Laundry, Laundry

I have to do laundry.

And I'm dreading it this week. 

If only it didn't take so long... or require my attention. 

OR if I could do laundry in a well-designed, fully functional room designated for cleaning clothes only. Ahhh, one day.

If you don't have a designated room for laundry you have to be creative about how to disguise those 2 big loud machines. 

Fabric is an easy choice- (probably the least expensive too)-

Or you could have doors built to hide them:

Or if you're going to show them off, make them a design feature:

Or make them go away...

Nice details/ideas I've seen...

Love the idea of somewhere to put baskets!! 90% of the time they are just left on countertops or sitting on floor. This way they are out of sight!

And a few other laundry rooms I just like:

(via martha stewart)

(via Urban Grace) 

This one is the size of my kitchen. 

(via southern living)

In this laundry room I like how they are using concrete planters and basins to hold detergents, etc.

(via two ellie)

(via southern living)

This laundry room was treated like an actual room- with a unique light fixture, wallpaper, chicken wire mesh cabinetry, etc. Love it.

Life is good.

But a nice laundry room would make it just a little bit better.

I'm just sayin'... 

(all images via pinterest)

My Office... In Progress

Office board copy
Seems like just yesterday I was posting about moving offices. Well, I'm on the move again because I've officially outgrown my previous space! Sooner than expected. In a matter of months I was spilling out into the hallway- gasping for air. It's TINY.

If you were a fly on the {tiny} wall you'd probably overhear a conversation between Amy and I that goes alot like this: 

What happened to that grass shade sample? -me

You're sitting on it.-Amy


Could you hand me that CFA form that's right by your hand? No, to the left of the stack. The second stack, under the stapler.


Where's the phone? Are you sitting on it?

No... I'm still sitting on the grass shade sample. It sounds like it's coming out of the sheer fabric bin.- Oops.

 Anyway, you get the idea. I know I'll look back on my first office and laugh- and wonder how in the world I survived it. But after much searching I found the perfect spot for my little nestegg. As luck would have it- it needs some major help. 

Photo 4

Photo 2

The top 5 reasons I love it:

1. The location! Is perfect.

2. It's empty and needs help.

3. Tons of space.

4. The view... overlooks a creek and a floral shop.

5. Has an exposed brick wall! YEssss!

Here's my plan for the front space:

Photo 2
Messy, but looking better...

Progress office

And what is most important??! LIGHTING!

How can I pick out fabrics and paint colors in fluorescent lighting? Atleast that's what I used as a "doctor's note" for my landlord.

I had the acoustical ceiling tiles ripped out- and Voila!! 13' ceilings! I don't mind the industrial look but I am going to have the ceiling painted dark brown/black so that all the ductwork, etc. disappears.

Photo 2

 I wanted better lighting in this room since it'll be the main studio/conference space so I picked out these pendants from Lowes for overall lighting (they'll sit up fairly high in the ceiling). These bad boys are only $35 from Lowes- can't beat that. 

Lowes pendants

I might paint them a color.... remember the pendants I saw in the bookstore in the Hamptons?? 

Blue pendants
Yup- like those.

Then over the big work tables I'm planning on dropping down some sort of pendant shades- something like these from Restoration Hardware... 

Restoration pendant

because I want to be like Suzanne Kasler.... 

Suzanne studio

in her faaaabulous studio.

The Color Scheme

Bhg decorating baskets  

(from BHG Decorating book)

 Keeping in mind that there are a lot of colorful elements in my field of work (HELLO fabric samples) I want clean, crisp, white walls. And dark -almost black- trim and doors. Mixed with wall-to-wall seagrass and other natural textures I think this will provide the perfect backdrop for all my STUFF. Like this room by Kay Douglass-

Kay douglass color scheme

I noticed that most of the working environments I was drawn to always had that crisp white incorporated in them.

Screen shot 2010-11-28 at 10.37.58 PM

Russell + Hazel studio via Traditional Home


Windsor Smith's studio via House Beautiful

Screen shot 2010-11-29 at 8.47.55 PM 

Serena & Lily's studio via Traditional Home

Suzanne studio4_thumb[4]

Suzanne Kasler's studio via AHG

Abranowicz_office martha sl

Abranowicz office via Martha Stewart

So I'm planning on hitting up Ikea for some basic white shelving. I also think this contrast will look against the exposed brick wall.

Lack wallshelf unitLack bookshelf

I also like some organization with a little color in it...

Screen shot 2010-11-29 at 8.47.40 PM

Tara Guerard's studio space via Traditional Home

Screen shot 2010-11-29 at 8.48.45 PM

<via Canadian H&H>

Lastly, I plan on having multiple inspiration boards...

