I hope you all had a lovely Thanksgiving. B and I had a quiet day at home just the two of us and it was so nice. The day was made even better by my finally figuring out how to cook a satisfying Thanksgiving dinner, with all the tastes we crave, perfectly sized just for two. In years past I would try to cook all of the sides and all of the desserts we both grew up with. I’d spend all day cooking, we’d eat a really late dinner and still have a mountain of dishes to do after. Ugh. I tried to single-handedly do all the cooking it normally takes an army of mothers, sisters, aunts and cousins to accomplish. Dumb, dumb, dumb.
This year I wised up and kept it simple with a turkey, homemade dressing and gravy, green beans, homemade cranberry sauce and a store bought pumpkin pie (ain’t no shame in a Costco pie!). It was perfect. Let me testify that being able to actually sit down and enjoy the company of those you’re most thankful for (along with a few mimosas) is a million times better than killing yourself by trying to live up to an ideal. It was for me anyway.
In addition to a growing business and some pretty fantastic clients, when it comes to S.E.I.D. I got just a little more to be thankful for right before the holiday.
I was on TV!!
It all happened so fast and came so unexpectedly. Scott Pasmore of Good Morning Arizona contacted me the week before Thanksgiving asking if I’d be interested in filming a few design themed segments for the show. Would I??? I immediately said “Of course!”. 2 days later we were filming the taped kitchen and bath segments and a couple of days after that I went into the studio to do a live segment. It was incredibly fun and everyone I met from the GMA team were so nice and helped me to feel really comfortable and confident. I absolutely cannot wait to do more it again!
If you’d like to see the videos, they’re on the Good Morning Arizona website. Here are the links:
Here’s a few screen shots if you’re curious:
The last two shots are from the live segment where I brought in some lighting and accessories that can help you achieve a luxe look without breaking the bank. Everything you see is from a little place called Target and everything is very affordable. I absolutely love mixed metals, especially combined with black. It’s so rich and expensive looking. Imagine these finishes in a room with deep, emerald green walls. Dramatic! I think I just got very inspired to shake things up in our master bedroom!
I hope you enjoy the videos (with overly enthusiastic nodding here and there, ha!) and that you get some helpful tips!
If you’d like help creating a gorgeous home you adore, email me! firstname.lastname@example.org
Happy Fall everyone! Like the rest of Arizona, I love that it’s Fall again. Just when our completely wretched Summer has made me more miserable than I ever thought possible, the early morning and evenings start to actually feel nice and I can begin to entertain thoughts of sweater, boots, pumpkins and cozying up while sipping a really good bourbon. Heaven!
So I thought I’d share some quick updates to a client’s family room I’m currently working on. I have to say, I fall a little more in love with this room’s potential each time I go visit. It’s still in progress, we’ve just ordered furniture (beautiful upholstery!) and will still have to finish the room off with drapery, pillows and a little accessorizing but so far, it’s coming along pretty fantastically.
Here’s the room when we started (not long after my clients had moved in):
It’s hard to get a sense from my iphone photos of just how big this room really is. Along with a fireplace, the room has lots of large windows and gets really great light. All of that combined with some beautiful wood floors and we had some great elements right outta the gate. The first order of business was to address the “builder standard” fireplace, placed awkwardly off center between a pair of windows. To really make a bold statement in this room, I designed a fireplace framed out with some beautiful millwork that has become a beautiful architectural feature, anchoring this room.Excuse the shaky quality of these pictures from my phone, I’ll have to remember to take an actual camera with me when the furniture is installed!
The blue tape on the floor shows where a pair of sofas will eventually go.
A close up of that beautiful wood and stacked stone facade:
My clients and I were pretty eager to get rid of these shelves from the beginning. While they’re nicely made they just weren’t functional for my clients. They dominated the room and we didn’t want anything distracting from the fireplace wall. So they came down just a few days ago and in their place we put this beautiful credenza:
I am obsessed with this gorgeous teak cabinet that my client and I found in a local shop. The doors are really thick and really solid wood panels featuring a beautiful pattern made from bone inlay. The shop owner told me the doors are from India and were ceiling tiles salvaged from a building. The rest of the cabinet was custom built for the doors. It’s even more stunning in person than my photos convey. In all of my projects, there is usually a lot of “brand new” going in so I always try to balance all of that “new” with something aged. I really love the warmth and soul that antique or vintage pieces of furniture bring into a new space. Along with using a variety of vendors, mixing old with new helps give a newly designed room character and keeps it from feeling like it’s right out of a catalog.
