Jun 29, 2008

The Heights' Most Unique Homes

Tucked away in East Dallas lies the historic neighborhood Hollywood Heights and its sister subdivision, Santa Monica. I discovered this area of town because my boyfriend lives in Lakewood which is practically down the street from this quaint neighborhood. There are often days when I yearn to move out of my rented apartment in busy and fast paced Uptown and move somewhere more secluded, green, and quiet. Hopefully one day I will own something that I can call my own and I think Hollywood Heights would be the perfect starter house for me. Each house has so much character and history to it. This adorable neighborhood has large lots and beautiful landscaping making it a very sought after place to live in Dallas.

Most of its houses were built around the 1920's-1930's in the Tudor style and are comprised of Austin stone and brick. The houses in this area have been designated a conservation district by the city of Dallas- which preserves the homes and keeps them looking historic. They range anywhere from $300-600,000 and remind me of little gingerbread houses! Within a few minutes from Hollywood Heights is Dallas' beautiful White Rock Lake, the Aboretum, and Lakewood Theatre. This is really the neighborhood for anyone who loves the outdoors, biking, canoeing, and a friendly, relaxed, family oriented atmosphere.

As I drove by the heights today after brunch in Lakewood, I snapped photos of some of the most unique houses I came across....and these are in fact unique! You don't see houses like this in the newly developed parts of Frisco, Allen, and McKinney. You can't find these cute little historic homes just anywhere!

Interesting exterior...

I love how all of the doors and shutters of these houses are painted really funky colors...some turquoise, some purple, some bright pink!

And here's the purple!

You don't even feel like you are in Dallas anymore with this one...England perhaps?

I love the ivy growing over the house...I want my own little cottage!

This one looks a little bit more Spanish..and I actually found this one randomly on a realtor's site- it's for sale for around $450.

I had to post this one because it looks almost identical to the house I grew up in and the one that my parents still live in today!

Then as you go further into the Lakewood area towards the Lakewood Theatre lie the larger mansions... these houses have lots of character but were almost too big and sat too far away for my camera to get a good glimpse of them! Just a little out of my budget and my camera died..so I decided to stop at this one before I got really sad that I still live in my little 1200 sq ft apartment...once my camera gets up and running again, there will be more to come on Dallas' most historic neighborhoods...stay tuned!

Jun 28, 2008

Run with it!

A few weeks ago, Karen, Kathy, and Lori from Runaway Design contacted Lauren and I to do a podcast interview. We couldn't have been more thrilled. These ladies run an online radio show that in a nutshell discusess everything Interiors! Whether it's interviewing professionals, giving advice, or showcasing home makeovers, Runaway Design is always enlightening their listeners. But besides design, Karen, Kathy and Lori have something else in common- they come from the same family! These three ladies are co-hosts and sisters. I come from a family of three girls myself and I can only imagine how much fun they have working together!

You can listen to our podcast here.

Thanks ladies! We had a blast chatting with you all!

Jun 26, 2008

What's your fireplace style?

Fireplaces are such a big focal point in a Living Area that I love getting the chance to decorate one. There are infinite possibilities with a fireplace...What will be hung on the wall? Will the wall be painted an accent color? What will sit on the mantel? Ahh decisions, decisions! One thing I do know is that it's easy to make a large statement on this wall. It's usually the main focus in the room and can often be overlooked- a poorly decorated fireplace is really such a shame!

We gathered some of our favorite looks, giving you a chance to see the many ways to spruce up this area. Whether it's with color, sparkle, entertainment, functionality, texture, or pattern, a visually interesting fireplace will add a lot of energy and life to your Living area.

Some people love the look of a plasma screen on a fireplace wall; others are fearful that the heat might ruin their TV- but I guess that's why you shouldn't turn on both at the same time! Another factor is that the TV is no longer at normal viewing height. This bothers some; however, I think the photo above from Met Home, designed by Marjorie Skouras, is enough to put anyone's qualms to rest. I love how they are playing old movies in the background. It completes the look of this old Hollywood glam Living area. Not to mention the color of the fireplace accent wall- fabulous!

