Playroom Whimsy #orangeandnavy

Yes that's me pretending to not be forty but four years old in my favorite room at my client's house.  #lifeistooshort

I recently was contacted by a friend to help her #organize and #redesign her attic playroom.  She has two girls and one little boy… all more darling than the next.  WHAT AN OPPORTUNITY!  One of my FAVORITE things to do is to dig deep into a child's world and think like them for what felt like two minutes but was approximately a two month long job (thanks to school vacations in between).

So… you can only guess which colors my clients and I agreed upon.  #ORANGE&NAVY!!  Cannot go wrong with my navy and tangerine friends…. cannot.  Next thing you know I was making three trips to #IKEA and sending late night emails with links to all sorts of whimsical places to order from to see how crazy I could get in this unbelievably magical space.  

The challenge with all attics are these "nooks."  One nook, fine.  Two nooks, ok.  Four nooks?  Well how much space does one need to read or hang out.  Turns out that this particular space also had a massive window seat… sorry but that's where mom or dad go when they need a #nap.  At least that's the way I envisioned it.  ;-)

Although her three adorable munchkins are still young, my clients wanted the space to grow with them… do I dare utter the word "teenagers?"  YES!  So now we're talking function and ALSO chill space.

First, the main hub… which we nicknamed #CHILLAX.  Marching orders: a modular couch for video gaming, movies and late night chats.  Striking rug and media storage, check! (tv to be mounted in future)

BEFORE:

Let's dress up that wall with some fun industrial letters please!

AFTER:

Which leads me to the PAINTED domed ceiling… a must have reading nook.

BEFORE:

I used shelving as room dividers which warmed up the space immediately as well as a fab shag rug and Serena & Lily poufs.

AFTER:

And we all know that while siblings do love each other unconditionally sometimes rivalry ensues… so why not create girl and boy nooks to keep the peace!

BEFORE NOOKS:

Let's get those doll houses down to eye level and make the space multi-functional for arts & crafts, shopkins, car racing, coloring or whatever your imagination wants!  

AFTER GIRLS NOOK:

AFTER BOY NOOK:

And make room for the ever loved train table surrounded by his favorite books.

Aren't these the best floating shelves?  Thank you IKEA!

And last but not least… the 4 inch thick washable navy fabric cushion with contrast white piping for those "I may just fall asleep here" moments.

BEFORE:

AFTER:

Clearly not sure where I'd be without Benjamin Moore's Newburyport blue which literally is the perfect navy for any space that needs personality! #accentwallsgalore

I couldn't be happier with how the main attic came out and the kids LOVED the evolution too.  And that makes it all worth it.  But no, we are NOT done!! There's that secret magical "closet" where only girls are allowed (sorry dudes!):

Literally you have to bend over to open a mini door into this "walk in closet" which was a carpet full of dolls and stuffed animals.  Now they are neatly waiting their turn to be played with and the time for dress up is WHENEVER!  

So to my dear client and friend… the pleasure was all mine because living this project was like reliving my childhood but being able to dress it up with my favorite colors without having my mom tell me to stop coloring on the walls!  YIPPEE!!  

Onto the next….because #designneversleeps. 

#livebeautifully

 

#happyclientshappylife

It's 5am on a weekday and I am as happy as a clam.  After a long weekend pausing and reflecting in the beautiful state of Maine, I pinch myself as I look back on the day I took a risk and decided to invest full time into GLDesign.  With my residential client list growing and now expanding from exterior arrangements to interior design and my commercial impact being felt around Westport, it goes without saying that if DO WHAT YOU LOVE and LOVE WHAT YOU DO then those around you will also LOVE YOU AND WHAT YOU DO.  

I recently joined forces with a local builder and am excited to embark on this extra design journey.  The energy is palpable and the design knowledge I am gaining is priceless.  Although it's a part time gig and I spend all my "free time" growing GLDesign, I am honored to have this opportunity to grow beyond my imagination.  

As I plan out my next few weeks and start the search for the best white birch logs for my client's arrangements, etc. you may see me smiling around town for no apparent reason other than being thankful for the opportunity to live my dream - thankful for the support - thankful for #playinginthedirt - and thankful for calling design a full time "job."

And yea ok….  you KNOW you want to look good for the holidays so look me up and let's get the party started on your home's seasonal curb appeal and interior redesigns!  #favoritetimeofyear

What's NEXT about the #nextchapter

It's been too long since I blogged and I must say I MISSED this safe fun blog site where I can share the joy that has overwhelmed my life these past few months.  Where to start… I guess it makes sense for me to start where it all began…. right HERE blogging with you!

