Author Archive

Dec
15

Party Food Etiquette

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As you were growing up your parents taught you to be polite and courteous.  Those same rules today can be applied to planning a party menu for those with food allergies or food preferences. Last weekend we hosted our first party in our new home.  It was great to share our new place with neighbors and friends.  We had a great turn out and are excited about getting the “social” ball rolling.  But, of course, it is not all about the food (for some).  The table with flowers ifs always a must have for me.  Here is a very quick “do” for the centerpiece.  Missing the evergreens of the NC garden!

Table centerpiece using large liquor bottles for vases.

Table centerpiece using large liquor bottles for vases. By using the bottles you achieve various “heights” and it takes very few flowers. One bunch of white Hydrangeas and a few greens is all it took!

This leads me to party food planning and Party Food Etiquette.  I have been following a gluten-free dietary plan for about five years.  It is not just a fad but something that makes me feel better and my body function better.  I do not have a severe allergic reaction as some with Celiac disease but I now understand how important diet can be.

We had several guests following a gluten-free diet and/or a vegan diet.  With that in mind I started researching recipes that could suit both.  My best word of advise is to read every label.  For example, I wanted dairy/animal free cheese. I found “Veggie” cheese by the tofu and thought that would do.  Reading the label revealed that the cheese had milk solids.  So, always check labels if you are looking for some particular allergens such as dairy, nuts or wheat.  Food labeling has really improved but buyer be smart!

Enough about the why’s, here are the how’s.  I went way overboard with the food selection but learned a lot in the process. Here is three ways to build an antipasto skewers for several diets:

  1. The recipe called for tortellini, salami, mozzarella cheese balls, artichokes, olives, and cherry tomatoes.
  2. Gluten-free version leave off the tortellini.
  3. Vegan version, leave off the tortellini, salami, mozzarella and add more veggies.

    Antipasto skewers with food labels on cute little candy cane easels.

    Antipasto skewers with food labels on cute little candy cane easels.

By adjusting this one recipe I meet most of the dietary needs of my guests. Other items on the menu were more specific to just one, maybe two dietary categories.  All in all, the food was a success and everyone seemed to enjoy the options and variety.  Our diet conscientious guests were most appreciative!

The food array for our holiday party with amazing bright sunshine filtering through our windows.

The food array for our holiday party with amazing bright sunshine filtering through our windows.

Food labels are a must when making such a wide variety of foods in different dietary categories.  Your guests do not have to “guess” what’s in the food.  I found this festive holiday template and candy cane easel ideas on Pinterest.  Common initials for various diets are shown in bold on the bottom of the label.  You can be more specific for various other ingredients, if needed, such as peanut or nut allergies.

Printed food labels with bold diet initials at bottom.

Printed food labels from www.foreveryourprints.com with bold diet initials at bottom.

Party on!  Keep your guests happy and coming back for more!  If you want more details about the menu list or recipes please reply in the comment section of the blog.

I have missed seeing all our LKG fans this holiday season!  I hope you all have a very happy and joyous holiday.

Merry Christmas to all!

Love to all!

Mary

Mary Sherwood Lifestyles – Working with you to create your lifestyle!

 

For more party printable ideas go to Printables

 

 

 

Dec
08

Cottage Re-do Wrapped Up in Red!

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Good morning!  In the hectic days approaching Christmas this is just a quick update on the cottage project. As you may recall we first featured this project October 6.  If you missed it read here. Cottage Kitchen   We gave you another glimpse into the project and a cool industrial look in Cottage Guest Bath on October 28.

Well, just 8 weeks later the project is nearing completion.  Hard to believe it moved along so quickly.  The owner and I pulled together the subs and it has been on a fast track.  The whole focus of the project was to keep it simple with clean lines.  There are no decorative tile accents or bright colors.  (Do you believe I can do that? Haha!)  The accent color will come later with fabrics and accessories. Here are pictures of the project in process.

White kitchen cabinets waiting for the countertops. Clean lines, limited details, cup drawer pulls keep it simple.

White kitchen cabinets waiting for the countertops. Clean lines, limited details, cup drawer pulls keep it simple.

Rustic porcelain tile called Club Gray is used through the house. Love the texture and how it works with the paint, SW 7513 Sanderling

Rustic porcelain tile called Club Gray is used through the house. Love the texture and how it works with the paint, SW 7513 Sanderling

Close up of the floor tile, Cerdomus Club Gray, 6x 12 provided by Arizona Tile.

Close up of the floor tile, Cerdomus Club Gray, 6x 12 provided by Arizona Tile.

Master bath vanity constructed by the cabinet maker from a picture of a popular catalog item. With having it built the size can be modified to fit any space.

Master bath vanity constructed by the cabinet-maker from a picture of a popular catalog item. With having it built the size can be modified to fit any space.

Master bath shower- keeping it simple! White subway tile and hexagon/square floor tile. Grout will be a taupe to coordinate with SW 7511 Bungalow Beige paint.

Master bath shower – keeping it simple! White subway tile and hexagon/square floor tile. Grout will be a taupe to coordinate with SW 7511 Bungalow Beige wall paint.

Guest bath with original tub and new subway tile surround. This is the bath that will have the industrial base pedestal sink. SW 7073 Network Gray is going to look great!

Guest bath with original tub and new subway tile surround. This is the bath that will have the industrial base pedestal sink. SW 7073 Network Gray is going to look great!

I wanted you to see the makings of a neutral space with a restful, quiet background for furnishings.  Planned completion is before Christmas.  I guess Santa is bringing this big present to the cottage by Christmas!

One big red Christmas present for the Cottage!

One big red Christmas present for the Cottage!

 

Santa could drop this big present at my house any day!

Merry, merry!!!

Mary

Working with you to create your lifestyles!

252-308-2694

 

Categories : Design
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Dec
01

What a difference paint can make!

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Two weeks ago, as the Thanksgiving holiday was approaching, I wanted to quickly refresh an old table that was originally in my grandmother’s house.  It had been through many moves and various uses.  Nails and screws were used to hold it together over the years.  This quick re-do really only took about 3 hours and made such a difference.

This is the pieces before sanding.

Grandmother's table needing a loving touch!

Grandmother’s table needing a loving touch!

With a few supplies picked up at the local big box store the project cost under $10.00 (not including the stone remnant top).

Painting supplies. I love how the shortcut brush works in my small hand!

Painting supplies. I love how the shortcut brush works in my small hand!

Originally I planned to have a rustic rub-through look, so I did not apply a primer.  I sanded the piece and thoroughly cleaned off any of the dust. After painting three coats I liked the grey painted finish so much I decided not to sand down the edges for a rustic effect.  Thinking I would refurbish this piece before we left NC, I had our favorite NC stone fabricator Granitops cut a granite remnant top to fit.  Thanks Alex!

Here is the finished piece with left-over “sample” ceramic drawer pulls.

Painted table with granite remnant top and handmade ceramic knobs!

Painted table with granite remnant top and handmade ceramic knobs!

 

It looks mighty fine in its new spot.

Seating area with refreshed table accented by large wall art by Jake Sherwood.

Seating area with refreshed table accented by large wall art by Jake Sherwood.

When doing a project like this it can be a hard or as easy as you make it.  There or no rights or wrongs EXCEPT not prepping the surface thoroughly by sanding and/or priming!

Play with a discarded or an older piece you may have around and see what you can create.  Smaller refreshed pieces make great Christmas gifts!  Spray paints can also be a quick fix!

Show me your re-styled pieces!

All the best this week!

Mary

Mary Sherwood Lifestyles

252-308-2694

 

Working with you to create your lifestyle!

 

 

Nov
25

Being Thankful!

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thanksgiving-turkey-illustration-made-up-words-often-associated-holiday-34042495

Having a heart full of gratitude leads to great things.

Wishing you and your family Thanksgiving love and joy.

Love to all!

Mary and Paul

 

Categories : Design
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Nov
18

Where do I sit at Thanksgiving?

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Thanksgiving is a biggest family and friend event of the year.   This year we are very lucky to have our friends, Andy and Lori, open up their home and table for us, including my sister and her beau.  Have you every gotten to the dinner table and said “Where do I sit”?  Here are a few easy suggestions so everyone knows their seat.

In doing research on Pinterest I found a great site that provided several “printable” Thanksgiving place card/napkin ring ideas, Every Day Dishes by Cheryl Najafi.  Here are two helpful links:  Leaves and Turkey.

Printable by everydaydishes.com

Printables by everydaydishes.com

You can do as little as just print and cut out the patterns or you can be a little more creative with a few crafts supplies.

Craft supplies to make the wire napkin rings.

Craft supplies to make the wire napkin rings.

The printables are a great way to start.  Here I used the cut out leaves with craft wire and raffia to make napkin rings.

Wire napkin ring with leaf place card. The leaf can easily be removed and replaced for another season or holiday.

Wire napkin ring with leaf place card. The leaf can easily be removed and replaced for another season or holiday.

The turkey template is by far the easiest.   They do need to be cut out.  I liked using an exacto (craft) knife rather than scissors.  They make great place card napkin rings.

Turkey/guest name napkin rings.

Turkey/guest name napkin rings.

You can also use the turkey rings as stand up labels for the buffet dishes.  The turkey ring will stand on its own.  But for more stability place a mini pumpkin or small piece of fruit in the ring.  ( I don’t think mini pumpkins exist in Tucson.  I have looked!  I know my NC friends have plenty!)

Three easy napkin/place card/food tags made from printables.

Three easy napkin/place card/food labels made from printables.

It really takes more time to find the ideas and collect the needed supplies than it takes to put these together.  I did not have card stock available for printing so I substituted photo paper.  Photo paper is usually slick and hard to write on so I used a label maker to make the name tags.  A fine point Sharpie pen will work but be careful not to smudge the ink until it dries.

I’m liking both the turkey and the leaf designs.  Still deciding what I will contribute to the Thanksgiving table.  Which one would you want at your table so no one has to ask “Where do I sit?”.

Enjoy your turkey day prep and anticipation.

Mary

Working with you to create your life style!

 

Categories : Design
Comments (3)
Nov
11

Tale of the Tubac Table

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Another very busy week! WHEW!  As we continue to get grounded in our new location the days are full and the skies are most often clear blue.  This past week I tried my hand at fused glass art.  Some practice pieces are out of the kiln but nothing to brag about yet.  We made our final furniture delivery to the Dove Mountain project.  The photography is scheduled for next week. On Saturday I found the ONLY wholesale florist in Tucson so I could throw together two flower arrangements for a friend’s 90th birthday. The true highlight of the week was the arrival of our custom-made dining table.  So here is the tale…

While visiting last July, prior to our relocation to Tucson, Paul and I decided to take a ride to a much talked about small village 50 miles south, Tubac Village.  (Go here for more information on Tubac Village)

Art and history are the backbones of the small village in southern Arizona. Truly a place to visit and stroll through the streets, visit the shops and eat at a side walk cafe.

Needless to say we were fairly naive about traveling further south into the desert in the middle of summer. Once we arrived at the village we realized the “error in our ways”.  Because of the extreme heat of the summer afternoons many of the shops close for the summer.  (Lesson learned)  None the less we found plenty to do with many interesting and unique shops and galleries open.  Here is where the story begins…

At the time we visited Tubac I was in the process of the final sorting of what to move from our Lake Gaston home.  We had a very contemporary Scandinavian dining table with a hidden leaf which I loved.  To bring or not to bring to Tucson was the question?  Many of the furnishings for the Southwest are heavy and dark and do not suit me at all.  Bridging the gap between my transitional/contemporary taste to a more regional look was a real challenge.  We browsed at many galleries and shops just exploring.  We found this console table in Tubac Territory Furniture and the concept of blending styles began to develop. Because both of us fell in love with the unique wood craftsmanship of the Dennis Kaufman furniture pieces we placed an order for a hand-made table like this console from Juniper wood, finished natural.  Rarely are we that impulsive but this seems to be all part of the new adventure.

Hand-crafted console Table at Tubac Territory Furniture. This was the inspiration for the dining table.

Hand-crafted console table by Dennis Kaufman at Tubac Territory Furniture. This was the inspiration for the dining table.

I was concerned after we placed the order that it was too far a departure from the furniture we were accustom to.  Would it be too bulky or look too heavy???  Because this piece is custom and the wood and finish need time to cure it took about 12 weeks to be completed.  I was a little impatient around the six weeks point but finally resolved myself to the wait.  Now I know how my clients feel when I inform them of a long lead time. 🙁

Last Friday the table was delivered and it far exceeded my expectation.  It fit the space perfectly!  The wood, the workmanship and style really work.   I had ordered the two china hutches and woven chairs last August at the Las Vegas market and they are perfect compliments.  I love it when a design plan comes together!

Here is our new table in its new home! What a beauty!

Here is our new table in its new home! What a beauty!

 

A close up of the interesting base with lots of knurls and twists without being too heavy.

