26 October 2011

Interior eye candy.

Well, the bad news is that my week's been crazy and there really hasn't been much time for posting.
But, rest assured: with bad news comes the good! Install started this morning on the dental office--and the opening party is this Friday--and photos will be taken that afternoon (by the amazingly talented Sweet Tea Imagery)--which means there's a lot to do and not much time to do it. But it's all coming together incredibly well and we're beyond ecstatic to reveal our baby to the Charleston public with an amazing soiree.

So, while I'm running a trillion different errands, marking off my to-do-lists, and overseeing the hanging of roman shades, etc...I'll leave-you-be with some serious interior eye candy pulled from my pinterest boards:

Stainless steel counters done well--which is hard to accomplish with their cold, sterile aesthetic.

Love the art, the wallpaper, and the bar.

 A fresh palette of pink--the pops of peacock really ground the girly hue.

 I'm obsessed with these smooth, white stucco planters. 
And the gravel.

Mural-esque wallpaper can be a good thing.
Loving the contrast of the navy hollywood regency chairs and the blonde wood table.
So elegant.

This simple bathroom reno leaves me itching to knock out walls 
(and pink in gray tile) in our own.

And lastly, small space furniture planning can be tricky. 
I'm totally loving this clever arrangement--and that chaise!

Happy Wednesday, y'all.
We'll see what tomorrow brings, and whether a blog post can be squeezed in.
Can't WAIT to show you Dental (and party) pics.

20 October 2011

House update.

I've been a bit reluctant to show the progress on our house, because, well...I feel as if there hasn't been much. But, after some reader prodding and pleading, I decided it can't really hurt. Designing a new home is a progress, especially when you're young and on a penny-pinching budget. And, our house doesn't exactly reflect my ideal tastes and style--those likes tend to be expensive. So, Maple and I have had to be uber thrifty and creative with what we've put in our home--but that, I think, makes one a better designer. You're forced to find the bargains that don't look like bargains, and be super selective on your thrifty scores. The last thing I've wanted to do is settle (easy to do when on a tight budget), so our interior is definitely taking time to come together. But I thought I'd give you a little glimpse, as you've waited so patiently.

Now, to reminisce. Remember the before?
You were probably wondering what in the heck we were thinking.
The house wasn't in rough shape...but it's 1957 bones were in dire need of some updating.

I didn't show you much, because it's still in need of window treatments, wall paint, and small tasks like re-magnetizing a few cabinet doors, but remember my post on the updates to our kitchen? I can't wait to outfit those windows with custom romans (which means $$), but my patience is still being tried on that task.

So, now that you've been reacquainted with her raw, in-need-of-love state, here's a few photos of some progress we've made. Again...sorry for the iphone photos...I may or may not know where my good camera's charger is at the moment... :)


Here's what you see when you first walk in the door. That desk was my mama's when she was my age...and I (regretfully) painted it a minty-white shade when I was in that phase. I have plans for her: like new, chic brass hardware and a new coat of high-gloss paint, but that's pretty far down my list. I love the rich gray, brown wall color (Curio Gray by Sherwin Williams), and the dark gray on the closet doors anchors the space and mimics the dark hue of our couch and the gray of our dining bench. I chose a cowhide rug for the space, since the foyer juts to the right in a rigid L-shape. The organic shape of the hide really works to de-angle the space and create a smooth transition into the living area.

 Here's a head-on view, though I don't think this pic does it much justice. That oversized brass lamp and gilded shade were maybe $20 at an estate sale--a score I'm totally in love with. I love their extra-large scale. That mirror was a marriage gift to my grandmother, hailing from the mid 1930s. I treasure it, and love that it's the first thing I see when I walk in. I love my little bamboo, caned side chair...though she's currently where our lasso hangs out. I've been a bit of a commitment-phobe when it comes to hanging things on the walls, but I really want to wait til we get our window treatments and furniture settled.

 Again, I love that some of our most-treasured things are the first thing we see when we walk in the door. That burled wood humidor was my first wedding anniversary gift to Maple--it has his initials carved in the top. The rich texture of the wood is incredible! Stacked atop the humidor are some of my very favorite vintage books (some which are my grandfather's), anchored by brass horse-shoe bookends (horse shoes are kind of our thing, with Maple's dad having been a jockey and all). That iron horse head tray came from an antique shop in Ashville, and those decanters on the left were wedding gifts. 


