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"Dear Santa...."


Dear Santa,

I've been a very good girl this year.  (I happen to know that Santa reads my blog.) Really, I have!
  • I've managed to launch a business and a blog.
  • I've done well on my day job.
  • I've even gotten A's in my design classes this year.  (Hoping for another one in a couple of weeks) See Exhibit A

Exhibit (A)

I would like a new camera for Christmas.  More specifically, I'd like a Nikon DSLR basic model please. 


It really has become a necessity for my business and blog.  You see, taking pictures with my Canon point and shoot is just not cutting it anymore.  I mean sure it does the job but interior design and design blogs are all about creating visually stimulating images and the fact is, these aren't very stimulating....

Now if I had a DSLR, I could create something that looks a little more like these....

See the difference Santa?  I know what you're thinking, "How much does one pay for a Nikon DSLR basic model?"  But can you really measure the cost of a successful design blog and business?  Can you quantify the reach that a well designed and photographed space has?  I think not. 

Also, if the Elves have any extra time, it would be especially helpful to have a good lens too.  Interior spaces can be oddly shaped and often wider than a standard lens can capture. 

Example via Kodak

I don't know much about photography and it's going to take some learning on my part, but I promise if you bring me this camera I WILL put it to good use. 

I like this one that you brought me a few years ago.....

...but I'd be most appreciative if you could help me retire it in exchange for a new one that better meets my business needs. 

Thanks for your consideration.

Yours truly,


Client Project Update: Twist on Traditional

I thought I'd take a break from the Holiday Palooza to share with you an update on my current client project.   You may recall the Modern Traditional (I know, it's an oxymoron) Family Room that I blogged about recently. 

Well, the project is in full swing.  Due to circumstances beyond my control, we had to switch out the rug selection (actually twice).  It worked out though because I love this modern Moroccan trellis print we selected in a cool blue.

It arrived on my doorstep yesterday and I'm seriously coveting this rug.  That's usually how I know that the space is coming together.  Always a good thing when you want the room you're decorating.

I was also able to pick out the accent fabrics for the room.  You know how I love mixing patterns.  I just think it gives the space so much more visual interest. 

Tracy from The Painted Chair and I scored this beauty (Secretary) at a local auction for a song.  We decided against painting it.  It's just too nice to cover with paint.

However, I'm thinking about adding fabric or wallpaper to the back of the shelving to add a modern touch.  It will have to be a solid though so it doesn't impede the view of the fretwork on the doors.
I'm thinking metallic.

Honey Sweet Home
This picture reminds me that we need a chair.
I found a guy that custom builds headboards and ottomans, but after giving him my specs he was a little too pricey.  I asked if he was open to reupholstering and he was for more than half the price of custom-built nonetheless.  I scored these for on Craigslist from a couple getting rid of them and the upholsterer is going to recover them for me.  The best part is that they have ample storage and there are two of them. Trust me, you won't recognize them when they're done.  They're going mocha with cream piping and gun metal nailheads.

I'm also excited to be going shopping this weekend with my client for accessorises.  I'm hoping we can find a large mirror for the mantel and some other unique and modern items to give the place a fresh look.

Current mantel

It all seems to be coming together.  I'll keep you posted. 

What do you think so far?  Leave me a comment and let me know.

"All Through the House"

Based on the past few posts, you've probably guessed that I really like decorating for the holidays.  I also believe that it should extend beyond the Christmas tree.  I like to spread a little holiday cheer all through the house.

Here are a few places that got just a little holiday oomph this week. 

Living Room

I love this new wreath that I picked up at, where else? Goodwill. Oh and the brass french horn too. 

Guest Bathroom

Nothing like a little jingle as your guest get into the shower. 

Guest Bedroom

So, have you done your holiday decorating yet?  No worries, you still have time. 

"The Halls are Decked!"

I'd been dreaming of getting all of my Christmas trees and decor done before the end of the Thanksgiving Holiday weekend....

...and this weekend, that dream became a reality.

I'm so pleased with the result.  If you haven't noticed I really love Christmas and the winter holiday season.  I'm a nester, so decorating for this time of year is just another way to make my house feel even more like a home (I mean dwelling).  It also probably doesn't hurt that my two of my living room colors are red and green.

Let's take a look at some of the elements I pulled together to create this festive look in my living room.
For starters, I'm all about a nice full tree.  I used glitter spiral branches and gold and red berries to add a little dimension to my tree.  You can purchase them in the floral section at Michael's or other craft stores.  What I like about this idea it these type of accents come in a multitude of colors so you can add them to any tree.  
I received this angel years ago from one of my friends and now readers and I've used it as my tree topper ever since.  It's a little old school to have a big angel on top of your tree, but I'm cool with that.  After all, I'm old school. And yes, we black folk like our angels (and Santas) to look like us.  Lol!  Funny enough that's how I ended up with the gift.  Long story.

Needless to say, a number of the items I'm using for decor this season came from Goodwill.  
Still can't believe I picked up this beauty.  There must be over a hundred pine cones in this wreath.  I almost tackled the poor floor stock guy when he brought it out. 

I drew a crowd when I put these cable knit trees in my basket.  I had three people stop me and ask what I was going to do with them.  I'm glad they were perplexed, because I knew they'd work in an end table vignette.

Holiday tip:  I read in Southern Living this month that if you cut poinsettia stems and burn the ends you can keep the blooms like cut flowers for weeks.  I'll let you know.  I'm on day 3 and a little skeptical. We'll see.

