Ask The Designer “What is Your Style?”

Ask The Designer “What is Your Style?” 

In this segment of “Ask the Designer” I had the privilege to work with 16 brilliant bloggers, to share their home decorating style ideas with you. These ladies are all experts in their fields, and come from all walks of life around the world. Be sure to check out the entire Home Decor- 29 Day Challenge Event,  where each week we will focus on a topic from each of our guest bloggers.  

I personally think that interior design styles are constantly evolving, or improving. So what a fun set of discussion topics to ask my esteemed fellow colleagues, how they would classify their own personal home design style and what was the journey lead them to that style.  It has truly been my distinct please to work with this talented group of ladies, and I’m sure you are going to love their decorating advice as much as I have. 

EXPERT DESIGNER-BLOG QUESTION #11: As a Interior Designer, I appreciate all styles and types of Interior Design. What would you classified your current “signature style” to be, and why did you choose it?

Nicole Corr  @Green Isle Landscaping

As a fashion designer by trade I have over the years researched trends both by travelling the world and by watching peoples purchasing habits and also online / through magazines. So I can appreciate all types of designs styles. My personal current signature style is classical, I love antiques, master crafted furntiure with beautful fabrics, I love bright colours and nuetrals. I love cast iron and glass, stone and wood. I get great pleasure from sitting in a room that allows me to breath, lower my heart rate and sleep. My work like a very busy so I need a home that is a retreat.

Susanne Stewart@ Life on Pearl Street 

My current design style is eclectic and I know some people think that is just a catch all term for a little bit of everything, but eclectic style can be a hot mess if you don’t do it right. I didn’t pick this style, it picked me. I love rustic metal industrial pieces, bright yellow vases from the 60’s and 70’s, neutral crisp wall color, comfy leather furniture (that is actually a necessity for dog hair) and dark wood side tables. I also love white furry throw pillows, vintage gold frames, old milk bottles, old carpenter boxes, and wooden crates. Put all of that together, and if you aren’t careful, you have a hot mess. I believe that you can’t force yourself into a design style, you have to feel it. It has to be something you are drawn to, you have to be able to love and live in the end result.

Jessica Devlin@ Jessica Devlin Designs 

My current design style is California Modern. Which is funny since I live in northern Alberta. I love the clean lines and crisp feel. There is something so cool about the style and it always stops me in my scroll. I live in a mid century modern home and it’s the perfect fit! I can’t wait to start renovating.

 Sarah Foote @The Project Pile 

My design style is what I like to call “eclectically rustic.” If I had to actually describe my design style, it would be something like “antique old-world meets modern new-world”! Um, does that even make sense?! Well first off, I love collecting antiques and treasure hunting! I then bring these antiques or “treasures” home, and try to incorporate them into my more modern home décor. I feel like it’s a very fine line that I walk though… trying to incorporate all of this old-world stuff into my home without having it look like the home of a hoarder, or the home of an eighty year-old woman! Tricky, tricky!

Kim Boes @Reinvented KB 

My signature style leans toward modern farmhouse. I love all things shiplap, and old metal, rustic wood, with light walls and dark contrast. I struggled quite awhile finding my style; debating color vs. neutral, light vs. dark, and modern vs. traditional. In the past year I realized that although I had fleeting interest in other styles, I always came back to photos of modern rustic farmhouse spaces. It’s amazing how much simpler life is when one finally settles on a signature look; I am less tempted by every little thing, knowing exactly what will fit in our home and bring us joy for the long term.

 Christy Harper @ The Harper House 

I’d say my design style at the moment is classic coastal farmhouse. I love all things coastal even though we live in the midwest. We just installed white shiplap throughout most of our first floor, and I plan on adding a linen colored sectional with soft blue and sea glass green accessories. I need my home to be comfortable and approachable for my family and guests, and I think the coastal farmhouse style adds the perfect welcoming vibe that I want our home to portray.

Pam List @ Momma Can

Eclectic – I have always appreciated different styles of decor. I grew up as a military brat and therefore was a bit nomadic. My early childhood was in Istanbul, Turkey and we brought home several marble pieces for our living and dining room. I still remember the bookcase made of iron and gray marble. My parents used this unique piece in the living room for years, and then when we moved into our first permanent home, it became an outdoor fixture and held tons of plants and interesting rock pieces. And fast-forward to meeting my husband and moving to California we both have instrument collections. He guitars and I drums. Having the freedom of embracing Eclectic design allows both of us to have beautiful instruments throughout the home. I love mixing traditional pieces with instruments and art from our travels.

Sam Franklin  @ A Happy Home in Holland 

This is kind of hard for me to pin down because I would say that my style is pretty eclectic. I guess it is a combination of Scandinavian, Rustic, Farmhouse and Coastal, whatever that is, with a little bit of Dutch style thrown in for good measure. I think you can attribute a lot of my personal home style to my life experiences. I am British born and have travelled quite a bit, I lived in Greece for a number of years and I now live in the Netherlands. These factors all have a lot of influence over the styles that I am drawn to. I like bright fresh rooms with neutral walls which allows me to bring in lots of other elements. At the moment our home is filled with a mix of new and second hand furniture which we inherited when we first moved to the Netherlands. Whilst I love a lot of the new styles that you see in the shops at the moment I do actually love the challenge of recycling and update things to give them a fresh and modern twist. I am also really drawn to curves, round shapes and intricate patterns which I tend to bring in with home décor accents. I particularly like to accessorise with lots of mirrors, cushions, candles, natural elements, glass vases, fresh flowers and plants. This is how I mix all the different styles and bring it all together.

Emy Flint @ Semi Gloss Design 

If I had to coin a name for my style, it would be boho eclectic vintage. I love old stuff and lots of colors. I also love a relaxed feel, with nothing being too precious. This style fits my lifestyle and my love of collecting.

