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The End

August 3, 2010

I have thought a lot about whether or not to pull the plug on my blogging adventure and about how to break the news if I did.  After much consideration, I have decided to stop blogging.  The decision has been a long time coming, and I have given it much thought.

As readers, I believe you deserve an explanation, but I find myself struggling to express all of my reasons.  There are so many.  The truth is that blogging daily is a lot of work.  And finding time (and money) to do household projects to blog about is challenging.  I also find myself comparing my home, my writing, myself to other bloggers which rips at my self-esteem and leaves me ungrateful for all I have been blessed with.  But I think the final straw was that I just lost the joy.  I haven’t felt fulfilled by my blogging at all lately.  It has been a chore, another task on my never-ending “To Do” list.  I find myself resenting the time I spend blogging, wishing instead that I was cleaning or playing with Edward or knitting or reading a book.

Life’s too short.  I need to pursue things that interest me.  I am a Gemini and my interests constantly shift.  Some may see that as lack of stick-with-it-ness, but I think it makes me diverse and interesting.  Sure I am a little flighty, but I am OK with that.  So, I am off to pursue new passions.

I do want to thank you so much for your support these last few months.  Reading your comments was something I looked forward to daily.  Your encouragement really touched my heart and I definitely wouldn’t have stuck it out this long without you.

~  Anne


Best of Intentions

August 3, 2010

I had planned to post about Edward’s birthday party.  Planned being the key word.  Turns out, the new camera is not so rockin’.  There was literally ONE decent photo our camera captured of the event.  Ugh!  The camera has already been exchanged for a new one.  Hopefully it does a better job.

Back to the story at hand…Luckily, we have a professional photographer in the family and she took some awesome pics (here’s her site for those in the Twin Cities).  But, the pics aren’t really mine to publish, so the birthday party post is a bust.  Instead, I thought I would leave you with a little wisdom I picked up from watching my 4-year old play the other day…

Sometimes the best gifts are the packaging.

Happy Tuesday!

~  Anne

Inspiration File – Vegetable Gardens

August 2, 2010

Darling hubby has a small vegetable garden he plants and toils over every year.  I love the food it produces and feel really proud cooking with and eating things he has grown.  However, I am vain.  I like for my home, inside and out, to look neat and tidy.  Unfortunately, our garden doesn’t meet that criteria.  So, I have been looking around online for some edible gardens that are functional and easy on the eyes.  Here are my favs.  

Image courtesy of


Image courtesy of


Image courtesy of Country Living


Image courtesy of


Image courtesy of


Image courtesy of Martha Stewart

Finding Inspiration

July 30, 2010

One of the biggest challenges in designing a space, at least for me, is getting started.  I find that whenever I tackle a new space, one of two things happens.  Either I have so many ideas that I struggle to narrow them down, or I draw a blank.  In either case, I have found that finding one source of inspiration is the best way to generate ideas and create a cohesive look.  Having that inspiration piece provides you with a source to both draw from and to use for editing.  

Here are some of my favorite go-to sources for inspiration.  

1.  Fabric – Fabric comes in such a huge array of colors and patterns today.  You can literally design an entire space based on a single swatch.  Check out this P Kaufmann fabric from  


The colors in this fabric are an obvious source of inspiration, but so is the overall feel – feminine and soft.  Additionally, the faded look of the fabric could inspire you to lean toward chippy, vintage pieces of furniture.  

2.  Artwork – I use this as inspiration a lot.  The colors, the subject matter, the feeling a piece of artwork invokes – all of that can contribute to the overall look of your space.  For example,  

Brooklyn Bridge by Warhol, image courtesy of


This Warhol print would inspire me to create a bold, colorful space with an urban industrial feel.  

3.  Photo of object – Sometimes it isn’t an art piece as much as a random image that inspires me.  It could be a picturesque photo from my last vacation or an image of flowers in a vase.  Whatever the image, the photo helps clarify in my mind’s eye the exact elements I am looking for – color, shapes, subject, feel, repetition, details, etc.  

4.  Piece of Clothing – This may be a little surprising, but a wealth of inspiration can be gleaned from clothing.  Take this Maggy London dress from Nordstrom’s as an example.  


When I look at this dress, I see three things – bold, classic color; tailored lines; hints of femininity – those elements can easily inspire an entire home, let alone a room.  

5.  Room from a magazine or catalog – I am not suggesting for one minute that anyone copy a room verbatim from a magazine or catalog.  How boring!  Rather, I think that pictures of rooms that make you swoon can provide clues as to how saturated your color scheme should be, a sense of feeling you are looking for in a space, and a hint of elements you want to replicate in your own space.  

