Thursday, July 30, 2009

Office interiors by Nashville interior designer, Amanda Burdge

I am THE quintessential design savant when it comes to interiors. I know, I know, but what can I say it's a gift! Last fall Dr Harr came to me with a set of blueprints, a plot of land and a dream. So like the good little designer that I am, I got to work.

Dr Harr is a dentist (OUCH!) and my visits to the dentist have not always been pleasant ones. As soon as my anxious, uneasy, apprehensive feet hit the floor of a dentist's office Im gasping for air, sick with worry and swallowing a tizzy of uptight strung out jitters. I can't think straight, and Im blurting out a range of high pitched carnival cruise line horn noises. Another words I get a bit squirrelly.

I wanted Dr Harr's patients to feel at home when they walked into the door. I wanted the interiors to ooze contentment and ease. I wanted it to feel like an extension of their home.

The interiors consist of warm wood floors, stained trim, and oh so comfortable upholstery. Chocolate velvet on the sofa, creme chenilles on the side chairs, herringbone wool for the other side chairs, and brown leather for a quiet masculine nook. I even put a fluffy wool and flokati rug on the floor. The cocktail table is reclaimed, acid washed oak. With a weathered look and feel, kids can come in and shove magazines, toys, or any other items without hesitation. And for a little pop I installed two oversized black and white tables for either side of the sofa.

Now this may not be an ordinary reception area for a dentists office. But when Dr Harr came to me with his plans I knew right away the interior approach this needed. It needed to envelop every patient with a warm hug, encouragement, and a "no need to worry, your in good hands" touch!

Tuesday, July 28, 2009


Ok so Im being told that this blogging thing is a winter sport. Can this really be considered a sport? I mean really, Im sipping a toddy with just a splash of vodka,(....the size of a tsunami) and shoving a donut in my mouth; and dare I say I just finished an entire bowl of mac and cheese ( it's considered a vegetable here in the south, I don't make the rules, I simple enjoy them.) So as we enter into our 5th?, 6th? Target Tuesday I can't help but wonder if I am missing the boat of enlightenment. It may take a fork lift to get me to that boat, but could it be possible that Target is on vacation? Oh MY!

My journey today will be focusing on lamps. I love lamps. I know, I know, I LOVE every thing home decor. I suppose that is why I do what I do. But lamps make doing it easier! Lamps are the quintessential accessory. They do so many things. A home decor work horse if you will. They bring proportion and scale to a room. They are decorative with ceramic, brass, glass, painted or wood bases. And the shades! Oh they can just add that little pop of surprise or be subtle and sleek.

Lamps add light. But they also add warmth to a room. No fluorescent bulbs here. I practice many green things, but I draw the line at fluorescent bulbs. They are too blue and cold. They make everyone look blue, and dead. And while the dead need to look good too, their lighting is not nearly as important as other things are.

Target has a decent selection of lamps, but they are quite generic. Nothing overly fun, and as usual Im not keen on the sizes available. In a designers world size is EVERYTHING. If it isn't the right size everything around it will be off. My lamps will offer several different mediums. Glass, ceramic, wood, iron and metal. My favorite is ceramic. I love glazed ceramic lamps with color. I will have different shade options, but my favorite shade is a drum shade. It offers the most versatility, it is sleek in design and it puts out the most light. I will have shades in solids, and textures but specialize in drum shades. All my lamps will be easily mixed and matched and as always they will be classic, easy on the eyes, and tailored in style.

Well hopefully Target is not on vacation. Although Im finding that EVERYONE is on vacation except me! Hopefully while on that cruise, excursion, or adventure you have a moment to open that laptop and give AB HOME a little peek, so when you return we can get to work! Thanks for visiting us on TARGET TUESDAY!!

Saturday, July 25, 2009


Well here it is folks! We are L-I-V-E!! Whoo hoo! We have actually been live for a few weeks, but now we are LIVE with a capitol "L" and showin' off the spiffy NEW blog.(YUP, thats right take it all in, we know ya'll are flustered with envy) Our plan is quite simple. We want to help all you striving entrepreneurs out there get visibility, devise successful plans for growth, serve up some juicy tips and share
all things business, so that we can learn, acquire mad skills and become proficient in something other than disorganized pandemonium.

