Home Tours

Are You Ready For Christmas?

Me neither.  Although I think all the really necessary shopping is done.  Also, there are enough decorations up, inside and out, to look festive.  Cookies have already been packaged for the mailman as well as the lawn, trash and recycling guys, along with tips in cards.   More cookies will be made tomorrow.  Wrapping tomorrow, too.  So I'm getting there.  Wouldn't it be great to finish early?  That's not going to happen.

 Saw this in front of Driftwood Southern Kitchen in Raleigh.  Made me laugh right out loud!

Saw this in front of Driftwood Southern Kitchen in Raleigh.  Made me laugh right out loud!

I went to a Christmas Home Tour 2 weekends ago.  Here are a couple of pics from that fun afternoon:

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What a welcoming back porch this is!  It's not very wide, but they did a great job with the scale of the furniture, so it seats plenty and still looks restful.  That fireplace is spectacular.

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I love an interior door with style and this one has it!  The siding/shiplap craze is driving me a little crazy, but this looks SO great.  Notice the shelves over there on the left side.  They're holding all kinds of artwork.  This house on the tour was loaded with great details.

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How about these drop dead gorgeous bookshelves?  I had to laugh when I saw them because I'm currently doing something similar in a design project and my client is a little worried about having blue bookshelves.  I took this picture to prove to her that I'm not crazy and they're going to look great.  We're going to use stained wood on the shelves themselves though.  Can't wait to show you when they're done!

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Now we're over at my house.  A precious friend made this wreath and I hung it on my black shelves in the Music Room.

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Here's a close-up of the wreath.  I wanted you to see how sparkly it is.  I just love it!

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These are my new velvet party flats with big bows.  They're as pretty as any decoration!  

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No Christmas decorating would be complete without putting the choir boys on the mantel, flanking the white feather wreath that I made many years ago out of a styrofoam wreath form and a white boa.  Took about 5 minutes.  It's a dreamy combination, isn't it?

For those who celebrate Christmas, I wish you a merry one.  For absolutely everyone, I hope you find peaceful moments in the coming days.  May we all resolve to be kinder to each other and gentle on our planet.

Ciao,

Anne

New Construction Design Details That Make A Big Difference!

Investing in a design consultation during new construction provides ideas that can make a big difference to the end result.  I want to show you a couple of pics I took last week of a new construction project I consulted on.  The homeowners, John and Diane, were wonderful to work with and the builder, John Dunning of Dunning Custom Homes, did a spectacular job.  When Diane invited me to come see the finished results, I was happy to accept!

 Totally worth the wait.

Totally worth the wait.

I've been crushing on stainless cable wire for a long time now, but it still gives me a thrill.  When I mentioned this idea to John and Diane, they jumped right on it.  Diane said waiting for it to be installed was like waiting for Christmas morning!  

 What a wonderful hallway.

What a wonderful hallway.

Another idea they ran with was to paint the barn door leading to the pantry a true red.  This is Sherwin's Heritage Red, which is gorgeous, gorgeous. Most of the other doors in the house are hickory with a protective coat of polyurethane.  The door to the garage, as you ca see, is white.  I LOVE it when doors DON'T match!  And look at that hickory floor.  Again, just a clear coat of poly.  Amazing.

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Here's a better view of a hickory door in the house.

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We talked a lot about using beams in the house.  Final decisions can't be made until sheet rock goes up and everyone can really see the room taking shape.  These are in the Kitchen and look great!

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John and Diane are big fans of wood.  They put this yummy walnut on the island counter.  Love it, love it, love it.

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The light was really mucking around with my trusty iPhone camera, the art isn't up over the mantel yet and decorating isn't complete, but I wanted to show you that built in shelving doesn't have to symmetrically flank the fireplace.  My suggestion was to have the cabinetry and shelving on one side to display and store what they wanted, but to leave the other side open to create a cozy nook to curl up with a book.  It's going to be a sweet spot in a beautiful room.  I also convinced them to skip putting a soffit at the top of each niche.  Bring the eye up!

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I take no credit for this brilliant bit of great design in the Kitchen.  It's built under the stairs and is out of the way from everything else in the room.  Microwave, wine fridge, glassware, etc. - you can be pouring wine, heating things up, pulling out tableware, napkins, small plates, etc. and still be completely out of the way of the master chef.  Like I said, brilliant!

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That's soapstone on the counters.  Lovely handcrafted shelving with puck lights make everything sparkle.  A Wolf cooktop looks right at home in the center of it all!

The house, upstairs and down, is filled with great ideas, successfully executed.  It's a wonderful example of attention to detail, creative thinking and pride in workmanship. 

Ciao,

Anne

Old House Dreams

Do you have old house dreams like I do?  When you pass one in the car, do you slow down a bit to take in a detail or two?  I recently played hooky with my friend (and fellow designer), Christine.  We headed to a tiny NC town that has a lovely Main Street.  It's lined on both sides with beautiful old houses.

 

 Details baby, details!

Details baby, details!

 

I was going to do a little research to identify the style of every house for you, but it's December and I just don't have the time.  Maybe I'll come back to this in January (don't hold your breath).  For now, just feast your eyes and get ready--tonight you might have Old House Dreams.

 

 So stately.  

So stately.  

 Every window has molding or a pediment above it.  

Every window has molding or a pediment above it.  

 Soft yellow with black shutters is such a great color combination on an old house.

Soft yellow with black shutters is such a great color combination on an old house.

 Feels like something out of a movie.   

Feels like something out of a movie.

 

 Look at the summer porch on the side.  Porch parties happen all the time in my Old House Dreams.

Look at the summer porch on the side.  Porch parties happen all the time in my Old House Dreams.

 Columns!

Columns!

 Arches and balconies!

Arches and balconies!

 This mightbe a Queen Anne Victorian.  Gracious!

This mightbe a Queen Anne Victorian.  Gracious!

 And big old houses have big old magnolia trees.

And big old houses have big old magnolia trees.

 Wouldn't you love to see the interiors of these houses?

Wouldn't you love to see the interiors of these houses?

 This one had me at apricot.

This one had me at apricot.

 Ready for renovations.

Ready for renovations.

 Spectacular!

Spectacular!

This street is a treat, isn't it?  I've got more photos, but it's time to read to Grandboy (we're working on Roald Dahl's "The Wonderful World Of Henry Sugar"), so I'll stop here.  

I hope your December is a merry one and that you have Old House Dreams!

Ciao,

Anne