Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Yin Yang

My mind is just pinging with ideas, friends! It's that yin-yang of time off matched against time in the office. The lazy days of summer turning back toward the business of autumn. Or maybe it's just that second cup of coffee today paired with some great reading!

First up is this AMAZING New Orleans home. A house full of both drama and soul.

All images via One Kings Lane

My favorite quote: “I can’t say enough about trays. I want to open a store that sells nothing but trays.” Praise hands! And how about the way the ping pong paddles are casually stored in an ice bucket? All of the art on the walls! Or that refreshing mix of colors? I love every bit!!!

All images via Domino

Next up is this stunning home. The black walls, the mirrored wall, the layered art. It's all so perfectly mixed! My absolute favorite is the pattern on the skirted console--I'm not a card player but those clubs are fun!

I found both tours via Kevin O'Gara's story about new Southern style. He is definitely one to watch!

via Claire Brody Designs

Another favorite of mine is Claire Brody who posted about working on a big design project. I love reading about how other designers present their ideas to clients.

Along the same lines, I really enjoyed House Beautiful's 13 Things Designers Notice the First Time They Enter Your Home. If you think it's going to be judgmental, you'll be quite happily surprised!

Finally, the India Hicks fall line has been revealed and it is so gorgeous and exciting! Please let me know if there is anything you can't live without! Or feel free to shop the collection here.

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Moving pains

We bought our house nearly 1,000 days ago. And although I said repeatedly at the time that we would never move again, the truth is: I'm getting kind of bored!

Since I don't actually want to list my house and go through that whole process, I'm checking out the listings in other places. Like this one.

It's an affordable charmer. A two-story, three bedroom brick house in a tree-filled neighborhood. It's near the river(?) and not too far from Lake Michigan.


In Milwaukee, Wisconsin! Since I've never even visited Wisconsin, I can only guess about the neighborhood. It looks nice, though, and the city seems like lots of fun.

This is downtown near City Hall. They have a major league baseball team and LOTS of beer history as the hometown of both Miller and Pabst.

But also an art museum and maybe some night life??

Here's a side view of the house, which is on an alley. The backyard is charming and I can totally envision it strung with twinkle lights for summer nights.

The needle on the record gets stuck once we walk inside... The floors could use some work, but they're hardwood! The shutters on the side windows are totally charming. Some built-in bookcases beneath those windows, flanking the fireplace, would make for great extra storage.

I can't tell from these photos where the front door is in this house. Do you think it's on the other side of the living room wall by the staircase? That could make for a fairly dramatic and pretty entry! The curve of those stairs is what I think of when people say a house has "good bones." 

Here's the dining room adjacent to the living room. It looks like the walls could use a good coat of paint, but nothing is as simple at transforming a room like paint! 

I'd love to see a big lantern over the table too. Maybe painted a wild & crazy color like magenta or chartreuse??

The dining room opens to a den, which has a lot of wild colors of its own. These could be easily toned down to create a more soothing palette. With new solid-color drapes, trim painted to match the color of the paneling, and a better layout of the furniture, this could be a restful getaway at the back of the house!

The kitchen appears to also be at the back of the house, and it could use some work. The star design on the floor tiles is actually kind of interesting, though, and if it's in decent shape might be worth saving.

Just imagine these beauties on some freshly painted cabinets with Farrow & Ball's lotus wallpaper on the long window wall, a farmhouse sink, and a white subway tile backsplash. Or perhaps install a French door where the window is to make it easier to get outdoors for dining al fresco. Super chic!

Do you enjoy looking at real estate -- even when you have no plans to move? Let me know I'm not alone! :)

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

I'm back

My motto is "never say never." And so here I am, seven months later, writing a blog post. 

Nothing major has changed in the time I have been away. Nothing life altering. 

I still haven't figured out a better name for this blog... (but I'm considering suggestions!)

In the spring, I added another title to my resume: India Hicks Style Ambassador.  

Yes, the India Hicks that gets quoted on the back of my favorite design book and whose style is described in the same terms as mine

The motto of India Hicks' company is “Live an extraordinary life.” 

As I wrote in my inaugural email newsletter today, I interpret this motto in two important ways. 

One is to be exceptional. To strive to live one’s best life. 

But the other way is just as significant, if not more so. To live life in an EXTRA-ordinary way, savoring the beauty of everyday moments. 

And, that my friends, is the beauty of these products! They are the little luxuries of a life well-lived. A soft scarf, a sturdy bag, a reminder of what’s important. You can check them out here.

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Wrapping Up...

Today's post is going to be a bit longer than normal because I have just so much to tell you! 

It's been three and a half years since I started this blog. In that time, I have sold one house and bought another, gotten married for a second (and final) time, and watched my littles grow into bigs -- in fact, as of yesterday, I am now officially the mother of a teenager!

Over the last three and a half years, I have also taken a lot of chances with my decorating, learned some new skills while honing others, and shared my favorite interior designs with all of you!

In July I began working with my friend Erica, who is the most brilliant and compassionate professional organizer I have ever met, doing interior decorating for local clients. It is the most fun I have ever had!!! 

All of which leads to today's announcement: Cosy Carolina is done. Over. Finito! 

I'm working on building a more comprehensive website to feature my portfolio and services. It will also have a blog because I think this is a fun way to communicate. Ultimately, though, my heart yearns to decorate, not blog. *I will put this message out into the universe, though: if the Better Homes & Gardens team wants to bring me to NYC next fall for the Style Maker Event, I'm totally open to that.

It's sad and a little scary to end this phase of my life. So many good things have come from this blog. But I'm hopeful that even better days are ahead!

Sequin Pants / Leather Jacket / Sweater

Before I sign out, I have a fun NYE outfit to show you above. No shoes because we're not actually going out for the holiday... As I always say, creating an outfit is a lot like designing a room. I did recently sign up for Stitch Fix and LOVE it. Why not have a personal stylist dress you and avoid the craziness of the mall?!

I also have a quick review of Apartment Therapy's latest book Complete + Happy Home. I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review (getting free books from them is at the tip-top of my list of "perks" from this gig).

Complete + Happy Home, by Maxwell Ryan and Janel Laban, is everything I aspire to be: pretty on the surface but full of beauty and practical information on the inside, too. It is their largest book to date and really comprehensive.

The book is separated into three sections: setting up your home; living in your home; and maintaining your home. The text is all straight-forward, no nonsense advice, much like their website, but without the annoyingness of their "cures." The images are a mix of regular people's houses (who are the Castellis of New Jersey? Gorgeous house!!!) and the homes of the ultra-stylish (Ruthie Sommers, Christiane Lemieux, and Erin Williamson). This gives the book an across-the-country feel, with no specific region or style left out.

One of my favorite rooms is "the Scandinavian living room" of Anne Ziegler and Scott Mason of Los Angeles, which includes throw pillows and an armchair in crazy-fun Josef Frank fabrics.

There are also some handy checklists like: 5 (semi-) indestructible houseplants; 8 ways to supercharge your style; and 8 ways to make a small room look bigger, among others. And tips on art, window treatments, flooring, and lighting. Everything you could possibly want to know about making a home homier.

Erica and I popped in at the Bloom Workshop for West Elm last week and a copy of Complete + Happy Home was prominently being sold there. It's definitely a good resource, whether you are a design professional or a homeowner.

Anyway, follow along on Instagram to keep in touch. Happy holidays!!! Thanks for all the love! Xoxo ~Carrie


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