Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Betsy's Ramblings # 1273

If you remember in my last post, I lamented that I had misfiled my edited and watermarked pictures of Connie and Chris's living room after much time spent sweating and laboring over my computer.
there's good news and bad news.
First the good news.....
I didn't loose any of the pictures!!!!!
Now the bad news (at least for me).
 I hadn't edited all of them after all, so I still had a bunch more to do.
After some more time sweating and laboring over my computer....
I now have lots to show you guys.

****On a completely different subject.....
have you ever reached up to your face,
to take off your glasses,
only to realize
I'm getting more and more pathetic as I age.
I feel it's important that I share this stuff with you guys.
'Cuz my family doesn't give a (insert appropriate expletive here).****

OK back to decorating!!!!!
Regarding news about my fabric line.
After much discussion with Josh
 (my partner in crime who will be selling my fabrics in the Boston Design Center at Studio 534)
We have finally come up with a name.
First we were all excited to call it Badass Bungalow.
But since that seemed to offend 1/2 the people who we ran the idea by.....
We decided that that wasn't really our goal.
Not that we didn't like the idea of offending people.....
but then they might not buy the fabric.
Offended while buying we were fine with.
Offended and not buying wasn't really what we were aiming for.
In high level discussions with my buddy Kris,
(high level because we were up in her third floor family room)
She came up with the suggestion of the name: Hedgerow.
It seemed very British and Country and Twee.
In higher level discussions with my buddy Krissa Rossbund who is the decorating editor at Traditional Home, she thought that Betsy Speert was a fun name, and that I should just use that.
Besides, some people in America actually know that name already.
I had a very important conference call with Josh
(we were the only ones on the phone, but if we had wanted more opinions, we could have done a conference call.....)
AND I told him that Krissa thought we should call it Betsy Speert.
He said.....
Why not just call it Betsy.
But folks thought it would be confused with Betsey Johnson.
Well, she spells Betsy wrong, so there's that big distinction.
Besides, my last name isn't Johnson!!!!!
Here's my logo.

In the background you can see one of my patterns.

I am so excited!!!!
I have sent the first pattern off to the factory and am waiting to see the 9 colorways that I've designed actually produced.
I should get the samples by the middle to end of July.
If the colors are good, then I will have all the other strike offs done of my FABULOUS designs.
Yesterday I spent working on colorways for my living room.
I am redoing the draperies and all the upholstery in pink fabrics from my line.
I am so over cool blue and white slipcovers in Massachusetts.
We live in a cold climate, and I want warmer colors.
Remember my living room?????

OK. back to what I stated writing about....
Have you noticed that I haven't shown you any more pictures of Connie's living room yet?
I got up this morning and just started typing, this has been a free flowing stream of consciousness blog.

Since I haven't talked at all about her living room....
let me just share another picture, and then next time I will get into the nuts and bolts about how I accomplished it.
We still have a ways to go, as we now need to "Betsy" it up and make it more cosy and less sterile.
Her living room is cool blues and white slip covers.
I need to go have some coffee and breakfast and read my two papers (yes, I read the Wall Street Journal, I am so erudite!!!) so that I can resume working on my fabrics.
We are doing the big launch in the Fall, and I am starting to get really excited.
When I first started telling people that I was designing a fabric line, 
I didn't know anything about how to use Photoshop or other software that did the magic necessary to accomplish my goals.
I also didn't know how to do repeats.
Or how to separate colors.
Or how to work on scale.
Or what a dpi was. (dots per inch).
And my art kinda sucked.....
So, once again, my big mouth got me into a predicament that I had to climb out of.
I find that if I don't talk a good game (aka: a line of bull#$%)
that I will not be forced to tackle new challenges.
If you brag you can do something to the world, then you better get off your derriere and figure it out and do it. 
What's the worst that can happen????
That I'll look silly and pathetic?????
Those are familiar and comfortable feelings, so there is no down side!

On that note,
Latah, Gatah

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Dealing With a Large Living Room

Or....How Do I Make This #$% Room Feel Cozy?????

