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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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?

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Be reminded …. 

Happy Saturday.

 

Evergreen: The Manly Bedroom

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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

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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.

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

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

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

A Room for all Seasons

 

Spring….

I love changing up the design and furnishings in my home, wantonly following the color trends of the season, or the Pantone Color of the year.  I thought to myself today, what will happen to me when I no longer just go out and buy a new house so I can decorate again?  Gasp, will I have to choose a single design that I live with for the rest of my life?

Summer….

That’s just unimaginable.  I don’t want to sound spoiled, so I think I need to remind everyone that I’ve moved about a million times in the last three years so I could continue to design and decorate.  It’s not really that ideal.  Wasn’t it Dorothy Parker who said, “I started this career because I loved doing houses.  I had done three of my own, and I couldn’t keep on moving my family all the time, so I started decorating other people’s homes and buildings.”

Fall….

I do foresee a future when I no longer have the inclination to move every 8 – 12 months.  While that doesn’t feel at all like me, I think it will in fact be me….somewhere down the road.  I’ve only owned this place 351 days.  That’s right – tomorrow marks my 1 year anniversary here.  Yet, I am restless, even as a few nudgy items left unfinished, I feel ready to move on.

Winter…

Still, I am staying for a least one more full year.  A virtual eternity for me.  So I’ll stage for the show, in a season that seems most fitting for No. 4, but in order to appease my desire to flee I am working a seasonal change-up.  I wondered to myself if it was possible, through flowers and pillows, and maybe an accessory here and there to give a living room a facelift – a make-over – a touch of the daring and or whimsy.  Please do let me know if you think I succeeded, or if you have ideas of your own on how I can remain happy in a marriage to this place that has to last me for another whole year.

 

 

 

Hungry for Great Design

 

Nashville is a growing city.  By more than a 100 people per day, and their appetite for food is growing with it.  Music City is singing a savory tune these days as it expands its repertoire of talents to feed the hungry, and they are doing it in the prettiest way possible.

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Henrietta Red

Since my last visit in May there must be a dozen new restaurants that have popped up across the 21 or so neighborhoods to please your palette.  The sophistication of the food took me by surprise.  It’s not just southern fried deliciousness, which you can certainly get, it’s a fusion of flavors, and continents, coupled with fresh produce, spices, in magically surprising combinations.

 

Barista Parlor a converted gas station with coffee that will really rev your engine…tooo much?

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I could eat this food within the walls of defunct cinder block gas station and love it, but they’ve paired it with elegantly designed spaces.  I think of Boston as a city that loves its food, and its citizens, whose insatiable desire for the new and the hip drive a steady stream of new places to eat, to the market, but look out Boston – Nashville just might have you beat.

 

From The Gulch to Germantown, and 12 South we explored the design and culinary delights of  six spots in three days.  Sea Salt, 209 3rd Ave. N, Nashville.  The Southern – an old favorite never disappoints with its fresh design and traditionally inspired southern food, and unbelievable raw bar.  Bar Taco – a chain, but a deliciously conceived one at that.  Mockingbird, 121 12th Ave. N, NashvilleI thought this would be my favorite, and it was until the following night when I dined at Fifth and Taylor, 1411 Fifth Ave. N, Nashville, an old mill building where a sculpture of General Nash the city’s namesake stood guard over the crowd atop his sculpted horse. Henrietta Red stole my heart with the orange blossom Monkey Bread and their oysters…Yum-O!

 

Fifth and Taylor