Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Item Of The Week ~ Wastebaskets

The new issue of House Beautiful was the inspiration for this week's Item Of The Week - wastebaskets. Yes, trash containers! Not like this:

But like this:

These are just a few of the 50 they highlight that caught my eye. Some of these are just too pretty to put trash in!

I'm sure you could re-purpose these trash cans to really enjoy them in other ways, too - to hold some extra fabric, rolled up and kept neatly in place; a faux (silk) plant container; a holder for those little umbrellas (the pop-up ones); craft supplies; kindling wood for starting your fireplace or wood stove; and, of course, you could use them as a trash can.

So many colors, styles and patterns! Something for every room!

You can visit the House Beautiful magazine site to find out the resource information for all of the wastebaskets they show.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Protect Your Walls

This lovely disc has a few names - wall protector, wall bumper, door bumper, door knob protector, and so on. The point being that you protect your wall (behind a door) from the knob going through your sheetrock.

These little doo-dads are self-adhesive and attach easily to the wall. I like that they are flush to the wall and paintable. I have a couple in my own house.

If you've just had painting or wallpapering done and you want to protect a wall behind a door, I would suggest spending the $3.00 to prevent damage that could result in a major repair. But please, paint them or put a piece of the wallpaper that is in the room where you are placing them, on top.

It's paintable so that you can integrate it into your wall decor. You've put time and money into painting or wallpapering, so protect it.

Blog Of The Week ~ High Style Interiors & Gifts

This week's blog of the week comes to us from Jill Healy of High Style Interiors in Charlotte, North Carolina. Actually, Jill has two blogs. You can find the other here.

The High Style Interiors boutique carries furnishings, accessories, lighting, and more.

The above picture is from Jill's blog. If you live in the Charlotte, North Carolina area, stop by and say "Hi" to Jill. Check out some of her merchandise - it looks like she has something for everyone!

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Design Star Is Coming, Design Star Is Coming!

Design Star will be starting its new season on July 19th! I just saw a commercial on HGTV for the new season and I am thrilled with the judges selected this year.

Photos courtesy of HGTV

Vern Yip is back, but new to the judging panel is Genevieve Gorder and Candice Olsen - two designers whose work I really like.
I am really looking forward to this season. It always seems to become a nail-biting event once it gets down to the last few designers.

Friday, June 26, 2009

And Now For Something Completely Different!

I'm going to deviate a bit (well, totally) from interior decor and design topics to post about something that is personal to me. I was diagnosed with celiac disease earlier this year, which basically affects your small intestine and you must refrain from eating wheat, rye, barley - no bread, no beer - you get the idea. You must read EVERY label in the supermarket.

After 9 years of stomach pains and "episodes", two doctors, two prescription medications and several tests, I was diagnosed first with GERD (gastroesophaegeal reflux disease) and then IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome) They were all wrong!

In November I happened to be reading something when I came across the medical term "celiac sprue". I wanted to know what it was and looked it up on Web M.D. Oddly enough, celiac disease came up and the symptoms were exactly what I was going through. I could not even enjoy a meal out with my husband because I never knew if an "episode" would hit.

In reading this article it said that celiac disease can take up to 9 years to diagnose - 9 YEARS! It is usually diagnosed as Colitis, IBS, Crohns Disease and a couple of other diseases. It also said that a simple way to find out if you have celiac disease is 1. a blood test and 2. change your diet - if you felt better after 2 weeks, chances are you had some kind of gluten intolerance.

I had tried everything else, including prescription medication which wasn't helping. I still had "episodes". I was coming up on 9 years since the symptoms first started. I changed my diet to gluten free on a weekend and by Monday I FELT FANTASTIC! It even affected my mood.

While it was difficult to find stuff to eat that had no wheat, barley or rye in it (did you know licorice has wheat in it - wheat in licorice!) I felt so much better. I continued eating this way until I visited my doctor in March. I told her what I had done, that I felt so much better, and the information I read. To her credit, she considered this and sent me for a blood test.

