Friday, November 30, 2012

Birthday Wish List

(Most sources, here.  Pendant and rug, here.  Wallpaper, here.)

Some of these wishes have been long on the list, others are more or less today's hankerings.  We don't do a lot of gifting around birthdays these days (we all have PLENTY, and this is fine), but it's fun to make a list.  Like buying a lottery ticket for the dream of what you would do with the winnings, on a much smaller scale.

Having a December birthday is a mixed blessing: on the one hand, any gifts all happen at once; on the other hand, opportunities abound for doubling up!

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Sneak peek: fireplace before and after

 I (mostly) wrapped this project last week, and I'm looking forward to taking pictures in the daylight to share with you.  The biggest makeover in the space  was rethinking the fireplace.


While I will admit I kind of love the mantel, the stone slabs were terrible, the overall scale was wrong for the room (too short and wide), and the style was fighting with the simple shaker lines of the adjacent kitchen.  Plus the client just didn't like it.


The square format tiles are mission-inspired and the dark color grounds the room.  My favorite thing might be the coppery listello, that decorative tile that runs between the tile surround and the mantel (and also rings the tiled hearth.)  We used solid cherry to fit in with the trim throughout the house, and we created a more-square proportion and a very substantial profile.

What do you think?  I love the way it holds up the room!

Monday, November 26, 2012

Lamps in the kitchen

One of the major design flaws of our house (which is mostly smart, modern, and efficient) is a lack of windows in the kitchen.  Technically, the kitchen and dining room are one large space, and there is a huge window in the dining room, but the kitchen itself is lacking.

When we moved in, we immediately added a light-colored tile backsplash (over the grey paint of the previous owners) and under-cabinet lights to keep the galley space bright.  But sometimes even that is not enough, and I recently tossed a lamp down on the island, where it has remained.  I love it.  At night it offers a soft glow when we are in the adjacent rooms, and in the now-dark 5 o'clock dinner hour, things are much cozier.

My husband made six different kinds of ribs yesterday, which means my kitchen is not ready for its close-up today, but this cell phone picture from the taste-test gives you an idea of the lamp effect.

Photo: Ribs 6 ways.  Sauce 5 ways.  And I think  David Peterson made scorecards.

And my daughter drew this picture last week.

(I love that in her version the island has nothing but a fruit bowl and a lamp.  In real life it generally also has keys, sunglasses, painted rocks, letters made from glued-together popsicle sticks, and errant pieces of robotics.)

Here are some fancier examples.  What do you think: can you get behind this look?

Kitchenette by Jeffrey Bilhuber, spotted on

Source: via Heather on Pinterest

Designer Barry Benson's own kitchen. Originally seen in Domino

And Ally recently added to her bulldog collection witht his lamp on From The Right Bank.

Hope you had an excellent holiday weekend.  After taking the weekend completely off, I am hitting the ground running, right now!

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Winner, winner TURKEY dinner

I have no idea where the chicken dinner expression came from, but it seems only right to turn it to turkey today.

Anyway, the winner of the Novica gift card is comment number 8, from KellyR78!

For the rest of you, if you happened to fall in love with something from Novica, they are offering a sale right now.

Enjoy your turkey day!

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Giving Thanks (Sneak Peek)

As we head in to the holidays, I find myself thinking of all that makes me grateful.
It is going on two years since I started this blog, and I am sometimes floored that I am nearing 600 posts and still have things to say.

To you I say: thank you for reading.

To my clients I say: thank you for entrusting me with your homes.

To my family I say: thank you for supporting this learning process, thank you for your confidence, and thank you for your patience.

I knew there was no turning back on the blog when I showed you this.

And while I have not actually carried through any of the ideas in that post, I have made improvements.  Sometimes you just have to clean up and dig some leftovers out of the basement to make a space a little better.

While it does not look like some awesome laundry room from a magazine, the addition of my husband's old concert poster and a rug a friend brought us from Africa, the laundry room at least looks like it belongs to the two of us.

Throw in some monoprints my kids made at the butterfly festival with their grandparents, and the space looks like it belongs to the FOUR of us.

And really, isn't that what home is all about?

Happy Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Bamboo Bonanza

You know how you find something only when you stop looking?  (Like my daughter's ballet slippers, which turned up this morning behind her bed after she danced in tights at class last night?)

I've been keeping an eye out for a bigger dresser for my girls.  Their clothes are literally bigger and bigger, and their drawers are getting tight.  For reference, this is the room (basically) as it is now:

And this is the dresser.

