Dec 13, 2014

Dorothy Draper says "Decorating is Fun"

"I'll always put in one controversial item, it makes people talk."

Dorothy Draper and I would have been besties, I'm quite sure of this. Long before I knew of this infamous designer, I was attracted to furnishings from many eras, colors blended together in an array most don't consider, and I definitely don't fit the norm of the so called "Outer Banks Beach Style". So as I began to research furniture and collect swatches, one name kept popping up every time my eyes locked on a bold and unique piece... Dorothy Draper. Who is this lady? 

She was a rebel in every scene of the word... at least according to the design world. She's commonly known as the first established Interior Design firm in the US, which was even more surprising because of her wealthy background, doctor hubby, and the era which woman were gaining ground in the workforce and certainly politics. 

"It is just as disastrous to have the wrong accessories in your room as it is to wear sport shoes with an evening dress."

"I believe in doing the thing you feel is right. If it looks right, it is right."

Ummmm, hello 1st edition Dorothy Draper Decorating book... I must have you!
Sometimes you have to treat yourself and I found it totally justifiable to spend $52 on a used book from the 1939 1st edition of "Decorating is Fun!" By Dorothy Draper. I couldn't be happier with my ebay find! 
Kindel Furniture at High Point Furniture Market
On my first visit to the High Point Furniture Market... aka: Designer Heaven, I stumbled across a chest in a lacquered white finish with gold bamboo outline and over sized flower knobs. I knew nothing about Kindel Furniture at that point, but something screamed Dorthy to me. Turns out, they are the only manufacturer that has the rights to replicate her existing designs. Including her famed España Bunching Chest. The chest shown is the Pinwheel Chest and as you can see, showed up again at the next fall market. I talked with the showroom rep and posed with the chest like it was a celebrity. What? I love furniture... don't judge. I learned all about the quality in construction behind Kindel and their continued American Made Heritage. I was shocked when I went back again a whole year later, and the guy remembered me.
The Greenbrier Resort is reknowned for Dorothy Drapers famous design touch. She was commissioned do decorated the hotel in the 40's and stayed on until the 60's. Her lavish designs with bold colors, elegant fabrics, and cabbage head roses became the essence of the resort. Now... if I can only go see it some day for myself. 

Nov 15, 2014

It's a Boy! Nursery Space Planning, Selections, and more!

Asia Evans Artistry Baby Gender Reveal
Our Fall Themed Gender Reveal

Our bouncing baby is a boy... so bring on the camo and rustic wood Nursery. I can't tell you how excited I am do finally know what we're having so I can start my very first Nursery Design. As I mentioned in my previous post, I had secret Pinterest Boards for both Genders and I was ready with ideas for either scenario. I truly believe I was meant to have a boy, because it was the only sure design. I never had any question as to the design motif for my little boy- what with his father... an avid hunter and outdoors man, and myself a lover of nature and the woods. 

And So It Starts:

Nursery Space Planning
Initially I recommend measuring out your space and deciding what pieces you want in the Nursery. Draw it out to scale on graph paper or a digital room planner if you have a preference. I love me some graph paper and magnetic design pieces. Sorry- I'm old school! I indicate doors, windows and closets. For our little one's nursery I plan to have a crib, a twin bed, an upholstered rocking chair, and my late grandmothers small curved front mini dresser as a changing table. The room is very small- only 13'-4" x 9'-5".... I sell rugs bigger than this room! But it'll have to do. I elected to keep a twin bed in there, as this room is already an escape for me when the hubby snores and I just can't sleep. It's not ideal for the space, but I thought it may also help us to get feeding schedules right during the first months. Huh... right... says every mom reading this. I know.. but at least I won't have to travel far to fetch crying baby.  A bad night will be crying baby and snoring hubby! 

My Nursery Design

Accent Wall: 
In the Nursery I want an accent wall behind the crib in rustic wood. While I would prefer real reclaimed wood on the wall, I've decided against it because of mine and my husbands busy work schedule. Also, part of me is not comfortable with the idea of putting wood with unknown chemicals, paints, bugs, and/or mold on it. I'm not entirely a freak out mom, but this is my first child, so I am borderline phobic over introducing things into my son's environment. I started by ordering samples for wallpaper like this one from Brewster Home Fashions. I've never installed wallpaper before, so this will be interesting. Wish me luck! 
Brewster White Faux Weathered Wood Wallpaper PUR13282
Brewster White Faux Weathered Wood Wallpaper PUR13282
It took me all of 8 days to start the painting process. But that's only because I decided to wait till the 1st of the month to see what the sales flyers had. Based on my other jobs, you know I am going with my tried and true Valspar. I just love it! Then my local Ace hardware sent me an email coupon for 25% off my purchase and they had the Valspar Aspire, a low odor- zero VOC Paint! Score!!!

