Sunday, December 20, 2009



(A surprise gift from Master Carpenter. Oh is he a "Keeper"....Love him and Love it!)

Monday, December 14, 2009


Emil, Erica, and I, wish you A Very Merry Christmas and A Wonderful, Happy New Year.

Things have been a little crazy and hectic here....thus the lull in posts.

We promise to have fantastic new posts after the Holidays. Lots of new projects in the works....
Master Carpenter will be busy, busy, busy... in the next few weeks.
I also have been informed that Erica has some very interesting "Sunday's with Erica" in the works!

So ........please bare with us..... hold on for a few weeks..... we will be back, in January, with ideas like never before. They will Amaze and Wow you....just wait!

Merry Christmas,

Monday, November 23, 2009

CHRISTMAS .....and NO TREE !!!!!!!!!

Can you believe it?

Yes, it will be a Christmas without a tree. Our little flocked tree, that we have had for six years, has passed into the world of memories...

Over the weekend we carried down all the Christmas decorations and THE tree, in it's large "tree" bag! Unzipped the bag, held our breath and faced the truth......it looked like a tired, old, bent over, tree...........covered in "dirty" snow!

NEVERTHELESS.....I put it up, lights and all!! Figured all the trimmings would make it come to life!

I hung a large flocked wreath, that I ordered last month in the center of the mirror over the fireplace. Then, I encircled the mantle with green garland filled with lots of white bows and silver balls. It looked "white" very white..... but that was the plan .....wreath, garland and tree ..all white and silver!! I went to bed thinking..this was a breeze..in less than one evening all the house was done!

I entered the room the next morning and faced the fact that the entire room looked ridiculous!
The garland looked like an overdone Easter bonnet and the flocked wreath just made the tree look dirtier!!!

In no time flat the entire "decor" was down... all over the floor!!!!! So much for the fastest Christmas decorating job ever!

Then .....You guessed it............EPIPHANY.............

Ideas were flowing, fast, very fast.....Hung the wreath over the mirror tiles (where the tree had been), and added red ribbon from last year. Luckily had some left over. (I ordered white ribbon this year...silly me!) Then, as all my Epiphanies go..........figured out that if I took the tree branches out of the trunk and added them to the green garland .... maybe, just maybe, the flocking wouldn't look so "dirty". Now this wasn't easy....had to have Master Carpenter pull them all out with large pliers. He came to the rescue and I had all my branches ready to add to the garland.....along with lots of loose "dirty snow"..... all over the room!!! The branches filled in the garland without any trouble at all....easy as can be!

Things were picking up...I was getting excited...it was beginning to look pretty good. Added more of the red ribbon to the garland........ I was on a "roll"!!!

I wrapped my staged gift boxes with white paper and the remaining red ribbon. Placed them on the table under the wreath..............


Then, as I stood back I decided....................Christmas without a tree isn't so bad after all!!!

Thursday, October 22, 2009


It was brought to my attention that 5 (FIVE) days have gone by and there hasn't been a new post!!

Ok....guys...I came up with one.

When I am stressed/ and or nervous, I move things around.....This has been a stress filled week, between doctors, dentists and becoming "head" of the Holiday Tour of Homes. (Lots of responsibilities!)....

I made a lot of changing around here!

Now for the fun part.......... or I dare I say "test"!

I have counted 13 different things in the appearance of the great room. Who can guess them? Oh, by the way......no prizes this time!

Saturday, October 17, 2009


Found this brilliant product on Kenneth Brown's site this morning! Wonderful idea and so, so chic! To read more about this wonderful item and other products from this company, link on the address below.


Friday, October 16, 2009


Carla, our Daughter-in-Law, sent the following fabulous floral arrangement ideas. I think they are marvelous!!! Just use your imagination and have fun!

Thank you, Carla, for sharing this with the blog.


I went to a gathering at church and Kent Freeman < a man from our church who owns a floral shop gave a short presentation on how to make your own tble scapes with flowers and foliage in your yard or your neighbors yard or how to make some out of permanent flowers not artificial. He doesn't use the word artificial. So here is one where he used flowers that are in bloom right now. nothing really to complicated.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

.......AND THE WINNER IS.........

