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BLENDED STYLES REVEALED

A few months back, I was invited into a family’s beautiful home.  I spent some time with the couple and listened to them.  I learned what they liked and disliked and gained an understanding of how they lived.

Their daughter curled up in a chair to watch a show and I knew that comfort was important to this crew.  Style was equally important.  They had beautiful pieces of furniture and accessories that they had collected over the years.  Understanding what the couple liked was gained after a tour of their home and listening.  I heard what pieces were selected by the Mrs. and which ones were selected by the Mr.  I was learning what was important to each of them.

I took some pictures, and as always, came back with a design board of my initial ideas.  I brought some curtains, one of the lamps, some artwork, and a few accessories.  I wanted them to be able to see the items and get a feel for the mix of textures.

There were items that would be worked into the rooms — that super comfy sofa in the family room, the custom wall finish  in the living room, the beautiful bar and secretary, and some other items that had special meaning to the family.

At our next visit, final selections were made and we had a game plan as to when things would be ordered and we would start putting things into place.

Midway through the project the fireplace in the family room came up in discussion.  As you can see, it was a standard fireplace, and the couple was looking to make a change.  I emailed the couple some ideas to see which ones interested them.  I then returned with some stacked stone options and the ideas began to flow!  They opted for the more rustic and varied stacked stone and their was a request for a rustic beam.

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The search began…I contacted several people to help find the perfect beam…and we found it.  It was a monster, so we had it cut to size and I soon thereafter, I was picking up the gem.

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It took a couple of weeks for the fireplace to be completed.  We raised the fireplace box, built a hearth for many to sit, and the contractors installed the stacked stone, beam, and limestone hearth.  The goal was to fill the space and have it be the focal point of the room.

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Decorating Day arrived and Andy and I worked like busy bees to make sure everything was in place.  We started in the Dining Room and Living Room.

I was sure to incorporate their beautiful pieces.  I added the upholstered finishes, along with the accessories and window treatments, to create a cohesive look to the space.  I made the flower arrangement for the dining room table that has hints of lavender that are pulled from the triptych art on the wall.  I carried the hint of lavender to the damask pillows on the sofa.

I used black to anchor the space.  The dining room chairs have black leather material on the seats and the black is repeated in the artwork, drapery panels, and throw pillows.  I included several layers of texture to the space to make it feel warm and welcoming.

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Then we moved into the Kitchen.  The request was for a new farmhouse table and we decided to add a bench and bistro chairs to complete the classic look.  The table was custom built and features a white, rustic finish with grey undertones below the surface.

I added the colorful rug to integrate the colors of the adjoining family room into the space. I pulled some, soft, buttery, drapery panels in to bring another layer of warmth to the room.

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We finished  the day in the Family Room.  With the fireplace as the anchor of the space, and the barn artwork being the focal point of color, I pulled much of the decor from those two items.  I knew we were in need of soft drapery panels to balance the fireplace.  The trellis design linen sheers were hung on an oil rubbed bronze finish drapery rod.  I integrated black into the space again in the lampshades on the oversized blue lamps.  Beaded pillows added another layer of texture, and the coral birds carried the hint of color from the kitchen into the room.  I used both rustic and gold finishes in the accessories to balance the personalities of both the Mr. and Mrs. of the house.  This is their family room and it should represent them.

We had an antique buffet converted into a media center and it is finished in chalk paint with an antique glaze finish.  The couple’s sofa, chaise, chair, and tables, all were included into the space.  We moved the layout to best enjoy TV watching and the fireplace.  I see many cups of hot cocoa being enjoyed in this room.

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When the Mrs. arrived, I saw her eyes fill with tears and so did mine.  The reveal truly is the best part of the job.  I selfishly relish that moment and enjoy seeing all of the efforts of the project come together.

My client asked me — “So how would you describe the style of our home?”  I replied and let her know that I wanted it to be a blend of she and her husband’s personality.  In each  corner of their house, I wanted their space to feel like them.  She loves elegance and glamour, he loves rustic and comfortable spaces.  My answer to her question… “It’s a blend of your styles.  It’s Kate Spade in the country.”

Make it a great day!

Kellie

 

DIRT CUP DESSERT

I have mentioned in the past, that my monkeys often request “dirt cups” as birthday treats when their special day arrives on the calendar.   We have whipped some up for family picnics and I have taken them to friends’ homes as a perfect after dinner dessert for the little ones.

