New Year, New you, New Home

Great kitchen for conversation

The year 2012 is your year to make your home exactly what you want! Does your home look like you? Does it make you feel comfortable, peaceful, welcome .. you know, right at home the minute you walk in?  I know when I’ve been on trips and return and walk into my front door it makes me feel so incredible – I love being home and feeling like my home wraps its arms around me and says, “Yeah, you are back where you belong…welcome home!”

If your home does not make you feel like you just walked into the most comfortable, serene place, you need to make some changes.  What makes you feel good? Fabrics, color, art, texture, simplicity, organization?  Walk into your front door and wait … what does it feel like?  What do you want it to say?  Many entries say “go away!”  and some say “Welcome, sit down and stay awhile.”  How does color make you feel?  Smells, accessories, artwork?  Guests should walk into your home and feel as if they know you better; it’s like the puncuation point that verifies who you are as a person.

 

Jennifer Anniston at Home

One of my favorite homes! Love the purples, oranges and reds

 

One thing that’s on my “to do” list this year is to add seating to my living room so that it is much more conversational and comfortable for my large family and friends.  What is on your list to add, change or redo in your home?  Your home is such a blessing and it’s meant to be enjoyed with your husband, children, friends, neighbors, or whoever enters no matter the size or shape of your space.  Make a New Year’s Resolution to change what will make you and the ones you love feel welcome and comfortable.  Add a beautiful paint color, a rug, a piece of art, or the right piece of furniture to complete the space you need to make your home ready for others to come over.  If you need a place of peace and refuge, work on your bedroom and make it a serene haven to unwind at the end of a busy day.  Your home is an extension of you, so let it represent who you are and not a store, a photo, or anybody else.  Embrace your individuality, be bold and be you!

 

subtle beauty

 

Living up to a Legend

The wood, tile, fabrics and colors are warm and inviting

 

 

caba barkskin wallcoverings

 

 

 

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Christian Women in the Marketplace

This weekend I will be privileged to speak to Christian Women in the Marketplace in Marietta, Georgia.  My topic is “The New Face of Hospitality.”  There is such a loss in this new, fast-paced generation of fellowship in our homes.  I think as women we try to do so much that we don’t leave time for entertaining, mentoring and gathering together with friends, family, neighbors, even stangers.  There is such a difference when we meet out as compared to having people in our homes, which is an intimate occasion.  Why do you think that is?   I challenge you to invest in making your home hospitable for your husband and your kids as well as others.  Mentor a younger woman.  Invest your time, talents and gifts in others, if it’s just once a month or even once a quarter … I challenge you!

Maybe you can come to Marrietta.  If so, please come introduce yourself to me.  If not, I will continue to share insights through my blog!

http://www.godsloveatwork.com/2011womensexp

 

 

 

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Tablescapes, Holiday Decorating & Hospitality

 

This week I spoke to a MOPS group of women on the topic of Holiday Tablescapes, Decorating and Hospitality.  While researching all the gorgeous photos of this stunning time of year, I thought I would share some with you.  Nature alone gives so much inspiration, it’s difficult not to see incredible colors, textures, tastes and smells wherever you go!  Here are a few photos that show seasonal fruits, vegetables, herbs, nuts, flowers and foods that make up this delicious season.  Get creative and use rustic branches with crystal, blues and purples with the reds and oranges.  As you decide on how to decorate your home for Thanksgiving, remember to invite others into your home to share the beauty of the season. Make an effort to invite others over with the sole purpose of encouraging and refreshing them, and that will be worth “thanksgiving.”

Autumn Cottage

All photos from Southern Living, Pottery Barn and Autumn Cottage.

 

 

 

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Inspirations of Fall

I absolutely love Fall; I cannot believe it is already September!  I have enjoyed digging out my plethora of magazines and books celebrating the Season.  This weekend kicks off college football and its the first Auburn football game, which not only allows me to celebrate Auburn blue and orange, but begin celebrating everything else that depicts this fabulous time of year!  Everywhere I look I see the several shades of orange and blue – shoes, chairs, interiors and exteriors, fabrics, food and flowers.  The incredible shades of oranges, reds, golds, and even greens, browns and purples are absolutely stimulating!  I am wanting to clean, cook, decorate, and unfortunately EAT!  The smells are just as intoxicating as the visual and textural delight.  Take a minute and enjoy the orange and blue images and I hope you get inspired to celebrate the season with your own cooking, decorating and entertaining! War Eagle!