Yami Platero  @ The Latina Next Door 

I’m still working on my signature style and as of right now, it’s a little bit of modern farmhouse with a coastal and contemporary twist. I love me some “Fixer Upper” and Joanna Gaines took the world by storm with Ship Lap and she took me with her. But I like a more clean line farmhouse look because I still like shiny chrome fixtures and sleek lines, but I am also from Puerto Rico and I love anything that will remind me of being on swanky high end hotel off an ocean coast, so I love me soft soft blues and wicker accents… See? All over the place. 😉

Denise Bryant @ My Thrifty House

I would consider my current style to be an eclectic mix of flea market chic and industrial farmhouse. I can honesly say the only pieces of furniture in my home that were purchased at a store are the beds. Everything else has been purchased at a flea market, thrift store or garage sale.

Tina Bousu @ Eclectict Twist

I am definitely an eclectic lover. I don’t think I chose it as much as it chose me. I love EVERY single style of design. There is something to be appreciated in every genre and every period. I personally like to combine it all for a feeling of balance. I have several antique pieces around from accessories like old books to old dressers and abused workbenches that I combine with modern classic lined pieces like a chesterfield sofa but upholstered in a light powder blue leather or a zinc coffee table in a classic silhouette. Every design style has something to offer and I’m not about to let any of it get by me! Farmhouse sink, I LOVE, but combine it with grey stained cabinets and a marble arabesque backsplash and I call it a perfect combination. I won’t lean to much one way or the other for a particular style which makes me very eclectic!

Susie Kuc @ Tiny House Giant Life 

I’d have to say my style is Mid-Century Modern Eclectic and I did not choose it, it chose me. As a designer, years of helping others find their style has led me to appreciate all of it. I just love that eclectic mix of old and new, trendy and classic, its that perfectly imperfect mix that really makes a room for me. Not any one piece actually makes or breaks the design, but altogether they create a feeling that everything matters and is useful.

Sam Hay @ Raggedy Bits

Vintage Farmhouse. I have always loved collecting and styling with old wares and love incorporating painted furniture that I paint. It all stems back to my child hood and spending lots of time with my grandparents on their apple farm and finding lots of treasure

Liz Elliott @ Franc and Eli

Modern bohemian, becuase that is just what I am naturally drawn to. I didn’t choose it – it chose me!
Jennifer Gainer @ Jenron Designs

I consider my current signature style to be, Industrial Farmhouse Chic. There is  a slight nod in the coastal direction, but mainly only with my homes color pallet. Honestly, I think I ended up here since my childhood home was  very Traditional with hints of Danish Modern (very clean with simple lines). My husband has always been drawn to more rustic Craftsman styles (like a log cabins or mountain chalets). Since I was born and raised in the South, and we live in foothills of the North Georgia Mountain’s, it just seems to be a nice compromise of our backgrounds and local traditions. Plus “Fixer Upper” helped to streamline this look into the current market. I mean you gotta love Chip and Joanna Gaines, making farmhouse eclectic an everyday staple one house at a time.

 

Well there you have it folks, you got this information straight from the designer’s mouth. I hope you found all the advice and insight to be helpful, I know I sure did. I would once again, like to thank this amazing panel of ladies, that come to us from around the globe, some as far away as Australia, Canada, Puerto Rico, and the Netherlands, plus all of our local home grown beauties. I am truly lucky to be included in such a wonderful group of bloggers.  

For more answers to design questions, don’t forget to visit my blogging friends!

Jessica Devlin Expert Bloggers Top Home Decorating Ideas

Sam Hay Expert Bloggers 16 Best Decorating Tips

Susanne Stewart Decorating on a Budget, 16 Design Bloggers Tell You How

Kimm Boes Ask The Experts: Favorite Paint Colors For Furniture

Sarah Foote Making those Teeny-Tiny Spaces Look & Feel Larger; 16 Bloggers Share their Best Advice

Pam List Expert Bloggers Top 3 Decorating Items

Sam Franklin Home Decor Style & Trends; Design Experts Favorites

Denise Bryant Decorating With Thrift Store and Flea Market Finds

Susan Kuc Small Home Design; 16 Bloggers Tell All

Yami Platero How to Keep a Stylish and Organized Home with Small Children

Nicole Corr Design Experts Tell Us What Their Dream Outside Relaxation Space Looks Like

Emy Flint How 16 Bloggers Use Color In Their Homes

Jennifer Gainer Ask the Designer-What is Your Style?

Christy Harper Grey Paint Colors – Top Bloggers Favorites

Tina Bousu Top Tips for Decorating Tough Spaces from Expert Bloggers

Liz Elliott Design Bloggers Top Design Tips

 

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Vertical Pallet Herb Garden

Vertical Pallet Herb Garden

Please join us for a closer look at our hanging herb garden, made from reclaimed pallets and terra-cotta pots. 

 I have receive so many comments, emails and texts from you all asking about the details on how to make the DIY Herb Garden project.  So….. I will be the first one to admit I might have dropped the ball on that follow up article to our DIY PATIO PAVER PROJECT, which would have covered all that information. I did get engulfed in the One Room Challenge, but in my defense I only had 6 weeks to get the Sleeping Porch done, and now I have shamelessly plugged it again…with a link, in case you missed it., or sign up for our bi- monthly newsletter: 

Basically this is an easy weekend project, that takes very little time, money, or effort.

Here is what you will need:

When picking pallets to utilize for furniture or wall treatments, you really want to make sure of two things. 1. What are the pallets are made out of and 2. What did the pallets originally transport. Some pallets have housed potential poisonous substances, while others are made out of wood treated with poisonous substances, and these are not suitable for reuse. 1001 pallets is a great resource for looking up this information and has a great article available at this (article link). I have included a copy of the pallet codes below from 1001 pallets, these are for the wood type used to make the pallets.  Our pallet was HT and were originally used to ship the components of rock fireplace ……bet you can’t guess where I got those from….maybe the patio paver project? We were very lucky and received out shipment on a double wide pallet. 

Once you have your pallet and you have painted it with your choice of Exterior Paint – we used our leftover trim paint TRIM PAINT- City Loft Sherwin Williams. You will want to adhere the pallet to the wall or surface to create the vertical garden. For this we used 4″ decking wood screws drilled directly into studs. We did this just to make sure that the pallet frame could hold the weight of the pots, soil, plants and water weight. 

