Friday, November 30, 2012

::Surroundings:: Magazine sneak peek!


I've been hard at work on my new issue of ::Surroundings:: which will feature some great gift and decorating ideas. So, while I'm busy with that I wanted to share the cover which I am in love with! I shot this photo myself - do you recognize it? I'll unveil the entire issue and all the details on Monday. Cheers!


Wednesday, November 28, 2012

The Skirted Roundtable: Miles Redd

This week at The Skirted Roundtable we had the pleasure of sitting down with the fabulously talented and charming Miles Redd. Known for his exuberant use of color, pattern and pizazz, Miles took us through his career beginnings, his style choices and his fantastic new book The Big Book of Chic

Miles' iconic New York townhouse exterior

Join us!

If you would like my help on your design project, I would love to chat with you! Please email me. Thanks! Subscribe to ::Surroundings::

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Possibly the countries oldest woodwoorking shop discovered in my hometown!

A very exciting discovery was just made in my hometown of Duxbury, MA! What is thought to be the oldest still in-tact woodworking shop in the country was just discovered on the grounds of a pre-school in town. They were actually using it as a storage shed and had no idea what they were overlooking. You can read the full story here. The town was a very prosperous place in the 18th and early 19th centuries due to its shipbuilding industry. Many beautiful homes were built during those years and its assumed that some of those interior finishes were likely built right in this shop!

There are a lot of similarities in the image above to a project I did in a Duxbury house about a mile from this location. It's located in the are known as Tinkertown and this homeowner believed this original structure, which was eventually added onto, was the cobbler's shop. The original windows slid side to side - perhaps to allow for walk-up business? This room dates to the 17th century and I can tell you - the original beams and woodwork are hard as nails!

If you would like my help on your design project, I would love to chat with you! Please email me. Thanks! Subscribe to ::Surroundings::

New England Design: Holiday Style

From this month's Traditional Home magazine. So pretty!

I just love this vignette - the gorgeous bureau is to die for.

How cute is this little checked settee? A perfect spot to spend a snowy New England afternoon.

Meanwhile, join me tonight on Twitter during Million Dollar Decorator - it's more fun in a crowd!

Monday, November 26, 2012

How to Turn A Client's Vague Ideas Into Real Designs

We've all experienced the client who can't express their design desires very well, whether it's because they don't know the "lingo" or simply don't want to focus on the process. The dream client, for me at least, is one who has been collecting images of what they like AND has taken the time to study the images to discern why they like what they see. If they've made notes in the margins, I am in heaven! I met with a woman once who proudly showed me her bulging notebook of ideas, but when I started pointing out trends that I was seeing, she was surprised and actually rejected my interpretations. For instance, after seeing several pages of painted cabinets, I commented that she seemed to prefer them to stained woods, and she looked at me like I had two heads. When flipping through her book, more often then not, she didn’t know what she’d seen in the image that she liked. I found that very fascinating.

Read more here... 

If you would like my help on your design project, I would love to chat with you! Please email me. Thanks! Subscribe to ::Surroundings::

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Christmas Fantasy

I don't know where this is from, but wowsa! If you know the source, please do let me know!

Thanks to an eagle-eyed friend, I was pointed to Traditional Home online for the source of this gorgeous image. I'd still love to know who the designer/architect/photographer is - so if anyone knows, please let me know so I can properly give credit! I so love a gorgeously framed image!

I hope you all had a nice long weekend. Did you start your Christmas decorating yet? I haven't, but I am working on the holiday style issue of my magazine ::Surroundings:: which should be out in a week!

Also, stay tuned this week for a fantastic interview at The Skirted Roundtable. We chatted with the one and only Miles Redd last week and I promise, you'll love it. His new book THE BIG BOOK OF CHIC is amazing, seriously. So, pics and podcast to come in a day or so.

Have a great day! xxooL

Friday, November 23, 2012

Real Estate Dreaming: Back Bay Beauty

One of the best parts of being an interior designer is being part of the process of turning basic (and sometimes not so basic) real estate into a home. Four walls, a floor and a ceiling can be literally transformed from bricks and mortar to so much more.

 Whether I'm working on an actual project, or I'm perusing the real estate listings, I can't help but think how I would put my stamp on a property.

177 Commonwealth Avenue  , Boston, was built in 1882 for John Quincy Adams, great grandson and grandson to the 2nd &  6th US president. He turned to architects Snell and Gregerson (who built some of the Boston's most beautiful properties) to build this awe-inspiring Guilded Age residence that is located within Boston's tony Back Bay neighborhood. It's currently on the market for $1.35M and is listed with Julie Harrison at Gibson Sotheby's.

This building has been broken up into nine condominiums and as is typical of these properties, there is often an unusual assortment of rooms in a given apartment which of course is what makes these spaces unique and beautiful. This unit is on the second floor in the front of the building and includes the original dining and living rooms. It's only one bedroom and has a tiny kitchen (in desperate need of remodeling!) but the possibilities for entertaining are huge.

The deep toned walls and plastered ceilings, along with the gorgeous floors would have to stay - of course. But oh, what fun I would have decorating this gorgeous apartment. While this is an amazing historic property and certainly "veddy veddy" upper crust - it can certainly appeal to a modern taste in that wonderful way the Europeans and Brits have of updating their old properties.

 What do you think? A pretty great place to dream about, no?

See the property listing here.

If you would like my help on your design project, I would love to chat with you! Please email me. Thanks! Subscribe to ::Surroundings::

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving!


(Bird's Nest Centerpiece by Linda Merrill, Photo by Michael J. Lee)

Wishing you and yours a wonderful Thanksgiving filled with happiness and cheer. I am grateful for your business, friendship and support over the last year, more than I can say.


Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Million Dollar Decorators: Join us TONIGHT for a Tweetchat!

Some things are better enjoyed with others and Million Dollar Decorator's is just one of those things. Tonight's second episode of the season looks to be filled with the usual drama that Bravo is known for, plus possibly some decorating too!  So please, join me at:

And a little sneak peak!

'MDD' First Look - Bravo TV Official Site | Bravo TV Official Site

If you would like my help on your design project, I would love to chat with you! Please email me. Thanks! Subscribe to ::Surroundings::

Monday, November 19, 2012

Sherwin-Williams Announces 2013 Color of the Year: Aloe

So, what do you think of Aloe? The color in SW's infographic above seems very bright, too bright for most interiors. The color on my monitor is pretty unappealing. However, the color on a paint chip from my SW palette is a little more subtle - although I think still pretty loud for most interiors. It's closer to the image below. And one has to see it in real paint on a wall to really get an idea of its true color.

Meanwhile, this gives me a good opportunity to use SW's updated ColorSnap© app for iPhone/iPad/Androids.

 The nifty thing is that you can snap an image, or use one from your library, and "draw" a specific paint color color on a wall. Since it's touch technology, you can use try different colors on different walls and really get a feel for how it might look. Here is Aloe SW6464 in a stairwell. Still too bright for my taste, but what do you think?

If you would like my help on your design project, I would love to chat with you! Please email me. Thanks! Subscribe to ::Surroundings::