With only just a few short weeks left of our summer, I thought I would post the recipe I use.  Perhaps you will be inspired to take a tray to your Labor Day picnic or family barbecue.  Below is a recipe for eighteen cups of yumminess!

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Ingredients

 

  • 2 pkgs of chocolate flavored instant pudding
  • 4 cups of ice cold skim or 1% milk
  • 2 container (8 oz) of whipped topping — make sure it is thawed!
  • 2 pkgs of Oreo cookies crumbled (I put the package into a large Ziploc bag and the kids enjoying breaking them with a mallet to make the perfect texture.)
  • 2 pkgs of chewy candy worms
  • 18-24 8 oz clear plastic cups

 

Directions

Pour your instant pudding mix and cold milk in a large bowl and whisk together the ingredients for 2-3 minutes.

 

 

Next, add the container of thawed whipped topping to the bowl.  Continue to whisk the ingredients together.  I like the texture of the pudding to get smooth like mousse and it takes about 3 minutes of whisking to achieve the consistency.  (Sometimes my helpers get distracted!)

 

 

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Mix in half of the crumbled Oreo cookies to the mousse mixture and save the other half in the bag.

 

 

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Place your plastic cups into cupcake trays. (This makes it easier to put them in the refrigerator and transport later.)

 

Sprinkle a thin layer of the Oreo crumbs on the bottom of each empty cup.

 

 

 

Next, add a layer of the chocolate pudding mousse to the cup.  I typically add a healthy serving of the mixture!)

 

 

Top off each cup with the Oreo crumbles and then place the entire tray into the refrigerator to cool for an hour.

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After the cups are cooled, add your chewy candy worms to the top for decoration!

 

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Enjoy!

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Tell me how they turned out — I hope you all enjoy!

Make it a great day!

 

Kellie

 

#Lifeisgood

I often say the phrase “Life is good”.  I say it to my monkeys, I say it to strangers, and I constantly say it to myself.  I use it as a hashtag on Instagram posts and smile every time I see it printed on a spare tire cover on the back of a Jeep.  “Life is good”.  I am so blessed and grateful for all that I have, but more importantly, all of those who are in my life.  They are three simple words that are such a reminder to me, that when things are tough, “Life is good.”  Because it is.

I grew up hearing the phrase, “Life is good”.  My dad often said the words just to keep things in context that we are all lucky in life.  Even in the most troubling of circumstances he would say the words, “Life is good”.  He said the phrase when I didn’t make the basketball team in sixth grade, when I won an art contest in high school, and just moments after delivering my first baby boy.  “Life is good.”  They were words that I heard him say but they did not necessarily register until December 10th, 2003.

Three weeks after our first son was born, I was sitting on the couch comfortably holding my new little bundle of baby joy.  I received a phone call that afternoon that changed my life forever.

I knew my dad was having an endoscopy and shortly afterwards he called. His exact words were, “I have a picture of something they found and I’m bringing it over. OK?”  An hour later, he arrived.  In a calm voice he said to me, “They found a tumor.  How do we fix it?”  I knew he was scared and so was I, but I also knew how he had raised me.  Our job was to work together a find a solution.  So I did my best to help him.

I reached out to some friends and colleagues in the oncology field and within twenty-four hours we were sitting across from one of the best oncologists in the area.

My dad was nervous, but he kept a composure through his visit that was impressive.  My dad was a Marine and perhaps that’s where he refined his ability to stay calm in challenging circumstances.  My father chimed in after introductions with the physician and confidently said, “Life is good, doc.  I have a new grandson and I want to see him grow up.  Life is good.  I’m ready to fight this.”

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He did fight it — like a Marine.  Countless chemo and radiation treatments led him to remission by summertime.  Throughout the many trips back and forth to the ER, the side effects of chemo and radiation, and the CT scans to confirm stabilization of growth of tumors, he kept saying, “Life is good.”  And when he was too sick to say the words, we did for him.

That summer we played golf together every chance we could get.  We had a high school graduation party for him because he entered the military draft and never formally graduated.  He inspired me to follow my passion and start my interior decorating business.  He and my mom graciously offered to help watch my son when I needed to paint a mural in someone’s room.  Life was good.

I knew remission was just that, remission.  I knew his stage 4 cancer would rear its ugly face again, but for the summer of 2004, we lived by the words, “Life is good“.  I found an embroidered sign that read the sweet phrase and I hung it above the back door that led to the garage.  I never wanted to forget that “Life is good” and I never wanted him to forget either.

