Monday, April 30, 2012

They stole the show

After leaving High Point and all that there was to see, I have to say that the biggest story out there was a new found relationship between a boutique textile line and an old school furniture company.  The collaboration between Hable Construction and Hickory Chair had, and still has, everyone talking.  Now I'm not saying that Hickory Chair didn't have it going on before they teamed up with Hable; Lord knows with signature collections by Alexa Hampton, Suzanne Kasler, Mariette Himes Gomez, and Thomas O'Brien, Hickory Chair was already a strong player in interior design.  But by joining forces with Hable, their line now offers a younger, fresher vibe, and the ability to appeal to a more contemporary audience. 

Hable Construction ( is the product of family history.  Named after their great grandfather's road construction business, sisters Katherine & Susan Hable merged their business and creative backgrounds and introduced their fabrics to Brooklyn in 1999.  Known for their fabrics-by-the-yard, pillows, totes, and storage containers, Hable has also created lines for Barneys, Garnet Hill and Pottery Barn Kids.  Working with Hickory Chair is their first venture with a traditional full-service furniture line.

Check out some of their storyboards that were on display at their satellite office at the Hickory Chair showroom in High Point. 

And here is one of their playful patterns found on a campaign style lounge chair - SO FUN!


Thursday, April 26, 2012

Color bias

Have you ever opened an issue of House Beautiful simply to see what their favored designers' favored colors are?  I do, every month.  And every month, I am so surprised by just how many different paint manufacturers are out there, and equally by just how many paint colors there are to choose from. 

In the beginning, I tried to keep up - accumulating paint decks from not only Benjamin Moore but Farrow & Ball, C2, Stark, Kaufman, Pratt & Lambert, Sherwin Williams, and a handful of lines that no one has ever heard of.  Obviously premium paints are better than the likes of what you can find at Home Depot or Lowes, but just by being called premium doesn't make them all the same.  Some palettes are more sophisticated than others with restrained pigments, visual effects, or that perfect sheen, but what I've come to realize is that after all of these years, is that it's not worth the trial and error to find it.

I have to say that consistently year-after-year I am a die-hard Ben Moore client.  Even if they don't have exactly what I'm looking for, they let me make it my own and give me exactly what I need for the project.  No, I'm not saying that I never use the other brands; I'm just owning up to the fact that I have a favorite.  I know their decks almost as well as I know the lines on my forehead, and, coming from a woman who just turned 40.5, let's just call it valid...

Here are my top 10 can't-go-wrong favorites:

Squire Hill Buff (1068)

Soft Fern (2144-40)

Wickham Gray (HC-171)

Corinthian White (162)

Tender Pink (2090-50)

Lily White (2128-70)

White Sand (OC-10)

Touch of Gray (2116-60)

Natural Elements (1515)

Light Pewter (1464)

Happy painting!

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Holy High Point

Twice per year, a little town in North Carolina throws the biggest trade show in our industry.  For years I have said that I would go and check it out, and for years, I have not.  Fortunately, the stars aligned this time, and I actually made it there (sans kids/husband - a dream come true).  And, thank heavens I did, because it was quite a show... 

I have been struggling all day with trying to come up with a way to describe the event.  Apparently I had hit it on a very good year - While walking through the Hickory Chair showroom, Alexa Hampton said to me, "Feels like it did in 2008".  Obviously I acted like I knew what that meant, but unless it wasn't great parties, incredible hospitality, and fresh innovative products, then I'm sure we must have been on the same page.  Even though I have been to a number of other industry shows throughout my career, I really was in shock-and-awe after seeing showroom after showroom of great new finds, and more importantly, people LOVING the great new finds.

Many of my cohorts (from were also at the show and are now out there blogging about their favorite finds.  And if you read them, you will see a consensus on the favorites.  For me, some pieces and/or their manufacturers are obvious, have been talked about, and don't need another introduction.  I like to root for the underdog, the ones who need to become the favorites, the never-been-heard-of-befores (remember Gonzaga in March Madness in 1998?!).  So here they are (please disregard the quality of the photos - I did say earlier that we had been to great parties :)

This was the last showroom that I was in but the first that I'm willing to write about - Tucked in the back corner on the 2nd floor of Halo Styles (which I overall love) was Starbay (, a beautiful line of campaign style furniture that would suit any beach house, boys room, or yachty-type affair.  If you like the look of Grange or Authentic Models, this line has a lot to offer.

This light fixture was quite a surprise (found at Ro-Sham-Beaux).  I actually walked into the showroom to look at the Currey & Company look-alikes (again another that I already love) when a colleague (@savvyscav) pointed this incredible fixture out - woven gilded hemp - gorgeous.

