Shops to Love at Blue Genie Art Bazaar 2014

Ahhh, ’tis the Season for gift giving! And if you’re like me, I like receiving gifts that are one-of-a-kind, artisanal & the not-going-to-the-regift pile. It’s time for the Blue Genie Art Bazaar again, seriously the best place to find handmade Austintatious gifts. There’s lots of shops to love of course in this curated shop exhibit but I’m a sucker for these ones:

1. Found Object Art

Found objects pieces things together that’s all about interesting stories, a surefire conversation starter! This one is called Cinderfella. And yes, I’m not over vintage things yet!

2. Jackalope Card by MakeATX

It’s a jackalope! And he’s intricately laser-cut at that! I would totally put this one in a shadow box for a quirky display!

3. Melissa Mencini Ceramics

And how about these porcelain tumblers? It’s dainty pastel hues contrast with gold pistols is such a beautiful juxtaposition — this is not your regular OJ containers.

foxwares pottery

 

 

 

 

 

4. Foxwares Pottery

A little Southwestern and Ikat inspiration in these gorgeous earthenware. It’s very Alyson Fox if you ask me & super cool to put on display.

5. Akwood & Design

From little things to small and large scale furniture, fine crafted wood pieces is the expertise of the duo behind this woodworking shop. As a grown-up, I say goodbye Ikea & hello magnificent, exceptional, well-made {I’m not running out of adjectives yet} pieces.

So, if you haven’t checked it out yet, the Blue Genie Art Bazaar is a “must visit” for holiday shopping!

> The annual four-week holiday shopping exhibit for its 14th year on November 28th,opening at 10am.

> The bazaar runs seven days a week from 10am to 10pm (with the exception of 6pm closing on December 24th)

> Where: Marchesa Hall & Theatre, 6226 Middle Fiskville Rd., Austin 78752, across from Highland Mall

> Featuring more than 200 Texas artists, the bazaar offers free admission and a hassle-free shopping environment.

Do you have a Design question or dilemma? Drop me a line and I’ll answer them for free {and absolutely no strings attached!}. Click here >>>

10 Tips for a Beautiful Holiday Table

Are some of you on vacation for Thanksgiving already? Woop! Woop! I’m getting my baggy pants ready for turkey, pies and such for the festivities tomorrow. Aside from that, I hope to help get the Thanksgiving table ready at my in-laws. It’s true… I’m a #TablescapeAddict. The lovely people at Wayfair asked me to dish out my Top 10 Tips for a Beautiful Holiday Table. Read on and grab ideas from some of my tablescape projects.

gold edge menu cards

gold vases blue and orange thanksgiving table

See all of the tips here. Today, I may do two sessions of my Brazilian Butt video {yes, I succumbed to Leandro!} to prepare for all the gobble tomorrow.

Do you have a Design question or dilemma? Drop me a line and I’ll answer them for free {and absolutely no strings attached!}. Click here >>>

 

Roundup: 5 Designer Finds

It’s Thanksgiving week everyone! Are you running amok with grocery shopping and getting the casa ready for family & friends? We’ll be visiting my Grandma & Grandpa for the week for my little bebe {he’s 2 months old now!} to meet more of the family.

Here’s a little round-up of new designer finds I’m currently swooning for {and you will too!}. Check out the rest of the article here >>>

designer finds

1/ The design world’s infatuation with bar carts is still a “do” & moreso with the holiday season approaching.

2/ Aside from gorgeous lighting, Apparatus Studio in NYC has decorative objects that are swoon-worthy as well.

3/ Although this is not a Venetian-mirror, it is equally gorgeous and delicate.

4/ I have an infatuation with marigold hues and yellow citrine lately & this sofa is a gem beauty!

5/ Wallpaper murals is coming back with a vengeance & this one at Cole and Son depicting old-world architecture is amazing!

Thanks to Terry’s Blinds for this Design Insights article. Have a jubilant week everyone!

Do you have a Design question or dilemma? Drop me a line and I’ll answer them for free {and absolutely no strings attached!}. Click here >>>

Single Graphic Art

Happy, absolutely beautiful Fall Monday all!

Stumbled across this image from a photo shoot we did last year. I haven’t had enough of wall collages yet but sometimes a single graphic art is all that’s needed. I asked my friend Kaleigh to make this YOU + ME graphic art which now graces our living room.

modern bedroom Shot at Kimber Modern; pillows by Stone Textile

Have an amazing week everyone!

