Welcome to March–North Carolina Style

Sunday, March 1, 2015

First, let me just get this out of the way . . . Rabbit, Rabbit, Rabbit.  (A custom, shared among several of my friends, to welcome in the 1st day of the month.)  It’s believe that uttering these words, upon waking, will bring in good luck for the duration of the following days.  I never snub my nose at the prospect of anything lucky or fortunate!

Upon glancing at the calendar, it seems as if Mother Nature isn’t quite certain how those of us in my area are to plan our attire for the coming week.  Low’s in the upper 20’s and the highs hoover somewhere around 70°F, with everything else in between. 

Welcome to March!  A month of transitions, between seasons, as it sets forth our “great expectations” of spring’s arrival. 

Welcome March - Wanda S. Horton

Today I’m celebrating with a glorious bouquet of tulips nested on my French parquet table in an ironstone pitcher.  (Thanks to August Lily for having these beauties in your shop.  The grass cloth background is from Thibaut Wallcovering – available through moi.) 

March is definitely a favorite month – and not just because daylight saving’s time extends my day or that spring is around the corner.  I’m celebrating another anniversary with the love of my life and my best friend, this month.  My father’s birthday will be forthcoming.  And . . . I get to celebrate the legacy of my ancestors on St Patrick’s Day, too.  (It doesn’t hurt to have green as a favorite color!)


Now back to planning this week’s wardrobe.  I think there will be layers involved!

Live well! ~ Wanda

Weathering the Winter–Mud Room Musts

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

As I watch a dusting of rare snow, from my office window, I’m also seeing my mom friends’ briefly worded posts of “Really?!” – and – “Again?” – “School is CLOSED!” – and “What a mess!”.  While not quite totally feeling their pain, as I have no little ones or teenagers running in and out of the house, I think I have a pretty good clue as to the mess and muck of which they’re trying to keep under control.

(Image via – source)

This is where I think a proper mudroom is more than a luxury, it’s a necessity in keeping the family unit’s gear and garb from piling up at the back door or hallway.  It contributes greatly towards keeping sanity, too!

Gil Schafer

(Image via Quintessence Blog, from Veranda Magazine and designed by Gil Schaffer)

The mud entry, above, is a stunning example of functional storage married with an outstanding aesthetic.  Everything has a place to be tucked without feeling as if one has stepped into the abyss of a catch-all space. 

Gil Schafer

(Image attributed to same sources, from previous photo.)

Imagine having storage for more than just hats, coats and gloves . . . backpacks, play gear, dog leashes and pet toys . . . An important part of planning any storage space is anticipating what you have on hand and also peering into the future. 

WATER & DIRT SHIELD ™ 1'6" x 2'3" Entry Mat

(To help absorb wet paws, both furry and human, get a super absorbent floor mat, like this one from Frontgate.  It’s available in several colors.)

Of course, depending on where you live and your stage of life, five to ten years down the road will make an impact on those decisions.  I’ve often had to consider storage for multiple generations.  When an aging parent visits, a place to tuck a walker or a cane can be more than welcome.  Oh, and if a slip on the ice causes more than an embarrassing bruise, no matter the age, vertical storage can come in handy for a set of crutches.  A reminder to salt or sand those walkways!

Ballard Boot Tray

(There are a variety of boot trays for designating mucky boots and shoes.  You can created your own or find some pretty options at places like Ballard Design.  They can save your floor from unwelcome tracking.)

Mudroom Altnerative

(A few years ago, while a client was in transition before we added in a custom cubby unit, we utilized some accents to create hidden storage.  The lidded basket, the storage ottomans and the small boxes on the custom wall console, all had a purpose in keeping order.)

A huge part of my mission, in designing spaces, is to help folks remember it’s not just about who lives in the house but it’s also about putting out the welcome mat for family and friends.  It’s about considering multiple needs for everyone, especially in auxiliary spaces.


A new-build project, in which I’ve been included, will have some generous rooms for accommodating many of the family’s needs.  This is just part of the area, to include laundry and pet facilities.  Stay-tuned for photos of our progress!  (Cabinetry by Distinctive Cabinets.)

Of course, mud rooms have more than one season, depending on where you live.  Mud and show aren’t required ingredients.  Sand is welcome, too.  I sure could stand to feel some between my frozen toes!

