Friday, December 30, 2011

Farewell and onward

As the eve of 2012 draws near, I am looking back on 2011 and thankful for such an adventurous year. From roadtripping all over the USA, to an Southeast Asian homecoming, to loafing it in Bermuda, I have found inspiration from all over the globe! I feel blessed for my entry into the digital age and am grateful that I am able to share my travels and creations with you.

So farewell 2011. I am looking forward to indulging in Sedona in January, skiing in the White Mountains in February, hitting High Point in April, and RV'ing the Pacific Northwest over summer break. I have some fun projects kicking in too and am excited to work with some old friends. It's on to a new year, so keep reading 'cause there's so much more to tell!

Happy New Year!!!

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

A super sunny sun room

After taking the week off to spend time with the family and relax in my in-laws' newly finished sun room, I finally got back to work this morning and took some photographs of the space.  My husband surprised me with a wide-angle lens for Christmas, so hopefully you'll like the shots as much as I do. 

This was a great room to redo.  The original space had dark stained wood paneling on three of the walls, with one wall of exposed brick.  It had a terracotta tiled floor and too much furniture.  It was very 1970s.  To update the space, we brightened up the walls with Ben Moore's Powell Buff and all of the trim work, including the beams in the ceiling, went White Dove.  For some architectural detail, we kept the exposed brick and pulled the wood tone back into the room with natural woven roman shades.  We also softened up the tile floor with a beautiful wool and sisal Stark Carpet.  Now it's light and airy and the most utilized room in the house!

Here are some super-grainy before pictures so that you can get an idea of what I had to work with:

And, here is the reveal of what it looks like now:

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Maybe just a hint

Signing off for the holidays

I love the moments in my life of forced disengagement, times when you have no other choice but to give in and actually relax.  It's part of the reason why we have rented a ski house, up in the mountains with no reception.  It's part of the reason why I like long flights, without wifi.  And, it's part of the reason why I like spending the holidays at my in-laws, where cheer, gluttony, and naps are expected.  It helps that I was the one who designed the room that you get to take refuge in! 

Can't wait to photograph it, sign back on (briefly), and update this post!!!

Monday, December 19, 2011

Happy Birthday Mom!

For the first time in a long time, I had the opportunity to spend the weekend with just my family - my birth family; Mom, older brother, and younger sister (but, unfortunately, missing Dad).  It was my mom's 70th birthday, so we decided to get together and head to the City to see the tree at Rockefeller Center, take in a show, and have dinner to celebrate the occasion.  Given the description of "birth family", the day could have gone a number of ways, but luckily, it really turned out to be a terrific time.

First.  The tree was great - big and bright and everything that the City is about at Christmastime.  Second.  The show, Sister Act, was an unbelievable surprise - so funny, great acting, amazing vocals, and 3rd row!  And last but not least, the shining star of the day, was our dinner at Saxon + Parole in the East Village at Bowery and Bleeker (  One of the owners is an architect at the amazing firm AvroKO who designed the space (, and is a good friend/colleague of my brother's, so needless-to-say, he didn't let us down...

Even though I'm now favorably bias to this restaurant after being treated like a VIP, the place actually does has phenomenal food, an incredible wine list (and wine room), lots of fun, savory drinks, and an interior that makes me want to specialize in hospitality design.  The name of it, or reference to it on its signage and logo, suggests a fresh equestrian vibe.  With recycled barnboard covering the walls, horse blankets suspended by leather-strapping that partition the bar from the dining space, and horseshoes hanging from the rafters in the ceiling, it's easy to settle in and warm up next to a candlelit fire...

So, Happy Birthday Mom!  I'm glad that we behaved for you and that you really did have a great day...

Thursday, December 15, 2011

My baby's room is growing up

Remember the peek of my Craigslist chair?

Here's the peek of the room that it's going in.


More to come once it's properly accessorized... 

