When I Grow Up...

Today I participated in an event through our local home show where I met an 8 year old girl who wants to be an interior designer when she grows up. She had a stack of note cards in which she had prepared a series of questions to ask all of the designers that were participating in the event. She told me her name and shook my hand. I gotta tell you it was one of the cutest things I have ever seen!!! She reminded me so much of myself at that age (as I talked about in an earlier post). In case you are wondering, her questions were as follows:

"When did you know you wanted to be an interior designer?"
"Do you watch HGTV?"
"What was the most exciting project you have ever worked on and why?"
"What is the best piece of advice you give your clients?"

I must say....pretty thought provoking for an 8 year old!!! I suspect that someday I will read about this young girl and be inspired by her work.


Design Pet Peeve: No.Two


See, I told you there would be more! Ok, so I am not a fan of towel bars. Pourquoi? a.) They aren't all that attractive 2.) They are annoying to use and c) Why take up so much wall space by displaying a wet towel? I much prefer a hook (preferably hung on or behind a door so it is out of sight). Keep dry towels folded on an attractive vanity/shelf or rolled up in a nice basket. They have that pretty etagere above, why not fold all those towels and keep them on there? Again, I'm just sayin'.....

Real Simple

Designer Suzanne Kasler

Country Home


Design Crush: Lindsey Coral Harper

Interior designer and University of Georgia alum (holla!), Lindsey Coral Harper, left South Georgia for The Big Apple and has been kicking the design world's ass ever since. Her resume includes an internship with Ralph Lauren in London, eight years working under famed designer Richard Langham and freelance work for Dorothy Draper, Inc. just to name a few! Images of her New York apartment have been blowing up the design websites/blogs and she was set to be featured in Domino just as the magazine folded...wa wa wa. But don't feel too sorry for her, when you are as talented as she is, you are bound to recover.

Lindsey Harper's NY Apartment

Lindsey's sister and my sister-in-law are bff's so we have been hearing about each other for years but have yet to meet. I finally emailed her introducing myself and she was nice enough to take the time to answer some questions. So here goes...

After years of residing in NY (and abroad), do you think your southern roots have any influence in your designs? If so, in what ways?
ABSOLUTELY! I am Southern to the core, ask anyone who knows me...or ask me a question and you can hear it as I still have the accent. Or as my grandfather used to say, "we don't have an accent, the rest of the world does". One of the things I love about this city is that there is a huge southern contingency and we stick together. I actually have a large group of southern decorating friends and we refer to ourselves (and so do others) as the Southern Mafia. I do think being southern has had a huge influence on my life, the way I live and the way I design and decorate. I am big on comfort and I like most southerner's I love to entertain! I really try to get to know the client and figure out who they are and how they live so that I can make their house or apartment a welcoming and comfortable environment they really love to be in all the time. In the end it's really about lifestyle!

You have such talent for accessorizing and creating eye catching tablescapes. Any advice or rules of thumb you live by?
Why thank you! I do love my accessories. If anything I'm a maximalist not a minimalist. I love shopping, antiquing, flea markets, and junk stores. If an object catches my eye whether it's a great color or a wonderful shape, a bit odd or makes me laugh, I will usually buy it. A great accessory doesn't have to be expensive or "important". It just has to mean something to you. I also love to travel so I bring things home with me typically in my carry-on (I do not check my luggage) and then I have a little reminder of that place and that trip. Most of my accessories are really wonderful memories.

You clearly are not afraid of color! Where does your color inspiration come from? And are there any colors that you refuse to work with?
I certainly love color. Not sure why, but it just makes me happy. And if you think my apartment is colorful, you should see my closet!! Maybe because I'm a redhead, I had to deal with pairing colors and getting colors right from an early age. I also think my color confidence comes from working with RKL. He too admired color and wasn't afraid to use it. He trusted me to pick paint colors for him on several jobs in the beginning of my career there. A few years later I was specifying all the colors for all of my clients and big jobs, no questions asked. He was a huge risk taker and pushed me to think outside of the box. I also like to try new things and new colors!! There are so many great colors, textiles and color combinations out there...why do the same thing over and over?! The only color I'm really adverse to is white! I rarely do white walls. Unless you have a KILLER art collection, you are going to have to really beg me to give you white walls. If I do white walls look closely, they are probably a textured paper and will definitely be paired with an amazing hi-gloss colored ceiling! Don't you just love when a really well done hi-gloss ceiling looks like glass!

