Sunday, October 30, 2011

Design Challenge: Home Office Space

Why is it that Allison and I can organize a closet in an afternoon and this home office "thingy" is such a challenge? In an effort to save money and my curtains, I am sticking with the same color scheme as Coop's old  nursery. We are keeping the same bookcase and Serena & Lily brown and cream rug. And even though the major design pieces are in (ie: shiny white parson's desk and white 8 cube cubby storage piece) I am still struggling for how to make it function for an active family.

Here's where I am searching for inspiration:

Lony Office Space - Ikea all the way! Something in here is all ready upstairs!!

Lonny Offices

I love the mix of modern and transitional!

dressy home office

Mirrors make small spaces seem so much bigger!

design office @ home

Chalkboard Paint would be a great way to do homework at home. . .

home office inspiration

Great versatile storage is a must!

home office

This desk just makes me giddy!

Petite home offices

Now I have to get back to work!



Thursday, October 27, 2011

Blacklion Open's in Dilworth

Whats a design obsessed person to do with 20 minutes to myself? Hit up our new Blacklion of course!

Check out some of my favorite finds:








Want more information? Check out



Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Get the Look: Part 2-Breakfast Chairs

Last night while I was musing on how ├╝ber amazing Laura Casey's fresh take on a traditional Elizabeth house is; I completely forgot to tell you all about the leucite chairs. The ridiculously cool chairs from the same Laura Casey house, are at Ikea as well! Say what? Yes the chairs from here:

Plants: image 8 0f 20 thumb

Are available in Charlotte at Ikea for $79.99. Check out the Tobias Chair here:

TOBIAS Chair, clear, chrome plated Width: 21 5/8

Design on a dime. . . .You know it!

Happy Hunting!



Monday, October 24, 2011

Get The look: Zebra Print

Laura Casey is one of Charlotte's most coveted, up and coming designers. Most recently her work was highlighted in Charlotte Home & Garden Magazine. The entire house in Elizabeth that she did is amazing. I really love the dining room, especially the huge Zebra Print her clients already had!

Check out the dining room:

Plants: image 2 0f 20 thumb

Want the look? Check out this fun print I found at Ikea for $49.99:

Now take it to Corner's Framers at Park Rd Shopping Center and have them frame it in a modern high gloss white frame and cover it in real glass.

Oh and check out Laura Casey Interiors and link to her blog at



Saturday, October 22, 2011

The End of an Era: Taking Down the Nursery


Last weekend, while I was getting some really good family time with my sister, Mama and my Aunt Sarah, a moving truck came to my house and stole part of my heart. Well not really stole it . . .but it feels that way more than a little. My sister Ashley's baby is getting our nursery set, I promised and I delivered. In the bottom of my heart I know that it belongs with her and my new nephew and I could not be more excited. So why is my heart still breaking almost a week later?

The very small, but still present, rational side of my brain, knows that Cooper had to move into a bigger room. It also knows that a crib, in my attic, is doing it absolutely no justice at all. I thought I would feel better once we painted his new room, or after I moved his books and trucks into his new bookshelf this afternoon. . .but I don't feel better. I just had a good cry. Again.

So I decided to create Cooper's baby box, which I did for Sadie when she was a year old, and I have been procrastinating doing with Cooper for an addition 20 months. Yes, all his baby stuff has been in his room for his entire life. Lock of hair. Check. Porcelain handprints. Check, Check. Teething toys. Still there. Pappy and Fuzz. . . ever-present. And it is as I type this blog that I realize it is not the loss of his nursery that is breaking my heart. It is realizing that this is the end of the "baby era" of my last little baby.

How could I be so far removed from my emotions? I am generally more than on top of them. Have I really been in denial of my little one's age? Were his growing limbs, feet and hair not a sign to me? His ability to verbally communicate in way a mother wishes a baby could? Hello, WHERE ON EARTH HAVE I BEEN? And while I know that we will enjoy this stage of his life, just as I have enjoyed his sister's change into her elementary years, I also realize that I will never again get the opportunity to smell my own childs "baby smells" and to be the sole interest in my baby's life.

