Archive for design wisdom wednesday

May
21

Let’s Remember

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Let's Remember-Flag

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

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

Memorial Day Flowers Foundation

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

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

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

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

Maya Lin Design Presentation Board

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

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

Memorial Day, Vietnam War Memorial, 2014

Vietnam War Memorial

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

Happy Memorial Day!

 -Dixie K 

Mary Sherwood Lake Living- Lake Gaston

Apr
30

Trends for 2014, 2015, & 2016 Continued!

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

Here are some other trends worth highlighting.

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

Design Trends Punk Accents

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

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

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

Baroque, Large Mirrors, Luxurious, Heavy, Ornate

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

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

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

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

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

Have you seen any of our trends we have highlighted? 

-Dixie K

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

Apr
22

Statement Furniture Hardware

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

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

Here are a few of my favorites:

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

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

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

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

Mary

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

 

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

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

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

Greensboro Traditional Kitchen

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

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

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

Mary

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

 

 

 

Jan
29

10 Ways to Make a Small Room Look Larger

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

-Dixie K 

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

Dec
25

Merry Christmas 2013

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Merry_Christmas_Banner

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

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

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

Here is a little sneak peek from our

Mary Sherwood Lake Living Christmas Party.   Enjoy! 

Merry_Christmas_Trees

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

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

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

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

Scallops_sweet_potato_Merry_Christmas_Appetizer

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

Lasagna_ Marinara_sauce_cream_spinach_Merry_Christmas_Main_Course

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

Merry_Christmas_Chocolate_Pate_raspberry_coulisMerry_Christmas_egg_nog_Bread_Pudding

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

Merry_Christmas_Dinner

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

a Happy New Year!

-Cheers!

-Dixie K

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

Oct
23

Faux Painting Ideas

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

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

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

Crackle

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

Faux Painting Ideas-Crackle

 

Dragging and Linen Weave

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

Faux Painting Ideas-Dragging and Linen Weave

 

Wood Grain

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

Faux Painting Ideas-Wood Grain

 

Terra Cotta

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

Faux Painting Ideas-Terra Cotta

 

Rag Rolling

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

Faux Painting Ideas-Rag Rolling

 

 

Products

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

 

Faux Painting Ideas-Products

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

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

-Dixie K

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

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

 

 

Sep
25

Painting Shutters like a Professional

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The original shutters on my home were a  light robin blue, which I really didn’t care for. This robin blue was popular when my home was built, but I was ready for a change in scenery. I decided to change the color of the shutters to a burgundy red that I think blended well with my cedar siding.

I changed the color of the shutters about 7 years ago to a colonial red. But, the shutters now are ready for a touch up. Most of them face direct sunlight and other elements all year, so as you can see they were overdue for an update.

Before you begin make sure you have the necessary supplies you will need to complete this project.  I used rubber gloves, spray paint, a paint scrapper, sandpaper, a ladder, drill or screwdriver and drop cloth or tarp.

First. Begin by taking the shutters down. This is necessary because you do not want to take the risk of getting paint on the siding.

Painting Shutters Like a professional/Before

Second. Use sandpaper and/or a  paint scrapper to remove dirt and excess flaked paint from area.  You want to get the surface as smooth as possible before painting. Some cases may require you to use a primer as well. I would suggest wearing protective goggles during this process to avoid any debris such as paint chips and dust getting into your eyes. After sanding, remove dust with soap and water, and wipe clean.

Third.  Designate an area where you would like to paint your shutters. I used a work bench outside our garage that I covered with a tarp to protect it from the spray paint. It’s always important when painting to do this in a well ventilated area. Remember, when using spray paint you don’t want too much of a breeze when working outside.Painting-Shutters-Drop-Cloth

 

Fourth.  Make sure you are using an exterior paint, I prefer to use spray paint in this project. I decided to use Rust-Oleum spray paint. This particular spray paint gives twice the coverage, saving you time and money. As you can see, I needed all the coverage  I could get because these shutters have been neglected too long.  Again, the color I choose is a colonial red with a satin finish.Painting-Shutters-Spray-Paint

Now would be the time to wear your rubber gloves to avoid getting spray paint on your hands. When spraying, make sure you are about 8 inches away from the surface, this will prevent runs and saturation. You want to try to have even stokes while spraying. I started with the sides, and then went towards the center. In the center, I begin at the top and sprayed from side to side gradually going towards the bottom of the shutter. You may have to turn the shutter upside down to make sure you are getting in the angles of the slats, like in this particular style shutter. Once you have sprayed your shutters, I would allow them to dry at least 4 hours. Check the shutter after the first hour just to make sure all areas were covered evenly, or if a second coat needs to be applied.

