Friday, December 31, 2010

Happy New Year from AO


And just like that, 2010 is over. It was a great year, full of lots of changes for me and an increasing love for this blog. Thank you for reading it. I wonder what 2011 will bring...

Wishing you and yours a wonderful new year blessed with health and happiness. See you Monday!

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Sweet Petite Chinoiserie

I love this sweet, petite little Chinoiserie oil painting on Etsy. Perfect to prop up on a vanity table.

I can't stop looking at it, it's so cute. If you like it, click here for the listing on Etsy (from a French seller).

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

A Dining Room from Joe Nye

Imagine my thrill unwrapping this gift on Christmas day...

I have devoured Joe Nye's Flair cover to cover twice already, and I'll be back for more. If you and I share similar tastes, you MUST own this book full of incredible eye candy.

Hands down, this is my favorite space from its pages:

I gasped and simultaneously shed a tear of joy looking at this red and light-aqua-seafoam-greenish Chinoiserie dining room. Walls, chairs, rug, curtains (especially the color), ceiling and light fixture. Love, love, love, love (especially love), love and love.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

A picture from the road

We are on the road heading back home today, so I'm checking in from my phone. Here's a picture from my shopping excursion yesterday...some awesome chairs in a shop window.

More words tomorrow when I'm not typing on a mini keyboard.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Chinoiserie Pieces

Did you have a lovely Christmas? We did. One of the best on record.

Carter and I are spending a couple of extra days in South Carolina with my in-laws. My mother-in-law has beautiful pieces in her home that I've always adored, including some Chinoiserie items. Here are some of my favorites that you'll enjoy:

We are heading out for a day of shopping at my favorites places in Columbia, SC. Hope your week is off to a great start!

Friday, December 24, 2010

Merry Christmas from AO

Feliz Navidad

Daniela & Carter

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Is it too late?

To ask Santa to bring me this?

Saw this amazing Chinoiserie urn at Z Gallerie whilst Christmas shopping. A little hard to see it since it's white, but trust me, it's awesome. Here's the link, Santa.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

One for you, Two for me

In this season of buying presents for others, don't forget to continue buying for yourself.

It's Victoria Hagan. It's pink. It's $4.99/yd. Get it here. Merry Christmas.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

The Home Stretch

Somehow, I am four days from Christmas with presents left to buy, ALL gifts left to wrap, and my Christmas cards have only this morning been mailed. This is so not like me. And I'm feeling a wee bit stressed...

But, Christmas will come and go before I know it and I hate that feeling. I'm attempting to slow down and enjoy the last days leading up to the grand finale.

In that spirit, a couple more shots of Christmas 'round our house:

A close up of the candle rings I put on my vintage wheat sconces. I was especially proud of this detailed touch. The rings had little glittered peppermints and candy canes.

Our living room armoire housed our Christmas cards this year, with some spillover nutcrackers. 

My dining room table got a centerpiece of all of my favorite jewel-toned ornaments with a porcelain cockatoo for good measure. Note the upside down ornaments sitting in my pineapple candlesticks...that's right.

Enjoy the last days of holiday cheer before we gather with our families and friends to celebrate.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Eileen Kathryn Boyd

Thanks to Lonny, I've met designer Eileen Kathryn Boyd. She's responsible for the amazing Christmas tree that was my Friday Crush.

EKB is based in New York and loves color. And I love her spaces.

Designer Eileen Kathryn Boyd

I'm always most enamored with designers that make color look sophisticated. They prove what I already know, and do it so well. EKB is certainly one of those designers. 

I'll stop talking now. Pictures:

All images via

And of course I am not overlooking her careful use of Chinoiserie pieces throughout her work. EKB has one of the better websites in the design world worth a tour - check it out here.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Friday Crush

Photo by Patrick Cline via Lonny

Let's be clear that I'm crushing on the entire Lonny issue. But this picture sent my heart racing into perfect Christmas territory. I adore the color scheme, the tree, the ribbon, that chair. Everything is beautiful. Even the radiator looks chic. Designed by Eileen Kathryn Boyd.

We have a packed weekend with holiday soirees! I'm very excited to spend time with lots of friends, co-workers and family to toast the holiday. Have a great weekend, grab those last minute gifts, and see you Monday!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Greek Chic Wallpaper

This wallpaper is, and I quote:

"a contemporary interpretation of classical Hellenic decorative sinuous motifs"

A moment when I could not have said it better myself.

I love a sinuous motif, especially one with a nod to Greek classicism. And this wallpaper made my jaw drop with its artistic lines and colorway. It's like snakes, and Greek key, and knots, and oh so many things all working together to create a dizzying pattern of goodness.

The quote, by the way, is from the description of the paper on the Velocity Art and Design website, where I found it. Also available in a very chic black/gold combination, as well as "Lemongrass" and a black on black pattern. Enjoy.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Chinoiserie Screens

I just wrapped up a designBoard for Kimber's dining room, and I included one of my favorite items - a Chinoiserie screen.

I discovered these handcrafted screens on a while back and they come in several sizes and motifs at very reasonable prices. They are the perfect way to make a large art statement on a wall with Chinoiserie flair.

Some favorites:

I desperately want one, but since they are large, I need the right spot and have yet to find one in my house.  I'll keep trying. In the meantime, there are many many options if you'd like one for yourself. Go to and type in "silk screen" and you'll get a good batch of results from which to choose.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Mrs. Howard in Charlotte

I mentioned Friday that Carter ran a marathon this past weekend. He was outstanding. Came in one minute under his personal best time, on a particularly hilly course in Charlotte, NC.

