finding inspiration in the everyday

Into retro renovations October 1, 2012

Filed under: Uncategorized — inspiringdesigns @ 7:24 pm

I am so excited to be working on the updates and renovations to a 1960s home that has been barely touched over the past 50 years. Original bathrooms, retro lighting and wallpapers are fun and a great jumping off point, but to bring this home back to it;s old glory we will be working on this one for quite some time.

I am not looking to create a 1960s showhouse or a “theme”, but when we make decisions to bring it current we will include nods to the past.

There are some great resources for retro inspired products and the website retrorenovations is a great place to look to for ideas. For example, did you know Formica will be 100 years old in 2013 and will be introducing an anniversary collection bring back new takes on original patterns? We are painting the dark wood paneling in the kitchen gray, so I am hoping for silver flecked countertops ( a nod to the old gold flecks) which would look great with our wall color choice and stainless appliances.


1960s kitchen from House Beautiful…

In the bathrooms we currently have some super low original vanities with funky retro hardware, lighting and tile. In most cases I push a homeowner to keep anything original if it is in good shape and is fully functioning. In one bath we are trying to keep the yellow and grey tile and make it feel more clean and modern. Unfortunately in another bath we have discovered shower floor repairs are needed, but we don’t want to do a full gut job, so new tile that mixes well with the old is essential.

 Great 60s colors and inspiration made more modern.


Luckily the homeowners are not afraid of creative use of color and really like the popular colors of the 1960s. We will incorporate pinks, green and aqua with more current neutrals.


Bringing in handed down family furniture mixed with new items will also be a great nod to the past. In the old dining room turned music room we will be using grasscloth wall covering, mirrored walls, a very old grand piano and a classic record player.


In the old living room, now dining room we will be able to seat 16 guests at a refurbished table that once lived in a law firm conference room many years ago. New lighting painted in a bold green looks great with the mid-century sideboard with its original hardware.


I could go on and on, room by room, but this 3000 plus square foot house is a huge undertaking and will be in progress for quite some time. I will show you a few before photos, and will post updates as they happen. Also, some ideas and inspirations I have for the renovation. So all of you retro fans, here is how you do it- in 2012.

Inspiration…dream home of years past, Realization…all things old can be new again.


I’m in love May 23, 2012

Filed under: Uncategorized — inspiringdesigns @ 6:03 pm

I feel I have been in love once, maybe twice in my life (real love) and at the time I felt very fulfilled. Those loves didn’t last and maybe it was because it was romantic love, not true love. Like the love I am currently feeling.

I found love in an unlikely place. It was unexpected. It was exciting. It is passionate, a deep affection, a personal attachment, a desire, I take great pleasure in it and I am going crazy over it, enough suspense?

It is Somerset Bay furniture. I hope that wasn’t a huge let down for all of you looking for some juicy gossip, but I mean it, I LOVE this line of furniture. I want to include it in every project, my own home and my office.

I think we should look at some of my very favorite pieces.

In the Malibu Loft collection…



In Somerset Home…

Some things that friends, family and clients are going to LOVE….

For Mrs. Berry Hicks.

For Mrs. Betts, aka, my mama.

Mrs. Stigamier.

 Mrs. Cavanaugh.

 Mrs. Goings.

 Dr. Rasor. Or maybe this green one?  Or I would take it!

 Mrs. Webb.

Another piece for me, I mean, a must have!

I am also having trouble deciding between these several fab selections,

Inspiration…a love that lasts a lifetime, Realization…a fine piece of furniture with a little TLC will never let you down. You can trust this is a love that will be eternal.



I’m all about the details May 2, 2012

Filed under: Uncategorized — inspiringdesigns @ 8:33 pm

I saw a new line of casegoods in Atlanta and planned to check them out in High Point, but ran out of time. Justin Camlin is the line and the fun details and colors they use are fab. So, you can understand my excitement when I opened an email today from the Justin Camlin sales rep showing me the High Point rew releases for 2012.

Check this out! All available through Jodi Jenkins and all surprisingly well priced!

They describe their custom finishes as clean, two toned, distress, glaze and stained. The two toned is one of my favorite looks.

I also adore the occasional tables and fun chests.


Inspiration…details, Realization…Justin Camlin does it with style.


In small spaces

Filed under: Uncategorized — inspiringdesigns @ 7:25 pm

There are many design challenges, but the one I am currently facing is making the most of a small space. There are tons of design tricks and tips to make a space appear larger, more spacious, but how about most functional and fashionable, at the same time? It’s worth a try, I like this challenge.

 A loft is a great space saver.

Space planning in so important. A piece of graph paper and a $7 plastic furniture template can save you time, effort and mistakes when working with smaller spaces.

“Apartment” sized= great furniture, scaled down for a smaller room without sacrificing style or comfort.


Storage is key in any space, but especially in tiny ones, make sure you plan a space for everything from your blow dryer to your Kitchen Aid mixer. Take an inventory of what you have and how much storage you will need, then get creative.


Color is key. Use color to make the environment cozy and calming. Too much going on in a small space can make you crazy!


Looking at some small-scale floor plans….

And some small rooms and homes….


