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Renovation Update: The Guts of It

July 15th, 2014

We’re in the final stretch if you can believe it, about four more weeks to go until we wrap this project! The beginning goes SO fast, the middle (the “guts” of the house) seem to be slower with less visual gratification,  and then the finish work and punch list tend to drag on as your anxiety to be DONE mounts and makes time stand still.  But thankfully, my team from VW Builders has been IMPECCABLE. Not only have I been totally impressed, but my Dad (whose been in the home building business over 35 years) has too!  What a professional, wonderful team to have on board. I can not recommend them any higher.

So- here’s the addition looking like a real addition! We got a new roof on the whole house too (ours was 23 years old, but luckily had not one leak).  We have a carriage style garage door on it’s way that we’ve decided to paint black to balance with the shutters and front door. And that last remaining wire running to the house will be buried underground any day now!
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So, in the kitchen this door is going away and there is a step down to a pantry and door to the patio near the grill. I’m also toying with continuing the  backsplash tile up and around this door opening, which I should have done originally but we all make mistakes….

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This will be the large pantry cabinet! STORAGE!!!!

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I decided to do single panel doors in white which will reflect the style of my kitchen cabinets making this feel like the extension of the kitchen it actually is. I ordered some gorgeous crystal Emtek knobs to dress it up a smidge.

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A Little Book Sneak Peek!

July 14th, 2014

It feels like it’s been forever in the making, but my book is officially printing as we speak!  It still has a little longer until it hits bookstore shelves on October 7th, but I’m so excited to get to share a little sneak peek of a favorite shot and the AMAZING back cover!

I was blessed to find a book designer/packager who not only is incredibly talented but also someone who had been reading my blog way before this deal became a reality.  Jennifer K. Beal Davis KNEW my voice and my taste and so knew exactly what I wanted this book to look like.  It was not only painless, but easy and enjoyable, which is NOT always the case when it comes to designing your book (so I’ve heard).  You’ve seen the front cover, but today I get to show you the back!   We decided to use the fantastic F. Schumacher Pyne Hollyhock Print (which is a fabric I used in my own home) paired with the striped spine and gold foil accents (not mustard yellow, that “T”, the first line and the border will be BLINGED OUT gold, baby.)

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Oh yeah, and about those quotes. ARE YOU KIDDING ME?! I cannot believe that all these design, writing and lifestyle idols of mine liked the book enough to say such amazing things in print. It continues to bowl me over, so thanks a ZILLION Jonathan Adler, Emily Henderson, J. Courtney Sullivan, India Hicks and Holly Becker!  When I feel doubt sneak in (as is normal with a project of this magnitude) I go back to these and tell myself I did well. :)

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image by Michael J. Lee

And finally, I’m getting to share one of my personal favorites from inside the book today!  This is a home in Boston that we started working on over four years ago (and we are still working with the client as her house grows and changes!) They are the nicest people and a complete JOY to work with.  This is the formal living room, right off the formal dining, and a spot for the adults to entertain and relax in apart from the larger family room.

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image by Michael J. Lee

We wanted to make it feel special, cozy and a blend of traditional and modern design. Custom drapes, a chocolate grasscloth ceiling,  statement fixture, custom chairs and hints of green helped accomplish this.  You’ll see a lot more of this house in the book- their study, family room, formal dining, casual dining, entry, master bedroom and child’s room.  I love that every house I work on looks SO different and unique, just like the families that inhabit them!  Pre-order the book HERE pretty please!

Stay tuned for book tour dates too, coming soon! Can’t wait to meet you guys in person!

Fashion Friday: Weekend Getaway

July 11th, 2014

A simple, easy outfit that can take you from walking around town to dinner out. I hope you have fun weekend plans that require cute clothes! :)

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1. Adorable lightweight top from Madewell in a more subtle leopard print.

2. Leather and vintage coral tassel necklace from Ex Voto’s new summer collection.

3. Sleek shades.

4. A light anorak for chilly nights (and one that will get you into fall too! This style isn’t going anywhere!)

5. My new favorite white jeans, J Brand’s midrise rail- amazing fit (skinny but not tight in the ankle and a rise that’s not too high or too low!) and perfect amount of stretch.

6. Denim cutoffs to pop on if it gets hot. Adorable with that top!

7. Slip on sandals with a hint of prep.

8. The perfect weekender from Barrington Gifts you can personalize with choice of print, color and monogram! I adore mine!

 

A Day Off.

July 10th, 2014

Yesterday was a tough one for me on a lot of fronts so I’m feeling totally depleted right now.  And while I wish I could actually take the day completely off and lay in bed, my house is full of contractors and there is work to be done at the office, and a birthday party in the Cape I need to drive to tonight (I know all that signals that I really need to take a break…. but alas.) So forgive me while I check out just for today.
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Suprise Source: Soft Surroundings

July 9th, 2014

I am not one to hoard sources for a good deal or great finds. I remember finding an amazing long black Dolce & Gabana gown at Filene’s Basement (RIP) in 2002 marked down from $1,900 to $99.  When complimented on it while wearing it I would blurts out “Oh My God! Filene’s Basement! Like 95% off! You need to go!” instead of just mysteriously saying “thank you”. As a designer you’re supposed to keep your sources rather secretive, but I have a really hard time doing that too. Whenever I find something good I want to share it and spread the wealth.  And sometimes that just means finding out a catalog you typically recycle actually has some really great home stuff! I got a Soft Surroundings catalog the other day- yes, the one full of comfy clothes and jammies for mature ladies- and found all of this great home stuff! Woah!

*Click images for links*

Some great chairs…

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An incredible chest and gilt mirror…

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A very cool rope wrapped chair and cane back barstool…

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A wood chest and peacock mirror…

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