 Painting-Shutters-Finished-Single

Last.   After you have allowed the shutters to dry and are satisfied with the finish, you may hang the shutters back in their original place. This may require a ladder, depending upon the placement of your shutters. Once you have the shutters in place, you are DONE!

Here is the finished product. I am completely satisfied with the  overall project. It was so simple any DIY-er could do it. The results speak for themselves. I am so glad I had time to tackle this project right before our family reunion this weekend.  I hope I get lots of compliments on the fresh look!

 

Painting-Shutters-Finished-Product

 I love the finished product! How do you think I did?

-Dixie K

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

Lake Gaston, NC

Sep
11

Table to Ottoman Transformation

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

table to be transformed into an ottoman

Before: Kidney shaped table to be transformed into an ottoman

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

 

 

 

Table to ottoman foam template

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

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

Ottoman Tufting Instructions

Tufting Layout – Drill through template

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

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

Covering Table Ottoman Top

Table covered with Ottoman Top – Foam and Fabric

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

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

Ottoman construction

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

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

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

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

Table Ottoman Transformation

After: Completed Table-Ottoman Transformation

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

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

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

Comments (0)
Sep
04

Top Interior Design Trends for Fall 2013

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

 

Emerald Green.

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

emerald-green-sitting-room

10-Dazzling-Pantone-Emerald-Green-Interior-Ideas-9

10-Dazzling-Pantone-Emerald-Green-Interior-Ideas-7

 

Brass, Gold and Metallic Leather?

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

elle-decot-wearstler

brass-home-decor

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

5033ExquisiteRoomScene_HR_DP

natuzzi 3

 

High Contrast

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

ghk-home-decor-trends-2013-black-white-lgn

Celerie-Kemble-Black-White-Snow

Black-White

 

Feathers.

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

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

 

Gray.

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

yellow-gray-interior-design-color-trend

stylish-gray-interiors-1

home-decorating-ideas-monique-lhuillier-ED07-qs410V-04

 

Last but not least.

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

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

pantone-2013-fall-colors

– Dixie K

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

 

Aug
21

Moving Tips: The Key to Organized Chaos

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

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

moving supplies

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

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

silverware drawer

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

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

moving labels

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

 

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

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

MSLL gang

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

Michelle

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

 

 

 

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Jun
12

“Rule of Thumb” Design Measurements

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

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

tape measure, flower, design

Paint Coverage

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

Hanging Artwork

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

artwork, measurement, design

Lighting

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

pendant, lighting, measurement

Window Treatments

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

drapery panel, window, design

Area Rugs

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

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

Michelle

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

 

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Jun
05

Do You Have What It Takes to DIY?

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

DSCF2348 cropped

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

 

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

102_FUJI

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

 

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

102_FUJI1 Oscar and Olive

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

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

DSCF2387

 

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

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

 

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

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May
29

Steps to Picking an Area Rug

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

3 main benefits to area rugs:

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

~ provide comfort and traction under foot

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

  round, entryway, rug, colorful

Proper measuring:

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

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

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

colorful, bright, rug

Making Color Decisions:

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

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

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

outdoor, rug, durable, colorspree

Rug Durability:

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

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

weave, loop, rugRug Construction:

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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May
22

Porch Makeover in a Flash!

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Here’s your chance to see a recent re-design of an outdoor living space.  This Lake Gaston client’s porch needed some updating and color which we are always happy to deliver.  Although it appears to happen in a blink, this was actually the result of months of planning, but it was all worth it!  Enjoy this glimpse into our process:

How could you change up your outdoor living space?  Let us know, we’d love to help!

