Sunday, January 18, 2015

Finding Beauty Within and Without

In this world of selfies, outer appearances and the focus on eternal youth, I’ve been one to focus in more of an inward way . . . Making sure I’m a better person.  More accomplished in a deeper and meaningful manner.  I have a tendency to approach my interiors with the same method.  I’m a problem solver and a function creator.  The icing on the cake comes a little later, even though it’s most definitely applied!

I’ve sometimes cringed when a potential client calls and says, “But I JUST want my space/room/home to look PRETTY!”  After years of education and experience, I know interior design is so much more than that.  I want my clients to experience more than what appears on the surface.  I hope their can home life will reflect their collected stories and will meet their everyday needs.  I know . . .  Sexy, right?

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Pardon me while I digress a bit but you’ll soon see my epiphany.

On Friday, I decided to take some time to get a much needed headshot update.  My previous one reflected a little more of where I had been and not where I felt I currently am or where I’m heading.  I also realized I wanted some professional assistance in putting my best foot forward – my hair, my makeup and capturing it all in the best light.  I mean, we all do tend to zhush things up a bit when we’re expecting visitors, right?  Nothing wrong with fluffing the pillows.

Something magical happened for me.  This person, who typically hides behind the camera to have their work captured,  felt very much ready for her own close-up.

Wanda S. Horton Photographed by Deborah Triplett 3

Wanda S. Horton - Photographed by Deborah Triplett 1

In the last day, while I’ve updated my profile pictures, I’ve received some of the loveliest compliments!  Of course, it wasn’t the goal.  I had hoped to quietly slip them into the appropriate slots.  The result, though, is my outer glow became an inner one.

AND – Some important reminders occurred to me:

2015-01-18 15.08.04

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And especially this:  (Thanks to Robin Siegerman for sharing this one!)

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I’ll still be the same designer who looks for solutions and function.  But I’ll understand that a call regarding “pretty” can actually be a reach for beneath the surface, too.  A home to reflect where the caller wants to be, in their stage of life.

Thank you to my dear friends who’ve made me blush, in the best of ways, with your kindest of comments.

A special thanks to Deborah Triplett for recognizing and capturing the internal me in such a beautiful way – and - to Kim Mclean for her artistry with her magic brushes and lashes!

All my best! ~ Wanda

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

New Year Possibilities–Letting 2015 Unfold

As we turn the calendar to 2015, it seems to to make us think of how to rewind and restart the things we may have left over from the previous year.  Or to begin a new practice or commitment. 

Happy New Year Filigree 2015 - Invitation - Paperless Post | Invitation Option

New resolutions of organization, health, money management, trips to take, people to see, improving skills, improving relationships . . . just fill-in-the-blank.

Friday is dedicated to the Law of Detachment, which guides us to let go of the painful need to control and force things to do our way - and instead open to the flow of infinite possibilities, letting ourselves see things anew and experience the unfolding synchronicities that guide us on a path of purpose, joy, and fulfillment. Chopra Center

I’m a combination of being a very goal-oriented person as well as someone who operates from intuition so while I’d be just dandy making my lists, I’m also very much at home at watching some things unfold as I believe they are meant to be. 

My true self leans towards this . . .

Lao Tzu.  My busy busy mind needs to remember this.

In this world of broadcasting so much online, I think this year’s goals and directives are going to be more personal and private.  I don’t buy into the notion that if you don’t tell everyone, it won’t be accomplished.  In fact, I think I do a better job at it because I’m not processing a lot of external feedback noise which may hinder what is meaningful or important to making things happen.  Knowledge is a good thing but I find it’s even better when I put it through a sifter for refinement.  It all depends on the hours left in the day as to how much I can sort through.

Sometimes we just need to sit back, and let things unfold by themselves. Observe and adsorb the lessons at hand. M.C

I think there is a good balance to be found in everything.  As a strategic person and a creative person, it’s something for which I strive to find.  I definitely want to experience more magic in the moments.  I’ve been working on business systems to free up more time to allow for that to happen in design projects. 

