Archive for design wisdom wednesday

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!

 

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! 🙂

 

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Don’t you love the colors in these Company C rugs!  It is hard to decide which one to use.  A & C will be the accent rugs to coordinate with B & D.

We have tentatively selected two accent paint colors to coordinate with the rugs.  All walls will be Benjamin Moore White Dove except for one accent wall in the great room.  Here are the choices:benjaminmoore_majesticblue_2051-40_paint_accent_wall

Benjamin Moore Majestic Blue

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Benjamin Moore Corlsbud Canyon

The long narrow roll on the right (in the photo) is wallcovering to be used in a nearby office.  This is a great new onyx pattern by Candice Olsen for York Wallcovering!  I included this so you can see one element to consider when you are choosing the rugs and the paint colors.

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NOW-it is your turn to pick the rugs and paint.  Be the designer!

Select 1 rug on the left (A or C), one rug on the right (B or D) and 1 paint color from the above.  Let us know why you liked that combination.  Post your selections and comments below.  I will let you know if you and my client have the same good taste!

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

I hate to turn this blog into a travel log but when I travel art and design are always front and center.  Paul and I just returned from a short five days to Santa Fe and Taos, NM.  What a mecca of wonderful natural and man made art!  There was so much to see and so little time. In Santa Fe there is a gallery district called Canyon Road. It is seven blocks of residential properties converted to art galleries.  I took Paul in and out of more galleries than he ever cared to see. 🙁  Because of my new found fused glass interest I was thrilled to find so many incredible “kiln-formed” glass pieces.  (Kiln-formed is another term for fused glass fired in a kiln). Here is a sampling.Kiln_formed_glass_thelookout_suzannewallacemears_eightfoottall_santafe_carolelaroachegalleryLoved this 8′ tall sculpture by Suzanne Wallace Mears called “The Lookout”. Could be scary but so impressive.  To see more of her work go to the Pippin Contemporary Gallery, Santa Fe NM.Kiln_formed_glass_steel_garden_sculpture_face_suzannewallacemears_santafe_carolelaroachegallery Kiln_formed_glass_steel_garden_sculpture_suzannewallacemears_santafe_carolelaroachegalleryHere is another garden sculpture by Mears.  I had to share the close up of the expressive face.  Kiln_formed_glass_redlamp_suzannewallacemears_santafe_carolelaroachegalleryOne more Mears’ piece called Red Lamp, a 16″D decorative disc.kiln_formed_glass_stainlesssteel_makeawish_craigmitchellsmith_garden_sculpture_santafe_An incredibly large kiln formed glass and stainless steel sculpture called “Make a Wish” by Craig Mitchell Smith at the Canyon Road Contemporary Gallery.  The dandelion seed spray is constructed of fused glass and steel.  Impressive!kiln_formed_glass_flower_birdofparadise_artistunknow_canyouroadcontemporary_santafeAnother work by Smith in this Bird of Paradise sculpture is called “Tropical Splendor”.kiln_formed_glass_artistunknown_americanartistgalleryhouse_santafe
This smaller piece was on display at the BnB where we stayed in Taos,  the American Artists Gallery House BnB.  It was a delightful place with lots of Taos character.  Our hosts, LeAn and Charles, where very gracious.  I would highly recommend this place if you like quaint travel accommodations.FullSizeRender 55Here is Paul relaxing in front of the BnB with his morning coffee.  They also had a peacock called George who just took up residence 17 years ago. Meet George-FullSizeRender 88

There is so much I would like to share about this trip such as the other accommodations, the food, the Georgia O’Keeffe Museum and the Pueblos.  Is there anyone interested in more?  Let me hear from you.  Tell me your favorite things to do in Santa Fe and Taos.  I’m sure this will not be our last trip.

Happy, happy!

Mary

Mary Sherwood Lifestyles

Working with you to create your lifestyle!

252-308-2694

 

Jun
21

Summer Squash and Carrot Spiralizer Salad

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It is definitely summer and very hot in Tucson.  Temperatures have been hovering around 110 or more. Not too bad inside and in the shade.  Early mornings are still pleasant enough for breakfast on the patio. Consequently, I am thinking, “Who wants to heat up the kitchen?”

