Interior Design...Photoshop Style!

Don't you just love curling up with a good book or magazine? I do...especially when the cover is as lovely as this one:

{House Beautiful, June 2010}

{a better look; click to enlarge}

I'm drawn to the soft color palette, the mix of natural textures and the understated elegance of the overall decor. "Barefoot-in-cashmere feeling" is how the magazine describes it. Mmm...love the sound of that! 

A kitchen shot from the same house:

Lots of very "in" things going on here: pendant lights (a relaxed feel), light cabinets with a dark island (I've got the same look going, but in a more French style), and John Robshaw fabric (is it just me or is name everywhere these days?). And my favorite detail...

...the scalloped edge on the window shade. (Note the extra width of the shade: from cabinet to cabinet instead of the usual "window only" coverage). 

And who can resist a gorgeous master bedroom photo? Take a good look, because I'm about to change it up on you.

I love the sheer, white bed canopy and the vaulted, weathered wood ceiling (gorgeous window treatment, too), but I couldn't help but wonder what the room would look like with this lantern:

{very French indeed!}

And this lamp:
(I've always wanted to use it in my own home!)

 So I did a little Photoshop magic...and voilĂ !

{altered by LLH}

That was fun! What do you think? Are you a fan of the original or the altered version? There's no right or wrong answer...just have fun with this! (I'm not 100% satisfied with my revisions, but I'll wait until you've left your comments before I say more!) 

And while you're studying the two bedroom images, can you spot the third thing I changed? 

Have fun!  

UPDATE (5.29.2010): Now that a few of you have left your own thoughts, I owe you mine!
  • Photoshop Trick #1: I absolutely, hands-down prefer the Wisteria lantern over the original one. I'm sure the original is very nice ($$$), but it just doesn't feel right to me (kinda grandma-looking and not authentic enough for the weathered ceiling...in my humble opinion). The Wisteria lantern gives the room more of a French feel, which I love. 
  • Trick #2: I love the open Wisteria lamp base and have always wanted to try it in my own home, but the designer may have been right to put a chunkier base next to the open, airy bed...just to ground things a bit. But I go back and forth on that (mostly because I don't love the original lamp base).
  • Trick #3: The orange RAIN JACKET at the foot of the bed just had to go! Had it been a throw or a scarf, fine...but who leaves a rain jacket lying around on the day of a big photo shoot?!?!? 
Hope you had fun with this. I know I did! I may have to try some of these fun tricks on my own home someday! 


Open House Round Up!

To all who took the time to stop by during this crazy month of May, THANK YOU. You made the extra effort SO worth my while. How much joy and friendship and fun I would have missed had I started nesting instead of preparing stationery and cards for you! I enjoyed every minute!

Here are a few shots of my dining room turned card shop:

Congratulations to Gretchen, whose name my youngest daughter
pulled from the giveaway jar. A $100 gift certificate is all yours!

And a big thanks to my super talented mom and sister for joining me with their handmade goods. It's neat to see how we each express our creativity in different ways. My mom with her fiber art creations...

...and my sister with her more-talent-in-her-pinky-finger-than-most-of-us-will-have-in-a-lifetime creations!

Crazy talented...and so many different little works of art! I joke that I should retire from the card and stationery business and  market my sister's goods full time! Oh, but how I'd miss paper...and my wonderful paper-loving clients, so I'm not going anywhere (though I will tell you when she opens her Etsy shop)!

Happy Monday, Sweet Readers! Thanks for sharing a few minutes of your day with me!

P.S. Personalized stationery is available in my online shop until June 30th. I'll close in July and August and re-open with a bang September 1st!


One Tired Bunny

Don't you just love this little bunny? That's me today...all tuckered out. How about you? How are you on this day, Sweet Readers?

P.S. Next week: Open House photos. Thanks to all who came. It was great fun!


Open House Thursday + $100 Giveaway!

OOPS!!! (Great way to start a post, isn't it?!?!)

