Friday, April 23, 2010

Deadline for Style!

Press early start to the day, and many times "just another day". We are always promised lots of important contacts walking around with "Press" badges. Seldom this is the case!
But, at any rate, this day is the one that marks the end of the line for being ready to open. It's generally a sigh of relief; all deadlines have been met, sheer exhaustion sets in, and most of the designers are on hand making the final preparations for the opening night preview and exciting gala that kicks off the next month.
Here are a few photos of my room through the lens of my camera. Sneelock was busy taking the real professional photos, and I'll share some of his with you later. Looking back over the last month, and peering into the rooms of my fellow designers, I was pleased with the outcome of my room. Plain and simple, I'm not afraid of color. It seems to have paid off! And that chandelier doesn't hurt either!

Overall view of the upholstered bed, Paris botanicals, and hints of the custom pillows, bedding, and mirrored side chest. Yes, I like it! Tiny upholstered footstool, a "gift with purchase" with the vintage chairs. I placed it strategically over a very bad spot on the wood floor where a stain from many year's use could not be cleaned up. Great idea! At first I thought it was just a quick fix, but I actually love the ottoman there. A little unexpected and alot of style.
The vintage secretary hand painted to perfection by my son, Ryan. A beautiful job, way better than I would have done myself. He meticulously primed, sanded,and painted this rather tedious piece of furniture. The only contrast is the interior of the glass doors. We painted that Sherwin Williams Sea Salt. Soft, grayed blue. The exterior is another favorite, SW Warm Stone . I've found this color to go with just about everything! It is one of the main colors we used last year in the Bucks County Designer House. The beautiful compliment it offers to SW Yam is soothing and delightful. I recommend it!
Another shot of the right side of the bed. Look carefully, and you will see a photo of one of my granddaughter's, Eva. She is turning 5 in just a short time. These fabulous lamps are the perfect compliment to the linen colors and textiles used throughout the room. They are about as close to SW Warm Stone as you can imagine! Great find. Good work. The taupe lampshades are fabulous too!
A closeup of the orchid garden that graces the deep windowsill. Totally realistic and delightful. No water necessary! Smart colors and lively motion. What is it about orchids, anyway?!

Closeup of the left side of the bedside chest. Our realistic maidenhair fern, always a stack of books and a coveted glass decoupaged alphabet plate. These two frames came home with me tonight for added photos...hopefully my other to granddaughters! (There are still a number of details to complete prior to 5:00pm Saturday night. *sigh*
I am totally in love with these authentic vintage chairs that were gifted to me by my friend, Paul Giler. In the home he grew up in, they reined in the 40's and live again in this new fabric, a beautiful taupe velvet stria by Kravet. The orange piping just completes the picture! I won't be sad if they are not sold...maybe the beginning of a new color pallet for my own family room! Thanks, Paul. While I must admit that I wasn't totally sold on using them in the beginning, they have now taken first chair on my "love that detail" list. You may be able to see that one is slightly shorter than the other..."his" and "hers"! So cool. They seem to be a hit with all who enter.
Take note of the linen fern fabric used on the kidney pillows! Trimmed with the simplest eyelash fringe, they soften and add interest to the room. This shot also gives a closeup to the cool drapery fabric I selected-Robert Allen contributed this piece of the style to my room. Linen with orange harlequin grid---oh, so Susan!
My shag rug is peeking out in the corner of the frame also. This retro look has been showing up in all kinds of Black-eyed Susan projects! So soft underfoot. So welcoming. So cool. Many colors and available in any custom size. I recommend it! Call me for details.

A closeup of the detail on the matching ottoman to the vintage chairs. It's a great closeup of the fabric detail as well. Those tea cups are the absolute perfect match! Such a homey touch. Once again, I like it.

Just one more closeup of the custom pillow shams and headboard. A long boxed sham sits in front of the two queen shams, the drapery fabric making another appearance. Man, do I love that fabric! Several other designers commented today that it is one of their favorites too!
Note the nail head trim on the bed and the warm stone porcelain artichokes on the bedside chest. Perfectly placed details. Perfect color. Perfect style!
Lastly, a closeup of the deep window sill behind the vintage chairs. I just love deep window sills!

The beautiful draperies frame this deep sill and stage the white porcelain pears, books, and lovely female bust. I'm loving these new supple "fresh-touch" leaves that are leaning out of the palest of aqua spherical vases.
Well, there you have it! Your own personal preview. If you live in the area, come see it for yourself. If you are a follower from afar, hope you enjoyed the view!
Welcome, style. Here's to a successful run for the next month.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Taking Shape!

The bedroom retreat is beginning to take on personality! Today, we delivered load after load of accessories, lamps, a very stylish chandelier, books, art, all of the key ingredients for style.

Boxes of special inventory from the shelves at Black-eyed Susan! This is the fun part. The floor has been mopped and shined,the painting completed, the heavy furniture has been hauled into the magic begins. The room begins to sing with personality with the next stages.

At times,the chaos is overwhelming. "Stuff" everywhere, and when your room is on the small side, it gets difficult to have a staging place.

Check out these fabulous vintage chairs, courtesy of my cute friend's father-in-law. These are the real McCoy's! Sneelock helped me take them out of Mr. Giler's home about a year ago and they have been taking up residence in my garage, just waiting to be put to good use. I think I found their purpose. Taupey grey strie velvet with orange piping! Gotta love 'em.

A note of interest, all this time I thought they were identical...only to discover today in the unveiling that one is slightly shorter than the other! Were they "his" and "her's"? My friend, Paul might know the answer from his childhood!

