May 16, 2013

Adventures in Illustrating...

Okay, I'll admit it, I signed up for the class because it was called "Pretty Paper Products".  I have an absolute obsession with paper.  I love paper.... I love looking at it, designing with it, collecting it.... I may be obsessed, yes. Seriously, do NOT take me to a scrapbook store. Ever.

So I happened upon these online classes one day.  And I thought, why don't I learn to design my own paper, patterns and art work for myself! Anyone who knows me knows I love design, but graphic design honestly scares me to death.  Maybe it's because I'm such a hands on designer? Truly, it's hard for me to imagine creating something on a computer screen and "trusting" that it's going to look good in real life.  So, I decided to overcome my fear and I signed up for some Illustrator classes.  OH.  MY.  GOSH.  
Why did nobody tell me how cool this was before!!!!

So, I started out small by designing a pear. I honestly never thought it would turn out so cute.  Well, what I learned is this... it was fun, it took no time at all to learn how to do, and ultimately I've probably just exchanged one obsession {paper}, for another {graphic paper}. Wouldn't the smaller pear make the cutest stamp?

So..... the "pretty paper" class lead to the "making a pattern" class, which of course lead to the "ornaments & embellishments" class... and if I take those, naturally that means I really should just stick with it and take the "Illustrator ~ Illustrating" class right!?  

Did I mention I might be obsessed?

If you're looking for creative inspiration, you really should check out it will not disappoint.  And I promise... you don't need to be a trained artist to draw in Illustrator.  I did it. :)

January 9, 2013

New Year, New Look

I love the New Year!  As a very goal oriented person, I tend to set goals and take a personal inventory year round so I'm not much of a resolution maker.  The thought of setting resolutions/goals once a year is not a concept I am able to grasp easily I guess.  I do however love the idea of a fresh start.  There is something so revitalizing and rejuvenating about the New Year.  The thought of being able to kind of start over and refresh, well, it just makes me happy!

This year I was approached by a friend who asked me to write an article offering her readers some tips for restyling their window coverings for the New Year.  Of course this sparked a wealth of ideas and really got me thinking about my approach to beginning a new year and how it affects my home.  As I say in the article; 

"Every New Year we tend to focus on making resolutions that center around becoming something better… someone who is more organized, more involved, more patient, happier, and healthier.  The list goes on and on.

As an interior designer I rather enjoy turning my focus toward my home and the spaces I live in every day.  I don’t know about you, but when I feel better at home, I tend to feel better in all aspects of my life..."

This is how I approach my home every New Year, but never really thought about it too much until I began writing this article.  For me, the idea of renewing and beginning again, begins at home.  There is real value in loving and feeling good about the spaces where I spend the majority of my time.

Head on over to this website to read the full article, and please let me know what you think! And be sure to check back soon for more interior tips and restyling tricks to renew and refresh the spaces you live in every day.

Happy New Year!

December 23, 2012

the holiday home {inspired by warmth}...

Warmth... warmth is one of the things I aim to achieve in a design.  There is something so comforting and inviting about a space that oozes warmth.  If the room makes you want to curl up with a good book for hours, then I feel like I've done my job.
holiday winter home...
Here's to the holidays... wishing you and your family a warm and cozy Christmas!
xoxo, Heather

November 16, 2012

window display {inspired by a shopping spree}...

Yes, you read that right... this window display was inspired by a shopping spree!  

And it's get better.  
The shopping spree is valued at up to $10,000 {I'm serious}.  
Who doesn't want a little {or a lot} of extra $$ for Christmas this year?
{via} is sponsoring this contest from now thru December 19th.  

All you have to do is create a visual wish list and you're entered to win the grand prize shopping spree I mentioned above.  There's a bonus too... share your list with family & friends and you increase your chances of winning!

You can read all about the contest, rules, and create your own wish list by going HERE

Happy Wish List Making!!!

November 13, 2012

I am a mom {inspired by motherhood}

I've been authoring a family blog for almost 6 years now.  I love to write and I absolutely enjoy keeping track of my family's memories throughout the year, and one of my favorite things to do is go back and reread those things I wrote about so many years ago.  Some of my favorite posts to reread are about my time as a single mom of 3 girls, working my way through design school.  I still can't believe I accomplished what I did and I really appreciate having those posts to remind me of where I've been and how I got to where I am today.

You may be wondering what this has to do with the world of design, and why write about it here... on a blog dedicated to design.  I've wondered that too, which is why I was a little hesitant to write today in the first place.  I'll admit, I struggle with keeping my family blog and my design blog separate. Some of my biggest inspiration comes from the "real life" stuff of being a mom, creating comfort among chaos {which comes naturally with a family of 6}, living in an average home {builder grade}, designing on a budget.  These worlds are so intertwined it's hard to separate them sometimes... so why not share a little of my real life "inspiration" here and there?  Besides, I feel like it changes me from just being another design blogger, to a real person with a real life who happens to have a passion and love for design, because in reality my love for design is secondary to being a mom.

These past couple of weeks I've been a little frustrated with myself for beginning a blog and not being able to get back to it as much as I would have liked.  But I can't {and won't} apologize... I am a mom and so very blessed to be one!  The past couple weeks have been spent with this beautiful girl...

She is my oldest and an absolute treasure.  She's growing up a little too fast for my liking and I think the older she gets, the more I have a desire to stop everything I'm doing just to spend time with her.  See, she's a senior in high school this year and when the school year started I was hit with the realization that she's moving on very soon... college, career, life long plans that don't include living in my house anymore and hanging out with her mom everyday.

So we've spent the last couple of weeks applying for college, studying to retake the ACT {she took it last year, but is a perfectionist like me and wanted a better score}, and talking about college plans like dorm rooms and transportation.  It's been a lot of work and a bit exhausting at times.  Taking time out to return to blogging, even for just a moment, has been a nice reprieve.

