Monday, August 31, 2009

This stuff is goooood.

Stay with me till the end for the Bomobob giveaway winner! :)

Speaking of Bob, I had to brag about my advertisers yet again, cause you know -- they RAWK.

My newest advertiser, Amanda at Imperfectly Beautiful, has the caaaaautest Etsy shop you ever did see. When I saw these on her blog, I had to have them. They were even packaged so sweetly when they arrived, I could just die:
Squeal! I did! I squealed! YES, they are Christmas decorations. YES, I am going there. It's only FOUR months away peeps. That's like, only a third of a year. Geez.

The blocks were much bigger than I thought they would be. I love all the details -- some of the paper even has sparkles (hard to see here):
Squeal! Sparkles!
I can't tell you how pleased I was when I opened this up. Amanda does a great job, you must go check her out here. She's working on an upcoming giveaway for you lovely folks too:And at Cara's giveaway post for The Sheet Boutique, I told you how I bought the EzzzySleep fleece sheets.

They came super fast and uh. my. gawd., they are they most amazing sheets we've ever had!:
I know the picture doesn't convey how comfy these are. They are so soft, I'm not even kidding. When I opened them up I was a little worried they would be too hot, but they are so comfortable, even though it is still fairly warm around here. I am SO thrilled with this purchase. Like sleeping in a fluffy cloud.

The winner of Bomobob's fantastic giveaway is (randomly picked) Erin from Home is Where the Heart is! Erin, e-mail me and I'll get you connected with Bob!

Come back tomorrow -- I have some fun little projects to share. :)

Chateau Gabriel

How many homes did Yves Saint Laurent and Pierre Berge own and how many auctions will result from them? Seems Christies will hold a second auction of artwork this November, half of which will be from Chateau Gabriel, their coastal retreat near Deauville, France. The chateau was of course restored with the help of their interior designer Jacques Grange whose opulent interiors were inspired by Marcel Proust and Claude Monet. The property also consists of many out buildings including a Russian dacha which should appeal to it's new Russian owners. And of course what would a chateau be without it's own helipad and hanger. Maybe Jacques was also inspired by the Hamptons! Enjoy!

Photos from Luxury Culture

Besta small entertainment unit

Dez hacks a floating entertainment unit from the Besta.

"I haven't really done anything revolutionary here, but I thought I'd share how I used a Besta extension and hung it as a floating entertainment unit. It makes for a nice a clean installation for a master bedroom and gives it a hotel kind of feel. I ran the wires from the TV behind the wall in between studs and cut holes for the wires to go to the AV components in the back of the shelf extension. All in all, it turned out pretty well, not bad for an "as is" item and few hours of work. I'm also planning to add passive lighting to the rear of the TV as well as underlighting for the entertainment unit."

Sunday, August 30, 2009

More Orange

One of the rooms I was most excited to see at The Hampton Designer Showhouse this year was the den by Carrier and Company. I had seen a few photos online at and of course the burnt orange walls were right up my alley! The room with sitting area and pool table is in the basement and the husband and wife team of Jesse Carrier and Mara Miller did a great job with it. You don't even notice that there are no windows!

Jesse Carrier used to work for Jeffrey Bilhuber and when he left to start his own firm, uber chic client Anna Wintour went with him. Carrier & Company have designed the lobby of the Vogue office at 4 Times Square and have also decorated the apartments some of the Voguettes.

I think we're going to be hearing a lot from this dazzling design duo and I can't wait to see what they do with a room in a future showhouse with windows! I think they deserve to be front and center next time! Oh, and if you haven't had a chance to see the Hampton Designer Showhouse presented by Traditional Home in person yet, you still have until September 6th to check it out!

Photos from Heather Clawson and Carrier and Company

Open letter to a new Momma

Today we celebrated the upcoming birth of a new baby boy. The mom-to-be is one of my last friends to have their first child, and there is something so incredibly special about that. Something so special you just don't get when you are pregnant with that first baby. You wonder why everyone has constant big goofy smiles, fluffing all over you and can't keep your hands off your belly. :)

And then you have that baby. And you know.

