Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Family | Nantucket Summer 2016

We just returned from a glorious week in Nantucket.  We were spoiled with spectacular weather, because I know traveling there in June can be iffy.  Truly, our trip was everything I could possibly want in a vacation, lots of quality time spent relaxing and exploring with my little family, incredible food, quaint surroundings and plenty of sea air!   Can I just say how much I miss the smell of the ocean now that we are back?  We stayed in the idyllic seaside village of Sconset again.  It remains my very favorite part of the island and we spent the bulk of our time there.  We ate at all 4 of the restaurants in town and picked up lots of fresh baguettes from the market and wine from the corner wine shop.  The shell lined streets smelled heavy of roses and honeysuckle and I admired every tiny garden and carefully planted window box whenever I passed by.  There are grander homes on the outskirts of Socnset, but my favorite are the little fishing shacks built in the 1800's that have been turned into beach cottages, with their slightly sagging roof lines and crooked exteriors.  I was lucky enough to go on a tour of 6 cottages in Cod Fish Park (an area I wasn't familiar with from last trip) on our last day in town.  

Our days started pretty early as far as a vacation goes, the early sunrises get you going! We took long walks every morning on the bluff or the beach.  We ate breakfast on the pretty brick patio of our rental with the french doors flung wide open, sometimes those breakfasts included warm cinnamon rolls or muffins from the Sconset Market that we would pick up for the kids on our way home from our walk, other times doughnuts (the cinnamon and sugar are the best) from the Downy Flake that Jimmy would grab after an early morning golfing.  (The best baked goods are still from Wicked Island Bakery though.)  We spent our days on the beach or exploring downtown. We climbed to the top of Sankaty Lighthouse on the clearest day and saw for miles, we picked wildflowers, celebrated Father's Day, peeked in homes that still looked empty for the season, drank HUGE iced lattes, filled ourselves with lobster, enjoyed midday cocktails (that might have just been me ;)), made many trips to the Juice Bar for ice cream in homemade waffle cones, had a perfect sunset picnic at Madaket, and devoted some time to better acquainting ourselves with the island's history.  If I had to pick a highlight or favorite day, I couldn't.  Our boys are at the perfect age for travel and we are so grateful for the time spent here, together.  This trip is one for the memory books! 

I instagrammed (over grammed. sorry, not sorry) a ton of photos in case you want to see more.  Hashtag: #foleyACK2014 

Thanks for letting me share!

^^ Our little cottage for the week.  Tiny but perfect. ^^

^^Daily bike rides in Sconset were a favorite of mine.  Look long sleeves in JUNE!^^

 ^^C loved the new Sconset playground!!^^ 


^^Prettiest sunset on Madaket beach^^

^^We took some self timer pics.  This was one of many "silly with props" photos that the boys requested. I love that they are perfectly spaced with only a few seconds to grab bike and beach chair before shot went off.

^^Football, baseball and baseball gloves all got heavy use.^^

^^Just thankful that the "jumping off lifeguard chair to catch football game" didn't result in trip to hospital. ^^

^^Photo by Charlie^^

^^From Cod Fish Park tour^^

^^Boys Club^^

^^my favorite spot in the cottage.^^

^^Taken by Charlie.  One of my favorite pics of the trip.  Maybe he takes after my Dad with his camera skills!^^

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Plans for a master bedroom | beds with canopies

Hello? It's me.  Anyone still out there?  ;)  I have a HUGE backlog of blog posts that I would love to write, projects I am dying to share, recipes you must try and snippets of my growing boys that I want to preserve.  But time is precious and short, so I'll do the best I can, just know my intentions are to be here more often than I really am.  I always marvel at those that do daily, even weekly blog posts.  I am better about instagramming, my account link here, but it's just not the same, is it?

So... I'll start with the most current of topics.  A bedroom plan for a sweet Alabama couple.  They are young newlyweds, both working professionals, lovingly decorating their charming first home in a historic part of Birmingham.  Liz has a really good sense of her style, which I would describe as classic, fresh and southern.  I had the pleasure of helping them with ideas for decorating their master bedroom.   Here is glimpse of the starting point:

Here was the inspiration image Liz sent me

One of my all time favorites! 
What we loved: The soft palette, the cornice and canopy, the timeless feel.  We decided to repeat the cornice and canopy idea for their master bedroom. 