The blood test came back POSITIVE FOR CELIAC DISEASE! I felt so happy to finally have the correct diagnosis; I hated the fact that I have this disease but at least I now knew what was causing my issues. Pretty sad that I had to diagnose myself - but I do believe that we know our own bodies best.

While I've been able to find substitutes for most of the food I like, bread has always been a trial and error process. After finding Sisters Three Gluten Free and following on Twitter, I was given the opportunity to test one of their breads. The mix was easy for even me to handle and this bread tasted really good!

Most gluten free bread is small - it's like having a tea sandwich. This bread I tried from Sisters Three rose to the size of a regular loaf of bread. I sliced a couple of pieces for a sandwich this week and it was so nice to actually eat a real sandwich again. This weekend I am going to try it as french toast, and I can't wait!

Please visit their website at http://www.sistersthreeglutenfree.com/ to see the other items they carry. It is a great feeling to know that I can eat a good bread again!

Another Design Ties Giveaway!

Design Ties is at it again!! Another giveaway! I must say that this is one of my all-time favorite giveaways I've come across because I LOVE tassels! They are one of my favorite trim items. I use them all over my house to add interest and color to areas where there might not normally be any (i.e. lamps, draw pulls, armoire knobs).

This little purple beauty above is one of many made by Angela at The Tassel House (you will find the link to her Etsy site on Design Ties blog). After visiting her site, I think this one is my favorite:

For some reason, the link button won't work for me right now.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Free Quart Of Paint From Glidden! Get Over There!

I love, love, love FREE stuff! Paint is no exception!

Glidden is giving away a free quart of egg shell finish paint in a color of your choice. Here is the website. Get going over there, pick your color and order it! They will ship it right to you.

What are you still doing here - GO!
Here's the fine print:

Terms & Conditions
This promotional offer is only available on glidden.com or by calling 1-800-GLIDDEN
Offer good through July 2, 2009 or while supplies last
One quart per household
Quart is Eggshell finish
Continental U.S. only
No P.O. boxes
No military APO or FPO addresses
Valid e-mail address required

Item Of The Week ~ Patio Umbrellas

Photo courtesy of patioumbrellas.com

I may be being overly optimistic here ~ it's been cloudy and raining non-stop on Long Island and, before I build and decorate an ark, I need to turn my mind to sunny days!

Check out all the different designs and colors patio umbrellas come in these days. I love not only the pagoda style of the black & white umbrella, but also the fact that it's black & white.

Photo courtesy of cushionsandumbrellas.com

This umbrella (above) looks almost like a lamp with it's drum-look shape. Love the vibrant colors.

Photo courtesy of awningscenter.com

This one reminds me of a circus tent (above)! I love the teal/aqua/turquoise one in the photo below.
Photo courtesy of tropitone.com
Just make sure you close your umbrella up tightly on windy, stormy days! They do have a tendency to lift up like projectiles (not that I had a broken bathroom window that was hit by one and then landed bending the whole umbrella up).
Photo courtesy of patioumbrellas.com

The picture above is an umbrella in my favorite color, but even more important, it is where I'd love to be right now!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Exclusively Yours Interiors Blog Giveaway

Tiaa of Exclusively Yours Interiors has posted a rug giveaway on her blog!

Offered is one of these Surya Rugs to her loyal readers. These 2’3”x 4’3” have such great warm colors and would work well in any decor.

I like the second one myself! For your chance to win one of these rugs, click here to head on over to Tiaa's blog and read the rules. This is a "can't miss out on" giveaway!

Elsie De Wolfe ~ Inspiring Decorator

Elsie De Wolfe

Elsie De Wolfe has been described as the first lady of interior decoration. She was the first woman to create an occupation as a designer where none had existed before.

Elsie De Wolfe was born in 1865 and did not begin her career as an interior decorator until she was 40. Her earlier years were spent as a stage actress, not the most favorably looked upon occupation of a lady from the Victorian era.

