Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Clutter Confessions

I subscribed to HGTV’s new magazine, and they featured a section called something along the lines of, “Clutter Confessions”.  We all have them…areas of your home that need a little bit of time, but just aren’t important enough to make it on the ‘to-do list’ - mostly because they aren’t seen by daily visitors.

For me, well...let’s just say there are MANY dirty little secrets, but for a starter I decided to shamefully share with you under my kitchen sink & my laundry room. …
Here is the before of my kitchen sink:

I took everything out and realized that the majority of the items I don't use, or were duplicates.  So, anything that I didn’t use on a regular basis (such as insect killer, mouse traps & bug spray) I put either in the garage or on a shelf in the basement.  If there were any cleaners that were duplicates and I could pour them into one, I combined them (but don't worry folks, only those of the same brand).  If they were too full, I transferred them to another bathroom.  For instance, I have an upstairs bathroom, so it was nice to have glass cleaner & floor cleaner up there rather than going up & down the stairs each time I clean, which is what I did before.  The out-of-control grocery bags I put into one tote bag to keep them organized for easy grabbing. 
So, this was my finished result:  

Now, on to my laundry room.  As you may know, my husband & I built our home.  I studied each room of the floor plans, making the finest detailed change.  Some rooms I even completely ‘redesigned’ the floor plan.  But then, there’s the laundry room…I neglected that room completely.  Which if you ask my hubby, he wouldn’t be surprised…as this is the room I had planned on spending the least amount of time in! 
A lot of newer homes have a grand laundry/mudroom combo…there are endless possibilities with spaces like those to make you want to enjoy the room.  However, when your laundry room basically leaves just enough room for the laundry machines & opening the doors…you have to get a little creative with your space planning.  In my mind, the original plan was to stack the washer & dryer.  We tried that, and it simply overwhelmed the room, making it feel even tighter.  Why?  Well, because a stacked unit is like creating a floor to ceiling 'wall' in a room that is already tight.
If you have a small room in your home, you know where I’m coming from when I say that a few out-of-place items can make it look messy.  That is exactly what we faced.  Luckily for you, I never took ‘before’ pics…(well, I guess it would have been a good laugh for you…but yuck!)  So, below are my ‘after’ pics.

Here’s what I did:  By moving both units to one side of the room, opposite the entry door, it gave vertical space for brooms, mops, etc.   I asked my husband to install a wire shelving system for me.  Why wire?  Because it gives the illusion of a more open space, just as when the machines were stacked, solid shelving would have created a visual ‘wall’.  I chose a grey color because it was a little more industrial, and different than your basic white wire shelving units you see everywhere. 

Here you can see how 'tight' the space is...

Finished layout

  I tend to 'merchandise' our stuff to make it look better! :)

  Keeping clear surfaces, will make your room look bigger.

Vertical storage space

Final touches...but oh, SO important!

The last - and very important - part is something I’m very passionate about, and you will hear me say over & over…and that’s “ART”!  I have had several clients over the years who had me help them design framing for laundry rooms.  The first time I heard it I thought (to myself of course) “Well, that must be nice to have enough art to decorate my laundry room.”  Honestly, it makes the room more enjoyable.  Art is YOUR creative stamp on ANY space.  I wanted a serene laundry room with soft colors, so this black & white image is perfect.  I personally have a thing for stormy skies & I love that, in this image, you can see that a storm is coming, even though it is black & white.   
So, don’t forget to design EVERY room in your home.  It’s YOUR home, make it YOUR OWN by spending time on each space little by little.  Please share any of your organization stories with me, I’d love to hear/see what you’ve come up with!  If you have a question or want advice, just post it here or on FB, I’m happy to answer! 

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Frogs, Snails & Puppy Dog Tails

Below are some images from the Baby Shower this past weekend.  Congratulations Eric & Laura, we all can't wait to meet your little boy!

Friday, October 7, 2011

Fwd: Childrens furniture

I just love creating nurseries!  Growing up my parents must have recognized a talent in me, as they always let me create my own room, and change it as I grew.  I went from liking mauve ornate (Boy, that dates me doesn't it?) to blue county, to black and white modern, to green serene.  With that in mind, I always try to design a space that babies and children can grow with.  But most importantly, I think all children's rooms should have a feel of inspiration and whimsy! 
Check out these fun palettes by Sherwin Williams & fantastic furniture pieces from Posh Tots!
Love a color you see?  I'm more than happy to bring my color swatches to you so you can see how they look in your creative space!


phone:  219.877.8246

Sent from my iPad

Monday, September 26, 2011

Baby Boy Shower

I'm currently working on a baby shower! Here are three design boards that were presented to the mother-to-be. Check back in the upcoming weeks to see what she chose, and how everything looked!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Windy City Live Clip

So, we all have our little lame "claims to fame."  Right? I'm still gloating over the fact that I got to ask HGTV's new 'Design Star,' Meg, a question on 'Windy City Live' this morning! It's almost as if they stopped the interview briefly just to acknowlege how great of a question I asked! ;)  (snort!)  Congrats, Meg, and thanks for taking my question!  To check out my geeky thrill, click the video clip below:


Thursday, September 8, 2011

Fwd: Pan am

Sometimes, when TV shows become hits, they can influence fashion and even interiors. That has me wondering if the ratings will be good for the new show 'Pan Am'. So, I've put together how I think this new, swanky, vintage show would translate into a furniture form.  Check it out!