Coop's is not a baby anymore, he is a solid toddler and I am going to morn that for a little longer. And after that, I am going to embrace this toddler stage and not complain any more. . .well until he goes to Kindergarten. In diapers.



Friday, October 21, 2011

A Gallon of Paint


One cool spring day in 2006, I wandered into  the Sherwin Williams paint store on Selwyn Avenue and met a super sweet, young women named Holly Reuther. The painters at our new house were pressuring me to pick our paint out so that they could start the project.  My more specific motivation was that they needed to paint the nursery of my sweet baby girl to be. That day Holly helped pick out the perfect ice pink for Sadie's nursery, a cool blue (now grey) for our dining room and my favorite Martha Stuart color Lamb for the main rooms and hallways. Which is, ironically, the same exact color that my Aunt Sarah picked for the exterior of her house from last weeks post.

Since that wonderful day, my now friend Holly has helped guide me through at least 6 other rooms, countless furniture pieces and the painting of the exterior of our house. Which, I should tell you, she came over and custom blended just for the massive amount of light the front of my house bakes in every day. She has walked me through every kind of product, wood stains, concrete stains and even polyurethane. She is a master of color and  I would argue to anyone the best in the field.  I often ask my painters  "To think, What would Holly do?"  and they know what I am talking about!

Today was no different that my usual bi-monthly trips to her store, except that today I had her mix up the paint for Coopers "big boy" room. Every decorating project has to start at a "jumping off point" and Coopers gray room has been in my head for at least a year. For the last two months I have been plastering the walls of my guest room with different paint samples of many shades of gray. I havent been able to commit to even one of them. This happens to me almost never. Perplexed by this and the fact that my painter that can never come, can today, I pulled the trigger. I knew if I didn't, I might second guess myself and get another sample and I am already at least $30 into samples. I called Holly this morning by 8am and ordered Ellie Gray in Duration Matte, I told her to mix it up and I would be by to grab it.

Here's how it looked this morning:

Here it is after:

I would show you more of Coops room, but I cant wait blog on the finished project and I dont want to give it away just yet!

To learn more about Sherwin Williams and my new favorite paint obsession, Duration paint, check out:



Sunday, October 16, 2011

Virginia Inspiration


The beautiful front entrance to my Aunt Sarah's house! Just in case anyone is looking for inspiration from Old Town Alexandria!


Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Post & Gray: Fantastic Fabric at Fabulous Prices!

My recent relocation into our marital bedroom has made me realize that the privacy downstairs is less than adequate. In order to prevent any more embarrassing moments, my master bedroom is going to need privacy curtains ASAP! After scoring our "new to me" dresser last weekend, I set out this week in search of the perfect "sea-foam" fabric at the perfect price. Also, on my fabric to-do list,  a "fog gray" curtain material for Cooper's  big boy room. I scored both on my first stop, Post and Gray!

As far as Vendor Merchants go, Post and Gray is the original deal. The brains behind Interiors Marketplace in Myers Park,  owners John and Kelley Vieregg, opened retail outlet Post and Gray in 2009.  It's South End warehouse location is easy to get to from downtown Charlotte and definitely one of my favorite eclectic haunts. The many vendors change-up their unique spaces weekly with new merchandise and fun finds. Post and Gray has everything from rugs, to upholstery, furniture, antiques and tons and tons of fabric.

Check out the stack of $10 a yard fabric:

*Not available to take out on approval

And the Fabric on the Bolts:
*Available for Approval and not quite $10 a yard, but not much more.

And My New FAVORITE Vintage ($15) Letter P, from a 1960's Department Store:

*Pretty sure I am going to spray it gold and give it a high gloss finish! My biggest problem is picking out where to put it!

