It’s Time to Fill the Fireplace…

Ah…the sound of peace and quiet. The fashionista is in summer camp (“Glamping”). She left wearing a Lily Pulitzer sheath (her choice), a pink tutu bathing suit and Target flip-flops. (I am one proud Mama over the fact that she has mastered mixing high-end and low-end to perfection). So while she is kayaking, doing archery and hiking she will certainly look good, and the camp counselors will be wondering if I even have a clue what “Day Camp” is. I know she wasn’t signed up for “How to Host the Perfect Garden Party for Pee-Wee’s”, but can’t a girl enjoy the outdoors and look stylish too?

This week our Mother/Daughter project is a vegetable garden, and so far she’s decided she wants Hot Peppers (evidently they are cute), Carrots for Ellie (the horse), one Pumpkin, 2 stalks of Corn, and lots of Chocolate Mint (because she loves chocolate, and I couldn’t break her heart by telling her that it’s not real chocolate). Of course, Mr. B. hasn’t gotten near the shovel, he believes that gardening is “for chicks.” Although, I bet if I could figure out a way to wheel out his 72″ T.V. during  an Atlanta Braves game we could get him to help us during the commercials…(meow).

So in between putting the cutest little seedlings on “God’s Green Earth” into the freshly tilled soil, I found time to meet with a few clients. While one of my design clients was talking about her latest idea for a bathroom remodel, I was fixated on the fireplace and imagining it filled with something really eye-catching rather than burned out ashes and soot marks. An absolute pet peeve of “The Ace”  is having an empty fire box during the summer months. I thought I would share some of my favorite ideas for turning that empty space into an interesting and unique place to display collectibles…(and Janie this is for you)…

via freshome.com

Stacked logs arranged in varying diameters creates a work of art.

via little-inspirations.blogspot.com

Fill the empty fireplace box with a unique piece of statuary.

via tumblr.com

Not sure what to do with books that are destined for the garage? Stack them in the fireplace…a creative way to store books while creating a unique focal point.

via realsimple.com

I love anything that has to do with the beach, so filling the fireplace with shells is the perfect definition of summer.

via apartmenttherapy.com

Want to spruce up fire wood? Spray them silver or gold…(just remember to use real wood not gas logs).

via housebeautiful.com

Gorgeous greenery can hide unsightly gas logs…

via realsimple.com

Anyway you stack them, birch logs always look so very rich.

realsimple.com

Shells, shells and more shells…

 via wbdnideen.minimalisti.com

Anything arranged in groups always creates a impactful focal point in a fireplace.

via apartmenttheraphy.com

These porcelain logs are on order and arriving at Casa B. just in time for a summer soiree.

Of course don’t forget to enter the #beautifulswitch @ Pinterest Challenge from LegrandNA for a chance to win some fabulous prizes, including $500. to Lowes and pinned items from the adorne Collection. Go to http://www.legrand.us/adornechallenge for more details. (P.S. I’m one of the judges). I do want to mention that I am not receiving monetary compensation, but fabulous product.

As always don’t forget to follow my Pinboards on Pinterest for more design inspiration…

 

Farm Living is the Life for Me

If I could choose any place to live it would be on a farm, hands-down, with Mr. B, the “Metro Man”, kicking and screaming all the way to the barn door. It would be a permanent “hay-cation.” My parents both grew up on farms, and I grew up in a converted farmhouse in Upstate N.Y. near Canada, (eh)! My dad’s office was actually located on the property in a early 1800’s renovated barn. To be honest, it was the worst thing that could have happened to me as a teenager. My dad’s secretary was definitely a covert super spy, because my dad knew everything that was going on around the house even when he was in another state

It was an amazing renovation, complete with exposed beams, cathedral ceilings, original heart of pine floors, white washed walls and ghosts. During a renovation of the house, they found tombstones underneath the front porch, now that is a great example of re-purposing/recycling. Just the thing to make me sleep like a baby at night…

It was and still is a great example of historic preservation, and proof that barns aren’t just a place to keep the cattle or store hay. They can be successfully restored and converted into amazing one-of-a-kind living spaces.

