The Prototype Foyer Design

So they say, do not judge a book by it’s cover, but more often than not, we all hopelessly do it. I’m talking about how we concoct our first impression when visiting a home we’ve never been to. Of course, the exterior is so important but the foyer or the entryway sets the tone. You’ve seen several designs but the one design that almost always stands out from the rest is the console + pair of identical benches {or stools} design. With either a neutral background or patterned wallpaper, one or a pair of lamps, a mirror or a piece of art in the center, this design is classic and timeless. Case in point…

So, if you’re at a loss as to what to do for your entryway, this is a no-fail formula. BTW, I’m slowly posting ideabooks at Houzz, check me out there please.


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Austin Woodhenge

My absolute dream job is to travel the world a la Samantha Brown {I know, I know, I state this so many times}. But instead of checking out the attractions or the food a la Andrew Zimmern, I’d be checking out the artisans of the world {Travel Channel? Bravo? The Learning Channel? Ha!ha!}. The “real” people behind objects I | we adore. They’re rarely in the limelight yet they’re true designers. So, I thought why not start here in Austin?

From top left clockwise: 1. Inside their dining room 2. Me with Kathy & Don 3. Kathy & Don! 4. Buster 5. The cowtag hooks 6. Me sporting one if their bags 7. A decoupaged body form with French script
Don & Kathy Gross are the owners and artisans behind Austin Woodhenge. Making items from farmhouse benches, rustic stools, vintage sack bags & pillows to jewelry. It was a fortuitous event meeting this amazing couple after buying cowtag hooks from them at a Houston antique show almost two years ago. Then they saw the piece printed here, and a month later, Kathy recognized me while I was checking out their booth at the Roundtop-Marburger show. I say, it was meant to be!
Anywho, I told Kathy I’ve been itching to check out what they do, how they do it and where it all happens. They were more than happy to oblige. With my wonderful friend, Andres, we did just that one afternoon. I told Andres, we’re going to meet a cool couple & see cool things. After the visit, he thought it was way cooler than he thought it would be. I definitely agreed! Don, the husband pretty much built the house and some of the impressive items inside the home. We saw how Kathy painstakingly make vintage sack bags and pillows with precision while I constantly ooohed & aaahed at antique book covers, real French stencils & industrial furniture.
Check out the vid of our trip…
Please check out their website here, well because, this Austin couple just rocks! Don & Kathy don’t know it yet but someday soon, I’m hoping for a collab…


Have you read our decorating tip of the week? Visit our site at http://www.theinglenookdecor.com.

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Gaga for Greek Keys

 
There’s the trellis pattern, moroccan tile, then there’s the Greek Key Pattern. Yes, we’re gaga for Greek Keys. Although I’m definitely gaga over Santorini & Myknonos {waaah, Ive never been!}, hummus and the movie Mamma Mia{I have the sing-a-long DVD!} as well. 
Greek Key is an ornamental pattern of squares and rectangles with some of the squares sticking out that they look like keys. It’s also called Greek fret or Meander {get it? Meander meaning twisting & turning}. Come to find out, there’s a River Meander close to the area.
Anyway, this is where I become a little self-serving…they’re at the shop! Quantity pieces are not that much so if you like them {c’mon you do!}…get ’em! Happy weekend!

 

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How Many Pillows Does a Bed Really Need?

I know, it’s such a long title, but I have pondered on that question for a while. So, it’s not really a life-changing question to answer {although it may be for some}. But after long, joyous browsing of endless catalogs {mainly Serena & Lily and Restoration Hardware—because I love their bedding!}, I concluded that to have a perfect, shelter mag worthy image of perfection of your bed, you must have at least the following:

1. A pair of European Pillows + Shams: This is the square 26″ x 26″ pillows. Shams are of course the decorative pillowcases.

2. A pair of a. Standard Pillows + Shams and a pair of b. Standard Pillows + Pillowcases: Standard Pillows are 20″ x 26″. If you sleep alone, either a or b will do. If there are budget constraints, you can just use standard pillowcases for the pair of standard pillows. But it won’t be truly perfect without the shams…just saying. By the way, there’s also a Queen Pillow 20″ x 30″ and a King Pillow 20″ x 36.” I guess, if you’re feeling royal then you can opt for these.

3. Either a Boudoir Pillow or a Bolster Pillow. A Boudoir pillow is 16″ x 23″ and a Bolster pillow 10″ x 22″

So here’s a recap:

You can of course always have the extras, body pillows, neck pillows, etc but they probably won’t make the bed photo-op ready. Adding decorative throw pillows would! Weekend is here soon everyone, have a relaxing one!


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[Beware] The Wrath of the Alpha Female

Let’s do a little segue [segway :)] just for today & talk about other things [aside from design & such, sometimes we need a little breather from the ooohs & aaahs of a vibrant chevron pattern]. And no, I’m not starting a feminist group, just venting a bit. Is that ok?
It takes a lot to make me pissy although the hubs may disagree. I rarely get road rage & I give everybody the benefit of the doubt and second, third, maybe even fourth chances. The only thing that makes me mad right away is this …. people who does not acknowledge, demonstrates lack of accountability & belittles my concerns. Well, and now, a male who seem to think that females are of a lesser species. Yikes! [I’ve always thought this is a myth, that all males in this modern world know better]. That’s what I felt when liaising with one of our key vendors [I’m talking about the Physical Therapy practice which I still do administrative tasks for…so grateful that the other co-owners & directors are letting me do in the comforts of my home]. I think he thought I was getting too detailed, asking for non-sense. But that’s the way we are [We’re born this way baby!] and that’s the way it should be when running a household or a company for that matter. I am certainly tenacious, persistent and will fight hard to get my way [as long as it’s right & ethical of course]…just ask my husband. He thinks I’m too independent for my own good and too strong-willed…but hey, he says that but I’m sure he adores my strength. Charm and confidence? What could be sweeter?
I am not in the corporate world [just the small business world], but to all women that’s in that world, more power to you, be leaders. You are alpha females & you’re perfect just the way you are!

