Inspiring Holiday Decorating And A Festive Dinner!

I went on the Historic Oakwood Candlelight Tour yesterday. It highlights SUCH inspiring holiday decorating, done by homeowners of charming homes in one of Raleigh’s oldest neighborhoods.

Today we’re stuck in snow and ice (always exciting in North Carolina), so it’s extra nice to look at yesterday’s pictures.

Fortune smiled on us, not only with the weather, but also that the Governor’s Mansion was open to the public on the same day. I’ve never been, so it was an extra treat.

holiday_foyer_table.jpg

Above is an amazing console and mirror, all dolled up for the holidays in the Governor’s Mansion. The portrait you see reflected in the mirror is of Governor Jim Hunt. He was a wonderful governor during some exciting times in our state (1977-1985 and 1993-2001) and is still one of our best advocates.

holiday_nc_governors_mansion.jpg

The Dining Room is sparkalicioius. I wish the docent’s picture came out a little better and that I had gotten her name. She was sparkaliscious, too!

holiday_nc_governors_mansion.jpg

Another view of the Dining Room, so you can see the mantel, piled with simple glass balls. A little whimsey in a seriously decadent room!

holiday_governors_home_raleigh_design.jpg

This must be a parlor in the mansion. Classic southern elegance!

Let’s head to the “regular” homes in the hood:

holiday_family_room_decor.jpg

Every home belongs to a person or family who is into detail in a big way and they’re beyond generous to welcome so many people on the Tour.

holiday_bedroom_decorating_raleigh.jpg

This master bedroom reminded me of New England. The vibe is slightly colonial—or Shaker, don’t you think? Those shutters!

holiday_modern_design.jpg

This house was decorated in a very modern style. I love a clean, modern style and this mantel inspires me to give white walls a try soon!

holiday_oakwood_garden.jpg

The child of New England that I am will never cease to be amazed at the presence of flowers blooming in December! These camellias are the same color as the ones in my garden. And isn’t that fountain just fabulous? With all the snow we had last night, I bet he looks very different today!

holiday_oakwood_grinch.jpg

This is Lisa—I wrote about her Kitchen update right here. We went to this same house tour last year. It’s different homes every year. Lisa is the kind of person who can put a smile on the face of a grinch (or THE Grinch)!

holiday-oakwood_garden.jpg

Lisa takes spectacular photos, like this one. This garden was a sweet surprise. Looks at all the birdhouses! And you’re not seeing the half of it. Imagine having this kind of space in the midst of a city!

Oh, look at the photo again—this time at my scarf. Can you see the little lights I wove into it? Here’s a better photo to see them:

holiday_light_scarf.jpg

It’s not a better picture of me, but it really shows up those lights! I used one of those strings of fairy lights that use a battery pack. I love fairy lights. So I wove a string through my scarf to add a festive touch. The battery pack is tucked inside my bra. TMI? Sorry!

I might try lighting up my boots next time. Then I could tuck the battery pack into the boot (my legs are thin, there’s always a little room in my boots).

The design trick I noticed at every house in Oakwood was to make every display, every mantel garland, every wreath VERY full. Lots of layers. It’s a luxurious look. We saw some spectacular tree toppers that were more like floral arrangements. Very dramatic.

In my own house though, I like simple and spare. Here’s the top of my china cabinet:

holiday_raleigh_angels_up_high.jpg

After I got home from the tour, it was time to head out for dinner with my boys (Hub and Grandboy).

We went to Gonza Tacos & Tequila, which has the MOST festive decor that is just as inspiring as the decorations on the Christmas tour. I always think those star lanterns hanging from the ceiling belong on the ceiling of my screen porch! And the Dia De Los Muertos spirits preside over all the happy families in the restaurant.

It was a day full of sparkle and texture!

Ciao,

Anne

Kitchen Update

Kitchen Update Video.jpg

I’ve made another video to go along with this blog post. You don’t have to read the post if you don’t want to - you can scroll right down to the video and watch it instead.

I helped Lisa update her tired Kitchen on a strict budget. You’re going to enjoy this one because it came out just the way we all hope our semi-DIY projects will—successfully! I gave her direction: resources (people to call, websites to visit, paint color suggestions, lighting ideas and technical advice. She handled ALL the project management, which is not easy. Buying and coordinating the delivery and installation of every element takes a lot of determination and the patience of a saint. But she did it!

