Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Tiny Baby Steps

























Darlings,

I'm excited to report that I'm taking these tiny baby steps towards launching my little interior design business.  With my first solo project almost totally complete, I feel ready to launch a website.  It will be a great way of communicating my style and my service to potential clients.

I'm currently on the search for a photographer to take some professional photos too.  But I did read once that this successful designer got started with just a website and some photos right out of design school.  I was encouraged to hear that.  I have my years of working for a small company behind me as well as lots of friends in the design community.  So I feel that I have so much support.  I'm looking forward to what the future holds.

Hope you are having a wonderful day!

Cheers,

Nicole 

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

A Modern Craftsmen Hood in Bend

We went to Bend, Oregon a couple of weekends ago for a soccer tournament.  Bend is an amazing little spot, it's hot and dry, with a vibrant downtown, good shopping, river activities and lots of amazing real estate.  It reminds me of Palm Springs, without the celebrities. 

I came across this new neighborhood and the modern in me got really excited.  This was the most immaculate neighborhood I've ever seen.  It is almost too perfectly Stepford, however, I saw a few people and they seemed real.  Every garage is behind the house, no parking signs are posted everywhere and they have community mailboxes.  These things are so opposite of my neighborhood with it's telephone wires and mismatched assortment of mailboxes, a bus in one neighbor's front yard (yes, literally a bus!) ugh, I could go on and on.  Let's just look at this amazing dreamland of total perfection, craftsmen loveliness and modern fabulousness! On with it!

 
My favorite one.  It's a combination of modern and vintage.  Reminded me of the 1950's, built for today.  The home owner was standing in the front room, looking at me like I was nuts.  I must have looked that way while I was driving around doing this (with my child asleep in his car seat) sticking my head out the window snapping photos.  


 
This house was stunning in person. It's across the street from the one in the photo above.  I love the way the lines are so clean and stacked, it just belongs in it's environment.  The way the earth is built, in layers, so should the architecture that exists upon it.  My architecture thought for the day.  You're welcome.
 
 
I really like the layering of greys with the large white trim.  Notice the prominent no parking sign.

 
Quite a few of the modern homes had a side entry.  This is a feature created by Frank Lloyd Wright and one that I wish I saw more of in our modern homes.  We need to be building more homes like this one.  What do you think?

 
Gorgeous craftsmen.  I thought this one might be my dad's dream house, but there was no golf course.  Almost had it dad!

 
I love this chartreuse door and grey paint.  I wish I got out and took a better picture of this one. Amazing.  "Um, hello, can I move in, PLEASSSE!"

 
This house is good inspiration for our house.  I like this color combination a lot.  Grey overall, white trim and turquoise door.  It feels very fresh and modern.

 
This is all one house.  Check out the garage on the far left. Unreal dude. Unreal.
 
 


 
 

Sunday, August 11, 2013

A Creative Space

When I met Jen we just clicked.  We met through some mutual friends that have nothing to do with art or design, so neither of us knew that the other one loved it so much.
 
Then Jen hosted a get together at her house one Saturday and low and behold was this amazing space!  Filled with bright colors, a multitude of craft supplies and crazy fun art in every nook and cranny.  
 
I couldn't believe it.
 
I said, "Jen, I thought I heard that you were an accountant?"
 she replied, "Yes, that's my job." 

Here's Jen; accountant by day and wondrous handy crafter, well, the rest of the time!

 
  



I love that Jen allows her passion to shine in her home, that she doesn't hide it in a back room or push it into a small corner.  This vibrant space is located in what might be considered a formal dining room and it works so great. 

 








A work in progress
 
 
All of us ladies visiting that day, couldn't wait to get into that space and check it out.
 

 
 
Jen makes dolls, sews, paints and inspires other women to do the same.


 
 
Message to the husband and teenagers living in the house!
 
 In the photo below is a screen print owl by Jen.  It is proudly hanging in my son Henry's room above his toy shelf. 
 
 
 
A fun collection of her other works of art. 
 
 
 
If you live in Vancouver you can see and purchase Jen's art (like the owl that I own) at Most Everything, a vintage shop located at 815 Washington Street in downtown Vancouver.  You can also purchase Jen's creations on her Etsy shop here.  Or follow Jen on her blog at Clever Girl Studios, as she shares her crafting process, new creations and heartfelt stories.
 
Thank you Jen, for opening up your wonderful space for me to share!
 
Nicole B.
 
