Monday, October 27, 2008


Hi Girlfriends, "One of North America's most well-known interior designers, Candice Olson, studied interior design at Ryerson University in Toronto. She worked with some of Canada's top interior design firms before opening her own residential and commercial design practice, Candice Olson Design, 1994. In the Fall 2002, she made her television debut with Divine Design, which is now one of the top-rated shows on cable television."

Imagine the "Before" picture being your own you can see, sparse furnishings make this large combination Living Room and Dining Room unwelcoming.

Candice Olson: "THIS ROOM SHOULD HAVE BEEN PARTY CENTRAL....with generous space for conversation and dining, it easily could accommodate a large crowd. But the sparse furnishings and bland color scheme made it feel cavernous and stark. The goal here is to make this space live up to its potential, to be both grand and intimate.....and personal."

Candice Olson: "To establish intimacy, I started with the shell of the room: Out went the broadloom carpeting, and in its place we installed dark, prefinished hardwood flooring. To shrink the room visually, I chose a metallic-blue striated finish for the walls. Dark floors and dark walls accented by crisp white woodwork successfully evoke a formal look that also feels warm and inviting"

Gwen: I love the color scheme and it introduces a rich mix of chocolate brown, blue, bronze and teal.

Denise: The new fabrics play up the scheme very nicely too-!! From the luxurious bronze draperies at the windows to the two blue upholstered French dining chair with that deep bronze glaze on the wood frames is very refreshing.

Gwen: And, these fabrics repeat themselves on throw pillows in the living room. Plus, the dark oval cocktail table with a stylish pendant fixture hung low over the table draws the eye to the center of the conversational grouping too.

Finished product-!!

Talk again,
Denise and Gwen

BOOK: Candice Olson on design
Photographs by Brandon Barre

Friday, October 17, 2008

Updating on Confessions of A CF Husband

Hi Girlfriends, 

Today is not about fabrics or decor, it is about Nate, Tricia and Baby Gwyneth Rose.

From time to time, we have been following one courageous blog and have shared the blogger's incredible brave 'happenings' with you. 

"Confessions of a CF Husband," instantly, draws you into the captivating true life story about a devoted 27 year old husband, Nate, to a beautiful, but, sick, wife, Tricia.  Tricia has serious CF (Cystic Fibrosis).  They live at Nags Head, NC. when Tricia is not at Duke Medical Hospital.  During all what they have been through, and waiting for a new set of lungs for Tricia, a miracle began to grow within the two of them.  A baby.  Tricia disregarded all the doctors concerns and had a premie over the winter. A beautiful baby girl, Gwyneth Rose.  Next came the much awaited "borrowed" lungs for Tricia. Finally, Nate brought his wife and newborn back to Nags Head.  This was after months of calling Duke Medical Hospital and a hotel room, HOME.

At some point life took on a "normal" life for the three, until Tricia began to not eat and knew she had an infection somewhere in her body.  Tricia has lymphoma.  As Tricia struggles with chemo, ventilators and all the trappings that go with her condition, she needs our prayers too.

The following is taken from Nate's blog and we am sharing it with you:

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

The Latest

Tricia's PET Scan (Monday morning) shows that the chemo has done very little to affect her PTLD, and, in fact, some of the spots in her lungs have grown, and the lymphoma has possibly spread to a lymph node in her chest (outside of her lungs). They are stopping the current R-CHOP treatment, since it is obviously not doing her any good, and performed another biopsy on Tuesday morning.

That is literally all we know at this point. We arrived home late last night. We should hear back from Duke later this week about what the biopsy shows and what they recommend next.

We are very discouraged as we very distinctly recall the cancer doc telling us a few months ago, "If this treatment doesn't work, Tricia is in serious trouble..."


Nate, Tricia and Gwyneth Rose 

Know that we are thinking of you and send our prayers and love.

Talk again,

Denise and Gwen

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Round Tablecloths

Hi Girlfriend,

NO home is ever finally, completely, finished.  The building may be done and the furniture bought, the color schemes set and the draperies hung, but all this is actually background.  The things you search for, discover and collect as long as you live give a home it's heart and its feeling.