Next up for this room is to bring in some upholstery and accent furniture. We’re going with a classic frame that’s not too traditional and not too modern. The sofas will be upholstered in fabric and we’re doing leather on the chairs (but in a darker coffee color than the one in this photo):
If you’d like help creating a gorgeous home you truly love, email me! email@example.com
Today’s post is 100% indicative of where my head’s at right now. Kind of all over the place. Lots of balls in the air, busy, happy and going a mile a minute. What I’ve always loved about this field is the variety of tasks in a given day. One minute I’m drawing bathroom vanity elevations in CAD, the next I’m talking to an excited potential new client, then looking through catalogs for just the right chandelier at just the right price, paying vendors, or entering receipts and hours.
It’s this jumping back and forth that I love so much. The constantly changing priorities might drive some people crazy but I love it. I am definitely energized by the pressure to get it all done. The downside to all this is I fall asleep thinking about the list of everything I need to do the next day.
Which leads to some pretty crazy dreams. Last night for instance, I had a dream that I went to check on a fireplace remodel and my client and the contractor had decided that it needed to be a corner fireplace instead of the gorgeous design we had all agreed on. Even better, they decided it should be a corner fireplace with floor to ceiling glass mosaic tile. That sparkled. Yikes. “What about the stacked stone I showed you??” I remember saying. “You said you loved it!!”.
My Pinterest, like my dreams, are all over the place lately too. Here’s a smattering of a few things that have caught my eye lately.
I find myself drawn more and more to interiors with classic elements like this bathroom:
Or this bath vanity that is chock full of beautiful details.
Can’t wait to do another kid’s room so I can incorporate another upholstered headboard. I’m loving this headboard placed on the long side of a bed:
How amazing and outrageously good are these lavastone floors?
As if I needed this advice:
A crisp, fizzy gin & tonic with a lime wedge is just the most refreshing thing to me during these long summer months. Absolute heaven!
This image sends me into fits of giggles every time:
That face! It’s just too much! Poor pooch.
And this. The very definition of grand:
Are you watching “Breaking Bad”? If so, you’ll appreciate this:
If not, it’s time to take a good hard look at your tv-watching priorities. Don’t get me wrong, I love my RHOC, Million Dollar Listing (NYC version only) and other guilty pleasure television as much as the next girl, but there is nothing and I mean nothing that compares to “Breaking Bad”. Incredible on every level.
This snack/lunch idea is so simple and I can’t believe I’ve never thought of it before.
So this Sunday night, have some girlfriends over. Make G&T’s, these chicken salad hor d’oeuvres and watch yourself some “Breaking Bad”.
Today I’m so excited to reveal the most recent project install by S.E.I.D. My clients were two teenage sisters whose bedroom didn’t really reflect their style, age or personalities at all. The room is definitely on the small side so they were using a set of bunk beds to help conserve space. The girls really wanted separate beds and I was determined to give it to them if at all possible. Per my clients, the other goals for this bedroom design were to create a “light, bright and happy room” with a gray and white base and accents of bright color.
Part of what made this project so successful is that my clients had absolutely no problem telling me what they did or didn’t like. They were very clear in what they wanted and were very decisive. Two factors that made it so much easier for me to design a room I knew they would love.
Here are a couple of “Before” shots of the room:
Here’s the room now:
The walls were painted a light gray which was a great backdrop for the aqua, teal and orange color scheme. In place of the bulky pine bunk-beds I designed a pair of custom headboards to create a feeling of height and drama. Now each girl has a space all her own and no one has to climb a ladder to get into bed! Which is tons of fun when you’re a little kid but not so much at 14 or 16.
Between the beds I placed a vintage demilune nightstand, that I had painted to match Sherwin Williams “Ablaze”. It’s a nice, poppy red that is so so pretty with the aqua. How great are the legs on this piece?
