7.03.2014

Summertime, Sand, and SCOUT!

Happy Fourth of July, everyone!

Who’s at the beach right now? I hope Arthur isn’t messing up anyone’s plans and that everyone stays safe through the storms!
I love Summer and spending as much time as I can at the beach. What is more relaxing than laying on a comfy towel with a good book catching some rays, or those late afternoons when everyone gets back to the house after a day in the sand? I love those barefoot times with family when we gather together in the kitchen to cook a fresh meal… Or even just enjoy a slice of Grotto’s on the porch J
Another great thing about Summer at the beach is having fun accessorizing for it. There are so many cute tote bags right now but one of my absolute favorite brands is SCOUT Bags. How cute are these totes for the beach??

What I love most about SCOUT is their new line of rugs with pattern options being the same as all their other products. In other words, your make-up bag can match your runner…. Love it. Nothing better than fashion and design crossing paths like this!


















 
These bags are great for the beach but they’re also great for every-day use. In addition to our monogrammed KPI totes, our designers carry around oversized SCOUT bags for the constant lugging around of paint decks, tile, wood, and fabric samples. I use my tote during work as well as my day-to-day mom stuff (you moms know what I’m talking about).
 
We were lucky enough to be given a “sneak peek” of SCOUT’s new Fall/Winter line. These will hit the stands in August so start brainstorming which you like best, now!



 
 
 
 
 
 
 


Christmas in July, anyone?
 
 
All Photographs Courtesy of Bungalow LLC

6.11.2014

Design Inspiration

 

It always interests me learning how other designers become inspired. Some focus on shape more so than color and others vice versa. Some designers start with tile, others begin with wallpaper or fabric. I, myself, feel like I become inspired from any and every type of design item available to me. Often it can be as small as a fabric I know I NEED to use on that ottoman and the entire room, or even several rooms, are formed around this detail.
 
What I love about the DC Design House is not only how much money it raises for The Children's Inn at NIH, but walking through and learning what inspired each room. For example, upon entering a Guest Bedroom by Susan Donelson and Sharon Bubenhofer of Cleveland Hall Design, I was told the design of this room was inspired by its floral wallpaper:



Some other rooms that I felt were SO eye catching:

Jeff Akseizer and Jamie Brown of Akseizer Design Group.
 
 
A playroom made to entertain as much as get some creativity flowing:
 
 


 Katherine Vernot-Jonas, Katherine Vernot-Jonas Designs
 
 
A boost of color in the Foyer/Main Stair:
 
Camille Saum of Camille Saum Interior Design.
 
 
A mix of Contemporary and Traditional in the Living Room:
 
Kelley Proxmire, Kelley Interior Design
 
 
 
What inspires you on a "day to day" basis?

4.23.2014

Color, Color, Color!


 
Today may be a little chilly but Spring has sprung! This isn’t according to just the cherry blossoms, warm days and thunderstorms, though… a designer of mine and I just got back from Market in High Point a little over a week ago where we saw some very spring-y color palette trends. We saw a lot of celadon with deep grays and browns this year. Aqua and coral were also a major hit, which conveniently are also the colors of a little girl’s nursery we just finished….

Fabrics we used in the Nursery

(Mural by Lisa Tuerson)
 
Another fun trend we’re seeing are the custom colors beginning to be available. Barbara Cosgrove is now making shades in any Benjamin Moore color. This idea is genius. Not only are these two brands two of my absolute favorites, they are working together to make my job so much easier! Now I can now match the band of a shade with the trim in a room! LOVE it.


 
 

Hope you’re having a fabulous Spring so far J

3.14.2014

Happy St. Patrick's Day!


Happy Friday, everyone! AND It’s almost St. Patrick’s Day! What is everyone doing this weekend to celebrate? Whether you’re Irish, or just pretending to be, it’s a great excuse to get festive and have some fun with the color green…
An absolutely ideal St. Patty’s weekend in D.C. for me would include all of the following:

 
Place to go:
 
 
The St. Patrick’s Day Parade on Sunday March 16th:
No better way to immerse yourself in Irish culture than to see the 43rd annual St. Patrick’s Day parade down on Constitution Ave. National flags, bagpipes, and grown men dressed as leprechauns will get you into the spirit! Not to mention the dancers from Culkin School of Irish Dance dressed up in their feis best J More info here: http://dcstpatsparade.com/
 
Love a good centerpiece:


 (Photo Credit to Pinterest)



What to eat:

I think it’s safe to say Irish food is not necessarily the most popular cuisine but I found this beef stew recipe on Pinterest that looks delish!
 
Beef Stew
4 to 5 pound blade beef roast

Cut the roast into large chunks about 1 ½ inches in size. Salt and pepper the raw meat to season. Toss the beef chunks in regular flour to coat.

In a large heavy bottomed skillet heat

4 tbsp canola oil

Brown the beef chunks on all sides, working in small batches so as not to crowd your pan. When all the beef is browned transfer it to a large covered roasting pan along with

2 pints Irish Ale (Smithwick's is a good choice.)
4 cloves minced garlic
1 tsp ground thyme
1 tbsp fresh chopped rosemary
3 tbsp Dijon mustard
1 bay leaf
Stir all the ingredients in the roaster then cover well with aluminum foil and the roaster cover. Cook slowly in a 300 degree oven for about 1 ½ to 2 hours.

