Sunday, September 26, 2010

Two beautiful rooms

I'm totally cheating this week.  There's a LOT on my plate (all good stuff, but lots of it), so I'm just going to find photos that I've tucked away in a file and post them nilly willy.

This lovely room was designed by David Scott.  He says the addition of the fireplace made the room cozy.  I'll say.  Where would you want to be--on the chaise or on the bed?

David Scott design, again. This is such a fantastic example of how one bold print can transform a room.  I think this room is quiet and calm in it's monchromatic glory, but those drapes make it come alive in such a nice way.  I like that lamp over on the left.  Not too many people would think to put a table lamp in the dining room, but wouldn't it be nice to have that on at night when you don't need the chandelier?  More coziness. The wall treatment is cool, too.  Will have to check that out further to see exactly what it is.   I think these pictures came from the Decorati site.  I just checked--yes they do.  They've done a profile on Mr. Scott with these pictures of his work and much more.  Take a look and enjoy his work.

Have a great week!


Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Ever hear of a theremin?

My first website was designed by Jason Barile and he introduced me to the theremin through his website,  It’s a very cool instrument.  My new website was designed by John Hoge (his link is on the sidebar), who is an associate of Jason’s and co-editor of  Since theremins keep popping up in my life, I thought I’d tell you about them (all my info comes from John).  It’s hard to explain, so I want you to click on the links at the end of this post so you can see and hear one for yourself.  You’ll be glad you did.

The box she's standing in front of?  That's a theremin!
Everything about this album cover is fun to look at.

The theremin is one of the first electronic musical instruments (invented in Russia in 1920) and is the only instrument you play without touching it. Without touching it! It looks like a box with two antennas extending out on opposite sides—one antenna is horizontal and the other is vertical. The notes are controlled by the distance of your hands from the antennas. Freaky? Oh yes it is. Go take a look. I wish I knew how to put a performance on the blog. Some day I will!

Monday, September 20, 2010

This is an emergency--somebody call an Interior Designer!

Times are tough.  Pretty downright sucky for so many people.  Reading the "Work and Money" section of one of my newspapers last night was thoroughly depressing.  But the "Business" section of my other paper had me inspired and excited.  Just a different mix.  The lesson is that it depends on who, what, when, where and how you're reading.  If we think clearly, we'll remember that times are often tough.  There are many bad times dotted throughout the landscape of our history.  Some very, very bad.  Some just damn tough.  I think this is one of those damn tough times.  Okay, I've said "sucky" and "damn" in the same paragraph, I'll cheer up now.

Mussman Design, CA

BUT, this always means that home becomes more important than ever.  It's our refuge.  It's our place to gather, lick our wounds, plot our revenge, make our plans, watch "Meet the Fockers" and start to smile again.  It's where we gain strength to keep looking for a job. Where we soothe the hurt feelings of a child after a rough play date.  Where we dig out candles for the mantel cause Fall is here and we need a little quiet light after a busy day.

I firmly believe that your home should make you smile.  When you walk in the door, you should like what you see. It's not about budget and "stuff."  It's about color, texture, ease of maintenance and thought.  It takes creativity, sweat equity (not a lot, but some) and a willingness to try something new.

Design by Marlaina Teich

Someone has GOT to help you with this, you're thinking.  Oh yeah, I agree.  Call an interior designer.  There are so many talented designers here in the Triangle.  They don't just do big, fancy houses.  They don't only shop and shop and shop.  They can help, they want to help and they'd love to come right on over and get started.  Short term consultations are probably the bread and butter of many designers right now. Just a couple of hours, talking things over with you. coming up with some ideas and solutions that you can implement on your own time and as your budget allows.  Giving you some resources like painters, electricians, carpenters, local stores, etc., to help you make good choices and keep you on track--and gets some of those painters, electricians, etc. working again. 

Mussman Design, CA

This is why DeCocco Design offers the Design Direction concept.  Read about it on my website.  But this isn't a commercial for me.  Go to the Interior Design Society website and see all the names of talented designers that you can call or check out online.  They can help you feel good in your home during this difficult time.