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

May
15

Design Tips to Borrow

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2013 Pasadena Showcase House of DesignI just returned from a wonderful week in Santa Monica, CA visiting our son Jake and his wife, Elif.  Little did I know the weekend would become a design adventure.  Knowing that Paul and Jake had plenty to do with two motorcycles handy, the girls set off to visit the 2013 Pasadena Showcase House of Design.

The setting of this year’s event was a beautiful estate built-in 1941 in Arcadia, CA.  The show house was gracefully restored with modern amenities and conveniences with attention to details that reflected the period.

The photographs shown here were all taken from the Showcase guide.  The design firms for each area are noted on the pictures.  There were so many special spaces and so many wonderful details.  I selected the following to point out design tips that could be recreated in any setting.


2013 Pasadena Showcase House of Design

Front Stairwell

The walls of the beautiful vaulted front entry stairwell were covered with winter wheat colored fabric that provided an understated neutral palette to lead the way to the incredible rooms to come. The glass chandelier was amazing!

Design tip:   The details of the stairway runner.  It was bound in leather and tacked down with larger upholstery nail heads.  The nail heads do not show in this photo.  This look could easily be re-created by binding the runner in a wide fabric binding and adding the nail heads.

 

2013 Pasadena Showcase House of Design

Powder Room

From the designer’s perspective the powder room was designed to recall your first jewelry box full of wonder and magic.  It was wonderfully executed with the stone chevron detail of the mirror, the gold accents and the skirted vanity.

Design tip:  The chevron detail could be recreated with the use of fabric or paint.  The tailored skirt detail could be applied to any countertop surface to create a feel of elegance.

 

 

2013 Pasadena Showcase House of DesignFamily Room

The owners requested the space be expanded to incorporate the bar with lighted green glass details that was installed in 2000 Designer Showcase.  A wall was removed and left two different ceiling heights.

In order to draw attention away from this the ceiling was embellished with intricate patterned molding, textured wallpaper and dramatic lighting.

Design tip:  Don’t forget the ceiling.  It does not have to be this elaborate. You can achieve an amazing effect by adding some well design molding detail, texture with paint or paper and/or the right lighting… remember attention to details.

2013 Pasadena Showcase House of Design

 

Master Bedroom

Soft, serene color palettes were used throughout the house.  Here in the master bedroom soft blues and gold set the mood.

Design tip:  Find the right color that appeals to you and create a master space that allows for restful, blissful sleep. 

 

 

2013 Pasadena Showcase House of Design

Teenage Daughter’s Room

What teenage girl would not die for a room like this?  There were feminine touches everywhere with varying shades of lavender and wonderful details.

Design tip:  The existing bookcases flanking the sides of the bed were turned into creative niches to hold accessories, trinkets and baubles of any teen’s fancy.  This could be applied to any bookcase by designing a plan to convert the bookcase interior with shelving boards.

 

 

2013 Pasadena Showcase House of Design

Guest Room

This guest room was designed to incorporate the eves and slopes of the ceiling.  Many built-ins provided ample storage and some hidden details.

Design tip:  The TV was recessed in the wall and hidden by a hinged piece of art. The small TV was mounted in the recessed area on a swivel-tilt wall mount so it could be positioned to suit the guest’s viewing needs.

 

 

2013 Pasadena Showcase House of DesignGuest  Reading Suite

This space was originally the servant’s quarters.  It has been transformed into a space to work, converse, relax and sleep.  The textured wall, molding details, fabrics and accessories set the tone.

Design tip:  A queen size bed was turned horizontal and tuck up against the wall to create a lavish day bed.  This could be done with a twin or double bed as well.  It definitely achieved the designer’s goal of a multi use relaxing space.

 

2013 Pasadena Showcase House of DesignOffice Bath

There were many lavish baths throughout the house but this smaller scale space contained some wonderful details.   The blue painted cabinet with slab inset doors and simple but interesting hardware blends seamlessly with the white marble countertop and adjacent shower wall.  I love how the glass shower wall just seems to float on the white wall.  The tile details were very subtle but tied the entire space together.