Then for a rustic farmhouse look  we attached adjustable metal worm gear clamps, available in the HVAC area of your local hardware store, with 1/2″ metal screws. The clamps are adjustable from 3-4″ so you terra-cotta pot can vary a bit in size.  Insert your terra-cotta pot add soil and herbs. Voila, Instant Herb Garden!!!

Just for ease of maintenance we added a small coil water hose  so we can keep the herbs misted in the hot Georgia heat.

We routed the water from a nearby hose bib with a small light weight hose pipe, then attached a hanger to hold the coiled water hose and nozzle. 

If you notice we also chose to locate our herb garden on a wall under our deck. This will help filter the amount of direct sun the plants get. Most herbs prefer filtered sunlight especially the fragile ones like basil and cilantro. The deck also protects these delicate plants from harsh rain storms as well, that will beat them down and break the stems, leaving you with limp droopy herbs.   

Since the entire herb wall is easily rearrangeable, by simply lifting out the pots, you can also relocate plants based on the amount of sun or shade they require. I placed my heartier plants like sage, dill, parsley, oregano and lavender that prefer more sunlight at the edge of the deck to get morning sun. 

Planting Tip: I personally like to use Miracle Grow Moisture Control soil, it keeps the soil moist even if I miss a day of watering…which is critical down here in the south. I also like to use Bonnie’s Veggie and Herb fertilizer for big healthy plants. 

I plant all kinds of herbs for many different purposes. This is a common sage which is handy to keep around. It is pretty good for stuffing and poultry recipes. Not to mention if your home has not been feeling very zen, you can always burn some, with the Native American art of smudging. In case you are not familiar here is a great article about The Ancient Art of Smudging. 

Check out this super healthy dill which is great on grilled fish with fresh lemon or to make a dill dip. Below is one of the 3 kinds of  basil we planted. It seems we use a lot of basil around here. Of course one of our favorite simple summer time suppers is a Caprese salad.  Ummm sliced fresh buffalo mozzarella, heirloom tomatoes, and green basil, seasoned with salt and olive oil. Of course I love the Tuscan Olive Oil from a local shop in Roswell OLI+VE, yes to me it makes a huge difference.

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Microblading @ Browworks by Nori

Microblading @Browworks by Nori

Hey ya’ll guess what I had done? That’s right, I got my eyebrows microbladed and I love them!!! Mother’s Day is right around the corner and May is a great month to treat mom to a spa treatment she has always wanted. 

I have been wanting to share my recent microblading experience, with Browworks by Nori, for about a month now. I am sure many of you have probably seen my preview pictures below, and mid procedure progress teasers. You see, I actually started my microblading journey back in February, but keep in mind the entire microblading process takes around 4-8 weeks from start to the final heal. Therefore, I have delayed my post so I could include my final healed photos after my touch up. This photo below is from my initial microblading procedure, and have since had one touch up to complete my brows.  

WHAT IS MICROBLADING

So many of you may be asking, what exactly is microblading? By definition- Microblading is a form of semi-permanent tattoo, that involves using a small specialty blades to deposit pigment under your skin. Ok, so now that your mind is reeling, let me just say it is painless, all you feel is a light scratching sensation on your brows. The final product is a set of flawless eyebrows with out any additional work from you. 

CLIENT PREP-

There are a few things you need to know prior to getting your brows microbladed. Nori at Browworks by Nori will be more than happy to go over all pre and post care procedures, and what you need to know leading up to your appointment.  It all pretty basic stuff like avoid tweezing or waxing your brows, mainly since your new brow shape will be based on measurements done before starting the procedure. Nori was great and made sure I liked the proposed new brow shape, size, and color prior to starting the procedure. You want to avoid using exfoliators and any skincare products containing glycolic acid, Retin A, Renova, and alpha hydroxy acids 72 hours before procedure. You will also be asked to avoid any blood thinning medications, such as aspirin, pain relievers and alcohol 24 hours before procedure. Pregnant, nursing, and diabetic clients should avoid the procedure all together. 

MY EXPERIENCE-

As you can see in the picture below, I have blonde hair, so my eyebrows have always been light. Although I am not sure where my eyebrows went over the years, as they have gotten progressively thinner the older I have gotten. I was so excited to hear that I could have a  proceedure to end my morning routine of filling my eyebrows just to make them even show up. To me the entire experience was relaxing, think of like a spa experience to get beautifully shaped eyebrows. The entire procedure takes about 3-4 hours, depending on how extensive your microblading needs are.  The first step as I mention above the to define your shape. The first hour Nori, measured my brows, drawing the shape in with removable eye pencil as guide. During this time, she could show me a basic idea of shape prior to beginning the procedure. Nori was actually able created a higher arch on top of my existing brow, essential giving me a brow lift as well, bonus!!! She truly is a brow genius.As far as the color goes there 5 main color that can be mixed to make 100’s of custom combinations to either match your natural brow color, or if you your like me to darken up what you already have and define your brow line. I was a mix of the light brown cappuccino with a just hint of boudreaux, since I do have red undertones in my natural hair color. Just like a visit to the hair salon, Nori keeps a client file with your custom mixed color so your touch ups are flawless.  

Before the microblading procedure begins, a topical numbing cream is applied to the brow area to minimize discomfort, followed by a liquid anesthetic. Once successfully numbed the blading process begins. You will hear a scratching sound, so if you know things like that bother you just ask for a headset during your procedure, or bring along some earbuds for your phone to listen to your own favorite tunes. Again as I mentioned above, it does not hurt, you just feel a slight pressure as the blade is pressed into your brows to make the surface cuts. Although some clients may feel a slight discomfort, I personally found that the procedure is relatively painless.  Also if I notice my numbing cream starting to wear off, I would let Nori know and she would add more numbing cream to the offending brow, and then move her work to my other pre numbed brow. 

As you can see in these pictures one brow is completed, and Nori is starting on my second brow. The pigment, located in the super cool the ring cup, is being injected directly into my brows, via the blade. After the cuts are made additional pigment can be wiped across the brows for additional absorbtion.

