Posts in Category: MODERN MUSINGS

GOODBYE 2017!

“For last year’s words belong to last year’s language. And next year’s words await another voice.”  -T.S. Eliot

I always get very nostalgic during the sleepy week between Christmas and New Year’s.  Showrooms and workrooms are closed, clients are travelling, and the quiet time allows for much needed reflection and time to reset goals and intentions for the year ahead. After looking at the past few years of doing these posts, I realize that I have the same resolutions from year to year. Clearly these ideas are on my mind if they make my resolution list from every year in 2013, 2014, 2015, and 2016!

GOODBYE 2016!

2016 has been an emotional roller coaster to say the very least…From the desert of Las Vegas to the sand hills of Marrakech, I have had so many extraordinary experiences, but dealing with the grief of losing my mother this year has changed me in ways I never quite imagined.  My mother had a zest for life that was contagious….she made our childhood incredibly magical with her sense of adventure and creativity. From dance parties to treasure hunts, she made everyday a celebration that I only hope I can emulate to carry on her memory. 

Thank you to all of the stars who shined so brightly in my little world this year to help me through the rough spots…You will never know how much I appreciate your friendship and kindness! Many of you appear in the video below…

Life is short….be grateful, forgive a grudge, tell your loved ones you adore them, take the trip, take a risk, don’t wait for tomorrow!

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Click HERE to see the video above…

MODERN MUSINGS: INTRODUCING TRUE GRIT & BROOKE RASNAKE LOWRY

“I speak the truth. It ain’t always pretty but it sure is funny.” – Brooke Rasnake Lowry

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Could it be possible to find the perfect mix of Amy Schumer, Ellen Degeneres and Wanda Sikes all wrapped up in one hilarious gal? I think not and I am thrilled to introduce you to my hilarious friend Brooke Rasnake Lowry and her new blog True Grit. I first encountered Brooke over 30 years ago as a pre-teen in Atlanta.  She had just arrived at our school and all the guys in my class were asking who the HNG (Hot New Girl) was in the class above us. She was pretty damn funny and cool then and is even better now.

Her modern musings on finding the humor in aging, parenting, dieting are not to be missed and I suggest subscribing to her blog to get your daily dose of belly aching laughter by clicking HERE. Also do not miss her article on the Whole 30 at StyleBlueprint where she discusses her journey from eating like a truckdriver to slaying her sugar dragon.

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MEET BROOKE

Who is Brooke? Sadly, this was a real question some loser date I had right out of college asked me…right after he scratched his back with his fork. The answer, it turns out, was a mouth full of pinot grigio spit out, with some going up the nose while saying “Wait, you aren’t kidding?”

It wasn’t until I was 41, getting a divorce, with a toddler, that I started really thinking about who I am.  To be honest, my Chapter Two has turned out to be quite fabulous. In addition to being the oldest mom in preschool, I am married to an awesome guy who thinks I rock and I have 2 children that tend to like me at least a few days of week . I also have a real job that calls for me to be the consummate professional  about 85% of the time. Oh, and recently, out of the blue, I became a writer. While doing the Whole 30 I needed a way to keep myself honest and express my extreme unhappiness of my lack of alcohol, carbs, sugar and dairy.  So I started writing a diary on Facebook and it made me feel good.  It turned out that people liked it, too.  What I like is telling the dysfunctional, albeit funny tales, of my life and family, as well as my general unfiltered observations on just about everything. Beware, I do not mince words.  Like my tagline says, I tell the truth- it ain’t always pretty but it sure is  funny…..eventually.

STUFF I LOVE

What I love most are lists. I like making them and I love crossing things off them, especially “To Buy” lists. I have a serious problem with Coffee Table Books, Pajamas, Pillows and Coffee Cups- these are the things that literally I cannot control myself around. They make me happy.

I am not a trendsetter, I just have really strong opinions on what I like, what I dislike and what I think is funny.

Because I really couldn’t dress myself, decorate my house, keep my job or really do anything if not for my friends- my best friends (aka my Board of Directors) are made up of incredibly creative, tasteful and smart people. They are also likely the only people reading this.

Anyhoo, I am going to start updating this section with more stuff I love and if you don’t love it too we can’t be friends.

