Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Antiquing around Louisville

One of my favorite things about summer, is going to outdoor flea markets. Jason and I recently attended the Fleur De Flea Vintage Urban Market down on the Louisville Waterfront. It was filled with lots of great vendors, and we were able to score some great vintage pieces.
 We actually purchased this gray dresser, and it's available at Lulubelles Boutique in Norton Commons. 
 Jason and I found this old set of plans from 1915. It was really neat to look through all the details that were incorporated on this English style home.
 Loved this piece, and could see it being used in a mudroom, or a craft room.
 I'm always looking for interesting architectural pieces to incorporate into our homes that we are building and designing together. These would be great to incorporate on the end of an island, or possibly make a kitchen table using these.
 This color combination really spoke to me. I was super tempted to pick up both pieces.
 I love this gold gilded vintage mirror. How great would it be over a buffet in a dining room? Or maybe a focal piece over your mantel?
 This particular market also had a great selection of potted plants, and unique ways to display them.

 Succulent plants are really on trend right now, and I love the way this particular artist displayed her potted plants.
 Loved this brass horse hook. Such a fun unique piece, and also on trend, since it was vintage brass.
 After all that antiquing we stopped at one of the food vendors and got a snack. We love Steel City Pops, they are so refreshing and yummy.
It was a great morning to be down by the river. We saw some really cool stuff, met some really great people, and even caught a glimpse or the beautiful new bridge. It was nice to get out of our comfort zone and neighborhood, and explore other parts of our lovely city. The next Fleur De Flea Vintage Market is scheduled for July 2. I would highly recommend it. Two thumbs up from Jason and I.
Thanks for stopping by, 
Until next time,

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Rug Options for your Home

Welcome back to another Inspired Home blogging series that my husband Jason Black and co-contributing to for WLKY. This week we took a little field trip to a local company called Carpet Specialists. Jason and I have worked with this family owned business for over 10 years. They really have a great selection of carpets and area rugs. I love when I get to work on design projects with my husband, and this weeks adventure sent us on the hunt for some area rugs to use in a Homearama house that Jason is building and I'm designing. We love shopping and supporting local as much as we can. Here are a few of my favorites that Carpet Specialists has available to order. Keep in mind that all these rugs come in various sizes to meet the needs of your specific room. Here are just a few they have to offer, in a variety of colors.

Also, carpet runners are a big trend right now. They are a great way to spruce up your stairs, and add a little style to what can generally be a pretty bland area. Here are some great carpets that they have available at Carpet Specialists that can be made into carpet runners, or area rugs.
This greek key design is a fun mix of modern and traditional.
The next designs are a little more monotone, and would work well in a more softer and neutral pallet.

I also love the look of a grass cloth. It reminds me of the beach, one of our favorite places to travel to. We always include a little inspiration from the beach in all our designs.

Both of these are great neutrals, and would make great carpet runners, or area rugs.

I was drawn to this pattern because it reminds me of a pretty needlepoint pillow. 
These are great soft options, that give a hint of color and pattern, without being too overwhelming.
This bold Ikat print is really fun! I can visualize this in a family room as a large area rug.
I'm also seeing the honeycomb pattern making a comeback in design. This is a beautiful area rug they have available in various sizes, and it's so soft.
Wanting to get a rug made for a nursery? I love this pink or gray option. You wouldn't have to be tied to a certain theme, and the rugs could work with many different looks for years to come.
Jason and I are both standing by some of our favorite pieces that they have to offer in area rugs.

Hopefully you see a rug design that catches your eye. I only barely touched on the selection they have to offer. They aren't called "carpet specialists" by coincidence {wink} If you stop by, ask for Suzann, she's always wonderful to work with. 
Luckily our field trip was a success, and I was able to find a couple rugs for my Homearama House. You'll just have to wait until July to see which ones we selected. Homearama is July 16-31st and is located in Norton Commons. Thanks for stopping by. And if you want to see more of our day to day design and building work you can follow me on instagram here, and Jason here.
With grace & gumption,

Thursday, May 12, 2016

What's Old Is New Again

Hello there, avid home decorator, designer, DIYer, contractor extraordinaire. Welcome to our first blog post of Inspired Home with Jason and Gretchen. A new blog series we are writing for WLKY. We are a husband and wife team who build and design locally in the Louisville area. Both Bellarmine grads, and parents to three terrific sons, we have literally built a life that we both enjoy and love. Jason is a local registered homebuilder and co-owns Artisan Signature Homes with his business partner Jimmy King. I'm a small business owner that runs a local boutique in Norton Commons, called Lulubelles, with my cousin Natalie Gerlack. I also work as a freelance interior stylist. Jason and I have worked together on many houses over the years, including building six of our own personal homes we've designed together. We also love to travel throughout the South together, searching for that southern inspiration to bring back to our clients. With that experience comes lots of access to the latest and greatest in home design and building. So with our new blog series The Inspired Home we will be sharing with you design and building tips to help inspire you with your latest projects. 

