It’s been a while….

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So, it’s been a long two years since I last wrote a post…. Life has a way of getting away from you.  Needless to say I have gone through a large amount of change during the last couple of years, mostly though the last year.  I won’t go into all the nitty gritty, but I have been on a journey to get back to myself and my passions.  Being a working mother and wife are tricky and hard roles to navigate.  I was in the same position for the better part of the last nine years.  I am grateful for the opportunities, most of the people and the stability it provided for my family.  I have always struggled with the mommy guilt and the anxiety of basically not being there to raise my daughter (who is now almost six, and knows EVERYTHING, so she really doesn’t need me anymore).  I also had some tough personal and family issues to face and while those are not behind us, I feel like they are in a good place.

Fall 2017 we had to say goodbye to my little white fluffy, Maxy Dog.  He had been declining quickly in his health, had three strokes and he had Cushings Disease.  I wanted the end of his little life to be as painless as it could be and I still miss his little personality. I hope you are chasing all the squirrels and chipmunks and have endless apples and peanut butter.  He was my loyal companion for 13 years.

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Needless to say I knew I needed a change, and a major one.  The more time I had to spend with my daughter, the more I realized I missed her early childhood and I was drawn to my role as a mother.  I also had the need to create and use that side of myself.  So I started a little side gig making t-shirts and various things for friends and that sort of grew into an Etsy shop, which then grew into “oh, I can make that” for my daughter’s Competitive Dance Instructor’s looking for costumes.  Thus I give you my very first attempts at competitive dance costumes.  They are far from perfect, but it was a fun learning experience and I am grateful for the faith placed in me. Jury’s still out if I will do this again in the future…

Teenies Tap Costumes for 10 Little Mermaids

WBG_7036And the worlds cutest Shoop Shoop Girls Tap Trio…

Needless to say this fall, I took myself out of my comfort zone. And it wasn’t all bad! It has been amazing seeing these on stage all year long.  I also learned what I need to do in the future if I ever decide that I am this crazy again! Ha!

Quiet possibly the biggest change in my life was my decision to leave my nine year steady job for a job that allows me the flexibility to be a parent first, be creative and one where I am appreciated and valued for my talents.  I switched sides from commercial Interior Design (specifically Federal Government) to Residential Interior Design and honestly haven’t looked back once.  It has been something I was always interested in but strayed away from due to fear.  I joined an amazing local design firm, Shotgun Double, LLC in February of this year.  I have already learned so much and really gained the confidence that yes even though sourcing is different, it’s not that much different in the grand scheme . I can do this just as well as I did my previous work. It’s hard work, costumer service based, but it is fun.  It feels great to be a part of a team again (small) where we all work well and play on each other’s strengthens.  I have to give a massive shot out to our fearless leader, Lindsay Boudreaux for giving me this awesome opportunity and I’m excited to see where the future takes us!  Check us out!

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Just in case I am not quite doing enough…. I have humored my loving husband in his hobby of Star Wars Costuming (yes, I have made an almost screen accurate version of Resistance Rey for my mini Rey)  and I am his preferred make-up artist for his latest Face Character… Darth Maul. Nothing like putting that Studio Art minor to good use! Start to finish typically takes about 2 to 3 hours… what can I say, we go all in…

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Mini Resistance Rey

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Last but not least, we added a new member to the family in April, we welcomed Lucy, a spunky English Springer Spaniel puppy who came to us from Georgia.  She has already grown so much and I am delighted by the bond that she and A have started, it was a bit rocky at first, but since those baby teeth have fallen out, they are all a bit more willing to play. I have to say, she makes a super great puppy model for me…. She also has her own instagram account, just in case you want more daily cute Lucy photos and antics. @lucyP_the_springer on insta!

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Throughout all the changes, they have been up down, around the corner and up and down again, I am grateful for all that I have in my life;  My family, my friends, my therapist, and the opportunities that presented themselves. I can honestly say I am proud of myself for breaking my comfort routine to challenge myself to try several new things.  I have learned a lot on this journey and I know it is far from over.  Take a chance on yourself friends, it’s worth it! Thanks for following and I am hoping to get back into the swing of writing on a more regular basis.  Going to challenge myself to finally finish some projects around the house… Which I am sure a lot of my design friends will enjoy… Designing for yourself is very hard, especially with a very particular and opinionated husband.

