"Big Blue"


After attending my alma mater's Centennial Homecoming celebration this weekend, I'm feeling a little nostalgic. 








I love my Big Blue.  The bold color combo of royal blue and white not only has a place in my heart, it can also be great in interior spaces.  In my humble opinion, one of the best things about blue is its versatility.  By nature, it has a calming effect; think ocean waves or the sky on a clear day.  Royal however is much more lively and can immediately awaken a drab space.

How about using it as an accent in an entry?  You can keep things light and achieve maximum contrast by pairing the color with white accessories.  

Photo by:  Greg Scheidemann


Mary McDonald

Blue and white also works well in small spaces like a bathroom.  Wallpaper anyone?


Ammie Kim

 A bold classic stripe immediately adds depth to a small awkward space.

Prego Sem Estopa

If you're afraid of the commitment to blue walls, upholstery can be a great way to incorporate such a fun color. 

Source:  Erik Goldstein Photography

Needless to say, this last one had me at pink.  Adding an accent color (which is easy to do with blue hues) is yet another great option.  Not a pink fan?  Orange, Khaki, Yellow, Red and Green are all viable options.

Mary McDonald

Ever thought about decorating in your school colors?


Leave a comment.  I'd love to hear from you.  
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"DIY Lamp Project- A Small Victory"

The days seem to be flying by at warp speed.  There are so many projects I have lying around that I just can’t seem to find the time to get to.  Luckily I was able to check a small one off my list.

I purchased this table lamp at Ikea on clearance. 

Via



 Here's an example of what it looks like in another blogger's space. 


How About Orange blog





I wasn’t crazy about the multi-colored stripe, but upon further inspection it appeared that the fabric would peel right off, so I quickly snatched it up.  I was right!  A quick peel and I was left with a smooth surface to work with.




As you know, my latest project is a nautical theme so I wanted to go with a fabric that was in keeping with that look.   

  
What says nautical like ticking? I simply cut the fabric to size......




 glued on the fabric with spray adhesive...



.... punched out a few holes for the screws and assembled, and Viola!


A custom lamp on an off-the-rack budget.  I know, it’s a small victory, but a victory nonetheless. 


What do you think?  Leave a comment.  I'd love to hear from you.  
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"I Love...."



                                                   

It's one of my favorite places to go and just walk around and treasure seek. The facility is an old mill and is absolutely huge.  It's set up with 460 small vendor booths over 85,000 square feet.

Some of my favorites are booths that feature updated furniture....




at pretty good prices....



Perfect for when you're just not up for a DIY project.  There's also a great assortment of decorator fabrics at fairly low prices.  Although, not as low as my friend Nancy's selection at Feather Your Nest (Metrolina Expo). 



It's also a great place to get ideas.  I mean, how cute are these?


Yes, that's a seed packet in a simple and inexpensive photo frame.



And I had to pry these out of my hands on my last visit.  They just screamed garden party. 




One of my favorite purchases were these framed bird prints. I not only loved the bird prints, but also the taupe mattes with the contrasting white frames. 



They quickly made their way to my kitchen. 




I know, not everyone can travel to Concord, NC to go to The Depot, but chances are you've got something similar near you.  So, next time you pass by that old antiques "mall", stop in.  You may be surprised by what's inside.  Until next time...

  Leave a comment.  I'd love to hear from you.  
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"Business Feature: The Painted Chair"

In the business of budget design, sourcing great and more importantly inexpensive products is imperative.  I wouldn't be able to meet the needs of my clients without the help of a few fabulous entrepreneurs; one of which is Tracy of  The Painted Chair.



One evening I stumbled upon her Facebook page and absolutely fell in love with her work.  Tracy simply takes old furnishings with great bones and gives them a fresh look with the addition of a coat (or a few) of paint. 


BEFORE:



AFTER:



As you can see, her work is swoon worthy.  I finally had a chance to meet her in person this weekend and I thought it would be great if she could share a few tricks of the trade with you all. 

