19 December 2011

All I Want: A Christmas Wish List

Listen to this song while reading this blog!

Okay, now, on to my semi-make believe Christmas list/gift guide...  I want to preface all this silly "stuff lust" by saying that the only thing I really want this Christmas is peace, love, faith and good health in the lives of my friends and family.  AND maybe some David Yurman jewelry.  Just kidding, of course!  Now on to the fun!!

1. & 2.  Books & Magazines  I don't care how many cool gadgets come out for digitally reading print, nothing can duplicate the feeling of sitting down with a book at my fingertips.  I love to smell the book, touch the pictures and hold it up to my nose so I can see all the little details.  My magazine collection is ever growing  and I cherish it like I did our Encyclopedias as a child.  A few books and magazines I'm currently eyeing are: 
    1. A Perfectly Kept House is the Sign of a Misspent Life by Mary Randolph Carter
    2. Flea Market Style by Emily Chalmers and  Debi Treloar
    3. Chairs by Judith Miller
    4. Canadian House and Home magazine
    5. real living magazine
3.  kate spade Cocktail Rings  There are zero kate spade items that I wouldn't sport, but I particularly love their jewelry and accessories.  The jewelry is fun and costume-y and very affordable.  These make great gifts for the fashionista on your list.  The two I've shown here are the Curled Ribbon and the Bow Ring.  

4.  Graphic Word Art  If you ask me, 2011 was the year of the graphic artist.  Word art is at it's best and so easy to find thanks to sites like Etsy.com.  The best thing about giving word art as a gift is that it's less taste specific than fine art.  If you find a phrase that's relevant or inspiring to the recipient, most likely, they will like it, even if only because it's quirky.  The "EVERYTHING HAPPENS FOR A REASON" poster is one of my favorites.  Find it here.

5.  Socks  I honestly think there is a sock curse in my family.  As my husband says, "You have tons of socks, just no matches."  Story of my life.  My middle drawer is a treasure trove of stag sock singles, waiting and hoping for their mate to show up one day.  And it's not just me.  My mom kept a basket of loner socks for years.  Now that's optimism.  But really, it's puzzling.  I mean, where do those other socks go?!  So, this Christmas, I have decided to put socks on my list.  Seriously.  I need socks and these little cuties from Madewell are a favorite.

6.  Original Art by Michelle Armas  If you do not know of Michelle Armas, please educate yourself here. I am obsessed and so inspired by her work.  It is fresh and happy and beautiful and I love it.  Her artwork has been on my list since last year, but I'm holding out and saving up for a large commission.

When Louis stops, play some Harry.

7.  Dolce & Gabbana's Miss Sicily Satchel  Che Bella!  It really is a thing of beauty.  Really.  I'm saving up for this one too (in black crochet as shown).  I'm only $1,594.54 away!  So close I can taste it.

8.  Vintage Carved Wood Chiviari Chairs  I first spotted one of these at the All Local Farmer's Market at 701 Whaley where they have a long Tuscan style table for diners and some of these chairs scattered about.  Unfortunately, I have had no luck finding them.  The one pictured is from 1stdibs.com and is WAY out of my price range.  If anyone has any ideas where I could buy a set of these, PLEASE let me know.

9.  Kees Salentijn Screenprint  My favorite local gallery has an exceptional collection of work from this Dutch born artist.  I see a Salentijn in my near future.  For sure.

10.  Logo Design by Emma Robertson  This graphic designer slash knitter is the best there is as far as I'm concerned.  I dream of her designing a logo, business cards, etc. for my business whim.  Check out her inspiring blog here.

What is on your Christmas list this year??  Please do share.  

And, just in case I don't return again for a while, Happy Holidays.  

14 December 2011

[Mostly] DIY Christmas Tree

[contented sigh]  Christmas time is here again and I love it.  We finally completed our tree last night, just in the nick of time, and it was so worth all the time and effort.  There is something truly nostalgic about the warm glow of those tiny lights, I could honestly lay on the sofa for hours and just stare, letting my eyes go blurry so the lights twinkled like stars.  I don't discriminate, I love all Christmas trees, but I've been wanting a monochromatic Christmas tree for years.  I am not a Christmas tree scrooge... for the most part.  I want my children to have fun decorating, use colored lights, wonky ornaments, Corn POP garland, etc.  So, in the spirit of savoring my last years of "designer" Christmas tree-dom, I carefully plotted and planned my tree and I am so pleased with the results.  I did this on a budget of course.  Here's how...

