Bright Lights: Big Christmas

I love Christmas.  I’ve already started to listen to holiday tunes.  They make me happy.  Make me feel optimistic.  We haven’t yet arrived at the holiday parties, and the family feuds that dull ones enthusiasm.  This time, before Thanksgiving is untarnished, and the world feels full of blushy innocence.

wish 5

Ben Moore might go ahead and introduce a new color for 2018.  Pantone has launched theirs – a bit hard to believe in my option – but there will be tried and true hues.  Those that inspire, offer a nod to elegance and innocence and possibility.

For me – they scream – Let them Eat Cake.  Those French pastels, accented by black and white that are the hard shell, that once bitten, gives way to a softness.  We need those contrasts in our home, in our work spaces, and of course in our natural environment whether that be a seaside local, a mountain range, a lazy river or a desert, they spring to life when you are subjected to the sharp contrasts.

wing 1

Marie Antoinette . Kirstin Dunst in all that sugary glory.

No. 4 is all about innocence so I am considering bringing the sophistication in a tree, and decorations that are all black, white, and gold.  A balance between decorative and organic.  Can I pull it off.  I have just a few days to figure it all out.

Wishing you a wonderful Thanksgiving.

A Little Mushroom Will Do You….

The things I still don’t know.  I’ve barely scratched the surface.  Today I learned about Mushroom Wood.  I’d never even heard of such a thing before.  I’ve encountered all sorts of woods in my quest.  Oak and Walnut, Pear, and Zebra, Mahogany, and Pine and so many other varieties in-between, but Mushroom Wood – I said with a healthy dose of disbelief, no foot of mine had fallen on any such surface.

mush2

Stone wood Products . Dennis . MA 

As it turns out, I wasn’t entirely right or wrong.  Mushroom would isn’t a specific wood.  It’s actual make-up is either Hemlock and/or Cypress  – both soft woods.  I am not sure where they fall on the Janka scale, but suffice to say, they are somewhat malleable.

mush4

Mushroom Wood . Look at that grain…so pretty.

These woods are used for bedding bins in which mushrooms are grown.  During the growing cycle the enzymes digest and erode the soft wood.  This makes the wood appear as if its the bed of a river, eroded by the running water.  The pattern is unique and beautiful.  The color is a rich caramel.

mush3

Crickets investigating the wood.

It’s particularly amazing because it looks historic.  Next to the hand hune beams it looks authentic.  This is important as we augmented The Manse with some Mushroom wood to provide some visual interest, and continuity.  We are at a point in the design where the details make all the difference.  The space looks clean and quite beautiful, but there is a point in any construction project that you can go to far – a mon avis.  If you aren’t able to maintain a few original components – we were here – then adding them back in, give a space some warmth.  Makes if feel like a home that one could actually live in.  This is the goal – at least for me.

mush1

Bring a little authenticity to your refreshed environment.

Pedicure: paint a little happy under toe

The Manse just had beautiful Hickory hardwood installed in the downstairs, and the hallway of the upstairs.  The hardwood that is original to the home in the two upstairs bedrooms it was determined, would remain.  Having never been refinished, they are substantial enough to withstand a serious sanding, and could then be refinished, but I think that after a good buffing, and the right shade of paint, they will look pretty spectacular.

hoxtonhotelparis6

Hoxton Hotel . Paris

I am a fan of painting floors.  I’ve painted on new hardwood that I just had installed, and on floors that have seen better days.  There is something that feels coastal about a painted floor – though distressed and casual is not the look I am going for in this instance.  I’ll ask for the finish to be high gloss.  This small upstairs bedroom, with it’s twin beds, deserves to have a little drama.

hoxton2

Benjamin Moore . Bridal Rose

The walls are going to be painted in Benjamin Moore’s Bridal Rose – a color that I am fond of, and which made an appearance in No. 2 in my bedroom.  It’s so subtle most people don’t see that it’s pink.  It’s sophisticated, not girly and that suits me too.

Hoxton 5

A little worn, but they’ll be good as new.

I want to pair it with a hue that resembles this seating area in The Hoxton Hotel in Paris. It’s dark and a bit muddy or moody and that appeals.  If you happen to know the name and maker, please do tell.  I plan to email the hotel and inquire.  There will be no moldings in the house, so I will plan to paint the floor, the base and the interior doors in the hue.

painted-white-hardwood-floor-3

A slick and sophisticated look.

Think preppy, but all grown up.  Fingers crossed I get the approval I am looking for.  I’ve been told I can do a single room – anyway I want.  I am hoping that wasn’t followed by a …. as long as I love it too.  I think in the end, it will meet the approval of the Owner.

Happy Sunday.

Perception: What others see

It’s a funny thing.  How others regard us, and to what extent we allow that view to shape our actions, to determine who we become.  I’m obsessed with this new movie that’s being released in a few lucky cities across the country…Lady Bird. It’s Greta Gerwig’s directorial debut, and tells the story of a coming of age gal, working to figure out who she is, in the face of many people that seem to have decided for her, what she is, or is not going to become.  In speaking to one of the nuns in her catholic school she proclaims her interest in being a Math Olympiad, to which the nun responds – “but you’re not terribly good at math.”  Lady Bird’s brilliant quip – “that we know of …. yet”, to me expresses an admiral defiance.

han4

Hanson Street before the start of construction.

That we know of yet – is what keeps me going.  I get asked frequently – “what number are you on now?”.  I’m on number 4.  A good number of people believe I’ve been on number 4 for far too long.  For those of you keeping track, I just passed the one year mark in this place, and for the record, it feels like a long time to me too.  They ask me if I think I’m going to make it to 10.

Han5

Digging in.

