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Is it really almost March 1st?  

Who is with me and feels like it should be December 26th?

I miss writing personal things in this space - whether you read it or not.

So guess what I am in the mood for tonight…..?

I am heading to Denver tomorrow to watch my big girl play soccer - remember when 
I wrote about soccer weekends HERE and HERE?
My girl is a junior in high school and I vowed that this year I would travel
with her as much as possible to watch her play.  Her senior year club soccer season will
not come with much travel so this is really IT - like the end of my soccer mom days!
What?????  She will sign her National Letter of Intent to play for Saint Louis University
next year and then I will be a college 'soccer mom' and will have to 
travel to see her play at home - and she may or may not be in favor of that????
I am really feeling the bitter sweetness of letting my baby bird fly……
it's not easy and I don't believe I am handling it well.  Being a mother
has been my life's greatest joy and greatest accomplishment, sending this
human out into the world brings both a huge sense of accomplishment 
but also great sadness that it is over……I enjoyed every minute of it,
even the puke, the poo, the tantrums, the uncomfortable parent/teacher 
conferences, the teen eye-rolls……

My little girl is finishing 8th grade - and will overlap in high school with 
her big sister next year.  I am excited for them to have this year together - 
carpooling to school and a big sister to show her the ropes.
They are very different, my girls, so I can't wait to see what 
high school brings for my little girl.  She is very much ME - and I am
encouraging her to pursue her creative dreams!  She will never 
win a state soccer championship or play a D1 sport in college - but this
girl is going to pursue her own passions - fashion, design, performing.
I am certain she is REALLY not looking forward to having me
and her daddy's FULL attention when her sister goes to college - 
ha, ha, ha!!!

Me - well, I am still trying to balance being a mom and running my growing
design business.  New clients and faithful clients continue to 
challenge me creatively.  I have learned SO much and become better,
both as a designer and as a person.  I am grateful.  
I turn 49 years young in April ……THAT is unbelievable.
I am proud of those years but am always researching a better anti-wrinkle cream.
My husband and I also celebrate our 25th wedding anniversary 
in April - we are planning a BIG trip! 

We are also celebrating living in our Portland home for FIVE years
this spring!  That is a record for our family - can you believe it?
I will admit - scouring the real estate listings is a frequent habit
of mine but my hubby says we are not moving.  So I have some fun
plans to make some changes in our current home - some I have wanted
to do for a long time, others that indicate a new aesthetic for me.
I am excited to 'downsize' in my current home.

Life - it's bring growth and change, opportunities, challenges and reasons
to celebrate, contemplate and set some goals……it's a GOOD thing.


Where to shop for bedroom furniture when you maybe aren't {GASP!} using a designer!

I have been helping some local clients design bedrooms lately - both master bedrooms
and also a couple teen rooms!  I love to help source bedroom furniture pieces
which can really become costly.  Many of my clients are regular people who are
trying to pay their bills, feed their children, go on a vacation AND
live in a pretty home…… As a designer, I feel one of the most important
things I can give a client is respect for their budget.  Often times,
clients provide me with an overall 'look' of what they want their
spaces to look like and then mention their budget……often I do a little 'gulp' under
my breath when the room is likely described as a designer goods filled 
space and the budget is more of a modest amount.  I know I have my
work cut out for me….. 

Resources are a designers secret weapon.  As I have stated here before, the internet
has opened up a plethora of options for resource discovery! You can really find the
same item at many different price points from a variety of sources, even 
local brick and mortar stores.  A great source I have found for online bedroom furniture offers superior customer service, FREE white-glove 
delivery (yes, FREE!) and the lowest/warehouse prices on bedroom furniture. 
Often, the brands available at are available
at your local furniture stores but offered at a much lower price at sells many popular brands, Bernhardt, Broyhill,
Hooker, Lexington, Paula Deen Home (pictured above) and Stanley, just 
to name a few. 

So whether or not you are working with a designer or not - with a little research and
a visit to you will be well on your
way to a beautiful space!


Getting my office right for me…..

One of the scariest parts of helping others in their homes is the risk
of getting it 'wrong'…..Thankfully, I really don't think I have made
many mistakes in client homes - at least that the client would 
describe as a mistake. Right clients?

But when I hired myself last year to design myself an office
in my own home, I made a mistake…..well sort of.

My mistake was to follow a trend, to base my choices on what
others were doing that was right for them, looked great in their space,
especially in photographs on Instagram and blogs…….I painted my
office white - GASP!!!!!!  I know, right?
Now, if this is the biggest 'mistake' I ever make, I realize I am doing ok.

I could say a lot about the influence of social media on our design 
choices - especially those of us who are in this business, but I should
have followed my own advice often doled out to my clients, "do what
is right for you".  But sometimes, designers own homes turn
into our laboratory so I chalk up my white paint experiment to that.
I learned a lot…..

- I like the contrast of lights and darks in a space
- vintage art and objects look great against a dark background
- I prefer my white spaces as the main area color
- custom mixing paint is fun
- painting is NOT fun
- I still like white room, just not in this space

This room is not done (heck, are they ever?).
I am waiting for a vintage Turkish rug.  
I would like a new desk chair, something more
'important' and comfortable.

The walls are generally BM Hale Navy - I had a custom
mixed done that basically removed some of the 
white paint that went into the mix.  The result is more
a darker, inky blue/black.  I love it!

And on another note - I have really enjoyed being back in this
space - one of my goals for 2016 is to blog more
regularly.  I love writing and sharing and having this relationship
with all of you.  So thanks for sticking around!

Have a great weekend!


Affordable Photography Art for your Home

Many, many, many years ago, what seems like maybe a lifetime
ago, I worked in the development department at two
different art museums.  While my role was to raise monies
for the museum's exhibits and operations, I LOVED working
near the galleries where I would sometimes steal away in the 
middle of my day and wander amongst the beautiful works of art.
I really attribute my love for the random/orphaned vintage pieces I 
collect to working in art museums.  

I have found that many of my clients seem to 
be really challenged when it comes to  choosing art for their own homes.
It's hard for me to imagine (have you seen my gallery walls?).
As much as I try to encourage my clients to collect pieces that
speak to them emotionally or are found on their travels, sometimes 
we just need to get beautiful and appropriately scaled art on the walls.

A great source I have recently turned to for affordable art is by Getty Images. by Getty Images is fresh content built on the vast Getty Images
photography collections.  You can order your image in one of four image
sizes and also choose one of five framing options so your art
comes ready to hang in your home.

I am particularly fond of the abstracts and simpler images.  You can find them HERE.

Do you struggle with choosing what to hang on your walls?

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