Friday, 30 November 2012

I Am Going To Need Someone To Explain This To Me...

I have been seeing these Pop Phones everywhere.  I have to admit, I just don't understand the draw here.  Retro- check. Plenty of color choices- check.  It should be right up my alley but I feel like I am missing something.  I am thinking maybe it is a comfort thing but I could be wrong.  So, for those of you out there who own and love a Pop Phone please explain...I am all ears.
Above image West Elm but you can find these everywhere, EVERYWHERE.

Thursday, 29 November 2012

Sneak Peek

 This is the second time I have used this tile.  The first was in a herringbone pattern on a floor (picture coming) and now as a backsplash.   I love it.  
The hardware for this space is so pretty. 
More to come....

Wednesday, 28 November 2012

before & After: A Client's Home Featured In Small Rooms Decorating Magazine

A while back, I shared some before & midstage photos of a client's DC rowhouse.  When I was just about to have our third son (this past Spring) I did a photoshoot with my good friend & photographer Helen Norman & her assistant, F.J. Hughes.  I was so happy with how my clients' home turned out & the house ended up getting shot again for Small Room Decorating Magazine right after.  My clients actually fell for a new home in another area of DC & moved a couple of weeks after the shoot and so we're now onto the next project!  It was pretty much a whirlwind for my clients & I'm so appreciative of them for letting us invade their home for photoshoots multiple times. 

Here are a couple of 'before' pics of the home:

{My clients' dining room: They already had a GORGEOUS chandelier by Oly and really beautifully done window treatments.  The dining room functions as both a dining room and a sitting room and the dropleaf dining table itself moves under the window and becomes a console when the room transitions into a sitting room.  My clients purchased the settee so it could function for both spaces.}

Here's what their living room looked like before:

{As you can see, they already had some amazing pieces to work with & I love their style.  My goal was to warm up the space & to get it just right for them.}

One of the first things we did was repaint the main areas of the home in ivory & to repaint the doors black for some contrast & interest & to bounce the black accents throughout the room:

We used many of their own pieces & added new pieces to create a sort of modern mix of old & new.  To see all of my plans for the spaces, click here. 

Here's the before:

And here's the 'after':

We rearranged the furniture & floated the daybed so that it coule be accessed from both sides.  We added a pair of clean-lined linen wing chairs for a cozy spot to hang. 

We added a mix of textured, patterned and hand block-printed fabrics for some energy & interest:

{Dark brown & white pillow fabric & ottoman fabric by Raoul Textiles, and center paisley pillow is one of mine, "live paisley."}

We flanked the existing sofa with two large iron & cement tables to hold loads of books & magazines. 

Below, the lamp is a custom creation by my friend, lighting designer, Rick Singleton.  The photographs are taken from the oversized German Magazine, The Manipulator, and I found them at Avery Studios.  The frames were beautifully hand painted by another friend, artist, John Matthew Moore.  I wanted them hung so that they intersected slightly with the wing chairs for a more layered, relaxed look.  I love how the little kitty is peeking out from between the two chairs.  We went with a clear glass cocktail table because even though the room looks open & expansive, it's really fairly small & we wanted to keep it feeling open & airy.

A little workspace is carved out of the living room:

Here's the view from their loft bedroom above, which I really love. The wood floors transition to the deck floors just outside:

Here's the dining room below:

Here's the dining room "after"--

The vintage BRNO chairs we found were covered in hairy cream cowhide.  The painting is from one of my favorite Natural Curiosities collections by Paule Marrot, the French painter, engraver & textile designer who did most of her work between the 1920s and 1950s.  As a decorator, there's nothing more exciting than when you find clients who are willing to go outside the box and who are open to atypical things.   

Here's another view of the dining room:

The leaves on the table were honeysuckle branches from my yard and I really love how they looked & smelled.  I don't have any at our new house & think I need to get some.

