Thursday, September 27, 2012

Throw Back Thursday: Slipcovers

                                      Hello!  Here's my first 'Throwback Thursday' post.

So years ago, my home was featured in Better Homes and Gardens special edition of Do It Yourself.  While my taste and style has changed considerably since then, one thing that I find I still love in this room is the slipcovered sofa.   I think slipcovers are timeless and can be worked into any room.

How do you feel about slipcovers?  Love them or hate them?

On a side note, it's been brought to my attention, that the format for commenting on my blog posts is challenging for those of you that have tried in the past to leave a comment.   My intern has reworked the settings for you to comment more freely now.  When and if you do comment {insert smiley face}, there is a chance that the settings may only let you comment anonymously, so be sure to leave your name.

Hope you have a nice day!


Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Wedding Wednesday

Alright, something entirely new here today! So my gals here, have been begging me to regularly post about wedding stuff on the blog.  As you know, I rarely post about them.  Not because I don't love them.  I do.  I have to admit that I compartmentalize each one into a little box inside my head because I just find that weddings are so completely loaded with details that while I'm in the process of wedding planning, it can be intense.  "Why is it intense, you ask?"  It came as a relief to me when I read in Forbes Magazine that wedding coordinators have the 6th most stressful job {right next to police officers}.  I'm not whining.  Just calling it out.  Weddings are incredibly, incredibly challenging.  That is why it is so important to hire a coordinator.

I hope to share some of the behind the scenes things here.  Most of all the big joys, and maybe a tiny glimpse of some of the problems that can arise [and some tips on diffusing those problems too].
Okay, here it is....

                                                      -Wedding Wednesday-
Since designing and coordinating my first real wedding about six years ago, I have learned SO, SO much!  It's laughable what I did back then.  Feel free to leave me your comments about any thing you'd love to hear about most regarding weddings or events.  Whether its inspirations photos you want to see, works in progress, do's and don'ts, those 'tears of joy moments' that reveal themselves along the way, or just pictures?  I really do love hearing from you all and I hope you enjoy this post.  

Right now, we're working on a wedding that is all about gold glitter, stars, and gatsby style.  I'm obsessed with these random stars everywhere.

Here's a big star prop that we painted gold and recently glittered.  If you don't know this, gold and glitter are our favorites right now!  This star will either be used as a dessert bar table or as a smile booth prop.

These shoes are from BHLDN and I love them!

Gold stickers via pinterest .

BHLDN as well.  LOVE everything about this look!

Thanks for listening and reading.


Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Golden Shoot

                           Here I am on-site looking for good angles on a project that's almost finished!

Tomorrow is the photo shoot for this project.  It's a room that's slowly evolved and even as I write this, the muralist is cutting a stencil for painting something a little extra special on the walls {think gold}between now and tomorrow morning.  I will be loading the van with extra props today and also going to buy a gold fish w/blue rocks to bring life and movement into this space:)  It will be a special outing for Sylvia to go pick one out.  Hopefully we keep the gold fish alive 'til the shoot and I'm also praying that this is a 'golden' shoot too. haha!!  {Shoots stress me out a bit because placement is a lot of heavy work, steaming and pressing, and taping, and never as easy as what they should be or what they look like in the mags.}

Come back for tomorrow's post where I'll be sharing something entirely new and exciting with you!

Happy Tuesday!


Monday, September 24, 2012

Design in a Day Package!

Crisp fall air has arrived!  I'm in the mood for pumpkins, wheat grass, bittersweet, and goard decorating. How about you?  I found these pics of our house from a few years ago.  I was obsessed with the heirloom pumpkins then, and still am now.  All the varying shades too.  You might think, 'Wow, that had to cost Sharon a pretty penny to decorate her house with the price of those pumpkins.' It did.  But, I actually bought up a bunch of the heirlooms for inventory to use on clients' outdoor spaces so these were just for my own stylizing fun.  

Our stoop.  I'm gonna really miss this house when we move.

Here's one of the homes we decorated.

{A nice little welcome to a side gate path.  I used a $3 thrift store stand for this one!}

Difficulty in finding the time or motivation to decorate inside, outside, or for personal parties? Let us help! And don't forget that the other Holidays are fast approaching, {keep in mind we are already booking early November dates}.  

AND....Pickwick House is offering a one time special "Design in a Day" package to spruce your house up inside an
d/or out. You can choose 1/2 day or full day personalized, experienced, award winning decorating and/or party planning for the most amazing pad/bash you've ever had! $350 for two designers for a 1/2 day and $600 for a full day. At the end of the day we'll provide you with a list of priorities for moving forward if needed. 

Happy Monday!!