I will have you know, Kristen and I are amazing. Yup I said it. We are very full of ourselves. We have very high expectations from our fellow barbies, so if you fall short of our high expectations of all things fabulous, astounding, and fantastic we may do the unthinkable! We are incredible, mind-blowing mythic creatures with tremendous, stupendous plans, and intentions. IMPORTANT PLANS! We knew that that this would be BIG, and we will become the thing legends are made of, hehe insert designer here!

We want you and your company to be remarkable, breathtaking, original and unbelievable. Just like we are. (Yup, I did just say that.) We want you, like us, to exude confidence in your product, store, or service. And most importantly we want that store, product, or service to get the UTMOST attention and detail it deserves. So we present to you (with grand anticipation, excitement, and enthusiasm ) we introduce to you with great pleasure:

Head on over to the new spiffy blog at If you are a business owner contact us or leave a comment. Let us know what you need. How we can help you, and we will be featuring bloggers who are entrepreneurs to grow your visibility.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Even the dead need to look good!

Call me the working girls designer, the connoisseur to all things accessible and the Queen of saying "yes". No task is too difficult, complex or demanding. With that designer badge plopped firmly on my chest I am the attainable, affordable solution to all your design needs. The queen of "yes" and "no problem". SO it is understandable that I of all people would get THE CALL.

The voice informal, pleasant and cordial. "Amanda, my name is Catherine I buy and sell properties".... Perfect I thought, a woman entrepreneur who knows real estate. I LIKE real estate. I have done LOTS of things with real estate. Including, but not limited to meeting lots of interesting people with important jobs and snazzy cars. Jobs so fascinating they wear flashy suits and animated personalities. Interesting people who's charisma could carry John Wayne and Bugsy combined and dispositions as occidental as the western Vegas pacific wind. Who doesn't love a little hero gangstar in their real estate? Um, check YES!

My mind racing I thought, was it a run down mid century ranch that needed updating, a two story Brentwood box that needed to be gutted and renovated, or possibly a commercial slice of heaven with an ideal location and zip code? My anticipated thought process in this short 10 second lull in her breath could have moved mountains when suddenly she blurted out "My husband dropped dead just short of his 80th birthday"... Oh my I thought. What on earth does this have to do with property? She doesn't consider her husband real estate does she? OMG, what if she wants me to decorate him?!!! Deep breaths, oh crap where did that badge of mine go? Is that my shoe? Where did my pencil go? Should I spit out my gum? Am I even chewing gum? Oh my, I cant focus. "He left me 60 acres of property and several hundred thousand. I want to be a millionaire before I die. Im 79 years old and my friends are dropping like fly's. I have decided to invest my money into a funeral home and I need you to jazz it up, make it look nice and inviting." O-Kay. This seems completely logical, and practical. ( Right?) She sees a need, she has the money, completely rational and understandable thinking. Like any good entrepreneur would do.(hmmm, let's see, invest money to make money. Got it, good clean fun, completely rational and understandable thinking....)

"I have heard very good things about you Amanda. Now, I need you to understand that I want to be a millionaire before I die, so I cant be giving you all my money; BUT even the dead need to look good,... if you know what I mean"..... W-H-E-R-E is that damn pencil? Should I be writing this down? I should probably write something down. Something important and legible. Does it need to be legible, they won't know the difference. This is a completely natural and sensible undertaking, (right?). After all Im a DESIGNER. The things legends (gulp) are made of. Maybe I should use a pen. Yes I should write this down in pen. It is a little more permanent. And professional. Yes that is me, the professional. So several deep breaths and 17 swigs of diet coke later I agreed to the job. The queen of "yes!" I can decorate the dead. Can't I? Im a designer. I can decorate anything. All I need is a glue gun, some duct tape, and a screw driver. Besides I LIKE real estate... and I LIKE design, what could possibly go wrong? (No task is too difficult, complex or demanding)

Well to my surprise the dead aren't so bad to work for. They don't complain, object, criticize or fuss about a thing. They require very little and they LOVE everything I pick. They are simple, easy, and uncomplicated like me. Understated, undemanding and straightforward. I could get used to this kind of client. Pleased with my new found knowledge I decided to add funeral home designer to my resume.