The Red Chair Workroom

I’m not sure if this research has been done yet but I’m pretty sure Austin is high up there as far as population density of people working from home or coffee shops or co-working spaces, etc. It’s also the most collaborative, creatives seeking co-creatives. It’s the same in the interior design world here in our small, big town. That’s why when I heard that Anita Erickson, founder of Red Chair Market is building a place that will nourish this camaraderie, I had to know more about it. I asked Anita a few questions about this new project, it’s goals and dreams for the Austin interior design community.

red chair workroom

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

As a design enthusiast and having met a lot of design professionals in Austin, how do you think the city’s interior design environment is evolving?

I’m a design enthusiast but not a professional designer, so I had a chance to ask a lot of “dumb” questions as I’ve been researching this project and have learned a lot!  Austin is definitely coming in to its own as a respectable design city, but I love that it’s maintaining its character. There is a desire to work with local retailers, craftspeople and artisans and to make sure projects have a unique flair. There has also been a lot of talk about the business model of the design profession, some are going the straight fee route, some are doing the traditional product markup. The internet has changed a lot of things, with clients being much more able to access products and ideas on their own.  I think there is an opportunity to really educate consumers on the value of a professional beyond the product-acquisition role; from making sure that all the creative ideas fit in to a real home to managing the headaches of installation.

Some formally trained designers have embraced other designers who are not formally trained, others haven’t, what is your take on this debate?

This is a dangerous one for me to dive in to! I respect people who are passionate, professional and dedicated to what they do.  People like this come from many paths, and for some projects it’s most important to find someone who you connect with personally and aesthetically.  For others you really need someone with formal training or lots of specific experience.  Fifteen years of experience can substitute for four years of schooling, but I think the frustration comes in in that it’s hard for the average consumer to know how to evaluate. If everyone can call themselves an Interior Designer, there’s a concern that an experience with someone who isn’t professional will taint the whole industry.

red chair workroom

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tell me more about the Red Chair Workroom & how it sees itself in the next 5 years.

In a nutshell, we want to create a hub for the design community.  I’ve met with over 70 design trade pros in the last few months: architects, registered designers, decorators, retailers, vendors, even color consultants!  Many of them are independent practitioners, and what I hear most frequently is “collaboration”, followed by access to products and help with managing the business details. All this input guided the vision for the Workroom; summed up by our mission statement: Together, we are more productive, more profitable and have more fun. 

We’re building the space right now, and I often daydream about a day in the life of a Workroom Member to keep me focused.

You walk in to the Workroom and are greeted by name by the receptionist who asks if you’ve found the perfect side table for the Smith project. In the nearby lounge there is a member you’ve been meaning to connect with, so you grab a cup of (fantastic) coffee and sit down with your colleague to get some suggestions for a tile installer.  A clients is coming that afternoon, so you head back to the quiet area to plug in your laptop and finish up the presentation, then to the print room to make some handouts.  Lunchtime comes and you join some of the other members for a lunch-and-learn in the conference room; it may be a vendor presentation on the latest wallcoverings or a “business basics” discussion on employment tax.

At this point your clients will arrive soon, so you start to set up the reserved meeting room.  The presentation will be shown on the flat-screen monitor, but samples are also tacked to the wall. You head back to the break room and put together a tray with coffee cups, a fresh pot of coffee and real cream.  When your clients arrive they are shown to the meeting room and a lively discussion begins.  Halfway through, someone wonders if hand-scraped oak or Brazilian cherry floors would be better, so you pop out to the resource room and grab a sample of each. Decision made, without leaving the Workroom. 

It’s been a productive day but you decide to stick around; realtors from a local agency have been invited to happy hour to meet and network with the members.  You’re busy, but it’s always good to make new connections!  At the end of the evening you scoop up your project materials and stow them in your locker for the next visit.  Tomorrow’s a work-from-home day, but you’ll be back again on Friday to see what’s new.

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Thank you so much Anita! Thanks to visionaries like you, the Austin interior design environment will continue to flourish. To help this project, please click here.

Do you have a Design question or dilemma? Drop me a line and I’ll answer them for free {and absolutely no strings attached!}. Click here >>>

Sketch | Teal and Red Bedroom

teal and red bedroom

Sketch: Red and Teal Bedroom

Maybe this post should be called ramblings while overwhelmed. Well folks, it’s official. I am finally admitting that I’m overwhelmed. My baby is 5 weeks old and with me and my husband living away from family; there’s no rest for the weary.

