march 2019


5 Basic Design Elements


Welcome to my first blog! I hope it finds you well and you find it helpful!


1. Imagine looking at your newspaper.. do you open it and read from top to bottom and side to side at first glance? Most don't, most open it wide and scan top left to middle bottom to top right, and stop at the first thing that catches their eye. The same when you walk into a room, you scan to see what catches your attention. You want something to jump out at you, if you will. I, myself, believe in the "Golden Rule" of odds {1,3,5,7...} in decorative accessories, such as throw pillows, candles, vases, books, photo frames, etc. Odds keeps the eye interested and roaming to see what more there is, whatever your style is... modern, eclectic, classic or the ever popular modern farmhouse. Whether you are going for a "layered" or sleek look, you cannot go wrong following this rule. However, since we all know there is always an exception to every rule, if you do choose to use evens {2,4,6...}, try use different sizes, shapes and textures if you are going to use are in a grouping, oh and try adding photos or candles to add depth and dimension, as well. Again, it is all about adding interest for the eye.


2. Can you imagine being in a room of nothing but flat surfaces? How boring! The clean lines of large windows, sleek sofas, bold colors or modern styled furniture are beautiful but can be a bit mundane. I like to add texture to all rooms, but especially these types of rooms. Now don't get me wrong, I am not against keeping clean lines and sleek surfaces exposed, I'm just not opposed to softening up a bit with adding draperies (even in the same color as the walls) or a graphic throw pillow to the sofa or even a ultra furry throw over the arm of the chair. You want to want to sit on your furniture and enjoy your favorite book or TV show and feel at home, not as though you are at a doctor's office. Now, let's discuss doing an accent wall... I know a different paint on the wall is a simple way to liven things up, but what about adding texture to an accent wall. I am sure you have all heard of "shiplap" by now! It adds dimension and creates a lovely backdrop to nearly any room. Now let's really think outside of the box... car siding, vintage ceiling tiles, reclaimed pallets, textured stone and my favorite... wallpaper! And before you ask, yes, I have used every one of these in my own home!


3. In addition to adding textures, adding layers are another intricate part of adding dimension to your room. By adding one textured throw, three or five throw pillows to your chairs and sofa or even a vintage wrap over the arm of the sofa adds addition comfort. When adding dimension on hard surfaces, such as, tables, shelves, etc... I like to layer picture frames in different colors, metallics and textures to add interest. I always stack books {old or new} on their own or to add height to a hidden vase or something you would love to see peak out to add another layer of interest. I love to get a collection of glassware or vases of the the same or similar colors and group them together on a shelf with fresh flowers or even empty! Wall collages are becoming very popular, so here are a few tips to make yours designer ready. In addition to pictures and art, don't be afraid to add mirrors. They make rooms look bigger and add another layer of dimension. Go to your local decor store and find something with character that speaks to your family, a cross, a key, your monogram, maybe a cow's skull {I've used them, turned out super cute} or even a wall sconce to add a bit of light. As long as if has an interesting shape and things are varied in size it will work. It is like putting a puzzle together. However, the key is laying it out on the floor first, you don't want to start pouring nails in to then find out it won't fit!


4. Do you have a small space? Tiny house? Perhaps a room that does double duty? I know I do! How do you utilize every square inch or maybe just trick the eye, you ask? Well, here are a few tricks, use one or all... and make the most of your small areas. First, paint the walls a light color and if you have an accent wall make it the same or similar color. Keep furnishings and draperies monochromatic with the walls. Built ins add spots to store all of your goodies. Buy furniture pieces that provide more than one purpose, for instance, a dresser that can be used for a desk top or a vintage chest that can be used to hold items and yet be used as seating, as well. Movable screens are beautiful and functioning to divide areas when needed but are easily moved. Go up. Use stackable crates, suitcases, or wooden boxes to store supplies, clothing or really anything in. I recommend attaching them together and tot eh wall as to not have an added tipping hazard.


5. Last, but certainly not least... Paint color tricks to live by. It really is an optical illusion...

A. Short and Wide = dark ceiling and light walls

B. Tall and Thin = light ceiling and dark walls

C. Light and Airy = light ceiling and light walls


This brings me to the end of my very first blog. Not sure if I did it right, but I hope it helps someone! I feel the rules are ones to live by and I use them in every room in every job in every part of life... not just design.