Now it may seem quirky, eccentric and unconventional that I would add more sugar to my already growing mix of 'No task is too difficult, complex or demanding' ideals; BUT after 6 months Catherine sold her funeral home, (making her a millionaire, well almost $940,000 just shy of her 80th b-day) and I got featured in Casket Design Monthly (whoo-hoo, the designer badge right side up and worn proud!). This may be as completely natural as dying (seriously the pun is intended!), or completely irrational and illogical, I haven't decided which box to check for that answer (oooh, ohhh I know this one....D. All of the above!!) It is, however, inherent to me that I was born to design. (obviously! I made it in casket design monthly. Who doesn't want that on their resume?) And while design for me was established and defined by parameters inherited from those of "habitual" thinking, my spontaneous knee-jerk say "yes" to everything attitude to Catherine's request reorganized my thought process to adapt and adjust my designer alignment. It seemed at that moment I was levying my soul to Catherine, maybe even to the dead! (But they do clean up nice, and they LOVE everything I pick; a designer's dream COME TRUE!) But what I learned in my new community of thinking is that I can expand my horizons, add some sugar (or formaldehyde) to the mix, throw in some potpourri (it makes things smell nice) and swirl it around to create a happy ending; because even the dead need to look good!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009


Welcome and thank-you for joining us on our 5th (where does the time go?) Target Tuesday!! Today's special feature will be on area rugs. For those of you not familiar with my blog, type in Target Tuesday in the upper left search button. The goal is simple, the purpose straightforward. Get a line at TARGET.

One of my hallmarks as a designer is to use repeating elements. The BASICS. Baskets, pillows, artwork and rugs. Check! The items that really make a home, a home. Area rugs are just that. They create comfort, luxury and texture in a room. They are the key ingredient in making a furniture grouping a perfect society. Rugs are a sorority of sorts teamed together to organize conversation and help your furniture band in cohesive gatherings. Sounds like a potluck!
Many clients don't realize the importance that a rug brings to a furniture grouping. Im currently working on a project where the homeowner just doesn't understand why her room feels unfinished. She has added numerous accessories, case goods, and more accessories and it still feels incomplete. Her room does not house an area rug. With 15 foot ceilings and furniture swimming without a life preserver, the furniture simply drowns! Simple solution, add a rug.

TARGET has a good selection of area rugs. But the sizes are all wrong. My line will focus more on the needs of a designer's focus. How we utilize a room, and how we decorate or repurpose that room changes the needs of the rug we use. For instance, I love big area rugs in a kitchen. But a 2' wide rug in a 4' kitchen doesn't fit the bill. Im also disappointed with their out door selection. Once again the rug sizes are all wrong.

My rugs will be classic, tailored and easy to decorate around. The sizes will follow a different ideal or focus; a designer's focus! They will be easy to clean and have colors that work with any decor. My rugs will not have an oriental or highly patterned look. They will be simple in design, with larger over scaled patterns. I may even use repetitive patterns such as damasks. They will coordinate easily so that each room can have a different look that isn't cookie cutter and overly matchy.
Area rugs complete the furniture ensemble. And as much as I have seen clients reject the idea of having a rug because it is too much "hassle to clean, or walk on, or I love my wood floors" once they see the results of what a difference it makes, like christianity is to Sunday, they are born again!
Thanks for visiting us again on TT day. I look forward to your comments, and TARGET Im ready and waiting for your call!!

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Being the fairest of them all

As a designer I have a tendency to have bloated thoughts in reality. I live in a fantasy world of rather large ideas and notions of how the world should be. Contemplating each move with utmost concentration as if playing a game of chess (AS IF I could play chess) I aspire to change all the ugly in the world and make it into something captivating and pleasing to the eye. Now my thoughts in judgment can be mischievous. Without you knowing I may come from behind to the right, make you turn left, and hit you over the head with my mojo bat like the magic designer fairy I am. Without you ever realizing, I sprinkle you with designer fairy dust (full of doe eyed excitement) and with enchanted dexterity you react as if it were your idea all along! Truly spellbinding.

Yes I can be dazzling, even colorful at times with my seductive designer voodoo. But what you must understand is that it is all done for your best interest. If I am to change each and every ugly space in the universe, persuasion is in order. I only have so much time people, and you dilly dallying around to make a decision, well there just isn't enough time for all that! I have a plan. A BIG plan. An IMPORTANT plan. A plan full of fundamental scheming. (with grave wicked laughter) A plan so calculated not even TARGET can hold me back.

Yes my thoughts are bloated in reality. My estimations, and approximations may be off slightly. Im a designer for GOD's sake. Im not required to calculate my motives with scientific certainty. BUT, I am required to create an undiluted definite purpose; of which, I have. It is a plan. a BIG plan. An IMPORTANT plan, with unconditional totality I have a plan to be the fairest of them all who's definite purpose: DESTROY at all costs the appalling, unpleasant, monstrous, repulsive villain, aka=UGLY!

