Let’s Go Visiting: Frank Lloyd Wright

The main reason I was really excited to go to Scottsdale, Arizona during June was not the fact that it was going to be 106 degrees every day, but that it provided me the opportunity to visit Taliesin West, architect Frank Lloyd Wright’s winter home and studio. I’ve visited several other Wright properties over the years, and while there is genius in all of them, Taliesin West  is now my favorite – it spoke to the landscape so beautifully.

IMG_8838

IMG_8842

IMG_8848

The architectural details are wonderful – I love these glass corners:

IMG_8868

There were unique uses of shape and color:

IMG_8874

IMG_8879

IMG_8856

IMG_8805

IMG_8869

Sculpture is integrated everywhere – some of it even embedded into the structure.

IMG_8824

IMG_8808

IMG_8850

This Buddha head was Wright’s favorite – he hand carried it between his homes.

IMG_8875

Photography was not allowed in most of the interior spaces, so there are many details I can’t share. One highlight was Wright’s personal bathroom, which had a small footprint but a very high ceiling. The lower portion of the room (including the fixtures) was entirely stainless steel, while the upper portion was the desert stone masonry rubble construction seen throughout the property. The contrast of the stainless steel with the roughness of the upper walls was stunning.

IMG_8807

IMG_8885

If you find yourself in Scottsdale, Taliesin West is well worth a visit. There are beautiful architectural moments at every turn.

IMG_8857

IMG_8852

 

 

Let’s Go Visiting Again

Remember Connie and her amazing Christmas collection? It turns out that she also collects hand painted Easter eggs during her world travels and she invited us back to see them. Each one is a tiny work of art.

IMG_7393

Krakow, Poland

IMG_7398

Poland

IMG_7397

Poland

IMG_7401

These eggs in the bunny holders are actually real eggs! Connie found these beauties in Prague.

IMG_7399

These tin eggs are from Vienna, Austria.

IMG_7413

Poland

IMG_7410

Poland

IMG_7408

Poland

IMG_7414

Poland

IMG_7419

Thailand

IMG_7418

Thailand

IMG_7416

Thailand

IMG_7423

This cast iron egg stand is from England, where it was intended for everyday use – eggs are often not refrigerated there. The eggs are from Poland.

IMG_7429

Poland

IMG_7431

Poland

Thanks Connie!

Old Becomes New – Katie’s Bedroom Project

My friend Katie lives in a 100+ year old home in Baltimore, Maryland, and has been working on renovating it with the help of her dad and her awesome dog Joey. She was kind enough to share her bedroom renovation with us. I just love how it turned out.

Katie found these vintage shutters for $30 at Second Chance, a great resource for architectural salvage in Baltimore.

IMG_3941

Then she and her dad turned them into this:

photo-1 (25)

(That’s Joey peeking in there!)

The bed was made to complement the radiator covers her dad also built for the house:

photo 1 (11)

(See the close up of Joey framed on the wall?)

To make the headboard the same width as the bed, they added wood in the center and finished it with crown molding:

IMG_3957

They then painted it to match the trim in the house and hung it on the freshly painted wall:

IMG_3999

Isn’t it beautiful?

photo 4 (5)

photo 3 (7)

The nightstand is made from a Pier One plant stand Katie found for $15 with a 12 inch marble tile from Home Depot glued on top. I love the galvanized bucket she used for the plant!

Thanks so much for sharing, Katie!

Sources:

Shutters: Second Chance, www.secondchanceinc.org (Second Chance is more than just architectural salvage store – it’s also a training and employment program. See their website for more info!)

All other materials from Home Depot.

Wall Paint: Benjamin Moore Silver Fox

Headboard Paint: Behr Pure Ultra White

 

 

Let’s Go Visiting: Ruth

We haven’t been visiting in a while! I love to visit other people’s homes. It’s so much fun to see how people choose to organize and decorate their spaces – to see what is important to them – what they see as beautiful or memorable or comfortable or functional or fun and how they put it all together. Luckily, last week I was invited to Ruth’s house to check out her home and studio. Ruth is a painter, sculptor, collector and estate sale junkie. She lives with art all around her. Like Ruth herself, her home was intriguing and fun and full of humor and inspiration.

