Friday, November 30, 2007

christmas time is here!!!

so since its officially christmas time- as of tomorrow, i will now begin to write posts relating to my FAV holiday. if i can beat this cold, my husband and i will begin to decorate tomorrow. it's total chaos when this starts- mainly b/c of the outside lights. we always try to come up with some awesome way to do them and then they end up being incredibly tacky and shorting out our power b/c we have too many lights connected together. two years ago, we actually caught the bushes on fire...who knew it wasn't good to leave the lights on in the rain? i almost peed myself when i saw the sparks....luckily,it ended very quickly.
i am trying to reinvent my interior christmas problem is, i can't remember what all i have until the boxes are down from the attic. i was thinking this year i would try to step it up a notch and paint this adorable reindeer that was featured in domino last year....yea, don't hold your breath but it is a great thought. i mean, i really think i can do things like this and then i buy the supplies and the excitement fizzles. or i think it would be cute to do a series of reindeer parts like these cards and hang them in a grouping. i'll give you an update on monday....

Thursday, November 29, 2007

i wish i had a jack and jill....

i absolutely love using an element like this industrial sink from kohler to think outside of the box for a jack and jill bathroom. while it maybe a little pricier than your standard sink, the impact that it gives off will be worth it. plus, you save by not having to outfit a vanity in the bathroom. i love what designer jackie terrell did to the underside of the basin...painting it avocado green! how much fun is that? if you are interested in this look but think that it's too expensive to achieve, check out local salvage might stumble across an old one which would make it just that much more fabulous!

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

the color that is everywhere...

as i flip through magazines the color that is really standing out to me is gray. i see it used in a ton of design elements right now. i use to feel like this color was cold and i couldn't imagine using it on the walls but i have a new outlook on gray. it seems so peaceful and pairs beautifully with blues, browns, corals, etc. i will say, i tend to lean to the brownish/ gray version of the color...i think that the added brown pigment gives off a warmth that makes the color not seem as well, how do you say it- gray! i was thrilled when a client/ indecisive friend of mine wanted to use the color. we looked at a ton of paint for her walls. we wanted the house to feel neutral but not look like a "spec home" where the walls seem like an institution. i can't wait to see how it reads on the walls.
another great thing about the color gray is that it looks absolutely beautiful with marble... marble on the counter top, on the bathroom floors, or as tile in a shower. i've looked at a lot of wood flooring lately and the darker shades tend to have purplish gray undertones in it- they are gorgeous. this color also looks great with another trend right now, metallic. so if you are in the market for a change in paint or a new color exploration, try'll be in for a pleasant surprise!

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

diamonds are a girl's best friend....

so every time i get a new Cottage Living, i get another inspiration. last month, it was fran's letters (which i need to show y'all) and this month it's kitty's dining room. i love the diamond wall treatment....however, i think it's over my head. the homeowner, kitty, did this by hand, three times until she finally got this result- which i think is stunning. i would go absolutely crazy trying to perfect this look. for pete's sake, i went crazy trying to paint 6 letters...can you imagine the stress i would be under! plus, it's all about the straight lines, good painter's tape, and math. i love the white and dining room would look more like a tiffany's box b/c it's robin's egg blue and i can visualize the diamonds in husband would kill me...i can see me now, on a ladder attempting to get a straight line...yep, this project isn't going to happen. but way to go kitty!

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Happy Turkey Day!!

who wants to waste their time reading a blog when it's thanksgiving holidays?? i hope everyone has a wonderful time eating lots, drinking lots, and spending lots of quality time w/ your family!! i can't wait for everyone to get here! see y'all next week! loveage!

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

bubbles and wine can totally clear my mind.....

after my daughter had her meltdown last night, i needed some time for ME....what do you do when you need time to veg? my husband thinks i have turned into an internet nerd...i love searching it for ideas, reading other people's blogs, celebrity gossip, etc. but after 2 hours of crying (just b/c she could) i wanted to relax. my poor husband took the brunt of the crying...which i hate b/c he only has 2 hours with her when he gets home from work and when she is crying bloody murder, it doesn't make it pleasant. especially after working all day in a place which in my mind is identical to the office.

so you ask what i was doing while my sweet hubbie tried to calm our daughter....i cleaned our bathroom. i think that this is quite possibly the worst job anyone can have and to have your background music be a very unhappy baby, only makes the job that much more painful. now, i NEVER voluntarily offer to clean the bathroom...but i knew that i wanted to soak in a bath after our screaming kid was down and so i had to "do it for the family". my husband and i hate cleaning the bathroom so much that when we got married, we hired someone to help us clean it. unfortunately, when i decided to start my own company, that was the first thing that had to go.

so back to my story, my way to veg is a bubble bath. in the winter, i love to take a bath every night w/ lots of bubbles and to read my magazines. last night, i giggled to myself b/c i felt like "the reverend" on run's house...(ok, i love mtv- it's out in the open now). you know you have seen the end of the show, where he sits in his bubble bath and types on his blackberry about the lessons he has learned from the day's events....good thing i don't have a blackberry b/c who knows the things i would have written last night! this is the time of year to give thanks- therefore, i am thankful for a sleeping baby and a clean bathtub....

