Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Christmas Decor: A Little Goes A Long Way

After living with all of the clutter in the basement the last couple of months, I have found myself craving the simplicity that defines my style. My Mom once declared that my house doesnt look like "any one lives there. . ." While I have worked hard to over come that. . . (it took 7 years) I find myself in search of the monotone palet that I started with.

 This year's holiday season  started with basic oversized burlap ribbon and simple boxwood wreaths. After work last week, I grabbed the sweetest handmade glittered letter P and some of our burlap string from the shop (Home With Heart) and completed my look. Can a girl ever go wrong with a little glitter?   

How are you decorating this year? 

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

A Life (without) Intention

I am "that" person, and by "that" I mean the type of person that starts most days wondering "what the heck day IS it?"  Rarely, if ever, do I consult my iCalendar the night before. . .well maybe, but only if it is to plan a yoga class or a GNO. Perhaps maybe in an attempt to plan for my children, whose schedules mostly dictate my own.  Occasionally for my husband, who keeps even less of a schedule than I do, yet somehow keeps us all  together. I am a flounderer,  a floater, a drifter of sorts. 
(It is a character flaw I am certain.) That person whose life, though almost entirely "unplanned" appears somewhat idealistic to outsiders. It is amazing.

As a teenager I moved to Charlotte in the dead of winter of my senior year. It was one heck of an act of rebellion;  a result of "senioritis" and overall extreme small town boredom. Unable to correct this impulsive act, I stayed in Charlotte a year longer than planned. Mostly in search of some new friends and a good time (not being in college is not very fun), I thought I might take this college thing a little more seriously. And then it happened,  I got "lost." Not "lost" like spiritually, "lost" like what the heck is happening at the intersection of Providence & Queens & Selwyn Avenue . So I went straight one beautifully sunny March afternoon, and instead of taking a left onto Providence Road, I drove straight by Queens College. I pulled into the parking lot and went in. Two days later I registered for classes and four years later I graduated with a BS in Business Administration.  A business degree? Perplexing for sure to my friends and family, but not to me.  After consulting at least one or two other people, I determined that business had the absolute least amount of homework and almost no writing. It took me about six minutes to declare my major.

The problem with college was that I never actually thought about what I was going to do afterwards with this whole business degree thingy.  So I worked as a babysitter until my social networking skills led me to a job as a recruiter. I was mostly terrible at it, a diamond peg trying to fit into a square hole. (I could never be the square peg of course.) No matter which way you looked at it, it was the worst of all possible career outcomes. I lasted for four very long years.

The end of that career led to several others. I have taught swimming lessons to little ones, worked for penny's at an art gallery and styled fashion shoots for kids magazines. I have cleaned and audited closets and dressed women of  great means.  I am a shop girl at a gift shop. I have blogged and blogged and blogged.  I have never made any money to speak of. 

I have two children who are "blessing" from God. The thought that I would have them, never crossed my mind. . .until it did.  I have an amazing husband who started out as the worst boyfriend ever. I am still not sure how this happened. The last time I bought a car and a house, I bought the first one's I looked at. This time I looked at three houses and three cars. I think I chose wisely. You know, options and all. 

Today I am thankful, for the clearly blessed life I have been given. 

Lord knows I didn't plan for it. . . But I sure do love it.

This picture about sums up my life. You know the hound and the hare and all . . .

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Big, Box, Bang!

There is nothing like being stuck in the bed all day to make me realize how much I like to get out of it. Not only that, but I have an iPhone full of little gems that I never got around to sharing with you. Last week I hit up Ikea and World Market in search of some instant bling. .  Your children will never want to inherit these little cheepos. . .but "whateve's". . .design to the masses, "aint nothin wrong with that!"

Stockholm Syndrome? Could be. . .But the entire line of Ikea's STOCKHOLM  collection makes me crazy happy. A clean modern sideboard at a great price, whose with me!

Speaking of STOCKHOLM, This table is design perfection. At $499, Your kids can make their mark and you wont have to kill them. . .score.

I fell for these cozy Kivic chairs at Ikea. They are available in tons of cool fabrics and at $309, your bestie can spill her glass of red wine on it, and the two of you will still be friends for years to come. . . 

Layer the whole look with one
 of these geometric beauties. Create a division of space, by throwing one over a sea grass rug, or just make your kitchen a wee bit prettier. . .Either way, design fix, fixed!

World Market, you have never been closer (around the corner from our new houzz) or prettier. I have a big bad crush on a similar table that we carry at Home With Heart, but for $449 *on sale, I might be upgrading to this little gem. The Braxton Dining Table top is wrapped in metal not zinc. . .but this x'ed base Acadia wood table is gonna be a crowd pleaser!

