Monday, August 29, 2011

Released From The Grip Of Mean Irene!

I truly hope everyone came through Hurricane Irene unscathed.  Other than having to make a quick dash 3 hours south to Williamsburg, Virginia Thursday night to pick up our son-after just dropping him off for his second year of college...four days earlier, it was a non event in our immediate area. They still are without power in most of the Williamsburg area, including the college. Hopefully, with a bit of luck the students will be back to school by mid-week. First day of high school classes for my daughter began today!

Speaking of being released from mother nature's grip, what are your thoughts about this master bedroom?

Elle Decor September 2011. Photograph by Simon Upton.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

How Was Your Tuesday?

I don't often stray off the topic of design, but in light of yesterday's ground shaking event, it's impossible not to be curious what everyone thought about quite possibly their first earthquake.

I had arrived home just after 1:30pm and headed out to my deck with a large glass of lemonade and the day's mail. It was an incredibly beautiful day and I was determined to enjoy it! A short time later my chair, the deck and house started to vibrate, then shake and things got very loud. My first thought was a low (way too low) flying plane, then I thought gas explosion or did someone drive into my house? I ran inside to check on my daughter who was running down the stairs to see what was going on.

I experienced Hurricane Isabel while living in Williamsburg, tornado's as a child in Oklahoma, and even though I had that fleeting thought this could be an earthquake, I was also thinking no, not in Northern Virginia?

It was amazing to note, other than the foyer chandelier swinging for several minutes afterward, there was that moment where I thought...did that really just happen? I tried calling my husband at work and my son who just went back to college. No cell service. It happened.

What was your experience like? Where were you?

Friday, August 19, 2011

Weekend Plans?

We'll just be hanging out with friends and family. Both the annoying and the crazy. Typical.

Have a great weekend!

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Tuesday Tip

At Home: we feel the most comfortable and relaxed. Home should be a place where we see beauty everyday and feel surrounded by cherished memories.

In my home during the summer months, it's so easy to find beauty and comfort in the most simple things, such as flowers from my garden and seashells from vacations past, piled on top of books that I love.

My hydrangeas are well past their brilliant blue prime, but still so pretty in their sage green hue.
 All this pale green combined with cream and brown still says summer...but has me thinking of fall! 
Take a few minutes this week to arrange cherished items on a table by your favorite chair. No matter what kind of day or week you're having, I always think doing this just makes you feel good!

Happy Tuesday!

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Contemplating Great Style At Any Age!

I don't know about you, but sometimes I wonder why when certain people age, they not only lose their sense of fashion style, but also their interior style. You know, that creepy combination of polyester pants and doilies on the chair backs! 

The foyer/dining room. The  pale gray walls and creamy white trim make it modern.
 My scans do not do any of these pictures justice!

In case you missed it, in the May-June issue of Veranda there was a great reminder that we have a choice to live beautifully any age! I have looked at the images of Furlow Gatewood's house so many times, I almost feel like I've been there.
Left side of the living room.
 Shutters are all that are needed since the furniture and objects are of such quality.
 Of course, I would love to know what book titles are on those shelves!

Right side of the living room.
The antique pieces with their white upholstery and slipcovers look so fresh.
The blue accents and geometric pillows on the sofa make the room feel modern.
Clearly at first glance, this was the home of someone with incredible style and a great appreciation for antiques, but the rooms didn't come off as stuffy. They have a fresh feel to them. I was surprised to read Mr. Gatewood is 90!!! Turns out he's John Rossell's associate and antiques buyer in the south for past 40 years. And, they travel to India together quite often. I couldn't help but admire this man's zest for life and passion for great design!

The guest bedroom.
This two-toned 4 poster bed was designed by Gatewood and Rosselli.
The simple linens and the leaf pillows on the bench give it a youthful touch.
 So it got me thinking about what's the secret to living with what you love and have collected, without living....well like it's grandpa so-and-so's musty attic?

I thought Mr. Gatewood's home, if you look closely at the details, was like a free design lesson for the enthusiast and a great reminder for those of us who often work with pieces clients have already acquired. It demonstrates that whether you're just starting out or have a lifetime of possessions, the components of pulling a great room together are the same. Classic pieces, antiques and collections, a great paint color and updated fabrics, plus disciplined editing, can make any room any age!

Oh, did I mention the beautiful garden Mr. Gatewood designed....full of hydrangea's? I would absolutely love to take a walk down this lane. Sigh.

Monday, August 8, 2011

The Bedroom Dresser: A Thing Of The Past?

It's been a busy two weeks and it looks like I may have the opportunity to work on a few new projects that involve construction. Of course, I am excited about that prospect! One project involves a master bathroom renovation. The space is already a decent size so there are a couple ways to tackle this particular renovation. Option 1 is to steal a bit of underutilized space from one end of a large master walk-in closet. There is a closet system in place, that will likely get an update as part of the project, and a dresser in the bedroom that is attractive, but merely stores a few sweaters and even has a few empty drawers! Expanding into the closet would allow for a larger bathtub and his and her sink vanities flanking the tub.

Franklin dresser by WSH

So it occurred to me, in the 21st century maybe our dresser's aren't really required to dress us anymore? Apartment dwellers have clothing storage issues that require careful planning and innovative solutions. And, of course in an old house where there may be no closets at all, I would think a large one and/or an armoire would be critical. But I wonder, how many who have renovated an old house have turned an unused bedroom or quirky space into a closet to eliminate a dresser taking up space in what may be a small master bedroom?

Mary McDonald.
Chests that double as clothing storage is smart in any size room.

So if the closet dresses the home's occupants, does the dresser (chest, bureau, armoire) just become an unnecessary thing to store a few extra sweaters or hold the television? I realized some time ago too that when you see bedrooms professionally photographed , rarely is a dresser shown in the room. Granted the bed is the focal piece of any bedroom, but is there another reason for their omission?

Victoria Hagen
On the left is what looks to be a French armoire presumably to hold the television.
When given the choice, I personally prefer the en suite set up where the closet is off the bathroom.  This way all of the routines of the morning/evening take place separately from the bedroom. Truly, a great luxury if two people share a room and are on different schedules! The only thing better...separate bathrooms and closets!

A desk on full view, but no dresser in sight for this modern scheme.
Do you think the dresser is falling out of favor and/or are closet systems rendering them obsolete? Could they possibly be deemed unattractive? Gasp...what would our ancestors say!