Wednesday, March 30, 2011

The Non-Emergency Design Emergency

Tomorrow is our final installation day for the DC Design Showhouse. We have almost everything installed except for the custom concrete parsons table (which I've just been informed is non-existent due to it breaking into pieces). SO my assistant and I are off to the design center today in a mad dash to find a replacement table.

Wish us luck that a showroom manager takes pity on us, because we need this piece TOMORROW!

Ps. I truly stand by the belief that there is no such thing as a design emergency. (That is, unless I come home tonight emptyhanded ;)

We'll be twittering during our search today!

xoxo, Lauren

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

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Little Victims... Photoshoot Prep

Since Spring isn't really doing its thing quickly enough for me, I am seriously craving green:

I love what plants do for rooms.  Sometimes when I look at magazine rooms and cover up the plants/ flowers in them, they seem pretty lifeless.  There's something about a pretty explosion of green (no matter how small) that I just love.  
Our house looks like a greenhouse right now because I picked up a ton of plants for the DC Design House and some upcoming photoshoots I'm doing with my good friend & photographer, Helen Norman next week.  This little orange tree will sit in a kitchen I recently finished with a vintage-styled green subway tile backsplash & dark walnut cabinets:

I found this cool pot at Merrifield Garden Center and filled it with this pretty little guy (I already forgot his name) for my room in the showhouse:

Love these moss pots:

And this gardenia is staying in my office for a while because it just smells like Heaven:

I picked up a bunch of herbs  & topiaries for another kitchen:

I truly love plants.  But I'm not very good with them.  They tend to die here.  My house is sort of like a plant hospice. 

...BUT...  the other day my assistant Meghan said I had a "green thumb." 
I have played this compliment over and over in my head since then and even relayed it to my husband who argues she must have been being sarcastic. 

I'm hoping I can change.  I'm really trying. 
There are plants in my house that have been here since September.  Yay.

ps- loved all the comments from yesterday about vines.  It's so fun to see that dialogue between the "romantics" and the "practicals."  I definitely fall on the romantic side, but it's sort of like eating cookie dough...  I'm sure once I got my first case of salmonella, I'd be done with cookie dough. 

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

Monday, March 28, 2011

Climbing Vines

I've always wanted climbing vines on my house.  I remember reading a book when I was a little girl that pictured a red brick house covered in ivy and how I wanted it.  Yeah, I know, it's bad for the house, but I love it anyway.  There's something so incredible about a wall of green and vines growing up a home. It blurs the line between the home and the land, which is something that the houses I truly love all have in common.

{Betsy Burnham}

I attemped to grow jasmine vines up a trellis in front of our house last year but they died in a harsh winter storm.

{image from}

Now I'm holding out for an evergreen clematis, which I grew up all over a fence in our old townhome and really took a beating.  I'm having a hard time finding it again though.  The last garden center I stopped at asking for it looked at me like I was nuts.  :(

{image by Cassie Lee}

I would go nutty for this on my front walkway steps:

{image from}

I might try it although I'm not sure if the treads on my stairs are deep enough.

{Image by Galen Frysinger}

Climbing vines give buildings a sense of permanance. 

{image from}

I love it when they completely take over like this:

{image from}

And I cannot get over this ivy-covered turret:

{image via}

And, finally, here's a secret garden:

{image by Gap Photos}

What I wouldn't give for a secret garden.
If I could completely wall in my backyard with hedges & vines, I would.  I'm a pretty social person but I do love private outdoor spaces.  

I am soo ready for March's lion to give way to the lamb. 
It's time.

Come on Spring!

xoxo, Lauren

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

Sunday, March 27, 2011

My New Adirondack Chairs

For my birthday a couple of weeks ago, we went out and bought a pair of Adirondack chairs.  I'd been wanting them for years and was excited about finally getting some.  As the clerk gave me my receipt, she said, "Make sure you never leave them out in the rain, or they'll split."  Are you kidding me??  We get crazy weather here and yes, they will get wet!  The chairs sat unassembled in the boxes for a week.   I was concerned that they wouldn't even last a year.  My husband was thinking the same thing and researched building plans for them.  He had me return the chairs and immediately went out and got wood to get started.

I didn't take pictures of the mess from planing down all of the wood, but let's just say our trash was very full and very dusty for two weeks!

They are coming together nicely! 

He put cork plugs in all of the screw holes.  80 holes per chair! 
The piece that's missing is so he can reach the screw holes in the back of the chair.  He assures me that he will be attaching that piece before he is done.  :)

The corks have been sanded down and the final piece has been attached.

Done!  I am so happy!

(I do realize that a picture of this chair outside in the sun would be soooo much better, but since it's still snowing and yucky here, that picture will have to wait... )


Amazingly enough, these beauties ended up costing less than the cheap-o, don't-get-them-wet ones!
  I guarantee we will enjoy these much more and for a lot longer.  I love when I get homemade gifts and I will certainly treasure these!

Thanks for coming by!  I appreciate your visits and comments.


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Friday, March 25, 2011

I am Not a Fan of Crazy Spring Weather!

Two days ago I was outside in shorts--probably not a good look with how wintery-white my legs are right now--but it was beautiful outside!  I was able to cut back the perennials that I didn't get to this fall and do some general clean up in the yard.  I even saw this bird checking out the birdhouse for a potential new home.

My bulbs are slowly, slowly making their way up.  Good thing since none of the perennials are ready yet!

The weeping cherry is starting to get buds.  You can bet I'll do another post when this beauty is in full bloom!

And now today....

I know it's not a lot of snow, so I am not complaining too much (but still complaining!)

I did hear on the news last night that March, April and May are the wettest months in our area.  Darn it, why did I have to hear that??

