My Blog

Category - The-hive

17.03 20160

Going Green 2016!

Happy Saint Patrick's Day! We're excited about the warmer weather and bringing a lot more green into life, and what better day to start the conversation? In fact, March 2016's Pantone Color of the Month is an interesting green, Parisian Patina. I'd like to explore this color today in honor of both Saint Patrick and the coming spring.     Patina is a thin layer of oxidation that occurs naturally on metals, particularly those with copper content. And of course, Paris is full of statues, so it's very fitting. These bowls are darker than Parisian Patina but are in the same palette, with some Celtic-inspired design. Bringing Ireland and Paris together!   Bowls Going green is more than just a color, though. It's a whole lifestyle. Going green means respecting our world, so that people from all over, Ireland, Paris, here in the United States, and many many other places, will have healthy, happy lives on our precious planet. Green Globe   Green is the color of life, and it brings our hearts joy to see a splash of green plants mixed in with other design elements. We love our planet, and a little bit of growth indoors can be a beautiful thing.   Fern and green table     One of my personal favorite ways to go green is to repurpose or upcycle items. This champagne bottle is getting new life as a lamp stand. Wine bottle lamp Maybe you're inspired by Parisian Patina and want to paint a piece of furniture that needs new life: 16   This oil canister could have easily ended up in a landfill, but someone saw its beauty and saved it. Range Oil barrel Here's a similar piece, this time a lard container. There's lots of beautiful green in this picture, including some genuine Parisian Patina! Lard   That brings me to my other favorite way to go green. In my field, it's probably easy to guess. dresser   That's right - antiquing is a very green way to decorate  your home! Maybe you have an idea to give an old piece new life. Or maybe you love that weathered look. 19     I can't resist sharing with you another example of beautifully weathered furniture. The old fashioned fan is a nice touch. 9   One last picture of beautiful Parisian Patina. All items in this blog are from Lilly Designs Inc. or one of my favorite places, Chelsea Antique Mall.   6   What a fun blog! I'm planning to talk more about going green soon, so let me know your thoughts and stay tuned for my next installment of design inspiration!    

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20.02 20150

Romantic Style

I hope you all had a lovely Valentine's weekend and had the chance to experience some love and romance! I’d like to talk about Romantic Style. Imagine the fresh smell of white Oriental lilies, with their intense fragrance wafting in the air in your Romantic style cottage. The Romantic Style is a comfortable design style that appeals to the senses through flower arrangements, soft fabrics, painted furniture, or light filtering through sheer linen curtains. When creating the romantic style think about white washed walls, color palettes, fabrics and textures, and cherished items. Here are some things that work well when you are creating the Romantic style. Furnishings: Painted pieces, small accents with graceful curves and dark or natural wood accessories. Color: Soft grays, dusty blues, sage greens, antique ivory. All of these colors I’ve used when decorating in Romantic Style. I believe color schemes with muted tones  are best to use to create comfortable and relaxing rooms. Fabrics: Plush is the word that comes to my mind. Velvets, linens, lace. Soft, supple fabrics, like Egyptian cotton sheets. And don’t forget to add a touch of silk! Decorative Accents: Bring in silver frames with your loved ones photos. Candelabras or lighting with sparkling crystals. A carved French commode for a bedside piece. Sentimental family objects. IMG_6608   Love the champagne color velvet and the nailhead trim. IMG_6720 French dining table with acanthus leaf carving is gorgeous in this room with the white antique linens and antique candelabra. IMG_6471 Nothing is more romantic than a roaring fire. The beautiful antique tapestry looks lovely hanging on the wall next to the stone mantel. IMG_5615 I'm a lover of blue and white china. Blue willow, transferware, and flow blue are just a few I've collected through the years. In 1824, the Ceramics Act was passed requiring all pieces to have a country of origin mark. IMG_4721 Beautiful! A grapevine basket filled with the most magnificent color of roses. IMG_1299 A dining room should, in my opinion, have a beautiful center piece on the table with the perfect chandelier above. And of course, it should have fabulous artwork on the wall. IMG_9966 What a great spot to curl up and enjoy that juicy romance novel. IMG_4184   Bedding is where I love to go wild with pillows. How about a little pillow talk or maybe a game most commonly played by children but also enjoyed by adults? Let's have some fun and frolic with a good old pillow fight!   All pictures from Better Homes & Garden's Romantic Styles & The Cottage Journal 2014.

