Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Staying White or Going to the Darkside?

I've been searching for subway tile examples for a client today showing what a difference grout color can make.  When we were shopping for tile last week we looked at a lot of different options but settled on a clean and classic white subway tile to go with the rest of her clean and classic kitchen.  When it came to grout though, she didn't know of any other options other than white.

via decorpad

via atticmag
Without being able to visualize the difference she didn't know how she felt about a light gray or something even darker.

 unknown source
via cococozy

unknown source

via house beautiful

So what do you think?  Which grout works best?  The white blends everything together for a more seamless look white the various shades of gray make the tile and pattern pop.  So what do you think?  Which grout works best?

Monday, August 30, 2010

The Lost Weekend

Pardon me while I leave the design observations to talk about yarn for awhile....

So I got this incredible urge to knit again last week.  It's a hobby that I enjoy during the cooler months but usually during hot weather I put the needles down.  I started by working on a scarf that I started sometime last year and abandoned for more interesting projects.  I thought it would be nice to start slow, to see if I even remembered how to knit and purl.  By Friday night I had a full on fever for new projects.  I spent the evening searching for new patterns/ projects and couldn't stop thinking about it when I went to bed.  Saturday morning I went out and bought the supplies to make this:

Okay, so I don't have the budget or skill for cashmere, but I thought I'd give it a try with some nice wool and maybe work my skills up to the level of cashmere for next time.  When I got home I decided that I should finish that old scarf before I started something else, but along the way I stumbled across this little cowl:

I immediately dropped everything and spent the rest of my Saturday night making it.  (I know, I lead such an exciting life!)  By Sunday morning I had finished:

I will definitely use bigger needles than the pattern called for next time.  Over all I"m happy with the project and look forward to trying it again.  The rest of the weekend was spent in a knitting haze.  Now clear eyed on Monday I wish I could have my weekend back but am excited for projects to come. 

A clear headed design mind will be back tomorrow.  Happy Monday! 

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Random Reasons I'm Looking for Fall

Okay, so there were several things that all came together in my head last night to create a incredible desire for fall.
1. The weather has been BEAUTIFUL (i.e. not overwhelmingly hot).  It has been in the upper 70s - mid 80s for the last few days.  It has be 90+ for most of the summer.  We've had the windows open and could enjoy sitting on the front porch again.

2. It's August and no matter how old I am I still feel compelled to go buy new school clothes.  I really want to wear sweaters, jackets and scarves again.  I love to layer.  It's not possible to layer when the weather is 95 and muggy.

a new jcrew trench

Frye Boots

3. I got the urge to take up knitting again.  When the weather is warm I seem to have no desire to pick up the needles but I got the urge last night and actually worked a bit on a scarf that I never finished from last year.  This urge also led me to this photo of a lovely cardigan that I think I might feel brave enough to attempt this yearUp until now I've been more of a scarf and hat kind of girl but I think this is the year that I branch out and learn something new. 
 copyright Joseph Feller

4.  Don Draper's study from the 3rd season of Mad Men.   

The husband and I just finished up the 3rd season of Mad Men on DVD last night.  I was suddenly taken by the colors and textures of Don's study.  I love the navy grasscloth walls and crisp white trim with the pine paneling that is so typical of that period of house.  IT MAKES ME EVEN LIKE THE PINE PANELING!  I didn't know that was possible.  Love all the details of this room.   If my own home weren't already so dark I'd be converting the office tomorrow.  

All of this rambling is to say I'm really looking forward to the new season ahead.  Here's to Fall!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Sneaking a Break

I was just sitting on the front porch procrastinating with the Husband and the Puppy, enjoying the beautiful day and thought I'd share a little bit of the view with you too.

The crepe myrtle (or as my Sweet Husband likes to call it - the chrysanthemum tree) beside the porch swing has finally bloomed.  It really is lovely.   

Okay, now back to work!