A close up of the interesting base with lots of knurls and twists without being too heavy.

 

Live edge Juniper table top with book-matched joinery. I don’t ever want to cover it with placemats!

With the arrival of the table we are just about finished up with the interior design of our new home.  It is extremely different but certainly “all me” with lots of color, texture and eclecticism.  We used almost all the art from the lake house so it really is starting to feel like home.  I will give you a virtual tour when I finish a few more touches.

How do you feel about the table?  Do you think I went too overboard with this one?

More and more of you are sending comments about the blogs.  It is so exciting to read your comments.  Keep them coming!

Mary

Mary Sherwood Lifestyles

252-308-2694

 

About six weeks ago I ask for help with selecting the paint color for our Master Bedroom.  The final decision was Benjamin Moore #647.   Read more about the color selections here:  Help me with my MBR design.

Benjamin Moore 647 Fun and Games looks amazing on the master bedroom wall! It brightens the room even in low light conditions.

Benjamin Moore 647 Fun and Games looks amazing on the master bedroom wall! It brightens the room even in low light conditions.

So now we are finally pulling it all together.  The wall is painted and the fabrics are selected.  Now what?

It is quite a long story how we acquired a very oversized mirror (slightly damaged in transit).  I fell in love with the rustic texture of the frame and the massive size. The mirror needed a large bare wall.

Rustic 64" diameter oversized mirror by LazySusan

Rustic 64″ diameter oversized mirror by LazySusan

I needed a headboard in the MBR and had a large bare wall.  This is the beginning of the plan.

Bland Master Bedroom Wall-way too white!

Bland Master Bedroom Wall-way too white!

So how do you create a headboard and incorporate the mirror?  I first made a template using the mirror to determine the shape of the headboard and tried it behind the bed.

Cut out headboard template taped to wall.

Cut out headboard template taped to wall.

Now the fun begins! 🙂  Paul and I constructed the headboard frame out of plywood and foam insulation board to decrease the weight and give it a thick side edge.  The frame was covered with a thin foam mattress pad and wrapped with quilt batting.  The fabric was then pulled tight over the frame and stapled in place. ( The fabric color did not photograph well.  It is actually a more muted shade of the wall color).  I had planned on adding large nailhead trim to accent the headboard shape. As it was coming together I decided to keep the headboard surface unembellishedTake note to highlight the texture of the mirror. (If you would like more information about the headboard construction please leave a commit and I will send you more information).

The biggest challenge of the whole project was hanging the mirror and the headboard.  So here it is!

Master bedroom headboard wall with mirror and accessories.

Master bedroom headboard wall with mirror and accessories.

As shown in the blog Help me with my MBR design we used the very pastel coverlet and shams accented by stronger, brighter colored pillows.  Also, we added the striped fabric element to the waterfall bench at the end of the bedheadboard-large-scale-mirror-pillow-texture-Rizzy-waterfall-bench-Robertallenfabric-project-tucson-smallabode

Take note that even this month’s editions of two popular home magazines used the colors of this bedroom.  The roses were just picked from my desert rose garden. 🙂

House Beautiful and Residential Lighting magazines used the bedroom colors in their latest editions!

House Beautiful and Residential Lighting magazines used the bedroom colors in their latest editions!

Still a few details to add.  Pillow shams are being made using the bench fabric to give the bed more definition.  Still not sure if the headboard needs nailhead or fabric trim???  What do you think?

I hope you don’t find this “huge” mirror headboard too “off the wall”.  I think it came together well and certainly filled the large bare wall!

Let me hear your comments-good or bad!  Suggestions always welcome.

Mary

Working with you to create your lifestyle!

Mary Sherwood Lifestyles, Inc.

 

Oct
28

Cottage Guest Bath-Industrial Style

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Before I begin to share the latest elements of the small cottage project I have to say I had two wonderful weeks touring from Kingston NY, Blacksburg VA, High Point NC to beautiful Lake Gaston NC.  Each stop was filled with many different activities but the BEST was being so warmly embraced by all my family and friends.  THANK YOU!!!

Now it is back to work and the demolition is occurring at the small house project, now being know as the Cottage House.  If you missed the first segment you can catch it here:

Small House Cottage Project

Today the client and I visited the local Ferguson Supply showroom to look at an “industrial base” pedestal sink.  She had spotted it last week when I was away.  I was a little skeptical about it until I saw it today.  If you are looking for “industrial style” this piece really fits the bill.  It is manufactured by Stone Forest.  We are researching the vessel sink options.  It will most likely be a grey/black granite similar to the sink in the lower right of this picture.

Inspiration for the Industrial Look Concept from Stone Forest .

Inspiration for the Industrial Look Concept from Stone Forest .

We selected the Brizo Odin through-the-wall vessel sink faucet to compliment the base.

Brizo Odin Vessel Sink Faucet in Matte Black

Brizo Odin Vessel Sink Faucet in Matte Black

Tonight I did a little more research for various other elements to use.  Here are my suggestions:

Black Oval Mirror with Silver Accents to compliment Industrial Pedestal Sink

Black Oval Mirror with Silver Accents to compliment Industrial Pedestal Sink

Rustic Pendant in Black Iron with 100W Edison Bulb Vanity Pendant Option 8" D

Rustic Pendant in Black Iron with 100W Edison Bulb Vanity Pendant Option 8″ D

Black Wire Cage Vanity Pendant Option 10" D

Black Wire Cage Vanity Pendant Option 10″ D

This is going to be so COOL!  Loving this look.  This is the first time I’ve tried to pull something like this together in a very small space.  I think the small scale of the pedestal sink will really open up the small bathroom.

I found another light fixture that works well with this theme as an option for over the small breakfast table.

Metal Orb Wire Cage Large Pendant

Metal Orb Wire Cage Large Pendant

What do you think about this look?  It may not be for you but you must admit the rustic iron base of the pedestal sink is really unique!  I am looking forward to seeing the outcome.

Let’s hear your comments!

Mary

Working with you to create your lifestyle!

Mary sherwood Lifestyles Inc

252-308-2694

 

 

Oct
21

High Point Market Highlights

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Stop three on the “Where is Mary?” two week tour was High Point NC and a visit with my BFF, Patsy Cuthrell.  I spent three days at the International Home Furnishings Center for the Fall market.  I figured I have been to this semi-annual market about 55 times! OMG!

What’s “new at market” includes lots of mixed textures, subtle re-emergence of green, wood/natural accents and a peacock theme (maybe, not sure about this one).

Mixed materials of natural woven shades, subtle gray upholstery and green accents create a pleasing contrast.

Mixed materials of natural woven shades, subtle gray upholstery and green accents create a pleasing contrast at CR Laine

Rustic wood block wall paired with tailored flannel bedding by Barclay Butera for Eastern Accents.

Rustic wood block wall paired with tailored flannel bedding by Barclay Butera for Eastern Accents.

Favorite market find! Convertible dining table with billiard table hidden under the removable top. Available in several finishes.

Favorite market find! Convertible dining table with billiard table hidden under the removable top. Available in several finishes.

Wooden book wall shelves by Gold Leaf Designs

Wooden book wall shelves by Gold Leaf Designs

Color!!! Accent a bookcase or a whole wall with colored book bindings created from salvaged library books.

Color!!! Accent a bookcase or a whole wall with colored book bindings created from salvaged library books.

Glass peacock accent table by Global Views

Glass peacock accent table by Global Views

Could you use any of these products in creating your lifestyle?  Let me hear your thoughts!

Spending my last leg of my travels at our beautiful Lake Gaston home! Nice to be back by the water.  My flower pots held on for me to see them.  What a pleasure!

Keep the comments coming!

Until next week…

Mary

 

Working with you to create your lifestyle!

 

Mary Sherwood Lifestyles Inc.

 

Categories : Design
Comments (6)
Oct
14

The Wednesday Weekly-Quick Travel Tibits

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As most of you know I am traveling to four different Eastern towns in the next few weeks.  Just left our son’s new loft in Kingston NY.  Loved the artsy little town on the Hudson River.  Weather was amazing!  Colors just beginning to pop.  Loved the city murals and the lighthouses on the Hudson.

RONDOUT LIGHTHOUSE

RONDOUT LIGHTHOUSE

ESOPUS MEADOW LIGHTHOUSE

ESOPUS MEADOW LIGHTHOUSE

ARTIST MURAL ON BUILDING IN KINGSTON NY

ARTIST MURAL ON BUILDING IN KINGSTON NY

I have a few minutes in the Charlotte NC airport and am getting some walking in and looking for healthier food.  Cinnabon just doesn’t do it for me anymore. 🙁  Found a place off the beaten path call 1897 Market (towards Concourse A).  Yay! Lots of salads, yogurt with mixed fruit/nuts to add and a wide assortment of sandwiches.  Nice to have some options in the maze of fast foods in the airport.

1897 MARKET AT THE CHARLOTTE AIPORT

1897 MARKET AT THE CHARLOTTE AIPORT

I’m running out of time between flights but found this cute chair attached to a rolling bag in a shop window. “As Seen on TV”or should I say “As Seen at the Airport” 🙂  This is a nice option to move a tired chid through the airport.  I wish there was someone who would let me sit in one of these and move me through the High Point market later this week. (Haha)

RIDE ON CARRY ON

RIDE ON CARRY ON

This is all for now!

Thanks for reading, thanks for following, thanks for commenting!  Love it!

Mary

 

Categories : Design
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Oct
06

Small House Kitchen Project Planning

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I started working on a small house project in our new neighborhood.  It will not be used as a full time dwelling but more like a weekend hide-a-way!  The plan was to keep it simple but it continued to grow (as they all do).  We are updating the entire 1000 sf but this week I focused on the kitchen.  The client wanted white cabinets, white stone countertops and white subway tile.  Somewhere along the way a 30″ red Viking range jumped into the plan.  So cool!

Here are pictures of the exterior, the “BEFORE” and the proposed “AFTER”.  There is still much to do but this is a start on the plans.  Walls will be painted, hardware to select, etc., etc., etc.  In case you are wondering; a few walls will be removed and the existing laundry room will be turned into a refrigerator/pantry space with counters for buffet service.  More on that part of the project later.

Exterior of this small home for weekend get-a-ways!

Exterior of this small home for weekend get-a-ways!

BEFORE-Kitchen that has to go!

BEFORE-Kitchen that has to go!

Perspective of new kitchen with RED Viking range!

Perspective of new kitchen with RED Viking range!

The white kitchen needed that RED pop!  It was the client’s idea.  I can’t take credit.

Do you love or hate the red range?  What would you do to add color to the space?  Let’s hear your thoughts!

Happy dreaming and scheming about your next project!

Mary

PS:  For the next two weeks I am traveling to NY, VA and NC including LKG.  Really looking forward to it.  After visiting our son in NY, my brother and family in Blacksburg, my BFFL, Patsy, for the High Point Furniture market I will take a few days to rest and recuperate with friends at Lake Gaston. 🙂  With all of this I will post a little on FaceBook but can’t promise the weekly blog (we’ll see).  Until next time don’t stop reading and sharing this blog.  I love your comments!!!!!

 

Mary Sherwood Lifestyles

 

 

 

 

Sep
30

Thank you!!! (And a Few Display Tips!)

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Thank you for the tremendous response from last week’s cry for help.  I have made thousands of paint decisions through the years but I became very indecisive about the MBR wall.  From your responses I was spurred on to make a decision. It was a very close tie for these two colors,  West Coast and Fun and Games.  Although I loved the deeper blue color ( Downpour Blue) it was too dark for my intrinsic love of color.  To read more about the paint color dilemma and all the comments check out last week’s blog  http://marysherwoodlifestyles.com/help-me-with-my-mbr-design/ .

My choice was Benjamin Moore Fun and Games.  Here is Paul coming to my rescue to finish the very tip-top part of the 10 high wall.  Thank You PS!

Paul helping me finish up the wall in the very high spots! Thank you PS!

Paul helping me finish up the wall in the very high spots! Thank you PS!

Now I am changing the subject to something I am very passionate about…Lighting!  Before you stop reading take a look at the before and after of the display cabinet I showed you a few weeks ago, with and with out interior lighting.  (for the original mention of the display cabinets please see http://marysherwoodlifestyles.com/reclaimed-oak-works-it-way-into-this-design/ )

Display cabinet without interior lighting!

Display cabinet without interior lighting!

Display cabinet with LED ribbon tape lighting! What a difference!

Display cabinet with LED ribbon tape lighting! What a difference!

Cabinet Ribbon Tape Lighting

Cabinet Ribbon Tape Lighting

Small LED ribbon strip placed behind the front frame of the display case.

Small LED ribbon strip placed behind the front frame of the display case illuminated.

Love the LED ribbon lights!  They can be incorporated in so many different lighting applications.  We found this kit at LED Ribbon Lighting  .  It was very reasonably price and easy to install.  Included in the kit was a touch control dimmer to control brightness of the LED’s.