For months, there was nothing out there that I liked.  all of a sudden, bam!  A bonanza of vintage bamboo options.

Oh, what's a mom to do?

Kind of pricey at $425, but Thomasville, so solid.

Comes with a nightstand for $200

Also includes a nightstand, $100  (This might be my favorite, though it does not add much storage)

Or, for another direction, this one from Drexel:


OR, if I wanted to stick with the campaign look but continue to feel too lazy to paint the one I have, there is this set.

This is what the girls room looks like right now, but, you know, it might be changing.

Do you have a favorite?  Has Craig been kind to you lately?

Did you enter my giveaway?  You didn't?  Go do it, here!  If you are already a follower of this blog, you can still enter, just leave a comment telling me that you follow me.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Bobbin on a Budget

I LOVE a good bobbin chair, don't you?
It's the traditionalist part of me that wishes I lived in the South.  Or at the beach.  So easy breezy, yet so detailed--so crafted--all the same, don't you agree?

Source: via Casey on Pinterest

Source: via Lori on Pinterest

Now typically I would say this is a "splurge" item, and I particularly love the ones from Lillian August with the knife edge pillow back and tight seat, looser in feel than box cushions.


I recently noticed that Pier 1 is stocking their own version for under $500.

Not bad.  Not bad at all.

Pier 1 is one of those stores where I rarely find/buy anything, for me or others, but I am still in the habit of popping in just in case.  Do you have old haunts like that?


don't forget the Novica giveaway.  So many choices, anyone could do something with $75 bucks over there.  Enter here.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Small Measures

Can't find the right patterned bedding?  Create your own.  This DIY iron-on duvet cover from designsponge is genius.  Check out the instructions here.

(pssst.  Don't forget to enter the Novica giveaway for a $75 gift card. Details and entry here.)

Friday, November 16, 2012

Sneak Peek: console DIY

My impatient streak continues. I'm going to show you a nearly-but-not-quite-finished project that is completely unstyled. Heck, we didn't even clean up before I snapped these pictures.

My client had this old mid-century console that was in rough shape. Her dad refinished the exterior, but the doors and drawers were a mess, and my client wanted to transform it into a quirky statement piece for her family/play room.

Enter vintage wallpaper and some leftover navy chalkboard paint.

So cute, right?  I love that the wallpaper has lots of movement and a cream background to lighten the piece.  And leaving the pulls in their natural wood state connects the front of the piece to the outside.

After testing various adhesives on a piece of plywood at home, we ended up using mod podge, both under and over the paper, and are pretty happy with the results.  I did not take step by step how-to photos, but I can try to break it down another day if anyone would like to try this at home.

Hey, don't forget to enter the Novica giveaway!

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Give thanks: Giveaway!

I'm back from New York, sated by all the good food, good company, and good work, and celebrating with a giveaway!

I'm always a big fan of energizing a space with treasures from afar.  Thanks to to good people of Novica, you can find goods from around the world, made my individual artisans, without ever buying a plane ticket.  (Though of course if you can afford to travel and bring home treasures directly, do it!)


There is a LOT on Novica--so much, in fact, that it can be a little overwhelming if you're not sure what you are looking for.  That said, you can search by item type, country of origin, individual artisan, etc.  If you DO know what you're looking for, you will quickly find a ton of great items at your fingertips.

The prize: a $75 gift card to Novica

I had quite a lot of fun going through the site and picking some favorites at that price point (or less: keep in mind that you'll have to pay shipping as part of the gift card if you win.)  (Okay, and for some reason I always seem to include one item that is way off the price point.  Can you guess which one it is here?)

With so many home goods, clothing items, and fabulous jewelry to choose from, there is totally something for everyone.
So enter!  It's simple.

1. Follow this blog and let me know about it in a comment
2. Post the giveaway to your blog, facebook page, Google+, or twitter feed, and leave me one comment for EACH (if you want one entry for each.)

Giveaway ends on Wednesday, November 21 at midnight central time, and winner will be announced on Thanksgiving.  Contest is open to anyone living in a place where Novica sells and ships merchandise.

Questions?  Email me heather[at]heatherpetersondesign[dot]com

Go browse, and enjoy!

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Making the most of dated tile (sneak peek)

Last week I posted a sneak peek of the guest room I am working on at my parents' house--a room which happened to be my high school bedroom, all decked out in pale green and peach.

Guess what?  There is an ensuite bathroom in peach and green, too.  Back in 1990, tinted grout was the latest and greatest, so fast forward a couple of decades and my parents have some seriously dated--and seriously fixed--design choices to contend with.

