Well, here we are on the tail end of our French influential series in which I’m pulling inspiration photos of rooms that have that rich taste of European elegance. As I mentioned before, these are not entirely French in fact, there’s some morrocan and even Asian influence to a couple of these but I thought the effect was stunning and needed to be included. Today, we are focusing on one of my favorite spaces to decorate: The Master Bedroom!
This is, in my opinion, one of the most important rooms in the house and yet it is often the most neglected. It’s a place that should be designed to be enveloping and a complete sensory treat, be it soft and soothing or warm and inviting. No matter what, it should invite you to rest, recharge and inspire thoughts of romance and quiet relaxation.
I think one of my favorite qualities about these rooms is that most of them incorporate elements of architecture to make up for the lack of it. The head boards, the canopies, they create a striking focal point that is complimented by soft subtle textiles that just beg you to crawl into. Stunning!
What do you think? Which is your favorite and why? Share your thoughts!
If you missed the previous posts in this series you can see them here, here and here.
Happy Monday to you! We’re continuing on with our search for French inspired design and today we’re focusing on the dining room and the office area. Just a reminder, these are not entirely French but I picked them because they have that old world European flavor that we are trying to incorporate into the design scheme of the house we are working on. So without further adieu, Bon Appetit!
I love the soft curves and colors combined with the relaxed elegance of these dining rooms. They are inviting and rich with textures and grace. Dinner party, anyone?
That sense of pieces being collected over time and in travel is the key to these rooms. They feel as if they could be encased in an old chateau or a Paris apartment overlooking the shops below. They are full of interest without being the least bit cluttered and they just invite creativity. I could work here!
Check back tomorrow. We’ll be moving on to the bedroom and it’s going to be delightful!
I am so thrilled to have the opportunity to be working with a really lovely new client who is in the beginning stages of building a new home.
After having met with her builder to discuss her options and some structural changes, we are soon going to be picking finishes and putting together a design concept (ooh, the fun stuff!).
She loves the look of French Provincial and has lots and lots of lovely antiques that we will be incorporating into the plan so I thought I woud pull some inspiration photos we could draw from. Some of these aren’t completely French. There’s a lot of Swedish influence to many as well as some Georgian and country and some have a mix of contemporary mixed in but I love the feel and wanted to include them so we could discect what works for our plan and what doesn’t.
For today, so that we don’t get completely overwhelmed -
Living Room Inspiration:
One of the details she really wants to incorporate into the home is a stunning antique door that she currently owns. I’m not quite sure yet if we can use it as an actual functioning door but one way or another, it’s going to be seen.
Aren’t these images delicious? Tomorrow I’ll have some inspiration photos for the kitchen.
In the mean time, you can nibble on this for the rest of the day:
Good morning, friends. I’m sitting here while it’s extremely early in the morning with a hot cup of coffee getting ready to slay my daily dragons and found myself honing in on some details I have been meaning to draw attention to. Today, it’s art in multiple display. This is one of those design tricks that looks so effortless but can be extremely complicated to pull off. These are examples of how it’s done, oh so right!
One of the biggest mistakes I see on the perverbial photo gallery wall that we all seem to have is a lack of unity. What I love about these images is that they hall have a unifying factor which is what makes them work together so well. Think color…it could be the frames all speak to each other or the color scheme of the subject matter. They don’t all have to match but I would suggest that if you are doing a gallery wall of family photos that you unify them by frames. If you are more daring, pull together your art the way you would a collection of pillows: they don’t all have to match (the most interesting ones don’t) but they should work well together in a tightly layerd space. When it’s done right, this is such an impactful statement that is one of a kind and unique to your space alone.
I hope your week has started off strong and that you have a productive and happy day!
Funny how just a few weeks ago I was complaining about how warm our Texas weather was…where was the Christmas-ness?
Fast forward a few weeks to our cruise to Cozumel, where we spend 5 days on the ocean, enjoying 80 degree weather and fruity drinks on the water with umbrellas in them and I can say, I wasn’t missing winter AT ALL!
I’m getting ahead of myself though…
Before we sailed off onto the ocean blue, we spent the morning in Galveston.