With deliberate and premeditated strategy I will change all the ugly. Remove it with abrupt swiftness. A matter of maximum importance. (this may require my Valentino's and a strand of pearls!) With my blueprint of intentions I will sketch, layout, measure, formulate, concoct, develop, arrange, design and outline my evil plot. I will expel, exterminate and remove the ugly, one space at a time. And yes, this will be a daunting task. But I have been given the title, the mission to which I cannot turn down. It is my duty as a designer to eliminate and destroy this wicked villain. If designer voodoo is needed I will recruit, enlist, and assign the burden of knock down drag out force if necessary. It is inevitable because I live in a fantasy world of rather large ideas and notions of how the world should be.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

R.I.P. Smith and Hawkin

This past year has been full of turbulent times. This country has weathered a tempestuous economic suicide. Job losses at their highest, entire states going bankrupt and some of the country's most iconic company's loosing the battle due to this recession/depression. Im am so sad to report that Monday I received the news that Smith and Hawkin, a company that has provided us with high quality outdoor furniture and garden since 1979 is closing it's doors. I so enjoyed your furniture. Your outdoor furniture was sublime. Many clients of mine have your product and I was proud to carry it. We will miss you!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009


Wow this is so exciting. It is Target Tuesday again. And Im not sure if it was the exhausting trip to Atlanta, or the fireworks from the previous weekend, but I cannot for the life of me remember how many Target Tuesday's we have had. Let's see
1) Baskets- oh yes that was a good one
2) Pillows- Love those!
3) Artwork-Cant live without!

So that makes this our fourth TT!! How exciting! Well I had planned on talking about another favorite of mine, until my assistant brought it to my attention (while we were at Market in Atlanta) how much I LOVE platters. Not just any platters, BIG platters. I love decorating with platters. As you all know, I am a simple aesthetic designer. No clutter.

Platters are a great accessory. They effortlessly dress up a cocktail table, dining table or side table. Platters on a cocktail table can easily scoop up remote controls and be decorative. Love that! Function and beauty! I find it very hard to find large platters that are decorative. Target has never been overstocked in this department. In fact they have had the same aqua platter for over 2 years and it is only 16" in diameter.

I want to create some platters for my line at Target that are fashion forward and classic. They will have colors that are timeless not trendy, be large in size, and they will have the added benefit of texture. I love platters that have uneven edges or raised media.

My platters will be at least 20"-22" in diameter, and classic contemporary designs. I don't typically put platters in stands, but I will offer stands separately for those who wish to display their platters in a different way. I will also make my platters food safe. This added benefit gives this accessory multiple purposes, which we love. And if you live in a small space multi functional items are a must when you lack storage.

Well there you have it folks! Our fourth Target Tuesday lineup. Isn't this exciting? Well thanks for stopping by. And as usual SUPPORT THE CAUSE!! Help Amanda get her line at target!!!! And if you have any suggestions, leave a comment. THANKS!!!

Friday, July 10, 2009


Hey everyone. My internet access is limited. Im currently at Market in Atlanta. For those of you unfamilar with this lingo, Market is where all of us shop owners, talk shop and buy products for our stores. It's all the products in ONE location. It's pretty awesome. Three, 18 story buildings. It is exhausting. Im running around like a chicken trying to buy and find all the products I want. At any rate I am finding some fabulous things, to further make me a fabulous designer. I want to let all of you know that I APPRECIATE all your support and comments, and as soon as I get back I will share the LOVE. Thanks everyone!!

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Nashville Home and Garden features Amanda Burdge expert designer

The cover!!

The master bedroom

The great room

The formal dining room. This table conceals a poker table!!

Well Im still waiting for the actual article, BUT I was featured in Nashville Home and Garden, July issue. I did this house last fall and it is in Vegas. Here is a preview of some of the pics, btw I made the cover!! YAY! Hey Target are you paying attention??

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

TARGET Tuesday!!!!!!

Sorry everyone for being absent for the last couple of days. I decided to go to moms for a few days to enjoy the fireworks, and festivities. Good Fun! I can't believe it is already TARGET Tuesday again! As usual, for those of you new to the blog, scroll down and get up to speed. I have Target Tuesday's every week, I encourage you to comment and leave thoughts, and if you are from TARGET I look forward to hearing from you on my new accessories line!!!

