Archive for Mary’s Raves

Nov
21

Be Thankful-We are!

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With this Thanksgiving holiday, we are so thankful for our new grandson, Jackson Volkan Sherwood!  There is no greater gift from God.  I never really understood how very special it is to become a grandparent.  A grandchild is an extension of you through your child.  There is a deep connection from the very beginning. 

Meet Jackson:

Jackson Volkan Sherwood
November 12, 2017
8 pounds, 15 oz, 22″ long

Three Generations of Sherwood Men
Paul, Jake and Jackson

A future rockstar is born!

Cozy as a bug in a rug!

I would like to especially thank our son Jake and his wife Elif for bringing Jackson into our family.  To see them work together every step of the way to prepare and bring Jackson into the world has been amazing.  Their strength and commitment to each other was undeniable during the stress of a very long labor and birth.  They are going to be the best parents ever.  You make your mom and dad so proud! 

We hope everyone will take time to remember to be thankful for their blessings this Thanksgiving!

Have a wonderful holiday!

Love to all!

Mary and Paul

 

Categories : Design, Family, Mary's Raves
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Nov
01

I’m Back with Exciting News!!!

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After a long hiatus from writing this blog, I am happy to say “I am back”.

Exciting things are happening in the Sherwood family.  In March we joined our son Jake and wife Elif in Mammouth for a look at real snow!  I had never seen that much snow.  They had over 400 inches this past season.

The very best part of that weekend was the surprise announcement in our birthday cards!  We are going to be grandparents!!!!

 

Very early on Baby Sherwood was nicknamed Huevos because it all began with an egg. It has been great watching the changes is Elif and Jake as they grow closer together to welcome this baby. They chose to be surprised by the baby’s sex at the birth.  Today, Halloween, was the due date.  Huevos decided he/she was not ready to face the real world just yet.  Elif says he is still marinating.  Haha!

Here are some fun things happening as we becoming a G-mom and G-dad:

  1. Receiving text messages and ultrasound pictures after doctor visits.  Is that really a baby in there???
  2. Shopping with Elif for the baby’s room at the Land of Nod.  Love that baby store! (Not so fun for G-dad)
  3. Jake designing the mural for the baby’s room with the fun finishing touches on video. Don’t miss this video Huevos’ Room 
  4. Working with Jake and Elif’s friends to surprise Elif with a baby shower.  
  5. Creating fused glass favors for the shower.
  6. Talking frequently about Huevos’ progress including a video today of a very energetic baby kicking Mom’s belly. 🙂  Here is how the future Mom and Dad spent their Halloween Due date!

This is what I aspire to be next Halloween!

Life is such a miracle.  We are seeing it in a whole different light through this baby experience.  Now I am beginning to see why all of you who are already grandparents say it is so wonderful. 🙂

Thanks for reading about our family.

Lot’s of great renovation posts to come in future blogs.  (Hint-you can see a sneak peek in the background of the birthday card photo!)

Great to re-connect!  You will be the first to know about baby Huevos’ arrival!

Mary

 

Mary Sherwood Lifestyles

Working with you to create your lifestyle!

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Feb
13

HAPPY VALENTINE’S DAY!

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Heart shaped pricly pear paddle

Just wanted to wish all my friends Happy Valentine’s Day!  Sending hugs and kisses your way!  This a Prickly Pear cactus paddle in the shape of a heart.  You can find love in all kinds of places including the desert!

If you still need something sweet (and somewhat healthy) for Valentine’s, try this recipe from Kate Scarlata’s blog,  Chocolate Covered Pineapple.  Any fruit covered with chocolate is so delicious!  (Picture courtesy of Kate Scarlata’s blog)Chocolate-covered-pineapple-fruitEnjoy your day!  Spread some love!!!

Love you all!

Mary

Mary Sherwood Lifestyles

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Dec
20

メリークリスマス Merry Christmas!

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Today I had so much fun putting together our gifts to take to my daughter-in-law’s family in Japan.  I couldn’t resist sharing.   Here they are!

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In last week’s post, An Easy Gift Idea, I talked about the items to be included.  To make things a little more personal I used Google Docs to translate the notes I attached to each gift into Japanese.  With the Prickly Pear jelly is a translated article about the native SW plant and its use in recipes.  Google’s translations better make sense!   If not, I hope it will be a reason for a few good laughs.

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Of course, I have to carry something for our kids.  Here are their small packages with Merry Christmas translated into Japanese, メリークリスマス!  

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Celebrating a holiday in another country will be a new experience.  But wherever you are, keep the spirit of Christmas alive.  Goodwill to all!   Have a blessed and Merry Christmas!

Mary

Mary Sherwood Lifestyles

Mary Sherwood Art Glass

 

 

 

Nov
01

I’m Back!

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I took a two week hiatus from publishing this blog because I was so busy back in NC.  I hope you missed seeing our weekly Wednesday post.  (If you didn’t, don’t tell me 🙂 )

A week was spent at our Lake Gaston home doing maintenance after a very busy summer rental season.  We were truly amazed at how well the house weathered 20 different groups of vacationers with a total of over 150 quests.  Whew!  Thank you VRBO/Homeaway guests for taking such good care of Blue Heron Getaway!

Here are a few pictures of our lake!misc

Next, it was off to visit with my BFF Patsy outside of High Point.  We always seem to pick up right where we left off.  That is what you do with best friends!  Each High Point market she provides me a wonderful private room, meals and best of all her love and friendship.  Thank you, Patsy!!!

Here are a few groups of things that attracted my eye at the High Point Market .

LIGHTING:highpoint_market_102016_lighting_edisonbulb_large_led_oversized_pendantLarge Edison bulb (9″H) fixtures shown at Emdee International.  Contemporary and sleek pendants from Lite Source that can be grouped together or used separately.  Oversized pendants, 34″ H in gold or silver finishes.

ART GLASS:
highpoint_market_fall_2016_glass_art_kristinedaniel-artistNew and different art glass by Kristine Daniel Designs of Canada.

NEW COLOR COMBO:
highpoint_market_fall_2016_globalviews_red_black_grey_goldGlobal Views has always been the leader in displaying an up and coming color scheme.  Here are several of their vignettes in red, black, gold and grey.  I love the contrast and visual impact!  What do you think?

OTTOMANS:
highpoint_market_ottoman_shaped_curvedLittle ottomans that can be grouped together or pulled up for extra seating have always attracted my interest. The pearl color ottomans by Norwalk Furniture can be used alone or in combination of two or four to create different shapes.  The chair and ottoman with a great curved apron are new introductions by Company C with Norwalk Furniture.  The small red ottomans in a classic style are by CR Laine.

I took about 900 pictures in a short 2 1/2 days.  So these are just the tip of the iceberg.  Can you see using any of these new products in your home?  Which piece is your favorite?

Missed hearing from you lately.  Send your comments!

All the best!

