Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Painting my den

I'm contemplating painting my den. Right now it is the dark hunter green that was popular when we remodeled the house 14 years ago. Time has gone by so fast! I remember I was pregnant for my daughter when I did this and she will be 14 in December. My den is one of those rooms that doesn't get used very much. When my two grown girls were teenagers they used it alot but now I rarely go in it and have just ignored the color.....
That is, until now......

You see, with the economy the way it is and where it is likely headed, after having an office in Cashiers for 14 years,  I am moving my design business into my home- the den to be exact....... EEEK!
So off to the paint store I go,
I'm thinking Robin's Egg Blue and red color scheme............
Great way to use those great red check drapes I made the wrong size for a client years ago!
Any suggestions for a great paint color? I'll report back after going to the paint store!

Thursday, August 18, 2011

How To Be a Good Client

I love the work of Phoebe Howard and follow her blog Mrs. Howard Personal Shopper an insiders look with Lee Kennelly. Check it out- it's a great blog! A few months ago she posted an excellent article on "How to be a good client"

May 25, 2011

Weekly Q&A with Phoebe: How to be a good client

Question: I know that you work for a lot of different people at many different levels and locations. Your work appears to be broad in range. I am sure you have favorite clients, some that you feel have brought out the best in you. I am currently working with a designer and want to make sure I get the best possible result. Can you tell me, in your opinion, what makes a client a great client?

Phoebe's Answer: GREAT question - thank you. At the end of the day, every decorator or designer wants a successful and fulfilling result just as much, or perhaps more, than the clients. Great projects are the result of a collaboration where there is open communication and mutual trust and respect, much like a marriage. Here are some guidelines every client should know in order for all parties to be happy and satisfied:

Choose wisely. When choosing a designer, make sure you do your due diligence and check them out. Carefully study their portfolio, speak to past clients if necessary, and make sure you are comfortable with all fees and pricing structures. But most of all, make sure that they understand you - who you are, what you want, and what your desires and needs are. Be sure that the body of work they show you excites you and feels like something you would want to live with. Good designers never have projects that all look the same, but they will all have a certain sensibility. You need to define that and make sure you have compatible taste.

Be clear and reasonable about your budget. If you have a certain amount that you do not want to exceed, express that number in the very beginning. A good designer can tell you if that number is reasonable or not. Sometimes clients have unrealistic expectations. Furnishing a house with a designer is not inexpensive, but at the same time, you should have a clear grasp of what it will most likely cost to achieve the look and feel you want.

Communicate all desires and wishes as clearly as possible. Do your homework. Sit on upholstery. Carefully study colors and fabrics. Give the designers as many visual clues as possible from magazines, web sites, blogs, etc. There is a wealth of information available, so try to narrow the focus for the designer as soon as possible.

Be involved. Listen. Pay attention. But do not micromanage. Creative people need breathing room. Clients who call and question and are accusatory squelch the creativity they are paying for.

Be patient. Allow a reasonable amount of flexibility for a project to be finished. Do not plan a party or try to force completion of a project. This is almost always disastrous. Delays happen - they are often unavoidable - so try to be flexible and understanding. Plan your party after you move in. This will give you extra time to tweak everything and make it perfect.

Show a united front in front of the designer. Work out your differences as a couple before your meetings or after. The designer is usually a good objective party to use as a guideline for melding the decision-making process, but fights are uncomfortable for all involved parties.

Make sure you have a thorough understanding of what is being ordered and being delivered. You will ultimately live there and the designer will leave. If you really think you will not like something, stick to your guns and ask for an alternate suggestion. This is something that definitely requires balance and tact, but the main thing is to be clear about what will be the end result.
During installation, it is a stressful and busy process. It is better to go off and enjoy your day, and come home to a completely finished house. This will ensure you experience the "wow" factor. There will undoubtedly be snags along the way, but if you trust your designer, trust that she/he will make everything right . Don't get worried if things don't look like they are coming together during the process - the finished product is the only thing you need to worry about, and any good designer will resolve any issues that crop up.

Pay your bills in a timely manner. It is unrealistic to expect that furniture should be delivered without payment. Clothes, cars, groceries, everything requires payment before receipt. Decorating is no different. It does require a leap of faith to pay in advance, but it is standard procedure for all good designers. Any furniture store requires payment in advance of delivery, and usually in advance of ordering.

