Monday, May 25, 2009

Retro-modern Farmhouse Home Tour

Retro Modern Farmhouse that is a combination of family friendly design, retro decor and barn style inspiration.

This farmhouse, located just an hour's drive north of Houston, reflects the homeowner's artistic nature and inner youthful spirit. Helping this now-Big Apple resident achieve the weekend and summer get-away of her dreams -- to share with her two small children and husband -- was the firm of Edwina Alexis Interiors.  The modern farmhouse sits on a few acres.  No touch rules certainly don't apply here.  This home has a kid friendly design, welcoming of kids and family.  It's colorful, playful and down-right fun. Note the slide by the stairs at the entrance of the home. And the huge and comfy mix-and-match floor cushions in the TV loft.  One of the living room chairs, which you don't see here, is butterfly style upholstered with rag dolls. Edwina even punched up the closets with various bright and bold wallpapers.  The guests rooms don't shy away from a mix of pattern and color either. Away from the house is a barn style garage and apartment.  All in all, it feels like camp but waaaaay better!  When I told my friend, Linda Barth, about it, she decided to feature it in this month's issue of Houston House and Home.  Linda is editor of HH&H, the best free shelter publication in and around Houston. Linda is an amazing editor with a great eye for design.  I always look forward to getting the next issue that, by the way, you can flip through online. It's like thumbing through the actual magazine. See and read more about this modern farmhouse. Sometimes, it's fun to color outside the lines, ya know?!  Enjoy the quick home tour.

The Green Plum Opens in New Location

Fun times . . . moving from one place to another (ha!). Actually, I always like the end result but not the process.  You probably know what I mean.  We hustled to get settled into our new location -- 118 North F Street in Salida's historic downtown district -- and open in time for Memorial Day weekend.  Already, we're enjoying the rewards of our decision to re-locate.  I've met so many Salida visitors in the last couple of days, in addition to getting to know more locals.  We're in an old building -- featuring an original tin ceiling and a red awning out front.  Salida's downtown is so charming and inviting, especially since the Arkansas River flows through it; many enjoy strolling F Street, which is "main street" around here.  I invite you to stop by if you're ever in the area!  (I won't step up on my Chamber soapbox at this time. But if you want to know more, let me know. ) Enjoy the remainder of your holiday!  Wish us luck.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Texas-flavored Outdoor Kitchen

Design Inspiration From Texas: An Outdoor Kitchen and Stone Fireplace

Here's what's on the menu for today: Jan and Tom's kitchen
It's located "out back,"  just steps from their Texas Hill Country red-tin roofed,  stone-walled cottage.  So, put on your Stetsons and cowboy boots (even if it's just mentally) for a quick tour of the friendliest place in the state. That's the best description for Jan and Tom's abode and outdoor kitchen, where platters of finger-lickin' vittles more often than not grace their long wooden table with the tree trunk base.  It's a setting where neighbors and friends -- and friends of friends -- gather almost every weekend to enjoy folksy music,  dancin' , and heart-to-heart talkin' around their stone fireplace (shaped like the Alamo, by the way). 

(We're moving our store, The Green Plum, to Salida's historic downtown this week. Plus, I've got magazine work to do. So, with those jobs on my to-do agenda, this may be the post of the week.  I hope you enjoy it. It's getting to be that time of year -- for everyone, everywhere -- to get out, enjoy nature, the outdoors and friendly gatherings.)

As you can see, it's all about Texas for Jan and Tom -- really truly, a most gracious, fun-loving couple. They've created a personal space and decorated it in a style that celebrates the area where they live. Plus, it's all no fuss, no muss. Look at the fun and very accessible decor. Even if you're not a Texan, perhaps you can be inspired by the design, the rustic look and easy living.  I hope to post more outdoor kitchens on down the road that exude a whole different flavor. What are your plans for spring and summer? Or, better yet, how do you enjoy time with friends? I'd love to know. 

