Friday, April 30, 2010

Wine on Tyne event-Interior designer Amanda Burdge

1002 Tyne Blvd.
On Wednesday night I had the honor and the privilege to attend the wine on tyne event, in Nashville's exclusive Green Hills neighborhood. The home, located at 1002 Tyne Blvd. is reportedly on the market for $4.5 million, through Michael Sohr and associates. You can go here to see the listing. I'm not entirely certain why the event was held, other than show it off, and find a potential buyer. The event brought together some of Nashville's finest builders, real estate agents, and interior designers, for food, wine and and little mingling. And maybe even a little gossip about who the owners were, why they are selling, and of course all the infinite, and fabulous details the home expressed in every corner. Here are a few of the amazing photos:
Dining room

Master Bathroom

Casita/guest house

Guest bath

Four car garage

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Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Lets do lunch

I will be the first to admit that I am no Martha Stewart. Far from it. But when it comes to entertaining, my motto is simpler is better. When preparing for a lunch, or any party, the most important advice I can give is this, be prepared.  For example, if the engagement is outdoors, make sure you have sunscreen, bug spray, and even bug-bite ointment handy. Keep these items in a decorative basket in the powder room so that guests can access them easily. (If you tell them you have these items, they may be polite and turn you down.) Keep your guests comfortable, and forgo the fussiness. Give them the ability to access it on their own, in the privacy of the bathroom, now you have achieved comfort!

As I say all the time, mix things up. Mix grandma's china with flea market finds. This adds casualness, and keeps your guests from getting fidgety. Find a color palette that is appropriate for the time of year, and the purpose of the lunch. Spring is a great inspiration for luncheons. The trees are blooming, along with all those beautiful flowers, and they create an unimaginable backdrop of art. Coordinate your linens and dishes with this back drop and keep it simple. If you are unsure of what to choose, white and cream are fail proof.

Use simple containers from around the house for flowers. Quick tip: Use fruit as an easy arrangement. Zest a few lemons or oranges and place them with toothpicks in a small vase with floral foam to hold them in place. They provide great color, and smell wonderful. Place candle holders or lanterns on the table to create atmosphere. Make sure your candles are unscented, and remember to trim the wicks before you light them so they burn cleanly.


Make sure the table is pleasing. Keep things simple, but delightful for your guests. If you are entertaining more than six people, make sure staple items are accessible such as salt, bread, water, and butter. I generally have two of each, or one on each end of the table. 
Create a dessert buffet table that displays your sugary sweets like a trophy.  This table can be overly decorated and be prepared as eye candy for your guests. Offer guests glasses for water or wine, and additional plates so they can enjoy these extras at their own pace at the end of the meal.  

Southern accents

Your food needs to taste good, but make sure it has the made-at-home charm. Use beautiful or unique serving dishes, and make sure the items don't look too perfect. If it looks complicated or too ornate your guests will hate to dive into it. (Remember forgo the fussiness)

          Frank Stitt

Last but not least, choose a menu that is appropriate but easy for you to manage. The food has to compliment the table and vice versus. Create a menu that can be made ahead of time, so that when guests arrive, you're out of the kitchen and enjoying their company.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Diva Event Saturday April 24th!!

Our DIVA Event is tomorrow!!  Cathi (the DIVA), Marabeth, and myself are looking forward to meeting every one of you.  We will have refreshments and light hors d'oeuvres and plenty of great product to spruce up your home for spring. And don't forget, if it's a DIVA pick, it is 35% off!
I would also like to thank for featuring me on Wednesday and writing a fabulous article about design, living in Nashville and how it compares to my previous address, Las Vegas!

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Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Amanda Burdge, nashville Interior designer on Guest Rooms

A retreat for your guests creates a welcoming atmosphere for overnight and weekend stays. Ask yourself, what made your last getaway memorable? A bed and breakfast, with quaint charm and quaint amenities, or a fabulous high end hotel with luxurious linens? Not everyone has space for guests, but even though your space may do double duty with an office or other room you can make your guest space into an inviting and cozy space that they won't soon forget.

Troy Beasley
Welcoming your guests with a well decorated and appointed room is the ultimate in hospitality. Offer your guests paramount comforts like luxurious soaps, towels and opulent linens that they wouldn't normally allow themselves. Ofer bathrobes, toothbrushes, and other toiletries that add that special touch.

Kenneth Brown

Often when a guest stays in your home they don't always feel comfortable, right away. They don't want to put you out, and it isn't their own home. Define your guests needs before they arrive. Choose small amenities specific to them to make them feel at home. Before you get started decorating your guest room think about what you would want, and plan accordingly.

Choose a bed that fits the space and the needs of the guests you will most often see. (like parents) Generally a queen sized bed is safe to go with but if you have the room, go with a king. If your guests frequently travel with children provide a crib, twin beds, or a roll away. This will supplement their needs in a snap and make them feel extra special.

Offer pillows in both synthetic and down fills. (some people are allergic to down so be prepared) Dress the bed in great linens, and offer your guests a myriad of reading material, for bedtime enjoyment.

