RECLAIMING THE TIME AND TIDYING UP THE MESS

MY ADVICE OF THE DAY – LIFE IS TOO SHORT

In the old days of decorating…

….defined by me as “before the INTERNET  revolutionized, transformed, demolished…

changed the way we decorate”…

I loved to decorate and could talk, read, learn  about it for hours …but I was not in the majority and was often (affectionately) teased and called “Martha Stewart”.

JENNA LYONS - DOMINO MAGAZINE

JENNA LYONS – DOMINO MAGAZINE



 

In the EARLY 2000’s , I stuck with my beloved magazines for decorating inspiration and advice, I was raising very young children and really did not have time to indulge my passion. More often than not, I would have to wait for a stomach flu to give me time to look at all the beautiful rooms and dream about what I might do…some day..when I have time.

Somewhere, around 2006-2007 that all started to change. It is weird the way it all happened. It is kind of like the first ones who got to the store, got to BUY the store. Some were GREAT and had talent and some, not so much.  Some were genius at marketing themselves while others kept it small and followed the “if you build it” they will come path. And in the early days, which did not last long, it was considered “selling out” to monetize your blog…but like I said, that did not last long. Because right about then….the economy tanked and some of my favorite magazines disappeared…including my beloved newcomer DOMINO, and we all turned more to the internet than ever for guidance.

DOMINO BEST FRIENDS

DOMINO – BEST FRIENDS

Then, seemingly overnight,  the internet exploded with design blogs and stores, and blogs became Stores and Stores started blogs…New babies named Pinterest and Houzz AND INSTAGRAM  were born, You-tube grabbed a hold of the visual learners and we won’t even talk about HGTV and all of it’s relatives. LITERALLY –  You can spend all day, everyday, reading and  watching all the possible things you could do….make, fix, paint, design, ditch, change, love and hate.  I KNOW THIS…BECAUSE I HAVE!

IS IT NOT KIND OF FUNNY THAT THE COLOR OF THE YEAR IS NAMED SERENITY...NOT EVEN JUST A LITTLE BIT???

the colors of 2016…

Colors are now IN or very OUT.…LIKE poor old Marsala… and if they are really really lucky they get to be “the COLOR OF THE YEAR!” !! Lots and lots of money is being spent and made helping people have the perfect house and everybody has the tools they need to become their own decorator – even if they don’t have the time or really – deep deep down don’t really care.

ALL OF THIS HAPPENED IN A RELATIVELY VERY VERY SHORT SPAN OF TIME….

 – AND oh, one more thing …. NOW –  EVERYONE has a book…and I OWN MANY of them…

DOMINO

DOMINO

I categorize my books.THERE ARE the 1. ART BOOKS (My personal Faves), 2. the “HOW TO” books, 3. THE DESIGNER PORTFOLIO BOOKS,  4. The “KEEP IT SIMPLE ” books, and the 5. “COLLECTION of GREAT rooms/EYE CANDY” books. I like many of them…some I even would go so far as to say, I LOVE and have given as gifts….but I do find it pleasantly ironic ….and …..

IT IS NO WONDER THAT THIS  IS THE BOOK WE ARE ALL RUNNING FOR NOW!!!

The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing - MARIE KONDO

The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing – MARIE KONDO

WHERE AM I GOING WITH ALL OF THIS? WHAT IS MY POINT?

MY POINT IS THIS – In a very very short span of time we have gone from a culture of people who lived and were quite content in our “undecorated” and “un-styled” homes.. And while “keeping up with the Jone’s” is not a new phenomenon…MOST people did not judge themselves as unsuccessful because they did not have an up to trend kitchen or the right color Gray walls. You decorated more for yourself…because for the most part…you would be the only one who saw your home.

Now everyone sees everything.

SHERLOCK

SHERLOCK

You home is where you live. YOU. Not me. It is YOUR home. Fill YOUR home with what makes YOU happy. If you need guidance, look for it, or hire it, but don’t get lost in the looking.GET A FEW GOOD BOOKS…but again, try not to overwhelm yourself.  This, I know is NOT easily accomplished. Sometimes you just need to turn it off.

I spent hours online last night and was frightened to see how homogenous home decor is becoming. And even if they don’t say it, and believe me, some do…there is being touted a RIGHT and a WRONG way…and that, my friend , is the number one killer of creativity.

