Archive for August, 2011

Bringing out the Animal in Your Garden.

I am a lifetime lover of the leopard. Seriously. Lifetime. Zebra patterns interest me, but I go gagaaga for those spots. And if I had a yard (like the one I used to have and really cared for. I mean really cared for. The grass loved me.}, I would certainly be stylish on the outside as much as I am indoors with this leopard print covered garden hose. This printed slipcover slides over any 25′ or 50′ garden hose and makes it a delight to water those seedings. Or hose down the dirty dog. The neighbors WILL get jealous. You animal you.

hose clothes garden leopard couture


Back to sChOOL.

It’s raining here in DC {pssst, I hear there’s a hurricane approaching. Ha!}. And I’m surfing the web for two 12″ x 18″ pillow inserts. I’ve just found two from Crate and Barrel and while stashing some goods into my cart, peeled into this web page of six colored mechanical pencils. This six-pack is made of natural wood and comes in orange, red, purple, black, blue and green with matching erasers. Not sure if I’ve seen ones that look this cool – or were so lucky to have these when I was in grade school – so I had to post them. A nice happy sight to see compared to the fast-moving cloudy grey skies outside. Welcome back to school kids.

Colored mechanical pencils cool design school

Cornice Here, Cornice There.

I put my DIY hands to the test a few weeks ago when the two uneven windows in my bedroom started to REALLY bother me (and they already REALLY bothered me). I had ordered a few yards of fabric to recover inset panels in my headboard. I found I had an extra yard left over and rather quickly scribbled out a plan to make custom cornices to “even up” the side by side bedroom windows. Cornices deliver a sophisticated look that gives height, depth, and elegance to a room. In this case, I wanted to add a texture and height to give the illusion of even windows and enhance the already high ceilings. And I wanted to do it on the cheap.

These are the windows before the new cornices. The linen shades were left over from another designers project and were given to me last year for free. They just so happened to fit (although just a wee tad too skinny)!

In wanting to unify the space and in keeping with my slate silver, cream, and pale gold color scheme, I stuck with the same Robert Allen fabric that was used on the headboard. My cost for the yard? $50.

My honey picked up some 1″ x 12″ wood shelving material, L- brackets, and some staples for my handy staple gun. With tool box in tow, he took them out to our mini patio and cut them down to my specific plans. The cost at Home Depot was less then $30!

cutting down wood for use in a cornice

plans for bedroom window corniceI headed to the craft store and picked up 1/4″ batting to give the cornice a slightly upholstered look. I did not require more then a 45″ x 60″ peice. The store had a sale going on and to my surprise, I only paid $2.05! Score!batting for cornice windows

So I got started. I ironed the fabric and laid it out on my granite countertop backside up. On top of the fabric piece I laid a pace of batting trimmed to size of the fabric. Without much fabric leftover, I had to improvise and fold up as much as I could onto the back of the cornice on top of the battling and staple away.

fabric and wood cornice stapling

It’s best to have a finished interior of the cornice in case you can look up under it or see it from outside when blinds are wide open. But in my case, the roman shades remain drawn at most 1/3 of the window height so one would never see the back of the cornice. After stapling so many times, I realized that an electric staple gun is going on my Christmas wish list.

finished backside of window cornice

Once I inspected the first front panel, I went on to finish the sides and the other window’s cornice. As you can see below, I had to make three separate pieces for the cornice instead of wrapping the fabric around the corner and onto the side rails. The reason? The direction of the pattern was horizontal and there was not enough to cleanly wrap on both sides. So, I made do with the options I had and powered through.

Once the fronts and side were attached, it was time for hanging. To cause less disruption to the walls, my honey simply attached additional L-brackets to the inside tops of each side rail and fastened those to the top side of the window frame. This way, if there is a change of heart with the window treatments, they can be unattached from the wall without any unsightly holes or damage.

Once they both were hung, away went the tools and extras and in came a more complete and layered bedroom all for under $100! Now that I can sleep well to. Sweet dreams!

Georgetown Cupcakes Banana Split.

I’m not a cupcake junkie. Unfortunately. I’m apparently missing out on some uber popular sweet treat. But living a few minute cab ride from the famous Georgetown Cupcake bakery, I must trek over there to get one of these Banana Split babies. I’d like to say I go weak in the knees for banana flavored anything, colorful sprinkles, and a cherry.

georgetown Cupcake banana split Washington dc

PS. I think they’re making something for Miss Kardashian’s wedding!

Barry Dixon Does DC.