How about a new cold salad created with my “new found” Spiralizer? I stashed it after the move and just put it back into action.  Since, I have been on a Spiralizer binge.  We have had several rounds of “zoodles”, zucchini noddles, with a very tasty marinara sauce.  Here is the link to that recipe. Even my pasta loving friends asked for a repeat performance. Another recipe I found,  Spicy Thai Chicken and Sweet Potato Noodles, was another big hit.

I have used the Spiralizer in the past to prep summer squash and onions for sautéing but this time I wanted to use the squash in a cold salad.  Here is the recipe I came up with. Summer Squash and Carrot Spiralizer Salad.

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Dinner was great!  Squash salad with grilled breast of chicken, healthy and oh so colorful.

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I played around with plating this dish and tried this brightly colored fused glass plate I made. I most often like food served on white dishes but the color coordinated so well I thought I would give it a try.spiralizer_salad_cold_summer_squash_carrots_onion_grilled_chicken_breast-fusedglass_plateIMG_5858 2What do you think?  White or decorative glass plate?  Let me know!

Enjoy this salad and keep cool this summer!

Regards,

Mary

Mary Sherwood Lifestyles

252-308-2694

 

Categories : Design
Comments (2)

spiralizer_salad_recipe_cold_summer_squash_carrots_onion_grilled_chicken_breast-fusedglass_plate

Summer Squash & Carrot Spiralizer Salad

Veggies

2 Large Carrots

2 Med. Yellow Squash

1/2 Onion

1 medium to large chopped Tomato

Salt and pepper to taste

Dressing

1/4 cup apple cider vinegar 

(can substitute regular balsamic but it colors the noodles)

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

1T Dijon Mustard

1T Honey (or more to taste)

Salt and pepper to taste

Chopped fresh basil and “good” tomatoes to garnish!

Directions:

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

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

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

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

Cool for 15 minutes in refrig.

Add spiraled carrots (keep carrots raw for the crunch)

Toss and chill before serving.

Garnish with fresh basil and tomatoes for color!

Serves 4 as a side salad.

Enjoy!

Mary Sherwood Lifestyles

mary@marysherwood.com

Jun
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:

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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.

 

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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

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

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

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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.

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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.

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

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

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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.

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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.

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

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

Points to remember when using mirrors:

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

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

Mirror, mirror on the wall…

Show your smiling face in your mirror!

Mary

Mary Sherwood Lifestyles

Working with you to create your lifestyle!

252-308-2694

 

 

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May
03

The Amazing Flowers of the Desert

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The flowers of the desert are amazing.  This is my first spring in the Tucson area and I am soaking in all the colors of Spring.  The PaloVerdes trees have been in full bloom for over a month with bright yellow flowers transitioning into lime green new growth.  The intense buzzing of the bees over the canopy of flowers is wonderful!   The color along the highways cannot be missed.  This tree is native to our area.flowers_desert_paloverde_tree_vibrant_yellow

The Saguaro cactus (Carnegiea gigantea), pronounced sah-WAH-ro, is one of the defining plants of our Sonoran desert. They can grow to be 150-200 years old. During the flowers’ short life (24 hours), they provide food for bees, bats and doves, who in turn pollinate the flowers.  I captured these shots of this Saguaro on my morning walk before I knew the beautiful white flower would not be there tomorrow.

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The next stunning beauty is a Trumpet Cactus (Tricholobivia), a member of the Echinopsis genus.  Its flower is tender but bright. This is a very small specimen but packs a powerful punch of color.  Thanks Roger (our neighborhood expert cactus gardener) for growing this one!

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A very abundant type of cactus is the Prickly Pear Cactus, (Genus Opuntia).  Many different varieties grow in this region.  It can also be found in NC where I was lucky to have a large plant at the end of our drive with bright yellow flowers.  The fruit from the Prickly Pear makes tasty jam and syrup.  Here are two types in bloom now in my area.

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The Fish Hook Barrel Cactus is one of my favorite types of barrel cactus.  Its name is derived from its curved spines.

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Below is the Chain Fruit Cholla (Opuntia Fulfida).  It is also known as the Jumping Cholla, because the 3- to 8-inch joints separate easily and appear, sometimes, to “jump” to attack passersby.  These is a gnarly, prickly plant with a pretty bloom but I only want to look at it in someone else’s landscape, not mine.  I’m having enough of a hard time not being “attacked” by other cacti. 🙂

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I recently spotted the Easter Lily Cactus, (Echinopsis) in a local garden center.  It shoots up this delicate flower resembling a lily from its small, rotund shape.

