Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Happy Valentine's (four days later)!

This is the only time of year that I can get away because the Mardi Gras parades make it impossible for me to open the showroom. I also live on the parade route so life is pretty unbearable during this time of year. Fortunately, I take this time to have my vacation. Last year I visited my old friends in Mexico; this year my friend Leslie and I took a road trip to Destin.

Since I am always thinking about design and inspired by everything around me, I took the opportunity to breathe in the beach. The beach is definitely inspiring my new apartment, but it is also a major component of my best friend's house project. She lives in San Diego, loves beachy California chic style, and her eyes are the exact color of clear blue ocean water. We decided several months ago to focus on turquoise in all the main areas of the house, and the other rooms are inspired by sand, sky, and earth. Hopefully it will be a happy house - full of light and color - and a beautiful place for her and her wonderful hubby to raise a family.

I love you, E1!

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

One Man's Trash...

A few years ago my mom and I were driving in a very sketchy part of town in Jackson, Mississippi. Among some really scary gas stations and corner stores was a huge metal fence hung with framed posters of Tupac Shakur (the dead rapper) and other cheap wares. As my mother tried to get out of the area without being raped, robbed and left for dead, I spotted some framed botanicals on the fence. I forced her to stop and purchase the obviously "hot" merchandise, and she bargained with the seller to get them for $10 each. She only had $100 dollar bills in her wallet and I thought we were going to be killed, but we got out of the ghetto with our botanicals! They are hanging in my sister's bedroom and they are gorgeous.

The point is never to judge a location or situation; treasures can be found anywhere. I consider myself to be an expert on Ebay, Craigslist, and yard sales. The key is to know that you can change anything. Pieces with good lines can be painted. Desk tops can be put on new bases. Upholstered chairs can be recovered. Metal tables can be refinished or polished. Don't be put off by a possibility because it is dirty, old, or neglected. Love can turn anything around.

For example, I found this desk on Ebay. I recognized right away that this "tesselated" stone was a beautiful find. Tesselated simply means mosaic or tiled surface. This gorgeous pink looks like travertine to me. Kelly Wearstler (the famous designer) is doing entire houses of tesselated stone now and it is going to be a super hot trend. Tesselated tables and consoles on 1stDibs sell for upwards of $9000! This piece was listed for $275 on Ebay. Unfortunately, the base looks like something a casket would sit on. So I discovered that the top simply sits on the base and I decided that I would put the top on a lucite console. How gorgeous would that be?

Well, I lost out on this piece in the final seconds of bidding and I was very upset. But I am so happy that I saw the potential - and I have since discovered other treasures on Ebay. It is much more fun to discover a beautiful, one of a kind piece and nurse it back to health than to buy a cheaply made factory item that you see in ten other houses on the block.

And the stories you will have! My sister could be sleeping under a Tupac Shakur poster - but we thought those didn't go with her color scheme...;)


I need professional help!

This is how far I got into painting my bedroom before I called my painter, Lee. At some point, you have to admit when saving money is not worth it. For me, that point is halfway through one wall.
But you can see the color of the bedroom. It is a rich, dark peacock blue. I chose it before the Elle Decor came out this month with the same color on the cover!
It will bring the walls in, hopefully making the room dark and cozy and special - instead of just a white box. Also, my Pottery Barn rugs came in and I love them! They are thick and soft and the perfect sand color to enhance my beach theme in the living room.
Next step - get the computer off the floor and purchase fabrics to bring this design to life!

Friday, February 5, 2010

Fabric, Fabric, and More Fabric

So I am always inspired by a fabric first. Most ideas for a design or even an entire house come from a single fabric or wallpaper print and expand out from there. My bedroom in the tiny apartment is going to be a super high gloss dark blue, and these are the fabrics that will be in the room. The cream and camel diamond print will be the bed headboard and bedskirt, the lavender velvet will be two x - stools at the end of the bed, and the prints will be pillows on the bed. I still have not decided on window coverings. I can blend them in with the walls or make them stand out. I want this bedroom to feel soothing, dark, and cozy. Like a little jewel box in the sky. Or on the second floor. :)

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Tiny Rental, Big Dreams

So here is the tiny rental I just moved into - to say 450 sq. feet is being generous! I am going to make it wonderful, I hope. First step - paint the bedroom high gloss dark blue and cover the floors with jute rugs. Pottery Barn has a great price on jute rugs. My inspiration for this living room is this beach photograph by Christian Chaize. It will hang above the entertainment center. All of the beautiful colors of the water and the beach umbrellas will be in the room. The bedroom will be very dark with the walls but I have some ideas to make it pop with great printed fabric. Stay tuned to see these changes next week!