My Quest for a Beautiful Home

Monday, December 27, 2010

Mom, I 'll bet you wish there were TWELVE!

My blogs are usually about decorating, or making things beautiful for yourself and your family. Today, I am deciding to share something that is dear to my heart. My kids! I know, I know, kids are the first thing in your life that you think about being dear to your heart right?

Well, for me today is a little extra special...Waking up this morning to the 12" of snow that greeted my children's smiling faces I knew that this meant a day of dressing, undressing, and re-dressing kids in multi layers of clothing. UGH! is the word I usually use. The snow gets everywhere in the house, the multi layers cause a lot of EXTRA LAUNDRY, and it always seems that we can never find the appropriate mittens, or gloves for the proper child.

Having 5 children was a choice, yes... a choice that I made, and little did I know that it required me keeping up with 10 mittens,10 boots, and hats, and scarves......and the list is endless.

Today once I got everyone dressed (with the help of my darling husband) the first thing that ran through my mind was LAUNDRY, I better get some going. Then, as I was gathering clothes throughout the house I was totally horrified by my daughters closet. I suddenly realized that the cup of coffee I was looking forward to would be waiting for awhile; since now I had to clean her CLOSET! I was..... angry, complaining, and was actually informed by my other half "I HATE IT WHEN I HAVE TO LISTEN TO YOU COMPLAIN!" So I began to complain to myself quietly with each heap of crap I was grabbing. When I put my hands on some old books in the bottom of her closet (at this point, I was basically throwing everything away) when the small "a Little Golden Book" entitled "Mickey Mouse heads for the sky" fell into the trash, and the front cover opened exposing the cover where I had written " To our baby, from mom and dad Nov 14 1990."

I stopped short and grabbed the book out of the garbage, when I did, out fell this....

I sat on the floor in total shock! This book had not only been moved over 4 states, and 4 homes, it had sat unread on the book shelf of 6 kids (Yes, 6!) for nearly 20 years!. This is the birth certificate of my first born son that died when he was 6 months old on October 30, 1991.

Not only today did I quickly realize that I should be thankful for the 10 mittens and gloves I had to argue about finding, or not finding this morning; it made me realize how quickly our lives can change. It was almost as if someone was sending me a message "I'll bet you wish right now you were looking for 12 mittens!"

Moral of the story, we only have one chance to be the best person you can!! Don't waste it on being petty, arguing for nothing more than the satisfaction of being right. Stop Complaining! Do Something nice for someone! BE THOUGHTFUL! Don't forget your kids, yes....I mean everyone that gets caught up into the every day facts of life. Think about your decisions and how they will effect everyone around you! What you think is best for you, may not be what is best for everyone else. Time Flies! Don't let too much time go by that you don't check on your family, friends and loved ones...You just never know.

To those of you that are family members you will know how difficult these are for me to share, but after this morning, I dug up some photos that may be wanted by everyone, and never seen again. Feel free to download them or email me and I will be happy to send them to you:

Jordan May 17 1991
Me on my first Mothers DayMy Mom taking a snooze

Grandma Julie during one of our many visitsMy grandparents in July 1991
Wanda, and Homer Stout

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Art work can take us in another direction

One of the most difficult things to accomplish in decorating is to find the perfect piece of artwork. This piece was a fantastic find on my recent trip to Michigan. This piece was painted by Beth Charles, her artwork is available at there are pieces for all price ranges, and wonderful prints made from the original pieces too.

The addition of this gorgeous painting to this bedroom was the icing on the cake. It also set a stage for the additional roman shades that are to follow. The original plan was to use a black and gold silk by Kravet, the fabric was ordered and arrived just a gorgeous as I imagined, however pales in comparison to the beauty of this piece of art. We had to rethink our fabric choices and head in another direction. Moving to a more subtle soft fabric so as not to over power this museum piece!! That will allow for a main focal point being moved from the bed, to this burst of color!!

Since artwork tends to be the most difficult, it may be easier to choose your painting, and art prior to designing a room. There is also the option of having something commissioned just for your space.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Our New Ad Running in Creating Vintage Charm

If you haven't done it already, be sure you order your magazine today. It is fantastic! Lots of great ideas and tutorials for the average crafter. I also gained a lot of inspiration from this magazine for my own designs. Lots of wonderful talented people involved in this!! Don' t Forget. I am certain the holiday issue will be even more exciting.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

A quest for vintage textiles

I have spent the better part of two weeks on the lookout for some vintage textiles for window treatments. What a great option for my customers but oh what a challenge it has been. I have found several fantastic table cloths and napkins, but am still looking for that special something to make some really fantastic window treatments out of.

One might ask...Why? Well, there is nothing better to me than a beautiful piece of artwork made before my time. The beauty is unmatchable, the softness of the fabrics are remarkable, and the overall look is timeless. Almost as if time just stopped.

