DESIGNING FOR A WOUNDED WARRIOR: HUMBLED AND PROUD-HOME AT LAST!

Well, for those of you who follow my blog you’ve noticed the posts about Remax’s affiliation with Texas Sentinels Foundation and wounded warrior Sgt. Erich Ellis.  And, of course, my involvement as the designer on the project.  If you’re new to my blog you can click these links to catch up on his story – here, here and here.

Then you can see how exciting it is to be finally be doing a blog post on the day he got the keys to his new home and it officially became his own!

Now, I’m not going to lie…..it actually became his home weeks ago – I just haven’t had time to blog about it and it’s been killing me.  I’ve looked forward to this day for literally a year and a half and the fact that I haven’t had time to share the final part of the story has been driving me crazy!  So, today, finally – I get to share it with you.

The yard wasn’t in at the presentation where he received the keys, but I wanted you to see the exterior of the house anyway.  Built by Michael Cannaday of Precision Builders, who typically builds much bigger, much more expensive homes, it has all the character and appeal of a luxury home – on a much smaller scale.

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Michael (in the dark purple shirt on the right) and I met Erich, his girlfriend, his father and his younger brother early to take them on a tour of the home before everyone else arrived and before the grand presentation took place.

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To see how happy and touched he and his family were as they walked through the home….well….what can I say?  There are no words.

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I don’t know who was more overwhelmed….Erich or his girlfriend….

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Or maybe it was the dogs????

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As we meandered through the house the emotions began to build for the “ever-stoic” marine, but Erich kept them to himself as long as possible.   Once we entered the garage through the storm shelter door you see above and he saw his wonderful, unexpected, complete workout system donated free of charge by Scott Egbert of Home Fitness Group (a work out dream Erich had shared with me many, many months ago), he turned to his family and asked them to stay put for a minute.  He then lead Michael and I into the house and shut the door behind him.  Abruptly, unexpectedly, he grabbed each of us around the neck….pulled us into his chest and let the tears flow.  For a brief moment he sobbed as he echoed his appreciation to both of us for helping to make this happen.  The enormity of this reality – that this beautiful home and all that it entailed was his – overtook him and he could no longer hold back his feelings.  It was a private, precious moment that, as a mom of boys his age, I will always, always cherish and feel forever privileged for having been a part of. 

The moment his family opened the door he pulled back, wiped away his tears….and in a flash was back to the “ever-stoic” marine. 

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Finally the time came for the papers to be signed.   And, just like that…..

Erich was the proud owner of his new home!

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And, this is the founder of the Texas Sentinels Foundation, Richard Filip, who is the man who made it all possible.

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Next, it was time for the official presentation and “turning over of the key’s”.  Mark Wolfe, broker/owner of Remax/DFW associates, who kick-started the project, lead the presentation – introducing the various speakers as well as Erich to the crowd who came out to support Erich and the project.

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Many of these attendees offered their time, financial donations, and overwhelming support in order to see this momentous occasion take place.  And, all were thrilled to see the day finally arrive.

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Erich expressed his gratitude for each and everyone and explained that to have so many people donate so much of themselves to help someone like him out – “that it changes a person – that it touches a person in the heart”.  And, he said, it’s now his time to stop receiving and start giving back.  (Erich, you gave first…..remember?  That’s what this is all about.)

Very heartfelt, very moving.

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This is Michael, the builder, and myself with Erich sharing joyfully in the day with  our young, deserving friend.

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And, my hubby….who was a tremendous supporter and help to the project. 

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Mal Smith, on the right, was instrumental in overseeing all the fundraisers, managing the money and keeping the project moving along.  In the process, he and Erich became great friends.  To show his appreciation, Erich surprised Mal with his own engraved glock as a token of his appreciation. 

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Engraved on the glock it said, “To Mal Smith, my great friend and a true American – Erich Ellis.

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Another very special moment.

And, now……here is Erich’s new home….

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This sign greeted him as he walked through the front door for the first time.

Thank you again to Coaster Furniture for working with us on the furniture budget.  Thank you to Stacy Coulter for donating these beautiful custom made drapes.  And, thank you to Sherwin Williams, for donating all the paint in the house.

