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Posts tagged “Inspiration Friday

Inspiration Friday: Patio Decor Ideas

It’s official the Summer barbeque season is here. And even though the 4th of July is just days away, its still not to late to spruce up your outdoor space and get ready for entertaining no matter what your budget. In this week’s “Inspiration Friday” post we’ll take a look at how professional designers create comfortable stylish outdoor spaces perfect for dining and relaxing.



A simple yet inexpensive way to add new life to your outdoor living space  is by updating the cushions on your patio furniture. If you’re looking to add a custom look to your outdoor space, sewing your own pillow and cushion covers couldn’t be easier. The most important thing to remember is to use fabric specifically designed for outdoor use. Outdoor fabrics have come a long way in recent years manufacturers like Sunbrella and Waverly Sun N Shade have a vast offering of fabrics in vibrant colors and patterns. Best of all these fabrics are typically treated with a special finish that helps them repel water resist stains, and mildew. And with the proper care the outdoor cushions you make can last for many seasons to come.

Rooftop Terrace traditional landscape


Here the designer uses a firepit to  create a central point for the seating area

2007 Showcase traditional patio


The lush foliage and compfy overstuffed cushions make this patio a ideal place for relaxing at the end of the day. What a perfect secluded place to retreat to. Light a candle, sip a glass of wine and cuddle up with your favorite book (or kindle book).

Lockettes Home



Indoor outdoor living mediterranean exterior



Oakley Home Builders traditional patio


Make the most of your outdoor space by incorporating built-in seating. These lovely built-ins serve two purposes; they provide additional seating and the benches are and excellent place to store the cushions when they are not in use.

Modern classic contemporary patio


Of all of the designs showcased in this post, I have to admit this one is my favorite. I love the creative use of outdoor lighting and how the designer incorporated water, indigenous plant life and subtle pops of color to create a relaxing environment with a spa-like feel.

Prideaux Design modern patio

I hope you enjoy this weeks “Inspiration Friday” post and that these peeks into professionally designed outdoor living spaces will inspire you to add a designer touch to your home as well!


Inspiration Friday : A Tribute to the Heros & Victims of 9/11

Since the announcement by President Barack Obama that the man who masterminded one of the most horrific events in our nations history had been caught and brought to justice, I have been unable to think of little else other than what happened on September 11th, 2001.  So much changed on that day.  So many lives were lost and ordinary citizens gave their lives to preserve our nation’s freedoms.

As the months and years passed we all sought ways to come to grips with this new reality. Drunell Levinson, a fabric artist and quilter who had witnessed the plane crashes came up with the brilliant idea of bringing quilters from around the world together to create a memorial tribute to the victims and heros of  September 11th. This project gave thousands of quilters and the sewing community an outlet for their grief and provided a symbolic way that they could honor those who were lost.

Here’s a small sampling of some of those quilts, for more information about this inspirational project and to view all of the quilts in this exhibit, click here and here.



Two thousand one, nine eleven
Three thousand plus arrive in heaven
As they pass through the gate,
Thousands more appear in wait
A bearded man with stovepipe hat
Steps forward saying, “Lets sit, lets chat”

They settle down in seats of clouds
A man named Martin shouts out proud
“I have a dream!” and once he did
The Newcomer said, “Your dream still lives.”

Groups of soldiers in blue and gray
Others in khaki, and green then say
“We’re from Bull Run, Yorktown, the Maine”
The Newcomer said, “You died not in vain.”

From a man on sticks one could hear
“The only thing we have to fear.
The Newcomer said, “We know the rest,
trust us sir, we’ve passed that test.”
“Courage doesn’t hide in caves
You can’t bury freedom, in a grave,”

The Newcomers had heard this voice before
A distinct Yankees twang from Hyannisport shores A silence fell within the mist
Somehow the Newcomer knew that this
Meant time had come for her to say
What was in the hearts of the five thousand plus that day

“Back on Earth, we wrote reports,
Watched our children play in sports
Worked our gardens, sang our songs
Went to church and clipped coupons
We smiled, we laughed, we cried, we fought
Unlike you, great we’re not”

The tall man in the stovepipe hat
Stood and said, “Don’t talk like that!
Look at your country, look and see
You died for freedom, just like me”

Then, before them all appeared a scene
Of rubbled streets and twisted beams
Death, destruction, smoke and dust
And people working just ’cause they must

Hauling ash, lifting stones,
Knee deep in hell, but not alone
“Look! Blackman, Whiteman, Brownman, Yellowman
Side by side helping their fellow man!”

So said Martin, as he watched the scene“Even from nightmares, can be born a dream.”

Down below three firemen raised
The colors high into ashen haze
The soldiers above had seen it before On Iwo Jima back in ’45

The man on sticks studied everything closely
Then shared his perceptions on what he saw mostly
“I see pain, I see tears,
I see sorrow — but I don’t see fear.”

“You left behind husbands and wives
Daughters and sons and so many lives
are suffering now because of this wrong
But look very closely. You’re not really gone.

All of those people, even those who’ve never met you
All of their lives, they’ll never forget you
Don’t you see what has happened?
Don’t you see what you’ve done?
You’ve brought them together, together as one.

With that the man in the stovepipe hat said
“Take my hand,” and from there he led
three thousand plus heroes, Newcomers to heaven
On this day, two thousand one, nine eleven

What a shame!


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Inspiration Friday: Beautiful Bedrooms

This week we’ll explore the possibilities of transforming your bedroom into a cozy retreat with the use of  luxurious home decor trims & fabrics.  You may remember that a few weeks ago I discussed the  importance of creating a sanctuary in your home.  At the time I pointed out how soft accents (like shower curtains, draperies etc) can easily transform any bathroom into a place where you can unwind at the end of the day.

