commit me...

does anyone even remember me??  probably not, as even i had to look up my password to log in to create this blog post!!  it is truly crazy how time flies and this year seems to have flown faster than ever!  perhaps because it's been a good year?  a year with super fab projects wrapping up and a lot of work spent on one big one!  i also started dating a wonderful man and you know what they say, "time flies when you're having fun!!".  well that and to actually have a social life again means there's not much time left for important things, like blogging ;)

anyway... a little over a month ago this wonderful man proposed to me (and i said yes!!!!) and we bought a house!!!  the man has some well-earned patina and i am whole-heartedly committed to him.  the house needs a little work!  and when i say a little, i am grossly understating it ;)  think, no central air, radiator heat, all plaster walls (with cracks for extra character), floors so out of whack no drinking is necessary to embarrass yourself at a dinner party, electrical wiring that could start the next burning of the south...for this, you may need to commit me :)  fortunately, i like a good deal and i will never back down from a worthy challenge!!  i also decided now, more than ever, was a perfect time to make a recommitment to my blog and bringing you all along for the ride of my personal renovation of this hot mess to be love nest of a project!  take a gander at the before pics and please check back (the goal is a once a week update on the house) for more fun in renovation and a potential fashion show featuring this season's straight jackets!


quaint, traditional tudor built in 1938 with pretty good curb appeal...will probably paint the brick (cause i'm not a fan of the multi-colored brick), remove shutters that don't actually fit the windows, swap the colonial windows for diamond grills, and coax a lovely vine up and over the 2 left windows.  


top left is the view from the living room into the dining room.  the wallpaper is actually kind of sweet and i'm gaga over that arch!!!  the paper is going (cause the walls and ceiling need to be redone!), but the arch will just get pushed up, since it's a little low right now.  i'm also going to have the same arch on both the walls leading into the kitchen. upper right is the living room with confused fireplace, that also seems to really want to be in the basement below, as it's angling for it!  the screened in porch, where not a damn thing is plumb.  not floor, not screen framing, not ceiling.  the last pic is the extraordinarily deep linen closet and the telephone shelf!  which i debated for about a second and a half to keep, then decided our washer and dryer would be much more satisfying in this space, so that was that!  buh-buh nostalgia, hello washer and dryer between kids rooms which means kids can now do their own laundry!!  score!!!


above we have the kitchen, which must have been renovated sometime in the past 20 years, i'd imagine.  really not in bad shape, but there's some kind of dead animal smell and i live to design kitchens, so this is going.  debating on keeping the original hutch.  i see the left door was open at first, but now i cannot get it open to save my life!


in the back of the house are 2 bedrooms with the smallest jack and jill bath ever!  while the tile in the entire house has really held up nicely and it doesn't look that bad, it's got to go, to make way for a slightly bigger bath and much cooler tile.  i'm hoping awesome surroundings will distract and prevent the heathens from injuring each other too much in the battle for the mirror in the coming teenage years...


what will be the guest bath was the master bath.  again, the tile work has held up, but the black dots on the floor are not properly aligned and it's slowly killing me...  yet another check mark on the "do we commit her" questionnaire :)


come on upstairs to the attic!  usually, i'm pretty creeped out with attics and basements, and this house was no different, but i'm committed to making this the best love nest ever, so i sucked it up and ventured upstairs!!  on the left will be our master bathroom and on the right will be the bedroom.  this space is probably the most work that needs to be done, but the roof pitch is so high that we don't need to do anything to the roof, just insulate and put up some walls!!  gonna be an oasis!!


what may turn out to be one of the best attributes of this house is that it's already zoned as a duplex!  the lower level contains a basement for the main house and an apartment!  mr. wonderful jokes that there may be a clown colony living down there and he may have been right at one time, but not now!!!  i had to hire a junk removal company to clear out all the stuff that had consumed the basement!!  i took it upon myself to face my own fears and (slowly) open the extra large deep freezer (seen in the lower left pic) to check for dead bodies...  i honestly thought i might find one!!  the dark, creepy room entrance on the lower right is actually the coal room, where the coal for the fireplace was delivered! back in the day!  the other pics are of the apartment in all it's pine wall paneled splendor and minty fresh bathroom tile!!  ahhh....  yep, that's going!

so there's a little overview of the house i have committed to making a home for my groom-to-be and my kids.  i've also committed myself to getting back at this blog thing and honestly, there's not a more perfect subject matter than one's own home to blog about, so let's do this!!

i'm committed...




kiss me i'm o'strowski...

happy st. patrick's day!!  believe it or not, several times in my life i've had people ask me if i'm irish.  really??  wrong "ish" people!  my maiden name is ostrowski and it's polish, not irish!  but, growing up in the south, i'm accustomed to people having no idea what to make of my last name, so i just roll with it :)  i do love green, though.  it's my favorite color!  so today, you can kiss me if you're feeling amorous, or if you love green, or just because!!

here's a little hit of green for this festive friday!!

top left art by ruud van embel (amazing!!), bottom right by dale chihuly (totally different medium, equally amazing!!)

top left art by ruud van embel (amazing!!), bottom right by dale chihuly (totally different medium, equally amazing!!)



tell me about it, stud...

my favorite movie is "grease".  no judgement!  one of my favorite moments in the movie is when sandy gets all dolled up in black leather a la "greasers" style and shocks the hell out of danny.  while he's standing there, jaw on carnival floor, pink ladies in the background egging her on, she drops her cigarette on the ground, stamps it out with her high heeled shoe, and says "tell me about it, stud".  cue the visual...

there's a lot of bravado in design.  and there's a lot of "i'll be whatever you want just to get the job".  i'd like to think people hire me because i'm true to myself, without a lot of hype or divaness (i made that word up, but i like it;).  in the movie, sandy attempts to transform herself into what she thinks danny is looking for, a feminine version of his blue-collar, rough and tumble, greaser self.  the similarity here is that, every time i tour a new client's project and it's just at the stud phase, i cannot stop my inner voice from screaming "tell me about it, stud"  (get it??  studs.  tell me about it, stud!)  wanting to be what they want me to be, only to realize they hired me to be me, cause they like me and they like my style, just as it is.  but it's still fun to roll out, in my mock sexy voice, "tell me about it, stud"!

all of that, just to introduce a new project i've been working on and am over the moon excited about!!!!!  super cool couple, with 2 kids, plans for at least one more, in marietta, building their dream home!

progress has been made since i've started working with them, so some of the pictures have updated shots!

here's the outside.  oh yeah, it's a bigun!!!  did i mention how supremely cool they are?? that's really the best part :)

this is the kitchen with the garage on the other side of the studs.  the lady of the house has requested that when people experience the kitchen, they exclaim "this is the tits!!".  i have never heard that phrase, but ok, i'm on it!!!  let's make it happen!  custom cabinetry, gorgeous island, francois and co metal hood, high-end appliances, 10-foot ceilings, hand-painted portuguese tile on the backsplash...

just off the kitchen is the dining room.  the original plans had a squared off wall divider, but after some thought (and my love of consistency), we decided to stick with the arch theme we have elsewhere in the house!!

also off the kitchen is the living room.  when we first met, there was just going to be a fireplace wall, maybe with some bookshelves.  oh no.  let's do this!!  we're going brick fireplace surround, plaster tapered flue surround, oversized open shelving, and custom base cabinetry with a slight moroccan thang going on...

the master bath suite will have a free standing tub (hopefully my favorite interpretation from waterworks!!!), custom double vanity, beautiful shower, and extra style in the over-sized walk-in closet!!

