Tuesday, June 30, 2009


Thanks for stopping by once again for our special feature, TARGET Tuesday's. For those of you not familiar with my blog you can scroll down through some older posts to get caught up! (If someone from TARGET is reading this, HOLY COW!, call me IM AVAILABLE and READY!!) Im excited to see everyone here, and excited to get started!

For our 2nd TARGET Tuesday feature I would like to focus on another top pick of mine, pillows. As a part of my diverse line-up of accessories that I have prepared for TARGET, pillows are an all time favorite. As a designer I tend to choose a FEW choice accessories when designing a room. Pillows add softness and alleviate the need to have objects everywhere for that special pop. I don't like to over clutter, and OVER design. (My thoughts on this matter are short and sweet. If I see a home that is OVER designed I feel that all that crap/clutter/hodgepodge has been placed everywhere to over compensate for lack in talent and ability for design. Yes my words are harsh. But when I see a home that has been designed by a so called "professional" in this way, they have no aptitude or dexterity for design.) OK off the soap box to continue on! Remember people it has taken me a long time to get to this level of confidence, so I will fly that designer flag high!!

Pillows are a flexible option to modify and restyle a room quickly, effortlessly and they can completely change the atmosphere in less than 20 seconds! I always have on hand, two to three colors and styles that can change the look in a snap. Now for those of you who lack storage, not to worry. Keep the fills on the sofa, and store the covers. They take up less room, and this allows you MORE options.

Pillows add style, personality and color. This can also be great for entertaining. They can be switched around or mixed up according to the theme of the evening. Also, pillows can be changed around seasons. We typically like cooler colors that are fresh and calming in the summer, and warmer darker colors that tend to our need for coziness in the winter. I often recommend buying your investment pieces, such as sofa's, chairs, etc. to be in neutral's for this very reason. The color palette can always be updated with simple accents, such as pillows.

My plan for the pillows in my accessory line will be updated, have clean tailored lines and made of natural materials. They will be made of fabrics that can be mixed and matched with ease. Most importantly you will have the option to buy the fills separately from the covers, for those who lack storage space. And as always they will be apart of my accessible, affordable design creed. Thanks for visiting us on TARGET Tuesday!!

If you have an accessory that you cannot live without, or maybe an accessory that you need and can't find, let me know! Email me, or leave a comment. I'd love to hear about your decorating needs. Thanks!

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Umm, what kinda car do you drive?

It was a Tuesday afternoon when I got her call. (Can you imagine my excitement when I received the pivotal call that changed my life?) She was all things celebrated and distinguished. Every designer wanted to work with her. I had become the CHOSEN ONE! ( she obviously reads my blog full of essential, up-to-date, fundamentally pivotal material!)

When I got to the house I expected simple, elegant and sophisticated style. What I found was an archaic, prehistoric shack. No worries. I am a designer, a mythical, creative creature...the thing legends are made of. (The chosen one!) I will simply hang my designer flag high, wave my wand, splash on some paint and create what I like to call, design magic. As I waited to meet with the painter, a highly referred, renowned, well known, respected, acclaimed and popular painter, I sat outside my client's shack waiting. After 15 painstakingly restless minutes I called the painter. "where the hell are you?" "I have been here for 20 minutes, our appointment was at 9!"
To my satisfaction he was there, to my disgust he had been sitting in her driveway! ( to keep you all up to speed, I drive a mammoth 40 ft gray van that has BIG letters all over it that Japan could see on a clear day.) I hopped out of my MAMMOTH van to walk up to her house. I looked everywhere for his MAMMOTH sized PAINTERS van. So help me GOD he is not here!! And with colossal and monumental swiftness this blonde haired casanova stepped out of a 2009 Mercedes convertible 500 SL.

I am beautiful painter, no?

