Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Our Living Room

Kirsten from 6th Street Design School is sharing our living room e-design project on her blog today and I couldn't be more excited!

Please take a visit over to check it out.

I'm very excited to share my e-design story with you (hopefully tomorrow or Friday). Kirsten was such a pleasure to work with and I can't say enough great things about the experience. So stay tuned and I'll share my e-design story with you.

Have a great day!

My Last Furniture Class and Brainstorming - Part 1

Tonight was my last furniture class. Another class with tons and tons of info and it was awesome. Mind racing, so I'll try to break it down briefly here.

We finished up discussing the Victorian period and briefly touched on a few design details of the Victorian period. Picture rail moulding and the tete-a-tete were two items that sparked my interest. The picture rail was a thin piece of moulding about a foot below the ceiling where the homeowner could hang their artwork. There is a post from 2007 on Apartment Therapy where a homeowner posed a question about picture rail moulding. Below is a living room designed by Sheila Bridges that uses picture rail moulding to hang the artwork. Do you see the thin piece of metal that is used to hang the artwork? And check out that ottoman...whew.

Here is a tete-a-tete. You'll know what it is when you see This piece of furniture actually came about as a means for a man and woman to engage in courtship.

Then we moved into 20th Century furniture design (yay!) and briefly touched on Arts and Crafts. 

We then transitioned into Art Deco and Art Nouveau. Same time period different countries - Art Deco was here in the U.S. - think chevrons, sunbursts, glam. Art Nouveau was in France and is more of a curvy, sensuous look. 

Here is an Art Deco inspired dining room...the genius of Kelly Wearstler.

This curvy, sexy railing says Art Nouveau to me...

And then we finally got to Mid-Century Modern...pitter patter, pitter patter. Unfortunately we didn't get to talk a ton of MCM but it was enough. A beach house designed by Mona Ross Berman featured in House Beautiful features some Mid-Century Modern inspired furniture. I had the opportunity to see a dining room Mona and her team designed for the Chestnut Hill design show house a few months ago.

Mona Ross Berman Interiors

What 20th century furniture design do you favor?

The last part of class was spent discussing furniture construction, which I'll save for Part 2.

I have a fun post coming your way soon that involves my living room...stay tuned.

Enjoy your Wednesday and thanks for reading!

Tuesday, November 29, 2011


I've always loved board games - even into my adult years, although I haven't really had a chance to play any lately. Growing up we would play Sorry, Parchese, Kismet, and Family Feud. Some of my current favorites are Scrabble, Pictionary, Cranium, Catch Phrase. I feel like there's always a new game that comes out that catches my eye around Christmas time.

Presently, we don't have a coffee table or ottoman in the living room. Due to space and little noggin constraints, we just decided to nix it for the time being. So if we were to play a game it would have to be on the floor which is not too comfy, at the dining room table, or at the breakfast bar between the dining room and kitchen.

I love the idea of a space that could multi-task to be a game area, reading area, and entertaining space. And part of the inspiration for the space below came from Cathy's client's sunroom that she posted about last week. I thought it would be heavenly to have a light-filled space with a cozy set-up that would be fun for the family to play games, or for Mom to read and drink her wine or coffee, or even just to hang with friends.

Here is my interpretation of a game room:
I know this doesn't scream game room, but it evolved into a vibrant space where family and friends could all enjoy. I like the idea of having four comfy chairs surround a table for playing games, conversing, or reading/hanging out. Much of the room would be windows so there would really only be one wall to display artwork or to have a sideboard for coffee, drinks, or snacks. You know refreshments are the other important aspect of game playing and there must be ample space to place the snacks and drinks, so I'd probably need to add in some side tables as well. 

Here are my sources:
Top row: Home Sweet Home print-Etsy seller One Canoe Two; Wire dome pendant-Terrain; Philadelphia print-Etsy seller Albie Designs

Middle row: Throw-Terrain; Chair-Crate&Barrel; Pillow-Etsy seller kyoozi; Round table-Horchow; Chevron mugs-Etsy seller Jill Rosenwald; Rug-West Elm

Bottom row: Cranium Wow and Pictionary both by Hasbro; Credenza-West Elm

What is your favorite board game? What would your game room look like or what would be some must haves?

