Happy Holidays

Merry Christmas and happy holidays to everyone!! Take a holiday hiatus, enjoy time with your friends and family, and cuddle up warm next to your fire or Christmas tree. I'll be doing the same.


life: still searching for a rocking chair

i'm still searching for a rocking chair. i have a few favorites. 

i would love a rocker like one of these. i love scandinavian design, especially midcentury danish. these would look so pretty in my nursery.  i think if i could have any chair, it would be an old teak rocker of danish design like these.

i've also been looking for one of these for a long time.  i stumbled upon this one today and was reminded of my love for the vintage shape, mixed with the modern chrome.  don't worry, it's only $1200 on ebay.  psh...  if only there was one that i had access to...    

or i could go with a classic eames rocker.  they come in so many great colors now!

what do you think? i've been nursing thom in a folding camping chair since we moved here (umm...4 months ago... yeah....) but i really want to find the perfect rocking chair and keep it forever.  that would be the really eco-conscious thing to do.  should i hold out for the perfect chair at the right price?  

or should i just get something cheap (ikea's poang chair?) for right now because really, anything's better than a camping chair...?  maybe i'd upgrade later, or maybe i'd really love that poang chair and hey, it's only a hundred bucks.  tough decision.

what would you do?  if money were no object, which one would you choose?  since money is an object, what would you do if you were me?


inspired: a day at the beach

a few weeks ago my husband decided we should take an impromptu visit to the beach.  the days are getting chillier and we needed to feel some sand in our toes.  so we quickly packed the car and drove the 45 minutes to surfside, tx.  yes, there were surfers (didn't think it was possible in the gulf of mexico?  think again).  i'll be back to try my luck at surfing another day.

although it was too chilly to swim, we walked around, stuck our toes in the sand, watched the birds dive into the surf for fish, and admired the surfers who were braving the cold waves because the wind and the waves did seem really great for surfing.

while walking up and down the shore, i noticed the most beautiful house.  it was different from most of the other houses along the beach because it was so demure.  can you see the teal and purple home in the background of this picture?  yep, that's what most other beach houses look like.  i like that, too, and i think it suits the beach vibe, but i loved this simple, all-wood house.  it was like a large piece of architectural driftwood.

i particularly noticed the faded wood grain on the plywood panels that cover the windows.  you can't see them in much detail here but the graining on them was so beautiful.  it reminded me of burl wood (though it is not burl.  it just reminded me of it).  so i did a quick search for burl inspiration and found these lovelies.

a beautiful burl console, via

burl and lucite desk - can this please be a christmas present to me??

lovely burl dresser, via

i loved our day at the beach!
our family at the beach
can you spot the creature?  i'll give you 100 cool points if you can guess what it is!


project: c+m's entryway

my sister and her husband recently bought a house.  it's got beautiful bones but needs a lot of love in the design department (note the jade green carpet below).  ;)  fortunately for them, her husband is a construction manager and knows all about building and construction.  and her favorite sister (what?!) is an interior designer.  so they are totally up for the task.  

of course i'm offering her my services.  

we started with the entry way for a few reasons:
1- it's the first thing anyone sees when they enter the home.
and 2- it's a small space and easy to complete.  sometimes when you're updating your entire house, it's easy to get bogged down, feeling like nothing is complete and there's so much to do.  because there is!  so we wanted to have one project that would be quick to complete.

here's how it's going down.  my sis sent me pics and dimensions of the space.  

we chatted on the phone about what her style is, how she wants the room (as well as the entire home) to feel. luckily, i understand her style pretty well.  i call it "casual elegant."  she's got 2 children so it needs to be livable, but there are also 2 adults that live there, so it needs some elegance, too.  her style leans toward the traditional end of the spectrum, but she likes to blend with more modern/transitional accessories and textiles.  so here's the first draft of what i came up with:

1- modern orb chandelier.
2- inexpensive, yet ornate mirror.  this will be painted a different color.
3- wall stencil for some textural interest.
4- large gourd lamp in a fun color
5- entry rug in a durable material
6- the main player- the console
7- colorful accessories

all sources on my pinterest.  

what do you think?  


lovely: typewriter

how pretty would this hot red typewriter look in a vintage-inspired work space?  i imagine typing up love notes to friends and neighbors on this little lovely.  i am seriously coveting it.

 it's completely restored and refinished and is 100% workable.  santa, if you're reading this, i've been a really good girl this year...  $665 good?  maybe...

i might not be as cute as this little lady, but i'd sure try!

and here's some typewriter inspiration to get your design juices flowing - i know it, now you want one too, don't you?

do you relish the idea of writing on a typewriter?  or would it just be a pretty piece of decor in your home?


go green: would you FLOR tile?

our home has all wood floors.  except on the first floor where there are ceramic tiles (don't get me started on those wacky tiles...)  wood floors are beautiful and easy to keep clean, but with an ever-more-mobile baby around i need some floor coverings, stat!  at first i was thinking of traditional rugs - they're classic and easy to find, but then chris said, "what about FLOR carpet tiles?"  (i think he secretly flips through my magazines and catalogs when i'm not around.)  it was something we'd talked about a while back but i'd sort of ruled them out  for some mysterious reason.  but now i'd like to consider them again.

carpet tiles are a completely different beast than traditional rugs.  i have no idea how i'm going to decide which to use, but i thought i'd make a pros and cons list for starters and then open it up for conversation.  

so here's the big question: would you use flor tiles instead of a traditional rug?  why or why not?

