Jan 23, 2007

Elizabeth's Apartment Part Two

This is part two of the photos of my apartment. Please go to "Elizabeth's Apartment" first, then read this one.

Thank you!

These photos are of my apartment, above my store. I painted and designed all the furniture. My friend, Sherrie Whitehead, drew the trees and faux finished the walls. I chose a very soothing color palette as I wanted peace and calm in my surroundings - my life is anything but! :-)

Enjoy the photos!

Elizabeth's Apartment

Are you like me and just love it when you drive by a home at night and are thrilled that the drapes are left wide open for all the
"peeping Toms" to see? I've been told by friends that I am going to get "arrested" some day for looking in windows. Well, I don't stop and look, but I sure do slow down the car.
I have had several requests from my readers to show my apartment. Here are some photos for all you peeping Toms to view. Some photos are old. The black bed with the bedding that I designed is no longer in that room, nor do I have that bedding - it sold!
That room was my master bedroom and after my divorce I moved into the guest room and made the master bedroom my photo studio (it gets wonderful light!).
The guest room (the gray/blue room with clocks) no longer exists either. That bedding and those clocks sold a long time ago...I have bolts of fabric in my apartment and trims ready for me to design some new bedding for myself, but I just haven't found the time.
The walls and murals in the living area done by my good friend, Sherrie Whitehead. I chose the colors of pale tan, cream, browns, grays, and slate blues. It is a Tuscan wall with plaster. All the furniture I painted and all upholstered furniture I redesigned. You can see some of the chandeliers - I have 11 chandeliers in my tiny apartment! I wanted my space to feel of "old and dusty" as strange as that may sound. Actually, I wanted what I call "livable elegance" in my home.

Livable Elegance is a term that I coined to describe a home that is filled with beauty in the eyes of the owner and filled with comfort for all its visitors. I like living with my things, my treasures, my finds, and I like to present them in what I feel is an elegant manner (to me at least) without feeling like I live in a museum. I absolutely use every single thing in my home - nothing is "for show" but for use - hence the "livable" part of "livable elegance."
A home has a soul. It is born through the eyes of the owner and it lives and grows with the spirit of its owners. Sort of like a very well-cared for garden.
And that is where designers, like me come in to help when needed. As the home lives and grows, sometimes the owner just needs someone to do a little "fertilizing" to bring forth what was there all along, but just buried beneath its owner's doubt and fear that's all. And as I "fertilize" a home for someone, I make sure that I plant what will "grow" best for the owner and the home's environment - whether that environment is filled with children, pets, single dad, or has lots of guests coming and going.
The posting either prior or just after this one (I don't know how this will load up on the site) contains more photos that would not, for some reason load onto this posting.

I hope you enjoyed the "tour" of my little apartment. I will, in the future post more photos. I really want you to see my bathroom (I need to take photos of it). I took an 1800's baptismal font and turned it into a sink...more on that later.

May your home have a soul that sings, laughs, and protects you. And may you fill your home with your treasures....and the best treasures are usually called "friends." A home isn't truly happy until it is filled with your loved ones. And you, my treasured readers, fill my home each day with your emails, comments and phone calls.
So the next time you go "soul searching" start with your home and breath new life into it. Fill your home with your treasures and fill it in a way that makes you happy and content. Sometimes, when we want to go find ourselves we think we need to get away from it all. When all we really need is to use what you love and love what you use. It's pretty simple, really.
from my house to your house,

Jan 16, 2007

Too Pooped to Party?

This time of year, most of us are just "partied out" and the last thing we want to do is to attend yet another party or much less host a party! However, all because we just finished with the holidays, that does not mean birthdays, anniversaries, or special events do not happen in January.

So, if you are like me, you are now paying for your holiday bills, glad that the tree is put away, and cookies don't even tempt me right now. But, what if you must host a dinner party? It needs to be inexpensive, quick, easy, and special.
I did this "paper" table theme for less than $40 and it took about 45 minutes from scratch to finish - really! Old books, paper, clear vases, and burlap and you have one festive gathering. I use old books as plate chargers - in this case, my friend who is a lawyer, made partner, so I am using old law books.
If the guest of honor were to be an artist - then art books. A chef? Cookbooks. A teacher? Dictionaries. The possibilities are endless. Just make sure the books lie very flat. Your plates should not "rock" while cutting food on them.