The "prize".......a check for $25.00 (Personal Signed by Patty Day, Senior Designer and Blogger)


.....the NEW CHALLENGE..........10,000 hits!!!!
Thank you, everyone, it has been fun and I appreciate all the participation. Claire's guess was October 14th and the 5000 hit came in at 9:20 AM on October 13, 2009

Saturday, October 10, 2009


You will all think I have lost my marbles.... but this is the most fun and crazy Epiphany I have had in months...

Please, don't think "You have really lost it this time!"........read, and give it a minute to "speak to you"!

Back in May, I toured Atlanta's prestigious Showcase of Homes. This year the event was held in the new St. Regis Hotel and Residence Condominium in Buckhead. The building is to "Die For"......Can't even describe how elegant the complex is!

As I was wondering through the magnificent condominium homes on the tour, I noticed two floral designers arranging pieces. One designer was arranging tree branches in a tall vase ......When she had it just right she carefully placed it on the dining table in one of the most glamorous dining rooms I have ever stepped into! At first I thought she was nuts, but after taking a second look, I realized "This is Fantastic, what a brilliant idea! Trendy, for sure, but it was the ideal piece for the formal, elegant room!

In the months since, in every magazine I subscribe to, at least one room in each issue has a variation of this idea! This "silly" trend was screaming at me.....Finally, I realized...... this is EXACTLY what I need for the pedestal I bought in Charlotte !!

Last week Master Carpenter and I had a "get away" day in Atlanta. One of the things we did, as always, was to scout out all my favorite design shops! We found the TREES ....... OH YES, we did....and boy were they pricey! One shop had a "Twig" for $19, another, two for $29!!! They weren't as tall as I wanted... nearly as decorative, and they were FAKE!!!!

Ah.....my brain went to work....I realized I have all I need without spending a dime.... I have "Master Carpenter"!!!! He can surely go into the surrounding "woods" and find some DEAD tree branches !!! He was so agreeable!! Emil is smart enough now..... that if I come up with an idea that he can pull off without any cost......he CAN come up with a way to do it!

With a "sketch" of the exact shape and form of THE dead branches I wanted, he headed out.....within 45 minutes he was back....with perfect, I mean PERFECT, specimens!!!

St Regis, and all those magazines...eat your hearts out.....the latest "trend" is in our home FREE!!!

If you feel this is too far out for you...consider spraying the branches silver, gold or white....Instant Holiday magical decor!!!!

Nothing in "nature" has been harmed or killed! It is a genuine, qualified "Green Project"!

Side note: ......Master Carpenter fell upon a few golf balls while he was on his search and offered them to passing golfers. I can only imagine what went through their minds seeing Master Carpenter .... not only was some old nut walking around with dead tree branches......BUT.....

(As most of you know Emil feels chilly most of the time, one reason there will never be a ceiling fan in our house!!!)

This morning was beautiful, sunny, and 75 degrees! And...what do you think Master Carpenter was decked out in???? A hooded black sweat jacket, shorts, brown socks and white jogging shoes!


Friday, October 9, 2009


Thanks, Erica, for contributing your fabulous knowledge and expertise to the blog. Can’t wait to read what wonderful ideas you have for your next piece in November! You also gave Master Carpenter a little vacation…. I’m particularly anticipating the “no-sew” addition!

I bet you all have wondered…………..WHAT HAPPENED TO THE BLACK TV CABINET??? Well, it has never looked better!

It’s new home is in the LAIR…..
Oh, the Liar!
Master Carpenter’s refuge……

Once he enters his private space….he is no longer reachable! I need a Visa, Passport and the Secret Word to ENTER!! ( Please don’t tell him….I sneak in every morning before he gets up to dust) I have to be very careful not to change the position of the mess on his desk….it’s hard to dust, and then put back the mess back in it’s messy order…

…I am showing a “Magazine Shot” of what the desk would look like in a photo shot and then there is the shot of what it really looks like!