Here are some other beautiful rooms with cornice and canopies for additional inspiration:

Designer: Cathy Kincaid
^^What I love: The contrasting trim, the addition of a lining fabric in another print, the monograms, also note the position of the side window, like in Liz's room - we will be adding a roman shade to that window and drapes that repeat the cornice and panels around the bed to the room's other 2 windows. The swing arm sconces, plus table side lamps.^^

Designer: Cathy Kincaid
^^What I love: The bamboo bed, the loveseat at the foot, the box pleat cornice, simple white bedding^^

Designer: Tammy Conner
^^ This room was used to show a bamboo bed style as well as using two different style window treatments in the same space. ^^

Architectural Digest
^^What I love: Upholstered headboard in same check as bedskirt and canopy lining - pattern repetition!^^

^^I posted this beautiful cottage last Christmas.  This is the style I suggested for Liz's cornice and canopy - box pleat cornice with contrasting check lining and to repeat the same style on her drapes (the exception being the window right next to the bed since they are upgrading to a king size bed and there will be a little less space.)  With three windows in her room it felt like too much to have drapes right next to the bed.^^

So here are the design boards for the room.  I provided two bed options, one to have an upholstered bed and the other to add bamboo.

Note: More options for fabric, rugs, furniture, etc were provided as well as details on what to use where, these boards are intended to serve as inspiration and to provide a visual for how the suggestions will work together in a space.

The color palette for the room is white, ivory, green and a touch of pale blue.  I suggested lightening the walls to make everything feel a little fresher and more crisp.  Also, upgrading to a lighter, small loop wool carpet.  The pattern rug is for a foyer leading into the bedroom. I added the pretty block print fabric for a long bolster to make the bedding feel youthful, it would be trimmed in the same linen we would use on the custom swing arm lamp shades.  I also provided both coordinating and contrasting trim options for the floral fabric that will go on the canopy and the windows. The bedding will be white, except for a very thin pale blue scallop and monogram.  

Liz has decided to go with the bamboo bed option, which I love, and just feels right for the room.  I can't wait to see what she does with the plans - this is going to be a good one!  You can find her here, at her blog.

Out of respect to paying clients, I do not share sources for their plans.  
I'm always happy to share any sources in my own home.  Thanks for understanding.

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Simple Outside Mount Roman Shade Tutorial

Green paint is up. I love. And oops, purple screwdriver on window ;)
It's May!  That time of year when all of a sudden my calendar starts to become ineligible because it is over flowing with activities (baseball, golf, play practice, award ceremonies, teacher appreciation, end of year picnics, etc.)  Things like blogging take a back seat, probably for you too, so if you are reading, I thank you!!  In anticipation of the craziness of this month, I kept my consulting calendar pretty light, which has allowed me some extra time to work on projects in my own home, mainly the office.

I have a pretty modest budget for the office, so when the workroom quotes for roman shades came in, I was a bit stumped by the high cost of labor.  I did a little research, found a plethora of online tutorials, inspected my girlfriend's shades and decided to attempt to sew my own. I am not an experienced seamstress at all.  My skill set is just just beyond threading the machine and winding a bobbin, so when these turned out so beautiful, I knew I would want to share my process.  If I can do it, you can too.  I did make a test run shade that I hung in our powder room with some spare fabric before I cut into office shade fabric.  I'm not totally crazy.

First, these shades are a bit of cross between a relaxed and flat roman. If I had used dowel rods at every pleat they would have the very tailored and structured look of a flat roman.  I didn't want that in this space, but I also didn't want a completely relaxed and flouncy roman either.  These are sort of in between, lots of stacked pleats like a flat but with a bit of the movement and casualness of a relaxed roman.