Mary

Mary Sherwood Lifestyles

Mary Sherwood Art Glass  New glass pieces just added!

 

As promised, here is the second in the series of  “Be the Designer” challenges. Today you will need to select the tile grout color for the kitchen backsplash at the Chalk house. This may seem an easy task but here are a few things to consider when selecting a grout color.

  1. Color of the tile.  Sometimes tile has a mingle of color so it may be more than one color.
  2. Color of the cabinetry.  Because the cabinets and backsplash have a very intimate relation you need to include both is selecting a color.
  3. Color of the countertop.  Once again the backsplash and the countertop are very symbiotic.  They often meet face to face.  Consider them both.

Let’s re-cap from past posts.  Here is the countertop, cabinetry and the backsplash tile.backsplash_tile_cabinetfinish_countertop

We fell in love with the geometric design of this tile call Louvre Marfel by Elysium. Here is a close up of the backsplash tile so you can see the color and detail.  This picture was taken with the tile installed but not grouted.tile-grout-color-designer-challenge-lourvemarfil-elysium_kitchen_backsplash

You have three choices of tile grout colors:

  1. Jade
  2. Light smoke
  3. Linen

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#3 Linen (top)—#2 Light Smoke (bottom)tile-grout-color-designer-challenge-lourvemarfil-elysium_kitchen_backsplash-001

#2 Light smoke (top)—#1 Jade (bottom)

Remember to consider all the above elements in your decision.

  • Will you be brave enough to select #1 Jade that brings out the beautiful color of the countertop?
  • Do you want to show off the pattern of the tile by selecting a slightly darker grout color for contrast, #2 Light Smoke?
  • Do you want the grout to virtually disappear by selecting #3 Linen?

Make your choice:  #1 Jade, #2 Light Smoke or #3 Linen and tell us why you would pick that color.  The owner has made her selection.  Let’s see if you agree!

For all of you who respond I will randomly select one name and send you a special gift for Mary Sherwood Art Glass.  Good luck!

Have fun with it!

All the best!

Mary

Mary Sherwood Lifestyles

252-308-2694

PS:  We recently ran a Facebook contest to get the Mary Sherwood Art Glass page shared with friends.  The winner of that contest is Aletha Hudson!  Congratulations!  Thank you Aletha for sharing our page.

Share the love and the new Christmas Art Glass collection with your friends and family.  Hint, hint it is not too early to add something to your wish list! 🙂

 

Recently I had the opportunity to attend a Pallet Garden class at Green Things in Tucson.  The plants and the staff are amazing.  The class had its challenging moments.  Picking from all their beautiful plants was the hardest part.greenthings_garden_center_tropical_greenhouse 

So here is what you need:

  1. A pallet-salvaged or constructed.  For this class we used a 16″ x 16″ pallet that was very easy to manage.  Larger pallets will take a lot more materials and become pretty heavy.
  2. Plants-here is my collection 🙂succulents_supplies_greenthings_garden-center_tucson_azJPG
  3. Coco coir mat.  This is available by the roll and/or the foot.  You only need about a 2′ square piece for the small pallet.  The sheet goods will be shredded to fill the bottom of each level of the pallet.coirmatting_coir_shredded_pallet_garden_green-Things.2
  4. Green moss- the type that is often used in tops of pots (not sphagnum moss).  It comes in a plastic bag.  One medium bag was used for this pallet.  Soak it in a large bucket of water before use.  It is layered over the coir fiber and the plants are nestled into the moist moss.sheet_moss_potting_pallet_garden_2
  5. Here is Cathy, our very talented garden designer, demonstrating the packing of the pallet with the shredded coir.greenthings_ tucson_Cathy_instructor_2x2_pallet_coirmatting
  6. Here is Cathy and me working on my pallet.  I got off to a slow start but finally got the hang of it.  When you think you have enough coir matting packed in, add some more.  It is the supporting structure between the pallet levels.  Thanks Cathy for your help!Cathy_Mary_Greenthings_pallet_building_class

AND here is the final product…succulent_pallet_finished-greenthings-nurseryThat is the short and sweet of building a succulent pallet garden.  Hopefully these 3″small succulent babies will grow and fill in the spaces.  They need very little water and prefer a shady spot.  Grow babies, grow!

Here is a video posted on Facebook about the class.  It is long but you can get a feels for the technique of building a pallet garden.  Thanks to Catalina, a staff member at Green Things alias videographer, there is a nice recap of How to build a pallet garden.

I’m getting ready to hang my new pallet wall garden on my front porch.

Hope you give it a try.

Happy planting!

Mary

PS:  A new art glass collection is being introduced on the Mary Sherwood Art Glass page later this week.  The holiday collection is right behind it.  Take a look.  Comments more than welcome!

Mary Sherwood Lifestyles

252-308-2694

 

Aug
09

Mary’s Version of Santa’s Workshop

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This has been an exciting week with the launch our new website and online store, Mary Sherwood Art Glass.  Thanks for so many wonderful comments.  If you missed the announcement you can see it here.

In the launch announcement I promised a 2016 Holiday Art Glass collection.  So today I opened Mary’s version of “Santa’s Workshop” to work on the collection.  It always amazes me how many pieces of glass are combined into the creation of each ornament.  On average there are about 30-35 small pieces of glass on each 3.5″ tree ornament.  Many different shapes and sizes are used for each ornament.  Here is the glass assortment for today’s project.

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Here are two prototypes of possible tree designs mocked up last week as possibilities.

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Clear glass tree shape pieces are cut to use as the base.  Below, little blue star millefiori rounds were applied as the tree top stars.  Once decorated these overlapping trees shapes will be fused to white glass and slumped into a Christmas plate.

clear-glass tree_fused_glass_plate_production

This is the beginnings of the tree ornament collection.  The red glass noodles are laid as a “garland” foundation.  Glass beads and other details to be added.

glass_tree_shapes_fused_glass_ornaments

Stay in touch for the unveiling of the 2016 Holiday Collection at Mary Sherwood Art Glass!  Look for a special give-a-way when the holiday collection goes live.

Thanks!

Mary

Mary Sherwood Lake Living

252-308-2694

 

How do beautiful salads and Paul’s new iphone relate? Here’s the answer.

Recently Paul became an iphone convert.   His droid was due to be replaced so he made the switch.  So far no regrets (thank goodness).  So, because both of our phone contacts had expired, I also got a new iphone 5e. Well, what does this have to do with gadgets for salads?  In setting up my new phone and purging over 10,000 pictures (ugh!) I came across this video we made at the MSLL store to promote two amazing products.  Although I no longer have the store and sell these products I thought it was worth sharing this video and these tips for peeling and slicing fruit and veggies.  I can’t live with out these two gadgets for making fruit salad, green salads, tarts and what ever requires thinly sliced fruit or tomatoes.  Makes prep so easy!

