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Saturday, May 21, 2011

The house that keeps on inspiring (amazing architecture by Peter Block)

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Photo credit: Erica George Dines
Peter Block is an incredibly talented architect who designs houses around the country, but calls Atlanta his home.  His houses strike me as modern interpretations of traditional architecture and design concepts (the work of Lutyens often comes to mind when I see Peter’s work), and Peter’s houses always have an incredible amount of creativity and inventiveness in the design.  In Peter’s words, “design should be simply conceived, well proportioned, nimble in terms of spatial functionality, and built of permanent materials…Intuitive design reigns.  This is true in every facet of good design”.

I had the good fortune of seeing a house that Peter designed as it was being built (seen above), back in 2009.  Reflecting upon it now, the house was in the exact stage that my house is in right now – trim work and floors going in, cabinets about to be installed – and it was fascinating to see the end stages of a house build just as I was starting the design process for my house.

It was gratifying to see that same house featured in Atlanta Homes & Lifestyles in October of 2010, fully decorated (Beth Webb was the interior designer).  AH&L beautifully captured the feel of the house in the introductory paragraph to the article (which can be read here): “There are a lot of new houses in Atlanta that are built to look old, but there are few that actually exude an air of permanence and a sense of longevity. [This] new Buckhead home is one that succeeds at both”.  In a further testament to the beauty and classic design of this house, Peter Block won the prestigious Shutze Award for this house in the Romantic Classicism category (single family 4,000-10,000 square feet).

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Photo credit: Erica George Dines
The outdoor room has particular appeal to me (I wonder what the homeowners call this space? It strikes me as a loggia).  It is the space that connects many of the ground floor rooms together, opening to the kitchen/family room/breakfast area; living room; dining room; and master bedroom.  One side of the room (seen in this picture) has an outdoor dining area with grill, and overlooks the pool.

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Photo credit: Erica George Dines
The other side has a seating area arranged around an outdoor fireplace.  Note the ceiling fans in the space, made by Aria Ventilatori, based on Italian design. These fans seem to be taking Atlanta by storm - their products are sculptural, beautiful, and also highly functional.  I might have to look into getting one of these fans for my new outdoor room!  Visit their website here: http://www.aria-ventilatori.com/.  These fans are currently available through Grizzel & Mann in Atlanta, and McRae & Company in San Francisco (both to the trade).

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And now, in 2011, here is the same room, styled by Ballard Designs for their recent catalog cover.  I didn’t know that catalogs used ‘real’ houses for their photo shoots, but it makes sense!

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Peter Block has some exciting things going on right now.  He just launched a caseworks collection; according to the website, the collection was three years in the making,  combines “innovative details and unexpected nuances into historically based standards”.   The website notes that the Belgian collection has just been launched, and will be soon followed with the American, English, Mediterranean, and French collections.


For more information on Peter Block, please visit his web site: http://www.peterblockarchitects.com/
For more information on Peter Block caseworks: http://www.peterblockcaseworks.com
Peter Block Architect on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/PeterBlockArchitects
To visit my store, Quatrefoil Design, click here – come see the brand new art and scupture items in the store!
To subscribe to my blog by email, click here.
To follow my blog on Facebook, click here.
Twitter: @TTIBlog
To see design, architecture, art, and decorative books that I recommend, please visit the Things That Inspire Amazon store.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

New artist – Kendall Boggs



One of the best things about starting my online store, Quatrefoil Design, has been working with new and wonderful Southeast artists, and sharing their work with my blog readers.  I am very excited to announce a new artist in the Quatrefoil Design store, Kendall Boggs. 

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Kendall’s story is so inspirational.  She is a wife and mother, married for over 30 years, with three grown children and two grandchildren.  She has always had a creative approach to life, and after being an interior designer for 15 years, she decided to try her hand at painting.  It was a ‘now or never’ time, and she put her heart and soul into working on her paintings and developing her style.  In the short time that she has been marketing her work, she has sold hundreds of paintings and I see great things for her!

Here is a selection of the Kendall Boggs ‘dress series’ and landscape paintings that are available in the Quatrefoil Design store.  Click here to see more, or go to this link: http://www.quatrefoildesign.bigcartel.com/artist/kendall-boggs.