Monday, November 28, 2011

Weekend Recap

We had such a wonderful extended Thanksgiving weekend. The weather in PA has been absolutely gorgeous. Most days have been getting up to the low 60's which is a real treat for the end of November. And it looks like the rest of the week is going to remain in the 50's and 60's!

A few things I've learned this past weekend...

~New experiences through the eyes of Sheila are the best - especially when we can support local establishments. Friday morning we took a drive over to meet some friends at Morris Arboretum to check out the Holiday Garden Railway exhibit. My nephews always enjoyed the Garden Railway, so I figured Sheila would like to check it out. There are all different trains set up in this plot of pretty gardens. It's amazing the amount of work that goes into setting up all of the trains and getting the tracks, lights, and gardens looking perfect for the display.

A few Thomas trains...below is Gordon (I think).

A little mini gondola strolling along in the garden...

There's also an exhibit called Out On a Limb which is a giant treehouse and really fun for kids and adults.

We really enjoyed ourselves and will definitely go back again. It's a great spot to take a walk and enjoy the beautiful scenery. 

~Christmas is even more fun with children. Sheila is so excited by just a few of the decorations I've gotten out and the lights that we've hung on our banister. I can't wait to pick up our tree and see the look on her face when we get the tree decorated and all lit up and pretty.

~Black Friday is a great time to go to the supermarket. It was empty.

Because of the overwhelming response and support I got on my post about Sheila last week, I've decided to keep things light around here and post a bit about Sheila here and there. When I started blogging, I wasn't really sure what direction I was going to head...DIY, documenting our house renovations, family/Mom blog. Then I took up some interior design classes and really started to focus in on interiors on my blog which is what I truly enjoy. BUT, even more important is the experiences I enjoy every day being a Mom. So with that, I'll be sharing a little more of my Mom experiences along with my interior design inspirations. This is not turning into a Mom blog by any means, but I enjoy sharing a little bit with you about my family and from the comments you left you also enjoy it as well. So thank you again for all of your support and for your honesty.

Glad to be back here again with you this week after a little blog break - now I'm going to catch up on some magazine reading that I'm very behind on.

Hope you had a wonderful weekend!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Giving Thanks

A very Happy Thanksgiving to all!

Safe travels, good eats, lots of hugs with family and friends ~ I love Thanksgiving.

We will be going down to my mother-in-law's for dinner this year, which is about a forty minute drive for us.

Safe travels to all and enjoy!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Dancing, Homework, and Research

Ok, first off, did anyone watch Dancing With the Stars last night??  WOW! Electric is an understatement when it comes to that freestyle dancing (if you watched). I admit, I was a little late to the game this season but man did the finalists bring it last night! I'd be okay with any of them winning.

Back to the real reason I'm here today...homework and some research.

We have homework from last week and that is to look for Greek, Gothic, Renaissance influences in magazines. I love homework, so I flipped through some magazines and picked out a few different spreads to take with me tonight.

First came from Myra Hoefer in House Beautiful April 2011.

I talked a little bit about the Bergere chair last week. The animal feet on the coffee table and you can't see in this photo but there are columns on either side reminiscent of Greek influences.

More influences seen here in the animal feet on the stools and the hood over the range. There were lots of French influences seen in her designs throughout this spread.

Another one I chose to bring with me was the designs of Robert Couturier seen in Elle Decor November 2011.

Lots of mouldings and millwork with French influences. The chairs below with the open upholstered arms is referred to as a Fauteuil (pronounced fo-toy). Inlaid floors are also an 18th century influence.

Hopefully we get to share a few of these.

Remember a few weeks ago when I showed you my consignment store book finds? One of the books I picked up was a 20th century modern auction book from Rago Arts, an auction house in Lambertville, NJ, which is probably about an hour from where we live here in PA. The title of the book actually says Sollo Rago. John Sollo is an expert authority in 20th century modern design and it looks like he teamed up with David Rago in 1998.

Who wants to go on a little road trip with me? There's another auction coming up in February. This book is from the October 2009 auction but it's packed with furniture goodness...are you able to read the fine print description in the photo below?