The colors of Auburn football

 

gorgeous wallpap

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23rd Annual International Contemporary Furniture Fair

 

 

The ICFF was held in New York City at the Javits Convention Center May 14-17.  I was thrilled to be able to go to this event for my first time and see some of the “what’s best and what’s next” in design from 500 exhibitors showcasing contemporary furniture, seating, carpet and flooring, lighting, outdoor furniture, materials, wall coverings, accessories, textile, and kitchen and bath fixtures for residential and commercial interiors.  I was able to see first hand some of the world’s finest, most innovative, and original avant-garde home and contract products and would love to share some of my favorites with you.

caba barkskin wallcoverings

aimee wilder wallcoverings
 
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Lake Life

For Spring Break and again over Easter we went to our lake house on Lake Martin in Dadeville, Alabama.  I didn’t grow up on the lake and it has taken me a few years to appreciate all it has to offer, but this lakehouse  is magical! My husband’s grandfather built this rustic cabin in 1947 on a beautiful point surrounded by water on three sides.  There is a large wooden table that seats what seems like dozens!  I think the motto is “the more the merrier” and there is always laughter and fun surrounding every meal!  In the summer we visit the charming store that provides delicious locally grown vegetables and fruits as well as gorgeous plants and herbs ..yummy!  Afterall, what is sweet fellowship without delicious southern cooking!
 
 
 

There is a sleeping porch that is an open air room that allows the breeze from the three points to refresh and keep us cool. We wake up hearing the waves, geese, and sometimes even annoying jet skis that are up and out way too early in the morning.  This past visit the nights were cool and breezy which is absolutely heavenly on the sleeping porch!  The downstairs has room for anyone you want to invite and some; beds seem to appear like manna.  I don’t think I’ve ever heard my mother-in-law turn away friends….true southern hospitality! 

canoeing to the island

While cruising around the lake I had to take pictures of the variety of houses and the architecture we see; each one is so unique:  

  

House on an island

 

Lake life allows everyone to relax, unwind, slow down and refresh.  The sunsets are soothing and serene, and this one even surprised us with an animal hidden within. 

 

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The Layers of Design: Rugs

 

I fell in love with interior design because of the plethora of incredible colors, textures, lighting, art, furniture and so much more that opened up before me! What beautiful spaces could be created with the right materials!  The research and the actual search for the perfect pieces to pull a room together is a challenge I adore.  Each client has a need (or needs) that we as designers are trying to solve and no client has the exact same challenge in their space.  Therefore, every day is a new adventure of discovery.  You also throw in the budget and you get a new set of challenges!  As I have discovered more and more fabulous product, I quickly realized that most people aren’t aware of the availability of these beautiful products.  I would therefore, like to expose you to some of my favorite temptations. 

I first became interested in interior design when I met my husband’s aunt.  She owned an oriental rug shop in Mountain Brook Village in Birmingham, Alabama.   We would visit her often and she would romance us with stories about the design elements and their meanings, dyes used, and the regions or mostly present day Iran, Iraq and Turkey in which they came.  Each rug practically tells a story; the experts can tell where the rug came from based on the dyes used, the knot, the symbols and even the size.   She took the time to train me one summer and took me to market in Atlanta.  I remember when me and my husband bought our first Heriz.  We told her the size and colors we wanted and the perfect rug showed up on our doorstep.  We have had this same rug in three different houses and it works beautifully wherever we put it.  The Heriz is more geometric and works with contemporary furnishings very well. 

One thing about buying an Orienal rug is that you should fall in love with it because it will last you forever; it truly is art on the floor.  Also, one thing you will notice is that the antique rugs usually have more open fields and the vegetable dyes used in the 19th century are softer than the chemical dyes used post WWII.  One rug that has become very popular in the past ten years has been the Oushak.  The Oushak is usually a larger, fatter weave in more subtle colors.  Sometimes Oushaks have vibrant colors, but the ones that are so sought after now are very muted.  Since the Oushak has such a fat weave, do not put it in a high traffic area or it will wear quickly.    

