Posts Tagged ‘Traditional Home’

Before and After: Outdoor Oasis

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I’ve had an amazing response to my new pool and patio that’s featured in the June issue of Traditional Home! And since we’re starting a fabulous long holiday weekend today, I thought I’d show you the before shots of my home’s outdoor area and tell you a little about how I transformed it!

The existing pool and patio had an aggregate concrete surface and crumbling tile surround. It was way beyond time for a renovation, and I couldn’t wait to get rid of this old and battered concrete.

With the help of outdoor living expert David Munsey III of Better Lawns & Gardens, we resurfaced the patio with black-and-white Techo-Bloc Tux Pavers and the pool with black-and-white frost-proof tile from Daltile. The look speaks to my personal style and to the age of the house, which was built in 1968.

Here’s a shot I took of from the sunroom just as they were about to pull up all that concrete. I was so happy to see that old surface go!

As you can see in the before photo above, the sunroom of my house overlooks the outdoor area, so visual flow between indoors and out was especially important. I wanted to take colors and motifs from my interiors to the patio to make the decor look seamless and integrated.

For the outdoor decor, I wanted to have that 1960s glam vibe, like Palm Beach or the Beverly Hills Hotel. To enhance the cabana feel, I added a valance and draperies to the roof overhang.

And you know me, I have to have color! So I added energetic splashes of pink and green, as well as preppy stripes for extra kick. I furnished the patio with pieces from a line of Chinese Chippendale furniture that I designed for Woodbridge Furniture. And the Duralee fabric on the cushions feels like comfy terry cloth, which is great for a pool area!

To make gatherings even more memorable, there’s an outdoor music system, a pink flamingo float (named Frankie, after Frank Sinatra), and a giant chess set. I found chess pieces online that fit perfectly on the checkerboard tile. How fun is that? And I think Brooks Pools did an amazing job on our pool renovation.

Here’s the fabulous landscape designer David Munsey III enjoying my new patio with me – we may never go indoors!

So what do you think about this new outdoor space? Don’t you love being outside in the summer months? Let me know in the comments section below!

xo,

 

 

 

 

 

Before and After: Dreamy Living Room

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I used bright and bold colors in so many rooms of my fun farmhouse project that I knew I wanted the more formal living room to be a little soft and dreamy. So I toned down the palette with gray, lavender, and of course the aqua that is used throughout the house. The velvets and patterns still pay homage to the farm theme, but it’s a bit more sophisticated with those amazing French doors and the coffered ceiling. And don’t you just love that chandelier made from vintage milk bottles? That’s a nostalgic touch for this family that I knew they would appreciate.

Since this was a new construction project, we were able to add those architectural elements right from the beginning, and they really make that more formal statement in the room.

Here’s another up-close view of that fab ceiling!

The art helped set the tone for the room, with a more subtle and quiet look than some of the other rooms in the home. I used traditional furnishings, too, with updated forms like the sleek cocktail table to keep it from being too formal.

But the surprise in this room is where I hid the television. You can see the inset panel in the wall above where the TV was going to be housed.

In the “after” photo above, the television is hidden behind panels of art that are hinged to swing open! That keeps the TV out of sight until the family is ready to watch it. And aren’t those chairs fun? I love a good wing chair and I spruced these up with new fabric and a kicky lavender color.

What do you think about this serene living room? And what about that hidden TV? Let me know in the comments section below!

xo,

 

 

 

 

Before and After: Cooking Up a Farmhouse Look

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My farmhouse project that was featured in April’s issue of Traditional Home sits on 1,000 acres of gorgeous land. And my clients come from a long line of farmers, too. So they wanted a look that fit the farm setting and would hold up to their kids, but would also be chic and colorful.

This was a completely new build from the ground up, so we were able to add all the function this big family needed, including lots of seating and hardworking materials.

I also wanted to create continuity with the rest of the house, particularly with the aqua color that can be found from the front door all the way through the rest of the home. And I included farmhouse touches that were fun and unique, like the little cow over the stove.

