Sunday, September 28, 2008


It started six weeks ago when I had the initial "epiphany". There are two main epiphanies I'm going to talk about. First was painting the cabinets in our master bath black. Emil did his research and found he could handle the project. The first requirement!

The cabinets are wood and were finished in a light color, and looked ordinary. Not bad,--but not great. I thought the look of the bath would be totally improved if they were black.

To improve the overall look of the vanity area I also wanted to dress up the "Builder Look". We had a mirror (in the warehouse) that we hung "over" the builder's mirror. The mirror is your typical mirror that is installed over the vanity and goes from the top of the vanity to the ceiling. The result upped the drama to another level. We have done this effect before.

We use fishing line to hang the "second" mirror.

I love the idea of a MIRROR OVER A MIRROR. I've done it over and over in different homes in different situations. All you need are two mirrors. How simple! A large and a smaller one. In order for it to work, the smaller mirror should be framed. Depending on the location and size of the larger mirror, it could also have a frame.

When the project was finished both of us were blown away with the dramatic results.

Now you don't think the story stops here do you? You should know me by now…...
My mind was running so fast I couldn't stand it! You guessed it-----------------


Well you know what his answer was----------------

Four days later it was done.
We had to do it in sections due to space issues. Now you know where the left over black came from for our project to paint the wall behind the TV. This Epiphany has got to be among the best. The results were unbelievable and the cost was only one gallon on semi gloss black paint and one gallon of primer.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

General Information


Past posts are automatically "archived". In order to visit these pages just click on to the title at the right of the page.

Also, if you double click on the pictures, they enlarge.

Thank you and enjoy---

Tuesday, September 23, 2008


Emil and I just got back from our little vacation to Williamsburg. We had a great time with our friends. I took pictures of Colonial Williamsburg that I want to share with you. I hope to give you a glimpse into American History.

Emil is still working on how to put pictures into the text, so they will again follow my remarks.

One of the interesting things I saw was a ceramic object that the colonists attached to their homes so birds could make their nests. I've never seen anything like it before and can you imagine the interior design inside the bird house!

The architecture is fascinating. The textures and colors of the brick are fabulous. Walking down Duke of Gloucester Street you pass by taverns, homes, businesses and shops as they were in Colonial Times, as local citizens in authentic costumes do the storytelling. The horse carriages are beautiful and the kids were taken with the real life aroma! All in all it's a wonderful day of interest and fun for the entire family

Naturally, because this is the USA, there is a fun shopping area. Some of the stores are national chains, but the interesting ones are quaint little boutiques selling all sorts of items from luxurious silk throws to funky hats! I found some gems that I wanted to share with you. There were two mirrors that were interesting, of course my silly mind thought they would make wonderful tables with the right bases. Or---great trays on a large ottoman or table! The throw was made of leather and silk. Great texture with a soft color combination. After the Holidays I'm hoping to find a faux fur throw, so I walked away from that item.

Hope you catch the "Aroma" in one shot and don't you just love the items in the last!

I just snapped my way around the entire afternoon and hope you enjoy my little picture show.

Will get back to serious design topics next week.



Just like dressing for success ---- Look around your room --- eliminate one item. A dish or bowl, (whatever) now look--- a cleaner look!




Tuesday, September 16, 2008



It seems we hear a lot about "change" these days. Well, I know a thing or two about change. I want to discuss how a space in our home has changed over the last few months. The changes were, for the most part, to make better use of the space.

The first version is a clean look. Nice, but I thought it could be a little more interesting. Next I tried our Asian Panels resting on the wall. They filled the space, but I felt didn't use the space to it's fullest. I then put our nest of zinc tables with a silver framed mirror above, on the wall .That was good, and I liked the idea of the mirror, and the tables were convenient for serving. The mirror reflected the light from the windows and opened up the small narrow room. The only problem I had was the space was tight due to the depth of the zinc tables. They also looked much better in the space they had been in. When you start moving pieces around you create a domino affect and sometimes things are better not changed. We decided to put beveled mirror wall tiles filling a 5' x 7' space to achieve the reflection advantage and give the impression of a wider room. I missed not having a table to use for serving. I had a glass console table in the "Warehouse" (explain this later) that was not as deep as the zinc tables and it was perfect against the mirror tiles. The table visually fads into the wall of mirrors. Like this look --I have the serving table and I have a large reflection of light. We will be purchasing folding chairs for extra seating. The table expands to 95 inches from it's normal 3' x 4' size and it's all in one piece. No leaves to store. Great for small places.

