February 25, 2013:

Making Headway

Mercury Retrograde is in full effect. I just wrote this post hit save and Safari crashed on me. 

I'm firming up plans for my Den. The unexpectedly freezing winter has derailed our bathroom renovation until warmer weather preveails. Which is a blessing as I am torn between tubs and tile choices. I think both are going to need a little more attention than I have to give right now.

So the Den it is. We are desperate to get rid of the toys from the main part of the house. We need a guest room. We need more space and we have it, it's just being wasted at the moment with our Hoarding. It's not even Hoarding, it's just a lack of time to sort, organize and purge. There's also all that hockey gear. Good GOD.

So here's what we have: A Tuxedo Sofa. It's a sofa bed actually. It's nice and compact. We also have a tv and an ottoman that needs reworking. It has great legs but it's warped so we need to ditch the upper part and start over again with the legs only. I have made the fabric selections. Here we go....

This one was a no brainer for me. I saw Eliza's Garden from Robert Allen and I knew it was destined for my life. This is going to go on the sofa. I am determined to bring back big bold floral patterns on sofas. I was going to do the sofa tailored originally but we've since decided to add a skirt to it. So freaking excited.

The new Viridian collection from Robert Allen is divine. This Helios Plaid I see as our ottoman.  

Kyle James. I adore this fabric also from Robert Allen. I have it in the brick red colourway in my living room. It's a staple fabric in my life.  I'm not sure where this fabric needs to go in the room yet, but it needs to go somewhere. We will need a chair or two in the room, maybe even a pouf. I haven't figured either of these out yet but I'm making excellent progress to get to this point.

Walls. I'm of two minds on this one. I need to do bookcases because I need the storage. I may build them around the sofa and in doing so, do I do the backs of the cases in the green grasscloth and keep the bookcases in an warm white? Or do I wallpaper the room in the white Arrowroot grasscloth by Phillip Jeffries (the green is Key West, Arrowroot)? If I wallpaper the room in the white grasscloth, I'm for sure going to do the crown moulding and casings in a kelly green (slightly muddied so it's not a Skittle colour) gloss. Then I'd add some bookcases that tone into the grasscloth to keep the incredible tiny room from feeling overwhelmed by cabinetry. Of course I'm going to add periwinkle and cobalts as the pop in the space...  VERY excited about this plan. Now, would someone mind coming over and taking out the wall, supplying and installing a heated floor and say a new french door for me? Like now??

February 21, 2013:

More #Spruce!!!

Mercury Retrograde is in full farking effect. Read my twitter feed for a recap. Let's just say that Thursday was both an awesome and a horrific day. Yup split straight down the middle. I'm posting more about Spruce in an attempt not to take a few suppliers and run them up a flag pole so that all can behold the stupidity and ridiculousness of their supposed business models. However I JUST saw the commercial for THE VOICE and see that the new season starts in a MONTH so I'm now bsck up up up again. Good Lord I'm swinging Mood Swing a la Britney the Shaved Head Umbrella years... this is a bad and a good sign.

Did you notice my twitter/instagram/Vine feed on Weds? Phillip Phillips and I ended up having a surprise date before my rendezvous with Rob Thomas commenced. I was more excited than the night before with Adam Levine. I don't know how that is possible but I was literally vibrating out of my seat. It also made me feel about 20 years younger than the rest of the audience who totally didn't know the words to PP's songs. Ha ha ha... love it. Focusing on the positives here people WORK WITH ME!!!

And here we go....

The initial mandate for #Spruce was to incorporate cabinetry & built ins to provide storage & display for a huge collection of collectibles. I say collectibles because there is a wide array of items to display. A designer's dream to shop the client's house let me tell you.

They also needed some actual furniture too but being a narrow victorian much like my own, there were lots of considerations that had to be made along the way to maximize both perceived & available space.

To that end, we decided if you recall, to build a dining room slash library. Umm HELLLLOOO dream come true for this designer!!! I've shared on instagram, facebook and even twitter and thought I'd shared here but apparently I've been remiss. Allow me to correct this.

BAM. Hello Gorgeous. Now you may recall I shared some sneak peeks of the crown & casings throughout. We chose to paint them up in Boothbay Gray from Benjamin Moore because they needed to tie into all the cabinetry which is also in the same colour. The walls are Gray Owl. This reversal of colours was specific - I wanted them to have a period feel and white would be just sooooo cookie cutter predictable you know?

Here's the other side of the buffet. We'll be adding a Bardiglio marble on top of the buffet part in the middle and Antique Glass will be going above on the wall. Crazy excited about this.

Now our original plan was to put a bookshelf across the doorway however, the room has two entrances and we raised the doorway on the other side to make it more stately when you come into the house. We had to raise this one to match of course, which is cutting into our design. We have room to add a thin shelf but it won't line up with the other shelves so we may just skip the shelf and add a decorative panel there. Design is always about being flexible and solving problems that arise that aren't really problems per say but are more like deviations from the plan. If you can't improvise, you are dead in the water.

Polished Nickel hardware installed. I know I've been using brass hardware for the last two years religiously but I don't love it with the Boothbay Gray. I'm okay with it in the collections that are going to adorn the shelves but I really like how the polished nickel works in this instance. ALSO we have the sexiest picture lights from Visual Comfort that are going to be installed on the bookcases imminently that are really going to make everything go BOOM BOOM BOOM.