This is a Frank Lloyd Wright piece. It's a plywood plant stand with cruciform base, and it's from the estate of Elizabeth Gordon, editor of House Beautiful magazine from 1939-1964. Wow.

Another Vladimir Kagan - you can't tell by this photo but the seat cushion is upholstered in wool herringbone.

Ah, a Cherner chair. This one is referred to as the pretzel chair. Sheila actually did a post on Cherner Chair recently.

As you can see, there is a ton of awesomeness (yes I used the word awesomeness) in this auction catalog. I'm so glad I picked it up for under $1.50!

More furniture tonight as we progress through the centuries. I'll be back with the rundown.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Fun Stuff

Today I put together some favorite items that I've come across recently - whether you use these items as inspiration for gift giving, excuses to ooh and ahh, or to add more favorites to your Etsy list - I hope you enjoy.

Coco Mademoiselle is my all time favorite perfume. Not only does it smell wonderful, but I also love the packaging as well.

Stacy from Red Door Home crafts the prettiest stockings and also has a monogram pillow in her Etsy shop that would make a wonderful gift.

I love this personalized pillow cover. I've had some really great Etsy transactions, but Jamie is absolutely the sweetest seller I've ever dealt with. I've ordered personalized beach towels from Jamie and they make really awesome gifts. I can't wait to get a pillow cover when Sheila gets older.

Wouldn't any female be thrilled to add a new clutch to her accessories wardrobe? There are so many pretty options available at Red Ruby Rose but this peony clutch really caught my eye.

 If you know a person well, then personalized stationery is a really great idea. These cards are from Stelle Designs.

I got my husband a laptop sleeve last year for Christmas. It's sitting next to me right now and still looks brand new. This herringbone iPad sleeve would be a great gift for anyone. There are a ton of options over available at Bertie's Closet.

If you have any coffee lovers in your life, then this French press art print would be a great pick. Working Woman has still life options, food prints, and much more in her shop.

Cutest snowflake stamp - would also make a nice hostess gift along with some note cards.

I love this necklace, really love. Round House Jewelry has some gorgeous and affordable pieces of jewelry.

And you cannot go wrong with a purchase from The Wheatfield. I think one of these state prints would be a nice addition to any home - a hallway, living room, child's room, play room, etc.

So there you have some of my favorite things...which is your favorite?

I'll be sharing this over at Saved by Suzy. Suzy is hosting a favorite things party, so lots and lots of ideas to be had over there - take a peek if you get a chance. I told Suzy that a good friend of mine used to host a favorite things party where we'd each bring our favorite item of the moment, and then at the end of the party we all pulled numbers and got to pick a gift. It was a lot of fun!

It's Thanksgiving week - woo hoo!!! I love Thanksgiving. And speaking of Thanksgiving, thank you to everyone for your sweet, thoughtful, and supportive comments from last week where I shared a little bit about me and my family. I appreciate the support!

Friday, November 18, 2011

This and That

Just a few things running through my mind I figured I'd share...

I love this typewriter print from Janet Hill Studio. She's got so many great prints. It looks like she also posts an original each week as well, but I'm sure they go quickly.

Blogging is great isn't it? What better way to reach so many people from all over that share the same interests? Sheila from SZ Interiors is a blogger that I've started following along with. Her antique and vintage purple glass post really got my wheels turning - and now I'm on the hunt for some purple glass. Sheila and I also share a love for Mid Century Modern furniture. Although, you know since my class this past week that I can't get French inspired furniture out of my head. And...Sheila also shares the same name as my sweet little Sheila.

I don't get super personal on my blog, but I was ready to share a little bit more about me and my family :) These photos were taken at Linvilla Orchard back in October. Sheila's hair is really starting to grow as evidenced in the first photo, and she's got some curls in the back that I just love. I'm really excited about the holidays this year. Last year was such a whirlwind since Sheila was still pretty young, so I feel like Thanksgiving and Christmas just flew in and flew out. This year we plan on really enjoying the most we can of the holidays and starting some new fun and traditions with Sheila.

Another Etsy find...I really wanted to incorporate something like this letterpress print into my dinnerware board but my room evolved to be more formal and this print didn't fit in with that plan. 