the stairwell will hopefully be more than just an exercise in going up stairs.  i have millwork fantasies here...it just has to fit in the budget!  on the upper level, we have the perfect wall for large scale art and an uber-feminine window seat/i have all the time in the world to lounge kinda space :)

also upstairs is the main tv room and the kid-only accessible play room (complete with stars on the ceiling lighting!!!)

back downstairs we have the laundry room, complete with a dog wash station!  they don't have a dog at the present, but that doesn't mean we can't plan for future spot's spa-like bathing area!!  this will be a fun and colorful room for task-driven activities. reminder: my motto is: design should be fun, so let's do it!

there's a kick-ass back porch, complete with dining area and relaxing by the fireplace area!!  here are some progression pics :)

this shot is a reminder that no matter how on top of everything your designer is, sometimes you just need to play with stuff in real time.  like staining the edge of the door with the options.  provincial it is!!!

i am so excited about this project and about these clients.  they really are super cool and i am honored that they are entrusting me with their dream house.  one of the most exciting things is we're going to store everything (we have to furnish the entire house as well :) until they are ready to move in, so my goal is to do the big, fun, fancy reveal in the end. not just to you, but to them!!!  fingers crossed this really happens!!!  and of course, to blog about the entire process!  tell me about it, stud ;)




happy valentine's day...

to all you lovers and those hoping for love!!  love can sneak up on you when you are just not looking for it.  when you'd given up, perhaps, or when you think you just don't have the capacity.  it can come from out of the blue or it can be right under your nose for years...  

i am a hopeless romantic, so even when single, i still think celebrating love is a good and necessary thing, not just today, but everyday!  love to me is playful, honest, a little bit gritty, adventurous, and makes you feel all sparkly inside!!

i was so excited to learn that clients of mine recently got engaged, after 6 or so years together, building a home together, and traveling the world together!!  they will be married in an intimate ceremony in their home and have a blow out party with their friends in another country (belize to be exact!!), because, why the hell not?!  

even if you're not getting engaged today, happy day of love, wherever you find it and wherever it takes you!!



best of instagram 2016...

2016 has been a wonderful year (despite all the deaths and you know, politics...)!!  it's also been an incredibly busy year and I have been truly blessed with some fantastic clients and projects!  you'll have to just believe me on that, since I've blogged about next to nothing this year!  but i promise, it's a new year, and there are quite a few final photos to be taken and quite a few more new projects gettin' going!!!!  yay!!!

anyway, back to instagram!  i've never really used it to promote my business.  it's always been more of a "here's where my artsy, weird, eye goes and the things i find visually interesting".  as i round up the top ten instagram shots, it would seem the people who connect with my account prefer shots of things i've actually designed!  i'm cool with that, but i'm still gonna take pics of moss, and shadows, and leaves, and broken eggs...

let's get to it!  there were a few ties, so please don't think i drank my math skills away last night.  i'm aware there are more than 10 pics in my top 10 :)


these happen to be two of my favorite spaces!!  on the left is the finally finished modern house (stay tuned for some hopefully reeeeeaaaaallllly exciting news about this project!!!!!  i am bananas over that floor!  on the right, is the master bedroom of a client i've been working with for most of the year renovating the entire condo and now we're onto furnishings and decor!!  the whole combo is divine and we don't even have the mattress or bed linens, yet!!


if you follow me on instagram, you probably know i'm crazy over these glass bubbles i had custom blown for my uber cool clients.  i have to take a pic everytime i'm over there, i love them so!  this shot is in the fall and the coloring of the trees is perfection!  on the right are two of the rugs i brought back from morocco that i used in my office refresh. apparently, lots of other people like rug closeups, too :)


as you can see, 4 pics scored the #8 slot!  funny to me that they all seem to go with each other quite nicely!  the top left is a crazy, funky, new faucet from dxv (the water comes up through the pattern, people!!!).  i took that on my trip to nyc, courtesy of ferguson's first look program!  honored to have been a part of that!  top right is a custom ottoman for a fun redecorating project i did in the spring!  (feel free to take a gander at the post about it here).  bottom left are those fabulous bubbles again, but from springtime!!  in the lower right is the sensational antique library cabinet in front of the super duper "reptilian" wallpaper in my uber cool clients' dining space!!!  in case you're wondering, it's now filled with custom-potted foliage :)


this is the full size!  instagram crops to a square, so lucky you!!!  you get to see it in it's entirety!!

this is the full size!  instagram crops to a square, so lucky you!!!  you get to see it in it's entirety!!

this is a painting my mom did a loooong time ago.  my mom also died a looooong time ago and this piece was on the wall in my aunt's home, also for a looooong time.  each time i visited her i'd ask if i could have it and each time she said "no, when i die".  sadly, my aunt died waaaaaaay too soon.  i didn't need this piece that badly :(  but now i do have it and it continues to be, as it always has been, an inspiration to me!  i see a person leaping from the earth to heights unknown, but joined by, or protected by, a dove (perhaps spiritual??), both soaring to something big and beautiful (like the sun!!  or maybe that's blood...either way it's lovely to me! ;).  my mom was such a skilled watercolorist!  something that i will most likely never be (i prefer acrylics, but haven't painted in years).  but that doesn't mean i can't aspire to the beauty in this piece.  i still miss my mom so much and it thrills me that i can share her work on instagram and know that so many other people think it's beautiful, too :)


love this shot!!  i've been working with this awesome couple for a while now and we've been inching along.  this is an "almost done" shot of part of their revamped master bedroom, complete with custom cloud-like drapery and custom side tables!!!


in case you've dozed off, here's a power shot of color from this fall!!  i took this while visiting one of my good friends from childhood, while we were walking in her neighborhood!  pretty sure there's no filter on this, just nature in all it's colorful glory!!


now, you know i've got a thing for bathrooms... like, i could probably live in most of the ones i design!!!  on the left, is a shower in progress for the early teen boy of the house, who actually cares about design!  his bathroom may be my fav space in the entire house thus far (and i've designed the entire house!!)!  on the right, is the ceiling shot from one of my powder baths in the 2015 aso designer showhouse and gardens.  i couldn't share any pics of it until the spread in traditional home (yeah, that one ;) came out this spring!!! what's even more fun about instagram is when other grammers share your pic and it gets that many more "likes".  case in point, this picture was shared by hyggeandwest (the lovelies that make the wallpaper i used) and circa lighting (where the amazing light came from).  their shares had a total of 1589 likes!!!!  holy love fest, batman!!!


many things make me laugh.  this really makes me laugh!  i thought it was sweet that my daughter left one of her barbies to dry next to the faucet.  she almost seems to be taunting anyone brushing their teeth with that damn perfect smile, but that's an issue for another blog...or maybe my therapist, but whatever!  Glad to know, there are others who share my humor and liked this shot enough to land it in the #3 spot :)


the tie for #2 is a nice testament to me really liking to have fun with design!!  on the left are the fabrics for the teenage hang out room i'm designing for some awesome clients!! along with the parents, we had input from 2 of the 3 teens who will get to hang out here and i feel really good about the vibe!!!  on the right are the globes for the huge open bookcases in the living room of the unusual live/work building i finished last year!  the one with the metal facade fireplace between the huge open bookcases!! :)  also on the list for final photos!!

and finally... #1

this gem right here is beyond fabulous to me and i'm sooooo glad others agree!!!  in reality, it's right up the hall from the cloud-like master bedroom in one of the other shots, but more edgy!!  i can only pray the final (read, professional shots) turn out even better!!! rooms like this also remind me how truly exciting my job is and how sincerely grateful i am to have clients who let me push the boundaries just enough to create something really special!!!

so there you have the top 10+ instagram shots of bethkoobydesign from 2016.

here are my favorites:

so my favorite instagram posts of 2016 highlight some of the most meaningful things to me.  i find nature awe-inspiring and cherish the times when i can just wander and take it all in.  i'm also amazed at the power of my phone to take such phenomenal photos!!!! above are pics from 3 different seasons, which is also kinda nice.  it's really been a wonderful year, the whole way through.  i'm a huge fan of shadow pics and having my daughter next to me (not in my shadow, mine you!) at the beach, going along with the artsy shot, 'cause she "gets" it, too, is just peachy keen :)

i hope you've had a beautiful 2016, too!  i wish you all love and peace and colorful, fantastic memories for 2017!!!




happy holidays...

