Thursday, December 15, 2011


I was super psyched to open Design*Sponge today to see Fleurir's before & after featured. So awesome! Design*Sponge has long been one of my favoritest blogs, so it's a total thrill for me to see them post something that I had a part in--ego massage for sure.

If you still haven't tried some of Fleurir's awesome chocolates, it's time to pull the trigger. I stopped in last week and just about fainted over a sea salt carmel. Amaze-zing. 

Monday, December 12, 2011

still life 99-- debut

Growing up with an artist mother, I liked to study the still lifes (is it still-lives ??)  and interesting objects that she set up to paint or sketch on the dining room table or on the wobbly planks of our wrap around porch. Today, I still find myself stopping to admire the little "moments" placed around homes. Even my own. Actually I think that is what I like best about home, the simplicity of haphazard (and let's be honest, many times intentional) collections and the ordinary, sometimes imperfect objects that make me pause and appreciate the privilege of actually having a home.

So, although I've never been particularly awesome at sticking with a series, I'm going to try. The premise is that we don't need a lot of things at home, but what we do need should be beautiful. They should be worthy of being noticed. And so, here. it. goes...

I delight in little containers. Functional ones, even better. It struck me the other day as I cleaned these magnetic spice jars (first time ever I think) what an unexpected pleasure it is to be able to take pleasure in something mundane and ordinary. Sometimes I think it sounds extreme when I say it to the people I'm working with, but I really do think there's something to William Morris's advice: "have nothing in your home that you don't know to be useful or believe to be beautiful." When I decided to try to follow that, it was truly transformative. Life is short, and there really isn't any reason we have to live with ugly things. If you're as visual as me, it makes a difference when you surround yourself with beauty even in the things that you think don't really count.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

slices of slow advent

I don't know about you, but Christmas always comes too soon. I love it, of course, but as my fondness for Thanksgiving has increased in recent years, I've found that the transition right into Christmas the very next day is just too quick for me. I like to draw things out so that I can really have the chance to enjoy them. And I like things to last. I'm a savorer.

Last year was the first year that I deliberately tried to slow down (at least at home) during advent, and it made all the difference in the season even after the Christmas season had come and gone. There was a peacefulness about it in our home that was genuine and much needed.
 This year we're following suit. The girls and I do one small advent decoration or project/activity each day like setting up the advent wreath...
 and making hostess gifts...
 and hanging up garlands...
Of course, we are still enjoying the awesome parties and upbeat events that come up this time of year, but it has been so nice to just do small, unhurried things at home. We'll transition into the good old Christmas kitsch when the big day gets closer, but for now I'm savoring slow. The girls favorite parts are still the advent calendar and paperwhite bulbs which are now everywhere, pictures of those to come.

ps- my table clay pot "wreath" was inspired by (ok, blatantly stolen from) the very talented and very lovely Kjerstis Lykke who if you haven't checked out you should. Incredible! Makes me want to take a little Scandinavian getaway stat. 

Monday, December 5, 2011


well we've accomplished the monumental task of a Christmas card picture, but I think my favorites are the the outtakes...

 happy advent friends!

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

thanksgiving backtrack

this year we made the trek next door to Nicole and CJ's to feast, everyone gathered at one big long vibrant table....

but that was only after a little prep work at home....
and one uber intense soccer game, 1st borns versus 2nd borns with the 3rds divided up.
there was only one bloody nose...
 and one incidence of indecency...
 in the end the seconds, generous peace-making middle children let the 1sts win...

Monday, November 28, 2011

table snapshots

Sorry for the impromptu fall-off-the-face-of-the-earth my friends. I hope everyone had a fabulous halloweenfallthanksgiving! Despite the busyness of it all, mine has been lovely, and I think now that we're into advent I'll be able to take more in. This time of year my inner homebody kicks it into high gear, so I savor it all in between job installations and outings and parties.

It seems that whenever we have been home, we've been around the table...
often in costume (obvs)

or under it...

Our search for the perfect huge dining table for a petite dining room has been a long one. My dream table is too big, and so I picked up this overstock one. What do you think? If it sticks we'll be on the hunt for chairs.

***update.*** Sadly, the table is dud--it completely cracked down the middle, warped wood, etc. In short, a disaster! Friends, I don't know why I don't follow my own rules. Unless I've seen it and felt it in person, I never order online for clients unless it can be returned easily. I think I really do need to treat myself as a client :)

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

lovin on Lauren Liess's delicious new textiles

If you all don't know Lauren of Pure Style Home already, you need to. Her blog is always one of the first I check when I get a chance to read because her posts are always always beautiful, informative, and unpretentious. Plus, Lauren is one of those awesomely inspiring people who seems to move at a million miles a minute. with a smile. Basically she's a very relate-able lovable rockstar. However, lucky for us, she's a rockstar with an incredible new textile line that I could eat with a spoon. Every last one of her prints is delicious, and they all have stories to them which makes that even better. And because she's generous, she's doing a giveaway, which you can check out here! So proud of you Lauren!!!!