There are two items mentioned in the video.  The first item is fairly common and made by many different companies.  It looks like a regular vegetable peeler but with close examination you can see the serrated edge of the blade which enables it to gently peel soft fruit and veggies.  Here is the close ups of the soft fruit peeler and its serrated edge.  It can be purchased in many kitchen gadget departments or online.  Here is a link to the Amazon site for Oxo Soft Fruit Peeler I use.  Reasonably priced and functions very well.  soft_fruit_peeler_tomatoes_easy_summer_fresh_marysherwoodlifestyles

The next gadget is the Queen of soft fruit slicing, the Genu Tari Slicer.  Chef Yvonne Hoffman and I found this in the gourmet products at the Atlanta market.  I use mine all the time.  Cutting strawberries, peaches, grapes, hard boiled eggs, mozzarella cheese and more is so easy and fast!  If any of these soft foods have a tougher skin, like tomatoes and peaches, using the soft fruit peeler prior to slicing insures good results.  It is functional, easy to clean and produces amazing thin slices.  All of this makes it well worth the price just in time for peach and tomato season!

soft_fruit_slicer_tari_gefu_summer_healtyfood_gourmet_foodprep

Sooo…here is the Video!  Don’t laugh too hard I am not a video star.  You can no longer stop by my store to get a demo but you are welcome to see these gadgets in action at my house anytime.

Hope this video with the tips will help you make beautiful summer salads and desserts.  I can almost taste the Caprese Salad shown above.  Show me what you can do with this gadgets.  Let me know if I can help answer any questions about how I use these products.

Enjoy!

Mary

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

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NOTE:  I have not been endorsed or paid by the manufacturers of these two products.  I just love how they simplify my food prep!  Pictures of the products were collected from the manufacturers’ websites.

 

 

Jun
29

Exploring Santa Monica

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Paul and I just returned from five days in Santa Monica visiting Jake and Elif taking in all the beautiful weather and surroundings.

Our first outing is always a walk through the neighborhood to brush off the road weariness.  The streets are lined with a mix of old and new homes.  I always enjoy the small front gardens and plantings.  We stumbled across this amazing sidewalk garden. It is full of succulents, annuals and a comfortable spot to sit and reflect.  An unexpected thing like this is what makes me love California.  The plague on the tree is a quote from Ralph Waldo Emerson, “Peace cannot be achieved through violence.  It can only be attained through understanding.”  How fitting for today’s turbulent times.SANTAMONICA_SIDEWALK_GARDEN-ENCHANTING_SUCCULENTS

The next day, we walked to the beach at the Santa Monica Pier where there is a sign that says this is the original location of Muscle Beach.  Love the broad wide beach, great bike path and fun people watching.IMG_7522

On Saturday we boarded the new Expo Light Rail in Santa Monica to travel into downtown LA.  What a wonderful transportation addition.  An upbeat train station, colorful train cars and easy travel to LA was a real pleasure.Blog 06 29 2016 Santa Monica1

Our train travel took us to the California Science Center to see the Endeavor Space Shuttle exhibit.  It is a very interesting and informative display about the space shuttle’s history.  The Endeavor completed 25 missions from 1992 – 2011.  It was originally constructed outside of LA and was brought back to its permanent location through a parade through the streets of LA in 2012.   This is an exhibit well worth a visit.

Jake and Elif have been raving about this new ice cream parlor in an eclectic Venice shopping district called Abbot Kinney.  We strategically scheduled our visit to make sure we had plenty of room to enjoy this wonderful creamery.  The Salt end Straw far exceeded our expectations. Out of many different combinations I chose the Slumptown Coffee with Comparte Lovenuts ice cream.  OMG!  Click here to learn more about the Salt and Straw. salt_straw_icecream_stumptowncoffee_comparte_lovenuts-abbotkinney

What a great weekend!  We visited so many of our favorite spots and explored many new ones.  We cooked several dinners from Green Chef (organic Food Delivery), watched movies and walked many steps.  Perfect long weekend with bright blue skies and 75 degree temps!  Thanks Jake and Elif for a great time!

I think this may have to be my new ride for our next beach visit.  What do you think?LINUS_BICYCLE_DUTCHI_COOLRIDE_ROADSTER

As many us of travel through the summer feel free to comment and share some of your favorite journeys.

Wishing everyone sunny blue skies!

Mary

Mary Sherwood Lifestyles

252-308-2694

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

http://saltandstraw.com/flavor/stumptown-coffee-compartes-love-nuts/

spiralizer_salad_recipe_cold_summer_squash_carrots_onion_grilled_chicken_breast-fusedglass_plate

Summer Squash & Carrot Spiralizer Salad

Veggies

2 Large Carrots

2 Med. Yellow Squash

1/2 Onion

1 medium to large chopped Tomato

Salt and pepper to taste

Dressing

1/4 cup apple cider vinegar 

(can substitute regular balsamic but it colors the noodles)

1T Olive Oil infused with Garlic (regular olive can be substituted)

1T Dijon Mustard

1T Honey (or more to taste)

Salt and pepper to taste

Chopped fresh basil and “good” tomatoes to garnish!

Directions:

Spiralized onion, squash and carrots using the small noodle blade. Keep each in separate bowls.

spiralizer_yellow_summer_squash-carrots_onion_noodles-

Saute spiralized onion until soft in a small amount of olive oil in large sauce pan.

Add yellow squash and barely cook, keeping noodles el dente.

NOTE:  Squash is mostly water and can overcook quickly. Zoodles cook down so make plenty.  I do about 2 medium zucchini per person. The zoodles can be sautéed but they can also be cooked in the microwave.  Check often for slight tenderness but do not over cook or they will become mushy.

Cool for 15 minutes in refrig.

Add spiraled carrots (keep carrots raw for the crunch)

Toss and chill before serving.

Garnish with fresh basil and tomatoes for color!

Serves 4 as a side salad.

Enjoy!

Mary Sherwood Lifestyles

mary@marysherwood.com

Jun
06

Spa-like Shower Tile

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I am so excited about these two spa-like shower plans!  If you have been following us, I previously mentioned finding an amazing tile source in Tucson call Fractured Earth.  Once I saw their extensive array of tile the concepts for these showers started to come together.

Here is the guest bath shower tile incorporating this beautiful glass, penny tile mosaic of iridescent blues, greens, gold and white.  To compliment this tile we are using the glass liner tile, color Aquatic, to frame the mosaic and the 1″ x 1″ tile for the shower floor.  Construction is just beginning so you will have to be patient to see the finish product.tile_plan_guest_bath_glass_penny_tile_irridescent_accent_deco_wall_waterandlight_boycebean-neoglass-white

The master bath plans all started with the Napolina limestone slab.  It is being used for the countertop and there be a large piece leftover.  The surplus slab piece will be used vertically on the shower wall and framed by a complimentary accent mosaic tile in stone chip/resin and glass.  The mosaic accent tile will add sparkle to the shower wall. The countertop will be illuminated underneath to create a stunning effect.  tile_plan_elevation_master_bath_slab_insert_napolina_limestone_liner_pelagus_white

I am really looking forward to sharing the progress of these two baths with you.  There are many more detail to follow.  What do think about the combos?

