Children's Art

I haven't seen the floor in the 'friends and family clubhouse' for years until yesterday. That's Madison's 'big girl bed' with the original linens from Pottery Barn.  I found the old pine bed at an estate sale here in Winston and after I bought it, I quickly realized why I had scored it for such a great price ~ I had to have a custom mattress made for it.

As I was cleaning out, it was hard not to drift off and remember all the days spent wrapped around a crayon on the floor of our little secret hideaway under the eaves. When we first moved in this was the only space we didn't finish had plywood floors and walls, rafters and just a bare light bulb, but of course, this is where we would find our daughter most days. She made a little sign for the door that said "Friends and Family Clubhouse."

Over the weekend, I started to make good a few of my New Year's resolutions starting with cleaning out the secret clubhouse. I took three carloads to Goodwill, one bag of little treasures to the neighbor, two carloads to the old apartment dumpster and shredded two huge boxes of old checks and bank statements from the 90's. I am still clinging to several million copies of Veranda and Southern Accents. They are currently in purgatory and will most likely find their way to the dumpster this weekend.

My question to you is, when you are cleaning out, especially the mass of children's stuff, how do you decide what to keep?

I kept many of our favorite books. I kept her big girl bed. And ... I kept her art. 

I took art classes with my best friend, Anna, from elementary school all the way through High School and was always amazed at how modern and chic her childhood art looked displayed in her home. Her mother had her favorite pieces framed at the local gallery and displayed them prominently in their formal Southern living room like modern art.

I want to do the same with Madison's art.

 New York Interior Designer, Jan Eleni, creates these amazing modern art collages from your children's artwork.

I thought you might enjoy these soundbytes from Decor8's interview with Jan Eleni:

Designer Jan Eleni: I am a self taught designer and at a young age I always loved and appreciated beautiful things. I became obsessed with children’s spaces here in the U.S. because I felt like there were all these cookie cutter rooms that lacked any nourishment for an imagination – and so I started a business based around just that – creating spaces and really listening to what can nurture children in an everyday way.

Holly {Decor8}: I also noticed that in addition to decorating, you are also an artist. Can you tell us more?

Jan Eleni: While I was working on children’s spaces – I wanted to time capsule their moment in art – and I started making these beautiful art frames – a way to archive your child’s art in a modern way. It is a labor of love – a time consuming process – the end result is a grid of hand cut miniature images – a gathering of your child’s artwork. It is amazing if you think of how we can influence the next generation of artists and creative types.

Here's a few of my favorite pieces of Madison's art that I want to time capsule:

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Atlanta Interior Designer Carolyn Malone and husband John's amazing cabin was featured in this month's Garden and Gun. It captivated me with it's simplicity and the story behind the cabin is my dream realized.

You have to understand, as you drive to the coast or take the backroads to the mountains in North Carolina, beautiful old tobacco barns and cabins dot the landscape. Sometimes the cabin is gone and all that remains is the stone chimney. I have an affinity for beautiful old things and have always wanted to 'rescue' my own little cabin and bring it back to life.

My affection for log cabins started when I was in my early twenties.

Years ago my husband and I attended our close friend's wedding at a cabin in the woods off the Blue Ridge Parkway in Virginia. It was a very small and intimate gathering with the wedding ceremony down the hill from the cabin by a trout stream. Back at the cabin, a local Blue Grass band played followed by a local chef's dinner by candlelight in the little cabin. Their wedding wrote the definition for spiritual and totally blew my circuits... an old- fashioned Southern girl who had the twelve o'clock wedding and Country Club reception.

The log cabin was actually two 18th century structures our friend and his Dad bought together and spent weekends for a year painstakingly reassembling. His dad died before they were married.

You'll enjoy reading about the on over the Garden & Gun to read the full article and see a few more beautiful photos.

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I love living in the South and experiencing four seasons.

This year, I wasn't sure if we were going to have a Winter with the daffodils starting to come up and the trees beginning to flower. Today, we have had the most beautiful blue skies but there is definitely a chill in the air.

We built a new patio and fire pit and have been waiting for the perfect night to christan it. So, tonight is the night for a roaring fire and s'mores.

I would love to have a big stack of blankets to cuddle up with.

Here are a few of my favorites:

I am loving this chevron blanket from Tory Burch.

Beautiful Scandinavian Wool Blanket from Spendid Willow Avenue

{first two images from Jill Lauck Pinterest}

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Bath in Blue

I fell absolutely head over heels in love with this bath - the linen cafe curtains, the storage drawers, and that tile...Oh My! You know by now that I have a serious weakness for anything blue but seriously this bath is perfection!

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Paris from the archives

I thought I would do an informal series of posts about some of the pictures I took during our summer vacation to Europe several years ago. I took over 1000 pictures during our trip and found inspiration in every direction. We meet another family in Paris and probably walked over 20 miles the first day as we traversed the city. I snapped these pictures as we rested on a bench and enjoyed a Parisian lemonade just outside the most incredible little grocery in Saint Germain des prés.

The vine covered Hotel Saint Germain des pres was just across the street from our little resting perch..

