Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Visiting Draper James

My husband and I escaped for a one night getaway to Nashville this past weekend and it was exactly what we needed (other than more of it, but I will take what I can get)!  It took a combination of friends and neighbors to watch my little ones at home, but I guess that is what they call, 'parent life', huh?

Nashville was great!!  First time there and I absolutely LOVED it.  The beautifully manicured residential areas with pea gravel driveways, the cool/hip stores on 12th Ave South, the pedestrian shopping areas, Franklin's downtown, Leiper's Fork, and it's very down to earth, southern hospitality and friendliness.  It all was so good.

Of course, I visited Reese Witherspoon's flagship store, Draper James.  I love Mark D. Sikes, interior designer who designed the store, and his use of all things blue and white!!

It was so MUCH better in person and I truly was inspired.  I  'geek-ed' out ALL over this store and it wasn't until I came home that it struck me why the interiors of this store really left an impression on me.

It had every element of design that I love (and I mean really, really love when creating a home).  It was one of those Oprah 'A-Ha' moments where you get to experience everything you love in one space.

The store is designed much like a home which is such a brilliant idea and concept.  When you walk in you're greeted with a large table similar to a large round pedestal table in a foyer and a beautiful plaster chandelier that hung in the store's entry.

I am obsessed with the store's lighting choices and this chandelier had a Stray Dog Design feel, but I don't believe it is from them.  It was large, beautiful and made a statement.  And, I LOVED that it was whimsical.  It seriously was the last thing I expected as one of the design elements in this southern store and it was so perfect (in my humble opinion).

Next, your eyes are immediately drawn to the back wall where dark navy grasscloth hangs showcasing gorgeous artwork and serves as a backdrop to the store's countertops which are meant to mimic a kitchen island.  And, yes, the counters are thick slabs of marble!! 

Here, the built-ins are meant to mimic kitchen cabinetry or a butler's pantry.  I adore the antique brass utility latches on the glass fronts (I recently recommended this style of hardware to one of my clients) and the style of brass hardware pulls used for the drawers.  The combination of white and gold really speaks to my love for things a bit feminine, but the brass keeps things grounded which is classic and timeless.  The library boston sconce installed above the built-in cabinetry ties in the gold and white and looks brilliant next to navy. 

Pictured above are the modern counter stools pulled up to the store's countertop.  Another element I love is the bit of California thrown into an otherwise traditional, classic and all-American mix!  

This beautiful brass and navy lantern hanging near the vibrant blue whicker chairs imitate the 'family' or living room.  

Pictured above is the 'family room' and I love how Serena and Lily's blue tonal striped dhurrie is layered over a natural fiber rug coupled with the blue Bielecky Brothers wicker lounge chairs. The chairs were SO comfortable!!

I saw dentil molding, vertically planked walls and beadboard.  Above, an example of the store's full length mirror encased in beautiful molding!  The store's walls were either pristine white backdrops or wallpapered in either beautiful paper or fabric, as shown below.  

Above is Quadrille's Palampore Stripe fabric draped on the walls with navy grosgrain trim.  Beautiful!!

Above was another favorite spot of mine. It did the perfect job of resembling a kitchen nook.  Obsessed with everything about this space.  I love Carolina Irving's Palermo (whimsical) print and Patmos Stripe on the banquette.  All these fabrics work beautifully together!  

A close-up of the gorgeous textiles with the beautiful navy and brass sconce!!  LOVE!  

The store's fitting rooms - gasp - obviously, resembling a home's bedroom and/or closet area.  I am dying to use Farrow and Ball's closet striped wallpaper in someone's home!!  Again, dark navy doors with brass fixtures!! Here, we see a repeated design element of stripes.  

I love the play of vertical and horizontal stripes in the same space!! So fun!  And, the closet hooks!!  I need these!  I found a similar type here, but not in the brass finish.   

I've used the sconce's shade fabric in a client's project before and I love it!!  Perfect for a fabric covered lampshade.  

The color scheme was definitely blue and white, but I love how Mark Sikes threw in 'yellow' to keep things fresh, young and modern.  He has such an amazing eye and love all his touches of playfulness.

I will have to save the artwork for another post - it definitely was a highlight of the store as well as, the store's bathroom, believe it or not!! 

Visiting this store did not disappoint and it confirmed all the things I love and would like to emulate in my own home.  It gave me loads of inspiration and perhaps the little shove I need to finally finish some projects. 

Case in point, I immediately purchased this rug to go in my kitchen nook! :)

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Spring Vibes...