To see the rest of the photos of other areas of the home (including a little sprucing up we did in the master bedroom) and the dining room set up as both a sitting room and a dining room, check out the current issue of Small Room Decorating Magazine.  The article was produced by Charlotte Safavi & shot by Helen Norman.  I haven't been able to pick up my copy yet & it doesn't seem like the magazine is sold everywhere but I have seen it at my grocery store & in bookstores.  Thanks so much to everyone who put the article together & especially to my clients for being so open to the design process & for letting it all happen!!

Hope you enjoyed!!

If you'd like help creating a home you absolutely love, contact me about our design services.
ps- All of the pretty photos in this post were taken by Helen too ;)

An Oldie...

I wanted a client to see a picture that had been around for a while and after some digging I found what I was looking for...
Now if I could just find the proper source.  Anyone know?

*Update: Thanks to my friend Jennifer I can tell you this space is by Nicholas Haslam

Monday, 26 November 2012

Our kitchen

Our kitchen is coming together- and true to the impatient child that lives inside of me- I've moved in. 

 I found a bunch of my vintage oil paintings & hung them above the sink as I've been planning to do for months and it makes me soooooo happy.  Yes, I know, there's still painting & electrical to be done & cabinets to attach, but my artwork is up.  I try to ignore the blue painter's tape, open electrical outlets & such and just focus on the finished parts of the kitchen.  (It works surprisingly well when you are cooking for the first time in 3 months!!! yay!!)

Our island- which will be covered in reclaimed wood from the Lorimer Workshop in Rhode Island- and topped in honed marble- will be finished in a few weeks.  For now, I got a piece of navy gingham oicloth to put over our plywood.  (I think I'm going to keep it for really messy days- ie kids' art & craft projects & pizza parties ;)

{Our contractors worked really hard to make our kitchen functional for us on Thanksgiving & stayed late -when I know they wanted to be at home with their families- getting the appliances hooked up the night before.  We did a turkey (rotisserie style ;) in the oven & are just so thankful for everything.  I know there are many out there who are dealing with storm damage & who are trying to piece back together their homes, which is really tough & our thoughts have been with them.}

Here's a photo of the main wall in the kitchen, where the range is (and hood will be)...

{I love my range.  I didn't think it was possible to love an appliance but I sort of do.  It looks good and cooks food faster than any oven/stove we've ever had before.  We've always inherited our appliances with our houses and so this house is the first time we've done research & purchased what we really want.  There is SUCH a difference, I had NO IDEA. Crazy.}

Here's a picture of a beef (before we cooked it) on Saturday for some friends...

Now, more about this range.  (The Smeg Opera--- discontinued but I was able to find one.  There is a newer model available, but as far as I've been able to tell, it doesn't come with the rotisserie function.  BUT...  there are stands you can buy to put in any convection oven to make rotisserie-style food.)  It's Italian as was pointed out to me.  (I thought it was Australian because in my serach for rotisserie Smegs, I could only find them on the Smeg Australia site so I got completely confused.)  BUT-  THIS THING IS AMAZING.  Again, I've never purchased my own appliances before and I've never cooked on any high-end appliances before so what I'm comparing it to is generally the lowest available range from Home Depot, but hot damn!!  It's crazy!!! 

We overcooked the scrambled eggs on the first morning because we didn't know eggs could even cook that quickly.  We turned around & they were done.  (We had gas burners at our last house too but this one has much higher BTUs I guess...  I got it because it was pretty. ;)  (And came with good reviews.)

I searched for hours for this thing and looked at lots of different brands- all online- before coming to my decision.  I wanted an affordable professional style range (which for us, ruled out many of the higher-end brands like Wolf or LaCanche- MY DREAM ;) that looked good & had good reviews.  Having a rotisserie function was something on my dream wish list and I pretty much flipped out when I found one that had it all.  (To check out some more ranges I found that looked good, go here.)

I am really liking some of my other appliances too, so when I get the chance, I'll post on them too. 

And finally, just wanted to share a quick pic I snapped (when I was in my Norman Bates rocker holding the baby this morning) out our loft window...  Watching the sunrise with the boys has become one of my favorite things...  It's so peaceful and recharges me somehow:

I hope your Thanksgiving was special & that you find some quiet time in the holiday whirlwind we're now entering into!!

