Studio Tour | Misty Spencer

I'm not usually an envious person. Sure, there are things I see out in the world and think, "Wouldn't it be nice". But usually I can simply admire and move on. Then last week, I met designer and entrepreneur, Misty Spencer, at her home in Fort Worth, Texas for a Houzz.com photo shoot. (See my full Houzz tour HERE.) And oh my, oh my, the envy kicked in big time. Spencer's home studio is a dream. 

Misty, who recently launched Objects Living out of her home, believes that good looks can come at any price. She says, “You don’t have to have money to create a beautiful design. Design isn’t about brand names; it’s about having things around you that make you happy.”

One need look no farther than Spencer's own studio to see that she speaks the truth. Black walls, layered rugs, vintage pieces, books galore, pink accents, bling-y bits of gold - it's a gorgeous mix. The best part about working from home? Spencer's adorable four-year-old daughter, Stella, can get be mama's design assistant! Take a look... 




















Make sure you head over to Houzz.com to see the full tour of 
Misty's amazing Fort Worth Craftsman Bungalow. 



Find Misty elsewhere...




Dreaming of the Sea

I don't know what bit me, but I was a painting fool last week.  
I love life in Dallas, but I think I am missing my native coastal California.
Here's a look at my most recent work.



Then There Were Four   -   36 x 48 acrylic on canvas   -   SOLD


And please don't forget to enter my giveaway!
Click HERE and enter to win an original art print from my shop.

DIY for Your Favorite Quote

A few months ago at a yard sale, I picked up a large frame with a faded piece of art.  The frame was gorgeous, but the artwork was beyond repair. I bought it for four dollars with the intention of painting over the canvas.  Since I'm still waffling over what to paint, I decided to write out my favorite quote (from poet Louise Bogan) and hang it in my office for a little daily inspiration. I'm sure I'll paint over it soon, but until then, this is a lovely incarnation.





Oh... I forgot to add...

The canvas is exposed and there is no glass over the top of the art.  I painted with an acrylic paint directly onto the existing artwork. I let it dry and hung it up. I didn't seal it or treat the canvas in any way before painting.

Studio Details

I've so enjoyed having my own studio space this fall.  It was definitely worth giving up our guest room. As with most home studio offices, the room is shifting and changing to meet my creative needs. Furniture is removed, lighting is added as editing is always a process oriented endeavor. I feel like this new space is starting to settle, though, and I'm finding a rhythm. Here are some shots of the space as it exists in this moment. 






My artwork can be purchased HERE

Studio Time

Happy Monday! Yesterday, I spent the day painting my living room! For those of you who were wondering, the hubs and I finally decided on Symphony Blue by Benjamin Moore. I'm not quite finished, but I will be posting a full tour of the newly revamped space on Friday - so make sure to check back. This week, in addition the usual schedule, I'll be writing and painting in my studio... 

Painting on the easel for sale HERE


Have a great day!

The Art Studio of Cara Livermore

Cara Livermore is an artist who sells her beautiful wares at SewIndieShop on Etsy.  Her studio was featured a while back on the Etsy blog but I wanted to share it here as well. Her studio is located on the third floor of an old home in Rochester, NY. When asked why she needed to create a studio for herself, Cara says, "I finally decided that I needed to live my life the way I always wanted to; I needed to make art full time or I wouldn’t be happy."  Read the full article HERE.





You can also find Cara on Pinterest or at her home site, HERE.

How does the room feel?

I am not interested in recreating the look of the rooms below, but rather the feel of these rooms.  I'm in the process of tweaking some things in my home, one of which includes painting the walls of my living room. When I redecorate my own home, I usually only use what's already in the house. And if there is something I want to change up, then I can put an old item out on Craigslist in return for money towards the new item.  But for now, I'm brainstorming and this is the direction I'm heading in...

I want my living room to feel like the photo below:
elegant
bohemian
moody
comfortable
old world
layered
 


I want my studio office to feel like the photo below:
library-like
bright
creative
inviting
stimulating
layered
accessible
artsy

 


I want my master bedroom to feel like the photo below:
luxurious
natural
sexy
cozy
soft
simple
uncluttered
serene





A Room of My Own - New Studio Office

Remember the THIS post from Saturday: "A Someday Home Studio"?  Well, it turns out that "someday" wasn't that far away.  My amazing husband read the post and gave me the green light to move my home office from the tiny cramped room off our kitchen to the guest room.  Our agreement was that I would ONLY use things I already had on hand in the house and that I would not spend a dime.