Who doesn’t love a sparkly starburst mirror above the bed?
On the opposite wall is a sweet little area with a new desk and a vintage chair that got a bit of a makeover.
By adding a fresh coat of paint and recovering the seat in something fresh and fun, this vintage chair feels right at home here. Above the desk are two corkboards I covered in a zigzag fabric and ribbon. I think the girls will really love filling them up with photos and other mementos.
I’m really thrilled with how this project came together and more importantly, so are my clients.
If you’d like help creating a home you love, email me! firstname.lastname@example.org
The last couple of weeks have been super busy (not complaining one bit!) and this week I’m working feverishly on wrapping up a master bathroom design and a family room design. So much to do in the next few days before I leave for Las Vegas Market on Monday. There are still outfits to plan and pack (only those that look good with comfortable flats need apply!) and somewhere in the midst of all this I should probably get a little mani/pedi action.
If you haven’t heard of “Market”, it’s basically when hundreds of “to the trade” vendors of everything designers need to create amazing interiors set up showrooms to introduce all of their new and fabulous furniture, lighting, art, accessories, rugs, pillows….you name it. Market is held all over the country throughout the year but Vegas (being so close to Phoenix and all) is the only one I’ve been to so far. It’s two or three days of walking, walking, walking, zipping in and out of every showroom you can manage, ooohing and ahhhing, a good bit of eye-rolling, eating and drinking on a near-constant basis and falling into bed at night, thoroughly exhausted and not knowing how you’ll manage to do it all again tomorrow. I. Love. It. And this year, Ms Henderson and Ms. Hampton will be speaking there. Even better.
I went by myself last year and had a really good time but this year I’m so much more excited to be going with my good friend Lisa. If you want to follow along and see all of my favorite market finds, I’ll be sharing photos with wild abandon on FaceBook and Twitter. I’d love for you to check it out!
Last week I installed a client’s dining room project (if you follow me on FaceBook you’ve already seen the photos) that I thought I’d share. This was purely a decorating story in the sense that we didn’t change or move any furniture, rip up any floors or paint any walls. Sure, it’s fun to do all of those things but it’s not always necessary to start from scratch. When we started, this room was a mix of styles. We had a transitional table and chairs, a rustic entry table, a traditional cherry console and a vintage-inspired credenza.
To bring all of these styles together in a cohesive and beautiful way, I brought in some new art, lamps and accessories.
Yes those would be Emmy awards. Real life Emmy awards. No, my client isn’t a famous Hollywood celebrity but her husband earned them and when your client has a few Emmy awards laying about, you definitely use them to accessorize. Kind of a no-brainer I’d say. Those amazing blue lamps are vintage and they work so perfectly here.
The art above the credenza was something I made with my own two hands. Framed agate art can be pricey (see?) so I searched online for the agate slices that I mounted with heavy duty adhesive on mat board and placed it inside a frame with a thick white mat. I didn’t pay anything near what that one William Sonoma piece costs for all four of mine and I gotta say, they look fantastic. You can put just about anything in a frame with a thick white mat and it’ll look impressive. You can quote me on that.
I used an abundance of succulents in this project. Most importantly, because my client likes them but also because they have a great modern, sculptural quality, you can plant them in practically anything, they’re hard to kill and very affordable. Great impact for a modest investment.
This vintage chinoiserie mirror from the 1960′s is my absolute favorite thing in the world. I think I’m already having separation anxiety over it…and the lamps. So much drama, which every dining room needs, created by hanging it against the marine blue wall. It was a little tough to properly photograph that dark wall with my point-and-shoot but you get the idea.
I am also obsessed with the actual succulent sculpture I picked up from Waterstone Succulents on Etsy. So pretty.
I loved working on this project. Such a labor of love! I’m so grateful that my client was committed to waiting several months for me to scour every vintage and antique store in my arsenal, over and over and over again to scoop up all the great vintage finds that made this room come to life.
Sarah Elizabeth Interior Design is now accepting new clients! If you’d like to chat about how we can work together to create a gorgeous home that you absolutely love, email me! email@example.com