Archive for design

Nov
08

Project details…so, so many!

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Recently at the High Point Furniture Market I selected a lot options for furnishings and accessories for a guest house project.  I started with the upholstery pieces and fabrics.  The rest of the accessories, rugs, and bedding followed suit.  Here is where we started.

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A number of fabrics were selected and the then narrowed down to the samples above.

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Here are the seating styles (not shown with the selected fabrics).

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Many accents tables, lamps and accessories were selected to compliment the color scheme of the fabrics.  I think the items in the two photos above are keepers!  Can you see how the accent fabric in the first picture at the very top coordinates with the table and trays?

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The guest bedroom is tied in with the first floor furnishings with grey and golden hues in the bedding and area rugs.  (Note: the MBR rug is not in the guest house.  A different palette was selected for that space.)

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When complete the “HAPPY” sign will hang in this guest space to make you smile and be happy!

The wealth of products at the High Point market always amazes me.  Can you see how shopping this market can really make a project come together?

Looking forward to hearing your thoughts about these project selections.

All the best!

Mary

Mary Sherwood Lifestyles!

Working with you to create your lifestyle!

 

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! 🙂

 

Jun
15

Lighting Story Board Telling a Mixed Tale

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I love this collection of lighting on order for a current project.  It was pulled together with some of my favorites from past projects and the addition of some great new fixtures.  The mix of finishes, glass textures and flowing lines tells an interesting story.  It certainly has a contemporary feel but many of the elements can be blended into various styles.  Below is a description of each fixture on this Lighting Story Board.

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#1  Large contemporary chandelier with LED lighting by Corbett Lighting.  Finish is silver leaf with stainless accents.  It measures 48″ long and 15″ wide.  We are using this fixture over a live-edge dining table in a space with a vaulted ceiling.    The space is very open and can carry the visual weight of the fixture.  It could also be used over a large island if the scale and size is proportionate.

#2  Ceiling fixture by Crystorama is called “Broche” with a close resemblance to a woman’s brooch.   The numerous silver leaves on this fixture will add a sparkle to the ceiling of the small guest bedroom.

#3  Master Bedroom ceiling fan is from the Kichler Link collection. Sleek and stylish with the two blade construction and walnut/brushed nickel finishes.

#4  Kichler Braelyn wall sconce in Olde Bronze finish will be used with a rustic pedestal sink in the guest bathroom.  To coordinate with the aqua tile accent I plan to embellish these glass globes with linear strips of art glass.

#5  Mossa-a classic mini-pendant from Uttermost will be placed over the large kitchen island.  The globe of heavily seeded art glass blends into any setting.

#6  Four slender vanity fixtures from Kovacs with excellent LED illumination will flank three mirrors over the master Bath vanity.

Once again you and I will both have to wait to see the installation of these fixtures.  This lighting will be used with the Spa-like Bath tiles project I shared last week.  The projected is scheduled for completion later this summer-so stay tuned.

Did you like the links to the light fixtures?  I thought it might be helpful.

Enjoy the summer!

Mary

Mary Sherwood Lifestyles

252-308-2694

 

 

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.

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ROSE QUARTZ

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OCEAN JASPER

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BLUE AGATE

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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)

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“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.

252-308-2694

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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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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

Comments (2)

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.

mirror_square_bevelmirrorframe_masterbath_

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

 

 

Comments (4)
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.

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Oversized industrial hardware on a server.

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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

 

 

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!

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This has a nice accent touch with the blue!

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“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.

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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.

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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.

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

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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
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!

 

 

 

Feb
16

The Competition Heats Up at the Flame Off

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Last week during the Tucson Gem and Mineral Show I had the opportunity to attend The Flame Off – an “Iron Chef” like competition at the Sonoran Glass School.  Basically the competition involves local and visiting artists competing to produce their best lampworking glass creation in 1 1/2 hours.  A panel of judges select the winners.  Here is the promo video for the show which describes the competition in more detail.  Sonoran Glass School Flame Off

It was very interesting to watch the process and learn more about this type of glass art.  Wikipedia describes lampworking as a type of glasswork where a torch or lamp is primarily used to melt the glass. Once in a molten state, the glass is formed by blowing and shaping with tools and hand movements. It is also known as flameworking or torchworking, as the modern practice no longer uses oil-fueled lamps.  Types of art produced by lampworking include smaller glass art objects such as beads and figurines.

Originally glassblowing was done with small furnaces fired by wood, and the glass was worked on the end of an iron tube called a ‘blowpipe’. This method of using blowpipe and furnace is traditionally called glassblowing, while lampworking came later with the invention of various kinds of ‘lamps’ that could melt the glass. Glass blown work most often are larger scale pieces such as vases, bowls and glasses.

Here are some photos of the competition: Flameoff_SGS_Tucson_2016_competition-lampworking-glass

flameoff_sgs_flameoff_lampworking_torchworking_benchworking-tucson-gem-mineral_show

Here are a few of my favorite lampworking creations from the competition:

FlameOff-SGS-Tucson_winnerfavorites-2016

Many years ago when Patsy Cuthrell was a member of the MSLL team she had a favorite phrase: “You learn something new everyday at MSLL”.  I still feel everyday is a new learning opportunity such as this glass competition.  I never new the difference between lampworking and glassblowing.

So look around your house (for glass figurines) and in your jewelry box (for glass beads) for examples of lampworking.  I bet you will be amazed to find so many objects created using this method.  Let me know what you find.

Looking forward to our son, Aaron, and his wife, Kiori’s, Purring Tiger art exhibit in Scottsdale, AZ the last weekend of February. So excited to have them exhibit so close.  Here is the link to learn more about this art installation. Water, Art and Light

Enjoy your week.  I promise Spring is on the way!  Keep your comments coming.  Love reading them all!!!

Best regards,

Mary

Working with you to create your lifestyle!

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The weather has certainly given most of us a touch (or worst) of cabin fever.  Even some of us in warmer areas have experienced a wetter and colder winter.  So every now and then we get a warm 75 degree day and feel Spring is around the corner.  Not so fast! We may have several months (sorry) before the last frost.

Here are three ways to give Spring a push!

Buy some daffodils or tulips.  Place them in a mason jar. This will add a bright spot to any room.  These flowers cost $6 at our local grocer.daffodils-mason-jar-instant-spring-reuse-jars-bottles

 

Grow something indoor.  Amaryllis bulbs are super simple to grow and produce large flowers about 4-6 weeks after planting-long before it is “really” Spring outdoors.  (Here is a little trick I use to get the Amaryllis greenery to start popping out of the bulb.  Place a tray or dish on a heating pad and set temperature to low. Set the planted bulb in a pot (not too deep-see photo), on top of the tray or dish that is on the heating pad. The warmth will trick them into thinking it must be Spring)!  These bulbs were planted the second week of January.  My Spring is on its way! 🙂 🙂 🙂

spring-fever-blues-flower-growing-plants-amaryllis

 

Add some color somewhere that hasn’t had any.  It could be new colorful, fused glass cabinet hardware for a vanity or a new Company C rug for the kitchen.  Whatever makes you smile.  The color will certainly add punch to brighten your day even with gray winter skies.

cabinet-hardware-custom-colorful-glass-fusedglass-marysherwoodlifestyles

kitchen-mat-area-rug-colorful-companyc

I already feel like Spring is closer just by sharing these tips with you!

Give it a push…make Spring come sooner in your home!

Regards to all!

Mary

Working with you to create your lifestyle!

Mary Sherwood Lifestyles

 

Categories : Design
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Nov
18

Where do I sit at Thanksgiving?

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

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

Printable by everydaydishes.com

Printables by everydaydishes.com

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

Craft supplies to make the wire napkin rings.

Craft supplies to make the wire napkin rings.

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

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

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

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

Turkey/guest name napkin rings.

Turkey/guest name napkin rings.

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

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

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

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

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

Enjoy your turkey day prep and anticipation.

Mary

Working with you to create your life style!

 

Categories : Design
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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

 

 

 

 

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

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

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

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

Five ways to use nailhead and doodads:

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

Here are a few pictures from their exhibit:

Heico Fasteners Display

Colors and all shapes and sizes!

Colors and all shapes and sizes of nailheads!

Imagine the possibilities of adding nailheads to a lamp shade!

Imagine the possibilities of adding nailheads to a lamp shade!

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

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

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

Happy creativity!!!

Mary

Mary Sherwood Lake Living

 

Categories : Design
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Mar
25

Hippity, Hoppity, Easter’s on Its Way

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There may still be a chill in the air, but springtime IS on its way….along with one of my favorite holidays…EASTER!

