what I do

what I do

Monday, July 30, 2012

Office work

It's the end of the month already ... how is that even possible? I am working in my office today catching up on all of those end of the month things.

Ed Ritger Photography via pinterest

{ Home Office of Monika Hibbs of The Doctor's Closet via }

Happy Monday everyone! 

Sunday, July 29, 2012


One day a week. Rest. Refuel. Recharge. Re-think. Renew. Re-connect. Remember. Remember that God made the world and rested. Rest with Him. Hear His voice. Be aware of His presence. Pause. This day was made for you. It is your gift. 

"Be still, and know that I am God."
- Psalm 46:10

Know that the LORD is God. It is he who made us, and we are his; we are his people, the sheep of his pasture.

-Psalm 100:3

Thursday, July 26, 2012


I started working with a new client, a "older" single gal who has a big personality, a ton of energy and looks 20 years younger than she is; seriously, she is one beautiful gal.  Her design aesthetic is very different than mine and at first, her color palette challenged me. I wrote about it here how I was not very excited about the black, gray and red room that she wanted. The most important thing for me when I start working with a new client is to find out what it is that they love so that I can translate that into a space that they will love coming home to. After our first meeting I thought that I understood what she was looking for and I went to find a curtain fabric as my jumping off point.

I was very excited about the fabric I found and hoped my client would like it as well...

But a few days later I got an email from her telling me that she looked through the idea book that I had left for her (the binder of all my old magazine clippings) and there was nothing in there that inspired her at all - everything was too traditional for her. I was surprised to hear that as most of the rooms in the binder were transitional at best and many leaned more towards a much more modern style. I realized that what I thought she would like was not going to work any longer so I went back to the drawing board.

The client has four black and white chairs that are to stay as well as gray concrete floors. Everything else could be changed. I new she liked lacquer furniture and would love to have everything black and white with gray and red.  

I went back to look for new fabrics and put together a couple of mood boards for her.

Duralee 20861

I had selected quite a few geometric patterns that I felt were the more modern look she wanted and then threw this one in. I thought I could pull off the modern look she wanted with this and I was hoping she would like it. It turned out she did.

The walls:

Thunder | AF 685

While I was searching for a white lacquer credenza, I came across this artwork at Room Service:

The walls in the space are very high and I needed large and dramatic artwork. This was perfect! Not only is Brigitte Bardot right out of my client's "era" ... this portrait could be my client - she looks just like this. 

I played around with a couple of mood boards to use for my presentation.

We are still in the planning stages but I like the direction it is going! 

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

A custom headboard

I'm still working on this little girl's room ... we are getting close to install day and things are starting to trickle in. The artwork has all been framed and the window curtains and custom bookcase are ordered.

I picked up a few of the new pillows and the duvet cover from the workroom last week ...

The pillows are going to be so much fun!

I am thrilled with the way the custom duvet turned out ... it will go at the foot of the bed over a white matelasse coverlet.

The headboard will look similar to this:

I made a paper template and sent it off to my upholsterer to be made.

Here is a previous headboard I had custom made - it is such a great way to add drama to a room:

The Ikat fabric will be a wingback chair and the orange "tiger" print will cover the bench cushion. Two Euro pillows in a striped fabric with hot pink fringe will finish off the bed. I don't know who is more excited for install day ... my client or me!!!

Monday, July 23, 2012

Refreshing a family room

Remember this house?

The family room needed a little updating as well. A new seagrass rug was ordered and a custom made storage ottoman for a coffee table is almost done. An Adirondack style reading chair & ottoman was reupholstered in this:

And all that was needed to finish it off was some bookshelf accessorizing and styling and a few new pillows for the sofa. The styling was done weeks ago (I wrote about it here) and I picked up the pillows from the workroom last week. The sectional they will go on is dark blue (you can see a corner of it below):

We used heavy duty / outdoor fabrics for this active family that includes 3 teenagers (I find that teens are harder on fabrics then little ones!) and 2 dogs who "rule the roost" in this lovely close-to-the-beach home.

The order: 4 - 22" pillows with no welt / invisible zippers. I used to always make my pillows 20" but lately I have been making them 22" - I like the larger size.  Sometimes I self-welt and sometimes I use no welt. And even less often I use a contrasting welt - even though that is a great look! This fabric was very pricey so we saved a little by not adding any piping. 

I used 24" down inserts. Can you see the zipper on the pillow? Doesn't she do a great job?

We re-upolstered the sectional about 5 years ago and it is still in good shape. The client thought about changing it - either with something brand new or by re-upholstering it again. But in the end we opted to just change out the pillows. The pillows we had made back then were a light blue and red:


The new colors will change the room dramatically:


The final reveal should be in a few weeks!