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There are many more flowers popping out everywhere, not all of them cacti.  It is good to see new life and color in the desert!

Let me hear about your favorite flower spottings!

All the best!

Mary

Working with you to create your lifestyles!

Mary Sherwood Lifestyles

252-308-2694

 

 

 

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Apr
26

High Point “Style Spots”

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

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

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

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

high_point_kravet_furniture_fabric_katespade

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

high_point_duralee_interhall_ihfc_fabric_furniture_moroccan_johnrobshaw

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

high_point_crlaine_tobifairley_duralee_fabrics

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

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

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Stacked chest shown by Noir.

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Staggered chest by CFD.

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

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

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

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

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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!

bedroom-bedding_softaqua_lightgreen_bedscarf_

This has a nice accent touch with the blue!

bedroom_bedding_wovenheadboard_greige_graphicpattern

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

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

bedroom_bedding_grey_beige

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

bedroom_neutral_accentonduvet_fauzfur_tile wall

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

bedroom_ivory_chinesered_darkteal_upholstered_headboard

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

bedroom_green_blue_white_upholstered_headboard

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

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

bedroom_accentwall_cinnamon_orangeaccents_tallheadboard

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

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

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

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

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

Until next time…

Mary

Working with you to create your lifestyle!

 

Mary Sherwood Lifestyles

252-308-2694

 

 

Mar
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

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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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Comments (2)

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! 🙂 🙂 🙂

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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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Jan
27

Tiny House Living on Wheels

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

34' Airstream Classic

34′ Airstream Classic

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sofa extra storage in the arms and below.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

What is your favorite space saving feature?

Happy trails in tiny houses!

Mary

Mary Sherwood Lifestyles                                   252-308-2694

P.S.

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

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

Thanks for following our posts!

 

 

 

Jan
12

Eye Candy for Your Home

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

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

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

My favorite things:

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

 

Love the c Jere' Raindrop Large Mirror

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

 

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

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

 

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

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

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

Remember his philosophy:  “Accessorize with abandon!”

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

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

Regards!

Mary

Working with you to create your lifestyle!

 

 

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

Jun
24

Master Bedroom Makeover-Before and After

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

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

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

Benjamin Moore Paint Soft Chinchilla 2135-50

Benjamin Moore Paint Soft Chinchilla 2135-50

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

MBR BEFORE

MBR BEFORE

Here is the MBR after the three hour makeover!

MBR Makeover in a Day

MBR Makeover in a Day

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

Sweet serenity!

Mary

 

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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Apr
01

The En suite Luxury Master Bath

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Mary

Working with you to create your Lake Gaston lifestyle!

Mar
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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Mar
11

Beach Dreaming for the Beach House

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

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

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

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

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

Fabrics and accessories were quick to follow.

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

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

Fun sea creature art to be hung on coral walls.

Fun sea creature art to be hung on coral walls.

Coral sculpture lamp works well with the fabrics and rug.

Coral sculpture lamp works well with the fabrics and rug.

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

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

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

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

And to sum it all up…

Wooden whale art expresses it all!

Wooden whale art expresses it all!

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

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

Thinking of beach days to come!

Mary

Mar
04

Is This A Closet to Die For?

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

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

CLOSET-BEFORE

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

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

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

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

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

Closet-HIS-HERS-ORGANIZED

What do you think?

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

More to come on the bath of this master suite.

Mary

Working with you to create your Lake Gaston lifestyle!

Jan
28

Trend Spotting Going Into 2015

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

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

FURNITURE COLLAGE

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

Bedding pink green Asian

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

Upholstery vertical applications

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

IMG_7326

 

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

IMG_7499

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

Happy spotting!

Mary

 

 

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

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

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

garden_flowerbox_fall_ornamental_cabbage_peppers_spiderplant_pansies_lake_gaston

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

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

garden_closeup_lichen_reindeer_moss_winter_ground_cover_floral_arranging_lake_gaston Garden_winter_lichen_inthewoods_reindeer_moss_flower_arranging_material-lake-gaston garden_lichen_reindeer_moss_winter_harvest

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

garden_flowerbox_spring_tulips_Lake_gaston_msll

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

garden_flowerbox_without_lichen-winter-ornamental-cabbage

 

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

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

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

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

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

Mary

 

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.

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

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

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

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

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

Stagger the height of books and add interesting bookends!

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

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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

Dec
17

Don’t be a Fruitcake this Christmas!

