What is an "artistic advocate"?

Sunday, August 30, 2015

In the middle of pulling together some copious project notes, I sat back and this thought came blazing to mind:

A project for a dear, long-term client is underway. It’s a bittersweet one as she is relocating to be closer to family and it’s also a rite of passage as this move means she’ll be leaving behind the last home she shared with her now deceased husband. My heartstrings are tugging as she has also become a lovely friend and I’ll miss being close, geographically.

Today, I called her to go over several questions, and I could sense the concern in her voice as to how all of this will come together . . . the move, a new place needing some tweaking and personalization, leaving behind a home where we’ve spent the last few years making it a softer landing after her husband’s passing and hoping she’s made the right decision in making a change which requires this kind of attention.

I hope I gave her reassuring advice and when I said, “All will be well”, she really felt it. Not empty words of promise but the understanding I would know how to communicate with the contractor, the electrician, the plumber, the painter, the tile folks, the stone yard and all of the various other players who are part of a new team of which I’ve become an honorary member. Yes, this is my profession and I should be taking care of handling the services for which I’ve been hired to implement. But - this goes deeper for me and it’s important for me to take a moment to recognize and acknowledge it.

I am an artist. I am an advocate. When both roles merge, it reaches a depth beyond “interior designer”.

 All my best – Wanda

French Garden House–An Honored Feature!

Saturday, May 23, 2015

For several years, I’ve enjoyed reading the blog on French Garden House, penned by shop proprietor, Lidy Baars.  As the title indicates, Lidy loves pieces with European flair and her site is chock-full of everything from furnishings to décor to jewelry and one-of-a-kind treasures.  I’ve admired reading about her in various publications and to my delight, I’ve gotten to know her over the past year, in real time, not just online!

When Lidy asked me if she could conduct an interview to share on her blog, I was beyond honored and thrilled!  Her questions were so thoughtful and made me think about the things I enjoy and are important to me in my everyday world.  I think that’s what makes for a lovely exchange . . .  engaging with others and being interested in their day-to-day happenings. 

Here is the opening page of the feature.  Please do click on the image, below, to read it in full.

Wanda S. Horton - French Garden House Feature

You can see why I’m so attracted to the pieces in Lidy’s shop.  She curates the best combinations!


Meanwhile, we’re working on some ongoing projects in the Horton Home.  This post has inspired me to give a little TLC back to freshen up some spaces and the garden.  Lately, I’ve been ALL about the garden!

From clippings to plantings to visiting our local shops . . .

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I knew this potted begonia would have a spot in my antique coal fireplace grate.  I love looking at options for repurposing pieces.

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In fact, if my Instagram page is any indication . . .


Perhaps it’s also because we’re getting ready to heat up a bit, over the next week, so I’m enjoying some cooler mornings before the “wilting season” hits.

I hope you’re enjoying the holiday weekend as much as I am!  Thanks for taking a little break to stop by.  Now go out and have fun!

All my best ~ Wanda

Remembering–Memorial Day

Friday, May 22, 2015

As we begin to embark on this holiday weekend, let us not forget . . .

Memorial Day

Have a beautiful weekend!

All my best! ~ Wanda

A Stylish Arrival–Doors, Gates & Doorbells

Friday, April 24, 2015

In a few short days, I’ll be heading to Charleston, South Carolina for a lovely mix of business and fun.  Meanwhile, my head is still swimming with images of all of the fabulous home furnishings from the High Point Market, and after touring the Hooker Furniture Showroom to see some of their new collections, I can definitely tell there will be an overlapping of posts about my experiences in Charleston and a new collection HFC has launched, based on inspired designs from doors and gates.  One of my favorite things about this southern city is their huge variety of entryways to homes and gardens.  It’s my cup of tea . . . steeped in history and stories.

Definitely stay-tuned in May for several articles.  (I’m one of their contributing writers and I’m way overdue in putting together a submission.)

Here’s a sneak peek of a Hooker Furniture Collection gorgeous credenza.  This collection is most definitely architecturally inspired.  It’s as if they scooped up some antique doors and resized them to fit the opening.  The next image showcases their attention to detail in the custom-designed hardware. 

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Back to my Charleston visit . . .

I’ve always loved this area of the country, and while I had previously taken many photos, a computer crash seems to have put them missing in action.  Thankfully, I’ve learned how to embrace the “cloud” and the next batch will be downloaded, uploaded and safe-guarded in a much better way! 

This image, of a segment of ironwork at the College of Charleston, is a stunning example of what I expect to capture with my lens.  

Wrought iron gate work at the College of Charleston campus, Charleston, SC

Ironically, while putting together this post, an email landed in my inbox with doorbell buttons, worthy of gracing the entries to any historic property. 

Signature Hardware is one of my favorite “go-to” sources to suggest for specialty hardware items.  I think you’ll agree when you see what they have to offer.

I love this old-fashioned twist ringer style.  Sobecki Twist Doorbell


The Griffen in Brushed Nickel


The Chancellor in Chrome


The Harvey – And, yes, do push “press” to see all of the selection options -


I’ll be “chiming in” from time-to-time on Instagram and Facebook with more news and info.  Please be sure to follow me at both spots as I roll out the welcome mat to Charleston!

