Play Date: Centsational Girl and Crane & Canopy…

Hope everyone had a fantastic Valentine’s Day!  The Partner and I opted for a quiet night in after being honest with ourselves.  We asked what would recharge each us most  and we decided that Greek take out, wine and some snuggling was more on target than a fancy dinner, so that is exactly what we did and it was awesome!

As we enter the weekend, I am excited to hit the auctions looking for little jewels for my clients and few hidden treasures for myself.  But before I do that, I wanted to share that this week I had the opportunity to “play” along some of my favorite people and company……

Kate, aka Centsational Girl, invited me over this week to discuss recliners in design…..


While they are my favorite pieces of furniture, I do think with a little thought, you can incorporate them into any design and avoid the scenario above ala Joey and Chandler…. WHOA!

The team behind bed linen company, Crane and Canopy, invited me over to play around with one of their newest bedding lines, the Linden ….

Crane and Canopy Linden

I had a ton of fun creating a room around the Linden!  Check out the Crane and Canopy blog to see what pieces I chose to complete the look…..

Okay beautiful ladies and gents……have a GREAT weekend and for those of you lucky enough, have an even better LONG weekend!

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Embracing the Dark Side…..

I know – late post.

But for some reason, my body clock is completely off kilter — I was up until 4am last night with my mind racing.  It could have been due to all the great things on the horizon.  Or it could have been that Super Big Gulp coffee I had late in the afternoon – but regardless, I am on a serious 3 hour delay today!

So as I try to play catch-up, thought I would share with you my most recent post for Centsational Girl regarding using dark colors in your home.  This time around, I pulled in dear friend and color expert Jean Molesworth Kee of the Painted Room to explain some basics on how to embrace your dark side.

However, for the moment, the only dark thing I am embracing is a large cup of dark roast…poppa needs his caffeine!  As I drain a vente – remember to come back tomorrow for my first “fashion” related photo shoot — yup, we branching out here on the blog!

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Mixing It Up Over At Centsational Girl….

So what happens when you mix……

You get a recipe for fantastic design! Whenever I am out with friends the question of mixing patterns and materials always pops up.  Well check out my post over at Centsational Girl today as I give rules for successfully mixing it up and achieving a rich and layered look.  Because America, I am trying to make sure y’all avoid doing this…..

If I can keep one room from looking like this, then my job is done.  Saving one room at a time…..

So tell me, what is the ugliest room you have seen?  Share your comments and thoughts with me on Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter and now Instagram(@CourtneyOutLoud).

Thank You……

I am not a person bent on waxing poetic.  I am not overly sentimental nor am I prone to getting all mushy when it comes to life events.  However, I do believe that one should give proper accolades where do.  So I wanted to say …….

On this final posting of the year, I need to give my thanks to several people who made my 2011 so amazing, memorable and wonderful…..

1) The CasaSugar Editors:  Thank you Julia & Elka!  You ladies took a chance on a completely unknown person who had an inkling that he wanted to do interior design.  You have championed my designs for the last year and it has led to so many opportunities and doors being opened.  I am forever grateful for your support and humbled by your kindness.

2) Centsational Girl: Kate you rock.  You shared your platform with a complete unknown and gave me a voice to communicate with thousands of people.  My monthly article on your blog, while at times challenging to write, pushed me to think like a designer and write like a journalist.  I can’t wait to see what 2012 has to offer!

3) The Nate Berkus Show: Thank you to the producers of The Nate Berkus Show.  Clearly I didn’t scare the hell out of you from my first appearance because you were crazy enough to invite me back again!  I am officially checking off “being on television” on my bucket list.   I doubt you will ever know what having me on the show did for my confidence – it gave me the shot I needed to keep trudging forward.

4) Meredith Heron: My feisty Canadian redhead design diva.  Our banter on Twitter has made me laugh, given me food for thought and forced me to think through some tough decisions.  I appreciate your candor and thank you for your honesty.  Now let’s figure out how to meet in person in 2012!