Here are some things that I'm loving this spring season…..of course, all blue and white.  I couldn't resist.

1. This gorgeous white Visual Comfort pagoda-esque lamp is on mega-sale on OKL.  I completely envision two of these flanking a console/desk with a bold mirror or a fun piece of art.

2. I love John Robshaw's new fabric, Sata, for Duralee and I could see this fabric upholstered on a Cisco Brother's Piper loveseat with this paint color on the walls!

3. This pick is a departure for me, but hang with me for a moment.  I saw this wallpaper used here and I just loved it!  I think it could look fabulous in small doses and I can't believe it is from Thibaut!

4. This is such a fun desk at a reasonable price that comes in SO many colors!  Would be fun as a console!  It reminds me of Blu dot's strut console, but with a lot more color options and for a lot less.

5. Lastly, who doesn't love a good audubon print!  Seeing these prints in the latest HB issue reminded me how much I truly do love them and need to find a spot in my home for one! 

Friday, April 22, 2016

A Client's Charming Kitchen Refresh

Two months ago a client here in Louisville contacted me to help her with some small updates to her dining room and kitchen.  She lives in a very charming 1930's home in an older and very quaint neighborhood of Louisville.  Her home is beautiful.   She loves design and actually worked in design in her younger years, but solicited my help to act as a sounding board and offer some opinions.

Below is the inspiration picture she shared with me for her kitchen.

It has been super fun working with her as she loves design so much.  She is inspired by the clean and simple feel of the kitchen above and wants a fresh take for her kitchen.  Her kitchen is small, but perfect for her as she lives alone.  See below.

Isn't it wonderful??!!  That stove! I completely love it.  So charming!  

We both agreed she needs to remove the soffits to open up her kitchen and give her more height.  Aesthetically, it'll look cleaner with the shaker style cabinets.  We both agreed that moving her refrigerator to the opposite wall and extending the counter to the right of the stove would be a smart design move.  She said she could afford more counter space especially when she entertains and has her family over.  Ideally, it would've been great if she could've centered her stove with counters on either side, but is limited to the exhaust/vent/fan.  

She is going to keep her current corian countertops (you can see them peeking out in the bottom left corner) and she is investing in new shaker style cabinets.  I loved it when she also wanted brass hardware and is considering black mullions for her kitchen window.  Very english, no?  She will be replacing her current F&B wallpaper with a fresh botanical from GP & J Baker.   I love that she still wants wallpaper in her new kitchen!

You can see all the design elements below.   It's going to look superb!!

Monday, April 18, 2016

Out of Africa: Antelope Rug

I thought that title, Out of Africa, was a-pre-po given we are looking at an antelope rug for my client's family room (den).  Originally, we were considering it for her formal living room, but when the sample from Ballad Designs arrived, she thought it would be best suited for her family den.

Fast forward, she has also received a sample from Myers.  See below.

{L: Myers, R: Ballard}

More decisions still need to be made, but she really would like to have an antelope rug and I was all giddy when she was on board with that!   It really will 'up' the cozy factor in her den. Let's take a look at this beauty….

I love how something so unique and bold when looked at it on it's own can be so subdued in the right environment.  It really is the perfect neutral.  

If you have the budget, the Antelope Ax from Stark seems to be the one I frequently see in shelter magazines and such.  There are also less pricer options from Myers, Ballard Designs, and I would check out your local rug/carpet retailers.  I think Biscuit even carried them (I'm not sure if they do any more).  

So, what say you - are you a fan?  Do you own one?  I would love to know!!

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Before and After: A Client's Family Room

I started working with my client from Philadelphia last year and we recently progressed from working on her family room to working on her kitchen.

When we started on her family room, her budget was tight.  We had to work with her existing furniture and there was not a huge allowance for new fabrics, pillows and such.

We've also changed directions in regards to the design of this room……in the end, she found her style and knew what she wanted.

The biggest impact areas I saw were changing the wall color and investing in window treatments.  She did both.

She painted her entire great room a new color and actually sewed the window treatments for her large window wall.  Can you believe that??

She wasn't sure about installing woven shades, but after some convincing, I'm glad she did, because they make all the difference.  She loves how finished and cozy the room now feels.

Client's Photo (not professional)

Above, you can see how the room looks like today.

She recently told her husband that she finally feels comfortable in their home and how much she truly loves it.  They are a young family with two toddler boys.

