Friday, April 30, 2010

Random...who me???

You know in all those personality tests that you take, where they put you in groups with funny names or colors to cateogize how you think? 

I'm always in the random group.  I'm not a straight-line thinker.  Some people are more kind and say I'm "global-thinking".  I think that's a nice way of saying I'm all over the place! 

I think it just means I like things to be more asymmetrical than symmetrical. 

Asymmetrical arrrangements are so much more interesting, don't you think? 

We all know the odd number rule in grouping objects...3...5...7  etc....It's anything goes for the most part.  Things in an asymmetrical arrangement don't have to line up or match or hang straight. 

Asymmetry is full of angles and geometry (Not my favorite subject, BTW)

But when I see pairs of things....

....I feel like I need to stand up straighter, check my manicure and wear pantyhose.  Symmetry is just so much more formal!

Debra Geller, Interior Designer
This is a beautiful room, great design, contemporary colors and a little stiff for me.  I'm having a hard time seeing myself hanging out on these chaises. 
Me in one.....Big Henry in the other?

I don't think so.

Eventhough the materials in this foyer, like the distressed wood, worn basket and the painted finishes, are more casual, it still presents with that more refined feel. 

I surprise myself at times by loving matching pairs.  Two beautiful antique settees....sigh....aren't they wonderful?   How many other pairs do you see here?   (It's like playing "Where's Waldo")

This really is a mirror image!  With the exception of the accessories on the nightstand, symmetry is EVERYWHERE !  and how pretty it is.
But don't you  just want to mess up the bed a bit?

Single objects and a few accessories break up the symmetry a little bit, making this great room feel a little more friendly and casual.

I just love these turned wood lamps....I'll take two!

Two, Two, Two of most everything, and then throw in all the squares and it's a symmetrical wonderland.  Are you seeing double yet?
I love the color palatte of green and lavender.

I know everyone in blogland has presented this photo, but it's just a perfect example of a balanced arrangement.  This REALLY is a mirror image....down to the small florals on the nightstands.  Thank goodness for the hat!

So, random or linear....where do you fit in.
You artsy types, don't lie!

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

A Wearstler kind of Whimsy

I think Whimsy is  highly underrated and under-exposed in the everyday world, and I've taken it upon myself to right that wrong every Wednesday.  There is one designer who embraces her inner whimsy, and she does it in a big, bold, splashy way....

Ta Da!

Kelly Wearstler is my whimsy idol.  She just puts it out worries that she may be going overboard....she just follows her little designer heart and plays it like she sees it. 

Now...that being said, I don't always love what she does, but I can appreciate her humor, her skill and her attitude....there's always attitude in a Kelly room. 

See what I mean...
Kelly's signature "kelly" green as seen in this lobby area at the Viceroy hotel is showcased in these huge finals.  They are the first things you see, and then when your eyes have adjusted to the light, you notice the white chandeliers, or the metallic shades, or the patent leather benches or the overstuffed barcelona-like chairs....which are cream!  What else do you focus on here?

How imaginative is this outdoor space (at the Viceroy in Santa Monica)?  She can make a sculpture out of anything!  Perspective is everything here.  Is there a smiley face in here????

You might think that this guest room at the Viceroy is pretty tame for Wearstler's work, but then you see those funky sconces on the mirrored headboard wall and you see her stamp...snap!

Tides Hotel, South Beach
I love this room.  It's classic, symmetrical, peaceful and beautiful.  But she's used chairs that are shaped like leaves!  Notice the mix of styles in this room...Chinese influences, animal prints, geometrics and that contemporary parquet floor. 

Dark gray wall, white accents and red upholstery...the level of contrast in this dining room is so bold and gutsy.  The huge oval mirror reflects Kelly's choice in lighting....multiple china globes instead of a central chandelier.  That's thinking out of the box.

the library at the Viceroy
This is such a "brilliant" room.  Libraries are usually dark and cozy, but this bright butter everywhere is the antithesis of that.  The diagonal book storage creates an art piece.  The extra long coffee table is mirrored adding more bling.  How many of us have the  nerve to do an entire room in bright yellow! 

Do you think she knew what this paper would look like before she put it up? 
I'm pretty good at visualizing, but this would surely challenge me!
And to think that she doesn't stop with the paper...pattern on the rug and on the chairs.  How does she make it work? By grounding the space with tons of solids and lots of symmetry. 

This room is classic Kelly...crazy pattern mixes, everyday items that become mini sculptures, repetition of geometric forms and attention to detail at every turn.  I don't think I could live with this, but it's kind of like appreciating the abstract art at the museum for me.