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A HUGE shout out and thank you to all my wonderful family and friends for your financial donations.  Too many to name, but you know who you are and I want you each to know that I COULD NOT have done this without your financial donations.  Seriously.  I couldn’t have.  Your contributions enabled me to accessorize the house and make it a home.  I can’t thank you enough.

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Thank you to Lee Lighting for donating all the lighting and the ceiling fans.  And, thank you to Artcrete and Concrete Design Center for these beautiful, stained concrete floors.

Thanks to my designer friend, Jody Clarke, for generously donating so many wonderful accessories, like this candleholder on the coffee table, at a time when I was completely out of money.  And, thanks to friends and fellow designers, Denise Piaschyk and Barbara Gilbert for your generous donations during that time as well!  I so appreciate it! 

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Another thanks to LDF Silks for the beautiful succulents!  This made the table complete.

A special thank you to talented local artist, faux finisher and friend, Billy Austin, for this masterpiece of a painting.  He designed and customized it just for Erich.  It’s breathtaking and perfect for this space.  When time to watch TV Erich will have a drop down TV screen that will drop in front of this artwork – largely due to my client, Griffin Gunter’s, generous donation (thank you so much Griffin!) and the generosity of various vendors in the TV industry.  But, when not in use, he has this beautiful painting to look at.

Again, a big thank you to Michael Berberick at The Tile Shop for donating all the tile in the house; to Allied Stone for this beautiful granite and to Trimline for these beautiful cabinets. 

The drapery hardware in the master was generously donated by Design Elements, perfect for the master bedroom.  And the accessories here were donated by my friend and sales rep at Uttermost, Courtney Komlosi.  Great finishing touch!

This rug was donated by my friend and owner of All Pro Floors, Geoff Brown.  Also, perfect for the space.  Thanks, Geoff!

This amazing granite was donated by KLZ Stone and I must say is absolutely stunning.  Thank you to Maggie Addison once again!  I love it!

In one of his guest rooms I decided to do a sort of “ode to Erich” by doing this “Home of the Brave”  theme.

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The second guest room is done in one of Erich’s pastimes…..hunting.

The guest bathroom granite was donated by my friend and sales rep, Michael Mendoza and Active Granite.

Again, because of the generous donations of family, friends and their contacts I was also able to raise enough money to provide Erich with a wonderful outdoor sitting area.  Here is a dining table that accommodates six, a loveseat grouping that accommodates four, two seats with an ottoman off to the left (that you can’t really see)….

And, this wonderful fire pit grouping for four donated by Lee Lighting.  Now he has plenty of space for family and friends to relax and enjoy the quiet, peaceful countryside.  

I’d like to say an extra special thank you to CAM Moving and Storage for storing all of this furniture for months on end at no charge while we waited for the installation date to arrive.  They not only stored the furniture, but they delivered it completely free of charge and spent the entire day setting up every stick of furniture and hanging mirrors and artwork at no charge!  Their team was magnificent.  And, thank you to Shawn James, who spent the day along with them at no charge hanging all the drapes in the house.  This type of kindness and eagerness to help our wounded warriors brought me to tears on more than one occasion. 

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A super special thanks to my longtime friend, Diane Hanson for all her selfless help in installing this project.

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She took time off her busy job at a local design center and gave up lucrative income in order to come help me out.  She helped place furniture, place accessories, make final decisions on what to put where, make beds, etc, etc, etc.  Just like old times when we did model homes together back in the day.  Thank you so much, my friend!

And, if we look a little tired and haggard here…well….it’s because we are.  It was a very busy, very exhausting, long two days.

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And, finally…once again….thank you to my hubby!  He helped raise money, work fundraisers, sweep floors, move furniture, bring us lunch during the install, vacuumed for me when it was all done!….Need I say more?  Thank you for your constant support and all your help in seeing this project to fruition!

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It’s been a long road since we started this adventure.  I wish Erich many, many years of happiness in his new home.  As I said – I was honored to be a part of it and wish him and his girl nothing but the best! 

I just wish we could provide a home for ALL our deserving military men and women.

Wouldn’t it be nice if someday we could? 