Next month... Spring decor ideas.

april 2019

                       Spring Decor Ideas

Fresh Scents, Colors and Textures, oh my...


    A. Lilac is the scent of the season. There is something about the fresh scent of lilacs in the spring that just does something to your spirit, refreshes it, if you will. After the extremely long season of winter with nothing but bare trees, brown grass and piles of snow staring at you... when you finally see a lilac bush in the spring and get that first waft of those beautiful little blueish-purple blooms your soul comes alive! I love cutting bunches and places them in vases all over the house. I tend to line quart sized Mason Jars along a window sill or down the center of a table filled with them to make a beautiful tablescape. 

    B. YELLOW is THE color! I love to refresh spaces with shades of yellow, it reminds me of the bright yellow ball in the sky! Whether you change out your candles, draperies or decorative pillows or all three to spruce up your living or work space to give it the "NEW" feeling it needs. I mean, who doesn't love a bright shade of lemon, marigold or mustard (it's not just for fall) to put a pep in your step!

    C. The textures we put in our spaces are a reflection of the changing seasons outside. The flowers are poking through the dank ground and the trees are growing their new buds reminding us that winter is officially behind us. The addition of a new pillow on the sofa with a beautiful embroidered pattern or a new textured rug of sisal on your front porch or back deck under your patio set to pull it all together making it a true additional living space.

Add Decor to your Front Door and Porch

    Who doesn't love coming home to a fresh look! This season gives you a chance to set the tone for the look and feel that you want for your home for the Spring and Summer. A fun new color painted on the door is always a fun change, I love neutrals but I tend to always go for something a bit brighter on the door! A new wreath makes a fantastic addition. Or perhaps, a new sign... I am a sucker for monograms or your last name on chalkboard or etched wood or metal.. 


    I love to add a couple bright colored pillows the porch swing or rocking chairs! Put a cute basket or chest with a sign next to the door for all your Amazon packages... you know you need that! If you really want to step it up, add an outdoor chandelier, whether it is a new one fresh out of the box or a reclaimed one that you add some fun, funky keys or vintage jewelry to. There is nothing better than coming home to a beautifully inviting entry. 

Fresh Paint to Add a New "VaVaVoom" to Your Room 

    A fresh coat of paint is EVERYTHING! Whether it is one wall, one room or a special piece of furniture. A new coat of paint brings a feeling of renewal. It's amazing the transformation you will see when you update your paint colors... and Spring is the perfect time to refresh your abode... I mean, it's where you lay your head every night, why not make it as special as you can. 

Tips on painting furniture... it can sometimes be tricky. Real wood is the easiest, removing knobs and pulls, sanding down the finish, wiping it down, and then paint. When painting metal or faux wood, the main difference in prep is after sanding is priming.. priming is key (that is not the area to save on, the better the primer the better the paint will adhere and stay). When painting glass or mirrors,  clean with alcohol then use oil based paint (warning... oil based is sloppy and hard to remove, so be sure to practice on something old). 

Something Special for the Mommy's!

    As I've said, Spring is the season of renewal. Whether it be your house, your porch or merely your cocktail, it time to try something new. This is the time of year when basking in the sun, listening to the birds on the deck is the most refreshing. Spring breaks, with or without the kiddos... toes in the sand with a drink in your hand... I think you know where I am going with this... LOL!

"The Airfare"

2 ounces light rum

1/2 ounce sweet vermouth

ginger ale

orange slice

mix rum and vermouth in cocktail shaker with ice

strain into a cocktail glass

add a splash of ginger ale

garnish with an orange slice

paired with dry roasted peanuts

"A few of these and you will feel like you are flying!"

Thank you for spending a few minutes with me today! Next month... Mother's Day Gift Ideas!

July 2019

Travel adventures and inspirations...