We'll end with another "Kelly" green space. 
Her ability to achieve balance with this much going on is her style genius....gotta love it! do you feel about the Whimsical, Wild and Winsom Wearstler?
Are you challenged to "go bold or go home" ?

Monday, April 26, 2010

Monday Morning Motivator

We've got a busy week of seeing new clients and starting new projects at Sally J. Designs.  So this morning, I wanted to spend some time soaking up some inspiration.  We'll be doing a bedroom project, some draperies, a traditional home with some mid-century leanings and a kitchen remodel to boot !

I'll be looking at an aqua color palette for the bedroom...

...Dramatic design and detailing for drapes in a tall entry...

....a little retro inspiration.....

...and homey, functional kitchen space.

Can't wait to get started!
Have a great week, everyone!

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Sunday Serenade

The serenity of my Sunday morning is being disturbed by someone who just couldn't wait to get the lawn mowed before 9am....who does that????
It's a little difficult to focus on my prayer time amidst all that racket. 

I began to think about what it would be like to have my own "little church in the wildwood" out among the trees and wildflower fields. 

Those who know me understand that converting spaces, remodeling and rennovating are really my passions, and it's always been a dream of mine to convert an old church into a weekend place.

Lot's of people, especially in Europe and England do that because, sadly, the church houses aren't being used for worship as much.

How would you like to live in an old church?  I think it would be wonderful!

I'm thinking I could do something a little more fitting than craftsman style light posts, but the rest of the setting is idyllic.

Check out that kitchen!  Can you imagine the culinary inspiration that you'd have in this space!

Such detailing....sigh.....

What amazing light!

The mowing has stopped and I can hear the birds singing again....a praise-worth Sunday continues.

Yall enjoy the rest of your weekend.

Images are actual homes on the market from

Friday, April 23, 2010

Finding my "Mid-Century" Muse

Top Chef, Bryan Votaggio's, Dining Room
Home and Design Magazine
I'm working with a couple of clients on the design of their mid-century modern homes, and it's been fun to re-experience the furniture and styling of my childhood. 
 I didn't pay too much attention to decor as a little girl, but it certainly feels familar to revisit the furniture and style of the late 50's and 60's.

This weekend in East Dallas, the White Rock Home Tour is scheduled, and will include 4 mid-century homes designed by Ju-nel, an architechtural firm in the style of Frank Lloyd Wright and Howard Meyer.
I can't wait to gather some new ideas from these homes for our projects, and have some pictures to share with you.

The Whiterock Home Tour in East Dallas, is this Saturday and Sunday, and will include four mid-century modern  homes. 

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Recycle the Sally J. Way

Today is Earth Day.  I'd love to say that my love for redoing and reusing things stems from my deep desire to save the planet, but I'd be lying.

I just love to see something blossom from  a state of disarry and abuse.
I believe the expression here in Texas is  "Make a silk purse from a sow's ear"

We've rescued several wonderful pieces over the years, so I thought I'd share a few before and afters on this Earth Day.

This little antique chair had been upholstered in silk that the client had brought back from China years ago.  It was so fragile and had deteriorated over the years (maybe with a little help from the dogs!)

We still have beautiful silk (Highland Court), but we upholstered the frame in veveteen for it's feel and texture, and also because of the durability.
The cushion and pillow are filled with a down blend to continue that decadence that we began with the lovely silks. 
How's that for dressing up!

I don't have the before of this little chair, but the after was just too much fun not to share.   My client had this needlepoint rug and antique trim and wanted to use it on this chair.  We covered the frame in a coordinating velvet because the rug wouldn't stretch that far. 
 How sweet is this??

My favorite Befores and Afters are in the kitchens that we remodel.
This is one of the most dramatic remodels we have completed.

It was trash time for this poor, outdated kitchen.

Can you say Transformation!!

Paint has the greatest potential for change than anything I can think of.
Look what paint did for this built in cabinet.

Here's the before.

Ta Da !!

We found the center doors at an antique store, added filigree on the base cabinets to repeat the design from the new doors, painted and glazed, and
Voila!  a totally new look.

What are you looking at in your home that could be recyled or reused in a new and different way? 

Now that's the kind of recycling I can get behind!

All images are taken by Sally Hammond for Sally J. Designs.
I'm happy for them to be shared, just please give credit if you use them.
Thanks, Sally

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Wednesday Whimsey - The Shell Game

This is the picture that started me thinking.
This is an antique shell box from France.  It's beautiful, in perfect condition and I'm guessing, Pricey!!!

But isn't this the same thing we made at church camp with shells and macaroni?

You know, if you could do that at age 10, you might even be able to do it now.
Want some inspiration?

I even found you a kit!!
Sorry about the poor image.

Oriental Trading Company

Go get your glue gun and your collection of shells and make something beautiful!