So Momma B., this is what I hope you remember over the next few weeks:

For at least the new two years, probably more, you will have very little control over your life. It starts with labor -- you can't plan it (I know, it killed me too!), you can't tell that little one how or when to come, and you can't control how the labor will go. All you can do is relax, let go, breathe, and realize you have to give it up to the people that know best...the nurses, your doctor, God.

After the baby is here, you will have zero control over your life because that itty bitty patootie will rule. your. world. You will feel exhaustion like you've never known. You will want to give your right arm for a few straight hours of sleep. You will have to plan to leave the house well ahead of time. And when you do leave the house, it will be 30 minutes later than you had planned.

Speaking of sleep, even the best sleepers (ours slept through at FIVE weeks) will drive you absolutely mad at times. They will sleep three hours at a time for a few nights...sleep for six one will get on your knees thanking God...and then that next night they will will wake up every two. It is a bit maddening. There are also nights when they just don't want to sleep, thank you very much. They would rather just lay there staring at you, thank you again.

Because of this, there may be times you will look at your child at 3 a.m., begging him to PLEASE JUST GO TO SLEEP. You may not even like him much at those moments. YES -- I said it, there are times you just are not nuts about them for being itty bitty and helpless and ruling your world (at 3 a.m. nonetheless).

And then that moment passes, and in the middle of the night, you will look at your baby's sweet eyes in the dark, rub his tiny head and you may just cry because you are so incredibly blessed to have this child. To be rocking this child at 3 a.m. You will realize there is no place you would rather be, ever.

You will be overwhelmed at how people love your baby. Yes, you know your friends love you. But you will realize you didn't have a clue how much they love you until you see the way they love your child. You will realize how much you mean to the people around you, because of the way they love your baby. It will overwhelm you, the love you will feel in those first weeks.

A few weeks after that sweet bubby is born, you will start needing a little somethin'. Just a little -- a little something in return for all that feeding, loving, feeding, smooching. And then. THEN, your child will smile at you. YOUR CHILD. He will smile at you like you are the sun and the moon and the stars and it will be one of the best moments of your entire life.

You will spend the rest of your days trying to get your child to smile at you like that again.

One of the biggest changes I noticed after our son was born was the new "weight" of being a Mom. It's the best way I can explain it. It's like the weight of the world is on your shoulders, in a good way. You now have a life to look after, and that is a really big deal. Sometimes that weight is really noticeable. You will feel it all the time -- but mostly when you leave the baby with Daddy for an hour. Or with Grandma for an evening so you can go out with friends.

From the day that baby is born, you are ALWAYS, ALWAYS thinking about them, worrying about them, wondering about them. You may not realize it, but it's always there. That weight lessens as they get older, but it's only because you get used to it. You are now a Mommy, and that comes with so much wonderful responsibility.

Your life is about to change for the better. You will never be the same. You will come back and read this a few months from now and have a whole new appreciation for these words. And when someone you love has their first baby, you will try to express to them the crazy, indescribable love they are about to feel, and you won't be able to put it into words for them either.

You are about to meet the love of your life, and I am so happy for you.

100th Post!!!

I noticed this morning that this is my hundredth post! What a wonderful ride this has been- new friends, information and ideas flowing through cyberspace. I have been blessed to make incredible personal connections both near and far, which I have come to value and treasure. I am excited to keep posting about all the things that inspire me in home decor and design both here in the US, and internationally. I hope Willow Decor continues to evolve and change as I continue to grow and learn. I know exciting things are just around the bend!
I thank you for reading and commenting, and sharing this journey with me. It has been a gift beyond my greatest imagination.
Photos: 1, 2 - Shannon Bowers/Veranda, 4- Real Gustavian

Friday, August 28, 2009

Bomobob art giveaway!

Giveaway is now closed!

Well hello there! I'm so happy you love my tile project as much as I do! I'm thrilled that I inspire you -- I've never done any tiling in my life, and I did it in a weekend on a wing and a prayer. I couldn't believe how well it turned out. YOU can do it too! For reals!

