Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Going on VACATION!!!

I found these pictures a few days ago and couldn't get them out of my mind. I am getting ready to head to one of my favorite locations for a week...the beach! I can think of nothing else but seashells, suntan lotion and beach towels. How wonderful would it be to soak in a great bathtub every night surrounded by the memories of a relaxing vacation. Displaying seashells in a unique and visible way is a great way to showcase a collection and remember a day in the sun! Pretty great idea!

Thursday, June 25, 2009

What do I do With Old Shutters???

Lately, I have been seeing old shutters everywhere! It seems a little insane to me, but they are literally all over the place. I can't escape them! I often look at them, invision them in my own home or in a clients home, but I just don't have a "place" to put them. Today I was visiting a blog that I really enjoy The Lettered Cottage http://www.theletteredcottage.blogspot.com/ and she has some great concept pictures for using old shutters. I love these ideas, so simple. Maybe I will bring some shutters home with me next time I see them!!


Sorry for my blogging absence. We have been doing some traveling over the past few weeks, and I am way behind!! Also, I got a great new cell phone with a camera! I have been snapping pictures left and right specifically for my blog. Sadly, I don't know how to download them yet!! I wish I were more technical, its a wonder I figured out how to blog! So, in the days to come, be looking for a few pics from our recent trip up north to Michigan.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Happy Birthday Spire Design Group!!!

Today is a pretty great day...Spire turns 2 today!! I still have days that I can't believe I am doing this! I own a business?? Crazy!! When I was little, I used to play "business" all the time. I owned a flower shop, a bridal dress shop, a jewelry store, a bank...you name it, I owned it! I made a computer out of a box, and used a plastic play phone with a crazy ring. I loved playing "business" and dreamt of the day when I could own a real business. I am very lucky that I am getting to live my dream. I own a business, and get to do what I love, design.
Starting a business was one of the scariest things I have ever done. I still remember the night we decided to do it. My hubby and I were sitting at a restaurant and neither one of us could come up with a reason why I shouldn't do it. The time was right, I was ready, it was the time to do it. I had talked about it since the day I graduated from college. So, on June 18th 2007, Spire Design Group was born!
There were so many details and things to get done to actually become a real business. Like getting cute file folders, and fun pens to write with! But seriously, it was hard work and I lost many nights of sleep. But, I have never looked back. It has been rewarding and challenging and just plain fun! How could I not love being the boss??
I want to thank my husband for pushing me to go for my dream. Without him, I might not have ever done it. He has supported and loved me every step of the way...even when I was in tears about doing my taxes! He has been my accountant, my IT guy, my website and business card designer and at times my design consultant. He is just the best!
I also want to thank my family. They have supported and loved me and kept me sane. They let me live my crazy dreams and helped me to grow into the person I am today.
And, I couldn't have done any of this without my assistant...Oliver. When he actually shows up for work, and stays awake, he is a great employee!!
And thank you to all of my past, current and future clients. My goal is to help bring your visions to life and to create a space that is beautiful and livable.
Happy Birthday Spire Design Group!!!! Who knows where the next 2 years will take us!!

Headboards Galore

Headboards are an easy and inexpensive way to spruce up a bedroom. So many things can double has a headboard that you might never think of. Old doors, windows, table tops, iron gates, mirrors...the list goes on and on. As long as it lays flat, it could be a headboard. I love upholstered headboards and how soft they look and feel. Its a great way to tie in colors and fabrics being used in the bedroom. Headboards can add a really custom touch to a room and make it unique. Here are some ideas to get you inspired.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Parade of Homes-After Shots

Many of you have been asking about the Parade home that I worked on. I posted the before pictures on a previous post and I FINALLY got to see the finished product over the weekend. I am so pleased with how the project turned out! I am just in shock as it looks like a completely different house! (Which is a good thing...see previous post!) Unfortunately, I didn't get the best pictures, but I wanted to post a few of the kitchen and bath, as they were the most dramatic transformation. I will try and post more pictures as I get them! By the way...the house won 2 awards!! I am really proud!! The home is currently for sale.
Please let me know what you think...I would love some feedback!!

Friday, June 12, 2009

Kitchen Love...

Very rarely, if ever will you hear me say something is "to die for". I just can't seem to pull that saying off. Today, I make the exception. This kitchen is in fact "to die for"!!! I can't handle it, it is just amazing!! The kitchen is featured in Traditional Home magazine (my favorite). The exposed shelves make this space really interesting, you can't really hide anything, but you can show off all your pretty cookware. (I don't know if I have any pretty cookware??) I adore all the little nooks that are built-in to the cabinetry. I can't imagine cooking in the kitchen, I would be scared to death I would get it dirty. But it would really be nice to look at each day!! To take a closer look at this kitchen go to: http://www.traditionalhome.com/design_decorating/kitchens/newhouse-newkitchen_ss1.html

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

What is Engineered Flooring Anyway????