My dad continued his fight until the Lord decided he would be a perfect person to have in heaven.  It was summer of 2005 when he was escorted by angels to inspire others and let them know that “Life is good.”  Eleven years later, myself, Andy, and my mom, still say the words, “Life is good.”  My dad had no idea he would forever inspire us to continue to share his passion for life.

Although he has been gone eleven years, he never stops fueling us with drive and positive inspiration.  My dad was an entrepreneur and he had successes and failures.  As Andy and I continue down our path there are moments that are challenging.  We channel my father’s “Life is good” attitude and persevere, because the Marine would have.  He may be gone on earth, but he lives within us everyday in all that we do.

 

 

Life IS good.  Life IS REALLY good.  I say the words often and remember my dad each time they roll off my lips.  I try to live by the words.  It isn’t always easy as we get busy with things, but I try.  I want my monkeys to know, “Life is good“, because it is.  For each of you, I hope your Life is good.  I pray that you enjoy the little things amongst all the other things.  I got to play Rock’Em Sock’Em and build a robotic arm with my boys the other night — Life is good.

Make it a Great Day.

Kellie

THE PYREX PIE PLATE

When Andy and I got married, we had a beautiful wedding shower where several of our friends and family came to celebrate our upcoming nuptials.  My matron-of-honor and myself opened countless gifts from our guests.  We, at one point, tallied close to 22 platters that I had received.  They were spectacular!  The majority of them were all white and they came in several shapes and sizes.  Rectangular, round, square, they were all lovely.  I still use the majority of these platters that I received as gifts sixteen years ago.

What I also received were Pyrex pie plates.  I believe I received a four pack of them and I graciously smiled when I opened them.  Honestly though, I was thinking to myself I truly had no idea what I would be using these plates for in the future.  I had never baked a pie in my life and I was not anticipating any interest to start baking once I was married.

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That certainly held up to be the truth.  I have never baked a pie in my life — ever.  My mother makes the most incredible strawberry pie. The strawberries glisten with a deep red and the flavor is infused with the sweet and fresh ingredients she uses.  My mother-in-law makes an apple pie that has a handmade crust and the perfectly laid crisscross design of the dough is a vision out of a magazine.  Bottomline — all pies are made by others in my family and I am completely fine with that.

So what shall I do with these pie plates?  There was even a fleeting moment where I thought giving them to Goodwill was the answer.  I had moved them from one house to the other and they never were used.  Until one day, I had a dinner at my house.  It was just a small gathering but I quickly wanted to make some green beans.  I washed the fresh green beans, placed a small amount of water in the bottom of the Pyrex dish, popped them in the microwave for 5 minutes, and had wonderfully cooked green beans when the microwave dinged!  I transferred the green beans into another Pyrex pie plate, crumbled gorgonzola cheese on top, and finished it off with bacon pieces.  Straight to the table went my Pyrex pie plate.

The rest is history, as they say.  I have used these pie plates as serving dishes so many times since the initial green bean presentation.  Now that the dinner table is often surrounded by my children, it makes passing what is being served, much easier.  The edges of the dishes prevent slippery potatoes from falling over the edge.  The watermelon slices stack easily in these pie plates too.  The uses are countless.

We have also discovered the Pyrex pie plate does a beautiful job in holding Lego kit pieces in place and prevents them spilling on the floor.  My daughter gets so excited when she gets a new Lego set, but often she runs out of steam when building the entire kit.  The Pyrex pie dish is a holding zone for all her pieces.  It offers a sense of task accomplishment as she gets to the final pieces of “Bag 1 or 2” that remain in her dish.  She gets excited to open a new bag and refill her bowl.

We use these dishes for sorting exercises too.  I have lined them up and my other little girl will dump out her beads and stickers and other treasures that may have gotten mixed up in her arts and crafts bin.  One by one, she will go an sort her colorful beads and place them in a Pyrex dish.

Finally, the Pyrex pie plate could possibly be the best snack container in the house.  From boiled peanuts, to popcorn on a Friday night, they get filled with all the goodies.  However, my boys claim they are the best nacho plates in the world.  They will grab them and fill them with some tortilla chips, sprinkle on some Mexican cheese, and transfer the dish straight to the microwave.  A fun and happy snack to fill their bellies in a pinch.

