Friday, April 26, 2013

Super Dreamy Kitchens

Happy Friday everyone!  I am excited to create my dream kitchen in our new home, here are some looks I'm loving...

A dramatic pendant over the sink.
via BHG

A wall mounted monitor - most of my recipes are from the computer, and I don't like to waste ink or paper printing out a recipe that I may not like.

Open shelves aren't for me, but otherwise this kitchen is a dream...
2 above via House Beautiful

The gray brick is really beautiful, but I wouldn't want the stainless steel counters.
via Interiors Porn

The three below are all from the same kitchen.  I think I'm definitely going to go with white cabinets.  I also love the marble countertops, but that won't be in our budget for a long, long time.

The hood is really cool

Love those stools too, and the pendant lights

3 above via House Beautiful

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Jennifer Aniston's Manhattan Brownstone in "Bounty Hunter"

I wanted to show you what in my opinion was the only decent thing about the 2010 movie "The Bounty Hunter." Sorry to anyone who liked it, but I felt that this was one of those films studios just release to meet a quota or something...

The only part of the movie I really paid attention to were the scenes that took place in Nicole's (Aniston) Manhattan brownstone. I didn't think an investigative reporter could afford a Manhattan brownstone, but hey, if Carrie Bradshaw could afford that spacious Upper East Side "studio," an investigative reporter can afford a whole brownstone I guess. ?

Anyway the character's home is super bright, cute, and cheerful. Maybe a teensy bit too "whimsical" for my taste at times, but definitely worth a close look (hint: if you click on the images a larger version will pop up)

The kitchen obviously.  The cabinet backs painted to match the blue walls was something I haven't seen before.

The home is covered in really cute wallpaper that manages to be quiet but noticeable.

A LOT of pattern in both upholstery and wall paper, a bit too much for me, but it's really fun to look at.

Love those sconces, and the modern bookshelf against the crown moulding.

With the curtains this is too much pattern for me.  If they were just white I'd like it better.  I thought it was interesting that the couch is slipcovered.  It makes me wonder if that was a conscience decision by the designer or if they were like, "This character would put a slipcover on her sofa..."

What do you think of the house?

*The Bounty Hunter is property of Columbia Pictures

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

In my dreams - Timber Windows

So, just recently I was told about timber windows, I've bee admiring them all along, I just didn't know they were called timber windows, which I blame on my lack of an interior design education. I have a feeling that now that I know what they are called, I will be noticing them a whole lot more. My new found discovery also poses a BIG problem. Like all things of great beauty and quality...and therefore, expense - I want them!



I imagine that well made and maintained timber windows can outlast (and out-beautify!), any PVC window.  Depending on the architecture of the rest of your home, they can add an old-world charm, or a clean and strong contemporary feel.


 Even on an old home, brand new timber windows don't take away from the charm.
Check out the scalloped roof!!! Okay, focusing...


After a little reading, it looks like your biggest concern is the fact that wood contracts and expands, so managing humidity in the interior is important.  Also, maintaining the windows' exteriors with the proper sealants and finishes will ensure they enjoy a long life.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

All about wood furniture - the basics you should know

When it comes to furnishing a house, many home owners opt for wooden furniture to provide both a traditional and elegant environment. It has been a popular material for many years, okay, for always,  for both furniture and for use in construction – and this is mainly down to its durability.

Pieces of wooden furniture often get handed down from generation to generation, becoming valuable antiques and cherished family heirlooms. Wood is not only timeless, but it is also adaptable to any style.

via Adore Home

via Schuyler Samperton

When choosing your furniture, you will need to decide between hardwoods and softwoods (the former come from deciduous trees whereas the latter come from coniferous or ‘evergreen’ trees). Oak furniture is a popular hardwood choice, as it is incredibly strong and long-lasting, with other popular options being walnut furniture and teak furniture, both of which create a high-end look that some homeowners prefer.

A stunning dark oak French Key chest.

Wood happily accepts paint and new upholstery can make any piece match your style.
via Rue Mag

via Covet Garden

Softwoods are generally more affordable, with cedar and pine being the most popular. For people who want a light, attractive wood for their furniture, pine ranges from a pale yellow colour to a medium brown, and its fresh fragrance makes it a highly desirable option. Pine is also particularly suitable for painting and varnishing, giving more options to create different styles.

Antique pine.

Dark woods – such as mahogany, walnut and rosewood – can be used to create a rich, expensive-looking d├ęcor whereas light woods – such as pine, ash and maple – can often create a cottagey feel, say for a country kitchen.