As a designer I am often stereotyped as having unconventional, labeled and animated behavior. Over the top, vibrant conduct with uber expensive taste. Now this description, as colorful and exciting as it sounds doesn't exactly explain my breed of operation. I fell a few short miles off the satisfactory truck, somehow managing to squeeze myself past the "extraordinary" design express lanes catapulting myself into "extra" ordinary at warp speed. But unlike the extraordinary, desirable, high-priced designer, I am the working girl's guide to economy sized, accessible, imagination that meets your design dreams all within budget. I can screw, glue and make it new, all with a handy glue gun and a paperclip; at a fraction of the price. An amateur I am not, but with this coming attraction you will not find anything more than a low-key campaign of modest, understated design conduct; simply put, flip flops, cotton shirt, a little chapstick and a MAMMOTH sized gray van.
This may be disappointing to some. The magnetism and charisma of such glamour and mystique a high-priced designer affords can seem important and momentous. Positively assuring that without question this will result in an unfalteringly beautiful home, all because that designer can afford $300 shoes, a fancy car and an important organization she calls "enterprise", (and as her client you will spend thousands funding that obsession.) I firmly believe that my TARGET shoes are just as good as miss goodie too choos, and I am no less of a designer. Just because Im directionally challenged and missed the extraordinary express lane is besides the point.
HE calls himself a painter? I couldn't believe the horror I was seeing. My immediate nausea told me to run. Slick, smooth and greasy I couldn't decide if this was real or a scene from the Sopranos. His words slippery as shoe polish he announced he was in fact the painter. Recommended? Dear GOD, what have I gotten into. (Can you imagine my excitement when I received the pivotal call that changed my life?) Well despite my disgust, nausea and gut wrenching intuition that told me to run, I moved forward with Dick Tracy. And oh how this poor judgement did change my life! I tried to convince myself that he was a highly referred, renowned, well known, respected, acclaimed and popular painter. Well, 2 drywall repairs, six total trim tear outs of crown base and chair rail, two toilets, 10 door replacements, a lawsuit and 12 months later, I realized that Dick Tracy was not the highly referred, renowned, well known, respected, acclaimed and popular painter on my list. Not even on my shit list. I may not wear the fancy clothes, drive a mercedes or have the fancy choos, but an amateur I am not. I am fair, affordable and I drive a MAMMOTH gray van so that I can do my job the best that I can possibly do and that is my breed of operation! So if your gut tells you that a painter who drives a mercedes seems excessive, RUN!!!!!!!!

Thursday, June 25, 2009

May I make a Comment?

A few weeks ago, (June first to be exact), I started a little experiment. Nothing scientific,
(my days of playing doctor are O-V-E-R) but the goal (I like goals, makes me feel IMPORTANT and SPECIAL,) was to visit 50, give or take, blogs a day. My experiment was to benefit both parties. I would learn all about these new fabulous blogs, leave a little bloggy comment love and in return I too would be the proud recipient of comment bloggy love. Everybody wins, right? WRONG! What did my research reveal? That my friends in bloggy land couldn't quite get the cargo across the river in time for dinner. Informally, LIMP, FLACCID, NEGLECTFUL SLACKERS!!

DAY 1. I visited 53 blogs. My diligent, tireless overzealous fingers clicking, tapping and typing away. Leaving kind thoughts of encouragement, happy notes of wisdom, and pure unadulterated laughter. Excited to see MY deserving notes of wisdom, encouragement and unadulterated laughter I waited. AND waited,.... and then waited more. Now dont get me wrong I have some very faithful, devoted, steadfast and dependable bloggy friends. Without fail they will come to my rescue and prove to me that their is in fact LIFE OUT THERE. And to you my loyal friends I send my deepest and most sincere genuine bloggy love. (hugs)Without you I would be lost, lonely and umimportant. Words a designer must never hear!!! But for the rest of you? You are a bunch of no good, negligent sloths. Yup I said it! You ought to be a shamed of your self. Calling yourself a blogger. Take, take, take. Like theifs in the night you embezzle, pick pocket and snacth up every comment with nothing in return. Crooks! TSK,TSK,!

By my third day I had successfully met my goal. Roughly 50 comments. And might I add, this
is time of which I should be, designing, implementing, and selling; so I can keep a roof over
my head, food on my table, and focus my PRECIOUS and VALUABLE time on TARGET!
BUT NOOOOOOO. I continued tirelessly clicking, tapping and typing away so unselfishly like a taskmaster leaving priceless bloggy comment love, with no love in return. Do you realize it is like leaving gold on the table? These gifts so prized and valued. They are not easy to come by nor should they be taken lightly. They must be earned, not stolen. How can you find yourself WORTHY of such a prized ingredient that is the fundamental component of any blogs success? And I thought I was displaying arrogant and boastful behavior!