I don't know if you guys can remember from back in the last millennium.....
but I was helping my buddy Connie with her Flerida living room.
It was too big for just one seating area, 
but almost not quite big enough for two.
being the design wizard that I is,
I found sofas that were not the overly deep ones of this modern age of couch potatodom.
Do you remember this floorplan?????
After seeing this plan, Connie freaked out and was worried that there was too much furniture in the space.
I assured here that there wasn't any more than the previous owners had, it just was all in the middle of the room as opposed to lining the walls creating the effect of one large hallway.
So we got the basic pieces ordered and in place, and then Connie freaked out that there wasn't enough furniture in the room and that if felt too empty.
Where upon..,,,
I showed her the original plan with another piece against the left wall.
Below is a shot of how the previous owner had the room set up.
These are the real estate agents shots with a wide angle lens, so they make the room look ginormous.
You can see all the unused space to the right side of the room, making it feel like a big hall way.
It had a very formal feel.
The shot below is from my camera, you get a better sense of the actual size of the room.
The owners before these folks arranged the room in a similar manner.

Well, just like the rest of the house,
Connie wanted a peaceful, serene atmosphere in the space, so she chose a cool blue for the walls,
and then informed me!!!!!
I got no say in the matter.
Luckily it was a pretty color.
To refresh you memory some more, here are some pics of the furniture we chose for the room.

The upholstery chosen had more contemporary lines and the center console table had a modern feel.
Connie wanted to go much more modern in this house,
 for all of 10 minutes,
 and then we were back to combing antique stores and the internet for antique pieces.
Here's a picture of how the room looks up until this point.
Over the coming blog posts I will go over the steps we took to get there and all the stuff along that happens in decorating when you think you know where you're going, only to end up in a completely different state,
 I will end here, as I edited a ton of shots of this room, watermarked them, and apparently misfiled them, 'cuz I can't find them, and I spent a gazillion hours working on them this week.
Poor Betsy
on that note,
Latah, Gatah


Monday, June 15, 2015

A Long Entry Hall

Welcome to the second half of my blog post about Connie's front hall.
True to my style of writing.....
I am  s t r e t c h i n g  this story out into two posts when it could have been one.
I do the same thing when I eat a hot pocket.
I divide them into two pieces by splitting them down their seam.
That way I feel like I am eating twice as much!!!!!

The entry hall forms a T shape.
Actually, that's not correct....
it forms an L
I need to be correct in my journalistic endeavors or the blog police will get me....
(meaning Connie, who reads my posts, looking for errors about her house.....)

This is how it looks, now that we've finished.
let's get on with the story of how we accomplished this.

When we first viewed the house, the previous owners had it decorated in a more formal style.
We I wanted to have a seating area in the long hall, to make it more inviting.
I always like a place to sit down in a hall,
for removing and re-shodding footwear.
I resorted to scouring 1st Dibs, and found some beautiful gustavian benches and settees.
Connie and I settled on this one.
We loved the carved details in this elegant yet still inviting bench.
Now we just needed to find stuff to hang on the walls.
While antiquing in West Palm Beach, we came across a set of 1950's botany prints from a European school.
There were 10 prints in all, but two of them were duplicates.
They were wrinkled in places and somewhat warped.
We bought them anyway 'cuz they be lots of FUN!!!!!
I started by hanging three over the settee.
I thought that they  looked absolutely stunning!
The simple unfinished natural wood frames worked really nicely with the settee's frame color.
But I didn't think there were enough.
(especially when it comes to chocolate ice cream)
(notice that I keep referencing food???)
(I like food)
(lots and lots of food.....)
we called the antique store and asked them to hold the rest of the prints for us, and that we would run back to pick them up the next day.
We hung four more by the door into the hall powder room.
Then we hung a couple more on the wall over the settee.

At this point, I felt that a sea grass rug would finish the space nicely.
I used blue painters tape to mark off the floor, to help us decide how long and wide the mat should be.
Then Connie remembered that she had a sea grass mat in her laundry room, so we dragged it out to see how it would look.
It worked just fine and dandy!!!!!
(and it didn't cost us nothin'.)
Unfortunately, the photo makes the walls feel more cluttered than they look in real life.
I know it's hard to believe me when it's comes to lots of stuff, but really, 
Notice the tripod in the back by the front door.
I am such a professional picture taker!!!!!
(I'm kidding.....that shouldn't be in the picture.)

The front part of the hall looks really nice with this longer part.
Check it out, baby!!!!!

We be stylin'!!!!!
It's all done.....
(I may want to add a toss pillow or two, if Connie lets me.....)
The damn woman has a mind of her own.

