Wednesday, August 26, 2015

A Look Inside the Newly Reopened Lanesborough Hotel

I'm about to start traveling for a little while and anticipate seeing endless corridors of identically decorated Marriott hotels all along the way. What a dream it would be to stay at a historic hotel that's been carefully updated and decorated with meticulous attention to detail like the newly reopened Lanesborough Hotel in London.

The Lanesborough closed its doors at the end of 2013 to undergo a massive renovation with the late Alberto Pinto's design team and ReardonSmith Architects. 2,100 books of gold leaf were used on the ceilings during the update and 5,500 unique stencils were used over the course of 2,000 hours of painting. There are five different bedroom designs and 14 different kinds of canopies used over the beds. The "royal suite" in the hotel is 4,800 square feet and includes seven bedrooms.

On to the gorgeous images...

[Share to Pinterest]

Monday, August 17, 2015

An Unexpected Bosch Dishwasher Purchase

We have definitely gotten a few curve balls thrown our way this summer. Another one came our way last week in the kitchen.

The brand-new dishwasher in the kitchen at our house was almost identical to the one that had been in my condo when I first moved to Charlottesville. While Frigidaire is a fine company, the bottom-of-the-line dishwasher the builder of the condo installed never did a good job of cleaning the dishes. I always did a pre-wash before loading dishes and had to use the longest cycle on the machine. Even after an hour or more in the dishwasher, some items would have to get washed again.

 The worst dishwasher ever made. Ugh.

I lived with that terrible dishwasher for years until Marc bought me a fabulous Bosch for Christmas one year.The Bosch was amazing and so quiet that there were times when I opened the door without realizing it was turned on! It might sound strange, but I loved that dishwasher.

When we moved into the house, I wished we had written into the real estate contract on the condo that we would take our Bosch with us. I was back to the low-end dishwasher that didn't clean. The previous owner put new appliance in the kitchen to sell it and the installer didn't set up the drain line properly. This wasn't discovered until we did our first load of dishes and saw water appear in one of our sinks. Oops.

When we woke up to an inch of dirty water on the bottom of the dishwasher one day last week, I knew what to do because the same thing happened back in the condo. I took the dishwasher a part to clean the components (they were clogged) and then put it back together fully expected everything to be back to normal. But the water still wouldn't drain. I tried a few more things and the water still wouldn't drain.

At this point, Marc opened the Lowes website on his ipad and pushed it over to me.

I had four features on my wish list for a new dishwasher.

1. It had to be a Bosch. I know there are other excellent brands, but our experience with Bosch was so great that I didn't feel the need to pour over reviews.

2. It had to have a third rack. A few years ago, I saw an ad for a Bosch dishwasher with a third rack for flatware. I love how the flatware sits so the spoons don't "nest."

3. It had to have a handle that was a bar, not one recessed into the door. This is not a huge deal, but I find the recessed handle on our current dishwasher annoying and when my hands are wet, they sometimes slip off it.

4. I wanted a control panel with hidden buttons. I know the control panel can break regardless, but I like pushing buttons over pressing on a digital display.

We settled on a dishwasher from Bosch's 500 series. I think I only found one washer that had all of the traits I wanted. Our previous dishwasher was probably from the lower line, the 300 series, and it was still a great washer, so we hope the 500 level machine will even better.

Unfortunately, the machine isn't in stock anywhere near us, so we had to order it through Lowes. There have been some complications...including someone calling my husband and trying to convince him to get a different machine because they have to order this one, but we are sticking with the model we picked. It should arrive later this week!
[Share to Pinterest]

Friday, August 7, 2015

Embroidery Studio Tour

I spent so much time in the studio this week that it was a disaster zone. When deadlines are looming, I don't always put my supplies away. The result made me do a big clean up last night and when a room is looking tidy, I tend to photograph it.

 I last shared this room in January. Since them, my thread racks have expanded and my sample board has gone from empty to cluttered.

Most sewing studios I see are a little messy and I think my wall of storage is why I can clean mine up pretty quickly. When we moved in, I didn't think I could fill the deep shelves behind those doors, but they are full of fabric, stabilizers, and supplies.

I can't convey how much time is spent ironing and starching when you do embroidery. Everything has to be ironed and any cottons have to be starched heavily to embroider nicely.

I never used to save my test stitch-outs (before I use a design on something important, I use it on a piece of inexpensive fabric), but I save them so I can reference them without even opening my embroidery software.

I'll be starting my next round of projects, some items for babies, tonight!
[Share to Pinterest]

Thursday, August 6, 2015

Celebrate Back to School Giveaway - Enter to win a $200 Gift Card to Amazon

Where did the summer go? I can't believe that people are already preparing for school. I even saw Halloween decorations at a local store. I'm not ready yet! 

To ease you into fall shopping, I teamed up with Chloe Crabtree of Celebrate & Decorate and some other great blogs to bring you an awesome giveaway.

The more entries you complete, the higher your chances are of winning. If you don’t have time to fill out all of the entries you may come back and complete any entries that you may have missed. Good luck!
a Rafflecopter giveaway


Celebrate Back-to-School Giveaway Rules

Entry Period: August 6, 2015 at 12:00 a.m. EST to August 18, 2014 at 12:00 a.m. EST
Prize: One winner will receive a $200 Amazon Gift Card.