Solid oak furniture is one of the most popular options at the moment due to its durability and versatility, and it comes in various different types and finishes. Choose a reclaimed or reproduction piece to fit in with a traditional or rustic style house, or furnish your modern, contemporary home with weathered or limed oak furniture to give it a subtle vintage look.

*disclosure: This post in partnership with

Monday, April 22, 2013

Shabby Apple giveaway! $75.00 Gift Card!

I ran a Shabby Apple giveaway last year with great success, so I figured you guys wouldn't mind if I hosted another fabulous giveaway from the folks at Shabby Apple.  This time you have a chance to win  a $75.00 Shabby Apple giftcard!

To enter to win, you MUST like Shabby Apple on Facebook and you MUST leave a comment on the post listing your favorite Shabby Apple product. Please DON'T FORGET to provide me with some way to get in touch with you.  I'd say 25% of the time the winner I randomly draw leaves no email address and they never respond to my post announcing the winner.

This widget makes it VERY easy to "Like" them on Facebook.

a Rafflecopter giveaway
To comment on this post (scroll to the bottom of this post and right above "Labels" you will see a number followed by the word "comments." Click on the word "Comments." Or, you will see a link, "Post a Comment," which you click on to comment.

Shabby Apple is an online dress boutique that specializes in vintage and retro dresses. Click Here: vintage dresses

They also have a lot of other "retro" goodies - skirts, tops, jewelry, and accessories...

Best of Luck! Contest closes April 30th at 12 AM EST!

Friday, April 19, 2013

Gathering inspiration for my home office

As some of you know, we just bought a home and I will have my first true home office. Not in the dining room, or the nook of the bedroom, a whole separate room!

Here are some office spaces I really like:

The 4 images below show the office of Apartment 34's Erin Hiemstra

Loving those gold pendants!

This sitting area is great for flipping through magazines, sketching, etc..

via Rue Mag

The office of Maison Luxe, based in Seattle.

Great use of the nook!

via Rue Mag

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

DC Design House Master Bath and Interview with designer Darlene Molnar and artist Natalie Steinebrunner!

I'm so excited to share this gorgeous master bath from this year's DC Design House!  I was also lucky enough to snag an interview with the designer, Darlene Molnar, and local artist Natalie Steinebrunner, whose work is featured in the room.

Can you start by giving me a little introduction about the project, and how you got involved?

This is my first time working on the DC Design House. I have toured past DC Design Homes and this year I felt that I was in a position to lend my love for interiors to the cause. I was thrilled to be selected and assigned my top choice – the master bathroom.

How did you initially approach designing the bathroom? What inspired you?

The onyx tiles throughout the bathroom were my starting point in the room. I wanted to bring in rich tones to complement the onyx’s honey. I used navy wallpaper to accent a few walls, giving a touch of depth to the vast space. I wanted to maintain the airiness of the room, so I left the remaining walls light. Accessory selections were made to coordinate with the existing vanity – dark wood and silver. Artwork became a big part of the room. I wanted to infuse in some eclecticism, so I decided to mix art styles (paintings, screen prints, and photographs) in mixed frames on a gallery-style wall.

The use of art throughout the room is really striking – can you tell us a bit about the art, how you selected it, and do you often find yourself utilizing artwork in similar ways in your other projects?

I wanted to feature emerging local artist, so I selected works by Natalie Steinebrunner, Nicole Borgea, and Aaron Lager. This is my first time working with Natalie Steinebrunner and she has quickly become one of my favorite artists in the area. I find her work modern and refreshingly approachable. One of my favorite works of hers, Fragments, combines both of her specialties in a set of three collaged fabric and acrylic on paper. The one-of-a-kind set was created exclusively for the DC Design House. Nicole Bourgea is an expressionist artist whom I have known for many years. I am particularly drawn to her artistic process and meaningful approach to her work. Her ability to convey a deep understanding of each subject she paints has completely altered the way I view portrait paintings. I wanted to bring a bit of that depth and sense of wonder behind a portrait to this space. Aaron Lager is an emerging artist and native Washingtonian whom I have also known for many years. I find his experimental approach to be engaging and representative of the energetic pulse of emerging artists in DC. I selected four of Aaron’s photographs to showcase his diverse eye – the peacefulness of an evening lake view and a blooming flower and the grittiness of an old mill and Parisian rooftop. Every project is different and this is the first time I have relied solely on a select demographic (DC-based) to supply art. This is also the first time I have mixed such a diverse selection of work. Gallery walls are trending right now and in the past I have had clients agree to gallery-style walls that are one type of work – black and white photos in exactly the same frame. Maybe some silver mixed in. Or all abstract art, for example. There was hesitation to mix it up. I wanted to show how mixing up both the style of art and style of framing can kick things up a bit.