Supplies Needed:
3/8" dowel rods cut to size (one per shade)
shade fabric
lining fabric (I used white cotton muslin bought at Joann's)
roman shade string 
sew on rings for roman shades (I used brass, but plastic would be fine too)
cord cleat
1x2" board cut to size of shade
3 small metal eye hooks
L brackets (the number you need will depend on the size of your shade.  1 used 2 per shade)
plaster or dry wall screws to mount the brackets
sewing machine
needle and thread

Step One: Measure Shade Size
Measure desired shade size, length and width.  Have 1x2" board + dowel rod cut to size.

Step Two: Cut and Pin Fabric
Shade Fabric: Add 4 inches to width and 6.5 inches to length
Lining Fabric: Add 1/2 inch to width and 6.5 inches to length

Place right sides of fabric facing each other.  Line up edge of lining fabric with edge of shade fabric and pin on one side.

Step Three: Sew In Lining
Sew a 1/4 inch hem along the pinned side of the fabric.  Remove from machine and pull the lining across to the non-hemmed side of the shade fabric and pin.  Sew a 1/4 inch hem on the other side.  Turn fabric right side out.

Step 4: Press and Sew Top and Bottom Hem
Iron the shade. Double check that it is the correct width for the finished shade. Then fold top of shade over twice, an inch each time, and press.  Sew top hem. For the bottom hem you are going to create a pocket for the only dowel rod you will use for this shade.  Sew a 1/2" hem and then fold over 1.5" and sew another leaving an opening for the rod.

small 1/2" seam, then fold again and sew in pocket

That's it for the sewing machine!

Step 5:  Measure, Mark and Sew Rings
I used a yard stick and a pencil. You will make three columns of rings on the back of the shade.

Spacing: Place pleats 8-12 inches apart. I did mine 8 inches.
Starting Point: Take your desired spacing and divide by 2, then add one inch.  This is your where your first row of rings will be.  For example, my pleat spacing is 8 inches, so my first row of rings was placed 5 inches from the bottom of my shade. (8 divided by 2 plus 1 = 5).  Hand sew the rings in place. I folded the shade in half to find my middle and then marked it lightly with a pencil so my center column of rings would be straight.  Keep measuring up 8 inches from the last row to sew your next row.  I stopped 20 inches from the top of the shade.
This was the step I dreaded the most and it wasn't that bad.  I sewed each ring about 5-6 times and then tied in about 3-4 knots.  Each shade took about 20-30 minutes to measure + sew on the rings.

I laid the shades side by side to get a sense of how finished shade would look.  You can see here how the fabric repeat that is showing on each shade differs.  I love this fabric so much and since it will be in the up position most of the time, I like being able to see the two different views.  If I wanted them identical I would have needed more yardage.  

Should have ironed a bit better. 

Step 6: Screw Eye Hooks to Board + Attach Mounting Hardware
I lined up the board with the shade and marked where eye hooks should go. I pre-drilled holes and then screwed them in.  Attach L brackets, pre-drill holes and them screw in.

Step 7: Add String
See diagram for how the string flows through the hooks.  The string farthest away from where you will pull and lower will be the longest and go through all three hooks on the board, the middle string will go through two and the side where you will lift and lower, only one.  Attach the string to the bottom ring with a few knots and then thread it up through the ones above.

Step 8:  Attach Fabric to Board
I used velcro instead of staples.  That way you can easily adjust the shade position if you need to.  My shade weight was very light with a linen fabric and a muslin lining.  If you have a heavier shade, you might prefer staples. (*note: I made my shades 1 inch wider than my boards for just the slightest fabric overhang.  This isn't necessary, but you see in in the photos so I wanted to mention it*)

note here where I placed the velcro on the board and the fabric

Step 9: Hang Up Your Shade + Give it a Test Run
Once up, insert the dowel rod in the bottom pocket and slowly raise your shade, helping the pleats along as needed.  Add the cord cleat to the wall and wrap three strings around it to secure the shade in place.  Marvel at all the money you just saved.  :)

The desk will go right in front of this window.  Not sure why I didn't place it here before, but as soon as I did it made such a big difference in the room.

**Please let me know if you have questions.  Tutorials aren't really my expertise, I find it difficult to stop and take proper pictures when I get into the flow of a project.  I also did all my sewing at night or early in the morning over a rainy weekend so the light was non existent, hopefully it all still makes sense. **