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The 'She-Shed' version!

What can I say, I love to design spaces, so much so that I was inspired by Arhaus to design my version of one of the latest trends, the 'she-shed' (don't get me started on that label, I almost hate it as much as the label 'man cave'), I jumped at the chance to do something for fun and design a space I would love to hang out in myself.   Whatever you want to call it (submit your terms in the comments) I like the idea of a space where people get to indulge in what makes them happy and really just relax - we all need more of that in our life, right?

First, my space would be a light-filled white space like the photo in the upper left corner of my mood board.  I would envision the space to be a gathering space for my girlfriends and/or our friends - a place to drink good wine - Rose, Sauvignon Blanc, Cabernet Sauvignon preferably (thus the need for the big cooler and vintage inspired Smeg, ideally with a kitchen included to prepare delicious food to accompany the vino.  Yes!  Most  definitely a kitchen, to host cooking classes!  I see hosting celebrations in this space - birthdays, anniversaries, graduations etc...Then of course, after all the socializing I will remember that I am an introvert at heart and see this space to be a great place to work and read - or even take a nap!

All the activities mentioned above require comfy furniture - the sofa is from Arhaus and reminds me of a much more expensive style from a store you know as 'RH' but is a fraction of the price.  You can see more from Arhaus HERE.  Many of the other elements are sort of my signatures - vintage rugs layered over natural fiber, art, texture, a bit of vintage .....

Thanks for the opportunity to dream Arhaus!  Now can someone help me make my dreams a reality????

**This is not a sponsored post - I did not receive compensation, all ideas and opinion are my own.


2017 - the year I maybe never wanted to arrive.....


It's really here......

Ugh? Yea? Welcome? Go Away? Acceptance? Denial?......

Of course I knew you were coming 2017.  But dang, did you have to arrive so fast?  Time, it has a funny way of speeding up, it seems with each year....But long ago, maybe it was when my Emma (now 18 years old) started kindergarten, that it was mentioned that they would graduate from high school in the year 2017.  It seemed like such a long time away plus, I was consumed by all things elementary school - spelling words, math facts, recess that date was tucked away somewhere in my foggy mommy brain....until a blink of eye that sweet class of 2017 kindergartener was graduating from 8th grade and headed to high school.  And well, let's just say, there are only four SHORT years of high school and it's a blur.....and depending on your kid.....could be a blur of many things...For us, and Emma, it was lots of soccer, homework, dances, Christian service retreats, growing up stuff like becoming a licensed driver, getting a job, a debit card, going through some hurts, disappointments and other 'fun' grown-up stuff.  So here we are....graduation is June 4, 2017.  We have nearly arrived at that long ago anticipated date.  I'll be honest, I am a mixture of emotions.  First, I am immensely proud of my daughter who has been a dream of a teen to raise - a great student, strong moral character, hysterically funny, a dedicated athlete.  I know she is ready to go.....I am not so sure I am ready to let her...... I would be 'guilty as charged' if asked to admit if I pitied other women who felt their identities were lost when their kids left the nest.  But dang if I am not feeling a bit of that right now.  Yes, I have another daughter still at home, but THIS first event is the BIG ONE.  It's the one that will change our 'normal', redefine the energy in our home (Emma brings ALOT of energy to everything) and signify the beginning of the end of our everyday parenting days.

And if having a graduating senior isn't enough, I turn the BIG 5-0 in April......THERE, I said it!  Seriously, I have never been bothered by aging, but this birthday has got me all kinds of crazy with angst and dread.  I am doing my best to embrace the age and celebrate it (because I certainly don't like the alternative).  I am perfectly content with where I am in my life - my business is flourishing, my husband and I celebrated 25 years of marriage this last year, we live exactly where I would want to, my girls are it's not about feeling like I am missing anything. Sure, of course I would l love to be 15 pounds lighter and more fit - but that is something I CAN (and will) do.  But like any birthday number that ends in a ZERO, this one brings lots of pondering on 'things' - both big things and little things.......I don't quite know if the fog in my brain is due to not quite being able to grasp the concept that I am turning 50 or just being almost 50 - ha!

My chosen profession forces me to live in the world of 'trends' - both in design and on social media.  Some of these trends I embrace - like mud cloth, statement lighting, mid-century modern.....others I don't, like Instagram stories (never!).  I hesitate to admit, but I can feel my age in this world - often dominated by younger women and wonder if my success or lack of it is affected by my 'older' self - COMPARISON - ah, the thief of joy!  But, I hope that immersing myself in the design and social media worlds will keep my mind challenged and my heart open.  I hope to live a life that makes my daughter's proud (and NOT just for the number of Instagram followers I have).

So why and I sharing?  I don't really know - I guess to give a voice to us momma's, who are launching our precious babies, who are BLESSED to be running the second half of the marathon of life.....figuring out who we are, what it all means and how to do it well, with grace and confidence, who wish to run that second half dressed fashionable but age appropriate too, to see the world with fresh eyes, be open to new adventures and dang it, find that miracle-working eye cream!

Our world is a funny place right now - and perhaps even saying that makes me an old lady - ha!  But I know I am better when I surround myself with friends who are different than me, women of different ages and backgrounds, really good women ...... I hope this post can be an internet olive branch to whoever YOU are reading this right now - I see you, I feel you and I know, no matter where you are you might be feeling a little like me right now.

My launching girl will play soccer in college so February 1st was 'signing day' for her - a big day for all of us.....a step closer to the her our dreams for her......


