Wicked Smaht

It's the simple things that sometimes make the best statement. This window film with a cut out message in lieu of blinds is really a terrific solution...and tres cheap!

Even I would be tempted to actually file something if I had one of these lovely suitcase file cabinets! Shockingly, it's from the often tacky Home Decorator's catalog. Although, I will say that it's come a long way...maybe "long" is an exaggeration. But, I digress...the price?....wait for it....wait for it...$199!!!

Mrs. Limestone incorporated this handy and chic idea into her office redo. Love that she's showcasing that incredible pair of shears directly on the wall and using simple pegboard to keep all her tools handy. Two great uses for all those antique-looking frames most of us have in the basement! Not one of those peeps? Thrift stores, baby. Thrift stores.

Here's the pic of the whole space. Pretty great for the budget she was dealing with...her own! Why are those always the lowest?! And she, of course, has a Ghost chair...ever-elusive in my life. I keep waiting to get one as a many times DOES a girl have to mention something to her husband...but Mrs. Limestone was lucky enough to actually receive one from hers. Lucky duck.

Southern Living offered a great tip here...if you have a fuse box or other eye-sore, it can easily be hidden with an architectural piece such as this. I'm loving the simplicity of this vignette with that yummy blue-ish red against the white walls.

This is something I do often in my own home and for clients on a budget. Topping any table with a mirror is a beautiful way to lighten up the look of any table and believe me, floral arrangements look stunning with the double whammy of the reflection.

Not everything needs to be straight outta Elle Decor...good ideas are everywhere. I happen to think this idea of visually separating the sink and toilet area with an architectural or woven piece is a great solution and one I've never thought of!
(via hgtv)


I'm so blue!

This Dhurrie sofa from Wisteria makes me wanna jump up and down for joy! Do you see that adorable little ball fringe on the front?! So graphic and amazing. And after picking up one of these garden stools at TJ's the other day and planning to paint it high gloss gold...seeing this silver is making me rethink it! Silver or gold? Silver or gold? What do you think?

Horchow stud Love. Love. Love....

Dear Horchow,
 This pale blue leather tufted sofa would look amazing in my living room. Do you have lay-away? Oh, you're not that kind of store? Really? Ok, what about just that lamp. Or that rug. And those white ceramic tables. The pillows? Darn it all to hell!

Ok. So, I'm cheating. This daybed from Restoration Hardware isn't blue, but it's fab...and that background makes me want to move back to Phoenix. Ok. Not til winter, but I do miss the valley. But, I wouldn't miss it nearly so much if I had this in my back yard and time to catch up on my magazines with a big glass sangria...white red wine on this baby!

I've had my eye on this chair for a year now and keep hoping I'll stumble across one that's similar at a second hand store that I can refinish. Has anyone seen anything similar on ebay or craigslist? I'd love to have one!


Design Star, Episode Three

Sooooo, after being so excited that Emily, a designer on Design Star, popped in last week and commented on my post, I REALLY...I mean, REALLY wanted to love Episode 3. I wanted to be able to leave a fabulous review of the episode as a whole and of course of Emily's work. But, darn it, HGTV! You seem to be making it impossible for the viewers to really love any aspect of it this season. Gone are the high stress scenes where you, the viewer, get to feel the designers pressure and the intensity of the challenge. At least let us know where they're allowed to shop and what the budget is! I mean, is the budget $1,000, $10,000...$25,000? To me that's imperative information! If it's $25,000 then the challenge is much less challenging! And seriously, an outdoor patio challenge on episode 3? We're still trying to get to know these people and their design you really think we can do that by allowing them to choose outdoor furniture and a few plants?! Argh!@!

For those of you that didn't see it, the designers walked out onto a roof-top terrace to find a bunch of musicians performing. They we're then asked to choose one of the instruments and, separated into two groups, design a small outdoor space that represented all of the instruments. Ooooo...ingenious! Not! (Yes, I just did.)

Before we know it, the designers have shopped for all their items...again, no clue about the budget and only about one minute of showing us the actual shopping...and then they get to work. Here are the before pics of the spaces:
The men's space and inspirational instruments.