Easter Chalkboard Printable (Brights)

Easter is a time to rejoice, celebrate, and decorate!  Bright combinations of pink, green, blue, and yellow are used to banish the winter blues and brighten our homes both inside and out.  Decorations can be as simple as coloring Easter eggs to designing centerpieces to making your own Easter wreath for your front door!  So whether you’re an amateur or a seasoned professional, surround yourself with the colors of Spring!

easterbanner

Another way to enjoy the holiday is through the delicious smells and tastes of festive Easter treats!  Jelly beans, chocolate bunnies, and of course, whimsical Peeps adorn the Easter baskets of my two little ones, but I crave something a little different!  So this year, I’m trying this new recipe for Bunny Cookie Bark (courtesy of www.yourhomebasedmom.com).  Hope you enjoy it as well!

Bunny Cookie Bark

Ingredients

  • 14 whole Oreos, broken up
  • 1 1/2 C small pretzel sticks, broken into pieces
  • 1 lb. white chocolate, almond bark or chocolate melts
  • 1 C. pastel M & Ms
  • colored sprinkles

Instructions

  • Cover a large cookie sheet with wax paper.
  • Spread broken cookies, pretzels and about 3/4 C of the M & Ms onto the waxed paper.
  • Place white chocolate in a container and microwave for 1 1/2 minutes.  Stir and then microwave for another 30 seconds until melted and smooth.
  • Drizzle the melted chocolate over the cookie mixture, spreading with a spatula to coat evenly.
  • Sprinkle remaining M & Ms and colored sprinkles over the chocolate while it is still melted.
  • Place cookie tray into refrigerator until set.  Remove and gently break bark into small pieces.
  • Store in an airtight container.

bunny cookie bark

 

I hope the Easter bunny treats you well and please don’t forget the real reason for the Easter season!

~ Michelle

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

 

 

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We are working with a client who wants to renovate her kitchen to be more functional. She loves to entertain and cook.  I thought it would be neat to share some of our preliminary planning for this kitchen that you may not always get to see. We often share before and after photos, but we do not always share the in-between parts that get us to the final layout.

It is our job as interior designers to come up with the best possible scenarios that meet all or most of the client’s needs. This is not always an easy task.  A lot goes into this design development and planning phase before presenting design options to the client.

First things 1st: Before sketching and drawing up new plans we first take measurements of the existing space. 

To-Expand-or-not-to-expand-dixie-sketching

Mary and I met with the client to go over their initial needs and take measurements. These measurements include interior dimensions, window and door placement, outlets, and appliance sizes (if keeping). Here are the rough on-site sketches taken for this project!  (I always hope we can make sense of all these doodles!)

To-Expand-Or-Not-To-Expand-Sketching

After the initial consultation with the client and the site visit, it’s to the drawing board. With this we have all the information we need to move forward to create possible scenarios to improve this kitchen. The client was also open to exploring an option of expanding the kitchen with an addition off the back of the house. The first plan features the kitchen and total first floor renovation. The second plan features a large expanded kitchen off the back of the house facing the lake!  (Ooh la la!  This expanded plan helps the client to visualize the possibilities!)

To-Expand-Or-Not-To Expand-Exisiting-Plan

EXISTING FIRST FLOOR PLAN

 

Voila! Here is all the scribbles and doodles converted into a more manageable form. Above is the client’s existing first floor plan.

Here are the Two Preliminary Plans: 

To-Expand-Or-Not-To-Expand-Plan-1

PLAN 1:  FIRST FLOOR RENOVATION WITHOUT EXPANSION

Plan 1: (without expansion)

Includes a spacious new kitchen, wet bar and relocation of the dining and living areas.  The living area was relocated because the existing space was very narrow and limited the furniture arrangement.  A small conversation seating area (shown as Living II) in front of the fireplace works better in the narrow space. The relocation of the laundry area opens up the kitchen.  Additional windows were added to the back of the home for maximum views of the lake. The added wet bar will increase the ease of entertaining. By taking down a few walls, we opened up this kitchen and created a well-functioning living space for entertaining.

 

To-Expand-Or-Not-To-Expand-Plan-2

PLAN 2: FIRST FLOOR RENOVATION WITH EXPANSION

Plan 2: (with expansion)

The addition off the back of house facilitates the expansion of the kitchen with a large island and additional storage. This plan keeps the formal dining area and central area (around the staircase) as drawn in the original plan. The living space is rearranged to include a TV viewing area adjacent to the lake and a small seating area in front of the fireplace. The laundry room is expanded slightly for more storage. The kitchen is the focus of this renovation. This plan also includes a large bar/buffet area for entertaining. Large windows are added to maximize views of the lake.  An additional less formal dining area is placed off the kitchen.  This plan truly is for a host that likes to entertain and cook!

 

After viewing both plans which do you prefer? Would you Expand (Plan 2) or Not Expand(Plan 1)? 

Leave a comment below telling us which is your favorite! I can’t wait to see what the client decides! Stay tuned to see!

-Happy Design Wisdom Wednesday! 

-See you next week!

-Dixie K

 

 

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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. 

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

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

Show us your bookcase projects!

Happy arranging!

Mary

Dec
31

Happy New Year! Goodbye 2014!

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What a great year it has been for MSLL! It would not be possible without the love and support of our wonderful families, friends, and especially our awesome customers! Cheers to you & the new year! Thank you for making 2014 an amazing year!

Let’s take a look back at highlights of 2014 before we ring in 2015! 

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Girls Just Wanna Have Fun!

Autumn participates in The Crossing at Eatons Ferry, Autumn & I enjoy lunch on the front patio, and Mary, Autumn & I enjoyed this homemade salsa from Jeff Miller of Phoenix Finishing Solutions! It was delicious! Thanks again Jeff!

 

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Market Trips! 

Market trips are always so much fun! We visit Atlanta and High Point twice a year! Atlanta is my favorite, even though Autumn would say High Point is hers! Chef Yvonne goes with us to Atlanta to bring back awesome tastings and gadgets for our showroom and cooking classes!

 

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Project, Installs & More!

Installs can honestly be a designer’s least favorite part and absolute favorite part at the same time! I only say this because installs are a lot of hard work but the end results are totally worth it! We had some exciting projects this year! Thank you for the opportunities. We hope you love your new spaces as much as we do!

 

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Special Events!

Skin Care, Make-up Demos, Mother’s Day, Memorial Day, Sales, Tacky Christmas Sweater Party & Autumn’s Baby Shower-just to name a few of the many special events we held this year at MSLL! They sure did keep us busy! Lots of planning and prep but it was all worth it! Who doesn’t love to party?

 

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Cooking Classes!

Classes were awesome as always this year! I’m beginning to think Chef Yvonne can get me to taste just about anything if she prepares it! There hasn’t been much I have tried that I absolutely didn’t like! She is an awesome Chef.  We are very thankful for all she brings to the table here as MSLL! Thank you Steve and Peggy for being awesome assistants in classes, as well!

 

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And the award goes to…. 

The Reader’s Choice Awards were held at the Lake Gaston Chamber of Commerce & Visitors Center, Inc. earlier in 2014! We received not 1, not 2 awards but FIVE!

1st Place Favorite Interior Designer
1st Place Favorite Place to Buy a Gift
1st Place Favorite Home Decor
Runner Up: Favorite Place to Buy Jewelry
Honorable Mention: Place to Buy Furniture

This is the icing on the cake in 2014!  Thanks to our wonderful customers that made this happen! I can’t wait to see what 2015 has in store! Maybe, just maybe 2015 will top 2014! Fingers crossed! See you next year!

Happy New Year! 

 

Love, 

Dixie K 

 

Mary Sherwood Lake Living 

Lake Gaston

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

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

Blue accent wall was the inspiration!

Blue accent wall was the inspiration!

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Company is coming table setting-casual but festive!

Company is coming table setting-casual but festive!

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

Holiday valance made of assorted shapes and sizes of ornaments.

Holiday valance made of assorted shapes and sizes of ornaments.

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

Happy holiday decorating!

Mary

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

Oct
15

Easy Ways to Cozy Up Your Home for Fall

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Fall is here! It’s that time of year again to stow away our favorite summer fashion and accessories and bring out our warm fuzzy Fall and winter attire for the transition from Summer to Fall. Why not do the same in your home? Welcome in the cool weather months by transforming your home with these simple interior decorating ideas.

Warm Up your Living Room with Plush Throws 

There’s nothing cozier than a warm blanket while hanging out on the couch watching TV with the family. It’s always a good idea to have more than one on hand to ensure guests have their own to keep them warm and comfortable during their stay. Cozy throws are also a great opportunity to bring color into the room, the more contrast the better!

Easy-Ways-To-Cozy-Up-Your-Home-For-Fall-Throws

 

Ambiance with Candlelight

We all know the days get shorter in the cooler months and there is less daylight to enjoy after a long day’s work. However, try to embrace the early nightfall and light a few candles.  Candlelight brings an instant warmth to any room and the ambiance can help relieve stress and anxiety.

Easy-Ways-To-Cozy-Up-Your-Home-For-Fall-Candlelight

There are some great battery powered options to ensure safety. Try a candle with a Fall scent.  I love the current candle I am using, sweet cinnamon pumpkin. Yum! 

