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2014 Best of Houzz

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Super excited to receive the Best of Houzz award this mornin…definitely starts a girl’s day off right:)   I have attached the press release they sent me below.  Feeling beyond blessed!

 

Remodeling and Home Design

 

Stephanie Dixon of Denver, NC Receives

Best Of Houzz 2014 Award

 

Annual Survey and Analysis of 16 Million Monthly Users

Reveals Top-Rated Building, Remodeling and Design Professionals

 

Denver,NC, February 4, 2014 – DabbleCo of Denver, NC has been awarded “Best Of Houzz” by Houzz, the leading platform for home remodeling and design. The primarily residential was chosen by the more than 16 million monthly users that comprise the Houzz community.

The Best Of Houzz award is given in two categories: Customer Satisfaction and Design. Customer Satisfaction honors are determined by a variety of factors, including the number and quality of client reviews a professional received in 2013. Design award winners’ work was the most popular among the more than 16 million monthly users on Houzz, known as “Houzzers,” who saved more than 230 million professional images of home interiors and exteriors to their personal ideabooks via the Houzz site, iPad/iPhone app and Android app. Winners will receive a “Best Of Houzz 2014” badge on their profiles, showing the Houzz community their commitment to excellence. These badges help homeowners identify popular and top-rated home professionals in every metro area on Houzz.

 

“I am truly honored!  I absolutely love what I do and am blessed to be able to do it each and every day!”


“Houzz provides homeowners with the most comprehensive view of home building, remodeling and design professionals, empowering them to find and hire the right professional to execute their vision,” said Liza Hausman, vice president of community for Houzz. “We’re delighted to recognize Stephanie Dixon among our “Best Of” professionals for customer satisfaction as judged by our community of homeowners and design enthusiasts who are actively remodeling and decorating their homes.”

 

With Houzz, homeowners can identify not only the top-rated professionals like Stephanie, but also those whose work matches their own aspirations for their home. Homeowners can also evaluate professionals by contacting them directly on the Houzz platform, asking questions about their work and reviewing their responses to questions from others in the Houzz community.

 

Follow DabbleCo on Houzz http://www.houzz.com/pro/dabbleco/dabble-co

 

About Stephanie Dixon

Stephanie works all around the Lake Norman and Charlotte area on residential and commercial projects.  When not working, she loves spending time with her husband, two-year-old daughter and is looking forward to the arrival of a second baby in April 2014.

 

About Houzz

Houzz is the leading platform for home remodeling and design, providing people with everything they need to improve their homes from start to finish – online or from a mobile device. From decorating a room to building a custom home, Houzz connects millions of homeowners, home design enthusiasts and home improvement professionals across the country and around the world. With the largest residential design database in the world and a vibrant community powered by social tools, Houzz is the easiest way for people to get the design inspiration, project advice, product information and professional reviews they need to help turn ideas into reality. For more information, visitwww.houzz.com

 

 

 

 

 

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Oh so peaceful gathering room!

Wow!  It’s been SO long since I’ve posted!  Things have been crazy busy with Wecora, which is great, but has diverted so much of my attention that I have totally neglected poor lil Dabble posts.  I received tons of latest portfolio shots this morning from the great Michele Manning so definitely wanted to share. So every house I enter seems to have that one wasted room.  The “catch-all”.  The room that is a space that has yet to be defined, is used differently for every season of the year, and the overall holding place for other items that don’t seem to have a certain home quite yet.  This room was one of those spaces.  So when one of my absolute all-time favorite repeat clients called about designing this space, I was on it! photo My client wanted this space to set the tone for the rest of her home since it is literally by the front door.  Instead of walking in and immediately feeling frustrated and purposely looking the other way, she wanted this to be a space to catch up with friends, sit and read, and just a space that she truly loved entertaining in.  Other than those requirements, she gave me free reigns (as she always does:).

