Monday, June 13, 2011

Slipcovers For Dummies

Remember when the leather cube was popular?  No?  Maybe just in our house.  I haven't known what to do with them since our move.  So, they sat, not matching anything, in a corner.

I got a creative bug this weekend and decided to try to cover them.  I always thought you couldn't cover leather because it is slippery.  Well, I decided an ottoman is an exception to that rule (is it a rule?).  I found THE EASIEST guide here.  I even surprised myself when they came out so well.  I should have done this a long time ago.

The fabric is Annie Selke's Link Slate.  I may have to make pillows with the leftover fabric.  Try it folks.  You will impress your friends.

Friday, June 3, 2011

30 Day Diet

I followed the Spring around like a groupie last month.  If you start in the south and slowly work your way up, you can have a month of perfect weather and wisteria blossoms.  I love witnessing earth's big yawn from hibernation and watching the people slowing defrost from a cold winter of being cooped up inside.  I miss this most about living up North.  I miss the big smiles us runner's and dog walkers would exchange.  That knowing look of huge appreciation to be able to just breathe again.  The sun followed me to Boston last week and I got to see all of this again.  It was great!!

I'm back in the house and avoiding unpacking.  I'm hoping the closets will unpack themselves or the contents will just disappear; I clearly did not need them anyway.  I don't even know what to wear.  There are too many options now.  I need to simplify.  I need to purge.  I need a house detox.  I'm thinking this:

Image courtesy of Cococozy

Anybody have any suggestions for a yard sale?  Best month/time/advertising?

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Laminated Fabrics

Jenny from LGN posted about Amy Butler's house on Apartment Therapy recently and it got me thinking about fabrics again.  I headed over to Amy Butler's site and was so happy to see that she offers laminated fabric for some of her patterns.  This is the best kid-friendly, spill-proof solution for eating areas.  I was lucky enough to find pre-treated Christopher Farr fabric on ebay and used it to upholster our kitchen chairs.  We have put it to the test many times and everything wipes right up.

Amy's fabrics are very affordable.

I'm loving the third fabric from the left with the large turquoise circles.  I didn't see it on the site so I emailed her company to ask.  Anyone see it anywhere?

Photo courtesy of Apartment Therapy

I came across this in a search and liked it for dining chairs:

Honey Child Laminated Cotton Geo Purple

Remember Barrie Benson's vinyl coated Chiang Mai Dragon dining chairs featured n Domino circa 2007?


I still remember kicking myself for not getting the fabric she had on her couch.  It was from Ballard Designs and was on sale for $15 a yard.  I got the swatch and loved it and then dragged my feet.  Then:  Sold Out!  Why don't they bring back fabrics that were such an obvious win?

Monday, May 23, 2011

Steal vs Splurge

Being at the beach has inspired me to extend the beach decor to the bedroom.  I love me a seagrass headboard.  

Seagrass Headboard
Pottery Barn $349.00 – $499.00
Seagrass Headboard
Country Door $169.99 - $189.99

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Steal vs Splurge

I fell in love with these His and Her planters featured on Secrets of A Stylist a few months ago.  There is no way I could/would pay $300 for planters.

I popped into the Ballard Design Outlet on our way home from Scott Antique Show last weekend and spotted this for $19.95 (slightly damaged)

Terra Cotta Lady Planter

She is actually a lot cooler looking in person and I think a few succulents sprouting from her head will give her some character.  Perhaps a coat of high gloss white....or not.  Very cha cha cha chia, right? (BTW, who knew one could own an Obama chia pet?  And even better, you have the choice of his facial expression!)

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Scott Antique Market

I was really bummed that I missed Brimfield Antique Market last week.  I plan on going to the July show, but needed to get my fill before that.  Lo and behold, we happened to finally be in Atlanta when Scott Antique Market was open.

I was prepared for fields of stalls, but was greeted with 2 smallish buildings and a few tents outside.  It was very manageable for a day trip and I liked a lot of the vendors better than Brimfield.  At Scott, you don't find a lot of sellers with the same thing and many of the items are unique, reclaimed pieces.  While I love a good treasure hunt, I was happy to see styled booths and edited pieces in some sections.  I read Eddie Ross' article in the NY Times prior to my visit and really tried to heed his sage advice.