In Elsie's time, houses were decorated in high Victorian style; gloomy decors, densely patterned wallpapers and heavy velvet drapes were replaced with rooms that were painted in light, fresh colors or wallpapered in Chinoiserie prints. Elsie said, "I opened the doors and windows of America and let the air and sunshine in."

She loved the look of 18th centry English and French furnishings, choosing (for the first time in America) softly upholstered chairs, which someone could actually sit comfortably in. By removing most of the clutter (that some refer to as ugly) that accompanied the Victorian style of decorating, she opened spaces up for entertaining. It has been said that Elsie De Wolfe introduced society to the cocktail party and the small intimate dinner party.

An Elsie De Wolfe room

It was Elsie who introduced the comfortable chaise lounge, delicate writing tables, potted palms and Persian rugs. She replaced grim Victorian era wall art and pictures with delicately framed mirrors in silver and gold gilded frames. She also brought in faux finish treatments and animal prints. Sounds to me like a woman ahead of her time!

Elsie De Wolfe was not considered a "beauty", but she kept fit, dressed well and stayed healthy. Her personal presentation was impeccable. Her decorative influence was the first to sell a concept that revolved around lifestyle.

An Elsie De Wolfe room

Elsie De Wolfe has said, "I was an ugly child and I lived in an ugly age. From the moment I was conscious of ugliness, my one preoccupation was to find my way out of it. In my escape, I came to the meaning of beauty."

What a fascinating woman she must have been!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Color Psychology, My Favorite Color & How I Used Both

We've all heard how certain colors should be used in certain rooms, i.e. red for kitchens and dining rooms to stimulate appetite and conversation. I thought about this when it came time to paint our master bedroom.

Photo courtesy of Dennis Design Group

I had found a jacquard fabric I loved on eBay in a blue gray color (the seamstress who made my drapes called it a "blue grass"). I had stationery panels made for the windows and decided to paint the bedroom a dark teal and the adjoining sitting room/closet combo a light teal. I was looking for a relaxing, spa-like feel to help us leave the stress outside and be able to fall asleep.

The sitting room/closet color came out great and I was very happy with it. However, the dark teal really looked a bit aqua, which was not what I was going for at all. I actually felt unsettled in the room with this color, like I should be constantly moving or doing something. After doing some checking around I found a color that seemed to fit what I was looking for ~ Sherwin Williams' Martha Stewart paint called Milk Pail. This time I did a paint sample on the wall. I still loved it.

So began the repainting of the room. It has been about 3 years now and I am still so happy with this color that when we down-size to another house, I have told my hubby I am planning on using this color in our master bedroom there too. He likes it as well (a major plus for me). I always feel relaxed in this room now and it is very soothing and conducive to sleep. Waking up is not jarring, as the color is so soft on the eye.

Here are some "before" and "after" pictures.

The only problem is Sherwin Williams doesn't carry the Martha Stewart paint line anymore. I do have some paint left over and will most likely have to have it color matched. That's okay by me, as long as I get the relaxing, stress-free, spa-like color I've been enjoying in my current home.

Copyright 2009 Kathy Passarette, Creative Home Expressions - content and pictures.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Design Ties Giveaway

Design Ties is having a West Coast Giveaway here.

Victoria picked up a little something while on her mini-holiday to give away. Description as follows:

"Sitting on a soap dish made from black rocks like those that make up the shore line of Ucluelet (except much smaller!) is a handcrafted bar of Sea Wench Soap made in the Ucluelet/Tofino area -- all natural soap that smells amazingly unique! The photo I’ve taken above showcases the dish & soap with a couple of special-to-us keepsakes from our hikes along the shore: black & green rocks that nestle perfectly together and an interesting piece of driftwood."

You just need to comment on any one of Victoria's posts. Thank you Victoria for thinking of others - even on vacation!

Good luck!

Blog Of The Week ~ Shop Bella Vita

This week's blog focus is on Shop Bella Vita. Bella Vita is a gifts and interior design shop located in Collierville, Tennessee. From walls to table to bed, Bella Vita has all facets of decorating your home covered!