Roasted Vegetables

Toss together:
2 pounds carrots, cut in chunks
2 pound parsnip, cut in chunks
2 pound turnip, cut in chucks
6 celery stalks, diced
2 cloves minced garlic
4 tbsp olive oil
salt and pepper to season
Roast in a shallow baking pan for about 40 minutes.

Beef Stock

5 pounds of beef bones
2 cloves minced garlic
Season with salt and pepper and roast in a covered pan for about an hour.

Add:
2 litres of boilng water
2 finely grated carrots
and return to the oven or stovetop to simmer for about an hour. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Strain the stock from the bones and add to the braised beef along with the roasted vegetables and
3-4 pounds yellow potatoes, washed and unpeeled, cut in chunks
3-4 sprigs fresh thyme
2-3 tbsp chopped fresh rosemary
1 tsp fresh grated nutmeg

Return to the oven for about half an hour to 45 minutes or until the potatoes are nearly fork tender. Add 1 ½ cups fresh or frozen peas and cook for an additional 15 minutes. Serve with freshly baked bread, biscuits or Yorkshire pudding.


 

Drink to drink:

I found a variation of a mint julep on www.littlehomesandbighearts.com that I think would be a crowd pleaser:

The Irish Julep
 
2 oz. Basil Bourbon, 1/2 oz Creme de Menthe, 1 oz half and half. Garnish: mint sprig
Pour all into a highball glass with ice, and garnish. 
 
 
And what seems just as delicious but a little bit healthier is a recipe I found in Redbook a while back by their Mommy Mixologist, Kim Haasarud.
 
The Irish Smash

            Squeeze a whole lemon into a cocktail shaker, add an ounce of simple syrup (sugar dissolved in hot water) and two ounces of whiskey. Top with ice, shake, and add mint leaves! Sweet and simple.

 


Fun ideas for the kids:

Kids’ Drink

I stumbled across this really cute idea on Parenting.com. Fill your ice trays with food coloring to make different colored ice cubes and put in a clear drink to make a rainbow.
 
 
Also, you can find fun crafts for the kids on Spoonful:


 
I hope you have a very lucky weekend and so much fun celebrating!

 

3.06.2014

Design & Art

 
I hope everyone is having a nice Thursday! I was going through some old notes the other day and found this Serena & Lily ad from a while ago that I loved:
 
 
 
 
            It got me thinking... design and art have always been separated by one thing: function. Design has, historically, been considered usable in our every-day lives and art’s purpose was to be looked at and appreciated from a distance; strictly decorative. The more that contemporary design and contemporary art evolve though, the fine line between them is fading.
Some design items are now being made from such particular craftsmanship and materials they’re supposed to be bought and collected but not used. At the same time, art is becoming so involved with human expression and physical interaction that its purpose is more functional than ever before. I’ve pulled together some miscellaneous examples that come to mind…
 
(photo found on Tumblr)
 

 
The “Miss Blanche Chair” by Shiro Kuramata is not necessarily meant to be sat in… it is so beautiful but probably wouldn’t be very comfy! FYI—you can see on the Christie’s website that this chair sold in 2007 for $316,913!
 
 
 
 
(Architecural Digest)
This photograph of light bulbs is still meant for decoration but not necessarily treated as any more important than the books it’s surrounded by. Its placement in the room shows the picture to be on the same level as all the other knick knacks surrounding it.
 
 
 
 

(CNN)
 
Banksy is a British graffiti artist who is internationally known for his politicaland social commentary. Even though his work now sells for six-figures, he still adorns the streets of major cities with his quirky and ironic work. The most interesting thing about Banksy: no one knows who he is. All of his work is done behind the scenes. You can read about his recent stint in NYC back in October to get an idea of how interactive and elusive this guy is.
http://www.cnn.com/2013/10/31/us/new-york-banksy-residency-ends/

(CNN)
 
Here’s a t-shirt he designed. The document can be bought through his website but printed at home:

(CNN)

 
 
 
 (Architectural Digest)
 
Murals are becoming a huge trend in design and KPI is a definite participant in this trend!
            Recently, we’ve been working alongside Swatchroom, a company made up of artisans from all different trades (from fine arts to carpentry) who come together and create one-of-a-kind design items. One of the many things we love about Swatchroom is their mastery of faux finishing and decorative painting such as in our most recent project…
 

(Swatchroom)
 
 
I'm just thinking out loud here so I'd love your feedback! Do you see design & art merging? What now separates design & art, in your opinion?

Have a great rest of your week!

2.13.2014

Love is all around!


You can find a little love in one of my favorite interiors...



OK so first and foremost, I HAVE MISSED MY BLOG!!!!

Things have been so crazy but incredible around the KPI office. We’re expanding, teaching, and changing like you would not believe and have had such a great start to 2014… we could not be more grateful! BUT it is so nice for me to catch a breath on this beautiful snow day and catch up with you!

Our favorite deliveryman came into KPI, yesterday, and asked (to an all-lady staff) “Is it OK if your husband or boyfriend doesn’t bring you flowers on Valentine’s Day?” Needless to say there were mixed shouts/responses from various rooms of the office. Some gals were more easygoing than others.

This got me thinking about what Valentine’s Day is really all about…  it’s not just about your significant other it’s about ALL of the people and things you love. I love my daughters to death, my family and friends immensely, and I certainly love design. I love love!

So on this gorgeously white day, and you know how I feel about white ;), I am going to share with you some things I found on Pinterest that I love! Hope you enjoy, everyone!
 


  

















Carpenter's Workshop Gallery: Paris, France