Make sure your guests have some space in a closet or dresser to store clothes and misc product. Another special treat, add wood hangers and offer a bag for dry cleaning or dirty clothes. Offer a basket of toiletries with shampoos, lotions, cotton balls, q-tips and hand wipes. Offer a luggage rack as a thoughtful gesture to ease your guests unpacking chores, and it can double as a wonderful tea tray.

Offer cozy quilts that can be used in the evening and double as a daytime throw while reading that book that you have offered.

And always give guests privacy. We all "live" a different way and have different idiosyncrasies. Provide your guests with black out blinds, or draperies and if possible provide a guest room separate from the main living area.

Finally, add a comfy chair or bench in the room to give guests added comfort for reading, relaxing or to simply sit and throw on some shoes.

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Saturday, April 17, 2010

Diva event, April 24th!

We have been running around the studio like mad chickens for a couple of weeks now, preparing for our DIVA event, happening next SaturdayWhat exactly IS a DIVA event, you ask? Well one of our favorite local celebrities, Cathi Aycock, who writes a column (conveniently called The Shopping DIVA) will be gracing us with her presence April 24th, for our first ever DIVA event!

Cathi has selected 10 of her favorite things from our studio,(shown below, I mean really, isn't it gorgeous?!) and they will be everyone's favorite four-letter word; ON SALE!! The item's shown in the ad above, which are currently running in the paper, and online, are a few of the items on sale. Below you will find a sneak peek of the studio, that we have so diligently been manicuring for the past 24 hours! Hope you like!
AB Home Interiors Studio

Original Alexander Calder, circa 1970
AB HOME Interiors Studio

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Thursday, April 15, 2010

Amanda Burdge on An appreciation for Art

I think Karen Carrol said it best when she said, " I can not think of any element that pulls the total look of an interior together, more than art"; and I have to agree with her. My love affair with art started when I was young, but I grew to have a deeper appreciation for it when I started doing interior design.
Jamie Drake
All elements in an interior are essential. Each and every item plays a cohesive role in pulling it all together. (if only there was an ingredient like this for our daily lives!) Nevertheless, art brings the character, the flavor and the wow factor to a room. It is the one thing that draws you in, and forces you to pause.

Thankfully, museum-quality masterpieces are not required to add character to your blank, naked walls. Art can come from anywhere like a flea market, Goodwill, a local gallery or the starving artist next door. I have never been an art snob. I cannot tell you about a particular paint style, or genre, I can not even tell you why one piece is $100 versus $5000. What I do know is this, I know what I love, and I know how it makes me feel. This is genuine appreciationadmiration and understanding for artistic vision, in my opinion.

Troy Beasley
Just like interior design, art comes in many forms. Furniture, jewelry, paintings, sculpture, pottery, and many other items can be considered art. Creativity is something to be celebrated, and enjoyed. Art is just that, a celebration of creativity! Art possesses you, captivates you, and cultivates your emotion and curiosity. Whether you are a connoisseur or an amateur, it is all about how it makes you feel. Like this brooch below, well this thing just makes me dizzy!
Gabrielle Kiss 
Luna Moth Brooch
with diamonds

My medium of choice is typically paint on canvas. Just like the artists themselves, art comes in all shapes and sizes. Here, are a few of my favorites that I have met along the way:




Saints Superbowl

Painted Trail


Clint Metcalf
Organica red

Growing up I had a wonderful mama who encouraged and fertilized my creativity. She challenged me to be better, because she would frame EVERYTHING I so lovingly put my heart into. In fact, she has a framed picture in her bedroom that I drew, and colored when I was five. She also has a large poster board of my venture into geometric forms; of which she also had professionally framed. Giddy with excitement that I had THE MOST adoring fan, I strived to get my hands on every thing I could to turn it into my vision (and of course get it framed and on the wall. Gotta keep those fans happy!)  Amazingly, her home to this day still houses every artistic carcass I made.  Its like walking through a cemetery of good and bad choices. But she is still my BIGGEST fan!

Two of my first introductions into the art world were Southwest artists, Bill Rabbit, and Bev Doolittle. My parents have several Rabbits in their home, and these purchases made it obvious to me that the value of art is not in the price itself, but the emotion it evoked and the experience it brought into the home.  By no means are my parents wealthy. But, to spend three thousand dollars on a painting (20 years ago, I might add) meant nothing in comparison to the meaning of the art itself. The emotion, the feeling it evokes.

Bill Rabbit
Just forme

My parents do not own any Doolittle's. We simply admired her from afar. But her works are that of a true genius. Her pieces are thought provoking, and they draw you in. Every piece has two meanings in one. If you look closely you will always find a surprise. (see below, are those rocks? Or are they buffalo?) 

Calling the Buffalo

 When you have a home that reflects who you are, and it envelops you in the things you love, it will take you to a higher place, it will make you better every day, in every way. A recent article in LonNy featuring Laura Day on her own home, she comments, "Artwork should GRAB you, It should reel you in..." And one of my favorite quotes by Leyden Lewis, "I'm hysterical about art!! I would officially be considered addicted to art, IT IS MY PASSION..!"