To continue the month o' giveaways, my friend and advertiser Bob from Photos by Bomobob has offered one of you another one of his beautiful prints!
Just in case you don't remember, take a look at some of his gorgeous work:
How fun for a playroom? Kid's room? Office? The colors are just beautiful:
Sigh. I love this:
His photography showcases how the simplest subjects are the most beautiful:
Seriously. Amazing.
I love the whimsy of this carousel:
Oh, how fantastic would this look in a cottagey kitchen or bedroom?
Bob is offering one print, (size 8x8 or 8x10, depending on the original dimensions) or one of his 4x6 print sets of your choice! To win one of these beautiful prints, leave a comment here, then go to Bomobob's Etsy site here and pick out the print you want to win. Come back here and let me know which one you would love to have.

That's it! Thanks Bob for this great giveaway! This one ends at 8 a.m. this Monday (the 31st).

A few announcements -- I'm hosting a Before and After bloggy party on Monday, September 7th! It can be anything -- a painted room, a craft project, an organized space, changing out accessories, whatever! All you MUST have is a before picture! :) I hope you can join me!

I did a guest post for Kennesha over at Me and My House this week! Go check out my Goodwill Survival Guide post when you get a chance.

Finally, don't forget to head over to to comment on my feature there and get in on a chance to win the large Ballard Designs pear! The entries end at 5 p.m. EST time on Sunday the 30th. (I just saw that even my Stepmom and Dad commented on there! Sniff!)

Oh yeah, and have a GREAT weekend!! :)

Care for some checkers?

Tim uses custom designed matt paper posters to add some ka-pow to the Expedit glass coffee table. Great for board games. I would love a Scrabble table.

Unlike this Scrabble table, the posters are not stuck on. So when you're sick of trying to get triple scores with words starting with Z, you can whip up a Monopoly poster instead.

It's pretty easy to do. Just select the picture you want and get them printed in the right size. The just lift the Expedit glass top (after you've built the coffee table) slightly to slip in the poster. The wood grain in the poster below almost fooled me. No, Ikea has not gone country.

See more of Tim's custom graphic coffee table.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Orange You Glad It's Friday?!

Orange is my favorite color and it happens to be the favorite color of a lot of designers. I've always wondered why so many of us gravitate toward this color and in the September 2009 color issue of House Beautiful there is a clue. According to their color chart, orange represents creativity. It expands your thinking and is the color of laughter and celebrations. Sounds about right. To me, orange is a unisex color that is cheerful yet sophisticated. It also coordinates well with a lot of other colors. But mostly, it just makes me happy! Hopefully these orange images will brighten your day too! Bon Weekend!

Cape Cod in Blue and White

I am having trouble downloading my pictures from my trip so until I can figure it out I wanted to share a beautiful home on Cape Cod designed by Catalano Architects (do they ever sleep?!)
Look at the entry to this home! The gate provides a perfect framing for the home. I love the brick driveway with the herringbone pattern and edging in cobblestones. Perhaps my favorite feature is the grass down the center to soften the hard lines.
Here is the back yard. Notice the shingle style feeling. Some features which stand out are the covered porches, I especially like how the round porch balances the round section of the house itself. The chimneys also have some wonderful decorative detailing.
A beautiful entryway with incredible light. Notice the moulding details on the staircase and around the windows.
The blue and white color scheme of the kitchen gives you a classic beach feeling with marble counters and white cabinets. The rounded breakfast nook is lovely with its built in seating and
interesting ceiling design.
Here is the view from the family room. It is important to notice the use of interior windows in this home. The walls entering the kitchen are thick and wide which give the home a feeling of substance and in my opinion the richness of a bygone era. The internal windows then give the spaces a more light and open feeling. Also notice the internal transom windows over the doorways in the kitchen.
The family room from the other direction. Notice the ceiling detail. Touches of blue keep the room soft with out feeling kitschy. The chandelier, anchor andirons and framed flag add a folk-art/Americana feel to this room.
The formal living room is awash in pale pinks. I imagine this room is really pretty in the evenings by lamplight. The pink chairs have interesting upholstered arms.
Perhaps my favorite room is the bedroom. The aqua silk curtains and interesting mirror, along with the white upholstery and bedding make this room very Veranda -esque.
No beach house is complete with out a bunk room! Four bunks each with their own lighting and bookshelf - I like the varnished floors and sliding ladders - it really evokes a nautical yacht like feeling.

Let me know your favorite aspect of this wonderful home on Cape Cod!