Thursday, September 6, 2012

Great DIY Projects

Keep Your Bank Account and Spouse Happy

September is always the check writing month if you have school clothes, supplies, just seems endless...... I got in a smidgen of hot water with my mister because I just bought us a dog. ..and even though it was a "cheap" dog....even though it was a humane society dog so we were doing our civic animal duty, it was ONE more expense that was not necessary so Mr. Mister got annoyed.  Which I totally get.   It was the last "check writing" straw for him.

The bummer is that now that the kids are back at work, you want to get to work on your house but all the money disappeared during  the back-to-school frenzy.  To get the house mojo flowing again,  we've chosen some DIY projects (mostly centered around fabric) that you Blue Boxers can manage beautifully without annoying the bank account or your wonderful spouse.  
Unique and cheap bed design 
 Home Depot dropcloth and a stencil!

Memorable tailored entry 
super octagonal center table

Budget-friendly console-
great utility and takes up space nicely

Stylish storage solutions
shelves make it super functional.  Bet you could find this shelving piece at ikea


ubiquitous but affordable ticking-
great office desk solution
{anna spiro}

Antique textiles or your fav fabric as art
got bare walls and bad art?...take some fabric you love and frame it.

gorgeous suzani as centerpiece
warms up the space and provides visual interest

Conversation piece textiles-
a quilt, old Pendelton blanket or kantha cloth can make your entry table an interesting focal point

No-frame art
frames for art can really add up fast$$$-  trim and apply right to the decoupage.

Antique plates as art-
get out your lovelies and use them in all sorts of ways...
{southern living}

luxuriously draped walls
takes a lot of fabric but the room doesn't need much more- serene and cozy...
{southern living}
a wow ikat textile
 creates a great work area and delineates the space as an office
{elle decor}
Good luck with some new projects!  Hope we've encouraged your brain cells to get creative in a way that protects your bank account and marital bliss:).
More to come,
Annie and the Blue Box Team
P.S.  The dog is a permanent member of our family and is most in love with mr. deke and look--how adorable......!! 
P.P.S.  Haystack Antiques - the pop-up on Main or the regular location behind Sports Authority - are both worth a visit.......come to our gingham corner if you have a free moment!

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Summer Style with Rosemary and Thyme

The Pleasure of Herbs

I certainly don't pronounce the "h" in only sounds correct and charming with a sophisticated English accent (like my darling pal Suz:)  Martha Stewart sounds ridiculously proper when she does it and gosh, the beauty of  rosemary, mint, tarragon, chives, sorrel and the like is that they are so unencumbered by pretension.   I always love that with herbs,  natural  is enough....

When the end of August and September arrive, it's fun to enjoy the its and bits remaining in the garden for sweet little herbal arrangements. Herbs make such aromatic additions with or without floral company.  If you missed your chance to plant herbs or don't know how, here's a link to a primer for those with the blackest you will be ready for next season.

a mortar and pestle
filled with herbs makes a stunning display

Galvanized pots and aluminum cans
are just right for a hot summer welcome

Beautiful additions to olive oils....
bring right to the table with a crusty baguette.

chop and add to the best butter
for a crowd-pleaser

bring a posie of herbs as a hostess gift

just a titch of natural beauty

a picnic table with charismatic herbs thrown in

just a glumph of rosemary in a mason jar is enough

irresistible placecards set the tone

a spontaneous centerpiece

Didn't grow any this year? Head to your market ....they always carry fresh now and it's usually less expensive than buying floral.  Add them to your table and meal with exuberance....  no-fuss and a no-miss!

More to come,

Annie and the Blue Box Team

{all images via pinterest}

Monday, August 13, 2012

Bookstore Bound

The demise of the bookstore is seemingly inevitable...what with Ipads, Kindles, Nooks everywhere.  I confess to using gadgets to read most of my books.  However, I do need and support my bookstore for a couple key items:  hardcover design books and a great selection of international design magazines.  I urge you to visit your local Barnes and Noble- still hosting a collection of mags that are my biggest vice....beware!  they do cost more...but if you really want to expand your design horizons, take a peak at some fun eye-candy of design...there is so much out there beyond AD and House Beautiful. 

