Monday, August 29, 2011

OFF TO ENGLAND. . . . . .

                  Off to see the queen or maybe the princess. . . .one thing for sure I can't wait!
                  Debra Phillips of 5th and State will lead this girls trip to Dorset.  My lists
                  continued to grow instead of diminish, but now to bed with a full day/night of
        travel, suitcase packed, appointments behind me and design boards finalized.

OMG, check out the woman in white with the camera. . . .
could it be another blogger???

Enjoy the last, crazy, hazy days of summer and be well!



Sunday, August 28, 2011


Learning about and visiting new shops is a favorite pass time (kind of funny) of mine.   Life can be crazy busy, but if there is something shared with me and a not-to-miss spot, I am there!    I call it TRIP WORTHY and once there, there is nothing better than that new discovery.  I had the opportunity a couple of weeks ago to seek out Mary Garvey James new shop on Webster, called CLASSIC REMIX.  It is her Chicago shop and it is filled to the brim.  She is also one of three women who own a shop in Geneva, Illinois called 610 HOME.  It too is inspirational and worth the trip.   The new Chicago destination has only been opened since early summer and I had a need to go and select molding for two prints I was using on a design job.  It was packed full of wonderful objects for the home.  I am using two of these
antique bird prints that were enlarged to a wopping size of 36x48.  Brilliant to take a small print and blow it up to such a size and they are truly wonderfully done.  I am changing the black frame to soft gold leaf frames.  These will be going on a grey wall with volume ceilings.

Mary has the insane ability to mix, old, vintage, antique and
reproductions in such a way that you want it all.  The unusual, the re-purposed object, old baskets, lighting, garden objects and the list doesn't stop.  She is truly an insightful
human being with an eye unlike I have seen in quite sometime.

The prices you find inside this little shop are so fairly priced, that
if you don't get to it first, someone will be behind you and skarf it up!

This woderful little starburst mirror is 24" in diameter and was
priced at $395.00  A great look for the money.

Details of the starburst mirror.

Vintage furniture nestled with bull dogs, tassels, chairs and
iron stools.

Old books, sculptured hands and  vintage apertif glasses.

Maps, sconces,  boxes to fill, birdcages for your
collection and great lighting of all kinds.

This old guy really caught my fancy. . . . in fact I can't get him
out of my mind . . . . hmmmm

Loved this caged light fixture. . .

On the table when you walked into the shop was this wonderful
collection of restaurant food domes. . .

What is it about Paris?

Small table........great affect! (I would prefer no tassels)

As you can see, every taste is catered to and all you have to do
is walk throught her doors...............bring a snack, you will be here
a long while.  At 5:00, she even serves a complimentary glass of wine.

The front window as I saw it the day I was there a
few weeks ago.

One of two door guards at CLASSIC MIX

The charming neighborhood where CLASSIC REMIX intermingles.

Visiting Mary's shop is a treat.  New merchandise is a daily thing.
What you see one week, will change to the next week. 

1015 West Webster Avenue
Chicago, Illinois 60614



Saturday, August 20, 2011



Observations seem to be stronger when we take the time to observe. . .
I know for one, that I am noticing things that  have always been there, but my eye and my heart are taking the time to zero in on the obvious.  I thought I was a very observant person,  but I am finding out more and more  as I learn the art of photography, I have missed a lot because I haven't taken the time. . . . . . and because I am never STILL.

This fabulous container is in town and I walk by it frequently, this time
I studied it for the color and texture.


The fabulous patina on the 100 year old marble from my patisserie table.

Speaking of patina . . . . the new "bible" for that Patina Style that
we are all loving so much.  It has recently been released. So filled with the
wonder and knowledge of how to create the look.  It can be
purchased from Brooke at
Not only is the book wonderfully well done, but her blog
always full of inspiration and joy!

The combination and detail that I created with the use of
the tumbled marble and the old victorian farmhouse trim.

The black lampshade that I stenciled . . .

I stenciled this shade in three places . . . . just a great little detail that
made a big difference.

The egg and dart detail that adds such great interest to an
outdoor urn.

These leather books have been sitting on my secreatary for quite awhile.  Old books
today are like art and can really change the look of a shelf. . . and whoops
The Twelfth Night needs to be turned!

Do you remember when you were to never mix metals?
What a glow was created when I placed this copper pot on
top of a silver tray . . . loved it!

Ok, it wasn't long ago that I was moving stuff around (really?) and tho'
I have had this painting for quite some time, I noticed a grasshopper
in the painting . . .I have chosen not to tell you how long I have had this painting
hanging in my kitchen!!!

AND there he is!

A handmade-in-America, Victorian brass frame.  They just don't
make them like this anymore.  I took time to study the handmade
detail, the flowers and the twists. . . .

An antique frame that I pass daily. . . . . never noticed the egg and dart motif
on this before.

We all get so busy in this world and sometimes forget to listen to the quiet or take
the time to enjoy what is sometimes set right before us.  Our lives are so full
that sometimes the enjoyment of what is real goes unnoticed and we lose touch
with the peace that could be ours.  Our schedules are full, our calendars with-
out space and we never seem to catch up or complete anything without
interuptions.  GO! GO! GO!  Do this, do that, check this off and that!
Lists and more lists, meetings, chairman of this and chairman of that.
We go to bed exhausted with more lists jumping through our heads. . . .

