Saturday, December 18, 2010

Taking a break...

As much as I love blogging, I'm going to have to take a break for awhile. I hope it's not a forever break. Life is just too hectic with my new job as Director of Marketing for Anderson Hardwood. Those crazy hardwood folks and crazy Shaw Floors folks have me traveling all over the country! :) So, keep decorating, keep designing, keep loving your homes...and hopefully I'll be back soon. Merry Christmas friends!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Missing: Crazy Traveling Lady


Okay, okay, I think I might be the worst blogger ever. It's been 3 weeks, and I've missed talking with all of you. So much has been going on, and I want to share with you.

In addition to my advertising and public relations job with Shaw Floors, I am now taking over the marketing business for a company that Shaw acquired a few years back, Anderson Hardwood Floors. Alright, I know I'm in flooring, but these floors will seriously make your heart skip a beat. The company started the whole hand-scraped flooring movement, and each plank is truly crafted and scraped by skilled artisans. You can start a scrapbook and view products on www.andersonfloors.com. I have been traveling around with the company firming up the exhibit booth for markets, meeting distributors and shooting room scenes. Fun, but I'm exhausted! I've put up pictures of a few of my favorite Anderson floors.

Another big item going on in our lives is the upcoming Holiday Tour of Homes. Our house will be on the tour, and the newspaper is coming out on Monday (!!!) to take pictures. Well, as of right now, there is not much to see. So, this weekend, Jason and I will be the Christmas decorating elves as we get the house ready. I've already been ordering Tiffany boxes for the dining room tablescape and gathering spools of ribbon like mad. I promise to post pictures!

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Nothing you can't do in New York!

So, I'm on week two in New York writing you from a suite at the Waldorf. Am I spoiled?! Last week, I attended the Food Network Food and Wine Festival and hosted a media event for Shaw called Designer Visions with three leading interior designer influencers. Another post on this event to come as I compile my notes. I learned Concord Grape is the new trendy flavor over Blood Orange. I learned black leggings and tall riding boots remain the fall staples. Scarves, scarves and more scares must invade your wardrobe. And recessionista colors prevail with hues of grey, muted white and rum pink. I notice a practical and utiliatrian asthetic where ever I go, especially in one of my favorite stores, ABC Carpet & Home.

Here are a few snapshots from ABC I wanted to share with you.

Alright, this is my dream china closet.
I loved the stacks of Juliska dinnerware in rum pink.
As part of the green movement, I'm seeing so many repurposed items like milk crates used as light fixtures. I love this industrial looking coffee table.


What a cool baby mobile made of recycled materials.




























Monday, October 4, 2010

I heart Pumpkins!!



Last night, the fall chill was in the air. It made me so happy! It’s officially October, the leaves are starting to turn and it’s finally acceptable to wear boots. I convinced Jason to run to the store with me and, two hours later, we returned home with 10 pumpkins. Too much? Nah. I love to get different shapes and sizes. I like mixing in white pumpkins too. I have to have long, curling stems and the shape that resembles Cinderella’s midnight carriage.

Over the past two weeks, I’ve been slowly decorating for Halloween. Some of my favorite Halloween decorations this year are from Glitterville. I have the picture here of the spider cake stand. I had this on my Facebook page weeks ago and finally caved and bought him. He’s even cuter in person and I adore the hand-painted glass cover. I also love this Glitterville three-tiered stand. What a perfect place to display Halloween goodies or even mini pumpkins. Both are available at local boutiques or on Amazon.com.

Do you have some different shaped glass vases or those affordable glass containers in different sizes from TJ Maxx? Fill these with layers of candy corn and pumpkin candies. Tie your white napkins with black and orange bows and tuck mini spiders inside for a scary surprise. Be sure to serve your dips and soups inside pumpkins, toast the seeds and make a pie (or just buy one like me!) Halloween is so much fun!

I’m headed to New York in the morning. I’ll be sure to take notes and pics to share with y'all!