I noticed that you are LEED certified. How does environmental awareness affect your design process and final product? How does it benefit your clients?

I became LEED certified to stay on top of what has been happening in the design world for several years now – the evolution towards designing for healthier homes and work places. I often talk with clients about green design basics such as energy efficiency and recycled materials. I think having a LEED backgrounds benefits my clients because it allows me to break down some of the often-overwhelming LEED principles into ways they can implement on their own.

Tell me about those fabulous chairs we see with the beautiful leatherwork!!

The customized Harry Bertoia chairs are my favorite piece in the house! They are the result of collaboration between myself and my dad, a professional leatherworker. When I told Design Within Reach my plan for the chairs, they graciously sent two over and Edelman Leather was quick to donate the high-quality leather of my choice! The iconic chrome chairs are beautifully sculptural on their own, but the juxtaposition of soft leather woven throughout adds a one-of-a-kind aspect to them. Each piece of leather was hand cut and each rivet hand fastened. I often like to combine present day artisan with historically iconic pieces in my interiors and these chairs showcase that combination perfectly.

Is there anything else about the 2013 DC Design House or you that we should know or you’d like to share?

I’ve received a lot of inquiries about the chairs mentioned above, so I want to share that while there are only two available at the DC Design House, they are available with endless customization options through my website.

See more of Darlene's work at

Next I interviewed featured artist Natalie Steinebrunner, to learn more about her involvement:

How did you get involved with Darlene and the DC Design House 2013?
I recently finished a new body of work that was inspired by patterns and textiles. I thought that the DC Design House would be a great environment to unveil some of my new pieces. It is exciting to see the art in a space layered with other colors, textures and finishes vs. just white gallery walls. I sent Darlene some information about my new artwork and we hit it off.

Were any of these works commissioned specifically for the space, or were they already created?Both. Darlene already had frames for the space that were in specific sizes. Some of my existing artwork fit in those sizes and worked for the space. However, some of them were created specifically for that space. Darlene showed me her inspiration photo that had different tones of blue, honey and creams. With Darlene’s inspiration in mind, I created two custom pieces. The goal was to have them flow and work with the space, but not be too “matchy-matchy.” Darlene has a great eye for creating eclectic spaces.

 Fern,  2012, Monoprint, (Seen framed on the gallery wall by the bathtub)

Wonder, 2012, Acrylic on Canvas, Original 4' x 5' (Still available)
(Seen framed 16" x 20" print on the gallery wall by the bathtub)

Sky 2, 2012, Monoprint
(As seen framed by the towel rack)

It looks like you love to work in many mediums, from mixed media collages, to paintings, monoprints, and textiles, a lot of these being very textural. Do you think that’s why they lend themselves so well to the space?
I think using texture in design can certainly add another layer of interest.

Custom fabric collages Steinebrunner created for the space based on Molnar's inspiration photo.

Do you have a love for interiors that goes beyond just adorning walls with beautiful works of art?
Yes! I love working on my home and am obsessed with design blogs and magazines. I am very sensitive to my environment and living space. Good design is very important to me. Art can be used and applied in so many other ways for design products such as rugs, fabrics/upholstery, wallpapers, tiles etc. In the past, I have used some of my paintings for rug design. I am working on some new projects to continue using my art for product design. It is really exciting to see my art in a different medium/format.

Is there anything else you think we should know or would like to share?
In addition to the DC Design House, I will also have some of my collages featured at an upcoming gallery show in Baltimore at the Hamilton Gallery. It is a fashion themed show called BIAS- fashion reaction curated by fashion designer, Julie Bent. (See flyer below. )

See more of Natalie Steinebrunner's work on

About The 2013 DC Design House

The 2013 DC Design House, the foremost annual residential design attraction in the region, is a leading fundraising event for Childrens National Medical Center.

Dates: April 14th - May 12th 2013 
2507 Foxhall Road, NW, Washington, DC
Hours: Saturdays-Sundays 12 p.m. to 5 p.m.; Tuesdays-Fridays 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Tickets can be purchased on the DC Design House website.