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

Tis the season to be jolly….and fruity!

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

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

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

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

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Fruitcake Cookie Ingredients:

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

Directions:

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

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

Enjoy….and Happy Holidays!

Love,

Chef YvonneFruitcake-ycook

Y Cook? 

Mary Sherwood Lake Living

 

Dec
10

MSLL Holiday Gift Guide 2014

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MSLL has constructed the ultimate Holiday Gift Guide to make your shopping experience a bit easier this Holiday season. We promise with these amazing gifts there will be no returns or re-gifting if you stick to our guide! The following MSLL Holiday Gift Guide features 12 perfect gifts that are sure to bring happiness and make you the best gift giver ever! Move over Santa, I’m giving the best gifts this year! Oh! Not to mention you will have the best wrapped presents around with our fabulous complementary gift wrap!

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Mary Sherwood Lake Living Holiday Gift Guide 2014:

1. Fashion Apparel: This year’s apparel seems to be the best we have ever carried! It’s been hard to keep the racks full. We have wonderful travel wear, bright tunics and palazzo pants that have been super popular this year.  Our travel wear is wrinkle free, perfect for your next getaway!  $38 – $78

2. Don’t forget the Captain! Our Captain Rodney’s Boucan Glaze and Peach Barbecue Boucan Sauce are a crowd pleaser! These would make perfect gifts for a neighbor or take a bottle  as a hostess gift for your next holiday party your attending. This sauce is delicious! The bottle has a recipe attached for an amazing appetizer dip! Even someone that tailgates would love this for their next sports event! You can’t go wrong here.  $12

3. Magnolia Casual Indoor/Outdoor Swings: I always have people telling me their child would love this in their bedroom or they are planning on hanging one on their boat dock! Which is a perfect idea for these gorgeous swings! All our swings come in a set which includes: The swing constructed in indoor/outdoor fabric, a seat cushion, back pillow and matching carrying bag which is easy to stow.  $189

4. Sweet & Saucy Caramel Sauce: This happens to be our Salted Caramel Sauce which is my favorite! = ) We have: Spicy Mango Madness, Rum Caramel and even a Raspberry Fudge Sauce!  This is a great gift  for anyone! I would pair my jar with an ice cream scoop for the perfect ice cream sundae package! Simple & Easy! You could always add cherries on top!  $11

5. Lake Gaston Picture Frame: Here is another great gift idea! I’m sure mom or grandma would love this in their lake home! Take it step further and actually put a photo in the frame of the family or grand-kids! The picture corners in the frame make it easy to change out the photos each year!  $49

 6. Mary Sherwood Lake Living Gift Card: The perfect gift! Our gift cards do not expire and can be used towards anything in our showroom! You could even give a gift card for $25 or $35 for someone to attend one of Chef Yvonne’s cooking classes held here at MSLL! Absolutely Perfect!  $ – $$$

7. Lake Gaston Christmas Ornaments: We have several different ornaments to choose from this year. Some even have Lake Gaston printed on them! How cool is that? These would be great if you know someone that gets an ornament for their tree each year or for an ornament exchange party.  $18

8. Jewelry: Our Jewelry display has just everything from necklaces, earrings, bangles, brackets, watches, rings and a few necklace/earring sets. Various style to choose from. We even have a handmade line from a young lady in Virginia Beach!  $10 – $148

9. Handbags: We have the look you want but not the price. Our gorgeous bags look similar to a Micheal Kors’ bag but not the ticket price! I love our bags I think they are age appropriate for anyone 20-something to someone 60-something! We have various sizes and style for fit any ladies taste. $14 – $123

10. Scribble Cloths: Have you seen these yet? Scribble Cloths are amazing! Great for parties, children and events! We have runners that can be scribbled on with chalk! We have used these several times for events here at MSLL! We used the large runner for our food display, labeling all our delicious delights! What a great gift! $38 – $50

11. Lake Gaston Coasters: We have several sets of Lake Gaston Coasters! My favorites are the Lake map and Lake Rules! We have sets of two and fours!  Perfect for anyone that loves and lives on the lake! $32 – $57

12. Add-A-Kid Bibs: Don’t forget the little ones! We have an array of items in our children’s area but, these have to be the funniest! These bibs are one of a kind designs for little guys and girls! All bibs have Lake Gaston on them as well! Such a great keep sake too! $13

 

Just follow our Holiday Gift Guide for the perfect Christmas presents this Holiday season! Need more ideas? Just give us a call (252-586-2437) or ask me! We do our best to meet the needs of our customers. We are always willing to help!  We even suggest gift ideas for no charge! =)  Join us this Holiday season and Shop Small here on Lake Gaston! Don’t forgot the complimentary Gift Wrap!