I let my hubby choose the contrast paint for the closet. You can laugh now! No surprise to anyone I'm sure- that I reliquished control over 1 Selection to my poor hubby and its the closet color. But thats because I know my hubby.... and he lives for Camouflage as his favorite color! So here you go- Valspar (Mountain Moss VR074A) It's mighty Green, but I wanted a contrast.
My Lab Pistol Annie is such a help. 
Next will be carpet because I just can't stand to look at the 1980's simi-shag golden carpet complete with mystery stains. Selecting carpet was easy! I had help with that decision... rather I wanted it or not. Thanks Darla! TIP: Notice my low tech way to easily block out what I don't like, in order to settle on what I do like. Also, place it on the floor. Not up against a wall! Always view your samples in the position and in the room they are going to be placed in. I like to view it at different hours of natural light. ie: night & day.
Darla helping me choose carpet. 

More to come I promise!

Oct 3, 2014

Think again Asia... Kitchen project on hold.

Just when you get things planned out for your fabulous Kitchen Makeover, life throws you a curve ball. This one is a welcomed detour with an opportunity for a different kind of room makeover in mind... so don't worry.
Photo by: Whitney Norko Photography All Rights Reserved
It's Nursery Time!

It really is welcomed... we just thought it would take a year at least before we had the chance think about a nursery and the titles of mom & dad. I was almost convinced we would have trouble becoming parents due to low progesterone levels on a resent lab test, pushing 30, and just hearing how long it took others to conceive. The Kitchen Project was supposed to keep me occupied and unstressed. I know- most of you might find the idea of a Kitchen Makeover stressful, but I love a project! Well know I get to finally do a nursery!!!

Anyone who knows me, knows I had the room planned before conception and I've been steady selling things online and clearing out clutter to make room... and a little extra cash for the Nursery. The Nursery ideas vary a little on a few different "Pinterest Secret Concepts". I will make these boards live once the nursery is complete. Some are obvious theme choices- My love of Audrey Hepburn and already painted bow mural in that room... of course Breakfast at Tiffany's is a theme option. This has been the first idea out of many of my friends when they ask me what kind of Nursery for a girl. Well you'll just have to wait and see, because I haven't even decided on it myself. I keep thinking... That's me... but is it my daughter? What kind of person would she be? 

On the other hand anyone who knows my hubby, knows Camouflage is his favorite color, and hunting is a religion. A baby boy from the two of us is bound to love the outdoors. Even I was an avid tree climbing, mud pie making, swimming, fishing fool... before the later days of high heels & pearls. I remember seeing a video of me trying to climb into a kiddy pool in my Sunday dress and bonnet... so our boy will most likely be a mess... all of the time. So I've assembled some choices for a rustic hunting outdoorsy themed nursery. It all started with the deer rocker that I just have to find! My thought of using rustic items will help a budget, and the boys nursery definitely comes out cheaper on paper than the girl nursery. 

Whether we have a boy or girl I'm simply ecstatic and can't wait to meet them. So we have just a few more weeks until we know what we're having... that's just more time to pin & plan. 
Can't wait to find out & start decorating!