I have strived to make it “His Space” and have none of my things in there. Even removed my high school yearbook! We have photo’s of the Anniversary Bash of the family that Master Computer Photo Maker has on his “to do” list that are not in the frames you can see that remain “empty”!

Emil has told me this is his favorite of all Lairs he has had. It’s his and only his……

Sunday, October 4, 2009


COLOR is sooooo subjective and complex. So here’s the best way to give advice, Thank you my lovely husband for this idea! Remember, these are just my personal tips (from my own little brain) to get you unstuck and help narrow down your color options…

My Top Ten Color Choosing Tips (applicable to fashion, interior spaces, art, etc.)

1. KNOW what your favorite color is!

It may be a color you love to wear because it compliments your skin, or the color of your favorite sports team because it evokes fond memories, or maybe (like myself) it is the color that when you see it, your eyes involuntarily widen and it makes you feel GOOD and comfortable inside. Whatever your reasoning, KNOW what your favorite color is and when in doubt, use it as a stepping stone in the creation process.

2. Define your “project” and think of color appropriately.

Let’s say it is time to update your kitchen. Think of the purpose of this space: cooking and eating, socializing, family time, etc. There are many color theories out there that discuss what emotions certain colors evoke, and for a kitchen, I bet you automatically think of warm colors (reds, oranges, and yellows) and earthy colors found in food (greens and browns). I bet the last color you think of is BLUE. Do you know why? Blue is the least appetizing color!!! I bet you can’t think of 3 naturally occurring FOODS that are blue… blueberries is all I’ve got! But blue is a very soothing and comforting color, great for a bedroom or bathroom, right? Therefore, by defining your design goals at the beginning of a project, you will be able to narrow down your choices drastically.

3. Know the difference between the Main Color Buzzwords.

Hue: The COLOR, like red, yellow, green, blue….

Value: The “lightness” or “darkness” of a color OR the amount of white or black added to it. A “tint” is a color with white added, a “shade is color with black added and a “tone” is a color with grey added (like the middle version).

Saturation: How BRIGHT the color is. A highly saturated color is very vivid and bold, where a low saturation is almost grey. Grey has zero saturation of color.

4. Choose your textiles for function, color, texture and weight… THEN choose your color family.

There was once this Wal-Mart commercial that used to drive me CRAZY! The lady was like, “First I choose my paint color, then I find my bedding… blah blah blah, Wal-Mart has it all.” Um, does this sound backwards to anyone else?? You have infinite paint choices, but really, textiles are many, but you do have a finite selection, know what I mean? So first, find your textile that meets your needs for the space, one that makes you happy and THEN get your paint to coordinate! Sure it is ok to know, “I want the walls to be green,” and to keep that in mind when selecting the textile, but please wait to choose the actual COLOR!

5. Examine the lighting in the space thoroughly.

Color by definition is the amount and kind of light absorbed and reflected back to the eye. Do not assume the color you love in the paint department will look the same in your space. Grab LOTS of the same family of colors and bring the swatches home. Yes, as many as you want… they are FREE! Tape them on various walls and look at them over the course of a few days. Move them around. Narrow down your favorites and then take them back to the paint shop. Many companies are now able to mix very small samples for you… so spend the extra $10-15 and do it! Buy some poster board and paint LARGE swatches (at least a foot square) and repeat your first step. This seemingly tedious process is actually fun and can save you lots of time, disappointment, and repainting in the future.

6. Know the MOOD.

Do you want to feel calm and rested, or energetic and fun? Are you looking for high saturation and vividness, or just a touch and hint of color? Do you want to feel cozy and comfortable or crisp and clean? Define your emotions! Warmth is most commonly felt by colors that remind you of sunrays and fire, and coolness by ice, water, and the sky. In my opinion purple can go either way depending on how much red/magenta or how much blue/cyan is in it. So sit back and think, “how do I want to FEEL in this space” and go from there.



7. Remember color can be added in more ways than PAINT.

TEXTILES TEXTILES TEXTILES! I love me some fabric! And don’t worry, we’ll discuss choosing textiles later, but please don’t forget about all the color and texture (visual and tactile) they can add to a space. Other ways to add color is through accessories and art. Textures absorb light in different ways… so add some glass, wood, ceramic, tile, stone and papers to the mix!

