Archive for the 'Outside' Category

Weber Ain’t Got Nothin’ On This.

Move over Weber. At least for Christmas. Eva Solo’s Glove BBQ Grill is one sexy beast and sure to dress up any porch, patio or perch for fashionable grilling. The integrated stainless-steel lid on this handsome, globe-shaped kettle grill can slide open and closed to protect grilling grub from the elements. The black bottom half is made of aluminum. At $595, it may be a bit more then you would like to spend on a steak searing machine… but some of you gift givers might like it hot.


globe_grill_1 globe_grill_cover globe_grill_open

I am Fast Becoming a Pinning Machine.

This weekend, I have a lot of catching up to do on my social media side of life… networking and blogging of course. I’m fast becoming a pinning addict at Pinterest. It’s so darn easy to save a picture and link from any webpage. Much easier to organize then my piles of tear-sheets and tear-outs throughout my home and office. I also find it a great tool for my clients to pull together their own preferred tastes and style to help my design firm navigate specific projects with greater direction. It’s a Win Pin Win situation! For those of you “pinterested” in what’s on my Boards, check out my Pins!

megan blake megan shannon pinterest

Get out and Vote! Polls close in 4 hours!

vote election 2012 ballot

Autumn Splendor.

autumn splendor trees color leaves fall

Beneath a yellow fading tree,
As red suns light thee, Autumn-morn,
In wildest rapture let me see
The sweets that most thy charms adorn.

A Hedge Like No Other.

Swoon. This dotted hedge and immaculate garden belongs to the Villa Centinale in Tuscany. Reminds me of classic nailhead design treatment on the most elegant of upholstered furniture. Swoon again.

Villa Cetinale in Tuscany

Villa Cetinale in Tuscany, Photo: Vanity Fair


Summer Sky.

Happy Friday ya’ll! Enjoy a beautiful weekend!

Washington DC sky and clouds

The Girls and Boys Head East for the Fourth.

Festive St. Michael's homes.

Festive St. Michael’s homes.

Over the week of the Fourth of July, I had the pleasure of vacationing at the Eastern Shore on the Chesapeake Bay. It’s my first time renting a bay waterfront home and probably not my last. The Bay and Beach both have their upsides, but something about the quietness bay and your own private beach and dock makes it a much more inviting place to kick back and relax.

Alpha framed by a setting sun on our dock in Oxford, Maryland.

Alpha framed by a setting sun on our dock in Oxford, Maryland.

Hubby, Alpha and I went up early and took some quality time catching crabs, exploring the adjoining rivers and creeks by boat, and kicking back. Twin sis and her family of four followed suit for the last three days.

Adorable hubby and his shiny new crab "catcher"

Adorable hubby and his shiny new crab “catcher”

Neighbors sunlit along the beautiful Bay.

Neighbors sunlit along the beautiful Bay.

Boating, basking in the sun, watching sunsets on the edge of our private dock, eating lots of good food, catching up on some reading, picking my favorite beach rocks with Julie (who wanted all of the clear ones) and enjoying a “surprise-filled” 4th was our itinerary.

Front row seats for the firework display over the Bay.

Front row seats for the firework display over the Bay.

George and Julia happy as a clams at the "Bay House" {as Julia has cutely coined it}

George and Julia happy as a clams on the dock of the “Bay House” {as Julia has cutely coined it}

Hubby and Alpha going for a swim... old girl needed a life vest to keep her head up.

Hubby and Alpha going for a swim… old girl needed a life vest to keep her head up.

And it was perfect.

Hubby, me, and Alpha in one of the only shots we managed to gather for during the week. Ahhh... still love this trio.

Hubby, me, and Alpha in one of the only shots we managed to gather for during the week. Ahhh… still love this trio.

Definitely a trip never to be forgotten in this household.

Sunsets, stars and Stripes on the festive dock where we watched Oxford fireworks.

Sunsets, stars and Stripes on the festive dock where we watched Oxford fireworks.


Hot Summer Days Require Hot Looking Hoses.

OMG. For all of you divas and fashionistas out there who actually have a lawn or potted plats to water (or a Banana Slide to get started), cast your sweltering eyes on these sexy concept watering hoses from Garden Glory.

Garden Glory hoses glamour outdoor

Taking inspiration from the iconic bags of Hermés, Chanel and Mulberry, these high quality hoses come in eye-catching colors and glamorous carrying handles made of brass chains. With names such as “Candy Crush” and “Bordeaux baby”, you could have the most sophisticated green thumb on the block.

Garden Glory hoses glamour outdoor

PS. Gotta love their tag line… Garden Glory. For glamorous People with Dirty Nails. =)


House Beautiful and the Green Chair Hunt. It’s on.

Kate in her Kravet Parisian Side Chair  - Green Chair event by House Beautiful

Kate in her Kravet Parisian Side Chair - Green Chair event by House Beautiful

It’s day two – and the last day – of the House Beautiful Green Chair Scavenger Hunt. I had the pleasure of finding out yesterday morning via Twitter that there was going to be a green chair sitting in the sidewalk just under a mile from my home office. This was at 10:17. Chair drop was supposed to happen in 3 minutes! What did I do? Yes, I ran. I ran like the wind. I ran like a herd of cattle being chased by a hyheana (wait, does that happen?). And full speed at that. It sure showed afterwards. Imagine dizzy spells and panic attacks while driving down I-66. It’s been a while since I went for a run. Ugh, I was ridiculous. But back to the Green Chair story.

