Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Tagged - You Are Next!

Jessie of Mix and Chic blog tagged me in this post to answer 11 questions.  She has a beautiful design blog where she features lots of great designers and some of her own work.  Jessie also has great giveaways like this one, so keeping an eye on Jessie's blog could get you some good swag.  She's great at making moodboards too, something I've yet to figure out!  Check this one out HERE she did recently for a moodboard challenge contest.

Here are the rules.

1. You must post the rules.

2. Answer the 11 questions the tagger posted for you and then create 11 new questions to ask the people you’ve tagged.

3. Tag 11 people and link them in your post.

4. Let them know you have tagged them.

Here are Jessie's questions.....

1. What is your favorite room to decorate and why?

I like all rooms, but I think a living room or family room is my fave.  Selecting fabrics and designing custom pieces are lots of fun and using everything in the room from finishes, architectural treatments, lighting, window treatments....all down to the last pillow, to paint a complete picture about the homeowner's style and personality is what is I like so much about designing that type of room. 

2. What is your favorite decorating trend?

Oh, this hard. Today, it is large, oversized patterns.  Ask me tomorrow and my answer might be different.

Kathryn Ireland via House Beautiful

3. Which decorating trend you think is way overrated?

White marble....I love it, but it's not for everyone everywhere.  There are soooo many choices out there. All our kitchens don't have to look alike do they?

4. What is your biggest decorating pet peeve?

EVERYthing in a room being too overwrought and detailed.  I wrote a post about that titled Pick Something.

5. Averagely, how much time do you put into a blog post?

Way too much, several hours usually. Since I work over 40 hours a week, I'm squeezing it in all the time.  I'm kind of obsessed with design though and this comes naturally for me. I think about it all the time, I might as well be writing about it.  It sort of helps me organize my thoughts and communicate with clients and future clients in a unique way.

6. What have you learned/ gained from blogging?

I love reading how other designers/bloggers work and what their thoughts are on different aspects of design.  It's such a great way to share information.  I've met some really lovely people out here on the blogs.

7. Who do you most admire in the blogging world and why?

I really admire the bloggers that are out there writing each and every post themselves and are putting themselves out there in a personal way.  Keeping unique material coming all the time from one person can be difficult, especially when you're trying to run a business too!

8. What is the coolest opportunity that has come your way because of your blog?

I'm hoping it's yet to come!  I would love to have more of my work published in the national magazines and even be writing about design and remodeling for some kind of regular publication.  Maybe even a book someday?

9. Who is your favorite decorator and why?

Soooo hard to choose.  I love Victoria Hagan's clean, crisp aesthetic, Kelly Wearstler's free-spirited creativity, and Martyn Lawrence-Bullard's incredible client relationships.  I love the calm of a Suzanne Kasler interior, the subtleties of the work of John Saladino, the color in a space designed by Jamie Drake, and the mix put together by Jeffrey Bilhuber.  I love the passion for client and location driven design so adeptly practiced by Barry Dixon, the drama in a Steven Volpe interior, and the diverse projects of Alberto Pinto.  I love the sophistication of Kay Douglass' work and..... well, there's so many more....but on to the next question.

Victoria Hagan - House Beautiful

Kelly Wearstler - Viceroy Hotel

Martin-Lawrence Bullard - Elle Decor

Suzanne Kasler - House Beautiful

Jamie Drake - House Beautiful

Jeffrey Bilhuber - House Beautiful

John Saladino

Barry Dixon

Steven Volpe - Elle Decor

Alberto Pinto - Arch. Digest

Kay Douglass - Veranda

10. What is a little-known fact about you that your readers would be surprised to learn?

My own house needs a major overhaul....except for my bathroom which I did several years ago.  I have no time to do my own!

11. What do you hope your blog will achieve in the long run? Please elaborate.

I've often been asked if I know exactly what I should do to a room when I first look at it.  I've even been to consultations where people ask me to design their kitchen right there on the spot.  I hope through my blog that my future clients and others can see all the thought and care and detail that is involved in interior design.  I hope they can see that it is work, not something that happens instantly or appears as an immediate vision.  It takes time and careful consideration to knit together a space that is suited for someone else. I hope they can see the diverse nature of this business and how a designer can bring much value to a project.  The more I share, the more prepared my future clients and anyone attempting a design project should be.  At least, that's the goal!

I'm tagging these great bloggers.

Here are my 11 questions....I borrowed some from Jessie.. Hers were so good!

1. What prompted you to start writing a blog and how long have you been blogging?

2. Do you have another blog or are you on other social media sites?  If so, which ones?

3. Which site boosts your blog stats the most?  Can you give an example?

4. Is blogging still your primary social media focus or is another site becoming a stronger draw for you?

5. What are your plans and goals with this blog and other social media pursuits?

6.  What opportunities have resulted for you from writing your blog?

7.  What did you do with all your time before you started blogging?

8.  What is your favorite decorating trend?

9.  What is your decorating pet peeve?

10.  Who is your favorite decorator and why?

11. What would a day spent doing your favorite things entail?

If I tagged you and you've already been tagged and I missed your lovely post, I'm sorry!  If I tagged you and this is just too tedious to worries!  See you all around the blogs!

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Loving it Large - Patterns

Large patterns pack a big punch.  I'm loving how these make such a dynamic impact and completely update the piece of furniture.

Jeffrey Bilhuber - House Beautiful

peacockfeatherevents blog

Miles Redd - Elle Decor

house of turquoise blog

Kravet chairs with Kravet fabric done for a project

See more gorgeous chairs with bold patterns on my Pinterest board HERE.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Before and After Kitchen

A before and after kitchen/breakfast room remodel of mine from a few  + years ago.  The 1990 dated finishes had to go.  Glossy small tile, dated wallcovering and window treatments, tired cabinetry, mauve solid surface counters and splash were out.  The homeowner wanted a more sophisticated, neutral palette with a traditional look. 