AFTER CARE-

The healing process is different for everyone, and it takes between 25 and 30 days to totally heal.  Keep in mind that you can not wash or even wet the area for the first week. The after care is similar to that of a tattoo: No pools, no sweating, using a healing cream like Aquafora. I did find that my brows swelled a lot the day after my procedure. So you might want to make sure your schedule your appointment during a stretch of down time, where you are not going to events, parties, etc. In about 5-7 days I looked completely healed, and was able to wash my face completely.  
This is a picture taken immediately after my first microblading touch up session. As you see my brows are very bold, full and starting to swell just a bit, which is to be expected. Now as for my unruly hair that’s an entirely different post….lol. 

TIP- After scheduling my touch up procedure,  I found out I would need to be in attendance at a funeral. Since I knew I had some swelling the previous time, I iced my brows the night after my touch the procedure. The next morning, I looked much better than the first time round. No redness or swelling, and I retained all my pigment. Losing pigment is a common concern when icing, so most technicians don’t recommend it, but if you find yourself in pinch like I did you can try it, but be  warned it could result in loss of pigment, I guess I was just lucky.

TOUCH UP’S-

About a month after the initial procedure it is recommend that you have one touch-up. Nori includes one touch up in your initial investment price. You can check out pricing at her link here, Browworks by Nori. The touch up is mainly to check how your body healed, make sure the pigment took properly, and if needed add in some additional strands to complete the fill process. If you have read anything about microblading, all professionals agree that you will retain more pigment your second time. In my opinion I agree with them, it seems like my brows stayed fuller and darker from the final touch up. I am now 6 weeks healed and they look amazing. In fact, they are so natural I have to tell people that I had them done, but when I look back at pictures pre microblading the difference is so dramatic. This is my completely healed picture 4 weeks after my final touch up. I am very happy with the final look and love the fact that I no longer have to pencil in my eyebrows to have them show up. So take if from me, if you are in the market for some new brows, I highly recommend Nori Blagg, @Browworks by Nori.

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DIY Paver Patio Project

DIY Paver Patio Project-Complete

Now all I need is some great new patio furniture and this backyard transformation will be 100% complete.  

As many of my loyal subscribers know, we have been working on adding a paver patio to our back yard since December of last year. Well I am excited to announce that the patio portion of this project is complete. It has been a long haul, and I needed to get this project finished up so I can concentrate on the One Room Challenge Event due next month. For those of you that missed my big announcement this week JENRON DESIGNS will be a guest participant in the 2017 One Room Challenge hosted by Calling It Home and House Beautiful.  So please check in or sign up for email updates to keep up to date on the latest progress 

Here is the before picture of my very sad yard last summer. As you can see almost all of our Bermuda sod was dying, mainly due to lack of sun and the shadows cast by our house. We decided the only permeant answer to fix this issue was to add a paver patio in the areas where our grass refused to live. This past winter we dug up and removed all dead sod and weeds growing in the area the patio was to be installed. We rerouted the gutter downspout to release water further down our hillside past the purposed patio. This was accomplished by trenching across this area and laying back corrugated pipe, that would attach to the downspout on the house.

Next we leveled out the ground in preparation of the pavers. As many of you Georgian’s know we live in an are full of “Red Clay”which is our dominate soil type. Georgia is synonymous with red clay, in fact we are known for our red clay by many artisans that seek it out for pottery projects. It is not great for planting but it is fabulous for setting pavers. Think of it as big terra-cotta plate for your base, I mean who needs concrete, when you got clay right? During the leveling process, we experienced several rain storms, which was to our benefit, and helped tamp down the ground. So now we are ready for sand, pavers, stone and block.

We ordered the pavers and all the other supplies needed from Lowe’s as they had the best stone color to match our home. We were also very happy to find our that Lowe’s would deliver all of it for a $75 delivery charge. Charles, our amazingly talented fork lift operator was more than happy to place the pallets exactly where we wanted them. This particular step saved us a lot of time, saving us from having to carry every single paver from the front yard around to the back, as we did with the fireplace last year. The next step in the process took place over several weekends, as moving over 5,000 blocks, no matter how close they were just takes some time. We devised a plan to installed pavers in large squared off sections. We would level the area and place sections of paver, tamping each one into to place and make sure they stayed relatively level. Our final patio size was planned to be the full length of the back of our house at approx. 65ft long, and a range of 15-20ft wide depending on the section, which was based off the footprint of our house. When laying the pavers it is recommended to start at a flat sideline such as your house, or patio. This process will keep your pavers square and limit your possible cuts.We added in a knee wall for our existing planter bed, which houses my beautiful limelight hydrangeas. We also have a large specimen urn for my rare Bloodgood Japanese Maple. They have a pretty red/green to burgundy fringed leaf shape with beautiful branches that drape.  The usually start at $100 for a small one gallon pot and can range into the thousands of dollars for more established trees. My sister had a huge one, and was apprised for about $2,000. So if you are in the market to grow and resale plants I would recommend this type,  you could get a good return, if you have a green thumb.   

As you can see in the picture below I wanted the patio to have a curved edge. FYI- not the easiest thing to do according to my husband Ron. LOL, so we rented a concrete saw at Home Depot to make the curved cuts. However, he admits with the proper tools, aka the concrete tile saw, it was actually very easy. 

Tip: If you save the excess cut pieces you might be able to flip them around and reuse them to fill space between metal edge and patio. We were able to use several pieces to create a full edge. 

Here we added a metal edging to hold the pavers in place. This will also help to hold the polymeric sand into the form as well. I know this may seem backwardsor an unconventional step in the process, but it worked well for our yard. Believe me we watched lots of DIY tutorials prior to taking on this project, most of which show putting the frame work down first. My thought on this process was, if you put a frame work down first you make more work for yourself, especially in cutting the edge blocks to fit. I figured place the blocks, and allowing the run to end with a full block and then create your edge. I must admit, I was not exactly happy we were going to have to cut the rounded edge blocks above but I knew ethically the patio needed a little curve to give it an more organic feel instead of a big ugly rectangle. 