One other change that I tried, and put back to it's original place, is the dining table. The "long" position gives more space to walk around, but is the same position as all the other furniture in the room and gives a "train" look. The horizontal position gives more balance and interest.

Notice the area rugs! The space changed from two neo-classic needlepoint area rugs to just one, white shag with silver threads, in the seating area, to set off the RED bench. Kenneth says every room needs a POP of red! I think we were pretty successful in getting that POP! There is now no rug under the dining table. The entire room is very small and one accent rug is all that is needed. This also allows more of the wood flooring to show.

Accessories, well they change almost daily! I have accessories, chairs, art work and tables stored in my "Warehouse". That's the huge master bedroom walk-in closet where I keep things not in use. Bill once told me: "Patty, you don't have to use everything at the same time, put things away and take them out later. It will be like something "new" each time."

I can't say one version is better than another, just different looks for different uses. I love to see things in different forms. I have discovered that moving a piece opens up all sorts of possibilities and discoveries. In moving the Asian Panels they found a new home on a wall where they look 100% better.

OUTSIDE THE BOX (Title contributed by Emil)

Believe it or not------------as I was typing this page I was facing the TV and the console it fits into. It's in a niche that's built into the wall. The console never filled the space completely which seemed "off "to me. The console is a very clean piece with a frame around all four sides. The piece has a black wood finish and is 75" high by 50" wide. The niche is 91" high by 81" wide. Bang, an Epiphany! I thought why not turn the console on it's side! In an hour it was flipped with the TV on the top (formerly the side). The inside spaces are now filled with things that were in the warehouse or in other spaces around the house. It was a keeper! Then the second phase of the epiphany occurred ----paint the back wall of the niche black so everything "pops". We had the paint from another project, so it was a done deal. That project was painting our kitchen cabinets black. I'll show them in another blog. As a plus, painting the wall black behind the TV console carried the "heaviness" of that color to the opposite side of the room. New look, no cost! Like those epiphanies! Of course we took before and after pictures. There will be a third phase that will have a small cost. We have a source for power in the ceiling and we are looking into track spot lighting to highlight the treasures now in the console and one for our large art piece that is over the sofa. We will also install a dimmer switch to control the light.

I want to step back a minute and emphasize that 99% of my epiphanies are done with Emil's labor. We could not afford them if we had to pay professionals to do the work. So I have to keep that in mind when I embark on a project. I have had great ideas that he has flatly refused to do and I have to respect his decision.


Kenneth has posted a new entry on his Journal Page. We can purchase his original art work! Regardless of your need for a new piece of art, take a look and see how talented he is! In January his home product line will be available on QVC. Can't wait. He has fabulous bedding products that will be wonderful additions to our homes.


Have your light sources on dimmer switches. Not only the dining fixtures, but bath , and even table lamps. You can control the atmosphere of the room and it is an effective and useful tool.


We are going on a little vacation to Williamsburg this week. I hope to bring back some great ideas. We are visiting dear friends. I grew up with Nancy and through the internet about five years ago, we discovered we lived near each other. We hadn't seen each other since High School! She is redoing their sun room and we will be shopping for accessories. Can't wait-----




Monday, September 8, 2008


“Bill and Kenneth, who are they?”, you ask!

