Chapel Hill

Working From A Home Office

The home office is a fab thing.

Mine is big, with great windows and loaded with what I need to do my job.  But guess where my favorite desk is?

working from a home office

At the kitchen counter!  It's my version of a standing desk. When I get tired of standing, I move to the kitchen table.  Files aren't nearby, but  I can easily climb the back stairs to the "real" office (which I do many times during the day)-and that gives the added bonus of a little exercise.

Plus, I'm near the snacks.  It works for me!

Ciao,

Anne

Flower Power and Gratitude

  "I don't have to chase extraordinary moments to find happiness - it's right in front of me if I'm paying attention and practicing gratitude."  Brene Brown

That Brene Brown quote is so incredibly true and exactly how I felt after walking around the yard this morning.  We've got 2 acres here and every plant on it makes me incredibly happy.  If I don't pay attention, things will bloom without me!

I know I show you pictures of Casa DeCocco often.  It probably always looks the same to you.  But I see differences every day and I am in love with this sweet cottage.  Look at the fig tree over there on the corner of the front porch!  It's going to be HUGE again this year!

The side yard has benefited from lots of rain.  Grass doesn't usually grow there, and it will be gone as soon as the hot, dry weather sets in.  But I like the wild look of this spot.  It feels like the entrance to the forest.

The Annabelle hydrangeas are coming along nicely in front of the living room window.  Soon the big white flowers will fill the window!

The front porch is almost ready for me to hang up the Boston ferns.  First we need to wash away all the yellow pollen. Soon!

Gardeners out here call Hostas "crack for deer."  The only way we get to see it is if we fence it in.  I call it the Hosta Jail.  Sorry fellas--this is Hub's idea.

I've only got 2 surviving peonies, and this is one of them.  Peonies are my favorite flower.  Every year I say I"ll plant more.  Maybe this year?  The garden is in too much shade to grow veggies successfully so maybe I can have a peony garden, with enough to cut for bouquets without guilt.  Decadence!

This daffoldil is a late bloomer, and there's nothing wrong with that.  All the other daffys have dried up, so this beauty gets all the attention.

Now I'm off to pack for High Point.  The International Home Furnishings Market has started and I'll be there tomorrow morning.  I'll let you know if we find anything you can't live without!

Ciao,

Anne

What Does Your Magic Wand Do?

I'm convinced that everyone has a magic wand.  You might call them your special talents, but the phrase "magic wand" has more sparkle.  My wand transforms tired, embarrassing spaces into beautiful, functional rooms that work for myclients and make them smile, instead of cringe.

The Portfolio page on this website was becoming tired and a little embarrassing.  It wasn't really working for me, but I'm busy and it wasn't high on my list (sound familiar?).

Formal Dining Room, Raleigh interior design
Formal Dining Room, Raleigh interior design

Last week I flagged down my divine Webmaster and requested a change.  His magic wand creates uniquely gorgeous websites.  He waved that wand and gave me a fresh new Gallery page.  Take a look, it is FABULOUS!

I can add or change out photos as they come in, as the mood strikes and at my fancy. This new toy absolutely delights me.  While there are a million things I cannot do on a website, having this page at MY command is completely awesome.   For example, if I want to show you some colorful decor items:

 

 

BAM!  Do you see that?  3 neat little photos, nicely lined up.  You can click on each one to view more closely.

 

Or maybe I want to show you examples of vintage decor:

 

 

Sha-zam!  I did it again!  You may be thinking, "she must not get out much."  Mas non, mon ami, I am just thrilled that this space now works for me.  It's the same feeling my clients get when their rooms suddenly function for them.  So today I thank my Webmaster, the Academy and all the people who let me into their homes to wave my magic wand.

Ciao,

Anne

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 Stunning Living Room Update!

  During a 2 hour design consultation, we can often tackle two rooms.  So after talking through the Family Room I shared in the last post, we moved on to the Living Room. I looked things over, made recommendations and left the Homeowner with a plan (and about a week later I sent her a Resource List to help narrow down her shopping search).  She really ran with it.  I was thrilled with the chance to come back and see the wonderful results.   First off, let me show you the entry:

 

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Many interior floor plans suffer from no separate foyer.  So visitors walk right into a room, which can be a bit jarring to my delicate sensibilities.  But with the simple addition of a mat at the door and a substantial plant atop a pedestal, a transition space has been created here.  There's also a pretty desk over on the left  (you can't see it, sorry), which adds to the welcoming vibe. And I want you to notice the beautiful drapery panels, which Talented Homeowner made herself.

 

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As I turned to enter this freshly furnished Living Room, I first noticed those matching velvety soft club chairs, upholstered in a neutral fabric. What a nice choice.  And the new wool rug, in a Tree Of Life pattern, is exquisite.  I'm not exaggerating--my iPhone photo does not do it justice.  It came from NOA Living, a wonderful rug and decor store in Raleigh.

 

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The custom built in bookcase is a showstopper.  Previously it was a little haphazard and now it's thoughtfully arranged.  It doesn't look like a store display--it looks like people who love books and travels and special mementos live here.  The new sofa has a tight back, single seat cushion (never looks messy) and pretty legs.  I'll bet you're wondering where the coffee table is - they didn't want one.  Isn't that awesome?  Now I love (and need) a coffee table to be happy.  But these clients did what felt best to them.  Fabulous!

 

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Please don't ever forget to pay attention to lighting in a room.  Great lighting makes a lovely room useful, friendly, warm and inviting.  Go for 3 way switches, go for pretty lampshades, go for finials.  Do it up right.  These gourd lamps are perfect for the space.  Talented Homeowner made the custom accent pillows in the room.  They are squishy delights.  The framed art on the wall are hung at eye level - perfect.

I'm so glad that my 2 hour design consultation gave this client the right amount of ideas and resources to go full steam ahead and make the changes she did.  The other day she contacted me to report that she had used one of my suggestions in her daughter's apartment - the ripple effect!  Great job!

Ciao,

Anne