Here are a few other things I used for display and to organize the interior of the the display units.

Increase storage space with an acrylic riser for two tiers of glassware.

Increase storage space with an acrylic riser for two tiers of glassware.

Display platters on easels with other serving pieces for a pleasing display and easy accessibility.

Display platters on easels with other serving pieces for a pleasing display and easy accessibility.

Squeeze in more vertical storage space with an acrylic riser or small shelf.

Squeeze in more vertical storage space with an acrylic riser or small shelf.

 

Enough for this week!  More MBR finishing touches including an unusual head broad coming soon!

Let me know if you like my paint choice and the fabulous lighting in the display cases.

Happy creating your lifestyle!

Mary

 

Mary Sherwood Lifestyles

252-308-2694

 

Categories : Design
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Sep
23

Help me with my MBR design!

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This is approximately Week Seven of our new house makeover.  Slowly but surely each week there is progress (sometimes way too slowly).  This week I am trying to pull together all the elements for our MBR.  The storage platform bed finally arrived after a month of the mattress on floor :(.  Now what?  Here is the pitiful current state of our bedroom.  I am embarrassed to even show you (but I thought it might make you feel a little better about how things may look while your home is in design chaos). So here is the big BEFORE reveal!

Bland Master Bedroom Wall-way too white!

BEFORE: Bland Master Bedroom Wall-way too white!

The wall with the light chests is way too white.  As with any design project I always start with the “given(s)”.  Givens are any elements that steer you into a design direction.   The givens here are the bed, chests, lamps and a few accent pillows.  The decisions to be made:  the color to paint the wall and the accent fabrics.

The "Givens"-lamps, chests and pillows.

The “Givens”-lamps, chests and pillows.

This white wall is crying for color.  The room appears dark at times until the late afternoon.  I had thought a dark paint such as Benjamin Moore  Down Pour Blue would be a nice contrast to the light furniture but a dark blue can really absorb the light in a room.  I am leaning toward a gray or medium seafoam paint. The coverlet is also a pale seafoam color with nice quilted texture details.

Textured coverlet with quilted, raised details.

Textured coverlet with quilted, raised details.

Here are a few paint ideas:

Paint Options

Paint Options

Which paint color do you suggest?

The fabrics (shown in front) will be used to cover a bench at the end of the bed and other accents.  We have shutters at the windows so I am not planning any window treatments just yet.  The pillows (shown in back) are items I have on hand from other projects.  Here is the close up of the fabrics and pillows.

Close-up of a few fabric options.

Close-up of a few fabric options.

How would you use the stripe and the leaf patterned fabrics?

Looking forward to hearing your suggestions.  Need to make some decisions!

Thanks for your help!

Mary

 

Sep
15

Glacier and LED Lighting

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WOW-just got back from an awesome trip hiking in Glacier National Park!  What an experience!  Hiked about 50 miles in 5 days.  Didn’t know my body could do it!  If you ever have the chance to visit this place try to get out of the car and hit the trails.  So many wonders await!  (There are many short hikes with gradual climbs)  Our travel guides, Angela and Caitlin with Backroad Adventures were the best!  Thanks for making our trip the best!  Here are some of my favorite pictures.  (Check my FB page compliments of Brenda Morrison for more).

Glacier National Park Iceberg Lake

Glacier National Park Iceberg Lake

Glacier National Park Two Medicine Lake

Glacier National Park Two Medicine Lake

Our great traveling buddies, Brenda and Quinn Morrison! Couldn't have made the 10 mile hike to Iceberg Lake without them!

Our great traveling buddies, Brenda and Quinn Morrison! Couldn’t have made the 10 mile hike to Iceberg Lake without them!

NOW-back to a design tip.  Since returning from our trip we have unpacked all the cartoned art from the move.  Working on where to put it.  🙁  More on that later.  We were in need of light bulbs for several new lamps.  If you have followed our earlier blog on lighting,  Brilliant Lighting Ideas , you know I am a big LED lighting fan.  I have found a new LED bulb which I love to use in lamps.  It is hard to see the difference in these photos but trust me they are much better than CFL’s and earlier edition LED bulbs.  This new Phillips bulb has a plastic cover and stay cool to the touch.  The light is softer and more diffused than the CFL.  Here are the pictures and bulb labels so you can try to envision the difference.  Your light bulb investment will be greater but the results are worth it.  Lighting is SO important.

Lamp not lighted!

Lamp not lighted!

Lamp with LED bulb

Lamp with LED bulb

Favorite LED Bulb

Favorite LED Bulb

Lamp with CFL bulb.

Lamp with CFL bulb.

CFL Bulb provided by a lamp company.

CFL Bulb provided by a lamp company.

Have you tried any new LED lighting you love.  Let us hear from you!  Always love your comments.

Have a great week!

Mary

Mary Sherwood Lifestyles

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Working with you to create your lifestyle!

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This week marks just over four weeks since we arrived in Tucson.  Soooo much has transpired since then.  For those of you who have seen our lake house you know how many wonderful built-ins and storage cabinets it has.  Moving to a smaller place with not much storage has been a challenge.  Two new glass display cabinets arrived last week. Yay!!!  Finally we can unbox the serving pieces and barware from the lake house.  Here is one of the cabinets.diningroom_reclaimed_oak_glass_cabinet_closed_Tucson

I found these display cabinets at the Las Vegas market made of reclaimed, antique oak by Home Trends and Design.  With these additions our new place is coming together as a VERY eclectic mix of contemporary and wood elements.  I am liking the look so far.  I cannot reveal the whole space just yet.  There are still several pieces missing including a custom-made live edge dining table with a gnarly wooden base.  You and I both will have to wait until October to see that piece.

To lighten up the cabinets I decided to line the back walls.  I covered “Eucaboard” hardboard (made from eucalyptus) with a cotton geometric, aqua fabric (taking far too much care to match the pattern).  This board is only 1/8″ thick and there was enough room to place one large piece of covered board behind the (removable) shelves. diningroom_reclaimed_oak_glass_cabinet_interior_finishedwith fabric_fabric_interior-back

The fabric addition really did helped but the interior still needs lighting.  Of course, the LED light strips have already been ordered.

So now the fun begins…what to do with all this stuff???diningroom_stuff_storage-reclaimed_oak-glass_front-cabinet

When we got down to the last box I knew we were missing something.  Sadly to say one cabinet and one deep drawer were overlooked when the lake house was packed.  So, my favorite serving platters are still residing in NC. 🙁  We were beat by the end of the packing and loading days and forgot to check every single storage spot before we left the house. The saving grace is the house is still listed for sale.  The new owner may just inherit some great serveware if I can’t get there to retrieve it before then.diningroom_glass_displaycase_storage_serveware_platters_forgotten If you haven’t seen the drone/video of our Lake Gaston house, take a look.  Share it with anyone you think may like to buy or rent it.  We would appreciate any sharing!

Sherwood Lake House Drone Video

Videographer:  Harris Welles Photography

The end of this week we are off to Glacier National Park for a hiking excursion with our friends Quinn and Brenda (Blackburn) Morrison.  I hope to have some stunning photos of this magnificent park.  It looks like there might even be a little snow.  I am not sure I will be posting anything next week.  We will be deep in the park!

Your comments are so fun to read.  It keeps me connected with our lake family and friends.  Keep them coming!

Mary

Mary Sherwood Lifestyles

 

 

There is never a dull moment as we create our new lifestyle. We have been busy exploring new things, trying different food and working up our stamina for our upcoming hike in Glacier National Park the first part of September.  Our newly found favorite hiking spot is Catalina State Park just about 5 miles from our home.  5 AM sunrise hikes help us beat the heat.  Here is a recent picture of one of our favorite areas in the park.Catalina_State_Park_stream-sunrise_hiking_beautiful_Catalina_mountains_tucson-AZ

Although we have found time to play and enjoy our new surroundings, project work must go on.  Several months ago we told you about our project here in Tucson at Dove Mountain.  If you missed that post or want to read it again here it is:   http://marysherwoodlifestyles.com/design-inspired-by-the-mountains-of-the-southwest/.  We are still working on additional furnishings and finishing touches.  Here is a sneak peek of a few of the areas as they are coming together.  (Please remember they are not finished and the photography if from my phone).

The living room fireplace wall is expansive with 20′ ceilings and great built-ins around the fireplace.  The client wanted to bring in more light and color.  The bookcases did not have lighting. The dark wood shelves and rich mocha brown walls did not work in the scheme of lightening things up.  First the walls were painted with Benjamin Moore Monroe Bisque.  I thought the back off the bookcases needed some oomph!  I found this beautiful Candice Olsen wallcovering by York to add just the right amount of light, texture and sheen.  Next came the installation of LED ribbon light strips on the underside of each shelf.  WOW-what an impact.  We are still working on the accessories. We used many of the owner’s glass art pieces.  The placement and assortment will be tweaked and added to as we proceed.  I will elaborate more on the fabrics, rug, etc. in a future post when I have better photography and the shelves are FINISHED.LR_large_bookcase_led_lighting_metallic_wallcovering_accessories_DoveMtn

Here is a small area which we bumped up a notch or two with another Candice Olsen wallcovering by York.  This pale “aqua/teal” textured wallcovering set the tone for the rest of the bedroom fabrics, accessories and rug.  We were lucky to find the accessories we used here in the owner’s stash.  The only thing new in the niche is the wallcovering.  Just goes to show what an impact wallcovering can have.  MBR_niche_Wallcovering_textured_lighting_DoveMtn_accessories_owners

Here  are close ups of these stunning wallcoverings.  The pictures really do not capture the depth, sheen, texture and detail of these wallcoverings.

LR Wallcovering with metalic accents.

LR Wallcovering with metallic accents.

MBR Niche Wallcovering with raised texture.

MBR Niche Wallcovering with raised texture.

That is all for now.  So much more to come.

Thanks for joining me here this week.  Love the recent comments!  Keep them coming!

Mary

Working with you to create your lifestyles!

 

Aug
19

New Look-New Lifestyle!

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Here is the new look for Mary Sherwood Lifestyles.  The logo and site revisions were created by our son, Jake.  He incorporated the abstract red tulip, my favorite flower, in the logo.  Thanks, Jake!!!  How do you like the new look?  Comments please!

This week has been a full one!  We traveled to Santa Monica to visit Jake and Elif.  Always love our visits.  Here’s a quick re-cap.

Beautiful view of the Pacific coast from our hiking trails in Chambless Park, Malibu.

Beautiful view of the Pacific coast from our hiking trails in Chambless Park, Malibu.

Jake, Elif, Paul and me at Pacific Coast El Matador Beach with amazing rock formations in Malibu, CA

Jake, Elif, Paul and me at Pacific Coast El Matador Beach with amazing rock formations in Malibu, CA

My "must" stop at the Saturday morning Santa Monica Farmers Market.  The heirloom tomatoes are the best!

My “must” stop at the Saturday morning Santa Monica Farmers Market. The heirloom tomatoes are the best!

Had dinner at the Superba Food and Bread restaurant.  The building use to be an auto body shop.  Glass roll up doors replace the garage doors!  Great re-use of an old building.

Had dinner at the Superba Food and Bread restaurant. The building use to be an auto body shop. Glass roll up doors replace the garage doors! Great re-use of an old building.

Back home in Tucson, on my morning walk, I spotted a Saguaro cactus that was blooming!

Back home in Tucson, on my morning walk, I spotted a Saguaro cactus that was blooming!

Getting close to sharing a few pictures of our new home.  Still waiting for some furniture to arrive.  Also, tying up loose ends at the Dove Mt home out here.  More to come in a few weeks.

Would love to hear from you!   Comments please!

Mary

Categories : Design
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Several months ago I shared my blog about A Design Career that Was Meant to Be.  If you missed it here it is. http://marysherwoodlifestyles.com/a-design-career-that-was-meant-to-be

Since then I have been searching for my childhood scrapbook that I mentioned in that blog.  I found it!!!  Boy was I surprised about the  origin of “my design career that was meant to be”.  The scrapbook was not dated but one of the pasted pictures was a 1956 Chevy.  That makes me about five years old.  Who would have ever guessed that was just the beginning of all the colors boards I would create in my design career.  Destiny certainly speaks through these pictures of contemporary styles, use of color, love of flowers (especially red tulips-my favorite) and design concepts (such as the use of three pillows). Enjoy the pictures of interior styles in the mid-1950’s which today is called mid-century design!

All of these pictures are pages of my childhood scrapbook!

Mary's Childhood Scrapbook of the 1950'S

Mary’s Childhood Scrapbook of the 1950’s

1956 Chevy

1956 Chevy

Potted plants on the patio.  Today I can't live without something potted and blooming on my deck!

Potted plants on the patio. Today I can’t live without something potted and blooming on my deck!

Red tulips of the 50's.  If you have ever seen my Spring tulips they are always red!!!