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Check out my signage on wheels!  It's amazing how representing my own business makes me keep a clean car.  Also, suddenly, I'm much more aware of my behavior behind the wheel.  No, not my driving.  If anything I'm likely to be the annoying person doing the speed limit.  No, rather, I tend to be a singing fool behind the wheel...and now folks have the power to see who the goofball passionately singing at a stop light is!
If ya see me around, give me a honk... :)

Tuesday, August 23, 2011


So, I entered this 'little' NATIONAL furniture contest...call me crazy... 

Hickory Chair, out of North Carolina, is hosting the contest to celebrate 100 years of fine furniture making.  You can win $10,000 worth of furniture...doesn't that just make the clouds part & angels sing in your ears?

The Furniture Piece?
Well, I'm a fan of finding inspiration & running with it.  I've searched online for the perfect sofa for my kitchen.  Yes, you read that right, my kitchen.  Well, technically it's a sunroom, but it is open concept with my kitchen.  Many folks are putting sofas in their kitchens & breakfast nooks these days, and I'm wanting the same thing.  Sitting by my giant windows reading, having coffee, or simply offering a comfortable place for guests to sit while in the kitchen is right up my alley. I mean, everyone gathers in the kitchen as the 'heart of the home,' so why shouldn't it be more comfortable?

The Glitch? 
I didn't want the sofa or bench to look like it belonged in a living room. 

The Inspiration?
My inspiration came from an old corrugated cheese cutter...I felt that anything belonging in the kitchen needs a little touch of industrial.  I love putting a fresh touch on traditional things, so incorporating corrugated metal seemed perfect.
I just really hope I win...because as you all know, once you've seen or had the idea of what will be 'perfect' it's hard to settle for anything else.  Check out my submission below, what do you think?

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Delight In Small Things

When my new color supplies arrived, I was just so excited I had to take a picture!

I have the full collection of 'Sherwin Williams' & 'Benjamin Moore' Paint swatches, with large chips samples my clients get to keep after we've selected their perfect color scheme! 

I also had short-term excitement over my first piece of junk mail...but I'll spare you the pictures of the envelope. :)
Have an inspiring day!

Monday, May 16, 2011

What's with the name?

The short answer:
A 'Lintel' is a horizontal header beam supported by two vertical posts on either end.  It supports openings such as a window or door.
A 'Lally' is a concrete filled column that supports long spans of beams.
The long answer:
I've been toying with the idea of starting a design business & even went back to school for interior design, but the day the third random person knocked on my door asking me, "Who 'picked the colors for this house?", I felt that the time is NOW...let's dive in & do this!

So, what started as a hobby grew into a business, which meant we needed a name, and fast!  We tried the typical 'list of favorite words'.  We spent hours on the thesaurus trying to find different ways to say, 'inspiring, creative, inviting, interior design, etc'.  All the obvious names had all ready been taken.   We couldn't just settle for something predicatable.  Sure, Barbara’s last name would be perfect 'Holmes, Holmestead-designs'...but our designs are about each individual we work with.  We didn't want the name to be about 'us'. 
After pondering countless word combos, a scene from 'Mr. Blandings Builds His Dream House', came to mind.  It was a scene where the character, played by Cary Grant, gets asked the puzzling question, "Do you want the Lintels between the Lallies rabbeted?"  It is a comical scene that always brings a smile to our faces. 
A lintel is a beam that runs horizontally across two lally columns, usually for a home's entrance.  And so, long story short, L & L is set out to make you love your home the moment you cross your threshold - your Lintels & Lallies.

BTW-if you haven't watched 'Mr. Blandings Builds His Dream House', I highly recommend it! ;)

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Livin' the Dream

Well, hello there!  Welcome to my 'Lintels & Lallies' blog!
I suppose the title to this blog should be 'The Journey to the Dream', because I don't think anyone should ever really aim to live THE dream, because then what is there left to achieve?! :)
So what's the dream?  Why, I'm so glad you asked! (giggle)
Before I get started here, let me just say that I'm likely the world’s biggest dreamer.  I honestly think it is possible to win the lottery on the same day the prize patrol knocks on my door, followed by being 'discovered'!  Some dreams we have control of, and some we do not.  Today I'm talking more about the dreams I CAN control.  I have many, but right now I'm talking about my dream of owning my own business.
I believe this 'bug' is in my blood.  It started three generations ago.
Here is the point where the monitor should fog over and you'd hear vintage music.....

My great-grandparents opened a stained-glass business when they moved from Europe to the US.  Then, my grandfather started his own service business, and my father eventually followed in his footsteps.
I grew up going on jobs with my dad.  I learned so many great lessons on how to properly serve clients from watching him.  My dad gets a job done fast, does everything with a smile on his face & most importantly he helps people in a genuine fashion.  Honestly, on my long list of 'goals', I would like to write a book on service.  Yes, I've learned THAT much from my father. (sniffle)

I've always known that I physically couldn't keep the family business, but I didn't realize until the last 6-7 years, that I'm doing the same thing as my dad, but in the field of design.  So, in a way, the dream carried on.

If you ask my close friends & family they'd probably say "It's about time, she's been talking about doing this forever!" :)  I've been consulting friends, family & friends of friends off & on for over ten years now.  And when the third person knocked on my front door asking who picked the colors on our house, I knew the time was NOW.

Whew!  So, long story short, I'm finally creating an actual business owned by my husband & I with the help of people who are very close & dear to me.  A huge "Thank you!!" to all of you who have recognized my talents & helped encourage me to follow this dream.  It feels good to have something of my own that nobody can take away.  Let the fun begin! :)