Tuesday, July 29, 2008

L.A. Bloggers

Dear L.A. Bloggers,

Know we are thinking of you
after calling your love ones

report...in due time 

to all of your favorite sites,
so we can
link and link and link
to know you are
all safe.

Denise & Gwen

Monday, July 28, 2008

Designing Window Treatments With Shades

Blinds and Shades, Southern Accents, by Garrett Lane
Photography by Tria Giovan

Hi Girlfriends,

Our motto:

A room is never complete without window treatments.

IN THIS PHOTO, windows are decorated in yards of beautiful olive-brown chenille created by Stanley Ellis, Atlanta, and finished off with more yards of tassels. Alone, this treatment makes a statement in any bay window. But, when it comes to privacy, the added blinds give this look preference and practicality. Why? Because they provide light control, helps with the room proportions and screens out unwanted views.

Two of the best companies to keep in mind when you decide to buy shades made out of natural green materials; reeds, bamboo, rattan and grasses are:
high-end, high-end, high-end
Conrad Shades
more affordable
Hunter Douglas
Provenance line.

Architectural Digest

I love the light and graceful window treatment done for this room.
I am sure hidden under is a shade for privacy.

Talk again,
Denise and Gwen

Sunday, July 27, 2008

A+ Roster

Hi Girlfriends,

We are not quiet two months old (meaning our blog) and know we still have "growing pains." Both of us have much to share and far to go in our presenting to you.........and, we have been learning about blogging from so many sites...... Now, seems like a good time to begin our link list. This list will continue to grow and grow, but, for starters, we would like to take the time to thank a few and begin our "A+ Roster List" today.

Early on, we 'saw' how short and catchy titles hold an interest. Thus, we changed our name to "Decor etc." Then, looking into our "History," we realized we visited certain sites over and over and over. As we gathered notes from each one........We know we still have some out there for our A+ Roster, but, our notes are a M-E-S-S-!! But, know this, you all are A+ bloggers; young, bright, gifted and beautiful in both appearances and style. We can't get enough of you.......(sigh)

We want to give special thanks to two unique blogs: First to Alkemie for her aggressive investigation "behind the scenes" and then having the confidence in our website and listing us in her upholstery section. Next, we can't say enough from All Things Bright and Beautiful and her generous wealth of information on Blogging Tips. These tips keep us going back time and time again. From these two sites, we have clicked links to learn about......more blogging information, new artists, new designers, shopping, salvitating still for Lauduree macarons and clicking the links they all suggest into an infinity of blogs in cyberspace. Sometimes it takes us two days to get back to Alkemie and All Things Bright and Beautiful. In a day, the wealth of talent shared from our ventures into new links, we know we could never have discovered them otherwise....in such a short amount of time without the help of these two sites. Girlfriends, what we have "seen" is not only energy and love for discovering and sharing new products, etc. on the market, but how much fun they are all having in their careers, married lives, nesting, or raising a young family too. It's all soooooo wonderful-!!

Please note we are impressed with each blog we have visited. One silly question that pops up for us is: "Does Cote De Texas ever sleep?" Her talent and time is incredible too-!! From Texas French decorating to writing her own blog. But, she really rocks as an Interior Designer activist fighting a very worthy cause against ASID. Added to all this is her boundless comments she leaves on all the blogs she visits.....we-ll she deserves the "Energized Bunny Award" from us-!! Remarkable gal.........and she maintains a good sense of humor, especially noted when another blogsite commented on her being an older blogger (LOL, Cote De Texas is just 37-!!)

Lastly, our love and prays is still for Nate as he writes his blog, " The Confessions Of A CF Husband." We recommend every girlfriend visit this site and soon you will realize how small your problems are.....................amen.

Thank You one and all
as we add to our
we will be commenting
on what makes your blog
so special
to us.

Have a nice Sunday.

Oooh, the whimsical big yellow bow drapery treatment by Dorothy Draper for The Greenbrier Resort suggests
perhaps a good Mint Julep
was had
just before this design was conceived.

Talk again,
Denise and Gwen

Friday, July 25, 2008

Window Treatments by Dorothy Draper

Hi Girlfriends,
I am back with a few more of my own photos taken during one of our stays at 
The Greenbrier Resort, W. Va.

It was at The Greenbier that I first began taking photos of window treatments.  
Since then, I take photos of window treatments wherever I stay.

Dorothy Draper's talent extended beyond the raising of ceiling, large doorways and rococo scrolls.  Her drapery treatments are different in every room at The Greenbrier Resort.  This room is off the lawn croquet course and has had only one "add-on" since Draper designed it.

