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Saturday, March 31, 2012

Delicious Guacamole

We love guacamole. Tonight we're getting together with friends and I made my wonderful guacamole. Then I thought... 'I'll share my recipe with all my friends.' The original recipe came from foodnetwork.com but I changed it to better suit my family's taste. Is that a picture of my guacamole.. well, no. My batch is in a not so pretty Tupperware container in the refrigerator but it looks an awful lot like the picture above! It is a very easy recipe....

6 nicely ripe avocados
1 lime juiced
1 lemon juiced (half juiced to add; half juiced to pour on top)
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/2 sweet onion (such as Vadalia or Mayan) diced
2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon for topping chopped fresh cilantro (or 1 tablespoon dried plus 1/2 teaspoon)
2 cloves garlic minced

Halve the avocados and spoon out meat. Mash with potato masher (that is Lauren's favorite part). Fold in all remaining ingredients well.

At this point you may place in a container and refrigerate. It is best to let the flavors marry for at least one hour.

When you are close to serving, take it out of the refrigerator and bring up to room temperature. Place in serving bowl and top with juice of 1/2 a lemon and chopped cilantro.

Serve with pita chips or veggies (such as baby carrots, sliced cucumber, and baby sweet peppers).


Thursday, March 29, 2012

Dining Room Installation

If you read my blog on Monday, you would have seen the living room installation. Here goes the dining room. First, a little sparkle from crystal finials from JF Fabric and Hardware. I love the glitter is sprays on the wall.

There's Joe this time finishing the drapes so they look perfect.

Those little guys are helping.... again!

What a mess! All installations start out looking like this. Love the cabinet from John Richard though.

That's better. That is a heavy mirror (also from John Richard) so special hardware was needed and patience to put it up. Jeff and Joe were up to the challenge. It needs a little something....

That's better. The glass art is from Cyan Design.

Gorgeous chair from Hickory Chair (so is the table). The grand vase is from Emissary.

I love the Currey chandelier. It makes everything glow. Chess pieces are from Palecek. We're just awaiting the green glass art bowl for the centerpiece. It's coming from Italy so it has a ways to travel.

There we go! Now you see the purple rhythm in one shot. We had a bit of a surprise with the dining chair fabric (not the purple ones). The original fabric from Lee Jofa was completely damaged ~ every stitch of it sent to Hickory Chair for the dining chairs and every bit of it in every colorway in stock (I had them check). The fabric was discontinued (hmmm.... wonder why?!!). It's a shame though; it was quite beautiful. It really wasn't a reflection on Lee Jofa; moreso the mill. No worries though. My pals at Schumacher came through. I had two lovely ladies in the showroom looking with me at every possibility. We came up with e true winner. Kravet still has its day as I used one of their fabrics for the inside back and seat. They will arrive shortly so the Italian bowl still has a few days to make it's appearance.

Details, details... It's all in the details.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Living Room Installation

Last week I did an installation at one of my long time clients' home. You may remember the cutie pie above from another post...

That's her from the Tween Room. Now she's helping out with the living and dining room installations. I actually asked her politely to get off the drapes in the first picture. That's how she looked at me. Kind of like my 9 year old when I ask her to clean her room ~ perplexed!

Here's Jeff installing the gorgeous silk drapes. Oo la la!

And the art work. Every time Jeff, Joe, and I do an installation we have fun. I am very particular about how art is hung and we are forever adjusting to make it perfect.


I love the connection between the chandelier from Visual Comfort and the wine cabinet from John Richard. The shape of the chandelier is repeated in the cabinet. Lovely rhythm.

Did I happen to mention there are two of them? Adorable! They always try the new furniture first. Always!

There are two missing pieces of furniture ~ the cocktail table and the other green chair, both from Hickory Chair. My green chair went to Lilian August and I received her Virginia Chair. Well if there had to be a mistake at least my chair was in good hands. No worries, her chair and my chair are being swapped as I type. As soon as the two missing pieces are placed its time to accessorize.

