Libby Langdon's Rhode Island Waterfront Design Project & A Cute Centerpiece

Cute Centerpiece And Party Activity

Check out this cute holiday centerpiece - and cute party activity. From Libby Langdon, the designer says these wine charms can be made using medium size hoop earrings with small kids beads and the hoops placed at the base of the wine glass stem so everyone knows whose glass it is by the different charm dangling. It is a pretty presentation and interactive!

Langdon is a highly successful designer as well as an actress and entertainer with some of her recipes having been featured in Bon Appetite Magazine. For more entertaining, food ideas and party secrets, go to her website Food And Entertainment Ideas.

Rhode Island Design Job

Designer Libby Langdon recently finished an interior design project involving an 8,000 square feet new construction home situated on three acres of waterfront property in Rhode Island. She says that when the family built the house their style was very traditional and the house was intended to have a Mediterranean feel, but that upon completion a more modern look was discovered.

Her challenge was combining modern taste with traditional style, mixing existing pieces with new furniture and creating a warm, inviting, functional home for a very busy family.

Langdon states that the family loves to entertain so she used lots of outdoor black wicker furniture to create an outdoor living space for them on their big terraces; the cushions are a mix of rich neutrals that will be luxurious but weather resistant. In their formal living room the designer used a creamy palette and incorporated ebony items from the Hickory White "Skyloft" collection to keep the look modern and elegant. Their family room was reworked providing more "lounge space" for everyone and adding little bits of color here and there to keep it comfortable and uncluttered.

To read more about this significant design project, click here.

About Interior Designer Libby Langdon:

Libby Langdon is an interior designer and expert commentator on HGTV’s hit show “Small Space, Big Style.” She offers insights, techniques and tips to help viewers make the most of their own small space. Previously, Libby hosted and was the lead designer on the FOX makeover TV show, “Design Invasion.”
Libby founded “Libby Interiors” in 2003 and has completed numerous commercial and residential design projects all over the country.
Libby Langdon has a just recently released book, "Small Space Solutions," and is available from Amazon.Com.

Libby Interiors is included in our Directory of Designers, under New York. If you are in need of an interior designer, check it out.

Create Bathrooms With Distinct Style And Great Functionality

The above photo showing the Asian-influenced style bathroom is super chic but more importantly, it also seems to work well.

Bathrooms are typically smaller spaces and that makes them great canvases for unleashing creativity. You can go bold using great paint colors or alternatively, enjoy subtle tones; you can emphasize textures such as rough-hewen granite and smooth marble or choose to enliven with color through decorative tiles and tiled-framed mirrors.

But bathrooms are also much-used rooms and a practical approach is necessary. In the Oriental style bathroom above, there is a beautiful and well placed storage cabinet, a floor basket which holds neatly rolled extra towels and the decorative wall hook adds to this bathroom's ability to function well. It feels like it works; it feels good.

I am so over the towel racks with their exquisitely-folded stacks of towels. It is a tired look and just not user friendly. I would encourage you to choose great style but choose a look that works.

Following are some storage ideas for extra towels and toiletries that have style and are friendly and have high-functioning approaches.

Beautiful Home Offices And Ideas For Creating A Successful Work Area

Helen Ballard Weeks who's work area is shown above is the founder and creative force behind the Atlanta-based Ballard Designs . Weeks says she cherishes her office and it is a revolving work site which resonates with salvage finds, ribbons, paintings, masks, fabrics, and urns that inspire her collections.

Beautiful work areas are like stylish nests for us to work. Beautiful work spaces spur creativity. If you are considering establishing a home work space a few initial decisions will help assure that it is productive.

A work space needs to be inviting and it also needs to be efficient. Deciding what furniture and equipment you'll need and where to locate this space is important - you'll want it to blend into your surroundings without allowing it to be swallowed up. If you plan to use modern technology and storage, that may not fit in with your classic style home interiors.

Plan for the following:

* Lighting (light the desk with a directional task light and sufficient general light elsewhere in the work area; avoid positioning the computer or lighting so that there is glare on the screen)

* Computer

* Printer

* Phone/Fax

* Stereo

* Heater/electric fan

* Desk

* Comfortable and ergonomic chair

* Storage

* Work tools (stationery, pens and pencils, diskettes, reference books, phone directory, calendar, bulletin board, work samples, trash can and paper recyclying bin)

Before Sheila Bridges was known as the designer to former President Bill Clinton, she was (just) working with bankers, music moguls and movie producers and for years her living room and dining room table areas served as her office. Over time, still in her home she turned a storage room previously packed with inventory into an office and this antique painted Provencal desk started her design scheme.

In this new workplace, Bridges reports that when clients or friends visited she would turn her cane-backed desk chair to face the day bed. Otherwise, for serious solo work, she plugged in her laptop and worked at this antique desk.