Wednesday, September 19, 2012


For those interested in the progress on projects, here are a few snap shots from things going on in the summer. I commissioned an artist for the Staxx project to paint a wall mural to look like malachite.  The picture above is the spec she produced.  Isn't it gorgeous?  I wouldn't mind having her sample just so I can frame it for my walls!

I've been planning/designing a few weddings.  The antlers above are for a smile booth wall installation we're having a builder put together for the event.  These antlers are just a few of the coolest things I get to work with.  I've decided to start doing throw-back Thursdays on the blog to highlight some of the weddings that I've never posted. Do you like that idea or would you rather see more interiors? 

I helped a single girl 'fluff' her house up this summer and also just gave her a few ideas for updating as she was preparing to throw a big party. You might notice that some of the pieces above are from Pickwick House.  The two white lamps are driftwood lamps. From the photo it might look like they are trying to be identical twins, when actuality, they're really quite different in height and form. The striped walls in the background replaced an ugly wall paper and that cool ball cage brass fixture is vintage and one I found to replace a cheap looking chandelier.   I'm not that thrilled with the pillow situation above but it's still better than before:)

Here's a sputnik I found for a really good deal.  The lighting on this pic is a little off.  It was initially chrome metal, but I had it sprayed gold because I'm really into gold and brass lately.  I'm about to finally wrap this project up and will finally be able to have it photographed.

So, what areas are you working on right now?  How do you like cozying up your nests? 

Off to work I go.  Hope you have a wonderful day!


Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Harvest Party. YOU are invited!

Inspired by Pinterest and FALL, I am hosting a harvest party! All are welcome to come but seats are limited.  You can book your reservation by calling 417-459-8988 today. Seats are $25 at the door or $20 if you book in advance.  A harvest style lunch will be provided here at Pickwick House and I will be sharing some tips and tricks on how to host your own unforgettable harvest bash.  Tentatively Friday, Oct. 19th, 11:30am-1:00pm.

I would LOVE, LOVE your feedback on what topics for fall that are your favorites.  You can follow my board titled 'harvest' on pinterest HERE and comment/like/or pin away on any photos that you think could be fun for the party and we'll be sure and try to incorporate some of the fun details that day!

photos via pinterest.  tara geurard sweet potato fries and martha stewart

Happy Fall!


Monday, September 17, 2012


I had the wonderful opportunity to design something special for a really popular boutique apparel store that recently moved locations here locally.  STAXX.  It's the mama to jellybeans {a kids apparel store} that I designed a couple years back.  You can see the jellybeans project feature from Design Sponge here or you can order the book that the project was published in from here.

I LOVE doing commercial space interior design! It's a personal goal of mine to do more public spaces here in the Midwest and beyond:).  I would love, love to design public library spaces, boutique hotels, and also not-for-profits that are near to dear to my heart.

The columns above fell into my lap and also into babies danger zone playground at the shop.  I have an antique vendor who brings things to me that are usually ultra cool.  He brought me these three columns and even though I had no idea what I would do with them at the time, I bought them without reason and with very little cash in my pocket.  Then, that very day, the owner of Staxx called me and said she needed to come up with some creative merchandising for a really long wall.

I chose to have the columns hung horizontally instead of vertically on the wall.   {Columns made into merchandizing shelves.} Before hanging them, I knew the raw columns needed to be 'hipped-ified' in some way, so I decided to have the ends dipped in high gloss paint.  Each end cap with a different color.  Gold, Black, Cream, and Three different shades of Green {fifty shades of grey, or green...haha!}

My client and I love how they turned out...what do you think? I think that this is an idea that could work in residential spaces too.  Would be really great for a kids room, a personal library, or even a kitchen.

I'll share the rest of the space with you soon.  

Happy  Monday!


Friday, September 14, 2012


Olivia has just joined Pickwick House as an intern for the next two semesters.  She wants to be a wedding planner.  Here we are on site at one of our exterior living room projects just before heading back to the shop to brainstorm a really special upcoming wedding.  {Wearing many hats is part of the job.}  She doesn't seem to mind.  Love having Olivia!

Last Friday afternoon I decided we should take time to 'get inspired', so I took Olivia and my three youngest kiddos to an MSU recital to take in a Rachmaninoff cello sonata and Brahms G minor Piano quartet.  Funny thing was that there was an enforced intermission to go to the basement when tornado sirens went off.   That was an experience!  {I'd like to thank my cousin Ned for letting me know about his viola performance with that quartet.}

Fireplace is Complete!  Just in time for Fall!

Dirt floors are not ideal, but we're really happy to see it progress to this point.  Last week, this area was still a deep, dark pit.  All wiring was recently laid underground and a telephone pole removed that was really messing up the symmetry of the space.