After a week I triumphantly conquered my goal, even leaving 103 comments on one of my days. To my dissatisfaction, I received 14 in return. 14 people!!!! At least on the days I left 50 I received 21-27 but 14!!! This is failure, in epoch proportions. This is not your finest hour. Not mine either. I could have been doing something important like washing my hair, cleaning my feet, or designing a damn accessory for TARGET. Clearly, Im a very busy person! But for those of you who dont know and never had a Grandma to teach you proper etiquette, the world works like this, its really quite simple; give and you shall receive. Waiting,....(crickets)..... waiting,.....(crickets).... waiting some more. There are not many rules in Bloggy land. But I will not tolerate this egocentric, self-serving, thoughtless, inconsiderate, greedy, mean and selfish behavior!! Informally, LIMP, FLACCID, NEGLECTFUL SLACKERS!! And while you run off to get a pedicure, get your grocery shopping done, and pay your bills, Im typing, clicking, and tapping away leaving words of encouragement, wisdom and laughter. Im a designer for Gods sake, Im VERY busy doing VERY important things. Must I go out and seek comment love with nothing in return? Can't you see the DESIGNER flag flying high? The big designer badge on my chest? I have needs people! I cannot get to TARGET if I am spending my days seeking support to achieve my DESERVED fundamental ingredient to bloggy success. I need to focus. I need encouraging, cultivating, stimulating support, and let me tell you, I have VERY high expectations. You better hope on the love of GOD, and nature herself you don't disappoint me. My knee jerk reaction to this precarious performance is to throw you to the vermin!!

It is my destiny to do and be something great. What can I say? It's a gift, I know. ( Never mind the fact that this awesomeness I call pure genius has gone to waste up until now; but that is totally besides the point) I see this as a minor speed bump in the road. A time that GOD has bestowed upon me to grant me an offering of donated humbleness. Unlike my bloggy slackers I will take this titanic size gift, cherish it, hold it dear to my heart, and in return give back something of true greatness. All distributed by Target Corp Minneapolis, MN 55403, all rights reserved.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009


Well here it is folks. I am proud to announce the first and OFFICIAL:
TARGET Tuesday!!

(clapping , clapping, whistling, shouts of joy, YAY!!!) If this is your first time here I encourage you to read through my blog to get up to speed. You miss school, you miss out, and so be the case here today! I want to thank everyone for stopping by and leaving their words of wisdom, encouragement and if you feel the need to throw an occasional tomato at me, just make sure you miss the teeth. Two things mom wanted for me. College and good teeth. (thanks MOM!)

Ok so lets get down to business. Thats why we are here right? Have to have some reason for rolling out of bed. I have put some serious thought into why I should have my own line at TARGET.( Im sure Miley keeps herself up at night with thoughts like these) But I cannot divulge all the juicy details. I will reiterate the facts attentively and methodically. MEANING you must tune in each week to acquire the all important, profound and significant arguments. People, we are dealing with VERY important issues here!!

Today we will start with the kind of designer I am, and what type of accessory I generally crave. I thirst for clean and simple design. I don't like a lot of clutter and when I accessorize I use a FEW choice accessories to give personality and pop to the room. I like items that provide comfort AND indulgence. The principals I follow when choosing the objects I love: they must be tailored with ease, deliver gracefulness, be generous in functionality and last but not least, AFFORDABLE!

My first order of business in designing my accessory line. BASKETS. I love baskets. They add texture, depth, and most importantly they manage clutter. They are elegant but unpretentious. True classics to any home decor methodology. They have a common vernacular to any design approach, whether it be traditional or contemporary.

So you say, why the hell would I buy my basket from you? ( I don't know, maybe because they are awesome and designed by me? DUH!) LOL! That's not good enough reason? Well how about this. My baskets will offer different shapes and sizes. They will be unique and creative. They will work as decorative art or simply function as storage. I will weave lighter and darker colors throughout to create depth that will offer more versatility in it's use. Like all my accessories I choose they will offer a fashionable approach with the added benefit of another function or use. And the best part? They will be original, fresh, and affordable. Thanks for visiting us on TARGET Tuesday!!

Monday, June 22, 2009

Who is the fairest Designer of them all!???

MEEEE of course! These days I like to fly my DESIGNER flag high. (Don't be mistaken, Im just HIGH on life! No need to know how I achieved this magical predicament of circumstances ) For 11 years I have stayed content and complacent with living under a rock. My head in the sand. What can I say, a lot of really good things happen there. To include, but not limited to reasonable, and rational thinking. Thinking,...... thinking.... and well, more thinking. You'd be amazed at all the great things you can conjure up with SO MUCH thinking; (unequivocal dumbfounded stupidity). All the while staying low key, quiet and satisfied. Too busy getting sand out of crevices, of which the particulars of such intelligence won't enlighten any of us. BUT the tranquility of my dumbness is soon to be over turned by the Queen herself. My fortress will no longer be hushed by silence.

