Wednesday, March 5, 2014

One of my favorite things!

     When I got married, twenty-one years ago, Rivers and I loaded up on furniture from our parents' and grandparents' attics.  Because we are both first born and the first ones to marry in our families, we hit the jackpot!  (I would like to take this opportunity to apologize to all of our siblings for raiding the roost and not leaving much for you.  I'm so sorry!  Call me later and we can work through any bitter feelings you might still have.)  We were able to furnish a two bedroom apartment without having to buy one thing.  Pretty amazing? Yes!  Was it cute? Not really.  We had zero money in the decorating budget.  But, it was our first home and I loved it!  I was so thankful for Great Aunt Helen's quilted sofa, Papa and Gan's first dining set with the Hinkley chairs, and my parents' oak washstand that served as our bedside chest.  As the years passed, so did a lot of that furniture.  Eventually, I found myself trying to decide what to do about a chair that had belonged to Granny.  I wasn't ready to let it go, but it did not seem to fit anywhere.  It was headed for the attic, when a need arose.  My daughter CiCi needed a chair in her room, but there was no way this one would work in its current state.  My wheels started to turn.  What if…What if we reupholstered it with a really cute girly fabric.  What if we PAINTED it???  Oh my goodness--I was so excited!!  My plan became a reality and I tell you---I think it is my favorite thing in the whole house!  

This is exactly what the chair looked like before. 

This is CiCi's chair now.  

 Here is a close up of the chair detail.

     So, what's the moral of the story?  1. Don't be greedy and take everything from your parents' and grandparents' attics.  2.  Don't pass on an ugly duckling.  If you like the lines and overall design of something, it can be made new and fresh with a little paint and fabric.

Monday, March 3, 2014

I just can't help myself!

     I'll tell you what, my sweet husband has the patience of Job when it comes to decorating our house.  I am fortunate that he has a creative brain and appreciates a beautiful home.  I asked him a year ago if I could redo our foyer.  He stared at me with a blank look on his face and said, "Haven't you already redone the foyer three times now?"  I nodded and said yes I had.  1. One coat of paint.  2. One treatment of Venetian plaster in an orange.  3. One treatment of Venetian plaster in cream.  Three times.  He asked me to table it for one year.  As I was patiently waiting for my time period to expire, I thought back over my decisions to do what I had in that room.  Paint was an inexpensive and easy way to freshen the foyer--but it was just too dull, so I chose the Venetian plaster.  It was very popular a few years ago, but my house is very traditional and the plaster was really out of place,  especially the orange.  It also competed with the wall paper in the bathroom and the paint treatment in the music room.  So, I lightened it.  It still competed and was out of place.  I had made a mistake.  I finally came to the realization that adding to the wainscoting that was already there would my best and final option--A paneled foyer.  After the year was up, I broached the subject again.  I explained my reasoning and he understood.  He gave me the green light.  I contacted Shaun Rawlings of Heritage Custom Woodworking,  a very talented guy who can do just about anything out of wood or metal.  He did a marvelous job and even matched the existing trim.  It melds beautifully with the rest of our house and looks as if it has always been there.   Most people won't even notice I have done anything--but I know.  I love it and truly will never change it.
I love how this chest just jumps out at you now!

You can see a bit of the powder room paper.  With nothing to fight it, it is highlighted.

Shaun matched all of the trim perfectly!

Yes, that is a Christmas wreath still hanging in the window above my sink!

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Here's a Challenge for You...

     I have a wonderful client that moved into a new house.  They have been making it their own since the first of September.  As the budget for the decorating neared an end, she realized the guest bedroom was really lacking and they had guests arriving soon.  I told her that I would be happy to help and challenged myself to try to keep it under $500.  She already had the furniture and had ordered a duvet and shams from Anthropologie.  I needed to find the rest of the bedding, a rug, and accessories for under $500.  (All of the photos were taken with my iPhone--I'm sorry about the poor quality!)

This is what we started with:

The bed, night stand, and dresser were leftovers from redecorating her daughter's room.  

I found a little inspiration with this:
The homeowner picked up this fabulous print in Charleston, South Carolina at the Spoleto Festival in 1990.  

And now…they are guest ready!

I love a layered bed with pillows for propping up or snuggling in.  Guests have options for the amount of covers they are most comfortable with.  I would like to find a long bench to place under the festival print for suitcases. 

I love this vignette!  The homeowner had this chair and found these framed needlepoints online.  It is a perfect spot to place a purse or a toiletries bag.  

I was able to find everything for right around $500.  It helped that we could shop around her house for artwork and accessories.  One great piece of advice I have heard, that makes so much sense, is to spend a night in your guest room to make sure that it is comfortable and has everything needed for a great stay.

