Archive for January, 2018

Before and After: My New Master Suite

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I have been saying for years that a master bedroom should be a serene retreat. That likely came after I designed our first bedroom after my husband and I married, in bright red. And I wondered why we could never relax. Rookie mistake for sure! But my new Master Suite is relaxing in every way.

But that wasn’t always the case.  These drab tan walls and beige carpet were neither inspiring nor relaxing when we purchased the home. I needed a plan to transform my master bedroom into a spot for unwinding from our hectic work schedules and chilling with an extra cup of coffee on the weekends. And what was my color of choice for this plan? Pale Blue, of course. It was already the color palette I’d selected for my nearby kitchen, so the bedroom design took off from there.

The pale blue provided the perfect back-drop for the fabulous custom-colored chinoiserie wallpaper from Fromental. And the best part is that this is one of their digital patterns so it’s not only a custom color, it’s a less expensive version of the hand-painted papers. From there, I knew I wanted to use classic black-and-white to give the space a bit of a modern feeling, and I love how my Lucy bed from CR Laine with a black welt and logo embroidery was the perfect place to start. Throw in a few pops of my favorite color, Kelly Green, with my cherished geometric patterned wing chairs and a new hot green velvet on the Paris bench from my CR Laine collection and this space was really coming to life.

But I didn’t stop there, I wanted to bring that same green accent into my bathroom with a lot of timeless black and white finishes. Here’s a peek into that space. Doesn’t it transition beautifully from the bedroom?

I painted the double doors that lead to my bathroom in the same stunning green with fabulous crystal knobs that feel like jewelry. These doors offer a beautiful burst of color and perfectly frame the view into my new bathroom, which is a great thing when a bathroom is beautiful and spa-like. But getting to that result was a process too…

My bathroom before was dark and dreary with a huge party tub surrounded by giant mirrors- just what you want to wake up to every morning, right? Wrong!

Bad finishes like tile and cultured marble, very low cabinets, bad lighting, and the tiny shower made this space extremely dysfunctional.

Still one of the worst design elements (if you can call it that) were these swinging saloon-style doors on the way to the toilet (yee haw!). Calling this room dated was an understatement for sure.

But not anymore! No more scary mirrors surrounding this tub. Everything is black and white and effortlessly chic. My favorite Greek key motif makes an appearance on the floors as a border and down the drapery surrounding my new Kohler VibrAcoustic tub (it plays music, y’all!). Hudson Valley Lighting helped me take this space from dark to bright and beautiful. And there’s even a touch of green on my round ottoman and in the commissioned art by Ashley Saer.

One big problem in the before of this space (besides those bad cultured marble columns, ha! ) was the lack of natural lighting. There was no window in this room at all which made the dark colors feel even darker. This space felt like a dungeon and did little to help start our days on a happy note. Plus look how cramped that shower was with the teeny tiny glass door. You could touch the shower ceiling while standing flat-footed because the ceiling was so low, and if you raised your elbows to wash your hair, it was easy to hit the walls on either side. It was far from luxurious or roomy.

I added this fabulous round window that now fills my bathroom with natural light every day, and it made all the difference in our attitudes and morning routine. And look how much bigger the shower is. We’ve got head room, arm room and a gorgeous sleek design with  beveled white subway tile from Daltile and a frameless glass door. Plus the fancy Kohler pluming with digital controls makes the shower experience feel like a dream. And with a shower head on each side so you stay warm on all sides even in the winter.

I can’t wait to walk you through the other design changes in my new home in my Before and After Series. So check back soon to see what other changes I’ve made!

 

 

 

 

 

Before and After: My New Home Design Studio

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Working from home has been one of my biggest joys over the last 18 months. It was then that I left my 6000 square foot design studio for the comforts of our house. Since opening my business almost 19 years ago, I operated outside of my home with a design studio, and for years a retail store and art gallery. I couldn’t have imagined doing business any other way.

And I certainly couldn’t have imagined doing business in this space. Wow! Are you feeling inspired? Yeah, me either. We didn’t know when we started the renovation of our home, but the sunroom was going to turn into my new home studio! The rust-colored paint that reminded me a whole lot of the Texas Longhorns (an old Arkansas Razorback rival) and the aged brick floors weren’t exactly what I wanted to come to home (or work) to everyday.

And that 1970’s pass-through from the kitchen that made me imagine about what it would have been like to pass a 1970’s TV dinner into the sunroom to my family watching Three’s company or The Brady Bunch, didn’t make me automatically envision creating gorgeous client projects out of this space. But I knew this room had potential.