Oh, what a wonderful day that would be!

**ALL PROFESSIONAL INTERIOR SHOTS WERE PROVIDED BY RYAN STEVENS PHOTOGRAPHY AND MICHAEL HUNTER PHOTOGRAPHY; EXTERIOR SHOT BY RYAN STEVENS PHOTOGRAPHY

Happy Decorating!



DESIGNING FOR A WOUNDED WARRIOR: HUMBLED AND PROUD – PART 3

I was a little hesitant to post a sneak peak of this phase of my wounded warrior project  just in case Sgt. Erich Ellis might think to check out my blog before the move in date.  And, of course I want him to be surprised!  But, I’m banking on the near 100% assumption that it’s very unlikely that he will even remotely think to do that.    (I seriously doubt he even realizes that I have a blog since it’s not something I ever shared with him.)  If you missed it and would like to read his story you can check it out here; and if you’d like to see the last blog post on the paint colors and materials selected for the home you can check that out here.

After my initial interview with him to go over my design questionnaire and narrow down his style and interests I pulled together some optional pieces for him to look at to make sure I was going in the right direction.   Once that was established I began pulling together my design plan.

His style is actually a combination of modern traditional/transitional with a slight bent towards a soft contemporary vibe in certain details.  All leaning toward a masculine style – no surprise there.

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So I set about trying to conquer it all by combining the various styles.  With the traditional pieces I made sure to keep the lines clean for a sort of no frills “Pottery Barn-ish” vibe, if you will, as you see with this chest in the entry way here.

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In the family room I went with transitional style graphite sofas, large patterned chairs in cream, gray and teal, cappuccino tables and brushed nickel lamps. 

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For the dining area, after much pondering, I decided on a modern traditional table and buffet chest.   It’s a bit more formal than the typical breakfast nook table, but I settled on this for a number of reasons.  One –  because it’s his only eating area and I wanted it to have the flexibility of both a casual dining area as well as a more formal dining experience when entertaining.   Secondly, I had to order all the furniture from one furniture source and I was somewhat limited with the more casual sets for one reason or another – style, seating, etc.  And finally, I wanted to be sure that he had a table with leaves so that it can expand to accommodate more people for holidays, parties, etc.  (I’m a little worried he’ll think it’s too formal, but I hope he will appreciate the reasons why I chose it.)

A teal and cream chevron rug, contemporary artwork and brushed nickel lamps give it a more transitional vibe.  He’ll have four bar chairs for extra seating at his bar.

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In the master bedroom I am continuing with the same color scheme:  graphite, cream, shades of gray.  And crisp, white bedding.  The sleek lines of each piece work together to give the room a sophisticated, but warm, rather masculine space.  However, not so much so that a future lady can’t appreciate. it!

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After meeting him, understanding him more and learning of his personal interests I decided to parlay a couple of them into the guest rooms.  These will definitely have a decidedly more “masculine” theme to them in honor of Erich’s character and love of country as well as one of his hobbies.

Guest room one will have a patriotic theme dedicated to his service as a marine and his service to, and for, country.  Red, white and blue is the color scheme, of course, and a nod to his service and patriotism, the theme throughout.

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Erich is a gun owner and an avid hunter so I decided to dedicate guest room two to his love of hunting.  Artwork, pictures frames, accessories, etc. will all reflect this theme.

I have to say a huge, heartfelt thank you to Coaster Furniture Company for their willingness to work with me on the pricing so that this was all possible.  In addition to furniture I was able to supply most of the lamps, rugs and artwork for the entire home through Coaster.  A special thanks to Rosalind Aragon, Nicolas Ward and Ashley Espinoza for the extra effort they’ve put into helping me tackle the challenges we had along the way and providing the comfort, style and warmth I wanted for Erich’s home.  I can’t say a big enough thank you. 

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To conclude, while Eric was single when we met to discuss his style preferences I knew the likelihood of a woman was imminent in the future, of course, so I tried to balance the “single guy vibe” with the warmth and style that would appeal to a woman.

Now that he is in a committed relationship I am keeping my fingers crossed that I accomplished that goal!

The installation date is almost here and shortly afterward is the ceremony to turn over the keys.

