Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Some of my favorite posts of 2009

I started my blog in 2007, and at the end of both 2007 and 2008 I compiled a list of my favorite blog posts from the year. The task was not too difficult in 2007; at that time, there were not many design blogs, and since I did not discover blogs until the middle of 2007, I only had half of a year of material to consider. 2008 was a bit more challenging, and it took me hours to go back and look through my favorite blogs and find my favorite posts.

This year I took a different approach. Throughout the year, when I saw a post that really struck me, I copied and pasted the link into a word document titled ‘favorite posts of 2009’. Of course, these posts only reflect the ones I actually read in 2009. If 2008 was an explosive year for design blogs, 2009 was positively nuclear. So many wonderful new design blogs appeared on the scene, which makes finding new blogs all the more daunting. I am sure I only saw a very small portion of the wonderful blogs and amazing blogs posts from 2009.

My list seems to have petered out October, which corresponds with the increase in workload in my life. As much as I love reading and commenting on blogs, as well as clicking through to all of the blogs that belong to the people who comment on my blog, I was stretched very thin in October – December and could not devote much time to either my blog or the other wonderful blogs out there. Now that I am reflecting on it, this timing also corresponds with the obliteration of my blog list; the list I had carefully crafted over 2.5 years of blogging was wiped out one day, and I have had to slowly but surely recreate it. I depend upon my bloglist to quickly scan what is new with the blogworld; reading through this list of posts makes me realize that some of my favorite blogs were never added back to the list, so I have missed out on many wonderful posts.

So, imperfect though my approach may be, here are some of my favorite posts from 2009.


One of the first posts of 2009 was a guide to collecting art by Style Court; it was the first of many art themed posts that I followed with great interest and anticipation. As Courtney mentioned in her post, it is often the art that we collect through the years that has the greatest meaning for us, much more than a purse or a pair of shoes that quickly gets relegated to the back of the closet. http://stylecourt.blogspot.com/2009/01/collecting.html


I loved M21’s post on ‘the state of decorating’. It is even more interesting to read his words, written in January of 2009, and see how they ring true even more now after almost a year has past. M21 predicted more ‘champagne taste on a beer budget’…that M21 is one wise blogger. http://maison21.blogspot.com/2009/01/change-change-of-decor-that-is-m21.html


Live in Full Color created the most amazing post on the color choices of the key players at the Presidential inauguration last January – definitely worth a read! http://www.sensationalcolor.com/liveinfullcolor/a-conflict-of-colors-in-washington/#more-1347


Patricia’s post on the impact of large scale abstract art struck a chord with me. I have so many small paintings, and am ready to start looking for large statement abstract art. All of the wonderful images in Patricia’s post show that there are so many placement possibilities for large scale contemporary art (image: Amanda Nisbet). http://patriciagrayinc.blogspot.com/2009/02/abstract-art-go-big-or-go-home.html


My Notting Hill began a wonderful series called ‘DC Designer Series’, in which she featured wonderful designers from DC whose work is magazine worthy. Through this series, I was introduced to several amazing designers; posts like these makes me realize the influence that blogs have on featuring up and coming talent, now more than ever given the demise of so many design magazines. http://mynottinghill.blogspot.com/2009/02/dc-designer-series-elizabeth-hague.html


I could select at least 10 posts from Colour Me Happy that struck a chord with me, but this one was a stand out as it so perfectly explained why my family room did not look good with a pale color on the wall (all the light to my family room is blocked by a screened porch; I was thinking about painting my family room linen white until I read Maria’s post). http://colourmehappyblog.blogspot.com/2009/03/light-colour-will-never-come-to-life-in.html


Architecture Tourist (with a little help from me!) found one of the beautiful homes that won the 2009 Shutze awards, and posted about his findings. This home has great appeal to architecture fans in Atlanta; not only did it win the 2009 Shutze award for small renovation, but it was also selected as one of the top 20 favorite classic homes in Atlanta by AH&L magazine. http://architecturetourist.blogspot.com/2009/02/2009-shutze-award-winner-dutch-colonial.html


I first heard about the Penguin Classic bookset through Little Green Notebook; at the time, they were only available through international booksellers. Now they are available through Amazon! http://littlegreennotebook.blogspot.com/2009/02/gorgeous-penguin-classics.html


Any post about Paris usually captures my attention, but this one happened to combine Paris, color, and neutrals – a color analysis of one of my favorite cities. http://www.sensationalcolor.com/liveinfullcolor/i-like-parisian-palettes-in-the-springtime-how-about-you/