One thing this room definitely had going for it was tons of windows and lots of natural light. And the view of the pool and the golf course was a plus, even though the pool at that time, left a lot to be desired.

So after several years of stuffing down my desire to be at home more with my family, to not have to drive to the office after returning home from long trips away for work, and a longing to be at home for my daughter in the afternoons or when she was out of school , I finally decided why not work from home? After all, I was my own boss, so I was the only one telling me that it wasn’t an option. And this room suddenly became the perfect spot for our studio to relocate.

At that moment, I could imagine how a studio in this room could look and work. I love it when the picture in my head, comes to life in the “after” of spaces I design, including my own home. I just knew this room could feel like a glamorous hang-out that did triple duty as a family space, a work space and a pool-side party room. And now it handles all those activities and more, like a dream.

Amazing what fresh white paint, charming curtains and a few pops of bold color can do for a space, isn’t it? What once was Longhorns rust, is now crisp and clean with lots of bright white and blue. I think it even feels a little like Palm Beach, which is a perfect vibe for our 1960’s home.

I started by painting everything, even the brick floors, in America’s Cup by C2 paints.  The cobalt and white design is fresh, which is exactly what I wanted for my home office. We have a comfy seating area for client meetings with my Taylor sectional from the Tobi Fairley for CR Laine collection, and a pair of open arm chairs. On weekends these pieces become a lounging spot for my hubs or my teen and her friends.

I wanted to blend the blue from the rest of my home’s interior, with pink that transitioned to the outdoor space and also spoke to the pink in my dining room. I love how it feels a bit preppy! And those orange lamps are something I’ve had for about 8 years and couldn’t part with, so I made custom shades with one of my Tobi Fairley for Duralee fabrics and I am crazy about the result. The sitting area is also anchored with one of my rugs from my Tobi Fairley for New River Artisans collection. How better to sell my own licensed products than showcasing them in this space where I meet with clients?

Storage and organization are the most important factor when bringing your work into your home and this space had zero storage before the renovation. Now across from the sectional is this custom built-in that holds everything we need to function day-to-day!

We can give presentations on the TV, pull fabrics from the storage drawers below, and there are two work stations for my design team. We can close the recessed cabinet doors whenever the day is done and this room converts back to a family space for nights and weekends!

This long wall was a nightmare with openings, and doors and many other things interrupting the space.

Now it’s cohesive and extremely functional.  Those fun white lacquer and gold etagere’s from World’s Away on either side of the doorway are super practical, but chic. The baskets from Ikea hold all of the samples for our client projects, each with a little label to keep us organized. And the shelving frames the way into a vestibule to the Powder Bath, that services both my clients and my guests. I couldn’t resist using that little powder room nook to highlight another original piece of art, and I love how the art light makes the perfect little glow for getting in and out of the powder room at night.

And speaking of the powder room…the jungle-themed wallpaper and dark bronze “mushroom” sink pedestal were definitely not design details I wanted my clients or my guests to see. I didn’t even want to see them.

So I packed this Powder Bath full of personality with handsome David Hicks hexagon wallpaper, a custom cabinet painted in a great blue by C2 paint, and plenty of Kohler fixtures. The bright blue and white mixed with a hint of marble on the countertops from Dekton and hexagon floors from Daltile feed right into the studio color scheme and work seamlessly with the rest of my house.

And though we borrowed the leopard chair from my study for a fun little photo shoot (for my soon-to-launch new website), I didn’t want you to miss seeing the fabulous oval window I installed in the kitchen where the pass-through used to be. It’s one of my favorite architectural details in my home, and fits right into my gallery wall full of my original art collection. This fun array of color and composition is inspiration my team and I enjoy seeing while we work.

I couldn’t be happier with the outcome of my new Design Studio and being able to share it with my clients makes it that much better! Let me know what you think of the transformation in the comments below.

 

 

My 2018 Word of the Year

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Happy 2018! It is here. A fresh start. This is the beginning of anything you want.

And I know what I want. I have been choosing a word of the year for the past 6 years, this year is #7. It’s one of my favorite New Year’s traditions and it’s instrumental in guiding my choices and path for the 12 months ahead. Over the years I have chosen the words Discipline, Inspire, Action, Significance, Focus and Joy. Each time I chose the perfect word and that’s not by accident, I go through a very thorough process to make sure I get the word just right.