Check out there website for more information on their location, vendors and store hours at



Monday, October 10, 2011

Hidden Treasure: Charlotte's Merchant Vendors Shine

This month brings many changes to the crazy layout of this old house and to the finely tuned dynamics of our marriage. Cooper is moving to a big boy room and giving his nursery set to his "new cousin to be." I am giving up the guest bedroom space to the 2 1/2 year old cutie pie mentioned above and gaining back a much needed office space. We are rearranging, reworking and redesigning at least three rooms on a small budget. In my rush to get Cooper's "ducks in a row," I forgot about my "ducks". . .or more specifically, my  immediate storage needs!

The first order of business was to get a dresser fast, like in five days fast and on the cheap, like $500 cheap. For an entire week I was a desperate, mad women in need of a furniture fix.  My search started at the Brass Exchange on Selwyn Avenue, a great place  for new, AFFORDABLE  traditional and french country  wooden furniture. They order their inventory (from Bramble) a year out and if they don't have a piece you can order it, but it takes forever and they didn't have what I needed in stock. I quickly realized this was going to happen to me at almost every furniture store, so I changed gears and hit up the local merchant vendor and consignment shops.

Next Stop, Cotswold Marketplace for fun transitional and traditional vendors with new and remade classic pieces and in-house decorators. I didn't find the perfect dresser, but I did find some awesome options. Take a look:

* Perfect Color but not enough drawers.

*Both dressers were cute and around $500, but not quite big enough to hold the 1/4th of my stuff I am trying to keep with me in our room.

I left Cotswold and made a mad dash to Slate Interiors on Central Avenue. I am a big fan of their transitional, mid-century and modern vendors plus they have great  interior designers. Oh and I love, love, the mid-range price point! Search through the different mini-rooms for everything from great lamp shades, furniture, upholstery of every kind and fun home accessories. I didn't find just the right piece for our master bedroom this time, but they really do have a little of everything.

Dont just take my word for it, see for your self:

* I love the corner lamp with the chrome base and oversized shade!!

*HUGE sunburst  mirror would be perfect for a grand entrance and the lamps are my favorites! Ok, I think everything in the picture just rocks.

On two wheels, I scooted out of Plaza-Midwood and back over to Dilworth to try Alexander Scott for the first time. Relatively new to the area, Alexander Scott is a vendor merchant now occupying the old McCall Gallery of Fine Arts building. Judging from the grand entrance and private gates, my first impression was that I would never find anything on budget. But they don't know that, so I roll right on in. . .  Well they might suspect that, by my frazzled self, but they are super nice and helpful anyways. I found a piece or two on budget and slightly above it. What a great place to have in the neighborhood.  The girl working the floor takes me through two floors of amazing pieces and then offers to email her venders a description of what I am looking for. So sweet!

Here is the one piece that  I seriously considered:

Saturday afternoon, I ditched my family at home and decided to try  a couple of places. Heading up South Blvd, I turned blindly onto New Bern Street. I have heard this sleepy South End street is home to many furniture warehouses. Jackpot! New Bern is home to at least four great places including French Heritage and the Furniture Connector. Both places have some inspiring pieces and mid-range prices, but no luck for me here.

Completely disheartened and feeling beaten down, I navigated my way up South Blvd to Sleepy Poet Antique Mall.  The place is crowded, dusty and not at all pretty and for a minute I think I might have a panic attack. Just in time, a kind older gentleman hands me a piece of paper and a pencil and tells me to keep track of what row I am on and the pieces I am interested in. The place was full of hidden furniture gold and 20 minutes and three rows later I have found at least two excellent options under $300. I am way under budget and with the help of my friends Beth and Billy, I  decide on the spot that my search is over. I talk the guy down to $250 and bring my dresser home immediately.

What do you think?

Here it is at home minus a cool new mid century lamp and some funky accessories:

*As soon as I get it all decorated I promise to post!