Thursday, August 25, 2011

Choosing the right chandelier!

I have been on the hunt for the perfect chandelier for my client. She recently purchased an elegant round pedestal table in a warm brown finish paired with black chairs with cream upholstered seats. The dining area is an open floor plan leading into the living room outfitted with a gorgeous black grand piano. While I wanted something sparkly to add a bit of wow to the dining area, I also wanted to see if I could incorporate one more hit of black to tie it all together....But first they have to have the right specs:

When choosing a chandelier, here are three key measurements:
Width of chandelier: should be 1/2 the width of the table. A 60" round table needs a 30" wide chandelier.
Height of the chandelier: The appropriate height would be determined by the ceiling height. You should use the ratio of about 2 1/2 to 3" for each foot of ceiling height. 8' ceiling would accommodate a chandelier with 20"-24" height.
How high to hang: This addresses my biggest pet peeve- chandeliers hung too high!! The bottom of the chandelier should be about 30" above the dining table. At this height, the chandelier is still visible as part of the table decor but high enough to allow for conversation and practical living.
Now if I could just find the right specs and the right style for my client's home..Loving any of these?
Shades of Light

Love this one from Shades of Light but it is a bit too small for this table!
Lamps Plus
This is a better size and I love the black crystals but my client will curse my name every time she has to clean it! I think I would be kissing referral business goodbye with this one!
1st Dibs
Also loving this art deco antique from 1st dibs! Well, looks like I have a lot of shopping ahead of me and while I love shopping online, I think I have to hit the pavement for this one.....
Any great lighting sources that you could recommend? I am up for some fresh shopping!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Bed, Breakfast and Beyond....

Happy Tuesday, all! (Or is it Wednesday already?) I am feeling very refreshed and ready to tackle the next 14 days before school starts! Don't be confused by all these exclamation points...my husband and I just returned from an amazing weekend away from life and the kids and we had a blast! (Don't get me wrong, we love our kids, of course, but it is still so much fun to get away as a couple every once in a while!!)

After a little necessary outlet shopping we headed off to our first destination:

Stop #1: The Inn at Stony Creek...a beautiful bed and breakfast in the charming town of Warwick, NY. This charming bed and breakfast is a restored colonial from 1840 and was rescued from a builder's bulldozer by the amazing innkeepers, Bill Signor and Joe Campone who purchased the property and loved it up! (I have such a soft spot for those who save old buildings....they are like little lost pups who need rescuing!!) 

Check out their great blog here...recipes included! The Inn at Stony Creek was absolutely breathtaking and the service and hospitality was amazing. The architecture is stunning and the home is filled with great period pieces: federal sofas, wing chairs, even presidential portraits throughout! Here is a shot of the living room (sorry for the dark photo...much more charming in person!)

And the food was amazing! I am still dreaming about the stuffed french toast we had for breakfast....and then we were off to....

Stop #2: The Warwick Antique Barn, Inc. I felt my heart pound as we walked in...so much to look at..... and I can't bring one more piece of furniture into my home!! Uggghhh! Although if I could it would be this:
But since I don't have the white farmhouse kitchen with black accents that I would like to put this piece in, I settled on this little watercolor painting which was calling me from the corner of the barn.
MidSummer at Mount Vernon
 Sorry for the reflection but I just loved this quaint painting and at $20 I had to have it! Now I need to find a spot for it.....All together the weekend was amazing- loved the food, the accommodations and of course, the company! Have you ever shopped an antique barn before? Any great treasures?

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Love Letters: Monograms in Design

So I have a small confession to make....I am addicted to pillows. I am constantly buying pillows that I love for either my home, my dream home (which I don't own, haven't found and can't afford) or a future client's home. To me, pillows are like little lost puppies, just wanting to come home with me. Hence, the collection in my garage and my storage unit! In fact, I might have a pillow sale soon just so I can let some of these puppies go to some new homes and happy, deserving owners!
Ballard Design's Basic White Twill Pillow

Anyway, my latest pillow indulgence lead me to Ballard Designs to get a super cool monogrammed pillow. One, single, bold-letter monogrammed on a white twill pillow will really pop in my den and distract from the couches that I am itching to replace (when we move to the dream home, perhaps!) They are on sale, too! (The pillows, not the couches...) Here are the ones I now own!

I was completely inspired to get initial pillows after falling head-over-heels for the block initial pillow of Jonathan Adler's.....

In fact, I used a block initial pillow from a great Etsy artisan in the nursery I just completed.

There is such a momentous sentimentality in marking a birth or a marriage with a cool monogrammed pillow of the new last name or new baby name. Do you have any typography in your homes, or your couches?


Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Need a new camera! Need advice!

Ok, so I have been very lazy in the blogging world. Just can't seem to get myself to focus on the keyboard long enough to type something! Plus, I left my camera on the patio table and was surprised to find that not only did my camera spend the night outside, but that we had torrential downpours that night. Oh well, T-minus one camera. Needless to say, I am blaming the rain on my lack of posts the last two weeks.