Later this week I'll show you the dining room installation and a picture from the foyer installation, which I love. Stay tuned!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Thank You Houzz Community!

houzz interior design ideas

Houzz held their very first "Best of Remodeling" awards. A very big thank you to the Houzz Community for voting Paula Grace Designs, Inc. "Best in 2012" in the Design Category.

I love Houzz!

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Elizabeth Lyons at Architectural Digest Home Design Show

If you read my blog, you know I love glass. Elizabeth Lyons is one of my favorite glass artists. She's from my home town, Rochester, New York. Above are the Petite Trios.

She creates these amazing bottles in the most vibrant colors. The ones above are known as Twilight. I love the sky blazing with these colors. The ones below are called Vineyard.

I love the saturation level she reaches. Elizabeth also does soft ethereal hues as seen ion Water Color Wash below. If you're heading to the Architectural Digest Home Design Show, stop by Elizabeth's booth and see for your self just how gorgeous her art is.


Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Traditional Wings

I have always loved wing chairs. There is something about them that makes me want to curl up with a soft, warm blanket, a hot cup of tea and a good book. There have been all kinds of interpretations of the classic wing chair. They all have there place. My eye always leans towards the traditional when it comes to a wing. It's classicism I enjoy the most. Here are a few of my favorites. Above is the Elliot Wing Chair from Hickory Chair. I'll never forget the first time I saw this chair. The lines on it are extraordinary. I was with my friend Pam at High Point Market and she exclaimed, "I think that's the prettiest chair I've ever seen."

The one above is from Bentley Churchill. The Huntington Wing Chair. I love the way the wing is rounded. I consider this to be feminine in style. The one below...

also by Bentley Churchill is on the masculine side. It is quite grand yet can still fit into smaller spaces given its width. This is the Retreat Wing Chair. Even the name beckons me.

How about this classic shape for places where rattan is in order. The Soleil Wing Chair from Palecek. See one can still have a wing chair in the solarium. The one below is even more traditional...

also by Palecek, the Sweaterweave Wing Chair. Sweaterweave... it all still makes me want to curl up in it and turn the pages of an actual book... you know the kind with the paper pages ;-)

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Skip Sroka

This is the work of my friend Skip Sroka, interior designer extraordinaire. This project is featured on the Home & Design website right now so you can read all about it. When I came across these pictures though, I thought they were exceptional examples of the principles and elements of good design. Case in point, the room above is a perfect example of how symmetry done well makes for calm and pleasing outcome. The palette also lends itself to the classic as these neutrals will never tire. Note the ceiling in this first picture, the subtle architectural detail, and how it is carried throughout for wonderful interest and flow. This gradation is also seen on the fireplace surround. Lovely rhythm.

The softness of the palette is remarkable showing perfect restraint. I love the floor detail. It is not overpowering; it is simple, elegant, and classic.

The ethereal beauty of the palette and furnishings is so calming.

The banquette is so inviting in this room it just draws me in. I literally want to spend time here.

Soft, spa-like.

Note the repeat motif from the hard wood floor in the dining room on the carpeting. What a wonderful connection from the public to private space.

This home will be as in style in 10 years as it is right now. Why? Because of the attention to detail and excellent editing. The most complex pattern seen is still organized and repeated in at least two places. This makes the senses happy ~ they note the familiar pattern and feel comforted at the same time a bit exhilarated from the punctuation. Simply magnificent. But that's Skip. Kudos!

Thursday, March 8, 2012

March 23rd, 2012 ~ Be Here!

On March 23rd at 7:00 PM, there is a charity event benefiting the Loudoun Abused Women's Shelter (LAWS) and the Child Advocacy Center (CAC). Casino Night at the Lansdowne Resort. If you live in Loudoun County Virginia, here is a great way to support your neighbors in need. Their services are comprehensive and extraordinary. Paula Grace Designs, Inc. is a sponsor of the event and I co-lead groups there. I'll be at Casino Night with great friends, wonderful music, food, drink, and games! Hope to see you there!

Tickets my be purchased on their website by clicking here.

BTW ~ love this song!

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Adorable and Versatile

I love these stools or ottomans or benches or.... from Arteriors Home. So many uses, so little time!
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