Friday, December 31, 2010

Thanks and Cheers to the year Two Thousand and Eleven!

On this last day of the old year, I'm reminded of wonderful support.   Do you surround yourself with people that are positive and who believe in you and inspire you?  I sure hope so, because sometimes it just takes a few extra hands to help us stay on our feet.  I wouldn't be here, if I didn't have it.  Thanks for being my readers and thanks so much for your support and friendships!

I'd like to have a hand at rhyme now...  
Dear Two Thousand and Eleven, please be heaven.  
{That's not asking for much, is it? I could sure use a slice of it, though.  If it should be heaven, I'll gladly share a slice with all of you, too.}

Happy New Year!


Thursday, December 30, 2010

Mini-Me's, Please!

Out with the old and in with the new?  The past year has been full of many things that I plan on editing, and also cultivating.  Not just in the home, but in every facet of my life.  But, in my home right now, I crave fresh and green things at this time of year, don't you? Changes don't have to be big.  Maybe it's a  new color for the bathroom walls, a new set of drinking glasses to replace the mismatched glassware, or a new morning ritual that gives you a better kick start to your day. 

Life will always have problems that have yet to be solved, rooms that have yet to be finished, and finances to continually try to figure out, but I plan on making tiny gradual makeovers on those tired and worn out things in the New Year.  I'm going to start with my bedroom. New sheets?  Cotton...yes. And Pillows...yes!  One thing I'm a firm believer in though, is that these mini-me's do not have to break the bank.  Even some simple flower arrangements from the grocery store.

We are busy designing our own line of pillows that will be sure to bring freshness into your lives. I can't wait to show you, come January! I'm also busy planning an equestrian themed birthday party for 417 Magazine Home.

Goodbye to 2010 and Hello to New Beginnings and A Life that Cultivates Your Soul!

{images via}

Thanks for always reading.


Wednesday, December 29, 2010

What to do?

The building is supposed to be finished in a little over two weeks.  In the mean time, I'm busy figuring out what to do with everything...shuffling, and scuffling my feet on things, furniture, and becoming a more organized business girl, which shocks me every now and then, because it won't be long 'til I have a legitimate space. 

I've been picking up furniture to take to the upholsterer, cleaning up messes, and rearranging my house with all the fun, new stuff.  We did a photo shoot of my freshly painted white living room that was stylized with some of the things I'll be carrying in the store.   Hopefully I'll be able to share the pictures soon. 

The first picture above is a piece of furniture before I took hold of it. Pressed wood.  I know.  It's really ugly as is, but I promise you, it's s.i.c.k. how good it turned out after a visit with some lacquer paint.  It's a wet bar cabinet with ambient lighting and an inset mirrored back.  I'll reveal it once I get her in her sweet place.

One thing I'm trying to decide for the store, is what to do with the floor.  It's been stripped down to the concrete, and I originally wanted to leave it all natural concrete and glaze it over with a polish.  Unfortunately, the concrete is not leveled in a lot of places, so it will have to be patched with quick crete, sanded, and most likely painted.  What color though?  The walls will probably be white.  Should I also do a white floor with a black geometric pattern, possibly?  The patterning would most likely be expensive.  So, what would you do?  What color?  I'm all ears.  If you have any inspiration pictures, I'd love to see them, too!

Good day to you all!


Monday, December 27, 2010

It's a Wonderful Life

Sometimes I must be reminded of my blessings. During this pause at the end of the year I have had time to reflect, read, watch, and question what goes on in this world and what also goes on in my children's we've all encountered hardships, indifference and hatred. What has touched me more than anything this year, is this Alice: one woman's life testimony {a video clip that was introduced to me on facebook of all places, through a fellow interior designer, Irene Turner}. Alice is a shining beacon of Hope. Optimism. Love.

While I leave you with this inspiring story, that had me completely moved and choked up, I must also share a few other things that will hopefully move you and move all of us to LOVE life and all others more fully.

1. A memoir called "I Will plant You a Lilac Tree." by Laura Hillman. This book was recommended to me by my daughter and is an account of a Schindler's List survivor.

2. Did anyone watch "The Sound of Music" on t.v. last night? Even though I've seen it a thousand times, I see something new in it everytime.

