Late last year, a new blogger started commenting on my blog. As soon as I visited her blog, I knew I had found something (and someone) special. Gwen Driscoll writes Ragland Hill Social, and is not only an extraordinarily talented designer (and owner of Gwen Driscoll Designs), but also a design blogger with a talent for writing with flair and wit. Her posts are a visual feast, filled with image after inspirational image.
In Gwen's words:
My design always evokes emotion. It's just part of my process. A sterile environment is usually not my favorite. People who hire us are drawn to our work for that reason. I rarely hear people say they were "wowed" by my work. I often hear "they loved the way a space made them feel".
This perfectly captures what I like about great design - I am not looking for spaces that bowl me over, but spaces that feel right. It is hard to pinpoint exactly what makes a space feel right, but a designer like Gwen has a 6th sense for this kind of thing; it is about scale and proportion, a mix of textures, a sense of comfort and ease, spaces that work for the people who are going to live in them.
Gwen's own work represents this perfectly. Look at this room that Gwen recently designed for a client. It is beautiful and clean lined, yet has traditional elements that have stood the test of time. Image via Gwen Driscoll Designs.
I always love a room with a grand piano in it! Image via Gwen Driscoll Designs.
The farmhouse table and rustic dish cabinet look amazing in this space. I would love to see more of the kitchen - what is that countertop made of? Image via Gwen Driscoll Designs.
Also not to be missed is Gwen's series in which she matches a Hollywood celebrity with a piece of furniture. One of my favorites: the dining room chandelier post (click here) and the 'Every Room Should Have a Superstar' post (click here - it one of my favorites of the year so far!).
It is also clear when reading Gwen's blog that she is a generous soul. She shares her gift and her knowledge freely.
She also has wonderful giveaways! Gwen has giveaways for things that she personally loves to use in her own home and for clients, and one such giveaway was for Leontine Linens (Leontine founder Jane Scott Hodges is one of Gwen's dear friends). I have always admired the beauty and craftsmanship of Leontine Linens, and was amazed to learn that I was the lucky winner!
My gift arrived this week; we ordered it in late January, but each item is custom crafted and takes 8-12 weeks for delivery. Not surprisingly, the Leontine box was beautiful and tied with a lilac ribbon.
And here is my wonderful gift! Three custom monogrammed dinner napkins, one for each of my children. I wasn't sure what to select, as the color scheme for my new house has not even been discussed. Gwen and I brainstormed a bit, then I told Gwen about one of my fond childhood memories of visiting my Aunt in Scotland; every member of the family had their own special napkin and napkin ring. So this will be the beginning of a wonderful new family tradition in my own family! I even have the napkin rings, which were gifts to my children when they were babies.
Thank you, Gwen! Please stop by and pay her a visit at her marvelous blog - she has a great post up today. http://gwendriscoll.blogspot.com
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