Saturday, July 23, 2011

My Dish Addiction - New Find

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Yellow Greek Key Dip Cup from The Mane Lion
There's something about the Greek Key motif that I am drawn to. 

Look what I just discovered - The Mane Lion Greek Key serveware with a porcelain lion's head.  How fun!!

All the colors in the line are rich and beautiful. The pieces are hand painted in Italy.  These designs just speak to me. 

Problem is...I just can't decide which color is my favorite.  

Chocolate Platter with Lion's Head from The Mane Lion

Red Platter with Lion's Head from The Mane Lion

Blue Greek Key Shell, Chips and Dip

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Great New Postage Stamps - Industrial Design

One of the cool new USPS Stamps
I like sending out letters, cards or even just a quick note.  I like receiving them too!

How cool will these stamps be on anything that I send out??

I found them at the Post Office yesterday.  I bought some, walked to my car, pondered for just a second and then turned around and went back in to buy loads more. 

They're "Forever Stamps" so why not stock up?
Pioneers of American Industrial Design from the USPS

Monday, July 18, 2011

Timberframe Lighting

I saw these wonderful lights from Currey & Company while at Highpoint in the spring and knew exactly who should have them - Lawry - my wonderful Timberframe client.  I think these two fixtures would be perfect for the stair leading to the loft and the loft itself.

Lawry is winding down work on the interior of his Timberframe home.  He has offically moved in and we are working together on those last few items for the interior.

Loft and exterior lighting are a few of open items and I just love these fixtures for his home!  Lawry is concerned that they might be a tad too modern...hum?

I will spend a bit of time look for some alternate is difficult when you think that you have found just the right ones. 
Ernesto Single Light Pendant - Currey & Company
Ernesto 4 Light Pendant - Currey & Company

Stay tuned to see what other options I find and which fixtures Lawry will choose.

More to follow...later this week - laundry room cabinets, custom made mirrors and a custom made vanity sink base.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Paint that dark, heavy, old wood - it's okay!

So many times I have seen dark, outdated wood paneling, beamed ceilings or even floors that cry out for a simple coat of paint.  Think...crisp and fresh.

Be not afraid - paint is the easiest and most economical way to make miraculous changes in a room.  

See the photos below from Coastal Living - what a difference!  The window wall was opened up to take advantage of the great ocean views.  The fireplace was renovated to be bright and in balance with the space and then a wonderful nook was added to the left of the fireplace to take advantage of the view.  Fresh light floors and a cozy seating area finish off this ocean front space nicely. 

Now imagine that they had kept the heavy wood beamed ceiling?? 

Paint is the answer!!  Don't be afraid - paint that old, dark wood and let in the light!

Before Picture - too heavy, too dark, too bulky
After - Light, fresh and perfectly in balance

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

The Girls Have Arrived - how sweet are they???

I have been doing my research for months.  I ordered the "girls" in February of this year.  I selected my breeds for a combination of calm temperment, cold hardiness, body color, egg color, and availability.  I ordered Buff Orpingtons, Ameraucanas (blue eggs), Dominiques, Delawares, and a single Barnevelder (all that was available.)  I received a call on Monday letting me know that the Barnevelder didn't hatch.  I could wait until August for everyone if I wanted another Barnevelder or I could accept another breed.  The hatchery offered a Black Copper Maran as a substitute. 
Can I tell you how much this sent me into a tail spin?  I thought I had this all designed and planned out ... and was thrown a curve on the phone at the last minute...they had to ship that same day - the other girls had hatched.  I had to decide right then.  A quick look on line and I thought the Black Copper Maran would be a  terrific substitute. 

As I began my quick research on the Black Copper Maran I found out that this French breed has a bit of controversy around it.  Pure breed French variety vs. other.  I love that they are calm, good foragers, and lay the yummiest, dark brown, highly desired eggs.  Okay, that's perfect for the well designed egg basket.  :)

In my fantasy, the Post Office calls me and says "The girls have arrived, come and get them."  HA!!  No notice at all.   I tracked them on line and knew that they were in town Monday at 6:03 p.m.  I couldn't pick them up until the next morning at 8:30 a.m.  I fretted for them overnight.

The post office never called me.  I simply was there at 8:30 a.m. exactly.  The post person found the box and we opened the box together and peeked inside.  They all looked good!!! Yeah!!!

I placed them under the heater in the car and zipped home to their waiting warm brooder box.  I dipped each beak into the sugar water and they were on their way. 
They LOVE mashed egg.  They are too funny with a meal worm.  They are super active racing around and then...crash!  Their bodies collapse, their head bobbles down and they are OUT. 

The chicks are the softest thing I have ever felt!  They have personalities right away.  I have named the bravest girl already - Coco.  Coco Channel.  She has a lovely rich brown strip on her head and  back. She is the first to do everything. 

