The color designer followed these rules:
The new sushi restaurant in Rosemary Beach, Florida, sports “PURE” glass counters.
The PURE countertop type is so new that it isn’t to be found anywhere on Google.
And, the only fabricating company that I know of installing this product is
in northwest Florida.
A quick check to the staff at Aqua Sushi confirmed that they all “love it.”
It just looks so fresh and clean.
I am going to say this new product is a keeper.
(A similar product that I have been keeping an eye on is called Nano,
but I am hearing that PURE is a better product).
Bossy granite is what I try to steer clients away from.
Bossy granite = lots of color and/or movement.
“Bossy” elements dictate every other design decision.
Even though granite was all the rage for the last 15 years (after the Corian trend played out),
More and more people are asking, “what can I use besides granite?”
Suzy, the owner of Z-Tile, where I first saw PURE, is Green-Certified. She says that PURE is
considered a very environmentally-friendly product.
I predict we’ll be seeing a lot more of PURE.
Still waiting for spring. It is still very cool and rainy here in Alabama.
I have a trio of Yoshino cherry trees in front of my house.
They are at peak, but need a little sunshine to set them off.
A Viburnum is just behind the pictured cherry.
Its lime-colored globes (which will later turn white)
are gorgeous in back of the pastel pink cherry.
The spring colors of nature.
If you have noticed that many shelter magazines are showing not one, but two,
chandeliers over a dining-room table, you are picking up on something.
And, that something is a trend.
Not just a trend, but a trendy-trend.
For a classic, timeless, look, stick with a single chandelier over your dining room table.
Save the pair for a long hall .
Trust me on this one.
This is a trend, it will not last, and in five years it will announce:
“I decorated my dining room in 2013.”
Save the two chandelier/two lantern look for something like the above.
That is a timeless look that never goes out of style.
THANK YOU, LORD,
for the gift of Your love.
May I be a shining
example of that love to others.
Welcome, Happy Morning!
My Easter Menu:
Honey Baked Ham
Crêpes with chicken and gruyère
Panna Cotta (click for recipe) with blackberry garnish
A French friend gave me her authentic crêpe recipe which I will share with you:
“CRÊPES de Laurette
1 1/2 – 2 cups flour [note from Ellen: I used 2 cups]
1/4 tsp. salt
2-3 TBS. oil
4-5 cups milk [note from Ellen: I used 4 1/4 cups]
Put flour + salt in bowl.
Make a well in the middle and add eggs.
Start beating and slowly add 1/4 cup milk.
Make a paste to get the lumps out.
With a mixer add the rest of the milk until well blended.
Let batter sit for 1/2 hour.
(It can last for 3-4 days in fridge)
Over medium high heat put vegetable oil in pan and pour
a little batter in center.
Swirl batter to sides of pan immediately.
In 1-3 minutes flip crêpe and cook side 2
for another minute or two.
Apply oil before you cook each crêpe. They can be stacked
Add cheese to cooked crêpe (swiss cheese) and salt.
Dessert crêpes can be room temp.
Laure can make 40 in one hour!
(or 2 pans 80 in one hour!)”
(recipe of Laure Graves)
I am no good with all the wrist-y finessing required for a stove-top crêpe pan,
but I can do pretty well with an electric crêpe maker!
Readers, what are your Easter plans?
Did you know that different types of marble have different densities?
The more dense the marble, the less porous it is.
Higher density means less staining.
Alabama White (quarried just a few miles from where I live) is one of the whitest, densest, most beautiful marble types.
It is considered equal to the famous Italian Carrara (frequently misspelled Carrera) marble.
Alabama White marble was used in the Washington Monument.
The bust of Abraham Lincoln at the U.S. Capitol Rotunda? Also, Alabama White.
(I believe this is the right one, there are several marble busts of Lincoln at the Capitol building)
The Lincoln Memorial? My source says that the ceiling is Alabama White. Not sure you can see it, though!
U.S. Supreme Court Building? Interiors are full of Alabama White.
Here is a marble top I just received in Alabama White.
To go on this antique French garden table.
It will be permanently outdoors. I consider it a little slice of history to have Alabama White.
Alabama White is prized for its crystalline structure. It will be fine outdoors.
For a table-top or small counter, ask your fabricator if there is a scrap piece
which is large enough. You will get a much better price than a slab price.
That late 1970s/early 1980s disco song keeps rummaging
through my head.
You see, we just installed this darling marine bell at the beach home of a family member.
We installed it to relate to the door, without being too close to interfere
with normal comings and goings.