 Photo/Freshome

Now this is the one… 

 This barn was featured in Freshome (www.freshome.com). I love this Gambrel beauty with the tin roof, and the large paneled windows to let all that country sunshine in…

I saved this in a file called “European Farms For Sale” in the event Mr. B wanted to buy me a barn located far…far… away in another land. This converted, stone structure is in Hesket, UK and was once for sale. It was a steal at $480,000 US… Not alot of windows, but at this point I’d be living out my dream so we could always add more…

Alright, technically this isn’t a barn, but a silo, brilliantly designed by Gigaplex Architects of Utah into a hip and modern galvanized steel abode. I just hope they don’t get a lot of rain, because I can’t imagine how soothing that would be on metal siding. But, what a cozy spot. Did you notice the  2 chairs in front of the fire-pit? Me and Mr. B…

This triangular renovated barn is the home of Vincent Herbert, CEO of Pain Quotient. It’s the perfect blend of modern rusticality (did I just make up a word?). Need I say more?

Photo/Martha Stewart

Okay, Martha you have been touting farm life for years (in a good way), so I feel obliged to mention you. Unfortunately, if I bought your property I would immediately convert this stable into a residence. From the paved courtyard to the stacked stone, it just screams “barnyard chic.” Martha and I have two things in common; love of farms, and love of the colour grey. I would say cooking too, but that would be a big stretch…

Photo/Freshome

 Now this is what I’m talking about…I am absolutely bubbling over for this barn re-design. Love the re-purposing of materials, and of course the layout is perfect for this chick, you roll out of bed right into the bath. Brillant!!!

Photo/Freshome

I am absolutely dying to stay in this home/barn. The floors and exposed siding gives the space rustic warmth, and of course I love the mimimalist look of the furnishings, it just works.

Photo/Russell Grove Architects

Did your mother ever ask you when you were young if you lived in a barn? Well…don’t you just wish you could say “yes”? Because this is exactly what I pictured when she asked me (just kidding). But, if only I could say it now “Yes, I actually do live in a barn”..

 This is the eating area, don’t you just adore the fact that they kept the exposed beams and the ladders which at some point lead up to the “hay loft?”  It’s so refined, yet rustic which is the perfect storm in my opinion.

Photo/nationalgeographic.com

 Mr. B. knows that someday, I will at least have chickens, a la Martha Stewart. Let’s face it Martha makes them look like the cutest things to ever cluck on this green earth.

Photo/Martha Stewart

These eggs are just pure colour inspiration, unfortunately I can’t imagine doing anything but leaving them in this milk glass bowl as tabletop decor.

I am so thankful to those who follow my blog, and have supported my efforts. As some of you know I was in L.A. over the weekend, and was a finalist for The Best New Design Blog. It was such an honor to have this distinction along with four other amazing women from all over North America. I have to say that everyone was just too much stinkin’ fun! The shoes, outfits and handbags were amazing, and next year I am totally rethinking my wardrobe, seriously it was like being at Fashion Week!!!

See what I mean about the shoes? The girls in Cali. were all about the Jimmy Choo’s, but my new buddy Iggy was totally about rockin’ the neon. 

 It has been such an incredible journey over the past year, and so many amazing opportunities have come my way, of which I am beyond thankful for. To think that I get to do what I love everyday and be surrounded by such amazing people is more than this girl from a small town in Upstate New York could have wished for. So I came back from L.A. full of inspiration, encouragement and excitement for the future. I’ll continue to keep you posted on all things big and small. So a big warm heartfelt thank you, and heaps of gratitude to all…

There are always flowers for those who want to see them.”- Henri Matisse

Be Amazing…

Vicki “The Ace of Space”

Bolick Interiors, LLC