Terry Slaughter, from Gallery Terrence Denley, believes that creativity and beautiful design can only improve the human condition. I cannot agree more with this statement. The next time you find yourself in the mix of redesigning, or designing a space, don't forget the art!

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Monday, April 12, 2010

Creating a focal point

Every room needs to have a focal point, or f-o-c-u-s. Most rooms naturally have some type of architectural "direction", such as a fireplace, built-in, or view. But every room needs an anchor for which the furnishings revolve around.
Vern Yip
If your home got left out of the focal point lottery, choose your focus and create one. Add a TV with a large furniture console underneath it. Focus your furnishings around a beautiful art piece, or purchase a piece of furniture that commands attention (like an armoire, a console, or a piano) and anchor your furniture around it.

Use bright or bold colour hues to create a focal point. You can also use bold patterns, a bold colored sofa, or use a beautiful area rug to draw the eye effortlessly around the room. The room shown below, used bold color, attractive art, texture, and as a design surprise added a book nook above the seating arrangement. Instead of creating the focal point in front of the room, Shane kept the focus on the main furniture wall. Brilliant!

We are not all blessed with beautiful views, but if you have a great window, or view, arrange the furniture to take complete advantage of it. Add draperies to frame the windows and accentuate the view and draw your eyes to the scenery beyond. See the photo below? No need for a TV! My goodness I could stare at that for hours!

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Friday, April 9, 2010

An affair with a chair

How great would life be to seat a glamourous life? To be looked upon as a curvy and alluring creature that is admired, swooned and coveted? Oh and it provides comfort and encourages conversation. I adore chairs, almost as much as I love candy. Here are some of my favorite finds:

Victoria Hagan


Studio Dror (these chairs hang flat when not in use!)

Charme Chair by Studio Archirivolto

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Creating a hip space from a traditional place

I recently received an email from Catherine Hopkins, from Theshinypebble about her dining room. Catherine's request? How the heck do I make my current dining room look more hip. Hula hoops aside, creating a hip dining room is all in the mix. (and sadly we aren't talking margaritas here) We are talking about bringing different items, from different styles and mixing it all up. Designers are rockstars at doing this. We don't like things to match or make sense, so we put random things together, and magic occurs! Don't have a professional designer to help you? Read my recent post on Designing a room~Where to start.

The Challenge: Traditional space that needs some hip flavor
The goal: Make it hip, fresh and updated
The prize: Margaritas anyone?
Ok, first on the agenda, Paint! The room is rich looking, however the dark furniture and bland walls are screaming, give me life! My suggestion:

Sherwinn Williams: 6179 Artichoke. 

Second order of business, get rid of ALL the current accessories. The accessories Catherine has are lovely, but in order to make this room hip, the least expensive solution is to update the accessories.  For your buffet, lets update your mirror, and get you some new lamps. This will add sparkle and bring eye candy into the room.
                      Barbara Cosgrove

                                           Curtis Jere

Next, we need to focus on the dining table. Lets move your Captains chairs to another part of the house and switch them out for something more fresh and modern. This chair from Pottery barn (shown below) is the perfect solution to update a dining room. It is simple in design and generic enough to go with any style. Remember this when buying your next furniture piece. Always mix things up. Having an entire group of similar items is too much of a good thing. This is where style comes in. Remember my post on style? When you buy an entire collection of something, and everything matches, the theme becomes too literal. Be risk takers, and try different things; mix it up!

Next on our list, draperies. The windows need softness. They look naked, so we will add some beautiful textured silk draperies. This will add comfort, and make the room cozy for intimate dining with friends.

Now lets add some funk. Catherine has a wonderful sisal rug on the floor in her dining room. Lets layer it up with a fun and exciting stamped cowhide. This will add style, texture, and show your guests you like to have a little fun,

Now for a few finishing touches. Lets throw a pillow in the chair and add some artwork on either side of the hutch. Remember my post on scale? I give big kudos to Catherine for putting art work on either side of her hutch, (Designers love symmetry) but the scale is a bit off. Lets get something BIG. Remember students, GO BIG OR GO HOME! The artwork I selected below is great. These are 31x31 and will command attention next to that large hutch.

AB HOME                                                                                              AB HOME

Last but not least, the table accessories. I would like to add two canisters and a simple floral. A table runner can be added, but I did not find one that I just loved. Im sure there is one out there just waiting to be found!
(And a runner will add additional texture and can help glue the overall look together.)

  AB HOME                                                                                                            

And on the buffet, centered between the two Barbara Cosgrove lamps, I would put this beautiful mustard leather tray. Not only does this add spunk and glamour to the dining room, it can be used for serving yummy hors d' oeuvres. And how gorgeous would this be against the artichoke color! Bellisimo!
Well Catherine I hope this helps, and I look forward to seeing the finished product! Get to work and report back to us on all your progress

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