I’ll keep you posted on the upcoming events and the happy, much anticipated day when he gets to move in to his brand new, fully paid for, fully furnished much deserved home.

So exciting….right?!

Happy Decorating!


LIFE BY DESIGN: 2016 WORD OF THE YEAR…JOY!

It’s that time of year again…..you know…time to pick the Word of the Year

The one word you select to sort of define your soul searching journey for the next twelve months.  I know many of you have probably never heard of such a thing before, but there are a great many of you who have.  (Google it – it’s all over the internet)

This is my third year to have a “Word of the Year”.

The first year I selected a word of the year I chose the word “Christlike”.  You can check out my blog post on why I selected it and what it meant (and still means) to me here.  The second year I selected my word of the year it was “Gratitude”.  You can read up on that one here.

This year – my third year in selecting a word of the year is…..drum roll please…..oh yeah, never mind – I already put it in the title. 

Yep, my word of the year 2016 – is “JOY”.

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I want this to be my word this year because I genuinely want this to be a conscientious journey for me.  

I believe some people are born with a more natural propensity for joy than others for sure, but for most of us I believe it is a choice.  And, whether it be upbringing, surroundings, unfortunate circumstances, who we associate with, etc. we can grow into a full blown habit of not only NOT practicing joy, but, in fact, habitually practicing just the opposite of joy – misery, self-pity, etc. 

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Don’t you know of someone (I think we all do!) that just tends to look on the dark side of everything?  Someone who just can’t grasp the meaning of – let alone embrace – being happy and joyful?  Someone who complains incessantly, expresses bitterness, jealousy and just constantly looks for something to criticize and be miserable about?  Well I know I have known a couple of people like that.  A couple of close friends at different points in my life actually.  One of whom I almost had to stop being friends with, because I just couldn’t take it anymore.

I choose joy – and to be joyful you just can’t be unequally yoked with someone who chooses misery. 

They’ll suck the life out of you. 

Don’t you agree?

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And, much of the time I think the reason is because instead of embracing who we are and where we are in life we compare ourselves with others.  And, like Theodore Roosevelt said, “Comparison is the thief of joy”.  I believe that wholeheartedly.  Isn’t there always someone prettier, more fit, smarter, more successful, richer, etc., etc., etc.?  That’ll never change if we constantly compare ourselves with others (and I’m as guilty as anyone on occasion).

But….

God created us individually – with a plan and a purpose for each one of us – and say’s that we are all “…..fearfully and wonderfully made”. 

Each of our paths will be different….but there is joy to be found in all of them. 

And, there is a reason and a purpose for our own individual path, our own journey.

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So there comes a time you have to distance yourself from negative influences – people (no matter how close the relationship), circumstances, or whatever it might be –  and make a little space for joy in your life. 

And, while I feel I’m a pretty even-keeled person and am happy to say that God has blessed me with a fairly happy spirit – there is a difference between “happiness” and “joy”.

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Happiness is “a state of well-being, a pleasurable or satisfying experience”.  Joy is from the word rejoice and means “to feel great delight, to welcome or be glad”. And, while I’m a pretty “happy” girl – I want to truly seek and experience real joy regularly in my journey through life. 

Did you know that the words “happy” and “happiness” are used in the Bible around 30 times, but the word “joy” and “rejoice” appears over 300 times!  Interesting, don’t you think?

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And, while we all face trials in our lives that we just aren’t so “happy” about there is a way to seek and find an inexplicable “joy”.

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And, I firmly believe it comes from the Lord. 

You may not agree – and that’s your choice.  And, this certainly isn’t intended to be a sermon of any kind.  But,  it’s my  word of the year after all and for me it’s simply a reality…

I want His kind of joy…..

So I’m going to conscientiously seek His joy – daily

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I’m going to acknowledge that I am “fearfully and wonderfully made”, that I am who I am, that I’m on my own path – the one God has set before me and not anyone else’s. 

I’m going to strive to recognize the joy along the way of my path through life….

To seek it and experience it.

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Besides – the older I get the more I realize that life is way too short not to be joyful. 

And, I for one don’t want to miss out on any of it.