Just as I thought I was finished printing and packaging for my Spring Open House, I noticed I was missing an entire category: the younger crowd. I guess I got so carried away with the lavender and nests that I forgot all about printing this fun group of designs!

Nothing like a little last-minute printing to keep things interesting! Here are some sneak peeks of my new favorites for a younger crowd:

Birthday Cards
(great to have on hand)

For peace-loving girls
(my daughter's favorite!)

Anthropologie-inspired dress
(our teenage babysitter loves this one)

[Note: all of these designs can be personalized in my online shop, but for now, the non-personalized sets are available only at Open Houses.]

To make the day more exciting for those who stop by on Thursday, I'm giving away a $100 gift certificate that can be used in my online stationery shop (sorry out-of-town friends...this giveaway is a local one).

Oh, Happy Day, blog friends! I look forward to meeting some of you in person on Thursday!

P.S. Houston Readers: email me for a map if you'd like to stop by: llh(at)llhdesigns(dot)com 


Friends Are Better Than Stuff

My Urban Market Round Up, aka "Lessons Learned":

  • Mud is fun when you're wearing cute rain boots
  • Cheap wine in a plastic cup is great when paired with good company (Thanks for joining me at the preview party, Alison!)
  • It's awesome to see one of my favorite blog friends in person (Love you, Holly, and loved our hours of talk over Black Currant Iced Tea!)
  • I didn't need a thing because...
I came home from Urban Market feeling very full, not with deals and "finds" as in the past, but with gratitude for time well-spent.

But, of course, there had to be at least one purchase for a girl who likes a deal...

...but this purchase isn't for me. I bought a pair with our church in mind. After 13 awesome years in temporary facilities, we'll soon move into a real-deal church building. If they can pry both of these beauties out of my hands, they'll look great hanging on a wall!
P.S. Houston Readers: I'd love to see you at my Open House THIS Thursday, May 20th, anytime between 10 and 2 (email me for a map: llh(at)llhdesigns(dot)com). 


Spring Open House Next Week!

For directions to my home, send me an email: llh(at)llhdesigns(dot)com

It's official: a Spring Open House...thanks to your encouragement, a high school senior who's helping me package when she could be sleeping or playing...and of course, thanks to my insane love of doing crazy things during busy times!

Here are a few shots from around the studio this morning:

Just in time for teacher gifts, graduation, summer birthdays (remember I close for the summer) and your own personal stash! (I've been enjoying note writing with my new lavender note cards!) And the best part: everything is only $10 to $25!

BONUS: My very talented mom and sister will be offering their one-of-a-kind handmade goods as well!

Grab a friend and drop on by! I'll even make the beds for you. Tee hee!
P.S. For my out of town readers, you can personalize any of these designs in my online shop, but I only offer these non-personalized items at my Spring and Christmas Open Houses (for now!).


Making Cards & Making Beds

A prayer from my seven-year-old daughter on Mother's Day:
"Thank you, God, for my sweet angel Mama....she's good at making cards for people, and when she feels like it, she can even make all of our beds in less than an hour!" 
Isn't she a hoot? I don't know how card making and bed making came together in her mind as two things I'm good at doing, because because bed making isn't my thing...not on a regular basis anyway! (I was the kid who slept on top of the covers and sometimes on the floor to avoid making my bed!). So, precious daughter-o-mine, I'm afraid you've given me far too much credit, especially considering you make your own bed most days! God bless you, child!

But every now and then, the bed fairy shows up (she looks a lot like me!) and does her thing:

I do love a well-dressed bed. And I love the process of piecing it all together (I just wish someone else would make it for me!). My personal preference is to mix different brands for a unique look (keeps your costs down, too, by allowing you splurge here and save there. Happy to share my favorite sources:
  • Bella Notte (totally luxurious; I finally bought a few pieces for my bed!)
  • Pom Pom (love the blue-grey color and embroidered details; very feminine)
  • Pinecone Hill ("boutique" style for a reasonable price; great coverlets)
  • Pottery Barn (velvet euro shams fill in for headboards)
  • PB Teen (cheerful pink & green floral duvets)
  • Anthropologie (unique, vintage-looking bedskirt)
  • Target (ruffled Rachel Ashwell sheets + tulle canopy)
Happy bed making!
P.S. Stay tuned for news of my Spring Open House. I think it's a go (next week!). Thanks for the encouragement and lovely words, Morning T. Your enthusiasm was just what I needed!



