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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ONE ROOM CHALLENGE WEEK 5

ONE ROOM CHALLENGE: A SOUTHERN STYLE SLEEPING PORCH

So we are in week 5 for those of you that are following along on the Spring 2017 One Room Challenge. This is a link where you can check at all the participants in the 2017 ORC hosted by House Beautiful and Linda @Calling It Home.  

QUICK RECAP:

If you missed a week check out the past weeks here so you can catch up:

 Week 1          Week 2            Week 3          Week 4        Week 5          Week 6

As a recap or to bring you up speed, we are updated a basic screened in porch, into a southern style sleeping porch.  This is the inspiration board for this project: WEEK 5: PROGRESS REPORT:

This week is all about the accessories and bringing the whole look together. I just love the accessories week, it is my favorite week of all design projects!! I always like to think of the accessories as the icing on the cake. Yes you can have plain cake, but the icing is the super yummy part that elevates the style of the cake and makes it pretty.  These are some the great looks I have found so far that will be worked into the final design. Along with the “mystery antique DIY”… Have you seen it yet? If not, you should sign up for our email alerts to stay in the loop [wysija_form id=”1”

However, this is also the week I have had to strayed the most from my inspiration board. Since my 1st choice rug was back ordered this derailed the basis of my designs. While I am still sticking with tones of sea glass I have decided to use the bolder sea glass colors like navy blue, aqua, sea foam, and hints of green.   

  I was able to located the fun pillow cases seen above but not exact throw pillows from the inspiration board. But, hey that why it is a inspiration board to focus your mind to get a continuity to your end result. Check out the fun pillows I got below as I took a quick picture of them all heaped in the corner waiting for installation.

  

The other big project we marked off our list this week was making…..(yes I said making) and installing the drapery rod. We chose to utilize plumbing pipe to keep the rustic farmhouse feel, plus it’s weather & water resistant, so no rusting. Plus it was so super easy too!!! We took the overall measurements of the space, then had plumbing pipe cut and threaded at our local Home Depot. We added the outdoor drapes and sheers to the pipe and hung them up. Viola easy peasy!!! 

Since there will be a home build on the lot next to us eventually, I decided that I might as well implement the prior proper planning rule and  I decided to add the sheer drapes in the middle to give us a little bit more privacy.  Of course we have the solid light blocking panels as well but I just find something so relaxing about those sheer panels blowing in the wind. However, on really windy days I might need to devise a cute drapery weight system, to keep them from ending up in the ceiling fan. 

Sometime I like to make a list just to see how far I have journeyed into a project, where and my biggest wins are …  however with that being said a list also provides a closer look at all my deficiencies.  So here goes lets see if I am going to make the 6 weeks challenge:

THE TO DO LIST: 

DIY-Paint Ceiling-Haint Blue

DIY-Install weather stripping to seal up all cracks and grabs between screens and house

DIY-Repaint Ceiling Fan

Draw Pallet Bed Plans for building

DIY- Build a Pallet Bed From Scratch 

Install Ambient Night Lights under Pallet Bed

Purchase Mattress and Outdoor protection bags/pads

DIY- refinish/install the “Mystery Antique item” (Almost done just needs a few touch ups after moving up 3 flights of steps)

Order/Install Rug ( the rug has been my greatest challenge, dream rug Out of Stock, and not being able to find anything to make my heart sing like the original….. guess I will hit the bricks and see what I can find at HomeGoods, I tend to have unexpected luck there when nothing else will do. 

Shop for an end table that also provides storage

Purchase/ Install  Bedding, Pillows & Throws

DIY-Create Plumbing Pipes Drapery Rod

Purchase/ Install Drapes

Purchase/Install Wall Art 

Accessorize the Room

Stage Room for Photo Opt.  