I mentioned in an earlier post that I had two mentors. One was Bill Shaver and the other is Kenneth Brown

Bill entered my life in March of 1999, while we were in the process of replacing our furniture. At the Virginia Beach location of one of the largest furniture stores in Virginia I had the good fortune to work with their Designer. He was a transplanted artist from Texas and hadn’t quite “made” it yet in his new location. Like many up and coming designers he got a “paying” job at a furniture store. Bill was a successful artist, in Modern Art, worked in floral design and was also sought out for his talent in faux painting. He took me under his wing and we worked fabulously together achieving great things in our home over a period of 5 years. As I have said, design evolves, and between the two of us our little condo EVOLVED. In 2003 his health started to fail. We had long talks sharing thoughts and many feelings. He became a close member of our family. He gave me the confidence I needed to continue with my passion. At this same time a new, young designer was up and coming on the National design scene. Kenneth Brown was emerging as a well known Designer with many celebrity clients and had a national television show on HGTV called “reDesign.” Bill appreciated Kenneth and saw that his talents and work were way above the rest. He felt I could grow and learn from him. Bill died March 25, 2004. He was 44 years old. His words and advice have never left me.


Kenneth is a jewel, a fabulous person and one of the most talented designers I have ever encountered. He is down to earth and openly shares his knowledge with anyone who asks. He has NO “airs” and gives of himself in a most generous and gracious manner.

Today, my inspirations come from Kenneth. PLEASE click onto his website
www.kennethbrowndesign.com. You will see why his style has become my favorite.

First read his “About” page and then click onto his “Rooms” page. This will give you insight into where my style gets it‘s inspiration. Now that you are there go on KBtv and you will see small film clips of his recent work. Here, you will get a glimpse of his personality. What you see is the true Kenneth. About once a week he enters advice and gives updates on the Journal page. The Question/Messages page is where you can ask him personal design questions and about once a month he answers most of them.

Now that I have you hooked on Kenneth; may I suggest you contact Linda Wiley at kennethbrownfanclub@gmail.com.
Yes, he has a “Fan Club”!
Linda is the President and does a wonderful job. I have to admit that at the age of 67 I finally found my Rock Star! Through the “club” I have gotten to know Linda and Carol, another die hard fan. Thanks to the internet, I now have a Rock Star and two new friends.


I can’t leave you today without a little hint as to what’s ahead in design and one of the latest Trends. WALLPAPER ! !

It figures, now that we have steamed, peeled and cried over removing all the paper in our homes, and painted all our walls with every color and technique, wallpaper is back! Not wimpy floral wallpaper either. We are going to seeing flocked, (yes flocked), foils and grass cloths to name a few!
Doesn’t this make you happy? Go, no RUN, to the nearest wallpaper store and bring home those books!

Next week I am planning on devoting the topic to CHANGE. My version. With Emil’s,
(my computer geek) help, I am hoping to actually post PICTURES.

See you next Wednesday----


Wednesday, September 3, 2008


I must admit that I am a person addicted to organization. To follow my own beliefs I will make posts to this site in an organized manner. Since this blog started on a Wednesday, and I was born on a Wednesday, I will make Wednesdays "Post Days". That will give me time each week to decided what I want to talk about. When I learn the computer parts of this I will try to post pictures. In a weeks time I can have as many before and after shots as days! Recently our family website showed before and after pictures of our home and believe it or not, only one room remains the same today. It's all in the epiphanies!
Design evolves with life. Life changes daily, as do we. We grow, we age, our ideas, our priorities and our surroundings change with us. The only problem I have is that I tend to make changes more than most. I see a vision and decide at that moment to make it happen. Sometimes it's the best thing ever and sometimes it's the worst. But I have to try. Every time I do something I think about my two mentors and what they would say. Their voices are always with me and they keep me grounded.
I'm hoping over the Wednesdays ahead to share with you things that I have learned through trial and error. That's my intention and with your help I hope to accomplish it. Check in next Wednesday and see what I've come up with. If you have suggestions, I'd love to hear them .

Welcome to my World of Design

As an introduction to this blog, I first want to thank my Granddaughter, Erica, for the suggestion that I start this adventure.
Most of my family and friends know that my passion in life is Interior Design. Even as a small child, I remember picturing rooms in different colors and forms.
It has only been in my later years that I have been able to express this passion. I have had the benefit of being associated with two designers, one a very talented unknown and the other a very well known celebrity in the Design World. Both have encouraged me to pursue my passion.
Through this blog I hope to share all my thoughts (epiphanies). I have been known to change rooms at 3 AM ---just about whenever an idea comes to mind.
I am not sure what format this blog will take on. I might let it just fall into place and evolve like design does.