And as I've learned throughout these years of motherhood, moms need to take time out for themselves every once in a while.  I believe it makes us all better moms in the end, and for me it leaves me more open to seeing the everyday inspiration that often comes through the joys of being a mom.

November 2, 2012

Paper Banner {inspired by Gratitude}...

I may or may not have an obsession with paper.  I love creating with it, I love collecting it, designing with it, crafting with it, looking at it... you get the picture. I am in l.o.v.e with paper!
So, I have this fabulous little archway that leads from my entry into the kitchen/dining area.  I fell in love with it when we first looked at the house.  It's just a small simple archway, but I guess I never looked at it as just an archway... I saw it as a blank canvas to personalize, restyle and accessorize my home.  The archway gave me those giddy little creative butterflies as I dreamt about the super fabulous ways in which I would transform it and give my home that personal touch I love and long for. Yes, I'm kind of a design dork, I know.

I would never call myself one of those fabulous DIYer's. I do however love to make and create the simple handmade item.  There's just something really satisfying about handmade simplicity {at least there is for me :) }
So, for Thanksgiving I came up with this {simple} banner.

Simply put, I found 8 coordinating sheets of paper {I used double sided paper since you can see the backside of the paper from the kitchen}.  I also prefer to use a medium weight paper so the banner keeps its shape and form better.  Cut each sheet into a rectangle.  Mine were 6"x8", but you can of course customize yours to the size you'd prefer. I then used a Pottery Barn type font for my lettering and chose a recycled ivory "flecked" paper to print on just to give the banner a little texture.  Trim your lettered paper depending on the desired thickness of the boarder.  I wanted a lot of the patterned paper showing, so I went with a 1" boarder, which meant I cut my lettered paper 4"x6", 2" smaller than the patterned paper.

Next, I distressed the edges using a dark brown ink pad, "notched" out the corners of each rectangle with a paper punch {easy peasy}... you could also use a round object as a template if you don't have a notched paper punch.
 And finished it up by attaching each piece with a bronzed brad.  It couldn't be more simple than that right!?
So there you have it... the simple yet pretty Thanksgiving banner.  I loved the way it turned out.  Hopefully every time my children pass through the archway they will be reminded of all the things they have to be grateful for.  Okay, who am I kidding?  But at least it will give ME happy thoughts as I walk under it every day.  There is so much to be grateful for...

October 22, 2012

{inspired by fall fashion}

Have you ever wanted to bring the chicness of New York Fashion Week home?
This next look was completely inspired by the fall fashion trends found on the runway during New York Fashion Week, Fall 2012.
Bringing the hipness of the runway home is simple and exciting with this inspiration I'm calling, Military Chic...
This years version of military fashion was inspired by cobalt blues, geometric shapes and metals of every kind.  So hip indeed.
 military chic...
Since fashion and decor follow similar trends, finding things inspired by this years fashion was a cinch.
One of my favorite finds is this cabinet by Anthropologie... I absolutely love the deconstructed look of this reclaimed wood piece.  It's got a pretty price tag, but sooooo worth it in my opinion.

Shades of cobalt blue also played a key role in mimicking the runway style of this space.  From the area rug, to throw pillows, to accessories... mixing solids and patterns gives the space a cohesive look that's sure to catch any eye.

Taking military style a tad vintage, I added a trunk to the space and this fabulous find from Wayfair, the copper mailbox.  I am absolutely in love with this mailbox... it screams military inspired for sure {at least it does for me}.

The final touch to the room was added with metal accents throughout.  Copper pendant light fixtures, nail~head trim on the club chairs, an accent mirror and accessories throughout really give the space a classy yet hip edge.

By mimicking fashion trends found on the runway, you can bring runway style to your interior style.  That's truly inspired design.

October 15, 2012

{inspired by Symmetry}

This one is for the perfectionists out there... you know, the ones who love symmetry.
I too love symmetry, but as a recovering perfectionist I'm learning to mix things up a bit... by doing it in style of course.  I'm calling this one, symmetry with style.
restoration inspired...

You can create symmetry without being too literal.

Here's how:

  • By purposely mixing similar textures and elements you can create a soothing symmetrical look that has a lot of visual interest.
  • A focal point is created by using a fabulous "stand alone" piece of furniture like the custom cabinet above.  I also gave the wall a focal point by adding a large mirror.  Both pieces are pretty substantial, but because they are of the same element {wood} they work well together without overpowering each other.
  • I framed matching pieces of artwork with mismatched frames of the same size and elemental look.  Artwork doesn't have to be your typical painting or print.  The artwork pictured here is actually whitewashed floorboards in a herringbone pattern.  I did this because I wanted to stick with the natural elements of wood, and I love the visual interest found in the herringbone pattern.  I also turned the pattern sideways, allowing the lines to lead your eye up through the space.
  • On the cabinet I used accessories of similar height and visual weight to create symmetry in the tablescape.
  • On the front of the cabinet I created an eclectic feel by adding metal numbers.  Not only does this create a truly unique piece of furniture, it also gives the room that statement piece {everyone will surely be talking about}.  I left out the 4 on purpose, which may make the best of us cringe a little. :)
  • Cozy up the space by taking two similar chairs & customizing them by upholstering them in complimenting fabrics and adding mismatched throw pillows of a similar color.
  • Finish off the space by adding accessories.  Behind one chair I added potted grasses, and next to the other I added a carved wood sculpture.  Because both are of a natural element it still creates the feel of balance and symmetry without being matchy-matchy.
Well, there you have it.  Now go find that symmetrically designed room in your home and mix it up a little.  It's okay... you have permission to do it!