Join the conversation!

Until next time…

Mary

Working with you to create your lifestyle!

Mary Sherwood Lifestyles

252-308-2694

 

Jun
01

Semi-Precious Stone of All Colors

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I recently visited an amazing stone company, Cactus Stone, in Scottsdale, AZ.  While I have visited many stone companies there has never been such a variety in one place. It is several football fields in size and the rows go on and on.  There are many common granite and quartz slabs but what caught my eye was the amazing range of color of the semi-precious stone slabs.

To produce semi-precious stone slabs the raw material goes through a long process.  Each semi-precious stone is individually cut and bound together with an epoxy resin to create not only stunning slabs, but true works of art.  These unique slabs are suitable for kitchen counters, bathrooms, decorative walls, and floors. Here are a few of the fabulous semi-precious stone slabs at Cactus Stone.

semiprecious_quartzfusion_rosecolor_stonecomposite

ROSE QUARTZ

semiprecious_oceanjasper_greenstone_stonecomposite

OCEAN JASPER

semiprecious_blueagate_dyed_stonecomposite

BLUE AGATE

semiprecious_amazonite_pale seafoam_blue_stonecomposite

AMAZONITE

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GRAPHIC FELDSPAR

Now you can see why the selection at Cactus Stone would get a designer’s creative juices flowing.  Many of these illustrations of semi-precious slabs need very special placement to make them work.  Also, most of these stone can be back-lit for extra drama!  Here is a beautiful example from the Majestic Gemstone website.

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I photographed so many different type of stone products at this place.  Quartzite is another product I’ll discuss in a future post.

Dream big about where you could potentially use semi-precious stone.  Which one is your favorite?

Mary

Mary Sherwood Lifestyles

Working with you to create your lifestyle!

 

May
25

Cottage Style with Pops of Red

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Finally a small peek at the little cottage project we started last Fall!

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The most dramatic change in this little house was the removal of the wall separating the living space and the kitchen.  This house is only 1000 sf.  We needed to give it as much open space as possible.

We did several posts about this project while in process.  Here is a link for a look at the original kitchen (before)!  Here is the after:

cotttagestyle_whitekitchen_subwaytilebacksplash_greygrout_redvikingrange_simmple_red_accents

The kitchen renovation in such a small space turned out great!  Very functional and easy to clean with painted white cabinets, marble-like quartz countertops and porcelain wood-look tile throughout.  The red Viking range is really brighter than shown and sets this white kitchen apart from all the others.  (Sorry the photos in this post are not the best)

cottagestyle_accents_pop_redvikingrange_kitchen_design

“Touches of red” accents are used throughout the space to give it the pop.

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This red framed Monopoly board fit perfect on the dining nook wall.  It was created by the owner’s father who recently past away.  It was nice to incorporate this special, sentimental piece.

To see a few more back scene shots during construction go to the Cottage Re-do post.

The house is small but great for a couple or as a weekend get-a-way!  Comfy furnishings with deep sea blue and red accents complete the living space.

 

cottagestyle_simplefurnishings_potterybarnsofa_darkseablue_linenlike_vinylromanshades_

I think I could live here!  How about you?

We are so busy here with work and play!  Stay tuned for more to come!

Mary

Working with you to create your lifestyle!

Mary Sherwood Lifestyles, Inc.

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May
18

An Anniversary and the New Chapter

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Today’s blog is not about design trends, gardening or travel.  It is about how wonderful it feels to celebrate the first year of our new personal journey.

On May 15, 2015 Charlotte Webb Smith purchased Mary Sherwood Lake Living.  That business was our heart and soul for 28 years.  It was difficult to let it go.  It was exciting at the same time to be given the opportunity to create a new chapter(s) in our lives.  Thank you Charlotte and all our loyal friends for such a wonderful experience at Lake Gaston. There is not another place I would have rather been.  Working and living at Lake Gaston was a gift!

In our new Tucson location there was a lot to write about in our first chapter.   Scroll back through the blogs on our web site to catch up with some interest reading of our new adventures and experiences.

Here is the beginning of Chapter 2.  Paul and I are becoming engaged with life outside of owning and operating a business.  He continues to explore the backroads of AZ and the surrounding areas on his motorcycle.  He is volunteering with the Aquaponics Project at the University of AZ’s Biosphere 2.   His computer skills has enabled him to help set up a new network system for our community computer club.biosphere2_aquaponics-gardening

I have found there is a life outside of MSLL.  For so many years my world revolved around that business.  Today I have a nice mix.  Number one, I am exercising more and enjoying every minute.  I am learning all about how to grow and nurture plants in the desert.  I have found a new artistic outlet creating fused glass art. I take on interior design projects that keep me professionally engaged and excited about design.  I enjoy blogging to keep connected with all my loyal followers and friends.  Reading your comments makes me feel the attachment with my NC family and our new found friends.design_kitchen_remodel_

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gardening-potted-garden-desert

I think a big part of the up-coming chapter is an opportunity Paul and I have to help mentor a young female physician open a new practice in the Tucson area.  Pooling our skills of healthcare, small business and design along with a few other very smart business friends we hope to guide and enable this young woman to be all she can be in her profession.  She is enthusiastic about being a primary care physician and seeking a better way to have more interaction with her patients.  We applaud her efforts.  Here is a recent article about Direct Primary Care Medicine to give you more information about this type of health care practice.

We hope to have her ready to launch her new practice in the next few months. Brainstorming about the location, the business management, the build-out of the office site and the marketing is exciting!  I will keep you updated as the plans progress.

So as you can see there is never a dull moment.  We are so grateful to each and everyone of you who helped us grow in our business and personal life.  Now hopefully we can do the same for this young professional woman.

New exotic granite finds or the medical office design or a whole house renovation are topics all rolling around in my head for next week’s blog.

Any preference of what you would like to hear about next?

In business and in life every day is a new adventure.  Don’t let it pass you by!

Love you all!

Mary

Mary Sherwood Lifestyles

Working with you to create your lifestyle!

252-308-2694

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Certain rooms don’t seem complete without a mirror!  The powder room, the master bath, the foyer, and the dressing room are a few that simply aren’t finished without a mirror.

I searched back in the photo files and found so many rooms we finished with mirrors.  Here are some recent installs as well as some pulled from the archives. If some seem dated they are here to illustrate a certain use.

mirror_oval_contemporary_traditional_old_new_diningroom_silver

This dining room was a mix of old and new.  A beautiful mahogany sideboard (a family heirloom) was paired with crystal/silver buffet lamps and a gleaming silver tone mirror to add a contemporary flair.

mirror_round_accessories_ownersthings_foyer

In this small foyer the owner’s small chest fit well in the limited wall space by the staircase but needed to be accessorized.  To lightened up the space we added a mixed finish round mirror with similar finishes to those in the chest.  A turquoise bird on pedestal complimented the owner’s oriental lamp.

mirror_vanity_double_oval_bronzefinish_smallbath

Every bathroom needs a mirror or two.  In this small master bath we packed in a lot of storage and used mirrors to enhance the cozy, comfortable feel.