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My client had one of these chairs already, and she happened to really like it (outside of the fabric) so we decided it only made sense to order three more!  We loved the idea of a true conversation circle and the space totally lent itself to this layout. Screen Shot 2014-01-22 at 7.53.35 PM I stumbled across this antique desk and just knew it was perfect for the space!  Rachel refinished it and it turned out fabuloso! PicMonkey Collage All in all, the general makeover for this room included the following:

  • Replace light fixture
  • New furniture
  • Accessories
  • Custom Window treatments
  • Refurbishing of a few existing pieces
  • A lil bit of this, a lil bit of that, a lil bit of fairy dust and ……

 

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This room turned out so warm and inviting…I think I may drop in every once in a while just to sit for a bit:)

Nice catching up for second!  Hope to write more often in 2014!

Nighty Night.

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Curly Willow

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Curly willow.  A designer’s best friend.  A natural, inexpensive way fill an empty vase, add height to a open wall, or bring warmth and life to a barren space.  I use this whimsical willow on almost every project.  My passion for the stems started when we used fresh curly willow throughout our wedding displays over five years ago.  The stems have a natural, romantic movement to them without being distracting in any way.  I loved my branches so much, that I found out from my florist the “proper” way to dry them out, and still have them on display in my home today:)

 

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The beauty of the natural beauty is that you can paint them, trim them, bushel or hang them.  Here are few other ways to use curly willow in your decor

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Sweet Dirt Designs

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The Old Painted Cottage

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Transom Design

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Harmogeno Designs

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Amoroso Design

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Janet Paik

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Rachel Reider

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Your Front Porch

So bring a bit of nature inside to your home!  You can find artificial Willow often at Pier One or Ikea, but for the real deal, check out local farmers’ markets or florists. They’re timeless treasures that fit with any decor!

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The Painted Pumpkin

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Ahh…pumpkins.  The sign that yummy weather and yummy treats are in full bloom.  Carving pumpkins is a fun tradition, but after becoming a mom and cleaning messes around the clock, the last thing that sounds enjoyable to me is cleaning out and cleaning up after such a messy activity.  BUT…I am such a sucker for arts-and-crafts and the pumpkins won’t decorate themselves, SO painting the pumpkins is the next best thing:)

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With such beautiful weather this past weekend, it was easy to find any excuse to be outdoors.  So we plopped down the drop cloth, opened the paints, and the creative juices started flowing.  Since I couldn’t seem to make up my mind which design I wanted to do, my husband actually had the grand idea to use what was left in our can of chalkboard paint as a backdrop, so that I could simply change artwork or greetings with just a quick erasing….brilliant!  (and he wonders why he’s left-handed since there’s “not an artistic bone in his body”;)  We had so much fun and the pumpkins turned out great!

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My little artist (who is a lefty as well) had her own pumpkin to paint, but seemed more enamored with painting with the water than the water-colors.  Oh well, more pumpkins for me.

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Here are several other great pics I found to inspire your orange canvases.  

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So get creative with paint and pumpkins.  Monogram, polkadot, bedazzle, or bewitch your pumpkin…just have fun with Fall!

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Sneak Peak of the Week

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Untitled  This  week’s Sneak Peek is of a home we have been working on in Davidson for quite some time.  Professional pictures will do this home the justice it deserves, but we at least wanted to provide a glimpse in to this oh-so-drastic transformation!  Previous owners of this home were uber traditional and my clients (the new inhabitants) have more of a modern flare.  All in all, we did the entire house, but here’s a snapshot of just the great room in progress to satisfy your appetite:)

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Drumroll please….

 

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Ombre

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So you have to almost live in a cave to miss the ombre craze that is infiltrating virtually every industry there is, either in their products or their packaging, the concept is HOT!  There are ombre highlights (though these are going out as fast as they came in), ombre clothes, and now ombre walls?!?

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We recently had a client who is opening a high-end boutique in the Dilworth area to want this effect as the focal wall in the back of the store.  Where did we turn for inspiration?  One of our favorite blogs of course, P.S. I made this.  The site is FABULOSO for inspiring you with creative juices and then boosting your ego enough to believe that even you can do it!  So…here was the image that started it all..

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They showed four easy steps along with providing a short detail of direction…

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and POOF…the magic would happen:)  We found the reality of the project to be a bit more intense, but overall, it turned out great.  Here were the colors the client wanted to work with (all Glidden paints):

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and our final product….drumroll please….

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ok, so we’re designers, not photographers, but you can at least get the idea:)  Prime example of why I love my job so much…something new every day.

