If you’ve been checking out the other photos of my house (here, here and here), then you’ve noticed that my style is pretty traditional. It’s not everyone’s cup of tea but it suits me to, well, a T.
For years, as I hit estate sales, flea markets and thrift stores looking for traditional items to fill my first home, a classical bust was at the top of my wishlist, but their high price tags meant I always went home bust-less. So I was thrilled to find this one at an estate sale for the bargain-basement price of….wait for it….50 cents! Yep, that’s right, it was tagged $1 and, as this was the sale’s last day, they had marked everything half price. Best of all, she represents my favorite Greco/Roman deity: Artemis (aka Diana), mythology’s original wild woman — goddess of the hunt, chastity, childbirth, the moon and protector of women.
My bust is plaster and therefore very fragile, hence the long (character-adding) crack across her cheek:
A plaster bust is the least expensive option. My friend and fellow traditionalist, Grant, one-upped me last weekend and scored this lovely pair of bisque (or unglazed) porcelain busts at an estate sale for only $20:
One of the really great things about my job is the chance to preview new products before they make it to stores. Usually it’s a candle or pillow but every now and again it’s something unexpected but totally fun — like these pet costumes from Target!
While I don’t exactly plan on taking my pups trick-or-treating, I couldn’t resist dressing them up for fun. Target’s expanded their already (super!) adorable selection for 2012 so if you haven’t considered decking out your dog before – this may be the year.
Here’s my little girl, Sophie, modeling one of the new costumes that just hit the shelves. She’s a 3-year old Schnoodle (Schnauzer/Poodle) and, as you can tell, she’s pretty jazzed to be mommy’s little piggy:
Not to be outdone, Madeline, my 9-year-old Bichon Frise, strutted her stuff as a cheerleader:
Alright, it’s countdown time people. Just 8 weeks until Halloween; it’s time to get a jump on making outdoor decorations. You’re in luck because I’ve gathered 4 killer projects, with accompanying printable templates, so you can haunt your home in style.
You could let your yard go to the birds with our Giant Raven Cut-Out:
Or give trick-or-treaters a fright with our Life-Size (Well, at least Afterlife-Size) Gauzy Ghost:
As I’ve mentioned before: I love antiques but, in particular, my heart skips a beat when I see European antiques — French finds in particular. Years ago, I discovered a gilt Rococo-inspired wall clock at a flea market. The clock face looked to be from the ’60s but the surrounding frame was hand-carved wood with applied gold leaf and appeared to be much older. At the time, I lived in Los Angeles and really had no use for it so it languished, forgotten, in my parents’ North Carolina basement for a decade until I rediscovered it. And, let me tell you, it was a very happy reunion indeed. I had recently purchased a round needlepoint of violets at an estate sale without a frame. Once I popped out the ’60s clock, I thought the Rococo frame and sweet, little needlepoint would make a happy pair.
And so they did:
Let me start by saying that I have the best daddy in the world. Yes, I said “daddy.” I’m a Southerner through-and-through and that’s what we call our fathers — especially the doting, do-anything-for-their-kids type. There’s no home-improvement project he can’t conquer and I’m proud to say that I inherited my can-do gene from him.
My 1950′s kitchen has seen quite a few upgrades in the five years I’ve owned my home but the backsplash has always seemed lacking. So this summer, I decided the time had finally come to install a tile backsplash. Because I like to go big, I chose marble subway tile — fragile, costly, moisture-sensitive Carrara marble. Probably not the best choice for my first tiling project, but that’s how I roll.
My parents made the drive from North Carolina so my Dad could teach me the ways of the force while I did my research and sourced all the materials we’d need so we could knock it out in a long weekend.
Before: Not bad but it could be better. The paint color is Valspar Jekyll Club Pulitzer Blue, if you’re wondering:
See The After Shots
When searching for my current home (my first!), I had a pretty long list of must-haves: a fireplace, crown molding, hardwood floors, a fenced-in yard for my pups and an en-suite bath for myself. I also wanted a foyer — a separate antechamber with enough room for an entry table and a few decorations plus a closet for hidden storage. Well, as is true of many first-time homebuyers, I got most of the things on my list but something had to give. You guessed it: I didn’t get a foyer; the front door opens directly into my living room. Oh well, you can’t win ‘em all.
Luckily my living room is pretty big (15′ x 21′) so I just designated a 6′ x 10′ area to use as a foyer:
All over the country, kids are headed back to school — a reminder that fall and then the holidays are coming up fast. If you haven’t already, now’s a great time to start your Christmas crafting. To help you deck the halls with handmade goodies, I’ve gathered a few of my favorite Christmas crafts.
French for shadow or shade, ombré continues to top the must-try trends for both fashion and interior design. Which is good news because these Ombré Felt Trees are too cute to miss:
One rule I follow when thrifting is to see a find for what it can be not what it is. Take this antique drawer I found at an estate sale. It was at the bottom of a scrap wood pile in a stuffed-to-the-gills garage. The home’s previous owner had been a never-throw-away-anything-you-may-someday-need type and had seen the potential usefulness of a small drawer that had long since been separated from it’s original piece of furniture.