High on our wish-list was a table that would seat eight, since we love to have friends over for dinner. Guaranteed to be a painful expense, I did some looking around on craigslist and, as fate would have it, found a reclaimed barn door in amazing shape that happened to be the perfect dimensions for a table of eight. We sanded and polyurethaned the top, and maple built me a simple parsons base (he's amazing, and I've yet to paint it). All-in-all the total project, door n'all, ran us about $150--an incredible steal. The high-gloss black chairs hail from Boston, and belonged to my mom and dad when they were first married. The turkish kilim rug is the most incredible pattern I've seen--a piece that Maple and I will forever treasure. The space is a bit akward (again, with the L), so from day one I envisioned pushing the table against the wall with a built-in bench. Not only does it create a super cozy dining space, you don't have decide which way to walk around the table, and the wide walkway gave us room for a console/serving table on the opposite wall. Those pillows are simply a fill-in (I'm thinking of having one extra-long pillow made to span the length of the bench), and I'm not sure that's the perfect spot for our treasured cotton painting (given to us by Maple's uber-generous mom), but we'll have to see what works when we find the perfect light fixture (preferably a sleek, mid century mod hanging lamp).


Remember my vague mention of my pottery barn drapes?  I was so anxious to get treatments on these windows that I decided to forgo the expense of going custom. But--I told you I had a little trick up my sleeve to make these look a bit more custom and tailored--and fit the simple, refined, masculine scheme we're going for in the bedroom.  With a few packets of iron-on, 1/2" bias tape and a little DIY elbow grease, I transformed these PB drapes into the custom drapes I'd envisioned all along. 

 In progress...

They're still in dire need of a good steaming, but here's the finished effect. Soon that dresser will be painted with a rich green-black (I wanted a bit more depth to the color than stark black), and updated with simple, sleek hardware. The wall color (hard to tell from the grainy photo, I know) is the perfect light gray--Dolphin Fin by Behr. We really want our master to be light and airy (easier for us to wake up in the morning), but restful, calm, and masculine. We still have lots of work to do in here (hence the lack of photos), but I'm pretty happy with the progress.

So there you have it: a mini sneak peak at the progress (and inevitable shortcomings) of a house in progress. Patience is certainly a virtue for good reason, and I've really had to learn to be okay with how things are at the moment and really enjoy the fruit of our labor and the time that it takes to actualize our hopes and dreams for this house. There's so much to do, and really...it may take years to check everything off our ever-evolving list, but it will get there. That's the fun of it, I guess--getting your hands dirty and really making it your own.  So cheers to that, I guess: having a vision, having a dream, and doing anything and everything you can to realize it, no matter how trying and time-consuming that task may be.


P.S. Here's a teenie glimpse into our living room if you're a hair curious.

18 October 2011


Three years ago today I married my Maple--that wickedly smart, handsome, clever, genuine, loyal, creative, hardworking, supportive, fearless, selfless, funny, wavy-haired, full-hearted man that I am somehow lucky enough to call mine

Happy October 18th, y'all. 

14 October 2011

Light it up.

A crucial component to executing a successful design plan is knowing where to spend your money. I'm a firm believer that good design doesn't have to be equated with a scary high price tag, but there are certain details that are well-worth splurging on. Lighting is one of those. It's essential to highlighting the architectural bones of your space, and the biggest factor in creating ambiance. And by splurge I don't necessarily mean big dollar signs--you could find an incredibly inexpensive lamp with loads of character--but the shade you don it with can make or break it's influence in a room (what I mean is--spend the extra few buckaroos and get yourself a well-made shade that doesn't show big seems and cheap construction).  A word of advice: have fun with your lighting. Don't be shy. Take a risk and go bold. It's such an effortless way to flank a design with that one-of-a-kind, custom aesthetic:

 Love these as reading lamps in a master--juxtaposed with crisp white bedding and simple nightstands.

 Emerald and gold. These would make the perfect jumping off point to an entire design scheme.