The final step for the paver patio was installing the polymeric sand. This was quick, easy and only took half a day, but you must have good weather on the horizon for 3 days during the curing process. So make sure you check you 5 day forecast. You can not install in freezing or near freezing conditions, and absolutely no rain!!!Like I said this was probably the easiest part of the entire process. You dump out the sand, and sweep it into the cracks between the pavers. Make sure to tamp the blocks as you go, to insure a tight fill. Then after you you have filled between all pavers you spray with a light layer of water. I recommend using the mist setting on your hose pipe nozzle, to prevent over watering and run off. I made three full passes across the patio, on the mist setting and called it a day. Three days later our patio was complete.Now that the patio was complete I felt we needed to add on stone bases for the deck columns. The columns felt a little naked, not to mention our deck footings were not even, which created a slight bow in the brick pavers. This solution would cover the bow and integrate the columns in to the final design for a high end finish. We added the stacked stone blocks and backfilled with concrete. This portion of the project was also very easy and finishes the patio off nicely. As soon as the weather gets warmer again, I envision 4 ferns hanging on the inside of the columns from pretty antique style wall hooks. We have had such crazy weather this spring, warm everything blooms and then, BAM freeze warning!!! So I am going to have to waiting until May, I guess. We will also plan to paint the under side of the deck white like our trim and maybe adding Edison bulb string lights, or a fun chandelier, and  I am pretty sure my hammock will be making an appearance too. For those of you that remember my DIY pallet herb rack from last year, that we placed under the deck. I got it all filled up with all my favorite herbs. Now I can actually get to them easier, with tromping through the muddy back yard. Yay, it’s the small things that make me happy!!! You can see from the pictures we were able to integrate the patio with our existing fireplace, as well. We built a fireplace in anticipation for this space, it was all a part of the overall plan to have additional backyard living space. The fireplace was a great find, on sale at the end of season, from Hayneedle. We were able get the entire thing for around $1,700 combining the sale along with a 20% off coupon plus free delivery to our driveway. This was an opportunity we could not pass up, so again, we did things a little bit out of order. Since we have a pretty steep lot, the ability to have a prebuilt fireplace delivered was completely out of the question, all the local landscape companies were to afraid the forklift would tip over. So our only option was to built it ourselves, brick by brick likes grown up legos. Okay, so you love everything, but just don’t understand those little lion statues I have on the fireplace. Why you ask? Well they are actually pretty sentiment to me, and here’s the story you know why. They are the matching markers for 2 of my kitties, Behr & Kramer (brothers), that passed several years ago. We had them in our previous backyard, where they were buried. I could not bare to leave the statues behind when we moved. So, I reluctantly moved them with no plan of what to do with them, and now they will adorn my patio fireplace. A lovely reminder of my boys that can stay with me. I truly believe that even in beautiful designs there is always a place for a few sentimental objects. I think thats what makes your home a home, and not just a sterile designed space like a hotel or museum. So it is okay to let your personality and history shine through, it creates a more believable and unique space.Overall I think the DIY backyard patio project is a success.  We still have a little further to go with patio furniture and other fun accessories, but we have our basic container plants done and will be on the hunt for fun outdoor things this summer so stay tuned for more updates. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Day at Gibbs Gardens

“My Little Buttercup, has the sweetest smile”. Spend a day at Gibbs Gardens we us,  to enjoy the beautiful floral clad country side.

Join us as we explore the miles of rolling hills filled with buttercups. See one of the most sought after Easter picture venues of North Georgia. Learn about different types of buttercups and when to plant for the best spring showing. 

 Over the past weekend we took our annual spring journey to Gibbs Garden’s to see the Daffodils, which is really quite magical. If you have never been, I highly recommend that you make a trip soon while they are still blooming. There are literally thousands of buttercups, covering the north Georgia hillside. A total feast for your eyes.

It is no secret to any north Georgia native that Gibbs Garden’s is the perfect garden spot to take pictures. Whether you are a trying to get the perfect family Easter photo, hone your photography skills or just create a cute seasonal profile picture, Gibbs’s has you covered. We love to go for gardening inspiration for our own yard and we get a little exercise at the same time. My husband and I are garden members, and have the 4 season pass so we can explore the gardens at all times of the year. Honestly, it just makes senses to purchase the 4 seasons pass, the cost is the same price of two single day visits. So if your go to the gardens at least twice your pass pays for itself, plus you get two free one day visitor passes, which I use for out of town guests that come to visit. 

Garden Tip: The gardens offer summer concerts, featuring local bands, with a option to purchase a light picnic dinner and drinks. This is by far one of the best ways to see the gardens for a date night. Take a pretty stroll have a little dinner, some vino under the stars and musical entertainment. 

What is the difference between a Buttercup and a Daffodil?  Actually, there is a huge difference between the two. Everything you will see at Gibbs Gardens are Daffodils, also known as Narcissus or Jonquils, depending on variety.  There is not a single buttercup. As a southern girl, I grew up calling all these pretties, “buttercups”. Truth be told Buttercups are actually a completely different species of flowers that looks nothing like daffodils

Although, I do think most of the confusion for me comes from the movie Willie Wonka…. I know random, right? You know the scene where Gene Wilder picks a daffodil and drinks butterscotch out of it like a teacup. Then proceeds to eat the cup, which by the way are poisonous to humans and animals. Way to go Hollywood, you ruined an entire generation!!! Obviously that stuck with me, as I am still guilty of calling them buttercups to this day, as you can see by my catchy little title above. 

Let’s take a more in depth look at the types of beautiful daffodils that grow at Gibbs and are available to plant in your own yard.  First of all, in Georgia it’s best to plant your bulbs in the fall. Bulbs need that freeze of winter in order to produce the pretty flowers. If you missed planting it’s ok go ahead and buy some pre grown bulbs in containers at your local garden center. Just remember at the end of their season as the foliage dies off to put them into the ground so they will return next year. This is probably the most recognized, and common daffodils known as February Gold. It’s a top-notch choice and one of the most reliable of daffodils, it’s provide fast early color in the garden. This early-blooming gem offers clear golden-yellow single blooms with rounded petals and long trumpets. (Trumpets also called cups and are located in the center of the daffodil’s star shaped petals. 

