The Colors of Grasscloth

May 1st, 2013 by Lori Hollis

When Designers aren’t creating design concepts, coordinating orders and deliveries, bookkeeping, drafting, selecting products, researching, meeting with contractors and vendors, designing custom products, loading and unloading our cars with samples and materials (you should see the stuff I can pack into a small SUV!), listening, communicating and presenting to Clients, and of course thinking and dreaming about design; what do they do?

They go to seminars, courses and presentations to learn all they can about the products they specify and to keep up on all the latest and greatest.

Hank Alberts, rep for Winfield Thybony

The other day one of my favorite showrooms, Kravet, had a wallcovering and installation presentation. The most important message from the class is that quality counts! Pay attention to the weight of the paper, what it’s made of, and how durable it is. Winfield Thybony actually makes a wallcovering that repels wine, tea, water, etc. It just rolls right off! Great product for a bathroom or a dining room (if you tend to have wild parties!).

The most popular wallcoverings out there right now are the grasscloth papers. This isn’t just a flashback to the ’70’s! These wallcoverings come in a wide assortment of textures and bright and vivid colors. Take a look!

Indigo Grasscloth

Indigo! Love!

emerald green grasscloth wallcovering

Turquoise and Emerald Green – favorites this year!

Red grasscloth wallcovering

Strawberry Red!

pastel grasscloth wallcovering

Love these soft pastels!

Best of all, these new wallcoverings are easy to remove should you want a change. Remember the days of scraping and scraping the layers of wallpaper that had been applied in older homes? I’m happy to say that those days are over!

Where’s Lori?

April 15th, 2013 by Lori Hollis

I’m so sorry for my long absence from the blogging world! I was not prepared for the sudden increase in my design business (yay!) since the start of the new year. I also was not prepared to be hit with a four-week case of the Big-Nasty-Cold-Virus; which unfortunately, is now making a return visit.

Sniffling and wheezing aside, I am soooooo happy and surprised at how business has picked up so suddenly for everyone in the interior design field.  The once deserted showrooms are now filled with smiling designers and a happily-overworked staff.  Who would have thought that our window treatment installers, electricians, painters and contractors would be completely booked in such a short time! And who would have thought that rather than feeling annoyed with having to wait our turn; that we are truly happy for them.

There are similarities to the busy, crazy years prior to 2008, but with a huge difference. While still a bit stressed and overwhelmed, everyone seems to be happy and a little giddy perhaps.  A “Pinch me, am I really making money?” kind of feeling. Most of all, we all seem to be feeling………

Chalkboard Message

Grateful to be working, grateful that others are working, and grateful that we may not see any more of our supporting businesses going out of business. Most of all, I’m grateful to be doing what I love.

Here is a sneak peek at one of my projects – a new home (the dust has not even settled yet).

New home

The house was purchased in pretty much the state you see it here. The kitchen and bathrooms were already designed and installed, but everything else is a clean slate.

New kitchen

The goal for this project is to turn it into a warm, comfortable, family home filled with Spanish-inspired furnishings and rich-earth-tone colors.

Dining room in new home

I can’t wait to replace this existing dining room chandelier with something absolutely gorgeous! Stay tuned!

A Few of Our Favorite Things

February 4th, 2013 by Lori Hollis

I’m honored to have my design tip, “A Few of Our Favorite Things” included in San Diego’s Home/Garden Lifestyle e-magazine!  Click on my “tip” for a few accessory ideas.

San Diego Home/Garden Lifestyles

Coincidentally, the day this was published was also the day I was busy loading up my car with accessories for a client’s newly-decorated living room.

Accessories for the home

I always look forward to “Accessory Day” with my clients. I fill my car with accessories that I think my client will enjoy having around. Then the fun begins! I always start with my client’s own cherished items before I bring in the accessories I’ve purchased. There’s lots of arranging and rearranging to get everything just right. The items that don’t work out get sent back to the store I purchased them from or saved for another project.

TIP #1 Your accessories should always be things you love or things that are useful.

TIP #2 Rearrange your items a bit now and then to create a fresh look to your room.

Happy accessorizing!

Where It All Begins – Inspiration

January 18th, 2013 by Lori Hollis

One of the first things I say to a new client is, “Tell me about your dream home.”  Some find it easy and are excited to share folders stuffed with photos they have collected from magazines or on the web. Others seem to know how they want the home to function, but when it comes to the design or style of the home they look at me with a blank expression and say, “I’m not sure” or “I don’t have any design sense.”

Over the years, I have come to the decision that every single person has plenty of design sense and their own unique style. The fun part for me is to find out what that is and to help bring it out!

Inspiration Photos

The first few visits are especially important in listening and paying attention to what is important to my clients – what do they already own that they love, what do they enjoy, and how do they want to live in their home.

The next step is to have them sit down with a few design magazines and tear out the photos of rooms that they like without thinking too much about it. Eventually, a consistent theme or style will emerge.

If you are about to begin a new project and not sure where to begin, start with inspiration! Take photos of places that you love, tear out pages from a design magazine, search the web, and look at the colors and textures found in nature. We really are surrounded by wonderful things. Somewhere in the midst of all of this is your own unique design style just waiting to be discovered.

Gifts From The Garden

December 11th, 2012 by Lori Hollis

The holidays are just around the corner and here I go again…… What to give the neighbors or that special person that happens to stop in?? Is there something more original than wine to bring as a hostess gift?

Here’s an idea – You can’t go wrong with something made with love and picked from the garden!

Cayenne Pepper Flakes

On a bit of a whim, my spicy-food-loving-husband planted a few cayenne pepper plants around our garden this year. This one is next to our roses, there is another one next to the grapevine and another between the day lilies. They are a nondescript looking plant and we really kind of forgot about them. The only reason they got any water was because they were next to other “more important” plants.

Cayenne Pepper Plant

Then they started to grow……

Cayenne Peppers

And grow!!

We have been harvesting bushels of cayenne peppers ever since summertime! We just picked what I thought would be our last harvest, but I noticed the other day that there are still more on the way!

Cayenne Peppers

I thread them with a needle on fishing line and we hang them in the kitchen to dry.  I’m pretty sensitive to spicy foods and peppers and I actually have to wear a mask while stringing these.

WARNING – Remember not to touch your eyes!!

Dried Cayenne Peppers

The peppers on the left have been hanging for several weeks and are ready for preparation. The peppers on the right have just been harvested.

Cayenne peppers

Husband chops them up a bit (pods, seeds, and all), spreads them on a cookie sheet and bakes them in a low oven at about 200 degrees. Smells sooooooo good! But, watch them very closely!!!! His first batch was burned after just a few minutes. I think he may have had the oven on too high.

Grinding cayenne peppers

After they have cooled, chop them up in a food processor or grinder until they are the consistency you want. Be prepared for plenty of sneezing!

Here he is trying to make ground cayenne with his mortar and pestle. A little too much work!  I suggest sticking with the food processor.

Crushed cayenne pepper

I think that is orange zest on the cutting board. Husband was playing around with a yummy new recipe – spicy orange chicken.  Like all produce fresh from the garden, these red pepper flakes taste soooo much better than what you buy at the store. Not as spicy, but more flavorful.

Cayenne red pepper flakes

I found these cute little bottles at Michael’s in the wedding aisle. Now that we are all in the re-used and re-purposed mood, you could also use recycled spice jars. Why didn’t I think of saving them before?

gifts from the garden

Do you have any other garden gift ideas? I’d love to hear your ideas because there is always next year!

Happy Holidays, Everyone!