 

 

 In the years that went by I was also introduced to newer rugs made in areas of Tibet by the finest wools and silks.  Most of these rugs are very luxurious and contemporary.  They can be made in any size with several color choices and pile heights.  A few of my favorite lines are Tufenkian, Lapchi, Tamarian and Odegard and Angela Adams. They can customize a rug for you in any color, size or with your logo.   Enjoy these images! 

   

  

  

Rugs can add so much personality to a home. They can add warmth, sound control, color and texture.  Also notice the different levels of pile..so much fun!  Add a rug to your home and make a statement!  Let the rug be an inspiration piece to design the entire room around and it will pull together beautifully!  

 

 

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Posted in Color Trends 2011 pt. 2 | Leave a comment

Design Bloggers Conference

Interior Design Bloggers Conference

Isn’t it amazing how blogging has grown!  Not only is it a great release to write about things that we are passionate about, it is also a great way to promote our business that we love and adore.  I hate I’m missing this conference-how I would love to be in LA right now!!   A sweet friend of mine who has a company that specializes in faux painting (www.bellandtucker.com) will fill me in on all that I miss!!  When I go to New York in May for Blogfest 2011 I will share it with her and you as well!

Take a look at the conference website and you can see the top interior design bloggers and you might just find a new blog to follow!  I’ll keep you updated on my favorites as well!

http://design-bloggers-conference.com/

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The Nashville Antique & Garden Show

   

   

February 11-13 we had the 21st year of the Antique & Garden Show here in Nashville.  This event is recognized as the largest show in the country to combine both antiques and gardens.  The show offered over 150 antique and horticultural booths and landscaped gardens.  I have been going for several years and I have heard incredible keynote speakers such as Alexa Hampton, Michael Smith, and my all time favorite was The Duchess of Northumberland who wrote the book, The Making of The Alnwick Garden.  Her talk was absolutely riveting and I came right home and bought the book!    

This year I was fortunate to hear Cathy Whitlock. Cathy is a Nashvillian who is an interior designer and author.   

   

Cathy wrote a book, “Designs on Film, A Century of Hollywood Art Design.”  Cathy went through several photos of movie sets and discussed the intricacies of the set design. She even spoke about the set design has to be specific to the skin coloring of the actors – who knew!  I have always loved observing movie sets such as the home of Elizabeth Bennett in Pride & Prejudice, Cameron Diaz’ kitchen, well the entire house, in The Holiday, Julia Childs’ Paris home in Julie & Julia.    

Julia Childs' kitchen

  

Julie's outside rooftop patio

  

   

 
 
 

Cameron Diaz' kitchen/The Holiday

  

   

cameron Diaz' house/The HOliday

  

   

Pride & Prejudice living room

  

   

Pride & Prejudice dining room

  

   

Another one of my favorite home sets is out of the movie, Somethings Gotta Give.   

Diane Keaton/Somethings Gotta Give

  

   

   

   

Aren’t the sets in movies fun to observe.  One thing Cathy also said was that the house in the movie Gone with the Wind disguised a telephone pole in one of the trees.  Ha! what fun! Maybe I’ll get to design sets when I grow up!! Thank you Nashville for bringing such talented speakers to this venue so we can learn from their expertise!   

   

 

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Bold Invention – Color Trends Pt. 4

Bold Invention is experimental, artsy, expressive.  High energy hues vibrate with spontaneity and rebellion.  Neon bright, graffiti bold and digitally enhanced to 3-D luminosity, they are the colors of technology, of avant-garde art and of the entrepreuneurial spirit that celebrates shaking off dull routine to do what you love.  The eclectic glove influences range from the Cynical Realism art movement of urban China to the carnaval spirit of Rio de Janeiro, host of the 2016 Summer Olympics.  Anything goes, and self-expresion is the new metropolitan mantra, according to Sherwin-Williams’ Color Mix 2011. 

Elements include graffiti art, neon, Latin American influences, pixilated images on art and textiles, clashing patterns & motifs, modular furniture, sculptural ceramic.

Neon chair

I hope you enjoyed this delicious look at color trends for 2011 that Sherwin-Williams has so beautifully put together for our inspiration.  Pick a look or pieces of each look that fits your personality and make your home reflect who you are!  Be brave, bold and have fun!

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Posted in Color Trends 2011 pt. 2 | Tagged , , | Leave a comment