This week my focus will be on artwork. I love artwork. And while the really good expensive stuff, that is original, (from the eclectic twig who wears uber cool glasses, and dons black ALL the time, and super important intense personality) makes for a great story and price tag, it doesn't need to be overly expensive and can be affordable. In the past I feel Target has really lacked in this department. They have a few peices hanging near their lamps but the selection is random and subject matter substandard. I also feel the artwork scale or size could be better.

Artwork, like any accessory, adds style, personality and color to a room. Many of my clients underestimate the punch a piece of artwork can add to a room, hall, entrance, or bathroom. So often clients will overdecorate using as many objects as they can stuff in a corner or wall to call it "decorated". But they overdue it, resulting in a decorating tornado of catastropic debris of crap. For those of you who read my posts you are familiar with my philosophy on overdecorating, and my thoughts on crap. Simple, understated, and tailered. That is a beautiful room.

Take a piece of artwork, that has the correct scale, and add it to a wall, any wall and like magic with nothing else it starts to complete a room. Combine it with baskets, pillows and other accessories and you have yourself a well decorated room.

My TARGET artwork will be natural. 95% of all artwork I select is botantical or natural in media. I like art that is timeless, classic and goes with any decor. If you change styles or move into another home the artwork still works anywhere. It won't scream "I bought this metallic gold and purple abstract in the 80's!" My artwork with TARGET will consist of colors found in nature. The subject matter will be natural and serene. The scenery draws you within the picture. And all the pieces can be mixed and matched with ease, so there will be no hesitation for the consumer if one works with the other. The frames will be chunky but simple. Not over detailed. And there will be various sizes to suit the needs of every buyers needs. Thanks everyone for visiting us on TARGET Tuesday.

As always give me your thoughts. What do you crave? What accessory can you not live without? What item do you wish TARGET carried?

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Where's my munay??

"...I don't want to get off on a rant here", but Im getting a little tired of the prejudiced and biased notion that the trade of design is a domestic sport for your entertainment and pleasure. (and no this isn't Dennis Miller, this is the DESIGNER with the limp flag and broken flagpole.) Every month I have to turn my designer badge upside down and turn into a designer hitman. Sliding down every dark ally, I make advances, dismiss politeness (sorry Grandma, I don't have on the pearls) and become an uncivilized savage so I can track down every apathetic, unconcerned client and customer to collect my MUNAY!

I went to school for my profession. And yes it is a profession. I have a little piece of paper that proves that just like any other college major, I too had to roll out of bed in the morning and go to lecture, labs, and drafting class. So why is it when you get that little invoice in the mail you discard it to the wind, and cast it aside with reckless abandonment? I find it funny that you have electricity and a roof over your head. Oh wait you pay THOSE bills! Those invoices must be SPECIAL, and have outstanding paper. Or maybe they have pretty envelopes. But then again mine come in pretty envelopes. And I even have remarkably CLEAR invoices, with YOUR name on it. They clearly say on the little invoice, MUST BE PAID WITHIN 7 DAYS. Funny, I even started paying my assistant to highlight it. You know with one of those smart vertical things, (greatest invention EVER) from office depot. I have invested several dollars in them. I have them in blue, pink, green, and MY favorite, yellow. Apparently Yellow isn't your favorite because that is what we have been using to highlight your invoice. Shall we use blue? Or do you prefer green?

I promise I will use which ever color you prefer. We could even vow not to highlight them all; assuming you could be trusted to PAY the invoice. I know it sounds like a lot to ask. I know this must sound harsh, and difficult, even cruel and severe. But I have a lot more IMPORTANT things to be doing, like fixing my flag, and designing( which Im actually qualified to do). Chasing you down for money owed, that I have so diligently earned, is not exactly high on my list of favorite things to do, and Im not qualified to do. I DID NOT go to assassin school, or hitman school. I grew up in the hood and have masqueraded around in the dark, blind, trying to find my way through your strident games of " I will take care of this Friday", "oh yes, it's sitting here on the desk it will be next week before I get to it", or my favorite "I will pay it when I get around to it."

Im not sure if you realize, but I too would like to keep my electricity on and a roof over my head. It would even be nice if I could fix my limp flag and broken flagpole. Unfortunately, I have to chase my munay down executioner style just so I can make payroll. Funny thing but my employees seem to think that payday is REALLY important. Apparently, they have electricity and roofs to worry about too!