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July 30, 2012

update a sofa on the cheap

Do you own your dream sofa? Yeah, me neither.

 This is my lovely microsuede sectional. Every rug, pillow, coffee table, and any other conceivable decorative accent seems to clash with it-- it's not my style at all. On the bright side, it's very comfortable and the microsuede is so easy to clean... but it's still the bane of my decorating existence. And it isn't going anywhere for a while.

I came across a roll of leftover nailhead trim (from when I made my headboard) and the idea struck-- add it to the sofa!

I pretty much eyeballed it when I actually nailed the trim in. But I used clear pushpins to get an idea of how it would look, they're easier to put in temporarily than the nailheads are. Nobody's hiring me to be an upholsterer any time soon, but it was an easy little update.

Much better!

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Keep up with my progress decorating my new apartment with posts labelled Our Post-grad Place!

July 24, 2012

pattern play: mexican otomi

This pretty embroidery by the Mexican Otomi tribe has been very popular in interiors for a long time-- the art is hundreds of years old! Both the handmade, embroidered originals and most imitation prints look great.

July 19, 2012

where i'm starting: bookshelves

We've been in our new place for just over a week and we love it! I've sort of got a handle on what we want and need. I've learned to make a master list and (informally) prioritize before I start designing-- I'm definitely guilty of not seeing the forest for the trees sometimes. 

After establishing the big picture, I'll do a piece at a time, starting with things I know I won't change my mind about. We already have all the major furniture necessities, so the first "musts" on my list are bookshelves.

My husband has a large collection of books and they need a place to go, stat! Almost every office inspiration picture I've ever saved has been of a white bookshelf, so that's what I'm going with. I like the contrast of clean white against the darker book covers-- my husband's collection is 99% vintage religion and history books, so we're not talking bright colors. 

Lonny Magazine Sep/Oct 2011 | Photography by Patrick Cline; Interior Design by Blair Clark
Having these big pieces up and styled will make it easier to envision the rest of the room.

Here's the rest of my master list:

Rug (approx. 4' x 10')
Bar Stools - 2

Living Room
Rug (size TBD)
Coffee Table
Bookshelves - 2
Curtain Rod
Curtain Panels - 4
Lamps or pendant light
Above-sofa art
Throw pillows
Decorative glass vessel + branches
Basket for blankets

Bookshelves - 3
Curtain Rod
Curtain Panels - 4
Table lamps - 2

Runner (approx. 2'6" x 8')
Shower curtain
Wall art

July 17, 2012


I'm really excited for the Olympics next week! Truthfully, I'm just as excited to see the royals, ceremonies, and uniforms as the sporting events. I love a little U.K. pride (hey, my ancestry is British!) and the Olympics are the perfect excuse to break out the Union Jack. I think the British win the "coolest flag" award.

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July 13, 2012

woody liana anniversary sale!

Next week is a good week for pillow lovers: Woody Liana's anniversary sale starts July 15!

This is just a tiny sample of all the great patterns that will be on sale-- Chiang Mai Dragon, Ric Rac, Imperial Trellis, Bengal Bazaar, Betwixt, Hot House Flowers, Katsugi, Trina Turk, Christopher Farr Cloth, Barbara Barry, Quadrille, and more.

Did you see Emily Henderson's amazing new guest bedroom? Yep, the palm print pillow will be part of the sale, too.

The sale opens on Sunday and new stuff will be added throughout the week. Don't miss it!

July 12, 2012

ikea knob upgrades

I have a few pieces of furniture from IKEA that have become great with a little upgrading. I painted my Rast dressers to look like Draper chests and now I want to freshen up my Hemnes TV unit. I love the shape of the Hemnes dressers-- I've suggested them to clients even if they aren't on a budget because they're really sturdy, the drawers run smoothly, and the simple silhouette works so well with everything.

 But "simple" is also a problem with IKEA stuff. I plan to jazz up my TV unit by upgrading the knobs to brass drop pulls. This is possibly the easiest upgrade ever, but it makes a huge difference. Most IKEA drawers use single-mount pulls, so these will work with a lot of different pieces.

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July 9, 2012

pardon the boxes...

Yeah, this is my dining room right now. We're loading the truck this evening-- next stop, Raleigh!
Instagram: @wmarisssa

July 5, 2012

some great pieces

I run across a lot of great pieces, many of which I never have a chance to use in my designs. I thought I'd share some of my recent favorites!

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July 2, 2012

keeping my focus

I'm excited to move for many reasons, not the least of which is having a new place to decorate! I love so many different styles, I could easily have the most spastic house ever. I've started making design boards for our place and found myself going off in a different direction with each room. Some people don't mind that, but I prefer that all the rooms look like they belong in the same house. 

So to keep my sense of direction, I keep this picture out when I'm working on the designs. (I do something similar when I'm doing client design boards.) I wish we lived in a house like this, but we'll be apartment dwellers for a while yet. But the picture keeps me in line.

I'm planning to post updates every week about what I'm up to in designing "Our Post-grad Place." Today, my husband and I are driving around Raleigh trying to figure out exactly where that place will be!