Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Foos at Home

The foos have found their home.

I found my pair of foo dogs when we bought the house - so going on 1.5 years ago. And although I adore them, I never had a good place for them and thus they were moved from spot to spot in and around our living room.

At Christmas, I was given those lovely gilt wall brackets by my in-laws, but also wasn't sure where to put them.

And then I had one of those "ah-ha" moments....although I loved the little scene atop the armoire, I thought it could use some layering, and adding the foo dogs to the wall would give it some interest and give me lovely foos the attention they deserved.

The moral of my story is that I am one who abides by the rule of "If you love it, you'll make it work". Sometimes it takes time to figure out exactly where things will go, but in the end, you make it happen.

The foos are very content atop their new perch.

Monday, August 30, 2010


Thought I would give you a jolt to get you going this Monday morning. Call me crazy, but I think this wallpaper would be killer in the right space. To me, it feels more artistic and sophisticated than your typical zebra print. I could see it paired with coral....hmmm. All I know is I love it. Do you?

Go here and type in SW5CB181354 for the pattern number - at under $50 for a double roll, it won't break the bank but it will give you a huge look. Everyone will be jealous (including me).

Friday, August 27, 2010

Friday Crush

Did you see this gorgeous space floating around blogland this week? It's in the Lee Jofa showroom at the NYC D&D Building and was designed by Miles Redd to show off LJ's new Oscar de la Renta Home collection. I'm a green nut, and I think deep shades of green are so sophisticated...those lamps are incredible. And I love the artwork next to the bed. Read more about the room on Kravet's blog here...

Enjoy the weekend as summer starts to fade (which is fine by me because I love fall)...see you Monday!

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Chair Love

Wondering what to do with that $450 burning a hole in your pocket? Might I suggest purchasing this rad Hollywood Regency chair currently listed on Etsy?

I love it. Not in my budget, but if you are looking for a special piece, this is it. And oh the possibilities of this chair reupholstered! It would be the most terrific bedroom chair...sitting in a corner...with a pharmacy lamp...and a beautiful little side table to hold your reading material.

Get it here.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Sittin' Pretty in Nanjing

Do you remember the fabulous Chinoiserie chair that Carter gifted me for Christmas?

Well, I finally recovered her seat. She's now sitting pretty in Schumacher's Nanjing.

She also has a friend.

The [now] dynamite pair sit in two corners of our dining room and serve as our head chairs as needed. The room is shades of green and lavender with touches of black and gold. I started incorporating some blue and white porcelain a while back in the form of a large ginger jar that serves as the table's centerpiece and some plates I display on the wall.

Nanjing is the perfect touch to pull more of the classic blue and white Chinoiserie into the room. I'm thinking I might do some accompanying bolster pillows in a lavender moire fabric... 

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Rag Rugs via Etsy

As I contemplated our recently complete bathroom remodel, I was looking for a great bath mat. Something a little different than your typical white shag/terry one. Our floor is white tile, our toilet and sink are white and the walls have white beadboard wainscoting, so I wanted something that would contrast a bit with its surroundings.

I started thinking about using a rag rug...they usually have a nice mix of colors and are soft and somewhat absorbent for a bathroom. I knew Etsy would be a great place to look for rag rugs because they are often handmade by recycling old bits of cloth and weaving them together to create mixed patterns. Although I ended up going with a small patterned kilim for the bathroom, I really loved many of the rag rugs I saw on Etsy.

Do any of these strike your fancy?

I know we all probably think of rag rugs as a bit "country", but I think in the right setting, mixed with non-country elements, these rugs can look chic. And I always love bringing something handmade and unique into my home. Search "rag rug" on Etsy to find all sorts of choices.

Monday, August 23, 2010

A Great Basic

My sister was visiting this weekend, and she asked where I picked up one of my favorite pillows. This apple green velvet monogrammed number:

I told her I ordered it from Ballard Designs, and I thought I should share that here too because I think these pillows are some of the best buys you can get for your home. I call them "filler pillows" because they are the kind of pillows you can move from room to room and pattern to pattern to use as inexpensive (but nice) back up dancers.