Ice Follies is another favorite here and in the South. This single bloom, large flowers has white petals and wide, frilled cups that open lemon yellow and will fade into a creamy white. Thus the name Ice Follies since they will end up all white.  It’s vigorous heavy bloomer, and has a light scented, too.Canaliculatus or aka Avalanche, is a robust  miniature daffodil.  It will grow 8-10 clusters of white flowers with small lemon yellow cups per stalk.   It is strongly scented, making an excellent choice for cut flowers. It grows best in a slightly sheltered environment where it will not be damaged by early strong winds. It’s a particularly good choice for Southern gardeners.

This is one of my personal all time favorites, the rare Narcissus Romance. I just love these beautiful ruffled pink-cup daffodils. This single bloom charmer has an unusual rosy pink cup against beautiful large creamy white petals. They usually bloom mid spring and are the only pink cup daffodil variety available.Now this variety looks very similar to the previous one, as you can tell.  Except this is a small-cup miniature variety known as, Merlin Narcissus. The Merlin’s offer a crisp white petal and a tiny yellow cup ringed in a bright orange-red. The single bloom flowers will last a long time, and are considered statement flowers. The Bantam daffodil, is another one of my favorites. This delightful dwarf daffodil has small neat very rounded bright yellow petals with a brilliant red rimmed cup. The petals are slightly reflexed or blown back. It is a regular winner among floral grower’s competitions with it’s sturdy and upright stiff stems.These beauties are common known as Jetfire Narcissus or Cyclamineus. They are gorgeous when blooming, as the Jetfire offers clear golden petals with a contrasting orange trumpet. They usually bloom early spring and are very reliable while offering a bold color combination to your garden. Easily mixed with other early bulbs like crocus and grape hyacinth for beautiful color combinations. Jack Snipe is another type of dwarf  hybrid daffodil. The swept back creamy petals give the flower it’s nickname of “sailboat”. The dark yellow primrose cup makes a striking contrast. This vigorous daffodil is perfect for borders in sun or shade and is excellent for naturalising . This is the most common southern mini daffodil, known as Little Gems. In England they call them Johnny Jump Ups. This early-blooming gem offers clear golden-yellow blooms with long trumpets, ‘Little Gem’ is a vigorous dwarf trumpet daffodil.  It’s a very reliable choice among daffodils, it’s  provides extra early seasonal color in your garden.

 

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Breakfast in Bed, for the Birthday Boy!!!

Breakfast in Bed for the birthday boy!!! Happy Birthday to my better half of JENRON DESIGNS, Ron Gainer!!!

“As you wish, you shall have your favorite breakfast, in bed. What shall I make you?”

I feel that if you are making breakfast in bed for the birthday boy, it should really be something he loves. Ron’s favorite breakfast meal as a child was “Toad in the Hole”. For those of you unfamiliar with “Toad in the Hole”, it consists of a sunny side up egg dropped into a piece of toast with a hole torn into it. Personally,  I would like to make him something a little more grown up, so how about a double sunny side up fried egg.

Culinary Tip: You can create different egg shapes with a cookie cutter. Just place the cookie cutter into your lightly greased skillet and drop egg or eggs inside to create a fun breakfast shape. I picked a heart shape cookie cutter to show my love!!! 

I placed the egg on top of toast, instead of inside, to keep the toast from getting soggy. It provides him with extra toast for  dipping, since in a traditional toad in hole you tear out the center the toast. I  added a double side of applewood smoked bacon which happens to be another one of his favorites.  I rounded it out with a side of yogurt topped with granola, coffee and juice for the perfect breakfast in bed. So did you notice that I arranged the food to spell out xox, for hugs and kisses……yeah it’s the details and little things for me. 

I love this sweet little juice carafe, it is actually a 2 pc.Water Carafe Set, from Bed, Bath and Beyond. I find myself using this style carafe in so many places. You know, I really love a good multi tasking item, two differnt uses minimum. Over the years I have used this one in the bathroom for mouthwash, and in a guest room for water. In this scenario it makes a perfect juice dispenser for breakfast in bed.

The Beechwood Folding Bed Tray above was actually a wedding gift. Can you believe it is  still available today, almost 20 years later? This just shows that when it is a good quality product, with classic style, it truly can last forever. I guess it is true- “Good Design Never Goes Out of Style, It’s a Way of Life”- Jennifer Gainer 

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A Whiskey Tasting Birthday Celebration

 A 40th Birthday Celebration surrounded by family, friends, cake and a Whiskey Tasting Bar!! What more could a man ask for?

 It’s that time of year again….. Birthday Celebration time. When we celebrate “the Ron half” of JENRON DESIGNS!!!!  I got a little nostalgic thinking about my husband’s big 40th birthday party we had last year, what a fun day it was. This year he’s getting breakfast in bed and going to see Logan. This is all he’s asked for, thank God I got a simple man.

I decided that even though the pictures are not to my current blog quality standards, I feel the content and concept is still something I want to share for TBT. We truly went all out for this party and did a blind whiskey tasting bar for our guests. We paired the samples with a large variety of Ron’s favorite bar snacks. Let’s be honest it was an upscale frat party….hahaha, the only difference was higher quality whiskey. 

Okay it is very hard to come up with a theme for a 40 year old man’s birthday. Male birthday’s have a tendency to take on either a sports theme or Backyard BBQ feel. Since Ron has a winter birthday, BBQ in the yard was a no go. As for the sports…. well unless your are into NASCAR or golf, that’s all that is happening around this time of year. I decide I want something with a manly cigar bar feel. He doe not smoke, however he does love Jack Daniels, and always has. That’s it, a Jack Daniels themed whiskey tasting party.
 I decided to create a logo based on the Jack Daniels Old No. 7 logo.  I chose to make  it an old No.40 in honor of his 40th birthday. These are some of the cupcake toppers I handmade. I also created numbered tags for the blind whiskey tasting and food menus.