Red tulips of the 50’s. If you have ever seen my Spring tulips you know they are always red!!!

Pillows in groups of three!  I didn't need to learn this in design school!

Pillows in groups of three! I didn’t need to learn this in design school!

This 1950's contemporary kitchen design led to the contemporary kitchens of today.

This 1950’s contemporary kitchen design led to the contemporary kitchens designs of today.

Colorful 1950's bathrooms!

A Colorful 1950’s bathroom!

Contemporary house with people pursuing their lifestyle such as golfing.  That what Mary Sherwood Lifestyles Design is all about!

Contemporary house with people pursuing their lifestyle such as golfing. That’s what Mary Sherwood Lifestyles Design is all about!

After seeing how my early childhood lead me to this place I realize how important the early years of life must be.  I am so fortunate to have a successful design career and live the passion that has always been inside me.

Follow your heart, find your passion, create your lifestyle.

Thank you for traveling back into the future with me!

Mary

Jul
07

This and That, DIY and More!

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What an incredible week!  We have been in our little Tucson hacienda and busily preparing the house for our move.  Here is just a few of the things we have been working on.

Customizing our closet was number one on the priority list.  Scaling back on closet size is going to be a challenge but good storage will help.  Here is the before, during and after.tucson_diy_update_closet_system_before_after_organization

We have been working with a painter that is rather slow. If you know me, then you know I want to move on and finish the project. The painting is near completion so I clean all the switch/outlet covers and gradually they are being replaced when the room is finished.  Can’t believe how many plates there were!TUCSON-DIY-HOUSE-UPDATES-SWITCH-PLATES

Removed the dreaded vertical of 19__ something!  I don’t even like new verticals, so these had to go. We replaced them with my favorite shading product, Silhouettes!Tucson 06 2015 DYI1

We have five smoke detectors, all of which were almond or very “yellowed” white.  We took them all down.  I carefully covered all the ports etc. with masking tape (not to interfere with the functioning) and sprayed painted them all white.  (Left one is freshly painted)  What an improvement!TUCSON_DIY_UPDATE_SMOKE_DETECTOR-COVER_PAINT

One more project is to try to rehab some of the interior door hardware from worn shiny brass to a brushed nickel.  I “only” have 13 sets.  Wish me luck on this one!Tucson_update_DIY_painting_door-hardware

Next on our agenda is driving back to Lake Gaston to purge, purge purge in preparation for the movers!

Have a great week!

Mary

 

 

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Jun
24

Master Bedroom Makeover-Before and After

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Today I felt like Libby Langdon and her NBC TV show Daykeover.  In about three hours we transformed this master bedroom from blah to beautiful!  Just like on TV, this does not completely happen in a day.  It takes several months of planning to pull this all together.

The client built this wonderful new lake house about a year ago.  All the walls were painted white.  She consulted us to pick all the interior paint colors.  It turned out to be an amazing color palette of blues, taupe and grey.

Benjamin Moore Soft Chinchilla, 2135-50 was selected for the master bedroom.  There was no need for custom bedding because the owner’s two black labs often share the bedroom.  With the paint color in hand we set out to find complimentary bedding, furnishings and accessories at the spring High Point market.  After several months it all was ready for the install!

Benjamin Moore Paint Soft Chinchilla 2135-50

Benjamin Moore Paint Soft Chinchilla 2135-50

Here is the before of the room with the walls painted.  The goal was to incorporate the white headboard.

MBR BEFORE

MBR BEFORE

Here is the MBR after the three hour makeover!

MBR Makeover in a Day

MBR Makeover in a Day

What do you think?  It seems the last bedroom I showed you was also done in a “blue” palette.  Even with trends constantly evolving our lake clients continue to enjoy the peaceful feeling of blues.

Sweet serenity!

Mary

 

Jun
16

Unusual Options for Fire Screens

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I’ve been working on the interiors of a home in the Dove Mountain area of Tucson.  We have selected the paints, wallcoverings and fabrics.  It is all starting to come together.  My client is very excited I will be back in Tucson shortly to start adding the finishing details.  This has been a work in progress since my last visit in February. I am looking forward to adding the accessories which are the “jewels” of the project.

One accessory often overlooked is a fire screen to cover the firebox.  There are three fireplaces in this home. All are gas-fired and different sizes.  When selecting the screens to add interest to these “black rectangular” openings I considered several factors-size of the opening, the size of the hearth, the texture/color of the fireplace surround and the type of firebox, gas or wood burning.

Here are a few fireplace screen options I found for this project.

Antique Art Deco Reproduction  Fire Screen

Antique Art Deco Reproduction Firescreen

The fire screen above is a beautiful piece but the expense would have stressed the budget since we had three screens to source.

Traditional three-sided fire screens from Cyan Designs

Traditional three-sided fire screens from Cyan Designs

The screens above are wonderful options for a wood burning firebox.  They are functional and decorative with mesh screening to contain the sparks.  Because the fireboxes for this project are all gas-fired we did not need the screening.

Our objective was to provide a decorative screen in front of the fire boxes.  With that in mind I explored options for using metal art pieces as fire screens.  Here are two pieces we are having converted into screens for this project.  Our local welder is adding metal feet so the wall art will stand.

Mixed metal wall art to be used in front of a smaller firebox opening.

Mixed metal wall art to be used in front of a smaller firebox opening.

Metal wall art with a linear, natural design to be used in front of a wide firebox with an interesting concrete tile surround.

Metal wall art with a linear, natural design to be used in front of a wide firebox with an interesting concrete tile surround.

Using wall art and converting them into fire screens is often very budget friendly even with the cost of the conversion.  One word of caution…any material place in front of a fire-box must be fireproof. If the fireplace is wood burning, a screening mesh needs to be used behind the decorative front for safety.

Decorative wall art converted into a mesh backed fire screen for wood burning fireplace.

Decorative wall art converted into a mesh backed fire screen for wood burning fireplace.

Here is a fire screen we created several years ago with metal screening added for this wood burning fireplace.

Fire screens…safety first, decorative accent second.  Which is your favorite?

I still need one more fire screen for this project…any suggestions?

Mary

Mary Sherwood Lifestyles-working with you to create your lifestyle!

 

 

Categories : Design
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Please accept my apologies for the “missed” Design Wednesday Wisdom. Technical difficulties just jumped in the way. So here is “Catch Up Thursday”!

I recently attended a textile fair and found lots of fabulous new fabrics that will be showing up in the next few months.  But we stumbled onto something that has amazing possibilities far beyond simple nailhead trim for an upholstered chair.

Heico Fasteners could be equated to a “candy store” for a creative designer’s mind.  Their exhibit had thousands and thousands of nailheads and adaptors with several ways to expand the use of the “sometimes” ordinary nailhead.

Five ways to use nailhead and doodads:

  1. Tufting buttons for headboard and cornices
  2. Embellishment for lamp shades
  3. Drawer pulls by adding an adaptor
  4. Napkin rings by adding an adaptor
  5. Add a few metal doodads to sandals and handbags

Here are a few pictures from their exhibit:

Heico Fasteners Display

Colors and all shapes and sizes!

Colors and all shapes and sizes of nailheads!

Imagine the possibilities of adding nailheads to a lamp shade!

Imagine the possibilities of adding nailheads to a lamp shade!

Large and small, all shapes and sizes with screw backs to be adapted as drawer pulls.

Large and small, all shapes and sizes with screw backs to be adapted as drawer pulls.

This is just a peek at the many uses of these fasteners, etc.  When I get some parts and pieces I will show you how this all goes together.

Happy creativity!!!

Mary

Mary Sherwood Lake Living

 

Categories : Design
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Make your guests feel like they are visiting a resort spa at Lake Gaston with these easy tips:

  1. Keep the paint color cool and refreshing like Benjamin Moore Antiguan Sky, 2040-60.  Bright colors provide too much energy. Benjamin-moore-2040-60-antiguan sky
  2. Keep the bedding simple.  A bright white matelasse coverlet, jumbo sham, crisp white sheets with aqua embroidery and a few aqua pillows worked well in this space.  The bedding is all washable for easy clean up after a visit from friends and their petsspalike-guestbedroom-peaceful-art-embrodiered-linens-companyc
  3. Use window coverings with “black out” lining for a welcome touch when guests are trying to rest and rejuvenate.
  4. Place lighting and a bedside table on each side of the bed for late night reading and a surface for essentials like a glass of water and glasses.
  5. Use minimal accessories so as not to add too much clutter.
  6. Add restful art to finish the space.
  7. Provide extra covers with a throw or blanket for comfort on chilly nights.
  8. Spa-like-GBR-aqua-paint-white-linens-throw-companyc

    NEW SPA-LIKE GUEST BEDROOM

For this room we incorporated the owner’s four poster bed and original art over the bed.

BEFORE

BEFORE

Here is the BEFORE!  Although this room was bright and fun it needed to be toned down to create a spa-like experience.

Let us know if you like to New spa-like make over!

Wishing you and your guests sweet dreams!

Mary

Charlotte, Autumn, Michelle, and Peggy – Salted Rim Designs/Mary Sherwood Lake Living

May
13

A Design Career That Was Meant to Be

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This Design Wednesday Wisdom is a not much about design but a lot about my career in interior design.

I write this on the cusp of a new beginning for Mary Sherwood Lake Living.  As of Friday, May 15, the business will change ownership.  Charlotte Smith plans to keep the MSLL traditions alive as she takes over as the new owner.  I am sure the business will evolve over time, but for now look forward to a re-stocked showroom, a new special events calendar and other great things.  We will keep you updated over the next few weeks as the changes occur.  I will remain here during the transition and to complete existing design projects, so don’t say your goodbyes just yet!

Many of you have read about my background on the bio page of our blog, so I am not going to bore you with all those details.  Let’s talk about some of the steps that lead me to where I am today.

As early as age six or seven, I was cutting room images and pasting design ideas together from my mother’s McCall’s and Better Homes and Gardens magazines.  These became my first color boards or “mood” boards.  I still have the scrapbook and would love to share some of it with you, but I don’t know where it is stashed.  I didn’t know then but I know now that I was destined to be an interior designer.

After exploring a nursing career and later starting a small folk art mail order craft business, I decided to get serious about exploring design.  I took one course and I was hooked.  Never did I dream it would turn into this wonderful life experience.

Here is a picture of the model, built to scale, I created as a budding design student in 1985.  We fabricated every piece that went into the room.  Actually, for that stage of my career, it doesn’t look too bad.

MINATURE MODEL, 1985, STUDENT PROJECT

MINIATURE MODEL, 1985, STUDENT PROJECT

In 1987, I opened a small design studio over “The Shop”, a hair salon in Roanoke Rapids.  Murphy Doyle, the owner, was my best form of advertising.  She sent all her customers upstairs to my studio.  What a blessing in disguise!  When I started this venture I bargained with my husband, Paul. I asked that he not pursue relocation for his career for at least two years to give me time to spread my “design” wings.  He never asked me to move.  He has supported me all the way!

FIRST STUDIO/SHOWROOM IN 1987

FIRST STUDIO/SHOWROOM IN 1987

We quickly outgrew our 400 square foot studio.   So I made the big move to the “very quiet” Lake Gaston in 1991.  My Roanoke Rapids customers felt like I was moving out to the “Wild, Wild West” of the lake county.  It was the best move we ever made.

OUR LAKE GASTON SHOWROOM-1993

OUR LAKE GASTON SHOWROOM-1993

I also became a contributor to the Cruisin’ Round Lake Gaston published by C-Line Graphics in 1991.  That was truly my first endeavor as a writer.

CRUSIN  LAKE GASTON MAGAZINE OF THE EARLY '90'S

CRUSIN LAKE GASTON MAGAZINE OF THE EARLY ’90’S

That inspired me to start our monthly newsletter which was sent out by “snail” mail.   Some of you may remember this, The Best of Lake Living.  It contained design tips, special event details and company happenings such as the birth of the first baby amongst our staff family.  This newsletter was published for many years until it became too costly to print and stamp for distribution.

OUR FIRST NEWSLETTER-2002

OUR FIRST NEWSLETTER-2002

Then we entered the digital age!  We progressed on with the Mary Sherwood Lake Living website.  Just a few years ago Design Wisdom Wednesday (DWW) was born.  DWW is opened regularly every week by many loyal followers.   I am so touched by your loyalty.

I have been very fortunate to be a contributing columnist to the monthly The Lake Magazine.  Each month it is a challenge to find a topic and photos to make it an “enjoyable” read.  Thanks to The Lake Magazine, published by the Daily Herald, for the opportunity!

So technology has changed our world but not our approach to our customers and friends.  There has never been a time when I haven’t welcomed seeing you walk through our door.  (Well “almost” never…except when deadlines were looming.)  We have remained small in numbers but big in heart and soul.

