Author Archives: Penny

Single Professional Female Seeking a Warm Cozy Home

No more bare soulless windows!

The windows are the perfect place to start warming up the “feel” of a room. This particular client is a young, single professional female seeking a warm contemporary look for her family room windows.  “ I like the look of draperies with valances but I don’t want it to look like my mothers. She has great taste, but I want a younger style”.  I heard her loud and clear and after a couple of sketches, this one got an immediate reaction, “I love it!”.  Ahhh, the perfect response and with the help of Maria, my fabricator, we went from this vision…

Quick sketch

…to this beautiful, well dressed cozy window design!  The orange print fabric exudes modern vitality.  The curves add a sexy twist to a standard board mounted valance while the grommets ensure a casual vibe to the overall look.

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And my favorite detail of all are the chrome nail heads in the banding of the valance.  They pair well with the brushed nickel hardware and add a touch of the unexpected.

Family room close up

My favorite part of this installation was my clients’ smile of pure happiness every time she looked at her draperies. “Finally after 3 years my house is starting to look like a home”.  Another perfect match!

Breakfast table valances Coordinating pleated valances for the kitchen table area.

Titanic – Did It’s Interior Trends Also Sink With The Past?

The Titanic, the world’s largest and most luxurious ocean liner, was traveling from England to New York when it struck an iceberg at 11:40 p.m. on April 14, 1912. It sank less than three hours later, with the loss of all but 700 of the 2,208 passengers and crew.  This past weekend marked the 100th anniversary of it sinking. It’s a very sad yet historic day.

I often wondered what the interiors really looked liked in person. The rich patterns, the texture of the fabrics, the glow of the massive chandeliers. What was the difference between 1st class and 4th class rooms? Are the styles still a part of interiors today?

Take a look at the some interior photos starting in order with 3rd class, instead of the usual 1st class.

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3rd class dining room

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1st class dining room

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1st Class dining room made up for dinner

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Tub chairs,  (also called barrel backs) in the 3rd class dining section are still being used today with many modifications. It’s a very functional chair often seen in public areas.

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Here is a leather and fabric upholstery design sold today that reminds me of the Jacobean style chairs in the 1st class dining room.  This style will always be relevant in traditional interiors.

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3rd class lounge

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1st class writing room and lounge

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1st class writing room made up for passengers Luncheon

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3rd class accommodations

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1st Class Suites

It’s so amazing how old black and white photos versus sharp color photos have such a shroud of mystery and nostalgia associated with it.

Only Two Bathtubs
Although most passengers had to share bathrooms (only the two promenade suites in first class had private bathrooms), third class had it rough with only two bathtubs for more than 700 passengers.

image2 passengers working out in the gymnasium. We’ve come a long way baby!

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Titanic art: vintage posters, letters sent while on board, the last photographed image and random photos taken on board

Art.com sells over 300 prints related to the Titanic.  It makes me wonder what images will be sold of 9/11 a hundred years from now, 50 years, even 10 years…  Is this morally right? After all, these are lost lives we are talking about.  I don’t know. I’m guilty of finding this tragedy fascinating, mysterious and or course sad, but I’ve always been intrigued about it’s interiors and how passengers lived on board.  That’s why the color visuals of James Cameron’s, Titanic still captures me to this day…and yes, the Romeo and Juliet spin he attached to it made it all the more appealing.

More…

2nd class suite images

3d Color Simulations of various rooms

10 Facts About the Titanic You Didn’t Know

Get Rid of Your Boring Living Room Once And For All

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Design Within Reach has paired with one of my favorite home decorating on-line inspirational magazines, Houzz.com to bring you an opportunity of a lifetime.  If you love modern, transitional design styles, sign up to WIN a modern living room makeover – it’s EASY! Get the details here.

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$40,000.00 in Services and Products? How can you resist?!

3 On-The-Spot Designer Tricks You Can Do Immediately to Literally Change Your Formal Living Room and How You Feel About It!!!