I fell in love with this horse head right off the bat, but was unwilling to pay $250.  I didn't get a feel that the seller was much of a bargainer.  Mr. Ed was about 2 feet tall and would have looked amazing hanging about the fireplace.....

There were a lot of Union Jacks floating around. Inspiration from the recent wedding no doubt.

If I ever find myself living in a loft, I'd like to fill it with things like this:

I really like the black background pull down chart art that has been popping up everywhere.

I was thisclose to purchasing these awesome hand blown drinking glasses, but it came with a set of salad plates that I didn't like.  I could have talked myself into them, but after packing our house 2x in a year I have become very good at walking away from stuff we don't need.

I had visions of creating an Eddie Ross tablescape and then had to remind myself that we don't do dinner parties anymore.

All this flea marketing has got me wanting more.  Next stop?  NY's Antiques Garage sometime this summer.

Do you have any local must-see Flea Markets in your area?

Monday, May 16, 2011

Living Like It Is 1999

I know people had cellphones and used the internet obsessively prior to 1999, but I don't recall them being a huge part of my life until the 21st century.  Ah those were the days.....

Anywho, we just got back from our 12 day visit to Hilton Head, SC.  I had limited cell reception and zero wireless service.  It took some getting used to, but I have decided that it is the only way to vacation. Now I just have to figure out a way to disconnect my husband's phone and computer, too.  His worked, mine didn't.

Things I took away from our trip:

  • 79 degrees, 42 % humidity, with zero clouds is the perfect weather
  • Paddleboarding is the best way to start the day.  Kayaking is the best way to end it.
  • I can never get tired of looking at water
Our back deck

I took some photos of the house we stayed in. This place was AMAZING. I am still contemplating sharing them on here.  There are few things in life that are sacred anymore and I think kids and homes should be left private.  Since this home belongs to a family friend, I feel especially torn.  However, the owner is an interior decorator and it belongs in a magazine.  She got every room right.  She must feel so satisfied when she walks through her home.  Ok, we know that isn't true.  Aren't we always searching for something else to make it "perfect"?

Here is just a peek.  Disregard horrible cell phone shots:

 Master Bedroom

 Master Bathroom

Guest Room

I'll share other little snippets of the house over the next week.  I got so much inspiration from all the little details.    We're in Atlanta for the week and tomorrow's post will be about my very first trip to the infamous Scott Antique Market.  Come back for a very rare consecutive post :)

Monday, May 2, 2011

Deal of the Week

I forgot about Urban Outfitters.  I still like their stuff  It's about time someone made this cheap and easy (although not an ideal size).  Thanks Sketch 42

Although, I think this is an even better deal.  Paint the chevron stripes yourself! Anyone ever try it?

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Life In The Fast Lane....

Well, life hasn't slowed down here at the Knowles house.  Between packing up the house, turning 33, finding a new tenant for the carriage house, having house guests, and finding time to go to the beach, this month has flown by.

Sunday we will be vacating our house in Charleston and handing it over to a Spoleto opera director for the month.  We will take refuge in Hilton Head for a bit, head to Atlanta for a while, skip over to Birmingham, AL for a weekend (and hope to see a new baby), and fly to Boston to round it all out.  Hopefully Quinn still likes to travel.

Tell me, is your house rent-ready?  How long would it take you to clean out the closets?  And where would you put it all?

I'll take pics of the rooms before we go so you can get a final tour of the house while it is clean.  For now, look what I made on Monday:

I bought the cork board here.  I wanted huge and this delivers (literally. ha!). The burlap is from a local store.  I'm not posting instructions because they are all over the blogosphere.  I eyeballed the nailheads along the thin metal trim.  Not perfect, but didn't take as long as a time as it looks.  Only 300 nailheads later...... I am very good at zoning out and getting it done these days. 

I hope all my southern friends are safe from the storms.  Scary stuff.  Mother Nature is very angry.   Hmm, I wonder why?

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Oh, Hello!