The Green Plum, a home furnishings boutique

From the corner coffee shop to Oprah, most businesses today seem to have a presence on Facebook. Our home furnishings boutique, The Green Plum, is now part of this community! Visit us, join our fan club; access is open to all. Just go into Facebook, sign in and then enter The Green Plum in the search box. Voila.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Our Island Cottage is "Famous" (for a while)

Andy Warhol would say that our island cottage is getting its 15 minutes of fame in the June/July issue of Remodel magazine. Out on newsstands this month, I invite you to go buy the issue. Support the magazine industry!!  Remodel, as always, is packed with great solutions and ideas, complete with Before and After pictures. You can usually find it and others at Borders (my fave, since it reaches well beyond the U.S. to bring magazine junkies like myself such a nice worldly selection of titles), in addition to places like Target, grocery stores, Home Depot.... The magazine, published by Meredith, also offers readers an online resource, stocked with inspirational photos and articles.

Editor Samantha Hart tiled the story of our bungalow's transformation -- written by the talented Candace Ord Manroe (senior design editor at Traditional Home) -- "Vintage Retreat." It's an apt description but not intentional on our part.  While we've always respected the era of our older  homes, we've never let it dictate or overly influence our personal style.  We do what makes us happy.  And with this one, you can't do stodgy at the beach!  It is small, approximately 1,100 square feet -- a bit more than the 875 square footage place we originally bought.  After moving from a larger historic home (circa 1892) furnished with white slipcovered French and transitional pieces situated in a mostly neutral setting, I craved color and pattern. I automatically gravitate to blue and green; I think it's the pisces in me. (Thank goodness, my scorpio husband is a fish at heart.)  Blue and green -- and varying, like hues -- comprise our home's primary color palette. It's playful and fun. The home has a clean yet layered look to keep it interesting. (I didn't want someone to come in and think they had seen it all in one visit!) The kitchen embraces a more defined vintage style, thanks to the open shelving, apron sink, beaded board and soapstone countertops. Even the blue-green cabinet color strike a vintage cord (kind like the color of the Grey Gardens' home interior, I think. It seems I see this color, which I liked with the red brick, more and more....). 

Samantha introduced our place in her Editor's Note, posted in small format here. I also included here a Before shot of our new galley-style kitchen. I'll likely post the entire spread on my blog on down the road.... 

I've also included two photos of some stunning roses, which we inherited when we bought the house.  A shout-out to all gardeners: Can you ID this rose? All who enter our gates comment on these beautiful flowers.

Thanks for indulging me, as I talked about our "baby." It was quite the undertaking, which we sometimes questioned. (smile) Now . . . well, we love where we live. A sincere thank you goes to Remodel

Pink Ribbon Show house

Custom home builder Patti Barnett donated her time to construct this beautiful Pink Ribbon Show house, now home to one lucky family. The homeowners were among the 2,000 visitors who toured it in 2006 . Apparently, it was love at first sight for them. I pulled it today to show. "Scout shots" of additional show houses will grace this blog space. Periodically, that is. With this one, located in Houston, it depicts a decor that still appeals.  Mostly neutral, as you can see. Very tranquil. Draperies in color and pattern provide the glam, pizazz and touch of drama. I especially like textile artist Rusty Arena's custom designed, hand- painted brown panels in the family room. Interior Designer Julia Blailock volunteered to do the family room, which flows into the kitchen. And she approached Rusty to help. I love it that the designers involved donated their time and employed a beg, borrow and steal attitude to make each room beautiful. Designer Ann Lydick did the "after-dinner" room, as I called it. Trisha Dodson and her daughter, Julie Dodson, did both the dining room and master bedroom.  Edwina Alexis created the library look. These women and a handful of others (my apologies; I can't remember the names of the two who did the guest rooms) worked diligently together to achieve design continuity throughout the house. I think the key for show houses to present well is to invite a small number of designers with like styles to participate.  This particular group established in advance a color palette, shared their design boards and communicated throughout the project time frame.  Proceeds from the sale of the house benefited breast cancer research at Baylor College of Medicine. The Pink Ribbon project is a regular fundraising event.

This house was selected for publication. It appeared in a past issue of Beautiful Homes magazine. My job as a stylist/producer was to finish out the library bookcases, bring in some additional props and flowers, ensure composition balance and focal points.... These are my scout pictures -- not the magazine's.

Interior design is so subjective -- like art; I don't think there's really ever a wrong answer, do you? So, I'm curious, what do you think? What do you like? Anything you're not too sure about?
Thanks for stopping by!
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