Until then friends!

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Shrimp & Grits Kids – Spring 2016

HELLO FRIENDS!

Ok, so I realize that it has been quite a while since I’ve updated the BLOG.  2015 was not my best year.  To say it was a beast is a mild understatement.  I won’t go into details, but my dear mother has had a year of ups and downs with her health.  I am very grateful that she is still with us and I pray that we will all figure out and reach a new normal.

So I promise, that I will be getting back to posting some exciting projects I’ve done for Emily Pasquariello Interior Designs. Some of which include updating a little girls Big Girl Room, helping dear friends with their Kitchen Renovation, updating our Master Bedroom, and finally finishing our Kitchen Renovation.  For now, I will give you guys a burst of color on these dreary days of February!

If there are any momma’s out there in the Northern VA, Maryland or DC areas interesting in hosting or attending a Trunk Show for Shrimp and Grits Kids, please let me know.  I will have a trunk full of Spring 2016 goodies, March 10-31st!  emilypasquariello@gmail.com  I already have shows booked for Fairfax, Arlington, Alexandria and Annapolis!

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AddieP’s Closet

I know it’s been a while, but I’m excited to toss another ball in my preverbal Mom Juggling Act… I have become a local Alexandria, VA representative for Shrimp & Grits Kids Clothing, an Adorable and Affordable line of Hand Smocked Children’s Clothing from Charleston, SC.  I’ve been a customer for years and well, it just seemed logical.  I love to entertain and I love to clothe my daughter in the finest Southern Clothing out there!

In the mean time, if you are local and would like to host a truck show or if you would be interested in hosting an online show, feel free to reach out!  You can earn 40% off your purchase!

Check out my page and follow along @shrimpandgritskids on Instagram!

Shrimp & Grits Kids

I mean seriously, how cute is this!!!
I mean seriously, how cute is this!!!
I don’t have a boy, otherwise, this would be so up my alley.  Yes, Nick if we had a son, he would be dressed like this as a toddler.

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Four Years in and here’s what I’ve learned….

So yesterday, my dear husband and I celebrated our Fourth Wedding Anniversary.  We’ve been together for seven years, married four and have a two year old.  We have accomplished a lot in a short amount of time.  It has been a challenge but is very rewarding.  Like anything in life, marriage is not easy.  It is like a plant (no pun intended) that needs nurturing and work to make it grow.  I am not claiming to be an expert on marriage, as I really don’t think that exists.  Every marriage is different and unique and it is up to the two people who are in it, to determine what their definition of success is.

Here are a couple of key components that make my marriage a success.  Respect, love and laughter.  Let’s face it, life with a toddler is rough on marriages.  You have to balance your couple time with your family time.  This is something we are still working out. On a recent day home without our two year old, we were reminded that not only do we need alone time to charge our batteries, we also need alone time as a couple to charge our marriage batteries.  So just a couple of photos from the last seven years to say Thank You!  You support me in all sorts of ways, and I am forever grateful for that!   I am a very lucky lady and we live a beautiful life, sometimes you just need a little refresher!  I love you Nick!

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So this takes us back to the beginning, our second date to be exact… Nick took me to Shelton Vineyards in NC for a day trip to the vineyard.  It was a magical day!

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The first rescue event that I did with Nick.  Nick volunteered for Southern Siberian Rescue while we lived in Raleigh.  It is an amazing group and where he got his fur-baby Chloe!  Since moving to DC area he now volunteers with Pet Harbor, another great rescue that helps dogs and cats find their forever homes!  If you are considering getting a pet, I highly recommend any rescue.  They know their dogs, as they have been in foster homes and can help you find a perfect match to your families needs.

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So as a southern gal, it’s a big deal when you bring a guy home for the holidays.  This was our first Christmas together and I brought him home to Charleston to meet my Mom and crazy GA family!  I loved sharing my home town with Nick.

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Our first anniversary of dating, ahhh we were so young!

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Our wedding day, November 13, 2010, photo by Emily Alane Photography

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Our first anniversary, Florence, Italy…

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A couple of months before our second anniversary, September 3, 2012 (Labor Day, yes, I labored on Labor Day) Little Ms A arrived.