Clients and friends sometimes ask where I get my inspiration.  Nature, life, and mostly from other designers......My head feels like a great big pinboard but I never ever tire of looking at more and more and more design.  Yup, that's my head up there in that picture...{minus the guy without the shirt, of course....}

I thought I'd encourage you to get back to work pulling images you like from mags.  Pinterest is a fab tool but I make more progress the old-fashioned way..... going back to the best magazines over and over....saving, tearing pictures out of, filing them, pinning them up....we have stacks and stacks in our office, I have mounds near my bed....nothing can replace my magazines for sparking ideas..

Here are some you might not have picked up recently:

  The World of Interiors...sometimes it gets a little obscure, but love the quality when it's not trying too hard to be edgy....

I need that doggie bed for our new dog, Biscuit!

What is this?  Just beautiful...

wabi-sabi with a french twist

Vogue Living Australia- just super fun and amazing to see so much talent downunder....even when they are not covering Aussies, this mag inspires.

john derian does his thing

Hamish Bowles stylishly unconcerned

British Homes and Gardens.... solid classic, kinda boring at times, but love the consistency and the gardens.

Elle Decoration - I always flip through this first to make sure I want to spend the $$$...sometimes it's too laid back and loft industrial...other times it's delish...

Art and Decoration- can be wildly inconsistent and cliched french but there are tons of images and sometimes they get it just right

Veranda - homegrown......getting better and less staid. 

Martha Stewart Weddings - I know we are all old married biddies now, but this mag has better tips than her regular one, and the party shots always give me great entertaining ideas.

yum...this works for me...

sweet and lots of ways to reinterpret this concept

So trek over to that relic of the past, your humble bookstore, and treat yourself to a design snack - a big load of fresh ideas to get your brain looking like a smashing, house beautiful pinboard.

Let me know what you find!

More to come,
Annie and the Blue Box Team

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

My favorite color - Periwinkle

{blue with a lilac undertone}

Periwinkle always makes a beeline for my eye whether I'm at the nursery or design center or shopping for clothes.  Few colors make me as happy as this delish hue and I even like the saying the word "periwinkle".  Yes, it can be a bit sappy sweet, but just a spot of it here and there is a perfect pick-me-up.
In looking for some dynamite pictures for you all, I discovered I have lots of company in loving periwinkle.  Pinterest boards abound with this title....and I pulled most of these images from there

{ Are you following us on pinterest? or pinning for yourselves?  what a great tool for organizing your creative thoughts...  }

Here are a few views of my favorite color.... 

beautiful Raynaud french limoges

lots of both of these in my garden....scabiosa and delphinium

chic interior....periwinkle settee 

periwinkle cabana ...okay, maybe this is blue....but fun to look at anyway...
{image via fleaingfrance}

luscious blue Charlotte Moss bedroom

my favorite stationery comes in a beautiful light blue I like to think is almost periwinkle....

wish I could dash around in this fab periwinkle dress....minus the pink hair....!

the accent color of the south of France

{ image via sjarmerend-gjenbruk}

please yes bring these cupcakes to our next luncheon!

As I mentioned in previous posts, while I use color with a very light touch in my home, Josie likes a bigger dose, and I think Brooke is in-between us.  Even loving color as wildly as she does, Josie tempers it beautifully with lots of white details to keep the color fresh. I recommend a careful approach to color- a little goes a long way and you'll never tire of it if you use it judiciously. 
Well, except for sage green which, those of you who know us, is taboo in our decorating world. 
 Do you still have some of this color in your house??  Call "1-800-NO SAGE GREEN" and have it removed PRONTO!

More to come,

Annie and Team Blue Box

p.s.  all our friends and clients who do have sage green and adore it, you know we love you oodles anyway!!!

{all images via pinterest unless noted}