Tis the season for cocktails, cookies, all kinds of yummy food, and today I start a healthy living competition with a group of women at my office (good or bad timing?). I'm excited about it as it's the boost I need to get back on track. We are scoring points for water intake, sleep, exercise, and weight loss. We'll see how it goes...

One last thing, Elizabeth's new website is up for her blog and website designs - check it out if you have a chance!

Have a wonderful weekend - what kinds of things do you have on tap?

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Furniture Class

First furniture class and my mind is going a little cuckoo clock right now. And we've got homework! Here's a taste of what we discussed...

French inspired. Inlaid floor. You know I love green. Those chairs are bergere style, a French chair with closed upholstered arms and upholstered handholds. Lots of ornate mouldings. Although the chairs are Louis XVI style, they have some Greek inspired details on them. The mirror and fireplace are all French inspired.

I like when I see a mix of styles - I found a few that I'll show you in another post.

Here is some drapery love that I spotted and had to share...

This color palette is so pretty. A minty green and cranberry...perfect for this time of year. I can't tell if those draperies are displayed with holdbacks or if they have reefing detail - if I had to guess I would say there are holdbacks there but it's hard to tell. Either way they are beautiful. Imagine taking those off the windows, the room wouldn't be the same.

More later - hope your week is going well.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Classic Dining - Plan B

Thanks for all of your comments and feedback yesterday on my design board for Mood Board Monday. It was a lot of fun had by all.

I remember very clearly a post by Lori a few weeks ago where she had presented a design board to a client and then her follow-up the next day was discussing the importance of a Plan B. How smart!

Since I had been playing around with two different versions of my design board, I decided to consider this my Plan B for a hypothetical client.

I started with this...

The "client" really loved the look and feel of this board, and really was keen on the Susani Trellis by Lee Jofa. They weren't sold on the use of the navy. Instead they preferred using more of the green in this fabric, so then I came up with Plan B...

Here is what I changed up from yesterday:

- I added a new paint color to the background, Urban Putty from Sherwin Williams

- I switched out the blue paisley and blue circle fabrics for a green velvet to be used on the bench seating and Betwixt in biscuit for some pillows or even a large bolster. I also added another new pillow from Etsy seller Kyoozi that brings in some more of that pretty gold found throughout.

- I also switched out the grey for the green arabesque rug that is part of the Genevieve Gorder line for Capel

The rest of my sources can be found on my design board from yesterday.

I really didn't intend on this board to pan out to be so literal for the holidays, but it just worked out that I also added in a few pieces of holiday decor.

So what are your thoughts on Plan B? Are you more of a green or a blue person? (Or neither? that's okay too)

Thanks again for the feedback from yesterday. I'm still in the learning process of creating and mastering the design board process, so all of your tips and comments go a long way. I really appreciate you taking the time out to read and to comment.

I'm going to be sharing this board over at Cottage & Vine. Rene is hosting her Room By Room series and this time around it's dining rooms, how appropriate! Go on over and check it out if you have a chance.

Tonight is another design class and we're focusing on furniture. I'll be back soon to share the details.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Mood Board Monday - Inspired By Dinnerware

Hope everyone had a great weekend!

I'm very excited because it's Mood Board Monday! And did you know Mood Board Monday goes back to 2009? Sarah from Pewter & Sage has kept it running and is our hostess with the mostess - thanks Sarah!

This time around we are inspired by dinnerware. I decided on the Penumbral Doily dinnerware from Anthropologie as my inspiration. The intricacy and pattern of the doily impressed on the terracotta just made me think classic, classic, classic - so that is where my mind decided to go with this.

Then I came across the beautiful space below in Architectural Digest and this further enhanced my vision for the room. Although my vision would be to pull the table and seating away from the stone and create a fireplace there instead (this is all an unlimited budget mood board of course).

With my inspiration dinnerware and image for the room in place, I decided to choose some fabrics that would shape the color palette for the room. The intricacy of this Schumacher  paisley fabric reminded me of the pattern in the dinnerware, and navy is such a classic - I went with it.

I envisioned this space being a classic, casual yet luxurious dining space for a couple or small family. It allows for additional seating for cocktail parties with a built-in seating area under a large set of windows to the right of the fireplace area above.