-FLOR is made with renewable and recycled content and is recyclable.  and FLOR is also an amazingly green company.  they reduce their carbon footprint in every area- from packaging and shipping, to their dyes, to using pre- and post-consumer recycled material.  awesome.  
-along that vein...they'll recycle your old flor tiles - and even pay for the postage!
-these tiles are super kid-friendly - they're amazingly stain- and moisture-resistant and if you get a stain that you can't get out, all you have to do is swap the single tile - not the entire rug.
-i can customize the color and pattern that i want.  and i can rearrange the pattern whenever i want to change it up.

-whereas i can find highly discounted rugs, FLOR carpet tiles seem to have a price floor (haha, punny...) of about $12 per 20" tile.  that means for a 5x8 rug i'll need about 15 tiles and it'll be about $180.  ok, after calculating it out...that's actually not a bad price.  put this one in the pro pile.  i guess the con would be that the prices go up from there.  they can be upwards of $40/tile.
-yes, they have lots of options, but let's be honest...in the world of floor coverings, i can find waaaay more options if i look at traditional rugs.   since i've got a lot of straight lines and geometrics going on with my artwork, sofa, and table, i was hoping to bring in some softness through a pattern with some curve to it on the rug.  FLOR does offer some patterns, but most of them are graphic and linear.  cool if i hadn't already bought my artwork and sofa.  i'm just not sure i'll find the pattern that fits just right.  

i seem to have made a pretty convincing argument for carpet tiles.  any other pros or cons you can think of?  any other reasons i've overlooked?

here are the 4 FLOR designs i would consider if we decide to go this route.  which one would you pick?



inspired: hexagons

hexagons - what a cool shape, right?  

i was checking out the sweet acrylic jewelry at brevity and saw her line of hexagonal necklaces.  there's something organic, yet modern about this shape that intrigues me.  when i see it i think of bees and honey and spanish tiles and 7th grade geometry. 

here's a bit of what brevity has:

and here's my hexagon-inspired board:
it's a little abstract, but it's how the thought of hexagons makes me feel.  the vases are from west elm, the artwork is by molly courcelle, the tiles are sendai, and the table is noguchi.


what is an interior designer?

i've been working a lot on the design for the green house lately.  a LOT.  a few days ago i was feeling disconnected from my design.  i was feeling like the space wasn't really reflecting who chris and i are.  upon some reflection i realized that it was because i was spending too much time on the computer- sourcing things, crunching numbers, putting lovely things together into a lovely looking board., etc. etc. etc.

anyway, upon stopping to think about what wasn't working and why, i realized that i was doing more shopping than actual design.  i was pulling a space together but i wasn't actually CREATING anything.  yet.  and i started thinking about what an interior designer actually IS.  now i know there are lots of designers and there are probably just as many ways of working as there are designers, but here are my thoughts on the matter:

-a designer is NOT just a shopper.  certainly, a fair amount of time goes into sourcing things, finding awesome furniture, great deals and beautiful artwork and making it all look nice together.  yes, that is a huge part of what designers do.  but being a designer is so much more than that.

-a designer is an INTERPRETER.  first and foremost, a designer should understand their client and be able to translate who they are into their space.  i believe a home should be a reflection of the people who live in it.  either what they are, or what they'd like to be.

-a designer is a THERAPIST.  when you enter a space, it makes you FEEL.  design sets the mood, whether it is done it intentionally or not.  a good designer can help you set them mood you want.  that's why when i'm working for someone else, one of the first questions i always ask is, "how do you want to feel when you walk into this space?"

-a designer is concerned about FUNCTION.  i see lots of pictures of completely un-lived in and un-livable spaces that are beautiful.  but i don't envy them and i don't envy the people who live in them.  a space should work for the people who live in it.

-a designer is an ARTIST.  ok, i confess, drawing and rendering are not my strong suit.  but i can at least sketch an idea well enough to communicate it to someone else.  and i'd like to become better at this so my ideas can come to life even better.  (please note: this is not my sketch.  it is done by a designer with rendering skills that i'd kill for.)