I will admit to finding comfort in following a formula or a recipe, even for matters that relate to interior design. When Mrs. Howard Personal Shopper did a post on their favorite formula for the perfect bed, I followed it precisely when selecting the linens for my new bed, and I was thrilled with the results! http://www.mrshowardpersonalshopper.com/mrs_howard_personal_shopp/2009/02/phoebes-rules-for-making-a-bed.html

neworleans_thumb[1] This post – about one of my favorite exterior design elements, gas lighting – featured beautiful homes from around the country, including some from Atlanta. http://s-w-design.blogspot.com/2009/06/like-moth-to-flame.html


This home, featured by Willow Decor, really spoke to me – even though it is far more casual and rustic than the homes that usually catch my eye. Perhaps it reminds me of some of the beautiful homes in New England that were a part of my childhood. Perhaps it is the porte cochere that is one of my favorite features of a home. Whatever it is, this post was a pleasure to revisit, and I think you will like it too! http://willowdecor.blogspot.com/2009/06/coffey-creek-farm.html


This post, on the perfect design of a mongram, came at just the right time for me, as I was contemplating ordering some monogram pillows for my bedroom. Alas, the pillow project got set aside, but I still remember this wonderful post… http://pinkwallpaper.blogspot.com/2009/04/skinny.html


Sally Stephonkus – possibly my best interior design discovery for 2009 – all due to the Washington DC designer series posted by My Notting Hill. http://www.mynottinghill.blogspot.com/2009/05/dc-designer-series-sally-steponkus.html


This post, filled with pictures that utilize all different shades of green, really captured my heart. In case you didn’t know, green is my favorite color! http://theoldpostroadblog.blogspot.com/2009/07/green-is-me.html


Going back and reviewing this post on consoles, one of my favorite pieces of furniture, was such a pleasure. This post waxes poetic on the beauty of the console, and includes many beautiful images that I had never seen before. http://s-w-design.blogspot.com/2009/06/bit-of-consoling.html


Tara’s post on ‘vanishing threshold’ was absolutely pivotal for me this year. I have always sensed that a connection between the inside and the outside is a key element in a successful house design, but Tara's phrase ‘vanishing threshold’ is the perfect description of this key element in design. http://taradillard.blogspot.com/2009/03/coming-home-vanishing-threshold.html

southern accents 1988 new orleans parlor[1]

In this magnificent post, Southern Chateau pulls out some of her decades old Southern Accents to analyze what is truly timeless in design. This picture, from the late 80s, passes the test; others definitely do not! http://southernchateau.blogspot.com/2009/07/what-makes-room-timeless.html


So many of the houses that are featured on the blogs are huge and unattainable. In a refreshing cange of pace, Cote de Texas featured some small and beautifully designed homes, proving that style matters over size . http://www.cotedetexas.blogspot.com/2009/08/small-stylish-houses.html


Although I am still waiting patiently for the #1 and #2 installment of the Cote de Texas ‘top 10 designers’, Joni came out with another top 10 list that is very interesting and entertaining: the top 10 design elements. I found #4 to be fantastic – a primer on curtains. http://cotedetexas.blogspot.com/2009/08/top-ten-design-elements-4.html

Bild 16[1]

I have such a love of houses, and seeing this house in Sweden, built in the 1700s, reinforces my appreciation for classic architecture. http://livingartandinteriors.blogspot.com/2009/08/country-homes-tourstola-herrgard.html


The artist hidden deep within me secretly longs for an artist studio like this…although I love each and every one of Brooke’s posts, this one touched me like no other. http://brookegiannetti.typepad.com/velvet_and_linen/2009/09/219-north-cliffwoodthe-pool-house-turned-into-artists-studio.html

Lyon living room mantel[1] \

Simplied Bee created a beautiful post on decorating fireplace mantels. I have had a long time fascination with fireplace mantels, perhaps because the fireplace was always such a central gathering place for my family growing up. This post contained many beautiful images that were new to me, a real treat in the blog world.



In September, I finally had the opportunity to meet the blogger behind the Peak of Chic. Not long after, she created a great post on an emerging trend in design: the dark room. These pictures beautifully illustrated her post, from designer Courtney Giles’ own home. http://thepeakofchic.blogspot.com/2009/09/go-dark.html


Odie et Amo is a blog I found this year, and I have told her time and time again that her writing style is one of the sharpest and most intelligent in the design blog world. Her post on colorful backdrops in bookcases caused me to look at rooms in a whole new way. Averill’s influence will definitely be felt in the home that I am building…http://odietamoblog.blogspot.com/2009/10/colorful-backdrops.html

Yellow Front Door[1]

Clearly doors have a huge impact on me, and this post on doors was particularly interesting. I am longing to paint my front door green, but since I will be putting my current house on the market within the next year, I am playing it safe and keeping it neutral. This post makes me want to run to the closest paint store to find the perfect shade of green…maybe for my next door…http://simplifiedbee.blogspot.com/2009/10/colorful-designer-front-doors-and-paint.html


