Friday, March 30, 2012

design the house around THIS

You know that Moen commercial where the lady plunks the faucet down on the table and tells the architect, "Design the house around THIS."
Well I would like to design an entire house around this dress chosen by Estee Stanley as one of her wedding dress options. Stunning.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

arts and crafts

Those of you who have been following for a while know that my mother is the creative director of the Mississippi Craftsmen's Guild, my sister owns a craft holiday shopping show, and I am an interior designer with a serious penchant for art and early American - mid century furniture and craft. My mom had an antiques store when I was young and so I have grown up with American craft blended into modern spaces and it is something that I am very passionate about - especially now that I run a store and most of the products on the market are made in China and India. American craft is still out there and I think the artists who create it and the designers who use it should be celebrated, and that everyone should see it doesn't have to be rustic, but a beautiful accent to any type of interior.
On that note, my mom and I are thinking about publishing a coffee table book that celebrates American artists and craftsmen and beautiful interiors showcasing them. If you are an interior designer who uses American made art or crafts in your interiors or know of an artist who should be celebrated, please let me know!
Here are some I want to feature:

Obviously my own work featuring photography by Madeline and Robert Longstreet

Caleb Siemon blown glass used here by Alessandra Branca

Silas Seandel bronze tables featured by Laura Day

Paul Villinski beer can butterflies featured by Myra Hoeffer

Molly B. Wright bottle cap art used here by Angie Hranowsky  

Mark Albrecht woven leather stools used here by unknown
William Leslie paper light sculptures
  I would really love to feature a great potter, a wood turner, some interiors with quilts or choctaw baskets, maybe someone who does stained glass, iron sculpture, rugs - the possibilities are endless! What do you think? Do you think there is a place for this type of book where not only the designer is cited, but also the artist or craftsmen whose work is in the space?

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

art i love: Madeleine Longstreet

Thank you so much everyone for your kind words yesterday. I have so much fun decorating each apartment I live in and it was cool to do this one twice! I have an obsession with Ebay, so almost every stick of furniture I had came from there. I also run a design store, so the Augousti pieces and fine art comes from my own store, Interior Designs, Inc.
Jenn asked about the branch triptych in my bedroom. It is one of the few things that I did not sell when I finished this design (as most of you know, I sell everything as soon I am "done" so I can move on to the next look). However, art is forever. I have been lusting after these branches for six years, and I was finally able to get them.
They are by Madeleine and Robert Longstreet, a mother/son photography team. The photographs are printed on French watercolor paper using the Van Dyke process, so they look like ink. They are signed and numbered limited edition prints. There are small pieces that are much lower in cost, but the Dogwood Branch triptych sells for 14k, Jen. I know - :( bummer! But it's an investment - every single home I ever have will be designed around those branches.
The Longstreets are highly collectible; people like Ralph Lauren have several of their pieces. Here are some images of their work in interiors....Happy hump day!

My bedroom before with Birds in Branches

My bedroom closeup on Dogwood Branch

My store with White Feathers over sofa

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

over at...

Today I am over at MadeByGirl blog sharing with Jen's readers my rental experience and pics of my apartment..Come by and take a look!

Saturday, March 24, 2012

saturday spaces

Well, the house I looked at yesterday turned out to be a crack on to the next. My budget demands a tiny space -so today's Saturday Spaces are all tiny kitchens I love! Happy weekend!

Friday, March 23, 2012

virginia creep

Inspired by the backyard pics from yesterday, I found some images of Virginia Creeper taking over fences and homes. It is so gorgeous but will take over every flat surface if you don't watch out!

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Sexy backyard

One of the houses I am looking at has this back deck/small yard area:

I think it has the potential to be so sexy! I don't cut grass, so I think I would put down crushed oyster shells or gravel, and do climbing vines all over the fence and maybe orange trees in the corners. For furniture I am totally inspired by these cozy, sexy outdoor spaces:

This firebowl from Restoration Hardware is a must:

And their new Ibiza Collection pieces in black would be so dark and cozy against greenery:

Throw on some sheepskins, string lights, suzani pillows, and lanterns, and it is an outdoor party waiting to happen...
What are your favorite outdoor items? West Elm and CB2 have some great inexpensive outdoor picks!

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

i love this

I love this unexpected combo of zebra print and beach photo - so fresh and unique!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

educate yourself

Most of you know that I am trying to buy my first home this year. I have never been interested in being stuck in one place - I am a total vagabond at heart and would like to live many different places, including outside the country again. But since the economy crashed I just feel like it would be silly to walk away from a steady paycheck, and New Orleans is a wonderful city with a small town feel, great festivals and events, and beautiful weather. If I am going to put down roots anywhere, it is here.

A lot of renters feel fear about a mortgage payment, but the truth is that we are already paying a mortgage every month, it is just not ours. So don't be scared; educate yourself.

There are insanely good programs like FHA loans for first time homebuyers that only require 3.5% down, instead of the standard ten percent. There are also programs that pay your down payment AND closing costs, if you meet the requirements and are willing to look into it...I am attending first time homebuyer training classes (12 hours required) and then I will have qualified for a 25k grant of FREE money! If you stay in the house you buy for five years or more the grant is forgiven and you never have to pay it back. If you sell the house, you simply pay it back from the sale, just like a mortgage loan. Basically it just helps you afford a house that is a bit more than you would have been able to afford, and you don't have to make mortgage payments on the grant money.

Check out HUD, Homepath (great for foreclosures, etc.) and your state's government websites for more info. In New Orleans, the info for the Soft Second Mortgage program (the one I am doing) is HERE. Another great resource here is the Neighborhood Development Foundation - ask for Fred Johnson - he is so nice!
This is really the best time ever to be a first time homebuyer!