3. Every year on Christmas Eve, my mom would read to all of us kids, the tale of "The Little Match Girl". Never once, did mom finish the story without tearing up or weeping a little. It's a moving danish story of a struggling homeless girl at Christmas.

4. "Life is Beautiful".

5. One of my mom's quotes: "Never criticize, condemn, or complain."

Happy Holidays and may we all find the music.

With Love,

Friday, December 24, 2010

Sweet Dreams...

Sweet Dreams.  Merry Christmas.  PEACE.  Joy.  LOVE.

sharon & Family

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Entertaining: Turn On The Music and the Bubbly!

Entertaining?  Well, here's what I have in mind for entertaining Mr. & Mrs. Claus should they happen to be guests stopping in at my house over the weekend.

1.  Chairs to have a nibble in: I think those two chairs up there would be only fitting for Santy to take a rest in.  {They are from my jellybeans project}.  Oh, and I'm setting out Eleanor's famous cookies for him too.  {Call us if you'd like to place an order for your special guests too.}

2.  A Monogrammed Package:
3.  French Music: French Musician Coeur de Pirate...she's dreamy.

4.  Berry, Berry Bubbly
4 raspberries
2 blackberries
2 teaspoons sugar syrup
splash of vanilla flavored vodka
1/3 cup of champagne

*Make a simple sugar syrup by combining equal parts sugar and water in a saucepan over medium heat until sugar has completely dissolved.


Makes one cocktail.
Muddle the raspberries and blackberries in a large glass.
Add the sugar syrup and vanilla vodka.
Turn a smaller cup upside down and fix over the large glass to form a shaker. Shake until mixed.

Pour into serving glass and top with champagne. 

images by 
image of coeur de pirate {unknown, and would really love to know who photographed this!}

Cheers and Bottoms UP!


Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Favorite Stocking Stuffer Thing: Prisma Colors

It's the countdown!  Now, even if you've crossed off everyone off your list, isn't there always a need for new, sharp prisma colors somewhere in the house?  I bought me some for my Christmas gift yesterday and treated myself to an hour of hot tea and an upcoming client project.  A sketch for a second floor family room.  Can you tell I'm loving color and my new colored pencils?   I think I'll go color some more happy into my life now.  Want to join me? 

Happy Countdown!

Monday, December 20, 2010

I'm Listening To: Holiday Music

It's a grey day, here.  This song by Ingrid Michaelson and Sara Bareilles fits my day perfectly. The only thing that make it more perfect is...SNOW.  This video is darling and just too sweet for words.  You just may want to add it to your holiday mix and curl up with your lovies, as well.  Wishing you love this season and all the way through 'til Spring.

Happy Listening.  And Happy Nesting. 


Tuesday, December 14, 2010

SugarPlums: Logo Reveal + Before & After Project

Hello Dear Ones.  In the hustle and bustle of the holidays, I hope you are taking time to really enjoy the season and treating yourselves and your loved ones with good cheer.  I'll be honest, I'll really hope I don't wake up January 1st, and feel like I've lost the time to really feel the glow and warmth of the season.  While I'm trying to keep the family traditions for my kids, my mind is so full of many decisions right now.  I am not only working my day job, but trying to get my new space off the ground, as well as oversee-ing the renovation process.  Some days are hairy, and can  be painfully slow with a toddler, but I have to say, I am seeing progress...sugarplums, are what I like to call them. 

Mostly, I call them sugarplums because they are "done" and crossed off my list.  That's one of the better feelings in life, isn't it?  I read the latest REAL SIMPLE, that said even making your bed every morning makes you happier.

To start with, is a chair make-over that's been in the works for a good long while now.  Finally getting it together, I did this project in three steps.

`1.  High Gloss Paint...I skipped priming, and boy was I sorry.  I think we did like ten coats all together over the cherry stained wood.