So why the sudden change in egotistic, self centered, boastful behavior? Call it modest pride, but more than likely it's my participation in what I like to call old age, a-hem, I mean experience. Ok, so Im gloating. But I cannot feel but a little proud and glorious ( why won't this damn flag go any higher!!) with my new found perspective/enlightenment/shear stupidity.

I made the mistake of watching HGTV last night. Now, don't get me wrong, this is a fundamental and impressive network with BIG important people; especially if you need to learn mad skills like Mcgiver. Like an Engineering mastermind, I have learned how to properly use fishing line, wire and a pair of pliers like nobody's business! Very important in these FRUGAL times. But you would be mistaken to think that the context of such a show is actually real. Disregard the blatant fact that the budgets never include all the labor but manipulate you into thinking that you can tear down, rebuild, reupholster, renovate, restore, reassemble, glue, screw and undo, all for $1000. The amplified puppet master, I mean host, with an accentuated smile, and embellished hand gestures over gliding the lily pond ten fold, you can HAVE ALL THIS and more!!!!!!! (clapping, music, and Bob Barkers beauties filled with JOY and EXCITEMENT!!! YAY!!!)

Ok so I understand that these ground breaking, pivotal shows are addictive. They throw stars in your eyes telling you that you too can achieve undeniable, alluring, spell binding elegance and beauty, all with a pair of pliers, fishing line, and wire. Don't get me wrong, you can, as long as you have the village people (jingle~young man are you listening to me, No man does it all by himself, it's fun to stay at the Y-M-C-A~jingle) I mean a village to help put it all together for FREE. But who cares. The charisma of the puppet master slams you with mystique, thrill, a little glitter, and with a monumental SHAZAAM, the fairy godmother waves her wand and you have your self a beautiful room!

So why all the hatred? Never mind the fact that I have been trying to get my ground-breaking, pivotal, unprecedented and innovative show since 2006. That's irrelevant when Im trying to make my very pertinent and valuable point. Besides, I've moved on, I have TARGET now. ( I HEART TARGET!) No hatred. I've got nothing but love for HGTV. Really I do. I think they have some well celebrated and noteworthy shows. With about 80% garbage sprinkled in, but the other 20% is good enough material to carry the show, and make me tune in.

I have stupidly succumbed to the idea that each show was respectfully infected with high quality, superior design. These designers being the chosen ones. A blueprint of exceptional and accomplished design. Like a drooling servant I would gaze at the TV safeguarding my new found knowledge of calculated insight, waiting until I too could be an exceptional accomplished designer; a chosen one. Well no more. I have removed my head from the sand (still shaking my pant legs out; how on God's green earth did sand get in there....) I reject and object my thoughts of being an incompetent, substandard designer. The 80% garbage they call a show is nothing more than a vehicle for filler. (of which I will gladly help you bring that down to 75% with my ground breaking, pivotal, unprecedented show; F-O-C-U-S AMANDA!!)

I am good at what I do. It has taken me a LONG time to get to this level of confidence (old age and shear stupidity) But after seeing this show, no need for particulars, I realized that I can do better; all without hesitation or reluctance, I can confidently say this out loud. I am no longer indecisive. Never did I think I would exercise the thought of burdening myself with the responsibility of TRUSTING and INVESTING in self-confidence. After all a women finds self assurance through her husband right? HAHAHAHA! (No thanks I will do it on my own!!) But my husband is my biggest most discerning fan. However, I have decided that I AM the fairest of them all. I have to be. Why else would TARGET choose me? I refuse to stay quiet, but rather candid about how I see it. My flag will continue to fly high ( if I could just figure out how to get this damn contraption to work; where are my pliers?!!) I am shrewd, clever and wickedly talented.....(deep breaths, in out, in out; Holy shit! For the love of GOD, Good GOD did I just say that out loud??!!) But I can't help but feel a little proud and glorious for my new found perspective/enlightenment/shear stupidity. After all I am a DESIGNER, a mystical, creative, creature; the thing legends are made of ....or at least that is what I will tell myself until I pass out from hyperventilation or get stabbed by a pair of pliers trying to get my flag to fly, all because I am in a halfwitted self absorbed state of obtuse ignorance.(Designer is DOWN! I repeat Designer is DOWN)

Saturday, June 20, 2009

D. All of the above

For those of you who frequent my blog you are aware of my post, MY life on the D list. If you haven't read it not only are you missing out on THE greatest post ever, but that means Im SERIOUSLY lacking in sympathy and support points. I was so inspired by all my SITSta (and non SITSta) remarks that I have decided to embark on a journey, a rally of sorts that will be of colossal and enormous proportions!!!

