29 June 2016

It's scanner time

Thought I'd post a few things that have caught my eye...

I love the silhouette at the top of  each cubbie.
I'm definitely going to borrow this idea for a job someday!

 I like that the cushion softens the basket, and I especially like the tie detail.
It's not very useful as a coffee table, though. (I don't see a table beside the upholstery, either.)
Maybe a sturdy tray would work for cups and glasses? 

The stone on this fireplace is absolutely gorgeous, but I have to be honest,
 I'm over the whole grey trend. 

Love the chairs! I'm keeping these in my memory banks for future use, too :)

As beautiful as this room is, I'm not sure about using mirror as a headboard.
I've also warned clients about using mirror on a low TV console...
if you're sitting a in front of it, you can see right up your skirt!

All photos above from Traditional Home

Until next time,


30 March 2015

A trip to Fairchild Gardens

Every spring, James and I get together with a few wonderful friends who live up in Miami.
This year we all piled into this beauty, a 1950 Cadillac convertible,

and headed to Fairchild Gardens to see the Chihuly exhibit.

Here are a few highlights:

These geese were a little freaked out by the alligator swimming nearby:/

My photos don't do any of Chihuly's work justice, 
so if you're in South Florida, head on over to see everything for yourself!
If your'e not visiting the area any time soon, here's an awesome video from Mr. Chihuly's website. Its the next best thing...

(Sorry about the "sorry!" Vimeo wouldn't let me upload directly...)

The park stays open on Thursday and Sunday evenings, and per the website:
"The Garden and Glass come to life after sunset creating a dreamy wonderland of color, lights and silhouettes. It's an entirely different exhibition after hours."
The exhibit is here until May 31. (The start of hurricane season, which I'm sure isn't a coincidence!) 

Until next time,

10 March 2015

Media wall design

Thought I'd share a small project I recently completed. I mean, I am an interior designer, right? I should be sharing project updates, but I rarely think about taking the photos!
Ok, so here's the back story...


This space really needed a focal point and consolidation of  media equipment. The art on this wall was too small in scale and the TV dominated the area. 
I decided to design the wall to accommodate a flat screen TV with lit art niches 
and custom floating storage.

    Here's the inspiration photo

Its a magazine ad for Siberian Floors.
Those floating, espresso colored shelves are what caught my eye at first. 
I also thought the greys and creams would compliment the Client's existing Kreiss furnishings nicely. 

    Original concept sketch

We didn't do the retractable art over the TV for budget reasons and we decided to do cornice boards above the adjacent windows instead of by-pass shutters. The Hubs also wanted to add an exposed niche for his TV equipment.


All niches needed full plywood boxes to accommodate the weight of the TV etc...

    Completed Design

The floating shelves and cabinets were custom built by my awesome carpenters, Grafton and Jose. The niches on the left have LED lighting above each one, 
but they hadn't yet been installed when I took this photo.
All exposed surfaces on the left side of the wall are covered in this grasscloth, as was the custom cornice boards. (In the upper left of the photo.)
Its Cowtan & Tout's "Aspen" wallcovering in Silver Birch

See all those books? I reversed all of the dust jackets so they would be uniform in color.
 (Its one of my favorite design tricks!)
They came from my late father's library. I try to include a few of his books (and positive energy) in each project I complete. 

This home is a work-in-progress, so I'm sure I'll be sharing more of it in the future!

Until next time,   xojo

06 January 2015

Holy sheet, it's white sale time!

It's that time of year, my friends...yup, that's right, it's white sale time! Woot woot! All things bedding, bath and home are on sale in one form or fashion and I have to admit, my heart go a little pitter pat when I think of buying new sheets. And washing them. And sleeping on them. (Weird, I know, but true!) I think it stems from my young, starving-designer days when I couldn't afford to buy sheets and had to take mismatched hand me downs from family members.  

