Wednesday, October 22, 2014

100's of Designer Secrets

I love to peruse old issues of my favorite magazines- Veranda, Elle Decor, House Beautiful, Architectural Digest.  A friend of mine gave me a dozen decade-old back issues of AD and the January 2006 copy had great inspiration.  I read it cover to cover, as I do most of them, and '100 Designer Secrets Revealed' was so interesting...
 but not much different from what we believe today.

What stood out then, stands the test of time, and that is timeless designWeighing in were some of my favorite designers: Mariette Himes Gomez, Stephen Sills, Alexa Hampton, Campion Platt, Thomas Pheasant, Mario Buatta, Elissa Cullman, to name a few!  Each designer was asked the same questions and I have summarized some answers for you.

What I took away from this issue is that most people's biggest mistake when designing on their own is:

The easiest way to to get a big look on a small budget is through:
( then mirrors and mixing High and Low cost items)

The best thing to collect if you can afford it is:
which are becoming very rare.

How often do Designers redecorate their home?
RARELY a complete overhaul,
 FREQUENTLY adding and subtracting 

There are so many rules designers use to keep in mind but the most common is:
test the limits !

Many designers are influenced by:
LE CORBUSIER, BAUHAUS style, Nancy Lancaster, John Fowler,Albert Hadley, Mark Hampton, the list goes on.

Is there a classic fabric that will never be passe?

All designers revealed that they have made BIG design MISTAKES.
(like ordering 85 yds of the wrong fabric!)

How to make small spaces look bigger?

Timeless design is perfectly illustrated in this 2006 issue of room designs still popular today:

design by Everage Design
design by Joseph Kremer
2006 in the design world, if you avoid the trends and stay classic, is not that much different than design today!

Monday, October 20, 2014


A phone, no pool, all pets, I ain't got no internet....

Do any of you remember that Roger Miller song?  That was me last week while I babysat Bethany's house and 3 dogs while she and her husband went to Ireland!  It was fun being in her home and taking a break from my normal routine.  

I couldn't get her uber secure, data software security job computer to even turn on, much less her password so I could use my ipad.  I know, I'm "old", but having no internet actually was nice for a change.  I loved that her pups were so at home with me- they hardly missed them or got out of their routine. Winston, aka "winstonthehappybeagle" was such a joy to take care of, and his 'special needs' became second nature.  He is the sweetest dog I have ever known, and so appreciative of the help we give him. You can't tell him he's not normal, and he will prove it!

While I was enjoying her cottage, my husband was holding down the fort at home with the care of our pony, 2 dogs, a cat, and our son's cat who was visiting while Michael was on vacation.  Gibbs sprained his leg and our son's cat got sprayed by a skunk!   Luckily it wasn't as bad an encounter as my husband portrayed it to be, but I gave Mort a de-skunking bath and did the trick. Have you ever bathed a cat?  yikes. I hope I don't have to do that again.

I really love Bethany's house and enjoyed taking pictures with my phone of my favorite things there.

Click over on her  IG feed  and you can see some of her marvelous sites of Ireland.  I am so thrilled she got to experience such an adventure and that I was able to ease her mind about leaving her dogs.  They brought me the most amazing wool throw from the Aran Islands that is now a treasure in my home.  Thank you sweetie!

It was a very rewarding week for me. I am really in my element being around our animals. 

 The leaves are seriously falling and it is so beautiful here in Virginia.  It's supposed to go down to 37 tonight!  
 I hope you all have a great week!

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Deal Alert

I was recently at Restoration Hardware and found this amazing gift idea as well as the perfect throw for clients and myself!  

         The Luxe Faux Fur Throw

The leather strap presentation is awesome!!!

Normally $99 it is now $79. With a velvet reverse side, they are the best quality I have seen in a faux fur throw.

 Run don't walk to get one or several. They make great Christmas gifts! 

This TOSCANE NAILHEAD BENCH is quite possibly the nicest "x" bench ever.

It's so hard to refrain from wanting to buy everything for yourself when shopping for clients!!!

Monday, October 13, 2014

EOS Book Review

Leopard prints and black and white stripes are becoming this girl's trademark.  Get to know Erin Gates and her design work more in depth in her new book:

              Elements of Style: Designing a Home & a Life

This is a design book I didn't put down until I finished it.  Many of  my 'coffee table' design books are solely in my collection because of the images and variety of style by a well known designer.  I am a visual person, love 'picture books' and rarely read for reading sake.  (I keep thinking I'll read more when I retire; I'm too busy to read!)

Erin started a blog in 2006 and when we joined the party in 2011 hers quickly became one of our favorite blogs.  She speaks to fellow bloggers-turned-designers, like ourselves, and her honesty, bare-all stories are endearing and more often hilarious, like the story of the limo drive to her wedding, followed by sirens and police cars and finding out that it was her limo....( not funny at the time, but she made it laughable!)  The forward by her husband, Andrew, is so sweet and touching, a perfect prelude of what is ahead in future pages.  She talks about good and bad times in their marriage, moving in and out of many rentals in Boston, and finding her dream home in the 'burbs, which she was utterly reluctant in committing to.

Needless to say she has redone the entire house, and her style is amazing- fresh, chic, contemporary, with a mix of family antiques.  We love her style and are thrilled to see more of her home and client work.

Erin opens up about her Body Dimorphic Disease and her childhood of glorious memories being raised by parents in the fashion and architecture industries.  Talent is in her DNA!!!   There's so much I'd like to share, but you really need to order it and read it yourself.

Treat yourself to the Elements of Design book. 
You'll be doing Erin and yourself a favor!

Friday, October 10, 2014

Chairs on the brain

In sourcing chairs this week we have come across some beauts... I mean every time I do a job I want new things for my home, like these chairs from Caracole,

or these similar beauties from Crate and Barrel.

Hoping to re-do my family room in the future, I am in the market for a non-recliner- looking-recliner myself and love this one from West Elm:

 Ok, enough about me, FOCUS....we are looking for a comfy accent chair for a client's master bedroom.This neutral MCM chair was at Home Goods for $199 and we saw it on Overstock for $500.  It would have given the room we're designing a little more California-natural look.We loved it but thought the client wouldn't. 

 This one is a contender and a bit out of the ordinary with contrasting backing- love it.

This chair is more of our client's taste, and its a great price point but sold out.

Our time frame is limited, our budget is limited and we are looking for comfortable, just the right neutral color, free shipping, in stock to quick ship, returnable..all those variables we need as a designer for this job.  Stay tuned to see the finished room in a few weeks and see what we found!
BTW, I absolutely cannot stop spending every spare minute reading Erin Gates book, Elements of Style...fantastic!

Happy Weekend!