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

Back Into The Swing of Things

 Last week we headed to Nashville with window seat cushions for a client in tow.  They looked great! 
 We had a great few days with family, lots of sweet memories were made.
I hope you all had a wonderful break and I hope today is not too hard as we get into the swing of things.

Thursday, 22 November 2012


I hope you all have a wonderful, fulfilling and peaceful Thanksgiving.  I am so thankful for each of you who read H&H, you make every day better.  xx, Marianne

Image Here

Tuesday, 20 November 2012

Our Stair Rail is in!!

Our iron stair rail went in and I wanted to share some pics with you.  I spent a lot of time pouring over images of railings and figuring out just exactly what I wanted.  We worked with Tom Owens of Herndon Ironworks and his railing is truly beautiful.  It's really special to be able to work with true craftspeople on our home and to be able to do things that are a bit outside of the "box."

 {Tom Owens- bottom left- & his team of craftsmen. They are all so good at what they do!!}

For our railing, I wanted something that felt both modern & old at the same time.  It's simple & clean and spare and has a beautiful patina. 

When I visited Herndon IronWorks (literally a mile away from our old house) Tom & I looked around the shop so we could determine the finish I was after. 

We soon found out that I was drawn to the metals that had aged naturally over time vs. any faux aged finishes.  Everything I liked was outside & had weathered to a rusty black. 

To get the finish I wanted, Tom set the new iron for our railing outside & let it weather for a few weeks. 

{We used 1/2 inch square pickets for our rails, seen at the top left of the above photo}

The end of the top rail is a lamb's tongue that gently swirls into a sort of vine around the post:

It's the slightest bit of curve & "pretty" & quirk in an otherwise very spare & clean design.  I love little elements like this & it's sort of a microcosm for how I like rooms to feel. 

You might remember that our stairs were originall very steep, and so to make them a bit more manageable for our boys (and us! ;)  CarrMichael Constrution put new stairs in.  I wanted to be able to see the sides of the stairs & to have the drywall go right into the steps themselves without a stringer, so Mike Carr (owner of CarrMichael) made it happen.  Here's what the stairs looked like before:

{Justin, my very sweet little man}

...And here they are now:

{two other sweet ones- Dave & Ashby} 

 The temporary door at the top of the stairs & the wooden horizontal old railings will both be removed & we've got lots of cleaning up to so (walls, woodwork, etc.) but we're on our way!!  I love how the pickets attach directly into the drywall.  The curve into the drywall and are out farther than the stair treads, so they actually make the stairs even wider than before because there's so much more usable space on them. 

I'm so happy with how everything turned out & I really can't thank everyone who was involved enough.  It takes so many hours & brains to really come up with something good & it's definitely worth it!!  To read more about my stair inspiration, click here.

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

Monday, 19 November 2012

Under Construction

 Not only is the office getting a fresh coat of paint......
Our bathroom is also getting a big facelift.  Living in chaos...not so much fun.
I am sure it will all be worth it though once it is done!

Thursday, 15 November 2012

I Already Loved Sue...Then There Was A Lion

Do you watch the show The Middle?  If not you should, it is good.  Just when I thought I could not like these two any more, Sue goes and finds a lion door knocker.

I have to tell you, there are few things I love more for a house than a good knocker and if you have been reading this blog for a while you know I love a lion.  A few years ago I started working with a new client and when I walked up to her door and spied this, I knew we would get along just fine.
She moved, the lion moved with her, I was relieved.  So where is my lion knocker?  That is an excellent question.  I have looked and looked at Scott's, antique stores, etc. but I have never pulled the trigger.  It is time that changed and I think the answer comes from Ebay.  Two I am eying...

 First image ABC, Episode Here

Wednesday, 14 November 2012

Explanation & Norman Bates' Mom

Yesterday I posted about feeling like I was barely treading water...  Thank  you so much for the kind notes & emails & phone calls and I'm so sorry to have worried anyone!!  I really am doing fine, I'm just a little overwhelmed with having so much on our plates right now.  I'm not sure if I can explain in it any other way other than that I'm (and it's not just me, it's my husband too) stretched really thin right now but that I'm truly excited about everything we've got going on.  I'm so happy with how our house is turning out and my boys are at such a fun age...  I wish I could spend every moment with them...

