Friday, 31 August 2012

Go Team Ghana!

"GO TEAM GHANA!" is a group of "designers, dreamers, moon watchers, doers and vagabonds."  They're former designers from ABC's "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition", who are "taking our (their) skills and passion for designing with a purpose and spreading it like wild flower over seas. This time all the way to Ghana, West Africa."
Their goal is to build  the "Connor's Creative Art Center" in Ghana, West Africa. Here's a bit I've taken from the website to explain what "Go Team Ghana" is all about & how we can help"
"THE BAD NEWS: Modern day slavery exists.Nearly 7,000 children are being trafficked in the fishing industry of Lake Volta, Ghana. They are sold for the equivalent of $20.
THE GOOD NEWS: People care.
A Touch of LIfe (one of the organizations they're working with) has rescued nearly 100 of the 7,000 children. They have outgrown their facilities, and are building bigger, in order to help more kids.

Connor’s Song, inspired by the creativity and imagination of Connor Deal who passed at the age of 12, is working to bring healing to hurting children. The “Connor’s Creative Art Center” will be built in honor of Connor, and will help restore these children through art therapy and creative healing.

Why ART? Why for these kids?
Glad you asked.

These children are being empowered through the freedom of expression. They are learning, some for the first time, how to be kids and dream big. At one point in their lives, they were sold for the amount we pay for a few cups of coffee.

Please help us show these kids they are worth it!

All funds raised will go towards the following:
1) Fill a shipping container with furniture + supplies for the Art Center
2) Ship the 40' container with the supplies overseas to Ghana
3) Send the Design Team back to Ghana to help bring the Art Center to life

Thank you a million times over for showing your support.
We believe good design can change the world. "

I feel the same way about design & art being able to change the world.  Good "Design" is often thought of as a luxury or something "extra" that some people have...  But I believe it has the power to make people happy & to change their lives.  Our environments affect us in so many ways- they change our moods, our ideas of self-worth, they can encourage or discourage creativity, they can make us feel good or bad.  Giving these kids a place to go that gets them excited about creating things & dreaming is really special & affects them in so many more ways than just encouraging the arts.  I think it's a really special cause & if you have any time and/or want to help, go here:

They are at a little over $13,000 now and need $35,000.  Today's the last day if you have a moment.

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

Snap Shot- Client Nursery

First comes the rug....then come the twins!  The rug is amazing; I had to control my urges to throw myself on top of it.....literally.

Thursday, 30 August 2012

Instagram Room Reveals & Closing on Our New House!!

I was recently introduced to Instagram & am crazy about it!!!  For those of you who don't know what it is, it's an app that you can use on your phone where you take pictures with your phone and then upload them into instagram.  People "follow" you and you "follow" others to share the photos. 

I've been posting a bunch of photos on instagram, which has been so much fun...  I try to take pics whenever I come across something that's interesting or pretty to me, and lately I've been taking photos of some of our clients' projects on installation days as they come together & the room is revelaed picture by picture...  (I will usually save the full "after" for later though! :)

To follow me on instagram, go here or go to instagram and find me (I'm @LaurenLiess)  (Or check to the right sidebar of this blog and click on the little instagram icon (which is the little camera logo)& you should be able to see pics.)

{Our client's living room, midstage}

Also, we're closing on our new house today & we're sooooooo excited!!!!   We love love LOVE the house and I can't believe how quickly the time's flow by!!  Fingers crossed that all goes smoothly for us today.  We're so thankful to the homeowners for letting us buy their home!!  I'll keep you posted!!

{our future living room!!! }

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

Marianne & NYC = Milly

Some girlfriends and I try take a trip to NYC every year around Christmas, but this year we are heading to NYC during fashion week and we are going to the Milly show.  Here is my Milly wish list:
 Images Via Neiman Marcus

Tuesday, 28 August 2012

Client Kitchen

 This is a recent kitchen we gutted and redesigned.  The client has a very clean aesthetic, this kitchen looks like her (and me).  Not fussy but stunning in person thanks to gorgeous finishes.

Monday, 27 August 2012

My Little Lovey Guys...

The smallest one is growing big waaaaaaay too quickly.  If I can get some time, I'll take some pictures of his nurery before we say goodbye to it next week.  I really love it in there & I don't know how but we've somehow managed to keep it clean & organized these past few months, which has made it such relaxing space to hang.  (It could be that all of the laundry is in the mound in our bedroom?? ;)

The past couple of weeks have been sort of the-calm-before-the-storm part of the moving process, and so we've been trying to take advantage of it...

{Dave, reading with the boys}

{me, snuggling with the baby}
We're trying really hard to remind ourselves that it's these momemts that are still the most important, even in the midst of all of the house deadlines, paperwork & packing.  I don't want to rush any of this goodness away.  We'll forget the messy jumble of moving memories but these are the ones I want more of.   