Here are my sources:

Furniture: I wanted to create a casual atmosphere that allowed for easy conversation, so I chose a round table and upholstered chairs to soften the look. I would also use two of the wooden storage/display cabinets on either side of a wall and have space in between to slide in that great bar cart for entertaining. I also really liked the look of the sideboard and that would certainly be functional in a dining space.

Table-Hickory Chair, Upholstered chair-Ballard Designs, Cabinet-Hickory Chair, Sideboard-Crate & Barrel, Bar cart - Desiron

I would use the navy blue paisley fabric for drapery panels on either side of the built-in seating in front of the window. I'd leave the windows on either side of the fireplace wall open. The susani trellis multi-colored fabric would be great on an ottoman or a few pillows as well as the navy circle fabric.

Inspiration blue paisley fabric: Claremont crewel embroidery by Schumacher,Multi-color fabric: Susani Trellis by Lee JofaNavy fabric with circles: Duralee

I thought the sconce would be perfect on either side of the sideboard. I really loved the look and shape of the sconce. When I was searching for a light fixture for above the table, I came across this pedant light and thought it would be perfect. It wasn't super formal but the ring also mimicked that on the sconce. And the gold metal=perfection!

Pendant light - Circa lighting, Sconce - Neiman Marcus

For some reason I couldn't get the rug I chose to load onto my board. It's the Arabesque rug from Genevieve Gorder's line for Capel.

The pillow I came across on Etsy and thought it would be perfect on the built-in seating area. The two pieces of artwork I chose to bring in some color and texture to the room. I loved loved that mirror when I saw it and knew it would be perfect for this room and would probably place it in between the two wooden storage cabinets.  I also had a little fun adding in some holiday decor with the wreath, towel, napkins, and decorative pine cone. And the wine rack was a must - easy access for entertaining and convenient.

Pillow: Etsy seller Woody Liana; Original abstract landscape artwork: Etsy seller Beata Belanszky Demko; Feather woodburned artwork: Etsy seller The Haunted Hollow Tree; Wine rack: Pottery Barn; Wreath: Terrain; Dish towel: Crate&Barrel; Dinnerware: Anthropologie; Napkin: Williams-Sonoma; Mirror: Layla Grace; Decorative pinecone candle: Williams Sonoma

Paint color:
Lancaster Whitewash by Benjamin Moore
Benjamin Moore® Ben® Paint, Lancaster Whitewash HC-174 modern paints stains and glazes

That wraps up another Mood Board Monday. I'll be sharing this over at Pewter + Sage. Go on over when you have a few minutes and check out some of the other boards being shared. It's always fun to see everyone's interpretation of their own board and how they are inspired. Thank you again to Sarah for hosting! It's been fun and looking forward to the next one.

Have you had any dinnerware that you've used as inspiration? Do you have special pieces that you bring out for the holidays? If you host a holiday meal, how do you decorate?

Have a good one!

Friday, November 11, 2011

A Boy or Girl?

Happy happy Friday!

No, not me but I have a lot of friends and friends of friends who are pregnant, so instead of showing you more window treatments as I had promised I decided to show you a gender neutral design board that I've put together.

A few weeks ago I had posted a few fun fabric swatches that I had been admiring, so I decided to do a board around the more gender neutral fabrics. I really loved this grouping of fabrics and would certainly use them in another nursery one day (we like surprises at West Pear Avenue), so here you go...a colorful gender neutral nursery.

The chevron fabric from Tonic Living drove this design. The colors are perfect for a nursery and really allow for a ton of options. Here are my sources:

Top row (left to right):
Umbrella art - Etsy seller Nessa Dee - we have a piece of her artwork in my daughter's nursery and it's one of my favorite things (and one of the first things I bought for the nursery during my pregnancy)
Storage boxes - Ikea
Fabrics - Tonic Living, Dwell Studio, Waverly - I think you could do a lot of things with these fabrics, but I was thinking of doing a bumper with the chevron fabric, draperies or a roman shade with the green ikat, and pillows with the black Dotscape. But you could really do a variety of combinations with these fabrics which is so much fun.

