Nicholas Design Plan

This is the view into my Nicholas House room as you enter the door:

This corner is the best place in the room to add extra storage, I’ve determined.  I think I’ve tried every possible configuration of the bunk beds and full-size bed possible in this small 9×15 room.  I really want to free up the windows as much as possible since they offer a pretty view of the backyard; and all that natural light makes the room happy.  The main challenge is offering as much storage as possible so that their belongings all have a spot and can be tucked away out of sight.  I want the room to be visually peaceful so that when the family gathers here after a hectic day of work and school, they don’t have to look at all their things on open shelves and racks.  But it is a challenge for sure!!  Here is what I’ve come up with on this side of the room:

Chris will install a corner closet to take advantage of as much as that corner as possible.  There may be a little space left over where the resident can tuck large items like an ironing board, broom, etc.  On the side of the closet we’ll be able to fit a small desk and little upholstered cube–which I think is important for the kids to have for homework.  Above the desk is an upper cabinet for more storage.  Underneath the large windows will be a bench with a comfy cushion and cubbies for bins.  On the other side of the window, I can fit a slender IKEA bookcase that will be opposite of the full-size bed.  I’m also hoping for a platform for the bed to put extra storage underneath–as I would rather put it underneath the bed instead of  hanging storage over the bed…heavy storage cabinets over the bed kind of make me nervous.

There is an existing little chest in the room that I will paint to put beside the bed.

I’m still working on the colors and fabrics.  I do want to use the brown faux bois donated by Lewis & Sheron–I think it will be fun to have the window seat cushion in this fabric.  I have a yard of the Togo fabric in the Titan/Birch colorway that I ordered along with the Togo in black and white.  The spots are an inky blue.  I still have to decide on the third color–either green or orange.  The park and the zoo are across the street from Nicholas House, so I’m going with a natural, easy look for the room.  I’m also going to leave the bunkbeds in their existing pine finish that influences the rest of the room.  As I finalize more, I’ll let you know!

If you would like to help out with this project, you can send a tax-deductible donation payable to “Nicholas House” to me or to Yvonne Druyeh at Nicholas House.  If you send to Nicholas House, please note that you are donating to the Room Service project, and if you want to designate the money for my room, please note “Angela-TPH.”

Nicholas House

c/o Yvonne Druyeh

830 Boulevard SE

Atlanta, Georgia 30312

404/622-0793

Thank you so much for considering a contribution to this project!  The room needs bedding, storage bins, FLOR tiles, lumber for the carpentry work…so anything you could offer would be a BIG help.  And, if you are in the area, you are more than welcome to help me paint.

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Thank you to some supa fly ladies who have linked over to TPH:

Misty at Not an Empty Room for mentioning our barn door at the cottage.

Nancy at Marcus Design for featuring our living room chairs.

Kimba at Soft Place to Land blames me for her tobacco basket obession, ha!

THANK YOU!!!

Room Service…Ready, Set, Go!

The second measure happened on Friday for the Room Service project at Nicholas House.  I left just in time to miss being captured on film by 11 Alive News here in Atlanta, who showed up to do a segment on the project for the 6 o’clock news!  How awesome is that?  Check out Dayka, Erika, and Sherry as they share a little about the project.

I am finalizing the design details for my room and will share the plan soon.  Chris Lund, the carpenter, has generously agreed to donate his time and skill for the built-in storage.  Bill Cox, who makes my window treatments and pillows, is donating his time for window valances, a window seat cushion, and pillow covers.  I have four pillow inserts donated by Dacron, and I’m building my design around fabric donated by Lewis & Sheron.  A BIG THANK YOU to these individuals and companies for helping to make Nicholas House a cozy and comfortable place to come home to.

There is still a lot to buy and compile, and I’m hoping you might like to contribute to my room–where currently resides a mother and her two children. Life is so full of twists and turns, and I consider it an honor to help these families as they turn a corner in their life.  When we found ourselves in need three years ago during my husband’s cancer treatment and friends and family and strangers gave so unselfishly of themselves to us, my husband and I vowed to model our lives in the same way, God willing.  If you are in the area and would like to donate time or skill in lieu of money, there is plenty to paint, assemble, and do–and I would be so grateful for the assistance!  Thank you so much for considering this mission, and if you are interested in donated a tax-deductible gift to my room or the project in general, please stay tuned this week for details and the design plan.

April is going to be incredibly busy–yet fun and exciting!  Thank you for taking the ride with me!

Houston Ranch of Art, Part II

Did you have a chance to notice all the charming details of Susan’s house in the first post of her home tour?  Now on to part II!

The bedrooms are layers and layers of softness, and I’m pretty certain you don’t need to be asleep to have fantastical dreams in here.

When I first met Susan this bedroom was her office–with juicy red lacquered walls.  Now that she has built an office above her garage, she made this room her master bedroom.

Pink tiles and hot pink toilet seat with glitter–I’m sure she is the only one on the street with this bathroom combo.

