Lobster tacos and pillows…

The weather’s been just incredible lately – flowers are blooming, birds are chirping and best of all, I wore short sleeves yesterday! Not only has the weather been perfect, I’ve had lots of fun things to do. On Wednesday night, Ferguson had a party celebrating the opening of their new showroom. Their old showroom was nice, but the new one is really pretty. It’s about twice the size of their old one and everything is sparkly and new. I don’t always meet my clients there, but it’s really fun when I do. Their showroom is above Hermes in the fancy shopping district, so even though I will probably never shop in the designer stores, it’s fun feeling fancy when I go there. The party was in the Ferguson showroom – they had chefs preparing lobster tacos, salmon and sushi in their working kitchen. The girls from the showroom were there, too – it was fun to chat with them in a non-work situation.

 

Yesterday, I had a lunch and learn at Century Furniture sponsored by Sherwin-Williams. They had yummy salad and little sandwiches and water in a glass pitcher that was filled with sliced citrus. Before we ate, there was a talk on metamerism. What in the heck is metamerism? It’s just a fancy way of saying that colors look different in different lights. Like, you know how those lovely florescent lights in the store dressing room just make everyone look green? That red shirt you try on in the changing room probably will look different when you get it home and look at it under your incandescent light, which is warm.

 

The main message from the class was that if you love a paint color at your friends house down the street don’t just go buy it and throw it up on your wall. It will look different in your house – your room may be facing a different way, or you may have different lighting. Test your colors before you paint!

 

Last night, I went to a neighbors house to celebrate our friend’s new job. She went from a family unfriendly school administrator job that had a horrible commute and long hours and no summers off to a teaching position at a high school a few minutes away. After having stayed home and worked from home for my husband for so long I have to say it is really challenging to work full time and never have any time off and also raise a family. I am really happy for my friend – I’m so glad she found something that works better for her family!

 

We gathered in my neighbor’s sunroom last night and the first thing I noticed were her fabulous new blue pillows piled up on her sofa. I asked her OOOhhh are these new? And she said yes, they were her Christmas present. I like that idea – I’m might just have to ask Santa for pillows this year! She said she found them on etsy – the company is called Pill-o-matic.  The owner, who is in L.A., started her shop when the sofa she bought came with ugly pillows. Here’s one of the pillows you can choose from. (Click on the photos go to the  site.)

 

beverly hills leaf print

 

Look what you can get! Weren’t we just talking about fabulous leaf prints?

 

I like this navy pillow. I like how it’s graphic without being over the top graphic-y.

navy chevron pillow

 

This is one of the blue pillows at my neighbor’s house. Pretty!

 

pagoda pillow

 

Here’s the coral color way. Pretty!!!! I love the colors in this one!

 

coral pagoda pillow

 

Here’s a fun spotty print. It kind of reminds me of a dalmatian and kind of like this print.

 

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This would be cute in a coastal cottage.

 

coral navy pillow

 

And my classic favorite – cheetah. Lurves this!

 

velvet cheetah pillow

 

Updating pillows is an easy and relatively inexpensive way to refresh your decor. Which pillow is your favorite?

Designing a colorful home

Last week, I attended a panel discussion about color at the Taylor Burke Home Showroom at ADAC (Atlanta Decorative Arts Center). The panelists included the owner of Taylor Burke, Julianne Taylor, lively design blogger Paige of The Pink Clutch and designers Lance Jackson and David Ecton of Parker Kennedy Living.

Let me start by saying, I was in heaven in Taylor Burke Home. It was all preppy, leopard print, brass, crystal and bright pink and green. Check out the crystals in this lamp – isn’t it gorgeous?

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The showroom was filled with gorgeous huge pillows trimmed out in fun tape. The green ones are so pretty and preppy – I tried to stuff them in my purse, but they didn’t fit.  😉

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Big chunks of crystal were everywhere. The lamps were just amazing. Crystal must be a trend – there was tons of it at RH Modern in NYC .

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I could just close my eyes, spin around and point at something and buy it and be happy. Let’s just say, though, you pay for the pretty – it’s out of my personal Target-level budget, but I could see sourcing here for a client. Julianne did say she will soon be launching a lower end line that will be more accessible. I know I will love all of it!

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Isn’t the lacquer pretty? I love the chinoiserie feel of it.

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The panel discussion was about color – what all the panelists have in common is a love of bright color. Jackson and Ecton are particularly known for their fearless use of bright colors. I first encountered their work at the Cathedral Tour of Homes show house three years ago. They did the living room in hot pink and deep blue.

