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I am so incredibly blessed to work some amazing clients, who allow me to create. Creating is nothing short of a miraculous event at times. It is not something that happens over the course of 30 minutes (no offense HGTV), nor is it ever as smooth of a process that I would like. There are always emotional ups and downs, back orders and delays, "just not the right color" kind of moments, you get the idea. However, when a project is completed and I am able to see the finished product, I can say, with confidence, that I am pleased!
The most rewarding part of my job is hearing my client's reaction to their new space. I sometimes have to fight back the tears because of all of the built up stress or anxiousness that I feel in presenting the final product. I am a confident person and I have had excellent training, but even I find my heart beating a few beats faster when I get to say, "Okay, we're finished. What do you think?"
I got to ask that question about two days ago, and was completely overwhelmed when I heard the response..."It is AWESOME!"
I smiled. THANK YOU to all of my clients who allow for me to come into your lives and, literally, tear apart up your spaces. You fill my life with lots of smiles and I am a better person and designer for it.
Here are just a few before and after shots of one of my late spring projects...ENJOY!
This was a picture that I took of the bathroom before I started the design process.
Bathroom concept design. Drawing based on the conversations with my client.
Sometimes scary to see this part of construction...everything torn apart!!
Finished product. So excited that it turned out looking so much like my original drawings! Thanks to an incredible contractor for the solid work and attention to detail!
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Little Girl By April Harrison
I nearly lost it yesterday morning during a presentation given at my church about an organization that is saving the lives of little girls.
I am LONGING to me a momma someday and I just couldn't bear hearing the details of the pain and heartache that these little girls are experiencing on a daily basis.
They should be playing, painting their toenails, dressing-up, giggling, chasing cute boys, but instead, they are being turned into child prostitutes, some as young as 8 or 10 years old.
Young American girls are being raped daily for profit in communities we call home. Why? Because there are adults who demand to have sex with our children. This physical, mental, emotional and spiritual trauma often leaves children broken and scarred for life. Therapeutic services and residential programs are critical for many young girls’ survival, rehabilitation and restoration. (Excerpt taken from livingwaterforgirls.org)
Living Water is their heaven on earth. It is a place that they will hear "You are beautiful" and where Jesus will say to them, "You are safe, and take refuge in me."
As an interior designer, I am compelled to beautify the lives and spaces of my clients and have been made clear that it is also to help beatify the lives and surroundings of these precious little girls.
It is a big challenge, but with your help, and God's power, we can do HUGE things!
Living Water for Girls is in need of a new vocational school so that these young women will have a place to study after high school, one that is safe and secure. With God's power, they have already aquired a building, furniture, etc., but are needing to have the space designed so that it is representative of the beauty these girls have long deserved.
I am trying to put together a team of interior designers and talented artists to assist and donate our time to creating the "beauty" inside this school.
If you are interested, or think you can help in other ways, please visit my contact page on my website and visit www.livingwaterforgirls.org
Together, we can help take the evil out of these precious little girls lives and begin to truly save them!
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I LOVE what I do with every square inch of my being. So much so, that I can hardly put work down at the end of the day. I get lost in designing floor plans, cabinetry, furniture...and the list goes on! One of most recent projects was a new restaurant called FREIGHT Kitchen & Tap in Woodstock, GA.
For starters, the building was incredible...a train depot circa 1912, the architecture was to die for...28 feet high ceilings and exposed wood...everywhere, and the location was invigorating...so close to the train track that everyday, twice a day, the building shakes as the cargo trains go by! Talk about atmosphere! Unfortunately, the previous tenants had covered up most of the character of the building during it's one of several renovations.
My goal was to bring it back to life...unveil it's spirit and send it into it's 100th birthday with a BANG!!
Here are some of the many pictures to chronicle its transformation.
The following pictures are of the original building before the previous tenant started their remodel process...
Here are some of the pictures of the first remodel. All of the original woodwork was painted gloss black.
Here are the pictures from the renovation process and the newly remodeled FREIGHT Kitchen!
Hope you enjoy!
Above are the FABULOUS Michael and Melissa Steele who made the incredible 18' long burlap drapery panels and the beautiful benches in the upper lounge. They are hoisting the panels and steel pipe rods up with a pulley!!
Above are the footrests for the bar...train tracks!
This picture is horrible in quality but is just an example of how "hands-on" interior designers can get with their projects! That is me up on the ladder trying to adjust the bar shelving.
Coming soon! My newest adventure...furniture and accessories to be sold on my website. Ottomans, pillows, headboards and more!
Look for it this summer!
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I am so sorry that I haven't posted a blog in a couple of weeks! I've been recovering from strep, ear infections, sinus infections and POLLEN (my springtime nemesis)! Not to mention the incredible amount of work coming in!!