Here’s a Before photo:

oak_kitchen_cabinets_before.jpg

Next is the concept board that showed how her selections were all going to play together very nicely.

Kitchen_planning_board.jpg

And take a look at it now:

best_designer_raleigh_kitchen_update.jpg

Buh-bye dated kitchen. Now this is what I would call a remarkable transformation! White cabinets against warm brown hand-scraped floors may be termed “farmhouse” right now, but this is a classic look that will stand the test of time because every element is gorgeous.

thunder_white_granite_counter_design.jpg

Those elongated subway tiles are hand-made, taking the sharp edge off the look of a basic white subway tile. I bet Lisa runs her hands over those tiles on a daily basis (okay, maybe weekly).

The next photo is a Before of the peninsula. Just your standard flat wood back.

oak_kitchen_peninsula_before.jpg

Now take a look at it with some simple new moldings:

kitchen_cabinet_design.jpg

What a difference, right? I can’t pick which new addition is my favorite, but this has got to be near the top of my list!

kitchen_facelift_after.jpg

The sweet roman shade window treatment came from an Etsy vendor. Don’t you just love Etsy? It’s becoming a regular shopping site for absolutely everyone!

Oops! Did I forget to call out the new Thunder White granite counters? They’re hard to miss! Gorgeous, gorgeous, gorgeous.

rae_dunn_holiday.jpg



Lisa is a big Rae Dunn pottery fan. On the other side of the kitchen there’s a counter that serves as the coffee station, but Lisa also likes to decorate it for various holidays with pieces from her extensive collection. Such a welcoming kitchen!

Jeez, I almost forgot to insert the video I made of this project. Here it is. Enjoy!


Ciao!

Anne





I provide the BEST 2 hour design consultation, but my videos are pretty bad!

It’s true - I’m the self appointed Queen of Consultations in the Triangle. I’ve done a TON of 2 hour consults, leaving a trail of happy clients; many even schedule a second (or third!) consultation as they move through updates and renovations in their homes. I really enjoy my job.

But just like it’s a must for a thriving business to have a website, now it’s also a must for said business to make videos and attach them to that website. I’d rather chew off my arm than star in a video! I’m not looking to bedazzle anyone with my on-screen presence. I’m a working interior designer, guardian to an awesome (yet snarky) 13 year old grandson, wife, homeowner, friend, sister, pet owner, etc. You get my drift. Don’t I have enough to do?

best_design_consultations_raleigh.jpg


It’s not enough that I help homeowners in Raleigh, Durham, Chapel HIll, Apex and Holly Springs create homes that make them smile, make entertaining easier and just make life a whole lot nicer? Not enough that they get results like this?

 I’ll write a post about this homeowner’s update very soon - it’s nothing short of spectacular and finished on the DAY before Thanksgiving!

I’ll write a post about this homeowner’s update very soon - it’s nothing short of spectacular and finished on the DAY before Thanksgiving!

Or this:

 Form meets function and falls in love.

Form meets function and falls in love.

Or this:


 A fabulous window-seat update in the the arts & craft style of William Morris.

A fabulous window-seat update in the the arts & craft style of William Morris.

Or how ‘bout this one from an incredibly talented DIY client:

 Adding trim, warming up the wall color, art, rug, lighting - all ideas from my design consultation. What a difference!

Adding trim, warming up the wall color, art, rug, lighting - all ideas from my design consultation. What a difference!

And we teamed up on this one as well (and many more):

 A navy blue accent near the ceiling, stacked stone tile sandwiched between copper molding, copper framed mirror. This guy is fun to work with!

A navy blue accent near the ceiling, stacked stone tile sandwiched between copper molding, copper framed mirror. This guy is fun to work with!

Oh, I could go on and on, but Mr. Google wants videos as well as words and pretty photos. So here’s the first video I’ve made in a very long time. Truth be told, my older ones are even worse.

I send this video to potential clients who are on the fence about scheduling a 2 hour consultation. It lets them see my face and hear me say “um” about 100 times. Then they know I’m friendly and won’t bite and I’ve got enough ideas and enthusiasm to help them in a big way. Try not to laugh too hard. Do you want me to spend my time making videos or designing beautiful rooms?

I’m a MUCH better designer than video star! Go on over to my Contact page and let’s get the ball rolling on YOUR 2 hour consultation!

With sparkle and texture,

Anne