The pillows range from $20-$35, depending on the fabric you choose, but that includes a very nice pillow insert and free monogramming, so I think it's a great deal. The velvet pillows are my favorite - I have two chocolate velvet ones in addition to the green one. I also have a pair of the quilted off-white pillows, and I must say that I bought all five pillows years ago and I still love them.

So there you have it - what I consider a great basic. One of the LBDs of home decoration. Order yours here.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Friday Crush

Photos by Paul Whicheloe via myhomeideas.com

Do you remember this oldie but goodie dining room from defunct Cottage Living? It was always one of my favorites...I love the artwork, the use of pink and the striae treatment the homeowner, Janet Gregg, accomplished by dragging cardboard along a paint/glaze mixture on her walls. Genius, inexpensive and custom. She extended the look into her entryway, and that bar is wonderful - simple and oh so inviting as guests walk through the door. Nice work Ms. Gregg.

Hope you all have a wonderful weekend - see you Monday!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Thursday Crush

Design by: Megan Young

Why I like it: I double dog dare you to point out something in this room I don't like. The cockatoo upholstery on the chairs? No. The tortoise end table? No. Oh, I know. The orange patterned rug. Heck no. Then it must the Chinoiserie figurine lamps or the lion-ish foo dogs on the lucite coffee table. No, no and more no. This room is terrific. Truly.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Wednesday Crush

Photo by Spring Dyer via House of Turquoise

Design by: Roberts Erickson Design

Why I like it: Holy mirrors. Did you seeeee this on HOT yesterday? Of course you did. This is crazy good for a mirror lover like me. That black and gold peacock-ish one is heaven on earth. Not to mention the unique collection is paired with the most fantastic side table, turquoise urn and foo dog lamp. How many houses have you walked into with this kind of awkward staircase wall? Proof that any space can look spectacular with a little thinking.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Tuesday Crush

Photo by Patrick Cline via lonnymag.com

Design by: Callie Jenschke

Why I like it:  Pure and simple, those black and white glasses. They stopped me in my tracks. But, I'll admit that the whole arrangement is inspiring - I love looking at bar arrangements. Are you like me and find a whole lot of inspiration in a close-up photo like this of a room's detail, just as much as a whole room? I love studying photos like this one - all the small details are just wonderful.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Monday Crush

Image by Simon Watson via housebeautiful.com

Design by: Todd Klein

Why I like it: I think this might go down as one of my favorite living rooms of all time. The mirror (!), the black fireplace mantel, the China Seas fabrics, the paint color, touches of red, bookcases - I could go on. This whole room and the way it flows into the adjoining room is perfection.

p.s. I'm doing a Crush week - a favorite on display every day.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Friday Crush

Photo by Michael Graydon

I want, nay, I need this floor. Yes, this kitchen is drop-dead gorgeous and exemplifies my favorite black/white combination, but that flooooor - the herringbone pattern is blissful. This kitchen genius is designed by Tommy Smythe (Sarah Richardson's right hand man). I first spotted the image on Shelter, and I haven't stopped thinking about it all week.

I am so happy it is Friday and the start to another weekend. Another two days to knock out some projects on the house...it will be September before we know it! (And recall my October Phase I deadline) Hope your weekend is as fantastic as this floor. See you Monday!

Thursday, August 12, 2010


Do you know Hanna Brooks Nation? Of GADABOUT?

If you don't, I'm thrilled you are meeting her here. And buckle your seat belt, because I have LOTS of eye candy to follow.

Hanna illustrates. And from these unique, hand-drawn illustrations, she creates wonderful stationary...many with Chinoiserie and interior decor themes.

I'm not sure when I first came across this 24-year-old-southerner, but I do recall my mouth hanging open when I saw her website. As a web designer, I get tingly all over when I come across a beautifully designed site, much like a beautifully designed room, and Hanna's site definitely got me. I mean, it's orange. Girl after my own heart.