Anything written/said by Kelly Corrigan- she is honest and awesome.

Vince Vaughn. He is funny and hot. And this scene is my favorite. Tooo many good quotes in these 3 minutes to even begin to list.

For more design inspiration, be sure to follow along on Instagram, Pinterest, Facebook, Twitter and subscribe to Bespoke Banter. Thanks for reading!

 

GOODBYE 2015!

2016 RESOLUTION REVEALS…

2015 has been quite a year. There have been many highs of adventures and travel with friends old and new, but also lows with loved ones struggling with sickness and health. I always get reflective this time to year to assess what I can do better in the upcoming months.  Hopefully, I am leaving 2015 being a bit wiser, more faithful and grateful. Click here to read my resolution roundups from 2015 and 2014.

Cheers to 2016 and wishing you all a year full of love, laughter, adventure, happiness and health!

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1. SHOW EMPATHY
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2. TRAVEL SOMEPLACE NEW

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3. DON’T FEAR CHANGE

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4. BE CURIOUS

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5. THINK COLORFUL THOUGHTS

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6. BE PATIENT

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7.  ASK FOR HELP

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8. SEEK WONDER

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9. SEEK ADVENTURE3662ca6c09c1a8f528dbd2b178b6f5f3
10. HANG WITH MY TRIBE416803e8159275d531c8977c40317d9a
10. FOCUS ON THE BIG PICTURE2c6ffb7f3986ad26299b30b5affa44fc
11. MAKE TIME TO DANCE

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12. STAY FAITHFUL

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13. THINK POSITIVE THOUGHTS

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14. NEVER SETTLE

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15. BE SILLY.

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16. PRACTICE CONTENTMENT.

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17. AVOID NASTINESS

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18. STRIVE FOR SELF IMPROVEMENT

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19. LET GO.

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20. CHANNEL MERYL

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Click on the image below for a fun look back at highlights from 2015…

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And a peek at our most liked Instagram images thanks to you!

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For more design inspiration, please follow along on Instagram, Pinterest, Facebook, Twitter, and subscribe to Bespoke Banter.

 

 

NATE BERKUS & THE POWER OF VULNERABILITY: DESIGN BLOGGERS CONFERENCE

 Vulnerability is the birthplace of innovation, creativity, and change. – Brené Brown

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What do you get when you combine insane talent, effusive charm and ridiculous good looks? NATE BERKUS.  I had the pleasure to hear him speak last week at the Design Bloggers Conference in Atlanta. As the opening keynote speaker, he set a perfect tone for the day inspiring guests with the ultimate pep talk.

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Nate encouraged all of us to make ourselves vulnerable to realize our full potential as creative talents. He discovered his passion for design at a young age which was not the most popular pastime with his peers. With self-deprecating humor, he regaled many tales of forcing friends to help him rearrange furniture and accessorize their interiors.

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In her celebrated TED Talk (link below), Brené Brown says that “Vulnerability is the birthplace of innovation, creativity and change.  Vulnerability is the core of shame and fear and our struggle for worthiness, but it appears that it’s also the birthplace of joy, of creativity, of belonging, of love.”

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Nate applied this concept not only to his own career but also to his clients. He found that one of the reasons for his success was that he gave his clients permission to be exactly who they wanted to be. He does not try to superimpose a “look” or “trend” into their interiors, but discovers the essence of their personalities. He asks his clients who they are, who they are going to evolve to be, and how he can create a canvas for that life.

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Throughout his career, Nate has remained true to himself by choosing authenticity above all else. He has given himself the permission to take risks, fail, learn from his mistakes, and follow his gut. He encouraged us to not to try to be everything to everybody, but to be everything to ourselves.

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He stresses that, “Imperfections are where the real story lies in design. Chasing perfection makes you unbalanced in all areas of your life…Replace the word “perfect” with “permission”…When we put ourselves out there every day, we make ourselves vulnerable and ultimately give our best selves.”

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Nate also shared that the reach of the blog community is larger than any publication.  As creatives, he feels that we have a responsibility to share our inspiration, but first we have to BELIEVE we are inspiring.

