Wednesday, May 25, 2011

This House is Beatiful!

I started flicking through the June issue of House Beautiful last night--it's a good one!  Page after page of great ideas and sources and some really nice examples of stellar interior design.  The resource theme of this month is the hardware store.  Places like Ace, Lowe's Home Depot, etc.  I am a lover of hardware stores--much more comfortable there than at the mall.  The imagination can really soar in a hardware store and all kinds of wonderful solutions can be found.

So I went on the HB website to grab a few pix to show you.  Please remember that you don't have to be a fan of the particular style of an interior to get great ideas out of it.   Designer Ann Wolf  is featured for a home she worked on in Houston. She did a spectacular job and here are some ideas for you to enjoy:

It's the ceiling I want you to notice.  Love that blue!

That stone fireplace on the screened porch, with the super simple mantel is fabulous.  It's the artwork of the room.

Looky here.  She made a children's reading nook out of an unused space in the house.  Love how the grommet curtains are hung from the ceiling.  Kids space, but grown up fabric on those curtains--that's how we all coexist with each other.  And don't kids just love cozy spaces where they can hide away from us?
This picture really looks better in the magazine.  Look at the ceiling--isn't it a beauty?  Why do we ignore ceilings?  And this is a great use of gray, my least favorite color, unless you get it really right, which she did.  Not cold, not depressing.  Soothing, neutral and providing a great backdrop for the daffodils on the nightstands (which, you notice, do NOT MATCH).

One more.  Nice office space. Roman shade on the window is gorgeous to gaze upon, cobalt blue lamp reminds me of the water, hardware on the built-in cabinetry is just lovely. And the peacock wallpaper lining the back of the bookshelves is a wonderful, deluxe look, but, if it's the wallpaper I think it is, then it's just for show and won't really stand up to books being shoved back and forth.  But I love it all!


Monday, May 23, 2011


Just saw this ad from Restoration Hardware.  I'm speechless. Confused.  Maybe I should just back away slowly...

We've got lots of catching up to do.  This week for sure. 


Saturday, May 14, 2011

Now it's Lego computer games.

Haven't been posting much because I'm really busy with design work.  So this afternoon I pushed away from my desk and took Grandboy to the store to make a fun purchase.  I've aleady told you in a past post how I learned which Star Wars characters to buy for Grandboy's education on popular culture.  A quick update on that--he's got a number of fabulous Star Wars dolls  characters at this point.

So today's shopping trip brought a new challenge--computer games.  To be exact, Lego Indiana Jones 2, The Adventure Continues."  Man, the title alone should have been a clue.  The adventure continues all right.

We brought the game home and Hub put it on Grandboy's computer.  I left them alone, knowing that there was going to be a learning curve, which I wanted nothing to do with.  Oh dear.  There was crying, yelling, stamping of feet and gnashing of teeth, and I'm not going to tell who did what.

After dinner, Hub went searching online for some help and finally figured out that he needs a game controller--an XBox 360 blabbity blab.  You can buy a generic at Best Buy, so we'll head back over there tomorrow and get it.  I told Grandboy to mark this day.  Many years from now, when Hub is on the Senior Tour of Video gaming, we'll remember that it all started here.


Sunday, May 8, 2011

Anne's Summer House

We watched "Sarah's Summer House" on HGTV this weekend.  The talented interior designer is showing the reno of her summer cottage on a tiny island on a large lake.  As usual, Sarah does a beautiful job with a large budget--just the kind of thing I love to fantasize about.  Anywho, not to be outdone, Hub and Grandboy gifted me with my own version of a summer cottage for Mother's Day:

It has a lovely green exterior, copper roofing and a stainless chimney.  Love it!  My feathered guests started to arrive within minutes of installation.  At one point today I looked out and saw a bluebird sitting on the roof, a red cardinal on the perch and a ruby throated hummingbird sipping at his own feeder attached to my window.  The squirrels are eyeing it, but so far haven't tried to dismantle it (they will try, in time).
Life is good.