Laura Casey Interiors was another one of my favorite new blogs this year. Her posts are finely crafted and so beautiful. This one particularly spoke to me, an informative post on Palladian interior influences. http://www.lauracaseyinteriors.com/blog/2009/09/28/palladian-interior-influences/

Fire Balls - McAlpine - House Beautiful - December 2006[1]

One of my favorite new blogs, Limestone and Boxwoods, recently did a post on ‘fire balls’, an unusual and interesting alternative to wood in a fireplace. I must admit that I had never noticed this design element in fireplaces, even though many of the images in this post were very familiar to me (and I had even used some of them in my own posts). http://www.limestoneandboxwoods.com/2009/12/great-balls-of-fire.html


Willow Decor’s post on the framed intaglios that she ordered from my company, Quatrefoil Design, was definitely a gratifying post for me. Gina and I emailed back and forth about the perfect intaglio design for her 100 year old Belgian linen, and the result was simply spectacular. http://willowdecor.blogspot.com/2009/12/my-conservatory-framed-intaglios.html

I hope you enjoyed my selection of favorite posts from 2009! I look forward to reading many wonderful posts in 2010. I encourage you to post a comment if you have a blog, particularly if you have a new blog; it is the best way for me to learn about the new voices of the design blog world. As always, thank you for reading my blog, and best wishes for a wonderful 2010!

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  1. Good grief, TTI. That "Willow Decor" post "Coffey Creek Farm" got me too. I love the gravel courtyard and vine covered walls and that aged/indestructible look.

    But really, the work that goes into these blogs is extraordinary, exhausting, and exhaustive. Your favorites remind me of all the great posts, and all I've learned from them, and why I keep returning to Things That Inspire.

    (There might have to be a top 10 list of top 10 lists for 2009 design blogs. But that probably violates a few laws of physics.)

  2. Thanks for the round-up of your favourite posts of 2009 and for including one of mine. It was a 'very good year' with a lot of good reading, and wonderful images to feast one's eyes on.
    Best wishes for a wonderful 2010.

  3. Thank you for including me in your wonderful post, I am honored to be here! this truly is a great resource. I've already read the instructions on how to have a perfect bed, the one about artwork. . .

  4. thank you so much for your kind words, TTI- i'm honored to be included in such lovely company!

    happy new year!

  5. Aloha,
    I really like your style
    thanks so much for sharing, I love to be inspired.
    I look forward to 2010

  6. I quite agree with Terry who said she keeps returning to Things that Inspire. Your blog is addictive (yes-yes) and your post is so right on; You have an obvious attraction for softness and neutrals which the (slightly closet) color lover I am finds very appeasing. Thank you for all the fabulous work! and have an equally successful blogging New Year and a personal one filled with all you may want and need.

  7. Wonderful post! I hope you have more time for blogging in the new year-I miss your posts.

    Happy new year!

  8. Wonderful post. A number of these blogs are new to me, so thank you for sharing them. Happy New Year!

  9. TTI,

    This was such a thoughtful thing to do. I think we all really appreciate the work you put into this -- wow! As Terry says, extraordinary attention to detail. Thanks for the mention.

    Here's to more inspiration in 2010!

  10. All very wonderful and very worthy choices. As small business owners (my husband interior architecture and myself art) I appreciate all these blogs and read them daily. On a personal note I enjoy yours and Terry's for they both exemplify the heartbeat of the city from two residents who love Atlanta from top to bottom - architecture/design/art. Best wishes in 2010

  11. oh my goodness, glorious posts indeed. And I love your calculated way to get a round-up! I missed several of these and it was great to review.

  12. TTI,
    Thank you so much for including Willow Decor in your top posts of 2009, especially my lovely framed intaglios. They are so stunning because you took so much time to help make them beautiful. I appreciate all your efforts and the end product is just so much more striking than the pictures can convey.

    I missed some of the other wonderful posts that you mentioned and I am excited to explore them. You should have listed several of your own wonderful posts which easily would have topped any list -my favorites include: Green Front doors, Design Elements that scream 2000, and your entryway decorated for the different seasons. All fabulous. Thanks! I savor every post!

    Happy New Year!

  13. As much as it feels good to name some of the best and you did a mighty fine job turned me on to some I have yet to blog hop across. Doesn't it feel good to know someone visited yours and is enjoying it alot!
    Thank you for the share.
    Happy New Year!
    Gina C

  14. Thank you so much for including me in your list of favorite posts this year. I am honored. And, like some others said, thanks for introducing me to some new writers as well. Happy New Year!

  15. Thanks so much for including my posts on Sally Steponkus and Elizabeth Hague in your top 10. The DC Designer series has been fun. I've had the chance to get to know Sally and she's the best! I haven't had a chance to meet Elizabeth but have met designer Linda Lewis of her team who is wonderful as well! Linda had my daughter and I over to lunch in her historic Richmond Victorian that she's renovating (Haven on Hanover) - beautiful.