 

Try an Area Rug

There’s nothing I hate more than my feet being cold, especially when my feet hit the cold bare floor in the mornings. Yikes! Try adding any area rug to your more traveled areas to ensure your toes are nice and cozy. Layering area rugs for an even more cozy look.

Easy-Ways-To-Cozy-Up-Your-Home-For-Fall-Rugs

 

Hang Heavier Draperies 

Another idea to warm up your living area is to switch out your lighter draperies and hang heavier drapes. This will help keep out drafts and add warmth to the room. Try using a heavier weight material or letting them pool an inch or so on the floor.

Switch out Bedding

Some of you may already have seasonal bedding, Bravo!  It’s a great idea to switch over your bedding to prepare for the cooler nights to come. Layer with warm throws and additional pillows with decorative patterns or seasonal colors. It’s an instant way to transform any bedroom without the full overhaul.

 Dress your Table

Don’t forget your dinning room! While bare tables are ideal in the summer months it’s not exactly the right look for Fall. Add heavy tablecloths, runners, or even a scarf will do the trick.  It’s a great time to bring out the formal wear. It’s fun to dress up your table with seasonal decor. Add a charger under the dinner plates, use more elaborate centerpieces and heavier napkins with festive napkin rings.

Easy-Ways-To-Cozy-Up-Your-Home-For-Fall-Dress-Your-Table

 

 Cozy Up the Patio

Everyone’s favorite outdoor spot here at Lake Gaston is the patio! Let’s transition this space to be used on the cool evenings with warm blankets at each seat as well as comfy pillows.  Outdoors heaters are great for these spaces and a toasty fire pit if space is allowed.  Watching the sunset can be even more enjoyable under your warm fuzzy blanket taking in mother nature’s beauty.

 Easy-Ways-To-Cozy-Up-Your-Home-For-Fall-Patio

 

With layers of throws, heavy draperies in warm tones, candlelight, fuzzy rugs, and comfy pillows your home is on it’s way to being the coziest spot on Lake Gaston. We ARE interior designers so don’t forget to enjoy the indoors just as much as we enjoy the great outdoors! We hope you have a warm and cozy Fall! Enjoy!

-Dixie K

Mary Sherwood Lake Living

 

Sep
17

My Favorite Closet Accessories

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

All closet customization should include the following:

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

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

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

Mary

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

 

Shag, Tufted, Woven, Spun, Flat Weave, Felted, Indoor/Outdoor, Round or Rectangle, and Runners! There are so many options.  Where does one begin when searching for the perfect area rug? It seems a bit overwhelming but following these guidelines you will be placing the perfect rug in your home in no time!

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What are you using the rug for?    

This will help determine the kind of rug that will best suit your needs. Will the rug be used to protect your beautiful hardwood floors or simply to add color and style to the space? Rugs can create a great pop of color or help ground or tie a room together.  Area rugs often provide sound proofing qualities when used on hard surfaces. Rugs also add softness to a room. The additional cushion of a rug is great for anyone with children. Often overlooked, one benefit of area rugs is insulation from cold surfaces. Rugs with dense fibers can trap heat on cool winter nights keeping your area warm and cozy.

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What size is best?

There are several standard sizes for area rugs. However, the size of the rug always seems to be the trickiest to determine. The rules vary depending on the room. So let’s take a look at how you would place a rug by the type of room.

Dining Room- The main rule to remember here is: The rug should be large enough that all the legs of the dining chairs sit on the rug while the chairs are pulled out or when someone is seated. You wouldn’t want your guest chairs to be half on and half off creating a wobbly chair while dining. Typically the rug should extend at least 30″ beyond the edge of the table on all sides. A common dining room rug size is 8′ x 10′.  However, it still depends on the size of your dining room table. Synthetic fibers or polypropylene rugs work well in this area because of their stain resistant qualities.

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Bedroom- Think about the key pieces of furniture in the space. The bed will most likely be the prominent piece. The rug size should reflect its size and its placement. Ideally, you would want a rug that extends about 18″ to 24″ on all three sides of the bed (assuming your headboard is against the wall).    Also, you would want the rug to be wide enough to accommodate your nightstand beside the bed. Common sizes used in bedrooms are an 8’ x 10’ under a Queen sized bed, and an 9’ x 12’ under a King sized bed.

Rugs-101-Bedroom

There are a few options for rug placement in the bedroom. The most popular would be to have the rug start just in front of the nightstands and extend past the foot of the bed . Tucking the rug slightly under the nightstands to ground them with the bed is even better.  If you have a large bedroom that can accommodate a larger rug, GO FOR IT! Get an area rug large enough that both nightstands can be placed on it and still extends beyond the foot of the bed a couple feet. This will keep your room feeling and looking proportional.

Family Room/Living Room- Typically, the furniture in a living room or family room is arranged to form a conversation area or seating around a focal point. The key here is the area rug must encompass all pieces of furniture within this seating area. For example, a living room arrangement may consist of a sofa, a loveseat, several chairs, a coffee table and end tables. All of these items should be on the rug – at least partially – in order to provide an ideal balance.  A room generally looks more pulled together if all the furniture legs are planted firmly on the rug.

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Hallway/FoyerHere the rug size is determined by the amount of floor space available. For larger open areas try leaving a perimeter between 12″-24″ space around the rug. For smaller areas leave 6″-8″ between the rug and the wall. 

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STILL NOT SURE ON THE RIGHT SIZE? – Try the Tape Trick. 

If you are stilling having trouble visualizing the proper rug size try the trick of painters tape before you go shopping.  Tape out the size of the area rug you are considering placing in the space on the floor. This should help you clearly see if the rug is big enough to accommodate your pieces. If not tape out the next size up until you are satisfied with your decision. Keep in mind rug sizes vary from different manufacturers.  You can probably fudge a few inches up or down on size for your space but try to stick to the most common sizes for best selection and price. Then you will be ready to go rug shopping! If you do not have a room configuration that fits with the standard sizes there are always custom rug options available.

Rugs-101-Tape-Trick

Just one last thing to consider…before heading off to the magical land of rugs and buying the absolute best rug on earth just remember the above rules are mostly guidelines. You are the one that has to live with the rug you choose so by all means if you feel the need to break any rules or guidelines, PLEASE DO! With that said, I’ll leave you with one of my favorite design quotes. 

“Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes,

Design is knowing which ones to keep.”-Scott Adams

-Dixie K

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

Lake Gaston and Beyond!

Aug
13

Tips to Get Ready for Back-To-School

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Summer has almost come to a close and fall is peaking in. The new school year is just around the corner and it’s the perfect time to get organized before the chaos of homework and after school activities begin. Organization is key! Here are a few tips to keep you and your growing minds on track this school year.

Back-to-school-closetWho doesn’t love back-to-school shopping! Well some may dread it but, I loved it! It was my favorite part of going back to school! Getting a new backpack, new outfits, not to mention I couldn’t wait to show them off to my friends!

With all those new outfit choices, getting dressed in the morning may take more time than normal. Here’s the solution, Closet dividers!  Here all outfits are pre-planned for the week! What a time saver in the early morning rush hour!

 

It doesn’t get anymore organized than this! I love this idea! Here a fellow organizer took a behind the door hanging shoe rack and created this mega school supply wonderland! All the pens, markers, pencils, & paper clips have their own space! Don’t forget to label to ensure they get put back in their proper place! Such a great idea and inexpensive as well!

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back-to-school-pack-itWhether it’s snack time, lunch or those late afternoon sports activities these are great bags! PACKit is a personal cooler that folds up to be placed in the freezer over night and then removed to be used during the day keeping it’s contents cool for up to 10 hours! These bags come in great prints and different sizes to meet your personal needs! It’s a back to school must have and we have them right here in our showroom!

 

Back-to-school-homework-areaIt’s also a good idea to have a designated space to do homework. Any place away from the TV and heavy foot traffic is better for less distractions.  Isn’t this homework area great?  It’s bright, fun and inviting to get those little thinkers going and inspired. Check out Autumn’s blog, Elements of a Kids Work Space to see other ideas and tips for kid’s work spaces.

 

Back-to-school-back-upGo the extra mile and stock up on school project supplies. This will be a life saver for those last minute projects! No one wants to be at the craft store at 9 pm at night looking for poster board when your son’s project is due at 8:30 in the morning. YIKES!

 

 

 

 

 

 

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My roommates’ and I used this last tip often, a Menu Board. We ate most nights together in our apartment at Radford. This cut down on the cost of our individual meals and kept variety on our plate. Plus it was a great bonding time, two of us cook and two cleaned.

We rotated depending on who was home who cooked dinner for the night. We also went the extra mile and incorporated a chore chart. Each person had an assigned chore they took care of during the week. When the week was up we reassigned the chores for a new week. This kept us on routine and held everyone responsible for their part. I honestly can say this may have saved an argument or two! We by far had the cleanest apartment around for four girls living under one roof!  It’s worth a try in the home, dorm or apartment.

I hope you have enjoyed these back to school tips for the upcoming school year! Hopefully they will come in handy! Good luck to everyone this school year no matter what grade that may be!