Firstly I proudly said goodbye to "corporate life" in June and haven't looked back since.  I've been busy launching my brand GLDesign and as you can see am now "officially official" with my fun new website, logo and tag line!!  There is no better way to sum up what my journey is all about than my carefully selected tagline Live Beautifully. And I can say with confidence that my husband definitely loves me because he was tag lined out by the time I ran about a trillion other ones by him all hours of day and night!  SO excited to have been helped by my friends, family and awesome graphic designer Alli Q Design throughout this journey and to confidently take three steps forward each and every day.  A plethora of reasons drove me to take this giant leap… maybe it was turning 40 soon after a health crisis or deciding that 20+ years behind a desk was enough or maybe it was simply deciding to never quit my day dream.  But here I am and busy and happiest as ever and as my little brand grows taking root throughout Fairfield County I touch, smell and see with more clarity and positivity. 

The #nextchapter is about doing what I love and surrounding myself with those that want to be passion engineers with me on this journey.  I am inspired daily by entrepreneurs old, young big and small dabbling in all sorts of business trades.  Could I maybe call myself one too now?  Not sure yet, let's see what happens… but all I know for certain is that I am GLDesign and have no limits.

Check out some of my latest endeavors… and so much more to come at www.gldesign06880.com.  Oh and THANK YOU FROM THE BOTTOM OF MY #GREENTHUMB HEART!!!!!!  

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You Only Live Once! #passionandgratitude

I recently received a very touching quote from a #strongwoman I truly admire... "When women support other women, Incredible things happen!"  #sodarntrue I woke up this morning with an overwhelming sense of gratitude.  The fact that so many of my friends have reached out to me and trusted me with beautifying their gorgeous homes is overwhelming.  Also thanks to my friends, GLDesign is growing and I've met amazing new clients that each have incredible stories that feed my creative roots!

There are many key drivers in my life and I have at times been labeled an #overachiever but it is this drive that fuels my passion for being a mom, sister, wife, daughter, marketer and designer.  I truly try and enjoy life to its fullest through all its ups and downs and remain as positive as humanly possible and hope to infuse this attitude through my designs.  #letthecurveballscome

It is thanks to my passion that I can swim in a sea of gratitude surrounding myself with #strongwomen.  Ok ok the boys count too.  ;-)

When I started this blog, its intent was to focus on Design.  But what is design without passion, originality and breaking through boundaries?  What is navy without an accent of orange or hot pink?  Only by getting out of my comfort zone can I keep my passion honest and push my design sense beyond its limits. With this in mind, since my last post, I've tried my hand at Paddlefit @wassupdownunder with a @fitct411 team of #strongwomen (and stayed on my board!).

paddle

For my 40th birthday, my family presented me with my first ever paddleboard and I've been hooked ever since.  Of course it helps that this fitness element involves being on the water, peace of mind and body and my beautiful board.  It's also no coincidence that Yolo's tagline is YOU ONLY LIVE ONCE... is it? #thisis40 #everythinghappensforareason

Equally as hard, I helped my family get through the stomach flu (holymoly) and launched a new branded website at my full time job!  It is this balancing act that keep me wanting more hence why #playinginthedirt is literally my playtime.  With each client there are new discoveries... new elements to be passionate about.   Each step I take out of my comfort zone makes each new design job a thrilling experience! Here are just some sneak peaks into why I do what I do!  #cantstopwontstopdontstop

Pink pop #vintagecolorburst (Westport CT)

Succulents by the pool... #joyfulbliss (Westport CT)

Bronze grass haven #antiquecharm (Westport CT)

Feeling grateful / stay posted! - May 28, 2015

Thx NH for #kickingoffsummer

New Hampshire

Each time I travel I feel more exhilarated than ever by the awe inspiring moments that make up my road trips.  I couldn't wait to start blogging about my weekend away to a magical town called Portsmouth in New Hampshire!  We were invited by close friends to visit their beautiful home a couple of months ago and, as most can relate, "life got in the way" and our trip kept getting postponed.  Although Spring can wreak havoc on family calendars with sports, school activities and other obligations... I took it upon myself to put "life on hold" and drive up with the boys (yes that includes my dear husband) and finally make this long overdue visit happen.  Well goodness me... am I #superpumped we did! (that's me and hubs #superpumped)  ;-) NH Shark

Although I pride myself on having traveled most of the United States, I hadn't ever visited New Hampshire and was encouraged that our road trip only took 3 hours to this quaint yet bustling town called Portsmouth.  Blooming season was about two weeks behind Westport and the abundance of colorful fruit trees made our journey even more jaw dropping.  Even this little #portsmouthpeony was excited to come #playinthedirt!

NH Peony

Each coastal town brings its own set of unique treasures and Portsmouth is no exception.  Some of these lobster traps got me thinking how I could use them as fun planters for some shoreline clients (no I didn't steal any after all)!

NH Lobster

The fact that Portsmouth is on the ocean (and yes of course I took the driftwood finds on the beach) and that one can hear crashing waves at all times of day (oh did I mention the deep breaths of ocean air to cleanse my soul?) made this road trip #justwhatthedoctorordered.  But bottom line is the good company and laughs we had with these friends of ours that left Fairfield County not too long ago made our first road trip of Summer THE most memorable and heart warming.  Can't wait for school to let out and strap on that paddleboard and go surfing with the boys #portsmouthnewhampshire!