Ruth’s front hall is filled with mirrors and butterflies. It looks amazing! She collected countless mirrors at estate sales and painted them all gold with a white wash. The butterflies are cut from paper and hand applied. The overall effect is stunning.

IMG_6384

IMG_6385

IMG_6383

(Insider tip: Ruth uses www.estatesales.net to find sales near her!)

Her home is filled with her sculptures and paintings. In her sculpture, found objects come together in marvelous ways. Each piece tells its own story.

IMG_6389

IMG_6408

IMG_6421

IMG_6425

IMG_6423

IMG_6387

Her art mixes beautifully with the rich wood dining room furniture she inherited:

IMG_6416

IMG_6400

IMG_6401

IMG_6415

IMG_6396

Ruth also has some wonderful collections displayed throughout her home. I love the way she groups pottery together by color.

IMG_6422

IMG_6409

IMG_6456

I loved this humorous touch – a cricket on a branch mimics the art on the wall:

IMG_6461

Her studio is a treasure trove of orphaned objects waiting to become something amazing:

IMG_6434

IMG_6445

There were also stacks of Ruth’s paintings in her studio:

IMG_6452

We unrolled the giant canvases in the above photo to reveal this:

IMG_6453

Wow!

As you can see in her studio, Ruth collects countless objects at estate sales for use in her art. When she showed me these vintage games she had been collecting, I was so inspired. What a cool wall decor idea for a child’s room or a game room!

IMG_6448

IMG_6449

IMG_6450

Ruth, thanks so much for letting us visit!

 

 

 

Let’s Go Visiting: Lucy

When Lucy and I met, we were working down the hall from each other at the Denver Design Center. Now we’re both back on the East Coast, and Lucy has put her talents as a painter and an interior designer to work in Norfolk, Virginia. She loves to remodel as much as I do, and her house is beautiful! She also has some creative ideas to make the most of every space.

Come on in!

IMG_5235

This bar tucked under the stairs is an amazing way to use the space!

IMG_5224

IMG_5236

This mirror makes the seating area across from the kitchen seem so much bigger:

IMG_5222

IMG_5225

IMG_5239

Lucy’s own artwork adds color and texture over the mantel:

IMG_5231

Great lighting – oversized lantern over dining table and unique lamps on sideboard:

IMG_5234

IMG_5230

The two-level coffee table provides extra storage, while a range of seating options make this large open room seem really cozy.

IMG_5241

The rugs and lamp in the kitchen make it a comfortably elegant space, while the red stool adds fun color.

IMG_5238

Thanks for letting us visit, Lucy!

Lucy Williams Interior Design – http://lucywilliamsinteriordesign.blogspot.com/

 

 

Let’s Go Visiting: Christmas at Connie’s

Connie and I have lived three houses apart for over six years, but we only just met because she was really living in London and Singapore and her house here was just storing her Christmas decorations. Connie loves Christmas. Actually, she LOVES Christmas. Lower case letters do not adequately express  her love. Her collection of decorations is AMAZING (again, lower case does not suffice). Her collection reflects her Canadian-living-in-America-while-actually-living-abroad lifestyle.

Believe me when I tell you that what you see here is just a portion of Connie’s collection! Let’s start with her international Santas:

IMG_5009

IMG_5003

IMG_5064

IMG_5063

Gotta love Santa as a Mountie!

IMG_5062

IMG_5104

Russian nesting dolls, Christmas style:

IMG_5077

IMG_5078

IMG_5079

IMG_5080

IMG_5081

Man down!

Here is a bit of her London collection:

IMG_4956

IMG_4955

Christmas pudding!

IMG_4950

She also has a large collection of German “smokies” – (incense cone burners):

IMG_5093

IMG_5087

IMG_4978

IMG_4970

IMG_4979

Ornament Advent calendar and hanging tree (and more Smokies!):

IMG_4984

And of course there are nutcrackers!