As some of you know, I love to travel. I love adventure. I love to explore new and old places. I especially love to go to places I've been before and try and see or do something new I missed the first time or the twentieth... there is ALWAYS something new to see. I also enjoy chronicling my trips on Facebook. I always get questions and comments about my travels, I love that people enjoy following. This past June for my birthday weekend, my husband, Rick, and I travelled to Nashville, Tennessee for 5 days of adventure. We have been to Nashville many, many times but this time was different... we took our 1955 Oldsmobile Super 88 Rat Rod named "PINUP" with us for exploring. No, we didn't drive her, she got to ride on a trailer that we bought in lieu of gifts for each other's birthdays. That is us, we are unconventional, we beat to our own drum... if you will. 

The trip on the way down south was longer than usual since we took smaller roads because we were unsure of the trailer or how the car would ride... turns out it rode on that trailer like a beast (except she lost her "D", don't worry I ordered a new one on eBay and it arrived by the time we arrived home. As we pulled into Nashville around 7PM we arrived with fanfare, cars were honking and people were waving... we were famous! We stayed at the Millennium Maxwell House hotel for two reasons... first, we've stayed there before 5 years ago for a wedding and had a fantastic time and second, it has a huge FREE parking lot! After we got her unloaded and we checked in, we noticed a row of motorcycles under the mezzanine and decided we would snuggle her right along side of them. She was safe and sound... and would stay dry from the overnight rain. 
























We quickly got her on the road ASAP and headed straight to Santa's Pub Karaoke Bar. If you have never been to Santa's Pub in South Nashville, let me paint you picture... "Santa" is the owner, they call him Santa because he looks the Big Man himself. He retired and bought a double wide trailer and turned it in to a Christmas themed karaoke bar with multi-colored string lights, painted with Santa on a motorcycle drinking a beer and all. The music is great, the beer (only beer) is cold and the atmosphere is chill... oh and it's CASH ONLY. It is a "must stop" for locals, and occasional travelers. If you are wanting to run into celebrities and amazing musical talent, this is the most likely place. Then drove our "PINUP" down Broadway Friday night and I waved at so many people yelling and waving I felt as though we were in a parade. We then stopped at our beloved Robert's Western World for old school country music, Jack Daniel's and cheeseburgers. This place is our home away from home while on Broadway. I love the classic black and white checkered floor, the collage of celebrity photos, and the surprisingly small, yet overly busy stage. The wall opposite of the bar and kitchen are rows of shelving holding pairs of vintage cowboy boots. 

Yeah... we were there every single day! Hands down our favorite place, with our favorite music that reminds of each of our childhoods. His grandpa and my grandparents, it's feel good for us. My heart.







































As a fun surprise on Saturday, our son, Brandon, and his beautiful girlfriend, Mari, and their friends were in town and wanted the grand tour. So, therefore, a Broadway bar crawl commenced. We, of course, took them to Robert's for a "stimulus package" which is a cheeseburger, bag of chips and a Busch Light! For the rest the day we explored the best of Broadway, like, Nudie's, WannaBe's for karaoke, Tequila Cowboy, which has a vintage Cadillac hanging from the ceiling, and, of course, Honkey Tonk Central's 3rd floor. They enjoyed the music and the people watching. The bachelorettes as a whole are next level, and really could be a drinking game! LOL. 

Then Sunday was Father's Day, we went to The Southern and Steak and Oyster having oysters, sipping Bloody Mary's and having brunch, the beauty of the interior at The Southern is amazing. It has an open concept and large windows, vintage inspired tile floors and vintage inspired pulley system ceiling fans are amazing. Then spent the day venturing the Johnny Cash museum {our first time}, FGL House and shopping at Two Old Hippies, taking a beautiful drive in the '55 around Vanderbilt and all the way to Brentwood, which is a beautiful area south of Nashville. We then found an adorable little area near The Gulch, with amazing BBQ and very cool shops. I love meandering through the old buildings with reclaimed wood floors, vintage inspired light fixtures, and free lemonade!








At the stroke of midnight it became MY BIRTHDAY! We found ourselves at Ole Red {Blake Shelton's bar and restaurant} for a cocktail and to watch an amazing band. It is honestly the most amazing visually pleasing, spared no expense, International farm tractor hanging upside down over the stage cool! Then off to Redneck Riveria we went. It was nearly closing time and the staff was winding down. We had a fantastic time, they were friendly, and even wished me happy birthday... then the rain came! We grabbed a cab and headed back to the hotel. Even in the rain, Nashville holds a special place in my heart. I've spent many birthdays there and plan on spending many more.













