Wednesday, July 15, 2009

My Latest Design Project

This is my latest design project. This is the Henderson Home in Lafayette Colorado. It was built in 1910 and then sold in 1917 for $175 to a couple that occupied it for 55 years. I believe the house was originally one of the coal miners homes located at what is now Hwy and 119th. After the introduction of the motor car these homes when moved into what is now downtown Lafayette. This home has character and history that I am so excited to work with. The home is in great structural condition and the interior is in good shape. It needs new windows and a little face lift but the home, as you can see, holds it own in Downtown Lafayette. It will be an exciting journey.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

To Paint or Not to Paint....

The other day I was enjoying an impromptu haircut (thank you Tracy!!!) and I was asked what I thought of painting the wood trim in this gorgeous home. I am not sure of the details of the home as far as age and such but it appears to have been built in the early 1900 and is a craftsman's style. The home is covering in beautiful wood trim, it is around the doors along the floor and there is a built in bookcase, and secretary that is built into the fireplace wood work. Beautiful home. I can not stress that enough. you paint the wood trim in the house or not. I don't have a strong conviction that you should never paint wood. What my design conviction is that the home should reflect the person living in it. Tracy and Matt are fun loving people with lots of personality. Right now their home reflects that. They could paint the trim and it would look very nice. It would enhance the "cottageness" of the home. My concern, that I shared with Tracy, is that if they painted the wood the home wouldn't reflect their personality and that they wouldn't love the home as much as they do now. Wood is just wood but it has character.

Look at this great little red chair. It has sleek little try to imagine that with the white trim on the door frame to the left and the wood arch and detailing to the right. It might look out of place.

This is a great shot that I think truly captures the personalities of both Tracy and Matt. The intense blue color is deep and soulful against the dark wood trim. If the trim was any shade of white it would have more of a country or beach feel to it. If you look beyond the door jamb you will see a hairdressers chair. Tracy has a salon in the front of her house right across from the living room. Check out to see her work.

This is just one of the neatest features in the house. The dresser on the bottom and the doors on the top. I thought it was pretty awesome.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

What is a Flock? And how do I use it?

Flocking is the process of depositing many small fiber particles (called "flock") onto a surface. It also refers to the texture produced by the process. Flocking of an article can be performed for the purpose of increasing its value in terms of the tactile sensation, aesthetics, color and appearance, and/or a wide variety of other functions — such as insulation, slip-or-grip friction, etc.

Flocking?? It is such a funny word but I love to say it. Flocked fabric, Flocked wallpaper, flocked accessories. Say it a few is such a fun word to say. I love not only the word but the product of this flocking. Right know you can find items from Target all the way to the high end Strohiem and Roman that have a flocked texture.

The boxes above can be found online at These are great accessories to add to any home. These can stack on a bookshelves or under a end table or cocktail table. I love pretty boxes that you can hide stuff in.

This is the most beautiful flocked wallpaper. Personally I love the crispness of the black and white, but as you can see you can get very detailed flocked paper with a very elegant and opulent feel. This red black and gold flocked paper in a formal dining room with antique gold wall sconces....SO gorgeous...

I was at work today and one of my designers had a set of stationary that is flocked. It just happens to be in my favorite combo of black and white but anything flocked adds a touch of class. The texture and visual depth the flocking adds takes a simple item and adds amazing richness and fun.

Georgia's Stationary

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

How cute is this ottoman??? This is my favorite item of the week... It is a poof ottoman from Arteriors Home ( which you can find through local vendors. It runs around $585 and is 22" in diameter. The flowers are made from two different shades of wool, taupe and ivory. The flowers are unexpected but still very sophisticated. Think of the ottoman as an "art" piece and it will fit in any spot in your home. This ottoman is a great "accessory" piece for any home. This could be used in a small entry; at the foot of a bed and not just in a kids room; tuck it next to your comfy arm chairs and put your feet on it or use it as an extra spot for guest overflow... Anywhere you put this little poof it will be sure to make you smile.

Friday, February 27, 2009

How to pick the perfect barstool

Photograph from LUXE magazine : Ron Ruscio

I love these bar stools!! Look at the thick cushion seat and the sleek lines of the legs. This is a perfect example of balancing comfort and style in a bar stool. If you would take a closer look you will see that this particular setting represents a very common phenomenon that I see in homes ranging from $200,000 all the way to million plus. The height of the seat does not fit the height of the counter. I have helped hundreds of families find the right bar stools for their home, over the years. The frustration on peoples faces when they come to me is like a woman who has spent the last eight hours shopping for a swim suit with no success. They are very frustrated!! I would like to arm you with the knowledge and a few good questions to ask yourself before you venture out again.

Start with some basic information. There are three "standard" seat heights for stools; counter height 24", bar height 30" and spectator height 36". Ideally you want about 10" -12" between the seat and the bottom of the table. There are swivel stools, memory swivel stools, with arms or with out, there are even many that are backless. Bar stools can be made of wood, metal, acrylic, and upholstery. No wonder it is so hard to find stools that work for your home... Stools can also vary greatly in price based on materials, quality and customizability.

So what do you want to consider before you head out to the stores?
First think about how often you will use these stools, daily, weekly, or only when you have an overflow of people. If you will use the stools daily you may want to invest more money to ensure that the stools will be functional and comfortable for you and your family.

Who will be using the stools? If you have small children take them with you to test getting in and out of the stool to make sure it is stable and safe for them to use.

How often do you want to clean the seat of the stool? Wood and leather are very easy to clean. Fabric is nice and soft but requires more care that leather and wood.

What kind of design statement are these going to make? Do you want them to be a focal point or do you just want them to compliment your existing pieces? Be prepared to spend more for custom finishes, fabrics and any custom details.

If you think you want stools that have arms please, please make sure you know the height of the bottom of the counter. It is important the arms clear the bottom of the counter by at least an inch (your fingers will thank me). Arms that are not the correct height can lead to costly damage to the stools but also the counter top.

One other option for stools that is a more contemporary style and offers flexibility is a hydraulic lift stool. These usually range from a 24" seat height up to a 30" seat height, but these can be stopped at in height which is great if you move frequently as well as for small children that need height flexibility.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Design is all around us and it has the capacity to affect us deeply. I was at one of my favorite restaurants, The Village Tavern, last night and was looking at the decor in a way that I hadn't before. I usually think "oh what a beautiful restaurant" and leave it at that. As I was waiting for my friend I thought that the decor was all very strategically selected and placed to create a mood and an experience.

I am sure some of you are saying "yeah and what is your point?". We take for granted the effort that is put into the restaurants and stores that make us love them. Would Anthropology be as great if they didn't always have a fresh new design for the store, things that make you go "hmmm are those glass jars hanging from the ceiling"? Or would PF Chang's be as fabulous if they didn't invest in the amazing ambiance that allows you to feel secluded and alone when in fact there are thirty people in close proximity to you.

Now maybe "take for granted" is a stong phrase for the situation, but it is very curious that we, as consumers, would rather go the a store that has great design verses one that is, shall we say, lacking. Design is for everyone. Design is how people live, fuction and enjoy a space. So if you have a new home or one that you have had for a while don't give up hope. Good design is available and you have every right to have a beautiful home if you want.