I felt the big space needed some contrast.  The homeowner had selected the dark granite when she came to me so I chose a paint color in a similar value for some contrast in the cabinetry.  All cabinetry was existing, we added some traditional details like legs and paneling to the island and brackets and seed glass panels to some of the upper cabinets.



I love the delicatus granite on the island.  Doing a contrasting granite here took some convincing!


Look at that awkward backsplash.  We spent some money relocating outlets and switches as best we could (with remodels sometimes that's all you can do) and I did a low backsplash that would blend with the counters.  The switches that still showed were done in a Lutron color to match the wall color to minimize the visual clutter.



A corner fireplace that you really never noticed when you walked around the corner into the kitchen.


We went floor to ceiling tumbled travertine and furred out a bit to make that corner fireplace a star.

wet bar before


Before - looking through to the breakfast room and view from the kitchen

After Breakfast Room

What a beautiful view they have.  We highlighted it by framing the windows in a contrasting color to blend with the black window frames.  All her furniture was reused and reupholstered.  We even just ended up painting her bar stools and reusing them.

Done some 5 years ago, I think it's stood the test of time.  These clients were such a delight to work with.  I went back a few years later and redid their master bedroom and bath.  Repeat clients are the holy grail of an interior design business.  You don't have to prove yourself again! 

All After photos by Cliff Roe

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Working On Your Portfolio

Okay, I guess I'm a little slow getting to the Ipad party. Everyone I know has one, including my hubby who falls asleep with it on his chest. :) I'm here now and having so much fun with this great tool.

One of my big goals with it was to get my portfolio loaded on it in an easy to use format so that I didn't have to carry around this BEAST anymore. Do any of you out there have one (or more) of these?

If you've been in the business for the years I have, you've collected a "few" images of your work. Having a quick and easy way to pluck certain projects to show a future client is key in getting a job. Of course, having a website or pin boards you can pull from out in cyber space is great too, but with a customized digital portfolio you can really add lots of information about a job and then pull up exactly what you want instantly. You can organize it to tell a story about a project, your style, the way you work, whatever you choose. When having a one on one meeting with a prospective client, this is a great way to sell yourself. Even in the middle of a presentation if you want to refer to a past project, you can use this tool to access information instantly.
My sweet intern, Kristen Finch (she is awesome!), googled some reviews of the best apps out there for portfolios. She came up with this one.

It's very similar to just organizing your photos in files, but it's slicker and more impressive. I've found it very easy to use, which is saying a lot for me! We've just about loaded everything on there now and I love having it all at my fingertips. I highly recommend it!

You just scroll through your jobs or categories on the left.  I put a photo of my studio on the main page.

I scanned a bunch of my sketches to include and plan to put some of our CAD drawings on there as well. I would like to have a category that describes the step by step process of how we work. 

You can hide certain projects or do slide shows...even to music. I thought this would be great if you are in a showhouse to put on display in your room! I have a presentation for a spec house coming up this week and I've built an idea book there, something I don't really want out there publicly yet. After I review some of my past projects with the builder, I will go to that ideabook to show him the style I see for his project. I know you can build ideabooks on lots of sites and share them anywhere in cyberspace, but if you don't want it out there yet or if you are meeting someone one on one and need immediate access to your images organized in a presentation format.....this works beautifully!

Another great app Kristen found is this fast image loader. It works so well and is soooo fast.
We're playing around with Photo Measures right now as recommended by another designer friend and are loving it too.

There's such great technology out there to help us do our jobs. We've just got to keep up with all of it!
Do you have any favorite apps that help you with your business/life?

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Open Shelving in Kitchens and Some Press

I just had my comments published in the Houston Chronicle this weekend in an article about open shelving in kitchens.  Thank you, Melanie Warner, for the opportunity!  See the article HERE.

I love open shelving in a kitchen and found some more great images to share.

Patrick Printy - Elle Decor

Shannon Bowers - House Beautiful

Jeffrey Bilhuber - House Beautiful

Country Living

Jonathan Adler - House Beautiful

Things That Inspire blog

Michael Boyd - Mix and Chic blog

Country Living

Open shelving works with any style and can add personality to a kitchen with personal items displayed.  Open shelves make the room feel larger and more spacious without all those cabinet boxes on the wall encroaching on the space.

The down side....dust and maintenance. :/

Combining open shelving with closed cabinetry though, can keep some of the clutter and not so pretty dishes tucked away while being able to have some openness and opportunity to display.  I love a combo.  How about you?

See some more great kitchens on my Pinterest board HERE.

Melanie also has a blog called Design Houston.  Local readers can see what's happening in design in our area.  Thanks again, Melanie, for featuring my comments.

Friday, February 17, 2012

How Long Are Your Curtains?

Do you like them to sweep just above the floor?

Jamie Herzlinger via apartmenttherapy blog

Jonathan Adler  - House Beautiful

Amanda Nesbit - House Beautiful

John Peixiniho - House Beautiful via pinterest

A long puddle of fabric at the end?

roomseventeenstyle blog


alexandracampbellinteriors blog

Or just 1-2" extra for a break in the panel?

Barry Dixon - House Beautiful

Like a man's trouser at his shoe. 

To help give the panel some fullness and make it stand out a bit. 

intrigue and inspire blog

Suzanne Kasler - House Beautiful

Mimi Masri - Traditional Home

Jeffrey Bilhuber - House Beautiful

Kay Douglass - House Beautiful

Kay Douglass - Veranda

I'm preferring the break these days on projects.
I think it gives body and fullness and makes it seem as if the draperies have movement. 

What do you prefer?

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