I originally saw this home/workshop in Apartment Therapy, featuring residents Tricia and Peter of San Francisco in their 600 sf place. (They've since moved but I liked the examples of home/workplace storage ideas. )

If you are in need of an interior designer, our Directory of Designers can help you locate a professional in your area. Working with an interior designer helps assure you get the look you desire while helping eliminate costly mistakes.

Bathrooms, Presenting Two Lovelys For Your Enjoyment

The texture here is delicious - heavy, knotty beams, old used brick, wide-wide plank flooring. It makes me want to barefoot walk in a soft comfortable robe ..... touching gently with fingertips the room's lovely parts:

- the bricks, feel their roughness

- the edge points of the elk rack holding the knubby towel

- the glass of the windows, its span, feel its width

- the sole chair, its curves and its decorative carving

I love this - but it is a whole different look, a whole different world. Unexpectedly I find the Far East. Unexpectedly again - check out the cement flooring and half wall. I believe the counter is cement also but with a glossy finish. It is coolness ..... it is serenity ..... its zen!

This bathroom is for the self of me that yearns for that sensual touch of Oriential, that spa-type self of me. This is for the self of me that loves simplicity and loves se - re - ni - ty. Yes .... I am seeing that self and I could translate and learn the spirit of the Orient. This minimalism look is good for the spirit.

Veranda Hosts Party At Greystone Mansion

Leave it to Veranda Magazine to throw a chic event at a nice Beverly Hills house. Greystone Mansion is a 45,000 sf, 55-room, Tudor-style house that sits on 16 acres and was the site of Veranda's first California Show House.

The Show House opening night was hosted by absolutely-fabulous designer Nathan Turner chaired along with Mary McDonald and Ann Getty, working with the (obviously successful) party theme "Chinoiserie au Jardin."

Partnering with the City of Beverly Hills and Friends Of Greystone, the hugely successful Greystone Mansion Show House was the result of some 24 top interior and landscape designers selected by Veranda whom restored and transformed Greystone.
The Los Angeles Times covered the event with photographer Gary Friedman (photos here of the reception room, the morning room, the grand salon ballroom and the master sitting room are from the Times piece). For more photos including a slideshow and coverage from that article, click here.

Nathan Turner is listed in our Directory of Designers listed geographically, his shop is located in Los Angeles.
Greystone House is now a public park within Los Angeles and its house and grounds has often been used in film and television. The house's descending staircase is one of the most famous sets in Hollywood.

Shot on Location
All of Me
Big Lebowski
The Bodyguard
Dead Ringer
Death Becomes Her
Gilmore Girls (The Chilton Academy)
I'd Do Anything for Love (but I Won't Do That) (music video)
Indecent proposal
It's Like That (Music Video)
MacGyver (Season 1 Episode 12)
National Treasure: Book of Secrets (Benjamin Gates and Abigail Chase's mansion. Seen when Conner, Abigail's date, drives her up to the front door, filmed in the courtyard of the Mansion)
Rock Star
Rush Hour
The Disorderly Orderly
The Prestige
The Puppet Masters
Spider-Man 2[5]
Stripes (Outside Courtyard)
There Will Be Blood[3]
It's Like That(Mariah Carey song) (Music Video)
We Belong Together (Music Video)
The Witches of Eastwick
Winter Kills

Jan Pozzi - Impressionist Oil Painter And How We Met

"Moments and movements, frozen in time

and space . . . daydreams preserved . . . memories

hazy with the distance of time . . . a scene

blurred by the motion of passing . . . these are impressions.

Using an intensely personal style and technique, my

impressions evoke remambrance, imperfect

with the distance or time and imaginings."

- - By Jan Pozzi

I met artist Jan Pozzi because she was everywhere.

I was in need of an artist who did murals, who did trompe l'oiels.
I have been wanting to write about decorative painting such as color washing, marbling, sponging, ragging, in the creation of beautiful homes. I'd include the mastery of these various paint forms from recipe to wall beautiful. But I also wanted to share about the the transformation of an area with well done murals and trompe l'oiels.

Jan Pozzi was my girl - she had seemingly touched and had an impression on almost every spot in Rockford, Illinois.

My first introduction to her was the result of a trompe l'oeil (French, meaning 'to trick the eye') painting she did. The particular work I am referring to (not shown here) is a trompe l'oeil she did for the Rockford Womans Club in one of its bathrooms. We see a hankerchief on a trunk, with personal items lying atop - gloves, a pair of glasses, etc. To the eye effectively the items seem to be right there. But, what is right there however is a painting of a hankerchief on the trunk and the hankerchief 'draping' over the trunk sides. Similarly, painted images of gloves and glasses, appear and are done so well with her perfectly applied perspective and skill, that these items appear real. Trompe l'oeil is visual joke of a sort. Its intent is to deceive, which sets it apart from ordinary still life paintings. Jan Pozzi does this art form quite well.