My goal…my NEW PLEDGE with this blog is to help you find  the YOU in your home. If you have a favorite color…USE IT. FIND YOUR STYLE. It does not matter if it is not “THE COLOR OF THE YEAR”  – Go crazy! IT IS YOUR HOUSE. If you like plaid with stripes and florals with shabby chic faux aged furniture…that is YOUR right. LIKE what YOU LIKE not what your THINK you SHOULD like  or what you think or what they tell you …would make you more HIP to like…like… like… like…we cannot “like” everything!.

Take a break from all of it and find YOUR style and YOUR taste. KEEP IT IN PERSPECTIVE.

LIFE IS JUST TOO SHORT.

This is me and tate. In his nursery that I am sure would now be called "dated and tacky" but you know what - who cares...I don't. In the end, it all went too fast I would love to have back some of that time to go back and not care so much about how it all looked.

This is me and my baby tate. Circa 1996. In his nursery that I am sure would now be called “dated and tacky” but you know what – who cares.!!!!..I don’t. In the end, it all went too fast I would love to have back some of that time to go back . I would give anything to hold him like that again.

XO

Leslie

HAPPY BIRTHDAY MARTIN LUTHER KING JR.

there is always work to be done. keep moving forward…and when in doubt

love one another. please.

martin_luther_king_jr_by_edwinartwork-d6k52r5

Leslie

MONDAY MAKEOVER – FAVORITES OF 2015

BETTER LATE THAN NEVER!

Tate heads back to school today. sniff sniff. But all good. Things and been wonderfully wonky with him home…and he is ready to resume his new life and I am ready to get a handle on 2016! In the meantime, here are the:

MOCH MAKEOVERS OF 2016

PHOEBE’S BEDROOM MAKEOVER

COOPER’S OWN ROOM!

STEAMED MILK

NEW TABLE!!!

MY NEW TABLE AND CHAIRS!!! THIS ADDITION HAS TRANSFORMED OUR DAILY LIFE!!!

MY NEW TABLE AND CHAIRS!!! THIS ADDITION HAS TRANSFORMED OUR DAILY LIFE!!!

DRESSER FACELIFT

DINING ROOM DRESSER GOES FROM BALCK AND WHITE TO CALM

DINING ROOM DRESSER GOES FROM BLACK AND WHITE TO CALM

SUZANNES COTTAGE IN THE CITY

THERE WERE ALMOST A DOZEN INDIVIDUAL MAKEOVERS WHICH WENT INTO PHOEBE’S NEW ROOM…LOST OF NEW COLOR!

SPRING MINT

DREAMY SPRING MINT

DREAMY SPRING MINT

WALLPAPER

DAYDREAM BLUSH

DAYDREAM BLUSH

GOLD DIPPED HUTCH

GOLD DIPPED HUTCH FOR PHOEBES ROOM AMKEOVER

GOLD DIPPED HUTCH FOR PHOEBES ROOM MAKEOVER

GOLD SPRAYED SCONCES

GOLD SPRAYED SCONCES

GOLD SPRAYED SCONCES

DRESSER MAKEOVER

DRESSRE PAINTED RANDOLPH PEACH

DRESSRE PAINTED RANDOLPH PEACH

LIVING ROOM DRESSER MAKEOVER

 “AMERICA’S OTHER AUDUBON” BOTANICALS

THERE ARE A NUMBER OF LITTLE AND ALWAYS BIG THINGS I WOULD LIKE TO DO THIS YEAR. I am contemplating putting some of the sideboards on Craigslist, thinning the herd of dressers and putting some fresh high gloss paint of the other beat up pieces. I have big ideas for one built ins that I will share in a few weeks and I also plan to finally share the home makeover I did for a client.

What makeovers have you done lately! Any on the horizon..I need inspiration! Share your ideas with me!

xo

Leslie

2016 DESIGN BLOGGERS CONFERENCE MARCH 6-8

REFERRED TO AS

“THE EVENT OF THE YEAR FOR DESIGN BLOGGERS”

THIS YEARS DESIGN BLOGGERS CONFERENCE ~

IS ONCE AGAIN IN ATLANTA AND I AM ONCE AGAIN GOING!!!

QUESTION – WHO IS THE CONFERENCE FOR???