 

Activity, forward momentum, I thrive on motion.  Sitting still is not easy for me.  Sit I must though in order to ensure my plan moves forward thoughtfully.  As interested in achieving 10 as I am, and believe me when I tell you – I want that gold star for my dust covered effort, but I cannot lose site of the fact that I am not just building homes, I’m trying to built a stable financial future for myself.

Han1

Making it my own.

When all of the sawdust clears, and I turn the lights out, take a last look around, close and lock the door on 10, the real goal is to have a million in the bank account.  I’ve never been very good at math….I could stand to channel a little Lady Bird….that we know of … yet.

H2

Sitting impatiently waiting for 5.

Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark: Painting with bold hues

Dark 1 . Domino

Little King . Brooklyn . NY – Photograph by @cainite_via Instagram

I’m a rule follower.  I always have been.  I like the structure of a rule.  I feel that following them has kept me out of a good deal of trouble over the course of my life.  I’ve liked them, I’ve hated them (while still begrudgingly holding true to the line), and apathetic to them too.  So why is it then that this “so called rule” bugs me so much?

Waltham Living

No. 3 Waltham Street . Benjamin Moore’s Deep Royal

Article ,after article, I read about the cardinal sin of painting a small space in a dark hue. “Don’t even think about it” some warn.  “Turn you eye toward the barely there pigments” others instruct.  To that I simply proclaim – “What the “f#!x?

Left:  Keepsmilinghome.blogspot  Right:  No. 2 in Benjamin Moore’s Peacock Feathers and Cole and Sons Wallpaper

I’m going to go out on a limb here and say “This rule should be broken”.  It should be broken frequently, and with a bold disregard to the prevailing authority.  Sometimes rules simply must be cast aside as ridiculous and archaic.  I’m not saying it to be a rebel, I’m simply disagreeing with the premise entirely.  I’ve lived my life in small spaces.  I’ve colored them dark, and light, and cozy.  We humans like a cozy spot to call home, and wrapping yourself in the warmth of a rich, deep, hue really is all the to-do.  Am I expected to live my life in white because I live small?  I think not.

dark 3

billielourd.org

As we turn back, and enter the dark days of winter, I encourage you to embrace colors that have a little personality.  Start slow if you must.  The interior of a closet, a powder room, a small mud room or laundry room.  Test it out if you don’t trust me yet – I won’t be offended, but be prepared to begin an affair with your bad side….and I mean that in the best possible way…of course you know that.

Framing Out the Situation: Getting art right

Nashville seems to know the things that I have an interest in, and presents them to me …. it’s a bit spooky if I do say so.  Nonetheless, I am appreciative of being an object of its solicitation.

framebridge

Framebridge . Custom Framing

There I found – yet another pop-up shop.  I love pop-up shops for their cutting edge introduction of products and services that might never have caught my eye otherwise.  I do sometimes wonder about Big Brother and how omnipresent he is….Framebridge showed up in terms of a store in Nashville and then uncoincidently on my Instagram feed!

This company is super cool.  It offers a really inexpensive alternative to framing art, and if you have ever tried to frame a piece of art – however insignificant – you know it can cost an arm and a leg.  Often way more than the cool coaster that you picked up in a Montana Ranch Bar, or on the CA Coast on one of your surf adventures.  Still, don’t they deserve to be memorialized?  I think so.  Framebridge just might be the answer.

framebridge 5

Commemorate special moments.

Don’t know exactly what your style is?  They’ll help.  You’ll be guided through a visual questionnaire that isn’t just fun, but will identify your style.  From there, their team will work to pick a number of options from which you can choose.  Know exactly what you want…don’t fret – just ask for it and it will be delivered.

framebridge 2

Start small . think expansively.

Delivery – it’s on them. Now if you have a bit of a pessimist in you, let me clear it up.  You can of course send them digital images at no charge and they will frame and return to you for free, but that’s also true of your diploma, your print, a canvas that can be rolled.  They’ll send you a tube to place your art work in, and 3 – 5 business days later – you better be ready to hang your art.

framebridge 7

Remind yourself what it’s all about.

Want tips into turning your home into a carefully curated masterpiece – Framebridge can help there too.  With prices that range fro $39. – $199.  it’s pretty hard not to be surprised, and delighted.

Framebridge 9

Be reminded …. 

Happy Saturday.

 

Evergreen: The Manly Bedroom

Bedgreen 6

West Elm . Sherwin-Williams – leaning toward the green.

Kermit said:  “It’s not easy being green.” Oh Kermie, I think green is beautiful.  It’s the color of nature, and new beginnings.  Of money and survival, of going for it.  It’s rough and rustic, delicate and beautiful.  It’s shades span the muddy and the pure.  It’s a color that could work in all seasons, and for a man or a women, a little girl or a tiny baby boy.

Not long ago I had a visitor to my apartment and she declared it the ultimate Bachelorette Pad.  I laughed, and have to say with No. 4, I’m guilty as charged.  Still it made me think about what my place might look like if I designed my place with a man in mind – not just any man, but a manly man – one that likes the outdoors.   A city place with an ode to the outdoors.

Left:  Worldmarket . Falkland Elsie Upholstered Headboard . $479.  Right:  Ballard Designs Burlap Fringe Curtains $49.00

Bedgreen1

Since it just occurred to me, and I am not actually going to change the design of my beloved No. 4, I chose to consider just the bedroom.  I like mossy greens, and evergreens, textures that evoke the outdoors, and of course something that would actually grow there.

BedGreen Chairish

Chairish . 22″ Spanish Moss Green Panel Linen Pillows . Pair $219.

The big question is …. is it manly enough for your man.

BedGreen2

Rosemary with a little violet.  Don’t men like a little color?