What sold me is its runner-less construction. Runners are the wood or metal glides that help a drawer to smoothly slide in and out; without them a drawer is just a shallow box. I was on the lookout for a small tray that could do double duty serving food and drinks at parties and was big enough to neatly store magazines on my coffee table the rest of the time – I thought I could make this drawer work. The bottom was flimsy due to water damage so I added a plywood board to strengthen it then tacked on quarter-round trim to disguise my fix and handles on each end so it could really function as a tray.
This project was a bargain costing me less than 10 bucks -- $3 for the drawer + another $6 for the handles which are actually gate pulls rather than drawer pulls. The quarter-round trim and stain I already had on hand.
I love antiques. My home is filled with them. I’ll admit that’s partly out of bargain-hunting necessity but mainly because, in many ways, I feel that antiques are better — better construction, better lines, better attention to detail — just better. They have a character, charm and history that new and mass-produced can’t match.
Take this winsome little vase. I discovered her at a rural flea market this spring covered in decades of grime. The milk glass color and classic Greco/Roman shape drew me in while the $1 price tag sealed the deal. Honestly, I didn’t recognize it as an Avon bottle until I’d cleaned her up enough to make out the label.
My vintage Avon "Grecian Pitcher" originally held bath oil when sold in the '70s, now it's my go-to vase for short-stemmed flowers like gardenias.
Necessity, they say, is the mother of invention — and when you’re the mother of four kids and a top mommy blogger, designing kids’ rooms that are both fun and functional is a necessity. Enter Rebecca Woolf of Girl’s Gone Child; she’s taking us on a video and photo tour of nurseries and kids’ rooms that offer big design ideas for your little one.
Start by peeking inside the whimsical world of Rebecca’s 10-month-old twin daughters, Reverie and Boheme, to get a taste of her eclectic style:
If money woes or the recent crazy weather has you vacationing at home this summer, now’s a great time to tackle some of the updates you’ve been putting off. Let’s start in the living room — after all, it’s where you gather with family and friends and often the first room people see when entering your home. Time to show it some love. To get you started, I’ve gathered a few of my favorite living room updates that will add a lot of style for just a little cash.
With some lumber and trim, you could update your fireplace surround:
If you’re like me and this summer’s (crazy!) record-breaking high temps have you looking for a weekend project that won’t cause you to break a sweat, then I have just the project for you: reviving your bathroom’s stained grout. Don’t worry, this is WAY easier than it sounds, costs less than $20 and no grinder or chisel is needed.
My sad bathroom floor before. This is the original 1950′s tile and, although you can’t tell, is a beautiful Robin’s egg blue.
Well, it’s true: Summer is officially here and that means vacation season is upon us. Hopefully, you have a relaxing getaway planned but if you’re staycationing because money is tight or just need a quick mental break, I’ve gathered together some of the country’s most luxurious hotels for your virtual vacationing pleasure. We’re talking lifestyles of the rich and famous, people! So, grab an icy summer beverage, kick back and take a photo tour of high-end hotels where high-end design reigns supreme plus get tips for bringing the boutique-chic look home.
In previous months, we’ve introduced you to colors that you may not have previously considered using in your home. Grape, copper and coral were big hits; however, pink champagne and mint green received mixed reviews. We think we’ve hit on a color for May that’s definitely trending, can be used either as a neutral or as a dramatic punch of color and is undeniably timeless.
Wanna know what it is?
Walk into any store in Anytown, USA and it’s impossible to miss: saturated, stage-stealing colors are everywhere. Maybe it’s in reaction to the hopeful upturn in the economy or maybe we’re all just over the greige (lookin’ at you, Restoration Hardware). Either way, I’m tickled pink by the season’s hot hues and we’ve picked one of the hottest to feature this month.
Ready to meet your new color crush?
Our color team’s goal each month is to introduce you to a hue that’s on the rise but may not be pinging your design radar — yet. For March, we selected a color to inspire both the traditionalists and modernists among you (and everyone in between!). This hip hue brightens indoor and outdoor spaces equally well while providing a dramatic counterpoint to spring’s traditional colors.
This color is sexy, bold and, depending on what it’s paired with, can read either feminine or masculine.
Wanna know what it is?
The days are getting longer and, here in the Southeast, the early signs of spring have sprung. Granted, it’s a premature spring and the brave early blooms are likely to be hit by an inevitable cold snap. Which leaves us in a seasonal no-mans-land that has inspired our choice of a color that’s still wintry yet holds the happy promise of approaching spring. This color is fresh, playful and will add a cheery pop to any room. Wanna know what it is?
Let’s all raise a glass to 2012, a year that’s full of promise! In honor of the many parties we’ll attend this month and the heady feeling of endless possibilities a new year brings, we selected a color that’s fresh, effervescent and downright bubbly.
Wanna know what it is?
Hard to believe but the holidays, with their familiar color palettes, are almost upon us (where has the time gone?!). We thought we’d shake it up a bit this year and introduce you to a hue that pairs well with the traditional red, green, blues and metallics while adding a sophisticated, cheery pop. Wanna know what it is?
By now, most parts of the country have traded the sun-filled days of summer for a crisper fall clime but the warming presence of the sun is still evident in our selection of this month’s color. From the runway to the changing leaves outside your window, this happy hue is popping up everywhere. It’s such a natural choice that it won by a (nearly) unanimous vote. Wanna know what it is?