This week I found some beautiful antique laces, hand made table cloths and a couple of feed sacks. These are going to be the newest direction I take as a textile artist. WHAT CAN I MAKE? That is the hardest decision. So many things come to mind that I just can't decide on one. But I promise that it will be fun and interesting to say the least. Maybe on my quest this week I will mix some of the new with the old and see what I come up with....

Friday, September 17, 2010

Ordinary? Bah Humbug!

It is not done till it is over done!!!

Who says chairs have to be just plain old chairs.

You can turn your vintage chair into a work of art. This was a chair picked up for a vanity at a local auction. I then added my froufrou to it and poof! A chair fit for a princess.

When you deal with auction furniture sometimes you really have to think out of the box. Some trim, beads, ruffles, and lace. This chair actually has a train like a wedding dress. Layers are all the rage this year with clothing. Why not carry that over to our homes.....ruffles, ruffles, ruffles. Pillows, Duvets, Chairs, Shams and a whole pillow dedicated to ruffles. Could there be anything better?

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

What to Write??

Well guys, this one is going to just be about me. My love for decorating, and my love of people. I truly have been blessed in life with many gifts and for that I am thankful. As a wonderful person in my life once said "You are the only person I know that can fall into a pile of ****and come out smelling like a rose". Could I ask for more? Probably not.

Family and people are very important to me, they are the root of my imagination, and have allowed me to be as successful as I am today. I love what I do, and how I do it. I spend entire days running around helping people make their surroundings beautiful. What is not to love about that. When you really get to the root of what I do....I make people see potential in the homes they already had, and beautify the spaces they once saw as ordinary. What has to be ordinary about your home? NOTHING is always my response.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

The Dressed and Undressed Window

Windows are the Eyes to your home. They are a place to showcase your style from the inside and out.

The surprising fact that magnificent drapery hardware and beautiful window coverings are a MUST have. It will warm up any room in your home, and is considered one of the finishing layers to pull a room design together.

Some things to keep in mind when choosing Window Coverings:

1. Privacy: How often do you use the room in the evenings with the lights on. How important is the view from this window, how close is the window to the street and traffic. Unless you are hosting a panoramic city view in Manhattan, these are serious considerations when choosing the right window covering for you.

2. Fabric: How much sun does this window get. Is it a North facing or South Facing window. This will greatly influence your fabric choices. Fabric for window treatments are meant to be soft and flowing, so a heavy velvet or chenille will definitely not be the direction you would want to take. Window treatments that are constructed out of Upholstery Fabric will never achieve that look that you are really looking for.

3. Lining: The choices are endless.... but always, always, always line your drapes. It extends the life of the window treatments. It also will extend the life of your FURNITURE, helping with sun rot and fading that occurs to furniture and flooring when exposed to sunlight. Drapery Lining also offers a thermal value to your home, helps with heat and sunlight in the summer and cold drafts in the winter. We usually recommend an ivory lining to ease the contrast between window treatments and trim on the outside of your home.

4. Curb Appeal: Always, Always, Always consider how your home looks from the outside. Consider curvy treatments to bring interest to your homes curb appeal. Consider making sure if you have multiple windows on the front of a colonial home that they appear to look the same from the outside so as not to confuse the eye and make the outside of your home appear unbalanced. Always, I mean Always consider Ivory Lining for all of your window treatments, or Blinds. These steps will insure a cohesive finished look outside, and will be well worth the investment!

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Don't Neglect Your Lighting

Lighting, Lighting, Lighting. Never forget the lighting. Three types of lighting are required to make a room work:
Task lighting, (Table Lamps, floor lamps)
General Lighting (Over head, Chandeliers, flush mount lights, recessed lighting),
Accent Lighting (under cabinet lights, Sconces, and direction photo lights)

**Try when possible to add dimmer switches to all over head general lighting. This step helps save electricity and can really add a mood to any room.**

A gorgeous lamp can speak to you when you enter a room. Never settle for ordinary. Think out of the box and use your table lamps as a showcase for your home. They always take on a design of their own when they are turned on in the evening. Think of them as the canvas to your personal style.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Multiple Fabrics in One space

Never limit your fabric choices to just 1 or two. You can have up to 15 different fabrics in any given space. Stripes, Solids, Large Scale Floral, combined with a small scale floral. As Long as all of the fabrics play back to each other they will always look fantastic together.

Fantastic Fabrics and Colors

Each designer has their own angle to their love for design. My designs tend to be fabric inspired.

Walls can be repainted, and furniture can be reupholstered. Trust me when I say it is much easier to match a paint to a chosen fabric, than to try to choose a fabric after the walls have been painted.

We will be working to give you as many design tips as possible to get a put together look. Paint, fabrics, accessories, and furniture all in one final destination to make your decorating as easy as possible.