Hi there.  It's me.  I am alive.  I don't have much to say.  My excuses are futile.  I HAVE been thinking a lot about all the packing I have to do.  We have to vacate the premises in 18 days to make way  for some fancy opera director and her family to call this place home.  We moved in here only 6 months ago and yet there is so much stuff....Luckily, we have a lot of closets.  Closets that will soon have locks on them :)

Anywho, I thought I'd share 2 new blogs with you.  This is what I'm doing when I should be packing.....

Emily Henderson - Yes, I talk about her way too much lately.  Girl crush?  Maybe.  She talks a lot about her episodes in recent posts, but if you have the patience to scroll through the older posts to before the show aired, you'll find some awesome flea market finds, etc.  She is one witty gal.   We could have very interesting conversations speaking in abbreviations.  I think she is totes adorbes.

The Brick House - Again, wit + flea market finds = love

Friday, April 1, 2011


This bedding from West Elm.  It screams beach vacation.  It is so fresh and vibrant.   I so wish I had a beach house to decorate......

Island Ikat Duvet + Shams

Happy April!

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Things That Make You Go Hmmmm.....

How many times do you find yourself watching HGTV or something of the like and ask yourself how does one get on this show and get all this awesome free stuff (and, really, what is free)?.  I'd say a lot.

When we first decided to move and bought a house without yet selling our house, then went through the process of selling our house on our own, moved 985 miles away from family and friends and started a complete gut renovation...oh, did I mention I was 7 months pregnant at the time?...I toyed with the idea of entering to be on one of the HGTV shows.  With all that on our plate, I figured we could be pretty entertaining.   I consulted the list of shows seeking potential "guests" (their words), but none interested me and I was afraid my raging hormones may make me "appear" crazy.  Still, I always wondered what could have been.

Now we can get a little insider scoop on what it is like to be a guest on HGTV thanks to Joy over at Oh Joy!.  She and her husband were lucky enough to be chosen for my latest obsession, Secrets of a Stylist.  Who knew you had to audition for months?  I'm still curious what kind of budget you have to cough up for it, but it is pretty cool that you get design and labor for free.

It totally stinks that they cut out the part about her wallpaper line.  Hello people, you USED it in their living room!!!  Would have been an amazing plug....Anywho, read on for the details.