Jul 2, 2014

Update 1: My Kitchen Project & Paint Selection Tips

Ok, so I couldn't sleep again last night. Perhaps its this approaching 4th of July Hurricane, or my lack of sun and beach time. Most likely its this looming project in my head that I'm ready to start now!!! Then what do I see in my inbox this morning? Why its an ACE sale flyer with instant $5 off gallons of paint! Woohoo! I'll take that as a sign! Why thank you Ace!!! I'll be seeing you on Pay day!
Ace, Valspar, Color Wheel, Golden Ration, Color Selection tips, Interior Design, Paint Tips
Oh! I've changed my color selections. I had Nicole come over, one of my good friends and fellow Interior Design Buddy, and there were paint chips flying all over the place. We inspected each white to the point that would make my husband turn his head and laugh out loud... had he heard. Luckily he wasn't around and he has yet to ask what I'm planning, despite the swatches lying around. So as we stared at the swatches, we kept in everyday girl talk while only breaking conversation to determined whether it was too cool toned, had too much yellow or blue, was too dark, or just plain old blah. It only took us about 15 minutes of walking from wall to wall, holding up swatches, stepping back, lights on, lights off.... to narrow down my stack of swatches and arrive at these selections. 
My Revised Paint Selections
So my point is.... It's ok to ask for help, just don't ask too many people. I see it all the time, especially with furniture shopping. The shopper with her hoard of friends and their different opinions. You won't arrive at a proper decision with that many hands in the pot. So if you are not able to arrive at a decision on your own, seek help from a designer, an artist, or that fashionable friend who's good with colors or share your similar taste... oh and I guess your partner too... but not all of them and half of your friends on Facebook. You can tell them I said so. 

Select Paint Like an Artist:
I may not have the greatest grammar skills, but I count myself lucky as I think in color. Like there's a color wheel built into my head. I can remember color which helps make selecting items for an interior come easy. But if it doesn't come easy, use some of these tips to get you there. 
  1. There are Million's of wall colors so please select furnishings, flooring, cabinets, or any other items in question prior to choosing paint. I say this from years of folks who had just painted there space and locked themselves in. That sofa that they want doesn't come in a color that works, etc. Also selections in furnishings, flooring, or cabinets can effect price; while the shade of blue you pick cost the same. I here different suggestions on this matter and this is where I stand. 
  2. I like to find an inspirational photo. Sometimes this is of something I'm already thinking about. Other times a photo can completely inspire me. Houzz is helpful because professionals often list the paint info. Just remember... NEVER 100% pick a paint by looking online. You have to see it in your space.
  3. Decide if paint brand matters in your situation. Some builders or painters insist on certain brands. I chose Valspar because of how pleased I was with its coverage and pigment in my living room vs. other "house brand paints" I had used in the past. 
  4. Go select some swatches. I went to Ace and pulled some swatches. The lighting at the store was florescent & LED's so my swatches looked completely different at home. That's to be expected, and why I grab quite a few.... just don't go crazy. By already knowing which direction I was going with my color (Grayish walls/ Whiteish cabinets), I could narrow down how many I took. 
  5. Use this artistic knowledge: Colors come in Warm & Cool hues. So for example I have selected a Warm hue... even though it's gray. Remember Warm colors make a space feel smaller or more intimate, Cooler colors make a space feel more open or expansive. Lighting can greatly effect how colors are perceived as can the finish because there are warm & cool lights. This is why the paint looks completely different at my house than at the store.
    Warm vs Cool Hues
  6. NEVER pick a Color by its cutesy name... Do I make myself clear? Have it be the surprise at the end.
  7. Never pick your color unless you are viewing it in the room its intended and also in the proper orientation. I mean... if its a wall color put the swatch on the wall... don't view it on a flat table. Move it around from wall to wall. Try it again with lights on & off, and different times of day. 
  8. I narrow down very quickly, but if you're having trouble use the eye doctor method of 2.... just keep both eyes open. With 2 swatches in front, see which do you like better, "A or B" the doctor would ask. Keep your favorite of the 2 and bring up your next swatch and repeat the question.Continue until you are left with only one swatch. Sample paint pots help, but you still need to narrow down your options before inundating the poor store paint mixer and your wallet. 
  9. The big picture: In my space there are two colors that need be selected, however there were several colors that these to colors needed to interact with. Consider all things: Flooring, Trim, fabrics, other furnishings, appliance color, etc. Does your new selection play nicely with all these things? It's ok if it doesn't... because maybe like me you are doing things as finances are available. But this is where the Concept board comes in handy. You can see all your finishes and how they effect one another. 
  10. You can do it.. It's only paint. Relax. Don't over think it. Dime-for-Dime Paint is one of the cheapest changes you can make to an interior yet it has a great impact on your space. It can be undone if you hate it... you may find yourself served with divorce papers or have a painter stomp-off but hey... you'll be happy in your newly painted space. 
Whats in my Artsy Head: 
Color Wheel $4 at Dick Blick Art Supply Store
Here's what you should know about colors for interiors from and artist mind. 
  • Grab a color wheel from a art supply or hobby shop, I love this one which swivels and gives helpful info on color right on the wheel(see the back below)
  • Hue: another word for color
  • Warm Colors & Cool Colors: This wheel shows you that division between the two sides. Warm colors are Reds, Oranges, & Yellows; Cool Colors are Greens, Blues, & Violets. Again, in interiors each color can influence how large a space seems. Warmer colors appear more intimate or are said to advance, while cooler colors appear more expansive or tend to recede. 
Back Side of Same Color Wheel
How to choose what colors work together in a scheme? Some folks have a natural eye for this, but there is a method to help you if you are struggling. They are listed as follows:
  • Complementary Colors/ 2 Color Scheme: The color located directly across on the wheel. ex. Yellow is Complementary to Purple (Go Pirates)
  • Split Complementary/ 3 Color Scheme: Choosing one color and then the two other colors on either side of its complement. ex: Purple, Yellow-Green & Yellow-Orange. 
  • Triad/ 3 Color Scheme: For this method start with your base color again and count over- stopping on the 4th color. Ex: Purple, Orange & Green.
  • Tetrad/ 4 Color Scheme: Stay with me... its easy.You'll notice it can either be rectangular or square. It consist of 2 sets of of Complementary Colors.
Knowing these basics will help you with your core color scheme, you them play with the Shade, Tone, or Tent till you get the light or darkness you want for the space. 