Some of Lindsey Harper's Design Projects

Palm Beach

New York

This busy designer is currently working on several projects from Vermont to New York to Palm Beach. Click here to see LCH Interiors full portfolio.

Lindsey also has an online shop, called Lamshop, with her bestie and business partner, Maggie Currey, which offers custom furniture, art and one-of-a-kind treasures. Lindsey said they are working on some new pieces incorporating fun elements like Shagreen, Tortoise, Malachite, and Faux Bois as well as some new jewel-inspired tables that are "very glam." I cannot wait to see what she comes up with next!!!


Decorganizing Wednesday: Party Invitations

Here goes, Decorganizing Wednesday...

If you are really popular (like me) and having a hard time figuring out what to do with all of your party invitations, take some cues from these creative folks.

Designer Lindsey Harper

Designer Mary McDonald for Domino

Use an old door or shutter.
P.S. I tried this once and the tacks wouldn't penetrate [pause for giggles] the old wood so check first!
Designer Kay Douglas for House Beautiful

I have a random wall in my kitchen that is about 30" wide and I have filled the entire wall, floor to ceiling, with invites and photos. I tried using the chalkboard/magnetic paint but it wouldn't hold a magnet (despite three coats) so they are just tacked in. I am real excited about the day when I get to spackle this wall![she says sarcastically] Therefore, I highly suggest using cork instead.

When you are done displaying your invitations, you can cut them up and use the pretty printed parts as tags for gifts (or so says my inner Martha). Anyone have any other creative ideas for displaying party invitations? Leave a comment!


Are You Trying to Skirt The Issue?

Well sometimes, that is a good idea....depending on your issue. I mean if you have something ugly to cover like a CPU/computer cords, recycling bins or stacks of magazines then a skirt is a good idea. Heck, you might even want to cover up the table itself! Much like I did in my dining room. Grandma's hand me down wasn't much to look at but it was the perfect size so I had my seamstress make a custom burlap tablecloth with a smocking detail at the top.


Designer Tom Scheerer


Designer Palmer Weiss

Designer Palmer Weiss

Oh Martha, so daring with your mini-skirt!
Martha Stewart



Ok, so everyone knows the quiz "Which character are you: Carrie, Charlotte, Miranda or Samantha?" Well I want to know..."Which character are you: Julia, Suzanne, Mary Jo or Charlene? I am definitely a Julia (minus the anger and sophistication) with a lil' splash of Mary Jo.

Why o' why can't there be a Designing Women network? Or at least a DVD box set! (Anyone find it? I can't). As a young girl growing up in Atlanta, I would watch Designing Women and think how I wanted to be just like these hilarious and well dressed (ha!) ladies when I grew up. I still hope to have a store/design firm one day where I work with good friends and we sit around gossiping and telling funny stories while someone cues a laugh track. And maybe if I am really lucky I can even employ a wise cracking ex-con to do our deliveries!

The exterior of Sugarbaker & Associates Interior Design is The Villa Marre, a Victorian mansion built in 1881 and located in the MacArthur Park Historic District of Little Rock, Arkansas. It is listed in the National Registry of Historic Places.

Some classic quotes (via imdb.com)...

Suzanne: I never use catalogs. I'd rather go in the store and see all the salespeople groveling and sucking up to you.
Julia: Pardon me, I never knew they were so solicitous at the K-Mart.

Mary Jo Shively: We think that your friend, Monette might be practicing the oldest profession.
Charlene: You think that Monette is a carpenter?

Charlene: I asked this Northern woman, "Where are ya'll from?" And she said, "I'm from a place where we don't end our sentences with prepositions." So I said, "Okay, where are ya'll from, bitch?"

I think they took this picture at the same place my family took our church directory photo in 1986.

If you need a lil' something to wet your appetite click here!


Big Window Challenge 2010

Most of you already know this (so I will keep it brief) but for those of you that don't know...there is a cool contest going on for Bloomie's (aka Bloomimgdale's) flagship store in NYC in which three design big whigs created amazing window vignettes and now they need you to decide who wins. Go check it out and vote for my boy Eddie Ross! Contest ends Jan 28th but you can vote everyday online here or by text.


Design Pet Peeve: No. One

I say "one" because I am sure there will more. Hopefully, I don't offend anyone...just putting it out there. I am not a fan of the whole let's play hopscotch with the bathroom mats. Try a large rug that covers the area instead.



[I'm thinking I squelched some party invites with this one!]



