Formal Dining Isn’t Dead

Busy, busy, busy.  That is what we all constantly proclaim of our lives to others as if we need to remind ourselves of just how busy we are.  Are we really that busy?  It’s perfectly OK to do so because Ioften catch a case of the busies which is why I haven’t posted in forever.  Saying so, I figured I might as well give you a glimpse at what has kept me sooo busy.

A whole house redecorating project for a lovely young professional [Lady E we shall call her] that desired a lil bit of modernity and comfort for her first home in the quiet suburbs.  The project began with deciding what remnants of apartments’ past would make the cut and what new fancies would be recruited to take it all to the next level.

Your first glimpse into this ongoing project is the dining room.  She was not totally convinced of the need of a formal dining space at the beginning.  I brought to her attention that the room doesn’t have to be just for holidays.  It can be comfortable and is perfect for larger dinner parties whether five-courses are served or a down-home crab boil.

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Luckily the previous owners had good taste in paint, so the smokey blue walls were set to stay. The room really sprang off from some great seating finds at HomeGoods.

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The gray chairs coordinated well with the blue and were just dressy enough yet easy to sit in for a stimulating after-dinner discussion or card game.  Not to mention the settee was too fun to pass up, plus it helped with conserving space in a narrow room.
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We had chairs but no table.  We luckily came across this sturdy gem at a local spot before it was snatched up by another designer.  The details are everything from the tabletop grain pattern to the modern tapered legs.  One word of advice: don’t be afraid to pay for delivery because lifting real wood is similar to jackin a 1970 Cadillac Eldorado.

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I passed the buffet on 2 separate trips to the Accent Prone shop before calling up Lady E. Surprisingly she was just as intrigued with the alternating wood stains and panel details as I was.  The added storage has also proven very valuable as a catch’all.

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Artwork is always essential and the large-scale horse portraits from Havertys add life and camouflage the long wall expanse.  The antiqued copper chandelier with speckled glass from CA Lighting is art unto itself and catches everyone’s eye even with its low profile.

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The home is off to a good start and I can’t wait to share more with you.  Just hope I don’t get “too busy”….


Art Smart

Ever glanced over a well-dressed space and been totally amazed how perfectly the artwork sets off the overall atmosphere?  The right choice of artwork can truly elevate a space to heavenly altitudes.  You may desire something that subtly melds with the color scheme or something completely out of left field to kick it up a notch.   Art is very important and can easily be the inspiration for a space.  Unfortunately, it’s not always easy to find the dream piece or at least something you can afford.

Mavens adamantly enforce that art is a smart investment.  That is true but it is really easy when you have the funds to spend ridiculous paper at Sotheby’s auctions.  For the rest of us regular folk attempting to design champagne sipping rooms on PBR beer budgets, that is a little hard to digest.  Now with the help of the internet, great artwork can be achieved by anyone with a descent Wi-Fi signal.  Check out these great finds from my favorite sources:



Try your hand at the auctions to snag some fine wall jewelry.  I prefer to look for original art “Direct from Artist” and support the struggling artist.  The search tool makes finding the perfect genre much easier.



The more granola cousin of Ebay….Etsy is a virtual flea market for artists and crafters.  They have their own individual stores which allows you to discover the next budding Picasso or Kehinde Wiley.


The Tappan Collective

This fresh new site was started by two young University of Michigan alums with a love of art hoping to assist emerging artists to promote their works and finally make some lunch money.  The girls are on the guest lists at many hot art spots around the world and share their findings on the site which has modest pricing for original artwork and limited edition prints.


Society 6

Society 6 is a little different in that it allows artists from around the world to set up shops to sell their work in various forms.  Not only can you get a cool artwork print, you can also have it applied to t-shirts, an iPhone case and other quirky products.  Strolling through the site is so much fun and can alleviate that 2:30 feeling at work.