ANSWER –

  • Design bloggers – individuals, small businesses, associations, or other organizations
  • Interior design writers
  • Design enthusiasts or aspiring interior designers
  • Interior designers
  • Suppliers to the luxury home design community
  • 2015 Design Bloggers Conference

    2015 Design Bloggers Conference

I was still on the fence as to whether or not to go again this year ….when I went on the site a few weeks ago and saw the speakers:

 

 MY MIND WAS IMMEDIATELY MADE UP TO GO!!!!

Me and Nathan when I was at the LA conference in 2013. I painted his dogs, Daisy and Nacho for him.

Me and Nathan when I was at the LA Design Bloggers Conference in 2013. I painted his dogs, Daisy and Nacho for him.

Prior to attending my first conference in 2013…I was still trying to find my NICHE…(this is a BIG WORD in blogging) You need to know your NICHE so you can consistently direct your energies.

I still struggle with “Where do I fit in? AS AN ARTIST?

DECORATOR? ARTIST WHO DECORATES? OR  Just a (super) fan of design.

ALL OF THE ABOVE!!!

ALL I DO know is that when I fell into this group…I felt the most “AT HOME”. Many of the designers have big names in the business and I must admit, I was a little intimidated…I did not want to seem like a poser trying to be a Designer…but I was welcomed with open arms as an ARTIST who complements Design and in the meantime I have expanded my Decorating experience with so much inspiration and guidance from my new friends! I CAN’T WAIT…!! Every time I have gone I get a little scared and excited and every single time I make amazing connections that bring friendships and work!

in FACT, LAST YEAR, on the way out the door, my friend Lisa Mende introduced me to the designer Traci Zeller who she shares a design studio with. Traci and I then collaborated on there 2015 Homearama design house in an Equine neighborhood and I painted 13 Horse paintings!

There is a special rate UNTIL January 24 if you are at all interested. I cannot say enough about how worth every penny it is! The connections alone are worth the price of the ticket!

Also, do not forget to nominate your favorite blogger for the Design Bloggers Hall of Fame Awards. Nominations for the Design Bloggers Hall of Fame are now open.You do not need to be attending. –  hurry, nomination deadline is the end of the day (Eastern Standard Time) on January 15, 2016.

dbc-hof-1501

 The awards will be presented live, and the inductees recognized during the 2016 Design Bloggers Conference at the Grand Hyatt Buckhead Hotel in Atlanta on March 7, 2016.

Nominate a Blog Now! 

MAYBE I WILL SEE SOME OF YOU THERE! LET ME KNOW IF YOU ARE GOING !!!

HAVE A GREAT WEEKEND!

Leslie

THE ITCH TO DITCH AND AMAZING HALLWAYS

I AM FEELING THE ITCH TO DITCH…

GET RID OF THE OLD…BRING IN SOME NEW…IF YOU WILL

MY NEW TABLE AND CHAIRS!!! THIS ADDITION HAS TRANSFORMED OUR DAILY LIFE!!!

MY NEW TABLE AND CHAIRS!!! THIS ADDITION HAS TRANSFORMED OUR DAILY LIFE!!! I WANT TO DO MORE THINGS LIKE THIS…BRING IN SOME UNEXPECTED TOUCHES…BUT WHERE TO BEGIN??

ALLOW ME TO ELABORATE….

SEE, A FEW MONTHS AGO…

…….we painted the hallways.

The new color, Sherwinn Williams STEAMED MILK is fairly similar to the old color, Benjamin Moore Feather Down…just a bit creamier and less gray…it feels fresher. To paint the walls, years of photos and gallery walls..composed over time were dismantled…and I had every intention of putting everything back. But then…it looked so clean and uncluttered…looking at the old photos of the kids so little kind of made me sad and feel bit “living in the past-ish” and thus.the walls have remained bare…with the exception of a painting I put over the entryway console.

I have been looking for inspiration…here are some ideas…some I love and want to do..many I would love to have the guts to do..and some I just love….

MY DOMAINE

MY DOMAINE..LOVE LOVE LOVE

THW SIMPLIFIED BEE - FOYER MAKEOVER

THW SIMPLIFIED BEE – FOYER MAKEOVER

MAD AND BOLIG

MAD AND BOLIG

 

and my absolute favorite…..

