Friday, August 10, 2012

Preppy Binders for the Girls! We decorate everything around here

School starts next week for our girls--thankfully we have decided not to decorate our lockers this year (we actually wallpapered it last year), but we are tricking out our binders. Ok, not tricking out, Elli and her buddy Caroline wanted preppy, not funky, but I really believe the possibilities are endless with this little project! My favorite binder is the white one with the grosgrain ribbon--I would have loved to really embellish them, but they are cute as they are!

So many cool options!
I think this one is beautiful!

Super easy project, we used free printables from Pinterest and wedding planning sites--we used 

For Chic Sake and Wedding Chicks but you can use any monograms.  Just follow the prompts and print on cardstock or regular paper white or colored, insert into binders.  Add buttons, ribbon, whatever--just so fun!!!

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Tabletops--Take 3--Stuff Mark brings home

I read Kathryn Greeley's The Collected Tabletop last year and her tablescapes and designs inspired me to renew my efforts toward creating my own special tables.  I love dishes, glassware, china, crystal, flatware, sterling, you name it, if it goes on the table, I'm drawn to it. But I also like to use pieces in my table designs that aren't necessarily traditional tabletop elements. I like daisies in saucecups and minnowbuckets full of Queen Anne's Lace, I'm just cool that way. I think I will call this table "stuff Mark brings home." I used a couple of my favorite gifts from my husband's travels to create a happy table.  Make sure to scroll down to see the gifts that didn't make the cut.

I used platinum-rimmed Noritake china with my girls' sterling flatware and beautiful vintage blue sherbet and juice glasses that I found at an estate sale for $10!!!!!  I think mixing fine china, sterling and colorful vintage glassware makes the table pretty and interesting. 

juice glass

The girls and I look forward to gifts Mark brings home from his travels.  The blue and white village pieces from Amsterdam look so pretty with the glassware and linens.
The little houses were a passenger gift from KLM Airlines and have wax-covered chimneys that supposedly will smoke if you remove the wax. That would be fun at a dinner party.  Or scary.

Mark brought the candleholders home from Thailand after the tsunami.  They are beautiful and have been used all over our house.  They hold column candles which provide plenty of light for a late summer evening dinner.
The artisans in the markets in Phuket created spectacular pieces, even a few short days after the tsunami.  These Naga Serpent candleholders were a special gift and always make us think about the resilience of the human spirit and the fragility of life. 
These ceramic garden stools are so versatile, this blue and white serves as extra table seating and looks great with my blue and white table decor. 

Bullet Malcolm, exhausted from table design.
This charming couple from Chiclayo, Peru were not used on this table.  I LOVE THEM, they are so vital and uninhibited.  They would actually look fabulous on top of a wedding cake.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Tabletops--Take 2

I almost always find fabric for my table linens in the remnants bin at local fabric stores--this blue and brown leaf pattern would be a really ugly skirt or sofa, but looks pretty cool as a table runner.  This makes a cozy fall table; I used a variation on my dining table for Thanksgiving last year

Basket weave placemats used in combination with the runner adds interest and texture to the table--LouLou's beautiful vintage china makes every meal extra special
I love to use pretty dish towels as napkins!
A simple daisy in a McCarty's sauce cup adds a touch of summer--I really enjoy the juxtaposition of the fine china and crystal with the pottery.  No rules today. Or any day really.
If you really want your guests to think you have it all together, create a menu card for your next dinner party.  I used card stock and a printer and some pretty ribbon.  Look at the turquoise rim on LouLou's beautiful dinner plate, it matches the cardstock and I planned it.  I have it all together.
I love to give my guests gifts.  The gift tag doubles as a place card! 


Tabletops--take 1

When Trey and I were growing up, and still today, Mom did not cook much.  She actually CAN cook, in fact she cooked a huge, fantastic, fresh vegetable country meal last weekend, she just doesn't like to cook and ergo, doesn't do it very often.  Mema cooked for us for our entire childhood, we were very well fed.  What Mom never failed to do, however, was set a beautiful table.  Whether we were having mac and cheese for 4 or a catered dinner for 40 was irrelevant, Mom created for us a beautiful table with special linens and dishes and flowers that Daddy grew.  When my parents entertained, we often used a gateleg table for overflow guests, and recently I acquired a gateleg almost exactly like that one.  It seats four perfectly and just makes for beautiful dining!
See here it is, I was using it as an end, note that I lovingly placed my lamp on the sofa so I could use the table for photos
The inspiration for this tabletop was the lovely peach and black china, a Craigslist score, you really can't beat Craigslist for incredible china finds!  Below is a better view of the dessert plate.
I rarely set a table without using my LouLou's beautiful pieces, Her stemware with gold accents complements the china.  And I love this napkin!  It totally livens up the table
I like to switch up my gifts for guests, depending on their tastes.  Candles and homemade jellies and  preserves are always popular at my house
We have tons of bunnies in Bayonne right now, we are bunny lovers and this is an old friend.  Using favorite items from my house as part of my table decor keeps it fresh and interesting--I really wish I knew how to photoshop, if I did, you wouldn't see all the background craziness that is a part of life at the Malcolm house. 

Monday, July 9, 2012

A Space With No Worries

Creating a space for children is always fun for me, some of my favorite projects have been children's rooms and playrooms.  A recent children's project certainly did not disappoint in the fun department, and the kids for whom this design was created are a part of my heart. 

