Friday, October 30, 2009

Blue and Gold

I never thought I'd be the stage mom or the crazy sideline mom. But here I am. Getting ready for my 3rd grade sons playoff game tomorrow am. It's crazy, I know. It just seems to happen as you age. Your idea of fun changes. I've never met a group of parents that are so into it for the fun of the game. Not the hard core "you have to win or else" parents.

Wearing school colors, waving pom-poms and cowbells and acting as the cheerleaders we don't have. (I'm sure we look ridiculous) Who knew getting the kids pumped up so they play their best could be so much fun! Never in a million years would I have dreamt that I would be doing this and having a blast.

Good luck tomorrow Spud. We are cheering for you and Bellevue Gold.

Go Gold!

Spud. What a charmer.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Good Finds

Carpet for homes that are lived in (meaning you have kids or pets) is a hard proposition. It seems that no matter what you do you can't win. If you get the look you want you might not get the durability or comfort that you are looking for. I love the look of Seagrass and Sisal and don't mind the texture. However, some people want the softness of regular broadloom carpet under their feet.

I'm a big believer in neutral colored carpet that gives the same impression as sisal/seagrass if you want a wool or synthetic carpet. However, I've learned a lot about neutral carpet from my own house. I put in a high end stain master Berber carpet because I wanted sisal but needed something that was soft underfoot for the boys. I was told it would be easy to maintain. Not so. My camel colored Berber carpet has stain marks everywhere. It drives me crazy. No matter what I do new stains seem to appear everyday.

I want to be able to live in my house without worrying about whether or not my carpet is going to get another stain. I want to free myself from getting on my hands and knees and spot cleaning so as to not take the stain resistant chemicals out of the carpet. What is a girl (yes I still think I'm a girl) to do?

When I think of component or tile carpeting, I immediately think of hotels, corporate offices and crazy patterns with circles and bright stripes. But not anymore. Flor tiles is doing some incredible, sophisticated and neutral carpets. The are environmentally friendly (made with recycled materials) and the best part is if you get a stain or water damage, you can just replace the affected tiles. They might just be the perfect answer to a "lived in" house. And there are so many choices now. From plain neutrals that look like broadloom to great subtle patterns and classic traditional stripes. Martha Stewart even has a line of Flor tiles.

They are a great solution for high traffic areas. Runners, laundry room, kitchen rugs, and even the kids rooms. You can create fun patterns with texture or fun patterns with color. You can see the grids/squares or have a pattern that looks seamless, which is what I prefer. The possibilities are endless now that they offer so many options. Check it out for yourself at

I for one would love to replace a square if my sisters dog had an accident or my kids (including my husband) spilled their drink.

Next in Line
Flats & Cords (shown in Vanilla - also in Buttercream)

All Bark and No Bite

In the Loop

Coir - (Made with the husks of coconuts) This is a great alternative to sisal since you can easily repair a stain.

Faux Bois

Mod Zebra

Regatta Stripe

Sea Grass Stripe
Is it a "Good Find" for residential or is it still too corporate looking for your house? Maybe it will free me from spot cleaning forever! A girl can dream, can't she.

Bathrooms with Personality

I was looking through the new Coastal Living 2009 Idea House (Seawatch, North Carolina) and the bathrooms stopped me in my tracks. I love the combination of traditional and a little unexpected. The mirrors and sconces make each of the bathrooms fun.

I love the black mirrored vanity in the master bathroom and the choice of putting in a glass tile back splash instead of the usual one that matches the counter top. I must say, I dislike those. But what really makes this room fun is the tall mirrors and sconces. I like how the sconces aren't in the normal expected place either.

This is the guest bath. While I couldn't live with the purple palette, it is fun. The designer, Phillip Sides, had a custom chest made by J.Tribble Antiques and had a slab cut to mirror the shape which adds some personality to the room. But, again what makes it sing is the fun mirrors and one oversized sconce. He could have easily put in two sconces on each side of the mirrors which would have been the expected and traditional solution. The end result is a bathroom that's pretty and playful.

So if you're looking for an easy way to add personality to your bathroom, look beyond the traditional offerings and add accessories, in this case mirrors and sconces, that add personality.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Glam Grass

Glam Grass. What sounds better than that? Nothing to my design obsessed ears.

I'm in love with Phillip Jefferies Glam Grass Wall coverings. You know I'm a neutral girl at heart. I love the taupe's, camels, chocolates, ivory's, greys.
But I'm dying to use the glam grass in a soft blue. (Even though the chocolate shimmer aptly named "Parisian Mink" in the picture makes me weak in the knees as well).

What could be happier than a powder room or bedroom with blue shimmer grasscloth?