After opening the first design studio in 1987, we have moved, expanded and grown in so many ways.  Some of you have seen us through all the changes since the very beginning.  It is all of you that have made this such an incredible journey!  Thanks cannot express my appreciation enough!

So, look for exciting new beginnings for Mary Sherwood Lake Living and for Paul and I as we embark on new adventures.

Love to all of you!!!

Mary

Categories : Design, Mary's Raves
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Just returned from our semi-annual trek to the High Point Furniture Market.  I was just trying to figure out how many times I have attended this market…twice annually for 28 years-you can do the math!  I am still inspired with each market trip and have seen so many changes over the years.  I think a future blog will have to be my favorite picks for the market trips that have been documented in digital photography dating back to 2003.  It will be interesting to see how much has changed. (Sorry for the short digress).

Here are my  FAVORITES from the High Point Market Spring 2015:

THIS "RETRO" DESIGN  LEATHER CHAIR SPORTING THE NEWEST COLOR INTRO AT MARKET, JADEITE BY CR LAINE.

THIS “RETRO” DESIGN LEATHER CHAIR SPORTING THE NEWEST COLOR INTRO AT MARKET, JADEITE BY CR LAINE.

"JADEITE" WALLS WITH THIS SEASON'S BLUE ACCENTS AT CR LAINE.

“JADEITE” SCREENS WITH NAILHEAD TRIM AND THIS SEASON’S BLUE ACCENTS AT CR LAINE.

"JADEITE" WALLS PAIRED WITH RICH ROSE COLORS AT CR LAINE.

“JADEITE” WALLS PAIRED WITH RICH ROSE COLORS AT CR LAINE.

TOBI FAIRLY'S NEW FURNITURE INTRODUCTION FOR CR LAINE IN ROSE AND ORANGE COMBO

TOBI FAIRLY’S NEW FURNITURE INTRODUCTION FOR CR LAINE IN ROSE AND ORANGE COMBO

A  PAIR OF COZY CHAISE AND A HALF'S BY TOBI FAIRLEY FOR CR LAINE.

A COZY CHAISE AND A HALF BY TOBI FAIRLEY FOR CR LAINE.

ORANGE AND INTERESTING APPLICATIONS OF NAILHEAD TRIM WERE HOT THIS SEASON.

ORANGE AND INTERESTING APPLICATIONS OF NAILHEAD TRIM WERE HOT THIS SEASON.

THE CONTEMPORARY LINES AND ZEBRA FABRIC MAKE THIS A STANDOUT AT FAIRFIELD CHAIR.

THE CONTEMPORARY LINES AND ZEBRA FABRIC MAKE THIS A STANDOUT AT FAIRFIELD CHAIR.

SAPPHIRE BLUE LACQUERED ACCENT CHEST BY HOOKER FURNITURE WITH 7" HARDWARE.

SAPPHIRE BLUE LACQUERED ACCENT CHEST BY HOOKER FURNITURE WITH 7″ HARDWARE.

AGATE ACCENTS WERE POPPING UP EVERYWHERE.  LOVE THIS BLUE AGATE LAMP BY COUTURE.

AGATE ACCENTS WERE POPPING UP EVERYWHERE. LOVE THIS BLUE AGATE LAMP BY COUTURE.

"DREAMY" BLUES AND GREEN BEDDING BY THIBAUT.

“DREAMY” BLUES AND GREEN BEDDING BY THIBAUT.

HAND TUFTING AND VIBRANT COLORS MAKE THIS NEW COMPANY C INTRO A SHOW STOPPER.

HAND TUFTING AND VIBRANT COLORS MAKE THIS NEW COMPANY C INTRO “Art and Soul” A SHOW STOPPER.

This is only a few of the colorful new products and designs at the Spring 2015 High Point Market.  For this color lover it was truly “eye candy”

What is your favorite?  Let us know!

Live in color!

Mary

 

 

 

Apr
15

Furniture Style -Make It Your Own

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There are so many ways to take a piece of furniture and make it your own.  I am not a big Pinterest user but that is a great resource for inspiration.

Here is a fun piece made by Hooker Furniture that we had in our showroom a few years back that may give you inspiration on how to “make it your own”.

chest-fabric-wallcovering-hardware-paint-redo

Paint, wallcovering/fabric, interesting hardware and creative application are the supplies.

Happy “make it your own”.

Mary

Categories : Design, Mary's Raves
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Apr
08

Terrific Tulips: See how to arrange!

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All of you probably know how crazy I am about tulips.  I dutifully order in the fall, pre-chill in our extra refrigerator until late December or early January and plant on the first “not too cold” day.  Tulips need several months planted in cold, dark soil. Because of our unpredictable winters, pre-chilling helps to give them the “cold” they need to produce in the spring.  But don’t wait too long to plant or they will not have enough time to set their roots.  You can also plant earlier but who has time before the holidays!

Tulips and Pansies love a little cold weather to be able to shine bright in the spring!

Tulips and Pansies love a little cold weather to be able to shine bright in the spring!

So today, I “tiptoed through the tulips” and created this spring bouquet.

A simple "5 minute" spring bouquet of tulips, hellebores and a little purple heart will brighten your home after a cold and wet winter!

A simple “5 minute” spring bouquet of tulips, hellebores and a little purple heart will brighten your home after a cold and wet winter!

Another find in my garden this time of year were a few Hellebores, commonly called a Lenten Rose.  These grow only in shade and pop up around Easter.  I have very little shade and often forget to look in this spot for these little gems.  Spied them this year!

Hellebore, also called a Lenter rose, pop up right around Easter.

Hellebore, also called a Lenter rose, pop up right around Easter.

Sometimes I like to play with the tulips and make them look like red poppies.  Watch the video to learn how!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PSH12vueEuA

Leave me a comment and tell me how you are enjoying the spring flowers and send pictures of how you use them in your home!

Happy, glorious Spring!

Mary

Apr
01

The En suite Luxury Master Bath

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Last month we shared the “closet to die for”.  Here is the floor plan of the entire “en suite” luxury master bath.CLOSET-MASTER-BATH-CLOSET-FLOOR-PLAN

Now let’s take a look at the rest of the master bath filled with special details and luxury elements.master-bath-suite-calming-grey-cabinet-granite-robertabbeylighting-pine-floor

The double vanity with rectangular sinks and lots of drawers is just the beginning.  Let’s look at the added touches which make this vanity several steps above the average. The wall is mirrored with LED sconces placed on the top of the mirror.  This is one of my favorite ways to add more reflective light back into the room.master-bath-suite-double-vanity-extra-storage-makeup-light-pull-out-shelves

As your eye moves down from the vanity light notice the detailed granite backsplash with a glass mosaic tile insert and the elegant curve of the Kohler faucet.master-bath-suite-tile-insert-granite-backsplash-kohler-faucet-rectangular-sink

Next take a look at the custom glass drawer pulls from Sietto that perfectly compliment the Sienna Bordeaux granite top.master-bath-suite-double-sinks-custom-glass-drawer-pulls

Attached to “her” side of the center wall cabinet that separates his and her spaces is a lighted, dual magnification make-up mirror.  What women could possibly get beautiful without one of these!master-bath-suite-lighted-makeup-mirror

One of the drawers in the vanity base is equipped with an electrical outlet for hair care appliances.  This drawer provides storage as well as concealing all the ugly wires. Under both vanity sinks are two pull-out shelves to keep the under sink space more organized and accessible.master-bath-suite-power-drawer-hairdryer

At the end of the vanity is a beautiful corner shower with glass/stone mosaics tile cascading down the corner across the shower bench.  Take note of the shower niches for bathing products.master-bath-suite-tile-shower-waterfall-mosaic-niche-handheld-rainhead-kohler-fixtures

The “piece de resistance” is the coffee/bar, the Victoria Albert soaking tub and the simply elegant Currey and Co. chandelier.  The bar area is equipped with a two drawer beverage refrigerator.master-bath-suite-wine-bar-two-drawer-refrigerator

master-bath-suite-victoria-albert-soaking-tub-kohler-bath-faucet-tile-wainscotting

Who wouldn’t want to escape and relax in this space!!  Like the old jingle…”Calagon take me away”.

I could really use this En Suite.  How about you?

Mary

Working with you to create your Lake Gaston lifestyle!

Mar
18

Tile Mosaics-Be Creative

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I follow a blog called HomEdit. Here is one of their blogs about some incredible uses of mosaic tile that really got my creative juices flowing.  http://www.homedit.com/top-uses-mosaic-tiles-around-house/

Tile-mosaic-swirl-backsplash-circles-unique

Tile-Mosaic-shower-columns-mirror-vessel-sink

Tile-mosaics-backsplash-key-placement-fun

 

Which is your favorite?  Do you have any creative ways you have used mosaic tile?  Please share!

Enjoy!

Mary

Categories : Design
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Mar
11

Beach Dreaming for the Beach House

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After all the wintry weather followed by a few warm days we all start a little “beach dreaming”.

Working on a beach house project has certainly put us in the mood to think ahead to “warm sunny days, white sands and a cold drink in our hands” as the song says!

Once again a brand new Company C rug was our inspiration.

Inspiration came from this Company C "To-Bay-Go" area rug!

Inspiration came from this Company C “To-Bay-Go” area rug!

Fabrics and accessories were quick to follow.

Fabrics for slipcovered seating by Four Seasons make for easy care.

Fabrics for slipcovered seating by Four Seasons make for easy care.

Fun sea creature art to be hung on coral walls.

Fun sea creature art to be hung on coral walls.

Coral sculpture lamp works well with the fabrics and rug.

Coral sculpture lamp works well with the fabrics and rug.

Painted, distressed chests to use as night stands or end tables with storage.

Painted, distressed chests to use as night stands or end tables with storage.

20" x 24" woven lobster wall art makes a statement!

20″ x 24″ woven lobster wall art makes a statement!

And to sum it all up…

Wooden whale art expresses it all!

Wooden whale art expresses it all!

We hope to incorporate some of these dreamy beach house accessories as we get this house ready for summer fun.

Tell us which one of these beach dreaming items is your favorite!

Thinking of beach days to come!

Mary

Mar
04

Is This A Closet to Die For?

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Recently we completed a wonderful master bath suite renovation which included this amazing “closet to die for”.

Here is the picture of the “before” closet desperately needing some organization.

CLOSET-BEFORE

The closet floor plan had several angles which made building-in the space a real challenge.  After measuring, assessing the contents and interviewing the owners here is the plan we developed.CLOSET-MASTER-BATH-CLOSET-FLOOR-PLAN

The highlights of this closet installation include the double stack of jewelry drawers, the pull out ironing board with electrical outlet, and the deep and shallow drawers, long/short hanging, and lots of shoes shelves (not shown).CLOSET-JEWELRY-STORAGE-PULLOUT-CUSTOMCLOSET-CUSTOM-IRONING-BOARD-PULLOUTCLOSET-CUSTOM-CABINETRY-LED-LIGHTING-SENSOR

My favorite design element in this closet is the LED lighted closet rods. CLOSET-CUSTOM-LED-LIGHTING-ROD

No more will you need to guess whether your slacks are navy or black.  Other lighting features include the remote motion sensor that turns the LED lights on as you walk into the space.  The LEDs turn off automatically after 3 minutes without motion.  Four recessed can lights provide general illumination and are controlled by a dimmer switch.

Here is the finished project with “HIS” and “HER” sides!

Closet-HIS-HERS-ORGANIZED

What do you think?

Do you agree this is a “closet to die for”?

More to come on the bath of this master suite.

Mary

Working with you to create your Lake Gaston lifestyle!

Feb
26

Sherwood House for Sale by Owner

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sale-by-owner-lake-gaston-sherwood-lake-front-sunset-views

Hi everyone:
Paul and I are posting our lake home for Sale by Owner. Please take a look at the link below. If you know of anyone that may be interested please share the link. We really appreciate anything you can do to help us.

The asking price is $695,000.  The web site lists the details and shows lots of pictures.

Sherwood House for Sale by Owner

Forsalebyowner.com

Thanks again for everything!

Mary and Paul

Categories : Design, Mary's Raves
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Good morning from Tucson! Our visit to Tucson has been extended several times the last few days because of all the winter weather between here and there!  We drove out West in two days with wonderful weather and blue skies. Never in our planning did we figure on ice and snow getting in the way of our return home.  If you have ever driven across the plains of TX you know how desolate it can be.  With limited options for pulling off the road we have been waiting for it to clear.  We plan to leave as soon as we can make it safely.  With the beautiful warm weather here I sorta feel like a kid not wanting summer camp to end but we are coming back the LKG!