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So there you have it, just some of the fun ways we use the Pyrex pie dish in the Pepperberry house.  I don’t anticipate them ever getting used for baking a pie … ever.  We will leave that for Nana and Busia.

Let me know how you use your Pyrex pie plates — I’d love to hear other ideas!

Make it a great day!

Kellie

 

 

TWEEN DREAM ROOM(S)

I received an email a few months back seeing if I was available to meet with a young girl and her mom.  This sweet girl had just celebrated her birthday and she could not be any more excited to make some changes to her bedroom and playroom.  She wanted to officially ban pink from her spaces and cover up the bubblegum colored walls with lavender and turquoise.

We sat down and chatted and she shared with me that she liked “girly” things.  She liked pretty details and finishing touches that were glamorous.  Her mom and dad shared that there was a need for a bigger bed in her bedroom, and for her study/playroom, we needed to find good storage solutions.

Like every young lady, this gal has several treasures that she still loves and cherishes.  Some needed to be displayed and others could be safely tucked away in decorative boxes and crates throughout the room.  I was on a mission.  I brought back a design board with some of my inspirational pieces and ideas.

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I brought four paint swatches and had my young client make her favorite choice.  She went with Sherwin Williams Potentially Purple for her bedroom and Tame Teal was the wall color for the study/playroom.  I shared trimmings for draperies and gold polka dots were going to be the element that connected the two spaces.  She had pillows and bedding to touch and artwork to view.  She and mom went through the items and the final selections were made.

While they were away, I went in as a worker bee and was able to get things transformed for her.  We painted the walls, took delivery of furniture, built a desk and chair, styled bookshelves, made the bed, strung twinkle lights and flowers from the canopy, hung artwork on the walls, finished white drapes with lavender pompoms, added gold polka dots to the walls, and steamed every fabric in the space!

For her bedroom, a full size bed was in order.  We decked it out in layered bedding including a purple quilt and another in white and gold polka dots.  I found wooden crates with gold dots on them, to tie in with the rest of the room.  She is able to store headphones and keepsakes in these boxes that sit on various bookshelves in her room.

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We hung a lavender chandelier where her old fan was on the ceiling and I added lavender pompoms onto white drapes that I found at Homegoods.  The chandelier artwork was such a great compliment to the fixture overhead and had just enough bling to it!

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The finishing touch was the accent of the gold polka dots to the walls.  They are peel and stick vinyl decals that I adhered in a random pattern on the wall.  I wanted it to feel that they were falling from the sky.  We added a few lamps to brighten up her room and provide a soft glow when not using the overhead light.

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Next was the playroom.  We transformed this space by bringing in a little glamour that will last throughout the future as she continues to grow up.  She was in need of a study space that provided storage for all of her trinkets and specials.

I found this turquoise sofa and built the room off of it.  I highlighted the space above the loveseat by using these dramatic gold mirrors.  It tied in the gold from her bedroom and the bookcases that we brought into this space.

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More pompoms to finish off the curtains — and a white desk with a fuzzy chair and shelves for storage was next.  I found coordinating desk accessories and baskets to store notions in on both the desk and the bookshelves.

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It was a busy week, but such a joy to put this space together for such a special girl.  Let me know your favorite parts of the rooms…I’d love to hear!

 

Make it a great day!

 

Kellie

Georgia Pepperberry: Update

We launched Georgia Pepperberry three months ago and everyone has been so kind and supportive as we venture off into this new frontier!  We continue to have many wonderful opportunities and projects … we are grateful!

I have been getting the question, “How are things going?  What projects are you working on or have you finished?”  So, I thought it would be fun to share an update as to what we are currently working on, so you can get a little taste of what Georgia Pepperberry is up to these days.

To begin, we have been helping some good friends renovate their kitchen.  I posted some initial photographs and things to think about when renovating your kitchen. PLANNING FOR A KITCHEN MAKEOVER  We are about halfway done with the project and are moving along.  We hope to have the new space completed by the beginning of September.  We have demoed two rooms and have created a completely new and functional layout that will lead to many hours of productive and fun cooking.

