what I do

what I do

Thursday, May 31, 2012

A new color scheme

I'm starting a new project. And in a completely different color scheme then my normal blues ...
This client wants a lot of black and white with accents of red. I have to be honest, the red didn't thrill me. I was thinking more of a bright yellow. So I went off looking for a little inspiration ... a place to start. Which for me is usually fabric.

I find it interesting how well the fabric I chose for my jumping off point happens to go with the new Marimekko wrapping paper that I found at Crate and Barrel. I wonder if I was subconsciously influenced! 

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Dining room switch complete

The dining room switch has been completed and although there are a few finishing touches that will need to be added to the sitting room side of the space (we are still waiting for the chandelier, the lamp and rug and a few more pillows to be made) I thought it was time for the big reveal.

Remember, this is the room that used to be the formal living room that never got used. The color scheme for many years was a light blue and red and the client loved it. But she was ready for something new.  She also had a new piece of art she wanted to incorporate somewhere and I thought it was the perfect jumping off place to set the tone for the new room by adding some modern touches and a some brighter colors to a previously very traditional space. 

I wanted to bring in a darker blue - a navy - that would richen up the blues that were already woven throughout this lovely beach home and add some turquoise for a new change.  It all started coming together when we found this Ikat fabric from B|Berger to use on the backs of the new wingback chairs.

Here is the mood board I put together to help the client see my vision. The pencil legs on the Petrie chairs from Crate and Barrel reminded me of the people in the painting:

The sideboard was added and the art wall installed:

The bar cabinet that previously separated the two rooms was moved into the family room where it could be enjoyed when they entertain outdoors:

The new chairs for the sitting room arrived and the new artwork framed and hung. I left room for a 24" high lamp with a white drum shade to sit on the new nesting table. The rug is on it's way and the turquoise beaded chandelier should arrive soon too.

Are you ready for the final reveal?

Here is what the room looked like before:


And here is the room now:


A successful switch!

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Dream big and be present

I like to have quotes around my office ... where I am working / spending a lot of my time.  I actually put them all over my house - things that are meaningful at the moment in frames or taped to a bookcase to remind me of what I want in my head ...

So when I saw these posters from Jess LC on PVE's blog - I knew I had to add them to my office. 

Dreaming big to me means to increase FAITH ... practice HOPE ... to PRAY intentionally and truthfully and to BELIEVE that with God the impossible is made POSSIBLE. 

Jess LC Design with Intention shop

But I also like the part about being present. Now. Today. In the life that I have at this very moment. Because that is where God has me now.  And it isn't perfect. But it is my life. 

So how ironic timely was it that just after I hung my new quotes on the wall I received an email from a friend that forwarded an email she received from Joel Osteen whose words say it better than I ever could ... 
"God has an incredibly bright future in store for you that is filled with His blessings and favor.
He's opening new doors for you. He's pouring out His favor. He's doing things on your behalf you can't do for yourself.
If you'll trust that God has you right where He wants you, God will take care of everything. He cares about every detail of your life - now and in the future.
But before you begin to see that future, you have a choice to make.
You can either get upset about your circumstances or you can begin to bloom right where you're planted.
I've learned that God often changes us before He changes the circumstances around us.
If you allow negative things to dominate your thoughts, they are going to keep you right where you are.
But if you want to see change, if you want to see God open up new doors, then you've got to decide to let God promote you where you already are.
You've got to bloom, right where God has planted you.
Enjoying and growing in the place God has you sows a seed of greatness into your future! It's the best thing you can do to help make something new happen.
Bloom where you're planted! Don't go through life thinking you've got too many obstacles or disadvantages. If you put your hope in God, He'll direct your steps.
 As you enjoy the place He has you in, He'll begin to move things around in your life. You'll be amazed at the outcome."
Jess LC Design with Intention shop

"The LORD directs the steps of the godly. He delights in every detail of their lives." - Psalm 37:23 NLT

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Styling bookcases

"Creating a home that reflects your personal style, and the actual living that goes on in it, is a process that happens over time." - Kevin Sharkey* 

I love working with all kinds of clients. Some have a clear understanding of who they are, what they like and what they want their house to be. Others have no idea. Some have very few decorative objects and others have too many. As a designer, it is my job to find just the right amount of accessories for each client and whether that is by helping them acquire or editing what they already have, the ultimate goal is to give them a home that reflects their own personal style and tells a story about who they are as a family. 

This particular client has collected wonderful objects over the years. She has a great sense of style and it shows in what she has purchased. But she needed help editing and styling. Especially with her bookcases. And so I cleaned them up a bit. 

And of course in my excitement to get started I forgot to take before photos. But to give you an idea, these two shelves were wall to wall books. It was great for storage but too heavy looking for this particular room. I encouraged her to edit though some of the books that did not need to be displayed. She got rid of some and we stored some in the cabinets below.

I started by taking everything off the shelves. I went shelf-by-shelf putting back the things she loved the most first and then adding a few things of my own. The new items came from a variety of sources; a shopping trip to a few HomeGoods stores, Crate and Barrel, Pottery Barn and Z Gallerie (that wonderful Ikat bowl), and I brought a few things from my own collection.

I love the result as it very much reflects my client's style and showcases the things she loves and that have meaning to her. 