So, join me in welcoming Tracy from The Painted Chair....

Dwell:  How did you get started painting furniture?
Tracy of The Painted Chair (TPC):  I’ve been interested in interior design for years and I always have some sort of project going.  I’ve never been scared to try something new and break out a can of spray paint.  Recently, a friend (who is like a dad to me) offered to let me use his shop and tools and completely support me!  Who could say “No” to that?  We started last spring with the idea that we’d have some fun with it and see what happend, and we've been having a ball ever since.  It has grown beyond our expectations.   Honestly, I thoroughly enjoy meeting people and helping them create pieces and spaces to call their own.  It is such a joy to see people choose items, and colors and I try my best to make it affordable to them. 


BEFORE:

 AFTER:



Dwell: How do you select the items for your inventory?
Tracy of TPC: We often have requests for certain pieces, so I try
to keep my eyes open for those at good prices, so we can pass deals on.  Also, pieces that are ornate with carvings look amazing when painted!  Dressers and credenzas are great as buffets, as tv cabinets, as entry tables and sofa tables.  The possibilities are endless!   When painted an accent color, they become great statement pieces in a room.  Chairs are obviously very popular.  Mixing chair styles while painting them the same color and covering with coordinating fabrics gives contrast and interest to dining spaces.  Mixing pops of color with neutral or natural items also makes a great statement.  I'll paint almost anything.  I even painted a couch once!  Probably won’t do that again though.

BEFORE:


AFTER:




Dwell:  Any tricks of the trade you've learned?


Tracy of TPC: How to carry heavy pieces of furniture, and the number to my chiropractor! LOL!
Using the right tools really makes a big difference!  I used to just grab cans of spray paint, a brush or roller and go for it, but taking the time to properly sand, prime and paint with a sprayer provides a super smooth and durable finish. 
Also, once the painting is finished, the paint needs time to cure.  It may feel dry after a few hours, but it takes days for the paint to harden and cure completely.  We always try to hold the furniture for a few days once completed, lessening the risk of scratching or getting damaged.


BEFORE:




AFTER:

Dwell:  How can readers see your work and use your service?
Tracy of TPC:  We do not have a store front, so we essentially work from “home” in Albemarle, North Carolina.  We do work by appointment and are in the shop at least two or three days a week.  People are welcome to come by the shop and see the pieces in person.
You can also see all our finished and unfinished furnishings on Facebook @The Painted Chair.  There you can browse the albums and see what's for sale, choose pieces that have not been painted yet and customize them by having it painted the color of your choice. 

Thanks Tracy!  Great information.  Be sure to check her out on Facebook. 

Like Tracy's work?  Leave a comment.  
We'd love to hear from you.  
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"Blogger Feature: The Queen City Style"

One of the best things about blogging is getting to know other bloggers.  Earlier this year, through Twitter I met a fabulous style blogger named Whitley Hamlin of  The Queen City Style.



Reading her daily style blogs have been nothing short of transformational.  I know, I know, this is an interior design blog, but Whitley's fun and fearless approach to fashion helps me to be a little more courageous in terms of my own personal style and in my designs.  While my style is much more conservative, I love how Whitley personalizes her ensembles with such creativity. It just works, probably because she owns it. 

See for yourself.  This chick has some SERIOUS style.






All photos above via Whitley's blog Queen City Style


And, lest you believe that fashion and interior design are two completely separate things, check this out.




Summer Thornton





Jonathan Adler





Traditional Home
Design:  Ryan Korban

I so love Whitley's ability to color outside the lines.  She gives, even we creative types, something to aspire to.  Ok, so maybe I'm a little bias because she's a local, but still. 


To read more about Whitley and to see many more great looks, check her out by clicking her "button"
on my website's right sidebar or simply click HERE.




Thanks Whitley, for sharing your style with us!


Like Whitley's style?  Leave a comment.  I'd love to hear from you.  
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