Friday, October 17, 2014

Beyond the Typical Man Cave: A Gentleman's Cocktail Room

When someone mentions "man cave" to you, is this what you see?

I think most of us probably picture rugged rooms with neon signs. pool tables and beer kegs.  

But being the romantic I am, I long for a time gone by.. .when men wore fedoras and stood up when a woman entered the room.  I think gentlemen's study, cocktails, suit and tie, Mad Men, if you will...  Frank Sinatra crooning in the background while men toast their Manhattans and discuss their recent adventures at work or play.  

So exactly what would this "gentleman's man cave" look like?

Start with walnut stained wood floors

 And Benjamin Moore's Raphael on the walls...

and the rest is a little something like this...

 Anson Leather Sofa in Fifth Avenue Cognac
 Fonda Rug in Navy
Dunn Cocktail Table in Maple with Charcoal Stain
 La Palma 49" Bar in Chestnut

There are only a few things missing... you can't have a fabulous gentleman's bar room without cocktails!  I found the perfect solution at  I recently discovered this site and am completely enamored with their gifts for men.  Most "gifts for men" that I find online and in stores (wood valets, leather catchalls, monogrammed slippers, really?) would be balked at by most men I know, including my husband.  Man Crates offers men what they really want... all packaged in a crate that comes with it's own crowbar for opening.  It really doesn't get much more masculine that that.  One of their newest crate offerings is the Whiskey Cocktail Man Crate.  

Perfect for my gentleman's room, this crate features all you need to mix that Sidecar, Manhattan or Old-Fashioned.  It includes a Boston shaker set, muddler, lemon juicer/strainer, Robert Vermiere's 1922 cocktail guide as well as bitters, ginger beer (one of my husband's favs) and club soda.  Man Crates offers a variety of perfect gifts for men here

  Most of us cringe when our husband mention "man cave" for reasons I've already described.  But with a man cave like this, we ladies can enjoy it too!  What a better place to have a romantic drink and relaxing conversation.  The other missing element?  

 "Can you keep it down?  I'm trying to drink." - Don Draper

Don't blame me.  I couldn't resist.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Inspiration for Using Bar Stools and Counter Stools

Most of us have space in our homes for bar stools or counter stools, whether it be at the kitchen counter, kitchen island, man cave or family entertainment space.  With Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas approaching, many of us will have family and friends into our homes to celebrate.  Having plenty of room for everyone to sit and nibble is important.  So don't forget to utilize bar and counter space.  And it could just be a great opportunity to spruce up your space!

So just what is the difference between a bar stool and a counter stool?

{bar stool} -  These are stools designed to use with any surface that is "bar height" - 40-42 inches.  The seat hight of bar stools is 29-31 inches so it gives plenty of clearance space to allow you to sit comfortably.

{counter stool} -  These stools are designed to use with any surface that is "counter height"  - typically 36".  The seat height of these stools is 24-26".  

So basically, bar stools are taller than counter stools.  You can choose which height you need by measured the height of your working surface.  

Need some ideas on how to design around a bar or counter stool?
Here are three inspiration boards I've put together to spark your creativity.  The bar and counter stools I've featured are from  If you haven't visited this site, take a look... it's a gem of an online boutique.  You can buy and sell pre-loved decor... and because all of the items are curator approved, everything is super fabulous! 

Here is a dining space with feminine flair...

B.  Industrial Bar Table
C.  Wooden Wine Barrel Stave Chandelier - Shades of Light
D.  Wakefield Three-Door Three-Drawer Buffet - Hooker Furniture
E.  Sherwin Williams - Antique White (SW-6119)
F.  Antique Turkish Oushak Rug
H.  Decorative Accent
I.  Seibert Accent Chair - Joss and Main

Need a new look for a breakfast or snack nook?

B.  Aria Bar Table - Room and Board
C.  Safavieh Soho Gray Area Rug - Rug Studio
D.  Wood Tiled Buffet - West Elm
E.  Truman Table Lamp - High Street Market
F.  "Watermelon" - Linda Colletta - One Kings Lane
G.  Sherwin Williams - Drizzle (SW-6479)

And for the men...

B.  Mahogany Bar 
C.  1940s Mahal Rug - Chairish
D.  Mixed Metal Schoolhouse Pendant - Shades of Light
E.  Leather Double Chair with Nailheads - Restoration Hardware
G.  Architects Task Floor Lamp - Pottery Barn
H.  Benjamin Moore - Whitall Brown (HC-69)
I.  Benjamin Moore - Townsend Harbor Brown (HC-64)

Want to see more great bar stools from Chairish?  Click here to check them out!

So the next time you need a bar or counter stool, don't forget to get creative!  How have you used bar stools in your home?  What are your favorite styles?  I'd love to hear your ideas!

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Designing Women: When Julia Sugarbaker Lived Down the Street

Ahhhh, there they are...
Beautiful, vivacious Suzanne. 
Little-bit-o-crazy Bernice. 
Naive, kind-hearted Charlene.  
Sassy and spunky Mary Jo.  
Flustered, fun-loving, bless-his-heart Anthony.  
Sharp as nails, epitome of Southern grace and wit, Julia. 

I grew up absolutely loving this crew and I'm betting most of you did too.  
Interestingly, they were interior designers, but we rarely get a glimpse of their work in the show.  We do, however, see their fictional design office during the sitcom's opening...

The Villa Marre
 Little Rock, Arkansas
This historic home is located about 4 miles from my home in Little Rock, Arkansas.  Every time I drive by it, I think of one of Julia Sugarbaker's epic monologue rants and I smile to myself.  
The home was built in 1881 and is a combination of Second Empire and Italianate architectural styles. Angelo and Jennie Marre built this home... thus it's name, the Villa Marre.  It has an intriguing  history that you can read about here and here.

Over the years, the home has been used as a private residence, nursing home, boarding house, dance studio and is currently home to a real estate firm and special event venue... 
but to me, it will always be "the Designing Women" house.  
Every time I drive by, I just hope Julia will peek out the window 
and wave to this designing Southern sister.

        My absolute favorite "Julia rant".  I couldn't resist.