Friday, February 19, 2010

Thank you, Thank you, Thank you

Thank you so much for checking out my blog , sending me incredible comments , and featuring my work.  I will be traveling for a few weeks  for work and promise to respond to all as soon as I'm back.  All my best, kelly

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Battle of the sexes

I wrote this story for a small design publication a few years ago and my rep at the time thought that it made me sound like a spoiled brat.  I am not spoiled or a brat and I did not grow up with a silver spoon in my mouth.  So as we approach Valentine's Day please read this short story and try not to judge me.  It was meant to be funny and show how sometimes as a stylist and designer a little groveling goes along way.
This is a story, a true story in fact. However, the names have been changed to protect the innocent. We will start this story about twenty years ago when a young couple decided to spend the rest of their lives together in wedded bliss (well, most of the time). The wife of this story is an interior designer and stylist and the husband owns a recruiting agency. Let’s call the husband Matt….a little background might be helpful…Matt comes from a family of eleven brothers and sisters. All turned out to be lovely people. Coming from such a large family, function and practicality were rule of the day. The term interior designer was never mentioned in this household. In fact looking at photos of Matt’s life the same plaid couch shows up in every picture, from birth to graduation. Needless to say this couple comes to this marriage with very different ideas of what a house should look like. They do however agree on the basis of love being the most important element of a home. As an interior designer the wife, we’ll call her Kelly, has always felt that her house should reflect her style and talents. Over the years Kelly noticed that Matt started to refer to furniture as the” F” word .He did not look kindly on anything considered” NOT PRACTICAL”. His complaints became constant about the many bruises he endured from newly placed furniture moved/appearing with out his knowledge or consent. So when Kelly decided years ago that she would like to remove the upper cabinets in the kitchen and replace them with open shelving the suggestion went about as far as the next period of this sentence. Over the years though, she would bring this up and at times seemed to be getting somewhat of a favorable response… she clung to this. After many favors and ok, some groveling, the open shelving idea came to fruition. Not in the kitchen but in a small adjoining room off the kitchen. Some might call this a closet, but I… (I mean Kelly) had decided to call it the extension to the kitchen. Victory you say…not so fast. The volleying still continues with this couple…Basketball court vs. closet organizers, pool tables vs. window treatments. I’d like to say that this couple lived happily ever after but the jury is still out and for now Kelly is content with her open shelving. Now if only she can convince him to put hardwood floors in the bedroom she’d be really happy. The end.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Basement envy

This renovated basement of Tricia Foley's has areas for work, entertaining, flower arranging, and laundry.  Tricia found this 12 seat picnic table at a yard sale and freshened it up with paint. She swapped out red vinyl upholstery on the benches with linen.  Tricia has the talent and ability to create a space that draws you in.  Simple yet so inviting.  Open shelves are another Tricia Foley frequently done favorite of mine .   Peg rails in the mud room are one of the designer's favorite organizing tool.  The mud room is rimmed with them for her frequently used items. Here is a link to Tricia's site to see more of her incredible style. 

Monday, February 8, 2010

boy oh boys

Growing up in a family of all girls I could never have imaged the life in store for me. After twenty years of marriage, a wonderful husband and two incredible sons; 16 and 18, I feel blessed. My house on a daily basis might have two boys (young men) or twenty. As a designer and a stylist I love for things to look a certain way. BUT, and it is a big but…I’ve given up some of my interior wants for a stress free existence (I’m only talking interiors). Because, at the end of the day, or during the day, I refuse to worry about furniture or my interiors. Here are some suggestions that have worked for me.

Leather: I love linen, the lighter the better but not in this house, not with teen-agers. Distressed leather has become my old faithful; it’s practically indestructible. In the past when one of my sons carved his name in the leather with his fingernail, I was able to rub the evidence out. Spills of every beverage know to man have occurred but are long forgotten .Because my leather is dark, I’ve opted for white walls, I love the contrast…Benjamin Moore white…  hand prints on ceilings, walls and baseboards can easily be washed off (Mr. Clean miracle sponge is another of my all time favorite cleaning tools). The leather backdrop gives me the opportunity to add any color accessory for an added pop. Light blue pillows made with a sunbrella type fabric look as clean as the day I picked them up. Which brings me to another great tool…Performance Fabrics: They aren’t just for outdoors anymore. I use them for sofas, chairs, pillows, etc. There are so many options now a day. I love their durability and I love not having to worry about spills or shoes marks on pillows. They clean up so well, Patterns, florals, solids are all available and affordable.

Kid friendly furniture is another must for stress free living with boys. When I say kid friendly I mean furniture that has been around for a while that has lots of history, lot’s of character. Take for example my farmhouse kitchen table, I picked it up at the Brimfield flea market for $150.oo. It has cracks and dings and spots all over it. But, it looks great and I never, ever, ever worry about scratches, hot pans, run off crayon marks from my nieces or red wine stains.

Sometimes I look at magazines longingly , wanting that certain look and feel; quite different from what I have and then one  son walks into the room juggling fruit and the other is sprawled out on the couch eating salsa and chips and I think…I love my house…
Mitchell Gold distress leather sofa and sunbrella covered fabric pillow allow for stress free living. The small stools are from Brimfield and are my modern day tv trays ($25 each).
My Brimfield farmhouse table that has endured so much but looks so great.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Tricia, Tricia, Tricia

Tricia Foley is amazing.  Her style mesmorized me years and years ago when I first saw her work in a magazine.  Tricia is a designer, stylist, author, editor and so much more.  Her latest book;At home with Wedgewood, the Art of the Table is filled with Tricia's famously simple yet elegant spaces.  I had the pleasure of meeting Tricia a few years ago at a book signing on Cape Cod at one of my favorite shops, Good and White in Falmouth, Massachusetts.  Tricia was kind and gracious and I loved meeting her.
I love Tricia's simplicity , her use of textures brings every space to life.  Her style seems affordable but so well thought out and put together.  I love that she is able to use a painted picnic table in her main living space and it looks like it's meant to be there.  Her use of white walls has always connected us.  I can't wait to see what's next for Tricia. Images from Tricia's Foley's website