Lastly the Golden Ratio: 30-60-10 
This refers to the amount of color used in a space. The Dominant color gets 60%, the secondary color around 30%, and the final color or "pop" gets only 10%. Obviously you may have other colors in the space but they should take up less percentage than the other 3 colors for balance. 

Jun 30, 2014

My Kitchen Project

I'm getting a little stir crazy with my house again, as usual!!! Don't you just feel sorry for my husband? Well, don't. I usually do it when he's out of town hunting, so he just comes home mid project or to a brand new space. Poor dear! I really should make him help. The last time I really did anything to the kitchen, we were still renting the home. Not anymore!!! Now, my hubby and I are the proud owners of a hefty first mortgage. So... it's been officially ours since last September and I haven't done a thing!!! I've got a near non-existent budget, so lets see how this goes. 

Here is my concept board: aka the big dream that will be whittled down once reality hits.
Concept boards are helpful if you're planning a project. It helps you to gather samples and lay them out to see a big picture. It also helps you create a budget. For some clients I often do renderings of their space, but I don't have time to provide myself with that luxury. Sad isn't it? : (
I completed this concept board with Adobe Illustrator, but there are many other ways to create concept boards. Even Pinterest is helpful as a way to save ideas to a board collectively for your project. Follow Asia's board My Kitchen Project on Pinterest. 
The kitchen images on my board represent a feature I like... not my actual kitchen.... unfortunately.

Oh the Oak!
I am suffering with oak on oak overload! It's just too much for me... personally. When designing kitchens I always like a contrast between the cabinets and flooring. But in this case, I'm not content with simply changing one thing. Here's my before images. Time for a change, I'm just over the pastels and all the Oak! It's hard to tell where the floor ends and the cabinets begin. My Lab Pistol Annie ate my first chairs... not really sad about that actually. So I picked up the heart back vintage cafe chairs for $150 on craigslist. I figured I'd try Iron or metal so the dog wouldn't chew on them and so far so good. I wish I had a hidden camera to see if & when she tried to chew these chairs. I would love to have done something different in the way of chairs, but they were a bargain and the dog wouldn't hurt them. The table came with the house and I have plans to refinish it.

My Project Plan:

There's no rules, wrong, or right to my steps. Feel free to deviate as your money & schedule needs. Though consider some things may be messy, like paint, so that's why I'm starting that first and having the floors refinished after.

I'll be doing separate post with photos, items used, and tutorials for each step- so stay tuned or be sure to Subscribe to my blog.

Step 1: Cabinets & Walls- Paint, Paint, & more Paint In the coming months I'll be removing all of the cabinet doors to have them sprayed, while I hand paint or roll paint the cabinet boxes. I plan to add a cove Crown molding to the cabinets which I will pre-cut and then paint, prior to attaching to the cabinets. I'll also add bead board veneer panels to the end of my cabinet run. This will look better when painted, as compared to the photo of wood veneer that usually is shown on cabinets. At this time I'll paint the walls too. It's a good thing I love to paint!

