Monday, April 29, 2013

Texas Blue Bonnets

I love flowers! One of my favorite things about Texas are the blue bonnets that pop up just about everywhere during the spring.  If you drive a little outside of Houston on your way towards Austin, you are sure to fine fields and fields of blue bonnets.  You are also sure to find people pulling off the side of the road to take pictures in them!

After our day at the Round Top Antiques Market, my friend Susan and I couldn't help but join some people for a few fun pictures!

Thursday, April 25, 2013

DYI Gone Right

Ever look at something that truly inspires you to make something? Then turns out that you never try, or if you do it turns out horribly wrong (this happens to me a lot)

Well this is NOT one of those times.

A friend of mine parents are giving their home a facelift and wanted a new lighting fixture. Inspired by the lighting fixtures of Michael Mchale ( The fixture was made out of metal industrial pipes and had glass crystals hanging off of them. 

After a trip to Lowe's, and a search for some glass crystals this was the end result and it looks great!
Light Fixture
Light Fixture
Light Fixture

 - Erin

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Round Top Antiques Market

Twice a year, the small town of Round Top, TX hosts a HUGE antiques market.  The show started over 40 years ago at a barn and now has grown to one of the largest shows in the US. People come from all over to both sell and buy furniture, antiques, lighting, bedding, accessories, and eat some amazing kettle corn. 

Ever since I've moved to Texas, I have been told that going to Round Top is a MUST do.  Finally, at the last minute, I decided to grab a friend and drive the short two hours to get my antiqueing on!

There are several permanent shops in a 20 mile radius around the town of Round Top.  But hundreds of temporary vendors make their way and set up tents out in the middle of the neighboring fields. You drive up to a collection of tents, park, walk around, buy stuff, then load your car and drive to the next set of tents. 

Here are some of the cool things I found....
A furniture maker was taking old alcohol transport boxes and turning them into side tables.

This large tent smelled so fresh when you walked in; their lavender spray made me want to curl up in one of their amazing beds. 

I almost bought this guy - but decided I couldn't hole him in storage for months or possibly years until I can find space for him.

Cute house converted into a store.

Hand painted side table.

I almost got this too! It's an upholstered chair made from an old wine barrel from the 1960s! There was a coordinating coffee table and sofa to go with it :)

The market is every spring and fall... it might become a regular thing on my to do list!

Monday, April 22, 2013

Dinosaur Bones: Part 2

Oye! We're back to continue our excavation of some prehistoric dinosaur bones found in Texas!

After a brief hiatus to gather supplies and smooze government officials for funding, it was time to get back to the dig site and unearth this beast!
Of course, our safety glasses are on!  Brenner the Excavator educates his team to the dangers of digging at such an old archaeological site.

Oh my goodness! A celebrity has shown up to catch a glimpse of this amazing work.  The famous onlooker trying to avoid the paparazzi! 

It's amazing to see how the great quality these bones are in. But the earth is proving to be hard and difficult to break through. 

Brenner decides to try the 2-person method of breaking the earth. 

The government sends an official to the site to examine the work. Brenner the Excavator is so excited; his work is being considered for the National Museum of AMW Artifacts.  The official decides to send a film crew to document some of the work!

Brenner the Excavator does an amazing job educating the official.

Close examination reveals this may be bones of a Stegosaurus! Brenner's team is thrilled with the news!

"The giant beast must have scared his predators like this... rawr!" hypothosized Brenner the Excavator.

Shortly after this footage was taken, Brenner the Excavator and his crew finished the digging and put together the skeletons of their find to create a stegosaurus!  You can find the bones often on display at the Natural Museum of AMW Artifacts! 

Monday, April 15, 2013

Easter 2013

I think deep down inside, Easter is my favorite holiday.  Besides the amazing miracle it celebrates, it is the holiday I prepare the least for but the one that I have the most memories of.  Like flying kites in Eureka Springs, mom sending us our favorite candy while at college, eating Grandma B's yummy Polish cuisine, taking my nephew to his first Easter Egg hunt, all of these memories bring such joy to my heart!

I'm lucky to be able to celebrate Easter with my niece and nephew who's excitement is infectious!

This year, the Easter bunny brought them both their own umbrellas....

Using the umbrella as his Easter basket!

I love how the kids can't wait to see what is inside each and every egg.  The hunt took many breaks so we could discover the goodies!

Practicing for the beach!

Protecting mommy from the indoor rain!

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Professional Cat Photo-Bombers

Recently, a project of mine was professionally photographed.  Having a space photographed takes a lot of planning and staging.  Professionally photographed spaces are not spaces that people actually 'live in.' They've been cleaned and de-cluttered.  

