Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Have you voted yet?

If you haven't seen this room in the last few weeks, then you haven't been reading the design blogs! Several of my favorites, including Mrs. Blandings, Visual Vamp, and others have been encouraging us all to go to the apartment therapy website and vote for our favorite window design at Bloomingdale's flagship store in New York City. What a fun way to get through the January doldrums.

I am such a color girl and have an attraction to so many different things, that this room really did catch my eye. It is just plain fun. It has layer upon layer of high and low, expensive and not so expensive, design items.

I also believe in bloggers supporting other bloggers, so count me in when it comes to voting for Eddie Ross. Everything I have ever read about this guy tells me he is the nicest person who is most generous with his skill and knowledge.

So, hurry over to the website and vote for Eddie. Tomorrow is the last day! I got an email from Eddie this afternoon and have copied it to my page below. The link to vote in his email won't actually work here as this is just copied over, but go to this link to vote, now!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Be Still My Heart

It will not come as a surprise to you that I am mad for this house. It belongs to Kevin and Jane McGarry of Ft. Worth, Texas. Jane is an anchorwoman for NBC-DFW, Channel 5. She and Ft. Worth designer Ken Blasingame found they were sympatico and between his skill and their mutual taste,  they created a beautiful home full of texture, color and soul.

To read the entire article go here to the recent D Magazine issue.

Fabulous green doors, Spanish tiles, great lantern, sweet dog.....

Oh yes, Mexican pottery.....Gorky Gonzales ( and those sconces!

Oh my........this for a girl who just wanted to add a little color to my kitchen.

 More Mexican pottery - vintage , too!

Gorgeous - every detail.........

I wish I could run on over for a margarita on the back porch this afternoon!!

All Photos from D Magazine, photographer Aimee Herring

Final Word on Painting My Kitchen

My original post about painting my kitchen cabinets elicited many comments from readers. I was delighted to read so many differing opinions. No where else could one get so many passionate arguments, both for and against, than in this wonderful world of design lovers and bloggers.  Thank you all!

After much consideration and a fighting a very strong urge to DO SOMETHING, I have decided to take the advice of some: sit tight, put my efforts  towards selling my house, and save my time and money for our next house.

I heard everything from "PAINT! PAINT!PAINT ! and never look back!"

to a serious warning that antique long leaf pine is no longer available and it would pretty much be a crime to paint it.

Then,  I moved on to the possibility of painting my floors and wrote a post about that here.

I had one blogging friend ask me, most emphatically, "Ann, what can you be thinking??!!"

Another dear friend reached across the table one day at lunch and took my hand and said "I looked at your blog last night......Ann, are you okay?"

Do I sound crazy? Don't answer that.

 I am restless and wanting a change................a new creative endeavor. We plan to design and build a smaller, more contemporary house when we sell this one. We are staying here in Fredericksburg and hope to find a smaller parcel of land just outside of town.

Patience is my challenge, patience.

One thing I do know and probably knew all along, but just buried my wisdom somewhere deep inside so I would not have to acknowledge it, is this:

The materials used to build this Texas hill country house are to be respected. Indigenous limestone, antique long leaf pine, (everywhere! oh... did I already say that?), old pine floors, some old beaded board ceilings and some beamed ceilings, large, wide porches,  a standing seam metal roof  - they are all a vital part of the hill country style, both historically and aesthetically.

All these things make this house WHO it is, so to speak. I keep wanting to change it and make it more my house and my design, but what I must do is love it for what it is, and hope that someone else will come along who loves it, as it is, as well.

Meanwhile, just one last thought and then I must move on from this obsession! In the latest
 Traditional Home magazine, one of the top twenty young designers to watch is Emily Miller from Dallas. While perusing her website I came across this fabulous kitchen, with, of course, PAINTED FLOORS!! Isn't the subtle, aged pattern great!?

I know, I know, maybe in my next house.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Painted Floors

I posted a month or so ago about my kitchen dilemma - to paint or not to paint, that was the question I put out there.  Unlike some of the "big bloggers", I do not get tons and tons of comments every time I post. That is fine - I am regional (except when I travel and can't help myself) ,  and pretty random in my topics. I blog because I love the process and the sharing with like minded souls, so I don't really worry too much about how many comments I get each time.