First was the skirt.  I had seen this magnificent ruffled linen tree skirt on Pinterest via Miss Mustard Seed's blog.  You can follow the link to get to her tutorial, but my mama made mine a bit different.  Miss Mustard Seed used a glue gun to fasten the ruffles, BUT we live in the hottest city in the US and that glue would surely melt come July.  SO, we used a ruffler foot for the sewing machine and ruffled the linen strips that way.  This took quite a long time and more fabric then I want to divulge.  (hours; roughly 11 yards)  I then cut some broadcloth fabric (you can use canvas too) into a circle.  I cut a circle out of the center and one slit.  My mom then sewed the ruffles around and around... and around.  Pictures below:

1.  Cut the linen into roughly 4 inch strips.  2.  Ruffle the strips using a purchased foot for your sewing machine.  3. - 5. In whatever way makes sense to you (!!) , cut a circle out of your canvas or broadcloth.  6.  Cut a small circle out of the center of that circle.  7.  Cut a slit so that you can get it around the base of your tree.  8.  Fasten the ruffles to your circle of fabric.

Because we did the skirt this way, it wasn't really on a budget, per se, BUT I still saved money by waiting until Jo-Ann's had a 50% off coupon in their mailer.  I then used that to purchase the fabric.  You could save even more money by either (a) lowering the setting on the ruffler foot to make a looser ruffle OR following Miss Mustard Seed's instructions.  

Next, the ornaments.  I gathered pine cones from my yard, which was 100% free, and I sprayed them metallic gold, rotating after each coat.  Then, I had some red ornaments that I've used for a few years.  I hung them on a string and sprayed them ivory. 

In addition to the Christmas tree accoutrements above, I also purchased some gold, beaded, pear-shape ornaments from TJ Maxx for $19.99.  When I found them, I was unsure what color family I was going to use for the tree, but these gold ones decided for me.  If you have some silver or red ornaments around, go with it and use the scheme you have on hand.  While at Jo-Ann's buying fabric, I found some ribbon on clearance.  The entire scheme is below (minus the purchased ornaments):

And finally, the fun part.  I got to decorate the tree!  Here is the finished product.

09 December 2011

This Week in Pins

The only down side of blogging about the fabulous happenings on Pinterest is that there is a risk of getting so distracted that you use up all your time just browsing Pinterest.  It's a wonderful place, but also somewhat of a black hole of time and efficiency.  However I have to say that I was very impressed this week and looking through the pins I found, I realized there is a bit of a diy/salvage theme...

I love this beautiful repurposed piece as a headboard.  I am all about salvaging items, especially when they are this beautiful.  I love how it adds architectural detail to a simple room.  It makes me think of a certain bit of ironwork fencing that I've been eyeing at one of my local antique haunts.  I'd love to paint it and use it as a headboard.  Which brings me to the next pin...

This is brilliant.  I would see this piece of fencing somewhere and think, "It's beautiful, but what will I do with it?"  Well. Let's be honest.  I wouldn't say that, but my roommate (husband) definitely would.  This gives me a perfect rebuttal and gets me thinking... I would love to use something like this hung from the ceiling over a bed  with fabric streaming from it to create a tent-ish canopy of sorts.  Romantic.

This I am so excited about.  I love this look and really wanted to do it in a recent client's bedroom, but it can get VERY pricey.  This is an awesome and inexpensive solution.  

I was so happy to see this bedroom from Schoolhouse Electric on Pinterest because I saw it earlier this week when searching for some overhead fixtures for one of my new projects and I was so inspired.  I didn't realize that Schoolhouse Electric had stuff other than, well, electric, but they do and it's WONDERFUL.  Check out their website if you've never been, there is so much wonderful inspiration and their light fixtures are nostalgic and beautiful.  Love this company.