What better way to display the pleasures you find in the objects you care for then to display them on a skirted round table. 

Denise: If you want a rich look to your room, remember to add interlining, then a lining.

Gwen:  Keeping this in mind, remember that their is a lot of waste to the fabric upon cutting, but so worth the completed look.

Denise: For a 54" fabric width most round tables will run you 5 to 6 yards.

Gwen: Yes, and if you want a 4" ruffle add extra yardage anywhere from 2 to 3 1/2 yards.

Denise:  Breakdown for  this 4" ruffle added extra yardage:
               Fabric width over 0" to 52" dia. is 2yds
                                               52" to 75" dia. is 2 1/2yds
                                               75" to 90" dia. is 3yds
                                               90" to 105" dia. is 3 1/2yds

Gwen: Now, for corded bottom, it less, but do add: 
               Fabric width over 0" to 52" dia. is 1yd
                                               52" to 90" dia. is 1 1/2yds
                                               90" to 105" dia. is 2yds
"...soft, rich, and luxurious to the touch." 
The Best In English Interior Decoration
pg. 108
A striped round skirted tablecloth w/ square table topper.
A design I repeated have used for many of my clients 

A gathered tablecloth with a glass top makes for an inviting cleaning experience.

After all those legs showing in this room, the round silk tablecloth is pleasing to the eye.

With the right entrance, this quilted material and it's accent of trimming compliments the accented square table topper.

The richness in the interlining and lining is embellished with bottom fringe work so nicely together.

Talk again,
Denise and Gwen

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Are living rooms slowly dying?

Hi Girlfriends,

Have you noticed more and more Interior Design books and upscale magazines are showing mostly dining rooms, family rooms, kitchens and bedrooms, but, not living rooms?  Do we need to begin writing an obituary for American living rooms?  O we hope not.  

Living Rooms can be adjusted to any lifestyle, but, they must not be written off in the future. A woman wearing a jeans paired with a white silk blouse are just as welcomed as one standing next to her wearing a Prada dress and pointy shoes.  Both chatting together by a welcome fire sipping a wine.  Living rooms hold heirlooms of our past......from casegoods, to a fine French loveseat, to decorative lamps, a wonderful accent chair, antique rugs to fine oil paintings..and so much more.  Let's not write off Living Rooms yet.  We seem to recall it was dining rooms about 25 years ago, so we believe designers like Cote De Texas, will still have her job of being a fabulous French designer for all concerns.........right down to Gwen and I who love to do homes in our area too.

Take a look at three living rooms that are all from "SPECTACULAR HOMES of Chicago."  This book is "an exclusive showcase of Chicago's finest designers" from a melding of people, culture and design.

Gwen:  From traditional decor, to clean lines of contemporary design, or a mixture of styles, these designers are dedicated to designing spaces that echo their clients and taste.

Denise: True, true, true.  We who live here know that there is a profusion of creativity and this book shows the "beautiful work of the designers" and through breathtaking photography.

Photograph by Jesse Walker

Two matching settees covered in taupe silk with wood accents invite conversation , while bamboo iron mirrors flank the fireplace to add light and depth to the room.

Photograph by Casey Sills

Molly McGinness infused this room's sunlight, with rich colors, and  custom draperies to accentuate the casually elegant living room's architecture.  The window seat, adorned with luxurious pillows, serves as a focal point while the "beautiful Oriental rug unites the space."

I gush
 every time I see this designer's work.  
Tracy Hickman. 
Her layering techniques and exquisite application of texture 
reflects her ability
 to meet
 the unique needs of 
her clients.
Photograph by Nathan Kirkman

"An antique Aubusson rug was the springboard for this living room.  The buttercream paneled walls highlight the massive chinoisserie secretary.  Silk striped goblet pleated draperies frame views to a parterre garden beyond."

Guess we can all rooms aren't dead after all..........they are just going through an adjustment phase.

Talk again,
Denise & Gwen

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Sarah Palin & Her Alaskan Office Decor

How refreshing-!!
Decor etc. predicts.......Sarah Palin is going turn Washington into a bunch of animals.
We love the giant crab.  

Talk again,
Denise & Gwen