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Our first holiday as a family of three, 2012 photo by Emily Alane Photography

 

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June 2013, our first BIG purchase together….

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Holidays, 2013, photo by Emily Alane Photography

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Rare date night together this summer…

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Holiday’s 2014… photo by Emily Alane

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One Room Challenge – Week Four

Hi Y’all!

I love that she is holding Elmo's hand... Our weekend adventures to the NC State Fair!
I love that she is holding Elmo’s hand… Our weekend adventures to the NC State Fair!

Ok, so Linda wasn’t kidding when she said Week Four was hard in the One Room Challenge. For those of you who are just joining me, you are welcome to take a step back and see the progress I’ve made through this journey.

Week One: The Plan

Week Two: The execution

Week Three: The procrastination

Week Four: The freak out…

Last week I was a bit hard on myself, but when I looked at my master to do list, I wasn’t in that bad of shape. So this week, I am going to start off with a look at the master to do list. Here is where we are sitting at week 4.

  • Remove horrible and ugly dated banister and patch the (hopeful) hardwoods beneath. Please lord, let the hardwoods be in good shape and please let me not have to keep it for building code reasons. This right here was the “You’re going to do what? Comment.
  •  Center seating area on the fireplace. This has bothered me from day one. With the banister in place, it really limits you on where you can place furniture. Until now the couch has been on the banister wall and we have a bowling alley down the middle. 
  •   Create a secondary focal wall, so that no matter where you sit in the room, you have a pretty view. Have I mentioned that I have and OCD tendency for perfect symmetry?  Well this is three quarters done. I still have to paint and mount my large platter holder, but I did get all of the artwork up as well as the other plates, and I am really digging the results.
Just a sneak peek!!
Just a sneak peek!!
I am digging it!!!
I am digging it!!!

 

  • Purchase; Frame new artwork prints from the amazing Charleston artist Lulie Wallace. Seriously you need to check out her florals and her new tabletop series. She also has textiles and lunchboxes!
  •  Purchase lighting. I really don’t understand why builders don’t put overhead lighting in homes. Let’s face it, cost. So, I am going to attempt to source some super cool lighting that I can use on top of an existing buffet. Then the piece de resistance… ceiling swag for the seating area. I am going to have to get really creative since hubbie is keeping me on a very tight budget for this. I was super excited and surprised to see my package from Shades of Light. It wasn’t supposed to ship until October 28th and it arrived about four days after I ordered it! That is awesome! I’m still working on getting it converted to a plug in play and where to place it. So I will leave this guy off until the big reveal.
My big surprise, will it make it into the room or not?! Stay tuned to find out!
My big surprise, will it make it into the room or not?! Stay tuned to find out!

 

  • Purchase a coffee table. Quite frankly it’s embarrassing that I haven’t had one. Or what is worse that we have been using my daughters play table as our coffee table. It’s fair to say, that while the finish may not be exactly what I was hoping for. It really isn’t bothering me enough to make more work for myself. I guess I can always go back and stain the top, but for now, it will remain as is. 
  •  Keep an area for my daughter to have her play table and chairs. This will also involve the use of creative storage solutions (i.e. baskets galore) to hide those fabulous brain stimulating, make your kid smart, bright and obnoxious toys! Well we successfully chopped off the handles so that the baskets I purchased upon move in could fit on the shelf of the coffee table. The hubs was super excited that he got to use the Dremmel tool!

 

 

Baskets, check..... Already completely full with TOYS!!!
Baskets, check….. Already completely full with TOYS!!!
Baskets are a Mom's best friend!!!
Baskets are a Mom’s best friend!!!

