Saturday, July 30, 2011

Vacation Inspiration: My Aunt's House

My aunt, the same one who flew out from New Mexico for a week to help me paint the kitchen, has a house full of beautiful antiques and an amazing art collection.

Other than some of the bookshelves on either side of the fireplace and the wingback chairs, she has not purchased any other furniture for her house as she has been lucky enough (like my mom, sisters, and me) to have had a lot of pieces handed-down.

I think this speaks the quality and timelessness of well-made furniture.  In the above photo, you can just see the two camelback sofas (my favorite living room arrangement) which she just had reupholstered in biege ticking stripe.  The sofa on the right belonged to my grandmother and the one on the left to my great-uncle.
Rather than buying a cheaply made piece of upholstery that will be thrown in the landfill in twelve years, I love the idea of buying for quality and having the piece reupholstered as the times change and the fabric wears.

This view is from the entryway into the the dining room.

My aunt had the same problem as me in the dining room with passage blocked off to the rest of the house if a rectangular table was centered under the light.  She fixed that with a round table. 

Two posts ago, I showed my parents' house and requested that several things be passed along to me.   Lest you think I seem crass for doing the same thing again, here is her comment:

Can't wait to see the list of what you want from my house! Remember that I still have a spool daybed if you don't get first dibs on your Mom's. Auntie
Ok, Auntie, happy to oblige.

1) Any of the art above the sofa. 
2)  The watercolor above the left chair outside the dining room entry.

3) Your Gustave Baumann shown here and this chest.
4) I didn't know you had an antique spool daybed!  Where is it?
Oh, but I will happily defer to my sister's wishes too.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Humble Rope


This last picture is a fabulous DIY mirror made with rope by the stylish and clever Leah Moss of Moss Eclectic.  She attached the rope to the wall, not the mirror, which is from Ikea.

 Humble? Yes. 
Homely? Nope.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Vacation Inspiration: My Parents' House

Thought I would share a few pictures of my parents' house in the mountains 
above of Albuquerque, NM.

It was designed by my architect brother-in-law, whose house I posted about here and here.

A view from the kitchen.  The sail shades are hung on the deck in the summer time to keep the heat down.  (That's my littlest sister in the background.)

The house is designed to take on solar gain through the concrete floors because it is completely off-the-grid.  That means that 100% of my parent's electricity comes from solar panels.  They have their own well, and the septic system too.  And they don't live uncomfortably for it. 

When the sail shades are down, this is the view you see out the windows at the end.  Pure mountain.

Can you tell where I got my love of antiques?  

Here are a few things I want my parents to pass on to me someday.  (Yes, we are morbid and talk about those things.  Take note, Mom.)

You can't see the spools in the picture, but I'd like this antique spool daybed. 

I'd like this little side table too.

 And this brass waste bin.

This guilded mirror.  At the top of it you can just see the loft in the guest bedroom that my parents built for "future grandchildren."  I suppose it won't be too long now before that my two will be able to sleep there.

 These oil paintings remind me an awful lot of the below picture. They're about the same scale.   I wouldn't care at all, Mom, if you wanted to send those to me now for my newly painted kitchen!

Chris Barrett

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Final in Series: Stylish Living with Kids and Pets by My Many Moments

Heather from My Many Moments is the last of a wonderful group of bloggers to guest post for my series:

Stylish ways to protect your kids and pets in your home -- and your home from your kids and pets! 
 (Check tab at top for ideas by other bloggers.)

Thank you so much Camille for including me in you series. Even though I don't have any kids yet, I do have a five year old bulldog and two cats.  Here is the major culprit...
My five year old English Bulldog, Nixon. 
Doesn't she look like she could make a mess? 
The best thing I ever did when deciding on downstairs rugs was go with these...
Pottery Barn Color-Bound Sisal Rug.  If you have a dog and hardwood floors, they need traction!  These rugs have gripping underneath so they don't slide when the pup is fetching.  Also, sorry for the TMI, but if you are a pet owner you understand, throw up and accidents wipe right up without discoloring. I have found that jute discolors while sisal does not. No matter how much shedding takes place, it is totally invisible in these rugs.  For cleaning I just run the vacuum right over.
Here is the rug in action.  Working as a nice place to take a nap.
Another wise purchase was our leather couch. 
Everything wipes right up, the cats can't snag it like fabric and it seams that the more use the couch gets the better it looks. 
Lastly, to protect all the other furniture pieces that are fabric from the cats clawing, I use Soft Paws.
They are  individual nail caps that you apply with adhesive. They then last about a month.  As their nail grows out so does the sleeve.  When they do scratch, it does nothing to furniture. These have saved me hundreds of dollars of reupholstering!
You can get them in all sorts of colors as well.  Here they are in pink.  Too cute!

Every time I see a picture of Nixon, I just have to laugh.  She is such a personality.  And who knew about the Soft Paws!  Pure awesomeness that they come in pink.  To those of you who have a leather sofa, like Heather, I am terribly jealous.  I think our next one will have to be leather.

