Sunday, January 31, 2010


I think it is about time that I introduce you to Oliver, my sweet gray dog. He is a 2 year old silver lab. Yes, they do exist and no, they are not a mix of a lab and a weimeraner. You would be surprised how many times I get asked that. He is the sweetest dog I have ever had and he is pretty handsome as well.

Oliver will participate in my blog when he (I) find(s) something that he(I) think(s) the pet loving world will want to see. I am not crazy...I know Oliver could care less about what the newest dog bed is or what collar he is wearing, but I do. Our pets things are strewn through out our home, there is no reason they shouldn't look great too.

He will be a guest blogger from time to time in a section called, "Oliver's Twist". When you see that title you will know that the blog is pet related.

Oliver is enjoying a relaxing Sunday sleeping in his dog bed next to the roaring fire while I type away. His plan is to head to the park for a quick (as it is very cold here today) romp. I guess I will tag along.

Happy Sunday!


BBS (and Ollie too)

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Installation Day 1 1/2 (it's Saturday)

Things are really coming along at the house. This is how everything looked yesterday when I left the "scene of the crime" let's say.

This is a unique project in that I am working for a recently divorced father of a 14 year old boy. They have been living in a fancy corporate rental apartment that provides everything down to pillows and towels. (I have to say ewwwww! here. I am not sure why this creeps me out, as I LOVE to stay in nice hotels, but this seems different somehow) They are unusual because clients always come with "stuff" that designers need to work into the house. Mostly it is good, sometimes it is awful, but it always needs to be incorporated into the scheme.

So, we will call him Client, is moving into said house with nothing. Well not nothing, but nothing in terms of what I provide. So, I have been a shopping fool, purchasing furnishings, lamps, decorative accessories, rugs, sheets, towels(much softer and fluffier than the corporate rental I can assure you), picture frames, lamps, waste paper baskets, get the point. I am providing everything to create a new home for them.

So you can imagine my panic when Client called on Wed. to "ask" (say) if it was alright if he slept at his new home after the first installation day. WHAT????????? was what I was thinking as images of cardboard taped to the floors, boxes, wrapping paper, garbage bags, S&$# everywhere flashed through my brain. "Of course, that will be great!" is what I responded.(of course)

Everything went fine and I have set up shop in the heated garage. It looks like a Bergdoff's sponsored garage sale, but will actually work out just great!

As you can see from the picture the key pieces are in place. Art is propped against the walls waiting to be hung. Lamps are in place, well until I move them a zillion times next week. The finishing touches are waiting patiently in their garage spot for Monday morning. It will be another whirlwind of a day.

I am off to shop some more and I can't wait to hear how Client slept in his new home!



Friday, January 29, 2010

Installation Day

Any interior designer will tell you that Installation Day on any project is as stressful as it is exciting. Today, I had day 1 of a three day install of an entire house and all things considered the project went pretty smoothly.

By smoothly I mean that the sectional, yes sectional, that I ordered for the lower level of this house just barely fit. By just barely I mean that the movers had to take the sliding glass door out, yes out, and "grease up" the sides to slide it in. Oops. Well, that was the least of my worries....

Four pieces of the five piece sectional were comfortably resting in the basement while the movers replaced the sliding glass door. (Did I mention it was 12 degrees in Cleveland today. Very Chilly)

In comes the fifth and final piece of the sectional and it is in a completely different fabric than the rest of the sectional. My boss came running up the stairs from the lower level to ask if I was, "doing anything unusual with the sectional, you know, something really crazy?" I replied hesitantly, "No, Why?" "You may want to come down here then."

I rushed down stairs and burst out laughing. It looked so ridiculous. As I examined the odd piece of the sectional sitting proudly in its own fabric I pulled back the inspection tag. On the tag were 6 different signatures of 6 different controllers who looked over this sectional and decided it was good enough to be shipped????? I can't believe one of those six people didn't look at these 5 pieces and think to themselves, "Hum, that one doesn't look like the others"??????????

Oh well, it can all be fixed and my client was unbelievably understanding.

I will post more pictures as we near completion and, of course, pics of the finished product.


Thursday, January 28, 2010

Layla Lisa???

As promised in yesterday's blog, above is a picture of my favorite cow from the oil painting buying spree in her new frame. I have nicknamed her Layla. I am not sure, but I just might see a wry little "Mona Lisa-esq" smirk. Didn't she turn out beautiful???

That sweet smiling pig from yesterday has already found a new home. Could Layla be next? Maybe she should come home with me?
Oh the torture of being an interior designer is always coming across something new that you just must take home.


Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Old MacDonald Had A......

I had some adorable visitors to the studio today.....

For some odd reason I can see naming them Layla...or Matilda....or Hank????

These wonderfully tiny oils arrived via truck today along with several larger friends. This is one of my favorite things at my job. Every 2 months or so, Hedges Fine Art, a company that has well priced original paintings, arrive in a large truck full to the brim with paintings. Not as "Starving Artist-ish" as it might sound. It is actually a really convenient and effective way to purchase art.

We pour over the canvases of all subject matter, size, and style until we find just the right pieces. Today I immediately fell for the beauties above, but we also selected a huge vertical 48" by 60" painting of Aspen trees and a modern colorful abstract.

As I type this, I can hear Jeremy Hedges in our back room stretching and framing our new pieces. I can't wait to see them finished.

I will include some photos tomorrow of the completed products.


Tuesday, January 26, 2010

First Things First

Oh how do I begin.....Let's see....The only polite thing to do would be to tell you a bit about myself. I am Barrie, an interior designer in Cleveland, Ohio. I am single and live with my sweet grey dog named Oliver. He is a 2 year old silver lab, but you will hear more about him later.

I hope to share the hilarious tales of being an interior designer. I swear I could write a book with all of my stories, but baby steps. Let's see, I have been chased through a client's home and bitten on the bum by their dog. I had permission to be in their home, but they must have forgotten to tell Fido. I have even had to clean up pet vomit off of a gorgeous antique rug that was on trial at a client's home. No, they didn't keep it and yes, I did tell the rug dealer. And those are just some of my animal stories....More to come, promise.

Parties are my thing. I love, love, love to plan parties. I have planned dozen of parties in my mind that will probably never even come to fruition. I love theme parties, cocktail parties, dinner get the idea. Several of my friends in Cleveland own bars and restaurants and I love to help them plan events for their places. It is just so much fun. I get such a high when I see all of my guests mingling and having fun.

I love movies. All movies. Indies, Blockbusters, Chic Flicks, comedies....I am not a movie snob, but I do get obsessed around this time of year. I become obsessed with the Oscar contenders. I aspire to see all of the movies that are nominated for the major awards, Best....Movie, Director, Actor, Actress, and Supporting. A few of my friends have joined me in the quest to see all movies and it is really fun.

A big part of my life is cooking. I really didn't cook anything until after college. I am totally self taught. While my mom was actually a really good cook, she rarely did it. We ate in really nice restaurants 4-5 times a week. I am not exaggerating when I tell you that she could have had an entire dinner cooked and if my dad called to ask if we wanted to go out to dinner, she would say yes. That meal would be in Tupperware faster than I could ask where we were headed and we were out the door. I am not complaining. I enjoy dining out and cooking equally. Both are very relaxing and enjoyable to me.

All of this chat about myself is boring me, so I will wrap it up by saying, I also enjoy reading, traveling and I volunteer my time to several organizations. I believe in the importance of giving your time, efforts, and donations to those in need.

Well that is me in a nutshell. I look forward to opening up to you. Making you giggle. Sharing design insights, tips, and secrets. Getting to know you. Growing with you.