2.  I oxidized some mirrors.  Oxidizing is so easy!  All you need is Muriatic Acid, Gel-like Stripper, and some grey craft paint.  Lowes and Hobby Lobby purchase cost around $20 for materials. I still have plenty of these materials left for doing more oxidizing projects. Oh, and don't forget rubber gloves.   After I oxidized the mirrors outdoors, I took the chair and mirror to the glass shop and had their staffers cut the mirrors to fit just inside the oddly shaped geometric shaped side panels of the chair.  The glass company glued them in for me perfectly!

3.  I have a good friend from college who is an artist/college professor that does upholstering on the side.  She does such a great job and is inexpensive compared to most upholsterers.  Lucky me!

I went with a heavy weight cotton/linen blend and paired it with a black gimp and nickel brushed tacks. 

And, finally, my new logo reveal.  Created by my cousin Laura's husband, Brett Key.  He is a graphic designer by day and a freelancer by night.  He's been so patient with me...because I honestly, sometimes have the hardest time settling on one design.

What do you think? Would love to hear what you think!  What projects are you working on right now.  Do share.

xo and remember to feel the glow of the season!


Sunday, December 12, 2010

IM BACK! With a Sneak Peak + a Special Announcement

Image by
Hi All!  It's time I come back and have a seat, dont'cha think?/??  Well, I hope you're as happy to have me back, as I am to be back.  Sometimes life just gets in the way, but I've made it a goal to keep up with my musings on lifestyle things for the rest of the season and beyond.

So, you remember my first commercial design project I talked about a few months ago?  Here's one of the first images ever released of the completed project.  I found everything from flea markets and ebay and I had them re-designed with a soft, playful color scheme.  The shoe display case, pictured above, is a reclaimed wine rack from the old Riverside Inn...just before the old building was demolished.  I love being "green" that way.  It's not only good for our environment, but it's more unique than anything purchased new.  I put a few local craftsmen to work on some of these projects as well.  I guess you could call that Aid to the Artisans too!  I hope you'll visit the sweet, locally owned, Jellybeans.  It's a real treat.

Now, for all of you who don't know me here, locally.  I have some big news to share.  I'm opening a design showroom/studio!  Just up the street from my home.  It's going to be called...little drum roll please...

Pickwick House.  My dream come true.  Nerve racking, big yes.  That's partly why I have not posted here in a long while.
I chose the name Pickwick House for two reasons.

1.  The old store front is located on the prettiest old maple tree-lined, neighborhood Pickwick Street.
2.   I grew up on Pickwick and now live next door to the home I grew up in, so it seemed only fitting   and true to not only me, but to this neighborhood.  It will hopefully be a place for everyone, as was my childhood home...growing up in a family of nine kids.  Our house was grand central station.

Starting out in mid-January {rough guess}, I'll be open by appointment and by chance.  I am really working forward to hosting events, workshops, art-walks, and of course, my main for room makeovers/home-design/events!

Looking forward to connecting with all of you, locals, here, face to face...finally!  And, for those who live beyond!

I am so stinking excited and humbled by this new endeavor, that I never thought I'd have. Thanks to all of you, I'm here!

Love to you all.


Thursday, November 25, 2010

Grateful Things

I hope this note is finding everyone well.  We have so much to be grateful for, no? 
                                                            {image from Coco+Kelley}
My grateful things are pretty basic, with a few wild turkeys thrown in.

* Dad taught us manners. Nothing else in life really matters.
*  Mom made us all want to be like her in every which little way.  Even down to her cluttered walls, and her habitual100 high-kicks she did while she brushed her teeth.     
*  Family's Good health.
*  We have a somewhat cozy home. {The furnace is currently not working here.  Again. As I start to complain, I stop and realize just how good we really have it compared to some who are not fortunate enough to have a home.}
* I have work. 
* Exciting new challenges and opportunites ahead...

Wishing you all some warm and filling days ahead.

Love to all!


Sunday, October 31, 2010

Happy Halloween!

Could we have asked for better weather for this fine holiday weekend?!  What plans have you for this leaf-falling, soup-making, owl's nest-making day?  Festivities are in full swing at our house and on our Pickwick street, where the Rountree Owl mascot awaits his moonlight call!

Today, we are costume sewing for a toddler Indian girl, and prop stylizing for a teen-age Martha Stewart.  

