Posts tagged ‘Inspiration’

December 31, 2013

Christmas Craftiness

I’m racing the clock to turn in a post about the Penny Lane Christmas before the new year rings.

Every Christmas, I get the urge to be super crafty. I think it’s because crafty Christmas decorations are far more acceptable than crafty Tuesday decorations. It’s late. I don’t know what I’m saying.

This year, my craft was an Advent Calendar. I’ve been wanting to put one together for the last few years, but never had a design fully conceptualized until this year. I have Pinterest to thank for a plethora of options from the store bought to the simple DIY to the crazy design-y DIY.

Here are some of my favorites.

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image courtesy of

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In the end, my final design was driven by circumstances and opportunity. Due to our beloved fig tree, we relocated the Christmas tree to our dining area. Opportunity came from a blank wall next to the tree that needed to be filled. Circumstances came from trying to create the calendar almost entirely from materials I already owned: a 24″x48″ canvas with layers upon layers of different paint color from its previous lives, white paint, colored construction paper, double stick tape, and gold paint. All I had to buy were the containers and velcro.

I painted the canvas white (the same white as our walls), laid out a grid for 24 boxes (yes, I was the girl who bought out all the 3 inch paper mache boxes from the metro area Hobby Lobby stores), painted gold numbers on construction paper, labeled the boxes, and attached them with vecro.

The boxes are currently empty, but over the next couple of years, I’d like to fill them with small ornaments each to symbolize a different bible verse telling the story of Christmas.

What about you? Do you get crafty during Christmas? What have you made recently? Tell me in the comments below!

May 28, 2013

What Would Frasier Do?

I am often full of ideas and easily inspired, but there are times when I can get hung up on a space. In those times, I will often think, ‘What would Frasier do?’

I have always been a big fan of the show ‘Frasier’. The televised combination of witty puns, a drizzly climate, and thoughtful interiors is right up my alley. I remember watching syndicated episodes on TV right before bedtime when I was in high school. High school. And here I am, over 10 years later,  wrapping up our bedtime viewing of the series ‘Cheers’ on DVD with plans to continue with its spinoff, ‘Frasier’, on DVD for the third time.

In other words, I like ‘Frasier’… a lot. I also like Frasier’s apartment. I see it as a wonderful combination of classic, eclectic, and contemporary. For those unfamiliar, here’s a floor plan and interior rendering.

image courtesy of Nils Gleissenberger

(I can’t attest to the accuracy of the floor plan considering many story lines included Daphne making trips to a community laundry room.)

So some of you may be thinking, ‘What would Frasier do?? But your interiors look nothing like Frasiers…’. True. I’m inspired by the essence of Frasier’s apartment. Clean lines, neutral colors warmed with wood tones, and a touch of tribal motif. Whenever I need inspiration for creating a warm, classic, masculine space. I think of Frasier.

Stay tuned to read about how I applied this inspiration to a troublesome room of mine.

February 25, 2012

Nate & Aurelio

Way back in September, I blogged about doing some pro bono (ish) design work for my friends Nate and Aurelio (you can go back to read about the inspiration for the design here). I’m happy to announce that a ribbon-cutting ceremony was held today in celebration of the completion of the project. Of course, it wouldn’t be entirely complete without my blogging about the process. Grab yourself a snack and find a comfortable chair because I’ve got tons of before and afters to share.


Please excuse the poor phone picture quality befores as well as any not-so-kind criticisms. They asked for my help for a reason, right?


Note the dark wallcovering that creates a cavernous entry.

Living Room:

Note the white walls, saggy futon, feminine drapes, pillows and artwork, and more tables than anyone could possibly need.

Dining Room Before:

Note again the dark wallcovering and just large amounts of stuff.

Of course there was also a lot of good stuff to be found. I had the foresight to take some pictures of items that stood out to me.

I knew this console table would make a good grounding piece for the entry way.


The carved detail on these nesting tables definitely made my socks go up and down.


A pair of leather-look side chairs intrigued me as well as an oddly placed stack of gentleman’s hats.

I proposed to Nate and Aurelio a more masculine feeling interior using the majority of their existing furniture with an emphasis on neutral colors. I put together this mood board to help visualize my idea.