It has the nicest, most welcoming cling-clang.
Adorable anchor-motif backplate.
Genuine marine-grade rope pull.
So much more “beachy” than a regular electric doorbell.
We set out light refreshments at my ladies’ study club meetings. Yesterday was my turn to host.
We learned about Diana Vreeland.
Our topic this year has been “Legendary Ladies of Style.”
It was also our topic last year, we just loved it so much we kept going!
Babe Paley, Dorothy Draper, Gloria Vanderbilt, Marella Agnelli, Lee Radziwill to name a few.
Someone said, Ellen, you should take pictures of the table.
(There were a few tarts and berries already gone by this point.)
I thought you would enjoy these photos of the offerings:
chicken salad and pimiento cheese finger sandwiches
mini-cheesecake bites topped with fresh blackberries (top photo)
Mrs. Vreeland would have approved of the huge strawberries.
She absolutely adored the color red.
Fascinating life, fascinating woman.
She “discovered” Lauren Bacall. Now, that was a discovery!
Aren’t these the cutest eggs?
They are a treasured memory from my mother and father to my children, one or two every Easter.
The detail is adorable.
when you need a chandelier, your designer spots this
chinoiserie chandelier for a song in a local antique store:
I am really loving the cleaner lines of a full-drop bedspread.
With mattress depths all over the yardstick: 9 to 22 inches deep,
a ready-made option will rarely work, with standard drop
[measurement from the seam to the floor] about 28″.
A good design professional can guide you through fabric and tailoring options.
What do you think?
Have you read, a million times, that marble will etch?
What exactly does that mean?
Having lived with a marble counter on my wet bar, I knew that there were some marks
that just would not come off. After eight years, there were a lot of those marks.
Mostly “rings” from a glass of juice or a perhaps a bottle of red wine.
A lemon slice placed on the counter. Or a splash of tomato juice.
I get it now.
That is etching.
Do you have marble counters?
THIS IS ETCHING:
Does that look familiar? The above is not my etched counter. Mine was actually worse.
No amount of elbow grease is going to remove etching.
Etching is different from staining.
Marble that has been sealed is resistant to staining.
But, not etching. From my research, I will tell you that sealing marble can not prevent etching.
A chemical reaction has occurred to the marble and it can’t be changed.
A professional marble restoration company needs to be called in.
Look at my newly restored marble bar counter.
It was ground, re-honed and sealed. What a difference!
For those blessed with a second home at the shore
(or even a nice outbuilding such as a pool house)
you know what fun it is to mix it up a little bit.
And, anyway, it’s always fun to dream!
By that, I mean, you do something perhaps a little kooky, a little off-beat,
a little more colorful than you might select for your main house.
Because, in the main house, kooky can turn weird, off-beat can hit a sour note,
and vibrant color can grow cold on you, if you are seeing it day in and day out, all the time.
I first think of the gorgeous homes in Palm Beach.
Many of the seasonal residents live part of the year in much colder climes,
so they embrace the tropical lifestyle, for part of the year, in all its colored splendor.
And it works, beautifully:
They wouldn’t dream of having the same sort of decor in their Park Avenue Apartment, though.
Lovely though it is, it Just Wouldn’t Work.
What a treat it would be to open the front door of this little PB number
after a flight in from, say, snowy Boston:
Do you see what I mean by mixing it up a bit?
These are not rooms that you would have in a Buckhead home or anywhere else,
really, besides where they are.
There is a PLACE element that makes them totally wonderful for the location.
Perfect for Place.
This is a time that selected elements of whimsy can hit a home run rather than fall flat.
It means looking for unique elements that reflect both your taste and the PLACE.
A FEW totally charming ‘location’ pieces. With A Sense of PLACE:
An off-beat driftwood hanging light, perfect for this Beaufort-area beach home.
It says beach without screaming it.
Driftwood mirrors in a fun shape, Moravian star pendant. Perfect.
Ship lap on the walls adds the sense of place here:
Check out the green ceiling. And that quirky tobacco basket on the wall. Fabulous coastal casual.
Well, why not? This Australian beach cottage, below, has a simply framed trio of swimsuits,
The fancier the house, the more it can take on a bit more:
Hope you’ve enjoyed the little getaway! Do you have a favorite?
Now, what if you have TOO MUCH going on in the room, and want to quiet it down to something calmer like the below:
These are a few of my tips for calming a busy room:
I find that often people have lived with things so long, that they have completely tuned out something that is not working. A pair of fresh eyes can be invaluable in guiding your decisions.
Here is where using the right neutrals can make all the difference.