There's no denying that nothing says holiday like poinsettias. 


A few ornaments on the coffee table...

And a little updating to the Autumn decor....

And it's a wrap.  Well, sort of.  I still have a couple of small things to do.  Have you started your holiday decorating or do you prefer to wait until a little closer to Christmas?

Leave me a comment.  I love hearing from you.

Three Down and One to Go!

First things first....
Congratulations to Alaine88! 
Winner of the November Home Goods Giveaway!
Well, I've been busy decking the halls the past couple of days and I've managed to get three of four trees up and decorated.  Woo-Hooo!
My Favorite Ornament
My office tree is the one that can be viewed in the window from outside of my home.  It's one of the old school trees that you have to assemble limb by limb.  You know the one you need the color code chart to figure out. Bless you if you ever loose that chart.  Lol! As much of a pain as that is, I actually prefer it that way.  It makes for a much fuller tree.  

I really like for the Christmas tree to reflect the style and colors in the space, so this one is all silver.  
I'm really not much for those sparce modern and empty trees, I like a full tree.  Actually, the more ornaments the better.

I'm  also not above mock presents if it helps to reinforce the theme or style within the setting.

So glad to have another one out of the way.  Just one more left, and its a BIGGIE.
Have you decked your halls?

So Thankful

I can't believe it's actually Thanksgiving.  Wow, what a blur!  This time last year I was making final preparations for the January 1st launch of Dwell by Cheryl.  What a ride!  It's funny how you never know exactly what God has in store for you.  I think that's half the fun though.

On this Thanksgiving day, I thought it would be appropriate to give thanks for those who have helped me get my business off to a great start.

For starters, I don't know where I'd be if it weren't for Melanie of Elegant Custom Blogs. 

Melanie was a Godsend and an absolute pleasure to work with.  From the design of my logo to the entire set-up of my blog, Melanie did it all.  I'm grateful for her skill and professionalism but most of all her Spirit.  She also has an amazing blog.  Check her out here.
Next, there are a number of people that I count on to help me bring my client's dwellings to life.  First, there's Nancy of Feather Your Nest
Nancy's extensive selection of fabrics and unbelievable prices are the starting point for each and every project I begin. 
And then there's my AMAZING seamstress Mignon.  Mignon can take a remnant and make a Rembrandt.  It's insane really.  I absolutely don't know what I'd do without her. 

Let's just say my client's would be paying much more or getting much less.

You already know all about Tracy from The Painted Chair.  It hasn't been long since I discovered Tracy, but I can tell we're going to have a lasting relationship.   

 Tracy's keen eye for spotting diamonds in the rough, her economical pricing and flexibility make her one of my new go-to sources for great vintage furniture finds. 
 As a small start up company (a.ka. one woman show), I have to rely on help from a number of sources.  This year, I've been blessed to work with two great students. 

Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools

Queens University
They are two super smart young ladies with very bright futures ahead of them.

And lastly, but certainly not least, I have to thank Mr. Mike.

I absolutely wouldn't be doing this if it weren't for him.  He's been telling me that I was meant to be an entrepreneur for the past four and a half years.  When he first started, I thought he was crazy, and I had no problem telling him so.  He encouraged me to go back to school, try decorating for others and ultimately start my own business.  I'm forever grateful for his investments and support. 

Needless to say I have so much to Thank God for, and that's just what I'm doing today and everyday. 

Happy Thanksgiving!  

Last Day for Giveaway!

It's your last day to register to win the $25 Thanksgiving Gift Card Giveaway!  Be sure to sign-up to follow the blog if you haven't and if you have refer a friend. 

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Get ideas for what $25 buys at TJMaxx/Home Goods/Marshall's here.

"Dining Room Tree and Dollar Tree"

Well, I've managed to knock out another Christmas tree. I'm actually a little behind. I should have three up by now. My little petite kitchen tree is up and decorated. 

This is my rustic and homey tree. It's filled with pine cones, birds and leaves, gingham ribbon and acorn bows....
It also has the little personal touch of small frames filled with pictures of family and friends (and of course me). I picked up these small wallet size frames at Dollar Tree and hot glued gingham ribbon hooks on...

That's me all decked out on Grandma's sofa before the Debutante Ball

Speaking of Dollar Tree, they have an amazing assortment of ornaments priced at super low prices. Some are as little as 3 for $1.

Honestly, it's really hard to tell the difference between the gold glitter ornaments I purchased at Macy's a few years ago and the one's I picked up from Dollar Tree.  Just sayin'.

But be careful, the store's options aren't exactly "goof-proof" so here are a few things to keep in mind.

1. Opt for a color scheme that compliments your room. It creates a much more intentional and classy look.

Southern Living

2.  Dollar Tree can be a great source, but stick to one or two colors and buy in bulk.  The volume of similar or like ornaments will have much more impact that a few just here and there. 

Southern Living

3.  Load up on the classics.  I purchased traditional gold glass balls in various colors and will use them to fill bowls and jars for a festive (and low cost) holiday look. 

Dwell by Cheryl

4.  Not much for conventional?  Go all out!  It is Christmas after all.  

Happy Christmas decorating!  And don't forget you've got until Wednesday night to register to win the Thanksgiving Giveaway! For details, revisit this post.
It's $25 up for grabs to...
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