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This square, beveled framed mirror pairs well with the geometric shapes of the sink, faucet and tiles.  The mirror completed this sleek, clean and contemporary style.

mirror_Bevelmirrorframe_lightwoodframe_nichewall_wallcovering_accessories

In this master bedroom entry niche we added this mirror for interest and to reflect the long view of the living spaces.  Even though the metal ballerina sculpture, stone bowl and gold tone lamp are all different materials they all work well together.   Consider the impact of this mirror placement such as adding depth with the reflection of the adjacent spaces.

mirror_vintage_oak_hatrack_painted_gardenniche

Old mirrors can be recused, restored and revitalized to continue to work in some unlikely spaces.  This old oak mirror, salvaged from a turn of the century house in upstate NY (a home Paul grew up in), was given new life with a painted red frame and nickel hat hooks.  It now acts as a hat and glove rack above this garden table.

mirror_plateglass_cabinetdoormirror_wall_roomdepth

This narrow master bath seemed to double in visual space with the use of plate-glass vanity mirrors and a mirrored glass vanity cabinet.  The LED lighting fixture, applied over the large mirror, dramatically increased the light.

Below are a few examples of mirrors in various sizes, shapes and finishes shown at the recent High Point Furniture Market.mirrors_Highpoint introductions_mixedfinishes_assorted shapes

Points to remember when using mirrors:

Mirrors are can be decorative and functional.  They can increase the available light in a space, add depth to a room and create a long view of adjacent areas.  Enjoy the use of mirrors that enable you to show your best and add some style to your space.

What is your favorite placement of a mirror?  Do you have a special one that added style as well as function?

Mirror, mirror on the wall…

Show your smiling face in your mirror!

Mary

Mary Sherwood Lifestyles

Working with you to create your lifestyle!

252-308-2694

 

 

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Apr
26

High Point “Style Spots”

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I am back after a very productive and enjoyable trip to North Carolina.  The final days of my trip were spent at the semi-annual High Point Furniture Market.  I have been going to this market since 1988 (too many times to count).  I am always amazed each season by the creative, new introductions.

Several years ago the market center starting selecting interior designer “style spotters” to pick their favorite market finds and trends.  I am not one of those “elite” but I pick my own recurrent trends I see as I travel by foot the unbelievable many miles of market.  (I rack up a lot of steps :).

There are so many things I want to share but will only include the following three categories for this post.

Licensed fabrics (category 1) by well known designers are products the designer and the furniture/fabric companies partner together to create a “designer line”.  It is really big right now!  Here are three market introductions.

high_point_kravet_furniture_fabric_katespade

This is a display as you enter the Suites of Market Square building.  I love the juxtaposed chairs on top of the Kravet lettering introducing their partnered fabric by well know fashion designer Kate Spade.  The fabrics on these chairs represent just few of her new Kravet fabrics.

high_point_duralee_interhall_ihfc_fabric_furniture_moroccan_johnrobshaw

The above picture shows a new fabric line for Duralee Fabrics and Fine Furnishings by designer John Robshaw.  After traveling and studying in the exotic countries of Indonesia he has created a real “Moroccan” feel to his new fabrics.  You may also find his name on many bedding and accessory lines.

high_point_crlaine_tobifairley_duralee_fabrics

This is a furniture group at C.R. Laine, a North Carolina upholstery manufacturer.  This season they once again partnered with interior designer Tobi Fairley to introduce new seating using Duralee fabrics.  This is an exciting collaboration for the designer, furniture and fabric companies.  Each bring their reputation and name to help market this new line.

Lighter wood finishes (category 2) where shown in several showrooms.

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Stacked chest shown by Noir.

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Staggered chest by CFD.

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Live edge tables have been available for many markets but this is a lighter finish combined to incorporate the natural look with a light touch by Taracea.

Industrial hardware (category 3) was much more prominent this season. Many furniture lines incorporated barn door style hardware.high_point_barn_door_hardware_small_wine_chest_homeaccenys

Barn door adapted hardware on a small wine chest with a lighter finish.

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Barn door hardware with a moroccan twist on a rustic sideboard.

highpoint_noir_yachtsideboard_hardwaretrend

Oversized industrial hardware on a server.

high_point_staggered-hardware_trend

Love the placement of this heavy hardware side by side on drawers creating the appearance of a large piece of hardware.

No matter what your personal style I hope you enjoyed seeing a few of my market style spots!  More to come later!

It is good to be getting back to the blog posts and more of my daily routine.

BTW: Just had a visit by my friend, Brenda Blackburn Morrison from the Baltimore area.  She is an avid exerciser and just about killed me.  With walked, swam and did aerobics as well a some lounging in the sun!  Thanks, Brenda for a great visit!

Until next week…keep creating you lifestyle!

Mary

Mary Sherwood Life Styles

252-308-2694

 

 

Apr
12

Sorry – I’ve missed a few weeks!

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Hi from Lake Gaston!

Blue Heron Getaway Painted in Waterlogue

I am here prepping our lake house for summer rental.  We are so excited to have so many weeks booked for our first season. 🙂

I have been so busy prepping for coming here and now checking off my list of things “to do” while here the blog has had to take a hiatus.  Have no fear I will be back up by 4/26 with a great peek into the showrooms of the Spring High Point Furniture Market.  Looking forward to seeing what’s new.

Here is a little market trivia:

High Point Market Facts

The World’s Home for Home Furnishings

The High Point Market is the largest furnishings industry trade show in the world, bringing more than 75,000 people to High Point every six months. Serious retail home furnishings buyers can be found in High Point twice a year because if you can’t find it in High Point…it probably doesn’t exist.

Current Demographics

  • 180 Buildings
  • 11.5 Million Square Feet of Showspace
  • 75,000 Attendees Each Market
  • More Than 2000 Exhibitors
  • 100+ Countries Represented
  • Tens of Thousands of New Product Introductions
  • Approximately 10% of Attendees Are International

I must “keep on keeping on” so I can finish the lake house stuff and head to market and stay at my favorite B & B,  Patsy’s Walburg Inn.  Can’t wait to share some catch up time with Patsy C!

BTW-if you know anyone interested in a lake vacation rental please share this link.

Blue Heron Getaway at Lake Gaston

Until I’m back on schedule…don’t forget me!

