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Monday, December 20, 2010


One of my current jobs, a dining room,  has had my creative side working overtime.  It should have been such a simple thing- add some window treatments, a console table, rug and a few pictures to the room and call it a day.  Well, sometimes the most simple project turns into a brain teaser.  I could not find the right table - at the right price ANYWHERE!  I started researching possiblities months ago, and it finally dawned on me one night lying in bed. A) It wasn't as simple as it seemed b/c B) the room is actually bigger than many living rooms, so it really needed more than just a table and pictures, and C)  we needed to custom make a table.   I did an about face and suggested we really need to added architecture to the room instead of just filling the wall with "stuff".  We worked out a elevation plan to add picture frame molding to all the walls to bring down the scale of the room and cozy it up a bit.    

And the custom table.....I wanted something rich, with history and patina, and I found it at an architectural salvage store. Restoration Resources came to my rescue when I came upon these pedestals:
According to the store owner they are from the old State House in Boston, but since my client is in RI, that won't mean much to her! Nontheless, they have the patina I had been searching for.

I came up with a sketch to add a tabletop and with a crown molding style profile, and handed it off to my furniture maker to work his woodworking magic.

Here it is almost done- we will be painting the top in a high gloss warm white with subtle gray undertones, Ben Moore Monterey White, to finish it off.  Stay tuned for the final pics in my clients home! 

Monday, November 22, 2010

Client Before & After

This is long overdue....and quite frankly I just need to be happy with the pictures of took of my clients home.  I haven't put them in my portfolio because I always thought I would get new photos taken of their place, but it hasn't happened.    

This was a great project, and the clients were completely on board with starting from scratch minus their artwork collection and the grand piano (not shown in the pics).   What a remarkable change and they are fully ready to entertain in style!  

Before -Living Room Center

Before Living Room Side View
After - Living Room Center

After - Living Room Side View

Monday, November 15, 2010

I Heart My New Stationery

Some of you may have noticed the slightest change in my logo- I recently had the very talented Tara Hogan of Ink & Wit do some beautiful letterpress business notecards for thing lead to another and I ended up having her tweak my logo as well.  It was just feeling a little too busy for me, and I really wanted to refine things a bit- my old logo had a bit too much going on.  I couldn't be happier with the result, and I can't wait to deplete my remaining business cards for something a little more tactile.  

Monday, November 8, 2010

Very Tardy.....

With the end of my maternity leave and the arrival of fall, life has been busy, busy, busy. I have been terrible about posting anything- most of my energy has been spent juggling new jobs with an infant who still wakes a few times a night, wha wha.   I wouldn't have it any other way though: )
I was doing my usual Sunday morning blog reading, and I came upon this new e-mag, Gifted from the blog, Creature Comforts  It truly has me inspired for the holidays to come.  Not to mention its given me some great ideas to implement in merchandising The Little Fox Shop in Arlington.  I volunteer helping to merchandise this non-profit childrens resale shop inside the Fox Library.   Proceeds go towards keeping the Fox Branch Library open and running!

Check out Gifted below....more posts coming in the weeks to come: )

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Graham & Brown Wallpaper

I am so excited to learn I won Graham & Brown wallpaper designed by Amy Butler as well as an autographed copy of her newest book, Midwest Modern! I'll be holding onto this wallpaper until I find a great wall and permanent digs to hang it on. I think I'm going to go with the Fountain pattern in Smoke, but I love Field Poppies as well.  See images below. Fountain in Smoke is a sophisticated neutral that can complement many accent colors-reds, blues, yellows. I can picture it instantly in a foyer with crisp white wainscoting or as an accent wall for a media room- a darker wall to help camouflage a TV.

Fountain in Moss

Fountain in Smoke
Field Poppies in Smoke
Field Poppies in Moss
Ulitmately I think Field Poppies works best in an area that you have preselected for a bold pattern statement, but I love the bold statement is DOES make! I also want to note the the Moss colorway of Field Poppies is actually much prettier in person than it is online. The greens are much more vivid in person, which is why I always suggest getting a sample before purchasing home merchandise online.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Maternity Leave

Thanks to everyone who has been checking my blog and/or Facebook page for updates. I have to apologize for falling behind, and I hope to get blogging again soon. I officially went on maternity leave 2 weeks ago after the birth of my daughter, Cora Elizabeth. Keeping after a 2 1/2 year old and a newborn is proving more time consuming than I even thought!

Please keep a lookout for more updates this summer as well- new pictures in the portfolio section of my website, as well as a new option for e-design where I'll be able to serve clients both near and far all through web!