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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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31.03 20140

Organization and Interior Design

Organization is something that I struggle with on a personal level at times. I'm an artistic type, and while I see the beauty in everything, sometimes finding a spot for it or remembering what I did with it is a challenge. When I'm redoing a room for someone else, it's easy, but my own space can get put on the back burner.  My interior design shop in Pell City just got a facelift, and one of the biggest changes I made was simply finding a place for everything. Although there are many items, now everything is artfully and carefully placed. It's a huge relief to see the well-ordered store and to know where items are.

second view of kitchen

One of the major focal points of interior design is how to arrange a space to its best effect. Many people struggle to do that, in part because they have too much stuff and not enough organization. Tiny spaces only make this harder, and every surface may be cluttered with papers, trash, and junk. Consider this image of a room from the Edward Drinker Cope House in 1897. It's got some great elements, and in fact is now a national landmark. But at the time, it was a bit of a mess, too .

Edward_Drinker_Cope’s_study_in_1897

  On the other hand, a well organized room is a thing of beauty. Finding a place for everything might be a challenge in the beginning, but haphazard clutter and mess, even in a clean house, can be a source of stress. It goes much deeper than not knowing where to find your car keys. It can be a burden on your mind, tugging at you. By contrast, open spaces can be welcoming and inviting. Here's a recent interior design project I worked on. Doesn't this counter top seem like the perfect place to cook? Organization is beautiful!

P & M Project

  Fortunately, there are some simple ways to add organization to your life. As I discussed recently, well-ordered bookshelves can turn an unsightly stack of books into a focal point.  You might embrace a bit of chaos, but having a hiding place in an ottoman or a bench (like this one available in my shop) can be a great solution that helps to bring some needed order into your life.

Hudson

  What are your favorite organizational tips? Let me know in the comments or on Facebook. I'd love to discuss it more with you.

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10.03 20140

Books as Accessories

Books are beautiful, and they really can add a dimension to your home that makes a statement. Books are erudite and sophisticated, and make great conversation pieces. People who walk into a home with books will never be at a loss for something to talk about.

A couple of weeks ago, I talked about how important accessories are this year as a design trend. Bookshelves and bookends are obvious accessories to a room. This adorable set of bookends can help display your personality, for example.

Roll Tide Bookends

Working in a bookshelf in an unusual nook or creative way makes a bold and beautiful statement.

Bookshelves

It's not just the accessories you buy that make books great to have in a home. This is because books are great accessories by themselves! Even a haphazard shelf of well-loved paperback books can be colorful and eye-catching. Libraries are beautiful places.

paperback books

E. Lawrence, LTD is a recent discovery I'm very excited about. They take books and rebind them in parchment, leather, and any number of interesting and artistic ways. I recently picked up some of the Haute Couture collection below, and mixed it with some other bindings to create an unusual and interesting display shelf.

elawrenceltd haute series

A talented designer has a knack for pulling the colors, designs, and so on together in a great way that enhances the room. Artistically arranged groups of books with complementary bindings are an inventive way to make a statement. The possibilities are endless! Do you decorate with books?

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21.02 20141

Focus on Accessories

The newest High Point Market video just came out, and it's all about accessories!   Accessories are an important part of any interior. They fill in those details that maybe your lighting and curtains can't convey about you. Your accessories can show if you're the type of person who is elegant and sophisticated, has a touch of whimsy, or is a nature lover. I work hard to find accessories that will work in any room I'm designing with the personalities of the people who will be enjoying that room. Here's a great example. You love books. You're a Bama fan. How can you tie your interests into the accessories of your room to have people know a little more about you? This set of "Roll Tide Bookends" for sale at A Design Resource is perfect!

Roll Tide Bookends

As mentioned in the video, even a piece of furniture itself is interesting enough to be a bit of an accessory. This goes back to the layering concept. Layering of accessories is important. A set of candlesticks, napkins, napkin rings, and beautiful plates all set on an elegant table can create a gorgeous place setting that is sumptuous and refined looking. All the details in their place.

Handcrafted silver finish candlestick

Accessories don't have to be simple bric-a-brac, either. You can accessorize with useful, functional pieces like a throw to keep you warm or a pillow that says you love your dog and want him to have a great, snug place to sleep!

Always Kiss Your Dog

Wall art counts, too! The right piece can give your kitchen that touch that reminds you of a French bistro in Paris.

La Trielle Boulangerie Wall Art

Accessorizing draws a room together and completes it. Just like the earrings and necklace you pick to match your evening wear, your choice of accessories for your home can change and enhance your room in myriad ways!  Changing out a few accessories can give a room a facelift on a tight budget, too. It's no surprise that this year's trends are focused towards the humble and powerful accessory. They're some of my favorite parts of designing a room.