 

 

  • Make throw pillows. I collect fabric and I’ve found some major winners on Spoonflower.com. While I do know how to sew, it is not something I enjoy. Mostly because to do it right, it requires taking up lots of space and making a MESS! I may attempt to get my mom to help me on this one, since she is coming for a visit in two weeks.
  •  Drink some wine. I figure this will more than likely be a vital part of this challenge. Did I mention I have a two year old and a full time job. Man I am really failing in this item. I did have a few glasses at a wonderful dinner that my Mother In Law had at her home this weekend; while we caught up with dear friends!
  •  Source and or make new MAUVE drapery panels. Still having a hard time typing that MAUVE… So, I may be retreating on the mauve… I just cannot find any fabric that I am digging. I found a few that I like, but not LOVE! Again this is always something that I can change out as time goes on, but for now, I think I am going to stick with what I already have.
Little classic silk buffalo check...
Little classic silk buffalo check…

 

Cheery magenta embroidery number...
Cheery magenta embroidery number…
  • Accessorize, style and find a photographer to capture some really amazing shots of the completed project.  Still searching for that photographer in the Northern VA area that may want to help build their portfolio and help me photograph the final product.  I did have fun finding a few items for the space.  Remember that fabulous Ibis lamp that didn’t make it into the room b/c of my budget?  Yep, I do too.  Well I ran across a cousin that is equally as fabulous at a favorite FURBISH STUDIO in Raleigh.  It may only be a candleholder, but the TALLON has made it in!
Yep, everyone meet Tallon!  He rocks!!!!
Yep, everyone meet Tallon! He rocks!!!!

 

So, all in all, I’m in pretty good shape. Next week I will be running around trying to close the door on all the little things and planning a trip to the flower market. I will more than likely shoot my own space, so I need to get a couple test shoots in to play with the light.
Here are few photos from a recent shopping trip to Home Goods, some of the items may make an appearance in the final reveal, and some may not… You’ll just have to wait and see.

Blue and White beauty?
Blue and White beauty?
Cowhide anyone?
Cowhide anyone?

 

Jury's out, tacky or sassy?
Jury’s out, tacky or sassy?
Little golden geometric jewel.
Little golden geometric jewel.

 

Thanks again for popping by, and be sure to check out the amazing One Room Challenge participants on Calling it Home here. Also take a look at the linking participant’s journey to crazy town! All of your kind words of support are really amazing, so thank you all very much!

Xo, Emily

One Room Challenge – Week Two

HI, I'm Olaf and I'm in BAD Design JAIL!
HI, I’m Olaf and I’m in BAD Design JAIL!

Thanks for stopping back by to see my progress on this One Room Challenge Journey. To take a step back and see the overall plan link back here. As you can see by the photo above, the banister is not where it used to be!  I was so incredibly happy to discover that we did not have to keep the banister. We have a single step down less than 8”so no banister is required per IBC Building Code. 🙂

So my first week of the challenge really consisted of mostly my Sunday.  As my Saturday was spent visiting with these guys!  I know insert the AWWWWWW….. I seriously want a bunny, but really I just want to look at them and say aren’t they cute.  I do believe that our Husky and Westie would not be keen on the bunny.  Well not keen as a playmate anyways!

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And these two…. because after all it is FALL, my most favorite time of year.  What is Fall without a little trip to the pumpkin patch/corn maze/giant slide/giant pale of hay/petting zoo in Southern Maryland.  It is nothing, nothing I say!

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I have to say, I am still riding on a Designer’s HIGH  from Sunday when I took the chance and unscrewed the banister. This was either going to be very good or very bad. My home was built in 1996 by a track builder. As a side note, the preceding comments are no way trying to offend/discredit any track builders as there are good ones and bad ones, like anything else in life. It has been my experience that they are typically most concerned with the bottom line and unfortunately that may or may not be carried out with the best craftsmanship. In my case we have run into both while doing various renovations on our home. I was really worried that the hardwoods under the banister would be unstained . I was ELATED to find out that they just took the easy way and screwed it into the finished floor. Please keep in mind that my husband has been against this from day one…. “don’t fix what isn’t broken” is his motto. Silly man, doesn’t he know he married a designer?  A sad little fact, I owned more power tools than he did when we first got married. Last father’s day I purchased him his first power drill. (Mainly b/c mine needed to be replaced)

 

Simply used a pair of pliers and a Phillips Head Screwdriver.
Simply used a pair of pliers and a Phillips Head Screwdriver.

So removing the banister was a lot easier than I thought. I just pried off the wooden top caps to discover a basic screw. I opted for the good old fashioned Phillips head. My deal with the hubs is worst case scenario; we just put it back if the job turned into something larger than we wanted to tackle. I wanted to be sure to try and keep all of the original screws, just in case.

