Thursday, July 30, 2009

The Luxury of Classic Architecture

Hello all, I hope your week is well - Just wanted to share this as when I saw the photo, it took my breath away. From our friends at Architectural Antiques (, this mantle detail shows you what many of today's reproductions miss. Look at the detail given to the acanthus leaf. From the mid-19Th century, this carrara marble mantel piece glows. It is no wonder that the great sculptors of the Renaissance chose to work with the material. When have you seen something so pristine white, glow with warmth, it is just amazing. Oh, that I had a fireplace to use this on. And if you need it before me, you can look at it here

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

The Luxury of a Beautiful Bed

Busy days! And good news for us as we have signed several new clients recently. As I am doing the nightly maintenance on the email account, I wanted to share with you these beautiful upholstered beds from Carriage House Furniture ( These two bed have so much style. The first, The Donna, evidently is the best seller for the south - not surprisingly. I love the height of the headboard and I love the ability to monogram the medallion is a wonderful touch. This would be perfect for a guest bedroom or a traditional girl's bedroom.

The second bed, Betsy, is much more tailored. Carriage House likens the design to a dancer, but it feels much more masculine to me. I really want to put a tweed or mini-herringbone fabric on this. I could see this perfectly in a loft or city apartment.

Take a look at the website, it is fun to read the stories behind the name for each of the pieces, a bit like reading wine labels. Enjoy, I'm off to have the luxury of a good night's rest.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

The Luxury of a Clean Desk

Well, my desk is not the most organized - especially if I'm mid-stream with a project. But every once in a while I like to rein it in. So in my tiding up today, I realize that I have a ton of inspiration tear sheets, another project for another day. But I couldn't resist, and just had to share this. This came from a past issue of Lucky Magazine ( and I was absolutely delighted with these wooden pop-up boxes.

From Lizzie Thomas, an artist in the UK, these are simple, elegant and refreshing. Check out her blog as she catalogs her visual inspiration. Enjoy!

Monday, July 13, 2009

Driving in Texas - The Luxury of Time

Since we are taking more road trips this year with our children, I've been navigating a new course for each trip, trying not to go the same way twice. Partly because we hope to purchase land soon and want to get a feel for all of the towns, and partly because I get bored very easily. On our way home from Austin this weekend, we drove through a few towns that we had not been through before and took a few pictures of some of the county courthouses.

County Courthouse in Lockhart the official "Barbeque Capital of Texas". They take it very seriously, really. There are four major BBQ restaurants in this small town and the stacks of wood sitting outside of each was impressive.

County Courthouse in Hallettsville, the city of "13". Hallettsville has 13 letters, at one time the population was 1300 and it had 13 churches and 13 saloons and 13 newspapers. The town made it into Ripley's Believe It or Not for that. Who knew?

One of the most interesting buildings/barns happens to be the home to Shiner Prairie Woodworks. The building came out of no where while we were driving on Hwy 90, but it was beautiful. I only wished they had a bigger picture on their website to share with you. You can check out their site,, if you like.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

The Luxury of the Moon

A few posts were fluttering around twitter yesterday regarding the moon. One was a beautiful shot of one from my friend @maybellinete of the moon over a body or water. It occurred to me that I had not seen the moon in a while. Not intentionally, just hadn't stop to notice. Then another post from @CatherineGrison comes along about the Full Moon (last night) with a vlog from a Feng Shui practitioner in San Francisco touting the Yin properties of the moon ( So I decided why not, I could use a bit more Yin. I went out early, around 9, and there was no moon to be seen. I thought that was strange. But it turns out the moon was not due to rise until 10pm. So I waited until 10:30 pm to go out and look for it. There was no doubt of it's location, as its glare forced its way through the trees. It turns out that the moon had a 97% illuminant last night (never knew they rated those things). I was absolutely beautiful, like a beacon and a mirror all at once. I had to stop and give thanks just for the beauty of it all. I watched it rise for quite a while, and yes even did the Feng Shui ritual. Why not? I was there, and like I said, felt like I could use some Yin. In case you missed it, here are some photos (and no, I'm not a professional, so excuse the lack of focus in a few) - Enjoy - ;)

Monday, July 6, 2009

How To Look For & Buy Furniture

This can seem to be the most frustrating aspect to decorating your own home. Furniture, the perfect chair, is it too big - will it fit through the door, stairway, elevator? No wonder so many people wind up purchasing the display room at the furniture store. Speaking of furniture stores, which one? Geez.

1. Please do not buy the display room at the furniture store. This is especially true of bedroom suite furniture. Just resist the urge. Often times, the composition is too large and too heavy for your room, can't tell you how many times I've seen a dresser and a tall boy right next to each other. The only time this makes the process easier is when you are selecting furniture. This choice limits you so much in the future.

2. Plan first - Keep it simple. Go get some graph paper and measure out your room. Be sure to draw in doors and windows. Next, how to you travel through the room? Draw the path on the plan, give it 36", if you can. (Remember, 1 square = 1 inch) . How much room do you have left? This is where your furniture should be.

3. Go 'Sit' Shopping. An exercise I do with my clients is to take them sitting. Often this is for my clients that can not articulate what they like in there furniture, they are the "I know it when I see it" group. You are not buying anything today, so let go of that pressure. Just sit. Do you feel comfortable or not? Then I look at what the client says they like about it, I look at the dimensions. Is it too soft (loose back) or too hard (tight back), too many pillows, not enough room to sit? Too low? Once we've sat in quite a few and taken the time to note the details of the piece - I can essentially say you like these details, this size, this seat depth & height.

This image is from the Denver Fabrics ( And really illustrates all the different variables to which you respond to when you like a piece of furniture.

4. Plan again. Draw everything into your floorplan, remember you need at least 18" between furniture, like a sofa and coffee table. Does it fit? We will generally determine what the most important piece in the room is, is it the bed, the sofa, a lounge chair? Plan in the must haves and then find pieces that work with it.

5. Fabrics. Don't be afraid to order your furniture with fabrics that coordinate together. There are many ways to pull them together. Do you prefer texture, pattern, neutrality? Your home will be more cohesive if you go with the "special order" route versus the off the floor. You will also have furniture that defines you, not that looks like your neighbors.

6. Accent furniture. This is where we like to have a bit more freedom with our interiors. A piece of accent furniture is where you can show your personality, your travels, your heritage. A coffee table is generally in the 18" range, a side table is generally around 30" (just make sure it makes sense with your arm heights of your chair & sofa). These tables from Cyan Design ( have an ethnic feel. They are a bit edgy and could help more traditional furniture feel more current.

7. Art & Accessories - While art that has a strong theme can create a beautiful display, sometimes the more subtle the relationship, the stronger the display. And please, resist the urge to buy all of your accessories from one place - again, you are decorating your home, not the showroom floor. Be willing to move things around and see how you like then. When we are installing, we might set up all the accessories and then let the room be. By walking by the room through the course of the install, I can adjust the placement as needed and let the room develop. It is like letting dough rise. You are still working with it, you just need to give it time.

Remember bringing luxury into your home is a process, but it is also a fun experience!