I am announcing my new TARGET Tuesday's!! Every week until somebody pays attention to me ( insert sad pitiful, feel-sorry-for-me-face or DAMMIT GIVE ME MY OWN LINE FACE!!!!! Which ever works first), I will be posting about all the reasons, with your support, love and encouragement, why I should have my own line at TARGET.

a) creative
b) inspiring
c) affordable
D) All of the above

Some of you may think Im crazy. (but really, who ever got anywhere with being sane!) I have admitted to having holes in my head; but that won't stop me. A household name I am not, (MILEY CYRUS!!!!!!!!!!) but I can design, implement, and sell a product to which I am more than QUALIFIED to do. I am determined and motivated to prove that it does not take a celebrity name to create a successful line. I don't sing, dance or sell million dollar records. But I can produce a product that everyone will appreciate and enjoy. Yes, this ideal may seem absurd. It may be foolish to think that a small scale, low key designer like myself can make a movement of this magnitude. However, like Martin Luther King, I have a dream. So Im going to put on my big girl panties, let my designer flag fly high, and dont forget ladies, to put on your pearls!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

A lady always wears PEARLS!

My grandmother is a force to be reckoned with. Still is. At 80 she still scares the living daylights (and midnights) out of me. She prances around blurting out absurdities like " A woman's beauty lasts only as long as her disposition stays sweet". YES, I shall remember these warm fluffy thoughts when Im divulging salacious and COLORFUL words to the truck driver who drop ships broken accessories to my store, and then so eloquently tells me to stuff it like Sunday Turkey.

Grandma is THE essential girl's guide to modern manners and etiquette. Never mind the fact that she bottled her enterprise in the 40's. Polite with a capitol "P". Her dynasty built entirely on class, sophistication and a 1950's Continental Mark II Lincoln. She is the epitome of excellence. Like some corset restricting denomination, she is all things protocol, and accepted behavior. THE template of homemaker perfection,to which Martha Stewart would deem undeniably as exemplary and unrivaled perfection. And to go against this way of thinking, well that would be THE gravest of errors.

I called up excessive Grandma on Friday to see how she has been. Incredibly, or should I say unsurprisingly, still her enchanted self. Always polite, with a capitol "P", this woman never misses a beat. With moonstruck exaggeration in her voice, and a five 0'clock toddy in hand, everything is just wonderful and fabulous. My GOD she must know Barbie; contestants in their own pageant to all things pleasant.

Her sugary sweet perfection is absolutely exhausting and exhilarating. How does she hold it together? How does she multitask and make the most minuscule task look extraordinary? I find it difficult to persuade myself each morning that anything other than flip flops, pony tail, and chapstick is outlandish. My most polished days of improvement are carried out with a pair of flats and TINTED chapstick. Unsettled and perturbed my Grandmother, to no avail will remind me, " you know dear, a LADY always wears pearls"......."and a little lipstick never hurt either".

I will never understand this divine and unnatural creature. Always stylish, and gracious Grandma never misses an opportunity to vocalize how to conduct oneself with unabashed formalities. Don't get me wrong. Grandma is the finest most formidable woman I know, to which I deeply respect. But her paradise of cultivated elegance is a bit too calculated and precise for my unbalanced, uncoordinated existence. Everything ending with a smile, as if auditioning for a broadway play she glides with poise, and a twirl with her arms in the air " remember dear, always be pleasant!" Yes PLEASANT with a capitol "P". I will TRY to remember these important indigestible words. Especially when my husband leaves his fourth, (no fifth) pair of shoes in the hallway for me to fluidly and gracefully step on for the tenth time, the car for which he leaves me NO GAS (on the day that I am late for THE MOST important appointment of my life),and the truck driver that throws my accessories into the ambiguous black hole he calls a truck resulting in Hurricane Katrina devastation. I will try to remember these important words of wisdom. Be Kind, Be pleasant, and always wear pearls!

Sunday, June 14, 2009

My life on the D list

In my early twenties I had few aspirations for myself. Graduate from college, (because my Mom told me to), and create a 12 step program for my addiction to Jamba juice and Baja fresh. I unexpectedly met the man of my dreams, or shall I say he met the woman of his dreams, and I entered into a state of ignorant bliss. Wandering aimlessly within my ignorant bliss, my soon to be husband in his own state of bliss, carried me through financially as I found my way. So I decided to become a doctor. It is a respected profession, disciplined (which I clearly am, ha!), grounded, and you get to wear a fancy white coat with big pockets full of important instruments, like pens and prescription pads!