Looking so forward to the classic annual neighborhood costume parade tonight, here in Rountree.  Easily, my most favorite event of the year!  {Thanks to Weller mom's, Robbin and Amy, who started this kid-friendly, neighborly tradition a few years it's grown to over 400 kid/family paraders}.  Anyone is welcome and it starts at five, just one block south of Grand on Weller.  I look forward to seeing old and young alike in their quirkiest and most outlandish moods.

I love these masked guests of Truman Capote's infamous Black and White Ball at the Plaza hotel in 1966.   What a party that would have been!

If you're in the 'hood, stop by 910 S. Pickwick and join us as we count over 500 plus trick or treaters this year!  One of the reasons I say, "Rountree = Quintessential Halloween" 

 Have a wonderful day and night!


{Photos via Habitially Chic}

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Pretty Little Things + Behind The Scenes at ST. Designs

I am finally figuring out how to enlarge photos on the blog. All by accident, of course.  My kids shutter at how much I don't know.  "Seriously, mom!"
Here are a few noteworthy inspirations below....Three to be exact, from my trip to NY.  I seriously stood and studied the seductive Ralph Lauren vignette, pictured below, for a good half an hour.  I loved everything about it... The rich, deep jeweled tones in the oil painting and how it pared so well with the vibrant red velvet upholstered headboard/side rail.  I also couldn't get over the funky, split personality chair {as my friend Meg called it}. It's two opposite fabrics give it such a fresh take on a wonderfully sculpted Old World chair design!  
I have so many little truffles in my little camera box...just like these, so I think it only appropriate to hand them to you in small doses. Because they are so rich, no?!  
Ralph Lauren's Showroom @ ABC Carpet and Home!  {INCREDS!!}
Well, what do you think?

AND...CAN I have you, you STUNNINGly beautiful original upholsteried Settee?  PLEASE, come to me!
Cutest shop I have ever seen.  Called "The Best Chocolate Cake in the World" SOHO. 
Beautiful Foyer of a house I've been consulting on. I decorated for Halloween on the credenza with the homeowner's things. The home is being renovated and is GORGEOUS!
Giving it a go on oxidizing mirrors.  I am going to attempt to make a wall of oxidized mirrors.
Vases for a dinner party.  The tablescape theme was "Mysterious".  I collaborated on with Kendra of Lonie Mae...{should have pictures soon of the end result.}
Contemplating the purchase of a quite seductive gypsy painting.  She stands seven feet tall and appears to have a gun in her holster? ..very Darrell Carter-ish style.
 Taylor Made pillows are made to order.  These just came in and  I sold four out of five to the first customer I showed them to today!
My sister Rosie, threw a shower for a Mom to be of Twins!
Niece Goldie siting on Pinkie Velvet Chair
Rosie had the cutest decor... Miniature babies in bunkbeds on the cake!!  INCREDS!
Wish my camera could show you that the stork brought two darling dears.
Hope you all have a fantastic Friday and MUCHO fun festivities to you all on this weekend before the weekend of Halloween!


Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Mr. Revolutionary is Cleaning House

HI All and Happy Fall!  The weather is grand, no?  Golly-gee, it's been so pretty outside these last few weeks.

Here on the home front, we've cleaned out a lot of stuff {furniture, junk, and undone projects that are haunting and taunting us}.  All in an effort to cleanse.  Also, to gear up for a hefty yard sale.  Mr. Revolutionary {Will} has us running a tighter ship of "purging what we don't use".  It's a good thing!

We've really pared down on all holiday decor too. For the last few years, we've been going towards a more minimal "Organic Grey/Charcoal" look that can easily be dressed up with a glam touch/twist. I'm loving this less is more approach... but still can't resist a little razzle-dazzle, shiny, and just one pop of color! 

Here are some inspirations I am falling hard for:

Mirrored Walls or Mirrored Anything!
Pinatas for Any Old Occasion!
Dolled up Place Settings

Being Nice is Easy...being KIND is much more!
What I wear when I watch Will clean the house.

Amazingly Royal Bedroom

Images from Bliss, Full House, and Confetti System

I hope you are all having a great week!

That's it for now...  I will try to share some projects that we have going in our kettle.  Soon, and very soon, I hope!