RETHINK DESIGN STUDIO - WEST PERRY STREET

RETHINK DESIGN STUDIO – WEST PERRY STREET

What do you think? Do any jump out at you? MAKE THE WHEELS SPIN? I am strangely NOT overwhelmed but instead just bubbling over with ideas!!!!

Leslie

2016 PANTONE COLOR (S) OF THE YEAR – SERENITY AND ROSE QUARTZ

WHAT IS THE PANTONE COLOR OF THE YEAR????

“A symbolic color selection; a color snapshot

of what we see taking place in our culture that serves as an expression of a mood and an attitude.

OR – WE COULD JUST WANT TO GO BACK TO 1994!!!!!

FRIENDS - 1994 serenity and rose quartz walls

FRIENDS – 1994
serenity and rose quartz walls

For the first time Pantone introduces two shades, Rose Quartz and Serenity as the PANTONE Color of the Year 2016. Rose Quartz is a persuasive yet gentle tone that conveys compassion and a sense of composure. Serenity is weightless and airy, like the expanse of the blue sky above us, bringing feelings of respite and relaxation even in turbulent times.”

ROSE QUARTZ & SERENITY

PANTONE 13-1520 & PANTONE 15-3919

PicMonkey Collage

I look forward to reading the responses to these colors. I am in love with them…they already figure heavily into my decor choices and my ARTWORK. I am right at home with these earthy pastels…and truly could design a million rooms around these colors…

I LOVE that this color combination…can be used in so many different styles. cottage, modern, eclectic, traditional , simple and clean…a little  bit goes a long way!

I AM MADLY in love with this color combo…and head over heels with this room…

LIVING IN PINK - SF GIRL BY THE BAY- photography by armelle habib + styling julia green via home life.

LIVING IN PINK – SF GIRL BY THE BAY- photography by armelle habib + styling julia green via home life.


“As consumers seek mindfulness and well-being as an antidote to modern day stresses, welcoming colors that psychologically fulfill our yearning for reassurance and security are becoming more prominent. Joined together, Rose Quartz and Serenity demonstrate an inherent balance between a warmer embracing rose tone and the cooler tranquil blue, reflecting connection and wellness as well as a soothing sense of order and peace.” PANTONE WEBSITE

 

I LOVE THIS COLOR COMBO! Especially when balanced with neutrals and natural organic fibers and textures, like woods and stones…these soft colors are beautiful…

Leslie

Rest In Peace Mr Bowie – and Thank you for the music

If my life has a soundtrack…this song would be in the top ten most played and loved songs.

Untitled

Leslie

MONDAY MAKEOVER – DECORATING WITH POPS OF PINK

Pink Chairs - New York Institute of Art and Design

Pink Chairs – New York Institute of Art and Design

Decorating is not brain surgery…but it is also NOT always easy. All the choices…money being spent…possible directions to go. When at a loss…or floundering…or when

decisional paralysis has set in…pause…take a deep breath and ask yourself…one question…

What is my favorite color? This can be a good starting place.

then go to Pinterest, or Houzz, House Beautiful or your favorite blog or website  and type in that color….

“PINK”

PINK CABINET

PINK CABINET

PARADISE PINK

PARADISE PINK

RIBBON PINK

RIBBON PINK

PINK LADIES

PINK LADIES

INTERIOR DESIGNER RUTHIE SUMMERS...LOVE THE PINK AND BLUE AND BLACK...FROM HOUSE BEAUTIFUL" In the dining room, walls in Farrow & Ball's Blue Ground in Full Gloss are a foil for pink Murano glass lamps from Swank Lighting. Vintage Louis XVI–style chairs around a Jansen dining table are covered in Talcy Velvet by Clarence House."

INTERIOR DESIGNER RUTHIE SUMMERS…LOVE THE PINK AND BLUE
AND BLACK…FROM HOUSE BEAUTIFUL” In the dining room, walls in Farrow & Ball’s Blue Ground in Full Gloss are a foil for pink Murano glass lamps from Swank Lighting. Vintage Louis XVI–style chairs around a Jansen dining table are covered in Talcy Velvet by Clarence House.”

