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Friday, May 21, 2010

It's getting personal






There seems to be a big misconception out there. People actually believe that because I am an interior designer my house must be completely decked out and "finished". Well, I'm here to tell you that it's certainly not.
First, I don't believe that any home is truly ever finished. A home constantly evolves and changes just as the people who live in that house will change over time. Second, I design Monday through Friday and often times when I go home at night I just want to unplug and relax; I certainly don't want to do more design problem solving.
This is why my house will never quite be "finished" which is fine with me. At this point I would say that the room that is closest to being complete is our kitchen but I still want to work on the lighting and installing a back splash. Eventually I'd love to gut the whole thing but that's another story...
In February I decided to embark on a fairly significant project involving my house. There is a front room on the house that has never been used because it doesn't seem to serve any sort of purpose very well. There was no overhead lighting, no outlets for a cable or phone so using this space as a relaxing room or office was out of the question; at that point.
Soon this front room will complete its transition into Annie's Reading Room or The Den. Mainly, this is the room you will find me in at the end of a long day when I just want to listen to music or read.
Here we are four months down the road from the initial planning and it truly doesn't look like much has been done inside the space. Soon though, it will all come together and be pretty close to being "finished" although I'll be editing the built-in bookcases every few weeks, I'm sure.
This project started with my preliminary sketches of what I wanted in terms of furniture layout and built-ins. From there I started to pull favorite fabrics and materials that I wanted to be sure and incorporate into the space. Once everything is installed I am very confident that this will be my most favorite room that I have ever done (so far) because it suits me perfectly; just the way a home should!
I've attached the color scheme and some "before" photos...
The hope is for an end of June completion (crossing my fingers!).






Friday, May 14, 2010

Working in the Studio


Today is a design day in the studio at International Market Square. This is a peek of what I'm working on...
Fabrics include a Lee Jofa flamestitch and a classic Calvin texture with color variation.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Going Home

There is a beautiful song by Miranda Lambert called "The House that Built Me" that has been playing on the local country station. I can't get enough of this song. Every time I hear it I want to drive up to Duluth, where I grew up, and sit on the front porch of my childhood home and watch the world fly by.

I know they say you can't go home again
I just had to come back one last time
Ma'am I know you don't know me from Adam
But these hand prints on the front steps are mine
Up those stairs, in that little back bedroom
Is where I did my homework and I learned to play guitar
And I bet you didn't know, under that live oak
My favorite dog is buried in the yard
I thought if I could touch this place or feel it
This brokenness inside me might start healing
Out here it's like I'm someone else
I thought that maybe I could find myself
If I could walk around, I swear I'll leave
Won't take nothing but a memory
From the house that built me

After hearing the opening lyrics, I'm hooked and now I've downloaded the song from iTunes so that I can listen to it, on demand. You see, I miss "home" sometimes. I think we all do at some point. Life was so simple back then. I had a little bedroom that I loved with no TV, just a radio that was always tuned to 101.7, the oldies station. You might be surprised but I know most of the lyrics to the major hits anywhere between the 1940's through the 1960's. I used to shut myself in my room for the whole day, designing elaborate Barbie doll houses made from paper butter cartons and scrap cardboard I rescued from the trash. This was the beginning of my love for design and the building process.

I was lucky to have relaxed parents who did not have an interior designer (if they had a designer she surely would have hated dealing with me!). My parents let me redecorate my room whenever I wanted and I usually did this every six months. I had many little businesses to raise money for the redesigns. It was such fun, to experiment with abandon. My favorite scheme involved pepto-pink millwork, key lime green walls, and a blue "sky" complete with white clouds on the ceiling. My bedding was a bright melon-inspired plaid with a floral compliment. I loved everything about that room.

So, thank you, to my mom and dad, for always letting me experiment on your walls. Thanks for raising me in a great house that was always under construction; it made me who I am today and I love that. Thank you for encouraging me to follow my dream of making rooms pretty.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Creativity in Upholstery




I want to share this really fun chair that was upholstered for a client. Prior to it's transformation into an absolutely adorable statement this was a rusty gold, crushed velvet slipper chair from the 1970's; certainly it was in need of some TLC. I used a striped cotton on the back and seat cushions. The barrel back of the chair is covered in a bright Schumacher floral linen print. The buttons are encased in raspberry velvet and to top it all off, a multi-colored cord trim was used in place of welt to tie everything together just perfectly! So cute!
A great example of creating something new out of what you may already have at home.


Monday, May 10, 2010

ABD Spring Flea Market


A very sincere "thank you" is due to the many people who attended the ABD Spring Flea Market on April 9th and 10th. The event was a success and also a lot of fun! Thank you for your support! To our vendors who helped out; we truly couldn't have done it without you! THANK YOU!

Latest Installation...



My true love, and sometimes obsession, for design lies mostly with residential design. That's not to say I don't enjoy taking on an occasional commercial project but it must be something on a smaller scale that has a home-like mood or aura. At the beginning of 2010 a strange thing happened and I started working on three different commercial projects at once; a very rare occurrence for me.

Although both commercial and residential design hold their own challenges, commercial is often less personable and more about the bottom line. One of my favorite aspects of the design process is building a relationship with my client; this is often lacking in the commercial realm as designers tend to deal with committees or groups of people versus one single client.

I just recently finished a small commercial project that consisted of a reception space and two small scale conference rooms. We used beautiful furnishings from Italy that are light in proportion and scale to compliment the small space. Most of the art work is by local artist, Kate Pearce. The fabrics we used are from Pollack and are commercial grade for extreme durability. The final result was simple yet stylish and refined.