So, I spent all day Sunday hauling books, moving furniture, choking on dust bunnies and basically rearranging the entire house. The guest bed went into my son's room (he scored on the upgrade). I took the bookcases from the nursery and replaced them with the homeless twin bed from my son's room.  I worked from 9:30am-1pm on breaking down and reassembling furniture and then spent a few hours in the evening pulling it all together.  Here are the results!





Drum roll please...




The desk lamp is a thrift store score from the summer. I found this lattice-work Blanc de Chine lamp base for five dollars! The print on the easel ("Nude with Coral Necklace" by August Macke) was a gift from iCanvas Art. I'll be hosting a giveaway for them in the coming weeks so be sure to check back. You too could snag yourself a piece of awesome art!

 


The table next to the bathroom door is actually two file cabinets butt to butt.  I don't particularly like the look of it, but it will serve for the time being. I covered it in a piano shawl and propped a one-dollar yard sale painting on top. This part of the room will have to evolve a bit before I'm satisfied.



I had this green velvet slipper chair (Crate and Barrel) in another room. The gray chevron pouf on the floor is by Aletafae. I won it during a blog giveaway last year. The two Picasso prints are among my favorite pieces of art EVER. The top one is "Margo", a portrait of a prostitute at a bar Picasso frequented. The other is from his blue period called "La Vida" - a couple standing face to face, the woman with their baby and the man with his lover.



The desk is an antique breakfast table that my husband purchased before he and I were even dating. Its a creaky, wonderful piece with two leaves and lots of character. Oh and remember that thing about not spending a dime?  Well, I broke my promise and bought the potted pink orchid at Ikea for 4.99 - it was half price because one of the stems had broken off. But the room needed something alive and surely my sweet man can forgive five dollars, right?



So that's the whole shebang!  I am so excited to have such a beautiful room for writing, reading, painting and puttering.  And I'm so grateful that I have the kind of husband who says "yes" to my cooky whims.



And just a reminder
to enter the Shabby Apple gift card giveaway this week!
To enter, click HERE.

A Someday Home Studio

As always, I'm in hot pursuit of "me space". I love my little office nook, shoved into a corner of my laundry room.  It's functional and practical.  I can write and work from home while keeping an eye on my kiddos.  But it also means that any work I do is littered with distractions, noise and the general hub-bub of my home.  This week I've been drooling over these amazing studio/office spaces, dreaming of a time when I might have, as Virginia Woolf once had, a room of my own.

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This is my little makeshift office.  It's tucked into a small corner of my laundry room.  It's a bit cramped but seems to work well for the moment.  I sit at this desk all the time and would love to have a space that's more conducive to writing and other creative pursuits.  I want a real studio - a space that is all my own that supports my painting, my writing and my quiet time.  This will be a long term process, but my hope is to have a room of my own by this January. 

Photo by Valerie Dickman for Houzz.com


Brilliant Bookcases

I'm away from home with my husband on a job right now, and I didn't bring a good book to read. I'm sorely missing my home library. So today, I'll be stopping by a local book store on the hunt for a good quick read. Any suggestions?

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There is still time to enter our current giveaway
you could win a hand woven, silk, Ikat pillow cover from IKATSUZANI!


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Wire Basket Accents in your Office

The rustic look of vintage wire baskets is perfect for an office or studio.  I love these up-ended cylindrical baskets below used as the base for a desk.  The cute vintage tin drawer on the desk is also really sweet.

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I also really like the look of vintage baskets secured to a wall.
You can organize all your paper work and keep it easily accesible.

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And if you can't find vintage baskets, you can find something similar at Pottery Barn:

Wire Wall Baskets at PB Teen


And there is always Urban Outfitters for all your psudo-vintage needs:
Wire Basket Shelves at Urban Outfitters



Interior Shifts

Last January, we moved Baby Charlie out of our bedroom and into his brother's room.  It was my hope that we could reclaim our master bedroom (which we did) and give the boys a space of their own (which we did).  For the first seven months the boys did a great job sharing a room and sleeping soundly through the night.  Then Charlie had his surgery in August and it all came apart.  Charlie was waking up two to three times a night and Walker would get up with him.  It was a bad situation.  Charlie has been bed surfing every since, which I'm sure is contributing to his sleep confusion.  So, we give up.  We're going to give the boys their own rooms.  The only bummer is that I'm going to lose my office.