8. As Stacy and Clinton on “What Not To Wear” say: “It doesn’t have to match, it just has to GO.”

Remember your color wheel. As long as you follow ONE rule at a time, you are golden. Colors next to each other, REALLY GOOD. Colors opposite each other, GOOD if in proper values and saturations. Two colors near each other and one opposite, CREATIVE. The wheel has worked for years, and it is round for a reason. Use it and have fun.


9. Use your eyeballs and trust them.

Even if you are colorblind, you know what colors look good to YOU! Trust your instincts and what YOU find appealing and then show everyone else your masterpiece. Remember, color is subjective and there really is no right and wrong, just a difference of opinion. I suppose it is good to discuss and agree or compromise with your spouse/partner/roomies, but essentially your rods and cones will tell you what’s up. So trust your eyeballs… they are amazing things!

10. AND………… HAVE FUN!

Golly, just don’t be scared! Being timid with color will just result in ho-hum and we all know that isn’t what most of us are really after. Play with harmonies and even discordant colors! A POP of something unexpected will often really MAKE the room (or outfit if you take this into fashion). Show your personality and be confident that you have interesting and fun ideas to share. I have long believed you can make anything look good with enough confidence behind it, so shake things up a bit and try something new… and KNOW you have what it takes to make it your own.



PS... and for those of you who LOVE color as much as I do... or just need some color palette ideas, check this out! http://www.colourlovers.com/palettes/new

Saturday, September 26, 2009


Hi Everyone! My lovely Design Grandmother has asked me to be a contributing writer to her fabulous design blog and I am most honored! I hope for this to be a fun experience for myself, sharing my thoughts and ideas on “Small Space Living,” and for this to be an open place for you readers to critique, learn and share your own thoughts. All that said, for the past week I’ve been rolling around in my head several places to start my entries, and what makes the most sense is to “start from the very beginning… “ as we all know, it’s a wonderful place to start! Let’s begin with experience, and then in future posts, we can discuss some ideas I have and how to decorate small spaces (often in renter friendly ways) and economical decorating ideas for all types of living.

Also, remember that in no way do I think that we live in a model of awesome apartment design! We will only be here for another few months probably, so we’ve done what we can to make it comfortable and as colorful as we can!

I’m a little long winded (my writing is proportional to how much I talk!), so here goes a long post…

In my adult life (only about 6-7 years now),I have lived in two dorm rooms and four apartments, each rented and temporary, and me living on a very (very) small budget where food and gas for my car was a top priority, thus not allowing for many design changes to make it a real HOME. For this entry I will focus on my current apartment, my very first home with my new husband, Adam (who is so ready to buy a house!).

Location, Location, Location! We chose this apartment community after only looking at one other place, and ultimately chose this one because through Adam’s job, he could get a discount on the application fees… and it has a spiral staircase! Adam moved in first and lived oh so sparsely as a bachelor, and since I’ve been here with him, we’ve gradually tried to do small things to make it a home… but more on that in later posts. This is our home:


We live technically in Arden, North Carolina, which is about two minutes from Asheville city limits and fifteen-ish minutes from downtown Asheville. There’s a great grocery store right across the street (which is nice to walk to for small visits) and right around the corner in both directions from a busy retail road, which leads straight downtown and a new upscale condo town center community, which is growing into a fabulous shopping venue. Homes right behind us in Biltmore Park Town Square are $300,000 to over a couple million dollars. We also live 5-ish minutes to Adam’s work and less than 5 minutes to both of my little jobs. Our unit also overlooks the main pool and right next to the main office at the front of the community. So, for this lovely location and for 931 square feet, we pay right around $850/month. We are mostly happy here, but every now and then we just get very frustrated and say… “We can’t wait to have our own home! How much longer until we can buy a house?” We both have our own gripes about our rented living, but there are benefits too (I see more benefits than Adam does, but that’s really just our difference in personality… I have more patience than him for sure!).

Visit http://biltmorepark.com/ for more info on our growing surrounding community.