Another fireplace look that creates visual interest is to hang a carved crest or other decorative object on the wall... this antique tin architectural remnant paired with pretty French boule balls lining the mantel give this area some further appeal. (Featured in Traditional Home)

I love the oversized floral arrangement on this mantel designed by Julia Roth. You don't need much else when putting one of these against your fireplace wall. Another small object lines the mantel but the flowers emit enough of a wow factor to stun those who enter this otherwise simple room.

Shaun Jackson designed this room that was featured in Elle Decor. He placed a mirror above the fireplace making the room appear larger while also adding in a metallic element with the gold frame. Nice and minimal but makes a huge statement.

I love an oversized clock on a fireplace wall...talk about functional and attractive! I don't know about you but I am always scrambling out the door wondering what time it is and how many minutes late I already am. For someone who doesn't wear a watch, this clock would come in very handy!

To add color to your room, a simple piece of art work will do the trick. Depending on how large your fireplace is, you could do a series of two or just one large piece. I am a big fan of placing art work above the fireplace because the eye is immediately drawn to it and what's the point of purchasing art that's on a wall in which nobody sees? Monique Luhllier's house is the perfect example of how art can tie your color scheme together and also express your gorgeous style!

Or are you just the type that likes a ton of miscellaneous meaningful things on top of your mantel? Maybe a pretty vase, a small piece of art you are attached to, a bowl, candlestick- this wall has it all!
Whatever your fireplace preference is, do it up big and show off your creative style- afterall, you only have one Living Room and most likely only one fireplace too. Might as well go all out!

Jun 24, 2008

Wisteria Warehouse Sale

FYI, a fellow blogger, London Calling, let me know a few weeks ago that Wisteria is having a HUGE warehouse sale this weekend...so if you're in the neighborhood and in desperate need of furniture, this sale sounds very promising! I'll be there for sure!

Jun 22, 2008

Best of...

It seems like most people have their own personal style that they can pin point through a room in a design magazine (hence why we keep tear sheets all over the house for inspiration!) There are times when you are looking through House Beautiful and a room just screams (insert name here). I have binders full of these room photos. They are designs that reflect my personal style, favorite colors, desired pieces of furniture, and contain my favorite room arrangements. I think everyone can admit to gawking over a spread in Elle Decor wishing it was his or her own!

Well Lauren and I are here to show you our favorite rooms broken down into nine categories...it's great eye candy, trust me, and gives you a little insight into our personal style and how we would choose to decorate our homes if money was no object and we could design in any way we chose (disregarding husbands', boyfriends', and roommates' opinions)...It's so interesting that everyone has their own '"look" and opinion on how they would design their own house...what is your preferred style?


#1 Best of Living Rooms
{picture via Cote de Texas as seen in Paper City Feb. '05; photography by Tria Giovan}
This living room is the home of one of my favorite Houston designers, Renea Abbot. Cote de Texas has blogged about her several times, and I just absolutely love her aesthetic. Clean, simple, clutter free (yes in a perfect world), and of course, glamorous.

{photo via Alkemie}
Alkemie did a great post of Molly Simms' NYC Soho Loft as seen in In Style Home. I love her living room and that color scheme is to- die- for.

{photo by William Waldron}
The above two pictures are of Candice Bushnell's NYC apartment done by Forristal Smith Interiors (as seen in Elle Decor Sept. 2006). You might recognize the bottom picture from the cover of So Chic.
{House Beautiful Nov. 2007}
This is the living room of an apartment Celerie Kemble designed for House Beautiful and the developers of 10 West End Ave. in Manhattan. The entire apartment is amazing, but I am drawn to the living room in particular. Natural rug, great art, cream sofa, blue and white accents, perfection!
{photo via Style Court}
Cindy Crawford's Living Room designed by Michael S. Smith is a room that I always come back to. A big part of me would love to live in a Spanish bungalow with saulsilito floors, cream walls, and comfortable furnishings in sunny California. This living room is what I have always associated with California Style (until I watched the Real Housewives of OC- eeeek).

I couldn't resist posting this picture via Desire to Inspire of David Jimenez's Kansas City home. His whole house is amazing, but this space has all the elements that I adore...a little Dorothy, big mirrors, neutral sofas, pink flowers, lucite/glass, and that touch of animal print.