Inspiration…living in a teeny 400 square feet, Realization…a cozy cottage that reflects who you are in a big way!


In combination April 26, 2012

Filed under: Uncategorized — inspiringdesigns @ 7:33 pm

I love color, pattern, simple and ornate all in combination. Today’s challenge: Using more than one fabric in custom window treatments and keep it classic.

Use a custom style versus a lot of tassels and trims to create your very own one of a kind look. Let’s take a look of how several fabrics have been combined in a way that inspires us all to get some new window treatments made!

I love this preppy and clean duo. The crisp white drapes and the bold green band, you could even duplicate this look with a great wide grosgrain ribbon.

This look takes a talented and patient seamstress, but the results are well worth the extra work.

Two different ways to do the classic horizontal band.

I am not normally a fan of tie backs, but this two-sided panel with bold use of pink is über glam, love!

 A simple band that adds interest.

The fabric covered buttons add a good bit of cute factor to these basic panels.

Double banded silk anyone? Yes, please.

 Cartridge pleat with a tiny band at the top is a subtle way to add crispness to the edge of the draperies.

The valance adds a geometric and almost architectural feel to these windows.

 An attached valance on drapes can read old-fashioned, but this ric rac style trim feels traditional and modern, and adds a nice feminine finish.

A recent project from Jodi Jenkins Interiors…

Imagine this look using 2 fabrics, the side pleating in a contrasting color.

Another beautiful use of two fabrics in a recent commission.

Inspiration…what to do when you can’t choose between two fabrics?, Realization… create your unique window treatments with fabrics in combination.


In vain April 4, 2012

Filed under: Uncategorized — inspiringdesigns @ 12:20 pm

It may seem old-fashioned to some, but I love doing my hair and makeup each morning at a classic vanity. I am not talking about a bathroom vanity, I’m talking a piece of furniture, in a bedroom, with a nice chair where I can sit, relax and pamper myself.



This may evoke memories of a time in the past but if you try it I think you would agree it is time to bring back the vanity.


In todays busy world a great way to start the day is sitting, with a cup of coffee, music or your favorite morning show and take your time getting ready for your day.






excessive pride in one’s appearance, qualities, abilities, achievements, etc.; character or quality of being vain; conceit: Failure to be elected was a great blow to his vanity.

an instance or display of this quality or feeling.

something about which one is vain.

lack of real value; hollowness; worthlessness: the vanity of a selfish life.

something worthless, trivial, or pointless.
On the contrary, MY kind of vanity is based on self-love, but not in an egotistical way, more in a “enjoy my life” sort of way. We can all agree we need a little pampering now and then and a beautiful environment creates a better mood and a better start to the day.
Embrace your inner girly girl and get vain- with a vanity table, both fashionable and functional…a space just for you to love.
  In another blog, Roses and Rust, I found the following, which I thought epitomized the feelings I have for my beloved dressing table, “

DRESSING TABLES – Indulgent or Indispendable

A dressing table adds a touch of romance and glamor to any woman’s bedroom. These pieces of furniture are coming back into fashion as women seek more elegance in their lives. Akiko Busch, in her book “Geography of Home” refers to a dressing table as ”a place to indulge one’s fancies and compose one’s soul.” 
Inspiration…a great way to start the day, Realization…you don’t have to be vain to appreciate and enjoy a beautiful vanity.

Intimidating April 1, 2012

Filed under: Uncategorized — inspiringdesigns @ 2:52 am

There are certain spaces in all of our homes that have evolved from utilitarian to ultra sophisticated. When remodeling or building one of the rooms I have found clients find most intimidating to design on their own is the bathroom. What used to be a place of mere function is now a world of limitless fashionable options, so where do you start?

First, what style? I believe you should evaluate the style and architecture of your home as a whole, not just each individual room. To walk into a super contemporary, clean lined home and find a cottage style space or in an old craftsman bungalow opening the door to an ultra sleek and modern bathroom is odd. So style must come first.


clean and contemporary.

transitional with a twist.

vintage luxury.


timeless traditional.

Second, what are your needs and wants? The bathroom should function the way you want and if you are lucky enough to start over then make a wish list. Three shower heads, a heated toilet seat or jetted tub maybe be extravagant to some, but essential to others.


human car wash, anyone?

 heated toilet/bidet.

deep soaker jetted spa tub.

Next, time to select your finishes. This is where your personal style and taste come into play. Do you prefer tile or solid slabs of stone? Do you like the look of a rectangular undermounted sink vs. a round vessel style? What about metal tones? Are you an oil rubbed bronze, brushed nickel or polished chrome kind of gal (or guy)?

   plaid tile?!!? LOVE!!!


The final touches are just as important as the larger selections. A cheap towel bar or odd accessories can detract from the big beautiful choices you have made. Be thoughtful in selecting your wall color, art, accessories and keep the room neat and clutter free.


Above is the Jason Wu collection for Brizo, bathroom jewelry!

Some bathrooms from Jodi Jenkins Interiors.

Inspiration…intimidating choices for the perfect bath, Realization…spa like and serene, contemporary or coastal, a bathroom design is approachable when you take it one step at a time.



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