Do you have any back-to school tips you would like to share?

If so please post & share below!

-Dixie K .

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

Lake Gaston and Beyond!

 

Jul
23

Interior Designer or Party Planner?

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2014 has kept this girl busy. As Mary would say: “How do you even keep up with your social calendar, I would go crazy!”  You could say I’m a bit of a social butterfly. I love parties, entertaining and being around friends and family. My mom has six siblings. Four of them are my next door neighbors. Naturally we have lots of family events and my house is party central.

This year so far I have helped host four baby showers, a bridal shower,  served as maid-of-honor and attended several other weddings, birthday parties and cookouts. We are only at the halfway point of 2014! I am also a bridesmaid in another wedding in September. I am looking forward to helping host a baby shower for our very own, Autumn Wenger, due in December! However, I’m not complaining! It’s my next favorite thing to do besides designing.

I wanted to share some of the highlights and advice I could give from my experience with these parties. It’s nice to be behind the scenes, I always take mental notes of “what would I have done differently.”

1. Focal Points-something that catches the guest attention

It’s important to have a focal point at your event. This helps bring a “wow” factor to your party. You are certainly welcome to have more than one focal point depending on the size of your venue. Focal points come in all different shapes and sizes. A focal point could be the wedding cake,  a floral arrangement centerpiece or a rustic chandelier placed above the dance floor.

Interior-Designer-Or-Party-Planner-Focal-Points

My Aunt and I created the Wagon Wheel/Mason Jar Chandelier for my cousin’s rustic country wedding this past April. We also created the crystal silver tree centerpiece. It really brought the “Wow” factor and romantic atmosphere to the wedding.

2. Personal Touches-Additional touches that bring out the qualities of guests of honor

I would highly recommend this for your next party or event. Personal touches are a great way to add a special touch to make your event more memorable. Your guest will recognize and appreciate that you went that extra mile adding these into your planning and decorating.

The charming young man holding the sign is my little cousin Chance. He stole the show when he walked down the isle as ring bearer holding these signs.  I love the bottom/center sign. The hors d'oeuvre placed on this table were in memory of past loved ones who couldn't attend this wedding. so special! The fruit bassinet was created in honor of the future Dawson twins and lastly I created the shadow window frame for my cousin's wedding in April.

The charming young man holding the sign is my little cousin Chance. He stole the show when he walked down the aisle as ring bearer holding these signs. I love the bottom/center sign. The hors d’oeuvre placed on this table were in memory of past loved ones who couldn’t attend this wedding. So special! The fruit bassinet was created in honor of the future Dawson twins and lastly I created the shadow window frame for my cousin’s wedding in April.

3. Recruit A Team-Support system

No matter how small of a party you are planning, try to have a team. It’s okay to have a team of one or many, as long as you have someone by your side. I have been very fortunate to have been apart of some amazing teams this year already. It’s always nice to have a second opinion and a second set of eyes. Even if your teammate has possibly never planned a party, surely they have been to one. Their past experiences combined with your expertise makes a great team to help you create an amazing event. You will be glad you had these people to help you along the way.

Cheers to having an amazing team and group of friends to help create these memorable events with friends and family! Again, having a team is a plus when party planning, Nothing wrong with opening a bottle of wine and brainstorming ideas!

Cheers to having an amazing team and group of friends to help create these memorable events. Again, having a team is a plus when party planning, there’s nothing wrong with opening a bottle of wine and brainstorming ideas!

4. Don’t loose sight-Try and remember “Why” you are doing this.

Sometimes the stress of projects can get to us. It’s hard to find time to plan these events between our normal daily routines. It can become stressful and tiring. However, it’s okay to take a break! We need to sometimes take a step back. I have been told many times in design school to walk away from the drafting table, go do something fun for a few hours and then come back to it. It’s almost like getting a second look or putting on a new set of eyes. One more thing you should do is take a moment and think about the people you are having the event for and the purpose. I’m sure there is a special reason behind the madness.  This can usually help push you through.

Here are a few of my reasons "Why" I go the extra mile! When you think of all the hours, late nights, hot glue guns burns, and the million-and-one emails, these people make it all worth while.

Here are a few of my reasons “Why” I go the extra mile! When you think of all the hours, late nights, hot glue gun burns, and the million-and-one emails, these people make it all worth while.

 5. Last but no least-ENJOY!

Once the party planning has come to an end and it’s now the day of your event. However, your behind the scenes duties may not be completely just yet. Please, remember to take a moment and enjoy the event you helped create! This is where you take all of your hard work in. This is important! There’s nothing more satisfying than realizing your efforts are appreciated. Trust me, the smiles you have put on your loved ones faces are a priceless, picture perfect memory. The months and prep for these parties that only last a few hours always seem to go by way too fast! So take a moment and enjoy them!

I hope you have enjoyed a glimpse of some of the parties and events I have helped create! Party planning is my second love right behind design. However, my design degree sure comes in handy. I look forward to the other parties and events 2014 has in store! If you ever need advice or help creating your memorable evening, don’t hesitate to ask!

-Dixie K

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

Jul
16

Finding fun and finds in Atlanta!

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

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

icon awards banguet honoring exceptional vendors and retailers at americasmart atlanta

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

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

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

Solaria chandelier 26 diameter painted gold or silver finish stunning

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

americasmart art contempoary paragon wall-art

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

Set your holiday table with a chalkboard motif

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

kids play at Americasmart Atlanrta with Knitzies stuffed animals

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

Dixie modeling head gear at americasmart atlanta

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

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

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

Atlanta ferris wheel at Olympic Park downtown

 

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

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

Mary

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

Jul
02

Born in the USA

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Made-in-USA_logo

The 4th of July holiday weekend is approaching! It’s the highlight of our Summer season here at Lake Gaston.

Dock parties, amazing fireworks, boat rides with friends and family are to be expected! We all will be proudly sporting our red, white and blue as well! As the saying goes, “I’m proud to be an American!”  I know I am!

I wanted to shine the spotlight on some really cool products that are made right here in the good ole’ U.S. of A!

Orbix H Glass- Fort Payne, Alabama

Made-in-the-usa-Orbix

Orbix Hot Glass is a small studio and gallery business owned by Cal and Christy Breed. Opened in 2002, Orbix Hot Glass pieces are all hand-made by a team of experienced glass blowers.  I love that they pay great attention to their customers and the quality of work really shows. I took this quote directly from their site, “We are making one-at-a-time glassware for individuals who want one-at-a-time attention.” I think it sums up their work perfectly.

Fiesta-The Homer Laughlin China CO.- Newell, West Virginia

Made-in-the-usa-Fiesta

Fiesta China Co. I think has the perfect company name! Their china is bright, bold, fun and colorful just like a Fiesta! The Home Laughlin China Company introduced Fiesta dinnerware in 1936. Fiesta was designed by Frederick Hurten Rhead and became a major hit soon after hitting the market! Each year Fiesta releases a new color into their line! This is perfect because you know we love color here at MSLL! FIESTA is a major contender in bridal registries as well as the leading casual dinnerware brand across America.

 Meissenburg Designs-Bigfork, Montana

Made-in-the-usa-Meissenburg-designs

 We love this company! Meissenburg is a great all American company right here in the states. They create custom signs that can be personalized with no extra charge along with various materials and designs! The designs are endless and greatly appeal to our area! They have a big selection of boating and lake theme signs which have become very popular with our customers!

Poor Boy Woodworks-Saginaw, Michigan 

Made-in-the-usa-poorboywoodworks

We just discovered this company a few weeks ago and you may have already seen some of their products in our showroom. Matt Hunter is the owner of Poor Boy Woodworks, a company which creates wood signs with over 3,000 designs to choose from. We recently got these items name-dropped with Lake Gaston on them just for our showroom!

Company C Furniture- Various USA Cities

made-in-the-usa-company-c

 Company C is a fabulous company that carries creative colorful furniture, rugs, bedding, and decorative accessories.  Chris and her husband Walter developed their business in 1994 after realizing the rug business they were running out of their garage was a huge success.  Company C’s furniture line is handcrafted and upholstered here in the US. Even their hardwoods are sustainably harvested and kiln-dried here in North Carolina!

 

What did you think of those awesome American made products? Do you have a favorite product that is also made in the US? We would love to hear about it!

We would also like to wish everyone a Happy 4th of July!

We hope you have a safe and fabulous weekend with your friends and family! Get out there and enjoy the lake!

-Dixie K

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Jun
11

“Thank You DAD”

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Happy Father's Day

Father’s Day is this Sunday! Let’s take this moment to say,

“Thank You Dad & Happy Farther’s Day!”

Let’s face it – sometimes being a dad isn’t the easiest of jobs! Fatherhood is full of responsibilities and never-ending list of fatherly duties.  Dads are the advice givers, teachers of life long lessons, Mr. Fix It of all jobs, and even the checker for monsters under the bed!  The list of dad’s duties goes on and on! Dads should not be forgotten or be taken for granted for always being there, it’s their job! Whew!  You see why we must say, “Thanks Dad!”