CKE Interior Design

The pictures used were just grabbed from Google Images.  I've credited the designers who provided such nice shots of their work.  They're eye candy to illustrate what I'm talking about.  A kitchen remodel may be a big job, but painting walls and moving furniture around are the other extreme in budget and time.  Small changes can go a long way in getting a house that makes you smile.

And that's what I want for you!


Friday, September 17, 2010

French Connections in Pittsboro

This shop is such a find.  French and African textiles, baskets, artwork, etc., very reasonably priced, in the cutest little house in the very sweet town of Pittsboro, NC.  French Connections.  The two countries mix very well together with their vibrant colors and beautiful craftsmanship. 

The baskets from various countries in Africa are gorgeous and of  high quality.  Whether a great big hamper or a small lidded basket that might sit on your desk and hold supplies, they're pretty darn fab.  The french dish towels make me swoon.  I really love dish towels.   Big cotton or linen towels of various colors fill a deep drawer in our kitchen.  I don't throw them out (or recycle them to the garage) until they are riddled with holes.  They feel so good and do such a great job of drying dishes and counters and little boy's messy faces after eating fruit popsicles.

And look at those handbags!  I think they're straw, but they were way up high and I didn't get to touch them, or price them.  But I want one!  There are a number of rooms, filled with all sorts of things, including antiques.  It's a fun place to explore. French Connections celebrates their 10th anniversary in October (the 10th month), 2010!  Go wish them a happy anniversary. 

Have you been to Pittsoboro?  A pleasant drive down Rt. 64 from Raleigh.  Over Jordan Lake.  Such a treat to see all that lovely, cool water.  Lots of trees.  Very pretty.  The town center has some nice shops, a wonderful place to eat called The Pittsboro General Store Cafe (really, really good) and the historic courthouse that accidentally burned down earlier this year and is being rebuilt.  Oh, it had quite the courtroom inside.  Like the set of a movie.  Actually I think it was used in several movies.  I think the old fashioned soda shop is still there, too.  I didn't have a chance to check that out this time.  Will report back on that one next time I go (which will be as soon as possible).


Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Website design is NOT like interior design!

Boy, that's for sure.  It's a whole 'nother language and makes NO sense whatsoever to some of us.  I really lucked out when I was introduced to John Hoge; the wonderful, intelligent, creative, darling of a man who created the new website for DeCocco Design.

Oh, that man worked long and hard to get it all just right for Mrs. Picky (that's me).  He never lost patience with me, explained everything in a way that I could understand--not easy for computer types--and produced a site that really let's my clients see what I'm all about.  And I'm already getting calls because of it!  That's all worth paying the really big bucks, but fortunately for me (and you) his fee is extremely reasonable.  Click on his name when you're ready to get started on your new website.  John Hoge

I put him on the sidebar too for your clicking pleasure.

Oh, and he's a Theremin expert, too.  Don't know what a Theremin is?  I'll tell you about it next time!

Computers are nuts!


Sunday, September 12, 2010

Floors To Go!

A sample of wood flooring at Floors To Go in Raleigh

Here in the Triangle, there are plenty of good sources for flooring of all kinds.  I get mine from Floors To Go on Glenwood Ave. in Raleigh and I'll tell you why.  The owners--John Raper and his family--are extremely knowledgeable about every product they sell, they sell great products, they handle the installation of said products AND they stand by what they sell!  I'm sorry, baby.  The big box stores (you know who I'm talking about) cannot say all that, they just can't.  And what a headache it is when things go wrong!   My Floors To Go can often match the big box prices, but more importantly they can sell you the right product for your particular needs. They'll listen to you and steer you to exactly what's going to work for your home.  My floors and the floors of my clients look good and perform well.  I can count on that.

It's not the fanciest store, but it's easy to navigate and has a great selection.  As usual, I sound like a commercial, which I am not.  But I want to give you as much info as I can about the places I recommend.