People are just so handy, you know?  This is not really a novel idea, but I was glad to see it simplified.  It's a diy that can inspire so many other variations.  For instance, when I saw it, I immediately thought of some really cool "geometric print" metal vent covers I had seen at Lowe's last time I was there.  I wonder if they are magnetic...?...

This isn't a diy, although we could make it one.  (1. Counter atop two file cabinets=simple and cheap, 2.  Grab an interesting wood chair from a local antique or thrift shop and fasten an oversize sheepskin to it.)  Voila.  But really. I just liked this look.  I love the wallpaper accent wall and the chair and the branch art on the wall.  The color palette is really fantastic too.

I cannot wait to do this somewhere.  It seems super time consuming but so worth the effort.

This might be the pin that I am MOST excited about.  It's just wood from the hardware or home improvement store cut to look like wide plank barn floors.  It will then be sealed and possibly painted, but I LOVE this especially because my favorite client (my mom ;) just told me she wanted to go back to our original idea of having wood floors in the kitchen.  I am going to do some further research and see what this has to be sealed with and how it holds up.  More to come!

This is just smart.  Period.  Nothin' more to say about it.  Except that I like the color of the cabinets with the black and white tile.  

Another classic from the beloved domino Magazine.  I think this is the bedroom of either Dara Caponigro or Deborah Needleman.  In any case, curtain rods were fastened to the ceiling to create the effect of a canopy bed.  I'm sure this room is chock full of REALLY expensive items, but this is a smart money saving way to accentuate high ceilings and get that luxurious canopy look.

06 December 2011

What Inspires Now

I am in the process of "redecorating" my blog.  I am working with Fabulous K Creative to create a new blog layout and as part of that process, I had to explain what inspires me.  I find inspiration literally everywhere, so the difficult part was narrowing it down into something cohesive and somewhat concise.  In doing this, I was able to clean house a bit.  Sometimes, when I have too much inspiration in my head, I lose my vision and I think it's important to narrow it down and sweep away the extra every once in a while.  What I told her isn't the end all, but it's my highlight reel and looking at it helps me to keep my style and vision in tact.

  1. Kate Spade and katespade.com.  If I could wear Kate Spade from head to toe every day, I would.    It's classic, sophisticated, glamorous, and smart, but so fun and funky.  I think if I had to sum up my personal style aspirations- Kate Spade would be it.  Not only are the clothes beautiful, but the website is fabulously done and the store displays are always fantastic.
  2. Floral wallpaper.  I firmly believe that there is nothing that doesn't look good with floral wallpaper behind it.  It's the perfect backdrop for any room and a great solution for lots of otherwise expensive problems.  Got ugly bathroom tile?  Put up some floral wallpaper.  Hate your laundry room cabinets? Cover them in floral wallpaper.  Need some flora in your city apartment?  You got it.  Floral wallpaper.  
  3. Quadrille fabrics.  If you've never looked at Quadrille, do so NOW.  All of their textiles are so artfully done.  It is my go to place for small projects until I can afford to upholster a sofa or an entire room in it!
  4. Vintage milk glass and enamelware.  As much as I love all things luxe and glam, there is something so lovely about mid century tchotchkes and ephemera.  I love milk glass, especially when paired with fine china and silver.  Much to my roommate's (aka husband's) dismay, I have stockpiled quite a collection and don't plan on stopping any time soon.  
  5. Dorothy Draper anything.  A pioneer in design and decorating and one of my idols.  Her aesthetic is exuberant and luxurious and it still inspires today, more than 70 years later.  
  6. Tina Barney photography.  Tina Barney's photography captures scenes from aristocratic life in New York and New England.  There is something provocative and mysterious about Barney's work and I LOVE the enormous scale.  I am saving up to own one of these fabulous photographs.  I only have about $60,000 more to go!
  7. Old paint by numbers.  I don't know why I like these.  Probably for the same reason I like enamelware.  Either way, I am consistently attracted to these at thrift and antique stores.  I love when people hang them gallery style mixed in with some more hefty pieces.
  8. Hollywood Regency.  Hands down my favorite design era.  I think this is when designers started to understand the tension created when you mix eras.  I am constantly trying to strike a balance between my attraction to Hollywood Regency and my desire for comfort and practicality.  
What inspires you??  I always love to add to my inspiration bank!

