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Posted by on Sep 20, 2013 | 1 comment

Salvage with Style: Sue’s Old Oak Doors

Salvage with Style: Sue’s Old Oak Doors

Using salvaged hardware and materials in your home is a simple and cost-effective way to add character. When Sue and her husband designed their new home, they used eco-friendly materials throughout, like reclaimed wood flooring and petroleum-free insulation. And, after doing some research online on upcycled doors, they took a spontaneous road trip to New Jersey to check out some salvaged doors. The trek was worth it. They came home from Recycling the Past in Barnegat, N.J. with 10 solid oak interior doors that not only saved them a pretty penny, but look fantastic in their home as well. Here are two adjoining doors that the used for their kitchen pantry. Sue said the doors had layers of paint, but they chose to only have them sanded down by a professional. It’s a deliberate interior design choice to leave the doors looking distressed. The pantry doors don’t have knobs, but they don’t really need them to function. And they look pretty cool in their original state. They did have...

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Posted by on Aug 27, 2013 | 0 comments

Urban Cabin Chic: Inspiration from a Virginia Mountain Lodge

Urban Cabin Chic: Inspiration from a Virginia Mountain Lodge

If you want to “get the look” in your home of a rustic cabin in the woods, where else to find inspiration than in a 200-year-old Virginia mountain lodge. When my husband Matt and I and our girls arrived at the cabin in the Blue Ridge Mountains last weekend in Crabtree Falls, I was instantly taken with its authentic decor. I’m not talking about transforming one’s entire home with this look, but why not add a few woodsy accessories to the mix. Some of the elements I noticed in our cabin may be perfect for Drew’s Urban Cabin, in fact. Last year, Katie and I helped Drew design his new apartment. We contrived a style just for him called urban cabin, “a space filled with warm natural tones and textures with a nod to modern lines and a smidge of vintage whimsy.” Other elements from our authentic Virginia cabin may work for anyone who wants to add some back country character to their home. For example, here is the perfect cabin...

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Posted by on Jul 9, 2013 | 0 comments

Decorating with Cut Flowers and Branches

Decorating with Cut Flowers and Branches

My friend Kris has a wonderful knack for creating effortlessly beautiful vignettes in her home using fresh flowers from her garden and branches she’s gathered on hikes. The fresh or dried botanicals adorn every room in her house and give a glimpse of her romantic interior design aesthetic. Kris’s home is a curation of objects inspired from her time living in Naples, Italy, a study of fine art and art history, a love of antiques and a penchant for displaying quirky collections of all sorts of objects like black-and-white family photographs, vintage figurines, her kids’ pottery creations, bottles of varying shapes and sizes, even playful items like plastic mermaids, Playboy barware, and dolls, both creepy and cute.  Here, Kris cleverly displays the mushrooms she found attached to tree stumps in the forest. Early in the morning, the sun streams through the window in her bathroom, giving an ethereal quality to her dried leaf and fresh daisy arrangement. Kris shows how you can easily incorporate elements of nature (either live...

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Posted by on Jun 19, 2013 | 1 comment

Small-Space Eco Design with Del Ray Cafe

Small-Space Eco Design with Del Ray Cafe

It’s nice when you find inspiration for your next design or DIY project right in your own back yard. On a recent “home” and garden tour of Del Ray Cafe (DRC), owner Margaret Janowsky showed Leslie and me how they designed and maintain a green landscape at the restaurant, but she also shared a wealth of small-space and eco-friendly interior design projects anyone can replicate in their own homes. First, small-space solutions. It’s been a dream of mine to have bench seating with storage underneath, and furniture like this that pulls double duty is always welcome. You’ll find DRC’s built-in benches in the dining room on the first floor. They also have built-in cupboards on either side of the front windows for storage with a counter in the middle, a simple way to make a breakfast nook out of a small wall. Upstairs, they converted a functioning door into a community message board so local businesses can leave cards. Below, they painted a chalkboard for the day’s specials. If you aren’t one to display...

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Posted by on Mar 27, 2013 | 2 comments

Spring Jobs Around the Home

Spring Jobs Around the Home

Last year, my gardening guru and neighbor Eileen told me the bright yellow forsythia blooms are a cue to get started on some Spring jobs around the garden. Now that I’ve seen a few blossoms, I’m itching to do something with my pathetic neglected garden. But I also started thinking of some other jobs around the home. 1. Give Your Home a Check-up Before the heat and humidity arrive, you might be calling for a tune-up for your air conditioner, so why not have your plumber give your hot water heater a little look-see as well. Don’t be like me and let it fester there for years on the brink of disaster. If you’re concerned about home security, you can call the Alexandria Police Department for a free home assessment. They’ll help you determine the need for any improvements/upgrades to your home. 2. Love the Earth There are lots of easy eco-friendly jobs you can do around the house. Last summer I made reusable sandwich/snack bags for lunches. So far they have...

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