Reneesig

 

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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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11.10 20130

Halloween and Fall Items at A Design Resource

Fall is in full swing now, and Halloween is right around the corner. We've got several cute items at Lilly Designs: A Design Resource to help add those little touches to your interior to make it feel festive. Click on any link to take you to our interior design store and buy these cute items! Cute Halloween tags like these, made out of zinc so they're reusable year after year, can add a touch of whimsy to your wine bottle, a gift, or anywhere you find to use them. They are $15 for a set of 6 (two of each design).

Halloween Tags

Also for Halloween, these little matchboxes can be set out beside your fall-scented candle to add a tiny detail that puts everyone in the mood. At only $3.75, they're a very affordable way to add some ambiance and fun to your home. Reuse this box year after year. Both of these items would be cute for an "over the hill" party, too!

halloween matchbox

And for a more general fall feel, how about some cute card holders for your dinner table? Whether you're planning a Thanksgiving feast or another holiday party, these little acorns add a tiny bit of harvest-time to your table.  $6.50 for a set of 8.

fall card holder

What little touches do you add around your house to get it ready for fall?

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10.05 20130

“With These Hands”

By: Renee Categories:Buzzworthy, The Hive

As I travel, looking for new furniture and new design ideas, I meet a lot of interesting people and learn about so many things. On one of my trips, I met someone who suggested I watch a documentary, With These Hands: The Story of an American Furniture Factory. Here's the trailer for the documentary by the Unheard Voices Project: With These Hands is the story of the rise and fall of a furniture factory in Martinsville, Virginia. As you watch the documentary, you get to hear from the son of the founder of Hooker Furniture, Clyde Hooker. This retired CEO tells how he was there to blow the whistle on the first day. Workers tell of the great pride they took in their work, how this was the type of job that you couldn't train for by reading a book. Hands-on learning was necessary, and the skill was handed down from mentor to worker over a period of 82 years. When the factory in Martinsville shut down, 280 workers lost their jobs. These were people who loved their work, took great pride in their workmanship, and truly were unprepared when the doors closed. The documentary discusses the changing economy and the difficulties competing with imported goods. They had been growing and booming and opening new factories in the late 1990s, but in a very short time period everything changed. The Hooker Furniture company was shutting its last wood furniture factory down by 2006. The last decade has been hard on manufacturing jobs, and the furniture industry has been no exception.  Labor from skilled workers in the United States can cost a company so much more than outsourcing. WalMart, in particular, has driven the demand for cheaper and cheaper materials, and everyone has to struggle to compete. Many of these manufacturers simply cannot stay open, because Americans won't buy the domestic product due to the higher cost. At one point, Clyde Hooker laments that the company has changed fundamentally from a furniture making business to a marketing company. The fact that the furniture is no longer built by the people of Martinsville, VA reflects the changing times. The story of the Martinsville factory has played out over and over through the county in the past decade. The full movie can be seen at FolkStreams, and I recommend you watch it when you have an hour and a half to spare. It's an interesting look into the hearts and lives of the people who are being displaced by the changing economy. The amazing thing about the film is the optimism and goodwill these workers had, even after losing their jobs. Yes, they were discouraged, but they held no resentment towards the company. They understood the situation, and were sad to see their close-knit family break up, but in the end, the message is an inspiration. These people still have hope and determination.

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25.03 20130

Monogramming

Monogramming is a fun interior design idea that has come a long way in recent years. Not very long ago, monogramming seemed to be for extremely formal households. However, it does not have to be stuffy or old fashioned. There are all sorts of fonts out there for a look that is entirely you. Are you trendy, elegant, whimsical? There are so many ways to personalize with monogramming. Here's a pretty piece of monogramming early in the process. These colors will look beautiful on a variety of surfaces, and can tie rooms together throughout your interior.

monogramming

It all works well with the idea of personal branding that is becoming a simple fact of life.Monogramming doesn't even have to be lettering. It could be a logo or an image that appeals strongly to you. If you have any sort of online presence, it's likely you have a logo or something like it that represents who you are. Why not bring that splash of personality into your home? Here's a picture from Southern Living Magazine of a monogrammed slipcover that is modern and stylish. This is a cozy looking room, and the "B" on the slipcover simply adds a touch of style to an otherwise plain chair. Monogrammed slipcovers for dining rooms are very popular and a great solution for bringing life to chairs that you might otherwise replace.

monogrammed-slipcover-x

Monogramming isn't limited to fabrics, either. Anything from silver, to handkerchiefs, to cups and wine glasses, to stationary can all be monogrammed with your initials, a personal logo, or whatever you'd like. Have fun with it, and make your interior design your own!

Reneesig

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