 

Merry Christmas! 

-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!

Nov
05

‘Tis the Season to be Tacky!

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'Tis-the-season-to-be-tacky-bottle-tagIt’s the week of our Christmas Open House here at MSLL! I have been blinded by Christmas lights, covered in glitter, and the bows just keep coming and coming. Whoops!? I’m sorry that was just my tacky sweater! HaHa!

'Tis-the-season-to-be-tacky-beer‘Tis the season to be Tacky!  & we are embracing this Tacky trend this holiday season at MSLL! We even have a whole tree dedicated to this Tacky Christmas trend! Why Tacky!? Well because it’s FUN! There are no rules, no guidelines and just about anything works! It brings out the kid in all of us!

The holiday season is a great time to gather with friends and family. Special festivities take place and this year Tacky Christmas Sweater parties top the chart as the most popular party theme to host this holiday season.  However, this may require you to wear a tacky sweater that you may not own. NO FEAR! There is even a website now that sells ONLY Tacky Christmas Sweaters! Like I said, this trend is taking over the spotlight!

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Tacky Christmas Sweaters can be for your beverages too! Like the ones shown here!

Tacky Sweaters can be found at thrift stores, eBay, or if you’re feeling creative construct a one of a kind sweater of your own! I think homemade sweaters are the way to go. Just like homemade Halloween costumes, they always make a better lasting impression. 

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Check out these Mini Tacky Christmas Sweater Ornaments from our Tacky Christmas Tree in our Showroom!

Not sure how to create a Tacky Christmas Sweater? Here are a few tips to consider:

1. Start with a good sweater for the base. Bright bold cheerful colors in shades of green or red will work best! Any sweater with an over-the-top print or pattern are great as well.

2. Ornaments are second. These can be found at any dollar store or thrift store. The more unique the better! Stay away from breakable ornaments – this could get messy in the middle of your party, PARTY FOWL!

3. Add a little Flare to your sweater. Sequins, tinsel, shiny bows, garland, what ever your heart desires here!

4.Patches and other appliques can be a quick and easy fix! Hot glue them or even iron-on’s will do the trick! Wah LAH! Your Done!  You have a one of a kind Tacky Christmas Sweater that is sure to be the highlight of the party.

'Tis-the-season-to-be-tacky-christmas-tree-sweaterHere are some of my favorite homemade Tacky Sweaters I’ve come Across Online: 

Christmas Sweater Tree– I have seen this several times, it’s so clever. When she puts her arms above her head her sweater becomes a beautiful Christmas tree.

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The Abominable Snowman Tacky Sweater- I love this! Rudolph is a classic Christmas movie and this fuzzy guy will steal the show at your next Tacky appearance.

Tacky Couple of Sweaters– Get the Hubby involved! I think this is adorable and even tackier that they match!

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Which Sweater is your favorite!? Or do you have a Tacky ensemble you would like to share?

We hope to see everyone this Saturday at our Christmas Open House! Seminar beings at 9 AM! Shopping 10 AM! 

Have a Tacky Holiday Season! 

-Dixie K 

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!

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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.

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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.

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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.

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 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.

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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
24

Autumn’s Baby “BEE” Shower

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Autumn, her husband Ryan with their surprise guest , Autumn's mom and sister who came all the way from Indiana!

Autumn, her husband Ryan with their surprise guest , Autumn’s mom and sister who came all the way from Indiana!

Buzz! Buzz! This past Saturday we hosted a Baby “BEE” Shower for Autumn and her husband, Ryan who are expecting a little boy this December.  The shower was a BEEautiful sight. Everything came together better than I had imagined. Autumn and Ryan received wonderful gifts and had a surprise visit from Autumn’s mom and sister ALL THE WAY FROM INDIANA! It was a great day and I would like to thank everyone who helped and attended Autumn’s shower.

 Here are some of the highlights from this past Saturday! 

The guest of honor, She loves her sweets!

The guest of honor, She loves her sweets!

How did the “BEE” theme come about? 