I'm totally into the regality of brass at the moment--so these naturally make me happy.
Also finding myself drawn to the clean architectural/geometric details.

They're crazy--I know. But how cool would these neon sconces be
in a traditional-modern space? They'd be the perfect accent to simple art hung
 above a dining room buffet.

These shades are doing the cork-wrapped bases any justice. How amazing would malachite shades be? Hmm...will have to look into that :)

Candelabras can be tricky. This modern, tailored one does the trick :)

I'm loving this mid-century chandelier and would kill to see it in a marble-walled bath.

 Masculine. Tailored. Regal. Yes, please. 
They'd be a stunning addition to an entry console. Those first impressions matter!

How fun would this french chandelier be above a kitchen island?
Loving the arrows and that green, antiqued sphere. 

You really couldn't go wrong with these french feather sconces...especially flanking
the mirror of an elegant, simple master bath.

Like I said: be bold, take risks, and have fun with your lighting. 
It makes all the difference in the world and goes a long way in making a space look original.
Thank you, firstdibs, for being crazy amazing. (The above lights all hail from their site.)

On another note:
Enjoy that weekend of yours.

13 October 2011

Dental office design.

So, I've hinted around a bit that I've had a pretty big project in the works. Tyler, my dentist friend, hired me to design his brand new dental office that he's starting with his business partner, Chris. The project's been in the works (for me, at least) since June, but being that we're outfitting a bare-bone space, construction has taken predominance the past four months or so.  Well, we're getting down to the wire: the opening soiree is scheduled for October 28th, and the practice's official first day of biz will be November 1. That means we're busy, and finally getting to see the fruition of four months of decision making. As with any project, there's been a few hiccups, but overall the project's gone relatively smoothly. I'm so excited and proud to see our efforts and visions come together; the space already is, and will be, phenomenal.

Take a peek:
(sorry for the terrible iphone photos...it's just so handy!)

Above is the hallway leading from the waiting room to the employee lounge (the very end destination).
To the right (in between the shiplap walls) are seven operatories, or exam rooms. 
Painting and detailed finishes await this hall...but she's looking mighty good, I'd say!

And...simply because it makes me happy: a light-filled view of the hallways from the waiting area.
Stunning, eh?

The electrician's scheduled to install fixtures this afternoon, so our morning consisted of determining the correct height for our SEVEN burlap pendants--custom made, I might add :) They're nothing but gorgeous, and will make a breathtaking addition to that oh-so-long hall.

Here she be: the wall of problems. Okay, not entirely, but this final look was accomplished only after several headaches. But that comes with the territory of being visionaries, I guess. We aren't always practical. Perfection is the outcome, though! Tyler's wish for shiplap is finally realized.

Hey--that's me--climbing ladders and holding my breath--because see that glass globe? It was entirely custom made, which means, if it breaks--we're in super hot water. Those lights are exquisite and I am more than pleased with their turnout--antique brass sockets n' all!

Here we have one set of exam room custom cabinets. To give you a point of reference, the shiplap walls (in the hallway) are on the other side of this unit. I'm standing (taking the photo) right where the dental chairs will be!

And here's another exam room photo--Tyler (the dentist) and the cabinetmaker discussing some issues. Tyler's super creative and had a vision to divide the exam rooms with these custom storage units that will host bi-fold doors. Lewis (cabinet dude) did a phenomenal job--and that gray! I can't get over it! Laminate's never looked so good :)

Boxes and boxes of lights! It's a bit hard to tell, but we chose to do a two-tone paint treatment in this consult room. It's nestled between the gray waiting room and white exam rooms, so I really wanted this space to transition well. Accomplished! We're digging the look.

So the install begins on our custom built-ins. This is the far right unit.
A built-in bench and a dark gray shiplap backer will connect this unit with the second.
Julia, the architect, was amazing, and did a wonderful job of relaying Tyler's dreams into blueprints.

And speaking of that second unit...

