Friday, July 22, 2016

Time Has a Way of Getting Away

We are already nearing the end of July; which for my household that means that summer is essentially over.  I know not according to the seasonal calendar; but 2016, summer vacation is only a couple of weeks from being a wrap.  For me, it is a little bitter sweet.  I've enjoyed not having to get up as early and see the kids off to school, do homework, go to school activities, parent/teacher conferences, and a slew of other things that come along with having school-aged children.  But, then there is somewhat of an obligation to plan trips, outings, and activities while they're out of school to keep them busy and enjoying their vacation.

I recently helped my parents build a new home; my second new construction as a professional and thus far my largest coming in at just under 6,000 square feet.  It was a huge learning experience.  One that showed me exactly what it is I enjoy most about interior design.  I get such a rush working with the builder and the contractors to ensure the plans that we've  drawn are executed precisely.  There were some adjustments that had to be made either from code conflicts, or structural stability (the home was built on a hill where there was a lot of land development), or other challenges that needed to be addressed and fixed.  Not to mention that working with contractors; not all, but many, can be a pain in the "you know what!"  I loved every minute of it!  I loved being told no it can't be done, but then seeing it done!  I also loved coming up with solutions and alternative plans that didn't compromise the original plan but enhanced it.

I'm, by nature, an outdoors person.  I just can't handle extreme temperatures or being out in any precipitation.  That (precipitation) I can enjoy from the comfort of a nice sofa or chair and a good book.  While in Little Rock tying up some loose ends of the project, I spent a lot of time on the decks (two levels that wrap around the back and one side of the house) taking in the views, reading, and napping; mostly napping.  I mean come on, the place is like a sedative!  Anyhoo, this homesite was chosen specifically for the views.  They are breathtaking.  You are able to watch barges travel slowly down the Arkansas river, see beautiful Pinnacle mountain with all of it's greenery and foliage, and then just this incredible expanse of topography.  The sunrises and sunsets are awe inspiring, and the breezes that blow are truly like a lullaby.  Although, we're not quite done yet, the home has it's bones in place and all that's left is to dress it and bring it to it's full potential.  I promise to keep you updated.

I had never seen a Roadrunner (bird) before.  They are everywhere here!  My daughter Gillian, thought it would be entertaining to chase one.  The bird hates to fly!  It ran for as long as it could before it took flight...only to land a few several feet away from her where it thought it was safe!  It is the funniest thing to witness.  They are tiny little something's; nothing like the one in the Bugs Bunnie and Wylie Coyote cartoons!  There are all sorts of wildlife here; deer, raccoons, rabbits, coyotes or wild dogs (not certain which is which.  Is one worse than the other?).  I've yet to be confronted by one, but they can be heard sometimes at night.  It's not as scary as you would think, but I will say, I don't go out on that lower deck in the evenings!

The upstairs, where the lights are on, is the family room and just to the right is the breakfast area.  tho the right upstairs is the master suite and downstairs a very generous office.  Downstairs is where the media room is located, with an audio-visual system that is tremendous.  

A view from the deck area just beyond the pair of French doors located in the front entry hallway.

This part of the deck is the just outside of the media room, and access to the patio can also be gained from the hallway that leads from the media room to the office (which is HUGE)!

Again, the deck area just outside of the media room on the lower level.  Even on the hottest day, this part of the deck is like nature's air conditioned room.  I would begin reading one of my books for summer while sitting here, only to wake and not have a clue when I dozed off.

This picture was taken from one of the bedrooms showing the opposite side of the house.  This deck faces east and sees the most incredible sunrises!  The sun is very strong on this side, as you can imagine.  The door outside to the left is another bedroom, and just past it is a door that leads to the kitchen.  Every room in the home has scenic views and access to outside.

The original plans for this home was a Meditteranean ranch, but again because of the land, adjustments had to be made.  The home was built to enjoy the views; so plans are underway to making it comfortable and relaxing to do just that.

Make it AMAZING!