“In his pursuit of the dream, he was being constantly subjected to tests of his persistence and courage…” - The Alchemist, by Paulo Coelho

In 2015, I’m not going to make “resolutions”.  Instead, I’m embracing the positive in possibilities.  Each day that I experience one, no matter how big or small, they will be recorded, and only for me.  I won’t wait until the end of 2015 to read them, either.  I’ll read them when I need to be uplifted or reminded how awesome each day has been.  

Some of my best times, results, business ventures or relationships were the ones I didn’t see coming!

My life hasn't gone according to my plan, it's better this way

And that’s my non-resolution resolution.

Happy 2015!  May it be a year to remember! ~ Wanda

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Merry, Merry Holiday Wishes! Taking Time & Making Time

As we dim the lights in the office and are about to set forth to fully enjoy this holiday season, (for my family, it’s Christmas, for others it may be Hanukah, Kwanza, Boxing Day, Winter Solstice), it’s time to thank everyone one of you who have dropped by my blog to see if I’ve updated with articles or news.  I often feel I end up making references to the obvious . . . I’ve not been “dropping in” with the frequency of years past.

Figure reading from Pinterest

(What a thought-provoking image.  It reminds me I  still have this page as a placeholder, waiting to be filled.)

I’ve been working on other things.  Relationships, business, and me.  The order of these changes from day-to-day.  For me, they are all a process of creation.  And a work in progress because I don’t think we’re ever completely “done”, if we’re moving forward.

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One of my New Year’s resolutions is not to feel so guilty concerned about the frequency of posts or if they are “perfect” in nature.  I’m so thankful to say I had a surge in business, in the last half of 2014, and I hope to see it continue.  Ironically, one of my sweet friends has nominated me for:

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To be nominated for the Design Bloggers Hall of Fame is certainly an honor; however, in comparison to the other blogs, where they’ve updated to stunning platforms and regularly post . . . I’ll just say “thank you” to the gracious soul who has overlooked one more of year of not being so “spiffy” and with less than regular contributions. 

This philosophy may not ring so true for career bloggers but it definitely fits my philosophy.  I believe private journaling is a great learning tool and not everything needs to go online.  I think we’re at one of those crossroads, in my humble opinion, where we have some decisions to make about maintaining more real life balance.  In reading other blog posts, this past year, I know I’m not alone.  (Ah, the double-edged sword of such a statement!) 

25 Quotes That Will Inspire You To Be A Fearless Writer

As a side note, I DO write for a national furniture company, Hooker Furniture Company, and I hope it’s pushed my skills to a new level.  Sometimes I miss some spelling or punctuation and cringe a bit when those posts are published, but I do dig deeper for worthy content, while weaving in their furnishings to inspire different ways readers can incorporate pieces into their interiors.  A few weeks ago, I covered two amazing home tours.  You can read all about it by clicking <here>.  Some of the gorgeous, historical residences are drool-worthy! 

If you see I’m a bit absent, here, be sure to drop by for a visit at their Experience Your Home blog.  I usually pop up every month and our group of contributing writers love to share great design and home ideas!

Holiday Season

(A peek at one of the homes.)

So - as I sign off for 2014, I wish you all of the best!  If you’re online reading this, be sure to get out and about to share a smile, a good deed and a hug!

Wanda S. Horton Merry Christmas

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Treasures for Your Table this Thanksgiving

From time-to-time, I like to share special posts I’ve penned as a writer for Hooker Furniture Company’s “Experience Your Home” blog.  When I really share personal content and stage a lot of the images, I can tell it resonates with their readers.  I hope you’ll enjoy it, as well!

Bountiful in Blue

Sam Moore Adele Chair

Bring in a bit of Nature

In this post, you’ll get to see just some of an extensive collection of my English Transferware, as well as how I would pair it with the lovely Sam Moore upholstery line and the casegoods from Hooker Furniture Co.  You’ll even get to see a lovely example of how to transition from Thanksgiving to Christmas.

So, without further adieux – Just click on <here> to read!

All my best! ~ Wanda

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Moments of Thanks– Twelve Days of Thanksgiving

With there being a lot on everyone’s plates, (no pun intended), before the Thanksgiving Holiday, it’s important to carve out moments, in the course of the day or evening, to reflect on the blessings which come our way. 