Seeing the yellow veil on everything started to get me a little excited though, because, with the big pollen drop comes the onslaught of spring! Even though EVERYTHING is covered in this mucky, sticky yellow dust, new life is emerging...Tulips, Daffodils, Bradford Pears, Dogwoods, and one of my personal spring favorites the wild Wisteria Vines are in full bloom.
With Springtime, comes the need to be outside. I love to sit on our front steps to watch Miss Georgia chase squirrels and throw sticks at my feet and I also LOVE to plant and tend gardens.
This week I wanted to share some of my design ideas that we are planning on using to get our yard and exterior in tip top shape over the course of a couple of years...(it's almost an acre, so it can be a little more than the two of us can handle for one season :))
Below are a couple of pictures of our yard before...
We have actually done a TON of re-painting and have taken out most of the overgrowth already. Stay tuned for more picture updates over the summer!
Landscape and Gardening Ideas
Thinking of hanging these on the back of the house and filling them with shade loving plants and a combination of herbs.
Metal window boxes to match the new entry we are working on later this spring.
I was intrigued by this image...I have a shed and it needs a new roof soon. Hmmmm.
Desperately needing to replace our pathway to the front door. Here is a gorgeous stone-stepped pathway. This image is from of Stephen R. Holt Architects.
Driveway paving stones. We are contemplating doing this to our driveway, path from driveway and our sidewalk. I love the color and texture in these slate paving stones.
Landscape lighting is also a must! We are going to try and light up the path to the front door and our driveway this year, in addition to the new sconces going on the front and back of the house!
The following pictures are some of the types of plants that we are going to be able to use because of the lack of sunlight in both the front and back yards...Peonies (My FAVORITE flower), Hostas, and Lillie of the Valley are some of the beauties that we can use in our forest!
Entryway Curb Appeal
This is the concept that we are working on so that we can have a covered entry. I LOVE the large columns and the heavy trim details. It fits perfectly with the traditional style of our home.
The lighting is one of the finishing touches. Here is the light fixture that we chose to go on either side of our new front door. It is the Cambridge Sconce from Restoration Hardware.
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I am so thrilled to get to do a nursery post this week! So many of my friends are expecting new babies and I just thought it would be a great way to express my excitement and love for them and offer any help I can in the way of interior design.
On a heavier note...this post is REALLY hard for me...My incredible husband and I have not been able to conceive (for lots of reasons) as of yet and it has been a very touchy subject for me over the last two years... Many of our friends do not even know the struggle that I have had in learning how to deal with this sort of pain and frustration, but I will say, that after many moments of study, prayer and reflection, I truly believe that God, in all of HIS power has been healing me and is preparing me for the special gift of motherhood someday...so, with that said...
To all of my precious friends who have new little bundles of joy and to those of you who are beginning your journey to mom-hood, here are a few things to help you along the way with your sweet-one's nursery!
The nursery needs to be a restful place for baby. Using an overly bright color on the walls can add to crying, the lack of sleep and overall stresses for mom.
Pick paints that are soft in their tone and that have and eggshell finish for easy clean-up later on when your little one decides to use the walls for their canvas. Some of my top recommendations are as follows...
Here are my favorite picks for girls and boys offered by Benjamin Moore and Pottery Barn Kids!
Play with different shades and finishes of your paint to create a fantastic alphabet mural as seen below!
is a huge necessity for a nursery that can also be rather expensive. I usually try to hit up antique stores and or flea markets for great furniture finds. Incorporating an "out-of-the-ordinary" accessory, or a vintage chair instead of an expensive glider can be a fantastic $$ saver...the important things to remember are to look for quality of moving/working parts and overall durability.
You don't have to use the typical furniture either...just like the FABULOUS piece above, use something that you love and that your baby could grow into!
Above is the Graham (Bedding) Collection from Serena & Lilly. I adore the mix of textures with the rattan chair and sisal rug. Below is the Colette (Bedding) Collection, incorporating the use of an antique chair and a modern bench...also by Serena & Lilly.
Grey Low-Rise Crib from Land of Nod
From mobiles to books, accessories are a must! They will help to aide in your baby's development and defined interests in color and texture. Incorporating different colored and textured items throughout the space will create, not only a beautiful room, but will also assist in baby's learning. Use letters and numbers as art and include Bright colors, when used in accessories, offer great stimulation and focus for them too!
Here are some awesome DIY mobile ideas and some great accessories from onekingslane.com, Etsy, and Pinterest!
STORAGE & ORGANIZATION
I love stumbling on unique pieces for storage, whether it be a colorful basket as shown below from the Land of Nod, or Vintage Army Totes from The Foundry. Allow for book storage and additional toy storage with the use of bookcases. Those shown below are from the Land of Nod and Pottery Barn Kids...you can also have custom built-ins installed for a higher-end look and massive storage options!