This display (above) incorporates a couple of my favorite colors!

This is a link to their gallery of pictures: http://shopbellavita.com/GalleryTemp/ Some gorgeous stuff here!

Check out Shop Bella Vita's blog and website - they have some beautiful things and Collierville, Tennessee is lucky to have them!

Copyright 2009 Kathy Passarette, Creative Home Expressions

Sunday, June 21, 2009

And The Winner Is . . . . .

Okay, this will be the last time you all see this Flip Flop Rug that was offered in my giveaway this week ~ well, except for one person!

I really hate when people keep you in suspense when there is a drawing or prize to be won. Don't you?

I'm hoping to be able to bring you a giveaway each month. I'm also hoping to get some people to offer their wares for the giveaway. I'll let you know how that goes. I'd be interested to hear some of the things you would like to see as giveaways.

I'll also be alerting you to giveaways that others are offering that I might come across.

Now that I can't hold off any longer! The winner of the Flip Flop Rug is . . . .

My son picking the winner.

Balloons and confetti are unleashed here for you Carma!

CONGRATULATIONS! I'll be sending your address on to CSN Rugs so they can send it right onto you! Enjoy!

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Looking For More Giveaways ~ Interested?

As my first giveaway has come to an end, I am thinking ahead to offering another. In case you missed the first one - it was here. I'll be posting the winner sometime tomorrow! Good luck to everyone and thanks for commenting on all my posts this week.

I'd like to offer a monthly giveaway, BUT you need things to give away!

So I'd like to put out a call to any bloggers who are artists or shopowners, any retailers who might be looking to reach customers in a different and unique way, anyone who has something legitimate to sell or wants to bring attention to their merchandise, and of course, items that will work with my blog. You can contact me via email at kathyp@creativehomeexpressions.com and put "Giveaway" in the subject line, and I'll get back to you about what I'm looking to do. If you agree, we're in business!

End of my shameless request for giveaways items - back to your regularly scheduled blog reading!

Friday, June 19, 2009

Item Of The Week ~ Accent Tables

Accent tables ~ they come in many sizes and shapes to fit any spot, big or small that could use a table to place a lamp, a book, a drink. They come in all different colors, wood stains, and are made of a variety of materials.

When I am dealing with a lot of straight lines in a client's home, I am prone to recommend round tables to help take the edge off. Here is a mix of accent tables in many styles and many price ranges.

This accent table is from MacKenzie-Childs and retails for $1,650.00. Painted furniture is very popular and, if you have a bit of talent and creativity, you could paint your own accent table from a yard sale or basement find.

This curvy legged piece is from Pier 1 and retails for $129.95. A great fit for any room and I even like to use them in large master baths to hold towels and bath items near a deep soaking tub.

This photo shows a fairly traditional table from Pottery Barn which retails for $179-199.00, depending on the color you choose. I have used this table several times in clients' homes. The price is affordable, it fits in most rooms very well as a side table, and has a large enough surface to hold a lamp and a few other items.

This multi-faceted, mirrored table is from West Elm and retails for $199.00. This table will add a little bit of modern glam and would work great in a bedroom.
For those who like something a little different or as a conversation starter, this table from Bellacor retails for $267.75. This might make a nice entry table, with just enough room to hold keys and mail on its top.

This neat modern looking table comes from Target and retails for $129.99. It is only available online. This table won't take up a lot of visual room with it's sinewy base shape and glass top.

This table is probably the least expensive of this grouping. From Ikea, it retails for $19.99, and with its pedestal base and round top will fit in with just about any decor. It's also inexpensive enough that if you chose to, you could paint it.

Don't forget to check out some of your local favorites. We have Home Goods here, but you could also check with Tuesday Morning, Marshalls, TJ Maxx, and any other home discount store.

Copyright 2009 Kathy Passarette, Creative Home Expressions
**Don't forget every comment on our posts this week gives you entry into our Giveaway (ends Saturday at 5:00 p.m.)! Giveaway post is most likely on page 2 now, so you may have to look for it!
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