It didn't take long to figure out that the white clearly didn't work after labor day, and the pens? Well those could be purchased half off at the local school bookstore. So I decided to go into nursing. They had way more fun, made good money and they MARRIED Doctors. All the benefits without all the work. Perfect. But I failed to realize I already had the man of my dreams, and he was far from a doctor. Ok, so their were major holes in my plan. Or rather, holes in my head; oh to be 20 again!

I graduated with a degree in Biology with a minor in fine arts. So what did I do? What every 20 something ends up doing. I worked 25 different minimum wage jobs, in a state of ignorant bliss while my soon to be husband carried me through financially. It was perfect, how could it not last?

Fate herself finally stepped in to rescue me. With her head in her hands, a tear in her eye, and thoughts of all my stupidity. I got a job working for a designer. Not just any designer. A double D designer. DESIGN DIVA, with her all that and a bag of chips att-it-TUDE. But what she didn't know? I was 20, in a state of MAJOR ignorant bliss, and I was getting married. Shall I say more?

It only took six weeks.... Within two weeks I decided "this is what I want to do!" (this would be career choice number....) Within four weeks I ambushed her in an appointment to learn EVERYTHING. Within six weeks, I was out of a job, AGAIN! (Insert soon to be husband who is STILL carrying me financially)

Luckily, like religion is to Sundays, my good fate turned and came to me. I got motivated dare I say even ambitious, and unlike my 12 step program this was an ACTUAL goal. I went back to school, and graduated with a big Double D, only mine stands for DESIGN DEGREE. I still had my ups and downs. We moved to Vegas, where I questioned if I was "D" material but my true religion occurred when we moved to TN. I launched my own design firm. Through shear determination, sprinkle in a little blood, sweat, tears, and maybe even a little spit, though I would never admit it (after all Im a lady, God-dammit!!) I have grown and expanded each year to get to where I am today.

It took me some time, reflection, and a lot of stupidity along the way, but I found it, the path or purpose in my life. But despite all this hard work, I still find myself on the D list, gasp!.
How is it that someone like Cindy Crawford gets a furniture collection? Or Kathy Ireland builds an entire empire on the design business? She grossed 50 million dollars in the home decor business in 2007. Barbara Barry, Johnathan Adler, Kelly Wearstler, Darryl Carter I can see, but Cindy?
I don't find myself in the leagues of those listed above. I still need some years on me to gain that kind of genius. However, when I found out yesterday that Miley Cyrus signed a deal to start her own furniture line with Rooms to Go, I found it quite paradoxical. It makes perfect sense to me that a 16 year old would know exactly how to design, implement and sell a product for a HOME in which she doesn't even own one yet.

So this is my open letter to who ever the HELL (TARGET!) will listen.

I want a line of accessories and home decor. I still have a few holes in my head. I tend to spit when Im angry (but I'd never admit to this) and Im no longer in my 20's. Big Bonus? Or Big Set back, hmmm not sure.... Either way, I actually know a thing or two about furniture, and accessories. I have the BIG designer Badge on my chest to prove it, and for once, it's actually turned right side up. I have MADE a living making choices on how to design, implement and sell a product for which Im QUALIFIED to do. Interested? I don't sing, dance, or have my pics plastered all over the Enquirer but I have graduated from High School, college even (thanks Mom!) and I actually know a thing or two about design. So, Target if your listening, I love your store, shop their all the time, and I think you should give me a shelf, maybe even two( after all Im pretty damn good at what I do) so that My life can get off the D list. Thanks,

Friday, June 12, 2009

The F Word, Holy S**T!

About two years ago I started working on a project in California. The homeowner kept telling me, now due to the economy I want to do some "horse trading". The economy? What the hell are you talking about? It's great! Im making more money than I have ever made. There is no need for "horse trading". And with a hint of what looked to be concern, or maybe constipation, he said it. The F word. F R U G A L.

Everyone knows it. As a designer Im familiar with it, but it was difficult to hear while my head was in the sand;.. I like the beach what can I say? But here in TN the land of true Southerners, where all things come battered, smattered, deep fried, and loaded with butter, (lets face it EVERYTHING tastes better with butter!) there is nothing that a good old fashion home cooked meal can't fix. I mean come on, mac and cheese is considered a vegetable!