I also hope to outfit my cabinet innards with some great features from Rev-a-Shelf : like a pull out trash & recycling can, new corner lazy susans, and spice pull-out.

I recently bought new cabinet hardware so it's not on my shopping list, but I don't want you to neglect cabinet hardware options. It's a great way to update your look on a budget. I like to browse House of Knobs.

Step 2: Sand & Finish the Floors This will probably be the most expensive part of my project. I'm opting... against my better judgement, for a darker chocolate stain. I say that because in the world of flooring there is certainly a "happy medium". This applies to your hardwood color and really any type of flooring. Medium tone floors in any wood species, show less scratches, dirt, and pet hair tumbleweeds. But like a pair of high heels... I'm gonna do it anyway and suffer the cleaning issues. The dog and the hubby may just need to be beat till they learn not to track in and scratch my floors. Just kidding... I could never beat my dog.

Step 3: Shelves Build 2 shelves between my cabinets and satin to match the floor. I'm hoping to store my counter top microwave on it and add wine bottle storage. That is assuming I have any wine left by this step.

Step 4: Accessorize My favorite part!!! Now this will have to come as finances are available. I'm going to start with the rug, in order to protect my gorgeous floor from the metal chair legs. I'm still unsure about the rug on my concept board, but I think it will help tie-in the blues in my living room. I'm hoping it has enough grey to match, but I haven't seen it in person yet. I have plenty of lattice and geometric grey and white rug options on standby, but I want a pop of color. Follow Asia's board My Kitchen Project on Pinterest.

Rug Options

Surya Rugs From Left to Right: HRZ1021-710RD, RAI1231-8RD, or ALF9584-73RD
I chose Surya Rugs because I sell them and they offer a wonderful selection of indoor/outdoor rugs.
Other accessories will be whats available, because I really don't think I'll have the budget to purchase anything new. I hope to buy ceramic or porcelain flowers for the dining room wall- like shown. I collect white vases with raised flowers on them and I'd like to have the wall be an extension of that collection. It will also tie in the floral rug design.
The etsy shop DillyPad, who made these beautiful flowers is closed, so I'm going to see if I can find a similar item elsewhere or have them custom made by a local ceramic artist. One of the Woes of Pinterest right? When you find that stunning, perfect, gotta-have-it item and ... you can't get it. Pout : (

Step 5: Window Treatments My window treatments are pathetic in my house, so for the first time I'm going to try and make custom curtains. I just can't stand seeing scrunched curtains anymore! I've decided on a roman style with a fun fabric to tie in whatever rug I select. I found a "no-sew" tutorial I want to try.
How too instructions at In Living Color 

So that's it! All planned out, now I just need to get started. I deal with sweltering heat and humidity in North Carolina, so I probably won't start till the fall... but we'll see how long I last. I doubt I'll last that long. 
Wish me luck.

Please comment on your home makeover experience or give a link if you have it posted somewhere. Id' love to see it!

*Many of the photos came from Pinterest without any copyright info. I'd love to give credit where credit is due. Or photos will happily be removed by request of owner. 

Jun 25, 2014

Interior Design: The Barker Residence

The Barker Residence is a custom home built by Jake Overton of Overton Corporation for the Outer Banks Home Builders Association annual Parade of Homes in 2013. I met the Barkers when they visited me at work at my full-time job as designer for Manteo Furniture and we quickly hit it off and started throwing around fabrics and searching for the right pieces for their dream cottage on the Carolina Coast. I loved the colors the were quickly drawn too. Beautiful seaglass shades but in a deeper or darker tone. 
Living Room

The sofa: Lazboy Mackenzie Premier Sofa 610-435 in fabric: B974594 Azure

The Barkers wanted two really comfy recliners with stylish looks. The Riley High Leg Recliner (style# 448) from La-z-Boy was a perfect choice. We then selected a fun fabric with an all over pattern Mink (C988684)

Photo Credit: la-z-boy
We added this rug from Trans Ocean's Ravella Collection in color Disco Denim.
It's an indoor/outdoor poly run in a loop design. I love these rugs because the are durable and for outdoor or indoor use, yet they feel and look like an indoor loop rug. This rug is affordable and retails for around $400 for a 5x8. 
Dining Room 
Custom Table by Woods Road Furniture