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Password for the day

 On your feet now—applaud God
Bring a gift of laughter,
      sing yourselves into his presence.
Know this: God is God, and God, God.
      He made us; we didn't make him.
      We're his people, his well-tended sheep.
Enter with the password: "Thank you!"
      Make yourselves at home, talking praise. 
Thank him. Worship him.
For God is sheer beauty,
all-generous in love, loyal always and ever.
-Psalm 100


Friday, July 20, 2012

Seller's Remorse and the Ugly Duckling or ... A Storage Solution for a Working Dining Room

At the beginning of summer I switched a few things around in my living room. It took a while to get things right and part of what was hindering me was a very large corner armoire. I blogged about it here and shared how I finally decided that the armoire just had to go.


The armoire was  purchased when we first remodeled our house twelve years ago as a place to put our TV in. You know, the kind of TV that is like a huge box. As it turned out, we never did put the TV there and it ended up being a storage closet for all my extra "stuff". It kept me from doing a lot of things I wanted to do to the room because of the color (a distressed green) and because of its size. I worked around it for years!

The day that I finally decided that maybe I should just get rid of it and stop decorating around it was monumental. Taking it out was like a breath of fresh air but a little scary because I was getting rid of a very large storage area (not to mention a daunting task emptying it of all the things I had stuffed in there). 


It felt great taking it out ... but then the problem arose ... what to do with it. It needed a new home but finding someone with a large empty corner was not as easy as I thought. I finally found a home for it (thanks sis!), and although it is not a "perfect" fit ... it works.

But first it needed a new coat of paint.

Clients always want to know what the name of a paint color is ... I think it is kind of silly. I mean, what if you love the color but just hate the name ... so sometimes I think that just using numbers makes more sense ... but then there are other times when I think I would love to have the job naming all the colors - I mean seriously, how much fun would that be? 

So when I was choosing the colors for the "ugly duckling" armoire, I think I may have been a little swayed by the names ...

The outside is Tropical Waterfall and the inside is Quack Quack (both Dunn Edwards). Are you smiling? The inside will not really show unless it is opened but I thought it would be fun to have a little surprise inside. Quack Quack!

A fresh coat of paint has turned this "ugly duckling" into something beautiful! And it looks so nice with  it's new colors that it makes me wonder if maybe I should have kept it ...

Actually, I am just kidding - I love it so much better in its new home and thrilled that it will be put to good use. It will serve as a much needed storage "closet" in a dining room that doubles as a workspace for scrapbooking and other crafty projects. My sister can now spread out on her large dining room table and when she needs to clean up, everything can be stashed out of sight.  (Note: The photograph shows the walls much greener than in reality - it really does look nice in person). 

The dining room table / workspace is actually two of these pushed together. They make a large square and they also have leaves that can extend the tables even larger. 

It was an inexpensive solution for a dining room that also doubles as a workspace. 
Hope your week is going well... I'm off to look for a new chandelier for this room - one that is lighter and brighter!

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Storage solutions

I finished the kitchen drawer project finally yesterday - it took me longer than I thought because other things on my schedule got in my way. I used a combination of Ikea, Crate and Barrel and The Container Store - three of my favorite places! This is not going to be the most exciting post (although there is a funny story); I thought I would show you my process:


I used three Ikea inserts @ $3.99 each:

And with very little effort, turned this:

Into this:

Nice and neat. Super easy and very inexpensive. At first I thought it might be nice to have the spices on a rack that angled the bottles so I purchased one of these:

I liked that the bottles were angled but only one fit in the drawer and I didn't like that it didn't hold very many bottles:

The inexpensive Ikea inserts worked much better:


The silverware drawer is a nice large drawer (33" wide) and it needed to store silverware, knives and some miscellaneous utensils. I knew that I wanted bamboo drawers and was hoping to find an expandable drawer to be able to achieve a custom fit. I found what I wanted at Crate and Barrel. I looked at the cutlery tray first:

It was 3" smaller and 1/2" shorter than the gadget tray so I decided to go with the larger tray. 

I added a knife block:

And turned this:

Into this:

I love how neat everything looks. The knife block is my favorite. I used the client's existing white tray to store her miscellaneous items like cheese spreaders and baby spoons - things she doesn't use on a day-to-day basis and put the box that stores her chopsticks on top. 

Do you want to hear something funny? I did not realize that I purchased a "gadget" tray instead of a cutlery tray until I started posting the photos on the blog and pulled up the two different Crate and Barrel trays to reference. I guess I was just thinking "tray" not necessarily "cutlery" tray. I bought the one I did because it was larger, not realizing that it was not designed for cutlery per se. So silly. After realizing my "mistake" and considering switching them out, I decided I would keep everything the way it is; I like the way the tray fits the drawer so nicely with the extra length. Always something to laugh about though, right?

And while I was shopping at Crate and Barrel I found this in their sale area:

It is going in my sister's office. One was $50.00 and the other $25.00. A coat of fresh paint and a couple of little embellishments should make this a great "must needed" storage solution for her!