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Archive for August, 2010

Well, we set out on our first road trip with the baby this past weekend and it went surprisingly well..thanks to our most gracious hosts! Some of our dear friends were gathering in OKC to take their kids to the zoo and invited us to join them.  As much as I wanted to go, I must say I was a little nervous about the 3 hour car ride with a new baby, but I knew once we arrived, everything would be okay!

One of the highlights of the trip was staying in my friend’s new home. Its style is such a departure from mine but I absolutely loved it. ..so much so that I asked her to let me share it with you!  So after preparing us a fabulous breakfast, she then graciously cleaned the front room so that I could take a few photos.  Thanks Heather!

Here is a view of the living/dining/kitchen area when you enter the home.   Isn’t it great!  I just love the openness and simplicity of the room.  The lack of “stuff” creates a very calming feel to me.

But as much as I love the overall look of the room, there were a couple furniture pieces that pleasantly surprised me.

Take the white leather sectional sofa for example.

It has a nice clean contemporary style, but wait until you see this…

Here is another look…

Not only is this sofa stylish, it is very comfortable.

And then there was the dining table.  It was a perfect size.  We were able to seat 4 adults and 4 kids around it with room for probably 4 more.  But wait until you see how perfect of an entertaining table it really is!

Yep!  It doubles as a pool table.  Isn’t it fun!

We really had a wonderful get-away and thankfully we behaved ourselves and have been invited back! 🙂  I hope it will be sooner than later.

By the way, if you are intrigued by the cool furniture in their home, they purchased it at a family owned furniture store in OKC called Suburban. I can’t wait for a chance to check it out in person.  For the time being, here is their website http://www.suburbancontemporary.com/.

Have a great Tuesday!

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Live for Today

What a whirlwind week this has been! I am learning to accomplish tasks I never thought possible.  In fact I write this to you today with a precious baby on my lap. 🙂

Thank you so much for the kind words and well wishes sent our direction. I
am sorry that I have been unable to respond to each one but your tips and sentiments were greatly appreciated.

This is certainly a journey to expanding our family that I wouldn’t have chosen. I made a commitment to care for this sweet baby while helping the birth mom pull her life together so that the baby can return home. I have had several people share with me that they could never do this task themselves.  I certainly understand because I too don’t feel able.  I have already broken down a time or two because of my deep love for this child I have only known one week.  But as difficult as the future might be, I wouldn’t trade this moment!  I choose to live for today and not worry about tomorrow.

Really this is something we should all do with every aspect of our lives. Maybe your home is not as big as you wish or you don’t feel you have enough money to make it as nice as you like, so you think about the future and fail to live in today.  I encourage you to make the most of what you have now. You might be surprised at just how content and blessed you are at this very moment.

A few ideas….
1.  Running out of room?
Consider going through the things in your closets.  If you haven’t used it in months and it has no sentimental value, donate it.  If you are hanging on to something “just in case you need it in the future” and it has already been 2 years…let it go.  Has an item been broken or missing pieces for more than 6 months, it probably won’t get fixed…pass it on.

2.  Does your room need a lift? Consider painting it.  It is amazing what a difference a new color can to do a room.

3.  In the need of furniture or accessories? Shop second hand!  I have found more wonderful pieces of furniture for my home by simply shopping at yard sales, Goodwill and consignments stores.  It is great how far your money will stretch when buying used.


Who knew talking about a new baby could lead to a great decorating discussion!   Have a wonderful Tuesday! 🙂

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What a fun contest last week! I have to admit, it was killing me not to give a hint.  I wondered how long it would take someone to google the answer and then I received notice of this comment…

Thanks to my friend, Google, I might be the winner if you are requiring the most specific answer. They are tiles of laminate – formica sample tiles!

I called the restaurant and asked – how desperate am I for Starbucks?! I live in Pawhuska, don’t ya know……we like those big city items!

For those of you who read today’s TT, may I give the perspective of Hyacinth? Jennifer is some kind of miracle worker! I cannot believe what she can do to a home by just digging through closets. She is a creative and inspired soul, and she truly transformed my home in a way that I absolutely could not have done myself. She is worth every penny – hire her!!!

That’s right, our very own friend Hyacinth (aka Cyndi) searched out the correct answer.  Congratulations Cyndi and thanks so much for your kind words!  You definitely made my day!

And for the randomly chosen winner….Congratulations Charlote W!

Please email me (jennifer@atredesign.com) the address you would like your Starbuck’s or Lowe’s card mailed.

Here’s a closer look at the Mona Lamina…

Isn’t amazing what can be created using LAMINATE SAMPLES!

Would you like to see Mona in person?

Visit Ermilio’s Italian restaurant in Eureka Springs.  It is definitely worth the trip!