Happy Decorating!



DESIGNING FOR A WOUNDED WARRIOR: HUMBLED AND PROUD – PART 2

If you didn’t get a chance to read about the wounded warrior project I’m involved with through ReMax Realtors and The Texas Sentinels Foundation you can click here to see our deserving veteran, Erich Ellis.

There you can read about his story and get a glimpse of the house plans.

While we had hoped to have him in the house by Christmas – as it turns out, due to weather delays and volunteer vendor availability, it is now going to be January before we have everything ready for him to move in.  But, as we all know, time flies by and it’ll be here before you know it!

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I showed you the exterior plans on my last blog post so I thought I’d share the interior color selections this time.  Since Erich is a 29 year old single guy (well, actually he now currently has a girlfriend) I wanted to gear the house to a more “masculine” vibe so I decided to go with the current popular color scheme using various shades of “greige”.   I had already selected the paint colors above to be the basic color scheme throughout – all by Sherwin Williams – so I was ecstatic when they volunteered to donate it all!  (Thank you Ashlynn Bourque and Jason Jones!!)  The generosity of people never ceases to amaze me!  Though the rooms will have varying shades of greige – all the trim (provided by BMC) – will remain SW7005 Pure White for continuity and a clean, sharp contrast.

The builder, Michael Cannady of Precision Builders, decided to go with stained concrete throughout and we are fortunate enough to work with the Concrete Design Center and their supplier Artcrete on the stain color.  They had to use a ratio of 3 to 1 on their formula to get the color that I was looking for (as noted above) and I must say it turned out beautifully.  (The picture above is actually darker than it is in real life)

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I went with a shaker style for all the cabinets with the flat panel going everywhere except for the island.  Here I decided to go with the bead board look.  The kitchen cabinets are being donated by Trimline – another more than generous contribution.  For the kitchen upper and lower cabinets I went with a dark stain color called “Brackish”; on the island I decided on a paint grade wood and the Sherwin Williams color SW7019 Gauntlet Gray. 

Allied Stone offered to provide our kitchen countertop at no charge as well (I know – people are amazing!)  Thank you Lynn Deleon for all your help with this!  I selected their New Caledonia granite because it encompasses all the colors I’m working with.  

The Tile Sh0p was kind enough to donate all the tile we needed for the entire house.  Dare I say amazing again?   Thanks to the Dallas store manager, Michael Berberick!  He was wonderful to work with.  I decided to brighten up all the dark colors in the kitchen with a contrasting backsplash by using these soft white subway and accent tiles.  The picture frame molding around the cooktop will be done in a black pencil liner to compliment the dark countertop.  Overall I think the kitchen will have a rich, masculine look to it.

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In the master bathroom I’m continuing the greige theme with SW7015 Mindful Gray on the cabinets, the walls in SW7018 Dovetail and of course the SW7005 Pure White on the trim in keeping with the rest of the house.

I chose a large, soft white rectangular tile in a staggered brick pattern for the shower surround – with a picture frame design in the center using Tumbled Brookfield Diamond Accent tiles as a statement accent tile.  I repeated the diamond pattern on the shower floor.

KLZ Stone Supply kindly offered their beautiful Vintage granite – at no charge! – for the master countertops.  (Thanks Maggie Addison!) Works beautifully with my color scheme and is perfect for Erich’s home.   Mike Mendoza with Active Granite contributed the fabrication of the granite – at no charge!  I know, I know…..just amazing what people are willing to do!

Fresh and fun, but masculine just the same.

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And, finally in the guest bath I went with SW7016 Mindful Gray on the walls and SW7005 Pure White on both the cabinets and the trim. 

The counter top is a remnant donated by Mike Mendoza at Active Granite and once again he is donating the fabrication here as well.   With a son in the special forces he has a huge and tender heart for the marines and said if the company didn’t pay for it he would pay for it himself.  Now that’s a patriot and a standup guy! 

The Tile Shop once again donated the tile for the guest bath.  Just as in the kitchen and in the master I softened the surround with a soft white subway tile.   Simple, yet affective.

My heart is so touched by the kindness of so many and I can’t express my appreciation in words to say how grateful I am to each and every one of them.