Mary

Mary Sherwood Lifestyles

252-308-2694

 

I have a friend who loves to check out model homes.  Over the last year we have seen several.  When I reviewed my pictures I noticed all the bedrooms, master or guest, looked so much the same.  I will highlight a few of my likes and dislikes. There is definitely one common characteristic-TOO Neutral!

bedroom-bedding_softaqua_lightgreen_bedscarf_

This has a nice accent touch with the blue!

bedroom_bedding_wovenheadboard_greige_graphicpattern

“Greige”-can’t decide whether it wants to be grey or beige.  Have always liked the woven textured headboard.bedroom_bedding_white_blackaccents_walldetails_greige

I like the crisp contrast of the white headboard and duvet with the black pillow details.  The simple banding accent on the wall really frames the headboard nicely.

bedroom_bedding_grey_beige

I have never been a fan of a “winged” headboard.  Wings belong on a chair (or not at all)!

bedroom_neutral_accentonduvet_fauzfur_tile wall

The faux fur throw is so dated and way too heavy looking in the space.

bedroom_ivory_chinesered_darkteal_upholstered_headboard

I like the persimmon accents on the duvet and pillows.  It adds some life to all the neutrals.

bedroom_green_blue_white_upholstered_headboard

This is the only room that added more color to the bedding.  I like the use of the print accent fabric on the headboard.  Repeating that fabric would have enhanced the ensemble.  The draperies feel a little “airy” for the other bedding fabrics.

bedroom_bedroom_greekkey_blackaccents_bench

Neutral bedding again but nice embroidered detail.  I love the tete-tete bench at the end of the bed.

bedroom_accentwall_cinnamon_orangeaccents_tallheadboard

Finally, a bedroom with some color.  The vibrant red-orange accent wall and coordinating fabrics breathe some life into the space.

So what have you learned not to do:  Neutrals are nice and safe but oh so boring.  Karate chopped pillows are way over done.  Duvets, though practical, always look a little unkempt.  The bed scarf is trending out.  Any fur, faux or not, should be left in the zoo.

So here is what to do:  Add some color wherever you can, in pillows, trims, paint, and seating fabrics. Stop beating on your pillows (no one really lives with these chopped pillows).  Create high contrast like the white with black accents bedding.  Mix up texture for added interest.  Bedside tables do not always have to match.  Lamps for reading are a must by each side of a bed.  A comfortable bench at the end of the bed is always welcoming.

Maybe in the future as I explore other models with my friend I’ll have more exciting design options to show you.

Regardless of trends that come and go, make your bedroom your sanctuary where you come to end your day and rest well!

Until next time…

Mary

Working with you to create your lifestyle!

 

Mary Sherwood Lifestyles

252-308-2694

 

 

Mar
16

Art Glass Passion

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I am in love with all forms of art glass.  If there was anyway I could afford it I would collect Chihuly Glass.  Short of that I have gathered an assortment of small to large glass art for my own home.  Many of you may recall some of these pieces if you toured our Lake Gaston home.  Now that we have relocated to Tucson I have access to a small glass studio to try my hand at fused glass.  I started last November and am feeling more and more confident.  Here is my dabbling in this art form from the very first piece to my latest collection.fused-art-glass-4inch-trinket-plate-black-multi

My first 4″ trinket dish I made in the introductory glass.  I hope you will appreciate my evolving skills.

fused-glass-art-cabinet-hardware-multi-color-target-hand-towel

Early on as I was trying to brighten up a small 3/4 bath.  I decided to make glass  pulls and knobs to add some pizazz.  While browsing in Target I located the perfect hand towels to complete the look.

art-glass-fused-turquoise-blue-clear-11inch-sushi-plate

11″ clear, turquoise and blue lattice sushi plate.  I love the effect of lattice weave.  This plate helped me to improve my cutting skills.  I still have a lot more room to grown in cutting a straight line. 🙂

fused-art-glass-9inches-orange-white-yellow-clear

I love to use scrape pieces to pull together a design.  Nothing goes to waste.  Most of the glass in this 9″ plate is from scrape.  I tried a new technique with this plate.  The squiggly pieces are made by melting thin glass stringers into all kinds of funky shapes.

Art-glass-fused-11inches-Circle-multicolored-blue-turquiose-clear-bowl

I have been admiring this bowl design in a fused glass book.  I finally got up the courage to cut 30 glass circles of assorted sizes and colors.  I adapted the design using my own take on the colors and shapes of all the pieces.  I absolutely love the finished 9″ bowl!

fused-art-glass-garden-totem-27inches-multi-color-abstract-design

I have been longing to make bigger art glass pieces.  The kiln in our community glass studio can only accommodate up to a twelve inch piece.  I ventured out to a local stained and fused glass art shop and took a 4 hours garden totem class. Here is the finished piece.  It is 27″ h x 6″ w.  I am so thrilled with it.  I have the clear glass bases cut for a 30″ and 36″, so there is more to come.  fused-art-glass-closeup-garden-totem-27inches-multi-color-dichoricglass-abstract-design

Here is a close up of the totem.  It is so pretty I am not sure I can put it in the garden!  It includes over 100 glass pieces and some metallic dichroic glass accents.  I didn’t really think I had it in me to finish this piece the day of the class.  We started with a blank canvas of clear glass and had to come up with a concept.  There were five students in the class and every totem is entirely different.  As the other finished pieces are photographed I will share them.  Creative minds are a wonderful thing.

fused-art-glass-collection-multi-colors

Here is a collage of a few art glass pieces I created to add to my collection.  I love being creative.  If you see something you like I will be happy to discuss commissioned pieces.  I can only display but so much of my own glass so help me out here!!!

I think you can see my passion for art glass!

I am thankful I have a local community workshop with wonderful cohorts that always spur me on.  I would not have the courage to keep trying new techniques and designs without them and their kind advise.  Thanks SCOV fused glass girls!

Enjoy!

Mary

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

252-308-2694

 

 

 

Mar
07

Wedding Cake Cheesecake in the Park

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Last week you heard about the time we spent with Aaron and Kiori in Scottsdale for their Canal Convergence exhibit.  In just a short five years of marriage they have developed a strong personal and business relationship with their company, Purring Tiger.  They collaborate on their interactive art installations in a remarkable way.  They are approaching their 5th anniversary so I thought I would share several of our most popular blog posts that revolved around their wedding cake.

Their wedding was very simple in Hernshead, a very peaceful location in NYC Central Park.centralparknyc_wedding_hernshead_.aaronsherwood_kiorisherwoodkiawahJPG

Their wedding reception was a picnic on the lawn.  For this very casual setting they requested that I make a wedding cheesecake (their favorite “mom’s” dessert).  Undaunted I set out to make this cake in NC and transport to NYC. Click here to read the story.cheesecake_wedding_centralpark_aaronsherwood_kiorisherwoodkiawah

It was a real challenge but I was up for it.  So, if you ever need to make a wedding cake cheesecake here are the details complete with the basic recipe.weedingcheesecake-cheesecake-recipe-strawberry-sauce

I have used this same recipe over and over again adapting it from mini cheesecakes to a four layer wedding cake.  The past few years I have modified the crust of the recipe to be gluten free.  If you would like more information about GF options please leave me a response.  Here is recent rendition of a mini-cheesecake with a GF chocolate cookie crust, raspberry sauce, and creme fraiche. Yum!mini-cheesecake-gluten-free-raspberrysauce-chocolatecookiecrust

If you make this cheesecake please let me know how it came out.  Don’t worry if it cracks or is not perfect.  Berries and toppings hide everything.  The pleasure is is n the taste.  Enjoy!

