31 May 2010

Inspiration for our open shelving

Do you remember seeing this from CL--makeovers on a budget?  Well, I fell in love.  I bet the zinc "M" from Anthro didn't hurt.  Something about this kitchen really stuck with me.

So when we found our beautiful diamond in the rough last September (an untouched '70s ranch), I knew this picture had to be incorporated.  I hate to admit that I totally copied a magazine...but I did.  I hope I continue with this passion I have for design, grow in my confidence, and one day go only with my gut.  But for now and the near future, I am definitely taking my cues from blogs and magazines.

The fireclay apron-front sink was a definite in our kitchen renovation.  My mom has had a farmhouse sink since I can remember, so perhaps me owning one was already predestined in my genes.

After looking up the sources in the magazine, I found the designer used a Walker Zanger diamond pattern.  After I got their catalog, I realized I loved Ashby Mosaic better--a little bit quatrefoil.  

In the inspiration picture, the tile goes all the way up.  My contractor said "No Way."  He tried to convince me to get subway tile.  At 22 cents a tile I wouldn't cry if one or two chipped during drilling.  We tried a million different ideas to see if these oak shelves would work with the WZ tile, but we just didn't take the chance.  I also didn't want to change to subway (which I do love).  This tile, in my opinion (and I am the only one washing dishes here three times a day), is the jewelry of the room.  It stayed.

I don't really have a good shot of it yet, but here at nighttime you can see we chose beadboard for the remainder of the backing of the shelving.  We also extended the beadboard floor to ceiling around the table area.

It is a dream come true for me to have this kitchen.  Life is so challenging (and beautiful) raising two little boys, it is so rewarding to do so in an environment that you love and that inspires you.

Wishing you inspiration and beauty!  Julie

30 May 2010

I confess I am obsessed...

With Anthro (as my husband, mom and I so lovingly refer to Anthropologie). I don't remember the first time I went into this store (there are two in Atlanta) or perhaps the first time I received the beautifully styled catalog in the mail, but I do remember it was love at first sight.

I still have friends call me (who must have been living in a cave, for they haven't been in this store yet) and say, "Julie!  You have got to see this store.  It is soooo YOU!"

The image to the left is currently on its website.  I love the sofa--a little modern since it is a shelter sofa, yet a little retro with its '70s plaid.  And nesting coffee tables!  Who could have thought of that!  I love the styling of the web and the catalog.  Very Sibella Court (go figure that I bought her book there).  They are never afraid of scaring potential buyers away with mixing patterns and eras.  Their creative directors must say, "more is more."

Oh, and it is a joke how much Anthro you may find in our home at any given day.  Let's take the kitchen for starters:

Just in this one shot:
1.  The "H" mug bought a long time ago...now filled with sharpies.  (My husband is obsessed with them.)
2.  The little tin buckets with french numbered enamel plates.  The one behind the "H" mug is filled with scissors.  Do you not always need scissors in the kitchen?  All that horrible packaging.  Packaging is another post.
3.  The three little numbered containers (currently empty but I was in love with numbers and with black and white in the kitchen)  I plan to use them for paper clips, thumbtacks and who knows whenever I get the office organized.
4.  The brackets--
As soon as I knew I had to have open shelving in our new (old) home, I knew immediately where I would buy them.  Our sweet salespeople at the Perimeter store found enough for me in three different states--but they ship them for free!  The man who did our kitchen cabinets thought they wouldn't be strong enough.  But I knew better.  My Anthro wouldn't fail me.  And, sure enough, using four per shelf did the trick.  They really make me happy every day.  Chris loves them, too.  They are iron and chippy and beaten-up a bit.  He loves that.

Okay, I probably could find a picture for every room.  But here is my obsession as witnessed elsewhere:
The metal "H".  I know I am trendy.  I hate to admit it.  I want to be timeless and very Jackie O.  But I'm not.  I am doing my best to decorate with restraint and stay with neutrals (this is really an economic decision.  I can much more easily change out throws and pillows instead of repaint or buy new furniture.  The helps, as my tastes change a lot!)  This is just one of many "H"s in our home.
One last image...when has now gone away (for a Ballard's mirror.  Yet another post--my obsession with Ballard's).  My friend and style teammate Anisa helped me with this one.  This is gallery of a bird calendar from Anthro.  Calendars make such beautiful and inexpensive art.

Wishing you beauty!  Julie

28 May 2010

Am I meant to live in Denmark?

My house is white...inside and out. I have always loved white painted floors, simple, utilitarian furniture and clean lines. I wonder if because my heritage is Swedish & German? I am blond and have fair skins. Even though I live in Georgia, I have never tolerated the summers well and feel like I wasn't meant for them (even though I do love them). When I was in Switzerland with my husband, and hiking down one of the Alps (Mount Pilatus) ...mind you only down. We took the tram up. Anyway, I tolerated the cold and snow so well...I though maybe I was born in the wrong country.