2016 is coming to an end and i am so very fortunate to have so many wonderful friends, clients, and colleagues.  there is much to celebrate!  thank you all for the special roles you have in my life, business, and heart.  cheers to time with loved ones and best wishes for the year to come!!



anything's possible, lady...

if you have worked with me, you've probably heard me say this in relation to what can be done in design and construction.  at it's core, it's really an obnoxious phrase that was said to me a loooong time ago, by some contractor, who, after I explained what I was trying to accomplish (something apparently never done before.  ever. ;), said "anything's possible, lady", while holding up his fingers, making the universal gesture of $$$.  sigh. why must i be so out of the box??  ;)

alas.  sometimes custom is really the only way to go.  because you're special, you can afford it, you, too, think outside the box (or want others to think you do;), you're different, or perhaps,  your designer has looked at 124 other night stands and still nothing fits the bill (seriously)!

regardless of reason, i love, make that really love (!!!!!!!) doing custom stuff.  like, it's the dream, bomb, and f'shizzle all in one!!!!  this week has been particularly heavy on the completion or final decision making of several custom pieces i have in the works. hopefully, you will stick around to see all of these in their individual photo shoots...

first up is a fire box coffee table for my uber cool modern house clients.  no pressure here. only the company holiday party at their house and there's all kinds of scrambling and weekly conference calls (husband's picture is next to type a on wikipedia and has managed to wrestle me into weekly calls to keep everything on target :).

on the left, is the terrazzo concrete top in the polishing process.  there will be a firebox that drops  down in the middle there!!!  fun with fire!  on the right is my favorite metal guy showing me the difference of the "smoothed" weld vs the "raw".  twice after this i've had to go back and pick a powder coat color so everything will be a consistent color... this piece is going to be ah-mazing!!!!

same uber cool house is the custom 7' long metal planter for the niche next to their indoor fireplace!!!  cascading foliage will inhabit the box, bringing life to the living room!!!  this is just below the glass bubbles (if you're a true bkd fan ;)

over in the midtown high-rise, we have a couple of custom pieces happening.  we ordered the chairs on the left in a beautiful cloud-like fabric and the art on the right is being reframed!  framing always makes me super nervous.  you just get to see one little bitty corner and it's f'ing expensive!!!

in the same home, we've had this piece out on approval as a tv stand contender and decided the shape/design is awesome, but the color is off.  so.... anything's possible, lady!  stain that shit a lovely light grey and it. will. be. fabulous.

another newer client of mine had started the process of a custom dining room table with the incredible jp mcchesney when he realized he needed help picking out final colors and like, everything else ;)  we've got the color and he should be eating at his "adult" table this week!!  just need to find him something to sit on...

the other incredible modern house is inching slowly toward completion (believe it or not, not everyone has the means to knock absolutely everything out at once - this is real life people.).  i had ordered the pompom curtains from anthropologie, but they were never delivered and then they were no longer carrying them!  no!!!!!  what's a girl to do?!  have them custom made!  duh. anyway, they look so lovely in the master bedroom.  i was a tad nervous they might look childish, but they really don't.  ethereal and whimsical at the same time!!

one of my other truly awesome clients had a birthday this week!  so why not give her a pic of the just about finished custom nightstands for the master bedroom (yeah, the one that could have had 124 other nightstands...).  custom doesn't always have to be something completely different that anything you've ever seen (although, honestly, my favorite line for any tradesperson to say to me is "i ain't never seen that before."). sometimes, it's tweeking a piece to get the dimensions just right and maybe changing the texture and color.  and the depth of the drawer.  and adding a concealed pull.  and adding legs to accommodate the in floor vents.  ok, maybe it is completely different??

finally, we have something for me!  that's right!!  my new place!!  i'm getting a little cra-cra and recovering my sofa cushions with this ridiculously silly, yet cool, stick bug fabric and i'm trimming it with brush fringe (for a slightly traditional feel, cause i moved into a 1920s apartment and i'm channeling a more traditional lady of the house :)

yes, this was all really the past week.  i'm exhausted.  fortunately the tea leaves at the bottom of my wine glass tell me all will turn out phenomenal and perfect and on time and within budget and my clients will think i'm the most creative, effective, fabulous designer alive!!

after all, anything's possible, lady!! ;)



bake me a cake...

as fast as you can ;)  last week was my daughter's birthday and last weekend we celebrated with a party, including (of course!!) cake.  because i have been soooo busy lately, and I'm still discombobulated from moving, the day before the party i realized i hadn't asked her what kind of cake she wanted!  one of the things that is very important to me as a mommy, and is now tradition, is that i make my kids' cakes.  i love doing this and especially after last week's depression-inducing election, i really needed to release my inner pastry chef!!  (if you are an actual pastry chef and you're reading this, please, please, please, you have my upmost respect and i am, in no way whatsoever, truly comparing myself with you :)  i usually bake the cake the day before, but have all the decoration stuff planned out at least a week ahead, cause there's usually "stuff" involved...

so i get her on the phone (she was at her dad's) and she tells me she wants a multi-level, multi-flavor cake, with trees, like a jungle, and texture, and toys...  so, forget the inner pastry chef.  this is where my aries personality comes out.  oh, you wanna throw out that kinda last minute challenge little girl??  it's on!!

let's start simple.  hats off to betty crocker, she did it again!  and just to up the challenge a tad, this is the first time baking in my new apartment, so just a little extra stress with the oven.

so my plan is to go with the jungle theme and work in a volcano for the multi-level, as well as a jello "water" feature for a lower level and more texture!!  oh yeah.  i'll use the toy trees from the dinosaur set i bought her a few years ago for the dinosaur themed bday!  the jungle floor will be vanilla cake covered in green coconut flakes, and the volcano will be chocolate.  boom!!  multi-flavors coming atcha!!


well, my goal with the chocolate volcano was, well, not quite this.  in my head, it's a smooth mountain, that's easy to frost and actually looks like a volcano.  what i started with was this above...

what then happened looked like a giant turd sitting on vanilla cake :(  i'm getting a little nervous at this point, thinking, omg, this looks like a giant turd, i'm screwed.  the frosting is not going on nicely and again, the visual... :(

it was really too early in the day to start drinking so i did a brief prayer summoning the spirit of betty crocker with a side of comstock cherry pie filling and pushed ahead...

transforming ingredients (and by transforming ingredients, i mean add food color and change the color ;) is a creative release, so now i'm feeling a bit more confident!!  look a that green!!  if that doesn't say jungle ground cover, i don't know what does??!!