Monday, September 27, 2010

Love is in the Details




Geez. It's been forever since I've updated my blog, and I'm so sorry. I've been working on so many fun projects at work. Some I can share and some are top secret until our market launch in January.

Things I can tell you about are the 2011 HGTV Green Home located in Denver, CO. My team has been working with HGTV Designer, Linda Woodrum, and HGTV House Planner, Jack Thomasson, on selecting some of our brand new products for the home. I can hardly believe installation begins October 1st! I can't reveal the products quite yet but I will soon. Another fun project has been preperations for Shaw's fourth annual Consumer Media Tour. Next week, I will spend the week in New York hosting an event for editors at shelter pubs like Traditional Home, House Beautiful, Better Homes and Gardens and more. My PR team is hosting a designer panel event where three of the nation's leading interior designers (Alexa Hamton- Mark Hampton LLC, Linda Woodrum- HGTV, Victor Emroli- SCAD) will chat about design and flooring trends and, best of all, a cocktail party will follow the panel discussion. Cupcake bar, anyone? Yep, that one was my idea! Let me know if you'll be in New York and I'll add you to the invite list. And I'll be sure to share some of the tips I learn with you all.

My biggest project at home has been bookshelves. Since we've finishing the meat of our home renovations, I'm in full on detail mode. Our home will be in Dalton's Holiday Tour of Homes on December 7th. This is very nice and I'm honored, but I'm totally freaking out. So, one Saturday morning while Jason was peacefully sleeping, I got up and took everything out of the bookshelves and then removed the actual shelves. Poor Jason. I was at Sherwin Williams by the time they opened having some beautiful oil based paints shaken and stirred!

So, let's have a quick chat about bookshelves for your lesson of the day. First of all, most built-ins require oil based paint. A latex paint will peel and chip over existing oil based paint. Before you start painting, make sure you clean the surface and sand well. Next, tape very carefully. Oil based paint shows paint strokes so several coats might be required. Our living room and family room are Sherwin Williams Latte (a creamy khaki) and we painted the back only of the bookshelves Kaffee which is a dark, rich brown. And in my Stolen Kiss red dining room, we painted the back of the bookshelves a shocking Tiffany blue! Love, love, love. Love is in the details!

Before our Autumn Open Houses and Halloween soirees begin, I encourage all of us to exam the details in our homes. The book shelf project is a great weekend tackle. Speaking of tackle, you can handle this one while your husband watches football! Check out the above picture from the Southern Living Idea House 2009. One of my favorite designers, Mallory Mathison, did an amazing job with these builts ins. I love how she painted the back a contrasting blue. Also, notice her unqiue groupings-which is another post for another day! I provided the flooring for this project and it's one of my most favorites. Mallory is currently re-designing my mom's store, Bridals by Lori.

Happy Designing and more soon! xo






Sunday, August 29, 2010

Home is Love



"Love is essential to the decoration of a house... A room must say, 'My love is here,' or 'My love has just left,' or 'I'm waiting for my love to arrive.'" Madeleine Castaing, House Beautiful May 2010

There is nothing in a home that embodies love more than furniture that is hand-crafted and hand-made. Jason and I absolutelylove to spend Sunday afternoons strolling through the Chattanooga Market. Here, local farmers and artisans display their treasures and we normally leave with armfuls of fresh peaches, squash, tomato basil sauce, goat cheese and herbs. And sometimes hand-stamped stationary or a small watercolor of downtown Chattanooga. However, one Sunday in June we discovered a vendor named Kountry Kupboards. This husband and wife team, Ron and Cheryl, make stunning shabby chic-style furnishings in any color or style you can dream.

Forever renovating our first home, Jason and I have major storage needs in our small Williamsburg-style kitchen. I explained our need to Cheryl, and she showed us a picture of a fabulous kitchen pantry she created for her own space. We tweaked the measurements, and I sent her my favorite vintage aqua jewelry box to match the color. And weeks later I sent her beautiful hand-painted knobs I found at Anthropologie during a business trip to New York (fyi...Anthropologie has the best hardware.) The 8 weeks flew by, and my amazing custom kitchen pantry is complete! We picked it up at the market today and are thrilled with the final result. Not only is our storage need solved, the inviting color and shabby chic style add a really inviting vibe to our kitchen.