Monday, November 19, 2007

my evolving taste....

it's so funny how your taste evolves over the years being in the interior design business. i started working in interior design back in college. i worked at a well-known design firm downtown for 7 years before taking the plunge (well maybe cannonball) into starting my own design company. now, it's safe to say that Charleston can be very traditional. it's a town surrounded by its love for historic preservation and we take pride our historic homes. so there was a lot of swag and jabots going on in window treatments...something that made me want to throw up (and still does make me a little queasy). i remember my boss laughing at me b/c i hated them so much! and balloon shades- oh my, those were just terrible....maybe it was the application of them in a lovely chintz or some stuffy floral. i use to think that osborne and little would always be my favorite fabric company and i would never grow tired of my Manchu wallpaper. granite was the best thing since sliced bread and that distressed wood was really a "hot" look...flame stitch use to make my skin crawl and contemporary was not even in my realm of thinking for design....
it's just funny how things change...i laughed at myself last night when i was laying in bed looking at House Beautiful. i fell in love with a house done by betsy burnham (love her) and i actually liked the window treatments that at one time would have made me cringe. i think they are so classic and peaceful....i would never have suggested something like this for a window treatment two years ago; maybe not even two weeks ago. but staring at this picture made me realize how my taste has evolved and how everyday, i learn something new about my style and love for design....i can't wait to see where i am in twenty years...probably loving the swag and jabot look b/c you know, that's the thing w/ design everything old comes back in style (ummm hello, 80's fashion..did you ever think it that could make a comeback??)

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Oh my gosh, KELLY WEARSTLER did an interview for PW!!

i am soooooooo excited that my number one design hero agreed to do an interview with little ol' me!! kelly wearstler is the mecca in the design fact, i think she could be the 8th world wonder!! thanks so much kelly for taking time out to do this interview! this truly made my year!

Q: What inspired your draperies at the Estrella, the crisp white panels with the exaggerated Greek key motif? You must have an amazing seamstress!
A: The Greek key is such an iconic form, so I went for a neo-classical meets post-modern-in-the-desert aesthetic. I chose to keep color way black and white because it feels so crisp, airy and refreshing – perfect for Palm Beach.

Q: I love the bookshelves in the Viceroy study, how did you come up with the concept of doing the shelves on a diagonal?
A: My goal was to present the books in an unexpected way. When we were actually fabricating the prototypes, they were laid on their side and looked more interesting than just straight on, so that’s how the design came to be.

Q: What do you think is the most overdone trend in design right now?
A: Looking as if you bought all of your furniture in one place is so overdone. I know people find this to be an easy way to decorate, but choosing pieces you love from a range of sources creates a richer, more textured look.
Q: Describe your ideal client….
A: My ideal client is someone who has a program and a vision, but trusts the designer to run with it - that’s why they hire a designer in the first place. I like a client who has something to say and something to give because they’re the one living in the space.

Q: What do you miss most about South Carolina?
A: The people, they’re just so nice. (i agree)

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

the saks of baby stores

if you want to know what makes my heart melt, its b. braithwaite. i fell in love with this baby boutique when it was featured in southern accents last year. i loved it so much that i drove to atlanta just to go there and buy my baby's crib. the store is gorgeous and why shouldn't it's creator is nancy braithwaite who has been an interior designer for 35 yrs before starting the store. she and her daughter chaffee, decided to open a baby boutique after going on a shopping trip to paris(i would kill to go on a shopping trip in paris). the layout of the store is amazing....very classic and sophisticated. a lot of baby stores can be junked up with whimsical aspects, but not here. the "nurseries" are set up in a monochromatic look, beautifully showcasing each of the contemporary cribs they offer. one of the best parts about the whole experience are the beautiful topiaries that you are greeted by at the entrance of the boutique....a huge teddy bear and rabbit. it is truly a pregnant woman's shopping dream....if you are ever in atlanta and are craving some baby bliss, stop by b. braithwaite!