Also, because I just didn't want to have to fess up to the fact that I failed to complete many (or any!) of the projects that were on my long to do list that I so regretfully shared here. Or, I can blame Pottery Barn for keeping the lamp I ordered past the backorder date- totally robbing me of any motivation to move past the lamp on my to-do-list. (Good news, they called and it just shipped out last night!!)
Pottery Barn long awaited lamp


Now, top of the list is to purchase a new point and shoot camera. I have always had a long string of Canon Elphs but I am feeling inclined to try something new...any advice on the Kodak EasyShare? It seems to have lots of MegaPixels and a great zoom....I realize that I never use the features on the more expensive cameras I seem to buy (and break!)
Easy Share $99


I have also been in the process of drawing up contracts for my next staging project- it is a home that is currently occupied but we are renting some furniture anyway. The budget is super tight so I have to get very creative to make this place shine! Even need to replace the curtain panels (which I rarely have to do in staging for some reason). So, hopefully my next posts will include new pics on my new camera, followed by a long list of completed projects, followed by a successful staging project...oh, to dream!

Friday, August 12, 2011

A Steal on Curtain Hardware

I can never resist a bargain....and window hardware can certainly eat up the budget so it is nice to save a few extra coins whenever possible!

I have used these streamlined curtain rods and finials from West Elm in many projects. I love their sleek style and contemporary vibe....and their price isn't too terrible.... 60"-108" is $49...
West Elm Metal Rod, Cylinder Finial
 But then I found these new rods at Curtainworks....their 66"-120" rod is only $34.99! Hey...every penny counts!
CurtainWorks Barrel Adjustable Rod
And as for quality, while I haven't purchased these myself, I have used Curtainworks curtain rods in multiple projects...and they look fab!


And by the way, I am in no way paid to endorse their products.. I truly think they are a great affordable option...however, if Curtainworks would like to send me some free stuff....I wouldn't complain!!

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Fave Fabric Pattern: Suzani!

While on my shopping hunt for multiple client projects, I have quickly fallen for the Suzani pattern that I am seeing everywhere!
Fab Suzani Fabric
While Suzani is my new love, it is far from new! This decorative tribal textile from Central Asia (countries like Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan...no Borat jokes, please!) is far from new. In fact, the oldest surviving Suzani's around are from the early 18th and 19th centuries.
Gorgeous Print from ZGallerie!

Gorgeous Print #2 from ZGallerie

So what makes a print a Suzani? Some common elements of the Suzani pattern are sun and moon disks, scrolling vines, tulips, carnations, irises, fruits and sometimes fish and birds. What makes my heart go pitter-patter are the vivid colors coupled with the swirly vines which just seems to breathe life into a room. Check out this guest room in Kathryn M. Ireland's home with an antique Suzani pillow. (You might know her from a little show called Million Dollar Decorators!)


Kathryn M. Ireland  Guest Room
 Here is one of the Suzani patterns from Kathryn M. Ireland's glorious fabric line. Those colors are soooo insane!
Amazing Series of Suzani from Kathryn M. Ireland...Love!

Just in case that is out of your budget....here is some affordable Suzani for the home....
World Plus Suzani Curtains


Have you found any Suzani that you love? Do you already have some Suzani in your home? I am trying to wiggle some in my house somewhere!!

Disclaimer: I am not being compensated by any person or company mentioned in this blog....these are all my own thoughts and finds....although if they would like to compensate me...I love being compensated in products! ha, ha!

BTW- I was totally over the moon to find out that I actually won the Mustard Ceiling giveaway for the Olive Leaf stencil that I told you about the other day! Now I just have to decide where to stencil and which stencil to pick....hmmm...I might need your help- that'll be tomorrow's post!

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Great Art options....plus great giveaway!

I have been on the hunt for some great prints for a client....on a budget....(isn't everyone these days?)
I picked up some great framed art at HomeGoods...always a steal! I don't know if you have noticed it lately but I definitely think that HomeGoods have been upping their game lately...I bought two prints framed in a drift-wood looking frame, another two framed with linen mat board and yet another two with a pattern-fabric mat. Impressive, right?

However, just in case these don't work in the room, I have a back-up plan: I have rounded-up some amazing prints on Etsy that I can take to my local framing store and have them frame....hopefully within budget!!

Here are some of my faves:
Etsy artisan

Etsy Artisan
Etsy Artisan

Etsy Artisan

Also, if you want some art directly on your walls....here is an amazing giveaway at the Mustard Ceiling for the most sophisticated stencils I have ever seen! The giveaway ends Sunday, August 7th so don't hesitate!!
The Mustard Ceiling: Olive Leaf Stencil Giveaway:


Monday, August 1, 2011

Amazing Shelter Online Mag: House of Fifty

This is must-read online shelter mag!
I especially love the article on stenciling...I have been itching to stencil something soon!
Be sure to subscribe...this is only the second fabulous issue- you don't want to miss any more!
Come back and tell me your favorite article!


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Come visit for some Smarty Decor!

Today I am guest blogging over at SmartyPantsMama- this blog is an amazing resource for moms-in-the-know....keeping me informed about products, recipes, ideas, etc that will make every mom a smarty-pants! Check it out here!
Link to photo

You can also check out SmartyPantsMama on Facebook here .
Or on Twitter here.
Ok, that is enough homework....now get to reading!