I used burlap as runners (about $2.99 per yard) and lined the edges with torn pages from the books. I rolled a page out of the book for the napkin ring and tore a page and taped to wire for the place settings.

The center pieces are just crushed up paper pages that are shoved into clear vessels. I made some paper flowers out of pages by simply taking a page, and twisting the center until it flares out to make a flower and tie wire to the end and just shove the wire into the vases. When guests arrive, just remove the tall center piece and place it on the dessert table (yes, you should always have a dessert table). I use old books with the covers torn off in the center to give height and interest. Move the candles to the center when you remove the tall center piece.

Votive candles with paper and fire? Are you crazy? Well, maybe a little. But really, just use common sense. The "votive" holders are just glasses I took out of my cabinet and I took a page and smashed it inside all around the edges. I then burned down the little candle half way before I used it inside the glass. Light the candle while it is OUTSIDE the glass. Once lit, then carefully place inside the glass. If this makes you nervous, then just simply tape the old paper around the outside of the glass and trim the edges. But I prefer to live on the "edge." :-)

I have many more photos, but they didn't load up for some reasons. I did this in my dining room and will be creating an artist guest of honor table top design next. I will use the same venue so you can really see that the same place can really be designed differently.

I hope your new year is off to a great start and may the next dinner party you host be a party that the guests will be talking about for weeks to come. I live by one main rule when entertaining: I NEVER set out to impress my guests...I set out to make them feel super special. I want them to know that I think they are worth the effort. Making a guest feel special, rather than impressed is the only way to truly make your guests feel welcomed.

I hope you feel welcomed to my blog - because I find you very special.

From my house to your house,


Jan 3, 2007

Sneak Peek at Elizabeth's Valentine's Feature

In addition to running my store, design business and painting, I also am a contributor to the national magazine, Romantic Homes. If you haven't read this magazine in a while, then I urge you to take another look! The magazine has undergone some wonderful changes over the past several months which includes more photography and interesting features on boutiques, artists, and homes.

I now have a column in Romantic Homes, called Ta Da! I will write it 3 or 4 times a year. This February issue is my debute column - dedicated to Valentines Day and love.

I describe a new tradition that I hope Americans adopts. I call it a Valentines Tree and instead of just a day of celebration, we have a Valentines Season. The tree will be filled with little scrolls of love notes that are written by family members and tied to the branches. How wonderful would it be to share our love and gratitude for two weeks instead of just one day? I explain how this tree is used in a family situation and also how it is wonderful in a grown-up, chocolate buffet party.

I styled and photographed the feature as well. You will have to buy the magazine to see the 10-page feature full of photos, ideas, and "how to's." I am fortunate that the editor gave me great freedom with my concept, the styling, writing and my photography. They are truly a wonderful team with whom to work.

You should be able to find the Romantic Homes at better grocery stores and if you don't, then you need to find the store manager and request that they carry it! Borders and Barnes and Noble carry it as well - however, I am frustrated that I usually find it buried on the top shelf, behind other shelter magazines, and only a few copies at that. It is a fabulous magazine, worthy of front row attention in my opinion.

And finally - yes, I know I am doing a little self-promotion here - but should you find the feature inspiring or interesting, feel free to write to the editor and let her know you would like to see more of my work. I very much enjoy this type of work and hope to do a lot more of in the future.

With the new year off to a running start, I think it is great that in America, we get to start the year with love, gratitude, kindness and yes, chocolate! We have an actual day dedicated to love! I say, "just a day???" Why not a season? The first two weeks of February is a great time to celebrate.

May your heart be filled with love, your eyes filled with beauty, and your soul filled with chocolate...there is no such thing as too much love, beauty or chocolate! :-)

from my house to your house,



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