Ron and Cheryl could have cried when they saw us load the beautiful pantry on the truck. I gave Cheryl a hug. They said it was their baby, and I knew it was made with care and love. I want to encourage my readers to support local artisans and to appreciate the hardwork that goes into the treasures they create. Go to http://www.kountrykupboards.com/ to look around.

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Sunday, August 22, 2010

Save the Date: Fall Festivals are Lining Up!



In addition to great opportunities for parties, fall also brings another one of my favorite things- an outpouring of fall festivals. The candy apples, rows of bright orange pumpkins, stacked hay bails and friendly Southerners offering their handmade goods for purchase= so much fun! My favorite way to spend an autumn Saturday is rummaging through little stands within quaint festivals, like Ellijay, GA’s famous Apple Festival held the second and third weekend of every October. Ellijay’s downtown also features numerous antique shops full of trash-to-treasure finds and you can pop in after the festival. And I’m never afraid to strike up some negotiations with the vendors. A little bartering makes it even better!

Before I go into a listing of a few of the best fall festival hotspots so that you and yours can “Save the Date”, I want to offer a few tips on what to shop for whether it be at a local antique shop or a fall festival stand:

-Look for items that have true character. Don’t be fooled into buying items that were on clearance at Hobby Lobby. And don’t be afraid to ask more about the item. One of my favorite recent finds was a set of 6 hand-crocheted linen handkerchiefs. I put them away and plan on monogramming each for my sister-in-law’s bridesmaid’s luncheon next September. Look for unique and special items that you just can’t duplicate.

-Think like a collector and don’t get stuck buying random pieces that you’ll never use. If you see some fabulous vintage glass bottles, think in terms of a grouping, and try to purchase 3 or 5 of the bottles in varying heights and colors. This way you’ve created a grouping or collection.

-Thrifty is nifty. Picking up beautiful and unique items at festivals and antique stores can give your home a more customized look on a budget, without looking like every item came from Ikea and Target. Look for chairs and pieces of furniture that can easily be re-painted or re-covered. You can also find some handmade furniture priced right. One of my favorite Chattanooga Market vendors is kountrykupboards.com. Get creative!

Here are two of my favorite Fall Festivals:

The Apple Festival
October 9th, 10th, 16th, 17th
www.georgiaapplefestival.org

The Country Living Fair
October 22nd-24th
Look for more informatiom coming soon on www.countryliving.com

Check out www.southfest.com for a listing of other great shows by state.

Did I miss a festival that you love to attend? Do you have a hidden antique spot that we all need to visit? Let me know in the comments section.
*Thanks to Country Living for the great photos!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

You’re cordially invited….





There is nothing that makes me as excited as invitations. And something about the fall brings me all sorts of ideas and opportunities to throw a fiesta-pumpkin carving party, anyone?! I love the way a stationary store smells. I love picking up papers and holding them to the light. I love to daydream about all of the fabulous party opportunities that a stylish invitation can present. Some invitations just set the standard for a wonderful soirée. The creativity, the artwork, the inspiration, the font, the colors, the poems, the BOWS. Bliss!

As we all begin thinking about the start of the Holy Season (ie Football) and all of the other social opportunities that autumn can bring, I’ve chosen just a few fabulous invitations to get your creative juices flowing. The invitations are from one of my favorite stationary go-to sites, minted.com. This unique web site offers up high-quality invitations and announcement choices that showcase the work of local artists and graphic designers. Now, we’ll talk about actually pulling the party together in other posts.

Happy stationary daydreaming, friends!