SHOP MY STYLE

EXTERIOR WALL PAINT- Dorian Gray Sherwin Williams TRIM PAINT- City Loft Sherwin Williams FLOORS- Thompson Water Sealer Acorn CEILING FAN-52″ White Ceiling Fan Home Depot CEILING PAINT-DCR075 Piazza Blue Sherwin William CURTAINS- Outdoor Weighted Panels White Ballard Designs MATTRESS- Hampton & Rhodes 6.5″ HR100 Firm Mattress Firm of Cumming (see Aaron) MEMORY FOAM MATTRESS- 4″ Gel Foam Mattress Wayfair  MATTRESS COVER- Waterproof/Bed Bug Blocker Hypoallergenic Wayfair  MATTERESS TOPPER- Waterproof Mattress Topper Wayfair EURO SHAMS- Clairebella 200 Thread Count Wayfair BEDDING/QUILT- Cynthia Rowley Blue Green Medallion, HomeGoods HELLO HANDSOME/GORGEOUS PILLOW CASES- Wayfair END TABLE BASKET- Jacquelyne Lidded Barrel Basket Pottery Barn  WALL MIRROR- Wall Mounted Votive Holder Pottery Barn 

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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One Room Challenge: Week 2

ONE ROOM CHALLENGE: A SOUTHERN STYLE SLEEPING PORCH

WEEK 2: PROGRESS REPORT

So we are in week two for those of you following along on the spring 2017 One Room Challenge hosted by Linda@Calling It Home and House Beautiful. If you missed WEEK 1 here is our link, so you can catch up. To bring you up speed, we are updated a basic screened in porch, into a southern style sleeping porch.  This is the inspiration board for this project: 

This week was all about procuring the necessary items to build the pallet day bed, and get the porch sealed up ready for upgrade. So I am know for alway talking about my “7 P’s” which is, ” Prior Proper Planning Prevents Piss Poor Performance.” (I must call out my friend Karen, that taught me this valuable information at an early age!!!) Well welcome to the “prior proper planning phase”  of this project. 
We were able to obtain 15 pallets, 6 of which will be used for the bed base and the other 9 will be deconstructed for wood to create the pattern for the arms and back of the day bed. 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.  All of our pallets are HT and were originally used to ship concrete pavers……bet you can’t guess where I got those from….maybe the patio paver project?

So as I mention above we had to deconstruct the 9 of the pallets to reuse the pallet wood for the side arm and back of the day bed. The easiest way to do this is to is by cutting directly through the nails that hold the pallets together. We used a reciprocating saw with a Diablo metal cutting blade, which I highly recommend and made quick work this project. The other project we decided to tackle this week was to seal up the screen porch a little bit better, so no creepy crawlers get in.  I am sure many of you know, when a screen porch meet up to the siding on your house a little bitty gap is left which can allow bugs to get in. Now that we are making this a sleeping porch, I have no desire to deal with any kind of bugs getting inside. So we decide to add weather stripping, commonly used on doors and windows, to the seal the  gap. 
Once installed we caulked the remaining opening to insure that no bugs we be able to get through this gap. I don’t know about you, but I feel much better about sleeping in an area that is all sealed up. I know it will not keep all the bugs out, since it is an outdoor space… but it will keep most of the bugs out.

See, a lot can happen in a week…. Be sure to sign up for our bi monthly newsletter to stay in formed

ONE ROOM CHALLENGE- Southern Style Sleeping Porch

One Room Challenge: Accepted

Mission: A Southern Style Sleeping Porch, completed in 6 weeks

I’m so excited to announce that as of today, JENRON DESIGNS will be a guest participant in the Spring 2017 One Room Challenge Event (link here).  In case you are wondering what the “ORC” is, here’s the scoop. Twice a year, April/ October, for the past 11 seasons, the ORC has hosted over 200 interior design bloggers, as they join together and choose one room in their homes to make over. The designers only have six weeks, from start to finish in order to complete a full room transformation. Each week the guest designer’s will link their progress to the ORC host page Calling It Home (link here), and share their room’s progress. The best part you will be able to follow along with all the participants progress just by clicking the ORC (link here). The final completion date and big reveal of my Southern Style Sleeping Porch makeover will be on Thursday, May 12th!!!