On another note (and topic for a future post) I had a great fused glass experience last week.  I made a 27″ tall glass totem piece.  It has not been fired yet but maybe by next week I can share.

My best to all,

Mary

Mary Sherwood Lifestyles

252-308-2694

Working with you to create your lifestyle!

 

 

 

At long last I am ready to share our new home-The Sherwood Hacienda.  It has been a little over six months and bit by bit it has come together.  The layout of the great space was certainly a “divide and conquer” process.  Often when down sizing you are trying to squeeze in furniture.  We were lucky enough to have a very large open floor plan to work with.  🙂  How to efficiently divide the space became the challenge.  Here is the floor plan:Sherwood-space-plan-openspace-smallseatingareas

Here is the BEFORE of the great room:sherwood-hacienda-LR-before

I love how the great room came together.  As I have always said: start with a “given”.  My “givens” for this space were the Company C River Bend rug and the ivory club chairs.  We re-purposed a beautiful glass shelf (shipped in error from a previous project) to anchor the flat screen TV.  We added the sofa, a trio of benches and accessories.  Here is the great room AFTER:

sherwood-hacienda-LR-accent-wall-glass-shelving-companyc-rug.2

The dining room was a total search and find mission.  I left my favorite dining table and chairs at the lake house so I had to replace all the dining room furniture.  I have talked about the table and the storage units in previous posts. Here are the links to the earlier stories:  Table and Hutch .  I absolutely love the new table!  It is a real departure in style for me but no regrets!  The display cases and chest really gave me lots of needed storage.sherwood_dining_table_handmade_spruce_tree_root_base-companyc-rug

Adjacent to the kitchen I created a little lounging area for an evening glass of wine or reading.  It is one of our favorite spots.  I love the large art by our son, Jake, that pulls it all together.  Also, the small table belonged to my grandmother and is very special to me.  Here is the blog about its transformation. sherwood-refresh-table-old-piece-grandmother-ceramic-handmade knobs-jakesherwood-art-seating group

The master bedroom revolved around an over scale mirror (ordered for another client) which was damaged in shipment.  The only wall large enough for this piece was in the MBR.  Read about the creation of the headboard in this earlier post-Headboard.   The color inspiration for the accent wall was discussed here-Paint. I am very pleased with the finished effect.  Since this photo I have added some art over the chests which really tied everything together so wellsherwood-mbr-custom-headboard_oversized_mirror_palu_chest-robertallen_fabric2

A little unexpected area I created with pieces that hadn’t found a home was this little garden table with mirror for my garden hats and gloves right inside the back door.sherwood-hacienda-garden-table-

My new office is doing double duty as my work space and additional guest sleeping.  The desk folds up and converts into a queen Murphy bed.  This is one of the brightest and best views in the house.  I’m a lucky girl to have such a great space to compose these blogs and work on projects.sherwood-office-murphy-bed-guest-bedroom

Recently our oldest son, Aaron, and his wife, Kiori, visited.  Aaron says:  “This house is such a departure from the lake house but you have added the right touches to still make it feel like our home.” 🙂

There are so many details I have left out and still more areas to address but this is it for now.  I hope you have enjoyed your tour and see my style coming through in our new Southwestern abode.

Looking forward to hearing your comments.  Tell me what is your favorite space.

Love to all!

Mary

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

252-308-2694

 

 

Jan
27

Tiny House Living on Wheels

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We recently had a visit from Paul’s sister, Mary Lindner, her husband Kyle, and their teenage daughter Kathryn.  They have spent the last five years (full time) traveling the country in their 34′ Airstream Classic trailer. They have been living in a “Tiny House” on wheels long before it became “hip”.  Kyle works remotely anywhere he has an internet connection.  Mary home schools Kathryn who plans to complete high school two years early.

34' Airstream Classic

34′ Airstream Classic

I was truly amazed at the strategic planning and creative design that goes into outfitting a tiny house.  The home is 256 sf and every square inch is utilized.  As many of us may be thinking of down-sizing or just re-organizing here are some interesting elements Kyle (the design master) included in their Airstream.

Dual monitors for Kyle's mobile office - workstation by day and dining table by night.

Dual monitors for Kyle’s mobile office – workstation by day and dining table by night

Dining table designed by Kyle for multipurpose use-desk and dining.

Dining table designed by Kyle for multipurpose use-desk and dining.

Looking into the kitchen with a covered cook top for more counter space. Kyle's table?desk is to the left.Looking into the kitchen toward the sleeping quarters in the rear. Kyle’s table/desk is to the left.

Compact but very functional kitchen! Covered cooktop provides extra counter space.

Covered cooktop adds extra countertop space.Blog 01 26 2016 Airstream1Clever space saving kitchen utensils. The top shows how all the pieces nest to conserve storage. The bottom shows all the pieces laid out. Never thought you could get so many pieces to fit so compactly!airstream-sofa-storage-convertible-southwest

Two tables are hidden beside each end of the sofa.blog-airstream-living-diningforsix-flipup-table

The two table open provide extra dining and school work space.

Sofa extra storage in the arms and below.

The sofa’s extra storage is in the arms and below.

blog-airstream-living-diningforsix-folding_chairs

Folding chairs that stow easily.Blog 01 26 2016 AirstreamSchool supply storage in the ottoman.

Kathryn's bunk on top of built-in dresser storage.

Kathryn’s bunk on top of built-in clothing storage.

Even a cubby for Raven, the poodle. She likes her cozy niche in the trailer.

Even a cubby for Raven, the poodle. She likes her cozy niche in the trailer.

There is still room for a tiny Christmas tree in this tiny house.

There is still room for a tiny Christmas tree in this tiny house.

This house was certainly not too tiny for seven to dine. The Sherwoods, Webers and Linders enjoying a great Italian dinner in the Airstream.

This house was certainly not too tiny for seven to dine. Here are the Sherwoods, Webers and Lindners enjoying a great Italian dinner in the Airstream.

Mary L. says some of the highlights of their journey have been seeing the Grand Canyon for the first time, the many state parks along the coast of Oregon, and the never-ending beautiful sunrises and sunsets of the Southwest.  

Thank you, Mary, Kyle and Kathryn for sharing your home.  You are making a once in a lifetime journey many of us will never experience. Everyday for you is a new adventure!