New Year/New Space.......Design Board Sale!

I have recently been contacted by a few of you asking about
e-design services.  If I have learned one thing since I began
designing for others four years ago, it's that there are exactly TWO
times a year when it seems EVERYONE gets anxious to make changes
to their space.....the first is when the kids go back to school in September and the
second is when the holiday decorations get put away in January.

So, I thought this would be a great time to offer a design board sale!

What e-design is:

- You send photos, I send questions, you answer
questions in a timely fashion. I send more questions,
measurement requests, you answer in a timely fashion.

- We share Pinterest boards.

- We work on ONE space, not adjoining spaces.

- I submit a design board to you, you pay your design fee balance.

- We tweak, make additions and subtraction to the design board
until we get it right, but no more than THREE times.

-We have FUN!!!

-I submit a completed design board and source list
at the conclusion of the process!

How e-design is limited:

- I can't help design a gallery wall.

- I can't help with styling/arranging large bookshelves.

**Both the above are just TOO hard to do remotely.

- I can't help with the adjoining room along with the one
room you paid the design fee 'because they are open
to one another'……I can help with that adjoining
space if we add an additional room to your design fee.

$275 For YOUR Space!
*Requires a $125 deposit to reserve your space
in my JANUARY design queue.
(will limit this offer to FOUR e-design clients in January,
if I get a bigger response I may take February clients)

I love working on these design boards - what's even better is to get photos
from past e-design clients showing the space when they have implemented
the design!  While full-service design is a luxury and lovely, empowering 
homeowners to make their own homes a place they love is really my
jam!  Making changes in your home can sometimes feel overwhelming
 and expensive if you make a mistake, but with a little guidance from 
yours truly, we can work together to get your home on a pretty path!

Email me at to reserve
your spot or ask any questions!


Master Bedroom Makeover - New South Home

It always makes me feel vulnerable to put my own home out there for the world to see.
I charge others for my design services after all.  
It feels like I have to do lots of explaining about my nostalgia
for favorite items, my small budget due to other expenses like
school tuition and teenage girls (need I say more?) my eclectic, if not
quirky taste in my own home which I attribute to my profession......

I hardly fit in this new world of blogging where bloggers seem to just cycle around their
 homes re-doing rooms in some sort of order - "if it's spring, I must post a
mudroom re-fresh"......don't get me wrong, that's awesome for them, it's just not 
super realistic for us in this current 'season' of life.

I was recently contacted by a wonderful online provider of custom
drapery and pillows, New South Home, asking if I was
interested in trying their products.  I went to their easy to navigate
website and was overwhelmed with the amazing choices!

New South Home offers beautiful drapery, fabric and pillows for your home, 
like the best custom workroom quality!

New South Home's offer was just the 'kick in the pants' I needed to
pull off a much needed re-do of our very own master bedroom.

New South Home provided the gorgeous black linen custom drapes in my space! 
Yes, we have a bay window in our bedroom - they can be tricky.  I chose panels
to frame the entire expanse and installed them as high as possible.  
The bamboo shades are used for privacy.

I only do white bedding - it just works for me.  The pillows rotate....
because I am a crazy pillow lady.....Yes, I know the rug needs to be bigger 
because design 'rules' have told me so.  But until I find that gorgeous 
vintage Persian stunner, this one from my stash is doing okey-dokey 
as a placeholder.

My vintage French chandelier might seem out of place here 
but I love it and it is a nostalgic piece - originally purchased 
for our dining room in Minnesota, it stayed. I actually really
like the juxtaposition with the modern sconces.

I have a thing for dark colors in bedrooms - I like the cozy feel so the 
walls were painted Behr 'Alpine Trail' - this was a brave move because
all I could think about was the Ralph Lauren 'hunter greens' of the 90's and 
I just didn't want to go there...thankfully, there is nothing 90's
about 'Alpine Trail'.....

Yes, I did a juju hat over my bed.  I love the texture it provides.  The best
(and most affordable) juju hat source I have found is Oldworldshoppe on Etsy. 
If you purchase, please let Sonia know you found her via me!

The throw is from Anthropologie.  I have been known to work from my bed
mid-day and I am a bedmaker, so the throw is what I cover up with  - design clients, 
just keep that image in your mind when you think I am working from
some swanky office - ha!

The photo above is a partial view of the wall opposite the bed - it was 
challenging to photograph with our dark days - this was the best I could get.
I love my vintage European pine dresser that was a gift from my husband.
I have collected new art from many contemporary artists and mixed
in some favorite vintage pieces.  For us, a tv in the bedroom just works -
how else would I watch The Real Housewives??

I chose to style the bed more organic/informal.
  But if I wanted it to look more 'designed',
I would choose some of these great options from New South Home.

Is our bedroom a 'perfectly' coordinated designed space?  No.  That is not so
much for me in my home - this room feels like us, mementos and art from travel, 
a special chandelier from a previous home, a furniture gift (my love language
is European pine), crisp white bedding and bamboo shades - two design 
elements that are winners in my book.

As a designer, I know how special custom finishes are for a space - 
New South Home will bring that to your home, easy-peasy from the internet!
No snooty designer needed!  
Their fabrics and drapes and pillows all coordinate
and make choices easy for even the most indecisive person!
But if you need their help, they are super friendly and 
more than willing to help!

I will be back soon with some 'before' photos of this space.

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