I’ll be posting furnishings and accessories soon and sharing more of the kindness and willingness of so many to help show their appreciation to Erich for his service and sacrifice.

It’s coming along slowly, but surely, and I just can’t wait to get our boy in his new home!

Happy Decorating!

THANKSGIVING TIME!

I hope your Thanksgiving is filled with many rich and wonderful blessings today!

So many things to be grateful for – most of which we take for granted.  Don’t you agree?   May today be a time for you to reflect and be grateful for sweet memories of loved ones passed and gratitude for those who are still with us.  And, also, to be grateful for all the many, many blessings in our lives big and small:  Our home, our health, our jobs, our country, our servicemen and women who serve to protect so that we can enjoy days like today.

So many things to be thankful for and today is a good reminder to stop and recognize them all!

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May your table be bountiful, your laughter be vigorous and your heart be full!

Happy, Happy Thanksgiving To You and Yours!

CLASSIC BLACK AND WHITE FLOORS: FUN, FRESH, TIMELESS!

I’m currently working with a long time client on all of the bathrooms in her beautiful home.  Nestled in a lovely neighborhood with a golf course view it is a grand, traditional home with lots of paneling, hardwoods, winding staircase and wonderful traditional and antique furnishings.  A very classic, very stately home but, as with many of my long time clients, she’s at a place now where she feels it’s time to liven and lighten things up a bit!

So some of the first things we are going to “freshen up” are her bathroom floors.  All done in solid, flat white ceramic tiles 12×12 and smaller they have a lackluster, dated feel to them.  And none of them offer an ounce of creativity, personality or pizzazz.

After discussing and looking at many tile options she came to the conclusion that one thing she’s always loved – actually since she was a little girl – was the look of classic black and white tiles.

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So I researched some of the options…

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And, I gathered some different looks for her to choose from.

http://www.renditions.com.au/product-wt-select.asp?ID=1480&rsOrder=11

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There are a multitude of various black and white combinations; some with borders, some without.

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The wonderful thing about black and white tiles is that they seem to have a timeless look to them whether it’s a throwback, sort of retro look or a classic checkerboard….

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And they work well with different themes – from traditional style to transitional style to contemporary.

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This Greek key border brings in the classic as well as a fun “hip” vibe so this is a great way to keep things fresh and yet jive with her more traditional surroundings. 

We actually decided on this Greek key style for her guest bath, hallway and pool bath.  It will border the hallway and wrap right into the pool bath. 

http://retrorenovation.com/2012/09/17/black-and-white-bathroom-remodel-amazing-attention-to-detail-diy/

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This pattern above is the look she originally liked for the guest bathroom upstairs.  Another classic black and white pattern.  Keeping with the black and white theme, yet it’s own unique look.

But, she ultimately decided on this:

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A simple yet classic style – with no border. 

(I actually have this in my own guest bathroom and I love it)

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We’ll concentrate on the guest baths before the holidays, but after the holidays she’s decided to go with this beautiful black and white checkerboard style for the master bathroom.

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How spectacular is this with a combination of different tiles?  Stunning!

Fun transformations to take place. 

Bringing the fun and fresh with the timeless look of black and white.

Can’t wait to see the finished product!

Happy Decorating.

LDF SILK: INNOVATIVE, BOLD, SENSATIONAL!

There’s nothing that screams pizzazz like a unique, show-stopping floral, tree or arrangement properly displayed in your home.  And, there’s no one more capable of creating this show-stopper look than LDF Silks.  (You can check out their website here.)

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Aside from their stunning showroom itself where color and creativity prevails throughout the space – like this welcoming hot pink bar and white bar stools….

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They are brimming with some of the most creative arrangements you will ever see.

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Unique, imaginative displays everywhere….

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Inventive floral presentations that get your creative juices flowing….

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And, instantly make you envision how fun it would be to have one of their “masterpieces” in your own home.

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These aren’t ordinary pieces you would see in every home!

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Each and every one of them is a spectacular display of creativity….

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And, originality….

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See what I mean?

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Many of their designs are beautiful succulents…

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Many are full of bold, happy colors…

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Even their display tables are bold and colorful…

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Which really makes it fun to peruse the showroom…..