Design tip:  Simple details like the door pulls can add so much.  The tile border place high and low is a great placement and creates a feeling of more height in the shower.  Think about creative ways to use an interesting tile accent in a different way.

 

2013 Pasadena Showcase House of DesignGuest Room

This room included the use of lots of different textures… on the wall, bed and floor.  I love this mingle of tactile fabrics to make you want to reach out and touch every detail. The very tall headboard was a little over scaled for the space but the reading nook was very creative.

Design tip:  The reading nook was formerly a closet.  What a great adaptation of a small space.  You may not have an extra closet to give up but think outside the box when confronted with a use for a small difficult space.

 

2013 Pasadena Showcase House of DesignGarage 
What an amazing makeover of the original three car garage!  The guys from the firm Garage Envy incorporated so many interesting details into this space.  This is certainly not your usual “man cave”.

Design tip:  You may not have that three care garage space to work with but garage organization can be done in many ways.  Take cues from the pros by including storage, entertainment, border floor detail, lighting and seating in your garage makeover.

Our outing to the Designer Showcase was so worth while.  It is something I don’t always take time to do.  Throughout this country there are so many talented designers with thousands of creative ideas.  They invest their time and talents to create beautiful show house spaces.  After writing this blog I will always take a closer look at the details.  The things that can really make the difference in the overall design.  We all can take away a piece of some of these fabulous show house rooms by taking in the details and recreating them in your home.

For more information about the Pasadena Showcase House of Design events:  http://www.pasadenashowcase.org/#

Mary

 

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

Memorial Day Weekend is fast approaching, along with many occasions to welcome house guests.  Are you ready?  Here are tips to make your guest room a welcome retreat.  And they’re easy – some can be done in advance and some can be done in a pinch.

BedPillowsPillows and Blankets – This may seem like a no-brainer, but be sure to have plenty of blankets of different weights.  You never know how cold or hot your guest may be, so give them options.  Pillow options are appreciated also.  While you’re at it, toss the pillow inserts in the dryer for a few minutes with a dryer sheet to add fluff and a fresh scent.

Robe and/or Slippers – This is especially nice when your guest bath isn’t adjoining the guest bedroom.  Even a few steps out in the hall can be an awkward jump if you forgot something in your suitcase.  This touch will remind your guests of a resort.  Make it even cushier with fluffy slippers!

Guest Room Tray, Mary Sherwood Lake Living, Lake Gaston, Guest Room Details, Guest Prep

“Welcome Center”

Desk/Writing Space – Although it seems so many of us primarily use our smart phones and other devises to communicate, a hand written note or card from a vacation is a classic touch.  Include a small space complete with stationary, pens/pencils, and postage.  If you don’t have room for a desk, reserve a space on a night stand/dresser/tray for your “Welcome Center” (see picture).

Water Glasses and Pitcher – This is another nice touch for the “Welcome Center”.  Give your guests this convenience so they don’t have to stumble around your kitchen in the middle of the night for a glass of water.  Especially nice if they take medications.  Depending on your space, a Coffee Bar is also very appreciate.

Personal Touches – Send the perfect message with fresh-cut flowers.  They say “Welcome”, “Good Morning”, and “Thank You!” all at once.  This soft touch really makes a stay memorable.  Books can be a nice addition.  Think about the guests and what might interest them.  I like including classic children’s books – works for kids and the young at heart.  And don’t forget the very personal items, back-up toiletry items.  It’s nice to have a toothbrush, hand lotion, etc. just in case.

luggage rackSpace for Luggage – Finally, baggage (whether physical or emotional) always come with guests.  Guest rooms are often the catch-all space for things you don’t use that often or just don’t have a better home.  Be careful not to consume too much storage space.  Leave a few drawers empty for your guests (complete with a scented sachet) and space in the closet for hanging.  And don’t forget the bags – a folding luggage rack takes little space and is a valuable luxury instead of having to hunch over your suitcase on the floor.

~Think about your favorite vacations and what made them special.  You can recreate those memories in your guest room with these tips.  You may love it so much, you can be a guest in your own home!