This home was featured in the Outer Banks Parade of Homes 2013 and WON for it's building category. Woohoo! The vote's are selected by the folks who attend the parade, which is what makes it special too me. If you're planning a trip to the OBX in October, look up the week of the Parade of Homes and plan to enjoy some beautiful homes. 
Photo credit: Outer Banks Home Builders/ Overton Corp.
Photo credit: Outer Banks Home Builders/ Overton Corp.
Parade of Homes Description
"Nestled among the oaks, the Barker residence is a 3 bedroom, 2 ½ bath Outer Banks classic style home. This custom home showcases walnut floors, custom tile, granite countertops, a two car garage, and spacious covered porches. Green building practices and cost efficient techniques were used to provide efficiency in construction, ownership, and future maintenance. Come kick back and relax at Our Dream, created for the Barkers by Overton Corporation."
Approximate heated square feet: 2100
$345,000.00 Includes House Only

Oyster Mirrors
I love these handmade North Carolina Oyster Mirrors. They are another way to place a coastal element, beautiful texture, and color. They vary in size and shape to suit your needs.

Master Bedroom
The master bedroom features one of my favorite groups the Americana Home Collection by American Drew. I love the headboard detail which features an arbor gate design in a weathered whitewash finish. 
I selected these Distressed Nautilus Lamps from Palm Springs Rattan to add a touch of coastal style. They are very stylized and add a fun shape... I just love that shade! They retail for around $200 or $300 for outdoor rated.
Photo Credit: Overton Corporation
I love architectural renderings & sketches, don't you? This sketch really portrays the amount of detail and planning that Jake Overton puts into his homes. I often find myself talking with him and his wife Melissa about the old cottages of the Outer Banks and how he likes to bring that flavor into his custom homes.

Jun 24, 2014

Houzz Website for Asia Evans Artistry

Anyone whose been around me knows I love the website Houzz, a site dedicated to showcasing the beautiful works of Architects, Builders, Interior Designers, Landscapers, and more! Professionals can post projects with details that make it easy to search; like wall colors, design styles, or even specific rooms. Customers and designers can save these photos for inspiration for their own projects in "ideabooks", a tool I use to help customers see what I might be envisioning for their space. Clients can also research professionals in their area, read testimonies, and see previous projects to determine weather a "pro" is right for them.

Now Houzz has added a new feature... websites for professionals, which is wonderful for a designer like me. Please check it out...

Jun 18, 2014

So excited for Libby Langdon!

Libby Langdon is a designer, author, and TV personality of her show Daykeover with Libby Langdon for House Beautiful. Her furniture collection & fabrics for Braxton Culler are some of my favorite pieces to use in my own designs. I think she is extremely talented with her ability to create different looks by pulling various fabrics together to create a beautiful space that's cozy and inviting. I'm not sure what Libby's "to do list" looks like, but she seems to be having an amazing time in the field of design. Now she can proudly check off  the list "create her own collection of home accessories", which she calls warm & inviting by Libby Langdon now available at All I have to say is .... look out Martha.... there's a new woman on top and shes as sweet as pie & talented to boot!
mix & match home accessories, pillows, throws, poufs, & rugs

"I’m so excited that my home décor collection warm&inviting by Libby Langdon is available on! Great colors, patterns, textures and top quality at fantastic price points in pillows, poufs, rugs and throw blankets! Go to to see my whole mix-and-match collection along with stunning visuals and design ideas showing how to create stylish looks in your own home!" - Libby Langdon

Libby makes it easy with her collection by breaking down her accessories into 6 looks for your home. Her before and after photos really show you how accessories add the sparkle to interior design. Whats great is accessories are affordable so when a trend has passed or your style has evolved, it's easy to change things out to create a different look without breaking the bank. I personally am notorious for doing this in my own home with rugs and pillows.