Although she paints in almost every art style imaginable, Pozzi is an established impressionist oil painter - this is where she absolutely flourishs. Characteristics of impressionist painting include visible brush strokes, open composition, emphasis on light in its changing qualities (often accentuating the effects of the passage of time), ordinary subject matter, the inclusion of movement as a crucial element of human perception and experience, and unusual visual angles.

Pozzi's impressionist oil paintings hang on walls of private homes, galleries and philanthropic organizations. As an editor of an interior design magazine, I'd be negligent not to share this talent with you.

Her portfolio is also full of murals, trompe l'oiels, that she has been commissioned to do and you never know where they may show up. They are on walls, ceilings, or other large permanent surfaces and include planes and paratroopers, landscapes, seascapes, hockey players, pixies and ice skaters and are in both residences, businesses and various sites that all seem to lovingly help support the walls of the City. Jan Pozzi is very well known for her significant amount of philanthropic work, donating her time, resources and of course her art for charitable causes.

Extremely talented, and certainly not in any way ordinary, artist Jan Pozzi may be contacted at 815-877-1901 or 815-519-5501.

Decorating My Loft In Rockford, Illinois

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My lovely loft was located in the William Brown Building, U.S. National Register of Historic Places, states,
of the last remaining commercial buildings of significant Romanesque Revival architectural style in Rockford, Illinois. About this historical monument, the

". . . with the recent rehabilitation
of its first story storefronts, the
building has excellent integrity,
particularly in its exterior detailing
and design . . ."  

I moved into this old bank building (built in 1891-92) which now hosted 30 loft-style apartments and a first floor anchored by commercial/retail space.

Those apartments, with their high reaching 11' tall walls overlooked Rock River. (I was on the fifth floor.)  My kitchen pantry was a huge, old bank vault. Is that cool or what! I found it extraordinary.

Here are photos and narrative about the decorating of my loft (you gotta' get you one!)

Whether it is working with a design client or whether I'm designing my own home, I am looking to create a surround of collections that reflect memories - or - of items that are cherished, items of interest or even that can be of interest. I have decorated using the things that I have, things that I love, integrating them into this incredible space.

I love art and artwork, I mix up my art placing contemporary impressionist pieces next to classic oil paintings and antique pieces.

In this particular home I was challenged with the enormous walls.  The design principle of proportion was integrated to assure that my furniture pieces did not look too small, almost like Barbie-doll pieces.

In the two photos at left, the oversized, colorful oil paintings have much visual weight and give me 'purchase' of my high ceilings.  By careful placement of other items under and around them there is scale, and by distribution of all of the furniture and accessories there is rhythm and unity.

The photo at right shows the opposing wall, made up of a grouping of various artworks and objects including a precious antique wall-mounted grandfather's clock.  The high-reaching top pieces provide needed elevation, and the two antique, French Provencial side chairs (being of smaller scale individually) each gain more presence when grouped with the nestling table.

This is a small table grouping, I like the mix of texture of the wooden duck decoy, the books (which also give my grouping height), the small pillow and the floral wreath.

At left, another table top grouping or vignette. When displaying objects, groupings of three or five work particularly well and are visually stronger than a group of two or four.  It is also pleasing to the eye to vary the height of your objects.  (Keep in mind that books are an easy, interesting way to create a platform for smaller objects.)

At right, another small vignette, this one includes hanging plates as art.  Note that there are five items:  two hanging plates, a vase, an elevated book and books.  It is a beautiful still life, pleasing to the eye.

Presenting Grilled Peaches Bonus Recipe In Honor Of The 'Rockford Peaches'

In case you were not aware, the Rockford Peaches
were a women's professional baseball team who played from 1943 through 1954 in the All-American Girls Professional baseball League representing Rockford, Illinois.  The Rockford Peaches were also featured in the 1992 film "A League Of Their Own."

Grilled Peaches Bonus Recipe

Yield:  Serves Four


2 tablespoons packed light brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
4 ripe peaches, cut in half, pits removed
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
Vanilla ice cream, optional


Preheat grill or grill pan to medium.
In a small bowl mix sugar and cinnamon.
Brush cut side of peaches lightly with butter.
Oil grill.
Place peaches cut-side down on grill and cook until grill marks appear, approx. 3 - 4 minutes.  Brush peaches bottoms lightly with remaining butter and turn peaches over.  Sprinkle sugar-cinnamon mixture over cut side of peaches.  Cover grill and cook until sugar has melted and caramelized and peaches are easily pierced with a sharp paring knife, approx. 3 to 6 minutes longer.
Serve immediately, with ice cream, if desired.
This recipe will also work well with other fruits like nectarines, pineapples, apples and even strawberries (try grilling berries on kebab skewers).

Credit:  My Recipes Grilled Peaches Bonus Recipe