The hard part was going to be implementing my idea on Nate and Aurelio’s budget. Over the course of the next several months, we removed wallcovering, painted (Sherwin Williams Relaxed Khaki), cleared out and purchased furniture, and hung drapes and art.

Enough already. Here are your Afters.

Items purchased:

Paint & Supplies – $136

Mid Century Modern Sofa – $235

IKEA Minut Wall Lamps – $20 ea.

Plaid Pillows – $11 ea.

IKEA Vilmie Figur Cushions – $13 ea.

Faux Fur Pillows – $50

Rugs – $55

IKEA Ritva Drapes & Hardware – $40 ea. window

Wall Art – $25

Lamp Shades – $15 ea.

Total: just about $700.


If you ask me, the best money was spent on paint and drapes.

It’s amazing what you can do with your own stuff and a few extra bucks, huh?


October 26, 2011


Let me start by saying that I love my church. Rob and I are part of a small community of truly wonderful people who I can’t describe as church-friends. I can’t even describe them as regular friends; they are family.

Last week, some members of Rob and my family moved back home to North Carolina. The Teals were in our lives for just a few years, but they had a huge impact on us and we are very sad to see them go (although their visits will be that much sweeter).

Just before they left, the church celebrated the Teals by hosting an art show for Mr. Teal’s work. I was there taking pictures of the event, while my dad and Mr. Teal commiserated over the lives of artists. When asked which piece was my favorite, I pointed to a piece entitled “Flag: An Orphan’s Pride”. I’ll let Teal tell the story behind the piece, but my initial reaction to the piece was centered around the material that was used to paint upon – denim. Denim is such a basic material, accessible by most everyone. But this piece of denim, tattered at it’s edges, was made unique by a self-described orphan who obviously saw the beauty in this mundane fabric.

Apparently, word of my fondness for the piece spread and last Saturday, while thinking heavily on what wall art to hang above my dad’s cabinet, “Flag: An Orphan’s Pride” was given to me at the request of Teal. I knew instantly where it belonged.



I had actually contacted Teal a few months back asking if he would ever do commissioned work. It was for this exact spot that I was inquiring for. The best part is even if I had commissioned a piece, it would never have been as perfect as the flag is.

October 7, 2011

I Love Pinterest

Follow Me on Pinterest

I don’t know why I resisted it for so long. You’ve probably heard about it and most likely wondering, ‘what is this thing and why is everyone saying it’s so great?’ I like to think of Pinterest as a visual bookmarking tool (individual items link back to their original source with just a click), which is its greatest asset, as well as a designer’s visualizer (grouping things digitally to see how they relate to each other).

And now I’ve added a nifty Pinterest button so you can all follow me.

Here’s just a handful of some of my ‘pins’. Enjoy!


Board: Food

Description: Sweet Potato Salad with Toasted Pecans and Dried Cranberries


Board: Curb Appeal

Description: Oil Rubbed Bronze Spray Paint for EVERYTHING outside. Yesss


Board: @Mentions (items that have made me think of certain special followers)

Description: Thought of you


Board: Organization

Description: Spray Bottle Storage (I added this to my organizational arsenal and it is fabulous)


Board: Tips and Tricks (my favorite board)

Description: Slip-proof your rug: To give an area rug some traction, flip it over, and apply lines of acrylic-latex caulk every 6 inches or so. Once dry, you can safely put down your rug; the rubbery strips will hold it in place.


Board: Closet

Description: How to Tie a Scarf


Board: Autumn

Description: DIY Halloween Plates, or whatever..


Board: Christmas

Description: Stamp Names onto Gifts


Board: DIY

Description: A use for my spare canvas?


Board: Body Art

Description: Geometric


Board: Spaces

Description: Brown & Black


Board: Plants

Description: Succulents


One of these days I’ll start regularly posting home and garden related pins. Just to, ya know, fill the gaps caused by my lack of posting.

