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Saturday, July 31, 2010

Crime Against Nature

Ok ~ I am not one to speak ill of another. I completely understand wanting to watch television. I, myself, an immersed in So You Think You Can Dance. However there is a place to stop and take in your surroundings, breath in fresh air, and enjoy the company of others. That place is outside on one's patio or deck. I can't tell you how I have enjoyed endless conversation with friends while sipping wine on my deck. The picture above is, in my opinion, a crime against nature. The stone work is impeccable; the kitchen divine; the stack supporting the television blocking one appears to be a magnificent view ~ awful to me on many levels. Does one really need a television everywhere one goes??!!

I wrote a post about round dining table and how they promote the art of conversation. I believe in that art!! I am all for technology but I fear we're losing some of the things that make us human. I saw a commercial the other day that scared me. It was for I believe a new phone with many features. The commercial started with what appeared to be astronauts. They entered a room with a floating rock. One stuck his hand inside of it. Out came the new phone product. Then his hand and arm turned into a robotic appendage. I was appalled. The last thing I want to do is turn into a robot but I fear sometimes that we are.

I was at the pool yesterday. Kids were laughing and splashing. I saw their dutiful parents sitting on the pool's edge examining their iPhone or Blackberry. Really??!! I wanted to say "Watch your child not only for safety reasons but they grow so fast ~ enjoy them NOW!" Now trust me, I have a Blackberry. I have looked at it at inappropriate times. But I also have a confident little girl who speaks eloquently about her feelings. "Mom," she says, "it hurts me when you are more interested in your phone than in me." OUCH! For me and her. "Sorry my love."

I'd love to know your thoughts about this...

Friday, July 30, 2010

I couldn't agree more!

You all know how much I love to read the Washington Post on Thursday at lunch time. Yesterday was no exception.

Newell Turner's first House Beautiful is out! This is not the cover but what a fantastic cover this is!

Terry Sapienza did a great interview with Mr. Turner. His words of wisdom are fabulous. He knows who he is. We see eye to eye on the space thing and how to really sample paint colors. I have given that advise to clients hundreds of times. I think I even blogged about it. I love House Beautiful and I feel it is in good hands. Give the interview a read. It's short and sweet.

I thought I was a guest writer today on Finding Fabulous ~ um ~ no. It was yesterday that I was to guest write. I didn't get my post to her until last night ~ I had my wires crossed. Silly me! Jane, being very gracious, is running it next Tuesday. Stay tuned.

Enjoy your weekend!

Thursday, July 29, 2010

It's the Simple Things ~

Today is a studio day for me so I am in a tee shirt and shorts ~ comfy, comfy! I also had time to make our beds this morning. Imagine that?!! I really do not like having un-made beds in my home.

Lately my beds have looked more like these than the one at the top. There is something spectacular to me about clean, crisp sheets in a neat bed that I adore. Every time I wash the sheets, I get into bed and say ~ out loud ~ "Ah, clean sheets." My husband always echos me. These thoughts led me to the song "these are a few of my favorite things...." You know the song ~ from the Sound of Music...

Well, here is one of mine ~ beautiful bedding, crisp, clean, soft sheets, neat as a pin ...

On good days, this is what my bed looks like ...

On busy days... well... you don't need to see that. You get the picture ;-)

So, made bed, un-made bed ~ which are you?

Guess what?!! Tomorrow I'm a guest writer on Jane's wonderful blog Finding Fabulous. Isn't that the perfect name for a blog? Jane was so lovely to ask me. Come back tomorrow and check it out (here or there :-)

All made beds are compliments of Wildcat Territory Bedding. The un-made beds are compliments of busy folks like me.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

What am I up to?

Why am I so busy? Well for starters, I am working on several large projects. Here's a sneak peak at one. Don't get too excited :)

These are before pictures. My lovely clients purchased a beautiful older home in Northern Virginia with fabulous grounds. The original owner was an ambassador. I know this because I spent some time with the second owner of the home who sold it to my clients. I wanted to know more about the structure, the bones, the secrets of the home. The seller lived in the home for 35 years so she knew a GREAT deal about the home and was happy to share. I learned more than my clients and we are using that knowledge for our benefit.