So, as most of us tend to do, let’s start with our three main gripes of renting, our experience specific:

We have “crappy to fair” quality appliances.
We bought our own washer and dryer (I did laundry 3 times going up and down 3 flights of stairs and across the pool to the laundry facility caring my own weight in clothes… and that was enough of that!), but the provided appliances are a little… well, crappy! The oven is calibrated by moving the temperature knob off kilter, the bottom drawer handle falls off, the fridge’s crisper drawer falls out every time you open it, the dishwasher is ok, but not super, and the faucet drips. We are lucky to have a dishwasher and disposal so yay for that! And as a renter, there’s nothing you can do about it! Oh, and they’ve also started to renovate the kitchens and bathrooms, BUT not ours since we are already here. I’m sure this unit will get the update as soon as we move out.

The walls, ceiling, trim and doors are all WHITE WHITE WHITE.
You would think that maybe they could have painted the walls “eggshell” or “clean linen” or something, but no, everything is the same same same bright white paint! No depth or coziness, just harsh and sterile walls. I painted one wall upstairs in the loft space (my studio space!) but any wall we paint must be painted back, by us, before we move out. We both love color and we can’t wait to be able to paint whatever and where ever we want! I do have some thoughts on getting around this lack of color issue, but we’ll save that for a later post.

We live on the third floor and neighbors are close, sharing walls. and floors/ceilings.
We are glad to be on the third floor (the top), thus not having anyone above us, BUT we can hear any loud TV noise (like the base during an action movie) or music from the apartment below, and likewise they can hear ours. Adam loves to have his surround sound blasting and gets very frustrated with having to keep the volume down. We didn’t care so much a few months ago when there was a man below us who LOVED his action movies, but as apartment tenants do often, he moved and we got a complaint from the new tenants. We only share the wall off of the kitchen with our neighbors, but as my mom knows, I have a cabinet slamming problem and I’m sure they can hear that, as we hear theirs. We are lucky that this is all you can hear, but it would still be nice to have FREEDOM to live as we please. Another gripe about the third floor is moving furniture in and carrying groceries up. Gosh, I can’t wait until I can just walk right up to our door from the driveway!

Ok, enough gripes (although there are more, but this is getting long enough!). Things we like:

We have no maintenance to do (other than normal cleaning).
Adam would love to have a lawn and to take care of it (so he says!), but I am happy to not have to do any of that. Our community takes good care of the surrounding green spaces and has a lawn crew to tend to it! We also get a pretty quick response to any maintenance issues we have within our apartment and the fix-it guys are very nice. But we still have a drippy sink…

We have great closet space in relation to the size of the apartment.
We have lots of closets and good size ones too! Our closet count is FIVE, plus a laundry room: in the bedroom we have a mini walk-in, upstairs is a long double door closet, a coat closet at the entrance, a linen closet in the bathroom (and our bathroom is a good size too!) and an outside storage space. We also store our bikes under the stairs, which is a perfectly sized space for them! Yes, I do dominate the use of the closet space, but Adam said I could have it… so there! We try really hard to optimize our storage space, first by not keeping everything we’ve ever touched or thought we might need later (Adam is helping me with that concept), and by using all the space, vertically and horizontally. I actually love to browse through home storage sections at home improvement stores and we have tried to implement some of the most common storage solutions. I also technically have two dressers (Adam gets one drawer in the one in the bedroom…), and by fitting one in the closet upstairs, I can store out of season clothing in a hidden, yet accessible way. And per Adam’s gripe of not having enough counter space and too much clutter in the kitchen, we used our good size laundry room and rigged up the microwave to be out of sight, but still accessible to the kitchen. I know some new construction homes that have less storage space and a smaller laundry area than we have!

Ok, I’ve given you all enough of what we have to work with and my experiences with apartment and renter living. From here we can discuss your own gripes… and then try to find some easy, creative, and cost effective solutions to make small space living not a pain in the bootay, but a cozier HOME! We all have our limitations, whether it be renters limits, financial limits and/or creative DIY abilities, but my hope if that together we can inspire each other to do more than we have now, and to accomplish more than you thought you could!


