My Blog

Category - Buzzing-about

05.05 20140

One Man’s Trash Is Another Man’s Treasure

The old saying is true! As an interior designer, I find cool items in junk sales, yard sales, and flea markets all the time that can be repurposed, recycled, or even used as-is in the appropriate type of decor. This bench is on display in my store and showroom, Lilly Designs and City Market. This could fit right in to some people's existing decor. Some people might want to spruce it up with paint or a different fabric, or by adding pillows or a throw. It's certainly not junk, though. Too many people just put their old furniture in the dumpster and don't look for a new home for it. Bench   Here's a group of pretty blue Mason jars, vintage bottles, and even a kitschy doll from the days when ladies crocheted doll dresses to cover scandalous toilet paper in the bathroom. While I don't personally need a toilet paper doll, someone else might find it adorable and nostalgic. But those pretty blue Mason jars do speak to me. They could make a messy pantry look uniform and organized. A little chalkboard paint or other creative label would make this "trash" modern and trendy at yard sale prices! Yard Sale Jars Antiques Roadshow is coming to Birmingham in June. This is a perfect example of turning trash into treasure. Things that are gathering dust in the attic turn out to be gems worth a fortune, just because a collector somewhere sees the value in it. If an accessory has a history, it's got more value than if it's simply an attractive piece. ar-logo_t250 This is the time of year for yard sales! As more people are spring cleaning, there will be great opportunities to turn someone else's trash into your treasure. Or, on the flip side, getting rid of your own clutter can be a great way to revamp your house and let someone else decorate with your old furniture, accessories, and art. The great part about it all is, nothing ends up as waste or in a landfill. It's all reused and getting new life.

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24.04 20140

Design Color Forecast 2014

Spring is a time for renovations, renewal, and rejuvenation! While there are many fashion trends going around, one of the most exciting is a focus on color! In past years, money was tight. That seems to be easing up for a lot of people, at least somewhat. That means neutrals like beige are becoming less and less popular. At most, these neutral colors will serve as a base backdrop to more exciting splashes of interesting color. Here's one of my design projects to give you an idea of how you can blend neutrals with bright colors to make the most of your current look while capitalizing on new colors for something fresh and new.

Blues are featuring heavily in design I'm looking at all over the web. From turquoise to navy, blue is making a big comeback. If you've always wanted a nautical theme, soft blues can be just the thing. Even a few accessories can make the difference in your interior design:
  And of course, there's the Pantone Color of the Year: Radiant Orchid! radiant-orchid-pantone   This color is bright, vivid, and springy! It's perfect for this time of year. I'll have to figure out ways to work it into projects that are coming up. What colors inspire you? Are you ready to give your home a spring makeover, or just add a few dashes of color here and there?

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08.04 20140

Design Resource and City Market in Pell City

Have a look at the newly updated Design Resource and City Market in Pell City! I'm proud of how far my store has come in the past couple of years. It's important to shop local, and I'm committed to giving our city a great retail shop to be proud of! Click on any thumbnail to see the full picture. [gallery columns="5" ids="1512,1513,1514,1515,1516,1517,1518,1519,1520,1521,1522,1523,1524,1525,1526,1527,1528,1529,1530,1531,1532,1533,1534,1535,1536,1537,1538,1539,1540,1542,1543,1544,1545,1546,1547,1548,1549,1550,1551" orderby="rand"]

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25.03 20140

Tricia from Tricia’s Treasures, Homewood

Recently, one of my favorite antique dealers turned 70! I was lucky to be there for the party as Tricia from Tricia's Treasures in Homewood celebrated another year of life.

Tricia

As you can see, Tricia is serving up burgers herself. The party was a blast, and reminds me that we can bring style and class to every aspect of life. Beautiful details like flowers during an outdoor party when spring has just begun bring joy and life to the celebration.

tricia's birthday

Inside Tricia's store, there are a trove of treasures to be found, too.

tricia's treasures

Tricia is an inspiration to us all. I love her shop, and she's one of my favorite local dealers. Happy birthday, Tricia!