at this point, i've just kept piling on the chocolate frosting to help smooth the volcano out and it's definitely helped!!  i move on to digging out my water feature and pull the blue jello out of the fridge to find that it has indeed congealed!!  it's nasty though and i apologize to any of the parents who's kids ate this...

my daughter wants texture... ok sista, i'm bringing the texture!!!  we've got jello water, coconut ground cover, and a smoothed-out volcano turd!!  ha!!

things are getting real serious now.  i've opened the cherry pie filling and am thoroughly enjoying the process of placing the filling atop the volcano and watching it meander down the side (just like real lava!!!!!  just like it!!!)  so you could experience this captivating time along with me, i took a video!!  but, alas, i suck at audiovisual, so the video is not uploading.  envision, if you will, cherry pie filling slowly cascading toward the jello pool!  and me standing there, like the complete dork i am, whispering, "genius"!!!

the biggest challenge was getting the cake, in one piece, with nothing toppling, to the party!  as you can see above, i managed to do that, too :)  and my little jungle monkey loved her cake!!!!!

after standing at the entrance welcoming party guests, while holding the cake with one hand, for 15 minutes, I asked the "party supervisor" where our room was, so i could put the cake down, cause all i need is to trip and drop the damn thing!!  we don't have the room for another 1-1/2 hours, but they will put it in the refrigerator until we're ready. ummmmm, ok.  but, seriously, heads will roll if anything happens to the cake.  just saying.

here we are about to sing happy birthday!!  you may notice the cake seemed to suffer a bit of climate change??  they put it in the freezer instead of the fridge, so everything was frozen!!  nice.

these kids apparently could care less about the temperature differences and just enjoyed eating it!!  and i couldn't be happier! :)  happy birthday to my beautiful daughter!



happy halloween...

hello there!!!  let me tell you, life is crazy up in here!!  moving, traveling, very, very busy with clients...  life is truly wonderful, but really hard to keep on track sometimes.  my fantasy blog post is an update with snippets of all the awesome projects i have going on right now, but that would take a lot of time that i just don't have right now.  so, what i can give you, is an ode to orange post :)

i'm not a huge orange fan, but i did manage to find some pics that are far more treat than trick!

the foliage changing color in the fall, oh yes please!!  any smeg appliance, so completely adorable in any color, but loving this orange; it's actually somewhat sophisticated, not childish.  a combo of neon and sappy romantic??  sign me up!!  (haha, get it ;)  i could live in a forest of birch trees with crunchy orange leaves as my bed... ok, maybe for just one night.  go on with your out of the box bad self orange cabinets!!!  that is sexy to me.  anything morocco.  i wanna go back so badly!  i grew up drinking orange juice everyday, so to me, it's the nectar of the gods.  even better when it looks like it's being delivered as some sort of peaceful pagan offering!

i hope you all have a beautiful fall and a joyous halloween!!



things are just things...

today i let go of a big thing.  my big girl bed.  as some of you may know, i've sold my house (the closing is on monday) and i'm downsizing to a fabulous 1920's apartment, just up the road!  we'll talk about that in more detail later, but right now it's all about my bed.  i woke up at 4 f'ing 30 this morning, with my mind racing with all the things i have to do.  for clients and for myself and my kids as we move forward on this next adventure. from the sweet, perfectly comfortable haven of my bed, i gazed out the window (yeah, no shit it was still really dark and i couldn't see much, but i know what's out there!), i soaked up the shadows on the wall, i smiled at my favorite capiz shell light that hangs over my bed, i rolled over and pretended the stack of (literally 5) pillows next to me was really the physical being that is the love of my life... and i cried.  life has come so far on this mattress.  and with this bed.

i absolutely love this pic of my bed.  i took this one morning when the light was just starting to come through the window (because i have a slight obsession with the beauty of natural light) and i love pictures of unmade beds.  i've never been one to make my bed.  what's the point??  i'm just going to get back in it several hours later!! :)

anyway.  my bed story starts with the mattress actually.  i got it when i was married.  it's 100% natural latex, covered in organic cotton (yeah, cause i'm crunchy like that!).  he didn't like it.  it was too firm.  i ordered a mattress topper (also organic fluff ;) and fancy sheets.  he still didn't like it.  we changed to another mattress but kept this one, which came in handy when i later moved downstairs to a separate room and slept on this mattress on the floor.  sadly, it felt ok.  after i left, this mattress was again on the floor, but this time, of the apartment i'd escaped to.  it felt right.  it was a new chapter and it was all going to be ok.  painful as it was.  6 months later, i bought my house and the first thing i did was order my fancy pants, big girl bed.  it was actually the most money i've ever spent on any piece of furniture in my life!!  but the perfect simplicity...  and the fabulous fabric...  and my mattress fit just right... and after having survived 5 different beds in a disastrous relationship, it was good and right to have a special place just for me. 

this picture is so wonderful, because of many things!!  one.  it shows how early on this was because there are still the totally yucky white blinds on that window!!  two.  that hide pillow was one of the things i brought with me from my old house, because someone else wouldn't have appreciated it.  three.  my daughter is reading to us and my son is doing his absolute best not to jump in and take over (i have video and it makes me cry!!).  four. through the years of being in this house, my kids have wandered into my room to just roll around on the mattress, to read to themselves or each other, or to painfully wake me up at some stupid, god-awful time in the middle of the f'ing night.

when we all had lice.  yes, you read that correctly :(  since my bed is all upholstery, not only did i sleep with my head wrapped in a shower cap, i slept with my head at the foot of the bed where there is less upholstery!  i vacuumed the bed everyday.  there was no way in hell i was getting rid of that bed due to a lice infestation!!  i came out stronger in the end.  and got to keep my bed :)

so my bedroom has been photographed a few times for various magazines.  this is funny because it's not landed in one magazine.  ever.  it just refuses to photograph well!  it's been shot with 4 different rugs, different art, different nightstand styling, multiple pillows... all to no avail.  this is the most comfortable place in the world for me and yet, that (apparently) can't be captured on film.

this is my favorite styled shot (thank you jeff herr photography!).  but any picture will probably never really do my bed the justice it deserves.  it's been a safe haven.  a literal shoulder to cry on, as i lay there (going through a divorce, general heartbreak, receiving the call that my aunt was dying after a massive stroke).  it's been a place of renewal (on a nightly basis) and a place of release and intimacy (definitely not nightly, but enough to count ;).

so back to letting go.  my bed really has meant so much to me on so many different levels.  but, today, i sold it and delivered it to a friend, who will probably use it in his rental apartment.  in the end, it's just a thing that can serve someone else in a practical way.  and that's ok.  i will also keep it close to my heart and firm in my memory of good things in my life :).



they call me mellow yellow...

ok, not really.  no one is calling me mellow.  ever.  

but!!!  here's a cool before and after of a living room where the main objective was to design around the yellow walls.  and keep it cool for adult and youngster guests!  piece of yellow cake.  please...

so above you have the after!  via my totally unprofessional iphone, with no styling whatsoever!!  so, please, no judgment ;)  but take a look at the before and i'd wager you'd think we improved things just a bit!?

so, my clients here are a cool couple, who host regular get togethers with friends and their kids, sometimes just because it's friday and sometimes for things like the oscars!  love these people :)  so the space needed to accommodate multiple ages and stand up to the wear and tear of actual use.

so the "pre" space was a bit heavy and not really fun loving and jovial, like the clients are.  so we changed that!