#2 Best of Master Bedrooms
{Joe Nye, House Beautiful Oct. '07}
Ahh, I love everything about this bedroom. I am obsessed with Manuel Canovas's "Bragance" on the windows and the paint color. P.S. the bedding is currently on sale at WSHome. MOM- BUY IT!
{picture via Cote de Texas as seen in Paper City Feb. '05,; photography by Tria Giovan}
Another Renea Abbot creation (her own Master Bedroom).
{photo via My Notting Hill}
This is my favorite canopy/headboard/bedding combination as seen in House Beautiful, March 2008(designed by Amanda Nisbet).
{Miles Redd as seen in Elle Decor Nov. 2006}
Miles Redd at his finest! The two kickers for me...pink peonies and the walls!
A bedroom by Kelly Dub. IF I had a "W" bumper sticker on my car (you Texans know the one) it would stand for "Wearstler". I still love the grey and yellow color combination even though my closet is probably so over it, but I can't stop buying it!

#3 Best of Master Bathrooms
{photo via Mary McDonald's Website}
Mary McDonald is a personal favorite of mine, and this bathroom just speaks to me. It is simple, without being stagnant, besides who wouldn't like a chaise lounge in their bathroom?!
A client brought in this tear sheet and I just fell in love with this bathroom. I personally like totally separate his and hers vanities.

#4 Best of Kitchens
W again, this time "back in black," okay, sorry, super cheese. But OMG, who does an all black kitchen?! Only her, and it's fabulous, especially if you had *loads* of china & crystal to display behind the glass doors and could run around in couture all day.
{Traditional Home May '08; designer: Kathy Manzella}
Black La Cornue cabinets with brushed nickel trim, I can not even fathom the expense, not to mention that the rest of the kitchen is done in SieMatic cabinetry from Germany.

{House Beautiful, August 2007; designer: John Oetgen and Ann Sullivan Kitchens}
Posted on this one before (I love the entire house), this kitchen had to grow on me, but what I love the most is the wallpaper on the ceiling- one day I will convince a client to do this.

#5 Best of Dining Rooms
I LOVE DINING ROOMS! Are they rarely used and meant for show? Yes! But what a show they can put on! Instead of writing about each individual Dining Room I can pretty much sum up what I like...hand painted wallpaper, tradish table with unexpected chairs, ballgown curtains, a statement mirror, to-die-for chandelier, and fabulous fresh flowers and branches (I try very hard to keep fresh flowers on my table even if I did spend $65 on hydrangeas last week...oops...the only reason I can confess to this is because I know my husband couldn't make it through a quarter of this post).

{Mary McDonald}

{Suzanne Kasler via Cote de Texas}

{via Style Court}

#6 Best of Entryways/hallways I have no idea where I got this picture...if it is from your blog, please let me know!

{Jan Showers }
I've always had a weakness for black and white checkerboard marble floors...and mirrored furniture, and antique mirror...
#7 Best of Home Offices/Libraries
{Joe Nye, again}
This is one of my favorite rooms ever, it young and fresh but still sophisticated.
This Jonathan Adler designed library {via Brilliant Asylum} has been ingrained in my memory for quite some time. It is the first time I can recall seeing those fabulous chippendale chairs.

{Bazaar, June 2007}
Aerin Lauder's Dressing Room that happens to have the most fabulous desk I have ever seen!

{photo via Maison21}
I was so excited when I saw Maison21's post on Carrie's Vogue Editor's office in SATC. Someday I will have a pair of Dorthy Draper chests to call my own.
Actress Sarah Wynter's office as seen in In Style. I love the chair and touches of Tiffany blue.

#8 Best of Outdoor Spaces
I really think I need to live in California....

Designer Windsor Smith outside her home.

{photo via Style and Grace}

#9 Best of Children's Rooms
One girl, one boy.
This Katie Ridder designed room just makes me swoon!

Tory Burch's sons' room...what really caught my eye is the parsons chair.

#1 Best of Living Rooms

This Manhattan apartment decorated by Brian McCarthy is one of my favorites! Maybe it's the greek key pattern on the pillows that really gets me or perhaps it's that velvet espresso sofa with the geometric trim....not sure but I do know it's fabulous! Love the antique mirror on the wall with the landscape painting over it.

I'm sure you remember this Living Room from Elle Decor...I love all of the plush velvet fabrics everywhere and those colors- WOW! What a perfect balance between lots of neutrals and colors that provide a lot of punch.