  • Chic & Cheerful
  • Sophisticated Style 
  • Cool & Current
  • Soft & Serene
  • Color Pop
  • Beach House

Beach House

mix & match home accessories, pillows, throws, poufs, & rugs

I had the pleasure of sitting in on a Libby seminar at the Braxton Culler Showroom at High Point Furniture Market in 2013. She spoke on designing for a client with a beach house or even just a coastal inspired room. She described how her process works by choosing colors that speak to her and how zebra print can go in any space. That is one of the things I like most about her spaces.... the unexpected element. She eludes to the idea of a beach house without taking it too far or uses color you don't commonly think of as beachy. Her looks are sophisticated yet still cozy and inviting, which is a very fine line. There is a point when a space becomes so "designed" that you're almost afraid to live it it... am I right? But Libby Langdon's spaces call to you and the whole family to pile in and enjoy a movie, a sunset view, or just talk the night away in your beautiful home.

Libby Langdon Collection for Braxton Culler

navy & orange decor for a classic coastal look
Like what you see? Please check out these links for more Libby:

Jun 4, 2014

Hydrangea Season

Using Hydrangea's When Decorating
As you may notice many designers often use floral arrangements in spaces, and while I have the Black-ist of Black Gardening thumbs, I enjoy using real flowers when decorating. To me, live plants provide a soothing appeal to a space that faux plants just don't duplicate. It brings in texture, color, and an earthy element. They may even inspire colors you plan to use in a space. Find what speaks to you.

My southern self loves Hydrangeas. They come in so many shapes and colors and are fairly long lasting in a vase. They are easy to grow in your yard and bloom beautiful in the summer months. It's a personal favorite of my mothers, so there's always a connection in my mind to her beautiful yard. She would always fix me up with a beautiful bouquet for my home.

... now remember what I was saying about my black thumb, well turns out Hydrangea's turn into beautiful dried flowers when left without water in a vase. HAPPY OOPS! Now I have dried Hydrangea flower heads to use in vases, nested in a jar lamp, or however else Pinterest inspires you.

Here I used a collection of dried Hydrangeas in a tall vase, dried lavender in an aqua bottle, and another vase of purple & white shells called Wampum's. The Hydrangeas take on a different feel when placed in a vase like this instead of the traditional arrangement of fresh cuttings. 

Hydrangea Color Palettes
Hydrangea's come in a variety of colors and shapes to fit many spaces. My favorite is the blue, green, and purple shades of the Endless Summer varieties which is what you'll notice in my photos. It's a species that grows very well in North Carolina and I love seeing the huge overgrown bushes of the Endless Summer Variety in front of the sound front cottages on the Outer Banks. 

Check out my inspiration boards for Hydrangea colored spaces on:

Main Photo Credit:

Drying Tips
I've noticed the older the bush, the better for drying. Check to see if the branches are twig-like and not green, that will ensure the flower will dry instead of wither and wilt like the younger bushes do. Mine were picked and enjoyed at the height of the blooming season and there color has held up for several seasons now. I have also read it is best to let the blooms dry naturally on the bush, prior to cutting. In any case, I did not hang mine upside down or place them in a dark hot place. Remember my first experience with Hydrangea drying was letting them run out of water in the vase where they sat. 

In this example I used my open base seeded glass lamp and filled the open cavity with various shades of dried Hydrangea's. This is one of my favorite things to do for this lamp during the spring and summer months. There are so many collectors lamps available now, the key is to find one with a large opening that allows you to place the whole bloom into. Mine was purchased locally.... SHOP LOCAL WHENEVER POSSIBLE PEOPLE! 

May 2, 2014

Dorothy Draper DIY File Cabinet Makeover

Achieve a Dorothy Draper File Drawer in 10 Steps
by: Asia Evans Artistry
Asia Evans Artistry File Cabinet Makeover Dorothy Draper Style

It's no secret that my favorite Interior Designer is the famed Hollywood Regency Era Queen, Dorothy Draper. Her use of patterns and colors influenced everything in the home worldwide and she is crowned as the one of the first Interior Designers in America. You can see replica's of her pieces at Kindel Furniture
So when I decided to makeover a file cabinet for my home office, I wanted to pay homage to Dorothy and her infamous Espana Chest.  

Consider your Design and what colors you want. I wanted the black and gold Dorothy Design of the Espana Chest. I elected not to freehand the design and wanted to use a custom stencil. Here's how I did it:

Shopping List:
  • File Cabinet
  • Rotary Sander or hand sanding block with Med to Fine Grit 
  • Denatured alcohol or degreasing cleaner 
  • Rags (2/3)
  • Tools to remove the drawer pulls(I used pliers)
  • Spray Paint in selected color(s) (I used Ace Brand Gloss Black & Rust-olium Metallic Pure Gold)
  • Primer
  • Stencil or in my case a brown paper bag
  • 2" Good Quality Painters Tape ( I like Scotch or Frog brand)
  • X-acto Knife or a box cutter with a fresh blade/point
  • pencil
  • A bottle of Wine or vice of choice

Step 1: Find a 2 Drawer File Cabinet or whatever size you need. I want to later add a top to make it into a desk. I found this File Cabinet at my towns local thrift shop. The proceeds go to a shelter for battered women. Good deed... check!