On that note,
Latah, Gatah

Friday, June 5, 2015

Transforming an Entry Hall

I've been going about this all wrong.
Oy Vey.
I've been showing you Chris and Connie's Florida Home.
But where did I start?????
That doesn't make any sense.

When one enters a gracious home....
at what point do you first see the house?????
(well if one is a burglar, then it may very well be a bedroom.....)
But if one (meaning meeeeeee) is an invited guest, then a person of breeding and refinement would enter through the.....
So that is what we will start seeing today.
As you know I can milk expand on a room to create more than one blog post.

The shots I took of the house when the previous owners were still living there show a much more formal approach to the entry than I went for.
Very pretty, but not my style.
They decorated the long hall with a second console table, well I wanted something different.
Connie loved their artwork on the walls.
Particularly the scale of the pieces.
I thought the arched barrel ceiling was a fun touch.
The first thing I did was find a chest of drawers that would face the front door.
Console tables are great, but you can't put no stuff in them.
Chests are another way to add storage to a hallway or entry while still looking chic, stylish and FAB!
I found the gustavian chest on 1st Dibs.
I love its shape.

Connie and I wanted to reuse the shell mirror she had hanging in her old entry at her beach house.
Since her new house is more formal, the look of the antique chest transformed the feel of the shell mirror.
What really melded the whole new look together were the pair of ancient pottery urn lamps we found in a local West Palm Beach antique store.
The warm tones of the lamps reflected the coral and sand colors of the shells.
I finally found a place for the face planter.
Connie's had this for years, and it just never found a good home in the beach house.
I love it between the pair of lamps, it almost has a classical Greek archaeological feel...
(in my twisted imagination). 
In true Betsy style, I will end this blog post here.....
leaving the rest of the entry hall for next time.

I will be sending my first fabric pattern in 8 colorways to the printer this week for my 
FIRST STRIKE OFFS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
After a year and a half working on this I am so excited to see what it will look like on linen.
I have taught myself Photoshop.
I have taught myself Gimp.
I have taught myself Illustrator.
I have taught myself Inkscape.
Then I had to learn how to create repeats, drop repeats and separate colors, index colors, etc. etc. etc. etc.
I hope it doesn't look like sh---t when I get the first sample.
What if it does????
I've been telling the world for a year that I am doing this.
Nothing like the chance of failure in front of hundreds of people!!!!!!!

On that note,
Latah, Gatah

Sunday, May 31, 2015

Light Sleepers and Middle (Old) Age

it's so interesting to get people's reaction to the idea of separate bedrooms for older married folks.
There are those of us who are light sleepers....
and there are those of us who think they are light sleepers.....
then there are those of us who are normal sleepers.....
then there are those of us like my brother and father, who conk out the minute their head  hits the pillow and start sawing boards loud enough that the neighbors complain.
Image result for sawing boards
(that last statement may be a slight exaggeration)

I am a very light sleeper.
The heat kicking on in the winter is enough to wake me up.
Don't get me started on the #$% birds in the early spring mornings.
Thank goodness for white sound machines.
Image result for white sound machine
But white sound machines don't work if the source of the noise is 6" from your head.
In the long ago, ancient, olden times, prehistoric period of tribal groups living in rough camps....
I would have been one of the guys they had sleeping at the edge of the group of tents/caves/grass huts.
I would have been their early warning system.

there is probably a genetic reason that some of us are light sleepers.
I #$%  SAVED OUR CAMP!!!!!
But my genetic makeup didn't get passed down because I couldn't stand to sleep with anyone of the noisy guys.
(actually, sleep isn't required for the passing down of genetic stuff.)
(That's probably what happened to my distant ancestor.)
(She was a good time girl.)
I wonder if there is a correlation between good time girls and light sleepers.....,,
You know, the woman in the movies who doesn't let her date spend the night.
Maybe it isn't about him encroaching on her space, but the simple reality of needing a good night's sleep because she has to work in the morning......
You need a lot of sleep to go out gathering or hunting or whatever.....
Especially if you want to look like Daryl Hannah.
Not that I do.
Sort of.

