Wednesday, February 15, 2012

One Room Challenge: Week 5

And week five of the #1RoomChallenge is here.  This week's post was supposed to be about the drapes.  The drapes are done.   But the valances have gone back to the drawing board for a final edit.  So needless to say I won't have any pictures to show you of final drape installations for this week's post.  But, wait, don't stop reading.  The tail end of the post is better than any project I could ever have done or will do.  So, read on!

Okay, so the valances I designed were pretty experiential and not completely thought out, but I know they will be well worth it right?  They are exactly what I wanted for my client, and heck, for any room I would design...indoor or out.

The picture above is the template my mural painter drew up for the wrap around fretwork she painted on the salmon colored secretary.  You can see the secretary in the previous post here.  Anyway, I decided to use the bottom part of this same template for the scalloped valance design. 

And below is my inspiration for the valance design.  Take note of the darling scallops across the top of this outdoor room.

via pinterest
I have to admit that I did a "No, no thing".  I had the valance design drawn up and given to the seamstress before we found out the exact, EXACT dimensions of the cornice boards.  Reason being, I got a little ahead of myself with this 6 week time crunch looming over me.  Another testament to the phrase "good things can't be rushed".

Fact is, I had no idea that the seamstress would work as fast as she did at sewing them up.  She had them all completely sewn up before the cornice board dimensions were set in place.  So, naturally, the valance strips were about 1 inch too short on each side..with no hope for changing the sizing of the cornice board dimensions...due to the hardware bracket depths.

When does it ever happen that the seamstress works too fast?!  This seamstress doesn't work with a workroom, obviously.  Although she could, because she's that good!  Back to my original point...workrooms are extremely, extremely slow. For example, workrooms around here are backed up at least 8-12 weeks!  I'd be curious to hear what they are like for anyone else out there?  Other designers, what are you used to working with?

As you can see, I'm going to be real hard pressed to have the whole room done by next week.   The pillows have not arrived from the manufacturer.  And when I call the manufacturer every other week, they tell me that they are waiting for them to arrive off the ship {from Sweden} any day now.  Which will probably be another ten years from now.  The pillows are the clinchers and sinchers to this room.

And, yes, the whole other half of the room is still needing some major fluffage.  Still no bed screen yet.  The lamps need cool shades.  Monogramming needs to be done on pillow shams....blah, blah, blah!  I know I'm boring you with all the details.  This is not at all unlike most projects I do, though.   Just want you to know that patient attitudes are definitely needed with projects and works of art that are unique and not just purchased from the big box stores.

Since the valances are white, I designed them to be detachable and washable with velcro backings.    

Okay, so here above is a pic of my cobbled together approach...the Benjamin Moore "gentle breeze" wall color, the waverly drapes, the Sharon Taylor Designs valance {at top}  Do you see it up there?  Like or not like?  Swatch color of the secretary, and that tapestry is a new find I got at a recent fancy estate sale.  It's from France and I think it'll match the "fresh-take secretary" pretty well.   My inspiration for this room comes from the central and middle eastern styles and also from textile designer John Robshaw, with whom I have a slight-mad crush on.  

Speaking of the name John, here's another John that is my main crush for life. He mellows my storms and approves all my paint choices. He comes to work with me everyday and smiles at everyone and accepts that he sometimes has to sleep in his car seat in the back bathroom {my explanation will take too long}.   I don't know how much longer he will want to keep hanging with crazy ol' me, so I try to savor every moment he's in my arms... because I know that time will fly, he'll become papa's boy soon, go to school, and then he'll be a teenager before I snap my fingers.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Pickwick House LOVE day

Happy Valentine's Day.  I know it's a special day.  It's also a special LOVE day here at Pickwick House.  We're one year old today.   It's been a whirlwind! I want to thank you all so much for finding reasons to follow, support, and spread the word about this little local place and my work.  You mean so much to me!

Here's a special LOVE gift I had made for the business.  A new postcard highlighting our services of course.  Let me know if you'd like one to share with your friends.  The flip side has one of our never before seen projects that we're pretty proud of.  Please stop by!

...AND Happy Valentines Day my Loves!


Sunday, February 12, 2012

Happy Warm-Filled Sunday!

I wanted to pop into to share this sneak peek of my mother-in-law's dining room that I designed.

{Flowers by the Orchid Lady}

This is a spot where LOVE resides for me and my family.  A family safe-place for long, relaxed conversations, meals cooked with love, and lazy Sundays.  

Do you have a spot that makes you feel soft and warm in your heart like this?  Your grandparents, your parents, or even your own home?

I hope you're having one of these types of Sundays!


Wednesday, February 8, 2012

#1RoomChallenge: Week 4

Hi Everyone.  It's the #1RoomChallenge again.  Thank you so much for coming to see my progress.  This is week 4 of 6. I'm pretty sure I'm the last of the bloggers to post for the day.  I always have good intentions to get it up earlier in the day, but dilly-uh-dally stuff gets in the way!

