Can't You Just Taste The Sweet Tea?

Summer is in full-force here in Charleston and it is H-O-T! But that doesn't stop us from being outside! Whether beachside, poolside or dockside, we will spend countless hours outdoors amongst the mosquitoes and humidity relishing every minute of our Utopian town.

In a city that is famous for its southern porches (or verandas or piazzas), we clearly do a lot of outdoor entertaining. As the big holiday weekend approaches, I am looking forward to spending time amongst close friends enjoying good food, great conversation and lots of cold beer! I know it is only Tuesday but I am already dreaming of the long weekend hence these inspirational photos to help get you in the mood as well. Happy daydreaming!
~Images: 1) Unknown 2) Window and Wall Ideas Summer 2006 3) House Beautiful March 2002 4) Elle Decor 5) Country Home March 2008


Zebra Rugs

Another favorite of mine is the zebra rug. There is just something about the graphic design and the soft texture that makes a room seem instantly glamourous. Here are some images I have collected over the years. I especially love layering a zebra rug over a seagrass rug like I did in my own living room.
~Image: 1) Designed by Ken Fulk 2) Designed by Jonathan Adler 3) Liz Lange's Home Designed by Jonathan Adler Featured in Domino August 2007 4) Designed by Margaret Ann McEver in Domino April 2007 5) My Living Room

Want One? Zebra printed on cowhide rug approximate size is 5x8 for $595 + shipping. Email
sidney@eclectic-idg.com for more information!


A-ma-zing Closets

After a long day at the beach, I am now trying to be somewhat productive although my body is really fighting me on this. As I am putting away my laundry, I am wishing that I had a really grand closet. Wouldn't it be great to have a closet that mimics a store boutique? Take a look at some of these amazing closets! I am officially inspired. Hopefully I will post photos soon of my new and improved boutique closet!
~Images: 1) Eva Jeanbart-Lorenzotti's closet featured in Domino April 2007 2) Designed by Kay Douglas featured in Traditional Home May 2007 3) J.Crew Creative Director Jenna Lyons featured in Domino Nov 2008 4) Unknown 5) Designed by Barclay Fryery


Happy Birthday Finn!

So today is my nephew Finn's 7th birthday (oldest of my three nephews) and I am so bummed that I could not go to Atlanta to help him celebrate. However, I wanted to give a shout-out to the cutest, smartest (and oftentimes most manipulative) little boy around! I have enjoyed being your aunt more than you will ever know! Don't you just want to pinch his cheeks? And I couldn't resist sharing with you some of my favorite quotes of his because he is always cracking me up! Happy Birthday buddy!
-When he told me this week that the video game he wanted was really, really rare and they only sold it at Target and Walmart.
-When he asked me what my boyfriend did for a living (in the same tone that my father would ask me...he was three at the time).
-When he gave me the tour of his bedroom/bathroom (where I was sleeping for the night) and told me he left out some shaving cream in case I needed to shave my legs.
-When he told his classroom that his aunt lived in Charleston with all the boys (no idea where this came from!).
-When he told me he could see "my plumber's crack." (Thoes darn designer jeans!)
-When he puts things in air quotes (this is a new development and he never uses them correctly a la Joey on Friends).


Barbie Furniture

As a young girl I was a huge and I do mean HUGE Barbie fanatic! I would spend hours upon hours "setting the scene" for the Barbie play I was going to act out. In fact, the setting up was my favorite part...I would lay out the Barbie village and decorate Barbie's Dream Home and plan out her wardrobe according the the imaginary play that I had created. I was in heaven! I was fortunate to inherit lots of Barbie furniture and clothes from older cousins and family friends so my entire basement was a Barbie Wonderland.

When my parents moved from Atlanta to Beaufort, they brought several boxes of my old Barbie stuff with them (God bless those pack rats!). Recently I spent a weekend at their house and I relished going through all the old 80's Barbie fashions and 70's furniture (remember the blow-up stuff?). It is unreal the amount of joy those little plastic dolls gave me the first decade of my life.

One of the fantastic discoveries I made in the old boxes were some bright yellow "S" chairs. I was not alive during the chairs' prime but have since discovered them in many of my favorite design magazines. The "S" chair was invented by Verner Panton in 1960 and is the very first single-form injection-moulded plastic chair ever made. Also known as the "stacking chair," these were his most mass-produced and well-known product.
~Images: 1) Traditional Home 2) Rashida Jones Home in Domino Feb 2008 3) Domino March 2008

Want One? Try www.moderndose.com where you can pick up a reproduction "S" chair for only $265!


Organizing Your ReDecorating Project

If you have ever built a home, remodeled a home or even redecorated your home, you know how overwhelming it can to keep up with all of the information like paint colors and window measurements and fabric samples. My clients often ask me what is the best way to keep track of all this pertinent information and I think there are several good systems, it really depends on which one works best for you.

If I am taking on a large design job I like to use an accordion file. I label each tab with the name of the room like "living room" or "master bedroom" or by category for example "notes" or "photos." This system works well for me because I can keep all information in the pocket for each room (tear sheets of products, sketches, room dimensions, etc.) and I can carry the accordion folder with me to showrooms so I have everything I need at my fingertips.

Another good system for organizing your redecorating project is a spiral notebook or sketch book. For example, you can attach photos of your living room sofa, notate the measurements and even paperclip the fabric swatch directly to the page. A notebook is also easy to carry around with you and you can make direct notes while on shopping excursions. If you want to have the information at hand but don't feel the need to be quite so organized, you can also keep all the information in a zippered pouch. Samples will fit nicely and all of your sizes and dimensions can simply be jotted on graph paper.