Now, let's talk about me. I trekked all over kingdom come to catch him at several stops around the route. It was part motivation to cheer him on and part having no clue how far these distances actually were that I walked miles on Saturday. And sometimes the walk turned into a panicked jog as I fretted that I would miss him at a stop.

During a particularly panicked sprint, I was hustling down East Morehead Street, but stopped when I saw this:

Mrs. Howard's Charlotte location. Home to Phoebe Howard's genius. So, though I was in a rush, I paused a moment to pay my respects. Thankfully it was too early and the store was not open or I *may* have ditched my cheerleading duties.

Here are some jaw-droppers posted on the Mrs. Howard blog from their opening last year:

Click here to see more images of the beautiful store...

Monday, December 13, 2010

A Floating Chinoiserie Bar

I had a mini breakdown and my stress level elevated as I tried picking my favorite set of images from the latest issue of Lonny for today's post. The issue is amazing. And that is an understatement. If you love turquoise, you'll love this issue.

Feeling overwhelmed, I will just share this chic idea from the home of Angele Parlange. A floating Chinoiserie bar:

Image by Patrick Cline via Lonny

We know I'm obsessed with bars, and this has to be one of my favorites. Perfect for a small room where floor space might be tight, but wall space abounds. And the Chinoiserie flair completes it. Bar accessories, a cool mirror or artwork and some treats for guests to munch on as they walk by - noting this for future use.

Go. Lonny yourself.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Friday Crush

Image by Patrick Cline via Lonny

Manly Chinoiserie. The bar of a gentleman. Courtesy of John Robshaw via Lonny. Did you notice the Greek key trim? My fascination with bar vignettes continues...

The new issue of Lonny is out today. Seems like I'm always an issue behind, but I love every moment of every page. Get it while it's hot.

Carter is running a marathon this weekend. As in 26.2 miles of non-stop motion. With sweat. And pain. I can't fathom it. And he can't fathom spending 6 hours in a fabric store. And to be honest, by the time I'm done with a fabric run, I have likely traversed 26.2 miles myself. With sweat. And delight.

I will be cheering him on as he completes this feat of strength this weekend! Hope you all have wonderful weekends...see you Monday!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

A Blog Design

I usually don't share my web design on the blog, but I work on some pretty fun projects. I get to design and play with color all day long, both at my day job and with occasional freelance work. I love what I do. I'm a lucky girl.

Thought I would share a very recent blog design that you will likely enjoy since you dig interior design blogs. I had the pleasure of working with Jenny of Jenny Castle Design on a little graphic facelift for her slice of the internet.

Jenny is located in the DC area and writes a great blog, as well as runs her own interior design company. Click here to visit her blog.

You might have also seen my design handiwork on Chinoiserie Chic and Kelly Green. Like I said, I love what I do!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

AO Christmas 2010: The Tree

Note the poinsettia topper.

The tree is very similar to last year - I kept the ornaments in my green/white theme to match our living room. I scored a sweet ruffle tree skirt at HomeGoods. And since my nutcracker mantel (which sits on the opposite side of the room) has so much red, I went the traditional route of adding red touches to the tree.  I used more of my glittery poinsettia stems for a tree topper and cascaded some simple red ribbon down each side.

Y'all were so nice with your comments yesterday on my mantel. Thank you :)

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

AO Christmas 2010: Nutcracker Mantel

My house. As we speak. Nutcrackertastic.

Allow me to gush over my nutrackers. I adore them. This is the first Christmas that I have a fireplace mantel, so I *might* have gone a little nutty (pun intended) rounding up new additions to my collection for display.

I also love to decorate with poinsettias. They were my "theme" many years ago, so I had lots of glittery stems in storage. I found they were perfect for bringing out the red in the little guys, especially on display inside my blue and white chinese porcelain.

One thing I opted to do this year was to trash all of my faux garland. We bought a fresh garland at Home Depot, along with a fresh wreath (and our tree, of course) and we opted for only fresh greenery this year, and I'm a total fan. Don't think I'll go faux again (except maybe outside where durability is key).

Carter likes the stockings. Our old stockings were ruffled, polka dot, and there may have been some leopard print involved. He is happy to have this nutcracker pair hanging from his handiwork.

Tomorrow, the tree.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Obama White House Christmas

If you caught my tweet on Saturday, you know that I was at the White House enjoying the 2010 holiday decorations! Carter got us tickets through his office, so we were able to visit the White House decked out in all of its holiday glory.

The 2010 theme is "Simple Gifts", so decorations included fruit, recycled paper and common objects, but the holiday glamour was not lost. Every room was gorgeous.

I'll quit yapping so you can get to the pictures, and you'll have to excuse the quality. These were taken on my phone* and I sprinkled them with a little Photoshop magic since many turned out kind of dark/blurry.

Lobby and Corridor:

East Room:

Green Room:

Blue Room:

Red Room:

State Dining Room:

Entrance Hall Foyer:

Seeing all of these lovely decorations definitely got me in the Christmas spirit. The Blue Room tree was my favorite - it was huge!

I finished our tree and decorating our living room this weekend - will share pictures this week.

*If you're asking yourself why on earth I didn't bring a real camera to take pictures....well, that's a good question. I definitely planned to, until Carter was misinformed that cameras were not allowed, so he told me to leave mine at home. Well, lo and behold, cameras were totally allowed. Luckily, I had my cell phone. But, it's battery was on its way out when we walked, blinking red light on its way out. Somehow, it lasted through all of my picture was a Christmas miracle.
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