Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Love, Hate, Luke warm

As seen on Surroundings blog

Or painted?

Don Freeman photo for Country Living

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

It's all about the island

In the open planned kitchens that have become so popular these days, the kitchen island has taken on new importance.
It's a room divider with function!

It's prep space.

It's extra storage.

It's a breakfast table.

It's a place for cooking.

It's a place for cleaning.

It's where you put the spread for the party.

It's ALL that.....and a bag of chips!

All images from

Contact the team at Sally J. Designs for all your design and decorating needs. 
We make your dreams a reality.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

It's Kitchen Week !

We have 3 kitchen remodel projects in the works, and I'm spending this week getting plans drawn and materials finalized. 

Here's the first one.

In this project we're keeping the footprint, painting, installing new countertops and beefing up an island.  We're going to add a pub table for seating and new light fixtures over the island and table.  We'll move into the attached living area with new furniture and drapes. 

The homeowner loves copper and warm tones, but is interested in something besides tile for the backspash area, so we're looking at copper tiles or beadboard.

We're going to finalize material selections this week.  I'll keep you posted.

I've Got a New Look!!

I have never pretended to be a graphic designer,
but I think when you design one thing, how hard could it be to design something else??? Right??

Well, after working through 4 different graphic programs, about a bizillion different backgrounds, colors and enhancements, I've learned that one's "vision" does not always match one's technical prowess!

I'm in the process of designing a new website for Sally J. Designs...a wordpress blog format so I can control the content a little better.  I've been in classes and worked with a techy pro to get it to "work" the way I want it to, but the design is up to me.  I promise all this will make sense when I go live with the new site. 

For now, you've got to trust me that there is a relationship between the look of my site and my blog now (didn't I just do a post on relationships??

I'd really like to know what you think.  My ego is not too fragile (?) so give me what you've got.  I'm also stubborn enough that I might not change it, but I'd really like to know if I'm on the right track.

.....and Valorie from the fabulous blog "The Visual Vamp", Thanks!!
This is all your fault!! (I really appreciate your suggestions!)

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Are you in a relationship??

I was thinking about relationships today. 

The good ones create balance and pleasure and they make us feel whole and complete.

The crummy ones leave us off base, irritated and generally discombobulated!

Have you ever noticed that spaces are all about relationship too?
When we're in one that "clicks" with us, we feel sooo GOOD!  We feel connected and happy, and we just don't want to leave.

And when we're in spaces that just don't work, we're left feeling a little off and uncomfortable.

I posted last week here about details, and how details really separate good design from "just ok" design.  Paying attention to the details is kind of like taking care of a good want it to work, so you go the extra mile and do the extra little things that will bring the best out of everyone.

I thought it might be fun to look at a room and think about the way the relationships within it are workiing.

I came across this room designed by Lisa Levin.  It's not what I would consider my "style", but there is something about this room that just works. 

I think the first thing that I notice is the color palatte.  What relationships are forged in this space with color?  It's primarily neutral, with grays, white, black and beige. But there is so much life in these neutrals.  There is relationship between them because they all have a warm base.  The color selection was so carefully made that there is not a single color that doesn't relate to the others. 
The inclusion of the cerise yellow-green brings life to the party!  We all want to go and visit with the green! 
Aren't you drawn in by the fun-loving color? 
Lisa Levin has bounced this pop of color all around the room, generously drawing us from side to side so that we don't miss any of the details.

She's also thoughtfully brought balance to the space.  The large heavy pieces ( the credenza and the fireplace ) are in relationship with each other from afar, flirting across the room at one another.
The boldness of the black in the rug and the credenza are balanced by the elements of white that move around the space.  

There's relationship between patterns as well.  Only on the pillows are the patterns repeated. The drapes, the settee and the sofa are all different patterns, but they relate through color and scale....just like people.  We're not alike, but we still can fit and find companionship between us.

Because there is so much connection in the space, it's ok to bring in a little whimsy and personality through art and color.

How different would this space be if she had used a landscape or a floral picture instead of this "portrait"?  Every relationship needs to have an element of fun and playfulness, and I think a room does too, don't you?

I could go on and on about the relationships in this space, but I thought I'd leave a few for you to figure out on your own. 

Afterall, it's what we learn on our own that makes this "relating" thing really personal. 

I'd love to hear what you think about the relationships in this space.  Open our eyes to new things. I always learn things from your comments, and that' what really makes a relationship work.....right?  

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Fabric Inspirations of the Day

I've been working with alot of fabrics over the last few days.  Some weeks it's kitchen designing, some weeks I'm overtaken by building materials, but this week, it's about fabrics. 

I think fabics are the mood-elevators of the room, don't you?

Here's a few that I'm inspired by this week.

Beautiful silks are on the agenda.

Libas silk  in "straw"  construction by Drapery Street

Duralee Silk Road Collection
Kravet Couture Limoges Silk Damask

For a more playful project....

Clarence House

Duralee Retro Blooms

Schumacher Good Day Sunshine

What's inspiring your projects today?

Sunday, June 20, 2010

For all the Men we Love

Let me begin by thanking all the wonderful fathers I have known.   We all celebrate your love, influence and impact you have on your children. 

I really love you guys!


There's this little problem of the "Man-Chair" and your inflexible desire to have one that looks like this.....
Note the attached appendage...uh....I mean, remote control.

I hardly know what to say.......

As a designer, or a woman who really tries to do a beautiful job decorating her  home, we have to work "with" these! 