  
 
 
 
 

 

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Black and White Striped Floors

I'm so excited to share with you that I have been working on designing a salon.  The owner came to me because she wanted a "Hollywood Regency" style for her salon, named Glitterati.  Her logo is pink and I immediately knew she needed gold in there! I have had such a blast putting it together for her, but there have been some serious down times as well.  Like when we pulled up the carpet to discover black tar, the budget just wasn't going to supply us with flooring to cover that, it had to be scraped off.  It was a difficult moment.  But lots of sweat and tears later and now we have a beautiful painted concrete floor. 

 
























 
12 inch black and white stripes that make an oversize chevron now adorn the floors.  I can't tell you what an amazing difference this made in the space.  It was all DIY.  Her dad helped us lay out the design and gave us his "pro tips" on using the blue tape to make the lines.  I got down on my hands and knees and helped layout all the measurements.  Then the owner and a friend painted at night after her kids were in bed.  The floors really make a statement and the days and nights of work really paid off. 

















This is the other room when we were hanging the vintage swag lights.  That one in the far left corner we have already changed.  It was a little under scale and looked too new for the design.  Also you can see the black baseboard has been installed. 
 
So much more to share!  What do you think so far?

Monday, July 8, 2013

Vintage Find

Dahlings,

I thought today I would share with you a fun vintage find.  I slammed on my breaks and threw my car into reverse when I saw this whole vintage set of mid-century modern patio chairs just lounging on a neighbors yard.





I had not planned on buying this, but it was there.  Calling to me.  The whole set was purchased in 1955 from a store in Seattle.  John, the seller, was nine years old when his parents brought this home.  He has kept it all this time.  It's in mint condition and looks shiny and new in our backyard. 


 
Sunshine, lemonade, cushion and me! I can't wait!

 
One more time...Just because...


Sunday, June 30, 2013

The Exterior

Dahlings,

It's been a while and I'm happy to report that I have been busy with some new projects!  I'm so excited to share them with you as they come to a close.  I've also made some changes around the Busick house and next month we are scheduled for a bit of a remodel.  All due to the fact that we found dry rot on the back of the house.  Because if someone is going to tear apart my roof, wellll, then can we change a few things upstairs?  Have I shown you the exterior of my house?

 
This is the house in winter, when we first bought it, with that ugly color on the front door and garage. 
 

Here is the house in summer, after we painted the front door and garage a turquoise color.  We had just planted new grass, installed new modern house numbers, and replaced the brass letter slot in the front door with a vintage decorative antique brass plate.  We also painted the steps of the porch a rich chocolate color.  These were all affordable changes that made a big difference to us.


Here is a close up of the antique brass plate that replaced the shiny brass envelope slot on the front door.

The exterior of my house continues to bother me. Which means something just isn't right.  For instance the flower bed in front of the living room window continues to be incomplete, I can't get anything to survive there.  I wish I could just replace it with a porch.  Wouldn't that be fun? 

We are considering adding another pop out window to the other side of the house and extending the roof line over the edge of the house.  

I want to paint the whole house a dark grey with white trim.  That could really freshen it up.  Imagine making the trim around the windows really thick.  I think that could be a more modern update that could keep me from adding the typical awnings, shutters and flower boxes.  Maybe I'm living in the wrong style of house for my taste?  I just believe everything old can be new again as long as you add some modern to it.    

What do you think?

 

Tuesday, June 11, 2013


Dahlings, 
I came across a fabulous little autobiography by Tullalah Bankhead.  I'm completely smitten and from now on, wish to address you all as Dahling! 
 
I adore this little book, every time I pick it up and read a little, I smile.  Tullaluh Bankhead was a professional actress who in her words, "loathed acting" but desired fame, carried a parakeet named Gaylord with her wherever she went, married once and didn't apologize for her free and lively spirit.
 She grew up in Alabama and swears it was her name that allowed her to escape the place, although she was heckled for it as a child. 
Raised by Aunt Louise and Aunt Marie, her father and grandparents after the death of her mother when she was born.  Her father was elected to the House of Representatives in 1916 when she was 14 years old. It was her father that supported her future as an actor because of his own desire to be one. An entry into a beauty contest would take her to New York where she pursued the fame that she so desired.  She acted on stage, radio and eventually television and film.  I've caught her on an old rerun of I Love Lucy.  She had a sort of rough nasal voice, and a true air of sophistication.
She referred to everyone as dahling, saying, "Dahling has implications of affection, or at least friendliness.  It cannot disturb the recipient." I couldn't agree more.
 
Tullalah ends this little memoir with the following words, "By my own standards I've lived to the hilt. I've soared in the clouds and touched bottom.  Much as I like to idle, I know I must carry on or perish.  I have a tiger by the tail. Better than anyone, Edna St. Vincent Millay has expressed my plight, my philosophy:
 
My candle burns at both ends;
It will not last the night:
But ah, my foes, and oh, my friends,
It gives a lovely light."