PS: Adam and Mr. Peter Kiddy say hello.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009



I am so excited to announce a new feature that will be added to the blog starting on Sunday, September 27th!

Erica has agreed to write a feature one Sunday a month. She will specialize on spaces that not only are small, but ones leased. One of our loyal readers wrote and asked about decoration a bedroom for her apartment. She didn’t want to invest a fortune, but wanted a beautiful room. Erica had some great ideas, ones I never would have dreamed of. It was this that prompted me to ask Erica to add all her fabulous ideas to the blog.

Can’t wait to see the first edition Sunday…………..

Thank you ERiCA, I am so proud to have you as my “Design Granddaughter“.

Monday, September 21, 2009



Master Carpenter spent many hours engineering the “behind the scenes” make-up!

Sometimes his cleverness amazes even me. He knows how I HATE wires, especially all wrapped up like in a maze! That was a big part of our “marriaging”!!!! (I just made up that word)

What you don’t see …..

The back is a “false” wall! There is approximately 6 inches between the back wall of the unit and the actual wall. In this space he built a platform to hold a surge protector. The secret is a HIDDEN door on the bottom right section, behind the large urn! This enables one to get to the power, wires etc.!!! What can I say, I married a genius!!





Sunday, September 20, 2009

Tuesday, September 15, 2009


The Design Team in Gainesville, Florida are the winners!

The "homeowners" have wanted to make over the large wall in their great room for a long time. A leak in the ceiling and a new roof, was what it took to put the Team to work!

They also had quite a time crunch.... adding to the stress. Family was arriving in 48 hours and the contractors for the roof and ceiling were running a day behind!

They stayed up all night and finished the project.....painting and arranging all the accessories. The overall result is FABULOUS! They now have the space they dreamed of !

The blue color with the darker blue color on the "back" wall works great! The effect, with the white trim, couldn't have been a more perfect choice.

Kudos to Pat, Happy, Max and MaryKate for their hard work. They have a beautiful room that they will enjoy for many years.


Sunday, September 13, 2009

Close-up showing texture of fabric
"click" for a larger image


For the past 48 hours, I have made and remade the bed in what seems like 100's of different fashions! I had to "see" it all the ways I pictured in my mind. The labor intensive project has been exhausting!!! That little duvet is one heavy piece!!! I give you a lot of thanks for working with that fabric, Erica. You had quite a job!!!

My reason was simple. The fabric is soft, rich and luxurious. I wanted IT to be the star not the puff!!

I tried the arrangement of the fold, the pillows, the shams and the accessories in every imaginable form. Then the Epiphany hit!! Remove the two comforters from the duvet and have it flat and clean! It was a crazy idea, but I had to try it. As soon as I did it ....I knew I had the look I was searching for! Rich but Clean!! Now I just revealed a little secret I learned from bedding shops. Did you pick up on it? How do you think they make all the beautiful beds in the stores and magazines look extra puffy? Simple.....they use two ..... mostly three.....comforters inside the duvets!!! Sneaky little devils!

Some changes in the objects on the side tables and the removal of the throw ......and I believe the richness of the flocked, velvet fabric now is not overpowered. The overall look now flows with the rest of the house.

It's what I have always done and preached....... Trying things in different ways..... Open your minds and try different things with what you have. You might be surprised at the results!

Friday, September 11, 2009


Oh,.... Erica has been a busy little girl these past weeks!!!

I "commissioned" her to do another bed project. Needed a new "fall/winter" look for our new bedroom. She went with it, with only a note from me saying I envisioned something warm and inviting!

After numerous phone calls, pictures, and fabric samples, we came up with a "design" and a fabric. I Went WAY out of my comfort zone by adding a cream, warm color instead of staying with the safe cool whites. Erica felt that the cream tones of the fabric were the perfect compliment to the whites all ready in the space, and would give it the warm and inviting feel I was looking for..... And......she is right!!!

The surprise was the "special" front pillow with the whimsy coral button!!! I had no idea she was adding that to the package! She used her design eye and recognized it would marry her art work perfectly to the bedding!! So clever. I had the throw in another space, but after the pillow with that button was unpacked......it immediately went on the bed!