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Nate concluded with a story of a client who lived on the Upper West Side of Manhattan. After her husband died, she started keeping feathers that she discovered along her neighborhood streets as a sort of remembrance from her departed spouse.  Nate framed one of the feathers and placed it in a prominent spot in her home. Although the memento had no real value, it was full of symbolic power for the homeowner. Ever since, Nate encourages his employees and clients to ask themselves, “What is your feather?”

Insert standing ovation!

PORTFOLIO HIGHLIGHTS

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 THE POWER OF VULNERABILITY BY BRENÉ BROWN

In her TED talk, Brene Brown concludes that when she lets her real self be seen, loves with her whole heart, practices gratitude, and leans into joy that her newfound vulnerability has allowed her live her life morefully and authentically. Be sure to watch the TED talk for the complete message!

For more of my design inspiration, please follow along on Instagram, Pinterest, Facebook, Twitter and subscribe to Bespoke Banter….Thanks for reading and please visit again!

WELCOME 2015!

“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.”- Mark Twain

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Many thanks to all of you who made 2014 such a fun and wild year. Click on the image for the highlight reel set to the beat of the best song of 2014!
Wishing all of you a very Happy New Year full of adventure, love and laughter!
Please contact the studio if you are interested in any of our design services. Let us make your design dreams a reality in 2015!
For more of my design inspiration, please follow along on Instagram, Pinterest, Facebook, Twitter and subscribe to Bespoke Banter….Thanks for reading and please visit again!

GOODBYE 2014!

2015 RESOLUTION REVEALS…

The end of the year is always a reflective time for me. It is truly incredible how much can transpire in twelve months which I have been reminded of as I have been doing my annual studio purge this week. I am an incurable sap and get incredibly nostalgic going through pictures and correspondence reminding me of the adventures, memories and friendships I have created over the past year.

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Perhaps it is the English major in me, but I am always a sucker for a good quote (which explains why I have a Pinterest board dedicated to 700 of my favorites!) Last year, when I was contemplating resolutions, the quotes seemed to say it better than I could, so I figured I would have another go for 2015! To see last year’s, click here.

1. TAKE TIME TO DANCE.

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 2. BE REBELLIOUS.

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 3. FOLLOW EMERSON.

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4. BECOME A DANGEROUS WELL-READ CREATURE.

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 5. DEVELOP NERVES OF STEEL.

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6. AVOID DRAMA (AND KEEP THE MUSIC LOUD).

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 7. STOP OVERANALYZING.

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 8. STAY FAITHFUL TO MY AESTHETIC.

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 9. SEIZE THE DAY.

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10. ENJOY BEING BONKERS.

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 11. QUENCH MY WANDERLUST.

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14. EMBRACE THE DETAILS…NO MATTER HOW SMALL.

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 15. SEARCH FOR THE GOLD.

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16. CHERISH MY TRIBE.

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 17. MAINTAIN ORDER.

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 18. BE CHARITABLE.

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19. BE SILLY.

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 20. EDIT.

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21. SHAKE THE WORLD.

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22. ANY MY PERSONAL FAVE…BE CONFIDENT!

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All images via Pinterest.

Please contact the studio if you are interested in any of our design services. Let us make your design dreams a reality in 2015!

For more of my design inspiration, please follow along on Instagram, Pinterest, Facebook, Twitter and subscribe to Bespoke Banter….Thanks for reading and please visit again!

HAPPY THANKSGIVING

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To all of the gardeners out there that made our souls blossom this year, thank you and Happy Thanksgiving!

And now to count a few of my many blessings and things for which I am eternally grateful…