 I figured since I'm last on the list below, maybe no one really gets to mine until a day later anyway, right {If at all....ha!}?  I DO so much appreciate all of your feedback.  It's really keeping me from abandoning it all together.  Just kidding. I really am enjoying it.  It's a fun project with it's challenges.  To see my three previous posts, you can go here and here and here.

I'm starting to freak out that several things still haven't shipped out yet, but maybe I should just focus on what we DO have.  

Remember the mucky green chinoise cabinet?

I decided to give it the Lizard Green Benjamin Moore High gloss.

I was actually green with envy when I saw the final product.  It turned out better than we imagined.  The picture I took here is way blown out because I took the photo while it was laying flat in the back of the truck on a really sunny day right before it was delivered to the client's house.

Then the navy queen anne chairs got their "frost-n-tips" this week.  Doesn't it look like they are wearing the caps from the old hair frosting kits?  I imagined that the queen anne twin chairs felt pretty proud of themselves that they were getting pampered these past few weeks. 

They also got a round-about trimming of tacked edging.   My upholsterer only charged $75 for both chairs to be blinged-ified out like that.  Say what?!  

Here's the next chair makeover.  This chair will be used as the secretary chair.  I'd say it's a victorian chair.  Probably one of a set of six or eight dining chairs.  This one would surely be a king or queen chair.  That or some type of chess playing chair, haha!  I paid more than I would usually pay for this type of side chair.  But because this one just looked so stately and solid, I had to have it!  I have a thing for royal looking stuff.  

I think it was something like $185 to begin with.  

Stripped down to it's skivvies or royal undergarments {if you will}. SOILED foam.

This fabric for the seat cushion was found at my local wholesale fabric store.  It's a waverly outdoor fabric.  I chose to use the wrong side out to give it a more matte looking effect.  And then, we'll be using the other side of this very same fabric for the window treatments.  I'm hoping this will help me give a layering of different textures, all while using the same tone on tones.  

Meanwhile, here is a rough snapshot of what's been brought in thus far.  

It's a lot of different colors.  Am I crazy? Will you ever even come back to visit my page?  I won't hold it against you if you don't. But is there anything you DO like about what you see?  I would love to hear your thoughts.  I know it's not for everyone.  Actually it IS for everyone.  I'm now breaking into song in hopes that you'll be charmed by my praise songs for god, if not by the mere sight of what you see here...
"All the children of the world.  Red, and yellow, black, and white."

Are you laughing or chiming in with my song here?  

  Yes, it's many styles.  I may be trying WAY too hard.  "Early American-made-mod. Chinoise. Bohemian.  French. Indian. Persian."  I may need to add some russian, african, brazilian...No, It's not going to go too much further, because you know I can only go so far with a baby in tow, and a beat up van.   I love  melting pots though.  That's what I feel this room is.  What are your favorite blends of melting pots?

So, if you don't like this week's post, maybe you'll like next week's?? It's all about the drape design and where I found my inspirations.  In the meantime, visit my facebook fan page at Pickwick House.  I'm starting a contest soon.  I invite you to "like" it to be in the running.  Or follow me on twitter where I do daily updates.  Thanks in advance for coming.   If you've made it to the end of this post, I'm beyond humbled and jumbled with excitement and will ask you now if

you've checked out the other blogger's posts yet?  If not, be sure and do that.  There are some really good ones.  Great writers/decorators/and people who explain their processes very beautifully and fully, unlike me.

{Apologies for my rambling late night post.  I've been up WAY too late.}

Suzzanne ~ Saved by Suzy

Wednesday, February 1, 2012


Hi All.

My assistant Hillary's last day was yesterday.  SAD. SAD. FACE!!  As she was coming to work, she had a wreck and totaled her car.  She's fine but I haven't felt right about it or her ever since.  It was a sad "non-goodbye" as I didn't see her at all before she left for her new ventures in St. Louis.  So, Hillary, if you're reading, just know that you are in my thoughts.  I LOVE you and know that your future is SO bright!  I'm excited to see what you do!!  And you deserve 100 times as many posts about what you've done for my business in this past year!  More to come on this girl...

Okay, so I have got things going a mile long here...