Happy Monday!

p.s. special thanks to North Meck Paint for this job referral!  You guys are awesome!

 

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The High-rise Has Risen!

 

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Ok folks…so I gave you sneak peak in to a project that we were working on at The View, the FABULOSO downtown high-rise apartment in this post.  When we entered, the walls were white, the floors were cold, and possibilities were endless!  It was an ABSOLUTE pleasure working with Michele, the oh-so-brave client who moved with her family from the plains of Maine to right smack in the middle of the bustling city for an adventure.  Oh to be as cool as her!

Here were some of our original concepts for the space…

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Every project comes with its own set of challenges, tasks, and things that are just a bit outside of the norm.  Decorating an apartment can prove to have several checklist items that need to be considered:

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*Oh…and lighting too!  Most commercial apartments do not allow swapping of light fixtures due to potential electrical hazards, so usually you’re working with what you’ve got.  The solution?  Lamps please!

UntitledThank you to Michele Manning for once again using her amazing talents to shoot this project for me!

I can never stress enough to clients that their entry or foyer truly sets the tone for the rest of their space.  It should be a great space that confidently sends you off about your day and excites you to finally arrive back at night.  Though there was no large entry way in to the apartment, I wanted Michele and her family to at least have a accent wall that displayed memories they had made together and that essentially said “welcome home, family” each day.

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Michele works from home so we needed her office to be a place that could inspire her, keep her organized, and also envelop her for a nice afternoon power-nap:)  You can see that Tucker seems to like our custom sofa selection just fine! 

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The dining area was made complete with this great buffet! This piece actually belonged to another client of mine prior.  I purchased it from them specifically for Michele.  We had it refinished and it turned out gaw-juss.
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I love the scale of these oversizes king + queen chairs with the oval backs along side them.  I’m sure their family will have many wonderful memories made at this table!

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The living room…with a home of three men (plus Tucker), this room needed to be super durable, yet oversized for comfort.  I LOVED the fun mix of fabrics that we incorporated here!  This shag rug is so yummy with its silky fibers!!!  I secretly wanted to just stretch out and tap a nap-a-roo on it during the photo shoot:)

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A little of this and that…

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The master suite shared one common wall with the city, so I wanted to keep this room simple, yet warm, in order to avoid distracting from the already fabuloso backdrop.  The bed turned out chocolaty rich and truly made the burnt orange pillow fabric just pop!  It’s hard to tell from the pictures, but we piped these pillows in a plum contrasting fabric.  We painted the bathroom my FAVORITE paint color that is a mix of a plum, a grey, and a brown….no pictures, but trust me, it was delicious:)

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I was amazed at how little this great family brought with them for their move, but I felt like we were able to blend all of the new pieces with some of their existing collections enough to still make this feel like their home, not just some extended vacation spot.  If you notice the sign above the gallery entry wall that Michele purchased, you’ll see that it perfectly defines the action of this family…SIMPLIFY.  We could all stand to do a bit more of this in many aspects of life.  I feel like clients hire me for my expertise, but I am so blessed to often glean wisdom from them as well.

 

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Pimp My Closet

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Closets…usually the most neglected, unorganized, and often hidden spaces within your home. And why is this? We usually walk in and out of these miniature rooms at least twice a day, so why not spruce them up a bit to make you smile each time those lights flicker on. I think of closets like I think of fine china. A pretty plate just seems to make the food look even more appetizing. The good thing is, it doesn’t take much at all to provide a quick facelift to the potentially hidden treasures. Here are a few of our favorite ideas!

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Lose the fluorescents!  Now I know some will disagree, but I personally think that fluorescent lighting has to be the worst invention ever made. Not only does the blue light that these fixtures cast off make everything seem sick or puny, but I don’t enjoy the hmmmm ing sound either. Go cheap! Grab a fixture from your local Habitat and a can of spray paint and customize to your hearts desire.

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Add the accessories!  Simply purchasing all matching hangers can work wonders for the appearance of organization. Anything that doesn’t at least coordinate = chaos in the brain, so consistency is key here. I prefer wooden hangers, but have also found colorful felt ones to be a great alternative as well. Stack decorative boxes, baskets, or bins..but go for beauty here!