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I’m a Little Shameless

Ok, may be a lot! This is a shameless post, well, because I’m putting lots of pictures, of moi. I haven’t downloaded all of the pictures from our recent trip to the Roundtop-Marburger Antique market but I just have to share these images taken by my sweet & budding photographer friend, Tippi. She’s doing photography classes right now and according to her, I will help her out so much if I let her take pictures of me shopping. Just let me say she didn’t have to twist my arm to say, “of course! Anything to help a good friend!” You’ll see a lot of antique goodness as well…promise!

 Should I get that or not? It’s an industrial step stool. Too bad, the car’s full.

 Just one of the buildings or barns at Marburger.

 Checking jewelry, texting the hubs, “Can I buy this? Pretty please?”

 Tsk! Tsk! I really liked what I’m looking at…end of the day, no more funds.

Deliberating, is this a good deal?

 Ok, I’ll get it. No more cash, pulling out the checkbook.

To antique dealer: “You’re right, it’s a good deal. Win!Win! situation.”
 
Behind me are all Italian antiques, reminds me of wonderful Venezia!
 Aaahhh, the chickens! They greeted us every morning at the bed & breakfast.
I sincerely felt like I took you along my antique market trip! Have a fun-filled weekend!
 
Have you read our decorating tip of the week? Visit our site at http://www.theinglenookdecor.com.
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Cowhides: A Do or a Don’t?

I came across a blog post of a refreshing home {well, don’t I come across those posts all the time!}. I did truly love it as well like many others who commented on the post, but as other bloggers shared their thoughts, it suddenly turned into a somewhat nasty, well, maybe just mildly sarcastic comments about the cowhide on the floor. Others were mortified , others were mum {me included}, the owner was very gracious in her responses.  Below are some images where cowhide is used as it pulls together a room, from romantic to french to urban.

{images via decorpad}
Which side are you on? Is it a do or a don’t? If the cow is already dead, the meat already sent to the butcher, wouldn’t it be good to use all it’s parts? Do you think if the cow could sign an organ {and skin} donation directive, he would want to? But then what are we teaching our kids about this? Are we respecting animals like we’re supposed to? Is this honoring them or plain shows how barbaric humans still are? I have my own opinions of course. Items like these are bound to rouse anger in some people. Others may not care and some will say, most definitely! My answer is to each his|her own. I may or may not disagree with having a cowhide in my own home but one thing I disagree with are other bloggers somewhat attacking a person for their choice of accessories or color paint for that matter. Respect can be heard & felt, online or offline.

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Alive & Well: The Art of Paper Cutting

Holy Molly! And I thought I could cut paper very well. Cricuts and Martha Stewart punches move aside. I recently discovered the work of Elsa Mora, a paper artist from California. Lookie how wonderful her work is…

Looking at her work makes my hands hurt a little bit. How amazing that the art of paper cutting is maintained & given such a breath of life by her & other artists like her. Happy creative weekend everyone!


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Our Wedding Dance Moves

I can’t believe it, I’ve been married almost four months now people. I still look at the pictures almost everyday {well, the digital ones…been procrastinating on a real album—how do you actually fit 800 of them in a nice book,tsk,tsk, hard task ahead}. Well, I’ll spare y’all from the boring details for now. Instead, let me show you our dance moves. After all, the wedding was really a party, a soiree, a fete. It’s a blast to see old friends, new friends, family all in one place, and all having a blast…I think. I’m thinking the guests weren’t bored.

The chicken dance move isn’t exactly a flattering profile but just to show you, I am a woman who is not afraid to get down. Honestly, I had to edit the other images. The hubby of course had his own moves. At the end of the night, it was really about him and me and this party was just the start of an amazing life. Ahem, of course, I had to put something totally serious but something so true!


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I.N.S.P.I.R.E.D. Mrs. Stevens

Wee! The blog revamp has started! See the new design? Thoughts? So, I decided to rename my blog, it’s now Inspired Mrs. Stevens. Ok, it may be a little corny but 2011 marks a new and exciting chapter in my life. I got remarried last December to my best friend & I hope for the blog to be a collection of what inspires me. A new life, a new home {soon}, my mission to harness my creativity in whatever form or fashion,the shop & carrying on what I call an urban cottage lifestyle in the big, little city of Austin. And yes, a new last name as well. Below is a collection of what Inspired Mrs. Stevens is all about.

In the next few days, I’m hoping to add new topics: Vintage Poppy, Shop Stuff, Ponderings, UN|Crafty & Austinese. I hope you continue to be with me…on my journey.  Tell me, what inspires you?

Have you read our decorating tip of the week? Visit our site at http://www.theinglenookdecor.com.

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