Tuesday, October 12, 2010

The Scarlett O'Hara of the Design World: Mary McDonald

Who is your favorite female designer?  I'd love to know!!!

I'd have to say my all time favorite is Mary McDonald.  To me, she is The Scarlet O'Hara of Design.  AND...She has finally published a book!!  Mary McDonald Interiors:  The Allure of Style.  I ordered my copy over the weekend and cannot wait for it to arrive.

The book is supposed to be filled with wonderful imagery of her Beverly Hills estate as well as many favorites we all know from Domino.

I'll never forget when I first saw her work in Domino about ten years ago. It was so refreshing then and still makes my heart skip a beat every time I open up those well-worn pages.  Not to mention every time I see her latest work introduced in the latest magazines.  In addition to doing interiors, she also throws some dynamite-ly designed soiree's too!  {My favorite Gala of her's was featured in Veranda '08...the green and white gala...does anyone remember that party or have those images???, let me know!} 

Mary is as beautiful as her own rooms as well.  She even resembles Vivian Leigh...If you haven't seen the latest Town & Country, you should see her beautiful feature there. She lets us in on her love affair with ball gowns {how glamorous is that?} and her latest addiction to grey flannel {a current day clothing trend, down to the shoes and all}.  I love how her fashion sense imitates her design aesthetic..."old world glamour" in a contemporary world.

She grew up in Brentwood, California and then attended Parsons School of Design.  After attending school there, she practiced as a milliner...{which, is a little known fun fact, huh?}.

Mary is here to stay...She's been solidly entrenched as one of the top 100 elite designers for a while now.  And, for that I'm grateful, aren't you?

Mary in her leopard print study

Mary McDonald Interiors: The Allure of Style by Rizzoli Publishing

Mary's New Dining Room Makeover:  Inspired by a Chocolate Shop in Paris

Mary's dressing room:  {Osborne & Little flame stitch wallpaper is one of her favorites}
 Happy Tuesday, and Have a great week!

Thursday, October 7, 2010

NY, I love you.

Hi everybody!  I retired my hillbilly wagon {Honda Odyssey, '01} for a week...and went to New York City.  I'll be uploading some fun and inspiring ideas that I collected on our {sister and cousin} and "work" trip. 

The BIG Highlights

1.  Celebrating with the RUE girls for the toast to their new, hip on-line magazine.
2.  Sister Julie's jam-packed opening exhibition 
3.  Matisse Show at the MOMA
4.  London Terrace Street Market
5.  Curious shopping in my fave design show rooms, boutiques, and WINDOWS too!

1.  Celebrating with the RUE girls for the toast to the launch of their new on-line magazine.  I love these girls!
                       2.  Attending Julie's opening exhibition with my sisters and cousin Laura. Missing a few special people that we would've loved to have had along with us.  Mom and Dad, of course...but Philip, Andrew, Jeanie, Lizzie, and Frank. You guys, too, are a part of the "charming chaos" in Julie's work. 
 3.  Matisse' show.  Really was a high...and so many sighs.
4.  We were told by a wonderful New Yorker not to miss The London Terrace Street Market that this street fair is a must-go-to for thrifters.  It is a once a year deal and boy, did us sisters and Laura load up.  We loaded up some killer antiques {pictured below}..they almost all fit perfectly in our luggage.  All for Millie's stylish dollhouse back home, that is.

So...our feet walked and walked through the West Village and Soho to all the spots but two...more to share on this.
Rosie, Millie, and me pictured below at ABC carpet and home's sixth floor.                
Biggest highlight was probably though, at the end of the hard working day of curious minding and winding, our rewinding with good wine and Rosie's foot rubs in our tiny room at The Jane Hotel.  Four nights of bunking with four fun girls!  {If only Jeanie and Lizzie...}

Came back to our sweet little hillbilly junction at 910 Pickwick...feeling really inspired and refreshed and lucky! I'll be uploading some other inspirations soon too...Oh, and I didn't even mention Bergdorfs yet!

Also, I hope to share some exciting news soon.  {Fingers crossed!}

Hope you all had a wonderful week, and I have to say, it's so good to be back home! I DO love home, sweet home.