The fabric for that little jewel was a "scrap" from the purse she made for me while she was in college. This girl is just full of talents....... art, silk scarfs, bags, and bed ensembles! She has a website that is featured on the right side of this blog page. If you haven't seen her "work" definitely check it out. .......... Oh, and .... Did I mentioned she's for "HIRE".........!!!!!!!

The paint is still drying on our masterpiece....but hopefully we can do some installing soon. Might have to wait to add the STUFF, but it will be nice to get it IN!!!!! Master Carpenter has a lot of patience......only problem is......I have NONE!

Are you checking out the "Hits". We are getting close to 4000!!! Can't wait to see that magic 5000!!!!!!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

......THE CLOCKS !!!!


Up and Running.......

The CLOCKS have returned. Found the perfect location and the perfect clocks on line. They finally came yesterday and with my painter's blue tape they are perfectly hung!!

For those that are puzzled...let me explain the "history" of the clocks.

Back in the "olden days" of 1996 we hung four clocks to represent what time it was where our cherished family members lived. It was a great aid to me when placing phone calls. We had one for each of our children, Bobby, Patti and Steve and a special one for Grandma Famularo. They were hung in all our homes until we moved to Charlotte, North Carolina. Never found the perfect spot and the clocks were no longer in "prime" condition.

At our Anniversary Bash, Steve, mentioned the wall next to the entry to the laundry room in the kitchen needed something! I "marinated" his words and I few weeks ago, came up with the perfect items to fill the space.


Thank you, Steve, for bringing the empty space to my attention. I just have to remember that when I read your "time" it's 13 hours ahead, not 1..........


I would like to pass along some great hints and handy tips to enhance your design projects .

One of my favorites comes from my mentor, Kenneth Brown. He has preached for years the many uses of painter’s blue tape. Not for painting projects…..but for the placement of wall hangings and furniture arranging.

It is so simple…

You put the tape on the wall in the size, shape and number of wall hangings you are thinking of using. This saves unneeded holes in the wall and also allows you to visualize the proportions of the arrangements. You add, delete or move the tape as needed …..no extra HOLES in the wall!

The other and more cost saving use is putting the tape on the floor, the size of the furniture you are thinking of, and where you wish to place it. You can actually see how the pieces will “fit” in the room and how the proportions work. You can "see" and "walk around" the pieces ....allowing you to decide what your purchases should be. Think of the money you can save!

In the room pictures of our new home, you see MANY drapery panels!!! I discovered a fabulous find!

While looking for window treatments, I browsed through my Ballard Design Catalog. I wanted to have panels at each and every window throughout the house.... and I wanted them… all the same! My thinking …unify the space and have one room flow into the next. Our floor plan is open and chopping up window treatments would detract.

Ballard Design has a section called “The Ballard Essentials“. Under Ballard Essential “Panels” are Rod pocket panels, which I chose, and Grommeted panels. They come in three lengths--- 84” , 96” and 108” and are 54” wide. The choices of fabrics and colors are many including velvet, twill, linen and quilted cotton. AND ….THEY ARE LINED!!! BUT THE BEST FEATURE IS THE PRICE…….starting at $35 a panel. The quality and workmanship is tops and I have yet to see where you can find anything to compare. Definitely worth checking out if you are in the market for drapery panels.


Enjoy, and I hope these ideas will help in your next design project…..

Tuesday, September 8, 2009



Tuesday, September 1, 2009


All the entries are in ….. 21.… That’s fabulous. Now we just wait to see who “hits” it on target, or who comes closest!

Meanwhile, Master Carpenter is in the next phase………..Paint! I have to say this is not his best, or favorite thing to do! The enthusiasm is not as high as it was in the planning and construction phase.

Master Carpenter has a second passion…some will be surprised! He’s now a farmer! His first “crop” was picked yesterday!

I am working on a mini project. The “order” is in and UPS is in control right now… Nothing spectacular…..but an old favorite! To all my “family” readers, do you have any guesses as to what it might be?

Watch the hit numbers and “Good Luck” !!!