-a designer CREATES.  this is probably one of the most challenging (and in my opinion, the most satisfying*) tasks.  a designer doesn't just find furniture and place it in a room.  to me, design is about building, about making, about thinking of a completely new way of doing something and trying it out.  it is about customizing solutions to your exact project and doing something completely unconventional.

this week, that is what was out-of-sync.  in my rush to put together a complete house in a week, i'd forgotten to include the elements that make our place distinctly "s+c."  i forgot that my work is about creation, innovation, and doing new things.  as well as creating something beautiful and functional.  but don't worry....  i've found my way back.**

so now, my questions for you:
if you're an interior designer, does my design philosophy resonate with you?  what do you feel like is the most important aspect of design for you?
and if you're not a designer, what do you think of when you think of interior designer?  are you surprised by my (very rough) definition of an interior designer?

*i love to push these boundaries.  in fact, there have been times where i've taken it a little overboard.  i can think of a few school projects where i reinvented the entire wheel and left everyone thinking, "whaaaat....?"

**i was so inspired by the design philosophy and work of christian lacroix.  did you know he dabbles in furniture design, as well as fashion?  reading this interview with him was what helped me find my way back once i was thinking about rethinking my design.


project: the green house- great room inspiration board

i've been hard at work crunching budget numbers, and then finding furniture, artwork, light fixtures, and rugs for our new home.  and i think i've finally got a decent plan concocted!  here's what i'm thinking for our kitchen/living/dining great room.

1-art from big cartel.  
it's a large, glossy, painted wood panel.    it'll go right over our dining room table.
2- storage solution - i got the idea here.  
i'm going to customize it a little bit for the size we need and the look we're going for.  but this will either go in our computer desk area or will house some books, dvds, and our dvd player.  or both.  plumbing pipe and reclaimed wood?  yes, i think i can handle that.
3-dining table and chairs from csn.  
i like that it features a removable leaf so when we're having guests we can expand, but when it's just the 3 of us it won't take up as much space.
4- cute little side chair from urban outfitters
 it'll go beside our fireplace, in the little reading nook with the plumbing bookshelf. 
5- industrial type stool from ikea.  
i'd like to find some vintage drafting stools eventually, but this is cheap and accessible, so i'm all over it. 
6- grey sectional from west elm.  
now i'm not normally a sectional type person, but this one is modular which means we can switch up furniture arrangements as we need to (i'm a big fan of doing that), the seats are wide and accommodating, and the color is great.  add to that the fact that west elm upholstery is all 15% off right now, and you've got a deal.  i pick these up thursday!
7- making mercury lamps with burlap shades out of some old glass lamps i already have?  yes please!  

so there it is.  version 1.0 of our great room.  i  can't wait for it to be completed!  wanna come hang out?


love: pink velvet chaise

ok, remember how one of my dream pieces is a hot pink, velvet sofa or chaise?  well... it just so happens that as i was browsing for furniture, i stumbled upon this little beauty at urban outfitters:

i am so tempted to buy one!  the price is not bad and it's so close to what i'm imagining...but just not quite.  the color isn't vibrant enough and the shape is a little too whimsical for me.  but dang!  it sure is cute!  and if any one else spies a hot pink velvet sofa or chaise...please send it my way.  


life: our new design

now that we have a new home, i've got to start working on our design!  because although we have an abundance of cardboard boxes lying around our house, we have absolutely no furniture.  

i love that i get to start from scratch but it's also a little daunting.  haha here we go...  making something (and lots of it) with a strict budget for the pickiest clients around...and quick.  let the games begin.  


life: and the winner is...

house #3 - i dubbed it "the green house" when i was house hunting because all the walls look like they were tinted green in the pictures.  granted, the walls of the 3rd bedroom actually ARE bright green but when i visited it i saw that the majority of walls are actually a sandy tan color.  but tell me...do they look greenish to you too??

so...welcome to our new home.  wanna take a look around?

when you come in the front door there's a small entryway, and then you are lead up a flight of stairs.  when you reach the landing of the stairs you may either turn left into our main living area or you may go down to the lower level where our 3rd bedroom, bath, and garage are.  
stairs going up and down off the main level
here's our dining and living area 

 this little balcony is right off the kitchen.  i intend to put a little cafe table up here and have moonlight teas or sorbets with chris.

the view from the balcony looks down onto our entry gate and patio.  i also have big plans for this space - a little garden with a trellis, i think...  

off the kitchen there are some stairs that lead up to the master bedroom and what will be thom's bedroom.  
master bath
master bedroom
thom's bedroom
thom's bathroom

 and remember how i said off the first stair landing you could go down onto the 1st floor where the 3rd bed, bath, and garage are?  well here they are: 

 what will this bedroom be?  guest room?  craft room?  music room?  office?  library?  we'll just have to see...
3rd bedroom
3rd bathroom
 bonus!!  it's comes with a washer and dryer!!  just what we need to wash all of thom's constantly dirty clothes.  sweet.  
so there you have it.  i've got a furniture plan all worked out, now i just have to dream up what style, colors, etc. i'll use.  that's the hard part.  let the fun begin!!