I love these drapery panels with the 80s-esque fabric trimmed with triangle fringe.  And do you see what is hanging in the shower?  I don’t have a great photo of it, but you can get a good idea of the captive audience at bathtime:

A Lin Swanner painting watches over the guest room bed.

With a blush-colored door, metallic speckled trim, glass doorknob, and Deco-inspired wallpaper, the room is interesting even before the addition of all things of curious beauty.

The vintage box belonged to Susan as a child.

The new office addition is through the backyard.

Built above the detached garage, the office has a porch trimmed in the same aqua metalwork as the front porch.

The office has an efficiency kitchen and bath–which could easily convert into an apartment.  I love those terrazzo floors!

And we’ll end the tour with a red-flocked Jesus.

I’ve been so inspired revisiting Susan’s home.  I could truly spend hours and hours there exploring and listening to her stories.  She took a chance on me when I was a young decorative painter and starting out–and for that I’m forever grateful!  When I wanted to specialize in children’s art and design, she was willing to sit with me and answer all my questions and offer advice.  She also fielded a few phone calls from a weepy me when this newbie encountered stresses and problems in design work.  Thank you, Susan!  And your home is positively a beautiful wonderland.

Houston Ranch of Art

When I planned to restart TPH last year, I planned to do a whole month on everything ranch houses.  I was thrilled when Susan, an interior designer I worked with in Houston, let me shoot her house, a 1949 ranch, for a post.  Unfortunately, I stalled out on my ranch month and the photos waited and waited.  Her house is better than amazing, where every square foot is lovingly thoughtful…I just wish my photos did her house full justice.  Turns out my meager photo skills have actually improved in the year since visiting her and having a better camera now doesn’t hurt either.  Now, on with the tour!

I met Susan White in 2000.  Freshly graduated with my painting degree from University of Houston, I was cold calling designers in Houston looking for decorative painting work.  I left a message for Susan on her answering machine, and she was one of the few designers to call me back.  When I pulled up to her little gray house with aqua trim and purple neon house numbers I was sufficiently intrigued.  Boots on the door celebrate the Houston Rodeo, a big deal in H-Town.

Purple crystal doorknob and celestial mural on the porch ceiling…a proper welcome in my book.  Ready to go inside?

The entry to the two-bedroom home greets with a gallery wall and a laminate Parsons table draped in lace.  One immediately knows this house has soul.  There is an initial moment of readjustment–of leaving one world and entering another.  Fantasy, whimsy, history, and sentiment dwell together as Susan has deftly combined periods, pattern, and color.  You just can’t take it all in with a casual glance.

Layers and colors and objects and handmade treasures speak of Susan’s love and appreciation of art.  She has lived in the house since 1973 (when she purchased it for $26,500!) and has spent the years crafting every nook and cranny into visual perfection.

A vintage mink fur coat covers the frame of a painting by Dixie Friend Gay in the living room.  The list of artists in Susan’s art collection is long:  Sandra Russell Clark, Joanne Brigham, Dan Allison, Paula Fridkin, Kathleen Packlick, Karin Broker, Jeff Delude, Bob Russell, Tom Wheeler, Wulf Barsch, Lisa Qualls, Lin Swanner, Reverend Howard Finster…and me, to name a few.

Faux malachite, glossy berry and oversized leopard spots cover previously-traditional family dining room furniture.  That is Susan as a head of lettuce.

The retro sunroom lies off the dining room–and to me is a fitting tribute to the 1949 house.

Of course she has a pink kitchen.  I love her.  And do you see that aqua pentagon on the ceiling?  Pentagons of various hues are scattered randomly on the kitchen walls.

Lookie, Angela originals hang in the kitchen!  Susan surprised me and bought the bird painting at a Houston show I participated in.  The small cake painting was a gift from me to her the year she celebrated the 25th anniversary of her design business.

The Reverend Finster piece hangs behind the pink flamingos and above the refrigerator on the same wall.

Down the hall to the bedrooms hangs a Paula Fridkin heart–delight deluxe for me.

About her art collection, Susan told me she looks for pieces that speak to her, in which she has a visceral reaction–then she knows she wants it.

Even away from her rancher, Susan hints at the style of her home in her dress.  Whenever I met her at job sites or the studio, I always looked forward to seeing her sartorial interpretation for the day.  Always textured, colorful, layered, and sculptural.  I love people like Susan who can make an ordinary day much more interesting and fun by just being unabashedly true to themselves.

You can read more about Susan’s home on the Houston Chronicle–a 2006 feature about her ranch home amidst a crowd of puffed-up new builds in her neighborhood.  Come back for part two of the tour to see the bedrooms, bathroom, and her home office.  See you then!

Art-Filled House Tour…

…coming your way!  It is a tour long overdue–photos sitting on my computer for a year now–of a talented Houston designer whom I love.  She took a real big chance on me when I was green and naive and completely clueless…more on that later.

What you will find behind this black door with a purple glass knob is pure love of art and happiness for my eyes.  I hope you will come back later this week to tour Susan’s home with me.

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