I feel a nesting phase coming on...big time. You know the kind...scavenge for new things (can't wait for Urban Market), rearrange the things you have, get rid of the things you don't need or love...so fun! But for a few more weeks, I've got to keep the urge locked up in it's little cage and stay focused on this kind of nesting:

These little nests have been best sellers since I introduced them five years ago. And I have a feeling the new lavender is going to be a close second if I can get them printed and packaged in time for a Spring Open House! [Note: I only sell pre-printed card sets like these at my Open Houses or straight out of my studio, but you can personalize any design in my online shop.]

One client just picked up an order of personalized lavender memo pads and plans to tie a small tube of this lavender hand creme to each one.

What a lovely idea! Or you could pick up a little lavender happy from one of my favorites, Essencia. Just the thought of lavender anything puts me back in Provence...and nudges me that much closer toward feathering my nest (which is as Provence-like as my budget and time can allow it to be)!

But before my personal home nesting phase can begin, there's a big decision I need to make: to do or not to do my annual Spring Open House? Lots of new designs printed on $10-25 gift items...but I meant to do it in April, and here it is May! Too late for Mother's Day, but how about teachers, graduates and summer birthdays (since I'm closed for the summer)? Thoughts? Too busy? Too late? Those of you in Houston, would you come? I'd love to know! Leave a comment or drop me a line: llh(at)llhdesigns(dot)com.

P.S. If you're in the nesting mood and can't wait on me to get in mine, check out Morning T. She's got a great giveaway that is sure to add some spark to your nest! 


Cure for a Slumpy, Dumpy Day: Part Deux

Go for it! Fill in the blank and see how it makes you feel. Once you start, it's hard to stop! Slumpy, dumpy days are inevitable, but I promise this little "fill in the blank" exercise will change the way you feel about the day. Really.

There's nothing that repairs a grumbling and complaining spirit like a thankful heart.

Still not convinced? Or maybe the eyes of your heart are clouded over as mine were yesterday? Try this little exercise out with your children. Ask them to finish the sentence, "Thank you, God, for ________." Or "I'm thankful for ________." Their replies will inspire you (not to mention change the course of their hearts for the day)!

Here's to hearts overflowing with thanks!


Cure for a Slumpy, Dumpy Day

My Monday morning looks good on paper:
  • 8.5 hours of sleep
  • peaceful walk through one of Houston's most beautiful and quiet parks
  • healthy breakfast
  • pedicure (first one in eight months; bright RED!)
  • shower
  • cute clothes (anything apart from exercise clothes is cute in my book!)
  • giant cup of Ginger Peach tea
  • a bit of reading: Jesus Calling Devotional and a Psalm from The Bible
  • now in my studio: a happy place where I love to be
Lots of ME time (rare), and yet...I'm in a slump. Hesitant to even tell you so. I've done all the right things to get my day off to a great start...and I'm still stuck. Ever have those days?

Two options: stay in the slump (no fun) or look for the ways God is inviting me out of the slump and into this day (ask and you shall receive, right?).

So I sat down at my computer (not knowing what else to do at this point) and saw a "Happy Monday" email from a fellow-blogger. Since I was in need of a little "happy" in my Monday, I popped over to her blog to see what was putting the spring in her step today...where I found this:

A beautiful lunch basket created out of a thankful heart (for a teacher).

And that's all it took to end my slumpy, dumpy day: a simple reminder that it feels good to GIVE THANKS. God must have known what He was talking about when He said, "In everything give thanks" (I Thessalonians 5:18). There's something about being thankful for what IS in your day that makes it hard to feel dumpy about what's NOT in your day! 

How about you? What are you thankful for today?

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