Here is one of my favorite guest room makeovers done by Anne Turner Carroll.  This article was in Southern Living a few years ago.

What a dreamy room!  
Just gorgeous!

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

A little more on antlers...

     Yesterday, after my husband read what I had posted, he was inspired!  
Look and see what he created!
     Isn't that just fabulous!!!  He killed this deer in Texas last year.  It was mounted on a piece of drift wood, which was nice looking, but a little too masculine.  Over a year ago, I bought two of these copper "shields" at a great store in town called Preservation Station.   I had no idea what in the world I was going to do with them, but I knew that I loved the way they looked.  I had thought about turning them into sconces--but I love this so much more!  Rivers spied them yesterday and had the brilliant idea of using them as a base for his mount.  We put it in our breakfast room, which is covered in pecky cypress paneling.  We will enjoy looking at it everyday! 

Here is the Black Forest Deer I mentioned yesterday located in the kitchen.

     Above the mantel in the dining room I have four small mounts.  Three were picked up in an antique store and one is resin.  It's hard to tell the difference---I had to look closely to see which was one was not real. 

Monday, January 27, 2014

Decorating with Antlers

     As deer season winds to a close,  I am inspired to write about how we can use what our mighty hunters have brought back from their adventures in the woods to enhance our home.  I really am a fan of antlers and mounted animals, if they are done tastefully (and treated humanely--not killing for the sake of killing.)  My favorite is the European mount, with its beautiful carved wood plaque.  I am most happy hanging those all over my house.  One of my most prized possessions is a German carved deer head with real antlers from the Black Forest in Germany.  I think it dates back to the 1800's.  I admired him for several years at Scott's antique market and finally decided to take the plunge and buy it.  I have never regretted it.  I enjoy it daily.  My boys are hunting now and have both killed deer.  I am very proud to hang their trophies in our house!  If you don't have a hunter in your house,  antlers can be purchased easily on the internet or in antique stores.  Also, if you object to using real antlers, there are ones made out of resin that look authentic.  

via Elle Decor
via VĂ¥rt Nya Hem
PS--You can also use feathers--especially pheasant tails--to enhance your decor!
via Eve Smith

Thursday, January 23, 2014

A New Favorite Hotel!

     Our oldest child left for college this fall.  I really can't believe that we finally reached this point in our family.  It is one of the saddest things we have experienced.  She is happy, though and in a wonderful place, which makes it a little more bearable for us.  The only good thing about her being so far away is a little boutique hotel just a few minutes walk from her dorm.  It is called...  The Carolina Inn.  I put it in bold and italics, because it deserves it!  Oh my goodness!  And when you say it, it must be with a southern drawl.  (You might as well read the rest of the post that way.)  It is perfection.  I love everything about it.  The rooms are just beautiful-- the bedding is luxurious and the bathrooms make me want to redo mine! The restaurant is divine--especially the fried oysters; Everyone there makes you feel like they might have known your grandmother.  But, the best thing of all, Maggie is only two minutes away.  I already have my reservation for this May when we pack her up and bring her home for the summer!!

photos via The Carolina Inn

Parents' Weekend Fall 2013

Friday, January 17, 2014


I love wood.  If I could, I would panel every wall in my house and the ceiling, too!  There are so many options for wood walls.  Beadboard, tongue and groove planks, wainscoting, etc…  It all makes me very happy!
via McAlpine, Booth, and Ferrier Interiors



Ali Rutherford Interiors
 One of my favorite products is a tongue and groove plank that you can buy at Home Depot.  It comes in packs of 6--eight foot planks that can be painted or stained.  The great thing about this wood is that it is thin and can be placed on walls with existing trim.  I have used this on multiple projects.
Ali Rutherford Interiors
 In this client's bedroom, we ran the planks vertically because we needed the illusion of height.  

Ali Rutherford Interiors
For this project, we placed the wood horizontally in the nook on either side of the fireplace.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Window Treatment

What do you think about using exterior style shutters indoors?  I think it looks amazing and I would love to use them somewhere!
Source Unknown

Darryl Carter

Caldwell Flake Interior Design

I have two windows that are in need of some form of treatment, mostly for privacy.  I don't want to cover the transom with roman or bamboo shades--it's too pretty and drapes would  just not be right.  I might have found my answer.  

Wednesday, January 15, 2014


I have a thing for twin beds.  I am drawn to bedrooms that feature them.  Maybe it is a symmetry thing or maybe a sentimental thing.  My sister and I slept in twin beds until I turned 16 at which point we got our own bedrooms.  Funny thing is, I don't have any twins in our house.  I guess I'll just enjoy photos of them.

Circa Interiors