A little Elbow grease.... and
A little Elbow grease…. and

It took me all of about twenty minutes to unscrew each of the 16 screws by hand. With the help of my trusty two year old assistant putting them into our standard “storage of random parts” zip lock, and then the muscle of my husband and myself, we lifted up the banister and discovered this…

Banister after 4 Banister BEfore 3

Sweet glorious finished hardwoods, with tiny little screw holes. I am not going to lie, songs were sung. It was as if doves were released and fireworks went off. Ok, that may be a bit overboard, but I was ELATED!!! Thank heavens, because even though I told the hubs that I would put it back if the job was too big.  I simply knew that was not an option. I am if anything very headstrong and once I put my mind to something, it will happen. I like to think of that as positive thinking, my husband has other words for it.
So this is probably hands down the largest change that I will make for my One Room Challenge, the rest will be mostly fluff, with a minor toe dip in electrical. I have to say, I hope this high doesn’t end, like EVER. Every time I walk into the room, it just makes me smile. It feels so much larger and actually opens up new layouts for my dining room as well. Who knows this may turn into a mini make-over furniture shift for the dining room.
I did make other progress this week, got my Lulie Wallace prints in and actually didn’t have to buy frames. I had purchased these handsome simple gold frames with single matte from Michaels’ about eight months ago on super clearance (like $4 or something crazy). So I was able to get them mounted pretty quickly. If I haven’t already admitted this here you go. Hello, my name is Emily and I hoard fabric, picture frames, and toddler girl clothing. Regardless, I think they look great. I do love a simple black frame, but I didn’t want to take away from the whimsy and the colors in the print. Max, the Westie agree’s, two paws up Lulie!

ARtwork Framed

My last update is a little bit of a surprise. Sunday, after I completed the de-construction of the banister, Nick to our daughter out to shop. He does this at least once a weekend, so that I can have at least an hour of sanity and recharging. I was so excited from the high, that I had a little impromptu dance party in the living room/dining room. It was pretty epic. In the middle the dance party for one, I got a text with this image.

Nick and I don't usually agree on décor for our home... So I was really surprised to get this text.
Nick and I don’t usually agree on décor for our home… So I was really surprised to get this text.

I should problably go back a step. Last week, I began my search for pocketbook friendly lighting. My original design had a pair of Gold Ibis lights that are seriously to die for. But their cost was just a bit more than I wanted to bear for this project ($472 each). So, I have been searching for something that I could buy or retro-fit into something that would give me a similar touch of drama and add the desired light I need.  I found these at a local Home Goods last week, in the kids section.

Original Lamp Find edit

The scale seemed good, but the color was off. The plan was to faux finish/spray the bases gold. I was coming around to the pale pink shades. I don’t typically like a colored shade, but I felt like, I could live with it. That was until Nick sent me the image above.

I know it’s not this guy…

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I couldn’t beat the price. They are a perfect scale, classic with a little drama and I really have to say, I am digging the black shade. It’s not as bright of a gold as the original and of course doesn’t have a giant bird holding a crystal ball in it’s hand, sitting on a square of Lucite, but I will survive.

Also, I received the coffee table I ordered from Ballard Designs, but I will have to fill you guys in on what I decide next week. Let’s just say, I am still trying to figure that one out. I wasn’t super keen about the color/finish that it turned out to be. It really is hard to order things online through a catalog (hint, hint, hint, Ballard Designs need to open in a storefront in the DC metro area, preferably one in Northern VA, near Alexandria!) I may be refinishing the top to get the look I want. Should be simple enough right?

So to recap my progress thus far… Here is what I have accomplished of the master to do list…