one of the things that was important for the lady of the house was a comfortable, but stylish recliner, so she can watch her games!!!  that's what i'm talking about!!!  early on in the design process, i was stressing over what was going to work with yellow walls.  it was a true epiphany when the color green came to me!!!  duh.  so anyway, the objective was greens and neutrals, in a more fresh, slightly modern, (but drawing on the clients love of new orleans) way.  if you notice the iron floor lamp, you might pick up on this :)

this project was such a great example of mix and match, custom and off the shelf!! and. i. love. that.  above you have custom curtains, in a fabulous schumacher print (zimba in chartreuse...love love love love this!!!!) and a custom ottoman in studio bon "blossom". please, child, let me tell you how i searched for some alternative to this damn fabric.  the swatch card says 3 yard minimum.  perfect.  that's all we need to make the round ottoman.  go ahead and search for a round ottoman.  any round ottoman.  you won't find one!!!!  sometimes, custom is really the only option.  trust me.  anyway.  we go to order the fabric and the company then says the minimum is 5 yards.  no, no, no.  i then proceed to look at every and all black and white fabric to make this ottoman happen.  to no avail.  i then get the brilliant idea to ask to tack on our yardage to someone else's order and voila, our measly 3 yards is ordered and we'e on out way to custom ottoman goodness :)  the sofa is perfect and from crate and barrel.  my go-to for well-made, reasonably priced furniture!  i'll get to that one pillow in a sec...

so on the left is the sensational ottoman (and my feet, but don't mind them ;) and on the right is the stupid, gorgeous, sexy, linen fabric that i just want to roll around in, i love it so!!!  seriously.  i could drape an entire house in this shit and call it a day!  and it's just so perfect in this space!!

so before, we had a sad, but comfortable recliner, that didn't fare so well with visiting family dogs... on the right, is the most expensive recliner ever!!!  this special piece is originally from crate and barrel (because i love them and they make really reasonably priced, high-quality furniture!) and recovered in a fabulous holland and sherry died leather!!!  so ridiculously yummy!!

last, but not least, we have the drapes!  on the left is the before.  really not too bad, but heavy and a little frumpy.  on the right, the fresh, young, vibrant schumacher fabric!!  we even kept the antique brass drapery hardware, because i tied it in with a new antique brass side table.  i'm quite pleased with the results and my client is, too!!  we have a few more small accessories to add, but overall, it's a job well done, mostly within budget ;) so mellow ;)




not winning the one room challenge...

hi there!  my name's beth, in case you've forgotten.  i almost have!  the past couple of months have been a whirlwind of trying to keep up and failing miserably :(  so, it comes as no surprise to me that i didn't win the one room challenge.  why not, you ask??  well, most likely because i didn't complete it on time, duh!  as a refresher, the one room challenge, that i foolishly thought i could easily complete (because i needed to get my office space ready anyway to put my house on the market - yes that's another big thing in my life right now that also happens to be a huge time suck!!!) happens twice a year and involves 20 awesome designers/bloggers being invited to participate in fixin' up one room within a 6 week time frame and then a whole lotta "guest" designers/bloggers can join in the fun as well and do the same.  here are the links to my first 3 weeks... week one, week two, and week three... I have been done with my space for quite some time and had the pictures taken (after the deadline for the challenge), but i just haven't had time to sit down to write a post about it!  behold, the fancy pictures of my office!!  in your face water damage and alien life form!

i really can't tell you what a treat it is to have this space done and looking so pretty! challenge fail or no challenge!  below is a reminder of the before...

ok, compared to the before (with the floors finished) it's really just a room with furniture i realize that, but still, i'm so happy it's done and functional!!  pretty much everything was sourced from things i already owned.  except my new favoritest furniture piece, the metal, perforated door cabinet from pieces, inc!!  such a splurge, but i actually just stare at it sometimes with romantic googlie eyes and sigh a little, i love it so :)

here are some alternate views of the room...

special pieces above include a ceramic, pillow, rug, and throw from my recent morocco trip.  the oly cocktail table taken back from my daughter's room (she's still not happy). iphone artwork by me mixed with actual artists, christian chaize and holly irwin.  vintage chairs, some pillows i made, and the plant i've not only managed to keep alive, but it's somehow grown to the "tree" you see here!!  this is big for me :)

a couple more shots...

what i really love about my space is it's very true to me.  clean, crisp backdrop with layers of texture, color, personalty, and wonderful memories (i have an obsession with tile, so a "display" wall of some of my favorite tiles is completely appropriate!).  the pig canvas on my desk is a blow up of a picture of some graffiti i took in argentina a couple of years ago.  the pig has a respirator mask on and the whole image is splattered in blood, which adds such a grittiness to all the girly in my office, i love it!!!

on the left is a close up of the best cabinet ever hosting a ceramic piece from morocco and 2 leftovers from one of my powder baths from the aso showhouse last year, atop a fabulous tray from anthropologie.  i really love this shot.  it's just such a perfect blend of me!!  to the right is the shrine to tile with a special place for another favorite artist of mine, steve dininno, (truth be told, I also swiped this from my daughter's room, as this is the piece i bought her for her birthday last year at dk gallery!!)

a huge thank you and shout out to my photographer, jeff herr, who took all the after photos!!  and who gave me a bit of a discount for "talking" time, since apparently, i'm quite chatty!  who knew?? ;)  i hope you enjoy the photos as much as i enjoy being back in my office!!



for the love of white paint...

hello.  i'm beth, and i'm a renovation addict.  

2 years ago this fall, i discovered severe water damage (think alien life form growing up out of my base boards!) in the lower level of my house, which is my office.  this came on the heels of pretty much completing the renovation of my entire house, which took about 3 years in all.  it was a devastating discovery because i was tired of renovating at the time (i had done a lot of work myself) and i was really looking forward to a clean house. one without boxes and stacks of crap moved from room to room and sheetrock dust everywhere!  so, at that point, i said to myself, that's it, i'm prepping to sell.  shortly thereafter my house (sans the water damaged part) was to be photographed for 3, yes, 3!!!  separate magazines!!  a forth one was added to the mix a little later!!  only 1 of the first 3 panned out, but the forth was the wonderful spread in the 2016 spring issue of atlanta magazine home.  the point here is the renovation of my house has provided everything i wanted it to.  more beautiful pics for my portfolio and the validation of my talent as a designer.  obviously, it's also been a wonderful retreat for myself and my kids as we've made our way through life, post-divorce.  i really couldn't be happier and more satisfied :)  so now, it's really time to sell, because i've been saying this for almost 2 years and i'm emotionally ready!  and because, clearly, i am unable to just stay and enjoy being done :)

there's really just a few things to finish up (stuff you wished you'd done years ago and actually enjoyed all those years instead of finally doing them and the buyer gets to enjoy them!!!).  in another post, you'll see the follow up pics of my office, aka, the one-room challenge i failed at completing on time :(  right now, i am finishing the large closet just off my office space, which also had water damage and floor and wall replacement.  i installed the new base and door trim weeks ago, after the new door was hung and am just painting today.  this should be super easy because the one thing i don't ever pay anyone to do is paint!  i love to paint.  except today.  it's just not going well and i kinda feel like it's similar to hitting rock bottom with an addiction.  i usually paint while listening to music, but what i wanted to listen to wasn't downloading and that just wasn't sitting well with me.  the primer wasn't really going on quite opaque enough for my liking...

and then there's the physical suffering.

please note the difference in skin coloring between my arms and palms!

please note the difference in skin coloring between my arms and palms!