And just in case you're looking at it thinking "That's not so bad..." I give you a close-up.

So how do you update a bath with dated colors without ripping it all out?

Wallpaper, of course.  We chose a dramatic, look-at-me paper to draw the attention away from, well, everything else.  Here's the key: you need to pick up the colors from the tile, but also incorporate other colors from the house.  When my parents redecorated other spaces about 10 years ago, they introduced a lot of red, gold and chinoiserie accents, so we found a paper to reflect that.  The peach and green in the paper actually make the peach and green tile make sense, and this is gorgeous as it relates to the rest of the house.

What do you think?

I can't wait to bring in the right towels, bath rug, and accessories to finish it up.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Three Ways

Hello from NYC!

I'm feeling blessed to be here post-storm, for a beautiful weekend with friends and family.

Before I left home, I was digging through my photo archive for another post, and I came across these images of my living room three ways.  These were taken a LONG time ago, when I was experimenting with different art and accessory choices for an overall look/feel.  The room feels so unfinished to me now without curtains or some of the other layers that have emerged over time, but it's still fun to see how you can produce various vibes around one major piece, like our brown Bantam couch.

In the end, I'd say the living room has progressed in a more eclectic, sophisticated way, and looking back makes me love what it has become.

I think the lesson is that there's no "right" or "wrong," and playing around with all the pieces you have to work with can sometimes yield surprising results--or teach you what your style really looks like.

Am I alone in this?  Or do you play with your stuff this way, too?

Friday, November 9, 2012

Sneak peek

I've been working on my old bedroom at my parents' house in bits and pieces.  While it is not quite done (I need to sew the curtains and hang the art!), I'm getting impatient and showing you a peek.

Somehow, I don't have a good before picture.  (Well, without digging through my high school albums, anyway.)  My parents built the house in 1989-1990, and they let me decorate my room back then, too.  My 16 year-old self went peach and mint all the way, with matching custom chair, bedskirt, and shams in a very trendy abstract reminiscent of splatter paint.

Nice deco styling on the chair, no?  The wallpaper--an abstract tulip motif--was the same as my previous bedroom, but in a different colorway.  Over the years, random bits and pieces were added to update the space (and to fill the gaps when I inherited the armoire and headboard from the set in this room, which has been my parents in our old house.  Did you get all that?  You know, this headboard and that armoire.)  For example, my mom added bamboo side tables.

(Oh, you mean this bamboo side table?)  Apparently, if it weren't for awesome hand me downs, my house would be basically empty.

Anyway, we finally had the room painted last week, and here's where we are at.

(The carpet is eventually going.  Oh, and I blogged the chair transformation here.)  

Here is a progress shot with the new furniture and bedding but with the old wallpaper.  

Doesn't that deep wall color just make ALL the difference?

More details on the projects and sources if (when!!!) I ever finish.

Next week: more peeks, and a giveaway.

Enjoy your weekend!

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Clutter, be gone!

There's nothing better than a skirted table to take your pantry from hot mess to hot stuff.

(Oh, man, did I just write that?  And am I going to leave it?  I guess I just did.)

I spent a chunk of Tuesday with a client working on some projects around the house, and I think we're both feeling good about the transformations.  Her older house has a great pantry, big and light filled, at the back of the house, visible from both the kitchen and the railroaded living room and dining room.  She installed an old Ikea table for some surface area, but underneath the table was a radiator and the typical recycling disaster.  (Minneapolis currently has SIX SEPARATE CATEGORIES of recycling, though I here this is changing soon.)

She actually saw this post and suggested we do something similar at her place, and she had a specific vision: polka dots.  We settled on this fun fabric (but in Navy), but when she went to pick it up they were plumb sold out.  Then I had a genius idea: why not use a shower curtain?  At 72" wide, they are much wider than a typical curtain panel and would allow us greater fullness without seaming a bunch of pieces together, and unlike raw fabric, several of the sides are already hemmed.  Plus, the nylon fabric is perfect for a food environment where it can be easily wiped down.

This was a no-sew solution.  We sliced the curtain horizontally across the middle and used hem tape (left over from Ikea curtains form my living room) to create rod pockets at the to hem the piece that had been the top of the curtain.  (If you chose a rod-pocket style instead of grommets, you could skip that step.)  A tension rod, and voila.

Super cute pantry.

As seen from the dining room.  (Where we hung a giant gallery wall of family photos.  The black frames echo the little skirt very nicely!)


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