  1. My two adorable turkeys…Evelyn & William
  2. My amazing hubby Ned who loves to cook
  3. Our Isabelle-still wagging her tail at 15 1/2 or 109 in dog years
  4. My rose colored glasses inherited from my loving supportive parents
  5. Ice cold Diet Coke in a can
  6. My happy places…Sayulita, St. Barths and Sullivans Island
  7. Old School Funk
  8. Spiritual faith
  9. Learning to surf in my 40s
  10. The memory of my incredibly chic and forward thinking grandmother
  11. My tennis team
  12. The color pink
  13. My design colleagues that inspire me daily
  14. Having both sides of the brain that work
  15. Matt Bomer
  16. My curious imagination
  17. Kistler Chardonnay
  18. My dance posse
  19. Pagodas
  20. Clients that enable me to have a job I adore
  21. All of the artisans and craftsman that turn my ideas into reality
  22. Prince Harry
  23. The Charlotte airport to help my incurable wanderlust
  24. Take out
  25. Any magazine still in print
  26. Karma
  27. Words of encouragement
  28. Keratin treatments, highlights and that my hair has not fallen out yet!
  29. Charlotte Ballet
  30. The values learned at Washington & Lee- my alma mater
  31. Colorful abstract art
  32. Ugg boots
  33. Not being afraid to make a fool out of myself!
  34. Hot Krispy Kreme doughnuts
  35. The Instagram feeds of Eric Buterbaugh, Ashley Longshore and Jessica Seinfeld for daily giggles (warning…not for children)
  36. Valrhona chocolate
  37. Lela Rose dresses
  38. My running shoes to help get the bats out of my head
  39. My hilarious girlfriends and partners in crime (you know who you are!)
  40. Anyone who reads my musings on Bespoke Banter!

HAPPY THANKSGIVING TO ALL!!!

GOODBYE 2013!

2013 has been an incredible year…I have been blown away by the creative people I have met, the amazing opportunities I have had, and the unconditional support I have received from friends, family and clients.  Thank YOU for everything and I wish you all the best for 2014…Cheers!2013 has been an incredible year….I have been blown away by the creative people I have met, the amazing opportunities I have had, and the unconditional support I have received from friends, family, and clients. Thank YOU for everything and I wish you all the best for 2014…Cheers! As this year comes to a close, I am overwhelmed with gratitude for all the people who have inspired me over the past year. In their honor, these goals will be on my bucket list for the upcoming year…2012013

1. Express Gratitude

2. Be Courageous.

3. Choose Wisely.

4. Dance.

5. Give Grace.

6. Lift People Up.

7. Take Leaps of Faith.

8. Think About Such Things.

9. Forgive.

10. Laugh.

11. Be Myself.

12. Be Daring.

13. Be Artistic.

14. Do Not Be Afraid To Fail.

15. Be Optimistic.

16. Seek Elegance.

17. Challenge Myself.

18. Regret Nothing.

19. Be Thankful Always.

20. Hustle.

21. Simplify.

22. Love.

23. Engage.

All images via Pinterest.

GOOD VIBRATIONS

Surrounded by Good Vibrations

Forgive me friends….it has been 368 days since my last post! After a year dedicated to volunteering and fundraising for The Mint Museum Auxiliary, I am back to solely focusing on interior design and easing back into the world of blogging.  Special thanks to my VERY patient and supportive clients that allowed me to fuel my passion for arts education and acquisitions while working with them this past year.

Over the past twelve months, I have met some of the most inspirational and creative people I have ever encountered. From fashion designers and fundraising gurus to interior design icons and volunteers, I have been blown away by the passion and energy of these talented individuals. The common trait that they all possess is their positive energy and their willingness to share their passion with others.

I was fortunate enough to attend a design conference in Paris this fall and visit Maison & Objet for the first time. I was blown away by the words of the Maison & Objet Observatoire, a small group of French design experts that analyze the current dynamics and changing influences in art, media, home, fashion, and architecture each year. This year’s theme was “ENERGIES” as described below….

The time has come to recharge our batteries. Where design is concerned, we should not save our energies. Quite the reverse. We are encouraging use when circulating GOOD VIBRATIONS… Positive , optimism-inducing waves are electrifying the established order.  This is a beneficent motion that is freeing our imaginations, reinvigorating unexpected aesthetics and activating alternative currents. (To see the full video, click here.)

This idea summed up everything I have been experiencing over the past year and strive to apply to my design practice. From collaborating with clients and workrooms to brainstorming with fellow colleagues, feeding off of each other’s positive energy only yields better results.

Tomorrow, I am off to Nashville on another adventure to attend The Southern Coterie Summit with designers Holly Hollingsworth Phillips and Margaret Fisher for more inspiration with some of the South’s most creative minds. The organizers have put together a fabulous line up of speakers to help us connect, collaborate and create. Stay tuned for details….updates to follow!