I did not get the chair. Kate did. I was damn close however. She was perched dead front of The Phillips Museum where the Tweet hinted we should be on the lookout. As I arrived, several 20 and 30-somewthings were waiting around, uncommunicative, as if there was gong to be some special secret drop off for each of us but we pretend to not know what that might be as if to elude the others. All of a sudden, Kate runs, I see the chair and if I still had enough wind in my lungs by that time (I was almost wheezing), I may have been able to sit on that green throne. But, alas Kate made out to the finish line and was bombarded with House Beautiful peeps hurling up video and still cameras to get the right angles for the magazine. There she sat, large smile and beating heart, on a Kravet Parisian side chair upholstered in a celadon fabric. I’m a bit envious at this point. But it’s okay. It’s was the thrill of the hunt for me. I did walk away with a neat canvas bag from a Benjamin Moore rep who appeared out of thin air. In the bag were some top notch paint brushes and the Aura line fan deck. I already have two but hey, three is a great number.

I walked home with a skip, not a sulk. And am excited for all of the other chair winners throughout Washington DC. If only I was 19 and ready to chase down a chair all day with some friends. And fight to the finish to get the throne. Without breaking a sweat. Or shortness of breath. Furniture fans will do anything.

There is still time to win a chair  – even if you’re not in the DC area. Go to House Beautiful to learn about the online version of a scavenger hunt! 

DC Design Coop Talks with HGTV’s Todd Davis.

Earlier this week, I had the pleasure of talking with Todd Davis, of HGTV’s Room Crashers and previous contestant on Design Star. This is the kind of guy that exudes charm and whimsy with California coolness. He’s vibrant and confident, much of what viewers had the opportunity of enjoying while watching his creative 3-day challenges for unsuspecting homeowners. Todd’s surprised hand-picked couples are sure to never forget his interactive interior designs and absolute love of his craft. With a degree in Landscape Architecture and owner of landscape architecture design build firm Epic Spaces out of San Francisco, Todd is passionate about interiors as much as he is about the outdoors.

Todd Davis Epic Spaces

Once a paid stuntman, Todd weaves his design profession with outdoor adventures {during our phone chat, he was driving north on route to do a little kite-surfing}. During his stint on Design Star, many viewers will recall his Surf Room design and his shirtless rushes to the finish. I got a first hand glimpse into how he got to where he is today.

design star todd davis

I asked Todd how his degree in landscape architecture brought him to designing interior spaces. After graduation, he traveled the world spending much time in the winter climates of Argentina and Panama, sometime Chamonix in France, finding any cliff to jump from and any packed powder to compete on. A few commercials and high-flying stunts later, he was back in California purchasing his first home, a large loft with 16 foot ceilings and all white walls. While remodeling it to his liking, including 4 x 8 foot size hand paintings interjected throughout, Todd knew that designing interiors gave him the same gratification and satisfaction as designing outdoor living spaces. When I asked about his outdoor influence on the interiors we see on his TV shows, he told me that the 3-day events are “monumental efforts that change people lives in a very short time”. On that last day, he finds so much pleasure in the appreciation the homeowners have for what he was able to active creatively and functionally.

I wanted to know if he would recommend homeowners spending money in the current economy, upgrading a bath or creating an outdoor living space. Todd suggested making a “change to rooms with $30 can of paint to make a difference”. He suggested “blurring the indoors and outdoors with the inclusion of wide openings consisting of accordion doors {for instance} between the interior and exterior”, so that you could get the best of both worlds. Nothing surprises him when it come to use of materials in projects. From chicken wire, to felt, to any handmade contraction, Todd will as he states “embrace the chaos” and do with what he has to make a vision happen. In one of his clients homes, he brought movement to the indoors with “streams” coming down from a framed image on the wall, flowing imaginatively though rock boulders and past two raised beds. In his endeavors, he focuses on creating interactive spaces while finding “the soul of the room” and making it shine and inviting for the person who lives in it.

Todd Davis Epic Spaes rock boulder interior

Todd’s adventures continue with his book called 25 Projects for Kids: Handy Dad in the Great Outdoors. A father of two young boys, he is constantly inspired though them as well as by his own childhood. Readers and fans can learn how to make fake blood for a pretend bear attack or crafting their very own Viking Ship. Things are bright for this California kid at heart. When asked where he wanted to be in 10 years, he told me “doing the exact same thing as I am doing today”.

Handy Dad

Get inspired by his enthusiasm, great hand-on talent and warm personality at the 2012 Washington Home and Garden Show  located at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center – March 9th through the 11th. Todd will be on hand Saturday and Sunday alongside Ty Pennington, who he told me he was “so excited to meet”. I have to say I am thrilled to meet Todd in person – his excitement and happiness is contagious. And with this warmer DC weather in the skies and flower buds on the trees, I’m ready for a little blurring the lines with indoors and outdoor ideas at the Washington Home & Garden Show.

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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