I could vacation in this Living Room. Talk about relaxing! I love blue and green together with just a sprinkle of brown added to the mix- very chic! That lamp is one of the best parts about the room

#2 Best of Master Bedrooms

So this bedroom is a bit more modern and simple for my taste- but I LOVE all of the bright colors in here. I am a bit more traditional than this and usually require a good amount of pattern in my room but this variation of solid colored fabric really makes a statement and works great. The benches at the end of the bed are adorable and what a perfect mix of sleeping and lounge areas. Nice multi purpose bedroom!

This bedroom from Traditional Home is more my style- I am all about the glam as you are probably catching onto by now...that, and cool hues (are you seeing a pattern here?) I love all of the convex mirrors randomly placed on the wall and that chaise lounge- unexpected, and a new spin on the usual bench at the end of the bed...Elements in this room that I can't live without- tufting, silk drapes, crystal lamps, a pretty paint color, and a huge duvet... I think me and this room are meant to be!

#3 Best of Master Bathrooms

This Master Bath is nice and simple. Can't remember what magazine I tore this out of- woops! I try not to go too ornate and distracting in a bathroom because I (personally) want it to be very calming, but at the same time luxurious. What a great view you get from this tub- and a chandelier in a Master Bath is a must have! (for me at least) The dark wood grounds the bathroom a bit and gives it a heavier element which it needs.

#4 Best of Kitchens

Another Traditional Home photo- I love the black granite and carrara marble checkerboard floor- it gives the otherwise simple kitchen some added panache! The chandelier is very eye catching and the cream cabinets (as opposed to bright white) warms up the kitchen a bit more. The great thing about this kitchen is that you can add in another accent color to liven it up- do a vase of fresh brightly colored flowers or if you wanted to keep it classic and simpe, nix the color altogether!

#5 Best of Dining Rooms

I tend to design my own house slightly more on the feminine side. I can't help it- I am a girly girl at heart. This was one of my favorite Traditional Home articles because it was designed for the Traditional Home Women Showhouse. Scott Laslie, its designer, imagined that a Marie Antoinette/Carrie Bradshaw type girl would be living here. This room is completely my style- it's sophisticated, elegant, and feminine without being too stuffy, uptight, or over the top frou frou. I love the geometric chairs and the murano glass chandelier. The fresh flowers break up all the blue and brown so it doesn't get too matchy matchy.

#6 Best of Entryways/hallways
Did you ever read the Mindy Weiss article in O at Home a few months ago? I have featured her bedroom before on our blog and her home is beyond fabulous! I can imagine this space as an entryway. I love the idea of staggering random portraits on a wall. I have always wanted to do it in my own home but feel that this my end up getting a little pricey for me! Maybe it can be a work in progress...and that tufted velvet chair...tres chic!
Here comes that checkerboard floor again! I love this entry that was featured in Traditional Home...probably because I love mixing the old with the new- the antique secretary paired with the sleek and modern Panton Chair...I love this juxtaposition!

#7 Best of Home Offices

This Elle Decor study comes from the same home that I featured above with Bedroom #1. The colors are hard to see in this photo but they are very "icy" colors- cool blues, grays, blacks, with crystal and silver accents. I love the velvet pillows and the relaxing mellow color scheme.

This was actually a media room in House Beautiful but I can see it more as a cozy dark library/study with this being the seating area. The robin's egg blue armoire could hold old books and/or hide office supplies. I love those drapes- they are made of Donghia fabric-Omen Damask- yummy!

#8 Best of Outdoor Spaces
Checkerboard floor...hmmm I see a pattern here! I have posted on this one before so I think it's pretty apparent how much I love this outdoor Living Room space by Miles Redd featured in Domino.

#9 Best of Children's Rooms
One of my favorite kid's room that I have seen is this one out of Traditional Home. I love dark brown in a boy's room...it's just such a different take on the normal navy and red decor. It brings a bit more maturity to it- makes it a lot easier when they start getting older and don't want the themey room anymore- you wouldn't even have to repaint!

This is my favorite girl's room...I love all the pink paired with brown- I know that maybe it was an overused color trend a few years ago but I still think this room is adorable. They seem to be carrying out a lot of home trends here- ikat pillows, greek key rug, metallic side stool....if you got me a queen sized bed for here, I wouldn't mind living in it!