I was waiting to post my recap for you guys until the episode was online for those of you without TV's or who didn't get to see it live. So check it out right here if you haven't watched it yet. Then, all the bits below will make much more sense!
So you might wonder what it's like to have your house made over on a reality show...well, it's pretty awesome! Here's a little recap and behind-the-scenes bits for you of how it all went down. I had known of Emily's styling work previously to her being on Design Star but we had never met. Once I saw the pilot episode of her new show, I emailed her a fan letter and asked if she was available for consulting because I loved her show and needed help. Her show was the first on HGTV that I really felt fit our style and if anyone could give some good advice, she could. She was too busy to consult, but she was like, "Why don't you audition for the show and then I'd get to style your place for free?!?". My ears perked up and so I got Bob to film this audition tapewith me. We sent it in, and soon after started the process of going through rounds of casting from August-October of last year. When we finally got the call that we were in, we were told we'd be shooting a month later and filmed our episode at the end of November.
During the casting process, we met with Emily a couple times to talk about our own individual styles as well as our combined styles and what love our space to become. We sent her some tear sheets of things we liked. While I tend to be very type A and want to be in charge, I really let Emily do her thing because I love her work and trusted her 100%. And, Bob, well, he's easy so there were no concerns there. Here's what our living room & dining room looked like before...
When the week of filming came, we moved out for the week and rented a temporary apartment nearby. The crew works long hours filming in the house, so especially since we have cats, we thought it would be easier for everyone involved if we just moved out for the week and took our furry friends with us. The show shoots from Monday-Saturday with 3 days that we had to be available for filming.
On the first day of filming, we gave Emily an overview of our space, what we needed help with, and a bit about our styles.
We went to Emily's studio to film the "Style Diagnostic" in which she has us choose between different objects to get a sense of our style through our choices. The funny part about this segment is that the two shoes I picked for Bob were actually his! We didn't see the objects ahead of time {they must have pulled some of his shoes from our house}, so we were laughing on the inside when I had to pick what he'd like...knowing that was an easy job for me! None of the girl's shoes were mine, so Bob had a tougher task...
Then, she gave us our diagnosis and told us about the plan to start with my Artsy Nouveau look, and then layer on Bob's Single Malt Minimalism for a hybrid of Single Malt Nouveau. Now, here's where she warns us that she might go a little over the top with the girlie, feminine stuff and then tone it back down with Bob's style later.
Emily, Orlando, and the team then proceed with the first look. I love this scene here where she's standing in a corner with full-on wallpaper! So cute. {Because no one puts Baby in the wallpapered corner!} And yes, this is from my wallpaper line. We did talk about that on the show but it got cut for time sake. They then proceeded to put together Artsy Nouveau...
Vintage, hot pink, gold-gilded palace of girlieness!
This was the expression on our faces. Don't we look scared? I was probably the most flustered as I didn't know something so feminine could exist. And that while I loved parts of it, on a whole it was too feminine even for me {and definitely for Bob}.
Emily explains how she wanted to bring in a huge dose of "Joy" and then pare it down and add some of "Bob" in the next look. We were relieved that she wasn't going to leave it that way and excited to see the balance of our two styles in the second look.
I loved this segment about how Emily placed our artwork on the wall in a pretty cluster. That paper trick is awesome and something I totally need to do going forward. They then did their magic, and here's the 2nd and final look...
...which we LOVED! It was {and still is} a great mix of both Bob and my style. Emily paired down some of the girlieness and brought in more wood, chrome, and streamlined shapes that felt more modern and more like Bob...and a look which felt much more livable to me than the previous one.
Can you see the smiles on our faces?!? Totally. Relieved. And so so happy!
You can see more before and after's right here. Check Emily's blog for all of her behind-the-scenes bit from our episode and sources on where she got everything. For the items that were ours that you guys have asked about...
The ceramic head planters in the dining room are from Floral Art LA and the meat prints are byDominic Episcopo.
The prints above the couch are {from left to right}: lady print by Peggy Wolf, floral hedgehog byChipmunk Cheeks, vintage poodle print from Rosebowl flea market, popsicle print by Anna Tillett, heart by CDR, portrait by Gemma Correll, bird print by Yumi Yumi, Manhattan print byJim Datz for Three Potato Four, lemon print by Dear Colleen, lady print by Peggy Wolf, Swan girl print by Sophie Blackall, rabbit by Fifi Lapin, and buildings by Julia Rothman.
Phew! That was probably the longest post I've ever written! Thanks again for watching the episode and for all your nice emails, comments, and tweets! It was so fun sharing a bit of our home with you guys, and we hope you had fun watching it! — Joy
{all after photos by Laure Joliet. all other images are screen shots from the show}

Monday, March 28, 2011

Purple Passion

It seems like all the tress down here got the memo that it is Spring.  We didn't move down here until May last year so I am not familiar with the amazing blossoms in March.  Wisteria is EVERYWHERE.  It makes me wish we incorporated it into our landscaping.....and then I see all the bees it attracts.  No thank you.  I like bees, just not near my kid :)

It is not surprising that I fell in love with this bedroom in the recent Ballard Designs catalog:

There is something about purple and gold that I love.  And purple and green, and purple and pink, and purple and plum, and purple and black......

I think I'm going to have to bring this into the master bedroom.  Just when I think my projects are coming to an end, another idea comes up. What is on your project list?

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Deal of the Week

Have you opened your Home Decorators Collection catalog lately?

I love these high backed slipcovered chairs.  They would make awesome head chairs for a dining room.  What did Emily from Secrets of a Stylist say in her latest episode?  Keep it low profile for casual and high profile for drama?  I think this is the perfect blend...high profile for the formality of a dining room (or, why not a kitchen?) yet slipcovered for that casual feel.  I am a sucker for grey, but the close-up view online looks questionable, almost velvety. I'm curious.  If anyone buys this,let me know how it looks.