While the Kids are Away . . .

Hi All . . .

Seven days ago my husband and kids got in the car for their yearly road trip to the Jersey Shore.  Its the one week a year I have the house to myself.  It’s a week I catch up on paperwork, try and clear my head or bust out a bunch of installs.  The later was the type of week I had.  But to start the week, and as they drove out the driveway, I turned with a grim on my face and put on my PJ’s, who are we kidding, jumped on the sofa.  It was Saturday morning.  I spent my first two days in the same PJ’s, watching junk TV, eating things I would never eat in front of anyone, took -  I believe not one, but two naps and got all my photo books caught up-to-date (after I called my dear Apple friend who rushed over and restored every portfolio picture I ever had that I deleted in a moment of exhaustion).   All of this was done while thinking about the big week ahead of me.

Ever wonder about “a week in the life.”  Here’s the week of this full time business owner and designer. You may either just be exhausted reading this or gain a few new ideas . . .

Day One started with a quick trip to a client’s.  She had just purchased a baby grand piano and wanted my opinion on where to put it.  While there, we both decided she needed a little furniture to go with the piano.  I called my assistant Jena from the car, having thought about it as I was discussing it and had her pull ideas that I remembered seeing at Market.  We came up with this and it was a hit.

I then moved on to the first of the three installs I planned for the week.  After confirming with the delivery men and carpet people they were there.

I don’t often duplicate an idea without changing it to work within the colors and style of a new project.  I also consider my zip codes.  Some ideas, when represented in a different way take on a whole new look.  The “Tree Wall” had to make another appearance.  This time I was working with a client who’s style leaned more towards the warm side.  She had a great ottoman to start out process, but needed everything else.  She truly lived in a tree house.  A beautiful place up a 200 + foot driveway.  It was up in the trees, warm, with a touch of the folk art inspiration. Keith pulled out the painting the morning of the day he left, now it was my turn.  Take a look at the original inspiration:

After I spent a good 30 minutes apologizing to the delivery men for having to carry the sectional sofa up the 200 foot driveway because the truck would not make it.  I then apologized to  the carpet installer.  It was only 92 degrees outside. But look how it turned out. Client was happy, delivery men were not.

On the way back to my office I got the call Lucy’s new bed was here and so was her wall paper.  Ok.. it came a month early. THAT NEVER HAPPENS ! I decided to pile it on a little more and install her new teenage room while they were gone and surprise her. Quick phone call to the wall paper installer (who never lets me down!) Done.  I decided to try and get the bed home myself, as the delivery guys weren’t answering my calls, wonder why !  Now my mind is spinning on what I need to get to complete the room, because just like my clients, if I am going to install myself I want all the elements.  Had the key pieces and the great accessories I found at Market.  Needed a quirky lamp.. I have time.  Day One came to close with the last episode of the Bachelorette (yes you read that right)  Good for Ashley and JP.  I told you… junk TV.

Day Two started at 6:00 answer emails, coordinating painters and compiling my “to do” list for my sidekicks, while simultaneously  trying to get the ideas I came up with in my head during Late Night with Jimmy down on paper.   My next venture out was to Shawna Robinson’s studio. www.shawnarobinson.com.

We are working on two jobs together and wanted to check on what she had come up with for me -  but more importantly wanted to see her cool space.  She’s amazing and runs quite the operation.  I cannot wait to see my two new chairs in two weeks.  Here’s a little peak of something she’s working on and stay tuned for my “Spotlight on Shawna” and installs featuring 2 of her custom chairs.

Following that meeting was another meeting with a great new client who contacted me wanting help with her house … and I mean pretty much all of it. She’s quite savvy herself and has great taste. This will be such a fun project and after some time batting ideas around and showing her my inspiration boards, I believe we are off to a good start.  Stay tuned for that, but here’s where it’s starting.

Let’s get a closer look at the coffee table … there is nothing more I love than mixing a little wood grain in a “project-o-contemporary.”

I left our meeting feeling good that I came close to capturing her style.  On to install No. 2 for the week.

Mac Taylor and his parents came to visit me one day. He’s a kid that knew what he wanted and the blue walls were his starting point. Funny, the paint should be the LAST thing you do, but in this case it totally worked.  I was happy to pick out things that had more style and interest than your average “mail order” or internet site. I couldn’t wait to pull it together for him.

He loves music and we found this great piece for him as the focal point over the bed. Wanting to add more storage around the bed, I found these heavy metal and wood shelves, very sturdy.  We added the art and if the sconces ever arrive will be placed on either side!

An who tires of plaid… not me.

After that long install, made a quick trip to drop off a client’s dining room chairs that came in, Just 62 emails that day, but it was nice to come home to a house that looked exactly like I left it.. how is that.. oh yeah, kids are gone !