I hope these ideas have inspired you.  Where do you draw inspiration from to get your creative juices flowing?  

~  Anne

Our House – The Upstairs Bathroom

July 29, 2010

I decided to start this ongoing feature with my least favorite room in the house, our upstairs bathroom.  This is the room I would have completely made over had I won the Super Bowl pool.  It is the room I asked to have made over as a birthday present (I got a Billy Joel CD set instead).  Someday, I will have my way with this room, or we will move.  Anyhow, I started with photos of it because I ran out of time to gussy up any other space.  Since this space never looks good, I didn’t even try to make it look very presentable.



So, what is wrong with this bath you ask?  Let’s see…the ugly golden cabinets, the incredibly small bathtub that was designed for 4’3″ people, the laminate countertop that is peeling, the linoleum that is permanently yellowed from the previous owner’s bath rugs, the fact that the counter height is really short resulting in back aches every time I try to apply makeup at them.  Need I go on?

I promise that next week’s installment will be less grumpy.

~  Anne

Dwell Dressed – Zen Yogi

July 28, 2010
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For this installment of Dwell Dressed, I chose this room.  

Image courtesy of


When I saw this room, I immediately imagined a retired art thief.  He would be in his mid-50s and extremely wealthy from his years of heisting.  The life of crime left him with extreme anxiety, forcing him to retire.  Since leaving “the life,”  our subject focuses on finding inner peace and calm.  He meditates, practices yoga and Tai Chi, and journals daily.  Here is a typical day’s wardrobe.  


1.  A casual, new age raglan specifically designed for practicing yoga keeps our thief comfortable, cool and stylish.  

2.  Dragon embellished yoga pants are a comfortable choice for him.  These pants make moving from a downward facing dog into a half lotus position easy.  

3.  Does any new age man bent on self-awareness not wear leather jewelry?  My selections can  be found here and here.  

4.  A moleskin journal accompanies our subject everywhere.  These journals are perfect for jotting down thoughts and for sketching.  

5.  A custom yoga mat with a zen design is the perfect accessory to help relax our former Thomas Crown.  

6.  No other footwear can compete with quality flip-flops in terms of comfort.  This vegan pair is an obvious choice for our gentleman’s reflexology centers.  

Zen, no?  

~  Anne

Decorating Tricks of the Pros

July 27, 2010

I am no professional when it comes to decorating.  However, I have watched enough decorating shows and read enough shelter magazines to amount to a degree in the field.  Here are some tips I have read about or seen repeatedly.  

1.  Hang ’em high.     Draperies hung high help a room look taller.  This can be done regardless of where the top of the window actually lands.  Many people make the mistake of hanging curtains in relation to the window.  Instead, they should be hung in relation to the ceiling.  Below is an example; notice how much taller and grander the second option looks.  


2.  Spread it around.     Any color you introduce into a room should be repeated at least 3 times and spread around the space.  While this “rule” can successfully be broken, it is a good rule of thumb to follow – especially for amateurs.  Notice in the room below how turquoise is successfully introduced into a primarily white space.  There are two turquoise lamps, a rug and a side table that all feature the color.  

Image courtesy of Atlanta Homes & Lifestyles


3.  Hanging art is relative.     How to properly hang art really varies from situation to situation.  In general, however, it should be hung in relation to something else.  When hung above furniture, it is best to relate the art to the furniture piece by hanging it no more than a foot above that furniture piece.  When art is not being hung over furniture, it should be hung according to average eye level.  This means the middle of the art piece should usually be about 5 – 6 feet off the floor.  Lastly, hanging all art in a space at the same height will help to unify the space and create a natural flow for the eye.  

4.  Variety is the spice of life.     When creating a grouping on a buffet, console table, etc., varying the height of the objects used helps make an arrangement look more interesting.  Pottery Barn is particularly good at this.  Look at how all items on the table below vary in height and visual weight.  

Image courtesy of Pottery Barn


5.  Lighting is vital.     No room should EVER have only one light source.  In order for rooms to be well-lit, there need to be multiple light sources.  There are four types of lighting in design – ambient, task, accent and decorative.  The definitions are as follows:  

  • Ambient – Light that fills an entire room or space.  An example would be an overhead light.
  • Task – Lighting designed for a particular purpose like a bedside lamp for reading.
  • Accent – Lighting that draws attention to an item or feature.  This could include a light directed to shine on a piece of artwork.
  • Decorative – This light source is not meant to actually light a space but to create a mood or feeling.  Candles are the most obvious form of decorative lighting.

Every room should have more than one type of lighting, and living spaces usually look best when all four are incorporated.  

Those are my tips.  Have you picked up any pearls of decorating knowledge over the years?  Please share.