IMG_4957

IMG_4960

IMG_4962

IMG_5075

Love those red trees!

IMG_5085

And there’s more!

IMG_5033

IMG_4969\

IMG_5096

IMG_5107

IMG_5090

IMG_5057

IMG_5011

IMG_5099

IMG_4966

IMG_4999

She even has kitchen themed decorations for the stovetop!

IMG_5058

Although they have nothing to do with Christmas, I loved her collection of Jan Constantine pillows:

IMG_4968

IMG_5002

Thanks for letting us visit, Connie!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Let’s Go Visiting: Quirky Artsy Cool

The best thing about having an interior design blog is that everyone wants to talk to you about their house. Even better than that is when they invite you over to show you their fun stuff. This week you and I get to check out Heather’s house. Heather is an artist and a happy happy person and the owner of Norman, the biggest dog in the neighborhood (or possibly the state). Her house is full of her artwork and other interesting stuff and her personality shines through everywhere you look.

IMG_4486

Old family photos and letters are the foundation of Heather’s artwork.

IMG_4483 IMG_4484 IMG_4485

This is a tribute to Heather’s grandmother – her photo is superimposed over a letter she wrote, and doors open to reveal little bits about her life – this one shows her passion for sewing. Amazing piece!

IMG_4466  IMG_4460IMG_4498 IMG_4501

Heather also made this glass topped table for her kitchen. She changes the decorations inside with the seasons. Here it is decked out for fall with leaves and pine cones.

There’s also a lot of other fun and interesting stuff – like this chandelier in the dining room:

IMG_4480Bottles here…

IMG_4481Corks here!

IMG_4500

This lamp is made out of salt (perhaps to scare off those glowing spiders)?

IMG_4475 IMG_4473

Vase from recycled magazines. The amount of patience that must have been required to construct this is mind-boggling!

IMG_4482IMG_4494IMG_4491IMG_4469

Love all these unique accessories – the heavy clear and blue glass pieces in the foreground of the last photo are insulators from old telephone poles! Heather puts tea lights under them. I had so much trouble/fun photographing the little silver table because her dog thought me being down on the floor meant that I wanted to play. My first attempt to take a picture of it turned out like this:

IMG_4490

And then after all that, I forgot to take a picture of him. But take my word for it, he is cute!

Thanks for letting us visit, Heather and Norman!

**All the fun and interesting handmade stuff above is a great reminder that tomorrow, November 30, is Small Business Saturday! Please support a small business tomorrow. If you don’t feel like going out to shop (or eat), remember that everyone selling on Etsy.com is a small business who would love your support. Let me know if you see any great Design Finds while shopping on Small Business Saturday!**

 

Let’s Go Visiting: Inspired by Wire

My favorite Partner in Finds has a great looking house. The last time I was there, I noticed that she has a lot of furniture and accessories made out of wire. They all have an amazing eye-catching sculptural look, without taking up too much visual space in her not-so-big rooms. She was gracious enough to let me share:

086 085

This chair is a stunning spin on a classic style. It’s perfect in front of this floor to ceiling window because you can see right through it. Although it doesn’t look it, it’s comfortable too!

074103

This green sphere adds interest without adding weight to the arrangement on PIF’s front hall table.

090088

A wire globe peeks out from behind a Fan Palm.

079078

This side chair provides seating next to PIF’s bamboo desk in her home office while the red side table below adds a pop of color to the room. I forgot to sit in the chair to see if it was comfortable, but sometimes being lovely to look at is more important than comfort. (I own a few pairs of shoes that fit that description!)

104107

098 097 095

The lightness of this wire basket looks fabulous with the color and texture of these Osage Oranges (which are not actually oranges, despite the name!).

102

PIF uses this large vintage wire basket with handles to carry glasses and dishes to her outdoor dining table in summer. In winter, it houses magazines.

Thanks for letting us visit, PIF!