I thought I was doing well; didn’t mind waking up several times during the night for feed time, learning beyond what I want to learn on how to do things with one hand {well, I have to use my teeth at times too} or the isolation of being at home all the time {I did start going out}. But the latest situation is kicking my butt. I developed mastitis a couple of days ago which I was dreading and sure enough, it’s dreadful. It’s a mild case but still bad enough to make me cry, become so irritable and yes, even hostile. It’s on the mend and I feel better but during my periods of irritability & hostility, I started nitpicking some relationships in my life. Like how some friends who I thought cared hasn’t visited or called since the baby arrived {I do think that it’s childish for me to think this way}. Then giving them the benefit of the doubt … “maybe they wanted to give me space & thought they’ll be a nuisance.” The resentments I’m thinking and feeling and the pressure I give my husband for the things I want and the things I need …which again, was not a good thought at all. Today, I don’t want to think bad thoughts and taking strides to replace them with positive ones. Stress and pain can be so powerful and take over your life. One negative feeling if left unchecked can heighten to something insurmountable. I’m committed to not doing that.

I started to sketch today {Sunday} and just focusing on something entirely different and creative feels good. I have these watercolor pencils I haven’t used … can u tell as I used it over black ink, hence all the blurriness. Well, I know I should know better but seriously, my brain is not working it’s usual 100% yet … ha! Anyway, have a great week everyone!

Do you have a Design question or dilemma? Drop me a line and I’ll answer them for free {and absolutely no strings attached!}. Click here >>>

 

The Nursery … Coming along Slowly

The nursery is coming along slowly but surely. As a designer/decorator, I probably should have had the space done, oh 2 months before the baby came? But alas, life caught up with me … work, travel. Excuses…excuses. Or I’d like to think, I am so selfless, I complete other people’s projects first before mine …. ha!

Well, I started getting it together mid-August. My first buy for the space is this lovely dresser from the fine gals at Nod to the Past when I found them on Craiglist. Circa 1940’s, I adore the undulating cabinetry & they repainted it with Annie Sloan’s paint in Mushroom & French Gray.

nursery dresser

The space is a guest bedroom and it still is! With a plus, it’s a nursery too so whoever comes to visit instantly becomes the sitter 🙂 Gotta have star string lights  {it’s from Amazon}.

star lights nursery

 

white leather rocking chair

The white tufted chair is a gift from the lovely people at Wayfair & the Zebra pillows {I have a pair} is from Dwell Studio.
nursery wallpaper and decor

The plan for the white headboard is to wallpaper it but my selection is $250 a roll …yikes. I stumbled upon this Otomi wallpaper but alas, found a more affordable alternative with stencils {will work on this soon, promise!}. And I couldn’t help it but I just have to get a few of these papier-mache animal heads.

crib and artwork

The crib is a gift from my mother-in-law from Million Dollar Baby & she will also make the canopy {inspired by Emily Henderson‘s nursery; the fabric is coming from Bolt & it is adorable! } — because she is awesome & I’m shameless. Picking artwork will take time but I have a few — a print from the Georgia O’Keefe museum when me & my daughter visited Santa Fe this Summer, hot air balloon invite from my baby shower thrown by my lovely sister-in-law {because like her Mom, she is awesome} & a personalized alphabet from Minted.

I kept everything pretty neutral as we decided not to know the sex of the baby. I also tried to keep costs down and so far, I’m achieving that. Any one-room projects anyone?

Do you have a Design question or dilemma? Drop me a line and I’ll answer them for free {and absolutely no strings attached!}. Click here >>>

Ellen Pompeo’s Home : Before and After

So how was your weekend everyone? My weekdays & weekends are all the same to me since the little one came. Anyway, Sundays are usually “magazine reading days” for me. I have my favorite home mags by the couch … Elle Decor, House Beautiful & I must admit, I have a newfound love for Architectural Digest. Even their new website is amazing! {I thought it was really sterile before}. I think since Margaret Russel took over the mag, it found a new lease on life. A much younger voice but still full of class and sophistication. Well, their November issue is all about before & afters and it’s a must read.