Monday, June 14, 2010

Childrens Decor

With the impending birth of my next son or daughter only weeks away, I find myself more interested in childrens decor as of late....well the nursery was designed to be gender neutral so I wouldn't have to redecorate necessarily. However, we have had to slowly transitioned my 2 year old son from the crib to a twin bed over the last couple months, which has led to slightly redecorating the room from nursery to something more toddleresque. We decided until we move, the baby will either be rooming with us, or sharing the room with Liam (if the baby sleeps well...fingers crossed). I have repositioned the furniture to make room for the crib and a twin bed, and I will be posting on that in another week or so with before and afters.

Decor8 just posted today on an artist, Tamar Mogendorff, who creates beautifully crafted items from nature out of fabric. I particularly loved the birdhouses shown here. We recently stayed at a B&B in Kennebunkport, MA that had hand painted birdhouses cover the wall of the sun porch. Liam absolutely loved them. I think these fabric birdhouses would be great in a girl or boys room as well.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Outdoor Furniture For Thought

I've been getting inundated with catalogues lately, and they are all heavily marketing outdoor living....something we truly look forward to in New England. I thought I'd point out a few pieces that caught my eye.

First, the Rutland barstool from Ballard Designs could be great used as much for an outdoor space as indoors. They are rust-resistant so no need to worry about leaving out in the elements. To make it extra inviting, I would love to see a colorful cushion custom made for the seat to complete the look.

This next bench at Grandin Road is a classic based on the design of renowned architect Edwin Lutyens. However, the price is much less than what I typically see for this style bench at $249! It would be great in a garden corner, or placed on a front porch of a classic Colonial house. I love the pop of red, although it comes in a pretty peacock blue finish as well. I

Something a little out of the ordinary. Susie Coelho has a new line out for Grandin Road. This whimsical little "Rose" bench would be equally fitting for a beach cottage or a modern ranch style home.

Thursday, May 13, 2010


I was at one of my favorite stationery stores today, Papersource, and came across this brochure for their stock card sizes (not shown). However, they brilliantly added a "colorscope" to the front of the brochure, which definitely caught my attention. They have paired colors with certain personality traits. Take a look and find out what your favorite colors say about you!

Inspired Nest: Liam's Offi-like table

Inspired Nest: Liam's Offi-like table

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Client Designs

Here is a room from one of my clients who really just wants to "finish out" the room. She is using existing upholstery items (a red loveseat and sofa), area rug, accent tables, as well as some of her own antiques which include an exotic wood cutout trunk and piano (that plays itself!). However, what is left to do is accessorizing to complete the space and taking it to the next level with some quality textiles. The inspiration point is actually in the framed etchings of the universities they attended. They both grew up and attended schools in Rhode Island, and the husband wanted to incorporate them with some new etchings of the graduate schools they attended. Without getting overly themey, my goal is to create a room that relays geographical location of where they attended schools and live: Rhode Island otherwise known as the Ocean State. Here my plan of attack:
This is a formal living room and a place they will entertain guests, so it needs to feel formal and traditional. I would like finish out the seating area with a traditional Louis XVI armchair upholstered in a fresh graphic pattern for modern appeal. This would also help break up the all the red in the upholstery. I would like the keep the accent tables as is, but add a full length tablecloth to one side table in a vivid Celerie Kemble floral: Hot House Spark. Next, the existing rug is great but slightly small for the room. I will be layering a 9x12' natural seagrass rug with black border in order to add some natural texture to the room and create a cozier feel. (Design tip: if using alot of red in the room, using textured neutrals helps to balance out the vivid color without becoming overwhelming.) The room is also quite dark as is. To get more natural light into the room, I proposed new linen drapes in a caramel color installed beyond the window frames and all the way up to the ceiling as well as adding a red coral chandelier, and a round mirror hung the opposite wall of the windows. For added symmetry and color, two peacock blue gourd lamps will flank the larger sofa and this will help frame out the artwork we will be adding. Finally, for some finishing touches, we will add a mixture of throw pillows in camel velvet and the Celerie Kemble print as well as an oversized clamshell for the coffee table. Stay tuned for after photos!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Liam's Offi-like table

Finally, I'm happy to post these after pictures of Liam's new modern craft/dining table, and I've included the before picture again since its been a few weeks. I will say he eats at it more than he crafts at it, but I couldn't be happier with the FINAL product. I actually went through a process of sanding it down three different times and applying the chalkboard paint after each time to get a nice smooth finish. I have found some Ikea childrens chairs that I think will work well with the table, and plan to purchase them soon. See them here.



Friday, April 9, 2010

Cozy-ing up a large bedroom

I have a client who recently hired me to help finish out her townhome. We started moving furniture around in her master bedroom and the bed ended up fitting best on a large, and I mean large, empty wall near the open staircase leading downstairs. She really likes the new floorplan we implemented, however, she doesn't like the open feeling of the bed right next to stairwell.