The names alone make we want to buy them.
Maldive Blue

French Alps Chalet

Monte Carlo Nights

African Diamonds

I hope I get to meet you soon, Maldive Blue. If our date doesn't go so well, I'll be looking for you Parisian Mink.

One of you will be mine.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Project Update

After two days of demo, here's where the remodel stands. Lots to do this week as we are attempting to get the new cherry floors down in the entry, bath and staircase.

Family room during. This fireplace surround is being updated with columns, new facade and flat screen so this room becomes usual for today's living. The new white slip covered furniture is being protected from the dust. (Think I may move these out of the room as I'm scared they won't be protected enough)

Entry hallway.

Existing staircase. Say goodbye to this beauty. It's coming down and we are opening it up. It will be a statement staircase when we are done. I'm so excited about this change I can hardly stand it.

Another view of the staircase. The carpet is coming out as well and it will be hardwoods with or without a runner. Decision tbd. This is really going to open up the room since it's the first thing you see when you walk in and it is part of the family room and kitchen.

Powder room. This room is tiny. It had an oversize stock cabinet vanity that made the room feel even smaller. I've been searching for vanities that will give the space more functionality for guests while also opening it up. It's not easy finding a vanity under 30" inches that's white and available in two weeks....
Here are my top two choices as of now.

Kallista Janeway 27". Like the four legged versions so much better, but a good option. Very traditional.

Porcher 27" vanity. A little more Hollywood Glam. Love the chrome legs on this one and the clean silhouette.

The best part of both of these is that the kids step stool can slide under them when not in use to free up the floor space. I can't wait to see the transformation in this room. The homeowners are actually going to want to use it!
Not bad for two days work. I'll keep you updated as we progress. Happy Monday.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Good Finds

This mornings "good find" is a wish for everyone to have 15-30 minutes of silence to themselves today. Nothing material, just good old fashion quiet.

If your in the car, turn off the radio and the cellphone and just let your mind wander. Decompress. Appreciate the silence. If your home, turn off the TV and grab a cup of tea.


Because before you know it, the chaos will begin again.

I have a feeling my ten minutes of silence today is over.....

(Check back later for pictures of the remodel)

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Oh Happy Day

Construction has started on a project I've been working on since June. I'm so excited, as I'm sure the homeowner and contractor is also.
We are giving the inside of a 1970's home new life by adding new wood floors to the entry in place of the stick-on tiles (yes stick-on tiles courtesy of the previous owner), wainscoting, paint, a new powder room, new fireplace surrounds, and opening up the existing staircase to create a statement entry.

I'm so excited to see the progress. I'll keep you updated as the job progresses.
This calls for a glass of wine in celebration.
Hope you're having a good week.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Barclay Butera

As mentioned I met one of my design idols , Barclay Butera, on Thursday.

I was sick to my stomach that the man I'd been admiring for years wasn't going to live up to my expectations. Sad, I know, but true. He's such an inspiration to me because he has created a lifestyle brand Ala Ralph Lauren. Similar rich layered looks but with a West Coast casual yet elegant spin. He creates rooms you want to live in, not just be photographed in. I'm happy to report he was as charming as I'd hoped. He was also very real and kind of shy. Not at all what I can pictured, but it made him even more enduring.

Barclay was at the Seattle Kravet showroom to promote his new fabric and rug line with Kravet and give a lecture on "Decorating in Today's Economy". He gave a short presentation that featured many of his iconic rooms from the past 15 years as well as some of his new hospitality ventures. He touched on how he grew up in the business with his mother who decorated show houses around the world. Sounds like she was a kick and a strong influence.

As for the lecture piece, these were his tips. Go back to your roots and do what you did to make you successful originally, and focus on service, service, service. He is also a big believer in "no job is too small" as you never know where it's going to lead, and making sure your clients expectations are exceeded so they will be a client for life. Solid advice Barclay in any economic climate.

He just finished as the Creative Director on the renovation of the L'Auberge Del Mar. To see his renovation click here . He wanted to create a lifestyle experience with his brand which I think he succeeded in doing. (Smart business decision - another reason he's one of my design idols). This resort is so fabulous and more of his modern beach chic (no blue and white here).

He has a rich website with amazing photos,,/ where you can see the rest of his portfolio. He breaks his work and fabric collections into five different categories: Beach, Town and Country, Mountain, Desert and City.

Here's a small sampling of each of the categories. I have eight years worth of magazine tears but I didn't have time to scan them all. Some of my favorite rooms, however, can be viewed on his website. It's worth the trip.


Town and Country




I hope you enjoyed his style as much as I do. I can't wait to see what he does next. I for one will be watching.

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