home about me our home

Wednesday, September 28, 2011



There will be a brief intermission in regular programing due to upcoming exciting events!!! I will be entertaining two blogging friends for the next five days. We will be seeing the sites in California such as San Francisco, Carmel, Napa valley and Mill Valley/ Muir woods. We will also be going to the Alameda Pointe antique flea market!!! Lots of fun is about to ensue!!!

I am so excited to see these two ladies! One I have never met, but we have been corresponding for almost three years. The other lovely lady is a blogger, and we have been together twice when I went back to North Carolina to meet her, and two other blogging friends.

I will try to take lots of pictures and tell you all about it in the upcoming week. SO............

intermission 02
I will be back In five days, and then I will be back to blogging at my normal pace with exciting details!!!

I will be, “Enjoying the Process” of:

Visiting with two very special ladies,


Monday, September 26, 2011

I Have Never Done This On My Blog Before!

For those of you that have followed along on my blog journey you know that I don’t often share things about my family. I also don’t show their pictures, not because they aren’t gorgeous, because they truly are. I have always been very private about my family.

Today I am breaking one of my own rules, with permission of course! I have to share with you all a little bit about my daughter-in-law, Natalie. 

Natalie is not only gorgeous, brilliant, the mother of my granddaughter, and the wife of my oldest son, she is also a woman that I respect and admire as a person.

The reason I am blogging about Natalie today is she is about to run her first marathon. I can not imagine running 26 miles, but she is going to do it, and I am so very proud of her!
In 3 weeks she will be running in the Nike Women's Marathon. I asked Natalie a few questions to find out more about her running experience. I thought it would be fun to have Natalie tell you in her own words.

Dear reader’s I am very proud to introduce you to, Natalie My beautiful daughter-in-law!!……………

NataliePerdue (800x599)

Natalie, how long have been running?

I started seriously running about 3 years ago when a group from work was training for a half marathon.  I had never even run more than 5 miles before so it shows that you can start small and do great things!  After 2 half marathons, I decided I really wanted to challenge myself and started training for a full marathon.

This is my second attempt at running this marathon. I got injured last year about 8 weeks from the marathon and was extremely disappointed that I could not run.  I told myself that I was not going to let that stop me!! 

I got healthy and started training again this spring, and now feel great and am less than 3 weeks away!  I really wanted to show myself that I could do this, and be an example to my daughter to never give up trying if there is something that you want to accomplish and fail at the first time.

Can you tell us a little about the marathon you are going to be running in?

About the Nike Women’s Marathon:  The Nike Women’s Marathon is in San Francisco, and it was a lottery to get in – 20,000 fabulous women will be running to support the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.  It is a very popular marathon, with a ton of great perks including a custom Tiffany necklace for all the finishers!


When do you find is the best time of day for you to run, and how do you stay motivated?

What Motivates Me:  I have to get up early and run first thing in the morning. I have learned that if I don’t just get up and go, I usually find other ways to fill my day and it just doesn’t happen! 

What have you found helpful in your running that keeps you going?

I also love the Nike Plus tracker (www.nikeplus.com). It’s a little device that you put on your shoe, and then it synchs up with your IPOD and tracks how far you have gone. You can go onto the website and see the history of all your runs or walks. It is pretty motivating to see your progress and track improvements. 


 What will you be wearing that will not only help you run, but help you look stylish on the day of the marathon?

My Favorite Gear:  I love the dri-fit material—it’s super light and wicks moisture away. If there was one thing that I could not live without it would be my socks!! 

I know this sounds funny, but I am in love with the Nike Dri-Fit foot specific socks. They are specially made for your right and left foot and are the best socks I have ever owned—have never had a blister, or callous with them.

The only bad thing is that when the washing machine eats your socks, it always seems to eat the LEFT foot, so I have a bunch of rights and need to go buy more! (Somehow I think Nike knows and maybe even plans for this!)


 Did you have to do anything special to enter the contest?

To enter the contest, we had 140 characters to describe our style. I entered:                
My Style: To keep up with my 8 yr old girl. Running my first full to show her you can be stylish, smart, strong and successful!
Little girls can get sooo caught up in being cute and I have always tried to help my daughter (who is the cutest thing ever!!) understand that beauty is so much more than what is on the outside.
  I think that is what Kathysue is doing here with her blog as well. It’s not always about what it looks like, but how it makes you, and those around you feel.
Thanks so much for your support!