I mentioned in last week’s DWW, that our Tucson friends have purchased a beautiful new home on Dove mountain.  The house was built as the Ritz Carlton model when they were developing the area in 2007.  It is an amazing house with so much attention to detail.  We looked at it two weeks ago and they are closing this Friday!  WOW! This real estate transaction has moved so fast!Home-Dove-mountain-ritzcarlton-estate

So, of course, we jumped right into the interior design of this wonderful property. The owner wanted a brighter, more updated color pallet.  As I have always said find your “given”.  A “given” is a piece of art, area rug, fabric or what ever that will lead you into a design direction.  We selected Hayden, a Company C area rug, for the living space to get us started.  company-C-rug-inspiration-focal-point-living-roomWe found the perfect coordinating fabrics with colors that are inspired by the natural beauty of the mountain sunrise and sunset.  fabric-upholstery-desert-colors-nature-inspired-kravet

fabric-upholstery-desert-colors-blue-teal-pumpkin-green-nature-inspired-kravet.JPGAlso, I found inspiration in a piece of local art.art-mountains-collage-desert-color-nature-inspired

Here is the pallet and just the beginning of a beautiful, nature inspired, desert mountain interior.  I am so excited to have gotten this opportunity to work on this house.  I have accomplished so much in the last ten days and found many local design resources.  It has been so inspiring!!!

sunset-desert-mountains-tucson-nature-beauty-colors

Here’s to many more amazing sunrises and sunsets!

See you soon!

Mary

 

Mary Sherwood Lake Living -Working with you to create your lifestyle!

Feb
18

Designing in Tucson

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Hello loyal MSLL Design Wednesday Wisdom followers!  I am writing this from super sunny Tucson, AZ.  Sorry to gloat but I am glad we are here instead of frigid NC.

I was not sure this was the place for me until this trip.  I am loving the climate and getting excited about our future relocation.

Life is different here because just about everything revolves around being outdoors.  Paul and I are enjoying the 3 mile round trip walk to the community Athletic Center.  I am fascinated by the succulents and cacti in their many various shapes and forms.  Many evenings we have shared time with our friends on their patio and enjoyed the warmth of the fireplace. I have been picking fresh grapefruit each morning from one of our four citrus trees.  We just missed the blood orange season for this year. 🙁  But I have it on the calendar for 2016! IMG_9748

The most exciting news is that our Tucson friends have purchased a beautiful new home on Dove mountain.  The house was built as the Ritz Carlton model when they were developing the area in 2007.  It is an amazing house with so much attention to detail.  The new owner wants to lighten up the interior and make it more transitional.  We are busy planning the interior paint, wallcovering, rug and fabric selections while we are still in town.  If you have to work on “vacation” this is an exciting way to do so.  I will post more about this project as it evolves.Lone-Dove-House-Tucson-AZ-moutain-living-.png

Sorry to say we are coming back to the cold but it is always good to be back at Lake Gaston.

So until we meet again…be safe, stay warm and know spring is on the way!

Warm wishes!

~ Mary

 

Mary Sherwood Lake Living -Working with you to create your lifestyle!

 

Jan
28

Trend Spotting Going Into 2015

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I always get excited about exploring future trends. Based on High Point photos from October here are a few trends I see going forward in 2015.  Some of the highlights of the following pictures include textures, colors. natural elements, and multi-tasking furniture.

These furniture pieces have several of the elements above-color, texture and multi-tasking.  I love to use chests of all sizes and styles because they are so versatile. A chests can be used as a night stand, entry console, and table linen storage, just to name a few.  These chests have texture, color, style and so much more.  Chest A, from Couture, is made with a mother-of-pear veneer in a leafy tropical design.  Chest B, from Couture, has an egg shell blue melange inset which has amazing visual and tactile texture, color and pattern.  Chest C, from Palu, with it’s ribbed vertical texture, is available in several custom color choices. How would you incorporate a chest into your design scheme?

FURNITURE COLLAGE

Trendy, preppy, traditional styles with throw backs to the 60’s and 70’s are evident in these two bedding collections from Thibaut and Eastern Accents.  The Asian elements, fretwork, topical motifs and colors of pink and green are cropping up in many areas of home fashion.  Are you ready to go back in time with this new version of pink and green?

Bedding pink green Asian

The application of vertical trims and contrasting fabrics in upholstery is just beginning.  Look for more ways to mix it up with this and other upholstery details.

Upholstery vertical applications

Large art and animal images continue to be shown, coming forward from 2014.

IMG_7326

 

Greenery in the form of succulents and tropicals are the latest in permanent botanical trends.

IMG_7499

Looking back and looking forward shows an unending movement of the trends. What do you see as some of the upcoming design trends to watch?

Happy spotting!

Mary

 

 

As a gardener, although it is the middle of Winter, some days you just have to get outside and get your hands in the dirt.  Sunday afternoon the skies had cleared and the sun was shinning.  I couldn’t resist.

Most of you probably have enjoyed our tulip display in the Spring in our large flower box under our sign.  Those bulbs were planted the first of January after chilling a few months in my extra refrigerator.  I didn’t quite finish the tulip planting chore that day and stuck the rest back in the frig.  Finally, I had a day to finish the planting and hope I didn’t get them in the ground too late.

Here is a picture of the Fall window boxes attached to the front of our building.  They were planted in October with some hardy and some tender plants that I knew would not survive the first frost.  I liked the combination and knew some could endure(the pansies and ornamental cabbage).  With the colder temperature the ornamental peppers and spider plants gave up the ghost.

garden_flowerbox_fall_ornamental_cabbage_peppers_spiderplant_pansies_lake_gaston

I planned to used these boxes and plant the tulips around the hardier plants but I had a lot of open bare areas showing.  Years ago my friend Patsy Cuthrell  showed me the reindeer lichen growing along many of our roads.  It’s also called reindeer moss and often used in floral arrangement and terrariums.  Reindeer moss is really a lichen: a combination of a fungus and algae that have a symbiotic relationship and form a new plant. The moss is spongy when moist, but dries out when removed from its natural habitat.  It can be preserved with glycerin and dyed with fabric dye.   How to Preserve Reindeer Moss  Since I was just using it for a short time in the boxes I left it natural.

I am lucky to have access to this lichen right at the end of my road.  Harvesting the plants is so simple because it spreads on top of the other ground cover.  Here is my harvest spot and bounty.  It took all of five minutes to collect.

garden_closeup_lichen_reindeer_moss_winter_ground_cover_floral_arranging_lake_gaston Garden_winter_lichen_inthewoods_reindeer_moss_flower_arranging_material-lake-gaston garden_lichen_reindeer_moss_winter_harvest

Some years I have better luck than others with the tulips in these boxes because they do not get a lot of sun in front of the building and the deer find them very tasty.  Here is a picture of the boxes in 4/2012.

garden_flowerbox_spring_tulips_Lake_gaston_msll

Next I cleaned up the dead plants out of the flower boxes and planted twelve tulips in each of the three planters.

garden_flowerbox_without_lichen-winter-ornamental-cabbage

 

Here is where I used the reindeer lichen to dress up the boxes and hide the bare spots until the tulips poke through and do their thing.

garden_flowerbox_cabbage_ornamental-lichen-pansies-mary-sherwood-lake-living

Keep your fingers crossed I didn’t plant the  tulips too late.

On the warmer winter days do you head to the outdoors?  What do you do? Garden, exercise, hike?  Let us hear about your winter outdoor adventures around Lake Gaston.  I am sure some of you sneak in a leisurely boat ride on the lake while the sun is bright!  Send us your Winter outdoor pictures to share.

Happy Winter!  I have visions of the Spring to come!

Mary

 

Jan
07

The Perfect Bookcase Arrangement

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We recently completed a wonderful renovation of a Lake Gaston home.  It began with a kitchen update.  The project then expanded to include most of the first floor.  All the contents of this floor were stored while the pine floors were refinished.  Moving back-in required a lot of organization so we tackled the large expanse of bookcases first.  Here is the ‘’before’’ picture which we used as a reference to source out additional accessories and to incorporate with the owner’s objects.

Bookcase-before-dark-background-small-objects-large-space

Before-The dark painted background, standard book placement and accessories needed updating and organizing.

First, we updated the pine cabinetry by lightening the back of the bookcases with a natural color grasscloth wallcovering. I love the added texture and interest of grasscloth.bookcase-grasscloth-stager-height-books-bookends

We began with the placement of the owner’s books.  We added appeal by placing the books vertically and horizontally and staggering the heights.  Books placed horizontally can also act as risers to vary the height in a collection of items. Interesting bookends completed the look.

Bookcase-bookends-antlers-black-white-photos-staggered-books-

Stagger the height of books and add interesting bookends!

Mixing metals, patterns, textures and colors are a must!  We kept the displays meaningful by including several of the owners’ black and white photographs, family photos, career memorabilia and awards.  One of my favorite items in the owners’ collection was the vintage children’s books of the States.

bookcase-accessories-vintage-children-books-chickens-bw-photo

In the lower right hand corner is the collection of vintage children’s books of the States.

Last but not least is lighting the bookcases. If your bookcases do not have built-in lighting, the addition of some type of lighting is a “must”.  Include small bookshelf lamps where a power source in available. Remote control battery operated candles make it easy to place candlesticks throughout the shelves.

Bookcase-after-above-cabinet-leaning-large-art-accessories

Fill that vacant space above a bookcase with large objects and art. Add lighting with bookshelf lamps and remote battery powered candles!

Here it is-the “after” bookcases!  Layering various elements, staggering heights, and keeping items in odd number groups creates a pleasing array. 

Bookcase-after-grasscloth-books-accessories-lighting-assortment-photos-family

After-Bookcase accessorized with assorted photos, candles and collectibles.

So stand back, a take a look at your bookcases.  Shake it up a bit by using the above tips to create you own perfect bookcase arrangement.

Show us your bookcase projects!

Happy arranging!

Mary

Dec
24

Christmas is All About Family

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merry christmas 2014
As I anxiously await the arrival of our sons and daughters-in-love I am reminded about how important family is at Christmas.  I am so very fortunate to have such a loving and close family.  We are spread out across the country but we make the effort to be together for Christmas.  I am truly blessed.  Here is my playful family last Christmas at Lake Gaston!

IMG_4107

Over the years my family circle has grown.  The MSLL gang is a large part of that circle. This is the gang at our annual Christmas dinner along with our new addition, Ethan Campbell Wenger (being held by Ryan, his proud Dad)

My extended family goes much further than just our team.  It encompasses the wonderful friends that grace our showroom, our design clients that invite us into their homes and all the talented contractors that support us.  We get to know them and their families as part of our amazing family circle.

So whether you spend Christmas with family, friends or neighbors it is the people that make Christmas magical. Embrace the moments!

Merry Christmas to you and all your family circle!

Love to all,

Mary

 

Dec
17

Don’t be a Fruitcake this Christmas!

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As a special holiday treat, Chef Yvonne, Y Cook?,  is our Design Wisdom Wednesday guest contributor today for Mary Sherwood Lake Living.  Her tasty recipes are demonstrated and enjoyed frequently at MSLL during her Cooking Classes! Her classes cover a huge range and brings variety to the table!

Tis the season to be jolly….and fruity!

During the holiday season, we celebrate with family and friends by enjoying numerous food and beverage traditions.  There’s eggnog, spiced cider, candy canes, gingerbread houses, and the beloved fruitcake.

fruitcake

Fruitcakes date back to Roman times when the cake was made with pomegranate seeds, pine nuts and raisins.  During the Middle Ages, honey, spices, and preserved fruits were added.  Crusaders were even known to carry fruitcake during their travels to sustain them throughout their journeys.

Most people have a love/hate relationship with fruitcake.  There are those that love the moist cake filled with delectable nuts and fruits, and then there are those that think of it as a dense “brick”.  So whether you love or strongly dislike the familiar dessert, you will surely love my spin on the well-known tradition.

I’ve transformed the generic fruitcake into a bite-size morsel that is moist and full of flavor.  My take on the traditional fruitcake is the Fruitcake Cookie.

Fruit Cake Cookies crop

Fruitcake Cookie Ingredients:

  • 1/2 lb. light brown sugar
  • 1/2 lb. butter
  • 2 eggs
  • 8 ounces pineapple preserves
  • 1 1/2 tbs. Half and Half cream
  • 2 1/4 cups self rising flour
  • 1/2 tsp. soda
  • 16 ounces jar red cherries drained and chopped
  • 16 ounces jar green cherries drained and chopped
  • 1 pound chopped dates
  • 6 cups chopped pecans (walnuts & almonds mixed are a nice change)
  • 1 1/2 tbsp. vanilla

Directions:

Coat nuts and fruit with 1/2 cup flour.  Mix butter, brown sugar, eggs, preserves, milk, soda, vanilla and flour.  Pour over nuts and fruit mixture.  Mix with hands.  Drop in large spoonfuls on a cookie sheet.  Bake 11 minutes at 325 degrees (depending on your oven).  You can wrap uncooked dough in saran wrap.  Make into tube shape (like a slice and bake cookie).  Cover with foil and freeze.  They will keep for months.

