Thursday, February 16, 2017

e-Design: A Young Girl's Bathroom

This has been such a FUN project and I am so excited to share this bathroom with you!  It's girly, it's fun, it's young and fresh!!  Perfect for an eight year old girl!!


The Lowmans, who live in Birmingham, emailed me seven months ago asking if I would be interested in helping them design their 8 year old daughter's bathroom.  Beth, the mom, and I knew of each other through instagram/blogging.   Needless to say,  I was completely flattered that she asked for my help.


She and John sent me pictures of their bathroom mid "tear down" and Beth basically said, "...whatever you think, Fran!"

I remember sending her an inspiration picture of a bathroom I found on pinterest with bright blue hexagonal floor tile and asked her if she liked it.  She wrote back and said her daughter, Elizabeth, loved it!

I knew her daughter, Elizabeth, and I would hit it off!!  And, while I know Beth and John, were a little reticent about the blue tile; in fact, Beth told me later, "we just tore out blue tile and now we're putting blue tile back in!?!?".....I knew it would be the right amount of 'fun' to make this bathroom perfect for a young girl!

Once the tile was selected, everything else just fell into place....










Look at all that beautiful subway tile and the bullnose chair rail!  Good-bye beadboard...hello subway tile!!


The blue hexagonal floor tile was a bit of a risk, but it paid off big time!  







Even subway tile on the top of the bath/shower you guys!!

Beth's husband, John, did ALL the installation himself!  ALL THAT TILE work - completely himself!   And, let me tell you, he did an AMAZING job.  My design was only 50% of this whole project, his execution was the other 50% if not more.   Tiling is so technical and difficult.  He installed everything so seamlessly.  

And, just to give you an idea of the where we started.  These are the pictures Beth and John sent me.  Here is where we started......



Thank you to Beth Hontzas who did an amazing job photographing the bathroom and was so much fun!!  If you live in Birmingham, she does excellent work.  And, a huge THANK YOU to the Lowman family.  You guys are a beautiful family and I'm so happy to call you friends!  I'm happy Elizabeth loves her bathroom!  

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Decorating around a Piano

This past weekend, I moved our piano to the opposite (and smaller) wall in our living room.  It makes more sense and felt like a huge breath of fresh air to finally have it moved.  This is how I quickly styled it (using everything I already had).....

sorry for the bad iPhone pic!

In my opinion, you can choose different approaches to decorating around a piano depending on your personal preference, style or need.

Since my piano sits in our living room, I wanted a simple and formal look.  However, if our piano sat in our family room, I might consider something like this using family photos:


If you want more of a casual approach, I would do a gallery wall.  Adding a gallery wall helps soften the rather large piano and also helps to fill the blank walls around it.


If you want a casual look, but are not up to the task of hanging a gallery wall, consider a layered look.  I really love this look too....



Have a piano, but you don't want to make it the focal point?  Consider painting the room a bold color....


OR add an oversized mirror or an oversized piece of art....

(BTW, love how this piano is a matte black!)

And, if by chance, you happen to be renovating and want to include your piano in the design, I really like this idea of adding a built-in or molding details to distract your view from the piano, but add a great display of accessories!  


Friday, January 6, 2017

New Traditional

What better way to get inspired for the new year than by a new project designed by Studio McGee? This is (by far) my favorite project they've showcased.  I like to call it the 'new traditional'.  



In a square room like this one, a round table is a smart design choice.  Helps make the room easy to navigate.  


Mixing in modern elements, like this lamp, helps keep the room feeling young and fresh.   Like the lamp, but not the price tag?  

Here is a similar one half the cost.  


The dining room is a show stopper, no?  The Hollyhock wallpaper!  I'm in love.   The mix of the light wood furnishings with the dark wood stained floors helps keep the room feeling fresh and airy.  

Like floor color?  Mix one half Ebony and one half Jacobean from Minwax to achieve a similar wood stain.



Such good flow. 


If you are like me and love everything about the look of this project, don't hesitate to contact me and I'll help you create this look for your home!!  And, if you love the dining room wallpaper, it was meant to be, because we are then soul sisters! ;)

Friday, December 30, 2016

Christmas 2016


Christmas 2016.  
Merry Christmas to all!!

Monday, November 21, 2016

My Kitchen Command Central

I know everyone's mind is on Thanksgiving, but I'm excited to finally share pictures of my 'little' kitchen command central.  This space has been a life saver and it functions perfectly.

When you enter from the garage, you directly walk into the kitchen (with no mudroom) and you might remember one of the first things I did was to create a mini mudroom by converting a hanging closet into a mini mudroom.  See original post here.


We lived with this for about a year, before I decided I need more function.  I basically needed places to put things - artwork, mail, magazines, etc.  I had to think vertically and use only wall space because there was no floor/desk or counter space to use.  You can see my original inspiration here.