Step 2: Get it home in a 2 door Mustang. hummmm... not so easy! This designer really needs to invest in a van, before partaking in anymore DIY projects. 

Asia Evans Artistry File Cabinet Makeover Dorothy Draper Style

Step 3: (as needed) Sand down smooth. My file cabinet had a previous DIY paint job from the former owner that needed to be sanded so the texture wouldn't show through the gloss black. Gloss finishes are particularly unforgiving for imperfections. 
Asia Evans Artistry File Cabinet Makeover Dorothy Draper Style
Step 4: Regardless of whether you sanded or not, be sure to clean every surface. You want to clean off any dust from sanding and/or ensure there is nothing on the cabinet that will interfere with the paints ability to bond with your cabinet. Common suggested cleaners for metal surfaces are degreasers or denatured alcohol. Check the website of your spray paint brand to see prep suggestions for various surfaces.  
*Always take caution as these items are both toxic and flammable. Be sure to follow instructions on disposal of used product and rags. 

Step 5: Prime Coat Everything (oh... and be aware of overspray and wind) Pick an area away from cars and anything you wouldn't want flecks of paint on. Choose a low wind and low humidity day. Dry time is greatly affected by humidity.
*overspray is the paint that can be carried in the air and land on yours/or your neighbors cars. I'm not guilty but I have been the victim of this act before... NOT FUN! 

Step 6: Paint your deign color first. For me that is the Metallic Gold which is only going to show on the drawers. I chose to paint the whole Drawer front to ensure an even texture under the Black paint I will spray later. Careful with metallic spray paints... they drip. Watch the nozzle and do a quick spray blast and then wipe the nozzle clean. Do this each time to prevent the drips you see I experienced. Let dry. 
Paint your handles and other accessory pieces... if you want them gold like mine.

Step 7: Tape off your design area with a good quality painters tape. I used a 2" wide tape. I first drew half of my Dorothy Draper design out on a brown paper bag. I then folded the bag at the mid point of the design and cut it out, so both sides were the same. (Kind of like how you use to cut out a heart as a kid) Just fold down the middle. 
In this photo you are only seeing the outer stencil. There is also a center piece which in the photo you'll notice I already traced around onto the painters tape.
Asia Evans Artistry File Cabinet Makeover Dorothy Draper Style

Step 8: Remove your paper stencil and carefully cut along your pencil line. Harsh cutting pressure is NOT needed to cut the tape. This is were a new point or sharp blade is a must to ensure you cut the tape and not pull and gather it. 
Pull away the outer cuts of the tape, leaving your nice Dorothy Draper design. Carefully use your fingers and/or finger nails to gently ensure the edges of the tape are well stuck to the drawer surface. 
*BIG PAINTERS TIP HERE: Blast one more coat of gold metallic spray over the drawer and taped pattern again and let dry. This will help prevent color bleeds with your next color. It seals the edges of the painters tape. 

Step 9: Final paint coat.... your almost there!
It took me several coats with an Ace Brand Black Gloss Spray Paint. I let each coat dry before blasting the next coat. This helped prevent drips. 
Asia Evans Artistry File Cabinet Makeover Dorothy Draper Style

Step 10: Pull the tape. It's not a bad idea to "gently" run your knife around the edge of the tape. The knife edge is also helpful to get the tape edge up to start peeling it off. Woohoo!!! It's like a present! Put all your drawer pulls and hardware back on. Step back and view your masterpiece.
Asia Evans Artistry File Cabinet Makeover Dorothy Draper Style


Asia Evans Artistry File Cabinet Makeover Dorothy Draper Style

Crack open that bottle of wine... that is if you didn't already do so back at step 7.
The total cost for this project will vary based on your already accumulated DIY supplies. 
I only had to buy the File cabinet and paint. A total of $26.00
I Hope you had fun!