02 December 2011

This Week in Pins

if you aren't on pinterest yet, then get on it! (and follow me @whim home)  it's like a warehouse of wonderful and inspiring things.  whatever you're into - there is something on pinterest for you.  i consistently find fantastic ideas to share and use myself.  here are my favorites from this week:

i love christmas time.  love it.  always have.  i could watch elf every night and never get tired of it.  love. it.  so i am so excited about all the neat holiday decorating ideas on pinterest.  this idea is crafty and funky and could be translated into another decoration.  maybe spring paper topiaries or a summer wreath.  too cute!

i've seen this kitchen before and i'm not sure where it came from (i think house beautiful, but please correct me if you know better), but for some reason salvaged wood is so cozy and inviting.  and, to me, wood beams warm me up in the winter and are a stunning contrast to that frigid, but beautiful, tile.  this is my kitchen inspiration for our mountain home.  (that doesn't exist)

i am always looking for smart storage ideas for clients and for myself!  i love this inexpensive way to store your favorite pumps.

this christmas ornament idea is brought to you by the one and only miss martha stewart.  i haven't looked at the instructions in detail but i think you use a balloon and some glitter?  not sure, but i'm going to check it out- these are just lovely.

during the holidays, i search for ways to not only decorate my home, but also make it more cozy for guests.  i love the idea of making my own hand scrubs.  i'm a stickler for ingredients and a firm believer in exfoliating.  this one is a keeper fo sho.  i'll play with different fragrances each season and my surplus of mason jars should keep things inexpensive.

this isn't really my style, but i am always inspired by original ideas.  it gets my mind working and i thought this one was worth sharing.  it's very green and i love anything salvaged, so kudos to the guy or gal who thought of this.

an old classic.  rashida jones living room makeover from domino magazine.  i saw this on pinterest and shed a tear for my old friend domino mag.  it's amazing how current the decorating remains.  this is still very fresh and beautiful.  love it.

this made me laugh and i had to share it.  i don't understand it, but i just can't get enough babies in wigs.  i am actively seeking a silly wig for miss lilly.  just 'cause.

if you have never been to miss mustard seeds blog then go! now!! i saved this for last because she is fabulous and you will leave my blog for hers and never ever come back.  she did this diy, no sew tree skirt for hgtv.com and it has inspired me to change my entire christmas tree scheme this year.  i will be making it (with a sewing machine and my mama's help) and i'll have the big reveal in a week or so.  i will also be blogging about my christmas tree makeover on a shoestring budget.  so, stay tuned and happy pinning!

30 November 2011

Design Idol: Windsor Smith

I have loved Windsor Smith since I saw her Los Angeles home featured in the August 2007 Domino Magazine.  The whimsy and femininity she adds to a space is right up my alley.  I was reminded of how much I like her when I recently saw her work in the October Veranda (Thanks, Carolyn!).  Smith's ability to make a room elegant and luxurious, but still inviting and comfortable is a gift I aspire to everyday.

Feast your eyes on Windsor Smith's work for the Veranda showhouse, aptly named, "The House of Windsor":

17 November 2011

Four Design Books to Buy. Now.

the little miss and i generally head to the library at least once a week.  she enjoys seeing the kids and i am always amazed by the selection of art and design books.  after checking out a lot of the interior design and decorating books available, i realized that there isn't anything in them that i can't find on the internet.  there are lots of decorating books chock full of pictures, but few offer valuable words and suggestions.  a good design book inspires original ideas and gives the reader the confidence to take risks.  here are four of my favorites that do that and more.

  1. i just checked this one out and it is fabulous!  it's full of beautiful pictures with explanations that inspire, not to mention PAGES of wonderful diy ideas. both the page and interior stylings are fantastic. i will be purchasing this one asap.
  2. the novogratz are my favorite designing duo.  maybe my favorite designers period.  they have no formal interior design education (like myself) but their anything goes style and uncanny confidence is so invigorating and inspiring.  i actually felt like a more confident decorator after reading this book.  it reminded me not to think too hard.  just do what feels right and don't be afraid.
  3. a classic.  i bought this one when it first came out and it's my go to for when i'm in a rut.  it's great for new and first time "decorators" because it takes you through the process one step at a time.  run, don't walk to pick this one up.
  4. lili diallo is a domino magazine alum and she's my favorite stylist out there.  her ability to genuinely and seamlessly style dissimilar or mismatched objects is unbelievable.  this was another book that reminded me if you decorate with confidence, then anything goes.   