All my best! – Wanda

Performing Miracles–Schedules and Fabrics

Saturday, April 11, 2015

It’s off to the races and off to High Point Furniture Market, in a few short days.  Which also means I’ll be offline for a bit – well, except for posting some great market photos on Instagram.  It’s going to take a miracle to get everything done but I’ve got faith it will all fall into place.

There are several lovely projects in the pipeline and it would take so much time to share it all so I’ll leave you with some parting shots . . .

I’m tweaking options on our project in Shaker Heights, Ohio.  Oh why do some of my favorite options have the words “backorder” or “discontinued” bringing me sighs?  Yes, that perfect, Greek key trim is a goner!  The good news is, most of the rest of this is safe.  More swatches on the way!

Cleveland OH project Wanda S. Horton Interior Design

Finalizing so many details on our Union Co, NC project.  It’s time to finish up the new construction portion and move along to the interiors.  I’m working away on combinations for the upholstery. 

Speaking of miracles . . .Almost all of these selections fall under the category of “performance” fabrics.  Not only are they super strong, they are very easily maintained, mostly with just soap and water clean-up.  No worries about spills or accidents.  And they have a lovely hand, (designer-eze for touch/feel factor), too.  Living in the south, that’s important because it gets pretty humid and there’s nothing worse than sitting on a scratchy sofa or chair, in the midst of a hot and sticky day. 


Now I’m off to finish up a few more things and to book that much-need mani-pedi appointment!

How true this is . . .

All my best! ~ Wanda

New Beginnings . . .

Sunday, April 5, 2015

As I listened to a message about faith, this Easter Sunday morning, Cardinal Timothy Dolan eloquently shared these thoughts – paraphrased:  “Anyone who claims to use religion as a cause of hatred, division and bloodshed, is creating a perversion of faith.  Instead, it should be about bringing people together, affirming life, friendship and reconciliation.”  Such a powerful message for all, no matter ones faith or belief, in regards to the turbulent times in which we’ve been living.

Perhaps it sounds simple, but considering many of life’s complications are “man-made”, forgiveness is a powerful thing.  It allows us to either reconcile or to let go and to move forward.  To have it bestowed, with unconditional love, is even more beautiful.

Wanda S. Horton Hosta in Garden

(Hostas – A member of the lily family, symbolize devotion.)

Each spring, I look forward to new growth and beginnings.  Not for perfection, but for a positive push.  Much like the fronds, buds, and green tips making their way towards the light of the sun.

All my best ~ Wanda

Copper Sinks and Tubs– A Healthy Choice!

Friday, April 3, 2015

The warm glow of copper has been enticing designers to consider incorporating more of this metal into our interiors projects, as manufacturers are providing us with more choices, across the board.  We’re seeing it in furniture finishes, lighting, hardware and especially in plumbing.33" Vine Design Copper Farmhouse Sink - Copper Kitchen Sinks - Kitchen Sinks - Kitchen

(33” Vine Design Copper Farmhouse Sink – Signature Hardware)

Not only is copper quite fashionable, did you know it has natural antimicrobial agents inherit to its makeup?  That’s right.  Since copper has properties which can cause the bacteria’s surrounding membrane to rupture.  It also “punches” holes in this membrane, causing a loss of the nutrients and water, which weakens the cell.  It also allows for the release of the copper ions into the cell, which in turn, overwhelms the cell and disrupts its metabolic process.  Long story short, without all of the details, the bacterium can no longer “breathe, eat, digest or create energy.” 

(Thompson Traders Tub and Sink – found right in my home state of North Carolina!)

To be sure to clarify, in order for copper to be officially labeled, antimicrobial copper, it has to meet specific standards.  The alloys have to demonstrate a certain effectiveness under rigorous, EPA-approved test protocols.  (Think hospital grade sinks or vessels.)  Of course, this isn’t to say one would never clean a sink or tub, just because it’s copper.  It just means you get some extra help in the war on bacteria.

Gold Karma Antique Gold Bath Sink

(Just in case you’re more partial to gold tones, Thompson Traders Gold Karma Bath Sink is hammered copper, highlighted with an antique gold finish.  My heart just skipped a beat!)


(The Archeo Bathtub, from Kallista, will set you back a “pretty penny”, starting at $45,000.00.  It’s solid copper and would be a focal point in a most luxurious bathing suite.)

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(I used a hammered copper sink in this butlery, a few years ago.  It’s tucked over to the left.  I just recently visited this client and it’s aged to perfection with a beautiful patina!  Image – Wanda S. Horton Interior Design – Photographer – Whitney Gray)

From this very detailed and interesting article:  “*Laboratory testing shows that, when cleaned regularly, antimicrobial copper surfaces kill greater than 99.9% of the following bacteria within 2 hours of exposure: MRSA, VRE, Staphylococcus aureus, Enterobacter aerogenes, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, and E. coli O157:H7.”  My understanding is there will be more manufacturers looking to transition from healthcare/hospitality options to retail.

Stay-tuned for more design updates on copper, as I look through the showrooms at the upcoming High Point Furniture Market.  I’ll be sure to share some posts and pins!

All my best! ~ Wanda

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