PINK INNOCENCE

PINK INNOCENCE

RAZZLE DAZZLE

RAZZLE DAZZLE

PINK PEONIES

PINK PEONIES

THE PINK CLUTCH COLORFUL KITCHEN MAKEOVER

THE PINK CLUTCH COLORFUL KITCHEN MAKEOVER

GEORGE SHERLOCK SMALL SHERLOCK TWO SEATER

GEORGE SHERLOCK SMALL SHERLOCK TWO SEATER

PINK HYDRANGEAS

PINK HYDRANGEAS

PINK MOIRE

PINK MOIRE

PINK CURTAINS - VERDIGGRISVIE

PINK CURTAINS – VERDIGGRISVIE

PINK YUMMY - NYLON PINKSY

PINK YUMMY – NYLON PINKSY

COLORFUL DECORATING FOR SMALL SPACES- DOMINO

COLORFUL DECORATING FOR SMALL SPACES- DOMINO

HEATHER A WILSON ARCHITECT

HEATHER A WILSON ARCHITECT

PINK CLOUD

PINK CLOUD

BENJAMIN MOORE PINK CLOUD LIVING ROOM -

BENJAMIN MOORE PINK CLOUD LIVING ROOM –

feel better?

 

p.s. I am switching over my blog from wordpress.com to wordpress.org. Nothing SHOULD change but if you notice any subtle or not so subtle differences bear with me…nothing else will be changing but my platform…I HOPE!

Leslie

THE BLOG AND WHICH WAY TO GO…FINDING DIRECTION

I AM AT A CROSSROADS WITH MY BLOG….

I FEEL LIKE DOROTHY IN THE WIZARD OF OZ

Unknown

First of all…In case you are wondering..or worried…absolutely NOT on the table is abandoning the blog. I am NOT going anywhere. I love my BLOG and I love blogging. I love you guys and I have no intention of stopping. But I do feel like I am at a crossroads…time for a change…but what..and how.

which way to go?

When I started my blog, I was still working on my house, the kids rooms were changing as they were growing and documenting our journey was cathartic and self educating. Sometimes I simply started at point A and ended at point Z…and took you along for the ride.  But I have to honor the fact that my life..and consequently MY OLD COUNTRY HOUSE…is changing. My daughter will leave for college at the end of the summer…leaving me one child away from an empty nest. GULP. We will have more room..and I might have more time..but I am not sure that I will be investing that TIME in my home..but maybe more things outside the home. Things I could not entertain with three kids keeping me anchored in place.

HERE are some things I am thinking about:

1. RE DESIGNING the blog. Organize all for he DIY projects and color projects and OTHER LIKE PROJECTS TOGETHER…making it easier to navigate the archives…

2. SOMEHOW I want to be more INTERACTIVE…I feel like it is all ME and not enough YOU. I want to listen and address your questions …but I think I need a better mechanism for acquiring your questions ..something more than the comment section.

3. MORE DESIGN FEATURES – I want to explore the world of Interior Design and Decorating and share MORE ROOMS, MORE ARTISTS, MORE IDEAS.

4. I want to incorporate MY REALITY…into my HOME decor ideas…EVERYONE that has kids will be where I am SOMEDAY even if your WEE ones are pint sized…and there are so many things I have learned about my home and how I would design things differently if I could go back and start all over..knowing what I know and knowing how we have lived..in a REAL home. I want to focus on what matters most .. and share…what is a waste of your decorating dollars….and precious time . and talk about What are GOOD investments and what are NOT.

WHAT IS STYLING? WHAT MAKES A ROOM...STYLISH?

WHAT IS STYLING? WHAT MAKES A ROOM…STYLISH?

5. I WANT TO CONNECT people with people….I feel like we all have gifts…things we know and can share…I am not sure how I will put this into action…maybe a PINTEREST SHOWHOUSE or some way to connect not only to you…but I WANT TO connect WITH YOU AND

CONNECT YOU with each other….

ANYWAY. What I really would love to to hear from you? I know blogs have changed and the whole mechanism and impact of blogging is different now with so many other methods of social media to share…magazines are digitalizing but I do feel like there is a reason why i am here and why you are here and I would love to hear your thoughts. I am kind of begging here….on my knees…I really cannot move forward without knowing what you want to see, hear, learn…or maybe just just want eye candy and no more words…I cherish your feedback…so please please please…gimme some!!!!

…and lets venture down this crossroad together!

DOROTHY AND SCARECROW WHICH WAY TO GO?

DOROTHY AND SCARECROW WHICH WAY TO GO?

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