Friday, January 22, 2016

Snow Day Inspirations

There's nothing like a cozy snow day to inspire the designing mind.  In my area of North Carolina, we wistfully yearn for the rare excuse to celebrate a pure, crystallized play day.  I'm not so wistfully watching the formation of icicles as I know the longer they become, the more opportunity we have for a loss of power and I'm furiously working away on some new project proposals.

Ah, but back to the inspiration . . . 

(Click for larger image.)

While taking a brief survey of outdoor activities, I captured the frosted gazing ball in my front "flower-less" bed.  Through the glazed over surface, a color palette caught my attention - probably because one of the new projects on board includes a client who happens to love deep plums and purple.  We're also considering coppery, metallic washes and a rich/warm aesthetic.  I also suggested we punctuate some built-in's near her fireplace with some color. 

While we're not doing an entry, like the image above, I'm still cataloging it for the hue as well as I love the good use of a space where folks can hang up some coats and pull off messy shoes or boots.  It sets the tone for the next interior round, too.  

If you're in the path of the storm, stay safe and warm, but if you can, get out and about for some winter inspiration.  We'll make sure you have a lovely place waiting for your return!

All my best ~ Wanda 

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Happy New Year - 2016! Daring to Begin

Isn't it funny how we receive messages we need at just the right time?  I was cleaning out some data files, as part of my goal to live lighter in 2016, and I found a saved image which summarized it all.  It also reminded me to forget perfectionism, which is the greatest stall point for me.

I know this will be one of a gazillion posts about starting fresh in the New Year.  What makes it so unique?  Simply said - Me.  And - You.

Each of us has our own set of core values, our own reasons for motivation, and our own method for accomplishing our goals, visions, dreams . . . whatever you want to call them.  We also have our own circumstances for some of these to come true and for others to be kicked to the curb.  Mix in a dose of destiny, add some faith, maybe a stirred-in bit of luck, and the results can take us down varied paths.

2015 has been an amazing year.  I'm so appreciative of it being so.  While it's important to take time to plan ahead, it's also important to take time to look back to see what made all of this happen.  That's a part of the process we sometimes forget.

For interior designers, "amazing" can mean so many different things.  The one thing which made this one of my best years?  I looked inward instead of outward because my measurements for success are for me and for me, alone.  I did have some wonderful projects and worked with more of my ideal clients.  I accomplished some personal goals and plan to continue to check off lists which allow me to maximize my time in many different ways - carving out more time to honor my thirst for learning and cultural endeavors, for more meaningful experiences and relationships, for optimal health, and for giving when and where I can fill a need.

I would be remiss if I didn't acknowledge the help I've received along the way.  Sometimes it came when I directly reached out and asked for it.  Other times it came from someone not knowing they shared a post or a comment which ignited a spark in my head and in my soul.  In some cases, referrals were made which fortified my business.  Vendors who had my back.  The list goes on.

This week I'll be writing notes to share my appreciation to these people.  An important item to honor on my 2016 list.  Share gratitude above all.

So . . .  while my list is being formulated and the quest to reorganize and prepare is underway for what is to come, come what may, this is the image which inspired me today . . .
All my best to you!  Happy New Year, Happy 2016! ~ Wanda

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Happy Thanksgiving!

Gratitude comes from different places and in different moments. It should be a daily ritual . . . practicing thankfulness. I'm still glad there is a day we set aside on the calendar to appreciate our gifts and one another.
Happy Thanksgiving from our home to yours!

All my best ~ Wanda

Saturday, October 17, 2015

Soaking It All In - High Point Market and Life Experiences

This is the week of High Point Market and I’ve already been soaking in so many beautiful sites and seminars!  There’s nothing like the beautiful combination of business and pleasure.  Truthfully, I’ve had so much on my business plate, it’s a welcome respite which I’ve decided to turn into an extended time away from the office to squeeze in a family visit and then a jaunt to the mountains to fill the rest of my cup with even more meaningful experiences.  Inspiration comes from separating oneself from the day-to-day tasks.  At least that applies for this designer! 

I’ll be keeping interested eyes up-to-date as I spot some of the latest trends. Be sure to tune into my Instagram feed, to see “What’s new, what’s next” in the world of interiors.  While you’re there, thanks for clicking on the ‘follow’ button, too!

Meanwhile, a parting shot of one of the interior spaces we’ve had in the works . . . .

All my best! ~ Wanda

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

What's on my Instagram?

It took me awhile to join in on the Instagram fun.  I’m a Samsung fan so I had to wait for this wonderful app to come my way.  (The camera on my Galaxy S6 is amazing and makes Instagraming way too fun!)  My Apple friends were ahead of the curve and I couldn’t wait to catch up.

I love being able to look back over the collage of photos . . .  there are days I am more philosophical, days where I’m entrenched in interiors and projects, or days where the garden beckons me to take a deep breath and shake off the dust.

Pretty soon, we'll begin to see the seasonal changes and I’m sure those will impact the texture I capture and the variety of related activities.  Fall will softly settle in.  I do promise to hold down the pumpkin influences!  It seems folks are already “pumpkin’d out from the early influx of flavor marketing.  No pumpkin lattes, here.

So, what’s on my Instagram?

Be sure to stop over for a visit to my corner of the world!  I’m @wshortondzn
All my best! – Wanda

Sunday, August 30, 2015

What is an "artistic advocate"?

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

Saturday, May 23, 2015

French Garden House–An Honored Feature!

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 d├ęcor 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