Reneesig

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21.03 20142

Design Resource and City Market

renaming

Pell City has so much to offer, and we're working every day on making it a better place to live and do business. There is a public garden in the works. We've got the monthly 4th Friday showcasing local businesses. We've got a rich active community that I am proud to be a part of.

That's a big reason why I am proud to announce that my store in Pell City is undergoing some changes. A local artist, Susan Wall, has moved in with me, to showcase her art. I also have decided to change the name of that store to "Design Resource and City Market." Part of what prompted this change is the fact that too many people come into my store and think it's simply a showroom for my design business. While I do like to feature my style, I also have a retail business that most people aren't really aware of. I love shopping to get that perfect item, and if you browse my store you're sure to find a gift item, that perfect decorative accent, some new jewelry, and more! I'm going to start carrying more "market" type items to reflect the wishes of the community, too. Tonight I'm having an artist's reception for Susan Wall, and to showcase a lot of these changes that I believe will not only be great for Lilly Designs, but for Pell City in general. We need more robust retail business to revitalize our hometown, and I'm excited to be a part of that. Come and join us tonight from 6-9 PM!    

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20.01 20140

Design Inspiration: Madison214

Over the holidays, I traveled to visit family in Dallas. On vacation, I shopped in a gorgeous store named Madison214. Becca showed me around the store. It was bright and colorful, and I loved the details in this shop. Place settings and displays of china were cheerful and beautiful, as you can see.China   I got a couple of closeups of individual pairings. more fine china   What a beautiful variety.Fine china On display with flatware on a table, as if ready to serve: Colorful dishes   Books and accessories that were on sale provided some of the interior detailing as well. bookshelf The titles almost suggest a story themselves, don't they?   Books Planners and notebooks lined up in bright colors:Binder display I love this display of monogrammed handkerchiefs!   Napkin display   This little bird is distinctive and stylish. Partridge   Bright, sassy purses all lined up in a row!  Colorful purses   As you can see, the overall effect of the store was chipper and friendly! I truly enjoyed shopping here. The owners, Kirsten and Kelli, have put together an inspirational showroom to be proud of. Colorful display   Which are your favorite pictures? Are there design ideas you can use here? Let me know what you think, and if you're ever in Dallas, stop by Madison 214 and tell them Renee Lilly sent you!

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14.01 20140

Design Inspiration: Melissa Benge Collection

Over the holidays, I visited family in Dallas, Texas. Of course, I’m always on the lookout for inspiration and design ideas when I’m out and about! One place I discovered while seeing how the old neighborhoods have changed was Melissa Benge’s store in Dallas. I was given excellent service by Monica, who invited me to look around and gave me Melissa’s card. Melissa gave me more information about her store.

mannequin at Melissa Benge

The building that the Melissa Benge Collection is in was built in about 1938. The part of the building she occupies housed the Alamo Glass Company for 70 years. Melissa says that when she moved in, it was very much a 1970s office building, complete with white peg board, low ceilings, and fluorescent lighting. It took her almost six months to remodel the space. She designed her logo and all of the store fixtures to coordinate with the logo.

Melissa Benge Logo

The building itself was pink, and the windows up high were boarded up. After taking the boards down, she replaced all the glass. She also restored all the original vintage hardware, and they still hand open by chains. Melissa decided to expose the original ceiling tin. They also kept the original floor by simply polishing the terrazzo in front and the old concrete in back. Melissa has vintage grill work at various places in the store, creating what she calls a "hacienda/maison" feel.

Grillwork

She also designed the front door, laying out design elements purchased separately for a French boutique feeling.

Storefront at Melissa Benge Collection

Her attention to detail was really remarkable. She told me in her email:
My style has always been "tough & tender" so I think the design elements appeal to both men & women.  I am so happy that men really enjoy looking around my shops, also.  I have always combined old & new, also.  Vintage pieces strike a chord in people's hearts & memories & "new" keeps it all fresh & exciting.  Crazy about "opposites"!

