French Style Dining Rooms

Who doesn’t love a classic french styled chair or French style chandelier?  Just the mention of the words “French Furniture” makes me think of whites and creams and soft grays, distressed woods and cabriole legs.  Elegant yet casual, french furniture can find a place in almost any decor.  Take a look at some of these pictures that I’ve found across the web, then read my latest blog post at Turnberry Interior Design Group.  What’s your favorite piece of French style furniture?

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Great Showrooms from Furniture Market

Back from Furniture Market in High Point a few weeks ago and loving the showrooms there!!  Take a look at one of my other blogs at Durene Phillips Designs for pictures of two great North Carolina furniture companies!

Back from Market

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Interesting uses for furniture…

OK, I know I have been a little MIA lately, and there is really no excuse.  I’ve started a new job, and have just gotten bogged down with daily details.  However, I do have a backlog of posts that I’ve halfway written, and I will get much better about posting more often!!

In the meantime, take a look at this article I recently read on Yahoo! about many different ways furniture can be incorporated into multiple uses!!  While I don’t love the bike desk (nor do I love biking–maybe that’s the problem), I think the Post-It table is a fabulous idea!   And if I had kitties, the bookcase/cat playground is perfect!  Take a look and tell me what your favorite piece of furniture is??  Or, is there something else you would design that would serve a purpose just for you?

Clever Furniture Ideas

Courtesy of Yahoo! Homes

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Newest Appliance colors

How many of you out there have Stainless Steel appliances in your kitchen?   And how many of you would love to upgrade to stainless, once your old white/black/ivory/avocado colored stove finally breaks?  Well, you may want to think twice about that design decision–according to appliance manufacturers, Stainless Steel may soon be as outdated as that Harvest Gold fridge you’ve still got tucked away in the garage!!

Manufacturers are always trying to be on top of the latest trend, and as with everything, appliance colors rise and fall.  Stainless Steel however has managed to hang on much longer than many initially thought.  However with all of the major companies turning out new colors this year, is it signaling the end of the Steel Age?

courtesy of

Whirlpool is debuting it’s newest line called White Ice with a glossy white finish.  SubZero (maker of Wolf stoves <drool>) is producing a glossy black stove this year.  And GE is introduction a new line with a matte gray finish called Slate.

What do you think?  Is Stainless so over, or is it here to stay?

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Another Wallpaper Story….

OK, I have kind of been on a wallpaper kick lately, partly due to my new (drab) apartment.  Looking around at all the white paint and beige carpet just makes me want to slap something colorful on the walls, although my only option would be the temporary wallpaper I wrote about HERE.

But anyways, while I was paging through my newest issue of Real Simple, I came across an article showing different styles of wallpaper with a modern, updated look.  And while I was online trying to look up said wallpapers, I stumbled across this article by Real Simple:  showing many other uses for leftover wallpaper bits!!  It seems the Wright Brothers may have started a trend when they planned out the first airplane on the wallpaper from their home (see HERE)

I particularly love the wallpaper as drawer liners look.  As a purchaser of many yard sale and vintage furniture pieces, the insides of drawers can sometimes be icky, and I usually paint them.  This offers a great new idea for covering up those nasty drawers!

Courtesy of

Which one is your favorite?

Unexpected Uses for Leftover Wallpaper

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Architecture of Pittsburgh

Well, more specifically, the architecture of Shadyside, which is my neighborhood.  The last few days have been absolutely BEAUTIFUL weather here in Pittsburgh–mid 70’s in August!!  Who would have guessed?  Back in NC, this would be fall weather.  (And I’m slightly worried that the wonderfully cool weather in August bodes for an extremely cold winter, but only time will tell!)  Since the weather has been so lovely, I have been out and about exploring my new neighborhood and taking pictures along the way!

Shadyside is characterized by Victorian style homes, some in varying states of renovation or disrepair, and many of them beautifully restored.  The lots in this part of town are generally quite small, and it is also interesting to see how people make the best use of their outdoor space.  Space here is definitely at a premium, with very few houses having garages and only minimal yards.  That’s not to say there aren’t some hidden gems here, but for the most part the layout is much like other big cities–houses very close together, and most everyone parks on the street.

Shadyside originated as a getaway for the “city” living of downtown Pittsburgh.  A train ran straight to this area, and many of the wealthy aristocrats of the day enjoyed both a city home and a vacation home in this area (which is funny because we’re only about 5 miles from downtown!!  Today, we’re still considered to be in the heart of the city!)  Shadyside today is typified by it’s eclectic and artsy stores, high end boutiques, and numerous bars and restaurants, along with the absolutely stunning architecture.  Many of the homes are quite large and have been converted into separate apartments.  There are also many turn of the century apartment buildings and gothic style churches.  Here are some of my favorites from my neighborhood walks!  (Hint:  click on the pictures to scroll through larger pictures.  I tried to make them bigger on the post, but I’m still figuring out this wordpress thing.)

