Nursing Home Visit

Yesterday was a good day.  Ginny lives in the memory unit of a nursing home.  Her loving daughter-in-law asked me to put drapery panels on the windows in her room to make it feel warmer and more like home.  When Ginny was younger, she had a beautiful home, decorated with gorgeous furniture, rugs and custom window treatments.  

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This Robert Allen fabric was perfect - Ginny has very conservative taste, and recognized the type of pattern right away with great pleasure.  We chose a butterfly pleated header.  That may be a somewhat dated choice, but when working with people with memory problems, choosing recognizable details is important.


before window treatment


Here's Ginny's window before the drapery panels went up.  She has a pretty view and sweet little friends!


drapery panels over mini blinds


Now the drapes are up.  Doesn't that feel better?  The curtain fabric has a touch of pink in it that you can't see in my iPhone photo.  It coordinates beautifully with the Waverly fabric on the chair.  Ginny remembers every detail about all the furnishings in her room.  She loves decorating and color.


Like I said.  A good day.



Life with a dog...

  is just somehow better than life without one.  Our rescue mutt is Raven.  Before Christmas, Marilyn Peryer of Style House Photography was at the house doing a shoot and took this precious photo when I wasn't looking:


rescue dog, family pet


Raven is a very skittish dog.  She is also incredibly sweet and very social - but everything scares her.  So to find this in the pile of photographs Marilyn sent to me was a wonderful surprise.

Thanks Marilyn!



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!



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.'



Painting flowers. Who knew?






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The weather here in NC has been wonderful, so I needed to take advantage of the sunshine and move forward with a crafty project.  I cut a bunch of hydrangeas at different times in their drying stage to see what would happen to them.  Mine are Annabelle hydrangeas-a creamy white at peak.  But then they turn a lovely green hue and finally an ugly brown.  Spray painting them white or cream was not a success, so I tried blue.  Love it!