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

 

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May
01

From Rustic to Shiny…2013 Market Trends

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

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

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

details, high point, market, furniture

 

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

grey, color, market, high point, furniture

 

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

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

 

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

lacquer, paint, furniture, high point, market

 

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

old world, rustic, market, high point

 

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

Michelle

Mary Sherwood Lake Livingworking with you to create your lifestyle!

Apr
17

Is Your Green Thumb Itching?

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Spring has sprung.  Is your green thumb itching?  If so, container gardening is an ideal solution if you’re limited on ground to till.  It allows an easy and portable way to brighten up your porch, patio, or deck with minimal prep and maintenance.

Our new Amazing Plant Stands offers a new spin on an old tradition.  With the help of this integrated system, it allows you to construct a tiered container stand.  The possibilities are endless!

The plant stand comes in two convenient sizes, one for tabletop which allows for a three tiered configuration, and the second is a larger stand with a numerous, varying sized design.

plant, stand, container, garden

What a simple way to show off your green thumb…and your creativity!  And you don’t have to stick with the old standby terracotta pot.  Try mixing it up by painting your pots in a variety of pastel colors to breathe extra life into your creation.

pastel, spring, plant, stand, pot, container, garden

You can also try utilizing different types of containers as well.  The examples below illustrate the usage of Chinese rice buckets in various sizes and textures to add interest to their plant stands.

plant, stand, pot, fern, vinca

Finally, your “plant” stand doesn’t have to be confined to merely plants.  Use the tiered structure to display a multitude of items, just like these stuffed animals for a little girl’s room.

pink, stuffed animals, plant, stand, pot

Your plant stand design is only limited by your imagination!

Please join us on Saturday, April 27th at 11 a.m. for our “Amazing Plant Stand” demo class.  Contact us at Mary Sherwood Lake Living, 252.586.2437, to reserve your space today.  Class fee is $10 with a $5 rebate towards the purchase of your own “Amazing Plant Stand”.

How can you use one of these “Amazing Plant Stands”?

 

Michelle

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

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Summer is quickly approaching and we will be spending more time outdoors around beautiful Lake Gaston.  With some pre-planning and these quick tips, you can be ready to play and enjoy all your outdoor time:

  1. Take In A Breath of Fresh Air:  On warm spring days (before or after pollen season) open your windows, air out your house. Clean and repair screens to enjoy the greatest benefits from the warm breezes.

    Blue Porch Ceiling, Haint Blue, Daylight in Porch

    Blue Porch Ceiling

  2. Clean out the cobwebs:  Clean the ceiling fan blades of dust and cobwebs.   Check that the blades are rotating counter-clockwise for summer air circulation.  In years past, front porch ceilings were painted blue to keep the spiders away.  Last summer, we painted our screened porch ceiling sky blue and our spider population really decreased.  There is an interesting interview on NPR that talks about blue porch ceilings.

    http://n.pr/10PGG7v

    Folklore or not, it is worth a try.

  3. Outdoor Furniture, Comfortable Outdoor Furniture, Homecrest Furniture

    Comfortable Outdoor Furniture

    Comfy Furniture:  To enjoy your leisure time outdoors make sure your furniture is comfortable.  If you can’t invest in the best, start with inexpensive plastic furniture and cushions that you can easily replace when the budget allows.  I invested in our porch furniture over twenty years ago.  Every five to seven years, I have re-covered or replaced the cushions.  Most of our guests say our porch seating is the best seating in the house!

  4. Prep the Grill:    Summertime is barbecue time!  Clean your grill, check the gas ports, fill the propane tank and empty the grease traps.

    four_square_gardens_hero

    Grow Your Own

  5. Grow Your Own:  Whether you have limited space or a large plot, consider growing your own produce.  It can save money, help you eat healthy, limit the pesticides in food and help our planet.  If you are new to vegetable gardening, tomatoes, basil, herbs and lettuce are a few easy veggies to start with.