Monday, November 12, 2007

my desk chair...

so i have had my desk chair for 3 yrs now and it still remains how i bought it- with ugly white (well dingy white) damask fabric on it and around the arms the fabric is actually unattached from where i had my upholster look at it so the horsehair is exposed. i am not a damask kind of girl...well maybe funky damask but definitely not traditional. i love my chair...the lines on it are amazing...i call it a lady's chair b/c it hugs your body when you sit in it. it is an antique that i purchased at a flea market with all intentions of reupholstering it and placing it in my LR. however, once i started my own design company it became my desk chair (no staples roller chair would do). i have always known that it would be recovered and look fabulous one day. it has just had to sit here b/c upholstery is expensive, especially in c'town b/c everyone seems to jack up their prices.
i am so excied about the fabric that i have chosen to use on my chair. i have been in love with geometrics since i received the very first domino magazine. i just drooled over the camel back sofa that ruthie sommers had in her house (now i think its in her amazing store). i contemplated using that fabulous lee jofa fabric but with all of the wonderful geometrics out there i decided on china seas aga. it gives me the amazing geometric pattern that i am in love with. and to throw a twist into the chair (and to save some cash), i am going to pipe the double cording and back in either a pink, kelly green, or tourquise linen fabric. i cannot wait to see the results. i went with the brown and cream colorway b/c it will easily go with the rest of my house if i ever want to pull it out when company arrives. now all i have to do is save for the small fortune it will cost me to have this done....but xmas is only a month away...maybe santa will surprise me....

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Chloe Warner takes time out for Pink Wallpaper....

i am so excited that i have my first interview to share with y'all!! this month's Domino featured chloe warner's house and i emailed her on monday and asked if she would do a Q & A for me and she said yes! she was so super sweet about the whole thing (i love down-to-earth designers, sometimes i feel like this business can go to people's heads). so here it is, pinkwallpaper's first designer interview.....a huge thanks to chloe for taking the time to do this :)

Q: How does it feel to be called “a breakout designer” by Domino, a publication that I feel like has totally dominated the design world for the 20/30 yr olds?
A: Honestly, I can't imagine the thrill wearing off. It was a big goal, and to have achieved it feels amazing.

Q: So many people think that being an interior designer is so glamorous! I often find that funny when I think of all of the non-glamorous things that go along with the job…can you describe your typical day?
A: I usually make coffee for my husband and myself, and start the day catching up with my huge stack of magazines. By 9:00 I am on the computer checking emails and returning calls, and lately I have gotten to spend a lot of time designing, playing fabrics, and sourcing furniture, which has been great. On a bad day I spend a lot of time following-up with contractors and delivery-people, double, triple, and quadruple checking things. My least favorite days are when I have to be an enforcer. My most favorite are when I can have lunch with Valerie and Tyler in my office, and the phone rings the right amount.

Q: What is one trend you wish would go away??
A: Coral - but only so I can start using it again in a few years.

Q: When looking at your bedroom, it looks so well put together! I had no idea that was an Urban Outfitter headboard until I read the side notes…often people our age cannot afford the services of interior designers; do you have favorite “budget friendly” tips for people who would like the look of a designer inspired room?
A: and both have furniture sections that can be unique and attractive, and the turnover is high so I don't worry too much about the looks being everywhere, like I do with an IKEA piece. That said, one of my favorite tricks is to apply beveled-mirror tiles to plain pieces - the dresser in my bedroom is actually from IKEA but now that it is mirrored it looks very glam and not IKEA at all. Unfortunately, I still had to put it together. For people with more patience than money, this is a great solution. Our firm ( offers a room-in-a-binder service, where for a flat-fee we design a room including palate, finishes, furniture, accessories and everything, and include the retail sources where everything is available. Execution is left up to the client to complete as they are ready. It is still pricier than not decorating, but it keeps prices out of the stratosphere! (that's crazy that Chloe mentioned this b/c i am about to start this service with my design firm)

Q: Lastly Chloe, what would you say was the one aspect of design you could not live without?
A: My books! I am a junkie at the bookstore, and use them for everything; for inspiration, guidance, decoration, and to make me look smarter than I am.

can't get enough of chloe, check out domino for a virtual tour of her house...

