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the greenbrier: cutting edge history

History can be a little bland sometimes, so it blows my mind when you see a place like the Greenbrier.  The Greenbrier's history starts in 1778 and has operated as a world-class resort with ventures in an army hospital, a casino, a medical spa, and a secret government nuclear war bunker- all in West Virginia.  In the middle of the last century Dorothy Draper was commissioned to revamp the historic property and turned her kind of brilliance loose on the place, with floral upholstery, black and white floors, and color galore.  Along with the design, Draper oversaw every detail down to the matchbooks and the uniforms.  A couple of years ago after fighting back from bankruptcy the Greenbrier was given an $80 million dollar renovation with Draper's protege and current head of Dorothy Draper & Co, Carleton Varney at the helm of the design rejuvenation.  This freedom of design and boldness makes me giddy.  

photos above from

Has anyone visited the Greenbrier?

If you'd like help designing a home you absolutely love, contact me about design services.  You can alsofollow me on twitter & see what I am saying on facebook.

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Quality of Design

Over a year ago on ACL, I did a series on Michael Smith Alums.  Fellow MS graduates that had spun off and started their own businesses.  The talent pool is ridiculous.  Joe & Parrish from Harbinger featured in November's House Beautiful, Brian with his own fabric line Ferrick Mason, Oliver who is impossible to miss, because he is everywhere.  Which brings us to Katie and Jason of Maine Design- right after the post went live they found out that their project would be featured in House Beautiful and now, over a year later (shows you how long you may have to wait to be published in a national magazine), they are in the Dec/Jan 2012 issue.

Normally, I avoid posting commentary on magazine spreads, but I can't pass up showing off my talented friends.  Get the full story in the December / January 2012 House Beautiful.

This is the kind of design that I want to be doing.  I think people have forgotten in the rush for "the look for less" and budget cutting that you can never achieve this quality of design on a small budget.  The patina of quality antiques and the luster of handpainted wallpaper will never be matched by Restoration Hardware and a gallon of paint.  Fabrics that are $20/yard are not equal to fabrics that are $200/yard.  Not everyone can afford this quality of design and great design can be done on a limited budget, if you are open to spending money on things that matter.  

If you'd like help designing a home you absolutely love, contact me about design services.  You can also follow me on twitter & see what I am saying on facebook.

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10 Things I Believe: Amanda Teal

Today we are lucky to have Amanda Teal from Stylish Bird letting us have a glimpse at her 10 Things.  
I am learning through this series that we are all really not so different in what we believe and what makes us tick.  



be thankful

gourmet mag

I am taking the rest of the week off, but there will be a new post on Monday with Amanda Teal of Stylish Bird 10 Things I Believe.


life in detail: parquet floors

Floors are often not given the attention they deserve for being such a major part of your home.  A beautiful floor can increase your home's style-factor exponentially - making even an ikea sofa look rich.

For more parquet love check out this informational post.

If you'd like help designing a home you absolutely love, contact me about design services.  You can alsofollow me on twitter & see what I am saying on facebook.

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10 Things I Believe: Erika Ward

You may know Erika from her blog Blu Label Bungalow, you should also visit her website and follow her on twitter.  Thanks Erika!

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You're Invited: To My House

I am not always able to throw the parties that I plan on You're Invited.  But this is a party that I hosted at my house in October for all our friends to celebrate our newly married status with us when we returned from our Hawaii wedding and California reception.  

I created postcard invitations with a photo of our trip and mailed to guests.

pea & purple basil crostini (I had purple basil from my CSA)
mini grilled cheese (I used fontina & fig butter)
onion tart (this is DI-vine)
chocolate chip cookies (everyone likes ccc)
I also bought sweet potato chips, pickled okra, jalepeno stuffed olives and mixed up some toasted salty almonds.

Lemon & Pineapple infused vodkas with soda water and appropriate garnish for guests to help themselves.  The trick is to use pretty bottles and to put pineapple slices and lemon peel in the bottles for easy ID.  You could also use different flavors - lime, grapefruit, passionfruit, coconut, currant, mango, etc.

custom runner in batik fabric
candles everywhere in mercury jar votives (here is a DIY)
mason jars filled with baby's breath

If you'd like help designing a home you absolutely love, contact me about design services.  You can also follow me on twitter & see what I am saying on facebook.  

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travel souvenirs

When I travel I always bring back souvenirs that remind me of my trip.  What typically makes my suitcase heavier on the return is art and accessories, cookbooks from the area that I visited, dishes or tableware and textiles.  These travels are what inspired my Joss & Main Curator's Collection.
All products are from Joss & Main Curator's Collection.  Cookbooks can be found on

What kind of travel souvenirs do you bring home with you?

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Global Travel

If you look at my portfolio, you can see that there is always a touch of global travel in all my interiors.  In honor of my Joss & Main Curator's Collection going on now, here are a round up of some interiors featuring worldly-chic.

Looks like you've been shopping here:

or here:

or here:

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its my birthday: buy yourself a present

Today I turn 30 (!) and to celebrate I think that you should all buy yourselves a little something.  That's right for my birthday you get the present!  I've curated a perfect sale of some of my favorite things for the Joss & Main Curator's Collection.

Its a member-only site, but luckily you have the special link with immediate access.

If you'd like help designing a home you absolutely love, contact me about design services.  You can also follow me on twitter & see what I am saying on facebook.

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10 Things I Believe: Niki Papadopoulos

Niki Papadopoulos is the badass behind these 10 things. 
I know you want more: BLOG. WORK. TWITTER.

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dark down under: kitchens

I love the crisp, clean look that dark base cabinets and light uppers provide.  It makes the kitchen feel more like a room with the dark grounding the space and feels like furniture instead of a sea of cabinetry.

Jenna Lyons in Domino

Victoria Pearson in House Beautiful

If you'd like help designing a home you absolutely love, contact me about design services.  You can alsofollow me on twitter & see what I am saying on facebook.

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