I would like to wish my dad and all the other fatherly/superhero figures out there this special weekend a very HAPPY FATHER’S DAY!

 Happy Father's Day, Autumn's Wedding Day

Here is just another one of dad’s duties, getting to walk his daughter down the isle! Pictured is Autumn and her dad, Micheal, sharing a special moment on her wedding day in June 2008.  This is an amazing photo!  (“Your little girl will always look up to you!  Thank you for always being supportive and lending a helping hand.  Love you Daddy.”  – Autumn)

Happy Farther's Day, Mary's Dad

Let’s also pay tribute to the Dad’s that risk their lives for our country past and present. Here is Mary’s dad before he served in World War II. Shortly after his return, he married Mary’s mother. He passed when Mary was very young however, she very much enjoyed the time they did have together.

Happy Father's Day, Dixie's Dad

I’m sure I have the silliest of dads! I spend most of my time with my dad in the great outdoors.  We enjoy fishing together, riding his motorcycle, and many other things. He has been a great supporter and biggest fan in my life! I don’t think he has ever missed any of my softball games! Believe it of not, but my dad actually braided my pigtail in this picture.

Happy Father's Day, Paul

Last but not least, our dad in the office Mr. Paul Sherwood!

Here is Paul, Aaron and Jake hanging out at Epcot in Walt Disney World!

I hope all the Papas, Pops, Grandpas, Fathers, Daddy’s, Step-Dads and Dads have a wonderful Father’s Day!

How are you honoring Dad this Father’s Day!? Do you have an amazing Dad you would like to recognize?

Tell us about the special superhero in your life!

Have an amazing weekend! We love you dad!

-Dixie K

Jun
04

THE BEST OF THE 2014 KITCHEN AND BATH SHOW

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

Here are a few of my favorites from the show.

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

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

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

Cabinetry-technologies-docking-station

Charge all your electronic gadgets while stashed in a drawer!

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

Pull out utensil storage!

Pull out utensil storage!

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

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

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

Kitchen-design-cabinetry-drawers-LED-Lighting

No more dark drawer interiors!

Kitchen-design-cabinetry-LED-Lighting

LED lighting in a base lazy-susan cabinet.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Enjoy!

Mary

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

 

 

May
21

Let’s Remember

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Let's Remember-Flag

Memorial Day weekend is approaching! I thought it would be nice to take a moment from design tips and reflect on how important this weekend really is. Our upcoming extra long weekend as we all know is a great time to visit the lake and enjoy outdoor activities with friends and family. It also marks the beginning of our lake season. We love welcoming back our lake lovers!

However, this Memorial Day weekend we should take a moment from our busy schedule to remember those who have fought and lost their lives for our freedom.  Without these sacrifices this would not be possible. In honor of these fallen heroes, Mary Sherwood Lake Living has partnered with the Memorial Day Flowers Foundation to organize the donation and handout of 250 long stem roses on Saturday May, 24th.

Memorial Day Flowers Foundation

Click the image to learn more about the Memorial Day Flowers Foundation

This is our 1st year participating in this event! We are inviting anyone who would like to receive a long stem rose to honor a Lake Gaston/Roanoke Valley Veteran to come by our store this Saturday, May 24th  from 10 AM – 4 PM to pick them up.

In addition to our efforts this Memorial Day, Mary Sherwood Lake Living has arranged for 150 headstones at Arlington National Cemetery to receive roses in remembrance of our fallen troops. Donations are also accepted in support of the Roanoke Valley Veterans Museum.

Well, I couldn’t totally keep myself away from design. Have you ever considered how or who our war memorials were designed by? I recall a presentation  by a fellow classmate at Radford University about the Vietnam War Memorial designed by Maya Lin. Maya Lin was only twenty one and an architect student at Yale University when her design was chosen out of 1441 submissions in a public design competition for the Vietnam Veterans Memorial.

Maya Lin Design Presentation Board

Maya Lin’s Design Presentation Board and Steve Oles rendered perspectives

The v-shaped black granite wall she designed has the names of over 57,000 fallen soldiers carved in chronological order. One side of the wall points to the Lincoln Memorial and the other points to the Washington Monument.   The monument gradually descends into the earth to a depth of 10.1′ and reascends to a  height of about 8″ where the entrance to the memorial begins.  This concept was to create a wound in the earth  which symbolizes the loss of our soldiers.

Memorial Day, Vietnam War Memorial, 2014

Vietnam War Memorial

Her thought process and symbolism behind the design is truly remarkable. She even chose the granite stone for its reflective surface, so when you gaze at the wall you see your own reflection and the surroundings reminding you what these fallen soldiers sacrificed their life for. Lin’s design in 2007 was ranked # 10 on the list of America’s Favorite Architecture by the American Institute of Architects. I have yet to see this monument in person but it’s on my bucket list.  I hope everyone enjoys this holiday weekend and remembers to take a moment to understand why this holiday it so important!

Happy Memorial Day!

 -Dixie K 

Mary Sherwood Lake Living- Lake Gaston

Apr
30

Trends for 2014, 2015, & 2016 Continued!

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We learned so much about the upcoming design trends at the “With It”  breakfast  during High Point market a couple of weeks ago that one Design Wisdom Wednesday just didn’t suit.  Mary took notice of the unique hardware displayed all over market last week and Autumn highlighted the major Asian trend that is currently moving into the design forefront last week.  But, there are still trends left to be covered, keep in mind we are dishing out trends for the next three years!

Here are some other trends worth highlighting.

Punk is on the rise! Look for home accessories with an edge. Home accessories were accented with metal and metallic finished along with studs, spikes, and zippers.

Design Trends Punk Accents

Jungle Fever: Lush greens, tropical birds, and animal prints are still on trend now. I had to take this picture of this parrot lamp.  This really hits the nail on the head with this trend.

Design Trends with Jungle influences, banana leaves, animal prints, and tropical birds

Baroque Influence: dramatic, opulent, and luxurious, intricately designed furniture, gilded and ornamental accessories, and high-end textiles. As you can see some of our upcoming trends hold overlapping characteristics. Luster and large scale elements could all be found in more evident baroque pieces.

Baroque, Large Mirrors, Luxurious, Heavy, Ornate

Earthy:  Biggest Story for 2015! The younger generation is more aware of the need to take care of our planet. This has lead to this “earthy” trend in design. You will begin to see more of a country blend, modern mixed with urban, as well as warmer greens and yellows, and of course terracotta.

Design Trends: Earthy, Modern mixed with urban, country blend

Imperfection: Organic forms, aged wood, worn patterns, watercolor and faded ombre designs are all trends that show wear and life.  Furniture and accessories show evidence of a human touch.

Imperfection: Aged wood, ombre effect, drifting color, organic forms

By now you are on your way to becoming a trend expert! You already know the trends before they hit the press for the next three years! Exciting, isn’t it!? Just remember these are trends not fads. Trends have a tendency to last longer than a fad and have more influence on future markets. So staying up with the current trends is a valued piece of information!

Have you seen any of our trends we have highlighted? 

-Dixie K

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

Apr
22

Statement Furniture Hardware

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Over the last few Design Wisdom Wednesday blogs we have been discussing trends from the High Point Market.  I would like to continue this trend spot discussion.

While in the Hooker Furniture showroom I was drawn to all the amazing hardware applied to the chests and credenzas.  This was not any ordinary hardware. Many were super-sized and elaborately designed.  Looking at the furniture and the enlarged hardware will give you an idea of scale of these pieces.

Here are a few of my favorites:

Black credenza with rectangular dark pewter hardware pulls. Crackle mother of pearl veneer and over sized hardware embellish this chest.

Serpentine credenza with burnished gold hardware Leather covered credenza with gold door knocker hardware. Classic black three drawer chest with intricate and large pewter hardware. Small ocassional chest, painted pewter finish and hardware. Chest with black embossed leather, pewter nail head trim and buckle pulls. Turquoise painted chest w brushed pewter hardware

All the furniture pieces shown above are available as photographed.  We are trying to source out options for purchasing individual hardware pieces.  Hooker Furniture is kindly researching their availability. Many of the pulls are specially tooled for them.

Which is your favorite?  Are you as excited as I am about this new hardware trend?  Let us hear from you!

Mary

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

 

Everyone always loves “before” and “after” shots of project work.  I searched the archives of thousands of pictures to show you some of the kitchen projects we have done over the years.  Some of these projects go back about 10 years but still seem almost timeless today.  When a project can stand the test of “style” time you have done your job.  Yes, cabinet finishes, countertop preferences, backsplash tile trends and lighting are constantly changing.  But it was amazing to me see how many of these kitchens still work today.

Kitchens-before-after-traditional-light-classic-lake-gaston-mary-sherwood-wal

Contemporary Kitchen for 2003 and Today Transitional KitchenTraditional Kitchen with Timeless Elements

Greensboro Traditional Kitchen

If you know your comfort zone (of style and color) when planning your kitchen it will be something you can enjoy for many years.  Good planning is the key. There are lots of options to consider.  Making the right choices are critical.  Working with a knowledgeable kitchen designer can insure your kitchen will easily stand the test of “style” time.

