I’m finally seeing the light at the end of the renovation tunnel. Tiling is done for the most part, except for some grouting and sealing. A lot of it is marble which is very porous. I’ve learned a lot and share all my dirty secrets tips in this installment, Master Bath Renovation Part Three. FIRST TIP: ALL NEW TILE AND GROUT SHOULD BE SEALED BEFORE FIRST USE, BUT ESPECIALLY STONE. I prefer an unenhanced sealer for stone, as it doesn’t change… Read More
Today I had the pleasure of hearing Carleton Varney speak at an event that benefitted Historic Flat Rock, NC. It was in conjunction with the Flat Rock Designer Showhouse which I also toured beforehand. Mr. Varney, president of Dorothy Draper and Company, worked as Ms. Draper’s protege from the early 1960s. Mr. Varney spoke for nearly an hour, unscripted and without visual aids. One had the impression of being in his living room while he shared his life, design tales and celebrity… Read More
Warning in advance: this blog smacks of “horn-tootin”. I’m going back and still playing catch-up by photographing more client work. The “F” family (no relation to Mr. F&F) was delightful. They have possibly the best behaved children ever since they played outside with neighborhood friends the WHOLE time (almost five hours). I consulted prior to the redesign day and helped with paint colors, bathroom reno ideas and general design direction. After they had completed their “homework,” I came back to complete… Read More
After ten years of renovating this house and countless years on others, I should know a thing or two about renovations. Thursday evening probably around 11 pm, I sat in my comfy spot in the living room, lulled by the sound of rain. But the rain sounded louder than usual and that’s when I realized it was raining IN my sunroom. I mean RAINING from the ceiling, down the walls, everywhere. The renovation is directly above that room and the contractor failed… Read More
Was up in Canada last week for my dad’s 90th birthday… …an amazing party thrown by my immediate family (I have six siblings)…and we LOVE a party… My mom, who’s not been doing well, rose to the occasion and sat in a wheelchair for five hours…she was the belle of the ball… Mom still wants to be a part of the planning, so she sat outside while my sister and I set up the tables earlier in the week, laughed… Read More
Had a wonderful evening in this installment, NYC Part 4 Park Avenue apartment. My uncle has led a fascinating life as an educational filmmaker and film executive. First, cocktails at his NYC Park Avenue apartment and later, dinner at a classic New York Italian restaurant. He has lived in this apartment for forty years and it is an example of timeless design. It was a wonderful evening and always great to spend time with family, especially in this lovely setting. … Read More
A little more of our D.C. trip, including a very funky D.C. hotel design. Kimpton Hotels in the Washington area have earned F&F favor in the past. See here and here. Hotel Helix is, by far, the funkiest in terms of D.C. hotel design. The rooms make the most of tight spaces such as this small loveseat backed up to a triangular desk. As many times as we’ve been to DC, we’ve never done the White House tour. So glad that… Read More
This is my eighth and final blog about L.A., but don’t think I won’t be mentioning this city again! It has been so rejuvenating, for many reasons, and I’m sure I’ll reference it in the future. For my last day I decided to drive over to Pasadena, check out old town and the notable arts and crafts architecture. Cruised around downtown, had lunch, and toured the Gamble House in Pasadena (as in Proctor and Gamble), a wonderful example of arts and crafts… Read More
Yesterday was a nice break from shopping, but my tours were still very much in the name of design. First stop, the Getty Center, an ode to modern architecture but with ancient treasures inside. Had a lovely day with my friend who came up from Orange County. In front of the J.C. bust, a security guard accosted my friend and me, showing us a long scar on his bald head. Thanks to some KGB guys who messed him up in the… Read More
Snuck away to Ashevegas again – had a meeting and it also coincided with an auction, Didn’t get as much as I’d hoped since the prices were going fairly high – the “cachet” factor of a celebrity auction with Reynolds Price estate. But I did get some fun stuff which I’ll highlight later. In between meeting and auction, tried to soak in as much sun and fall colours as possible.
The Home Builder’s Association of Brunswick County Parade of Homes 2011 started today with judges traipsing through homes. F&F was honored to be a judge for this year’s Brunswick County parade of homes. My partner, Fay, and I scored the homes on overall interior design, flow, creativity, lighting and decor. Thankfully most of the homes were not too “beachy.” Here’s my take on beachy decorating. If you live at the beach and you forget that you live at the beach, go take a… Read More
The tablescapes competition at the Southern Ideal Homeshow where F&F collected two prizes-Best in Show and Most Inspiring-from Dina Manzo, HGTV host and former reality star on Housewives of New Jersey. Here’s a few shots of my tablescape, reflecting the muted fall theme with natural and eco-friendly elements. I was travelling so look who collected tablescapes prize on behalf of F&F. I don’t think he minded.
Snowed-in in the mountains. Enjoying the snow covered trees, the icicles on my neighbors’ houses, and lots of hot cocoa! Snow, snow, snow, snow!!
The Christmas season doesn’t start for me until I take the annual home tour in the historic Oakwood district of Raleigh. I have done the Oakwood home tour every year, all twenty-three of them, living in my adopted hometown. This year the weather looked pretty grim, and I was considering a “no-show” when my husband called on his way home with college boy. Perhaps in a crazed, euphoric vision of home-cooked meals and a good mattress, college boy begged to join me on the… Read More
What makes a neighborhood? Is it the walkability? The house? Proximity to services? The neighbors? It means different things to different people. Cooke Street held their annual carnival and it felt like a true celebration of neighbors even to those of us who don’t live there. Artists, kids’ activities, great live music, the best mobile food carts, and loads of comraderie. I’ve lived in communities that held seasonal parties for the kids, dinner clubs for the adults and they got everybody… Read More
Habitat for Humanity “De-Con Crew” did the demolition on this modern house in Asheville, sparing the landfill a lot of grief. Worth a call to your local Habitat to see if they have this service. It also saves on overall construction costs and provides a nice tax benefit. The “after” shots of a two year labor of love on this modern house in Asheville.
Had the pleasure of attending Handmade: The Western North Carolina Craft, Architecture & Design Expo. The basic tenet underscores how to incorporate craftsmen into the design and architecture process. This is not a new concept, however, post-Industrial Age “off-the-shelf” became the norm for finishing touches in the building process. This expo exemplifies how to introduce well-made, handcrafted items into our homes. The “tool kit” (a booklet) provided attendees a wealth of information on how to achieve this, citing that price… Read More
Your yard is the first impression of your home so why not show some “whimsy”? Recently toured a sculpture garden (on the property here) that displayed beautiful examples of yard art. These are not “budget” choices, to be sure, but provide great inspiration. Butterflies anyone? To admire or to sit… Variations on silver… My favorite, honoring world peace… What could you do with scrap metal, found wood, or other throw-away materials?