And while we may want our bathroom to be the Canyon Ranch retreat let’s face it the bedroom is far more important.  It’s the safe haven where we rest, recoup and recharge.  Fabrics & trimmings play an important role in any bedroom ensemble.  They provide an element of comfort and elegance that softens hard edges and creates a feeling of coziness..

Layers are the key to making over a bedroom. Comforters, pillows, throws, draperies and other soft accents – all work together to bring luxury and comfort to your room.

I hope you enjoy this weeks “Inspiration Friday” post and that these peeks into professionally designed living spaces will inspire you to add a designer touch to your home as well!

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Love the use of an extra large vintage mirror as a headboard! It serves to reflect the rooms light sources, gives the perception of a larger space and is an elegant statement piece in the room. Also note the use of fabric fringe to edge the bench.

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An upholstered headboard can add yet another layer of fabric and color to your bedroom. I love how the headboard is created with the same fabric as the upholstered side chair. The addition of a silk dupioni coverlet completes the ensemble and creates a simple yet elegant look.

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This room is one of my favorites, It’s a  welcoming space with cozy fabrics and elegant furnishings. Note how the headboard, draperies and the throw are all in the same color. Also the upholstered bench  matches the color of the walls. The overall effect, classic comfortable elegance! This is the type of room I could easily picture myself coming home to at the end of a long day.

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Yes, I know this last image isn’t of a complete bedroom just an piece of accent furniture.  But this is the vanity of my dreams. This look was designed by Nancy Corzine for “Inspired Designs: A Showhouse Celebrating Extraordinary Women“. Her inspiration for this incredible boudoir, the great Grace Kelly.


For more great designs check out this new book from Bryan Batt big, easy STYLE Creating Rooms You Love to Live In

To visit my store, Murray the Monster Store, please click here!

For advanced notice of sales & coupons by email, click here

Twitter @MTMfabrictrims

Inspiration Friday: Balenciaga & Spain

Ever wonder what inspires truly visionary fashion designers? Well, now’s your chance to find out! From now until July 4th, 2011 the  de Young Museum in San Francisco will be exhibiting  over 120 pieces of haute couture from the collection of the legendary Cristóbal Balenciaga (1895-1972).

Once described by Cecil Beaton as “Fashion’s Picasso”, Balenciaga’s unique, but classic designs forever changed the direction of the fashion industry. This exhibit explores the impact that the Spanish culture, history and traditions had on the designer and his work.

Here’s a small sampling of what you’ll see at the show:

Balenciaga, Bolero jacket  winter 1946

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Fuchsia Silk Shantung & Black Lace Dress, Summer 1966

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Black Silk Gazar & Wool Evening Dress, 1951

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A cocktail ensemble with dress and cape from 1962

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Want to see more? Check out this You Tube video from Style Bistro:

I hope I’ve peaked your interest! The wonderful thing is that Balenciaga’s designs really are timeless. The gowns and jackets pictured above  look just as current and fashion forward today as they did when he first designed them.

To discover more about this exhibit please view the Museum’s press release which provides a complete summary of the event by clicking HERE.

If you’re planning on being in the San Francisco area and would like to purchase tickets to this truly remarkable event you can do so by visiting the de Young Museum’s website. Tickets are reasonably priced at just $25 adults, $22 seniors 65+, $21 students with current ID, $15 youth 6–17, and free for members and children 5 and under.

Unfortunately this is the only U.S. showing.

Can’t make it to San Francisco? No worries, from now until July 4th, 2011 you can watch the Balenciaga & Spain Symposium on Demand, for a chance to learn more about the exhibition, as well as the history of Balenciaga and his work. The cost is just $9.95 and they even provide you with a  preview so you’ll know exactly what to expect…


To visit my store, Murray the Monster Store, please click here!

For advanced notice of sales & coupons by email, click here

Twitter @MTMfabrictrims

Inspiration Friday: Update Your Interior with Honeysuckle-Springs Hot New Color!

named PANTONE® 18-2120 Honeysuckle the color of the year for 2011

Every since PANTONE® ,the global authority on color for the fashion and interior design industry,  announced that  Honeysuckle was 2011’s color of the year I’ve been waiting to the see just how professional home decorators would incorporate this vibrant shade of reddish pink into their interior designs. And while I personally love this color, I couldn’t imagine how it could be tastefully incorporated into sophisticated, time-enduring designs. So I was pleasantly surprised when I stumbled across these images on the internet on my travels this past week.

Tell me what you think, are these designs classics or trends gone wrong?

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Inspiration Friday: Bathrooms that will take your breath away

It’s a cold and snowy day here in Northern Massachusetts-the kind of day where the local weather person warns against traveling on the roads unless it is absolutely necessary. I was not able to heed this warning, so needless to say, it has been a very stressful day.  And after finally putting my two year old son to bed I am ready to relax;  a glass of wine, a little bit of bubble bath and my favorite novel….this is my sanctuary.

Creating a place in your home where you can unwind and recharge at the end of the day is an important thing you can do to safe guard your health. In this weeks post we’ll take a look at how some talented interior designers have used high-end upholstery fabric and trims to transform ordinary bathrooms into sanctuaries.

As always, if you’d like to contact any of the interior designers whose work is featured in this post, just click on the image to go directly to their site.

Sanctuary, on a personal level, is where we perform the job of taking care of our soul.

Christopher Forrest McDowell