In choosing the outdoor foot print material, things can go really wrong.  We've been seeing a surge in properties using stamped concrete.  The stamped concrete is a cool thing, but I've noticed that a lot of people try to get too creative with finishes and molds that end up looking super-like, well...ugly.

Getting back to this area...I really LOVE the idea, look, and feel of pea gravel for this place, but the practicality of maintaining pea gravel will be a pain for an area this large.  Pea gravel washes away, and if it's not maintained regularly, you'll have bare spots.  So, I selected an aggregate {which is a pea gravel floating in concrete}.  It should give the appearance of a pea gravel.  And just to the right and left of the pad is where Will is going to add some structured soft scaping.  It should frame off the space nicely for our clients.


Backside of the new furniture that arrived from Restoration Hardware.  {Leagrave Collection}.   Can't wait to snap pics of a roaring fire here soon.  My clients told me they had a toast by their first fire here two nights ago {at midnight after his late shift}. So cute.

Stay tuned for more progress here.  Happy Friday ya'll!!


Thursday, September 13, 2012


Welcome back to the blog. In case you hadn't noticed, I took a long break from the blog over the summer.  I'm back in full swing now and am committed to sharing more of the projects we've been busy working on over the summer.  So, welcome.  And Thank YOU for your support and for visiting!

The front of the house was painted this week!  What do you think?  It's a Benjamin Moore paint called Dragon Breath.  {Funny name, I know...hehe} I've used this color before and love it.  It looks sort of black here in the photo, but it's definitely more of a brown.   Will did such a nice job cutting in on the molding, don't you think?

Okay, here's my question for you.  What color do we paint the front door?  We initially were thinking red, but now I'm not so sure.  The tile color might conflict.  Thoughts/suggestions welcome.


Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Art Collecting

I'm always inspired by the vintage art I find while flea marketing and in travels.  This is Jay Jeffers design studio/shop Cavalier in San Francisco.

Yesterday I found this boat picture here on a local flea market jaunt. It was a steal for less than $150.  I've started my own collection.  You should start yours today.  Need art guidance or a helping hand with arranging your walls?  Give Pickwick House a ring:)

Have a nice day!


Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Burn Brightly

May candles burn brightly in these delicate, colorful, and fragile glasses. For the victims and heroes.  Today and everyday.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Random Work and Play

Fortunately we took a few road trips over the last week.  I took the babies and Eleanor to the beautiful hills of Mineral Springs just outside of Cassville, MO.  This is the old Mineral Springs school house {circa late 1800s}. My grandpa went to school there as a young boy and he bought it went it up for auction in the 70's.  A place to escape the city life {and sometimes chaotic life of 10 children}.  It's been also been a great family gathering place ever since.  My uncle David hosts the family reunions every Memorial and Labor Day.  Favorite part is listening to my uncles play and sing blue grass tunes on their banjos and mandolins.

We always take a trek down the gravel country road to the largest un-commercialized cave in the Midwest.   Rock House Cave.  The property owner always mows a nice path for our clan to come visit so we can cool off and let the kids spelunk.   This land and these parts of the Ozark Mountains are virtually abandoned, but I love, love that they are still somewhat pure in a lot of ways.

Here's the mountain of kids.  Don't worry, we didn't let the babies ride loose in there.  Just the big kids.  That was a treat for us to ride with cousins growing up.  This is a little less than half of the Arnold grand kiddos.

Back at home, Will slaved away while we road tripped.  This is just a glimpse of the nastiness he's shoveled out of the house.  The kitchen had old asbestos linoleum adhered to the hard woods.  The muck you see in the bucket was the under side of the linoleum.  The underside of that linoleum floor took a lot of soaking, scraping, shoveling, and scrubbing down with bleach, then pine sol, then wet vacuuming.   They are in really good shape underneath all of that:) The floors in the rest of the house are a somewhat different story.  Dog pee stains everywhere. Refinishing is on the long list of things that cost $$.  Will is going to try to tackle it himself.  

Ever get so excited about something new, that you don't know where to begin?  Well, we can hardly wait to transform the whole inside and outside of the house.  Will decided to slap some paint on the outside, even though we should probably tackle the inside first.  You can see the new house color in the far left corner.  It's almost a chocolate brown.  I think it will set the white trim off nicely.  We're thinking no shutters, What do you think?

Will chose the aged looking urns and pedestals and I chose the new light fixtures.  What do you think?  The over grown ewes will be going, and gone soon.

Bubs is sitting so calmly in his lawn chair.  I think he's in complete shock that we decided to paint the whole entire family room black.  Even the ceiling.

I really want these antique Louis xv dining chairs for the house, but will try to sell a client on these instead.  How perfect would a pair of tall antique wing-backs look as the head chairs to accompany eight of these beauties?

Happy Monday ya'll!