Sunday, November 23, 2014


I have quite a few pins which are very popular. They pop up so often that I have to say, I begin to wonder what makes them so popular? 

Sure, Katherine Ireland's door is a serene shade. But is it any less lovely than Miles Redd's stunning front entry?

Some pins command attention...

While others have a sophisticated and effortless beauty or a quieter sense of drama

Then there are pins which, when they are repinned, make me smile. They may have been repinned only a few times but they have a certain elegance and sophistication about them. 

Then there are the poor lonely souls with no repins at all.

They are quite lovely, but so unappreciated.

Some popular pins make a bold color statement 

While others, less pinned, are more subtle

One popular pin has high contrast and a lot of energy

This serene beauty is not so popular

This very popular pin is dark and glamorous

Though these equally dark and dramatic spaces are where I'd rather work

No matter how popular, or not, these beautiful bedrooms inspire me

And as for this one, Suzanne Dimma's gorgeous black slate floor, 

I totally get it why it is so Popular!

Monday, November 17, 2014

My Tiny Living Room

I wish I had a large living room.

Living in a tract house built by a regional builder means I have a tiny living room. Its dimensions are Lilliputian, being only 10'6" by 11'9". I could have been smart and combined two rooms to make a larger living room as Sarah Richardson did.
Sarah Richardson from her site

But I have two dining tables and a buffet a deux corps both of which require some space. Plus, I like having a formal eating space and our plan doesn't have a second dining room as the one Sarah Richardson modified.

Though it would be nice to have a room large enough to have a Baby Grand Piano...

Just having a room large enough to house a Christmas tree, without having to make major furniture arrangements, would be nice.
Vanessa's House At the Picket Fence
Our living room has evolved since we have lived here. We didn't have a formal space in our house in Tulsa, so there was little furniture to put in the room. Paint, Benjamin Moore Ashwood, OC-47,
moiré taffeta drapes, a couple of Martha Washington chairs and a skirted table on builder grade carpet was the starting point.With only one switched plug in and one lamp, there was a serious lack of lighting in this room. The pelmets were placed nearly a foot above the tops of the windows, which emphasized the ceiling height.

Majolica fabric pelmets and a leaning Christmas Tree

The drapes were changed out for wooden blinds, which added more privacy.
Preparing for new flooring
Structural concerns, i. e., replacing the lowest-end-builder-grade carpet with maple floors was next on the agenda. And yes, Mr. Kitty proceeded to claw the chairs sending them back to their original state nearly the moment the chairs came back in the house after being reupholstered. With just two chairs, the room barely functioned and looked even smaller.

Old Dominion Showhouse 2005
I fell in love with egg prints from the Old Dominion Showhouse. I knew that I had to make room for those in the living room. I found antique egg prints on eBay and, after matting and framing them, they were installed in a symmetrical gallery arrangement on the main wall.


I like to create "matelots"  using my home design software and Photoshop. I looked at several options for a sofa in this room. Given the dimensions, there were limitations for how big it could be. Putting a table at either end would take about 40-60" out of the room, leaving about 66-86 inches for the sofa.
I was having a Jeffrey Bilhuber moment, and decided to try an orange ceiling for the space, at least in the images! Lots of hemming and hawing and back and forth then one of these lovelies came up on sale at the Restoration Hardware Outlet! 
This settee in a gray finish won the settee challenge. Now there was paint, window covering, and two chairs in the room. I tried slip covering the chair which worked, sort of, but not really well. If you are getting the sense that this room was mostly used for Christmas, you would not be wrong. That was another issue to resolve: though it also functioned as a music practice room, the room was used for very little else. This room was the one we passed by on our way to somewhere else. 

I decided to quit fighting the chair upholstery issue and buy new ones. Though it may seem that I was just throwing another gauntlet down in the cat clawing showdown, I noticed that the cat only liked to claw shred chairs that other cats had clawed. I also vowed to stay on top of trimming his claws. Yeah, right, it could still happen! After a lot of thinking and pondering, these chairs were chosen from Overstock.
The detailing around the arms and back won me over and tipped the balance in their favor. Rounding out the furniture was bamboo tables from Joss and Main,  a black metal table found on ebay, and Cyril Glass top table with a Warren Platner look to it, another Overstock purchase,


 ...and then another thing happened. Our daughter finished Law school and moved home to study for the bar exam. Of course,her furniture came with her. An Ektorp Jennylund chair, two parsons tables, a Strind side table, two lamps purchased for her living room from HomeGoods, and a Target lamp were incorporated into the room. 