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Soak it up

December is always such a whirlwind of a month.  Everyone rushes from the moment they finish the Thanksgiving turkey until the end of the year trying to fit in all that wasn't accomplished during the first eleven months.  Don't get me wrong, I'm describing myself.  In the past two weeks, I have decorated the house for the season, I have begun and finished all of my Christmas shopping (remember I have 4 kids who still believe in Santa), I have ordered, hand-addressed, and mailed my holiday cards, I've moved the elf-on-the-shelf fourteen times, I have finished two installations with another tomorrow, I've spec'd out a new job, I have ran a half marathon, I've had coffee with old friends and lunch with new ones...  The list goes on and on, and we're only halfway through the month!

So what's my point?

December should be a time of reflection; to look back on the past year and take note of what you've achieved; a time to set new goals for the year that's ahead.  And, what better a way to do this than to sit and relax in a nice warm tub.  The weather outside is frightful, so fill her up and get in; soak up the season, and stop rushing around!!

Estate Tub 74"
Urban Archaeology


Abrazo™ freestanding bath


Thursday, December 8, 2011

A needle in the haystack

I love new clients.  They are a good reminder that there are always new and exciting products to be discovered in the ever changing world of interior design.  While there are many ways to begin a project, I like to figure out the color palette first.  From here, I can think about cabinetry, wood stains, flooring, etc.  And, being fortunate enough to be so close to the Boston Design Center, I have the luxury of thumbing through wings of fabrics, hundreds (even thousands) of different patterns and textures, every time I need to find just one.  When you have a new relationship, it all becomes fresh again, and uncovering a new scheme can be really fun. 

Before entering the building, I usually have a general idea of what I'm after (or at least a favorite color to start with), but it's not until I come across a few something-specials that momentum starts to build.  If I can get just one piece right, then the rest will fall into place.  After all, there are so many great fabrics houses out there to mix-and-match with!

For this particular open kitchen/great room space, I'm thinking about Ben Moore's Mountainscape (870) on the walls, Vermont white granite countertops, a sensibly chic farm table, some painted pale blue, wooden bar stools and these...

Monday, December 5, 2011

The need for speed

When I started decorating, my first job received a lot of press, and the project was featured in some local papers.  But since then, I haven't given much thought or effort into getting published - until recently.  There comes a point in your career when suddenly you want some validation that what you're doing is worthy of continuing on its journey.  After all, working while raising a family requires a lot juggling and missed moments on both sides, and sometimes I wonder if choosing one over the other would be better in the long run.

A few weeks ago, a freelance style writer contacted me about an article that she was doing for a local magazine about holiday decorating.  While this really isn't what I was expecting to be showcasing, I was happy for the introduction.  It turns out that I like to talk about what I do, regardless of what angle it's coming from.  In fact, I love what I do, and the more that I have on my plate, the more I need the creative outlet.  (Remember that description of myself from my 1st blog post??)

And now here I am, seven years later, finally putting myself out there, butting in on Twitter chats, posting my blogs to Facebook, and finding peers and friends along the way who are constantly expanding the conversation and cheering each other on, encouraging one another to share their work.  The digital age is speeding along, and although I'm a little late to the train, I'm ready to jump on. 

So here it is, my debut in Newton Living (page 24, Lights Out)...

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Countdown to Christmas!

I know not all of you celebrate Christmas, but I do, and I am trying my best to remember what all of the excitement is about.  Just off the heels of Thanksgiving and still suffering through a week of leftover turkey, today I finally got my first glimpse of the season when I came home and found that my favorite annual box from UPS was on my doorstep.

Years ago, after I finished working on a client's house in Raleigh, North Carolina, she sent me a magnolia wreath as a gift for the holidays.  Not only did it remind me of her and her lovely home, but it added a little southern charm to mine.  Ever since, I have continued the fashion on my front door (and my back door, and on my banister, and my back gate).   

I usually place my order in August and ask for delivery after Thanksgiving.  The wreaths come unadorned, so it's up to you how you dress yours up.  Mine takes a simple sheer gold ribbon until mid-January, and then once the season is over, I take off its shimmer and leave it up through March.

Although I buy fresh every year, the wreath dries beautifully to a muted rust-colored patina (if kept indoors, it will age to light green). 

And so, on this 1st day of December, it's beginning to feel a lot like Christmas...