Apex

About Blogging

What this blog IS:

  • It's me just throwing some ideas or thoughts out there - sometimes I'm in a teaching mood and sometimes I just want to share a little piece of my day.
  • It's a collection of pictures, taken with my iPhone. Imagine me (see photo above) wandering around my home or office, dust cloth in hand, setting up little vignettes to illustrate the topic of the day.  Sometimes I venture into the yard, sometimes they're pics from projects, vacations or shopping trips.
  • It's created in a totally ethical,  sustainable and fair-trade sort of way.  Seems like a no-brainer, but there are other ways to create a blog post and you see them every day.  Which leads me to:

What it's NOT:

  • It's not a place where you will hear about the virtues of spending big money on "curated," "bespoke," or "innovative"  items when they are none of those things.  I'm not into stuff.  I'm into life and creating rooms that make life very pleasant.  I'm not into pretending.  I'm into reality--life is messy and I design with ease of maintenance in mind.
  • It's not a candy store filled with professional photos grabbed off the internet. While I would love to use those fab photos, it requires obtaining written permission for every single one.  Who has time for that?  It's so much harder to write a blog without those gorgeous pictures that I did not take myself, but it's ethical and fair.
  • It's not a monetized blog, although I might head in that direction some day.  I'm not here to sell you anything, but I see no harm in monetized blogs.

So it's not a fancy design blog.  I do just fine by being myself (although maybe at the next photo shoot adding a necklace to my outfit wouldn't hurt).  I'm a formally trained and experienced interior designer and I dabble in blogging.

Welcome to my dabble!

Ciao,

Anne

Pillows That Snap, Crackle And Pop!

  Every now and then the iMovie app gets my attention and I have to make a video or two.  They're not flashy nor very professional, but I have fun creating them as a way to talk to you - and isn't that the point?  Yesterday I published the one that's on the Home Page (here's another chance to watch it!).

This morning I made one about accent pillows.  Here it is:

I'd have to give up my day job to make these things smooth and flawless and we can't have that!  Hope your week is a good one.

Ciao,

Anne

A Design Consultation Yields Gorgeous Results

  Oh how I wish I could find those darn "Before" photos of this room.  This was one of my 2 hour design consultations. I do a LOT of them and I LOVE doing 'em.  The nicest people hire me to come and look over their tired rooms, listen to their hopes and dreams and pay rapt attention as I reel off my ideas and opinions.  It's heady stuff. I rarely get to see the "After," so it was a thrill when this client emailed and invited me over to see the results.  And here they are:

 

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Clean lines, comfortable furnishings and a visually light coffee table sit across from the TV wall.  A pretty rug keeps the look soft.  It's a yummy space.

 

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Here's the other side - you can barely see where the TV sits.  It's a big TV, but not the focal point of the room.  So nice.  My favorite thing is how Savvy Homeowner staged the mantel.  Dramatic yet still easy on the eyes.  So many people put lots of chotchkes up there, trying to make a pleasing arrangement.  In my book, less is more on mantels.  This is a good balance.

 

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Who wouldn't feel the bliss sitting in this chair?  It's a perfect example of Updated Traditional.  The sloping arms, the nailhead trim detail, the square back.  And that pillow....

 

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Baby you had me at Pillow!  Custom accent pillows are THE secret weapon of interior design.  I know how dumb that sounds, but I am here to speak truth to power (okay, now that really sounded dumb).  Accent pillows are the diamond studs on your ears.  Home Goods has some nice ones, sometimes, if you really look, and have a lot of time to do things like that.  But a custom pillow just takes money.  Or you can make it yourself, like Savvy Talented Homeowner did!  The right pillow gives a lot of visual pleasure.

 

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She made this pillow, too.  Oh yeah, the girl knows how to use her sewing machine--and she's got great taste in fabric and she knows the magic of trim.  My second favorite part of this warm and inviting room is the chest of drawers in the corner.  Every Rosamunde Pilcher or Maeve Binchey book I've ever read had chests of drawers in kitchens, hallways and sitting rooms (they're all set in England or Ireland).  They would be frequently polished and hold treasured books, soft lighting and artwork, just like this one.  Those stories, with their loving descriptions of family homes are my comfort food in the book world.

 

All this loveliness started with a 2 hour design consultation with yours truly.  I'm just sayin.'

Ciao,

Anne

Latest Design "Don'ts" that I DO NOT agree with!

  cranky teacher

 

Lately, I've read a couple of those  "Design Don'ts"  lists.  While I usually gloss over those cheeky experts,  when they include snide comments about some of my favorite things, I must disagree.  I'm being lazy today and using photos found on Houzz (in a completely permissible embedded way to use the photos of others).

 

Here are the worst offenders:

 

1.  'Don't karate chop your pillows.'  This is baloney.

 

 

 

I love a karate chop on a quality pillow.  In the photo above, it relaxes those chairs a bit.

 

 

Doesn't have to be a deep chop.  On the bed above, look at that gentle chop on the back pillows.  Nice.

 

 

Oh baby, what fab colors.  Chop away!  It looks great!

 

2.  'Don't use a painted accent wall.' This is salami.

 

 

This kitchen is beautiful, but the accent wall makes it a showstopper.  Without that shot of color, it would be yet another white kitchen.

 

A chalkboard wall is always going to make me smile.  This added so much personality to the space.

 

 

A painted accent wall should draw your eye to something special. The artwork above would have been kind of lost if all the walls were white.

 

3.  'Don't use "busy" patterns on window treatments.'  Now they've really gone too far!

 

 

I see the shape and layout of the room above a lot.  Those "busy" drapery panels pull the eye all the way through and soften up any hard lines in the space (Mr. TV, I'm talking about you).

 

 

 

 

Doesn't this room just steal your heart?  It's a modern, gender neutral child's bedroom that would be nothing special without that bold pattern on the drapery panel.  It POPS!  Oh yeah, the snoots don't want us to say "pop" anymore either.

 

 

 

 

Ok, I'm not a big fan of that chair,  but those boldly patterned drapes are warming up the appearance of this room like nobody's business.  The bed is beautiful.  They really should have gone a little further and added roman shades to those small windows in the same fabric.

Please don't listen to the naysayers with all of their Don'ts.  Good design depends heavily on lots of "Do's."  DO what you like.  DO pay attention to scale.  DO add something fun to every room.

 

Just remember, your home should make you smile!

 

Ciao,

Anne