The women's space + Dan

After very little shown discussion about how to create an amazing and cohesive space, the teams started working on their respective spaces. Because we didn't have a chance to really see or hear what went on during the shopping know, the reasons they thought this piece of furniture or that accessory worked for their instrument, we were left to try to figure it out. Frankly, I still thought the designs were totally uninspired for the most part and I really wouldn't want to spend much time in either space. What do you think?

Here's the ladies (and Dan's) finished space. On tv the purple looked far more aubergine and actually worked well. Meana (Nina) was the brainchild behind the color and the walls in general shown here. I agreed with Emily when she told Meana that the white squiggles were distracting and she should paint over them. I get that she was trying to create movement that the music would create, but I didn't think it was so amazing. The judges, however, did and she won the challenge. Great. Just what the mean girl needs...more confidence.
Emily had the Tuba and she chose the chaise lounge as her piece. This is what's so frustrating! Did she blow her whole budget on that one piece? Did she do anything else besides the chaise? I saw a brief glimpse of her working on a table...but with no idea how she felt that represented the tuba I was left wanting more. Talk about wanting more! Can we get a rug? Even a nice big jute rug? Can we get some side tables? Some great outdoor lighting? How about some chartreuse plants to pop that aubergine?!

I assume this is the table that Emily was working on. Did it just not translate to camera well? I mean...I think the pop of simple white and the tablescape are lovely, but inspired? Fabulous? Eh. Not so much. The back picket wall was actually my favorite. I got it and love how the varying heights of the boards makes me think of music note and that she pulled some green through the boards. She did however seem to need quite a bit of help from  Dan on their team which bugs me a bit. Is it really yours...can you really take credit for something...if you couldn't do it on your own? Not least in this kind of competition. And poor Dan, the nice guy that he is, had to suffer timewise a bit to help her. Good teamwork though.

The judges really ripped this one apart but frankly, I'd rather spend time here than in the girl's space. I thought the day bed was great and the art piece on the wall done with extension cord was interesting and I got the wink and a nod. Overall though, what bugs the hell out of me is that none of these things were showstoppers! Someone is going to get their own tv show based on these competitions so shouldn't we be in awe?! Even I as a designer want to see things that I would never think of in a million years! Inspire me! Make me want to be like you! Strive to be as good as you! Emily, if you're out there in this big ol' blogosphere, I'd love to hear some more insight into the budget constraints and what was behind your decisions. I'll be checking her blog, The Brass Petal, to see what she has to say. Oh, and by the way, if anyone wants to do something next Sunday night I'm fine with dvr-ing Design Star. I'm afraid it's no longer must-see-tv. :(


Little Boxes

I so wish I could check out the Berkshire Botanical Center Designer showcase that's going on right now! I believe they had 5 of these sheds and selected 5 area designers to transform the space and show what they've got. And, boy, did they! Here's what the inside looked like originally (the original outside is shown above)...

Michael Devine's was my absolute favorite. What a genius to conceptualize this and pull it off in the time allotted.

Notice how he played off of the lilac in the tree behind the shed by painting the doors and trim that great purple. I love the treatment he used on the roof and the change out of the window is so much more interesting as a circle.

I could work here. Live here. Eat here and certainly breathe easier here. So lovely and yet not too precious. You go, Michael Devine.

Not only did he increase the size of the window behind the desk but added two floor length mirrors on the back wall dressed in the same fabric treatment and pulled back to mimic the large window and visually extend the space.

The floor is a work of art and the fact that the sofa even fits...much less makes the space seem so cozy is pretty incredible. If I was Andy Cohen and/or Jewish I would totally give you the Mazel of the Week!

This is another of the designs...wish I knew who it was to give them props. Gosh, those windows just made it so open and airy!

Not my favorite, but I get it and think the whimsy in it is fun. Love the mushrooms and I think that branch roof is pretty incredible. If I had a few wooded acres and a handy man, this would be a contender though.

Interesting, but doesn't come close to the transformation of the others in my humble opinion. What do you think? What's your favorite? Great job to all the designers and how exciting to be a part of such a great challenge!


