Monday, 30 April 2012

Changes at out House...

Being so focused on the interior of my home has left our outside a bit less than desirable.  When we moved into our house, we set priorities &  so the poor outside had to wait.  We fell for our house because it has a large, private back yard...  the back of it sort of turns into a mini forest and a stream runs behind our fence. 

I like that the woods in the back feel really natural and a little out of control (wild roses, honey suckle, clematis, black berries & a ton of other things spill out the edges of it into our grass) but I've always imagined that one day it would be a tad more manicured & purposeful...

{See how crazy it gets back there??}

Last year (and the year before) we made a few garden beds around the yard like the one below for dwarf holly (which looks sooooo much like boxwood) and herbs...

  But we never edged them properly and they've gotten a bit out of control... 

{Here's the beginning of our vegetable garden last year...  THAT's how we edge....  It's more like:

me- "Hey Dav, let's make a veggie garden today."  (I've never mentioned this but I actually call my husband "Dav"...  an old college joke where we used to call him "Daveed" and "Dav" stuck)

him- Big sigh... "Okay."

And he starts digging...  But before he can finish, I'm in his way planting stuff and saying, "Forget about the edges... And don't worry about turning up all that dirt.... Yeah, it's fine that it's clay."

SO... as a result, my garden beds are full of weeds and the grass runs right into them.  I sort of have Scarlett O'Hara's "I'll think about that tomorrow" attitude with my yard. 

{Can I tell you how much I love this fabric???!!!!}

BUT we found some great guys through a friend & got a superdeal on having our entire yard edged & mulched.  I AM OVER THE MOON!!!!  They came yesterday and went to town...  They're back today and are working on edges like this:

{not my yard...  image from   They're still working so I'll post pics as soon as I can}

I am soooooo  excited.  Then...  we were at our friend-neighbor's house borrowing a wheelbarrow for the guys and she mentioned she was planning on getting rid of her kids' swing set now that they're getting older and so they gave it to us!!  My 4 year old is giddy beyond belief. 

...And....  (ok, truly nesting here; I have issues) I think I'm ready to change up our downstairs family room again...  I love the blue that's on the walls but I've always felt that it doesn't really fit with the feeling of our house & surroundings (with the blue walls and some of our accessories, it feels kind of coastal...  I originally had it REALLY coastal with this old painting... 

But it was driving me crazy...  so I switched pillows & accessories to ones with more of the green I crave:

{the room's pretty trashed in this pic...  sorry!}

...But I stole the rug, educational chart & lamp for other areas of the house & now my room's back to blank and blue... 

I'll be a little sad to say goodbye to the blue walls but I think I'm ready for the change.  We're keeping all of our furniture and I'll just rearrange rugs & artwork we already, have but the big change will be painting it white...  I sort of want it to feel more like my boys' playhouse:

I want it to be a more casual version of what we have upstairs & I'm hoping we can buy the paint today.  (I am aware this is nuts to do with our life/ schedule right now...  but I'm okay with that.)  Will be back with pics!!

xoxo, Lauren
If you'd like help creating a home you absolutely love, contact me about our design services.

Monday Inspiration

1. Better Homes and Gardens 2. HGTV 3. House Beautiful 4. Better Homes and Gardens 5. House To Home

Friday, 27 April 2012

Thinking About You

 A year ago today the tornados ripped through Alabama, changing so many lives.  Several of you e-mailed me after Wednesdays post to give your condolences about my client's previous lake house.  Thank you so very much, your kindness is appreciated greatly.  However, while any loss is sad, the real tornado stories are much deeper and well, tragic.  So, for those of you whose life was changed a year ago today this post is for you.  Some bright, happy pictures to make you smile.  Have a great weekend.

Wednesday, 25 April 2012

My Room in Better Homes & Gardens Magazine

April has been a super-busy month so I'm a little late on sharing ,but I am thrilled about the article published in this month's (April's) Better Homes & Gardens Magazine!   The photo shoot took place last May in my room, at the 2011 DC Design House and my good friend, photographer Helen Norman took the photos. 

{The little aqua "one line a day" book is now mine & I use it to record funny things my kids say & little family stories.}

Here's a really pretty shot of the window seat we had custom-made by our go-to builders, CarrMichael Construction with custom layered cushions fabricated by Paul David Designs (our workroom, who we absolutely love.)

{The window seat is a mix of fabrics by Peter Dunham Textiles who generously donated their fabrics for the showhouse and some of my new fabrics.  The distressed silver llama sconces were donated by Porta Romana.}

Here's a shot of most of the room which shows off the grasscloth walls & diamond-patterned sisal rug (by Stark, fabricates by the Carpet Customizer)...

The article is by BHG editor Joanna Linberg {who is one of the kindest & most genuinely sweet people I've ever met} and I love how she broke everything down for the article & delved into the concept of "perfectly imperfect ." 

She listed a few of the must-haves I like to include when designing a room:

The oversize painting is by my good friend John Matthew Moore and I arranged the leather parsons desk (by Edelman Leather) so that was askew from the painting for a slightly "off" and more casual look.  I tucked the glass lamp with bright green tin shade (donated by Stray Dog Designs) right next to the painting to compensate for the assymetical desk arrangement.  I'm always really awkward in photos by myself and so I curled up in one of my Madhatter Chairs & it made me feel much better.  :)  The curtains are my Happikat in black & white and the Fabric on the back of the chair is by Michael Smith.