Draper just knew how to add the finish touches....discreetly.

This portrait needs no introduction.....grace always adorn this room......before this only
 added feature......when Princess Grace and her family visited the resort......
long after Draper did the room.

I feel like Dorothy Draper was thinking of Scarlet when she designed this window treatment.

Dorothy Draper loved big scale.  Visually, nothing speaks more truth,  than my "GQ" husband, 6'3", posing in one of the resort's doorways.... leading off from an open porch (with his Davidoff cigar and Brandy........yes, a more recent photo taken while attending a Holland & Holland Sporting Clays Event).  Note how the window panes curve upwards to enhance the height even more.

Talk again,


Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Where is Dorothy Draper?


Nothing speaks more of who Dorothy Draper was than 
Men may come here for
 golf, golf, golf, 
ladies get to experience 
the ambiance of
Dorothy Draper.......'
 interior designer whose ideas bloom like 
the true 
Southern hospitality
throughout one's stay.  

Forget Minimalism.  

Draper favored exuberant colors and bold patterns.  Even today (Schumacher has kept all of Draper's fabric designs specifically for The Greenbrier), with her eye-popping colors, oversize prints, and her touch for flamboyance still flourishes from draperies, walls, furnishings, floors and rococo scrollwork.  Draper defined The Greenbrier with sophistication.  Her designs also include slipcovers, house plants and black and white marble floors.

What is so adorable to watch are the little Greenbrier camp guests 
 following their camp leader 
who is telling them not to step on the huge 24 " x  24" white tiles.  
Oooooh, their little legs can't help
 touch those huge white marble squares 
no matter how hard they try to avoid them.

These photos I took before the Internet was created-!!  Each time I return, I never need to take photos of these rooms, because nothing has change since 
Dorothy Draper decorating days.

I will feature more of Dorothy Draper at The Greenbrier, once I figure out from my 
unbeknown blog-mentor,
how to move and place pictures where 
Denise want them to go. 

Talk again, 


Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Jackie O's Living Room

The Living Room of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis
New York City apartment

Hi Girlfriends,

Back in '96, I bought a birthday present for myself in March.  Do you ever do that?  I called Sotheby's in New York and requested a catalog from "THE ESTATE OF JACQUELINE KENNEDY ONASSIS".  The auction sale was to take place on April 23 - 26 1996.  Upon opening the catalog, it gave me the opportunity to--instantly--feel like a "guest" in her New York City apartment. The above photo is one of my favorites.  Sorry for the poor quality of scanning, but, what I loved the most and have 'copied' every year, is the hydrangea arrangement to the right of her mantle.  

Right now, I have my white hydrangea in full bloom.  Once they begin to turn a tinge of green, I know it's time to cut.  I learned a trick along the way.  Forget turning them upside down and hanging them to dry.  If you do, you get the ones touching each other distorted in shape.  I simply cut them long, put dry oasis in the bottom of a vase and begin stuffing them while they are still fresh.  They keep their shape (most importantly) and as they begin to dry their coloring begins to look fabulous too.  At Thanksgiving time, I put pheasant feathers in the arrangement.......carefully.  At Christmas, I add glizzzzzzzzz to them out of Michael's craft store.

Talk again,

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Prairie Style Oasis In The Sky

Hi Girlfriends,



with the lucky ones
sitting pretty......high above it all.....
on this 1/2 A. roof top garden.

This getaway
on the trendy

Magnificent Mile,

900 N. Michigan Ave.

A real winner-!!

Designed by Hoerr Schaudt Landscape Architects
Archetype chaise lounge chairs
Designed by Michael Vanderbyl for McGuire
CS Interiors by Thomas Connors

August 2008

Denise and Gwen

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Meauring For STACKBACK

Hi Girlfriends,

We received an email from one of our website buyer's wanting information on STACKBACK  for her rod.  

Denise:  "The width of the rod (D) is figured so that when the drapery is open, most of the drapery clears the window, admitting sufficient sunlight and taking advantage of the complete view."  

Gwen: "In Illustration D, it shows rod past window one each side.  For each width of drapery pulled to each side, the rod should be extended out from the window approximately 5" to 6".

Denise:  "Or......a rule of thumb is to add 1/3 of the window width to the window width to determine rod length.  The rod would then extend 1/6 of the width of the window on each side."

Gwen:  "To economize, or when the furniture is placed on limited wall space near the window, the drapery does not have to clear the window and can be figured closer."

Denise: " So true......and remember g.f.s, the measuring process should come up with two important facts:  1. The rod width and 2. The finish length "

Good luck-!!