Inspired to re-do your own bookcases? Here are a few helpful tips:

1. Group "like things" together. A collection looks less cluttered and more interesting when grouped together.

2. Books do not have to be lined up in a row. Vary them by placing some upright, some on their sides and even showcase special ones by standing them up on display. Use them as a backdrop for other objects and don't be afraid to take off their jackets to see what is underneath!

3. Leave some negative space around your objects. Think like a gallery or museum curator.

Come back next week and I will show you more of this beautiful house - remember the switched dining room ... There is more to see!
Have a great weekend everyone! 

*quote by Kevin Sharkey from Martha Stewart Living - September 2011 edition

Friday, May 25, 2012

White White White

I have been working all week on two really great projects - both of which are very colorful.

The days have been long and although I can't complain - I mean, seriously, I have a job that most of the time does not feel like a job at all and is mostly what I would call fun - but it can still feel exhausting.

And so when I come home, I need to have my space feel clean. And white. And although I do love color and have put more color in my home this past year than ever ... I still need it to be balanced with a lot of white.

Because to me, white feels calming and clears my head of all the thoughts that run through it long after my work day should be done.

And so I thought I would share with you some white today. Just because.

I hope it gives you a nice feeling too! Have a really good day!

images via my pinterest board "white"

Monday, May 21, 2012

Switching rooms

The wingback chairs arrived for the new dining room I am working on ... you know, the one where we moved the dining room into the former living room (see previous posts here and here).

They turned out great ... I quickly snapped a few photos with my iphone but wish I had taken a few better ones. The front fabric is a Sunbrella outdoor fabric that will be easy to clean - which is so important for a dining chair ... and especially one in a home with a family of kids and dogs and real life. The back is an Ikat from B|Berger and is not as easy to clean. The existing side chairs were reupholstered in an outdoor fabric as well. We wanted this to be a room that the family could live in comfortably.

I took the photos after we had just come back from a trip to HomeGoods and were playing around with some new accessories - the placemats are for casual everyday eating - styling the dining table is next on the 'list' so you've got to ignore the tabletop.

The wingback chairs were designed to flank the ends of the table. But I didn't like how one of them blocked the new sitting room from view when you walked into the room so I placed it next to the sideboard - and I kind of like it that way. 

We are still waiting for delivery on the chandelier and rug, the window treatments and a couple of table lamps ... but it is nice to see it shaping up as a real room. Want to see what it looked like before?

living room "before"

living / dining room "before"

The living room never got used. That was the biggest complaint. And the dining room was small. There was no room to place a sideboard or even walk around the chairs when they were occupied. So we moved things around.

The dining room now has plenty of room and the new sitting room is used often even though it is not even completely finished. I hear it is the perfect spot to read the morning paper, have a cup of coffee and throw open the french doors and enjoy the morning sun or relax with a glass of wine in the evenings. 

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Child's play

My favorite projects are kid's rooms. I mean, seriously, designing is just too much fun when it is for a little girl! 

As always I started with the fabrics ... and except for the drapery fabric ...

 I made sure they were all outdoor fabrics so they could withstand a lot of playing.

Idea #1

Idea #2

And to make things even better ...

I had a great little assistant helping me out!

Hope you are having as much fun as I am this week!

Sunday, May 13, 2012

On being a mother

Making the decision to have a child is momentous.  It is to decide forever to have your heart go walking around outside your body.  ~Elizabeth Stone
There is nothing I cherish more in my life than being a mother. It is the greatest gift I have ever been given. It has brought me me more joy, more challenge and more reward than I could have ever imagined. Being given the honor of bringing two beautiful daughters into this world and watching them grow into the amazing young women they are today has been humbling and has brought me to my knees more times than I can count. And it has been so much fun! I would not give up one precious moment. 

This year is especially joyful because it is my firstborn daughter's very first Mother's Day.  I could not be more thankful. Whether you are celebrating the mother you are, remembering the mother you had, or dreaming about the mother you hope to be one day ... I hope you have a lovely day on this day that we honor motherhood. Happy Mother's Day everyone. 

… he tends his flock like a shepherd: He gathers the lambs in his arms and carries them close to his heart; he gently leads those that have young… Isaiah 40:11

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Use your best now

I have been on a rampage around my house de-cluttering, cleaning out, getting rid of. My goal as I talked about here is to have just what I use or really love. And no more. No more storing things because I may need it "someday". I have been ruthless ... if I haven't used it in a couple of years - it is out the door. If I do not like it - it is gone. Well, inanimate objects only, haha - the cat has had a worried look on his face for the past week.

organized hoarding? 

Part of my de-cluttering process is going through all the back issues of magazines that have piled up. It is clear when I lost control of them as they date back to November 2011. Not bad. But when you subscribe to 6 magazines, 7 months of piling up is a lot of magazines. Oh but what fun I am having.

Way to make use of the stacks! 

I found this quote from Annie Brahler in an interview by Douglass Brenner in House Beautiful's May 2012 issue (I'm working backwards so I am not too far into my reading):
My parents are Dutch, and they used their china, their silver, everyday. I think it's a largely American mentality to save 'best' things for later, to protect them so much that you don't enjoy them. They didn't do that in Holland. If something happened to an old platter, that simply added to its story, because it happened in our life. It became a memory instead of a scar." - Annie Brahler
Exactly! Have what you use. Use what you have. My new mantra.

Images: 1234, 5