But it seems that the new "it" word has shifted from starbucks to FRUGAL. This news started disgorging doom and gloom early last year. But in our perfect little southern bubble of deep fried paradise, we sat in our rockers undisturbed. Then October hit. Like greasy fried bacon at the waffle house it was sure to come. As a designer I have been force-fed the truth of reality. ( Insert barbie here, where all things are pink, wonderful and fabulous, if only for a moment!)

The word BUDGET became null and void. Like Vampires in the night it never existed, it swiftly exited out the back door. Everyone had a BUDGET. FRUGAL is a whole new territory for me. I have always advocated myself as a budget friendly designer. But now Im faced with living large on a FRUGAL budget, where Im required to screw, glue and make it new. Like Mcgiver Im finding fishing line, wire, and a pair of plyers to be my saving grace. (Where is that damn bedazzler when I need it?!)

Frugal is fascinating and challenging all rolled up into one messy hair net at the school cafeteria. It's forcing us to get back to our roots, connect with community and grow a damn garden. (Im telling you, they have produce at this place called the GROCERY STORE, no need to stand outside in this heat hoping on a wing and a prayer that a radish will grow!) For that matter let's just go to the cracker barrel. Im convinced that like the swine flu this is nothing that a little hand sanitizer can't get rid of, it works on everything, right? Ok, so MAYBE my opinion is a little distorted, could be all the sand in my ears left over from the beach, but it brings me back to a time when I was three and my new FUN word was.... S H I T!

In such FRUGAL times, I find myself saying this a lot lately. Holy Shit! Oh Shit! Shit, shit, shit! God love her, my mama would point that finger at me and say "dont say the word SHIT!" So in honor of my FRUGAL, thrift shop lovin mama I am selling my "Dont say the word shit" matches half off today. And while this doesn't solve our global problems, or our national problems for that matter, like our friend Maggi says "just add a little glitter and stir"; for good measure you may want to add butter, it makes EVERYTHING taste better, especially in FRUGAL times.
For shit matches go to ABHOMEINTERIORS.COM, click on gifts, fun and whimsical.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Malibu Barbie on a budget? by Nashville interior designer, Amanda Burdge

Back in March Miss BARBIE herself turned fifty. Doesn't she look smashing for 50? How does she do it? How is she devoid of this economy and simple old age?
Mr. John Adler himself did a Malibu beach house in her honor , and he doesn't come cheap! It raised a question. Could BARBIE survive on a beer budget; or GASP!, a strawberry wine budget? Could her life be as fabulous as cotton candy, and pink poodles if she had to use the word budget? Is budget in her vocabulary? And lastly, could she shop at Target and find her shoes at Payless, leaving the store with a smile?
I shutter to think how BARBIE could survive. So desperate for her Jimmy Choo's, and her pink corvette. And Ken? Well he would find a new blonde, maybe even branch out to a brunette, driving around Malibu in her Maserati; after all Corvettes are so yesterday! How would BARBIE feel as Ken drove off with his new 25 year old?
Well as much as I would love to see this bitch go down, just once, in my heart of hearts (dig way WAY down) she is what dreams are made of. Every little girl gets it. The BARBIE fascination, and the all too dreamy eyes for Ken. A thing of "may all your dreams come true" with martini in hand, a smile on her face and twinkle in her eye. A pink EXPLOSION of all things wonderful and fabulous. And as much as I hate to subscribe to the BARBIE ideal (talk about exiting reality) I suppose it is good, at times, to enter into a world of all things pink, wonderful and fabulous, just for a moment, to get a prescription that is devoid of the economy, and old age!

Monday, June 8, 2009

The queen of clutter and bibles

Mrs X's Kitchen before
Mrs X's Kitchen after
Mrs X's Dining room before
Mrs X's Dining after

As a designer I am often invited into peoples homes that are, lets say for tact, undesirable decorating disasters, or as I like to call them UDD's. Hence the reason for my my being there. I often overlook these minor indiscretions because I am there to make magic! Change the way you live, and change your outlook; with super women herself as my partner I take down the world in it's orbit and change everyones "ugly" one space at time! After all I am a DESIGNER, a mystical, creative, creature; the thing legends are made of ....or at least that is what I tell myself.

One afternoon I received a call. Her name, Mrs X. Im looking for a new lease on life. I need change, and you can give it to me! Well of course I can. Im a DESIGNER, I have the business card to prove it!

The house was a disaster. I soon learned that Mrs. X was the Queen of clutter and BIBLES. How many Damn bibles can one person own? Does GOD have something different to say in each one? Have her sins been redeemed merely for owning this many bibles? Does she have one for each 7 deadly sins, for which she obviously over counted? Maybe she has reduced guilt with each proof of purchase.

