Mark Hampton – Part II

It’s Friday and school’s out!  Oh, yeah!!  (The Snicker song just came on – I know you know it!!)

And I’ve got Mark Hampton’s chapter on wallpaper on the brain – fun stuff to think about, if ya ask me!  And although he was most known for using chintz, I want to share a few of his ideas/thoughts on the wallpaper subject since (not only was it my favorite chapter) it might just inspire you to wallpaper a room or two!

1.  Strongly patterned wallpaper very often makes a small room look larger.  “It seems larger because you immediately have a point of reference.”  This trick works the best in tiny rooms.


2.  Often, a wallpaper allows several patterns to play together in an “orderly” way; meaning it can unify lots of patterns, making the space have a sense of purpose rather than looking random.  It can unify lots of “disparate elements or decorating that you love but that you find difficult to mix.”


3.  Wallpaper can be a great background for art… seems counterintuitive, but a patterned background can have a calming effect when there is a combination of drawings and paintings.


4.  The fear of wallpaper creating a “fussy” look is an opinion of taste not a fact.  A room can look sleek and modern in wallpaper.


5.  In rooms where the furniture is moved frequently, wallpaper works great because when the arrangement is changed there are no “blank” areas on the walls.


6.  Wallpaper is also perfect when your room lacks architectural interest.  “If the existing architectural details are bland, the mood of the room becomes far more assertive with the help of a good, strong wallpaper in a definite style.”


7.  And finally, wallpaper is great when your walls are in bad shape or you love to move pictures, since it’s perfect for hiding nail holes!


All Fabulous reasons to look into some wallpaper!  But really, I just love it ’cause it’s soooo purdy!  But, hey, if it can make your rooms look bigger, walls look smoother and artwork smarter – then all the better!!  Cheers and TGIF!

You can even wallpaper your exterior!
You can even wallpaper your exterior! Not such a square box anymore.
This ain’t your grandmas floral!
Lots of prints and colors… yet, surprisingly calm and cozy.


Introducing “The Mother”

Howdy Everyone!

Today I’m doing some work on a little doozy of a project that I’ve christened The Mother… why The Mother, you ask?!  Well, because (for me) she’s the mother of all projects!  And when she’s frustrated me, I’ll say something like “Mother!!”  It’s very PG around here so that’s as far as it goes, but you get the idea…Sometimes The Mother can be quite a mother.

I have been thinking about adding in shelves and storage to my dining area for quite some time.  Since I’ve had to give up my space to these kiddos, there is just nowhere to keep my fabric, sewing machine, you know, my grandma stuff anymore.  And it would be awfully nice to be able to display my growing collection of antique blue and white Chinese pottery.

Anytime you’re going to embark on a project like this you know there are several ways to go about it. 1. Hire someone; I did meet with 2 incredibly talented carpenters who would make my storage dreams come true for about 10 grand.  2. Buy pre-made cabinets and have the shelves made or go to a cabinet store; Also, investigated this and I would get close to what I was envisioning for about 4k (not bad at all) or 3. Do it myself, slowly over time, with unfinished cabinets to get exactly what I want; Super labor intensive but I could test out my chops.

Weight the pros and cons carefully, Folks!  This is your home and you don’t want a mess of a project.  DIY is cool, but you never want it to look DIY.  Am I right?!?!

My solution came to me on a trip to the ReStore Habitat for Humanity store.  I saw it.  A heap of cabinets and shelves.  The guys just wanted it out of there, so for $300 and a 16ft UHaul it was all mine.

I didn’t even know what I was buying, but it appeared to be in great shape, 100% wood (no veneer here!), and I liked the molding/trim detail.  Plus it came with a bunch of shelves, which is what I was looking for and I figure (I’m still planning it out) that I can make it work.

My garage today-

A view from the top so you can see it’s about 6 feet deep!
Mother! That’s a LOT of cabinets.


Close up of door/drawer detail
Close up of door/drawer detail
My inventory after measuring and inspecting my loot, with a bit of my son’s artwork at the bottom. 12 large pieces in all with a TON of trim, moulding and cabinet tops.

Where can you score something like this??  You’ll need luck, yes, but the ReStore is the place to go.  They get cabinets all the time.  Nothing near you?  Then I would put an add on Craigslist – people love to sell stuff they’re planning on dumping anyway.

So, there you have it.  The mother of all projects that will be my time zapper for the next few months.  I will keep you updated in real time with my progress so that you can be there with me through all the fun steps.  It’s so weird to me when I read a blog and in one day an entire room is completed – Hello!!  We all know it took like a gabillion years to get it done.

That’s the plan, at least.  Cut up some cabinets, patch some holes, use a chemical stripper, sand for weeks, prime, paint, configure, trim it out and put the bling on.  Easy, right?!?

In the meantime…. here’s some inspiration for your shelves out there and kinda what I have in mind.  Ta-Ta!!

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Why I can’t stop playing the field.

Welcome back Amigos!

Throughout the years I’ve read advice from designers who’ve said, if you want a smokin’ house, PICK A STYLE and stick to it!

Say what!?!  Just one?!?!  Panic.  ‘Cummon, it’s easier to pick a mate than one measly style!!

It’s just plain unnatural to cuddle up with one style all the rest of your days (well, until you redecorate, at least.)  Mixing it up is part of our DNA and hey, it keeps things interesting… there always seems to be a new trend that comes along and seduces you a little…and you can’t help yourself to a few Japanese vases, only to come eye-to-eye with an early American that’s got gorgeous bones, but your mother is pushing Greek Revival, when along comes Louis XV to put you in a tailspin.  Yes.  You always go back to old faithful, but (can we all agree?), it can be pretty fun to play the design field.  And all that enjoyment, leads to the creation of an incredibly pleasurable space.

Case in point…

My Favorite! Love the panels, suzani and (yowzer) the Monroe photograph. I might feel weird, though, sleeping with the vultures watching overhead.


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If you can’t have fun in your home, then where can you?!?  Never settle for just one style… at least when it comes to decorating with your eye candy, I can testify that English, French, and that sophisticated Mid-Century, can all get along very well.