Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Ballard Designs Backroom Bonanza

via Ballard Design's Facebook Page

Claire and I were discussing fabric options for the banquette at my dining room table and she casually suggested I check out Ballard Design's Backroom location to see some of the fabric in real life. Little did she know (OK, she probably knew) that a visit would solve all of my dilemmas.

Upon my visit, I immediately checked in with the salesperson to see if I could take photos. Alas, no, as a previous blogger apparently took photos then posted a negative review AND showed locations of all the hidden security cameras. So, my personal before and afters will have to suffice. But the showroom near downtown Atlanta is fabulous. I ran up to check the one is Roswell too and just didn't like it nearly as well.

On to the good stuff- my salesfriend helpfully informed me that they had four upholstered Parsons chairs available and on sale- at the greatly reduced retail of $94 each (sorry, I'm just so excited!). I snatched them up and picked up 2 natural linen slips (Joni, you've convinced me). I would have bought 4 slips, but alas they could only find two. Off to the website to order the other two. And yes, they need more ironing and straightening (sorry! I'm also packing for a trip. But I'm cringing at how wrinkled that one chair is!).

But wait! There's more! Ballards also had the black check Coventry bench. While we were not really considering the black and white check, the discounted $186 option prompted a quick change of heart. An immediate/panic email to Claire and some quick verification measurements at home, and the bench was mine.
I added the square linen-covered pillow to help pull the slipcovers and bench together. Claire suggested adding some black ribbon along the bottom of the chairs as well, which I think would work nicely. Additionally, we still need to strip the wallpaper and swap out the chandelier. But progress!

A quick review of the before:

And after!

And Kaylee was dying to be included in the photos, so I had to post this shot of her. She's still available for adoption!!

Clearly Mr. Southern and I do not use the breakfast nook very often. I'm embarrassed to say that most dinners are consumed while we're sitting on the couch (I know! What are we, 19!?) When we're entertaining, we eat in the dining room. So my hope is that these comfy chairs will encourage us to act our age and actually eat at the table.

Also, I must apologize for the science project on the table but we're starting our veggies (tomatoes, sweet peppers, yellow and green squash, and cilantro). Yum!


Monday, March 29, 2010

It's a Brand New Day!

Great quote: Every sixty seconds you spend angry, upset or mad, is a full minute of happiness you'll never get back.

Good morning! I hope everyone had a lovely weekend. Mr. Southern and I got a bit of gardening accomplished- mostly weeding, admittedly, but rather cathartic! Madison, our youngest furbaby, tossed up Daddy's sock that she apparently had eaten last week when Mommy was out of town. Of course, we thought the culprit was Tilghman! (sorry, that is probably TMI). Needless to say, she is feeling much better and is now getting along fine with foster dog Kaylee.

Speaking of dogs, last week we attended a fundraiser for the Atlanta Humane Society, hosted by the fine folks at Sweetwater Brewing. We got to meet Lemonhead, an incredibly sweet Staffordshire Terrier rescued from a dog-fighting ring in Atlanta. After socializing (and after I-nicely- finished grilling of one of the directors), we had a tour of the facility.
Friday night, Habersham hosted another Garden Party with a few tasty snacks and wine. Few things better than sipping wine in the garden.
It's no secret that I would replace all of the grass in our backyard with gardens and pathways if Mr. Southern would allow me and Habersham is just the place for inspiration (I also posted about them last Fall).

Honestly, not to knock anyway, but how many garden centers have staging like this?

Not to mention their fabulous indoor spaces, a respite from the chilling temps, featuring items that look equally great indoors as out.

Love this little guy...This little house was too expensive for my taste (well over $200!) but oh so cute.

This little bunny would be a welcome visitor in any garden... and just in time for Easter.

LOVE the look of these edibles.

And as we did last fall, we finished up at Alfredo's, a great old-school Italian place.

Have a fabulous week!!

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Upping the Girly Factor~pretty pink

Phoebe Howard

It's been a little chaotic in our house the past few days. Mr. Southern is working working working. I'm recovering/catching up from all my traveling (with another sinus infection). And our dear foster dog and youngest resident dog are on the outs with each right now. Life, of course, is still very good but all the bits of stress make me want a little pretty. The fastest way to pretty, to my mind, is Pink! Not sick-to-your-stomach Pepto Bismal pink. Pale, lovely, dreamy pink.

The reality is that I'll probably never to a pink room (unless one day we have a little girl) so here are some take-me-away pretty pinks.
Pink can be "grounded" with a healthy dose of brown or black, like this living room. While the walls (and it appears, ceilings) are done in pink, the dark brown of the chairs, sofa and light brown of the carpet serve to balance the girly factor.

House Beautiful via Lolina

Suzanne Kasler seems to use a lot of pink, ranging from bright bright to more muted tones. Here, we see more chocolate browns, with the sofa and trimming on the draperies, and a pale- almost beige- pink. I adore this room and would love to see it from another angle!