In my laundry room I have some of this Marmoleum.  It is so cute.  A little pop of fun at my feet.  Wears like iron too. Look at the colors you get to pick from!  Some people were buying it for a classroom on the day I was there, taking these pictures.

I shop local because I support my community, I want to know what I'm buying and I want a great product at a reasonable price.  Don't you?


Friday, September 10, 2010

Furnitureland South

Boy, this week has just gotten away from me.  I have lots of things to tell you about, but time is not on my side right now.  Will try to catch up a bit over the weekend.  For now, I just want to make sure that all you NC residents know that delivery is now FREE within our state at Furnitureland South.  That is BIG!  It's a nice savings at a landmark store.  Hope that some of you can take advantage of it.  I believe delivery is free all over the country for the month of September, but it's now always free in North Carolina.  BIG.  Oh, speaking of BIG, don't you love that humongous highboy in front of the store?  Talk about landmarks!


Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Something for the kid in all of us

Oh, my gosh, look at these.  They're umbrellas!  My daily email from Skirt showed these cuties from  As a child, I loved my dolls.  I'm not a big fan of dolls marketed for adults, but these made my heart beat a litle faster when I saw them.  What a way to bring a smile on a rainy day! 


Monday, September 6, 2010

Hey! That's MY slogan!

For almost 8 years, I've used these words on my websites and other promotional materials--"Does your house make you smile?"  I know I don't own the words, but then again I kind of feel that I do.  So imagine my displeasure when reading through a copy of "House Beautiful" yesterday and seeing this;

Humpf (did I spell that right--humpf?)!  I guess what I'm saying is that no one else can use the word "smile" in connection with "house" or, in this case, "home" (cause it's the same thing).  Don't worry, I hear how I sound.  I'll let it go.  Detach with love.  First I need to pout a bit.  Thanks for your indulgence.


Friday, September 3, 2010

SuzAnna's Antiques in Raleigh

Oh my gosh, this place is SO GOOD.  Suzanna's Antiques on Durant Road in Raleigh is chock full of stuff!  I've only been visiting this store for a little over a year, but every time I go, they've grown again, switched things around and added more vendors.  Now they've gone and added another building!  This new addition means that most of the store is now totally indoors (used to be very opened up and no heat, no air conditioning), so it's a much more comfortable place.  I could easily furnish much of an entire house here, regardless of the owner's style.  There's a lot of architectural salvage, loads of dressers chairs, table, lamps and accessories.  Many things could be repurposed in all sorts of ways.  Truly the epitome of Green Design.  Nothing is "new."  Great prices.  Some things need elbow grease and imagination--my favorite tools.

I know, I sound like a commercial. Don't mean to, but I so enjoy places like this.  There's even a guy who sells fresh veggies and fruits.  Just take a look at SuzAnna's blog and then head over there. 

This is just a small slice of the place.


Thursday, September 2, 2010

Goodbye summer

Here in NC, we're yearning for cooler days.  Hurricane Earl is threatening our coast, which is not good, but we can hope that he barely brushes past us and his aftermath is lower temps and less humidity. We can feel Fall coming.

This summer was too darn hot.  But it also gave us it's usual gifts of a slower pace, tomatoes from the garden, basil in every pot I planted (the deer hate it--yay!), time with the ocean, tons of butterflies and hummingbirds in the yard and much more.  

"What has become of the languorous girls
who would pass the long limp summer evenings reading
Cherry Ames, Student Nurse, Cherry Ames, Senior Nurse...
Where are they now, the ones who shared her adventures as a veterans' nurse, private duty nurse, visiting nurse, cruise nurse, mountaineer nurse, dude ranch nurse (there is little she has not done), rest home nurse, department store nurse?"
Sailing Alone Around the Room: New and Selected Poems
That's a small piece of the poem "Canada" by the remarkable Billy Collins.  I was once one of those languorous girls, reading the whole series of Cherry Ames  books in the summers of my youth.  I was in Maine, not Canada.  Where are we now?  I'm right here.