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Thursday, April 24, 2008

The next Jackson Pollock

I turned in a thesis paper and 6 final architectural drawings for this semester today! (Yipppeeee!) It feels so good to be finished, albeit temporarily. It was a tough semester but I was never to busy for art!

As you may know, many schools have had to discontinue art due to budget cuts. This saddens me deeply. As a girl, art period was always my favorite time of the day. I have no doubt that it contributed immensely to my chosen profession of interior design.
In Arizona they have a program called Art Masterpiece which provides parents the opportunity to present art to their children's class. I didn't hesitate to volunteer.The biggest challenge for me is coming up with projects that are suitable for kindergartner's. Our March lesson was on Jackson Pollock. I began the hour with a children's book on the artist. Then it was onto the art portion of the program.

This involved a large blank canvas, 6 bottles of paint and 24 kids. Yes, I was thinking, "Yikes!"

The kids were great about taking turns and encouraging one another. It was a great project, I think it turned out very Pollockesque.

The masterpiece now hangs on a prominent wall in the school library.

I can't tell you how proud I am of these kids. I got a lump in my throat when I read the last two lines. (You can click on the photo to enlarge it.)

I can't wait for next week's lesson on Michelangelo.

Friday, April 18, 2008

A silver post

My 25th post! It calls for all things silver. I love this silver lamp from Horchow. It would look so nice in a bedroom.

Things are heating up around here. How is the weather where you are? Do you need this fan from Pottery Barn?

There is something so cooling about mercury glass. I love this urn from Wisteria.

I imagine you couldn't help but smile while looking into this silver leafed sun mirror by DouglasRosin.

I don't think it gets more glamorous than these shell backed club chairs by Swallowtail.
This bathtub seems to call out for champagne. It is available from Horchow.

This commode in silver is from 1st Dibs Paris. Tres Chic!

The classic Klismos chair made fresh in silver by Jean De Merry.

Have a wonderful weekend!

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Rose Bowl Treasures

Sunday was a wonderful day at the Rose Bowl flea market. We arrived a little after 8am and it was already hot, hot, hot!

My friend T was laughing about my cart, but in a short matter of time she was helping me fill it up.
I was excited to find a terrific barkcloth liner for the cart. I have been thinking about sewing one up for ages, but have not had the time.

The vendors had an assortment of things to sell. There was definitely something for everyone.

One nice and talented vendor was Donna Wilson. She creates fun bags using vintage suitcases and images. (If you click on the photos, it will enlarge the image.)

Elizabeth, a British seamstress, offered wonderful box pillows in great selection of fabric.

I bought two for my bedroom settee.

It is almost impossible for me to pass by any table or bin that holds buttons, lace, and tatting.
I have a few projects in mind for this lovely assortment. I promise to share soon.

I found some wonderful barkcloth covers for my formal dining chairs. We often have dinner guests in the under 5 age range and it will be grand to just pop these off to the dry cleaners and save the ivory upholstery underneath.

The fashionista found an old suitcase with purple lining and a metal filigree perfume tray she plans on painting. She has already filled it for its intended use: holding sunglasses and bling rings.

I'm off to school!

Monday, April 7, 2008

Before and After Pictures

I have always loved looking at before and after photos. I imagine this is because it provides inspiration and ideas of what can be done. The photos below are from a project I have been working on for over a year. As with any renovation there has been surprises and challenges.

1. Kitchen~In the before picture of the kitchen, you will notice that the design called for an entire bank of cabinets to be removed. This really opened up the space. Other cabinets were added near the attached atrium so the homeowner did not lose any storage space. While the layout of the kitchen remained basically the same to help control cost, it now is a very warm and inviting space.

2. Family room~ This area is attached to the kitchen. The coffee table top is actually hinged and can be raised to eating level.

3. Master bath~ Yeah baby! The in ground bathtub really said 70's. It was an injury waiting to happen for the retired owner. The request was for a spa atmosphere. I feel relaxed, do you?

4. Guest bath~ It never ceases to amaze me what a fresh coat of paint, a new countertop, faucet, a smaller mirror and lighting can do for a room. The bath tub was also reglazed and looks brand new.

5. Guest bedroom A, B & C~ This room had a budget of $1000.00. That included having to purchase the mattresses and furniture. I love places such as Target, Marshalls, and Ikea don't you?

Thank you for taking the time to view my photos. Please click on the comment button below and vote for your favorite before & after set. Anyone can enter. All comments will be printed and placed in a hat for a drawing. The winner will be mailed some summertime decor goodies next week.

Good luck!

Secrets about slipcovers

When I see images of all white rooms filled with inviting looking furniture covered with washable slipcovers that feature such lovely dressmaker details my heart just sighs. Country Living Magazine regularly features such delectable eye candy.
Sigh..., love, sigh..., love, sigh..., love.

The living room above belongs to Lauren Ross. This decorator has four children. How is that possible? What is her secret?

This blue and white palette is so soothing. But do people actually ever eat at this table?

So cushy and inviting. Does the chair ever get sat in?

I now am going to admit a dirty little secret of mine. I have several sets of slipcovers for the furniture in my home. Some of the slipcovers are from a big blue box store and some are custom made.
There are basic rules with white slip covered furniture. Eating and drinking should be done only in the breakfast or dining room. Yes, that includes the small bagel with rasberry jam. No jumping on the furniture. Particularly while wearing baseball cleats.
Yet even with these rules enforced, after about a week my slipcovers look like they have been used to dust an abandoned home. Children and dogs aside, the fact that we live in the dusty desert no doubt contributes to the dirt factor. The slipcovers need to be washed. Therein lies the problem. As a wife, mother, student, and owner of a decorating firm I don't have much free time. It is an all day affair to clean the slipcovers. It begins with several loads of laundry, followed by hanging the slipcovers up outside. (Line drying helps control shrinkage and takes advantage of the sun's natural brightening power. )
Of course Rudi the dachshund likes to help out and bury himself in the storage ottoman that is momentarily torn apart.

Ahhhh, how cute! Could you say "No!" to this?

Then there is the "pleasure" of putting the clean slipcovers back onto the furniture. Imagine yourself trying to wiggle into a girdle that is two sizes too small.
I become a contortionist trying to reclothe my furniture. More than once during this dance I feel the urge to yell out in my best Scarlett O'Hara voice, "Tighter Mamie, tighter!"

Sigh indeed.

Friday, April 4, 2008

Interiors: Purple Reign

Today is my darling daughter's birthday. She loves every perfect shade of purple. It seems that this season the design world does as well.

A perfect place for a princess to perch is this gorgeous chair and ottoman from Horchow.

This interior was designed by Rhonda Luongo. I like to refer to this style as Moroccan roll.

Fabulous shades for spring are:

Breathtaking and Awesome Violet by Sherwin Williams.

Singer Mariah Carey seems to prefer the color of royalty as well.

These lovely lavender linens are from Pine Cone Hill.

Not everyone would be persuaded to have a purple kitchen, but this is a fabulous job by designer DD Allen. I love a cool gray and lavender palette.

I adore these Dorothy Draperesque lamps. They are available from Assemblage.

If only I were 8, I would lay my head on these sweet sheets from Land of Nod.

The current Brocade catalog is a feast for the eyes if you are passionate about plum, peony and periwinkle.

Aren't these Toile de Maison dishes dreamy?

Martha Stewart has provided my tablescape inspiration.

As a proud mother I will leave you with a photo of my darling girl. She recently attended prom with friends. Her style was influenced by Juicy Couture. I wish I had been as fabulous at 19.