Thursday, September 30, 2010

Living With What You Love Part 2

Here you go, Part 2 of my obsession with the book, Living With What You Love, by Monica Rich Kosann.

This book got me wondering if I collect anything besides dust bunnies. I sort of collect picture frames (not really by choice), boots, decorative pillows, antiques, and anything Audrey Hepburn related, but I am not serious or dedicated to any of these collections. So, I started thinking, "what would I collect by choice"?? I still do not have a real answer, but I did start to notice what I do have small collections of.

Perfume bottles...

Eau de toilette! Who knew?! I didn't even realize it, but there is a small and meaningful collection that sits in my bathroom. One bottle is new, one is kind of old, and one, nearly 100 years old!

Do you have any collections that you didn't realize you have?

Happy Thursday

Monday, September 27, 2010


Take a peek...


A fun little boy's room is almost finished.

Can't wait to share the finished room!

Happy almost Tuesday

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Friday, September 24, 2010

Embellished Heart

Happy Friday everyone!

Yesterday I came across a little local shop named Embellished Heart. I also had the pleasure of meeting the owners, Tori and Norma Tartlton, a.k.a. the sweetest mother-daughter duo in downtown Kenosha! What I thought would be a short trip into a store turned into a delightful afternoon of chatting and day dreaming about charming and meaningful interiors and a new future for our downtown Kenosha area.

It's wonderful to meet people who share your loves and dreams and are just as determined as you are to make a difference in the community. I'm not quite sure how we will accomplish it, but downtown Kenosha is due for a major overhaul and when women are out!!!

So, just what is Embellished Heart all about?? Pretty much everything a fabulous girl dreams of...antiques galore, handmade jewelry and art, elegantly re-purposed furniture, and those special little knick knacks that tug on your heart strings.

Here are some little snippets of the store:

Does this place look fun and charming or what?! It was completely appropriate for me to find this shop in the same week that I declared the book, Living With What You Love, the BEST book on how to decorate for your soul.

If you are in the area make sure you stop by and plan to spend some time so that you can soak in all the little details and maybe chat a little with Tori and Norma ;)

Have a great weekend!


P.S. Next week I will post some pictures of the purchases that I made and tell you why these items spoke to me and said, "Take me home with you !!" as well as how I incorporated the special items into my home.

What special things have you purchased lately?

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Living With What You Love

During our vacation I finally had time to start reading Living With What You Love, by Monica Rich Kosann. I absolutely LOVE this book!!

Most of you have heard about this book and have seen images on other blogs, but I wanted to share some of my favorite images and quotes. This book made me realize that sometimes having meaningful objects and pictures around the house is worth getting over my clutter phobia. The author gives plenty of examples of how you can display your collections, art, and family photos in an organized and artful way. Even as a designer I struggle with this in my own home because I love so many different styles and things.

It is easy to forget how important it is to surround yourself with all that you love for the sake of perfection. With that said, it shouldn't come as a surprise that I am against purchasing unoriginal artwork from stores like Hobby Lobby and Target. I am guilty of this in some form, but I avoid it when possible. I refer to this way of decorating as "furniture store decorating". The problem with this form of decorating is that once the particular "style" is out, so is your entire room and you have to start over from scratch. When you decorate based on what you love and fill your space with as much meaning as possible, it will never go out of style.

Here are some of my favorite quotes from the book:

"In Socrates' renowned allegory, the Greek philosopher describes a cave where captive viewers can see only shadows on a wall. Behind where the viewers are sitting, all sorts of real-life figures are passing back and forth, chatting, moving around, having celebrations and funerals, doing whatever people do in real life. But all the viewers can see are the shadows of the real figures projected on the far wall of the cave.
When I walk into a hallway filled with family photos, I sometimes feel like one of the viewers whom Socrates described, viewing shadows on a wall."

"Here is where people,
One frequently finds,
lower their voices
and raise their minds."
-Richard Armour, "Library"

""How do you know when you have a "devoted space" that is really your own? My answer is encapsulated in a quote from the great photographer Henri Cartier-Bresson. "Taking photos," he said, "is to put one's head, one's eye, and one's heart on the same axis." When you walk in, sit down, and spend time in your devoted space, I think that's the way you feel-that your head, eye, and heart are on the same axis.""

Now for some photos:

There is so much more that I love about this book and I will continue to share a piece each week until I am finished reading it. I hope you can pick up the book because it is the best down to earth decorating book that I have seen in a really long time.


Sunday, September 19, 2010

What's Hot in Montana ??

Have you ever been to Montana?

You know, where the buffalo roam, and the deer and the antelope play.

We just got back, which is why I have not posted in about a week. My husband had to attend a seminar out at Big Sky Resort and I decided to tag along. It was our first "vacation" in over four years and boy did I miss blogging!! I missed hearing from all of you and it was hard to stay away from the computer! I had no idea how addicted I was! I have to tell you though, Montana is GORGEOUS!!! And Big Sky Resort is in the heart of the most beautiful scenery! Absolutely breathtaking. Literally, the high elevation alone will leave you breathless.

I had never thought to myself "hey, I know, I want to go Montana!", but you know what, life takes us where we least expect it sometimes and I couldn't be happier that I decided to tag along.

Of course my brain was still focused on design while I was there and couldn't help but snap some shots of the Summit Hotel. The same hotel that President Obama stayed at during his stay in Montana. It is extremely nice and not too pricey.

So, here you have it...this is what's hot for decor in Montana.

Forget cowhide rugs. Think entire couches and chairs upholstered in hides!
Bailey found the need to rearrange the pillows. I don't know where she gets that from.

I prefer to encounter bronze bears. The real kind are a little too scary for me.

We are glad to be back even though we had to leave those beautiful mountains behind.


Wednesday, September 8, 2010

I want...

Have you seen the Yokoo shop on Etsy?

I love LOVE love this fabulous hat!!!

Can you tell that my birthday is coming?

Have a FABULOUS Thursday!


Monday, September 6, 2010


I have a client who needs a nook.

Where they cook.

This is how I want their nook to look:

Any of these will do.

When you start speaking Dr.Suess style is that a sign that you have been spending too much time with your two year old?

Happy Labor Day!