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Black or White




It doesn't matter if you're black or white. Oh, how I love Michael Jackson (yes, for those of you who know me, I've had a long time obsession with the late King of Pop.) Well, today I'm talking about black or white hardwood from my favorite flooring company, Shaw Floors. We've all noticed the dramatic trend of painted hardwoods. And I wanted to bring to your attention the eye-catching engineered maple hardwood collection, named Cosmopolitan. I recently shipped some of this product to Elle Décor to be featured in the magazine, and so I thought you needed to know all about it as well. The Cosmopolitan Collection available in black (named Black Tie-so cute) or white (named Debutante-even cuter) has all the style of painted hardwood combined with the finish and durability of an engineered hardwood by Shaw which means no flaking, chipping or re-painting. The planks are 5” wide and ½” thick and feature a high-gloss opaque finish and feature ScufResist which makes them more durable. They are made in the USA and retail for $12.99/sq ft. Imagine how fabulous this white hardwood would look in a beach house or the black hardwood in a contemporary urban loft. The possibilities are endless if you’re bold enough to commit to this beautiful floor. Love it, love it, love it!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

It's as Easy as 1, 2, 3!









I'm noticing the industrial-inspired trend of numbers on home accessories. The numbers have to have a vintage typewriter style and be in a bold color. I've seen them on pillows and prints. And I love them!
The number sitting on the red couch is from the HGTV Green Home. However, you too can have this trend represented in your home thanks to my favorite site, Etsy.com! The red number three is from a recycled sail and is $48. The more shabby chic version is only $28. Just search "number pillows" on the site for lots of choices.
Now, we have to be careful with this trend...or we'll start looking like a mathematician vomited in your home. A few numbers go along way. But have fun with it!



Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Green with Envy!








So sorry I'm a few days late with the promised and exciting 2010 HGTV Green Home post! I was fortunate enough to tour the home last week with my friends at HGTV, including HGTV House Planner Jack Thomasson and Designer Linda Woodrum. My company, Shaw Floors, has been the exclusive flooring provider for the project since its beginning three years ago. This year's home, located in the charming Pinehills community of Plymouth, MA, once again received LEED certification. According to Thomasson, the project is rooted in teaching American families that they can live a beautiful, stylish life while style respecting the environment. Amen, brother!
Now, on to the design. As we all know, matchy-matchy is way out. Designer Woodrum explains that she created a subtle theme for the home starting with the circular shapes found on the very cool living room coffee table. You can see the geometric trend continued with the triangular shapes found in the side chair fabric, small square artwork going up the stairway and clean, modern-lined furniture. I especially love the tree stump side table. And don't miss the back bookshelves lined with a lovely charcoal paint.
The geometric trend continues with the fabulous Shaw cut-and-bound area rug found in the kids room, named Backstage. Notice the hanging bunk beds, square cube storage spaces and other clean lines. Woodrum loves green and orange hues for kids rooms since they can easily mesh with blue or pink accents.
Finally, I love the quiet retreat tucked away in the lighthouse-like tower of the home. The architect style glass table maximizes the small space. And I love how the pattern on the Shaw rug and the back of the desk chair feel similar. Again, we're seeing the geometric theme.
And onto my favorite part, the flooring! The HGTV Green Home is "well floored" with Shaw's Epic engineered hardwood. The style is named Wild Frontier and the color is Burnt Sugar. Not only does the stunning floor add a rustic charm to the New England cottage, but Epic contains up to 50 percent recycled content. And I feel like it warms up the modern decor of the home. Jason and I have Epic in our home, and we love it.
Check out more pics of this beautiful home by visiting HGTV.com/green-home. And shop for the flooring on Shawfloors.com. And ask yourself: What theme are you seeing in your own home? It's a great foundation for consistency in your space.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Love the Drum



I'm coming to you LIVE from New York, New York today. So, I'm on a lighting kick lately and have seen so many beautiful and innovative light fixtures. I'm sure many of you have noticed the trend of drum lamp shades and, my favorite, the drum shade over a chandelier. I love the modern take on something expected and traditional. I found this particularly dramatic version at Saks Fifth Avenue. I can't help but think this might be easy to re-create over an existing chandelier in your own home. If you're not feeling that crafty, I found a great alternative at ShadesofFlight.com for $498. Search organza shade and crystal chandelier. Also, if you dug the mason jar light fixture I posted last week, I found a super cute mini-version at PotteryBarn.com for $129. Search exeter pendant. Look for a fun (and longer) blog post this weekend covering my visit to the 2010 HGTV Green Home. And if you're enjoying my blog, make sure to become a loyal Design Lover by clicking the grey Follow button on the right!