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Because you never know what you’ll find around the corner.

There’s ingenuity and fun in everything they do:

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From their succulents…

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To their creamy whites…

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To their fun and funky….

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All created with their own unmistakable, distinct and decidedly charming personalities…

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Am I right? 

And, not only do they (the staff at LDF Silks here in Dallas) have big, larger than life arrangements to choose from – they also have big, larger than life hearts! 

When I approached them about my wounded warrior project with the Texas Sentinels Foundation (which you can scroll back and see or check out here) they – without hesitation I might add –  generously donated a gorgeous tree and two amazing tabletop succulents – exceeding my expectations entirely! 

So a big, huge thanks to my sales rep, Mary Ann Gardiner, for her help with this!  And, of course to owner, Beth Santarelli, for her incredible kindness and generosity! 

The fact they would be so eager and willing to help this fine young marine shows a lot about their hearts, their patriotism and and their character….. 

And, I’m forever touched, forever grateful!

HAPPY DECORATING!


DESIGNING FOR A WOUNDED WARRIOR: HUMBLED AND PROUD

When I was first asked by Remax Realtor, Valerie Cannady, to be the designer for a project with the Texas Sentinels Foundation through Remax Realtors, DFW Associates I’m not going to lie – I had to give it some serious (albeit split-second) thought.  Not because it wasn’t an honor to be asked and not because it’s not a tremendously worthwhile project, because of course it most certainly is!  But, because I instantly knew the amount of time I would need to devote to it could be very overwhelming with my (already busy) schedule.  I’ve done a number of charitable projects – both as a lead designer and as a committee member on a team.  And, both entail an enormous amount of time, commitment and devotion –  which can sometimes be a bit…well….daunting!

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But, when you see this guy (on the right)….

And you read his story –

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What can I say?  He nearly sacrificed his life (and many of his friends and servicemen before him did lose their lives), so I can have a job to be “so busy” in – and in a country that gives me the comfort and freedom to work.

So….hmmmm……could I sacrifice my time for him?……You bet!

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This amazing young man – hero, marine and TSF wounded warrior, Sgt. Erich Ellis – was officially introduced at the formal Texas Sentinels “kick off” event….

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Which would jumpstart the many fundraisers needed to help raise the money to build this very deserving marine’s new home.

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Mal Smith (shown here to the left of Erich), is a sales manager with REMAX, DFW Associates, and “chairman extraordinaire” over this TSF project.  He has been working tirelessly for the last year and a half, overseeing the many fundraising events with REMAX and a team of generous volunteers.   They’ve organized and put on numerous charity events in order to secure the much needed funds to provide this amazing young man with a home – mortgage free and fully decorated.

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Like our casino night fundraiser….

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Where Erich met this sweet young boy, Justin, who wanted to donate some of his own money! to help out with the project.  Even at his young tender age he realizes and understands the sacrifice Erich and other military men and women make for our country and insisted on being a part of it.  Precious, amazing and deeply touching!  As you can see he and Erich became fast friends.

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Sgt. Erich Ellis and myself. At age 29 he’s right in the middle of my two son’s ages (27 and 30)  – which makes his story tug at this mom’s heartstrings even more.  How can I not wonder…..what if this were one of my boys? 

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With our sweet friend, Justin.

Numerous additional fundraisers were also carried out and generous donations made which enabled the land to be purchased.   Michael Cannady, owner of Precision Builders (who is building Erich’s home), and his lovely wife, Valerie, had been looking for quite some time before the right piece of property was selected and secured.

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When the time finally came to commence the building process we had a groundbreaking ceremony to honor the occasion.

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Hosted by REMAX, DFW Associates…..

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It was an eventful moment replete with numerous speakers including Erich himself.  Chairman, Mal Smith, began with a sincere thank you to all the vendors and donors who have so generously volunteered their time and/or money.  To say we’re grateful for all the generosity is an understatement.  It’s been so touching to see so many people genuinely care and so eager to help.

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Dick Army, former Texas State Representative and House Majority Leader, gave an emotional, heartfelt speech in honor of Erich, his fellow marines and our beloved country.