But Jack and I came up with a plan. 
Here is an unused corner of our laundry room:



I left the table (an antique purchased twelve years ago by my husband) and pulled out the leaves, which fit the space perfectly leaving about a half inch on either side.  I brought in my rolling file cabinets, which slid neatly on either side of the table legs.  I couldn't have planned it better.  Here is the new incarnation:



Its not perfect, but it serves all my needs.



For Walker's room, we removed all of Charlie's nursery furniture and replaced it with some of the office furniture.  I also brought in a Titanic poster that was hiding in the office.





And the office has now been transformed into Charlie's nursery.  I didn't paint or move the book cases out because frankly, I don't have the time.  Plus, I love the color of my office (Moroccan Spice by Behr) and I do most of my reading when I'm rocking Charlie to sleep.  The couch went into Walker's room and the harp went into my bedroom. 



...and here are Charlie's new digs. (Excuse the fuzzy photos.)




The mobile hanging above Charlie's crib was created by my mother.  The morning of Charlie's craniofacial surgery, Jack, my husband, awoke early with Charlie.  (The following might sound kind of juju-hoo-doo to some of you but here it goes.)  When Jack saw Charlie, he had a vision that Charlie was surrounded by a thousand golden butterflies, each one representing a protective prayer and love-thoughts flying through the universe to Charlie on his surgery day.  I told my mother about the vision and she created this:


So there it is... the great interior shift of 2011.
And guess what... Charlie slept for 10 hours last night.
Coincidence?  I think not.

A Pretty Mess

For me, organization is is usually about creating a pretty mess.  Organization demands that I take something in a state chaos and create accessibility rather than order.  If I can get at it quickly, then I consider it organized.  If it's buried and I can't lay hands on it, then its time to clean up.  Both of the spaces below are very different in style and level of organization, but I still consider them to be a pretty, well organized mess.  I think they're lovely.

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Just FYI - I've recently been browsing Reader's Digest (of all places) for home decorating ideas.  They've got all sorts of sweet organization ideas and tips for getting everyday household items to serve double duty.  It might help me out as I get my office in order.

Finding Bohemia

Our homes, just like our bodies, seem to grow and deteriorate at the same time.  Its a beautiful opportunity to appreciate and even revel in the natural order.  One of my favorite chairs is fraying and at a point where most people would replace or re-upholster.  But I love the chair's shabby and well-loved look.  Maybe its important to respect the decay and live with it for a while before mending the holes, shreds and thread bare bits that expose our underbelly.  Living in harmony with wear and tear is one way to find that special kind of bliss I call Bohemia.

Map of Bohemia 1896

via Decorology

via Desire to Inspire

via Abigail Ahern

via Anne Kata

via Design Labyrinth

via Moon to Moon

via Architectural Digest

Leslie Williamson Photo

via Two Tall Blondes

Annie Lennox in Blue

I've just finished listening to Annie Lennox's new Christmas Album, A Christmas Cornucopia.  It is marvelous!  Annie has drawn upon her rock and New Wave roots and included lush Moroccan, Arabic and Celtic orchestrations to create this new collection of carols. Annie dubs her voice three, four, sometimes eight times over to achieve an angel choir of Annie Lennoxes.  But these angels are not your typical heavenly choir.  Her take on these carols is ballsy, boastful, and filled with big harmonies.  Another thing I love about the songs on this album is that Annie articulates every word.  I've heard most of these carols a hundred times, but her clarity of speech affords the listener a new look into the story behind the carol.  There is also a new song, written by Annie, at the end of the album called "Universal Child".  I was driving in my car when I heard this song for the first time and I just balled my eyes out (it might be the post partum hormones). "Universal Child" seemed to speak directly to my feelings for my son, Charlie, and the situation we find ourselves in with his health issues.  Its a gorgeous song about love, divinity and what it means to care for a child. Also, I love her album cover.  The blue background inspired me to pull out these dark and dreamy interior photos I had tucked away in my inspiration file. 


Jeffrey Bilhuber
DecorPad

Farrow and Ball

Elle Decor

Toast

House Beautiful


via Remodelista

via Style At Home

Sara Gilbane

via All You Desire

Skona Hem

via Hue

P.S. Don't forget to enter our current giveaways from Olive and Ruby, B. Poetic Home and Ramsign!