I was especially mesmerized by the work of Martyn Lawrence Bullard at the enchanting home of gorgeous actress, Ellen Pompeo. I dissected the transformation & learned/affirmed a few things about design and decorating from the creative genius that is MLB. Oh, Million Dollar Decorators, how I miss you! Here’s a few things I wanna share. Please pardon the drawing & scan copy. I was drawing/scanning with one hand {holding the baby} & why oh why do scan copies have that blue smudge sometimes?

ellen pompeo living room before

In the living room, a cohesive palette and clever furniture/space planning transformed the space into an amazingly inviting space.

ellen pompeo dining room before

ellen pompeo dining room

The dining room transformation is swoon-worthy! Wood on wood treatments {floors & walls}, who would’ve thought this would work seamlessly without looking like a rustic lodge? That chandelier is to die for.

! ellen pompeo bedroom before

Hmmm, so wall paneling is alive & well. And yes, in this room, it works so well and makes for a cozy & warm retreat.

ellen pompeo bedroom

It really just goes to show you how many elements, layers and textures it takes to make a space well done.

Have an amazing week everyone!

Do you have a Design question or dilemma? Drop me a line and I’ll answer them for free {and absolutely no strings attached!}. Click here >>>

Provence Dreaming

Hola & happy Friday everyone! Tomorrow marks the one month birthday of my new little bundle, Simon Sebastian. Oh, how time flies! He is getting bigger each day, which is a good thing after having a bout of jaundice that first week when he lost almost a pound {super scary for a newborn & parents of course!}. I’m trying my darndest to have a regular schedule and do things according to my task list but alas, newborns have a schedule of their own. My days are filled with diaper duties and breastfeeding/pumping around the clock or researching about cradle cap and stalking Mother forums where they discuss, “Is my baby crying too much?” “Am I spoiling my baby?” “Is my baby too clingy?” It goes on & on — by the way, the answer is No, No and No.

Anyway, for the weekend, I leave you with these gorgeous pictures from Kathryn Ireland’s vacation home in Provence. Well, because it’s just dreamy. The amazing designer marries a gorgeous, colorful palette with rustic surroundings that makes for a cozy getaway. I just adore her and the stories she makes through her designs — one that’s collected, full of life and spaces that will make nostalgic memories.

Can you imagine having dining al fresco in this vignette? I am in love!

I leave you with a few images of the little one. I’m slowly getting back to work {just hired a part-time sitter…wahoo!} and finishing up some designs & starting new ones. Life & work will be different, but I can tell it will be amazingly better! Happy weekend everyone.

bebe Stevens

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Do you have a Design question or dilemma? Drop me a line and I’ll answer them for free {and absolutely no strings attached!}. Click here >>>See more of the gorgeous images via Domaine

Project Feminine Rustic Design

I am living vicariously from single ladies who I’m currently helping to design their gorgeous abodes. It reminds me of the time when I bought my first home, a quaint cottage with a yard; where I lived all by myself, did things when I want to do them, decorated the way I want to and when I was most disciplined {when it comes to exercising & eating right — why does marriage make you gain weight?}.

Today, I want to share what we’re doing for a young, successful lady in her cute loft-like home. The home is split level with the living room, dining room & kitchen, library/office all in one open space with 20 ft. ceilings and a massive fireplace. She wanted a sophisticated, inviting environment that’s not one note … she wanted a mix of several styles without looking hodge podge of course!

feminine rustic living room

In the living room, the fireplace is the focal point. She is in love with a leather cognac sofa which is perfect for the rustic space. A wing chair with nice curves, marble accent table & a white tufted bench exudes feminine sophistication. She has a few stairs going up to the bedroom & restroom & ornate, European-style candle lanterns will be so romantic, don’t you think? And the venetian mirror…nothing beats a classic!

foyer and bookcase

In the foyer or entryway, a console + chair + hooks is both beautiful & functional. We’ll add a collage of art, a mirror {because it just helps to look at yourself just one last time before you head out the door}. She has a bookcase right behind the sofa which we’ll paint the inside with a charcoal hue & of course, nothing is really done until they’re accessorized & styled.

french modern dining room

And here’s the dining room design board. We’ll pair a sleek, white, minimalist table with a dramatic crystal chandelier & rattan french bistro chairs. She loves European getaways so why not bring the al fresco French cafe experience to her?

We’re slowly getting things together…there maybe a few changes here and there. I’m hoping {and thinking} she loves it.

Do you have a Design question or dilemma? Drop me a line and I’ll answer them for free {and absolutely no strings attached!}. Click here >>>