On that note,
Lateh Gatah

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

The Joy of Separate Bedrooms

Luxury houses over the years have added a whole lotta bells and whistles to entice buyers to choose a home.
They've added his and her's walk in closets.
Double vanity sinks.
Whirl pool bath tubs.
A room large enough for a king size bed and sitting area.
as the baby boomers have aged, once again we are creating our own little demographic needs.
We be a big group of buyers!!!!!
We be "young" agers!!!!!
annnddd.......WE ALL SNORE.
(And if you think you don't, that's because you have a spouse that falls into a deep sleep and stays that way for the whole night.)
(Or one that's afraid of you, so he or she doesn't want to mention it.........)
(Or you really don't and can feel all superior over the rest of us.)
('Cuz I knows that I does!!!!!!!!!!!

a new category of luxury has sprouted out of the needs of the super lucky.

In olden times......
 the wealthy classes had separate bedrooms for married couples.
I think this was because lots of folks married for reasons other than intimacy.
 I mean, you had to have your heir and a spare,
but after that you could retreat to your own room to be left the hell alone from this guy with whom your parents needed a union that would strengthen the southern border of your families holdings.
(FYI, the southern border of my holdings is the edge of my terrace, but then, there's less to weed!!!!!)

I've written before about the wonder of separate bedrooms as we age.
Back to decorating.
Connie and Chris's new home has a master suite.
There is a master bedroom which I have been showing you for the past couple of months because I don't post my blog as often as I used to.
Then I showed Connie's bathroom.
This all falls within the walls of the master suite.
It has a Master bedroom, 
back to back bathrooms 
(I know, I know, how many of you are jealous out there over the idea of not sharing a bathroom with your nearest and dearest?????)
And it has a "study".
Now, I am sure that some of the folks that have lived in this house have used this room as a study.
but really?????
This set up is just screaming for his and her's bedrooms.
Since the whole suite is off a hall WITH A DOOR that  separates it from the rest of the house, it really is it's own little world,
 allowing time together and then the luxury of uninterrupted sleep.
Even the Wall Street Journal has had an article on this in their Mansion section.

In Connie and Chris's new home that's what they have.
We were able to use most of Chris's furniture from their beach side home.
Remember this room?
It was his old bedroom.
In the new house there was an existing lovely green rug that I needed to work into the design.
Unfortunately those great lamps and the bedding had to go, as they worked against the new scheme.
So we pulled off the orange paisley spread and shams, and started with the feel of the rug.
There was a big blank wall by Chris's bed.
you know what I do with a big blank wall?????
I cover it!!!!!
Connie had found this wonderful framed map of Ireland.
The colors and masculine feel of it was perfect for Chis's room.
Just because she doesn't sleep there, doesn't mean she doesn't spend a lot of time there, so she wanted it to look good for when she's in the room
she still wanted it to be a handsome space for the man she loves.
She thought it would be too big.
I told her "you always think things will be too big"
I ignored her and we got it and it wasn't too big!!!!!
It's a map of Ireland.
Chris's background is Italian.
Connie's background is Irish.
We told Chris that this way he could think of her when he looks at the map!!!!!
(We just hadn't been able to find a map of Italy, but don't tell him that.....)
We fond perfect lamps at Pottery Barn that matched the color of the rug, they have a somewhat rustic feel which goes along with the world traveler vibe that I wanted in this space.
The lamps were on display on a very high shelf in the store.
They had none on the showroom floor.
So we first ordered a pair of the larger ones.
Too big!!!
So then we ordered the smaller pair, I was starting to feel like Goldilocks.......
The smaller ones were just perfect and we were able to use the lamp shades from Chris's old bedside lamps.
We found bedding that worked with the cream color of the draperies.
We wanted to keep everything simple and creamy and peaceful.
As you can see in the picture above, we also added simple white linen draperies with a tailored pleated valance.
The window had a weird wood cornice,
 so I had the board covered by Velcroing the valance to the board.
We were able to use Chris's chair and chest and mirror from his old bedroom which made him very happy,.

Below is a shot of the wall with the map after we added the simple draperies.
What a difference fabric makes to the coziness of a room.
Chris and Connie are avid travelers and have picked up many meaningful mementos in their wanderings. 
This is an autographed hand print of Nelson Mandela's hand!!!!
I had it re-matted to work better with the map.
It had a black mat that was too harsh in the room, so I added an aged colored mat over it, leaving just a line of the  old mat to outline the hand.
It's just all the little details that add up to create a cohesive look.

Look at what hanging something on the wall and adding draperies can do to making a room cozy and inviting.

that's all I got for today, Kampers.....
on that note,
Latah, Gatah

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