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The Taylor, 12”x12” - $275 

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The Abby, 12”x12” $275

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The Kendall, 12”x12” $275

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The Caroline, 12”x12” $275

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The Amy, 14”x14”  $295

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Tha Callen, 14”x14” $295

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The White Gown 16"x16" $495

http://quatrefoildesign.bigcartel.com/product/original-art-by-kendall-boggs-the-white-gown-16-x16

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The Silver Gown - 16"x16" - $496

http://quatrefoildesign.bigcartel.com/product/original-art-by-kendall-boggs-the-silver-gown-16-x16

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The Suzanne 24"x24" - $595

http://quatrefoildesign.bigcartel.com/product/original-art-by-kendall-boggs-the-suzanne-24-x24

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The Anna Beth 24"x24" $595

http://quatrefoildesign.bigcartel.com/product/original-art-by-kendall-boggs-the-anna-beth-24-x24

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The Maggie 24"x24" $595

http://quatrefoildesign.bigcartel.com/product/original-art-by-kendall-boggs-the-maggie-24-x24

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The Anna Brooke 24"x24" - $595

http://quatrefoildesign.bigcartel.com/product/original-art-by-kendall-boggs-the-anna-brooke-24-x24

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The Savannah 30"x30" $695

http://quatrefoildesign.bigcartel.com/product/original-art-by-kendall-boggs-the-savannah-30-x30

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The Grace 30"x30" $695

http://quatrefoildesign.bigcartel.com/product/original-art-by-kendall-boggs-the-grace-30-x30


Don’t see a color or size you like?  Kendall will create a custom dress painting for you, based on your color and style requirements. Click here for more information, or use this link:  http://quatrefoildesign.bigcartel.com/product/original-art-by-kendall-boggs-customize-your-own-dress-painting

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Waiting for Spring I 12"x12" $275

http://www.quatrefoildesign.bigcartel.com/product/original-art-by-kendall-boggs-waiting-for-spring-i-12-x12

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Spring Has Sprung I 12"x12" $275

http://www.quatrefoildesign.bigcartel.com/product/original-art-by-kendall-boggs-spring-has-sprung-i-12-x12

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Spring Has Sprung II 12"x12" $275

http://www.quatrefoildesign.bigcartel.com/product/original-art-by-kendall-boggs-spring-has-sprung-ii-12-x12

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Cloudy Day I - 12" x 9" $275

http://www.quatrefoildesign.bigcartel.com/product/original-art-by-kendall-boggs-cloudy-day-i-12-x-9

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Cloudy Day II - 12" x 9" $275

http://www.quatrefoildesign.bigcartel.com/product/original-art-by-kendall-boggs-cloudy-day-ii-12-x-9


Kendall also has a wonderful blog, http://kendallboggsfineart.blogspot.com/.  I am so thrilled to represent a selection of her work in my store – please stop by Quatrefoil Design (http://www.quatrefoildesign.bigcartel.com/category/art) frequently to see new work.


To visit my store, Quatrefoil Design, click here – come see the brand new art and scupture items in the store!
To subscribe to my blog by email, click here.
To follow my blog on Facebook, click here.
Twitter: @TTIBlog
To see design, architecture, art, and decorative books that I recommend, please visit the Things That Inspire Amazon store.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Selecting a headboard

I have been looking into queen size headboards for my oldest daughter– and as usual, I am torn between the more transitional and the traditional.

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I saw this bed in the latest Trad Home (an amazing new online magazine), and think it is great looking for a teenage girl.  The source notes that it is from PB Teen, but alas it does not seem to be in their current catalog.

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This new Octavia bed from Serena & Lily is also catching my eye, but my oldest daughter is not liking the Greek key detail (which, of course, defines the bed!).  She claimed she wanted streamlined and simple, but she does not seem to like items that best represent this aesthetic!

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I also like a traditional, classic look, as represented by this Swedish inspired headboard used by Brooke of Velvet & Linen in a bedroom for a young girl.  See her post here – it is inspirational!  The headboard is from Chelsea Textiles (available through Giannetti Home), and I already have Chelsea Textiles side tables that will be going in my oldest daughter’s room (they are currently in my master bedroom).