To do list:
1.  Have the secretary painted in a hard coat, high gloss, deep salmon color.  {Benjamin Moore-Pink Mix-Color Preview-2089-30}
2.  Then a second layer of fretwork design painted over the deep salmon color in a satin creme color.  Painting done by a muralist and then delivered to Nixa, Mo.
3.  Be looking and waiting patiently for several online orders to arrive and/or ship out...pillows, sheets, ikat duvet cover, ottoman empire bench for the end-of-the-bed, framed artwork by Lee Ufan.
4.  Find a chandelier that suits a man.  "No frilly girl stuff".  Something good enough to justify the removal of the ugly ceiling fan.  Client's hubby is quite attached to his ceiling fan.  This is one of those things that I run into with couples.  The wife wants a chandelier and the hubs wants his fan.  Any suggestions on coaxing or counseling between the two differing opinions here?  I mean I see the need for moving air, but isn't the need for sexy lighting/dim lights in the bedroom so much more fun with your hun?
5.  Coordinate with Kendra {my seamstress} on drapery + valance design.  She was given fabric on Monday and has two weeks to complete them.  eek...But she is so good that way.  I can throw anything at her and she whips it right up.
6.  Find a screen to go behind the bed and have it painted either green or salmon.  Not sure which. What do you think?
7.  Find a little tiny frenchy styled table to go between the navy queen annes.
8.  Figure out what "splashy" pillow will go on the bed.
9.  Have an upholsterer recover the seat for the secretary chair.
10.  Have my contracter build and install simple frames for the window valances.  Add screws for art, and finally install the drapes and valances.
11.  Have the chinoiserie cabinet painted in a bright Lizard Green from Benjamin Moore.  See if it works in the space.  Not sure that it will.  If it doesn't, I'll just sell it at the shop.
12.  Have scrolly-gustavian chair painted white {secretary chair}.

AND, finally accessorize and photograph the room so we will HOPEFULLY have something pretty to show you. {Fingers crossed, OY!!}  It will take a full day of preparing and staging for the photoshoot + an assistant on hand to help me iron everything out, stylize and add any needed flowers/props.

As you see I still have a lot left to do!

AND, it's not been without it's glitches.  Every single project has it's glitches, of course.  To give you a run down of some of those so far on this project.  Here goes...

1.  After I purchased the secretary, I found out the back legs were completely rotten.  UGGGH...That was my mistake for not checking it over really well.  In addition, the chinoiserie cabinet had a cracked leg and had been jimmy-rigged back together with glue to the point that it stood sorta crooked.  I noticed this and thought at the time it wasn't a big deal.  Then my contractor told me differently.

{All of this goes without saying, as I'm sure you know that most anytime you purchase antiques or thrift store finds, the sales are always final.  Once it's in your hands, you cannot go back and ask for a refund or discount.  So always check a piece over really well.  Don't be in a hurry.  Most of the time I try to check things out really well and if it has a flaw or two, I always ask myself first "Is the flaw something we can see as a "character enhancement", or is this a trench I'm digging for myself?  One, do I want to have to mess with one more call to see if it's something fixable.  And two, is it worth the amount of having to fix it?  If I decide it's something worth trying to salvage and use on a project, I'm always up front with the client first and foremost.  What I've found is that every person is different when it comes to these flaws.  Some either embrace flaws or shutter.  The people who shutter make me laugh sometimes.  I laugh at myself too now mind you. A LOT in fact!}

ARe you one to get hung up on perfect pieces or do you like a little FLAW--er {FLAIR}?

Okay, I was getting side tracked...back to the glitches!
The next one is a sort of glitch...but a "smart one" I caught before purchase. As you'll see, catching the glitches before purchase can be MOST beneficial to your pocket book. After going to the flea market two or three times to inspect an oriental rug that I'd been eyeing and negotiating on, I finally purchased an oriental rug.  When they were rolling it out, the owner discovered a bad spot right in the middle of the rug.  They ended up taking $400 off the total price, in addition to coming down in our initial negotiations to begin with.

I was just sick about these damaged secretary and chinoise cabinet.  $200 in repairs! But, in the end, I just told myself to look at the overall picture here.  First of all, I have two amazingly lined, good pieces with good bones. These are good ones that one rarely runs across. I also have a client that will hopefully hire me for the rest of her amazing house.  I sure hope so, because she is a dream client.  AND, my client is spending a good amount of money on this bedroom project alone...which always reflects nicely on my portfolio-ol-ee-OH!

So, in this particular instance, these pieces were things that I felt I needed to "make right" in this particular instance. I don't only do it for my client, but I also do it for myself.  I wrap myself up in these projects as if they are my own.  I do this job because in the end, it's the high that I seek in seeing it thru to the best it can be.

Okay, enough, enough, I hear you say.  Here's some progress I hope.  Tell me what you think.  I'd love to hear your thoughts/questions/suggestions.  Don't forget.  I need SERIOUS help on deciding what color to paint the screen behind the bed.  Dark Salmon...the same as the secretary?  Or, Lizard Green {think kelley green}?


Before of  the secretary.

The Secretary in progress.

The finished product of the Secretary!

Here is the Chinoiserie cabinet that had a broken leg. 

This is one of the Lee Ufan prints I ordered. 

This is an antique tapestry that is going to be used as an overlay for the bedspread. I found it at Greater Ozarks Garage Sale this past weekend.

This is the waverly fabric being used for drapes.  We're doing valances that I'm super uber excited about.  More to come on that...

I hope you enjoyed this week's update and be sure to check back in next week!  And don't forget to check out the other bloggers to see what they have been up to...