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Believe me…I’m aware of all of the fruitcake jokes.  “Why does fruitcake make the perfect gift? Because the U.S. Postal Service hasn’t found a way to damage it.”  But please trust me, these cookies are the answer to satisfy even your toughest fruitcake critic.

Enjoy….and Happy Holidays!

Love,

Chef YvonneFruitcake-ycook

Y Cook? 

Mary Sherwood Lake Living

 

If you have recently changed your color scheme or updated your interior how do you incorporate the new color scheme into this year’s holiday décor? Look for inspiration where you least expect it.

This dining room had recently been updated using a wonderful blue accent wall (Benjamin Moore #798 Blue Suede Shoes). Could this be our inspiration?

Blue accent wall was the inspiration!

Blue accent wall was the inspiration!

 

How do you use the common holiday colors of red and green with this blue wall? With very little investment in new decorations the room began to come together with the addition of blue ornaments and a few other blue accents. The new items included inexpensive glass and plastic ornaments, multi-colored small gift bags (including blue), small little gift wrap bows and curly ribbon. Other found items from the owner’s collection were wine glasses, an antique tall pitcher with a blue rim, glass cylinders, glass vases and glass candlesticks.

Blue glass candlesticks, a vase and a pitcher were from the owner's collection.

Blue glass candlesticks, a vase and a pitcher were from the owner’s collection.

The centerpiece was the starting point which used an assortment of ornaments and objects. Heights were varied to create a pleasing arrangement. Hostess gifts were wrapped in the small foil gift bags to later be used as place cards for a holiday dinner. To give the arrangement more length on the 108” long table curly ribbon was casually placed at each end of the centerpiece.

Assorted small ornaments, glass candlesticks and containers are the components of this easy centerpiece.

Assorted small ornaments, glass candlesticks and containers are the components of this easy centerpiece.

When the table settings were placed the centerpiece was adjusted to allow more room on the table. A few of the pieces removed from the table were placed on the serving buffet to carry out the multi-color scheme.

Company is coming table setting-casual but festive!

Company is coming table setting-casual but festive!

The pièce de résistance was the valance, created with Christmas ornaments tied to staggered lengths of curly ribbon, which frames the entrance to the dining room.

Holiday valance made of assorted shapes and sizes of ornaments.

Holiday valance made of assorted shapes and sizes of ornaments.

Each area of the great space was decorated with multi-colors including a touch of the newly added blue. Think about how you can bring a little of your new interior color(s) into your holiday scheme without starting all over.

Happy holiday decorating!

Mary

Mary Sherwood Lake Living – Working with you to create your lifestyle!

I have never been leery about touching up a gilded mirror or a chipped frame.  But this last project was a challenge.  Our client had a very large chandelier that was way oversized for the dining room (left by a previous owner).  She wanted to replace it but hated to “just get rid of it”.  I suggested we lightened up the finish and place it in the large volume of space of the two story foyer.  Open mouth and insert foot… “I said I can lighten this up, no problem”.  I totally lost all sense of how large this piece is and how much it weighed.  The owner had her electrician take the fixture down and she brought it to our door.  When it arrived and she said: “It will take two of us to get it out of the SUV”, I began to realize the error of my ways to be so willing to take on the re-do.

But I had a plan.  My “trade secret” for renewing a variety of products is Rub n’ Buff.  I have used it for years on furniture, metal items, walls and more.  It comes in many colors and is available in many different finishes.

For this chandelier project I used one tube of the Pewter Rub n’ Buff.  Here are the before and afters.  Although, it is not yet hung it shows what a wonderful way you can re-new a piece.

Chandelier-antique-bronze-finish-small-space-large-fixture

Oversized chandelier for a compact dining space.

Chandelier-finial-antique-bronze-before-redo

Close-up of chandelier part before applying the pewter finish

Chandelier-finial-pewter-finish

Finial with brushed on pewter finish

chandelier-new-finish-pewter-rubnbuff

Chandelier almost ready to hang with new pewter finish with hints of the original finish showing through. We also have new drum shades on order to complete the updated look.

 

I found a great blog site that shows a number of ways to use Buff n’ Rub. Because this product is so easy to use you probably still have time to spruce up something in your house for the holidays.

Happy rubbing and buffing with my favorite Trade Secret!

Mary

Mary Sherwood Lake Living – Working with you to create your lifestyle!

 

Oct
29

Beautiful and Exotic Stones

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Exotic stones are such an amazing work of nature.  When selecting natural stone for a project, I am always drawn to the unusual and rare.  Not all budgets and applications will allow the use of exotic stone but let’s explore the possibilities.

There are basically two types of stone compositions used for interiors.

Siliceous Stone is composed of silica and quartz-like particles.  It is very durable.  Granite, slate, sandstone and quartzite are a few examples:

Natural-Stone-GRANITE-fusion-picasso-morumbi-veining-color-contrast-visual-texture

Calcareous Stone is composed of calcium carbonate.    Marble, travertine, limestone and onyx are stones in this category. These stones are more sensitive to acidic foods and cleansers.

Natural-Stone-MARBLE-artemis-rainforest-arabascoto-orobico-veining-mary-sherwood-lake-living

Josh Garskofthis from This Old House Magazine expresses my sentiments about natural stone:  “Every rock pulled from the earth has its own mineral color, veining, and speckles, brought vividly to life by stone-workers’ saws and polishing wheels. It will be as distinctive as an original work of art. A stone countertop will last as long as your house—maybe even longer.   It needs only a little routine care and forethought to ward off water marks, stains, and etching typically caused by acidic foods. But even if the worst happens—a chipped edge, a red wine spill—most stones can be restored by a professional. Unlike almost every other building material, stone does not decay. Rather, its natural beauty only enhances through years of use.”

Here are some larger images of amazing exotic, natural stones.

Granite can have incredible depth, visual texture and color.  The “movement” or the flow of the veining in the stone and the contrast of light and dark  mineral deposits place these granites in the exotic category.

STONE-GRANITE-MORUMBI-DRAMATIC-MOVEMENT-BLACK-AMBER-VEINING-MOVEMENT

MORUMBI GRANITE

stone-granite-PICASSO-rare-brazil-movement-grey-amber-veining

PICASSO GRANITE

STONE-GRANITE-FUSION-MOVEMENT-GREY-AMBER-VEINING-RARE

FUSION GRANITE

Onyx has patterns and colors not available in many other stones.  Some onyx, like the Honey onyx, has translucent characteristics that are great for backlighting countertops for a dramatic visual effect.

HONEY ONYX

HONEY ONYX

STONE-ONYX-RAINBOW-BROWN-IVORY-RARE

RAINBOW BROWN ONYX

Marble is softer than granite. It will age and develop its own patina over time.  Although not always recommended for kitchen countertops, with proper care it will retain its beauty for years.  The more “visual texture” marble has, the better for camouflaging any minor small imperfections.  One of my favorites is the pattern of Rainforest marble, resembling the limbs and twigs of trees.

RAINFOREST MARBLE

RAINFOREST MARBLE

STONE-MARBLE-ARTEMIS-EXOTIC-MOVEMENT-GREY-AMBER

ARTEMIS MARBLE

ARABASCATO MARBLE

ARABASCATO MARBLE

So dream big with these exotic stones from far-away places! In your dream, which is your favorite and where would you put it?

Mary

Mary Sherwood Lake Living – Working with you to create your lifestyle! 

 

Oct
08

Pillow Talk is Not Only for the Bedroom

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One of my favorite decorative accessories is a pillow.  Pillow talk is not just for the bedroom.  Pillows can talk by injecting style, color and impact into any space.

Pillows should be considered the “crown jewels” that top a chair, sofa or bed.  A “statement” pillow can be the inspiration for an entire room scheme. Switch them out with the seasons or when the fancy strikes you.  Pillows are the easiest way to change the whole look and feel of a space. However, pillows are sometimes afterthoughts, left to the end of a decorating project (not a good idea). Whatever way you use them here are some pointers.

1. How many pillows?  Use pillows in odd numbers. Three to five is the right number on the average sofa or bed.  Any larger number may create too much visual activity.pillow-outdoor-reginaedwards-assortment-red-black-gold-ezbreeze-kingsleybates-outdoor-sectional-lkae-gaston

2. How to mix Pillows?  For the most impact mix size, pattern, colors and textures that coordinate with the other elements in the room.

pillows-custom-blues-neutrals-grouping-custom-bedding-stanley-bed-kravet-trim-lake-gaston

3. How do I build a pillow-scape?  Start with the fabric and color of the object where the pillows will rest or pull an accent color from artwork or a rug.

pillows-fabrics-companyc-owlstool-turquoise-green-florals-lake-gaston-home4. What is the right size for pillows?  There is no real rule for the size but a combo of 18”, 16”, 14” or a rectangle can work.  Size and shape are dictated by the furniture.  Larger pillows 24” are more for casual lounging spaces.

Company C bedding and beaded pillows combine with long custom pillow.

5. What fabrics are most suited for pillows?  The sky is the limit for fabric selection.  Consider the type of use.  Use an outdoor fabric, such as Sunbrella, for outdoor furniture.   Silk, damask and other more fragile fabrics should be used in a space that will get less use such as a formal living room.  Family room pillows need to be constructed of sturdy, durable fabric such as cotton duck, nubby wovens or indoor/outdoor fabrics.

6. What type of pillow filling should be used?  Down/feather blend pillows are squishier.  They will have to be fluffed to refresh their shape.  A good polyfill fiber insert can have the look and feel of down but with better shape and appearance retention.  Foam (solid or pieced) pillows tend to be stiffer and less comfortable to use.  Outdoor cushions need a special polyfill that is suitable for wet conditions so water will drain through easily.

Whatever your pillow style: traditional, contemporary, classic or eclectic, let the pillows be part of your decorating self-expression…something that makes you smile!

Mary

Mary Sherwood Lake Living – Working with you to create your lifestyle! 

Categories : Design
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Sep
17

My Favorite Closet Accessories

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We have several custom closet designs on the drawing board for clients.  As I was researching closet accessories I found a few that I would like to incorporate into our next closet project.

All closet customization should include the following:

  • Long and short hanging rods
  • Drawer storage, shallow and deep
  • Shoe storage (and lots of it)
  • Open shelving for odd size items

Now comes the fun part…The closets accessories!  They will make keeping your closet organized a cinch!  Here are a few of my favorites:

closet-ironing-board-insert

closet-ironing-board-insert

CLOSET-ROD-LIGHTING-LED-

closet-ironing-board-insert

closet-ironing-board-insert

What are your favorite closet accessories?  Join the conversation.  Send us pictures if you like!

Mary

Mary Sherwood Lake Living – Working with you to create your lifestyle!

 

How many times have you used a shower and not had a place to put down the shampoo bottle and bar of soap?  Placing these necessities on the floor is far too far to reach and exposes them to way too much water.  What is the answer? There are many portable shower caddies and accessories to help with this problem. Many new tub/shower enclosures come complete with storage shelves and niches.  As you are planning any kind of bathroom update don’t forget the shower storage.

We do a lot of bathroom design using ceramic tile.  When using tile, the size and design of the niches are endless.  We always review with our client the type and size of niches/shelving they will need to accommodate their favorite products ie.big/small bottles, soap/body wash etc.   Often the niches not only function as storage but also as an integral design element. Here are a few examples of functional, decorative niches:

bathroom-niches-glass-ceramic-handmade-stone-tile-collage

If your space or the budget prohibits a decorative niche, here are a few examples of a shelf, soap dish and ledge that may meet your bath storage needs:Bathroom-niches-shelf-ledge-bathtub-tile-storage

If you were designing a functional decorative niche, what would be your style and size requirements?

Hope this gives you ideas for stashing your bath stuff!

Mary

Mary Sherwood Lake Living – Working with you to create your lifestyle!

Credits:  Some of the above photos were taken at Mosaic Tile in Raleigh, NC.

Categories : Design, Mary's Raves
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Aug
06

The Reason Why to Design-Before and Afters

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Interior design has been my profession and my passion for almost thirty years.  That means there are lots of pictures of projects before and after.  It is always fun to look back and see what a difference an update or total re-do can make.  These are not all recent photos.  The pictures were selected so you could see the before and the after in the same perspective.  This may help you to visualize the changes more easily.  We will start with the simplest project to show how some minor changes can make a major impact. The client’s dreams and design needs are highlighted for each project.

Fireplace/Bookcase Accessorizing

Before and After FireplaceThe client wanted to liven up her stone fireplace to coordinate with the new furnishings in the space.  Using some of her own things, items from Home Goods and custom ordered pieces we achieved a bright and pleasing display.  The stone fireplace and bookcases serve as the neutrals for the addition of multiple colors.  Collecting the accessories was the only time-consuming part of this project.  The installation took about 2 hours.