This home really makes you think that we could all probably do with less.

What is your favorite space saving feature?

Happy trails in tiny houses!

Mary

Mary Sherwood Lifestyles                                   252-308-2694

P.S.

In preparing this article I researched the history of the Airstream and found this interesting article.  Airstream History

Here are a couple of other articles if you would like to explore Tiny Houses and Radical Revamps of Airstreams.

Thanks for following our posts!

 

 

 

Jan
19

Art for the Community

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From our first visit to Oro Valley (our new town) I was amazed at the magnitude of public art displays.  It has been a true joy to see various artistic expressions in unexpected places i.e. the parking lots at Ace Hardware, Safeway and Home Depot and roadways throughout the area.  Here is a brief description of the program which has placed such a high value on community art:

“In 1997, the town established a 1% Public Art Program which requires that commercial developers set aside one percent of a projects total budget for the creation of public art. By passing the public art mandate, Oro Valley signaled an ongoing commitment to create beautiful surroundings that enhance the quality of life for all who live, work and play in the town.” (Quotation from Oro Valley website).

Each day I observe and discover more ways this program enriches our lives.  Here are examples of installations in our neighborhood.  My favorite is the “Tree of Knowledge” at the Oro Valley Library.OroValley_tree-of-knowledge-lifesize-library SculpturesLook closely between the tree roots in the book below the tree to find these words of wisdom:

The more you read, the more you know

The more you know, the more you grow

The smarter you grow, the stronger your voice

When speaking your mind or making your choice!

Reading the News Sculpture

“Reading the News” Sculpture

"Swinging Sis" sculpture

“Swinging Sis” sculpture

"Girl stopping traffic" sculpture.

“Girl stopping traffic” sculpture.

Highway_privacy_wall_Orovalley_AZ_

Highway privacy wall.

Sculptural family of Javelinas, boar- like native animals

Sculptural family of Javelinas, boar- like native animals

Fitness man sculpture at Sun City Oro Valley.

Fitness man sculpture at Sun City Oro Valley.

Performing artists sculpture at Sun City Oro Valley.

Performing artists sculpture at Sun City Oro Valley.

There are many more and I will share as I have an opportunity to photograph them.  What a wonderful community incentive program!  Thank you town of Oro Valley!

Do you have a favorite?  Let me hear from you!

All the best!

Mary

Working with you to create your lifestyle!

 

Mary Sherwood Lifestyles

252-586-2437

 

 

 

 

Jan
12

Eye Candy for Your Home

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While visiting Santa Monica I took a walk to the downtown mall and promenade.  I asked Paul to join me and we ended up on a very long walk with shopping mixed in, much to his dismay. (Sorry, Paul) 🙂  I took a quick look in the Jonathan Adler showroom and couldn’t help but smile.  His mix of color and somewhat “quirky” pop-art accessories are dynamic.  I do not usually follow designers and their backgrounds but after my visit to his Santa Monica store I did a little research. Jonathan Adler has been making pottery since his teen years and has gone on to develop his own style of trendy accessories, furnishings and design.  I love his mission statement:  “We are a design company. Our philosophy:  Build a timelessly chic foundation, then accessorize with abandon.”  Here is a link to find out more about Jonathan Adler.

The Jonathan Adler storefront in downtown Santa Monica stands out in the crowd with the brass, navy and orange color scheme.

The Jonathan Adler storefront in downtown Santa Monica stands out in the crowd with the brass, navy and orange color scheme.

My favorite things:

Malachite wallpaper sets the stage for the white console and gold accents.

Malachite wallpaper sets the stage for the white console and gold accents.

White, gold and black are stunning in the table setting with 1948* Dinnerware

White, gold and black are stunning in the table setting with 1948* Dinnerware

 

Very chic sofa with clean lines and tufted seat and back. Always love the turquoise!

Very chic mid-century style sofa with clean lines and tufted seat and back. Always love the turquoise!

 

Love the c Jere' Raindrop Large Mirror

Love the C Jere’ Raindrop Large Mirror! I am always attracted to large round mirrors!

 

Bedding group with lots of mixed textures. My favorite accessories are the Mr & Mrs needlepoint pillows.

Bedding group with lots of mixed textures. My favorite accessories are the Mr & Mrs needlepoint pillows.

 

Neutral black and grey palette with a pop of purple in the giant Lucite Foot!

Neutral black and grey palette with a pop of purple in the giant Lucite Foot!

I hope this very limited peek into Jonathan Adler’s world has put a smile on your face, even if this is not your personal style.  There are are thirty store in many major cities where you can take a closer look.

Remember his philosophy:  “Accessorize with abandon!”

I totally agree-love your style and love your surroundings.  Whatever makes you smile!

Is there anything here in these pictures that make you smile?  Let me hear from you!

Regards!

Mary

Working with you to create your lifestyle!

 

 

Dec
22

Best Wishes for a Merry Christmas!

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This year we travel to “Santa” Monica for our Christmas celebrations.  It is one of the few times the immediate Sherwood family is all together. 🙂  This year we will have the joy of Paul’s sister and husband joining us right after Christmas day.

Here is the family picture from last Christmas at the lake house.  I remember this fun time and insisting on the group shot despite objections of “Oh Mom!”

IMG_8766

We are driving to Santa Monica this year.  Close enough not need an airplane ticket. 🙂  I believe our son Jake has a Christmas photo in mind involving two JCW Mini-Coopers.  You’ll just have to wait to see that one.

On another note, my friend, Lori, and I took the hotel crawl to see holiday decorations, particularly two life-size gingerbread houses.  My favorite GB house was at the Hilton El Conquistador in Tucson to benefit juvenile Diabetes.

This life-size Gingerbread House at Hilton El Conquistador Tucson AZ is truly a labor of love and work of art!

This life-size Gingerbread House at Hilton El Conquistador Tucson AZ is truly a labor of love and work of art!

It is all in the details with the embellishments of this life-size gingerbread house!

It is all in the details with the embellishments of this life-size gingerbread house!

The walls were all made of gingerbread by the resort’s bakers.  It took them 3 weeks to do all the baking.  The decorative details are amazing.

Here is a “little” life-size gingerbread house trivia:

Gingerbread

  • 420 lbs. of flour
  • 420 eggs
  • 12 gallons of molasses & honey

Icing

  • 120 lbs. of egg whites
  • 550 lbs. of powdered sugar
  • 718 lbs. of sugar

Finishing Touches

  • 2.317 gum crops
  • 120 lollipops
  • 600 candy cane
  • 15 lbs. of sprinkles

Wishing everyone a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!  Be safe in your travels and enjoy all your family and friends!

Love to all!

Mary

Note: This is the last post until after the New Year! Look forward to a re-cap of our holiday on January 6th.

 

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

 

 

 

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
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
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

 

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!

 

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

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

 

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
Comments (14)

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
Comments (0)
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
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
Comments (0)

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

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