Decorating is a service business. Clients need to realize that those who have the heart to serve others are a sensitive lot. If you are unhappy about something, try to cool off a little before calling the office and ripping into someone over the phone. Always keep your temper in check. Nothing is ever gained from losing your cool.

Having said all of this, I would like to add that I am very lucky to have had the clients that I have worked for over the years. I appreciate all the friendships that have formed. I would do practically anything for my clients, we work very hard to earn their trust and respect. I am thankful and grateful every day to be in a profession that I love and never seem to tire of. Perhaps these guidelines will help you with your own decorating journey. Good luck!

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Hot/ Cold Therapy bags

Fall is just around the corner and we are cranking up the Hot/ Cold therapy bag machine again! We make these bags in several sizes and in beautiful fabrics that not only compliment your home decor, but can bring some joy to a person who is under the weather! Here are some of my favorites:

Just shoot me an email if you are interested in purchasing from us. You can also see and purchase  these bags at Rosebud Cottage in Franklin, NC.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

The Appointed Home: Cashiers Mountain Home

The Appointed Home: Cashiers Mountain Home: "Like everyone I have favorite projects I've worked on over the years. This is a home I worked on that turned out especially well. Enjoy & Ha..."

Cashiers Mountain Home

Like everyone I have favorite projects I've worked on over the years. This is a home I worked on that turned out especially well. Enjoy & Have a great weekend!

Friday, August 12, 2011

A touch of orange

I'm loving what a touch of orange does for these aqua rooms!


                                                                      Southern Living

                                                                      Southern Living


                                                       Tobi Fairley

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Aqua, Blue and Brown Love...........

While looking through a magazine, an article on blue and brown caught my eye. Mind you, not a baby blue/ muddy brown, I'm talking deep blue and chocolate. A combination that really makes a statement.I tend to think of this in more formal room settings but it especially works in a more transitional look. I've never been one to go to blue but this has me inspired to use it!

I love the touch of orange in this room- looks so great with the chocolate!

Art Glass Vase

Such a fun mud room!

Crisp brown and white geometric- sharp!

I love the touch of dark brown and the nailheads on this custom headboard!

You can't go wrong with brown and white transferware- so classic

Awesome color of blue on the walls

I'd love to find out the maker of this wallpaper- aqua and brown with DEER..... perfect for those mountain homes!

Such a fun office space!  

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Showhouse Time!

It's fast approaching- the 13th annual Cashiers Designer Showhouse. It's an exciting event for the town of Cashiers, always great fun for me to participate and this year is no exception. The home and property are beautiful and will make a fantastic setting for a showhouse.
Check out this link from the "Laurel Magazine"

From the Cashiers Historical Society Facebook page:

Preparations for the 2011 Cashiers Designer Showhouse are in full swing! This year promises to be the best yet with an extraordinary home, "Reflections," book signings by Charles Faudree, James Farmer and Mary Palmer Dargan on August 21 and a speakers luncheon featuring Mary McDonald and Nathan Turner, the stars of Bravo TV's hit show Million Dollar Decorators on August 20.
I've been planning for months, acquiring the furnishings- move in day for me is next Wednesday. Here are a few of the things I'm planning to use.

Here's a few before pictures:
                          Yup- a kitchenette, complete with a 70's aqua sink! Don't worry- I've got plans!

It's a small space which is perfect for me. I'm calling it the "upstairs sitting room."

Now, for the fabric!
Manderly- Alpine- I LOVE this pattern! The room has rough hewn log walls and chinking and the colors in this fabric go so well. I also like the semi funky look of this transitional floral. After much debate, this fabric ended up as a chair, pillows and roman shades on the windows.
 Next I've selected solid color linen in the dark brown and aqua- Got to think of that sink you know......

Next, I found this sofa in the perfect neutral linen: The "Chilton" Sofa

I'm painting this console demilune in a neutral color glaze and Aqua base coat.

                                  Undertaking this myself- I'll post pictures of the progress on this one!
Eduardo's Painting (he's a great painter!) painted the drywall for me- I used a soft grayed aqua  with just a hint of color. Thanks Eduardo!!!!

That's how the process works- little by little the whole thing comes together....... I'll be back soon with more pictures!