World Market was piled high with cool looking designer knock off's like this linen covered, nail studded beauty. The Greyson Chair is shown here in dark wood, but I like the driftwood version a wee bit better. 

This little wicker basket from World Market will come in handy for just about everything. Fill with blankets and put by the mantle. Or create a catch all for shoes by the door . . .when your done, plant a fiddle leaf fig in it and move right on along. 

Just like at Anthropologie, World Market has a bin full of vintage looking knobs and hooks. Only this time the price is right! For $6 this little owl hook will dress up any mudroom, make the perfect towel hooks for the bathroom, or dress up a little girls room. 

Back to bed for now:( 

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Coming together: Renovation Round Up

Word To Your Mother

 I am the "slacker-est" blogger ever. . .I just realized that while I have been posting to Facebook and dreaming up blog ideas. . . I have yet to actually write something in almost a month. 

*From unknown pinterest

Sean and his crews from Kelly McArdle Construction have been super busy getting the house ready for us to move in next week... and I have been busy dragging kids around South Park, fighting traffic and getting used to our new hood.

A big shout of love to my painter Tomas for covering every square inch of my house in gorgeousness. To my favorite electrician James of Amherst Electrical for the electrical genius that he has used to bath my house in light. Hugs forever to my favorite designer Kathy Wilder for the referral of James and overall guidance. . .well, on everything.

Tomas putting up with me and all my crazy schedules and abundance of energy/annoying demands. . .

The amazing hardware that started the inspiration for this house and to Ward from Blackhawk Hardware for customizing just about every piece of hardware in my house for me; and for being overall just awesome to work with! *Thanks to Skip with Kelly McArdle Construction for installing all of my over the top customized hardware...

A preview of what is to come in the kitchen and more thanks to Sean (of course) and to Grant with Instyle Charlotte for the absolutely perfect 2 1/2 inch honed carrara slab of heaven. . .

More custom work from Sean and his crew. . .Just a preview of course, because when this little gem is finished, I might cry.

And just in case I came off more than a little spoiled, this is how I have been living since July. . .

In my basement!

More on Renovation Round Up to come. . .

Today, even more so than ever, I am reminded how much credit people are deserved when they help you. How grateful I am for every one's assistance, guidance and creative genius. . .
Peace, Y'all.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Renovation Round Up: As It Stands

Life in the basement is quiet and dark. It reminds me a lot of New England. The kids have made forts in every available closet and under every bed and ottoman. The air feels slightly stuffy without the windows open. We are all going stir crazy. I forget that some days are beautiful and we stay hibernated all afternoon.

We are so thankful for our Project Manager/Contractor, Sean Popieniek at Kelly McArdle Construction. While I started the renovation process in July, Sean and his crew took over last month for the big stuff and have been wonderful ever since. Now that everything has been taken apart, the fun is starting and we are beginning to see the light.

Back in the Spring when we started this process, my friend Kathy Wilder fancied up a couple of design boards to help keep me focused. Thank God because after this long I could have changed my mind a thousand times. 

Here is Where We Started Almost 6 Months Ago:

Here is Where We Are Right Now:

The kitchen was redone around 7 years ago, and while not my personal favorite, I couldn't justify gutting it. So we kept the existing cabinets and refinished them. Also kept were the SubZero fridge and wine cooler and unused Kenmore double oven and dishwasher. I know, not my favorite but literally they have never been turned on. Everything else is being replaced! (More on that later)

Sean's guys took the master bathroom down to the studs and are presently laying the tile!! The future is getting clearer...and whiter!

The kids bathroom revelaed rotted flooring and rad 70's wallpaper. Gutted the whole thing. . .Surprise!

I fell hard for this grasscloth from Phillip Jeffries. The dining room is going to get tons of use when we are done!

The original wallpaper was going to cost me a year of preschool tuition, so I last minute switched it up and decided to go for fun instead of classy in the 1/2 bath. My painter is going to kill me. . .now my trim paint is all wrong! 

Oops, Did I do that. . .

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Charlotte's Finest: Allison Sprock Fine Art

Meeting new friends is always fun. Meeting a new friend like Allison Sprock . . . enlightening. A mutual (and dear) friend of ours recently introduced us, and we have had nothing but fun ever since.  Allison has an extensive background in the arts that includes time spent in New York City, Atlanta, Charleston, SC and San Fransisco.  Presently in Charlotte, North Carolina, her gallery, Allison Sprock Fine Art, is committed to raising an awareness of local established and emerging artists; and to bringing a European sophistication to the Queen City. 