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*One fun idea to add a pop of color- spray paint all of your wooden hangers!

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Ditch the white walls and add a splash of color or visual texture of wallpaper. Don’t even be scared to paint the ceiling as well! Just because items are layered in front, doesn’t mean the background should be ignored. Since this is not a space you’ll be in for lengthy periods of time, don’t be afraid of going bold..chances are you won’t get tired of it as quickly.

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Some organize by color. Some by style. Either way…just organize! It will make like easier to be able to know where to go for the goods you’re looking for. Also, you’ll feel as though you’ve stepped in to a little boutique every morning when you’re feeling “green” and can quickly view all of the verde options that your wardrobe has to offer…easy breezy:)

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If your space allows, create a environment to sit and “undress” from the day.  Add a mirror for primping, a chair for resting, and a make-shift “island” for unpacking.  Yes, even a closet can become a private getaway space for you enjoy starting your day and to unwind as the day comes to a close.

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Last but not least…PURGE!  I’m preaching to the little horder that lives deep down in me too:)   I literally have a pair of jeans from high school that I keep waiting to come back in style.  More than a decade later, apparently they were never really IN style and will likely never come “back around.”  There are so many people who could desperately use clothes and shoes that are just collecting dust in our closets.  Donate!  It will free closets of clutter and help those around us in the process.  Super valuable items?  Consign!  Use the money you get from the shirt you’ve been waiting to fit in to for four years to go buy one that you can actually breathe in…win-win!

 

The moral of the story?  Closets should be treated as any other room in your home..and with just a little TLC of a weekend project, you’ll wish you would have done it even earlier.  Go get creative!

 

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Chicago

 

 

 

 

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Well, it’s been a month since my last post so I think it’s time to catch up on what’s been going on!  Life has been super fun but super busy as well.  We’re wrapping up a large total renovation in Davidson, a new residence at The View downtown, remodel in the Peninsula, and several other smaller projects as well….all while jamming on Wecora.com.  These projects have been a blast, but I was beyond excited to go on my first week-long vacation in about two years. My hubby and I decided to go to Chicago to celebrate our fifth wedding anniversary!  We had always wanted to go to the city and we felt like now was probably as good of time as we’ll get for a while…so off we went!
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If you haven’t ever been to Chicago, I can’t even begin to tell you how breathtaking the Skyline is.  If it’s’ even remotely cloudy, the buildings are so tall, that you can’t even see the tops.  One of the coolest things we did while we were there (and that I would highly recommend if you visit) was to take a archectural tour along the river and essentially through the city.  Even if you’re not a design-junkie like me, you’ll learn so much about the history of the city (and get to sit for an hour and rest your tootsies from all of the walking, a.k.a. shopping, you’ll be doing:) that it’s totally worth the time and money.

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Everywhere you look downtown Chicago you can see street levels higher and lower than you, and it’s almost impossible to tell exactly where “ground” level really is!  We learned the reasoning behind this and I thought it was fascinating enough to share.  Back in the good ol’ days when everyone was using the railroad system to commute in and out of the bustling city, it was quickly noted that many folks passed through Chicago as a central hub to commute, but that there were no accommodations (restaurants, shops, etc.) to cater to this crowd…talk about missing a great economy-boosting opportunity!  The problem was, though, that the railroads owned the footprint of the land, so property wasn’t even available to those interested in investing.  The railroads quickly realized this golden opportunity and actually began selling “air rights” to these investors.  Essentially, they remained owners of the land, but buildings could be built on top of their short facilities, so they were literally selling the air above them….crazy right???  So as land became more and more scarce, more and more places started selling their rooftops off, thus creating a city that grew higher, not wider, and eventually higher, and higher, and higher:)

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I studied the concepts of architects like Mies van der Rohe, Loius Sullivan, and Frank Lloyd Wright in design school, but it was exciting to see some of their actual works of art throughout the city and to see how much influence they still have on the overall ambiance of the skyline today.