Replacing a wall color or multiple wall colors (i.e. accent wall) with the “right” neutral can really calm down a space. What is the right neutral? The one with the correct undertone.
After True Color Expert training with Maria Killam, I can see an undertone clashing a mile away. Even if you don’t understand undertones, you will know, “for some reason, that is not really working.”
This is to reduce visual clutter.
First place to start: personal framed photographs. Select a few that are particularly meaningful to keep out and display. Place the others in a beautiful archival leather photo album, and have it within reach on your family room coffee table. You will now be able to see ALL your photos.
Ask a friend with a great eye, or engage a design professional for two hours on a one-time basis. ASK what is worth keeping and what should go? Which also might include storing dated pieces, perking them up with a coat of paint, giving them away, or repurposing them.
There is hardly a room in existence that doesn’t benefit from a bit of freshening at least every 5 to 7 years. And, if you have consistently selected trendy over traditional, be prepared for an even shorter shelf life.
This is just one example, and happens to be something on my mind for a project.
Crown moulding should “read” as one piece.
This is what you want, below, trimmed out in one paint color from top of crown to bottom.
Generally should be semi-gloss, though sometimes I spec high gloss:
And, this is what you don’t want:
Layers of moulding, broken by layer(s) of painted sheetrock:
If you don’t have crown, a good design professional or your architect can tell you what is appropriate for adding this feature to your house. It will really add the finishing interest and elegance to a room to have the right crown moulding, properly chosen and installed.
Holding on to a lumpy sofa? Or a poorly made leather one?
Nothing dates a room faster.
Sofas need replacing or reupholstering about every six to eight years. Washable slipcovers can extend this.
If your family room sofa has been in its current state for 10 years (or more), it’s probably time.
Is your furniture the right scale for the space? Or, are you crowding every thing you own into a space, just because you have it?
Brickwork can be very tricky because it can date a room very quickly.
I know that many people (men) are hesitant to paint
Especially around a fireplace,
soot can and will darken the paint.
This is usually easily wiped off, but you can always touch-up
paint again when/if it gets really noticeable.
Take a look at fellow Color Expert Kristie Barnett of Nashville’s amazing before and after.
You can click to supersize the before shot (if you dare):
8) FOCAL POINT
Establish ONE main focal point in the room, with subsidiary focal points appropriate to the space. (Professional guidance can get you there. This is what we are trained to do.)
9) Take it easy on the pattern
To look “today” instead of “yesterday,” it is important to know how to lighten up a space weighed down by TOO MUCH pattern. Slipcovers can be a beautiful, cost-effective way to lighten the look without emptying the wallet.
Is the traffic pattern working? A bad traffic pattern can “build up” over the years. Again, you may have lived with something so long that you don’t realize something is not working.
A pair of FRESH EYES can help you see things the way guests see them when they enter your home.
If you need help in calming down a busy family room, it is probably a good idea to seek professional advice.
This is always money well-spent to keep you from making the same mistakes again.
Do you want to take a fun little test?
Do your design sensibilities lean toward France or toward England?
So, are you a Francophile or an Anglophile?
Answer a) or b) to the following short preference questions.
You can click on any image to supersize it.
Do you prefer:
1. In furniture
4. Furniture style
b) straight and narrow with fluting
5. Afternoon snack
a) fox hunt
b) Stag hunt
8. Literature Classic
11. Decorative arts
13. Cheese tray
b) herbs de provence
15. Wood panels
17. sporting activity
28. Morning caffeine :)
Count your a’s and b’s.
( really, both #16 could be either French or English)
mostly A’s are Anglophiles
mostly B’s are Francophiles
Anglophile here, which are you?
I read an entire post on one of my favorite blogs, Cote De Texas.
And as I read it, I assumed I was reading about Bunny Williams.
Only the post was about Charlotte Moss.
Honestly, I have always confused the two.
Top pic, Charlotte Moss. Lower pic, Bunny Williams. (I think.)
When I read one of the reader comments on Cote de Texas blog, commenting that those two
have such similar design looks and books,
that they must be in competition,
I realized what I had done.
And to be honest, I really couldn’t see Bunny using a faux greenery accent wall in any of her projects.
With a porthole.
It just didn’t jibe with my idea of Bunny’s design sensibilities.
Nothing against faux evergreenery, of course.
Nor faux portholes.
And, really, do you know anyone who has a better monogram for a bath towel than this? ;)
(above rooms decorated by Charlotte Moss)
I have heard them each speak at local lectures, and have several of Bunny’s books.
Why am I so confused as to which is which?