Friday, September 12, 2014

Obsessed With



In the words of Andy Cohen, here's what three things I'm obsessed with this week (except it'll never be just three, trust): 



I have this necklace's cousin.  You have to check this shop out.  So good! I get so many compliments every time I wear it.

We are considering this mirror for a client. Love the long lines.

I am saving my pennies to switch out my mirrored nightstands for these beauties.

I love this beachy striped throw.

Surprised at the good price point on this cowhide ottoman!

Dying and I mean DYING over this leather hardware.

Mongolian stools may be out but Target just got on board .

Hair beads? No, pendant light!

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Texture...


It's a key design element, it's what lures us into a room; it makes you want to touch it and  compare surfaces.  

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Whether it's actual or implied, texture is imperative in design.   Have you ever seen a room with all smooth surfaces or the same texture throughout?  It becomes 'too much' and almost mundane, leaving no resting point for the eye. 
 Lesson for the day, remember to vary your textures!



Monday, September 8, 2014

Beach Bummin'


Hi friends.  I've been on hiatus this summer, busy with dog shows and campaigning Seamus for his AKC Championship along with our design business, my day job, training at the gym and all the other facets that unsuspectingly wash time away.  I am happy to report we just got home from a mini vacation at my family's beach house and feel totally recharged.  

I've introduced you to the house before, a labor of love that my Uncle Jack designed and built.  We always reel in the feelings of this house because it is shared with us by my dad's extended family -who warmly and openly grant us time at their little slice of heaven each year.  My dad's family has always been well skilled at 'sharing' and it never ceases to amaze us that they continually offer such selfless hospitality to us.  We are eternally grateful for the gift they've given us this year.

I wanted to share some scenes around the beach.  As with last year, I forgot to capture some of the amazing fabrics my late Aunt Noma used to decorate this home.  If you took one step inside the house, you'd instantly pick up on the timelessness of the design choices made more than 30 years ago.  While some areas are in need of functional updates, I hope the feel never changes.  I have felt more at home here than I ever did at my own family's beach home (which my grandfather sold late last year).

















Isn't that view heavenly?  I have so many memories here, despite the precious little time I've spent in the grand scheme of things.  One year at Thanksgiving, my cousin Thadd and I rowed out to the land surrounding this bay and had to call for help when the tide rose up.  If you look in the distance, over to the right on the above picture, you'll see the hints of gigantic pylons used to construct the new monstrosity that is being erected in place of our old family beach house.  Over the course of the last year, I harbored a lot of sadness about losing our family's house, but I was able to make peace with it during this trip and am thankful two other branches of our family tree still reside at Bethany Beach.

As an aside my genius Uncle, Jack Strang, also played an integral part in re-architecting and restoring the historic Indian River Lifesaving Station between North Bethany Beach and Rehoboth Beach, Delaware.  Below is a picture of the restored guard station, a site where one of my cousins was married years ago.  We love to stop in and look around on our way to the shopping and eateries in Rehoboth Beach.


Isn't it the most beautiful structure?

Last year, we took a picture of Wilma in the canoe in the bay and decided to blow it up and display in our house.  Sure makes our dining nook look and feel a bit younger than that old salty ship relic we had up before.  I am loving it for now!


Lastly, I mentioned that my Uncle's beach house was in need of minor functional updates.  While we think it's perfect as is, my cousins have been slowly but steadily making improvements over the last few years.  During our stay, I kept dreaming of small updates that wouldn't break the bank for the downstairs bathroom. There are no definite plans laid for it now but I know they are hoping to update and rework some of the trouble areas in the future.

I tried to keep my Aunt Noma and Uncle Jack's unique sense of post-modern sensibility in mind while dreaming up little updates.  If you could see their textiles and linens sprinkled throughout the house, you'd notice a gravitation towards navy and rust.  I wanted to incorporate that into my design daydream.


1 - fresh paint always does the trick and Benjamin Moore's Seashell OC would perfectly complement the existing walls of the home
2 - the floor may end up a casualty when replacing some of the bathroom fixtures so I thought a tile that looks like hardwood would be a great alternative one day
3 - Ikea makes a slim profile vanity that would be a great inexpensive option in here
4 - This Ikea mirror would work well with the contemporary lines and has a built-in little shelf for collectibles or soaps
5 - The Jax Sconce from Crate and Barrel!
6 - when doesn't a paper lantern work wonders?  Also won't break the bank
7 - I am crazy about these striated porcelain tiles and at $1.50/sq. ft, they would spruce the shower stall or walls that are prone to moisture right up!
8 - A batik roman shade for privacy would be the perfect hat tip to their style
9 - A vintage scatter rug from eBay (yastik, oushak or kilim) would lend itself nicely to the usual wear and tear from the beach


Friday, September 5, 2014

E client progress


Last month we presented a design plan to a wonderful young mom who wanted to update her family room. She wanted to shop on her own but didn't know where to start, so we suggested a room design plan.  Of the three we presented her, she immediately loved the neutrals with turquoise accents in this plan.
We were thinking she might accomplish this change over the next 3-4 months, when we get an email with photos within a month of all her progress.  This girl is on fire!  We are thrilled that she literally started shopping and painting her tables that week and within a few short weeks went from this:


to this:



 The infusion of color and layers and updated furniture is fantastic, not to mention that amazing custom wood coffee table she had made.  Congratulations on your new room! 
It's beautiful.