Another Kasler- I couldn't do just one! In this room, a taupe offsets the pop of pink accents. The sconces and side tables really give the space some glam.

Similarly, the taupe/greenish wall color perfectly sets the stage for very sophisticated twin beds.

This space really ups the glam factor with these fabulous drapes, Louis XV armchairs and frou-frou throw rug.

Love the bedcrown over this bed, in a deeper shade of pink than the wall, and the crystal chandelier. And is that houndstooth I spy!?

Phillip Gorrivan via Villa Anna

Here are more unabashedly girly and glam, but still quite "liveable." Pale, pale pink, lots of white wood (furniture and floors), and fabulous natural light. And would you not LOVE to have that fireplace and tub in your bath?!

both images Elle Decor via Moodboard

Brightened up with white accessories and pop of green.

House to Home

Can't forget Martha, who seems to feature lots of pink, either in others' rooms...

Martha Stewart Living via Contented Me

or her own home (or guest home).

Farrow and Ball's Middleton Pink, via Patricia Gray

More Martha, via Southern Chateau

Perhaps just a touch of pink? This room has several pink pieces (sofa, lampshades, and perhaps the duvet?) but is still decidedly pretty.

House Beautiful via CTC Design

A great source for a pink lampshade-- I adore the green ribbon.

Belle Cottage

And, with Spring here, cannot forget the option of pink flowers (faux or real).

Diane James Pink Peonies, Gracious Home

Hope y'all have a lovely day!


Wednesday, March 24, 2010

To Market To Market

Mr. Southern and I went to Market over the weekend to meet with a potential vendor. Afterward, we tooled around AmericasMart, popping into shops that really, we really had no business in visiting. As I've mentioned, both Mr. Southern and I are in some way involved in retail and can gain access to AmericasMart. Which is sort of a blessing and a curse- while I love my job, I, probably like many others not in the design world, feel a twitch of envy when I see all the great products for which I could envision the perfect home. But alas, none fit into my "job role" (which is food, if you're wondering).

One of my favorite predominately wholesale companies I've realized, is Two's Company. This will sound like an advertisement for them but I am in no way compensated for my love. :-) The diversity of the products is what gets me.

Need to add some polish to the bath? May I suggest:
Carrington Set of 3 Covered Vanity Jars by Two's Company®Chatelet Perfume Tray by Two's Company®Timeless Crystals and Pearls Box by Two's Company®Charlotte Antiqued Victorian Hand Mirror Set by Two's Company®
Carrington set of vanity jars, Chatelet Perfume Tray, Timeless Crystals and Pearls Box, Charlotte Antiqued Victorian Hand Mirror (all available at Organize.com and numerous other sources).

Entertaining? Here are some great "must-haves."
Va Bene Murano Glass Butter Knives Set by Two's Company®Be Seated™ Bud Vase/Place Card Holders - Set of 4 by Two's Company®Victoria Ribbon Cake Stand Set by Two's Company®Vases by Two's Company
Va Bene Murano Glass Butter Knives, Be Seated Bud Vase/Place Card Holders, Victoria Ribbon Cake Stand Set.

Dying for a seaside home and need some seashore accents to get you through?

Large Shell on Glass Stand by Two's Company®Blue Coral Sculpture on Glass Base by Two's Company®Triton Sea Shell Mosaic Wall Mirror by Two's Company®
Large shell on glass stand, Blue Coral Sculpture, Triton Sea Shell Mosaic

And let's not forget the furniture.
Cote d'Azur Rectangle White Bench by Two's Company®Golden Bamboo Butler Table by Two's Company®Golden Bamboo 5-Shelf Stackable Tower Packed by Two's Company®Haute Couture Dress and Jewelry Rack by Two's Company®
Cote d'Azur bench (I need for my bathroom vanity!), Golden Bamboo Butler Table, Golden Bamboo 5-shelf Stackable tower (would this work for housing my china, Claire?), and Haute Couture Dress and Jewelry Rack (OK, probably not furniture, but how cool is this!!??)

And I'd be remiss if I didn't point out that they are the ones behind these fabulous prints.
Reflections Coral Wall Art Prints - Set of 6 by Two's Company®Marine Life Wall Art Print Set by Two's Company®Wildflowers Wall Art Set of 12 Prints by Two's Company®Aves Set of 6 Bird Wall Art Prints by Two's Company®

What I also learned though, is that Two's Company makes these fabulous enamel bracelets (just saw the nautical series at their showroom-- does anyone carry them? I'd love to get one for my MIL) and cute glass rings, which I actually picked up in Puerto Rico for myself and my "girls."

The company was founded more than 40 years ago by Bob and Bobbie Gottlieb. Bobbie and son Tom are the current "two," keeping Two's Company a family-owned venture. If you're in the New-York area, I believe they have sample sales open to the public near the Elmsford HQ. Has anyone been?