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

Tick Tock... The Obsession Doesn't Stop

This weekend my sister-in-law and I were discussing their upcoming trip to Paris and I told her how I was dying to go to the Paris Flea Market.  Which got me thinking if I could buy one piece in Europe what would it be.  And after all these years of loving Mora, I believe it would still be a Swedish clock.
And don't forget, the One King's Lane Blogger Tastemaker Sale ends in just a few hours!

Sunday, 26 August 2012

Quiet Time

Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer. Romans 12:12

Friday, 24 August 2012


The first round of my favorites on the One Kings Lane Blogger Tastemaker Sale I posted have sold but these (with a couple more of my items) are still left which I do in fact love.

More pretty items from the rest of the bloggers still available too!  Sale ends Monday!

A Few Of My Pieces

The One King's Lane Blogger Tastemaker Sale featuring vintage/unique items is now in full swing.  A lot has been sold but there are still a lot of amazing items left.  Here are some of mine that I LOVE that as of this morning were available.

The iron lamps above are one-of-a-kind antique iron with gorgeous linen shades, same regarding the large wall sconces below.  They are STUNNING in person, the pictures really don't do them justice.

 Another favorite of mine is this glass pendant.  So pretty and delicate, I see it over a reading nook somewhere.  If it doesn't sell, I have already found three places for it in my house.  This I think would be my problem if I ever opened a store, I would want to keep everything!  
These are just a few, head on over to check out the sale before it closes...or sells out!

 While you are there you can also learn more about the bloggers involved...

Thursday, 23 August 2012

Ready, Set, Shop!!! One King's Lane Sale Now Up

The One King's Lane Blogger Tastemaker Sale is now up!  Every item is one of a kind so grab while you can!

Client Picture

Last week we snapped this shot while shooting more of this client's house.  You have already seen some of this nursery here, but I had to post this one because it captures even more of the sweetness.  More pictures coming next week.

Wednesday, 22 August 2012

Finding Large Scale Botanical Prints

So, as you may have noticed, I have a thing for botanicals.  Small-scale botanicals are fairly easy to find- in books, on etsy, ebay, calendars, flea markets, antique shops, etc. (they're usually all bookplates or copies of bookplates so the size is no larger than the book) but large-scale botanicals aren't always as easy to come by. 
{Reproduction Cowslip & anemone botanical charts in our family room by The Evolution Store}
I've managed to get my hands on a few & when Erin @ The Impatient Gardener asked me where I'd found them, I thought I'd share some of my sources in a post.   (I hope you won't think I'm a one-trick pony when you see how many botanicals I've used in projects!!  I just have a serious passion for them!! ;)   The reproduction German education charts in my family room (above) are from The Evolution Store.    They have a wide (and gorgeous!)selection of botanicals, and in particular, a lot with black backgrounds, which are higher-contrast and feel bolder and more modern than those with light backgrounds.   I wanted my charts quickly & I needed a  pair, so going vintage wasn't really an option for me this time.  When I got the charts, I spent some time beating them up- I roughed up the edges a little and rolled and unrolled them a bunch, wrinkling them- so they'd more resemble my vintage ones.  I also splurged for the wooden dowels vs. the plastic dowels.  (ps- it's ridiculous that I spent all of this time making my new charts look old when I'm so careful & gentle with my old ones. hahaha  irony.)
The charts can be hung on nails like mine (above) or framed like these:
 {Room by S. Gambrel and the botanicals look like framed charts to me....  The Evolution Store carries all of these exact prints.}
The vintage botanical chart that sparked this post (below) is in my laundry room.  I found it at an antique store.  Any time I see rolled up vintage educational charts in a store, I go digging.  I unroll every single one and buy all of the ones that I love.  I keep them until the right project comes along. 
...And it always does. 
I found the mushroom chart in my middle son's nursery (below) at German Favorite Antiques, a local antique store in Leesburg, Virginia.  They have a nice selection of charts, though most that I've seen in the past are industrial / machine parts charts. 
Some of my favorite overscale botanicals are actual pressed botanicals or copies of actual pressed botanicals.  If you plan on buying actual pressed overscale botanicals, then get your wallet ready for it because they're not cheap (but OH MY GOSH THEY ARE BEAUTIFUL & I looooooooove them & do think it's worth the splurge if it's something you're passionate about...  Did you just hear me give myself an excuse to get one some day?? ;) ;))  BUT, there are a few posters around of overscale pressed botanicals. carries these ginko leaves and they are so perfect:
Actual pressed plants will eventually fade over time whereas copies of the plants won't.
I wanted to do something similar but a little more personal for some clients of ours so, their kids & I went outside & found some pretty leaves from their back yard (from tulip trees.)  I took the leaves home and laid them out on my scanner and scanned them in.  Then I sent the images to an online company to have them blown up and printed on stretched canvas.  (below)
I came across this botanical (below) out at the Old Lucketts Store in Leesburg and I think it's a framed chart of a marsh marigold.