This year, I am in a far different place than I have ever been. I’ve accomplished a lot of my goals in the last 19 years of owning my business and 15 years of marriage. Life is good. But staying in my comfort zone isn’t how I roll. So it’s time for some major shifts. Time to shake things up. Time to dial down on what I want. Change is super exciting to me, but also scary, which helps me know something big is happening in my life.

Maybe it’s my age. I will soon turn 46, on the downhill side of my 40’s. There is something about your 40’s and being at mid-life and having a teenager and all the other things that come with this season of life, that make you look at your world differently. I have a totally different list of what’s important to me than I did in my 20’s and 30’s.

In this season of life, my desire is no longer to make my mark, but rather to make a difference.

I am in a place of balance, a place of peace, a mindset of wellness, with a strong connection to home.  I am ready to serve and nurture and love. I am in a place of dedication to using my gifts and talents and knowledge. I am committed to making my biggest and best contribution to the world yet.

I want to focus on my company and it’s growth internally. I have spent a lot of time working to put my company on the map with social media and public speaking and getting published. Now I want to see where my business can serve people in the biggest way. Who can we help? What can we improve? How can we use our gifts, and talents and knowledge to help others live their best life? Where can we be more streamlined, more profitable, more effective? How can we simplify?

I want to focus on my family and our growth. What can we do to be our best? Who can we help more, serve more, love more? How can we focus more on what’s really important? What life lessons do we need to master this year? How much money can we save? How can we be better to each other, better to our friends, better listeners, better Christians?

I want to focus on myself and my personal growth. What areas still need improvement? What part of my life have I been ignoring? Where have I been holding myself back with fear, or lack of focus, or busy-ness?

And what word will help me stay committed to this streamlined and introspective and focused approach to 2018?  I considered connect, invest, essential, abundance, flourish, peace, balance, cultivate, contentment, mindful, aligned, renew, priority, purpose, shine, worth, value, heart and bloom. I strongly considered grace. And I knew that none of these words exactly captured what I wanted to feel this year.

Yes I am more intentional, more balanced, more simplified and more connected to my priorities than ever before. But I am not looking for a take it easy year. In fact I am looking for the opposite. I am as driven as ever to accomplish my goals this year, but my goals are just different than they’ve ever been. I needed a word that was active and aggressive and committed to the things that are most important to me which is family, health, wealth and joy. And for that reason, I chose…

My life will be different in 2018. I have spent the last 24 months downsizing my big 6000 square foot office to a home-based office, cutting my business expenses by 2/3, and increasing my profit margins by 200%. I have taken my marriage from so-so to on fire. I have gone from feeling like I had very little time for friends, to feeling so connected to more true friends than ever. I have gone from a workaholic who traveled constantly for work, to a mom and wife who is present and connected and my cup is overflowing because of it. The best thing that happened in 2017 is I overheard one of my daughter’s friends say their step-dad was a workaholic and my daughter (not knowing I was listening) said, “Oh my mom used to be one of those”. Be still my heart.

But these changes didn’t mean my business went away, it’s just more dialed in, it’s more intentional, it’s more profitable and it’s more fulfilling than ever before. I didn’t get rid of the important business stuff, I just got rid of everything else. I got rid of the distractions and the mediocre. In 2017, I looked at every potential opportunity under a microscope and the opportunity costs of each one. If it took me away from my family, there was one strike against it. If it made me a ton of money and was inspiring, I would still consider it. If the money or inspiration was marginal but it required travel, it was a no.

And you know what happened…I found that the things that make me THE most money and make THE biggest contributions to the world  can all be done from my home office between the hours of 8 and 3!! And this realization was life changing.

So now armed with my new knowledge for how to create balance, how to be a warrior protecting my schedule like my life depends on it (because it does) and a brand new way of prioritizing so that the things that really matter are where I spend my time, I am ready to THRIVE in 2018.

I will THRIVE :

as a Mom

as a Wife

as a Coach

as a Designer

as a Friend

in Health and Wellness

I am tired of just surviving. I am over barely keeping my head above water. I am done with saying yes to a whole bunch of things that may stroke my ego, but don’t really matter. You know what strokes my ego these days? Feeling rested, energized, connected, loved and helping others feel the same. It strokes my ego to THRIVE!

I believe 2018 will be a good year. In fact, I believe it will be GREAT.

In 2018 my family and I will THRIVE. What will you do?

Bring it, 2018. Let’s do this!