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Designer Window Treatments

Here’s another post I recently wrote at one of my other jobs about the beauty of designer soft window treatments.  Fabrics can really dress up a window and pull the look of a room together.  By using a professional interior designer and workroom, the possibilities are truly endless, and they can help you address any odd shapes or quirks your windows might have.  Read here to see some great examples of truly beautiful custom treatments!

Durene Phillips Designs

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Temporary Wallpaper? Yes, Please!

My relationship with wallpaper began as a young child, while I watched (and helped) my mother wallpaper almost every room in our house.  And later, I had to help her remove most of that wallpaper when the 70’s and 80’s trend faded out of style.  And still later, helped many of my friends strip more wallpaper from their first homes, apartments and even my own home.

The wallpaper we found in our basement. Now the olive green paneling makes more sense!

You can say it’s a bit of a love/hate relationship with wallcoverings–I appreciate the styles, but still have a hard time committing to any pattern  on the wall because I know of the work that will inevitably come when I decide to re-do that room.  Paint I have no problem doing–I will repaint a room over and over.  Wallpaper?   Gahh!!  (and I know I could hire someone to strip wallpaper, but let’s be honest–who wants to spend that money?  And we all know I’m a DIY girl.)

Well, wallpaper has been making a big comeback over the last few years, and the modern patterns and updated colors make it hard not to want to wallpaper something!  And how nice would it be if you could pull wallpaper down and change it out, with (almost) no effort and no mess whatsoever?   Well now you can!!

Tempaper® is a new product that I stumbled across recently that is self-adhesive, reposition able temporary wallpaper.  How fabulous is that?  It’s basically giant sticker sheets that can be applied over any primed and painted surface (walls, doors, etc.)  When you are ready to take it down–just pull it off!  It leaves no residue and no mess.  And the patterns and colors are beautiful!!  Having just moved into an apartment for the next 12 months, I have been dying to do something to the walls, and I think this is just the ticket!  (I have my eye on this pattern for my bedroom).

Tempaper Showroom

Tempaper samples

Tempaper® also does children’s themed paper, and will do custom paper for a small fee.  AND they are made in the USA!  How much better does it get?  Here are some of my favorite patterns.  Which one is your favorite?

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Airplanes and Wallpaper

Who knew wallpaper wasn’t just for decoration?  That’s right–wallpaper may have had a major part in creating our country’s first airplane!  How’s that, you say?  Here’s the scoop:

I spent last weekend in beautiful Philadelphia, touring the art museum (more on that later), checking out the history, and spending time with my sister and husband.  Yes, I actually got lucky enough that my sister and husband both had conferences in the same city, on the same weekend, AT THE SAME HOTEL for totally unrelated topics.  So I decided to tag along and play tourist while they were hard at work.

Hello, Philly!

I spent some time at the Franklin Institute, which is basically a giant science museum with lots of hands-on displays that are great for kids (and not so bad for adults either).  They illustrate some basic scientific principals, such as electricity, with fun interactive displays.  There is a giant heart you can walk through, a complete train engine that really moves, a physics laboratory where you can see the laws of motion in play, a planetarium, and many more cool things!  One of the current exhibits is a large display devoted to showing the principals of aerodynamics, and how an airplane manages to stay in the air.  There are stations where you can fold paper airplanes and test them in a wind tunnel, and experiment with different shapes of airplane wings.  They also have a section devoted to the Wright Brothers and have on display one of the actual first light planes that they flew!!  (In case you didn’t know–the Wright Brothers’ first flight happened at Kill Devil Hills on the outer banks of North Carolina–our claim to fame).

The Franklin Institute in Philadelphia

It was in this section that I was reading some information on the work that the 2 brothers put into calculations, testing various designs, scale models and the like.  And apparently one of the materials they used to sketch out ideas and formulas was wallpaper!  That’s right–the Wright Brothers drew designs and did calculations for their first airplane and it’s mechanical parts on bits of wallpaper that they ripped off the wall of their home.  Here are some examples that are on display at the Franklin Institute in Philadelphia (and sorry for the reflections, but they have all these pieces under protective glass–for good reason!!)

One of the wallpaper ‘sheets’ that the Wright Brothers used. I kind of like the pattern!

Scribbles of notes on the back of the wallpaper


Stay tuned for tomorrow when I post about a brand new type of wallpaper!!

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Plantation Shutters–no fuss, no muss!

Or this could be called, “Welcome to my other life!”

You probably didn’t know that I worked for many years for an interior design company out of North Carolina, and still regularly do blog posts and website projects for them.  Check out my latest posting about using hard window treatments as an option for windows, and the convenience that plantation shutters allow.  And keep in mind–I do full service interior design work, so if there’s anything you need for your home or office, or any questions you might have, please let me know!  Take care and see you next week!

Turnberry Interior Design Group

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