 MY ONE ROOM CHALLENGE: A SOUTHERN STYLE SLEEPING PORCH

I have always wanted to have a sleeping porch for as long as I can remember. Picture it, being able to sleep outside under the stars, in the comfort of a screened porch on a plush full size bed. You slowly drift off to sleep form the sounds of the babbling creek, tree frogs and crickets. It sounds just like a little slice of heaven to me.  As you can see we have a pretty view from our back yard and porches. Our north 40 includes a small fishing lake view, and tree lined creek. Since we are so close to water each evening around 7:00pm the glorious sound of tree frogs begin followed by the the crickets as it gets darker at 8pm. As we get closer to summer the fireflies will also start to appear along the tree line. That is why I am so excited to be transforming our master bedroom screen porch into my long awaited sleeping porch. Honestly, the weather here has been so beautiful, my husband and I find ourselves falling asleep on the porch with just our comfy chairs and an ottoman, I can’t imagine actually having an actual bed out there. Oh, and I am sure the cats are going to love it too, they already spend so much time on our numerous porches add a bed and they will never leave this one. 

Here are some of the before pictures of our existing screen porch. This first one is from a year and half ago when we first moved in. It was all still raw wood, and no furniture, but you can see how private the yard is when the trees are greened up all the way. 

Last summer we painted the posts and rails to match the trim paint on our house which is Sherman Williams SW 7631 City Loft. I also decided to stain the floors with Thompson’s Water Sealer in Acorn Brown. I love the classic cape cod feel it lends to this space. I personally find that when you have a contrasting floor color and utilize your existing exterior trim color for railings, it tends to elevate the design of your deck or  screened porch, giving it a more custom designed look. Yes it is more labor intensive and takes time, but in this case I think the work is worth the reward.   As you can see we have utilized the space with basic outdoor deck furniture we had from our previous house. The layout is very basic and needs a wow factor . I am hoping that the edition of a full size custom made day bed will do just that. 

Also you can see that my porch is mainly utilized by my 5 cats (2 out of 5 seen here).They have a tendency to make an appearance when the camera comes out and have been seen in some of my previous posts. Since this was just the before pictures, I did not have the heart to wake them or move them out of the frame shot on such a pretty sunny day. 

MY COLOR INSPIRATION: SHADES OF SEA GLASS

My color inspiration comes from the shades of sea glass. I have always loved sea glass, pretty aquas, teals, greens and blues. I find these color very serine and relaxing, so it is fitting I would surround myself with them on my sleeping porch. Below is my inspiration board for where I would like to see my Southern Style Sleeping Porch project ending up. It is rather funny to think when I was interior design student, (OMG 20 years ago) that we used to cut fabric swatches and pictures from magazines to glue them on to an inspiration board. Now with modern technology I can digitally create a fabulous inspiration board.  

THE PLAN

So here is the plan, we are going to build a custom DIY bed out of old pallets, fingers crossed all goes well with that part. While I like the rustic style of this bed above, we plan to build ours in a day bed shape, so it will have a back and two arms. While the arms and back will be finished in the manner above, I want to keep the front side open showing off the pallet construction. Inside the open pallets we will add lights to create a ambient glow from inside the base of the pallets. We plan to obtaining a full size mattress fitted with an outdoor water proof mattress slipcover. Bedding in a similar color scheme as above, and a ton of pillows to lounge about on to sip wine and read a good book.

 I also plan  to install several outdoor curtain panels. A set of thick light blocking white linen panels for the  day time heat,  artfully tied back with a thick rope, and 1 set of sheer panel to obscure the view and blow gently in the breeze. I am thinking of utilizing iron plumbing pipe for drapery rods to add a rustic feel, and not mention hold up against the elements.  

As far as the accessories I am aiming for a rustic beachy vibe, maybe driftwood, glass buoy’s, possible a bench that could be pulled over as a ottoman or a rustic sideboard style table. Not sure what all that looks like just yet but we will get there. 

