Sunday, July 20, 2014

Modern Vintage Design Studio - A new shop on old Cape Cod

Before I move off Cape this week, I wanted to go visit a new shop I'd heard about from my landscaper - who is the proud father of one of the shop owners.  Modern Vintage on Rte 6A in Sandwich, MA, is owned by Cara (textile design and sewing) and Kristen (furniture refinishing) who have created a lovely space filled with hand painted and updated vintage furniture, beautiful textiles (including adorable dresses for little girls) and small accessories. They also offer custom hand-painted signs and custom invitation design services, plus workshops and children's birthday parties. This week they are offering a Kids Sew & Craft Summer Camp. Creativity is just pouring out of these young women so definitely check out their website and do stop in when you're next on Cape Cod.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Outdoor Entertaining from New England Home magazine

I was honored to be asked to contribute some of my favorite outdoor entertaining items for New England Home magazine's Perspectives column in the current issue.

Here's the digital edition.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

My new book!

Sorry for the bloggy silence. I don't know if I've shared this before, I can't remember, but I have been working on a book! I was hired to do the 6th edition revision and update for the longstanding book "How to Start a Home Based Interior Design Business" published by Globe Pequot Press. I believe I'd bought the 2nd edition back when I opened my business in 2002. Anyway, it's a handy "how-to" manual, one of a long list of similar books for various industries. Today was my submission deadline and I just sent it in an hour ago! What a relief. With everything else going on - selling my family house, moving and decorating my new house, not to mention keeping Mr. RoyRoy sane and entertained through it all - I've had a lot on my plate. Thank God for friends is all I can say!

I just found this on Amazon, it's already available for pre-order and the pub date is January 2015.  I'm not sure if this is the final cover art - I was hoping for my own work on the cover... But it's pretty. 

Friday, June 27, 2014

Nook Cottage: Bedroom paint selection

So, as I posted last week, I'm planning the decorations of my new little cottage by the river which I've dubbed Nook Cottage (it's in Rocky Nook). The bedroom is currently beige, which will not do! Luckily the landlord is fine with me painting.  I suppose if he weren't, I'd have to come up with some creative solution to all the beiginess. 

So, this is my basic plan - a custom headboard upholstered with Aerin for Lee Jofa's Watersedge in green, which is a cut velvet in a strie'd chevron pattern on a burlap colored linen ground. 

My general inspiration is this Charlotte Moss space which I loooove. My original plan was for it to inspire my living room, and it still will, but now also my bedroom - because I do love it just that much.

We'll get to my living room, it is teeny-tiny, but am very excited about my new sofa which I just ordered yesterday!  Okay, so back to the bedroom.

I went over to the cottage yesterday to check some measurements and also to look at paint chips in the natural light. One thing that is very important to realize is that a photograph taken on an iPhone, then uploaded and shown on different screens will not render the paper paint chip color in the same way it does the fabric color. So, while in person, this strip in my Ben Moore paint chip palette looks perfect with the fabric, it's less so in the photo.

I posted this to Facebook saying that I was leaning towards Grenada green, but thought Forest Hills might be really dramatic.  Because of course I'm friends with a lot of designers on FB, I received several alternate suggestions. So, I thought I'd check them all out and share the process.

Grenada Green #432

I often like to look at other spaces that have used a paint color and Houzz or good old Google images is my "go-to" resource for this.

Any my rendering with Ben Moore Grenada Green #432:

Ben Moore Forest Hills Green #433

Probably a little too dark, I'm thinking.

Ben Moore Central Park Green #431

Central Park is slightly lighter than Grenada. I like this one too!

This is Ben Moore Landscape #430

A little too pale, but very pretty.

Benjamin Moore November Rain

Definitely too pale.

Ben Moore Castleton Mist HC-1

I used this color in my New Hampshire Farmhouse project. It was very pretty and lively in that space, but it's not right for my bedroom. 

I usually default to the Historic Colors on the chart, but I think that for this space and fabric, they are too muted.

(Again, the photo isn't rendering the colors correctly, but in person, the fabric is not as yellow.)

So, do you have a preference? I'm going to move onto paint sampling Grenada and Central Park, I think. Or just Grenada, the color my eye goes to first is usually my favorite one anyway...

I am still looking for fabric for the drapery. I thought I had one picked out, but it's no longer in production and the alternative they sent doesn't work. But, I need to get going on paint selecting so I think the fabric for the windows will be a later decision.

btw - it took me longer to create this post than it did to render the different colors in my design.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Product Review: Simply Spotless Cleaning Products

Interior designer Meryl Santopietro and her daughters Joy and Alessandra have developed a line of cleaning products for interiors that are all natural and made in the USA. The Simply Spotless line includes cleaners for Wood, Fabric, Glass & Surface and Hand. A couple of months ago, they sent me a box of full size products to try out.  The packaging is very simple, not over designed and though the bottles are plastic, they are nice enough to leave out if necessary. The products contain not harsh chemicals and have a very subtle scent that dissipates quickly.

I haven't had a chance to use the Fabric cleaner yet, but have used the other three products extensively. The Hand soap is very nice and I keep it in the kitchen. My hands feel clean, but never dry. I have sensitive skin and am prone to contact dermatitis with certain products, so the soap is a big winner for me.  Plus, unlike a lot of pump bottle soap dispensers, the soap hasn't gunked up the nozzle at all. The Glass & Surface cleaner works really well for light cleaning of stainless and glass top appliances, tile countertops,  and leaves a sparkling non-streaky shine while disinfecting the surface. It's not as effective, however, for truly greasy cleanups - like after you cook hamburgers and the spatter is all over the stove top. But for quick sparkle, it's a nice, non-toxic product to use on a regular basis, keeping the harsher things for big cleanups only. Similarly, the Wood Cleaner is great for picking up dust without adding waxes or harsh chemicals, but I tried it on an old wood piece that is probably a little grimy and there was no sign on the cloth of any real dirt cleaned off. So, as with the Glass & Surface cleaner, it's a good product for regular use and then for deep cleaning, something else may be needed.

The products retail from between $14-$18 for a 16 oz. bottle and the set of four is $49.

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Bathroom makeover project - a very belated finale

So, a year ago I started giving the main bathroom in my Mom's house a quick little update. It had been looking pretty rough as it hadn't been updated since the 1980's.

So, this was the {sort of} before:

I say {sort of} because there was a faded blue wall-to-wall carpet that I pulled up before these photos were taken.  It was pretty gross. One of the few actual design missteps my parents every took. Luckily it pulled up easily to reveal a not too terrible vinyl floor, though it was discolored.

This was inspiration, which is a montage I did of a bunch of pretty bathrooms found on Pinterest. It's probably one of my post pinned images.  

While I would have loved to really re-do the bathroom, it wasn't in the budget, so a "cheap and cheerful" ensued.  These were my main elements that I planned on using.  My original plan was to paint the vinyl floor a glossy white and put a custom cut sisal overtop.

I did do the sisal, courtesy of the Natural Area Rug company, which offered me a free rug to try their service.  I never got around to painting the floor or swapping out the faucet, though I did install a fab rain shower head in the shower.

One of the biggest changes was painting the dark wood cabinet and mirror.

And here it is...

(real estate shot above)

 And a better shot of the rug. I definitely made a mistake not ordering it right to the walls especially since I never painted the floor. But, oh well, life has a way of intervening.

Thanks again to the Natural Area Rug company for the offer of the rug.  There ordering process was day and it's now a year old and has worn very well and gotten many compliments.