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Willis Tower, previously Sears Tower, was fascinating in all it’s 110 story glory.  It was a minute long elevator ride to the top of America’s 2nd tallest building, with tons of education about the structure along the way.  Once we arrived, we were able to walk out on to these glass boxes that project from the side of the exterior, literally suspending us over the city!  I kept feeling like the whole building was swaying back and forth, and was shocked to learn that this feeling was a reality- the building can shift as much as 3 feet due to the tubular design of construction for expansion….crazy!

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The Navy Pier, Chicago’s #1 tourist attraction provided great views of the city along with food, entertainment, and the fresh air blowing off of the lake.  It’s so crazy to see such a massive city right along side of this lake that stretches as far as you can see!  Twice a week in the summer, the pier has a fireworks show at night.  We were lucky enough to be able to watch the show from the best view in the city, the lounge on top of Trump Tower.

 

 

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Of course we had to catch a game and scratch a item off of my husband’s bucket list.  I LOVE how sentimental the fans are in their passion to reserve all of the original elements of the stadium!  Just to get lights and bleachers in the stadium, originally built in 1914, it nearly took a act of God!  I was initially shocked at how small and simple the stadium really was (still even change score board by hand!), but realized the beauty of all of the history there, and understood why everyone wants to keep it just as they remember it being.  The Cubs won that game too..hooray:)

You can’t go to a game without eating a hot dog, of course!  We quickly developed a love affair with a true, Chicago-style hot dog so thought I’d share for those of you who haven’t delighted in the treat yet…

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If you’re looking for a city to visit, I would HIGHLY recommend venturing to the windy one.  Here’s a recap of Chicago in a nutshell to me

1. Shoes- comfort over beauty…you’ll never walk so much in your life!  I think I packed 6 pairs of snazzy zapatos, but my Rainbows ended up being on display repeatedly.

2.Food – Best you’ll ever eat!  No wonder they say it’s a city for the foodies.    The Italian beef sandwhiches that are so popular there are a treat worth trying and the pizza pies are totally worth buying.  Table 52 is BY FAR the best food we’ve ever eaten and the intiment setting is uber romantic.   Thanks Oprah for your recommendation

3. Shopping- Tons and tons of places to spend your dough…bring a extra suitcase for your purchases.  Fellow designers, there is the largest design center I’ve ever laid eyes on right downtown too… I MUST get to a Chicago Market!

4. Sites- force yourself to get past the fact that Willis Tower is essentially a $18 elevator ride and spend time researching other sites to see…they’re landmarks for a reason and totally worth it!

5. Biking- I would definitely suggest renting a bike while you’re there!  We did and it ended up being one of our favorite things we did!  EVERYONE in Chicago seems to own a bike and I can see why.  You’re able to stop casually along the waterway at one of the three beaches, grab a quick lunch, and be on your merry way much faster then by foot or even by cab.  Downtown is so biker friendly too so there are lanes everywhere!

Lots more thoughts but these are the ones that stood out.  What a great week…relaxed, refreshed, and ready to get these design juices flowing again!

Au revoir Chicago!  Can’t wait to see you again!

 

 

 

 

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Happy 4th of July

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My heart is so humbled this morning as I think of how blessed I am to have simply been born into is country.  The freedoms I take for granted daily, are ones that other women my age in other countries may never know.  ”Thank you” isn’t a strong enough expression of gratitude to those who have served and died to protect those rights.  What courage and honor!  I hope you all have a great day of celebration, but let’s also all pause to take in just how blessed we really are!

Happy 4th!

-Stephanie

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Conley Residence

I have had the complete pleasure of working recently with the Conleys, Kaye and Dennis, on several spaces in their home.  I have known the Conleys now for several years and was excited to help them achieve the new facelift for their retirement home that they were after.

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New living room!  BE A Utiful!  LOVE how the fireplace and the custom TV Unit turned out!  The little tiny floor lamp has been replaced since these photos too I might add:)

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This was the Conley’s existing kitchen table, we just gave it new life!  The cute little green accent piece belonged to Kaye’s mom.  I thought it was adorable so “stole” it out of their office.  REALLY like the new cornice!

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Kitchen is looking fabulous!  If you look back to the before kitchen pics, you’ll see that we used all of their existing cabinets, just added on top of them and splashed them with a coat of paint….easy breezy!  We’re going to replace countertops and stove/oven during a phase 2.

