Puttin’ on the Ritz

Sometimes you just need to get away and few places surpass the beauty and glamour of a Ritz-Carlton.  When you don’t want to lift a finger, unless it’s to raise a glass of champagne to your lips, there’s no place as magnificent as the Ritz-Carlton Half Moon Bay.

Like a European castle nestled near the sea, this gorgeous retreat is the ultimate getaway.  Fine Sir, I’ll take an ocean view suite for two, just charge it to my American Express black card please….

Of course if you don’t mind a long flight, there’s the spectacular Ritz-Carlton, Maui. Pure. Heaven. Period.

Any idea where this exquisite Ritz property is located?

Would you have guessed only an hour outside of Atlanta, GA?  Known for it’s glorious golf courses and stunning wooded views, Reynolds Plantation is outdoor opulence at its finest.  I don’t play golf, but I’d tee up there any day.

I don’t know what you’ve got on your agenda today, but I’m taking a break from interior decorating and dreaming of a weekend away…

Pearls of (Pillow) Wisdom

I haven’t been at the pillow line very long, but I’ve already learned a few crucial lessons along the way.

1-Do no get sidetracked from your original business plan and strategy (i.e. just because you fall in love with baby fabric doesn’t mean you should branch into a baby line when you haven’t even finished launching the main line)

2-Stay focused on fulfillment using the initial fabrics you selected so you have samples and inventory, just in case a boutique is willing to carry your product – which is the whole point, right?!

3-Try not to have a medical emergency which can really throw the whole business plan out of whack!

4-Instead of boo hooing over said medical emergency, focus on the things you CAN do so your business doesn’t lose momentum, like order business cards (that look like pillows) which everyone has asked for and you haven’t been able to provide

5-Take pictures in your own home to showcase pillows for future brochures and website applications

Hope that you continue to learn from the process and remember to be thankful for the things you do have in life like a new house, an adorable husband, the sweetest dogs ever, loving family members who bring you yummy dinners, and a really fun business idea that could literally go anywhere!

Decorating 1-2-3

Not everyone has the time, energy or (gasp) desire to spend time decorating.  If that sounds like you, then one of the easiest ways to decorate is using the ‘shop by scene’ feature on many websites and catalogs.  It’s the paint by numbers of interior design.  For example, if you like this living room, presto!, you can buy any or all of the pieces by simply ‘shopping the scene’ on Wisteria.

What about this lovely guest suite?  It can all be yours, from the headboards to the bedding right down to the rococo mirror with a few simple clicks.

A charming, rustic kitchen?

Or a quiet reading nook?

An elegant home office?

Or an informal dining room?

 If you want to redecorate but don’t have the budget for an interior designer or the vision to do it yourself, this is an easy way to achieve a look you want minus the time and effort.  And you can always head to the nearest hip furniture store to buy a room display straight off the showroom floor.  What could be easier than that?

When Life Gives You Lemons

Decorate with lemonade…or any brilliant shade of yellow!  Yellow is a bright, cheerful color that can lift you up when life has got you down.  Who could cry in a lighthearted room like this one?

Yellow can be a lovely accent as it is in the wall hanging and throw pillows in this modern space.

Even a tiny splash of yellow makes a big impact in this bedroom suite.

If you’re looking for a little pick me up, simply take a long drink of something you love (in my case interior design…in your case camping, cooking, painting??), add a wedge of lemon and a splash of a tequila (trust me, it won’t burn if you get Patron), then drink it down and before you know it you’ll be on to brighter days!

Photos Courtesy of Country Living, Style Estate, and Southern Accents

Going Out on a Limb

When it comes to the design choices in my own home, I’ve always played it pretty safe.  The walls are soft, neutral shades with ethereal names like Nurture and Sage Tint, but after seeing this photo I decided I wanted a place to go bold.  Very bold.

But where?  I’ve never been pleased with my front entryway and the hallway leading to the kitchen and living room, so I figured it was a good place to take a risk.

As soon as I picked up the phone to call the painter, I started having second thoughts, which one really does not want to have when using black paint.  By the time I finished dialing his number, I wanted alternating stripes in pale blue and white for a still dramatic but less audacious option.  Plus it flowed better with the nautical theme in the living room.

When the painter answered the phone, I heard myself asking for beige and white stripes.

Huh?

They’re not quite bold, not exactly dramatic, but still a twist on plain old walls.  I guess I wasn’t quite ready to go out on this particular limb after all.  What about you?  Do you have any brave designs to share?

A Kitchen Makeover on a $1,000 Budget

Can it be done?  According to This Old House, it can.

Check out the kitchen before.

Pretty gnarly, huh?  So what was their plan?

1-Repaint the existing cabinets and add fabric panels to the lower cabinets

2-Paint the countertops (yes, it can be done!)

3-Scrape up layers of vinyl flooring to reveal the hardwoods below

4-Add a new faucet and cabinet hardware

5-Bring in a freestanding butcher block island

Here’s the result:

If it was up to me, I would have removed the scalloped detailing above the windows for a more refined look, and I would not have put contact paper behind the open upper cabinets because if you look closely, the pattern is almost floral which only works if you’re over the age of 80.

Instead I would have painted the background of the upper cabinets so the look could be easily changed down the line.  I would have added a rug to anchor the new island in the kitchen, and I would have swapped out the outdated ceiling fan, but other than that, for $935 the kitchen was transformed.

If you’re trying to sell your home or just brighten up an outdated space, it can be done on almost any budget!

Back in the Saddle

After an unanticipated leave from the blog, I’m back in the saddle and thought it would be fitting to write about one of my favorite trends in interior design – Horses!

A classic black and white, almost sepia toned print of a lone horse is simple and beautiful

A hand carved horse adds a kick to a masculine space

If I ever lived in Texas, I would snap up this funky carafe and wine glass set in a heartbeat

I decided to take a stab at the horse theme by painting one myself on a salvaged window

It’s a work in progress but not too bad for a first attempt

Giddy Up, Y’all!

Images Courtesy of Z Gallerie, Restoration Hardware and Etsy

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