1. Remove horrible and ugly dated banister and patch the (hopeful) hardwoods beneath. Please lord, let the hardwoods be in good shape and please let me not have to keep it for building code reasons. This right here was the “You’re going to do what?” comment…
2. Center seating area on the fireplace. This has bothered me from day one. With the banister in place, it really limits you on where you can place furniture. Until now the couch has been on the banister wall and we have a bowling alley down the middle.
3. Create a secondary focal wall, so that no matter where you sit in the room, you have a pretty view. Have I mentioned that I have and OCD tendency for perfect symmetry?
4. Purchase & Frame new artwork prints from the amazing Charleston artist Lulie Wallace. Seriously you need to check out her floral and her new tabletop series. She also has textiles and lunchboxes!
5. Purchase lighting. I really don’t understand why builders don’t put overhead lighting in homes. Let’s face it, cost. So, I am going to attempt to source some super cool lighting that I can use on top of an existing buffet. Then the piece de resistance… ceiling swag for the seating area. I am going to have to get really creative since hubbie is keeping me on a very tight budget for this.
6. Purchase a coffee table. Quite frankly it’s embarrassing that I haven’t had one. Or what is worse that we have been using my daughters play table as our coffee table.  So while I have purchased the table, I wasn’t really happy with the finish, so off to Home Depot I go to pick out a new stain!
7. Keep an area for my daughter to have her play table and chairs. This will also involve the use of creative storage solutions (i.e. baskets galore) to hide those fabulous brain stimulating, make your kid smart, bright and obnoxious toys!
8. Make throw pillows. I collect fabric and I’ve found some major winners on Spoonflower.com. While I do know how to sew, it is not something I enjoy. Mostly because to do it right, it requires taking up lots of space and making a MESS! I may attempt to get my mom to help me on this one, since she is coming for a visit in two weeks.
9. Drink some wine. I figure this will more than likely be a vital part of this challenge. Did I mention I have a two year old and a full time job.  I figured I would leave this one not completely crossed off, we are only on week two after all!
10. Source and or make new MAUVE drapery panels. Still having a hard time typing that MAUVE… Accessorize, style and find a photographer to capture some really amazing shots of the completed project.

Banister – check, artwork – check, order table – check, drink wine – check, check, check! I’ve got a busy week planned this upcoming week. It’s my birthday week, Saturday, October 11th to be exact! YAY Libra’s!  Yes I know, it explains a lot. My Mom is coming for a visit. Hopefully, she will help out in the sewing projects and the shopping projects. Whomever said shopping with a two year old is fun, has never been shopping with a two year old. I imagine it is very similar to shopping with the Tasmanian Devil.  Don’t get me wrong, I adore my daughter, she is sassy and cute, but very unpredictable. I can attempt to plan the perfect pre/post nap shopping trip with snacks and everything I can imagine to distract her; but until the moment you step through the threshold of the store, you never know what you are going to get.

I’ve enjoyed seeing all the updates from the One Room Challenge Participants please go check them out here!

ORC-Participant Fall 2014

I look forward to following allow with all the fellow Linking Participants updates.
Check us out here!

Thank you for all for your kind words of support both on the blog and Instagram!

xo, Emily

The One Room Challenge

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I’m so excited to be a linking participant in this Fall’s One Room Challenge put together by Calling it Home.  For those of you not aware, it is a six week challenge to design and execute one room. My husband and I moved into our townhome about a year and a half ago.  I had great steam and design ambition when selecting all the colors before we moved in, but alas, life happened.  As the mom of a two year old (mom’s you can relate) I really have no idea where all my free time went. 🙂  Between my full time day job (Commercial Interior Design – Government) and my little family and all of our activities, a few rooms really remain unfinished.  I’ve had great ideas on what I want to do, but I’ve lacked the motivation to really do for myself what I do for my clients. So with all of that said I’ve challenged myself and maybe a little bit of my husband, to do it all! 🙂 I may or may not have a DIY crane lamp in the works!

Check back with us next week as I present my plan and design as well as share shameless photo’s of my living room.  Notice the shameless, that is because it still has the pom poms and décor hanging from the ceiling that I put up for my daughter’s 2nd “Frozen in Summer” Birthday Party (upcoming post.)  That was September 6th.  🙂

I encourage you all to take a look at all of the wonderful and talented designers that will also be participating and cheer us on, because, lawrd knows we need it!

Curb Appeal…

Adding a little curb appeal to the house for under $250…

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We purchased our home just about a year ago and have already put our fair share of sweat equity in the inside and outside of the house. I have wanted to make simple changes to the exterior of our house since day one and finally got around to it. The lighting has always bothered me, it’s scale was too small and the letter was so plain and boring. So working within our HOA architectural rules and regulations, I sought out for larger lighting and cleaner numbers. I was pleasantly surprised at the affordable options that were readily available to me at my local box hardware stores.