Behold Hanna's craftwork (these are all notecards):

Note the subtle monograms on some. And these are just a small sampling of Hanna's collection.

I had the pleasure of emailing back and forth a bit with Hanna, and she explained that, like many creative types, she is inspired by just about anything at any moment of the day - a magazine, a word, a fabric. She loves to travel and spends her time with her eyes, ears and senses open, ready for that next tidbit she'll turn into an illustration.

At 24, Hanna is already down the path of entrepreneurship, running her creative company, website, and even launching a very cool iPhone app called "POST" that lets you send messages, invitations and emails to your friends using her designs as a backdrop. Click here to check it out.

Are you loving Hanna's designs as much as I do? Get some of her stationary for yourself here.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Shop Furbish

If you follow design blogs, but don't live in Raleigh (like me), you have likely wanted to set foot in Furbish Studio (like me). Well, now you can...virtually.  Jamie Meares of i suwannee and Furbish Studio has launched an online venture - www.shopfurbish.com - where you can get much of the loot she sells in her Raleigh shop.

shopfurbish.com ranges from higher-end furniture and by-the-yard fabric, to awesome affordable accessories - all showcasing Jamie's eye for design, which oft leans toward Chinoiserie.

Shop away...

Tuesday, August 10, 2010


Today I have a question for you, dear readers.

I'm torn about tearing - what are your thoughts on the issue?

My House Beautiful arrived last week, and the moment I saw the page above (pottery by Jill Rosenwald) I wanted to rip it out and frame it or tack it to my yet-to-be-finished inspiration board. It's so gorgeous! But, I couldn't bring myself to rip out the page and disturb the glossy mag.

This happens a lot. I see an ad or a room in a mag that sends my heart fluttering, and I want to tear it out, but I can't do it. I just can't. So the ad/room stays in the mag and I forget about it. And then when I remember to look at it again, the details are vague as to which issue had it and I spend an afternoon looking for it.

I know I am talking to a pool of my peers, so what do you do? Do you rip pages out to your heart's content and surround yourself with tear sheets that constantly inspire you, meanwhile leaving your stack of mags a bit page-less here and there? Or do you prefer to maintain your mags in pristine condition to enjoy for years to come?

This issue has risen to the forefront recently, as I am in the process of finishing one of our guest bedrooms and it will be serving double duty as my office, complete with inspiration board to keep track of the many things that catch my eye. And I'm torn...pun intended.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Jenny's Sale

I'll be signing autographs, as I was one of the lucky ones to be able to attend Little Green Notebook Jenny's flea market sale in Arlington, VA on Saturday morning. The sale started at 7:00 am, and by the time I arrived at 7:45, 90% of the loot was gone (much to my dismay).

Even so, it was super fun to meet Jenny. LGN has to be one of my top three favorite blogs so meeting the wealth of creativity that is Jenny was such a treat. She was very sweet and we had a quick chat while she was busy attending to her customers (and fans!).

I know we were ALL wondering who would walk away with that a-m-a-z-i-n-g Chiang Mai Dragon settee....drum roll please...

Heather sitting proudly atop her loot

Miss Heather was the lucky purchaser! And she obliged with a picture to document her new loot. Heather said she was redoing her living room and the settee went right along with her new plans. Lucky lady!

Although I didn't get to see the sale in "prime time", I did not walk away empty-handed. I found a terrific pair of ceramic lamps in the most beautiful shade of deep green. They just need a lamp kit and some new shades and they will be drop-dead gorgeous (Jenny lamented seeing these go! But I promised a good home):

And, I also found this wonderful Diego Rivera print in a very, very pretty frame. Do you remember my post on his work? This print is just beautiful...and will work great in several of our rooms.

Did any other locals score some of Jenny's loot? 