First, I needed a large bulletin board to hang the kid's artwork, etc.

When they come home from school, I open up their backpacks and up goes their artwork.  Here is how I made the bulletin board.  The kids (mostly E) love seeing their artwork hung up.


I hung 3 simple hooks under the bulletin board to hang my purse (instead of plopping it on the floor or on the kitchen counter), her backpack (it's small and light) or the kids jackets, etc.


These three simple hooks have made things so much easier!  In the above picture, you can see the garage door to the right.


When you walk directly into the kitchen from the garage, this is your view!  I used this wall to put all my paper 'stuff' - think all the mail, catalogs, magazines, coupons, forms, flyers.......basically, EVERYTHING!!  Before, I was dumping it all in a basket that sat on the ktichen counter and it was so disorganized.


I bought Martha Stewart's magazine/file storage on sale in canary yellow for half off and spray painted it white.  Since the wall space could accommodate one more thing, I got Martha Stewart's cork board (perfect size) to sit next to the magazine/file storage.  It holds the important numbers, reminders and basically anything that mom wants to put on the board.   This wall works double duty!

Well, there you have it - my two wall kitchen command central!!  I absolutely LOVE it and it makes me so happy to walk into the kitchen and not to see a huge mess.  Now, there is a place for everything!  No excuses!

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Making Room for a Crowd - My Thanksgiving Table


Happy November!  Recently, StyleBlueprint Louisville contacted me for some tips on successful holiday entertaining.  I thought what a great opportunity, as I recently had to dust off a folding table stored in our attic a couple of weekends ago, when we invited a few friends over very last minute for an impromptu dinner.

Aren't we all having to do the same thing?  Trying to accommodate a large number of guests or even last minute company during the holidays??

Below I share how to entertain for a crowd 'stylishly' this season using a folding table and mismatched chairs!  Hop over to StyleBlueprint Louisville to read more about this here.


To hide my ugly folding table I bought two yards of burlap fabric for under $10 from Joann's to act as the tablecloth and then layered my monogrammed linen hemstitch runner I already owned on top of it.  I almost always use chargers when it comes to setting my holiday tables (instead of placemats) as they always make for easy clean-up.  Besides, it mixes up your china which lightens the mood.


Another no-fail tip is to always use greenery as your centerpiece.  Here, I bought a couple of bunches of seeded eucalyptus from Trader Joe's for $3/bunch and combined it with a dozen of coral colored spray roses from Kroger.  The resin antlers holiday ornaments, I picked up from Digs Home and Garden for $15, make for a nice addition to my centerpiece.  I also picked up some fallen magnolia leaves (with sprigs of winterberries) from my backyard and used them as an embellishment on each of the guest's plates.


Lots of layers and texture!


Don't worry about mixing your chairs during the holidays.  Here I used my upholstered parson chairs (from Ikea) as the host and hostess chairs and then used my bamboo kitchen chairs for the rest of the seating around the table.  


Lighting is so important when decorating your table and setting the mood.  Candles and table lamps (instead of recessed canned lighting) make your home feel cozy and look more festive.  Use pillar, tapered and tea light candles.  Any vessel will work!  I love the look of mercury glass or iridescent votive candle holders when decorating for the holidays.  


I hope you enjoyed my thanksgiving table and tips on entertaining! Thank you to Styleblueprint Louisville for sharing my ideas!

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Thursday, September 29, 2016

A Dining Room Refresh

I recently completed a design for a client's dining room who I have been very lucky to work with for a while now!  She wanted to update her dining room and wasn't sure where to start. We initially talked about just changing the paint color and well, one thing led to the next, and you know how that goes! :)




Here is a breakdown of how her space will get a new look:

1) The things that couldn't change were the aqua colored window treatments and her mahogany chippendale dining room set.  To start, I wanted to break-up the all the brown in the furniture and so my client boldly agreed to PAINT her dining room chairs a creamy off-white!  The dining room table and chairs pictured above in the design board are actually hers (after she painted the chairs)!!

2) My clients LOVES audubon artwork.  I suggested a large framed audubon print over her buffet table.  It's the perfect spot for something dramatic because you immediately see it in when you enter through the front door.  The audubon's colors are fantastic and determined the rest of the color palette for the space.  Below is a more detailed shot of what I was envisioning....


3) We decided to go bold and paint the walls a beautiful blue green teal.  

4) She also has a beautiful hutch I suggested that she re-paint in a chalky, plaster like off-white color with distressed edges.  The hutch will be flanked with two Ballard Designs Louis chairs upholstered in green velvet with some contrasting welt.  

5) I suggested the Brunschswig and Fils Les Touches fabric for the pillows on her Louis chairs and a warm peacock hue check for the seats of her dining room chairs.  

6) Lastly, we will be accessorizing with a lot of blue and white accessories and bamboo accents as a nod to the hollywood regency look!