February 21, 2013:

My Name is Meredith & I’m a Pillow-A-Holic

Pillows complete me almost more than they do a room. I'm always incredulous when people pass up the pillows I'm pushing. I mean seriously they are the cornerstone to every room's fabric scheme.

I'm always on the look out for less expensive options to fill in a pillow plan. I am not advocating skipping out on my pillows but occasionally we have to pick one expensive option and then need the rest to play a supporting role. Now having said this, I'm decidedly of the belief that if you are paying less than $150/pillow you are getting an inferior product.

Here are a few options from retailers that may make me reconsider this bold statement I've just made.

CB2 is first up. These are FUN! Now the key to mixing and matching less expensive pillow options with fabulously decadent ones is to vary the material the pillows are made of. If you do all cotton pillows or all linen you won't be achieving the right mix. The combination will feel flat and lifeless. Because of course pillows are a lifeform... I love these indigo ones and of course a Hicks-esque La Fiorentina-wannabe. I'm so going to check these out - I'm really considering red as our accent colour in Luke's big boy room. Am I nuts? DKNY 2013 Fall tells me I'm on the right track predicting the return of RED.

Same palette but this is from West Elm. You could mix and match between the two. I love the Alyson Fox Stencil pillow in the top left. Would make for a great Boho space or cottage even. Ciara did you hear that???

Crate and Barrel. I gotta say CB I've been disappointed for the last year or so maybe a bit longer in your textiles. Call me. I'd be happy to design a line for you.

Now I'm not a fan of their CEO's politics so I'm conflicted to even give them any play on here but these pillows from Anthropologie are hurting my heart they are so beautiful. So there you go don't say I can't compromise.

February 20, 2013:

#Spruce Street Contemporary Victorian

We are so so so close to #Spruce Street being done. It's all looking so very very good. The client told me that after posting pictures on Facebook last week, a friend of hers asked her if they'd moved into a new house. HA! This from someone who had BEEN to their home before the renovation.

Love a dramatic before and after!!!

We opened up what would have been the dining room by taking out a wall and building in the open area where the railing was leading to the basement and re-routed wires and PITA Cold Air Returns into said wall allowing us to mount the TV there and effectively borrow 3 ft from the hallway to make the living room feel bigger than it is. We also needed to include a built in desk area in the living room and then the curve ball was thrown at us that the desk should be moveable. We solved this by using a tambor and adding wheels to the desk proper to allow for it to dock in with the rest of the cabinetry but the wheels enable it to be pulled out to face the tv... pretty smart thinking on my handsome husband's part.

The tambor is very thin so finding hardware for it is proving tricky.

We've got tall ceilings so the shelves above go right to the top.... can't wait to style these babies. I've got some Sheraton knobs in mind in a nickel but I think they may be too big.

See what I mean???

We did double duty with this chair... it needs to be loungey but ergonomic at the same time. The client tried it out and was immediately comfortable which is a very good sign especially considering she's rather pregnant with a second set of twins. Yes you read that correctly.

Sexy Splayed leg... We put a Robert Allen Naturals fabric on the back and one of their glazed linens on the front. I am obsessed with the glazed linen AND the Naturals collection. I previewed it back in the spring at #Brimfield if you recall. I'm finding it SO versatile and price friendly. I'll post more tomorrow about the dining room and some of the other Robert Allen textiles we've used throughout.

February 18, 2013:

Modern Glamour with a Traditional Twist

Our #Brooklin project is full steam ahead & we've begun the ordering process. If you read my rants on twitter last week about spreadsheet hell & Mercury Retrograde you will appreciate that it literally takes a village to launch a design project. So much too and froing to find yourself at numbers that then have to be approved. It's like a merger/acquisition negotiation. That's just between Celia and I in the office before we even present it to the client... sheesh.

It's always well worth it.

Once you have the big pieces in place, it makes the choosing of the smaller more nuanced aspects of the project all the easier.  It also enables you to create or add in the layers that don't already exist for a new project. #Brooklin is a newly constructed home. Our job is to make it look like the family home that has evolved over time. I think this is where we at MHD excel. Not that I'm always for making new look old, I just like it to reflect the owners and give it the sense that it did evolve despite being curated by yours truly.

Here's how we plan to do that....

Our palette clearly established now, we've got to make choices that will add impact where our budget starts to lose steam. Contrast and vivid colour blocking will be the key to making the f*cking magic happen. I'm ridiculously excited about the finds we've made to do this. The horns are going to flank said mirror above the fireplace. We'll layer in silver boxes & objets to give it a luxe feel. The Etosha Zebra wallpaper from Thibaut is going in the entire back half of the house. Family room, Breakfast Room, Kitchen and up the curved stairwell wall to the 2nd Floor. The graphic prints have to find a home in this family room but I've also enlisted the two darling boys who call this house home. Franz Kline is about to meet his younger colleagues....

Now the secret to making things look evolved... avoid the matchy poo. Purposefully select colours that are slightly off the same chip. In this case, we're going to add warm animal print in the form of pillows & maybe a deer pelt stool to create depth and warmth in our family room. We've got a killer paisley hexagonal ottoman of my own design going in there so I'd like the stool to go in front of the fireplace to really add some wow to that vignette and then we're going to throw these pillows on to the sectional. I love clients who love animal print anything. Heck these clients are entirely game for any and everything we've thrown at them. BLESSED!!!!