Talk again,
Denise & Gwen

Monday, July 14, 2008

Confessions Of A CF Husband

Confessions Of A CF Husband: Fast Track (Updated 7.4.08)

Hi Girlfriends,  

It's update time on this beautiful love story. A love story about a husband, his wife and their newborn daugher. In June, I wrote about finding this incredible blog, Confessions Of A CF Husband.  I still find it incredible.

Nate 27,  is still giving his 110% support as a devoted husband to his CF  wife, Tricia 27,  who is struggling for her life.  CF eventually affects the lungs and breathing becomes a problem.  They move from Nags Head, NC, to Durham, NC to be near Duke Medical Center Hospital.  Here Tricia waits out her time for two lung donations.  To their happiness, a first, and much wanted new life is beginning to grow in her.  She decides to keep this new life growing inside her.  At 24 weeks of gestation, the doctors decide an emergency C-cut must happen for the health of both. Behold an infant daughter, Gwyneth Rose.  

Next, comes the much awaited news, two lungs are available.  Today, Tricia is living on two borrowed lungs and recovering under the watchful eyes of her doctors and Nate's continued love and support.

By July 4th the family is together in a hotel room they have been calling "home" for close to a year.  Life is getting, somewhat, back to normal.  Gwyneth Rose  weighs in at 7 1/2lbs,  eats baby food and the Mommie has a new set of lungs.  One day, soon, they will all three be moving back to their home on Nags Head, NC.

Please visit this site and, always, keep a box of kleenex near you.
Photo taken from Nate's blogsite

Talk again.

Update on this beautiful family......again-!!
July 17, 2008

Fantastic news from Nate:

The family of 3, have moved back to Nags Head, NC and GwynethRose  weighs 7 1/2 lbs-!!

Way to go Nate, Tricia and precious GwynethRose........keep healthy you three.
Love to you all, Denise

Saturday, July 12, 2008


Tracy Hickman
Spectacular Homes of Chicago
Photograph by Nathan Kirkman

Hi Girlfriends,

What a fabulous concept...
"An outdoor 
dining area
within a
walled garden
Adrian, Michigan
becomes between
the architect,
interior designer."

Dinner for 10


Talk again,

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Vanity Flair Plays Out...........

Girlfriends,  I love this funky painted and decal vanity paired with an antique pink vanity chair.... it's captivating and charming  for any little girl  

I thought I would share with you one of my own painting projects I did--while a humble addition was being added on last winter.  This alcove is an "Invitation-waiting-to-happen" for 4 little girls when they come to visit.  The girls love to open the drawers in hopes of finding glizzie new jewels........I find at my neighborhood Garage Sales.

The vanity was purchased at Past Basket about 10 years ago.  The chair was family from the late 1920's from, no-longer, Marshall Field & Co., Chicago.  The vanity mirror w/drawer was found in an antique shop in WI.  The decals on the legs and around the mirror were purchased from Michael's and the knobs are from Pottery Barn For Kids.  The really funky part came into play when I stapled-gunned the crystal beads that hang from
dresser and chair.

This was a fun project. A project that can be used over and over with each visit.

Talk again,


Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Designers Creating For You

Hi Girlfriends,

Are your summer catalogs beginning to arrive in your mailbox?  Yesterday, another Gump's catalog arrived in mine.  To my surprise, for the first time, I saw this lazy Susan by artist, Annie Modica.  I bought mine with pears and figs, at least six years ago, at Past Basket, while staying at The American Club, Kohler, WI.  

A lazy Susan is a perfect answer to serving hor'd at your next outdoor gathering.  Simply place the lazy Susan in the middle of the table and consider serving 3 different kinds of cheeses: Huntsman, Brie and Spain's Drunken Goat, along with fig preserves and crackers.  So easy to have your guests just turn the lazy Susan to help themselves.

Another line of items in this same catolog was Martha Study with her own furniture  and accessories.  This artist first began as a sculptor and now brings her 'eye' to each item she designs in furniture. What makes her items so unique is using a simple technique of sandblasting and transforms strong resin table tops, vases, etc, into luminous textures reminiscent of honed stone.  Her bright colors remind me of a rainbow of popsicles.  Each item is an accent in any room.