Obsessions of the Day

 Ask anyone who knows me and they'll tell you that if you'd like to stop by my home, I need 24 hours notice. Granted, I've never been a fan of the "pop-in", but for me it's way more about my obsessive need to redesign my space. I am constantly moving furniture, trying new wall arrangements and hauling boxes of accessories down to the basement so I can switch them out with something different. This creates havoc and disarray on a weekly basis at our humble abode and as a designer, it's pretty much my worst nightmare to have someone come to my house for the first time and not be proud of the way I have things arranged and decorated. God forbid someone see my piles of "I'm so tired of this crap but can't part with it" stuff during one of my
gotta-change-it-up fits. Really, I think the problem is that I simply can't afford the things I LOVE. Well, sometimes you get lucky and find the perfect piece at the perfect price...but not often. So, these are the things I'm loving right in today...and if I could just borrow your credit card...yes, you!...I'd happily throw out some of my crap and be so happy with my new purchases that I might not have to redecorate for a few weeks which would give me way more time to blog! It's a win, win situation! Ah well, a girl can dream.

 Hello, Lover. I would like to cordially invite you to spend some time with me at you're earliest convenience.
Source Perrier

 This incredible Anthropologie rug would be so happy in my dining room! Dear me, it's a good thing that we aren't lucky enough to have an Anthropologie store in town because my credit cards couldn't handle it. Case in point, I went searching for this amazing rug on the website and know for certain that the next five items shown below would have crawled into my cart as well! Damn you, Anthropologie! Why must you be so perfectly in tune with my inner-most design dreams?!

 This guy is hilarious to me. I know, I know....the owl thing is a bit played out,
but Anthropologie does it so well!

Kitschy and creative and hand made of found items.

Now these I can afford. I'll take 8 please for the thrift store chest I found yesterday and shall paint when it's not 8,000 degrees outside with humidity high enough to keep me soaked. Gray, I just decided...for the chest that is. No, Gray and that limey green in the flower.

 What's that? You want to hang in my Gazebo, you beautiful and quirky handmade of recycled items chandelier? Let me check with my financial planner to see if I can afford you...he chuckled and hung up, so I'm gonna take that as a no.

 I know! Right?! Anthropologie, you rock.

$15 bucks at French Bull! (Salad servers)

Studio Workshops

A new offering from one of our vendors! That shade of green is delicious and those legs! It doesn't get much better than this, folks.
I have had my eye on this Source Perrier mirror for a while...well, let's face it, what I should say is I've been scouting all the discount stores to see if I can stumble across a similar one for $59.99. Wish me luck!


"EEK!" least that's what I used to think!

Definition:  Ikat, or Ikkat, is the method of weaving that uses a resist dyeing process similar to tie-dye on either the warp or weft fibres.

If it looks familiar to you, you may remember it from the 60's and 70's when it was used quite often as people became, or at least pretended to be, more Bohemian. I remember it done in peaches and teals and frankly, it made my stomach turn to look at. So when a few years ago I started to see the resurgence of Ikat...I scoffed like I was Rockefeller. No way will it way will I use it! I've come a long way since then and now keep such opinions to myself and try to keep an open mind. Well, ikat is still going strong and with the fabulous color ways and bold patterns they're churning out in furniture, accessories, wallpaper and fabric it might just become a classic. Here are a few ways to do it and do it well.

Loving this color palette (similar to BM Forest Moss) and those incredible gold tables! Ikat is a great accent fabric to use in smaller doses for throw pillows.
(amanda nisbet)

apt therapy
Be still my beating heart! I don't know about you, but I'd be too worried my dirty designer feet would sully the pristine beauty of these gorgeous shoes. These would need a display box.
Charlotte Moss

One of my favorites, for sure! I have quite a few ikats like this available so let me know if I can help you select one.

Design Sponge

I've had my eye on this Donghia fabric for a while now and this is an inspired use of it as art!
Design Wonderland

Sweet, no?

An ikat area rug is a surefire way to brighten up a space and incorporate a bit of the trend.

Style Files

This Young House

Urban Outfitters

Design Hole

alan tanksley

We have beautiful ikats available by the yard from Duralee, Thibaut, Kravet and Schumacher.
Email with questions or to set an appointment. Out of town? We ship!
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