I'm totally in love with the gray paint we chose. It's "Cyberspace" by Sherwin Williams--not too black, not too blue--just the right shade of gray. We were like little kids this morning--completely giddy over this piece and how well it's turning out! Finishing touches will include a custom seat cushion, bolsters, and throw cushions, a large piece of modern art, and two side-mounted sconces with burlap shades. The perfect, well-curated mix of modern and rustic--just what the Doctor ordered--quite literally...  :)

So there you have it: a not-so-little sneak peak at the project of a lifetime. Seriously--I'm so blessed to be a part of this amazing project and have had an absolute blast putting together design schemes, choosing finish after finish (everything from flooring, to plumbing fixtures, to door hardware), dreaming up custom window and fabric treatments, selecting furniture, and buying the accessories. Lots of hard work, meetings, phone calls, shopping trips, and internet orders later--our hopes, visions, and dreams are finally being realized. 

Well...that's what my day looks like. 
It's almost the weekend :)

12 October 2011

Currently digging:

The onset of fall is *finally* upon us here in the (somewhat) deep south, which means I'm gearing up for dark, wintry hues to match the bleaker days that are ahead. I'm not much of a bright, pastel girl to begin with--I'm drawn toward darker, moodier colors and things--but I'm especially digging and dreaming of rich, masculine hues; sleek lines; bold pattern, shape, and texture; and gold--lots of gold--to add a contrasting layer of reflective metal to all those moody darks.

So there you have it.
My October mood board, if you will.
Dark, rich, and filled with textural interest.
I'll take one of each, please...especially that gold-flanked table. Love.

What things are you craving for fall?

Note: I have a terrible habit of not always documenting my online finds. If you have any questions about any of the above items--email me! I'll happily find them for you :)

10 October 2011


Kelly Wearstler is a god.

I mean seriously...where did this woman come from?
I wish I could spend a day in her brain.
She makes bold look so effortless, and has such a crazy good knack for pulling together
what seems like a million different patterns and textures.

I kind of want to be her.

At least I can read her blog.

05 October 2011

Recap of a week.

It's here. It's finally here. October, that is...my very favorite month. This one's sure to be a whirlwind, with our calendar being jam-packed and all, but cooler temps are breezing through, simmering down this balmy Charleston summer we've (somehow) endured. I'm terrified that I'll blink and October will be over, so I'm really doing everything I can to slow down and enjoy these days, which kick-started with a week at the beach...a much-needed, somewhat of a stay-cation with my family in a little house on a secluded seaside. It was perfection. Here's a glimpse:

 The boardwalk. Our own little trail to the quiet sand and sea, where hours upon 
end were spent reading, writing, and just being.

 The red kite. 
My dad would take us to the park to fly kites on a sunny, windy hill as kiddos.
I love watching it dip and dive, teasing the sand and the waves.

The very best caramel cake on the face of the planet. No lie. Garden & Gun even says so.
Enjoyed on the salty, breezy porch with what else but a steamy latte.
Everyday should be that good.

Work. And play.

The quiet shoreline. On my favorite beach.

A canopy of Loquats.  Aren't they stunning? 
Maple and I are starting on our patio. We'll be planting this gem of a tree, 
found amongst a seaside nursery in Pawley's Island. 

Our last night of vaca: spent back in the city. 
We happened upon a food truck rally in downtown Charleston.
What's this, my friends? An unbelievably  scrumptious Roti Roll:
braised pork atop curried mac n' cheese (omg) and hot-off-the-grill naan. 

 Utter concentration--ain't he cute?--required to conquer that massive BBQ sandwich.
The best I've ever had, from Hello BBQ's food truck, parked maybe too conveniently 
(on a daily basis) just down the road from my house.

The perfect end to a perfect week: a garden brimming with ripe, plush mini tomatoes
and purple-hued jalapenos. Somehow, someway our 'maters are still flourishing!

So there you have it, friends--a recap of my treasured week.
Now back to the grind. Have I told you about the dental office I've been designing?
The project's been progressing over the past few months, and construction is beginning to seize (I hope, I hope). Flooring and tile starts this Thursday. Equipment goes in next week. Install's gearing up to happen the week of October 20th, as the grand opening soiree goes down October 28th....which means...I'm about to get super busy (and, I'll have photos to debut soon!)

Until tomorrow... 
Happy Wednesday!