Jenny held her mass sale as she, her husband, and their three girls are making a move to NYC very shortly...good luck with the move Jenny!

p.s. It was also great to meet a couple of AO readers - thanks to those of you who introduced yourself! :)

Friday, August 6, 2010

Friday Crush

Photo by Mikkel Vang via housebeautiful.com

My love affair with pagoda silhouettes continues - this time in the form of a pelmet box. I simply must do this somewhere in my home. I also applaud the combination of red and yellow - it works; especially with a touch of turquoise which brings it all together as turquoise is simply magical paired with red and paired with yellow. And don't think I didn't notice the cockatoos - extra credit.

A full list of projects awaits me this weekend (as usual)...we were gone two weekends in a row, so I need to make some progress this weekend (did I tell you I've given myself an October deadline for finishing up "Phase I" of this house?) 

Hope your weekend is fantastic...see you Monday!

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Playing Footsie

I, like many, am enamored with the Cindy Crawford Trellis Foot Stool available at JCPenney...

It's a Chinoiserie blank canvas ready for your choice of paint and fabric. The price is reasonable at $100, although I want two, so I make a point to constantly stalk it to see if it will go on super sale.

I came across another lovely Chinoiserie foot stool option that offers the same blank slate to work with...

This option is available on Overstock.com for $133, and I adore its lines. In fact, this one is pretty good as-is, but still gives you some room for a makeover if you deem it needed. This option would also be lovely in a pair, but I'll have to save my pennies to buy two.

Now I can't decide which one I like more. Decisions, decisions...

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Beach Shopping

I have to admit, one of my favorite parts of being at the beach in South Carolina is thrift store shopping (sprinkled with some upscale home shopping). The past couple of years, I have found some terrific items, although most of them stay at the store. Even so, it's very fun to look!

In case you are interested, these shops are located in the Murrells Inlet/Litchfield/Pawleys Island area of South Carolina - all off of Hwy 17. 

Here are some treats I came across last week. First up were some thrift shops, and I came across this zebra lamp:

His red eye was kind of creepy, but of course he screamed "Scalamandre wallpaper!" like this room:

Design by Massucco, Warner, Miller

This wheat-themed fire screen would actually be perfect for our living room, but I thought it might be a bit matchy-matchy with our wheat sconces. Even so, I loved it.

One shop had a whole Chinoiserie section with vases, furniture and paintings. Here were my favorites - I desperately wanted that pagoda painting!

Another thrift shop had this awesome armoire below. 'Twas a bit 80s, but I LOVED the hardware and overall shape. Could look very cool painted or left as is. Definitely thought about this one too but a) nowhere to put it and b) couldn't haul it back to Virginia amidst our beach stuff. Someone will get lucky with this one...

I also found a pair of twin bamboo headboards for $150 for both, which was a total steal. Carter and I actually conversed about them, but buying them would be ridiculous because I literally have no use for twin headboards and I don't think we want to store them for umpteen years until we have a child's bedroom....but oh, did I want them. I thought I had taken a picture of them (actually, I know I did), but I can't find it on my phone camera.

Moving on....I also love hitting up some upscale shops while I'm there. Three in particular - Waccamaw Interiors, Eleanor Pitts, and Sea Wife. I didn't take any pix in Sea Wife this year, but if you love non-kitschy nautical decor, this shop is for you! Check out their Facebook page.

These below were my favorites at Waccamaw Interiors - lots of Chinoiserie!

Excuse the glare in my photography, but the above flamingo print (which had me swooning) reminds me of the one we just saw in Bunny Williams' island home in the latest issue of Lonny.

Image by Patrick Cline via lonnymag.com

Here are some shots from Eleanor Pitts, a GORGEOUS jewelry and home decor shop filled with beautiful china patterns, Herend figurines, linens, serving pieces...a girl's dream come true. Here were some of the shots I took (I was trying to be discreet in this very nice shop, so I didn't snap many pix).

Don't you love these painted Chinoiserie steps below? They have always been a favorite of mine:

This set of bone boxes and this bamboo dining set were on my list of wants:

As you can see, many things caught my eye this beach trip (as is always the case). Thanks for taking a virtual shopping trip with me!

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