    Outdoor Lighting, Mason Jar Lighting, String Lights

    Outdoor Lighting

  6. Illuminate the Dark:  For safety’s sake, illuminate all outdoor paths and stairs.  There are many new LED lighting options to efficiently do the job.
  7. Lighten up your Closet:  Move the heavier, darker clothes and boots of winter to the back or far side of your closet.  Make room for the sundresses, flip-flops and bathing suits.
  8. Freshen Up Your Guest Rooms:  Fluff up your bedding and replace your pillows or give them a spin in the dryer on air dry with a fabric dryer sheet.  Add a value priced duvet cover or matelasse coverlet to give a fresh look to the room.
  9. Pump It Up:   Inflate all the water toys and check for leaks.  It’s no fun having the kids all ready for a ride and not have use of their favorite floating vehicle.
  10. Get Your Lounge On!  Put on your shorts or favorite swimsuit, head to the deck or pier and “get your lounge on”.  Enjoy!!!

 

What do you look forward to most about summer at the lake?  Tell us and maybe we can help you enjoy it even more!

 

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

Mar
27

Celebrate Easter with Style…

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happy easter, easter, egg

At Mary Sherwood Lake Living, we believe that design is not merely your surroundings, but also your lifestyle!

In honor of Easter, we’d like to present a medley of tips….

Gingerbread houses are usually thought of as a painstaking process…stir up the gingerbread batter, roll it out, cut out the shapes, bake the individual parts, erect the house, and finally, the fun part, decorate.  The ingenious moms at The Candy Cottage have done the hard part for us and created a ready-to-decorate gingerbread house.  They simply need some candy and icing along with your imagination.  They can be decorated to celebrate any occasion, but we’re highlighting the Easter house.

easter, house, gingerbread, cottage

easter, house, gingerbread, decorationThe houses come individually packaged with snap together pieces that easily fit together to form the house.  Once constructed, simply adorn the house with icing and Easter candy such as jelly beans, pastel Reese’s Pieces, tiny marshmallows, and pastel M&Ms.

candy cottage, easter, gingerbread

Another great tip is converting your everyday deviled eggs into “devilish” easter egg chicks.  Simply hard boil and cut your eggs in half crosswise.  Cut a thin sliver off the bottom half of the egg to help it stand upright.  Scoop the filling below into the bottom half of the egg, place the top on, and adorn with black peppercorns for eyes, and a triangle of carrot for the beak.  Voila!

Devilish Easter Egg Filling:

  • 12 Egg Yolks
  • 1/3 c. Wasabi Cucumber Dill Sauce (available at MSLL)
  • 2 tsp. dijon mustard
  • Salt and Pepper
deviled egg, chick, devilish, easter

Pic courtesy of Make Life Special

Lastly, why not make your easter drinks look adorable as well?  Simply push a straw lengthwise through a bunny Peep and serve with your favorite springtime beverage.  Too cute!

bunny peep, easter, drink, beverage, straw, peep

Pic courtesy of theautocrathaley

 

So however you decide to celebrate this Easter holiday, do it with style…

Michelle

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

Mar
19

What’s Going On Your Gallery Wall?

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Art in a home is a personal element and a reflection of the homeowners.  Rather than using one specific statement piece, why not highlight a multitude of items that reflect your style using a gallery wall?

The possibilities for a gallery wall are endless.  You can use a variety of frames, sizes, and mat colors unified with a central theme to create one large focal point like these framed maps.

maps, gallery, wall, art

 

If you’re not quite this eclectic, you can use matching frame colors, styles, and mats in a random pattern to create unity between varied themes.  This gives the eye a place to rest between images.

wall art collage1

 

If you’re a little OCD like myself, you can also use varied imagery placed in a linear pattern to make the gallery appear more symmetrical.

linear, wall, art, gallery, frames

 

If you’re a fan of color, remember that painting the wall behind your gallery with a great color or even highlighting one specific piece of art within your arrangement can make a huge impact.

gallery, color, wall, art

 

And if you’re noncommittal and can’t decide what to put in your gallery, using picture ledges is the perfect option.  It allows you to easily display your current faves, while giving you the flexibility to move them around or replace them on the spur of the moment.

picture, ledge, wall, art, gallery

No matter your design style, a gallery wall is an ideal solution to show off who you are and what makes you smile!

What’s going on your gallery wall?