OK, we all love Emissary, and I've blogged about/used them in the past.  I still love them, but something about the finish on these Hampton Row ( garden stools was just a little less mainstream.  Green, obviously, was my favorite!

If you have (or ever wanted to have) a Cartier LOVE bracelet, here is the biggest play out there - incredible exposed screw detail by Theodore Alexander ( - I really am in LOVE.

I absolutely loved this chair from Julie Browning Bova for Stanford Furniture (  She took a classic wingback, exposed the arm in the most feminine way, and added a pleated skirt.  It reminds me of my favorite Baker chair, but in a more ladylike way...

Port 68 ( had the sweetest little stools out there - perfect proportions with a barley twist leg and preppy little geometric seat.  They also were chock full of great candlesticks and lamps.  Defintely a favorite "filler" find!

And last but not least, the Worlds Away ( Pagoda lamps - painted metal in any color - only question is what color and how many???!

PS -

For those of you on Twitter, I have some other favorites that I have posted as a self-proclaimed, unofficial "Style-Spotter".  Feel free to check them out @elizabethhome under #HPmkt.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Serene in the city

A client of mine was looking for a serene bedroom to retreat to after a busy day at a stressful job.  Here we have put together a sophisticated palette of pale blues, beige and gray.  A plush cut pile carpet under foot, a tailored stripe on the wall, and birds chirping from a nearby pillow - maybe she'll have to sleep in a little longer on the weekend...

Wednesday, April 11, 2012


Again, another client making bold choices (yay!).  Here's a fabulous porch renovation underway...

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Sometimes random works

I love clients who have a sense of self expression; clients who make their own decisions (with a little help from me).  Here is a great example of a work in progress where the pieces from different stages of your life start to come together - where pieces become a complete whole of a room...

Thursday, April 5, 2012

To all my homies

Last night Circle Furniture in Boston generously hosted the kick off party (or tweet up) for a new design group called Social Interiors.  It was a chance for designers, craftsman, vendors and other people in the trade who have met via social media tools to actually get together in real life (IRL) to hopefully become friends and collaborate on projects going forward.  Many of the designers that I have known in the Boston area are, like me, independent principals with less than a handful of employees, so events like these are welcome opportunities to get out there and mingle with our peers.  What I love most about connecting with them is that we all have different war stories, different tastes, different clientele, and difference resources.  Up until recent years, this type of information was held close to the vest, but now, it's being shared, and our little community is becoming a strong front in the design industry.  By making these personal (and professional) connections, everyone seems to realize that there is enough business to go around, and by supporting one another, business grows.

So here's a shout out to all of my homies in the Boston design community (and to those who I know though Twitter and Facebook).  Please take a moment to check out some of their websites, read their blogs, follow them, follow who they follow, and pass along their contacts.

Julinann Covine of Jace Interiors/Create Girl

Mally Skok of Mally Skok Design

Rachel Reider of Rachel Reider Interiors

Leslie Fine of Leslie Fine Interiors

Kristen Rivoli of Kristen Rivoli Interior Design

Christine Tuttle of Christine Tuttle Interior Design

Vani Sayeed of Vani Sayeed Studios

Karole Moe of Karole Moe Art

Yvonne Blacker of Yvonne Blacker Interiors

Katie Rosenfeld of Katie Rosenfeld Design

Gretchen Aubuchon of Gretchen Aubuchon Design / Fashion + Decor

Michael J Lee of Michael J Lee Photography

Barbara Elza Hirsch of Elza B Design

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

ARGH! Taxes...

It's tax season again - my least favorite time of year.  Not because I don't like paying taxes (who does?) but because it's a reality check of what your doing with your finances and whether or not you've been a wise spender...  The part that I really dread is actually finding and organizing all of the documentation.  I am the type of person who has more than one "junk" drawer, and receipts and paperwork are not necessarily kept in one obvious spot.  Thankfully, my accountant is more organized than I am and reminds me of the missing pieces if something gets left out.

Every year, it's the same story - I waste countless hours sorting through paperwork, and every year I vow to be more prepared by proclaiming that every bill, every receipt, every donation acknowledgement will go in a special place to make this process easier.  Maybe this year I'll actually follow through and order one of these...

Stirrup Detail Boxes-Canvas & Brown Leather

Set of 3 Boxes by Global Views

black and white table trunk
Delevan Trunk by Ralph Lauren

19th Century Box On Stand

19th Century Box on Stand by Sarreid