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Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Do You Like Stripes And Checks!?



Stripes and checks have a uniformity to them that I seem to require in my home. These two patterns have been a staple not only in my home, but in my wardrobe too.

In fact if you look inside my closet you will see checks and stripes in blues, black, green just like you do in my home.


I  recently chose a blue ticking stripe for my sofa based on a sofa I had about 8 years ago. 

I loved that sofa, and when we needed to replace it, I went out of my box, and chose a floral pattern on a beautiful natural linen. 

How does that saying go?…..FAIL! Not that it wasn’t beautiful but it was not me.


Since the blue ticking is my base fabric I needed to find fabrics for pillows. I was having a hard time finding checks, and stripes that I loved in the right colors and scale. I spent countless hours looking.

In my looking I ran across a company based in England, Ian Mankin.

I was amazed at the colors, and the patterns in stripes, checks, plaids, and even soft floral jacquards, or a simple embroidered vine pattern.

You all know I don’t advertise on my blog, but when I find a product I love I will do a blog post, singing its praises. I want to be helpful to all of you who might also be looking for good quality sources.

I found all of the patterns so appealing to my senses and the colors were equally as appealing. Ranging from neutrals to blacks, reds, sage, blues.

Their blues were the colors I sent for samples, and I have to say it was love at first sight.


The first fabric is a beautiful blue, not navy, not cobalt, right in between. 

It has the clarity I need for my room. It is saturated but still has a softness to it. I find when a color has those two qualities they work for me.

The second is a beautiful linen with a grain sack look to it, in fact it is called grain-stripe. It is such a beautiful quality linen.

I know there are those of you out there just like me who have a hard time finding fabrics that will work in your home. 

If you love beautiful colors and lovely fabrics of great quality, this is the company for you.

Go over to Ian Mankins website and take a look at all they have to offer.

Fabrics….. Cushions….. Accessories… Wallcoverings….

Check out these drum shades covered in their fabrics….



If you love checks, stripes, simple florals, velvets, cottons, linens this is the place for you.

Once I placed my order I had it within a week, not bad for coming all the way from England to California!! 

They have a great sample program so be sure and check them out!


Saturday, February 23, 2013

Look What Followed Me Home From Ikea!!


Going to Ikea is always a fun thing to do. I love looking at  all the different elements and re-inventing their uses in my head.

Yesterday’s trip was equally as fun for me, but on this trip a few things followed me home.
Two of these……

After reading countless reports about how wonderful these chairs are, I figured I would give them a try in my family room that I am redoing!

So far, very impressed with comfort, looks and quality of the actual slipcover. Obviously the frame is what it is, inexpensive, but for the price a real deal!

This next item also followed me home. It has wanted to come with me on numerous other occasions, but I wasn’t ready for its arrival.

Yesterday it finally made it into my home. However, it is still all rolled up waiting for my sofa to return with its new covering.

The Stockholm Rand rug

The jury is still out and its final judgment will be in two weeks from now.

Black and white stripes, and checks have always been a favorite of mine, and I was realizing with the re-do I did not have it in the room as a main element. With that in mind I am going to try and incorporate it.

A few things might have to be tweaked but here is how it goes with my main fabrics. 

You will also see another rug possibility in a blue stripe for the summer season……

(adding the Greek Key motif in a pillow)

( addition of black background Greek key in white)

# 3
(An addition of the blue and green print)


(Addition of solid green with center white applique)


So there you have it, now you know what is stirring in my designing mind this weekend between laundry and other fun chores like that!!


Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Which Pair Of Sconces Would YOU Choose?!

One of the elements that I am changing out in my family room re-do are the sconces on each side of my over-mantle mirror…..

Family room summer look May 2011 006 (800x596)_thumb[3]

I found this piece at an antique store. It is actually mahogany underneath the white paint, and probably dates back to the early 1900’s.

I love to mix antiques with newer pieces in a room. I think it gives warmth, and sometimes even a little provenance to a room.

Family room summer look May 2011 015 (800x600)_thumb[1]
Keep in mind this mantle spans 17 ft., the entire width of the room.

Now that you have a visual of the mantel lets look at some of the lighting possibilities that I like that are within my budget. 

Of course I have some that are outside my budget., It is always fun to look, and be inspired, but I want to be reasonable with my wants. After all none of these things are needs.


I do like the antique gold finish, it is soft and I believe timeless. 

The round shape will add a softness to the rectangle shape of the wall above the mantel.

It also comes in a black finish, which would tie in with the my fireplace screen and other black touches throughout the room……

As much as I love black, this reads a bit harsh for my room. I will hold off my judgment until after I see it in person.
This style also comes in a double light fixture……

It is more of a dark bronze, so a bit softer than black, but I don't think they carry it in   the antique gold finish. Of course I will inquire about that if this becomes a finalist!!

I truly love this fixture, but we don’t think it will work because of the wiring height. 

As you will notice in the image of the existing light fixtures the electrical boxes are placed high on the wall since the lighting has both up and down lights.  Since this has a shade I don’t think it will look right placed that high.