My sweet little client will come to me and say, "I really trust you, and I want my family room to look just like the magazine pictures....I really do.  There's only one little thing
(dum dum ta da dum.....)

.....My husband's recliner just HAS to stay!"


So we're going to leave the elephant in the room....sigh......

I've long since stopped trying to understand.
Why do they think that a chair is only comfortable if it looks like a marshmellow???

What do fashionable women of good taste do?

Even this is better.

the Crosby recliner by Lane

I  can live with this...maybe......

Getting better.
Hayslip Designs

Personally I think a comfy chair and ottoman is a great way to go.  It is big enough, comfortable enough, and can be designed to balance in the room. 

Adrienne Morgan, Interior Designer

I's about taking a nap during the ball game!

Isn't that what beds are for....or even sofa's?
Why is it necessary to sleep in a chair? 

But if you have to have a recliner, maybe something a little more modern would work.

Rolf Benz

Gravity Balance Recliner

classic Eames recliner and ottoman from Herman Miller

And althougth this chair doesn't recline, it's a beautiful shape and would be soooo easy to work into a design plan.

Orlando Diaz-Azchuy

I'm not a heartless designer. (Anyway, I know when I've been beat!)
Here's a recliner we are customizing for a client right now.
The frame will be upholstered in chocolate leather, and the cushions will be covered in the Kravet houndstooth.  Masculine, but stylish!  Oh, yeah!

How do you manage the ManChair? 
Help!  I need your ideas!!

Contact the team at Sally J. Designs here for all your design and decorating needs. We love making your dreams a reality!

Friday, June 18, 2010


Where will you spend the weekend? 

Eleanor Cummings, Interior Designer

Probably not here!  But wouldn't it be lovely?  I'm sure that outside that window you have a view of the hills of Tuscany or Napa or even a small lake in East Texas.

Have a relaxing weekend, everyone.  Remember those special guys in your life on Father's Day.....miss you Pop.

Contact the team at Sally J. Designs here for all your design and decorating needs. We love making your dreams a reality!

Thursday, June 17, 2010


Mark Olson, Interior Designer

.....Oh, the relaxation of it all........

Monday, June 14, 2010

Take care of the details!

Renowned interior designer, Meis van der Rohe was credited to say,
 "God is in the details".

That statement has been the underlying foundation for interior design ever since. It's the details that separate the good from the best, the fine from the finest and the functional from the "way cool" !

As designers, customization is at the heart of what we do. It's the custom details that create personal, unique spaces and give that added touch that takes the room over the top. It's the details that separate a well designed space from an ordinary one.

Where can you amp up the details in your home?
Cole and Sons Wallpaper ad

Check out these details...The pleated skirt on the sofa, overstuffed seat cushions, the framed wallpaper, and those puff balls as the pillow trim. You gotta appreciate the repetition of the shapes too.  Well thought-out perfection.

Birmingham Show House

A not-so-simple monogram and a silve leaf finish takes this simple linen bergere chair to a whole new level.

Sweet Home Style

Wish I could see the rest of this bathroom, but it's clear that the amazing mirror is the focal point of the space.  The fact that it looks like it could be a one of a kind makes me want it even more!

Barclay Butera fabrics and trim

Tammy Tant  from BG Custom Windows

The huge array of fabrics and trims ensure that no two designs need be the same.

Something as simple as sheer window curtains becomes heirloom quality with the addition of antique panels strategicly spaced. 

19c Swedish secretary

There's nothing unusual about paint, but there is nothing plain about this painted secretary.  I'm picturing myself finding this beautiful piece and then opening the doors to reveal this amazing color on the inside.  What a treat!
Creating something unexpected is a great way to customize.  

Southern Living Show house

Such a little, bitty space that's been punched up with this beautiful ceiling detail.  Don't you love the way the pillow design is repeated on the ceiling?

If you've seen Sex and the City 2, you recognize this ottoman from Carrie and Big's living room (their's was in cobalt blue).  Set designer Lydia Marks chose Anne Kyyrö Quinn's original design for it's interesting detail.

Elizabeht Cutler, Interior Designer

At first glance, this looks like an ordinary wingchair, but then you focus on the unique arm style and the evenly spaced nailheads which make this chair anything but ordinary.

Susan Dossetter, Interior Designer
Check out the amazing details in this wonderful kitchen! 
The ceiling, that antique store case on the back wall (which I am coveting, by the way....), the molding details on the cabinetry, the pedestal table...and the beat goes on.

Tile design is a great place to add detail.

Gary McBournie, Interior Designer

Love the handpainting on the night stand and the beautiful lines on the bedding...and of course, it's PINK!  Beautiful detailing is often subtle and classy, and this room is all that.

Do you love this little chair?  I'm such a fan of great chairs, and the pleated detail on this cushion is feminine and yet tailored....just like me!!!

Jeffrey Bilhuber, Interior Designer

Much greatness about this bathroom!  As someone who routinely puts color on ceilings, it was a smart move to paint this one white.  The architectural details are so much more obvious and important because they are highlighted by the difference in color. 

Gerard Butler's loft in Architectural Digest

These celtic knots on this stainless steel farm sink are in the very impressive loft apartment of Gerard Butler.  What character this detail brings to the space.

Jeanne Jacobs Austin, Interior Designer

Brick, coved ceiling....what drama!

Jonathan Adler

No one brings fun to a space better than Jonathan Adler. This kitchen is full of fun details in the accessories, fabrics and functional elements.  Walking into this kitchen before my coffee might be enought to get the day started right.

I could go on and on....amazing photos out there.
I'd love to know your favorite details.