Let us work with you to fine tune your likes to create your style!

Show us pictures of what is in your kitchen or “dream” file that illustrates your style!

Mary

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

 

 

 

Jan
29

10 Ways to Make a Small Room Look Larger

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Everyone has those rooms in their home that they wish were a tad bit bigger, but not everyone has the allowance to do so. We have all heard the saying “Bigger is always better,” so we naturally crave the extra space.  But what if you could transform a small space by making it appear bigger without adding the extra square feet? Here are 10 tips to making your small space appear bigger than it actually is!

Wow! This mirror is absolutely beautiful in this space, It almost looks like an entrance into another room rather than a reflection! This is one of the best tricks into making a small room look larger.

Wow! This mirror is absolutely beautiful in this space, It almost looks like an entrance into another room rather than a reflection! This is one of the best tricks to make a small room look larger.

1.  Mirrors. Mirrors are a great way to enlarge a small room. They help reflect light into the space as well as open up the room. You can even try placing mirrors across the room from each other to really trick the eye into giving the illusion of a vast space between them.

2. Make the ceiling pop! Adding a pop of color to your ceiling draws the eye upward, giving the room added height, making the room appear larger. You can also bring the eye up with a really unique and different light fixture. Just remember don’t overwhelm with large and bulky, go for the WOW piece.

3. Draperies. Try hanging your draperies all the way to the ceiling, not where your windows begin. This will make your eye feel like the space has been lifted. Floor to ceiling draperies give the illusion of added height to the space.

4. Multipurpose furniture. It would be wise to invest in a piece of furniture for the room that has many uses. This will save you from needing another piece of furniture that would take up valuable space in your small room.

This room is a great example of how to make a small room look bigger. I love the pop of color on the ceiling and the floor to ceiling draperies that give height to the room. I like the storage under the bed making use of what is sometimes considered wasted space.

This room is a great example of how to make a small room look bigger. I love the pop of color on the ceiling and the floor to ceiling draperies that give height to the room. I like the storage under the bed making use of what is sometimes considered wasted space.

 5. De-clutter the Walls. Avoid using too many small paintings or photos. One prominent framed piece works better in a small space.

6. Accessories. Try to beware and limit the number of accessories in the room.  Too many interruptions to the eye can limit a clean line for the eye to follow, which helps make the room appear larger.

This home office is another good example of a great small space. Here we have exposed leg furniture, floor to ceiling draperies, and also vertical storage. Not to mention the uncluttered desk!

This home office is another example of a great small space. Here we have exposed leg furniture, floor to ceiling draperies, and also vertical storage. Not to mention the uncluttered desk!

7. Pastels.  Lighter colors will always make any room appear bigger and brighter. These colors help reflect light into the space giving the space an open and airy feel.

8. Open Furniture. Try using furniture with exposed legs; this lets the light flow under the pieces adding a sense of additional space. 

9. Reduce Prints and Pattern. Usually we use patterns to add visual interest.  Yet, they can create too much contrast in the room breaking it up and making a small room seem even smaller.  Stick with solids and neutrals for upholstery and possibly add a few patterned accents.

 10. Think Vertical. Take advantage of your vertical space. This could be custom built-in storage, or a tall vertical cabinet.  The taller the better and the more storage space to take advantage of!

This Kitchen appear 20 ft. tall due to with floor to ceiling cabinets, another great use of a small space.

This kitchen appears 20 ft. tall due to with floor to ceiling cabinets, another great use of a small space.

Voila! Its magic, and you’re the magician. With these ten helpful hints you will have your guest fooled into thinking your smallest room in your home is now one of the biggest!  Have fun with it, but just remember that magicians don’t reveal their best tricks!

-Dixie K 

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

Dec
25

Merry Christmas 2013

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Merry_Christmas_Banner

It’s that special time of year again, the holidays. The stockings are hung with care and Christmas spirit is in the air! Loved ones near and far come to together to celebrate this joyous holiday.  We would like to wish each and every one of you,

a very Merry Christmas from our Mary Sherwood Lake Living Family to yours!  

Please be careful in your travels and don’t forget to leave cookies for Santa!  

Here is a little sneak peek from our

Mary Sherwood Lake Living Christmas Party.   Enjoy! 

Merry_Christmas_Trees

Rocking around the banana tree? Yes, Mary doesn’t have your traditional Christmas tree every year.  She likes to think more outside the box. What do you think of her non-traditional tree?  Check out Mary’s blog about non-traditional Christmas trees. http://marysherwoodlifestyles.com/oh-christmas-trees/ 

Merry_Christmas_Napkins    I love when people have interesting or humorous cocktail napkins. They are a great conversation starter! Here are Mary’s from our get together!

Merry_Christmas_PresentsSo many great presents! We opened our gifts before indulging in our fabulous meal prepared by Chef Yvonne!

Merry_Christmas_SleighI even decided to make my Christmas Candy Sleighs!  I featured them in the past Design Wisdom Wednesday on Christmas Party Planning Guide. I think they came out great?  What do you think?

Scallops_sweet_potato_Merry_Christmas_Appetizer

Our dinner was amazing. Chef Yvonne out did herself as usual! For appetizers, we raved over  the Buffalo Chicken dip and mozzarella cheese sticks wrapped in salami on a balsamic jelly. Did I mention the balsamic jelly came all the way from Italy? YUM!  Our first course of the night (shown above) was bay scallops on a sweet potato puree with pickled corn and roasted sunflower seeds topped with micro greens. What an incredible combination!

Lasagna_ Marinara_sauce_cream_spinach_Merry_Christmas_Main_Course

For our main course we devoured this delicious homemade creamed garlic spinach and lasagna. By now my buttons are about to pop off my pants!  But Yvonne’s food is so good, of course I didn’t turn down dessert, especially when we had two choices!  She even let you choose both, if you wanted!  Many of us shared our decadent treats! We had a choice between eggnog bread pudding with an eggnog glaze and chocolate pate with a cranberry coulis. Outstanding!

Merry_Christmas_Chocolate_Pate_raspberry_coulisMerry_Christmas_egg_nog_Bread_Pudding

I am truly blessed to be a part of the Mary Sherwood Lake Living family. I’m the new kid on the block, but I have been so fortunate to have met such wonderful people who I get the privilege to work with. I can not only call them co-workers or my boss, but also great friends!

Merry_Christmas_Dinner

Again, I would like to wish everyone a very Merry Christmas &

a Happy New Year!

-Cheers!

-Dixie K

Mary Sherwood Lake Living – Working with you to create your lifestyle at Lake Gaston and beyond!

Oct
23

Faux Painting Ideas

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I have never been a fan of white walls in a home. It’s obvious how much we love color here at Mary Sherwood Lake Living.  Finding a color to paint on the walls isn’t always an easy decision. There are so many colors to choose from, one may not know where to begin.

There are other options for using paint to create one of a kind walls that will have your guest in awe.  Faux painting has become a trend in the design world. It can be seen on furniture, walls, and now even counter tops!

Here are a few techniques that will have your wheels turning for your next project.

Crackle

Crackle-even the name is fun and unique.  The rustic, antique feel it brings to a room creates an instant feel of ease.  I actually have used this faux finish in the dining room.  Crackle can be a creative way to mix two colors in a room.  The top coat would be the primary, and the secondary color would be displayed between the cracks.  Depending on the method you choose to use, you can create a look that seems weathered or delicate, like porcelain.

Faux Painting Ideas-Crackle

 

Dragging and Linen Weave

Linen weave faux finish looks exactly as it’s name, like linen! This has to be my favorite of all of the faux finishes. This finish will give any room that homey, warm and fuzzy feeling. Linen weave may require a bit of extra work but in the end the results are worth it. I would suggest using this finish in a navy to give the illusion of blue jeans.  This would be an awesome look in either a boys room or the laundry room.

Faux Painting Ideas-Dragging and Linen Weave

 

Wood Grain

I love this finish! The black in the first photo is pretty remarkable. I might use this in a niche in my kitchen or in a bar area. The rustic look and detail in this faux finish is impressive. I like how the detail shows up in brighter colors as well. Even on the furniture this faux finish works well, like the dresser shown below. This finish is easy to achieve, there is a rocker that acts as a stamp that can be purchased to help you have the exact wood grain with out hardly any effort. Too Easy!

Faux Painting Ideas-Wood Grain

 

Terra Cotta

WOW! This effect can be achieved in many ways and with more than two colors. Although, this finish may be one of the harder finishes to prefect, it defiantly produces a dramatic effect.  It is advised to practice first before beginning. This will ensure you are getting the look you want to achieve. When your hard work is all over you will have a unique beautiful room worth bragging about.