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The mayor of Sanger, Texas, Thomas Muir, also spoke…

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And, of course, the co-founder of the Texas Sentinels Organization, Richard Filip, himself.

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Richard and his wife Jeanne, determined to give back to the military men and women who have served our country, are the ones who founded this meaningful, worthwhile organization in 2007.   They’ve helped many deserving servicemen and their families move in to brand new homes.  Hats off to them and Texas Sentinels Foundation!  Thanks for all that you do!

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Mark Wolfe, owner of Remax, DFW Associates, was instrumental in kicking off this project by making a commitment to the Texas Sentinels Foundation for this home and a sizable donation to kick-start the fundraising campaign.  Without him none of this would be taking place.  Thanks, Mark, for initiating this wonderful project, your patriotism and commitment to this cause!

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Eric shared some of his story and expressed his appreciation.  (He’s a very good speaker I might add.) 

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Michael Cannady of Precision Builders here with Erich and the dynamic, formidable Dick Army.  Michael, as the “builder extraordinaire” in charge of the entire project,  has done a phenomenal job in getting vendors to contribute their time and resources to make this happen.

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The crowd gathering here to celebrate the momentous groundbreaking.

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Me with Erich.

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Mal (who has been invaluable as our fundraising guru), his wife, Cindi, and our very deserving wounded warrior, Erich.  All celebrating this happy day….

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As the groundbreaking is official and the project begins.

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And, here’s a glimpse of his future home. 

  I can’t wait to share more photo’s of the progress and interior selections.

Now that it’s well underway we are tentatively shooting for a December move in date.  I’m not sure yet if that’s going to happen, but am hopeful.  Keep your fingers crossed….we would all love to have him in before the Christmas holiday!

I’ll keep you posted!

Happy Decorating!

A UNIQUE LOOK FOR YOUR BACKSPLASH OR SHOWER SURROUND WITH “ANTIQUE FLOORS”

If you’re considering remodeling your kitchen or bathroom and are looking for something a little more unique for your shower surround or backsplash you might like what Antique Floors has to offer. (You can check out their website at here.)

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They have a variety of unique designs to choose from with everything from a traditional vibe to a transitional vibe.

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You can actually mix both “vibes” to create a fresh, atypical design like they did here with this vignette.  Sleek linear glass tiles with the more traditional squares in this beautiful textured and “aged” finish.

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Or you can mix and match some fun color combinations to create your own “thing”.  Like this engaging green and black combination and these fun, unexpected accent tiles. 

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Whether it’s color…..

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Or pattern….

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Neutrals…..

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Or a little funky…..

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Antique Floors has a multitude of unique styles….

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Fun designs…

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Interesting textures…..

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And lots of pizzazz to choose from.

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All with a refreshing touch of the “unconventional”…

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And all with a touch of timeless creativity…

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As well as an unmistakable, explicit “touch of class”.

So if you’re in the market for something fresh and unexpected –  and yet timeless to boot – take a minute to sneak a peak at Antique Floors.

Happy Decorating!

HAPPY LABOR DAY, Y’ALL!!!

So sorry my posts have been so scarce!!  Been “laboring” long and hard.  And, although I miss blogging and I plan on getting back to it as soon as I can – I must say I’m grateful and blessed for the work and for the rich, full life God’s blessed me with that’s preventing it!

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I believe the freedom we have here in this country to choose our occupation – with hard work, determination and dedication – is a blessing; and I believe that the ability to live and work here in America is a double blessing.  One too many folks take for granted.  The sky is the limit here and I believe what the Bible says:  “You reap what you sow” also applies to good old hard work.  So for those of you willing to get out there and work hard – I commend you for taking responsibility for yourself and your family.

And, I’m grateful today for so many things…..I’m grateful for the health it requires to be able to work.   I’m grateful for the clients God has blessed me with.  I’m grateful that my husband and my children are all hard workers.  I’m grateful for the work opportunities available here in this country to all those who are willing. 

And, I’m especially grateful for all the brave servicemen out there and the “men in blue” who work so hard to protect us all.  A special, heartfelt thanks to you all!

Happy Labor Day!