This is a bit newer and more trendy but I love it and have pinned it in several room images since I first saw it.

Sherry from Design Indulgence used this sconce in black,  in a room she pulled together for me on polyvore titled Nantucket family room! 

So many of the elements are exactly what I love, and already have. She just pulled this together on a whim, and look at what she came up with. 

I would say she nailed it. She is one talented and generous  designer and blogging friend. If you have not visited her blog yet, you have to go over there. I promise you will love her as much as I do………..

untitled (500x500)_thumb[14]

Back to the lighting……

This last light fixture is the style  I originally had envisioned for the room, but it measures 17in high and 6 in wide. I think it will look too massive for the room.

The other problem, it is custom made and non-returnable. I have to see it in person, I am a visual girl and like to see what I am purchasing.Especially when it will be such an important element in the room.




What can I say it is jut pretty and a forever piece.



This is what has been in my designing mixing bowl. Now you get to help by telling me which one or two sconces you can see in my room. 

 Things to Keep In Mind.......
A blue and white ticking sofa with white chairs. I like a traditional look with a twist. I always add touches of black in my rooms!

 Spring/ Summer fabrics in room......

Fall/Winter Fabrics....

If any of you have seen a sconce you think would look good in my room other than what I have chosen throw it into the mix. I love to read your opinions, plus it is just fun!!!

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Bringing Lovely Back Into Your Home!

With all the high speed technology in the world today I think we often forget about the gentleness we all need in life.

The simple yet lovely elements that make us feel content inside. These are never costly items, just simple little touches that any of us can do.

Having a lovely home is more than a home that is well designed. A lovely home is a feast for all the senses.

I think we often forget the little things we can do to bring back the LOVELY to our homes.

Today I thought I would share some of the things I try to do in my own home to make it lovely not only for my guest, but for me!

These are simple ideas that cost very little, or in many cases cost nothing, like this first idea……….


My bottle is empty as well.:

Go out in your back yard and cut some greenery, or a single blossom and put it on your desk or guest bathroom sink, or on your dining table tonight for dinner.

When executed correctly, choosing something like olive branches can make an amazing impact. | 9 Ways to Save on Flowers  http://www.nowkissthebride.com/9-ways-to-save-on-flowers/:

Add a little sparkle to your water with sequins. Just think about how this would glimmer next to a flickering flame of a votive candle.

 ferns, recycled glass bottles:

Even a sprig of fern can look lovely in a simple glass bottle.


Often we tend to think we have to have company to do these special little touches. 


I think it is important to do add loveliness to our homes on a daily basis.


Every morning I wake up and open my blinds and turn on my stereo. I always have soft ambient music playing in the background.

You would be surprised at how it can lift your spirits, just to have the soft sound of beautiful music playing. Another no cost way to add a special feel to your home.


Candles are always an extra added bonus in a room. Whether they add a scent or just the beautiful light that glimmers in a room.

Often times we think it has to be dark, or a candlelight dinner to have a candle lit. I light my candles even during the day. I have one on my desk that I love to light when I first wake up in the mornings.

Throughout the day we will all be drinking, coffee, tea or just plain water. Why not make it a little more special by drinking out of a special cup or glass, adding lemon, or ice cubes with fruit in them. Simple and very little cost to do this.

Lemon Water, or with lime. Anyway to get my 8 glasses of water a day:
 Add lemon slices to your water, and make it a little more special not only in taste, but visually.

 Fill glass with pink cotton candy and slowly pour Lime Perrier over it. Pretty and non-alcoholic! Perfect for friends who don't drink (or are preggers), so they don't feel left out from all the fancy party cocktails! My kids would LOVE this and think it was really cool! Maybe for New Year's Eve or some other special event/party.:  

 If the weather allows, open up those windows and let fresh air flow through your home….

 Open windows:


Fresh sheets on the bed sprayed with your favorite linen spray or fragrance.

Sometimes I just spray my fragrance on my pillow case because it is such a pleasure to lay my head down at night.
You already have the perfume, why not use it. Just think about how your spouse will be surprised when they lay their head down at bedtime….


Another thing I do is to take a dryer sheet and rub it on the edge of the sheet that I fold over and on my pillow case.

Don’t forget you can also change your pillow case every night if you love the freshness of just laundered bedding.  You don't have to wait until you change all the sheets.
All of these things are no cost, yet they add loveliness to your day!

If you have fresh fruit and/or veggies in your refrigerator bring them out, and put them in a colorful bowl for a pop of color on your counter.

 fresh produce summer goodness, just as pretty as flowers:
These are things you already have so why not utilize them in a lovely manner.

 produce on kitchen counters can be just as pretty as fresh flowers,  Goodlifeofdesign.blogspot.com:

None of the above ideas are costly and they are so simple to do in your own home today!!

Tonight when you have dinner, light a candle, put a little vase of greenery next to it. Pull out your cloth napkins instead of paper. Use a tablecloth! Have music playing in the background, and have a LOVELY dinner!!