    Agree w/Willow Decor - as your posts will be sure to appear in top 10 lists too. Happy New Year! Michele

  16. Thank you for such a fabulous round-up of favorites and the unexpected surprise of finding two posts from Live In Full Color included.

    It is an honor to be mentioned and so nice to know that you found Julie's colorful posts inspiring.

    Thank you for always inspiring us with your beautiful and well written post.

    Have a wonderful New Year. Cheers!

  17. Thanks so much for including me as one of your favorites of 2009! I couldn't be more flattered! I'm a huge fan of your blog and read you regularly. Here's to you & and a wonderful 2010! xoxo

  18. What a wonderful surprise! Thank you for including my post in your 2009 favorites. I am truly honored. Some of these posts and bloggers are new to me, so thank you for the introduction. I look forward to reading their posts and following your lovely blog in 2010.


  19. Thanks for this detailed round up. I'm rather new to the blog world, and this has given me some new sites to check out.

    I'd love it if you'd stop by my site and give me any feedback on what I'm doing, I'd love you forever!

  20. You just made my day!! This list is going to keep me busy for hours now, I can not wait to go through each and every blog post and re-read them. Thank you so much for putting together such a wonderful list!!!

  21. As I have told you many times, your blog is one of the most beautiful design blogs that I have visited. That is why I am so honored to have one of my posts on your list. I really can't thank you enough.
    I'm not sure how you were able to narrow down your favorites. I finally gave up in June! Several of the posts on your list would have been on my list as well. I am looking forward to reading the other posts you selected that I missed during the year.
    Happy New Year!
    Looking forward to seeing you next week.


  22. I love that you keep a list of favorite posts throughout the year -- it's something I wish I'd done this past year as I am often searching my favorite blogs for a particular post that really sang to me.

    And of course, I am BEYOND flattered to be included in your list. Thank you so much and Happy New Year!

  23. Thank you so much for including my blog and for announcing it earlier this month. As you know, you inspired me to start my blog and have given me such a rich education in design and architecture in a short period of time. I eagerly anticipate all of your posts and like others have mentioned, many of your posts should be included on the list. Inspired by you, I'm going to maintain a list in 2010 of my favorite posts too.

  24. I feel so honored to be included in this amazing round up!! Some of the other posts are new to me and I can't wait to check them out!!

    Thanks so much and the happiest of new years to you and yours!!!


  25. Wow, what an amazing, amazing roundup. I actually remember some of these posts and they truly are outstanding. Thanks for your lovely comments lately. I love your idea of a local get together! Let's definitely plan something in the new year. Happy 2010!

  26. Count me in for the local get together. I'd definitely enjoy the opportunity to meet my virtual friends in person.

  27. I was shopping with clients at AW Pottery when my phone rang. Landscape designer Sandra Jonas was reading your blog post & called to congratulate me. Felt like the Oscar's chose me.

    Honored & happy you included me.

    Even more, Vanishing Threshold is going into other lives. Thank you.

    Garden & Be Well, XO Tara

  28. Thank you for the wonderful comments, everyone. My fellow bloggers in particular understand the commitment, time, and effort that goes into each and every post, and recognizing so many wonderful bloggers and posts at the end of the year is a blog highlight!

  29. Great list - have to go read that Phoebe Howard bed post. Missed that. Have a Happy New Year!

    xo Terri

  30. Fantastic compilation! I will definitely read through each of them in the days to come. Happy New Year!!

  31. P.S. to TTI, Gordon came over and we went over your favorites until our eyes were worn out. He said, Let's do this again, anytime you want." He did notice the TTI leaning towards the neutrals.

  32. Enjoyed! I see why these were earmarked as your favorites. Thanks for sharing.

  33. Ohhh! So many new blogs to discover :) Mu blog roll is filling in nicely :) Thank you go much, and Happy New Year :)

  34. Holly, Thanks so much for including me in your favorite posts! That means so much to me. Catching up on blog reading...

  35. This is such a great post. it's provided some great reading during work breaks and continues to 'inspire'...

  36. That is a great list, it was so fun to revisit some of these!

  37. I absolutely LOVE your blog....the depth that is created through the different spaces you highlight evokes such interest! I love how these rooms invite you into a story through the layering of design elements.....

    I always judge fabulous design by how much time I would want to spend in any given room...I could spend all day in any of these. Thanks for your inspiration!

    Happy New Year..and cheers to great design.

    Kathryn Trotter

  38. Wow! This blog is a celebration of interior decoration! I've recently started my own blog...based around my resurrection and rescue of beautiful old pieces that will never be found in mainstream stores.


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