Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Inundate: to overwhelm as if with a flood; to cover with water, particularly floodwaters, emotion or visual inspiration

It is spring and that means change. Even the grass and trees are dressing up. Sidewalk tables appear at favorite Chicago establisments where you can now enjoy the casual company of a butterfly with your cafe au lait. In fact, I'm enjoying the brick walls and toasted maple floors inside Floriole, while being graced by the sun and breeze. It's a magnificent invention, those sliding glass doors.

It can be overwhelming, this deluge of life, as people and greens come out from hiding and into a very confusing combination of 80 to 40 to 60 degree weather. We're all in though. Everyone and everything is participating, except for winter coats and folded wool sweaters. We seem to be fully submerged in spring.

Making seasonal debuts are; white, green, coral and blue.

One of the best parts of letting seasonal change inspire, is making interior changes in step with mother nature. You may have seen my bedding here before, but it was time for something new. Light weight cotton linen and new 100% egyptian cotton sateen sheets. The duvet isn't new though, it was actually the first item that ever inspired me to redecorate. It's timeless and feels like home. In my book, a good bit of bedding is as classic as a good pair of shoes.

This week has been a surge of visual inspiration and emotion. I am thankful for both, and hopeful for this upcoming season.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012


Affection, desire, warmth, tenderness? These are the words I've found used for the definition of love. Maybe they describe characteristics of it, but they don't define it. I'm leaving this one blank for now.

This week's realization: I love other people's love. Furthermore, I enjoy making a public show of it. Nothing crazy, I just like weddings. They appeal to my visionary side. Yes, there is much DIY to be done and pretty things to be made. I couldn't even begin to sort through all of the wonderful ideas on Pinterest.

Like my unsettled thoughts about the definition of love though, I am similarly unsettled by our vision of weddings. This is not the place to discuss the reason for, or how they should be viewed, (I know a lot of brilliant people who could explain that much better than I could) rather their expression, their grandeur, and their beauty.

Wedding: the joining of two seperate elements. I like this one. It tells me I have to discover who the individuals are apart and together. It's the event, the one moment in which the joining occurs. Two become one. In a way, golf, wine, and introvert become rollerblades, scotch, and extrovert and vice versa. There are much deeper elements, but these are the ones we generally use to aesthetically describe the two parties of a wedding and who we suspect they will be together. If I continue to plan these things I hope to learn new ways to visually communicate history, pain, joy, fun, interest, experience, family, and hope. The transition from the individual to the union.

There is no greater challenge, which stirs my heart, than creating a visual and experiential element to something that has already been beautifully created. Sometimes it's music, sometimes it's furnishings and textiles, but in a wedding it's people. All of these are often created from, in or with love. People, maybe a more true love, with a better definition.

Sometimes it is about pretty things and you just have to go with your gut :) Here is a taste of the color inspiration for my next wedding planning endeavor. I love navy, ivory and gold for them.

Pinned Image
 From snippet and ink

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Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Rule: a principle or regulation governing conduct, action, procedure, furniture arrangement, my every thought, etc

I am at last willing to admit my love of rules. I always thought I disliked them but I'm learning that I love them. This is a positive and a negative thing. In the world of design and decor, guidelines are incredibly useful (I'll speak to the not so useful another time). I believe more than a few of you have heard me state the distance that should remain between your sofa and your coffee table, and I suspect that many of you have implemented it regardless of how crazy you think I or the rules I embrace are. A few examples:

  • 'Twinkle lights' are for Christmas. They are not for weddings, to be wrapped in tulle, or strung along your living room ceiling.
  • White grout is not for public restrooms.
  • CFL bulbs (like florescents) are bad for you. Well, they're bad for ambiance, but I shall wield the general statement with all my might.
  • Light fixtures hang 28 to 34 inches from the top of your table, are no wider than the diameter of the table less 6 to 8 inches, and so on...
  • Proportion, scale and spacial layout are 75% of the feel of your space. No wall color will fix poor space planning. 
  • Everything is not worthy of chalkboard paint, mostly because I'd like it's appeal to last more than 4 years.
They may seem like pet peeves, and I know they are kind of funny. It's a sample of the way my mind works minute by minute. The visual dsicrminations that allow me and many others to see things for what they could be. I'm open to new thoughts and a changing design landscape, but I think the little things go a long way in impacting our day. From the coffee shop, to the park, to the grocery store, we go in and out of well or poorly thought spaces. Take note, those of us who think this way hope you enjoy our work  ... without noticing the work.

Oh and the coffee table, approximately 18 inches.

Friday, October 28, 2011

"An apple a day ...

...keeps the doctor away." I actually once had a doctor tell me this was true. I did it, it became redundant, but I felt great.

"A vacuum a day... keeps you from having to change your rugs and carpets." It may be a stretch, but I thought of it while I was vacuuming this morning and it reminded me to eat an apple. It is more likely that you will be eating an apple and it will remind you to vacuum, unless you had a mother like mine or my good friend Taylor Stevens ... wait, Thornton! (gosh, I must mention that 2 of my dearest friends got married to eachother this weekend:)

So, both carpets and rugs can be very costly and difficult to replace. With a good and regular vacuuming, you can add years of life to your flooring. Really, years! And when kept in good shape, rugs can make great family heirlooms like this one from my great grandma.

There it is, a new pearl of wisdom. I didn't even talk about the fantastic life of cleanliness added by a vacuum. I'm only looking out for your decorative investments today.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Spectaclace: an optical instrument that is designed to aid in the viewing of objects not readily seen; an ornament worn around the neck; a gift from a couple of kind friends.

This little treat is my new spectaclace, as I like to call it. It's a pair of vintage specs that my very thoughtful friends turned into a necklace for me. It was the sweetest 'just because you love to help with Milano and we love you' gift. 

I don't need them to see, but they have become part of my everyday ensemble. They are a perfect replica of the specs in my soon to be logo and blog header, which is being created by another talented friend at homeseed.

Music, paper, writing, paintings and so much more to share. I'm surrounded by people who make pretty things.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Secret: kept from knowlege or view; marked by the habit of discretion; I love to plan parties!

Ooops. That title doesn't make much sense and I might be getting in too deep, but I just can't contain my excitement.

I really enjoy parties. I enjoy big parties, themed parties, birthday parties, music parties, no reason parties and most particularly wedding parties. There's nothing quite like having friends and family together to celebrate ...the splendor, the imagination, the chaos! Like my thoughts on facilitating life through the spaces around us, I do the same for said get-togethers. These are some shots of a one year old birthday party I prettied for a lovely friends daughter, followed by a wedding where I just made sure things were getting done. I fancy myself a seer and a doer, and on your wedding day, it's really helpful to have one of those :)

Hope you have some celebrations of your own planned. If you need a little help ... ;)


Thursday, July 21, 2011

Find: to discover by the intellect or feeling; to meet with; a particular object of my affection.

Inspiration is quite tangible for me, meaning, I like to be able to touch it. I am in an industry (if it's not clear yet, this Certain Spectacle is my work) where what I produce is highly affected by the work of other dreamers and creators. If I could, I would build, stitch, paint and weld every last detail, but as it stands I rely heavily on talented furniture designers, artists, carpenters, lightologists, etc.

What I love about the way I do what I do, is that I get to see, touch, smell, and even hear the stories behind the goods that will be the basis for a new space. A space that will have it's own sights, smells, tastes and stories. These are a few new finds I am particularly fond of.

I brought the farm table, old red amunition box, and mirror home that day. The mantle from an old mansion on Logan Blvd would have come with me too if I could have carried it.