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

can i get a light...

while there are so many things that make me happy, the andrew reflector is up at the top. i was lucky enough to use them in the downtown house i featured two days ago. they looked amazing against the old charleston brick. urban electric is a to-the-trade lighting company that started here in charleston. the showroom use to be located on historic King Street and i loved going in there and being captivated by the creative window displays and beautifully designed lighting. i just received their new catalog and as i was flipping through it, i saw that Tom Scheerer was one of the lighting you can see to your right, he is one of my new design heroes. chloe warner told me about him on monday when we were exchanging emails. if you haven't taken a look at urban electric, i think its time. the lights speak for themselves... they are gorgeous, current, and classic in their appearances. here are some others to drool over if you have a second: gunston, hightower, paraply, the quarter, and always, beauty does not come without a stiff price tag but these are really worth it.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

no pink pumps least not this AM

you know, i'm not going to lie...sometimes i have nothing to write about. so i decided to scroll through my inspiration book and i ran across this page which i have loved for the past year and a half...i decided to look at the picture closely and i started relating it to my life....
first i will touch on the obvious- the room is wonderful. great use of the popular lulu dk "chant" fabric on the DR chairs. and as y'all should know, monogramming makes it better, so i love the wing chair with the table! the floors are a beautiful ebony and i love the detailing down the leading edge of the draperies.

but this AM as i looked at this picture, i decided that it makes me mad b/c when i relate it to me and my house, it couldn't be further! so i pictured myself sitting on the floor like this "model" looking mom and this is what i in my grey velour sweat pants and an orange hoodie (that i wore when we painted our porch so it has white paint splattered all over it) sitting on our light oak floor (which is covered in our golden's hair) hair, nothing close to graceful...piled up in a messy ponytail desperately needing highlights (i am suppose to be blond)...oh and those beautiful sex in the city looking shoes- those should be replaced by pink jcrew bedroom slippers. than i see my cutie 5 month old, she isn't wearing a starched, white boutique dress but rather an old navy onesie (and underneath it she has one sock on b/c we decided her feet were freezing at night and that's the best we could come up with- you ask why one sock, b/c when my husband changed her diaper this AM, one fell off and he didn't put it back on). lastly, i move on to my room...we do have somethings in common...a seagrass rug- hers is missing the stain from my golden. we do have a table with chairs but mine is an antique set that belonged to my great aunt- it squeaks if you bump into it...and the fabric on the chairs are a horizontal stripe that is a silk (why??) lastly, the one common thing i can smile and proudly say i have is lulu dk. i splurged and had draperies made with moondance and have a leading edge detail....
so maybe my life isn't too far from this picture...minus the fact that she has showered and her kid has hair....happy tuesday!

Monday, November 5, 2007

my own work...

laura from the scoop asked if i had any of my own work to share so i thought i would show this house i did in the downtown historic district. it was an amazing house with an equally amazing client (don't you just love it when that happens). unfortunately, the house was never finished b/c the owners decided to sell it before moving in. here are two shots of the project...

the main area was all one room w/ tall ceilings and i love the exposed old charleston brick wall w/ the earthquake beams running through it. we renovated the kitchen (you can see part of it on the right of the pic); it was really a dark room with black cabinets and stainless steel counter tops. we repainted the cabinets, added the frosted glass, replaced counter tops w/ granite, added the mosaic tile around the bar surround, and did all new appliances (the refrigerator was just divine, a sub zero with the glass front). the floors were brick (not old, but were new brick) and my client felt like it was always dirty so we replaced it with travertine.
my client was a young, business woman who had amazing style so deciding on the furniture was a fun task. she was always very polished and so it was nice to see that the furniture reflected her image. she wasn't afraid to be adventurous so the powder room was wonderful. we used the metallic cole and son's woods wallpaper in the small space. it was a great project that i was super sad to see end.

Friday, November 2, 2007

"fran's letters" are taking over my life....

so i have been telling you about this diy project that i am working on and here is the inspiration. on tues i sat down to read my cottage living and fell in love w/ "fran's letters". thinking the project would be a piece of cake, i decided i would do my baby's name on this one tiny wall that has been white since the nursery was completed (i was waiting for something to inspire me).
well, kudos to fran b/c her letters rock....mine, not so much. i cannot tell you how many hours i have spent for 6 measly letters that i am trying to get to look anything remotely like fran's....

right now, fran is not my friend (although if we lived in the same town i think we might be). my husband walks into the baby's room everyday when he gets home from work...looks at the progress of the letters and says things like "they look good" (with a high voice which means he is lying) or he suggest ways he would have done them so the lines of the letters would have been straight...i think "thanks a lot, where were you 7 hours ago?!" so, i am off to work on those stupid letters that my baby will not even care about when she is finally old enough to even realize that i spelled her name...i am sure by that point she will want to repaint the entire room with barbie or something......

Thursday, November 1, 2007

the bubble chair

does this chair not turn heads? it was on the cover of the august Charleston magazine and ever time i see it, i love it. (i ran across it again when i was doing my magazine clean up a couple of days ago!) i have this obsession with acrylic and lucite and the bubble chair just makes my heart putter (so does the price tag). originating in 1968 by designer Eero Aarnio, this chair is still just as amazing nearly 40 years later!

*the color is off in the cushion and garden stool; its actually this great chartreuse green that really pops not that mucky green it scanned in as.