In conclusion, although my husband is slightly concerned about the fact that I've now booked a ton of weekend road trips to other towns I #mustsee,  it's memories that create inspiring lives and a getaway isn't a getaway without leaving and being more driven than ever to share these new design aesthetics with clients up and down the coast!

#newhampshireforever - May 19, 2015

Spring Has Sprung!

Shelala Boutique, New Canaan/Westport

It's official... Spring has sprung in Connecticut and the coastline is filled with inspiring colors! My schedule is filling up and between the kid's sport tournaments, a full time job and trying to be a better wife to my dearly supportive husband I am beyond thrilled to have kicked off my #playinginthedirt season at my favorite store Shelala!  In all seriousness, the world could collapse around me but so long as I'm playing in the dirt, I feel like I can conquer anything that comes at me and this week was no exception!  #bringit

Although I've mostly kept my focus on residential homes, this year I was honored with the privilege  to work on my dearest friend's gift boutiques in New Canaan and Westport.  These two storefronts  proved to be challenging as they both have very different irrigation requirements which made for an adventurous #thinkoutsidethebox (no pun intended) plant hunt!

The Westport store's container is in full shade all the time (and we all know shade plants are "meh")... and well the New Canaan store is full sun in a smaller container which means it requires proper drainage plants otherwise the staff would be spending too much time watering and not enough time selling the FAB items Shelala sells inside the store (did I also mention monogramming?)!  ;-)

As I set off on my hunt, I was determined to design a unique shade arrangement that could remain full yet not grow too tall so as to not get in the way of the storefront.  I found myself creating terrarium type designs for the shade box by incorporating beach ferns and other fresh dew plants along with a pop of blush pink double impatiens while adding in a touch of curly willow.  When completed, I realized that all that was now missing was a misting machine overhead and a margarita in one hand to complete the picture! Can't wait to see this box grow into itself to add even more curb appeal to the already fabulous Westport Shelala boutique.

As my adventure continued to New Canaan, I fell in love with a few succulents that my nine year old thinks is the most funny word in the history of words.  My favorite being the cobweb kind which feels and looks like it should be treated like a household pet!  After a quick drive down the Merritt Parkway, I found myself planting succulents like it was going out of style and talking to them as I went about my business (note: I was double parked and talking to plants so I think the NC police didn't bother dealing with this crazy lady).  The beauty of these plants is that they don't require much irrigation, love the heat and sun and are low maintenance.  Well it goes without saying that it is rare to find something so beautiful yet so low maintenance and so #gldesign had to snatch it up!

I was so proud to be a part of this fun project in two so different yet so close in proximity Connecticut towns.  Even more proud to call the Shelala owners my dear friends.... Thank you Sheila and Dave (and Piper!) for the privilege and the experience!

Check out @shopshelala or 123 Main Street, New Canaan / 281 Post Road East, Westport

#gldesign06880 - May 13, 2015

My first ever blog post... And how it all started?

#whereitallbegins

I guess most everyone has a blog these days... and I had been toying with the idea of writing my own for the longest time always admiring those that had the wherewithal to start theirs making it all look so easy.  But why now?  I wish I could say it was my milestone birthday or averting a health crisis... But it's more simple than that and much more inspiring. ;-) For years now, I have been helping friends in and around Fairfield County with their interior and exterior designs all while working my corporate marketing day job.  Casually stopping by to weigh in on their current designs at home and popping new ideas into their heads.  I can't help but walk into a room and start transforming the space in my head by injecting accents of color and personality into otherwise neutral (and boring) rooms.  I've never been afraid of hot pink walls nor am I afraid of mixing barn wood with white lacquer accents all in one space.  Call me crazy but I think the mongolian lambswool chrome bench looks FAB at the end of the oversized king bed and reclaimed wood headboard...!  #mixitup (mental note: i have an obsession with hashtags)

But what about the home's exterior personality?  I've always been asked who does my window boxes planters and landscape design.   Yes for most who hire expensive landscapers or who are into the craft, it all comes easy.  But what about us busy moms and dads that don't want to spend a fortune on landscape designers but don't have a green thumb?

Well here is where it all came together....

As I went to purchase my latest vintage find (blog pic)... I asked one of the uber friendly workers about the story behind the piece.  Turns out this wonderful mirror was once a chicken brooder.  What is a chicken brooder you may wonder? At a point in time the rim of this mirror housed a warming light to keep baby chicks warm while they were slowly welcomed into this crazy world.  As a mom, this not only spoke to me but it also made me realize that every unique piece has a STORY or at the very least SHOULD have a story.  It struck me that I want to not just design jaw dropping pieces for my client's homes but design their STORY.  My goal?  Have their story be told starting on the outside of their home or boutique. 

So here we are... my first ever GLDesign blog post (logo still in the works).  I'll be posting my stories, designs and inspirational finds and I hope you can follow me on my journey as I PROMISE you this blog won't be like any other!  #cantstopwontstopdontstop

May 6, 2015 #where it all begins