I found these two prints for a client's dining room (below) at Natural Curiosities, whose art work I love.  They purchase & acquire the rights to antique & vintage prints and reproduce them, often in large scale.  Everything from Natural Curiosities is even better in person than in photos because they "age" their papers and try to painstakingly replicate the originals. 


...Another great source for overscale botanicals (mostly charts) is etsy.  There are sellers selling actual vintage charts & there are a bunch selling new charts in the vintage style.  (Many of the new educational charts are actually being made on the very same machines that the originals were made on...  they are just 2012 versions of the originals, kind of like reprinting of books.  The vintage charts found online are typically more expensive than the new ones.)  It's sometimes hard to tell if a seller is selling vintage charts or reproductions so be sure to ask if  you're unsure. 

Anyway, I'm off for the day, but have a great one!!

ps- My blog was recently redone by my blog friend Carolyn V of Life in Graz Pittsburg & she is amazing!!!!  I've had such a great experience with her and you need to check out her adorable nursery!!!  (for her brand new baby, Alexander!!!)  Also, my other talented blog friend, Emily Thompson of Indie Shopography, did my online store ( and she is awesome too!!  I can't recommend both of them enough!!

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

BIG Announcement!!!

I have been asked by....

To be a part of their upcoming Blogger Tastemaker Sale which will feature ALL vintage/unique itmes!!!  And let me tell you, this designer could not be happier!!!
My excitement was only increased when I found out who would be doing the sale with me!

Amber from Amber Interiors
Camilla from Effortless Style
Caitlin from Sacramento Street
Kelly from Kelly Market
Christian from Maison 21
Marisa from Style Beat

The sale will start Thursday (8/23) afternoon.  More details though coming tomorrow!

Tuesday, 21 August 2012

Our Laundry Room & Some Goodness

Since we're leaving so soon (we close in 8 days & move soon after!) I thought I'd share a few before & afters of some of the few spaces in my house that I haven't taken a million photos of.  Today it's the laundry room & I've never taken "after" photos of it because it's never been neat enough to take pics of.  oh well. 

Enter staging your home to sell and it gets there.  (We left our house with laundry the day of our open house!!)  SO I've been enjoying it for the past few weeks :)

Here's what it looked like when we moved in 3 years ago...

We didn't really change much at all.  I added curtains & a jute rug & some storage pieces.  I was proud of myself for making the little cafe curtains out of a ferny fabric.  They remind me of something my Grandma Maestranzi would have made for her lake cottage.

  I hung a botanical chart over the washer & dryer to hide the electrical box, which made the bggest difference to me:

Before the open house I had a glass collection on the countertop but I packed it all up and switched it with a laundry basket.

{My little bird print left too}

The shelves are filled with random things...

{wrapping paper & potting stuff}

My laundry is pretty much caught up (but it's the FOLDING OF CLEAN LAUNDRY (!!!)  that we're behind on.)

{see how empty this thing is??  You should see my bedroom though!! argggg}

... About a week ago I received a beautiful package in the mail from Gracious Style full of laundry goodies by Le Blanc & The Laundress.  Let me start by saying I don't like doing laundry. 

At all. 

 I have the strongest sense of smell though & I am for real when I say that I've actually kind of enjoyed doing laundry since I've gotten my goodies. 

The packaging is so pretty and the SMELLS-  OH MY!!!!!!!!

{LeBlanc Linenpress...  haven't used it yet.  Sadly, I rarely iron.}

The SMELL of the LeBlanc stuff is HEAVEN!!!!! Just sooooo good!!!! It's crazy.

They sent the Blue Violet scent and I am totally loving it!!!  The dryer sachet (not sure if that's the right name!!  good for 16 washes) is CRAZY.  My laundry smells sooooo good & I can't stop going in there to take whiffs!!!  (It's right near my office) 

I also sprayed some of this (below) on the things that I'd hung to dry for more goodness:

And I poured some of this in with my regular detergent:

 I can't believe what a difference all the goodies have made so far in my once-dreaded chore!!!  I am not just saying this...  This stuff is crazy good.  I'm scared I'm addicted and won't be able to go back to the regular stuff.  I think it's going to have to go on my Christmas wishlist.
Thanks so much to Gracious Style for letting me try out these yummy products!!  To get some of your own, go here
...But I still need a little elf to come fold at night while we're sleeping...

ps-  I normally shy away from doing any sort of product reviews because it usually feels like homework and I don't want to have to worry about writing a review of something I don't like, but I'd been wanting to try some different laundry products for a while now so I said yes.  So glad I did!!

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