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This headboard is very similar (although the sides are different, and the headboard is taller), but the overall look is similar (seen on a recent tour of homes).  This would have been a dream come true for me a a child (and maybe even now!).

Of course, it all comes down to personal preference – I will show this post to my oldest daughter and see what she thinks!  If you have any good bed resources, please put them in the comments – I am always on the lookout!


To visit my store, Quatrefoil Design, click here – come see the brand new art and scupture items in the store!
To subscribe to my blog by email, click here.
To follow my blog on Facebook, click here.
Twitter: @TTIBlog
To see design, architecture, art, and decorative books that I recommend, please visit the Things That Inspire Amazon store.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Theodore Alexander

It has been such a crazy month, I have fallen behind on writing up my impressions of the High Point Market!
One of the showrooms that was a big discovery for me was Theodore Alexander.  On the website, the furniture company is described as "shaped by English Heritage, Theodore Alexander handcrafts furniture and accessories for your home with uncompromising quality. We believe in using the most interesting materials for both function and beauty. This allows our craftspeople to create products that will not only be forever but also give distinction to your favourite spaces.  An exceptional eye for design and detail in our bench made products is the signature of Theodore Alexander”.

I was familiar with some of Theodore Alexander’s collections, in particular  their Althorp Living History collection.  Althorp Living History is based upon the furniture collection at Althorp House, the ancestral home of the Spencer family located in Northhamptonshire, England.  The house is 500 years old, and the furniture contained within reflects hundreds of years of exquisite design.  Many of the original pieces have been meticulously recreated for the Althorp Living History collection. 

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One of my favorite pieces from the Althorp Living History collection is the circular extended dining table, inspired by the piece designed by Robert Jupe in 1835.  The leaves are self-storing, incorporated into the design of the piece, and we were able to watch our guide extend it all by herself in under a minute.

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Another one of my favorite pieces from the collection is the dining chair that was meticulously recreated from the originals found in the State Dining Room in Althorp.
To see the entire Althorp Living History collection online, click here.

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A brand new collection for Theodore Alexander is by the Keno Brothers, who are considered two of the foremost furniture experts in the United States. We were able to meet the Keno Brothers as they displayed their beautiful new collection, which is strikingly original, exquisitely crafted, and with a classically modern flair. Click here to see more pieces from the Keno Brothers collection.

The newly redesigned Theodore Alexander website is a visual feast, and easy to navigate.  Theodore Alexander has an enormous line of fine furniture, and although we were not able to take pictures in the showroom, it can all be viewed online http://www.theodorealexander.com/default.aspx.

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I also recommend the Theodore Alexander blog, called ‘Theo’.   The latest blog post has a wonderful behind the scenes of the craftmanship that goes into created a Chinoiserie piece.  Click here to read the blog post – it is fascinating!  


To visit my store, Quatrefoil Design, click here – come see the brand new art and scupture items in the store!
To subscribe to my blog by email, click here.
To follow my blog on Facebook, click here.
Twitter: @TTIBlog
To see design, architecture, art, and decorative books that I recommend, please visit the Things That Inspire Amazon store.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Laundry Rooms

For more inspirational finds, please visit www.quatrefoildesign.com

When we were working on the plans for the house, we had a hard time figuring out where the primary laundry room would be located, perhaps because the master is on the main.  We thought about locating the laundry room near the master, and incorporating a laundry chute from the second floor to the laundry room, but my designer strongly encouraged us to place the laundry room on the second floor.  She felt that a laundry room near the master infringed upon the living space on the main floor, and suggested that we locate the laundry room in a location that would be easy for the kids to access, and at the top of the stairs so it would be easy for me to access from the main floor.  She also suggested that we make the laundry room large enough to set up an ironing board. 

Given that the bedrooms are on one side of the house, and the kitchen and pool are on a different side of the house, we also decided to place a small washer and dryer in the mud room to handle pool towels, dog stuff, kitchen laundry, and muddy items the kids drag in.  This also enables us to do laundry on the main floor if we ever get to the point where we want to stay on one level. 