Here is a finished picture of the Jack Daniels Vanilla Bean & Honey Cupcakes. I infused the icing with Jack Daniels Honey and also put some inside the cake batter as well. They tasted pretty darn good if I do say so myself, just the right balance of the whiskey flavor. You can also see how the theme of Jack Daniels Logo was carries into the food ID cards.

 At a large party, 30+ people,  it is important to lable your food clearly. So many people today have food allergies, and by having proper labeling you can advert a crisis. I also like to make easy grab and go appetizers so it’s easy to mingle, like these cute crudite’ cups. Pre sliced peppers, tri-color carrots and celery with a ranch dip in the base makes it easy to grab and go with no hassle of carrying a plate.  

In addition to having basic party drinks of bottled water, sodas, tea and lemonade, which can all be used as mixers for stronger drinks. I had him pick 6 whiskey’s he wanted to try and of course we made No. 7 would be his favorite Jack Daniels. Above is how we set up the actual whiskey tasting bar. We actually placed the various Whiskey’s  into matching decanter’s with numbers for a blind tasting. Some had fun flavors whiskey’s, while others were more refined international blends like Canadian or Irish Whiskey. I was able to find plastic thimble sized shot glasses, at Oriental Trading Company.  That way people could try all 7 kinds,  without having 7 full shots of whiskey. We also had tasting sheets for people to guess or make notes of what they tasted from each bottle before the big reveal. 

When you have a large party it always nice to have a fun activity to commemorate the event. I rented a photo booth because lets be honest if your drinking a lot of whiskey who doesn’t want pictures of that? We used great local company which provided all the props and even was able to match our custom logo theme to the top of the commemorative pictures. As the host we received a CD of all pictures taken and the guests were able to request the number of copies they wanted from the photo attendant.

I always like to do party favors, or giveaways. To me if people take the time out of there busy lives to come to your event, you should make them feel special. I found this cute idea on Pintrest and I just added our Jack Daniels theme to it. As our guests would leave for the evening, we plied them with a “Hit the Road Jack n’Coke” for night cap for later. Who says the party has end after you go home right?

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Bathroom Makeover- DIY Barn Wood Mirror Frame

Bathroom Makeover- DIY Barn Wood Mirror Frame

The Sneak Peek is complete!!!!  Presenting our DIY barn wood mirror frame

This was quick DIY project from the past weekend. Yes, I know it is more shiplap…. I told you it was migrating all over my house. On this project we used the barn wood colored trim boards instead of the actual shiplap cut boards.  Honestly, the last two projects of the Fireplace (click to link) & Drop Zone (click to link) that we have done; this project is actually the perfect way to use up extra supplies you might have bought. For example too many trim boards during your fireplace project 🙂

So as you can see we have the standard install builder grade flat sheet  mirrors. They provide no character or interest to the space, but I do like the size. They reflect a lot of light which makes our bathroom seem much larger. I could easily rip them down and put fun individual framed ones; but because of the scale of the bathroom along with length of the vanities I felt incorporating smaller framed mirrors would not read as well as the larger mirrors do. So the decision was made to frame them out. We did this same technique in our previous home and loved the outcome. 

We measured the length and height of each mirror and decided in keeping with our rustic theme, we would blunt cut or square cut the boards instead of mitering the corners together. I personally felt like to miter cut the corners were a little to traditional and formal for my current home. Our previous home was a traditional style, brick home so it warrented miter cut corners, but we built our new home to the feel of a modern farmhouse. In the spirit of a farm house we opted for simpler cuts, which my husband was thrilled about, it made the project much easier for him. 

Once you have made your cuts all you have to do is glue the boards to the mirror. We used Liquid Nails Fuze It- multi surface, which will adhere wood to glass. It takes about 10 minutes to permanently set. We used 3M Scotch Blue Painters tape to hold the frames in place over night just to be safe.  As you can see the finished project gives a whole lot charter and interest for very little time, effort or energy. Designer Tip: If you are not very handy, you can purchase pre cut frames from Mirror Mate, keep in mind that your are paying for the measure and cut work to be done for you, but you still have to adhere it to the mirror yourself.

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The Art of a Perfect Bath

The Art of a Perfect Bath

Have we lost the art of a perfect bath?

I can not begin to tell you how sad it makes me, to hear that people today are opting out of bath tubs in their homes. I have heard people say ” they are just dust catchers” and ” just give me a huge shower”. Well yes, I love a palatial shower as much as the next guy, in fact I have huge a double headed shower in my master bath. Although, I  could not image living without my jacuzzi bath tub. I try to take a relaxing bath at least once a week, especially in the winter when it is cold outside, a nice hot steamy bath cures all that ails you.

Yes, the perfect bath is truly a lost art. I have said before in previous post that I believe in living a resort lifestyle, where you are able to integrate work, play and relaxation. Stress is one of the big killers today, it ages us, causes us to develop physical and metal illnesses; it effects our sleep habits and lets not even get me started on “eating your feelings”. So don’t you think your health is worth carving out a little “you time” and relaxing with a dip in the tub?

Well once you have decided to allow yourself some much needed R&R, my advice is not to skimp on the bath products. After all if you taking the time to do something nice for yourself, using good quality products will only enhance your tub time. I like to create my own spa like experience at home. Soft tranquil spa music, super fluffy white towels, maybe some scented candles and fantastic products. I have specific seasonal items I use depending on the time of year, to sooth my skin or sore tired muscles.

BEAUTY SECRET: It is incredibly good to dry brush your skin prior to baths, or even showers, especially during the dry winter months. I like the softer boar bristle brush shown above, it’s not not harsh but does a nice job of exfoliating my skin prior to a nice hot soak.   

I personally love Jo Malone Orange Blossom bath oil in the winter. The bright citrus smells perks up any cold dark day. It is a  fresh mixture of clementine flower, orange blossom and water lily, with warm undertones of orris and balsamic vetiver. The oil is enriched with sweet almond, jojoba seed and avocado oils, are natural conditioners to soothe and hydrate my dry skin, so it is a pure delight for a sumptuous bathing treat especially in the winter months.

SAVVY SHOPPER HINT: If you sign up for email reminders from Jo Malone they offer free engraving of their products. Nothing says “Lux” to me, like having my initials engraved atop that pretty silver cap of my favorite Jo Malone fragrance. 