At the time the home was built, rooms were compartmentalized. The 'great room' had not yet been introduced. The previous owner liked it so it remained so for their time there. They did complete two wonderful additions but the kitchen and family room remained divided. Enter a family with children. They do not want the divide. They do not like the dated look. They are cooks so functionality is paramount!

The design has been approved and the details are being attended to.... custom cabinetry, hood, and back splash all signed off on ~ love that! So how does it look now?

YIKES! ~ No worries, everything that was reuseable (cabinets, appliances) were removed carefully and donated.
Ok! ~ now we can see what we're dealing with.
Ahhh! ~ the joy of moving ~ NOT!
Phew! ~ the gorgeous stone fireplace remains!
At least someone is enjoying the current state of affairs.

Seriously... it will look very much like this when all is said and done...

Honest! I know it looks like a bomb went off but give it time and TLC and the true beauty will be revealed. I'll keep you posted.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Dave Matthews and Zac Brown Bands

Last night my husband and I went with friends to see the Dave Matthews and Zac Brown Bands. Excellent show. Dave Matthews played one of my favorite songs by them ~ Two Step. I danced like a teenager to that one. Zac Brown's Band was incredible. Such a talented group of musicians and voices. Here's a little taste of what I saw. Enjoy!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Fun Friday ~ Pink

You all know I love music. It has the power to lift and the power to move. I recently bought Pink's latest album and I must say I am loving it. Pink has the reputation for being a bad ass ~ which she is ~ however, I think at times it does her a disservice. Pink has one of the most amazing voices I have ever heard. She can sing with the emotion like no other. She sang Glitter in the Air at the Grammys. You may have seen it. The presentation made it difficult to appreciate the song. Let me tell you, when I heard the song for the first time on the CD, I was mesmerized. It is the kind of song you never want to end. I could have put the Grammy performance up but I didn't. Instead I looked at several renditions on You Tube and chose the one I felt best represented the song ~ at least to me. Play it loud ~ it is the best way to appreciate Pink's exquisite voice.

Enjoy your weekend.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Busy Lady

So sorry for the lack of posts. I thought I would explain. Well, it all started at the beginning of the year when I hired for several large projects. I am loving them. I'll tell you more in later posts. So I have been quite the designing woman....
No no... not that kind of designing woman, this kind...

You all know about this...

Lots and lots time! And we can never ever leave out...

So there you have it. My life in a nutshell. On my blog, I have decided to show more of my work (and the process), still show new products, and of course, great work by others. But the Timeless Tuesday got old ~ quickly. I still adore Monday's Methods so if you do have a design dilemma, by all means drop me a note at paula@paulagracedesigns.com with photos or leave a general question in a comment.

What do you think? More work, less fluff?

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Katherine Rally

Katherine Rally is a company that seems to be at ease. They emailed me and said ~ Hey, check us out! So I did. Katherine is an interior designer. Rally is an architect. I read their story ~ they high tailed it out of here when the economy sank. They didn't just leave, they went on an adventure ~ to live in a magnificent world known at Bali. Dare to dream. They started their own company hand making lovely batiks. They turn these cotton/linens into pillows, table clothes, napkins, or beautiful wall art. Yes, you can just get the fabric too. The colors are vibrant; the patterns interesting with fabulous motifs. Take a look...

This wall art is stunning! Of course where the art is placed in the country that it is may be having an impact on my psyche. I just want to be there admiring it in person :-)

Still the motif's scale really speaks to me. I am loving the large scale right now. Its very powerful to me, very impactful. One other important piece of information ~ the fabric is machine washable in warm water and you can dry it in the dryer using low heat. That is a fabulous asset if you ask me!

So tell me ~ what do you think?

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

One or Two?

Kitchen eclectic kitchen

hhbradys ideabook kitchen eclectic kitchen

Kitchen eclectic kitchen

Hunter Residence eclectic kitchen

Hunter Residence eclectic kitchen

KitchenLab eclectic kitchen

I am doing three kitchens right now so I am looking at inspiration photos from Houzz. I'm pretty firm on the one level island. I don't like the two level. I think it wastes precious space and makes the room as a whole appear closed. Here's the question ~ one large island or two smaller ones. What's your preference and why?
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