Heart in antlers

You can see that tough and tender aesthetic throughout. This buffalo head was created by a chainsaw artist.

Buffalo head - chainsaw artist

She sells fashion accessories, clothing, and items for the home.

necklace

Details matter! Even the soap was wholesome and beautiful.

Soap

Melissa Benge tries to buy from American sources, and finds great pleasure in looking for that rare, unique piece that will set someone's interior apart.

Antlers

For more of Melissa’s collections and learn more about her, visit her sites: www.gunslingerofbandera.com www.melissabengecollection.com It was truly a pleasure visiting her store. I got a lot of inspiration from the trip. It’s always a joy to find someone else who puts a lot of thought and emphasis on beauty and design. What inspires you? Have you visited some amazing stores lately? Let me know about it in the comments or on Facebook!

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20.12 20130

Savannah College of Art & Design Store

One of my favorite places for design ideas, up and coming artists, and just a good time is in Savannah, Georgia at their College of Art and Design (SCAD). They've got a gorgeous store with unique items. This time of year is the best for going and browsing, finding that perfect accent for Christmas or one-of-a-kind gift. Carved trees would look great on a mantle: Carved Christmas Trees These felt Christmas trees are pretty and tasteful. They would match most people's Christmas displays. felt Christmas tree A white Christmas tree is great for showcasing colorful blown glass ornaments. ornaments These elf dolls are adorable. Elf dolls   And look at the pointy ears! This guy is cool! Elf figure Wouldn't this make a great conversation piece? Festive, bright, and colorful! Festive decoration Even their confection area is gorgeous. Here's the candy display. Candy display And all sorts of treats for the sweet tooth. The gleaming glass displays serve to enhance the charm. Sweet treats This year is the 10th anniversary of their store, and it's clear they're doing really well! So many cool things to look at and buy. They even have a sister store in Lacoste, France that I'd love to visit one day!  If you're a designer, it's well worth the trip. And even if you're not, the next time you're in Savannah, you definitely should take the time to visit. Christmas is the best time of year, too!

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11.12 20130

Talladega Christmas Tour of Homes 2013

This Sunday, I  had the opportunity to tour a couple of the homes the Talladega Christmas tour. These are always fun for getting design ideas in general, but especially in decorating for the holidays! This Victorian home was built in 1906. The Lacys have lived here for 26 years and completely restored it. They were able to keep the original pine floors, as well as high ceilings, mantels, and fireplace inserts. Victorian home Talladega   I also visited this Greek revival cottage, built in 1950. It has been renovated and updated, but is a "work in progress." The owner is a fan of all things French, and it's apparent by visiting and seeing her interior.   Greek Revival cottage   Here are some of the interesting items I saw on the tour. You can see how just a subtle accent or two can make a beautiful home holiday ready.

bric-a-brac

 I love this cute little Christmas tree! Very understated and works well with the decor.

 subtle holiday accents

A splash of color is always festive and cheerful!

hallway

 Of course, sometimes you just want to go all out! This kitchen table is bright and cheery and cozy. It makes you feel like you're home. Christmas table There was plenty more to be seen. I've shared the highlights and best pictures from the day. Touring homes is a great source of inspiration and can put you in the holiday mood! I had a great time.

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25.11 20131

Santa Claus!

Thanks to all who came to see Santa at Lilly Designs, A Design Resource this Friday, as part of the Pell City Fourth Friday event for November. As you can see, we had a great time!   Santa brought along Mrs. Claus. There was even an extra elf there to help out!Santa and crew   Lots of cuties came to sit in Santa's lap: Santa and a cutie! I hope he was a good boy this year! Santa takes a wish list. Mrs. Claus spent some time with the kids while they waited. Mrs. Claus again  Mrs. Claus loves kids, too! Thank you for taking the time out of your busy schedule, Santa and Mrs. Claus! Let's look forward to a great holiday season in 2013! The Clauses at Lilly Designs, A Design Resource

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