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Girly Details

 Aerin Lauder's dressing room via Canadian House & Home

Last week Julie from Milk & Honey Home posted about all the feminine details in her beautiful home.   That made me think of how much I love all those things but that I have consistently gone in the opposite direction since I've had a home of my own.  When I was a teenager I subscribed to Victoria Magazine , read the entire series of Anne of Green Gables novels in rotation and wanted to be one of the beautiful ladies in a Frank Benson painting. 

     via Victoria Magazine

As I've gotten older I have mentally put the brakes on anything too girly.  At first there was no rational reason for it other than I was young and didn't want to be perceived as too frilly (I know, what was I thinking??)  Now I'm married and I try not to go too full on girly for my husband's sake.  (For my sake the Husband gave up a lot of icky bachelor furniture.  Thanks sweetie!!)  That doesn't mean our home is devoid of feminine details.  Upon further reflection I found lots of things that are a bit girly and make me very happy.  Here are a few examples:

 My lady fedora hung on the mirrored bird hook (the Husband has one too!) in the living room

 the floral pattern of the sisal rug with the garden stool and my little french chair in the living room

 my amazing handmade paper flower wedding bouquet in a Ball jar and my chicken from Grandmommie on the dresser in our bedroom

I guess I haven't run away from my girly roots as much as I thought!


Friday, August 20, 2010

Friday Inspiration

So this week completely got away from me before I could get my blogging act together.  I started writing something yesterday that I've been mulling over, but couldn't quite make it coherent.  Maybe a pretty picture will do until I can get my act together.

I don't know the source, please help identify it if you can

There are several things I really like about today's inspiration.  I like the clean, quiet feeling the space has.  I love that the art over the sofa reflects the feeling of the room.  I love the paneled walls, and that sofa, and the turned leg of the cocktail table, and the light fixture in the entry, and the transom over the entrance into the dining room beyond.  I LOVE the front door (that is definitely on my long term to-do list for the house).   It's a nice peaceful place to end the week.  Have a great weekend!

Monday, August 16, 2010

My New Favorite Kitchen

Isn't it lovely!!  Tommy Smythe and his former partner Steven Gallagher designed this kitchen together 7 years ago.  I've never been a huge fan of two tone cabinets (dark on bottom, light on top,etc) but in this situation I'm in love.  Starting with the dark herringboned tile floors, black base cabinets, marble backsplash, white uppers, light fixtures....yummy.

I also love the rustic farm table mixed with the black and stainless steel in the room.  It is little touches like this that keeps the room from reading too cold.

and the black windows with crisp white trim!  I've been toying around with the idea of this for our own house.  Our windows need to be replaced (ack!) so I will probably wait until then. 

Tommy is the design partner of the talented Sarah Richardson.  He now has is own fan page on facebook where he posted these lovely pics.  Also, thanks to Urban Nest for turning me on to this kitchen.  I am in love.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

When You're Looking For A Home Away From Home

We've been away at the 75th annual Galax Fiddler's Convention for a few days of Bluegrass and Old Time music.  We had a great time with my family.  Sadly, this was the only picture of the convention that I took all week.   

Monday, August 9, 2010

My Little Pelmet Project

On Friday night I FINALLY finished the DIY pelmet project that I had bought fabric for months ago.  It was super easy and I'm still not sure why I waited so long to take care of it.  I can't thank Jenny from Little Green Notebook enough for this easy tutorial that made the project a snap.   I started with a couple of pieces of foam core:

Then taped the pieces together with duct tape:

the Puppy clearly became bored with the whole affair and found something better to do:

Wrapped it with fabric and batting and stapled everything down smoothly then added nail head trim:

And here it is finally installed in the dormer window in the Master bedroom.  Now I just need to paint the bookcase below and try to take a better picture so that you can see the whole effect.

Thanks again to Jenny's tutorial from last September for making this so easy. 

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Happy Birthday My Love!

My Sweet Husband turns 40 today.   He's very smart and funny (and a little punny) and has a really good heart.  I love him to pieces.  I hope he has a fantastic day. 


How can you not love a face like that!

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Chair Love - A Diamond in the Rough

Okay, so I've mentioned before that I have a huge chair addiction.  I've tried really hard to not even look at them when I'm shopping for other things.  Occasionally though, my head gets turned by a possible stunner.  Today was one of those days.  She didn't come home with me but that didn't stop me from dreaming.

Okay, so she's a little run down at the moment.  But look at that shape!!  With a little TLC and some fab new fabric I think she could be a stunner.  I'm thinking light and bright to go with the August heat outside.  Maybe this pretty number:

or maybe this lovely organic cotton from Mod Green Pod :


It's so hard leaving this one behind!  Did I mention she's only $35?  It's breaking my heart....

***Update!  My sister emailed me this morning asking if I thought the chair would still be there.  It was and now it is hers!!  She's planning to reupholster it herself (she is VERY crafty!).  I can't wait to see how it all turns out.
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