InspirationViaa perfect grey Img_barbara-barry_4 traditional home 

(1) via A perfect gray (2) Barbara Barry via Traditional Home

This one is my favorite...

(via Elle Decor)

To be continued.... moved, and setting up shop in 2 weeks.! Yay!!! (and God help me!:)


Oh, and if you are ever looking for office space in the Nashville area call Char Ford. She's the best!! ( (at)


She works hard for the money...

I recently subscribed to Atlanta Homes & Lifestyles... simply because I'm addicted to magazines and am stocking piling inspiration for fear that these hard copies will cease to exist. Y2K all over again. I'm slowly making my way cross country with these subscriptions. (I signed up for Birmingham H&G too but haven't gotten one yet? Any other states I might need?)

Anyway, I'm loving AH&L. I got the May issue in the mail and flipped open to... My new dream office. 

I'm dead serious. This is it. 

And I should have known it would be none other than Suzanne Kasler's...

Kasler office 1 

I"ll tell you why it sings to me...

  • Lots of work surfaces.. I NEEEED that desperately. 
  • It's Cozy.... Feels like the upstairs loft of a home.


Screen shot 2010-05-03 at 6.50.06 PM

  • It's effortlessly stylish. 

Picture 3 

  • It's realistic! And it looks like cool people work here.

Picture 7 Picture 6 

  • Wall to wall seagrass. Check!

  • Here's the thing I have learned over the years about the office(s) of an interior designer. (Mainly-mine!) They are ticking time bombs. Like clockwork- every 24 hours a 'creative bomb' -or two- goes off and there is a minor explosion of fabric samples, papers, materials, purchase orders, name it. You can clean it up? But more than likely you don't have time as you frantically run out the door (10 minutes late-always) with fabric shrapnel attached to every corner of your stylish black outfit while you sling around your bag of bricks. Literally people- sometimes it IS bricks!) And you can't have anyone else clean up after you because your stack/vision is placed strategically in a way that only YOU (and people who speak freaky-deaky-Dutch) could figure out.  And By the time you get back you definitely don't feel like tidying up so you gently place your 'stack' aside shielding it from tomorrow's bomb. Hencestacks all over the place! 

So when I saw this picture I thought- YES! Put those messy little stacks in baskets!

Picture 5

  • Organized clutter. (My favorite)
  • It's open but still has private nooks. 
  • It includes a chic lobby for stylish clients (like my friend Holly from Things that Inspire. Holly, if you're reading- do you meet with Suzanne here or at home? Just curious... It's win/win either way I'm sure!)

Picture 4 

  • A synchronized crew.? Yes, I'll take two.

  Picture 9 

After going through this article with my mouth hanging open gasping at the turn of every page, I can officially say:

a. I'm SO jealous it hurts 

b. I'm equally inspired.!! 

c. So my new goal: work hard for the money so I can get an office like this that'll treat me right. !!

(Go ahead and listen to it) it'll be in your head all day regardless. SORRY

In the mean time I will just go to the next best thing: The office Kasler styled for Ballard Designs...

Suzanne kassler for ballard_thumb[2]
Very pretty!

But I like the real deal. Bigger space, less stacks, more time, 

Tick, tick, tick, tick...


PS- If you are a designer, work for one, or deal with fabrics daily- would you please mind sharing your organizing system? I've tried organizing them by color, by style, and it still just doesn't feel right. IT could just be me! but I would love to hear your tips. Thanks. :)

All images via AH&L magazine. Photographed by Erica George Dines.

 Go get a subscription! 

Dressing Rooms

This weekend I am planning on organizing my closet.


It's in writing so I am now fully committed to it- which is a good thing because mine is a DISASTER right now. Tidy closets are not my strong suit.
I have one fabulous client who cleans them out for a living as a wardrobe stylist(Tina- this is a cry for help:) And another client who insists on having an entire 100 sq. ft room to call her 'dressing room'- preferably one suspended in the trees with windows and sky lights.(We're working on that!)

 As for me, I have a 20 square foot room that I share with this guY: IMG_4772 

Can't complain.... 

but I can daydream!!

Closet elle decor may 092_thumb[1] 

 I really like this layout. (via elle decor)

Closet domino_thumb[1] 

I love the idea of having an island in my fantasy dressing room. And a flokati rug... why not?