If you look past the workman here, you’ll see that lovely aqua shade in the dining room that I pulled through into the kitchen.

I used red and navy as complementary colors in the kitchen and breakfast nook, which tied in nicely to the adjoining family room you can see above.

And with such a big family, I wanted to be sure there was enough seating for everyone in the kitchen. You can see the beginnings of the bar in the cabinetry above, where I added some great stools once the kitchen was complete.

In the breakfast area, a collection of transferware and a braided rug add country touches, while the chinoiserie chairs and gorgeous chandelier keep the style quotient high.

What do you think of this country-chic kitchen? How do you honor your heritage or family in your home’s decor? Let me know in the comments section below!

xo,

 

 

 

 

 

4 Ideas for Metropolitan Style

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Modern design enthusiasts may think they will only find “big city” style in places like New York, Los Angeles, or Chicago. But you can get the chic and sleek look you crave, no matter where you live.

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Right here in Little Rock, Ark., I harnessed that city style for my Riverside Penthouse project, and I’m going to show you exactly how you can use these ideas to give your space a modern look and feel.

That entryway is metro marvelous! Here’s another look at a few tips that will give you a lot of big city style:

  1. Think glam: A velvet and vinyl banquette will definitely add that sophisticated city look to your home. It’s perfect for entertaining or having a few friends over for cocktails.
  2. A gorgeous marbelized wall covering in every shade of blue from cobalt to ink will make your space feel penthouse perfect. And it offers ready-made art, as well!
  3. Black-and-white striped marble floors would make a jailhouse rock – and the high-gloss makes them super-chic.
  4. Blue suede doors would make Elvis proud – add some glass doorknobs and they are definitely fit for a King.

A great city view is a bonus, but even if you live in the suburbs, these tips will help you feel like you’re living large in the big city.

Stay colorful!

xo,

 

 

 

 

 

Are You Listening?

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Have you ever gone to a party and found yourself drawn to person you’ve never met before, who seemed to be completely interested in you and everything you had to say? It’s like finding a new best friend, someone you seem to click with right away. That person usually only did one simple thing that made you feel special – they listened to you.

Listening seems to be a dying art. In today’s world of social media, oversharing, and selfies, we may be turning into people who want to showcase ourselves, but never really invest the time in learning about others. That can hurt us in our personal lives and in our professional careers. And if you’re want to turn things around in your business, this is one of the simplest things you can do that I promise will pay off. LISTEN.

As an extrovert myself, that’s something I definitely had to work on in my own life and career. Early in my design business, I had so many ideas and thoughts that I wanted to share them immediately with my clients, without actually giving them the space and time to tell me what they wanted and needed. I once even had a client say, “Are you listening to me?” before I actually slowed down and thought about how this was impacting me and my business. Now with 17 years of experience, I’ve learned to ask a lot of questions and to really and truly listen to what the other person is saying. It’s made a huge difference in my design work, and in my business as a whole. Who am I kidding – it’s helped my personal life, too!

It’s critical to focus on what another person is telling us. It does more than just make them feel important – you can learn so much about the other person and what they need. But you are also giving them a great customer service experience that will improve your bottom line. After all, according to Jonah Berger in his book Contagious, when people talk about themselves and are given the opportunity to share opinions, it activates their brains like a reward does, like when they are given food or money. And all of those chemicals that make them feel good are giving them a really good feeling about YOU.

Remember though, you can’t sit there thinking about what you’re going to say next while you’re supposedly listening to that other person. You have to really hear them, take in everything they are actually saying, as well as their body language and non-verbal cues. You want to lean in, to ask questions at the appropriate time, and to give them the spotlight that they want and deserve. Imagine what a different world we might have today if we spent more time focusing on someone else rather than taking yet another selfie.

Instead of being selfish with your time and attention, learn to give it away freely and openly. It will make you a better person, a better customer service provider, and a much more effective businessperson!

What do think of this simple but radical idea? Let me know in the comments section below. I’m listening!

xo,