Thank you so much Natalie for letting us all know a little bit about your upcoming run in the Nike Women’s Marathon.

I am going to ask you all a favor:

If you have the time could you go HERE and vote for Natalie to be in the Nike Runway Crew. Only 8 ladies will be chosen by the Nike Entourage, and Natalie would really appreciate your votes. Just click on the link, and click on  the LOVE next to Natalie’s picture, that will give her a vote from you!!! You can vote once a day!!

Thank you all so much for supporting my beautiful daughter-in-law, Natalie!!! This  marathon is for a great cause it will help support the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.

“Enjoy The Process!”  Of:

Helping support a
great cause with a simple vote for Natalie!!


Sunday, September 25, 2011

Quote For The Day!

“An interior designer] must be able to clarify his intent keeping ever in mind that decorating is not a look, it's a point of view.”

          - Albert Hadley, The Story of America's Preeminent Interior Designer

I love this quote, and I think Mr. Hadley was spot on!! I think sometimes we get so caught up in trying to achieve a look, or the current look that we lose ourselves in the process.

 I spent most of my career trying to educate my clients with techniques that would allow them to become very in tune to who they are, and what they would need in their home to express themselves.(Look at my previous post for one of my techniques, HERE.)

Think about it………… Does your home express your point of view, or does it express someone else’s point of view?

Hmmmmmm? Inquiring minds want to know!!

Have a wonderful week!


Thursday, September 22, 2011

An Informative Vignette

When I was doing design consults I developed a few techniques that I found would help me determine what my clients truly loved for their homes.

This technique would help eliminate any jump towards a new trend that they, thought they loved because it was the new kid on the block.

I called this technique, “Creating an Informative Vignette!”

This is something that all of you can do for yourself, and you might be surprised at what you learn about yourself.

The only requirement is you have to be completely, and totally honest. You have to fight against thinking about what you, “think,” you want to put in your home.

Here is what you need to do to create an informative vignette…….

I would like you to go through your home, closets, cupboards etc., and pull out 5-6 items that you absolutely LOVE!!!! 

These items can be clothing, shoes, towels or pieces of furniture and accessories. The requirement is you HAVE to LOVE it, and have always loved it. It does not have to be anything that you even use in your home right now just something you have had for a long time and truly love.

After you do this I want you to set up a vignette using these items.
Look at what you have created from this perspective:

  • Color
  • Texture
  • Style
  • Feel
By doing this you will see what you need to have in your home to make your home your own personal style.

Once you have done this you will be able to make plans for future purchases more consciously than emotionally.

If your new purchases do not fit into the list you just made, or if it would not fit in the vignette, chances are you will not love it long term, and by long term I mean for more than two weeks or two years.

I was reminded of this technique this past week. At the end of summer I like to have my carpets cleaned.
 I had them cleaned this last week so we had to move some of my furniture and decorative accessories off the carpet, and onto the hardwood floor of my kitchen/dinette.

I made a comment to my hubby  how much I enjoyed seeing my things grouped together. Then…….. the light bulb went off in my brain, “this is an, Informative Vignette.”

Here is my Informative Vignette. The items were literally just placed on my table that already had the lime green pitcher and the blue bowl of green apples on it. Not the best photography, but it illustrates the point I am trying to make.

Blog Post 001 (800x600)

Blog Post 003 (800x600)

If I were to look at this as an exercise that I had my client do I would come up with these answers:

  •  Colors: Crisp colors with high contrast giving a fresh look. Black and white as accents to a blue,white and green color scheme.
  •  Textures: Smooth and refined finishes.
  • Style: Traditional with touches of vintage.
  • Feeling: Simple, understated elegance, fresh and clean.
    When thinking about this post I referenced back to the original post I did on this technique. I read some of the comments and one in particular stood out to me.

    The reason this particular comment stood out was I know this person, and we have recently had some conversations about staying true to who we are in our homes.

    She recently started questioning a few elements in her own home, as we all do from time to time. In fact she wrote a couple of post about it here and here.



    Look at the post before you read her comment that was written over a year ago.

