Thursday, May 27, 2010

Anxiously Anticipating

With so many projects partly complete...I am counting down the days back to sanity
Here is a short snippet as to why

Living Area Before

    The awkward wall that blocked the view, the natural light, and made furniture placement nearly impossible

                             Living Area During                                 

     Todays status ... looks the same as the past week

Laundry Room Before

Laundry Room During

New butcher block top
Raised existing cabinet higher
Painted existing cabinet
New Calcutta Danby honed counter

Curtain skirt waiting for iron curtain rod and to finish painting.
L shaped rod 73.75" x 3.75 to mount on face of 1.5" thick butcher counter is missing.
Hint, hint to one specific reader.
Boys Bathroom Before

 Lovely shower doors torn out by me happy happy day.

Well, you can't see it..and now its gone to the dump. But the walls were tiled in a tan tile with the ever popular burgundy border and it was done 10 years ago. This is why there are professionals

Boys Bathroom During

 A floating carrera marble vanity with shelf below and two under-mount sinks will replace the dysfunctional 29" high vanity.At my whopping 5"2" I was to tall for this vanity. Maybe the original owners were dwarfs.

The new ungrouted  handmade white subway tile goes all the way to the ceiling.

Master Bath Before

Master Bath During

Oh I can't wait until it is done..for now there is just a gaping hole in my floor.

Monday, May 24, 2010


Sitting crooked, cross legged on my chair, I can feel the soft warmth of the suede against my ankles. The chairs curves are trimmed in dull gold pea sized nail heads. Each one, swaying slightly to the left or right of its predecessor eventually forming an imperfect line that is cool to the touch. The fabric is a parchment color, a dirty creamy yellow grey with black irregular spots the size of a child’s thumbprint scattered throughout. Named ocelot the fabric though no longer available is still a favorite. The chair back follows a subtle curve and sits high so it cuddles your spine. From my perch the legs are invisible hidden by my knees jutting out over the sides.

I rescued this chair along with her twin. She was ugly and lost in a dark dimly lit antique mall. David was adamant I not buy her. But, I could see her beauty peeking out beneath the strong colors of vampire style upholstery. Each section of her body covered in a different shade of inexpensive worn dark velvet so jarring in color that you could only see the shape of that particular section never the whole. I understood her bones and proportions and she sat comfortably, sturdy both for someone of my small stature and equally for someone larger.

My desk beckoned me from inside a fabric store that was closing. The price tag was more than I could afford at that time. Newlywed, our first child turned one, a mortgage, and grocery budget I would write on the back of an envelope and then place the receipts inside. I visited that store more than once, mesmerized by the antique pieces of iron gates welded together the scars at their joints visible. Fifteen years later, a small chip marks her glass top and her home is now the office not the dining room.

A French chaise lounge graces the corner with its antique legs poking out from underneath the short slipcover. The French grey paint so in vogue again, is worn revealing blue and green paint in the layers beneath. The slipcover wears the same dirty yellow parchment background of the desk chair though here it is embroidered in a Bohemian paisley of pale aqua blue and chocolate brown threads. When I found the chaise she had five legs not the usual six. I did not notice at first and brought her home without care. Her cushion deep and thick down would poof a puff of dust when you sat on it. Ten years later, again she has five legs, as one maybe the same one, I cannot remember broke off during a photo shoot.

The Matron of the room scribbled in paint by me stands guard. Her throne a giant oversized canvas hung in front of the floor to ceiling double windows filters both privacy and light. Long slender fingers delicately splayed capture an escaped breath as she is caught in a moment of passion. A single black line much like a drawing in a coloring book marks her body. Her lips filled and detailed with the same black paint are barely parted. She is adorned with a simple dress of sharp white, it’s contrast to all the dark makes her float off the canvas in an almost ethereal way. Her mood is the tone for this room seductive, secretive and suggestive.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Open Up

It is amazing how opening up can change your perspective. The last 24 hours have been a daring adventure. My morning started with sharing what was going on in my life with 50 diverse strangers from LA to Charlotte enrolled in class with me.

Two hours later, I was witnessing a physical opening up as the walls came down in-between the living room and the kitchen at the lake. Both experiences were terrifying, inspiring and freeing all at the same time. What if I had made a mistake, there was no going back in either case. One changed the energy in my head and the other the energy in my living space.

Lightness or positive energy whatever you want to name it …whether it is inside you or someone you pass on the street... is contagious. A casual smile from a passerby can be an instant mood changer.

Natural sunlight and a sense of space are the equivalent of a smile for your home. Now, when I enter, sit down to eat, watch TV, and walk down the hall I am bathed in warm sunlight and a view of the lake.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Memory Lane

Sorry for the long pause between postings recently. I left my UBS cable at my Mom's and today I finally went out and bought one.

Come along and enjoy a trip down memory lane with me. Most of the homes in my neighborhood were built in the teens or twenties for Bethlehem Steel management. I snapped a couple shots off as I drove by. It is no wonder I am so intrigued ...ok maybe obsessed with design and architecture after spending my childhood inside and out of all these works of art.
The bricks on this home are running perpendicular to each other which gives it an incredible texture.

My best friend Peter Koopman lived in this house right across the street from Mrs. Groman (Groman's bakeries) ...the best cupcakes on trick or treat fully decorated. We always suspected Mrs. Groman only had one ear. Why? Because she wore a gigantic fresh flower on the side of her head totally covering her ear everyday.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Life is a series of RE's

RE-a prefix, occurring originally in loanwords from Latin, used with the meaning “again” or “again and again” to indicate repetition, or with the meaning “back” or “backward” to indicate withdrawal or backward motion:

The last few months have been a series of the prefix  re for me ....make that the last 20 years. I live in a world of design where we repeatedly update our surroundings and in turn ourselves. My daily vocabulary consists of:


It is just recently that I realized the whole world is re-ing with me and at a more furious exhausting pace than normal. My friends, peers and even my idols are all caught in the thrux of repeatedly changing.

Fate dropped an article in my lap that sent me running to read the book "Slow Love" by Dominique Browning.  As the editor of House and Garden magazine for 12 years she is one of my idols. Surrounded by the some of the most talented designers, writers and photographers she seemed to have it all.

An excerpt from her blog

"I have a new book out, called Slow Love. Writing it inspired me to launch a blog, called Slow Love Life. No, this isn’t about my love life, though that, too, has hit a speed bump. (Okay. A pothole.) I want to write about moving at a gentler, more loving pace in everything I do, learning to appreciate the beauty of everyday moments, the wisdom of thinking things over. I was forced to slow down when I lost my job--and the journey of grieving and recovery is what my book is about. Slow living led me to falling in love with the world, experiencing what I think of as slow love.

I invite you into the conversation I have been having with my friends about what slow love means. We want to engage with the world in a more meaningful way--especially as things seem to be speeding up all around us. That’s what the pieces in Slow Love Life will explore--along with the playful moments. "

The book and the blog are both worth a sit down relax and enjoy the moment.