i am ambidextrous.  a fact i do actually like to brag about.  but here, it's not about bragging, just all about pain.  this is the universe telling me to put the paint roller down and rent a nice apartment, where other people are available on speed dial to do things like, change a light bulb, repaint a wall, fix the dishwasher you haven't used in 2 years because it was leaking because it was never installed properly...

to make matters worse...

you may not see anything wrong in the above picture, but to the eye of a trained professional (resident crazy reno person) such as myself, this roller has an issue.  it was fine for all the priming, but when i started painting the wall with the satin paint, the handle "shrunk" and was all wobbly.  it was truly an equipment battle to the death.  as you can see above, my hands were not winning  :(  i have used this same roller throughout the entire house and was really just a bit emotional with it failing me at the very end!

to top the drama off...

underneath the drop cloth i find this stupidity!!!!  aaaaaahhhhhhh!!!!!  ok, it's really not that bad, i washed it off really easily, but still!!!  just another sign it's time to hang up the renovation hat for now and relax for a bit :)  until, of course, that foreclosure i have my eye on works out or the land lady of the cottage i'm looking to rent lets me retile the kitchen and paint all the walls and change out the light fixtures and the floors may need refinishing...

my house goes on the market the end of this week, so please wish me luck :)




happy father's day...

happy father's day to the man who passed on the dominant trait of icandoitmyself.  it's just been discovered and it explains so much ;)  my dad is a geneticist and as much as i may try to fight it, the aversion to hire someone else to do something i can do, is not just being cheap, it's genetic.  and i thank him for it.  usually.

this is one of my favorite pictures of my dad and i.  it was taken at his wedding almost 2-1/2 years ago, a very emotionally charged day!  sadly, i don't have many pictures of all the construction projects i've been involved in with my dad, but that was kinda where i was going with this post...

my parents designed their second house and when the workers were slackin' off in the end, my dad fired them and finished it himself.  it was an awesome contemporary structure on a lake out by the university.  when i was a teenager and things needed to be added, like a floating dock with electrical power and raised wooden walkways, my dad thought it the perfect opportunity to "teach" me how to read a level, how to mix and pour concrete, how to run electrical wiring up to and over water (um, hello, safety?!), and how not to fall off a ladder (something he forgot how to do himself a little later in life...).  that last activity happened only once before i, afraid of heights, refused to ever get on the steep-pitched roof again!!  unfortunately, there seemed to be many opportunities to mix concrete on a saturday afternoon, when i should have been hanging out at the mall with my fiends :(  somehow, dfacs was never involved!

anyway... when i moved north in my late 20s and bought my first apartment, my dad came up to see it (and help me with the demo :) and at first sight said to me, "what the hell have you done?"  it was a dump, it was cheap, and i was so excited!!!  i really didn't understand his question because he had raised me to think i could do anything, that i could do anything by myself, and that, clearly, i could call him and say "hey, dad, wanna come up to new jersey and help me rip out 80 year old pine flooring and toss it out a 3rd story window??!!"  and he would say yes :)

there were many times when i have loathed the doityourself construction gene, but when i now have my own kids and one of them is planning to spend a week with grandpa building an extension on his storage shed, i know there are plenty of good traits and then there are some pretty badass traits like icandoitmyself that will continue to be passed down and it's makes me smile :)

happy fathers day, dad!  i love you and i thank you!



hey lady, wanna buy a chair...

i love a good deal!  seriously.  even though i am expertly talented at selecting the most expensive piece of whatever in a store!  i happened to be farting around on facebook last week and an ad popped up for 2 chairs on "letgo" dot com.  besides the fact that i immediately launched into a very bad rendition of "let it go" from the disney hit frozen, i was intrigued.  could these be the perfect chairs for my uber hip art fan clients who live on a more traditional golf course???  at only $400 for the pair??  in oatmeal linen?? seemingly matching perfectly with the new bed and overall cloud theme we're going for?!?!  what's the catch?  (warning!!!  if you are vegan or an animal rights activist, you may want to stop reading...)

so here's the chair and the swatch of fabric from the bed.  honestly, perfecto x 100!!  the shape of the chair mimics the shape of the bed, the scale is perfect, given the large size of the room, my client can curl up in a chair with a cup of coffee and peruse the latest fashion magazine while her nails dry... ha!!  that shit's not happening...  she has 3 boys under 10!!  but the thought is nice.

so i contacted the seller (who is actually a reputable designer) and she said it is her brother that is selling the chairs and to contact him.  i make contact and he tells me the chairs are in a storage facility in marietta.  uh.  ok.  tell client and she's immediately concerned we may be tortured and murdered, our remains stuffed in some self-storage locker only to be discovered once someone inadvertently confesses to the gruesomeness...  because why would i ever be anywhere near a self-storage facility in marietta, contemplating purchasing really inexpensive occasional chairs!?  so out of character... ;)

i did assure my client that i really wasn't worried in the least bit about any kind of foul play, but we did have quite the giggles over having 911 on speed dial and which one of us would be sacrificed (somehow i lost...)

so we show up and my client is already like, hey, he's single and kinda hunky, whaddaya think!!??  and i'm like, can we just focus on the chairs?!  we go up to the upper floor unit and the chairs are already pulled out in to the hallway and i'm immediately oohing and ahhing, thinking, this is a great score!!!  client then says, did you not notice what's in the rest of the storage unit??

wth????!!!!!  there are deer heads everywhere!!!  and i can't stop laughing.  not because i think hunting and mounting is funny, but because of all the paranoid lead up and here we are, looking at really pretty, perfect chairs for their master bedroom, and there are 15 dead deer heads desperately trying to look at me!  but wait, there's more...

there are fish and a bird.  what's beautiful about all this, is my client says to me, "don't you have another client looking for taxidermy?"  why, yes, yes, i do ;)  i am seriously questioning whether this is the right thing though...

at this point, i can't stop laughing and occasionally have a shutter of omg i'm freaked out right now...  so the only logical thing to do is:

because it's really all about the selfie nowadays, right?? ;)

ok, the chairs were a total score!!!  we both came with empty vehicles, thinking we'd each fit one chair into each of our vehicles (i say vehicle 'cause hers is a minivan and mine is a hybrid station wagon/suv).  i had to get a new car last year because my prius battery died (after 9 years...sniff) and i'd been lusting after a ford flex for a couple of years anyway.  it's pretty big and can fit up to 7 people, but let's see how handy it was with chairs today...

on the left, is my client's minivan, comfortably accommodating the 2 chairs.  on the right, my sorry-ass flex accommodating nothing but some bubblewrap in the way back :(

in the end, we were not tortured and freeze-packed in a storage unit in i-have-no-idea-where-i-was-marietta!!  we came away with 2 fabulous chairs for the master bedroom and a selfie of me and a deer head!!!








gettin' my foodie on ya'll...

well, thank you, i missed you, too!!!  despite the rumors, i have not shot-gun eloped, been hog-tied, or drown in a big-ole container of sweet tea!  i have, however, been preparing to get my food, drink, and designer prowess on for this weekend's upcoming atlanta food and wine fest!!  a long weekend of all food and drink things southern!! about 2 months ago (i can't even keep track anymore!) i received an email saying i had been selected to be one of the designers doing a vignette at kevin rathbun's "ones to watch" party during the festival!!  shut the screen door!!  i had just parked my car in the deck at atlantic station and sat there blubbering a bit as i reread the email a few times! opportunities like this are fantastic because, as a designer, you have a chance to push some boundaries with your own vision, get your talent and artistry seen, and, since you're invited, it means other people think you're capable+, which is tremendous!!  