The house looked amazing with it's rich colors and materials!  The clients' son is away at college and their only live-ins are their three cats.  These guys loved 'helping' us during the photo shoot.....

"Oh yeah! We can help you with the photography equipment!"

"I think the lenses are in here!"

"That ottoman is just not enough for this space.... ugh, I guess I help!" 

"Look how excellent I look next to the flowers and veggie bowl.  I am the perfect accessory!"

"Outta my way! I want to be next to the veggie bowl!"

Special thanks to Kathleen Ryan for the amazing photography job!  Keep checking in to see her work!

And of course, great thanks to Brandon Lynch at Keechi Creek Builders for building such a beautiful home!

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Jersey Boys

This year for Christmas, my sister was going to take me to see Jersey Boys, the Broadway musical. In all honesty, I didn't know what it was about, but I love musicals so much, I didn't really care!

Funny story: Before the show started, I enjoyed a glass of wine.  When the show started with a catchy number, I couldn't understand a single word of the song. "I can't be drunk?!?" I thought to myself. I tried listening as closely as I could really trying to understand the words... and I just couldn't! "The acoustics must be terrible in here" I thought, trying to make myself feel better!  When the song was almost over, it dawned on me.... they were singing in French!  A French rapper had remade one of Fankie Valli's songs and it became a number 1 hit in France in 2002.

The show was FANTASTIC! I enjoyed every minute of it. The music was great, the story was interesting, and there was so much comedy.  At the end, the entire crowd got up and danced! :)

Here's a quick synopsis of the show:

How did four blue-collar kids become one of the greatest successes in pop music history? Find out at the runaway smash-hit, JERSEY BOYS. Winner of the Best Musical Tony Award® on Broadway, in London and Australia, this blockbuster phenomenon takes you up the charts, across the country and behind the music of Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons. Experience electrifying performances of the golden greats that took these guys all the way to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame: "Sherry," "Big Girls Don't Cry," "Can't Take My Eyes Off You," "Dawn," "My Eyes Adored You," and more. Don't miss the international sensation that's a Broadway triumph, was named the number one show in Las Vegas and continues to break records in cities across America - bringing countless audiences to their feet. As The New York Times says, "The crowd goes wild!"

See a short video clip of the musical here!

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

A Mounted Shooters Home

I have been really blessed to have had some really amazing people to work with here in Houston.  Some engineers, some teachers, marketing directors, etc.  But not many people can say they have worked with a cowgirl!

 She is incredibly friendly, down-to-earth, and a joy to work with.  She has survived cancer five times and is a leader in a rodeo sport called "Mounted Shooting."  It's a newer event that is really exciting to watch; it hasn't been highlighted in the Houston Rodeo's main arena, but I wouldn't be surprised if it becomes a very popular event soon!

Mounted shooting in a nutshell:  There are 5 blue balloons and 5 red balloons mounted on spikes and set to create a specific pattern (there are multiple patterns that change with each competition).  The rider has 10 shots only and is judged on time.  Each missed balloon = 5 seconds added to your time.  A dropped gun also adds 5 seconds to your time.  

This march, she competed in the Houston Rodeo.  So my sister and her kiddos, my assistant and myself packed up the car to go watch.  The event was really exciting (and fun to watch once you got used to the noise).  I think the kids' favorite parts was the popcorn and of course the tractor that would come around every 15 minutes to clean the dirt.

My sister and I didn't even think about how loud it would be.  We walked in just in time to watch someone do their run and when we heard the first gun shot... all of us jumped out of our shoes!

Mounted Shooting
Reliant Arena

Here's my client's second run!

After the competition, I went to say 'hi' to my client's husband.  He was so thrilled that we were there that he got all of us access to the practice arena and horse pens.  We got to feed and pet the horses and see some of the cowboys up close!

The construction on her home remodel/addition just finished up. Check out this picture of her and her husband's awesome western style powder bathroom.

Powder Bath

Monday, April 8, 2013

Really Big Challenges

Not every job begins with a clean slate, an empty space with nothing to it.  In fact, 90% of jobs require a designer to incorporate existing furniture, accessories, or styles.  Sometimes it can be super easy to do.... other times, not so much.

I have been working on a couple of clubhouses which are perfect examples of such a challenge.  The owners were ready to update the grand rooms in the community clubhouses; the furniture was beautiful, but it was worn from over ten years of use.  Doesn't seem like much of a problem.... however the budget, in no way, would accommodate replacing the existing window treatments.

Design challenge: update the space while coordinating with 13-year-old draperies.

Challenge accepted.