Another good bath product to aways keep on hand are Epsom Salts. I am sure you have heard of Epsom salt baths from your mom or grandma when you were a kid, it’s a cure all. Epsom salt is a natural exfoliate and anti-inflammation remedy that can be used to help to relieve sore muscles and will actually pull toxins out of your body. Epsom salts are perfect to relieve the pain from tired achy muscles if you have a cold, or as a post exercise workout treatment. They also have the ability to reduce swelling and increase circulation, soothe muscles, relieve tired feet, aid in leg cramps, and relax the mind. Did you know the quickest and most effective way for magnesium to be absorbed through the body is through an Epsom salt bath? Magnesium is responsible for many different processes in the body including, controlling blood sugar, regulating blood pressure and making new proteins. I personally like the Dr.Teals brand of Epsom salts they have lots of different types and scents for specific skin type.

DESIGNER TIP: I store mine, as seen above, in a pretty glass apothecary’s jar and use a large scallop sea shell for the scoop. I really like the idea of displaying my bath products as part of the bathroom decor.

I also use an apothecary jar to store hand creams I might have picked up while traveling. **Some hotels have very high end creams which are totally worth squirreling away in the luggage for later. 

I also use an Apothecary jar to store my large collection of LUSH bath bombs, these bath bombs are by far my favorite on the market today. LUSH is a great company, with organic handmade products, no animal testing and environmentally friendly. In addition to the fact they have so many amazing, one of a kind scent combinations, which really plays up the aromatherapy spa portion of bath time. If you have never used them be prepared, some of them such as the Dragon’s Egg have gold glitter and confetti inside the bombs, which are completely biodegradable, but can leave behind some tub residue. Nothing has ever stained my tub or made a huge mess. In fact, the Dragon’s Egg is one of my all time favorite bath bombs, the color is visual stunning while dissolving, the lasting smell of lemon and bergamot makes me smile, and don’t forget about that kiss of gold sparkle on left my skin.  

Ok, so maybe you are a purest and sparkles and rainbow swirls are just not your thing. Then allow me to present my favorite soap, the Lemon Verbena Organic Olive Oil Soap by 100 % Pure. These “superfatted” bars contain highest amount of organic plant oils and steam distilled essential oils to make them a very high quality extra luxurious organic soap, with a very full rich lather. It is a soap that smells amazing and you can feel good about, organic palm oil is RAN (Rainforest Action Network) certified, the organic red palm fruit oil produced in Brazil with no orangutan habitats or other wildlife affected from the harvesting of the palm nuts. 100% Pure is company that is also a passionate advocate for animal rights and is committed to producing the highest quality products without ever directly or indirectly hurting animals.BEAUTY SECRET: I also like to give my hair a hot oil treatment or moroccan oil treatment, while I am in the tub. I apply the oil to my dry hair and the wrap in a twirly towel and the steam from the tub and towel do the rest. 

Finally enjoy your soak, and do whatever it is that helps you to decompress and relax. Whether you put cucumber slices over your eyes and meditate, catch up reading a good book, or like me flip through the pages of your favorite magazines. Whatever it is, just enjoy your time to yourself to clear your mind, recharge your battery and become a better you. 

DESIGNER TIP:  I prefer the usage of all white towels in a home for three reasons:

  • One, white invokes a spa like quality of cleanliness.
  • Two they are very easy to keep crisp, clean and maintenance, by bleaching and there is no color fading.
  • Three easy of replacement, since they are all white it’s a snap, no color matching.

If this post isn’t enough to make you want to go take a good soak, you must not be a bath kind of person. Well I am, and I can hear that tub calling my name right now. Happy Bathing!!!

 

Just in case you want a little extra reading while you enjoy your bath:

 

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The Lux Mini Bar Armoire

THE LUX MINI BAR AMOIRE

How to put a luxurious, rockstar mini bar in your very own bedroom. 

One of my favorite things about going on vacation is booking a super luxurious hotel room. You know the kind, with a super plush luxurious bed all made up with high thread count sheets, a fantastic bath suite full of fancy spa themed toiletries, and of course an off the chain mini bar.

Now everyone knows the mini bar is a complete rip off. I mean $12.00 for a bag of pretzels and $8.00 for Sprite, that is not the way to spend your hard earned cash on vacation. But we have all done it… yes, we have open up the illicit mini bar just to peer inside at all it’s tasty contents, only to slam it shut and think, oh my why did I even have to look. 

Well I believe in living a resort lifestyle so that every day in your own home feels like a mini vacation. In fact I love my house so much, the hubby has to take me to some pretty special places to even get me out of it. So I decided to adapted my old, antique Armoire into my very own mini bar. The armoire over the years has lost it’s usefulness, as we no longer use it to hide away the television and all our clothes go into the closet. Then it hit me, I know we will buy a mini fridge and put it inside to create a mini bar in our master bedroom…..GENIUS!!! So that is exactly what we did, and now we live like rockstars in our daily lives.

As you can see we purchased a mini refrigerator, you can pick one up for about a $100 at most local retailers, I think ours came from Walmart. I personally liked the ones that had a small freezer, so you can have ice for drinks, or store some ice cream snack bars.

DIY TIP: If your armoire does not already have cable holes in the back you may have to drill one out for the plug to pass through.

Then we added clear stackable acetate closet shelves bins for snack storage. We purchased them from The Container Store, the large bins were $19.99 and the small bins were $9.99. I added a cute linen bar topper, sparkly glassware and voila, your very own in room mini bar.

BEAUTY SECRET: I also like to utilize the mini bar to store some of my beauty products as well, like face masks, and cooling eye gels. Oh they feel so good when they are applied straight from the refrigerator cold, and it also really helps with eye puffiness too.

So save your self the trip down stairs for that late night snack of cookies and milk, or just hide all the really good snacks from the kids, either way it’s a win win. Everyone I have shown this too loves the idea, and can’t wait to add one to their home. 

This can also be a super cute idea for a guest room, as well, however your guests may decided they never want to leave.      

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