This is the beginning of a fabulous window treatment. Soft, open-weave linen roman shades with "eyelash" fringe! Now that's what I call style. Watch for the panels to be hung in the next post.

Here's another shot of the room "in preparation" for the finishing touches and custom bedding. Where to put "this" while I unpack "that"...the challenges of a small room can be vast. The trick is to make the room seem like you planned it that way, that things are not just crammed into it, but purposefully planned. (Thus, the painting of the closet door that will really not function! Make it seem like part of the wall).

Lampshades and harps are being exchanged to ensure the proper scale to the height of the bed.

Here is a shot of the upholstered bed with three of my Paris botanicals crowning the headboard.

Mirrored mahogany chests flank the bed. Several of the custom pillows have been placed for inspection on the bed. Love that natural linen pillow with the orange grid.

A bit of interesting trivia about the room: this room was designed for one of my very stylish clients, Lauri Osterstock. She graciously agreed to loan me the contents of the room prior to installing them at her home. Thank you, Lauri! It has been fun to collaborate with her in the design of the room. Most of the elements will transfer to her master bedroom (minus the orange accents). We have chosen a beautiful soft grey/blue, SW Sea Salt, as her accent and wall color. The result is ethereal and I'll show you the "reinvention" of the room with a different color when we install it in her home. It was fun to "co-design" the room with the help of a trusting client. And, it makes me happy to think of my design being resurrected after the show!

Watch for more additions in the days to come...along with the "before" photos of the room in all its glory.

Looking forward to more progress tomorrow and the next few days. So far, we're ahead of the crowd, nearing the finish line. *whew*

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Breath of Fresh Air!

With all that has been going on, (packing, moving, more packing, more moving, packing, editing, hauling, packing, painting, cleaning, unpacking, sorting, merchandising...and so on, and so on), I've been lax in reporting what has been happening with my designer room for the Princeton Jr. League Designer House. Ugh.
It's been on my list of things to do, but it's been pushed to the bottom of the list night after night!
That being said, I have some glorious photos of the before when I can locate the camera chip that holds the information...for now, here is an in-progress report that I think you'll find interesting.
Often, in designer houses across the nation, there emerges a theme of color...unbeknown st to the designers collectively, trends set the stage and many rooms begin to follow a pattern. In a quick preview of many of the other spaces, this is what I found...

Grey living room...

Warm stone foyer...

Grey-ish upper hallway...

Another grey hallway...

Charcoal/taupe master bedroom walk-through...

And these are just a few of the rooms I perused...who knows where else this trend color (stone) will show up.

And then...ta da!! My room, yes in glorious Yam!

Here is a fabulous vintage bookcase/desk that I picked up and painted SW Warm Stone as an accent to my Yam...way cool!

I'm happy to report that amidst the room after room of grey/taupe, grey/charcoal, grey/grey, and even more grey, my pop of orange shines! Yam sets the stage for natural linens, velvets, and creamy contrasts. I think it's going to make for a memorable room.

Lastly, I just couldn't resist reminding you what color my room was in last year's Buck's County Designer House...SW Warm Stone. I do believe that Black-eyed Susan sets the trend.

More to follow in the coming days, as we near completion of our room, I promise!

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Pure Style.

My sweet mother passed away the evening of April 1 at 6:00p.m. She was my hero.

We put the last photo taken of her (March 26, 2010) in her hospice room to show how vibrant and fun she was right up until the end.

Mother, otherwise known to the world as Charlotte Jane Hunter Petersen, was my first example of pure style. She continued to be a style icon until the hour she collapsed. She was stylish is so many ways; her wardrobe, her makeup, her hair, her home, her recipes, her friends, her teaching, her taste in literature, her personal relationships, the list goes on.

I have learned my most valuable lessons and talents from her. I have learned integrity from her example. I have learned compassion from her, sacrifice and obedience. I yearn to hear her voice and hold her tiny, arthritic hand in mine.

She was a fine woman and beloved by all who knew her. She had quite a fan base, all accolades well deserved. Born into a life of privilege, she faced many challenges when her life took an about face, leaving her to help support her mother after an alcoholic father left the family. There, she met my father, a naval officer and at the age of 17 married him to begin a new life.

My darling 90 year old father at her bedside, giving comfort and pure love.

After 66 years of marriage, they were supportive and loving to each other until the day she passed.

I was able to design her casket flowers with a local wholesaler in Denver. I hand selected the flowers and visually gave my idea of how they should be designed. The liaison to the funeral director watched and listened, and then said, "I think we should speak with our wedding designer rather than our bereavement designer". I knew then she was getting the picture of my vision. We used all green and white; orchids, roses, hydrangeas, ferns, ivy...fresh and not the least bit like the normal funeral spray. I was thoroughly pleased and when we went to look at the in progress design, the floral designer was thrilled that I said I wouldn't change a thing. I know Mom would have been pleased with the beautiful design.

My sister Denise and I put together some centerpieces for a luncheon we planned following the funeral service. I added a tiny punch of orange (my favorite color, of course!) to these medium cylinder vases. They were set in a larger straight-sided frosted vase with tinted chartreuse water as an accent. Happy and beautiful.

As the casket was being put back into the coach, I took note that this was what the interior of my purse looked like.

A rare photo of my entire immediate family. My two daughters, Jessie and Michelle, myself, my son Ryan, and my husband Fred. Many extended family members were gathered from around the states and it was a great comfort.

"How much of my delight in all beautiful things, is due to her influence, I can never tell. There is not a talent, or a joy, or an aspiration in me that has not been awakened by her loving touch".
Helen Keller

These words echo how I feel about this wonderful, Christlike woman; my mother, Charlotte Jane Hunter Petersen.