Thursday, April 30, 2015

The 2015 Charlottesville Design House Opens Saturday!

I am so excited for design house season and the Charlottesville Design House is one of my favorites since it brings together designers from right around here. There don't seem to be too many professional designers on social media in Charlottesville, so the Design House is a great way to see the variety of design styles we have in the community.

This year, the Charlottesville Design House is in Earlysville. It's a little out of the way, but the house looks massive and that means many beautiful spaces to tour!

Tickets are $20 for a one-time visit and $45 for a ticket that's good for the entire duration of the event. I always find that I see things I didn't notice before when I visit a second time. In addition, different professionals will be giving informational talks on certain days, so you might want to make a return visit to attend a talk.

As always, proceeds from the Charlottesville Design House benefit the Shelter for Help in Emergency.

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Tuesday, April 28, 2015

A #LillyforTarget Recap

When Target and Lilly Pulitzer announced a collaboration, I was one of the people who rolled their eyes. I rarely find Lilly Putlitzer clothing interesting these days. The color palettes are a bit too bright for my complexion and the skirts are a bit too short for my taste. I scrolled through pictures of items and didn't really like what I saw until I got to the home items. I saw a few items that I thought were cute, but not stand-in-line-outside-a-Target cute.

The morning the #LillyforTarget collection went on sale, I was at The Homestead. I woke up around 6:30 AM and went to the computer to see what was going on. The collection had gone live on the Target website around 3 AM and there were already problems. At one point, Lilly shop was selling some unusual items.

Meanwhile, Target staffers were getting ready for a preppy invasion in the stores. Look at their happy, sweet faces. They didn't have any clue that the followers of a juice-selling, New York socialite were about to tear their beautiful displays apart.

And then, it was 8 AM.

Maybe I got caught up in the excitement a little bit, but I ordered two beach towels and a blanket from the Target website. A friend in a part of Florida that is somehow immune to Lilly love picked me up a set of dessert plates and I wound up getting two sets of different plates at my local Target a few days later.

There are Lilly groups on Facebook where people are trading items and even posting pictures of returns at their local stores in case someone online wants anything. It's kind of funny to see everyone sharing updates from their local stores, buying items for total strangers, and trading goods. I don't think this kind of thing happened during past Target collaborations.

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Monday, April 27, 2015

A Visit to the Homestead

One of my professional organizations announced that our annual conference would be at The Homestead in Hot Springs, Virginia this year. A friend and colleague has been on the conference planning committee for years and I'm on a sub-committee, so we were definitely going. We decided to check in early and explore on the Saturday before the conference, which started on a Sunday.

Our drive took just 90 minutes, but we felt like we were hours away from Charlottesville. Our room was charming and beautiful. It was the perfect place to relax.

This alcove was probably my favorite part of the room. I became sick a day into our stay and I wound up spending a little time on that pretty chaise.

Our view was beautiful and we often saw people walking up the drive to take a picture of the hotel from the top of the hill.

Our bathroom was pretty, though there wasn't much counter space. The walls were painted, but it was obvious that they had been wallpapered. The wallpaper glue was still on the walls (you can see it in the picture below if you look at the upper-right corner.

One of the most lovely traditions at the Homestead is tea time in the lobby, each day at 3 PM. The staff puts out platters of finger sandwiches, biscotti, and scones to go with hot and iced tea.

The event spaces were beautiful, some with impressive draperies, light fixtures, and art. The conference spaces were a big change from the chain hotels at which our conference is usually held.

Though our schedule was a bit too packed to take advantage of the spa during the day, we did take a look at that section of the resort and we used the indoor pool at night.

On our first night, we saw a wedding in the main ballroom, but we go to see the space up close later in our stay, as our conference social was held there.

A few more pictures of pretty spaces...

There were a few things that puzzled us. First, that the floor numbers skip floors 2-9 and 11. Our 14th floor room was actually just two stories above the ground.

There are massive doors that look original all over the hotel. We figured they must be fire doors.

Sadly, there is a lot of deferred maintenance evident on the property. There's a lot of wood rot, peeling paint, and wallpaper falling off the walls. The main public spaces are beautiful, but some of what we saw in hallways and stairways made us worry that Omni (which currently operates The Homestead) could use some more help with maintaining this historic property.