Terrific built-ins courtesy of Apartment Therapy and CocoCozy.
is HUGE! You'll need it to change diapers, clothes, read stories and to rock your sweet one to sleep. Don't limit yourself to those typical ceiling fans and light kits, be creative...install wall-sconces on either side of the crib or near the changing table, use a table lamp next to the rocking chair, just have fun with it! Here are some of my favorite lighting applications for your nursery!
I LOVE this Giraffe Floor Lamp from Pottery Barn Kids!
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I have paint fan decks bursting out of every closet in my home and every drawer in my office. I have so many because I am using different brands for almost every client...depending on the price, scope of work, and the needs at hand but am also admittedly obsessed with paint! I wanted to share some of my most loved colors, and some of my FAVORITE, TO-DIE FOR brands. Here ya go!
Annie Sloan Chalk Paints are taking the US by storm! This paint is incredible...a little more expensive than most, however, there is NO need for priming! Yes, you read correctly! There is no need to prime and clean up is INCREDIBLE! EVERY bit of it, dried on or not, can be washed out of anything with WARM WATER! There is a need to wax the paint to keep it in good condition ,but is super easy to apply! It is a preferred finish for furniture, cabinetry and accessories and offers a beautiful range of colors.
Farrow and Ball is another paint company that offers colors that I tend to salivate over! Their handcrafted colors are so rich and timeless; great to mix and match and are different than so many others out there. They offer high-end quality finishes and paints that are incredibly easy to use.
Restoration Hardware also offers a great line of colors that are very popular right now. In addition to the timelessness of Farrow and Ball, they too, have created a line of colors that work with well when paired with others. They are a higher-end paint brand. My two favorite colors from their paint deck are Slate and Silver Sage.
Benjamin Moore and Sherwin Williams are two brands that most people are pretty familiar with. They are perfect for painting on a budget but also allow impeccably updated color options.
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As an interior designer I always need to surround myself with the best vendors and the best products.
For the past eight years I have used Traditions in Tile for my tile needs! I use other tile distributors as well, and other companies for granite counters, etc., but Traditions has always exceeded my expectations in both the quality and range of products, and their outstanding customer service! Here are just some of the yummy tiles that I photographed today while looking for some tile for a new client this afternoon. If you are planning on remodeling and need a tile transformation, please pay April a visit, and as always, if you need a great designer...please visit my contact page! :)
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My personal style is somewhat different compared to what I design for many of my clients. Since I am SURROUNDED by color and texture all day, everyday, I am somewhat particular as to what I choose for my personal home. I love the relaxed feeling of burlap and linen fabrics, the soothing colors of white and gray, the mixture of antique pieces and more contemporary furnishings...
Today, on Valentine's Day, I am sharing all of my favorite places to shop for interiors and some of my favorite pieces that reveal a little about my personal design style. Enjoy the day and don't forget to love on yourself or someone special!
Stanton Home Furnishings in Atlanta, GA
Bungalow in Atlanta, GA
Athens Interiors Market in Athens, GA
My favorite place for consignment pieces is The Savvy Snoot in Atlanta, GA
Zinc Top Tables made by Furniture Designer and Artist Dave Lennard out of Atlanta, GA.
French water color from One Kings Lane
Saratoga Mirror from One Kings Lane
Amity 4-Door Sideboard from One Kings Lane
Audrey Flush-mount fixture from Circa Lighting
Large Dustin Dodecahedron Wood Pendant by Ralph Lauren from Circa Lighting
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My husband, Dusty and I purchased our "new-old" home two years ago this month. As I was gathering my thoughts this week for my second blog, I decided to do before and afters of the house we have been loving on over the past two years. I am going to start with the dining room first since it is the first room that you really see when walking in the front door. Next on the list...my home studio...stay tuned!
My hubby and Georgia posing for a picture in the dining room before the remodeling began.
This was taken after the sanding and priming stage. At this point we had painted the sashes of the window and the trim had it's initial coat.
New light fixture and the finished color of the floors. We had not yet finished replacing the baseboards and shoe molding at this point.
The plan is to eventually install a soft gray grass-cloth...for now the room is painted Restoration Hardware Slate above the chair-rail.
I still have some accessorizing to do and I still need to find the perfect rug, but you can start to see things coming together.
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Like many busy business professionals, I need to take a day off every once in a while! Between managing my interior design business, writing monthly magazine articles, photo shoots, and life with my hubby, things can get fuzzy...well, it is nothing that a day at a great local flea market or antique store can't fix! Here are some of my fantastic finds from last week...needless to say, I WILL be using some of these wonderful pieces in some of my designs to come.
Awesome container perfect for a kids playroom from Factory Antiques in Statham, GA
Reclaimed barrel pendant.
Stunningly beautiful pair of silk screens from
Athens Antique Market in Bogart, GA.
An incredible pair of antique columns from
Factory Antiques in Staham, GA.