THE HISTORY OF HAINT BLUE CEILINGS

We will be painting the ceiling a historic Haint blue color from Sherwin Williams (story in link), a soft blue-green color which is a true southern porch tradition. A haint blue ceiling can be found on many famous southern porches from Charleston to Savannah. Legend has it that people painted the ceilings haint blue to look like the sky in order to confuses all the ghosts, spirits, haints or boohags, so they can’t come into you house. That’s right I said “boohags”, see I am truly a born and breed southern girl. Haints and Boohags are restless spirits of the dead who, for whatever reason, have not moved on from their physical world. Historically Haint blue, can also be found on door and window frames and, is intended to protect the homeowner from being “taken” or influenced by haints. It is said to protect the house and the occupants of the house from evil. We will only being doing the ceiling which I hear  you get less bugs on your porches with haint blue ceilings. Apparently the insects also think it is the sky, and not a shelter, so they are less likely to build a nest or web. 

THE BUDGET

As an ORC participant most interior designers procure sponsors to help off the project’s budget. Since this is my first time participating, and  I have not currently received any sponsorships, we will be taking on the entire budget ourselves. That being said, we are hoping for a cost effective out come and would like to keep the entire budget for this room under $1,500-$2,000. Since we plan to do a fair amount of DIY projects I believe this goal will be completely obtainable. 

 

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Converting a English Linen Closet into a DIY Pet Room

This is how I converted our English linen closet into, a DIY Pet Room, for my 5 cats. You can also do this DIY for smaller dogs or if you have a crate trained larger dog. 

I find living with animals and keeping a home clean can be challenging. They are messy, and  trash your house in seconds, but the unconditional love they give is truly incomparable. This is what prompted us to create a Pet Room for my 5 cats. This rooms many use, is to house their liter box, supplies, water and food station, which keeps my house cleaner.  

In our new home, we had the option to create a larger laundry room by closing in our foyer. Our prior laundry room was tiny, so we chose to implement this option. This change left us with a large “English Linen Closet”. Prior to moving in we predetermined that this area would make a great Pet Room for our cats. Above is a before picture of the room as a English linen closet. I know, not many shelves for a “linen closet”, I thought the same thing. 

The first thing was to add linoleum floors and an exhaust fan. The exhaust fan vents any smells from the liter box, directly out of my home. Good bye!!! This might be the single most important thing we did. As you know, if you have cats, the liter box smell can ruin your home. Next we painted the entire room with a scrubbable satin finish paint. This will help seal the dry wall and preventing even more odors from getting trapped in the walls. Finally we added a large utilitarian light fixture, nothing fancy it’s mainly for us to see to get the room clean.The next big thing we did was cut a cat door through our Master bedroom wall and hall door. Why did we cut a hole in our wall? Well we host a lot gatherings, parties and guests. This room set up will allow me to lock my fur babies in our bedroom during gatherings, which they actually prefer since the do no care for loud noises and large crowds of people. This also allows them access to their food, water and liter box, but with out the fear of a guest accidentally letting them out into the great beyond. The other pet door located on the hallway door gives us the  ability to shut our bedroom door when we have overnight guests. This grants the cats the ability to come and go as they please, which will save your doors and carpet, since they can be quite destructive when confined to an area against there will. So check this out, I came up with idea all on my own!!! JENRON DESIGNS developed this prototype Ventilated Shelf Cover (VSC). A DIY rig to make your room aesthetically pleasing, and on a shoestring budget. This process can be used on any wire shelving. We took teacup hooks to the back of some barn wood and used felt pads for spacers as you can see above. You literally hang the board right on the front of the wire rack. The finished product was this:

We created a facia board to cover the universal ugly wire rack. Then spray painted the support arms black to emulate iron. This process would be great for any wire rack that you would not use for hanging clothes. So try it in a linen closet, pantry, garage storage area or pet room. We also spray painted the wood letters of Meow, and popped them into the wall with a nail gun. 

Designer Tip: A wire rack allows light to pass through the to the floor, which keep the room brighter. Unlike with a solid wood shelving, that would block the light flow and make the room seem smaller and darker. 