Michelle

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

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Mar
06

A Breath of Spring

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With spring just around the corner we are all ready to dust off the cobwebs and let some sunshine into our homes.   Try freshening up your space with accessories that can be swapped out for different seasons.

fall accessories, owl welcome sign, seasonal design, mary sherwood lake living

 

In these two photos we used the same soft, moss green Company C sofa. (Yes, even green can act as a neutral backdrop.)  Here is a collection of orange and red pillows, an area rug, and accessories that give you a feeling of warmth and comfort.  But don’t forget an element of fun like the funky owl.

 

 

spring accessories, bright, fun, ice cream pillow, seasonal decor, mary sherwood lake living

 

Now watch as we take the same green sofa and liven it up with a Spring-inspired arrangement.  The chevron design of this geometric rug is really in keeping with the trend this year and sets the color pallet.  We’ve added a bit of whimsy with the ice cream cone pillow and the joyful pink flower.  Also, remember that you can swap out your family pictures seasonally.  What a great time to pull out the pictures of the little ones at an Easter egg hunt!

 

You may have everything you need in your home to make the seasonal swap.  Try pieces you may not have used in a while.  Clear glass jars can be filled with colorful items like beads, buttons, ribbons, marbles, and even Easter eggs for spring.  Candles can be another inexpensive boost of color.  Trade accessories from one room to another.  A small vase makes a great toothbrush holder!  A mug can become a flower pot.  The possibilities are limitless!

 

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

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Feb
20

Don’t forget your fifth wall…

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Whether decorating a new space or renovating an existing space, always keep in mind your fifth wall…the ceiling.  It’s easy to focus on your wall color, but looking up may inspire you to go in a completely different design direction.

Most people assume their ceilings will be white, but why not think outside the box?  Always remember that paint is your friend!  It’s an inexpensive and easy way to inject color into your space…both vertically and horizontally!

Painted ceilings can be used in a subtle way to merely accent the wall color and enhance crown molding.

paint, subtle, ceiling

By painting the ceiling a darker color, you can create an optical illusion of a lower ceiling.

ceiling, charcoal, illusion

Painted ceilings can also make a bold statement.  Try carrying an intense wall color up and over the ceiling, or use a subtle hue on the wall and make an impact on the ceiling.

green, ceiling, paintpink, ceiling, painted

Don’t forget that any paint treatment that you can do on a wall can also be done on a ceiling (although not quite as easily).

striped, ceiling, paint

And if you’re really daring (and talented), let your imagination run wild…

ceiling, design, painted, bold

Interior design is meant to be personal, it’s meant to be a reflection of who you are and how you live, and above all it’s meant to be fun!  Experiment a little!

 Michelle

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

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Feb
13

Love is in the Air!

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How can we not talk about Valentine’s Day for this week’s Design Wisdom Wednesday?

Where did the Valentine’s Day customs come from? Find the answer in this interesting article about the origin of Valentine’s Day. http://www.history.com/topics/valentines-day

Here are a few of my favorite tidbits taken from this article.

Valentine's Day, love, birds

It was believed in France and England that February 14 was the beginning of birds’ mating season, which added to the idea that Valentine’s Day should be a day for romance.

Today, according to the Greeting Card Association, an estimated 1 billion Valentine’s Day cards are sent each year, making Valentine’s Day the second largest card-sending holiday of the year. Women purchase approximately 85 percent of all valentines.

Here are a few easy ways to show your loved ones how much you love them on Valentine’s Day.

Start Valentine’s Day with a special breakfast.  Serve heart shaped pancakes topped with thin slices of roasted pork tenderloin and Tishbi Cherry Shiraz Wine Jelly.  Embellish the plate with fresh strawberries.  It’s pretty and oh so tasty.

pancake, heart shaped pancake, Cherry Shiraz Jelly, strawberries

Valentine’s Day Breakfast

 

If chocolate is the way to your lover’s heart here is a simple recipe for truffles.  Make ahead, refrigerate and impress your loved ones and friends!

chocolate, truffles, recipe

Chocolate Truffles

For you die-hard chocolate lovers, here’s a treat: the recipe for to-die-for truffles. Go ahead… enjoy!