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Burlap Perhaps



I'm seeing burlap everywhere right now, and I'm really loving the laid-back style and rustic charm of this super accessible and affordable fabric. I found this great burlap lampshade at BallardDesigns.com for $49. Ballard Designs also offers up burlap bedskirts, tote bags and table cloths. Also, go to Etsy.com and search "burlap pillows" for a huge selection of stylish stamped burlap pillow covers and pre-stuffed pillows. I love this red-stamped pillow cover for $50.

Feeling crafty? Burlap is only about $4 per yard at your local fabric store and comes in a variety of earth-tone colors. I've used it as a Christmas tree skirt, table runner and even thrown it over a side table. Get creative and send me your pics!

I'll be in both New York and Boston this coming week. In Boston, I'll be checking out the beautifully eco-friendly 2010 HGTV Green Home. Be sure to check back for updates and ideas!

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Industry Meets Country Light Fixture


I am officially in love with this industry meets country light fixture I discovered at The Fuss Boutique in Watercolor, Florida this week. Not only was it the centerpiece of the boutique, but it also served as the accessory display. And I think it might be fairly simple to re-create in your own space. A raw board was secured to the ceiling and simple silver electrical cords dangled from the wood with lightbulbs clipped inside mason jars. In between the mason jars, the boutique had fishing wire and silver hooks displaying fun necklaces. Affordable and very chic!

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

The Red Door




So, it's finally here after months (okay, years) of procrastinating. The blog I have dreamed of and have written and re-written in my mind. Welcome to the world of things that I love. I'm so excited to share with you my inspiration, travels, events and projects. But let's get to know each other a little more first.

I was born and raised in a suburb of Atlanta, Georgia in a white home with a sprawling front porch and a simple red door. Today, my husband and I live in a white house with a very similar red door. So, needless to say, I have fond memories of my childhood and want to re-create the security I felt then for my own family now. Although the only children we have to date are a malti-poo named Marc Jacobs and a pug named Mr. McDougles. How I love my puppies!

My dad owns a computer software company and my mom owns the nation's second largest bridal salon, Bridals by Lori. I grew up watching two people conquer their dreams with good old-fashioned sweat equity.

I was a unique child- always trying to start my own businesses. I was so anxious to grow up- growing up meant owning my individuality and making things happen in this world! I graduated from Samford University in three years with a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism and Mass Communication. I concentrated in advertising and minored in Human Development and Family Studies. Always the perfectionist (I'm a Virgo), I was named the top advertising student in my graduating class.

After college, I started in the family business as the marketing manager for Bridals by Lori. And I started Cosmopolitan Events at Bridals by Lori. Here, I fine-tuned my eye for event design as I created event after event in the upscale Atlanta market and throughout the Southeast. Chiavari chairs, linens, paper, china, lighting, gobos, music, crystal trees, fresh flowers- creating customized spaces from blank rooms was what I loved.

Yearning for a more structured work schedule (which I now realize isn't possible with my personality), I joined the team of Shaw Floors in 2006. And today I help lead the Berkshire Hathaway company's advertising and public relations efforts. Thinking of new ways to touch the consumer as she builds and remodels her home is so much fun.

Somewhere along the way I fell in love. I married Jason in October 2008. Our wedding was my best design project yet and was featured on WE's Platinum Weddings as the Season Finale. I still dream about the gold beaded chargers and amber lighting. And the red cowboy boots I sported at the reception.

Whether it's working on the HGTV Green Home, or tucking my head into a fabulous boutique in Seattle, or attending an elegant gala in Atlanta, I'm constantly touched by inspiration and ideas. Life is full of so many upexpected delights that I want to share. And this blog is my red door to you. Come in. Relax here. And let the ideas flow like wine (red, of course)!