May I say, what a fascinating town! So much history and unusual culture. At one time, it was the hub of all things international, imports, exports, etc. There was a LOT of money made there by immigrants who saw unlimited opportunity and in doing so, they built homes that told the world of their success.
I wish we’d had more time to explore the streets but here’s a peak at what caught my eye:
The Trube House absolutely fascinated me. I kept imagining what it must have been like to live in back when it was new and shiny and must have been the envy of all the neighbors… that is, until the next bigger better was built. Today, we call them McMansions. Seems it’s not such a new idea.
I kept wondering if the family’s descendants who still apparently live there ever hear things going bump in the night. It’s weirdly beautiful and creepy at the same time.
And…it’s got its own marble sidewalk for crying out loud!
Not to mention, a knight/butler and a lion to greet you at the door.
Across the street from the Trube House was this:
Rising from the ashes
Rising from the Ashes
Rising from the Ashes
I wish so badly I had more information about this tree. It was clearly burnt and very dead but someone managed to find beauty in it and turn it into art. I can only imagine that it may have meant something to someone and was probably very old, as are all of the trees that lined the street we were on. I just loved this interpretation.
Imagine back before air conditioning in the gulf of Mexico and how invaluable a sleeping porch would have been…as if it did any good. It was January when we were there and the humidity had my hair frizzing like my 8h grade school picture. I can’t imagine how it must have been back then but at least the house was pretty!
And then down the street, we saw these:
As we walked by a man came out the front door to get his morning paper and I so desperately wanted to ask him if we could peak inside but I refrained from appearing to be a possible grifter who may be casing the joint. I’m good that way.
and again, I find myself looking up at that attic window wondering what it would be like to explore up there, ghosts and all!
and I found myself wondering what all this tree has seen over its lifetime and what it has yet to see.
All this blue…so soothing and cool and cheerful like the ocean.
I love it!
This is my way of letting you know that I am out of the office on a much needed and welcome vacation. I’m on a cruise ship taking a few days with my husband and I’ll be back to work on Tuesday, January 15th. Can you believe it? No cell phones, no internet, no kiddo’s. This is our first real vacation in 10 years and I plan to take full advantage of every single second!
If you need to reach me, leave me an email or a voice mail and I’ll get back to you next week.
It’s January 4th (right? My dates are all mixed up right now…anyone else dealing with a post holiday hangover?)
I know I’m a bit late in detailing my goals but I wanted to put them out there so that I have no excuses for backing down from them. Can we say, “Accountability”?
I feel like I have achieved so much in the past year thanks to my wonderful clients and so many of you who take the time to read my tiny corner of the blogosphere. I would really love to continue building this blog as well as build relationships with those who read it.
I was asked recently why I don’t use a traditional website for my interior design business and the answer is simple:
I am a firm believer that in order to trust someone with something as sacred as your home, you need to know who they are. This is my way of letting clients, potential clients and readers get to know me. I think it’s critical to any good working relationship to actually LIKE the person you’re spending time with and because people’s homes are their most intimate spaces and their biggest investments, you have to know who you’re dealing with.
via Apartment Therapy
1.) So my goal for this upcoming year is for this blog to become someplace people want to visit often. I’ll do my best to post new content at least 4 times a week and I would love to have more participation in the comments. I can’t help it, I LOVE validation and comments are like Christmas presents!
2.) My next goal is to lose 20 pounds (I can’t believe I’m posting this but I have committed to transparency goal in number 1 so here we go…)
I have been following a really great blog recently called The Organic Momma and I am a firm believer that our health is a direct result of what we eat. There are often other factors that can affect us that are out of our control but why not control the things we can, such as our diets? I am 5’9″ and not so long ago was a size 6. I used to be very conscientious about what I ate and how often I worked out but have gotten extremely lazy about both of these details since we moved to Texas 4 1/2 years ago. I blamed it initially on a lack of healthy options here but the truth is, I just stopped trying and turning 40 hasn’t helped. I should be working harder, not less and I need to do this!
I have signed up with My Fitness Pal, which is an online calorie and fitness counter that helps you track your goals. I have gathered some friends there to take this journey with me which is fun because you can encourage each others progress…think of it as Facebook for fitness. I would LOVE it if you are trying to achieve a similar goal to follow along. My user name is CasaStephens and I just believe strongly there is strength in numbers and encouragement is priceless. What do you say? Let’s DO THIS!