1.     Move furniture pieces away from the wall. Come on Nibbles, it’s a living room, not a middle school dance-off. Place pieces so that the conversation will flow naturally, by grouping seating around a coffee table in a circular pattern.  Imagine guest sitting down – will they have to turn awkwardly to talk to one another or will there be fluid movement for all?

2.     Use an area rug to anchor the seating, make the conversation the focal point, soften the echo that hardwoods tend to make, add warmth, color, texture and pattern to the room.  Mimic the rug shape to the room shape. Square room = square or round rug. Rectangular room = rectangular rug (tip: the longest side of the rug MUST face the longest wall – otherwise, you risk throwing the proportions of the room design off)

3.     Place multiple levels of light throughout the  room. Don’t be afraid to have a pair of wall sconces, 2 table lamps, a floor lamp and an overhead fixture in your formal living room.  This prevents shadows, offers task as well as mood  lighting and provides the opportunity to add a variety of finishes and bling in to the space.

When you’re all done – invite some friends over, mix some martinis, sit back and laugh the night away while they marvel at the changes you’ve made.

ABOUT Design Within Reach…if you fancy modern design and are happy to make the investment for furniture you can absolutely pass down through the generations, you have to put DWR in your catalog of home furnishing stores.  There amazing designs, superior service and standout quality ranks high on my list of industry leaders.  Here are a few of my favorite pieces.

imageLine Credenza

Isn’t it beautiful!!!  The warm, rich horizontal lines add so much detail and character to what could have been an ordinary boxed storage console.

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LC4 Chaise Lounge

Just look at it – a piece of work. Stunning. Artful yet practical and comfortable.  It was designed by Le Corbusier, Pierre Jeanneret and Charlotte Perriand and produced by Cassina.  It is the classic modern design.

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Rubic Service Coffee Table

I call it a martini table – yes, I can appreciate a good martini. So when you and your friends are chatting it up in your new living room, listening to music, while enjoying your favorite martini, there’s no need to strain your arm or back reaching for the side table or coffee table to place your drink. B-e-c-a-u-s-e this baby slides underneath your sofa so the top will rest above your seat cushions, in easy reach.

Good luck with the CONTEST Nibbles – REGISTER TODAY!

Unhappy Hipsters – A Clever Use of Satire to Lighten the Utter Seriousness of Picture Perfect Interiors

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It’s so additive…

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“Unhappy Hipsters” is another sartorial site, produced anonymously, that’s sole purpose is to poke fun at neo-modern interior design. And it does it very well.

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It reminds me of one of my favorite shows that has long since left TV, Mystery Science Theater 3000. One of Time magazine’s 100 Best TV shows of all time.  In a word- hilarious!  …as I reminisce….

image The series features a man and his robot sidekicks who are trapped on a space station by an evil scientist and forced to watch a selection of bad movies, often (but not limited to) science fiction B-movies. To keep sane, the man and his robots provide a running commentary on each film, making fun of its flaws and wisecracking (or “riffing”) their way through each reel in the style of a movie-theater peanut gallery. Each film is presented with a superimposition of the man and robots’ silhouettes along the bottom of the screen.

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Go-get your daily playful feed at The Hipster and enjoy.

Looking For a Cash Mob in Charlotte?

What a fascinating concept – CASH MOB.  This is a great way to stimulate the economy, support the local business community and meet people you ordinarily would not.  To date, there has not been one in Charlotte, NC, but I have a feeling that’s all about to change.

Just today, I heard of it for the first time on  WFAE NPR’s Here and Now. It’s brilliant!

There are official rules – but in general, the goal is to encourage people to go into small, local businesses and spend their money, en masse, to give the business owner a little bit of economic stimulus. We’d help businesses grow, we’d make people happy, we’d get stuff for ourselves, have a great time, and maybe we’d get a drink to celebrate afterward.  The minimum suggested amount to spend is only $20.00.

Outside of doing my part to support local businesses, my favorite part is meeting new people and getting together afterwards at a nearby pub to chat and celebrate!

I’m keeping an eye out for one in Charlotte.  I will be there!  Let me know if you here of one as well.