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Isn’t that pink ceiling a showstopper? Believe it or not, the decision to paint the ceiling pink was a decision made on the fly. They were not allowed to paint the paneled wood  walls, so after designing the room, they decided the room needed something, and Jackson came up with the idea to paint the ceiling pink with a blue accent. This caught the eye of Clinton Smith, former editor of Atlanta Homes and Lifestyles, and now editor of Veranda. That pink ceiling launched their career into another level and got them lots of attention – their work has been featured in Atlanta Homes and Lifestyles and Southern Living. To see the difference the ceiling makes, cover the pink with your hand and look at the room. Then look at it with the pink – it makes a big difference, doesn’t it?

I just love this color scheme. For me personally, I don’t think I’d use it in a main room, but I think it would be great in a bedroom or bathroom. Or in a laundry room like this. Sorry the picture is not great, but I had a hard time finding this picture. This designer does not have an active website, so there aren’t many pictures out there.

I’d love to do a similar look in my sad, sad laundry room, but I’d like to bring in the Parker Kennedy pink instead of this red.

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Here’s another (better) picture of the other side of the room. Love!

 

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What I find interesting about the Parker Kennedy boys is that Jackson has a degree in design and Ecton does not. At the end of the talk, they opened up the floor to questions. One woman asked about work life balance – how do they balance having a family and running a design business (all of the panelists have young children). They all said you have to make it a priority. Julianne purposely located her office close to home, Paige stops working in the afternoon and focuses entirely on family and Lance has a flexible schedule so he can bring and pick up his son from school.

The woman asking the question also said that she has been a designer for a couple of years and is self-taught. She asked Ecton and Jackson if she should go back to school and study interior design. I found their answer encouraging – they said that if she were in her 20s they might say yes, go back to school, because at that point, you really don’t have a portfolio, and the only way you can get a job is with your degree. They said, at this point, with where she is in her life, and the fact that she has young children and is a working designer with a portfolio, she doesn’t need to go to school. They said that all that really matters is if you have style – either you have it or you don’t! I liked hearing this as I am self-taught – I’ve got a degree in business and one in art, and there ain’t no way I’d go back to school at this point!!

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I think there is value in an Interior Design degree for sure – I’ve come to the realization that I should’ve studied Interior Design rather than Drawing and Painting, but oh well, that ship’s sailed! Of course, you can hang up your shingle and call yourself an Interior Designer (not in all states) and learn as you go; however, there are some things that are more difficult to learn on your own like building code and knowing if the things you design are actually build-able. Rather than figuring it out on your own, learning on the job is probably the best and fastest way to learn design if you did not study it in school. Vincente Wolf writes about it here.

There is so much information out there that we can all learn from – we can all improve our interior design knowledge so that we can put it to use in our own home. All we really want is a comfortable, pretty home, right?

 

Target is on Fire Lately!

The boys started swim lessons this month to improve their strokes. My youngest is still dog paddling at almost 8 years old, so we are long overdue for lessons. We spend tons of time in the water in the summer, and I want my boys to be strong swimmers. We do swim lessons inside, but it’s still cold when you come out, so they need something warm to put on. So, I went to Target to get them some hoodies and just by chance I ran into this…

 

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This end table is so cool – I can’t believe it has a real marble top. I love the rustic bottom with the marble. This would be a nice way to inject a little contemporary into a traditional room.

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This is a fun little hairpin leg table. This would be a nice place to set a drink next to a reading chair.

 

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I love the mid-century feel of this little side table. I would love to see it in a kid’s room.

 

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If you haven’t hopped on the craze and gotten a bar cart – here’s a cute one.

 

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One of these little gold trays would be cute on a dresser or dressing table. I would just pile all of my costume jewelry in it.

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This gold desk lamp is so versatile. It would look good on a desk or in a teen’s room.

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A very chic garden stool. This is very glamorous. It’s a nice way to add a little bling bling to a room.

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These ram bookends feel like a throwback to the 70s in a good way. They remind me of a silver bracelet my mom used to wear – was a c shape with rams heads on the ends.

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I think this is a planter, but I think it would look good empty on a coffee table. This is a low-risk way to indulge in trendy geometric design. $14.99 ain’t gonna break the bank!

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This was my favorite – I love the marble top and the gold edges. I saw this an thought it would be a cute way of corralling Parker’s expanding cocktail supplies.

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So, I came home with a little something extra…

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I’m sure as his collection grows, the glasses will need to be stored in the cabinet below. Friends, if you haven’t been to Target lately, you need to get there and snap you up something cute!

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