Tuesday, May 20, 2014

What to do with a spare room?

Our energy has been focused on some behind-the-scenes and outdoor projects lately (more on those soon), but in the back of my head, I've been thinking about one room in the house where my original plan might not make sense anymore. I'm talking about our spare bedroom, the mint green square in the floor plan below.

We are currently using the guest bedroom as our master because we haven't really put much energy into the real master. We have a bed and I ordered bedding, but we still haven't settled on a mattress or a rug.

Instead of focusing on the rooms we'll actually be using soon, for some reason, I keep thinking about the extra bedroom. I guess I tend to like to have a rough idea in my head of what my spaces are for so I can develop a color palette and decor scheme slowly.

When we first moved in, we thought the extra bedroom would have twin beds, for when our niece or nephews visit. I had thought we'd love closer to Marc's sister when we first started our hour hunt and had visions of my niece and nephew riding their bikes over all the time. Since we didn't move to their part of the area, I guess I decided that they might want to sleep over with their cool aunt and uncle (I loved sleeping over at my aunt's in Manhattan when I was a kid). As a result, I had images like these in my head, all from previous posts on this blog:

 From Eddie Ross' portfolio, the painting is by John Matthew Moore, posted in November 2009

From the original Domino, posted in July 2010

A horrible phone photo from the Hotel Monaco in Baltimore, posted in September 2009

I liked that last image because there was a leather trunk being used as a table between the beds and I thought it was cool. I'd love to find something more functional but with the same look.

However, these days, I'm wondering how practical it is to have a bedroom with two twin beds in it for child guests that might come once in a blue moon. Is there another function for this space? We already have space set aside for my office/studio and a room for exercise equipment downstairs. Most of my books are on my ipad now, so we don't really need a formal library.

The door to the room has mostly been closed since we moved in and I took the wallpaper off the walls. It currently houses my wedding gowns and my sewing machine's boxes (which were too big to get through the attic door!).

What would you do if you had an extra room in your house?
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Monday, May 19, 2014

A few more peeks at the Charlottesville Design House

Well, I thought I'd share these before the Charlottesville Design House closed for the year, but a few work trips took me away from the blog for a while. Still, I want to share a few more details from the house. In time, Robert Radifera will post his professional photos and you'll be able to see why I loved the house so much this year.

I think the kitchen area, designed by the team of Heidi Brooks, Nealy Johnson, and Ann Sole, was incredible. They did a butler's pantry, powder room, and the kitchen. I heard that the homeower is an architect and collaborated with them on the spaces. My little iphone photos don't do the space justice.

Just beyond the kitchen is a beautiful sitting room by Scarlett and Rebekah Snead.

Upstairs, there are some beautiful spaces. For some reason, I only snapped one picture. Oops!

Four different outfits worked on spaces outside the home. Landscape architect Heather Williams, a Charlottesville Design House veteran, worked in the yard as did Snow's Garden Center and Grounded with Evergreen Hardscapes. The Market at Grelen created a lovely table for the back patio.

I'm kind of fixated on the disposable cutlery on this table. The pieces are shaped like twigs!

I can't wait to share more!

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Wednesday, May 7, 2014

A Peek Inside the 2014 Charlottesville Design House

If you follow me on Instagram, you might have noticed that I've been posting sneak peeks at the Charlottesville Design House this week. Five years ago, I visited the Design House and loved it so much that I asked if I could share a few little details on my blog. I wanted to share enough to inspire people to see the house in person. The money raised by ticket sales benefits the Shelter for Help in Emergency, after all. What's more, photographer Robert Radifera has been taking great photos of the house each year and there's no way my little iphone could rival his work.

Thankfully, the SHE team has always been wonderful about letting me snap a few photos to share online.

A note about getting to the house: There are two ways to get into the Farmington neighborhood. The one that most people know is not made for constant traffic (it meanders along a golf course) and the road is not wide. It's much easier to shuttle people to the house.

If you want to visit, park at Westover Farm on Old Garth Road. You'll see a field set up for parking and a blue tent where you can wait for the shuttle. The shuttle takes less than five minutes since the drivers have passes to get in through Farmington's back gate. If you went to last year's design house, you know the routine. We parked at Westover Farm last year, too.

While I volunteered at the house over the weekend, I talked to one pair of visitors didn't realize that rooms in design houses aren't meant to coordinate. While there are certain colors or elements that might carry over from one room to another, like the gray, geometric patterns in Will Chambers/UFab's bedroom (above) and Moyanne's entrance hall (below), this is purely coincidence. The designers aren't expected to coordinate at all.

Since I've been on a lighting kick lately, I couldn't help but share this beautiful Visual Comfort fixture that Michelle Adams used in her room. While it's hard to pick a favorite space, I think Michelle's is one of my top three!

The light fixture below is in a very unexpected place and was put there by Jennifer Kovaleski of Orange Chair Designs. I won't spoil the surprise, but I'll say that this year's design house spills over into the yard and you'll know where I took this picture after you wander through the outdoor spaces by Heather Williams; Anna Boeschenstein of Grounded and Andy Guercio of Evergreen Hardscapes; Leslie Gregg of The Market at Grelen, and Snow's Garden Center.

More tomorrow!

May 4-18, 2014
10 AM - 4 PM most days
10 AM -7 PM Wednesdays and Thursdays

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Thursday, May 1, 2014

A peek at our dining room and a giveaway!

I am getting closer and closer to having a dining room! We did some painting two weeks ago and had to put the paint supplies away while I tended to some things at work. I pulled out the paint last night and started working on the trim. The dining room has crown molding, baseboards, and a thick chair rail along with two doorways, so there's a bit to do. One coat is done and I'll go back and do a second tonight before hitting the little edges with a tiny brush.

At some point, I'll show the whole room, but for now, here's a little taste of where we are:

If you stop and start painting, you know that the typical way to keep your paint brush wet is to wrap it in plastic wrap. It works, but it's a little messy and if you do a lot of painting, it feels kind of wasteful (I don't use much plastic wrap). The folks behind the Paint Brush Cover sent me a sample so I could check out the reusable alternative to covering paint brushes with plastic wrap.

If you watch Shark Tank, you might remember seeing the Paint Brush Cover on the show. They wound up getting their investor! In fact, the sharks seemed to fight a bit over them! On top of this thing working, the inventors are charming. They even sold their covers to three stores on the morning of their appearance on the show.

You can see their appearance on the show here (that URL should start you at the 30 minute mark, where their segment starts).

Honestly, I was skeptical at first because I was sure air could get in there and dry the brush out. The area where the brush handle protrudes from the case is lined with foam to keep the brush in place and keep air out.

I don't leave paint on my brushes for days and days, but it's nice to know that I can leave them for a couple hours and get back to painting quickly. As the video shows, they've left brushes in the cover for months with no problem.

Here's the giveaway part: one reader will win a Paint Brush Cover and a Roller Cover. U.S. residents only this time.

a Rafflecopter giveaway
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