The Buff Orpingtons and the Delawares are so mild and sweet.  The Black Copper Maran is the smallest, she's a bit of a loner, maybe even delicate - such a rare breed.

I am a nervous new Mom.  They already know me when I enter the room.  Well...maybe they would know anyone who enters the room.  Seems they have a sixth sense about this - even sleeping, they know that you are there.

So far, I am in love with them.  Even though I had to clean pasty butts this morning. Seriously....

As of today...we do not have a coop for them.  The pressure is on...Steve is under the gun now.

Here is his latest design for me and the girls:

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Restoration Hardware Aviator Aluminum Collection

Restoration Hardware Aviator Chair

I just happened upon the latest offerings from Restoration Hardware and ... I like them!!

Great vintage look and feel. 

The style is bold, fun, and invokes a strong retro feel.  Used in moderation, I think it can make a great focal point for a space.

Restoration has made a departure from the mainstream furniture offerings in the past few seasons and I applaud their efforts.  While it's not right for everyone...that's exactly the point.

Be bold, be different - lead the way, don't follow.

Read the company philosophy from their chairman, Gary Friedman here. 

Restoration Hardware Coffee Table

Restoration Hardware Spitfire Leather Chair

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Amazing Art Glass

Glass Octopus - instyle-decor
 Just spotted this amazing piece of art glass from instyle-decor. 

Love the curves and detail!! 

Sunday, February 27, 2011


Steve has been working on my chicken coop design. 

Stay tuned for possible revisions to the design and a follow up video as Steve builds the coop this spring.

I am soooo excited.  

Please let us know your thoughts!  Thanks for watching.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

A Life Filled With Design

Photo by Pamela Van Nough

We are the designer of our lives. 

How much time in any given day do we spend considering what we are creating?

I see design everywhere in my world and throughout my life, from my first passion for graphics and photography, through my current work in interior design, to my personal life as expressed through my hobbies; wine making, baking, gardening and new budding enterprise, raising chickens for eggs and compost.

I have been longing for chickens for about ten years or so...long before raising urban chicken came into vogue.  I don't know why I have procrastinated about getting started.  No more is the time!  If not now...then when? 

Golden Lace Polish Chicken
 I have been spending vast amounts of time researching the different breeds to determine the best suited to our location and lifestyle along with information on the best type of coops, feeders, nesting boxes, how to care for day old chicks, and how to keep them safe outside from predators...the list of things to know is endless.  There is clearly way more to keeping chicken than I had first thought.

Enter the design factor.  I am designing my chicken experience, designing my flock, their product - the egg basket, and their new home and playground.  Lots of fodder for though and creativity.

As I select my breeds I am considering the climate tolerance of each breed, their egg production, the egg color (so cool), and their temperament - no aggressive, loud, flighty girls for me - read high maintenance. :)

Our cold climate limits the breeds that will do well here.  No large combs to freeze in the Ohio artic climate.  

The Fab Golden Lace Polish Chicken and the gentle Silkie breeds are not cold hardy. (pictured above)  Too bad as they are truly a treat.  They are not good egg producers but oh so pretty and would give just the right "punch" to the style and look of the flock. 

Ameraucana - blue eggs and old breed
I have also considered the look of the egg basket.  Going for the perfect color palette - mixed blue, brown and deep brown. 

See the design factor emerging??

Here are a few of the breeds that I am considering.  They are cold tolerant, have a wonderful friendly disposition, fairly good producers and are more or less calm and quite.

I have run into a bit of a dilemma, I need to order more chicks that I really can handle.  The chicks ship in batches of 25 to keep each other warm and I can really only handle 6-8 hens, especially to start.  Hum, how to handle this???

My partner in crime and resident carpenter is working on designing the coop for the girls.  There are NO plans out there for great looking coops...what's up with that???  Enter my architect hubby. 

I will detail our coop adventures in future blogs.  Scroll to the end to see a few design ideas for coops that I did discover on line.

Dominique - brown eggs and old breed

Faverolles - brown egg, french breed  (photo by

Delaware - brown egg

Buckeye - brown egg, endangered, bred for the Ohio climate

Langshan - brown egg

Barnevelder - brown egg, very rare breed, endangered

Of course I want this rare girl...

Brahma - brown egg

One style of nesting box with easy access

The girls in their nesting box :)

Very cool coop - would the neighbors object to something so nice????

Nice style coop - note the pull out tray

Just looks like a coop for this Western Reserve area

Spacious coop and run

My favorite - click on image to visit site detailing construction

Here are a few resources that I have discovered thus far:

My Pet Chicken

Mother Earth News

Meyer Hatchery

BackYard Chickens


Check back often as I share the design process for our chicken coop.

Here is the beginning peek as Steve is drawing away in sketch up. Hum....