Autumn was telling us at lunch that one of her and Ryan’s favorite TV show is Pushing Daisies, where the bumble bee theme derived from.  There are a few quotes the Parents-to-BEE had selected to be placed in the baby’s room which were selected from a few of their favorite episodes.  There is also a custom side table Autumn constructed inspired by a beehive with a tiny bee painted on the top. To see Autumn’s Complete Nursery Click Here!  

Preparing for the Baby "BEE" shower

Preparing for the Baby “BEE” shower

Now, we have the BEE theme… What’s next?

When planning a baby shower having a theme can BEE a great way to give the party a direction. This helps when searching for party favors, decor, your menu, etc. A theme can be anything, the sky is the limit here! All themes don’t have to be so defined, use your imagination here! Something more personal for the mom-to-BEE gives the party that special touch.

Mini Lemon Tarts with Lemon candies striped with chocolate icing to resemble bees!

Mini Lemon Tarts with Lemon candies striped with chocolate icing to resemble bees!

I spent A LOT of time on Pinterest. It’s my go-to place for inspiration and to really see what is out there. In my search, the “BEE” theme seemed to be quite popular. This was a plus because I had lots of inspiration to draw from. Creating a story board is a great way to collect ideas for your party, you can do this on Pinterest or simply collect pictures from magazines. This will also help share your vision with your team as well!

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If you haven’t tried Scribble Cloths, your missing out! We used the large chalk board runner for our tablescape. Using a stencil and chalk markers we were able to add bees to our table and cute honeycombs for an added detail.

It’s important to have a team who are there to help you every step of the way to execute the perfect party. Yvonne, Peggy, Lu, Mary and I all contributed to Autumn’s shower. It was great having such a wonderful team to work with. Everyone contributed and no one felt like they did very much, which means a great deal. You don’t want anyone feeling like they did all the work, it’s a team effort! Thank You ladies for all your help, You are one in a million!

Baby Bumble Bee. 

Guest were asked to sign a white matted picture frame which served as our guest book.

Guest were asked to sign a white matted picture frame which served as our guest book.

As I mentioned, adding personal touches is a great way to make the day even more special than it already is! We knew Autumn’s favorite soup is clam chowder. Chef Yvonne created a fabulous clam chowder that was served in mini bread bowls. Absolutely delicious!  Autumn likes sweets too! Autumn would say, “If it’s a cookie it should taste like a cookie!” We added the candy bar and chocolate fountain to the menu for her love of sweets. A bumble bee diaper cake served as our table’s center piece with other delightful bites centered around the BEE theme, complete with mini cupcakes with small bees and sunflowers, chex mix made with honeycomb cereal, and mini lemon curd tarts with bee accents.

Our gorgeous tablescape

Our gorgeous tablescape

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Mini honey jars, our favors for the baby shower

Baby BEE diaper cake

Baby BEE diaper cake

To complete the “BEE” theme, our party guests received mini jars of honey. We added a custom sticker to the top, with a little bee saying, “It’s a boy!” The mini jars were purchased from one of our vendors, Cloister Honey, a North Carolina honey company.

Autumn and Ryan recently ventured home to Indiana where her friends and family hosted a baby shower as well. At that time, they did not know they were having a boy. So for this shower there were a few necessities for the baby boy that were needed. Also a shortage of diapers was also mentioned! Even though we wanted to have a shower that our clients and customers could also partake in, we did not want them to feel like they needed to bring a gift. A hug and well wishes would have suited just fine! But, we included in our invite that if they must bring a gift, diapers and story books were welcome. The diaper cake contributed to the collection of diapers as well! I love the idea of using books as cards and signing the inside of the book with a surprise message.

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Books! Books! Books for the parents-to-bee to read to their new little one.

This shower was certainly Buzz-worthy. It was one the best I have been a part of! It was also great to see the support of our customers, and we have the best of the best! The love and support from our community is fantastic. Thank You again to those who came and spent their Saturday afternoon with us! It was a great time with great friends. We can’t wait to meet the little fellow! Congrats Autumn & Ryan!

 

 

Do you have an experience hosting baby showers or attended one you would like to share? We would love to hear about it! Share with us in the comments below!

Enjoy the rest of your week!

-Dixie K

 

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

 

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.

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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.

Rugs-101-Living-

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. 

Rugs-101-Foyer

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!

back-to-school-supplies

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!

 

 

 

 

 

 

back-to-school-menu

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
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

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