so here's the deal.  each designer is paired with an up and coming southern chef. designer designs a vignette from mostly items found at adac (they're sponsoring the event) where chef serves up some amazing dish or two!!  fancy foodies come to taste fantastic food and soak up the beautiful spaces created by the up and coming southern designers!!  i believe there are still tickets available, so get you some, if you haven't already!!!  here's the link to the whole shebang, because it's such an incredible weekend of food, drink, and southern culture (yes, there is such a thang!) you'll want to experience as much of it as possible!!

here's the promo for the rathbun's event...

that's me on the bottom, in the green :)  among some really incredible designers, some of whom also did the aso showhouse with me last year!!!  i really can't say enough how honored i am.  and excited.  and freaking out just a little bit.  my amazing friend and assistant was originally going to help me with some of my install, but is now going to be out of town :(  so cross your fingers that me thinking i can do everything myself translates into me actually succeeding at me being able to do everything myself!!  with the help of some strong moving men, of course - cause some of my stuff's reeeeaaaalllly heavy and i'm not stupid ;)

here's the new head shot i had taken with this event in mind!  do you think it makes me look southern???

my photographer, jeff herr, did a great job!  this is in my dining room and my skirt was made by my mom, like 40 years ago!!  she made the fabric, too!  it's special :)

anyway... here's a little tease of the essence of my space.  

before i got word of who my chef would be, i was looking them all up (i could see the list on line) and thinking whoever i got i'd go visit and eat at their restaurant, get a feel for who they are as a chef and as a person, see their style, etc.  all things i would do with any design client.  these are all southern chefs, so we're talking north carolina, new orleans, georgia coast, tennessee...  easy enough to travel to.  well ha!  wouldn't you know, my chef is digby stridiron, from the british virgin islands!!  um, hell yes, i need to go visit!!!  unfortunately, this now requires a plane ticket, a bathing suit (ugh), and a tan (pasty white girl here).  and that little thing called time, which i don't have, hence the reason you haven't seen a blog post from me in over a month!!  anyway, digby's story is wonderful and inspiring and i'm so excited to create a space for him to showcase his talent!!  his restaurant is balter and i seriously want to go (and maybe not come back...). based on his website, i went with his use of local, sustainable, fresh food, in a beautiful, tropical locale infused with passion and art as my design direction. 

in case you want to join me, here's my inspiration pic...

yes please...






week 3 one room challenge...

if you were expecting some huge amount of progress, i'm about to really disappoint you! sorry.  i did, however, order the new door for the closet, change out the vent cover on the wall, scouted a side table alternative to the large, metal file cabinet, moved some furniture in the room and stared at it, and fortunately escaped spending a stupid, ridiculous, obnoxious (but probably completely worth it!!) amount of money on some insanely, sexy, leather fringe that i was considering putting on the day bed!  more on all of the above as we move through week 3's blog :)

i also scheduled my photographer to shoot the finished room, so now i'm reeeeeaaally committed to completing this!

reminder, here's the link back to callingithome.com's one room challenge!

on the left is the table that was in my daughter's room, that i moved down a couple of days ago, but only tonight did she notice!!  and of course, wasn't happy i took it.  glad she has good taste ;)  on top of that table is the super sexy leather fringe from bradley at adac!!!!  i have coveted this stuff ever since i first laid eyes on it!!  it is smoking hot (and not cheap) and my plan was to use it on the daybed cover then repurpose it for some kind of tina turner inspired dress!!!  cause i'm crafty like that ;)  but alas, the fringe takes 3 weeks to get here and i will be posting the final post then, so it will remain a dream for now :(

above we have the gorgeous, vintage, lucite vanity chair that i scooped up a while ago just knowing it would go somewhere!!!  it's in excellent condition, but i'm not sure the scale will work with the metal desk...stick around for that!

now on to a little shopping fun!!!  i decided that the large, metal storage cabinet is just not that special and can be moved into the closet (behind the new door :) and in it's place i needed a cool, new side table.  up to this point, i've pretty much shopped my own inventory and have been doing pretty good, but it was recently my birthday and i need a present... :)  anyway.  i'm withholding my resources until i decide which one i will go with, lest someone swoop in and buy the last one in stock and throw me into a challenge tailspin!!

here's me busting a move on the ugly vent situation!!  old vent cover on top, new, pretty vent cover on the bottom.  unfortunately, what i discovered when i went to screw in the new cover was that the metal duct is not cut symmetrically, so the lower left side sticks out past the wall (can you see the bigger shadow on the left?).  so now what should have been possibly the simplest thing in the room will now involve me donning safety goggles and attempting to cut back the metal myself :(  times like these, i could use a manly man boyfriend.  just saying.  but, i can do this!  other things i'm investigating are luscious velvet and a birch pole.  stick around!!!








the new south...

over a week ago i attended the opening for a juried exhibit of artists spinning their take on southern expression.  it was friday night and i ventured out to kai lin art gallery for a spectacular evening of art viewing!!  more than 200 artists submitted more than 1000 pieces of art for consideration!  i am over the moon happy to say i know one of the artists selected (steve mckenzie) and even got to take a selfie with him (see further down!!), cause who doesn't hope for a good celebrity selfie every now and then??!!  one would think i hit the wine bar running with the excess of crappy pics, but i've actually learned my lesson.  alcohol and art exhibits|auctions|or any event where art can be purchased do. not. mix.  one day i looked around my house and realized i have an art collection and not the foggiest idea of how it got here!  (that's not entirely true, but i have found i'm much more prone to give in to the temptations of playing the art patron when i've had any alcohol)...

left, "raspberry cream" by lauren kussro and right, "i saw that" by hwahyun kim

left, "raspberry cream" by lauren kussro and right, "i saw that" by hwahyun kim

the above two were my favorites!!  and either or both would fit perfectly in my office for the one room challenge crazy thing i'm doing!!

upper left, "i do not paint a novel...i draw poetry" by valentina custer o'roark, upper right, "above and beyond" by thomas turner, lower left, "zgubna postac III" by anna kenar, and lower right, "cluster" by allusion parker-shockley

upper left, "i do not paint a novel...i draw poetry" by valentina custer o'roark, upper right, "above and beyond" by thomas turner, lower left, "zgubna postac III" by anna kenar, and lower right, "cluster" by allusion parker-shockley

i loved the details and grey in these.

left, "biological fragment" by niki zarrabi and right, "dream #1" by hwahyun kim

left, "biological fragment" by niki zarrabi and right, "dream #1" by hwahyun kim

anything with plexi glass or a love theme gets my attention, as seen above!

left, "preacher of hounds" by beatriz rodriguez, middle, "a scent of fir and mortality" by ashley l. schick, and right, "the new south" by adam wellborn

left, "preacher of hounds" by beatriz rodriguez, middle, "a scent of fir and mortality" by ashley l. schick, and right, "the new south" by adam wellborn

above we have art very specifically geared toward my clients in the amazing modern house (not the one that was just completed, but the one with the custom hemlock root chandelier and glass bubbles in the front window).  they have an appreciation for more macabre works of art and i love them even more because of it!!  we are slowly moving forward in creating their dream space and when i saw these i couldn't help but think these could go somewhere!!  especially the pink rat!  come on!!  it's a pink rat!  if that doesn't scream master bathroom wc, i don't know what does!!??