I have recently beganworking with a client helping them select flooring for their living room and entryway. At our second meeting, I brought samples of engineered flooring. They looked at me as though I had just turned purple with green spots. They had no clue what engineered flooring was. As a designer, I feel it is my job to not only provide suggestions for materials, but be able to educate my clients as well. So, I thought that I should educate all of you as well!!!
Engineered wood floors are built having multiple thin ply layers that are glued together. The inner cores are generally either a hardwood and/or soft plywood type of material, which incorporates the tongue and groove system. The top thicker hardwood veneer wear layer is glued on top surface of the core and is available in almost any hardwood species.
Engineered wood floors are slightly more resistant to higher moisture levels than solid wood flooring, which adds to their appeal to use in damp basements, or in tropical regions of the country. Engineered flooring can be direct glued-down over a concrete slab above or below grade, or stapled down over a wood subfloor. Engineered flooring can be installed on any grade level.
Engineered wood floors come in a wide variety of domestic and exotic hardwood species. Some brands of engineered flooring have a thin wear layer that can only be re-coated and cannot be sanded and refinished new again once they get worn. They have an average lifespan of between 30 - 40 years depending on traffic.

Some engineered wood floors have a very thick wear layer. These floors can be sanded and refinished new again, up to 4-5 times if needed, which adds to their appeal. These thicker wear layers should last 60 - 100 years before needing replacement depending on the amount of wear and tear the floor will get.
Most engineered wood floors are recommended to be glued down, but some brands can also be stapled to a wood sub floor. They can also be installed over most (flat) ceramic tile, concrete slabs, vinyl flooring, providing these floorings are secured well to the sub floor and that any surface wax or glaze is completely removed and the surface is roughened up so as to provide adhesion for the glue. Because of the better stability of engineered flooring than Solid wood flooring, they can also be installed where there is slightly higher moisture content like over slabs and in tropical regions of the country.
I could probably go on and on about engineered flooring. There are quite a few flooring manufacturers that offer engineered flooring. It looks just like real hardwood, but wears much better. They are easy to install and great for people with pets and kids. I hope this helps clear up some of the questions you might have had about engineered flooring!!

Monday, June 8, 2009

My Birthday Thoughts, Reflections and Tears...

Tomorrow, I turn 31. I have to say, this feels really strange to me. It has been a little hard for my to accept...I was just 16 last week after all!! Where has all the time gone? It seems like yesterday I was playing with dolls, pretending to be a wife and a mom and wearing hot pink rubber bands on my braces. Now, I am a grown up with a husband, I own a home and a car and even a dog! Somedays, I still feel like I am that little girl playing pretend. Its hard to believe how far I've come and how blessed I truly am in my life. Its nice to take a step back and evaluate all the plans I had for myself and what actually happened. I set quite a few goals for myself to acheive before I turned 30. I have acheived a good deal of them, however, there are a few things that I have yet to accomplish. I trust that when the time is right, it will happen. But what I have accomplished thus far is pretty incredible!!!
So, on this, the eve of my 31st birthday, I sit here with tears running down my face. Not tears of sadness, but tears of joy and happiness!! I have had 31 amazing years, filled with laughter, happiness, amazing family and friends, love, success, and plenty of good times. Not too shabby for this old lady!! Thank you to all my unbelievable family who have loved me and cared for me so much. Thank you to my incredible husband who loves me so much and shows me everyday! (Grant, you are the best! I love you!!) Thank you to all my friends who never fail to make me smile!! I really have a lot to be grateful for.
Maybe being 31 isn't so bad, I do feel a lot wiser today!! I hope that this next year is filled with just as much happiness as the past 31 have been!! And maybe I will achieve some of those goals by the time I turn 32!! Happy Birthday to me!!!!

Monday, June 1, 2009

Working in the Gym...WORKING, not working out!

Sometimes when I am designing a fabric palette for a client, I need to remove it from my office so I can really see what it looks like. I am surrounded by so many fabrics, colors and chaos in my office, sometimes, I just need to step away and get a new perspective. Today I found myself working in our home gym. I'm not really sure what prompted me to go there, maybe the sunlight from the window, the simplistic (or non-existent) decor, I have no idea. But I really had a revelation while working in the gym. I have really been struggling with the color combination I chose for a client. I just couldn't get the window treatment fabric to look the way I wanted it to with the chair fabric. But today it clicked! I am so excited to show my client what I have come up with! I think they will really like it!! I had some great inspiration in the gym today! Where do you go to get inspired??