Perplexed and a bit overwhelmed I got to work. She needed change and ORGANIZATION. Where to start? With GOD of course! We donated the books to charity and the local churches.
We threw away 10 years of unnecessary instant gratification purchases. And just when I thought we would see the light of day.....another damn bible would surface. This woman had industrial strength BIBLE envy, or one hell of a sales man at Lifeway! Either way, one bible is sufficient and I don't think HE will think any less if you ONLY own one!

A year has gone by since I helped out Mrs X. She recently invited me over to review a new set of house plans. I was delighted for the opportunity. As a gag gift I brought her a jar of "wash away your sins" soap. Easy to use, reduces guilt, and who couldn't see the added value of it's convenient size? We giggled in laughter. So proud and glorious, with my DESIGNER flag flying high I felt victorious and over joyed. After all I am a DESIGNER, a mystical, creative, creature; the thing legends are made of ....

I reviewed the new built-in pantry. It was fabulous. But I felt we needed it a bit larger. Before I could make that decision I needed to take stock of all her beautiful antique china. "Oh no need to go in there" she tells me. Hmmmm.....really?? Why? So I snuck into Mrs X's current china pantry only to find........you guessed it; a stack of freshly bound, still in wrappers, new bibles. In all shapes and sizes. Apparently my road to recovery will be a long, and sinful one!

Friday, June 5, 2009

Nashville interior designer Amanda Burdge on Paneling

I was recently hired to help a client redo her dining room, and expansion to the front of her house. The house, built in the late 60's, was being expanded and to my great happiness the husband gave us carte blanche on the project.
.... But there was a catch. Damn their is always a catch! His only request, "please leave the paneling in the dining room." What!? Are you kidding me? Deep breaths; Ok no reason to panic. I will put together the design plan and he will see the light. He will come to his senses...he will come to the understanding that there is no need for PANELING! Right?
Ok back to square one. Thinking, thinking,.... ok paint the paneling! Yes thats what we will do!


"we will stain the paneling and we will stain it darker!" he tells me.
Holy cow I am going to have premature, unnecessary heart palpitations. I'm not going to live through this experience, kill me now!
So I did what any good interior designer would do; freaked out, had unnecessary heart palpitations, and regurgitated my irritation to all my staff; but smiled to my client and said " of course it will be fabulous!" All in a days work!
Ha! Well to my surprise, the paneling was stained darker, but it wasn't worth all that anxiety. Despite my frustrations we worked around the walnut elephant in the room and I was quite pleased with the turn out. I still think it makes for a dark room. But I lightened the room with travertine floors, nixed the idea of an area rug, and put every light and bright thing I could in the room to brighten it. The best part of the project? The client not only gave us unlimited funds for the rest of the house, he is smiling from ear to ear because it is exactly what he wanted, and more! And that is why I do what I do!

Thursday, June 4, 2009

New Blog

For those of you who stop by my blog regularly you will notice the surroundings have changed a bit. I have updated my blog to give it some more style and sass. I love it, and look forward to adding more features and buttons and what ever other things Katie and I can think up to do. For more info on how to update your blog email Katie @ lemoncherryblogs@gmail.com or visit her website @ http://lemoncherryblogs.com. Thanks for all your help Katie!! I can't wait to do more stuff!

Monday, June 1, 2009

Darryl Carter interior design

A few weeks ago I did a small little post on Darryl Carter, (http://abhomeinteriors.blogspot.com/2009/05/darryl-carter.html) and his beautiful designs. His aesthetic is clean, fresh, and stylish but simple and easy to read. He has introduced a new line through Thomasville that oozes restraint and grace, hence the mention on my blog. Mr Carter himself apparently saw my post. I really didn't say much; thank GOD I didn't go off on one of my rants. I really could go on and on about Mr Carter. Well to my surprise, as my staff and I slaved over the rearrangement of the showroom (for our new sale), in walks the post man with the above letter; FROM MR CARTER HIMSELF!! So Darryl if you are reading this post too, I want to thank you for taking time out of your busy schedule to write to me. It is something so simple yet meant the world to me and made coming in on a Saturday SO worth it. As you can see I have framed it. I have it in my office above my credenza, and as I strive to become a better designer I will look to this as my inspiration. When I have an unruly client, I will look to this for inspiration, when I want to quit interior design for any number of reasons, I will look to this for inspiration. And when I want to become an attorney I will remind myself there is nothing I would rather do than interior design, and look to this note as inspiration! THANKS!!