Talk again,

Monday, July 7, 2008

Paint Chart

Hi Girlfriends,

Have you noticed, when your husband sends you to buy paint, say for the guest room, it is like deciding which gas station is selling gas at a cent cheaper? Selecting paint is fun and the end result is so rewarding.  But, the difficulty begins when you choose your color and tell the salesperson  "2 gallons please." Suddenly, this person turns into an alien with terms you have never known about...........just for paint too-!!  Ok, you did know about flat, semi-gloss, and gloss, but today, as you stand there, you must decide on what sheen: FLAT, EGGSHELL, SATIN, SEMI-GLOSS, or HI-GLOSS.   This is when your cell phone fails you..... you know you left home with your husband up on a ladder prepping the ceiling ........and he isn't going to climb down to answer the phone.  No more fretting, I found a clever "How-to-buy" chart at Lowe's over the longggggg weekend.  Print this chart out and tuck it in a safe place.  It will be ever so convenient for your next paint project. Good luck-!!

Talk again


Sunday, July 6, 2008

Toile Window Treatment and More-!!

Hi Girlfriends,

The annuals are blooming after all your efforts this Spring,  but, what has been in the back of your mind, and tends to get ignored, is that much neglected guest room.  Promise yourself, on the next rainy-indoor-day, to take inventory of this room and begin to tackle it with a positive outcome.  Remember, your house guests may need to escape, to a quiet spot to rest or read a book, after a day of activities planned by their hostess. Naturally, the guest room is the most logical place.  Once you get your guest room right the first time, just leave it alone and enjoy it.

 How can I make a Guest room pretty, but affordable?

Gwen: "I always tell my clients to keep the color scheme with the rest of the house. But, keep it simple and less."

Denise:  "If the room is small, I like wallpaper and window treatments fabrics to match."

Gwen:  "Yes, but remember to add another splash of color."

Denise: "Exactly...... Like the photo to the right where interior designer, Nancy Taylor Lynch, Gastonia, North Carolina, skirted table introduces a burst of color with a large-scale floral pattern."

Gwen: "If considering a guest room similar to this photo, a white mattlesse coverlet is perfect with a blue and white gingham skirt...because both never appear wrinkled or tired....while waiting for a guest."

Denise: " Google 'mattlesse coverlet' for websites that offer fabulous pricing.  Don't forget they have matching shams, then work in one of the other colors from the floral fabric in stripes or gingham for a 'hint' of eye movement in the room."

Gwen: "Rescuing those old family photos, still-in-the-box wedding presents, or Auntie Ruth's lamp will give the room lots of welcoming personality too."

Denise:  "Target has some terrific picture frames.  But.........the one place to spend more money on must be Auntie Ruth's lamp.  Any old, out-dated, or plain ugly (to you) lamp will take on a whole new personality after you take it to a lamp store and have the PERFECT shade selected for it.  Be sure to let the store know where this lamp is going to be used--so your guests will not be staring at any of the working parts of the lamp. Ooooh, and, don't forget to buy a finial too-!! "

 Talk again,
Denise and Gwen

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Hunter Douglas Provenance Enhancing.....

Hi Girlfriends,

If you think your window dressings are just for show, it's time to think again.

Hunter Douglas has been inventing and developing the latest innovations in window treatments since 1946. They design their treatments to enhance light's ability to bring a special warmth to any home. This is achieved by simply dressing windows with fashions that add style, practicality, energy efficiency, and value to all homes.

The Provenance Woven Wood Shadescollection is very much in style.  I love selling this Hunter Douglas collection........they're available in a rich assortment of bamboo, reeds, slats and grasses.  I keep telling my New York clients this collection is the answer to Conrad Shades .  Prices too-!!

To the right, Provenance Woven Wood Shades represents the texture and beauty of natural wood. Used on this oversized window, the shade is a key design element in this room full of arranged surfaces and hues.   This photo shows off the Provenance woven wood shades in a rich "Sandalwood" tone and framed in floor-to-ceiling Robert Allen linen draperies hung from wrought-iron rods.

How simple.  How private.  How good looking.

Talk again,
 low, low, low 

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Eclectic Americana in USA

Pekin, Illinois

Happy July 4th Girlfriends-!!

This photo was taken last August '07 in Pekin, Illinois.  It is loaded with eclectic Americana to this individual thinking homeowner's castle.  One cannot help, but, appreciate the whimsical appearance. 

Gwen is going to Lake Geneva with girlfriends.  Denise will be attending for the 30th time The Smiths July 4th Family Picnic.  The Smiths (Helen and Alan) began small with just 3 families.  True to their Southern hospitality upbringing, the Smiths.........and by the time their six children were all in school.......this annual picnic grew to such swelling proportions-- between 250 to 300 friends, children, in-laws, and grandchildren, bouncing tents, a band chosen from the Chicago Blues Festival and the must-do Watermelon Seed Spitting Contest.   The invitation was designed by Denise 30 years ago and it is the same one sent out every year.

Talk again,
Denise & Gwen