Friday, June 17, 2016

My Ultimate Woman Cave

Hello there!  I hope you all have been doing well since last we met.  Today I want to share with you my interpretation of what my "Ultimate Woman Cave" would look like.  The lovely people over at Chairish asked me to participate in another challenge where select interior design bloggers were asked to design their ultimate woman cave using vintage barstools that are featured on their site.  I chose a pretty silver bamboo inspired pair to create a room around.  I love mixing metals and finishes in a space while striking just the right balance between them.  I hope you enjoy the design as much as I did creating it.

I had my inspiration for my ultimate woman cave; the barstools.  So, all I needed to do now was pull together a color palette that I would love to use to complement them.  For me, that was easy...gray, blue, and white with gold accents sprinkled throughout.  I knew I wanted beautiful lighting fixtures and a striking wallpaper to add the right amount of femininity.  Thinking of textures to use, I decided on a soft velvet sofa, silk draperies, and a shaggy plush rug underfoot.  From that point on it was just a matter of selecting all of the other elements that would support the design and complete the room.

I decided to use the barstools off to the side; still very much a part of the room, but allowing for a more separate moment if desired.  I did struggle with including a bar of some sort or pedestal table.  I don't think I would want a bar in my woman cave, so I resigned myself to create a timber pedestal that would be large enough to hold a tray containing drinking glasses and appetizer plates.  I like the idea of using a solid wood pedestal as opposed to glass, acrylic, or the like, because I felt that with the existing elements of the area there needed to be something with more substance to ground it and give it some visual weight.

I really love how I incorporated the barstools into my woman cave design and although I adore the entire room; I would have to say, the area with the barstools are my favorite.  It brings in a feature that you know you will find in a man cave and a family game room, but with the feminine sophistication of a woman.  I would love to hear your thoughts, comments, and suggestions on what your ultimate woman cave would feature and possibly what I should include in mine. 

Make it AMAZING!

Monday, June 6, 2016

It's Best Described as Ramblings

I was just thinking, the older I get the more I value those small intangibles.  You know, those quiet moments where all you have are you and your thoughts.  I don't think we spend enough time thinking.  In fact, we spend too much time doing...we have become so task driven.  That's odd to hear myself thinking that since I am very much a "list" person.  But doesn't it just feel so good to cross even the smallest thing off of your list!  Ahhh, accomplishment...feels good.  I just recently realized, though I'm not certain why it's taken me this long to figure it out; I am an achievement driven person.  Money doesn't drive me; sometimes I wish it did, but it doesn't.  I like the feeling that I get when I achieve a goal; when I acquire a desire.  The funny thing about acquisition...I don't revel in the glory of it long enough before I'm on to the next.  So, did I really want it or am I just not taking time "to smell the roses"?  

Did you notice that?  How I went from talking about small intangibles to not thinking enough to doing too much to...okay, reeling it in.  I have fallen in love with simplicity.  I don't need a lot.  I prefer quality over quantity.  I want to be surrounded by things that make me happy; make me smile.  I seek pura vida.

This reading nook suits me just fine.  I'm curled up, comfy, and happy.  Whether I'm reading, writing, sketching, and here as of late, coloring...I'm in my place.

I've always thought if you have beautiful moldings, trim, and architectural details, whatever else you decide to put in the room is only elevated by what preceded it.

Natural lighting washing across just about any room makes it beautiful.  I'm captured by the simplicity of this living room with it's soft colors and upholstery.  There is always room for green plants of any variety, and the gold base of the table just seems to settle the space so it doesn't float away like ice cream dreams.

Natural wood finished floors, table, and cabinet are very well supported by the linen dining chair slipcovers and the natural tailored draperies.  To add that sparkle of sophistication and elegance the crystal chandelier does not disappoint.

Layers are a must, especially in monochromatic environments.  It is crucial to have different textures, finishes in degrees of the same shade, and a little shine.  Of course, the trim, paneled doors, and the comely pair of candlestick lamps ensure the rooms classic ambience.

It is so refreshing to experience rooms where the homeowner got the mix of furnishings just right.  I think this happens when they only use what they love and they have a common theme or element.  There is nothing contrived or predictable about this living room.  It's just simply lovely.

Make it AMAZING!

*Quote via my Pinterest board Words of Inspiration and Humor
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