Eligibility and Rules: Open Worldwide. NO PURCHASE NECESSARY TO ENTER OR WIN. A PURCHASE DOES NOT IMPROVE YOUR CHANCES OF WINNING. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW. This giveaway is open to individuals 18 and older. The winner will be chosen randomly through Rafflecopter's partnership with It is the sole responsibility of the winner to adhere to all laws, which includes payments to any governing tax body.

Winner Selection: The winner of the giveaway will be selected in a random drawing through Rafflecopter from among all eligible entries received throughout the promotion period. The random drawing will be conducted within 48 hours of the closing of the giveaway by Celebrate & Decorate or its designated representatives, whose decisions are final. Odds of winning will vary depending on the number of eligible entries received. Potential winner must be subscribed via email to the following websites to be eligible to win:,,,, and Winner will be notified by email from

Potential winner must accept the prizes by email as directed by Celebrate & Decorate within 48 hours of notification. Any winner notification not responded to or returned as undeliverable will result in prize forfeiture.

Rafflecopter Disclaimer: This promotion is powered by Rafflecopter. Metric Feat, LLC (“Rafflecopter”) does not sponsor, administer or endorse this promotion. By entering this giveaway, participants agree to Rafflecopter’s Privacy Policy.

Social Media Disclaimer: Entrants should understand that they are providing their information to the sponsors of the giveaway and not to Facebook, Pinterest or Instagram. This promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with any of these social media sites.

Disclaimer: This giveaway is blog sponsored and is in no way associated with Amazon. If there are anyquestions, please email
[Share to Pinterest]

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

My Green Front Furniture Purchases

I've been raving about how much I loved my visit to Green Front Furniture lately and I never shared the items that I purchased! My sales person, Christie Jones, let me take all the time in the world coming to a decision about these items. I am not one for impulse purchases and with all of the work that still needs to be done in the house, I have to make decisions about new items while also thinking about the rest of our "to do" list for the house. We still need to do the floors (five kinds of flooring in one house...ugh), remove the old, electric heaters from the baseboards, and do a lot of tree work out in the yard.

I decided to focus on finishing two rooms where we are closest to being "done" (in quotes because is it every really done?). First, the dining room needed two chairs to be ready for guests. I had four custom chairs that I had made back when I was in my condo, but no way of tracking down the manufacturer because the furniture store where I ordered them (Gallahans in Fredericksburg) is out of business. I looked at so many chairs in the same style, but none were quite right. I decided that getting two chairs that were deliberately different - both bigger and in a different fabric - might work.

As I was browsing, I saw a chair that might be perfect for our dining room. It's in this photo.

Long story short, Christie found that they had one on the floor and one in another warehouse. She brought the two together and they were mine! I was able to take them home on the spot in the back of my SUV.

I love that they relate to the chairs I already have, but their proportions are larger so they look appropriate as host and hostess chairs. That's actually a term I saw on another site used for chairs at the head of a table that are different that the rest.

The chairs are made by Jessica Charles, located just a few hours away in Hickory, NC. You know how much I love furniture that's made in North Carolina!

One of my favorite details is the card that came with the chairs that was signed by each team member who made them.

The second piece I bought only just arrived at the house this week. Green Front has a flat fee for their white glove deliver, so whether you order one item or ten, you pay the same fee. For Charlottesville, the fee is $75, which is half the fee that I pay when I order furniture from my favorite store in Richmond.

I was looking for a dresser, chest, or sideboard for our front hall. There were literally dozens of options at Green Front. After a lot of walking back and forth through Building 9 to look at my three favorites, I settled on this one: a mahogany sideboard with starburst details by Jonathan Charles Furniture.

I worried that it was too ornate or dark at first, but I loved the shape and height of it that I decided to take it. The front hall will have darker floors eventually and we'll have the heater removed, but here is the sideboard after it was delivered yesterday.

I think some tall, thin lamps will help balance things out. Right now, the bottom half of this area is too "heavy." I'm at a loss for skinny lamps, though. I feel like everything I'm seeing right now is large and shapely. I need to start researching!
[Share to Pinterest]

Monday, August 3, 2015

Shop Tour: Green Front Furniture in Farmville, Part 3

I've saved the best for last! I loved my visit to Green Front Furniture in Farmville and the buildings I've shared in Part 1 and Part 2 were full of wonderful pieces. However, Buildings 9 and 10, where the higher end furniture lines are housed, were my favorites.

Building 9 is also where my salesperson, Christie Jones, has her work space (her area is surrounded by beautiful Hickory Chair vignettes).

Some of these items are old samples that were in showrooms (it seems that a lot comes from High Point Market). Some pieces never made it into the company catalogs, but there are some that are recognizable from ads. When possible, the Green Front staff displays an ad in which an item has appeared.

I purchased three items during my visit and all of then are in these photos. I'll share them later this week!

The basement of Building 9 is a little different from the other areas. It houses a Van Thiel Showroom, which has antique and reclaimed items. They have a post on their blog about it. Though most of the items were too big for my home, they were fun to look at!

[Share to Pinterest]