Middle row:
Storage bin - Ikea We have two of these in my daughter's nursery and love them. They are sturdy but also allow for a lot of storage (right now we have books and some toys in them).
Crib - Walmart Yes, you read that correctly, Walmart. We also have this crib and love it. The drawer underneath is great and allows for more storage. 
Pendant light: Layla Grace Texture.

Bottom row:
Rocker - Ikea
Pillow - CB2
Art - Etsy seller Trafalgar Square

This was so much fun to put together, and thank you Olioboard for making a bookmark toolbar icon for selecting items to save to my library (a huge time-saver). I still haven't figured out how to get the white/light images not to have those splochy marks.

What are your favorite elements if any on this board? I really love to hear about products people like, so let me know if you've done a nursery or designed a nursery what are some of your favorite items.

I'll have another design board for you inspired by dinnerware on Monday as part of Mood Board Monday.

Have a wonderful weekend!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Window Treatments and Trims Galore

My class this past Tuesday night was all about window treatments and decorative trims. It was a ton of information packed into two hours but it was great. I took a record-breaking 8 pages of notes/drawings (yes I had to draw a few of the things to remember what it looked like).

I learned some new terminology...napped sateen (a type of lining), bump, jabot, Buillion fringe...just to name a few.

I think one of the big things that I took away from this class is a deeper appreciation of the amount of labor and craftsmanship that can go into making beautiful draperies. Not everything has to be elaborate and high-end, but the amount of work that goes into draperies is really impressive.

So I've pulled some inspiration photos of rooms where the draperies caught my eye and thought I'd share a glimpse into where my drapery obsessed mind is going...

The work of Phoebe Howard. One word, genius. Beautiful (two words). Stunning (three words). I love the mix of roman shades and draperies in the living room above.

As you can see in the photo below, these draperies are much more elaborate, but beautifully crafted. The fabric draped at the top that some would call a swag is a jabot (please let me know if this is incorrect). The jabot is almost like two swags if that makes sense. The fabric draping below each side of the jabot is the cascade.

What I've also been admiring through my window treatment stalking browsing is how beautifully flawless and effortless some draperies just blend right into a room, but at the same time create a softness and gorgeous backdrop to a space.

More Phoebe...check out the hardware.


Ok, this is one of my favorites below (but how can you choose just one??). Where are the draperies? I see them and they are blending right in and fantastic!

One more because I love this one the white draperies with black hardware.

Phoebe Howard's website is filled with beautiful projects that she has done - it's worth lots of looks.

Are their any specific projects where the window treatments really caught your eye? I'm still picturing the lavender draperies from Traditional Home a few months ago - those really stuck out in my mind. Remember those?

I'll be back tomorrow with more window treatment eye candy.

On another note, Lauren Liess from Pure Style Home had a great post yesterday about fabrics and price points, it's definitely worth a read. I learned a lot in one post about fabric. Lauren launched her own fabric line the other day which is beautiful, also worth a look.

Have a great day!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Interior Design Spotlight: Tom Scheerer

While doing some research, I came across the beautiful portfolio of Tom Scheerer. I thought I would show you a few of his beautifully designed homes, some of which you may have seen before.

You know what I love about reading and researching various designers? A lot of times if a home they have decorated has been featured in a magazine, often times the official website of the interior designer has different angles and images of the home that didn't make the cut into the magazine.

The first two images are from a coastal Maine home that Scheerer designed and was featured in the April 2011 House Beautiful. I love the chintz curtains and the sofa.
Interior Design by Tom Scheerer

Love the coffee table and the lamps here. The piece on the center of the coffee table is a vintage basketball hoop. I love touches like that.

Interior design by Tom Scheerer
Scheerer's portfolio truly speaks to his versatility and talent.

A Brooklyn townhome...

Interior Design by Tom Scheerer

Interior design by Tom Scheerer

A Paris townhouse...

Interior Design by Tom Scheerer

Interior Design by Tom Scheerer

A Florida home...

A Bahamas Veranda...

All photos courtesy of Tom Scheerer Incorporated
If you like what you see here, you can see many more portfolio images on his website.

One thing that I think shines through is Scheerer's use of scale as well as his talent with texture and pattern. I also love the way he accessorizes his spaces and seems to have the perfect touch for each room.

Bravo Mr. Scheerer.

Which of these homes are you drawn to?