The Children's Room at the Sixth Judicial District Prosecuting Attorney's Office was totally a labor of love for me!  The kids who frequent this room are unnaturally burdened.  My normal light-hearted whimsical approach to designing an area for children had to be re-thought and amended.  Many hours were spent researching colors, lighting, surface choices, and even aromas that foster feelings of comfort and peacefulness in children.  The result is a cool, quiet, yet still light-hearted oasis, conducive to an effective interview, and an easy atmosphere for children and law enforcement professionals alike.  I hope you love it!
banquette with laminated violet fabric banded in sky--hey who forgot to chop those pillows??

Homework station--or coloring station or masterpiece creation station
These crayons are no longer sharp
Normally, this sweet white pail holds magic markers!
Books, toys, and most importantlly, Legos!
The trucks and games are used much more frequently than the dictionary and thesaurus

Beautiful baby pig by local artist Jeanenne W. Vowell
Detail of gorgeous abstract by local artist Jennifer Waymack
Both pieces were created especially for the Children's Room and were donated by these fabulous artists!

A few of our angels!

Thank you for looking, have a wonderful week!


Friday, June 15, 2012

Commercial Art on a Budget/Very Literal Art

When I began the design process for the new Pulaski County Criminal Justice Center in early 2006, I realized almost immediately that the budget would be tight, particularly when it came time for wall art.  With over 14,000 square feet and about a jillion feet of wall space, to say that some creative thinking and planning was necessary is a huge understatement.  The facility that previously housed the 100+ deputy prosecutors, cops, social workers, and support staff was uncomfortably overcrowded, in poor repair and was furnished primarily with a dilapidated hodgepodge of what could be salvaged from other county offices.  It was important to the elected prosecutor who had for years fought for the new building, that the facility reflect the importance of the job of its inhabitants as well as the victims and citizenry served.  Tall order/short budget.

The following pictures (yes, I took them so they are awful) are a sampling of how we made the most of our commerical wall art budget.  SPECIAL NOTE TO MY CURRENT CLIENTS AND POTENTIAL CLIENTS:  We used wall graffiti in this office, 4 applications in almost 15,000 square feet.  We are not going to use any wall graffiti in the common areas of your home, and if we use any in the private areas of your home, we will use it only sparingly, and in tasteful applications.  We just can't paper the house with either of the books of the letters to the Corinthians.  We just can't do it.  No matter how much we love Jesus (and for the record, I am crazy about him).

We hired a professional photographer to shoot some of our favorite parts of the historic Pulaski County Courthouse.
Dixie Knight took this gorgeous shot of the rotunda ceiling--we had it transferred to canvas and it hangs in the atrium area located just outside the office of the elected official.  It was not cheap, but it is a beautiful piece of photographic art that will hopefully hang in the halls of the Proecuting Attorney for many, many years. 

series of black and white photos by Dixie Knight
featuring architectural elements of the exterior of the Pulaski County Courthouse

We also utilized stock photography from the Arkansas State Parks Department, AND folks on staff who are much more talented than I took a few pics too.
The Sixth Judicial District is comprised of Pulaski and Perry Counties.  The photographic art used in the Citizen Complaints Department of the office reflects the rural beauty of Perry County.
We used 4 applications of wall graffiti--this one is my favorite

Another view, you can see one of the few paintings we used in the entire building in this pic.  It is lovely, but for whatever reason reminds me of corn casserole.
These are actually acrylic letters, beautiful product, beautiful words.

I'm really excited that next week real live, famous photographer Jacob Slaten will shoot the children's interview room.  Please check back for a great post with extraordinary pics!!!


Thursday, May 31, 2012

Stretching your dollar--before and after!

One of my close friends asked us to help create a special space for her daughter who also happens to be one of my daughter's closest friends.  It was important that we use as much of the existing furniture, bedding, and window coverings as our budget was limited.  We hoped to be able to stay within a budget of $500, and here are our before pics:
It's sort of difficult to see, because as I've shared before, my pictures are always awful, but the bed was pushed to the back right corner of the room,the desk was on the diagonal in the other corner and the tabbed panel curtains were not correctly sized.
The Pottery Barn comforter was a Christmas gift for the teen owner of this bedroom and she loves the vibrant paisley swatches on the black and grey background.
Mom checking her list

So we began the planning process and the shopping process.  We had to plan carefully and shop smart in order to stay reasonably within our $500 budget.  After many days of sketching, searching, shopping and painting, we were able to make our sweet girl's new room a reality, please take a look then we will go thru the elements and see how close to budget we came.

We lucked into a couple of wonderful finds on craigslist--the green velvet desk chair we used to replace the old blue one, and the iron piece we used above the platform bed.  I love to -scan craigslist for treasures and was certainly lucky to get both pieces for $75.  We painted the iron piece and used the green velvet chair in its original condition, adorned by a simple oblong floral accent pillow with a price tag of $30.

We had a couple of shams custom made, white linen with green banding, we re-upped the client's body pillow at a cost of $129.  The forms are all feather-filled--a little more expensive but very important in terms of the richness of the look you are trying to achieve!

We removed the curtain panels and had a seamstress band the bottoms of the panels with white, repeating our bed treatment and our apple green primary accent color. The extra fabric made our curtain panels the correct size to cover the floor to ceiling space.  We replaced the rod, choosing a black cafe rod and hung it close to the ceiling.  The seamstress charged us $40, the new rod was $18.

Lamps and wall hangings, really cool black and white photography with a glossy finish, came to about $200, so yes, I busted the budget.  Oh yes, and a rug.  We ordinarily would not do rug on carpet, but my clients really do not like the carpet and replacing it is not an option, so we did a 5x7 to provide as much coverage as possible.  I think it was a success. We got a lot of change for not a lot of change!  Get it, change, change?  The girll who sleeps in this room deserves my best effort, she is an angel and I hope she lives well in this space!