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Thursday, May 14, 2009

Getting to know Paula Grace

I am thinking you may want to know a bit more about me before you commit to my blog. I will let you further in by sharing some great folks with you – I will do that from time to time - and by inviting you to my 2008 Christmas Party – so to speak – hey, there is always the 2009 party….

I mentioned in my last blog about our family photo over the fireplace. The photographer who took that is very talented artist who I adore. Her work is stellar. Her name is
Bonnie Horseman. She is based in the Washington, DC area.

She has taken all of my personal pictures on my website and all of the family photos in my home. She is amazing. I am not very photogenic. It is a fact. I’ve learned to live with it. However, Bonnie seems to bring out the best in me. Got to love that! Here I am with my daughter, Lauren. Lauren is beautiful, beautiful. That means on the inside and out. I will try not to talk about Lauren too much over the course of time, but I cannot make any promises.

Let me introduce you a bit more to Bonnie via the 2008 Paula Grace Designs, Inc. Christmas Party. Bonnie came to the party and took pictures. What a night! Food, drink, wonderful people. I am very fortunate to have the best clients! Fun, fun, fun!

Ms. Christy and Me.

The Mahoneys with their latest addition. Adorable.

Bonnie took a picture of her work. This is in my family room. It is the wall that is not seen in my last entry. Again, Lauren. The many faces of beautiful Lauren. The vase in the corner is on the 5” shelf.

Ashna, Vikki (clients and friends) and my daughter’s wonderful teacher, Jill.


W & Me.

The handsome man on the right is my husband, Jim. Lovely lady in the middle, Tammy.

This is
Eddie Mason – my trainer. What a great guy! He is a former Washington Redskins and now professional trainer extraordinaire. I love the design I did for their home.

This is Dr. Judy Hanley (on left) and Julie Hoyt.

I am on the Board of Directors of the
Loudoun Abused Women Shelter (LAWS). It is a very well-rounded service delivery agency for victims of abuse. Dr. Hanley is the Director of the Loudoun County Child Advocacy Center (CAC) – which falls under the umbrella of LAWS. Julie Hoyt is a wonderful artist / muralist.

When I first heard about the opening of the CAC, I knew I had to be involved. I asked Judy what I may do to help. She gave me a tour of the windowless space. She did not have any office furniture, there was no art, there was minimal storage, and Judy’s legs ached from the counter height chair with no foot rest she had to do her work on. There was also no money in their budget to solve these problems.

The actual interview room was small by design but there needed to be some way for children to display their drawings. Judy had an easel but when the easel was in the interview room, the room shrunk to an uncomfortable size.

Hmmm, I can fix all of that,” I said. First we discussed what lamps (light bulbs) Judy can use to help with the lack of sunlight. Next, enter Kris, my painter / carpenter, (not pictured at the party – a family emergency occurred the same night as the party). I asked him to put magnetic paint on the walls of the interview room, underneath the beautiful blue hue Judy had chosen. When drawings need to be displayed, they could simply hang them on any wall with a magnet. Next, Judy and I worked together to select furniture, art, and storage. All of that arrived and was placed. Thank you to my wonderful vendors who stepped up to the plate to help with this – Paragon Arts, Zagaroli, and Office Source. My framer, installer, and a local paint store all pitched in too. We were quite a team.

However, there were still no windows. Enter Julie. Julie is fabulous! I asked her if she could paint a scene for the waiting room that would be seen should a window exist – “Sure!” I asked Kris if he could build a window – “Sure!” What a guy! And a window was born. Here is a link to a story in the
Washington Post about the CAC.

You can see Julie and Kris’ great window in the photo gallery. Please also read about the CAC.

In the interview room, there was also, no window. Art was difficult to select as it could not be evocative in any way. Really what we wanted to do was to comfort. Julie painted beautiful clouds on the walls. It was just the touch that was needed.

Everyone one involved did a great job. Judy does a great job everyday with the CAC.

You will hear more about LAWS in future blogs.

Julie’s company is called Embellish and she can be reached at 703-930-8402. She works in the greater Washington, DC area. Here are some pictures of other wonderful work she has done. If you have looked at my Interiors page, you may recognize this as my home.

Julie both stenciled and free-handed the silver wall art. The picture does not do it justice – the detail is incredible and she used her signature crystal studs to emphasize many of the curves. At night with the lights on, the wall shimmers and sparkles. Simply beautiful.

In my daughter’s room, Julie completed a mural with trees, flowers, a rainbow, and clouds. You can see her magnificent clouds here. This is where Judy got the idea for the clouds in the interview room at CAC. Julie really delivered.

But the crème-de-la-crème is below. I have a typical basement. It is a walk-out, yes. But, it what the heck does one do with those pesky little windows at the ceiling line. Well, I have a trick or two. For my basement, I created symmetrical large faux windows. I needed scenes for my windows. For the faux window with the pesky little window, Julie painted an outdoor scene should there actually be a window there incorporating the bush seen though the window. For the other faux window, there is no better scene than my daughter – now I have her looking in from the outside. Please excuse the crudeness of these pictures – I took them myself with my little Canon.

There's my window.

There’s my girl. Julie is really amazing.

Another short story - this time about Judy. I had lunch with Judy the other day. I enjoy our lunches so much. I get to use descriptive language from my previous professional and she understands it – wow! Anyway, Judy told me about her bedroom. She originally had a queen size bed in the room with little else. “But the room is so big,” she thought. So Judy and her husband bought a king size bed complete with head & foot boards and several accompanying pieces. Judy reports, “There is not a day that goes by that we don’t bump ourselves on the end of the bed, we are black and blue all the time.” I may need to look at this room – I don’t want my friend to be black and blue everyday. This is a story about scale and proportion.

Back to the photos-

This is Bob Narod. Since I oo-ed and ah-ed over Bonnie and her work, it is only fair, I introduce you to
Bob Narod. He does my architectural photography. Most of the pictures on my website were done by Bob. He is a lot of fun! He also is an amazing photographer.

If you ever need someone to take photos of your home, he’s the man for the job.

Ok, so now you have met me, my daughter, my husband, my trainer, some clients, friends, photographers, one of my artists, and even my daughter’s teacher. You also know I am on the Board of Directors of LAWS.

Another fact about me – it is on the Working with You page:

“Paula Grace Designs, Inc. has a conviction in recycling and giving to the community. When you engage in specifications and purchasing services, on your behalf, we will make the suitable furniture you no longer need available for reuse. We will transport upholstered furniture (e.g. sofas, love seats, ottomans, etc.) and case goods (e.g. end and coffee tables, dining furniture, chests, etc.) to a local charity and provide you with the receipt for tax purposes.”

And another fact - it is on my Beautiful Home Store page:

"Paula Grace Designs, Inc. has a conviction in giving to the community. When you make a purchase through Paula Grace Designs, Inc. Beautiful Home Store, a percentage of the profit is donated to charity. Paula Grace Designs, Inc. supports charities specifically focused on the welfare of children."

Yes, I feel that strongly about these things.

“All right, all right… but can the chick design and tell us important stuff?” That is what I’d be thinking right about now if I was reading.

Yes, I can and will.

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