Jul 25, 2008

New St. Louis Favorite -- Victoria Gray

Vintage design is not something I do a lot, but I think it would be fun. And now I know yet another resource in St. Louis for period pieces.

Victoria Gray specializes in vintage clothing and anything to do with the Victorian period. Check out her website -- click here -- where you can learn about estate sales, fashion shows and presentations.

This weekend there is an estate sale, really two in one.

Victoria says:This house is jammed with antique collectibles! So much so, that we'll have the first floor sale on Saturday July 26, 9-5 and Sunday July 27, 9-3. Then the second sale the following weekend for the basement, which is full to the gills!!! Saturday August 2, 9-5 and Sunday August 3, 9-3.

Learn more details from her website.

Jul 15, 2008

The most family-friendly dining room

One of the best things about my job is seeing the ingenuity of my clients. Doug and Michelle Swain invited me into their home last week to help them pick paint colors for their entryway and master bedroom.

Michelle gave me directions to her home and told me to: "Look for the 'Blues Clues' mailbox". That was the first clue that I was in for a treat.

I thought I would enter a white box -- I was there to help pick paint color after all. Imagine my surprise when I saw their colorful and imaginative picnic dining room just off the entryway!

The Swains explained that they had searched and searched furniture stores for dining room furniture, but all the options seemed too formal, expensive and not at all kid-friendly.

Then Michelle had an idea.

She thought about the most kid-friendly table and a picnic table immediately came to mind. "It's fun, cheap and easy and there is nothing the kids can do to hurt it", said Michelle.

To protect the carpet Michelle continued the outdoors theme by installing AstroTurf.

She and Doug cut the fake grass to fit over the carpet and simply laid it on top. It looks professionally installed, you'd never know it is not tacked down.

Doug's mom painted the countryside mural.

A picnic basket tucked in a corner does the job for a china cabinet, storing all the necessary plates and utensils.

A whimsical wind chime hung from the chandelier reminds us that there is nothing too formal about this space. And red check fabric panel window treatments complete the look.

The whole project cost just $300. Can't beat that!

I asked Michelle if she sees herself eventually replacing the picnic table with traditional dining furniture when the children are older. She said, "maybe, maybe not, I'll have grandkids one day!"

I drool over sophisticated interior design spreads like those in Architectural Digest, but I don't think anything pleases me more than when I see the family reflected in design.

Way to go Swains! I hope this becomes a trend.

Jul 13, 2008

Colleen Livingston Mitchell -- a STL favorite

Only two days left to catch Colleen Livingston Mitchell's photography exhibit. See it at the Soulard Coffee Garden -- 910 Geyer Ave. in Soulard, St. Louis, Missouri -- until July 15. You can have breakfast or lunch while also enjoying the exhibit on the two floors.

Colleen, a St. Louis (STL) favorite is also one of our design hoppers and brings her talented eye to our desighHop club get-togethers.

I enjoyed the opening reception for her exhibit on June 1st. Here are some of my favorites, though "my" photos do NOT do "her" photos justice...so I hope you will see her exhibit in person:

Colleen stands by her doors poster.

Colleen's photos -- above and below -- of Chihuly art exhibit at the Missouri Botanical Gardens.

A heavenly view of clouds.

Jul 10, 2008

Big Sale at UMA

UMA, a St. Louis favorite, is having a storewide sale today and tomorrow. 20% off everything!

Check it out online or if you live in St. Louis visit their store.

Jul 5, 2008

Georgia On My Mind

I couldn't be prouder. My cousin Graig Sibley takes Best in Show in a Southern California collegiate art competition, sponsored by International Art Magazine (ISM). Patrons of the exhibit voted among 50 entries. Craig's painting, titled Georgia On My Mind, won by a landslide.

His winning painting is inspired by artist Georgia O'Keeffe and the title is a play on the Ray Charles song with the same title.

The painting is not only stunning, but has an equally amazing back story.

This is only the third painting Craig has ever done! He took a painting classes and even though he is a talented guy, a bit of a renaissance man, he felt some trepidation in attempting to paint with watercolor.

His advice: just start.

"The biggest encumbrance I've had with these paintings was fear", says Craig. "I was practically crippled by the fear of failure and was very hesitant to start. Just start. You might find you are capable of much more than you thought. I certainly have!"

He tells his story at this link: Georgia On My Mind. You might leave him a comment, I am sure he'd like to hear from you.

What decorating or creative project are you struggling to start because of fear? Can you considering just making some effort to move forward?

Craig's mantra "just start" may be a new take on Nike's "just do it."

In just starting something there is no commitment to finish. If a project seems overwhelming, you might find it easier to think of beginning rather than finishing. There is no failure in just starting.

I like it. Just start!