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Andy has been busy on the real estate side of our business.  He is working with home buyers as they seek out their new place to call home.  Andy and I are collaborating as our clients venture through the real estate process.  Georgia Pepperberry has been able to give vision and thought to design, function, and style even before our clients buys a home. We also have been able to help customers and other realtors stage homes as they prepare to market and list homes. Home Staging  You can visit Andy’s site for current real estate information.  Andy’s Webpage

We have done some party planning including a couple bridal showers WINE TASTING BRIDAL SHOWER and I am helping someone create a style for their fall wedding.  It has been an absolute joy helping to craft a look for these events.

We have been asked to help decorate several spaces for families.  It has been a pure joy to be invited into others’ homes and be able to listen to what their desires are for their rooms.  Often things haven’t changed in several years and a new look is requested.  I enjoy listening to what their “likes” are for their new space and working with them to pull together a new and functional look and design.  We are in several phases of waiting for product to arrive and I am hoping to be able to post some pictures of these projects over the next few months.

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In addition, we have helped with a few “refresh” projects.  They have been so much fun!  I had a new client who has a beautiful dining and living room space that has been recently painted.  She selected her new furniture but was looking for some finishing pieces to tie the room together.  I helped her with new accessories for her space and worked within her budget to complete the look she was trying to achieve. A SOPHISTICATED SPACE

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Most importantly, we are truly enjoying this new venture because we get to spend more time with our family.  It has been great to see the kids get involved and show a true interest in what we do.  We often are asked by them how they can help.  Whether it be looking for the lavender pompom trim in the sea of notions at JoAnn fabrics or looking for lamps with black shades at Homegoods, the little monkeys are willing to step in and help. Sometimes it is just emptying or loading the truck, but they are aware of what we are trying to do and they often are ready to lend a hand.

Finally, we want to give back.  Stay tuned and I will share some information on how we are preparing to help a non-profit in the area.  I am so excited about this opportunity and I look forward to seeing it come to fruition.

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We continue to develop our business — because this is our dream.  We are working on our logo design and crafting future endeavors for Georgia Pepperberry, LLC.  We hope that we continue to have the courage to grow and build out our dreams.  Thanks for all the support!  Make sure to follow our story and like our Facebook page or follow us on  Instagram @georgiapepperberry.

Make it a great day,

Kellie

 

WINE TASTING BRIDAL SHOWER

About two months ago, I received an email from a woman who had seen our website on Facebook  .  When I took the call, I had no idea that I would be meeting such an incredible gal.  She reached out looking for someone to help coordinate a small and intimate wedding shower that she was going to be hosting for a family member.

We scheduled a time to meet and I met her in her home.  We discussed what she was looking for…”personalized*special*unique* fun*contemporary” were all the words that came up in our conversation.  I also learned that the family has a true love for wine…and from that moment, the theme was born.

About a week later, I came back with some ideas to present to this special lady.

I had found the style of invitation that was encompassing of the wine tasting theme and it had a modern style.  This invite set the tone for the event.

Modern Wine Bridal Shower Invitations
Modern Wine Bridal Shower Invitations by UniqueInvites
View Wine tasting bridal shower Invitations online at zazzle

 

I had spoken with a winemaker in town and they recommended some great summer wines to be paired with the meal that was planned.  It included a Michigan salad, chicken picatta, and some roasted redskin potatoes.

The wines were selected and custom wine labels were crafted noting the date of the upcoming wedding.  We went with a Pinot Grigio, Muller Thurgau, a crisp Cucumber Melon, and a Pinot Noir to finish.

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I shared with her that we could have custom chalkboard wine glasses that I painted and the girls could each write their names on them.

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White hydrangeas and mums were the flowers of choice and they would be displayed in gold toned vases placed on the tables and in the kitchen.  The day before the shower, I purchased 8 dozen blooms to make sure we had flowers everywhere.

Gold chargers would be the platform for white china and lace-trimmed,white, cotton napkins tied simply with black and white string.  I placed the table settings on a chalkboard fabric table runner where I had written the couples’ name and wedding date.

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We set up a wine tasting station in the kitchen where all the wine glasses were placed, along with the wine bottles for tasting.  What the guests didn’t know is that their amazing host purchased a bottle for each one of them to take home!

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I thought it would be nice to have a keepsake for the bride from the special day.  I found this glass display board.  Each guest wrote sweet words of advice on scalloped white tags for the bride and groom.

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I’m hoping my wonderful client was happy with how things came together for this lovely bride-to-be.  I had so much fun helping putting everything together for this special event.

Cheers to many years of happiness for the bride and groom.

Make it a great day!

Kellie