It is almost Sunday morning and I leave you with one of my very favorite
quotes: "Do not lose your inner peace for anything what-so-ever, not even
if your whole world seems upset and full.  If you find that you have
wondered away from the shelter of God, lead your heart back to Him simply
and quietly."

~St. Francis

May your Sunday be full of peace, relaxation and joy.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

NEW DIGS . . . .

It was necessary for a redue on my confit pot with the hostas!  After a week they were looking tired and wanted out!   This wonderful hydrangea is blooming like crazy in my
 garden  and there is lots of it!  I just had to use them in this pot!

Have a wonderful summer day!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011


I have been making some changes in my home. . . . . always trying to make something better or more interesting because I have been inspired by you.    Collections put away that seem to sing everytime I walk past them in the storage area of our home. . . . . .( quite a sight that will never hit the pages of this blog and that is a promise!!!!!)along with a few items I have never really used that are quite wonderful.  Art work that has been stacked and not used for one reason or another.

The new look in the guest powder room. . . . . .



So not me anymore. . . . too many little items
instead of one great statement. . . . and I always
tell my clients, "Don't be afraid to make a
statement" the ole addage of PRACTICE


A little secret that I must share . . . . Joy, that adorable SAVVY CITY FARMER
came for lunch this past week. . . . . yes, she visited my unsitely storage area
and saw my little Englishman sitting there pouting.  Get this upstairs in
your powder room!!!!  Thank you Joy, I love him there!

Saturday, August 13, 2011

CURB APPEAL . . . . .

As an interior designer, I often find myself driving into some of my favorite neighborhoods and wondering who lives there, how is their home decorated, their style, young family, middle aged family or older.  Some exterior colors are attractive and updated and some are so in need.
Since March of this year I have been photographing homes from the curbside in hopes that I won't be caught!!!  Of course I picked only those with curb appeal.  East coast, West coast, North and South.  I have captured them all.  You must know that I left a few behind as sometimes my driver was driving too fast!

This home was all white and glass.  It appeared to have had some

This home was quite large and since someone else was doing this 'drive by'
for me, I shot the major center of this tastefully done, architecturally inspired
Spanish home. 

This home had great curb appeal.  It was all white with garden green
accents  on the shutters and railings.  The Impatiens were glorious!

While this was only an entrance, the main house was too far back
to even begin to photograph.  The entrance was amazing and meticulously
groomed.  If only I could have taken a little walk. . . . .


This is a little touch of the WEST.  Houston to be exact.

Most of this home was hidden by trees, but it rambled on forever!

Love the roof lines of this Houston home in the Woodlands

It is back to the Midwest. . . . . love the turet, the eyebrown roofline
over the two story entrance.  Also love the ivy, tho' it does look like
it needs a trim.

City Living . . . . . Chicago style!

California style . . . . Pacific Heights.  I love how the charcoal green
arch accents this front entrance.

A Pacific Heights  Victorian painted lady. . . . if you have ever walked these streets
and I did so while photographing,  you will understand how this suburb of
San Francisco got its name. . . I stood on the corner looking up to take this shot.

What an entrance!

While walking these hilly streets I can across this small, interesting,
compact home.  The sandy exterior home with black accents, framed with
green Cypress trees and a flowering shrub of some kind.  Very clean and striking!

Just to show you how high up I was, I am overlooking a housetop
and the Bay with part of the Golden Gate Bridge in the distance.

Love these side by side black doors and the green ivy topiaries. The ultimate
classic combo.

A coach house entrance. . . . . love the allure of this pathway that
leads to the front door.

Good ole California style with lush and plush greens which
are always so beautifully out of control . . . .

A seawater blue exterior with white,  was so welcoming. 
While not a fan of the multiple topiary specimen, it really
looks great the way it was used.

A suburban Chicago Cape Cod. . . .

Back to the Midwest . . . Northern Michigan and a sweet
B&B in Harbor Springs.  Don't you love the mass plantings
of daisies and geraniums?

The south of France???????????  No, this little French farmhouse
is in Hinsdale, Illinois. . . . and we ARE going to go inside one of
these days.

This house use to be red brick......a big committment going grey,
but so beautiful with the white shutters.  I love how the Impatiens have been cut into the boxwood, with the blue Hydrangeas behind.  Great curb

Love the mix of white, brown and grey combined with the slate roof.

Hinsdale, Illinois

Great curb appeal.  . . older updated home in Chicago's suburbs.

Chicago's Lincoln Park neighborhood nestled among the shade of the trees.

A condo in Elmhurst, Illinois

We have been all over the United States, visiting home sites of what makes
up this wonderful life and the places we live.  We have been to Naples, Florida,  Houston, Texas, Harbor Springs, Michigan and the streets of Chicago and its suburbs.  Little homes,
big homes, condos and city living at its best.  Cottage homes, lake homes, ocean homes and
country French homes.     Regardless of costs, make up, style and comfort or who might
reside at that address. . . . It always hold true that there is

Enjoy the rest of your weekend.