I just feel like there aren't enough hours in the day & I feel like I'm dropping balls left & right.  I'm trying so hard for the balls not to be work balls but it doesn't leave much time to take care of things at home and with our house. 

This year, Christian entered kindergarten & I am getting my first taste of how much involvement schools want/need from their parents.  We want to be involved & all of the things the school's putting together are amazing, but we're finding it really hard to keep up...   ESPECIALLY without a kitchen. (Bakesale goods on Friday? hahahahahah  I will most likely be employing the I Don't Know How She Does it Method,which consists of a grocery store dessert that's been lovingly "distressed" a bit ;) ;)    (I'm not sure if I'm kidding or not.)  It's hard enough to get a lunch together ("Lunchables" for today & more days than I'd like to admit.. uggg) and a clean kid out the door, let alone anything else. 

{I WISH this was Christian's lunch.}

I am so behind on phonecalls & emails with my friends & family & blog friends, and feel like I'm not really there for anyone, even though I want to be.  I find myself thinking of everyone and that I'll call them or email them "after work" but by the time I finish up at night, (I've been working late a lot) I just need to be with my kids who are dying for some attention.  (I can think of no less than 20 friends/family members who I need to get in touch with.)  In the grand scheme--- I KNOW these are normal problems to have, and I really am fine... It's just sometimes it can be a bit overwhelming.  I don't want to let anyone down.  I am running around like a madwoman & probably shouldn't even be spending this much time complaining to you ;) ;)

SO...  Here's the post I've been trying to post for over a week or so now, with  maybe 5 minutes at a whack.  (When I sat down to try to finally finish it yesterday, something came up at work so I quickly threw the dog treading water pic up to let you know where I was at.).....

Whenever I look at houses, I find the one element that really makes me love a space is good natural lighting.  In our new (old) house, I loved all of the large windows throughout the house & knew that if we added more, it could be just right. 


{after:  we added two floor to ceiling windows and widened the space between them for a larger fireplace wall}

In the kitchen, we added a second window to balance out the assymetrical location of the first window, which i love!!--

In our master bedroom, we took out the entire wall and replaced it with a massiving sliding glass door for a view into our courtyard.  (My computer isn't letting me attach pics from our network right now so just imagine it, sorry!!)


I can now say that I am a window addict.  I want to add them wherever possible.  In our upstairs loft, I orginally wanted to add one window in between the two existing ones so that we'd have a better view.  Here's what it looks like now:

{The loft"----  our current living room, kitchen, dining room, everything.  Our clothes are in the dresser under the microwave.}

I sit in the swivel glider (which will be going in the baby's nursery when the house is finished) and turn it so I can see outside into our back yard...  The boys will sit on my lap and the baby falls to sleep whenever it's his turn.  Every weekend morning, I sit there like Norman Bates when he's dressed up like his mom, looking out the window:

{hopefully I'm slightly less creepy about it}

But it's really helped me find some peace inside & I love it.  This is the view:

We have deer in the area behind our yard & if we wake up early enough, we can see them playing on pretty much most mornings. We found a tick in the baby's ear over the weekend which is a bit worrisome.  :(  Its entire head was embedded in Luke's ear lobe and it took at least ten minutes to pull it out with tweezers while he screamed.  :(  I felt so terrible. (It had broken in half and the head was still stuck inside.)  After we got the tick out, I just held him and rocked him in the glider and he fell asleep clutching me & trying to catch his breath.  (We've taken him to the doctor and will be watching him for the next 3 weeks for signs of lyme disease but so far, he seems just fine.)

So now...  I think I might want to take out the wall and make it an entire wall of windows for a bigger view outside..   Could you imagine this as a wall of windows??:

We have to decide how low we want the windows to go because it's on the second floor but I am really leaning towards adding this on to our already too-many-projects list. 

Anyway, I'm off for the day- and thanks so much for bearing with me.  Big hug.  (And I'm sorry I worried anyone!!)

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