(via domino)

Windsor smith HB 

TTN: Windsor Smith's stylish dressing room featured in House Beautiful this past year. Her effortless style carries throughout her home and into her closet- even her clothes complement each other!
James radin hb 

James Radin (the set designer behind Something's Gotta Give!) is an interior designer by trade. This is his client's dressing room/dream come true.

Robert Couturier 

If this was MY closet I would:

a. be motivated to keep my shoes organized 

b. need new shoes. (10 yr old new balances wouldn't look fantastic up there- just sayin)

c. store my mismatched socks in the little drawers on the chaise.

.. am I ruining it for yall?

Moving on.

Southern accents dan carithers 

TTN: the beautiful hardwood floors and detailed, mirrored doors

(Dan Carithers via Southern Accents)

Nicky_hilton, paloma in style 

Life must be hard for Nicky Hilton. I love her shoes that match her dress that match hercoat hangers. Very niiiice. (via La dolce Vita, seen in In Style)

Cottage living 
Simplified and chic. (via cottage living)

TTI rabaut design associates 

A closet after my own heart... centered around a light fixture!! Love it.
(Rabaut Design Associates via Things that Inspire)

Elle decor 

(via elle decor)

Can you imagine having a closet this spacious and glamorous? 

I would take FOREVER to get ready in the mornings. 


I'm ruining it again.

Have a great weekend!


martha, martha, martha...

I hope everyone had a good Valentines Day!! 

This "holiday" always reminds me of.... 


Martha Stewart.

(Bet you didn't think I'd say that one!)

Maybe it's because I'm always reminded of all the things I'm NOT doing for the one I love. When I grab a Hallmark card and sign my name at the bottom I should be doing things like... making customized tea bags or fortune cookies.

Martha tea bags  Martha fortune cookies

I have to constantly remind myself that Martha has an endless staff of helpers. I repeat: She. Has. Help.

With that in mind, I'd like to introduce you to her SET kitchen...  (originally spotted on remodelista -thanks to Angie for sending!)

Martha set

I guess if my 'pretend kitchen' looked half as good as this I'd be happily making custom fortune cookies too.

Martha set kitchen1

TTN: *the vintage rolling pins

*the brackets (below the upper cabinets) are such a nice detail that help make the cabinetry feel more custom

* the paint color for this cabinetry... love it. So subtle and different. If all of your bathrooms have the standard 'trim color' cabinetry consider repainting one of your bathroom vanities a soothing color like this one. According to this blog post- the paint color is, in fact, one of Martha's colors. Mourning Dove Gray (MS 151) 

*The simple, tiny knobs. I think this is a great addition!! Seriously, I'm thinking about switching out all my knobs to these:

Round cabinet knob
Baldwin Round Cabinet Knob, can be found here for $6.  

Martha set kitchen2

TTN: Notice how Marthagroups similar items together when accessorizing her kitchen. 

TTN: That marble butler sink paired with the two bridge faucets... love.

And the VIEW!! (kidding)
Set kitchen  

For a complete list of resources click here.

Martha's fabulous set kitchen is modeled after her real kitchen in Bedford, New York. I'm sure you've seen it many times before but for kicks, here is the original...

Martha kitchen 4 

Marthas kitchen2
Marthas kitchen 5 

Marthas kitchen 6
Martha's kitchen

To get this look combine all shades of white, cream and tan dishware together...  And please invite a small army over for dinner. 

Picture 3
 Crate and Barrel's classic pottery

Putty pottery
Pottery Barn's pottery in Putty

And ofcourse...

Martha's dinnerware at Macys. Can't go wrong there!
Picture 4 


Ivory pier one 

Pier One Ivory Dinnerware

*** Sidenote: I have been a bad blogger. For all of you who are everyday readers, I am sorry I have been MIA. I've been busy with work, traveling a lot, fighting off the southern snow storms (okay- just one), and haven't had much computer time this past month. I plan to be more consistent with my posts. Promise!

Now, if only I could locate my endless staff of helpers...


 all martha's images from martha stewart website

A Bookcase Facelift

Over Christmas I was able to relax at my parent's house in Birmingham. Sitting in their peaceful library with a dog at my feet and a cup of coffee is one of my favorite things to do. So while I was there my mom bribed me into I got the *delightful opportunity to rearrange her library bookcases!!

A lot of people struggle to find books, pictures, etc. to fill their bookcases with. My parents have quite the opposite problem: They have TOO many books in their bookcases.. and other random clutter. As my mom likes to say "Toooo  MUCH'A  STUFF!" 

When I remembered to take the 'before' picture we had already taken out a bookshelf on the lower right hand corner so just picture more books there. For the record- and to give my mom some credit- the BEFORE picture is not bad!!  (In fact, the AFTER picture is not a dramatic difference. Just small changes that lighten up the mood.)