This just in! Literally. The new issue of House Beautiful just showed up in my mailbox and I like what I see. Once again, my friend and top notch designer, Barry Dixon, brings modern elegance to a Washington, DC based row house for a young family of four. Barry put a few mens fears of feminine to rest with a rich palette of pink tones, golden layers, and earthy chocolates beautifully arranged in the colorful pages of the magazine. See you yourself boys. And girls.

Barry Dixon settee round mirror pattern foyer

Barry Dixon living room with pink or roman and nailhead custom area rug

Barry Dixon living room bench table peach rug

Mustard suede paint and drapery Barry Dixon living room

Barry Dixon latte chairs dining room

Barry Dixon gray bedroom

Barry Dixon waterworks sink gray

Silver bathtub barry dixon

Bo Jangle Bangle.

I’m starting to get into the idea of Autumn. Already filled a few online shopping carts with cooler weather apparel and accessories at various online boutiques … but haven’t pulled the trigger. Must execute! Anyone who knows me well surely is aware that I would splurge on a handbag or bracelet over a new dress. So, here is what’s calling my credit card at this very moment (oh, and that green bag!). I’ll take that one and that one. Oh, that last one too.

Jemma Wynne bangles at London Jewelers

Jemma Wynne bangles at London Jewelers

Beach Babies.

I recently got to spend a wonderful weekend with my honey, my twin sister, brother-in-law and their babies in Ocean City to celebrate my brother-in-laws birthday! Happy Birthday Steven {Psst, I still have that present to give you!}. I left my fancy camera at home, but managed to get a few from sis.

This is my token travel shot of feet in the sand (or wherever our feet take us). Greg shaved out that heart {because he’s cool like that} and called me from my sunny beach chair to see his surprise. Bad angle of veiny legs… but liking the look of that golden tan (and fushia pedi). Not to mention that impressive perfectly shaped heart Greg!

feet in ocean city sand heart by greg

Julia’s current infatuation is with spiderman, pirates, and the color blue. I love this expression of a her pirate face {and her water mocktail at the bar – no kids were actually allowed to sit there}. She complained the sword was too droopy. Sorry, only free mass-produced blunt ended foam swords for the chitlins. At least it’s a blue one JuJu. Ayrrr.

The “let’s pretend we are from the early 1900’s” pose from the three boys. Okay, let’s smile for the next one {which incidentally came out a huge blur. Great.}. You only get two chances to snap a photo with this male crew. I blew it. But if it were the early 1900’s, this one would be a winner. =) Flash!

“Ok, here I am. Aren’t I cute? Okay, take it. Take it. I’m trying to pretend I enjoy this. Can’t you tell? Can I go now?”

My man and my niece. Of course, this one is a blurry mess too. But it’s of two of my favorite people… handsome Greg and a smiling 3-year old past her bedtime. So it stays. =)

Green with Envy.

I have to say that emerald green gets me every time. It’s not may favorite color – because I truly find it hard to have just one favorite. I like the entire color wheel of colors in various contexts. I like mixing and matching. And sometimes I stick to the tried and true neutrals. But this shade of green takes my breath away every time. It works with all seasons of wardrobes – burgundies and camels in the Fall, grays and blacks in the Winter, pastel yellow in Spring and vibrant oranges and inky blues in Summer. Oh, and it’s a mandatory accessory come March 17th. =) Just yesterday, I was shopping for a client at the Design Center and picked up a sample of a bold green wallpaper. It’s gorgeous. And so is this handbag from Coach.

Coach Kristen Elevated Leather Round Satchel in Sage

Coach Kristen Elevated Leather Round Satchel in Sage $698

Not All Scotch is an Acquired Taste.

Okay, most of us are getting on the au natural bandwagon, painting our homes with low-VOC paints, making sure children’s toys and gear is toxin-free, and even cutting out additives in our food. So what not our beauty products!? I’m curious about the non-toxic nail polish from Scotch Naturals. Literally, no chemicals included. An eco-friendly alternative to conventional polish, Scotch’s water-based formula, so they claim, delivers long-lasting, salon-quality results in a stunning array of sophisticated shades. I know that if I’m painting my own nails, there is no long-lasting anywhere on these fingers and toes. Now, the salon finish is another story (ahem, why did my nicely filed nails chip after day three last round?). And with names like To Hell with Swords and Garter, Leprechaun Lynch, Hot Toddy, and Lochness Mystery… and classic packaging, we can surely toast to forward-thinking lacquers.

Scotch Nail Polish

Scotch Nail Polish

Scotch Nail Polish


Just a Thought.

"A person should design the way he makes a living, around how he wishes to make a life" — Charlie Byrd

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