Great Room Makeover

Before and After Great RoomThe client was ready for a change from the 18-year-old rattan furniture and pale colors of this great room.  The project revolved around the selection of the Company C rug, (Pattern Lounge-color Lake).  The sectional was upholstered is a neutral khaki so accessories could be updated in the future without a total re-do.  The tropical fabric on the window treatments pairs well with the colors of the rug and tied together the other accents of sea glass green, turquoise and green.  Comfortable and casual for lake living.

Kitchen Update

Before and After Kitchen KSThe client was ready to make her kitchen into her own style without replacing the original ash cabinets.  The Cambria quartz countertop, the glass subway tiles and stainless steel appliances made an amazing improvement.  The new look was highlighted by new LED undercabinet lighting.

Coastal Dining Room Transformation

Before and After Dining RoomWithout moving any walls, this dining room was brought back to life with bright yellow paint, a Company C rug (Pattern Rise and Shine-color Marigold) and casual dining furniture for a fun Coastal cottage.

Traditional Kitchen Renovation

Before and After Kitchen RBThe client loves to cook and entertain.  The house did not allow for expansion so the new kitchen fit in the original footprint with an addition of a small window and minor wall/door modifications.  The outstanding elements in this kitchen are the custom mullion design of the cabinet doors and the curved island.  Because the sizes of the glass transom cabinet doors varied, each set of door insets were custom-made.  The island is has a curved raised panel back (sorry it is not shown here).  Hand painted ceramic tile backsplash, leather finished granite, backlight glass countertop and LED lighting make this kitchen shine and perform!

Contemporary Kitchen Renovation

Before and After Kitchen GGThe client is an exceptional cook who entertains all her extended family at Lake Gaston.  She terms the kitchen as her “mid-life crisis”!  She wanted lots and lots of storage and light.  The enlargement of the picture window and the addition of a skylight gave us exceptional natural light.   The extra storage was achieves by floor to ceiling cabinets on the opposite wall.  The kitchen was enlarged by 5′ by relocating the laundry room.  The piece de resistance is the stone, glass and stainless steel mosaic tile backsplash.  Wouldn’t we all like to have this as our “mid-life crisis”!

Looking back at these transformations is a lovely walk down memory lane.  It’s also a wonderful inspiration of how creative problem solving and our ever evolving resources have lead to some amazing spaces for our clients – let us see what we can do for you!

 Mary Sherwood Lake Living -Working with you to create your lifestyle on Lake Gaston and Beyond!

Jul
16

Finding fun and finds in Atlanta!

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We just returned from our semi-annual market trip to Atlanta.  Boy did we pack a lot into this trip!

We were pleased to be invited to a Retailers Round Table Breakfast sponsored by Home Accents Today Magazine at the Capital City Club.  This was a small group of retailers ranging from one of the largest online home fashions companies (Wayfair) to independent interior designers.  We shared insights about consumer buying trends, the use of social media and other business issues.  It was a great to take part in this forum and express our ideas amongst our national peers.

icon awards banguet honoring exceptional vendors and retailers at americasmart atlanta

Later the same day we were invited to the largest awards event in the gift and home industry, The Icon Awards.  Thanks to Home Accents Today magazine, we were guests at their table to hear the presentations of the awards to so many deserving companies.  Most of the award winners have built very successful, large companies that are very involved in local, national and international causes.  It makes one feel very fortunate to be involved in this industry. Entertainment for the evening was a performance by the band Heart.  Do you remember their most popular song in the 70’s?  Here is a short clip of part of their performance.    http://youtu.be/81h0yD78ns

Now for the finds.  Here are a few of the interesting displays and items we found.

Solaria 26″ Globe Chandelier was amazing.  They just introduced this fixture in multiple colors.

Solaria chandelier 26 diameter painted gold or silver finish stunning

Contemporary large art was everywhere.  Here is a pair of prints from Paragon.

americasmart art contempoary paragon wall-art

This window display at Mud Pie was still showing the chalk board theme for the holidays.  Santa, Mrs. Claus and the reindeer have their places marked on this chalk board runner.  We are not over this trend just yet.

Set your holiday table with a chalkboard motif

This cute display of stuffed animals on inner-tubes and slides was quite eye-catching. Great merchandising…we bought some of these cute Knitzie animals.

kids play at Americasmart Atlanrta with Knitzies stuffed animals

Dixie was into head-gear as evidenced by her many poses in various hats and headbands.

Dixie modeling head gear at americasmart atlanta

The girls and I did manage to have some fun with an afternoon glass of champagne with floating Wild Hibiscus Flowers…soon to be available at MSLL.

Girls having fun in Atlanta at Americasmart Kehe booth hibiscus flower champagne cocktail

One more shot of our late evening play-a ride on the Atlanta ferris wheel at Olympic Park, adjacent to our hotel!

Atlanta ferris wheel at Olympic Park downtown

 

So-these girls do know how to have fun mixed with a lots of work!

You can look forward to lots of new items starting to arrive any day!

Mary

Mary Sherwood Lake Living -Working with you to create your lifestyle!

Summer is upon us and the great outdoors is filled with color…flowers, leaves, bugs, vegetables and more.  Designers often use nature as inspiration for color schemes.  Here are a few colors of nature that have been paired with Benjamin Moore paint colors.  These the colors are rich and saturated, working well as accents.  For walls and larger applications, I would suggest reducing the intensity of these colors. While doing this research to it became apparent that many paint colors are named after natural elements.

Color inspiration from nature

Another way to bring nature into the home is the use of colorful accessories, pillows, rug, fabrics and art.

Pillow-colors-of-nature-blue-red-interior-design-accents

Which paint color would you use to pair with any of these pillows?

This Company C rug will pair with several of the above paint colors.

This Company C rug will pair with several of the above paint colors.

 

The bright green of the hosta and the red of the tulip are in this chair by Company C.

The bright green of the hosta and the red of the tulip are in this chair by Company C.

While working on this article I discovered a part of nature right by my driveway.  This very shy box turtle posed for a picture. I noticed so many neutral shades. With the warm gold markings, the rich brown shell and the subtle tans of the rocks, nature was setting her own neutral pallet.

The neutral pallet of nature!

The neutral pallet of nature!

Be inspired by the colors of nature as you are enjoying the summer outdoor months.  If you find yourself repeatedly attracted to a certain color of butterfly, flower or any natural element, this might give you a color clue for your next design project.

Enjoy summer!  Take time to observe the flora and fauna. You may be amazed at what you see! Send us a picture of your nature inspiration!

Mary

Mary Sherwood Lake Living -Working with you to create your lifestyle!

 

Categories : Design
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Jun
04

THE BEST OF THE 2014 KITCHEN AND BATH SHOW

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IBS / KBIS LogosThe 2014 Kitchen and Bath Show in Las Vegas exceeded all expectations.  For the first time the International Builders’ Show (IBS) and the Kitchen & Bath Industry Show (KBIS) co-located to create Design and Construction Week. This is one of the world’s largest gatherings focused on new ideas, products and technologies for designing, building and remodeling homes.  An estimated 70,000 people came to Las Vegas for this show.

Here are a few of my favorites from the show.

Technology based items were everywhere from blue tooth enabled key locks to docking stations for all our electronic gadgets.  The new KEVO deadbolt locking system was amazing.  Programming the entry into your house for workers or guests from anywhere with the use of your smart phone is just one of the many functions.

Control passage into your home with blue-tooth enabled dead bolts.

Control passage into your home with blue-tooth enabled dead bolts.

Cabinetry-technologies-docking-station

Charge all your electronic gadgets while stashed in a drawer!

New cabinet organization products are always of great interest at this show.  Pullout details in upper and lower cabinets make full use of interior cabinet space.  Cut-out roll out shelves in a vanity cabinet insures easy access and better space utilization.

Pull out utensil storage!

Pull out utensil storage!

Vanity base cabinet with plumbing cut-out to optimize pull out storage.

Vanity base cabinet with plumbing cut-out to optimize pull out storage.

New LED lighting options were everywhere.  We have been using LED fixtures for about two years but we learned a few more tricks about incorporating lighting in all the nooks and crannies of cabinets. My favorite was interior lighting for cabinet drawers and a Lazy Susan base cabinet.  With LED’s you will never be without light in hard to see interiors.  I am really a fan of this technology.  For more lighting tips checkout our blog: http://marysherwoodlifestyles.com/brilliant-ideas-that-dont-leave-you-in-the-dark/

Kitchen-design-cabinetry-drawers-LED-Lighting

No more dark drawer interiors!

Kitchen-design-cabinetry-LED-Lighting

LED lighting in a base lazy-susan cabinet.

Many appliance manufacturers returned to this show with some great new products. Induction cooking surfaces, steam ovens and many “smart” control features were the highlights.  With Thermador’s steam and convection oven you can cook a moist, golden brown 14 lb turkey in just 90 minutes.  This would surely make holiday food prep easier!  I also love the Thermador Freedom Full Surface Induction cooktop.  This cooktop allows you to place four pots or pans anywhere on the cooking surface and adjust the heat to the size of the pan.  The Wine Station by Dacor would be a wine enthusiast’s dream come true.  There is perfect temperature controls for up to four bottles of your favorite vino.

Cooking will never be the same after you cook with steam in this new Thermador steam oven.

Cooking will never be the same after you cook with steam in this new Thermador steam oven.

Store and keep four different types of wine at the correct temperature with Decor's Wine Station.

Store and keep four different types of wine at the correct temperature with Decor’s Wine Station.

Of course it was not always all work and no play!

Dixie and Autumn trying their luck at the slots in Vegas...so it wasn't all work and no play!

Dixie and Autumn trying their luck at the slots in Vegas…so it wasn’t all work and no play!

Let us know if you would like more information on any of these innovative new products!  How would you use these new products?  What is your favorite?

Enjoy!

Mary

Mary Sherwood Lake Living -Working with you to create your lifestyle! 

 

 

May
14

Garage Organization-The Before and After

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I am about to open up and share a very scary sight.  This is our garage before ORGANIZATION!

Before garage organization-yikes!

THE BEFORE Garage-does this look similar to something you might have?

Sooo…about two years ago we outfitted our garage.  It was a big investment but worth every penny.  It does not stay perfect but it is amazing how easy it is to straighten up and keep it tidy.  Paul even has his “garage man cave” with kegerator and lounge chair.   Pictured here is the Sherwood’s garage re-do.

How to start   

Make three piles…what to keep, what to donate and what to throw away.  Get rid of the items to donate and to throw away immediately.  If you don’t part with them after you sort, they just seem to migrate back into a “comfortable” corner of the garage.

How to Get Organized

Arrange items in groups of how you use them.  Car care supplies, sporting gear, lawn care tools, hobby materials and do-it-yourself tools are just a few suggestions.

Drawer for garden tools.

Gardening tools at the ready!

Pots and potting supplies.

Pots and more pots!

Assorted paints for craft projects.

Painting and Craft Project Supplies

 

Storage for cleaning gear organized for easy access.

Cleaning Equipment Storage

Tool drawer for working on the vehicles

Motorcycle tinkering equipment drawer!

Plan a place to stash seasonal stuff that you use infrequently.  Measure items that will need to be sorted and stored in labeled closed bins.

Storage planned to house seasonal decorations,

Great Christmas Decoration Storage

 Storage Options

Every guy lusts for a Diamond Plate cabinet storage systems. It is beautiful but an expensive option. (Photo: My Great Garage)Diamond-Plate-Storage-garage-organization-cabinetry

There are many other garage storage systems on the market that may better fit the budget.  Open shelving systems are less costly and make items more visible.  Closed cabinets keep items cleaner and concealed but also may give you an excuse to stay disorganized.  Try to keep as much off the floor as possible to avoid the debris and dirt brought in by vehicles.  Wire shelving, peg board and overhead storage all will help with your organization plan.

Cabinetry, countertop and sink provide a great space for potting plants!

Storage, work surface, and sink for projects, potting and easy clean-up.

 Garage Floors 

Painting or covering the garage floor will help with clean up and track-in to the house. An epoxy concrete floor coating provides a cleanable surface which can hide flaws in the existing bare concrete.  Vinyl, interlocking squares can be an easy quick fix.   Another option is an auto floor guard containment mat which protects the garage floor as well as contains moisture dripping from cars.

Creature Comforts

If your garage space allows and there is no other room for a “man cave,” add some creature comforts in the garage.  Include things like a cooler, beer frig., seating, and music to create a relaxation zone after a hard day’s work in the great outdoors!

Kergerator and acoutrements!

Kegerator, created from a vintage GE refrigerator, barware and necessary acoutrements!

Paul's garage man cave with his two wheel ride and comfortable lounge chair

Paul’s “Garage” man cave complete with motorcycle art, beer kegerator and lounge chair!

If garage renovation is on your list of home improvement I highly recommend it!  Never again will we let our garage get to the “BEFORE” state.  What would you tackle first to get your garage organized?

Happy organizing!

Mary

Mary Sherwood Lake Living -Working with you to create your lifestyle! 

 

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