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The furniture turned out great!  Updated the look for them without steering away from their more traditional taste.

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Look about the fireplace and you’ll see this GORGEOUS copper charger that I had mounted for them.  It literally glows in all its radiance next to these sconces.

And here are the Conleys- in all of their cuteness:)  I have truly loved working with them and hope to spend more time with them in the future.  I always (well…most of the time) miss seeing clients so often when projects finish up.  Very blessed to work with such kind people.

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Wecora Gets Press!

 

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Saying I was excited to see this was a complete understatement!  Alycia Wicker with the oh-so-educational Mupplebee website for designers did a great post explaining what Wecora’s all about and even called us….

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Approaching Alycia to become our Lead Design Educator was a no-brainer since she is the country’s top guru on e-decorating.  We were honored that she gladly accepted and shares the vision of what Wecora has the potential to revolutionize in the design industry.  Below was Alycia’s formal “hello” to our designers in the Wecora System.  I thought you’d like to meet her as well:)

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My gut tells me this is just the beginning of the buzz surrounding Wecora.  Yippeeee!

 

 

 

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Check out Wecora.com

 

 

UntitledWecora.com is now ready!!!  I AM SO STINKIN’ EXCITED!  We’re still in private beta, but if you want to submit a project (and at 10% off) use this link to get in through my friends and family access.  We’ve already had a few projects submitted and actually had a client who loved working through Wecora so much that she’s already submitting another project…yahoooooo:)  If you need a new paint pallet or a whole home design, Wecora offers you a GREAT way to work with some of the countries tip-top designers on your schedule and at a fraction of their normal cost.  If you’re even thinking of purchasing furniture, DON’T until you see what kind of pricing you could get through a Wecora designer…you’ll be amazed at your savings!!!  Check out the site, browse our super cool designers, and let me know what you think.

 

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Gallery Walls

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If there’s one thing I love, it’s a good gallery wall!  They make us stop to pause and “ooo and ahh” over sweet chunky babies or reminisce over memories made from great vacations.  They can be a great solution to making large walls feel more intimate or boring walls come to life.

 

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Color blocking


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Custom Window treatments successfully adorned with color blocking design!  - by Lisa Ferguson Interior Design

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Photo by: Peregrine Design Build

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Image by tilevera.com

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Featured Color: White

 

 

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Happy belated Easter to you all!  Easter was always a HUGE holiday in my home growing up.  My mom, who is passionately into family traditions and superstitions  always made sure we hunted for eggs and hunted for dresses and made sure I didn’t wear white before Easter.  I’m not sure if that’s a southern tradition or just a mom tradition that white pants and shoes are to be adorned only between Easter and Labor Day, but either way, I’m excited to now be allowed to wear white!

I’m amazed at how many times I hear “Oh just white trim” or “You know…just go with white” when confirming paint selections for clients.  I just want to sing “Sure!  We’ll go with white.  Now which of the 1000 shades of white do you prever?”  There are warm whites, cool whites, super whites, creamy whites, and Ivory.

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TO HIGHLIGHT OR DRAW ATTENTION TO -  i.e. crisp trim or molding adjacent to a darker color:

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WHEN YOU WANT LAYERS OF FABRICS, FURNITURE, AND ACCESSORIES TO POP ON TOP!

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WHEN CREATING TIMELESS SPACES OF PEACEFUL RELAXATION

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TO EVOKE FEELINGS OF PEACE IN A MIDST OF CHAOS

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TO CONVEY CLEANLINESS!

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I obviously have to select colors that suit clients’ needs, but if clients want “white” cabinets, I always at least start with my warmer white options.  There is so much more depth and “richness” that coincides with these colors as opposed to a stark white operating room white:)

 

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Consider painting it…..

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If you want to jazz up your window but are too timid to go wild with color, adding panels with a soft, white background (or even solid white!) to add a visual texture and “finished” look without overwhelming a space!

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So pull out your white fancy pants and put a splash of white in your home to get you in the mood for Spring!

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*Window Panels – 1. West Elm 2. West Elm 3. Ballard Designs 4. Pottery Barn

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Favorite New Businesses!


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I’m so excited to share with you two companies that have just launched that are a.mah.zing.  They are unique, passion driven, and best of all, founded by friends.