I sometimes read where folks refer to the word ‘blessing’, defined as “a beneficial thing for which one is grateful; something that brings well-being”, as somewhat contrived or overly sentimental.  Perhaps some things are viewed as givens’'; however, I think giving thanks is ALL about recognizing that everything in life isn’t to be expected and should be considered a gift, whether or not it’s earned or given. 

Over the next Twelve Days of Thanksgiving, I’m going to share “Moments of Thanks”.  Gratitude is a key component in a well-designed life and home.

Albert Schweitzer Quote - Wanda S. Horton Interior Design

(My “Frozen Up” transferware pattern enjoys a bit of extra attention, during Thanksgiving and the winter months, ahead.  Today it definitely felt, “frozen up”!)

All my best! ~ Wanda

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Saving the “day” when the clock falls back.

As I sit at the desk on this glorious, sunny Sunday afternoon - and the first day of Daylight’s Savings Time – I sense that many folks are feeling a little less than enthused about the early arrival of what we fondly refer to as “dark-thirty” in our home.  Getting up in the dark and arriving home, by way of streetlights, may not be so appealing. 

Night  Spaces - Wanda S. Horton Interior Design

(A watercolor-style, photo rendering of a library I completed, a few years ago.  I’m proud that this design could still be applied in today’s world of design.  Classic is timeless.)

While I’m a sunshine kind of person, I do appreciate the placement of a happy porch light to welcome me inside.  Who also doesn’t love driving by a lovely street of homes, in the evening, if only to admire beautiful interiors popping from within?  (You know we all do it!)

As an interior designer, I often limit my later appointments, during Daylight Savings Time, because many of the sites I’m visiting are often challenged with having adequate lighting.  Not so great for viewing colors or making great selections.  Of course, as we near the end of our meetings, when twilight begins to settle in, it’s a great opening for that kind of discussion!

Wanda S. Horton Interior Design Dining Room

(The adjacent dining room, also in a watercolor-style, photo rendering.  The chandelier, sconces, rope lighting in the dome and the china cabinet made the room magical at night.)

If you’re feeling a bit blah or sad to be missing the extra daylight hours, take a critical look around your rooms.  Are they only illuminated by an overhead fixture?  Is there consistency in all of the corners having some sort of wash of lighting?  Are you digging for the extra flashlight?  It may be time to consider adding some lumens to your life!

And that’s my light bulb moment for your week!

Enjoy your week! ~ Wandaimage

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Meanwhile, Back at the Blog . . .

So enough of the “excuses” reasons for not blogging as religiously as I used to.  If you’re still checking in to see what’s new in the world of interior design, I thank you for keeping up with the latest happenings.  Turns out, each time I wanted to post something about those events or projects, time was weighted more towards the accomplishing of them, rather than posting about them.  I had the epiphany that I’ve tended to put them into the category of one big lump rather than snippets, which are so much easier to read, right?

Since September has passed and October is almost at the end, I’ve created a handy collage of images to give a few of those snippets.  Perhaps, as time permits, I’ll do a dial back as photos of finished portions are available. 

Without further adieu, here’s October at a glance, from left to right:

Wanda S. Horton Interior Design October 2014

  1. A Matthews, NC family room is under an update, along with a complete kitchen transformation!
  2. The Matthews project began with a thorough space plan.
  3. One of the great furniture pieces we sourced for a project.
  4. The backsplash tile is going to be one of my favorite features!
  5. It was an honor to be the chair for decorations for our local community shelter’s Boots & Bow Ties fund-raising event.  We raised over $55,000 to help support their efforts.
  6. One of the lovely pieces of artwork for Boots & Bow Ties by Blackboard’s Daughter.
  7. The update for Charlotte Swim Academy was completed just in time for a tour by the United States Swim School Association’s National Conference.
  8. I was honored to be asked to be a key speaker a the USSA’s National Conference, too!
  9. High Point Market popped up in the midst of all of this and all of the lower photos were captured, just in the last few days, at the largest home furnishing’s show for my industry.  There will be more to come about trends and updates.

And with more to come . . . My previous Charlotte, NC clients have moved to Cleveland, Ohio and are ready to begin making that house a home.  I’m looking forward to getting back to the design board with lots of inspired ideas!

Happy October! ~ Wanda

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