It is evident from this before picture, that these window treatments are HUGE. Like 25 feet long and all the way across the giant walls. So, we couldn't just ignore them and pretend they weren't there.  In fact, they play a key role in the design of this entire space.
Clubhouse Before
The fabric had a particular shade of red that proved more difficult to match than expected; it wasn't a true red, not an orange-red, not a burgundy either.  My assistant and I dug through hundreds of fabric books looking for just the right fabrics to coordinate. Many of the potential fabrics we found would turn out to be discontinued with no stock.

While keeping the main furniture neutral with caramel colored fabrics and leathers, the red accents came through in the throw pillows and rugs.
Detail of Clubhouse - After
When it came to the rugs, I got lucky.  Laying around BDI's office, I found a rug that has a gorgeous shade of red that was.... perfect! Check out this fresh new look to this grand, traditional room!

Clubhouse - After
 - Erika and Erin

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Interior Design.... It's a Dangerous job!

Being an interior designer is no walk in the park!  We have to be able to carry heavy pieces of furniture, backwards, wearing high heels, up two flights of stairs, and look fabulous while doing it!

I'm actually surprised it took this long for me to receive my first major 'interior design' injury.  While packing my car one evening and preparing for meetings I had the following day, one of my bags full of tile fell over and a piece of tile broke in half. 

To protect myself, I decided I should remove the jagged edged tile from the bag.  Turns out, that was my mistake.  The tile was stuck to another tile via a sticky label and my hand slipped.... and I gasped. 

I know had a pretty big gash on the side of my thumb.
After a few whispered swear words and retrieving some paper towel to mop up the blood, I headed to my boss's office.  

"Peggy, I need a mom!" I squealed to her.  "I cut myself, can you take a look and tell me if you think I need stitches?"  She took one small look at my thumb, grabbed her keys and purse, looked up at me kindly and said, "I'll drive you!"

Luckily there was an urgent care just down the street, and 50 minutes later I had filled out my paperwork (thanks to Peggy), gotten stitched up, paid, and was back at my office.

It's more of an inconvenience than painful.... but also probably a reminder to slow down a bit :)

Friday, April 5, 2013

Spoofs :)

Who doesn't love a good spoof?! This is pretty funny and I wouldn't be surprised if someone actually painted their oven like this.

 - Erin

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Color Trends 2013...Where Do They Come From?

Ever wonder where trends come from? I do. Like the Harlem Shake...Come on people it's not that funny. But for those of you who have ever wondered where color trends come from. Look no further.

There is a company out there call Pantone, and their entire company is about selling color. They literally have a name, number and swatch for about every color there every was. Not only that, they have gadgets that can read a color and tell you its name and number.

Yea, so what? Well not only does this company sell color and color related products, they create forecasts of the next big color of the seasons. They analyze the markets in fashion and homes. Based on that they give out their predictions every season.

So wonder why there is all of the sudden emerald green every where? It's not because of the new Oz movie (which was pretty good p.s.). It's because Emerald Green was named Pantone's Color of the Year for 2013, and was featured in both the spring and fall color trends forecasts.
So if you ever want to know what the next big color is going to be check out, and get the inside scoop.

 - Erin

Monday, April 1, 2013

Perfect Paint Colors - Tips from the Pro's

I have said it before on this blog and I will say it again...Picking the Perfect paint can be stinking hard. I mean sometimes the you walk in a room and think 'Wow my eyes are going to burn out because that paint color is SO bright.' Like the time my dad painted the bathroom "Green Apple". One awesome fight with Mom and several gallons of Kilz later, the bathroom was white again.

But it doesn't have to be hard. I have gathered some tips and tricks from the experts at By Design to help you pick the perfect paint color.

"1.  Hire a pro!!!
2.  Choose colors that you look good in. (You should always feel your best in your own home)." -Amber Reddoch

"I love to take color inspiration from favorite pieces in the room: artwork, rug, fabric, pattern, accessory.  After selecting your favorite color, get a big sample and look at it in the room."
- Jamie Jones

"Do something fun and bright in your laundry room; adding a spunky color makes laundry less of a daunting task :) Try a rich pink, bright apple green, or blue. And definitely don't forget about the ceiling - different colors or wall papers can add another fun element." - Erika Barczak

"If you love it, who cares if its not the "IT" color of the moment. It's your home. If you're happy with it, that is all the matters." - Erin Rose

"You should always look at a color in the space it is going to be. Color's can look so different in your home than they do in the store. Always get a liquid sample and look at it on your walls."
 - Megan Arrendondo

I hope these tips and trick help you with your next amazing project.

 - Erin