Faux Painting Ideas-Terra Cotta

 

Rag Rolling

I used this technique in our living room. I have to say the finished product came out really well. I actually had fun doing it.  The fun came with the allowance for imperfection. I don’t think you can possibly go wrong with this faux finish. There are many ways to create this look. We actually used cheese cloth and rolled it like in the picture below.  You can also use a plastic bag to create an interesting effect.

Faux Painting Ideas-Rag Rolling

 

 

Products

There are several companies that make tools, kits, and glazes to achieve these looks. Martha Stewart and Ralph Lauren are the two that I have had experience with using.  There are special rollers, brushes, sponges and stamps that can be purchased to help make your project easier.  They even have glitter and sand that you can add to your paint for an even more dramatic look!

 

Faux Painting Ideas-Products

Whatever faux finish you choose remember to have fun with it! It can be a long process but just remember in the end you will have a masterpiece to be proud of for years to come.

If tackling a faux finish project is daunting  there are several professionals in our area that can handle the job.  Ask us for a referral.

-Dixie K

Have you used any of these techniques before!? If so we would love for you to share them with us and your recommendations for perfecting the style.

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

 

 

Sep
11

Table to Ottoman Transformation

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Ottomans are great accent pieces in almost any design.  But sometimes finding just the right style and size is challenging.  Here’s how you can transform a table into an ottoman for a completely custom look.

table to be transformed into an ottoman

Before: Kidney shaped table to be transformed into an ottoman

We were on the search for a specific sized ottoman for a living space with little to no luck.  Then we took a look around our own showroom and found this great shaped table that was the perfect size!  With a little work and creativity, this would fit just right.

 

 

 

Table to ottoman foam template

Create a Template of the table top approximately 1/2″ bigger on all sides for the foam.

1) Create a template of the table top approximately 1/2″ bigger on all sides.  This is for the foam.  You want the foam cut larger than the top so that as you pull it tight, it will actually cover the hard edge of the table.  Cutting thick foam can be difficult.  For good results, you can actually use an electric carving knife like you’d use for your Thanksgiving turkey.  Instead, I asked our upholsterer to cut it for me.  You will also use the template for the top fabric.  The 1/2″ will go towards the seam allowance.

Ottoman Tufting Instructions

Tufting Layout – Drill through template

2) Tufting Prep (optional)  If you’d like buttons for a tufted look, map out where you’d like them on your template, tape the template to the top, and drill completely through the paper and the table top.

For the last step after you’ve completed the ottoman, use several layers of thick thread through a button that will hide on the bottom (I used black to hide under the table).  Use a long, thick needle loaded with your thread, insert it up through the hole you drilled, and bring it up through the foam and fabric.  Then just thread it through your decorative button on the top and tie tight.  Note: It helps to have an assistant (thank you to my hubby, Ryan) push down on the top so you have room to tie the button around the loft of the foam.

Covering Table Ottoman Top

Table covered with Ottoman Top – Foam and Fabric

Step 3: To make the fabric top, use the template you already created to cut the top fabric.  I made a contrast welt, which is optional, but helps to give a tailored look.  For the sides, you want to make them much larger then the end product to give you something to grab onto.  I used 3″ thick foam and the table top was approx. 3/4″ thick, plus you need to remember your 1/2″ seam allowance.  I made my side bands 10″ wide – better too big than not big enough!

Step 4:  Put the foam inside the fabric first before putting it on the table top.  You’ll find it’s very tight because the foam is cut larger than the top.  Just keep adjusting it until it’s just right.  I find it’s best to work from the middle out to get it even on all sides.  The fabric will then hold the foam in place when you put it on top.

Ottoman construction

Ottoman Construction – Pull tight and smooth, staple, cut off excess, and cover rough edge with gimp

Step 5:  Staple – Now is the part where it actually starts to take shape.  Starting in the middle, pull the fabric tight in approx. 4″ sections and staple.  As you move around, make sure you compare what you’ve done so that it has uniform tightness and no bulges.  You may need to use a tack hammer to drive the staples in all the way depending on the density of the wood.  The excess fabric also helps to protect the legs in case you slip with the stapler or hammer.

Step 6: Trim off excess fabric within 1/4″ of the staples.  Cover rough edge and staples with gimp (a flat decorative trim)

Now is the time you would add the buttons for tufting if you’d like.

Table Ottoman Transformation

After: Completed Table-Ottoman Transformation

Here’s the finished piece in the client’s home.  It has the soft ottoman top, storage space below, and a unique soft shape that is comfortable to move around in the room.

How could you use these tips to solve a design challenge?  Or how can we help?  Let us know in the comments below.

Mary Sherwood Lake Living – working with you to create your lifestyle on Lake Gaston and Beyond!

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Sep
04

Top Interior Design Trends for Fall 2013

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I hope everyone had a fun and safe Labor Day weekend. I enjoyed my time on Lake Gaston having fun with friends and family. Despite the advantage of an extra long weekend of fun, Labor Day weekend marks the end of summer and the beginning of fall. I enjoy the summer months but fall is definitely my favorite season. With that said, I was curious as to what are some interior design trends for fall.  I have to say, I’m loving what I’m seeing.

 

Emerald Green.

Green certainly isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. It’s everywhere! I read in Harper’s Bazaar that they are calling it a “Green Movement.” This fall, I suggest going with a deeper green, it will make an even bolder statement.

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Brass, Gold and Metallic Leather?

I have never really been a fan of gold, but the more I see it, the more I’m starting to give it a try. I really like the elegance it brings to a room. I especially would use this brushed gold book shelf.  Brass and Gold are on everything! Lamps, chandeliers, faucets, and of course nail head trim.  I like the brass railing on the staircase below.  gold rush - brass bookshelves_habitually chic_phoebe howard

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…………and yes I did say, METALLIC LEATHER! I’m not really sure if I’ll follow this trend.  It seems more like a fad than a trend.

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High Contrast

Black and White are daring together. These two are bold, drastic, and adds the drama! I like these two together and adding a pop of another color.  If you do use a pop of color, remember to be sparingly, rule of thumb is “three is all you need.”

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Black-White

 

Feathers.

I wasn’t expecting to see this one, but they are in fact feathers! Feathers are showing up in a vast amount of home accessories.  I like the less literal interpretation, like this wall paper.Screen-Shot-2013-05-15-at-11_51_31-AM

Living-500 imagesCAIUX5XH………Oh yes they did!

 

Gray.

Move over beige, Gray is the new neutral. This crisp, clean, modern look is to die for, and not to mention it can be paired with almost any color!  This could be my favorite look for fall.

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Last but not least.

Pantone has selected these paint colors to be the trend this Fall. Emerald Green was chosen in January as the color of the year. I’m more attached to the bright orange named, Koi. That color would be great as an accent wall or maybe as a couch?

Okay Trend Setter, which color or colors will you be using this fall?

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– Dixie K

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

 

Aug
21

Moving Tips: The Key to Organized Chaos

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It is bittersweet that I am writing my final Design Wisdom Wednesday MSLL blog post.  After a year of enjoying my new MSLL family and making lots of new, forever friends, my husband and I are transporting our family to Virginia Beach.

The hardest part about facing the relocation is leaving the ones you love, and the second hardest part is…moving!  It forces you to clean out forgotten spaces, to sort through old clothes, and to tackle the infamous “junk” drawer.  Over the past couple of weeks, I have learned that the key to packing is organizing the chaos and I have gained some invaluable moving tips.

moving supplies

1.  Purge, Purge, Purge.  The key to packing is to never move what you will never use.  It’s the ideal time to get rid of unwanted items and to conveniently “lose” your husbands holey t-shirts.  Contractor bags have become my new best friend!  They are larger and more durable than standard garbage bags and allow you to get rid of big items without using multiple bags.

2.  Use linens and towels to wrap breakable items.  They both have to be packed, so why not combine them to cut down on the need for additional packing materials.  Use inexpensive Styrofoam plates in between dishes to cushion them throughout the process.

silverware drawer

3.  Shrinkwrap your entire silverware drawer rather than individually wrapping each set of utensils.  It will keep them from shifting and will make unpacking a cinch.  Screw caps tightly on spices and pack them in large ziplocs to keep them together.

4.  Slip garbage bags over multiple hangers rather than folding hanging items.  It will protect them and allow you to simply place them in the closet when you arrive at your new home.

moving labels

5.  Label, Label, Label.  Once you’ve boxed up your items, be sure to label them according to which room they should be place upon arrival.  It will assist your movers and prevent lots of questions the day of the move.  In addition, be sure to label the contents of the boxes so that essential items can be unpacked first.

 

6.  Bribe, Bribe, Bribe.  Keep your movers motivated and/or entice your friends to help by supplying pizza and beverages!  It will be greatly appreciated.

7.  Savor the moments before the move.  It is easy to become overwhelmed with such a hectic time in your life, but remember to make time for the people that you are moving away from.  They are the most important thing that you will leave behind!

MSLL gang

Thanks for the memories and big love to all my MSLL family!

Michelle

Mary Sherwood Lake Livingworking with you to create your lifestyle on Lake Gaston and Beyond!

