights.

Start with a nonstick grill basket. Cut some farmstand veggies into large chunks. Buy whatever you like and whatever's in season. For this mix I used:

summer squash
green pepper
red onion
baby carrots

Drizzle with olive oil, season with salt and pepper, and toss well. Place in the basket and grill until tender. In the meantime, make a rice or grain to serve with the veggies. I really like Near East's wheat pilaf, a mix of bulgur wheat and orzo. Chiffonade some basil or other fresh herbs and toss with the grains, adding more olive oil as you like. Set grilled veggies on top, or mix them in—anything goes. Enjoy!

July 14, 2011

we have a winner! curb appeal giveaway

Thanks, everyone, for entering and helping me celebrate my 250-follower milestone with a fun giveaway. The winner of the custom enamel house number plaque from Ramsign is Kara.

Congratulations, Kara! You'll have to send a picture of your home once it's gotten its front-entry makeover with your new sign. Enjoy! And thanks again, all, for entering and following! More giveaways to come soon since there's so much to celebrate!


July 13, 2011

everyday display in the kitchen

I decided yesterday's post needed to continue since I have sooo many open-shelf kitchens in my inspiration files. And when I read Ashley's comment that open shelving is a call to organization, I thought Yes! Exactly! Maybe that's part of why I love this look so much. Not only does it transform the functional and everyday into the beautiful, it only works when it's super neat and organized. That satisfies both my eye and my OCD tendencies. What say you?

albertsson and hansen

via the zhush

martha stewart

source: ouse beautiful?

source: cottage living?

amie weitzman


style at home

style at home

July 12, 2011

displaying the everyday

Yes, I'm still a fan of open storage—the way it elevates the everyday into something beautiful to look at. Lately I've been finding some awesome examples of display storage—and not just for dishes and glasses and bowls and stuff for the kitchen, which is what I'm usually so drawn to, but also for books and magazines. How lovely are designer Lisa Sherry's custom display bookshelves she created for her home?

Magazines become art in plate-rack-like display.

This reminds me a bit of a bookstore display. Floating shelves have a thick lip to lean books against; the white wall and shelves make a great backdrop, like a white mat in a frame, for showing off colorful covers. Excellent idea.

And a few more ideas for unusual displays, beyond the traditional bookcase and spines-out storage...

But my favorite display of course goes back to the kitchen. Whether it's in my kitchen now, or my kitchen to come someday, I will have open shelving to show off the everyday as gorgeously as this, from the most recent House Beautiful. I just love seeing such jaw-dropping prettiness in the most hardworking, functional room in the home.

chris barrett design
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