yay steve!!!!  here is his piece, "celebration"; also a shameless selfie and a group shot of other gallery goers :)

yay steve!!!!  here is his piece, "celebration"; also a shameless selfie and a group shot of other gallery goers :)

so proud of my friend and overall wonderful and talented guy, steve mckenzie!!!  one of his pieces was selected and i couldn't be happier for him!!

what's the best part about this piece right here??!!  see the itty bitty red dot to the right?? that means it's sold!!!!  and that, my friends, is how we keep the artists from starving, the galleries open, and a continued support of art in our communities!  the next time you are thinking you could use a little something something on your walls, go on, venture out to your local art gallery!!  you'd be surprised, not only in what you might be attracted to, but also by the affordability of gettin' your art patron on, while supporting actual people in the process :)

the show runs through may 14, 2016, so make sure you check it out!!!



week 2 one room challenge...

and i'm already behind!!!!  ugh.  seriously debating my sanity right now.  the good thing is i'm in the throws of moving and grooving on 2 awesome powder baths for 2 different clients, wrapping up some decorating on the modern house and another living room project, and fully designing 4 kitchens, 3 master baths, and 5 other baths for 4 separate clients.  damn, girl!  yeah, that's what i said!!  throw in some other smaller things...  ok! focus, focus, focus!!

my one room challenge is revamping my office space after recovering from water damage.  the floors have been pieced back together, restained, and are now dry!!  (they still smell, though)  i'm looking forward to hyper-organizing my samples (mostly tile and wallpaper).  i currently have things in a mix of baskets and boxes, but have always dreamed of an uber neat collection of matching containers.  we'll see what my budget allows down the line :)  most of the big things (like furniture) i'll be using are things i already have.  we'll see how nuts i get with the accessories!  here's a few pictures of some of the things i know i'll be working in...

above are some of the jumping off points for the overall inspiration.  i'm digging the white, gray, and wine/pinky color combo!!  i think it's sophisticated and sexy!  i got the rug and gray throw in morocco last fall and wasn't sure if it would work for a client, but the longer i've stared at them, the more i want to keep them!!  i'm not sure if i'm going to do a window treatment, but i may do a simple shade in the gray and white "wispy" patterned fabric.  my office is on the bottom level of my split level ranch so there's not a ton of light coming in and no one can see in because of my back yard, so i don't really need anything on the windows, but it may just be the added ooolala of texture and color! the art against the wall is a mix of photos i've taken (on paper and canvas) and an ink piece from one of my favorite artists, holly irwin.  i adore the simplicity of it and it reminds me a lot of my mom, who had some skills with ink :)

next, let's quickly go through my to do list (not too daunting ;) and my very loose interpretation of a furniture plan!  i say very loose, cause this is my space and i'm not trying to impress myself!!!  i've already done that ;)  hahahaha... ok.

ta da to do list!!

ta da to do list!!

obviously not to scale, but you get the idea.  desk by the window for what natural light there is, haven't decided on my chair yet.  i have a really groovy, vintage, lucite and white pleather vanity chair i may use.  i have 2 vintage chrome and white leather directors chairs that could work as well, but i'll probably put those by the day bed for more of a loungey, meeting area feel.  the coffee table i'm thinking of using is currently in my daughter's room.  the $1200 oly, shell top, fabulous metal curvy legged coffee table i bought when i was married, that really doesn't belong in her room...  it didn't work in my living room, or anywhere else in my house, but i can't give it up, so she's the lucky duck with the fancy pants table in her room!!  (she's actually taken really good care of it, too :). anyway, the long, short storage piece is currently an off white with a touch of patina on the edges unit that houses my collection of vintage radios.  i'd always planned to put up shelves on that wall to display the radios, but i'm not so sure.  full disclosure...  i'm getting ready to sell my house and i'm not sure i really want to go through the effort of shelves there.  perhaps more art!!??  i've always wanted an oversized bulletin board for inspiration photos and paint swatches and other designery-looking things artfully tacked up, so now's my chance!!  we'll see how that goes ;)  i'm making that myself, and while i'm rather handy with a power tool, there's no guarantee it won't turn out like some pinterest fail.

since my before shot is an empty room (and really, where's the fun in that?!)  i figured i'd throw in some bad photos of my poor furniture hanging out in the garage.  above left is one of the directors chairs!  sleekness!!  the upper right shot is my metal table (turned on it's side), which i had custom made many years ago, when i lived in new york.  it was my dining room table then, but has functioned as a work table since coming down south. shopping your own house to repurpose things is always a great place to start with any project!  on the bottom is the underside of the daybed that i had made for my dad when he came to stay with me over 2 years ago.  perfect example of not getting around to something in your own house!!  i always planned to do some sort of nice cover for the mattress, but, alas, who has time to do anything for themselves??  hence the absolute need to stress myself out crazy by doing this challenge.  time to get. it. done.  (and just think of everything i could have accomplished if i hadn't written such a ramble...).  

week 2 done-ish.  back to reality!  here's the link to check out all the other designers, invited and guest, in the one room challenge!!!



one room challenge, with crickets...

hello!  today is (was) my birthday.  i love my birthday.  i'm an aries, so i tend to be a little self-centered anyway (ok, add to that i'm an only child...), so to really have a day where it should be all about you, sign me up please!!  anyway, i'm also a fan of growth and rebirth and renewal and trying new things and living life!  so when i realized today, besides being my birthday, was the first day of the 6 week one room challenge, i thought, i need to do this!!!  i've loved stalking this challenge and the blog, callingithome.com, for quite some time, so what the heck?!  might as well join in!!! annnnndddddd...  it just so happens that i have one room that needs to be beautified!!

so the crickets reign in my room because it's empty right now and in reality, the windows are open because i'm dying up in here with the toxic fumes from the floor stain and polyurethane.  the crickets may actually be dead from the toxins permeating their little bodies.

ok, i know the suspense is killing you!!!  here's the room i'm making over as a guest designer:

to give you a little background, this space is my office.  or at least it was until i discovered some extensive water damage and what appeared to be an alien life form growing out of my base trim.  no shit.  after i had completed all my upstairs renovations, i proceeded to go through the pile of stuff i had redistributed to this level, and was attempting to pick up a magazine that was under a bookshelf along the window wall.  the magazine wasn't moving anywhere, so i gave it a bit of a tug, finally managing to pull it free.  attached to the magazine was this growth of a thing that left me in shocked horror.  honestly, i still really can't believe i didn't pass out.  i did calmly take it to my trash can, disposed of it, and texted my contractor, freaking out, begging, pleading, crying to please come save me from whatever life limiting specimen this thing was.  overly dramatic you say?!  i beg to differ.  i thought the world was coming to an end.  of course, i did have photos of the evil growth, but can't find them now :(

what you see above is major progress!!  i had to rip up the concrete slab that was just outside the windows and replace the drainage system, which wasn't deep enough to prevent water from slowly seeping up through the subfloor.  the hardwoods and trim and half the wall leading to the closet on the right had to be removed and have been replaced.  my guys did a great job of piecing the new hardwoods back in and getting the dark stain right!  the thing on the right wall is not a collector's piece of abstract art.  it is my cable modem taped to the wall because i'm inept at anything computer and didn't want to worry about having to reconnect anything.  pathetic, yes.  whatevs.

here's some in progress pics of replacing the hardwoods and the hardwood zamboni.  it has been way too long that my downstairs has been a disaster zone and i'm so excited to be moving forward!!!  add to that, the challenge of making it look super fab and blogging about it!!  let's go!  here's the link to follow along.  

So, every thursday, i will post an update on the room and how things are going!!  and in the end, the big reveal!!!