I have been saving pictures of laundry rooms for a while, mainly because I am aware that the organization of this space is so key, and yet I don’t feel as if I have any specific ideas on how to make it functional.  It is interesting to see how people organize and use their laundry rooms; clearly many of these rooms are multi-purpose. The storage needs are also highly individualized based on how people manage their laundry.

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This laundry room, from an Atlanta real estate listing, seems to be somewhat of a craft area/office as well as laundry room.  A bit surprising given that the owners have two washers and dryers – laundry is clearly a serious business in this house!

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Another real estate photo – I must have saved this because I like the storage solution above the washer and dryer.  I am not a fan of pedestals under a washer and dryer – I think it makes everything too tall, but I can see how it would be helpful to have a place to stash dirty clothes (and less bending over to do the laundry).  Quite a luxury to have marble countertops in a laundry room!

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I like the neat efficiency of this laundry room.  The zone for hanging and drying is very efficient, and also cuts down on cabinetry costs.

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This laundry room picture has made many rounds on the internet. The owners seem to use the laundry room for multiple purposes, given the table in the center, the linens on the shelves, the gardening can on the zinc counter (or maybe it was just staged that way). The room appears to have no windows, and yet it is light and bright given the fresh colors.

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Same room, other side. It’s interesting that they have three machines – and marble counters.  I am leaning towards using caesarstone counters in my laundryrooms – I need something that will stand up to abuse and spills.

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Like the  previous laundry room, this one has a folding table.  I suppose it is only possible to have a folding table when there is a lot of space in the laundry room. I tend to use the top of my washer and dryer to fold, or bring everything into my bedroom and tackle it all on the bed!  Where do you fold laundry? (This laundry room was designed by Steve Giannetti)

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I think this is a well designed laundry space, and I love the look of subway tiles in a laundry room.  I don’t have a backsplash in my primary laundry room, but I am going to wait to see how the space looks when the cabinets are in, and I might end up doing one.

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I saved this picture because I love the Niermann Weeks Mitzner lantern (what a luxury in a laundry room), but it is interesting to see some of the storage solutions that are used in the room. I wonder what the container to the left of the washer is for? It seems a bit small to be a laundry hamper.

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Another laundry room picture that has made its way into many blog posts. This space appears to be a mud room/casual entry as well.  I appreciate how light and bright the space is, and the sheer amount of counter space created by having a counter over the washer and dryer.  I am a fan of top loading washers, but based on these pictures they seem to be much less common these days.

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I was able to see this laundry room in person when the owner invited me to see her home.  I seem to recall that the laundry machines are on the right side, along with a wall of cabinetry.  I also seem to recall that the homeowner had a very practical approach to countertops in kids bathrooms and laundry rooms, which is an approach that I am taking as well.

Similar laundry racks can be found at Ballard Designs. Has anyone ever used these, and what do you think of them?  Ballard has a whole page on laundry room items – noting that the laundry room is often the hub of the house, and should be organized and decorated to make it work better. http://www.ballarddesigns.com/by-room/laundry-room/

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There is something about this laundry room that really appeals to me. It looks real – like it was not staged (although the low height of the light fixture in front of the sink concerns me!)– and it makes good use of the space.

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I saw this laundry room on a tour of homes last week. I really like the wrapping paper rods that the homeowners has above the washer – what a clever idea!

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And finally, saving the best for last – this is simply the most stunning laundry room, with its fine custom cabinetry and beautiful architectural finishes.  If I didn’t see that little peek of a washer/dryer on the side, I would never know it was a laundry room!  Interior design by Tracery Interiors.

Do you have any thoughts on laundry design, or any ‘must have’ storage requirements for the space? Do you use the laundry room for multiple purposes?  In my current house, the laundry room is upstairs, and is very convenient to where the majority of the laundry is created.  I have a decent number of cabinets, but after seeing these pictures I realize that I am not very creative about using the space.  It makes me want to be more thoughtful about how I organize the laundry room in the new house – although that design is mostly determined (cabinets are being made, but I still need to pick a sink and counters).

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Visit my online store, Quatrefoil Designwww.quatrefoildesign.bigcartel.com
To see design, architecture, art, and decorative books that I recommend, please visit the Things That Inspire Amazon store.

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