My solution: add privacy and/or storage, which they desperately needed despite the room size, all the while keeping the bed cocooned between some built-ins. Here are some images that show different ways of adding storage and a cozy atmosphere all at the same time.

Image courtesy of Coastal Living

Image courtesy of Domino Magazine, designer Celerie Kemble

image courtesy of Domino Magazine, designer Adrienne Neff

Image courtesy of Domino Magazine

Friday, April 2, 2010

Master Bedroom Retreat

First, apologies on the delayed "after" pic of Liams new table. As it happens I used leftover chalkboard paint that wasn't sealed well after I last used it....about 7 months ago. The result? The paint went on a bit goopy and streaky. I need to sand it down to get rid of the streaks and then I will apply another coat of BRAND NEW paint. Liam has been loving his new table at any rate. Learned my lesson on that one.....

Now on to some eye candy you can actually look at! I recently finished doing a master bedroom in Rhode Island. The busy family of 5 moved into their "forever" home last year and have been patiently waiting to get settled into their space before deciding to undertake some major redecorating throughout the house. First on their list was their master bedroom. The wife loves a contemporary feel with classic lines, and luckily the husband was happy with whatever she liked! One of her favorite colors is blue, which ended up being the starting point of a relaxed and luxurious master bedroom retreat.

Take a look at the lackluster before:
Ho hum walls, hand me downs not worth keeping (words of my client) and some bedding that has been well loved.

The Design Board:

Now for the after:

We completely revamped the room with new furniture from Potterybarn, Crate & Barrel, Boston Interiors, and The only special orders were the two euro pillows with handprinted fabric from Galbraith & Paul (well worth the wait!!!) and the custom king size Filmore headboard from Boston Interiors. Even the silk duponi drapes were ordered stock from Potterybarn and then hemmed to the correct length and hung on drapery rings for a custom look.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Offi Woody Chalkboard Table

I have just about completed a table for my 2 year old son. I have been feasting my eyes on the OFFI Woody chalkboard table since I first spotted it in a feature Domino Magazine did on Barrie Benson's home way back in 2007. However, I did not want to spend the $400 just on the table plus chairs, so I have been keeping my fingers crossed that I would find that table for less eventually. Just my luck when my neighbor was throwing out the side table shown below on garbage day.
I immediately saw its future life as Liam's table. I cut a hole out the middle of the table and inserted a stainless steel mixing bowl I found at Home comes the paint and new legs!

Stay tuned for the after photo........

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Lonny Magazine

Just heard through the grapevine the latest issue of Lonny Magazine is out. Click here to view the third issue.

In case you haven't heard of it, its an online only magazine dedicated to the home launched by former Domino editor and blogger Michelle Adams.

It is the closest thing to the real Domino mag, so for all you fans out there get ready for a visual feast! However, I must admit the tangible magazine is sorely all the instant click-to links make up for this?

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

2010 Color Trends

After attending color forecast seminars from mega paint giants Sherwin Williams and Benjamin Moore, there are some clear color trends for the year ahead. Both companies shared thoughts that clearer, more vivid colors will emerge this year.

In particular, the color green gains a truer presence than years previous- a little less sagey and a bit more vivid. Ben Moore's choice is "Cedar Green" and Sherwin's is "Pickle". If that gives any indication of its hue, I think we can figure out that the greens of 2010 have a bit more blue in them than we've been use to, while retaining a bit of yellow.

Blues are getting more attention as well (although has blue ever been out of style?) The biggest change I see is that whether you like a purplely blue or an aqua blue, they are more intense- think blueberry, navy and deep turquoise.

Reds of the year are Sherwin's "Tomato Red" and Ben Moore's "Claret Rose". I don't see a huge change from past years reds. However, the literally mouthwatering reds we're seeing have an added nuance of pink. Interestingly, neither company noted any pinks at all- sorry for any of you pink lovers out there. It looks like that ultrafeminine look is on the down swing.

Yellows continue to gain more ground, and from everything I'm reading yellow is a color of optimism. Its no surprise that people are gravitating towards it during these difficult economic times. Ben Moore shows "Sundance" as their "it" yellow, and I can see it's not quite as acidic as last year- seems to have a bit more orange in it. Well, ALL the yellow colors are morphing into the oranges- something we'll see more of in 2011 and beyond???

For all the neutral lovers out there- here's the lowdown. Today's neutrals are grounded in earthy elements and the trend for more organic things. Wood tones, natural fibers, and stone are big influences. Your average beige is out and the more sophisticated "greiges" are in, and they are lighter or much deeper in color. Sherwin's top picks are "Nomadic Desert", "Magnetic Gray", and "Foothills" while Ben Moore's top picks are "Slip", "Thunder" and "Fairview Taupe".

I have added links to both paint companies websites 2010 forecast palettes. Take a look and let me know what you think!