First up was to remove the dated “builder grade” fixtures for both the lamp post, wall sconce and rusted metal numbers.  Getting the old letters off was a breeze (thanks to my husband and father in law) but putting the floating letters up posed a little bit of a challenge. Our moulding is not flat but rather has a lot of detail and variety of planes.  We opted for a more contemporary black metal number, seen below.  I honestly cannot remember if this was a Lowe’s or Home Depot purchase as we bought them the week we closed.

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Regardless, the numbers were the first thing we tackled.  And the new numbers look awesome!  So much better than the ugly little tiny letters!

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We waited a bit to do the lighting, mainly because I could not make up my mind.  This is a horrible trait most designer’s have when they are working on their own projects, the ability to commit.  The problem is that we are constantly being shown the latest and greatest products out there and while we think we may have found something wonderful, who is to say that the perfect fixture, fabric, color is something that I won’t come across in the future.  Don’t get me wrong, when we design for others, it is much easier for this to all come together.  Just  the way it is I guess, and I am thankful that I have an understanding husband.  So after a long and exhausted search, I wound up choosing a matching set of fixture’s from Lowe’s, allen + roth Parsons Field Light.  I originally went with the 17″ fixture, but it was again too small, so we opted for the 22″ version and it is just right. We got the matching lamp post fixture.  All in all they were somewhat easy for my husband to install.  Only took two attempts and minimal cursing.  But the end result was well worth the effort!

DSC_0408 yucky old post lamp…. 😦

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 yummy new post and wall sconce!

Here is a look at the before (already with the new numbers) and after.

Outside BEFORE

  Outside AFTER

All in all the cost for this little upgrade was under $250, and in my humble opinion does wonders for our home’s curb appeal.

 

Inspiration Station….. Floors and Ceilings

Today I am sharing some personal photographs from my trip to Italy a few years back.  It always amazes me to see craftsmanship from many moons ago and realize that they did all of this without the technology available to us today.

Beautiful Floor 2 Floors 2

This floor is from one of my favorite Catherdral floors, Brunelleschi’s  “Santa Maria del Fiore” in Florence.  I am just thinking how many versions of this floor design were there? 🙂 Yes, I wish I was more patient, but I am a CAD drafter.  I will usually start with a sketch, but that left brain logical side of me, always wants it to be technically perfect, so CAD it is. Notice that the floor color scheme is a nice neutral mix of black, gray, white and tan marbles….. That is so that even as ornate and detailed as the floors, it doesn’t clash with the amazing frescoes….

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Designed by Giorgio Vasari but executed by Frederico Zuccari.

Mosaic tiles at Paestum 2

It really amazes me to see patterns like the one above and realize that this is still popular now.  The photo is from the Greek ruins of Paestum, in the region of Cilento south of the Almafi coast.  This site it truly an amazing one and a must see if you are in that neck of the woods.  It has some of the most complete Doric temples in Italy.  Not to mention walking the grounds really takes you back and is such a treat to discover the details of the mosaics that are still in tact all these years later!!

ceiling Floors

I couldn’t do a post about floors and ceilings without mentioning one of my favorite Cathedral’s,  Duomo di Pisa, which is an amazing masterpiece of Romanesque architecture.  It has so many details everywhere, from the mosaics on the floor that create an area rug of sorts, to the AMAZING black and white marble horizontal stripes that surround the columns, pure heaven for my eyes.

st peters window 2 St peters 2

I couldn’t post without a photo of one of the most amazing, religious experiences that I had on my journey.  St. Peter’s Basilica in the Vatican City.  The photo on the left, was the first experience I got walking into this hallowed ground.  The beam of sunlight in the left window that perfectly highlights an adjacent relic in one of the side chapels.  Now that is detail not to mention gives you chill bumps!  I actually had to walk the whole space and experience it all before I went back in a second time to photograph it.   Let just put it this way, I wish I had my laptop with all of my notes from Art History class…

I had to put this all in perspective and really appreciate the fine art of not only the design of the details but the execution.  We can design the most amazing spaces in the world but if you don’t have a good tradesman to do it for you, then it really doesn’t matter how great your design is, all anyone will see is the flaws.  Do your homework before hiring any contractors.  The best value may not always be the low price, but the combination of previous experience and amazing references.  As with most things in life, you get what you pay for.