Tuesday night, Allison hosted the opening reception for established artist Cher Cosper at her Myers Park Gallery. Cher's work is truly as fun, bright, loud and lovely as she is. While often understated, closer examinations of her work reveal symbols of Christianity and love. 

I Love Him  12 x 12 (Sold)

Cher's eclectic and modern style is evident in the following painting entitled Double Pink.

Double Pink 16 x 20 $1000 

While Tuesday evening was spent showcasing Cher Cosper, the gallery itself is full of artwork from American and European artists

The Parlor at Allison Sprock Fine Art

In attendance Tuesday evening was local artist Marcy Gregg. The recipient of the prestigious 2013 Art With Heart's Emerging Artist Award. Overcoming "incredible odds" in 2006, Marcy committed herself to her "true passion, art." Her artwork explores natural form, color and texture. 

Marcy Gregg Peaceful Meadow 30 x 30 $1,500

The gallery has a substantial collection of available artwork by southern artist Gee Gee Collins. Gee Gee's work includes one of my personal favorite's.

Gee Gee Collins

While potentially spoken for, the modern expressionist nude (shown above) would be a welcome addition to our collection. 

Allison Sprock Fine Art is located in the heart of Myers Park at 600 Queens Rd, Charlotte, NC 28207. Stop by or make an appointment by calling 704-705-2000. 

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Renovation 101: The Great Door Hardware Debate

The new house renovation is alive and going strong. The demo on the bathrooms is on it's way, the floors are done and the interior paint is almost completed. While my sweet old" tree house" was full of beautiful estate hardware, this house is full of 70's rusted metal. This means, of course, it all has to go! The doors are off their hinges, the window hardware has been removed, even the cabinet knobs are sayonara.

Before we even bought the house, I fell head over heals for these amazing interior door knobs:

These are a must! Because they are a budget buster, they are only going on the top main floor. To accomplish a more modern finish, with less brown in it, I chose Baldwin Hardware satin brass 04.

The knobs are door jewelry and to help them shine on there own, all other hardware in the house in oil rubbed bronze. Even the door stops below are oil rubbed. 

The interior doors are Benjamin Moore's Kendall Charcoal

Choosing the front door hardware is stumping me. I begged Ward, my sales person from Blackhawk Hardware, to "rip the band aid off" and place the order. . .But now I am questioning myself yet again.  . .

My first gut was the Soho Hardware from Baldwin Hardware. The only available finishes that are in the running are Venetian Bronze (shown below), Satin Brass and Black and don't gasp too loudly, but polished brass. 

Venitian Bronze

And then I questioned myself again and ordered the Seattle Front Door Hardware Venitian Bronze. I like it because it is super modern, but now I am I questioning myself for the same reasons.

With This Door Knocker. . . 

Baldwin Reserve Hardware is available in only these finishes. . . 

The last final detail is the exterior doors are Sherwin Williams Dorian Gray.

Lovers, I would love to hear your thoughts on hardware and finishes.  Should I go with the Seattle or the Soho? Should I do a different finish on the front door hardware?

Send me an email at or post a comment below. 

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Kathy Wilder Interiors Graces Better Home's and Gardens Storage Magazine Fall/Winter 2013

I love it when I get a chance to brag on one of my favorite designers, Kathy of the "fantabulous" Kathy Wilder Interiors. Her unique, eclectic and undoubtedly modern twist on Southern Traditional has earned her countless devout followers.(Design groupies if I do say so myself) Up next for the talented Charlottean? Better Home's and Garden's Storage Magazine's Fall/Winter 2013 issue of course!

Her years of hard work paid off in the form of national attention and for the last several months she has been working with Better Homes and Garden's on a spread of her enviously curated playroom. Originally designed as a butlers pantry to the traditional historic home's floor plan, Kathy remade it into the ideal family playroom. Located directly off the kitchen,  Kathy can keep her eyes on her three boys all the while cooking up a gourmet dinner.

While the boys needs take the majority of the space, Kathy still finds space for the family printer, arts and crafts, and a lifetime worth of design magazines and resources. 

Sea grass woven baskets are used to organize like items, while canvas bins allow the kids easy access to their toys.  Pairs of display worthy accessories add interest to the utility of the shelves.

Click on the above icon to follow Kathy Wilder Interiors on Facebook or send her an email at

*Fantabulous is a secret sister made up word. Mom it is not a spelling error.