And I love that my first follower is from Sweden. Go figure.

So as my love for design changes and grows, I see that I even love more Swedish and Danish design. I especially am smitten with Verner Panton chairs. Of course, I really only love them when paired with a contrasting table. A good farmhouse table. Something chunky and a little beat up.

Here is a pic of the designer himself. I would have loved to have shared a meal with him...or a hike.

The following pictures are from La Dolce Vita (via The Brooklyn Home Company), LivingEtc., Verner's portrait from Design Within Reach and then good ol' Domino.

Maybe I can move my Lyle chairs outside on the patio and save up for some of these for the kitchen. Such easy clean up with the boys!

God Bless the USA and our courageous veterans. Happy Memorial Day!


27 May 2010

Dipping in The Society Inc.

So have you seen this book while visiting Anthropologie? If so, you should get it. I am so glad I grabbed one around Christmastime, because they were gone so fast. It is Etc. by Sibella Court, a stylist/designer/shop owner in Australia. She is my top #2 on my all-time favorite list.

Like Atlanta Bartlett, I love that Sibella is original, fearless, eclectic, and more undecorated than decorated. She has a love of fabrics that came from her mother who worked with exotic fabrics and travelled the world to find them. Because Sibella is wordly, you can see her love of unique trinkets and treasures in her rooms. She displays everything with her soul and heart, not her mind. It appears a lot of her vignettes may have just been happy accidents....she lays an oyster shell on the mantle and just sees how it reflects the light if she hangs some
ribbon next to it. Maybe she'll throw up some old, industrial lantern next to it and see how it looks with a paint color that reminds her of the sea. Of course, she may be much more deliberate than this....but I like to think this is how Sibella creates.
One day I hope to make it to Australia and visit The Society Inc. I get email newsletters from her store, and each time it makes me long so to visit! Liam, my three-year-old, is buds in his preschool class with little Joshie from Australia. They are moving back soon and Josh's mom said we are welcome to visit! Oh, we have to go visit. I think this is part of my love of Sibella's style. I have always loved Australia and even went so far to get an application for grad school at The University in Queensland. Met a guy, though, so I stayed. But I digress....

I feel all of the earth's elements when I look at Sibella's room....all things beautif
ul and ugly. She makes the "ugly" and the everyday beautiful. I especially feel the ocean in her colors. She has also launched her own line of paint colors. Just fabulous. I wish I could find them here. Maybe I can bring my copy of Etc. to Wal-Mart and they can match it.

26 May 2010

Well, I've got a top designer list too...

I guess I can play Mrs. Elle Decor Editor-in-Chief for a day. I appreciate all twenty-five designers she (and her staff) recently chose for the Elle Decor fave designer issue, and the five up-and-coming, but I have to say I disagree. I am sure mine will change as I hopefully learn more and acquire a more refined taste...but, nah, who am I kidding? I bet I will still love a similar aesthetic in twenty years. I think it is hard-wired and genetic.
I believe I prefer a little more of the undecorated space than the overdecorated, and more rustic and relaxed than tufted and finished. As you will hear me state over and over if you ever read this blog, I do love white and the blank canvas it gives to a home and to an artist's spirit.
That being said, one of my favorite designers (and more of a stylist) is Atlanta Bartlett. Her books, especially Easy Elegance, embody my love for the old and the new, the contrast between hard and soft, the masculine and feminine.

This picture is from her home in England she shares with her husband and partner, as well as her three boys (hopefully proof that you can keep a home white with boys in the house! Thank you, Clorox). This picture from Country Home was inspiration in the renovation of our '70s ranch. I do not think we will easily tire of the very dark brown hardwoods (my husband said "no" to the ebonizing), the soft white walls and interior french doors. I must say we have copied these things from Atlanta's home, and we still love it every day.

25 May 2010

This is my style...

I would say that I am a total Swedo-and Francophile (Swedophile a term? Well, it is now). Our home is bathed in BM's White Dove..in and out. I can think and breathe better around white, and I find the pages in design books that are always dog-eared are white.

I don't know the source of this....now that I am blogging I will start saving the source. All I know is I love the modern Bertoia chairs, old, beaten-up armoire, the white farmhouse table and the pop of robin's egg in the tumblers.

I will probably have a lot of similar pictures on this blog, for my files are filled with them. Who knows what this blog will become, all I know is I have to create. You know how authors will say after completing a novel, "Well, I had to write it. I would die if I didn't!" I really have the same amount of passion for interior design. Welcome Along! Julie