Bookcase before



 Before: It was just a little too crowded and dark. (The crowding making the darkness worse... as does the fact that it was night time- my bad.)

After: a fresher, brighter look that makes the room feel more alive without sacrificing the home's specific personality (a face lift indeed :)

some tips...

* Shed some light on your books! If you are having trouble with lighting and don't want to pay to add recessed cans or sconces consider putting a small lamp for additional light. In this case I added one of my mom's favorite little lamps to temporarily fix the darkness. 

*A while back I posted some bookcase tips my grandmother taught me. (Click HERE to check out even more tips than the ones below.) In this post I said it's important to mix books, artwork and accessories. In my opinion it would be to mix 70% books, 15% framed artwork or photographs, 15% accessories (I prefer pottery)

* Take that 15% and find some of your favorite pottery and/or sentimental pieces. But narrow it down!

   .....before.......   ....after......

Bookcase before_2 Closeupaf
 *Stack books in both directions.

*Layer photographs or pictures. Don't just stack them in front of books. Try placing them behind a horizontal stack of books.

*Pull all of your books to the front! This is one of the first things I notice when I go into a room with bookcases. So if you are planning on having me over don't be offended if you catch me sticking my arm behind your books and pulling them forward. :) No judgement here, just a nervous tick.

*Most bookcases are installed where the adjustable shelves form a perfect grid. And most people just leave it like that. But just because 10 shelves were made doesn't mean you have to use all 10.  I recommend taking out a shelf in spots, moving them around, or shifting them a bit so that it's not so gridlike. (see pic below)
*On the other side of my parent's library there is a TV and clunky components. If you style it right all those things begin to disappear...

* I don't always recommend hanging pictures on the front of bookcases but in this particular library I thought it be a good addition. What do you think? Keep it or leave it?

*Add organic materials- like wheat or soy beans... just kidding. Are you still reading?  But seriously- organic as in plants, flowers, twigs, bowl of fruit, etc.

 *Try using accessories as book ends. 


*Or if you have a lot of small collectibles group them close together instead of spreading them out across the bookcases. Like in this picture, on the bottom left shelf you will find 3 small picture frames sitting on a stack of books. (click to enlarge) **shoot, I just realized one of the frames must have fallen down. oops**

Don't ignore your bookcases. In most rooms they have SO much potential to make a space look GREAT!

* Have fun with it. Put what you love in your bookcases... and if I'm ever in your library feed me strong coffee and bribe me with Christmas presents.

 Facelift complete.

p.s. thank you so much for your votes and sweet comments yesterday! Meant the world to me. Y'all are the best cyber friends I've ever had!!! xoxo




Nesting Bowls....right up my alley. 

Aren't a nesting bowl type person? You might want to reconsider.

For the earthy, organic type:
spotted via MetHome- for the unique story about them click here.

For the cheery and kid-friendly type:

Conran bowls
or multicolor bowls from William Sonoma
Ws bowls

For the practical, no-nonsense type:

For the eclectic, trendy type:
spotted via elements of style

For the functional, utilitarian type:
Stainless (Nesting) Mixing Bowls
For the simple, classic type:

For the funky, hipster type (Last but Least $)
Rachel ray bowls
Take your pick.

Organization Station

I am the type of person who likes to get things "set up" immediately. Whenever I moved from dorm room to sorority house to summer apt. to rental home I was the roomate who had her entire room set up within one day. Wherever I am, I nest. 

So naturally, I am not going to like any transitional period of my life. For example: my current office. Currently I am working out of my home. I don't know how long that will last, or when we are going to move, or if I'll find a space, etc.  So everything is up in the air and I can't seem to get organized... Basically, my nest is a wreck.
 I have to take deep breaths, pray for patience and realize that I can't take care of it all in one day. Or even in one month. 
With that being said I found one thing that has helped me feel super organized during this very un-organized time in my life.. and I just HAD to share it with you:
Check out my desktop organizer!!
- one side is a magnet board: for to do lists, reminders, sweet notes from your hubby
- one side is for all of your pens: lots and lots of pretty pens (if you're a freak like me and that kind of thing makes you happy)
- the other sides have picture frames (to remind you that there is life outside of work) with drawers underneath. Drawers that are {once again} compartmentalized- for paperclips, thumb tacks, M&Ms, whatever.
And the best part: it spins! A revolving desktop organizer!... the things that thrill me these days.

Oh wait- no, THIS is the best part: It is $19.99! From none other than Target. Go get one.