All posts filed under: Interior Decorating

Image is Great.

So if you read me regularly just read this post with your eyes closed.  You’ve read my whole decorating and road trip speal before. But for everyone else…Whenever I work with a client I ask them to show me pictures of rooms they like.  I tell them it’s like going on a road trip without a map if they don’t have a goal.  Yes, you may eventually get to California but after many detours, wasted gas, and extra motel stays.  Going to the store and buying things willy nilly without knowing what you really are aiming towards is the same thing. You end up with lamps you don’t really like, a rug that matches everything you hated, and furniture that looked good in the store, but once it came home–wasn’t what you really wanted. Looking at images of rooms full of things you can’t afford housed inside amazing architecture may feel like a waste of time when your budget is Target and your house is more of a box with windows–but that couldn’t be more wrong. …


I Live In A Parisian Apartment

  I’m pretty sure that the opposite of living in a Parisian Apartment is Annandale, Virginia, but whatever, we have a great DC commute. Just a picture of my laptop and my view…of Paris Annandale as I write this… You Gotta Have Art, Inspired Living, Cottage Love



  Dusty cobblestone, heather dusk, almond toast, golden bear, lion mane, pismo dunes, honey moth… What do all these words have in common? Incomprehensible paint colors names.  I have no idea what color pismo dunes represents.  None. But how about Greige?  Beige and grey. That I can figure out, almost. And apparently, it’s been trending. While the term “greige” is a perfect blend of grey and beige, the word also gets its meaning from the old French and Italian words meaning “raw silk,” (Wiktionary) which sounds very chic to me. I found this glowing review about Thunder (AF-685) by Benjamin Moore—the color above on Pinterest via Hypen Interiors–-I chose this for a client at a recent colour consultation expecting it to be a greige. Once the painter was finished I realized that this is probably the perfect, elusive gray that we are all looking for. There are no obvious undertones that take over as there normally are with gray. It’s deceiving on the chip though because it looks more greige than gray.   If you try it you’ll have …

Ugly, Unwanted, Overwhelmed and Guilt lurk around every corner...

Kicking the Decorating Rut…Pitfalls.

Ugly, Unwanted, Overwhelmed and Guilt lurk around every corner…   You have voiced concerns, complaints, and exasperated cries for help: “What about when I try to kick out the lurking shadows of Ugly and Unwanted and Guilt stands with his arms crossed at my door?”  (If you are concerned over what this is about you might want to read the prior two posts:  Decorating Rut Part 1, Decorating Rut Part 2.) “What happens when I get rid of Ugly and Unwanted and realize there is NOTHING left in my house?” “What do I do when I try to do what you tell me but Overwhelmed kicks the snot out of Guilt and follows me around like a lousy rat?” “What happens if I get rid of it and then I need it?” 1. Guilt. Put it in perspective. It is STUFF. Yes, I know that it represents in our mind’s eye friends and family and life events. Yes, I know that these things were given to you out of kindness. But it is the act, the person, …

Monsters Inc.

Kicking the Decorating Rut–Part 2

Here we are ladies and gentlemen, to your left is ugly, to your right is does not match, behind us is what was I thinking, and upstairs is where the really rejected goes to hide. We are in the belly of the beast. Please, hold small children by the hand and stay with the group–this is no where to be alone. We will be passing out garbage bags. Your job is to fill the bag with the broken and useless remains around you. Please do not multitask as the monsters around will vie for your attention rendering you paralyzed. Once we finish we will be doing a second pass. Please follow the signs which will be visibly posted: This is not a drill. I repeat this is the real thing. Please follow directions and we will all get through this together. ************************************** Decorating Rut Part 1, Organizing and Fear    


How To Get Out Of A Decorating Rut

  Do you dislike your house but are uninspired, broke, and not motivated? Are you using all your energy to schlepp people and stuff to and fro? Do you rent? Are you a military family? Do you have kids that use your furniture as napkins? Do you own a dog that treats your furniture like a towel right out of the shower? Do you live in Northern Virginia on a tight budget? Do you glance at decorating magazines and then chuck them across the room because they are about as realistic as living here: Well my friend you are not alone. In fact, the people that don’t fall into the above category actually live in that house pictured above. Let’s take a minute and ponder that. *minute Yeah, no. I can’t wrap my head around it either. Ok, let’s put a stop to this nonsense. Pick up the decorating magazine you tossed across the room and/or go on and figure out what you like. When you go on a road trip you have a destination and …

Inspired Decorating Ideas for the Unexpected aka WOW!

  I love to be pleasantly surprised by the unexpected when I visit other people’s homes. Especially where I live. My neighborhood was built in the 1960’s and 70’s and the exteriors are very “unassuming”. Many look very small and dated but then you go inside and WOW! The house is huge with tastefully done additions and floor to ceiling windows with views of woods and rolling hills. The backyards are surprising leafy oases complete with outdoor rooms and cozy eating areas. Kitchens and bathrooms are renovated and rooms feel light, airy and modern. Moral of the story? It’s what inside that counts–don’t judge us by our covers. So to all my neighbors this one’s for you… Inspired Decorating Ideas for the Unexpected aka WOW!   More ideas? Try: Smoke and Mirrors Part 2, Wallpaper is the Coolest, COLOR


Almost Wordless Wednesday: Quiet Spaces

Wish you were here. All images our courtesy of More quiet spots? These posts are waiting: Cozy Rooms, Snooow!, Teeny Tiny Cottages, and Cottage Love


My Out of Africa

  “I had a farm in Africa, at the foot of the Ngong Hills…” I was a teenager when I saw Out of Africa with my dear friend Erika. We both vowed to see Kenya someday because of this movie. Although our Kenya maybe only existed in the 1920’s, or only in Hollywood, but regardless–our Kenya was stunning. The movie is just breathtaking and still, after seeing it at least half a dozen times, I can not watch it past the point where Karen unpacks the books towards the end of the movie…if you’ve seen it then you know why. Alas, I have not been to Kenya, yet.  Will I ever go and if I make it there will it exist as it does in my mind’s eye? And then I went to Middleburg, Virginia. Middleburg is known for its fox and hound hunts, horses, vineyards, and rich people. Apparently, famous people use to come here back in the day too, like Clark Gable, because no one cared if you were a celebrity and you could just blend in–with …


When It’s For Sale Wednesday…Or 10 Home Staging Tips

  Pretend it’s Wednesday. I know it’s Thursday. I’ve got real estate on my brain. We currently rent and are looking to buy. My husband loves Zillow. He loves going to Sunday open houses. He loves driving around looking at neighborhoods. I do not. It stresses me out. Even as I type this my palms are getting sweaty. For starters buying a house is a big flipping deal. I know because I’ve bought 3 of them. It’s not just buying shelter–it’s aspiring to a different life. It’s what rises up to greet you in the morning and what surrounds you as you sleep. It’s where your kids make their childhood memories. It’s where life–good and bad–is lived. And houses are expensive. So I become crazy when I walk through them and they are up for sale with as much care as a toaster in a garage sale. Houses should not would not NEVER be sold casually…unless you have money and time to waste. People put more time in cleaning out their cars when they sell them …