We added a trackless liter mat, to cut down on liter leaving the room on their feet. I used pretty baskets to conceal small odd and ends like kitty treat bags, lysol wipe, and air freshener. Then decided to add in all my accumulated kitty art, hey, makes great decorations. We made a small wall hook from barnwood hold the liter scoop, bag holder and our scooper stool. I found these cute iron hooks at the straw market in Charleston, and added them to shiplap boards. You know how I love a theme!!

 

Share us with your cat loving friends, they will thank you for it 😀

 

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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SHOP MY STYLE

WALL PAINT- Agreeable Gray Sherwin Williams TRIM PAINT- Pure White Sherwin Williams FLOORS- Mohawk 3″Forrest Lake Oak Color: Oxford  CEILING FAN- Mystique 52″ 5 Blade Progressive Lighting LAMPS – HomeGoods  CURTAIN PANELS- West Elm Cotton Canvas Stamped Dot CURTAIN ROD- Bali Mercury Glass Rod JC Penney RUG- Pottery Barn Braylin Tufted BEDROOM SUITE- Haverty’s Bahamian Classic- Tobacco Cherry (Discontinued) WALL QUOTE- Loved You for a Thousand Years Huckleberry Creations 

Cocktail Concoction Part 2, Lavender Honey Sazerac

Drink your Flowers? Cocktail Concoction Part 2, Lavender Honey Sazerac

Flowers aren’t just for bouquets anymore, try a savory herb based cocktail.

As I mention previously, in the part 1 of this article (Click to link to part 1), I have recently been drawn to the idea of edible flowers, herbs, and floral extracts to use in recipes for savory cocktails. Lavender is technically an herb, but it does contain a lovely purple cone shaped flower. Traditionally it has been used to induce a calming effect in the user.  

Today I have decided to share a twist on the retro cocktail of the Sazerac. The Sazerac is a very masculine drink that has been around for decades. Traditionally it uses orange bitters to flavor rye whiskey, today we will use lavender extract in lieu of bitters. Lavender has a natural bitter quality and will be a perfect replacement. You can buy dried, food grade lavender as seen above at specialty markets I picked these lavender grains up at World Market

Also, as I mentioned before in this weeks previous post on Rosewater Lemonade, you can make your own floral syrups if you choose to be so industrious, but for time sake you can purchase Nielson Massey lavender extract, I picked mine from the local Sur La Table. 

I love pairing lavender and lemon, the freshness of the lemon complements the floral notes of the lavender and together they create a very clean herbaceous taste. To dress  my cocktail, I used a vegetable peeler to make lemon zest curls. These are super simple and can really dress up any basic cocktail. Just make sure when peeling not to cut to deeply in the plinth of the lemon which is overly bitter and will ruin your drink. 

CULINARY TIP:  Make your lemon curls first, then you cut your lemon to get the 2 Tbls of juice. Believe me it is so much easier to zest a full lemon. Plus citrus zests are very versatile, you can use them to flavor sugar, candy them as treat, add to potpourri, or even float them in a hot steamy bath.

Lavender Honey Sazarec

  • 2 tbsp Lemon juice, fresh
  • 3/4 cup Sparkling Water 
  • 1 1/2 oz Jack Daniels Honey
  • 1 tsp Lavender extract
  • 2 tbsp Honey

Mix all item above into a drink decanter, Shake with ice and garnish with:

  • 1/2 tsp Lavender Herbs to float on top or place into ice stick molds
  • 1 Lemon Zest Twist
 

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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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SHOP MY STYLE

WALL PAINT- Agreeable Gray Sherwin Williams TRIM PAINT- Pure White Sherwin Williams FLOORS- Mohawk 3″Forrest Lake Oak Color: Oxford  CEILING FAN- Mystique 52″ 5 Blade Progressive Lighting LAMPS – HomeGoods  CURTAIN PANELS- West Elm Cotton Canvas Stamped Dot CURTAIN ROD- Bali Mercury Glass Rod JC Penney RUG- Pottery Barn Braylin Tufted BEDROOM SUITE- Haverty’s Bahamian Classic- Tobacco Cherry (Discontinued) WALL QUOTE- Loved You for a Thousand Years Huckleberry Creations