 

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This first is Al-Harry, owned by Alison Fargione located in Bluffton, SC.  Let me tell you how I came to meet Mrs. Fargione.  Alision just happens to have a beautiful daughter that has been my friend for over a decade now.  We met the very first day of college, survived four years of design school, and embarked upon many crazy road trips together, many of which were trips to Hilton Head to stay with Sarah’s fam.  From kitchen conversations with Sarah’s mom, (still Mrs. Fargione to me:) I realized that Sarah had some competition in the BFF world…her mom and I were two of a kind!  We both loved painting, design, and bringing old things to life again.  We even took our own road trip together to the big city of ATL for a intense faux workshop.

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The Fargione family had a knack for building and finishing pieces that looked as if they were purchased from top showrooms, so I wasn’t surprised at all to hear they had finally opened a store to share their talents with the world!

 

It’s the sweetest thing- the whole family is involved, grandparents and all!  They allow you to purchase pieces of furniture that they have designed and created finishes for, you can completely customize pieces to your liking, OR you can have them refinish a piece that you currently own.  Furniture is something that is so often passed down from generation to generation…why not design a piece specifically for your family to one day be inherited as a heirloom…love this concept!

 

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There is a HUGE selection of BEAUTIFUL finish options that you can put on any piece you see (or can dream of making!)

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Warning: the site may make you teary.  Or maybe it’s just me:) I’d LOVE to one day have a family business!

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The next company that you don’t want to miss was developed by a client of mine, wife of my Wecora Co-founder, and now friend!  Named after their precious little girls, Ellie and Emma’s is my latest favorite go-to for unique finds and go-to gift ideas!  They display a great assortment of ceramics that are locally made from artistic towns like Asheville but also fun finds from Italy and beyond.  Several things that I love about E + E :

  • Products (unless they have metal of course) are dishwasher and microwave safe = easy breezy
  • They’re green!  The company uses and recycles and only uses recycled materials for marketing, notes,etc.  They are a Bronze Green America Certified Business
  • The presentation!  They practice the art of “furoshiki” gift wrapping – meaning no paper.  Your purchases are wrapped in incredible, earth friendly muslin fabric that can be reused or sewn into new creations.  I think I’m going to start wrapping presents this way!
  • The pieces have a story behind them- you’re able to learn a bit about the hands that made them, what materials they used, etc.  Just more fun!

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 I love so many of the pieces that Lisa has pulled together, but here are my faves so far:

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I get so excited when I find businesses that are unique and better yet when I know the founders.  So proud of all of those who embark on the crazy ride of business ownership…it’s definitely a journey.  Help support these two when you can!

 

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Metallics

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Ahhh…copper hoods, sinks, and hardware….Be A Utiful:)   A shimmer on the ceiling?  How rich, subtle, and unpredictable!

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Gold. Silver. Bronze. Copper. Chrome. Mercury glass. Etc. Etc. Etc…..Metallics are making their statements everywhere these days!  LOVE all of the metal accents in clothing and furniture.  It seems that you used to have to decide…”silver or gold?”  Not anymore!  The combo is common and adds tons of pizzaz, sparkle, and shine:)

 

 

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Have a craving for metallics and time on your hands?  Here are a few DIY projects I thought you may enjoy!:

1.  Duplicate Anthropologie letters with cardboard and a can of paint!
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2.  Sunburst mirrors – the craze continues!

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3. Shake those spray cans!  Spray paint comes in a variety of silvers, golds, bronze, copper, and even a mirrored/mercury-glass like finish now…let your imaginations run wild!  Update a old chandelier, paint a candleholder, or even transform your door hardware!

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Feel free to share any other marvelous metal projects you’ve completed!

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Happy Wednesday to all ,

Love Stephanie

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Farmhouse Fabulous

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What is it about a farmhouse that is becoming more and more appealing to the masses?  Why is it that the thought of “fixing up” a old farmhouse doesn’t feel like a daunting task, but instead, an exciting adventure?  Even when folks are buying old, they renovate to make new, so why not start with a completely fresh pallet?  Well, here’s my theory:)  There’s just something so charming, so warm about spaces with history.  They are filled with generations of memories and often exude way more character than modern day builds.  It could be that with the fast-paced world that we live in, the reminder of simpler times where people did “drop-ins” to visit their friends, decisions were easier because there weren’t 1000 different options for every purchase (written fresh from a trip to the grocery store:), and families eating diner together was the norm, not an anomaly.