I hope it's sunny and beautiful wherever you are today!  Please soak up some of the sun for me.  We're supposed to be stormy till next Wednesday....

Thank you so much for coming by.  I really appreciate your visits and comments!


Thursday, March 24, 2011

The Mad Hatter & a question

The Mad Hatters arrived today for my room in the DC Design House and I am in love:

{My first Mad Hatter Wing Chair with a taupe velvet in front.. remember flash makes furniture look bad but people look better ;)  }

I had recently seen pictures sent from the factory of the chairs and knew that they looked exactly as planned but didn't know until I sat in them that they'd be exactly what I wanted.  They are sooooooo comfortable...  And they're big and they surround you and make you feel seriously cozy.  (Can you see how tall the back is?? And I'm a tall person.)  You can sit in normally and really easily snuggle up with a kid or pet, or you can turn sideways & pull up your feet and it's perfect. 
Here's the side view which shows off the insanely gorgeous Michael Smith / Jasper Fabric called Grace (in Willow).  (Available through John Rosselli in DC) 
I could take a nap in this chair: 

Our curtains & pillows will come in on Monday and I cannot wait to see the Peter Dunham fabrics!!  I'm also mixing in a few of my own along with some others so it should be pretty collected-feeling. 

We hung art work today and I've been looking at the photos, wondering if what I selected is too disjointed?  I approached the room as I would have a room in my own home, so instead of choosing pieces that work perfectly together, I went from my gut with pieces that I loved.  Looking over the photos tonight, I can't tell if it looks like a totally crazy person did it or if it has that only-slightly-crazy Alice-in-Wonderland-feel that I love...   I am toying with the idea of swapping out some of the more random pieces for ones that fit a little better (it is a showhouse after all)...  or keeping it real and a bit off the way I typically do in my more personal spaces. 

Any thoughts???

xoxo, Lauren

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

Move-in Day!

We move into our room at the DC Decsign House today!!  I CANNOT WAIT to see the Madhatter chairs from my new line in person.  (They're covered in the most beautiful Michael Smith floral.)  They arrived at our shipping warehouse this morning at 6:45 AM, just in time.  They are our first prototypes.

{sooo excited}

Our Stark rug is arriving along with the chairs and we're hanging the paintings & prints today.  The custom concrete piece I'm having made BROKE last night when it was being moved at the factory so we're in a bit of a pinch to get it finished in time.  eeeksters!! 

We'll be doing twitter updates today- first time ever so we'll see how it goes- on the process.  To follow, go here. 

Wish us luck that nothing else breaks & have a great day!! 

xoxo, Lauren

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

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

German Favorite Antiques

This weekend I headed to one of my absolute favorite antique stores- German Favorite Antiques in Leesburg, VA-  with my best friends from college visiting, to pick up some items formy room in the DC Design House.

{Gorgeous wooden angel...  not in the DC Design House room }

They have the most interesting things- many of them found in Germany & sent over by the container.  I picked up an incredible antique drop-leaf table with the most beautiful patina to sit in the showhouse room along with some paintings, etchings and books.

{There're always interesting collections of every day objects a German Favorite Antiques.}

Most items in the entire DC Design House will be for sale with a percentage of the proceeds going to Children's Hospital.  All of the items from German Favorite Antiques in my room will be for sale.

I found the cuckoo clock for my baby Justin's nursery @ German Favorite Antiques:

And his old mushroom chart:

..And honestly waaaay too many things for me to recount.  I love this place.
Evelyn is always in to help you pick out that perfect something:

...And if you're in Leesburg shopping (which is such a fun day in this nice weather!) check out the restaurants!  I always forget the name of this one but it's one of our favorites.  It's something like Old Leesburg Inn or Pub or something like that. (If anyone leaves it in the comments I'll be sure to update :) 

{me & my "cheeses" as we refer to one another because we love each other as much- no definitely more- than cheese: muenster, chedda (me), feta and prov}

I'm not sure it gets better than best friends, shopping (without paying... the items are on loan) and eating.  (Our husbands & my kiddos were with us too...  and all were very patient.)  I had one of the best weekends I've had in a long time and I'm still laughing thinking about its ridiculousness.

xoxo, Lauren

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

Monday, March 21, 2011

I'm OK with this type of Scale

In honor of my Mom's birthday today, I wanted to show a collection that was inspired by her.  (But first, here's a picture of her along with me and my husband from a few years ago)  :)

When we were growing up, she had all sorts of great antiques, especially old scales.  She and I were shopping at the Portland Expo a few years ago and she found this one.  She was so excited to have found it in such good shape.
The couple she bought it from were so nice!  They invited us to their house later that night to see their extensive collection of scales, coke machines, general store memorabilia, etc.  It was the most fun ever!!  Not long after this trip, my Mom was diagnosed with cancer.  Eight months later, she lost her battle.  My Dad gave me this scale right after she died.  It absolutely means the world to me.  Every time I look at it, I remember how happy she was to find it and how much fun we had looking at the couple's collections!

I had been collecting my own scales via ebay, the Portland Expo, antique shows, etc.  Here are a few others that I love.

These are all fun as they are so tiny.  I'm always excited when I find them at antique shows. 

Most of my scales are candy or general store type scales, but some are scientific and postal scales.  The scientific scale on the middle shelf here was one of the first ones I bought.  I love the milk glass trays.
The burgundy Toledo scale is another of my Mom's that my Dad gave me.  Love, love, love it too!

Thanks for coming by.  I really appreciate your visits and comments!


p.s.   I would like to add a BIG THANK YOU to Lisa at Serendipity Chic Design  for sending me these salad tongs for winning her recent giveaway.  I love her blog and love these tongs!

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