May 8, 2011

Enough About Me

I’m pretty excited that, while visiting my dad and step-mom this weekend, I was given permission to post pictures of their home. They are both artists and have a beautiful collection of art; some of which is their own, but most of which are pieces from fellow artists. I find so much inspiration in their home and enjoy tracking its evolution every time I visit.

The following are iPhone pictures, but I think the warmth and depth of their interiors can still be seen despite the lack of resolution.

The entry hallway. Beyond is the “clean studio”.

Art hanging in the sunroom which functions as the main living space.

My favorite spot in the sunroom.

Open storage in the kitchen. Again, beyond is the “clean studio”.

One of my favorite vignettes in the kitchen.

The hallway leading to the guest bathroom, bedrooms and office.

The guest bathroom. I get so much inspiration from this vignette.

Another shot of the guest bathroom.

My Dad at work in their office.

Shelving in the office

And at Ali’s request: their dogs, Crazy Ray…

… and Nelly-Girl.

May 2, 2011

If you haven’t already seen this, you should…

Moby’s are the kind of interiors that make me want to create new words simply by jamming multiple existing ones together a la America’s Next Top Model.


See more images and read the article at

February 24, 2011


Rob and I made a weekend trip to visit my dad in Dallas. We had a great time. There was good shopping, good Vietnamese food, good Mediterranean food and good conversations.

I came away with a bunch of great stuff for the house, which I will milk for all its worth by discussing them in installments. First, books.

Rob loves Half-Priced Books. Especially the giant one in Dallas. Saturday night after dinner, we spent the rest of the evening shopping for books. We all found something we wanted. Mine was “decorative” books.

If there is one thing I have learned to decorate with, it is books, even if it is just horizontally. As you all should know by now, I love this living room.

living room of Derek and Michelle Sanders

Well here’s another angle that shows off their use of books in decoration.

living room of Derek and Michelle Sanders

Stacking books? I think I can do that.

Now, let me start out by saying that so many people can argue with the use of books as decoration because they are being chosen purely for aesthetic reasons rather than their content. That’s where my interests come in handy: art, design and gardening. All good looking things… if done right at least.

With Half-Priced books pricing, it was hard to leave with just two. That Swiss furniture book is still calling my name. But I certainly don’t regret the books I did purchase.

“Vincent Van Gogh” by Marc Edo Tralbaut

“Vincent Van Gogh” by Marc Edo Tralbaut

“The Orchid” by Mark Griffiths

“The Orchid” by Mark Griffiths

“Artfully” stacked.

January 4, 2011

The New Black

Completely out of character, I made an observation the other day:

The Fiddle Leaf Fig is the new Snake Plant.

And I am completely on board.

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One of my goals for the house on Penny Lane was to fill it with house plants. The Fiddle Leaf Fig is certainly one of the few contenders (as it is for everyone else with their eye on good design). My only reservation is the rumor of fickle Figs. One can’t purchase and forget a Fig as easily as they can a Snake Plant.


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image courtesy of

December 29, 2010

Here Comes the Sun

The sun made an appearance and, as promised, I was able to take a slew of pictures showing the progress of our living room.

First, here’s an image of the living room from just a few weeks ago.

And here’s our progress.

The Fresca console table from CB2. I’d like to add a couple of stools underneath for even more seating.

The credenza consists of four 48″ wide and 25″ tall IKEA Besta units. Yes, the entire thing is 16′-0″ wide.

living room of Derek and Michelle Sanders

I’ve been most inspired by the living room of Derek and Michelle Sanders. They also sport a long, low TV unit. I originally wanted to copy their open shelves, but Rob convinced me otherwise. I also really dig their combination of sleek, modern items and primitive objects.

With the doors, were able to hide tons of electronics and cables that can lead to visual clutter. We also gained about a million square feet of storage, for what, I have yet to decide.

One necessary item that got hidden away with the electronics was a clock that could give us the time at a glance. We grabbed this unassuming digital clock while at IKEA. It seems to just disappear into the console table.

We’ve never owned a coffee table and obviously didn’t know what we were missing. A place to casually set a drink or remote that isn’t the arm of the sofa is an attainable luxury.

We feel very much more like grown ups than college students with our Christmas gift to ourselves. What great stuff did you get for the Holidays?