 

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Houzz posted a really interesting conversion of a 1800′s farmhouse to a modernized haven in a recent ideabook!

Even if you’re not in the market for purchasing an actual farmhouse, it’s amazing to see how many products are marketing their own take on the farmhouse flare!

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Farmhouse sinks are everywhere now!  They come in every material from porcelain and copper to even stainless steel and are used in even the most contemporary designs!  Last time I was at Ikea I saw they even had their own (very affordable!) version.

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LOVE the look of exposed beams/columns!  Again, this look can be incorporated in to many different styles of design if done right!  Something about bringing the warmth of wood indoors, no matter the way it’s stained (or even painted!), gives great detail while somehow making the space visually more structurally sound.

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Barn doors are a GREAT way to add a element of “something different”! When placed on a track, they can save a considerable amount of space normally taken up with a traditional door swing. These also work great as room partitions!  LOVE!farmhouse8

I’ve seen everything from lit mason jars to “tin” alley lights that just screen a lil’ country!  The use of glass and iron are very common with farm-like fixtures.farmhouse11

Ahh, my FAVE!  The wider the better for flooring if you ask me!  Now if you talk with those who know best about flooring, they’ll tell you the truth- that the wide, the more issues with expansion, contraction, opportunities for buckling, etc.etc etc., but no one said beauty wasn’t painful:)farmhouse7

Wooden countertops are REALLY getting popular in the design world!  It’s amazing how far the industry has come with ways to protect and treat the wood (you used to have to worry about bacteria along the surface since it’s a naturally poreus material…yuck!).  If you love the look but don’t want to commit to using all over, then chose a island, top to a piece of furniture, or small section of your kitchen to highlight.

 

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I LOVE THE ROOSTERS!  Ha, I may bit a lil bit country (only by default of growing up in NC, of course:) but the roosters aren’t just for the Southeast!  These accents are showing up EVERYWHERE lately!  Keep your eyes open and you’ll see them- accessories, tiles, bedding, etc…you name it, it comes with a rooster!


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Wecora.com

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Ladies and Gentlemen…folks of  all ages….I have something VERY exciting to share with you!  For the past few months, I have been working to help develop a new site that allows ANYONE to be able to work with an interior designer in a time efficient and VERY cost effective way!  Allow me to introduce you to Wecora.com!

Screen Shot 2013-03-06 at 12.41.21 PMWecora is a marketplace that connects those that need interior design assistance, with some of the country’s (and eventually global!) top professionals in the industry.  EVERYTHING is done remotely, so you are not having to pay a typical designer hourly fee to come out to your home.  You work along side the designer, providing any measurements, photos, etc. that they need to help complete the job and, in turn, save a ton of money!  You are provided with a set price to complete your job, which makes budgeting much easier, but you are still gaining all of the perks of working with a designer: buying product/furniture at a fraction of the cost, a clear vision and concept, and help with implementation.

So say that you have a project you are needing help with..as simple as selecting a paint color to as complex as constructing floorplans.  How does this work?  I’m so glad you asked:)

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Through the use of Wecora, you are able to work with a top designer in NYC that you only dreamed of working with in the past!

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As a designer who LOVES what she does, I’m excited that I no longer feel like I have to chose between my passion for my work and my love for being home more with my growing family. I get to do both!  We are just now launching to designers, so if you have any designers that you feel would be thrilled to be part of the site, please, by all means, forward the info along to them!  We are only accepting a handful of designers to begin with, so don’t let them miss out!

If you think you would want to try Wecora for your own projects, simply sign up to “Submit your project.”  Though we are not allowing users to use the site YET while we are still selecting designers, if you sign up now, you will be notified when we launch to the public AND you get 10% off your first engagement!  How exciting!

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I do still love the face-to-face of traditional design, but do feel like this is going to be a “game changer” to the industry!  I’m so happy that now everyone will be able to work with a designer to help make their environments a bit happier:)

 

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