Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Firefly Cottage

This past weekend I went to Mississippi to see Firefly Cottage, a showhouse which utilized the work of Mississippi artists, designers, and craftsmen. I have seen a lot of showhouses over the years, but this was definitely one of my faves. The million dollar home is situated on a lake in Chestnut Hill, outside of Madison.

If any of you are in the area, it is still open through this coming weekend. You have got to see this home in all of its hand-crafted glory! So proud of my mom and the MS Craftsmen's Guild and Lisa Palmer (lead designer) for creating this stunning home with one of a kind art and craft. Here are some of my fave rooms and details, but there is much more to see so check it out in person if you get the chance.

Subtle printed grasscloth in entry
Lucite barcart makes a glam statement

Detail vignette on stair landing

Love the deco tile fireplace surround by David Ellzey
Restful master retreat by Annelle Primos - bed by Melanie and Jared Robinson

Love the huge carved mirror

Chicken wire armoire in nursery - sweet!
Eat in kitchen with custom table by Fletcher Cox

Cool island fixture by Steve Norquist
Gorgeous living room by Lisa Palmer

Wisting for that blanket!

Fave custom lighting by Mike Williams
Screened porch blew me away...interior by Erik Kegler

Terry cloth swivel chairs and lake breeze in dip dye drapes

Copper screens

Waylande Gregory stool - I want it!

Tuesday, October 30, 2012


Speaking of art, another super easy thing you can do in your own home is a silhouette of your child, pet, or whoever! Jonathan Adler sells small ones for a few hundred dollars and you can do this yourself - just google the how-to online... My brother, sister, and I sat for silhouette portraits when we were young and they are still hanging in my mom's house. I really love this idea as it is so graphic and can really be a spot of color. I had my niece and nephew sit for me a few weekends ago and here are the results! Can't wait to hang these in the kitchen at my sis' house...

Saturday, October 27, 2012

art smart

So remember when I did this post on Natasha Law paintings?  I have shared with you all many times my penchant for emulating art that I love. Well I did six pieces inspired by  Natasha's paintings but much smaller, on paper. HERE is the post with the results...

I just did them because they were such easy, uncomplicated shapes. But hers are much more impactful because they are huge, glossy paint on aluminum. So I gave the paper ones to my pal Betsy and I think it is now time to do a huge one for over my new pale linen sofa. I think this one is the front runner:

I could do it on a large 36" square canvas... or frame a huge photo or just do an abstract. What do you think? Advice, please....
Happy weekend! Off to dress like a mental patient for a Halloween Party....not such a stretch for me ;)

Wednesday, October 24, 2012


I will show you guys the updates on my sis' house tomorrow - but today I am proud and happy to show off my newest Ebay fix! Remember my excitement over this 50's sectional I got on Ebay???

Looking past the nubby turquoise fabric, I saw the modern arms and curve shape, the gorgeous pin feet with brass tips, and the almost perfect condition. Sofas of this make and era have super heavy cushions with springs inside. This was a perfect piece just crying out for new upholstery. I wanted to get rid of the channel tufted back and cover it in a pale neutral linen. Here it is...


Gorgeous, right?? I am so pleased with it. I know I say this every time, but this truly is a forever piece! haha

Also got this octagon chrome table base on Ebay and now I need to have glass or marble cut for the top. So much going on at the tiny apartment these days...

The rug underneath is my second Beni Ourain from Morocco - this time I got one with no pattern so it would be more neutral and basic...What do you think of these Ebay redos?

Monday, October 22, 2012

style icon: emmanuelle alt

This French Vogue gal has made an entire style out of about five pieces - I think I am going to stop shopping so much and do the same. I already have black leather looking jeans, black blazer, tee shirts, black motorcycle jacket and flare jeans..need a white dinner jacket, black military coat and lots of black strappy heels. Done!