Local Shop for Architectural Finds

Architectural Antiques and Design is a new/old shop in Charleston. Formerly known as Architectural Antiques Warehouse...or the as I liked to call it, the shop I could never find (I would drive by at least three times, each time, before I found the shopping center). I am sad to say that the previous owner, Terry, passed away unexpectedly on the day of her 60th birthday party. While coping with her death, Terry's family had hired someone to sell the contents of the shop in an estate sale. But good friends, Brad and Jeff, couldn't let that happen! Despite the tough economy, they wrestled up the funds to buy the shop in its entirety and maintain the legacy that their dear friend Terry started.

If you have ever been in there you know it is a haven of fabulous finds but you gotta hunt for them! Which is something I love to do but I imagine the layers of dirt and grim, the aroma of cat urine and the falling ceiling probably deterred many folks! After making the necessary structural repairs, the new owners vow to maintain some of the old shop's charm while also incorporating their own flair. Using skills from their previous careers with shelter magazines, staging and interior design, Brad and Jeff hope to make the front of the shop more retail friendly with some creative merchandising and one-of-a-kind pieces. They will be re-purposing many of the shop's architectural objects into functional items like lamps, tables, art, etc.

They have a lot of work in store for them (get it, in store!) but they are making a dent!

This is some of the "hunting" I was referring to...

This backyard full of iron pieces, Turkish jars, cement statues, etc. will stay as is.

These guys are super nice so I encourage you to stop by and chat them up!

1011 St. Andrews Boulevard (Highway 61)
Charleston, SC 29407
Next to the Hokus Pokus (look out for this sign)

Happy Hunting!


Who Knew Something So Small Could Come With So Much Stuff?

For those of you that don't know me or have just started reading, I am an interior designer AND a professional organizer (weird pairing?...perhaps). As far as blogging goes, I have been spreadin' the design love but have neglected the organizing love a bit. Soooo, one of my goals for this new year is to make every Wednesday an "organizing" themed post. I plan to show inspiring images of organized spaces, provide organizing tips, illustrate do-it-yourself organizing projects, feature some of my personal organizing projects as well as my client's and much more. But I need your help! Let me know if there is anything specific that you would like me to blog about...just leave me a comment or shoot me an email sidney@eclectic-idg.com. Thanks in advance for your help!

Today, I want to show some creative ideas for storing kid's toys. I know there are a million types of "kid themed" baskets, bins, etc. out there but why not do something a little more stylish? Take some cues from these inspiring images...


Real Simple August 2008

Designer Lee Kleinhelter
Cottage Living Nov 2007

House and Garden

Domino Feb 2009

Designer Candice Olson
Home Magazine


I find that the earlier you start training your kids to stay organized, the more likely they are to maintain the order. And be sure to make the organizing process kid friendly-incorporate labels with pictures (instead of words) from their favorite book. Or better yet, have them draw out the images for the various bins like trains, books, dolls, etc. so they will feel a sense of entitlement in their space! Are your kids still resisting? Try making it fun for them...create a game to see who can pick up their stuff the fastest every night before bedtime. Whoever wins gets a gold star. The child with the most gold stars at the end of each month earns a prize (money for their piggy bank, TV privileges, a special day out with mom or dad, etc. ) And with that I say...GOOD LUCK!
(Remember, I don't have children so I can suggest all of these things with ease.)


Where Bloggers Blog

I asked a few of my favorite bloggers if they could take pictures of their offices/desks/spaces where they blog. As you know some bloggers are also interior designers and some bloggers are just big fans of design. Regardless of their trade, it is obvious that they all take pride in their office/desk/space (no matter how big or small!) as you can tell by all the finishing "designer" touches.

Sissy of Blue Hydrangea

Erica of Urban Grace
To see the full post on her design studio, click here.

"i would love to participate but i am afraid i have nothing resembling an office in my house. my "office" is my bed plus my lap top. no lucite tray containing all of my pretty stationary, no mint julep cup holding all of my bamboo pens, no john derian decoupage plate for holding my important documents...nope just a stained coverlet and a lot of cat hair, probably some boogers too."
Jenny of My Favorite and My Best

I hope this doesn't burst anyone's bubble like when you meet your favorite radio personality only to realize they look nothing like how you pictured them! Every January, I do a major overhaul on my office. I clean, purge, organize, re-organize, label, move furniture, etc. It is glorious! My office will look like this for about a day...so I am happy to have captured this moment in time.