It is fun to see what topics people respond to and are passionate about, though.
So, with the kitchen post, I certainly found out how to get more comments - ask people for advice! I loved each and every comment and have seriously considered all suggestions. So here it is - 2010 and I am still debating over the kitchen and what to do with it.

I think I had better tell you the whole truth now.

Our house is for FOR SALE...... so I am not sure this is the best time to make such a major change. With the way my life goes, I would paint the kitchen some fabulously wild color combination like this.............

and just the almost right buyer would come along and say "oh, if only she hadn't painted all that beautiful antique long leaf pine" and the deal would fall through.

I thought about a safe, but still lovely, color like this ...... (I have the black counter tops)

but I am not sure the flow is right with my dining room which looks like this..............

with the blues and greens and aged beaded board ceiling.........

Sooooo, my next thought is, painted floors! I love them and here are some of my favorites.

Love this large design like a hex sign from a barn in the northeast.

Big stripes would be fun.

Of course, painted floors might not be to someone's liking, either. I have mixed feelings about making changes to my house. Sometimes I think it doesn't matter - that we should do what we love and when the time comes for someone else to live here, they can do what they love.

Other times I worry about the whole "resale factor" and it really goes against who I am. Some people can live in a fairly vanilla house, or one that is safely decorated, but it is so not me. I am constantly moving furniture and accessories around and wanting to change things. I sell things out of my house and at antique shows, and then come home with new things.

I think about space and how we use it, and want to create rooms that are warm and functional and make me happy to live in them.  I think a home is a huge reflection of the people who live there. I know I am stating the obvious to anyone who is reading this, but there are people out there - I know them - who just want a nice, clean house to live in, but their passions lie elsewhere. I am not them.

So, do I follow my heart, and paint those floors or cabinets, or just the island, whatever - have some fun with it all,  or sit tight and wait for that person to come along who adores ALL the old pine and rock and antique, scraped dark floors and doesn't have that fundamental need for color?

Then I can design my own house and make it just like I want it - maybe something like this from Jon Pankratz, AIA......


or this, from my new friend and another favorite architect, Reagan George, AIA........

yes, another hill country house, but smaller and and tucked into the woods somewhere, designed just
 perfectly for my art and treasures.

Or maybe something like this...........

 old and quaint and distinctly old German Fredericksburg..........

so, my dilemma continues. Of course, comments and opinions are always welcome!!

All photos either from House Beautiful or from my collected files. I apologize that I do not have photographer credits.

Friday, January 1, 2010

Who Knew? Terrain.............I want to go there!

Photos from terrain website unless otherwise noted

I may be the last to know, but a friend mentioned going to a wonderful new shop, 
terrain, a new concept of the Urban Outfitters/Anthropologie group of stores, while she was visiting her daughter in D.C. recently.  I believe her exact words were" Ann, you would just die there!"

I have never even heard of this wonderful place! So, I did what we all do when we want to get information these days - went straight to my computer and did a search.

 Apparently this wonderful shopping mecca is a new concept for the company and is called Terrain at Styer's.  From the photos it looks like a charming place to visit, to wander through for hours, and probably to fill a shopping bag!!

Terrain sells similar housewares you might find at Anthropologie and also carries lots of garden related items.  The shop itself is set in an antique greenhouse on acreage in Concordville, PA, just outside of Philadelphia.

I found several sites for information about the new shopping brand.  One great source is a fun blog called Shelter Pop. Visit for all kinds of scoop in the fashion and design world.

What I would give for not only the dishes here, but the incredible faux bois pot they sit in!

I stumbled across these beautiful photos while searching the web. I contacted the ever so friendly Laura Novak  to ask permission to share them with you here.  Check out her blog for more great photography and interesting features.

Hmmm...........trying to think of a reason I need to Philadelphia soon............... meanwhile, visit the website for tons more amazing photographs. What a teaser - I hope they decide to open in the southwest one day soon!!


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