Heather was the very first person to follow this blog and so it feels like full circle somehow that she is the last to guest post in the series.  We are home from our month long vacation -- I'll be posting lots of inspiration pics soon along with finished pictures of the kitchen with I left 85% done.  Thanks for sticking with me, you all.  And a world of thanks to those who contributed their time and creativity!

Now for sweet Heather.  She has so many wonderful projects on her blog, but I think my all time favorite is her wonderful gallery wall in the kitchen.  Like many design bloggers, Heather's style is constantly evolving, and it is fascinating to watch hers become more refined, layered, eclectic while she sheds her former country/shabby chic style.  She is a lady of impeccable taste!  I wish we lived in the same city.


Tuesday, July 26, 2011

I have a hard time with purple.

Purple/lavender/plum.  Generally, it wouldn't be my first pick for decorating.

But there are a few photos that have made me change my mind.

via Decorista


 I love purple in small doses set against black!

Of course, Mother Nature never does anything wrong with purple.


I have to admit that an abundance of purple with turquoise is pretty striking too.

Are there any colors you generally avoid?

Monday, July 25, 2011

Series: Stylish Living with Kids and Pets by Ispirato Design

 Please welcome Michelle from Ispirato Design.  She  is guest posting today for my series:

Stylish ways to protect your kids and pets in your home -- and your home from your kids and pets! 
 (Check tab at top for ideas by other bloggers)

First I'd like to thank Camille for the opportunity to do a guest post. 
It's my first guest post!

Living stylishly with kids...hmm- let me give you my take. 
As a designer and mother of four, I have had to do some strategic planning along the way!
I'll use my sons room as an example. 

I think there are a couple of things to consider. First is simply not being afraid. Kids rooms are great for taking chances in because the odds are it's temporary. Kids have ideas about how they want their rooms to look and they are kids so it changes constantly! Anyone who follows my blog knows that I love black walls and here is why. When my first son (now 23), the original occupant of this room, wanted a solar system theme we painted the walls black, strung up a galaxy of planets from the ceiling, installed a black light and added glow-in-the-dark constellations all over. At the time, I thought it was so bold to paint the walls black but that is how I realized how dramatic they were...and so stylish! I now have black accent walls in my family room.

Now it's my youngest son's room. I painted the "Where The Wild Things Are" mural, the black walls and sage green wainscoting remained, we added a pine board flooring and a flokati rug {Tip for cleaning a Flokati rug: put it in the washing machine with a bit of Ivory brand shampoo- just like new!}

The next biggie to consider is organization. 
If everything has a place, it's much easier to keep clean and picked up. This is the wall that you don't see when you walk down the hall (that was strategic planning). 
The bulletin board is a quick place to tack all of those little special notes and photos that remind the children of how much they are loved :)

Here's a closer look at something that I made out of scrap wood. It's a great place to "set up things" -imaginary play type things. I used carpet on the surface simply because it doesn't show the dust as much as a hard surface. The boys have had elaborate Lego creations set up for weeks and it remained neat looking.

Underneath, three crates slide in and out. If I had carpeting I would have used a board on the bottom as well so that the crates would slide in and out easily. That's the key: Everything must be easy.

I used pine for the sides and particle board for the top. The top extends 12" past the base for leg room and an inexpensive carpet remnant from Home Depot is secured with small nails. Secure the top to the sides and voila!- A very simple project that grows with the child. As a teen, my first son used this area for a TV.

12 year old brother made the tote for 7 year old brother in shop class.
If you have the room I think it's a great idea to have a separate area to draw, write and do projects. This peg rack that I purchased unfinished from a craft store makes a great organizational piece just above the desk. It keeps all of the crayons, scissors markers etc up off the surface of the desk to allow ample room for papers. A quick coat of paint and you've got a stylish desk organizer that holds a lot!

Another peg rack behind the door holds all of those bulky sweatshirts that take up so much space in the dresser. I find that the kids keep their clothes off the floor when it's easy to put them away. No one likes to put clothes into drawers that are stuffed full- least of all kids, right?

Don't forget the art! Whether it's the child's own art or something else- in this room chock full of stuff, a simple wall with a single piece of art gives the eye a place to rest!

Speaking of chock full- the closet! After being exasperated one day I planned this out on graph paper, bought particle board shelving and screwed it together. 

It took some planning but it was sooo worth it. Now, if it doesn't fit something has got to go. I am not kidding you when I say that this closet does look like this. Because everything has a specific place, it is really easy to put things away.

 I've always intended to put molding on the edges and paint the shelves to make them a bit more stylish but right now they are functional and that's good enough! 
There's a lot packed into this post. I hope that there is something that inspired you!

Goodness, Michelle, there are a TON of fantastic ideas packed into this post.   I most especially love the little carpet covered table with bins and chairs for playtime and that fact that you use the closet for toy storage.  (I need to follow your lead and take the toys all over the house back to my girls' room to store.)

Can you believe Michelle painted that mural of "The Wild Things?"  Amazing.  In addition to being a design aficionado,  Michelle is an artist (obviously) and is currently hosting a Pet Portrait Giveaway.  Know anyone who might like to have a portrait of their pet?  Go and check it out.