The following morning we hopped in the '55 and drove straight to Loveless Cafe, about 20 minutes just southeast of Nashville. We have went to Loveless many times, it's about an hour plus wait time, however, they have shops on the property so we had time to get the kids jam to bring home and a few gifts and kitchen supplies. We had an amazing meal, even a little birthday pie. Oh and when the manager found out we had the old car and it was my birthday, he gave us a scenic route to check out that we had never been on. We drove for hours, got caught in the rain {again}, seen views that were something from heaven and then got lost and landed in Leiper's Fork, Tennessee.


Leiper's Fork is a "one street town", if you will. The shops are amazing, even though most were closed because it was a Monday {we peeked in the windows}. We found vintage jewelry, locally made leather goods, homemade baked goods and jams, amazing crafts from local artisans and vintage instruments. We even found a gas station with an outhouse and a vintage "shell' sign, then as we passed the benches out front with two elderly gentlemen sitting and talking we walked inside and there hung this glorious old chandelier in all its glamorous history over a family size table for guests to come and talk and drink their coffee and eat the fresh baked goods they sold. As we went back to the car, a bloodhound in the truck next to me let out a howl and nearly scared me to death. She looked satisfied with her job of protecting her truck. 
































































































As we headed back north towards Nashville we noticed a giant rain cloud following us. Moments later, it had caught up with us and we got drenched. It wasn't bad until we stopped at stop lights, but there were lots of stop lights. I could not stop laughing and the husband was annoyed from being soaked. I asked if getting mad, kept him from getting wet... he said no. I laughed harder... I laughed even harder when others would honk at us to tell us it was raining... um... we were very aware! After we parked her back under the mezzanine,  wiped her down and dried and cleaned ourselves up, we shuttled downtown to finish the birthday celebration. First stop, Luke Bryan's on 3rd & Broadway. Newly opened, cool interior... pretty sure his actual old pick up was hanging over the stage, that's was I was told anyway. Next stop, we dodged raindrops across the street and landed in Kid Rock's Honkey Tonk, this place is ridiculous. The interior is like nothing I have ever seen. From the giant stage that invites all three levels to never miss a second of the band to the oversized bull horns. I mean this place blew my mind so much I didn't even remember to take a single photo! Everywhere you looked was something different to see. Oh and the staff were the most polite. Next up, back to Redneck Riviera... love the vibe and staff there. Listened to the music, had a drink and then dodged more raindrops as we meandered back to Robert's. It was the most perfect ending to the perfect trip with the perfect guy. Birthday success, raindrops and all... 

























Not trying to brag, but all these designers hanging vehicles and tractors and such from the ceiling, um... I did that about 10 years ago. I hung the vintage Harley in my husband's office over his Jack Daniel's whiskey barrel in front of the ledge stone wall. 





















As we packed up the following morning, our bellman, Percy, proceded to tell us all about our "PINUP" visitors, apparently she was a local celebrity. She had photos taken with people and even a bridal party on their way to the party bus to go to the ceremony. She gets all the attention all the time. Then we headed out and attempted to get on the interstate, missed our exit... turned around in a tiny neighborhood pulling the huge gooseneck car trailer. Once we out of traffic we, of course, stopped at Waffle House, then on our way back to the truck we got a traffic alert that they highway was closed due to an accident, reroute... then a couple hours later we stopped to use the facilities and another traffic alert, that too closed due to accident, reroute... We always look at life as an adventure, that day was almost as if the adventure was leading us. We seen lots of things we wouldn't have on the highway. Especially this amazing bridge, it was huge and on a random country road. 


















I wish everyone could experience and travel too, but I know that is not possible for many... I understand, when our family was young we took them camping. There were no fancy destinations just priceless memories with the kiddos, that we still talk about to this day. 

Thank you, Erika, for asking me to do this blog about my trip. I was stumped and you inspired me!