2015-02-24 10.10.20

Signing off from frosty North Carolina! – Wanda

Designs on a Dressing Table–Tray Service

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Perhaps I’m enamored with dressing tables due to my overdose of Downton Abbey episodes – if there is such a thing - or it could be because of the articles I’ve been writing for other blog sites, regarding living well and the beauty we can bring to our homes, even in small doses.

Dressing Table Tops

Either way, there’s something about having a delegated space to capture all things dainty, glamorous and feminine.  Mine isn’t so much a dressing table but a chest, topped with an Italian tray, along with some crystal jars and porcelain pieces.  It gives me a place to end the day with a little ritual of turning off the lamp and it greets me in the morning with all things sparkling.

I have an affinity for these Florentine style trays.  They come in a multitude of colors and patterns and not only are they perfect for catching a necklace or a collection of perfume bottles, they’re great for creating a wall display.  Each one has a link to the source, if you click on the photos.

Italian tray in muted oranges and gold colours

Italian Venetian Gilt Wood Tray, Perfect and Delightful

Vintage Italy Florentine Toleware Green Gold Gilt Tray 1950s

Set of 2 Italian trays

Set of 2 Italian trays

I remember being able to see these jewels piled high at several, local antique shows.  Now, they seem to be a little more difficult to find.  It’s funny how we want something even more when it’s not so available. 

Perhaps I’ll have to start putting in my orders on Etsy, where all of these are featured, sans the one I’ve got on my dressing chest.  I’m sure I’d find a spot for them!

All my best! ~ Wanda

From the Interior Design Desk . . .

Friday, February 6, 2015

In the midst of getting ready to upload this to my Facebook business page, it morphed into a blog post.  (And here I’ve been thinking my writing skills had taken a hiatus or been directed elsewhere!)

After sorting through copious notes from a tile showroom visit, and merging them with other selections for a new build project, this thought came to mind . . .

Why did my clients decide to hire an interior designer?  What value do I bring to them?  It wasn’t a question of doubt but rather a reflection why I believe they’ve made a wise decision.

Owners Bath

(This is just one of the story boards being put together, with many detailed sheets included with it.  It's one room.  Can you imagine handling an entire home, if this isn’t your day-to-day profession?  What a learning curve.)


(The pretty part.)


(The “must do” part.  Measure twice, cut once.)


What were my conclusions?

1.  My clients are successful business owners who have a very busy schedule and decided it was worth the investment to seek help.  (Thankfully, even though busy, they have made this project a priority for input and feedback.  That’s another blogpost as to why some projects get derailed . . . lack of investment of a different kind - time.)
2.  They are in the middle of a new home build. 
3.  There are many moving parts to each space. 
4.  There are many vendors with whom to make selections and to relay their selections back to the contractor, perhaps needing translations in terms with which they are not familiar or also in need of sketches and specs.
5.  They want their home to reflect who they are, while being pulled together in a cohesive and functional manner.
6.  They also enjoy capturing spare time for family, travel and fun.  A new home build can be a process of 8 months or more.  Truly custom can be more than a year, from the blue-print stages forward.  They are able to get away, knowing a team is in place.
7.  They appreciate having a designer who is organized and plans ahead for the next step, to keep the project in motion.  Staying on task can cut a lot of unnecessary expenses.
8.  They are SMART.  :)  (They were that before they hired me!) 

On three separate occasions, this week, several vendors wanted to express their appreciation for my professionalism and organization in handling projects.  In being prepared.  As one said to me – “Thank goodness you’re not a hot mess!” 

They could have given me a crown and a scepter and declared me “Queen for a Day” with that!

I think I might have to remember this the next time I’m in mud boots on a jobsite . . .

All Southern Belle's have to adjust their tiara on occasion... then proceed to smile & wave.

All my best! ~ Wanda

Interior Design Quotes

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

I love to share thoughtful quotes about home and interior design.  Today, I had one of my own to pass along.

Interior Design Quotes 1 Wanda S. Horton

What do you think?

All my best!  ~ Wanda

Finding Beauty Within and Without

Sunday, January 18, 2015

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?


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


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


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

New Year Possibilities–Letting 2015 Unfold

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

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

Thanks for sharing my posts!

Share |


Related Posts with Thumbnails