Today's post is about brass. Yes, brass is back in a big way in home design. The finishes of brass have changed dramatically over the last several decades. I am finding that it's not that 80's brass, that appeared really yellow and shiny. In contrast it's a beautiful brass that has a brushed finished, and a really beautiful gold tone. The good news is, oil rubbed bronze, brushed nickel, and chrome are all still very much in style, it's just that brass has got a new look and an update. So don't feel like you have to go out and change all your fixtures and door knobs immediately, but I am going to give you some ideas on how to incorporate this beautiful finish into your home. 
Let's start where it may be easiest to incorporate brass, home accessories.  Here are a few items that I think you could easily add without spending a lot of time or money.
Did you know that the pineapple symbolizes "welcome" in the south? So this pineapple tray serves as double duty, you can use it to introduce brass into your home, and also make your guest feel welcome. We actually have these available at our Lulubelles boutique located in Norton Commons.
Do you love to go antiquing like I do? Or maybe you inherited an old set of brass candlesticks like these...
These would be great in a dining room, or fireplace mantel.
I recently picked up these pineapple candlesticks at Anthropologie, and I have them sitting in our kitchen. Clearly I have a love for pineapples. :)
 And I collected both of these brass pineapples while out antiquing. They are currently gracing our fireplace mantel, stacked on some vintage books. 
So maybe you are looking to update the handles in your kitchen. You have two options, you can either replace them with new hardware, note to self, make sure you measure your current hardware to be sure you get new hardware that matches the drilled holes exactly. Or you can use spray paint to recoat your existing hardware. There are some really great finishes in brass tones at your local craft stores. 
Here is the brass hardware we have in our kitchen, and I love that it's a classic style and shape, with the timeless brass feel. 

I have seen very similar looks and finishes to these in the special order section at Lowes and Home Depot, so check with your local hardware store if you are up for the investment of switching out your cabinet hardware.  
Another great way to introduce brass into your home is by installing new light fixtures, or repainting existing ones. Many times over the years I have ordered a light fixture and not loved the finish. So I grab my sponge brush and change the finish with some craft paint in a color that I feel suits the space better. Don't be afraid to give it a try. When all else fails, and the budget allows, you can update with new light fixtures. We have a selection of pretty brass fixtures, like this one at Lulubelles.
Bathrooms are an elegant way to bring brass into your home. Maybe start with updating a powder room? You can find this pretty toilet paper holder at Anthropologie.
 There are lots of great options for brass fixtures. Places that we use locally for homes that Jason and I are building/designing together are Winnelson and Willis Klein. Both places have a lot of beautiful options.
photo from VanDykes
One of my favorite features from a recent project are these beautiful brass egg knobs. I feel like I'm stepping back in time, yet they have a modern feel to them. They are available locally at Willis Klein.
I hope that you feel inspired to bring a little brass into your home. It really is a beautiful finish, all the while being timeless and elegant. And if you would like to see projects that Jason and I are working on you can follow along with our Instagram feeds. We are both really active with our accounts, and love posting projects we are working on. :) You can follow me here, and Jason here 

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Letters of LOVE

Hope you are settling in to this winter weather we have been having. Since it's cold and snowy outside, why not find yourself an easy craft project to tackle? I have the perfect one for you, and it's very versatile. These are super easy to make, decoupaged letters. 
Here are the supplies that you will need.
*Cardboard letters (I found mine at Hobby Lobby)
*Paint brush
*Craft paper (I purchased mine at Lulubelles Boutique it's from Rifle Paper Company)
The first step, after you have gathered your supplies, is to trace your letters on the craft paper.
Once the letter is traced, simply cut the letter out of the paper.
Next you will apply a thick layer of the decoupage on the actual cardboard letter. Make sure that you apply liberally.
I work in sections, applying the decoupage and the paper on the top portion first. Then I work my way down. Next you will seal the craft paper with the decoupage.
Be sure to smooth out any bubbles before the decoupage starts to dry, and remember that when your craft paper is wet, it may tear easily, so be extra careful
Continue on with the next letters. You can even cut out extra shapes and flowers, then add them for some extra interest like I did with the & sign.

Here is the finished product, along with another set of letters that I made just in time for Valentines Day next month. 

We have these beautiful Rifle Paper Company papers available at our Lulubelles Boutique located in Norton Commons in Prospect, KY. You could certainly create lots of beautiful decoupage craft projects with them.
Thanks for stopping by. I hope you found some inspiration to create some lovely letters for yourself. :)