Wow! That's a lot of furniture for a tiny room! It feels larger now. Nothing delicate or diminutive was used in the tiny room. Lots of small furniture just makes a small room cluttered.

Follow me on Pinterest
Be sure to visit Metamorphosis Monday for more transformations!
Linking to Inspiration Monday

Friday, November 14, 2014

What I am pinning this week - Paints

My pins are focusing on paints this week. I usually paint in Benjamin Moore. The color is true to the chip, and it doesn't spatter, no new hair color for me! I have painted in Ralph Lauren and in Pratt and Lambert as well. But I always come back home to Benjamin Moore.

Steam AF-15 on stairs, Collingwood 50% on walls via West of the City
I love the freshness of this foyer. The Steam is just a bit lighter than the Collingwood which has been mixed at 50 percent.

Furlow Gatewood via Veranda
Furlow Gatewood's Beautiful gray doors inspire me. I don't know the color, but pigeon gray looks close.

Simply White, OC-117: Homebunch
I pinned this beautiful kitchen, in Simply White OC-117, both for the beautiful paint color and the timeless appeal of the medium wood floor, the marble and the leather island. 

Dragon's Breath, 1547 from A Well Dressed Home
I love this door in Dragon's Breath, 1547

Berber White, 955, via Homebunch
Back when everything was a bit browner, I used Benjamin Moore Berber White 955, as a trim color. Now, I want it as a wall color, somewhere.

Monday, November 10, 2014

Paint Sample Weekend

There isn't a  lot to show for this post. The focus for this weekend was resolving the design details for the upstairs "main" bath. This bath is shared by two young women. The color and design has been the same for about 10 years. It reflected the aesthetic of their early teen years, though it never quite resolved the issues of two girls using a 30" vanity with a mega-sink. 
As part of the design development, we were choosing paints. To choose paints, a large sample needed to be examined, something bigger than the fan deck or paint chip. Three whites were selected for a background paint. Which were painted on foam core sample boards. When painting is eminent, say with in the next few days, then painting on the wall works. Some advocate for a white band around the paint so that the existing paint doesn't taint the visual. On my sample boards, I leave a one inch border all around.
Benjamin Moore Steam AF-15
Benjamin Moore Simply White OC-117
Benjamin Moore Chantilly Lace 2121-70

The first two are more yellow, while the last is a bit more green. 
A stencil is planned to mimic the look of wallpaper.
Benjamin Moore Pigeon Gray 2133-50

And that is how I spent my weekend, contemplating white, not beige. 
The remainder of the bathroom plan is next.

Friday, November 7, 2014

Just Paint it White

I cringe when I see this advice to those wanting to sell their house. Why? Because there are so many white paints. Benjamin Moore has 165 paints with white and 72 with cream in the name. This doesn't even count those paints which don't even have white in the name, but which are actually white. Harwood Putty CW-5 and Steam AF-15 are good examples of this.

Harwood Putty CW-5 via Lisa Mende Design
Michele Jalbert Benjamin Moore Steam AF-15 on stairs Collingwood at 50% on walls 

Granted, a hand full can be discounted because they aren't even close to white. 

Pumpkin Cream, Tracey Stephens Interior Design

Midcentury Exterior by Sunnyvale Interior Designers & Decorators Urbanism Design
Pumpkin Cream via Houzz

Pumpkin cream, for example,

Benjamin Moore Tomato Cream Sauce

or Tomato Cream Sauce. 

There are literally five, which are not really cream, I counted. Of the 232 remaining colors in the Benjamin Moore fan deck, the question becomes Which White?
Benjamin Moore Elmira White HC-84
Benjamin Moore Ivory White 925 Southern Living
Benjamin Moore Berber White 955
These three paints are very different from each other. I have used all three in show houses and client spaces. They are very different from each other.

How do you choose the right white? Each house is different. Consideration has to be given to the flooring and the lighting, especially the amount of daylight in a room. Just paint it white may result in a house that is memorable, as one that needed to be repainted.