I am on to Day Three.  Keith texted me pictures of the kids, torture, but I know they are having fun.

Lucy will be so surprised when she gets home. Now she had a pretty great room.  It was covered with Osborne and Little hot pink leafy wall paper. Everyone loved it, except her.  Look at it … it’s so good !

But she’s my no frills, non-pink, tomboy, so it wasn’t her -  at least any more. (I tend to hear that a lot from 12 years olds)  She’s just so laid back about everything she didn’t even complain really, but to be honest it gave me a chance to change it up. I started with this crazy but cool bed. Bear with me here.. the end result will be amazing.  It’s a little out there with it’s burlap upholstery and wings.. it will be cool.

and I know it’s not the newest paper but I still love it.. it has staying power to me and it’s more her.

I did a design board, pulling in things I found at Market.  She loves penguins and I snagged  the limed oak cabinet from the store, the great green and navy pillows were new introductions at Market as well, the carnival style peace sign - just fun.   It will be a great eclectic mix.

Day Four, the dogs are hating me.  I don’t wrestle with them like Keith does, sorry. Plus it’s about 95 degrees outside.  Not loving me.  I did my usual 6:00 paperwork then headed out, by way of the office - where there were about 10 boxes to open.. Met with a new client who wanted to tackle her daughter’s room. She had sent me pictures ahead of time, so I had a furniture layout plan when I got there, lucky for me it worked perfectly.  Now comes the color inspiration, which I am pulling from artwork she created and I loved… interesting mix of turquoise, lime, lavender and her favorite - Yellow - that’s now rolling around in my head.

Created a quick design board of ideas.

Woke up to this … just a little rain. I had a huge install today.  My carpenter was already on the way, but had to pull over and get under cover.  The built-ins were at risk, the paint on the walls wasn’t drying because of all the humidity and I had a linen sofa to try and get out of the truck without getting drenched!  My client was out of town and due back in a day. Luckily everything else was in place. I just wanted it pretty and completed when she got back . . .

The project had a starting point, which is always good. I worked around the headboard and pillows.  I loved the upholstered headboard with it’s field color of taupe and the unexpected turquoise side trim mixed with two beautiful pillows, we just need some things to finish off the room.  I wanted to add a new rug. The inspiration board showed a large West Elm Durrie, cost effective and nice with good colors, but in the end I went for a Turkish rug on a smaller scale with two sheep skins on both sides of the bed.  The Turkish is something special not everywhere and truly beautiful with it’s history and unique color.  Good choice! We also wanted to do a sitting area at the end of the bed, they had the space.  I chose to bring in a custom love seat in the same color as the headboard, them popped with pretty and unique pillows and a good coffee table/ottoman.  These pieces are full size yet made low enough for an unobstructed view of the new flat screen and beautiful sideboard under it.  The piece de resistance, the beaded chandelier.  I loved so much I brought one home for my dining room !!

Her’s where we started:

And here’s how I finished:

These were other rug choices I pondered.  All images from ABC Home & Carpet and all are designs by Madeline Weinrib, whom I totally love.  On a little side note:

She is the great grandaughter of the founder of ABC HOME & CARPET - the multi-floor, multi-building design mecca just north of Union Square in Manhattan.  Weinrib stufied fine art in college and was well on her way to being an established painter when she was inspired to try her hand at designing textiles.  The idea came to her after seeing a Tibetan rug in a similar palette to her paintings being sold at ABC.  Soon she began to design cotton rugs for the store and her designs have been top sellers ever since.

but the winner was:

These amazing rugs come is some really saturated colors, fuschia, kelly green, turquoise, navy, red and purple. I want one.

The Master turned out so pretty. I was really pleased with it.  We also started the custom built in the living room. Took out the old completely and installed the new. Now that the base is in place, stay tuned for the finishing touches.. the upholstered doors on barn door tracks.  It’s a work in progress involving 5 people to make happen.

The week is coming to a close, I found a few odd pieces to get Lucy’s room ready. A great side table and lamp (so I am ditching the floor lamp idea.  Stay tuned …

It’s Saturday, a week later.  That’s a pretty typical week for me with the exception of no kids and husband. Today I did the house stuff, laundry, groceries and set aside time to write my blurb for the next issue of Urban Home Magazine.  I think I should call that “had a conversation with myself for Urban Home”   I’m no writer.  It’s a busy life, but I love it.  I am just grateful to being able to do what I love.  Seeing the things that roll around in my head come to life makes my day !

The kids need to come home now.

Finished Lucy’s room with the exception of a little hanging (my Peace Sign and a big push pin board for her) - I need Keith for that.  But it’s 90% and I love it. Take a look .


And lastly . .  got my Saturday night Chinese delivery and I think I should take the fortune cookie hint . .

Have A Happy weekend !

- Beth

p.s. Lucy’s home… big hit !

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