Thursday, May 5, 2011

Nolte Home Studio in Raleigh!

I went to the Opening Event for Nolte Home Studio, a German kitchen cabinet company, on Tuesday evening.  They're located in Pleasant Valley Promenade in Raleigh and have a nice showroom, displaying their cabinetry finishes, countertop choices and some really wonderful, efficient, useful shelving options that I love.  What they can do with a corner cabinet is amazing and will make you scoff at the old lazy-susan design.  And pantries!  Soft close hinges, of course.  What did we do before our cupboards and drawers quietly closed themselves?  Oh yeah, we did it for them--I still do.  No wonder I'm so tired at the end of the day!

Here's some pix of their kitchens:
The door is opened...

The door is closed.

Upper cabinets that open from the bottom--interior glass shelves (an option), lighting strip. 

Miele appliances, too.  Delish.  You can do the whole kitchen with Nolte Home.  They also make bedroom furnishings and wardrobes.  Perfect for lovers of modern design, clean lines and gorgeous hardware. 

I love this style in the older ranch homes that are being renovated all over our area.  Stunning.  Also in the new condos and townhomes.  European design doesn't need lots of room.  It shines in smaller spaces because it's so creative and efficient and it doesn't scream "KITCHEN!"  I'd love to put one of their lacquered finishes in my laundry room, in a colorful hue.  It could be a fabulous "before" and "after" promo for them, don't you think?  Yes, we just finished the countertop project with the $3 hollow core door,  but it's a sacrifice I'm willing to make.

Nolte Home Studio is currently giving a serious discount on installation, so this would be a good time to go look at the new showroom.  Tell Todd, a member of their extremely nice and knowledgeable sales team, that I sent you and that you are to have a bit of a discount on the whole job because you are, after all, one of my peeps.  The store phone number is 919-783-7910.

One more picture.  I love a stainless sink!


Words to help with this world we live in

No pretty pictue today. Look out your window and take in whatever you see.

I've been struggling with the events of this week and looking for help to process it.  This morning two wonderful pieces of writing came to me through blogs that I want to share with you.  First a poem that takes my breath away from So We Can Talk Awhile  I will hang this one above my desk:

Yes We Can Talk

Having loved enough and lost enough,
I am no longer searching, just opening
No longer trying to make sense of pain,
but trying to be a soft and sturdy home
in which real things can land.

These are the irritations that rub into a pearl

So we can talk awhile, but then we must listen,
the way rocks listen to the sea
And we can churn at all that goes wrong
but then we must lay all distractions down,
and water every living seed.

And yes, on nights like tonight,
I too feel alone, but seldom do I face it squarely enoug
to see that it is a door into the endless breath that has no breather
into the surf that human shells call God.

- Mark Nepo

And then a link to "Osama bin Laden is dead. One Buddhist’s response." by Susan Piver.  Really good stuff. 


Sunday, May 1, 2011

Such a lovely weekend!

This is a shot of my back yard yesterday.  It's just bursting with life--and this is before the Black Eyed Susans and Gardenias make an appearance!  I love the green so very much.  Always thought I'd never get a home with a view, but this house has proven me wrong.  Every window looks out at something pretty--verdant and restful.  

Our irises are not the big bearded variety, but a very small flower on tall, thin stems.  SO pretty.  I only pick the ones that fall over.  We should plant more of these in the Fall.  Remind me please!

I really enjoyed spending some time on Friday morning with the Royals.  This is really what HDTV was invented for.  The colors, the splendor, the architecture--all so sharp and vivid.  Made even more fun because Hub and I have been to all of those places and it was nice to remember what a spectacular city London is.  Simply brilliant!

Lastly, let me tell you that a bowling party for a 6 year old is a VERY good idea.  Great value for the money, everything taken care of for the adults and so much fun to watch the kids bowl!  Buffalo Lanes North in Raleigh is a wonderful place!