Back then my bed looked something like this:
two of these
the top sheet of this
the fitted sheet from this
seriously embarrassing!
No joke. I really did have sheets exactly like these, so therefore,
no visitor EVER went into my bedroom.
These days I can afford a matched set, thank goodness, and I've done a bit of research on the subject which I'd like to share with you. Lets call this quick primer "Sheeting 101"
Its kind of a long one, so grab a cup of joe and settle in...
Thread Count
What it means:
The number warp (vertical) and weft (horizontal) threads woven in a square inch of sheeting material.
Recently, I've seen a lot of marketing that goes into the thread count and its a little misleading because extra threads called "picks" can be woven into each square inch to make the sheet more dense, but it doesn't up the quality of the sheet itself. Most luxury hotels use a 300+ thread count, which is what I look for when buying news sheets.
Bottom line:
The higher the thread count, the denser the material and the denser the material, the heavier and hotter it is. (In the south and in the summer, that's an important factor to take into consideration!)
What it means:
This ones kind of a no brainer...it just means what the material is made of. Cotton, polyester, linen, silk, etc. I have a friend who swears linen sheets are the best, but you can only find them online. Silk seems kind of "Howard Wolowitz-y" to me, (You Big Bang watchers will get that reference!) so for "quick primer" purposes, we'll stick to descriptions of cotton and polyester, which is what most sheets are made of. Egyptian cotton is the crème de la crème of sheeting content because of its long cotton fibers and soft hand, or feel. It lasts a really long time, but its really expensive. Pima cotton also has long fibers and a great hand. Its much more affordable than true Egyptian cotton. Finally, American Upland cotton is what is most widely used in sheeting. (If the sheet states 100% cotton on the tag, its probably A.U.) It has both long and short fibers and can be soft or stiff to the touch, depending on how it was woven. Polyester is a man-made petroleum based monofilament thread. Often, it will be blended with cotton. Initially, it has a really soft feel, but after usage it tends to pill. Or rather, it will pill. Pilling is bad. Pilling is itchy and uncomfortable. Stay away from it.
Bottom line:
100% cotton sheets wear well, are affordable and will most likely soften over time. So in my (humble) opinion are the best value for the money.
What it means:
The way in which the threads are woven to create the sheeting material.
There are several different types of weaves for sheets, but I'm going to stick to the three basics; percale, sateen, and jacquard. Percale is a simple, evenly woven sheet (there are equal amounts of warp and weft threads in each square inch.) and tends to have a crisp feel to it. Sateen (not satin) is super soft right out of the package has a very slight sheen on one side of the sheet. I have sateen sheets and they are the only type I will buy. The more I wash them, the softer they get...like buttah! I really have a hard time getting out of bed in the morning because my sheets are so soft and cocoon-ey.
The jacquard sheet has tone on tone patterns woven into it. The patterns are created by controlling the amount of warp and weft threads in each square inch.Tone on tone damask stripes, dots and fleur de lis are a good example of a jacquard weave.
Botton line:
Buy percale for crisp and cool, sateen for soft and buttery, and jacquard for luxurious tone on tone patterns.
Still with me? Great! I hope this post was helpful to you!
Now here are some great deals to get you started:
Macy's Lots of great selections on sale in the Martha Stewart Collection!
Pottery Barn They are advertising 20% sheets and bedding, but honestly, you can do better by watching the clearance section. You have to be quick, though. Clearance items sell out quickly.
Bloomingdale's Check the bottom of the page, my friends. Pratesi (translation: cha-ching) is actually marked down!
Kmart We have a saying here in Key Largo; "If it ain't at Kmart, you don't really need it." Ha! Its funny because its true. They have a pretty decent and very affordable line from their Country Living collection that you might want to check out.
And last but not least, my favorite, HomeGoods. I like to be home goods happy and I buy all of my sheets here. More specifically, Ralph Lauren, 300 thread count 100% cotton sateen sheets. In white. (Always white, it goes with everything, looks super clean on the bed and you can bleach stains out of them.) No white sales here and no online shopping. You have to go to the store itself and dig through the organized mess. With a little luck you'll find just what you're looking for.
Until next time,

02 December 2014

Turkey Croquette Recipe

If you still have leftover turkey from Thanksgiving and you're not sure what to do with it, here is a GREAT recipe that I've had since 1995. April of 1995 to be exact, from Family Fun magazine.
 It was one of my kid's favorite dinners and its a cinch to make. You can even make the croquettes ahead of time and freeze them. The recipe calls for baking them, but I never had a good result. 
They never got crispy and browned up, so I deep fry the ones I make.
You'll need some gravy to top them off and crisp, steamed green beans make the perfect side dish.
The meatloaf recipe is seriously easy and really good, too! The sauce topping 
is what makes it special.
Hope you try them both out and enjoy them as much as my family has!

Until next time,
PS;  I just re-read my post from yesterday. You know, about how I'm trying to eat healthier? Then today I post about frying up turkey balls. Hmm. I'm obviously conflicted.

01 December 2014

A little of this and that

I saw this post on facebook this morning and thought I'd share.

As a (very) small business owner, I can't express how important is it to shop the "mom and pops".
So please remember us during this holiday season!

On another note, I'm trying to eat healthier, so I bought this for lunch today;
It was weird and kind of spongy. I didn't finish it because it gave me serious heartburn.
(Sorry, garden lites!) Oh, well...at least I tried. But from now on,
I think I'll stick to my usual sandwich and chips baby carrots. :/

Until next time,

11 November 2014

veteran's day 2014

Today I give thanks to all the veterans who have served our country, past and present.
My Dad served in both World War II and the Korean War.
Here he is, circa 1952
Thanks for your service, Dad! Love the "dungaree" outfit, lol!

I also wanted to share a really cool art installation at the Tower of London titled
"Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red"
888,246 handmade ceramic poppies were installed over the course of the year with the last one being planted today. Each poppy represents a fallen Allied World War I soldier.
 A sea of red ceramic poppies fill the moat of the Tower of London to commemorate the fallen of  WWI ahead of the 100th anniversary of the First World War.
 'Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red' by Paul Cummins at the Tower of London, London, Britain - 03 Aug 2014
 The artwork,  'Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red' by Paul Cummins features thousands of ceramic poppies pouring into the moat will officially be unveiled on 5th August.
Photo courtesy Rex Features/The Telegraph
Over 19,000 volunteers helped make and plant the poppies.
You can see a fly over of the installation on buzzfeed, here.
I'm kind of obsessed with the artist's vision of this installation!
Its beautiful but humbling to think of all of those lost.
If you'd like to read a great children's story of how the poppies became the symbol of veterans and armistice day, try this one;
The Poppy Lady, written by Barbara Elizabeth Walsh

Enjoy this wonderful day and please stop for a moment to say a prayer of thanks
for the men and women who serve and protect our country.

Until next time,