3.) To help me in achieving both goals 1 and 2, I am going to start planning dinners for the entire week on the previous Friday. I know this isn’t a revolutionary idea for some but for me, it’s huge. I’m not a great planner, I’m not a list maker. I’m more of a “flying by the seat of my pants” kind of girl however, my pants keep getting bigger, so I guess it’s time to start planning. And even though it has nothing at all to do with design, I’m going to post my meals for the week here on the blog under the label, “This Week’s Dinner Plan” along with a shopping list to make it simple. You are welcome to use it too. I would love to hear your feed back and suggestions. Participation is more than welcome!
4.) and Lastly, this may sound trivial but I need to get 400 Facebook LIKES by June. This has less to do with validation than accessibility. When Facebook changed its visual guidelines last year they made it so that not everyone can see posts from business pages. For example, I have 115 people who follow my page but only 30 of them may see what I post. They do this because they are trying to get us to purchase advertising and while that’s great for them, I don’t like to spend money if I don’t have to! Who’s with me? This however changes for pages with 400 or more LIKES. They bump up your visibility and there are better and more effective advertising opportunities available if you are 400 or over. So, that said, if you haven’t already started following my Facebook, I hope you will and possibly encourage others to do the same. I would sincerely appreciate it =)
Well, that’s it! All realistic, all attainable and all beneficial.
Have you set your goals for the year? I would love to hear them!
Welcome 2013! What an amazing year 2012 has been. I was sitting on my sofa last night, all cozy and warm, wrapped up in a blanket and found myself reflecting on all that has happened over the past year and I found myself so warm with gratitude.
Driving into the storm on Christmas Day 2012
This time last year, I had taken a HUGE leap of faith by leaving my steady paycheck of a job working for a design company in retail to launch Casa Stephens Interiors. I had been self employed for most of my design career until the market crashed in 2008 and found myself working for the “man” and was absolutely miserable. By the time my youngest had started kindergarten, I left the design field all together to work in customer service for Whole Foods and while I LOVED my job there and the fantastic people I had the pleasure to work with, it wasn’t feeding my creative side. So when I was offered a design job for a retail store near by, I took it. It came with a healthy steady pay check, really long hours, and a demanding owner who didn’t seem to value his employees as assets to his company, which was very disheartening. Add to that a 6 year old first grader at home who was falling further and further behind in school due to my long hours at work and a client who turned out to be a notorious bank robber (can’t make this stuff up, I swear). He had knocked over his 15th bank the morning he was supposed to meet me in store to finalize a very large order and fired a gun at responding police which led to a multi state wide chase that ended in Alabama. Needless to say, my decision was made. It was time to strike out on my own again.
And I was scared but I also knew that wishing something to be real doesn’t happen unless you jump in with both feet and know that failure isn’t an option.
Fast forward to the beginning of 2013 and I have several design jobs kicking off, several that are wrapping up and because of this decision to work from home, I’ve also taken on homeschooling my 2nd grade son who is not only nearly caught up to where he needs to be scholastically, he is thriving in a way that I couldn’t have imagined possible…all because I let go and believed it was not only possible but necessary.
I had the wonderful pleasure of spending Christmas with my entire family: Mom, Dad, sister and brother in-law, 2 adorable nephews and all three of my babies, Sam (who lives in California), Jay (my handsome son) and Cayman, my sweet baby, my husband and myself. We drove to Houston for Christmas Eve and ate way too much food and just soaked up the rare opportunity to be together for Christmas. This was the first time we had ALL been together…ever. The last time we had the whole family together for Christmas, the nephews weren’t born yet so this was SPECIAL.
As we drove home on Christmas Day, we were met with the another rare occurrence: SNOW in Texas!
Snow in Texas
And we played
Snow in Texas
Playing in the Snow
Snow in Texas
and just thoroughly enjoyed each other and the absolute blessings we have been showered with.
So as 2013 kicks off I am excited about the future. I am optimistic by nature but this is different. This isn’t just hoping for a good year, this is KNOWING and EXPECTING wonderful surprises and experiences because faith and hard work bring about greatness.
I’m excited to share with you my upcoming projects and I hope you’ll come along the journey with me.