In order for any of these systems to work however, you must keep the information updated and easily accessible! I would recommend keeping it in your purse or your car. If you are out shopping and find an amazing handmade pillow and want to know if it will match your new bedding, you have the fabric swatch handy. Or if you finally find the perfect antique farm table but are not sure it will fit within the confines of your dining room, you can retrieve your file, notebook or pouch to look up your room's dimensions. Ta da! You have just avoided buying yet another piece of furniture that won't fit in your home!
~Images: 1) Unknown 2) Martha Stewart Good Things 3) Blueprint


Displaying Family Photos

One of my biggest design pet peeves is a mess of mis-matched picture frames overcrowding a room. As I tell my clients, if there are too many frames then it just reads as clutter and you no longer see the amazing photos they are trying to showcase. With that being said, I love to display family photos and think it is an important element in making a house a home. So I am constantly trying to come up creative and stylish ways to display some of my client's favorite photos. I feel that displaying family photos tend to have more of an impact if they are framed in a similar manner and hung together in a grouping so the photos themselves takes centerstage. Here are some great examples that I have collected over the years for inspiration.
~Images: 1)Unknown 2) Southern Accents Designer Betsy Brown 3) BH&G July 1998 4) Elle Decor 5) BH&G July 1998 6) Domino Oct 2005


Sunburst Mirrors

Confessions time...I have a slight obsession with sunburst mirrors. These beautifully crafted works of art originally made their debut in the 1960's during the Art Deco movement. Usually considered extremely modern or "glam", I have used versions of this mirror to adorn the walls in client's homes whose tastes range from very modern to ultra-traditional. Many originals are still available for purchase but be prepared to spend thousands! Luckily you can snag a reproduction for minimal cost and still achieve the same look. These are a few images I have collected over the years of some amazing sunburst mirrors that have inspired me when decorating for my clients. The last image is of my own bedroom.
~Images: 1) Better Homes and Gardens Aug 2007 2) Unknown 3) Molly Sims L.A. Home featured in In Style Home Fall/Winter 2007 4) Elle Decor Rose Tarlow's Melrose Home 5) My bedroom

Want One?
I have a great sunburst mirror for sale, only $250 + shipping. Email me for photos at


Celerie Kemble: Can I Have Your Autograph?

This is me totally dorking out with one of my interior design idols, Celerie Kemble, of Kemble Interiors based in New York and Palm Beach. I went to hear her speak at ADAC (Atlanta Decorative Arts Center) back in May and she was such an amazing and articulate speaker! Despite having a famous designer as a mother, Celerie has made quite a name for herself in the design world. With a respectable client list, an exclusive array of fabrics for Schumacher and a furniture line for Lane Venture (among many other projects I am sure!) Celerie has already had a dream career.

Celerie's unique style, as defined in her book, "Celerie Kemble: To Your Taste Creating Modern Rooms with a Traditional Twist" is apparent in all the spaces she creates. Without having met any of her clients, I can tell that Celerie really listens to them and respects their needs yet still manages to cast her own imprint on these interiors. In my opinion, this is a skill that really sets a good interior designer apart from the competition.

In her ADAC speech, she spoke about the cover of her book which illustrates a client's foyer that was unfinished at the time of the photo shoot. The memorable chairs flanking the console are something she found at a Florida flea market with hopes of recovering but due to lack of time, included them in the shot covered in their original fabric. Seeing as how this photo made the cover of her book, these chairs are prime example of what I would call a "happy accident"! I can't wait to see what she does next!!!
~Image: Cover of Celerie Kemble's book



Ok, how can you not love Tina Fey??? She is hilarious. Loved her on SNL, loved Mean Girls, loved Baby's Mama, love love love her show 30 Rock and now I love her for coining the perfect term for my business (interior design + professional organizing). I have never quite known how to market both aspects of what I do. So I usually market one or the other but never both together. In an episode of 30 Rock she is shown carrying loads of bags from The Container Store and when someone asks her where she has been she responds "Decorganizing." Absolutely brilliant!!! I am totally going to steal that from her!
~Image: Tina Fey online photo gallery


Interior Re-Design

Another great article in the July 2009 Issue of House Beautiful highlights a one day room makeover by designer Jonathan Rosen in New York. A fantastic concept in this faultering economy! Oftentimes, people have items that they love but just don't know how to arrange them in a pleasing manner.

I recently sent out this flyer offering an Interior Re-Design service, where I can come into your house and redecorate using items that you already own. The process begins with a proper space plan and funiture arrangment then moves onto rearranging art and accessorizing. Together we come up with a "wish list" of items needed to complete the design. I can continue the process for you by shopping for said items or you can tackle the remaining pieces on your own.


My First Blog!

In this economy it is so hard to remain upbeat and positive but I am doing my best! I created this blog as a way for me to keep my eye on design and to keep my mind stimulated when I am not as busy with projects. And with the cancellation of so many of my favorite design magazines (still mourning you Domino!) I was happy to get this little gem in my mailbox today. Thank you House Beautiful for making me smile!!!

This is an image from the July 2009 issue about painting an accent wall. I think this can be a really effective design technique but only if the architecture warrants it...like in this image. However, I am not a big fan of painting just one wall in a square room. It tends to break up the flow of the space too much. I love to use bold color to paint out a niche or the back wall of a bookcase or even to paint out a section of a wall as a backdrop to highlight a piece of art. Check out the floating wall painted an amazing shade of green in Jennifer Anniston and Ben Affleck's apartment in the movie "He's Just Not That Into You." Notice how the bold color becomes a backdrop to all the amazing artwork adorning it!
~Image: 1) House Beautiful July 2009 2)Domino April 2007 3) Martha Stewart Decorating Details