05 November 2011

Simple Homemade Tomato Salsa

It's Saturday and that means football.  And, of course, a day of football means a day of football food.  This season, homemade salsa has become a Saturday staple.  It is an easy and healthy alternative to greasy snacks.

Simple Homemade Salsa

1-2 lbs tomatoes (I use Campari tomatoes when available, but have used plum tomatoes in the past)
1/2 onion (red or white)
1/8 to 1/4 cup parsley (or Cilantro.  I'm not a fan of cilantro and I never have it on hand, so I use parsley)
salt and pepper to taste
juice of one lemon wedge
dash of balsamic vinegar (or whatever vinegar you have on hand)

Roughly chop tomatoes and onions.  Dice parsley.  Combine all three.  Add salt and pepper and stir.  Add lemon juice and dash of vinegar.  Mix.  Add more salt and pepper to taste.

02 November 2011


i resisted the smart phone craze for many many moons.  i had the same LG from college and i [thought] i liked it that way.  i would tell people, "my phone makes and receives calls and that's why i have a phone, sooo... mission accomplished"  i thought of myself as a carrie bradshaw type.  resistant to change my old flip phone because it did everything i needed it to do.  and then i caught the iPhone bug.  it was as if my artsy friends had sneezed one too many times in my direction and suddenly i had to have an iPhone.  so i got one and i'm not going to lie...  it's been borderline life changing.  one of the amazing things i have so enjoyed on my new phone is a little app called Instagram (follow me!  whitneymcgregor).  it's kind of like twitter in pictures with the ability to alter the photos taken.  i put together my personal highlight reel as my salute to this fabulous application.  what can i say.  it's instagramtastic.

12 October 2011


Lately, in my research and wanderings, I have been taking note of things I (currently) adore.  As usual, I've found inspiration EVERYWHERE, but this is the highlight reel...

Beautifully Designed Appliances
I've made a lot of trips to local home improvement stores in recent months.  I am now able to navigate these mega structures like a pro, but walking through the appliance department always leaves me wanting more.  Enter two companies making fabulous kitchen appliances: AGA and Smeg.  Here are the two pieces I am lusting after now:

AGA Legacy Stove in Vintage White

SMEG Refrigerator in Red

Valentino Aphrodite Bow Bag 
It needs no explanation.

Tassels.  Plain and fancy. 
I'm into tassels right now.  I picked up a black one at Mary Jo's Cloth Store in Charlotte last week and put it on my white IKEA Vinstra dresser.  Tassels kick things up a notch. 

Ted Baker 'Charry' Bow Acrylic Bangles 
I spotted these at Nordstrom last week and thought they were adorbs.  They have that sweet yet edgy thing going and I think I need one. 
Waverly/PKL Toile Orientale in Azalea 
I have had my eyes on this fabric for a while.  I admire the contrast of the classic print on an almost slubby linen fabric in a hot modern pink.

Dolce Vita Nariko Smoking Leopard Print Haircalf Loafers 
They remind me of my grandpa and I love them.  With a pair of cropped skinny jeans and an oversized top.  They will be mine.  Oh yes, they will be mine.

Anthropologie Ikat Mini Bowl
We picked up five of these last week for my Maman's kitchen redo.  The chartreuse will be beautiful with the gray cabinets. 

02 October 2011

B&A: Stenciled Mirror

It never fails to amaze and excite me when people put treasures on the curb to be taken as trash.  I am not too proud to "dumpster dive" or rummage through other people's trash.  It's a blessing and a curse, but I see potential in [almost] anything.  On my way home from the grocery on Thursday, I spotted this little ditty at the curb.  I whipped my car around and loaded 'er up.  With only a small amount of spray paint and a bit of elbow grease, I turned trash into treasure.



I used a pressed board stencil that I found at an estate sale.  I simple cleaned the mirror with nail polish remover, laid it on a sheet, put the press board over it and sprayed away.