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Monday
Mar112013

Around Here

Just a quick post of what I've been up to lately.  Besides being busy with some great client projects, I've been making some changes to my own house.  You can follow along on Instagram if you'd like @msimondesign.

My office is getting moved to a much larger room in the house.  I desperately need the extra space for a large work table to spread out my projects and more storage.  I decided the room needed a pretty new light and have long admired this one.

My former office is now the guest bedroom.  At least my guests will enjoy the beautiful wallpaper.

 I went to an estate sale over the weekend with a friend and fell in love with this barn on the property.  So Ina Garten, don't you think?

Nothing like a trip to Whole Foods.

 The sun actually made an appearance last week for a few days.  A great day for an iced latte.

Not too fast, another week of 'liquid sunshine' for these parts.  Bummer.

 


Tuesday
Mar052013

Outdoor Living

I can hardly wait for daylight saving time on March 10th!  Can you believe it's this weekend?  So excited!  Having it light out longer is such a treat.  It has me longing for spring and spending more time outdoors. Today, I thought I'd round up some great outdoor living spaces to get everyone in the mood for the longer days of daylight ahead.

I love the simplicity of this outdoor space, no surprise I'm sure!  What a lovely spot for entertaining.

Living in the Pacific Northwest, a covered patio is typically a must.  Sadly, we don't start getting great consistent weather until after July 4th so if you want to entertain outside most of the year, you might want to consider something covered.

I have long admired this outdoor space.  I could spend hours here reading a good book or stack of magazines.

{classic casual home}

Gwyneth Paltrow's outdoor area at her LA home is perfect for dining al fresco.

 

Of course, if you're lucky enough to have doors that completely open up creating a seamless indoor/outdoor space, well that would be a nice bonus too!

{images}

 

Wednesday
Feb272013

Don't Skimp On The Details

I'm often asked about some key things in the home you shouldn't skimp on.  Of course, there are things like the ones I mentioned in this post, but what about the details?  I'm a firm believer in buying the best quality you can afford, even if that means you go without something else for the time being.  I would much rather have a home filled with fewer quality things than a home filled with well, fillers and things you really don't love.  Here are three details you shouldn't skimp on and are worth the extra money if you have it...

1.  Lighting.  I can spot a cheap big box home improvement store light from miles away.  Yes, quality lighting costs more, but you get what you pay for and it makes all the difference.  One of my favorite go-to sources is Visual Comfort/Circa Lighting.  Quality through and through and worth every single little penny.  I also love a great antique or vintage light, too!

2.  Faucets & Fittings.  You will touch these multiple times every single day.  Again, buy the very best you can. A few of my personal favorites are Rohl and Waterworks.  I am head over heels for this Rohl faucet in my own kitchen. Yes, I had to save up for it when I did my remodel, but it's been one of the best investments as far as I'm concerned. 

3.  Hardware.  I might as well put myself on repeat.   Same as the above, no surprise.  Remember, it's OK to mix metals, too.  You don't need everything in a room or entire home to be the same finish.  Mixing metals makes it more interesting, so go for it and have fun!  For this custom dining piece I designed for a client (sorry for the iphone photo for this one), I had to convince her that polished nickel would make all the difference from the rest of her home that has brushed nickel.  It really makes the piece more special and they love it!

Looking to design a home you absolutely love?  Email me at info@mariannesimondesign.com for more information and rates.

 

Thursday
Feb212013

Ivy

When I was growing up, we lived in a house that had the most beautiful green ivy growing up the columns across the front of our house.  It added such a nice freshness to the exterior and really added some eye catching curb appeal.  Of course, my mother was a master gardener, so our yards always looked like a beautiful park.  I remember when we sold that house and drove by it after the new owners moved in.  I thought my mother was going to have a heart attack when she saw that they cut down all of the beautiful ivy! It really looked awful and we would cringe every time we drove past it.  While this look isn't right for every home, I think it can be really pretty climbing up the exterior of a home like this one below.  

 

{image}

Monday
Feb182013

Inspired By:  Hyacinths

I purchased these gorgeous hyacinths a little over a week ago at Pike Place Market.  After having lunch with a friend at one of my favorite restaurants, Cafe Campagne, we walked across the street to one of the flower vendors.  I was hoping to find some hyacinths and sure enough, I spotted these beauties.  

 

They are currently on my desk in my office and am so inspired by their incredible color and extraordinary blooms. What has inspired you lately?