We were told that if we liked The Homestead, we have to get to The Greenbriar next. I would love that see the interiors and the famous bunker under that property. Maybe next year...
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Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Paint Obsessed (now in the kitchen)

I don't know why I keep flittering from one idea to the next these days, but after a couple days of contemplating painting the living room, I started thinking about painting the old and plain cabinets in our kitchen. One day, we'll do a full kitchen renovation, but that is way down the line. The kitchen functions. While it isn't pretty, it works.

The tricky piece of the puzzle is the granite the previous owner put in a few years ago. It is called Copper Sunset granite (the paperwork was in a design drawer) and it is pretty special.

I have debated painting the cabinets white or a gray that has some beige in it. I think white would make the counters scream out at you, so I started thinking about grays. At one point, I turned to the forums at Houzz for ideas and most suggested a gray that picks up on some flecks in the granite. One person said a minty green would counter (haha) the color nicely.

The green seemed a bit too out there, so I started looking at grays and beiges. 

Which led to the inevitable trip to the paint store to get samples. I ordered six samples and was certain one would emerge as the winner.

You know what happens when I can't decide on a color? I keep painting. And painting. I painted an entire side of one bank of cabinets with the sample paints.

Then I painted some uppers in the same colors to see how they looked in different lighting.

Marc had a clear favorite (the last color, BM Stone Harbor) and I thought two were solid contenders. The first color, BM Northern Lights, and the fourth, BM Plymouth Rock.

So I did another round of painting, at which point Marc decided he hated Stone Habor and liked Northern Cliffs. I liked Plymouth Rock.

So there was yet another round of painting.

And now we hated them both.

Just for the heck of it, I added a little section of some beiges that I had in the house - Manchester Tan and Maritime White. Then I painted a section in Simply White to see if white would look better compared to the grays.

Now I'm confused.

Tuesday night, I saw a kitchen on House of Turquoise with light blue/green cabinets and started wondering if that one person on Houzz was right...would the green work with the pink counters?

J. Bryant Boyd Design-Build design, photographed by Carlos Baron / via House of Turquoise
I've been playing with Benjamin Moore's website where you can virtually "paint" a room, but it isn't helping much. Once again, I'm stumped.
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Monday, April 13, 2015

A Filter Easy Update

It's been about a year since I first posted about signing on with the replacement HVAC filter service, Filter Easy. Our central air system required a huge filter that wasn't sold at the local hardware stores. On top of that, I was horrible about remembering to replace the filter every three months. With Filter Easy, a new filter arrives every three months so I can't forget and I don't have to track down the odd filter.

I unsubscribed from the service for a few months in the fall when we weren't running our air conditioner (the previous owner put in air conditioning, but no heat pump), but started up again when we replaced our HVAC in December.

We just did the first filter change with the new system.

The filter we pulled out was gross. I'm actually thrilled because the ones we replaced with the old system were never that dirty, which made me wonder about how efficient the system was running. This new unit seems to be moving the air well.

The Filter Easy folks sent a coupon code with this most recent shipment. Click here if you'd like to get $5 off shipping your first filter and use the code "HALF4FRIENDS" when you check out to get half off your first order.
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Friday, April 10, 2015

Would you paint multiple rooms the same color?

There was a time when I would find looking through my paint fan decks so entertaining. I loved putting together color combinations and palettes. Perhaps it's because my condo had an open floor plan and the majority of the place was painted one color. I think the condo only had four colors in it at the end - BM Smoke in the majority of the place, BM Secret in the kitchen, BM Quiet Moments in the bathroom, and BM Maritime White in the bedroom.

With about 15 rooms in the house, there are so many walls to paint. I thought I'd have so much fun picking colors. I guess I did...but after picking a couple, I keep thinking that I would love to paint more rooms with them. The living room would look great painted the same pale pink (BM Shell Pink) that I used in the front hall. But this house doesn't have an open floor plan like the condo. Does painting adjacent rooms the same color work?

Another option is to go neutral in the living room and pull my beloved pink into the space with fabric, like in this room by Anne Hepfer, which is painted with BM Ranchland.

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