As part of my design consult, I recommended that she:

1. Invest in a new media console
2. Hang her flatscreen on the wall
3. Place a sofa table behind the sofa (against the window) to add some depth/interest to the window wall
4. Purchase large gourd lamps to go on sofa table
5. Add a round end table to connect the two sofas and break up the hard lines.
6. Lots of light colored pillows to break up the leather sofas which she did and chose all by herself
7. Paint walls lighter and brighter color
8. Add window treatments and woven shades

She has done an amazing job!!  And, just to emphasize where we started.  Below is the before picture when we started working together.  Notice the large blue painted window wall - so happy that no longer  looks like that!

She has come such a long way and has been such an incredible client.  I can't wait to show updates on her kitchen when it is all said and done!!  They say the greatest form of flattery is when a client you love working with asks you again to help them with a new space! I couldn't agree more and am certainly grateful!!

If you need help decorating a room, feel free to contact me!

Friday, March 18, 2016


I'm sure many of you have already seen Rebecca De Ravenel's sunny abode in Domino, if not, you're in for a beautiful home tour.  If you've already seen it, I am sorry you have to see these pictures again, but I couldn't resist not sharing on my blog.  It's that good.

I have to admit this room's paint color has me completely rethinking the paint color I picked for my living room (FB Blackened).  I was all set for a very pale gray with blue undertones, but now I see this and I am rethinking my decision.  Ugh.  I hate when that happens.

If I ever win the lottery, I would love to own Paule Marrot's piece of art called 'Clouds' seen above over the tortoise looking console.  In my dreams, I know.   It is so beautiful, calming, serene and feminine.  

Back to Rebecca's home.  I love the white octagon coffee table and bits of rattan.  Hillary Thomas' shop has a gorgeous white lacquered octagon table (just like this) (on super sale) here.  If I had the space, I'd snatch it up! 

Of course, I spot all my favorite designer's fabrics in my favorite colors.

So much goodness - woven shades, Lulu DK art, ticking slipcovers, awning stripes, raoul textiles…..the list goes on! I love how the decor is so effortless and eclectic.  

Ahh…the bedroom.  Blues and pinks.  Love it all!   So many things to study and to look at.  Do you remember her NY apartment published in Vogue?  See below.  This is how her bedroom looked back then.

And, here is more of now.

Raoul's blue and white Kashmir delft gets me all the time!  How wonderful does it look on that little tufted settee and in her bedroom!  And, the pink shaded sconce?   I remember that settee in her NY apartment which was in her living room.  See below.  

It's always fun to see how designers re-purpose their furnishings.  The settee looks great in both settings.

If you're interested in seeing her NY apartment in Vogue, go here.  It's always fun to see how her style has evolved and how she switched things around!  

Monday, March 14, 2016

Mixing It Up

It's funny how certain things that you are currently loving can be randomly thrown together and work quite effortlessly in a room.  Kinda like a blender drink, no?  Throw all the things you love in a blender and bam, you got one fabulous smoothie or a great frozen cocktail!

I realize that isn't always the case and editing is involved, but I was playing around with things I am currently loving lately and this is what I came up with.

Paint: Happy St. Patrick's Day! Loving emerald green lately probably because I used a darker hue in a client's living room, but I want to use this color more.  So classic.  I would love to paint a den or study in this rich, classic color.  It has me questioning my own LR and DR color schemes! Ugh!

Drapes: I've been a long-time lover of Brunschwig & Fils classic print, Les Touches and would love to use it in a project.  It's SO classic but fresh at the same time.  I can see them in a dining room as drapes - they would make such an impact.  And, if, that isn't in your budget, buy a yard or two for your chairs or as a tablecloth!

Rug: I guess I've been hiding under a rock, but just recently found out that Fibreworks is based in Louisville.  I recently met with a representative to get some of their Bakari samples.   Love this oversized graphic diamond pattern and it would look super chic in a dining or living room.  It keeps the room from feeling too formal or stuffy.

Pillow: Another fabric I'm just dying (DYING) to use and I might need to get it for my own home.  Brunshwig & Fils Chevron Bar silk warp print.  They have a beautiful blue colorway too!

Tortoise:  I NEED more tortoise in my home.  I realized I don't own a single piece.  What is wrong with me?

Lamps:  While I love me a beautiful gourd, these super chic lamps are so gorgeous, no?  They have a beautiful crackle finish.

Lastly, I apologize for the absence from this blog and IG.  Both my kiddos got hit with the flu these past two weeks and when that happens you go into survival mode.  Thankfully, we have a healthy family again and this will be our first week back to school!