    My friend Delores from Vignette Designs wrote:

    vignette design said...

    Great advice. I love my majolica, my vintage oil paintings, my living room drapes, my welsh cupboard and my little deer trophies. I guess that says traditional European style.

      I would have to say that my friend Delores has truly stayed true to who she is and what she loves in her home, wouldn’t you? I think Traditional European style is a perfect style for her.

    I hope this post has made you think about your own, “Informative Vignette!”

    “Enjoy the Process” Of:

    Finding new ways of discovering your own personal style for your home!


    Wednesday, September 21, 2011

    Is Pinterest Hurting Or Helping Bloggers?

    I love Pinterest, and  it is probably safe to say that I am slightly addicted to pinning. I love the ease of finding beautiful images. I enjoy perusing Pinterest to find beautiful images for my own personal use, or to use in  a blog post that I think my readers might enjoy.


    While perusing I often see fellow bloggers pinning some of the same images that I do. We also pin each other's pins. I don’t have a problem with this at all. I figure share and share alike. It is fun to see what spin fellow bloggers will take from the same image that maybe I have pinned.  As a blogger I also love the convenience of pinning with the credit to the proper link attached.

    One thing I thought of the other day is………. Since the images are so readily available is it, or will it start affecting our blog traffic? Will readers just go straight to Pinterest instead of coming to our blogs?

    I know it is so much easier just to scan over images than it is to read the dialogue that goes along with images. On Pinterest there is hardly any reading that has to take place so if you have a few minutes in your day it is a great place to see wonderful images.


    The other problem that I can see occurring is it does give our Pinterest followers a preview of what we will be using in our upcoming blog post. For instance if you go to my Fallish pin-board you will see many of the images I have used in my past few post. Is this going to take the surprise or the anticipation of what our next post will be for our readers?

    Source: None via Kathy Sue on Pinterest


    Just a few thoughts that have been on my mind, and I wanted to know how you all felt about using Pinterest and the good, bad and ugly of it all!!!!


    Tuesday, September 20, 2011

    Pop A Little Fall On Your Walls

    While perusing blog land with my morning cup of coffee I opened one of my emailed blogs. It was from the blog for Phoebe Howard (my design idol). They had just changed up some vignettes in her shop, Max & Company for Fall.

    I was taken with the art on the walls done by P.Allen Smith, well known master gardener!! He apparently is also a wonderful artist. He portrays the bounty  from the garden. Since it is fall Ms. Howard is using some of his pieces portraying pumpkins,squash and tomatoes on the vine.

    Here is a sampling………..

    I love this pumpkin!! Mr. P.Allen Smith is more in tuned to his garden produce than just planting and harvesting. He obviously sees the beauty in every curve of this pumpkin. Here is how Ms. Howard chose to use it in a room……

    Next is my favorite!! The Squash!!………

    I love this!! Wouldn’t this be fantastic in a kitchen or dining room? Here it is in Ms. Howard's shop…….

    This was not shown in a room setting on her blog, but I had to show it!!! Where would you put this lovely piece?!!

    I love the simple black frames and the size of each piece. I think they would make a wonderful statement in a room.

    Just another Fall touch for you to think about!!

    “Enjoy the Process!” Of:

    Adding Fall touches with Art!!


    Monday, September 19, 2011

    Shall We “Throw” in some Fall!?

    In my last post on mantel techniques I mentioned how important it is to vary the textures in your composition to keep it interesting.

    I think the Fall/Winter months are the perfect time of year to use lots of textures in your home to make it feel warm and cozy.

    After all we add texture in our Fall/Winter wardrobes with cable knit sweaters, wool coats, and sometimes fur, hopefully faux fur.

    Rough textures will really add a wonderful warm, and cozy layer to any room.

    Think of all the different ways you can add texture to your rooms for the cooler months that are about to arrive.
    I know we all immediately think of a cozy throw to snuggle up with while sitting by the fire…..

    I have used this image in another post, but it is just too perfect to not use it again. This room is so cozy,but can you imagine it without the throw?

    This is just luscious!!

    Source: None via Kathy Sue on Pinterest

     I love this room and yet without the throw I am not sure it would look as cozy and inviting.


     This is an interesting way to display your throws or maybe it is to hide a stain?!!