Passion Flower vine covered a trellis next to our bench. I have just shared this picture with the landscape designer that is helping us with our garden right now with the hopes I can grow my own this Spring and Summer. I had never seen this lush flowering vine before our trip.

The unique paint colors, architectural details and beautiful doors were everywhere and this is just one of the many that caught my attention.

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The Fifth Wall

Do you ever get that deer-in-the-headlights stare when you visit a paint store?

I can completely understand why so many homeowners come away with white paint for the ceiling given the enormous number of decisions it takes to decorate a room. I mean white is the safe choice. It's the non-decision. You can't make a mistake by going with white but you can't have any fun either! This post is meant to inspire you to manage up and consider the rewards for paying attention to the details of a well-orchestrated fifth wall. There are so many choices for creating great style.

The charming blue bedroom above is one of my favorite rooms of all times. The ceiling and trim are painted in French Gray from Farrow and Ball.

The easy choice is actually following nature's lead and going with a blue ceiling.

Interior Designer Melanie Turner

A bold purple ceiling, although interesting, might take the expertise of a trained designer.

A hallway is often an overlooked area when it comes to decorating and should be somewhat neutral as it is the connector to so many other areas in the home. I like the classic details in this hallway and think the rich blue ceiling gives it carisma.

A painted ceiling really shouldn't scream out and grab your attention. Most rooms with a painted ceiling you would hardly even notice the ceiling unless you happened to look up. A painted ceiling just adds that finishing touch, or fifth dimension.

Paint from the Martha Stewart Collection at Home Depot

"Love-in-a-Mist re-creates the serenity of a clear blue sky. Ballet Slipper Pink reflects light to make everyone's complexion more beautiful. Rice Paper transforms even a natural-light-deprived room into a space that feels sunny. Spring Melt complements a range of wall colors and lends an extra level of sophistication. Morning Fog has just enough lavender to make it subtly cheerful without being cloying."
Martha Stewart

Another designer I always look to when making decisions about paint colors is Phoebe Howard. I love her paint colors. Here's Phoebe's advise on painting the ceiling:

"As many have said before, the ceiling is the fifth wall in the room. I don't mean to say you need to go overboard and always do something incredible to the ceiling. What I mean is, don't just simply forget about it. When selecting new paint for a room, consider painting the ceiling a complementary color or sometimes I paint the ceiling at 50% strength of the color of the walls."
Phoebe Howard

"We did a high lacquered ceiling in my living room in Jacksonville. It creates a beautiful reflection by candlelight and makes the rather low ceiling seem much higher than it actually is. "  Phoebe Howard

The Howards used a light pale sage Ralph Lauren paint and applied "multiple shades of water clear varnish" to create a shimmering effect to the ceiling for their showhouse on the 58th floor of the Setai Fifth Avenue Residences. Watch the YouTube video here as Jim and Phoebe Howard along with House Beautiful's Newell Turner walk you through the "Designer Visions" showhouse and talk about the design decisions.

Orange is definitely a bold choice for a lacquered ceiling even if it is the color of the year. Interior designer Jeffrey Bilhuber clearly gets it right in his chic library slash guest room in his New York residence.

Paint is not the only choice for a statement making savvy ceiling. Barnwood, pecky cypress, painted paneling, rustic beams are great choices for adding architectural interest and texture.

For a more rustic look, try a barnwood ceiling:

Rachel Halverson via Nest Egg

Jill Sharp Brinson

In this hallway natural wood paneling on the ceiling mimics the wainscot below.

Interior designer Melanie Turner uses wide plank paneling on the ceiling and lacquers it in a glossy bright white.

Kay Douglass designed this kitchen with a Belgian aesthetic and natural pecky cypress ceiling.

Designer Kay Douglass via House Beautiful

John Saladino via House Beautiful

John Saladino is another designer whose rooms always feel complete..360. He is a master with architectural details and the driftwood beams on this ceiling bring so much to this casual beach home.

John Saladino via House Beautiful

Phoebe Howard

The ceiling adds a subtle warm texture to this room by Phoebe Howard.

This is one of my all time favorite rooms from Dan Carithers featured in Southern Accents. If i remember correctly, this dining room is in a newly constructed home and he added the old beams to bring character to the new house. {It worked!}

And don't forget about wallpaper. I actually shy away from wallpapered ceilings but these few examples are a reason to reconsider. I think wallpaper on the ceiling works best either in small spaces or in rooms that have a very simple color palette.

Love, love, love this wallpapered ceiling!

I adore the star patterned wallpaper on the ceiling of this closet!

I think Farrow and Ball's 'Brockhampton Star' wallpaper would be a very nice choice for a ceiling.

I like this simple, modern media room designed by Kristy Lee Interiors using Kelly Wearstler's Imperial Trellis {from Schumacher} wallpaper on the ceiling.

In another one of my favorite rooms, Bear Hill Interiors uses Manuel Canovas Trellis wallpaper on the ceiling available through Cowtan and Tout.

Interior Designer Suzanne Kasler uses orange wallpaper on the ceiling of this classically styled entry.

and, of course, who could forget Jenna Lyons nursery with its bold yellow stripes...memorable!

Scrabble anyone? 

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