 

 

 

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Jun
12

“Rule of Thumb” Design Measurements

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How high do I hang the chandelier?  How much paint do I need to cover an entire room?  How large should my area rug be?  What’s the best height to hang my artwork?

There are definitely questions that arise when decorating a space.  And although there are few concrete rules in design, there are certainly recommended practices when it comes to interior design measurements.

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Paint Coverage

  • In general, one gallon of paint will cover approximately 350-400 square feet.
  • Keep in mind that if the walls are unpainted drywall you will need slightly more since it will absorb more paint.

Hanging Artwork

  • The optimal height of the center for hanging artwork and mirrors  is 60″ from the floor, which places it at eye level.
  • The average distance between pictures on a gallery wall should be approximately 2″.
  • When hanging artwork over a sofa, leave 4″ – 8″ between the top of the sofa and the bottom of the artwork.

artwork, measurement, design

Lighting

  • The bottom of the chandelier should hang between 30″ – 36″ above the surface of the table when there is an 8′ ceiling. For higher ceilings, you can hang the chandelier up to 3″ higher for each additional foot of ceiling.
  • The ideal distance between recessed lighting in a kitchen is 36″.  Measure from the center of one fixture to the center of the next.
  • A good height for pendant lighting over a kitchen island is 30″ – 36″.  It allows for optimal task lighting.

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Window Treatments

  • To create the illusion of taller windows, mount your drapery hardware 4″ – 8″ above the window casing.
  • Drapery panels should kiss the floor or slightly puddle.
  • Draperies should be 2½ to 3 times the width of the window. So if you’re doing two panels, each should be 1¼ to 1½ times the window width. Buy a rod that’s 20 inches wider than your window so it extends 10 inches on either side. Your window will seem much wider than it really is and it will provide additional natural light.

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Area Rugs

  • Area rugs under a dining room table should be at least 24″ wider and longer than the table, allowing the back legs of the chairs to stay on the rug even when the chairs are pushed out.
  • An area rug under the bed should extend 18″ – 24″ beyond each side of the bed.
  • Allow 12″ – 18″ of bare floor between the area rug and the wall.

Keep in mind that these are simply “rules of thumb” for you to follow when planning your space.  Design is always subject to interpretation.

Michelle

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

 

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Jun
05

Do You Have What It Takes to DIY?

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Some think “Doing It Yourself” is the key to doing home improvements on a budget and saving money.  This can be true, depending on the nature of the project, but you need to factor in the unexpected.  If something goes wrong and you need to hire a professional to fix it, you may spend more than if you’d hired them in the first place.  Here are some other surprises you should consider:

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Muscular Arms – DIY has the benefit of being a great workout!  However, if you’re looking for a lean and toned physique, you may end up more buff and brawny.  But Hey – You’ll be able to hold you’re own in a fight!

 

Aches, Scuffs and Bruises – You could end up looking like you’ve already been in a fight – hopefully you won!  Bruised knees and shins, callused and scraped hands, and muscle and joint pains are common symptoms of DIY-itis.  And forget keeping a manicure in shape for longer than two seconds.

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DSCF2342 croppedSpecial Wardrobe – Forget “Business Casual”, “Active-wear”, and “Sunday Best”.  Introducing DIY Chique!  Every year, my husband and I have a fun/crazy tradition of having a craft paint war in our back yard.  We get covered in paint – head to toe.  Believe it or not – these are not my paint war clothes!  When I DIY, I have a paint war with myself!

 

Quality Time vs. DIY Time – Of course you have your work time, but there is often even more time involved in research and acquiring your materials that have to be factored in.  What could you be doing instead?  For me, projects are done in my “free time” (Ha! What’s that?) that could have been spent playing with my adorable pups – Oscar and Olive.  Luckily they keep each other entertained, but I still see how excited they get when I finally take a break.

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Sense of Accomplishment – I can’t talk about this topic without ending on a positive.  The whole point of DIY is getting to say “I DID IT!”  After all the sweat, aches, time, oops-es and countless trips for supplies, you finally get to sit back and enjoy your hard work.  If you don’t get this feeling of satisfaction, something must be wrong and you should reconsider asking for a little help next time.

So what was my most recent project?  Installing this vinyl checker-board floor in my own DIY haven.  Forget the “Man Cave” – I have my own “Lady’s Lair”!

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There are certainly ways to bridge the gap by consulting with a designer or contractor for advise and direction while doing the labor yourself.  Or you may want to sit back with a glass of sun tea and watch the magic happen.  You can tell yourself you DIY-ed picking up the phone and calling the professionals!

What projects have you wondering about DIY?  Maybe we can help open your eyes to what you can expect along the road.  Tell us in the comments below!

 

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

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May
29

Steps to Picking an Area Rug

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Choosing the right rug for your home requires planning. The choices are virtually endless when it comes to selection.  A rug is a functional part of a room and has many jobs.

3 main benefits to area rugs:

~ style and character of a room, an inspiration for the rest of your space

~ provide comfort and traction under foot

~absorb and reduce noise. If your room has a slight echo, an area rug is a wonderful solution.

  round, entryway, rug, colorful

Proper measuring:

~ Carefully measure your floor space and large furniture items and take these measurements with you.

~ Pay attention to the measurements of rugs as they are typically displayed hanging vertically, stacked a few feet high on the floor, or rolled up and can appear to be a different size than they really are.

~Dimensions will vary by up to 5% from rug to rug, almost always in the length. Also note that fringe may or may not be factored into the overall size of the rug.

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Making Color Decisions:

~ If at all possible, it’s helpful to begin your decorating plan with an area rug first.  There are usually more flexible options to pick fabrics and limitless paint colors that can be selected after the rug.

~ If needing to work with existing elements in the space, bring paint chips, fabrics or even a sofa pillow with you when viewing rugs in person.

~ If you’re shopping online or from a catalog, check the company’s return and exchange policy, then order your favorite rug designs in the smallest available sizes. Then you can judge color in person, and then easily exchange the rug for a larger size.

outdoor, rug, durable, colorspree

Rug Durability:

~  Consider the amount of traffic the rug will see in the area.  High traffic areas include hallways, family room and entryway.  Medium traffic areas include the dining room and home office.   Low traffic areas include bedrooms and formal living room.  Reference the rug construction section to understand the longevity of different rugs in different traffic areas.

~  Rug pads extend the life of your rug, protect the floor underneath, add additional comfort and softness to your rug, and keep your small rugs in place. Protect children, seniors and yourself from accidental falls

weave, loop, rugRug Construction:

Flat Weave – woven on a loom with fibers threaded back and forth across the warp to create a flat weave similar to a blanket or tapestry.  They can hold up well in medium traffic areas and 20+ years in low traffic areas.  Note: Flat weave rugs can bunch and creep so they don’t always lay flat.  Rug pads are recommended, but don’t always solve this issue.

Loop Pile  – made by pushing loops of yarn through a canvas foundation to the front of the rug, then pulling the ends of the yarn back to create a loop on the surface.  Loops can be all the same height or they can be varied for a pattern.  Loop Pile is ideal for high traffic areas and many indoor/outdoor options are also available.

Cut Pile – the same basic construction as the loop pile, but instead of leaving loops the pile is cut for a plush textured feel.  Depending on the denseness of the weave and the material used, cut pile rugs can hold up for 5-15+ years in high traffic areas and even longer in less used walkways in your home.

You can also combine techniques for a mix of loop and cut pile.

 

Still have questions?  Let us help you make the right rug decision for your space.

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

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May
01

From Rustic to Shiny…2013 Market Trends

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Once again, we ventured to High Point, North Carolina to get a taste of the newest trends in home decor. With sensible shoes in tow, we trekked through showroom after showroom eyeing innovative designs with fresh spins on tried and true styles.

We noticed quite a few trends became apparent throughout our three-day journey:

Details, Details, Details – Whether it was contrasting welts, decorative trims, tufting, or nailhead features, designers paid close attention to the details.

details, high point, market, furniture

 

Grey-0logy – By now, we’ve all heard of the fifty shades of grey, but market illustrated the many shades of grey mixed with pops of color!

grey, color, market, high point, furniture

 

Flower Power – Although the weather didn’t quite hold up its end of the bargain, Spring had definitely sprung at market.  Their were florals to be seen on bedding, chairs, rugs, and in artwork.

floral, bedding, artwork, market, furniture, high point

 

Lacquer is Back – The presence of lacquer was evident in numerous showrooms this year!  It’s amazing how a coat of high gloss paint can reinvent a piece of furniture.

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Old World Rustic – We saw color and shine in many corners of market, but it seemed one of the most predominant trends this Spring was Old World Rustic.  There were muted wood tones on traditional frames combined with neutral linens.

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So whether your taste is traditional, contemporary, or even a tad eclectic, do not fear!  There is definitely something in the marketplace to appeal to you!  We can show you what’s new at Mary Sherwood Lake Living!

Michelle

Mary Sherwood Lake Livingworking with you to create your lifestyle!

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