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Anyone who has followed my Transforming Tidbits for any length of time is probably aware that I am a fan of The Pioneer Woman. As I daily read her blog, I became fascinated with her good friend Hyacinth, especially because she was in the middle of a decorating redo…my favorite topic!

I found myself checking the blog regularly for The House of Hyacinth updates. Here is what her room looked like when I was first introduced to her via the blog…


You see, this was her first attempt at redecorating her living room.  Here is what the space looked like before any changes were made…



After seeing these two photos you might be thinking…”What was wrong with the room before?” or “Wow, what a difference!”  I too had similar reactions and wanted to know more about the people of this home and their journey.  But then the posts stopped.

I desired to continue reading her story. I was intrigued and found myself secretly longing to help her in person. And truly I could, I only live about 40 minutes away.  (If you are reading this Hy, I guess you could say I really was a stalker.) 🙂

Through a series of events, I had the opportunity to meet Hy in person at The Pioneer Woman’s first book signing. (Thanks Laura for hooking me up!)  In fact, I didn’t even meet The Pioneer Woman that day.  There were so many people to see Ree, but I didn’t mind at all.  I was getting to meet Hyacinth!

It took me a while to get up the nerve to go over and speak to her, but finally with a little coaxing from my mom, I went and I spoke. I was so nervous but I did at least have presence of mind to mention that I was enjoying the posts about her living room redo and that I was a decorator who wrote a weekly decorating tips email.  She excitedly said, “So, I could sign up and receive it?”  I said absolutely and let her get back to the other guests.

I figured since she showed interest, I would take the liberty to sign her up and save her the trouble. 🙂 And would you believe it, after a couple months she responded to one of my polls.  She was actually reading my emails. 🙂 I was so excited!  I had made a new friend.

Over the months to come, we would email back and forth. As she would post about her room, I would cheer on her accomplishments and give her advice about things in which I thought she might need my opinion.J:) One such opinion had to do with this post

The seating side of the room didn’t look too bad and I shared that fact with her, but I had a few ideas that could possibly help her on the fireplace side of things.


The first tip I shared was the reasoning behind why the “eyeball fabric”, as she called it, didn’t work. She already knew she didn’t like it but sometimes it is difficult to know why.  The main reason it doesn’t work is because it too closely resembles the size and shape of the bricks.  In essence, Hy had a wall full of tiny squares and rectangles that caused the fireplace area to feel “visually cluttered” and it hadn’t even been “accessorized” yet.

The second tip I shared was an encouragement to avoid using a mirror over her mantle. I know, I know…many decorators and designers use mirrors over mantles on a regular basis but here is why I made that recommendation.  Just look at the picture above.  What is reflected in the mirror?  The ceiling…exactly!  The ceiling isn’t that exciting to look at.  Any time a person hangs a mirror, they should consider what it is reflecting.

Well, that very comment landed me a nice promo on The Pioneer Woman site! Needless to say, I was ecstatic and it was only the beginning of my journey with my new friend Hy!

Story to be continued next Tuesday…

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While taking a little anniversary trip with my husband last week, we stumbled upon this very large and creative representation of the Mona Lisa.  It wasn’t until I came closer to her that I had an even greater appreciation of the creative interpretation.  You see she is made from a very useful decorating tool.   I immediately fell in love and expressed to my husband…”I’m taking her picture.  I should have my Transforming Tidbits Friends try to guess what material she is made of for a prize.”  So here’s the contest…

For a chance to win, leave a comment and share what item you think the art piece was made.  There will be two prizes awarded.  A $10 gift card to Starbuck’s or Lowe’s to the first person to correctly answer and a second $10 gift card to Starbuck’s or Lowe’s to a randomly chosen person.  Everyone has a chance to win!  Please submit only one guess per person.  The contest will stay open until Monday, August 16th at noon central and the winners will be announced on Tuesday, August 17th.

Happy Guessing!

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Several years ago I had the privilege of assisting my dad with an art show. He had a good friend hanging the art and I was her assistant.  I am so glad I was asked to ‘help’.  I learned more about how to hang a ‘gallery wall’ in that one afternoon than in any class I have taken.

This hand’s-on training came in handy this week during a consultation/redesign job. My client initially called me to give her decorating tips about a couple rooms in her home. But as happens so often, I couldn’t keep my hands off this wall.  I just knew it could be even more AMAZING!

The husband of this household is an talented photographer. He had the most beautiful collection of photographs, of which he earned many awards (I’m very sorry that my photos don’t do his photos justice.).  I could tell they were important to the family.

Most of the time, I don’t enjoy hanging art on a paneled wall. Often paneled walls make your art feel ‘boxed in’.  This was one paneled wall that was a perfect fit for my client’s photography.  Just look at how beautifully the photos are displayed now!

Isn’t it beautiful?! Nothing new purchased.  We simply used photos from around the home, a few nails, a hammer and a tall ladder to make a huge difference.

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