1 (8-oz.) package fat-free cream cheese, at room temperature
4 cups confectioners’ sugar
3/4 cup cocoa powder
1 tsp. vanilla
Cocoa powder (optional)

Combine cream cheese, sugar, cocoa powder and extract in a bowl; freeze mixture 30-60 minutes. Remove from freezer and form into 1″ balls; roll in cocoa powder, if desired. Freeze 30 minutes or until firm.

Makes 40 truffles. Nutritional values per truffle: 60 calories and 1 gram fat.

Heart disease, Go Red, Heart, donation American Heart AssociationA wonderful way to recognize a friend or spouse on Valentine’s Day is by making a contribution to the American Heart Association.  This is the 10th year the AHA has celebrated “Wear Red Day”.  Heart disease is the #1 killer of women. It kills more women than all cancers combined.  Donations support medical research, awareness, education and community programs to help women live longer, heart-healthy lives.

What ever way you celebrate Valentine’s Day put a little romance in your life.  Finish off this special day with a Chocolate Kiss Martini!

Roses, chocolate, chocolate kiss cocktail

Flowers, chocolate and romance!

Chocolate Kiss Cocktail 

Ingredients:

3 T Godiva Chocolate Liqueur

3 T Bailey’s Irish Cream Liqueur

1 1/2 T Heavy Cream

Chocolate Syrup

Pink Sugar Crystals

Ice

Martini Shaker

Directions:

Fill shaker 1/2 full with ice cubes

Add first three ingredients

Shake to Chill

Rim chilled glass with chocolate followed by sugar crystals

Pour in chocolate liqueur mix

Garnish with a kiss or a strawberry on a pick

Serve immediately and enjoy!

 

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Mary

 

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

 

Design Wisdom WednesdayColor is a beautiful thing but works best with a delicate balance of neutrals to really make them shine.  Here are some examples of how color can be used in different magnitudes.

 

For those who want to add color but don’t know where to start – begin with a few accents to add life to your blank canvas.  They will really pop in contrast.  Plus it gives you the chance to test how much you like it without making a long-term commitment.

Lake Gaston, color design, Mary Sherwood Lake Living

Splashes of light turquoise in an overall tan room add just the punch this space needed. But they can easily be traded out when tastes change.

For those who love every color in the Crayola box, remember to use solid neutrals to ground the space.

Bright Design, Mary Sherwood Lake Living, Lake Gaston

Crisp white trim, black cocktail table and warm wood cabinetry and floor really make all the color POP!

Bright Design, Mary Sherwood Lake Living, Lake Gaston

The gray/brown background of this rug makes the butterflies even more lively!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

How do you like to use color?  Tell us in your comments below.

Autumn

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

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Design Wisdom WednesdayLess is so much more than you think.  Here’s a link to an article that explains the benefits in greater detail, even going on to discuss the emotional toll clutter can have on you.  Why Clutter Matters and Decluttering is Difficult   One main benefit in terms of design is that you can see and enjoy what you have out on display better when there’s not a lot to distract you.

Here is a perfect example (and I am the guilty party).  The items on these shelves bring to mind fond memories, but who can think with so much fighting for your attention.  Warning: We’re a couple of big kids who love scary movies, so don’t be too shocked by some of the silly things we have on display.

BEFORE:

DSCF2142 DSCF2140

 

 

 

 

 

(1) Clear everything and do a deep clean.

(2) Touch up paint if needed.  I painted the back of the shelves to give a strong backdrop that helps items stand out.

(3) Sort what is going to be stored on the shelves – does it really need to be stored here?  Will you ever read that book again?

(4) Sort Again!  Be brutally honest.  Ryan (my husband) and I made lists – a GONE and a KEEP list.  If we both agreed to get rid of it, it was gone.  If either insisted it stay, it was a keep.  Anything else was flexible, but remember the whole point is to declutter.

AFTER:

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Don’t get too swept up in memory lane and don’t get your feelings hurt.  Using this to start off with and only a few additions, we were able to cut the clutter by more than half.  Plus, it inspired us to work on the whole room.

DSCF2177

Next stop: the guest room/ catch-all room – AAAHHHH!  That may be too gruesome to show.

~Autumn

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

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