Here's a page they included at the end of the article about botanicals (which you know I'm pretty much obsessed with) and I'm loving the black backgrounds on a few of the botanicals & that pattern on the journal.  (#3)

The article itself includes all of our resources, but I want to be sure to mention that we borrowed antiques & artwork from some of our favorite local shops:  John Rosselli, Spurgeon Lewis and German Favorite Antiques.  Being a part of the DC Design House, which benefits Children's Hospital in Georgetown, was really such an amazing experience & through it, I made friends I know I'll have for life.  The 2012 House is open right now, so if you're in the area, be sure to go check it out!!

And finally, I turned 30 yesterday!!!!!  My 20s were over & I have to say they did not go out with a bang- 8+ months pregnant just doesn't put you in the partying mood ;) - but I will be sure to make up for it when I'm out of Baby #3 haze. 

xoxo, Lauren

If you'd like help creating a home you absolutely love, contact me about our design services.

Progress...A Long Time In The Making

 Last year a Birmingham client hired me to help decorate their lake house a couple of hours outside the city. (Before)
Every inch of the house was painted or tweaked.  Lots of new furniture was purchased, gorgeous curtains were hung, things were looking great.  This picture was taken early on installation day...
 "After" shots were not taken because we thought we were returning in a couple of weeks to add a few finishing details.  Two days after this picture was taken the April tornadoes came through and the house completely destroyed.  Some pieces were salvaged but almost everything was lost.  So, this past fall the rebuilding process began.  This time we were designing every detail of their new family retreat.  Remember this picture?
 Well that space eventually became this...
 And last week it was back to the lake to check on the progress and this is what the house is looking like now...
Not much longer now and I will be showing you after pictures!

Tuesday, 24 April 2012

Explosions...of sorts*

Yesterday Henry's daycare called to say that he was running a fever so I hurried over to take that sweet baby home.  Perhaps sweet is not the appropriate word to describe a sick baby.  Perhaps explosive would be better since there were..ahem...outbursts of all kinds.

But every time I look down at him sleeping I swear I think it is my heart that might just explode right of my chest.

*Seriously? This is the best title I can come up with this morning?  I am blaming it on the lack of sleep last night.

Monday, 23 April 2012

Before & After: Client's Dining Room

Last year, we began working with our clients who were undergoing a major renovation to their home.  The renovation was a thoughtful reworking of the existing space with the only addition to the house's footprint being the new screened-in porch.  The entire floorplan of the first floor was reworked and my clients created a massive open kitchen with an attached dining room and entry out of what once was the kitchen, dining room, living room and entry.  The wife likes bold fresh colors & has slightly modern taste while the husband is pretty traditional so we were really after a blending of the two.

We did the full house but I thought I'd start out by sharing the dining room with you.  Here's a photo of the dining room "before" which was at the back of the house:

And here's the dining room now:

Like me, my client loves botanicals & we couldn't resist these two massive ones by Natural Curiosities.  I flanked them with large bright green lamps to balance out their size.  The trestle table is paired with lighter carved chairs and I love the detail on the seat backs.   We found the neutral Greek key rug at Stark.  On the table, I used modern garden cloches on the table filled with ferns and orchids.  

We had the existing sideboard laquered white and my client had the GENIUS idea of adding a wooden board painted with chalkboard paint to the top of it:

It looks like slate but was super-inexpensive.  (I know, I know, chalkboard is EVERYWHERE... but I still love it in enexpected places!!)  We had planned to use honed granite or concrete & I'm so happy she did this instead!!!  It's so convenient now to label food & drinks set out on the bar.

For curtains, we used an overscale blue paisley by Schumacher and throughout the house we used a combination of bright blues & greens.  This project was particularly special for us to work on for a number of reasons and the "big reveal" had me teary... I want to thank my clients so much for letting us into your home &  your lives. 

I'm off for the day- am having contractions and am heading in to doc to check it out & am doubting this is "it" but they make you come in anyway so we'll see.  I'll keep you posted!!
UPDATE:  I'm home from doc and all is good & contractions will be coming & going but they aren't painful enough yet to be very productive!  Will keep you posted & hopefully I still have a couple mroe weeks to go :)

xoxo, Lauren

If you'd like help creating a home you absolutely love, contact me about our design services.

Monday Inspiration

 Just some things I pinned this weekend....Sliding screen doors for when I have a screened in patio...
Pretty lighting for when I have a pretty, high gloss, paneled hall...
 For when....oh let's not even go there!
 For when I have closet that has visible walls....
 Ohhhh yes, for when I have my dream kitchen, it will have thick counters and most definitely a wood hood.

Images via Pinterest- 1. Castle Homes 2. Opal Design Group 3. Atlantic-Pacific 4. Marcus Design Blog 5. Better Homes and Gardens

Friday, 20 April 2012

Tile Obsession

Dear Popham Design,

Love, love, love your tiles.  I promise to try to implement them in a job very soon.



Images Popham Design