5) Hi Sugarplum: Cassie – Hey Girlfriend!  You have been one of my biggest supporters and cheerleaders.  Thank you for your wit and your ability to crack a joke even when I feel low.  You are my “divine blog sister”…. (TWSS)

6) The Partner: You have the patience of a saint to deal with my random ramblings.  You have been supportive on so many levels.  I could not have done this with you.  You are my rock and I thank God every day that he blessed me with you.

7) YOU: I can’t say thank you without including you all!  Each and every day you come to my little blog to read whatever random musing struck me that day.  I can’t stress this enough that it is because of YOU that I have been blessed with so many opportunities.  Thank you for reading, commenting, tweeting & emailing – it means the world to me that out of your busy day you choose to spend a few minutes with me.

I hope each of you have a fantastic New Year’s!  I am going to be signing off for a few days to prepare for the new year and get my household in order.  I will see you in 2012!

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Loving Out Loud: Chakkis

I love collecting items with a story.  Personally, an interesting story will trump something that is just solely decorative any day in my book.  Hence why my home is filled with random hunks of wood, odd statutes and little trinkets.  But they provide a sense of history and permeate the house with soul.

One thing I have been coveting is a chakki, a home appliance or a commercial appliance involving two round stones to mill grains to a powder.  It use to be a mainstay in many Indian households.  I have several friends who remember their mothers and grandmothers using them to make family meals…..

Hence when I saw that Serena & Lily had reinterpreted the chakki as an ottoman, I was instantly smitten and excited……

However I was less smitten with the $500 price once you include shipping and taxes.  Fortunately, a quick search on the internet resulted in me finding a fantastic option from Tara Home  with a much more palatable price of $199.

While the Tara Home version doesn’t come with a cushion, that is easily enough remedied for minimal cost.  Plus you get to customize the piece to fit your exact specifications.

If I had the space, I would get on of these immediately!  I would use it in our living room or maybe as outdoor seating (it would need to be moved indoors during off-season).  The chakki is exactly the kind of piece that I think about when decorating with “antiques”.  While not high in monetary value, pieces like this, are beautiful items which I think will be passed down from generation to generation.  To me, that is the true meaning of an antique — something that your family will cherish for years to come.

Don’t forget to enter my new give away to receive a copy of the new book, This Burns My Heart, by author Samuel Park.  It’s the perfect holiday read!

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Oversized Lumbar Pillows

I recently discovered the joys of 30 Rock and have been watching it on Netflix.  A few seasons ago t here was an episode where James Franco falls in love with a Japanese body pillow and needs Jane Krakowski’s character to pretend she is his girlfriend to avoid media scrutiny.  I admit it doesn’t sound very funny but it was hilarious.  Even funnier is how this episode made me think about a recent trend I have been seeing of oversized lumbar pillows taking the place of back cushions on sofas.

I love the idea and would totally leap at the chance to do it with my couch if the cushions on mine were not attached.  Undeterred, I am pretty sure I will be working an oversized lumbar pillow into the design for the master bedroom.  Until then, check out a few examples I rounded up for inspiration…..

Speaking of big things, today I am over at Centsational Girl discussing the rules that I follow to decorate great rooms using overscaled home goods. 

So tell me, do you have any “big” things on your list of home wants?

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Masculine Design Over at Centsational Girl

So the cat is out of the bag…….well it isn’t like it was ever in the bag, but I digress. As many of you may have noticed, I have been appearing a lot over on Centsational Girl and with good reason. I along with three other fantastic bloggers have the pleasure of being contributing writers to Kate’s blog. Each month, Kate allows me to wax poetic on a topic of my choosing.

This month, I rounded up a posse of awesome interior decorators to discuss the elements of masculine design. I was fortunate enough to enlist the help of:

Brian Dittmar

If any of you were lucky enough to visit the 2011 San Francisco Decorator Showcase, you will have seen Brian’s work in his masterful work as he morphed an overlooked space in the show house’s kitchen into a usable and fun “cookbook nook”.

Joe Cangelosi

Based out of New York, Joe has appeared on HGTV, CBS-2 News, The New York Times, Good House Keeping and in a bevy of other media outlets.

So join me and the “boys” as we discuss how to create a room that is strong and masculine but not a bachelor pad.

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