    Source: None via Kathy Sue on Pinterest

    Fur throws are the ultimate for snuggling in for a nice nap.

    Throws come in all kinds of styles, colors and patterns………


    I love the cable knit throws from Pottery Barn! They come in such pretty Fall colors. There is nothing prettier than a cream cable knit sweater,or in this case a throw!

    How about a cashmere cable knit throw?

    This is one of my all time favorite ways to display a throw on a chair!

     No matter what type of throw you love, or how you toss it they will always add an extra layer of coziness to any room.

    I wrote a post last year on  how I like to display my throws if you are interested you can read about it HERE! 
    So tell me do you like to gently toss your throws or do you neatly fold them and put them in place?

    How do you like to toss your throws?

    “Enjoy the Process!” Of:

    Snuggling up with a warm and cozy throw!


    Sunday, September 18, 2011

    Sunday with succulents

    The weather has been amazing lately so this weekend I did a little planting in my yard. One of the things I really enjoyed was planting a centerpiece for my glass top patio table.

    I knew I needed something I could put a candle in, and the candle would have to be protected from the wind. I went shopping in my display closet and I think I found the perfect remedy…….

    Backyard glass table 019 (758x800)

    I  only have one planter of succulents so I thought I would give them a try again. I first thought of using a rustic planter since I usually think of succulents with a rustic look. I personally like a bit more of an elegant look. The table needed a pop of white to bring out the trim in my cushions so this planter fit the bill perfectly.

    Backyard glass table 020 (600x800)

     Here is a close-up of the arrangement. I can hardly wait to sit outside this evening and light the candle!!

    Backyard glass table 021 (800x600)

    This was a pretty fun way to spend my Sunday morning!!!

    “Enjoy the Process!” Of:

    Doing whatever you like on a Sunday afternoon!! May I suggest a nap?


    Thursday, September 15, 2011

    Techniques for creating a Fall mantel

    With the crisp Fall weather upon us we all like to cozy up to a  fire in the fireplace.

    With our fireplaces comes our mantels! The perfect place to change things out, and do something that is more appropriate for the season.

    One of the first things I start doing  when it gets a bit more chilly outside is I start lighting candles. Each night it becomes almost like a ceremony. I find myself humming happily as I light all my little votives. The glow of candlelight is so appealing.

    I have a mega-mantel!! (17ft. long) Because of its size and the fact that I like a well edited look it can be a bit difficult at times. 

    I know I am not alone in this difficult situation because my clients use to have me do vignettes on their mantels and bookcases all the time.  They would have no idea on how to start the process.

    Source: bhg.com via Kathy Sue on Pinterest

    Today I thought I would go through the process with you all in hopes of giving you some of the tools that will hopefully be  helpful to you when doing your own, “Fall Mantel!”

    The very first thing I would have my clients do is to group their accessories by textures. By having elements in groups it makes it much easier to shop for just the right piece to add to your shelf or mantel.

    • Wood, baskets,books for a rough texture.

    • Porcelain pieces for shine.

    • Mirrors for reflection.

    • Pictures or paintings for interest.

    • Metal pieces for patina and shine.
    •  Plants for a touch of life.

    The next step is too decide which pieces you would like to  use. I always start with my largest pieces that will ground the composition. I figure out what I want in the middle of my mantel and I work from that point. Such as a mirror, clock, painting etc.

    If I am doing a book case I usually start from left to right, top to bottom. I will place the books first since they are usually the focal point in a book case. I will have some in the middle and some on the left and right side of the bookcase. 

    You want to keep your eye flowing from side to side. I will also have books laying on their sides as lifts for items.  Once I have the books placed then I will fill in with the other elements varying my textures.

    It is important to have your elements create an up and down wave, going from high to low to high.~~~

    When doing the mantel once the center piece is placed then I add the other larger pieces to the left and right. I tend to like symmetry so my compositions on a mantel will feel more balanced. 

    Source: bhg.com via Kathy Sue on Pinterest

    When adding the other elements remember to vary your textures. You want a good variety of rough, shine and living plants to make it interesting.  Not having variation in texture is usually what makes your composition feel off to your eye.

    I hope this post has given you some techniques and ideas so you can create your own special fall mantel!!

    “Enjoy the Process!” Of:

    Creating a stunning Fall mantel!