Thursday, November 3, 2011


lately I've been feeling spread very thin, and whenever that happens I'm grateful for my camera and all the silly everyday things that I glimpse through it that remind me what makes all the crazy busy worthwhile, like...

cousins that make us laugh...

 and "lunch" prepared for me by little hands . Yes, that is chalk sprinkled on my spinach...
and time outside. together ...

oh, and wonderful new additions to our family. This is Jp, he is from Mexico and he living with us for the year....although if it were up to us we'd never let him return home. It won't be easy, because he is seriously the best, most gracious, and most engaging 13 year old I'm likely ever to meet.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011


So tonight I'm speaking on my second design panel in two weeks. Last week I was flattered to participate in the Washington Post's Fashion Washington anniversary celebration with local designer, Sally Steponkus (love her!), HGTV stars and designer extraordinaires Robert & Cortney Novogratz, and the evening's host, Mitchell Gold. I loved spending time with all of them and hearing what they had to say on trends and such. Wild how we all seemed on the same plane...which made it funny. I almost tried to think of some design controversy just to spice things up a bit :) Alas we all agreed that when it comes to design we all think that pieces reflecting the owner should be of utmost importance--personal decorating! No pics to share except one snagged from K street Kate :

Tonight I'll be at the Dunes, dishing on "Mastering the Art of High/Low Decorating" with Kelley Proxmire and Judith Carrig. More details here. Come by!

Update: you can read about the night here.

All these panels remind me of another variety that's been made a huge comeback in recent that I'm naturally a little more comfortable with than its verbal twin--wood. Salvaged wood. It makes the most interesting type of paneling:

Ok and this isn't technically paneling, it's flooring, but it's too awesome. Wine Crates...that you walk on:

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

How Have I Not Shown You This??? Fleurir revealed...

The chocolate shop is done!
been done for months.....
BUT they (Fleurir Hand grown Chocolates) are having their official grand opening on October 22, which you can read about here, and come check out in person. You won't be disappointed.
Ok, back to the shop. Last time I shared the progress it looked something like this, pre-bloom:
and now....
fleurir :)
 (photo: Christina Bernales, photographer extraordinaire) 
 ( photo: Christina Bernales)
 ( photo: Christina Bernales)
  ( photo: Christina Bernales)

All I can say is that Robert and Ashley are champs! Well I could say that they're pretty cute too....and gracious....and fun....and to be honest, they're kind of a bad influence...on my waistline...and language... but let's just leave it at champs. See?

The amount of work that they put into the shop was really astounding. 

Almost every project I've worked on has been carried out with a team of pros, electricians, contractors, upholsterers, paper hangers, etc, but in this case Robert and Ashley (and their wonderful friends and family) were the heavy laborers from start to finish....
 They gave me a huge file of inspiration, and I scribbled out a rough sketch of my vision...

And then the great search for the right pieces ensued. Lots of trips to Lucketts, salvage yards, barn sales, and the hardware store. Almost everything was found, recycled, or handmade.

Including the awesome sculpture by my sister Nicole:

And a couple things came by way of my home, like the awesome light that I won from Ally's (From the Right Bank) awesome Christmas giveaway. Sadly, it's enormous size (nearly 4 feet tall) didn't jive with our 8 foot ceilings. I was so bummed (Rich was not...), but then as soon as I saw the chocolate shop space I knew it would be perfect. So in exchange for more chocolate than I probably should have consumed at 8 months prego, I offered them the light.
 and the old window that used to sit on my mantel which now lists their prices...
The other lights were fashioned from english wire garden cloches by genius Robert:

Now go eat some chocolate!

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Love Is In The Details

Home can be a tiresome entity if you let it. It's easy to focus on the imperfections and become overwhelmed by the thought of what you still need to make it complete. However, when I take them time to think it through I notice it's the simple and imperfect things in my own home that make me the happiest...
 favorite notes and sentiments
 terracotta and fresh flowers
 family treasures in Saf's room
collections of scents and old books
 handmade pillows
 maps and painted doors
 art supplies

 tarnished silver heirlooms filled with seasonal things
 natural textures and contrasts
old shiny things
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