Friday, October 19, 2012

the post about art

I'm off to Birmingham tomorrow to accessorize and style my sis' entry, living room, and master bath. Those three spots will be completely finished! (We still have another year or so to go...)

Here is the painting I did for my sis and her fam after about ten layers of color and gold leaf: I used a ton of old paint I already had, a canvas that was half off from Michael's, a plastic spoon, water bottle, and piece of sand paper. Even with the gold leaf I spent less than $100 bucks on this piece, and I sell paintings in my store that are the same size and look for $2k.

At this point it was definitely too bright and I knew that I was going to tone down the entire thing with more white and then sand it to let the gold leaf and drips come through:

So I ended up here. I love it so much that I stopped messing with it until I can see it in the space. It is very pale and feminine right now so if I get it in place and find that it is too soft and girly, I will add another layer of gray over it. But sometimes you have to stop picking at it or you will regret it!

I also got my copy of Nate Berkus' book, The Things That Matter, yesterday and I read it in one night. I have to admit that I cried reading Nate's life story. I was not blown away by very many of the homes profiled in the book - maybe two projects including Nate's own reno, but the personal stories of why people have what they have and the emotions behind the "stuff" we keep makes this book a must-read. *Special props to Dr. Ruth and an amazing life story! Definitely different than any other design book on the market.

 So happy weekend, friends! I will be working on the house of the people who mean the most to me in the world - hopefully my art will be one of their treasured things and make them happy every time they see it. Will reveal photos next week!

Thursday, October 18, 2012

beautiful basics

Paloma over at La Dolce Vita has a feature today on organization; specifically acrylic organizers for makeup. These gorgeous ones reminded me how much I love Muji products...

Muji is a Japanese brand, I think. When they first came to the States, it was only clothing. I was living in New York when the store opened in Soho and it was so exciting - gorgeous basics like J Crew but so much less expensive. They don't spend any money on logos or packaging, so they can pass on the savings to the consumer. I have a great plaid coat from there.

But today's post is on the amazing basic products they have online. They make great gifts and organizational things for your house - like the acrylic trays and boxes in the photo above. Here are my picks:

All the clocks are simple and lovely
Pretty refillable bottles

Long lasting LED flashlight

Colored pencils

Handy shredder

Washable cotton slippers

3D puzzles

Check them out - all the products make great stocking stuffers!

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

November Elle Decor

Whew, this is tough. November's Elle Decor killed me. It was all about luxury. Pages of pointless facts about when certain luxury items came into favor, followed by features of luxurious homes filled to the brim with things that almost no one can afford.

There were dozens of quotes from designers on what "luxury" means to them and several of them said that money has nothing to do with it. They praised restraint and a couple of them called excess "burdensome" and technology a waste of money, as it is constantly changing. And then the magazine went and profiled homes that were completely excessive, layered with luxury (read: expensive) custom made finishes and furniture that precisely 1% of their readers can ever attain. I am completely dumbfounded and after a five minute perusal tossed my copy in the trash - understand I usually save every Elle Decor as there is at least one project inside that I want to draw inspiration from in the future.

My favorite quote in the entire magazine is Da Vinci: "Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication." The older I get, the more I want to simplify and have fewer meaningless things around me. There were actually a few ads in the mag that I thought were beautiful and inspiring and exemplified this quote. So enjoy the only pages of this month's Elle Decor that I thought lived up to the description luxurious...the advertisements!

I included the Jean de Merry ad for the chandelier, I swear......hahahaha

P.S. **Disclaimer - the eat-in kitchen Bill Sofield did is gorgeous and simple, with the best things money can buy. The entire project is probably considered a masterpiece by many. I can't hate on how stunning it is, just that it took two years, trips to Paris, and millions of dollars to create.

P.P.S. Heather called me out on my love for fine things. I do love luxury items, my friends - it was the message of accessible luxury portrayed in the design quotes vs. the homes profiled. There could have at least been ONE project that was more simple or attainable.